Showing posts from June, 2012

Best friends

I have a sneaking suspicion that I may hold a minority opinion on this, but you know what? My children, even my older ones, are not my best friends, and I don't have the expectation that they will be. I am also not best friends with my mother or father. At face value all of this sounds rather dreadful, especially given the friend culture we live in. To be friends, especially best friends, bff's,  is the ultimate goal in any relationship, it seems.

But I want more than this in my relationship with my parents and with my children. Ideally, the parent/child relationship is deeper and stronger than mere friends. This is not belittle close friendships; I am blessed with many of those and I know that those friends would literally give me the shirts off their backs if I needed them, and vice versa. But a parent/child relationship is a deep, deep part of who we are. It is our first relationship as an infant and that infant is what transforms an adult into a parent. It comes with a lov…


If this rambles more than usual, I apologize.  H. had an EEG this morning which required her to be sleep deprived because she had to sleep during the test. Well, we all know that a sleep deprived child equals a sleep deprived parent, don't we? So, when the masses ask to watch a Leap Frog video, I happily said yes! Please. There's probably rules about blogging when fatigued, but I'm going to write anyway.

In the past few years it has seemed as though God is working on small areas of my life at a time. Before the little girls were born, the message was definitely waiting. Waiting on God's timing. Daring to be idle and letting God work. Learning that there is nothing that God needs me to do for Him. He is sufficient without my help. What I do is out of my great love for Him and not because He needs me in any way.

Then, it seemed I moved on to working on serenity and fearlessness. I may never live up to my mental image of what it means to be serene, but God has really been…

Happy 9th birthday, D.! (A little bit late)

My mother has reminded me that I have neglected to share pictures of D.'s birthday celebration. I will now remedy that.

D. had pie (of course!) We missed the blowing out the candles picture, but he blew out all three candles that a sister was holding without incident.

And there were presents. (G. and L. have figured out the whole present-thing and always are game to 'help'.)

What else does a 9 year old boy want but Lego?

And more Lego?

My handsome boy. He is the most big-hearted and caring child I know. And how this child loves Jesus. It has been a while now that he insists that he plans on being a missionary when he is older. I love you my dear boy. Happy Birthday!

And now for something unrelated, but rather funny. This is what we discovered when we walked through the front hall yesterday.

Yes, K. is sound asleep. On his back. In the car seat that was removed because D. no longer needed it. We are unsure of how this actually happened. Did he sit in the seat, fall asleep, …

Siblings and adoption

I realize I have never written about this before, but it has been on my mind recently. Actually, it's always on my mind, but just not in a very coherent way. Adoption has been a part of our family's life for 6 years now. M. was 13 when TM came home, B. was 11, A. was 8, P. was 5, and D. was 3.  For many of them, this has been their reality for a good chunk of their lives. And there are times when I wonder how my children are different because of it. Because, frankly, life isn't always easy. There are some days we have bigger issues than just your average annoying little brother or sister moments. There have been moments where I have felt I wasn't raising my children in a home, but a war zone. And I worried a bit that I was creating trauma in some children while helping to heal trauma in another.

These days I'm feeling a bit better about the whole thing. I would like to say it's because our lives are pretty peaceful compared to those early days, but this would b…

An economics lesson

I don't often write on our philosophy of children and money, but every so often it comes up. The short version is that we don't do allowances and we provide them with what they need. Household jobs are not tied to money because it is something we all do to serve each other and to jointly keep our home a nice place to live. If a child wants something special... iPod-type stuff, or special clothing that's not in the budget, etc.... they're welcome to earn the money and buy it themselves. (Or they can ask for it for Christmas and cross their fingers.) My children with phones also buy their own phone minutes on a pay-per-use phone since we don't have a family cell phone plan. Don't feel too sorry for them, they (nearly) all have the gadgets they desire and also have a pretty good sense of the worth of money.

Perhaps this is why TM's tendency toward planning out his next get-rich-quick-scheme was a little bothersome to me. I didn't want him to grow into an a…

21st Anniversary

It's been a busy (good busy, not crazy busy) day and I haven't had time to write.  Here is my public service announcement for the day, if you think you can just zip down to the Museum of Science and Industry for a couple of hours on a beautiful summer afternoon in Chicago, think again. You can't. Zip, that is. I'm just glad we hadn't planned on Lincoln Park Zoo... we would have never found a parking space. Anyway, we didn't have as much time as we liked but we enjoyed ourselves. And H. really like her first real museum experience. But the traffic... !

