Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Break Coming to a Close

Sad to say Spring Break is coming to a close. I have loved having the kids home. I have loved having no appointments, no state visits, no morning alarm clock, and no watching the clock constantly. The week went quickly. We didn't have money or time to take a trip out of town so we stayed home and I tried to do something at 3 of the 5 weekdays with the kids.
Day 1 we spent with Papa Larry. Just hung around the house and enjoyed being a family.
Day 2 we went to a new (to us) park in Portland. It's called the Rose Garden Children's Playground. After we left there I took the kids to the Oregon Rose Garden but none of them wanted to get out...so I got out and took a few photos. We picked up Taco Bell on the way home. They were thrilled with that.
Day 3 we went to a new (to us) park in Sandy Oregon. It was awesome. the kids loved it, I loved it and what a beautiful setting. It had a slide the little one loved so I didn't have to spend my time chasing her through the playground. She learned to go up the stairs and down the slide all by herself. She must have made 25 trips down that slide. The bigger kids had plenty of slide and bars, and such to keep them busy. BUT then they discovered the creek. They played in that for 45 minutes or more. On the way home I picked up subs and then we looked and looked for a park to stop at...to avail. Then I spotted a small church with two small play structures and a nice grassy area and one picnic bench. Perfect. The sun was warm and I sat and watched the kids play...now that was nice!!!
Day 4 we went to a new (to us) museum called the World Forestry Center. Had a great time even though the exhibit for that day was 'Reptiles' We then decided to walk next door to the Children's Museum and after some play time there, we went to the zoo. It was rainy, cold, and windy...but we didn't care. We just wanted to hit a part of the zoo we didn't see the last two times (thankful for membership) we were there. We then headed home.
Day 5 We stayed home and had family come to visit. The kids wanted to go...I kinda wanted to go...but the house needed some cleaning and then the 'adult' kids needed mommy time too. Plus I need a grandson fix! So we had a good day of visiting and kids playing outside. I did rent them the movie Planet 51 and bought them Chocolate Chip cookies...so that was a treat.
So we have today, which is half over and tomorrow which is church day and then it's back to school, visits, and .......the same'o same'o....but I guess that's ok. At least that means everyone is well, we still have our home, and nothing has changed.
I am thankful for the time we have had and sooooo look forward to summer break!
Random pics!
*You will notice a couple of kiddos missing from some of the pics. The day we made our trip to the Museums we left baby with Grandma because weather was nasty and we decided to take the city rail line called 'Max.' It's an hour ride each way. Also our oldest son was at his bio mom's all of spring break.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring got me!

Ok, so in a previous post "In the air..." I shared how I had no motivation for spring. How I didn't have a desire to even go into my back yard and all the reason for that. BUT...then....the day was sunny, the skies were blue, the yard was dry and it was calling out to us. I came home from a field trip with my 3rd grader and my babysitter (my mom) was there folding some of my laundry. I asked her if she wanted to go outside so we could take the littlest one out to play. She did...of course. My mom loves being outside. So we did...I got two lawn chairs set up and she got the baby's shoes on. We headed out and before I knew it...we working on cleaning up the back yard. Attacking the old fall leaves and the blackberries. We never did sit in the lawn chairs. We cleaned up the yard...it looks sooo much better. Though the grass, what's left of grass, may need help...or not. At least it's easier to see snakes in the dirt than in the grass. The best parts of all of it? The time the my mom and I had to share and the fact my littlest one and the dogs had a GREAT TIME! Then my older and oldest girls show up with my grandsons and...well...it was great being in the back yard with spring like weather!
Thank you heavenly father for the inspiration and the encouragement! I needed that!
p.s. can't post pics...having technical difficulities.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

'Smile'

Just feeling a little emotional tonight...not sure why. So I decided to look through a few of my pics and post some that lighten my heart and make me smile!
Blessings





























