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Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Better full then empty"

"You have you hands full" We hear that a lot. A friend of mine said when she's told that her hands are full she replies back stating, "Better full then empty" I like that. Thank you for now my new reply. You betcha we have our hands full. Sometimes it's just mind boggling onto how, and onto what to do next. Sometimes we don't have the's all about time. For me sometimes it's all about religiously waking up to a new day. Over the course of the last couple of days we've had some downs. I think it's a combination of several woman menstruating, mixed with stubborn attitudes and attachment. Then we had an internet disruption. Our internet was down for several days. And it's amazing onto how life surrounds the internet. I can't even home school without the access of the internet. Then my oldest daughters' boyfriend father passed away. He was found in his car from his son, (my daughters boyfriend) It was one thing after another and is too short for moments that don't necessarily have to exist. I just felt sad. One important part of life is just existing lovingly together because I can not stress enough the importance of loss that happens suddenly. During our few days of trials I went out to the movies with a friend I've known for fifteen years. Our sons started kindergarten together. Both our sons are almost twenty years old, and are still friends. Once in awhile us two mothers will go see a movie. Half way through our movie (this Saturday) I turned towards my friend noticing her eyes were looking towards the ceiling. From there I proceeded to poke her with no response. I called her name, and I shoved her a bit more. She leaned over with her eyes still open. I immediately checked her pulse. It was shallow. I started to shake her, calling out her name....while calling out into the theatre for someone to call 911. She was lifeless, pale and I started assessing her ABC's Airway - yes she was breathing, her airway was clear but her circulation was low. Her heart rate was in the 40's. (Low) I thought a mini stroke or an aneurysm. The lack of oxygen to her brain from being unconscious I worried about because I wasn't sure how long she was unconscious for.....minutes seemed like forever. I yelled again, "Anyone calling 911!" Then the lights turned on, the movie was paused and my friend awoke. As she spoke to me she recalled nothing. Her face was pale, and semi distorted. I asked her to tell me what she last remembered? How she felt now? She wanted to leave the theatre.....and while I escorted her out, I suggested going to the hospital was best. Later that evening we found out she does suffer from low blood pressure and a low heart rate that could cause black outs. After my week......(that night) and feeling like I was going to lay my friend on the theatre floor to preform possible CPR I was not only emotionally exhausted, I was relieved I didn't loose my friend because that's how quickly life changes. It's that sudden. We just don't know. I'm not sure what it is with me.......I've seen death. I've treated hundreds of individuals within a first aid room, I know how quick and sudden it is. I just wish every one else did, especially my children. I know within my heart I've been put here for a reason and when my friend stated life is better full then hit home with me. I'm here for a full life and full doesn't mean easy nor empty. To is better full and I know the importance of each and every one of us, minute by minute and with my experiences, I will support individuals, whether it's a small pocket to an enormous handful - "the importance of our existence" because we all have a reason for being here and serving our path we lead. Tonight (Sunday) I am grateful for being me - with my hands full.....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Successful respectful citizens

"As a grape, I have definitely had better days"
I never thought I'd being staring at a blank page. After all these years of blogging. Now that I'm attempting to write a book - my mind isn't connecting around the whole paragraph blogging style anymore. My main focus has shifted. Stating this, I still plan on blogging when I can although it might be limited from time to time. I actually have this behavioural point I'd like to make today. This is just an example - this morning one of our sons decided he didn't get enough grapes that he demanded. My husband said, "No, you can have this many" although when my husband's back was turned he grabbed more. Our son was showing his sneaky little defiant side. So my husband told him to give some back. Then our son proceeded to throw and squish the grapes he was given into the floor, stomp, (yell back) and slam his door. It was quite the ordeal and all before going on a field trip with his school. Guess what!? He didn't go. He stayed home and was home schooled with me for the day. The school called me asking onto why our son wasn't attending school because it was a special field trip day. I told her our son was staying home for behavioral reasons. My point - regardless if our children are diagnosed with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) it's not an excuse. Children need to know that their behaviours are unacceptable and very quickly after the incident. Warnings don't work. Many other parents ask us on how we have decently behaved the public school we have a three strike you're out rule. One, two and you're coming home. At home we have no tolerance for disrespect. Especially myself, I stop it from the beginning. If the beginning has no end with the teenagers, you state how it is and leave it. I don't jump on their boat anymore. So for our one son there was a harsh lesson learned. Some may wonder if discipline works and especially with children diagnosed with FAS......I understand that "sometimes" the cause and effect isn't registering but I know for a fact children regardless of their diagnoses, need the immediate attention onto what's right and wrong. It works but it has to be an immediate dedicated response from the parent. As we know with any child, you give them an inch - they will take a mile. And in all honesty, we aren't doing any child a favor allowing their behaviors to excel. Another example - years ago one of our children soiled and played with their feces. While in foster care it wasn't really acknowledged that this child could learn to stop this behavior given his/her needs. (I'm really trying to use my confidentiality technique hiding onto whom our child is) So during our adoption placement period we quickly curbed the behavior within two months. Some professionals believe after being adopted either behaviors will escalate or halt given their new forever home, (which is true) although I believe it doesn't matter where a child lives, if the care and effort is there to correct and have faith in that child, they are capable of learning. Every child. It is the dedication and the consistency from the parent in order to change the child's behavior. So when someone passes the blame onto their's 50/50 and we aren't doing our children any favors allowing their behaviors to exist and/or excel. We're learning right now with our youngest with more complex needs to curb her behavior with a more structured routine controlled by picture cues. So depending on your child, and his/her needs - there is a solution. Educating ourselves helps us educated our children. I actually find it quite fascinating. I get questioned a lot on how we manage, hence why I continue to blog. I can't write enough about how consistency, structure and routine is and should be a dedicated position for any parent raising children, following these key steps you will have success. Always remember, "Children will take a mile - be consistent, limit the warnings, you're not their friend - you're their parent giving your children the fundamentals in life to become successful respectful citizens within their future" - they will eventually thank you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Revealing a sneak peak of our family portraits!

