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, 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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


After I strayed,
I repented;
after I came to understand,
I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.'
Jeremiah 31:19

O LORD, God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence." Ezra 9:15

This is my cry today. I am ashamed and humiliated. I can't even stand in His presence.

Now the big questions are: With His help can I make it right again? and Can I change? I must if I expect His forgiveness and help. Time to go to work making things right. It is going to be a long journey. It only takes a moment to mess up, but a lifetime to set it right again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We had a wonderful weekend. Friday we worked on the kids' lapbooks. The are coming along. The girls would like for it to be faster but I don't have much time. Still, we have made progress.

Saturday, we went to the lake. Michelle and Aaron came down. She and T1 packed everything and everyone. I just showed up. We grilled burgers and wieners. Our therapist/friend joined us with her two children. T2 is ready to learn to swim. She loves to be thrown into the water. B is very much afraid of getting her face wet. She will be the last one to learn to swim.

The kids came home exhausted.They played a little while then watched a movie. They went to bed without any fussing and slept quietly all night.

The weekend was great until Grandma threw a wretch into the mix. She inadvertently started a fight between the oldest two children. Really she just gave them motive and opportunity. B and K were in their room for fighting. It had already been determined that I would take a child with me to the store. So I put clothes on the sofa for T2, since she was the only one of the older kids that wasn't in on the fight. Grandma sent her into the bedroom, where the other two girls were, to put her dirty clothes in the hamper. (She could have put them in the pile in front of the washer.) She bragged. Crying, screaming, hitting and scratching followed. No one started it, of course. But in the end T2 had to stay home. She threw a crazy fit; throwing things, screaming, spitting, jumping, hitting, biting, and kicking the wall. I removed her from the room and put her in the corner in my bathroom, the only place she could scream and not be heard all over the house. Then I took N and went to the store.

Some days I'm not sure of Grandma's intentions. She knows that the oldest two are constantly in competition with one another, yet she still does things to promote the conflict. Last night Dennis and I rode to the grocery store to pick up a few things. We weren't going to be there long, so we took T2 with us. She is the one that is usually left out. When we returned she ran into the den and took Grandma, "I went by myself to the store with Momma and Daddy." Grandma's response was to tell her to go tell B.

We are in a holding pattern. The court won't start TPR until everyone has been checked out. New people have come forward wanting to take one of the children. I problem is that the kids have been in foster care for 22 months where were this people during all of this time. They were happy to let someone else take care of the kids as long as no one wanted them. Lazy and worthless come to mind.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a term that has been thrown around about T2. Though they can't totally rule it out, there isn't enough to diagnosis. She has about half of the criteria. So there will be more tests.

The house is awful quiet for 7 in the morning. I made biscuits and gravy for Dennis. There are plenty of biscuits left. I think I am going to go back to my room and read for a while; at lest until others get up.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cleaning and Planning "School"

Yes, I did say school. Just because they will be attending public school this fall doesn't mean that they can't do school activities this summer. Learning is a never ending process. It doesn't take a break, so neither do we. Besides we use the unschooled approach for the first few years. You know, library books on the table; and math flash cards, geography games and scrabble on the game shelves. We write on the driveway with chalk, learn songs, and watch educational videos. But we don't do school! We learn!

Our newest vocabulary word comes from 4 yr old, T2: mush martins, better known to the rest of the world as marshmallows. While she was "cooking", with grass and hay, she announced that it was time to eat. She had cooked candy and mush martins. The perfect meal.

Things are somewhat quiet, for now. Most of the crew is napping. B is reading and doing workbook pages. F is in the bouncer hanging in the doorway. Grandma is in the kitchen. T1 and C are upstairs cleaning. I have started supper: squash blackeyed peas and cornbread. I plan to make ice cream with goat milk when Dennis gets home and locates the churn.

I took F out of the bouncer and put her in the playpen. She is having a little fit because she wants to be held instead of taking her nap. She is standing in the playpen, looking over the top at me and begging to be picked up. I am considering moving the playpen into another room; preferably in another house. She is crying mama mama, then dada dada.

We are waiting for Toyia, the CW, to come for her visit. Usually she is here by now. I think I will call her and see if something has happened.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Catch Up!

To say that I have been busy would be a lie. I haven't had time to think! Things have been going on around here, some good and others... well they could have been better.I'm going to hit the high points.

T1 graduated!!!!!! I still find it hard to believe that my baby is grown. She has matured so over the last few years, but I never dreamed that she would be so much an adult so fast. She plans to attend tech school this fall and go for Vet tech. I can't imagine her doing anything else.

Bio mom had her 1st visit in 12 months. The kids have had a hard time with this one. They have cried and fought. I finally sat down and explained everything I knew to B. I told her all about our plans to adopt her and her siblings, why her mom was in jail, who gets to decide her future, and how we can affect their decision. The biggest concern was that she would have to leave us and return to her bio mom. I tried to reassure her without promising the moon. Just knowing that she is wanted here and we are trying to keep her helped her attitude. Her behavior improved at school and at home. I found out that I was jealous. I didn't want the kids to be upset when they saw her, but I didn't want them to be happy to see her either. In the end, I was glad they had fun visiting her. But, I want them to stay here.

Mother stayed with us for a few nights. She is still fighting the battle. It has been hard for me to switch places with her and be the caregiver. I think my sister pushes too hard. She wants Mother to lay back and do nothing. Her husband did that way. Maybe it is the only way she knows to take care of Mother. I think Mother is coming here for the day.

Tiffany's dance recital was grand. Again, it was a reminder of just how old she really is. She was almost as excited about the children's dances as her own. The senior dance was very pretty. She did such a good job on all three dances. I am going to miss watching her every spring. Seeing our crippled little girl twirling around on stage always makes me cry. No one else can see what a miracle every dance is. At 13 months we were told she might walk, but would never be able to run and would always have trouble just walking. When she was 18 months old, she practiced walking. She would hold to the couch then turn and hold the coffee table. She did that over and over until she could take two steps without holding. At 8 years old she finally learned to go up and down stairs. She practiced for 3 days that summer. She was a very determined little girl. When she wanted to dance, I knew she would do it no matter how long it took her. When she started pointe class a few years ago, she wore out her first pointe shoes practicing in our house day in and day out.

