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Friday, October 28, 2011

Tis the occasion comes the season!




Happy Halloween. Our Friday night consisted of gutting and carving pumpkins. It was a three hour process. We managed to carve eleven pumpkins. There was an alien, a few big teeth guys, a pikachu, a stick man, a ghost, a spider, a few happy faces and a "little mom" because I chose the smallest pumpkin. Our home smells of burning pumpkins slash roasting pumpkin seeds! I made two different pumpkin seed flavors, my traditional with garlic and seasoning salt. The other has more zing with a Spanish seasoning. One thing I love with every occasion is the different smells that distinguish one from another. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. In the past I dressed up. Now I take the day walking around in my pajama's with my bed hair. It's one day a year I can actually get away with whatever I want. What I don't like is the candy. The endless wrappers. Finding wrappers inside, outside and in pockets during laundry. Finding wrappers in the lint screen. Another Mother said that she would allow her children to eat all the candy, go nuts, get sick until it was all gone in a matter of days. Usually we will take the candy and manage it accordingly. Either way, it's an occasion less desired. I do like roasting the pumpkin seeds! And after October 31st is when I really get down to business with the countdown until Christmas. We're really looking forward to Christmas this year because it's at our house with all our family on Christmas day. It will be a big group gathering worth having. (Something we don't do very often, if at all) I find as I get older that life with family is so important. This year I believe to be especially, so I won't hold back.......it's going to be a very Merry Christmas. I'm not writing about "gifts" I'm writing about gatherings with food and games throughout December. Remember December 1st Christmas here begins. (oh boy, oh boy) For us, it's one month away the day after Halloween. So Happy October 31st everyone, no matter how you celebrate it, Nov 1st is the day after and the next season begins!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Aug 14/1999

We've been going through lots of inside material items. Eliminating while shuffling because most of our internal renovations are done! I came across a picture of my husband and I when we were married over twelve years ago. I sat down reminiscing. I remember fondly one of the first conversations we had together. Interestingly enough it was about children. I already had two from a previous marriage. This conversation was about adopting believe it or not. Our original plan was to adopt overseas. We never knew we could adopt within our own Province. We also never realized while saying our vows that we would have a large family. I remember telling my husband that I didn't want to be married. I tried several times to basically get rid of him. I know, I  know........I really wasn't deserving. He never left. He was a man that was already dedicated and knew exactly what he wanted regardless of what I was telling him. Eventually he won my heart. I often hear people say, "It was love at first sight" with their relationships, I personally don't believe that. "Lust at first sight" - maybe; although love is developed through time, connection and compatibility. Thinking back I would change only one detail about our wedding day. Adding my sister. She didn't attend. Otherwise it was a memorable day. We were married on the beach. A simple beach wedding walking in bare feet in the sand. My husband wanted the theme based around his 57 Chevy, so our colors were red and white. Red roses with white Lilly's and our cake topper was a 57 Chevy die cast car. Our wedding wasn't catered, our whole family pitched in and made a wonderful spread of different foods. We rented a little hall and celebrated. The next day we left with our two children to Disneyland. Not exactly a honeymoon but right from the beginning it was about our children. Here's a man with no children taking two then up to fourteen children without question in a matter of twelve married years. (I believed I warned him) Regardless, looking at the picture above reminds me of who we were, where we started and as much as we have our moments, I'm fortunate he's my husband. We aren't perfect but we're still a couple. When I think about him, I think he's a hard working family man. A man that will do anything for his family. In fact, he's a one man show building our home, taking care of our vehicles, absolutely doing everything to better our lives. He gives more then he gives to himself. Always has. When I think about "us" - we are meant for each other. I know of some other large/larger families, and it's not a life for everyone. So meeting someone who is compatible that can grow together through all the challenges raising children and doesn't jump a plane is remarkable! My husband will never leave.......we often joke saying if anything it would be the war of the roses with a white line through-out our house stating, "Do not cross" until one of us gives up holding the peace sign. (It's never come to that) Pictures bring up many memories. We have tons of albums that I can't wait to spread out one evening and have our children reminisce like I do. It's an evening we're all looking forward too. It will bring up conversation, we will laugh and it's a bonding experience for everyone. Like passing the object and letting the one holding the object speak, it will be passing the albums one by one instead of a movie night. (I'll still make the garlic popcorn) For now, I have to go thank my husband for sticking around, being a great provider and Father to all our children. I know all to well, it's a very thankless position to be in. In conclusion, after all this significant reminiscing, I have to write; I give so much acknowledgement and credit to individuals who are single parenting. I recognize what I have with my husband and for those who are parenting alone, wow. Good for you! I mean that soul heartily and if I was a millionaire - I would reward you but for now, I just can't write enough how wonderful you are! For me, August 14/1999 was my winning ticket - my husband.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Action means more then words"

