Friday, January 31, 2014

Have to Remember

I'm not into blogging at the moment... I don't really have the time, but I will jot a few notes of things I must remember.

Little Oscar is transforming before our very eyes. Love to see him laugh and smile and play peek-a-boo!  Really, it is a night and day transformation.  He still gets put in time out for throwing and banging his head on the floor, but once or twice in an evening instead of ten times. I need to remember this ~that time and effort PAYS off. The child is happier for it. He's becoming a little sweetheart. 

Buddy will turn 3 tomorrow. We got him the day after his 1st birthday. WHERE DID 2 YEARS GO?  So thankful he is with his mommy and that the whole CPS scene is behind them.

Pieter loves sledding. He doesn't want to come in at supper time. He's all boy. James doesn't want to come in either, actually. Our snow won't last but another day or two, though. I have to remember to give Pieter hugs and loving attention. It's too easy to forget all a child needs when it's busy. I can stick with a routine and keep everybody going in the right direction, but it's not enough. It's NOT enough  when you are 3 1/2 yrs. old.

Steve and I went skiing yesterday. It was COLD but the snow was good and I finally convinced him to take me to the very top of the mountain. He was patient with me sliding sideways on my skis on the steep, black diamond slopes. I'm game to go right back up there and try again next time. I was too cold to try it twice in a row, though.

I have been pushing myself past 15 thousand steps on my fitbit each day. I can't believe how hard it is to lose a pound at my age. I have been working at it since before Christmas and I lost a pound after 4 weeks. Then I could only track my losses by ounces. Two ounces and then 2 more by last Wednesday. Finally I lost 6 ounces so that I have lost a WHOLE 2 lbs in 6 weeks. Whew! Never give up, right?!

I have the worst smashing migraine ever and I haven't a clue why. The sun is shining. What's up with that?!

Missy is not doing well. at. all. All week she has been spiraling. It's not good. She's mean. I don't speak to her without being prepared for backlash at this point. She's really mean right now. She's almost ten. It's really scary, actually... the way she is going. I don't want to remember this, but I need to track the ups and downs...

Gotta run. That's all for now.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Peace Offerings and Sacrifice

With tears I told her I didn't want her pictures or presents or anything else from her. There was one thing I was looking for, ONE thing that was important ~ That she obey. She had been going out of her way to show me this morning that she would not obey and that she did not respect me as her mother.

It's tough stuff.

Showing grace, and love, and patience and mercy, and having long-suffering fortitude... these all have their place, but ultimately obedience still must be learned. Nothing can replace obedience. Bargaining, and excuses, gifts and sorrys...  all are worthless if obedience is never learned.

I wasn't thinking of it at the time, but there is a story in 1 Samuel 15 that came to my mind later and relates. I think I might share it with her for worship tonight. King Saul was no longer a humble, meek and modest leader as he had once been. He had become arrogant and proud and unteachable. His heart was hardened and defiant. When the Lord sent him on a mission with VERY SPECIFIC instructions to destroy everything of the Amalekites and he did PART of the job. He allowed his soldiers to save some of the fine cattle and sheep to make themselves rich. He probably got a portion of the plunder for himself. He did not do away with the wicked king Agag as God had commanded but kept him as a trophy.

When Saul met up with the prophet Samuel he was like, "The Lord bless you, I have carried out the Lord's instructions!"

Samuel's response was, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

 Excuses. Defenses. Evasions. and cover-up. The king probably had been thinking them up for hours. He totally justified disobedience because he had "a good cause" in mind for some of the sheep. He told Samuel they were for sacrificing to the Lord.

The prophet said, "Enough. I don't want to hear it. This is what God said to me last night."

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 
 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

Terrified King Saul cried out , "I'm sorry, I'm sorry I have sinned!!" and then he went on with more excuses and more self-defense and blame. He begged Samuel to just forgive the sin and let him carry on as usual and go sacrifice to the Lord. But Samuel would have none of it and turned to leave saying, "You have rejected the Word of the Lord and God has rejected you as king over His people." 

