Father and Son

Father and Son
Their first walk together.

Both T's at the pasture gate

Both T's at the pasture gate
T2 isn't sure about the goats. They look a little scary.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Favorite Memories

T1 and T2

N and K with their favorite friend.

D and his baby girl

B and T2 dancing on the town square.
Oh, how I miss them all!

Pain and Anger

I still don't know how much to talk about, so this will be brief.

On the 14th, DSS came to my home and removed our children. They said there was iminent danger. The report said that the 2 yr old had on a dirty diaper and I had no wipes in the diaper bag. This is the way DSS works in our state. Frightening but true. The more people like attorneys and counselors I talk with; the more stories like ours I hear. The caseworkers have been prejudiced from the start. They are trying to cover their laziness and mistakes.

Pray that God will be glorified in this. Pray for our childrens' safety and well-being. Pray for peace for us. And pray for the people who have done this; they are hurting and need healing from God. I am still very angry with them. But I have come to the conclusion that to be able to do the kind of damage them are doing to children, they must be in a world of hurt themselves. I don't know what is causing their hurt, but I do know who can heal it. Pray that the children will come home and that minimal damage has been done. The sooner they get home; the sooner the healing can start.

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Malachi 4:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, Luke 6:18

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Many times I wonder what I have gotten myself into. I spend the majority of my time talking to a bossy 8 yr old, a defiant 3 yr old, DSS caseworkers (there are 7 of them), therapists, counselors, teachers, school nurses, bus drivers, doctors, or our parent coach. Just in case that isn't enough, I can always spend time at the vets office with a dog or goat. Then I get a hug, wet kiss, smile, or just a wiggly little child wanting into my lap, and I remember. The joys certainly out weigh all the trouble.
A caseworker was here today. She asked her short list of questions, looked at the children's rooms, inspected the fire extinguisher, and spoke to the children. We should have two more DSS visits this month. The Foster Care Review Board is tomorrow. I have to drive 3 hours to the meeting that starts at 9:00.
F and N like to come into the room with the computer and pull all the toys out of the box. Today was no exception. The floor is carpeted with little pieces of fun. They are now picking up the toys and singing the clean up song. A little praise and encouragement goes a long way.
All of the children are "playing" just out of my line of sight. They are screaming and beckering over some toy keys. I stopped typing and offered to let the oldest, Bossy, lead the others into timeout corners since she was leading them in arguing. Surprise! Most of the loud whining stopped.
After supper, I bathed K. Her idea of a bath is to sit in the tub and splash a little water, but not enough to wet her face. She still doesn't like having her hair washed. However she is doing much better. Tonight, she didn't cry. She holds her little hand over her eyes and says over and over,"I'm not crying Mommy. I'm a big girl. I'm not afraid." I reassure her that I'm hurrying and trying to keep the water off her face. Hair washing is one think we both dread. I'm thankful that we don't have to wash hair more than once a week. Unless, K wets her bed, then her hair smells like urine and has to be washed before school. I have started using only conditioner on those days. It goes on like shampoo, cleans and refreshes, and doesn't dry out her hair. While B takes a shower, a.k.a. stands under the water, I put K's hair into pretty twists. I have been wanting to fix her hair this way, but she pulls it at night and when she gets upset. She messes her hair up every  time I fix it. If it lasts through the day tomorrow, I am going to find a way to put a cap on her head at night. Maybe it will help keep her hands out of her hair.
Everyone is in bed. I have to be up at 5 and out of the house with N and F by 6:00. So, I need to get some sleep. Pray that tomorrow that I say the right things and don't speak out of  God's will. The dogs are barking at something outside. Guess, I have to go check on the barn to make sure we aren't having a baby. The kids would be so excited if there were babies in the morning.

Psalm 34:13 - keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
 Psalm 35:28 - My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.
Psalm 37:30 - The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.

Disclaimer: I never got back to the computer to edit the post or post it until this morning. I wrote it on Monday,the 11th. My heart is broken and I can't write about it yet. Please pray for us!

Friday, December 18, 2009


So busy doing nothing is my usual status. I need organization!

