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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back on mission

It's been a busy week with Therapeutic horse riding, Occupational and Practical Therapies, Doctor appointments, planning Easter and four birthdays in April! I love special occasions. I attend to go overboard although for Easter we make our own baskets. Everything we want in them for a low cost of $10.00 each! Our April calendar is just squares with notes all over it! I actually have a few dates on there for "Mom" time including a hair appointment with a lady that specializes with curly hair! How exciting! I have this thick, wild frizzy curly hair that is looking neglected these days. I thought it's time to do something about this! In fact I attended a workshop that Brenda McCreight held about Hazardous parenting. Parents that need healing, that need to develop peace through eliminating stressors. Unfortunately I had to leave during the most important part of the workshop although I believe I understood the concept. I do agree and have always believed that us parents shouldn't loose ourselves within our children. I've written a post about pampering ourselves months maybe a year ago and I'm guilty needing reminders that I need to look after myself more. I can become obsessive over my children. I admit it. I am an over-caregiver. Over care-giving can take a toll on us parents. That's why reminders from others are important. Today while I was at another appointment I decided to pick up eye drops. I asked the Pharmacist what would work best for the most extreme conditions. "I have had burning eyes for over twenty years!", I said. Like a child that had sand thrown into their eyes without any recovery. I've learned to live with this because the eye drops I tried twenty years ago never worked. Today I bought a new brand in hopes I will receive some relief because I also know cucumbers don't work either! I quickly found out I temporarily was relieved but this is something I will have to use throughout the day. This is a prime example of neglecting myself just because I can live with it. I don't want to anymore. ((Speaking of eyes, at dinner tonight two funny scenarios went on that made me laugh. One of our sons accidentally squirted a lemon into his eye, this made him cry. Then all of a sudden one of our other sons decided to take a lemon and purposely squeeze his lemon into his eye that made him scream. Which made our other son laugh. Before I could even ask, "What on earth are you doing?" I bursted out laughing. During this our littlest daughter was crying because she just doesn't have any patience.....this resulted in nine of our children "fake" crying at the dinner table which in turn made our littlest daughter laugh hysterically. I was sitting there thinking, "This is one crazy dinner table tonight")) Getting back on topic, us parents are human beings too and we need TLC! We don't have to live with sand and lemon juice burning our eyes. My "back on mission"..... because I was once again reminded to take care of myself physically and mentally IS to take once a month for "Mom". I can divide my obsession I have with my children and give myself at least 25%! I won't be lying around with cucumbers blocking my vision because I love seeing the outdoors. I love exploring, hiking and enjoying what our world offers us. I need to get back to my stairs, go on a occasional hike and get rid of my grey hair! My back on mission plan. What's yours? What I do know if anything, we do have control with ourselves.

"We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies" - Roderick Thorp.

Alice Roosevelt quotes "I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches"

Fill what's empty with positives, empty what's full..... try and eliminate the negatives, scratch where it itches - pamper yourself with eye drops!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Changing the Law"

