Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Electricity

We moved into our friend's empty house at the beginning of the month. Things have been going pretty well. We have dealt with one toilet for 5 of us. (not counting 2 in diapers).
Ugh! Last night around 6:30, Aaron had just gotten home with Madelyn from B-ball practice.
And the lights went out. It was pouring rain, but not storming. Seth freaked out because he happened to be in a room alone when it happened.
Aaron quickly figured out that it was a problem with the fuse box. The breaker box was running, but the fuse box wasn't.
So I called Mom to see if we could bring the kids over, since they were running around in the dark, getting in the way, and Aaron and I were irritated.
We took the kids to Mom's, Aaron grabbed the large fuses he thought might be the problem and we drove 25 min to Lowes to find new fuses. They had every one but the size we needed. So we drove to Home Depot. Same thing, every fuse known to man, but there was one little space empty - the one we needed. So we drove back to town, got sleeping bags and blankets, emptyed our fridge and freezer into baskets ( I had just stocked it at walmart that morning), and carried it all to our empty "No water" house. Because at least our "no water" house had lights, unlike our "no electricity" house that had water.
What a nightmare our housing situation is!!!!!
I want to cry, but what is the point?
Aaron and I drove separate cars to the "no water " house last night, so he could drive straight to work. Mom had to work this morning, so after packing some food that didn't have to be cooked from our '"no water" house to take to the "no electricity" house so we could eat.
Add to this, that our van is making bad noises and I am afraid to drive it. But it is the only vehicle that we all fit in. Our mechanic is closed until Jan. 2.
So this morning, I picked up the boys and Madelyn and Mom brought Natalie and Hannah over on her way to work.
I called an electrician we used to go to church with. He came over about an hour later and was able to diagnose the problem quickly and fix it with the flip of a switch. He didn't even charge us, so that was a blessing.
Apparently, we flipped a breaker with our fuse box. So confusing.
So, now 95% of my food is at the "no water" house in the fridge, but I can't go get it because I can't fit all the kids in the working car I have.
Aaron normally stops by our "no water" house to feed the pets on the way home. When he does that he normally gets home between 5-5:30. But tonight, Natalie and Hannah have practice at 5. But I can't take them - again - van broke, until Aaron gets home. So I will probably just tell him to come straight home. Then one of us can take the girls to practice, while the other one drives out to the "no water" house with the other 3 and pick our food back up and bring it back here.
By the way HAPPY 14th ANNIVERSARY to us today.
Aaron left me the sweetest note this morning. On a paper plate, because we were at our "no water" house without supplies. I will say this... I would rather have all these housing problems with my Aaron than to be without him or with someone else. Any day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh the pain!!!

For the past few weeks the left side of my mouth had been aching. I was past due for a dental cleaning and figured I had another cavity so I got an appt. last Wed. I did have a small cavity on the left side, but the real problem is that one of the teeth I had crowned last year now needs a root canal. After much tapping to figure out which tooth was the problem I went home.
Starting that night I got stopped up and felt like I was starting a full blown sinus infection.
Then my side my mouth gradually hurt more and more, until Sunday afternoon, I had to pull out some leftover pain medicine from the last root canal.
Monday afternoon, I was scheduled to fix the small cavity ( I have to go to an Endodontist for the root canal).
Mom was planning on taking the kids to B ball practice and I was planning on driving to the dentist 40 min. away. Well, by noon, i was in so much pain I called Aaron to beg him to come home so he could take the kids to Bball practice, Mom could drive me to the dentist, and I could take a few more pain pills. ( I refuse to take them and drive)
So that is how it went down. I rode to the dentist with an ice pack on my face, still in severe pain. He was so nice to numb not only the cavity he was fixing, but gave me an extra shot up top so I could have some relief from the root canal tooth. He thinks the sinus infection was putting pressure on the tooth and causing the pain, so he wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic and more pain pills.
Yesterday was so bad, Aaron called into work and I pretty much sat around doped up on pain medication, still in pain, with an ice pack to my face. Awful!
Finally, this afternoon, all I have is a throbbing instead of a stabbing, pain. And I can finally lie down...
I have had to sleep sitting straight up on the couch the past two nights. Tonight I am going back to my bed. I am so happy to be almost pain free!!!!
And we should be getting a new camera soon. We never found the old one. Probably will find it if we move some day. So, when we get our new camera, I will post some pictures!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Contentment

What can be learned from us not having water?
I don't know if I have the answer, but I keep having this feeling that God put us here, without water, for a reason. I at least know that God is aware of it.
My attitude has been so crazy. For a while when our water dwindled, I was ok because I love it here. Then when we decided to sell, I had to make myself hate this place in order to sell it. Which brought with it a stinky attitude.
Well, now that we have hade the house on the market for months and no offers, perhaps God expects me to be content.

Phil 4
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(with city water and without)

So, when it drives extended family nuts that we don't have water, I can be content. Sometimes it seems like it bothers them more than it bothers me. And really, it is so far from being the worst thing in the world.
Right now, I am content. I can't predict the future and what will go down with our house.
Will we get water in 6 months like we were told a few weeks ago by a county commissioner?
Will something else hold up the project?
Will we sell the house and move into our friends house?
Will we sell the house and immediately find one that we can buy that can better suit our needs?
Will we Not sell the house and get city water and be able to build on here and stay?
Will we get city water and then sell our house for more?
I HATE being in limbo. Bad thing is, I can do nothing to answer any of these questions. They are all out of my control. So I am learning to be content. Right now, where we are.
And also building up some pretty strong arm muscles from carrying jugs/pots of water in and our of the house.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Still haven't found our camera. Seems like each day there is something I want to take a picture of and can't. I really want to find ours rather than go out and buy another.
Not much going on. The boys both go over their fevers.
No one else caught them.
I was supposed to take a math test at work yesterday. On my calendar I had it down as Nov. 1st 10am. I had left Natalie and Ethan at Mom's to spend the night trick or treating Monday night and took Madelyn, Hannah, and Seth home with me Monday night.
My plans were to go to Mom's about 9am, take a shower and leave the kids there while I ran over and took the test real quick.
At 8:30, I had not taken a shower and Madelyn and Seth were still asleep. I thought I should call work to make sure they were still doing it. I hadn't worked in about a month and sometimes things get cancelled and I wouldn't know.
So I call the pharmacist and ask if they are still doing the test. He says "Yes, at 9am" WHAT!!
Here I was 15 min. away, 8:30am, no shower, and two kids still asleep.
I ran and woke the kids up. Completely changed Seth's clothes because he had peed through everything, and took off for Mom's. Thankfully, I had washed my hair late in the afternoon on Monday, so it wasn't Horribly greasy yet, just a little.
And I made it to work by 9:02. Pretty good. Got there before they started the test.
They called again at 5am wanting me to work today.
I am working 12 hours tomorrow and Saturday. I have to get my mindset on "work mode" it is all mental. Since we are ahead in school days, I can take off some days and get some work in.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall, Fevers, and Where is my camera?

I love fall. It is getting so pretty driving down our road to our house. Almost the whole 2 mile gravel road we drive down is surrounded by trees. I am also loving the cooler weather.
I had to miss church services yesterday. Seth had a fever around 101 on Saturday night, so we knew he was staying home. We decided Ethan would stay too, since there is no sense in wrestling with him if you don't have to.
Thankfully we did because about 30 min. after he woke up his temp was around 101.5.
Seth woke up at 8:30, after everyone had left for church. He could hardly walk straight and his temp was 103.8. So I stripped him down to a diaper, gave him some ibuprofen and held him on the couch for an hour while it went down to a more tolerable level. He would cry every time I tried to put him down.
Ethan was walking around eating crackers while the ibuprofen was working on him. He finally got jealous of me holding Seth, so it was 2 whiny babies.
I finally had to take a bathroom break and just let Seth cry while I went. I had so many dishes that needed to be washed at Mom's that it ended up taking me about 6 trips in and out of the house to get them all into the van.
Since both boys fevers were now down enough I felt more comfortable, I took them to the van, turned it on and took the many trips to get all the dishes loaded up. Then we drove over to Mom's who was also home. I was able to get the dishes in, but had to sit there and hold Seth even though his temp was down, he was still very clingy. Finally, he fell asleep for about an hour and I was able to lie him on the couch and wash dishes. Ethan had fallen asleep on the way over and I put him straight in the crib.
I had taken our leftovers to Mom's so Aaron called and I told him where we were. He came straight over and we all ate there, then he took the boys and Natalie home. While I went to our weekly store run.
Seth slept almost all afternoon. I was afraid he would wake up with a really high fever. It was after 4pm and his medicine wore off at 2:30pm. But we were so blessed because he woke up cool and had completely done a 180. You wouldn't even have known he had been sick just hours before.
Ethan, however, woke up with a fever of 104.1. So same thing with him, stripped him down and gave him the ibuprofen and he then had to be held by someone all afternoon. pretty much until he went to bed. I am praying he wakes up this morning cool also. Those crazy kid viruses.
Oh and we lost our camera. I keep looking for it, but no luck yet. Very depressing. A lady from church took a picture of all our kids in their costumes and is printing us copies. Hope we find it soon. There is no telling where it is.
We were planning on moving our beds to the other house, but we went over there Saturday, and the heat wouldn't turn on. Not sure what we will end up doing. So hard to make decisions when you don't know the future!
I think I will let the kids wear their costumes again and go trick or treating at Mom's apartments tonight (they are apartments for senior citizens). Then our homeschool coop church is having a trunk or treat and I think I will take them there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Soccer is Over!