What I really began this to say was Happy Anniversary to my dear husband. Twenty-one years has zipped by (unlike the traffic) and I have enjoyed every single one of them. I am the most blessed woman in the world to be married to my best friend and such a remarkable man. Boy, did I win the husband contest. (Really, I did. You other women may think you won... I'll just let you keep thinking that.) I am so proud …

Let's talk about seizures

Parenting often takes you places where you never thought you would go. This is particularly true the more children you have as the different possibilities multiply exponentially. Then when you add adoption into the mix, well, all bets are off. In keeping with my plan to focus on the positives of life, I am choosing to look on it all as one great big adventure.

And where is the great adventure taking me this time? Into the land of parenting a child with seizures. We knew H. had a history of seizures when we accepted her file, we just didn't know what type or why she had them. When she came to us, she was on anti-seizure medicine and for the past three months we had never seen one.

In talking with the neurologist earlier this month, he believes that the syndrome which she has (Linear Nevus Sebaceous Syndrome) is what is causing seizures. Now, I'm a skeptic at heart, and there was a part of me which didn't really believe she had seizures. They were reported as absence seizure…

Ticks and poison ivy

There are a couple of things I left out of my description of our camping trip last week. That would be the prevalence of large ticks (happily not the Lyme disease kind) and poison ivy. They were both all over. As evidence, I snapped a picture of B.'s leg right before he used his pocket knife to scrape off the two ticks which were on it. (You're welcome! I know I made everyone's day with this one.)

But these annoyances got me to thinking. Much of our contentment with life has to do with what we focus on. We had a great camping trip; everyone had fun, we were in a place of natural beauty, and we enjoyed a relaxing time of fellowship with good friends. But that is because that is what we chose to focus on. The trip would have been much different if we had chosen to focus on the ticks and poison ivy. They were everywhere. The poison ivy grew thickly just about everywhere, and particularly on the second hike, most of the path was lined with it. The ticks were almost as frequen…

Camping, the second half

On our second day, we decided to try a more adventurous hike, though in the great scheme of hikes, it was still pretty tame and easy.

So we started off, with the little girls under their own power.

There was a nice view on the way to the main view.

But, then the little girls got tired. And recently, when they (well, L.) get tired, they cry. Loudly. Without stopping. No matter what anyone does. B. was pretty sure he lost a bit of hearing by the end.

H. did pretty well. She stuck close to J. on our hike the day before, so I took charge of her for most of this one. But since J. is the far more favored parent at the moment, this did not make her entirely happy. She would tell me she was hot and tired, to which I said that was too bad and encouraged her along the path. H. would then ask me where her daddy was. I said he was on the path somewhere (we were pretty spread out at this point), and H. took this to mean J. was ahead of us. So, despite her hotness and tiredness, she would bolt ahe…

I'm interrupting the camping pictures to bring you other pictures

of birthday celebrations and more camping.
Saturday night we celebrated the June 15th birthdays. The trouble with having three on the same day is what to do about the candles. Since strawberry pie doesn't lend itself to candles anyway, we decided to sing three times so each person could blow out their own candles.

B. wasn't sure he wanted to be sung to and blow out candles, but we did and he did anyway. No one wanted to hold 17 lit candles, so P. held three for him to blow out.

G. was next. Both little girls took a long time to blow out their candles, so they were eventually helped to share the fingers of the candle holder.

Then came presents. Grammy and Grandpa sent stuffed animals and games to G. and L. Can you tell they were a hit? G. is the panda bear lover and L. has a new obsession with Micky and Minnie Mouse.

B. received gifts, too.

Three birthdays worth of gifts creates a bit of chaos.

B.'s big gift was a slack line. I'm sure there will be many slack line p…

Camping, large family style

So all that discussion about investing in enough camping equipment for our family wasn't entirely theoretical. We needed it because we had planned a three night camping trip for this past week and it was quickly approaching. I'm happy to report that everything worked out extremely well. 
We found a small, used trailer on Craig's List and it was just the ticket to carry all of our needed supplies.

Here is the large tent we bought. I love it because it has two rooms and I can stand up in it. It makes taking care of small people so much easier. We had G., L., K., and H. in the tent with us adults. Then we put the older boys in a second tent and the older girls in a third.

And since there were going to be so many of us anyway, we thought we'd invite a couple of other families to join us; the P family and the H-S family. (I've written about these two families a lot... we do many things together and watch each others children when one family is adopting.) Now, these are…