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, 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.