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Sunday, December 29, 2013

"2013 Reflection"

Have you tried to reflect back starting from January of last year? Wondering if you accomplished everything you've set out to do? I reflect back every New Years. Questioning myself what I can improve, change or experience within the New Year. Not a resolution - they never work . Just what can we do differently that we haven't tried. 2014 is an even year with my favorite number 14. I'm hoping that means something. It shall be interesting.....for now our 2013 reflection!



Last January I turned the big 40. I went and pierced my nose on my birthday. A spontaneous decision on my part that I still love today. We had a flood in our basement and we lost many items, especially books. They didn't survive the water. One of the biggest highlights of last January was our littlest daughter getting her new adapted trike!



In February I really started getting into fitness. I joined my sisters boot camp. Daily I headed to my favorite little spot, Notch hill. One of our sons turned 10. Two of our daughters donated their hair to Locks of love. Our family was featured in AFABC's Love Note and our littlest daughter was hospitalized for the first time in 2013.


March was a big month consisting of spring break with daily travels and an early Easter. One of our daughters turned 13 and one of our sons turned 19. March was a huge hospital month for our littlest daughter including Children's. The biggest event was reconnecting and flying our second oldest daughter home.


In April we had three birthdays, one daughter turned 13, our oldest daughter turned 23 and our one son turned 7. I became a grandma, we through a successful baby shower while our oldest daughter traveled Central America. At one point during our daughters travels, I thought I was going to fly out and retrace her every step thinking that something happened to her! To finish April our family participated in the MS run.

 

May was beautiful. I went hiking and found the Sacred Waterfall. Our one son turned 13, while another son turned 11. We visited the hospital again but not with our littlest daughter this time, it was with one of our sons who broke his arm during a basketball game at school.

 


During the month of June some of my sons and I hiked Mt. Benson. I participated in a school camping trip to Hornby Island and during Father's Day we all as a family hiked out to the Sacred Waterfall while bombarding Red Robbins for dinner afterwords! We wrapped up homeschooling with a trip to Butchard Gardens and the Monster trucks. In June I officially lost my car.....a funny story while waiting for my one sons neuro-assessment to be completed. I parked my car and went for a run. I didn't pay attention to where I parked it. Some suburban community. I'm sure our Neurologist talks about the day we looked for my car.....while I asked her for my own assessment to be completed - we both laughed after the stress released finding it parked where I left it!



July was camping with no fridge. Just coolers. We camped with friends at Elk Falls and we camped at our usual place, Comox lake. One of our sons turned 13, another son turned 5 and our littlest daughter turned 6. My husband turned 45! Towards the end of July we met another large "great" family living up north. They were visiting the Island, we had a weenie roast and celebrated finally meeting each other!



During August I hiked Della Falls with my one son, sister and niece. It was the toughest hike I've done but well worth it, even the blood infection that developed in my leg from blisters was worth that hike! Beautiful. My husband and I had our 14th Anniversary on August 14th, we have been together for 16 years. Another son turned 15. We continued with day trips, including camping an evening with friends on Hornby Island. To wrap up August I went shopping in the States. (I think) If my memory remembers it correctly! lol



September was a very special month. We finally had our family portraits done. We had everyone together and it was a very memorable event for me. We are finished adopting. A family portrait just completed us. Our oldest son turned 20 and our second oldest daughter turned 18. During September I went on a road trip with my second oldest son moving him up north to Fort. St. John. During that trip I visited my husband's brother's family. I miss them very much! They have 15 children who I adore and miss everyday. The miles between us are too long, time moves too fast and during my visit seeing my nieces and nephews older reminded me on how fast time really is. Life and relationships should be cherished.


October I hiked the Snoqualmie Pass in the fog! I love going to the States! Even to hike! Thanksgiving was successful and I was thankful going out on a date with my husband! (It doesn't happen very often) To end the month we had a Halloween party here.



There was another hospital visit in November. Our littlest daughter fell ill again but the funny part is, the pediatrician found hidden broccoli in her ear. This hospital visit was nice because my daughter made an elderly man smile. After weeks of not smiling or talking at all. (I was told by his daughter) It was a special moment and it brought my attention back to that everything happens for a reason - even going to the hospital. There's always an alternative reason for everything, even if it starts out negative. We had two more birthdays, one of our sons turned 9 and our little man turned 2 already! One day in November we just drove, we finally reached our destination at the Birds of Prey then had dinner at a friends house.