I am so glad that soccer season is over. What a relief! I love watching the kids play, but every year by the end of the season, I am so ready for it to be over. All three girls had games last night. I think there may still be a few pizza/ice cream parties to go to.
Let me tell you, soccer was a chore. especially with the boys. Now the boys acted real good, but you arrive at the soccer fields. Then you pull out both umbrella strollers (the only ones that fit in the car), put the boys in. Hang purses, diaperbags, coats, blankets, etc. on the stollers then grab the folding chairs, water bottles for everyone, then lug them all to the end of the trail where the soccer games are. Watch Hannah's game first, then pack everything up and push/lug it over to the big soccer field for Madelyn's game, then after that is over, push/lug it over to the smaller field again for Natalie's game. Then finally back to the car where it takes you so long to pack everyone back in and get them buckled that the lights are out in the parking lot and you are the last one there.
Madelyn and Natalie are thinking about playing basketball. At least in this sport there are bleachers and that eliminates carrying in chairs.
We still haven't moved into the new house. We have been soooo busy since Aaron got home.
When Aaron got back to work Saturday, the Montero wouldn't start. So we had to get it towed to be fixed. New starter.
Sunday between morning and evening church services, we had an activity for the girls for their age group. Monday night we had 3 soccer games. Tuesday night we had 3 soccer games. Tonight is church services. Maybe Tomorrow night we can work on it.
Mom is off for the next 9 days and that will help. She can probably watch the kids for a while so we can pack up and move big things.
Good news..we had someone look at our present house yesterday. I hope and pray they make an offer. The realtors said these people were looking for a camping spot and even brought their camper with them yesterday. That is exciting if they don't need or want the house as a primary residence. This would be the perfect spot to camp. (still having a little trouble letting go, but I am getting a little better.) It would truly help a lot financially to go ahead and sell this place, move to our friends house and have time to decide where to go next. And in the meantime not be paying a mortgage on a house we aren't living in.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Aaron's coming home today!!!!!

24 long days without my Aaron. Let me tell you, it has not been the easiest 24 days. Whew! About day 15, the girls and I got the stomach virus. Then Natalie with the throat infection. So glad he will be here this afternoon!
I don't like to blog about him being gone until after he comes home. But he went to TX for a fire detail, bulldozing fire lines for the first 16 days he was gone. Then he headed straight to another town in TX for a fire class that he had signed up for a long time ago. Now he is about 4 hours from home.
We are getting ready to go to Mom's and take showers. I already have the kids in the car, but am now waiting for a welcome home cake to finish cooking. Once I get it out, we will be off to Mom's.
They have called me at 5 am the last two mornings to see if I would come to work. Unfortunately I can't, and I have only worked one 12 hour shift while Aaron was gone. Hopefully I will make it up soon and work. I signed up to work both Thanksgiving 12 hours and New Years Eve 12 hours. They wanted me to work part of Christmas, but since it is a Sunday AND the first Christmas with the boys, I declined.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I took Natalie to the walk in clinic yesterday morning. We got there at 8:30 as soon as it opened. We were the first and only ones there for at leat 15 min. Yet, they didn't call us back until 9am. Long story short, we didn't leave until about 9:45. Seriously??? I think that the less patients, the slower they go. No need to hurry, we only have 2 people in the waiting room. Anyway, Wednesday night, I remembered that this summer, when Natalie had strep, she said her throat never hurt, so I got out the flashlight, looked in her throat and it looked awful. Huge, red, swollen tonsils covered in white spots. How in the world does that not hurt?
Her strep test came back negative, but they put her on antibiotics anyway. So she will be staying home from Co-op this morning if she still has a fever. I asked the doctor and she said if she woke up with no fever this morning she could go.
Madelyn had a soccer game last night. I let the coach know we did not want trophies. She acted surprised, but I reiterated NO Trophies.
Monday is supposed to be the last night for soccer. Madelyn is playing twice to make up for a game they missed. Madelyn and Natalie are considering playing basketball. This will be a first.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who wants a trophy

We had a great Monday and Tuesday. My neice Blake, who went to Ethiopia with me to pick up the boys, came down for the night. The girls were so excited and we had a great visit. Madelyn has probably said 5 times since she left "I wish Blake could have stayed longer" I agree.
Plus, she is getting MARRIED! I am so happy for her.
Yesterday, while at Mom's eating lunch with Blake, Mom, and the kids, Natalie was just lying around. Ends up she had a 102 temp. So she laid around all day yesterday. I kept ibuprofen and tylenol in her so I don't think she felt too bad. She has no symptoms though, so I am thinking virus. This morning I had gotten up to give Ethan his bottle and heard a weak "Mama" coming from Natalie. She was burning up again, this time103.3 under her arm and still no symptoms. We'll see how today goes. More ibuprofen and she is already up and about.
I was looking forward to going to church tonight. I don't think I have been to church on a Wed. night in about 4 weeks. Someone is always sick it seems. Maybe next week.
Madelyn and Hannah were supposed to play soccer last night. Ended up with a huge rain with thunder and lightening, so those were cancelled. Natalie and Madelyn are supposed to play tomorrow night. They both missed their games last week because of the stomach virus. Oh well.
Trophies: Our soccer league has decided a few years ago not to keep score. Ugh, I hate that. Heaven forbid someone lose a game and try harder next time. Now if our league was a competitive league, and they kept score and at the end of the season they honored the winning team with trophies, then I would be all for them. However, trophies for the sake of trophies because everyone else is buying trophies and we don't want our kids to feel bad because they didn't get one too, to me is a waste of money and space on top of a shelf on tv, then in the toybox and eventually a waste of space in our trash can.
Right now we have 5 kids. Starting soccer at age 5 and playing until they are 14 would be 9 years for each kid. So, 5 kids times 1 trophy a year for 5 years = 45 cheap trophies. REALLY?
Even if they were only $10 each, that would be $450 worth of trophies.
Last year, we told Madelyn's coach in time we didn't want one. Hannah's bought one without asking, so we wasted money on that one. Then we told Natalie's coach we didn't want one. Well, I guess he and our assistant coach thought that was terrible and spent their own money on one for Natalie. And you know what. I didn't offer to pay them back. I told them I didn't want one. And you know where that trophy is? Me neither...
The trophy discussion was passed around at Hannah's last game. I told them "we don't want one" I am already an outcast in this town. What is one more thing we don't do that everyone else does...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend Summary

Friday
The girls and I took tons of laundry to the laundry mat. Yuck! We took it in, started 6 huge loads worth, then headed to the new house and I took a shower. Yes, I went to the laundry mat in pajama pants and a tshirt. Come to think of it, we were all in pajama pants. The girls were all back to normal. I however was still feeling the effects of the bug. The "Bug" always seems to linger in me a while.
After my shower it was back to the laundry mat to get it all drying then to Burger King to get the girls some food. We ate lunch at the new house and I showered all the girls then back to the laundry mat to pick up the nice clean laundry. By the way that was the first time at the new house that my attitude did not dip into the sewer. I didn't come close to an emotional breakdown. I didn't even leave it in a horrible mood. One might say I had hope while there instead of despair. So thankful for that.
Anyway, by the time we did all that running, I was feeling poorly and exhausted. Here is a neat story... I probably had 1/4 gal of bleach. I really, really didn't want to go to the store because I felt bad, looked worse (forgot to take a brush to the new house). But I probably would have stopped to get bleach while out. I was dreading that, but while at the laundry mat, this lady came up to me with an almost full gallon of bleach. She had just opened it that morning and asked if I wanted it. She said she had accidentally dropped the lid (where I don't know) and that she would rather give it away than put it back in her car without a lid. Isn't that neat?
We stopped by the library on the way home and I let Madelyn and Natalie go in and check out a few movies for the weekend. Then it was back to the house where I crashed for a while.
Friday night, with the girls helping so sweetly, we were able to clean the entire house. I mopped the whole thing with bleach water. The girls sprayed lysol everywhere at least once. Now we were ready to bring the boys back home.
Saturday
Where does laundy hide? By the time we cleaned the house, I had 6 more baskets of laundry. Not wanting to infect Mom by taking it to her house, we went back to the laundry mat Saturday morn.
We all took showers at Mom's and gave the boys a bath in between me running back and forth to the laundry mat and getting lunch. We have eaten out more since Aaron went out of town than in the last 6 months. The boys were excited to see us. After eating lunch at Mom's we came home and let her have her house back.
The boys both took really long naps. They all played outside last night until after dark, then back in for bedtime.
Sunday
Finally back to church. It seems like forever since we have been. We did go last Sunday morning. But I don't think we have been on a Wed. evening for 3 weeks. Or a Sunday night. Looking forward to going back tonight.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hopefully on the Mend

