Thursday, April 29, 2010


- A week or so ago TJ came in from turkey hunting decked out in his camo. He had on a leaf suit like this one... hard to describe, but basically he looked like a tree. A leafy one. Fashionable Grace got this excited, starry look in her eyes and said, "Oh, Dad, where'd you get those fancy pants?"

- Blessing, who is more RADish-like than I'd like to admit (do I really have to walk this road twice, Lord?) - was banished to her room a couple of days ago for being totally between me and the other 2's math lesson. Like would not. get. her. head. out from between me and the math-u-see blocks. Of course I was rather distracted by the math lesson, and instead of going to her room, she made a detour in the kitchen... to the kitchen drawer (that was child locked, mind you)... got out a knife and nearly sliced her finger right off. At least the amount of blood would make you believe so. Afraid she'd be in trouble, she did not tell me and smeared blood from one end of the house to the other. I swear it looked like a crime scene here. Good grief.

- TJ is out of town on a fishing trip/men's retreat. I'm a single mom for a few days. I'm so spoiled... he does so much around here. He often cooks, baths kids, ENTERTAINS them, and the list goes on and on and on. I miss him for much more than the work he does, but that part is missed, too.

- All the kids have been on the new playground Hubby built non-stop. The weather is perfect outside and they have just played and played and played. It's been so nice!

- This weekend Faith has her first swim meet of the season. Go Faith!

- I had one of my finer mother moments this week as Hope was stomping around moaning and groaning and pouting like she was dying over a denied piece of candy. I quick turned on a DVR'd episode of AI Gives Back and showed her the segment with an adorable little girl in Africa, orphaned and dying from AIDS. Then I said, "look at her and then throw your little fit over not getting a piece of candy." Not my best moment. Ugh. Poor Hope. Not denying that she needed a reality check, but let's just say that was a little over kill on my part. I suppose I was throwing my own little fit about her behavior. Hmmm...I wonder where she gets it from.

- Mercy has a nice blue shoe print right smack on her forehead. Goose egg and very defined blue sole shoe print lines. Poor thing walked right in front of a swinging girl. Yep, shoe to the forehead. Did you hear her scream from your house? Between the sliced finger, and the undeniable shoe print on the face, well, I'm glad DHS isn't making visits around here anymore. Mother of the year award coming my way soon!

- Can't think of a thing more, though I know my kids have done and said no less than a thousand hilarious things this week. Hope your weekend is great!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Strangling Barbies

The UPS guy delivered the swings! Thanks SO MUCH to my husband's mom, who we all call "Mimi", for the lumber and the swings. It's perfect, and the kids LOVE it!

Mercy says "Cheese" now, any time the camera is out. Well, actually she doesn't say "cheese" at all. But she slaps on this grin and hums at a high pitch. She thinks she's saying "Chesse". Does that count as talking?

They sweep, sweep, sweep, and sweep the inside of their clubhouse. Must be the dirtiest floor ever in there...

Oh, fashionable Grace.

Faith and Hope spent their evening tearing up our tree. And Strangling Barbies. I suppose that needs some explaining. It started on the trampoline, tossing hula hoops. Before long, a hoop was hung in the tree. They tossed another hoop in an effort to knock the first one down... of course that resulted in 2 stuck hoops. And so the quest to retrieve them began. Do you see the monkey in the tree? She's well hidden in the leaves, but she's pretty high.

And then there was this bright idea to tie their barbies to a rope. They would toss it and try to hang their home made anchors to the hula. It eventually worked.... and apparently the whole deal was just more fun than they could stand and so they tossed the hoops into the tree again. Silly girls.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

He's at it Again

Oh, yes he is.

But this time, it's a playhouse for the kids, so most of the mess is outside. And there's no hole in my wall. Happy Momma. Happy kids. Happy Daddy. It's win-win all the way around.

He's closing in the bottom (actually already has, I just don't have a picture). There are beams extending out the sides for swings (ordered, not delivered yet), and eventually there will be a slide... have you looked at buying a slide? How in the world can something that looks so simple cost so much? Ugh.

I'm so proud... and so is Hubby. It looks great, and the kids are super excited.

