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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dhanyawad

The other night I went out to the movies with a friend. Once or twice a month I will attend a movie. It's a great way for my brain to relax. This particular friend isn't a adoptive parent. She has two beautiful children and a wonderful husband. I met her in our community through the Elementary school approximately 4-5 years ago when one of our sons was in kindergarten. I write about how supportive our adoption family friends are. They understand us, our adoptions, our challenges and us as a group of adoptive parents support and acknowledge all our differences. It's a great network. Although - there is a few individuals that haven't adopted, that aren't adopting that support, understand and are compassionate towards our family. (I can name a few) With this particular friend described above she really touched my heart. I'm not one to outwardly present physical emotion although inside I teared. Before our movie we went for coffee where she handed me a very thoughtful gift. I won't get into great detail although the gift represented a passion of mine. A place I've frequently written about in the past, a place that I helped support with years of fundraising, a place I've not only learned some of their delicious dishes of simplistic foods to cook, a place where I learned enough to communicate with their language. Over a decade now I've been dreaming about traveling over to Nepal. Experiencing their culture and trekking through the Himalayas. Seems a bit far-fetched now that I'm raising a big family with several special needs right? My dream could have been accomplished by now, my life could have been completely different but my husband and I have sacrificed everything for our family. We've lost friends, there is distance between family members and we're judged upon almost daily. Our life can be challenging. With writing this, again as I've written before, we wouldn't want it any other way. Judgements used to bother me, now I accept them. A day not walked in our shoes is not worth any judgements to me, so I basically take anything like a grain of salt that slips in between my fingers and disappears into thin air. I've also learned to have compassion for ignorance because what we don't know or understand creates that judgement in the first place. So getting back on topic, my friend handing me this gift of sentimental handmade items from Nepal touched my heart. What was more sentimental then the items was her message. Not only has this friend shown support, understanding. compassion and not one judgemental remark towards our family.....she has shown support as a true friend towards me with my interests and my dreams. Reminding me through her thoughtfulness to keep my dreams, and that dreams do come true. My dreams to visit Nepal right now do seem far away but not unrealistic for my future. Having a supportive husband and family also paints a brighter light. Who knows what the future holds, I do know within mine as an individual, I do have dreams too that could come true. The trick is not loosing sight of it. Us as parents regardless if we have twenty or two children, we need to keep some focus on ourselves. Whatever it is........wherever it may be.......and when - keep it alive and until then, continue to practice an hour a day on you. I would like to take this opportunity to not only thank this friend but if she's reading, to know the impact of her words, not only has she re-inspired me, I witnessed a true friend.


"A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably without judgements" - William Penn.

Believe it or not, there was a time I thought there was no hope for true friendship. Friends that you can trust, to believe they're your friend whole heartily. I was wrong to ever think there was no hope - I am truly blessed with a handful of true friends that carry all the attributes of realism. So not only do I feel support without judgements, understanding with compassion, reminders to be me and follow my dreams - I feel a sense of relief knowing there is true friends. Dhanyawad (Thank you) for that little piece of magic.......to start our holiday season.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fish eyes bounce?


When I thought I had enough to do, I decided last minute that it's smoking salmon week. So today consisted of filleting and brining fish. Wednesday morning I will start smoking! Every year I smoke salmon. This year I started late but it will be done by Friday! I like it for our holiday platters and mostly throughout the year I make sushi. So in the middle of everything else on my list, I will be smelling like fine smoke with a hint of fish! It's funny because if I have to leave the Indian Chief for an outside errand, I leave as is. No point changing my clothes when my hair reeks of smoking cedar chips and salmon. "Mmm mmm" During the filleting today, our home schooled children were able to dissect the fish heads. You might think I offered such a treat but they practically begged to see what's inside a fish head. So if you have a weak stomach, stop here and don't proceed browsing the pictures posted below. lol The fourth picture is a fish head cut in half, our son wanted every little organ, all the little pieces collected and recognized before he was finished. It reminded me of myself when I was a child. I wanted to see if the fish eyeballs bounced. Today our son wanted to see how big the fish brain was. It was small. Although learning about the fish brains was fascinating. Fish do have a cerebellum which is the prominent structure in the brain of a fish. They sense pressure, maintain balance and regulate muscle movements. Although their brains are not sufficiently developed to allow them to sense fear or pain. So rest assured, these little fishes knew nothing before hitting our sink! We also learned that fish do have tongues. It's called basihyal, a bony structure on the floor of it's mouth that resembles a tongue. It doesn't have taste buds, it isn't muscular and it has limited range of motion. From what we understand, it definitely resembles a tongue but it doesn't act like one - the only reason it's there is to protect the aorta which lies very close to the mouth. Most fish have colour vision. I suggested for our son to try and bounce the eye although it was just too sticky. Which leads me questioning, "Do they bounce?" Who knows.....a mystery not solved today. Fish heh - weird creatures but they sure make some awesome smoked salmon!