I find myself exhausted by the end of the day and very little has been accomplished around the house. It amazes me that there are people, especially moms, out there who can keep house, tend to 4+ children, bake homemade bread, and run a farm. I don't have time to make my soaps anymore and as for the farm: well, T1 takes care of most of the animals. Occassionally I will have to take care of the farm for a day or two. Things seem to go smoother on those days, believe it or not.

So much has happened since October. T2 decided to have a major week long breakdown at Thanksgiving. She destroyed her room and then proceeded to destroy the rest of the house. She was doing okay during the daytime but staying up all night to find ways to demolish the house. Her big thing was stuffing rolls of tissue into the toilet and bathroom sink. Then flushing the john and leaving the water running. Three different times I found the bathroom swimming in water. We removed everything but the beds from the girls room, bathroom and the hallway. At night, we literally locked her out of the rest of the house and cut the water off to her side of the house. I ended up sleeping in the hall several nights to prevent her from hurting her younger sister. After a week, I had enough. One morning she sat at my table and told me "Our house is going to burn down." I tried telling her that if it did she wouldn't have a bed or any other stuff. "I don't care. It is going to burn down" was her only answer. On another morning, I was bathing the two youngest children and she was watching me. Suddenly she reached over me, made a sweeping motion with her hand and said, "If you push F like these and hold her face in the water she will drown." I almost threw up! I told her that I wouldn't want to hurt F and if she drown I would be sad and miss her. I told her that she would miss her too. "No I wouldn't" she said as she turned and walked out of the room. As soon as I could, Monday morning at 9:00, I reported what had been said to me. DSS came and removed her on Wedsnesday for the safety of the other children. My home has been much calmer since that day. We have been able to put out Christmas decorations and are making plans to decorate the girls bedroom. Neither of these things were possible before.
T2 is in a single parent, single child home and is to start receiving therapy. I'm still not sure that DSS believes what I have been telling them, and sometimes I worry what stories T2 is going to make up about us. She has told us some tall ones. They are believable except they are usually about us, and we know they didn't happen.
Our house is decorated for Christmas. Every nook and cranny is filled with Christmas surprises. Even the extended family is getting in on the fun. Everyone wants to give them something or take them to see something. We drove through the park looking at the light show, visited with Santa, and even put a flock of flamingos in my mom's yard. Soon we will visit the nursing home with homemade ornaments and cards. There are cookies and candies to make, more parties to attend, a party to host (tomorrow), presents to buy and wrap for each other, and tins of goodies for little elves to deliver to our neighbors. Our Advent calendar is almost finished and our Little People Nativity Set has almost survived its first Christmas.
We are having a cold rain that may turn to ice over night. No snow, just ice. This is the time of  year I get a little depressed. So the solution is to stay so busy that I don't have time to think about being sad. With 4 little ones, staying busy is easy. It's getting enough rest that is hard.
Tomorrow morning I need to wrap more presents. I plan to go to see my mom again tomorrow evening. However, I may have to wait until Sunday. She seems to perk up when the kids and I come around. yesterday she stayed in bed all day. She said she just didn't feel like getting up or eating. I brought the kids and in a short time she was sitting up so she could watch them play. Then Dennis and T came with the flamingos. We put them in the yard near Mother's window, but she couldn't see them from her bed. So, she decided that she needed to get up and go to the front porch for a better look. I helped her to her chair and away we went. She sat in her chair on the porch for several minutes admiring a flock of hot pink plastic birds. Then we went back inside, but not to bed. She wanted to "sit amongst the living." She even ate a hamburger that my loving husband brought us after we realized that the oven wasn't on and our dinner was raw and cold.
Today was a better day for her. The days are like a roller coaster. One day we are on top others we are riding straight and smooth but most days we are plummeting down hill faster than I care to be going. I dread the day we come to the bottom of the last hill and round the bend into the station.
I don't worry about Mother's future. It has been settled for a very long time. I wish she could stay here a little longer to enjoy watching our little ones grow. I pray daily that the Lord will make her death an easy one. She has suffered for about 4 years with unimaginable pain. Most days she never says anything. But I have watched her cry because someone touched her arm or she moved it to slip her clothes on. She has begun to talk a little about things. She's scared. She doesn't want to appear upset. But her entire being cries out for just a little more time. It isn't because she is worried about going home. It is the process that is frightening.
Okay, enough about that for now. The house is finally quiet. All the laundry for today is folded. The dogs are inside for the night, but the bathroom isn't clean. Guess I know what is one of the first jobs I"ll being doing in the morning. The party is at noon.
T just pulled into the drive. She has been a church working a camera. I need to remind her to feed her dogs. Amazing! She remembered on her own. My cough syrup is taking effect. I am getting sleepy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Water Under the Bridge

