All About Adoption, Family, Kids and Grandkids, Medical

When Your Family is Fractured

When Your Family is Fractured

When Your Family is Fractured

What does one do When Your Family is Fractured?  That has been our current state for a long time.  There have been cracks here and there, but this year, it is different.  I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle since about 2014, but even before then due to some extenuating circumstances.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from adoption, but there is so much more I know now than I did almost 14 years ago.

What You Need to Know

When people are in the process of adopting a child or children, it is an exciting thing.  We do all the things that are required.  Background checks, money in the bank, fundraisers, fingerprints (if international), and so on.  We work hard on those dossiers.  Our homes are spotless for our homestudy.  We eagerly anticipate our referral or a picture.  There are so many support groups where we get on and talk about our discouragement of NOT getting a referral quick enough.

What We DON’T Realize

Is that we are, quite literally, waiting for a family to fail in someway.  If it is foster care, we are waiting for a family to abuse, neglect, or hurt, a child or children so they will be placed in the system. Then we jump through all the hoops for the next 17 out of 23 mths and wait for the termination of parental rights.

Or, if it is a newborn, we are waiting for a sweet birthmom to make the most difficult decision of her life.  For her life to be altered…forever…by choosing the blessing of adoption.  If international, we are waiting for a birth parent who may be dying, or the child is starving, or some other tragedy that places them in an orphanage.

When you are adopting a family members child, you are waiting for drugs, alcohol, abuse, neglect, or abandonment to happen.  There are other circumstances, as well, but that was my circumstance for my son.  You start looking at YOUR sister and think…she is my son’s aunt?  Grandmother?  Both?

The Dark Side

We are walking into the blackest chapter of our children’s lives.  Our greatest joy and what we worked so hard for, comes at our children’s greatest loss.  Whether they are an infant or an older child, that loss will forever be imbedded in their brain and heart.  They are the only ones who have heard their mother’s heartbeat from the inside out and your heart is just not the same.

My heart literally aches because in a perfect world, my kids would still be with their birth families.  Succeeding, thriving, living, loving…yet because of certain things, they are not there…they are with me.  I am grateful.  Indebted.  Forever changed because they grew in my heart and not under it!

Yet…they will always wonder what it would have been like to have been raised by their birthparents or in their birth country.  Try explaining all of the things when they are older.  It’s super fun aka traumatic.

Getting It Straight

I do not regret any of my children.  None of them.  They are my joy and I’m so thankful to God that He wove my family together in such a beautiful and intricate way.

But

Trauma is a bitch.  Plain and simple.  It is a straight-up bitch.  Talk to ANY adoptive parent and they will tell you the same thing.  Trauma can come in all shapes and sizes.  It can come with a list of diagnoses…then there is “traumaversary”  That leads to sabotage of all good things, behavior issues, confabulations, deceit, manipulation, and so much more.

My Family is No Different

We have, and continue to have, all of the above things and the “so much more” times a million.  What started as one child exhibiting out of control behaviors due to FASD, PTSD, RAD, blah blah blah trickled down to other children.  Another child exhibiting similar, yet different behaviors. Then, a third child going above and beyond.  Lastly, the fourth child who struggles with anxiety and more.

It has wreaked havoc on my person, my husband, other children, even my pets will lose hair when life is escalated in my home.  This usually occurs November-March and then in July-October…which as I look at that typed out, it is from October-July.  That gives us 2 mths trauma free.

All the Things We Have Tried

We have done the things.  Doctors, specialists, therapists, counselors, pastors, family, medication, routines, no routines, homeschool, private, public…All.  The.  Things.  One child, nothing has worked for that child.  Another child, we hope is in the process of healing.  The third child is amped up right now.  The fourth child, we just deal with it day by day.

I am exhausted.  My husband is exhausted.  Honestly, even the kids are exhausted. Mix all this crap in with a pandemic and being in this house and you have Funville.  My underwear drawer no longer holds underwear.  It is stocked FULL of candy.  I wake up, in the morning, with a bag of snickers under my arm and wrappers everywhere.