This picture cracked me up, though. Once again you can tell a lot about my mothering by the picture. Blessing has on a blue dress with purple pants underneath. I praised her for dressing herself. And told her how wonderful it looked. Notice Grace is back in the red slippers. Poor Mercy doesn't even have a shirt or shoes on, and is that a tootsie pop in her hand? Good grief. Not to mention my 18 month old is standing at the top of a 5 ft. high opening. And no one is paying a bit of attention. Oh, wait... yes, I am. Just not concerned. Nonchalantly taking a picture. Can you imagine if that was my first born up there? Nah... the first born would have been fully dressed, including socks and tennis shoes, hair fixed, bow in, NO CANDY, and certainly not walking around with a stick hanging out of her mouth. That's just too dangerous. And 5 ft. high? My, how more children changes a girl. ;-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hogskin Hammies

Remember that little town festival Hogskin Holidays? Well, I failed to mention my oldest 2 girls marched in the parade as a little group that made up the Hogskin Hammies. They were decked out in boas and necklaces and piggy ear-rings, and carried lawn chairs with them. Yes, lawn chairs. With all the flare of Stomp, they did a little routine that included banging the chairs on the ground, slapping them open and shut, and twirling them in rhythmic fashion.

Yes, very cool.

What's even cooler is that the governor (along with his entourage of security people and paparazzi - which my husband and I thought was hilarious - where did he think he was? Chicago?) took notice. He, too, was in the parade, and as it turns out tried his hand at lawn chair drums. Here's a picture of my grandmother bossing around the governor. Who would have ever thought I'd see the day? Apparently Hope is really enjoying the boss session, too. Funny girl.

And here's the whole hammie group with him. Are they cute?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Locks of Love

Grace has had long, beautiful hair for years. For awhile, I think her hair distinguished her from her sisters who were so close in age, and that's one reason she loved it so much. People would constantly compliment her hair, and she would stand a little taller, and priss a little more sassy-like.

For a month or so, she's being saying she wanted to cut it. Fine by me, I assure you it's a tangled mess to wash, brush, and fix. She would often cry when I was brushing it out, yet still insist she didn't want to cut it (though I tried to talk her into it). This time, though, it was her own idea, and she stuck with it. I didn't push one way or the other, but I did show her this site, and what she could do with that beautiful hair of hers.

And so she did... Saturday Aunt Lissa (against her will) snipped off a 13 inch ponytail for Locks of Love. And you just thought the walk was sassy beforehand. My word that child strutted around, flipping her head back and forth, hands on hips with a real swagger in her step. Cutie-patootie!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hogskin Holidays

To celebrate Charity's birthday, we spent a day at Hogskin Holidays. The girls had arm bands for the fair and spent most of the day riding rides. Unfortunately, I have a little one with sticky fingers (Mercy), and the photo card from the day is GONE. Ugh. I'm totally sad about that (and my mom is gasping... it was hers... don't worry too much, mom, I had already looked at it and the only pictures on it were the ones from that day). Anyway, I did load just a few of the pictures for a sneak peek, just not very many. I really hate not having pictures of Charity blowing out her motif candle (oops) on her birthday cake.

But at least I can share a few pictures with you. Believe it or not, Grace, the biggest fraidy cat of the bunch (typically) got on the ferris wheel. Her first ride was with Faith and Charity. Can you tell which one Grace is? Lol.

Don't worry, she got over it and actually rode the ferris wheel several more times.

Hope, who is fairly fearless when it comes to rides, unfortunately is also extremely prone to motion sickness. Rides opened at 10 a.m. At 10:05, one ride later (a doozy of a ride, mind you... she picked the spinniest -yes, I make up words- one there... the Scat II) she was green tinted and about to lose her breakfast. Her nana bought her a coke, and she stood sipping while everyone else rode other rides.

Mercy spent most of the day attached to Aunt Lissa, and Melissa climbed up and down that silly slide more times than I can count. Huge grins from Mercy, then grunts to get right back on. Mercy grunts, Melissa obliges (or mom, or sisters, or whoever is close). ;-)

It's a terrible picture, but at least it's proof we had funnel cakes! What's a fair experience without the food... the kids all had foot long corn dogs and funnel cakes!

Charity loved riding and did a great job handling a day of indulgence and fun. We all enjoyed the day, even enjoyed her, being with her, and watching her have a great time without becoming obnoxious or ridiculously hyperactive. Blessing who is typically fearless, is actually very afraid of rides. She stuck by my side most of the morning, but eventually mustered up the courage and rode lots of rides, including big ones. My big 2 girls have loved rides since they were small, so everyone had a great time!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dear Charity,

Happy Birthday!

