Monday, August 31, 2009

Makes my Monday

Over at Twinfatuation, Cheryl has us share weekly about what Makes our Monday. She says...share on your blog what warms your week's beginning: Post a picture and tell the tale.

Today this girl Makes my Monday! I know I haven't posted anything about Brooke lately but I'm considering that a good thing, there's been nothing to tell! She and her friends are now 13 and in the middle of all things drama, boys, wanting more independence, rolling eyes, secret telling, staying up late, thinking/wishing they were older, being quite sure that they are more wise than their parents and...sneaking out, running away, stealing phones/gps/ipod/car, driving said car to the city...yes I just said that last part!!!!

Over the weekend two of the girls from Brooke's class (one is a new foster child of a friend of mine) did just that. They snuck out of the house they were staying at taking some electronic stuff and stole one of the family's cars to drive up to supposedly see the best friend of the foster girl. Both of these girls are 13!!! They were caught and are safely back at their homes. Now any questions about why we never took teenagers when we were doing foster care???

I am so thankful that Brooke has not given us THAT kind of teenage problems! She can roll eyes, stamp feet, slam doors, talk back and be a royal pain in my butt at times but at least she isn't putting herself in harms way! I hope she stays her sweet innocent self for many more years...playing pretend with Lexy, designing her clothes/purses, enjoying game nights and outings with her family, talking to mom about her new crushes!

On a side note...We did allow Brooke to attend a high school football game on Friday night for the first time. She mentioned over the summer that that was something she would like to be trusted to do. While I'd like her to stay my "little" girl forever, I know that we must let go a little at a time and let her test her wings so we are. From all accounts the outing went well and Brooke proved to be the responsible young woman that we know she is!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Focus Friday

Last weeks goals...

1.) Continue work on pricing/organizing for the garage sale. DONE! Well at least the continue part...there's a lot to still do!
2.) Exercise at least three days next week. Today will be the third day that I'm walking!
3.) Complete one craft project. Done! I made a pretend apple pie for the playroom kitchen. Here's how it turned out...

Here's how I did it...

4.) Order Mike's b-day present. DONE! I almost forgot about this one but took the time to look back at my post and did it right then. Still need to find something else to go with it but a great start!

This weeks goals...

1.) Finish pricing/organizing for the garage sale and have the sale on Friday & Sat.
2.) Write the sale ad for the paper and get it up there on Monday.
3.) Exercise at least 3 days.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bad day, Good day

Lexy had a horrible, terrible, no good day yesterday...actually she has been having a hard time all week. She didn't want to get up and get ready yesterday morning, she was crying before school. After school she told me that she hadn't went in to eat breakfast before school b/c she didn't want to eat at school and she had only eaten pickle chips and cake at lunch time b/c she didn't like what they had. She was just plain MAD yesterday afternoon. While waiting for Brooke to get out of school, Lexy had a crying, kicking her feet, screaming, angry fit in the van. After I got her calmed down I asked her what was wrong and she said..."I hate doing school work, I hate that my teacher tells me what to do all day, I hate eating breakfast and lunch at school, I don't want to go back to school" all while crying big crocodile tears.

Lexy has always liked to do things in her own time and she easily gets distracted so I can see how having to do school work and be told what to do all day is frustrating for her...although like I told her , there's not much we can do about that...everyone must go to school and work. But I did tell her that we could work on the breakfast/lunch situation and that we would look each night at what was being served and she could choose to eat at school or from home. This seemed to make her happy and she was happy the rest of the evening, even cooperating at homework time (another hard time for her).

This is all new territory for me since Brooke has always loved school and is very organized and easily gets her school work and homework done. I did some research online last night about ADD (Lexy has a lot of the signs and genetically is predisposed to it) for some tips on how to make school easier and found some things that may help her. This is going to be a learning experience for me too!!

