Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Memory Tree Lane

I'm sitting here by the computer's glow admiring my beautiful tree.  There are no ornaments on the lower third of it, there are clumps of ornaments all in one place, and huge holes where no ornament can be seen for what seems like miles, there's no star at the top, few ornaments there either for that matter, it's the only artificial tree I've EVER owned, there's no tinsel, and no flocking, but to me it's the most beautiful tree in the world.

It contains the memories of generations past, present, and future... in a way, it contains my life in a 4' by 9' space.  Let me show you my life in this little box of mine.  Let me take you down Memory Tree Lane.

Let's start with the obvious... my family of nuts in the tree.

 This little gem is only a replica, but it reminds me of my Oma's tree growing up.

 This is one of a collection from my Mema  I adore it in all it's plastic splendor.

This perfect little angel (made by yours truly) reminds me of beautiful times crafting with my Siewert Family.

 This stern little guy was made for me by my Uncle Tom and keeps my family far away close in my heart.

And last but certainly not least is this angelic ballerina from my Aunt Peggy... she believed in me against all odds... still does!

Then there are the friends who hang around all the nuts...

which apparently blogger doesn't like, so I'll be continuing this post in another post.  See you over there!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How Do You Say Goodbye to a Friend?

Seems like we are forever saying goodbyes in December.  Our beloved Prince went to the vet today, and we got the call that he has congestive heart failure along with a number of other things.  He is miserable and tired and just plain old. 

So we are left with a hard decision.  Do we put him to sleep, or do we keep him with us and let him go naturally?  It feels wrong to me to decide to euthanize him, but it also feels incredibly selfish to keep him here with us while he is in so much pain.  And then there is the issue of the kids.  Lovely L is likely to have a break-down either way, and Miss P and Awesome A won't understand what we are doing, and if they do, how will they feel about it?  Will they think that if they get too sick or too old, we'll put them to sleep too?  Rockin Writer has had him since she was a baby... she even named him. How do we break the news to them about their beloved Prince?  I am overwhelmed with sadness and fear.  I am so worried that we will do the wrong thing, both for him and for the kids, not to mention Josh and I. How do you say goodbye to a friend?  How do you go on with all the holiday hoopla when your heart hurts so much?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Please Welcome...


 She has been fighting hard to win the hearts of the grown ups for over six weeks now.  For that matter, she had some pretty convincing advocates.  When the kittens were born to the Momma Putty Tat down the street, Big Daddy and I said "NO" firmly, repeatedly, and without doubt.  We did NOT need another mouth to feed or another mess maker (there's enough pee in our house without adding a litter box to it). 

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing cuter than a kitten, and I LOVE cats, Josh not so much.  But we were in agreement on this one.  I was NOT ready for a new ball of fur!  We were standing firmly together.  Little by little the kids kept bringing me the same kitten over and over to hold.  She was sweet and fluffy and so quiet.  She slept any time she was held for more than a minute or so, and anyone who's held a sleeping kitten knows how it lowers your stress level and releases all those good endorphins.  Now I'm not saying the kids had it all planned out (ok, so maybe they did), but it started to work.  I needed those endorphins!  And would you look at that face?!  Even Big Daddy was smitten with the kitten!

So we had a plan not to be the bad guys... We told the big girls(they were the real culprits if you must know) that we couldn't afford to have a kitten right now.  There were vet bills for shots, kitty litter, food, and eventually getting the kitten fixed and declawed.  We did our research and laid it all out for them... it was just too much!  Especially with Christmas right around the corner.  So we told them if they would be willing to give up their Christmas gifts and commit to having the litter box cleaned twice a day EVERY DAY, as well as proving themselves responsible for their own chores and school work without being reminded, then we would consider the kitten.  We didn't think they'd go for it... really we didn't!  But they showed us up once again.

So, after much cuteness and purring, and lots of work on the girls part, we have a new family member!  We love her like crazy and she seems pretty happy here too! 

Since it's a post all about pets I thought I'd give you an update on Prince (our old man dog).  He has been steadily losing bladder control, and just last night he had another seizure.  I think he may be getting ready to go home.  We are hoping he makes it through the Christmas season.  Funny enough, after he had the seizure, he was acting just like a puppy, bouncing around all over the place and wanting to play.  It gives me hope to know he feels well enough to romp and play like that!  I love that old man, and I'm not quite ready to let him go yet!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Missed Her Today

She is on my mind alot this time of year in particular.  It was her favorite time of year.  I know, I know, most people love this time of year, but it always gave my Oma such joy to be with all of us this time of year.  It put a twinkle in her eyes like nothing else did~ and her eyes twinkled ALOT!!!  Whether it was with mischief(frequently), laughter (always), or plain pride(in all of us, of course), it seemed to me her eyes were always twinkling.  I so miss that twinkle.

And today while cleaning some things in the cabinet I came across a small piece in her church newsletter that they wrote about her.  It decribed her so PERFECTLY that it brought me to tears that I haven't come back from yet. So, I thought I'd share a little about how who she was shaped who I am today.

I learned so many things while at her kitchen table.  How to eat being the first order of business.  It seemed like I was never quite plump enough to suit Oma.  It makes me giggle now, but back then it meant I had to eat all kinds of crazy stuff.  Like red cabbage, cabbage rolls, goulash, bratwurst, sauerkraut.  I learned to love all those thing later in life, but as a little one, it seemed to be a never ending variation on cabbage (well, it kinda was).  But the thing I looked forward to the most was the noodles.  Oh, the noodles... covered in butter, or sauce, or even better, crunchies.  I lived for those noodles.  I think she'd appove of my plumpness these days.  I still have my love for noodles, they're on the table several nights a week, but I never did master the art of the sauce.  Or maybe it was the cookies, or the cake, or the kolaches that I lived for.  It was ALLL good.  As a matter of fact, it was GREAT! 

I learned the art of visiting there too.  I remember many many nights spent just sitting and listening  to the grown ups visit.  It wasn't until it got late in the evening and the grown ups got rowdy that my Oma or my mom would shoo my little brother and I into the living room.  I heard all about her life growing up in Romania, her time in Germany, her trip across Poland during the second World War.  I heard aunts and uncles visit, discuss, and downright argue, but we were together, so no matter what it was a priviledge just to be there.  I learned the art of listening to the same story told over and over and never appearing bored, because she had great stories that needed telling and were SO worth hearing even if you had no idea who the characters in the story were.  There is a subtle give and take in visiting, and she had it down to a science.  I like to think I learned a thing or two about visiting while in her company.

I learned about the importance of family.  She taught me that no matter what, we were a family and we were all we had!  I learned that distance and time apart didn't mean a thing if you had a family like ours.  I grew up thinking ALL families were like mine.  That everyone spent every holiday together, and the time between looking forward to the next time we would be together again.  I realized later in life that this kind family is more like a fairy tale, and in reality it's a little (ok, alot) scary for those being brought into the inner circle for the first time.  I think every person who has ever married into this crazy family has a story to tell about their first time.  It was a right of passage kind of thing, if you could handle the fam, and navigate the ever present food with grace, you were in... after a little hazing of course.  We're a little more overwhelming these days.  There are more of us (and yes some of that falls squarely on me), and we're a little more spread out, but we are a family, and we're a family because she made us this way.