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Going Crazy

We had a great day! It was a beautiful day outdoors. We decided to pack up our cooler, treat our children out to McDonald's and head to a local park. One of our children made the comment about having "Mc-diarrhea" Then our littlest son yelled, "I don't want diarrhea!" I was thinking to myself, "Nope, I'm definitely not having diarrhea" Just a funny conversation between children. Writing of funnies, our children always ask where are we going......I always respond, "We're going crazy!" Again, our littlest son pipes up with excitement yelling to his brothers and sisters, "We are going CRAZY!" and off we go.......While at crazy (the park) we designed our own leaf heart seen above. We had some of our children sit inside of it and I continued to take photographs. My blog picture title changes once in awhile for the added change, added spice (also seen way up top) some of our hands posing together on a log. We had fun today taking pictures. Our children played on the oceans edge, they played grounders on the playground and when I wanted to leave - they didn't ironically! The rest of our weekend consists of a game night (Saturday night) and swimming on Sunday. I leave you with some "fun" pictures of our weekend.

A total of 16 years together
Thumbs up!
Beach on!
Shadow Hearts


My quote for this weekend is, "Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chances are higher



We've been fairly busy with different specialist appointments. When you have as many children as we do....the chances are higher for some medical situations. In fact we have heart, lung and kidney medical concerns with three of our children. Plus a Neurologist. One of our daughters is followed by a cardiologist every two years, our one son has had several spontaneous pneumothoraces resulting in lung surgery. We have another son being tested because one of his kidneys stopped growing and is no longer functioning. With these tests, they're also testing the functioning one. I feel I've seen everything when I worked in a first aid room and I was also mentally strong coping with any scenario. When it's your own children, it's a completely different story. When my teenage son teared with burning pain from chest tubes, I had to leave his bedside to strengthen my composure. Every time he would come to me frightened saying, "Mom I think it's happened again" I would ask him his symptoms and sure enough, we packed knowing we wouldn't return from the hospital for days as my heart sunk. Our daughter had blood shot eyes from physical pain after nine attempts inserting a catheter for a simple urine collection with no sedation. We have had several experiences with the hospital throughout our twenty two years of raising children. You would think it would get easier. Today there was four attempts for an IV in one of our sons. During the fourth try I was begging inside my own mind for it to work. "Please....." I feel I have no control. Although today, I knew if the fourth attempt didn't accept, I would be stopping the process very quickly by demanding a new nurse or referring us over to the Children's Hospital. Yes tests are necessary but not by amateurs on my children. (Or on their behalf, two tries and switch nurses) For this particular son we are waiting for his results, the conclusion onto what's next is still unknown. There has been talk about a Nephrectomy, a removal of his non-functioning kidney in his future. What the future holds......I don't know for any of us. I try not to worry about what I can't control and take one day at a time. Knowing that everything usually works out in the end. I trust that. It's the in between time witnessing your children endure the pain and suffering that you can't control. It's a very helpless feeling as a Mother. My husband can't attend tests and procedures that involve needles, or the sight of blood because he will pass out. So it's me. I'm pretty tough and became thick skinned long ago. What's really amazing is how resilient children are. Our son today after the four attempts for the IV was a trooper. For the test itself (seen above) he remained still for over 45 minutes! Afterwords, I treated him out for a nice meal and his shirt was full of stickers for a job well done. Our futures are unknown, our days can change instantly and our bodies are not machines. Every scenario that has happened, that will happen is not only a challenge in a sense emotionally, it is everything to do with experience, teaching us (teaching even me after twenty two years) on how to deal with our own emotions. Today is over while only reflecting back - I feel not only a sense of relief that it's over, I feel very proud on how our day was handled. How our son was so brave. Which leaves me knowing we have the power within ourselves to overcome most and the rest that we have troubles with, we have to have faith that with time we will. To conclude, many times I complain about our world's technology. I get very frustrated with computers, Ipads and phones. Today witnessing the medical technology was once again amazing; the imaging into our bodies. I said to myself, "I will try not to complain about our technology ever again!" It saves lives........my reminder for the day.

