Monday, August 29, 2011

And off they went







To school. Bright and early, the kids were sooo wound up last night, I don't know how they got any sleep. But they were chipper as could be this morning, ready way before they needed to be.



They looked pretty sharp, if you ask me. I *might* be a bit bias but I am allowed to be:) Don't worry about Chase not smiling- the twins pick on him and tell him he "has no eyes" when he smiles, so he refuses to let me get a picture of him smiling. Teenage vanity. What can I say?



Camden goes with dad to work, gets dropped off at the sitter this year, as he is going to his last year of Elementary school at his old school. A big change for me and Miss Kitty, I think for her it will be a good change. It gives her over an hour of momma time all to herself. No bickering between those two. And next year he will leave with the teens for middle school- can't believe I am even writing that. Where did my red headed baby go?



He's a "pre-teen"as he informed me yesterday when he was moved up in Sunday school class. Not sure my heart can take it! Along with Donovan starting to drive and getting his own car (via his father) I can truly say, it does not get easier to watch your babies grow up and away with the more you have.



Each one is so special, it's hard not to want to hang onto them. Speaking of, we addressed an ongoing issue with the teens again last night. About not ditching them when they hit 18. All 3 of them will still be in high school past 18, but even so, they worry that they won't know how to get jobs, support themselves, etc.



And we did it. We told them they could live with us for as long as they wanted/needed. Now I HEAR all the groaning you people are doing. But I have no doubt these 3 will have gained so much maturity and self confidence by the time they are seniors in high school that they will have no issues with wanting to spread their wings.



And they need the security of us, knowing we got their backs, which is what family is all about. And that's why I said it. And meant it.



Chloe was trying to figure out how to get all my money before I croak, I swear these kids scare me sometimes. She figured out that 1/11 of an inheritance = NOT MUCH. So she told me when I am 90 I could buy her a house in Ch*na, that could be her money from me when I die. I was nice enough to inform her I will be using up everything I have (already am) on raising them and will have very little left to "give" them when I'm gone and I won't care 'cause I won't be here!! Ha Ha on her.



Now don't worry, she isn't planning on "doing me in"- She's just keeping tabs on what happens. She was deeply concerned the new house would be sold if we die 'cause she wants to keep it. And she also checked before she went to bed if I would be getting up early with them today and if I needed tea made. Humm-- It did kinda taste funny ( just kidding MOM- do not call the police!)




Camden was listening in on the "live with us forever conversation" and chimed in with "I can live with you forever?" And I told him "Yes, but your wife is probably NOT going to want to live with ME." Just so he knows. She also may want to know in advance that red headed dude has some names chosen for his children. A boy and a girl, mind you- NOT 12 like us. But he does also say he wants to adopt. As do all our other kids, except those older ones who say they never want kids, that our home was the best form of birth control they were ever exposed to. (I just ignore them when they say that)




Anyhoo- back to Camden- and the naming of his children. (He's almost 11) Sam will be his boy. I'm cool with that. The girl? COMET. As in, the cleaner or the reindeer? I'm not sure, but I'm thinking she's (wife or daughter) not gonna be happy with that one.



Kat has taken to writing me little notes lately. I find them in funny places. My purse- it said "Mom, here's a flower that has a scuffball. You always call me scuffball. I love you. Make a wish." Then one in my car "Mom, you said we would not be still living in the trailer when we went back to school, what happened?" As if she wasn't here?? To see the waiting on people to do work?



It just cracks me up and I seem to find those notes when I need them most. She's really something. I've been so blessed in my daughters, all 3 of them- soon to be 4.



Speaking of #4 daughter o'mine, Fi Fi as Chance calls her. He can't seem to get Phoebe, so he calls her Fi Fi. It's taking forever to get all the requirements this agency wants completed. And we are having to do more because we will not beat the deadline for new regulations from Ch*na that start in Oct. It's tough when you know the ropes, know when people are taking too long to get things done and can't do a thing about it. It's not an agency we worked with before:( Not by our choice either.