Now that our home is 99% completed inside, it's nothing but transformation out. My husband located on the tractor in the above picture has been contemplating about our property. We sought advice from a expertise source and realized quickly we're going to loose some trees. We found out even laying soil a foot thick or less can kill a tree. It makes sense, burying already rooted trees is a rotting casket. While we assessed our situation, some of our trees are already dying from being disturbed when our home was being built. This made our decision easier. Our plan is to remove the trees if they die. Otherwise our home is nestled with the privacy of nature all around us. When we lived in Fort St John we had a turn around driveway. So my husband is creating just that. A driveway where people can loop in and out. Where our children can drive their go-carts around and around. I've always been a beach comber and we had the idea of large planks of driftwood outlining our driveway instead of landscaping ties. The idea is separating our driveway from the rest of our yard. In hopes one day planting grass. We've been thinking about my greenhouse and where that would go. I always have enjoyed gardening and find it very therapeutic. The idea of a greenhouse raises questions because if a tree falls or a child decides to attack it with a foreign object when we're not looking, the greenhouse will be destroyed. So simple raised garden beds with fencing around it might be the ideal solution. Everything we do, we think about the preventative measures that might need to happen first before building it. (The pros and cons) It's just not about children, it's the area with the ideal lighting and animals. My husband and I work hard enough where we want the ending results to be successful. We have had beautiful weather that we're enjoying outside. So our work projects have shifted from inside to out. In about a weeks time, I will have my own craft room. An actual room where I can leave everything out while not working on it. Go back and it will be in the same place I left it! (Now that's a concept!) People still wonder on how we accomplish everything, basically it's all about "action" We're going to get-er done. I hear tons of people suggesting they're going to do something but nothing ever transpires. It's true, action means more then words. It's like a fine tuned vehicle, it won't run efficiently if not maintained. Like our home, it is what it is because of our work (action) involved. Everything and anything is an action. I'm not going to promise our children they're having fresh buns in their lunches, they are having fresh buns; just like we did build a larger home for our family. Somehow, some way anything can be done. Life isn't an excuse. Life shouldn't be full of broken thoughts. Honestly, our bank said, "Absolutely not, we can not help you build a bigger home" We did it anyway! Our children's comfort, our family's yearly memories with ongoing activities and our promises comes before any excuse known to man. And that's my "Amen" for today!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Honor what can be"

Have you ever felt that you've had a run of the worst luck?  I could feel that way but interestingly enough, I don't. Over three years ago I found a lump in my left breast. Basically it was removed, tested and it was benign. Otherwise a growth that was not cancerous. Anyone who finds something that shouldn't be there worries. It's good to worry because it initiates our own responsibilities to look after ourselves. To be tested. Three years ago I remember in detail the appointments, the time framing before the day surgery removing the foreign mass. There was those uncomfortable appointments, the mammograms and ultrasounds. There was a feeling of unknown. After the surgery there was the waiting process. For myself and probably like many others it's always in the back of our minds. Questioning, "Is this Breast Cancer?" I have someone very close to me that indeed had breast cancer, fought and had a double mastectomy from finding a little lump the size of a kidney bean. Her prognoses wasn't good but she's alive today and cancer free. I think the most of us attend our days without thought about our own health. It's not even about falling unexpectedly ill, who knows when it's our time. I know we can't donate to every cause but who knows that that cause won't be ours. I've come to a realization that my health is very important. I have children but many children that need my presence. My husband without me will struggle. That's indeed the facts. So in my mind, I cannot leave this world until at least our youngest is sixteen. We don't know from one week to the next. Three years ago when I was speaking to the specialist with my final results he said to me, "You might be benign but use this as a wake up call, live your life and none of us are safe from disease" Most of my readers are adoptive parents. Remember waiting by the phone, wondering if this was your child/children? That call wouldn't come. If you haven't waited for a test, it's the same idea. The anxiety builds inside and you want to call, perhaps you call and there is no answers. There is nothing anyone can do but wait. I've been there on several levels. And like adoption, like a disease, if you haven't been in that situation, it's hard to understand. Sometimes hard to support. So what do we do? Everything is internalized. For me, it's mostly burden or why worry another because ultimately the unknown just is, so why burden? That's why there is some people you never knew was sick, or you didn't know they were adopting until their child is placed. It's less stress, less explanation. Less disappointment. I believe this is a rationalized secret until the facts present themselves. I'm writing this because I know all too well about waiting for results. Regardless if it's with health or adoption. We all make decisions accordingly on how to approach our family and friends. I really think that's "Ok" In the meantime, living, enjoying our time with everyone in our life is crucial because who knows. Something I explain to our children all the time - there will be ongoing events of loss so enjoy each other. Treat each other well, love as if every day were its last. I'm turning 39 and I really honor life. Most importantly I believe my inner qualities come from respecting what is and "can be" with personal strength...............and push on from there. We can wait for that phone call, it's on how we're going to deal with it, when it rings.................

