Friday, November 21, 2014

A Two Week Wrap Up


A Mini Vacation ~
I love to count my blessings. The last two weeks have been filled with big and small blessings. I love them all. We had the opportunity to go to Richmond, Virginia and see my husband's family. We all came from far and near to visit at my sister-in-law's home. We were very glad to be able to see the grandparents again. It had been 16 years since we were all together in the same place.

We had a lovely time seeing all of my husband's family. We ate many meals together, talked for hours and visited a Civil War museum. Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood had a blast playing with their cousins. (Timothy stayed home to take care of the dogs and keep up with his routine, which is very important for a person with brain injuries.) I also just want to record for my memory how awesome my kids behaved. They were the picture of perfection! We were all relaxed and able to enjoy ourselves. Each new event or annual tradition without Goldilocks is both a blessing and a heartache. It is a blessing because I can see that all my years of parenting is rubbing off on my other kids. They are social, sweet and polite. Every event makes us realize even more how much we were struggling before. The heartache part is that we can see that Goldilocks was never happy in our home and that she was rebelling against us all the time. Even though she has been gone for over 7 months now, she has almost no interest in seeing us and is "making a new life for herself". What she doesn't understand is that the state is going to most likely make her come back home some day. She doesn't understand that you can't decide at 13 that you are done with your family and then make a new life. Furthermore, we are realizing that we can't bring her back home when she really doesn't want to be here because of the danger of what she might do to get away from us again. This year has been filled with a mix of blessings and heartaches when it comes to Goldilocks.

While we were in Richmond, my Dad and Stepmother were able to come down from Washington, D.C. and have lunch with us. We went to Red Robin and had gigantic hamburgers.


The Week the House Broke ~
We returned home to a bit of a crisis! The furnace wasn't working and the house was down to 58 degrees. We were very blessed that the furnace repairman came out on a Sunday and fixed it. He charged us the normal tune-up fee at the weekday rate. We are very grateful for his kindness. Then the pipe in the basement that was dripping broke entirely. The plumber came out and replaced several pipes but told us that we needed RotoRooter to come out and fix a terrible clog. We were blessed to get all of that accomplished in one day and at an affordable cost. Lastly, we decided to join the modern world and go to cable Internet. It turns out it was cheaper than our current Internet provider, provided that we also accepted having cable television. This is the first time we have had cable TV in 14 years. We are excited but hesitant. We like that we are not TV addicts, so we do  not want to get hooked on lots of shows. We are setting down some firm rules for everyone and blocking many channels. There will be no cartoon channels in our home.

School in the Mix ~
School was hard to fit in this week. We squeezed it in between house repairs, three therapy appointments, Operation Christmas Child drop off, one doctor appointment, flu shots, Lego Club, dance classes and life. Here is what we did do. We are so blessed to homeschool!
  • Teaching Textbooks ~ 8 lessons for Tom Sawyer and 4 lessons for Little Red Riding Hood
  • Daily reading of chapter books
  • Literature studies ~ Good King Wenceslas and A Bell for Anya
  • One spelling lesson for Little Red Riding Hood and 3 spelling tests for Tom Sawyer
  • Language arts workbooks each day
  • CNN Student News every day
  • Squilt music lesson ~ Carol of the Bells
  • Many pictures completed from our Nativity stained glass coloring book
  • Writing class
  • Daily journaling
Frugal Living ~
We are working hard to save on groceries so that we will have some Christmas spending money. I talk about how we are doing that here. We are blessed to have a stocked freezer to start us on our way.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. What a fun trip! Amber loves Red Robin too and it's one of he few restaurants where she can eat fries. I should try freezer cooking. There is so much. More often I just find outdated food and throw it away. I need to not be so wasteful. And the review crew might still be taking applications but I'd hurry if you were interested. Here's the application page.

    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. What a mixed two weeks. The situation with Goldilocks is complex, since she came into your family already with emotional and psychological baggages from her biological family, so I would not interpret her rejection of all your efforts as anything that you have or haven't done for her. Sometimes people have certain challenges/issues that they have to deal with on their own terms, and there's not very much anyone else can do for them.

    I'm glad that your own children are having a well deserved family time together. :-)

  3. I'm so glad you got away to spend time with family! I'm sure you know that I understand the bittersweet thoughts and feelings about Goldilocks. It's so painful, and generally not understandable to people who haven't lived it. It's good to hear how your other children are thriving, though.

    It looks like we both got cable at around the same time, for the same reason! I'm not a TV fan, but I have to admit to being a bit hooked on the Alaska shows on National Geographic. I limit my viewing to nighttime, but then I tend to stay up too late, watching. And to think that it was the kids I was worried about...

    You're inspiring me to look at our groceries and living more frugally. Thank you!

  4. I'm sure the situation with Goldilocks must be breaking your heart in so many ways. I'm glad you had some time away from your regular routine to relax and play.
    Only God knows what the future holds but I will be praying for much goodness to come from this complex situation.