Tuesday, March 29, 2016


We had a lovely Easter at our house. First we went to church. John had to take Larissa home mid-service because she developed a headache quickly. She has had an increase in headaches. I have taken her to the eye doctor where they determined that she had a small deficiency in reading. It really wasn't bed but because of her headaches they went ahead and gave her glasses. Now we are looking to get back to the neurologist.

I have been working on my table, not quite finished but all the kids are on it.

We had a small crowd, Tasha, Ethan and Vaida brought Ethan's mom. It was nice to have both grandma's together.

It started raining so the outdoor egg hunt got cancelled. (Also explains Benjamin's wet socks and no pants, they got wet). We did a little egg hunt for the two littles.

They picked up on the idea of hunting for eggs pretty quickly. 
Benjamin was very excited about every find.

It was also Ethan's birthday so we celebrated that as well.

We missed some kids and friends but had a very nice time with everyone who did come. The table fit everyone perfectly. I will admit, we didn't color eggs. For some reason I have just tired of coloring eggs, Maybe we will do some next year.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Seizures, mom who drank while pregnant. These are the things I hate. Larissa struggles to retain things. We cover stuff and then it is lost. So many tears cried in frustration. All because a woman exercised HER right to do what she wanted with her body while pregnant. The mom didn't pay the price for that choice, her child sure did though. We need rights for the unborn child.

I couldn't tell you how many times we have covered money both at home and in school. I believe that it is very important to be able to deal with money, count it, give the proper amount and ensure that you got the right change back. Yet every time we come back to it Larissa has not retained it. She is so frustrated by it. 

Dealing with money isn't the only knowledge she struggles to retain. Every night she goes to bed and has seizures. Every night she loses something. Put on top of the her FAS and it is tough. She suffers the consequences of someone else's actions.

Frequently I have been hearing a lot from the younger generation that it is their body and they can do what they want (I am not going into abortion here). That they are the mom and they know what is best. They are so worried about their rights that they forget that there is another person there with rights as well. The child should be able to come into this world without challenges that you have created. They should be able to continue to grow and flourish in a healthy matter with a mother who is always looking out for their best interest.

However, this isn't a perfect world. Children will continue to suffer the consequences of their parents choices. Every day these children come into foster care, every day a foster/adoptive parent struggles to help the children who have been given extra challenges in life through no fault of their own. Every day this makes me mad-sad.

Given motivation, get it right, keep the money.

  Benefits of homeschooling in an art studio, math followed by art.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


We have been busy with simply living our life day to day. Not much excitement in our household lately. Larissa went to Columbia one day and had lunch with Joselin. We had a good time and Joselin payed! I don't get that often.

Larissa did her usual ealy March dip. Benjamin saw her get in so he started stripping. He insisted on getting in as well. The water is too cold for my liking but the kids were swimming until we got another cold front in.

Blind drawing. Anthony didn't think it could be done but he tried. 

He insisted that I give it a go.

Benjamin has developed an obsession with keys. My keys. I haven't always been as diligent as needed and they are currently missing.

I continue to paint my table and hope to have it done in time for Easter. Anyone else have a big project going on at their house?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Travel Plans

We have firmed up our travel plans for this year and added an unexpected trip. In June we are heading back up to NC to stay at the Bryson area. We enjoyed our last stay at Deep Creek the last time we went and we look forward to spending more time there this summer. We will not be doing tent camping, we will stay in cabins. We have reserved several and hope that some of the older kids will be able to make it. We also hope to meet up with Kathy . We met up with them a few months ago in FL and our kids get along great.

We have also long planned a cruise for the end of the year. We made the reservations a while ago thinking that we would make payments along the way. While that hasn't happened, we do have rooms all together. One of my brothers is talking about joining us and that would be great if he and his wife do.

Today we also decided to take a quick trip to Texas. I haven't seen my dad in years and rarely talk with him but I figure I should go see him. Southwest has pretty good prices. We will have to drive to Atlanta but 8 of us will fly for about $1500. None of the younger kids have flown so this should be interesting since we are out numbered. Thankfully the flight has no stops and is only about 2 hours long. Our hope is to make it to San Antonio as well as Houston. We are looking at rental cars and it appears that we will spend almost as much for a van. It is costly but I just don't feel like driving 24 hours for a 5 day trip.

We love to travel.  However, it is so expensive with all of the kids. We also did limited travelling when we were fostering because of our obligation to the foster kids. We didn't like to use respite care so planning cruises and flying were a challenge.

Anyone have exciting travel plans for this summer? We are trying to decide what to see next summer.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Family Dining

Our family enjoys eating together. On Sundays we have friends over who eat with us as well. We have two table in the dining room but one is pushed up against the wall and collects everything. I wanted a bigger table but couldn't find anything. Everyone fights to sit at the main table so I had the idea of putting both tables together and put a square or large rectangular top on it.

