Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Easily Amused

Although we were promised a call today with the results of Grace's M.R.I., we heard nothing.
But lest you think that Grace is down and discouraged, I had to show you what I found in her room tonight.
She decided to go up in the attic and get down a tent and "camp out" in her room. Her younger brothers thought it was the coolest thing ever. Neither of her sisters decided to join her.

So here she of the few patients, I'd wager, who ever did dialysis while sleeping in a tent in their bedroom.

Monday, 29 December 2008

What Now?

We had to make an extra trip to Children's Hospital this month. Grace has an unidentified lump on the back of her neck. The doctors in Nephrology didn't know what it was, so they sent her back to her old doctors in Hematology/Oncology and they weren't sure either. She had an M.R.I. and we'll wait for the results.
Grace has been worried. That's a first for her. She has sailed through a brain tumor, kidney failure and ovarian tumors without blinking an eye, but she's 15 now and it's different. Grace will have to find her peace in knowing that Jesus is in control of her life, like I had to learn long ago with her roller coaster medical stuff.
Say a prayer for her if you think about it.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Family/ Take 2008

I have a friend that also does foster/adoptive care, who said in an email,
"We have the same kids in our Christmas picture for two years in a row!"
She has an amazing family and I know she's enjoying some much deserved stability.

We don't have the same kids as last year, but I do love the family we have this year.
Here we were on Christmas Eve at my parent's house. Some regulars and some new to the game.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Getting to Know You

As our new boys have become more comfortable here they've decided it's safe to come out and be themselves.
That's always an interesting time in foster care. Affectionately called the end of the honeymoon period. I know that personally I could have used a few more weeks of honeymoon.
But here we are in what often seems like the clash of planets.
Such as....
Lots of kids are amazed that lying is considered bad.

Stealing is as practical a means of attaining things you want as is purchasing and actually preferred. I know I've said 453 times, "If you didn't buy it and no one bought it for you and you have it, it's called stealing."

Our family is as foreign to these kids as sushi. They don't understand forgiveness, putting others first, humility and certainly not vulnerability.

We took them to see The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol and had to talk with them about clapping for the people on stage. They thought it was weird.

We were wrapping presents for the boys' teachers and one of them was a little embarrassed. He wondered what "all the other kids" were going to think about him giving the teacher a gift. I explained that lots of the kids would bring the teacher presents. He was sure that was wrong.

As our cultures and values run head long into each other at first, I wait for them to fall in love with us and therefore our faith and beliefs as well.

Is it too much to hope that they give up their wrestler affectation?

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I Could Be In the Know

I want to keep up with current events, but I only know what's going on in Jeremiah's kindergarten class this week.

I want to understand which countries are at war and the political reasons behind it but I only know which kid is mad at the other for using the Wii too long.

I want to spend time sipping tea with my friends and hearing about their lives and loves but I only sit and listen to what happened when the boys went around the block on their bikes .

The food network has incredible meals that I want to cook (or have someone cook for me) but we have to be at church early on Wednesday nights so chicken nuggets on a cookie sheet will have to do.

I want to pray for missionaries around the world but my heart is full of petitions for my kids.

There are shelves of books I'd love to read but Curious George and the Pancake Breakfast is the current favorite.

The world is moving on and managing without me.

It's a small job, but someone has to do it.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

My Kids are Clowns

Every year the Nephrology Department at Childrens Hospital hosts a big Christmas party for all their frequent flyer patients and families. As Grace's guests, we headed down to D.C. for the festivities.
The boys only b
roke one thing and were generally within socially acceptable boundaries. They loved the clowns and magic performances.
The girls were per
fect of course.
All the patients got to sit on Santa's lap.
Wonder how many of them a
sked for a transplant for Christmas?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Nope, not there!

I've Christmas shopped all over the internet and the FedX and UPS men have learned to parallel park around White Boy and dodge my ferocious dog as they deliver box after box of- free shipping- 80% off- goodies for all the people on my list.
I piled it all up in my room.
Then today I had to go out and I wasn't taking the kids. I know them - I was one of them.
So I hid them. In a great place that they'll never figure out.
So all my lovely children who read my blog.......
Give it up. You'll never find them this year.

Nothing was stirring, not even a mouse.....

It's cold outside and everyone is staying in to keep warm - including a large, I'm guessing Catholic, (since they obviously don't believe in birth control) family of mice.

As we took the boys up to bed last night, one little mouse was running up the stairs in front of us.
We screamed.
He panicked.
He ran around like crazy,
which made us scream louder
and so on.

As I tucked the boys into bed and read the next chapter of Mr. Poppers Penguins I could tell I didn't have their full attention. Their eyes were darting around looking for the upstairs mouse. Isaiah decided to sleep with his brother in the top bunk after asking many questions about how high a mouse can climb. (Absolutely not to the top bunk)

I promised to set a trap outside their bedroom door.

This was not the upstairs mouse, but his second cousin from the downstairs pantry, who had managed to eat into a bag of candy and empty a snack size M&M bag and was captured a few days ago. He died with chocolate on his breath.

It could be could be ants.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

"Book Ens"

I took this picture today at Scarlett's birthday party.
My father, Ensley, is holding my grandson, also named Ensley, on his lap.
My Dad is 86 and my grandson is 4 months old.
They are both pretty laid back guys.
I'm so glad they got to know each other.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The Big Stiff

Isaiah discovered today what happens when a hoodie is left at his friends house in the backyard overnight when the temperature dips below zero.
I found it very amusing.

Wonder how long it will take to thaw?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Grumble Be Gone

Just like everyone else, the pace of life has quickened and I'm juggling a million things.

How do you add the holidays on to an already crazy pace?

Having some of the kids in public school and some homeschooled means I teach all day and then start all over again with homework when the kids walk back in the door after school.
And I HATE all the junk the school sends home for us to do.
" Help little Johnny decorate a gingerbread man with the with "things you have around the house."
How about you stop telling me what to do!!

And I'm so afraid I'm going to drop one of the balls I'm juggling. What if I forget something or someone? What if the teacher says my name in vane because I forgot to put gloves on the 5 year old and they go out to recess and he cries because his hands are cold? What if Christmas morning there's no present for someone? What if..........

It's too hard. I'm laying awake thinking about all this.

Then the verse God somehow put in the devotional I'm reading for today said,

Do everything without complaining.
Philippians 4:16

Shutting my mouth here.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

What They Need for Christmas

The devotional that I'm using had readings for the four Sundays of Advent. We decided to celebrate and we got out the candles and all sat Sunday night and read about the first messengers of the coming Savior. I noticed that our new boys didn't seem to understand what we were talking about so we asked if they knew why we celebrated Christmas. They mentioned everything red and green and threw in a few -"to show other people that we care" kind of answers.

It amazes me that kids right here in our community don't know that Christmas is about God's gift of Jesus.
So, we watched the movie, The Nativity tonight and we'll get out our little nativity set so we can tell the boys the good news that Jesus came to earth so that they can have a home in heaven.

Our misson field is down the hall sleeping in our Ikea bunkbeds.