It's a sobering story.  To obey is better than sacrifice.... 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Keeping Our Ducks in a Row

I took a sanity break today.  Actually, I am taking a LOT of these sanity breaks. I'm taking them freely because I think I might lose my soundness of mind otherwise. Maybe.  :-)

I timed everything just right. I put the little guys to nap, and Missy's caregiver arrived and James had homework, so even though Vanessa had a lot of homework and no time for distractions, I went skiing for an hour when I went to Pick up Christina and Grace. The sun is shining up there. Our valley is under a gray blanket of cloud that has kept us in the fog for a couple of weeks. It shows no sign of lifting any time soon either, but the sun shines on atop the ski slopes. I didn't know I was so sore from skiing on Friday with Steve until I got on the slopes again today. BURN!

Potty training is not going well with Pieter. He is supposedly already trained - apparently both day and night. He seems to be interested in showing us the opposite is true. I've decided not to push it. He is capable and knows what to do. He is choosing not to. Emotionally he is a mess right now. That's as much as he can handle. I think.

Missy had a three hour meltdown today. I had a hard time afterwards getting over her screaming that she hated me and all the disrespect ~ even as she gave me a picture she had colored as a peace offering.   I told her I loved her and I thanked her for the picture, but I told her it was going to take a LOT more than that to restore in our relationship what had been destroyed by her angry outburst over being asked to help with breakfast dishes. For whatever reason she did the evening dishes ALL herself and wiped down the counters. She also carefully folded her clothes as she put them in the dresser I cleared out for her to use today. She missed the bus today. I knew it was going to happen. I could hear her playing downstairs and I chose to ignore it. Sometimes it is better to not invite wrath but allow life to happen. She's a conflicted little child.

I'm working hard with Oscar. We are making headway. He is allowing me to sit sometimes and he is climbing on and off my lap. He is sweet one moment and filled with rage the next... but I am seeing a lot more happy moments. He is learning to play little games with me. He repeats animal sounds with me now and plays peek-a-boo and chase. He likes the kitten and has identified the stuffed kitty as something that is suppose to meow, also. He definitely sees me as mom. He saves all his sweetest smiles for me. He wants me and me alone. He is so strong willed and if you even dare come close to crossing his will he flips over to his angry side. Its so, so sad to see such a little one so angry. He will NOT accept being fed from a spoon. He screams through every diaper change. He throws EVERYTHING across the room at the slightest notion. He throws himself on the floor and bangs his head, too. He fights the car seat when I try to put him in. But he will sing in the car seat sometimes. Other times he'll ask for something and if the answer is no then he just screams for the rest of the ride. I did not last in church. He was impossible and I came home and put him to bed. He likes his bed. He can sleep for hours which is a real bonus.

I gave all the boys haircuts today. Pieter's hair was down past his shoulders at the back and literally down do his chin at the sides. Since it was so long I figured this was something his mother wanted, but when I asked if I could get permission to cut the boys hair I was given free range with no perimeters.  I gave them SHORT boy hair cuts. And they are CUTE! They both have curls.

James is hating homework. Just when I think I could actually homeschool him he shows me that I would have a lot of problems with my lack of patience. It's easier to be patient when I can tell myself that his teacher at school must have a trick or two that will save the day.

Vanessa is working so very, very hard. She was discouraged even before she took her test this morning, the teachers had warned that a LOT of people fail this test,  but afterwards she knew God was with her and helping her all the way. We don't know the score on that test yet.  She loves clinicals. Attended her first baby delivery in the hospital. It was one of those heart -stopping dramatic births that has everybody crying when the babe finally breathes. She gave the little one his first bath and she enjoyed caring for him.

Christina is spending a lot of time studying, too. I encouraged her to take Grace skiing Sunday.... but then she was sick after. So, I don't know. Steve and Vanessa have a head cold now, too.

Been chatting with Brianna on WhatsApp here and there. She posted on her blog and nearly has another post ready and has sent me some pictures to add. She's been challenged there in Africa, but she LOVES a challenge.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Picture

Speaks a thousand words....

The first few pictures sent us of Brianna spoke of serious jet lag....

But today we have new one and she looks like she's back to her old self.