"We acquire the strength we have overcome" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Love your team!

I

Besides our dedication to our family, my husband and I know at the end of our day, at the end of 20-40 years raising children, we have each other. If you have a significant other, remaining on the same page is a priority. Forty years from now, it could be just us. So I wanted to take this time to remind everyone to appreciate their partners, to thank them, to continue to grow, develop strength and cherish each and every day.  Not only is my husband a great father, he is an amazing husband. Someone who I am very thankful for. Enjoy another song by Johnny Reid....a very inspirational singer. For today - love your team, that's you and your significant partner that makes every day move onto the next! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Good" weekend




We had an invite for dinner on Saturday night from some friends. Pretty exciting. They made a wonderful dinner. Not very often am I sitting around asking for something to do! I think between my friend and I, we were re-wiping after each other! During our visit, our daughter really enjoyed this fish tank (seen above). In fact, we have been looking for something just like it for her bedroom. So kindly enough, our friends daughter gave this fish tank to our daughter. I thought that was very generous and thoughtful. Sometimes just those little moments makes up for all the challenging events throughout our day. I'm not sure if our friends daughter understood the meaning of this gift. Not only was it something our daughter enjoyed, it is a soothing stimulus for her nighttime routine. It will be used every night! So very appreciated. It was a very productive weekend. On Sunday I baked all day, some of our home schooled children were writing and creating posters on our ecosystem. While my husband was rearranging parts of our house. Our weekend ended with trimming some of our children's hair, having baths and settling down while watching the "Grinch" A short but productive post.

"Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort" - Paul Meyer.

What I know for sure; at the end of the day when everything is accomplished, it is a good feeling. Therefore you start fresh tomorrow - me.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Intellectualist


My last post came from left field and this post should be coming from the right. (maybe the centre) I've been completely brain fogged organizing absolutely everything so life as I know it runs smoothly into the New Year. Besides doctor, specialist and therapy appointments, I've been scheduling field trips, ordering while budgeting for ongoing school supplies while finishing laundry, cleaning and maintaining our home, stirring up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then adding Christmas. Two weeks before December and our lights are up, half our Christmas presents are wrapped, Christmas cards are ready to be mailed thanks for scrap booking with friends. Then the occasional movie and reading before I go to bed. Believe me there is a lot more to this multi-tasking then meets the eye.....stay tuned.....something might surprise you. For now, I've been really enjoying homeschooling. Surprise, surprise. I'm starting to grasp the concept of their curriculum's, planning for their next day, their next week and what's really awesome is I just love our educational assistant! She has been amazing. I was able to give her more hours with our school funding, she is here 25 hours a week! Our home has many different professionals coming and going. I wasn't sure how I felt about different people weekly entering our home although what I've noticed, what I've felt.....soon all these important professionals supporting our children become family. For instance, our EA could be my daughter. We've discussed not only our children's schooling, we've discussed personal life goals. I love my life lately. Not that I didn't before but when I really sit down and contemplate life, it's good. I feel peaceful. Everything that was stressing me perhaps before, like designing a school room, homeschooling five children - now has subsided. I am a huge intellectualist. I brainstorm absolutely everything. (Just in case you didn't notice!) I love to learn, experience and when I'm tackling a new area in our life, I prefer it to be correct from the beginning. With stating that, life is never perfect and sometimes a guessing game with mistakes a long the road. It's "Ok" to fine-tune and make adjustments that "I tell myself" Like the Bible I've starting reading. I started reading from the beginning realizing this isn't a book typically read from cover to cover, so I started in Mathew. For me, it's a slow process because I need to grasp the concepts before moving on. Like our homeschooling, like welcoming different professionals into our home and learning that change is good but most importantly having patience with myself to grasp all these new dynamics. This light bulb clicked on inside me recently realizing that over analyzing, over stressing for the correct way is unnecessary because eventually at the end of the day everything becomes clear. If it doesn't, that day is over anyways. I will always think about absolutely everything. I will think enough for all of us. lol For right now......I love who I am. I love my organization strength, multi-tasking and intellectual skills. I can improve on grammar and editing although I just love my life. I love my family, and I love the friends we have in it. I don't know much about God. What I feel though is a connection building, surrounding around us, around myself - of love, support and more individuals understanding us as a large adoptive family mastering all odds to remain together. It's not easy. Which makes me very grateful for compassionate people, for the professionals, for individuals like our EA, and our friends and family. So as I multitask, move onward, I thank you. I honestly thank my life......and my path because its truly my dedication.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Brain gone caged with no answers"


