Updates!

We have a new friend, we will call her Bow. Bow is a 12 year old female, she’s funny, smart, and extremely helpful. Bow loves words of affirmation and quality time. One of Bows best qualities is her communication; she is precise and very open. I definitely appreciate that, it makes parenting her very easy and she has proven to be very trustworthy as well. Welcome to the family, Bow! Bow’s case is very complex…I’ve never had a case like hers before, it’s both intriguing and saddening. I believe Bow to be a long term placement as things aren’t progressing with her case as they typically do. I’m excited to see who this girl is and what she’s capable of. Her goals are to establish friendships and to keep moving forward. (How amazing is that? This kid is resilient.)

Blink is doing well, I’m unsure if she is on the spectrum or not as I previously disclosed. I feel she may be a product of her environment because we have seen some amazing changes within her. Blink has shown tremendous growth and development over the last few months, she is understanding social cues and how to behave appropriately. Blinks case is teetering towards severance and she is navigating the system to the best of her ability. Blink is not an adoptive option for our family, Blink understands that and agrees. She has several siblings which makes it a bit difficult in trying to figure out her end game. Her goals as of right now are to finish the school year hear and play on the schools softball team this fall. It’s hard for me personally, when it comes to Blink. She’s a good kid with a heart of gold and seeing her flounder in the system is heartbreaking. Being 14 years old and having to endure this just sucks

Smile, oh our sweet Smile. This kid had a LONG honeymoon period. Typically during the honeymoon period it’s about 4 weeks at the maximum, Smile pushed it out for several months. Smile is currently falling apart, she’s had to move schools due to unsavory relationships and she’s had to modify her work schedule due to more peer conflict. She is a very complex teen and I cannot figure her out. I’ve seen self sabotaging behaviors before but this takes the cake. Smile does well with us, her parental units, aside from the chronic lying. She does well with younger people too, it’s her peers that get her in a tizzy. Smile can forget everything that she knows is safe and throw it out the window when she’s with people her age. She has lied so much within the community that she’s got herself an awful reputation, from drugs to extreme sexual behaviors. Sadly, very little of what’s been said about her is true. I’m not naive, I know she’s not a saint and I know she’s done some dispicable things. I also know that some of the things being said about her are so far fetched that it couldn’t be true. Husband and I are worried about her tremendously because she’s very immature and willing to do anything for attention, good or bad. Husband has a terrified that she’ll fall victim to sex trafficking and I’m worried that she could be engaged in consensual and dangerously careless sex. Smiles goals are to be able to communicate better, amen to that. Smile is 14 years old.

Boychild, holy moly. I’ve been cautiously quiet about him because he’s started off good then quickly plummeted in the past. This summer we had him read a ton of positive self help books to prepare him for the transition to middle school. I’m excited to announce that it’s been 3 weeks since school has started and I’ve not gotten one phone call, email, nor text about his behavior or lack of working in class! He has also decided that he’d like to participate in track this year. Boychild has been attending Civil Air Patrol meetings and really enjoys it. A lot of Boychild success is due to Blue, she has been spending a lot of time with him and encouraging him. Biscuit has also dragged him along on outings with her friends to help socialize him, it’s done him well. Yay for older sisters!

Bunny has shocked me with her skills at the gym, she has really stepped up her game and has been less emotional. Bunny is the crier, she cries for control and can minuplate situations with her emotions. Her coaches have witnessed it for years and shooed her off on a regular basis. This year she was told if she wanted to compete on the level 3 team she’d have to cut the crying out. Apparently she really wanted to work in her skills and be on that team because she has had just a couple of outbursts. That is amazing, she’s actually grown emotionally because of cheer. Bunny is doing well in school and is interested in playing volleyball.

Lemon is Lemon. She’s an avid reader and she cheers. She’s doing better on telling the truth despite the naughty things she’s done. Lemon put a sticky note on her brothers door that was inappropriate, when I asked her about it she told me it was her and why she did it. That’s a step in the right direction!

Blue is doing well, she’s found a new group of friends at school and continues to keep her GPA high. She’s currently #21 in the school with her weighted GPA. Blue is also participating in Civil Air Patrol and she’s involved in many clubs.

