Thursday, March 27, 2008


I got a glimpse of Spring yesterday. The sun was out warming everything it touched, the breeze was a balmy 50 degrees and my backyard was full of m-u-d.

For whatever reason, a love of that mucky, squishy, let's see what it does if I put it all over me m-u-d was placed in the hearts of all my children. Every Spring, I think perhaps, perhaps I'll eek by and they won't notice that lovely stuff calling their names. Once again, my hopes and dreams were dashed.

Ryan begged to go outside. Please, please, Mom. I just love it out there. As I took a gander out into the yard, I cringed. Can you wait till perhaps the end of May when it dries up, I asked him. He looked so incredibly sad. He slumped over and put his head down on the table. He just wanted to be able to ride his bike. So I caved. What parent would deny their child the opportunity to get some fresh air?

A little while later, Aaron came to me wanting me to help him put his shoes on because he wanted to go outside with Ryan. Total amnesia must have hit me at that point because all I could think of was both the rambunctious boys being outside leaving a semblance of quiet in the house.

As I was sitting on the couch relaxing, I got a glimpse of a mud-caked child, through the open door. A groan of pure misery escaped my very being. I just don't want to look....I just can't look....I refuse to look. So I sent Brad out there in a scurry to get those boys out of the mud. As I removed my hand that was covering my eyes, what appeared before was something that resembled a couple of snowmen only instead of snow, they used mud.

The words, get-to-the-bathroom, rang out through the house. What was I thinking, I scolded myself. As I gathered my composure and tromped off after them, I realized they had left a wake of mud all over the floor, along side my furniture as they dragged their hands on it while heading where "I" told them to go, caked the bathroom knob and covered the bathroom floor.

I promptly put them in the shower and scrubbed them down. After we were finished, I looked as wet as they were because boy, is it fun to watch the shower spray and boy, is it even funner (yes, I used that word) to see what happens when the shower spray hits Mama.

After changing into some dry clothes, cleaning up the mess on the floor, on my 'cream' colored furniture, wiping down the knobs on the doors and sink, and listening to how way cool that was, I was so thankful it was bedtime for them. I was in need of a serious chocolate fix and I was in no mood to share.

Off to bed they went, laughing all the way. I ran into the kitchen to pop a caramel treasure in my mouth. As I turned to head upstairs to tuck them in, I noticed the mud caked shoes that were thrown in the laundry room leaving yet another mess and I also noticed the beautifully decorated garage door that exhibited a mud painting that Picaso would be proud of. This is going to take some more chocolate or it's not going to be pretty.

Past mud fun

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Date With My Son

We like to do 'dates' with our children. It gets them away from everything at home that could distract them from paying attention to us. It also gives them the opportunity to get out what's on their mind with our complete attention on them. It has filled many a love tank in our household.

Yesterday I was noticing that Ryan seemed quite a bit out of sorts. I don't know if it was the coming down from the sugarfest he's had this week or if it was just one of those days. This is usually a good indicator to me of all my kids when a 'date' is needed.

However, I was tired and he was tired and I thought maybe we'll do it tomorrow. Well, after I fed everyone dinner and he just wasn't interested, I thought maybe I just needed to put my tiredness aside. This was important. I don't ever want to miss the silent cry of my child for my attention. This is especially important in bigger families.

Ryan is the exact middle child and I think sometimes in all the chaos life brings us on a day to day basis, he feels like nobody hears him. What he doesn't realize is that even though his mama is being pulled in a million different directions, I have a sense of when things are out of alignment. It's what we mama's know.

So off we went in the car. A trip to McDonalds was what he wanted. As we were driving along, the gates were opened and out came what was on this tiger's mind. He's tired of living in our current house. He needs a change, he says. I asked him what kind of change that would be and he responded with the desire to move to a hotel. He thought that would be really fun because it's just not really fun at our old house. I asked him why he chose a hotel. He said it was because they have those snack machines. Well, I guess I now know what our home is missing. Hopefully, a vending machine is not on his birthday list.

He had a great time getting his hamburger and chocolate milk and I had a great time driving through the Starbucks drive thru for me. On the way home, he said, Mom, I would like to fly a rocketship to the sun. If I don't make it back, tell Dad I love him. Then he said, maybe he should just tell Dad that he loved him before he left. Oh the things that go through his mind.

He seems back to his happy, hyper self today and I know it's because he is feeling the love. I am so glad that I took the time to spend with him, to yet again get a glimpse of what those wheels are thinking about inside his cute little head. Who knows what he'll come up with next.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Special Lunch Date

I had a really neat experience today.

Last fall, my mom invited me to a women's Bible study at her church that meets once a month. Since my own church has suspended it's programs temporarily, I decided to go.

At this meeting, I was introduced to a lady who has the amazing ability to be able to touch my arm, look me in the eye and express such compassion and love. I've never met someone like that before and it really took me off guard. I felt like such a dork crying right in front of this total stranger. I went home that night asking myself how could someone with a simple touch and the love of Christ send me into a puddle as fast as you could blink. My answer to that questions is that God's given her a special gift.

