Sunday, June 30, 2013

Singing In the Rain

We've had our share of rain. It's especially trying for the cherry farmers. They are blow drying the cherries with their sprayers in hopes of salvaging their crops. The weather was suppose to be all clear starting Friday... but it rain that day and when we came out of church Sabbath it was raining again.

Hot and sticky, but in good spirits.

Some of the wildlife we saw on the trail... He wasn't the only one, but he was the biggest.

Isaac expounding

Buddy needing a hug.
We ate our planned picnic at the dining room table then chose a new hiking spot away from the big black clouds. It was HOT and HUMID; so humid, like we are not used to around here! We were all sweating on the hike. James was struggling. He didn't want to be out hiking which is strange. He loves our family hikes normally and he had my sister's boys to hang out with. So hard to figure out.

It's beginning to RAIN!
Alas the foul weather found us.... and we got caught in a major downpour!! It rained really, really hard on us. There was thunder and lightening and the whole works. James is especially terrified of thunder. It is his worst fear and he was in freak out mode. His fear is not unfounded. Two years in a row when we have had lightening storms we have ended up having major wildfires and he has connected the dots. BUT an interesting thing was about to happen to him. None of the rest of the group made anything of the thunder though it was so close it literally made me jump with a start. While James stayed close, he finally quit crying and fussing you could almost see his anxiety being washed away with the raindrops. Truly there was not a thing we could do about any of it. If there was we would surely not be out in a downpour and thunderstorm with babies. The little guys were absolute troopers. Buddy just enjoyed the ride. Duckie only started crying after he was thoroughly cold. The older bunch were making the most of it singing "God Wants to Hear You Sing" and "Send Us Rain" in four part harmony and having a grand time as they sloshed through the ankle deep creek that our trail had suddenly become... and I noticed that when the group stopped singing, there was a quiet little singing voice still. James was singing to himself, "Tis Love that Makes Us Happy". And ever since, he's been his old self. LITERALLY HIS OLD CONGENIAL SELF! I guess sometimes you have to find out how good you actually have it by going through rougher times and facing your fears. I have often thought that we need to expose this kid to a LOT of experiences. A trip to Africa would be a good thing for him ;-)

Missy thought it all one big adventure but she makes us laugh when an hour into the storm she is still announcing with great urgency that she's "getting all wet!!"
warming the baby between us
no longer hot and sticky but certainly wet!
Well, we had our second planned picnic at the table at home after everyone had a quick shower to warm up and wash off the mud. Afterwards the kids got out their instruments for worship. I love it when we gather to make music.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Spiraling Down

James has been spiraling since the beginning of the week. Yesterday things were tough. He refuses to accept the consequences of his choices. When someone is struggling we often run. But if the kid is sitting in the middle if the road when you are trying to run them it's rather difficult. He didn't ever get on board....

Today the raging started early. My sister arrived from the Yukon with her kids at 7 am. You would think it would make difference... He did go for a run with them but he was the only one who did not finish the course and mostly he walked while they ran.

He's in his room. Has been all morning. Likely will be all day at this rate. So much for swimming. I can't force him to choose right, but I certainly  can make wrong choices uncomfortable.

Usually I can coax out his happy, loving nature... But when it gets this bad it's totally hopeless. We have to just wait it out and keep him quiet and out of the center of attention. I gave him choices and he repeatedly, stubbornly chose the worst choice.

I absolutely refuse to allow him to throw and break things. When he moves toward that I let him know he's hit a new level of consequences and Everything Changes. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Working Hard

on the floor.... till late every night. There's one more day's worth of work on the laminate. Steve's knees and legs are really, really feeling it.

We chose the carpet for the downstairs. That will take two weeks for them to order and then put it in.

The Restoration guy has completed the bathroom downstairs with all new tile and repaired drywall and new paint. He should finish the hallway tomorrow.

Vanessa started her new job today. She's thrilled.

