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Showing posts from October, 2017

Costumes 2017

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Well, first, before the costumes, we started the day with homemade apple cider donuts. Today was also TM's birthday, and though he prefers to celebrate it not on Halloween, we do his birthday breakfast on the actual day.



I've had a couple of people ask me for the recipe. I'll try to share it with you tomorrow. It's actually pretty easy, and makes some very tasty donuts.

This was a pretty low-key Halloween for us this year. P. stayed home in case anyone came to the door. (They didn't... a huge change from passing out 500+ pieces of candy in one night.) TM and D. went to a friend's house. A. went to work. (She is now working at a restaurant.) So that left the six younger ones. Most of them took responsibility for their own costume.

G. went as a green ninja.
Y. and L. were box trolls. L. was Fish and Y. was Shoe. J. also had a box, which the girls labelled Eggs, which he wore for a while during Trick-or-Treating. But Y.'s very large box proved difficult to man…

Autumn doings

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After church yesterday, we headed to a pumpkin farm. It was the perfect low-key venue for us. Things to do, no entrance fee, and plenty of pumpkins.

L.

Of course, I now have a serious case of barn-envy.



Of course, if you have the pumpkins, you have to carve them.


G.
What the forest preserve is looking like right now.
L. and K.
L.

G.

H. and R.
H.

Tackling one of my least favorite jobs in record time

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You see this?



And this?



What you are looking at is the winter wear for 12 people, all sorted, and tried on for fit, and stowed away. It only took a couple of hours, and there isn't even a huge pile for me to figure out what to do with after having outfitted everyone. This is also the first year that I haven't had to go rushing around trying to find gear to fit the ever growing masses. (Actually, I take that back. D. needs a winter coat. He needed a winter coat last year, and made due with cobbled together jackets and layers. I think I need to get him a real coat this year. Anyone have a men's medium winter coat kicking around?)

And it's not even November, yet!

Our motivation for getting this job done was not only the few snow flurries we had today, but the fact that all of the outerwear was stored in the crawl space under the house, with the exterior entrance. The exterior entrance which, if it snowed any amount, would be extremely difficult to get to.

Friday bullets, Oct. 27, 2017

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Because it's been that kind of week, I am sneaking under the wire with these.

B. now has a car. We found it and bought it while he was here last weekend. After several misadventures with the battery, and a safety check (and a little more money) at the mechanic, he now has a reasonably decent car. This is good because I was not looking forward to worrying about him in the winter driving around on his scooter. I don't think he was looking forward to driving around on his scooter, either.Does anyone else think that food prices have gone up significantly in the past few months? Please say yes, because otherwise it means my grocery shopping skills are slipping.There was a dead mouse on the kitchen floor this morning. In my book, a dead mouse is far preferable to a live one. There was also a small window between the time J. left for work and the next person entered the kitchen in which it could have arrived. Our best guess is that this was a gift from Nefertiti. The past two days she…

Appropriate expectations

Many people around here have been feeling a little under the weather. I think we are past the worst of it, and so far I have remained healthy. (I know, famous last words.) We did manage to share the fun with M. and B. when they were both here this past weekend. Nice of us, huh? I'm not sure either of them thought so.
Most children, the second something doesn't feel quite right, are more than ready to complain about every little cough and scratch in the throat. I never have to guess if they are feeling ill. This morning, I was reminded yet again of just how long it can take for a child who has experienced neglect and abuse to feel safe and behave in expected ways. 
I often see posts from people who have just come home with their new children, and are deep in the throws of adjusting. It can feel overwhelming, I know, but part of the problem seems to be the lack of appropriate expectations that many of these parents have. They seem to think that after just a few months everything…

Well, hello there

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, though it might have seemed like it. Instead, I've been driving to orthodontist appointments, buying children cars, paying bills, giving sympathy to sick family members, driving to places other the orthodontist, and all those other things which fill my days. I just haven't been able to get on top of things, and instead of writing, fall into bed exhausted.

I have to admit though, that the other thing that put me off my game this past week was homesickness. I've come to the conclusion that moving from somewhere that you liked, where you had your whole social system set-up and running, and you were comfortable, is like experiencing a death. The grief of leaving that place can feel awfully similar to the grief experienced when a loved one dies. I've now mentioned this to several people who have done big moves, and they all agree with me. It is a loss to move from a situation like that, and the grief is going to be the same.

