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Monday, January 31, 2011

Only if our house walls can talk!

The future. Another question everyone asks us is, "What are we going to do with such a BIG house after our children move on?" Some of our children won't move on but most will. My husband and I constantly discuss our future, our children's future and "Yes" our house's future. Only if our house walls can talk! It would be saying, "No, please NO!" Our house's reality is unique. I can see us looking after mentally and physically challenged adults. After all it is being designed to accommodate any needs. There is a few options that we've discussed. We could even turn it into a bed and breakfast. Which would help the employment of some of our children too! My husband designed this house where if wanted, we could easily change the addition part into another suite. What we'll end up doing is beyond me but our wheels are turning because the future is amongst us if we like it or not! I definitely don't believe that our world is ending in 2012 so we must prepare by thinking ahead. I'm constantly preaching to our children about their futures, about their decisions and trying to help them successfully move forward but that doesn't change once established. Once established we start preparing wills, trying to figure out the best way to fairly split the Estate that once was a work in progress for our family to live. Not only are we thinking about when some of our children leave home what we'll do in the pre-retirement faze of our life;(I doubt we'll ever retire) we are thinking about preparations for when we've past away. From the moment we were born, we had to think about our future. Adopting children with special needs, having a large family, we do have to think about their future after we're gone. Setting the stage, where and who will look after our possible adult children with special needs. We're very dedicated even long after we're gone and hopefully how we have our wishes written will be carried through. I keep telling our teenagers that life is constantly forever changing and future planning never stops. We all have to start and end somewhere. Hopefully our ending is into our high nineties where I can personally make sure all our children are settled comfortably and we've done everything that we wanted too with our life, which could include looking after special needs adults not of our own. Now only if our house walls can talk!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spread the butter

It looked a lot like Christmas! I also had many individuals staring across the mall, snickering comments under their breath wondering why I was pushing a buggy full of material items. The fact is we have birthdays coming up every month and I found great clearance deals! I was only shopping for one son but finished five birthdays, started on Christmas for 2011 and found clearance deals on clothing! I normally hate shopping but when there is great deals, I think ahead! It was an interesting day at the mall. I had my second oldest daughter and two of our middle aged sons. After the last store while paying the cashier one of my sons asked, "Are we finished now Mom?" "Yes" I said. Happily he replied, "Thank you Mom Thank you" The cashier giggled. Then the fire alarm went off. Surprisingly no one seemed to care. The fire trucks arrived, there was fire fighters everywhere. "Is there a fire Mom?", my son asked. "No, someone probably pulled the fire alarm", I explained. We left the mall and waited outside. After the day putting everything away I continued to smile. Not because I found great deals but because I really love children. I get many comments from people stating that I must love children after finding out how many we have. I really do. 90 percent of my time is with our children. With having adult children, I know how fast time goes. I still remember when we once had a baby, he's now turning eleven this year! Looking back I spent many hours working outside our home. I can or could have been career lead and I know most of our population have to work to make ends meet. My husband started working at age 13 and I was 14. When we married, from there we created what we call our Empire for our children. We always explain to our children that what we have comes from hard work. I've also explained that there was a time in my life where I was counting nickles, collecting pop cans for milk and to pay our heating bill. Most of us have to start somewhere and starting at a struggling place isn't necessarily bad. It teaches us to appreciate, to teach our children the meaning behind working and I wouldn't change my past for anything because it makes me who I am today. Both my husband and I really need to remind ourselves when to step back from being a helping parent. We've realized that if you put a silver spoon in your child's mouth they won't be able to function appropriately on their own and like my husband says, "Growing up on a farm taught me to work" Working is a reality. So the years I did outside our home needed to be as much as I missed our children at the time. Our oldest son made a comment one day stating "Look at what we have" comparing to others. I had to remind him that everything comes from hard work. It's a choice and getting there is just the dough. Meaning you have to work, knead through years of incredibly hard times to become who and where you want to be. Life isn't easy. Understanding, accepting and appreciating the kneading part of life will bring you the bread. To spread the butter you have to continue working. There's not a day that goes by where my husband or I aren't working. Speaking of, it's Monday! I better get cracking or there won't be any butter spreading this week!

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Growing up"

