Monday, April 14, 2014

howdy!

HOWDY!


Don't worry, this friendly gal doesn't want to EAT you, she just wants to say hello.

Sometimes I have NO CLUE why I take my kids to the zoo.  It really wouldn't take much-- a door left slightly open, something doesn't latch properly and it's mass pandemonium,  potentially fatal.  I know it's mostly safe :)

We had a nice spring break.  Even though it was quite chilly for most of the break we enjoyed many outdoor activities.  The kids went back to school last week, and probably for the best, because I the above picture is really a photo of me taken on the last Friday of spring break.  Notice the crazed look in the eye?

In other news, we bought a camper the weekend!  The kids are thrilled.  I'm looking forward to many adventures.  We are really going to be roughing it now.  (ha!) I think the camper is about the size of our house.  I'm kidding.  But it is a decent size, and our house is fairly small. Hopefully it turns out to be a good investment and our family enjoys all of the time spent together in such close quarters!



Thursday, March 27, 2014

thoughts

Jeremiah turned 4 on Tuesday!  He was so excited about his birthday- what a sweet little guy, I love him so much.  He has truly blessed my life.


It's Spring Break around these parts, and while it got off to a rocky start because kids were sick with a stomach bug, I think things are finally starting to turn around!  We decided to venture out to Eagle Creek today.  Even though it was a bit chilly, the kids had fun running around, climbing trees, visiting the nature center, and just being kids.

Having sick kids made me start to think of some other kids out there that I have known- who didn't have it nearly as good as my own kids when they were sick.  Nobody to truly care if they had a raging fever, or to hold their hair back as they vomited for the 15th time, or to clean up the sheets when they didn't quite make it to the toilet…

I used to work in a home for foster children.  The specific area I worked in was a home that housed 10 girls, aged 8-14, who were so badly damaged by people in their lives that were supposed to love them, that they ended up living in a maximum security group home setting, where they had limited privileges, and basically no chance to ever be adopted, or even live in a "normal" foster care setting again.  It was a sad and dreary place.  Being an empathetic, loving person I tried very hard to make these girls feel loved and accepted.  I praised them, did fun things with them, tried to talk with them.  But I was only part time- very part time- in their lives.  My attention was divided between 10 girls & 18 hours per week.  Not much time to foster meaningful relationships.

I think of these girls sometimes.  They are all young adults now, most likely have aged out of the system.  Most likely having nobody to call family.  Do they have children of their own?  How is that going for them- did they learn life skills?  Nurturing skills? How to be a good employee? A wife? A mother?

I imagine being a foster parent is very difficult.  I have never been one- I only worked in a secure setting, I never had to truly deal with the major issues that can arise.  I know that none of the girls I worked with could have ever been brought home to live with my own children.  Their pasts were too volatile.  They would have hurt my children- they had already hurt other children.  So what could have been done with them?  I don't know the answer.  But I do know that many of these girls were transferred from home to home to home, having no stability.  Always pushing the limits- waiting until someone would just give them back.  They trusted nobody, and pushed everyone away on purpose.

There was one girl in particular I remember.  She was a sweet girl, one of the youngest.  Reading her case history would make any normal person want to go ballistic.  Her life was one tragedy after another.  So much vile abuse...things I couldn't even imagine an adult could do to a child was done to this poor girl.  She was damaged.  Her first set of foster parents tried- but they just couldn't meet her needs.  They returned her.  The next set of foster parents ultimately wound up physically abusing her.  By the time she went to live with the third set, she started abusing other children.  I wonder if the first set of foster parents had kept her and figured out how to help her, establish that trust-- would she have turned into an abuser herself?  I'm not blaming the first set of foster parents for how this girl turned out, but I often wondered if they had the proper education in how to deal with needs as deep as hers were.  The last thing she needed was to be abandoned again.

I have no profound conclusion here.  I have just been thinking about the issue.  Right now in Indiana alone, there are over 9,000 kids in the foster care system.  It just makes me really sad.  There are 9,000 kids feeling sad, alone,unwanted,unsafe, abandoned.  I'm not suggesting people run out right now and become foster parents.  Sadly, I think people are too emotional and impulsive about the decision.  We want to make a difference, but we don't have the skills to do it, and perhaps create bigger problems.

I would like to be a foster parent some day.  I don't think it's my time though- too many little ones at home to care for.  There are so many suffering children out there.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

This little guy almost always has kind words for people.

During our devotion time the other night, Abigail and I were talking about words, tone of voice, and how it's not just what we say, but how we say it that affects people. 

I am so guilty of poor word choice, and speaking to my kids in an almost at the brink of yelling and clearly I am frustrated voice- too often.  

Being a wife and mother is tough.  There are so many responsibilities and demands.

But today, I will choose to speak pleasant words.  


Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy new year

Well, Christmas break is just about over…

Thanks to the snow, the kids are going to get to enjoy one extra day of Christmas break.  We got over 11 inches of snow in less than 24 hours!  The kids had fun playing in it, but now the temps have dropped to negative 15 or so, with wind chills even colder, so going outside to play is out of the question.  

For some CRAZY reason, I decided to take the dog out for a jog today.  Josh told me "it's not that bad out-- I shoveled and I didn't die" It was rather cold, but I made it 3 miles. If I would have stayed out any longer, I would have gotten hypothermia.  I think Heidi would have gone 10 more.  She is really enjoying this cold weather.  I tried to take a picture of her intentionally burying herself in the snow, but my fingers were frozen.

I ended up making those cookies I talked about in my last post.  I realize they look very similar to a belgian waffle, but they are much more tasty!  Josh has declared that from here on out, he'd like to eat at least one of these cookies every single day…we'll see about that!