The link above is a preview of our family portraits. A sneak peak! Thank you SO MUCH Sarah Silver for your patience, and making our family portraits dream come true! Next week is our viewing, editing and choosing our favorite family photos! It's so exciting! And mostly for me - a very sentimental and heartwarming day with all of us being together and making this one dream of mine come true! Usually I don't share this much, (all of us) but I am a very, very proud mother of my wonderful sixteen children, one grandchild and a amazing husband!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our family portrait revealed!

"Just kidding"

I haven't been posting as often because it's been completely grand central station around here then when I do sit down, I'm attempting to write a book. Every day we have individuals coming and going. We have two education assistants, one tutor, a physical, a occupational and a speech therapist throughout our week. Adding pediatrician and dental appointments. Today felt like grand central station with a revolving door. It was one of those days where you're questioning, "What is going on!?" We had five of our children in bed early, our one daughter seemed completely out of sorts, our phone was ringing like crazy, we had constant complaining from a man baby that has a head cold (not my husband) but my husband did manage to fall on his face outside (don't ask not alcohol related, he doesn't drink) - it was one of those days! From urine, blood to constant spills, there was always something to clean up. Even questioning, "What is that?!" A smeared thick brown area in our hallway. Thinking it was feces from one of our dogs, it was only chocolate! Honestly, at least 4 out of 7 nights a week we have bowel movements either floating where they aren't suppose to be or thrown across the bathroom. Wet wipes and a box of plastic gloves is a necessity around here! It's actually amazing our walls aren't full of boogers. Sometimes we have opened up our cupboards and water is miraculously accumulating inside, dripping out. Dishes have been put away wet. So far I haven't found left over chunks of meat, or noodles hanging from the ceiling but I did have to chase my dog tonight with a full corn on the cob after "a throwing" from our littlest daughter! So after today was finished, I thought it was about time to post our family portrait! Only Grover was looking at the camera, some of our children's mouths are wide open, someone is poking another but we we're all together, loud and happy! Tomorrow (Thursday the 19th) it's our oldest sons 20th birthday and a full moon! I'm keeping my positive thoughts that we'll all survive with just a little spilled milk! As I've jokingly reflected while saying, "Goodbye" to today -  I will reveal our real family portrait soon!

My today's final tips - the most used items and what every family should have accessible is wet wipes and those handy white latex gloves! You will never know when something may go flying and from what direction. And on a more serious note.......honestly, our home isn't that chaotic, we blame it on that full moon which happens occasionally!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chicken Fingers

When I first started blogging I posted tons of recipes that I enjoyed cooking and baking for my family. Unfortunately over 200 posts were deleted many years ago. Today I felt the urge to share this easy homemade chicken breast fingers. As seen above you simply role the chicken finger into the seasoned prepared flour, then dip it into the egg, then again rolled into the seasoned freshly made bread crumbs. Then deep fry until golden brown. My seasonings consist of garlic, salt and pepper but depending on your taste buds, you can add endless seasonings to the flour and bread crumb mixture. I dried out brown bread in the oven until hard then crushed it. I don't eat meat and haven't for years although my children loved these chicken fingers. The finished product is seen below!

This weekend was productive. Most of our boys went to the year end races and firework show on Saturday with their dad while I had a friend and her daughters over for dinner. A much needed visit!Then Sunday most of our children went swimming. Sunday I also started the beginning of my book....and with my spare time it will be finished in a few years!

