Monday, June 30, 2008

A Diagnosis

I saw the surgeon today. He and the radiologist agree I have bulging discs between L3, L4, & L5. They are not emergent, and I'm in my 30's, so we I don't have to do surgery at this time. Whew! I had expressed to him how I"ve put off back surgery, and am not thrilled at the thought. If things become emergent, I would obviously have to have surgery at that point. He is referring me for steroid injections. Although, I don't know that I'm thrilled about steroids. He said the relief would be immediate, unless there is still isolated hip pain, which he can address at that time. He could do an exploratory surgery to look in my hip & diagnose. I asked him about any sort of therapy to help bulging discs. He feels there is none. I told him about the Bowen therapy, and he said to go for it if I want, but again, he's never heard of any fix for bulging discs. The theory is that they heal themselves, or you get surgery. He says you could poll 100 people and none of them would say anything fixed them, outside of surgery.

I asked him what I need to do/avoid. He said to avoid lifting, and keeping my weight down. He said people with lower back problems have more pain with more weight, as there is more weight then compressing on the spine. Other than that, he said people with this degenerative disc problem can lead a very active life as I do. No reason not to. My two biggest concerns are: keeping this from getting worse & getting back to active exercise (currently I'm doing walking, pilates, yoga, and a little cycling). He said if the steroids work, I should be able to run. WooHoo! I don't want to do marathons or anything, but running a few miles a few times a week would be great. There are small races that I would like to participate in with friends.

So, how do you feel about steroid injections? I don't know that I want to go thru with it, but I'm letting the referral go thru while I think about it. Will my face get automatically puffy from the steroids? How long does that last? My face has always been round (I was not blessed with chiseled cheek bones). Don't know that I want an even more round face than I already have.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Someone Else's Life

I feel like I'm living someone else's life. So much has come and gone the past few years. So much change. Life can turn on the change of a dime, and that happens alot around here.

We have a completely different life, so different from before we started the adoption journey. When we started our journey, I felt something was missing, another child or two, another journey, another milestone.

Strangely, enough, thru all the loss and pain of the last few years, loss of children, loss of parents (as they "check out" of life) I suddenly feel complete. I'm not sure why. I feel I've been thru a journey of the soul.

Yesterday, while watching our puppy nap in the bushes, as I sat knitting, I felt complete. I don't think I've felt that way ever. I've always been looking for approval, validation, something more. Without even knowing what "something more" looks like.

As a young adult, I spent so much time being responsible, prepared, driven, planning & saving for the future, accomplished, etc. Trying trying trying trying. I'm all of a sudden at a point where I'm OK just being. Just being me. Just letting it all be. Suddenly I feel complete.

I feel as if I've been thru a lashing this last few years, thinking "what did I do to deserve all this?", and I don't mean in a positive, thankful way. Knowing full well though, that God has His best plan for us, all along. Jeremiah 29:11. Sometimes I think we go thru turmoil, pain, loss, suffering, so that we will appreciate God's glory in heaven that much more. Not sure, but that's what I tell myself. At the same time, I do have a bounty to be thankful for, and I really enjoy my life. I love where I am at (finally), love my family, and love the life we have created and have been blessed with.

So much has happened over the last few years, that my life now looks almost nothing like it used to. I had a good life before, but now it's so different. And better. It's hard to put a finger on it, but I feel in my heart and soul that we have turned such a corner......................
**Our puppy looks like these ;o)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lots of Random Updates

Big surprise. I did not get the job (ROFL). The good news is, I now have experience with the school district HR dept, and the testing. So we'll see if I get called about a part time job (that's all that I applied for).

My garden is still being eaten by local critters. We are putting up a wire fence this weekend.

Tonight we are off to buy a puppy. An English Springer Spaniel. It's a surprise for the boys.

I am halfway done with a knitted afghan, started Saturday.

My oldest son is in wrestling camp this week. He said a kid hurt his head yesterday halfway thru practice, and had to leave. Today I told him to NOT Hurt His Head Please!!
Yesterday I asked him what he learned from camp. He said "I learned that I know nothing." Guess it's really militant. They work out for six hours, with a lunch break in the middle. I pack him a lunch the size of the wrestler on The Breakfast Club.