She is teaching math to 1st graders who don't speak a whole lot of English. And Bible, geography, English, and grammar to third graders. Then she works with her violin students and then does a little homeschooling with Shiloh. She said she finally managed to bake her bread well in the cookstove (wood I think) and gets plenty of exercise walking the long distance to the school and back daily. We are now able to communicate via WhatsApp and we are glad about that. My brother gave her a phone to use and set it up and that seems to be the best way to communicate. The internet is slow and unpredictable... so though it appears she's reading my blog there in the photo, it's not always cooperative.  She said she has a little video started.... someday we'll see it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Revisiting Passive Aggressive

As I've been saying,

My twins have been exceptional lately.

There's little major screaming and crying and in-your-face behaviors. I am grateful. They are learning. They learn slowly, but they learn. There's hope yet.

BUT we are having to be that much more on our guard because, while they seem to have more self control in the way they are not exploding at any given moment, they are very much seeking control "underground". It's not okay or safe, or healthy for them to get away with it.... Therefore we have to be absolutely on guard 100% of the time.

Sadly, Pieter is proving to have similar passive aggressive tactics to the twins. He's quite good... but I'm well trained. Our twins have taught us so much!! He is only 3.5 so it's fairly easy to keep abreast of him. I want to be gentle and nurturing and everything he needs.... but he's finding me a bit firm for his liking and he's not too pleased that I am on to his game. Even the girls have his number... Poor kid. He's testing  now that the honeymoon is over.... or maybe that wasn't a honeymoon, maybe that was just him being unsure and scared.

So tonight, I had three kids trying to do a snow job on me.  I'm good at sniffing it out, but when we are doing homework I do like to give them a chance... because there is a real possibility they really don't know how to do it.  I dread being hasty and making them feel stupid when they honestly don't know. Two were "doing" homework and one was having food/ potty issues. Funny how that all boils down to the same exact heart issue. When I had as much evidence as I needed to know this was going nowhere fast, I took the twins over to the laminated Passive Aggressive Chart and read it off to them. It's akin to reading the Riot Act. LOL. The howling that ensues!!! It's like pulling the cover off the big secret and exposing their crimes. I read each line that applied and explained how I see them acting it out. I then read out loud how I am to respond. I then set the timer and let them know that they have so much time to amend their ways or they will go to bed when the timer rings. Missy tried one more time to fool me. She was to write "99" on her page. She wrote 901. I smiled and said, "Nice try! But I know that you know it."  And she wrote "99" and I swallowed my irritation and blessed her for CHOOSING to be honest. And then she spontaneously apologized ( very difficult for her) . She fixed one other little thing and she was done. A whole hour and half of acting for all of that. :-)

James never could get himself to write the answer to his times table. He counted the answer out ten times but would NOT write it. He was sent to bed. When I checked on him he was chewing his pj shirt so he lost it for the night.

The little guy finally used the toilet and ate some food, but not without trying about three or four more tricks.

The babe screamed and howled till I put him to bed and then he screamed and howled in bed.  Everybody is asleep and the rest of the family has arrived home... so, I'm off the computer.

I know a little bit about hair cutting but not a lot. I cut Steve's hair regularly. Girls hair is another story.... I took her ponytail and cut it off, trimmed up her bangs a bit, evened out the front and TaDa!! Hmmm... Surprised myself.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting Organized #3 - The Mitten and Boot Overhaul

The reorganization and changing the way we do things in this house continues.

The mudroom got quite a bit of attention yesterday. I worked through all the boots, shoes, coats, mitts and hats and sorted, threw out and washed and took a load to the Goodwill. Of course, I came back from Goodwill with some stuff. I can't help it!!  But I am super pleased with the drawers I bought. It has 8 drawers so I labeled each with the name of the members of our family and now we each have our own drawer for gloves, mitts and hats.  I'm hoping that minimizes lost mates and kids taking and using other people's things.

The sickness won't leave. Missy was puking first thing this morning. Christina is steadily losing weight and unable to eat properly. James, too. Pieter has been sick with croup and ear infections. We are seeing another side of him. Couldn't actually call him our angel boy yesterday.... :-) He wasn't feeling good, but he really is beginning to feel at home and let it all hang out. That's okay actually. It's easier to work with a real child than a phony one.  I'm also trying to get him back potty trained.  Making him drink water so that I have reason to ask him to use the toilet every 30 minutes :-) It's good for his sickness, too.

