Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Night at Burlwood

Tonight is the last night the boys and I will spend in our little house on Burlwood. Tomorrow at 2pm I sign closing papers and turn the keys over to the title company. What a weird thought. After living here for 7 years there is a part of my brain that is just certain this is all a joke, and we can't be really leaving lol. But, I am so excited and ready to hit the road. Although I can't make it happen any faster, I just can't wait to get into our 5th wheel where we will have beds, and a place to call home again. Even if the view does constantly change.

This little house was our first house, and although it was small, the 4.38 acres more than made up for 1100 sq ft of living space. When we moved in Marty cleared a huge back yard and once that was finished we were set. I will really miss the yard and land here, the house was great too but the yard was where our hearts were. One day I'll have to come back and drive by to see how big my lilacs, crabapple, elderberry, mayday, mountain ash and weeping birch trees have grown. I hope they survive the moose!

And tonight as my youngest was finishing his dinner our resident squirrel showed up to join him. The kids love that squirrel and all the little birds that come to the feeder on the front porch. It was perfect timing for them to see our squirrel one last time!

Off to bed I go to be ready for all the last cleaning I'll have to do in the morning!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Well this evening I am reminded that, while moving and traveling will be a very good healing process on the road to recovery with Reactive Attachment Disorder, we will still have to travel to the pits and back before my son comes out on the sunny side.

Oh Lord…
Grant me patience please.

I remember once upon a time wondering why “reactive” was added to the front part of this particular disorder, lol I just didn’t understand how that word fit into the context. Wow, it didn’t take me long to LIVE the answer to that question. And thankfully those huge jaw dropping reactions don’t come along as often as they once did.

Our 3 yr old has Reactive Attachment Disorder (old news to us). Things were really rough for him before he came to live with us and this disorder is just one of the things that resulted from that experience. Going through a huge amount of homes seems like it was the biggest factor in getting that foundation that was so detrimental, so early on.
  • It took him a while to learn to trust us, but even now when he gets scared, he doesn't talk - he reacts. So I guess the deeper more scary parts of trust are still being built - even after 2 years. Being tossed into the air by a loving parent and riding horses were Terrifying, just to name a couple. We turned them into wonderful trust building opportunities and it did him so much good in the end though.
  • It took him a long time to realize that, even though we travel from time to time to see family, it doesn't mean he's getting left at another home. The first time we traveled with him, he was so quietly scared, he did not sleep for 33 and a half hours!! He had only just turned 2 at that time. How a boy could go that long without sleep at that age is just beyond me.
  • It took him a long time to realize that even though Marty travels to a work camp for 2 weeks, and then spends 2 weeks home every month, he is still coming home to us and will never leave us.
There's a ton we've worked through, and a whole other ton we will continue to work through as he grows up. Of course during all the things mentioned above we didn't know about all the homes he had been through, and he hadn't been diagnosed with R.A.D. yet. Had we known we may not have done those things, but I guess it was good we didn't realize because, looking back, each one of those things was so monumental in healing little pieces of him. So we have learned instead of letting him stay in his niche of fear, chaos, and rebellion, it’s much better for him that we bring him through the fire so to speak.

This journey we are about to embark on, getting into our RV and traveling around the U.S. for a year, will be so scary for him in the beginning. But I’m so glad we have this huge wonderful opportunity, not just for the rest of the family, but to bring him through another trust and bonding experience that will only make him healthier and stronger. After 2 years rooted in this home with us I really feel he is at the stage where he’s ready to take the next step and continue into a more in-depth healing process. Break molds and expectations of how things and places should be, and learn even further that God and his family are the 2 things he can count on in life.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Plan Unfolds

As I touched on in a previous post, we finally got through repairs, renovations and the purging of all our things, and were able to put our house up for sale a few weeks ago. It's still hard for me to believe, but I’m happy to announce it sold very fast, and we are very happy with the price we got. I sign closing papers in just 7 days! Despite our strange and unconventional plans, we have felt God behind us every step of the way. I know some of you may still be wondering what the plan is! (keep reading!)