My younger two are still in swimming and loving it. I've been sitting with a lady, and she told me today her son has Aspergers. Hey, so do I! So, we are looking around for a support group. She is also looking for a therapist for her son, so I'm bringing her the info tomorrow on the psychiatrist our son has seen, wonderful guy.

I thought of a new consequence for when the kids are being annoying, stealing, lying, etc. I tell them, "since I don't trust you, you have to sit by me for X amount of time. And watch Lifetime Movie Network with me." They would rather be stabbed in the eye with a fork. We've only had one kid in LMN timeout with me this week.

I went to the orthopedic surgeon about my hip. He thinks the problem is a Lower Back bulging disc, or a torn ligament in the ball & joint of the hip. So I'm off to have an MRI Thursday, and surgery consult Monday. If they can't find the problem thru the MRI, he said the best he can do is refer me for steroid injections for pain management. I'm rolling my eyes. Not pretty. Today I went to my Bowen Therapy appt, and she said she hopes it's a bulging disc that they find. She said there is a specialize type of Bowen therapy that can shrink the disc. Can't hurt to try?

We went camping this weekend, and had a blast. So did the mosquitoes, as they ate us alive. Us and everyone else in the park.

How come we have record high weather the years I'm pregnant, and record lows the year I planted my first garden? If I don't see some produce soon, I'm buying more berries. The shrub berries are doing well, and too high for rabbits to get to. I could add boysenberries & currants.

Today or tomorrow I'm making the first round of this years jam. Flavor of the day? Grape. Yummy.

And for some more good news, my alcoholic friend has not sought out contact with me in over a month. Last time she called, she was trying to defend her husband. I cut her off with "This is the same shit, different verse, every year. Don't want to hear it." Did the trick! She has probably found someone else to complain to, who will enable her. Better them than me!

Final good news for the day, I have now ended the dieting slump, and lost 2.5 more pounds. So that's 17.5 for the year. I was at a plateau for months! yuck! I need to update my weightloss ticker....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Maybe I Will Go Into Jam Production, after Today's Interview Testing

Good Grief. Today I went in for the 2 hr computer skills testing that the Principal's assistant position requires. Ah, a tad more than computer skills. Geez.

It was probably just under 1/2 secretarial skills, and a little over 1/2 accounting skills. Now, this job, mind you, said it only requires a high school diploma. Well, a person with only a high school diploma would have left 10 minutes into the test.

I've never done a mail merge. I at least tried to complete it following the steps. Something didn't go right. So I didn't turn it in.
I'm not good at looking for software that's not on the computer, software which I need to make a flier.

OK then. But I am good at research, spreadsheets, accounts payable, HR, budgeting, making executive decisions, corporate stuff. So, I passed those sections well.

I told my family you had to have an accounting degree to get the accounting/corporate stuff done on that test, that they served up.

As I turned my work in, I said, "I'm smart. After someone has shown me once how to do something once, I can perform it always and forever. I have never done a mail merge or created a flier. I'm an accountant, so, I do have lots of skills. Hopefully you give me a call to interview for other positions."

We'll see. I would be highly surprised if they call me back for this position.

The good news is, I now have experience with the school district testing scenario. You have to interview and test for every position (ugh.). Not to mention turn in enough paperwork on yourself to end up with national security clearance. Good thing I learned thru adoption how to get all that turned in, ASAP.

Next time (hopefully there is a next time) I go in for testing, I will leave anything I've never seen before, for the end of my time allotted.

And since when does the principal's assistant make mail merges & fliers? There are already multiple secretaries on staff...........
Oh well. What do I know.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Summer

Ah happy summer! Today is our first full day off of school. Summer vacation, here we come.

To start our vacation, we took the boys out to Red Robin yesterday. At which time our oldest son told us more horrors about the bus driver. Sigh. I immediately called the district, and insisted that something be done about this driver. Suffice it to say, her motto is "What happens on the bus, stays on the bus." ARGH! Well, our son said he didn't tell us, because he didn't want me getting involved. Well, I told him that it is normally true that I like our children to solve their own problems before getting adults involved. HOWEVER, and that's a big HOWEVER, when an adult asks children to keep secrets, and especially when that adult is an authority figure, it's probably the sign to TELL AN ADULT. Period. So, our son has learned a valuable lesson here, without suffering any damage (luckily). I hope the bus driver is fired, now that I know what's been going on all year. I can't believe kids stick together in a pack, for a BUS DRIVER!! Geez.

