Monday, April 29, 2013

Puppy, Bike Rodeo and Challenges

In the last post, I posted a comment that was left for me by a reader. I was hoping some of you would take a couple of minutes and share with that reader what has worked or not worked for you concerning stealing. I know many of you have or are dealing with it. Different things may work for different children.

There has been a lot of things going on this week. I have photos of some things and not of others.
School pictures came back and I think this one came out well. I told Kayla we'd take one of her, so she'd have one too, but in the meantime she shaved her head. We will still do a picture, but will wait a while so she has some hair.

Adam went to Montgomery (about 5 hours away) all day Saturday. The different marine recruits competed against each other. Our guys didn't do so well.  Adam only did the 800 and did pretty well at it, but I guess a lot of guys from our area aren't really athletic.

We had a bike rodeo Saturday. We had a lot of self sabotaging behavior at it. Kaleb left his previous helmet in the dog area  at home and it was eaten. Really. So we'd looked forward to him getting a new helmet. At the bike rodeo, the helmets are free. We could buy one of course, but getting to get fitted and choose one is a lot of fun. Except that Kaleb insisted on a preschool helmet that didn't fit him. It doesn't go over his head at all. But he absolutely had to have it. Even knowing it didn't fit and he couldn't bike with it. So he got the helmet. But it was kind of senseless since he can't wear it so still has no helmet. I think he will work to earn a new one so he can ride this summer. Or he will have to wear an outgrown one of the girls.

We are getting some very stubborn behavior from little Mr. Kaleb. He's been on red the past three weeks at school with no break. So it's not just here at home, it's at school too. He was doing great until he got signed up for the Pirate field trip (which he ended up losing) and was signed up for hot lunch. It's like those two privileges went to his head and now he is sabotaging everything. He's lost fun day at school again this week. His class is eating in the room Thursday and watching some movies, but his teacher has said his behavior has downward spiraled into all sorts of behaviors I won't go into here, but are being addressed in a good cooperation between his teacher and us.
Kayla let them fit her and got a youth helmet that fits well but has a bit of growing room too. They'd originally tried to  fit this helmet to Jasmine, but it was too small. Jasmine ended up needing an adult size.

The bikes went through a safety check, and then the police officers did some activities with the kids.

They had left over helmets in the smallest sizes and adult sizes and let other people who were there but not taking part get helmets. Jasmine was the oldest of the bikers I think. It's too bad more preteens didn't come because they had a lot of helmets that size to give away. Tyler got a new helmet.

Jessica and I got new helmets too. Mine is in pretty good shape but it's often borrowed by those who can't find theirs.

Kayla and Jasmine's helmets

The dogs were happy to see us when we got home. For some reason, Caspian is scared of the new puppy. Funny because we thought Travis and Caspian would be playmates because Kiara is so much bigger than Caspian.

Yet it's Travis and Kiara who play together.

The girls did some more biking together when they got home.

Kayla's behaviors have been up and down. Hers are different than Kaleb. She has been  consistently on green at school, which is great. She just has a few issues with taking things here that mess her up. She sure did enjoy having a fun day out though so hopefully she'll decide it's worth it.

We have to put him up here to eat, or he runs off to play without eating. This is Rick's little fridge from his office which we are using while we go through round 3 of fridge repairs.

This is my step grand daughter Phoenix who is a year older than the twins. She's dressed up for a daddy -daughter dance.

Phoenix, age 8, and Griffin who will be 6 in August and start kindergarten next fall.
Jessica was supposed to be at a "Finding Hidden Bodies" seminar today for forensics, but after searching all over campus for it, she found out it was at a branch of the campus and it was too late to get out there for it. So that was disappointing. She is really stressing this last week of school.

Tyler is on his fourth week of work. He has to take a day off this week for dental. Our southern Baptist convention has a bus that travels around FL providing free care for people without insurance. Unfortunately, the bus is three hours away this week, but Ty's having a lot of pain in a couple of teeth so he's going to have to do this or pay for the repairs from a local dentist. Hard to know which to do in this case. But he went to the bus a few weeks ago when it was much closer and they did a good job with him. I wish we'd known about this bus before. He dropped off of Rick's insurance when he dropped out of college a year ago.

There's a lot coming up and I'll try to post photos as we go.

