Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Language Acquisition Funny

Jimmy still doesn't quite get the nuances of language and often makes mistakes when attempting to use idioms. One of his errors this afternoon made Bart and I both laugh out loud.

I somehow hurt my back this morning, so I was having Bart rub some Ben Gay on my lower back. Jimmy came in our bedroom (which is grand central station whenever we're both in there) and said, "What are you doing, Dad?"

"Rubbing lotion on Mom's back. Want to help?"

Jimmy replied, "I think I'll pass out on that one, Dad."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Hell Meltdown Report

Yesterday was one of the better "holidays" we've had here, although it wasn't really on a holiday and I had to work incessantly in order to uphold a positive emotional tone. I had almost everyone on board with me except for Tony who was provoking everyone. Salinda was faking it but mostly just avoiding us for part of the day.

Dominyk of course had one major meltdown and Salinda and I had a big blow up. Leon actually was sobbing because Tony finally pushed him over the edge and it took him a long time in his room alone to recover. Sadie spent 30 minutes of the evening crying over trying to decide whether she should go to her friends or stay home. Tony burst into tears at the end of the day feeling mistreated which I was having a hard time being sympathetic about since he had been so awful all day.

So, if only 5 of the 11 children cried on a holiday, is that a success or a failure?

We did manage to get a picture of the kids taken. This is everyone who was home plus Kyle's girlfriend.

We did it though. We survived.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Off to a Rough Start

I'm going to attempt to stay away from the computer today and focus on making this a good holiday. WE don't usually have them, but I thought I'd at least try.

This morning did not start well as I made a few not so wonderful choices that led to a blow up with Salinda. Hopefully we'll both try to make it be a good day. I may explain later, but right now I'm feeling a little embarrassed by my behavior (and no, I didn't do anything reportable to CPS). ;-)

So hopefully at days end you will see pictures and hear stories of a day that we were able to pull together with sheer willpower. That's my goal. At least at this point nobody but she and I know how bad the morning was, so that should help.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One Day Gone but Trouble Brewing

Trouble is brewing for tomorrow. Salinda is not going to get her way like she wants it and so she is going to punish us. It has already started. The plan was always for her boyfriend to come back with us and have dinner here tomorrow until somehow they decided he didn't want to. Now she is desperate to get back up there and I explained to her that if he wasn't coming I was not going to leave the rest of the family to take her up to his house tomorrow. She's now regretting returning with us to have Thanksgiving with our family even though we all went up to her boyfriends for dinner to please her.

She is a perfectionist and cannot handle disappointment very well. It's frustrating when she is so mature 90% of the time that when she isn't getting what she wants she has such a fit. Tonight she went above and beyond the call of duty by helping in the kitchen but she did it silenty, with her hoodie over her head, earbuds in her ears, ignoring us. Even when she's doing something good she has to try to make people feel bad.

I'm not sure it's really very personal. She just really has not acquired the ability to get over disappointment without having a sullen fit. We will all do our best tomorrow to override her negativity, but it will be difficult.

At what age to girls acquire the ability to be gracious when not getting their way? Or is it a personality thing more than a maturity issue?

Those of you who are experts on teenage girls, what is it?

Looks like we Made It

All things considered it was a good day. We forgot to take pictures -- I gave that responsibility to Salinda and I guess she forgot to take them. But everyone was well behaved, appropriate. The food was delicious. The potential recipe for disaster was nothing like one. I believe everyone had a fairly good time and enjoyed the meal.

Now we get to do it again tomorrow. Except that it will be here so therefore less stressful, hopefully. Although Dominyk has been home for 20 minutes and has been chanting how bored he is over and over and over again. If he keeps this up it is going to push me over the edge... of course, he's been chanting that for years and I'm still hanging on precariously by a thread.

I'm getting really close to having everything done for my part of the book, which feels really good. I've had a few things hanging around and it's nice to get them cleaned up. I'll be glad to be done.

So Far, So Good

I can't believe we're being as brave as we are today. Never before would we have tried such a feat -- getting everyone up and ready and heading to someone's house for dinner that we don't know very well. The whole thing is a potential recipe for disaster.

It took us a while to figure out how to do Thanksgiving this year. We knew that getting everyone together on the day itself would be difficult as Salinda would want to be with her boyfriend's family and Kyle would want to be at his girlfriends family. I was planning to convince Bart to be practical and move our Thansgiving to Friday to accommodate the significant others, present and future, but messing with my husband and tradition really isn't wise, so I tried to keep my mouth shut as long as possible. The whole situation was brought to a head a couple weeks ago when Salinda's boyfriend's mom suggested we all come there for dinner. She was very excited about the idea, but i KNEW Salinda would not be.

I spent the weekend convincing Bart we could do things that way and making a plan that seemed like it might work. I finally had him on board when Salinda came home and made it very clear she didn't think it would be a good plan. Finally I talked her into it as well and began to talk to the mom to finalize plans.

We're heading there (about an hours drive) -- the six who can act like decent human beings in social settings 90% of the time going with me early to help with dinner and the three who can't act like decent human beings in socisl settings 90% of the time going with Bart. He will spend only the time it takes to eat there and plan to escape with the more challenging children as soon as one of them can't hold it together any longer. The rest of us will stay and help clean up and spend a few hours in the afternoon there.

Then tomorrow we'll have Kyle and his girlfriend here and Salinda and possibly her boyfriend.

John is here and has been doing very well. It's fun having him here when he is calm and not agitated at all. He's doing great.

So far this day has gone very well. Of course, Bart and I and one other child are the only ones awake, so that helps. ;-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dominyk Simply is Not Ecumenically Minded

Over the past several years, Dominyk has proven that he is not ecumenically minded whatsoever. He complains every time we have to go to a service at a different church. And he's got disparaging remarks about every other denomination.

Tonight we were heading to the Thanksgiving service and he said, "I bet they are going to let those Catholics and Lutherans in this nice Christian church."

And I responded with a sigh, "Catholics and Lutherans are Christians Dominyk."

We really don't teach our kids this stuff. I promise.

A Very Quiet Morning

Bart and Salinda have left. She will drive the car to Rochester to pick up John and bring him home for a few days. NObody else is awake but I have been for a couple hours. I'm enjoying time to myself.

I'm working on writing the last few chapters of the book that is currently being edited. I'm almost done with one and will be hopefully getting another one written this morning.

Holidays are nice because a lot of people aren't working and that means less work for me. I'm hoping to get caught up with my work stuff over the weekend and start fresh on Monday.

Hopefully we'll have a better day today than yesterday. Usually our holiday hell has one bad day followed by good ones. Maybe yesterday we got it over with. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Three in One Day

And yet again, Bart blogged. Three times today!

