Thursday, January 14, 2016

Three Years

And here we are.  Three whole years since we met Miss Phoebe. 

Things about her--

She loves wearing red (and she looks good in it too)

She's a very quick learner in school, works very hard

She doesn't have a mean bone in her body, is very compassionate

She's very artistic

She's learned about and lives for God

She is legally blind, but you would never guess that

She loves food, all of it and lots of it except for carrots and mashed/ baked potatoes

Year one for us was tough.  Not gonna lie. It came to our attention (through things she finally shared) that she was not prepared in ANY way for the adoption.  She was CLUELESS.

And add on to this she was threatened  she had to come with me and was not told her foster mother was not her bio grandmother, which Phoebe did, in fact, believe she was.  (She is not)

 This was a terrible situation to burden her with. Because she basically believed we "took her" from her grandma and had no understanding that being adopted in to a family was a good thing :(

This explained her anger, her outrage with us. She didn't want to be forced to do things "grandma" had always done FOR her without question. 

 But it's not so cute when she's going on 9 coming here and can't dress herself. We did, indeed, seem "mean" and made her learn.

Year 2 saw her getting more of what "family" was about and we've seen her make huge leaps and bounds of progress.

She's in middle school this year and that's been a whole new experience for her.

We can only imagine what this 3rd year will bring for her, good things we are sure because she's such a special and wonderful girl.  And now we can say "You've been home 3 YEARS!" Which, to be honest, is usually followed up with "And you are still slurping food?"  HA HA!! 

Happy "Gotcha" Day Phoebe!! Love her tons :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Funny enough, as I was stressing getting a post up this was my calendar quote for today--

The thing about blogging is that it is our real lives,
it's just not the FULLNESS of real life.

This is so very true! It's why I struggle to be able to post as much as I have in the past.

 It's just not the "fullness" and I want to do justice to blog posts so they have slowed down and will probably continue to do so.  We are living life, we gotta do the full deal, here in real life. You know?

So as time marches on......... 2016 here you are, ready or not!

The new year brings questions.....what will we DO this year? Will it be the year we see 2 of our precious ones graduate and spread their wings in to the vast world of "adult life?"  

Probably, yes. Chance and Chloe will (most likely and they better!!) Graduate high school and head out in the world. 

Chloe was accepted in to college (yeah!!!) Which is a HUGE accomplishment for her. Chloe girl is incredibly smart and blows us away that she has only been here going on 7 years (for real) and she been accepted to a really good college. Wow.

She's not sure it's her path yet though. She's still "undecided" as to what she will do/become. Which is fine, she's got time to "find" herself.

Chance is certain "no more school"--school has not been easy for him and he will not  be  torturing subjecting himself to "extra".

Which is okay because he took Vo Tech in high school and has job skills. Another plus for him--he is an extremely hard worker.

Chase, Chloe and Chance all have incredible motivation/work ethic. Always have. 

Give them a job, doesn't matter what it is and you get your money's worth with no complaints, slacking, or whining if overtime is needed. They  are also on time, don't call off and up for picking up hours if needed.

Any employer's dream, I'm telling you :) 

So other than knowing what lies ahead for our senior twins, what else will this year bring?

We have no idea do we? Nope. And that's truly ok..... Yes, I wrote that. Us, grown ups...parents of 12+ HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS TO COME. We like to think we know. It's only responsible, you know?

But really, we don't. Because yet again, for another year of our lives we will hand over the control we soooo love to Him. God. Our Father who knows us and has blessed us beyond measure. 

And no matter what this New Year brings He will guide our way through.

It may be tough, it may be easy.... He hasn't promised easy but He has promised to never leave us.

Therefore we will weather whatever this year brings because we have Him. 

We've seen some huge leaps of progress, had some rough waters lately. Isn't that always how it is? Yes, and its called "life."

  Where we see one son maturing and finding his way to better grasp the meaning of family we have given him, another showed some disrespect and made poor choices.

Nothing surprising to us, we've seen this "I want to be independent" attitude before with others. Only their wish to be independent doesn't match up with their wallets, bank accounts, employment, wheels, etc........

