Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

Like most others we know, we've been dyeing/hiding/hunting eggs the last few days. Joe and Andy learned about Easter traditions at their pre-school with dyeing and an Easter egg hunt, Whistle dyed eggs at his school, and yesterday we had an egg hunt in the park with some of Whistle's birth siblings. Two of his sisters are 6 and 8, and one brother about 10. We met their foster families at a park, and Teenager helped others hide eggs for the younger ones to find. (One mom remarked that it sure took a LOT longer to hide them, than it did to find them!) Joe had the disadvantage of having me pushing his wheelchair during the egg hunt. I headed in the wrong direction, so even though there were two of us, his basket wasn't very full in the end. I kept thinking we'd find some soon, heading for the next tree, but unfortunately I didn't look behind us, to see that ALL the others had gone to the left when we went to the right. Bad decision on my part. Poor Joe. He was happy with his finds, though, and I was proud of him for not noticing or counting.

I found out something new about Joe, too. He doesn't like chocolate. Can you imagine? Being the chocolate and nut fiend that I am, I just don't get that. He was happy to share his chocolate with others, and they all had non-chocolate candy, gum, and nickels and dimes as well. Afterwards some of the older kids tossed a football around, and the younger examined and traded their treats. We enjoyed being out in the sunshine, even though it felt good to wear our jackets. After several rainy days this week, it was a nice day to be out. Unfortunately, Andy wasn't able to come along, as he has a stomach virus.

That same bug kept he and Joe and I home from church today (Andy was the only ailing one), and we had a quiet day, with Andy taking several naps on my lap. This evening he perked up some and played a little with the others, and now it looks like Whistle is the next to come down with what appears to be quite a contagious bug. Our big accomplishment for this Easter Sunday was to send our dinner with the others to church, and watch a re-run Lawrence Welk Easter show on television. The big hit for the day was the sunglasses the boys received in their plastic pail/Easter baskets, and they wore them to church, to visit at the hospital, or just held them in their hands while they slept, depending on who and when it was.

Hopefully, this little bug the boys have won't last long, as all three boys have medical appointments this week that we don't want to miss.

For the kids here, it's Happy Spring Break week, also!

Update: On Monday morning, I met some of Joe's birth family, and was told he LOVES chocolate, and will gorge himself on it! Since he's totally refused to eat a bite of it this week , I wonder if he overdid it and now can't handle the thought of it. Hmmm . . . .

Monday, March 17, 2008

Update on the Boys

Our two newest residents are settling in, and we're having a good time together. Actually I should say they're having a good time with Whistle. The boys are fast friends, and love playing (actively, loudly) together.

I'm going to call the older of the two boys "Joe," because he looks like a certain Joe did when that Joe was much younger. His younger brother will be called "Andy." Last night the boys were playing horse. Not basketball horse, but ride-on-each-others'-backs horse. They tried different combinations of horse and rider, but settled on the fact that Whistle was strongest, and thus the best horse. After school today they were yelling, calling, directing each other in their play, and it was l-o-u-d loud. It didn't seem to matter than I reminded them over and over to hold it down - this was horse they were playing, and that horse was wild! They were so excited to be back together after each spent the day at their respective schools.

Andy is now able to walk on his cast, and Joe does a great job of scooting around on his hands and one knee, dragging his cast, and pushing with it occasionally when he's really in a hurry (and he thinks I'm not looking). Since we haven't seen these guys without leg casts which slow them down, I wonder what it will be like when they can actually run?

Also, considering the number of trucks, cars, blocks and toys on the floor, and the noise level, I wonder how long it will be before we can all get outside to play? It's raining today and tomorrow, but maybe sunny spring will be here soon.

Dental Check-up

Teenager and Whistle had dental check-ups and cleanings today. We drive past his school whenever we leave home, and Whistle was worried about the cars arriving at school, and missing out. On the way to the dental office, Whistle was showing his trepidation, and started counting his teeth (so the dentist wouldn't have to)! He announced that he had 5 teeth. The waiting room time was very long for him, and he got nervous enough to try to adjust the window blinds, among other things. As for his 5 teeth, the hygienist told him he probably had twice that many, and when she counted, she came up with 20. Imagine that!

Because of his feeding issues and oral defensiveness, this office is not one of favorite places to visit, but he did come home with 4 teeth cleaned this time, and that's 4 more than the last visit. He got to choose a toy from the treasure chest -- anyone who knows him will know what he chose. A small 'superball.' He announced afterward that he'd been "very bwave."