I did finally succomb to the bug around 3am. I had taken 1/4 phenergan tablet last night. However, I think it just put off the inevitable and prolonged my misery. And knocked myself out.
I woke up this morning, came out to the computer and drank some diet 7up around 8am. Then could not stay awake. Long story short, I slept off and on until 1pm.
Here is a tribute to my wonderful girls. One of the times I came out to check on them, they had made coffee. They said it tasted good. They had never made coffee before.
They said they were going to make me breakfast in bed, but figured I didn't want any. They were right. Thankfully, they are all back to normal today.
I am just now feeling a lot better. I have eaten 3 pieces of toast and a cracker all day. Plus a ton of diet 7up. I am praying that when I wake up in the morning I will feel back to normal.
Even with sleeping until 1pm, I still took another nap from about 4-5. And I am tired now and it is only 10pm.
I did have the energy to wash all the dishes in bleach water. And wipe down all the kitchen counters with bleach water. I pray that tomorrow I can get all the nasty sheets to the laundry mat without recatching the bug from it. I have half a mind to just shove it all in a dumpster somewhere. Mom said she can watch the boys at least 2 more days before she has to go to work. That is wonderful because tomorrow I plan to mop the whole house with bleach and then cover the rest with lysol. Praying I kill all the germs before the boys get home and start crawling around.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You've Got to Be Kidding Me!

From my awful bitter post the other day, if you read it, you know that Aaron is out of town.
So here is the rundown of the last 24 hours.
Last night I was really hoping that soccer games would be canceled, since it was raining. More like misting, so the soccer games went on. Took Madelyn alone to her soccer game at5:30. When that was over, we went to Mom's and picked up all the other kids and I decided to take everyone to Natalie's game so that we could go straight home. It misted some in that game too, but I had taken an umbrella for Ethan's sake and he stayed dry and surprisingly, it wasn't cold even though it was dark and rainy. And the boys were really good. Got home around 8:45pm
Put the boys straight to bed.
Around 10pm, Madelyn was crying because her stomach hurt. Oh no!
Around 11pm, she woke up vomiting.
Oh it gets worse. Hannah sometimes will make a bed on the floor beside Madelyn and guess who got it in the face and hair.
So I woke up Hannah who was oblivious and of course she was very upset. I wiped her face with wipes then sat her in the middle of the kitchen floor while I heated up water in a pot to give her a "bath".

Yup, my biggest fear has come true...No water plus stomach virus plus husband out of town.
I got Hannah cleaned and put back to HER bed and then she asked me for a trash can. Madelyn vomited again about an hour later. Also, realize that it is all over sheets, blankets, stuffed animals , etc. AND I can't just throw this stuff in my washing machine. I HAVE NO WATER! So all of it is in baskets in the garage waiting for me to take it to the laundry mat.
Normally I pay Mom to do my laundry. It is a win win. She gets much needed money and I stay out of the laundry mat. But I didn't want it festering at her house and I want to keep it out of her house since the boys are there, so I told her I would do it all at once at the laundry mat.
I emailed Aaron, knowing he wouldn't get it until this morning, but had to vent.
I was awakened at 7am to Hannah vomiting. So the incubation period for this particular stomach virus is 7-8 hours. Poor girl.
I had called Mom last night to give her a heads up. So I called her this morning to see if she would take the boys to her house in hopes they wouldn't get it.
So while Hannah is vomiting, Ethan, who shares a room is standing in his crib screaming because how dare anyone let him stay in that horrible crib longer than what is necessary to walk into the room and sweep him out of it. Screaming babies always help the mood.
So I woke Natalie up and asked how she felt. She said fine so I told her to grab Ethan and take him to the living room.
She did and about 10 seconds later I hear her gagging, so I met her in the hallway with the trashcan. Ethan is crying and chasing her. My hands are dirty so I keep having to push him down with my foot in order to slow down his progress towards the trashcan of doom and his vomiting sister.
He's screaming wondering why Mama keeps kicking him into the living room with her foot instead of changing his diaper while he drinks his bottle, which is normally how he wakes up. He was NOT happy.
I got the gate and locked him in the living room. Seth woke up about this time and his diarrhea that had almost resolved has come back the last few days. I do not think this is related to the stomach virus, his bowels have been messed up for months. However, it has been worse the last 3 days. His pants were completely soaked and a wet spot the size of his body was in his bed... from diarrhea. So I cleaned him up the best I could with wipes.
Heated up more water on the pan while he walked around naked, then gave him a "bath"
Whew! By this point it was probably 745.
Madelyn has been fine all day and has been eating.
Natalie has been fine and been eating, other than being real sleepy. I now wonder if her episode was a gagging from the situation and not the bug.
Hannah has continued to vomit all day. Poor girl. I finally gave her 1/4 of a phenergan, hoping to knock her out and give her a break. She has been asleep for a few hours now.
As for me, I have been tired all day. I took a nap this afternoon and when I woke up felt sick and even went and got the trash can. However, I have only eaten 2 graham crackers with peanut butter and a bowl of soup the entire day. I feel hungry, but am scared to eat. I actually feel better now that I ate some crackers, so I will tell myself that the nausea was from hunger instead of the virus.
I would appreciate any prayers on our behalf.
Oh and why am I not bitter?
Aaron emailed me the sweetest letter today. Oh my goodness, so nice of him. He is so wonderful. Made my day. I know that he would come home in a second and help if he could. I am just so blessed by him.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bitter and Stressed!

Remember we have no water in our house. Nothing for about 6 weeks. We are getting by. A trip to Mom's every day to take showers and a 65 gallon tank in the garage in which we fill up jugs to wash hands or take a home "bath". Rain barrels that we use to flush toilets.
I am trying really really hard not to be bitter. Bitter at the county we live in, which promised city water many years ago. Bitter at the county commissioner (who is no longer there) who promised us last year that we would have city water by September this year. At this point, I HATE this county and want to move out, I don't trust them. I don't necessary Hate the people, but I do hate how they have treated us and this situation.

We have some great friends who are going to let us live in an empty house they have very cheaply. And I appreciate that so much. But it will still be hundreds more a month when you count paying small rent, water bill, 2nd utility bill, phone bill, etc. Just when we are trying to pay off adoption loans. Yes, all 7 of us will have to get by with one toilet. But at least the toilet flushes on its own, right? And I can get up and take a shower BEFORE leaving the house instead of dressing in dirty clothes and driving across town.

I don't know, when I think about moving into that house, while we still have this one, my head almost explodes. I have tried and tried to be excited. I have tried and tried to be so so. But I am having trouble being anything but bitter and stressed.

Can I make a confession....I think I would rather stay in this house, hauling water, etc. than have two houses to worry about....

Aaron has been out of town since Sept 28th. That is not helping. I am so thankful for the extra money he is making, but it is still hard. The house finally came open AFTER he left town.
Aaron is convinced that things will be easier once we move over there and we will be thankful to move. And I think he is probably right. However, that will happen AFTER we move, not while we are moving.
Yesterday after church I came home and napped. The boys and Natalie were taking naps at Mom's apartment, so I just had two kids with me. So I start packing stuff we would need at the new house. Fill up what little room we have in the van and took stuff over. We ended up skipping church last night and all of us, Mom and all 5 kids went over there. And for an hour I cleaned with the help off and on of the girls. And I just got more and more stressed.

Thinking...tomorrow I have to do school, by the time that is over and I have a chance to move more things it will be the boys naptime, then when naptime is over, it will be time for soccer, then when soccer is over it will be bedtime and there is another stressfilled day in which I blow up at the kids and stay on the verge of tears.

And then Tuesday, the same thing. Then Wednesday, same thing except church instead of soccer. Then Thursday, same thing. Then Friday, we have coop from 9-1:30, then naps, then etc.. On and on and on. All by myself.

So, I have made a decision. Who knows I might change my mind in an hour since I am feeling that stressed and crazy. But I will pack all day long here at our house. But I am not going to think about the other place until Aaron gets home. Yes, I had wonderful wifely dreams about having someone help me and have everything that we needed moved in while Aaron was gone. He could come home without having to worry about that etc. But now I realize that aint happening. He will be lucky to come home with me and my sanity intact.

