Friday, October 30, 2015

Couch Surfing

George is staying with us right now. His owner is currently couch surfing.

Jason had moved out and in with a roommate.  Several months ago his roommate packed up and left when Jason was out of town visit his father. We helped him out by paying for his roommates share of the rent while Jason looked for a new roommate.  He could not afford the rent on his own. His income level is so low that he can't even get the Obama medical care.  That confuses me, I thought the plan was for everyone to get insurance.  Apparently not if you make too low of an income.

After several months of no success of finding a roommate Jason looked towards finding a cheaper rental property. He found an efficiency that included utilities but couldn't afford to get the deposit and firsts months rent together while still living in his current place. I didn't know all of this until he came to me and asked me to watch George for a while. On the first he moved out and basically became homeless.  He is couch surfing while saving for his deposit and rent in a more affordable place. We have told him that he could move back home but he doesn't want to.  He does come home for showers and occasional naps on the couch.

We have helped many of our kids with rent and deposits.  The fact that he didn't want our help and is doing it on his own shows me that he is growing up. I wish he would go to a community college and learn a trade that would give him a higher income but he isn't interested. He loves bartending. Loves working with the people. He did tell me this week that he got a second job. I hope that the extra income gets him into his place in November.

It seems to me that it is harder for a single person to afford all the basics than when I was younger. Rent, utilities, food, insurance have all gone up. Jason does not have any credit card debt, no cable or internet, no car payment. He had the bare basics and still couldn't afford to pay the bills. It is hard as a parent to watch your kids struggle to provide for themselves. You want the best for your kids, want them to be comfortable and able to support themselves and their children. However, you can't do it for them.  They are now in charge of their lives. I can only offer advice at times but ultimately it is up to them whether they take it or not.

Hopefully George won't be living with us much longer.  He gets so excited when Jason comes to visit.  It is obvius that George misses Jason.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Mean Girls

Every year the week before Halloween Larissa's dance school encourages the dancers to dress up for class. Larissa dressed in one of Tasha's old skirts (I made it about 14 years ago for her). It was simple and available.  Saturday they are dancing at a festival to the Monster Mash and she has a totally different costume in mind.  I didn't want to paint her face today so went with the simple.

We took some pictures before she headed to class.  She was happy to be wearing Tasha's outfit.

After class she told me that some girls made fun of her outfit.  She said that she almost cried but stopped.  The worst was a girl dressed in a store bought Frozen costume.

I just don't understand the need to be mean.  Larissa is not mean to them.  I know that it isn't a racial thing because they pick on another girl in the class who is white.  Oh, and the girls parents are very active in their church.  I know one of the mothers casually. she would be horrified if she knew of some of the things that my daughter tells me she does to other kids. Why do these kids find it necessary to steal her joy? Breaks my heart to watch it.

I typically don't go buy store bought costumes.  I did buy Emma some for Christmas because she really loves the costumes.  If I do get ready made costumes it is second hand.  I guess I am cheap, I can't see spending a small fortune for enough costumes for all my kids to wear for one night.

But, we also enjoy getting creative. We are still working on Larissa's costume.  So far we have a dress that has gotten too small for her and her batman tutu from last year that I made. We spent a long time on the computer tonight looking at face paintings to get exactly what she wants.  I need to get into my shop to see if I have the flowers that I need for her hair.  If not, flowers will be my biggest expense. We are going to have fun with it.

Sitting with me and creating her desired costume brought back her joy.  However, I tire of the mean girls.  They drove Sarah out of high school. She still talks about some of the things that they did to her.  The damage that these kids do lasts for a long time, the hurt from their words and actions don't just go away when they grow up. I don't see this problem getting any better.  Actually it is getting worse.  So many kids aren't taught to respect anyone. Respect, that is another post brewing on my mind lately so I will save that rant for another day.

In the mean time, be kind to one another.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


We decided to make ghosts today for art. Emma enjoyed the feel of the starch. She is wearing Halloween face paint, she does not have a black eye.

Larissa does not enjoy the feel of the starch.  She seems to have an aversion to many squishy feeling things.  She is not big on pumpkin carving.  She has never liked getting wet or dirty.

We pulled the books out of the girls room and put them back in the bookcases.  I didn't realize that they had accumulated so many.  We have hundreds of books in our home for kids of all ages.