In her kitchen I learned how to cook without measuring.  Ok, I know to most of you you don't think of that as a life skill, but I love knowing that I don't have to measure to make things that are edible.  It takes the pressure off!  Knowing that with a couple of eggs and some flour and water I can make spetzle noodles from scratch if I want, frees me up to create amazing food!   Oma rarely followed a recipe, and we tried more often than not to get her to let us write it down, but when we did get it on paper, she almost always left a little *something* out.  I'm pretty sure she did it just so none of us could ever cook as well as she did.  It still makes me laugh!

I think the most important thing she taught me was how to live my life without bitterness and defeat.  My Oma, she went through so much in her life.  Hardship was never far off, even her life here in America was full of trials.  Yet through it all she never gave up, and she went about life with a joyful spirit.  The person she was drew people to her like a magnet.  Not just her family, but everyone within a hundred mile radius!  It was magical to see her in action.  Her mouth was always smiling and inviting more and more people into our little family.  We never knew who might show up to dinner at Oma's, but it was sure to be a treat.  Because of her, I have learned to trust in God for His grace in my life and be thankful for everything and everyone in my life,  instead of focusing on all the things that have gone awry. 

Tonight, I cried.  I cried for the loss of someone who taught me so much about life and how to live it.  It's been years since she passed, but her spirit lives on here everyday.  So this season, while I'm muttering about parenting woes, and too much shopping to do, and endless tasks to undertake, I'll try to remember the lessons she taught me: To eat and love it, to listen closely to others life stories, to value my family and make sure they know it, to wing it sometimes... in life and in the kitchen, and to never give up and just keep on trusting God that He knows what He's doing better than I do, so I should just keep smiling and inviting people to join me at His table. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goals and Dreams

So on to lighter subjects today.  I have some news to share!  I will be taking on a new role in the new year.  I will no longer be babysitter extraordinaire, I will be opening my own shop... Paper Mountains!  I will be selling online through Etsy as well as in a few local shops hopefully soon. 

So what will be in said shop??  Glad you asked.  If you don't know much about me, know this: I LOVE paper in all it's glorious forms, but especially books of all kinds, preferably old and dusty and smelling like and ancient library.  I will be using this love to craft furniture, home decor, and beautiful hairpieces.  Ok, I know that sounds like a crazy mix, but trust me it all works!  I have had this vision for several months now, and when the creeping crud waylaid knocked me on my butt, I just had to stop the process.  So, now here I am felling better and looking forward to the new year.  My family is on board, and my sweet honey is trying to ignore all the crazy mess around here and that in and of itself is a huge encouragement for me.

On to my goals:

1. To have my Facebook, Etsy, and new Blog Page fully operational (hearing StarWars in my head) by mid January.

2. To have my items in at least one local shop by March.

3. To have my business pulling a decent profit by this time next year.

So, stay tuned to see all the crazy things I'm gonna do with all my Paper Mountains... I'll be sharing a few things as I get them done here on this blog until I can get the official one finished!  Here's a Sneak Peak...