It would be one thing if we had this house sold. I would see moving into this other house as a blessing. To be able to live somewhere cheaply while looking for another house would be wonderful. Perhaps it will still happen. But to have to keep up 2 houses is so depressing I want to scream.

So, starting today, the other house will not be in my mind. I will pack here if I get a chance and go through and sort stuff, things that need to be done anyway. But I will not, can not try to move with 5 kids, while homeschooling, in the midst of soccer season, with my husband out of town. I CANNOT do it.
I will keep the status quo of taking dishes, laundry to Mom's. I will ask a friend of ours to refill out 65 gallon tank again, sinceout rain barrels are empty.
I will enjoy living on the most beautiful piece of land in Alabama, just a little bit longer without constant thoughts of how we have to leave it because the county will not spend money (that has been granted them) to put water on our road.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Still feeling horrible

It's amazing how much I take feeling well for granted. I have felt pretty horrible since Sunday night. Now it is acting like I have a cold instead of a sinus infection.


Went to our 3 soccer games last night, which meant being at the fields from 5pm-815pm, then over to Mom's for real quick showers. The girls did great and really improve from year to year. I wish they had Spring soccer here too.


By the end of the games, my nose was completely stopped up and I felt and sounded awful. Back to sleep on the couch again. Now today my throat is killing me. I am not sure if it is from having my mouth open most of the time and my throat being dry or if it is something different.


Ethan and Seth have both started with the runny noses. Maybe they won't get it as bad. Good thing is, they have their first appt in the morning to start on their immunizations. So if the runny noses are turning into ear infections like last time, maybe they will catch them early.


We skipped school on Monday, but did our work today and yesterday. We will have to play a little catch up with the stuff I read to them, but I don't think my throat will hold out. Maybe tomorrow.


We did find a good mini series about the West, called "Into the West" It was made for tv, so it is safe so far for kids to watch. And instead of being a documentary which sometimes the kids (and me) find a little boring, it is a historical fiction. After the 2nd episode (there are 6) Madelyn was wanting to forget about it. There is a LOT of dying, but it is realistic, so we will keep on watching it, but it is pretty depressing that about the time you like a character they either die of cholera, get ran over by cows, ran over by a wagon, killed by Indians, taken by Indians, etc.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sinuses,..UGH!

I am 99% sure I have a sinus infection. Weird thing is, it came upon me suddenly. I felt fine at church yesterday morning., but by last night, the back of my nose was starting to burn whenever I swallowed...my own personal sign that it is a sinus infection.
I couldn't go to sleep last night and ended up finally going to sleep around 1:30am. Only to wake up a bunch and finally get up at 6:20 with the kids.
I felt pretty horrid this morning, but Madelyn had complained of her right shoulder/back hurting all day Sunday, so I decided to take her to our chiropractor as soon as they opened. I dropped the other kids off at Mom's and Madelyn and I went to the doctor, then CVS, then Walmart. By the time we got home it was 11am. Feeling even worse by that point, achy, but no fever, stopped up, my head in a fog. So I managed to keep the boys awake until noon, then put them in bed and went to bed myself. No school today. Not only was I sick, but Natalie has the same thing. I slept around 45 min.
Hannah's soccer practice got cancelled this afternoon because of wet fields. We were at the end of the driveway when the coach texted me. I didn't feel like leaving the house, but since I had the kids all packed up, I decided to go anyway.
We dropped the boys off at Mom's. She has a good friend Sandra who always wants to spend time with the boys, and she was there so it worked out great. Then the girls and I went to the library, and then to pick up the soccer jerseys. then back home where I have vegged out on the couch reading a book.
I am going to sleep on the couch tonight, since I am sure I will be snoring and I don't have to feel bad about my tossing and turning waking Aaron.
I pray I feel better tomorrow. We have 3 soccer games tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Homeschooling Schedule Change

Last night was the first night Aaron and I were both able to go to church together on Wed. night. I took the boys last week and they both did great even though it starts at bedtime. Madelyn had a stomach ache, so since mom wasn't going, we dropped her off there and off we went. We finally found our age group and have been attending class with them the last 2 weeks.
I love it!

School is going good. We didn't get as in depth with the Civil War as I would have liked since many of our books didn't get here until we were almost done with it. Now we are talking reconstruction and the westward movement. I already have movies coming with Netflix that deal with this. Netfilx is a great homeschooling resource.

I have come up with a new plan for our homeschooling schedule, which I hope will work better. Normally, I love to get our school done early in the morning. #1 the kids are more alert and not starting to get sleepy. #2, I like to have stuff done, not looming over my head.

However, I can't always have what I want. It is SOOO stressful to try to do 4 things at once. #1 work with a 5th grader, #2 work with a 4th grader, #3 work with a 2nd grader, and #4 keep the boys safe and out of trouble.
The last two days, I didn't even attempt to start school in the morning. We had errands to run, so I just did them as soon as everyone was up and had eaten breakfast. The boys go to bed anywhere between 11:30 and 1pm for their naps, depending on what time they got up. If Ethan gets up late, I just give him one nap instead of 2.
As soon as the boys were in bed, I did all of my reading to the girls. Then we started on their workbooks. Doing it this way, takes about 2-3 hours, give or take some time. I told the girls "no breaks"
Good thing is, school can be done without interruption. Bad thing is, no nap for me.
I am so proud of my girls. They all love to read.
I almost gave up on that happening. It was so hard to teach the girls to read. I think that has been the most frustrating part of homeschooling. So hard. But it has paid off. Madelyn and Natalie stay up reading by flashlight almost every night. Hannah has been starting to read alone too, bringing me the books when she can't figure a word out.

Last Friday, I had to take all 5 kids to our 3 hour coop. Whew! I need a double stroller! There is a room off the gym that is a "cafeteria" type space for eating and for parents to sit if just waiting. We stayed in there the entire time. Seth did good for a 20 month old cooped up in a room for 3 hours. He enjoyed watching the gym classes and was funny because when the high school class was stretching he was copying them. However, it was torture for him whenever they played with balls. He is obsessed with balls and constantly talks about them and wants to hold them no matter what they really are (watermelons, tomatoes, oranges, beaded necklaces etc.) Ethan did well to, but crawled all over the nasty floor.

Next time I have to take all the kids, I am going to take the playpen. I know, one more thing to carry in and it will be a pain to do, but it will keep Ethan off the floor for 3 hours picking up every germ that walks through there and putting it in his mouth. I am hoping that he will be content in the playpen with all the activity going on.

Aaron is off tomorrow, so one of us will stay home with the boys and the other one will go to coop to sit and wait for the girls. Not sure who will do what yet.

Soccer is almost in full swing. We have practice tonight from 4-6:30. The girls are on 3 separate teams this year. Again. Normally, every other year, Madelyn and Natalie are on the same team. However, they changed things up this year and that puts them in a different age group. So it will be busy until the first week in November. But it is fun too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last month I signed up for a PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) class that was required. There was a class in September and one in December. Mom had these two days off and could watch the kids.
So, yesterday morning, I stroll into the classroom at 9 am. I sit down, say hi to all my coworkers there. Then my friend Debbie says "Karen, are you just here to take the test?" I said "no, I'm here to take the class" Then she said "the class was yesterday, the test is today"
Sooooo, I had it on my calendar wrong all this time and completely missed the class.
The supervisor asked me to stay and help after the class, so I went up to the floor and told her I could stay until 3. Long story short, I stayed until noon when Debbie made it back on the floor.
So I guess I will be going in December. Better check those dates again.

Seth and Ethan are doing great in class at church. They now only do the obligatory "why don't you love me" cry when we first drop them off but apparently stop as soon as they can't see us anymore. That is so wonderful.
Since they were doing so good I decided to take them both last night. See, Ethan goes to bed at 7 and church starts at 7. Seth goes to bed at 8. We normally don't get home until 9pm.
Aaron didn't go, so I picked up Mom and off we went. Both boys did great! And we put them to bed as soon as we got home. It is now 8:15 and Ethan just woke up. Miracle of miracles! I slept until 7:40 today! That is normally impossible.

Someone is coming to see our house tomorrow. Maybe they will be the buyer? So that means cleaning like crazy today and then finishing up tonight after the boys go to bed. We have coop in the morning, so hopefully they will be gone by the time we get home.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coop Is Starting!