Larissa painted Benjamin as an old man.  She says those lines on his forehead are wrinkles.  He enjoys playing with her even when she is painting his face, dressing him in dresses, putting his hair up and any other girly thing she can think of.

This evening Larissa and I picked Sarah up from college and went to see a movie together.  Sarah is spending the weekend at home.  She has been stressing over her classes and needs a break.

It was a nice Friday but by far my biggest accomplishment of the day was getting a shower before noon.  How was your day?  Anyone have big plans for the weekend?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pumpkin Eater Finished

He came out pretty good.  I got the idea from an online site.

This weekend we are having folks over to have a wine painting party.

Then we are contemplating some Christmas elves from this site..

Our House

We have been blessed with a big house.  However, sometimes it seems like more work.  Our house has 3800 sq ft. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a huge FROG (finished room over the garage).  The FROG has been a bedroom, playroom and now laundry/homeschooling room. It is a nice big room.

Over the years we have shuffled kids around trying to find the best fit for kids. Larissa wants to share a room with Emma and Michelle but every time we have tried with either one it hasn't lasted long. They typically will bully her and destroy her stuff. So right now Emma and Michelle share a room, Larissa shares with Sarah. Joselin has been spending a lot of time here and she sleeps in that room as well. Larissa is a good fit for Sarah because Sarah is gone most of the time to college and all her stuff is in the room.  Larissa respects Sarah's stuff.

Benjamin has his own bedroom upstairs.  Anthony used to be upstairs but we had to move him downstairs. There is a hostility between Anthony and Michelle that we don't like and when they have bedrooms close to each other it gets worse. We just feel that it is best that he be downstairs.

Benjamin has a baby monitor in his bedroom so I can hear when he gets up. At times I have had to put alarms on doors but at this time there aren't any. They sell great door alarms at Walmart near the fire alarms.  I will probably put one on Benjamin's door one day just so I know when he is out and about.  He worries me with his ability to open doors and circumvent baby proofing devices.

At one time Sarah had a room of her own. We had a 12 year old foster child who kept going in her bedroom and getting into her stuff.  He broke her Pinocchio's nose off and we were never able to find it. She purchased this item on her mission trip to Italy. We put a lock on her door after that and she had a key to keep him out. I would love to replace this fellow if anyone finds one please let me know!

We do not encourage playing upstairs too much. There are some toys in their bedrooms and in the FROG but a lot of them are in the garage which has heat and A/C. There are no TV's or computers upstairs. The kids do have two computers for their use and are allowed 1 hour/day of computer time. There computers are open to the family room. Sarah has her laptop and can use it wherever she likes. If you want to watch TV in our house you have to do it in the family room with the family.  It actually helps to bring the older kids down and out of their rooms.

Our FROG also has all the dress up clothing in it.  That allows the girls privacy when changing since Anthony is not allowed up there. When the respite girls were here they asked if they could go up and play dress up.  I allowed them to do so.  After a while I realized that Larissa was dwonstairs and I could hear a lot of commotion going on in her bedroom.  They had moved to her bedroom and got so out of control that Larissa left.  She should have alerted me to the problem. When I realized that they were in her room I told them to put the dress up stuff away and come downstairs. Emma and Michelle knew that they were not allowed in her bedroom, they were taking advantage of the situation. They had gotten into the make-up and jewelry in that bedroom (which is part of why they aren't allowed in there).  They had trashed her bedroom.  Four girls can do that pretty fast. After that I was constantly telling them to stay out.  If they went up for showers, in the morning and finally the last night that the girls were here when everyone was asleep they were in her room tearing it up.  Michelle was the biggest culprit and she has a longer grounding time than Emma.

We recently moved the bunk bed to the girls room and ordered a bunk bed with a full size mattress on the bottom for Lariss'a bedroom. After the furniture comes we will be blocking off the door that allows access to her room from the girls room.  There are two flights of stairs going upstairs and Larissa can use the other stairs and she has her own bathroom.