Moving on, We are in swimming lessons every morning, for the next six weeks. Our oldest is going to wrestling camp next week (day camp). We are camping this weekend, and really looking forward to it. Albeit, we popped up the trailer to trial run it last weekend, and it flooded. So, we will be going sans water. But hey, there will be electricity (microwave, heat, AC, lights). Then on the 23rd I will take it in for service. Additionally, we will be doing alot of bike riding this summer. We live on acreage, in a development that goes for miles of rolling hills. Everyone is on acreage. We rode for 90 minutes last night, thru only part of the development, only one loop. Tomorrow we can go a different loop. Our oldest son has informed me that we are training for a bike race that is next February. Uh, OK.

Today was my first job interview. I was surprised to realize how naive I was. I was actually shocked that they had a panel waiting to interview me, in a large conference room. Hmmm, is that how they do interviews now? I've never been interviewed by a table full of people. Guess it's a good idea when hiring the Principal's assistant. Guess I'd be working with alot of people, variables, and need to use alot of skills. Anyway, I think the interview went well. I ran many of the questions and answers by my husband. He liked my responses. Here's some of the questions:
1. It's 10:30am, and a blizzard is starting (happens every year). What do you do, and how do you notify the parents and arrange for transportation?
2. No one is around you. A crazy ranting teenage girl goes psycho on you, demanding her cell phone back (which you don't have, by the way)?
3. Someone tells you confidential info, that they should not share with you. What do you do?

I thought this was well thought out, and good interviewing material. There were dozens of questions, but I think you get the point. They interviewed "several" people yesterday, today, and will tomorrow as well. They said they'd let me know within two weeks.

And for the most fun part of my summer (I think), I've joined a Knitting Circle that meets once a week. WAY more fun than I ever imagined. I made a scarf, and now I'm onto hats, afghans, and fancier scarves. I had NO idea how many possibilities there are with yarn. Who knew?

Finally, I'll sign off with the fact that it was reported on the news that Strawberries are not growing here yet, due to the record cold spring (still snowing on April 21). So, OK, I'm not feeling so bad that my plants have only produced 2 berries. Onward................

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Transportation Update, and an Interview, & the Girls

Update on the Careless School Bus Driver (post HERE -clickable):

The transportation department said that unfortunately, my son's story is true. The bus driver admitted to it.

She has had a perfect record with the district, until now. Because she has an immaculate record, they are instigating disciplinary action against her with the school district, in lieu of firing her. That works for me. I would hate to see someone out of work.

On the job front, I called the school district Thursday to see when they hire. Soon? End of Summer? They said they didn't have all my paperwork, and were waiting for that before they call me for interviews. Well, since I turned in all my paperwork in person to the school district, I know it's not lost in the mail. Sigh. So, I redid the missing paperwork and submitted Friday. Today I got called for an interview. It's for a Full-Time assistant/bookkeeper for a highschool principal. This would be great. This highschool is the one in the district closest to me. The only thing I have to figure out is summer child care. I'm calling the Boys & Girls Club to see what their summer program is. It's less than 10 minutes from the highschool. Also I told them that fulltime work would be difficult in the summer, due to finding childcare for an autistic child (our 9yr old). They said they can work with that, and discuss parttime summer employment. COOL!
Interview Wednesday. Skills testing Thursday. To be continued......

I spoke with the governors office today about the girls medical records coming to me. She said it's still not resolved, the girls live no where near us, and there is a new supervisor on their case. I asked if the old supervisor left? Nope. She was removed from the girls case management. PROGRESS!! Even though the girls do not live with us, we want the best for them. Hopefully new staff on the case will improve the outlook for the girls future. Additionally the girls new home is a foster home, not an adoptive placement. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. How fascinating. They would put the 3yr old in another foster home, yet not with us, all in the name of "keeping siblings together"? I have to trust God that He is watching over them and their care, and watching over the 3yr old while she is present with the 5yr old (the predator). Back to the medical info coming to me, the state asked me to call the medical provider & straighten this out. I told them "no", this is not my problem, I just want to make sure the girls are getting their medical care. Additionally I said, in the future I will put "return to sender" on all mail for the girls, and the sending parties can get a clue. Works for me & the governor's office!! Perhaps the girls will not get medical care, but I've done all I can, and have to let the rest go.