This little cutie is my favorite right now.  She may get to stay with me forever.

~~~~  Update on Miss P~~~~  I just got a call from the school nurse, Miss P peed her clothes and even managed to pee her shirt (which I didn't send extra of), so wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pneumonia Sucks Wind~ Really

The headline reads Pneumonia Sucks Wind~ Really, the subtitle would be local mom of five waylayed for over a month by entities unseen by the human eye! 

Hi everybody, I'm back to my "normal" abnormal self, but with a new purpose and goal.  First of all let me give a shout out to Dr Stanley!  He totally rocks!  He kept giving me crazy meds until one finally worked and laughed with me through all the crazy.  Here's to you Dr Stanley~  without you I wouldn't be breathin'!

Next on the agenda is a detour into RAD land with Miss P and all her wonderful pee!  I know you've missed hearing about all her adventures in the power of pee, so I'll fill you in.  As her birthday (in the beginning of November) drew close, she was looking for any way on earth to get us to not love her enough to give her the big party that we had planned for her this weekend.  It started with the usual small stuff, you know, intentionally doing something the wrong way, or half-way, or being passively defiant and pretending not to understand what we were asking of her.  As the big day approached, The pee started flowing like a river.  We DID give her the big Birthday Tea Party, and she did her best to ruin it, but we just flat wouldn't let her.  Now those of you who haven't the foggiest what all this means, take a look back at this post.

Now birhtday party was just a warm up.  Little did I know how warm it was going to get.  See, Rockin' Writer had her Birthday Bash just a week later (they're less than a week apart), and RW getting all those feel good vibes just really struck a wrong chord with Miss P!  Let's begin with the glasses.  It started with a little nibble here and there on the ends.  She then chewed the nose pads clear off, then the ends, and now she's taken to just taking them off and leaving them at school.  If you've never had a kid in glasses, you're in for a shock... They're EXPENSIVE!  And she know it!  So let the destruction begin.  All this before we even got as far as the pilgrims landing! Next she started really stepping out of line at school so that she would get a consequence at home... deliberate disobedience and touching other people all day long at school.  Now, I've been sick since about the 3rd of November, so I haven't exactly been a paragon of virtue when it comes to therapeutic parenting lately.  But come on give a mom a break.  Every single day for the last two weeks she has peed her pull-up.  EVERY SINGLE DAY!  And not just once, or maybe a "couldn't get there on time", we're talking sagging to her knees peed!  What's a mom to do?  Well, I'll tell you!  Tomorrow, she goes Pull-up free!  I'll be sending a change of clothes for her, and she'll be taking care of the mess, not me.  Anywho, all that to say, trauma SUCKS especially when the momma in charge is down for the count, and her parenting skills are a bit, shall we say, lacking!  Heck I'm just glad to be able to string more than two words together today...  More tomorrow on the goals and dreams stuff.  I hear a husband and a bathtub calling my name!  Christine, I may just be on board after all for the whole Christexmas thing!

Happy tubbing to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Migraine Busting News!

Well, I still have a migraine, but this news has made it seem like an afterthought!  Some of you may know that I am crazy out of my mind these days and in need of a SERIOUS vacation.  What you don't know is that, in my heart of hearts, I have been dreaming of joining this wonderful lady on a RAD mom's retreat for several months now.  I've been trying to figure out ways to raise the money to pay for the room, board, travel, and extras (like adult beverages and massages) for weeks and it just wasn't happening!  Today she put out the word that if we were even THINKING about going to drop her a line, so I did.  I told her I was planning to come, just trying to figure out how.


This woman who doesn't know me, and many other beautiful women who donated to the scholarship fund, are making it possible for this little momma to have a room in Orlando with other moms who get it!  God has blessed me truly and richly this day through these women! 

Now, this being said, I still have to get there, pay for my food and travel while there, and maybe, just maybe come up with some money for boozing enjoying some adult beverages and possibly a much needed massage.  But I have a room to stay in, even if I have to walk  hitchhike to get there.  All in all not such a bad deal... I may be able to swing it.  I have a goal now... approximately $350 for flights, $160 for board, and $100 for extras if I can swing it.  $600 total, it is a BIG number... but I'm going to try!  Momma needs a vacation!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not so artsy fartsy wednesday

Migraine is wrecking my plans for the day, so I thought I'd share a blog a read... it's funny because it's true.

You gotta see this video, and this one too!  So very funny.  Going back to migraine hideout (under the pillow on the couch) while all the little ones are still napping.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Have you ever had one of those moments?  One of those crazy feeling, forgetful moments?  Like when you have a whole blog post composed in your head, and it's beautiful, and meaningful, and timely, and you promise yourself you'll remember it in the morning, but you wake up and it's GONE, poof! GONE!

I've been sitting here all morning trying like crazy to remember what the post was even going to be about.  I got nothing.  I mean nothing!  All I can think about is the reoccurring dream I had all night last night.  Literally like 5 times.  And at what I can only assume was the end of the dream, I woke up with a start.  So I woke up at least five times last night in a cold sweat with my heart racing.  CRAZY!

I know you're just dying to know what my subconscious was screaming at me all night.  Do you really want to delve that far in?  Ok, here goes... I was dreaming I was floating on the water, but I was in a million pieces (we're working on a sphinx 3D puzzle right now if that helps) and I worked and worked to get all the pieces in order.  As soon as I got all the pieces in order and I was whole again, I was awakened in a panic.  Simple dream, not much to it, but when you dream it over again and again, it tends to wear on you.  Now I just can't get it out of my head.  And the one thing I really wanted to remember is gone.  I wish I could find the beauty I had in my head before all the crazy dreams took hold.  I feel as if I have forgotten myself and all that's left is a crazy dream of me in pieces. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Manic Monday

For the last few weeks I've been completely off track.  I get derailed easily, VERY easily, so this is my attempt to be back on track.

1. Get Miss P to the clinic today for her chicken pox vaccine... she can't go back to school until I get it done... Oops!

2. Go through the clothes bucket for Lovely L and purge her closet.(It's a jungle in there!)

3. Start the applique work for Awesome A2's quilt~ hopefully get some of the squares sewn together too.

4. Focus on chores getting done (nothing has gotten done for the last few weeks).

5. Find a time to exercise this week... make it stick.

6. Put two to three dinners in the freezer because I've been steadily depleting my stash.

7.  PRAY PRAY PRAY... for every.little.thing, and some of the big things too, specifically how to make up the difference in cash flow after December 31st.

8. Call the HOA and set up the date for Miss P's birthday party.

9.  Print out Birthday invites for both Rockin' Writer and Miss P

10. Pack and get ready to leave for The Farm on Friday after Co-op.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Thankfulness is something I haven't thought about much in the last week or two.  I am choosing to be thankful today.  I am thankful today for a wonderful husband who puts our family above all else.  He is a problem solver, where I am a make it through-er.  He sees our family headed down a hard path and tries to make it a lighter load for me, even if it means doing without.  Even if it means more work for himself, he always makes our family and ME his top priority.  And I am so very thankful for that in a world where I am often not top priority for anybody.  He has worked hard against both nature and nurture to become the dad and husband and overall PERSON he is today.  And for all his hard work, I am thankful!  He makes my life whole and wonderful!

I am thankful today for my fabulous mom!  She is always there when I need her.  I never have to look too far or too long before she's there to guide me and give me a much needed kick in the pants!  I am thankful for the kick in the pants, by the way, it serves to force gently nudge me back on track, usually to take better care of myself so I can take better care of my family.  I love that even though we moved farther away, and she really doesn't like the drive over here, she will drop everything to come and help me out if I ask.  I am thankful for a mom who will be my best friend, but never fail to remind me she's still my mom too! 

