little

Over the Summer we added two pets to the family. A husky pup because someone had a big birthday and asked at just the right time. And an accidental kitten. Hubby has always wanted puppies or kittens. I have always fought them off because we had babies or little kids and puppies and kittens chew and scratch and bite and do not yet know that they should not. So I’ve managed to dodge hundreds of wee animals in the name of familial safety.

It was however, on a milestone birthday when husband spotted some cute puppies for sale. He sent pictures. Then called. I said no and after we hung up I texted go ahead and then called him to make sure he knew. It was his birthday for goodness sake. He is awesome and he has always wanted a puppy so- yes. The brown one. but he liked the white one who he could name ghost, you know because of Jon Snow. I laughed and then completely caved.

The next week I’m taking wee ghost for his shots- there are kittens in the front waiting area, in cages adorable and frolicking. I’m not tempted. Not in the least. But our youngest kiddo and I are waiting for more than 40 minutes and the cuteness was just too much. That day we came home with Benjamin the cat. He is a mess! He plays and bites. Chews and scurries and darts through the house like an armed missile. But I do love him so maybe mostly because he seems to know that he is my cat.

– he sleeps when we are awake –

So at this time we have five kids and five pets. It is a lot. But everyone loves them. Well not really. Our oldest dog isn’t at all sure about Ghost and Benjamin and the hair on his neck stands up for a long time when they are around- invading his space but eventually he adjusts and seems happy with them. Big dog number two loves them both immediately and is ready to play and pounce and chew. He is with us and them for for a few months until a quick illness takes him to heaven. That was hard for everyone, he was such a good dog. RIP Quinnie boy.

The big cat was not interested in any new friends at all. She is awesome and solitary and only wants your help getting through the cat doors to food and water and litter boxes. And really she doesn’t need anyone’s help- she can go through just fine- she just prefers that someone help her. She is big and fluffy and really only loves daughter 10 and sleeps with her and basically lives in her room. She has yet to warm to them. She is boss. She is queen of all the pets. One feels so special when she comes to say hello.

I’ve introduced you to our family pets for a reason, promise. The kids were so excited. They immediately loved them both. They clamored to hold them, pet them, feed them, love on them. And everyone handled the kitten and the puppy pretty well, except for daughter 8. She loved them and was excited in the same way as the others but where she struggled was this: kittens scratch and puppies bite. It happened with each of them on separate days in different weeks but it was basically the same. I heard her crying.

Checking on her I found her overwhelmed and weepy. She cried out, “Why is he hurting me?” Alligator tears flowing, spit slipping over the edges, mouth open wide and eyes shut tight, she cried hard. “Oh, baby they are babies still and they haven’t learned not to bite and scratch, to them they are just playing with you.” She cried some more, “But I’m just trying to loooove theeeem.”

I comfort her for as long as it took both times. Both times I fought the tears. I hurt for my sweet heart; giant heart girl. I tell her so. I tell her that I love her heart. Hold her and rock her and tell her that time will pass and they will both learn not to hurt us but that it will take time and we will have to teach them. She gets angry at some point and says she won’t play with them or love them ever again. I smooth the hair back from her tear soaked face. I tell her she will feel love for them when her feelings aren’t so hurt.

She reminds me of me, now with some in our family who I chose to love. Mouth open, spit dripping, tears flowing and the immature little girl self in this old woman is wondering why they won’t just let me love them without them hurting me, us. I’ve let the hard years turn me cold and I’ve let negative bias and resentment in often enough to not like myself anymore. I cry out and the Good Father comforts me, my words to my girl ring in my ears as His voice to this mama’s heart.

He tells me that time will pass and they will learn how to let our love in but that it will take time and we will have to teach them. So often I feel frustration and anger and coldness and feel like I want to throw in towels and run away inside my heart and Father smooths the hair back from my tear soaked face. He tells me how I do love them and will remember this when my feelings aren’t so hurt. As the days pass I sense the deepness and realness of Father’s promise that He is still working in me. Still growing me, moving things around, making me able where I wasn’t before.

And that is it. Sometimes I am still little. I think that this isn’t the kind of post that tells anyone what to do. There isn’t a crisp bow to wrap around anything here. But I think that is okay. Maybe this is just a story full of reminders. I’m reminded that God speaks when and where we will listen and that He is with us and we are not alone and that He is at work in us, always. And really that is a lot. I know there is more but I am okay stopping here for now. Keep going friends, you are not alone.

