Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rest of Last Week

Jasmine and I left for Kissimmee last Wednesday. We got there late afternoon and went to Hollywood Studios for a little while. It poured rain, but we had our ponchos.

We were inside here.
The next morning we headed over to FL's west coast to meet a family whose blog I follow. No, I don't normally go visit people I don't know, but I wanted to meet Dawn because I could tell she's the real thing. And we have a lot in common although she's younger, and her kids are a younger age range--9 children ages 12 and below. It reminds me so much of us a few years ago in GA when we had seven (3 were foster) ages 10 and under. She is facing some of the issues we were in the middle of at that time. We loved meeting all the children and spending time with them. Jasmine took her slither and her power wing and shared them. They already had scooters, but not this kind.
I got to sit next to this cutie at lunch! She is very friendly, aware of everything and verbal.
They have a pool too. Jasmine really liked Abigail.
One of hers and seven of mine are missing in this picture. But four of mine are over 18 and one will be 18 in January. They are spread all over right now.
We went back to our hotel and hung out for a while. Then we headed over to Magic Kingdom. People were dancing with Goofy and Stitch, so Jasmine joined that group for a while.
Amazingly, she wanted to eat!! (If you know Jasmine, you know she is a picky eater and would live on pasta and junk food if allowed). She wanted the rib/chicken platter (we usually take food, but we didn't bother so much with just the two of us-most of the time we didn't eat until we got back to the hotel and twice we bought food) and she was nice enough to let me have most of the green beans!! But she ate all of the meat!!! I grabbed the potatoes while she was busy figuring out how to eat the ribs.
Next day we went to Epcot for a while, and then headed over to downtown Disney to their theater for Brave. Jasmine had been given an AMC gift card, which they sell in our Walmart, but we don't have an AMC anywhere near us! So we used her card.

We sat in the third story balcony so we climbed A LOT of stairs up. Then I went all the way back down because she wanted fresh popcorn. And all the way back up. And by then she had decided she didn't really want popcorn!!
After the movie, it was raining pretty hard, but we went back to Epcot anyway because we had fast passes for Soarin'
And we ordered beef and noodle soup in China, and this is what we got! I was expecting cheap ramen at an expensive price- $8 a bowl, but this was real beef and noodles that were more like dumplings.
I had Jasmine try to eat with chopsticks to make sure I had time to get some too!
On Saturday we went to Sea World. We watched the Shamu show twice.

The sea lion show hasn't changed in at least 25 years! We did Turtle Trek and Wild Arctic and looked at all the animals. (She wouldn't pet the stingrays) We planned to go back Sunday but the tropical storm was moving in by then.
We went back to the hotel where Jasmine swam in the pool for a couple of hours. At this time I discovered my Kindle was dead. Just went to sleep and wouldn't wake up! I think it got stepped on at the theater because every single set was filled and my backpack got stepped on.
Since it was storming Sunday, we went ahead and headed to Merritt Island and went to the mall. We figured we'd watch Brave again or some other movie. The timing for Brave worked out well. Then we headed to the camp for commissioning.
We met the daughter of another bloggy friend. It looks like I will not get to meet the mom because Adam is flying home and his team arrives back at the camp later than Sarah's anyway. But we'll meet up someday. Sometimes it is a small world.
The rally.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Tyler and Rick hung out and celebrated Rick's 50th birthday. Doesn't Ty looked just thrilled about those tacos?
I bought the tacos and Ty bought a sugar free chocolate pie.

And there were presents of course although not everything is shown becasue he got a gift card to pick some himself.

So that's what we did last week!

How about you?

Monday, June 25, 2012


 Jasmine and I went to the camp for peanut commissioning. The Mustard Seeds and the early teens were commissioning too so it was a long service. But very lively.
 Adam was his true self. I met his leader. She's had him before and said she sees a big improvement in him this year, so I have the feeling past years were not so easy for his counselors. But she said he's doing a good job and that's always good to hear.

 He was chosen to take part in the flag ceremony. He took  his dress shirt off and wore his black dress pants and a filthy undershirt. Does anyone understand how teen boys think???
 Kayla's team sang.
 Kaleb's team sang.
 The behaviors were worse than I thought. With Kayla it was mostly some stubbornness and constant wetting herself. Doing laundry for a camper is unheard of here but they did it several times, charging Jessica for it! That was one drawback of her being there. They needed to treat Kayla and Kaleb as they would any other campers. They also did Kaleb's laundry, and he refused to wear a pull up at night so his stuff was always soaked. I threw out his sleeping bag and pillow because the smell will never come out, and they were washed so much they were lumpy. Right now he is scrubbing his bedroom floor because he decided to just pee on his floor rather than walk three feet to the toilet. 

Kaleb really, really acted out. His leaders didn't deal with the behaviors right away, so they lost control of him. But they did take away his supper dessert because he would run around crazy at night and not go to bed, so he got no sugar at supper. Neither got the 500 gallon shake for that reason. On the day they were supposed to go to the nursing home to sing, Kaleb started hitting and kicking other kids. When the leader restrained him, he bit and scratched. He got to eat his McDonald's on the bus with a leader, not inside with the other kids. He's lucky. If I'd been there he'd have gotten a peanut butter sandwich.