Brianna doesn't have a full time job, but she babysits and does yard work and whatever else people think up and she can make more in a day than Vanessa can if everything lines up right. In fact she made $100 just today. It's a good thing. College isn't cheap. She then came home and mowed grass for us for free for a few hours.

Christina did all the laundry, took care of babies and packed for her up coming trip to YFJ!

James had a hard day. He didn't want to work at all. Well, guess what, Bud?!!  It's all hands on deck and that includes cleaning the van, vacuuming the livingroom and carrying folded clothes different dressers.

Missy was quite helpful with dishes and  was happy all day because Aunty Julie is coming tomorrow.

It's not easy working on the floor with a fussy teething baby on your lap...  (that would be my lap.) I tried to get most of my painting done while the kiddos were at there visit at home. Buddy still managed to step in my paint tray.

We are babysitting a dog. I had forgotten they had asked us to several weeks ago and now I'm wondering when it is suppose to go home?? We have a few camping trips planned...

Foster care... Even Steve is questioning if we ever want to do this again just for the fact that we might have to work with this social worker again. I know God has this thing in His hands... it's just sad to watch the nonsense. It's going to be okay. The kiddos are going to go home, but some of the stuff happening right now is just sad. The court date has been postponed because of the "possible Government shutdown"... even though the shutdown is not actually going to happen, BUT the kiddos are going home for an extended visit while we go on vacation. I won't know until Monday if they will actually come back here or not. This shows me there is really no cause for all the drama. They really can't keep the kids away from their mother much longer.

We are planning a reception for the 4 youth in our church who have completed Running Start (which is basically high school/ two years of college and most will have their AA degree) and or finished high school in another way. It will be held at the church Sunday evening for all who would like to come. This is for Vanessa, Brianna, Natalie, and Jonah.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

First Day of NR

Neurological Reorganization begins with a bang and whole lot of hoopla and silly songs!

Guess who crawls best??!!
Success. We started the creeping and crawling. We did not do patterning or the vestibular and sensory stuff.  We'll add one new thing each day this week. Thankful the big kids care enough to make it fun for the little kids. Unfortunately, they are the ones with the blisters. Vanessa especially has them on her knees and feet.

So MUCH to tell (and not tell) !

First off the best computer in the house died. DEADER THAN A DOORNAIL! Boom! No warning. So I'm fighting with this horrid piece of junk.

The picture that I promised.  This was the opening night of Campmeeting and the five girls in Echoes of Heaven (Vanessa at the Piano) did a majority of the music that night. Friday their numbers grew by 2. Sabbath it grew by several more, but then their time was cut short for technical difficulties.

On Sunday we did something really different with our Yearly Visit for the twins' first mom.  We went and picked her up from her apartment and took her with us on our fun outing at the waterslides. The twins both had the same reaction when they were told what was happening. I told them at seperate times, but they both got really pouty and said, "NO!"

They handled the initial part of the visit great. She had nice gifts for them. This is a first time she's had money to do something extra special. The kids responded appropriately. They soon felt smothered and kind of shut down and didn't really want to play in the water much. It was kind of cold and cloudy. I think that James eventually realized his best bet was to go and play with Buddy's brother on the kiddo slides to have breathing room. Missy pretty much sat and said she didnt' want to go on the slides. This I found quite surprising. She loved it the one other time we have gone.

As for the teenagers! They wore me out. Eventually I could hardly drag myself out of the water, but they were going and going and going like little energizer bunnies. They were thoroughly cold and shriveled but they were the last of the last to get off the slides.

Here's a pic of James and Vanessa thanks to Katie.

The news on the foster front is so crazy that I don't have a clue what is going to happen in the next few days. Crazy, crazy.... like there's even a crisis in the government funding and we might not be able to have a court as scheduled. SW calls and makes statements that make us really wonder what it is she's after... it's scary. I mean, the bottom of my heart drops out when this happens. I believe that this is spiritual warfare going on. The devil is not excited about this family getting back together. He doesn't want this mom to succeed. He certainly doesn't like her progress and healing and she is bombarded and harassed on several fronts daily. The last two days have been hard.