Blessing~ t

Holiday Help for Foster and Adoptive Parents {Thanksgiving 2018}

As I am putting together some resources for a support group that I will lead tomorrow I thought that it might be wise to have a place for all the links I am sharing with others.

I found these videos very helpful for those preparing to enter the foster care and adoptive family road. You cannot lose with any work from Dr. Karyn Purvis.

The Adoption Connection has a facebook page, group, and podcast. They also give loads of helpful tools and free resources in their show notes.
This podcast is all about Surviving The Holidays.

The Forgotten Initiative has a ton of resources, blog posts, and a facebook page as well as a podcast.

Mike and Kristen Berry’s blog and podcast are helpful. They also have Oasis which opens a couple times a year, you should check it out.
This episode is all about helping our kiddos manage their disappointment during the holidays.

I heard this Stress-Relief Coach recently on a podcast (isn’t that a great title to carry?) and she has this post about self-care for parents and this post “A Survival Guide for Introvert Parents” (Lord knows I needed that one).

Thanksgiving Week 

I’m thinking a lot about this Holiday and what it might look like for our large-ish family. I’ve made a plan to do a few things this week that will help this introvert mama prepare for all the kiddos being home all next week and the travel to see family- on my own as Hubby will be working.

1. Sleep (no staying up late to binge-watch Downton Abbey this week, no matter how much I want to.
2. Exercise. For me, it is a two-mile walk every day. I’ve already missed two days this week because of commitments (that happens) but I’ll work hard to get a walk in every day until we travel. This will mean I adjust the time that I usually walk and a couple of days I’ll take all six kiddos with me. Muah ha ha ha ha (some of them really dislike the walk) but I need it- I am a better mom after fresh air and repetitive motion and a little heart rate climb.
3. Easy dinners – that means planning and shopping for them this week.
4. Rest whenever I get a chance. This means taking any pocket of time -wherever I am- and resting in it. I’ve literally slept in the car waiting to pick kids up from school but that is likely just exhaustion. What I mean is finding a couple of minutes to do something that I find restorative like reading or knitting something mindless or napping. Often though this is the ten minutes in the parking lot after I’ve grocery shopped or two minutes in the restroom getting some deep breathes in while asking the kids to wait and please not open the door.
5. Time alone with Hubby. This one is hard to do because this is his busiest time of year at work but sometimes we can get lunch together during the week or sofa dates after the crew has all gone to bed.
6. Schedule and actually take a “recovery day” (or half day this time because of travel). Something easy, fun and restful the day after the “big day”. This year I think I will make waffles in the morning (and hopefully talk my brother into making eggs and bacon) and then have a quick nature hike with the big cousins before we all get back into the car for our drive home. After we get home we will all have a little time to unwind on our own. Or have extra cuddles with mom and watch a movie before getting an early and EASY dinner and an early night to bed. The next day is a birthday so we’ll take it easy that day as well (we actually have two birthdays that week) but that is another post entirely!

I will be sure and let you know if any of my plans worked afterward!

What do you do to prepare for a busy, house-full-of-kids time or what most folks call the Holidays?

Cheers~
Tina

A New Year & Yarn Along

It is a New Year. One of my resolutions is to read more – or rather to read entire books- you know, to the end. I always have a stack of books that I am “reading” but I have not finished many books this year, err this past year. Too busy or tired or vegging out in front of the t.v.

A stack of unfinished books leaves me feeling that I am behind which leaves me feeling stressed. Boo. For someone who loves the well written word- it is wrong that my stacks of beautiful books should leave me feeling something so ridiculous as stress. I love books. I love to read. I must figure out how to enjoy them again. That is my goal. ❤

Just now I am reading Blood And Thunder and I am Knitting some socks- no pattern just socks. I’ve knit enough socks to wing it now. The yarn is ZOMBIE something-or-another (I lost the info) and a white wildfoote luxury sock yarn.

I was so happy that Ginny started Yarn Along again 🙂 I nearly forgot- but managed a post just for the occasion and am so pleased to join her today. Yay, thank you ma’am for starting it up again!

TWO MORE THINGS: ✌️

I wanted to add my favorite resource of the week is this podcast the topic is How To Provide A Healing Home For Wounded Children. It is so good. Gosh- can’t even tell you- so good. If you do foster care or have adopted please have a listen. ❤

Also if you need a sock pattern- one you can really rely on- you might try this one (it is free) I love all of her work.

Okay folks, have a blessed day!<
Tina