This morning I woke Lexy up early and told her that if she still wanted to eat breakfast at home today that she would need to get up and ready without prompting. She got right up and with minimal prompting had everything done in time to eat breakfast at home. We had also decided to pack her lunch today. On the way to school I asked her "are you going to have a good day today?" and she said "yes, because you loved me and packed my lunch for me"...that brought tears to my eyes, how could I refuse such a simple request when it made all the difference in the world to my little girl!

Happy Lexy with her lunch bag this morning...

Hopefully this afternoon will go just as smoothly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another one?

While we were at a school function last night eating pizza, all the sudden Lexy says "my other tooth is gone!". Sure enough her other bottom tooth had fallen out. After looking everywhere it was determined that Lexy swallowed the tooth (yuck!). She was upset until I told her that we could write a note to the tooth fairy and she would still come :-) At this rate we're going to be in the poorhouse soon!
We stopped at Sonic on the way home for some ice cream and Lexy said that it felt weird to have the straw where her teeth were suppose to be :-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Toothfairy visit

The Toothfairy was VERY generous when she came to pick up Lexy's first lost tooth and left $5 in place of the tooth!! I did let her know that $5 is just for the first tooth, from then on only $1 is usually left!
Lexy, Brooke and I went to Toys R Us to spend Lexy's Toothfairy money. Like usual, everything Lexy looked at was more than the amount she had :-) She settled on this "Wizards of Waverly Place" magic wand that lights up and makes sound and it comes with a little spell book. Before leaving with the wand, Lexy had me promise that I would be getting her a butterfly net and Snuggie for Kids (she's obsessed with these) for Christmas.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

First lost tooth...

My little girls is growing up WAY TOO FAST! Lexy has had two loose teeth for some time now. At dinner tonight she asked if she could have an apple to try to get her tooth out, instead it came out with her ham and cheesy sandwich. She squealed with delight and said "It came out, I can't believe it came out" and then laughed hysterically :-)
I guess the tooth fairy will be visiting our house tonight!!

A New Baby

OK not THAT kind (although I'd like one of those too)!

We decided since the computer in the playroom went dead on us after bringing it back up from the basement after the playroom makeover, to buy a laptop. It was a bigger hit than even I thought it would be. The girls were on it all night! It is nice to have another computer that has internet but now everybody wants to use the laptop and the desktop computer is just sitting there :) Hopefully the newness will wear off soon and we'll get lots of use out of both!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Focus Friday

Last weeks goals...
1.) Get thru Lexy's first day of kindergarten with minimum tears (hers and mine!). We both did great, no tears for either of us!!!
2.) Get everyone into the school year routine. Make a routine for myself (including exercise) so I don't sit at the computer all day! The girls are doing pretty good with the routines although Brooke doesn't want to go to bed at night and Lexy doesn't care to get up in the morning! Haven't started the exercise routine yet but I'll get to it!
3.) BEGIN work on the HUGE task of pricing/organizing for the garage sale. Got this started and made a pretty good size dent in the task but still lots to go.
4.) Complete one project on my craft to do list. Didn't get this one done. Was going to work on it today but instead decided to do a little retail therapy and to go see my friend Tiffany :-)

This weeks goals...
1.) Continue work on pricing/organizing for the garage sale.
2.) Exercise at least three days next week.
3.) Complete one craft project.
4.) Order Mike's b-day present.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm in a better mood this morning :-) I didn't want to get too far behind on pictures so I finished these this morning!

Last Sunday, for the first time in a very long time, we got to spend time with some of Mike's family! We met up with Mike's sister Connie and her husband Eugene and his brother Jim and Jim's wife Tammie and their granddaughter Lanie. We all had such a GREAT time! Thank you Jim & Tammie for setting everything up (and paying), we have to do this again SOON!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So much to do...

and I don't want to do it! I started out the week with my to do list and did pretty well on Monday knocking out some of the more urgent tasks but now as we head into the third day of rainy, dreary, not getting enough sleep, missing having kiddos at home - ness I'm SO done! I just want to lay on the couch covered with a soft blanket eating some chocolate and napping (after I eat the chocolate :-) .

