Friday, June 25, 2010

Red Light, Green Light

Getting to work is pretty much a straight drive.  Only 4.26 miles says mapquest.  You know what else mapquest says?  10 minutes.  Yep.  That's what it says.  So why am I leaving 20 minutes early and getting there just on time?  Why does it take 15 minutes to get home?  I'll tell you why.  Traffic lights.  And some nights, I seem to hit every single one of them during a red.  I remember there was one time I made it with no stops.  I had to speed through a couple to make sure I made it in time.  I have worked at this location for over 8 months now and only one time made it straight home.  You wanna know what usually happens?  I usually hit every single red.  Do you have any idea how frustrating this is?  It doesn't matter that I've already been waiting 3 minutes at the previous stop.  No matter how slow or how fast I go, I end up stopping.  I wish there was a science to it.  Just drive 10 miles an hour and you'll make it without stopping....or go 30 miles and hour and you won't stop.  There's no rhyme or reason to it....just me hoping I make to work on time.  In the meantime, I've thought of many great analogy's I can use for future motivational talks. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My New Reality

It's been a week.  A whole week.  In reality, it feels much longer than that, but not because it's been a tough week, but more because it's been an eventful week.  This morning Todd and older brother were outside taking down the trampoline and clearing the weeds.  They worked 45 minutes longer than the required 15 minutes of daily chores.  Course, I pay them, but that incentive has never been too effective in the past.  Now, I've got a cleared area where once stood a broken trampoline with 2 foot weeds protruding from every angle.  Geneva hasn't had nearly the number of mood swings.  Shem and Todd are fighting a whole lot less.  Chris is even chipper than normal.  This has been a great week.  We've been busier than before.  There's a lot more running around that goes on.  We also go through food a lot faster.  The upside, we don't eat out....we aren't even tempted.  Have you ever taken 7 people to a restaurant???  And paid for all of them?  It's not happening.  McDonalds?  Well, we've even skipped that one.  I've noticed a change in one particular brother.  The older one adjusted quickly.  Younger brother cried a lot the first night.  The second night, just a little.  I haven't seen him cry since.  In fact, I hear him laughing into the late hours of the night.  Late last night he heard Shem and Todd talking in their room so he quietly snuck down the stairs and scared them.  I could hear the scream clear in my room.  This wasn't the malicious type of sneak attack--this was the kind you would see at scout camp.  I've been able to see these boys blend and bond with my own children and it has been one of the greatest things I've witnessed.  I had the best talk with younger brother and found out a little more about his history.  We talked about the fact that we're moving and they will go into another home.  I told him that I would LOVE to take him and his brother with us, but I would HATE to take them away from their family.  He told us how awesome our family is (okay, who wouldn't enjoy hearing that?!!) and that his mom really likes me.  I can't help but feel that the reason Chris and I decided to do the foster training when we did (even though we knew we would probably be moving) and to finish what we had started as far as home inspections and all that goes, is because THESE brothers were meant to be in OUR home.  Had we been licensed any earlier, it might not have happened.  If we had decided to only do respite, we would never have met them.  As it is, they are members of our family now.  Their family is our extended family.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bucket List Check

We did it.  We became foster parents.  It happened so quickly.  We were given warning last Thursday about boy #1 last week.  We went to visit him Friday.  I could see how scared he was.  As we all sat there, I tried desperately to converse with him.  He would answer in one or two word sentences while staring at his shoes.  We did ask about his family.  He talked of several siblings but one that he was particularly close with-his older brother.  His birthday is this week.  I asked him what he wanted.  He wanted to see his mom.  I just about cried right there.  No worries, I kept the tears in check.  Monday.  7:30am.  Phone rings.  Caseworker told us his brother would be needing a home.  We didn't hesitate.  Monday.  2:30pm.  We see brother and aunt (not knowing who they were).  We wonder if that's the older brother.  He looks a lot older than 13.  I start to panic.  4:30pm.  I feel at peace.  I've given the boy's mother a tissue and a hug.  We've arranged for a visit on younger brother's birthday this week.  Birthday wish being fulfilled. 

It's been 3 days.  These have been some strange days for me.  I've got 5 kids now.  Our van is full.  No more family trips in our car.  Better get the van fixed if we want to go anywhere.  These brothers are two of the sweetest, most well-behaved kids I've met.  They have been very respectful and helpful.  They even put their dishes in the dishwasher.  The integration with my own 3 children will slowly happen.  I won't force it.  For now, we'll just take it one day at a time.  When I look at these boys, I wish everybody could see what I see.  One of my greatest wishes would be to see all my friends and family sign up to be foster families.  For me, it's something I can finally check off my Bucket List and know that we have made the right decision for our family.  Wait till you meet them.  You'll understand.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Perfect Summer

Did I ever mention what a great mom I am?  Oh, it is so true.  I have the perfect summer plans for my kids.  We're going to get a rec pass and go swimming every morning. I'm going to teach them how to swim myself; no need for a third party.  Two days a week, I'll take Geneva to summer camp and she'll have to much fun that when she comes home, it'll be be nothing but sunshine from her.  Every Monday we'll take advantage of the movie theater deal ($.75). Oh, and I'm thinking we'll go to Seven Peaks a couple times.  We can park in the parking lot at my work and just walk.  Oh, and of course we'll take several short road trips.  We haven't been to Moab with the kids, so I'll load up the tent and sleeping bags and we'll plan a picnic on the way and make sure we have lots of treats and I'll do some research and print out and make some games for the trip and maybe have a scavenger hunt somewhere in there.  Oh, and I'm going to take the kids on several fieldtrips.  I think the Steven's Cocoa factory would be cool.  We gotta go to the ropes course place.  Oh, and in the evenings, we'll walk the Provo trail, hand-in-hand, just happy to be together.

I woke up this morning.  We really could save ourselves $60 if we don't get the rec pass.  Besides, Grandma and Grandpa have a pond/creek and ropes course.  We can save even more money if we just go up there occasionally.  The theater doesn't have any PG movies.  Well, we own around 200 videos--maybe we'll start pulling those out.  Picnic?  Yikes!  Is it lunch time already?  Nobody's had breakfast?  Umm.....there's frozen burritos in the freezer.  Just cook yourself up one of those.  Look, we can set up the tent in the backyard sometime.  You're right, our backyard is too small for a tent.  Well, maybe we can do that at Grandma's too.   we forgot about Geneva's camp yesterday.  Cripes!  Well, put it on the calendar so we don't forget tomorrow.  Yes, Todd, I'll go rollerskating with you, but today isn't the best day.  Let's try Friday when Dad can watch the other kids.  Anybody want to watch a "kid show?"

Well, I've still got 2 more months of summer.   I'm still a perfect parent...just not this week.