I guess the hardest part is knowing that the end result is a little girl waiting even longer for her family and not being able to get things moving along. I'm not so good with that- although I am learning to wait on God's timing as it is perfect.



I may not understand it. But I don't have to. He is perfect. Never wrong. And as I look at each of the treasures He has brought us and when, I know that He does have perfect timing. It's not been an easy road with some, but it was the right road and they came to us when they were meant to, as will Fi Fi.



For now though, the biggest part of our crew is off learning and I'm ALONE for the first time in 3 MONTHS. The silence- it's nearly killing me. No one has asked what's for lunch from 10:30 am on,no one is in the bathroom when I need in. Even the dog is looking at me like "what happened??"


I just don't know how to handle all the QUIET!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's a mudder



It's so exciting! A mudder arrived! He actually arrived Monday but left equipment and even a cold drink on a window sill, but him? Nowhere in sight. I figured with our luck someone kidnapped him, or he died, or something else terrible.



But bright and early Tuesday he arrived, for real, in person and said he broke a break line on his truck Monday and had to take off to get it fixed.



He's working now and getting a ton done. I took him to the front door, showed him the trailer, told him the situation and told him not to "mess with me" - how long was it going to take him? He must have seen the crazed look in my eyes 'cause for once someone answered me truthfully. 1 week, possibly 1 1/2 weeks, depending on drying time.



So of course, the last 2 days it has rained- grrr. Thankfully just passing showers, not continuous rain.




I'm just thrilled to see work progressing. You see those dry wall hanging dudes were the epitome of what you DO NOT wish to have when your home is being remodeled. What do I mean?


Well---- honestly I have never seen a crew bring their own microwave in the house and hook it up for their breaks. Thought that was odd right there. Then every time we went up to the house they were "on break" and chain smoking all over my new house. I hate that. THEN they had the nerve to ask my kids for cheese for their hamburgers they were cooking for their lunch? All I could I think of was- please do some work!!


Anyway after this hard working dude (who I have yet see take a break) we paint, finish trim and flooring and MOVE IN. The floor guy is waiting on US, that's not going to be an issue of waiting on him. Don't know about the painter but I will do it myself if wait time is involved for him.



I was also happy to hear the mudder dude- whose name I do know! Shane who is actually called a "dry wall finisher" will also do the texture of the ceilings, one thing I can't do, so if they do that I can paint walls if needed to get moved in.

We're not fooling around anymore, we want in this house. Although we are learning new things every day about the temp home- Chloe finally learned that thing on the wall is a fan in the bathroom and when turned on can pull the heat out of the tiny bathroom when showering. She was amazed to learn this.



We learned when I took the calendar off the wall, that the switch behind it makes the 2 outlets along that wall work! We've also learned kitchen chairs with bottoms made of wafer board with no padding or cover equals OUCH- splinters in not-so-nice- places!




We've learned we can live without TV. Or phone. Or Internet, although dad finally figured out if he put the receiver for the Internet in the window at the house we can get (although weak) signal at the trailer! We've learned an appreciation of what we have in storage, as well as we have too much in storage that we DON'T need. Once in the house we will be parring that down- AGAIN.



We've seen the summer fly by, we've learned another lesson in patience.



I've also learned to eat healthier, gave up soda. I'm eating more like my adopted kiddos, much to their amusement. Fruits, veggies, I've even given dry ramen noodles a try. Still not the same as potato chips, but quite crunchy. I did laugh when Chloe and Chance argued how much of the flavor packet to put in for my "snack". Chance thinks more of anything is better, Chloe knows momma isn't big on a ton of flavoring.



I've also seen the kids get closer as a family, not that I am going to recommend you all move into a tiny trailer to get there:) Chance and Camden have built a very good relationship, Chloe has gotten more protective and playful with Kat.



Someday I realize we will look back at this time and laugh, we'll have fond memories of this place we ended up in much longer than expected, but for now we are so close we can hardly stand it.



The kids are all ready for school, Chance even arrived in the living room one morning with everything on, including shoes and backpack, for a "trial run" of the first day. That boy never fails to make me smile.