December.....oh "Ho ho ho" it wasn't. We planned a Mt. Washington Christmas. It was a vomit fest underneath the mistle toe! We are still sick on Dec 29th! We have one soul survivor out of 17 people! We did have a successful Christmas party! Lots of adoptive families came out to celebrate the season and meet each other. We had a awesome talent show, and Santa was a BIG hit! There must have been 50-60 children that sat on Santa's lap! During December our two daughters donated their hair again to "Locks of Love" and finally after many, many, many years we purchased a convection double oven! It has made my life in the kitchen 100% better with time! During the cold streak, (minus 5 maybe) our main well pipe broke but with a handy dandy husband, it was fixed quickly!
During the holidays many people struggle financially and emotionally. My previous post written I meant. Cherish each other, and every day that you have. Life is too short and unpredictable to waste. We're all human, we all make mistakes and we will continue to make mistakes. If you asked me for my New Year resolution, it would be to continue to find out who I am, to continue to experience life, love and not to waste anymore time with nonsense.



Now my 2013 reflection is over. I look forward to 2014 and I will continue to share my life with you because I'm hoping that people don't feel alone with their challenges; I want to share not just for that one reason but to hopefully inspire to live one day at a time, and live your best life with any challenges. "We do" Have a happy healthy and safe New Year from the Hohnstein's!



2014 we welcome you!


Friday, December 27, 2013

"I'm so sorry"

I wasn't sure on how to write this post after returning a day early from our Christmas holiday. I even struggled for a title. We were sick the whole time away. The relentless flu went through our family one by one, all night, every night and all day long. We went with another family, dear friends of ours that managed to escape our pandemic, I think. Even as I write I have two still very sick children. I don't have a story for this post. I was going to write about some of our highlights, and some of our drama but when I returned home to find out a local family we know lost their six year old son in the early morning on the 26th, I am at a loss for words. A happy healthy little boy fell asleep and never awoke. Having a semi-horrible Christmas for us is nothing to write or complain about. There is so many individuals suffering from loss and life is so unpredictable. It completely saddens me as I can't comprehend the pain a parent goes through loosing their child. It brings my attention to all the unnecessary drama that people create in their life, in their friends and families lives. I'm definitely surrounded by it. I constantly question why? We all are people trying to succeed, love and continually search for some peace to be together. I know a lot of "drama" is created because of ignorance and the lack of experience but when the day is done - what did or does an argument with one another accomplish? People are passing away daily. Losses we will all feel eventually. When that happens we can't take back what was said, what was done during that day........the people left living have to live with their last words given. Shouldn't that be simply, "I love you" Shouldn't that day always remain memorable in a positive way knowing that it could be the last? Shouldn't we work together, succeed together and live without conflict with one another? I'm human. I'm guilty of many things - I'm guilty for not saying, "I love you" enough. I don't know what it feels like to loose a child, nor loose a parent. I haven't experienced this - I dread the day I loose someone I love. My heart goes out to everyone that has. I'm at a loss of words knowing a little boy just passed away in my community. I'm speechless knowing on how many others have passed away and continue as our world is relentless like the flu. You will never know when it's your turn, and whose turn is next - so please treat people with only love and a kind heart. Cherish what you have before it's too late. I'm adding a fundraising link for the family who lost their son this Christmas, to help them financially during their time of grieving. Please if you can, donate - support is needed. Unfortunately hearing and/or experiencing loss is a horrible reminder on showing us what's important. RIP is a commonly used abbreviation that doesn't help the pain who suffer, there is no words that can be said after loosing a child. I always write, live as if it was your last day, or heaven for bid - your child's.......we really really need too and I'm deeply sorry for everyone who has lost. 


http://arbutusevents.ca/donations-to-coldwell-morton-family/

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!


 
 
We're heading for a white Christmas...
May your Christmas be full of magical memories....
and your heart be filled with love and joy....
stay safe and healthy....
live, experience and celebrate life....
Merry Christmas to all
and wishing you all a great holiday....
with lots of bright insights!
";)-wink" - Me.
 
Stay tuned......our adventure awaits....

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Our threes"

Well...........I'm completely not sharing part of our week. All I can share is when you hear the saying, "It runs in threes" It does and now that it's the end of the week and our threes are over, we can rest in semi peace. Our week was testing my patience, my stress level and now that its the weekend and school is over - we made it alive! Thursday night I brought two of our girls plus our educational assistant to the live play, "Cinderella" to end our homeschooling. It was funny. Cinderella is playing at the Echo Players in Qualicum until December 29th - If you have the time, and need a laugh, it's a must see! It's a pantomime comedy and it's great that the audience gets to interact with the cast. After the show our daughters had pictures taken with Cinderella. It was a great finale to homeschooling! On Friday night we celebrated having a pre-Christmas! My father and mother from Campbell River previously dropped off gifts for all our children. To celebrate the last day of school our children had a great evening opening their gifts. For me, it's not about the gifts, never is. It is about having supportive family, and building memories. The end of our week proved worth while after our threes.