Every time I've seen her since, she whisks me up in a hug and of course, the tears fall. A couple months ago, I was really struggling with feeling guilty because I couldn't seem to get my yelling under control when the girls were here. I would pray every morning before I even got out of bed for God to help me, help me control my tongue and not let those girls get me that upset but then I would go about my day and find myself yelling once again. It was very defeating at times. I didn't want their experience here to be me yelling at them because their world was already so out of control.

I went to the Bible study and this lady was there, only this time she decided to sit by me during the meeting. After the meeting was over, she reached over and touched my arm. She said that the Lord knew what I was going through and even if I yelled or was frustrated, God would bless me for trying, that we were doing a good thing. Of course, my tears fell instantly and if I would have had dentures, my teeth would surely have fallen out at that moment. How did she know what I was struggling with? That my friends, was a 'God moment'. Another confirmation that God does care and know what you are struggling with.

This precious lady called me on the phone a few days ago and invited me to lunch. I thought what a great opportunity to get to know her a little better if only I can get through it without crying! Well, we had a wonderful lunch which lasted for many hours and I could have kept on talking with her. I felt like I stepped out of time and into a wonderful, warm and embracing place. If you've ever met someone who is so full of God's love, you will come away from it feeling like you've seen a glimpse of what Christ is like. Now I'm not saying she was God or anything but His light flowed through her in such a way, it touched my heart. And of course, I cried which was alright this time. With tears, compassion is shown. I so want to be like be filled with so much of God's grace, mercy and His compassion. What a wonderful gift to have.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

As The World Spins...

If there is not one thing going on around here in my life, it's something else. It seems like we live from drama to drama. I'm really not making this stuff up. It's really happening. Believe me, I double checked.

Our new episode in this series, As The World Spins, my mother has been laid up with a bad bout of what could perhaps be gout in her foot which means that I've been very, very busy. After a few days of excruciating pain, a doctor's appointment was made and I was her chauffeur. We borrowed a wheel chair to get her down from her apartment and to the car. Then from the curb at the medical center, the dear valet guys brought us a wheel chair to use to get her up to the doctor's office.

In the process of getting her out of the car, the lock button was hit and the door was shut. It occurred to me at that point that the car was running with my keys locked inside. What does one do at that point when there are a line of cars waiting their turn to use the valet service? Well, you call Onstar. I was instantly thrown into an Onstar commercial. I called my husband, who then called those wonderful people at Onstar who almost instantly had my car unlocked and the line of cars behind me in motion once again. As the valet person was walking away from me, I heard him jingling my keys while he was saying, "Thank God for Onstar." I have to agree with him.

Today, she had a follow up appointment which meant we did it all again only this time, I made sure I left my door open....just in case. The doctor gave her some really cool medicine that does fun stuff to your innards. Hopefully, the side effects don't outweigh the good it's suppose to be doing. Then I thought, uh oh, hopefully her bum foot doesn't slow her down too much to get to the bathroom.....I'm the one doing her laundry. (Sorry, know I love ya!) I have my limitations. Ask my husband how well I handle ick. Let's just say it doesn't bring out the best in me.

So now that I've blurted out my poor mother's woe's to the world and beyond, I have hopes that she will find the laughter in all of this because life truly has it's funny moments even in the midst of pain.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I have writer's block. I'd love to write a hysterically funny post right about now but I got nothing. Perhaps it's the dreary weather or perhaps its my dreary state of mind. So here I sit before my screen hoping that something is going to just inspire me. So I guess I could do this: I'll share a couple of random things the kids have done or said....

A couple weeks ago, I purchased some popcorn chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Ryan decided he was full so I told him we could save the rest for the next day. A baggie would do the trick to save those yummy little morsels for later. Well, just the other day I was rummaging through my cupboard looking for something and I came across this baggie with something kind of furry and green in it. I thought to myself, what in the world? Then it dawned on me. Those are Ryan's popcorn chicken he's was trying to save. Ooops....I guess I forgot to make it known that they were to go in the fridge and not the cupboard.


Our little 22 month old has discovered the world of nakedness. She just loves, loves, loves to take her clothes off and now she's added the removal of the diaper too. She thinks that if she's in need of a diaper change, she can just take off her clothes and her diaper and run around the house stark naked occasionally leaving a little puddle. Who needs a puppy? She also thinks that she should have a clean set of clothes to put on after each diaper change. Oh, she's such a little stinker. The other day when she was done with her nap, off came the clothes and the diaper. When I sent Grace up to get her, I heard squealing. Grace came running down the stairs yelling I can't do it! I asked her what in the world was going on. What I found was a naked baby who had tinkled all over her bed. That's my little pee pot....cute as can be.


Ryan's been quite caught up in marrying his mother lately. He says when he gets older and taller, he's going to marry me. I told him that I was married to daddy so that kind of wouldn't work. He thought about that for a little bit and then he says to me, well, when you are through with dad, I'll marry you then.