Blessings

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Next step

We received some documents from the state for the next step of the adoption. We need current back ground checks and we need medical forms filled out. How much I weigh would be covered under HIPAA wouldn't it??? LoL! So I need to get those completed and sent back in. I was told by our caseworker, our certifier has 3 months to gather all the adoption information. It has been one month. I have already put off for a week the completing of the paperwork. I need to get on that!!! I have not received word of the 'show cause' hearing for the bio dad. That happened last Friday. Just curious if he showed up or not....but I guess it doesn't really matter if I know or not. I just need to focus on getting our part done.
I love this baby girl so much. Everyday is a precious gift with her. She is such a character. She makes us laugh every single day. My parents kept her for two nights last week and that is all they have talked about since. They had a blast. She was so good for them which I am so thankful.
We received some great news this week. My two homeschool girls have been accepted into web school...called "Clackamas Web Academy." they will be issued a laptop and they can somewhat work at their own pace here at home. We have been assigned an advisor. They have teaching labs, field trips, and celebrations. The girls are excited. I am a little nervous. Something so new. Sadly I just bought 4 work books for them last week and they have only completed one or two pages in each. Sigh! That's money out the window. That's what I get for not going to the Lord in prayer first. Just being compulsive! When will I ever learn.
The advisor will be coming to our home tomorrow and we will know more then.
Spring break is next week and we can not wait!!! I love when the kids are out of school and hanging at home. I am praying the Lord will open the window of blessings for us next week. I have a couple of activities that won't take any money...just gas money. I am hoping more things will come up. It will be nice.
I am sure I will be posting updates on that...I am praying for all good updates!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the air...

Spring is in the air. You can feel it coming. People are all abuzz. It only took 2 nicer days to really get people going. Then the temps dropped to the 30's and the rain came. People are starting to hit the 'nurseries' for seeds and soil.

I love Spring but I am just not feeling it yet this year. Our back yard is a mess. We moved into this home in 06. We paid have the yard leveled and planted. We put in a patio area, a small garden area, and worked hard to get everything healthy. It has been nothing but a failure. It's too dark for a good garden, a mole/gopher ran rampant last year, and this year? I have no idea what is back there but there are teeny tiny mounds all through the dirt (use to be grass) and most of the grass is gone. The blackberries have taken over the back fence and the bushes are overgrown. Blah. I don't mind the overgrown bushes and blackberries so much, but the grass? I don't know what the heck is up with that. I had so looked forward to our little one playing back there this year. Sure we can replant but I have to investigate what happened first. So, it's kinda a drag.

Also as I have shared openly MANY times...I hate snakes and our back yard is haven or a rest area for them. Behind our fence is a huge area of blackberries and behind that a train track. So, pretty much a snakes paradise back there. It has gotten to where I can barely stand going back there during the summer because i know I will see one. I am sure there is a Godly lesson in this. Something HE is teaching me and maybe I am being resistant to the lesson. I don't know. I do desire for this creatures not to have any affect on me...but they do. Not sure how to overcome it. So, spring is on it's way and so are the snakes. drag.

I try not to post with a downer attitude so I will end with this. This year I have a little girl who can walk so this year will be a time of learning. It is time for her go and explore more of the outdoors. Where there is dirt, bugs, grass (there are small patches) and leaves, flowers, clouds and such. All things of wonder. Time for her to play until she is wore out! Oh and of course there is the water fountain she will play in. It's small and not a drowning hazard...but just enough water to throw dirt and rocks in. Maybe with her around the snakes won't dare come around. Maybe she will be the guard. The guardian of the Porter property. Should be a lot of pics to post this summer.

Spring break is next week and I can NOT wait. No school for us for an entire week. We can sleep in (at least a little) and we can go and do things. Maybe we will have a day where we can all go outside and do clean up. The kids like helping with that. I am hoping to get to take them on fun outings. The zoo, a children's museum, and such. Most things are financially out of our reach but I am hopeful for a few activities. Even if we can just go to some parks, they would love that.

So spring is in the air....it's just around the corner. Are you ready?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our history... our present

Something that has been heavy on mind for some time now is our elderly...more specifically our Widows. I read blog after blog about orphans and adoption but, honestly, I have not read any regarding our charge of widows. I love our older generations. I worked as a CNA at a nursing home (nope not a retirement center...a nursing home!) and the only bright side was caring for and getting to know those who had lived this life and were finishing out their days. The story's they have are beautiful, fascinating, and sad. ALL worth listening to. I still enjoy our older set, but I am guilty of not taking time to get to know them or to minister to them.
In recent weeks the Lord has laid on my heart to start reaching out to them, the widows. Start by writing them a letter. Letting them know they are thought of and how I would love to get to know them. I write one letter a week. So far it has been 2 weeks and the response is....beautiful. I plan to get together with them as time allows. That will be the trickier part...but not impossible. I will make it happen. They are important. They are not used up and useless to society. Their love, their experience, their knowledge is of value...Great value!
I don't do this out of obligation, I do this because God brought to the surface of my heart something I enjoy and I know is so very important.
Take the time to love on our elderly, take the time to love on and assist the widows....even the grumpy and protective ones. Let them not be forgotten or spend day after day alone. See what they need. You are never too old or young to help. No matter how old you are...there is always someone older. No matter how young you are, you can bring life and love into their lives. See how God would move you...it is after all part of HIS great design.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Friday, March 12, 2010

Made the mistake...

