Florida Archives

I have thought about it so much lately, how I so suddenly put blogging on the back burner 4 years ago after many years of blogging almost daily.  I still can’t put my finger on why I did that and, try as I have, I haven’t been able to figure out how to make it a part of my daily life again.

I’m not sure what I want to say right now but there really is so much to write and I feel an incredible urge lately to return to this place where I have archived so many memories, this place my kids love to come and read about our family’s life and they laugh at themselves and talk about how much they have grown.

This place that has been quiet far too long.  It’s time to wake it back up.

For today I’m going to post pictures.

31948008191_330e198f80_o

You can probably tell from the new header that somebody got into the paint recently.

32042492776_41ee9c1f5b_o

31214654144_d2839a4243_o

Guess who.  I’ll give you a hint.

31933370822_b4936dfc00_o

Yeah. It was all of us.

31706442540_05f9e6aeff_o

31271722643_abef3e3d69_o (1)

32042485586_42d9dacdc7_o (1)

In November my friend Marty did a family painting photo session with us and it was hilarious and needs to be written about in detail because apparently when it comes to family pictures I’m Claire Dunphy.

31240004454_7bb161b9ef_o

And Kait is whatever character pays good money for the supplies and special lens needed (it was a very cool gift from her) and then totally forgets about the whole thing until her dad calls her asking where she is and she jumps out of bed where she was watching a show, runs out the door, and STILL shows up looking amazing.

32067144025_dac1e59c8a_o

I think this one is where Kait is telling the boys that they’d better not get any paint on her.

31963138801_2cddc816a3_o

All Maggie wanted to do was paint the canvas purple.

31705587880_b6255b38e8_o

She did not understand why we were putting paint on each other.

32081433715_4fd7750303_o (1)

But Lanie absolutely did not want to paint the canvas.

32081345405_196ce89fa8_o

As a matter of fact, this paint session was not her most favorite activity ever.

31706564160_74b9e339a1_o

While she wasn’t her most cheerful, Lanie did give us a few good smiles.

31949640901_788a954557_o

We had a great time but I do regret not thinking it through a bit more. Like not have a ladder in the background and maybe moving the little trampoline out of sight.

31271751563_b69e38bccc_o

The important thing was that we had a terrific time, made a fun memory, and ended up with some really great pictures.

31257674123_48cd01b883_o

And some really awesome family art.


31933377152_9452d02d94_k

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

28 degrees this morning. 20 freaking 8 degrees.

Being a military family, we’ve been stationed all over the United States. We’ve lived on both coasts, in the northwest, the southeast, New England (GO PATS!), and now we’re in northwest Florida. We’ve lived in Florida for 8 1/2 years now and this is the only place half of my children remember as being home so even though I’ve done my fair share of shoveling snow-covered driveways, starting the car to defrost a half hour before we have to go anywhere, thawing the tiny fingers and toes of children while they sip crock-pot cocoa, saying no for the tenth time to the 4 year old who is begging to go outside to make tunnels and snow forts even though he’s wearing a full leg cast after breaking his leg sledding, most of my kids have spent the bulk of their lifetimes living it up in sunny beach weather.

So I wasn’t surprised when Sam came running inside this morning with some sheets of glassy ice, completely amazed that everything had frozen overnight.

Mom, look! This is amazing!

There was one piece where there was a bee frozen inside but it broke and the bee was no longer encased before we could get a picture. Lucy(5) came back inside after about 2 minutes ripping her fuzzy gray jacket off proclaiming with irritation, this jacket is NOT KEEPING ME WARM!
I replied with, You might want to think about wearing shoes if you plan to go back outside.
Because she was barefoot. 

And Maggie(3) wore her warm boots like she was told and promptly lost them somewhere out in the backyard.

My kids definitely don’t know how to do winter.

In related news, it snowed briefly last night somewhere in our town. Joe saw the heavy flurries while he was at the gym but we didn’t see anything here at the house.

The frigid temps aren’t here for long, though. It should be back up in the 70’s by the end of the week and I am definitely looking forward to that.

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

I am constantly telling my kids to go outside and play, to which they usually huff respectfully and then head out front and have a really good time.  I know they are having a good time because we no longer have grass growing in a large section of the front yard.
wp-1478637426161.jpg

Yards without kids having fun don’t look like this.

I don’t understand why they so often resist the out-of-doors because if they look bored I usually give them a chore or a list of jobs or a baby to hold, though that last one kind of backfires on me because they often argue over who gets to play with Lanie.img_20160529_140241072_hdr

I think it’s important for kids to play outside. And often. Numerous times a day even. I think it’s important for them to make up new games and argue over rules and learn to work together.

wp-1478745682812.jpg

I think it’s important for them to wrestle and race and contemplate whether or not they can throw a ball over the house and what is Mom going to say when we tell her the football is on the roof?
I think it’s important for them to get dirty and sweaty and scrape up their knees.

wpid-wp-1399596496729.jpeg

I also think it’s important that they take a shower when they come inside because have you ever smelled boy-sweat times five?