Okay, back to the present. T2 is having problems with physical and sexual aggression. It is beginning to calm down a bit, but she sees her bio mom again in a few weeks and it will start all over. Pray.

The kids had watermelon for the first time. They didn't know how to eat it. They wanted to know if it was green on the inside too and if they should scoop it with a spoon, before I cut it. Everything is so new and exciting to them.

Another first was the lake. They had never been swimming. They finally got wet, but it is going to take a while before they are ready to swim. T2 let T1 throw her into the water. B, K, and N weren't as trusting. F laid in her lifepreserver and floated around in the water. She loved it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Roller Coaster?

It has been a very busy week. We have been moving! Just part of the clan! The girls have been moving from upstairs to downstairs and C has been doing the reverse. This seems to have taken care of the closet monsters. Evidently C is meaner than an old monster.

Marshmallows? No, moth balls. Grandma put them in her flowerpots to ward off the squirrels. T2 saw them and decided they are marshmallows. Now I have to worry that someone will slip out and taste one. I explained that they are poison, for all the good explaining will do.

We have to new babies in the barn, girls! Brigdet gave us to cute little girls yesterday afternoon. Everytime I watch a baby being born, I am amazed. We watch the doe for months, noting the slightest change. The closer her due comes the more cautious we are. Then suddenly she stops grazing and resting and starts preparing for her babies. She separates herself from the herd, finds a quiet place, and paws the ground to soften their landing. It can take a few hours of contractions or just a few minutes. But as soon as the babies are here, Mom cleans them and they stand to find her milk. Less than an hour after they are born, they are playing and eating, Mom is grazing, and everything has fallen into place.

Court didn't go as planned. The judge sides with the mom. She thinks that the mom should have more opportunities to neglect, drug, and mistreat her kids. Plus if she can't have them, the judge wants the family, all druggies, to take them. This is going to be long and hard. it may end up in heartbreak. This judge is willing to separate the children, something no one else wants. For now we will love them and take care of them. But mainly we will wait.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Closet monsters?

This morning T1 and T2 went monster hunting. It seems that B has been telling stories. Telling stories to scare your sisters is bad enough, but scaring yourself in the process is worse. The girls have been told so many things they don't know what to believe. I have been trying to reassure them about monsters for weeks. The first time I knew their fear of monsters was serious was the evening B had to go to bed early. She had to go to bed before everyone else. The other girls stayed up an extra 30 minutes. I went upstairs to see why she wasn't in bed 20 minutes after she had been sent there. She was sitting upright in the middle of her bed with the covers wrapped around her, all the lights were on, her dolls and stuffed toys were piled in her bed, and she had propped open the child safety gate at the top of the stairs (So she could run without stoppin' to get the gate to open!)

Today, T2 needed to take her clean clothes to her closet. After 10 minutes, the clothes and the child were still at the bottom of the stairs. She explained that she couldn't go by herself. After a few questions we discovered that there was a monster living in her closet, and she just couldn't go in there alone. T1 took her by the hand and announced that they were going hunting. They looked everywhere in the room; in the closets, in the bathroom, under the beds, even in the toy box. They didn't find any monsters. T2 felt better about the room until B came home and told her that monsters hide if they see grownups and in the daytime.

The solution is simple. Actually we had already set it in motion before we knew there was a problem. We moved them to a bedroom downstairs, C's bedroom. C is now in the room with the closet monsters. They better watch out or she'll hunt them down. B says she likes the new room better because there isn't any scary sounds and the monsters aren't downstairs. Thank God!

Now I know what some of you are thinking: we should explain the truth about monsters to them. Been there already; didn't work. We should tell them that God will keep them save from harm. I tried that, too. Besides God doesn't protect us from harm, He stands beside us as we go through it. The idea of someone invisible standing beside them all the time might frighten them more than help them.

For now we are going to deal the truth as they see it. We will prove to them that monsters aren't real, and there isn't anything scary waiting in the dark when the time is right.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


It was great to be allowed to see Easter through the eyes of the children. This was the first time they had celebrated it together. There were a lot of firsts this weekend.

The first time they had dyed eggs, and maybe the last. They splashed dye everywhere. I had a frayed nerves. K soaked her hand in the yellow dye! T2 splashed blue dye onto the carpeted kitchen floor. Don't ask "Why carpet in the kitchen?" Just accept it. Yes, cracked eggs can still be dyed.

The first time the Easter bunny has visited them. "Who is the Easter bunny, and what does he do?"

The first time they had heard the real Easter story. This has prompted me to try a unit study about Easter. I know that it is a little late, but B and T2 won't mind.

The first time they have ever hunted eggs. They couldn't believe that we would hide our real eggs outside. Eggs don't hold up very well with toddlers.

I think they had a good day. I know that I did.

Easter Lessons

During all the rush to prepare, I lost sight of the real purpose of celebrating Easter. Five little baskets sat in my den waiting for five bright pairs of eyes. There were baskets for all the rest of the family as well, but those five were special. Not because they held anything expensive, just a little candy and a few cheap toys. They were about new beginnings and experiencing changed lives. God showed me little lessons all day long. Praise God!

B, the oldest, got a Bible, a hot pink one. She squealed and yelled, "I got my own, real Holy Bible!" Then she danced around the room singing about her Holy Bible. She plans to read all of it, starting now! I wish we all were that enthusiastic about God's Word.

T2 fumbled through her basket and found a little piece of candy and another and another and another. Each time she became more excited. That is what God does for us. when we look for His Will, He gives us a little piece to hang on to and follow. One little piece at a time He shows us His plan for our lives and the excitement builds.

K gently examined the contents of her basket, amazed with what she found. What God has planned for us is far greater than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves. He is so good.

N had to be coached with his basket. He wasn't sure that he was allowed to take things out of it. Maybe it wasn't really his. I do this with God. I second guess God instead of stepping up without question. Sometimes I must miss the blessing He has in store for me.

F sat with her basket which had only 4 little items. Her eyes were huge and her smile spread across her entire face. She bounced with excitement. It didn't matter that she only had a little, she was happy with what she had been given. That was God reminding me to be thankful for what I have both physical and spiritual. I have all I need and can handle.