James got his bifocals. You have never seen anything like it. wow. I took them back today and I wasn't heard. I'm not assertive enough. Tomorrow Steve will go.

Vanessa went to write her CNA Exam. Drove all the way to Big Yonder City and lo and behold she was not on the list of test takers. She'll try again in August. BUT today she may have landed a  full time JOB!! Totally providential. She was going from place to place picking up applications and on Colonial Vista the gal who handed her the application was the one who hires and she invited her to chat.... then one after another came by and recognized her and one said, "hire her!! On the spot!" Also, this is where she did her clinicals.

The Restoration people got busy tearing up tile and fixing sheet rock today. Yay! Finally. I chose all the new tiles, paint and grout colors. I'm hoping it goes fast. Julie and gang arrive Friday!!!

We started NR.  That is Neurological Reorganization. We had a 5 hour assessment and teaching session yesterday in Yonder Big City with Bette Lamount. It means we start some serious exercises that must be done daily. She included some academics that don't have to be a part of the program, but will make the exercises fun and may actually teach them something. It's called Floor Learning. I'm game. I am also overwhelmed with information. Big words running through my head like Methylation.... epigenetics  . . . I have to say, the lady was thoroughly impressed with the kids. After we went through their history and all that she was totally amazed at how cooperative and sweet they were to work with. She was amazed at how far they have come in the last three years given the odds against them and the stories I told. We are starting at PONS  level work. In other words they have a lot of work to do on the floor.... creeping, crawling, patterning, getting the right and left brains integrated and working together. Missy has more troubling issues than James - as is expected.... She was thrilled with our family's style of parenting and working with the kids and believes we can really make this program work for us. That being said, I am overwhelmed and here it is 4:15 in the afternoon and I have not made them do their exercises yet. They had speech and OT at the hospital at 7 this morning until 9... then they have horse therapy this evening.... and my eyes are crossing! Speaking of which, it was suggested that both children need vision therapy, but the exercises we are embarking on may settle some of the issues.

The weeds are a foot tall on nearly the whole property. Even with the girls out of school, we are not keeping up with everything.

Cherries are ripe!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


And it's Sabbath at campmeeting! What more can you ask for?!

The girls' music ( along with Jent) went well. You could tell they were having an enjoyable time playing for the prelude, song service, offertory, and postlude. This was their second night. Will get pictures! They have one more meeting to play for. They keep recruiting more instruments....!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Foster Care Roller Coaster!

I don't know what is going to happen. The SW called to say she was pulling her recommendation to return the kids on the 3rd. I don't understand it. I asked pointed questions and got a hotly defensive response.... Until I burst out crying.... Then suddenly the temperature changed. I think she understood then that it's not me against her. We are in this together and their decisions good or bad, whether they make sense or not affect the foster family in a big way. I was leaving on vacation baby free and she just threw a monkey wrench into all the summer plans. Right or wrong I cannot tell. I do know there is going to be some contesting. And SW did promise me she would let mom have the kiddos IF mom can prove SW wrong! So here goes...

I love those babies dearly. I would not let them go to another home, but I'm tired. My house is in a major upheaval. i need some time. these two kids take up a lot of my time and so nothing gets finished. I don't like people changing the plan every other week much, either.

So, with that, we are off to campmeeting with the gang, the babies, their mom, and their siblings... Praying for a spiritual feast...

Monday, June 17, 2013

When It's Hard... Don't Forget!

A few years back I prayed that Christ would help me see people as HE sees them. I was warned that at times I would wish I would have never prayed such a prayer. That the journey to loving unconditionally would be HARD, HARD, HARD and that life would never be the same again.