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand" - Vince Lombardi

Friday, September 13, 2013

Forever intense mother

My oldest son once told me I was "intense" I was this mother that gave my life for my children. "I was too involved" Recently I returned from yet another trip driving one of our older sons up north. Previous to that, I flew across Canada bringing my daughter home. Previous to that it was bus tickets, plane tickets, vehicles, endless vehicle was sometimes endless nights crying in my room. I was intense. In fact I am intense. I am a one hundred percent dedicated intense mother that would fly anywhere at anytime giving me at least one hour to prepare. I never ever thought during the most challenging times I would forgive. I didn't know how. I was hurt. Disappointed. I was grieving during some of my children's teen years. I completely admit it. I came accustomed to the endless ministry and constable phone calls. I lost hope. I was threatened from different sources. I felt I failed. We had some challenging times. Ironically today I wouldn't change anything. My oldest son who didn't want us as his family for two years is one of my sweetest, loving and most personable sons that I'm very fond of today. My second oldest daughter who jumped around from birth family to birth family with her boyfriend and had a beautiful baby girl is home, back in school while her boyfriend works - we're rekindling lost time. Time I thought that would never return. All my children (even when I thought I wouldn't do anything more for) I would cross the miles and make the effort for our forever. Which brings my attention to my intense personality that my son called so well. I honestly can not help myself......I can make comments and really, really mean those comments - meaning that I've been so hurt that those comments seem real at that time but when push comes to shove.....I love. I can't just stop being my children's mother. I am forever intense. Adoption and actually.....having children in general isn't easy. Raising teenagers is the most difficult years you will ever experience as a parent. For us (so far) the adolescent years are by far the worst. Usually there is a opening where the bulb has been turned on. Although I find to get to the turned on light bulb is patience, understanding and what was extremely huge for me - forgiveness. I believe the teenager years is the worst. Being 40 years old, I can't think of a more difficult time - Teenagers hate their parents anyways....then add the dynamics of adoption. "You're not my real parent" Then the search is on.....the behaviours excel beyond control. This doesn't mean we weren't good parents, or we weren't "real" parents, this means it's time to let our teens figure it out. This is what I learned......I'm not saying it's not hard. It's devastating but in order for life to iron out in a healthy manner - it needs to happen and as a parent, we need to forgive, love and move on. For my children, I will do anything. I know that of me. I do agree with my oldest son - I am intense. At least I'm not in denial, I also am not in denial about being crazy either because personally that part of me is a special gift I embrace. lol Family I don't take lightly. I never have. There isn't a doubt in my mind ever regardless what my children will go through, and on how they will treat me or what they might believe during their debut -  I am still their mother. I am forever intense and will continue to make decisions for our family regardless what anyone thinks. One important aspect raising a family like mine, after a while it doesn't matter about outside opinions. The real family and friends remain regardless. If anyone tells you "forever" doesn't exist, I care to differ - it does if we choose too, if not in person.....within our hearts. I know now.....children are my life. It's my ministry. I couldn't live without them and adoption brought me many wonderful, challenging and special individuals that I can proudly say, "I am their forever intense mother"