Right now there is civil unrest in many parts of our country, mostly from our younger generation, and I feel like maybe they were never been told to go play outside.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

adoptionawarenessGrowing up I clearly recall my home being a safe place, my safe place. If there is anything of more value to a child than a feeling of safety and security in a loving home, I don’t know what it is. I look back on my childhood and feel overwhelmingly thankful that my parents gave us a sheltered childhood.  We were nourished and taught good and right things and never lacked for anything and when the teenager that lived two houses down was irresponsibly sighting his rifle before going hunting the next day and I was sure his intention was to kill me…
I instinctively knew where to run for safety.

In the 27 hours of classes we were required to take to become approved to adopt through foster care here in Florida, I learned that every child in the foster care system has been through a traumatic experience that has cost them any hope of feeling that kind of safety. The vast majority of them have been either forcibly removed from their homes or given up voluntarily by one or both parents.  It leaves them feeling vulnerable and alone. The ultimate betrayal – turned away by the people who were supposed to instinctively long to protect them.

I have learned what kind of abuses take place and what effect that can have on a child. I learned that it is usually bad. Really bad.

I have learned that we, individually and as a society, have gotten far too comfortable with their cries.
Deafening. Silent. Raw. Hidden. Heartbroken.

I have learned that I can’t do that anymore.
And I have learned that sometimes all you can do is pray.

I have learned that there is a lot of fear in adopting a broken child and a lot of thought and consideration has to go into it before a challenge like that should be taken on.
And I have learned that no matter how much thought and consideration you give it there is no way to prepare yourself.

I have learned that the system that has been put in place to facilitate the best possible outcome for both adopter and adoptee is broken. I’ve learned that quite often, out of an understandable desperation to find children a home, the people in charge, the experts, will break the most essential of those rules and set everybody up for failure. Because there aren’t enough foster homes. Because the kids are close to being too old to place. Because they might have a disability that is just beginning to show and it’s RIGHTNOW or possibly never.

And that’s when failure happens.  And everybody is to blame but nobody is at fault because the real failure is not doing anything at all and nobody involved can be accused of that.

I have learned that it is hopeless.

And I have learned that there is hope.


I’ve already started writing a post about our specific experience. I’m not sure if it will be the next adoption post I put up but it’s coming.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Our dishwasher broke. Like broke broke.  Like we try to start it and it goes click click click kind of broke.

I saw this coming. We always have to buy a new appliance during the holidays.  I don’t know why it always works out this way, it just does.  Plus, our dishwasher has been begging us to just let it go since we bought this house 2 year ago because 2 to 3 loads of dishes a day is apparently more than it can handle.

It’s true that we don’t have to buy a new dishwasher right now because dishes can quite easily be washed by hand, and we might still wait but we ended up at Lowe’s today looking at our options.  I think we settled on a Kitchenaid. I like Bosch too but they don’t have a track for the lower rack and I know for a fact that it would end up on the floor with broken dishes. Probably often. Note to Bosch: Stop doing that.

When we got out of the car in the Lowe’s parking lot a wave of summer warmth hit us full force.  I thought it felt fabulous but Ryan complained that it was sooo hot.

It’s November and I guess he’s expecting much cooler weather than 88 degrees but that’s what it’s been like here and we live in Florida and it’s like this every year and I’m not sure why everybody is surprised because, like I said, Florida.

 

Plus, Lanie has just grown into Maggie’s old summery clothes and she’s impossibly cute.

wp-1478305746390.jpg

I hope she’ll be able to wear them a bit more before she grows out of them.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Because, Jesus.

Christ surfing without a board is everything a Floridian would need.

The Walmart knows.

IMAG0137

And it’s a tank top. Bonus.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Still loving Florida

It’s been beautiful outside lately.  We did have a couple of tornado’s roll through last week, one going straight through the parking lot of my oldest daughter’s job, but nobody was hurt and the damage was minimal.
Since that storm the temperature has been hovering right around 70, with it likely pushing 75 this afternoon.  I know a lot of people like winter and cold weather and I get that (not really, that was a lie) but I appreciate warmer winter days so much.  The heat stays off, the windows are open, the kids get outside, and I can get some much needed cleaning done in the house.

Mopping a giant tile floor can be challenging when there are 11 people hovering around.

Here is Jesse planting some flowers in a little glass planter.

jesseplanting

He did a really good job and even cleaned up after himself.