Then at church I sat in awe as I watched snips from "The Passion of the Christ" and later watched as hundreds of people got out of their seats and walked down the aisles to become followers of Christ. That is Easter. Eggs and bunnies aren't what it is about. They are fun things to do as long as I can keep them in perspective. Changing lives and new beginnings: Easter.

1 Peter 1:3[ Praise to God for a Living Hope ] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Early Morning Chores

Nugget the family house dog decided to go outside at 4am. Things were too quiet for her. None of the neighborhood dogs were barking. It was time for her to stir the pot. I have to be honest and say that I was angry as I walked to the back door with my eyes shut. Because of my anger I almost missed a beautiful morning. The yard was bathed in moonlight. The little dogwood tree, which is in full bloom, appeared to glow as the silvery light joined with the bright white blossoms. There was a light fog hanging over the green pasture in front of the house. The world was calm and quiet. It seems that even the animals wanted to enjoy the spell that had been cast over the area. Nugget couldn't find any one to bark with her.

God got me up early so I could get a jump on the events of the morning. Both of the adult girls have to work. C is going to the coffee shop and T1 is baby sitting for a family from our church. So I have house and barn duty today. I am taking N out to the barn with me to work. This may be a mistake, but I don't want him to wake up and cry the entire time I am gone. Even worse, wake my MIL and have her fussing. So with that settled I am going to the barn.

Well, everyone woke up while I was in the barn. The 3 girls came running through the house, screaming at each other and crying because they wanted to come outside with me. This commotion woke up the baby and Grandma. I sent the girls back upstairs with orders not to come down stairs unless the house was on fire. That lasted about 5 minutes.

We have 3 goats in milk. Their babies aren't very old, about 2 weeks. So, most of the milk goes to them. Next week, we will separate them at night and milk the does before putting them back together the next morning. But today, I brought each one out of the pasture and put them on the milk stand for less than 3 cups of milk. Once I finished milking I scattered feeding buckets around the backyard. Then I released all of the does. They ate the grain and then grazed on the tender green grass in the yard. They are better than a lawnmower. They mow and fertilize at the same time.

After 40 minutes they began to roam. They tried to eat Grandma lilies, to go to the neighbors garden, and to slip through the side yard into the front. The last straw came when they jumped the makeshift fence into the unfenced pasture. We have been putting up fence posts to add on pasture. I can only imagine the image of me chasing those crazy goats around the yard with a broom.

Once I had chased everyone back into the fence and locked the gate, I discovered that there was one stray. Our new little doe was dashing back and forth looking for her mother. She was crying and jumping and running into the fence. I had to chase her down. It is a lot harder to catch a baby than a big goat. They shoot through the smallest holes.

After breakfast, I plan to go to the grocery store and over to see Mother. One day soon, I want to send some time with Mother, alone.

Grandma is in the kitchen eating breakfast and writing out her grocery list. she has been very sick and is finally beginning to feel a little better.

While writing this, I decided to go with Grandma to get groceries. That means I have to clean out the Suburban and have everyone fed and dressed by the time Grandma is ready. I have to get off and head into the kitchen. Whew!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Big Plans

9-10 They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son.
11 Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Yes, I'm listening."
12 "Don't lay a hand on that boy! Don't touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn't hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me." Genesis 22:9-12

Abraham's faith is enormous. Mine in comparison is so small. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that type of faith. Dennis I lost several babies before they were born. Even with my faith in God, it was very difficult. But, He never asked me to deliberately sacrifice one of my children. I never had to make the decision to murder a child in His name. I can image what Abraham was thinking. "Lord, I am trusting in You to keep me safe when I go home to Sarai!" I wonder what the conversation was like during and after this event between Abraham and Isaac.

I feel like I am neglecting my children, all of them. For the last 8 weeks, life has been about survival. I want to do more than survive. I want to make an impact on my children. So, I am starting a list of things I want to accomplish with each child.

MICHELLE - One morning of yard sale shopping. Helping her make dinner at her house one night. Coffee and dessert one day, just the two of us.
CRYS -Movie together. Shopping by ourselves. Just some time alone to do whatever.
TIFFANY -Several hours away from home without kids. Two solid hours a day of school instruction. Quiet time with just the two of us.
B -Craft time together. Cooking with the adult girls. Serious conversation about what love is. Doing a unit study or 2 over the summer.
T2 -Cuddle time without other kids. Working on a simple craft together. Playing together.
K -Cuddle time. Playdoh together. A simple craft.
N -Cuddle time. Playdoh
F -Cuddle time.
A big item I hope we can do together with all the kids is to go camping.

Now that I have the beginnings of a list, I have to figure out a way to accomplish my plans.

Caseworkers and Scatter-Brained

This week is caseworker week. Sunday, one caseworker came for a visit and went to church with us. Yesterday, another caseworker visited. Today, still another caseworker is going to visit us. The children have learned that the caseworkers are only visiting, so there aren't tears any more.

I lost my wallet, Sunday. There was no money in it; just insurance cards, checks, debit cards, and other important papers. The good news is that I found it yesterday. It was in my pants' pocket. Boy, do I feel stupid.

We are getting ready for graduation. I have been so scatter-brained that nothing has been done. I feel real bad. I have dropped the ball with T1. We have gotten behind in her school work and now I haven't prepared for her graduation. Today, I am going to spend time working on her and her projects.

I have decided to start home learning with the kids. We are going to do lapbooks on Easter. I think it will be fun. If it works out, we will do unit studies all summer. I am sure one will be the fruits of the Spirit.

Everyone is up and wanting breakfast.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sad and Happy Together

First, it is almost impossible to type one-handed. Second, when you are 7 months old and eating in Mom's arms, the clicking and lights from the computer are so interesting that it is hard to finish the breakfast you had ordered earlier.

C twittered "bummer." She summed up yesterday. The weather reflected the way I felt: cloudy and drab. Today isn't going to be much better. I took my oldest daughter, L, to Atlanta to the airport to go home. She may not be my legal daughter, but she is my daughter in my heart, where it counts. It was very hard to keep my composure. Everyone cried. I knew that if I let myself, I would cry all the way back home. Crying makes driving difficult. Even by plane she is now 12 hours away. At the airport, B and T2 sobbed; T1, C and L held each other and wept; even K got in on the act. She wrapped her arms around L's neck and wouldn't let go. Taking her to the airport was perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done. We didn't have enough time together. Two weeks is way too short. She had to leave just as the party was getting started. I know we can talk on the computer, but I am going to miss her hugs and seeing her napping on the couch. Even Nugget, the dog, is mopey today.