Sometimes I have forgotten I even prayed that prayer. When I lose sight of that, the journey is much harder. BUT sometimes when I am in the very midst of struggling with a certain little person the remembrance of it hits me full in the face. I am almost able to push the thought away when I am feeling mostly frustrated and rebellious that I MUST go over this ground with her again and again and again..... The frustration only grows and I am then less effective in reaching her heart. I can't say the circumstances change and the behaviors go away and her little heart suddenly responds to my entreaties when I focus on her thru the lens of seeing her as God sees her... She has a part to play in her restoration as well.... sure would be easier if she had no power of choice. But the again, robots aren't capable of relationships and it's a relationship we are after.

I'm pretty sure God gave me the twins in answer to my original prayer. I won't even try to wonder if I would have prayed it had I known. They are precious in His sight and I think that I know the joy it brings Him when they make a positive choice that betters their lives.

Yesterday was one of those HARD days. It was eleven o'clock at night when I was staring into the eyes of the same child that had been in hard-hearted rebellion since had I asked he to brush her teeth right after breakfast. Mostly we hadn't allowed her to ruin our day. We didn't take ownership of the attitude or engage. We left her to feel the responsibility of her choices on her own and she didn't like it, but she wouldn't change her course. She kept missing the next activity of the day... and we carried on like we respected her ability to make her own decision to stay in the same spot for hours pretending to obey. We had a small reprieve in the evening while we were all in the field weeding the tomato patch. She was very helpful, worked well and was engaging in conversation with the rest of us. Soon after our Father's day treat and time together on the porch things went South again and when it's late and you are tired it's easy to get TIRED of the battle. VERY TIRED OF THE BATTLE!! Patience begins to wear thin. When the child manages to hoodwink you and throws you a triumphant grin THEN it starts to get PERSONAL! However, even then, I was struck, even as I looked into her face at how beautiful her clear blue eyes were and the thought crossed my mind, "if only to see her heart and soul as God sees....

Someone shared on facebook this statement this morning..... so apropos:

"Christ can look on the misery of the world 

without a shade of sorrow for having created man. 

In the human heart He sees more than sin, more than misery. 

In His infinite wisdom and love He sees man’s possibilities, 

the height to which he may attain. 

He knows that, 

even though human beings have abused their mercies 

and destroyed their God-given dignity, 

yet the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption." 

- 7T 269.3

There are two children.... twins who came from the same place and similar trauma and the same genetic pool.  One so desperately gripping control and holding herself tight against the rope along the cliff. She imagines an endless, dark and scary abyss below but her eyes are shut tight. She won't let go. She's afraid. The other child has decided to trust and let go. He found he was but an inch off a path leading to interesting possibilities... This scenario is played out daily in our home. 

James woke up with one thing on his mind. It was Father's day. His first words were about Father's day and he set about to plan what he would do in appreciation for the man he calls dad. He settled on "detailing" the van. He would have chosen dad's work car but obviously, dad had it with him at work, so he cleaned the van in preparation for our upcoming trip. He vacuumed and cleaned windows and carried out things to be put away. He needed a little help, but he stuck with his task most of the morning. He wanted to finish off with a hose and rag, but I was worried it might not turn out so good so I took him to the car wash and had it washed and waxed. He was so thrilled with the end results. The kiddo weeded and made cookies with big sister for dad. All day he was happy and thinking outside of himself. Such a contrast!

I have to tell you we put out the ultimatum last night for Missy. No more swimming, no more summer school, no more fun, and no more treats ..... that is, unless we saw a change in the current stream of things. Somehow you have to make clinging to a rope on the side of a rock even more uncomfortable than it already is...

She woke up with a different face. A pleasant determination marked her features. She chose to go hiking with the girls first thing this morning rather than lazing around and fighting routine and to do what is right. On her mountain hike with Vanessa she found this flower and brought it home for me. I hope she realizes life is sweeter, calmer, happier thinking outside of herself.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ford Family Update

Went for an enjoyable canoe ride yesterday. Didn't bring the camera with us, so you are stuck with my poor cell phone photography. Cameras, rivers and tippy canoes don't mix.