My little girl is growing up. This picture to the left is an older picture of my daughter and I. The picture to the right is my daughter now with a friend who happens to be a boy. "Sigh" Yes she can be extremely inappropriate and annoying at times but this year she's turning sixteen. I couldn't ask for a better teenage daughter. She helps around the house on a daily basis, she openly discusses everything with me and she still loves to hang out with her Mother. We home school her in a program that's called Ceap, a distant learning through our district. She's wanting to be an Adoption Social Worker and seems very concerned getting the grades she needs to attend University. I have to admit, as much as she mostly resembles a younger individual mentally she shines her future within her personality. When I look at her, I can see a future Adoption Social Worker. She's gorgeous inside and out. I truly believe with maturity, she will have the skills to become whoever she wants, she will make a great wife and Mother. I drove her to the mall for her "first" date today. She didn't realize that I had tears in my eyes. Not because she's seeing a boy but because it's her "first" time seeing a boy that she seems to be very interested in these days. She's very innocent this way and I trust her one hundred percent. Usually Mother's would be skeptical or criticize a meeting between their daughter and another boy. I'm not like that. I think for her age she needs to experience dates and hang out as a teenager. Being home schooled the majority of her time is at home with me, her Mother. So I'm completely happy that she's getting out and being sixteen. It was really cute dropping her off because she was really nervous and I had to keep reminding her that the two of them already know each other, GO have fun! There is a flip side of this. I know this boy and his family. If it was a boy I didn't know, he would need to see me! In fact if their relationship continues, he will be seeing me anyways. I have this idea of giving him a ride one day and we'll discuss "their relationship" Completely on the cool side of course! Mostly I am glad I already know his family and I believe we're living in the same world. It makes me wonder about our future and on how BIG our family will get with the in laws. Who they'll be and if they'll accept us?! I know my daughter wants to wear my wedding dress and I smile because I was hoping one daughter would! (Perhaps even a few more will) NOT that there is any wedding plans right now. I'm just the Mother smiling because my daughter was on a mall date, very cute I thought. She came home with these booth photos of her and this special someone happily sharing with me her adventure. When we first adopted her it seemed so long ago, she was a little girl. Now she's turning into a bright young lady and yes, tears fill my eyes realizing that my babies are growing up! One element I know and one important element they know, I will always be their Mother. This is why adoption is so crucial for a child without a forever family. It's not just about their childhood, it's about forever; it's about having the choice on wearing their Mother's wedding dress. It's about having supports into their adulthood and having a family they can bring their first boyfriend home too. (Regardless if we're scary or not) I feel so honored to be there for my daughter while she matures, for all our children. We're going to have a wonderful future because we've been blessed with many children and honestly the rewards that last forever outweigh the challenges getting there!

Ps - I received permission from my daughter to post, including the pictures from either side. Her comment was "Awe" when she read this blog. I love her!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Come on over"

It's been a few days since I wrote last, since I've been on the computer, it's been a busy end of January. We've excepted an amount to replace our fridge finally after almost three years of battling. Tomorrow morning my husband has to deliver our fridge in order to receive the in store credit towards another fridge. Friday will be interesting as we have to take apart our kitchen cabinets to remove it. I believe life is going to change when my husband installs the new fridge! No more water, ice, rock hard ice cream and luke warm watery sour cream! We don't have to listen to unnecessary clicking throughout the day and night! Life is great. Speaking of great, we had two special guests tonight for dinner. Someone who is very important within the decision making of adoption and other business related to adoption. Another who has made our family what it is today, someone who is very special to us. For privacy reasons I won't write any names. When they arrived I was surprised with two sets of flowers. A mini rose bush and a bouquet. It was really sweet. I was mainly in the kitchen doing what I do best; serving, while my husband gave them both the grand tour. For the most part I believe our dinner went well. (I hope so) What was really interesting that I observed was some of our children glued onto one of our guests. They surrounded him with joke telling, card and magic tricks! Our girls brought out their talking bears while my husband pulled out the ole marshmallow blower! Yes, my older child, my husband! I will add, the marshmallows stayed in the cupboard this time! There was one comment made where I should dedicate a blog all about my husband. The plier teeth pulling, vacuum belly button sucker, marshmallow blower of the Island! It could be possible! What was really cute, our children made Thank you cards for coming for dinner. One attribute I always comment about our children is they're welcoming. They're friendly, they really make people feel comfortable and important. That's why we can adopt. If it wasn't for the compassion for others our children have, the acceptance of another, we couldn't. Our family makes us who we are and with the help of some special key people. Tonight and I hope I'm not the only one feeling this way but tonight if anything showed we're all on the same page, just in different paragraphs. We all have our own roles, our different ways of accomplishing daily life and making the best of it. It was honoring, somewhat a bit awkward but indeed a special night. I hope our guests left thinking the same way. If not, they're welcome back. After all I've always said, "Our home is open to everyone" As long as you can handle our large family, some noise and a squabble or two, come on over! I was completely being safe with a roast dinner tonight, next time Sushi, Thai and East Indian! Bon appetit!

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Don't cry over spilled milk!"

Back to reality, Monday. A day of spilled milk. Literally as my husband was turning, he spilled milk all up and down the kitchen cabinets. Growling under his breath, "I'm always cleaning up messes" Our weekend at Camp Homewood was pretty good with different activities, learning about different resources available and socializing with other adoptive families. Unfortunately I didn't even receive 4 hours each night for sleep because of unexpected noises. I've recovered with many fond and interesting memories. My husband however stayed home and was "trying" to finish our stairs. He ended up not only cleaning up spilled milk but massive diarrhea from our larger dog Kong and driving to Mt. Washington picking up one of our teenage sons that accidentally hit a tree while skiing. He's completely fine escaping from serious injuries with only scrapes on his back, a mild limp and being stiff and sore. Our dog Kong went to the vet today, he's lost 8 lbs from being sick. We found out he has an infection in his liver and hopefully antibiotics will solve his problems. My husband's problems will never end because spilled milk always happens! Mark Guilbeau wrote, "It doesn't matter how much milk you spill, just so long as you don't lose the cow" As I say, "Don't have a cow over spilled milk!" Our reality if you spell our name wrong, we would be a cow! The world's highest production dairy animal, the Holstein cow! In fact, we'd be a cattle of Holstein cows! All in all we had a productive great weekend, no worries, I won't quit my day job because I'm not that funny and we definitely won't cry over spilled milk!