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Why we adopt; see lower posted song"

I stumbled across a song that's located below that I titled, "Why we adopt" Out of all our adoptions this song reminds me mostly of one of our sons. He was in ten different foster homes by the age of nine. When we met him, he wouldn't look at us. When we went to "The house" they called it, it was nothing I've ever experienced stepping into. There was workers that came in and out on shifts. I learned it's a typical group home setting. Can you imagine having such a unstable childhood as this? It was scary for all of us because there was no trust. No confidence. No love. Our son was only used to being sedated while mis- behaving and taken away by the police. I remember fondly in our first year him yelling, "Call the police on me!" I then said, "I don't call the police to take away my child" He came to us with a black garbage bag half full of used clothing. No toys. He was separated from all his siblings. Now today, he has a home for as long as he wants it. A family that will remain forever. Listen to the song below, this is why we adopt.

Why we adopt

Be your on soul surfer

I've been thinking about that movie Soul Surfer. About the young professional surfer girl that had her arm completely removed from a shark bite in Hawaii. A factual story. A extremely traumatic and devastating life changing experience. It's a movie that everyone should own because when life seems to become challenging, reflecting on Soul Surfer would inspire anyone to realize that life isn't that bad. In fact, life is what we make it. It's about our choices and on how we choose to deal with different scenarios. Believe me I've had some days of question. Mainly with experience, maturity and education comes our coping mechanisms. I awake everyday with a clean slate. (At least I try too) There is nothing we can do about yesterday. That I have learned. A friend of mine continually says, "In fifty years from now, no one is going to care nor remember yesterday" She's completely right because neither will I! Basically if I (you) know in our hearts that we're doing the best we can, then that's a day forward. Lately I've had many negative comments about my parenting. (stemming from an unhealthy source I will add) The interesting conclusion is regardless on where it comes from, they're not in my position raising fourteen children. Many with special needs, mental illnesses and behaviours. Nor could they. At the end of my daily dedication while everyone is sleeping; I reflect back on all what transpired. When I awake it's a new day. This is what I'm working on for myself every morning - a step forward in a positive direction with a continuing smile on my face. Knowing there is many reasons to feel blessed on a daily basis. My advice for today is if anyone is feeling overwhelmed or just life challenged to their extreme, watch "Soul Surfer" A few quotes I like - because I love quotes!

"Accept the Challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of Victory" - George S Patton

"I have always grown from my problems and challenges, from the things that don't work out, that's when I've really learned" - Carol Burnett.

Lastly and so truthfully a quote to say everyday - "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission" - Eleanor Roosevelt
Soar to your greatest heights - Me