Brianna and Christina always lay claim to the little wooden river canoe and they can handle that thing like pros. They can paddles standing up and do all sorts of crazy stuff, but they added Natalie to the mix and the new weight and a little extra seeking of a thrill landed them ALL in the Icicle. The river is so APTLY named.

For those of you who know them, Kahlers, D&K Talls, Shearers and later the Ratcliffs were with us. There was another person on our river expedition... He's been driving 90 miles to come to church and then hiking with us each Sabbath. His name is Jent. He's 20.

 Duckie: Sick with Norovirus. Poor, poor speckled heat rash baby!

Buddy: Definitely yearning to be with his momma!!

Missy: Just hanging around. Enjoys summer school. Hacking away on a cough.

James: Bifocals coming up. Apparently, according to the optometrist whose first language is not English, "He has very, very, very much far sightedness." All his glasses up to this point have been to correct his ability to see distance. They don't do anything for his reading.... So, moving in a good direction maybe? !

Christina: The other day she announced that she would love to run a half marathon someday. I turned and looked at her in surprise. She giggled and said, "Problem is, I don't run."  Hahaha! So she started that very day. Seeing she is the strongest female in the house, and has the longest legs, I don't question that she will do it soon.

Brianna: She is so excited to be done school. She spent all of Friday cooking up all sorts of delicacies for a grand canoe outing and picnic with her friends and all our families. She joined swim team to strengthen her endurance.

Vanessa: DONE!! Three years of prerequisites done. She is now applying to nursing school.

Me: Very glad to have all the girls home during the day!

Steve: Is a proud dad this father's day. Hope he has a good one. He's working a twelve hour shift at the ER and Norovirus is the latest trend this week.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Twins First Day of Summer

Summer school is no longer called Summer School. It's Summer Camp! Changing the name must make it more fun.

The bus was waiting to pick them up a mile away from our house. No one told me. We finally figured it out. I have to drive them a mile down the road because it isn't the special ed bus.

There was a late notice for the FTDM for our foster children this morning. None of us had fair warning, but anyway..... the date is set. The kiddos go home on the 2nd of July. It's good.

Duckling has a fever and throwing up today.

Went to the pool for the twins swimming lessons as we have been for the last week and half at 4 only to find out they changed it to morning. No note. No call. No mention of it. They said, "It's okay, we'll give you a two hour lesson tomorrow morning." Great. The kids are in school during that time. I asked for part of my $$ back and they said no. That's 6 hours of lessons I paid for.

While we were at the pool someone took James' glasses. Why? I have no idea. They are THICK, coke bottle glasses. He's blind as a bat. It had to be a bully looking to play a mean joke. So, wondering what the little blind boy is going to do in remedial reading tomorrow.  Sigh.

Speaking of remedial reading, I bought a reading program for James today online. It is from Sound Reading Solutions and it builds a foundation in auditory processing. After the last several weeks of having him read to me every day I realized just reading out loud was not going to improve his reading skills at all. He is able to do the mechanics of it and even understand the stories..... but his lack of processing skills are impeding his progress. Summer School er... Camp is short. Six days in June. Six days in August, so I have to do as much as possible on my own to help him make progress every day, not just two weeks of the summer.

Brianna finished her finals for this quarter tonight. She's homefree! Vanessa has a few more days. Christina graduated from Driver's Ed. They are planning a cannoe ride down the river with Natalie, Ellie, Dakota and all the rest of the gang who are finishing up this week. They are so ready for some fun.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

About Yelling

Someone posted a link on facebook to a parenting article in a popular online magazine. I was probably impacted by her writing style equally as much the article itself. She had content worthy of the time it took to read. This is hard to come by these days so I followed the links until I reached her blog. Thought provoking and convicting, she shares her experience with fervor. She is the Hands Free Mama. Her passion: Being present for her children and freeing herself of the tyranny of the smartphone, laptop, over commitment, and those other distractions we all face. Her article: The Important Thing About Yelling. She pours out her heart with a raw honesty that is attractive because it is real... as moms, we can relate. 

