Friday, April 29, 2016

My Boy

This little one keeps my days full. He has also learned how to turn on the outside hose to make puddles for play. He heads out clean and is dirty within minutes. He is tough, full of scrapes and bruises. The world is his playplace.

He is also 2 and very hard headed. He likes to have everything go his way and isn't happy when it doesn't. The word no is so hard for him. If you find him hiding under a table it is guaranteed that he has something that he knows he is not supposed to have.

He is full of joy and love. He crawls into bed with his grnadma and will kiss on her. He is very aware of her needs and loves to help take care of her.

He has had problems with sleep and is now sleeping in our bed. We didn't do that lightly, he was waking up several times a night screaming for me. His preferred place to sleep is in the middle of the bed with his head on my husband and his feet on me. He cries in the morning when he wakes up and realizes that his daddy isn't home. He has severe seperation anxiety and prefers that both my husband and I be home in his line of sight.

He has a big voacbulary and can speak in complete sentences. We often say that he is too smart for his own good. If he watches you do something he will copy it. If you don't want him to learn something, don't do it in front of him!

He keeps me busy from the time he wakes up until he crashes in bed at night. Then he wakes me in the middle of the night to make sure that I am there. I love him to pieces but I am very tired! I am loving this age, it is so fun to watch, but I am tired. I know very well that this age will past swiftly so I try to enjoy every last little bit!

.....and grandbabies, such a joy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


As I worked on my dining room table I painted butterflies to represent siblings of our adopted children who are not being raised together. All of our adopted children have siblings that are not in our home. Joselin has had the hardest time with the loss of her younger brother. Anthony and Larissa have a vague recolection of their brothers and have seen a picture of a younger sister. Kassi still has communications with her siblings. Emma and Michelle have siblings and Michelle remembers a much older sister. Benjamin has 3 older siblings, they sat in front of us at church last Sunday. We don't comminicate at the fathers request.

I really am not sure how many other siblings are out there. I wonder if one day my kids will want to try and find their lost family. I assume that they will. I try to keep as much information as possible so that I can answer any questions that they may have.

I haven't sealed my dining room table yet. I guess that is a good thing because I need to add another butterfly. Benjamin now has a younger brother. This is his mothers 5th child. I don't know if this child will come into care or not. I do know that his father's family wants the child. That is more than Benjamin had. I hope that all works out well. I do know that she took him home from the hospital today.

My Mom

In January 2012 I made a trip to Texas to pick my mom up from a nursing home there. My brothers were not able to see her so I wanted her closer. I had thought that I would get her on medicaid here and find a nice nursing home for her. I thought that it would be too difficult for me to car for her at home since she is not mobile and is incontinent.

I had no idea that 4 years later I would still be caring for my mom. When I see this picture from 4 years ago it makes me a little sad. I can see how much weight she has lost over the years. How much more frail she has gotten. Caring for her has gotten more difficult. Her left side was the most affected by her strokes and that side is drawing up. I don't know if it is from lack of use or further silent strokes. For some reason she tries to lie sideways on her bed. I haven't figured that one out.

Honestly, I grow weary of caring for my mom. The last thing I do each night before I head to bed is go in, change her and give her a snack. Each morning when I wake up I go in and check on her. I maintain her medications, deal with her doctors, ensure that all of her needs are met. The 20 hours of care that she receives help a lot. It gives me a break.

If I didn't have 5 younger kids in the home I don't think that it would be as much of a burden, but lately that is how it feels. I don't feel like we have a mother daughter relationship. I am the caregiver.

I will admit to jealousy.  Jealousy when I see older mother and daughters out to lunch or shopping. I see women quite a bit older than my mom out and about. Instead of sharing life with my mom I am taking care of my mom.

We are taking two small trips this summer, one to NC and one to TX. I have someone to care for my mom while we are gone. However, in December/January we are going on a cruise. We are taking my moms caregiver with us but there is no way my mom can come. We had thought that we would put her in a respite nursing home. We had done that with my father in law when he had Alzheimer's and was living with us and we vacationed. Originally our plan was to do respite and pick her up when we got back. However, I am leaning more towards finding a nursing home for her to stay at. This is a hard decision to make but I am pretty sure that is what I will do.

