Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Family and Friends, Meet Newt!

We have a new family member this week. A couple of weeks ago, an 11-year-old young man came for a weekend visit for the purpose of us all getting acquainted. It was a good weekend, ending with his desire to return, and our feeling was the same.

Yesterday was the arrival day, and we arranged to meet the caseworker who was transporting him. After moving his clothing and possessions to our car, we had lunch with Daniel and a friend of his, and the young lady who is their group leader. The rest of our day was filled with errands, so today was the time for unpacking and setting up his room. Earlier this morning, we enrolled him in school, and he will start tomorrow as a local sixth grader.

The explanation behind the nickname, Newt? It's a name he brought from his birth family. He's been Newt for a long time, so that works for this forum, also!

We're looking forward to the next few months, and how things may develop for Newt and his family.

Friday, October 26, 2007

You Go, Girl!!

Miss Teenager has had a very good season, lately. Many readers know that she had a lot of school and personal struggles prior to the adoption and for a while afterwards, and we are so happy and proud that she is now doing very well. She can even laugh about it now - saying that was her evil twin 'originalfirstname,' and now she's the new and improved 'firstandmiddlenametogethername.'
Recent good things:
------ Compliments on her interactions with her older brother, as an example for a brother of another person with disabilities.
----- Compliments on her knack with the elderly ladies she works as a companion to. (One of those ladies passed away last week, so it's been an emotional time for Teenager, but she handled that well, also.)
----- Grade cards have come home from her school. Miss Teenager has
(drum roll . . . . . . . . the envelope please . . . . . . . . . .)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Apparently, It Depends on Your Point of View

I've tried more than once to post pics of the wonderful field trip I took with Whistle and his class, but every time I've tried, Blogger was having uploading issues with pictures. Eventually I will share them with you.

For now, though; a conversation I had with Teenager, when I asked her to taste the pasta salad I'd just finished making (because I didn't like the pour-and-mix-some-things-together dressing I'd just concocted):

Other Mother: Here, taste this salad!

Teenager: It's good.

If you like it.

But I don't.

(And she spit it in the wastebasket).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

She Has A Polder :-)

I love spending time with our granddaughters. Yesterday I needed to go to Kansas City, and Sarah and E. rode along. I like having the whole family together sometimes, but especially enjoy the kids one-on-one. Emma makes me laugh with her constant talking, whether by herself in the back of the van; or in bed at night, talking herself to sleep. Two things she said yesterday were especially funny.

She learned yesterday how to sit on an exercise ball and do sit-ups. Later she wanted to do it again, and she asked to do those "laying jacks."

Then on the way home, I shared my drink with her, and she assured me she could keep it in the back, because she had a polder. "A what?" I asked? "A polder." It took me a minute - but then it came to me: a cu(p) polder!

She's a sweetie!

F is for Fun!

Last week, a friend came home from school with Whistle. Curious George is making the rounds, visiting at home with each one from the class. In his denim travel bag is a book, a journal, and George himself. Students read the alphabet book with their parents, and George "helps" them look for things that begin with the letter of the week: for Whistle's week, it was the letter F. The family writes in the journal about the adventures with George, and all the things they find that begin with their letter, adding pictures or drawings of the fun they had together.

The night Curious George arrived was McTeacher Night, a school fundraiser at McDonald's. Father and Whistle went to McDonald's, where they took pictures of Whistle, Mrs. Experiencedteacher, and Curious George, sharing some french fries.

At home, they found the giant sun flower.

The next day his class went on a field trip to a special farm. There, George tried to hide in the sun flowers, and he found the guinea fowl feathers around the fence (see the photo above). At lunch time, they looked in Whistle's lunch bag, and found crackers that look like gold fish.

On the way home, we stopped at WalMart, and looked for more things that start with the letter F. Whistle and Curious George were both happy when Curious George found a friend!

At the end of the week, Whistle celebrated F week with Curious George by sharing Fun Fruit snacks with Curious George's picture on them with his classmates.

Friday, October 5, 2007

More on the Foster Payment Issue

Here are some thoughts from another foster parent on this recent survey.

Check out Baggage that goes with mine, here.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Missouri Makes National News in Foster Payment Ranking

Ranking in the bottom five is NOT something to be proud of, however; especially when it involves taking care of the state's children! There was a small raise in the last year, and before that -- Missouri ranked at the VERY bottom! How sad is that? See the AP story by clicking here, and more Missouri details here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Walk to School Week

This week is Walk to School Week at Whistle's school. Each day the students meet at a central location and walk together to school. It's been wonderful weather, and there have been a lot of students participating. Each day there is a theme: wear a hat, bring a buddy, contest for the most students of one class, funny shoelaces, and school spirit day. Yesterday Whistle walked with a friend while I took Teenager to her school, but we made school arrangements for her today so we could walk with him.

The High School band led the group today, followed by a city police car with his lights flashing. It was great fun. I talked to Whistle about it being like a parade, so he wanted to know why we didn't have candy. (Living in a small town, parade entrants still throw candy to children along the parade route.)

As he entered the school, one of the boys ahead of us was excited to go to the cafeteria for breakfast, hoping there would be doughnuts. That would negate the purpose of walking to school, wouldn't it!?

It was a great start to the day for me, too - walking to school with Whistle, and then walking back again to where the car was parked. Twice the exercise! It was a nice morning, but of course brings up thoughts of our own childhood, where walking to school was expected, rather than special.