 
 I love our card.....
Thank you for our parents, thank you for our grandparents!
Let the holidays begin!




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Annual Adoption Christmas Party 2013

 The Christmas cake made by my sister!
 Santa and his elf were welcomed with love!
 All the children were very patient waiting for their names to be called!
I'm guessing 50 children!
Our daughter was extremely happy when it was her turn!
The talent was amazing!
 Mini food hampers
 Beautiful door prizes!
Gift certificates, a beautiful brand new jacket and stuffed toys!
The dinner selection was amazing and bountiful!
 
 

 
 

 
Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.
- Norman Wesley Brooks
 
 
Thank you with all my heart, words can not express enough on how appreciative I am for the wonderful family and friends in my life. Thank you everyone who helped, who donated and who attended our annual Christmas party. My greatest gift is making memories, and magical moments for children - that feeds my spirit.
 
 
 
Spread the news throughout the year - 2014 Christmas party is already being planned!
 


Friday, December 13, 2013

One year ago on December 14th, 2012



On December 14th 2012 while many children's lives were taken, many families mourned, I listened to the horrifying story on the radio while travelling home with our new little boy. (I cried buckets driving home for many reasons) Zachary was placed with us for adoption on this day....I will never forget our gain while many losses occurred. RIP little angels, I without knowing you will always remember.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Hair

Round two for "Locks of Love" Two of our daughters have donated ten inches each twice for children without hair. I've written a previous post about the organization and it's not just about cancer patients. There is conditions such as Alopecia which is a auto-immune disorder that causes the hair follicles to shut down. Locks of love provide wigs for trauma burns, accidents and dog attacks. Any incident or disease that relates to hair loss, real wigs are provided for children. Our two thirteen year old girls donate. For several different reasons. For our girls they can't look after their own hair, our one daughter has hair sensory issues and our other daughter takes scissors to hers. So we grow their hair out enough for the ten inches which is the minimal requirement for donation, then our daughters are back to a maintainable shoulder length style. For us this works and it's a wonderful donation for them to make. If you're interested in donating your hair or your child's hair, it can not be processed, bleached or collected off the floor. It needs to be clean, dry, healthy and sent in a tied pony tail at both ends in a zip lock bag to your donation address of choice. There is either "Locks of Love" or "Wigs for Kids" but beware - with any donation you make, you need to make sure it's a creditable company. Calling the Cancer Society for verification should be done first. With any donation to anywhere we have to be aware of the ongoing scams. When my one daughter cut her hair today, I wasn't angry because it sparked another donation for another child to feel confident with beautiful hair. I can guarantee a Christmas wish from a child out there somewhere is to have hair. A story I will explain to my children, to understand once again that there is more to this world then material.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Got water!?

Have you ever seen the movie "Carrie?" Where the girl has telekinesis, she feels different and is under confident. Carrie is extremely bullied and lives in fear. In the movie "Carrie" she's pushed over the edge and her natural powers take control after having pig blood poured down on her. Well.......I had a vision of this movie when I was washing my hair while brown dirty sludge came from the faucet. It was disgusting and slightly came as a shock to me. We live with a well system. Water we're always trying to conserve. Over and over we dictate to our children the importance of saving water. This week my husband had to replace and fix the main pipe running from our house to the well. Luckily we were only out of water for one day. This doesn't mean our water will continue to run.....I just wish our children understood the importance on where the water is coming from - a well and it should be limited.




Besides digging holes and bathing with sludge, we've been busy......I won't get into a huge explanation onto what we've been busy with because Santa never tells. It's that time of year of secrets. I am looking forward to 2014. For me 2014 seems significant. Fifteen years of marriage. An even number. My favorite number is 14. I wonder what 2014 will hold? Hopefully no more water issues (unlikely) and just more memorable life experiences. We will see................my one wish for the New Year is more physical motivation, peace within all of us, for time to slow down and for clear endless water coming from our faucets and not flooding our basement. For now - back to December's plans and to celebrate an ending to another memorable year while being thankful for having water!


Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
Mark Twain



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DEC 14TH CHRISTMAS PARTY!

Dec 14th is fast approaching! This is not a party to miss! Please note: there will be a talent sheet sign up for your children, door prizes, dancing & much much more! Please RSVP for more details! It's a potluck designed dinner, any pre-adoptive, adoptive AND supportive family & friends can attend! You will also need to bring a labelled gift per child for Santa's bag! More the merrier! "Ho Ho Ho!"