One thing that has been bothering me is disclosure.  The foster mom of those girls did not tell me about their behaviors. When we were talking after they went home, she told me that the girls had to have their environment so controlled that she had to take everything out of the bathroom and give them what soap and shampoo they needed. When giving Benjamin a bath I realized that all of his shampoo was gone.  It was a new bottle, they had wasted the entire bottle. If I had known I would have taken stuff out of the bathroom, never allowed them any time unsupervised upstairs and basically had much tighter controls.    The information she gave me prior to the girls coming didn't lead me to believe that there would be any issues.  The conversation we had afterwards made me realize that she was still struggling to get control after they had been in her home a year.  Yes, full disclosure would have been nice.  But we survived.  I also learned how easily some of my kids can turn right back to the chaos.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Last night I sat and talked with the foster mom of the respite girls for quite a while. She is frustrated. She has had the girls for a year and feels like she is getting nowhere.  She runs a tight ship.  She is consistent.  She doesn't understand why she doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. She also thought that maybe it was just her.  That she had her expectations too high.  I assured her that it was not just her.  The girls really showed no respect for our home and property.  Sadly two of my girls followed right along with them.

You would think that if you had nothing and then suddenly had things that you would take care of them.  However, I have frequently seen quite the opposite. It is as though they don't value anything and don't have the ability to take care of their stuff.

The aftermath of the weekend is broken property.  Lamps, toys, clothing shrewn everywhere. I listened to Larissa screaming and crying at what they had done to her stuff.  I didn't realize that Michelle and one of the girls had gotten up and were playing in Larissa's bedroom. Larissa was unaware as well. All her Monster High dolls are missing parts and clothing.  Dance make-up and clothing are ruined.  Larissa was in tears.  The girls didn't seem to care..

Not only did they break Larissa's stuff but they also broke her trust.  They went into her room and destroyed her stuff.  They removed some of her stuff from her room.  They broke some of their own items as well.  That lamp came from their room.  I have been working on their room.  Painted the walls, bought new curtains, matching comforters, just got a new rug that I haven't put down yet. I had plans to do some other, more detailed painting and customizing.  However, at this time I am going to put what I have in there and move to Larissa's bedroom. I am almost done with Benjamin's room and the bathroom upstairs.

The school therapist talked with Michelle.  I talked with Emma.  They acknowledged that they did wrong. When I asked Emma how many times I told her that she wasn't following the house rules over the weekend she said a lot.  When I tried to reason with them about their behavior they really didn't care and made no attempt to reign themselves in.

I told them that they were grounded.  They didn't seem to care....until today when they realized that Halloween and our plans for the renaissance festival are within two weeks. Then I had two screaming, crying and begging kids.  I hate for my kids to miss out on our activities.  However, we all spent a very long miserable weekend with them and their behaviors.  I am not going to back down. Two weeks is going to stick.  They will not be doing any Halloween activities or going to the renaissance festival.

In some ways I feel like we are back at the beginning.  However, they both were able to acknowledge what they had done and how inapporpriate their behavior was.  I hope that they learned something about themselves.  I know that I learned that I can't have kids close to their age in the home.  We have had many respite kids in the home but they have all been quite a bit younger.

Tomorrow we will continue to pick up all the broken toys. I think that the broken trust will take a little longer to fix.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

No More Respite

It has been a crazy few days.  We have these two girls here for respite care and Michelle and Emma have engaged in mutiny.  They have thrown all our house rules out the door and chaos reigned.  I have gotten my house under control and I also have two girls who are grounded.

Typically when we have a new child come into the home the children in the home clue them into our house rules.  Of course I am here and let them know what we expect.  However, when they are playing in the play room or outside with the kids they are expected to veer new kids away from doing things that they know are not allowed.

For example, Michelle and Emma came down for school on Friday morning with jewelry on. It was jewelry that was packed away in the garage where there is a play area.  They know to leave the packed boxes alone.  However, they went through some of the boxes with the girls and they all helped themselves to whatever they wanted.  Larissa was staying away from them at that point because they kept trashing her bedroom and she was rather disgusted with the behaviors.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times in the past few days I have said, "you know that is not acceptable behavior in our house," to my kids.  Not only have we had children getting into things they shouldn't but we have had so many house rules broken that I can't begin to count.  It culminated today with Michelle yelling at me because I sent her to her room. Yelling at me does not help your cause.

