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Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Days I Need Chocolate

I slept through my alarm. It was 6:55 and I launched out of bed when I realized I was hearing the sound of kids talking...the night before I wondered if an hour of alone time was enough before their "alarm" turned green at 7:00 signaling the privilege of leaving their room. Now I had 5 minutes. I didn't make it far before I heard their door open, at least I had splashed water on my face and prayed a quick prayer, a far stretch from the "quiet time" I had planned on

That's how the day started. Today we worked on the letter "B" we at blueberry bagels and blew up a BIG ball (yes, big enough to ride inside). I brought the 4's to their last day of Sports Camp at the community center and had some much-needed socialization with a friend while her two littles and my one little played...or took toys from each other...one of the two. I made three meals and two snacks. I tried to teach them to take turns and to share. I invited the neighbor and her kids over (probably more for me than for the kids'). I tended to my chickens and I took out the trash. I mediated and loved. I read a book (but not two). I worked with the preschool to deal with the stressful process of finding somewhere that both my biological and foster child can go. I communicated with the social worker. I'm sure I did more. I planned to ask my husband for help tonight, some help cleaning the house because I just couldn't do it all. But he was not feeling well and he needed rest. And he had already played with the kids while I set the table and he had already worked all day and read a bedtime story.

And do you know what? At the end of the day I was yelled at. I was screamed at. It sure would have been easier if I didn't make Capper go to the bathroom before he went to bed. It might have been easier if I let Evelyn do whatever she wanted. But I didn't. And it was hard. And Daniel was frustrated because by the time he gets home from work we are all tired and a little crabby. And I was frustrated because sometimes it feels like no matter how much I pour in, they still want more. It's never enough. And at the end of the day I sit. And I can sit and be frustrated (and sometimes I do). Or I can sit and know that I am enough. That I blow up at my kids sometimes. I act selfishly and I'm downright mean to my husband and my kids sometimes. But I am enough. I am doing the best I can and that is what they need.

All this isn't to tell you that I'm doing a perfect job. I'm not. All this isn't to seek your commendation. It isn't. But all this is to remind myself that I am doing my best. And one day I'll look back on these years and miss them. I almost miss them already watching these littles grow up before my eyes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Can we start the countdown!?!?

There have been many times when planning to build our house has felt like one step forward and two steps back. If it were exclusively up to me, I would have given up a long time ago! But we have finally made TWO steps forward and only ONE step back! One month ago (five and a half weeks actually) we submit our final well and septic plan along with our application for a building permit to the county. As you may recall, it's not the first time we have submit a well and septic plan and each plan requires quite a bit of legwork, land studies, and of course money. However this plan was different; it was the most illogical plan yet but pretty much our last resort. But do you know what? It was approved!!! We were granted 6 weeks to establish a new well for our neighbors freeing up our property. After their new well is hooked up, we will drill our own well on our own property. Commence forward step.

The drill rig has been working on the new well for a couple weeks now, unfortunately the backwards step is that the drilling has had to go twice as deep as hoped. We think it is getting close and hope to find water soon!

The next step forward is that the county accepted our petition to "expedite" our building permit. That means we will be paying extra for them to work overtime. It means that they will complete our permit within 5 weeks! We are 2 1/2 weeks in to that expedited period. Could it be that we will begin actual CONSTRUCTION before the end of summer!?!

This forward progress has given us the boost to start making more decisions and that feels exciting! We are considering this for the house colors. We chose blue. We had a lot of crazy looks. But what do you think? The roof will be grey metal and the two sides will be shingled. We might paint the shingled portion another color if there is too much blue. We also may do white trim. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kodiak


We had planned this trip since this past winter, we wanted to go before Evelyn turns 2 in July (lap infant anyone??)...but when we found out Sweetie would be staying with us more than the original 30 days, we put our plans on hold. Eventually I talked to the social workers and was able to make a plan for her to go stay with some of her biological family members who hope to adopt, she would have an extended visit with them which would be good for the transition and wouldn't leave her feeling left out. We were all excited about our respective plans until 3 days before the trip...plans fell through with her visit. Her social worker put in a request for respite care. It was frustrating and felt very unfair, I wasn't about to leave her, but we RARELY plan big vacations and we were really looking forward to it. Even if a respite family was found in time, she would still end up feeling very left out and to a four year old this was huge. I could see it having lasting effects. I started to pray. I started making phone calls and putting pressure on anyone in authority. I sent out an email with the urgent need for prayer, either for her to be able to see her family or come on our trip...and do you know what? She came. The area supervisor for the county said she had never seen this happen, for a trip to be approved and paid for, for everything to happen so quickly. She was shocked. I wasn't, and neither was God.

First glimpse of Kodiak Island
There were a few tears from Sweetie when I told her that her plans had changed (and much excitement from Capper!) but she recovered quickly and almost acted relieved once she was over the initial shock. We finished our ice cream and went home to tell Daniel. The next night I worked a 12.5 hour night shift to be followed by a quick nap, then a 2 hour drive to show our rental house to prospective tenants, then a drive home to finish packing and a quick sleep before leaving again...this time on a series of flights to the island of Kodiak Alaska. It hasn't slowed down much since then. Well it has and it hasn't at the same time. Our vacation was AWESOME! It was busy in a good way, a fun vacation way. We didn't get much fishing in (though we "caught" plenty of freezer salmon from my uncle's seriously packed freezer!) but did obsessively collected a couple pounds of sea glass...it's easier to be on a beach than a boat with kids anyway.

We were told we must be "really good people" because the weather in Kodiak was so nice. Per my uncle's 70+ year old neighbor, "I can only remember once or twice since we moved here that we've had weather like this."

So here is our trip, in photo form.
I was a little tired on the plane but thankfully my girls were too
Baby beach feet 
One of our many tidepool finds (we later found and even TINIER sea star)


More tidepooling


Seaweed to snack on


Hike

"Cheeeese!"

Tidepooling

MILLIONS of snails! Gross.



Sea lion wave

Sea lion Harem

2 Adults, 4 kids, 6 lifejackets! And nobody even got wet!



The view from the living room

We didn't get to see any LIVE Kodiak bears but saw multiple taxidermy ones!

Just in time for Crab Festival

Coast Guard rescue swimmer demonstration at Crab Festival

The rescue swimmer
This is what I think of fishing
This is what 4 year olds think of fishing (both 4's pictured)


Sweetie will touch, Capper will observe

We had a few days of "typical" Kodiak weather


The harbor
On my uncle's boat
In the fish hold on the boat
 

They now spend more time getting along than they do quarreling

Beach play


Island life, rhubarb grows abundantly but apples are pricey!
Prepping salmon to smoke
Even one year olds can collect seaglass

Addicted to beachcombing, even after bedtime
The final seaglass collection


Looks more like Hawaii
Daniel was supervising this adventure
Goodbye Alaska...until next time