A place to be real about a life of chaos, with eight beautiful children, homeschooling, special needs, adoption, sanity or the lack thereof.........a rubber hits the road sort of journey that I thankfully do NOT walk alone!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did I mention what a Blessing he is?


Before I turn in tonight I couldn't let the previous post go without adding this one........

He is my youngest "Angel Baby Gift from God" He'll tell you himself.....he knows he is loved. He knows what he wants and when he wants it....we're still working on the "within reason" part.....lol

Anger Management for Three Year olds???

Barely two weeks ago three of my children returned to the optometrist for their third follow up appointment. Two of the three were presenting with potential prescriptions and Songbird had previously suffered with many headaches. As it turns out.....Karate Kid and Princess both needed glasses as the Dr. determined at this stage they were not showing enough marked improvement to suggest they would grow out of it.

Princess promptly picked pink glasses that suited her just perfectly. She found it quite entertaining that they had little jalapeno peppers on the nose piece. Karate Kid was immediately drawn to the "sick, trick" glasses with the camo print on the arms. I was just so excited they were pleased and neither one of them suggested they would balk at wearing them. Karate Kid was to wear them all the time except while doing sports (90% of his life!) and Princess was to use them for school work, reading, computer....up close stuff.

We did the "How we take care of our glasses" discussion coupled with that whole responsibility thing and "these are expensive" and we must take great care of them. We ran through the whole routine of cleaning and storage and when to wear and not. They both listened intently and for the first two weeks followed all rules to the letter!

Last night I asked Karate Kid where his glasses were as he kissed and hugged me goodnight in the school room without them on and he indicated "Oh Mom I've found this great place to put them on my shelf beside my bed" His case however he left on the mantel.,.,...."But it's ok Mom because it's up high and Skishee or the cats can't get them".

I paused and then quickly advised against this "alternative" spot as I knew the mountain climbing capabilities of my dear youngest son and was quick to suggest they would soon be destroyed. Redid the whole responsibility thing as his eyeballs were rolling around in his head and like captions for the hearing impaired I could read on those same eyeballs something like this........" OH my gosh will she ever stop droning ....I'm tuning you out Mom......I'm not listening......la la la la laaaaaaaa".

I said my goodnight and reminded him how they were to be stored and sent him to bed.


they cute!!

The dreaded call came as I watched Stable Chick dismount this morning at the farm and head in to remove the tack from her horse. Karate Kid had found Skishee with "part" of his glasses in his hands. Chief heard the screaming and ran upstairs to find out who was bleeding. "Dad, look what Skishee did to my glasses!!!" "I did NOT touch them!!!!" "He's lying!!!"

Good grief.....after a gruelling 20 minute question period Chief was no further ahead. What he had learned was that Karate Kid had stored them the night previous on the dreaded "OFF LIMITS" shelf and the next thing anyone knew they were firmly gripped in what appeared to be a very angry three year olds fist!!!

Verdict.......some 11 hours later it has been determined that the glasses were left not on the dreaded "OFF LIMITS" shelf but worse yet on Skishee's dresser! Apparently Skishee was "cleaning" his area of the room and happened across the glasses. Despite numerous attempts to get his brother to "relocate" them he became a little angry and his words "With my big strong muscles I wrecked them Mommy. I was just so 'frusterated' and I had used my kind words first but he was ignoring me!!!

Now this would not be the first time we dealt with lack of self control in this house nor will it be the last I'm sure but.............FOR THE LOVE OF GOODNESS........!!!!! does this look like a little frustration or more like pure and total destruction by the hands of an angry and I mean ANGRY three year old!!!

Yes you are seeing correctly!!!!! They are totally destroyed and in three pieces!!! Not only is one lens out of the frame but one arm ripped off and the other twisted completely!!!

This is one of those patience moments I pray diligently about. The kind that MUST kick in , in order to "rationally" deal with a disciplinary moment. The moment went like this........."OH GOD help me not to scream and yell like a raving lunatic.....help me to use this moment to teach responsibility and repentance and let not my response land me on tomorrow morning's front page news headline!!!!!!"

Oh my.....those darn Fruit of the Spirit!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dentist with six??

I knew today was going to be a challenging one. Stable Chick had a major unit test in Geography she was stewing over, I had a dental appointment at 10:30 for the three remaining girls and an appointment to fix our account that they had managed to rack up to $1200 in error, ..................stop at Walmart to buy three pair of running shoes, "stuff" in lunch in 2 minutes and get to our home school gym class by 1:15. Here I would pick up one "loaner" child to help a friend while she packs her house to move tomorrow, leave after class 2 of 4 to take a child to a different appointment and return in time to meet Stable Chick and the last two students at gym class.

Stop at the grocery store to pick up a few items, return home to get some marking done, send home loaner child, receive child from completed appointment eat supper and.........ah yes do baths and ESCAPE to my dear friends home with Stable Chick where I will have a much deserved BREAK!!

Undaunted I set out on my day.

The dentist wasn't too bad....I really only owed $360 which I happily paid! We nearly had to replace a window as Skishee felt it timely to test the flying powers of his LARGE dragon! FYI.....red dragons with flaming eyes and large wings can actually fly across the full width of a dental waiting room! Good grief....all this while I was politely accepting compliments of how well behaved my children were!

We left the dentist at 11:50 which had us arrive at Walmart at noon. We had 30 minutes to please three children and their "taste" in running shoe coupled with my need for "practicality"......NOT a great marriage of ideas! Left Walmart with 25 minutes to get home, make and feed lunch and get out the door to gym. Leaping tall buildings and breaking all speed limits we did it...arriving in time to fill out six forms with health cards. Made all remaining appointments on time and am now on my way out the door.....a little frazzled but all in all.....intact.