There is a new found love of Limeade Slushes.  My teeth are going to rot out of my head.  I have become a human GPS because I take LONG drives on roads I have never heard of.  My favorite pasttime is driving to my neighbors and seeing if their pig is in the front yard.  I cry…alot.

Falling Apart

Sadly, I feel like my family is falling apart.  That Scripture of satan lurking around the corner to devour my family, it is happening!  Honestly, at warp speed.  I have so many words and so much has happend that my fingers will not move as fast as my brain.

Praying that this pandemic ends.  I am praying for healing for my medically fragile children.  Salvation for two of my kids.  Wisdom with all of them.  Healthy delivery for one (gonna be a granny!)  A healthy relationship for two kids.  School to open for one.  One to come home safely.  Another to stop making REALLY poor and dangerous choices.

I want my family to heal.  To be whole.  For God to intervene and DO SOMETHING.  Honestly, I am just ready for Jesus to come riding down on His white horse and take us all home.  Home…where there is no sadness, no darkness, and no pain.  Just glory.

God is Bigger

I just have to trust in that…right?  Right.  Yes, trust.  The hardest thing for me to do is trust Him with my family.  Maybe that, alone, needs to be my prayer.  Lord, let me trust in You that You have plans to prosper and not harm my family.

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All About Adoption, Family, Guest Blogger, Kids and Grandkids, Life or Something Like It

The Reality of my Nightmare

The Reality of my Nightmare

In The Reality of my Nightmare, my guest blogger writes about her interpretation of the trials I have been walking through.  She writes it as if she were me.  I read it the morning of my friends funeral.  She is pretty spot on in all that she said.

The Reality of my Nightmare

Writing this seems like a nightmare

I am waiting to wake up from this nightmare because of how real it feels. But when I open my eyes, it will all go away. No. This nightmare is real. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why? Why me? What did I do wrong to cause these people to knock on my door? Who has been watching me and observing my every movement?

I am afraid

Afraid to raise my voice even the slightest bit because someone might be watching. Also, I am afraid to take my child in the other room for fear that someone might think I am going to punish them. Afraid to go out in public with my child for fear that someone will judge me the wrong way and call them again. Why me?

Raising Kids

Raising kids is hard, especially 7 of them. They are all so different in so many ways.  Yet, I would not change a single hair on their head because I love them so. I love my kids with every fiber of my being. I would gladly take any strife or burdens off their shoulders.  Honestly, I would put them on my own if it helps them and their future.

My kids are special

Some have mentally challenging issues.  Then, there are others who have some physical issues that need my constant attention. Being a mom is hard. Tiring even. Yet, I am glad God chose these beautiful children to be mine.

I love fiercely and I will do anything in my power to protect them from the world and its temptations. Sometimes, I help others before I think about myself and my needs. I have run myself ragged going in all different directions to help those in need as God calls me to do. Honestly, I try to open myself up to other moms in different clubs and organizations that my kids participate in. I try to help them and converse with them when they need a friend or a shoulder to cry on.

But You

You took care of my child when he played sports on your team.  He became best friends with your kids.  I thought you loved him like one of your own. He stayed at your house and slept over so many nights.  Everytime, he had a blast when he came home beaming from ear to ear.  He would tell me all about how fun it is at your house.

Invitation then Betrayal

I invited you into my home which we manage to keep clean amongst the chaos of having multiple children and animals in the house. And yet, you betrayed my trust by calling them. Why? Why me?

You know my child is well-fed.  We give him clothes and things to play with.  Furthermore, we keep him involved in sports. Importantly, we teach him the love of Jesus in everything we do. We fight for him daily because he is different. And that’s okay because I love him so much.

How Would You Feel

You are a mother with kids of your own. How would you feel if someone called them.  They showed up at your doorstep asking to be invited in.  Then ask you probing questions about your home and relationships with your kids? And what if you found out that it was a supposed “friend” who called them on you.

How would you feel?

Betrayed?