I spent a few hours speaking with different professionals about teenagers this morning. What I found out was it doesn't matter what authority you might hold, every ones hands are tied concerning teenagers behaviors. I was on the phone to a wonderful officer that explained to me she doesn't have control of her teenagers either. I am constantly stating there is no consequences for young adults. This officer explained until a crime is committed, there is nothing they can do. I then explained if there was consequences during teenage- hood, there wouldn't be a criminal...........I'm finding out as a parent of "a" uncontrollable teenager there is no resources available. With stating that, yes we do have our Ministry of Children and Families although they don't have any power when a child is sixteen and over either. This is where it gets tricky.........sixteen years of age and over has to consent but guess who's responsible? (The parent, although this should be changed - if you can be consensual for yourself) There is definitely a huge gigantic black hole within our system supporting families. I was speaking with an after hours Social Worker and she agreed with me, in order to gain control many laws need to change. My biggest question these days is why can't laws change? I'm somewhat ignorant in this area of life although I do have my own ideas of changing the future. 1. There is always support for a child regardless of the situation, where is the support for the parent? I am not meaning counseling. I mean if we have out of control teenagers, there should be a parent hot line in place where the teenager can be apprehended and placed into a safe, stable lock-down without the teens consent. Every situation would be directed accordingly and the length of stay is also not a teenagers decision. Like an intervention. I completely understand there is no funding from our government nor is this a supported or logical idea although isn't prevention the key to success? Wouldn't we have less imprisoned adults? Less adults on welfare? Less real homeless adults? If there was a preventative measure taken when it all began????? 2. Why should a teenager get away with their actions? Without consequences they're laughing and planning their next event while mocking it all over facebook. They just continue to build their disrespect for our police force, our Ministry and their parents. When a teens behavior is "out of control" I believe serious consequences should exist. (Having no consequences shows the teen they aren't loved) As I know sometime in their future (hopefully) they'll thank the individuals that were there maintaining a sense of normalcy with some action of discipline. Some have said eventually their lifestyle and choices will catch up with them, they have to hit rock bottom before accepting help. Ok. We have experienced this in the past and we came out on the positive side but what if that never happens? I guess it's the choice they've made correct? BUT if there was an intervention earlier there would be NO "but" on foretelling their future or at least a better hope, it doesn't. Parents need their power to continue to raise their children into healthy successful adults especially through these temperamental searching for their own independence years. What is completely ironic to me is everyone that I've talked too agrees....... so like the "Amber Alert" we should be developing a "teen alert" before it's too late. You know, laws are changing all the time and I believe the laws need to change concerning the consensual rights of under aged kids. Perhaps the future will be a better place.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Whale of a time!"

It was a gorgeous day to travel into Tofino. We had a picnic lunch in the sunshine in Tofino. Played at the local park, searched out the Whale festival activities and played on Chestermans beach. After that we hiked the 2km Wild Pacific Trail to the lighthouse in Ucluelet. Perfect distance for our children to experience a glimpse of our West Coast. Guess what was even more exciting then anything!? We saw several whales blowing water as they were migrating towards Alaska! It was a great feeling to know even so far away, we were close enough to be a witness to such an amazing mammal! The sounds of the ocean smashing across the rugged rocks, the warm sunshine and our nature friends made our day memorable. It was a day experiencing our First Nation's culture and learning about our Coastal wildlife. Did you know that the Grey Whale swims at 4.8 -9.6 km per hour and they take 2-3 breaths over 15-30 seconds? Did you know that whales and elephants are the only animals with physical brains larger than a humans? See I'm still learning with our children and I'm finding it's fascinating! From what I understand, the Whale totem represents communication, music, maternal instinct and emotional sensitivity. Whales are excellent Mothers and also have a distinct sound resembling music. We are believed to be as one. Today while listening to our children scream because they witnessed the whales splash from their blow holes was enough for me to know they appreciate these magnificent animals too and it was a trip worth driving for! Now that our spring break is coming to a close, we were able to accomplish many ideas off our it's back to a more strict routine!

"We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? - a world without whales. It's too terrible to imagine." - Pierce Brosnan.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Housing run-aways"