Oscar. wow. that child. He gets really angry. He really, really likes me though... and smiles beautifully when he wants me to pick him up. BUT if I don't pick him up right away he will shriek and spit on me. Lovely.We are starting to see a cuter side of him sometimes and he's growing on us.

I've had an interesting string of updates on past foster and respite children. The infant twins that were so sick when we had them are adopted.  A mellow little 2 year old's mom works in a store I frequent. She and I had a nice little visit. She has been doing so well and is providing a good home for her kids. The three girls I have been doing respite for.... their story is sad and complicated. Love those kids. I just pray the right family gets to adopt them. Their mom signed off all rights furthering their assumption that they are not wanted. They are beautiful, sweet girls and I would love to see real joy in their faces. I mentioned the triplets are being adopted in the last post. Our very first foster child was adopted with his sister. 

The internet in Africa is being a trial. I am not hearing directly from Brianna at this point. I hope she can get this figured out soon. I'm getting another suitcase ready to send with Pastor Canfield. Mostly violins. I guess she has 7 students so far. He leaves the 11th of Feb...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Signs of Progress

Sometimes I have to stop and take note. I have to consciously take time to see how far the children have come and be aware of what is different from before.

The twins are doing exceptionally well. They are actually learning. They are learning to follow expectations and to control themselves quite a bit.

Having said that, James missed the bus yesterday. Missy missed the bus today and then she proceeded to scream and rage when I told her she wouldn't be going to school today. I can't walk her today (was in the ER with Oscar with croup and ear infections last night and I have a migraine, James is home with the flu bug) so not possible for me to put all my energies in her direction. Took an hour for her to come to terms with that. BUT she did! I can wish she never had the rage at all, but there was a time that something like this would set her off ALL DAY! We still have moment by moment issues, but they aren't as intense or as long and hard. I can be grateful.

Missing the bus was their way of "testing" to see if everything still holds true.  James walked to school yesterday. Missy gets to stay home and be my right hand today. And she is. She has unloaded the dishwasher and put away the dishes and she is rinsing and refilling the dishwasher now. She's doing it well and is past her frustration over missing the bus. James is laying on the floor playing with the Fisherprice farm set. I am listening to him play pretend - the little people are talking and herding cattle and feeding pigs and sheep. There was a time he would not have known what to do, or how to play with these things. He's almost ten, but there was so much these kids missed out on when they were little that I figure it is healthy enough for them to learn how to play with little kids toys.

 I have to be on top of everything at all times, still. James fed the plastic chickens .... but it was almost 9:30 AM before I realized he had gotten away with not feeding the REAL hens yet. Somehow in their minds it is still my responsibility to catch them and make them... even though I have been striving to teach them to be responsible for what they know is right. It will come. It might take a long time, but it will come eventually.

Oscar is a sick little dude, but whatever they gave him in the ER made all the difference in the world. Pieter is starting to relax and let down his guard a bit. The daycare lady mentioned she saw him shed a few tears for the first time. I told her it was a good thing. He was too perfect to be real... And we are starting to see it at home, too. He cried mad this morning over something. Everybody smiled and said, "Well, its nice he is starting to trust and be real".

Received a text from Brianna this morning. She's already giving violin lessons and told me to get the other violins ready to send. She needs more.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

AFRICA {Brianna Arrives with Her Friends}

Brianna and Enjoli, Ashley and William have arrived in Africa. My brother sent me a message at 2:30 this morning saying, "the plane has landed, but I forgot to tell them they are considered tourists on this first round of immigration."

I started praying.

Then I got another messages saying he could see them through the door. I have been there. I figured they were collecting their luggage. I knew this could be a hurdle from past experience. The customs officials want bribes. Our stance on bribery is to hold your ground and not give it because it promotes corruption.

Steve woke up and we both started praying together.

Eventually I received a message from Brianna herself saying they had made it thru. They had given her a hard time with all those BIG 50 lb suitcases, but God had seen them through.

I guess they had some sickness on the trip but were feeling a bit better.

Now they are waiting for Antionette and the little girls' plane to land.