W…

Friday bullets, Oct. 20, 2017

Well, Wednesday was a terribly busy and productive day, but we all paid for it yesterday. We were all wiped out, especially me. It may still take me another day to recover completely.We have left Mexico and have headed to Brazil. The immigration stamp I bought for the pretend passports we made continues to be a huge hit. Everyone lines up at the passport control desk, and waits to go through customs. You would think this is the single most fun thing we have ever done. I'm going to quickly run out of immigration official personalities, I can tell. Maybe I'll have one of the big boys leash up Kenzie when we leave Brazil and have him play the fruit and vegetable sniffing dog. On Tuesday, A. came home from work, and asks, "What's with all the birds?" when she entered. I had no idea what she was talking about, so went outside to investigate. Our silver maples were all filled with what turned out to be grackles, all making amazingly loud noises. There were hundreds of …

And I even bought children new shoes

You all know that I don't like to have to leave my house, right? That's why yesterday was a bit of a stretch. We had our monthly homeschool co-op group in the morning. I'm enjoying it. The younger six are enjoying it. It just happened to fall on the day when I was able to get three back-to-back cranio-facial team appointments for K., R., and H. In Northbrook. Which is an hour and a half from our house. I've learned you don't turn these appointments down, so booked them, even though the timing was not great. It made for a crazy day.

9 am - Start dinner in the crock pot.

9:10 am - Leave for our co-op group.

11:45 am - Leave co-op, and head to the drive-through for lunch. No time to go back home if we are going to make the appointment, and no supplies to make a lunch for on the road.

12:15 pm - After having had to go back into the restaurant to correct meal orders, we were on our way.

1: 20 pm - Arrive at our appointment, 40 minutes ahead of time. Traffic was lighter …

Starting to rebuild our medical professionals list

One of the most difficult things about moving is having to find new doctors and other care providers. I built up our long list of doctors slowly over the years as we added more children and more needs. This time around I have to do it all at once. I'm not enjoying it. Some of our specialists, whom I like and we don't see all that often, I'm keeping. There is no way we can replace some of them, and I wouldn't want to even begin to try. Others, however, are not people I'm willing to drive an hour and a half one way to see. Our orthopedic doctor was one of those. He was fine, but we didn't see him often enough or have a connection strong enough to warrant keeping him.

As I might have mentioned before, Y.'s AFO's are far too small for her, as she has done such a huge amount of growing over the past year. Well, the way things work, without a new prescription we can't get the new AFO's made. And without a doctor, we can't get the prescription writ…

Ojo de Dios

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We're almost done with our visit to Mexico, and today we were due to make a craft. I decided that making Ojo de Dios, or God's Eyes, were just about perfect for my crew. While we made them, we also listened to music from Mexico. I think the whole thing was a huge success.

L.
G., with R. and Y. in the background
Y. and G.
H., with G. in the background
Y.
L., with K. in the background
K.
Here are some of the finished ones.
It turned out that many of the children enjoyed it so much that they continued to create God's Eyes all afternoon, H. and K. in particular. Between the two of them, I think they made over 20. 
My tip for doing this, is to use variegated yarn. You get the change of colors without having to stop and start different colors of yarns. 

Happy 15th Birthday, H.!

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Hayden turned 15 on Saturday. She was 9 when she came home 5 1/2 years ago. I cannot believe it has been that long. How far both she and I have come.

For her birthday breakfast, we had, as usual, donuts. Then, A. took H. out shopping. Just H. and A. H. loved it, and came home with some jewelry which A. bought for her. In the afternoon, H. spent a long time picking up the toy loft, all by herself. I know this sounds like an odd way to celebrate your birthday, but it is what she wanted. Normally the toy loft is filled with all sorts of toys, usually in some form of block city. H. is a pretty orderly person, and this drives her a little crazy. What she likes is when the blocks and toys all get put away neatly on shelves and sorted into their proper places. She really enjoys the sorting and organizing process, and gets extremely upset when her little brothers and sisters get everything out immediately upon getting it all put away. Really upset. So, for her birthday, we promised that she c…