A Dozen Good Eggs

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sophie fell and broke her arm last week. That has kept me busy. She cried all day and since it wasnt obviously broken I assumed it would pass. It didnt. I took her to urgent care and they werent really sure but guessed it wasnt broken. The next day was more of the same as far as sophie crying and begging for pain meds. Totally unlike her. The doctor called and informed the the radiologist said her arm was NOT broken.  Several more days crying and pain. and through the weekend. I finally called her specialist in Philly. They asked me to send a copy of the x rays. In attempting to do so I was able to see the radiologist report and hear it as well. It was clearly broken! right where she said it hurt. Poor kid went a week with a broken arm and no cast! I quickly got her into clinic for casting before anything else happened to her arm.  One day with that cast and she informed me she would nearly get her hand out. it was too loose. Given her hand contractures she isnt exactly an easy kid to cast. Today we went to Ortho and had them cast it. She got pink cast. Got a script faxed to school so I dont have to keep running up there when she needs pain meds. I am hoping she can be status quo a while now and heal her arm. Of course the cast means she can no longer take herself to the bathroom. She needs assistance. She is at least perking up a little and having some fun between medication times. In the beginning she would mope all day and then cry for pain meds when they are starting to wear off..

Sunday, September 18, 2016

how do you get anywhere?

well we mostly don't get there on time but we do get there. Most of the kids are able to take care of their own showering, dressing and generally getting ready to go somewhere.  They do need reminders often. Some are completely incapable of doing that for themselves, that's where we step in and do it for them. There are lots of opportunities to try to do things that are hard but when we are working to get somewhere in a timely manner is not it. We drive a 15 passenger van in the summer when we go out. It doesn't drive well in the winter so we usually park it in a snowbank for the cold snowy months. We have enough seats in the mini van and prius if we go somewhere in the winter. that means we both have to drive but we rarely leave town in the winter so it isn't too bad. School events and community events we drive to in two vehicles. This also allows me to use my handicapped plates to park closer to the doors and take the kids who need that, and the others can park further away and get a little energy out walking to the doors.

It isn't that difficult getting us anywhere but getting there on time is a bigger issue.  Certain children have difficulty keeping track of necessary items like shoes and coats. You wouldn't think a coat could get lost that easy but it's easier than you think apparently.  Even when half the kids are ready someone else is still trying to find their ______(fill in the blank).  There are at least 2 kids who live life on their terms and time is not their friend. They just move at whatever speed they feel and any amount of urging or hurrying will do nothing to speed it up. even when everyone is in the car , one of those kids is still poking along getting ready to go. They seem to enjoy holding everyone hostage. There have been occasions we just picked them up and put them in a car and left, unable to wait any longer for their poky attitude.

Where do we go? We try to take a bit of a family vacation in the summer. We go to the library often in the summer. We also enjoy music in the park most Tuesday evenings of June, July, and August.  We like to go to the beach. In winter we have school activities and some outdoor fun activities that requires all of us to carpool. More often not everyone is going so its easy to just hop in the mini van and go.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Livin Large

Being a large family with 11 of our 14 kids living at home I often get questions about how do you do this or that? You must be really organized! Mostly I am not organized I just have a good memory. I Do have a few things I do to make things easier. I thought I would share some here.

meals. How do you cook for such a large family? Well it's been so long I have been doing it I don't know how to cook for only a few people! One thing I do is make a menu for 2 weeks(sometimes I do a month, depends how ambitious I am at that moment). Then I list all ingredients needed to cook those meals. I also buy cereal and milk just about every time I am out. I often buy milk 10 gallons at a time. I have started to save that menu and list in a binder so that later I can go back and grab a menu and list without having to sit down and write it out. WHy didn't I think of that sooner? I keep favorite recipes in the binder as well as the menus and lists. I cook in 8 and 10 quart pots. a four quart pot would not cook enough of anything for our family. I have a few small sauce pans the kids use when making something for just themselves. I have also started making bread. Homemade bread is filling and adds to a meal and makes it go further.  I have been known to roast a chicken for chicken dinner, save the brother and make chicken soup, use the leftover chicken for a hot dish, and then have one night we eat leftovers. that's four meals from a couple roasted birds. This year we do not have any birds in the freezer. I will miss that in the cold dark winter.

Laundry. It's never done. There are approximately 2 times a year for about 5 minutes when all laundry is done. Just before the kids go to summer camp is one time.  the other time is usually just before school.  I missed both times this year. Came really close before camp but didn't quite make it. Not even close before school.  The girls do their own laundry. Jaeger has begun to do his. I do household and the boys' and Sophie's and Eric's and my own. It is still never done.