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monkeying around

Every night is exactly the same. I prepare most of our children's plates. Our older "teens" of course make their own. I was told that I'm extremely organized. In fact, I am.  Ever since I was a little girl I lined up every doll. Monkeys were my favorite. Now I line up plates and ten school lunches every night! Lately a few of our children have been literally monkeying around. They have been climbing trees with their Monkey friends and swinging about. While I watch them, it reminds me of my childhood. My mother always had a hard time finding me because I was running through the forest. Sometimes I miss my childhood. If I could do anything over again like everyone my age states, I wouldn't change my childhood but I definitely wouldn't be monkeying around during my teenage years. Although if my life didn't take the course it did, I wouldn't be here today. So I've always believed everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately our life lessons steers us down paths that can be harder then anticipated. In the end, it's a contributing factor on who we become. My husband since a little boy was engine driven, he's now a Mechanic and Auto body Technician soon to be accepting business. For me it was all about typewriters and writing stories, helping people. Now I openly blog and practice first aid. I really think that our childhood dreams can come true. So tonight my husband and I were also monkeying around! (With balloons) We don't get out much but with all this monkey business going on in the trees around here we were laughing a lot! In a previous post I wrote about Laughter Yoga. One of many posts I probably deleted. Laughter is the best medicine and with allowance, anything can be funny! In fact some of the most ridiculous things we've heard is extremely funny. My idea of life is it shouldn't be so difficult and it's really on how we're going to deal with the possible stresses within it. Dinner for example. Most people can't comprehend on how we manage daily but it's on how we lay out our plates. We efficiently sail throughout our days with organization, structure and routine. My three favorite words. Then in between we fill in the gaps with a little monkeying around. Sometimes it can be that simple. (And "No" that's not Monkey poop on their plates!) Laugh - it's good for you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Ho ho ho blabber"

I can't believe it's the middle of October. I'm finally thinking about Christmas. This year we're staying home and I'm looking forward to decorating, having endless nights of company with platters and games. In the next coming weeks I will be smoking salmon and thinking practically what will be underneath our tree come Christmas morning! With many of our children they seem to either loose pieces of their toy sets or break their toys purposely. I'm carefully contemplating what our children need this year. Lately I've been going through their clothing and belongings. The easiest way to do this is pile all of it in the middle of the floor. From there separate into the keep pile and the Salvation Army pile. We have had many garbage bags full leave already! I am not one for clutter or unused items. Our oldest daughter is moving out November 1st and I went through all my kitchen supplies. It turned out I had tons of smaller casserole dishes, crock pots and rice cookers that I don't use. So the back of her jeep is full of items that will be useful for her. It feels therapeutic to unload. I usually do this twice a year. Before the Christmas season is perfect! My husband is finishing the tale ending of our living room, drywall, spraying the ceiling, painting extra and it's going to be SO NICE to be finally finished our house before 2012! 2012 I feel is going to be a wonderful year starting off with myself heading to Edmonton to see my sister in law for the weekend! In the meantime, I'm ready to have a magical Christmas without a blizzard with all our family and friends. I will probably go over board with all the preparations, I remind myself of Chevy Chase in the movie Christmas vacation! Believe it or not, we have a deadline for decor, Dec 1st and that way the whole month is magical.

Remember December 17th from 4-8pm is our annual Adoptive family Christmas party. Bring a gift under $10.00 for each child with their names labelled for Santa's bag and it's a potluck dinner. There will be craft tables, tons of food and dancing. Plus door prizes! For more information and location please email me. Also a more formal invite will be sent out in November, so if I don't have your email address, please send that to hohnstein@shaw.ca



I don't know about you but for me, it's already "tis the season!" and hopefully we'll see you soon on Dec 17th!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Control