Besides breaking many house rules, Emma and Michelle turned on Larissa.  I told them on several occasions that these girls will get on the school bus on Monday and will never be back.  They were losing an awful lot and harming their relationship with Larissa for girls who were only passing through.

This experience has sealed it for us, we will not being doing respite care anymore. Emma and Michelle are not ready to have other children in the home who are close to their age. It actually makes me a little sad. They turned against all our rules and against Larissa for two girls who were only to be in our home for 5 days.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Got a Date

November 4th.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Whew, I survived today.

I greatly enjoyed watching Vaida today.  She greatly enjoyed getting into the cabinets.  It is all new to her, Benjamin has slowed down on emptying the cabinets.

Our pumpkin eater is coming along but I couldn't get to it today. It is slow going.

I am almost done with the bathroom upstairs but didn't get to it at all today.  Also, I am updating Benjamin's bedroom but didn't get to that either.  I need to hang some curtains in the girls room and several other small projects but didn't get to any of them. My laundry pile needs a zip code of it's own but I didn't touch it. Need I discuss the dishes?

Instead of housework, I held babies, changed babies, visited with Kassi, made a bowl of fruit for Kathy and worked with the girls.

At 3pm the other kids came in the door from school and I didn't get anything else accomplished with my day except for a few phone calls and a cooked dinner (chicken helper, peas and garlic bread). Some days meals are simple, some days more elaborate and healthy.

The other girls are here so currently we have 5 girls between the ages of 8 and 10 under our roof. The girls played upstairs for a long time in our dress clothing.  Anthony stayed away, smart boy.  He said it was too many girls and asked why we always had girls for respite. Sometimes we get boys but they are always younger.

My husband hasn't made it home yet. (It is 8:30ish pm here).  He left after work to get Sarah and take her to dinner.  We haven't seen her since the floods.  He had a hard time getting to her and then getting out to a place to eat.  Many roads are closed.

I am sitting here writing but I still need to make a few more phone calls.

I talked with several folks today.....

I had a local foster parent contact me with a problem.  It involves moving a foster child.  There is reason to move this child, safety of her existing children.  Her friends are judging her decision.  They are not foster parents, they really don't understand the problem.  They just believe that she should sacrifice all for the foster child.  I am not big on moving foster kids myself.  However, there are certain reasons in which I would and a big one is safety of the kids. This foster parent is hurt by the reaction of her friends and their inability to understand the place she is in. She wants to foster teens but has younger children in the home. She has a huge heart and wants to help a child. She is learning how to manage the requirements of DSS, the hurt of the children, the connections with biofamilies, working with the schools, finding therapists she never dealt with before and dealing with the negative perceptions of family and friends. Sometimes it is easiest to talk with someone who has been there, done that. I hope that I was helpful.  I told her that I trusted her judgement and that if she felt that the child needed to be moved for the safety of her other children then she needed to do it. The fact that she is hurting over this decisions tels me that she does have compassion and that it is hard when there are limits on what we can do.  I prayed with her that the child would be placed in a home that would be better prepared to help the child.  Sometimes we have to know our limits.

Speaking of limits, we have been told that Benjamin's biomom is expecting again. This will be her 5th child.  If they pull the child they will call us since we have a sibling.  We have agonized over whether we would take placement or not. Our mind tells us to have the child placed in another home. Our heart is waffling.  I just don't know. I am quite busy with our 5 in the home and soon we will have another grandbaby.  Going to activities with one toddler is doable.  A toddler and a baby plus 4 would really set us back.  Besides, dang, we are getting old. I did however, put a little bug in the foster moms ear from yesterday.

I talked with our lawyer.  Everything is finished and he has requested a court date.  We are getting close.  Really close. As in really, really close.

Yes, it was a full day, a good day, and we survived it.

All my kids are in bed and sleeping. I am heading off to go and gel in front of the TV, I enjoy HGTV and Criminal Minds. Hope everyone had a great day.

What if.....

We have a weakness, a majority of the time when DSS has called us about placement of a child or children we have said yes.  The time I did say no became a yes and led to our adoption of Kassi.  My husband asked me how many kids we haven taken in to our home and I honestly don't know.  I answered with every one that they asked, that is why they call us.  That is why we were seldom empty.