Right now the older kids are off at work or otherwise engaged away from the house, and the younger ones are outside playing some sort of made up baseball-ish game with a plastic ball covered in pennies and blue tape.
I’ve learned not to ask questions.

I’m going to go now to see if I can get something done inside while they play outside.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Lucy’s creative juices flow. Sometimes.

I like to keep modeling clay around for the younger kids to squish and manipulate. It really helps build stronger hand muscles in children who have a hard time shaping their letters with a pencil.

Lucy(4) really doesn’t need the hand strengthening but she enjoys squashing things and always gets involved when the clay is out. Sometimes she makes a snowman or a monster face or a pendant.  Here is the one she made for herself a little bit ago.  I helped her put the jump ring on it but the design is completely her own.  It’s a flower.

lucysnecklace1

Cute, right?

So when she said she was making one for me this time I was pretty excited.

Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…
Um…  I made you a necklace too.  Do you think you can put a hole in it so I can put it on a string for you?

lucysnecklace

She brought it over and plopped it down in front of me.  The thing probably weighed a good 4 or 5 pounds.  I told her that she was such a thoughtful girl and a giant pendant was the sweetest idea while all the other kids did their best to contain their laughter.  She took it really well when I told her that being that large it probably wouldn’t dry out well and that it would likely be too big and heavy to wear on a string or a chain around my neck.  Her solution was to rip it in half.

It would also appear in the picture that she’s been eating the clay but she wasn’t.  That brown stuff around her face was hot chocolate.  It was 50-something degrees outside that day and we all needed some warming up.

The weather has been a little better.  By the weekend we should be in the 70’s and I can live with that, I guess.  I’m excited for more Spring-like temperatures, which should arrive sometime next month.
83 degrees, please.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

It’s high time for a little blog rambling.

A third of us are sick today.  Actually, by tomorrow this cold will have been a week old in our house and we’re still only half way through it.  I can’t really complain though.  Other than the fever that the younger half of kids have gotten it’s been relatively mild.  Last winter somebody in our house was sick every single day but this year we’ve only suffered through two colds.  One more robust cold just before Christmas, and now this one, which is not nearly as severe.

I have learned that turmeric is an amazing cough suppressant, just FYI.  We mix about 1/4 tsp or less turmeric with Celestial Seasonings’ sleepytime sinus tea, honey, and the slightest dash of pepper, and it quells the kids’ coughs for a few hours.  I guess the pepper helps to activate the turmeric or something.
Maggie doesn’t like tea and she’s just now getting the cough so I’m going to try a little warm honey milk with turmeric in it.

I would like to stop and lament about our weather here for a second.  50’s is cold for us Floridians, people.  I may have only lived here for 7 1/2 years but I was raised in Charleston, S.C. where the weather is only a tad cooler.   I was not made to be an Eskimo.
My poor fingers.  My aching toes.
All this global warming and whatnot is failing me.

I have more to say.  So much more than colds and cold weather is going on around here but I feel the need to post pictures with those posts and my older two kids are busy, busy, busy and I never seem to be ready with the camera when they are around.

I’ll make a note in my journal to take pictures.
I started a bullet journal on January 1st and have been consistent with it for 8 days now.  That’s like a record or something, right?

And this boy turns seven tomorrow.

IMG_20150110_090737123-picsay

My sweet, quiet, dinosaur loving Jesse Wayne.

I guess that’s it for today’s rambling.
Until tomorrow…

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Zelda, cabin fever, family

For Christmas Kait got the kids a Zelda Yahtzee.  Rabbit sat down and played it with the kids yesterday and there was a lot of laughing and whatnot and Jesse didn’t win so there was a little bit of a morale boost among the older kids.

wpid-wp-1451680603567.jpg

Surprisingly, they take getting beat by a 7 year old pretty well.

The set came with a treasure box for rolling the dice which was a really cool idea but has no practical application at all.  They ended up going with a regular plastic cup and used the treasure box as an argument starter.  Everybody wants to hold Link’s treasure box.

As I’m writing this they are beginning another game because it’s freaking cold outside the last few days.  We had an 80 degree Christmas holiday but the warm weather came with weeks of rain so there wasn’t much outside time. Then suddenly two days ago the temperature plummeted to highs in the 50’s and we’re all getting cabin fever.

Stop laughing at us.  It’s 48 degrees outside right now and we live in Florida and we don’t have a ton of winter clothes.  I had to go buy Matthew tennis shoes yesterday because he grew out of all of his shoes over a month ago but it was so warm he wore flip flops and without complaint.

Here’s to hoping this frigid weather doesn’t stick around for long.  My digits are going to fall off.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
 Page 1 of 3  1  2  3 »