Chloe is still deciding what she is gonna wear, Kat is cool as long as it's something with H*llo Kitty on it. And it's pink, of course. We went to the meet and greet so all the kids know where to go the first day:)


I'd say we're ready, in more ways than one!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dating 101



Sometimes it's easy to forget the teens are, well, teens. You know the "much younger" behavior doesn't make you think of dating, driving, with any GOOD warm, fuzzy feelings.



Much more like DREAD and a huge hope that they just don't ask to do those things. Ha ha on me. 'Cause they have. Asked. Not done either. YET.



It's not the driving either. It's the interest in dating. Chase to be specific, has shown quite the interest in how dating works here in America. To his forever goofy and teasing siblings, this is a source of amusement.



They decided to help him out with all they know. OIY.



They asked dad how he met me? When we were young? At a birthday party for his friend's girlfriend who happened to be MY friend, was his answer. No seats left when I got there, he looked at me with those blue eyes and so generously said " you can sit here" (meaning his lap) and I was a goner.



So the twins told Chase, "We'll have birthday party and take away all the chairs." Aren't they just too cute?



Then the whole pimple (they call them bubbles) problem came up. As in, Chase has them and the others do not, much to their delight to torment him about him checking his face 100 times a day (I kid you not!) for a new "bubble."



So dad told him the secret to not worrying about having bubbles and getting a girlfriend. It's huge- I almost feel like I shouldn't even share it folks. But share, I will. He said-------"get a girlfriend who has pimples too."



There you go, the deep, thoughtful advise of a father.



Now I want to know why I didn't think of that *fix all* solution?



I don't think I'm ready for all this dating/driving crap, let's hope they decide to wait till a birthday comes around. Oh,no-- that won't work, dad's birthday is this week.



I guess I better hunt up chairs and keep them in my sights then?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forgiveness




I'm in a pickle. Not literally. But that's what I say when I am just baffled about something. In a pickle.


I need to find a way to forgive 2 people, one family, one friend, for some really, really hurtful things they have done to me in the past week. REALLY hurtful.


So hard to not curl up and cry, to want to strike back. Trying to find a way to that wonderful forgiveness God has for me, when I screw up big time and hurt Him.




And I do. And I am not as important as He. And He always forgives ME. I have to admit, I'm struggling with the pain. I don't understand the motivation behind the actions, were they just random, or really meant to be so hurtful, and does it matter?



I get the whole "turn the other cheek" thing, and with the first person I did that- and got the other "cheek" slapped even harder. The only ones I have left are my hiney ones, and that would essentially mean (maybe only to me) that I am turning my back on people.




Sorry, I'm not going to share what happened. It's personal, and although I am a very open person, it would be hurtful to them and I am not a revengeful person. At least not normally. My thoughts did wander there at first till God pulled me back- pheww. And really does it matter?



Nahh, 'cause we have all had these things happen. And sometimes you wonder how you will go on with that person in your life. And sometimes you can't. I've lost family and friends, becoming a Christian, they don't "get" me anymore. My commitment. My ability to go to God and understand He wants me to grow in Him and if someone hinders that then I can minimize my contact with them and still be respectful.



Still follow His word. I can still love them, pray for them, forgive them, I just don't have to subject myself to them. It took me many years to realize this, and it was such a growing point for me in my life. To even write this and share it is something I would not have been able to do in past years.



Admitting to keep a malicious, even a "friendly" malicious person out of my life? Whoaa, that's big. Because I was taught growing up to put on a "front" to make everything look rosy. But that's not real life. People hurt you, or are bad news for our family. So then what? And what if they are a family member?



We can, and I do, graceful bar that person from our lives as much as possible. We can't grow when someone constantly pulls us back into their negative world. It is the devil's work-- to try and make us feel guilt about not having that person in your life as much as you did. But you can do this and still find forgiveness and go on. Maybe differently with said person, but go on.





Forgiveness. It's what we have to do. It's big. It may take time. But I will get there. I must.