This is what Happened This afternoon

Bart blogged about it. I didn't feel like it, but he is a pretty honest guy.

God Comes Through Again

On our way to school every day we see a girl who has a crutch. She is African and she walks about 8 blocks, dragging one leg behind her. It is getting colder and I am surprised every time I see her out there. However, I do not know her nor her parents and I would feel funny just offering a ride.

The other day I went OFF on the ride to school with the kids that were in the van. I went on and on about how I didn't understand how people could drive by day after day and see her walking in the cold. I said that if I ever saw her again that I would go into the school and find out if the school would contact per parents to offer them my number so that I could call her.

Tonight I went to watch Ricardo and Leon pin their opponents very quickly at the wrestling match and this particular girl and three of her friends were sitting in the entry way to the school and were looked a little dejected. They asked if they could borrow my phone. I let them use it. They were expecting a ride. Finally they didn't reach anyone and I told them that I would be in the wrestling room if they needed to use my phone again.

AFter the match they were still sitting there and so I offered to give them a ride.... to the one girls house. But when we got there, she couldn't have friends over, so I ended up taking them all home -- four different houses, four parts of town.

But the cool thing was that I could casually say, "If I ever see any of you walking again without a ride, I'll pick you up, OK?"

And now it won't be awkward.

Isn't God Cool?

We Needed a Little Good News Today

Read it on Bart's Blog.

Somedays the Blog Entry Just Doesn't Take Priority

This morning was not a good one. Salinda overslept again while I was trying to get everyone to school and work. She was very not-nice to me the whole way to school. I forgot to give Dominyk his medication and he had to do his school conference unmedicated. I'm emotionally exhausted from several work situations and didn't handle the stress well, making me crabby at lunch.

So let's just say my blogging didn't get done.

I was going to mention though, that Dominyk was complaining that his crotch hurt. He asked if I thought it might be dandruff.

I've been asking myself all kinds of interesting questions since then. Anybody have any answers?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Starting the Day Right but Then Again

I did make it to the Y at five and that always makes me feel better about things. However, the news on the scale was quite bad.

You know they say, "It took a long time to put on the weight, it will take a long time to lose it?"

They lied.

This is a Must Read

We have a friend named Tom who may or may not wish to be associated with me or this blog, but oh well. (Kidding, Tom). We met Tom and his wife as we were moving here and they were in the adoption process. You can read about their family story on this blog post. They go to our church and as time goes by they have proven to be excellent parents. Tom has risen to the occasion of being an instant Dad to a couple of teen/preteen girls and has amazed me.

Not only that, but Tom writes for an agricultural magazine. I am so very proud of him for the article that he wrote there that is online as of yesterday. He has received quite a bit of criticism, as you can imagine, from local farmers who don't exactly share his views.

But the reason I am so impressed is that Tom is doing what he can for the cause of adoption where he is ... even if it is an unlikely place. He articulates his views and does so professionally and clearly.

Sometimes you are just glad to be part of someone's life. And Bart and I feel that way about Tom and Chantill and their girls We're proud to know them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Conversations We Have

After lunch today several of us were in the living room just hanging out. Ricardo, while winning every match at wrestling yesterday, pulled a muscle in his back so I was rubbing medicated rub into his shoulders. I mentioned he needed more medicine and Bart misunderstood me. He asked Ricardo

Bart: "You think you might be pregnant?"

Ric: "No, dad. You're stupid."

Sadie: "Well, boys can get a sex change."

Bart: "Yes, but even if you are transgendered, you can't have a baby. You have to have a uterus. And Ricky, you don't have a uterus, so you can't have a baby."

Dominyk: Do I have a uterus?

Bart: No, dominyk you don't. I don't even have one.

Jimmy (accusingly, and not having a clue what one is): Sadie, I bet YOU have one!

Doing Things Differently

Salinda has been spending her weekends at her boyfriends house. The whole concept bothers me on many level and a few years ago if you would have asked me I would allow this, I would have said under no uncertain terms that it would be ridiculous.

However, here are some reasons why this is working very well:

1) There are a lot of very good things about the family and Salinda seems to be spending more time with his mom than she is with him while she is there. Salinda needs a good female role model of her own race and this mom is doing an excellent job of providing her guidance.

2) Salinda does not have any good friends here in our town. And as much as I would like to encourage her to go out and make some, she doesn't have my personality and I'm not sure she knows how. When she doesn't go to his house on weekends, she gets bored and often sinks to the level of returning to old friends. It never goes well.

3) She is very helpful and productive up there. The mom has her engaged in several projects and when she is here she often spends most of her time watching law and order reruns, although lately she has been working for us to earn money to buy Christmas presents.

4) She is genuinely grateful to me for helping provide transportation. I think she is figuring out that I am doing it because I love her and she is slowly accepting that gift.

5) But most importantly, the 45 minutes to an hour we spend on the way up there has been awesome the last two or three weeks. Salinda is an introvert and does not make conversation easily. She is not going to seek me out in our house and try to get my attention away from those more demanding. Her schedule the last three weeks has been such that we have not been able to make time for just the two of us, and so we don't talk much. She writes me notes, but usually she avoids the chaos that surrounds me. But when we are driving she has started to open up.

Back in the day when she was angry all the time, we would travel somewhere and she would give me the silent treatment. She would purposefully fall asleep and not say a word. Now she chats the whole way and I learn more about her life than ever before

Sometimes doing things differently pays off. It may not fit into what would be listed in the "best parenting" books, but it works.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Taking it Personally

It's one thing to know about a social issue, and it is another thing to take it personally.

All my life racial jokes bothered me. I never understood racism, and hearing racist people make disparaging comments bothered me. But now, it's completely different. Wwhen I hear someone talking about "those dirty Mexicans" they are talking about MY children. When they refer to Central American immigrants who come to take our jobs, they're talking about MY children, When they mention those "mixed race people" they're talking about MY son. When they tell jokes or make slurs about Asians or Hispanics or Blacks, those are MY kids.

All my life I've heard about abused and neglected children. I've heard about how they are treated and I was bothered on a surface level by something that should be different in our world. But when I started reading case files of MY kids, then it became infuriating, devastating, heart breaking to realize what adults can do to children.

All my life I've been opposed to alcohol use. I've seen what it can do to people. But until I have watched what it has done to MY children -- as they have been abused at the hand of a drunken parent, it was just a challenge that we faced as a society. Until I saw what alcohol has done to damage the brains of MY sons when they were in the womb, women drinking during pregnancy was just an unfortunate social issue.

