It's been a time of growth for some kiddos around here. Learning and growing which is sometimes painful, but also good to see and gives them such a sense of accomplishment when they (often do) succeed!
It's not always easy to walk this path with all our kids. Not easy at all. But worth it-- not one doubt there, each one completely and totally worth the effort, lessons repeated, struggles and eventually the "getting it" part.
We've had Phoebe making great strides recently. Really starting to see what FAMILY means to her life. Not just the "Oh now I have a mom and dad," which did indeed thrill her. But also that when she is corrected that we do it with her very best interests at heart.
Phoebe was very babied with her foster mom. While I am very happy she was so well cared for/loved, this did not lend her to the idea of "Do things yourself to be independent." And at times she has NOT been thrilled with our "do it yourself" ideas. NOPE.
BUT, recently I saw her have a total "Light bulb moment." So fun to see our kiddos learning stuff, sometimes slow, sometimes warp speed:)
When I explained to her that I was teaching her to do things herself-- working on the hair most recently which is really HARD for her. She can't see her hair. She's gotta feel it out. And while most of you are going "Ahhhh" and thinking, Oh, just do it for her...........
This will not give her the pride of doing it herself.
It will not give her the thrill of independence that she CAN do her hair and DO IT WELL.
So the light bulb moment was when I was talking to her after yet another morning of her sneaking and asking Kat to do her hair:( And I explained to her why I wanted her to do it herself.... why we want her to do lots of things herself. Reminding her that she couldn't even dress herself when she came to us.
She very quickly huffed at me and said "I can dress myself" and I told her "Yes, you can NOW. But how embarrassing would it have been to go to Outdoor School and have to ask a teacher to help you get dressed?"
And she giggled then said "Oh, that would have been terrible." And I said, "Yes. It would have and I love you enough that I never want you to be embarrassed like that so even though you got mad, you tried to get out of it, I taught you to dress yourself because you needed to be able to do that."
LIGHT BULB MOMENT. I tell ya. "OH." She said. She didn't need to say any more. It was obvious she GOT IT. She's not "being punished" by being told to do things or at the very least TRY to do them before asking for help--- she's being TAUGHT. It's a GOOD THING.
Right away we saw changes -- the next morning she proceeded to take her hair and braid the sides and pull them back together--- done very well:) And she shined with the praise I gave her for her effort. The thrill of that independence was precious to see on her face. She's such a joy filled person, such a treasure. So glad we get to share these moments with her even if some of the time getting here wasn't a picnic.
Speaking of picnic, we went to one on Saturday, had a blast. 4 wheeled. Camp fire. 22 quarts of my homemade chicken corn soup. Chase came with Mal, he is officially moved out now.
He handed me a gift for my birthday (he texted me on my birthday too) and said it was the cheapest thing he could find (gotta work on that "gift giving etiquette" with him) and it was a book with note pads with the initial "B."
Now (MOM, really?) before you go to the word that rhythms with "Itch" he said "I guess B mean BUSY." I think Mal tried to explain to him it was supposed to be a V for Vickie or M for Mom, maybe?
He's been back to get some more stuff and do laundry. We took the last of his stuff in to his new digs on Sunday afternoon while taking Chloe in to work, here's the picture he "tolerated" me taking, of him on the porch of his new digs.
He seems to like his new place although I think he misses us-- or maybe the noise of us?
Chloe, shown here in her work clothes is really enjoying her new job. She likes older people and says they are very funny. Something not funny to her-- her first pay of a whooping $26. After taxes.
Did I mention life lessons? There's a big one. She's got big plans for those paychecks, that will be something I share down the road. It's a biggie for sure. A small hint that it will be HARD on this momma. But I'm going to suck it up just for her:)
Chloe recently got to fulfill a DREAM of hers. Something she has been wanting and begging for-the-last-five-years to do since she came home.
She called it "being a Wise Man." It took us a bit to figure out the Chloe Chinglish and that she meant being a "BRIDESMAID." In a wedding.
She's badgered her cousin and sister to "Get married already!"