Today was our first day of CO-OP classes.
Thankfully, Aaron is off every other Friday and this was his Friday off, so I was able to leave the boys home with him. Although, people were disappointed at coop that they didn't get to meet them, but I assured them, they will be there next week.
We got up early and headed to Mom's to take showers, then had to be at coop at 8:30 for a mandatory meeting. Normally it starts at 9am.
Madelyn is taking 1. Biology 2. Civil War Pockets 3. Girls Club
Natalie is taking 1. 300 Things Everyone Should Know 2. Sewing for Beginners 3. PE
Hannah is taking 1. Literature Pockets 2. Magic Tree House 3. Fun with Science

Although the girls were disappointed with their choices of classes when it was time to sign up, they all enjoyed every class today and I heard nothing but praise for them. So maybe they will be happy after all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bad, bad Mommy always with the kids!

Last night, we had our home for 3 months visit with our social worker. She had to come to our house.
I know the questions have to be asked. I know they are intrusive. That is what you go through when you adopt, lots of intrusive questions. I was lucky enough to be out of the room looking for something when Aaron said she asked him if we get enough "alone time".
Poor Aaron had to answer that one on his own. Funny.

Anyway, I love our social worker and she has stuck with us since 2007 and we started this roller coaster ride.

But one question left me irritated, not at her, but at the brainwashing of society to think that children need to be "socialized"

We were talking about how I work when Aaron is home and that every once in a while Mom will watch them too. She asked if we put them in daycare, I said no.
She knows we homeschool, so then she asked if the girls ever attended daycare. I told them Madelyn and Natalie did for a week so I could go to orientation for a new job. Then she said something like..."so you never put them in daycare so they could get socialized?" Uhhh Nope!

My kids are not perfect. I guess their worst behavior is argueing with siblings.
They are well behaved in public. When we tell them to do something, they immediately get up to do it.
They are invited on vacations by relatives because they know they won't have any trouble out of them.
They are kind to others and have empathy.
Aaron's parents say when they take the girls around their friends, their friends comment about how they could not do that with their grandchildren, they would never behave right.
The first Sunday we went to our new church with all 5 children, a lady came up as soon as it was over and commented on how well behaved our kids were.
When we were delayed in the Huntsville airport by 4 hours on our first leg of our trip to Ethiopia, when we got to DC, one of the ladies that we waited with in the airport sought me out and told me she couldn't believe how well my kids handled the delay and how well they acted having to sit in the airport for 4 hours.

My kids "sheltered that they are" attended camp this year 4 hours away and if they hadn't both had fevers, they would have loved it.
Last year, they went to 2 separate camps.

In the past 12 months, my kids have been to New York City, Amish country in Pennsylvania, Washington DC AND don't forget a week in Ethiopia.

In 5 weeks attending our new church, they have already made friends they have been taking turns sitting with.

So, no, I didn't stick them in daycare so they could learn to get along with other children, I didn't stick them in daycare so they could socialize. I taught them myself. And I think we have done a pretty good job of it .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A little more refreshed

I am feeling more refreshed than my last post.
Weekend recap...
Aaron took Madelyn, Natalie, and Hannah to a Civil War reenactment on Saturday afternoon. Since he was already 45 min. closer to TN, I told him I would meet him with the boys when the reenactment was over and he could drive straight up to TN.
So I cleaned as much as I could with the boys at home Saturday morning, then left the house at 2:30 to meet Aaron around 3pm. We switched vehicles and he was off to TN at his parents house and I was off to the house.
I got home and cleaned for the next 3 hours. I still didn't finish the house. I hate cleaning and sorting. But I wanted to get it to the point that if the realtor did need to show it this weekend, he could.
I decided to head to Mom's when it got dark to spend the night at her house. She lives a mile from my job and I live 12 miles. Add to that, the fact that Mom has running water, I decided that I would stay with her.
We ended up watching an Extreme Coupon marathon and although I was inspired, I see my limitations. It was hard enough for me to figure out a plan at CVS, let alone figure out what these people do. I told mom I would rather go to work and make the money than to spend hours a day pouring over coupons. I wish I had the mental ability to do that though.
I was so excited to get to work 12 hours on Sunday. And the census was so low, I feared they would cancel me on Monday. After work Saturday night, I went back to Mom's and went to bed..
I was excited again to get to work all day on Monday too. In other words, I got 24 hours into 2 days.
I have decided to mail every check I get straight to the credit card debt, even if it isn't due yet, that is our plane tickets. I would love to have that HUGE bill gone by the time we get our tax return.
And isn't it great how God provides.
If you remember that in June our church let us have a bunch of leftover donations? Well, we still have a few boxes of wipes, a lot of diapers, quite a bit of food, but we did finally run out of formula.
So,that means we got 2 months of formula free. I was thinking, when I asked Mom to pick up about $30 of formula on her Walmart trip, how I wish that we had enough to last us until November when Ethan turns 1. Then we can start the process of switching to whole milk.
Went to the mailbox the day after and we had a sweet note from some friends at our old congregation and a Walmart gift card for $100. I know what that is going to buy!
I got home from work last night, Ethan was already asleep, but Seth was still awake. He was so sweet when he saw me.
I don't know what goes through his head, but he has been in so many places in his short life. Had to say goodbye and hello to so many different women who have been "mothers" to him. I know that 2 1/2 days isn't too long to go without seeing your child, but it is when your child has been removed from his normal over and over again. I hope he didn't wonder if he would see me again. I hope he eventually knows I am finally his permanent mother, he won't have to leave again. Unless I die, I will always be there even if I am gone for a few days.
When he saw me, he crawled into my arms and laid his head against my head and just kept it there for the longest time. Then he would squeeze my neck as hard as he could, then put his head back against mine. So sweet!
It was good to have a break from no water and 5 kids, even if I did work 90% of my waking hours. Work is a break to me. And I can make money doing it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Water

Well, it has finally happened. Our well has bit the dust. This is quite depressing for us.
Last week, I didn't use any more water than usual. However, it ran out. Aaron tried to get the pump going again, but no use. What the well driller thinks is that our well is full of silt.
We probably have plenty of water, however, our pump is in the bottom of the well and is silted in. He thinks that our water takes so long to get to the pump because all of the silt.
Anyway, we have not had water for 7 days. What a pain!
And with all of our adoption loans, we don't have the money to dig a new well. It costs between $5000-$8000 depending on the depth of the well.
I probably have mentioned this already.
When we bought this place 3 years ago, we were told that we would have city water within a few years. That the money was already there to do it, they just hadn't started. Last summer we were told by a county comissioner that they were going to start digging in March and we would have water by September. LIAR!!!!!
Now the story is that they will have to do the water in 2 parts and they don't have the money for the 2nd part. Anyway, I am so sick of this town and county that what we thought was a wonderful place is now a miserable place.
We are the only road in the entire county without city water.
We have wonderful friends at our old church. They are our parents age. They have a house that they will let use rent for about $150 a month. Enough for them to pay insurance and taxes. However, we are waiting for their daughter in law to get all of her stuff out. She is staying with them right now, so it is just her stuff. She was supposed to have a yard sale this weekend, but then last we heard, she postponed it a few weeks.
So that may mean a few more weeks of driving to Mom's every day for showers. Washing hands with jugs of water, taking all the dishes to Mom's to wash, etc. Just what you need with 5 kids!
To say that this has completely stressed me out would be an understatement. I think that what is more stressful than the water pain in the rear is the limbo of moving.
Oh, I hate being in limbo.
Either we are moving or we aren't, give me an answer.
Is your yardsale this weekend? In two weeks? or never? give me an answer.
Will our house ever sell?
Do I need to spend all day cleaning because someone is coming to view it today, or can I focus on school?
Should I start packing or should I leave things where they are.
Indecision KILLS me!
and that to me is more stressful than the water. because the last year as our water has slowly trickled away, I have been calm about it, but once we threw in trying to sell the house, possibly renting a house while living in this one my mind has gone nuts. (because more bills are what we need on top of all of our adoption bills)
We watched Rango last night.
There is a little girl mouselike thing in it and when Rango comes to town, she say something like "you're a stranger here, we don't take much to strangers here, they don't last long"
That is how I feel about this town. They will tolerate you, but you will never be one of them. Sad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Typical homeschooling day here.

I am so excited to announce that the curriculum books that I ordered July 5th finally arrived last night. Now to hours of reading to catch up.
School is so chaotic.
Typical day here...
6am wake up because Ethan will not sleep later!
Normally by the time Aaron leaves at 6:40 Seth has woken up and at least 1-2 of the girls are awake. Unless we have somewhere to be, I let them sleep until they wake up. Make breakfast and eat.
Take playpen to the front porch. Put Ethan in there and get Seth's shoes on. We try to spend mornings outside before it gets too hot.
Let Seth play in front yard while the girls work on Math and their workbooks. Sometimes this gets chaotic when the kids keep coming to me asking for help. Often I have one kid standing over me hovering while helping another.
9am Ethan goes down for his nap and the decibal level increases for a few minutes while he screams himself to sleep, then decreases now that only 4 kids are awake.
10-1030 Ethan wakes up and chaos again. Since we eat such an early breakfast, we are now taking a break for lunch. The girls watch tv or play while I cook a quick lunch and they can watch tv while they eat. Today they are watching Cinderfella with Jerry Lewis from the 1960s.
While they eat lunch, I normally check emails. Or write on the blog like I am doing now.
Once I am done with this, we will probably finish our cleaning chores and try to get the house in some kind of decent order.
12pm Seth gets put down for his nap. WHEW! Love his naptime. He will hopefully sleep until between 3-4pm. Try to get some more schoolwork done. Matters how quiet Ethan is being.
1230-1pm Ethan goes down for nap #2 and I go down for "nap".