When they called us about Benjamin we said yes even though we had to go to the hospital and take an infant CPR class. They told us that he would be a short term placement.  We said yes knowing that he wouldn't be with us long. We welcomed the opportunity to bring a baby into our home. We love cuddling and loving on babies. We had a lot of short term kids the year before so we actually thought that they meant it.  They had a family member in mind when we picked him up.

Keep in mind; Anthony, Larissa and Kassi were all short term placements.  Only Emma and Michelle were not.  So when DSS says short term, that doesn't always mean short term.

Today we were asked to do respite care for a week.  I said yes and the foster mom called me with particulars.  She brought the kids over today so that they could meet us and were comfortable coming here for a week.  They go to our local elementary school and even take the same bus home.  They sit with Michelle on the bus so the week should go well.

The kids foster mom and I were standing and talking when Benjamin came running through the room. The foster mom turned to me and said that he could have been her son.  She told me that she had gotten a call about him and they were thinking about taking placement.  However, she couldn't fit in taking the CPR class.  Also, she said that she didn't want to take a short term baby because she wanted to adopt and having him leave would break her heart. She looked at him again and said, "he could have been my son....what if we had said yes".

Foster care is so unpredictable.  You have to be open to the possibility of being hurt when the kids leave.  When you start making decisions about placement based on how it may or may not hurt you then you are limiting the possibilities. I feel bad for her.  They have been fosteirng for several years and had an adoptive homestudy for a few years before that.  Yet they are still waiting for an adoptive placement. Now she is asking herself, what if?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Do you see Kindness as a Weakness?

We are struggling with an issue at our house, two of our kids see kindness as a weakness.  Then they try to exploit that weakness and show disrespect to that person.  Our biggest offender is Anthony. We had a long conversation with him tonight. It is a situation that has been building for a while now and I just recently put my finger on it.  He shows the most disrespect to those that are kind to him; his teachers, Sarah, my mom's caregiver.

This behavior really bothers me.  All these people have given to him, done for him, given of themselves; yet he shows them no respect. He sees them as weak and acts out on that perception. I am at a loss of how to change that perception.  He has consequences when he does it, however it does not slow him down.

I have talked to him about how he treats others who give to him. I asked him if he has ever seen me or my husband treat others in a disrespectful way.  He said no.  I asked him why he thought it was OK to treat others who show kindness to him in such an ugly way.  He answered with his usual "I don't know".

I consider myself to be a kind person.  I have had people take advantage of that.  However, I choose to still be a kind person.  It is who and how I choose to be. The first person I am kind to is myself.  I can laugh at my mistakes and don't take some things too seriously. However, my kindness doesn't make me weak. When I have a battle to fight I will fight it.  I may try to do so with kindness but if that doesn't work I will come on strong.  I told him to never mistake my kindness or another persons kindness for weakness.  Sometimes it takes a stronger person to be kind when the world is growing so mean.

I know that I didn't change his mind.  I hope that our conversation gave him a little food for thought. I also know that I have a zero tolerance for this behavior. I fear that this is a battle that we will be fighting for a long time.  Anyone else have this issue?  If so, how do you deal with it?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Quick Fall Project

A friend of mine sent me a request on facebook to make her a fall yard decoration. It looked simple enough so I agreed to make it for her....a scarecrow.

From my pile of wood I pulled out three boards from the last fencing project we did.

I put supports across the back and painted the bottom part white.

I painted a very simple face and cut another fence piece of wood to make the hat.

Added a little embellishment.

And added a support brace on the back with a hinge.

Since I had the wood sitting around it was a very inexpensive project to do.  It is a little over 5 feet tall. I may make myself one next year if I am not in the middle of numerous projects in the house.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Too Much

How much stuff do your kids have?  Mine have too much.  I try to limit what I buy for them.  I don't typically buy them toys unless it is a holiday.  I only buy clothing if it is a good price.  I normally only buy new shoes when the season or sizes change or there is a specific need. However, they still have too much.

The other day I told Emma and Michelle to clean their room, it was so bad I couldn't even walk into it. (No pictures, I was so disgusted).  A pile of laundry went to the laundry room.  The next day it was back to chaos.  Once again I told them to pick up.  Emma got frustrated and said that she had too much clothing. I told them to whittle their clothing down to 15-20 outfits and we are donating the rest.  Emma was not happy with that.  Michelle who actually matches her clothing went and counted. She had 18 matched outfits so she was happy.  (She has a lot of clothing in the laundry room that I will bag up).  Part of the problem with Emma is she is at the end of the hand me downs.  Everyone hands down to her and Larissa and Michelle take good care of their clothing.