First off I have to thank one Mother that called me in regards to our run-away teenager. Secondly I'm tired of being silent about this issue that is so bizarre to me. "Housing run-aways" Our family dynamics with different special needs and attachment issues will likely heighten our percentage for teen run-aways. What I don't understand is why parents will house teenagers that aren't their own without consulting or investigating why a teenager deems themselves "homeless?" We're in a society that 99% of the cases there is a home and if not, there is the Ministry of Children and families. So why on earth would a random parent house, feed, clothe and take responsibilities of a youth that isn't theirs? Unfortunately if the answer is because the teen was cold, starving and complaining about their current living conditions, it doesn't hold ground with me. I as a responsible parent would contact their legal guardian. We should all know that teenagers are seeking their independence in one form or another, (and if you're not experienced with that) consult someone that can lead you in the right direction. Do not house a child that isn't yours. It's enabling and should be considered against the law. Our teenager is a complete manipulator, therefore opening your door will only cause you grief. You have no idea the past history, any current physical and mental conditions. It's just so mind boggling to me knowing that parents allow someone they do not know into their home. Perhaps it could be a risk to you!? Any how, our teen run-away has been enabled for quite sometime because people believe they should help but in fact they created the opposite. Also without knowing the facts, (contacting me) please do not assume we haven't done everything possible to help our child. I will invite you over for coffee and pleasantly give you an enlightenment. I decided to write about this topic because it's just unbelievable on how many run-away teenagers are enabled to keep running because of individuals claiming they're helping "the teens" situation. There is teenagers everywhere manipulating people and I'm sorry, there should be a consequence for the parents housing children that aren't theirs. That might correct the problem and have less teenagers on the street. I walked by a young teen, dressed wearing a hoody, DC shoes and a clean baseball cap just the other day asking for money because he's apparently homeless. I told him to go home or contact the Ministry. One great attribute our Country has is foster care. No child is homeless unless they choose to be. I do understand there is certain scenarios that warrant children to run but again, investigate it before opening yourself up to manipulation and a responsibility you will regret. So I'm speaking out for all the families that have run-away teenagers and I want to say, "You're not alone and I understand your frustrations when your child is enabled to run" "It's not your fault and us parents need some recognition that we've done the best we could" I'm no longer silent. If my dear teenager is reading this, you know the truths sweetheart. You know what you need to do and you're not homeless. Homeless people are the poor individuals that come from circumstances that have left them on the street, like above. They have no supports. Teenagers have supports, our children definitely have supports. So whoever you are, perhaps you're a parent that has housed or are housing a run-away, my only advice is to do your homework.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ocean adventures

Today we had a great time in Victoria. Twelve of us went to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre where we spent a few hours exploring all different kinds of ocean creatures. Some of our children were watching an Octopus eating a crab. Where the octopuses tentacles wrapped around the crab and crushed it! Almost barbaric! Our children enjoyed learning about the life that exists underneath our ocean. It was a beautiful day. We packed a picnic and had lunch outside on the waterfront. Our littlest daughter waved and waved to the birds that circled around us and for me, just breathing in that fresh ocean air put a smile on my face. Spring is finally here! Those snow flurries can't fool us. After the discovery centre we went to our favorite child friendly restaurant, "Red Robin" Bottomless drinks with endless fries! One of our sons had four chocolate milks! Our waitress was excellent.............we didn't have to ask her for anything. She just kept coming. If a drink was finished, immediately there was one to replace it. Dishes were taken away, endless fries were coming and all our children enjoyed a strawberry sundae! I used to supervise a restaurant and I have to say, this waitress was on top of her job! When my juice was finished, I didn't even have to ask for water - there it was! Probably the best service I've seen in awhile. (Although we don't eat out much) Regardless, a big thank you "Nicolah" as it was a busy night for her! On our way home we had tons of giggles, lots of under the sea talk and an extremely funny dancing barbie doll my husband was playing with! My big kid. Our spring break adventures aren't over yet, next up the Pacific Rim Whale Festival!

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Yummy food - not!"

Food. Normally we don't really think about what we're eating. Did you know chickens are raised fatter in half the time then the ole days? We all want white meat, so they are physically enhanced in their breasts from steroids in their food. Forty nine days from chick to chicken. Chickens are normally my favorite meat but I'm heavily contemplating on becoming a vegetarian. I'm not a huge meat eater to begin with but after watching a documentary on our food production, I'm not thrilled on how our meat is produced! A poultry house is disgusting. Did you know that corn is a filler? Corn is cheap and makes cows fat quickly. In fact corn is in everything including coke! Four hundred cows are killed an hour in the slaughter houses. When I was watching this documentary "" it wasn't an enlightenment but a reminder that with our forever growing population our food products come from mass production. Thousands of workers day after day usually have the same job as the food rolls through. Did you know one hamburger can contain different parts of a thousand cows? I am so glad that I don't eat red meat! The factories kill ecoli bacteria with ammonia before packaging. I remember when I was a child having our own little shed, a mini slaughter house for hanging deer meat. Hunting and fishing was a part of my childhood. We lived off of wild meat. Back then I didn't have a problem with it, in fact I learned fish eye balls bounce. I was a typical tom boy and our food back then was more likely better for us. Now thirty two thousand pigs are slaughtered daily in their own urine. The problem with today's society is money. Growing population, more products equals more money. I'm amazed on how one or two decades can change our lives. Revolution is definitely in control. It's a personal choice to make a lifestyle change, food is and has been on the top of my list. I know that when you pour coke on raw pork worms come out - it's fact. Pork if anything is the least of my desires. (We rarely purchase pork) Writing about worms, cook your white fish well! (A tip) Well I hope I didn't ruin your appetite, we all know that most foods are not that great for us, anything can be contaminated and most foods are full of fillers. Like my spur of the moment activities, my thoughts written can be as sporatic and unlike my blog title, food is and can be yummy too! Bon appetite!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"We split up"