The adventure has begun.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Word on The Triplets {Past Foster Kids}

I've been asked to do respite for the "Triplets" a few times and it's never actually worked out. I've always wondered what happened to them. They were more than I could handle at the time we had them. They were labeled Ferrel children by drivers and SW's because they hadn't learned much in the way of how to behave.

I don't know if you remember these kids we had last spring. There was Big D, Cookie (aka Tough Cookie) and Little D. They stayed with us three weeks and were returned home. Later I learned they were taken back into care, but at the time I had Buddy and Ducky again. I wrote about them here:

Tonight I received a surprise phone call from the three kiddos  new foster/adopt mom. She has had them 7 weeks. She was trying to build a picture of their history. The kiddos were ecstatic to have a mom and dad at last, but are past the honeymoon stage already.These kids have gone through a lot. Cookie is throwing HUGE tantrums. I could relate to that poor mom in so many ways, but she's still in the honeymoon stage and the enormity of it all hasn't knocked any of the wind out of her sails, but she is did ask for discipline advice.

I am so thankful the kids have a good home. I will be praying that things get better and not harder.  There is also a new baby on the way and the family is prepared to take it, too. I feel sad for the bio mom. She isn't working her plan at all... and yet this foster family is trying very hard to build a good relationship with her and the relatives.

Some stories turn out the best with reunification and turned around lives with Plan A. 
Other stories carry on to plan B, C, D.....

What a world we live in!

We were asked to take a 13 year old today. Of course, I said no. I guess they were thinking my girls would be good role models? We have all we can handle and I am not prepared for that age at all.

The wild ride of foster-care continues....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bri's Post: When We Didn't Know How to Love

 Happy New Year

Sorry, we're kind of late...

You have to see the video of Missy getting her Kitten for Christmas.
 It's way too cute.
It's on Brianna's blog here :

Friday, January 10, 2014


Steve and I went skiing yesterday. Brianna, too. Then we stopped by the doctor's office on our way home  and Brianna has a double ear infection. We have never had so much sickness all at once before!

It's 7:15 and we're on our 5th tantrum of the morning. Little Oscar is so mixed up. He hates everything...  It's so pathetic when he's screaming and crying in rage over NOTHING and he won't let me touch him or pick him up. He hates it when I sit on the couch or rocker and hold him. I have started just holding anyway - it's as though it is a fight for his very life. He struggles to get away. I struggle to hold on. I think the fact that I was able to last longer than he did and he actually stopped screaming eventually once this morning is a good thing. NOT easy AT. ALL.

Buddy's mom says it is because of his mother's drug use. He is used to her walking and jiggling and bouncing and when a person is using, they don't ever sit down and rest.... they go, go, go.

There's a real willfulness about this child. IT is HIS WAY or tantrum. Period. I'm used to that. That's not new around here, obviously, but he's only 15 months old!!! He has a sad future  ahead if we don't get a handle on this. I had no idea a 15 month old could be so set and determined and could not be swayed, encouraged, or distracted from his WAY. And of course, he is not rational, he's a baby.


Buddy's family's case was dismissed from CPS this week! They are a total success story. (Mom and the kids are. Can't say so much for dad....) It's such a blessing to be a part of that. I brought them a bouquet of fresh cut tulips to celebrate. The mom was scared at first... but when she realized she was NOT doing things right just to please CPS, but rather for herself and for her kids benefit, things came into perspective and fear was left behind.  We are so thankful to see them doing well. It's still hard. Mom is going to school, trying to keep her head above water financially, and mothering 4 kids on her own, and working to stay on track with her continued healing and progress. It's a journey in learning to trust God to care for her needs.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Getting Organized #2 - The Paper Purge

 There was a time I did the budget. I wasn't good at it and I never got a handle on the other parts of the important paperwork a family must keep up with. It wasn't good. Steve took over.

Steve got everything done. Usually he' was on time and he rarely gets a late fee, or misses anything.


He's a saver and saves every single paper that he comes across. {I was going to say, every paper that ever comes across his desk, but I got rid of the desk in my zeal for decluttering  and downsizing last year... A move we have not regretted!} He used to have time to file it all.

Not so much anymore.