I don't like to think of myself as a yeller, but I'm not actually one of those naturally and incredibly gentle, mild mannered women. I can trace the spicy zing all the way to my great-grandmother. I still see in memory her crystal blue eyes snap and flash her indignation. I don't remember the words though, they were always in French. I CAN still feel the intensity when I think of her all these many years later. Perhaps that is because a similar intensity of character and those same snapping blue eyes were passed down in legacy from offspring to offspring until I came on the scene. My eyes are brown, -so you can't see the lightning in them. . . but alas, you wouldn't want to stick around if you made me mad. Oh, how I have prayed for a meek and quiet spirit and I cherish EVERY victory given me. It's exactly how Hands Free Mama describes it though, "yelling at the people we love happens as a direct result of the loss of control we feel in our lives" and that happens when our plate can't seem to hold everything it is expected. I can think of some very-out-of-control-feeling times in the earlier months of the twins long transition and settling into our family that I am not proud of. 

When I think of someone yelling at a child I am immediately transported back over the years to when I was 8 years old. This should have taught me once and for all that I could not risk raising my voice. . .  It does not matter that the woman who hollered at me was not actually angry, or even frustrated... it was more of an instinctive FREAK OUT moment and she had reason to yell at me in alarm but the impact of the moment has never left me and that's why I am speaking of it today. If this one little random split second exchange has effected my whole life since (in retrospect, not as much as I wish.  Apparently I don't learn well) . . . . just think of it, You or I could be the one who shouts at someone and forever impact a life and the act probably wouldn't have a positive after-effect.

This is my little story....

We were at the back of the store. It was a new experience for me. My parents along with some other people were in the process of taking the ownership of Sunrise Valley Health Foods over from a guy named Glen Shepherd in Sault Ste. Marie. It was a little cramped there in the back with the sacks of flour and oats, rice and beans.  There was a bit of counter littered with various metal scoops by the sink, and a walk in cooler.  In the corner, the most tantalizing thing of all, stood a 50 gallon drum of honey with a red heat lamp over it to warm it so that it would not crystallize. It's warm sweetness wafted through the air tempting the children to stick a finger along the edge for a lick. Mostly, we found out, the top edges were covered with foamy bees wax, though, so licking soon ceased.

I had been learning to package bulk foods on the scale and twisting the ties just so, but the job was done and I looked around for something more to do. My mom was in animated conversation on the phone behind the counter close by and I knew better than to disturb her conversation to ask for another task.  I'd have to find something useful to do myself. There on the edge of the counter I spied two round, metal disks with a lot of little holes evenly spaced. Both were covered in peanut butter and I  knew just what needed to be done about it. I picked them up while turning the tap on and as I flicked the first one under the running water I was jolted by a loud screeching, "NO! NO!! DON'T!"

Diana came flying towards me and whisked the peanut butter grinder's disks from my hands.

I was completely undone by my fright. My insides quivered and my hands shook. I was too shocked to cry. What in the world had I done? !!

I hardly knew this person and I was humiliated beyond words. Diana recovered herself quickly and profusely apologized for her outburst. "I am so sorry I yelled at you, but . . . . "  I didn't really get her explanation of why those disks must not get wet, but I understood that they had been shipped out to a repair shop for this very same mistake recently and she was but trying to save lost time and expense again.

An over-reaction, maybe ... and I bet I would have obeyed quickly if spoken to in a less dramatic manner. I  suffered such embarrassment and distress over this for some time. The moment would not have been seared into my memory for later contemplation had it been less vehement, though.