All my life I've been confused by the welfare system and wondered why people had to receive social services. Until MY son who is 20 years old started holding down a full time job at minimum wage. His check covers his cell phone, gas, car insurance and car repairs. Sometimes I force him to buy new work clothes, but otherwise he spends no money. And he is in debt. Then all the sudden I understand that society needs to do a better job of providing for those who cannot get a college education and that maybe they ARE working hard. And I start talking to him about a second job.

All my life I've known that IQ is not something we choose and that there are those who are lower functioning. But when I discovered that one of MY sons has an IQ below 70 and will have services for life but another son has an IQ of 80 and will never be able to live independently but will never receive services, I begin to wonder if maybe we are not approaching things correctly.

All my life I've known that foster care is not a place for children and that sometimes counties make decisions that aren't always in the best interest of children. But when MY son is pulled out of a wonderful residential facility where he was making great progress only to be put in a foster care placement for 3 weeks until it blew up -- and then put in juvenile detention for a week that turned into 5 months because there was no place else to put him -- then it becomes a travesty.

All my life I've known that there are individuals who are not treated well when they are incarcerated. I have known that the guards distance themselves from those they are guarding and that it is not a great environment. But when my husband overhears them saying that they hope MY son goes to prison it becomes very painful.

All my life I've wondered why society isn't more rehabilitative and why there aren't more programs for people leaving jail, but when MY son is discharged at 6:00 a.m. and has no place to go, it's suddenly a much more significant issue.

I could go on for hours with examples. But one of the ills of society is that those with the brains, the money, the education, the experience to make a difference in the lives of those who are marginalized are distanced enough from the problems that they don't need to get involved.

Adoption is one way that this gap is bridged. But in the midst of parenting our children and the time and energy that takes, we often aren't sure where to begin. But now that we've taken it personally, we have to do something.

Another Day, Another Trip to Dunn Brothers

I've decided to give Bart the gift of a morning alone. As an introvert, he just loves spending time in the house by himself. Rand has to work this morning and everyone else will be in school and it is Bart's day off. So I'm going to go to the coffee shop and work. I need the break from my office anyway and I'm hoping to get a lot done. Besides, he's planning on making me a nice lunch, His food is better than anything you can buy at any restuarant....

We have a crazy week coming up and need to make some plans as to how we'll get everything done. Everyone seems to have their own coming and going plans.

I'm off to awaken the children...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Stayed Up Late for This....

and it was well worth it.

Bart just finished blogging again.

Dominyk's New Obsession

Dominyk's new obsession is Leon and Wilson and how they are ruining his life. I can tell you, this is NOT going well for me. I am not being a good parent.

Some days I feel guilty for having brought them into our mess. They are really great boys without issues, and they have been thrown into a difficult situation. They really don't do anything to provoke Dominyk and yet he won't stop yelling at me for how I always protect them and don't care about him, etc. etc. etc. The challenge is that the boys really aren't doing anything to him, and so I have to defend them when they are not in the wrong and he is accusing and attacking them.

This morning I didn't handle it well at all.

And I feel like a bad parent.

my husband makes me cry

he will you, too I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First Time for Everything

We now have a child in Prison. That's a first. Jail we've done. Juvenile detention many times.

But never prison.

Until now.

Bart tells the story here.

Why do I only have 20 Followers?

On the side bar I added the "followers" option and only 20 people say they are following my blog. I know more of you read it than that. Wanna be a Claudia Follower?

Wow, does that sound egotistical or what?????

Not Making the Best Choices

I am so thrown off by the cold weather and trying to establish a decent schedule that I'm not sure what to do. I decided not to try to go to the Y at 5 because it is so cold, but when I don't go I am crabby and irritable in the morning. This morning, I found out I have a conference call at 9, so I told myself I would go to the Y at 8:15, but then figured it wasn't worth it. Came home and now I'm unshowered, have not worked out, and am crabby. So, to make myself feel even worse, I had burger king for breakfast. Hey, it was right there. YMCA or Burger King? Who's gonna choose the Y?

I have to figure out a way to get back on track. I need an intervention.

When things are going OK with the kids I get a little messed up. Isn't that weird? It's like I'm so used to stress that when we don't have much I get derailed.....


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Telling someone with attachment disorder that they have to meet move is always harder on the people telling the child than the child themselves. I had to do this today.... with a preteen girl. She seemed quite unshaken by the whole experience. She's ready to move forward already, no pain.... at least that she's sharing.

However, she said something very telling. I was telling her that I understood that she was probably frustrated that she never got to make any decisions about her life. I explained that it must be hard. Someone in the room asked her, "Is it hard?"

and she responded, 'Of course. I BELONG to the STATE."

The tone in her voice told the whole story. Who wants to belong to the government? It is almost as though under the surface she was saying, 'I don't even care who I belong to any more. Belonging to almost anybody would be better than belonging to the state."

I couldn't agree with her more.

Parent Portal

The schools new system is up and running for parents to check missing assignments.

I can't imagine how families with more kids than I have are able to keep up. It seems overwhelming to me.

And all the sudden these kids who "have no homework" are going to be surprised when they don't have computer or TV privileges until they get caught up.

It's going to be a long week.

A Day for the Little Things

I have to leave this afternoon for a couple of family visits, but first I have so many little things to do......

I have been working on some major projects for work lately and I have been neglecting the little things, so I think today I will dedicate myself to them.

I'm making a list of them now and going to try to just click them off one by one....

In addition to one big thing I have to do....

For those of you interested, our support group meets tomorrow. Click here for details. Email me to let me know you're attending.

Hope to see people there!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bathroom by Dominyk

Dominyk took a bath last night and then went to bed without saying goodnight. When I went into the bathroom these are the almost frightening shots I found.

Now before you get all carried away with thoughts of calling Child Protection, it's not as bad as it seems. He loves to multitask his bowel movements and because of his OCD he has a shower or a long bath after every one to make sure that his butt is clean. So the bathroom is a big part of his life -- usually spends two or three hours in there a day. And I believe it has become his favorite place to play. Nobody can come in and bother him (though they do pound on the door often) and it's a small enough space and well confined -- I think he enjoys that. I'm not sure why he felt the curtain needed to come down completely last night, but I try not to use the word "why" and the name of any of my children in the same sentence.

I am not alarmed by his habits, but I have to admit that having Clark Kent stare up at me while I was taking care of my own business was a little bit alarming, especially when it appears that he was being hung by some kind of rope.

I have joked that he is a sociopath but really he's not. Just don't look at our bathroom for evidence to prove otherwise.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nobody's Cuter, are they?