Confused?

I should hope so.

Because that is how I felt.

Terrifying Agony

The terrifying agony that my kids could be ripped away from me with no warning. Sadly, the wailing and uncontrollable sobbing that happened in my car when I got the call. My heart can’t take it anymore.  I am so tired of having to justify myself to these people. Justify every action that I do and every word that comes out of my mouth.

How would you feel?

Would you demand an explanation from your “friend” and say some nasty things to them in retaliation? Would you constantly be looking over your shoulder to make sure no one was watching you if you ever had to punish your child in public? Or are you one of those parents that let their children run amuk and let them do whatever they want?

Either way, I want you to know that it is understandable if you did not know the family or if you had never been in their home and seen how the family operates. It would be understandable if you didn’t know me or my son at all.

But you did know us.

I was at every game. I talked to you all the time. And yet, you still called them. I thought I could trust you. You have betrayed my trust. But I choose to let God be in control of my situation. I choose to let God be the judge of your actions when you get to Heaven instead of judging you, which I am not called to do.

Honestly, I choose to love like Jesus with skin on and be the city on a hill for you. I choose to let God listen to my sorrowful prayers and collect my tears in a jar. Furthermore, I choose to let God pick me up and comfort me because he knows I am the mom He called me to be. I am not perfect. But God does not call us to be perfect. He calls us to be his disciples and to love our neighbor in his Word.

My house may be messy sometimes and my kids may drive me crazy most days, but in what reality is a house always tidy and the kids always clean and well-behaved? I would love to meet those people and that family.

Haven’t you ever made a mistake as a parent?

Because if you say no that is a bold faced lie. We fail daily at things but the key is to learn from those mistakes, move on, and leave the past behind us. With those failures are also successes. I have put several of my kids through a full education (and I have homeschooled them for many many years as well).  Two of them have graduated from college, with honors, which is a huge accomplishment.

Mama Pride

One of my kids is married with a baby on the way.  I could not be happier for my sweet child. My smallest child is excelling at things that doctors told us would be impossible.  Yet, with me by his side, he has survived those odds.

The moments of pride I feel for the children that I raised surpasses the moments of sadness that I feel when things like this happen. I choose to find the beauty in the ashes. I will stand tall and not be shaken by people’s opinions of me and my family.

My Choices

So I will also choose to continue to stand by my children and attend every activity, club, and sporting event that they are in. And if you other mom’s judge me or whisper tall tales about me that are not even true, I will smile and turn the other cheek as God has called me to do. Even if it is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Cruelty of Others

People can be so cruel nowadays and they always look at the plank in someone else’s eye rather than focusing on the speck of dirt that is in their own eye. Words can definitely slice through a person and bring them down when we should be standing together as mom’s and supporting one another rather than bringing them down and jumping to conclusions by calling the organization before they have the facts straight.

No, us mom’s are not perfect. But we are doing the best we can with the circumstances we are currently in and with the children that the Lord has blessed us with. I will continue to be the city on a hill and shine my light bright for my kids and for you.

And I know deep down in my heart that God will be pleased with my strength and integrity, and when I get to Heaven He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I can not wait for that day to come.

In the meantime

I will continue to be the most amazing mom to my kids and be a faithful spouse to my husband. Showing them the light of God.  Continuing to shield them from the World will be a lifelong journey, but I would not change one thing about it. Not for you and not for any other mom who says a spiteful word towards me.

I will pray for you even though it is painful. Because in my darkest moments is when I cling to Jesus the most, and when my faith is tested, I come out stronger than ever because my Redeemer is with me. No more hiding. No more fear. I will not be afraid.

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Update on my Family

Update on my Family

Update on my Family

Well, I guess it is time for an Update on my Family.  It has been a while since I’ve given one and I guess it is long overdue.  Can I just say, I am SUPER glad September is over!  That whole month weighed so heavily on my heart.  Reading the stories, reflecting on my journey, and just allowing myself to feel.  Suicide is a real thing and it is out of control, if you ask me.  Please, check on your friends and family.  Spread love and kindness.  Help.  Be an ear.  God is so much bigger than that moment of uncertainty!