The lesson in it is, of course, to know and remember what it feels like to be on the other side of someone's loss of control in their life... And for ourselves, to rest in the One who made us and trust that He is able, willing, and eager to handle life for us and give us peace so that we may never cause distress in one of His children.

I love the joy in this picture from horse therapy. Even the horse is laughing.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Duckling

The Duckling is 13 months old today.

Just had to record all his new words and phrases:

Hi there!
All done!
There you go.
Hi Mom
Hi Baby
This (Dis)
Up! uP!!  (with a VERY pronounced "P")
All gone

He's a smart little chap and surprises us with his words at just the appropriate moment! He isn't walking yet, the little chunk. He stands up and cheers, but that's the extent of his walking... he's too busy communicating. And he communicates loud and clear what he's thinking when I leave the room!

Friday, June 7, 2013


The yard sale is over. Didn't make millions but I did manage to get rid of a lot of stuff. I am so not a business woman. I would rather give everything away. I gave away a lot. At the end I was packing up and two ladies showed up. I told them they could take whatever they wanted. They took 4 box loads and handed me $35 on their way out so I guess people don't mind paying for their finds.

The trailer is loaded with the left overs and on it's way to the Sally Anne. YAY!

I also broke/sprained my big toe, or at least turned it black and blue. HURTS!

Steve doubled yesterday's progress on the flooring.

** The babies are up to a two night weekend visit with their mother now, so that means they are out of the mess for a few days.  That gives us a little time to make a dent towards progress. It's looking positive that they will go home for good July 3. I might actually have a little more trouble giving up the Duckling this time around... He's absolutely the funniest, most adorable, silly little boy ever and he's totally attached. to. me. Good thing he loves his mommy, too.

I took Buddy to a friend's Audiology clinic. I am starting to get concerned about his speech. His one year old brother speaks more clearly than he does. Sure enough... he talks like he's underwater because he hears like he's under water. Poor kid. He rattles off these long sentences that one rarely understands. If you listen close you can figure out what he is saying, but it's tough.

Buddy's family is going with us to Campmeeting. Looking forward to it.

Inching Our Way Along

Out with the OLD
It's a Family Affair
A huge lump in the floor causing some extra work! Also, I'm spackeling the wall where the closet used to be.
In with the New. Hard to capture the real look of it.
It's not easy living in a mess like this with 9 people. Babies are especially not adapted to this way of life!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

MESSY!! BUT PTL anyway!

Life is messy. Ours especially.

After pumping out the septic system it took the rest of the day to find out that wasn't the problem. At 7 PM Monday night the Rotor Rooter guy unplugged the blockage underground between the house and the tank.

The downstairs is drying out. There are 10 industrial sized fans blowing a storm down there. These are $65 a day EACH. There is a dehumidifier at $1,500 a day sucking up the moisture. The rest of the carpet will be pulled up today. Everything will be replaced... baseboards, everything.

Thank the Lord for Home Owner's insurance!! Our deductible will be waved....  THank the Lord for blessings in disguise. This house was in need of new carpets. What can I say, except PTL!

Yay for Buddy's family. They have worked very hard to help us clean this up. They own all the equipment.

The tent trailer has been handy and we've owned it since the day before the mess began.

We are putting things away as we carefully choose what will stay and what goes to the yard sale. The yard sale is Friday for 4 hours only. It's all I have time for. What doesn't sell goes to the Salvation Army.

We were already going to lay laminate flooring upstairs. Today we rip out the carpets. Tomorrow we start laying new flooring.

We have friends (Covrigs) we haven't seen since the girls were little.... like 13 years ago, from our Loma Linda days going to stop in for a visit Thursday next week. The timing couldn't be worse, but then again.... maybe it is the push we needed to get these projects ALL done.