I am thankful today for a good friend who sees me.  She sees who I am.  She sees when I need help.  She sees when I'm hurting.  And she helps.  Even with all her own problems and distractions in life, she sees me.  In a world where I feel invisible behind all the craziness of my family and my life that is something to be truly thankful for!  I am thankful today for a good friend who sees I need a break and finds a way to make it happen.  Even if it means I have to stay up until midnight to do it!  And yes, I stayed up till midnight last night, and I'm feeling it today!  I am thankful for her calm and truthful demeanor.  She stills my soul, and helps me see the truth in the midst of my tornadoes, even if those truths reveal something I don't want to see.  Today I am thankful for a friend who truly sees me.

I will let thankfulness reside in my heart today.  I will let it seep deep into my soul and make me smile and cry(cause we all know I can't be truly happy without crying).  I will be a better wife, mother, and person because I choose to be thankful for all that I have in the people who surround me.  One last thing... I am thankful for cereal... cause it saves my butt on a regular basis!  Just sayin'!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Questions Unaswered

Today it has been a week.  A week of never ending questions that will probably go unanswered until I see Jesus face to face.  A week of deep sorrow for the loss of a truly wonderful friend.  A week without our daily chats and smiles.  A week without Tony.  This week that seems as if it will stretch into eternity.

A man I spoke to nearly every day, whom I thought I knew well, who was a neighbor, but more than that, a good friend, took his own life a week ago today.  I am still processing this.  He was the person in my life who daily encouraged me that our family was doing OK.  He was the friend who would help if he could (it was a rare thing if he couldn't) and cheer you on if it was out of his reach.  He was a bear of a man, solid, and sure.  He loved my children, really loved them, and noticed the little things about them, like the light in their eyes on a particularly great day, or the set of their jaw on a particularly rough day.  He never failed to reach out and say hello, even when I was in a funk and it was obvious I didn't want to talk, he said hello anyway.  He loved his wife and his children with ferocity and tenderness that only a truly large man like Tony was can pull off.  And yet, he was hurting so much that he took his own life with no warning.  And we are all left to ask the unanswerable questions of why. 

His wife asks why. His children ask why. His family asks why.  His friends and coworkers ask why.  His neighbors ask why.  Our family asks why.  The neighborhood children ask why.  And we have NO ANSWERS for any of them.  The only answer we have today is that somewhere in the depths of his soul, he was in horrible amounts of pain.  The problem is, not one person knew it.  He had deep hurts that seemed insurmountable, and yet no one knew...  Beyond the question of why is the question of how.  How is it possible that a person that you see every day, who is always uplifting and helpful and sweet, can be so very hurt on the inside and no one in their life can see it.  How can a person hide that well from everyone in their life?   Putting on a facade for the neighbors, friends, and coworkers I can see, but how do you hide that from your spouse, your children?  The questions seem to hit me like a ton of bricks when I'm not looking.

His wife is staying with a friend in town for the time being, and we are taking care of the house.  But every time she comes home, there are the questions.  Do we go over and offer to help her? Does she want to be alone?  Should we leave her alone?  Should we try to pick up his things that are all over the house?  Should we leave everything the way it was and let her heal in the midst of it all?  How does one heal from someone else's deadly wounds?  How does a person heal from the loss of their spouse?  I cannot fathom it.  I.just.CAN'T.

I look around these days and wonder.  How many of my friends have contemplated suicide in secret?  How many people in my life just skim the surface and not let people into the dark places where they need help?  Are you one of them?  Today, I tell you, I am here!!!  I can take your pain, I can take your reality, I can take your dark places.  I cannot, however, take losing you, any of you.  My life may seem crazy and complicated to some of you, but there's always room for more complicated and crazy here.  Bring me your complicated and crazy, I'll take it over these unanswered questions any day.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Confessional

Not too shabby this week!!   Good on most things, a little lax on others.  But overall, I feel like it was a very productive and well spent week.  We got a visit from my parents AND Alyssa and Brent on the same night, and it was the highlight of our whole week!  Wish we could make it more regular occurrence! 

1. SMILE AND BE NICE... you laugh, but this is really hard for me these days.

Woo Hoo!!!  Other than kids in obvious trouble who would be confused by a smile, I was pretty good this week!

2. Get through the first week of TOG History/Bible/Geography and stay on track.

I LOVE TOG!  The kids were really engaged and even asked for some extra work!  We did great!

3. Keep up the pace with Anatomy~ it's quite a bit of work and information, but soooo worth it!

We decided that the days we had it scheduled were not quite right, so we'll try new days next week!

4. Get the cabinet in the garage at least halfway done~ I'll post before and after pics when it's done!

Almost there, we had a few surprises in the evenings this week (like my mom and dad coming over for dinner...that was a GREAT surprise)  so I didn't get as far as I would have liked.

5. Really read and meditate on God's words.

Still working on this one... seems like the harder I try, the harder the devil fights me!

6. Put at least 3 meals in the freezer fro this winter.

I got one in!!!  So, not too shabby!

7. Listen to my book on my MP3 player, and possibly get past the first 6 chapters LOL

NOPE!!!  Too busy schooling those darn kids!

8. Exercise in the mornings, I really need the extra energy right now, so I have to start taking care of myself.

See number 5!!

9. Go to the Farmers Market on Saturday

Not there yet, but still planning on it!

10. Keep my cool, don't freak out, find my happy place, whatever it takes to keep ahead of the RADlings! This goes in line with #1!

I am soo proud of myself, I really didn't lose my cool this week!!  Even with both RADlings putting in overtime this week!  GOOOO MOM!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I have decided not to focus on the negative today and be thankful for the people and situations in my life.  For example, I used to view homeschooling my herdlings as a chore.  Just something else to do in a day.  It flew in the face of the very reasons I chose to homeschool in the first place, this drudgery.  I have decided to find JOY in the dailyness of our school adventures.  Notice I said decided.  It takes a conscious decision to chose joy over dwelling on the negative.  The negative is so easy to get swallowed up in.  The fights, the whining, the outright defiance.  BUT, if I choose the joy for my focus I see hands happily at work, eyes lighting with a new discovery, hearts softened by spending time in learning with their mom and siblings, and sooo much more.  The more I focus on the joy, it seems to multiply like the loaves and fishes.  It amazes me!  It astounds me!  It breaks my heart that for so long I let the devil steal my joy, while I focused on all the I can'ts and I don't want to's.  So, my new habit is going to be recording the thankfulness every Thursday for all the world to see.  Today I am thankful for JOY in homeschooling my herdlings!  Join me in choosing JOY this week!  May you be blessed into amazement at the multiplication of joy when you choose to dwell in it!

 Lovely L's happy hands at work
 Awesome A2's happy hands at work
 Rockin Writer's happy hands at work
Our crazy mummy apple experiment! Just for grins!

Are you willing to join me in Thankful Thursdays????  Leave a comment about the big or small things you are thankful for this week.  I'd love to praise the Lord with JOY for your blessings this week!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Artsy Fartsy Wednesday

Time for another messy/beautiful art day! Enjoy...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Public School RANT