We ventured out to our first field trip. The Wildlife Recovery Centre. I've decided that Socials will continue with our children's Aboriginal and First Nations culture. The Wildlife Recovery Centre provided many of the spiritual animals needed for our children's next project and what's more exciting, we're off to Victoria to the Royal Museum next! During our adventure today I asked our children to get into a cage for pictures. Their answers were, "No" Well......as you can see above, my answer was "Yes" I climbed into the cage provided and felt for several minutes what it feels like being held in captivity. Of course I wasn't worried, I was getting released. However it did trigger my thoughts about life behind bars. I have absolutely no clue what it feels like. I can only imagine ones life changed from poor choices and serving time, possibly a life time behind bars. After proven guilty, captivity is definitely warranted and especially while keeping the rest of the public safe. What often worries me is after the time served, is getting released a good idea. I guess it depends on the crime, the remorse and if the counseling provided changed that person. I always question how does one know who will become a repeat offender. I believe most individuals wear masks, their personalities can be altered and some individuals without a outwardly noticed conscience can fool the best of professionals. I'm guessing with their time served, their good behavior, the noticed remorse, that individual deserves a second chance. As an adoptive mother I hear about second, third and fourth chances with birth parents. I also know many children remaining in foster care without a permanency plan is because their birth parents are seeking help, they're getting released again from rehab. I personally know of a situation where five siblings were adopted, but the last two of seven are in foster care waiting on their birth mother after fourteen plus years of addiction to become stable enough to parent. There could be some other underlying factors to this scenario but it's a prime example of how many chances does one receive before making a decision for what's best for the children and the clearly addicted mother that shouldn't have been released over and over again. There is a fine line deciding I suppose. We watched a bear looking back at us laying peacefully in his captivity.


I'm not exactly sure his story although regardless if he was born in captivity or put there because of his unfortunate circumstances, the question even for him is uncertain. Rehabilitation without parole more likely. Which sadly brings me back questioning onto whom should and shouldn't be released and why onto others become repeat offenders continually disrupting lives with no consequence at all. Baffling and confusing meanwhile the process is very complicated, and seems concrete either way. Interesting how a few minutes of fun incarceration leads to questioning different processes with no real answers. I will ponder over something I can answer next time and be thankful that my life's circumstances has kept me free.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remember the days....