Teenager got a clean bill of health and they each got a new toothbrush, too. All in all, a successful morning.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Makin' It from Scratch

This is a great article on the connections that having a family brings us. It's worth your time to read it. From Scratch

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Speaking of Runts

A fostering-family-friend of ours called today to tell me a story. They have two new lap dogs, and one is the runt of the litter. After explaining to her daughter what being the runt of the litter meant, her daughter said, "Remember that runt that we used to take care of?"

Her mother asked about a different puppy, but that was not what she had in mind. She said, "No mom - he's a human runt. He lives with Teenager now. He's all grown up now. Not grown up like tall, but grown up on the inside, in his head."

Since a runt needs extra care and attention, she figured that Whistle must be a runt, too! :-) He lived with them for a month before he came to us, and we will be forever greatful for this mom's call when she said, "I think you need to meet this boy."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yeah, What she said!

Because Kari said it so well, please go read her thoughts here.

Our homestretch is a long time away. We may never see an empty nest, but I don't regret the choices we've made. One day at a time, one blessing (and trial) at a time, God has provided, and He has promised to continue to do so. I have no fear of the future. Last night I was lying in bed thinking of the last lines of an old Sunday School chorus we used to sing, "For if the Father's eye is on the sparrow, then surely he will care for you. He knoweth, and careth, each burden, he beareth. For if the Father's eye is on the sparrow, then surely he will care for you."

That led my thoughts to a hymn that we sing in our church services now, which also has a line about God caring for the sparrow. You can read and listen to it here: His Eye is on the Sparrow.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29, 31

The sparrows. The children. And us. Fear ye not.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


At first glance, people have thought our two new boys are twins, but they are actually a year apart; two and three. They don't even have the same color hair, but are close in size, if you're not looking closely. However - some things are twin: sweatshirts, toe-to-hip leg casts (one right, one left), and wheelchairs! We knew they had casts before they came, and knew they were due to have new ones (which called for anesthetic) the day after they arrived. What we didn't know was that one was having actual surgery on his foot, and the other a more minor procedure. Thus, the unexpected wheelchairs, and restrictions on weight bearing for both boys; one for 6 weeks, the other a shorter time.

In training, I tell prospective foster parents that a good motto is "Be Flexible." This week it's being put into practice at this house! We're doing okay, one day at a time; both the boys and the foster family. Adjusting to each other, healing from the procedures, and today things are actually much better, because during the two days at the hospital with them, I came down with a case of the stomach flu. Bad. News. Feeling better now. So far, no one else shows signs of it except Whistle, who probably gave it to me in the first place.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Teeny Tiny Food

Our granddaughter E., 4 years old, woke her mother at 3 o'clock in the morning on Monday, excitedly asking if she could eat that teeny tiny food now. Of course Mom was confused, and had her repeat it. Huh? Teeny tiny food? She said, "I'm baptized now, so can I eat that teeny tiny food?"

You see, she was baptized on Sunday (which we are truly thankful for, and do not take lightly), and realized she now could take part in the communion service. It is so funny how kids interpret the world around them! I guess it's time for discussion on the symbolism of the communion service, next.

And two more make . . .

We've had an emergency placement for the last few days, a 12 year old boy who was waiting for a specific home to open up. It went well, as far as we know - but we hardly got to know him. It's so different having kids who aren't going to be staying -- I really don't want to start asking them questions and stirring up things within them. They have so many people in their lives already, I don't want to be one more person who thinks they have all the answers for a child they don't know enough about. I'm trying to make them comfortable and feel welcome, but I wonder . . . when I hold back, do they really feel like we care, or does that make them feel like we're "just a place with a bed" to them? Hmmmm. . . . will think on that for a while.

In other news (as they say), we are awaiting the arrival of two new preschoolers this afternoon. More to come on that later, I'm sure!

Old Friend - New Blogger

Not a friend who is old -- a friendship that has developed over time. I'd like to introduce you to my friend, K. She and her husband are active foster parents, and some of the best friends a family could ever have. From the outside looking in at foster families, things sometimes seem different than they are when working within the family, and within the system. Having good friends like them to share our lives with makes our days richer and fuller.

I love this gal, and I want to welcome her to the blogging community.

K: These flowers are for you. :-)

You can visit her
HERE. Please say hello, and tell her Other Mother told you to stop by and see if she could come out to play.

Young Singers

Check out this video of The Cactus Cuties, 5 girls ages 8 to 13, singing the National Anthem.

Amazing voices.