What do you have between now and the end of the school year? Anyone graduating? Adam graduates May 29.

Happy 20th birthday to Jeff today. This is his first birthday home from Haiti-1998.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Help This Reader Out

Most of you know I went through a really tough time with the boys before there was Internet or any support really. And I know I could have dealt with it better if there had been just one person who had understood. So let's help out this mom who left me a comment:

I am seeking some advice and wondering if you might have some to offer. I am struggling with our 8,almost 9 year old daughter stealing and lying to cover herself of course and not get into trouble. She has been doing this type thing since about 3 years old. She was adopted internationally at 2 yo and is the 6th of our 8 kids. Yesterday she was caught by another child stealing candy out of the teachers desk. A couple weeks before she stole candy from the outside fridge that was her brothers, talking her 5 yo brother into being a part of the stealing then left him hanging, blaming him. You wrote recently of Kaleb stealing. Why do you think children steal? Why do they steal food? In my daughter's case it is always treat type food. And how are you able to keep positive feelings for your children during these times? I also struggle for knowing what is a meaningful/helpful punishment for each situation. Nothing seems to help. I appreciate your reading this and any help you can offer. 

I can only give my perspective which is that I took the boy's stealing really, really personally. And it felt that way. I couldn't set something down without them planning how to get it. Just because they had to have it. I was angry a lot. 

With the twins it's not so premeditated, more of impulsive. And sometimes downright greed. They may have the same treat as the others but gobble their right down and then take another one that belong to someone who is saving it for later. One of my boys had much more serious attachment issues and I think stealing was just one way it came out. I really don't know what I would do if I were doing it over. For a while there was no joy in our house at all. The other basically outgrew it. Not that every choice is the best, but that he has a pretty good set of values and he's been able to overcome the past junk behaviors enough to take part in normal activities and hang out with friends.

Sometimes I just have to step back and look at it overall. They made a poor choice. The broke my trust and the trust of a sibling or in some cases a teacher. If they can't repay what they took, they do that persons' jobs for a week or so. And they can't be trusted to do any activities that aren't supervised by myself, Rick or one of the older kids.

I think we all want our children to make the right choice because it is the right choice, not because someone is watching. I've talked with Kayla about that a lot this week. She is an amazing child (and if you don't feel it, fake it : ) inside her and when she does the junk behavior--running out and stealing just because she can--she's keeping that person buried. 

The thing I really watch for is that not every activity has to be earned. And that I include them even if I'm not feeling the love right at the time. And if anyone leaves a comment saying they feel complete love and acceptance toward their child even in the midst of the junk behavior, we'll watch for them to walk on water.

So, that's my thoughts. The rest of you chime in because I know there are at least ten readers who are going through this or similar issues right now.

And be sure to go to the last post for a cuteness fix.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Family Times, Spring Weather and a New Puppy

We've been trying to fit in a short family time each evening at 7:00 just for 45 minutes. There's so much homework sometimes that we just have to call a break.
We were doing a lot of active Wii and dance games, but now that Ty's working 10 hour days, he's not as energetic so we've watched the first 45 minutes of The Hobbit (not my kind of movie) and the first 45 minutes of Wreck It Ralph the last two nights. The kids can finish them over the weekend if they'd like.

I'm always looking for something easy, so I created my own recipe based on some others. But one thing I do that the others don't is add chicken bullion to all the rice and bean recipes. It makes a big difference in taste. Here's what I did with these:
Rice and Beans
Lg can of corn, drained
2 c rice
3 c water
chicken bullion
2 cans of black beans, drained
salt, pepper to taste

Pour oil in large frying pan. Add the corn and cook ten minutes, stirring often. Add the rice and sauté until rice is light brown. Add water, 1-2 T bullion, salt and pepper. Simmer 8-10 minutes or until rice is tender. Add in the beans and warm through. Can serve with tortillas.

I had an IEP meeting for Jasmine so took her lunch. She will continue in resource for math and science next year in 7th grade. Her daytrana patch was upped 10 mgs because she's bigger than when it was first prescribed, and that has helped her stay on task the last two weeks. I assumed the dr would just do that without me bringing it up. Guess not.

This is the catio at a neighboring county's humane shelter. It's where we got Kiara, Jayden and Travis.

One for the kitties too.