Yesterday I spent over $80 on the following:

Deer pellets
Rabbit spray
Slug & Snail Bait
Mole peanuts
Mouse pellets

Gardening is expensive.

I replanted Zucchini, Miniature Pumpkins, Watermelon, and Cantaloupe. The melons did not produce with our record low temps. The animals ate my pumpkins and zucchini.
These deer pellets will be the last dollars I spend on keeping the deer away. If it fails, I will pull out the rose bushes. Next year I will put in an upstairs deck rose garden. Then the deer can go find other vittles.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hair post

I've been using Loreal Color Spa for the last few months. I have med-dark brown hair, and got really bad highlights in April. Yuck. It was supposed to be blond highlights, and caramel low lights. Um, can you say "red"? Just doesn't look good with my coloring, rather coppery. I'm getting ready for permanent hair color. I'm getting a few gray hairs around my face & where I part my hair. What would you recommend, for drug store hair color (kitchen hair), that won't over dry or over process?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Transportation Update

An additional update at the bottom of this post~~

Update on the school bus story posted HERE (clickable):

The head of the school district Transportation Department called me today to verify the story. I repeated the whole thing for him. He stated that a bus driver will be fired for this behavior, so had to check out the story with me before confronting the bus driver. I said I didn't want anyone fired over this, but it is reason for concern. He said, "you wouldn't be the one who got them fired. they did it to them self."

Yikes. He will be calling me back to let me know the outcome.

Just in case my boy is lying, I asked him if anyone can verify this story. He said "the whole bus. They saw me do it." I'm tending to think he's telling the truth.

In other news, we are trying to decide where to retire, and would like to purchase retirement property in the next year. Interest rates are awesome after all. The top three locations:
Eastern WA/Idaho
The Bible Belt (southeast)--Can I hear an AMEN!

Currently my number one vote is for Florida, specifically, the greater Orlando area. Anyone have any good retirement location ideas? Anywhere good in TX to retire? We really love TX, but know little about retirement locations there.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Award

I went to my son's award ceremony at school tonight. Three kids win an award for each class. He won the 9th grade algebra award. He is a 7th grader, taking this class. We are thrilled he is excelling.

I called the school about the bus bit from yesterday. They are getting back to me. I will say, when I told them what my son said (in post below), they said that's unheard of. So, did the bus driver act illegally? or did my son lie? sigh. To be continued.......

Creative or Careless~~You Decide

The strike is over. The boys cleaned the house for hours on Friday, and weeded all day Saturday & Sunday. If we paid people to do that, we'd have to pay a couple hundred dollars. Nuff Said.

A few weeks ago, I found our oldest son rummaging thru my van. When asked what he was doing he said, "nothing."

Ya, sure. I told him to get out of my van.

Two days ago I went out to the van to get a piece of gum. I always carry breath freshening items, Tylenol, and a few various and sundry products in the car. The gum was gone. There were two full packs last I checked. The oldest boy admitted to lying to me a few weeks ago & stealing the gum.

So the boy owed me for the gum. But the frustrating thing is, it's not enough to me to just get reimbursed. Isn't this stealing, when I've said my van (& what's in it) are off-limits? I feel it's stealing. And the boys have always known this. We've been thru this dog & pony show too many times before. And I'm tired of being on the poop patrol.

If you steal candy from Safeway, you have to reimburse the candy, plus pay a $100 fine. Second offense? Repay the candy, pay the $100 fine, and go to kiddie work camp in the eastern part of the state for a year. Really? yes. happened to our neighbor kid at age 14.

Our kids know this. They know this story.

So I told the boy he had to buy me new gum (his problem as to how he got his hands on some), pay me a fine (he could volunteer an amount).

Yesterday he comes home from school and plops two packs of the gum on my desk. When asked where he got it, he said "the store." How would that be? "Well, our school bus drives by a store a couple times on the route. I told the bus driver I made some poor choices, stole your gum, and asked to be dropped off at the store. She picked me up on the way back." He looked pleased as punch.

I was rather shocked that the middle school bus driver would just drop him off, willy nilly. This is a school district where you have to have written permission to alter your bus route, bus you are taking, or to even be the parent picking up your child at an undesignated time. Seriously, one time I went to school to pick up the boys for a surprise visit to the orthodontist, and the school would not release them because the boys were taking the state standardized testing at that moment. Uh, last time I checked, I'm the boys legal guardian, mother, and I'm the one in charge. But that's another story.