Years ago I never knew the truth about our parental rights. These days I'm learning that we don't have any. Anyone raising children should probably know that they don't have any rights. Did you know that your child at the age of twelve can walk into any health unit and confidentially obtain birth control? "Logically it's a great idea because children are becoming afraid to talk with their parents about sex which could lead to more teen pregnancies" the nurse explained. "So why not allow them to freely get what they need elsewhere" Well.....at age twelve this is teaching them that they don't need to seek information nor permission from their parents. At age twelve giving birth control is allowing sexual intercourse. Here's to the beginning of children knowing that "their rights" outweigh what's best for them according to their parents. We have approximately sixteen years to establish good fundamental skills and belief systems for our children, then before we know it, they have more rights then we do! Some of our children we don't have sixteen years; we have as many as we have after an adoption placement - while battling attachment disorders and several other different special needs. You would think there would be more supports in place for parents and especially when there is a history of neglect, addiction, multiple placements and mental illnesses. Not necessarily. Being "sixteen" seems to give teenagers a freedom of decisions regardless if they're right or wrong and there is nothing a parent can do about it. Calling the police is a waste of their resources because you can't keep run-aways home. If you have a mentally ill teenager, you can't physically bring them anywhere without their consent, they don't have to take medication nor seek counseling. Everyone knows there is a child helpline. I recently questioned why there isn't an early intervention program for parents? So when there is a teenager making harmful decisions regarding their lifestyle, their future - why can't parents call for an intervention where help can forcefully happen?! It's frustrating to know while raising children, possibly looking at our three year old wondering how his future will be because ultimately we're not in control of it. Yes we have many years to develop his skills in many ways but you just never know the path he'll choose during those crucial confusing adolescent years in which we have no control. One direction can change everything. My debate was if there was an early intervention for parents basically meaning control, there would be less teenage pregnancies, lower addiction and homeless rates which would resolve in less children in care. Just something so simple could change the course of our future. I keep hearing there is loop holes in our system. Yes we do and these loop holes makes history repeat itself. It's a domino effect. Personally if I'm going to advocate for anything, it would be for our parental rights. I have been patient allowing our teenagers to seek their independence. Seeking independence is one thing; defiant, verbally abusive, "in this cloud" of belief they can do what they want, when they want is completely disrespectful and ridiculously allowed within our society. I've been meaning to write about this for sometime. I know there is parents that don't know what to do and the fact is we don't because we can't do anything but watch shaking our heads in hopes that the light bulb turns back on. Perhaps some of you have no idea on what I'm writing about because you don't yet have teenagers or your teenagers sailed through perfectly fine although just beware. Like me, I am always shocked on what the next day can bring. For us parents, like I'm learning, "It's not about me" I say this everyday. For us, we stick to our guns and that I believe to be caring parents regardless if it looks ugly from the other side. In the meantime, we have many children - many teenagers to parent within our future and lucky for them, we're getting experienced. And a thought; parents don't need to be silent, loop holes within the system can be corrected and with enough avocation, early interventions regarding teenage control could and should happen. This is where our government funding should be directed - where it all begins...........

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Define family

Feeling ill or not it was a beautiful day that wasn't going to be wasted. Thirteen of us decided to go venture off for the day at the corn field. Upon entering there's a fee with a family rate. So I asked if we qualified for this rate. She said, "No" Being that it was a gorgeous day with lineups behind us I thought I wasn't going to stir a fuss although something inside me questioned, "Define family?" Believe it or not, there was a day I wasn't confrontational but having a larger family needs advocating! So while the lineup grew I continued to ask, "How much then because we're one family and on your price list it states a family rate of $20.00?" "So if you aren't going to honor the family rate because of our size, how much? How much is the group rate? How much then if I have two under five, three under ten, six under fifteen and two adults?" I continued to ask. Personally I don't care who's eyes roll these days.....I just wanted to know an amount. The lady was clearly confused and finally said, "You can have our family rate" "Thank you" I said smiling. What was clear, no one could define what a family actually looks like. Personally I think it is honorable for establishments to honor their family rates. Large families will return and that equals profit because we will continue to go where we're acknowledged as a family. Not only that, we bought thirteen ice creams at $2.00 each! I do have to say it was a really great day together. Our children went on hayrides, we managed to find all four of the hidden objects consisting of a flower, a moon, a maple leaf and a star. We fed the piglets, goats and sat near a bomb fire. Definitely a better day. After the day we came home and had a BBQ. As much as I thought our weekend was looking bleak on how I'm feeling physically, it brightened with the sun and with our family enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving Sunday! There was so many moments that made me smile......like our littlest daughter yelling, "Baby, baby" but everyone parroted "Beep Beep" (It was a had to be there moment) Then our eleven year old daughter was feeding an ostrich corn on the cob, she screamed with every bite the ostrich would take but she wouldn't let go of the corn!  After our day I thought to myself......without as many children as we have, our odds on experiencing what we do would be less, our laughter would be minimized and I felt so comforted that most of our children are still filling our days with their joy. We definitely have so much to be grateful for, basically family is people in it on whom we love and care for. With ours, that can be anybody wanting to be here. We've been looking after a little girl for over two years now and she joined us today. She made me a picture saying, "I'm as bright as the sun" (I try to be) Now that Thanksgiving is coming to an end, I'm always thankful for everyone in my life. I always will be even when it's difficult to define on who we are.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Consequences