The frustrating thing for Jessica is that they'd ask her what to do about him, then not do what she suggested.
I'm not used to seeing these charts come home so empty : (  

With Kayla I've been able to talk to her about the behaviors and how to fix them next year. I showed her that her nice laminated team picture was the one where she was pouting and refusing to look at the camera. I reminded her that this was the only picture the children had to remember her by. I hope she really gets it. 
The disappointing part is that they are both capable of following rules. They can both be very fun, loving children. They can both be good workers. It's sad that they didn't choose to show their leaders that side. I think they did  part of the time, but I'd like to see them get to the point where they do right just because it's right, not because I"m there giving them "the look." I want them to be able to act appropriately away from me and not have it just be because I'll give them an extra job or take a privilege for poor behavior.

I know that some of you reading this have no clue why I'd post all this. And you can't picture the things I'm talking about. That's okay. Maybe you can go find some cheery blog about a family where all the kids obey happily all the time.

On the other side of it, some of you have children who act like angels in front of others, but are mean and can throw a two hour tantrum at home. Then others think you are the problem. And it does no good to try and explain because they don't get it. Even if they saw it, they would think it was because you didn't love the child enough, understand the child etc. They don't get that they are being played, and they think it's precious that the child is so warm to them. In fact, they probably try to give your child extra stuff to make up for you not giving them things (never mind that you do and that they destroy them or hide them so it looks like you didn't). They sabotage all your efforts. I've been there too. I think it's easier with the twins because others do see the behaviors. They went into school hitting, biting and screaming when they didn't get their way. When others see it, they mostly try to help by setting up some kind of behavior chart.

I know this post is going on and on. I'm processing things from the twins' acting out behavior, and I know of many parents who are dealing with the other situation where the child saves the awful behavior for them. And there are parents out there hurting because they've had to make the hard choice of getting residential help for a child or having children turn on them. It's hard. It bites. But it's the life we've chosen. And God is bigger than it all. But wouldn't it help if others really got behind you to help you instead of stabbing you in the back?

Okay, just my thoughts. And the next post will be brighter. There's lots more to tell about what Jasmine and I did and what the guys did here at home while we were all away.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

TMI update

Update-I changed the template but now the pictures are so wide that they overlap the stuff on the side. Can't win : ) It seems to just be this post though. 

I wasn't going to post again until I got home Monday, but this picture needed to be posted : ) Those of you who know the twins know they can be a bit dramatic at times. You can see that the wall Kaleb's team mates are trying to help him over is only about 4 feet high at most. I think the boy in orange might be standing on a ledge.
The Mustard Seeds (4-6's plus parents) and Peanuts have their own mini obstacle course. It has the wall, tires to go through, a tiny "river" to swing over and books of the Bible blocks to put in order.
The twins are used to manipulating and pouting their way out of things they don't want to do--or they do them very unhappily. I wasn't sure if they'd show this side at camp, but I think they did to some extent, Kayla more than Kaleb. But both seem to have tried to cooperate probably due to peer pressure from team mates. They can both be very helpful and cooperative when they choose to be. I'll know more once I pick them up after commissioning tomorrow night.

Please don't think I'm being negative about the twins, I'm being honest. They spent a lot of time at the orphanage learning to pout, manipulate and throw tantrums to get their way. The nannies had 135 kids to worry about so most of the time it worked. They now need to learn that those behaviors don't get them their own way. Kayla really put her teacher through it this year and it is very much reflected in her conduct grade for the year. I'm hoping for a lot of growth this summer.

Kaleb started out the week wearing his glasses and I don't know why he's not wearing them in later pictures.

One of the first pictures. The kids have classes, Bible times and rallies each day. Kaleb is at the left end and Kayla's on the right side of the picture.
Kayla is not too thrilled about this. She needs to run and jump on the rope and swing over. She needs to jump up higher and put her feet on the knot at the bottom.
Kayla is in her "if I don't get my way I'm not going to smile and so there" mood. I hope this isn't the official team photo or she'll have to live with it. Her team made trusses.
Jessica with her team.

Jessica with her team making wordless gloves.

Adam leading the way up the net. Adam is a good team player. He works together well.
He can be social at the wrong times though: ) (Like during evening rally)

Adam helping put the books of the Bible  in order. Adam's been here several time before so he's an old pro.
Trinidad team
Yep, it's a real milkshake
It takes a lot of pizza to feed a couple thousand kids.

Tomorrow is the last day of camp for the twins. Jessica can't leave until after her last camper leaves, so I hope they are all being picked up by parents tomorrow night, not flying out Monday or we'll have to wait for her. Jessica has a camera with her, but I don't know if she had time to take any pictures.

I think that this week will have been a positive one for everyone despite the pouting. It's the twins first time to spend time away from home with children their own age. That in itself is a learning experience.

I'll be posting more about what Jasmine and I have done this week and what Rick and Tyler did at home later. There haven't been many comments lately so please leave a comment and tell me your kids' experiences with camp.