It has been 2 months since I posted. So much has gone on. Some of it good, some of it not so good and some of it horrible. The last group is what I consider water under the bridge. Time to move on.

At my last post, C was leaving for the Czech Republic. She has really enjoyed herself. She's seen things that I can only dream of seeing. The last two and a half months, she has lived in a fantasy world. All of us are ready for her to come home. She'll be here on the 20th.

K, N, and F have all had birthdays. F's 1st birthday celebration included the entire family. N celebrated his 2nd birthday with the immediate family after supper with a John Deere cake. Finally, K celebrated her 3rd birthday at the fair during a goat show. Several goat loving friends joined us for Dora cake.

T2's temper tantrums have not disappeared, but they are better. They don't last as long and aren't as violent; at least when I am at home. She is very selfish, wanting everything for herself. She has tantrums anytime someone else gets something or does something she doesn't do. However, she doesn't want to share anything she gets and wants everyone's undivided attention. She gets very upset if one of the other children gets to go with me and she has to stay home, even if she has gone solo with me the past 4 times.

K has started having tantrums at bedtime. I think she is mimicking her sister. The screaming grinds on my nerves. It is hard to remain calm and focused when a 3 foot firecracker is exploding in the middle of the room. Especially this one, because she screams forever! I hate having to wait out her tantrums. They don't end. She has been known to still be crying 2 hours later over something minute. Suggestions are always welcome.

F has learned to arch her back and throw herself into the floor when she doesn't get what she wants or is told to leave something alone. I simply step over her and ignore. she will stop crying, get up, move to where I am, and start over again. After a few times, I take her by the hand and guide her to the playpen. That breaks her heart, but doesn't slow down the tantrum. Maybe she'll catch on and give up the tantrums.

My final tantrum thrower is N. He has learned how to throw a tantrum that interrupts everything. When they start, I put him in his bed. He, too, can cry and scream for over an hour.

B doesn't throw tantrums. She tattles. She is constantly pointing out the faults of others. Her self-esteem is so low, that she has to make sure I see how much better she is the her siblings. She continually compares what and how much others get to her. For example, I usually give her the glass with the most liquid in it, because she is the least likely to spill it. However, the other day her younger sister got the glass with 1/4 inch more juice. B looked at the glasses, asked me if I was sure that the glass in front of her was hers, made a remark about never getting enough juice to drink, slid her glass over until it was beside her sister's, and in a final effort to rectify my gross mistake, pointed out that the levels were definitely not the same. Her juice did not go past the last ring. I must have given her and her sister the wrong glasses. I explained that I wasn't trying to get them exactly the same and she should be glad I gave her the glass she had instead of the one I poured for N. It contained half as much. Then she cried. In the end, she didn't even drink all of her juice.

B has made straight A's at school. Hooray! She is the mother hen of the group. She takes care of everyone. Even the one's that don't want her to. A few weeks ago she started taking dance classes. She was worried that it would be hard. Now, she realizes that it isn't difficult at all and she's having a good time.

T2 is finally in school. That has helped with her behavior. She is such a cute kid. My prayer for her continues to be that God will heal her on many levels. She is standing beside me, giggling and being silly.

