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Monday, May 28, 2012

My patriotic kids

I have to Tammy all of the credit on this stuff.  All of my kids, including the 2 years old, throw their hands on their hearts and stand up when the Star Spangled Banner is being played..or when the Pledge of Allegiance is being said.  It kind of shocked me one Saturday when we were out running around and the Pledge came on the  radio in the car at noon and I looked in the back seats and they all had their little hands on their hearts...too sweet.  Tammy and I have a lot of veterans in our families; my dad,  my brother-in-law, our grandfathers, and our boy is going to be a Marine soon; so I am glad, on many levels that she has included this in the homeschooling of our children.  


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our first doe

Our first doe was born this afternoon; "Harman."  After 4 boys...we finally have a baby girl.  She is so sweet; and has a very "laid back" personality.  The boys were mouthy from the minute they delivered, but not her.  She has made her share of noise, but not as obnoxious as the bucks.  Nina will always be queen bee around her, but Harman is our princess.

You know you don't realize how much kids pay attention to things, but our 2 little girls were thrilled that we finally had a girl.  Kind of like last week...I am generally fairly dressed up for work, but on Wednesday night, Sawyer decided to stay up until 3:00a.m. and when my alarm went off at 5:30a.m., I was not happy.  So, I reset my alarm, went back to sleep, and went to work in khaki's, a polo, loafers, and a ponytail.  When I got home from work that night, my 16 year old says "so, was it casual Thursday at work?"  It really through me off guard, because I would have dreamed that he would notice.  But he did, and he knows how I generally dress in my professional world, and it just reminded me that they "watch what you do, they don't do what you say."

Back to my original subject....it's about time!  We were beginning to wonder if we were cursed for all boys...


If they were only like this all of the time....

I love this photo...took it late yesterday afternoon.  We have had an insanely hot Memorial Day weekend and our "outside time" has been very late in the evenings.  The kids have watched a lot of movies in the last 2 days..but I turned the TV off and  I went back to cleaning the kitchen.  When I returned, this is what was going on in the living room.  If they could only be this sweet and serene all of the time...heaven...

Monday, May 21, 2012

What a busy week...

We have been incredibly productive this week on our farm; but my never-ending "to do" list is still more than half-full.  We have planted all of our vegetables and herbs, weeded our berries, tilled 1/2 acre for the grapes, trimmed the goats' hooves, had a baby goat, cleaned up our fence lines, wrapped up our school year, worked on our business plan and made some decisions in regard to our "direction," cleaned the barn (daily), cleaned the house (nearly daily-with all of these kids.....), milked the goats, bathed the dogs, along with caring for a houseful of kids and my "regular" job...and I wonder why I am exhausted?  :)

But I love this new life.  It is not what I EVER imagined that I would be doing...but as Tammy's new favorite phrase says "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think that I have ended up where I intended to be."  (Douglas Adams)

Oh, and on top of all of this, we have decided to "officially" get married in D.C.; the place of Tammy's birth.  The kids are thrilled with this, which makes it even better.  I have been shopping for vintage wedding dresses, and I can't wait to put these boys in tuxes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kenny

Our brother would have been 52 years old today-wow.  Unfortunately, he ended his life in 1999 at the mere age of 39, which seems so incredibly young to me now.  Suicide is such a hard concept and such a confusing one, even if you do have training in mental health.  And no matter of the training, when it hits so close to home, the training and education doesn't matter anyway.  The internal struggles that he faced were unknown to me.

Kenny was a quiet man; tall and slim and handsome.  One of his daughters and my nephew look just like him, and it brings me a sense of peace to see them or see photos of them.  I will never forget when he showed up at my graduation from UK; I was thrilled and so surprised.

When Kenny died, we chose to donate his organs.  I remember sitting across the table from the KODA (Kentucky Organ Donor Association) representative, along with my mom, dad, and both of my sisters, thinking that he would have wanted us to do this.  Life truly comes around full circle, as I am now working in the transplant center in the hospital where he died.