Here's another thing I must bear. I'll share this- the mudder has not shown up yet. A week. Nothing. No work. Sitting on my porch feeling like I will be too old to climb the steps and have all the kids grown and not need all those bedrooms by the time we move in. Okay, so I'm being a *wee bit* dramatic. But really- it's terrible to have a porch that *looks* like we live there, but then you go in and it's like an empty tomb.



It echoes. It has no furniture. No mud. No life. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Just WALLS. We do have those. Thankful we have those. But would love to be thankful for the mudder.



So let's move on to the kiddos. They are counting down the days. Till------ you got it SCHOOL!! 10 little days left. Where did this summer go?



Who wants to go to school? Chloe, Camden, Kat. Who doesn't? Donovan, Chase and Chance:) An even mix. Typical in my world. They ARE ready, that is they will be dressed, maybe not in the latest of fashion, but we aren't big on that either. I did order them backpacks this year, they go through the cheap ones way too fast, it's not paying me to buy them over and over.



Now if I could just get shoes with a guarantee I'd be thrilled, wear 'em out they replace them? Okay so let me have my dreams, will ya?



I think since big sis Mal gave the twins tie dye stuff for their birthday and everything we own is now tie dyed, that will be our fashion statement of the year. Even DAD is wearing tie dye:)



Chloe and Chance LOVE tie dye, not sure if it's so much about the actual shirts, or if it's just the fun of making them:)




Chase was extremely concerned he did not get a schedule in the mail like everyone else. I called the school and made sure he will get a schedule on the first day of school and he knows what homeroom to go to. So he was happy with that.




Camden as well is happy, we arranged for him to go to his "old" elementary school for his last year there, 5th grade. Next year is middle school where the 2 schools merge all the students to. He did not wish to switch schools so we worked it out for him. I thought it would be easier for him to just go to the new school with Kat, but no, couldn't convince him. Can't tell he's a red head or anything.



Chloe is excited and trying on outfits daily to have THE ONE for the first day.


Kat has her outfit picked out and is eager to go to her new school. I don't doubt for a minute she will be fine in a new school, she loves everyone:)



We have Open House next week, here's the issue we will run into all year- both Elementary schools are having Open House on the same night. So we go into "big family mode" and dad will take Camden, I will take Kat and no one will miss their Open House.



Aren't we smart? Now if I just knew how to mud dry wall.........

Friday, August 12, 2011

A giant among us










It's not a plant. It's not an animal, at least it's not supposed to be. It's DONOVAN. Bigger than a flying saucer, his feet have now reached mammoth proportions. His foot prints *may* just be mistaken for Big Foot's.

I kid you not--Size 15 people. As in ONE and FIVE -- 15! At age 17. Do any of you know how hard it is to FIND size 15 shoes? And then BOOTS- as he needed them for Vo Tech this year?


We went to a Surplus store where, lo' and behold, a giant pair of steel toed boots were sitting there. I thought "What are the odds they will fit?" So he tried them on. And they did! At $49.99 the price was super and we got them. The man filling shelves watched as Donovan tried them on and we were excited as they fit and he said "When those came in we wondered who would be big enough to fill those." I told him " There he is, only 17 and fillin' those boots."

I'm *hoping* and praying he stops growing soon. I didn't even know if I could find him socks for such a giant size, but good ol' Walm*rt had them in 12-15 size, It seems once you go past Size 15 you just are out of luck. I posted a picture of his boot and Kat's size 11 toddler shoes:)

I guess I could mention the house. The castle roy-ale. Humm. It has walls. Too bad the dry wall goofs, do not, I repeat, do NOT mud the dry wall. They just "hang it." So here I sit AGAIN, tapping every bit of patience left in me ( not much there-trust me) waiting for the "mudder" to come. 2 days now of no mudder.

And I wonder if the mudder will be the same one to PAINT, or is that yet another person I have to wait on? I don't think I even want to know the answer to that. I did find out the dry wall had to be "inspected" before the mudder can come, no one shared that with me till today, when he came. So that's done- even though I had no idea. See what I mean about being clueless how all this works?

