Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wedding Week

Tomorrow is it! People have been arriving from out of town this week. It's crazy, but a good crazy.
Jasmine, the puppies and I watched My Boyfriends' Dogs on Hallmark.

Jessica packed up her room. It used to be hers and Jasmines and then Kayla joined them in it. Then when Adam left, we put Kaleb in with Tyler and moved Jasmine and Kayla to Adam's room. Now Jasmine will have this room, and Kayla will have the other room. Confusing?

My mom and sister picked Ty David up on their way down. They got in Wednesday evening. His hair has grown out, so he had two colored hair. I think it actually looks cool. But we decided not to leave it that way because soon all the blond would be gone, and he doesn't really have a good way to dye it at Job Corps.

Kayla and my mom

Ty David

Ty and my sister.

We made homemade shakes.

Adam stopped by.

The twins with my mom.

The twins with my sister.



We decided to play rummikub. This was Jessica's request.

Cheat much??

Rick looks like he'd had a long day.

This morning. He just rolled out of bed and left his hair as it was!

Getting it bleached.

And cut

My mom isn't able to walk more than a few feet so we found a place for her to sit while we walked at the park.

Brother and sister

A minute before she was trying to knock him over I think.

We didn't have a good week at school! I asked for family leave for the kids' for all day tomorrow and Monday. Kaleb's was denied due to grades. Of course he has to go to the wedding, but we've decided he needs to live with his choices so Rick will pick him up at noon. Planners had way too many notes this week. Neither twin was granted Monday off. 

I wasn't able to go to rehearsal, but we all went to Hunter's dad's house afterward.

Rick took pictures at the rehearsal. He's walking her down "the aisle" so needed to make sure he could walk on sand in his dress shoes. Ty will be escorting me down "the aisle." I'll post the rehearsal pictures at another time.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Moving into Wedding Week

This was a busy week around the house. Rick has been out of work since October 1, so I decided it was a good time to do everything around the house we'd been putting off. We used to move every 3-4 years with the military, so things would get cleaned out and we'd move into a sparkling clean house. But we've had this house eleven years this coming week, and with the possibility of having to move to get a job, it was just time to clean. 

With people coming for the wedding next week, we have to get it all put back together. We've taken everything out of the utility closet and reorganized, taken everything out of the kitchen cupboards, got rid of a load of water bottles and dead storage containers and sprayed and wiped all the shelves. (This is FL so we have tons of roaches!) We've attempted to clean out the extra clutter in bathrooms but that seems to be a lost cause!
Jessica repainted the kids' bathroom. I don't have pictures of the other cleaning. I guess it wasn't that exciting. I should have taken one of all the utility room stuff filling up the whole kitchen.

Jessica took a day away for a dead body seminar. I'd gone with her, but it turned out that it was going to be all day in the woods, and I'm allergic to pretty much everything in the woods! So she stayed, and I went to the mall and started some Christmas shopping. She has one college class plus cave diving and she's working at Applebees still.

Jasmine and Rick finished up the experimental portion of Jasmine's science project. She did the rough draft of the paper and the bibliography, but forgot to turn the bibliography in for two days so will have a very low score on it. She needs to do the charts and the board.

We went to Maze Runner last week and Planes 2: Fire and Rescue this week. Maze Runner had a lot of swearing in it, which was totally unnecessary and distracted me from the plot. Not sure yet what I think of it. Planes 2 just didn't have much to it. But if you are 8 or under, you'd probably think it was a great movie.

Last might a few of us got together for an impromptu shower, or girl's night out, for Jessica. Jasmine got to go along. She's really well behaved and handles herself very well in social situations, so she got to be one of the adults last night.

We started at Chill.

We got her a table cloth, candle holder and candles plus the blue strainer. We bought the strainer at a kitchen store on the TN trip. The rest was a surprise.
Only my Jessi....

Lisa, her future mother in law, bought her several pairs of Victoria's Secret undies. I think this is when they saw that a guy had been very carefully watching from across the room as  Jessica held each pair up.

Then someone decided we should drive another half hour to Wild Wings where we waited an hour for a table. The FSU/Notre Dame and FL/MS games were on and there were about 300+ people shouting the whole time, so talking was not an option.