Bug & Ben

They are still married (yay) and are doing well.  Still young, still got a lot to learn, still navigating all the things but all in all, things are good.  They are both working from home, so that is a LOT of togetherness!  In that togetherness, they forgot to be socially distant and are now expecting a little one.

Let me repeat.

They.  Are.  Expecting.  A.  Little.  One.

One more time for those in the back.

I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER.

Breathe.  It’s fine.  I’m fine.  Breathe.

Don’t get me wrong, Flash and I are excited to meet each other.  Hunter named the baby Flash because well, he is 6.  We don’t know if it is a boy or girl.  Honestly, I could care less.  I used to think that was a crock of crap when people said that.  Now, I get it.  I truly don’t care.  So, I am going to be Lolli and Big Daddy will be Pop.

Get it?  I wanted us to be Harriet and Nels or Alice and Mr. Edwards.  Only Bug agreed with that, no one else did.  Whatever.

Peach

My girl did it.  She graduated college with her Bachelor of Science.  Sadly, her last semester had to be done virtually because of stupid co-vid, but she did it.  Come November, she is walking for graduation.  I could not be more proud of her.  I mean, geez.  She is brilliant and beautiful.

Trying to find that “big girl job” has been tedious, but she is working.  It is not her dream job but that will come.  She really is good at what she is doing, it is just hard emotionally.  Her niche is geriatrics.  She loves the elderly and has such respect for them.  The love and grace she shows in working with them…the respect.  She is her mother’s daughter.

Echo has a friend now.  My Ted moved in with them and so did Maureen Kitty.  She is a plant mama and has a cute little apartment that she has decorated so pretty.  This girl of mine…she is going places (just not too far from me!)

Gigi

Its been a hard summer.  Honestly, its been a hard 13 years.  I am not going into any detail because my head and heart simply can’t.  This month, she will be attending school, away from us.  She will be learning a trade and life skills to move forward in her life.  This has been a hard decision for us to make but it is necessary.

For 2 months, we were blessed with the best gift, at the perfect time.  A friend offered to let her come to her house for a couple of months to let life settle a bit.  It gave us all time apart to heal and reflect on what is best for her and the rest of our family.

I pray the Lord guides her every step.

Boo

Well, he still has a female friend and has mentioned moving out.  As I choke back on my vomit and tears, I now refuse to discuss it.  I was pretty good about the girls moving out, but why oh why am I struggling.  Geez.  His little female friend has captured my heart.  She is a sweet girl, though we often talk about making space for Jesus when they sit too close to each other!

He is still in college and loving it.  I think he wants to be a sports journalist.  He loves sports and he has discovered that he loves writing.  In his job, he left his first job for another and then left that one for the first one because he was going to be promoted.  He is a hard worker but his room is a pig sty.  I just don’t get it.

Catfish

Due to the events of the summer, D is away at school until December.  Some things occurred where it was necessary for him to be away.  I email him.  He writes (when he remembers) and he calls every Friday.  Some are good calls and some, he just misses his mama.  I sure do miss him but I know he is learning so much.  Thankfully, this school is geared towards the career that he is wanting to pursue.

Sadly, he got co-vid (well, he and 13 other boys).  That was crappy but luckily they were asymptomatic.  We have had to send him a lot of soap LOL and shoes.  He is wearing them out!  Thankfully, he is learning and working through the events of this summer and processing some of his choices.  I am super proud of him.

Jude

He doesn’t have a nickname…wonder how that happened?  I’ll have to think of one.  He is “virtually” schooling from August until December.  I am hoping he will be back in school in January.  The past year, we have been struggling and fighting to figure out what has been going on with him.  This summer, we finally got our answer.

He has Idiopathic Hypersomnia.  In normal terms, he has narcolepsy.  Let me tell you, it is not like what you see in the movies.  It has been so hard.  In the midst of all the testing for IH, we stumbled on Epilepsy.  Yep, you read that right.  He also has Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.