Wilson picked out his own outfit this morning. Shirt was a little big, but he looked so cute?

And he keeps forgetting his sweatshirt, making life a little more complicated for Leon....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One down, Five to Go

I think Sadie had a good birthday. She was helpful and pleasant, expressed appreciation for my note, and enjoyed the movie and the stir fry Bart made us for supper. Afterwards she and her two friends watched a movie and went to bed happily.

We used to do never allow Saturday night sleepovers. Sunday mornings are complicated for us anyway, trying to get so many people out the door to church in a short period of time. But this year I made an exception and now it seems like Saturday night is the most crowded of the week. Last night we had 3 extra guests, but were expecting four.

One of the challenges is that several of these kids are ones that want to go to church but whose parents won't take them. And I suppose it is easier to get the kids to church from here than to pick them up all over town.

So today I had to coordinate a way to get 13 people up to church and fed lunch today with a variety of people having responsibilities at various services. Here's a taste of the issues: Bart, of course, speaks at both services. Wilson has to sing at first. Sadie has to sing at second. I have to teach Sunday school. We currently don't have sunday school for 8-12th graders, so we have several who have nothing to do between services and can't exactly sit around the church unsupervised. I teach adult Sunday School, so I can't supervise them. But there are several who do have Sunday School.

I figured it all out, but it wasn't easy and it doesn't involve either Bart or I being able to do things how we'd prefer to do them....

Great Article Featuring None Other Than...

..... the media glutton, as I affectionately call her. Actually, I really call her something else that kind of sounds like glutton...

Happy 14th Birthday, Mercedes

Dear Mercedes,

At about 1:00 this morning, fourteen years ago, your birthmom held the most amazing baby in her arms -- you. I am sure that she is thinking about you today, just like I am. And while I am wishing that I had been there on that day to see who you were then, I am sure that she is wishing she could be here now, to see what you have become. We are so grateful to her for giving you life and to God for allowing us to be a part of the life of this incredible person you are turning out to be.

There are no words that can describe how proud of you I am for the way that you have lived through the last year. Being thirteen is not easy.... it is one of the most difficult ages for any girl to be. And yet you have laughed and cried yourself through some very tough times and come out of them a better person.

When I look at you today I see a young woman who has learned who she wants to be. You have been so brave in becoming your own person, regardless of what your friends and your siblings expect you to be. Just in the past year you have made so many good choices about standing on your own two feet when everyone else is trying to force you to be someone you don't want to be.

Here are some of the highlights from the past year:

1) You earned money for the cell phone. Amazing how much character you had to make up a schedule and work all those hours for us. Nobody else has ever been able to do that.

2) You spent all that time with me early mornings at the YMCA working out this summer. While most kids were sleeping in, you were with me, bright and early.

3) You have brought your grades up this year, even math! Last year you were so convinced you would never get it, and now you have.

4) You have walked away from many not-so-great friends from sixth grade who you could see were a bad influence on you. You have chosen better friends and started 7th grade well.

5) You have maintained a good attitude about church and church activities even when it hasn't been easy. It's fun to have a daughter who doesn't complain about youth group or confirmation and who has a desire to learn more about God.

6) You got your braces and you are well on your way to perfect teeth, which will be the final touch on a beautiful body that God has given you. I am proud of you that you are slowly learning to respect yourself and your body.

7) You have always fixed things when there was a problem. Relationships are hard work, especially with your parents, and every time that we have had an argument, you always say your sorry. This is going to be very helpful to you when you grow older.

8) You are secure enough that you can love your parents and tell them so. Every night you tell us goodnight and that you love us, even when we go to bed early or when we forget to say it first. And you talk to us, telling us about your life, and keeping communication open.

9) You have paid attention to your older siblings who have made mistakes and you are making better choices so you don't make the same mistakes. This takes a lot of courage and you are not letting us down.

10) Finally, you have showed everyone around you that you can make it through a tough year. Our family had some hard things to go through with siblings that you cared for very much this past year. And yet, one day at a time, you kept putting one foot in front of the other, holding your head high, and taking things as they come. You have been amazing.

So today as you turn 14, Dad and I are so thrilled about the young woman you are becoming. When we are talking alone sometimes, we tell each other how proud we are of you, and how much we love you, and what a great kid you are. I hope that we don't forget to tell you too.

So today I am thankful for you and the awesome blessing we have been given to have the privilege of being your parents. There really aren't words good enough to explain how we feel.

Many times you have heard me say, "I have chosen you to be my daughter and nobody can take that away from me." But the other side of it, is that you have to choose to let people who are not related to you by blood, be your parents. Thank you, Cedes, for letting us be your parents.... it's not an easy thing to choose. We are so grateful and we love you so much.


The Beginning of Birthday Season

We have twelve children. Six of them have birthdays between November 15th and December 25th. We have a Christmas Eve birthday and a Christmas Day Birthday and I asked myself, "WHO PLANNED THIS MESS!"

So today is the first day of birthday season and Sadie, who at school and everywhere but home, goes by Mercedes or Cedes. Heather Armstrong always writes a letter to her daughter and posts it on the blog every month, so I thought that I would do the same just this once for Mercedes and then give her a copy. She is the kind of kid who will treasure it. Maybe I'll keep it up with some of the others too, but she will definitely appreciate it more than anyone.

That's my next task for the morning, to be followed by powerpoints for church and a trip to the movies to see HSM3 at Sadie's request. She has stated she doesn't want any gifts -- there isn't really anything she thinks she needs -- so we'll celebrate with the family and one of her friends tonight with the Chicken Stir Fry her Dad makes that is her favorite.

And then at the end of the day, I'll sit back and say, "one down, five to go.... plus Christmas." And I'll sigh deeply... with dread, not relief.

OK, so that was a bit melodramatic...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The rest of the story

Jimmy reports he was showered and off to school walking and arrived only 30 minutes late. I stayed at the coffee shop until 1:30, making myself finish a project before I left the place....

Yesterday I had to do a lot of transporting -- a LOT. But I tried to enjoy the many various conversations and we had some fun together. The kids were more talkative than usual and we enjoyed spending time together.

Today I'm going to have lunch with a friend I haven't seen for 20 years. I've known her since I was 12.... maybe younger.

So, after getting the kids off to school and heading to the Y, I'll come home and get ready to meet her an hour from here.

I'm looking forward to a great day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Controlling What I Can Control

Yesterday morning I dropped kids off to school and then went straight to the YMCA, leaving Rand at home to give Salinda a ride to school. Bart was home as well.

