Enjoy some pictures from summer. I’m posting an actual update next, stay tuned.
I hate getting documents in the mail regarding your case. I wish I could hide them from you and act like they don’t exist. I understand that you have a deep desire to go home, I want that too. It hurts me to give you details of your case and see your eyes well up with tears, you don’t deserve this. I will find a positive, I will reassure you that there is still a possibility that things can change, and I will always say positive things about your bio parents. I know that your parents love you and I hope you know that too. People make mistakes everyday and we can’t define people by their mistakes, I know you have mixed feelings about your case and you consistently ask me ‘Why did this happen to me?’ Blue, this didn’t happen to YOU, it happened to your parents. Your situation is a direct result of their choices. Sometimes when we make choices and don’t think through the consequences are atrocious, it happens to me often. In fact, I’m sure it happens to everyone regularly; we get impulsive. I know how hard it is on you to fit in at school, I know that you often feel socially isolated, I know that you struggle with maintaining relationships as you fear of establishing bonds with people because you fantasize about going home and don’t want to hurt anyone when you leave. I get it, I respect it. Everyone has a life story, some have easy lives and others have hard lives…you get what you get. These things are what shape our character and make us who we are, don’t feel isolated, every person you have ever talked to has had their own series of struggles and victories.
Here are 5 things I want you to know:
1. You are beautiful, inside and out. You’ve got a bubbly personality and you are a complete knockout, boys and girls alike notice how gorgeous you are. You make people smile with your silliness and you are on the fence of being hyper conservative and mildly liberal…we can tell and it makes you genuine. You are helpful and kind, your talents are amazing, and your klutziness is cute. You are worthy and I know you’re going to do great things with your life.
2. Your family loves you. Yes, they do. Your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, all of them love you more than you know. I understand that you get discouraged sometimes with the changes happening within your family, love never fades. You parents will care deeply about you forever…no matter what. Please remember that when you feel like your siblings are slipping away. You are loved.
3. MY family loves you. You offer this calming and reasonable personality that our home needs and respects. You are so bright and glittery; you make my day better just seeing you in the morning for that brief 3 seconds when you tell me goodbye on your way to school. All of the kids constantly tell me how great you are, you play with them, and they remind me that you’re nice to them. Husband often tells me how much he adores you, he says you are funny and super smart. To be honest, we’re going to be devastated when you go home. You are a wonderful young woman and we are all honored to know you.
4. You can achieve your goals here or with your parents. Just because you’re here doesn’t mean you can’t move forward. You aren’t betraying your parents by having fun, experiencing new things, or working toward your future. I hope you know that I want you to successful just as much as your parents do. I will help facilitate any dream you have, I’m here for you.
5. You often feel like your world is crumbling right before your eyes, right now your life is in shambles and you just want it to go back to normal. I want you to remember that this will be a small, insignificant, blip in your life. Once you’re an adult you will reflect on this time and realize what you’ve taken from this process. You will realize that you had 2 families who cared about you, you will realize that I was right about a lot of the stuff I talk to you about, and you will learn to be thankful for this time period of your life. I know you don’t see it now, you will someday.
Work on your confidence, Blue. Someone as awesome as you should shine like a diamond, shimmer and sparkle, and take this world by storm. I believe in you. You are worthy. I know you can do anything you put your mind to. ❤
We are headed to Orlando in just over a week, I’m really excited for our gym and all of our athletes. Go Sonics! On Facebook we have a Summit Sonics Challenge; counting down the days until The Summit and reasons you like Universal Sonics. Unfortunately, I’ve got commitment issues and time struggles preventing me from playing along all week so I’ll pay my homage here.
We’ve got 8 or 9 days until we head out (see, I’m a crappy cheer mom) and seeing as I’m making my own rules for this game I’ll just give you 10 reasons I LOVE our gym, Universal Sonics Gymnastics and Cheer.
1. Controlled environment, it’s priceless. The staff and the coaches know all of the kids, who they hang out with, if there are problems, and they encourage the athletes to look out for one another within our gym and in the community. I know my kids aren’t getting into trouble or put in situations that are risky.
2. Universal is a safe place for the kids. If the athletes have a problem that they’re not ready to share with their peers/parents they have several adult options as they’ve established relationships with families within the gym and their coaches; we are a family.