I think about it, my kids have more than 20 outfits.  They could wear a different outfit for each day of the month.  They don't, they have their favorite outfits that they wear frequently. When I look in my closet I see the same thing.  Most of it gets worn very infrequently. I have been working in my closet, bagging up shoes and clothing that hasn't been worn in a while.  It is amazing how hard it is to get rid of perfectly good clothing that looks new.  I have a bag sitting in the closet and when I try on something and don't like the fit or can't find something to match I put it in there.  It is helping some. I still have a long way to go.

This declutteirng is hard.  So many things are attached to memories or were gifts from specific people.  Or, it is something that I might need one day. I see the same struggle with my kids.  Toys that they rarely play with or that are missing parts they want to keep.

In the girls room I decided that we needed to move the bunk bed into that room to free up some space and to offer less "stuff" space.  They were stuffing all kinds of things under the beds.  The bunk bed needed moved across the hall.  My husband and I thought that we could move it in two pieces and not take it apart.  We got the bottom section without too much trouble.  It was during the movement of the top piece that my husband declared his love for me.  OK, maybe it was more of a "you know I have to love you for helping with all this furniture moving"! We took off the door for a little more wiggle room.  Still it wouldn't go.  Finally with sweat dripping off of our noses we determined that we had to take it apart.  In the end we did get it moved and we eventually got the door back on.  Their room looks much better and I am doing daily checks on it so it doesn't get carried away again.

Thankfully it looked this good when the GAL came and looked at all the bedrooms.

What started all of it, laundry basket with laundry, toilet paper, hangers, and even baby wipes.

Anyone else have too much?  Anyone successfully downsize?  If so what is your secret?  I need to know since I am still decluttering.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Halloween Project

I took a break from the floor, bathroom and kitchen projects to work on the Halloween project.

It all begins somewhere......

The girls modeling the monster walk.

Basic structure.

Future fingers, toes and ribs.

Kids creating.

There is a lot of work to do but it probably won't be tomorrow.  John and I are travelling up north to pick up a car that he ordered months ago.  When we bought Kassi a car he gave Jason his Toyota Corolla and ordered himself a Subaru.  We have never owned a Subaru before so this shall be a new adventure. So we should start working on the paper mache Sunday after church.  The kids are loving the project.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Knock at the Door

Today I looked at the lights in the bathroom that I am refreshing and I realized that they both had rust on them. These lights are about 5 years old, nothing seems to last. So today I went to Lowe's and got some replacement lights.

I was in serious painting, light wiring mode and the kids were on their 4th day off from school.  The house was chaotic and a mess.

We have been trying to declutter for the GAL visit (and because the house needed it).  With our last adoption he said that our home was cluttered and we wanted it to be cleaned up.  Well, in the midst of all this chaos who should appear at my door but the GAL!  No phone call, no warning, just a knock on the door.

I moaned but let him in.  I am afraid that our next report will still read cluttered but now he might just add terribly messy!  On a good note this was the last step needed to head to court. Next week I will start to nag about a court date.

We had some suggestions for activities.  I don't think I am up for the chicken mummification. However, we were deep in discussions about a paper mache project when that idea came in. Tomorrow we are going to start on that project. It promises to be pretty interesting looking.


Today it was announced that the kids will not have school the rest of the week.  They are still working on transportation and road issues. I need to find them a Halloween project to work on, this unexpected vacation is driving me crazy!

My husband was also told that he will not be working tomorrow.  He went to Columbia today to work with a church on mud outs and said that there are a lot of people helping.  The willingness of others to help at this time is fantastic. There was some fear that there would be elements of society that would take advantage of the situation.  There have been thefts on a small scale but not massive riots and burning of buildings. Seems like in times of disaster you have either others reaching out and helping and others looking to take advantage. Since he is off he will be working in Columbia again. Not sure if he will be working Friday or not.

