Showing posts from July, 2015


I love to sew for my girls and when they are little it is pretty easy to find cute patterns and whip something up. When I was at the fabric store the other day, it became clear to me that it is going to become increasingly difficult to find patterns to make things for H. She is 12, and if you've ever tried to dress a child, either boy or girl, who is in between little kid sizes and teen/adult sizes, you already know that it is a vast wasteland. Trust me when I say that it is even worse when you 12 year old is still very much a little girl and likes little girl things. She wants pretty dresses, not the pseudo-sophisticated inappropriate overly grown-up bilge that one finds so often for this age. (Hmmm... think I have an opinion on that?) Yet even in pattern-land, it is difficult to find things that she would like in her size.

Imagine my joy, when idling about looking at websites (because I was too depressed to get off my duff and actually do something and you never know when some l…

I've got to say it somewhere

(No, I don't have any information on the adoption paperwork snafu. I need to take a break from it all today. Maybe J. will call for me tomorrow and find out what happened with it all. Supposedly it is all taken care of.)

I am part of a fairly (ridiculously?) large number of facebook groups. In terms of keeping up with goings on in the adoption world and especially in the rare disease world, they are truly invaluable. (Where else would I even begin to find a group of people who have children with Linear Nevus Sebaceous syndrome?) I also belong to some other parenting type groups (slippery slope and all that, I think), and sometimes I read things and just have to walk away... or write about them more generally here and get it out of my system. It just seems better than to start a firestorm in the comments section somewhere, even if I think I am right.

At the risk of repeating myself, this is for parents of preschoolers, which these days is evidently age two and up. (I think I'll…

Just pray

Let's just say a call from USCIS at 9:30 am is not a good thing. Please just pray that all the home study details get worked out and we do have to have another RFE, which would cost us yet another two weeks.

Five things I've discovered about parenting a large family

You know, J. and I never planned on having 12 children. We thought four seemed like a great amount and that is what our initial "plans" were, for what they were worth. I'm sure God had some good chuckles about all of our plans. His were much better, though we were unaware of them at the time. So I am pretty much an unexpected mother to a large family. I come from a very small family and while I used to fantasize about having 11 other brothers and sisters (really), I had no real experience with larger-than-normal families and I am still constantly surprised at some of the things I discover about parenting them. What I didn't know...

1. Is that I would at some point be seen as the slacker volunteer. When my oldest were young I volunteered a lot. I did years of VBS and midweek programs and holding positions in our homeschooling group. Years. The people who had young children at the same time, saw me as a contributing member of the groups I was a part of. Now? I still ha…

The backward process of moving forward

It's been an interesting summer with H. You'll remember that she has been home now for 3 years. It is one of those adoption truisms that a child's emotional age will mirror the time spent in their new, stable, enriching environment, no matter what their chronological age. It is also true that children need to move through each developmental stage in order to reach the next one, also regardless of chronological age. I can say without a doubt that we have these two phenomena playing out in our home.

When H. first came home and for a good while after that, she was bizarrely happy and agreeable. No matter what happened, she was happy with it. She cried real tears only two or three times in those first couple of years. You would think that having an always happy and agreeable child would be a dream, but it turns out this is not the case. It is just weird. I think it feels weird because the child's presenting emotion is so out of touch with what is happening around them. As …

Truman's Aunt Farm

As well as finishing up previously scheduled art projects, we are also working our way through the books I chose to do Five In A Row style at the beginning of last year. (You'll remember that there was a mass revolt of small people who wanted to do "real" work instead.) I had the books and the plans and supplies, so it seemed a shame to waste them all. People are much more amenable to the whole idea if it is just a fun activity as opposed to Work.

This week I got out Truman's Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan. It is a very cute book that everyone enjoyed. The general gist of the story is that Truman is sent a certificate for an ant farm by an aunt. Instead of ants arriving, aunts start arriving. He takes care of them and eventually finds them all good homes. There is a continual play on the ant/aunt homonym.

Our first activity was to sort out this ant/aunt difference. (In some parts of the country, I realize that this isn't an issue as the words are pronounced diffe…


One of the bonuses of driving to Great America on Wednesday was that we could finish the last disc of the recorded book that we were listening to when we drove to Michigan. It was a book that J. and I were interested in and wanted to hear the end of, so we were thrilled that Great America took 45 minutes to get to.

And what was the book? It was Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner. The actress reading the book was particularly good, so I can also recommend the recorded version. (And look! I've recovered my Amazon Associates information so you can all go back to buying things through my link, thus sending a teeny, tiny bit of money my way. Thanks.)

It was the good combination of a well-written book with a story that was exciting enough for the younger crowd, but had some interesting ideas to think about for the adults. It has had me thinking about the idea of safety for a couple of days now.

We live in a society that is a wee bit safety obsessed. While safety isn't a bad thing, I h…

Another school lesson checked off

Would you believe that one of the reasons some people offer as to why children shouldn't be homeschooled is that if they don't go to school, they won't learn to stand in line? I know, it's ridiculous. Well, never fear that my poor deprived children have missed out on the line standing lesson because yesterday we all went to Six Flags Great America.

(It was a good deal because I only had to buy two tickets due to having participated in the Read to Succeed Program which offered free tickets to elementary school students and their teacher for reading during the school year. It wasn't until I went online to buy those two tickets that I realized quite how good a deal it was. I can't believe ticket prices.)

We had beautiful weather and a lovely day. It had been quite some time since I had been to Great America during the height of summer and I realize that my tolerance for standing in line isn't quite what it was when I went during my college years. P., TM, and D…

Summer crafts

Life is settling down a bit and time is starting to hang a little heavier on certain younger people. Well, not all younger people. Some children often have more plans than they know what to do with and become easily frustrated when a parent-type cannot immediately help with said plan. That is one reason why I have been impressed with what L. has been up to for the past couple of days.

She was quite taken with the acorns she found while we were up at the lake house and brought back a huge back full. Unbeknownst to me, she also brought back many pine cones.

She has kept herself quite busy making things with them all. I'm not quite sure what she is busy making, but it involves a lot of glue. I think that some of it is making the pine cones into people because at one point I heard L. exclaim, "I made Abraham Lincoln!" I haven't heard anymore about Mr. Lincoln, so I don't quite know what to make of that.

L. hard at work.
But back to those children who are not quite as…

Sorry about the little panic attack

Here's the back story to that last post. I guess the phrase, "have to wait for DCFS" is now enough to send me into full emotional crisis. And why did I have to hear this phrase yet again? Well there was a slight difference of opinion between me and my home study agency as to who had control over our completed home study. I (not incorrectly) believed that the home study belonged to me and I could ask for it and have it given to me. (You know, to send on to USCIS to finally fulfill that pesky RFE.) My home study agency (and I have now heard it reported that it is not the only one), is still working under the paternalistic, we know better than you mentality that typified the state of adoptions in Illinois for so many years. They seemed to think it was their responsibility to protect me from myself and had decided that I might do something rash with that home study, such as send it off to USCIS, and they thought it better that they wait until they had heard that DCFS has off…