Marty had to fly back to work for his 2 week shift plus some extra weeks today, but will be meeting back up with the kids and I in a few weeks. The children, dog and I will leave Wasilla, Alaska on August 1st driving down to Washington where we'll spend a little time with friends and family, and then slowly meander on over to Idaho where we'll pick up our truck, and Marty will fly in to meet us from work. From there we'll drive over to Elkhart Indiana as a family and pick up the 5th wheel we recently purchased.

At this point our plan is to travel the U.S. for about a year before settling back down into a bigger house. Where we go and when, will not be planned very far ahead of time except Marty will be keeping his job working 2 weeks in Alaska, and having 2 weeks off (spent with us) each month. We’ll be purchasing his plane tickets close to a month ahead of time to keep the cost lower.

The house we're in at this moment is just too small to continue doing foster care, and is a bit cramped if it just remained the 4 of us! But even more, we just really want to spend some time in good weather, and enjoy our newly adopted boys (and each other!) before thinking about buying another house or doing foster care again. Our little boys lived with us for 2 years as foster children before we were able to adopt them, sometimes that timeline goes on much longer for other children. We LOVED doing foster care but it really ties you down - we would never take in a child with out being committed to seeing their case plan through. Travel is limited and your heart and time is committed to visits with the children’s family, social workers, and G.A.L’s, court dates along with keeping our training hours up and a huge unknown emotional roller coaster to put it very shortly, lol. So we figure a year vacation will be a great rejuvenater. From my count we've only had 8 sunny days this summer, so I am just biting at the bit to find the sun again!!

So for the next seven days the kids and I are living in a house almost completely empty, I just have a little cleaning to do, a lot of visiting to do, and even more praying on safe travels!

I’ll try and update later with some photos.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Make your own compost tumbler.

Marty made this for me from the instructions below. I just recently sold it to another gal who was tickled to get it. It worked great and was better than anything else we found on the market - much cheaper too! Love that husband of mine, there is nothing he can't do.

Compost Tumbler

This is the easy and quick way to make compost. Compost made in a compost maker like this is ready in about four weeks. All that is required is some initial labor, and the following materials:
  1. Steel barrel such as a 55 gallon drum.
  2. 2 heavy-duty hinges.
  3. 4 heavy-duty rollers.
  4. 2 door latch locks.
  5. 3 drawer pulls.
  6. Heavy-duty steel plate such as a straightened “L” bracket.
  7. Nuts & Bolts to fit all of the above.
  8. Cradle to the hold barrel. This should be about thirty inches high so a wheelbarrow can roll right under for “belly dump” capabilities. Metal would be best but wood is cheaper and works just as well.
  9. Flat black spray paint.
Use a 55 gal drum (preferably already black) that has been THOROUGHLY cleaned out. You should have two hinges that will attach the door, be sure you cut the door long enough so the hinges don't fall on a rib of the drum. Cut your hatch into the side to make a door. Then attach hinges and a door handle (aka: drawer pull) to the hatch, and reattach it to the barrel. The door is really flimsy so we bolted a steel plate to the inside of the door, which you can see in the second picture. The steel plate we used was an “L” bracket that we straightened, it’s also really sturdy and heavy duty, it came with all the bolt holes already in it. Then add a latch on each side of the door to lock it closed. Attach two evenly spaced drawer pulls on one side, and drill three 1" holes on each side. After building the cradle, attach two rollers on each side of the cradle. After placing the cradle in the sun, and putting the barrel on the cradle, then paint the whole barrel flat blat black. The barrel turns easily in the cradle, and heats up REAL GOOD. The secret to the compost maker is that you turn it EVERY day 6-8 times in the cradle. This takes about two minutes, and allows the bacteria to get aerated. In 3-4 WEEKS, you have a rich, crumbly dark brown compost.

Make sure that you only fill the barrel about 3/4 full to allow the materials to tumble when you turn it. Also make sure that you wet the material when you add it to the barrel.

Could possibly add rubber hose around sharp edges for protection and wheels to wheel it around the yard.

Halibut Age

Ok this is really silly information but back when I managed the fishing charter office I use to get the question of "how old is my halibut?" all the time!