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Wednesday, September 30, 2009


i never thought i would get a photo like this!

progress and pics with new camera

crappy picture, i'm still practicing, but this is my new baby. 18 mos. no interest. dont judge me lol
one of my favorite boys, my T-Dawg, humoring me at midnight, letting me practice with my manual focus. we were the only ones awake. cute huh? he's blue eyed, a Texan, he likes mexican food & beer, collects firearms and enjoys horse back riding, rodeo, cooking, hunting, fishing, football & long walks on the beach, incase you're interested lol... let me know, he needs a date! ROFLMAO he will KILL me for this!

no flash


no flash

'before'- actually 'during'. there was an old built in vanity/desk/changing table here. we demolished it and fixed the mess it left.


almost an 'after' shot. as you can see, i'm not into clothes, so i dont need much, this will be all i'll ever need. summer on the top, winter in the middle, pj's on the bottom. a diva, i am NOT. all my socks and under clothes are in the bedside table with drawers that i refurbished. the floor will be full of photo albums and baby books, and i will be stacking sheets and blankets up there somewhere too-after i clean out the closet and purge and re organize. just needs baseboard put back in and we are building doors for it, not sure what we want yet. what a space saver! for 40$!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

while i was away....RAD BE GONE!

When i mentioned that Jackson pukes when he sees cops Jackson's fear of the police last night, it reminded me of an incident that occured the day i left for Michigan. Yogi handled it really well, i was so proud of him. It's so hard to know what to do at all times, why does parenting have to require so many split second decisions??
so anyhow, Jackson went to play with Christian and all was well, or so Yogi thought. then Christian's Mom called and told him that the police had just called her at work. They were camped outside her door trying to get Christian to come out, but he was hiding & Jack was with him. She told Yogi she could NOT leave work and wanted him to call the police and see what the problem was, as the officer she talked to refused to fill her in. Yogi called the station and the dispatcher connected him to the officer at the scene, who thankfully was one who knows Jackson and is aware of his fears(Thanks, GOD!)He quickly told Yogi that he was being very respectful and was trying not to frighten the kids, but he really needed Chris to come out. Yogi put the kids in the truck and drove 3 streets over there to help get the kids to come out. As he approached the house Jackson came running out LOL. The officer told them they were free to go, and proceeded to scare the poop out of my son by waving to him made an honest and admirable attempt to exchange pleasantries and high fives with Jackson. On the ride home, Yogi told Jackson he wasn't in any trouble. He said "i know you're really scared right now and that you didn't know what to do." Jack was nervous but calm enough, and asked Dad what Christian had done- Dad had no idea and thought Jackson knew! we still don't know and it's been a week. We assume hes grounded for life. We also don't think this kid is one who Jack needs to be hanging around with. OY.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

RAD and football don't mix

Jack asked if he could ride his bike to the highschool to watch the football game last night. He wanted to leave at 330 to watch the team practice. I told him he could go, but needed to come back home at 530 for dinner, then we would talk about when & where i would pick him up after the game was over. I was tempted to give him the cell phone, but remembered it was dead and didn't want to start the whole cell phone thing up again. He, of course, never came home for dinner and I was so busy here with dinner, bath time for the youngest kids,bed time, Yogi went up to UNH to get Kristin for the weekend, "C", our former Mommy's helper who moved to Maine, is staying with us because her Mom is back in the hospital with her diabetes and we hate having her up there alone, its so rural..... i was just BUSY! at 9 we could tell the game was over because now that the highway is being widened and trees have come down, we can hear everything at the highschool, its only 3 miles from here. No Jackson. Finally, C & Unlce Tim went to find him. he wasnt at the highschool. Several people told C & T that he had been there, but was alone, not with the friends he mentioned, and had left. Everyone in town knows Jackson, he's the only black guy here. After they left to go look elsewhere, one of C's friends called her to say he had just seen Jackson and approched him but Jackson ran away. C&T looked at the town basketball yard, no sign of him there, then went back to the hishschool and didn't see him. Then, just as they were leaving for the 3rd time, they saw him just walking aimlessly, alone, on the sidewalk-no bike. He sure was happy to see them. He said he was looking for his bike. He had leaned it up against the building instead of putting it in the bike rack with all the others and someone had stolen it. NH is so low crime, i am shocked, but it does happen. Everyone had left, he was all alone just walking. He has NO self help skills and had totally panicked and searched the woods for his bike and walked around looking, but without a plan. There was police presence, but he is terrified of police, most Haitian kids are! We have tried for years to fix that, but we havent been successful there. I still don't have the whole story, but I told him i was very worried when he didnt come home at all, and that he just isn't ready(or "strong enough YET"-like that Christine?) to have this much freedom. too much too soon. From now on i will drop him off with a bike and pick him up, but not until later down the road, since he CHOSE not to come back for dinner and make a plan with me and because he lied about being with a group. luckily, the bike was the one my Dad found at the dump, but Uncle Tim had just put brand new pedals and seat on the thing UGH. he doesn't seem to care. i bought him a brand new bike, his 4th new bike since 03, a year ago, but he took it all apart and cant put it together. Its in the barn in pieces, along with several other bikes he's had in the past. how much hand holding am i expected to do???? Today i asked him, in a very non threatening way, what his plan was so he'd have a bike this fall. "no plan" was his answer. siiighhhhhh. so now he doesnt have a bicycle. I know he's down about it, but needs more time before we talk. after he went to bed last night, my husband kissed me and told me he was proud of the way i handled everything. maybe i'm finally getting good at this RAD thing. Only took me 100 years. football stinks. I need a beer LOL

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cousin N Playing the Piano

home sweet home, part 2

D, P & 8 kids
hugging P

saying goodbye :(

me, my cousin B & our matching Jay Leno chins

saying goodbye to N, he drew me this picture and picked me these flowers!

he loves to draw

my pony tail with all my cousins at a friends house

N put me in pig tails and picked flowers for my hair

me with B, making our own pizzas. the crust was so good, P has a great recipe. this was the only day i needed long sleeves the entire trip!

home sweet home!

my cousin D, father of 8

N. age 9, youngest child. he rushed to pick all these flowers out of his garden and put them in the vase before driving me to meet my ride to the next destination. thought of it all on his own. i miss him so much!