So after older brother (who pulled the same crap on us 2 years ago) stepped up to tell younger brother to knock it off and stop "being stupid" about not respecting our home/rules to get the benefits of free living.... you could have blown us away with a feather. 

Now if anyone could get through to the next stubborn one in line??? Ha ha. We can only hope and pray there:)

Our wish for 2016 is the same. Happy,  as healthy as possible kiddos who know God. 

 That God provides and we are able to meet their needs and He will guide us through life, forgive our shortcomings and help us continue to show His unconditional love through us. 

We have His love and His strength which is more than enough to see us through this new year. We have love and joy planned for 2016.

Welcome New Year. 2016. Welcome.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

All ready

We have gotten most everything delivered, wrapped and ready for the big day.  Our Lord and Savior's birthday!

All the food is planned, bought and ready to go. 

The only thing I have really slacked on is the yearly Christmas pictures of the kids. Just haven't found time to do it yet.

Every time I think of a good time it seems, Chloe is working or something gets in the way of all of them being available.

They are a busy bunch, that's for sure. 

I was busy this week making my annual winter trail mix and I also made peppermint bark (2 ingredients, white chocolate and candy canes...easy and sweet!)  Made for family and friends. 

The "girls" headed up by Mal got their annual cookie baking done. They do this for fun, I don't do cookie baking ( just one thing as a mom of 12 I shaved off my list of Christmas to do things years ago) so it's a tradition that the girls get together and do it.

They made chocolate, snicker doodles, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Whole house smells amazing again :) 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Giving Thanks

We had to give God multiple thanks this Thanksgiving year. Firstly we had a great day, plenty of food, family and fun.

Not one meltdown for the first holiday in 3 years! Hubby and I were shocked when we talked about it later. Seems everyone was able to handle the day and enjoy the family time...whoo hoo! 

What a nice place to be:) Seeing progress and able to enjoy all of our company on the holiday. 

We had 2 turkeys and a ham again this year. I think for Christmas it will be 2 hams and 1 turkey. The ham seems to be hit harder than the turkey, so might just reverse it so we have plenty. 

Hubby braved the early sales with the kids.... couldn't believe they went shopping after lunch. Makes me sad to see the holiday become a shopping day:(

 But we always eat early so our lunch was over.... Hubby and I did venture out on Black Friday. 

We haven't done that in years and we didn't do any of the "super early" craziness, but arrived later and still got great deals on what all the kids asked for... clothes! Yep, they all are wanting apparel with a few games thrown in there. Made it really easy on us. Just had to try to find what each one likes/fits. 

Did I actually write it was "easy on us?" Uh, no. It's not. They are pretty picky which makes it tough. But we did get wish lists from them and did our best. While we were out shopping the kids so kindly got the tree up! 

Usually we have it up way before now, but I was quite busy last week when I took a wish trip to Florida with a client for work. And I was WARM for a whole week. Thinking I should LIVE in Florida :) loved being in shorts every day, sunshine, warm temps.

I bought myself this from the trip, I mean how could I resist it?  Hubby got a mug with "FATHER OF ALL THINGS" on it.  Just too fitting, don't ya think? I wore my shirt for Thanksgiving:)   

It was a not-so-fun shock to return to 38 degrees, but return I did. Having missed my family tons and next thing I knew it was Thanksgiving so our Christmas decorating waited till after Thanksgiving like it should. Even if we have had Christmas music playing since October....We are just weird like that :) 
We are ever thankful to God for each of our family members and for His provisions for our family. Our table held plenty for all to eat and our Christmas shopping is well under way with God always providing for our needs and even giving us quite a few of the "wants"  as well. 

We shared our day with all our kids, our niece and family, even my bro and  his family stopped by later for the "second round" of meal:) 

Derrik missed my pictures somehow but he and a co worker with no family in the area also got the late meal since they had to work earlier. Was happy so many were able to come.

Hoping your day was just as peaceful and pleasant as ours was :) 

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Phoebe's heart

At Phoebe's summer check up the doctor thought she heard a heart murmur. So we were referred to a pediatric heart specialist, same one we go to for Paisley :)

Her appointment took months to get, and today was the day.....