We had a goat show last weekend. The 3 older girls competed in the showmanship ring. It was hard to tell who was in charge, the 2 legged kids or the 4 legged ones. B came home and set goals for the next show. T2 and K didn't really understand what was happening. All they knew was that they walked with the goat and got a piece of candy and a blue ribbon. They can't wait to do it again. N and F liked the attention. The best thing about the show was that it was at a county fair, complete with rides and food. The kids got to ride the merry-go-round.

Bella had surgery today. T1 has gone to get her. T1 isn't sure what direction she wants her life to go. She loves working with veterinary stuff and with video production. she has been talking about giving up goats. She doesn't feel that goat herding is what God wants her to do. I just want her to find something she enjoys and go to work. She is talented in so many ways: dance, animal husbandry, video production, and she has great organization skills.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So much is happening around here. Our caseworker managed to pull a few strings with the Y. Now, the two oldest girls, B and T2, are going to summer day camp. This has made my mornings quieter. You would be amazed at the volume of noise two girls can make.

Our original canoe trip was great. There have been others since; I wasn't on any of them. It has become drier and, therefore, a lower water table. The last trip down river had a lot of walking, not what I call fun.

The past two nights we have had severe storms with lots of thunder and lightening. At first I was concerned about the kids. But even when the thunder shook the house and the lightening made it brighter than day, they slept.

Nothing new has happened with the adoption. Bio mom came for her visit this time. She talked to the kids about moving back in with her. Ugh! I continue to struggle with wanting to pray for her and wanting to pray against her. Usually I do neither. This is where I need strength.

T2 continues to have bouts of horrible behavior and temper tantrums that are very difficult to ignore. Some light has been shed onto her problems. Now when the day turns sour at least I can understand where some of her frustration is coming from. That makes it easier to handle. But with the new knowledge comes heartache. When I look into that sweet smile, sadness and anger flood my emotions. She is a confused child trying to deal with adult issues.

C leaves for the Czech Republic today. It was been a long time coming. I have known that it was going to happen, but right now it feels too real. I straddle the fence on this issue as well. On the one hand, she needs to have fun and visit Lenny. Plus, we will have less conflict around here. On the other hand, she is an important part of our lives. It is going to be hard not seeing her. She is going to be gone for a lifetime: my mother's.

My mother isn't expected to live many more weeks. I find that hard to fathom. We went to visit her yesterday. Each time I see her, she is a little weaker. She puts on a good show. She and C cuddled in the bed together for about an hour. When my niece suggested she eat in bed, she jumped up, rushed to the restroom and then to the kitchen table. She suddenly found the energy to get up and get started. It was 2:30 in the afternoon! Later C admitted it was hard to leave because that was probably the last time she will see her grandmother.

T1 and C went with the youth to Daytona Beach. I held the fort. This week we are all tired. All meaning the adults in the house. The kids never get tired. They are always loaded with energy.

It is time to start my day. I have to take B and T2 to camp. Then, we are heading to Atlanta. I'm not too excited about going.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I'm tired! Most of the time, I have enough energy to keep up with kids, but today I am exhausted and it isn't even dinner time. For that matter, I haven't planned dinner.

Earlier today we burned out horns on two babies. It is never a fun job. This time it was horrible. These babies were orphans. Their mom died Monday. They are just beginning to trust us.

Everything is a little crazy around here this evening. So much has happened. The house is very noisy: kids playing in one room with lots of noise making toys, the TV in another, the washer and dryer in the kitchen, the baby following people around crying to be picked up, my one year old waving at the computer monitor thinking our friend is on Skype, M is working in the kitchen, C is running back and forth through the house with her phone attached to her ear, Dennis is wanting to talk about our canoe trip tomorrow, and T1 is planning what she wants to do with her goats. Somewhere in this chaos is our family.

Tuesday, Vanessa called to schedule a visit with bio mom on Thursday. She has to drive all morning to get here. At lunch time I called to see when and where we could meet. She informed me that we wouldn't be meeting because bio mom decided not to come. I was elated and angry at the same time. We were told to prepare the kids for the visit. They were very disappointed when she didn't show. I had plans for the two hours I was to be alone; things I can't do with kids. On the flip side, bio mom canceled the visit for whatever reason. That fact will play against her in court.