Children have a way of brightening even the darkest moments. K is standing in our sunroom with my bedroom slippers on her tiny feet. They are sock monkey slippers! She is planning to go to the barn with T1 to take care of the goats. N is standing beside me smiling. He is sucking up because a moment ago he pulled his diaper bag off the table and emptied it onto the floor.

We just had an Easter egg hunt; only we used shoes, namely K's. Now she is running through the house to the backdoor.

I have been looking for baby chicks. Last fall I sold my chickens because my coop was in great need of repair. Now I wish I had kept them. They were good young laying hens, not even a year old.

The day is in full swing, and I am still sitting in front of the computer screen.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A "Quiet" Evening at Home

N had surgery this morning. He is doing great.

We are all in the den. The older two girls are playing a new game with T1, C and L, our Czech friend. N and K are determined to be included. They are sitting in laps and occasionally reach out for game pieces. F is in Grandma's lap. She is happy as long as she is being held. I think she needs to have some food before bedtime; maybe green peas or squash. Dennis is holding 2 kids, baby goats. We bring them inside shortly after they are born to get them acclimated to people. I had to take a short break. One of the little goats needed to go outside for a minute. While I was up, I gave N his meds and put drops in his ears. T1 took the goats back to their mom. The scene in my den reminds me of Christmas. The kids are sprawled in the floor. Dennis is lying on the couch with N sitting on his chest playing with a little truck. Grandma is in her chair holding F, who is squealing. The dog is asleep in front of the fireplace. If there was a fire in said fireplace, the scene would be picture perfect.

The dog found K's shoes that she took off outside and chewed them. They were nice shoes. She will have to wait until after the 16th to get another pair. Her next pair will probably be sandals.

A friend has come over to visit with L. I need to get off and be social.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Praises to God

Every morning I thank the Lord for all of my wonderful children. Then I praise Him because He hasn't sent me any more!!

I love my children. Each is very unique.

M calls every morning on her way to work. She matured into a very levelheaded young woman. She has actually learned to keep a clean house. Her calling is with children. She handles every situation calmly; a must with kids.

C attacks each day like it is an adventure. She still isn't sure what she wants to be. She hops from one thing to the next, never staying with anything long. She has seen more places and done more things than the rest of the family. Her to do list gets longer all the time. She is talented in almost everything she tries.

T1 is my laid back country girl who loves her animals immensely. She'd rather be in the barn surrounded by goats. She does have one little offshoot to her personality: She loves to dance; ballet and lyrical are the 2 she is working on right now. Most evenings she can be found at the dance studio, teaching or taking lessons.

L, my Czech daughter (I explain more later), reminds me of Crys. She works with children all day and always seems to have energy leftover. She is able to handle most situations when it comes to kids. She smiles constantly. Her presence fills the room with happiness. I smile myself when thinking about her. I'm going to miss her so much when she goes home to Czech.

B is still confused. She craves our approval, attention and love. But when she has them she is skeptical. Inside she is a small child; outwardly, she tries to be in charge. She smiles and giggles and has a great personality until things don't go as she plans then she becomes stubborn and pouts. Her biggest concern is food: will she get it and how much can she have? She is having to learn to play the role of child.

T2 is loving and attention seeking. The most important thing to her is that she has every one's undivided attention. An impossible feat in a house with 4 other children. She lives with us and plays with her siblings, but really she has a world that is totally her own. One we aren't invited into. She is often confused, but rarely angry.

K is conniving. She has the most beautiful smile, but behind her smile is a little mind plotting her next adventure. She has finally decided that we are her family. Her smiles and giggles are worth all the two year old tantrums she can throw. Believe me when I say she throws them well.

N is ...well, a boy. He loves anything with wheels: trucks, cars, scooters, strollers, wheel chairs and school buses! He is a big flirt. No matter where we go, he manages to gains all of the ladies' attention. He know just how to tilt his head, bat his eyes and flash an adorable little smile. He is headed toward being a 2 yr old! Already he drops to the floor and whines when he doesn't get his way. Some people think it is cute; not me! I see it as the precursor to full-blown tantrums. So, I hurt his feelings every time it happens.

F is demanding little girl. She wants lots of attention. If she is the center of the attention, she smiles, coos, squeals and jabbers. If she isn't, she screams until she is. I can't wait to see what her personality is going to be.

We are blessed 9 times over. I only hope they are half as blessed for having us as parents.

Children don't come with instructions tattooed to their rear ends. So, daily we pray that the Lord will give us the wisdom to handle things the right way. He knows what we need and gives us instructions to follow. Our prayer every morning is that God will lead us through the day, helping us make the right choices for ourselves and our children. We do our best, but often we fail. That is when God steps in and takes over. Praise to the Lord for He is good. he handles the things we can't. We are forever in His debt. Praise to the Lord for He is our salvation. I pray that all of my children will one day have a personal relationship with Christ. Praise to the Lord for He is merciful. Everyday I fail and He loves me still! Praise to the Lord. He sent us all these wonderful gifts of love. He entrusted us with them. It is our responsibility to raise them to follow Him.

Proverbs 22:6 -Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Ephesians 6:1-4 - 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Damp and Foggy

God has blessed us with another rainy day. Maybe our drought is finally broken.

N is waiting at the front door for the school bus to bring his sister, T2, home. K and T1 are playing in my room. We planted seeds in egg crates this morning. It is always fun to play in the dirt.

The dog is back again. I think she is going to stay here.

Yesterday, B brought home a "book" for me. The front had a picture of her with the caption "I'm A Mommy's Girl." I believe that is her way of apologizing for her recent behavior. She struggles so hard. She doesn't come right out and ask but she wants to be reassured about our love for her. I have started washing clothes, and already I am behind for the day. This blasted computer has been acting up. I have spent most of my morning trying to make it work! My schedule for the week has been officially thrown out the window.