Lexy must have felt the same way this morning because she had to argue with me about everything while waking up and getting ready for school. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Brooke tip-toeing through the house (avoiding me) just shaking her head and muttering...she's learned that it IS NOT a good idea to have your own bad morning when MOM is having a BAD morning...Lexy will learn soon!

After getting them off to school I had to bribe myself with a BIG Sonic coke (oh did I tell you I was trying to give up coke, oh well) to go back home to begin tackling the horrible task of sorting thru the basement and price for a garage sale. After 3 1/2 hours I emerged from the basement to eat lunch and was greeted with the sun for the first time in three I couldn't possibly go back down to the dreary basement, it'll be there tomorrow!

Oh one more gripe...Brooke's class had a meeting yesterday where the principal told them that because of budget cutbacks they will not be having an 8th grade promotion (graduation) this year...for the first time ever! I couldn't sleep last night I was so mad and sad for Brooke. How can they not have graduation???? The only cost I can even think of for a graduation ceremony would be the caps & gowns (and they could ask parents to pay for that) so WHY would this be cut! They are still having their promotion dance (which I would think would cost more) but it's not the same!

Ok I'm done sharing my bad mood, I feel better!

Monday, August 17, 2009

1st day down

I went to pick Lexy up from she walked out of the school she looked a little worried but as soon as she saw me she got the biggest smile and ran to me for a hug. I asked how her day was and she said "I loved it, it was GREAT!" She said her favorite part was nap time (although she didn't sleep) but she did get to take her pillow/tiger out of her bag to lay with. She said her least favorite part was doing the work lol!

Brooke said she had a good day too. She got to see all her friends, she really liked all her teachers (she was worried about a few of them), she gets to go swimming for PE for the rest of the week and there was a new boy that was all is good :-)

After looking at and signing about a million papers from school for both girls, Mike and I went to pick up the van and many dollars later we have a new water pump and no squeak...yay!

I had made one of Brooke and Lexy's favorite dinners, spaghetti for tonight and a 1st day of school cake...

We decided to invite Grandpa Tom over for dinner and cake since we forgot his birthday over the weekend (sorry!) and we knew that he was on his own for the next couple of weeks while Mammaw is away...

Off to school...

Lexy off to kindergarten!

Brooke off to 8th grade!

My babies are off to school for another year...and it makes me sad. I'm not ready to have an 8th
grader and a kindergartner!!!! I'm sitting here at home all alone for the first time in many many years and I so want another little baby to be holding and spending my time taking care of.

I have never been one of those women that wanted a high powered career...I want to be a mom surrounded by kids! For the past 13 years with Brooke's birth, Lexy's adoption and foster children I have been able to live that life. It's been chaotic at times but I loved having small children at home all day playing and making house is SO quite this morning!

It's only 10am and I've already tried to distract myself with going grocery shopping, taking myself to breakfast, making homemade spaghetti sauce, baking a cake, turning on the TV (for some noise in the house), talking with the mechanic (about the awful noise my van is making) and playing on the computer. I'm still bored and lonely. It doesn't help that this is what it looks like out my door today...

I hopefully will be starting a job in a few weeks but that job will be overnights on Friday and Sat. nights so that won't fill up my days. I can't work during the day for a couple of reasons...I have to drop off/pick up the girls from school each day and there are absolutely NO jobs around here. I have plenty of projects that need to be completed around here and maybe I can volunteer at the library or animal rescue, hmm...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The end of fostering

I wrote a few posts back about how we had made the decision to close our foster license after 8 years. Today was the day that I gave in our notice as our last day as foster parents.

