Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wipe Alternatives

So, yeah, I'm behind on my blog.  Shocker.  I'm going to write something today...we'll see how long this whole blog updating thing continues.  Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with an update on me or my family, but it will hopefully provide you with some great wipe alternatives when you're out and about.  (I use the term "great" extremely loosely in this situation)

For example, should you need to pull a quick, yet very messy diaper change on the awesome BLUE shag carpet in your tiny church's cry room here are some helpful hints.  First off, bring wipes with you.  Oh you'd think, second child, many years of attending church and carrying a diaper bag, I'd remember to bring wipes with me.  Yeah, I don't.  So, in that time when you're in desperate need and you're digging through your purse hoping to find might eye your trusty bottle of "sweet pea" sanitizer (or some other weird named B&BW's scented sanitizer).  See, that's what I did...then I grabbed the box of tissues...and just continued wiping and squirting sanitizer until it all came off.  Then, I texted my friend and told her what an awesome mom I am.  Because I sure felt like a rockstar in that moment...I mean, who can battle that kind of ingenuity?  Just call me girl scout of the year (just ignore the fact that "being prepared" is the pinnacle of scouting and pretend that MacGyver type skills are better).

Second scenario: your 4 year old son comes tearing into your room at 2 AM.  He screams that "he's pooping, he's pooping."  You jump out of bed, praying it is at least staying somewhat contained and that he is no where near your new bedding.  Thankfully, he was not actually pooping yet, but we all know that awesome feeling when your stomach is...ahem...sick.  Well, I needed wipes...or at least something to help him clean up.  I know what you're thinking, you're in the bathroom, just use TP.  Well you see, if you had that idea you're one of two people: 1) you don't share a bathroom with a 4 year old who uses gobs of TP in which you never realize you're out until an extremely inopportune time...or 2) you don't have a 2 year old who "steals" the TP that your certain male counterpart never actually puts on the TP roll.  All that to say, you need something to wipe with and there's nothing to be found.  Here it comes, are you ready for it?  Makeup remover wipes.  Yes, I am that awesome that I wiped with green tea scented makeup remover.  My friend is thankful I did not text her after this incident.  For all of you reading these great tips, you're welcome.  (See, "great" used loosely again!)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We're moving!... Again!

Although, we're not moving very far...we found out last week that we will be moving to one of the other cottages on campus.  It is a very big blessing for us.  We have really come to love the house we live in here, but we are a little cramped on space.  We are making some changes to the way we house kids and are going to offer a new program.  Because of that, if we stayed in our current house we would have to give up one of our three rooms.  That would make all four of us sharing two bedrooms and a bathroom.  It would be even more cramped!

We were very happy when we were told that we'd be swapping with the cottage next door.  We will get to move into a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 living area apartment on one side of the cottage.  We will then have 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 living area, kitchen and dining room on the communal side of the house for us and the boys to share.

We are super excited, but I have to say, packing is hard work!  Doing this with a 1 and 4 year old is even harder!  Luckily, we got rid of TONS of stuff when we moved here so there isn't nearly as much to move as there once was.  My biggest issue now is that every time I get some boxes packed and move on to another area, my kids decide they need to dig out half of what was packed!  Every time I turn around there is more stuff scattered throughout the house (and keep in mind this is a 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 2 living areas, etc house....that is a lot of space to keep hunting stuff down!).  I'm really not complaining, it's just rather humourous.  Very similar to the pinterest picture "Cleaning your house with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos."  Just swap out cleaning for packing!  Thankfully my mom is coming tomorrow to take the kids on for a while.  That should greatly speed up the process!

We are headed to Colorado this week to spend the week with Greg's parents.  I'm looking forward to a little vacation and some cooler weather!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who goes to children's homes?

Are the children here just the throw away kids that no one could take care of? Unequivocally no.  I feel extremely passionate about this.  The majority (as in I can't think of any that aren't, but maybe I'm forgetting) are kids who were dealt lots in life they didn't deserve.  Most are suffering the sins of their parents.  There are SO many hurting children in this world...and quite a few just down the road from you.  While I think international adoption is a great thing and something necessary as well, I hope people don't forget that there are so many hurting children just a few miles from you.

Some of our children are up for adoption, some are not.  Some of our children are state placed, some are privately placed.  They come from all races, all economic classes, divorced homes and married homes and various locations.  Everyone is hurting in some way.  I'm not talking the "my mom said I couldn't wear this shirt and hurt my feelings."  No, this is more the "my mom decided I wasn't important enough and instead of taking care of my most basic needs went and bought drugs instead."  We have kids who have endured abuse and neglect.  But you know what, they're still kids.  They're kids who have dreams about going to college, becoming dentists, becoming engineers...and mostly finding people who just want to love them.  Again, these are NOT throw away kids.  I hope you find some motivation to support the kids here or somewhere else there's a need.  As Christians we need to be the ones showing these kids there are people in this world who are willing to love them, encourage them, pray for them, hug them...