I was telling Aaron last night how I hate taking a nap every day, but I really think my mind has to have this 30min-1 hour break from the constant noise. Then I told him how I woke up yesterday and so wanted to pretend like I was sleeping longer. So nice to relax the brain!

After my 1 hour reprieve, it is back to the living room to do the my reading part of school. I have to have silence while I read. I can't read with any background noise. So I just can't do it while the boys are awake. I have tried.

Ethan is up by 3pm since he rarely sleeps more than 2 hours. At this point it is getting time to start thinking about supper. Aaron gets home around 4:40 every night and he is starving when he gets home so we eat supper as soon as he gets home.

So wonderful to have Aaron home at night!

Ethan starts getting a little whiny around 6pm. Normally I get him to stay up until 7pm, because by that point, the whiny baby is driving us all nuts.

Seth then plays with us and the girls until 8pm. Many nights if it isn't too humid we will go for walks up and down the driveway. Seth loves the stroller! 8pm Seth is normally in the bed. If we have a particularly WILD kid night, then even the girls go to bed at 8pm. Even if they lie in bed and read by flashlight, as long as Aaron and I have some time to sit without constant interruption.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I think a lot of my stress lately is the debt of the adoption looming over me. Yes, we will get a lot of it back when we get our tax return next year, but on our yahoo group with other adopters, we notice a lot of them are investigated and their tax returns don't get to them until August or Sept.
So that is a long time to pay interest on them.
I am so torn... Do I work more, make more money, and decrease my stress because we would be at least making a little dent in the debt.
Or do I work my minimum hours and not really make any dent in the debt, but I am not trying to coordinate even more things in my already busy life.
Add to that, last week I had decided to work more. So I sign up for 3-7 Friday afternoon and 7a-7p on Saturday. Well, I got cancelled for both. I did go in Saturday for 3 hours and work on my online continuing education that is required every year.

Aaron was my hero Saturday though. I still hadn't gotten all of our curriculum. Many things that we were supposed to start with on day one had not been sent. I am currrently on week 5 and we still don't have things from week one. We are only studying the Civil War until week 7 and many of the things we needed were about the Civil War.
Anyway, I wrote them an honest letter Thursday explaining all of this, how I have given them many chances. How I was so behind on all of these books etc. I hate being angry, but I didn't know what else to do.
Well the representative called Sat. while I was at work. He wanted to go over all the books I had because according to him, we had gotten everything. Apparently, he sent a package with all the books I needed on July 16 and I never got it. So he was thinking I had all my stuff. I never received what he sent me, so I was thinking they never sent it. Anyway, I still didn't want to talk to him. I got home from work and Aaron said he was calling back at 12:30. My stress level shot up. I hate dealing with stuff like this. So, what did I do? went and took a nap because I had been up since 4:30am. Anyway, he called while I was laying down, and I didn't answer because I was half asleep. The phone rang again about 30 min. later. I didn't even look to see who called this time, I just went back to sleep. Well, when I got up from my nap, Aaron said the man had called again and Aaron went over all the books with him.
What a stressor that took off my shoulders. I was so happy that Aaron did that for me.
Anyway, I am supposed to be getting all of my missing books today. Then it will be reading for long periods a day to catch up.
No more interest in our house. At least no one has been asking to see it.
This is my goal. Of course it may not work out this way, but I can hope...
1. Sell our house
2. At the same time we sell our house, a very cheap, large house that has been foreclosed on becomes available. I would like this house to have a few acres, and be closer to our new church.
3. Live in that cheap house for a few years and get it paid off. (When I say cheap house, I am talking about less than 60,000) That seems crazy, but they do become available. And many times, the problems are fixable. We have been keeping up with foreclosures around here for a while.
4. Once we get the house paid off, save up down payment for another and try to sell cheap house or rent it out.
5 buy another house with some land AND city water. No need to be fancy, just needs to have room or have room to build on so we can adopt more kids.

OR

1. Sell our house
2Find someone to rent to us cheaply for the next year or two while we pay off debt and save up for new house.
3 find a now house that is larger, closer to church, but not too far from Aaron's work.


We'll see.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I feel like I am being attacked

I am a lot better today, but this last 3-4 days, especially Saturday have been a doozy with my mood.
Normally, I am a pretty mellow person. I let things ride. I don't usually get worked up too bad.
I have no one to blame but myself, because I forgot that I have no one to please but God!
I have let little stressors turn me into someone you would want to avoid.

Up until the last month when we listed our house, I was ok with dealing with the lack of water situation. I took it in stride. I handled it well. To make myself willing to sell our house and land I have had to focus on the negative. My situation did not change, but my attitude sure did. Now it is depressing to live here and I am stressing about if we ever sell and where will we live if we do.
Also, since our house is for sale, that means attempting to keep it clean enough to show. Which a 1200 sq ft house with 7 people is so hard to keep clean. I don't want to go through 3 hours of cleaning like I did the other day when we showed it.

Add to that the lack of a support system. I can't remember who all reads this blog, but I will just say the truth. We have had very minimal support for our adoption.
There were 6 people waiting on us when we got off the plane from Ethiopia My husband Aaron, our daughters, Madelyn, Natalie, and Hannah, my Mom and a friend Sandra. That is it. There were no announcements at church that we had our children home. There was nothing in the bulliten about us becoming parents again. It seemed to be swept under the rug. A handful of friends were excited enough to even come and look at the boys when we came to church.
I compare us to others too much. I see other people's blogs where they had 40-50 people waiting for them, so excited for them. I see where their church is praying for them, helping them, supporting them, encouraging them. We just never had that. We had more questioning... Why do you keep going? Why that country? and the best "well, you got what you wanted, are you happy now?"
So I feel like I am on my own. But that is crazy because of who we do have supporting us. And that is God! Again, I forgot who I needed on my side and who didn't matter.
I have no close friends. Again, something we are hoping to remedy with our church change.
We are "weird" because we homeschool. (I know God is on my side with that)
We are "weird" because I don't want to work fulltime (the first year we lived here, you wouldn't believe how many people would come up and tell me about full time jobs that were available)

I let this all get to me. And I was a bear, let me tell you. Hopefully, I am over that. Still stressing, but praying that God will work out the details. Praying for a friend that has the same values I do. Praying we sell our house and a bigger one, happens to come available at the same time that we can afford. Praying that I will have more patience with the kids and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy instead of stressing so much.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ear Infections and doctor updates

We got up early this morning to take the boys to Birmingham. Natalie and Madelyn stayed the night with Mom because she was taking them to an activity at church this morning. Hannah, Seth, Ethan and I left the house at 7 am headed to the doctor.
I was in such a hurry to get there that I didn't get a good look at Seth until we got there and I realized that his face was covered in dried snot. So I wiped that off in the parking lot. Hannah had mentioned on the way there that he had lots of wax in his ears.
Well, I happened to look at his left ear and it was covered inside and out with what looked like more dried snot. I started to clean it too, first thinking that it was from the snot dripping all the way to his ear, while he slept, but then thought that it might have actually came from his ear, so I left it to show the doctor. Well, she immediately said that his eardrum had ruptured. I felt so bad. No wonder he couldn't sleep the other night. I knew something was wrong, but I never thought it would be that bad. He barely had run a 99 temp. Then she looked in his R ear and said that one looked like it was about to rupture. So we started him on antibiotics and maybe in a few days we will get our old Seth back. Other than that he was right on target for his age. I was also worried because he had lost his baby belly since we got home and I was afraid he had lost weight, but he had gained over a pound in the last 4 weeks, so that was good news.
Ethan started running a temp of 100.9 last night and I knew he was still feeling bad today. He has been pulling on his ears, so he was actually the one I was more worried about.
When we came 4 weeks ago, the other doctor said he had fluid behind his ears, but didn't think he had an infection. Well, since it was still there today, but didn't look bad, she wanted to go ahead and treat him too. So both of them are on antibiotics. Seth weighed 25lb, Ethan weighed 23lb.
The developmental therapist came in and said that Ethan is developmentally a 9-12 month old and here he is just 8 months. Pretty good for a baby who wouldn't even sit up or put weight on his legs a mere 2 months ago. Now he pulls up on everything and sometimes will stand alone for 1-2 seconds. All he needed was a family to get up and go!
Thankfully the rest of us have avoided this cold.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sleepy Tuesday