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Off to another comfortable place"

Waving "Goodbye" for the weekend! I'm taking 10 of our children to Camp Homewood. My husband will be home working on our new set of stairs and watching our older teen/young adult children coming and going. Sounds like a blast, I wish him the best of luck! He's actually doing an amazing job on our stairs, all hardwood, wood trim and finishing with black iron rods. For a Mechanic and Auto Body technician he's flawless building houses! It's unfortunate that the new set of stairs are hidden within our addition but his same style will be seen along our Romeo and Juliet balcony in our living room. We've also decided that we will re-design our kitchen. It's a nooked kitchen, completely too small! My wish is to eventually have a double oven with six burners! After all many of my hours are spent in the kitchen and my time is precious! A bigger family table would be nice and we'll have the room for it really soon! We have a lot of goals and yes because it only enhances our family's atmosphere. Being comfortable in our home I believe to be important. This will include wheelchair ramps, not just for our use but for our family and friends. Everyone should be able to move freely, feel welcome no matter what their need may be. Our home is for everyone. On that note, we're off to Camp Homewood, another place where we feel comfortable. Have a great weekend! We will!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Congrats on your purchase of ..... Protection/Repair Agreement!

"AGH" %!#&^!$%@$&%@$!! A few years ago I wrote about fridge issues. Our home is three years old this summer, including the fridge! Since November 2008 our new warranted fridge hasn't worked properly. It is too warm on the fridge side, freezes rock solid on the freezer side. It's a side by side fridge, freezer / ice maker Kenmore fridge. On and off, every several months we have to defrost the fridge and live out of coolers! Now it's melting, water is constantly being wiped up underneath and around the base of the fridge. Three years, seven attempts of repairs and now diagnosed as unrepairable. Going on three years now we've been fighting with this company to replace our fridge. A fridge with warranty in our name! Here's the catch. Our fridge was purchased by the contractor that built our house, we took over ownership and warranty without receiving a receipt of purchase. Ironically the contractors office burnt down. They claim they have no proof of purchase, the company where the fridge was purchased claims they can't trace the purchase either. No one has proof of purchase but we still have a warranty that can't be used on a newly owned refrigerator! We learned today that they're giving us two weeks, 14 business days to produce a receipt or our claim is denied. For some reason - beyond us, the company has decided to add yet another stipulation onto the on going three year fight to have a working appliance replaced. 14 days! Well...........I have contacted the Better Business Bureau with a written complaint about our three year issue. We have had two food loss claims, continued defrosting and now possible hardwood floor damage underneath this fridge. We're waiting to hear from the Better Business Bureau but from there, we're lost on what to do? The customer service department is an entire joke. I thought customer service was to listen to complaints, solve issues and to throw in something extra to keep the customer coming back? Perhaps a fridge?! What is one fridge to a multi billion dollar company? My husband wants to truck our fridge to their doorstep and sit on it! I'm seriously considering if Check 6 News would like to know how customers are treated with warranty's from this company? In the meantime, after 7 attempts our protection agreement states, "If we repair your covered product 3 times during the any continuous 12-month period and the covered product then requires a subsequent repair during the same 12-month period, WE WILL, at our discretion 1. replace the covered product with a new or refurbished product of similar features and functionality. 2. issue a store credit for the current replacement value" where does it state about producing a receipt. It does state that it's transferable to any subsequent owner. Our warranty agreement expires on August 24, 2011. A warranty that's good for nothing that has cost us approximately $115.00 a year! BUT this company has denied our protection agreement unless we produce this missing receipt within 14 business days. Then they write, "Congratulations on your purchase of .....Protection/Repair Agreements" Our Warranty................that means absolutely nothing! It's affordable protection you can trust! AND I'm the Jolly Green Giant!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy has been on for eight seasons! I used to watch ER without missing an episode. I don't watch much television but lately it's been a Grey's marathon! We bought our oldest daughter all the seasons of Grey's Anatomy. I love this show! I love anything to do with the medical field and knowing some of their lingo keeps me in tuned. We're heading into the third season. I just hope now that I'm becoming an avid watcher, they don't stop producing the show! Last night I didn't get a great sleep because when I did dose off, I was dreaming about Grey's Anatomy and NOT about Mr. Mc.dreamy but about different first aid scenarios that my subconscious was making up! This series of television seems to be about the lives of interns, residents and their mentors. In 2006 they won the Golden Globe award for the best television series for Drama. For me, I like the fact they make it look like it's filmed in Seattle where most of the program is filmed in L.A. I enjoy all the characters especially George O'Malley played by T.R. Knight. He's so "cute" and "cuddly" A face I would like to pinch! I'm only finishing season 2, so I have a lot of catching up to do! Last night was intense with the cavity bomb that Meredith was holding! Of course in reality I'm not too convinced a bomb would be lodged into someones stomach with a 100% survival rate. Nonetheless Grey's Anatomy is now my number one show! It's actually an interesting bonding relationship we've started, my oldest and second oldest daughter and I cuddle on the couch having hours of endless Grey's. Usually around 8pm when everyone is nestled sleeping in their beds, we look at each other questioning, "Grey's night?!" I know I'm completely behind with this television show but better late then never! I've noticed Season 2 is focusing on Meredith and Derek's relationship which I also know the outcome.......with stating that, as much as it's a night soap opera; I love the show. Did you know, Shonda Rhimes is the creator of Grey's Anatomy? Born January 13th, 1970! A Capricorn like me! She has a bachelor's degree and a master in fine arts from the University of Southern California's school of Cinema. She's also created, The Princess Diaries, Private Practice and Crossroads. Perhaps in my next life I could be as talented! (Ha ha) Now you know in my spare time I'm watching Grey's Anatomy while finishing this excellent book called, "Second Wind" and soon to be starting "Three cups of tea" This is all happening after 8pm! Now it's laundry, baking, walking the dogs and preparing Chicken pot pies.........a talent I do endlessly!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"It's that time again!"