Triggers

His triggers are stress and lack of sleep.  We have had TONS of stress this summer and he has narcolepsy, so there is your lack of sleep.  He had his first grand mal seizure and that is something I never want to see again in the history of ever.  We can’t treat the narcolepsy until the epilepsy is controlled.  The epilepsy can’t be controlled because it is triggered by the narcolepsy.  See the problem?

Kid

Good grief.  He is busy.  So.  Very.  Busy.  He talks.  All.  The.  Time.  He is virtually schooling and doing pretty good.  Amazingly enough, he was promoted up a reading level…to HIS reading level on HIS grade!  He is reading so well.  Treatments are going as well as they can.  His OMS is still there and prevalent, but he compensates like a beast.

He is getting so tall and loves being outside.  His favorite thing to do is run.  “Mom, I just need to run.”  I can think about to when he was in a wheelchair.  Most days, I just sit and watch him run back and forth through the yard and I smile.  This child is fearless.  He brings joy to my heart.

As For Us

We are healing, as a family.  Big Daddy is adjusting to working from home.  I’m looking at going back to work part time.  We have A LOT of kittens.  When they are weaned, we are getting the mama’s fixed so we don’t have to worry about that anymore.  I know you want to know their names…right?  In no particular order:

Karen, Inez, Joan, Janis, Joplin, Lloyd, Linda, Lonnie, Ronnie, Roger, Kim, Pat, Wenago, Tibebu, Ephraim, and Bart.

So freaking cute.  I love cats.

I guess that is all for now…until next time.

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I am NOT a Failure

I am NOT a Failure

I am NOT a Failure

Repeat after me:  I am NOT a Failure.  Those words still resonate in me after a late-night chat with one of my closest friends.  After a particularly hard evening, I texted my friend and said: “can you talk?”  She has as many kids as I do and her life is not easy.  My friend is raising these kids from hard places and trying to maintain a farm.  Inspiration.  She is my inspiration.

What’s Going On?

That was all she said. Not even a “hello” just a statement.  In fact, I don’t think we ever say “hello” when we call each other.  It is rare when we get a few minutes, within a month or so, to dedicate to chatting.  Yet, when it comes to me needing her or her needing me…we make time in the chaos.

Last night, she made time.  I am forever grateful to my friend.  She means the world to me.

Tears Flowed

I couldn’t even get words out…all I could do was sob.  There was a sentence I mustered about a life-altering decision that we have to make in regards to one of our children.  Instead of instantly telling me all the things I already know, she sat, silently, and let me cry.  Throwing in phrases, between the sobs, of “I love you.  You love your children.  He is not a failure because of his mental illness that I did not create.  I am not a failure because I did above and beyond what needed to be done in order for him to live a successful, safe life.

You are not a Failure

She said that over and over.  I repeated it and then I let it sink in.  He is not a failure.  I repeated that and it is sinking in.  We are not failures.  He just needs more help then maybe I can give him.  That doesn’t mean I’ve failed him.  It means I have loved him enough to get the help that he needs.  In having to do what we may have to do does not dictate my love for this child.  If I didn’t love him, I wouldn’t fight so hard for him to succeed in life.

Yet…who does what I’m doing?  Who does what he is doing on a constant basis?  Why can’t love just fix everything?  What about God…where are You in the chaos?  I know He is there.  Yet, I can’t hear Him through the storm.

My Support System

Is very small.  I mean, I have my husband.  The love of my children (whom I try to shield from all that swirls in my mind).  I know my mom loves me and supports me.  There is my sister who never waivers, never judges, never gives advice without me asking, faithfully prays for me…what would I do without her?  I simply don’t know.  Also, I have a couple of faithful friends that I can bear my soul with and never be betrayed or judged.