It was piling up and piling up and he was getting frustrated with himself over never being able to find what he needed.... A few things were late. We missed a few important dates. We had a stack of business/junk mail that hadn't even been opened from May/June/July...

He appealed to me to do something about it.

Every once in a while I would  take one look at the stacks of paper and flee...  Helpful, aren't I? But I couldn't figure out what I was suppose to do with it all.

THEN our bank moved out of town. In fact, Bank of America left this half of the state. We switched over to a small bank right close to home and while we were at it we switch post office boxes to the one close to home. And then the nightmare began.

Everything that could go wrong about transitioning from one bank to another and changing addresses went wrong. We had spent hours changing everything over. All our auto-pay transactions were carefully switched over, but nothing we did went the way we planned it should. NOTHING was getting paid, our insurance company was ready ditch us, as were others. We practically had to do everything ALL over again because the bank that moved into the building Bank of America vacated took some liberties to open accounts for us and reset all our settings for auto-pays, etc.... and of course, there was NO money in those accounts because we didn't know about them.  It took a lot of time on the phone to straighten up our mess with everyone and to try and get out of paying a whole lot of late charges and fees.

It was time to tackle the rest of the mess and I turned to Pinterest for some help.  CRAZY, eh? Guess what?! Pinterest can help.Who needs Google. lol. I pinned a few flow charts and got started. You can check out those pins in a file I named The Organized Wife. I was looking for some motivation.

I went to town and bought folders and labels and binders and dividers and plunged in. I think I would have rather wandered in a cave full of poisonous snakes and spiders... but anyway.

FIRST I found out what papers need to be saved and which papers can be thrown and revved up the paper shredder. I started out doing it when Steve was working nights. I wanted to save him from a heart attack or two. Once I started getting the piles to a manageable size I let him in on my system. His response: "But what about our paper trail?" and then we both laughed. Paper trail indeed.  I'm so over that. :-)

There are things one must keep. There are papers that are no more than clutter and I aim to be rid of clutter. First I'm getting all the current papers organized for tax time and I set up a new budget using the YNAB program. Then I will go back and start clearing the file cabinet one file at a time.

What are you doing to organize and simplify your life?

Here's to a clutter free 2014!

Little Misery

I think we are getting somewhere with Oscar. He wants me now and calls me Mommy - (even though I had endeavored to have him call me Auntie since he should be going home in a few short months.) He reaches for me to pick him up. He will allow me to hold him in the night when he's crying. I can usually bounce on the ball with him. He'll lay his head on my shoulder now...... MOSTLY.

BUT then there are times when all he does is scream and cry and say mommy over and over and there's nothing I can do to stop the crying. NOTHING.

The social worker came to drop off some things for me. He stood there in awe and shock over the misery of this child. He was like, "He's like this ALL the time??" I said no, not always, but.... And the show he was putting on was not unusual. The man left shaking his head.

He has his lighter moments. The first five minutes after I got him out of bed were pleasant this morning.

So, how do I help a kiddo like this? I've been trying to hold him a lot and love on him a lot.

We were suppose to get snow yesterday. Right! This is a long winter with NO snow.

Christina is SO sick, still. Missy finally got to go back to school today.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Adventures in Parenting

I've named the little One Oscar - as in Oscar the Grouch.  The name absolutely fits this kid and it's kind of cute on him, so, from now on, he will be known as Oscar on here. His brother was harder to name. He's a good boy: Quiet and good. There's nothing that stands out about him either because he's shy and content. He's blond and blue eyed with transparent skin, so with a brother named Oscar I decided to go with Pieter. You could picture him on a Swiss Alp herding goats with golden curls flying in the breezes. (Pieter would technically be a Dutch name, but I'm taking liberties to make this up as I go).

We've had multiple trips to the crib for time-out this morning. Tantrums, tantrums, tantrums. Oscar has them for reason or no reason. Each time he has another I pick him up and put him in time out. He has words. He will learn to use them instead of throwing himself on the floor and flinging the nearest thing as hard as he can. He threw a bowl of beans this morning. He nearly threw my laptop. Whatever his hand can reach  he chucks it as hard as he can. He woke up cheery, but his way of asking for the first thing was to throw himself on the floor and cry.