Remember the days......when there was "good" television  programs aired? There is great programs on now but there is nothing better then watching the good ole classics! The interesting part about watching these old programs is, our children like them too. They are clean. They have good conclusions. Some of our favorites are "Three's company" Of course,  "Happy Days" "Little house on the prairie" Remember the "Golden Girls?" Gilligan's Island I used to watch when I breastfed our third son at 3am in the morning. Roseanne! I loved Roseanne! Dukes of Hazard. Green acres.....My three sons and Bewitched! What I've noticed now that television repeats itself just like family cycles do. What about "Hee Haw!" or "The Twilight Zone?!" Alfred Hitchcock, The X Files my husband and I used to watch religiously together back in the day......lol......and 90210 I watched every episode when my first daughter was only two years old. Now I can't even subject myself to the new version!  I loved watching "Cheers!" And there was a show called "Night Court" around that time too! Like cartoons, I still think the good ole classics are the best! The Smurfs made a return, while the Bugs Bunny and Tweety show lives on and Tom and Jerry! There was The Carebears, The Flintstones, Aligator Al and Yogi Bear! Do you remember the talking horse, Mr.Ed? Besides television shows.....language has changed. Like "sick" doesn't mean "I'm sick" It means cool or awesome. "Like that's epic man" That must be better then sick! When I was a teenager it was narley. When I mention anything over the head like 747, I am then questioned, "What is 747!?" Lately it's been "legit" LEGIT? When I ask our young teens what legit means to them, it means they bought that game, it's serious. It's legit! Sweet. lol Legit it is then! Like I seriously just wrote this legit sick epic blog man that completely 747 most of my readers dude but heh; I don't need to make sense either, life is narley. I think now that I'm "almost" 40 and feeling the difference with time, it's really epic. (I mean neat and interesting) Honestly, it is really cool witnessing the difference and remembering the days when I personally think life was slightly cleaner then it is now. Even the items we buy aren't new ideas.....the cabbage patch dolls, the ridiculously priced furbies aren't new! I had one when I was a child, I actually do remember! Our children tonight was looking at me weird while I danced to " Happy Days" It was playing on a ole movie. I just reflected, reverted and remembered the days............when it seemed cleaner, somewhat simpler but our reality is our next generation has taken over. I will tell you though, it doesn't stop me from playing "The Waltons" or the "Swiss Family Robinson" The Brady Bunch was excellent.......funny......The Brady Bunch seemed so functional, always working together, happy and life always came out positive. Mmmmm....must of been a television show! Then there was Lassie and The Littliest Hobo. Agh.....I loved so many shows back then. Now I write because there's nothing great on television anymore. So I conclude this post with the theme song from " Happy Days" because they were, happy days. Now today we move on to another epic adventure and may the force be with us while the ride continues. And if you're younger then me, "Your time is coming" for remembering your days! For the rest of us....."Enjoy Happy Days"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"My first Christmas gift"



I was contemplating on what book I was going to read next. Asking myself, "Do I have time?" Then my sister in law sent me my Christmas present early. A book. Not just a book. It's the Woman of Faith, Study Bible. I normally never write on sensitive topics such as this one but I thought......"I write on almost everything else, so why not?" I will admit my knowledge is minimal when it concerns the Bible. I read absolutely everything else and I couldn't help questioning myself, "Why not read this one?" Speaking for myself, I think the Bible is difficult to read and to understand. It's in verses one after another but I've noticed that if you learn to flow with it while reading, all the verses collaborate into each other. I've only briefly turned a page. My husband and I haven't read the Bible. My husband probably never will. He's a motor magazine flipper. I can honestly write that I thought I would never read the Bible. I've always believed into believing what works, accepting all spiritual faiths and adapt them into our multi-cultural home. Lately this question keeps coming back to me....."Why not read the Bible?" The interesting part of my answer is....there is no answer. My mind draws a blank. As hard as I scramble to answer the question, it's always blank. Really, there is no logical excuse not too. Sure I might not understand it but I also didn't understand many things until I read it or lived to experience it. So my next book is my Christmas gift. I feel this Christmas is blessing me in several ways and that will be another post to explain. For now......I will read the most popular and probably the most misunderstood book in the world and see for myself what I think. I had someone tell me recently to stop listening to other people when it concerns the Bible and to read it for myself. I find with all the different religions stemming from one book they contradict each other. So how does one choose what faith to follow? Here's a thought......there is Christians, Catholics, Jehovahs, Buddhists and many other types of religions that I find follow the same type belief systems but they slightly veer off in different directions. My thought is......they're all following the same God just interpreted differently. So.....will God accept everyone who believes but follows within their own interpretation? Please feel free to post because I can also be writing out of context very ignorantly because I'm only seeking the truth and I think most of us are. Us humans need and crave something more then what life has to offer. I know this. I'm also brave enough to openly write about what some of us are afraid of. I use the word "afraid" because I've felt afraid of even searching, and yes - approaching this sensitive topic. Individuals might ask, "Why would you be afraid?" My honest, honest, honest answer to that is; "I don't want to make a mistake and misinterpret something as important as the Bible and live my life following a faith that contradicts how I feel. It's like a battle within yourself constantly questioning, "IS this right?" I also have this huge over-bearing feeling of having compassion for all; meaning and questioning God onto why good people who don't follow but perhaps believe (in their own interpreted way) won't go to heaven? This is where I'm ignorant of course.....yes and admitting because I know many who are reading....have most of these answers already. I also know.....I will know the answers too after reading myself. I'm starting to realize that the journey towards God is a battle, I also think it's not about a "religion" It's about yourself and having a relationship with yourself and God. Which makes me think......it doesn't matter if you've been labelled Christian, Catholic, Jenovah or Buddhist, it's not the congregation that spiritually connects you, it's you and who you are spiritually connected too. The congregations only support and teach their interpretations. Anyways....I am a thinker. I think about absolutely everything and I would love to write professionally one day....(grammar enhanced).... thinking, writing and expressing on any topic. Journalism is a critical and sensitive hobby or (career) and eventually when I start my book.....I will be prepared and I will have lots of factual experiences to offer. For now through this blog and what I share is only my own baby steps. Bare with me..........I might possibly have a story to tell as I'm carefully experiencing and researching my way there. For now, my latest research is "The Bible"