Road Trip

Near Cashe Creek

With a blink, within a day things can change. For me, it was five days. I rescheduled my whole week in order to drive my second oldest son back up north to his new home stead. "Fort St. John" We left our house at 5:30am, caught the 6:20am ferry and by 8:30am I was driving 13 hrs from Vancouver to Fort St. John on Sunday. By 10pm I was in a very cozy bed at my sister in laws. I brought my little man (22 months) and he was an amazing traveler. He never cried, didn't even whimper. He pointed at the cows and horses , he played with his toys and basically stared at me probably wondering where on earth were we going. A long our driving journey we saw a healthy looking moose, one black bear and one dead black bear. Sunday was a very exhausting 18 hr day in total. It was worth it, I haven't met three of my nieces, and one nephew. I haven't seen my husband's brothers family for three years! Way too long. They have 15 children and it's amazing when our families are all together. During my four day stay I reacquainted myself with my nieces and nephews. It was shocking what three years difference made with every ones growth. Besides quading (freely) without police involvement while fetching eggs, 4 X 4-ing down near their local river, going for runs, walking their dogs around their dug-out and saying "Goodbye" to my one son, we just visited sitting on their porch. My last day was bitter sweet. Part of me wanted to move back somehow, I did not want to be the long distant Auntie. I wanted the laid back country living, "the freedom" Then my other side of my brain reminded me we are settled where we are. It's convenient and unrealistic to move again. Reality sucks. Besides re-connecting, I had a lot of time to think and it doesn't matter where you reside and hang your hat, there's pros and cons to everything and everywhere. If change needs to happen or is wanted, then it's not the thought that will change it; anything to do with a lifestyle change, it's the action that triggers it from anywhere. I've heard people say that they can't change - my theory is that anyone can, and any relationship and/or family can as a whole too, it takes one person first, then usually the company you keep changes (evolves) too. Meaning, we can live more like country folk, we can see each other more from a far - honestly we can do anything if we set our minds to it. It doesn't matter where we live. Funny, everything I do leads me to more common sense enlightenment's. All my decisions in life haven't been easy, they're either lessons learned or meant for a reason, good or indifferent they've made me who I am today, and that's a pro-active deep analyzing spontaneous thinker just wanting the best in this world for myself and the people I love and know in it. Sometimes a sporadic decision is one of the best most thought out act people can do for change. After my flight returning home, the baggage return belt broke and we had to wait another 45 minutes. Finally receiving our luggage, I checked to see if anything was broken and to find my whole canister of powdered baby formula exploded inside on absolutely everything. A large "sigh" and I told myself I won't cry over powdered milk. Although I did have to decide if I was going to continue on with my plan A that consisted of catching the train, then the bus to the ferry carrying my 22 month old son with a large bag but after the exit sign from the airport and my timing, it was plan B - a taxi! Even with the taxi, I had only ten minutes to board the ferry. While running, stopping to reposition and breathe... a lovely woman asked if she could take my bag. Anyone who knows me, they know I would say, "It's ok....I can do it" but this lady insisted and proceeded to take my bag, walked along side of me, onto the ferry, into the bathroom and helped me clean everything inside my bag from the powder mess. I thanked her thinking we would part ways. She continued to carry my bag to the children's play area and we finally settled down together. She momentarily left and again returned with a tea for me and from there we visited. After docking she continued to carry my bag, dropping it half way where another man scooped it up and said, "I will carry that" Eventually we met my husband. It showed me once again, strangers out of no where was my saving grace. Not that I couldn't manage on my own but it just proved once again the good in people. Honestly, emotionally I was tired, frustrated and it was just nice to have the friendly company of another after leaving my second oldest son and my family up north. We meet people sometimes in the strangest scenarios, and it was an excellent end to a trip well needed.

 Love the Poplar Trees
 The Peace Region
 Mountain views
Collecting eggs quading style
For privacy reasons I won't share my nieces and nephews.
Again, one of my favorite quotes featured on my blog is from Mahatma Gandhi - "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" including in your own life!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Portrait Day!

For years I wanted a family portrait for our home. We never did because we didn't feel like our family was complete. I believe having pictures within our home is important for our children because it's just another piece for their sense of belonging, a portrait of their family - pictures are a huge significant statement for people, a reconfirmation that we are a family. We have our tree wall of fame consisting of all our children's school photo's (seen in the above picture to the right) but we don't have a family portrait. A family portrait is equally important to me. I'm proud. For me it not only signifies our family, it signifies that we are complete. It signifies after many challenging years, we're still all together. It's very sentimental for me because today, Friday the 6th (all of us) we are together for our first professional family portrait. 19 of us in total. After today, three of our adult children have already and are moving within the next month. Today is the day I've been waiting for! I will admit I was nervous and worried on how our family portrait session was going to happen with all ages, different needs and behaviours. The preparation as you can imagine was organizing clothes, and most importantly preparing ourselves with positive good attitudes. My photographer I chose was another adoptive mother. I prepared her on how difficult this family portrait will be. Her business can be located on the below link.
She was great! I will view the photographs with her in a couple of weeks. I am so excited! Today wasn't just about the photographs. It was about my family, ALL of us together. It happens occasionally. Yes we might have screamers, we definitely have many boys that run around throwing pine cones at each other with the ongoing sibling rivalry. We have our share of wanderers. (or at least they try wander free) "It was ok" Most importantly I was very appreciative that my older adult children arranged their schedules, dressed and smiled. It meant the world to me today. The above picture is some of us eating dinner after the photo shoot. I stood back witnessing our whole family interacting and laughing with each other, it was a very sentimental proud day for me. Now the waiting begins in hopes we had at least one good family shot for the focal point in our home! And for my family.....we might stand out and take over a sidewalk but as my children's mother and not being bias - we have a great group of kids!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A meaningful well deserved celebration!


My father married a woman sweeter then the biggest cake I could make her.....
A woman who has one of the biggest hearts, the kindest thoughts and one of the warmest smiles.....
A mother and grandmother with wisdom and patience.....that truly has unconditional love.....
Our children adore her.....and I personally thank her for always being there.....I know now the challenges she endured being my "other mother" and I'm gratefully appreciative she's still my mother and now a grandmother, and great grandmother for my children. Being an adoptive mother I know having the same blood means absolutely nothing - it's the people in our lives making differences, loving and supporting each other that is family. So for us, family means putting our arms around each other and just being there......."Happy belated birthday Brenda" You mean more then just words, I can't express enough on how wonderful you are.....and on how much I realize the importance you've been in my life and our children's! Family can be blended in a bowl with as many lit candles as we choose, we just need to open our hearts and grow.....