This week has been a fast moving jet. Unfortunately I'm not feeling well and I haven't prepared for Thanksgiving. A few days ago I thought I had a pinched nerve. I stretched. I used A535. I had hot baths. Thursday I awoke to more severe pain circulating my lower right back, hip and into my groin. From there it has spread down into my knee. The pain hasn't subsided. I went to my family doctor. (I never go and see him unless it's an emergency!) He was concerned I was there! I was embarrassed I was there explaining that I shouldn't be because it's probably a pinched nerve but I explained I can't sleep, I can't walk properly, I loose function with my right leg. It's painful. The only way I could explain myself was saying it feels like a chemical plant burst inside the right side of my body. He looked at me and said, "It's not a pinched nerve" It's more likely Shingles. If it isn't Shingles it's your central nervous system and we'll do more tests next week after the holiday. I'm suppose to watch for a rash or blisters. Today I'm completely consumed on how I feel. Emotionally and physically. Turns out I have Shingles. Anyone who doesn't know what Shingles is, it's a disease that's painful, a blistering skin rash due to the virus that causes chicken pox. I had chicken pox at a young age and later in life some individuals develop Shingles because the disease lies dormant for years until the nervous system is weakened or from extreme stress. In my case, it's affecting my motor nerves which controls movement. So my right side has onsets of paralyses and weakness. In other words, I'm not very happy about it. Today I was going to do my last minute grocery shop for Thanksgiving but I'm feeling slightly lost with my capabilities. I wasn't going to write. Honestly I'm very teary. So Shingles aren't contagious. Although with direct contact with the blisters, someone who hasn't caught the chicken pox virus can catch chicken pox. So now I wonder who of our children will come down with the chicken pox virus? Interestingly enough I asked my doctor, "Isn't Shingles an elderly disease?" It can effect younger individuals if they have a weaker immune system or are under a lot of stress. "OK" I thought. So now that I know I have Shingles, it's approximately 3-5 weeks recovery. A few years ago my father had Shingles. I was told that it was so painful for him he had a hard time wearing clothing and it took months for his recovery. Everyone is different and I'm only at the beginning stage of a disease that I would never think of having. So who knows.....one thing I know is I'm learning that I have to let life go..............I have to let go when our teenagers make poor choices and I have to realize everyone has a destiny. I'm not in charge, only God is. I know this is where most of my stress is. I just have been so consumed on making a great life for our children; I just want so much for our children and when it doesn't go my way, (yes my way) it's very upsetting. This is my life but it's not about me. Confusing? Sure is sometimes. I don't believe I'm in denial but managing feelings is hard to do. Everyone who knows me, witnesses I'm quite positive......probably lately not so much. And that in itself I feel I let people down. I'm guilty as charged and I'm really not feeling well so who cares. That's what my teenagers keep telling me. Although in the end.......everyone does care and reality is reality. For now, my husband is out buying last minute supplies for Thanksgiving because I can't even drive with my right leg. Reality is things that actually exist, not on how they might appear or be imagined. Eventually our teenagers will see this too. The harder part of reality is facing the facts, the consequences of what is. Like me - mine are Shingles most likely caused by stress.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Swimming off the dysfunction while allotting in our shadows"

