Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bowling, Dog-sitting, and "Listen and Obey"


As part of my summer "PLAN" I was hoping to add some fun activities to our structured time.
We learned about free passes at a local bowling alley for kids 15 and under.
So after Hope and Faith had their annual physicals and Faith got her booster shots
we headed out to do a couple of games. (We had to stop and buy socks first)
Faith surprised herself and won one game and I won the other!
Last time Hope won all the games 

Thursday evening one of Zeke's friends texted him a bit frantically and 
asked if we would be willing to dog-sit this weekend. We accepted,
but I realized I never met this dog. I didn't get a lot of time to be concerned
because Son#1 and family were coming for supper.
Dog turned out to be a well-behaved beagle, slightly over-weight.
He sorta fit right in, doesn't get worked up over Shekinah's antics,
politely waits and waits for food to accidentally fall on the floor.
I told them they are not allowed to feed him cause his owner asked us to stick to dog food.
But you know accidents do happen.

He sleeps good at night- at least I think he does. I didn't hear him.
The only thing, he is strong enough to take Faith for a walk. On Friday morning it was a good thing that Shekinah came tagging along because Hunter decided to investigate a smell in the neighbor's yard and Shekinah had to help Faith change his mind.
 It took two of them to pull him back to our driveway.

On Thursday we went to Patches Family Farm Days It was OK
but my girls had just been at Oregon Dairy Farm Days and it just didn't compare.

Shekinah and Parker were a bit awed by the cows in the barn though.

Thursday was a big day! It was also the day that the bunnies were old enough to be separated from their mother. Grandpa's rabbit had a litter and Shekinah had been asking for one 
for awhile. Now he needs to be tamed so that she can hold him. We need to
wait till Hunter goes home to start that process. Hunter knows exactly what bunnies
are for! His nose reminds me of the German Short-Haired Pointers that we had a few years ago.

On Saturday, Loving ARMS hosted a video seminar with "TBRI Lasting Changes in Your Child's Behavior" by the wonderful folks at TCU. It was a review for me since I think I've seen this video about 6 times now. This week we are going to be working on  "Listen and Obey" and  "Ask with Respect"   I realized after watching that again, I have gotten lazy in my requirements.
It is hard work! One or two of my children think they are a bit "too old" to have to reply with "yes, mom" when I make a request, but if I don't require a verbal response, it seems they conveniently forget my request. 
From what I hear,  my children do wonderfully following orders and being polite when they are out in public--school or at jobs. For that I am so thankful. So should we just be satisfied with that? Somewhere in my gut, I think that if I don't teach them to be polite and respectful to their housemates what will life be like for their future husband or wife?  
So for my future grandchildren's sake, I will press on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quilts, Birthdays and Paint

Finished this!  One down three others to go.

She turned 11! How could that be?
We went shopping so she could spend some of that birthday money 
that was burning holes in her pockets.

Today we decided to try sunprints on fabric as explained
here. So far the results look good but we will know better after washing.

You wet the fabric and thin down acrylic paint with water.
Spread your fabric on black garbage bags in the sun.

Paint to your heart's desire...or spritz as in this case.

Or carefully design...

Or be totally sure it will be a fail.
Then you put leaves, buttons, rocks etc on the fabric and allow to dry
undisturbed in the not weight your items with 
plexiglass panels as I did...use rocks or something.
After it is dry you are supposed to run fabric in hot drier for 45 min..
or as I read on another site...iron with a pressing cloth dampened with vinegar.
Not sure what I'll try, I'm sure the smellier the better.
Gotta have a good chemical reaction somewhere there.
Will keep you posted. This might be our best...or worst craft project yet.
We plan to make jumpers from the fabric...that is why it is cut like this.

The male population did not want to participate, he chose to drive around with the 
garden tractor. I wonder why?

I bought a white sheet set because the fabric is less expensive that way
Shekinah decorated the pillowcase.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mostly Pictures...and Our Long Week

I looked through Hope's camera and found pictures from their weekend with Grandma and Grandpa.

...of the school carnival in Bradford

Grandma suddenly had more heads to comb than she ever did.

Shekinah turned 6 last week, it was a busy Saturday, so she got her gifts first thing.

Then Ben and Jana took them on a picnic and fishing.

I don't think she likes holding fish.

The kid that didn't think he was going to go, caught the most fish.

New experience for her, I think.

The birthday "cake" waited until Monday night.

Of course the cheesy smile.

Monday we picked rows of peas.
Then VBS in the evening
Tues we went along for Joe's driving evaluation, it took all morning and they decided...
he doesn't need much adaptive equipment, just a spinner knob on the steering wheel.
I am a little surprised and am not sure how I feel about the news.
It means we have more freedom on the car we will get for him to use, but
it also means that we get to do his driver training.
The evaluator said he would benefit from some additional training with him
hopefully that eases my mind a bit.
The evaluator also noted that DOT issued the wrong driver's permit- it was issued for dual controls which meant that during driver training the trainer would have had braking controls on their
side of the car too.
I didn't know that was available! How many times would that come in handy?