I don't know what is up with Seth, but whatever it is, it isn't good. Seth's normal night is to go to sleep around 8pm. And about every other night, he might wake up crying around 11pm, I walk in the room, tell him to lie down, pat his back, reassure him, he goes right back to sleep until 7-8am. But not last night.
I was heading to bed around 10 when he was whining. Wanting to make sure he was asleep before I went to sleep, I sat up reading a book. Well, by 11:30, he still was crying about 1 min. after I left the room, over and over. So, I finally just got my pillows, thinking we would just sleep on the couch. If the girls had been sick and I had held them, they would go right to sleep.
Well, not Seth. We lied on the couch over an hour, him wriggling, pouty face, miserable. Me reading a book. I gave him some ibuprofen in case his ears were hurting since he has had a cold. Finally, around 1am, I put him back in bed, gave him another bottle and went to bed myself, knowing that in 5 hours baby brother would be up.
Seth then proceeded to cry about 1-2 times an hour the rest of the night, stopping around 5 am when he finally is sleeping good. Of course, that gave me one hour of straight sleep before Ethan woke up. So that is where we are, Seth sleeping like a baby, me up with the baby, the girls asleep and me who can't wait until nap time.
I pray he sleeps tonight because I have to drive the boys to Birmingham in the morning for their doctor's appt. alone, Aaron has meetings at work all day and can't take off.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday!

Oh how I need to get into shape. I hope that we can make a trip to the mountains of NC in October this fall. I need motivation to make myself exercise and hiking is a good one. Ever since we lived in the mountains in NC, if we don't make a trip once a fall, I get really homesick for it. It is so beautiful there. I miss it. But I don't know how our finances will be in October. We need to make a trip to SC to trim our trees again, so we might make it a combined trip. How I dread the drive with the boys.
This morning I walked a mile with Ethan on my back. Both boys love the backpack. I tried both in it and Ethan feels lighter, so he gets to ride. Seth goes in the stroller and we walk up and down our driveway. If we do go to the mountains, we will have to borrow another backpack. And I will need to get in shape with the backpack on. I came in and finished with another 3 miles of WALK AWAY THE POUNDS video (without 25lb on my back)
We still did not get all of our homeschool curriculum which was supposed to be here Thursday. It is trickling in, but the fiction book that we should have started reading day 1 isn't here yet and we are on day 9. UGH!!!!
Seth and Ethan both have colds. Seth, who is normally in a good mood, is walking around all day like it is an hour past his bedtime. He is running a low grade temp around 99. But we go for our follow up to the International Adoption Clinic on Wed., so they both will get checked out then. I know he doesn't feel good, but the whining gets old. I thought Ethan was getting better, because I hardly wiped any snot yesterday, but he is back draining today. But he is actually in a more mellow mood, I guess because his head is stopped up. He is not so squirmy, which is kind of nice.
I stayed home with both boys yesterday morning and Aaron took the girls and Mom rode with him (since it is a 40 min. drive to Decatur.)j
Aaron said the sermon was on loving orphans. I wish I could have been there, but even though Ididn't hear it, I was so excited to hear that it was preached.
Even though we know we are doing the right thing by changing congregations, this helped to cement it. They actually preached on helping orphans. !!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Few Books

Well, yesterday was the big day where I was supposed to get all but 2 books either in the mail or by Fed ex. I eagerly awaited 2pm when I knew that the mail would be here. Normally, when we have big packages in the mail, the maillady will drive up the house with them. 2pm, went to the mailbox and she had already come and gone. So no curriculum in the mail. Then around 3:30 Fed Ex shows up and I am all excited. The guy gets out with a small 8x10 envelope. With one book in it. Then about an hour later, another Fed Ex truck comes with another small envelope with 3 workbooks in it. So I probably got around 10% of what I was supposed to yesterday. We'll see if it comes today.. At least I got Hannah's workbooks where we can start working on those.
Haven't had any offers on the house yet. Maybe we will hear something today.
I am torn between thinking that if the house sells quick, we need to be looking at other houses, but then I hate to spend time looking at other houses if our house doesn't sell for months and those other houses would be gone by then.
I guess everyone probably goes through this when selling/buying.
Ethan has had a runny nose the last few days. Now it is turning green. I was hoping we could hold out going to the doctor until next Wed. when we have their follow up at the International Adoption Clinic. No fever yet, so maybe we can hold out.
Good news though, in the last 2 weeks or so, he has enjoyed (and when I say enjoyed, I mean he actually holds still and doesn't buck) while I am holding him like a baby feeding him a bottle. See, I am pretty sure, he was rarely held close to someone's chest and fed a bottle like you normally would at home. At the orphanage, because there were so many babies and so few women, the bottles were propped and the babies could lie there and eat and kick and squirm, etc. Which is what Ethan was good at. Kicking, squirming, bucking, etc. the whole time I was trying to feed him. Most times, to get him to eat, I would either have to lie him on the floor on his back and hold his bottle, or hold him with his back to my chest so he could kick while he ate. But it is apparently a very important bonding thing for you to hold them normally and look into their eyes while they eat. Which he is finally letting me do! It is so nice to finally cuddle with him!
Seth just woke up and he has a drippy nose too. Should have bought the kleenexes with lotion the other day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Change of Plans

My plans for today were to get up early, pack a lunch for all of us, pick up Mom, get the oil changed, and drive to Decatur to Aldi and Kroger for our weekly groceries. I planned to just scrap school for the day since we are still waiting for curriculum.
Well, I got up early, got the kids up early, packed sandwiches for everyone, packed drinks, and we were about 20 min. from being ready to go to Mom's to pick her up when I decided to check email before we left. Thank goodness I did.
There was an email from our realtor stating he had someone who wanted to see then house this afternoon. I am sure he would have eventually called, but by the time he waited until a decent hour to call, we would have been well away from the house.
CHANGE OF PLANS
That was about 2 hours ago. We have spent the last 2 hours cleaning and still aren't finished, but we are taking a 15 min. break. Do you know how hard it is to clean well with 5 kids? Of course the 3 girls are big helps, but the boys are just in the way. Seth would rather play with anything but his toys. Ethan just crawls around sticking anything he can find in his mouth.
Then in the midst of all of this, the sandwiches I had made this morning, and put in this soft cooler, full of ice packs...well the girls had taken them to the car before we knew we were staying and cleaning. At one point, I looked out my window and saw that 3 out of 5 of the doors on the van were wide open and there sat at least 2 cats in the front seat. Sometimes, if it is really hot, I tell the girls to leave the doors open IF we are fixing to walk out the door. So they thought we were fixing to walk out the door, so they left the doors open then forgot about it. So I walk out there to close them all and there are those dumb cats and they had eaten at least 2 of our sandwiches. I was so mad!!
Well, Mom just got here to help. Our van is full and I have a ton of stuff to donate to thrift stores beside my bed, so all that is going into her car. Ethan is in the bed hopefully for an hour or so. Seth is in the living room, "gated" in before he does any more damage and Mom and the girls are in there with him. Think I will let them have a little break so that I can go load up the give away stuff, then maybe we can finish before Ethan wakes up.
Maybe we can sell our house today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Answers

I heard back from the curriculum people. About 2 hours later. The man, who I spoke to really had no excuse for not sending the stuff last week, even though he told me he would. So, I have been told today that all of our stuff except for two books will be here Thursday. And I got a $50 gift certificate from their website.

Still No Curriculum

Well, the mail has come today and still no more curriculum. I called our supplier and she said she would call back in 30 min. I asked if it would be coming by UPS or regular mail and she said probably regular mail. So I am waiting 30 min. to hear back from her. What is the Deal???
I will be sure and post their great excuse for taking over a month to send curriculum that I have already PAID for.
I kept the boys up until 1pm instead of putting them down at 11:30 or 12pm. What a pain! In the evenings, Seth usually does ok until bedtime, then starts getting cranky, but normally the last 2 hour before Ethan's bedtime, he is almost unbearable with the whining. He wants you to hold him, but then all he does is squirm and what he really wants is to stand in your lap and be able to lean any which way he wants. However, my 36 year old back can not handle wrestling a 22#+ baby for 2 hours. Church services are bad enough. If I hold Ethan, my whole back is in knots by the time services are over. So I am trying to get him to take a later nap so hopefully he won't be as unbearably cranky in the evenings. You might say, just put him to bed earlier. Well, he already goes to bed at 7pm and I fear if I make it any earlier he will start getting up at 5am instead of 6am. Still not liking being up at 6 every morning. He is worth it though.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Homeschooling update and more

I ordered our homeschool curriculum a month ago. I think I already mentioned that I decided to go the more expensive route so I wouldn't have to take so many trips to the library with 5 kids like we have the past 2 years. This curriculum sends you every book you will need.
At least they are supposed to.
So, I was hoping to start school on July 11 which would have been a week after making my order. Well, when I made my order by phone, the lady told me they wouldn't even start shipping until the next week, even though I ordered on a Monday. Long story short, we were finally able to start school on the 21 st of this month, even though I only have about 1/4-1/3 of the material I ordered. Every day I keep expecting to get the rest of it. Hannah is especially behind because all of her language arts is missing. So we have been improvising and working ahead in some books, so we can take a break in them to catch up with the others.
But I am MAD! Any minute I think UPS may drive up with our packages today. See, I emailed last Tuesday and told them that I was behind because they still hadn't sent stuff that I have PAID for! Wednesday late afternoon I got a call from a man that works there and he told me that he was mailing some stuff Wed. afternoon and the rest of it should be going out on Thursday for sure, except for two books, which are on backorder. Ok, I can handle that. Because he was so nice, I didn't press him for why they hold on to stuff that I have PAID for. Now it is 5 days later and still no more curriculum.
I really like this curriculum, but not enough to EVER use it again. If we hadn't already written in some of the workbooks, I would return it for a refund. And I am afraid to go off on them because I am at their mercy right now since they still have 75% of my product I PAID for.