Look at this guy. He is just a baby. He's going to be big.  We  were just visiting the indoor pets while we waiting for 

Kiara seems to have taken to Travis. Funny considering the size difference! The other two have sniffed him and seem to accept him, but Caspian especially isn't going out of his way to welcome him.

The weather has been beautiful this week. I hope it lasts through the weekend!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Time Away and Time Home

Jessica and I left the house around 10 a.m. for Pensacola Friday. Our convention didn't start until 7 pm, but we wanted to stop along the way.
We more or less ate our way through Destin. Red Brick Oven  Pizza for lunch. When we  ordered we found out there was a wait, so we went to the candy store.

We didn't do too badly there. We only bought one small square of  fudge and a caramel chocolate dipped marshmallow stick.

The pizza was amazing.

And a bit messy.

Jessica was trying on swimsuits. I won't post the ones that she chose :)  This was my "you don't know who is staring at your body so let's cover it up" choice for her.

And this is it with swim shorts instead of the skirt. I think she should save up for the top with either bottom. What do you think moms?

We shopped at the Destin outlet stores, but for some reason I thought "outlet stores" meant reduced prices. Um, no.

With comedian Tim Hawkins. He was hilarious. But the photo isn't. I think that he thought he was being funny, but  you can't really see his face.

We got a chance to talk to Anne and Karen Kingsbury. More Anne because Karen's line was really long, but most people didn't realize it was her mom standing off the the side. Always good to see them again. I haven't gotten her latest book, The Chance, but I've heard it's really good.

Jessica had a bad headache so we skipped the very loud Natalie Grant concert. We were wired when we got back to the hotel room, so Jessica watched Hunger Games at her computer at midnight. We had to be back up at 6:30.

The hotel breakfast was not so great so we had nachos and cheese and a soda at the civic center at great price. Blah.

The had a children's choir there that is made up of children adopted from the U.S., Ethiopia, Haiti and China.

I also got to meet an adoptive mom I'm fb friends with, and we are both on a  Haitian support group page. We talked  out in the hall during an entire session. We would have talked longer, but Tim Tebow's mom was scheduled next. Unfortunately, it wasn't what we were all expecting. I guess we were all waiting to hear her testimony about how God worked in their family and Tim's life, but she actually more preached/taught.

But all in all, it was a good convention. It's definitely something you need to take a friend, sister or daughter to with you.

Of course there always has to be some drama while I'm gone. One child was involved in way too many activities and has an F in an important class so will be reluctantly spending considerable amounts of time working on that classwork that was skipped this week. And entitlement issues are flaring up. 

And Kayla decided to shave the front of her head. She's done this before and you'd think she'd learn. First, a couple of years ago, she cut off a lot of  her braids so we cut her hair short.

And we kept her hair short for a while. Then we braided it again, because she said she wanted to grow it out. And she cut out braids again. Then she shaved off a whole side last year, but I just left the rest of braids and the side was bare.

But this time she shaved the front. You can see on the side where she took it clear down to skin.  Rick took her in  to see if the rest could be cut down to like a half inch, but they said it looked ridiculous and shaved it. They said it needed to go down to the skin like the one patch to even it out, but that will be done later once that patch grows out a bit. Right now there is just no way to make it look good. I hope this is lesson learned. And thankfully there are no important pictures coming up right now, but it's not that long until summer vacation and the cruise and this is what she'll look like. Oh well, at least it will be easy to take care of at camp.
After church yesterday.

Tyler felt the pictures needed livened up, and he timed his jump perfectly.


Just Dance 4

We are working to make sure we have a least a little bit of family time each evening.  We did for a while, but then everything started getting crazy.

FCAT is over with for another year and now we're into end of the year trips, incentive awards, concerts, appointments, IEP meetings and so on.

I have been dealing with hives for about three weeks and it's crazy. They'll go away over night and then flare up into big red raised bumps all over my body the next day. I will spare you the pictures. It's not pretty. They haven't figured out what is causing it. I'm on steroids right now and I think they may be the reason I hardly sleep anymore. Hope this passes soon.

Tyler is in his third week of his new job and really likes it. He's jut not  big on getting up at 5:20! He wears the mask for weed whacking along the highway.
There were some interesting comments posted on the last post about vacation. If you didn't leave a comment, there's still time. You don't have to answer all the questions, just the ones you want.