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November 2010

Thanksgiving would be better with bacon

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First of all, why isn’t bacon a traditional item at the Thanksgiving table? Lately I’ve seen ham worked onto the table, someone mentioned they do prime rib once and I have another friend who does chicken instead of turkey. If we’re going to mix it up, lets do it right. Next year I’m laying down bacon. I’ll have peppered bacon, brown sugar bacon, regular bacon, bacon bits (for the salad) and any other type of bacon I can think of – except the bacon roll, that just looks bad.

Enough about bacon, this past week was Thanksgiving week and I took it off work. In retrospect, I’m not sure if that was a good idea or not. Natalie might have liked me being off since I ended up doing a ton of babysitting for her while she did some errands. My hope this week was to get some work done on the other webpages that I run. I didn’t get very far with any of that. In fact, this article is the furthest I’ve gotten so far.

Aubrie had to get some fillings done and since she can’t sit still for the dentist she needed to be put out for the procedure. That’s really great since it costs me an extra $250. That happened on Monday. When she got home she wasn’t allowed to walk around for a while. She’s really an incredible little girl. Her ability to stay happy after the surgery, which included an IV, is amazing to me. I’ve never been put out before, so I really don’t know what it’s like. I have to assume that a 4 year old girl would find it a bit traumatizing.

Since I didn’t feel that I had spent enough at the dentist, I decided to get new tires for my Swagger Wagon. I love weekends like this. If I don’t get to drop over a grand than it’s a wasted weekend. So, now I’m on lock down with what I purchase, which came just in time for Black Friday (today). I went through all the ads, there’s nothing worth while to buy anyway. Anything I see that I want is something that I already have or don’t really need.

If you’re keeping track, we still have the kids. They got to go to their grandmothers for Thanksgiving while we went to my mothers. The food was great and the nap after was almost just as great. I did manage to limit how much I ate, which I haven’t tried to do before. This all led into today, the day to get ready for Christmas. The kids are putting up the tree as we speak, they might be done with it by now. Natalie came down to tell me how she was a genius for getting plastic ornaments instead of glass. I agree. In another 4-5 years though, we can have the fancy ornaments. It’s also getting time to put up the outside lights. Our neighbors place and ours are close enough together that we can extend the light betwixt the houses and it makes a very lovely canopy. When I get that done I’ll get some pictures and put up another post.

… and that’s how many you are

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Kids at the PartLet me start by clearing something up. In my previous post I spoke about the foster kids. What I said about them was meant in a nice way, though sarcasm doesn’t carry well over text. The boys are good kids and I do really like them. I want the best for them and that includes them returning to their parents. With that said, I stand by what I said; it’s not always easy raising the kids. Natalie and I stopped having kids after the second because we found the two were maxing out what we were prepared to raise. Adding 3 more kids to the mix is really pushing us beyond what we were ready for and the fact that they are young hyper boys doesn’t help. We are a family of 4 with a temporary upgrade to 7. We can’t even find a clear row of seats in the church any more.

Over the time we’ve had them we’ve got the younger boys to learn to dress themselves, ask politely for more juice (we’re still working on it, but it’s getting very close) and Natalie has even got them mostly potty trained. I haven’t seen them hit the girls in a while, though they don’t like that a girl can hit a boy but a boy can’t hit a girl. All they know is if they do hit a girl, any girl, they get to spend a while in their room followed by a lecture from me. My point is that Natalie and I are working with the boys and I think it’s going very well. The last few weeks have been especially hard though. Since the weather started getting colder and dark started sooner we haven’t been able to send the kids out so late and our home is not meant to host 5 screaming kids. There’s been a slow tension building that is difficult to find a release for. Thankfully, tomorrow the kids will go to their aunts to spend the night. This is a break that is long over due.

I now know the importance of taking a break. When the kids go to their aunts home it gives Natalie and I a chance to be with just our kids. There’s nothing in the world better than spending time holding your daughter in your lap. The foster program offers another program called “Respite Foster Care”. Respite is a system that gives the real foster parents a short break. I’ve often thought that we could continue being foster parents after these boys go back, but I don’t know if that would work for me. I believe the respite program would fit Natalie and I better.

