Friday, April 21, 2017

Winter in Florida

Winter Robin that is.

Friday 7:34 p.m.

7 lbs 10.8 oz



Monday, April 17, 2017

Overdue

I know a blog post is long overdue. Unfortunately, so is Jessica's baby! Winter was due April 11, and there is no sign of her.

Jessica has been wanting to go to the beach, so we went twice. Jasmine had late start due to the testing schedule so was able to go the second time.

River is getting so big. She can walk, climb and get in to everything. She is 15 months old. 




She loved the sand. Especially putting it all over herself.


We went to a different beach both beach days.




River helps me test new toys for the shop.


Tara, Sierra, Adam and Kiki came over for a bit before leaving for the beach. Here are the girls. Wish Jessica and River could have joined us, but they did meet us at the beach.

Have fun with photos. Ty was still asleep!

Glad to have so many together, but sad we are not yet approved for child #9.



Flying kites on Easter. A Haitian tradition.


Hopefully we will have baby news for you soon.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's Been a Month

It's been a month since I last posted. Sometimes there is nothing to say, others times there isn't time to say it.

Opening a shop at our local flea market has been very time consuming, but it's also given me a sense of purpose.  It has been a waiting game with hearing back from a publisher about my YA fiction. No answer to my e mails, no nothing. A waiting game to hear from our adoption worker and wondering why everything has come to a halt. But when it comes to the shop, we are all fully engaged.

Ty and I spend the week searching for good buys--toys that are for sale cheap because of their condition that we can clean up, repair etc and get ready to resell. Our family room (you remember I fixed it up a while back--see that post here) now looks like a warehouse. Other than being totally frustrated by the clutter, I am loving it.

Tara came to visit the shop. I will take some better photos of the shop on Friday. The flea market is open 8-5 Friday and 7-5 Saturday and Sunday. We can't get in during the week at all. So bad news if we leave something there we need.

We've had spring break.Too much of it was spent dealing with behavioral issues, but we also had a nice day at the beach.








I took River to the park while Jessica went to her prenatal appointment. She goes weekly now.



There is a big storm moving in right now, and school is already canceled for tomorrow. Jessica is due on the 11th, and I'm hoping she doesn't go into labor during this storm.

I have a parenting blog that features quick tips since most of us don't have much time to read. You can check that out HERE.

Who has already had spring break and who is on break this week?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fun Friday:Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili


Life has been so crazy that I am simply going to share the recipe we are having tonight when another family comes over in a bit.

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
4 chicken breasts
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 large can corn undrained
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
2 envelopes ranch dressing mix
1 tsp chili powder
2 8 oz pkg cream cheese


Place the uncooked chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with the Rotel, corn, beans, dressing mix, cumin and chili powder. Stir to mix. Top with cream cheese. Cook on low for 4-5 hours stirring occasionally. Shred the chicken before serving. Can serve over rice or baked potato or use as a dip.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Forward We Go!

A few posts back I wrote about the counseling session and what the counselor said about us not adopting. That has been bugging me, so when I took Kayla today I asked the counselor to talk to her first. I asked if she'd talked to adoptions, and she said no. I told her that I somewhat regret giving them her info because I'd thought she would tell them that we have parented multiple children with issues, so we have some experience with it. No real answers, but experience. I told her that the stress level at home is fairly low on a day to day basis, and that if we wait until Kayla consistently makes good choices, we may never adopt again.

We are not child collecting, we have not adopted in over seven years. It seems like we are missing one last child. A boy 12-15. There are not a lot of people asking for them, and it may be some child's last chance.

Well, her response today was totally different. She said it was not her place to say whether we should be approved to adopt or not. She said she would say we are a loving family who supports their kids and has consistent boundaries. And that we get our children the help they need. But she said that she would also have to say that we have a very manipulative child, and she does not want to see an adopted child get sabotaged by the manipulation.

It turned out that we had a short notice second visit by the adoption worker today. He said they had talked to all but two of our references. He did not mention the counselor. I did not bring it up. He took a video of our house with the kids narrating for him. Then he asked about each child and asked what behaviors we absolutely could not accept in an adopted child. I will write more about that in a later blog post but I am interested as to what you the blog readers would say to that question.

The kids played Disney Princess Uno during part of it but had to leave the room while we talked about them. After he left we had supper and strawberry short cake. Now Ty and Jasmine are trying out a used juicer I got for $2. They are mixing carrots, celery, pears, strawberries and Granny Smith apples. No recipe, just random choices. Any suggestions?


In other news, we are having a blast with the shop we rented at the local flea market. More about that later.







Friday, February 24, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Valentine's Day

Instead of giving out something for Valentine's Day, we had everyone come over for a pizza feast! Jessica had to work. Adam brought Tara, Sierra (Tara's niece), Brittney (a family friend going through some tough stuff) and Kealen.




Tara, Kealen, Sierra

This is when I realized Kayla had shaved off the whole front part of her hair with a razor! About two days after we took her to get it styled.


Kaleb and Adam
Jasmine, Sierra, Brittney

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Raising Adopted Kids is Tough

I haven't blogged lately because I've been super busy.