I got home at 9:10 and Rand looks at me and says, "Salinda never went to school." I went to her room. She had overslept. Apparently Rand had not even checked with her nor told Bart that she hadn't gone to school. This is the 2nd time he has done this. The first time he took her friend to school and brought her back home so she could go back to bed but never told anyone that was the case. We thought she was in school the whole day as she didn't make a sound and slept the whole day. I even went to pick her up... but anyway.

So I woke her up twice. The second time I let her know that there would be no excuse written and that if she wasn't ready soon she would be considered to be absent all day and the "no electronics until the next morning" rule would apply. She was finally ready and went to school around 10:30. When she asked me to write a note (they have to have one to get in the building) I wrote "Salinda overslept and thus she is arriving at school late." If the school wants to rule that as an excused tardy that's their business, but I certainly didn't ask them to excuse her.

This morning, we got ready to leave and the kids reported that Jimmy was sitting in the family room, unshowered in his boxers. Rand was leaving to take Salinda and then go to work. Bart is out of town all day. The neighbors left with Tony on time, and a few minutes later I left with everyone else. And I had planned to head to the coffee shop this morning.

The former me (the control freak on steroids) would have never been able to follow through with my plan. But we live less than 2 miles from the school. He's almost 17. He has a bike. And that school doesn't require a note.

I don't know where he is. He could be still sitting in his boxers in the family room. He could be waiting for me to come home to see if I'll give him a ride. I didn't tell him where I was going, because he didn't speak to me this morning. He could have given up by now and walked to school. But I have a cell phone and he can call at any time.

Salinda missed a few classes yesterday. She'll have to make up the work. Same will be true of Jimmy today. But I'm not going to get all wrapped up in the whole thing. I'm at the coffee shop getting work done. And later I'll find out what happened.

It's a lot better being able to live this way than the days where I felt like it was my responsibility to make kids this ages do what they were supposed to do.....

When there's no Drama, there's no Drama

But I should take time to write when things are going well. We've been having very busy yet calm days around here. Dominyk has replaced Tony as a boy scout and is much more enthusiastic. One of his PCAs is going with him and it seems to be working OK. Leon and Ricardo have started their wrestling season and this year Sadie has joined gymnastics. Salinda has begun driver's ed and Rand has been getting double shifts at work which allows him to work almost forty hours each week. Last week he may have even had overtime. He and Jimmy attended the Luverne (our former home town) football game on Saturday and Rand is hoping to go to the next round this weekend. John is making great progress in his group home and has joined the wrestling team at his high school. We haven't heard much from Kyle which usually means things are fine and he doesn't need us.

Everyone for the most part is being cooperative and things are going smoothly.

I am attempting to get caught up with work issues and am actually making some progress. There is a lot going on, but I don't feel as swamped as I have in the recent past.

So other than Mike being back in jail for theft of livestock (I never use the word Why and his name in the same sentence) which you read about in Bart's blog,

So when things are going well, I forget to blog. Sad, but true. I'll have to be more intentional I guess...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trying the new plan again

Up early, working at the desk, then going to the YMCA and coming back to work later.

It's just not going to work when there is snow on the ground for me to be heading out to that car at 5 a.m.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Very Insightful Blog Post

by none other than my amazing husband.

Manipulation or Affection?

Interesting Statistics

Kari forwarded me this article last night. Here is a excerpt from the article that provides the results of a study. The article is entitled Finding the short circuit on the path to adoption>.

185,400 said they would adopt a child age 13 or older. There were 30,654 children age 13 or older in foster care -- or, six prospective parents for each waiting child. Additionally, 181,800 respondents said they would adopt children with severe disabilities, and 447,000 said they would adopt two or more siblings at once.

The article goes on to question why only 8,000 children in foster care were adopted last year. Well, I'm sure you know that I have many opinions about this, but let me simply state one possible reason.

Those 185,400 people (or the 181,800) don't know me. Now that sounds even more arrogant than I usually allow myself to be, but let me explain.

Matching is tricky. In fact there are so many different pieces of it that it is difficult to even begin an attempt to explain all the intricacies. if you've read my Series on Matching it articulates some of them. But most of those articles talk about the discrepancy between those who want small children with few issues and the fact that most children are older with severe issues. So what about these 185,400 people who want to adopt teens?

There is a difficult progression that must take place with each family. First, they must be adequately train and know what to expect. Secondly, they must be coached on the matching process. Third, they must be pushed the right amount and held back the right amount. Taking on kids who have difficult histories is not for the faint of heart. If I can see a family is taking the issues too seriously, I must explain. If I can see that they are not taking them seriously enough, I again must explain.

I have placed a lot of very difficult children into homes that have kept them. Knowing what might be ahead for the families makes it difficult sometimes for me to suggest it. But I must keep the children in mind and prepare the parents, while not discouraging them.

I don't know the 185,400 people. In fact, I may only know of about 20 or 30 families willing to take teens. I would love to know them all. But once I knew them, it would require a lot of effort to convince them to consider certain types of children. I would point out things that a lot of people don't realize:

1) Adopting a child who has an IQ of 65 and labeled "Mildly mentally retarded" may actually be wiser than adopting a child who has an IQ of 75, low average. Why? Because a child in that range will not get services in most states, but cannot live independently as an adult.

2) Adopting a child on probation might not be a bad idea. You have backup of the law if something happens and the probation officer can help with your parenting. You may make more progress with a child if you have that kind of support.

3) A child who has a horrible history (child A) and is doing very well now might be easier to parent than a child who at this time does not have a horrible history but may have one later (Child B). Child A may have been through their worst already while with Child B it might be to come.

4) In order for a child to receive therapuetic foster care services, children need a diagnosis. Different psychologists diagnose things differently. For example, children in MN are very seldom diagnosed as bipolar, even as teenagers. It is considered poor practice among psychiatrists here to do so. However, in other states, children as young as three are diagnosed with it regularly. Therefore, a child may have a long list of diagnosis, especially if they are older, that may or may not be accurate.

5) Children in foster care are often overmedicated. I have had several children placed in families that I serve who have gone from 6 or 7 medications upon arrival to only one or two within a year.

But most importantly, I tell parents that there is no way to predict how any child will make it in a family. Every situation is unique. All of the factors both in the family system and in the child interact together and there is no way to know. I have placed kids who were completely fine in foster care into families where they exploded. I have placed kids who were out of control in foster care and within weeks were fine in their adoptive homes. And I have placed and parented several kids who did very well when they were younger and freaked out as teens.

My guess is that many of the 185,000 have either been matched and declined, or are unwilling to consider kids that are tougher. I realize that not everyone is cut out to parent tough kids, but there is so much value it it. The approach however, must be different.