Oh, sweet baby. You've lived with us for 2 years now, and you turned 6 today. Wow. In some ways it seems like you've always been a part of our family... I can't remember life without you. In other ways it still seems like yesterday you stamped your little foot at me, threw your lunch plate in the floor, and with your cute little nose turned up told me my lunch was completely unacceptable. And that I should now fix you a grilled cheese sandwich.

I laughed. It was funny then, and it's still funny now. However, had I known your little bossy demand was RAD on that very day, and what RAD would mean for all of us, I might have tucked tail and ran. Maybe that's why God had things happen the way they did. I don't think I would have tested the waters... I would have been too afraid if I had read so many discouraging things about RAD before you came. If I knew you were living with it. Because sometimes I still try to make it about me. Like I'm the one living with RAD. Like I'm the victim. I have no idea what being a victim is, do I, sweetie? You do. And I still see it in your eyes sometimes.

I'm so glad I didn' t know. Because I would have missed life with you. I wouldn't trade you, what you've taught me, or how you've blessed me for anything in the whole wide world! I'm in for the ride, baby! And I suppose if I feel like I'm on a roller coaster, then what you feel is ten times that.

RAD is diminishing and Charity is emerging. And what a beautiful, smart, COMPASSIONATE (wow, only you and I can fully appreciate that), hard little worker you are. I'm so proud of what you are accomplishing. It's hard work for your Dad and I, but it's even harder work for you, and I can't believe you're still putting up with us and our silly selves. Some days we just can't get it right, huh? But we're trying. Just like you. I see you trying... you're trying so hard, and that's so great to see! There was awhile there I didn't think you were going to try. Or that you were going to give us a chance. And who could blame you, really?

Oh, you still like to play some games. Your Dad laughed his head off the other day as you held up a crayon, the coloring book laid out in front of you, and looked at it all completely perplexed and said, "What do I do with this?" It was so obvious. You've only colored pretty much every day since you've been with us. But, I'll let that slide... after all, that day was full of indulgence and love and fun and praise to celebrate your birthday. It was sure to be met with some back sliding. But you know what? It didn't end with a fit. In fact, you laughed. You shrugged your shoulders without becoming all pitiful or whining or melting into a pot of rage and frustration. Look how far you've come! You did later exclaim, "Look at those goats!!!!" as the horses in the parade went by. But it was a fleeting moment and you went on to enjoy the parade. And cake at Nana's house. With no over-the-top-ness or maniacal laughing or ANYTHING! Wow! You're doing SO well!

Birthdays are hard for me. And I wonder if they'll be hard for you, too, as you grow and wonder what your first years were like. And what your first moms were like. As I hug and kiss little Mercy's face I realize how much I missed with you. How many kisses, how many hugs, how many hours of staring into each other's faces? How many tickles, lullabies, and feeding each other cookies? Were you chubby? Were you an early walker? Were you a nosy body like your sister Hope, or a whiny baby like your sister Grace? Were your little personality traits cherished and laughed about by your caregivers? I want all that with you. And if it isn't bad enough that I didn't get to have those moments with seems no one did. It's not as if you were being cuddled and loved by anyone for all those years. Not consistently. Not by the same mom. Maybe not at all. Definitely not at all for some length of time. I know that much to be true. 3 different homes in 6 weeks? and at least 7 in your first 3 years?

But one thing I'm sure of is you're mine now! And I'm so happy about that. And so is your dad, your sisters, and your grandparents. You are an amazing little girl, and we might clash heads often, but it's just because your little will is so incredibly strong. And you know what? I think that's a wonderful thing. You have so much to offer this world! People just naturally gravitate to you. You're already an amazing leader, you pay such close attention to detail.. and you're good at EVERYTHING you try!

I might not be the best mom in the world. You might have even had one fat motif candle stuck in the middle of your cake instead of 6 little birthday candles. Oops. But no mom can love you more than I do.

Love Always,

Your mom. Not your foster mom. Not your birth mom. Not the best mom. But YOUR mom.

And I'm so happy it gets to be me.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It's a terrible picture, poor Sadie looks like pure evil... but at least you can see that these two are buddies. More and more they play together, curl up together, eat together, etc. Silly pets!