Today I wonder what he might be doing, what he what have looked like with a little grey in his hair :)  I miss you big brother, and I think of you every day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some of the things that having 48 kids has taught us

1.  Two year olds like to eat under the kitchen table. Haven't had one yet that didn't eat a meal under the table at least once a week.
2.  No child should be raised without green chile.
3. Fashion statements are truly set by four year olds at Thrift Town.
4.  Flat bread PB and banana sandwiches go a lot longer than "regular" PB&J's.
5.  The recent research is true...hamburgers and french fries from McDonald's really do look the same a week later...just ask Timmy..a dog from the west side.
6.  Macaroni and cheese is a staple.
7.  Homework is over-rated.
8.  So is reading aloud for 20 minutes EVERY night with every kid...trying having 11 kids in your house at once..when you are both working full-time...and in the midst of the dinner/homework/showers/visits chaos-they are also all shoving papers at you to sign for school.
9.  Kids are like elephants..they remember everything.  We haven't fostered in 18 months and they still play "social workers and visits."
10.  They are absolutely precious when they are asleep; and with hours of planning, you might get all of them to sleep at the same time for a few hours.
11.  Children really learn best when they are not in a portable.
12.  Kids LIE and LIE and LIE.  It is a fact.
13.  Once you become a parent, you never get to finish a glass of anything because one of them always takes it.
14.  After 9 years of parenting, I have never gone to the bathroom without someone banging on the door or saying "what are you doing?"
15.  Being a parent should come with a rearview mirror.
16.  When its your turn to do "school and daycare drop-off" make sure you carry an extra set of clothes....for yourself.
17.  Just let it go.
18.  Pick your battles.
19.  Let them do it themselves..you can always wash the ketchup bottle.
20.  A clean house is overrated.
21.  That white sheet becomes a lot more...i.e. a tent, a superman cape, a parachute, a stretcher, a slingshot.
22.  You will have to replace many of your doorknobs...it is just a fact.
23.  Your laundry will never be "done."
24.  Kids are ALWAYS hungry...and it is not always because they have been deprived of food..they just like to eat.
25.  Buy the more expensive washing machine and dryer; and get the warranty.
26.  Infants require that you take the whole house with them when you go to the grocery.
27.  Never take a reactive attachment disordered child with blonde hair and blue eyes across the border until you have rehearsed that you MUST answer the questions that the border control officers ask of you....
28.  You should have to be a pharmacist for the amount of medication we dished out when we were doing respite...my God.
29.  Don't be too hard on yourself.

And #30....my all-time favorite saying  "IT IS WHAT IT IS."

We started fostering in May 2003; and it has been a long 9 years.  Those of you who have been with us since the beginning of our journey know much of what we have gone through.  But you know the crazy thing?  We really miss it.  We miss the chaos.  We miss getting a call asking "are you ready for another one?"  We miss having kids in and out of our house.  We miss working with their birth families.  We miss trying to help kids and their families heal.  And we REALLY miss some of our kids.  There are a handful that really come to mind and I think that they would have flourished in our new environment.




Sunday, May 6, 2012

Setbacks

Any goal in life that you have can have setbacks....and your "regular" day-to-day life can have setbacks as well.      They can be a necessary part of life; to assist a person in taking a look around them, determining what they want, tweaking things that need to be changed, etc.  Building this little farm/business has been a lot more difficult than I ever imagined, and we have had a lot of setbacks.  Every project takes such a great deal of time,  and there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day.  I have been incredibly frustrated with all of it lately, and needed something to ground me.

We visited another farm yesterday on our way to Dinosaur World, and I think that it was just what I needed.  This lady's husband died a few years ago and she had initially sold her animals, etc., and had decided that she wasn't going to do it anymore.  But, as she worked through her grief, she realized that her animals make her happy, and she is slowly building back up.  It is nice to visit and talk with someone who is doing the same thing that you are see that they are successful....just what we needed.  Here are some photos that she took and emailed to me.