Dennis' Explorer should be ready today. He has been patiently waiting for over a week. We really could have used it yesterday when we bought groceries. We had to pack everything into the back of the Suburban because of the rain. By the way, the freezer looks nice packed with food again. I hope to go to Sam's Club today and finish my shopping. I need to get back to the clothes now. I have procrastinated long enough.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Well, we found the new owners of the dog. It had not traveled the 30+ miles from the farm we had sold it to. They had sold it to a family about a mile from our house. They picked her up Monday morning and she came back yesterday. I don't think this is going to work. She wants to be here. We may have to buy her back. What a Bummer!

We finally have babies in the barn. Three of our does delivered on the same day. We have 4 boys and 1 girl. Not too good odds. hey, it could be worse. They could all be boys!

We are through the honeymoon period with B. She has tried everything to see if we still will love her. My nerves are shot. She looks me in the face and lies. If I hadn't seen it with my only beady little eyes I would believe her. She starts the other children then tells on them.

Monday, B rushed in the backdoor and announced that K was playing in water. This translated "drinking from the goat trough." I scolded K. Later B again announced that K was playing in water. K stood wide eyed with water in one of her toys and the front of her shirt and pants were soaked.. She had to sit in timeout. I made sure there was no accessible water in the play area. A very short time later, I witnessed B scooping water out of a previously empty container into a rusty coffee can (one we used in the barn of storing things.) She proceeded to hand it to K, who drank it. I called them all to the backdoor. B denied everything. I sent them to their room to put on PJs and go to bed. No more outdoor play. B had turned on the water faucet and filled a bucket.

Tuesday, everything was great until bedtime. Last night, my youngest bio daughter put T2 and K, the 4 and 2 year old, to bed. B was doing school work. She announced as her sisters went to bed that T2 had on her shirt. T1 explained that it was an accident and after T2 took it off in the morning, we would wash it and put it in the right drawer. An hour later with her sisters already asleep, B slipped upstairs to brush her teeth and dress for bed. She came running back downstairs to get water wearing the shirt in question. It seems that she had woke her sister and made her remove the shirt. I sent her back upstairs and ordered her to return the shirt. She screamed and stomped her feet. The commotion woke my husband. I told B that I was disappointed in the way she acted and that she would have to get up with her daddy this morning so she would better appreciate why he didn't want to be awakened at 9 o'clock. He gets up at 4am. B reluctantly got up at 4. She studied for her Social Studies test until Dennis left for work. In her defense, she never complained. The bus doesn't come by here until 6:45. Usually she gets up at 6:25.

On the down side of life, the doctor told my mom that he was calling in Hospice to help with the pain. Just the word upset me. After trying to analyze everything, I decided to give it over to God. He isn't worried about it. I am going to go see Mother this morning as soon as the bus brings T2 back home. It is usually here by 10:40. That gives me time to feed everyone and get them dressed.

C and Lenny are awake and have fed F. It is so great having Lenny here. I wish she could just stay, but I know she gets bored hanging around the house with a bunch of kids. She is used to keeping busy. Life here is a the slow track.

T1 has to gt up and milk the goats. It is raining and the stands are outside. This should be fun.

Well, I smell dirty diapers. N is crying for breakfast. My phone is ringing in the other room. There is no way I can answer it in time. The day has begun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lassie, Come Home!?

We sold 2 of our guard dogs to a farm about 30 miles away because we didn't have enough room for them. They have been gone for several weeks. This morning one of them showed up at our back door. She was very excited to see us. We are going to have to figure something out. This can't work.

Listening to His Word

John 15:16-17 (New Living Translation)16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Isn't it beautiful? He chose us even though He knew what we were going to be and do. His grace is inexhaustible. Such a simple command; so hard to do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It is quiet this morning. I am alone! C got up early to iron B's hair. Then T1 volunteered to take B to school. The others are still asleep. Finally, F is sleeping through the night. Hopefully this trend will continue.

Our Czech friend, Lenny, arrived last night. It is great to have her back home.

I think I overbooked my day. My mom is taking radiation treatments, and I have a phone interview with SS. To top everything the foster CW is coming some time day to visit with us. Oh dear, what should I do? I can't be at 2 places at one time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

More on Our Story

After visiting with the children on Friday, they came to visit us on Saturday, 24th. Again, the visit was much to short. It seemed that they were only here a few minutes.

We had hoped to play in the backyard with the children and show them the goats. The weather was too cool and windy to stay outside very long. Besides the girls were very afraid of all the animals. N followed Dennis around the yard. B and T2 tried to be brave and look at the goats, while F and K soaked up attention from everyone.

On Monday, the 26th, Toyia went and officially told one of the foster moms that we were getting the children. She waived her 10 days. However the other mom wouldn't. So, we would have to wait 10 more days before they could come to stay.

On Friday, Jan. 30th, Tiffany and I drove 2 1/2 hours to somewhere way below Saluda to meet Toyia. On the way Shirley, my sister, called to say that her husband was in the hospital; he had a stroke. I wished I could be with her and also that he would be able to see the children one day. We met on a long lonely stretch of road and piled all the children into our suburban. At first they were very quiet. Then as we got to Saluda they announced they were hungry. With no money or debit card, the only choice I had was to go into a drugstore and buy food with a check. I left T1 in the car with all the kids. When I got back to the car and opened the door, I was nearly knocked off my feet. The smell was terrible. Sweet little F had given us a present. T needed to go to the potty. Oh, so did B. So, we bundled everyone and went for our first adventure. It was crazy. We didn't have diapers for N, who really needed a change. I stayed with the children at the bathrooms, and T1 bought diapers. I changed diapers assembly style. Finally we were back on the road.

At Greenwood, I called and ordered pizza from a place in Abbeville. I went in with only F to get it. I was only gone a few minutes but T1 said it felt like hours. While there I was asked by a 9 year old if F was my baby. When I told her yes, she looked at me and said,"I thought your babies were supposed to come out white." I couldn't help but laugh. Before I could answer her mom told her that color didn't matter. We were all the same on the inside, in our hearts, where God looked at us.

We ate pizza and then went to bed. The rest of the weekend was spent at the emergency room. Several of the children had RSV. Cindy came to my rescue and helped me at the hospital. Because they were sick, the children stayed an extra two days. Dennis and I took them back down and met Toyia.