It's that time again! In previous posts that I've written before that are no longer available, I wrote about our experiences and the importance that Camp Homewood provides for our children.
Just in case you're not aware, we've been attending an adoptive family camp twice a year at Camp Homewood. Our children are very excited every time we go! For us it's not just a camp with multiple activities. It's a camp where we all have something in common, adoption. There is a few families that attend religiously including ours. All of our children have established friendships, not only friendships but a support network of friends that we call "family" Adoption not only has grown our family significantly, it's grown our family Province wide. In a past post I explained about our extended family, family for us is not only about "our" family. It's about keeping healthy individuals that love our children and that want to be a part of our family together. Past foster parents become Grandparents, healthy relationships between birth family and our family grows through our adoption community. I can't help but write the importance what ALL our family means to us. I would have never thought during our first years adopting that we'd be blessed with so many important people in our lives. It's truly a wonderful life we lead. This wouldn't be possible if I didn't contact Cathy Gilbert, an Adoption Support Coordinator for Central and North Vancouver Island. A mother of sixteen children and a family that we've come to know and love. Through her we've met many families that are now a part of ours. Camp Homewood wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for Cathy. With her help, we've been able to support our adoptive community by hosting potluck dinners through-out the year and continue to hold our annual Christmas Party. A beautiful woman and friend! Thanks to her, we're off to another adoptive adventure! Camp Homewood! Tonight we had dinner with whom we call family (dear friends of ours) another large family that just connects, we seem to mold together like a bunch of sticks on one tree. The cutest thing was when we're saying, "Goodbye" our children were counting sleeps until they saw each other again, six sleeps until Camp Homewood! Six sleeps until we see our whole network of extended families! Our BIG flashlight Dad that saves the night with his technical abilities and completely awesome talented children that inspires us all with magic! Oh and Dianne, "I hope your family is coming this time!" Even I'm counting the sleeps, 6,5,4,3,2,1! See you there!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Seasons are changing"

Every one had a snow day today. We wanted to make sixteen snowmen to soon resemble the size of our family but stopped at six! The snowmen seem to be "hanging" out slowly melting away!
Reminds me of the movie Jack Frost where the snowman comes to life! Changing form. Our children did a great job while throwing snow balls at each other. It turned out to be a gorgeous warm day, I myself was getting excited about the seasons to come! I know that many of you with children, waiting possibly again to adopt more children understand the feeling I usually explain it "being pregnant" Most of you know we're adopting "yes" again and as time moves on, the weather changes, the more pregnant I get! I've held off this time in purchasing anything. I've held off in writing about adopting. We're just moving forward with our children in waiting. It's interesting with our children how they're so openly accepting of another sibling, it warms my heart. After all if anyone; our children know that there is so many children currently waiting in Foster Homes for a forever family. A place where they can have a Mother and a Father, a name, a future forever that they can depend on. Sure there's challenges but we accept challenges as a learning curve, without a challenge, we don't become stronger as individuals. Our next foreseen challenge is a vehicle. We're definitely going to look more seriously into a Handy Dart. We've thought about a 15 passenger although that's all it is, a 15 passenger with no room for anything else. Today building multiple snowmen in the sun fighting the melting snow I sensed the seasons changing. Weird? Probably. I've been known to be crazy with having a large family and what's even crazier is I think it's crazy not to have a large family if you can. If you can, if you want too, why not? Perhaps I was day dreaming but one fact I know for sure, the seasons will change and so is our family - to 14 children and holding. Through-out our journey I've realized that people don't understand why we want to adopt children, adopt children with special needs, continue to adopt becoming a larger family. How we can? If I wasn't me, I would be looking in questioning the same way. I've also realized that I can answer these questions over and over again without getting people to understand. Finally realizing that it doesn't matter because it's not their life. They aren't us. Respectively leaves me in a comfortable place with our family; that it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is our life works for us, we're happy and we wouldn't have it any other way. For the families that understand, support and are on our same path, I wish you the same feeling as I get when I sense the seasons are changing. Love and forever growth.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"The road to a friend's house is never long"