Struggling

There is some serious trust issues that I have always had but have peaked the last few months.  I’m battling with anger (which is fear and/or sadness).  I can easily identify the fear that no one believes me, that I have no self-worth, no confidence, that love comes and goes like the ebbs and flows of the ocean.  Feeling like a failure because my dreams of raising kids is not what reality is.  Honestly, feeling like all the things wrong is my fault and that I can’t fix it.  Sadness because of the loss of what I thought I knew…I’m not sure it is even there.  Maybe it is there but buried deep inside and doesn’t want to appear because of fear.  Such sadness at the choices of a child.  Sadness for an uncertain future.

Emotionally Stagnant

That is what my counselor said that I was.  When we got off the phone, I told my husband and he AGREED.  Then, I called my sister and told her…guess what…she AGREED as well.  I have a hard time expressing my needs, feeling safe, accepting help, and just being vulnerable.

I am not emotionally stagnant.  The emotions are there, I just pick and choose who sees me have a moment.  Emotions, to me, instill weakness and if one is weak, one doesn’t think clearly and can be overtaken.

That’s how I perceived my father growing up.  He is not the emotional kind of guy (forever police officer).  I rarely remember him yielding to emotion. He did, I guess, just not where us kids could see him.

My mom, however, is free with her emotions, for the most part.  I just took more after Pop.

What People Don’t See

Is when I’m alone, in my room, crying my eyes out.  People don’t see me taking long drives down roads I don’t know…crying my eyes out.  Screaming.  The poison gets so intense, inside me, that I just scream.  So, I’m emotional, in a controlled environment.  If I were to say to the people who have hurt me, how badly I feel wounded…they will not respond well.  Many things can be said.  Also, those things that were said cannot be unsaid.  If I did say them, they would no longer love me.

Fear of not being loved or belonging…that’s a big one.

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made…

My Thoughts

In the everyday chaos and uncertainty, He calls me to walk out on the waters, where it is completely unknown and my feet will fail in the deep ocean.  Yet, He says I will stand on my faith.  When I call upon His Name, He is faithful to keep my eyes above the waves.  He is calling me out on the waves to confront, in love, the people that I need to confront.  One of those people is me!!
I need to know that I don’t depend on anyone’s love but His.  My battles are not for me to fight according to Exodus 14:14.  “The Lord will fight my battle.  I just have to be silent.”
I won’t look around at all the things going on around me and the struggles that I am facing.  My job is to step out on the waves, in the deep ocean, where His grace abounds.  I am always loved, always believed, always worthy, in His eyes.

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Corraling The Chaos of a Large Family

Corraling The Chaos of a Large Family

I do believe I may have found my tiny ship of order….at least for the time being.

Corraling The Chaos of a Large Family.  I have kids. Lots of kids.  There are also my extra kids.  Kids are everywhere.
I don’t see myself as having a “mega” family because I don’t.  When I think of a “mega” family, I think of the Bates family or the Duggars.  I’m just a snowflake in a blizzard compared to those families.
I have 7 kids.  Also, I have 2 bonus girls who come around.  Oh wait, I also have a son in law. That’s it.
Just Big Daddy, me, Bug, Peach, Gigi, Boo, Catfish, Little Man, Zebra, Hannah, Morgie Loo, Eye Candy, and Black Bart.  I don’t feed them all, every day…on max, I feed about 9 people a day…again, this is a small family, to me.

I do not believe in giving a kid a cell phone until they are 16 and driving.

Yes, I’m the oddball out and yes my kids have received backlash for my decision, but seriously…what does a 10 yr old need with a phone.  Granted, some circumstances require a younger child to have a cellphone (divorced situation, latchkey kid, etc.), but we are a 2 parent family, and I’m always home.  My 11 yr old is not going to text me while he is in the bathroom needing toilet paper and I’m in the living room.  It is as simple as that.

All that being said

I have a daughter who is married…which yields me a son in law (gasp and sigh).  A son who works and a daughter who is old enough to have a phone, but lost that privilege (yes, if I’m paying for it a cell phone is a privilege, not a right)….then there is Big Daddy and me.  Our schedules are nuts, especially with a medically fragile child and another child in a traveling baseball league.  I never know where everyone is at.