On Feb. 6, Toyia, called to say she and Vanessa were onthe way with the children. There was only one small glitch. They had lost B. No one knew exactly where she was. My mind went wild. After it took a brief hiatus, I recomposed and prayed that they would find her. Her class was going on a field trip to Columbia. She wasn't supposed to go, but some way she got on the bus.The day was half over before the school got in touch with a teacher, who located her. Because she wasn't supposed to be there, she didn't pack a lunch. She didn't have anything to eat. Dennis and T1 drove like crazy to get to her. It took 4 hours one way. I called her at the daycare after school and reassured her that we were coming. She thought that we had decided she wasn't coming to stay with us. She thought we didn't want her. When Dennis and T1 got there, she still hadn't had anything to eat. They had fast food on the way home. I waited at the backdoor. She looked so little when she came in.

Monday Mornings! Ugh!

Hooray! K didn't cry today when we left her at her class while we were in church. This is a major accomplishment. The new children's section of the church looks fabulous.

My heart still hurts, and I want to cry every time I think about church. We expected support from the people there. Instead, we have met opposition from several close friends. Each one has a different excuse for their "helpful" comments. I don't think they realize how hurtful their words are. I'm not sure they actually know the basis for their concerns. None of them were concerned until we brought our 5 very brown children with us to church.

For the record, we followed Perry's teaching. We didn't just step out of our comfort zone; we jumped. It wasn't an easy decision. There was many times I quit. And just as many times God called me out on it. Doing God's will isn't always easy, but it is much better than being miserable doing my own thing. Satan couldn't stop us with fear, so he is trying to undermine God's plan with His own people, a few of the leaders of our church. GET BEHIND US SATAN! Oh well, they will come around one day. In the meantime, we are basking in the love and kind words of the hundreds of well-wishers that are in the church.

After church yesterday, M, C and T1 kept the kids and let Dennis and I go on a much needed lunch date. We had a blast. After just 2 hours to ourselves, we came home refreshed.

Last night I took the children to visit my mom. Taking 5 small children to visit at a nursing facility is not for the faint of heart, no it is for the weak minded! We stopped at the drug store next to the home and bought juice and pretzels to ward off hunger. The first thing that happened was that juice "just spilted by itself." I cleaned the floor. Mother held the baby and fed her. Then we laid her on the bed and watched her try to crawl. The aids came in and raved about the kids. Of course, that gave the older girls a reason to act silly. Then if I didn't think I had been punished enough for my nice lunch, I took them food shopping. They were very good: I had bribed them with the promise of candy.

We came home changed into nightclothes and went to bed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

School is out today. There is more conflict with B. She simply refuses to submit to authority. The honeymoon is over! I am going to have to dig in my heels. This morning there was fighting and nasty talk upstairs. Of course everyone except B did it. Strange how none of that goes on when B isn't here. She is an instigator.

Nap time is another issue with B here. I don't think she does anything; however, the other two girls try to talk to her and want to get into her bed. B doesn't have to nap. She just has to sit quietly and not keep the others awake. Disobeying that results in having to bring her pillow downstairs and sleep in an empty corner. Needless to say she doesn't usually bother the others during nap. ...She just managed to make a liar out of me. She has been down the stairs 3 times in the last two minutes. I need nap time. It allows me to put myself back together. With everyone quiet, I can read, clean house, wash clothes, or visit my computer. Today I chose the computer.

It is T1's birthday. She is 18! Last week I was pushing her in the stroller and carrying around an apnea monitor. May how time flies. Tonight we go to my oldest child's,M, house. She and my SIL are planning a little party. We are having hot dogs, cake and ice cream. M has to work late so looks like I will be picking up the goodies. The rest of my day is wasted. After nap, we'll have to hurry and dress. Then I'll go to the store for items for the party. Next, we will go pick up Mother if she feels like going to the party. She doesn't drive any longer because her arm is useless and she is always in pain.

Just for the record, there are 3 little girls with their pillows laying in three separate corners of downstairs. Two of them are asleep.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Somedays are like that!

Things have been hectic around here.

Yesterday one of our case workers came for a visit. The weather has been warm, so the children wanted to play outdoors. She came during nap time. The distance she has to travel makes it difficult for her to get here earlier, and she can't get her much later because she has to pick up her own children. She stopped by the school and picked up B about 40 minutes before school was over. We woke the children before she arrived and explained her visit. They get very upset if she arrives unannounced, because they are afraid she is taking them away. B wants to write to her bio mom and ask her some pointed questions. I can't wait to hear the lies! C had been working on T2's hair. Toyia sat down and finished it. She explained the right way to do the little twists. She insisted that C had done a good job. Regardless, the ones she did looks the best. She even redid a few of C's. She stayed and watched the kids play for several hours. I always enjoy her. However, K decided to test the water while she was here. She pushed me several times and ended up sitting in time-out, twice. Toyia didn't seem to mind my discipline method. I refuse to be pushed around by a bossy two year old.

The power was off again yesterday, so we didn't have BBQ last night. It has to cook all day in my crock pot. Instead, I fixed the kids their favorite meal - PBJ sandwiches. After they had eaten, D and I made tacos from leftover taco meat. You should have heard the outcry. I laughed and remind them that they refused to have leftovers earlier. They insisted on PBJ. When will they learn?No power meant that we pickuped and dusted and wiped down the bathrooms. We didn't wash clothes or dishes. No one got baths. The floors didn't get vacuumed. Still, a lot was accomplished.

We keep checking on our goats, especially Cherry, her due date is tomorrow. She doesn't look like she plans to freshen any time soon. She is a prankster. She will look perfectly normal but less than an hour later she will be in full labor and in trouble. She tends to skip all of the pre-labor things we see in most goats and jump straight into the real thing.

N and I were up several times last night with his asthma. B was almost late because I couldn't drag myself out of the bed. I fixed breakfast then realized I hadn't put the roast in the frig to thaw. No BBQ again tonight. But wait! I raced to the store and found a few items I wanted including a Boston butt roast. I had it in the crock pot and cooking by 9:30.

Everyone had to be ready to leave the house by 11:00. T2 had a doctor's appointment and I had forgotten it. Before you say anything, it was on my calendar. But what good is a calendar if you don't read it? T1 had class and no car, so I had to drop her off. It is 15 miles on the other side of town. I had to go to the doctor's office a second time without backup. The first time I only took 2 children. This time I had all 5. It was interesting.

