Friday, November 24, 2017

Ode to Strawflowers

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One day last September, when we were visiting Piercen's family in Germany, his aunt Christa brought home a bouquet of strawflowers for the kitchen table. She said that she loved strawflowers, but that they always made her a little sad because seeing them at the flower stand meant that summer was ending.

Fast forward to February when I was paging through the spring seed catalog, and I found a listing for strawflower seeds. Fast forward to July, and those beauties started blooming. I got a stunning bouquet from them at least once, sometimes twice, a week. Even after the first frost, the flowers themselves stayed just as lovely while the stems were done for. I dried almost all of them and used over half to make a stunning wreath for the front door.

I never thought my favorite thing to grow would be a flower, but if I grow only one thing from now on, it will be strawflowers. And they will always make me think of Christa and our family's wonderful September in Germany. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

First Respite Care Placement

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A couple of weeks ago, 2-year-old Little A. was placed with us for for 10 days of respite care. I spoke with her regular foster mom on the phone before she arrived, but only realized when she pulled up at the front door that I had met and liked the foster mom from a brunch I had attended with the foster support group in our region.

A. had been with her foster mom since A. was 11-months old, and they are very attached to each other. So A. struggled for the first couple of days with her "mom" being gone, and would often ask "when is Mommy coming home?"

She is a lovely little girl, very sweet and well-behaved. She is also a great sleeper and a big eater. When I took her to our church's Reformation Celebration potluck dinner, she gobbled up the pot roast I put on her plate, so we went out and bought her some deli meat so she wouldn't have to abide by our pescatarian ways.

The kids loved her. She and Sinclair are very similar in age, and they played very well together overall; Sinclair was getting a little crabby with her towards the end, which wasn't surprising. A. joined us for our big Halloween party as few days before the actual holiday, and we took all three kids trick-or-treating.

It was interesting to watch other people's reactions to us going places with a child of another skin color. There were lots of double takes and questioning looks, and I think at one point, it was only the fact that both girls were wearing matching winter hats, that kept one woman demanding proof that A. was in my care.

The first couple of days were somewhat challenging. It's weird having someone new in your house for that long, you know? A. demanded more attention than my children do and that was a bit wearing to me. We discovered that our the way we do laundry just wasn't going to work for five people, so we had to devise a new way of organizing that. There were other, smaller, but similar revelations about how our family works and how things need to be streamlined. By the end of her time with us, we started to have things ironed out, and it all began to feel more normal.

And then, she was gone. I've talked to her foster mom a couple of times since, and she said it was clear that A. had a great time with us. As I thought would happen, Luther was really upset when she left, but the leaving was eased for all of us by the fact that we'll see A. again at our local DCF office and support groups again.

We couldn't have asked for a better first placement. As of right now, we are in the first few days of having a tiny, one-month old boy with us. He'll be here for at least a month, and we just adore him.



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Apple Picking

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A couple of weeks ago, we went apple picking at our favorite apple orchard, Gould Hill Farm, up in New Hampshire. We took Piercen's mom there for the first time two years ago and were enthralled -- I think we're going to make it a yearly tradition. Keep on scrolling for a ridiculous number of ridiculously cute photos.

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