She indeed does have a heart murmur. And it's no biggie. Just a "different sound" to her very normal and well functioning heart.  They did find she has a tiny area of narrowing of a vessel coming from her heart to left lung. What does this mean?

Nothing, really. She was born with it, it's very, very minor. If they weren't looking for the cause of heart murmur they wouldn't have ever seen it. So good news all around. She has no restrictions and doesn't even need yearly follow up, it's that minor. And this issue is not the cause of the murmur.  

She was quite happy, she had tons and tons of questions about everything they did (EKG and Echo for us medical folks) and the only part she didn't care for was the icky gel she somehow got in her hair. Thank goodness it was clear gel.... her hair collects color quite easy since it's got no pigment.

It was an opportunity to spend some 1 on 1 time with Phoebe, there isn't a whole lot of that with 6 kiddos at home.

She said at one point something about the "girls" all wanting clothes? I thought she meant us buying them clothes, but no, she meant that Chloe has eyed up my new smaller duds, yes, some are in her size.

And besides it being a pain that they give all my clothes to Chloe when they sort clothes, apparently Phoebe was eyeing up my top I had on today, said she liked it,  and was hinting she wanted to be able to "borrow" my clothes.

Stinker.  I think not. Although, she's growing like crazy.  Her and Kat both.  Almost as tall as me, both of them. That happened way too fast!

Paisley started her new medication last week. She goes again next week for another infusion. Unfortunately she was not able to get joint injections/ do the rehab hospital stay because of insurance issues:(

But she's been doing daily exercises so something sunk in to her stubborn brain about maintaining her own health, thank goodness for that. And that the new med seems to be helping so far. The weather here is turning colder which is hard on her joints so it's an uphill battle right there. We are praying it get ahead of her arthritis issues and gives her the best relief she can get.

Football and Field Hockey are over.  Chloe is working more now that she doesn't have field hockey.

Camden is "borrowing" my new exercise machine, my treadmill which allows for exercise when we are having bad weather. It took some getting used to for me, having walked all summer outside. And I still prefer that, did 4 miles today when the sun peaked out after pouring rain this morning. 

But it's a wonderful alternative for our healthy living and we are going to get plenty of use of it this winter. It's got some neat work out settings that are quite challenging, and yes, I've fallen off already--- no injuries.

Just had to laugh at myself for not paying attention and falling off:)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

1,000 steps

Took a hike today, to a trail called 1,000 steps.  PHEW.

I have news--- it's more than 1,000 steps up.  And it's hard to take a kid who is legally blind on uneven stone steps.  But trooper DAD, as he always is, handled Phoebe while I kept up with the speed girlie, Kat.

Worked out well and we all made it to the top and more.  Trails after we got to the top and amazing views.

I'll leave you with picture proof---- God's amazing creation for us to enjoy, WOW.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Birthday and Anniversary

Yes, the party (ha ha) continues around here.

This week was my birthday-- 48 years young, feeling like I don't know how that happened?  Where did my 30's go?

On my birthday I hit 80 lbs of weight loss.  Yes, I did.  And yes, I had it to lose. That seems to be a big thing everyone says "I didn't think you had that much to lose."

 Okay, I did:)

And I'm happy to say it's gone. Continuing on to my healthy lifestyle, no magic around here. No pills, drinks, surgery, nada.  Exercise and eating healthy.

Can't say it enough that the benefits are HUGE for this family to have me as healthy as possible.

And then today we have a wedding anniversary-- 16 years for me and hubs.

Now it's not always been smooth sailing through blending of families, adding in more, adoption, fostering, just writing it seem like a bunch of crazy. 

 But it's one thing that's been so solid and good. Hubs and me. We both had been deeply hurt before and it was hard on us both. 

We have one of the neatest " love stories" because we dated very young then went our separate ways and met up years later then married. 

I believe we have always appreciated each other more because we knew what we had was special and I couldn't love this guy more.

I thank God for the blessing of him in my life:)