Being in this position sucks. There is no easy answer.

Monday, April 25, 2016


I am stressing these days, that is probably why I haven't been writing. For some reason when I have a lot to say I can't even get started. Funny, it isn't my studio that is stressing me, it is my mommy duties and heart. When my kids are struggling, it hurts me. When my kids are hurting, I hurt. Some of the situations I don't know of any way I can help. Some of my kids were dealt struggles in life long before they came into my home, some even before they were born.

Right now I am concerned about most of my kids! Ack, between mental disorders and medical issues my plate is quite full. I have to always be calm, patient and level. I live with several people with anxiety disorders. The other day one of those kids was having a hard time. It didn't matter what I said, or if I didn't say anything, nothing helped. Jason was in the room at the time. Afterward he said that he didn't know how I stayed calm and didn't yell because it was intense and relentless. I told him that for me to lose it wouldn't help the situation at all. On the outside I was patient, on the inside I was frustrated. Some days it wears me down. Some days I want to scream and yell. But I don't because I know that it would actually make it worse. It makes 2 year old tantrums easier to deal with!

This morning I went to Lowe's. I had to buy a new faucet. Benjamin saw the motorized wheel chairs and wanted to ride one.Obviously I said no as I was putting him in a cart. He went into full blown tantrum, screaming and tensing his body, trying to jump out of the cart. I got past the wheel chairs and held onto both of his hands which were tensing up. I made him sit in front of me and put my face real close to him and calmly said over and over that those were not for him and he couldn't ride them as I massaged his hands. After a few minutes the screaming stopped and he cried a little while he rested his head on my shoulder. After a bit he was back to his happy self and we went shopping.

When I am dealing with someone with chronic anxiety issues I feel like I am dealing with the intensity of a toddler in a tantrum but without ever reaching the happy place. It feels like it is just cycling and cycling. You can't just yell to stop, get over it, move on because they literally can't. As much as it drives me crazy I can't imagine what it is like to live in that constant state. Not only do I have kids with anxiety disorders but my husband has it as well. Some days I feel like I am the lighthouse in the middle of the storm. So many rely on me. So much responsibility. So stressful.

Adoption, foster care, the effects of this experience don't stop once you have finalization, they continue for a very long time.

I am off to paint, more tomorrow. I have committed myself to posting every day for the next 2 weeks. I also do not have time to post a seperate one for my business so will combine them. However, we do have our official website up and running

Monday, April 18, 2016


 Benjamin found something interesting in the backyard.

Kid have been anjoying this toy. The line that is supposed to help them broke on the first day (Amazon is sending a new one) but they found a way to improvise in the mean time.

Yes, he desperately needs a haircut.

The speedway is finished.

We didn't have a long enough distance between trees so we improvised there too.

Getting better at the balance.

Oh no! An accident.

Yes, we wash him several times a day!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Life at Our House

I did not dress him, my husband did and apparently he couldn't find matching shoes.

Tasha and Vaida came for a visit and picked up Sarah along the way.

The shop needs more tables. Yes, we have the need already. It needed a paint job so we gave it one.

Everyone was working on it and most of us walked away for a few minutes to talk with someone. When we came back Michelle had smeared a section of it up. We worked on making it look less obvious. I don't know why she did that, she was involved in the painting. It took her 4 days to pick her weeds but she had done it and wasn't on any restrictions. She said that she just felt like doing it.

I have taught all the kids that if they want paint at the shop they have to clean up after themselves. For some reason Michelle didn't. I reminded her and she still did half a job.

The next day I came to the shop and was putting the washed paint brushes away when I ran into Michelle's brush. She hadn't cleaned it and it was ruined. She has lost painting privileges for a while.

Time seems to be flying by and some issues seem to never change. Some days I grow weary of it. Some days I just let it go. I can't allow one child's defiance to dictate my attitude. We have lived with defiant children before and know that one day they grow up. Sometimes they even grow up and realize that all that defiance got them nowhere.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Weeds

Who knew that some weeds would become a source of a battle. I do not tolerate disrespect from my children. Just don't. So when Michelle disrespected me on Saturday I gave her a chore. I gave her a spot in the front yard that needed weeding. I figured that it would take her a few hours. It was a section of the yard with a few trees and weeds. She didn't have to try and sort out flowers and weeds. If it was green it was a weed. I thought it would be a simple job. Keep in mind, our yard is sand, pulling weeds is not hard.

