A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft

Saturday, July 30, 2011

First Week

Sweets had a good first week of 4th grade.  She called me Monday night (at 10:10pm) and said the first day was "great" and that her teacher was really nice!  Her opinion still holds true at the end of the week.  Hooray!  This is such an improvement over the last couple years when she returned to school and spent part of each day crying because she missed being at my home. 

We had the normal fiasco picking her up last night.  I called and asked if I could pick her up from dad's house around 6pm and then we would go to dinner.  Her dad said 7pm.  I told him fine, but he needed to feed her.  Then he said he was coming toward my side of town, so he gave me a meeting place. 

I showed up at the meeting place at 6:50pm after we finished dinner and called him.  Sweets told me her dad was getting in the shower.  Keep in mind they live 40 miles from us.  Unfortunately, I got a little peeved, because I was waiting with a friend and three kids in the van.  I told her I was taking BB home to get a bath and to call me when they were halfway to the meeting point and I would come back.  She thought I was mad at her.  I told her no, just frustrated with her dad for not calling when plans changed.  She told me her dad said they would be there by 8:30pm.

At 8:10pm, they called and said they just arrived at a Chinese buffet and that I could pick her up there.  Now, this buffet is over twice the distance from the original meeting place.  I couldn't believe was disappointed that he was just feeding her after 8pm at night.  Luckily, my friend volunteered to stay with BB so he could go to bed.  I went and picked up Sweets, and we finally made it home close to 9:30pm. 

Sometimes it's not worth it to have him help (e.g. bring Sweets to meet me).  It would have been much simpler to just make the drive and go get her between 6 and 7 at his house, but I'm sick of driving so far and him not being where he says he will be.  He only thinks of himself.  Everyone else, including his daughter, can adjust for his whims.  Arrrggghhh!

Good news is that Sweets is with me for the weekend AND she is in a good mood!  Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some Fun

We were moving rooms around here for what seemed like months.  May moved to a new room and has a new bedroom set.  The boys had fun with the boxes!

This bookcase box lasted for about six weeks of fun!

These pictures were taken in March, but the boys often play together.

It warms my heart!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sixteen Months

BB is now sixteen months old.  It's hard to believe so much time has passed since he came to our home last April.  He is now a lively toddler who is quickly developing a mind of his own. :-)

Here are some of his current highlights:
  • very busy, all the time
  • walks, attempts to run
  • loves to be chased
  • carries on conversations in his own language
  • no real words yet
  • starts dancing when music plays
  • shrieks when he doesn't like something or wants attention
  • likes to spin around
  • hates swings, but likes slides
  • waves bye, bye
  • loves the pool
  • enjoys his bath, even lays on his stomach
  • purposely puts is face in the water
  • eats a variety of table food
  • can drink with a straw
  • finally eats off a plate instead of dumping it, sometimes
  • has first molars in
  • only uses a bottle at bedtime
  • often refuses to be fed, wants to feed himself
  • sometimes gets food into his mouth with fork or spoon
  • often plays contently in his crib when he wakes up
  • AND runs straight to me when I come home from work!
BB receives combined speech therapy and occupational therapy for an hour and a half each week. They say he is doing great, although I'm not sure there is tangible progress yet. He did come home last week and say "Hi" while playing with a toy telephone. I guess that is progress!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Last week I received some very sad news.  My foster daughter from my second placement passed away shortly after turning 19.  She came to me when she was three years old along with her four year old sister.  They were the oldest two of fours sisters.  The girls moved to their adoptive families after about eight months with me, and all four remained close growing up. 

This amazing girl was diagosed with cancer during her junior year of high school and fought it hard.  She was able to enjoy her senior year, cheering on the varsity squad and graduating near the top of her class.  She started college last fall.  After a brave fight, she went on to the arms of her Heavenly Father.

Today I had the privilege of attending her funeral, which was a celebration of her life, both here on earth and eternally in heaven.  It was a very nice service with standing room only.  She was loved by many!  RIP!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

4th Grader

I took Sweets home to her dad's this evening. She starts school in the morning. It is hard to believe she is in 4th grade already.

We met her teacher Thursday evening and heard how this classroom operates. Her dad did come, albeit late. We stayed after the other parents left and explained to him again about 1) she needs a healthy snack each morning, 2) he must sign her agenda each night after homework is complete, and 3) she needs to read 15 minutes each night and he must initial her log. We'll see how it goes. The teacher indicated she had talked with last year's teacher and knows the story.

I bought her two uniform skorts (she indicated her shirts still fit from last year), most of her classroom supply list, and her snacks for the first week. Hopefully, she will feel proud and like she fits in the first week. She was really resisting going back to school, but I don't think it was really school. I believe she was resisting because going back to school means going back to staying with dad all week.  Since June 1st, when she finished 3rd grade, she has been with me all but seven nights - only five trips home in over seven weeks.  She has loved it. I just hope she adjusts well to the new schedule with school.  The last two years, she has had problems the first few weeks weeks back. I'm hopeful she can deal with it better this year. After the adjustment period, she does well at school. It is her safe haven during the week where she knows what to expect.

