My 38th birthday was this past Friday, but more importantly, it was also the 6th anniversary of the adoption of our children. They do not know the date of their adoption (we celebrate their "gotcha day" instead). They had already lived with us for 2 years and did not experience much difference between their time with us as foster children and then as our adopted children. However, for my husband and me, it was a very memorable day. I remember walking to the mailbox and pulling out the mail. I returned to the yard and began opening it while pushing Tom Sawyer in his swing. When I realized that the official document in my hand was my children's adoption decree and that it had been signed on my birthday, I was awestruck. We were finally FREE! We did not have to ask social workers if we could do this or that for our children anymore. The first thing I did was march up to my dd's Headstart preschool and pull her out. She had been in daycare because DSS required it. From that day forward, she would be homeschooled and home with our family where she belonged. What a relief to be able to make our own choices for our children and get them the care we felt they needed without constantly asking for permission!
On the Homefront ~
Our sweet 11 year old dog did very well in her surgery this week. It started out as a typical dental cleaning but other procedures were added. They needed to remove two teeth and biopsy a lump on her chest. It appears to be benign. What a blessing she is doing well! They kept saying she was an "old girl". That phrase brings home that the clock is ticking for our dear dog.
Another wonderful blessing this week came via a package in the mail. Do you remember a few weeks ago I told you about a giveaway for a gift card from Stephanie? I WON! How exciting! I bought a stop watch, stethoscope, scented pens for my youngest sensory integration child, and magnetic blocks with the gift card. What fun new additions to our home!
Summer Fun ~
We are really enjoying our library reading program this summer. This week we learned how to tie-dye shirts. This was a first time for my little kids. They really enjoyed it and they came out great.
We have gone on a few family walks in the evening, the time of day when the heat is becoming bearable. In the bottom photo, dh is carrying wood back from the camp store to start our campfire while we were camping.
Living Frugally ~
We have several major expenses coming along in the next few months. In an attempt to pull as much of those expenses out of our budget instead of savings, we are going to tighten the belt wherever possible. One thing we are doing is limiting our groceries to $100 a week. Thanks to the organic dent and scratch store in town, this should be possible. This is what I got this week for $93 dollars. The trick is to buy very little meat and buy the deals when you see them.
Menu Plan ~
Dinners -- The beef bones will make a nice stock for veggie soup (I have veggies on hand in the freezer); ham will be mashed with potatoes and cabbage; ground turkey will make spaghetti with meat sauce; chicken thighs will be added to a veggie stir fry with rice; cheese will make a mac and cheese; cottage cheese will be added to a pancake mix; ground turkey sausage will be mashed with white beans and rice.
Lunch -- peanut butter and jam sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, left over veggie soup, deviled eggs and tuna salad
Breakfast -- cereal, yogurt sticks, watermelon (on hand), bananas, and gluten-free pancakes, eggs.
Snacks -- yogurt sticks, fruit roll ups, apples (already have) and peanut butter on crackers
Learning Time ~
I decided that this would be the summer that the kids became swimmers or at least became safe around water. I am starting to see real progress with our concept of full immersion swimming lessons. Between their paid lessons at the YWCA and the free lessons from the Red Cross, the kids were in the pool swimming six times this week.
We also attended one night of Chautauqua this week. Chautauqua is a great event put on by the county library system that hosts actors who impersonate different famous Americans. We went on the night of Benjamin Franklin. It turned out that a severe storm developed and the event had to be moved from the tent into a nearby building, which had lost electricity. Several large trees fell down and there was a great deal of lightning (which was fitting for Benjamin Franklin). The kids remember the storm more than what the actor said. LOL!
I did not get a picture of Ben Franklin. But I did get a picture of the Cat and the Hat advertising the Dr. Seuss performance later in the week, which my Mom and Tim attended.