Spur of the moment "me" decided to take five of our children to our local mountain for the weekend. My husband had our other half. I made the funny comment that "we split up" in fact we split in half and went our separate ways for two days! My weekend consisted of digging a cave tunnel into the chalet that hasn't been used for awhile. (Picture above) The shoveling took a few hours but my children didn't complain because during the shoveling process, most of my boys were making their own sled hill with a jump. I wandered over and jumped on the sled with four of my boys attached to me, down we went, flew over a jump and bam! We were "ok" I've been having some problems with my right hip lately so I only tried that once! We ended our Friday night with board games and a LATE night movie! My husband had a much safer evening with a walk and a early night at home. Saturday we ventured to the tube park and it was a very beautiful sunny weekend! During Saturday evening there was over twenty children in the neighboring chalets making snow caves and having snowball battles, boys verses girls. They had lots of fun! My husband took his half swimming and out for dinner. He made a comment to me that it was peacefully quiet around here without my half! What's really nice about splitting up and going our separate ways is we can accomplish more activities according to need and our children get a break from each other in smaller groups. My husband and I don't discuss our agendas one hundred percent because he's in charge with his half and I'm in charge with mine. Come Sunday night we all have something to share at the dinner table! My husband said it was great, they slept in and he noticed a few things that he never did before with one of our daughters. I also concluded that he slept in because I had all the early morning culprits! My only new enlightenment this weekend was with one of our sons; he has more spunk, more dare-devil in him that I knew about! Most of the time we do everything as a family, as a whole but it's so refreshing to split up. One attribute that my husband and I have is our independence. We can go our separate ways and it's great. With or without our children, we can enjoy life and we appreciate each other that we can. We are also confident with each other as parents that we don't worry, both my husband and I are fully capable in caring for our children without each other. It's awesome in fact knowing we can split up even at the spur of the moment and make life spectacular! And our weekend was!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

April 14th Countdown!

APRIL 14th, 3pm - 8pm our annual Easter Adoption Potluck Party is only one month away!

Please contact me for details!

The Easter bunny will be there! Come out, bring a dish to share and make new friends with other adoptive families!

There will be crafts, an Easter hunt and much much more! MUCH MUCH MORE! :) You'll have to attend to find out!

Pre-adoptive families are welcome!

"Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend" Albert Camus.

"What is a friend? I will tell is someone with whom you dare to be yourself"  Frank Crane.

AND "The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love" Hubert Humphrey

All you need to do is venture out, connect and if anything, your children will have a great time! See you soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Child swapping