Adoption Christmas Party cancelled.


Due to some family obligations that have come up, we have to cancel our Adoption Christmas Party for this year. I do apologise and next year it will be back on! Dec 2013.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Goldendoodles!


It's just been confirmed that our dog Wilbur successfully impregnated Marley. Two non-shedding mini-labradoodles. Marley is due Nov 15th. I'm not the breeder. I just have the stud. Back in August I wrote about our interesting experiences with Wilbur's first visit to the vet that didn't involve shots!. If you haven't read that post and need a laugh, here it is: http://hohnsteins.blogspot.ca/2012/09/accomplishments-with-different-twists.html Just scroll down to the last paragraph to the semen collection. Well it worked! Right now I have no idea how many puppies will be born although the breeder introduced me to Skype. I've heard about this site before where you can see each other while chatting. Basically a live online web cam. I was never interested until now. The breeder informed me that the birth of these puppies will be on live, then you can follow the growth of the puppies at all times through skype. So I made an account. I thought what I great opportunity for our children to watch puppies grow, play, eat and whatever else they do. In order to follow the puppies live online, you do have to make an account and download skype. After that, around Nov 15th when the puppies are due, the live video should be available. Under goldendoodles all lower cased one word. If you're interested in a puppy, they are $1000.00. From experience with our dog Wilbur, they are very loyal, loving and very gentle. Great family pets and great around children. And many children! I've had many breeds and these mini-labradoodles I've found to be the best. Intelligent and quick to train. A breed that is fun, playful but laid back. (Not over the top, ADHD kind of dog) So if you're interested and want a loyal companion for the New Year, let me know. Marley the mother's temperament is exactly like Wilbur's. We had the honor of her visits while attempting to help the natural way for conception. Now a memory I'll never forget. (Ha ha) If interested; it's first deposit picks first until the litter is sold. Which is $500.00 then the other half is due when the puppy is picked up in the New Year. If not interested, you can still follow their birth and first 8 weeks live online! I thought this live online web cam was pretty cool. The breeder was explaining that the really neat thing about it is, the waiting owners can watch their puppies from day one. Or there has been occasions where people have chosen and purchased through watching on skype. Interesting our technology. I'm going to end this post with a funny picture I took of both parents. Marley is the slightly larger brindle colored dog hitting Wilbur in the face. Wilbur with his loving personality just squinted and took the abuse. After all.....she had a reason to hit him......it wasn't fun trying over and over again until being subjected to artificial insemination!

