Friday, July 25, 2014

I am burned out! Researching is highly over rated...

A few months ago we made the decision to keep all three kids home from Preschool this upcoming year. We agonized over the decision. Who would have thought that a decision about preschool would be so hard, but it was. We had a list of reasons to keep them home. Everything from not wanting to deal with the amount of illness that our family had to deal with this last year, to not wanting to spend over $400 a month for all three kids to attend preschool (the kicker is they would be in different classes, so at no time would I ever be kid less). The list of negatives was far outweighing the list of positives. Yet, I still wanted them to attend, because I know they enjoyed it. Shortly before school let out we made our decision to keep them home. Once we came to that agreement I actually felt a huge relief. It felt good to have resolution on it.

About 2 weeks ago, panic set in. The reality of having three kids home with me for another full year made me panic... Its not that I don't love them, they are my world, but two 4 year olds and a 3 year old at your ankles all day long is a lot. I am quickly realizing this as summer drags on. I have come to the decision that the only way we are all going to survive this (no, not a glass of wine every night, o.k. maybe a glass of wine every night) is if I get us on a good homeschool schedule. I have been doing research, lots and lots of research. Did you know that you can burn out while doing research. Ya, I am there. I think I am leaning towards Alpha Omega Horizons program.. If any of you mommas out there have ever used it, I would love to hear from you. Or if you have used another program that worked well for your family I would love to hear from you.

Our plan is not to Homeschool once they hit Kindergarten. We have already put in our petition paperwork for the school we want them to attend. If for some reason they do not get in, well then we will be looking at homeschooling full time. Which is why I want to set them up now with a good program, just in case we end up sticking with it. That will require a nightly glass of wine, guaranteed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nobody wants to do a Monday 2 days in a row!

Trying to let it go, but obviously have not. If I could of had a do over yesterday, I would have. Although yesterday was Monday and nobody wants a Monday do over. That's just crazy, let it go and move on to Tuesday. What are the chances we will have two bad days in a row, right? O.K. in this crazy house it could happen. I am just going to chalk it up to crazy atmosphericall changes that had my children (ugh, I will admit, and myself) acting like turds. OK, I don't use that word lightly, its a pretty ugly word, but that is what we had going on over here at my home.
We have clearly emerged into the sibling love / hate territory... One minute they are hugging it out, and then I swear to you the next moment they are pulling the chairs out from under each other. The hot and cold mood swings around here are leaving this only child wondering how she is going to survive the next 16 years!! When we mentioned it to the Therapist (fearing that we were raising angry little kids) she laughed and asked if either of us had siblings. When we said no, she was quick to inform us that sibling tension (to put it nicely) is the next closest thing to murder. It was in that moment that we both released a stress laugh... We were reassured that all siblings go through this, but stressed because neither of us have experienced it.
So back to yesterday amidst the yelling and pushing and growling and crying and tattling, and... I am just going to stop right there because I think you get the point. I decided to pull out a craft that the kids were doing for someones upcoming Birthday (yes hubs, yours). It was a disaster, spilled paint all over the driveway, tantrums of the paint brushes not working (I still have yet to figure out how exactly a paint brush doesn't work) but let me tell you when it doesn't, it results in feet stomping, crying, and a paint brush flying through the air. Shortly after our craft disaster I mean adventure we had lunch which nobody enjoyed, and actually all complained about.. Its amazing how in the Grocery Store they just HAVE to HAVE specific food items. You get it home and make it, and all of a sudden its disgusting. At this point Mommy was so over it... So off to nap time they went...

If only my day could have ended there... But noooo my kids decided to dump every toy bin in their room, remove every book from their bookshelves, remove the bedding from their beds, and disassemble a doll house. We then spent the remainder of the day in clean up mode. If you have never spent more than 3 hours in clean up mode with your kids it is one of the most painful events you will ever endure. I refuse to put their stuff away which means I supervise, which also means everything I want to get done comes to a screeching stop. It was brutal, and yes by the end I was Bitter... I wanted a do over, but I am glad I was not granted one because nobody wants to do a Monday 2 days in a row!

Monday, July 14, 2014

I Like To Think About The Good, It Makes Life Easier, Doesn't It?