 

Monday, December 2, 2013

"I love"

Since I wrote last some of our family members became ill including me. We're finally mending but I'm completely sore. The tension in my body lately has been driving me crazy but the show must go on. Today (Monday) already December 2nd I have a lot to do. For now I'm not going to rant about my aches and pains. It's the least of our worlds problems. As we all are getting ready for another memorable Christmas, many people are suffering from their lost ones. There has been so many tragedies within our world, and in which continues on a daily basis that I feel that anything we endure is minimal. We all move forward with our lives, and our families but this Christmas I'm going to add a candle with hopefully a few minutes of silence to teach our children that as much as Christmas for them is all magical, there is millions of people suffering from their tragic losses. Losses that if we haven't felt, we will. Teaching my children to have respect outside from their own little world, to also realize that life isn't just a white magical place, is a necessary enlightenment they need to know and have. As I was in bed this weekend from a horrible flu or possible food poisoning, that's what I continually thought......life isn't just about the memorable events, it's about respecting the ones that are having a rough time and to realize we aren't alone when tragedy happens. I will admit that I get caught up with the holidays. I try very hard to make our children's holidays memorable, but I want to add something more.....I want our children to know while they're having a blast, that others aren't. So I've decided to make time for this as a tradition for our family. I want our children to know that life is unforeseen. We don't know and can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow, so taking one day at a time honouring life, and respecting ourselves and others is key to living. This goes back to when I write and preach about being kind to others regardless of their circumstances. It's a cold time of year either mentally or physically, and regardless if people pretend not to want some sort of acknowledgment, they do. Of course with your own safety in mind, drop off a warm lunch, a coat that no one wears in your house to someone on the street.......try to stay positive, give support when needed and my biggest preaching for our children is we're all the same, just our circumstances are different - so be kind. While I catch up on life today with my own sore body, I feel positive and good inside knowing what I believe, how I want to live and hopefully shine some light with not only my children but for others on caring for everyone. What I know for sure, enjoy your life and treasure the people you have within it; while adding the strangers that desperately need it too; while honouring and respecting the lives lost, and the families suffering. Live having respect and honour for all, this world would be a much better place starting today. "I love" two words to chant everyday!

 

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Lovely White Christmas

 

I've been busy lately working on stockings for Christmas. This year, our children are only getting stockings because we are heading up to Mt. Washington to ski, snow board, tube, build endless igloos, sled and make each other cry with snow ball fights over the Christmas holidays with another family. The beauty of this trip - we won't have the internet. It's board games and one on one interaction with each other. It will remind me (us) of camping. I am however feeling semi-nervous with our novice skier and snow boarders. I am extremely worried about my oldest child, (my husband) trying to conquer the mountain on a snowboard after bailing two summers ago on a bmx with minimal recovery. Luckily in a few weeks I'm heading up to the mountain for a refresher first aid weekend - therefore any injuries will be addressed, and if not by me - by one of my fellow mountain first aiders. "We will be in good hands" Although I can not vouch for the recovery period......Ok, so no more negativity here - we are going to have a blast. Sleepless nights, a few bruises and nothing a band aid and some eggnog won't fix! Christmas 2013 will be memorable nonetheless. Besides getting ready to leave in less then a month, there is our annual Christmas Party on Dec 14th - please RSVP me for details. I'm also trying to make my yearly deadline of Christmas cards and packages for Dec 1! I am feeling a tad bit anxious as my deadlines need to be accomplished. (A part of who I am) - Punctual. Not to mention a Christmas birth family celebration, plus adding all the packing for our large family to leave for our Christmas holidays.....the grocery configurations. Preparation and organization is "me" and so far every day is passing us by quicker then I can blink. You're probably questioning why on earth would I take 18 plus of us up to the mountain over the holidays? Well.....last year we stayed home, we had the traditional materialized Christmas. My husband dealt with the garbage, taking toys out of the boxes, adding batteries and helped build and understand different products we purchased while I was in the kitchen. A normal Christmas. A few days later there was lost and broken toys. There was complaints with no appreciation with what they received. A couple of our children wanted to take back their gifts to the store. Exchange - ching - ching. I was disappointed. Honestly I try...... I don't want our family to be materialistic at all but I do struggle wanting our children feeling the magic of Christmas. I felt no magic last year. It was an enlightenment for me (again) and for this year I promised it was going to be different. I explained to our children that we're going to the mountain to ski and snowboard...... and how wonderful on Christmas day to experience this, it will be! To be together with no internet, no struggling with broken toys and no day in the kitchen. It's going to be a white Christmas. We will get our complaints, BUT years from now - I know for a fact they will remember this 2013 Christmas together and not the toy they never really wanted that broke two days later. Our children will still receive presents within their stockings, we will have a game called pass the present and I am continuing our tradition of new pajamas on Christmas Eve. This year it will be more magical because not only will it be a white Christmas - it will be spent with people we love - even if we have a incident or three. Not everyone can say, "We spent our Christmas skiing and shared a chalet with 26 plus awesome people!" Busy time of year = equals love for one another. That's what Christmas is about.........."Love"


Friday, November 22, 2013

Pay It Foward



Buy some one's coffee, hold the elevator door, give a stranger a compliment - go ahead, make some one's day!