Life carries on even in the mess.... I had to go to town 4 times yesterday (30 minutes one way). It doesn't leave much time for working on the house. I finally dropped into bed early and felt better by morning and had bathrooms and bedrooms cleaned by 5:30 this morning. The rest of time was spent cooking breakfast before I hauled the twins off to early music lessons before school. Christina had a major flute recital Monday evening. Made it in time for her songs at the end.

Swimming went a lot better in the second lesson than the first where the unsuspecting teacher was nearly drowned by the panicked twins! I'll be amazed if they make the team, but they are working hard to improve their swimming skills and that's what counts.

James is half way through his first summer math book and school hasn't let out yet. He's flying along. I'm offering huge incentives, but he would do it without them. Missy hasn't finished the first page. The girls think James finally understands that he enjoys my undivided attention and is soaking up the extra push in academics because he wants to work with me and is responding to my excitement  and pride in his work. It is nothing short of amazing. He made HUGE gains in Occupational Therapy at the hospital in the last few weeks. I would be surprised if they don't graduate him from the program in two weeks. He's making ALL the goals.

School lets out next Tuesday and Summer school starts Wednesday. Awesome.

Dear Mom,

You would be so proud! This is the fruit room after we put back what we decided to keep. Ha! You thought you'd never see the day. ;-) Of course, all the sleeping bags are still in the camper, so maybe it won't look quite like this when you get here next time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Counting Our Blessings! {Flooded Basement}

A few days ago we bought a tent trailer. We are excited about the possibilities and we have campmeetings and camping planned, but we didn't know we would need to use it so soon. The basement flooded.... Backed up sewage!! Seems maybe we have a LOT of people in one house and there's a little rebelling going on down in the sewer pipes.

Missy came upstairs and said, "Someone spilled water on the floor and my socks are wet." James came up and said the same thing and I never thought anything of it.... Until Brianna noticed it was more than a little water on the floor.

So, most everybody slept in the tent trailer last night as the house roars with restoration equipment.

Would you believe it, the little boys' family is in the Fire/Water/Smoke restoration business! They are professionals. Buddy's mom called about the time the issue was discovered and she called her mom and they came right over and helped us figure out the problem and the damage.

The mess was mostly "grey water",  I think.

Buddy's dad is a plumber. He came over and made sure there was no blockage between the upstairs and downstairs....

Then Grandma put us to work. She said EVERYTHING had to be out of the closets and bathroom and hallway. Steve came home early and set to work. They took the baseboards off.... ripped the carpet out, set up their fans, and that massive dehumidifier...

It's a blessing to have the right people in your lives to help.

I'll take the whole experience as a blessing in disguise. ALL that stuff we hauled out of the closets - save the camping gear, will not be going back in. We are having a yard sale. This is Declutter Maxima!

That ugly blue carpet we thought we could not afford to replace..... gone. :-) Too bad it didn't affect the bedrooms.

The funny thing is we were all prepared to lay laminate flooring upstairs this week. Except the bedrooms, the whole house gets updated floors. When you pull up old carpet you find out what nasty stuff it is. Gross.

The twins start swimming lessons today in preparation for the swim team tryouts. I hope they make it. The daily discipline of swimming for strength and skill would be so very good for them. Missy has a good chance. James.... he can do it if he puts his mind to it and past his petty fears. I was not even going to have him try, but then Peyton and Grace and Buddy's brother and sister are doing it and he decided to jump on the bandwagon. I just know he is going to hate the cold of early morning swimming, but I know how good this will be for him, as well.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wedge Mountain Hike

Even Steve says it's time to update the blog... ha! 

I had reservations about taking Holly. 
After all, she is 13.
And she's had nearly 30 children 
(in 3 batches - one batch of which was NOT planned.)
But Steve said, "Oh, yeah, she's coming. She hates to miss out on a hike!"
Guess who had to carry the old Lady off the mountain!!
He's good like that.
He's carried me off that same mountain before.
Why do we keep going there, anyway?

A note for my mom: Izzy is doing better. Her back is finally healing.
They found there was more broken than previously known.