Forgetfulness

I forget to tell the kids about important doctors appointments. Sadly, I always forget baseball (thankfully his coach sends a reminder text).  Also, I forget appointments that are not in the realm of my medically fragile son.  I’m getting older, so I just merely forget and the kids (and Big Daddy) are tired of telling me the same thing 500 times.  To the kids, however, the most important thing they want to know is what our menu for the week is and if they all want to come to eat here.

TimeTree

I have *finally* found my saving grace.  I LOVE it.  The kids tolerate it, and Big Daddy doesn’t pay attention…but it helps me, and that’s what’s important 🙂  It is a SHARED calender called (so sad I have to look at the name because I forgot it) TimeTree.  It is free, and it spans across iPhones and Android phones.  All you have to do the primary person (me) has to set up the account, and then I invite everyone else.  They accept the invite, download the app, and we are good to go.  I have titled our calendar as “Family Calendar” because you can have other ones on there as well.

Organization

In this calendar, we each have a color and our name (mine is Eagle Eye LOL).  We add to the calendar all our appointments, work schedules, and mainly my menu.  If the kids see something they like, they text me and say they are coming for dinner.  Once a week, I give a kid a night, and they choose the menu for me.  So, I’m guaranteed one night a week with all my kids.  They are thrilled, and I’m excited I don’t have to figure out what to cook once a week 🙂  We add birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and our upcoming “cake eating” preparations days.
In my opinion…I freaking love it!
Kids and Grandkids

My Bowels are Stirring

My Bowels are Stirring

My Bowels are Stirring

Well, My Bowels are Stirring at the thought of watching my daughter walk down the aisle to marry this boy.  Then there is the whole watching her daddy “give” her away.  I’m not sure I can handle the pressure of listening to them pour out their hearts by writing their own vows.  Oh, and the whole part of hearing them say “I do.”  Sigh.  We have 10 more days until I am a mother in law.  How did that happen?

We are going to surprise her during the ceremony.  She gets really tense when all eyes are on her.  So, one of her favorite movies is The Princess Bride.  Ironically, it is also one of our pastor’s favorite movies.  So, in honor of that, he is going to do the “Mawage” speech to get her giggling.  We are not telling anyone, so I’m not sure what the audience will think LOL.

I only have to do this 6 more times.  Let that resonate in your soul.  We clearly were not thinking when we decided to have all the kids.  Clearly not.  Seriously, My Bowels are Stirring.

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Planning a Wedding and Potty Training

Planning a Wedding and Potty Training.  I’m just telling you……my anxiety has been amped up, lately.   Who, in their right mind, would be trying to do those 2 things at once, plus all the stuff in the middle?  Geez.  I cannot describe how thankful I am for those people who are helping me out with the wedding planning part and the support from my kids who are helping with the potty training part.

Unbelievable

I simply cannot believe my baby is getting married.  It’s not like I thought it would never happen, but I guess I just thought all my kids would live in my backyard and nothing would change.  Now….a certain young man…..has gone and changed things.  I do not like change….yet here I am…..allowing change.

Content is a Dirty Word

Every time I say I’m content, the Lord does something to upset my apple cart.  Every.  Single.  Time.  I will no longer say that I am content in anything LOL.  I have a sinking feeling I will be planning another wedding in the next year or so.  Good grief.  I plan on doing a post on planning a wedding on a TINY budget, because, let’s face it…..we are frugal people, Victoria is not over the top, and we don’t have a lot of extra money.  I’m, so thankful for those who have helped with their time and talent.

Potty Training 101

As for potty training, cause ya know, life isn’t fun enough….my kids were ALWAYS potty trained by 2.  I would put the potty in front of the tv and set the timer and set them on that potty every 15 minutes.  It’s like a badge of honor to be the first in your group of moms to have their kid potty trained.