As things are settling I am turning my thoughts back to our adoption.  We still wait for the GAL to visit. We haven't even heard from him (even before the flooding).  I hope to hear from him next week.  We want his to be done and for Benjamin to be ours.  Watching all those people being displaced makes me wonder if any foster parents were flooded out.  If so what happens to the foster children?  Do they move them because they are in a shelter?  What if their plan is adoption?  I really don't know, I would hope that they don't disrupt unless the foster family asks because they can't cope. I just makes me more aware that until we are in court and finalized anything can happen.

I started this post last night and then went up to paint the bathroom.  I stopped painting at 3 am but forgot to finish this up!  Lack of sleep will do that for you.  Benjamin took a long nap yesterday so he went to bed later than usual.  He slept in until after 9 am today, the extra sleep sure was nice.

Today I hope to finish painting the bathroom and work more on the floor.  I also need to find something for the kids to do.  Any suggestions for Halloween decorations for kids with lots of time on their hands?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


The sun came out today.  It was great, the kids all went out to play.  They still do not have school tomorrow.  I would be surprised if they went back this week.  I know that there was a fatality down the street we pull off of when a bridge failed, many students live past that bridge.  All the roads and routes have to be cleared before they will put buses with kids on them.

Both Jason and Kassi stopped by today.  Kassi was able to get her car running.  That is a huge relief for us.  Jason is in search of a phone.  All of my spare phones have been taken so we didn't have one for him to use.  I was happy to see some of my kids today.

Tasha sent me snap chats and videos of a happy Vaida.  She is using some alternative medicines for that ear infection, something to do with garlic.  Joselin and I talked for a while.  She said they got water today but that downtown isn't the safest place to be.  She said if it gets too bad she will come home.  We talked about her studying and ended our conversation.  Just a bit ago I saw that she had posted that things have gone bad and that she needs prayers.  I can't get in touch with her so I don't know what happened.  I don't know if I should be concerned or if it is a drama thing. I am hoping for a drama thing.

Then I have Sarah, she is headed to Ohio with a friend of hers to visit her family. I sure hope that they are travelling safely.  Too many kids to worry about!

John will be going out tomorrow with the Disaster Relief crew.  They got called up to do mud outs. He doesn't have to work tomorrow but we don't know about the rest of the week.  He will either go to work on Thursday or he will continue to do mud outs.

I continue to work on projects but it is very slow going and for a reason....

distractions! He wants to sit in my lap whenever I try to work. This section of the floor is at the top landing of the stairs.  I had started on it and then when I went back to Lowes to get more flooring they has discontinued it!  It has been sitting undone for a very long time.  There was vinyl, small area of subflooring and carpet where I hadn't pulled it yet.  I had an area rug thrown over it.  I finally removed the rug and bought some different vinyl which means I have to take out what I already finished.

I am still working on the bathroom, tomorrow I will finish painting the ceiling.  Work is ongoing in all the upstairs bedrooms.  All the doors need repainting, it is necessary to paint them white?  Anyone with colorful doors?

(Sorry if it is not readable, it is almost 3 am and I can't sleep)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Link to Video of Flood

Link to facebook video of the flood

Replaced Bella

A while back Benjamin took Larissa's "Bella". He loved that monkey and eventually peed on her. Because of her electronics we were not able to get the pee smell out. I couldn't find her in any stores and finally went to EBay to replace her.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Still Processing

We are still processing here in South Carolina.  We have had rain off and on for most of the day but mostly it is leaving our area.  However, lakes and creeks continue to crest.  There have been several dam breaks today causing more damage.

Down the road from us someone died as the road they were driving on collapsed under them. Sometimes you can't see the damage from above the road as the water is eating away at it from underneath.  That was the road that my kids go down to go to school. There is no school tomorrow and John will not be back to work until at least Thursday.  A big dam burst at Ft Jackson causing a lot of damage at Ft Jackson and the surrounding area as well outside of the fort.

I have been watching my adult kids from afar.  Joselin had been spending a good part of her weeks here and then visiting with her boyfriend in Columbia.  She happened to be in Columbia over the weekend.  Central Columbia, where a lot of flooding has happened.  They have food but were in search of water.  Columbia does not have water at this time in large areas to include the hospitals. They do not have a car and couldn't get around if they did. I couldn't go and get her if I wanted to.