Biscuit can drive. Wild. She’s a junior in high school and she’s just made the date to get her permit. Biscuit is doing well in school and is very social, although I do wish she’d be more independent and not need an entourage to do things she’s hesitant about. She is coaching a cheer team and she really enjoys it, she has a sibling on that team and I’ve been told that coach Biscuit is different than sister Biscuit. Also, she signed up to participate in the Powder Puff football ordeal.

My older girls seem to be doing well, one is starting her second year at U of A and the other is living/working in Colorado. I’m proud of both of them, they’re turning into amazing women.

I’m stellar! I’ve did the weight loss thing via intermittent fasting, made my goal weight, and I’ve been going to the gym the last several weeks. I loathe the gym, exercise is NOT for me. I continue to go because I’m old now and health = longevity. I have all these damn kids and I bet I’ll have a herd of grandkids someday, I’d better be around to enjoy them.

Husband is doing well, he hasn’t got much time to do fun things lately. I appreciate him and all of his hard work, he’s pretty rad. We did take the time to go see a concert together, see pic below.

I’m starting to prepare for Christmas! I love Christmas, especially with my foster placements. I enjoy treating them to things and giving them our family experience. Obviously, I love it for my bio and adopted kids too. I’m a giver.

Sonics news!


The bid reveal was really exciting for our gym!

Our Level 5R team, Odyssey, had already recieved a bid at a prior competition but the team was honored to be awarded again! And our Level 1 team, Secret, was absolutely ecstatic. AND Biscuit’s Level 4 team, Matrix, was awarded a bid too! The kids are all extremely happy and proud of themselves; as they should be! This means 4 of our gyms 7 teams have bids to the Summit in Orlando! Well, 2 of the teams aren’t eligible…Tinys and Minis don’t compete at The Summit. We need just one more of our teams to snag a bid at the next few competitions. I have faith in the kids on all of our teams. C’mon Junior 2!!

Odyssey, Obsession, Matrix, Secret! 

Summit bound, I am extremely proud of these kids!

It still blows my mind, our gym is in a small town primarily know for partying or geriatric folks. Our gym has under 100 athletes on our all star cheer teams. We win at huge events, like Duel in the Desert, and recieved bids! I am truly thankful for our coaching staff at the gym, they’ve taught my daughters self confidence and amazing skills. 

Now we prepare for The Summit!

Wait. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out what the heck just happened, what is the Summit? What is a bid? How does it all work? I’ve snagged a few excerpts from Heart of Cheer to help my readers clear up any confusion. 

What is The Summit, what is a bid?

The Summit is an annual event, and it is held by Varsity All Star. It was first introduced in 2013, and is also held in late April at Walt Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. This competition includes Youth, Junior, and Senior teams of all levels 1 through 5.
…competitions require teams to earn bids. A bid is an invitation to compete, and must be earned through competing at an event that offers them. A team cannot compete at either competition without earning a bid.

What type of bids are there? 

A Paid bid to The Summit… Expenses are paid for the team to compete, and it is not necessary for teams who earn these bids to compete in the preliminary round. Only the highest scoring teams at the largest and most prestigious events are awarded paid bids to The Summit, and getting one of these is a high honor.

At large bids, again, offer the opportunity for teams to compete at The Summit, but without any expenses paid. At The Summit, however, teams who earn at large bids do not have to compete in the preliminary round.

Wild card bids… are awarded at select one day competitions to the highest scoring teams. Teams that earn wild card bids must compete in a preliminary round to earn a spot in semifinals. Only the top teams in each division will earn the chance to move on.

I bet you’re curious to know what the teams win at The Summit, it’s a ring. But what’s worth even more than the ring itself is the experience! 

Congratulations to all of The Summit bid winners, we will see you in Florida this May. ❤

We survived the move!

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Take a look at the view, it’s gorgeous. We have, what seems to be, a million boxes to unpack. We had several friends help us move, pick up kids/drop them off, and swing by with drinks and treats, and we are forever in their debt. I’m surrounded by loving, selfless, people and I love it. Now…we try and find the things we need. It. Is. Impossible. Our entire 3 car garage was stacked full of boxes, no kidding but now things have mellowed out. Now we have to wait a horribly long time for OLR to come and license our new home. Our new Licensing worker, Star, is absolutely amazing. She is constantly helping me and ironing out this entire move/license/inspection. I heart her.