I was feeling pretty blue today about this change in our life, questioning myself if we had made the right decision. By chance, a movie that is very dear to my heart came on while we were lounging around the house this morning. The movie is called "Losing Isaiah". I've watched this movie many times and while it tugged at my heartstrings before losing "our Isaiah", now it brings back so many memories, so many feelings, so much emotion about his case in particular but also about our entire foster journey. After watching the movie today I realize that we are making the right decision for our family at this time. We know without a doubt that we can love a child not of our own flesh & blood, we've done it many many's the losing them that has not gotten any easier.

This decision leaves me with so many mixed emotions...

  • I'm worried that we won't be helping any other children in need thru foster care...I've always said "if not us, then who"
  • I'm sad that I won't be loving and holding a sweet little foster baby again
  • I'm happy that we will no longer have multiple workers coming thru our home each week, we won't have to pick up the pieces after our foster babies family visits, we won't have to get permission for vacations and hair cuts, we won't be on the roller coaster of emotions that foster care puts us on
  • I'm excited to be able to live our life and make our own decisions. Not waiting around for someone else to make decisions for us.
  • I'm scared that my purpose in life is now going to have to be found again. For as long as I can remember I knew that I wanted to be a foster parent, I knew that's what my calling what?
  • I'm hopeful for what the future holds. I can't wait to see what's in store for our family. We have some things to think, pray and talk about before making decisions...

but it's so nice to be moving forward!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Focus Friday

Ellen over at Thrifty & Chic Mom has this great weekly challenge. Focus Friday is where you list a couple of small and/or large projects that you want to focus on for the week and then the next week you tell how you did at getting those projects done.

Last weeks goals...
1.) Enjoy the last week of summer vacation with the girls! DONE! We have already went mini golfing, did some crafts, went shopping, chuck e cheese and we still have a picnic at the park, drive in movies and bowling on our list to do!

2.) Make sure we have everything to start school. Make Lexy an apron for craft time at school. Label everything with names. DONE! On Monday night Brooke and went thru and marked all of the supplies with names. I also got Lexy's apron done after she picked everything out...

3.) Organize bedrooms and go thru clothes for an organized start to school. DONE! Last Sunday Brooke went thru her room and organized and got rid of clothes that no longer fit (that pile was big this time as I think my little girl is blossoming (much to may dismay). At the same time I went thru Lexy's room and clothes and made her a chore chart (not pictured), here is the finished product...

This weeks goals...

1.) Get thru Lexy's first day of kindergarten with minimum tears (hers and mine!).
2.) Get everyone into the school year routine. Make a routine for myself (including exercise) so I don't sit at the computer all day!
3.) BEGIN work on the HUGE task of pricing/organizing for the garage sale.
4.) Complete one project on my craft to do list.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Why is it that sleep comes so easily to some and not to others...

I have never really had any sleep issues. As a teen (and even sometimes now) I would sometimes need to get up before falling asleep and write down my thoughts (lists, things not to forget to take somewhere the next day, etc.) but that was the extent of it. And as a mother and foster mom I have turned into a very light sleeper listening for cries, etc. in the night but haven't had ANY trouble getting to sleep in the first place!

Brooke went through a phase when she moved from a baby bed to a toddler bed that she thought she needed daddy or I (mostly daddy, have I ever said that she has him wrapped around her little finger??) to sit next to her bed at night while she fell asleep but it was never that she couldn't fall asleep...just that she had young gullible first time parents :-)

While doing foster care we had all kinds of sleepers. Some that slept WAY too much and some that didn't seem to sleep at all!

Lexy has always had trouble sleeping starting as an infant waking to every sound so we began using a sound machine in her room. She then settled into her own sleep pattern of staying up late and waking up late (and stopped taking naps on her own when she turned two). That pattern worked until last year when she started morning preschool and had to get up early. We worked really hard at setting up a good bedtime routine at that time but she seemed to have a really hard time falling asleep at bedtime and this has gotten worse over this summer. It has been taking her between 1.5 and 2.5 hours to get herself to sleep. We have tried changing bedtime routines/time, sound machines, music, making her lay still, letting her play in her room, etc. and nothing has really worked.