Today was a pro-d day in our district. Our morning seemed somewhat dysfunctional to begin with because we have a few complicated issues. I believe I'm developing a thicker skin with a sense of humor. We decided today that our focus wasn't on the "complicated issues" and thirteen of us went out for lunch then swimming. We all enjoyed ourselves. I was the mommy shark in the pool grabbing legs and our children just thrived on the positive attention. My husband and I talk frequently about our children. We are very aware and always watching each and every one of our children's behaviours. Although some of our children that have more behavioural issues attract a lot of our attention and it leaves our quieter ones shadowing. This bothers us. For years we have been taking our children out separately but I'm coming to the conclusion it needs to be more often. Our quiet shadows need to be taken out more. Today we went out for the day as a group. We played as one. It was great. Nothing else mattered. I was literally swimming in circles grabbing legs as our children yelled, "Chase me" Our middle bunch was able to venture further off. The funny thing is, is my husband was warned four times about doing something wrong in the pool. I would ask him, "How many times do you have to be told?" Our littlest daughter was so happy, I was doing a lot of therapy with her. Standing, swimming on her front and back, floating and she even bumb scooted all over the shallow end. I watched our children play piggy in the middle, it was a great day! One of our routines was swimming every Sunday. It also minimizes baths. Now when we come out of the pool and into the showers, we've left no space. We had another father laugh saying to his one son, "This is a family shower take-over!" For us it's a process swimming. Try dressing sticky wet children one after another, I usually take six and it's one at a time without disclosing privates. It takes us a good 30 minutes at least to accomplish a change room dressing! I find having a large family you need patience, after all we aren't going anywhere naked! By the time we arrived home, I was making BBQ salmon with rice and peas and our first six children were in bed by seven. Days like these need to happen frequently. None of us was worried, stressed with any complicated issues because we were having fun. That's what life should be about and especially for children. I'm going to admit that I live by my calendar. I look at it every night and every morning. Whatever is written first takes priority unless it's a bigger factor then the other. I've decided to have a separate calendar for our children. A calendar that they can glance at where their name will be allotted. Of course this will be in sequence but it will guarantee them their time with either myself or their dad. Special quality one on one time. It can be here at home or somewhere else. This way any little shadows will be guaranteed their time. Our large family works because my husband and I dedicate ourselves every day. We are constantly watching and thinking about each and every one of our children. This is our life. If anyone is thinking about growing larger as a family, I do stress that it's not easy. We have many little individuals to be responsible for, many teenagers that are giving us complicated issues and even our adult children I'm always looking for ways to help support. Our life is a dedication for our children and that's why it works. 24/7 All I have to say is, "Don't do it, if you can't commit your lifetime" I didn't leave much "Ums" in this conclusion. Basically for us we live it and it might sound easy, but it takes a dedication to raise many different children with special needs and ages. People often ask, "Do you get help?" Meaning a nanny I presume............I smile thinking I'm not Angelina Jolie......answering, "No, it's my husband and I and it's not chaotic" Ultimately it's purely our dedication with structure, routine and organization with some dysfunctional moments and that's when we go swimming!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My blog

I never realized when I started writing that my words would make any impact of any kind or that I would attract any readers. I'm not the greatest with my grammar and vocabulary. I'm also not a professionally educated individual, just a Mother learning to raise children with different special needs. When I write it releases my thoughts, it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong - I'm just another person sharing experiences and sometimes hopeful words of wisdom learned through my own mistakes. After all I'm always searching for answers, a remedy to fix something that transpires throughout our day. I'm starting to figure out I'm not God. I definitely can't fix everything. Today I spoke on an Adoption Education panel for the third time. I enjoy speaking and could probably talk for hours with a-lot of "Ums" connecting to my answering and memory process. I was able to touch base on most of everything but it wasn't in depth like I can be on here. My blog seems to generate different and sporadic topics and sometimes when I re-read I'm rolling my own eyes asking, "What was I thinking writing that!?" But what's done is done like spilled milk. You're probably wondering where I'm going with all my jibber on this post like many others.....this post is for the individuals following my blog for many years. Some I know, some I'm getting to know and many I don't. I receive many confidential emails about my posts and I have to say that I feel so blessed to connect with others. Either they're looking for support or giving me encouraging words that support me during our challenging times. There is one lady that has touched my heart. I haven't met her yet but she's a person who writes me inspiring and beautiful emails. I just want her to know that I'm deeply grateful, appreciative and so honored that she's come forth confidentially through this blog. It's just amazing on how many people that we're unaware of who's out there that can make a difference in ones life. So this post is directed to anyone who feels alone, or feels they're going through something that someone hasn't - we all have gone through something and we all have something to share. We all can be equally helpful in ones life strangers or not. I think what's in the way of helping others is usually judgement and perhaps being afraid of speaking out. I've learned everyone has an opinion, it's our choice if we're going to listen to it or not. Sometimes just listening and leaving with pieces is helpful enough, like my blog. (Take it or leave it) I am dedicating this post to my readers that have connected with me because you've made a difference for me, you've given me the belief that perhaps I'm not all smoke, I can provide some support and if anything some realities that we're not alone as parents. Before this new improved template I wrote over 200+ posts that I deleted. (I regret it now) It was a few years, many hours of my thoughts and feelings I shared. I won't delete again.......because I've come to my own reality that if I'm mis-understood or I'm not the blogger for you, you won't read or you will for entertainment. Regardless there is so many people that have touched my heart, that I continue to write for and I'm so happy to have grown our support system through writing. Again, I'm very appreciative for everyone who opens their hearts and shares. Without it, we all could be lost wondering if we're alone? It's therapeutic to share experiences and feelings. In conclusion, thank-you so much for becoming a part of our lives through this blog. I appreciate it more then you know. Anne - you're wonderful and thank-you so much and I can't wait to meet you! Dhaanyabad..........