Over the weekend we had a child swap for three nights. We switched our thirteen year old for another thirteen year old with another adoptive family. We're good family friends and thought what a great idea, child swapping! Basically both our children get along with everyone in each others family. Why not a little change of dynamics? From what I understand, our child is making his bed over at their place and is quite reminds me of the "honeymoon period" while in an adoption placement. My friends' child was also very lovely, very interactive with our children. We didn't have one complaint. I kept asking her if she was bored? I even asked her, "I bet you can't wait to go home to where it's normal!?" (Ha ha) Her response, "Sort-of" What's really nice about child swapping for a few days is; the children miss and appreciate what they have at home. There is that familiarity that they're accustomed too. There was one evening at dinner I told our guest that she could eat. I believe her response was, "Oh weird, at home we wait until everyone is sitting down" That is an excellent table manner to have..........although for our home, either my husband or I are always moving because of our younger children needing more assistance. One of our sons was doing dishes, complaining because it was his turn. Our chore system is slightly different compared to our friends family and it resulted in a complaint from our son. He likes their system. I like their system too but again, we have our own reasons why our system is different. The first day the weather provided rain, hail, wind, snow and sun. We managed to walk a 4km trail along some waterfalls and played at the park. The rest of the time it was blowing 70km winds with side way rain pellets so we were confined indoors. That's where we watched several different movies and played some games. One evening I wasn't feeling so good, so I nestled (hid) in my room. Our family wasn't as active these past couple of days because our littlest daughter has been sick. It seems our "green hours" haven't finished but only returned to keep us wide awake at night! Regardless of our different scenarios that arise around here we're really trying to make the best of the beginning of our spring break! Now that our few days of child swapping has come to an end, I hope that my prediction of missing home from both parties is true. Speaking of truth - I conclude with this quote that seems so fitting to another scenario we've been dealing with lately.................

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth" - Henry David Thoreau

Truth is very hard to come by these days, especially with teenagers. Unfortunately we go back explaining it's like the boy who cried wolf.......eventually the boy is eaten because all his lies hid the one potential truth he needed to save his life.

Lessons are hard to learn...........and like my picture above while walking through the trails near the waterfalls, you can't hide from the lies for long. Behind those the truth.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"What do I know?"

We've had some changing events this week that has left me deep in thought but without words if that makes any sense. I have this sentence that I keep repeating inside myself saying, "what do I know?" You're probably wondering what I'm writing about and without disclosing lots of information it's basically questioning why doesn't common sense click "on" inside some individuals brains? My husband thinks that most of us are born with it, which leaves some of us without it at all. I don't believe this, I believe that it's a learning process. For example, I explained to my husband that speeding down the highway at 200km per hour has no common sense to it until you've hit that brick wall. Normally after that experience you won't drive at that speed ever again. Although sometimes there is individuals that keep speeding regardless of the impact. Does that mean they have no common sense or does that mean they just don't have the respect for themselves and others? Common sense must just naturally exist but it's chosen to be ignored. It must........right? Reflecting back when I was a teenager I know I had common sense but during that time I made some poor choices that improved my senses today. So perhaps in our life we are still developing that common sense through experience. Victor Hugo states, "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education" So that throws the Einstein theory out the window and highlights the idea that common sense comes from oppositional behavioral experiences not necessarily book smarts. Even myself now I question if my decisions for certain situations has any common sense to it......I have to analyze the whole scenario and hope that my results are rational with a positive outcome. Sometimes common sense is a choice, we know that it's wrong but we push our limits regardless of the consequences. I've heard the quote that common sense is not so common, but to argue - I believe it is, like everything; the moment we awake, it's a choice and we have that common sense usually to back our choices on why we choose to do something. What makes common sense not so common is we're all individually different and what's sensible to me, isn't sensible to someone else. BUT "what do I know?" seems lately I don't know much. Perhaps that means I don't have any common sense either!? One quote Christopher Paolini writes is, "Because you can't argue with all the fools in the world. It's easier to let them have their way, then trick them when they're not paying attention" I personally wouldn't call anyone a "fool" although Christopher has a point. I think common sense has to be an enlightenment, big enough that it's embedded so that you can use those senses again. In fact I really don't know.........except that all our senses are our own perceptions and no one can argue with that. So go sit on that crocodile!

Friday, March 2, 2012

14 ideas for Spring break!