I know not everyone is shown on the blog. I just didn't take that many pictures except for the girl's night out. So you'll see them all in the next few posts as we are now in the wedding week!!

My mom is going to try and make the trip down. Lots of prayers please. She's really not in good shape to travel but gets so bored and wants to get out. It's about a 16 hour drive for them. They are stopping to get Tyler on the way. They come down I 65 and he's off of I 65 near Mammoth Cave. A friend and her family who live in the same town as my mom and sister are flying down, and her mother is coming along also.

Busy week ahead as we get Jessica moved out, the final stuff done for the wedding and then there's the actual wedding itself next Friday on the  beach. Right now the forecast is for 73F and sunny.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Way You Say It

I think we all agree that there are differences in how we say things in different parts of the country and in different English speaking countries. Having lived in both the north and the south, England (and Okinawa which of course is Japanese), I've seen this.

I grew up with "pop" being something you drink, but now "pop's" your father. In the north kids throw a fit, in the south they pitch a fit. 

 In America a "biscuit" is a bread item but in England a "biscuit" is our cookie. To us "pudding" is what you get when you mix the powder in the box with milk, but in England "pudding" means dessert. 

But this week a friend was reading a story I'd written, and in it the girl "makes dishwater." To me this means she ran water, added soap, let it foam up and then turned off the water. That hit my friend as a really funny thing to say. Which made me wonder, what do you say to your kids if you want them to "make dishwater"?

The absolute most crazy thing I've heard in the south is people saying "carried" in place of "drove" as in, "For years I carried my children to church." The first time I heard it was someone saying she'd carried her children to vote. Well, her children had to be at least 18 to vote, so I knew she had to mean drive, but still....

What's the strangest expression you've heard? And what do you tell your kids to get this?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just Life

I haven't done a lot of updates because life has been pretty routine. But now we're on the countdown to the wedding and things are coming together. Ceremony details are coming together, things are being bought, people are making travel plans and we all know  what we're wearing.

I'll try to give a general update about everyone here, but don't have many new pictures of the older kids.

Tyler (who I sometimes call Ty David)

This is Ty back at Job Corps after summer break. They were in for quite a surprise when he returned as a blond! He will be arriving here two days before the wedding. My mom and sister are picking him up on the way down. They will only be staying a few days.

Job Corps has been good for Ty David not just in learning the computer stuff, but in other ways. In school he fit in with his own group of kids who had similar interests, but struggled socially. Social skills are difficult for him as is coping with stress. He cannot read people's expressions or body language, so he can't play all the little games we all play. He doesn't know if someone is accepting him well or is totally fed up. So he's often been the one left out of things or who doesn't quite fit in.

But at Job Corps he is a leader both in the dorm and in the rec program. He was the gym manager but is now the rec president. He is not totally thrilled about that because it takes up so much of his free time, but I think it's good because it keeps him interacting with people during his free time. He would gladly spend his free time playing on his 3DS or playing magic or yugio card games.

They plan special outings for the kids, but sometimes things don't work out, and they are canceled and that is very disappointing for him. Or they will plan to go to a movie he really wants to see, but when they get there they change what movie they are going to see to something not as appropriate and the type Ty doesn't like. He gets his hopes up and forms an idea of how things will happen. So went they don't, there is a lot of let down.  I don't know if this is an asperger's trait or not.

He should be finishing up at Job Corps soon, but I wish he could stay there and do something more because it's been good for him.


This is one of Jessica's recent dive days. This is one of many springs in FL. They have a constant temperature of (I think) 68F. She is certifying cave diving this semester and has one other class. Next semester she has one class plus she needs to do an internship or a research paper. Then she's done. She's looking at doing police academy too. She'd love to work for FBI or NCIS but you have to be 28 and have experience. So she needs to get into a job to get that experience.
This was the last fitting for her dress, so that's one more thing out of the way. It has to be a bit shorter because of walking across the sand instead of down an aisle.


I don't have any new pictures of Jeff so took this one from his facebook page! He spent a lot of the summer at Fort Knox in KY and wasn't that thrilled with it. He wasn't that far from Ty, but unfortunately they didn't meet up. I don't think he's going to be able to come to the wedding because he has training in CA about that time. Wish he could be here while all the others will be here.

