Tuesday, November 30, 2010

General review on all our adopted kids....

I posted this on our adoption board, combining the different threads of different adoptions into one.  We really are one family now.  Usually kids don't even fight along pre-adoption lines.   I decided to move it over here with some editing.   I want people to know that adoption is hard, but it is so rewarding.   Here is a re-cap of our lives and our kids.

We have had the boys almost a year. We are 22 days shy. I see so much change in both of them. D11 is such a willing child. He learns a chore and most of the time does it without being told. He checks the dog and cat feed almost without fail. He loves the cats! He keeps the pool full. Yesterday he was first finished with school. I remember when he did nothing but school, or sit and not do school. Now most days he is done in a timely manor. Often he will work ahead and have only one or two for the next day. I do find his loving cats interesting. He had never been around cats before coming here. At first he would pet them, but when he carried them he would hold them at arms length so they wouldn't scratch him. Now he will have more than one in his arms cuddled. As to cat scratches, "They don't hurt to bad." so he has told me. He has overcome so many fears. He learned to swim enough to swim across the pool, 20 ft, not well but enough to not drown. He couldn't sit on the steps and blow bubbles to start with.   He has went from being afraid of the stock to playing with them. He loves on the milk cows and the calves are fun to teach to lead. He use to be afraid of the dark. He would not play outside after dark if he had to get out from under the guard light. Now I have to call all of them in from parts unknown. He is also becoming a baby lover. He went from not being able to carry a child without looking like he would drop it to toting 1 yo around like a pro.

Then there is D8. While he has grown and learned so much self control we still battle lots of ODD actions. I still say he probably has the highest IQ of any of my children. He has never been able to complete an IQ test so his test scores show borderline MR. Yesterday was a good example of ODD. He had the job of picking up toys in the living room and sweeping. Not a hard job. There were maybe 8-10 toys total scattered around, which at our house is nothing. He couldn't "see" more than half of them. I just smiled and told him to have a seat on the stool. I was sure sitting would improve his eye sight. The toys he couldn't see were about 6-12 inches from his feet. He started assuring me he could see them now. I wasn't moved. He was parked. He didn't yell and scream, he didn't cuss, he did state he didn't want to sit. I went on with life around him. We chatted about choices and why he didn't do his job correctly. He admitted he wanted to make me mad. I ask how it worked out. "It didn't!" ah to bad so sad. After being parked a few hours while school was being done, others chores were done he was given the chance to again do his chores and school. He hopped down, gathered ALL the toys and did a good job (for an 8 yo) of sweeping. Then he did his school. He did have a redo in history. He didn't read the lesson. Once he had to read the lesson out loud to me, he made a good grade. He played the rest of the day. He comes in talking about how much fun he is having. I use this to talk about choices again and how good choices make him have more fun. I do think slowly it is soaking in.
Other kids are adjusting and changing and growing daily.  We have had them almost 6 years.   MJ is working hard at helping his brother with the 18 wheeler and all that goes with that. Yesterday they replaced a mud flap. Today they are going to take a part a pick-up belonging to son's BIL. The timing chain is broke. Nope none of them have ever replaced one, but with the help of Google and mechanic friends they plan on it. Then they will spend the evening/night hauling livestock. I doubt they will be home tonight. Older son says MJ is making a great hand. He doesn't jump in and help until he understands well, which can be frustrating, but once he has it down he does a great job. Last night he skinned a deer all by himself. He and older son had went hunting and got this deer. MJ ask to do it. I did laugh at older son as it was driving him nuts not helping. I said welcome to my world!

MN has been struggling with lying, sneaking  and cheating again. She is 13. I "think, pray, hope" we have that back under control. I know it is a part of puberty with these kids. I know I know I know! I still don't like it! Her world has again been made very small by her choices. She seems to accept this and is working to regain trust. We will see. I struggle to trust her again. I ask for prayer for both of us to establish a good relationship again..

T is still busy! She will be 10 in a few days. She is walking close to disobedience in lots of ways. Skirting the edges of back talking and not doing things she should. She is still working over a year ahead in school. It is 8:30 and she is done with school today, with all good grades. Part of her problem is she is super smart and has to stay challenged. She loves to cook and is a good cook.  She has decided to write a book.  It will give her something to do. Over all I would say she is a very well adjusted adoptee.

