Thursday, 31 January 2008

You Just Look Like Trouble

Last night I sent my two sons, to return some movies, get some milk at Wal-Mart and to pick up their sister Kelly. Kelly isn't able to drive because of a vision problem and takes public transportation back and forth to college.
She got off the bus and hurried into David's car. They started back home. Within seconds a police officer pulled them over. He looked into the car and started making some assumptions. He asked for David's drivers license and when he saw that he was 18 he wanted to know why he had picked up the little girl with the big bag. David explained that Kelly was his sister and that she was actually 20. (Kelly doesn't look very much like most of her brothers as our family was put together in a less than traditional way.) By this time, Kelly was upset and crying. The officer asked them to all step out of the car and David got scared and called me. I heard the officer saying to Kelly," You mean to tell me your 20 and you have no driver's license - I don't believe you!" I asked to talk to him and he told David "I'm not talking to your mommy." David hung up. The officer was nasty to them and I was fired up mad. Waiting till they came home felt like a year. The officer had patted the boys down and searched the car...went through their book bags and everything. He finally realized that there was nothing wrong and let them go.

My husband made an appointment with the police chief today and went and had a talk with him. He explained how most of the kids that come to us through foster care have a negative view of the police. We work very hard to make them understand that the police are to be respected and that they are here for our protection. My husband doesn't even allow the kids to be call them "cops" instead of police officers. He explained that although the officer who stopped them might have had reason to be suspicious, it was wrong of him to be disrespectful to them. My husband didn't file a complaint but wanted them to be aware that this was upsetting to our kids.

We are going to get Kelly some kind of ID that has her picture and age on it and we've explained to the kids that sometimes people get wrong ideas because of your age or the color of your skin.

This will be another good one for - remember when.....?

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Eating Worms

I've been walking around enjoying an ugly heart for the last few days. The knowing it's wrong and not wanting to stop feeling it - kind of ugly hearts. My hearts been muttering, "Why do I have to do everything around here?" (and I so really don't.), "What about me and poor me and it's not fair, etc." That feeling you get when you drive around at night and you look into a strangers' home because their curtains is open just a bit and you see a little slice of their living room and their life looks so much better than yours. Maybe this is all from lack of sleep or some hormonal thing, although I think I'm too old for hormones anymore.
Yesterday morning before breakfast everything was wrong and I made some remark that I was running away from home. The teens were all thinking, "bye!" and my husband had heard it too many times over the 34 years we've been married, but my five year old looked concerned. When she walked in the door after school she ran into my arms and said,"Your still here!".
So between a hug from my mom (I went to her house and asked for one) and a five year old who was praying all day I'd still be here, I think I'm giving this ugly heart up.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

His Eye is on the Sparrow and My Heat Pump

I got up and looked at the outdoor/indoor thermometer and realized I had one more reason to praise God.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

I Feel Pretty

The girls went with me yesterday for an initiation into the adult world of "pain for beauty"....they got their eyebrows waxed. I decided to take them because they had, some time ago, tried the plucking method on their own. It was bad. Anna had one eyebrow an inch higher than the other and Grace had plucked a hole in one of hers.
They were nervous the entire day wondering, "How bad is this going to hurt?" I reassured them that it hurt so bad it could make your eyes water. They wanted it anyway.
The results were lovely, although Anna Claire said the smaller brows made her look like a mean girl. Grace just danced around and said she felt like someone new. Imagine, a whole new personality for the $5 price of removing some straggly hairs.
We are strange sometimes.

Monday, 21 January 2008


My daughter Kara and her husband have been living in the suburbs of Maryland for the last couple years and have decided to sell and move to the city. Baltimore is an exciting city and has a great harbor for their sail boat.
So, yesterday we all went over to help them with some projects to get their house ready to sell.

Anna and Grace watched the kids and did general clean up.

James replaced 3 ceiling lights.

Trent spent most of the time helping us by staying in "the kid corral".