Back to the gum-lifter. I told him I give him an A for creativity and solving the problem. I'm more than a tad shocked that the school bus driver would drop him off, go drive around, and pick him up a while later at a store. Careless? Legal?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Update on the Girls

The girls medical info continues to come to us in the mail. This feels like such a slap in the face every time a piece of mail comes for them. It drives a knife in the big gaping wound in my heart.

I called the state head of DSHS in the governor's office yesterday, to tell her. Really, the girls records are none of our business. But more importantly, they aren't getting medical/dental/counseling care or attention, not even well-child checks (according to their medical records I get in the mail). That really disturbs me. So I told her all this, and asked if the girls are in an adoptive home? Back with the old foster family? Being well taken care of? Can I know that the girls are quite a ways from us geographically, for our safety & well being??

She is going to get back to me on all this. She asked if I notified the SW. Yes, of course I did. Multiple times, and he always said he'd taken care of it. Ah but of course. Another lying snaky SW. I hate that. I realize they are over worked & under paid, but to sit there and lie to me for months is just retarded.

Above all, I know the girls aren't getting medical attention (or dental/counseling/specialized care) because you have to present the medical info at every appointment. If their medical info comes to me, it's not with the new family. Therefore, new family isn't getting them attention. So, fortunately, the state agreed that is disturbing news, and they are required to pay attention to that. They seem pleasant when I call, and very kind.

Since I had their attention, I told her we still want to adopt the younger sister. We are so very sad she is placed with her older sister who molests and abuses her. She told me what she can say is that the girls are in a home with a formal "Safety Plan" in place. That would go along with what they told me months ago, that they were looking for, for this sibling group. A home where there were always two adults present, when the 5yr old is home. One on one attention for both children, and no other children living in the home. So, that is good. I told her to please put down for the record that we want to be notified if the girls are ever separated, so that we may adopt the younger one.

Every time I get their mail, or see yet another toy/belonging left behind by them, it just breaks my heart.

I can't gather the intelligence to understand why the state placed a predator with us & our children, especially when we told them upfront that we could not take a predator. In our home, ALL children have the right to be safe.

I know God has a purpose for all this. I realize that I may never know in my lifetime why these things happen. It's a tough cross to bear though.

This last week I've been plagued with "what-ifs", regarding the girls. What if we DID go to that required weekly marital & individual counseling (I went to individual counseling....didn't help the child)? What if I had pulled her out of preschool (since it was more of a pain in the ass, and she missed her nap)? What if I had her in full time daycare a few days a week? What if we had found some respite? What if I consulted members of our church and asked for help (I didn't do it at the time because I felt Sissy was owed some privacy)? What if we had secretly taken her to an attachment therapist, and hoped she didn't tell the SW's (since the SW's cancelled her counseling & required she not attend)? What if we had waited for the FCAP findings & referrals to services (that the SW would not authorize payment)? What if what if what if..............................

When Sissy requires that much attention, and is not legally allowed to live with other children (other than her sister), well, why on earth did the state put them with us? We had five children when the girls were here, no where close to the ratio of adult-child interaction the state now admits she requires.

Why do we have to bear the burden of this grief, to get her to a home that can provide for her needs? Since she needs this much supervision, how on earth were we to ever be a suitable match? How on earth could the boys have stayed safe, at least for much longer? And me as well. How many months, years, would she continue trying to fondle me? How many months or years would it take for her to learn to not give in to her impulsive dangerous behavior?

sigh. I just feel terrible. I'm not used to not having a solution. I grew up thinking you work hard, seek out lots of options and alternatives, and you can find a way. With God, all things are possible. I was waiting for a miracle.

It tears me up that my middle son is so sad, missing Lovey. We all miss her. But those two, well, they had such a most special bond. They were together nearly every minute our son was out of school, from dawn to dusk. We miss her terribly. Her older sister? I grieve, not knowing how to have helped her. I miss her, knowing full well that it's not her fault that she is so messed up. And I grieve the loss of a dream: the dream to raise those girls as my daughters.

Tonight my husband told me to not beat myself up. Easier said than done. I told him I can't help but have feelings.