The walls do look cool. It gives a better idea of the space. Oh, the garage doors are in and done too. Inserts in the windows and the windows correct at the top of the doors where no one can look in. (sorry mom you won't know if I am home or not unless you bring a ladder, of course)

The kids have been spending hours, and I mean HOURS in our yard. First it was the quest to do a perfect cartwheel. Once that got accomplished by all, someone noticed our driveway had a ton of slate stone, and when it comes apart often holds fossil impressions.

You'd thought we struck gold here. I tell ya. The kids are digging for these treasures and keeping all of them. Fighting over staked out "territory". They now have bags, boxes, pockets full of these stones, all worthy of keeping forever, of course.

I remember doing the same thing when we built our house, a mere mile from here when I was a kid. And I recall the fascination with those neat impressions, all made in these rock so many years ago.

It's fun to watch the kids enjoy this so much and see them making a memory so similar to mine as a child.

Last night dad took the kids to the local Fair. The kids had a blast, while I stayed home. Why, you ask? Suffering, a fever, chills, aches, not sure what I caught but it was nasty. I feel better today, and am thankful I do. I was miserable. Chance was sure it was because our new house is not done and wanted dad to call the contractor to tell him to "get it done NOW." I wish that would work?

Miss Kitty has a new look-- after the drama of her front tooth getting loose, then bleeding which totally traumatized her and she refused to wiggle it any more, 2 weeks later and it FINALLY came out. Camden "helped it" although he claims he only touched it and it fell out. I have my doubts because he was trying to "help" many times in that 2 weeks, causing it to bleed and her to cry more than once.

Gotta love those helpful brothers, right? Guess so when you have so many of them:) So Kat is minus one front tooth, a dollar richer and funny looking to us. Just not used to seeing her without that tooth yet. Although she's still cute as can be, of course.

Off to enjoy the weekend, another family reunion, this one for Dad's side of the family, quite a bit tamer than my family:) Come on mom, you know it's true! Chloe and Chance can't WAIT, they ask if every reunion is the one with "those meat things" (cabbage rolls) they love them and make total pigs out of themselves, last year they ate 7 EACH. And they aren't small. I'll let you know how many they put away this year:)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Results so far

















Since asked so nicely to provide pics and actually connected to my own Internet since it's the weekend and the dry wall guys wouldn't even consider working on a weekend??



In order they are.......Donovan and Chase's room- with new walls. Camden and Chance's room (Camden checking out the new walls).


The goofball hanging our drywall. I warned him he was going to be on a "famous" blog but I don't think he believed me. Ha ha on him.


The back of the house at the start of project "summer remodel-- will take 3 weeks" Ha ha on ME.


The new back of the house.


The view of the house from the trailer, then a closer shot, less the unfinished garage doors, sans shutters and stone, which aren't done yet.


The house front when we started.


I had a vision. Some saw it. Some didn't. Now it's coming to be, and even the vision-less are getting it. We are NOT disappointed other than length of time to get it done, but that's out of our hands. It's turning out just as I had hoped, just a few changes here and there but all looking great in our opinion.


Well, there ya have it. What do ya think?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WALLS!

We have no Internet again while the dry wall goes in. So I am borrowing Internet to keep you all up to speed and so you don't call the police and tell them you think we all died. (MOM)

Yes, after 3 days of near tears and my hope of them showing up this week fading, they arrived bright and early this morning and are rapidly making us some walls.

I got up, opened the back door of the trailer and I could hardly believe my eyes. People, working at my house! I actually was so excited I shut the door and forgot my dog was out there taking a pee till I heard his bark and it sounded so distant- then I figured out I left him out there!!

I didn't know if I should yell at the drywallers or thank them for showing up? (Gonna leave you guessin' mom)

I did have my mouth drop to the floor when one of them said "When did you start this? " My reply "June 13" and he said "June, July, Aug, not bad."

WHaaaaaaaaaaTTTTTTTTT? Is he nuts? Not bad??? You'll be happy to know I didn't club him since it might deter him from finishing his job.

Chase did ask me very nicely to stop dancing around and hooting in glee before all the neighbors think we are a bunch of nuts. I didn't break it to him that it was too late for that:)))