Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I am not a photographer, nor do I have a nice camera.  But, this is absolutely THE cutest kitty picture of all time (taken on my iPhone).

Bear and Tiger

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Adoptive Parents Whose Children are Experiencing Emotional Illness

What we would like you to know (geared towards providers of mental health services):

1.  We are doing the best we can.  This is really hard painful work.  It is hard to see our children suffering so, and not able to understand the world like most people do.

2.  No parent wants their child to be emotionally ill.

3.  We are experts on our children.  We know them very well.  Listen to us.

4.  Don't promise us things you can't provide, or promise us that others will provide them.

5.  It is hard to tell our story to the outside world.  Be gentle with us.

6.  We are grieving for lost hopes, dreams and ideals which haven't or won't be reached.

7.  We are tired and sleep deprived.  We are exhausted.

8.  We are isolated.  There aren't many people who understand, and if they do, they are tired too.

9.  Don't ask us to tell our story in front of our children.

10.  We carry a huge burden as the reporter of what is happening with our child.  After all, there is no blood test for mental illness.

11.  If you say you will call us, call us back.  If we leave a message, call us back.

12.  When you have exhausted all your resources, there is still one left.  It is US.

13.  We will often compromise more than we should.

14.  We are competent, and if we become really competent with our child, it is what experience has given us. We still need you just as much.  Don't punish us because we have gotten so experienced at caring for our children and think we don't need you just as much.

15.  Don't finish our thoughts and sentences.  Don't assume you know what we feel.  Please take the time to ask us and let us talk.

16.  Don't forget that this makes us incredibly sad.  We are grieving and some days we feel very raw with emotions.

17.  Experiences like raising an emotionally disturbed child means we find out who our real friends and supports are.  It means we often have to grieve the loss of someone who we thought was there to support us.

18.  Boundaries - we'll keep ours if you keep yours.

19.  We do battle to meet the needs of our kids, please don't put us in the position to battle you.

20.  You can tell us how hard our job is, but don't tell us to quit.  We are not giving back or giving up on our children.  They have already lost at least one family, their birth family, and we are not going to repeat that experience for them.

*Courtesy of

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recipe: Peanut Butter Balls

Here is a recipe for a quick & healthy snack that your children are sure to love!

Peanut Butter Balls
Use equal parts of the following ingredients (I use 2 cups of each):
Peanut Butter
Oats (quick oats are smaller pieces, old fashioned oats work as well)
Powdered milk (you can use nonfat or whole)   

Mix ingredients (I use my hands and if you wear non-latex type gloves, it cuts down on the stickiness).
Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

Pay Me A Break

I go to the salon every six weeks to get my hair cut and colored.  I have been going to the same hairdresser for 17 years so she is much more than just my hairdresser.  She is also a great friend.

I am extremely cost conscience, always looking for ways to save money. While I could buy a box of hair dye and do it myself to save money, this is one area I refuse to cut back in. This is my 2 hours of "me time" every six weeks.  I consider it as paying myself to take a break. I get to sit for 2 hours while someone else does something for me. No one calling, "Mommy!" or asking anything of me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my family and would be completely lost without them.  I also think we, as moms, sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.

When I leave the salon I am happy to return home refreshed, both physically and mentally.  So, for me, the cost is well worth it.

Is there an area you choose to "pay yourself a break"?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ocean Diorama

We are studying "the ocean" as our theme for this month.  I am all about creating as many hands-on activities for the kids to engage all of their senses.  So I thought a good way for the children to learn about what lives in the ocean was to build our own.  We started with a shoe box we had left over.


The kids painted the water using glitter glue (because that is what I had available).  I thought it turned out well and looked "authentic".

The kids painted glue on the bottom of the box, then we poured sand for the ocean floor.

To finish it we found pictures from the internet of various ocean animals: great white shark, hammerhead shark, jellyfish, octopus, sea turtle, coral reef, and starfish then hung them from strings of various lengths.  We even had a killer whale jumping through the top of the box.  We made ocean plants from bent green pipe cleaners. 

Have you created something similar?   I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fun with Flubber

This is really what I had in mind when we first decided to homeschool this year.  Have plans, but if an idea comes up, go with it.  Be flexible.  Have fun.  Experience.  And that is what we did.

We watched the movie Flubber and then decided to make our own.

Flubber Recipe
Mix thoroughly
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 2 cups Elmer's glue (not school glue)
  • food coloring (optional, as could stain clothing and skin)
In a separate bowl, mix thoroughly:
  • 1 1/3 cups very warm water
  • 2 level teaspoons Borax
Mix the contents of the two bowls together kneading until it is fully combined. Discard any remaining liquid.  Store the mixture in a Ziploc baggie for weeks of fun (& I personally felt it was less messy than play-doh).  Beware though, it will stick to hair, clothes, etc.  I used Goo-Gone to remove it easily.

This was fun for the whole family!

Homeschool Helps: Equivalent Fractions FREEBIE

 I know it has been a while since I have posted. Life is crazy, as usual. We are back to homeschooling two of our children this year. Becaus...