Several weeks ago, an acquaintance who I work with mentioned reading my blog! Hey girl, you prompted me to update my blog despite being so incredibly busy! Kudos to you! Also I’m glad that you reached out to me about foster care!

In our new neighborhood we are very close to unhabitated land and that means more dirt bike riding! Weehaw! We are all pretty excited about that. We have all been busy so exploring the desert and playing hasn’t been a priority. Hopefully we can change that soon.

We finished up the cheer season at The Summit in Florida. Our gym, in our tiny town of Lake Havasu City, had 4 teams go. It was an invitation only event. Two of the teams that went were Biscuits teams, it was a crazy adventure between the ESPN center and all of the Disney World Parks. I’m proud of Biscuit and proud of our coaches and gym.

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In other news, we are still waiting for court dates and a final say in the case for Bells and Shy. Again. Everything is still up in the air…this is a slow, painful, process. It’s been over a year since they’ve been with us, they are absolutely wonderful. I love them. I rejoice in their accomplishments and feel their pain in their shortcomings.

We have also opened up another bed in our home for another foster child. Boy or girl aged between 6-13. Secretly I hope it’s an older girl but you never know what you’ll get! Things in our home are pretty normalized with our 2 foster kids and if they end up staying for the long haul they can be helpful or inspirational to the other children who will come to our home in the future.

I’m having a party at my house this weekend, it’s an end of the season party for Bunny’s cheer team. The team mom is hosting it here and I’m pretty excited to see all of the girls play together and swim! The tiny team has a great group of mom’s and despite the crazy drama that happened this year…we are still pretty tightly knit. The new season is approaching quickly, cheer camp starts this Friday. Check it out! You will love this investment into your child.

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Also, if you ever have questions about foster care, or anything on my blog, feel free to contact me! You can email me directly at fostermom at gmx dot com. I am open to help guide anyone along any path and solve any problems foster related or otherwise.

I have a cheer hangover.

The girls attended Duel in the Desert in Palm Springs, California this passed weekend. Picture this; nonstop techno/hip-hop music, screaming fans, and 350 cheer teams trying to be number one. We are up at 5am getting ready and we finish up around 4pm. My girls go on and I shout, woo, and throw my hands in the air. I look stupid; manic actually. It’s almost like I’m reliving my early 20’s at a techno rave. Our other teams go on throughout the day and we all get rowdy for the teammates, our gym has seven teams; Love, Dream, Inspire, Believe, Moxie, Obsession, and Oddessey. That’s  seven opportunities to show our support, and…lose our voices.

‘Duel in the Desert Final Placements:
Love-5th out of 7 Teams
Dream-4th
Inspire-3rd
Believe-2nd
Moxie-2nd
Obsession-2nd
Odyssey-1st

MORE AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Super PROUD to announce that Sunday we had 6 out of 7 NO DEDUCTION routines! (meaning no fall, HIT routines)

MORE SPECIAL AWARDS:
Believe: Small Gym Champions!
Obsession: Small Gym Champions
Odyssey Small Gym Champions!

Odyssey-National Champions! Level 5 At Large Summit Bid Winners!

(96 programs, 350 Teams and only 10 at Large Bids were awarded to the Summit in Orlando Florida)’

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That Biscuit, she’s fierce. She takes cheer very seriously. Her facials are AMAZING.

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That’s Bunny, she’s too cute. She’s a happy go lucky cheer kid, sometimes serious.

After the busy weekend, I sometimes fall flat the following week. That is my cheer hangover.

Kids!

Kid update! Parent update!

Biscuit raised $500 fundraising for cheer, she bought her own uniform and jacket. I am proud of her! It helped with the financial burden of purchasing two uniforms, two jackets, and paying two competition fees last week. She also got her front tuck! That’s amazing, again I’m beaming with positive mom feelings! It won’t be long before she has her back tuck and we will celebrate. Being in Junior High is suiting her well…she is boy crazy.

Shy is no longer shy! He is funny, outgoing, and clever! He has started showing an interest in girls and participates in EVERYTHING. Shy is patient and kind, he is helpful, and he has come so far. I am proud of him! He started the Young Marines and he wants to become a leader. I can always count on him.

Boychild started the Young Marines, he’s really keen on it. He is excited about the encampments and the gun raffle! Boychild is doing exceptionally well in school and this makes me mega proud. He still has some impulse control issues as well as accountibility problems but that is something we are constantly working on, I hope the Young Marines will help pound positive things into his head.