John and I went to Lowes to get some plywood for the top. My plan was to have them cut some off for me. Their saw was down so I told my husband that I would come back another day. He said to use two pieces as is, they would fit. Hmmm, crazy but we brought it home.

Oh my! It fits but it is HUGE! Oh well, we are going for it.

Naturally something that huge needs to be a piece of art so I have been painting on it. I put a saying in the middle and am making it a family tree all around it. Each family member is picking what type of bird they want.

Since it is going to be so big I designed it so that it could be seperated when we have the whole crowd here. That will give us a lot of seating.

Painting has been slow going as life continues. We got to have Noah spend the night one night. He is such a cutie.

Jason wanted a Bluejay....

Tasha is a Cardinal family.

That is all I have painted so far. Between the shop and family life it is slow going. I probably need to get a plastic cover for it so that we can start eating in the dining room again. We normally eat there every night and it is disrupting our normal flow of life!

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Things are going well with Michelle on the school front. She has brought her grades way up, some from failing to almost the 90's. She made student of the week for the first time!  We were all so excited for her. She was excited. She loved the attention it brought her.

So why am I frustrated? Because we are still dealing with the lying and lack of respect. She seems so shocked when she is caught lying, like she didn't think I would catch on. She defies any rule I give her thinking that she can get away with it. In the back of my mind I can't forget the day she told me that she always got away with lying in her other foster homes because they were stupid. Hmm, I am not stupid. She even acknowledges that I am not stupid. Yet it seems like every day she tries to get away with something. Every single day.

I guess that the things that she does get away with are enough to keep her going. You would think that she would get tired of missing out on stuff. She missed out on Zootopia this weekend (great movie by the way) for lying and defying the house safety rules.

It is frustrating because we would love to celebrate her school successes more. We want for her to be able to participate in the fun things that we do. I don't care to be in a daily battle to see if I can catch her. I have told her that regardless of whether I catch her or not, she knows what she is doing and that it is wrong.

Thankfully Emma has decided that lying is not the best course of action. She rarely lies anymore. She has learned that the consequences for lying are worse than the consequences for telling the truth. Often the things they are doing just need a correction. The girls have been here long enough that Emma has learned that I am really a softee. Michelle, not so much.


Friday, March 11, 2016


Larissa will not let me do her hair except for when she has to have it in a bun for dance.

Her hair is a little crazy looking right now. Sometimes she will pull it back into a pony tail or wear a headband but for the most part she wears it down.

I let her wear it however she wants. Every now and then I offer to do it for her but she says no.

Yesterday we went shopping and she struck up a conversation with a lady at Kohls. I was surprised because she doesn't normally talk with strangers. Their conversation led to a discussion on hair. Larissa told her that the kids at school teased her about her hair, when it was braided, beaded or down. It didn't seem to matter what she did, they made fun of her hair. She wishes that she had different hair. It seems to be a big area of teasing. Let me tell you, I love that lady. She told Larissa that they were all just jealous because she is pretty, tall, skinny and has nice full hair. She told her to do whatever she wanted with her hair. She did tell her to put more oil in it though to make it shine.

Larissa beamed. The lady works at Kohls and Larissa hopes that she will be there the next time we go. I hope that the employee knows what a boost she gave to my daughter. She didn't tell her anything that I hadn't already said, but coming from someone else made a big difference.

I hope that at some point I am able to give another child encouragement in some area as well. So simple to do but we rarely take the time to do so.

Different Blog


I decided that I needed to have a blog for my creative adventures. Anyone interested in that area can check out that blog.

I think that it will make it easier for me to blog! I feel that many people are here for adoption/foster stuff and not my paintings.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Loving My Job

Before my grand opening some friends came over and made some goodies.
 I am so thankful for my good friends! 

On Friday evening we received a message from  very upset mom. She had a paint party set for her house on Saturday. This paint company is based in Columbia but travel. They sent her an email at about 3pm to let her know that they couldn't do the party. She called us to see if we could do it. We aren't really set up for travel but Tasha and I took on the job. The party was mermaid themed so I painted up something quick Friday night. On Saturday we had the open house, party at 1 and scheduled party at the store at 4.

It was a good day. I love doing painting parties with kids. They are so much fun and so opinionated about their art, which is a good thing.

We are making dog collars too, George modeled one.

I took Sunday and Monday off. Sunday John and I went to a craft fair and Monday I did nothing. It was odd to do nothing. Benjamin needed me a lot so I slowed down for him. All day long he was asking for "help". Help to do things that he normally does himself. He spent a lot of the day in my lap.

Today I got back into the store and played. I took Benjamin's painting project and added to it.

Also made a little mess.

 I also sketched out George. I think I will paint him for Jason. (with his tie)

I loved the end product here that we decided to offer a Paint and Stamp for Toddler package.

I am loving my job. I feel like I am playing all the time. What could be better than playing with paint?!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Kids Paint

Today we spent some time at the store. Tasha brought Vaida over and we let the kids paint. Everyone had a great time. We have a facebook page and are working on a web site.

The following is a picture overload so skip if not interested!