L. age 13

B. age 22

Charlie 18 mos. beagle

J. almost 18, N. age 9

N. in his tree

N. riding his pig lol

i forgot their names!

n. with Randy

checking his birds nest

baby goat

best tree house ever!

small fire, which got bigger


L & N at J&M's soccer game

i have a video of him playing, but have been unsuccessful at putting videos on my blog :(
ive tried everything!

but DANG, my trip was the best. i never sleep well away from home, but aside from that, pure bliss, especially for someone like me, since i love long car rides anyway. we flew all day, with delay after delay after delay(thanks Delta/Northwest! NOT!) to get there, then drove 2 hours to meet my cousin Young D., then my cousin D. drove me another 2 hours to his house-so a very long, tiring, sore first day. after that, it was relaxing, pretty much, and lots of fun. My cousin has 8 kids- 1 girl, then 7 boys. 4 still live at home and all live locally. they range from 24 to 9 years old. My cousin and his wife P. are amazing parents. they have the kind of family most of us want, i think. they are such a positive force. in general conversation with 2 of their sons, i overheard D. say "but what does the Bible say?". they make it part of their every day lives, it isn't just a Sunday experience to them. they turn to God in everything they do and experience. they don't yell. They homeschool and do it well. They help others learn to homeschool and are there for other parents in their church family to lean on at any time. and let me tell you, home schooling is A TRIP. Ive never seen anything like it. after raising 8 kids, Mom is pretty fly(laid back).
9 year old boy,N.- "hey mom, i started a fire next to your car in the driveway!"
P.-"that's nice Dear, here are some more combustibles for you to burn. be careful."
the fire got bigger and bigger and we all enjoyed it. we took photos. the car didn't catch fire. boy was smiling. all was well. then, girlfriend of older brother B. came in and asked N. to explain to her the 3 elements of fire, asked a few more questions, the boy answered them and POOF! science was done for the day. CHECK! very very cool. and it was saturday!
then theres the music part. all 8 kids are musically inclined and enjoy it immensely, as do I. the room i slept in was full of drums, guitars, they have a mandolin, a piano, keyboards...the kids have jam sessions at night and since they don't have a TV, they are always being creative, are critical thinkers and know how relate to each other in a positive way. even when one boy is annoying another, the annoyer is dealt with fairly, without any mean spirited stuff, or raised voices.
then there are the animals. They have pigs, goats, chickens and a beautiful horse named Randy, who i adore. i got a beautiful picture of him, and a few other good shots while N. took me on a tour of the grounds. The place has beautiful gardens, a big field behind the house, a farmer's porch, a cool tree house... everything i love and more. Ok, the pigs were stinky so i may avoid that! the kids and their Dad built a go cart out of an old snow blower motor, they sure have fun with that. They have a beagle, named Charlie, who i wanted to take home with me. just everything was great.
i loved their church and everybody in it, we also visited some friends of theirs who live in an amazing log home they built, that was so fun. the owner even shared progress pictures with me from back in the mid 80's, those were cool to see. what a house. we did a lot of driving around, but i enjoy that. i really didn't want to leave! i mostly enjoyed my cousins wife, P, who i really look up to as a mom and friend. she rocks! i really miss her. My cousin D. is such a calm, loving, involved Father, he reminds me of my husband. he really gets involved with what they do and takes a true interest.
well, enough babble, i had an awesome time and although the homecoming was great, it's been hard to get back into the swing of things here, and i feel like a slave lol. i'll adjust. i missed everyone here so much! there is so much to catch up on though. my RAD son missed me a lot and even hugged me!
tomorrow i will fill you in about the 2nd leg of my trip, which was helping my room mate pack a 27 foot u haul truck with all his belongings and drive it back here. it was FUN!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


have i failed them all? my kids i mean. its hard to split up my time and attention. how do mega families do it?
last night i just had a feeling. a feeling i needed to be up at UNH with Kristin. a book she needs had been mailed here, instead of there, by and i needed to get it to her. i felt like i needed to get there RIGHT NOW. i didnt tell her we were coming, i wanted to surprise her. we had to wait a bit for her, she was shopping with some friends, so we took a walk and got an ice cream cone on campus while we waited. it was a beautiful night! we enjoyed the time alone. shes fine, but needed a visit. we all talked for a couple hours. on the way up there i was talking to Yogi about how guilty i feel about how little time i spend with my oldest child. i would bet that lots of Moms drive the hour to surprise their kids at college, and bring them trinkets and baked goods, all the time. i think this my first surprise pop-in visit. i wish it was easier for me to just jump in the truck and go up to take her to dinner, or have her take me to dinner(for free!) at the dining hall. i feel like i should be making it much more of a planned thing. my priorities get mixed up sometimes. jackson, and his issues, take a lot of my time and the 2 youngest , well.. ya know. just keeping up with laundry is tough. BUT i really want to spend time with Kristin NOW, before she has no time for her old mom! she leaves for 4 months, to study abroad in Costa Rica, on Jan. 10th. she'll be gone for 17 weeks. kendyl will really miss her. we all will. anyway, i guess im just thinking out loud today.
we leave for MI tomorrow morning, i will try to blog while i'm gone. i hope its fun. i feel very burnt out and need a few days away. wish me luck!