I received a gift I didn't want for my birthday! I don't ask nor do I need anything. I awoke to an infection in my forehead that has swollen into my left eye! I'm not sure the cause. Possibly a bug bite. Never in my life have I had any facial deformities but on my 38th Birthday I do! My Mother told me back on January 10th, 1973 we had lots of snow just like today. It reminded her of my birth. Today I basically stayed home accomplishing my typical duties of keeping a tidy house. While my littlest son played in the snow I was able to read another few chapters of Second Wind. It's a great book. 2011 is becoming a reading year. My second oldest daughter bought me a book another friend suggested, "Three cups of Tea" One mans mission to promote peace, one school at a time. A quote Tom Brokaw made was, "Thrilling.....proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world" It's about a man that builds 55 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan mainly for girls. So I'm really excited to start this book after finishing Second Wind. My precious children awoke this morning and one by one wished me a Happy Birthday. One of our sons wrapped up his white fluffy teddy that looks like our dog Wilbur and gave it to me. When I opened it, I smiled and gave him a big hug. When I was alone I had to smell the stuffed dog to make sure that the brown marks were indeed chocolate! I placed it nicely on my bed. My twelve year old son who I referred to before spent his own money and bought me a CD and hair clips. He didn't want to wait, I needed to open the present before he went to school. It's really cute witnessing your children being so excited to give something which makes it so meaningful. Moments like these I breathe in deeply because it really doesn't last long. I might not ever again receive a chocolate covered white stuffed dog so it's important to savor these moments. Just like watching our littlest son play in the snow, he looks so small in his snowsuit but yet acts so big. During my afternoon I decided to make cupcakes, iced with little heart flakes all over to celebrate with our children. From there I had a nice dinner with a friend, with my oldest daughter followed by a movie. It was a good day. My friend that I've known for twelve years gave me a very thoughtful gift, a silver plated book mark saying, "The road to a friend's house is never long" That's true. I will drive any distance to visit a good friend. It's becoming a regular drive heading South! For now, I need to ice and take ibuprofen for my unwanted gift and send it away!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"We try BUT life isn't fair"

My husband seems to be really good getting our children to fall asleep during a story. I wonder if that's because he has a lack of enthusiasm? He's definitely a great father. He's outside right now bombing around the yard dragging our children on sleds while I fold endless laundry! I know the snow hills are packed full of people so pulling sleds on our property sounds more realistic for us! Our children are having a great time. It reminds me when we take our children tubing or wake boarding in the summer, except knee boarding on snow behind a quad. There is only one issue with our children that seems to surface on a regular basis. I know and understand this is normal for siblings. It's always not fair according to someone. For one of our sons to him, it's never fair. It doesn't matter if his turn was first or if he gets many turns, it's just not fair when he's not getting a turn! It's a no win situation. It's interesting because my husband and I can spend whole days with different exciting events for our children but still at the end of the day, someone isn't happy. Life isn't fair! An argument will break out about how many turns he had compared to someone else but the funny part of this, he wasn't even counting. Usually our one son that's hard to please always has the most turns, always has the most attention and it's still not good enough. My husband and I recognize that our energy is always directed to our one son. With stating this, this doesn't mean anyone is left out but if we drafted on paper the percentages on time with each child, our one son is at the top of the list! Of course he doesn't see it that way. So I'm starting to think about different strategies. Trying to be sensitive to his needs because he wants to be validated with any of his thoughts. Even if most are elaborated stories! For our son, I recognize that he spends most of his time attention seeking, usually with negative approaches. I also have noticed bullying, manipulation and deception behaviours. He avoids accountability's for his actions at all cost and usually passes blame onto others including my husband and I. While I write this, our son also exhibits compassion, thoughtfulness and giving. He shares, honestly I can say he loves and cares for everyone in his life. He is really awesome with younger children. Very helpful and has many excellent qualities. He has come a long way since we adopted him! He shows us affection and rarely do we hear, "You don't care about me!" anymore. Our first year with him we were not his family, we were a family. We were A family that didn't care and slaughtered animals in the backyard! I'm proud now to say we're HIS family that wants to move to China. So we've come a long way. See, I am a thinker. With all of our children, I think about what we can do differently to change what is. Now I'm thinking about how to improve negative attention seeking......I know if we proceed to involve ourselves with the negative behaviour, our son is getting exactly what he wants. So we need to attend and recognize the positives more and ignore the negatives. I keep reminding myself a saying I heard at a Seminar last year, "Don't jump on their train" I know that we're guilty sometimes for overlooking their efforts. Acknowledgement is important. I think it takes practice to learn to acknowledge when a child is being good, so noticing and commenting everyday about their good behaviour should change the bad. This must work with attention seeking, if we acknowledge the positive ways he's seeking perhaps the negative way will diminish. I'm really not convinced this would change the "It's not fair" attitude after a days fun but it's a step that everyone should constantly be aware with raising children. As a thinker, it affects me in negative and positive ways. I should always catch myself and turn any negative thinking into a positive outcome. I speak of positive energies a lot which I completely believe that if you awake with a positive attitude and focus, usually your day will be productive with positive outcomes. I know with raising teenagers that if I approach them negatively with their issues, it's a recipe for disaster. Instead of asking, "What did you do that for?" I have been sensitively approaching suggesting, "Maybe you should try this instead of" or I will say, "When I was your age, I did......" Power of suggestion instead of putting their ideas or what they did down will receive better results. "What do I know?" I'm not always right either. I'm learning as their Mother to try different strategies, different approaches to each and every one of them in hopes that I can curb some negative attention seeking. To develop a feeling of fairness regardless how many times one will have a turn or how long it was. I guess for me, like writing, it's about reminding myself everyday on how to deal with what's presented to me. On how I deal with it will hopefully change their response. We'll see, life is a learning curb for all of us and every path leads us to new directions, new attempts to make life fair.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Deep fried chocolate bar soothes the stress"