Going into the adoption of older kids requires an approach much different than any other kind of parenting. It has to be joining them to observe them making poor choices. It has to be riding along and offering advice, without being able to do much to control the outcome.

And yes, people put themselves in dangerous spots and maybe at risk by doing so. And certainly, there are families that cannot put their other children at risk. And, as readers of my blog have pointed out, there are many families that can't do this.

I'm sure that there may be negative comments about things that I have written and after a morning like I had with one of our sons, I'm in no mood to counter anyone's opinions that some kids are too difficult for anyone to parent.

But if you are one of the 185,000 willing to take a kid over 13, especially if you are one who is willing to take one with severe disabilities, email me.

I'll find you a match.

At Least It Beats an "Early Out"

Today we have our monthly "Late Start" where the kids go to school two hours later than normal. While it does cause a riff in the schedule a bit, it is nothing like an "Early Out" which we used to have. That caused mayhem in our home for hours afterwards.

Now they just sleep in a little longer and I get a break in the morning. It's actually not bad.

However, for people who are working outside the home, I'm sure it's a huge hassle.

But for me... I'm enjoying the morning quiet and attempting to get things done.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back in the Day

At the supper table tonight Jimmy (born in 1991) was bragging about his knowledge of sports. He claimed to know more about sports than me.

I said, 'Oh yeah? What did the call the Denver Broncos back in 1977?"

He responded, "How am I supposed to know that? I was still in the womb"

I Held to the PLan

Made it to the Y after taking the kids. Even had some good news on the scale. Meanwhile, Bart took his walk.

He's heading out of town for a meeting, I'm here making dinner and giving multiple rides all over town for practices, driver's ed, etc. this afternoon.

Until then, going to keep trying to crank out the work.

If you haven't been following it

Bart blogged several times this weekend about Mike and even a funny story. you should go catch up.

A New Plan

Sorry for being such a pathetic blogger this past weekend. It was so calm and free of drama that I didn't really get around to blogging much -- I was getting caught up on work and putting away tons of laundry Bart did. I even had a little fun.

The kids who were gone seemed to get worn out but had a good time. Today we are back into the regular routine at least for a week or so....

Knowing myself as I do, I am very aware of the fact that I would not be able to make myself get out of bed and head to the Y at 5 a.m. when it is cold. The thought of the difference in temperature from my cozy warm bed to the ice cold car is just to much to bear. So I have mixed up my routine a little.

On the three days of the week that I am supposed to go to the Y I will get up around the same time as if I were going to the Y and work instead. Then, after warming up the van and taking the kids to school, I will do my workout. I think this will work much better. Otherwise I know myself well enough to know that I am going to wake up and waste a lot of time trying to force myself to get up and go out to the cold van and nothing will happen.

And, if I replace the time I should be working out with work, then the time I am working out will not take away from the hours I should be working. Hope THAT made sense.

So I'm off to work at 5:45....

Maybe once things get back into routine I'll have time to blog and upload some pictures...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Wild Night of Dreaming

Snippets from my night:

I was pregnant, due soon. Except I wasn't completely sure I was pregnant -- maybe just gaining a lot of weight -- everyone else seemed to be sure I was though.

I was having a craving. It was intense. I needed to find some canned Twix bars. I drove everywhere looking for them;

I broke someone's back car window by making a stupid mistake;

I was in Hawaii with Bart driving around meeting interesting people;

I was reading essays printed on dot matrix paper about educational testing;

I did a lot of other things I don't have time to tell you about.

Busy night.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Can't believe I haven't Blogged All day

Last night we decided to go to a nice place for dinner since we only had three kids home. WE went and saw a movie first (the Secret Life of Bees) and the boys went to a kids movie. We then tried to get into Red Lobster. When we go there it was packed with a 40 minute wait. We decided that 40 minutes with Dominyk and his OCD would not be a good combination, so we left the restaurant. On his way out, Dominyk exclaimed loudly, much to the amusement of many people waiting for Red Lobster, "How about TACO BELL?" WE settled for a sit down Mexican place.

Today, after a very calm morning with only 3 kids home, we headed back for the promised Red Lobster where there was an obvious display of differing temperaments. Dominyk went for a long trip to the bathroom, and returned to speed through his meal, taking less than 6 minutes to eat his rainbow trout. Wilson, on the other hand, very meticulous ate one of his four crab legs and had to take the rest home in a box.

We came home to a very calm house again and then had Kari and Ben and Anna over, not making for calm, but good enough anyway. Rand and WIlson both had friends over, so the twelve of us had a fairly wild meal, and then Kari had to take the kids home. Now Bart and I have both been blogging and finishing up the day.

Bart did so many loads of laundry that it is going to take a while to put them all away, but in order to thank him for his hard work, I'm goign to make sure I do that before we go to bed.

And the meal he made tonight was awesome. As was the salad Ben made.

On days like today I am so incredibly grateful for my husband. It's not his endless help around the house that is most amazing, it's the spirit in which he does it all.

We've got a wild life here, but you should see how good he is with the kids -- with our kids and others -- and how gently he deals with people. I just can't stop being thankful for him.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Another JImmy-ism

Language acquisition is interesting. There are so many phrases in English that we just don't realize are confusing to new language learners.

I just got back from dropping off 5 kids at the church for a weekend away, leaving only 3 at home because Rand is gone to work. When I returned, Jimmy walked into my office and said, "wow, mom. This is kinda weird."

"Yup, hardly anyone here," I responded, to which he replied,

"we're going to have a pretty nice two-day weekend, aren't we?"

As you already know, My Husband is Amazing

It's Friday morning. There is no school today. The quarter has ended and the teachers have a day free. My husband is at home with 9 children and I, I am sitting at Dunn Brothers, watching the snow come down, blissfully alone and eating tasty things. I got my computer back last night -- they had to replace the logic board but figured out a way to get it covered under warrantee. It seems to be working well.

I am not having to figure out who needs as shower, remind them to wear clean clothes, or deal with medication. I feel like I"m on vacation.

But I have been given this gift so that I can get caught up, so I probably better not spend too much of my time blogging.

It's just great to have someone who lets me take a few hours to get away....

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Tried to Make a Visual

I wanted to make a visual for you of the trips we made yesterday, but the map I downloaded was too hard to read and I finally gave up.

After school I went to West to get Salinda and then to East to get Jimmy and Sadie. As you can imagine, they are not on the same side of town. An hour later I went to the school to get Ricardo and Leon after wrestling, and Tony who had not come home in the first trip for whatever reason. When I got to the school, Tony was convinced that the other boys had left school grounds so I went to look for them. WHen I returned, there was my husband, also at the school. Apparently TOny had called him and even though I told both girls to tell Bart that I had gone to East to get the boys, the message didn't get to him. So we were both there to pick up kids we couldn't find.