When we turned to professionals for help for her, we were treated horribly.

I still continue to run into people in public or church who don't know we disrupted the adoption. And it's like picking at a scab or open wound every time, to have to inform people of what happened. Bless their hearts, everyone, and I mean everyone, we know is 100% supportive of our disruption, considering the situation and all. Everyone we know knows we gave it our all. I guess that's what stings, knowing our best wasn't good enough. Today's Dr. Phil was on dangerous children, and he told the parents there comes a time where it's not about parents controlling the situation. There comes a time and a place where it is unsafe to have those kids habitating in the same home, and the parents have to realize the situation is beyond the capabilities of parents. These children have to be removed from the home for the safety of others, and to live with medical staff. At least for a time being, so that medical evaluations can be done. I fought for those medical evaluations, and we were denied. Who on earth denies a child medical care? What has our social services adoption units turned into? They really appaul me.

So, I continue to learn how to move on. I don't feel so sad every day. Now, the girls cross my mind daily, but I'm only sad occasionally. So that's a good thing.

Stay tuned for a more positive upbeat post next time. Truly, I do have mostly good days. Many are great.

Love and Logic in Oprah Magazine

Today the mail box had the July 2008 Oprah magazine. I just HAD to find out what this cover link article was about. The caption? "Mom drives 2hrs to do son's laundry! The new superparents-are they crazy like a fox or just plain crazy?"
Page 210~~article on Helicopters. Yes that's right, Jim Fay & Foster Cline's "Helicopter" parents are on display.
The article is a good read. Enjoy!!

For those of you who have not heard of Love & Logic, HERE (clickable) is a link.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Strike & Moved to Tears

Day 7. We are now on day 7.
The boys have been working hard. Yes, some grumbling along the way. To which I either ignore, or respond with an empathetic "I know it's hard." My husband has been making them dinner. Last night they had chicken strips for the 4th night in a row. Boys not thrilled, but glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel with all their hard work on a chart. Gee, I never thought the boys would tire of Tyson chicken products. Guess there's a first for everything.

I was moved to tears yesterday in this process. Our oldest son called from a school trip yesterday, saying the buses were hours behind schedule. He was calling from a cell, in a crowded space with hundreds of middle schoolers. I thanked him for letting me know. He then said (& remember he's in a crowded place with peers) :

"I love you Mom". I love him too.

He's grown into a place the last few years where public hugging, displays of affection, and God forbid saying "I love you", are really just embarrassing. I think it was huge and so sweet for him to say "I love you" in front of all those kids.

Next item on the list: In the mail yesterday, there was a letter from the school. Me? Cringing at the thought of what's in the envelope. This is the kid who was kicked out of the 6th grade multiple times, he's taken a vacuum cleaner pipe and threatened to kill me, destroyed my personal property, begged his father & I to get a divorce so that he can have two birthday parties & two sets of electronics, etc. Gee, what does the school want now? Quite hesitant, and with a sigh, I opened the envelope. It says "Our staff is pleased to announce that your child will receive an award for outstanding achievement in academics or public service", with details following. I about fell out of my chair. Now, seriously, I don't think the worst in my kid. However, this last couple years, living with his bipolar disorder, ADHD, and ODD, has really had me looking forward to the day he will go live on his own. Sometimes he is so sweet and fun and I relish the time we have together.....knowing it will only be for another few years; other times he seems possessed. I'm digressing.

I wanted to cry. The kid has hope. I've always told him that if you work hard, good things happen. If you build a good reputation for yourself, people assume the best of you and in you. His dad and I were pretty squeaky clean kids (yes I know, gag me). We give him examples of how that helps in life, staying out of trouble, that is. With that though, we tell him none of us is perfect, we've made mistakes too, shared with him the results, and said how "not fun" those situations were.