With the public education strike happening we basically have a three week Spring break! I personally don't have a problem with this. The only problem I have is with the weather. Our daily activities do revolve around our weather. I have been researching for a few days on what we can do during our holidays. I thought I would share some of my ideas! Depending on weather we will venture on some outdoor hiking adventures.(1) I would like to take some of our children to the Mt. Arrowsmith CPR Historic trail located near Cameron Lake. A beautiful walk with an incline, at the top you can look over Cameron Lake and our Strait! (2) Next I would like to re-visit Mt. Benson near Nanaimo. Our whole family ventured and found Ammonite Falls. (Picture above) The outdoors is an adventure. (Finding Ammonite falls was!) Packing a lunch and reaching your destination is a huge accomplishment. Especially with our family dynamics! (3) Another beautiful favorite spot where you can experience part of the West Coast trail with your children is in Ucluelet! We've walked this trail out to the lighthouse several times and in the rain! My blog header picture for the longest time was a picture taken in Ucluelet! I just changed it recently (viewed above) of some of our children's shadows at our favorite camping spot, Comox Lake. (4) Comox Lake also has a day hike where you'll stumble across little waterfalls, rock climbing areas and once on top, you can look over the whole lake! The little town of Cumberland is historic and interesting to visit. It reminds me of driving through an ole western movie staged town. (I can't wait to go camping right on the lake this summer at Comox Lake) Fires on the beach, our site is only steps away from the water. Easy for me to supervise while BBQing dinner! Back to Spring break....(5) We always like to go to Victoria. We like being tourists, walking along the harbor, visiting the petting zoo, finding new beaches and areas to explore. Last year we walked along the Sooke Potholes, searching for the best spot to swim. It's too cold right now but the adventure finding new areas for our day trips in summer is well worth it! During Spring break we would like to take our children to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre located near Victoria. Then in the same area there is a beach called, "Glass Beach" another area to look off our Island! (6) Mt. Washington is our other home, and a place where the snow can stay! It would be fun taking our children snow shoeing or something involving the mountain. I remember bringing back a few coolers of snow, keeping it cold and having a snow-ball throw at home! (7) We will definitely go swimming, catch a few movies and visit a few parks. (8) We are going to visit Campbell River where I grew up. After our day, we will visit my Father and Mother that will invite us for dinner (Ha ha) because I know they have room for at least twelve serving something wonderful for dinner! (9) Horne Lake caves is a necessity and there is an area that is free! (but I didn't write that) Also because of the weather, there is more extreme caving like the "Wet and wild cave adventure!" (10) Other ideas is more traveling (I like traveling) to our North Island. Perhaps visiting some friends along the way, venturing off to the other side! One of my fondest memories is Cape Scott. It's definitely not a day hike, I hiked Cape Scott for 5 days and it was one of my biggest adventures! (Cape Scott is not for Spring break) (11) This is a great idea and I know our children will LOVE it............"Spring cleaning!" I'll quickly move on.......(12) Sharing some days with other adoptive families. It would be nice to have some days connecting. (13) Having friends and family over for dinner and/or vise versa! If you're reading Dad, I need a date! Already we have two Saturdays confirmed for dinner with good friends of ours! (14) One of the bests for last, the Pacific Rim Whale festival starting March 19th! There is parades, whale talks, beach tug-o-wars, sandcastle building and much much more! March is when Tofino celebrates the arrival of 20,000 grey whales as they migrate from the Baja Peninsula up our coastline to Alaska! I'm excited. I chose the number "14" for ideas because of the obvious but there is lots to do, just plan, pack and go! The only down fall lately is our gas prices......not so happy about that! For us Spring break also consists of two birthdays, dentist appointments, eye examines, orthodontist appointments and physical and speech therapy. Then surprisingly enough we're already into April! Remember April 14th is our annual Easter potluck! Now that our Spring break has basically begun due to the teacher strike, plan plan plan and make memories! If we can, anyone can!

Update - just so you know, I've been doing stairs approximately 3 times a week that includes tricep dips. Yesterday I started interval training. Meaning high intensity work (speed) with my lower paced stair climbing. For example, I would climb 4 sets, run 2. I've heard by mentally thinking you're being chased by a bear helps! Although I don't know about that because after running stairs I can hardly breathe and being exhausted, I believe that bear will eat me! Perhaps playing dead will help! lol I've also been taking a few of our children up a little mountain in our area called Notch hill. I'm finding hill climbing easier! Whoo hoo! That means stairs are rocking my leg muscles! (Smile) I will call exercise an ongoing activity and I won't add it to Spring Break because it naturally exists and finds its time!