Here I am after an interesting week of events contemplating all the scenarios that laid down before me. Unfortunately the court case has been adjourned onto its third day sometime in the future. I heard we'll get a phone call about the next date. By the end of the first two days I was feeling pretty good. My feelings had nothing to do with what was going on in Court. It was how our side was reunited, these are individuals that were once my neighbors and just amazing people. Nothing about being in Court is soothing to ones stress. It's truthfully a tenseful atmosphere. During the breaks we were able to remove ourselves from this intensity, walk and just enjoy each others company. It was really nice to reflect back and reconnect again. During one of our walks we found this little place that deep Fry's everything! It's absolutely NOT healthy but definitely satisfying to your taste buds. I was hesitant in trying anything. So between five of us, we shared (that consisted of one bite each) a deep fried Mars bar! Exactly like this picture above. It looked disgusting. It was one of those items that you just spooned up with whipping cream and opened wide not looking at it! I tried it for the experience to say, "I tried it" Honestly, I might try a bite again. Although I will always remember the experience because it was with people that I used to know, people that shared the last few days and we support each other. So am I looking forward to a third day in Court? "Yes" because I will get to have another days opportunity to give another hug, to reunite and to support. My wish is for everyone involved including the woman fighting to save her beloved dogs, peace and understanding to be able to move on after the decisions are made. I personally believe it's very clear the outcome but everyone deserves a day or years in Court. ( I think ) Just like everyone deserves at least one bite of a deep fried mars bar! A bar battered in batter that is typically used on fish and other battered products. Sounds yummy huh?! Perhaps next time we'll try the Snickers bar smothered in ice cream and butterscotch sauce! Until then, I'm back home eating healthy and once again realizing everything happens for a reason. Even a summons to appear in Court can have positive results!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Death Row Dogs Retrieved

Dogs on Death Row

In the matter of.......

The first week of the New Year has brought me back to March 2005. I can't write and share all the details although my New Year has been meeting with Lawyers, sitting in a Provincial Court room testifying as a witness to a complaint I made to the SPCA back in 2005. (Above are already published News clips of the case I've been summoned to witness at)Last year I was summoned to court, (thought it was over) then with the application against this certain individual she won an appeal, that lead to another summons to court on New Years Eve, starting my New Year in a stuffy, stressful and interrogating situation. It's nice when you're advised that if you do not attend as required, an application may be made to a Judge of the Provincial Court to issue a warrant for your arrest. This case has been going on for years against a certain individual, not only am I a witness, there is more then six others! Two SPCA complaints that were horrific and this individual is definitely intelligent and representing herself. Because she's representing herself, she also cross examines every ones testaments. I found this ironically bizarre. Today, all day I developed many different emotions. Feeling my heart flutter into panic, asking for water because I didn't correctly name the exact part on my little multi poos body was enough to send me into a slight argument reasoning why I called it what I did. Too feeling like I messed up my whole statement while being clearly confused on multiple pictures that I had to remember from six years ago. The case? The accused is trying to save her three dogs from being euthanized from incidences (attacks) that started back in 2003. Two attacks that were horrific. My story. (Which I am allowed to explain) Our family lived in a different area that we do now, I used to run around this 2 km loop in our old neighborhood with our two dogs. Our two older dogs now deceased. Fritz and Chester. Fritz was my Multi poo and Chester was our chocolate lab. During this one incident, these three dogs came running out of her property barking and one of her dogs bit the back of my Multi poo. I immediately picked him up, yelling at the dogs to go away while the owner smiled from her fence line. This is the call I made to the SPCA that puts me where I am today. On another incident, she was out on the road with her dogs and her horse. Her dogs were off leash. I again, immediately picked up my little dog, trying to walk past her. That's when she approached me with her horse near my face, I asked her to back off with her horse. She then told me to stay off the street or she'll sick her horse on me. From then on, I ran the other way. In the court room today she cross examined me with pictures, with statements from last year, with the initial complaint report from 2005 and to proceed for approximately an hour asking me about the size of my dog that isn't irrelevant to the attack itself. Waving a stuffed dog in comparison on the size of what a multi poo should be. Her possible point was multi poos must of looked like rabbits to her dogs. (Not sure) As I was listening to the other witnesses at points I cried. The mauling, blood, broken bones and trauma the owners and their children experienced is horrific. A traumatic experience they have to re-live in the court room yearly after winning appeals. This I couldn't understand. Here is a owner protecting her three dogs that have been labelled vicious, they have torn apart other peoples pets and she's cross examining us? This case has made the news last year, it's located all over the Internet and hopefully is coming to a close. When reflecting back it made me remember how terrifying dog attacks can be, how helpless you feel, the intimidation to run the other way. Now I as only one witness is facing hopefully justice. Hopefully these other families can have peace while still living in the same neighborhood. I was initially upset being summoned again but after a long day today, I realized I needed to be there for these other people that have suffered and still suffer the reality of these remaining issues. While watching this woman representing herself, I had feelings of "Wow" a strong lady, a lady that truly loves her three dogs to go to this extent to save them but while dressed in a Buddhist robe, holding prayer beads - she doesn't represent compassion. Compassion is showing compassion to all, today there was no compassion about our injured pets or how we were feeling. Clearly in the right frame in mind we eventually if not right away take responsibilities for what's right and wrong. As much as it's sad that the outcome should be the euthanizing of her dogs, it's the right choice for the continued protection of that neighborhood. Another day in court might answer that question. In the meantime, tomorrow (Friday) I'm back to the court room in hopes everyone can relax with some sense of peace. Some closure. Then I need to dispute my violation notice because I exceeded my parking time where there was no visible signs stating my time frame of where I parked! Always tickets issued in Emergency or Government parking lots! "Mmm..." I even parked a couple kilometres away to avoid what they placed nicely on my windshield and I'm still smiling because this is going to be an excellent 2011!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Oprah - you go girl!"