I have to vent or I'm going to explode!!!! Yet another reason I dislike Public School. Miss P is attending Public Kindergarten this year. For reasons too numerous to mention it was decided by our family and a child psychologist that it would be the best for her. (and mommy too) So I go to pick her up from the bus this afternoon, and there is a substitute driver. Now, don't get me wrong... I LOVE our regular driver. She is awesome and then some! This Sub saw me drop Miss P off this morning, I even waved at him as I kissed my girl goodbye. All the other mothers, nannies, and grandmas picked their children up with out a problem. Then again the children all had similar skin tone to their respective caregivers. My poor little brown baby was stopped and told to point out her momma. Bad enough, but this gets better. I was asked for my licence, which of course I didn't have with me. Who takes their licence to the bus stop??? I told him I did NOT have my licence and yes I was her mother. Every parent, grandparent, and nanny there told the man! Not good enough~ I had to make the trek 4 minute trek home to get my licence while my baby sat on the bus and wondered why in the world SHE was different than all the other kids. I got to the bus, and asked him point blank if I had been black if he would have even bothered to ask. I was informed it is because she is a Kindergartner... seriously, cause the other Kindergartner at our stop got off with his same color mommy without a problem! He then tried to TAKE my licence out of my hand! I told him, that he could read it just fine in my hand, so there was no need. As we walked home, I was furious! I then called the transportation department to complain, only to be told that he has the right to keep her on the bus if I do not have my ID and return her to the school! Rules are rules, but only if you don't look like your child! Poor Miss P is very confused, like her life isn't hard enough as it is! So now, I have to keep my drivers licence with me at the bus stop~ JUST IN CASE we have a sub~ and most likely lose it in the process, cause I'm just wired that way! GRRRRRRR

Lovely L's Precious Sight

I often miss the small details in life. You know, the extra load of laundry, the dust motes floating through my house, the spider webs in the corners. I just don't see them. I'm way too focused on the big stuff like how to manage our lives, homeschool, and basic stuff like remembering to feed my family. Yesterday Lovely L reminded me of the beauty found in the little things I so rarely see anymore, so I thought I'd share her little things with you. She found beauty and peace in such tiny little details that I just never see. She took the camera and went on one of her nature walks on our street. I was amazed at the detail and quality of the images she captured. All this without my guidance or encouragement. I am humbled by her insight and proud of her accomplishment.

Thank you daughter for reminding me of the simple beauty in the little details of our CRAZY life!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manic Monday

Last week went ok... looking to really get 'er done this week. It may be a stretch, seems like my RADlings are really focused on making things hard this week already. So... on with the show!

1. SMILE AND BE NICE... you laugh, but this is really hard for me these days.

2. Get through the first week of TOG History/Bible/Geography and stay on track.

3. Keep up the pace with Anatomy~ it's quite a bit of work and information, but soooo worth it!

4. Get the cabinet in the garage at least halfway done~ I'll post before and after pics when it's done!

5. Really read and meditate on God's words.

6. Put at least 3 meals in the freezer fro this winter.

7. Listen to my book on my MP3 player, and possibly get past the first 6 chapters LOL

8. Exercise in the mornings, I really need the extra energy right now, so I have to start taking care of myself.

9. Go to the Farmers Market on Saturday

10. Keep my cool, don't freak out, find my happy place, whatever it takes to keep ahead of the RADlings! This goes in line with #1!

Looking forward to a full week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Confessional

Time to check and see how we did this week! Not too bad!

1. Most Important EVER... Keep a lid on my temper this week (I'm really working on finding my sillly)

I did pretty well on this one is I must say so myself! Used my brain for some serious therapeutic parenting techniques yesterday when Miss P came home from school with a note from her teacher~ she landed on RED for trying to deceive both myself and the teacher! Whew! I kept my cool and gave her an opportunity to make it right (she chose not to) and she actually told me she was angry with me! BIG stuff for her, she is usually scared to admit anger towards me!

2. Remember to go to my first ever booby squeeze (I'm trying really hard not to freak out!)

Got rescheduled due to Josh's need for yet MORE Birthday Golf

3. Get Patience's form for NOT getting her Chicken Pox vaccine from her Dr./the state.

I dropped the ball here- gotta get this done by the 20th, or be forced to give her the vaccine

4. Once again get on track for school... last week threw us for a loop!

YEA ME! (and the kids too) We are getting in the groove!

5. Start science on Thursday and Friday.

We started Science yesterday, plan on finishing it this afternoon.

6. Do art (Pastels with Nana) on Wednesday... shouldn't be a problem, the kids are begging for it!

Well, if you've been reading this week, you know we did art and then some!

7. Request the needed books from the Library on Friday

Done and Done~ picked up the books after Co-op

8. Cook dinner every night this week and put at least 2 dinners in the freezer

I did it, I did it, I did it!!! I have spaghetti and Taco Soup in the freezer too! So Proud! LOL

9. Smile more, especially at the children!

Tried hard, not so sure I did as well as I could have, but it's a start!

10. Celebrate my honey's birthday on Thursday!!! Happy Birthday Big Daddy!!

Been celebrating all week, or at least HE has! He got the most hilarious dinner last night...

Yep, that's right... a meat patty, mashed potatoes with brown gravy (yuk!), and green beans, all made to look like a birthday cake! Made him smile sooooo big! Made me smile too!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

HomeSchool Happiness

Woo Hoo!!!! I started Science with the kids today! They are pretty happy with it and so am I. We talked today about the history of anatomy and physiology, including how the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews all contributed to our current knowledge about the human body! Fun Stuff! I think my favorite part about this science program is the affirmation of God's work in all creation... in every detail of it! The kids had a great time drawing pictures of what they learned about in their notebooks, and writing down all the facts they learned.... while mommy finished baking daddy's birthday cake.

Birthday Cake... almost half gone before Two in the afternoon

Big Daddy hard at work on his Birthday

Yesterday we had our best friends over for the afternoon! It was a blast! We went ahead with our plans to do art... what a circus! We made art and made each other look like art as well. Most everyone ended up with pastels smeared all over! The tornados we put on paper ended up all over us as well, and the floor, and the table, and the chairs, and well... you get the idea!

The girls have been working steadily on their writing and reading skills all summer, as well as their math through our online program ALEKS. We may actually get caught up by mid-year! We took several years to work on some problem areas that each of the kids had, so we're trying to catch back up on the basics! I am VERY proud of the progress they have both made in their deficient areas! All in all it's been a great week in the homeschool realm! Looking forward to our day at Co-op tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Artsy Fartsy Wednesday

Presenting, by special request, Art a la Lange Family
We have been working with Pastels for the past week. Jump on over to Tricia's blog and leave her some love! She is a truly wonderful homeschool mom, and has blessed us by sharing her mother's talent with pastels! Here are our first tries following Nana's direction:

Momma's first try... pretty happy with it!

Rockin' Writer~ she has fallen in love with Pastels

Lovely L~ Wow! I am so excited to see how well she listened to direction

A2~ He did VERY well considering he didn't like the feel of the chalk

Some other Pastels the kids and I have done this week... can't wait until the lesson this afternoon!

Lovely L's aerial beach picture

Another view of the beach from Lovely L

Rockin' Writer's been jumping ahead in the lessons~ here is her tornado

Another Rockin' Writer art piece

And last of all... Momma's try at a Texas Landscape courtesy of a picture I took at the Farm

Hope you enjoyed the art show!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I'm updating my blog template, and it's taking some time~ I know it looks silly right now, I'm working on it!

Door Alarms, Pee, and Tantrums, Oh My

I was in denial! I thought our little RADling was having a pretty good run until this last week. I knew starting Kindergarten would set her back a ways, but I was unprepared for how it would affect her and the rest of our family as well. It has affected EVERYONE!

Lets begin at the beginning. Miss P was having a good first week at school, and even a pretty good second week. This last week she let it ALL hang out! She started last week with the usual pee/hygiene issues. We try not to let those get to us for the most part, but come on, after a while you just start to lose it! By the weekend it had progressed from hygiene to flat out peeing in her bed and sitting in it for hours- on purpose people. She woke up early and decided to pee her clothes and bed... while wearing a pull-up! But, I'm getting ahead of myself. On Thursday, I went to get her from her room time after school, and looked around to see quite a few things in her room that did not belong to her, most of them chewed beyond repair. I asked about them, and of course, received a lie. "They were here when I got home" ummmm... yeah, sure they were! Some time later, I got what I believe is the truth. She was sneaking out of her room at night, taking toys from the play room, and hiding them in her room to chew on later. This after her clogging the toilet with toilet paper in the middle of the night. When asked why she thought it was ok for her to get up in the middle of the night, she replied...