After a bit she comes to me to tell me she is done. I go out to look at her spot and am confused. I asked her what she pulled and she said the weeds with the little purple flowers. That is not what I told her to do. I explain once again that everything growing in that area is a weed. Pull it all.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday she "pulled" weeds. She put pine straw on top of some to "hide" them. She pulled some and threw them on top on unpulled weeds explaining that she pulled them all, just didn't put them in the wheelbarrow. She filled the wheelbarrow with pine straw to show how many weeds she pulled. She has done everything possible to not pull weeds.

I explained to her that once her chore was done she was off restriction. Something that I thought would take 2 hours has taken more than 3 days. The person she is hurting is herself. At the rate she is going new weeds will grow while she is playing her game. Sometimes it is just hard to understand why they chose the battles that they do.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Most of the fence is up and we are working as fast as possible on a speedway in the play area. No riding vehicles are allowed around the pool and it is a challenge with Benjamin our speedy boy.

Nothing got done today as we ran out of wood and I didn't make it to Lowe's. Maybe we will get something done tomorrow but not likely since it is supposed to rain.

We expect that Benjamin will learn to climb the fence.  However, he can't do it with his riding toys. the riding toys have been our biggest concern as he has gone in the pool several times with them. He can float but not when he is tangled within a huge toy.

The play area is pretty big but it is a sand pit. Our entire yard is one big sand pit and it doesn't seem to matter what we put on it, it quickly disintegrates.

We will have a circular speedway along with the swing set and sandbox. The trampoline has been taken down since it was developing a hole. We hope to add an elevated play structure in the middle of the speedway and we have ordered a seesaw from Amazon. We brought back the basketball pole and plan on building something for that as well.  I just wish I could find some type of ground cover that would keep our sand issues down. Grass, mulch and pine straw didn't work out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


We have posts in the ground. Already our yard feels foreign. Benjamin isn't happy about the situation and has been telling them to leave all day. I think that the fence will be a shock. There are bets on how long it will take him to climb the fence. If it doesn't rain tomorrow they will be out to finish it.

Different subject, anyone use Picasa? It seems as though it stopped on the 3rd.  All my pictures get dumped on that date no matter what I do to try and get the correct date on them. Any suggestions for where to store all my photos? I have way too many and don't care to lose them.


We have put a deposit down on a fence. When we put in our pool we didn't have any babies and didn't expect to have any. The pool was fine. The pool wasn't placed well to put a second fence around it! However, we can't move the pool so we are making do. It will be interesting to see how the yard turns out after the fence is put in. We are basically dividing the yard with a fence running from the house to the back fence. This will create a play area on the left side of the yard.

The back part of the yard has been underutilized and for a reason....our backyard neighbor who can't stand the sound of playing children. We are putting a small raceway back there for Benjamin. He will not be happy with the loss of his current speedway. The new speedway will not have a water feature.

The fence will run along the left side of the pool.

We had to move our swing to the opposite end.

Soon the view will be obstructed.

Our fence person said that the only way to guarantee that our little one doesn't climb over the fence is to electrify it. No, we aren't electrifying it but it is a warning that even with a fence you shouldn't get too complacent. We see the fence as something to slow our little one down. It will be a wooden fence to match the rest of our wooden structures. A fence running across the middle of your yard is a little hard to blend in! They are supposed to show up today with supplies if the weather holds. It has gotten cold here!

Monday, April 4, 2016


 We got to keep Noah last night. He is such a sweet baby and so quick with a smile. We don't get to see him as much as we would like, but we sure enjoy him when he is here.

Noah next to his bird painting. Kassi wanted a dove.

Benjamin might have been just a bit jealous. He sure was quick to check out the baby seat.

Kassi has been having a rough time. Not my story so I really can't share but anyone who does so, please pray for her and her situation at this time.