Thursday, 29 January 2009

Game Review

Going into our third day of no public school due to snow, we have had lots of time to play games.
My children know they can stop anything I'm doing and have my full attention if they volunteer to play a board game with me. This also works well for them if they think I'm going to make them all get to work cleaning, studying, etc.

For Christmas I bought a new game, Qwirkle. It's a cross between Scrabble and Dominoes with a little Sequence thrown in. No reading is required which makes it perfect for the families with a wide range of ages.
We all love it and I don't even always win, which makes the kids more willi
ng to play with me.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Have sled will slide

When you have seven kids and its the middle of winter and everyone is sick of school.
What do you dream of?
A snow day!
Oh yea!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

James and I had the pleasure of driving the breadth of West Virginia this weekend to visit our grown son who traded his freedom for the privilege of doing whatever he wanted. (And he looks lovely in his brown jumpsuit.)
The part of West Virginia that we live in is considered a suburb of D.C. and is VERY different than the rest of the state. We got to see the "real" West Virginia on our drive - the Appalachian part. We have the most expensive roads of all the states.....every road has to go up, down, around or through the mountains. There are very few flat spots and most of them have a Family Dollar store on them. Everybody lives in a holler. Whole towns in the hollers. River front property is home to smoke belching industries and trailer parks. It's a different world. Beautiful and mostly empty. You could sell your home and by a thousand acres and still have money left over. It's the coal mine part of West Virginia and it's poverty and I drove by staring out the window- glad it was in my rear view mirror.

Friday, 23 January 2009


I'm teaching about weather in my science class. All about barametric pressure and wind speed, and types of clouds.

But today it was 52 degrees out after many weeks in the teens.

I need to teach the kids how on the first warm day, when you open your window and you smell the outside, it makes your whole world perfect.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Who Would Have Guessed

David started college this semester and although thousands of kids do this every year, I am taken aback by it.
We adopted David when he was about ten. Before that he floated through our town's very small and gossipy foster care community, making as many as 9 or so moves. David was a little "rambunctious" when he was young. Actually he was known as the kid most likely to burn your house down. He was also adorable. He was the poster child for ADHD and schooling him required no chairs but lots of things to touch. We had to use Ritalin sparingly because he was skinny as a stick and still is. David moves with lightning speed in everything he does, often leaving a trail of undone, broken and lost things behind him. He fishes his clothes for the day from a pile of rubble on his floor. He has lost checks from work and tax papers and too many hoodies to count. His disorganization didn't serve him well in school and his grades were poor to fair. ( He did excell in Track, as the only requirement was to move fast.) Nothing or no one (except for one un-named sister) ever bothers David.
And yesterday he stood before me, nervous, ready to start college. I was really proud of him. He had his books in his arm and pencils stuck in the books. When I inquired as to why he wasn't using his bookbag, he reminded me that he had gone fishing this past summer and used his bookbag to carry his fish home in.
David in college will be interesting!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Greiving a Friend

Our little guy is kind of a "lone ranger". He's 6 and that alone separates him from the rest of the kids here. He's pretty much- too young, too annoying, too loud, and a boy.
Last night everyone was busy. Too busy to do anything with him. I was typing my science lesson and answering him with my best, "oh yea?", "uh huh" and "okay".
Suddenly he was happy- excited even. He announced he had a friend. I look over and he's got one of those flies that wake up in the middle of winter that are alive but stupid and slow. He's got the fly walking on his arm and on his fingers. He's thrilled. He shows everyone his new pet. Basically everyone's disgusted but I let him keep playing with it because, (a) he's so happy and (b) he's now stopped talking to me and is talking to the fly.
Everything is great...until he drops the fly on the floor. Why does the dog, who was a second ago sound asleep on the couch, hear it fall, run across the kitchen and pop the fly into his mouth? (We pried the still body fr
om his jaws of death)
Jeremiah was stunned.
Then he cried. He kept sobbing that "the dog ate my best friend." I had to stop typing at this point and hug him fighting back any hint of amusement.
He asked if he could still keep the fly. I was afraid to answer. He got a piece of scotch tape out of the drawer, stuck the fly to the tape and stuck it on his bulletin board by his bed.
The boy needs a hamster.

Friday, 16 January 2009

I Can't Watch T.V.

