Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finally, sunshine. This has been the coolest, wettest summer I can remember. You would think my flowers would be stunning. There must have been a couple of days of sunshine that dried out some of the hanging pots. It's hard to remember those sunny days when there is so much rain in the between days.

I feel, in my soul, like I have weathered a huge storm. So many of the things in my mind that felt/seemed insurmountable days ago are finally resolving. I will spare you all the details. Suffice it to say that it's really comforting to see the things I feel connected to are now giving me peace instead of confusion.

In a great turn, we now have an appointment for our homestudy. That is a huge relief. Our social worker seems pleasant, open to our situation. We had fears of a repeat from the previous start to our homestudy, so this is a real relief.

Our newest goat, Frankie, had pneumonia. For $55 we were able to see her health improve drastically, and she is on the mend. Ashleigh, our oldest daughter, had half of her thyroid removed last Thursday, and a biopsy of her tumor appeared cancer-free. Much more money, and not nearly the desired results we got from the goat yet, but she is on the mend. Slowly. I hate seeing her pain and would have done anything to go through it for her.

I am now looking at the last week before our school year starts. There is still a part of me that wished I could have made the homeschooling work for us. I hate the negative influences the kids are subjected to on the bus, in the school, at the playground. I would love to keep them home and more protected. But it is not enough to "want" what's best for them. Several of their special needs can be met by professionals who are trained how to reach them. Some of their needs can not be. But I have wisdom to know that our team approach can work best for the kids we have now, and we have already met with several of the school team members in preparation of a promisingly good school year. I am keeping my fingers crossed, and praying hard already. I would love the weather to hold off, and make one last weekday trip to the beach, zoo and park. Does it seem to anyone else that this summer has flown by, and dragged by at the very same time??

We have a couple more camping trips planned yet this fall, and several more home remodeling projects to finish. Days and weekends are busy as usual. Kids are growing and changing, learning to face this world. I weathered a storm. Life is hard, but Life is Good. "Keep calm, and carry on."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hello's and Goodbyes

I am still reeling from the week of my daughters wedding. The sun was shining, the grass was green, the flowers in full August bloom, and my oldest daughter was the picture of beauty. She had wanted to do everything on her own, but with her current health issues stemming from a bad thyroid full of tumors, we are amazed at all she was able to accomplish.

She made a simple, beautiful dress, cut flowers from her own garden, and her sister and I helped with the cakes. Her new inlaws arranged most all of the food, set up tables and chairs, and welcomed my sweet daughter into their family with open arms.

So Ashleigh has a husband who works hard and promises to love her forever. We have another son, and he has a pleasant, fun family. They danced into the dark night hours, after the sun went down, in the coolness of a perfect summer evening. We have never seen so many smiling faces in one back yard in our lifetime!! Other than tired feet by midnight, I can report it was successful, and another step in her life.

Because the family gathered for the wedding, we were happy to have all of our children together, not only in one state, but in one town, in one yard, in one house. That makes my mothers-heart very happy. It meant a week of dinners together, beach trips, breakfast out, laughter and chaos. I loved it all. We snapped pictures unplanned, and set up photos for the memory books that I can't wait to start developing and savoring all the good times it will remind me of. We appreciate how much our new son in law has brought into the family, and we are grateful that she has found such a nice man to share her life with. He promised to love her in sickness and in health, and he's no stranger to the health issues ahead for them. I believe he will be her continued support and she will get well sooner because of his love and devotion to her. What a great feeling for a mom to have.

But having the kids all here meant numerous goodbyes in the end. I absolutely HATE saying goodbye and watching them pull out of the driveway. I cry and sink into a place in my mind that takes some climbing out of - every time. I know we will be together again, but it's so hard to get everyone together at the same time each time, so this almost felt magical. The end is just hard to swallow after all the times of togetherness.

Menial things have happened during the week too. We got a new young goat pal for Milton and her name is Francine. Or Frankie if you want to be on a nick name basis with her. Mere says it's a weird name for a goat. Like Milton isn't??? Our bunny Oliver has cemented himself into Bella's life as the most important part of living each day. She never cares if he leaves his little turds on her lap. To her, it's just a part of loving that adorable bunny.

We still are waiting on the homestudy to be completed to send our dossier to Ethiopia. It's soooo hard to wait on something you have absolutely NO power to change. I guess that will be the preparation for the long referal process wait. I told my niece last week that we have 10 kids, and this one is the longest "pregnancy" ever!!

My dear friend, Robyn, flies out of town in the morning. She totally wrapped our hearts with hers about 2 years ago, becoming more like another daughter than a friend. I cried when we said goodbye, but I am happy for a new life for her. We wish her the best, but we selfishly wished she could have found the best here so we didnt' have to say goodbye to another loved one.