Nate and Steven laid the new flooring. When they weren't watching the game.

We got lots done and it's always wonderful spending time with Kara and family.
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Friday, 18 January 2008

Back in TV Land

After almost four years, my husband and I decided to once again have television in our house. We announced it to the kids at our family meeting last week and they were stunned. They thought we were kidding. They were really shocked that we chose to get satellite television because there were so many channels to watch.
That's where the catch came in. Because the signal is digital, it's easy to delete access to certain programing. Disney, or cartoons or Fox, etc.
But they were delighted to watch the History & Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

I introduced them to the wonderful world of HGTV. The girls loved House Hunters and we watched 2 episodes back to back.

The kids applauded the man on the roof installing the dishes. We needed two and he said that was good because in West Virginia you show your wealth two many couches on the porch and satellite dishes on your trailer.

And now for the two days after the dish was installed, we are in a snowstorm and school is cancelled. What lovely timing!
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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

I Should Have Been a Secretary

My husband James handles paying the bills at our house so I don’t have to mess with any of that. He does, however, drop a ton of paperwork onto my desk every week. Stuff that has to be filed….notices from school and insurance companies and other papers that need my attention. They pile up on my desk mostly forgotten until the stack is so high it starts sliding off onto the floor. At that point I usually re stack them. Notice that I didn’t do anything with the papers; I simply put the largest things on the bottom and make the pile neater. This usually goes on until we have company over whom I think would be alarmed at my untidy desk. I then find a cardboard box and empty all the papers into it. I take the box and stick it in the laundry room. The first time I did this I worried for days about all the undone mail and what disaster would befall us because of my negligence. Nothing bad happened. So, I did it again. And again. There are 4 or 5 boxes of mail in the laundry room now.

Every once in a long while I have to dig through the boxes but other than that, it’s been great. In the back of my mind, somewhere, I have a small worry that something catastrophic has been overlooked. But it’s not a big enough worry to ruin the enjoyment of a nice clean desk.

I have lots of other home organization tips, just ask!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

What About Me??

I get up every morning at 6am and don't have to talk to or see anyone or smell anyones morning breath till 7. I NEED that.
This morning our 3 year old started knocking on his door at 6:30. He knocks because it's better than banging his head on the wall. (small steps here).
Instantly I'm mad. Really mad. This was my time.
As I headed to the stairs with a murderous heart something happened.......something very "not me like."
I pictured a little boy standing on the other side of the door in his footy pajamas expecting me to come. He didn't know it was only 6:30. He only knew he was awake and he wanted his momma. I could open the door and be angry and make him get back in bed. His day would start with me getting my way (good for me) and him knowing he had done something wrong.
In a second, all my rights (and I really do deserve a little time) seemed to evaporate and I opened the door, smiled and hugged him, damp diaper and all.

It was a good morning for both of us.

Monday, 14 January 2008

The Ancient Art of Origami

Kara gave me an "Origami A Day Calendar" for Christmas and I love it.

Every morning I put a "brain teaser" on our school board and whoever figures it out first gets to make the origami of the day.

My two favorites so far have been the cute pink fox and the dollar pantsuit.

Try this at home.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Risky Business

I was reading an entry by Jen, a mom who has adopted a houseful of kids and she talked about taking risks when you invite kids to be part of your family. She has a heart that follows the Lord and I read her faith in action in her blog.
I agree with her that foster care/adoption ministry, like so many others, puts us at risk for "sitting down with sinners" up close and personal.
We attended a church that had a wonderful ministry to orphans in Mexico. They sent teams down to fix their buildings and and to distribute warm clothes and they brought back pictures of adorable children who said a blessing before each meal. Everyone wanted one of those cute orphans in their family. But those cute orphans are broken and in your sweet, loving, Christian home they would steal and lie to survive as they have learned.
We too, as Jen has said, have dealt with problems I could never have imagined. A few years ago I had the prosecuting attorney's phone number on speed dial and I know the names of most mental health facilities in our area. People in our family have been hurt. We have been fooled and betrayed.
And we have been called.
I'm sure there were many times when Jesus wanted to have some good food with the Priests instead of hot dogs with the sinners. And His risk with getting involved with us messy people cost him His life.
So, here's to stepping off the "nice" path and taking a risk. The bigger the risk, the bigger the hurt and the bigger the blessings.
Psalms 37:23

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Hey Baby!