S is living in AR.  I see her on Facebook along.  I hear through the grapevine she is expecting her first child in the spring.   I pray often for her and her child.   Grapevine has it she sleeps on various couches until she either gets mad or wears her welcome out.   My heart hurts for her and her child.  I struggled over Thanksgiving, as one of the reasons we decided to adopt an older OLDER teen was so they would have a home to come back to when they aged out of the system.   She could use every one's prayers.  
We made it through a holiday with little or no fall out! In my world this is amazing.  One reason we do school year around and take very short breaks is because when we do otherwise the fallout may last for weeks.   Monday, after a week off from school and a holiday went well! This is such a feat in this house. We have always had issues after time off from school. I always dread vacations and holidays because of the junk on Monday after. It is nice to see they are growing past that. Over all I would say our home is no more crazy than most homes that have 5 kids in them that are bio. Most days there are more than 5 kids. Today I have 2 yo grandson. I have him 1-3 days a week while mommy does bookwork. Then most days DIL, 1 and 3 yo come over for a while. Our home pulses with life!  I wouldn't trade it. 

Today is the last day of National Adoption Month.  I challenge everyone to have an adoption story 11 months from now.  Maybe not that you have adopted, or are waiting on kids, but how you helped an adoptive family or foster family.   Step out of your comfort zone.  When you look at their life remember it may not be the life they thought they were signing up for.   I often re-read and think about this statement off another blog.
Christ’s love leads us into places that no one else wants to go, where the stench and the mess and the heartache push out the well-dressed and the well-behaved.
Some days this statement so fits where we are in our walk.  It is filled with heartache.  It isn't what we signed up for, but it IS our reality today.   Those days I cling to the fact I serve a God bigger than any and all of my kids issues.  I know He is the God that heals. I know He is my rock.  Some days I just cling, some days I fight for healing for my kids.  Either way I can't do it without God and those He sends to help me.  I ask you to be reach out and be a God sent helping hand to someone today that needs a hand. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Photos

Really just photos of the season. 
This happens to be one of my favorite pictures.   Why?  Because less than 6 years ago this young man who looks so much like a daddy in this picture was a shell of a little boy.  Now he is a baby toter. As you can see the grand kids LOVE him.  He just sit down there to visit and in a few minutes he had kids all over him.  H just visited and let them climb, like a good daddy. 
 I kept grand kids Wed. night.  Thursday morning this sweet grandson woke up at 4:30.   I finally just took him to the couch and we cuddled and rested.  After I needed to get my day he kept napping and soaking on the couch.  Doesn't he look like he is ready to start his day?
 I thought she looked so cute here I had to snap. 

 Fruit salad!   See the big red bowl?  We filled it with fruit of various kinds. 
 Every one got in the act!  If they weren't chopping they were begging!
 Getting snacks lined out.  We had a veggie/olive/pickle tray out here besides grandmothers dip and trash. 

 After all the eating Dad held down the rocking chair a while.  Seriously overeating happened around here yesterday.  Several were holding down chairs.  The ones that weren't were small and maybe working on sugar overloads.  
Eating has already started today around here.  We had leftovers for breakfast.   We will have leftovers for lunch, supper, mid-morning snack, mid-afternoon..... and any other time I hear "I'm hungry" until they are ate!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Doing Nothing..........

I am training kids.  They are busy while I just sit back and supervise. 

 Tortilla roll ups!!! Mmmmmm D11 had never made them or tried them.  He is hooked!

Hanging out with grandson is my job.... Grand daughter was napping when most of this was happening.   I am proud of the kids that they are able to do.  
I do admit it is HARD not doing it all, but stepping back and letting them do with advice along.  I do know that they learn best doing.  They are doing awesome

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting Ready!

DIL had green chilies to peel.  She has worked and worked on them.  She still hasn't even gotten them all peeled. 
 Then there were those crumbling bread for dressing.   As always I ended up with more bread and cornbread than I needed.  NO I am not making two pans!  One pan is plenty big!
 On to peeling sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.  I baked them this morning and MN and grandson were working hard to get them peeled.   We did discover we didn't have marshmallows for that pan full.   I called DH and let him know if he wants them topped he needs to get some marshmallows.  I would guess I will have some. 
 All the hard work tuckered out this 3 yo.  He assured me as I was putting both boys down that he wasn't sleepy.  I agreed with him that was fine.  He didn't have to nap, just rest.   He was the first one asleep!  
I do think he ended up falling off the bed.  

