Friday, April 28, 2017

Licensing update

Well, we do have some movement in our licensing.  After sitting on a desk for review for a while it moved up the line to the next person. That would normally be the end of the line but they recently restructured so this person is no longer able to approve relicensing. So our paperwork was moved on to the top person in charge of licensing. Thankfully this is the last step, she will approve or disapprove our fostering license. We wait.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


I have been quiet because we have been struggling. We are so frustrated with the daily junk that Larissa is dealing with. It is not unusual for someone to say something negative to her, "bump" into her and now the boys have noticed her so the sexual harassment has started.

She came home one day complaining that a boy told her he wanted to have sex with her in the bathroom, when she refused he called her a whore. She didn't even know what it meant. We have been having to do a lot of education lately so that she can understand what is being said to her. She is in the 5th grade.

I don't normally call parents because I find that it just doesn't help. Too many just claim that their child wouldn't do that. With this boy I was told about a video as well so I did reach out to her. Well, I was told that her child wouldn't do that.

She complained to her teacher and I talked to the school therapist as well.

The therapist called them in separately and together. She asked Larissa if anyone else heard him. He said he didn't do it. The therapist said she would talk to some other kids. Larissa came home that day in tears. She said that she didn't know why she bothered to say anything, that he sat there and lied and she felt so stupid. They said that she shouldn't have gone near him on the playground where she says it happened.

Well, thankfully some other kids did hear it. But what if no one had? I understand that you can't take one child's word over another but you should take steps to protect a child who is complaining of sexual harassment.

I have called the school several times and emailed about the bullying and all they tell me is that they don't see it. Well, the kid who called her hair poop admitted it to them. One kid who was stealing from her and giving her a hard time has stopped because I ran into him and his mom at Walmart, I knew her! We talked and she said to let her know if there are any more problems. So some of the kids have stopped but not all.

Yesterday Larissa came home so mad. Her hair was crazy and she was on a rant.  She said that he came up to her and was yelling at her. She yelled back that if he keeps treating women the way he does he will never have a girlfriend. Their teacher got mad and told them to just get along and brought them in from recess.

I feel like I am watching a child go through steps of grief or something. I have talked to the middle school teacher whose classroom she will be in next year. Anthony is in it now. She said that at the beginning of the year they have a lot of behavioral problems but as the school year progresses they either go to different schools, get expelled or even to jail. By December most of the problem kids have been weeded out. Oh my! Not a good environment for her. The boy she is having problems with now will be in her class.

We have looked at other school options and there aren't many because of her learning disabilities. In Columbia they have a great school that would be ideal for her, it costs $25,000/year! We can't afford that! I am talking to smaller Christian schools but private schools aren't really prepared for kids with IEP's. It is looking like her options are her middle school or homeschooling.

I feel that I know why she is having so many problems and many of them I can't do anything about. She was homeschooled and she doesn't have a "pack" of friends to hang with and offer protection, she is very quiet, she doesn't know how to respond, she sticks out being so tall and skinny and finally her skin tone. Today we took all the kids to check out a local karate place that has an emphasis on defusing and preventing bullying. I like their program so all the kids will start after dance recital is over. We are working on boosting her self confidence. Many of the other things we can't do anything about. It is frustrating and hard to watch.

If anyone has suggestions on ways to deal with bullying and sexual harassment let me know!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Do all little boys sleep with their swords?

I really tried to be conservative with Easter baskets this year. The older kids got a little candy and some nice swimming goggles (they cost more than I would normally buy). Benjamin got some cheaper goggles and a Paw Patrol animal, he is really into Paw Patrol. Normally I hide the baskets but I got lazy this year and put them in their rooms. I had to stop hiding them because Emma would get up extra early and sneak and find the baskets and eat from them. I think that next year I will go back to hiding them because I really enjoy that tradition.

We had a really low key day. We went to church and then came home and let the kids swim. Tasha and Ethan had to be at the in-laws house for lunch so we planned a dinner.

After eating we called the burn number and put in our information to burn yard waster. The kids made some smores (yes, our backyard neighbor who has called to complain about us burning was watching over the fence)

I sat with my mom while she ate her Easter meal. I also got her some candy, she loves her sweets. Life has been very hard on her lately. She has done a little better since starting her new medications but she will still cry on occasion.  If you ask her why she is crying she says she doesn't know but says over and over she is sorry. It is heartbreaking.

When I sit in her room the activity of the house shifts to her room. She enjoys it for a bit but can only take the noise for a little while. It doesn't stop her crying and the kids get upset with it, they don't understand and want me to help her. I struggle with the crying. It tears me up.

She loves Benjamin and he loves her. He came in to give her some loving.

That was our Easter. I didn't go out and buy matching dresses, I didn't spend a huge amount of money on candy, we didn't color any eggs, we didn't even take a family picture. We just came together and spent time together. 

No Eggs Here

I have been helping with coloring Easter eggs for 27 years. I am tired of coloring Easter eggs. I have to boil a lot because you can't just color one, the kids spends a few minutes coloring them and then they sit in my fridge and rot because my kids don't really eat them.

This year I decided to have them each do a stepping stone for a part of my yard that refuses to grow anything. Actually Benjamin did two because we needed his handprint.

We have been doing a lot of plantings so we had these thin plastic pots sitting around. I put some dirt in the bottom because I didn't need them that thick.

I bought some colored stones and let them do whatever they wanted to do. They all enjoyed creating their own stepping stone.

I do wonder how those stones will hold up. Benjamin sunk his in the most, some all they way. I guess time will tell. If they fall out I will give them some paint and have them paint the depressions.

I need to do a handprint for Vaida and some of the older kids wanted to do one, when the project is complete and in the ground I will post a picture!

Who colors eggs? Any other Easter traditions that you do?

Monday, April 17, 2017


For the curious, licensing update....there is none. The person who has our paperwork went out for spring break leaving our paperwork on her desk. We wait for the proper timing.

Spring Break Trampoline Park

I didn't have much planned for spring break. I promised the kids the zoo and the trampoline park. I had two young-ins with me so I only stuck with them, you know, to keep them from being trampled.

Larissa did the best at the tight rope

Vaida wanted to follow in Larissa's foot steps

If I would have fallen into one of those pits it would have taken all of my kids to help pull me out! 

Jason was with us, he said that his legs were sore for days. I think that this is a great activity for the younger crowd!

We ate Moe's afterwards before heading back home.

Nothing better than making a mud puddle and having some fun.

We have been doing a lot and I actually have a lot to write about. The kids are back in school now so I will be writing posts every 12 hours until I am caught up! Next post at 10 am my time.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Zoo Time

We got to the zoo right when it opened and I was glad that we did. The weather was great and by noon the place was filling up with people and I was ready to go.

The kids had a good time. We purchased a membership where many of the activities are free.

Riding the train.

Feeding the giraffes.

Apparently Larissa got licked and thought it was gross

Milking the "cow"

Attempting to drink the cows milk

Riding the carousel

(Benjamin refusing to get off)

Rock climbing, this is Emma's highest point. She was asking me how to get down here.

Feeding the birds

Taking pictures on statues.

We paid $3 extra for the kids to climb this rope course. Anthony and Larissa made it to the top.

Benjamin sneaking up on some cotton candy.

It was a very good morning. The rest of the day was spent playing and swimming (after a short nap)

We will have to go again, we only saw a part of the zoo. There is a splash pad and gardens as well as many animals we didn't get to.