I made a huge mistake this morning. I made the mistake of thinking what a nice and easy day it was going to be. Yep...I let that thought creep through my brain for several minutes. I enjoyed the thought of fewer kids at home, no appointments or meetings. Just a free flowing day of little ones, laundry, a few dishes, and some reading. Well that did it...that stepped over the line. Must have been the thought about me reading. No sooner did that pleasant thought bring some relaxation to my body did I hear these words...."my tummy is hurting!" Suddenly the door was closing as quickly as it had opened. The weight falling back onto my shoulders. I spouted some quickly thought up reasons for this 'tummy ache' such as maybe your are just hungry, maybe you need a drink of water, maybe you need me to rub your tummy, maybe I need to send you to Grandmas so 'I' can still get 'MY' day! Ok...I didn't really say that last part
With just 4 words my day has hit a 'U' turn. The one who never gets sick is the one who is. She had even bigger plans than I did. She had a visit with her bio mom after school and then Grandma (my mom) was going to pick her up for a sleepover. Now not only are there tears from her tummy hurting but there are tears for HER day as well. Maybe we should both just crawl back in bed and start over...afterall it was my mistake!!!
Update: After I wrote this, the tummy went away and she went to school. All was well. So all my cyber whining was for nothing! :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

'The 12 Project'

Sometimes something so basic, so simple, and so amazing comes along. I just read this idea on another blog....'The 12 Project." I love this idea and have already set the reminder on my cell phone!
Every month take a family photo...at the end of the year make a book of the pics! How fantastic is that!?!? I love this blog world!

Blessings!

Peeking through the portal into my day

Show us your life from Kelly's Korner is featuring what a typical day is like in our lives....

My days have some regularity to them and yet not. Everything can change with just a phone call or text message or the knock on the door. I haven't been homeschooling lately like I should. My brain has seemed to be on hiatus and the girls have finished some of their text books so I am looking to get new ones. I have also been babysitting my 2mth old grandson 3 days a week for the last 3 weeks. That really switches up my day....juggling two babies.
The kids listed by number are not numbered by age. Just numbered by schedule.