Join the Vancouver Island, "Pay it forward" group I developed a month ago on facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/574063112643633/members/#!/groups/574063112643633/

Home made baby foods

Cream of vegetable potato. This home made soup I made was excellent. I boiled potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower with bay leaves, basil and salt n pepper. I mashed and blended then I added buttermilk and cheese. It was a tasty soup. Seen below (in the ice cube trays) I froze for homemade baby food. For dinner I added more shredded cheese and croutons on top. It was delicious! Food and nutrition around here is completely important. This soup I made strictly to hide all the vegetables inside. It also has a high fat content, purposely for some of our children that are on a high fat and protein diet. Around here I cook absolutely everything and I'm continuing to learn new recipes and ideas. I made a steak stew the other night, pureed it into more baby food and my grand daughter loved it! I am remembering when my babies were young and I made homemade baby foods. They're the best and everyone enjoys hearty creamy foods!



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cutest Teen 2013 - "warning"

There is this site, actually several sites started on facebook called Cutest Teens 2013. As young as ten years old are posting pictures of themselves hoping to add facebook friends and "likes" These sites are completely out of control. The "children" are posting naked pictures of themselves. The hate fans are going nuts commenting. Apparently some sites have been shut down although many still exist and continue to be made. These sites not only consist of child pornography, bullying, threats, these sites are mentioning suicides. It's completely disgusting which brought my attention to write about it in hopes someone out there if not in via facebook land, some authorities step up and monitor what's going on with facebook and this new disrespectful trend. I'm going to provide one link, so you know exactly what I'm talking about. You have to be a member of facebook to see, but something has to be done. I know it's not my children, my children aren't allowed facebook except the older young adults. I trust and I would hope not to see their naked bodies all over the internet. I just can't believe these young people are posting themselves for absolutely everyone to see - even their parents. It's  such a risk to their physical and mental health and I can't believe they disrespect themselves and others in this way while no authorities step in. I know the pedophiles don't have to leave their houses anymore. I'm enlightening everyone because if you're a parent, you need to know what's circulating the internet and hopefully it's not your child!

https://www.facebook.com/events/181965058660567/

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hospital smiles

Since Sunday night our littlest daughter has been ill. By Thursday after no food or liquid intake we had a hospital visit. We didn't want to spend the day and possible evening in the emergency room, nor did our Pediatrician. The Pediatric unit was full. Our Pediatrician is absolutely amazing. She called us three times plus texted me on her day off and arranged for us to be seen in the Pediatric unit. A doctor that truly cares and has compassion for her patients and families. In the twenty four years of raising children, I have never met a doctor like our Pediatrician! Our day at the hospital was interesting. Our daughter started to perk up, and then our doctor checked in her ears. Then there was broccoli!
Of course the broccoli wasn't the cause of her illness although it was amusing enough. I explained to the doctor that all her body holes are used sometimes for storage. Broccoli is one of our daughters favorite foods! So there was a little piece of broccoli lodged inside her ear. They tried taking it out with tweezers and our daughter was not going to tolerate it. So I basically explained we have the cure at home. A vacuum cleaner. My husband makes a straw attachment at the end of the vacuum hose and it works perfectly. For rocks up noses. To clean belly buttons and to suck out broccoli from the ears! The doctors including the student doctor laughed and admitted we should patten it! After being discharged my daughter and I traveled through the hospital halls to get where my van was parked. An elderly man and his daughter were sitting off to the side, enjoying the sun coming in from the window.  He was fragile, in his nineties sitting in a wheelchair. My daughter was calling out to him while we were passing. I parked my daughter (also in a wheelchair) next to this elderly fellow and we said, "Hello" I was explaining to my daughter that he was in a wheelchair too. My daughter kept pointing to herself yelling out her name. That's how she introduces herself. The elderly fellow that could barely talk or move lifted out his hand onto my daughters lap. My daughter laid her hand on his. It's a moment I will never forget. The elderly mans daughter started to tear and said, "He hasn't smiled in days" and this man was smiling. My littlest daughter with her compromised immune system, very weak herself from keeping nothing down for four days was perky and interacting with someone who needed it. It was truly an amazing moment. Our littlest daughter is very special. She has this light about her that captures every eye. Maybe herself is a personal healer - just her energy, her simplistic innocent nature brings out the best in people. She definitely made a difference today during her own hospital visit, she brought out hospital smiles and even with the broccoli in her ears! I still and will always believe things happen for a reason. Our daughter falling ill is never pleasant but for this hospital visit was not only a positive one, it will forever touch my heart.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To be or not to be