The bouncy ball is a great place for bonding time. It's calming. It's exercise for me and Oscar likes it. It's the only way he will cuddle up to me.

I got over the flu and I just have a chest thing now. Christina has the flu. James came down with it last night. Missy tried very, very hard to have a fever last night. She's hilarious. Sort of. Whatever it takes to be the center of attention. She has decided to make food a big issue again. She doesn't want boundaries regarding food and she's having fits about how much we serve her and pushing for more, more, more. She's going behind our backs to get more, too. I put my foot down. ONE plate of food. Don't expect another morsel. Period. I serve her the same size plate as I serve my husband. There's no lack in the amount, it's totally a control issue.

Church is becoming difficult. We have around 8 young kids in our pew and we're having a hard time... I end up in the mother's room with little ones. Steve with Buddy. That leaves Christina and Vanessa with the twins who are NOT behaving in church, plus Buddy's siblings. The girls are very frustrated with the twins. Vanessa's words: They have been going to church 4 years and though they know how to behave in church they WON'T! Christina's words: It would help if their parents would sit with them!!

What to do, what to do!

Steve's idea is to pull the side door open a little and put our family on the other side so that we can see in, but the congregation can't see us. My idea is to give some of our kids away....  ( I guess that's  not going to fly as some of them aren't actually ours to begin with.)  We love taking them to church. They need it.  But we are having to rethink our strategies... I'm making it a matter of prayer. In the mean time I pulled dessert on the twins yesterday. I told them they would be losing their Sabbath treat every week if they choose to try and get away with playing and causing a ruckus in church. James took it calmly. Missy had a great big pity party.

Brianna is having the time of her life at GYC. She ran the 5K this morning. She's meeting up with friends from all over and her cousin Rainbow. She worked registration and sang in the choir. Last night she texted me very excited ~ She had been asked to be a writer for GYC.  Someone has been reading her blog, I think. Next year GYC is in Arizona which is quite a bit closer and the dates work better for our other girls and their college expectations.

The weather is great. Too good for January. We have sunshine and 45 degrees ...

TOMORROW School resumes!! YAY!!!  Actually, it has gone well, but Missy is on the verge of going nuts on me. She needs the structure that school provides. I feel myself putting up walls around me as being with her for very long is just plain intense and I get too tired of it too quick. When she senses that I've pulled into my hole she pours on all the attention getting schemes which furthers my desire to crawl in deeper. Kind of a NO~WIN situation to say the least.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Settling In

Today I dropped the little boys off at daycare for the first time.  It's a very nice daycare and less then two miles from the house. There was only one other child there today. They enjoyed their day, but when I arrived to pick them up they were ready to come home with me which is a good sign that they are settling in. The oldest boy is real sweet. The youngest one, bless is heart, is crabby. Even the daycare manager called him crabby. He has brief moments where the light comes into his eyes and he smiles, but he is mostly sober faced or crabby. He throws tantrums over everything. He hasn't learned to feed himself at all. He holds the spoon upside down and the food is spills everywhere.... but he won't let me help him. Literally. WON'T let me help him. He grabs the nearest thing and throws it.... tonight it was a bowl of applesauce. I rocked him and calmed him after a lengthy tantrum and we decided to try again. I gave up on the bowl and handed him one of those fancy applesauce packets that they suck the fruit from. He was mad that I had taken the bowl away and so he squeezed the packet in the middle and flung it across the counter. For a kid just over a year old I am amazed at his stubborn streak. Rather than gleaning comfort from me he fights me. Holding him in the night when he is scared is not helpful. He wants AWAY from me and throws a tantrum. He will ask to be picked up, but on his terms. He hits  and was put in time out for that today, too at daycare. So, we have our work cut out for us. I hope that it is a matter of bringing some nurturing  into his life and outlining some boundaries that will help him feel secure and happy. We'll see.

PS. Christina clued me in that this baby is throwing tantrums when I sit down with him because he wants me to walk the floors and bounce him around. Say, what? He's not a newborn!  He wants to be picked up and held.... but he throws a fit every time I sit in the rocking chair with him. So, we tried sitting on the exercise ball and bouncing. He loves it. Eventually he's gonna let me sit when I wanna sit wherever I choose!