The good news is that she knows I'm picking her up on Friday for the weekend. We also have special plans for the first two weekends in August. This means she has something to look forward to, if she will!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Foster Friday - Siblings

Check out the latest Foster Friday post which discusses the affect of fostering on children who become foster siblings.  I wrote about how fostering has affected May and Buddy.  I love Kylee's story about how she was impacted after her family started fostering when she was 8 years old. 

Here are the previous Foster Friday posts if you missed them:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Milestone for Mom

During vacation, in close quarters in the cabin, BB woke up in the wee hours of the morning and wouldn't settle back in his port-o-crib because he could see me in the bed beside him.  So, as any good mother would do, to keep the cabin quiet for the rest of the family, I picked him up and attempted to snuggle with him in my bed.

Normally, this ends one of two ways: BB throwing a fit trying to get down or BB playing and climbing all over me.  This time he snuggled into me and went to sleep in about twenty minutes.  We both got another couple hours of sleep, and he continued to sleep when I got up.  Major success!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


We had a wonderful time in South Dakota. The total was about 30 at the family reunion. We all enjoyed time with our cousins, across three generations.

Tuesday we went on an all day event which started with a pancake breakfast, included a bus ride which stopped at Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Crazy Horse Monument among others, squeezed through the tunnels on Needles Highway (incredible in a bus), ate lunch at the summer white house for President Coolidge, and finished with a cowboy dinner and music show. It was a great way to sight-see. Only down side was that BB did not want to sleep AT ALL. He was a little loud on the bus a couple times, but people were generally forgiving. Mt. Rushmore was awesome! I think everyone should see it at least once!

Wednesday was a relaxing day at the resort camp. The kids played with their cousins and aunt. I took the van in and had the seatbelt repaired. That night was our family's evening for dinner preparation. We made Mexican Straw Hats, an old time favorite rendition of a taco salad. Everyone devoured it!

May, Sweets, and Buddy went horse back riding for an hour and a half on Thursday morning. They loved it and wished it were even longer. More family time and packing filled the rest of the day.

Friday morning we said our good-byes and headed down the road again. The three day trip home went very well. I am so proud of the kids! Even BB survived, although he definitely did not like being strapped in the car seat for such a long time. It was good to get home to my own bed. I definitely declare this vacation a success!

Monday, July 11, 2011

On the Road

This week we are on vacation, meeting for a family reunion at a resort camp near Mt. Rushmore. Thursday after work, we packed up the van (including up on top), took showers, ate dinner, got gas, and eight of us left at midnight. In addition to me and the four kids, my parents and a good friend were off.

My strategy actually worked! The kids slept most of the remainder of the night.  My dad drove the majority of the time, with my friend and I giving him short breaks. We ate breakfast and drove some more, ate snacks in the car for lunch and kept driving until mid-afternoon. The only casualty was a seatbelt that quit functioning after one of the rest stops.

After checking into a motel in Colorado, the kids went swimming with my friend, while my parents rested and I went to get the seatbelt checked. Yep, retractor broken; needs to be ordered. Nope, they can't order it for a dealership closer to our destination.

On Saturday, we drove a couple of hours, checked out a candy factory (that made the kids' day), ate lunch, and drove a couple more hours. We had a much better motel that night in Wyoming, and we went swimming at the local Y.M.C.A. before dinner.

Sunday morning we drove the rest of the way to our destination and checked into our cabin, a quaint log structure with three bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, and small living room. Other family is staying in two larger cabins. I think we will total about 30 when all are here.

Today my friend, the three older kids, and some cousins checked out the reptile garden and had a blast! My parents watched BB, who took an extended nap (YEAH!), and I went into Rapid City to get the seatbelt situation resolved. A new one is ordered and should be here Wednesday. I also picked up food for dinner one night this week, as each branch on the family tree takes care of dinner for all on one evening.

What did I forget so far? Socks (easily fixed this morning) and my cord that connects my camera to my computer (so no pictures until we get home, boo hoo).  All in all things have been marvelous, much better than I expected for such an extended road trip with so many packed in to the van!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Tonight we went to see the fireworks for an early 4th of July celebration.  We setup camp chairs on grass a short distance away from where they were shooting the fireworks.  BB was tired and very antsy, fussing quite a bit.  Once the first test firework was set off, he settled down quickly.  He ended up mesmerized, watching the fireworks show.  The noise didn't bother BB at all.  During the finale, Buddy covered his ears, but afterwards he declared it the best fireworks ever!

Unfortunately, Sweets did not get to go with us.  After dropping her off with her dad yesterday, with plans to pick her up tonight, he called when we were halfway there saying he was keeping her tonight.  She was not pleased.  Hopefully, we can pick her up tomorrow, according to the new plan.