No, I'm not setting some goal for myself. I'm not being punished.

I don't know how to turn our t.v. on.

I can do anything with the computer and digital camera and my cell phone is a touch screen....I'm not an electronic looser.... usually.

*Of course, back in the day I could turn the "on" knob and I graduated easily to push button "power on".

*I mastered the VHS recorder when it came along and could record my favorite show, "Air Wolf" with ease.

*Our first DVD player was fine for me, although I sometimes had to hook and unhook it and I had to think which of the many holes in the back it attached to but at least I didn't have to "be kind and rewind" anymore.

*We finally got cable service in the 90's and that posed no difficulty at all and I could watch "E.R."

*3 years ago James bought and installed surround sound and things started slipping for me. You had to turn the t.v. sound off with one remote and use another to turn up the surround sound.

*Just recently we got Dish tv. This requires the dish box to be on HD1 or 2 (whatever that is) and the t.v. on something else entirely and David decided we needed a Blu-Ray DVD player to maximize our watching enjoyment.

I'm lost at this point. When we watch a show in the evening, I go downstairs and sit and wait for anyone else in our family to turn things on. Sad.
Oh yea, and now I forget how to work the microwave....could someone please go make the popcorn?

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Eanie, Meanie, Minnie, Mo

There's a point in many of the foster care cases, where the court has to make a decision about whether the biological parents of the kids in our care are able to take them back. The parents have a set amount of time and goals that they must accomplish to insure that the kids will be safe in their care.

I wouldn't want to be the one to decide these things.

The decision can't have a bearing on whether the kids would be better off with us or with them. It can't be about the amount of money each can spend on them or who speaks with better grammar or whether their clothes will come from Wal-Mart or Old Navy or about their chances of getting to college with one family or another.

Sometimes....almost always - this is hard for me. I want so much for these kids, and grammar and opportunity and success is important to me, not to mention the fact that they may never hear God's name again unless attached to a cuss word.

But the decision isn't mine and I have to be prepared for their leaving or staying.
This one could make me cry.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Potential is Important

When we get a new foster child, James and I do an assessment.

*What fears does he have?
*Can we do something that will make him feel secure at our home?
*What are the child's strengths?
*Is there a way to develop the things he is weak in?
*Does he need educational help?
*How can we help him have some successes?
*Has he heard about Jesus?

and an important extra assessment that I do.....
*will this child play board games with me?

Not many kids come out on top on my list.
They have to not only want to play games with me, they have to be good at it. I don't mind teaching board games, but there has to be some good raw material there to work with.
And there must be a competitive spirit in the child. It's no fun to beat someone who doesn't care. They should basically almost die when I slam them.

My new 9 year old is looking pretty sweet. He can do mental math like a whiz and he hates to loose at anything. I'm starting him out slow, but this kid has promise.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Why didn't someone come looking for me?

Our internet has been down for a few days.

How do people live without being online?

No Blogging. Couldn't write any. Couldn't read any.

What was happening at Perri's house? What funny thing did Emily say that I missed? And Julie probably wrote 8 posts that are long gone.

And no Facebook. Nobody knows what Kate is..... and I don't know what they is...........

I have my computer in the kitchen and in between Abeka Math, Sonlight read-alouds, laundry and walking the dog who pretends he has to go every 12 minutes just to get another treat, I read my email. About 80 times a day. So with the computer down, what do you do between everything? I quit smoking 11 years ago so cigarettes are out. I mostly stood comatose in front of the computer...doing nothing.

But now my world is right. Here I am. There you are. I'm so very happy.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

And it's started off with a bang. Grace's doctor called and said the lump is NOT cancer! It's some kind of cyst and nothing to worry about. There's no sign of tumor in the brain or spine, so all is well. Thank you for lifting her in prayer!

Last night the family went to see Bedtime Stories at the movies. I normally refuse to watch anything with Adam Sandler in it, but this was great! It was clean and extremely funny (I heard he cleaned up his act since he had kids.)
I laughed till I cried as did the rest of the audience. Go see it!

No resolutions for me this year.
I did however, read something in my devotional today that I loved. It talked about not just being good or not doing bad things, but listening to what God's telling you He wants you to do. And the last sentence was, "It all begins with keeping your appointment with God."
So I'm putting Him at the top of my "To Do List" each morning - in the 6 am slot.