Josh and the boys made birdhouses.  They had a lot of fun doing it.  They planned on giving them to friend as Christmas gifts, but they didn't get them painted in time- maybe next year!  


Elijah made his own birdhouse.  Josh likes to turn him looses in the garage with power saws and other power tools.  I know this is a good thing, but it always makes me nervous.  I better get used to it though, as he will be driving in a few short years.


Abigail has been very helpful in the kitchen lately.  She has always enjoyed cooking, but she is starting to do a lot more on her own.  She has made numerous batches of cookies and sweet breads without any help from me.  This will prove to be a very important skill :)


We took a trip down to Nashville after Christmas so the kids could visit their favorite candy store.  (the one that also happens to sell the same kind of cookies I made)  I resisted the urge to buy some.  Josh took the boys to a playground for a while because the weather was beautiful, and Abigail and I walked around to look at some of the other shops.


Of course, what is Christmas break without some sort of catastrophic injury that results in a trip to the ER?  Poor Jeremiah was running up the stairs when he tripped and smashed his front teeth in.  I figured they'd have to be pulled because they both appeared to be dangling by the root.  The physician pushed them back into place and said they 'might' heal, but probably not.  I can see that his right one is just about to fall out.  I guess the tooth fairy will come early to him.


The kids built a few snowmen.  The snow was perfect for snowman building-- not anymore though considering it is a frozen ice world in my back yard.


I have really enjoyed this time with my family.  I guess it's back to the real world in a few days.  


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ready to take it easy!


GREETINGS!


This is what happens to me after I spend too much time at the grocery store, then try to squeeze in some quick christmas shopping, only to realize that I forgot to get the napkins, which are all the way at the other end of the store. Apparently, Abigail has a tendency to turn into the Hulk as well-- poor girl.  

I am really looking forward to Christmas this year!  I don't have all of my shopping done, but that is okay because for the next 3 weeks I'm totally FREE!  No more school work for me :)  I finished my classes for the semester (THANK GOODNESS!) and although the kids aren't officially on Christmas break yet, they won't have any major school projects due this week, so that is good news.  I am looking forward to their break though.  It will be so nice to not have to have 5 kids fed, dressed in decent & seasonably sensible clothing, teeth brushed, shoes on, papers signed, homework done, and OUT THE DOOR by 7:30 every morning.  

It is nice for me to have these little breaks though, because it helps me appreciate the blessings the Lord has given me.  I really don't mind being busy.  I don't mind all of the errands, running kids around, preparing meals, folding laundry, doing my own homework, etc… but I really do enjoy a break on occasion!  It give me time to make Josh his favorite cookies :)  He's been dropping hints for weeks about Russian tea cakes, which I finally made the other day- he pretty much ate the whole batch of them playing games with Jeremiah & Christian while I took the oldest 3 to a concert.  We saw TOBYMAC- and I'll tell ya what, that man would put ANY 49 year old to shame.  He has some moves for an old(er) man!  It was so much fun.

Speaking of cookies, I plan to make dutch waffle/honey cookies some time this week- if they turn out, I'll post pictures, if not…well…you can imagine what may have happened.  And I'll be making a trip down to the only store I know of that sells these fabulous cookies, which is a candy shop in Nashville, IN.  They are that good.

Until then,

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Drumstick dash!


This year, Josh and I decided to sign up to run the Drumstick Dash.  Since it's a short race, only 4.6 miles we decided to sign the older 3 up to run it with us.  It's a great race to run, because most of the money raised goes to support the Wheeler Mission, a local homeless shelter that provides not only meals, but addiction recovery programs, etc…

It was such a cold morning- only about 19 degrees, but the kids were up and ready to go!


They all did a great job.  Abigail and Isaac both ran the entire time, and kept a pace of 6mph (10 minute mile) so I was impressed.  Isaac even kept some energy back so at the end of the race, he was able to sprint to the finish and beat Josh.  It was a lot of fun, and something I would recommend for any family looking to start a new Thanksgiving tradition.  


In other news, Josh decided it would be a good idea to get a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.  And by 'fresh' I don't mean never frozen.  By fresh, I mean living, breathing, heart-pulsating, eyeball-looking-at-you, living.  I didn't really believe him at first.  But he came home with this:

hey what am I doing here?

Heidi went nuts for a while over the turkey.  Thankfully, we have a fenced area we were able to put the turkey in until 'the big event' so Heidi couldn't slaughter it for us.




Josh and his new friend

It wasn't exactly easy to slaughter the turkey (more emotionally taxing than hard to do!)  Thankfully I didn't have a part in it :)  Josh said it really makes you appreciate where your food comes from.  He managed to get all of the feathers off and innards out.  Josh is not afraid to do new things.  I am always impressed with his ability to just go for it.  I am much more apprehensive.  



Abigail really enjoys helping out in the kitchen.  I have been trying to give her more responsibility in that area.  This year she helped with many things. 


Jeremiah was supposed to help daddy and Elijah rake the leaves.  He thought it would be a good idea to jump in the pile!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Exciting times!

These are some exciting times…

After years and years of pondering, thinking, discussing, we are finally taking the plunge.  Can you guess what we are doing?  Here are some hints:







If you haven't guessed already, we are going to get chickens.  This is exciting news, folks.  Josh and I have both wanted to raise chickens for a while (we did raise a pig, after all- which is FAR WORSE than chickens could ever be…at least I imagine.

I don't know what has taken us so long to finally go for it.  

I'll be sure to keep you all informed as we make progress!