Today we discussed how we can get out (in time) to New Jersey for the birth of our third grandson. Since I was able to be with them for the first two, I really want to be there for this one too. I have an image in my mind of what he will be like, but is there anything more beautiful than being one of the first to welcome a new little life into the family?? I hope to be posting pictures of the newest in about 6 weeks or less!!

Life is good. But life is hard. Our Pastor spoke today on "Keep Calm and Carry On." I think I will be adopting that motto for my life the next few weeks. It's a good one to think about.

And, for the record, I would MUCH rather say HELLO than GOODBYE. Anyday.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our New Additions

While I would love to be writing about our Ethiopian children joining our family, today I have news of others who have now become official family members.

Oliver Gilbert Thumpy Jr (As we all could not agree on his name)is a timid, black and white miniature bunny that my children are completely enthralled with. So much so, that we have to put time limits on how much they hold him, and he gets mandatory cage time (for his own good!!) They can cradle him like a baby, and Mere, especially, loves that.

Milton is a young goat that just finished up a week at the local fair. His pal, who would have been named "Bradley" had she been a he, made Reserve Grand Champion, and went home with a new family. Milton came here. He sounds sad, calling the children to come play. We are looking for another young one for him to pal around with, but that may have to wait until the Youth Fair comes to a close next week.

My favorite comment this weekend was from Mike. As he's stringing new fencing for Milton, he's muttering "of all the things I have to do..." Isn't that just like LIFE?? Right when we thing we have a plan, something else comes along to change that!

Our oldest daughter is getting married this next Saturday. Since it's an outside wedding, of course we are praying for sun. An alternate plan? Nope. We will either be wet or dry, but the wedding must go on!! We are excited that all of us will be together, since the troops are coming, literally, from the East (New Jersey) and the West (Oregon). One thing I know for sure, her fiance comes from a Polish family, and the food preparations have already begun!! It will be a fun, family and friends event, and who doesn't love a party??

So I am looking around at the mess. When we should have been cleaning for company, we welcomed Oliver Gilbert and Milton. When we should have been finishing painting projects, Mike was stringing fence and I was wedding shopping for all the last minute things. Today there is no getting around it. There is MUCH to be done to accomplish my goals for company (yeah, even tho' it's just the kids!!) and today is the day.

Once again, life is never dull at our house. And I think the nesting urge has hit more than just me...although Mike will never admit it, for sure!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


There is nothing more exciting than waking up to a 5 year old in a camper. Tommy was on his back, feet in the air, at the foot of my bed.

"I am hanging upside down, actually."

I opened one eye, but had to sit up to see what he was doing. Precious. Mere' was in my way, and Bella was still snoring beside me. I smelled coffee in the kitchen and the day had begun. We slept in. It was 7:30.

The winds on the beach yesterday disguised the fact that we were getting terribly burned. Sleeping was not easy last night. Have you ever burned the back of your knees? I fell asleep after jumping waves with my 7- month- along- in- her- pregnancy daughter in law, and she was perfectly fine after the wave jumping and body surfing. I was trashed. Fell asleep on my stomach on the beach, woke up to pink legs...ugh!! But there is no better rest than after a bunch of rough water playing, so I wouldn't trade the knee burn for nothing!! Great memories to tuck into my winter doldrums box in my mind.

Mere' was explaining to Tara about how to pull a tooth. Tara has a front tooth that is hanging by a small root. It's a front tooth, her second that needs to come out. With her sensory issues, combing her hair is a small feat most days, so pulling a tooth goes waaaayyyyy over her comfort zone. She will let it fall out like the first one before she will let anyone pull it, or before she will pull it herself. The whole vacation everyone has taken a turn explaining to her that the tooth fairy will come when it is under her pillow, and everyone has a method to help her get it there. Mere has lost about 4 teeth now,so she's an expert.

"Tara, if you eat a 'pupcake' it will come out in there and you will eat it."

You wont' get an expert opinion on losing teeth more than that one.

I realize I should have been writing down all the adventures we have had this week as they happened. Now the week is over, and we are headed home. All I can think of is how long it will be before I can hold my grandsons again, and how long a drive is ahead before we get back to our homebase.

The homestudy is finally in the right hands, and is moving along. I try not to focus on the fact that we lost 7 months with the last agency fiasco, and I think how wonderful it will be to have our new children before vacation next year. A miracle is in the making, and we are so greatful for that. Life continues to move along, even when we try our hardest to stop the clock and enjoy the moment.

The best part of waking up is not coffee. It's that 5 year old who is 'actually hanging by his feet' at the end of my camper bed. And all the other vacationers that are sunburned, tired and full of memories themselves. Precious memories that will last in our minds forever.