After we came home from that appointment, I took the girls to Oregon Dairy Farm Days.
Free ice cream and chocolate milk samples.
Bunnies to pet and sunflowers to plant.
The weather was perfect.
CPR class to teach for me and VBS for the rest of the family.

Wednesday was a work day for both Joe and Hope.
I used that day for a trip to the post office, bank and a few groceries.
Somehow all that driving around took all morning.
VBS in the evening.

Thursday morning found us on the road headed for Shriner's for the yearly 
"limb difference" visit. They decided that Joe needs new sockets (legs) and will get him new 
feet too while they are at it. These Rush feet thankfully lasted for two years this time. A few years
ago we were breaking feet every spring.
That involved casting and measuring, I was glad that I took the 8:30 appointment even though
it meant hauling everyone out of bed at 6AM.
We got home just before lunch.
The youngest two were in a rank mood and I told them either I take a nap or they do.
They took the naps, I needed to work on "the quilt".

"The quilt" is a theme that will run 'in the background' all summer. Hannah got a 
special order from a man that wants like six quilts for Christmas and I need to make three of
them. Then there is the annual Christmas Quilt that we try to put on the market, that has to be 
completed by October so that people have time to buy it!

Friday morning found us back in the pea patch...this picture makes the patch look
extra long, but that's how it feels when you are at the other end.
I found out that peas were selling for $50 a bushel at the produce auction last week
so we looked on them as 'green gold' and I tried to make it sound fun.

We took them to the "pea huller"  and as always were amazed at the small amount of peas
you get from ALL those peas you picked!
I wish I would have felt comfortable taking a picture at the pea huller. It was a microcosm
of small town Mennonite life. When we were there on Monday, there were two Amish buggies with 
a Wenger Mennonite lady standing at the one horse's head. My children
probably didn't notice that she didn't belong to that buggy. It was that lady's 
kindness that allowed the Amish lady to take care of her produce and 
be sure that her horse didn't decide to take off down the road with her children 
bouncing around inside.

Looked closer at the one lady and realized that I knew her. She really hadn't changed much from when I was a young girl and saw her biking along the road.

Friday when we were there, two little Stauffer Mennonite boys biked in with their peas and 
had a time trying to figure out how my girls fit with me.  My girls were doing their
own share of staring so I didn't worry too much.

Friday, Faith and Shekinah convinced me that they could hull one small bag of peas.
I should have known better, but I let them bring them home. They started strong,
but in the end they realized how much time we saved by stopping at that farm on the way home.

This week I hope to get back on a proper schedule again. We didn't even use the 
job selection and it seemed to put everyone off stride. 
I finished "the quilt" last night--will get pictures tomorrow before I deliver it.

DH and Zeke went to the Maker's Faire in DC and should be home this afternoon
so I can stop worrying. You see, I sent my two most directionally-challenged family members
off on a trip to a large city. It sounds like it went well, they used the Metro and used it to get around
from the Shady Grove area.

I went for groceries alone on Friday afternoon and while in the store two little girls about 4&5 were darting across the aisle like little kids do...and their mother scolded them "No, don't do that! People are going up and down here."  I smiled to show her that they really didn't annoy me, they were too cute. When the older child said "mama, don't you mean 'back and forth'? Up and down would be this way." as she motioned to the ceiling.  Mom and I both cracked up.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Painting, Strawberries, and A Trip to Shriner's

The painting proceeded and Shekinah felt left out. She did not want to simply paint on a piece of paper and no one wanted her to paint on THEIR piece of furniture. I found a broken half of an old rocking chair and she busily spread pink paint over the surface. Those little hands can paint quickly when the goal is to simply spread paint with little regard to neatness.
Then we moved on to decoration the next day.
She has a certain knack....Picasso perhaps?

Hope isn't quite finished but it looks stencils! I'm proud of her
because that took a bit of relaxing for my perfectionist.

Faith my free-spirit, she designed this the way she used to color in her coloring books.
My perfectionist tendencies required that I do the final coat and tape between the colors. 

The question I have what it takes to do the desk? Those stickers...
Joe fixed the pool net for me...some holey fabric and fishing line.