3. Respect. It is critical that children learn to respect other adults, adults you trust. I understand that the coaches will push my children to achieve their personal best. I’ve seen many different techniques from tough love to praise…each child is different and I’ve witnessed triumphs and failures as coaches learn as much as our children do.
4. The kids earn their wins. If you’re into participation trophies this place isn’t for you. Everyone is not a winner. In real life our children will suffer through failures and understanding how to deal with failure is an important lesson, a lesson a lot of children missing out on with the whole ‘everybody is a winner’ sports. The athletes at Universal bust their butts perfecting routines, learning new skills, and pushing themselves to a limit they never knew existed within themselves.
5. We are small but we are fierce. We live in a small town, we typically have less than a hundred athletes in cheer. Our coaches and our athletes like to be pushed to greatness, they want to compete with the best of the best! Our small town generates epic wins, I mean 5 of our eligible teams are going to The Summit. Holla!
6. Heartache. You’ve got to have some good to go with the bad. Having families who move away or watching athletes head off to college is bittersweet. I feel this is another lesson that can be carried over into adulthood, people come and go but they’ll always be part of your heart.
7. Accountability and teamwork.
8. Traveling. It’s awesome to go places and make memories with your kids!
9. Family goes beyond the gym setting, from facilitating carpools to organizing meal trains to help local families. Universal looks out for their families. In addition; our gym gives back to our community by organizing food drives for the holidays.
10. Friendship and sportsmanship. The athletes have established a bond much like siblings. They fight often but make up quickly as they’re encouraged to rise above the petty stuff. No matter how angry the kids get they always pull it together for their routine, they respect their team. Our athletes also befriend other teams from all over the United States and display excellent sportsmanship.
Done and done!
Seeing as everything is going well, relatively, I’ve decided to open our 3rd bed. Because, I’m not busy enough running 6 kids around…I’ve decided to invite a 7th child into our home. I hope you caught the heavy sarcasm there. Seriously though, yes I’m busy as hello but am I too busy to help a child removed from their home? Never. My daily struggles are nothing comparable to a child who needs a safe, loving, home.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Our standard cheer season is complete! Our gym has 5 teams attending the Summit in Orlando in 19 days, our other teams aren’t eligible. Hello Disney World! Our last competition was in Las Vegas, all of our teams placed first with the exception of our mini team– they placed 3rd. It was an exceptional season and I’m proud of all of our athletes and coaches. All of their hard work made for a successful season, kudos!
I’m excited to go on this trip with Biscuit, it’s a fun time for her and I to bond and have fun all while making memories. I enjoy the time we get to spend together because I know these times will soon be a thing of the past as she gets older and would rather be with friends than her weird mom. Biscuit has been fundraising for this trip and I’m proud of her for working hard, I’ve noticed it’s not something a lot of kids do anymore. Parents are burdened with huge expenses and kids often feel entitled; I expect my children to work for things in all areas of life.
Just as soon as this season’s ends another begins, it all happens quickly. It’s a blur. A lot of our coaches and athletes will be graduating high school and heading off to college, it’s bittersweet.
Is this really my life?! Am I on Punk’d?! My life is hilarious. Seriously, our household is FULL of laughter and strangeness, I often think to myself “Is this even real?!” My kids say insane things out loud and I don’t think other families are like ours. I’m going to make up movie titles and a plot teaser to give you a sneak peek into my life that sometimes I feel isn’t real. These are all things discussed at the dinner table, FYI.
The Dry Tampon: A story of self exploration and pain of removing a dry tampon before reaching puberty.
The Dirty Rap Song: A blossoming relationship based on singing a song with the word ‘p*ssy’ in a crowded hallway at school.
Pregnancy 101: You won’t get pregnant if you take it in the butt, but you can still contract gonorrhea and other life lessons from tweens.
Playground Battles: A story based on true events where a playground moniter has had enough of the kids crap and flips them the bird.
I Hurt my Vagina: A warming tale of a girl injured by her bike seat while trying to mimic her brothers ‘sick moves.’
Riding the Wall: An epic thriller where a toddler on a Strider knows no boundaries, is careless, and wants to die. She proves to her family that the gene pool is, in fact, shallow.