Pies and tortilla roll ups tomorrow!  Anyone need a place to have Thanksgiving?   Give me a call!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random busyness

 Life has been busy around here. Lots of getting ready for Thanksgiving happening. Then you add two loads of hay that had to be unloaded then moved to where we wanted it.

If that wasn’t enough going on DIL and DD’s stripped a friends green chilies for him. He had covered them to get them through a couple of frost, but his words, “It’s time.” So they picked, and picked and picked. They brought home TWO produce crates worth of green chilies, ONE of red and 2 large bowls of assorted other peppers. Those all need roasting or drying or otherwise taken care of.

Today they spend a large part of the day roasting chilies. They have ONE crate roasted and ready to peel. Oh did I mention I bought a box of green chilies? I ordered them BEFORE they got the free ones. So we have those to roast also.

We made trash today and yesterday. I didn’t get any pictures. We did two batches. I wonder how much will be left for Thanksgiving if I allow them to eat all they want. Even granddaughter is into eating trash. We were laughing as it is sort of spicy. Yet she will eat it and eat it and eat it.

Produce order was HUGE.  Most people complain that their frig is over full the week before Thanksgiving, but for me to say it gives you an idea of just how full,  full is.

Other pictures are grand kids just being kids.  Don’t you love the “baby” in the stroller?   He pushed that kitty all over the house that day.   He did a really good job of not crashing him into things even.    He is really pretty careful, much more cautious than his cousin.  Then there is his younger GIRL cousin.  She is busy and seems to find herself stuck in lots of situations that the adults find humorous and that only adds to her frustration as we grab a camera instead of helping her out.  We do help her out, but not until she has been photographed.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inviting Military...

Yea!  Looks like that is going to happen this year!   We have tried before.   The problem has been that we need to pick-up and deliver it wouldn't work.   Dh and I were both up to our eyes in getting ready.  Ds has offered to be the taxi service.    So the count looks something like this:
9 for sure Yes
1+4 pretty sure.  We invited one he ask if could bring some friends he is ministering too.  
10-12 military
2 adult sons and families = 8
our house = 7
Lets see can I add that much?   I may have to take my shoes off!

Wow, close to 40!!!!   Maybe we won't have leftovers for a month, only a week with that many!  OK more like 2 weeks.

I do need to get more cornbread and biscuits made.   Maybe I will do that tomorrow.   Or DIL and I can both do.  She does good cornbread!  

I decided on my fruit salad bowl this year.  Normally I use a big blue bowl.   Make a circle with your arms joining hands and that is about how big the top of the bowl is.   We always run out of fruit salad first!   I have these really pretty plastic "tubs".  I bought them on clearance this summer.  I am guessing they are 2-3 gallon size.   I will use one of them, maybe both!  

I really can't see changing any of my other amounts.   I had decided to make more fruit salad before I found out about the military. 

I do have to get my dressing on much earlier.  I have issues with getting it done.   I may borrow my DIL's oven for some of the easier things like sweet potatoes or even rolls, provided I get around to making rolls. Half the time that doesn't happen.   There is so much other stuff no one misses them. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Ready!

Excitement is starting to creep in here.  Kids can't seem to think of anything but next week.  I don't know if it is the lack of school are all the cooking that has them excited.   We decided to again try and invite some military personal this year.  I hope it works out.  We only have about 8-10 extras besides grown kids and their kids.  So a very small crowd if we don't do something.  

I think we will make party mix over the weekend.  Maybe Sat. afternoon/evening.  I really want to go to the flea market on Sat. Maybe after we get home I can toss it together.  It is more time consuming than work.   I make a HUGE roast pan full.  To stir it I dump it from one roaster to another.  When I say huge think free standing roaster to full to stir.  

I have my list of to do printed off for next week.   It really should go easy since so many willing hands know how to help.  Even DIL is going to be home to "help" this year.  

Tomorrow we go buy the last minute things.  Friday is produce.  I tried to make it simple by ordering things like a case of oranges, apples, bananas, pears, eggs .... but drew the line at a case of celery!  YUCK!  I will get turkeys on Friday when we get produce.  Little grocery store has them for .49 a lb.   That isn't great but will work.   I have learned that they seldom put the BIG turkeys out.  I will just tell someone in the meat dept. that I want the two largest turkeys they have stashed away.  I think we have one or two in the freezer.   We will bake one or two and fry one or two.   MMMM if you haven't ever had fried turkey you are missing something great!    Then get a honey glazed ham to have as a side.   Simple!  