"I heard the bath water, so you and daddy were in the bath" (Yes, we bathe together most nights, it's our only time alone all day). Upon further investigation, she has been getting up most nights to do who knows what! And better still she had been pack ratting all kinds of things under her dresser that didn't belong to her! So off I went to get an alarm for her door. I thought we had a better handle on things than we do. I was wrong. One of the first things I read when I figured out Miss P had RAD was to get a door alarm. Silly me, I thought that was just for the serious hard core kids... guess I was way off base. I took all of the things she could destroy away, and left her with a few very basic toys. I feel like such a meanie! So, by Sunday morning when she peed the bed and laid/wallowed in it, and told me it was because she was too scared to open her door and go to the bathroom... let me tell you I just. about. LOST IT! Just in case you are wondering, I have ALL the kids pee before they go to bed, and we get nothing to drink after 8 o'clock. She had peed, by my estimation of the dampness of her bed and clothes, around 3 hours earlier... WAAAY before she usually gets up and has to pee! I know for alot of you this is TMI, but if it helps some of you out there understand where we are, then so be it.

To add to this little gem of a week, Lil C is going through a really tough adjustment period. He has started Pre-K two days a week and is going with us to Co-op on Fridays. He is very unsure about being away from me so often. Sadly, that usually means when he is around me, I get beat up on, whined at, and generally abused. He has been so very hard to take this last two weeks. I know it sounds like the usual three year old stuff, but if you could see the loathing in his eyes, you would know different. I spend most of my time with him trying to hold and comfort him while he rails against me and whines that he wants me at the same time. All the while, he is trying to throw himself on the floor and pitch a tantrum. His little brain is so conflicted. His impulse control is almost nothing these days, little people have been flying in all directions, so we mostly duck and cover! It's crazy!

And poor A2 is not handling these transitions much better, although, he is coming back around the bend much faster than we expected. He misses his little brother and sister dearly when they are gone. He mopes around here like a lost ghost. Unfortunately he has headed back down the familiar path of telling you what he thinks you want to hear anytime you ask him a question. That usually leads to lies and fabrications on his part, and much gnashing of the teeth on his parents part. I have been distracting him with lots of new school work, and he seems to be coming through it, so we're just keeping our fingers crossed.

So, now you know, and knowing is half the battle! Just so you know, this week is starting out a little better so far. No major tantrums and no PEEEEEE! Yea me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Manic Monday

Ok so I dropped the ball last week. I know, I know... But it was a horrid week, and I was too up in it to even post. So lets get this week off to a better start.

1. Most Important EVER... Keep a lid on my temper this week (I'm really working on finding my sillly)

2. Remember to go to my first ever booby squeeze (I'm trying really hard not to freak out!)

3. Get Patience's form for NOT getting her Chicken Pox vaccine from her Dr./the state.

4. Once again get on track for school... last week threw us for a loop!

5. Start science on Thursday and Friday

6. Do art (Pastels with Nana) on Wednesday... shouldn't be a problem, the kids are begging for it!

7. Request the needed books from the Library on Friday

8. Cook dinner every night this week and put at least 2 dinners in the freezer

9. Smile more, especially at the children!

10. Celebrate my honey's birthday on Thursday!!! Happy Birthday Big Daddy!!

It's gonna be a great week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I quick update... then back to normal on Monday

Just a quick update! It has been a VERY long week and a half! Sorry for not posting, I've just been in the trenches with all the backlash from the little bit of love I saw from miss P! Seems everyone in our family has decided to dysregulate at the same time. In case you were wondering, there is NO fun in dysfunctional! As of now, we have an alarm on Miss P's door for reasons I'll detail in a later post, Awesome A2 is lying and when he's not lying, he's not talking, Lil C is violent and angry all the time, Lovely L is having what we think is a relapse of her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Eldest A is just too excited about her upcoming weekend with her best friend to bother being dysfunctional right now(even with the purple monster syndrome looming). And me??? I've had my yearly visit to the hoochy doctor, and lets say it was the WORST experience I've ever had in regards to this type of visit! So all in all, I'm hoping to get back to the regularly scheduled programming by Monday! Hope this weekend finds you all well and having more fun than me!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I missed you... and a REAL hug

For those of you who aren't well versed in RAD, Let me give you a little back ground. Miss P has been with us for over two years now, and I can count on two hands the times she has given me a sincere hug. I can count even fewer times that she has displayed a true REAL emotion besides hurt and anger towards myself or Big Daddy. Don't get me wrong, she pretends quite a few emotions, like sorrow, joy, happiness, but rarely are they REAL emotions. They are usually what she thinks you want to hear. BUT TODAY I GOT BOTH!!!!!!! And they were so very real!

Miss P started kindergarten last week. This was a choice that we put a lot of prayer and thought into. Today when she came home from school, I was just cleaning up and she walked right up to me, put her arms around me, and squeezed like no body's business. Not a shrug hug, not a creepy hug, not a stiff hug, she melted into me and REALLY hugged me. And then the impossible happened... she said "I missed you today mommy" in a real voice, with real emotion, and I was able to tell her I missed her too, because I HAVE missed her. Not the crazy Rad induced her, but the real her that I get to see so very rarely.

And then it happened... I felt it, and I cried. I cried so hard I had to leave the room. I cried so hard my kids asked if I was OK. I laughed and told them they were happy tears! I've been doing the happy crying dance all evening. The Lord has blessed us richly indeed! Funny how the hardest kid to love, brings me to tears with the sudden realization that all our hard work to show her love is finally paying off!

She then asked if she could sit with me through our Family Movie Night. And she did, and it was REAL, not stiff and weird! I'm not saying we're out of the woods, but it's nice to see a little progress once in a while. I'm hoping for a few more good days before we have a back slide. I know it's coming. I'm not a pessimist, this is progress, but with progress most of the time we regress a little after. I'm holding tight to the light God shined upon me today through that little blessing. It's going to get me through the darkness!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Rewind

This weekend was great for Lovely L and I, not so great for Big Daddy and the left home herdlings!

Lovely L and I drove off into the sunset (literally... the sun was setting in my face most of the way) on Friday afternoon to visit the "farm" and L's true love. We arrived late, but were welcomed with a clean place to sleep~no dog hair, YAY~ and permission to sleep late! The first part was a definite, the second, well, no such luck! We were up bright and shiny at 7:40 in the a.m.! We took advantage and took a long morning walk. It was SO nice to see lovely L smile and laugh. We loved on Mickey the Bull, scared bullfrogs into the pond,

Pretty Little Flower we need to identify

Enormous Grasshopper (almost 3.5" long!)

Lovely L holding a baby bullfrog

Making the froggies JUMP and PEE

Lil' Mickey we've known him since he was a calf

Now his head is over two feet wide!

and took lots of pictures of the flora and fauna as you can see! We also saw a tree frog, several HUGE spiders, as well as their egg sacs...

We finally got the right bit for Monkey, and he rode like he should. We bathed and groomed the poor guy until he had had enough. He stepped on my foot, but I got lucky and didn't end up too bad off, just a small bruise on one of my toes. Lovely L rode her Monkey until her bum hurt too bad to keep on! I'm working on a cushion for her bum for the next visit! OH, and My father-in-law made me a shoe rack for all the millions of shoes that populate my front hall! All in all a very good weekend, and a nice get away for us. Mean while, back at the circus...