Bells is doing well too! This girl is making leaps and bounds in the reading department, she was pretty far behind her grade level in most of her school work but she has been joyful during all the extra tutoring and AR reports. Bells started a recreational cheer team and she is a constant positive in our household. She calls me mom sometimes and I don’t mind, she is a good girl and I love her just as I love my own children.

Bunny is not liking Kindergarten so much, she misses me and cries often. She misses nap time too. However, she is doing great and is actually READING! Bunny is doing exceptional in cheer and is currently learning her back handspring. She has a great sense of humor and is a complete showstopper.

Lemon started Preschool, she adores it. I like it too…hello free time! Lemon thinks she is a cheerleader but she still has a little while before she can become a Sonic. Until then she is the biggest supporter of the entire Sonics family.

My babies make me proud, they’re all doing so well. Yes, they get into trouble and make mistakes but they’re learning. They’re kids. Kids learn by example and by guidance…I do my best. I am not perfect and I make mistakes too. I take it one day at a time and sometimes I wing it. Husband and I are doing well, we have our date nights on Wednesdays when the kids go to their youth group. We also have lunch dates during the week. I love that we make time, even with 6 kids in our home, to keep our relationship healthy.

The Summit!

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Guys! This is exciting! Three of our gyms cheer teams will be attending ‘The Superbowl of Cheer!’ they’re going to Orlando, Florida and will be televised on ESPN. OMGOSH! My daughters team isn’t one of them as this is her first year AND her team didn’t receive a bid (which clears up any confusion about bids as the girls though they could possibly have a bid after taking first in Anaheim.) We support all of our SONICS teams, we are a family and we are so pumped!

This is a big deal! We are the only program in the state of AZ that has been awarded a bid to the Summit and we now have 3 teams in attending! The state of AZ has never sent a R5 team to compete at The Summit. Only 10% of the programs in the entire country will be awarded a bid to the Summit!

The big weekend

The girls and I played hookey on Friday and left for Anaheim, California.We spent some time with family, some time at the beach, some time in our rocking suite, and most of our time at the Anaheim Convention Center. There were more than 600 teams competing and some teams from other countries! It was exciting! Biscuit and her team placed first in their division, YES, first! I am always proud of her, always, but this was their first win of the season and it was a HUGE victory. Bunny’s team placed fifth, which is out of the norm for her team as they have mostly placed first in their division; there were a lot of tears on Sunday night. The girls and their teams have consistently shown outstanding sportsmanship and superior talent. I am one proud mama! GO SONICS! (Biscuit said they might have a bid, but I am not sure if they do or not. I have to wait until I get confirmation from the gym to see if the Biscuit will be going to Summit in Florida–again, I am NOT sure)

Last Wednesday we had gotten a call about a foster baby, not really a baby but all kids are babies to me- deal with it, we agreed to take the child. In the end the child was moved out of area due to to serious conflicts locally. As it stands now, we have had three calls and zero placements. God does his work on his watch; not mine. I’m rolling with the punches and going with the flow. Bring it God, I have plenty of time, I have lots of faith, and a heart that has room to grow.

Guess who is being promoted to Director to the DDD Division?! THIS GIRL. I’ve been subcontracted with the company I have been working with for 8 months or so now, I really love it! I have a steady group of clients and I make my own schedule.Then, this promotion comes up and KABLAMO all of a sudden things are getting wild. I’m tentatively working on plans for a day program in Mohave County, specifically Lake Havasu City because there is only one center here in town for children that are developmentally disabled. I have heard both good and bad things about the center and do not have a personal opinion regarding the place. I have no idea whats going to come but I know the next few months are going to be amazing!

In 17 days my family, the whole freaking mob of us, will be going to San Diego. Biscuit and Bunny have their last cheer competition of the season and we’re going to have a mini vacation. I booked a rockin’ suite several weeks ago and I have several Groupons for food and activities after the cheer stuff is done. Boychild is especially excited because he asked that we all go to the pier for his birthday (it was in February) and ride some rides and get ice cream. I love to see him smile, I love him.

As far as Husband and I, we are both doing well. We are grotesquely in love and act like smitten teenagers 24/7. I am proud to model to my children what a healthy, loving, relationship is. I absolutely adore my family, today, tomorrow, and always.