6:15 alarm goes off. Potty dogs and I either jump in the shower or go and check facebook until time to wake up first kiddo.
6:30 I wake up kid 1, get her breakfast, check e-mail while she eats. Then I fix her hair.
7:00 send kid 1 to bus. I have prayer time.
7:15 wake up kid 2 and kid 3 usually wakes up also. Help with breakfast, pour myself coffee. Finish email or facebook if not changing, holding or feeding 'baby kid.' All this is always done with interruptions. Which brings me to 'baby kid.'
7-7:30 'baby kid' wakes up. Change her diaper and or clothes if we had diaper leakage during the night. Sit in desk chair and hold 'baby kid' until she is ready to eat. Put in high chair and feed her or recently she has been feeding herself cereal. Give out vitamins. Send kid 3 and baby kid to play or watch t.v.
7:30 wake up kid 5 and 6 (they are the homeschoolers...I wake them a little later so the kitchen and bathroom aren't congested).
8:00 warm up cold cup of coffee. Read blogs or do my make up and hair. make sure dogs are fed by kid 3. Blinds are all opened. Sometimes radio is turned on and or woodstove stoked.
9:00 have prayer and bible study with Homeschoolers. Then either work with them on their studies or get them going on their studies. Bathe 'baby kid' and kid 3 (separately) and get 'baby kid' dressed and ready for the day. If it's a bio mom visit day then I pack diaper bag and get 'baby kid' ready to go. Wait for call from state to see if visit will happen or not. They call by or at 9. 'Baby kid leaves for visit at 9:30 one day and 10:30 another day.
9:30-10:45 work on Kidz Klub lesson or homeschool lesson, keep track of girls progress, help with questions.
10:45 feed kid 3 lunch and ensure he gets ready for school.
11:15 take kid 3 to bus or have homeschoolers take him to bus (tell them this is P.E. lol)
11:30 Clean kitchen, start load of laundry
12:00 feed kid 5, 6 & 'baby kid' lunch.
12:30 lay 'baby kid' down for nap if she is home...otherwise wait for her to return home. Sometimes she will be asleep and will lay down and other times not so much!
12:00-2:40 We finish up our afternoon with home school, laundry, computer work, bill paying, housework, this and that. Sometimes trips to the library or grocery store.
2:40 Kid 1 and 3 arrive home from school. Then it's snack time and homework.
3:45 Kid 2 arrives home from school.
3:45-5:00 time is spent getting snacks, helping with homework, working on computer, finishing some house chores.
5:00-6:00 cooking dinner
8:15 Husband comes home from work, eats dinner, watches t.v., goes to bed.
8:30 Kids 1, 3, and 'baby kid' go to bed
9:00 Kids 2, 5 & 6 go to bed.
9-10 I watch t.v.
10:00-11:00 I am on the computer either for fun or for bills and lessons. Sometimes stay on even later.
There are several times during the day I am playing with the baby, changing the baby, getting snacks for the baby and so on. Letting dogs out and in. Text messaging with my husband, my adult daughter and my daughter inlaw. Talk to or see my mom almost daily.
My chores and activities are flexible....It's the school times and kids visits that are not. I feel I spend ALOT of TIME watching the clock.
My life working with the state includes many phone calls, emails, home visits, and court dates. But I don't mind.
I love my life as a SAHM! I pray I never have to give it up...again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Addition to last post


I reread the last post this morning and realized I left out some critical info. I shared how the kids love their parents and their parents love them but what I left out is this. The state did have great reasons for removing these two babes and I know what those reasons are. I didn't want to leave my post sounding like these kids had a great home with great parents and the state stepped in and removed them. I was making a point earlier that the kids were not physically abused, they were not emotionally neglected. There was love there in their foundation. They were are loved. Sadly we as humans make devestating choices, choosing to sin, and those choices have devestating consequences. Many times sin in our lives has consequences that carry on into months, years, and sometimes generations. I hope I can be used by God to help break that cycle.
>God bless the kids in State care.
>God bless the parents who are working at getting on the right track.
>God bless the state workers who are pulled by many strings and are required to jump through many hoops....who many times are 'damned' if they do and 'damned' if they don't.
>God bless the foster parents who are caring and loving on these kids. Who are fostering....morally.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another chapter?

Yesterday we had another 'Caretaker Committee Meeting.' This time it was for the other two foster kiddos in our home. This one was very different for me. I didn't have a sense of desperation like I did with our baby BG. I love MK and LB very much but I feel very torn for them in regards to where they spend the rest of their childhood. They know their parents. They have regular weekly visits with their parents. Their parents love them. These kids had a loving foundation, you can tell by how they interact with us. But the state knows the situation better than I. Since I don't know the past events and I don't even know the current condition of either parent, I will put my trust in the Lord. The Lord has us working with the state, so I must trust the state will make the best choice for the kids. I do know in my heart I would want them to return to their Mom if living conditions were ideal, but if they can not return to either parent I know I desire for them stay part of our family. So, going into the meeting yesterday I had a calmness this time. I presented our case to them...our home...our family....our routines. Plans we would make to keep them a part of their bio family and then we stepped back and let them decide. They agreed we are the best placement for the kids IF they do not return to their mom or dad. The 'if' in that statement is pretty big. It is unknown at this point if they will be returned or not....but at least we know, if they are not returned they will stay with us. Another chapter will be written. That is great news!

So now the waiting (on our part) begins. We wait to see what the parents do. We wait to see what the state does. We wait to see how the attorney's work it out. We just wait and what I love about all of that? I'm totally fine with waiting. I feel so at peace. I'm not concerned either way. OH how I desire to feel this way about every aspect of my life. It is a great feeling...it is so freeing! It is the way it should be in our life. This is how God desires our faith to be.

So, we wait. We love on these kiddos. We continue on as a family. We focus daily on the day that is at hand. We praise God! We wait on the Lord!