I also know that most of you would rather hear the good stuff--how we celebrated Valentine's Day and Jasmine's birthday for instance. It's nicer than hearing how Kayla stole everyone's treats because she gobbled hers down so fast and everyone else only had a little and then saved the rest.

You'd rather hear that Kaleb is doing great in band rather than that he sold $50 of candy bars, lied about turning the money in and then spent it going to Burger King two blocks from his school and to Winn Dixie next door buying megagobs of treats.

You'd rather hear that Kayla, who seemed to be doing better and was on the soccer team, had to drop out due to 58 violations of the contract between herself, me and the counselor in the first two weeks including stealing, lying, refusing to do jobs, and having a horrible attitude at home. She told us and the counselor that she's great at school and church, she saves the ugly behaviors for us.

Not to mention both twins stealing from my wallet and my car.

So it feels like we've gone not a step, but several miles backward. I have looked forward to middle school track for the twins, especially Kaleb, for many years, but they won't be trying out this year. We found the cool shoes for Kayla at thrift with the verse in them, but they'll remain in her closet until next year, by which time she will have probably outgrown them.

So for now we are on a very set schedule that includes no extras. No sports, no outside activities.

The counselor has to give a recommendation for our adoption, and she is not recommending it. I hope they forget to call her, but they won't, and over a year of planning and hoping will come crashing down. Every adoptive family I know has adopted even though one or two of their children have negative behaviors. That's the reality of it. We are the survivors and we adopt because we know how hard it is, and we know we can persevere. It's not for the faint of heart.

So that is where we are right now.

But next post I will go back to posting about Valentine's Day and Jasmine's birthday and all the good stuff. But you need to know, raising adopted kids is tough.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2016 Reading List

I posted this on my teen blog, but thought I'd post it here too.




At the beginning of 2016, I posted a list of the books I planned to read. That list is HERE.

Below is a list of what I really did read in 2016. I should put "read" in quotes because in reality I listened to the book on CD in most of these cases. I listened to the whole Harry Potter series and most of the Alex Rider series while driving my kids to school and on errands. A couple of the books I read from my phone while stuck in waiting rooms or lines.

All the Bright Places  review HERE
13 Reasons Why review  HERE
8 Notes to a Nobody Author interview HERE
Hunger Games- Read Bryan Davis' review HERE and HERE
The Fault in Our Stars review HERE
Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone 
City of Ember review HERE
If I Stay
This is How I Find Her review HERE
The Outsiders
Tiger Eyes
The Boy in Striped Pajamas review HERE
The Chosen One
I Was Here review HERE
All Fall Down
Gathering Blue
The Messenger
8 Keys
No Such Person
The Face on the Milk Carton
There You'll Find Me review HERE
The Dare
Four
Divergent (Twice)(while driving from FL to NC to Cincinnati, to IN and back to FL)
The Dark is Rising (Same trip as above)
Counting by 7's (Same trip as above) review HERE
The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days review HERE
How I Became Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love review HERE
10 Steps to Girlfriend Status
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Hate List review HERE
Just Listen
Because of Winn Dixie
Prisoner of Azkaban
Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Half Blood Prince
Autism,The Invisible Cord, A Sibling's Diary
Fan Girl
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Stormbreaker
Point Blank
Skeleton Key
Rules
Eagle Strike
Scorpia

Books we read in family time:
The Giver
Gathering Blue
Messenger
The Son
The Castle in the Attic
Harry Moon: Halloween Nightmares
The Cay
The Year of the Dog
Honey Moon
The New Kid at School
The Case Time Forgot

Other books I read (non fiction and adult fiction)
It: Nine Secrets of the Rich and Famous That Will Take You to the Top
Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business
Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Created a Dynasty
Write Your Novel from the Middle
The Gift
One for the Money
Blind Alley
Next Thing on My List
If I Run


I will probably reread a lot of the books on the list for three reasons:1. I have short term memory damage so until I've read a book a few times a lot of it is new to me.
2. I reread my favorites anyway.
3. The library has limited books on CD.

Which books on my list have you read?
What are you reading right now? I am finishing the Alex Rider series in the car. Listening to a James Patterson YA novel in the house.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Fun Friday: Can You Find It?

How long did it take you to find the different one?
Once you find it, you can't unsee it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Photos from Today

Today was a teacher work day, so the kids didn't have school. Ty worked both of us jobs and wasn't able to join us. Hunter took the day off so he and Jess could go to eye appointments and dental appointments together. So we had River.

We started the day in the park. River is 13 months old. Getting photos isn't easy, but some of the "bloopers" are the fun ones.












Ready to go!





"I'm just going to crawl off the table."


"Look, I found my feet."

"And the pretty sky. But I'm not going to look at your camera."






"I'll just sit here for my picture."


"Or maybe I'll just walk away."



"Uncle Kaleb's hair is soft."

"I don't know why he's making that face."
Done with pictures, walking the jogging trail

Then off to get some sand and shells for a project.






"Everyone else is putting shells in the bucket, so I'll take them out."



Aunt Jasmine explains about putting shells in the bucket.

Time to go. Just enough time for a quick taco from Taco Bell and then Mommy and Daddy will be back.