Bart took Tony and went to the church. I waited until my phone rang. Apparently the boys were inside of the school, calling 1/2 hour after I was supposed to be there to pick me up, and telling me there was no wrestling so they had played ping pong instead.

I drove them, and their friend, Ivan, back to our house were we stayed 5 minutes until it was time to go to the church. I drove them to the church and afterwards, took Salinda another 3 miles North west to be dropped off at a friends to help her paint her room. THen I met Bart at the park for our evening walk and went back to the church to pick up several children. Tony was missing and when Leon heard there was a meeting, he wanted to stay. I left to bring Sadie and WIlson home and then picked up Dominyk who wanted to ride along to take Ivan home, of course, on the other side of town. When I returned I finally just asked Bart to go get TOny (who had called but I told him he had to go to the youth meeting and wait for Leon to be gone).

I never left town. I bet I could have driven to Chicago if I had gone in one direction.....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Going to be a part of our day?

Spiritually supported adoptions is meeting today. Please let us know via email if you plan to attend. I was confused and didn't think it was meeting, so maybe others were too.

I just returned from the YMCA and blogged about that, including a report about my weight loss. I'm facing another day without my other computer, though I did figure out a way to at least get a few things transferred to the kids computer so I can get some work done. ANd I got one project done yesterday while it was still working.

I avoid the grocery store at all costs, but it looks like i'm going to have to go today.....

And that is another very exciting blog entry for you, straight from teh heart.

I would blog about yesterday's lunch with Mike and Kari but I kind of got a little inappropriate.... just at tad, and if I start telling you about it, I'll say too much.

Really I will.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fun While it Lasted

less than 10 hours and my computer is down again.


I didn't even come close to getting caught up.

And here I am again, typing on the old computer.

And frustrated. I told them what they told me wasn't the problem, but they're the experts.

I shoulda listened to myself.

And now everything is right with the world once again

I got my computer back.

It's working great.

The only thing I got done this morning was finally configuring my old computer to work so I could get work done and literally the second I started working the phone rang saying I could pick up the computer. Yes, the Iphone that is working, rang.

So I voted and I'm meeting Mike and Kari for lunch and my computer is working and they even had hi-fi at the restaurant we were meeting with.

And now I can breathe again.

Even though I have 157 emails, all is right with the world.

If you are as into technology as I am, you will totally get this whole post. If not, you're probably saying, "you're dumb, mom". Oh wait, that's my kids line.

listen here, buster....

All the roads around the elementary school are torn up in our town right now and it is mighty irritating. in fact, most of the roads I have to drive on are under construction and have been since school started.

I had to take 8 kids to school this morning and that meant that I had to listen to Tony talk non-stop trying his hardest to make me scream. By the time I had nearly reached my limit, I made a wrong turn and had to get a non-verbal talking to from one of the guys in a hard hat.

His non verbals said "Can't you read the sign, stupid lady?"

And my shrug said, "Sorry, I got confused"

And his look said, "There is no excuse"

And i stopped looking at him, but my head said, "DO you have ANY idea what I've been through already this morning, you smug thing? Do you want me to threaten you with acts of violence?"

ANd I drove away.

When Life Gives you Lemons...

Yesterday I was borderline pathetic. Lost without my computer (I can't do much work without it and to explain why would bore you and take up way too much stuff) I was really just listless and accomplished very little.

I made mental plans to go to the coffee shop this morning, until I realized I don't have a laptop and there would be nothing to do there.

However, today, my 4th without the computer, I am going to put things into a more positive direction. It's my plan to do things that I never have time to do when my computer is working -- like organize my desk and files, maybe get school pictures ready to send to relatives, things like that. Maybe I'll get some writing done as well.

We'll see how far I get. I might just play computer games on this old machine, but I hope not.

at least at this time I am feeling somewhat motivated.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Bart ended the day blogging

and you can read about it here.

if you were a little birdie in the car today....

I was heading into the computer store and Bart playfully says,

"OK, see you in a minute, chub-chub.... or honey, or sweetie, or dear, or whatever you want to be called."

I sighed and responded, "well, I can guarantee you it is most certainly not "chub chub."

The Apple Store

Bart and I drove up to the Cities...

We went to the Apple store and I stood in line for the "Genius Bar." For an hour.

And then, the genius, touched the same two buttons I've been touching for the last 3 days, repeatedly, over and over again.

He touched them once.

And the phone was fine.

But I wasn't.

Before I go...

you gotta read this post Bart wrote about Wilson.

He is such a joy.

yes, wilson.

But Bart too.

heading out

Bart has decided to join me on this adventure to get my phone exchanged, replaced or fixed. We haven't had this much time together for a while, so I'm excited to spend it with him.

I'm still going to call and try to get a lap band fill, too, but I'm doubtful they will allow it....

Snapping Turtles

My dreams are always interesting.

Last night, I had a dream that I actually went back to after a bathroom break. This happens to me often, where I return to a dream afer I've been awake for a while. In part one of the dream, I was planning to do a presentation with my college piano teacher, who was also a great mentor and friend to me and hundreds of other kids over the years. The title of our speech, which seemed ever so brilliant in the dream, was "Snapping Turtles."

I can still remember how it was going to be encapsulated: "If like slows you down to the pace of a turtle, at least don't let yourself become a snapping turtle." We were in awe of our inginuity and our creativity.

For some reason, part of the presentation was going to be teaching the audience, Food Neckwork (as Dominyk calls it) style, how to make her famous cinnamon rolls that she taught me to make back in college. There were several little glass bowls all lined up with the various ingredients and we were going to give quite the demonstration.

I woke up for a commercial I guess (my trip to the bathroom) and then returned to part one of the dream, which was Bart and I getting ready to leave to meet her in Texas, where we were to speak. Before leaving in the dream, Salinda had said she wanted to talk to mebut Sadie would not leave the room until I physically had to remove her. This took so long that I never got to figure out what she wanted to say. We had to leave for the airport.

When we arrived at the airport, me without phone or computer (see, this loss is affecting my psychy) we realized that I had left my ID at home. I was frantically telling Bart that I would drive back home to get it (80 miles one way) while he rescheduled the flight.

I'm not sure if we ever made it there or not -- we never actually did the presentation. And I'm certain that there are many people in Texas mourning because of it -- not because of my brilliant turtle metaphor, but because they would miss out on Naomi's cinnamon rolls....

Parenting Teens

I thought of this word picture yesterday and it really applies to the way I have begun to parent all these teenagers.