I took our children to Cyber City today. Three hours of climbing around in a hamster cage while I read Oprah. Oprah starting January 1st has started her "OWN" network. (Oprah Winfrey Network) In her magazine she was explaining that to fill the time 24/7/365, you need close to 9000 hours! She so far has 600! So as she stated she has a lot of work ahead of her. I admire people that can take leaps. I believe those leaps are the ones that makes someone successful in anything they decide to do. A quote Oprah said that she knows for sure was, "Once you clarify your purpose for doing something, the way to do it becomes clear" She's an inspiring, intelligent, compassionate, successful woman. When I do watch any television, I will tune into her network. From what she explains she wants her network to have meaning, inspirations and life lessons. One of her premiere shows starting in the spring is called, "Kidnapped by the kids" This series will teach that the children want their parents quality time, it's not about the time away working to get items the children want or what the parents might of never had. Children need to feel loved. Oprah is hoping that this show will be life-enhancing for children and parents. It was an interesting read while I thought, "Wow, why not start the New Year with your OWN network teaching others about love and compassion" I love Oprah! If anyone making millions (billions) it should be Oprah! Another section in the Oprah Magazine was about a higher love. About a woman with only a months preparation to trek to the base camp of Mt. Everest! Not only did she accomplish it, she accomplished it with her daughter. This is a place I've based my dreams around. Trekking through the Himalaya's, visiting Kathmandu Nepal is really only one destination I would love to accomplish before I can't. Our home decor and the word "Namaste" comes from this part of the world. In my bedroom I have two panoramic posters given to me from a First Aider that hiked to the top of Mt. Everest. He called them, "The world from the summit of Mt. Everest" Not only did he get to experience this largest Mountain in the world, he also adopted a little boy from Nepal. It's really exciting hearing stories and being able to communicate somewhat with their Nepalese language. People have told me that they've thought I've already been there - unfortunately a dream that I incorporate into our lives at home. From learning the history, reading the stories, learning the language and learning to prepare their food helps me with my dream. Dhal bhat a seasoned lentil that you pour over basmati rice is one of their main foods in which I prepare. I'm always inspired about stories that involves Nepal and Mt. Everest. An inspiring quote this woman explained in her article was "For some people, trekking to Everest base camp is not a prize, it's a punishment, but some of the most powerful and rewarding experiences are the things you probably hated the most when you were doing them" When I was reading this I was thinking again, "Wow, that's a powerful and completely honest statement" As Oprah, success doesn't come easy, we all have to take risks, we have to reach out of our comfort zone and push ourselves to better ourselves. January 2nd reading in a noisy hamster land with children everywhere, I reassured and enlightened myself with another "AH HA" moment thanks to Oprah. These aren't just stories, these are stories that can be our lives. With focusing our energy positively, making the proper steps forward (even if their out of our comfort zone) we all can become successful with what we want for ourselves within the future. Of course I'm a Mother of many, I won't be trekking Nepal anytime soon but I'm a Mother with a mission. Which is making a difference in children's lives. Not only making a difference but hopefully directing our children to be successful with theirs. Don't let fear hold you back, whatever you want in your life, you can do it. For example, I never thought I could pass my practical exams in first aid. I have had many written and years ago when I had to fully package a code 3 patient within 15 minutes and of course stabilize breathing by inserting an OPA (Ora pharyngeal Airway) teach another to breathe for my patient while splinting a broken femur and stop deadly bleeding was completely stressful. Stressful because I was being examined! I didn't want to be where I was, I swear I had the worst case scenario! As tears ran down my face my examiner asked me, "Carrie why are you crying?" I explained to him I failed. He looked at me with a smile and said, "You passed 100% and will make an excellent First Aider" That moment in my life I cried like a baby, a moment I still remember fondly because it taught me to believe in myself. Yes it was hard, I hated every minute but years later, I can now challenge the course. You just have to believe, hurdle through those moments that you might not want to do, take those risks and success will be at your finger tips. Just like Oprah! Reading is inspiring, another book I want to purchase is "Second Wind" about a woman with a midlife request to run seven marathons on seven continents. She decides to take up running for therapy, a quest to find herself. She's not physically fit but she's living proof that even those who tend to stay at the back of the pack can still be winners - K. H. It sounds like a great read, my next read in fact for 2011! Let's race towards life, challenge it and accomplish all odds! I have many ideas including sprucing up my grammar and writing a book someday!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ok...."Back to school"