I was sitting on the couch having a good ol' conversation with my four year old. We were chatting about this and that...whatever came into his cute little head. He was sitting on my lap facing me and loving every moment he had my undivided attention. All of the sudden he decides to look down the inside of my shirt. He looks up with a googly look on his face and he says, "those are beautiful, Mom". I about fell of the couch in shock.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Life Rolls On...

It's now been a week since the girls left us. We've kicked off this week with colds and ear infections galore. Poor Kara, she is just so miserable. It is awful when you just can't seem to console a child because she just doesn't feel good. She doesn't want anyone to touch her and she screams if one of her brother's gets a twinkle in his eye and is going to try it. Then they laugh and she screams more. Sound like fun? Not so much.

I guess this means we are not going to get to church again tomorrow. We didn't go last week because all this fun had started up in full force. Now it's just continuing on a roll as it includes it's next by one.

I started thinking about my church going experience as a child. I don't remember missing much church. I think my parents had the "if the doors were open, we were there' motto. I remember one time I had such a horrible headache and I begged and begged to stay home because it was literally making me not feel well. But my mother wouldn't hear of it, we were going. So during the service, I ended up making a run for the bathroom and guess what? Yep....I threw up. Then I had to wait for the service to end before we left. I thought that was just awful of them. Can you believe a parent would do such a thing?

Now I've found myself in this parent role and guess what? Yep....I find myself telling my kids, oh, you'll be fine. Famous last words! Usually I regret saying that. Trust me, it's easier just to stay home and have all the clean up accessories at your finger tips instead of having to pull off the exit ramp frantically searching for some place that has Resolve and paper towels before the domino effect takes place on the rest of the family from the horrendous smell, praying that the police officer you just passed will understand why you are swerving in and out of traffic at the speed of light.

Since I won't hear much of the service because of the screaming, runny eye'd, snot fountain, drool-hanging, I just want to be left alone kids, I am opting out of all the fun I'd have roaming the halls at church and infecting all the other unsuspecting people there.

I want to leave you with this pretty cool video a friend sent to me.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Heart Cries....

This is a difficult post to write.

Our time as kinship foster parents has come to an end. The social worker came and got the girls on Friday to take them to their new home. I am pleased that the home they have gone to is a specialized foster care home that has experience with problem children. I think that they will do well there. But I'm sad that it ended up the way it did.

We have such a mix of emotions. First, it was so sad to watch the girls get into the social workers car and leave. I walked around the house and saw their sippy cups sitting there on the counter and I wanted to cry. I found the missing Tinkerbell glove that was Barbara's. What do I do with it? I found myself whispering outside the bedroom door last night and realized that nobody was in there so there was no need to whisper. It just makes me sad.

Then there is relief. There has been an absolute quiet calm in our house since they left. Kara has calmed down as has everyone else. It is difficult to live in a screaming, chaotic world for almost five months and it not affect you. We wake up in knots and we got to bed in knots. We had a friend call on the phone and commented on how quiet it was in the background. Yes, it has definitely made a remarked difference. I heard a content sigh come from my husband as he laid his head down on his pillow in his own bed. He's been sleeping on the couch so that he could hear the girls when they woke up screaming. There's no place like home or your pillow.

There is disappointment. I am so disappointed that things didn't work out. I'm disappointed in myself and how I handled some of the many situations, I'm disappointed that my kids couldn't rise to the occasion and be all they could be. Then it occurs to me they are kids not superhero's. I'm disappointed that we had such a hard time getting help. I'm disappointed.

Then there is anger. We had a TDM with the new foster Mom, the paternal father and his wife, the Mom, the social worker and the moderator. They talked about the condition they originally found the girls in when they were removed from their home, the behavior issues of the girls, the progress they've made and the judge's move to explore the possibility of removing the Mother's rights to the girls this month. They asked the mother if she understood what that all meant and she said yes. They asked her if she had any comments and she said no. She did not have anything to say about anything that was discussed today. She didn't even express any emotion and neither did the father. I feel angry that first of all, that the girls are even in this situation to begin with. It's not their fault. I feel angry that the parents just aren't seeming to take this seriously. We are talking about the future of their little lives and nobody has anything to say. Arrggh! It just makes me angry.

And then there is frustration. In the meeting today, we found out that the social worker has in place speech therapy, play therapy, and will have the other appointments set up by the 14th for the girls. Why in one weekend can she have all this stuff arranged, when we've been fighting and fighting to get things in place here for months. We really didn't have the support we needed to help the girls like they needed. Again, arrggh!

After you go through something like that, do you ever ask yourself what that was all about? What was God's plan in all this? We both feel like we didn't do enough. That perhaps we could have handled this or that better. We are disappointed that it didn't turn out differently. And...oh, all the 'why's' I ask myself. I just wish I had some clarity on this situation. I wish He could just send me an email and tell me so I could know. It would help but instead, all I have is TRUST. What else can I do? I know that God is sovereign. I know that He knows exactly what is going on. I know that He loves those little girls like nobody's business. So I have to TRUST that He will continue to provide for their every need even when I'm no longer in the picture.

Lord, we pray that you will continue to heal their hearts and their minds.