Over the weekend we decided to give our children a choice. To either stay home with Dad or to come with me. They weren't given an explanation on where I was going or onto what I was doing. I solely left it up to our children to decide to either spend the day with their mother, or stay home with their father and their decisions was not going to pend on what I was doing. Surprisingly I had seven of my children accompany me on an unknown adventure. What they didn't realize, I didn't know what I was doing either! I packed a lunch, and off we went - destination unknown. I enjoy venturing without knowing sometimes......you just never know where you'll end up! We ended up at the Birds of Prey in Duncan. It was great because we've never been there before!




The next day my husband switched roles and he ended up taking our children to the public swimming pool. During that swim, a over-sized woman was wheeled into the pool. From there she started to bathe herself. I don't go to the public pools anymore after one of our children developed a foot fungus. The day after swimming our littlest daughter fell ill. I don't know if was from the pool or not.....what I do know that there is too many coincidences, and too many first hand eye opening events that stop us from returning. (Body fluids mainly, not even mentioning the largest organ of our bodies floating around) Needless to say, we're on our third day with flu like symptoms including vomiting. This might be weird to say, but I hope it's the flu and nothing compromising our daughter. So it could be a vomit bath around here - it will be a lingering seeming like forever pandemic! Speaking of the flu.....all of us had our flu shots. I know there is contradictory evidence proving that the shot doesn't prevent all strains and now I know......it more likely does not. So today was spent cleaning vomit. Bedding, couch cushions, the floor, clothing, the wall......in the hair, you name it, it was there! AND hopefully this isn't the beginning! I did manage however to bake, and continue with homeschooling. Unfortunately I made chili for dinner.... I pray for dinner to stay down! What I know for sure is.......we need to build our own pool. (lol) Our weekend was productive.....it was educating and eventful. Our littlest daughter who is sick, she had a blast swimming. Now we just have to figure out where to swim that isn't so susceptible of sicknesses. For now.....we'll continue to conquer the possible pandemic that has hit our home. We will continue our spontaneous adventures not allowing our children to know until we get there because it just goes to show who wants to do what and that's not what the adventure is about. Sometimes the adventure is not knowing at all - even for me. "It's to be or not to be"


Friday, November 8, 2013

Healthy openness is gift enough for me

I've been planning Christmas. One of our celebrations is spending time with one of our sets of siblings birth parents. Twice a year we get together celebrating Christmas and our children's birthdays. Years and years ago I wasn't keen on openness. In fact we don't have openness with any other birth parents except these ones for multiple reasons. Mainly protection and health related issues.  I just got off the phone with a birth parent discussing our Christmas plans. What's nice is, they're a part of our family now. While we talked, we giggled and not only discussed the children that are related between us, we discussed the rest of our family. The rest of their siblings. We're bonding as a big family related to each other through adoption. Twice a year we unite. I will admit it wasn't easy. Establishing who we are, who they are and creating boundaries was and is difficult. I as the legal adoptive mother have and will always keep making decisions accordingly in regards to the well being of our children. Adoption isn't just adopting a child. It's adopting a package of loss, not only the child lost their birth family, the birth family lost their child. Regardless of the reasons, it's still a loss. As exciting as adoption is for everyone, it's a dedication into a complex package of forming several different types of openness, it's developing the understanding and having compassion for their culture (their bands) into your families lifestyle. For us, adoption has brought us absolutely everything. Most importantly it brought us more love to adapt into our lives. For this sibling group, they didn't loose their birth parents to addiction or abuse. They needed an adoptive family because their birth parents are special needs. For us it's an atmosphere we're getting used too.....when we all get together, it's supervising more children but regardless of their cognitive abilities, one thing is evident - they love their children just as much as we do. Very challenging sometimes but very honouring to know through adoption, through openness - we're all together. We didn't adopt to be selfish. We wanted to adopt to grow our family, to dedicate ourselves raising children that needed and wanted a family. In the beginning I never thought I would meet birth parents......now we have seven plus birth family members interconnected with us in one form or another. While on the phone today planning our annual Christmas celebration with their birth mother, we both agreed on something. Time is passing by so quickly, and our children are growing up. It made me tear because as much as I know time is passing by quickly, their birth mother waits for time to pass to celebrate with her children. We all have a story......we all have circumstances that have landed us where we are today. We all are human, we love, and we hurt just as much as the other. I can't imagine waiting for a holiday to see my children. In this scenario it's good, we have agreements that we follow, boundaries that must exist and everyone knows their roles and that's why routine, even for openness is important to follow.  Funny, from their birth grandmother I've been told to relax on what I do for our celebrations.....I responded, "I can't. We want to do what we do, and I'm just so grateful to have adopted such special children from a special family such as you" Adoption didn't just change our children's lives, it has changed everything and every ones lives that we are close too. Whether accepted or not - what I know for sure is that we're surrounded with more people that care for children that I've ever seen before and that's adoption. That's openness. That's our life. If you're considering adoption, or in the process and want more information - I have lots of our own experiences and thoughts towards adoption. Just keep in mind as much as adoption can be exciting - every year after placement there's new challenges, and enlightenment's. You need to be open and prepared for anything - most importantly keeping in mind, you might be the legal parent - but birth parents love too. Too conclude, I'm looking forward to our family Christmas celebration and just witnessing the love for our children is gift enough for me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dec 14th Adoption Christmas Party!