B is having a few issues. She continually analyzes everything I say or do. She tries to point out how unfair things are. For instance, " They already got to go to T1's class and see all her friend's, if they go in today then that will be 2 times." "So, why does that matter?" "Well I will have only been in 1 time. Can't they stay in the car?" Another time it was about the things she wanted: Candy from the $.75 gumball machine, the toy just inside the store entrance, some kind of lotion or beauty product in a neat looking package, a case of Slimfast, a movie, something (anything) Hannah Montana, a ball, a bicycle, a swimming pool toy, a very necessary Barbie, a bright colored outfit, a ball cap, some hair bows, cookies, chips, and some other junk food. Her question was "Why won't you buy me the ONE thing I ask for? Is it because you don't love me?" I wanted to answer, "No, I do love you, however, right now I'd love to choke you." I didn't say that of course. I answered that I didn't have a lot of extra money for all the things she had been asking for. I tried to explain that I was saving extra money for a swing set so everyone would have something nice to play on. That didn't work so I told her that it was my money and I could and would spend it the way I felt was best. Children who continually asked for things didn't usually get anything! She wanted to know why she didn't have her own money. Simple "You don't work!" Just making it through the store was exhausting.

Then home for supper. I had to finish the BBQ, cook the fries, and set the table. Our cousin came to eat with us. Again K tried to dominate the situation by throwing a fit and again she got to sit in timeout. We had ice cream for dessert, every one's fave. I think I crashed after supper. I can't remember much. I hid for a short while then put everyone to bed. I tried sleeping myself. I ended up here, on my computer. I am getting sleepy now. Maybe I can rest.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meeting the Gang

Well, it is after everyone's bedtime and I am having a hard time winding down for the night. So, I'll tell a little more of my story.

As I had said the children were younger and greater in number than we were expecting. That fact meant that we had to buy beds, car seats and an array of supplies. I began to scour the classified ads. I had to have 3 toddler car seats, an infant car seat, and a booster seat that was rated for larger children. Once I found all the car seats, I had to find beds. We had a twin bed, but we definitely didn't have baby beds. I bought 5 different cribs before I got 2 that would work. We actually ended up with an extra toddler bed. Total bed count is 1 twin, 3 toddler, and 2 cribs. We are storing the extra toddler bed for N. The list of supplies seemed endless. I bought, begged and bartered until I thought I had everything.

We got the children's sizes, but were told that they might not be right. I didn't want to spend money on something that might not fit. So, we waited.

The presentation meeting wasn't until after Christmas. We had to drive 2 1/2 hours for the meeting. The dynamics of the meeting is hard to describe. Four different groups were represented. Of course, the prospective parents were there, D and I. The other 3 were part of DSS. We live in one region of our state and the children were from a different region, so case workers from both regions were there. Since they were in foster care the foster care case workers showed as well. Regardless of what we had been told. We were not all wanting the same thing. The CWs from our region were jealous and very negative about everything. The foster CWs were evasive and of little help. They wanted to place the children back with their bio mom. The only ones trying to get us to accept the children were the CWs for their region. The 3 groups growled and postured the entire meeting. We went into the meeting knowing that unless we found out something horrible about the kids, we were taking them. We left with a bad taste in our mouths: not from the kids, from DSS.

We gave them our answer the next morning. Even though they didn't make a good presentation, we felt the children were the ones we had been called to take. Strange, they didn't fit what we thought we wanted. They weren't even free to be adopted. That was a big issue. In the end, we realized that God send these children to us for how ever long they need us. I hope that they can stay forever, but I can't see God's plan so I have to trust that He is in control. We plan to love them while they are here.

The foster CW, Vanessa, and the permanent placement CW, Toyia, couldn't get together on when we got to see the children. Finally, I convinced Toyia to let us see at least the 3 that were in the same foster home. On Tuesday, Jan. 20th we,D, C, Tf, and I, drove 4 hours to visit for 2 hours with only 2 of our 5 children. The foster mom was having problems releasing N. She falsified info to make it appear that he wasn't able to leave her home to come visit with us at the library. We played in a dull, boring meeting room of the county library. They were gorgeous. T immediately called us Momma and Daddy. F smiled and slept. She won our hearts. We went to McD for lunch, no playground, anyway it was snowing and cold, not weather for outside play.

We went home excited and a little sad. We left T crying. She wanted to go with us. The time was too short. Most importantly, we only got to see 2 of the 5 children.

Friday, Jan. 23rd, we drove back again to a different McD. with a playground. There we met B and K. They were as beautiful as their sisters. Both were a bit shy, but C and Tf broke the ice by suggesting they go together to the playground. A short time later, Toyia brought T, N and F. N took to D. N would snuggle into D's shoulder and grin. All 4 of the older girls laughed and played. Too soon our visit was over. There were more tears. This time it was almost impossible to leave them. I worried about how we would manage until we saw them again. I also worried that N's foster mom would try to prevent us from taking him. She could make waves. Enough waves to be a problem. So I prayed for peace.

Time Change Blues

Okay, I get to gripe! Daylight savings time stinks or at least the changing of the clocks does. B wanted an alarm clock so she could get herself up for school. It worked for the last 2 weeks. This morning she was late for school. I forgot about it when I was changing the clocks.

Yesterday, F got up on her knees and pushed her way across the floor. This was a big accomplishment, because when she came to us she didn't move at all.

N just beat up my 21 yr old, C. She was trying to take an ink pen away from him. He hit her with it across the knuckles. She almost cried.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Second Beginning

In August of 2007, I was surfing the net, looking for something about heart disease help in SC. I came across a website called SC Heart Gallery. It was pics of children. After a few minutes I figured out that the pics were of high risk adoptable kids in SC. Dennis came through the house and looked over my shoulder. He pointed to a family of 3 kids and said they were the ones he wanted.That was all I needed. For years I have wanted to adopt, but Dennis had always said no. I had finally given up on the idea. Now, my dream could come true.

Over the next 10 months, we went to classes and filled out papers: lots of papers. There were background checks, home visits, home inspections, and dozens of other things we had to do. By the time we were finished DSS knew more about us than we did. Then we had to wait for DSS to do their paperwork. To say that I am not very patient would be an understatement. Waiting was very difficult. In September 2008, we got our approval. Finally we could be considered as parents for a family of children. We had decided that we wanted a sibling group of 2 or 3 older kids. Once we were approved there was more waiting for someone to decide we fit a family.