I left Big Daddy in charge of the other four herdlings. I knew when I left that lil C was on the tail end of a cold, and not feeling all that well, but did not expect what came next. I got a call on Saturday the P was feeling crummy, so I told him to keep me posted if she started feeling worse. She did okay the rest of the day, but wasn't up to much. Sunday morning, A1 and Big Daddy managed to get all the herdlings to the church house, on time even! On the way home A2 decided to start something (he's been feeling a little RADish since P started going to Kindergarten). He lied to Big Daddy about what the service was about in children's church... SERIOUSLY!? Lying in our house is a HUGE mistake, especially with Big Daddy in charge, and he knows it! After the aftermath of A2's lies, Big Daddy takes a look around and sees Miss P laying around looking extra pitiful. I get a text... Miss P is running a low grade fever. Two hours later, she's running a high octane number! Good thing momma's on her way home! Breathing treatments and medicine here we come. She's much better today and looking forward to going back to school tomorrow. I am too! Oh and did I forget to mention lil C? He was a perfect angel... until I got home! Back to reality!

Manic Mondays

List for the week...

1. Buy a printer and get A2's glasses... hopefully today

2. Remember to be back here by 2 for A2's first math tutoring session

3. Print out the rest of weeks one and two for Tapestry of Grace

4. Find and order a grammar and spelling curriculum for A1 and L

5. Shop for the supplies needed for our first week of science and hands on history assignments

6. Start Co-op on Friday

7. Start week one of TOG with the kids

8. Start week one of Science on Friday after Co-op

9. Call and make all the arrangements for Cam to start Pre-School next week

10. Remember to fix dinner every night this week... maybe even start my freezer cooking for the fall.

11. Remember to EAT LUNCH every day this week! Sounds silly, but I often forget

12. Start exercising in the mornings before I go get lil T for the day... maybe I'll start tomorrow

13. Locate and start a family bible study... Thinking about this

14. Find time to relax every day... even if it's only 5 minutes (and be grateful for the time I get)

Ok, so this seems pretty do-able. Well, at least most of it! Remembering to eat and cook may get the better of me, but I'm going to try! Look for a weekend wrap-up post later this afternoon!


Friday, August 27, 2010

PMS and the herdlings

Truth be told, I would not admit to having PMS... not in the usual way. I don't get cranky, I don't really bloat, I don't get particularly moody, I don't cramp(anymore-I had my uterus electrocuted a while back). So why the PMS post???? My symptoms are sneakier than most! I dream really vivid INSANELY real dreams. My auditory processes go into overdrive. I sweat... A LOT! Ok, so the last one was way too much information, but, it's out there! Why, you ask, are you telling me this?? Didn't you already post today?? Is this really necessary??

As I write, A2 is busy munching on his snack across the table from me... and I can hear every pop, crunch, and slurp... and it is sooooo very hard not to yell at the top of my lungs to stop eating, and never make another sound. That would be unfair to the little herdling, he's merely eating, right?! My poor husband gets the brunt of it! He is a spoon clacker, you know the one... with every bite, the spoon(or fork, or shovel) has to hit both sets of teeth, and scrape the spoon with his teeth! We have lips for a reason!!! If it's ice cream, it's even better... the spoon must hit the bowl AND his teeth for it to be enjoyable for him. AKKKKK I know I sound like a crazy woman! But, A2 is sitting there munching grapes and popcorn, as my fingers curl, and my teeth grind. I just smile sweetly and ask him if he wants to go outside to eat. Fortunately he's the agreeable sort, and happily complies. Did I mention the baby screaming in my face the entire time, and Lovely L singing some unknowable tune in the background? See, the auditory thing is ruling my life again! If I thought the herdlings wouldn't take advantage, I'd put in earplugs, but alas, they are MY herdlings, so I'm not chancing it!

Just had to rant, if you have solutions, please post!!! Oh, and the dreams.... well, I'm not telling, lets just say I woke up feeling very maternal!

Friday Confessional

Ok, so here it is...

I am a horrible mom! I only made dinner one night this week! Other than that one night, it was take-out (Schlotzky's), or Breakfast-for-Dinner (your choice of cereal or oatmeal) , or my fabulous daughter A1 fixed dinner(eggs one night, and pork chops another). I am feeling so VERY guilty. Now, that being said, I did have very good reasons. I was extremely tired from lack of sleep two of those nights, and out trying to find printer ink so we can start school next week one of the others. But seriously! This leads me to my new format for my blog... Mondays I will be giving you a list of all my manic plans for the week, then on Friday, you get to hear about all I did *or didn't* accomplish! I know, I know, this all sounds rather tame, and run of the mill, but I need somewhere to post all the craziness in my head, and you get to be subject to it! So buckle up, we're going on the coaster! Keep all arms and feet inside the ride at all times!

On an up note, I get to go to the "farm" this weekend with my Lovely L. Her little horsey Monkey is getting ready to ride and so is she! It also means I get to spend time with my really awesome mother-in-law all by me onesie! I love these weekends in the country with L! Peace and quiet (except when Grandpa is around-then there's no peace at all), a great horse, and two of my favorite females! I am hoping in all that peace and quiet to be able to get all our homeschool stuff lined out.

We have decided on Tapestry of Grace Year One for history and literature, and I am fairly pleased so far! It is far more than we have done in the past, but I know the herdlings are up for it! I chose Apologia's Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology for our science program. I am SOOOOO very excited about this year's science. Those who know me well, know it is something I am very passionate about, and this text and notebooking system is absolutely AWESOME! I am going to continue using Hooked on Phonics for A2 and L, because it is working. L is really getting some fluency, and A2 loves to read the little books and play the CD ROM that come with the program. I am still on the lookout for a Grammar/Spelling program for the big girls... Leaning toward this. Let me know what you think. All in all, it is going to be a full year. I'm looking forward to getting a few weeks under our belts to see how it's going to work.

One last confession~ I'm still in my pj's and it's past 2 in the afternoon! I guess I should go get dressed before I have to go get P off the bus!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I got SOOOO close!

Ok, so this morning I had a number of things to get done today. I never thought I would get it done... and I didn't, but I got soooooo close!

1.School the big kids and do my chores~ I got my chores done, and the girls got math done, not too shabby considering they got their chores done and got their room SPOTLESS!

2.Call the Pre-School for lil one~ had a nice long visit with the director, and we're all set for the trial day, she really believes her teacher can handle all his quirks, and I believe in her.

3.Called the school district~hit a brick wall! They are not willing to work with us at all! PISD (Paerland ISD)is right! Left a message for the counselor at the school we don't want to go to, to determine what we can do to make this work.

4. Dr's office for shot records~ ok, so I slacked on this one, just couldn't get all the kids naps in line with the moon today.

5.Go through the clothes bucket for P~ Done and Done!

6.Call two women I don't really know and hold a coherent conversation~ YES!!! I was brave and had a one hour visit with each of them! I am SO very proud of myself!

7.Return shirt and get school supplies and clothes~ NOPE! But I did fix a great dinner for our family plus one extra neighbor kiddo... Roast, REAL mashed potatoes, and my famous fried zucchini. YUM

So all in all I feel pretty good about the day. We'll venture out to finish the rest tomorrow, maybe even get brave and return my WAY over due library books. LOL

God is so good to help me through these kinds of days, and have me come out the other side refreshed and renewed by the people I met along the way.

Monday Monday

Today I have a LOOONG list of things to get accomplished! It is Monday, and after a weekend full of support from my family, I am ready to tackle the seemingly insurmountable tasks in front of me. So the list is as follows...

1. School The big kids, and get my chores done... vacuuming downstairs and two loads of clothes

2. Call the Pre-School to set up a trail day for the 3 year old little one and get all the licencing info

3. Call the school district and get info about transferring youngest RADish to a more emotionally supportive school. This may prove to be the hardest of all!

4.Load all the kiddos in the truck and go get immunization records from the Dr.'s office

5.Go through clothes bucket for Patience to find out if we have any clothes that suit the dress code for school.

6. and probably the hardest of all, call two women that I do not know at all and try to establish a connection so that I have at least two mom's who REALLY understand this crazy life I live.