Now, I have a 3 yr old (almost 4) and I’m at it again.  We did a little potty training before he got sick and he did really well.  I did the whole timer thing and he was pretty much trained, during the day.  Then OMS hit and everything else halted.  The last 7 mths have been nothing but survival mode with him and our family and I’m not stressed at all about potty training.  As my mama says, they will not go to college in diapers, so quit stressing yourself and them out.  I took her advice on kid #7.

Houston, He is Ready

Hunter began ASKING me to change him.  Whether he was wet or had pooped.  He would pee and then bring me up a pull-up and cry until I changed him. That right there was my cue.  He knew he did not like being wet…he really did not like it when he pooped, so I pulled out the superhero drawers and started strong.  He has done WONDERFUL.  I mean, it has been completely stress-free.

He was ready.  I didn’t pressure him.  He is potty trained.  Now, I still put a pull-up on him during nap and bedtime.  I still put one on him when we drive 3.5 hrs to the dr, but he usually does not pee in them.  He will tell me and then we stop and go pee.  It is glorious.  I thought it would be bad, but it hasn’t.  He still struggles with his OMS and that makes him fall over when he is trying to set on the potty, but I have a lot of kids and they will help him out and encourage him.

Change……..one getting married…….one getting out of that baby stage.  Change can be good, I guess.

 

Kids and Grandkids

One Day I’ll Stop

One Day I'll Stop

This cracks me up.  One Day I’ll Stop swaddling my kids, maybe.  When D and G came to live with us (at 2.5 and 6 yrs old) we did swaddle them.  We were told that it would help with the bonding process.  Let’s just say we didn’t do that for long because it was not working and felt strange.  There are other ways to forge bonding without bruising each other, you know.  However, with Hunter, we did swaddle him.

He came to live with us at 21 mths of age and he needed that tightness to be able to relax.  We don’t swaddle him anymore because he is almost 5.  In a similar fashion, we tuck the snot out of him.  I mean the tighter, the better.  As a result, he sleeps pretty well, at night.  When we just drape the covers over him, he cannot relax.  We are thinking that he feels safe because safety was not in the first 21 mths of his life.  It was more like severe chaos.

Similarly, I like to have weight added to me or to be rolled into my blankets, as well.  I guess the apples do not fall far from the tree, in that manner.  It makes me feel snug and I can easily fall asleep.  In comparison, Big Daddy does not like being tightly bound at night, at all.  He feels like he is suffocating.

 

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He is 8

He is 8.  We fell in love with a picture of a three-year-old boy.

He is 8We flew half way across the world.

He is 8Then, we adopted that little boy.

He is 8We flew home….waiting to return.

And we waited.

Then waited.

And waited more.

While we waited, we fought.

We fought hard for 15 months.

Against all odds of ever seeing our baby.

But.

God prevails.

We flew BACK across the world.

He is 8And I once again held my son.

We took him to his forever home.

He is 8

And we were reunited with our children.

He is 8

To his mother, I humbly thank you and pray for you, daily!He is 8From this mama’s heart to his birthmother’s heart….we love you and are SO proud that God brought you into our lives.

Happy Birthday to our precious son.

Kids and Grandkids

You know there is a problem when.

You know there is a problem when the boy who is interested in your daughter

shows up at your home

with an envelope in his hand

asks to speak to you

and says

“Ms. Brandi, I was dishonest with you, on Sunday.  You frightened me when you asked me if there was anything you needed to know.  However, now I want to tell you and show you my

ARREST RECORD!”

Yes, people, he handed me his extensive arrest record.

I had friends at this dinner, who love my daughter like their own.  The look on my face was I’m sure priceless, but looking across the table at their faces was a sight to behold.

I believe at one point, as speechless (yes it does happen) as I was, that John John looked at this young man who had an interest in my daughter..he stared him down and said: “uhm, no….just no.”

We fed the young man.  Oddly, he asked for a photo op with Big Daddy and me.  We opted against that.  However, we were nice.  Oh, and we wished him well.  An executive decision is heck no techno you are NOT dating my daughter.

“I’m a Christian but I will punch you in the face” LOLOLOLOL

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