Our annual Christmas party is back on this year. December 14th at the Nanoose Hall starting at 4pm. It's a potluck dinner, please bring something to share and a present per child with their name on it for Santa's bag. Santa is making a "surprise" appearance!  There will be activities, dancing and door prizes. Please RSVP me for details and if you're attending! All adoptive, pre-adoptive and supportive families are welcome.

 
See you there!
 



 
 
 
 
 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hung with love

Having a family portrait might be a minimal need to some, for me - it's looking up and seeing my family ALL together everyday, makes me feel proud & sentimental inside. A day everyday starting off right with love in my heart!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Boundary control round 101

This is a topic I've written on before. It's an ongoing battle within our society. I'm not going to isolate our family as targets because we're large, or we're an adoptive family or "otherwise known as a overly limited foster home." This happens to any family that doesn't participate in financially related almost expected purchases such as pizza days, bake sales, book sales and continuous fund raisers within the public school system. If we do not purchase, other parents feel sorry for our children. Which then the alarm bells go off. We must be financially struggling or......? The developed opinions circulate which creates parents purchasing the pizza, the baked goods, and giving money to our children. Every year I'm not impressed. I will explain why. The reason why we don't routinely purchase food, baked goods and books from our public school is not because we're inconsiderate, or not supportive, it's because I bake, we have pizza once a week, I make great large lunches daily. I also believe in routines. Routine works really well for our children. If we started purchasing, we would have to purchase every time. What we choose to do, is purchase on special occasions. We don't start anything unless we believe it's necessary to continue and add it into our life. Our children have poor impulse and boundary control. Now....I know most parents don't understand although even if I had only one child with no issues whatsoever and I didn't purchase food from the school......should that be a problem? I wouldn't even blink an eye at another parent not purchasing food when a lunch is prepared. I'm writing about this again because it's not about any assumptions, opinions and rumors that circulate. I could care less. It's about boundaries. As a parent of special needs.....I have children that have poor boundaries themselves, poor impulse control and not to mention some physical health related issues like over indulgence with food. I spend my time baking, preparing their lunches as needed accordingly. Then I find out they're given pizza, other parents are giving them money for the bake sales.......I know.......it's so sad that our "foster children" are deprived. A familiar story I've heard. I get irritated. I purposely buy decals stating that they're our children - ADOPT placed on our van. I spend most of my days in the kitchen preparing meals, lunches and baking. I'm not going to amp up everything I do - but I breathe 24/7 for my children. I understand. Our life is different, every family is different, everyone lives differently. What I don't understand is why parents with children don't understand boundaries? You don't give other children money and food. How can people not understand this!? OK - there is a teary eyed little boy wanting pizza. BUT - he just ate a huge lunch and what if he's lactose intolerant? What IF the parents at home are working so hard in teaching boundary control because this little boy will go to anyone asking for more food!? He will sit in your lap not knowing you? He's teary not because he's hungry - he's teary because he's just not getting pizza - more food - that his parents strictly said, "You have a lunch and you ate pizza last night" Maybe this is a little boy with BIG elaborated stories. Who knows what the scenario is - I question where is the boundaries from individuals that should know better in the first place? Not to mention, this isn't teaching our children to respect their own parents wishes. Now besides pizza and baked goods, there is the monthly scholastic book sales. Awesome books and we have millions. I have my own school room. Our children have everything. I do not feel the need to purchase all the time. I don't believe I should be questioned in their planners that come home about purchasing. I feel half the time that our children are pressured within the school system to purchase, they come home programmed and ready to buy when realistically it's not needed. Commercialism absolutely everywhere. We could at least keep it out of our schools. So once again a rant on what I feel a disrespect for our parenting choices, a complete boundary crossing and issues that we are left dealing with and explaining onto why we do or don't purchase for our children. Regardless of any situation - if you're concerned - ask first. I have no problem enlightening anyone onto why my children didn't get pizza, or participate in the bake sale this week! I also will not feel pressured into purchasing because other parents think I should. I've never been nor will I ever be society lead and I raise my children accordingly to their needs. My wish, either mind your own business or address your concerns BUT don't give other parents children money or food without consulting their parents first. It's a huge huge no no on many levels. And if you're really interested - I have no problem having anyone over for dinner, and I guarantee it won't be pizza.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You are beautiful