The children actually completed schoolwork while waiting and a day I had written off as a write off actually in retrospect wasn't all that bad.....and to top it off.....we actually had a science lesson in .... of all places..... the bathroom!!!!!

Now this may be a little difficult to see but ...yes....you have it right we are (all seven of us!!!!) squished into our two piece bathroom with our newly received planetarium investigating all constellations and discovering the very best place to see them was on the toilet tank!!!!

Please don't report me... Where else but in homeschool can you learn this much in THIS way!!!!

Too cool! Thank you for my stress filled days. It provides opportunities like this at the end that make the whole darn thing worth while!!!

Even in the bathroom!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Those that know me .... I mean really know me......know that kind of having an indication of what I'm doing and when and for how long and with who and why is important. It's sort of the glue that keeps my day all "stuck" together. The eggs that make the flour stick and a whole host of other analogies.

K......so visualize if you will, me at my desk with a line up of 3 children while explaining the need for focus and concentration to my nine year old as he daydreams instead of completing his math. Songbird is explaining how the math quiz instructs to show her work but she knows the answer without does she really have to, Cat Lover is pitching a fit and I mean "PITCHING A FIT" because it's not fair she has to write out her mistakes on dictation ten times because she didn't study and that should explain the errors, Karate Kid is still intent on planning his next carpentry project instead of math, Princess and Squirtman are muscling each other in and out of line since they were both "there first" and Skishee is screaming he wants a snack from the next room using his best guttural raging voice!!........ I break up all fights, settle everyone down and think I'm back on "schedule" when..........."Mom, Skishee peed his pants and Princess walked through it and didn't have the sense to stop walking so it's all through the dining room."

Oh good grief! Is this what homeschooling is supposed to look like? Somehow all those "other" women with lots of children don't look frazzled and have very rare if any moments of inadequacy and feelings of failure!

My decision at this point is to remove myself and get a cup of coffee......Upon reflexion and some sanity time (locked in the bathroom! with my coffee) I realize that this is exactly what homeschooling looks like in my home....at least in that moment on this given day. You see, what I know is that the joy of having my kids home aside from the obvious educational benefits includes the everyday challenges and how I must exemplify grace and forgiveness and problem solving. Sometimes "dealing" with life and what it gives you is really difficult and those skills are equally important. So I count to twenty forwards and backwards at the same time..take a deep breath .... and set an example of what the proper heart attitude needs to be as I tackle life head on.

Please don't envision a perfect world here at Franklin Academy cause there are days that oh my goodness we are the poster children for total and utter chaos.

But I will persevere because that's what I am called to do. I will not be given more than I can handle and if so......I'll be provided a way out , even if that means alone time in the bathroom.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

FINALLY!......The Introduction

Welcome to my blog!

This is my first attempt at this so please be patient as I navigate through the ins and outs of how exactly to do this.

We are a large Christian homeschooling family of nine. Our family has grown exponentially in the last seven years. Back then it was only Me "Heart Mom" (I'll explain the handle later), my Hubby "Chief" ( of the whole darn tribe!) and our seven year old daughter "Stable Chick" (this does not refer to her mental state!). Since 2001 we have adopted five children ranging in age from 10 hours old to 5 years. We are currently waiting on the ok to make the sixth adoption legal! Please pray........lack of control is not one of my fortes!

We'd love to live in the country and have lots of land to spread out but for now we live in town in a beautiful old home that is filled with memories old and new!

Our adoption stories are so diverse there is no way to cover them in one post. I'll attempt to break it down sometime soon. Suffice it to say we live a very "full" life. For the most part I'd call it "organized chaos". It helps to be just a little on the edge of sanity at all times cause then I don't feel like I've lost all control!

So........one of my children grew under my heart and the other six grew in my heart....hence the "handle"............Meet the gang in order of age.......

"Stable Chick" age 14.......... "Songbird" age 12

"Cat Lover" age 10.........

"Karate Kid" age 9

"Princess" age 8

"Squirtman" age 7....................."Skishee" age 3

This just gets better!!!

I promise I will introduce my gang....later. The simple things in life can be so fascinating. Last night I left the monarch cage with a caterpillar hanging gracefully in the "J position" ready to become a chrysalis ...only to return just one hour and 15 minutes later to

this......Good grief...how did I miss this?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Monarch Release!

OK....I've never posted on a blog before ....and I know I really should introduce my tribe and do the whole mother thing..... and believe me.....I AM A PROUD MAMA!!! But....I'm so excited I just have to share our first homeschool "scienc-ey" thing! Proved to me how awesome my God is. A simple thing like a caterpillar, turned into a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. The whole process of its exponential growth and final metamorphosis ...... the way it emerges from a tiny package and quickly spreads it damp wings in order to dry..... coils and uncoils it's double proboscis so that it becomes zipped together to function as it was meant to once the butterfly dries and takes flight.....WOW...

Well we have managed to rear without injury our first male monarch. He emerged in all his beauty yesterday and we held off until all of the children were available today to tag and release him. We had the usual "discussions" about who got to hold, stick the tag and subsequently release, but in true I'm a mom to lots of kids I very calmly advised we would no doubt all get a turn after the other five caterpillars did their "thing".

These guys were so small when we got them only 10 days ago. We managed to receive a chrysalis already ready to attach to our milkweed plant with our six caterpillars and within a week the butterfly within became visible.

So cool. We carefully tagged him on the appropriate cell of his hind wing and took him outside to release him. Mexico here he comes!!!