Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

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


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 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.