Emily's having a baby photo contest over at her blog and she was giving extra points for baby pictures that included macrame or 60's hair.

Okay, how about poodle skirts? I'm a 50's baby and that cool car
behind me was brand new!

One Man's Trash

I admit to being a junk collector...I pick up good junk from people's trash....I LOVE Goodwill (as does Emily)....and I've trained my children to be on the look out for good junk too. One son was embarrassed as he sat in the drivers seat of the car while I was getting something good out of someones trash and the people came home to find us blocking their driveway while I was hauling stuff into our van. My son just kind of melted down into the seat. I thought it was funny actually.
Last week my daughter called and said that while driving through town she thought she saw a little tykes kitchen in someones trash but didn't have a car big enough to pick it up...would I go check it out?
What a find!! The kitchen is great and my kids are enjoying it until we can haul it down to Maryland to Kara.
The thrill of finding treasure among trash is soo better than shopping at the mall.
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Tuesday, 8 January 2008

I Think I See Something....

Yesterday our science class dissected worms. What all the worm dissecting people aren't' telling you is that the stuff inside worms is really really small and mostly unremarkable. We were instructed in our dissecting guide to gently lift the esophagus up and forward to reveal the reproduction organs. The esophagus was the size of a barley bean and I'm not really sure we saw anything under it. We just have to live in faith that earthworms reproduce.

And it was, no kidding, 70 degrees outside.

After lots of washing up the class headed to the river for "Hands on Biology". Which really means that we were not about to waste a beautiful day talking about science when we could go outside and enjoy it. Only two of the kids actually fell in. The water in the Shenandoah River IS NOT 70 degrees! I'm sure some of the parents didn't appreciate the wet seats going home.

To see the rest of the pictures, click here.

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Saturday, 5 January 2008

I Love Sushi!!

This New Year's Eve we had a sushi party at our house. James spent the day preparing so much sushi that you could eat and eat till you were sick of it. I didn't know there was such an amount... but there was.

He assembled all his ingredients.

He trained his young sushi assistant.

Making the perfect roll.


Friday, 4 January 2008

On the 89th Day of Christmas

I was talking to someone on the phone yesterday and they said they were in the middle of taking Christmas down. Oh my goodness!! Christmas was about a billion years ago now. I love the Christmas tree and lights and decorations...until about one second after Christmas Day and then it all annoys me.
Luckily I have a son just like me. He usually starts asking right after we open our gifts if I want him to take everything down. I don't allow him to, mostly because it's his birthday on Christmas and he shouldn't have to work that hard. The next day though he's hauling crates down from the attic and packing everything up. All the kids help and in a couple of hours the entire holiday season has been dragged away. With so many packing so quickly I lose a few things each year. This time a poor nutcracker lost his shoe and his entire head cracked away from his neck. Small price to pay to have my house back to normal.
I have friends who like to "savor" the holiday and there it is - all sitting there well into January. And people are still turning on their outside Christmas lights every night. (My son Kevin and I used to play a game when we drove around in January, imposing imaginary fines per day for decorations on houses after January 4th.) It's not too bad since they're not on my house, but I have major objections to still blowing up those air-filled decorations in January. Okay, I hate them even in December. And if they're not bad enough all blown up, what's with them laying all over the yard, dead and deflated during the day? Looks like a serial holiday killing.
Here's my sincere apologies to all those who love the blow up stuff.
I'm really not a Grinch, I'm just always ready for the next thing.
3 cups of coffee - no Ridilin please.