7. If time allows after all that, I would like to return a shirt that doesn't fit, and go get school supplies and clothes for Miss P.

I know it looks like a fairly easy list to most of you. In our world though, almost every task is a mountain to climb. I'll post tomorrow and let you know how far I ACTUALLY got. Happy Monday to you all!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You Know It's going to be a Day when....

You wake your child up and they sneer at you!
You tell them to do their chore and they do everything but... notice I said chore, singular
The pull-up on your *5* year old is soaking wet, and she's been "potty trained" for years
You have to drag yourself out of bed and convince yourself to let the little herdlings out of bed
Your 3 year old is screaming at the top of his lungs at 6 am, just for fun (we don't get him up until 9)
Your first hug of the day is stiff and insincere
You make your child cry within seconds of being with her
You go to fix breakfast only to find out there is no milk, no cereal, no bread, no oatmeal, and the only option is eggs- and half your herlings ABHORE eggs
Your child with the hair (read Patience) has once again pulled it all out, after you spent 2 hours on it the previous night.
Your three year old hits you before he hugs you
The first words you hear are lies...

well, you get the idea!

Today we're praying for a good day, not just a day! So far we're doing ok.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

RAD kids

Ok, so I may be a bit slow, but I've come to the realization that I have two kiddos that are stuggling with Reactive Attachment Disorder. My youngest daughter is the most affected, but my oldest son is also working towards healing. When we started on this journey, I was blissfully unaware that my beautiful children were not mentally healthy. I fought that idea tooth and nail. I wanted "normal" kids who functioned without issue. I still fight the idea that my kids are not fully integrated into our family, and can't trust us or recieve love. It seems so unjust that after surviving the atrocities of their infancy and toddlerhood, and going through the uncertainty of being in a group foster home, that they cannot allow themselves to be loved by us. Especially when we have so much love to give them. I am working on getting a therapist that understands reactive attachment as well as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and has a real plan for dealing with these issues. Currently I am just trying to deal day to day in the stuggle to give love to all my little herdlings in a way they can process. Even my Bio kids need love in different ways. So for now this momma is feeling stretched, pulled and downright torn by all the needs my kids have for me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Little History

We started out like any other family, a husband and a wife who desired to have a boy and a girl. Long before they were born, our future children were named... Aubrey* and Zachary. The beginning and the end, A to Z. We had a plan! Ok, so we were young, and thought we controlled the universe, but we had a plan!

Fast forward a little, we were on our way to achieving the Grand Plan. I was pregnant(and monstrously huge) with our first child. A girl! All was going according to plan so far. Aubrey was born and turned out to be the poster child for Lactose Intolerance. She was a screaming little bundle of... well, joy I guess. We were tired and very, very unnerved, but we figured it's like the saying goes, if the first one is hard, the second one will be a breeze. Fast forward another two years or so, and MAN we were right on track! I was pregnant with our second child, who just so happened to be extremely modest in utero. But we were confidant in our plan! We planned on Zachary completing our little family soon before the purchase of our "castle" as little Aubrey liked to call it. Up until two weeks before the arrival of our little bundle we were positive it was our little Zachary. Well, as you can imagine, we were shocked to find our precious plans thwarted by a precious little girl.

She was named Laura*, and she was perfect in every way... until we brought her home! With that stellar combination of my digestive system and her daddy's temper, we were in for a wild ride! Where was that fabled "easy" child? Little did we know, that for us, that child would not exist! Both the girls finally leveled out about the one year mark, but well before that, we had decided that we did not want any more of our own "spawn". My husband gallantly decided to go "under the knife", and our plan was put aside for good, or so we thought.

We had talked on and off about adoption for years, even before we were married. We still wanted our Zachary, but weren't quite ready to admit that our family was not complete. Time passed, and we became very comfortable in our little life. But God had MUCH bigger plans for us than we had dreamed up for ourselves. He had to do some serious legwork to accomplish it all, including financial ruin, the loss of our "castle", a house fire when we were on the brink of financial recovery, and finally, living in a two bedroom apartment with two beautiful little girls for one year. Aubrey and Laura were both happy and well adjusted 6 and 9 year olds when we moved into a home of our own again. The house was exactly what we had asked God for down to the size of the backyard and layout of the house. The drapes even matched our furniture!

We had started the adoption process back before the house fire, in fact we were in line for our home study when it occurred. The fire obviously put things off a bit, but now, we were ready to start again. A year passed and we were well on our way to actually fulfilling our dream. Little Zachary here we come! During the process, we had been asking our small group to pray for patience for us, as the process is long and taxing. The last day of the home study was upon us, and we passed with flying colors. Our case worker presented us with a few options at the end. We had said previously that we were open to a sibling group of two boys( I kept telling my wonderful husband that that may not be what God had in store for us!)and she told us she did have a sibling group, but that it was a boy and a girl. She let us know that she had been thinking all along that these two had been a good choice for our family. We discussed it a bit more and my husband asked their names... in hopes of the boy being a Zach ;). And that's when God began to REALLY work in our lives. She said " Their names are Andrie* and Patience". UUUUMMMMMM Seriously!? We had a quick conference and it was decided, we had prayed specifically for patience and we got... wait for it... Patience!

So I'm guessing you're looking at our picture and thinking to yourself, "but there are 5 children in that picture, you've only got 4 so far!" Yep, you're very observant. Six months into the foster to adopt process, we got the call. Our case worker asked us to take an eleven month old little boy for two weeks until they could find a permanent foster placement for him. We had another little conference, and decided that if God wanted us to take care of his children, that meant all of them He thought we could handle. Boy were we in for another wild ride! Carden* arrived 2 hours later, followed by a truck full of baby stuff(we had nothing in the way of baby needs). He was cranky, and we later found out he had an ear infection, developmentally delayed by about 5 months, and well, he was a baby! We told the case worker that we would happily give him back when the time came, but GOD had other plans as usual. We were told he could stay with us if we chose, and the time came to choose. The day we had to decide, my husband asked God to help him with his choice. That day, he was the PERFECT child, no tantrums, sweet and loving, I mean PERFECT! Rewind a little bit, Earlier in the week I was praying about little Carden. God frequently speaks to me during these sessions and that day was a real eye opener.

He said "He is my gift to you",
I asked "what's the return policy?"
Silence... dead Silence.
"So how long is this gift going to last"
"For a time" -God

Really??? More specific PLEASE! God didn't say another word! I spoke with Him again and told Him if He wanted this to happen, then He needed to change my huband's heart, because I wasn't going to be the one to push it. Lesson for those of you considering adoption, or even having kids of your own... If you aren't both on board, don't do it, it will end in heartbreak for all those involved,especially the child. So back to hubby's decision. Well, lets just say his heart turned to pudding and little Carden got to stay. We struggled with it frequently, and just had to keep trusting that God knew the path ahead far better than we did.

We still stuggle. We still have hard days. After two and a half years, there are many days when we question if God has the right parents for this job. They are all legally ours, and we are working daily to stay on the path God has set before us.

The posts you read here after will detail each of our childrens stuggles as well as our own to learn to be the family God has planned for us. We're still waiting on Zachary, wondering if he's out there waiting on us, or even waiting to be born. We're just waiting on God's timing.

* some names changed to protect our little herdlings from being found...