Adam Walsh and a whole laundry list of things happening

The Adam Walsh background check is the hold up. Yup. That is the thing holding me up at this very moment. Once that clears we will have some type of question/answer time with our caseworker and hopefully our homestudy will be complete. HOPEFULLY. I still don’t think our caseworker likes me, she doesn’t respond to my emails but if Husband send her an email he typically gets a response. It must be because he’s so handsome and charming. I’m blunt and aloof. Naturally, she would like him better.

 

My older girls, Biscuit and Bunny, are both parts of competitive cheer squads… it is getting REALLY expensive. A couple of weeks ago it was close to $900 for competition uniforms and warm ups. Next month it is $380 for their competition fees in December. Then there will be traveling costs, hotels, food, gas, 6-9 times during the season. Oh, I didn’t mention the $185 a month for they gym for the cheer practices and tumbling class. I literally have no cash for fun stuff…no coffee with the girls, no impromptu trips to Las Vegas, no organic bread this month haha! Kids are expensive. BUT they’re worth it, being on a team sport is teaching Biscuit a lot about dependability, problem solving, and working as a group. Those are all things she needed to work on, as the oldest she always wants to be the leader, she wants to be right, and when she wasn’t she would get huffy and emotional. Bunny is the opposite; she will pretty much go with the flow of anything. She needed to be around peers and develop her own personality as she was starting to behave like Biscuit, bossy.

Boy Child is still slacking, he is a dreamer… he is lazy. He is currently signed up for karate twice a week BUT he rarely attends. What should take him 30 minutes is still taking him an hour…sometimes two! My days are very scheduled, I cannot rearrange my schedule because he chooses to slack off. This is very difficult for both him and I. He wants so desperately to go do fun things but he lacks the responsibility to get things done in a timely manner. Now, I did read something recently about ADHD: Inattentive Type.

Children with the inattentive type of ADHD display these things:

  • Shift from task to task without finishing anything
  • Become easily distracted
  • Miss important details
  • Make careless mistakes in homework and tests
  • Get bored quickly
  • Have trouble getting organized, for example losing homework assignments or keeping the bedroom messy and cluttered
  • Don’t seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream
  • Are slow to understand information
  • Have trouble following instructions

I am not typically one to easily jump to conclusions BUT this speaks loudly to me, all of the things listed about could easily be said about Boy Child. My son seems to only pay attention closely when I raise my voice, when I raise my voice he focuses and then understands and computes whatever it is that I’ve asked him or told him. Sometimes I feel like a monster shouting “MAKE YOUR BED, BRUSH YOUR HAIR, EAT BREAKFAST!” But it is the only way to get through to him, if I talk to him like I do any other person “Boy Child, please don’t forget to make your bed, brush your teeth, and have something to eat before 7:40am as we will be leaving to school at that time.” He would get lost and only complete one of the tasks and then feel scared when he left the house because he thinks I will be upset with him because he cannot remember what he was supposed to do. I have tried talking with him and having him repeat, verbatim, everything I had said to him and still he gets lost/confused and then he panics. He feels scared. He doesn’t want to disappoint me so he pulls it all inward and it breaks my heart. That is why I have to shout simple things at him, it helps him understand and it helps me keep him safe. “STAY IN THE DRIVEWAY!” “DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS!” “EAT YOUR SALAD!” “DID YOU FLUSH!?” “PLEASE WEAR A HELMET!” “WHAT HAPPENED IN THE KITCHEN?!” “CAN YOU WATER THE PLANTS?!”  My neighbors must things I am insane. I need to have him evaluated ASAP.

Lemon is a typical 18 month old kid. She tears stuff up, write on things she’s not supposed to, and pee’s in the potty…sometimes. Honestly, my carpet gets more action that the potty. Potty training is difficult with an active household! I believe I have met my match.

Me? I am super. Husband is super. We love each other and communicate wonderfully even during crisis and disagreements. I feel so lucky to have someone who loves me unconditionally and even during times when we just don’t know what will happen, he is still stellar. I absolutely love being supported, loved, and valued even during adversity. I love being loved even during the standard time but our relationship really shines when things get out of control. Both of us need to learn to let it go, to live one day at a time, and let God take care of the rest.