It's not that she bothers us (although sometimes she will call out to us) when she can't fall asleep but now that she's starting kindergarten I am concerned that she won't be getting enough rest if she's not able to fall asleep quickly.

We are trying something new right now, a short term regimine of melatonin, in hopes of resetting her sleep clock but tonight was our first night of not using the melatonin (after three nights of using it and her falling asleep within 30 min.) and it took her about 1.5 hours to fall asleep again :( We plan on finishing out the regimine with hopes that it will work for her but tonight was disappointing.

I just hate to see her have trouble doing anything, it breaks the mama's heart! I'm open to suggestions, insight, etc. from anyone that has BTDT.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Fun

We are now in the last week of summer vacation...the girls begin school on Monday, Aug. 17, 2009. It's a bittersweet time for me because while I will have lots of quiet time during the day once school starts with no kids at has been 13 years since I have had no little ones at home during the day :(
We have lots of fun things planned this week! Last Friday was our last swimming pool day of the summer...

LOL, the first time I tried to post this picture I noticed that the "L" was gone from the word "POOL"...boy would that have been a different scrapbook page :-)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Focus Friday

Focus Friday

Ellen over at Thrifty & Chic Mom has this great weekly challenge. Focus Friday is where you list a couple of small and/or large projects that you want to focus on for the week and then the next week you tell how you did at getting those projects done.

I didn't play along last week and I'll admit that I've been way too busy to focus on anything but day to day stuff! School starts in a week so I'm hoping to work on some neglected goals and projects when I have all day to myself with both girls being in school!

This weeks goals...

1.) Enjoy the last week of summer vacation with the girls!
2.) Make sure we have everything to start school. Make Lexy an apron for craft time at school. Label everything with names.
3.) Organize bedrooms and go thru clothes for an organized start to school.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Little Brothers Wedding

I love weddings. I love the happiness, the love, the looking to the future with so much excitement. Yesterday my little brother, CJ and his girlfriend of a few years, Jessie got married.

When CJ called to tell me that they were getting married at the courthouse on a Wednesday afternoon I got the impression that he didn't think many if anyone would be able to attend. I think he (and Jessie) were pleasantly surprised yesterday when the courtroom was packed with family and friends there to support and celebrate with them. The judge (the same one that finalized Lexy's adoption) made the occassion very nice and special. Afterwards almost everyone joined them at Applebee's to continue celebrating.

I wish CJ, Jessie and their growing family lots of happiness and love! I am so happy to have gained a sister-in-law (and aunt for the girls) and two new wonderful nieces (and cousins for the girls)...with more on the way :-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We had a fabulous time on our mini vacation to Branson, MO. It had been eight years since we had been there last (so Brooke was 5 last time and Lexy had never been!). We stayed in a motel that had a free breakfast buffet (always nice) and a dessert buffet each night (yeah!!)...thanks Robin for the suggestion!

On our way to Branson we stopped off at the Precious Moments Chapel in Springfield. While there, Lexy left a message to Swimmy (her fish that passed) in one of the memory books that they have set up in a memorial room...they keep and store all the books when they are filled. I can't wait for her to visit when she is older and we can look up her message to swimmy!

While in Branson we saw a couple of different magic/illusion shows that Lexy found absolutely amazing, we shopped (Brooke found this great!), we ate WAY too much junk, played in the pool and we went to Silver Dollar City. At SDC the first ride that we rode was a wooden roller coaster, what a way to start off the day! Brooke has never been a roller coaster type of kid and this was Lexy's first roller coaster ride but they both really enjoyed it. Later Brooke and Lexy talked Mike into going on the Waterboggan ride (I was smart enough to look at the people as they were getting off and know that they were getting completely soaked)...they all had a fabulous time on the ride but it took them ALL day to dry off!

I remembered to take my camera but forgot the memory card so I had to rely on the camera on my phone (until it died just a couple of hours into SDC) but here are a few shots I managed to capture of our trip...