"My answers for almost impossible solutions"

There's been a few times I've been asked about different resources available for teenagers that are either completely defiant, or teenagers that are mentally ill and are hard to control at home or what I call independent seeking their own way. Also running away, not listening to the home rules, not accepting consequences and are either a risk to themselves or others at home. Or all of the above. The big question is, "What do you do?" "Where do they go if they can't be at home?" So, first off I'm not a professional. I'm only a mother with some experience that I'm going to provide. While I'm providing some of the resources I've learned that's available, I'm not going to discuss onto whom we've either needed it for or tried to access it for, for privacy reasons. First off , we have learned that there is not much you can do. Although I would suggest to always remain firm on your own home rules and conditions. You can control what's happening in your own home. It's taken us a few years figuring out different techniques and luckily for the rest of our children, we hope to be one step ahead of their game. This means prevention. We have our medicine cabinet and a pantry locked at all times. All our bleaches and other harmful chemicals are stored locked in our garage. We have two security cameras that can be moved in several different locations. (not bedrooms) No, we are not a prison. We are solving (hypothetically speaking) future scenarios and keeping our children protected. Our Internet access is limited. We found out that any electronic gadget including game systems (DS's for example) Ipod's, cellphones extra can access the Internet. So we have one main computer located in our kitchen where it's supervised with a password. Our home router has a password now that controls any wireless connection. We have motion detectors for movement in our home just in case the security system doesn't pick up an opening door. We are not paranoid, we're controlled with security like most homes these days but it not only keeps strangers out, it can warn us on when someone is leaving. Right now we don't have any issues......I'm just purely writing out ideas for other parents that are having issues that need help as I've had several questions come my way. Sorry, getting back on topic. Teenagers are never homeless. I've written a past post on this before. http://hohnsteins.blogspot.ca/2012/03/housing-run-aways.html  But if they can't come home because A. they don't want too B. they have too (because they've made themselves homeless) but they will not follow the family's conditions which leads to C. What then? There is some resources. Before it gets to this point.....if you're noticing signs from your teenager (mainly lying and sneaking behavior) and your teen is diagnosed with a disorder or mental illness, I would get a referral to the Queen Alexandra Centre. This centre has absolutely everything available and an area for youth mental health. Your child will begin receiving help being an out-patient and it will provide specialized inpatient mental health services if needed. Assessments for complex behaviors and much much more. It's a rehabilitation centre. Unfortunately our Government has given more rights then should be allotted for teenagers, for example; they have to consent. This is where I say, if you're noticing a problem - start intervention early. Young teenagers usually consent therefore you've established a paper trail within a controlled established with professionals. Document absolutely everything, letters, emails, facebook messaging, texting, keep a file on your child. Every time your teenager is involved with the Ministry, it's documented. Document the same way at home. Anything you can collect on your teenager the better.......(of course you're the enemy) you're the parent. Eventually years down the road, they'll thank you for being that consistent person that actually cared to take the time making their life as a teenager miserable. Parents that don't care, will allow their children to do whatever they want with no consequences. Another tip - stop believing a chronically lying and manipulating teenager. Stop supports such as money. And one tip once given to me, "Don't jump on their boat" State your piece and that's it. Now moving along, if the situation is beyond control and you believe that the teen is harmful to themselves and perhaps others, first call 911 and try consulting the Queen Alexander Centre to hopefully admit your child into the inpatient care unit. If it's housing a teenager away from home there is several different options. Try theYSA (Youth Services Association) It's affordable youth housing for 17-19 year olds under a safe and supportive atmosphere with conditions of no drugs, alcohol and violence. Of course there's an application process and limited accommodations. Another option, there is tons of places (furnished) housing with other young adults. Renting rooms. They start at $300.00 a month. With these options there's rules, regulations and conditions - it's still not ideal for a teenager unfortunately. So once the offer has been made and it's been refused there's nothing more you can do. In the end, if you've done everything you can - it's up to the independent seeking their own way teen and as rocky as it will be, eventually with their own determination and will.....they could succeed on their own. Who knows? That's a question without an answer. Raising behavioral teenagers sometimes doesn't have any good answers nor solutions, we just do the best we can do and proceed from there.

