For the past several years our family has been stuck. I don't know if you know what I mean by that -- but we have just been under way too much stress for anyone to make any progress. Before our oldest daughter turned 18 and when our 22 year old son (birthday was yesterday) was living here, every moment was just about survival. We were stuck and couldn't make progress.
Because of that I felt like I was living in a cave. Health problems made the feeling worse and I couldn't seem to have a vision to make any progress whatsoever. Then came getting laid off from my job and learning a new one. But recently, having gotten to the point where I actually feel like we are moving forward.
Add to that the fact that I have been going to the Y and eating less carbs, thus having more energy, and I have finally felt like we can make progress as a family.
So even though our oldest daughter called and texted from afar with more drama, and even though our 22 year old is asking us for money for food, our stress levels are down because they aren't affecting the rest of the family. So we have been making progress.
The new chore system is going VERY well. Knowing that I am not supposed to be saying anything helps me to focus on other things when I'm with the kids. It is on them to get the chore done or lose the money. And surprisingly, their ODD doesn't kick in when THEY get to choose when they do it.
At the beginning of the year I sat down with Rand, John, Courtney and Jimmy individually and they set some goals for themselves. This has led to some meetings and it looks as though Rand and Jimmy may both be getting jobs. Courtney is considering going to school full time and John has plans to finish his GED during his 60 days in jail.
Bart and I have started working on developing a budget. Talking more about money with the kids is helping them to appreciate what we have more. We are trying to be more cautious about eating leftovers and not throwing food away and keeping our food-out budget lower.
That has allowed us the freedom to sponsor a child through world vision. Isn't he cute! We think he looks like Isaac.
Last night when I told the kids about him, they got off the track and started talking about how we needed to adopt again. I mentioned that we really have no room for any more kids and Sadie said, "Mom, that's why they make BUNK BEDS!" I think it is really cool that most of our kids understand our passion to get kids into families before they age out of foster care.
One final thing that I've been working hard on is to not live my life at such a break-neck speed I've been like this as long as I can remember -- I worked two part time jobs as a junior in high school and then as a senior one part time and one full time job while going to school. Working hard and long is all I've ever known.
Problem is my body can't keep up with my emotional or mental energy any more and I'm having to force myself to settle down and take things slower. And ironically, when I do that I am still able to get almost everything done!
SO here's another day off to a good start. In fact, it's a late start for school today but I forgot and went to the Y at five anyway, so I have a couple quiet hours here at home to get things done.
It's so nice to see progress.