Parenting teens involves you letting them drive, metaphorically, and sitting in the driver's seat. You can give them all kinds of directions and ideas and you can discuss directions with them, and how to drive. But they are the ones in control.

If, as I did, in the past, you refuse to let them drive, they don't learn. Or, if you spend so much time talking and forbidding them from taking a wrong turn, they often rebel and take off in the car without you. So, you have to sit there, and sometimes bite your tongue and often simply attempt to relax as they make make mistakes.

And it usually goes like this:

parent: "Um, you realize that if you turn left you're going to go into the ditch?"

teen: "Shut up, I know what I'm doing. I know how to drive."

parent: "Well, this is an interesting ditch. I'm sure glad there wasn't more damage to the car when we drove into it. "How are you going to get out of the ditch?"

teen: "I don't know, can you help me get out."

(At this point the parent intervenes and either instructs the child how to get out, letting them live with the natural consequences, or helps them out of the ditch momentarily, even driving if the teenager wants them to.).

And then, the next month, or maybe week, possibly day....

parent: "Um, you relize if you turn right you're going to go into the ditch?"

teen: "Shut up, I know what I'm doing. I know how to drive."

I spent most of the years parenting our 4 oldest children by trying to do everything within my power to keep them out of ditches, accidents, etc, and it never worked anyway.

With the remaining 8, I'm just going to ride along. Sure, I'll give advice, sometimes when asked, and sometimes without request. And I will not give permission for them to do something that I know is dangerous or wrong. But I'm going to do everything I can to stay in the car.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Key to a Successful Weekend with John

John's trigger is the word no. That has brought about his violent behavior in the past. He's 18 now, and he knows that if he blows his placement he is homeless. So I had decided before he came home that I wasn't going to tell him anything about behavior. I told him ahead of time that he knew our expectations and it was his choice.

WE didn't have a single problem.

He was polite, grateful, happy to be home, and appropriate.

I don't think that we could do it often ... or he might become too restless ... but it was great to have him around this weekend.

And I also realize that I might discover in a few days that he did something while he was here, but then that will mean no home visit for Thanksgiving. his choice.

It certainly worked a lot better than me trying to make sure he didn't do something and trying to control where he was at all times. That kind of stress probably made it worse for him.

At any rate, it was fun to have him home.

Confirmation Sunday

We had a good day, a good weekend even. A lot of weird little things happened this morning like:

Leon had Bart iron his shirt, and then it got knocked over, and so he had me iron it again and then suggested it might not go with his pants so he wasn't going to wear it. I told him even if it clashed he was wearing it.

John had Bart iron his shirt but then Ivan, who is not a part of our family but might as well be, didn't have a nice shirt, so John let him wear it ... even though John is actually in our family and we were all dressed up. Whatever.

Salinda had a fit because the whole house needed to be VERY clean before her boyfriend came, so we got it cleaned, except our bedroom, which I thought I had locked this morning. When I went to check on them all because everyone was so quiet, I found 6 people in our very messy bedroom. Salinda was ironing stuff in there and so the three guests, plus Tony and Dominyk were in my bedroom with the unmade bed and the dirty clothes all over the floor, and the clean clothes that hadn't got put away everywhere....

I tested my camera by taking a picture of a confirmand that was not my son or daughter, and got yelled at by the photographer. So her dad didn't take a picture of her. And then my confirmands decided not to wait after he was done so I could snap their picture. Sigh. I have a really good picture of the girl though....

My kids didn't follow instructions and got confused about where to sit and what to do during the service.... (everyone but Jimmy and Salinda, they did fine).

We had a nice meal together -- all 19 of us -- and it all was actually a pretty good thing... but wow, the weird little things that can happen in a day around here.

And the Technical Nightmare Continues

I woke up at 6:45 which, because of the time change was now 5:45. I devised a plan that might get my stuff transferred onto this computer so I could get some work done, but it has been one frustration after another for over 2 hours.

The kids don't have to be up for another hour, but of course they are. We have three extra people here and it's an usual day so there is a little tension in the air, but so far things have gone OK. In about 90 minutes we'll be leaving for a morning of confirmation activities and hopefully things will go well.

This afternoon will be busy returning everyone to where they belong and regrouping for tomorrow.

And tomorrow may hold an emergency trip to the nearest Apple store (about 80 miles) to get the Iphone fixed and a trip to the computer store to drop of my computer.

And possibly while I"m up in the Metro area, maybe I'll see if I can get this lap band filled. I'm making no progress on my weight loss whatsoever.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

When it Rains it Pours

the family has been fine today. We've had a nice time, John has been kind and appropriate, and it looks like we'll make it through the night without too much drama. Six of the kids and one friend joined us for a high school play tonight which we enjoyed.

However, now my Iphone has a completely black screen. It works -- if you call it it rings, for example, but you can't start it up. ANd I can't exactly try restoring it becauset his old computer doesn't have the correct software and if I restore it using Bart's computer then I would have all his stuff on my phone, which I don't want. So I can't restore it unless my computer is fixed....

So now I'm without my laptop and without my Iphone. Those are two of my favorite things in the world and they both stopped working on the same day.

I asked Salinda if she put a curse on me. She said, "you're dumb mom."

So guess not.

Breakfast Conversation

Bart, Dominyk, Tony and I were all at the breakfast table this morning, something somewhat unusual. The rest of the kids were still asleep. This is a snippet of the conversation

Tony: Dominyk, get your elbows off the table. It' rude.

Bart: The only thing more rude than having your elbows on the table, is telling someone else that theirs are.

Dominyk: Is that Scripture?

Bart: No, Dominyk, that's not Scripture.

Claudia: That's hilarious. I'm going to blog that.

Dominyk: Not if Dad does first.

Do we live in a weird world or what?

Happy Halloween -- Not so Happy All Saints Day

Last night was a good night. Bart went to get John, I took Tony with me to take Salinda and we all met back up for a meal at Taco John's as Tony had acquired some coupons for some free food. We ate together and then Bart when to the store for movie snacks while Wilson and Sadie got dressed up and ready to go trick or treating.

After they returned we all watched a PG movie together and then Bart and I went to bed. Everything was very calm.

Everything is still calm this morning -- except me. My computer would not turn on. All of my work stuff is there and it makes me absolutely NUTS that I'm not going to be able to get work done today. I'm so behind.

I have my old computer (the one the kids now use) hooked up in my office now and I'll survive. But I won't get a bunch of my stuff done and who knows if I'm going to have to replace the laptop, something we can't afford.

So we did have a Happy Halloween and hopefully today will start getting better.