Things are stressful right now. We are in the middle of changing congregations and that always stresses me out. There is no good way to do it. We can't leave cold turkey and not speak to anyone because we have many good friends that we want to still stay in contact with.
However, you don't want to go into depth with people who you know don't understand why you can no longer go there, because when they don't understand, they make you out to be petty and complainy. But if you don't get specific with them, they can't see that there is a problem
And why is it that everyone wants to speak to me about it instead of my husband? So, I have been stressed all week about this.
However, we love the new congregation that we will probably stay with. That is a plus!!! Bad thing is, we have gone from driving 15 min.. to church to 35 min. to church. Perhaps if we ever sell our house, we can move a little closer. We still have to stay close to Aaron's work. But maybe we can find something in between.

The kids have been doing well. Ethan still gets up around 6am (can you tell this bothers me?) Apparently it doesn't matter what time you put him to bed.
Been working on the budget! That always puts me in a sad mood too. I am going to have to work more. I signed up for 7 7-11 shifts in the past 3 weeks. I have worked 2. Actually, I would have only worked one, but they switched me to 3-7 on Saturday or I would have been canceled then also. But we really really need to money until our tax return next year. Praying already that we don't have to go through a ton of stuff like many adoptive parents we have seen who have had to wait until August or later for the returns.

Friday, July 22, 2011

If Only We Had City Water......









This has been our saying for the last 3 years and turned into a WAIL for the last year. About a year ago, our well started silting in, giving us even less water.


If only we had city water we could...


*pressure wash the house


*let the kids play in the sprinkler on hot days


*take long showers and baths


*flush the toilet as much as we want


*feel justified in turning our 2 story 2 car garage into living space


*water our garden when our rain barrels run dry


*do laundry at our house


The list goes on and on. And all of these things above are inconveniences. See, I have ALWAYS wanted to live in the country. In 2008,. we bought this beautiful 14.5 acre farm with a nice little house, backing up the the National Forest. Very secluded and perfect. In 2010 we bought an adjoining 9 acres from our neighbor.


See, we are the only road in our county without city water....


And when we bought this house, we were rightly told that city water was in the works and it would only be a few more years.


Well, we have been here 3 years now and it appears that we are no more closer to city water than we were at the beginning. Our county commissioner that got voted out last year told us that we would have our water by September of this year.


Not the first shovel full of dirt has been dug.


So, it was very tight, living with a family of 5 on a well that the driller told us would support a family of 4 if we conserved. But now we are a family of 7 and it is just not enough. Even with all the above inconvienences AND two more kids, I still wanted to hold on to this land. Aaron would mention selling because he was fed up long ago. I would beg "please, it is our dream!"



After going to Ethiopia and seeing all of the beautiful children in need of parents, we decided that we would, Lord willing, adopt again..


I kept reminding God that there were a few things we needed before we could adopt again...


1. to pay off the last adoption

2. to have city water

3. to turn our attached garage into more living space



Aaron mentioned about a month ago, that if we had city water, he didn't care how many children we adopted. STOP! that right there was a miracle from GOD in and of itself. You see. this is the same guy who was always happy with one child, then he was happy with 2, then he was happy with 3, and originally, the main reason he adopted was because I always wanted to. Also the same guy who when I mentioned in Jan 2010 that I thought we were supposed to ask for 2 children, didn't tell me until September that he thought God was telling him that too.


Yet while in Ethiopia, through no prompting by me said "next time we adopt, I want a little girl"



Back to city water (because our whole life revolves around the lack of it).


Like I said, the above list were inconveniences, but here is where this house, without city water, is coming between us and serving God.


I started thinking of things we can't do because of no water, and these are things that matter.


*invite people over, be hospitable...


*build on...our house is 1200 sq ft. we have 3 kids in one tiny room and 2 in the other tiny room.


*adopt again


And that is when I realized that this "dream" of mine was coming between me and God and what He might want me to do with my life.


Aaron has been willing to sell for a long time, but I was holding on very tightly. But I am willing to let it go now.


Last night we had realtors over to list our house.


I don't know if it will sell. Perhaps God wants us to stay here, perhaps He has different plans, but I know it won't sell if we don't list it. And I want to leave it up to God. How dare I hold on to this dream if it keeps a child(ren) from having parents and a home. Forgive me for my selfishness.


The real "living" will be in Heaven. My real dream home is being built day by day for eternity. Surely I can give up a few things on earth, so that not only I, but more children can someday be in the ultimate dream home!







Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Updates and Pictures



















We were eating supper tonight. I looked over and thought how I couldn't believe how fast Seth had eaten his bananas. Then I noticed he was spearing his bananas with his fork, then putting them in his cup and stirring them up with his water. As you can see by his face, the concoction he made looked nasty. He can be so funny. This morning, Hannah and I were making cornbread for a recipe for supper and I happened to look over and there he was with a sippy cup full of tea in one hand, and a cracked, nasty eggshell in the other up to his lips (that he got out of the trash). So, in my frantic attempt to keep him from getting salmonella, I knocked the cup from his hand, the lid came off and a whole mess of sweet tea went everywhere.


Seth loves to go outside. And when he sees me putting on my shoes, he starts looking for his. For a long time he called his shoes "diapers" I don't know why, but now he calls them "oosh" It is cute. So I try to take him out when I can early in the morning or late in the evening and let him play around. Aaron was bushhogging the land tonight and since Seth loves the tractor, I put Ethan in the stroller and took Seth out, pulled up a chair and he alternated playing with the ball, playing with an axe handle, annoying the dogs/cats, and watching Aaron on the tractor. This afternoon, we heard a door slam and then Seth start screaming. He had locked himself in our bedroom. Thankfully, he was so scared, he just stood there and screamed instead of getting into mischief.


On another note, I took the stool specimens last week and haven't heard back yet. I hope we figure out what is going on. I emailed with a friend today who got home with their baby from Rwanda a few weeks before we got the boys and his son has giardia.


Ethan is doing well also. He still wakes up around 6am, which means I have to go to bed early nowadays. Sunday night I didn't go to sleep until after 1am. I then decided to skip my nap while the boys were sleeping. Big mistake, I was so sleepy yesterday afternoon and evening that I was practically useless. I hate "wasting" time taking a nap, but after yesterday I see it as take a nap for 30min-1 hour or be so sleepy that you waste even more time.

Ethan likes to play peek a boo and tries to cover his eyes. Which you can see in the picture is really cute. However, it does get annoying when he does it constantly while you are trying to navigate a spoon full of runny goodness to his mouth and his hands are constantly moving. He wore chicken and sweet potatoes on his forehead yesterday. He very much knows what "no" means. He is learning obedience already. It is funny that even if I say NO to Seth, Ethan stops what he is doing and looks to make sure I wasn't talking to him. I am not saying he doesn't do what I told him not to again, but he is learning to leave stuff alone.

I have gotten about 1/3 of our curriculum for this year. I wish I had ordered it earlier. UgH! Mistake on my part. I wanted to start school last Monday and all I got last week were Madelyns 5th grade workbooks. The day before yesterday I got 2 boxes full of stuff. The way this curriculum is, you really need 99% of the books or you will start out behind and constantly be playing catch up. So I am hoping to get the majority of the books needed to start and if I do, then I can go forward in some and catch up the the others that aren't here. That is the bad thing about this curriculum place. You get your stuff in sections, but it isn't like they send you the first 6 weeks first, you just get it all jumbled up. We did start reviewing Math this week. We use Math U See and they have online drills you can do, which I love. We have used them a ton since we got satellite internet (and not dialup)