There is hope. I really think L&L has saved us. I heard about it in 2001, and have been using it since. Our oldest son was 6yr old at the time, and I wondered if it was too late. He fought L&L, kicking and screaming. He's fought it all this time, with pure venom. I never expect kids to like parenting, but he really takes things to the extreme level. He got home last night & we asked him what this award is for. He has no idea. Honor roll? Nope. He's in the 7th grade, and you have to have top grades for all of 7th grade, plus 1 quarter of 8th grade to get into National Honor Society. So, this is a genuine unique award, just for him. This has really made my decade. The important thing is not that he makes me proud, but that he is proud of himself. We've always told the kids that it's important to do well in school & life, for their own future. Their father and I will not be supporting them financially after a point (college age), so it's in their best interest to do well in school and life. It will not punish us if they do poorly. It will just be sad. We've always had them claim their accolades & consequences in their own name. It's not about pleasing us, it's about them being proud of themselves. Just thought I'd share some good news. There is hope, even for the severely challenged child. I'll let you know next week (the 12th) what the award is for.

There is hope.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Strike Day 6

Day 3-
One son missed the bus today. Did I take him to school?
He had to get a ride to school with my husband. Husband not thrilled, but is doing everything possible to get the message across that I'm on strike. God bless him. He deserves Man of the Year for supporting this.And no one wrote a note for the boy who was late to school. He can deal with his unexcused tardy on his own. He's a big boy. I wanted to get a bunch of yard work out of the kids & outdoor jobs, but we live in the pacific NW where it rains 300 days a year. Including today. So I'm printing out the detailed FLYlady cleaning list. Every room of the home will be sparkling while we are waiting for a sunny day to earn money outdoors. ;o)I'll keep you posted this week on the progress.

Day 4-
Formal Living room, Dining room, Entry, and Hallways are all sparkling at my home.

Day 6-
Last night we had the boys weeding. It was the first semi-dry day here in a week. The boys all balked at this in one way or another. Frankly, I'm tiring of it too, but we have to let this run it's course. A little discomfort now will teach lessons that will help for years to come. So, the boys were bickering over who was doing more weeding. My husband then sent them to separate areas of the yard. Much yelling names at each other ensued, all claiming the other brothers weren't working hard enough, or name calling went on. I then charged them 25cents per rude/hurtful statement. One boy got charged 50 cents, one boy four dollars. One boy learned from his brothers that it will hurt the pocketbook to do that, and he kept his mouth shut.

The middle son said "I'm not doing this anymore. This is stupid!" I said, "no problem. I'll be on strike for you that much longer, until your debt is paid off." He said something, muttering under his breath, and got back to work.

The oldest boy came in after a while and asked "mom, will you take me to youth group?"
me- "no, I'm on strike"
boy- ";laksjfl;kjf;lahgflakdjf;lkajdfl;adjsf"
boy- "dad, will you take me to youth group? It's the end of the year carnival."
husband "no, I'm sick"
boy- stomped off muttering how this isn't fair and he's missing the best stuff of the year.

Well, yes. That's the idea. To be continued.

Monday, June 2, 2008

On Stike, Day 2

The strike is going well. The kids are quickly becoming dismayed with this arrangement. Ah good, the desired affect.

I'm not sure if I will charge them for pizza. Tonight I'm making my husband and myself Clam Chowder for dinner. The kids? On their own. One son already grabbed leftover chicken from Friday. The pickings will get slim pretty shortly. I think we are down to the last gallon of milk, and last loaf of bread.

Don- I wasn't cut off in traffic. I was run off the road by a moving truck. They forced me off the highway into a residential front lawn. Tsk tsk on them!! ;o)

Thank God my husband is supporting me in the strike.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

On Strike

I'm on strike. I will not be performing most of my mothering duties until the boys attempt to pay off the $100 for my quilt they cut with scissors, and the upholstered chair someone slashed.

The children will not be neglected or harmed in any way thru this. Just making a point that they can make their lunch, wash their clothes, russle up dinner (hot dogs, sandwich......), etc. I will not be signing school forms, transporting to sports, whatnot. I will not be signing up anyone for sports, activities, summer camp, and the like, until a large attempt is made to repay the debt. I told the boys to feel free to work off the debt, and I will then have my energy restored from property damage & lying. A little Love & Logic there......

Yesterday we suggested weeding all day, all three of them. That would be worth $50 (we live on three acres). Didn't get any takers. Their dad told them tonight to weed the yard until it was weed-free. The boys just wandered aimlessly around the swimming pool. I went to bible study (which is where I got the pizza idea below).

Tonight I bought them pizza for dinner, seeing as I don't cook anymore. We'll see how they like pizza for about seven nights in a row (that was a suggestion from a friend; I think it's hilarious!)

This should be interesting.