School. I honestly as always have mixed feelings about our children going back to public school. I always will. We will have more children to home school in the future but until then while it feels safe to send them to the public school system they will go. Safe meaning not peer lead. Right now our children have innocent socializing and friendship building. Something that I believe is important is friendships. Hopefully developing core friends within Elementary and Middle School will direct them in healthy relationships come High School. If not, I'm definitely pulling the plug come High School for public education. Now that they're going back after the winter holidays, I'm already thinking about Spring break! Spring break is one of those times that is difficult due to weather. Two weeks of wondering what to do in the rain. The Mountain snow is getting slushy but warm enough to enjoy the sun glistening down on your face. Usually it's beautiful weather during the Spring at the Mountain. That's when we should have spent a week! Blizzards aren't fun for anyone! Even the avid skier! Otherwise if we're blessed with nice weather, I love making day trips all over the Island. One of my favorite times of year is the end of June. I'm already day dreaming about our two month vacation! It couldn't come any sooner! Going back to school after the winter vacation is no where near the preparation as going back to school in September. I am ahead of the game with my baking! Some of our children have nice new wardrobes and they seem more excited then I. Two and a half more months for Spring break and six months left of school. Time moves where we live. From now until then we're going to have big changes to look forward too! So I'm not wishing the time away but I can't wait until the time I can spend more time with my family. Perhaps since I'm thinking this way I should start planning for next Christmas! One thing I know it won't be happening in a blizzard, our children shouldn't have the fifth disease because they had it this Christmas and we will be at home! For now, it's back to school! In the meantime, we already have commitments that will take up our time! Camp Homewood, Birthday's every month, adoption planning, Graduations, planning summer vacation, fitness and creating a new craft. What we do with our time is endless and I love it that way!


On the last evening of 2010 we were invited over to our best friends/family's house. To describe our relationship would be an extended family through adoption. Without adopting, attending many adoptive family events and hosting, we wouldn't have had the pleasure of knowing and developing such a bond. I keep writing on how adoption for us hasn't been just children, it's been adding to our family in so many levels. Our children are so excited to commune together with some families that I feel it's extremely important to keep this connection going. A connection of understanding, trust and just that compassion for each and every one of us knowing we're all different and accepting each other for who we are. Even those off the wall moments are understood. Those are families we want in our life and hope to continue not just in 2011 but forever. I really believe having these connections are not only great for some of our individuals struggling or will struggle, we are families that can be a support network to each other without judgement. I've always stated that our home is open, it will always remain that way for these loving families we've come to love and know. AND what perfect way to end 2010 spending it with one of our founded family's through adoption! We had a beautifully made dinner consisting of Turkey and cabbage rolls. A dinner that seemed endless topped with homemade pies, tarts and turtles! We definitely celebrated the ending of 2010 with food! Our children have referred to them as "Auntie, Uncle and their cousins" This morning while reflecting back into 2010 it's been educating. That's my word that first enters my mind. I could probably write a book. Unfortunately for the privacy of others I wouldn't do that. I feel very content within myself knowing that I can genuinely support and honor friendships. That through-out the 2010 year I've learned to fact this happened closer to the end of the year. It was like a light-bulb where I basically decided that I'm here to do the best I can for my family, my extended families and friends. Perfectionism is non-existent, no ones perfect and everything happens for a reason. We need challenges in life to learn, so basically I'm coming into a part of my life understanding and embracing it. I also believe that with time, a high percentage of our life struggles are resolved. Perhaps this is where my calm nature surfaces and I keep telling our children to have patience. Especially our young adults. 2010 we thought we lost our oldest son to his peers. What I learned? We did momentarily. It was really hard for me, it was a shock. I even thought I had no forgiveness. What I learned in 2010 was having more patience, developing more understanding and most importantly for my son, I learned to forgive. He's home and as far as I'm concerned doing really well. I learned forever means like our wedding vows, "I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life" If anything I'm thankful that 2010 was educating for me. Just a learning process within. With writing this, I think all us parents feel this way but also won't be subjected for abusive situations. That's where time and patience is really important. January 1st. A beautiful sunny cold day for 2011. Today everyone asks what our next year looks like. I really don't want to expect but our hopes is continuing our adoptive events, enjoying our special moments with our family and friends. A trip up North to see our missed family and meet our new adoptive nephew, finish the last touches on our home and welcome our potential new children to their forever family! If I could write names of people that made 2010 significant for us I would but I know you know who you are and I thank you so much for being a part of our family! It means so much to all of us. (I cherish you in my heart) 2011 feels full of positive energy, that's all we need to say today! Happy New Year from our family to yours!