What I do know for sure, we all have a path. Even mine has taken different turns, it will continue to take different turns and so it will with our children too. We can do our best to direct although we ALL have a plan laid out for us and that includes the difficult teenagers with their own road as rocky as they choose it to be. I was told once, "I'm not the social worker for the world" "Nor am I God" No I'm not......I am the one still searching for all the answers too with just a glimpse of experience. So above is a few hopefully helpful tips to either try in your own home and a few resources to investigate for yourself if need be. For the ones that have asked for some ideas, I hope this helps and I made some sense. If anything, research and you'll be surprised what's out there that most of us are unaware of! "Good luck"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Enriching

Lately I've been focused on Christmas. I have a great start. I was constantly stared at in two separate stores within this past month as my carts were toppling over. I would like to say that I don't go over-board with Christmas. In all fairness to myself - our Christmas looks over the top because if you add even five gifts per child, we would have at least 70-75 presents under the tree just for our children alone! Now you can imagine adding in the stockings, and presents that come from other family members! Christmas morning unwrapping presents usually lasts until we eat dinner! Every Christmas my husband is collecting the garbage, fighting to untie doll hair from the boxes and assembling toys. I'm in the kitchen. This year I've decided to cook everything the day before. It will eliminate the kitchen somewhat. We aren't going and staying in a chalet at Mt. Washington. I will not subject ourselves to any possible blizzards and contaminated hot-tubs this year! I want a low-key less work (wishing) Christmas. As I plan, purchase and organize our Christmas the more I feel prepared. Besides that......my exercising halted. With the homeschooling, therapy appointments, doctor/specialist appointments extra......I've been somewhat "busy" My focus slightly shifted this fall season onto other things. I can still find that hour in my day but it's been directed to online homeschooling ordering and printing out planning for the next day. Lately, that's me in one big nutshell. (lol) Shifting the topic......on Sunday my Father and Mother came over for lunch. Every time one of our children have a birthday, they come providing a present. They live approximately an hour and a half away. They've been visiting frequently, they have attended some of our adoption events and have shown tons of support towards adoption and all their new grandchildren throughout the years. I've written about this before that when significant life changes happen, isolation can occur with family and friends. For us, having a large family; isolation definitely exists. I completely understand and have accepted any forms of distance between family and friends because every ones life is different. I know there is several reasons why our invites are minimal but that goes with the territory adopting many children. Most aren't used to the noise and any on-going stimulation of little quick bodies moving around or a sudden scream here and there. (Ha ha) For us living our life from day to day is what we know and what we're used too. It's only our normal, so that's where I understand. An outside family member did honestly say to me one time that she/he can't cope with some of our special needs. You know....honesty is the best medicine and because I know, I understand. Now when we have other family making miles, making the effort and really a part of our children's lives.....recognition doesn't go unnoticed. I've found even being an Auntie over and over again with my husband's brother's family (16 children) It's about me making the effort to be their Auntie. How enriched I am. Like my Father and Mother an hour and a half away and my Mother and Father in our area......our children love them. They're excited to see them. They embrace and accept every time they've made the effort to be in their lives. Having a family is key, having extended love within that family is a huge part of feeling accepted. Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles are important. So after having an afternoon with their grandparents, it not only enriched their day - I do believe it enriched their grandparents day! After all, Grandma left with tomato sauce all over her neck from a hug, she couldn't get that anywhere else! For me, regardless of any types of distance for whatever reason, the little times spent are definitely quality. And for the family and friends that go that extra mile, I can honestly say and what I think for sure - it's enriching for every ones souls and hearts. And a "Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap" - Doug Larson. And "We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves" - Henry Beecher. I really do love, appreciate and will always be grateful for my parents. That includes my mother Brenda and my father Stan because I've been enriched with four parents! Dad - I know you're reading.....I love you guys and "thank you" so much for being in my life and our children's lives! It means more then you know.

 I wanted to share a lunch I made, it was excellent! Homemade English pizza muffins!

Pre-toast the English muffins
Prepare the tomato paste with garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
Prep and dice, Jalapenos, yellow peppers, tomatoes, green onions, cook and dice bacon and shred jalapeno mozza cheese and cheddar cheese.
Add all ingredients to the English muffins, bake until melted.
Leave out bacon if Vegetarian
Experiment with food - "it's fun!"




And nothing is better then sharing it with people you love!