Did you know that at 18, children age out of Foster Care? O.K. you probably did know that... Have you ever thought about what that really means? I can say that (even being a Foster Parent) I both have and have not thought about it... I know what it means, but it is so very depressing that I try not to think about the full ramifications of a child being forced out of the Foster Care System.
I like to think about the Good. I like to think that there are more Good Foster Parents than Bad. I like to think that there are more Good outcomes in Foster Care then Bad outcomes. It just makes life easier when you focus on the good, doesn't it? We can just go on our merry way not worrying about the bad. We can just focus on ourselves, and not worry about everyone else. Is that what life is about? Are we intended to only worry about ourselves and not others? Am I here only for the purpose of getting myself safely through this journey called Life?

I recently read an article about a child who aged out of the system at 18, which for him equated to a High School Junior. His Foster Parents (who lets just say probably should reconsider giving up their Foster License which is my nice way of saying they should have never had a License) who were no longer going to receive money for him, told him to move out. Yes, told him to move out. He was technically not a Foster Child anymore which means ALL of his services ended, including his monthly reimbursement from the State. Since this was probably an income generator for this family, he needed to go so that they could fill his spot with someone that could bring in money. So, this High School Junior was now homeless and had no medical insurance... Can you imagine?!?! What were you doing your Junior year in High School? I know I was having a pretty good time, between friends and Proms, and first jobs it was fun, and I was carefree. Not that kid, he no longer had a roof over his head and God forbid anything medically happen to him.

Did you know that only 1%-3% of all Foster Children end up in College? Now does this all start to make sense? At 18 they age out, which means at 18 a majority of them become INSTANTLY homeless. I haven't met a single homeless person that is attending College, have you? Homeless and no medical coverage. Why do I keep bringing up the no medical coverage? Well because a good majority of Foster Children suffer from various illness. No medical, means no medication, which equates to a person really struggling to survive. How can they get ahead when they have no home, no support, no counseling, no medications... It is pretty bleak. It is heart braking.

I stumbled across this bit of info this past week, and I have to pass it on. If you know any child getting ready to age out, or maybe recently aged out make sure they are aware that they are eligible until the age of 26 to continue to receive medical insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). This will be a huge relief for many who have or will be aging out. For those that have applied for coverage under this Act you know how complicated and time consuming it is. Many former Foster Children will not be able to handle the task of signing up, and like anything there are some Very dumb loopholes that will hopefully get worked out. The child will have to reside in the State that they aged out of to be eligible for coverage. That being said there are currently 180,000 eligible former Foster Children that are NOT taking part in this... So please I ask of you to spread the word. If you come across a former Foster Child that was denied coverage, you tell them to march right back in and not leave the office until they have coverage. Many enrollment workers are not even aware of this provision, but YES it exists. Getting this information out is hard, unfortunately many former Foster Children just disappear. Many ending up on the streets, many not wanting to be associated with Foster Care.

I ask of you to spread this information to everyone you know. It is one way that you too can help.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I may have lost my sanity...

It is so cool when your kids hit a certain age, that allows them to do activities that you remember doing as a kid. This year I was able to sign all 3 of my kiddos up for Vacation Bible School. Now, most sane woman would sign their kids up and enjoy a 3 hour break from their kids each day for that entire week. Nope, not me... I went ahead and volunteered at their VBS... A VBS that had 290 kids. Yes, you read that correctly... 290 kids.. 

So let me share with you what I learned at my week of Volunteering at Vacation Bible School:

290 Kids is A LOT of kids

Jesus Loves Me  (o.k. I already knew that one, but its worth repeating)

I made a good decision not becoming a teacher

A room filled with 40 plus kids is very loud

If VBS ends at noon and neither you nor your own kids have eaten lunch, that car ride home is going to be a lesson in patience

You will love it the first day, like it the second day, be pretty tired the third day, begin questioning your sanity on the fourth day, and then love it again on the fifth day

You will not have the energy to make dinner for your family by the end of the day

Did I mention 290 kids is A LOT?

You will interact with some pretty cool kiddos

You will love it

Something will be said at some point while you are there, that was meant for YOU to HEAR

Yes, you will catch a summer cold from one of those cool kiddos

You will sign up to do it again, except next time you will have your dinners prepared ahead of time.  Because you can only tell the family you are eating cereal for dinner, so many times

You will meet some pretty cool ladies, with some pretty amazing stories

You will not be able to stop singing 'All Around The World'

Last but not least...

My God is an Awesome God!