We also had a trip to Shriner's today, I really wasn't sure about the timing 3:20 PM and then the hair-raising trip home during rush hour. God's hand was over us and we really didn't have terrible traffic, that is, it never completely came to a halt.
It occurred to me today that if our family had been complete in 1997 there would be A LOT of things I never would have experienced...including driving in Philly traffic this often, never would have met the wonderful Dr's and staff at Shriners. Sort of worrisome, the secretary greeted us by name as we got off the elevator...maybe she saw the day's schedule and she simply put names and faces together that way.
Anyway, the visit was simply a yearly checkup. Dr was happy to see us and we chatted, he was totally in agreement with me to take Joe off at the ankles and lower him to a more accessible height. Even called in the prosthetist , she agreed it was necessary, but didn't know what foot to use.
Before anyone gets all worked up, this was crazy talk...Dr thought it was great that he was growing, until he realized Joe was taller than he was.
Dr agreed that Shekinah was adorable and wonderful, she wrote her name neatly on his papers and he told us to come back in a year.
Unfortunately, that was only the hand Dr, we need to run back down there next Thurs to see the feet Dr and see if any adjustments need to be made on Joe's prosthesis.

So next week--Driver's evaluation, pick peas, Shriners, teach a CPR class and VBS at church.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Strawberries, Blue Skies, Fake Snakes, and

First thing on the Monday morning after a vacation weekend, you probably should not expect your children to cheerfully assist you in picking strawberries. I was very careful how I worded my expectations to some of my children and to my surprise they all helped. Some - the youngest- spent more time wandering up and down the row like a quality control inspector, but she came in handy when I was positioned like a person playing Twister. "Shekinah, bring me a box so I don't have to move my feet and step on more strawberries."  The row was wide and had a raspberry patch smack up against the one side- strange sense of humor there.  Then to top it off, Faith comes up to me with large-eyed concern, "Mom there is a snake down here!" I glanced back to where she had been working and Joe was staring at ...something.

Rats, I was the only adult out there.  And man! it was a King Cobra, but shouldn't he be rearing his head up if his hood was flared like that?  And don't tongues flicker when they are stuck out?

I still looked for a stick to poke it, just to be sure. We hung it on the stickery raspberry row until Faith was finished picking there, she just couldn't bring herself to pick around it...wonder why?

The weather was gorgeous and we were finished in an hour. Shekinah only needed one trip to inspect the interior of the house- under the guise of needing to use the bathroom.

Most everyone pitched in and we cleaned the berries and got them in the freezer, then the rest of the day was for drawing, sewing and sanding stubborn paint. We did manage to put on a primer coat this evening.

Wonderful Weekend

It started like this. Grandma and Grandpa took the girls to the cabin and then to visit the cousins in the northern part of the state. Hubby and I set off for a weekend at an Adoption and Foster Seminar.
It felt weird going to a place where children out-number adults 3:1 and I only had to watch my husband. Actually, I took the opportunity to observe. 
I watched one young dad with amazing skill keep track of his two very busy 4 y.o. twins and his son with other issues as well as note what his older son was telling him and still come back to a conversation he and my husband were having.
Another time I was so wishing for a good stealth camera, an older man with large calloused hands gently holding a three-month-old foster daughter and coaxing her to drink a bottle, while keeping an eye on a four-year-old who was eating supper. The skill he displayed told me this wasn't the first time he had held a little one...probably wasn't even the 50th time.

The mothers that were there were amazing too,but it really struck me this time how capable those fathers were...good job guys, keep it up!

We had a pretty room, meals provided, but I was ready to see my kids again!

After we were home, grandma sent me this picture!
Shekinah had even forgotten to tell me about this.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Library, OVR, and Groceries

No "big job" got pulled from the hat this morning because we had an appointment with OVR (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation ).
That appointment was at the local library so of course we decided to combine library with the appointment. Since all the kitchen clean-up jobs and the load of laundry were finished in record time we ran to the grocery store for pizza cheese and W-mart for a few other items that wouldn't melt in the hot van AND more Citri-strip.
According to my You-Tube research last night, I needed LESS patience not more. I should have
been scraping paint within 30 min of application.  Tried that method tonite along with working smaller areas at a time and I think I might like stripping paint a wee bit better than I did last night.
My shoulder needs an ice pack though.

Since our craft time was used up while at the library, the girls played school after lunch.
and then two of them messed around with mixing paints.
'School" works much better if  A: The youngest student isn't sleepy.
B: I make sure that school only lasts for one hour.

Tonite while I was scraping paint, the yard was ringing with laughter. I had messy hands and the big boys aren't thrilled when I put them on the blog too often so there are no pictures.

Ben was helping Joe, Hope and Faith play Spikeball.
Dad and Ben put up the Slack-Line...there is a learning curve with that.

Then there was some game of "Chase Zeke" with Faith and Shekinah in hot pursuit. Zeke finally got caught "because she doesn't overshoot...can stop on a dime."

Ordered Hope's Bible curriculum  (saved $50 by buying used) and her Abeka Language set, I think I saved money by matching up some teacher's editions that we bought at a second hand shop earlier this year....Again there might be a learning curve here, but tonite I'll figure I saved money.

Time to hit the hay, tomorrow I have only two children home. Today went OK with the addition of a teen, but of course there was that certain dimension of two teens in the house.