To sum this up, the kids are great and everything is fine with us. I still want the kids to go back with their parents before they become attached to us, which I fear is already happening. Aside from the kids, every day it feels like my conversations with Aubrey are getting more and more mature. She’s saying things that are just surprising to me – though I can’t think of any examples at the moment. She’s also a very good organizer (which she gets from me).

This next week is Thanksgiving and I’m taking the week off work. I have a hunch that I’ll be doing a lot of work anyway though. I know I’ll be watching the kids some days, but as long as Netflix is working I’ll manage. I’ll try not to focus on the kids so much in my next post. But this one I wanted to be sure that my feelings towards the kids is clear.

4 Months of Kids – Make It Stop!

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My girls and the foster boysI think we’ve had the kids for about three months now. I can’t be certain since time stopped the moment we got them. We’ve picked up some foster kids with the plan that we would have them for about 6 months. We’re 4 months into it now. Natalie and I can only hope the parents are doing what they should to get the kids back. We can’t be certain that’s the case, but I’m not here to talk about the parents. We added 2 three year old boys (yes they are twins. I hope you would have figured that out based on them both being 3) and 1 other boy who is 7. Until 4 months ago I only had 2 girls so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into with the boys. What I’ve learned about boys is simple: boys are liars. At least these boys are, and they’re bad at it. They’re bad to a point that it’s funny to me now. Unfortunately they think they’re getting away with it so after I get my laughs from it I have to let them know the real facts. Even when you catch them in the act with their hand in the candy bag they will lie about it. The older boy says to my wife as he’s stealing some candy “I found these in the couch and I was putting them back”.

I remember being young. I remember walking to school in blizzards by myself. I remember being responsible for my own things even at a very young age. I’m not sure these kids were ever taught anything about respect or the need to follow rules without the threat of punishment. I’m also not sure why God intends them to be in our care. I can only hope we’re doing what we’re supposed to.

The foster program gives a monthly allowance to take the kids. The allowance doesn’t cover the damage that the kids do to the place. They use my car as a balancing post for their bikes. I now have racing stripes scratched into the side of my car. The fruit snack companies send us ‘thank you’ cards now. They push, they fight, they lie, they cry, they hurt each other and 5 seconds later they’re all playing like nothing happened. There is some magic to the idea of ‘being like a child’. The older boy (Gabe) comes in yesterday and states that the neighbor boy (who he seems to be best friends with) was swinging his scooter around trying to hit him (he wasn’t – I watched the scenario) and says to Gabe that ‘if he wanted to hit him he would’. Gabe tells me that he’s never going to talk with him again. 30 minutes later I tell Gabe that we’re going to go to the store. He gets up and says that he’s going to see if he can play with the accused boy while we’re gone rather than go with us. Gabe’s idea of ‘never’ is far different than mine.

I believe the boys and us have a good relationship. I get after the kids and they get in trouble and, just like with their friends, we’re friends again in a few minutes. It’s important to not hold grudges against the kids; it’s equally important to keep in mind the personalities of the kids. One of the twins is developing slightly slow than the other. He’s by far the cutest kid and he behaves the best. He’s also got the OCD pretty bad. If his shoes come untied he needs to stop everything until it’s fixed, whereas the rest of the kids will just kick off their shoes if they hadn’t already. We’ve managed to get him to stop washing his hands every 5 minutes when he’s at the table. His brother is a bit bigger and rougher. He likes to play outside (thankfully) and ride his bike around. He’s not gotten to the stage where he likes to destroy things, but he still likes to ride his bike through the flowers. The older boy is a pain. He can’t sit still unless Sponge Bob Square Pants is playing. He feels he needs to be the boss of his brothers and he’s taken that role further to be the boss of my girls as well. I’ve asked him to let Natalie and I handle the discipline but he still yells at the kids and rats them out whenever he can. Sadly, he’s the one that causes the most problems.

I’ve also had some new thoughts concerning my job over the past few weeks. For one thing I’ve discovered mediation. A customer tried to sue us a few months ago (they lost) and before we met with the judge we went in with a mediator to talk about the situation. Mediation looks like a fun thing to do. I’ve also become interested in learning everything else about websites. The programming is great, but there is so much more to websites than simply making a good website. If nobody ever see’s the site than it’s pretty worthless. I want to be the person that can bring everything together for a site including the design, programming and get it into the web.  That’s enough about me for now.