On another note I am amazed at how my little girls are becoming young women.  This morning T made yummy banana muffins and watched grand son while I put hay out for stock.   Remember this isn't a mix. This is grinding the wheat, soaking the oats and so forth.   No mix for her.   She is now busy making bubbles for her and grandson to go play. 

MJ after a few days of lagging on school got his act together and caught his school up.  He was off again to work with his older brothers.    I have been assured he is making an awesome hand.   I think it is just older son doesn't have to trailer crawl when MJ is along.  I did notice his boots are about gone.  Oh the joy of working in poop!  it eats the soles of the shoes up or the sewing/glue.   If he isn't working tomorrow we will boot shop.  I am not looking fwd to that either!  He is HARD to buy for.

Last night we got a load of hay.  It looks to be awesome hay.  I thank God for it.   I was scheduled to unload it, but skid steerer tire was flat.  I am extremely grateful as this hay was double stacked and each bale weighed about 1200 lbs.   DH had to come home to fix the tire and unload it.  He would "flip" a bale off it would land with a thud RIGHT beside the skid steerer.  Not for the faint hearted!!!  Not for me!!!  I told both DH and DS I would have taught the driver a new way to unload if it had been left to me.  The put it in reverse and accelerate, then slam on the brakes.   Hey it would have gotten most of them off.  Then I could have handled the ones left! 

Guess it is time to get back to the real world and see what else I can accomplish. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finding what You need...

Some times it is the little things where God really shows up.  Yesterday I wanted to take a journal idea and put it on the computer, but I needed/wanted a template to do it.  I wanted it set up just so.  I knew in my head how to do it.  I looked at the templates on my computer.   Couldn't find something to tweak.  Then I went on line.  Kept looking and looking.  Downloaded several but non were "right'.  I thought OK, I'll just make one!   That said I opened up a word page and ............sat there!  I had no idea how to do it.  So I read and studied and came across something called  Office One Note.   Hummm I have that on my 'puter.  I have never messed with it.  Don't even have a clue what it is.   In reading it sounds like what I want. 

I opened it up and wow!  It is neat!   Think of a small file cabinet on your computer with manila folders, each labeled and filed just waiting for you to pull it out and jot down notes in it.  It was EXACTLY what I wanted!  

All I had to do was name the file cabinet: Prayer Journal.   I then named the file folders with the days of the week plus one for daily and one for answered prayers.  That done I added a note in each folder of what I was to pray for that day.   On the day I pray for family I added pages for each family member.   It is really cool!   On the daily I made two columns.  One for my prayers then a narrow one to challenge me to list 5 things each day I am grateful for. 

If you have Office One Note on your computer and haven't ever played in it.  It is really a cool program.  You don't even have to 'save' as it does it for you.   It is a really neat way to organize things.    I wish the idea could be moved to Word to keep all my files that seem to end up scattered here and there on the doc. section of my computer.  There may be a way to do it.  I just have to find the time to "play".  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Field Trip!

Today we went on a wonderful field trip.  It wasn't far from home either!  It is the Barrows Museum.

We went with some friends.   It was a lot of fun.  There were REAL train cars to climb on.

 And IN!!!

 A gentleman came while we were there showing his work.   He uses a wood burner to burn on cowhide amazing pictures.  
 Yes this IS cowhide!  

 He also does toothpick miniatures.   This is all done with toothpicks!  

 Then we went on with the "normal" part of the museum.   This is sand art.   The whole bottle isn't 3 inches tall!

 This jar was maybe 5 inches tall.

 They also had some nice longhorn cows to show the place off.  
This museum consist of a residence, and three HUGE barns of neatly organized stuff.  It is STUFF, not junk.   Lots of educational things for any age.   It would make a great field trip.  They have picnic tables so you could come an spend several hours looking.  It really isn't for tiny children as there is LOTS and LOTS of breakable stuff. 


Just for Cowgrannie........
 She is going to be a drama queen!   This HORRIBLE face is because Granola cleared her throat or some other way of saying no without even using the word.  I may have shook my head even.   :) She has major meltdowns complete with real tears and lots of screams.  Yes, she was heading from the stool to the wheat bucket when I ruined the party.

We have some really sweet keeper kittens.   This chair reflects their temperament.  Any cat that can sleep in this house that comfortable much less three of them is pretty calm. 
 This is Mite, he is tiny, well he use to be tiny, now he is just small.  He is also sweet.  He is asleep in my hands. 
 I need to get a picture of his face.  It is quite unusually marked.