I see Adam at soccer on Thursdays. I've missed a couple of games due to other activities the kids are involved in.
(There should be a video above, Adam in orange cleats, but sometimes it shows and sometimes it doesn't) Adam goes to Marine reserves one weekend a month, is a freshman at a local college and is still working full time. I'm not sure if this is the case everywhere, but colleges here do not have classes on Fridays. That would have been nice if that had been the case when I was attending college!

Adam will of course be at the wedding and is bringing Deja as his date.


We are in the midst of doing this year's science fair. It's followed closely by history fair. 

Building a race track and adding different grades of sand paper.

Timing how long it takes the car to go down the different grades of sand paper.
Jasmine has country Christian youth choir on Monday nights. They sing, then have dinner and a Bible study. She really enjoys it. Our youth choir hasn't started back up at church. She has hip hop class on Wednesdays and marching band after school on Thursdays.

Yesterday I filled out Jasmine's high school application for the charter school. They have a lottery drawing for slots in January. I also filled out the application for Kaleb to go to the school where Jasmine and Kayla are now. As long as they stay in the same school, you don't have to reapply each year from K5-8th. But you do have to reapply for high school. It's also at the north campus, and Jasmine and Kayla are at the original campus.


Kaleb is in gymnastics and may be going out for basketball soon. We have to be careful of his right eye. He needs to not get hit in the head near it, but that could happen as easily in PE or at recess as at basketball. He will not be able to go out for football.

The schools have gone to core curriculum, and that has been a struggle. It's pretty hard stuff, especially the math. It's more abstract than I think it needs to be for this age. 

We'd planned for him to go to TMI on a five week preteen team next summer but found out he's too young for the two teams that ride small mini bikes. That leaves Trinidad, Ireland and Australia and those range from $3,000-5,000, and I doubt we could raise that much money. So we are thinking of sending the twins to a regular Christian camp for a week next summer, Camp of the Pines in Pensacola. It will be different for them because it's a traditional camp with games, swimming, canoeing etc, not a mission work project camp like TMI. The structure at TMI worked well for them. The schedule and rules were absolute and behaviors were dealt with immediately. I'm not sure who they'll do with them more relaxed rules and routine of a traditional camp. Those of you with adopted children know exactly what I'm talking about.


Kayla is also in gymnastics and possibly going out for basketball. Her homework load at the charter school is much heavier than Kaleb's is at the public school. But she is handling it okay. I'm not a big believer in homework, but it's part of life. 

She is struggling with issues on how to treat others right now and it is frustrating. She can be very kind and helpful when she chooses to be. I'm not sure why we're dealing with all the junk behaviors again. The bullying, manipulating and coercing. It's not getting her anywhere, and she gets positive feedback for the right behaviors. Hopeful this will turn around again soon. She has so much potential, and I'm not seeing any of the more serious issues some adopted kids work with. Overall, they've done well. It's just the junky, annoying stuff. Even birth children can go through that. I'm not seeing any attachment issues.

Rick's last day of work was September 30, and the contract job that  he's had 13 years ended, so he is job hunting. So are the others who worked there. Most are in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s so not a good time to be looking for a new job. Some of them went ahead and retired.

There is no school Friday or Monday, but we don't have anything planned because we need to watch our money carefully right now. We'll probably try to go to one of the beaches on Saturday. Jessica and I have dead body seminar on Monday so Rick might take the kids to one of the parks for a while.

 We've been doing some cleaning around the house. Without moving every few years like we used to, clutter piles up. We've taken everything out of the small utility room and swept it out and reorganized. Last weekend we took things out of the kitchen cupboards, got rid of some things and wiped all the shelves. We have a couple more cupboards to do, and the kitchen will be done. We've worked on decluttering the kid's bathroom, and it is getting repainted (pretty much the same color). 

Once Jessica is married, Jasmine will move into her room. All three girls used to be in the same room, but when Adam left for boot camp, we moved Kaleb in with Tyler and the two younger girls into Adam and Kaleb's former room. In a couple of weeks all three of the youngest will have his/her own room until Ty comes home.

So that's what we're doing. What's ahead for you?