The first week of December on a Wednesday night, I talked with God and told Him that I was ready to move forward in whatever direction He chose. See, I had been trying to make something happen. Dennis and I had talked about the fact that adoption may not have been God's idea for our lives as we had thought. I had felt from the beginning that God had called me to take in a family of adoptive kids. But I had set limits on God. That night in December, I turned loose of my dream and reaffirmed my commitment to God's will. I ask that He show me the direction He wanted me to go. I didn't want to waste time on a project that wasn't in His plan.

The next morning around 10 o'clock, Toyia called to tell me about a 10 year old boy. I wanted a child so bad, it was hard to turn him down. But, I knew what God had orginally told me. We were going to adopt a family, not a single. After listening to my explanation, Toyia ask me a few questions, then said she might have a family we would be interested in. She told me there were 4 children, 3 girls and a boy. They were younger than I had expected; the oldest was 7. Dennis and I talked about them and prayed for clear direction. There were more than we had planned, but both of us felt that God was sending this family to us.

We started planning for our new family. All we knew was their ages and genders. Toyia wanted to place them by Christmas, but the county they were in was slow, very slow. We would found out that slow was the only way that county works. We were given names on December 22nd. I had said that I would know if God wanted me to have the child because I would easily be able to remember my children's names. At first I thought that maybe I shouldn't hold myself to that idea, after all there were 5, not 3.

Oh, number 5, was a newborn that wasn't labeled for adoption because a family member was trying to claim her. We were asked to take her temporarily. Okay, back to the story. I never had any problem with their names. Even though they were a long and unusual. I could even spell them. Wow, God always goes the extra mile.

More later. My morning quiet time is now over. I have to start breakfast for my crew.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snowballs and Broken Windows

Sunday was another day of firsts. The first funeral, the first time my whole family has met the kids, the first family dinner, the first big accident, the first snow, the first campout/in.

The children had never been to a funeral. The 1 year old, N, wouldn't be quiet so we went outside of the chapel and played. The 6 month old, F, dirtied her diaper and had to have all her clothes changed. The 2 year old, K, the 4 year old, T, and the 7 year old, B, sat quietly. However T had tears rolling down her face through most of the service. At the end during the closing hymn she began to wail and sob uncontrollably. She has such a tender heart.

The kids captured the hearts of my family. Any fears I had about them being accepted vanished. N held his hands up for everyone to take him. His fat cheeks and thighs were squeezed dozens of times. At the end of the day everyone was exhausted from passing him around. F smiled and cooed. A little baby can win even the hardest hearts. K, T, and B played with my nieces and nephews all day.

The children had never seen so much food, and they tried to consumed as much of it as possible. I finally had to put limits on how much of certain things they could eat. I honestly believe they would still be eatting if I hadn't stopped them.

B won the prize for the most surprising thing of the day. She has only been in the family for 3 weeks, and she managed to do something none of the other kids has done. She broke a window. She sat in my brother-in-law's electric chair and played with the lever. The back of the chair reclined right through the window. She was upset, mainly because she had been told the kids weren't allowed to bother the chair, and she sat in it anyway. Noone knew that the chair would recline if it wasn't on. Now we know! The men rushed to replace the pane. Within a few hours everything was back to normal. No big deal. But, I bet B won't forget it any time soon.

It rained all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Sunday had a mix of rain, sleet and snow. Early afternoon it changed over to snow, giant flakes. It snowed so heavy that before dark the kids could have snowball fights and build a snowman. It was very slushy, but they had fun. Our kids along with some of the adults had never seen snow. We had all ages playing in the first yard. Around 6:00, we decided to go home. It was a treacherous ride. My suburban slipped and slid the entire way; about 15 miles and most of it in the country. There was a few times I was afraid we wouldn't make it. I prayed us home. I just couldn't imagine having to walk with 5 small children in the mega storm after dark.

Not long after getting home we lost power. Everyone camped in the floor in front the fireplace, the only warm place in the house. Our campout/in lasted for 48 hours! Bummer!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Funerals vs. Funeral Homes

Today I had to explain the difference in a funeral and a visitation. Visitation is the time when all our friends come see the body and tell us how much they care about us. While the funeral is when we listen to the preacher and songs. It is our way of saying goodbye to the dead.
To a family of children that have never been socialized, visitation is an excellent time to test my nerves. First, a seven year old,B, was much more interested in the way the dead felt to her touch than the way the living felt about her touching the deceased. The 4 year old,T, wanted attention and tried to obtain it by hanging upside down in a chair. Putting your dresstail over your head gives people a great view of your belly and chest, and gives you the perfect accuse to run into those same people and the furniture in the room. If you don't believe me, just ask my 2 year old,K. The 2 babies, N and F, were passed around the room. It was a challenge for me to keep up with where they were.
Then T asked, "Is he asleep?"
"Is he dead?"
"Can he get up?"
Then she walks away. Suddenly she starts sobbing uncontrollably. The whole thing was too much first her. I scooped her up and got her out of the situation. She finally calmed down allowing me to supervise our exodus. Daddy brought the suburban to the door then carried out one child at a time . Michelle buckled each child into its seat. It is nice to have adult children who help without being asked.
We stopped on the way home for milk. I went in alone. Daddy was brave and stayed with the kids in the car. Everyone was glad when I got back to the car.
No one complained about going to bed. I am going to bed now.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Starting out and Catching up

Wow, I never thought I would become a blogger. Life has become much more challenging the last few months and as a result, I feel the need to journal things. Adding 5 new children to the family has definitely stirred the mix! Feel free to follow me through my daily events, both routine and not-so-routine.

It is time for the rest of my world to wake up, so I'll be getting off soon. Over the next few days I will be transferring my hard copy journal into this blog.

Today's schedule is simple: Breakfast for the masses; a bath for the two-year old who will get up wet (Yes, she is wearing a diaper.); folding clean clothes; starting a meatloaf for supper; packing diaper bags; taking Mother for a CT scan; going to sister's house to be with family; and eventually coming home to eat, play, bathe, and go to bed. It isn't as simple as it sounds. However, it isn't as stressful as some people try to make it.