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Normal" Day

Okay, so life here is fun.  At the beginning I kept thinking, okay once we just get into a rhythm and have a "normal" day then I'll feel like I have this under control.  It didn't take long to realize that there is a new standard for "normal."  Normal day here = crazy all the time.

This week we have our house of 7 boys aged 3-18.  Let me just tell you, the personalities in this house are very very different.  Here is a run down of the "day in the life" of a houseparent.  It starts at 6:00 waking up boys that have to be at school at 6:30 for before school tutoring.  That means Greg gets up those that have to go, and then I get up to hang out while he runs them up to school.

When he gets home he gets the coffee going and gets the rest of the school aged boys up.  If the 3 year old is up, I get up too, if not I go back to bed for a little bit. :-)  Greg pulls them out of bed...some are better than others about getting up.  For the record, the boys have already been threatened that if they miss the bus and Greg has to drive them, they have to pay for the gas money!

Once the big ones are off to school we have devo with the rest of the staff in the library.  Then, Greg heads to work, usually weed eating and stuff for the morning.  While he's gone I usually walk the little ones around, sometimes to the park or other times to the "pantry" to get supplies for the day.  Note: The pantry is our food storage building where I go get our groceries from.

When we get back Bethany goes down for a nap, the boys that are here find something to, draw, etc.  I try and get something going for supper and we hang out until Greg gets home at lunch.  We do lunch, tidy, and send the littles off for an afternoon nap/quiet time.  Things start getting really crazy around 3:00 as people start trickling home.  Then it seems like everyone has something they have to do.  Homework, sports practice, projects, studying, chores, therapy, dr appts, banquets, etc.  It's a matter shuttling everyone where they need to be and helping people who need help all the while trying to keep the house in order and get supper on the table.

After supper, the boys finish chores, play in the backyard, finish homework, etc.  The littles go to bed around 8:00 and the big ones stay up until around 10:00.  Finally at 10:00 boys have to be in their rooms, doors closed.  Greg and I head to our room and get ready to start the whole thing over again the next day!

Like I fun!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 1 = Success

Well we survived Day One!  Actually we did more than survive, we had a great time.  Our boys are cool kids, I'm not going to lie.

This is our week with four boys grades 8-12.  I made some poppy seed chicken (minus poppy seeds since they didn't have any in the food area) and corn/green bean casserole.  The boys made all the appropriate "oohs and ahhs" and made me feel like I had cooked them a gourmet meal!

We're all hanging out in the living room watching some TV.  Everyone's smiling and we're having a good time!  Loving my life tonight.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Car Smell

This post is all about keeping it real.  The new car smell has worn off a little, everything's not covered in rainbows and no one's ridden up on their unicorn lately.  I'm feeling disconnected from my old home and not fully connected to my new one yet.  I'm living in a little limbo right now.

Truly, I think I'm ready to get this show on the road.  Let's have some big loud boys in our house!  We have this nice big house and it's very very quiet.  Well, as quiet as it can be with a 3 year old that never (seriously, NEVER) stops talking.  We drove to Austin today, we walked around Ikea for awhile, then we went to HEB to get coffee and then we came home and played outside for awhile.

As I sat reflecting on our day...unintentional reflection....our Hulu wouldn't connect to the internet so we had to wait for Grey's Anatomy....yes, my first world problems! :-)  Anyway, reflection, I began thinking about how its going to take some readjustment to be content in the quietness.  We lived a very filled (not full) life.  There was something going on pretty much every night of the week. I was craving quiet, peace, change.  It's here.  Now, remembering to pay attention to these blessings is on my to do list.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Smart As Allison

Since I haven't always posted my blog on Facebook and now there are people reading it who didn't read it before, I thought a little explanation was in order.

I started this blog when I found out I was pregnant with Bruce....allllll the way back in 2007.  At that time, creating blogs was all the rage.  I have used this blog (intermittently at times) to document our lives.  Currently it's documenting/explaining what our new roles here in Cherokee look like.

When all my friends created their blogs they had cutesy titles and such...there's not a whole lot of cutesy that goes well with our last name...not to mention the fact that in your top 100 words used to describe me, cutesy would likely not make the cut.  So, Smart As Allison was born.  Because 1) I am a know it all (you know, that whole oldest child problem), and 2) well, to be frank (or Allison...hardy har) I also have some Smart As* tendencies! :-)