She was sooo excited when she was asked by a good friend to be in her wedding. And a lovelier color they could not have picked, Chloe just looked stunning. Not that her momma is bias or anything:)
She wasn't thrilled she had to wear a touch of makeup, no, not my Chloe who calls herself my "Tommy boy"-- that means tomboy to everyone else.......... but she survived the very lightly applied makeup and had a great time at the wedding.
It's been nice to see her more this past week, with field hockey over and football ending this week, we will go back to much less "to do" things, especially the pick ups of various children at never-the-same-time, creating hours and hours of waiting on SOMEONE for mostly DAD doing that waiting. Miss that guy. Wanna see him more!
One day/evening I did get to see him? Our anniversary last week (went out only a DAY after the date--that's gotta be a record, usually it's months till we find time) because the older kiddos helped out with pick ups of various sport loving/ working children and we went.
The "little girls" who are not-so-little anymore, asked giggling "Were we going on a DATE?" Silly girls, YES. We went on a date. And we talked about............. the kids, of course. What else? Ha ha.
It's good to have that time alone. To reminisce when we met each other (I was 14, he was 16) and we dated, then split, then went on to other things in life. Some HARD. Some wonderful (like our kids). Then reunited and married. WELL. Never saw that coming. Never saw God using us, to build this family of 14+.
Couldn't have dreamed it up in my WILDEST dreams:)
So thankful this man, stands at my side in this family with his love-- for God, for us. So thankful that we handed over the reins to God some time ago and probably didn't even realize we had done it as deeply as we did. Might have scared the dickens out of us. But instead He has blessed us, over and over.
So before I get too gushy on you, I'll go on to tell you what the rest of the crew has been up to---
Miss Paisley got a phone for her birthday. Now, we really debated if she was ready, if she would realize that "hiding out" would not be allowed. And we have been pleasantly surprised in how reasonable she has been with her new phone.
This present for her birthday gave Chance a life lesson. Someone (named Chance) was really angry/upset that Paisley got a phone BEFORE HIM.
Well, SONshine was reminded that he has said repeatedly, mind you, that he did not, does not, did not, want a phone. Nope, didn't want one, didn't care that we didn't feel he was ready until possibly recently, to have a phone. He was SOOOOO insistent he didn't want one, didn't care about a phone, us CRAZY parents did a really crazy thing-- we believed HIM.
Yep, we did! I mean--- he went on, and on and on that he DID NOT WANT a phone. I reminded him of this and asked him what we were supposed to think when he kept saying that? Mind readers we are NOT. That was a "OH" moment for him, for sure.
Might remember to tell us how he REALLY feels next time, so we don't have such misunderstandings, huh?
Chance informed us he does have a date for semi formal which comes up soon. I made the mistake of asking Chloe if she was going with a date.
OIY. That girl. Where her brothers are barely containing themselves for the "go ahead" to date, she looked at me and said there was "Not one person she would even consider dating in school."
Apparently all the guys are sooooooo immature. Goodness.
Now what would we know about that? Ha ha. We have raised/are raising just a few of those males, ya know?
I got to go to one of "those males" football game last week, that was where dad and I spent our actual anniversary day after working, watching Camden play.
He cracks me up, dad got a snickers bar and then didn't eat it. I asked him why. He said "Camden will ask for one after half time." YES, he did. He didn't look up in the stands once till he was HUNGRY-- then picked us out and motioned us over.
"Could he please have a snickers?" Funny kid. I threw it down to him and he grinned. LOVE his smile:) He's so handsome, my only red headed child.
Now don't think he's favored, he wrote MY EULOGY for a class assignment. I told him "Thanks A LOT" for picking me.
A few things that stood out that he wrote----
That I treated everyone equal. All the kids. And I loved them and cared for them like a mother bird with her chicks. And a lion with her cubs. (I pointed out that this should be a lioness but he said "Didn't matter.")
He got that right. I love them that much. Although glad I'm still here to be loving them and that his eulogy for me was just a class assignment.... phewwwww:)
Thanking God for each day, never taking a day for granted:)