Cleaning. My kids are slobs. I do a lot of picking up tidying up but they have not been great about helping. Recently we are trying  new chore chart to see if that helps. So far its going ok. It breaks everyone up into teams. Then each team of 2 has two jobs to do. We tried boys night and girls night doing the dishes but that wasn't going so well. Pairing up some of the difficult kids has been hard in the past because no one wants to work with them. So far this pairing is going ok. Our house is never spotless but it is tidy. and the dishes are done daily.  With this many kids that's really all I can hope for.

Sports and activities. There aren't any ! no one is playing sports at the moment. and music lessons come in the form of band lessons at school. With many doctor and dentist and orthodontist and therapy appointments in addition to rides to friends houses or activities with friends I don't see how sports can factor in. There are just not enough hours in the day. No one has shown a great interest thus far in sports but if they REALLY wanted to do something we would figure out a way. At the moment no one is interested.

pets. Yes we have pets. Dogs cats and rabbits currently. Mocha is a springer spaniel and Australian shepherd mix. Java is a lab and pit bull mix but really looks more like a rat terrier of sorts. The cats are Maisy and Fiver. There are 8 or 9 rabbits at the moment. Frosty and Simon had 9 babies. one died and 2 went to new homes. Everyone who said I want a rabbit I want a rabbit backed out when the babies were born.

School days. 5am wake up gets everyone out the door by 7. most of them are self sufficient and lunches are made the night before. Busses come at 6:55am. Homework if there is any is done at the dining room table after school.  As long as I remember to wake everyone up and they have enough clean clothes its not too bad getting them all out the door. most of them are ready, all of their own accord by 630 or so. Only Sophie and Juno need assistance.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Scoop

My great grandfather was called Scoop. I can't recall the reason but whenever I offer the scoop on things I think of him. So here is what is new around here, the real scoop.

Kids went off to school today. First day of the new year. One child has been struggling with mental health, social problems, school behavior problems, academic refusal. We suspect FAS. That child is staying home this year to homeschool with me. We started today also. Seems like the right thing for him. He works hard for me. As he works out his past traumas and finds ways to integrate into the life around him, school is not the place for him. He can not handle it. So home it is. I would wager that we did more today on the first day in 2 hours than the other kids did all day today at school.  FAS diagnosis is in process but it is a long drawn out process and that is one more reason to keep him home.

So 3 kids are in 7th grade. technically. one is home with me and didn't do much of anything in 6th grade so I don't know if I should call him 7th grader or not. Sophie, the youngest, is in 5th grade this year. The other 6 are in grade 6. This means that they are all in middle school. Everyone is in one school. one building. except the one that's with me and I shouldn't have to pick that child up because he is ill or has bad behavior. I also don't have to worry about him catching the bus so I would say everyone is in one school is a fair assessment as far as communication with school.

Since its another year later we are all another year older. Except me, I'm still 27. Shhh don't tell Sophie that's not the truth. She believes it wholeheartedly.

Juno got a diagnosis last year of col6a2. what this means for her future is uncertain. We will continue to take one day at a time with her. We will assume she will live a long life and encourage her to remain active as long as possible.  That is all we can do.

We took a family vacation in August to Minneapolis St Paul area. We spent a day at the art museum and the science museum. We spent another day at valleyfair (similar to 6 flags park). We stayed in a hotel and ordered in pizza and generally had a great time.

Back on the home front Eric remains very busy putting up several greenhouses on our property.  He (and we) are anxious for them to be done.

We had to give away our chickens this year. With the greenhouse construction they couldn't remain in the fenced garden area. They refused to stay in their area and constantly wandered into the construction area  making it unsafe and unsanitary. We moved them out to the field below the house. The coyotes took over from there. One day there were about 50 chickens. then 40. then 12. then 5. at which point I didn't want to care for them anymore. We would put more time energy and money into 5 birds than we could get out of them IF the coyotes didn't get them first. So they went to a new home. We will try again next year in the old area inside the 6 foot fence where we never had issues before.  Because of this we have no roaster chickens in the freezer. No chicken breasts. we also have no eggs coming in. And because the greenhouse is where the garden was last year and its been so time consuming we had no garden this year so we have no veggies to freeze or can.  Very disappointing to buy chicken and eggs from the store.

I guess that's about all the news from lake woebegone. I will try to carve out more time to keep up this blog. I know I have things to say. I should probably try and find time to work on my book as well. but  the children need me and that doesn't leave as much time as I would like for those things. I'll try though.

Monday, September 5, 2016

new laptop

and I am hoping that will translate to more blog posts. As we get ready to go back to school here life is busy and somewhat difficult. As puberty marches in and takes hold the children seem to lose their minds. They revert to being 2. are you 14 or 2? some days I can't tell.