Wednesday, 30 June 2010

It's Kinda Like Kid Crack

We have been doing foster/adoption care since 1989 and have many periods of "swinging doors" - kids in and out in rapid secession. We kept boxes of clothes in the attic of every size and used them often.
We're not in one of those seasons now.
There are nine kids at home and all of them are permanent. The final group will be adopted in the next few months.
And then we will be done.
When we last filled up our home with adoptions it seemed like we were done.
Not so.
They grew up and left - some to soar and some to crash and we were down to 4.
4 kids was just weird. We all felt it.
We ran the dishwasher a couple times a week and we fit in small cars and people actually invited us over for dinner.
Weird. And pretty much boring.
There was a call to fill the house - just one more time.
So by the time that Samuel (6) graduates we will have been in the kid business for 44 years.
I think we will be done with this group.
But I did drop off the last of the paper work to D.H.H.R. yesterday to keep our foster care license current - you know.....just in case.

Monday, 28 June 2010


Yesterday we invited the McKenzie family to a camp out in the backyard. It was great fun - although our 50+ year old bodies are questioning the wisdom of sleeping on the ground when we have a perfectly wonderful mattress a few hundred feet a way in the house.
David assembled the six tents and helped keep the fire burning in our new fire pit. Every single boy was compelled most of the day and night to throw additional wood on the fire, as the propensity for pyromania seems stamped into the male gene. Never mind that it was over 90 degrees - we sure weren't going to freeze to death with that fire roaring.
James devised an nontraditional cook stove over the fire which appeared to be two rails from an old car roof rack supporting the round surface from an old charcoal grill. Despite it's ghetto appearance, it worked well and we had baked beans and hot dogs for dinner. Some of the kids preferred to impale their hot dog on the end of a long stick and drag it through dirt and ashes before eating it.
After a night swim to extinguish some of that campfire heat from our bodies, we assembled the smores brigade and told scary stories. Other than the cat finding my tent and throwing up discarded hot dogs and marshmallows on my blanket, we had a restful night.

ahh.........summer memories.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

I'm Done with the Day

Closing out the day in a large family requires a fairly large investment of time. There are six kids bedrooms with presently 9 kids occupying them.

Bedtimes during the summer are a little more relaxed.

littles are almost always in bed by 9. They need it and I need it. Bedtime stories lately are either one of the many "Curious George" adventures or the "Ezra, Jeremiah and Sam to the Rescue" made up tales, of their incredible bravery and heroism. (They've done everything from saving an entire village from man eating lions to being the only boys brave enough to stand up for Jesus.)

middles have a more flexible curfew. It basically works like this: After the littles are in bed, James and I can relax a bit more and they can find things to amuse themselves. Sometimes they go out for a night swim, or a few more games of basketball. The key to their bedtime is "out of sight - out of mind". The longer they allow James and I to sit and talk, the longer they get to stay up. They've gotten good at this and often 10 o'clock will sneak up on us. They still get tucked in with prayers, but no bed time story.

bigs get to stay up with us and watch an episode of a Netflix tv show. We rent the shows to eliminate commercials (which are completely irritating) and to keep continuity, which is important with many of the series we watch. I really love having some time with the bigs alone. They do so much for me during the day...watching littles, cleaning,'s nice to just hang out with them.

And then the sweetest time of day - everyone quiet and in bed.
(of course there's sleep-overs, but that's another things all-together)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

"Mom. Watch"

Sometimes our pool gets so full of people it's hard to get wet when you get in. It's often just a few families, but they all seem to have lots of kids....imagine that.

Yesterday was no exception. Wall to wall kids.

And what is the worse creature in any pool???

Little boys. They can't just swim - no - they jump and splash and dunk and tip unsuspecting people out of their tubes and they shout loudly while doing all the a fore mentioned activities.

Girls float and pretend to be mermaids and dolphins.

We did have a brief interlude to all the mayhem yesterday. One of the older boys decided to show off his dives. Every little competitive boy in the pool promptly lined up behind him and for over a half hour they took their turn jumping off the board. This left the pool fairly empty and all we had to do was glance an admiring look their way every few minutes or so.

"Cannon Ball"

Monday, 21 June 2010

Just Summer

The first day of summer makes me incredibly happy with life. Just saying it makes time seem to slow down. I've never gotten over the thrill of a summer stretched out ahead of me. I mark down all the camps and commitments and appointments until September and then fill in enjoyment around them.

One perfect pleasure of summer is sleeping in. Not for me. I try to get up crazy early each morning, knowing that I could have an hour or two or could it possibly be three hours, to myself, before the kids waken. When they come down to the kitchen still sleepy after nine o'clock, I'm ready for them - a few cups of coffee and sweet solitude under my belt.

I love to watch the kids hair slowly turn, just a little blonde, as they run around in bathing suits and flip flops and - who needs a bath when you swim in the pool all day?

There's not much that isn't perfect about summer.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

He's Arrived

Last week Isaiah became a teen!

In our family that means he is no longer a "middle" but has joined the ranks of the "bigs". A big gets to stay up with us and watch a tv show at night, go for night swims, and make more decisions on their own.

But more then a package of benefits the real change in our family when you become a big is the added responsibilities. You take on the care of one of our "littles". Littles need assistance at the buffet when we eat out - they need help finding their glasses, reaching a plate, pouring their own cereal and tying their shoes. Bigs have to be peace makers, not quarreling with their brothers or sisters. Their work load around the house increases as does their weekly allowance.

Although the work in this new teen role out weighs the pleasures, it is a coveted place to be.
And Isaiah is up to the challenge. He whispered to me the night of his birthday, "I'm going to be a great teen and I won't give you any bad attitudes, ever."

This may be the kid to do it!