Tasha is on the other side of Columbia surrounded by broken dams.  Her baby went to the doctor on Thursday with an ear infection and was put on an antibiotic.  Yesterday she broke out in a terrible rash.  They stopped the medication and gave her benadryl.  Tasha was able to talk with a nurse today but has no way to get her a different medication.  We are hoping to get something tomorrow.  Tasha's husband was supposed to go to Charleston this week to train for a new job.  He obviously isn't going to that and we aren't sure how they will fare without his income.  Tasha is not sure when she will get back to college. Since they are surrounded by so much flooding she contemplated coming to our house however she couldn't find a route that was open.  I major river separates us.

Sarah is at college.  They don't have classes and they are staying put.  She is eating at the campus. She said that they didn't realize that they should have been boiling the water. They have all been drinking it.  She does not have any bottled water, seems like the college needs to get some.

Kassi is safe in town and is doing fine, however her car is not.  She flooded it yesterday and got it towed home today.  It doesn't look good and we can't afford to buy her a new one. Her boyfriend has a job close enough to where they live that he could walk if necessary.  Her job is not so close, walking is not an option for her.

We couldn't find Jason.  His dad and I both were calling him and searching for him.  Finally we messaged some friends and he called me.  His phone had died.  He is doing fine.

I have put my kids at home to work.  Today they worked on cleaning their rooms and decluttering. We will continue tomorrow, I have to keep them busy.

The kids don't really comprehend what damage the flooding has done to our state.  In some ways I don't either.  It is just hard to comprehend.  It is going to take a long time for our state to recover.

If so inclined, please pray for the people who have been impacted by the flooding.  Not only have people lost lives, homes, cars and businesses but many aren't working at this time.  That is a huge burden to those who live paycheck to paycheck.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rain, Rain Go Away

We have water starting to pool around our yard.  Thankfully it is not of the septic tank yet.

Tasha has had a small dam burst near her but thankfully she is on a hill.  Kassi attempted to come to our house but her car died.  Telling all my kids ot stay in place. It is bad in Columbia with lots of flooding.

We have a leaking roof.  Seems like it has leaked ever since we got a new roof a few years ago.  They came once and "fixed" it but the leak has never stopped.

Larissa was asking me why her computer screen was changing.  We were sitting across the room and noticed the changing screen.  It has a touch screen and as the drops were hitting it the screen was changing.  I hope that there isn't any damage since it is a new computer.

It is all annoying for us.  For us the damage isn't bad.  However, for some families it is catastrophic. They have lost everything. Many of the families affected do not have flood insurance.  Areas have flooded that have never had a probem before.  Roads, bridges and dams are failing.   Businesses are closed today.   School is closed for tomorrow. For this state it will be a long recovery.  We are praying for all those affected and are looking for sunny skies.

Rain and More Rain

Benjamin is tired of the rain. It is a cold rain and he is getting over an ear infection so he couldn't go out and play in it. We did have a short reprieve during the day and he got to get out for a few minutes., not long enough for him.

It started raining here Friday night and rained most of the day today.  It is now 1 am and it is raining even harder.  Twice now I have had to go out and drain the pool. We have flooding in the state and I have heard of some folks losing power but we haven't had any major issues here.  I went out for milk and there is no flooding in our town.  Thankfully, we do not live in an area that floods.

Because of the weather I have not had any motivation to work in my bathroom.  Instead I decided it was time to clean my desk.  Yes, it is bad.  I don't think that Pooky Bear wanted me to clean today.

That is about as clean as it will ever get.....and it won't last long.

Some days paperwork overwhelmes me.  All the paperwork for our family and my mom comes through that desk.  I try to immediately throw out junk mail.  Sometimes I have been known to throw out non-junk mail, oops.

There was a time when I looked for the best way to deal with paperwork.  After many different systems I have given up.  I find that every so often I just have to do a purge.  I sit with a trash can on one side and a box for filing on the other.  If I have waited long enough then many of the papers have become obsolete and get to go into the trash! I guess that it would make more sense to file things right away, I just don't have that discipline.

If you have a desk, how does your desk area look? Don't even get me started on the van, that is next for cleaning.

Hmmm, I can hear the rain outside, it is raining harder now than it has all weekend.  I hope that everyone in SC is safe and dry tonight.