I've had a few individuals on my heart today. There is moments in our life that we can't forget. In previous posts I wrote about my experiences with complete strangers. Some people are amazing. I never would have thought I'd meet complete strangers that would impact my life so beautifully. When I was by myself during our sons pre-placement visits in a city unfamiliar to me, I met a brother and a sister in a restaurant one evening. They were an older couple, and literally while I was leaving the restaurant, the brother mentioned on how good my son was. We spoke for only a few minutes when I was given their phone number after being asked to call and join them for dinner the next day. The following day I contemplated. I wasn't going to call. After all, I didn't  know who they were and it was a sporadic move on their part. Half way during the next day I called. It was the best call I made. From there we not only became friends, for the past year we've corresponded on the phone, sent letters and different parcels to each other. A month ago, the brother came to visit our home. Complete strangers meant to meet and now friends forever. I still remember the impact these two lovely siblings made on me, and still do till this day.


Then a few months later I was in Toronto bringing back my second oldest daughter. I had no resources with me and I found myself in yet another foreign place. From a friend here I was connected with her friend in Toronto. Amazingly in the same city we were. This woman not only came to us, she helped us during the course of the days we were there, connected us to everything we needed, brought us into her home and was our saving grace. A woman I will never forget. Life can be hypocritical. I'm always always explaining to our children to not talk to strangers. Children are more vulnerable to be victimized and for my children, the importance of boundaries are crucial. Then here I am their mother talking with strangers all the time. I believe the good in most people and in order to absolutely seek that good is to trust, smile and converse with people you don't know. I explain to my children that you must be an adult in order to sense the ora within people. We usually know during the first or at least the first few meetings with someone new if we want to continue corresponding or not. I might not seem very careful but I'm very reluctant onto whom I invite into our lives. I believe we meet people for a reason. Regardless if it turns out to be a great positive relationship or not, our lives are here for growth, for learning and through even the worst relationship, we are experiencing which gives us the knowledge, the strength to make appropriate choices the next time. My belief meeting new people and proven within the most different atmosphere, sometimes the most awkward = equals truly the best scenarios meeting genuine individuals. I can claim this as truth because the three people I've written about above that I met from one end of Canada to another are absolutely beautiful. My thoughts today. And not only are these three strangers I met I believe to be beautiful.....I know most people are in their own way, they just need a chance to show it.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween dinner photo-reflection

 Mummy Dogs
 Our thirteen year old son, Grandpa Gary & Grandma Brenda
 My husband and I
 Friends that are family, George and Bonnie!
 My oldest daughter and my dad, Grandpa Gary in his second costume!
 Great friends Sherry and Mike
 Dare to dip!?
 Spider punch
 Deviled Organs
 Fingers anyone!?
 Bloody teeth cookies
 A few of us ready to dig in......
 "Oh oh Grandma....I dumped the pumpkins!"
Mom, son and Dad...."Why does our son look different from us!?" 
My grand strawberry!
 
Our Halloween dinner was a success. My only regret was not taking enough pictures of everyone! Years ago I was really hesitant in sharing identifying photographs. Now I'm too proud. I have a great family. I have great friends. I have a life worth sharing! We had a good night with good people and tons of food. My father and mother came from Campbell River and surprised our children AND all of us with their costumes. Sizzling hot and ready to dance they were! Our children kept asking, "Is that Grandpa and Grandma?" What's really nice.....parents and grandparents just dressing up and having fun. Showing their children that they're never too old, never too serious and life is about having fun with each other. Memories for everyone. One of our thirteen and fifteen year old sons didn't dress up....our fifteen year old claims he's too old. I laughed.....as I was Ernie! Funny, my husband and I dressed up as Bert and Ernie and it made our littlest daughters night. She was also Elmo.
 
 
 
 
The reason why I like Halloween is because most of us all participate in dressing up. Just another time to build upon memories, to spend time together and enjoy the simplicity that life can be. It's all about play.
 
"Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it" Sai Baba.
 
"Life was meant to live it" - Me.