I Need a Bandaid IIV: A true story based on real life events. A blue eyed girl is on a mission, to gain grace. Bikes, mountains, and sidewalks always win in this award winning Sundance film.
What is that Smell?: A horror film based on the smell if a young girls feet. PG13
My Penis Hurts and Other Boy Related Genitalia Stories: How often do your penis and balls get hurt? Not nearly as much as this young boys; an intriguing story starting with BB guns and ending with fence posts.
This is my life. This is real. This is hilarious.
In the last 48 hours every child in my home has cried. Pretty cried because she and her boyfriend broke up, Biscuit cried because she hurt someone’s feelings, Blue cried because she’s on a religious venture trying to figure out where she belongs, Boychild cried because he wasn’t allowed to play video games, Bunny cries about everything, and Lemon cried because she was left behind on the cheer floor by all her teammates.
So. Many. Tears.
Imagine 3 teenage girls emotionally distraught, in my room/on my bed, while Husband and I are trying to watch 13 Reasons. We REALLY wanted to watch this…we were on the Clay episode, people! Husband was lost, he had no idea how to help with the emotional disturbance. You could smell the fear on him, he looked like a cat backed into the corner by a pack of hungry coyotes. We paused the show, begrudgingly, and dealt with our teen crisis.
So. Many. Feelings.
I love my girls, no doubt, but holy shit, estrogen overload or something. I hate to see them cry, hurt, or be uncomfortable. I want to protect them from everything and everyone…sometimes even from themselves. I want to protect them and steal their pain, even if it is petty. So, like any good parent I dealt with the crisis accordingly; cookies. Birthday Cake Oreos and standard Oreos. You’d be surprised how many problems can be solved with a couples of packs of cookies. Apparently the Birthday Cake Oreos are better than standard Oreos and that can be an ice breaker for teens who are falling apart emotionally.
Lessons were learned, tears were shed, and forgiveness happened. All in a day’s work of a Mother of 6…sometimes 7.
I love my life, I love my family, I just love everything. I spend my time around positive, and encouraging, people and I’m genuinely happy. Often times I feel overwhelmed but not in a ‘OMG, I hate my life WTF was I thinking?!’ way, just a standard keep you on your toes and strive for greatness type of way. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve wanted to quit life a time of two when things got hard, shoot, I’ve even taken mental health days where I do absolutely nothing except lie in bed dreading the next days responsibilities. I think that’s just life; nothing is perfect.
My life has changed quite a bit having 3 teenage daughters, I’ll tell you what. There are some things I’ve learned, there are some things that I’ve saw, there’s been things that I’ve heard and smelled that are completely ridiculous. They are all very close, too close sometimes. I love them all very much, too much sometimes…I sorta like them.
Pretty is 17, she works, she’s finishing up in school, she has big dreams and a positive attitude. She has shown love and respect for our family and filled a gap that we never knew we had. Pretty turns 18 in September and she will age out of foster care, this is a new thing for us. There are transitional programs, housing programs, and a sea of other opportunities for her to start her life as an adult offered by the state and they all seem relatively easy. Pretty has a Independent Living Specialist come see her weekly to teach her things that are critical to know when you’re an adult, home loans, college tuition, budgeting, etc. In addition; the woman who comes is kind and relatable, she’s funny and helpful and we all love to see her. Pretty is going to be a part of our family forever, we’ve all talked about it and we have agreed that Pretty will be changing her name and becoming one of us. It’s pretty exciting.
Biscuit is 13, a freshie! A brand new teenager. The worst part about this kid is that she is EXACTLY like me at that age, she’s wildly inappropriate, funny, and she is ridiculously confident. No one loves Biscuit more than Biscuit! She’s a bright girl and she’s concerned about her future, mostly college. Biscuit is pretty excited for her trip to Florida next month and she loves to cheer. This summer she wants to attend summer school to get a head start in high school and I think she’ll be going to camp this summer too. Not a cheer camp, a scholastic camp or something different. We need to broaden her horizon a bit. Chores are a battle, it sucks. She’s got a scrappy attitude and she behaves entitled.
Blue will be 13 in a few months, she’s a complete joy. Shes sweet, caring, smart, funny, and oh my goodness this girl is gorgeous. Blue helps keep everyone in check, she’s logical and points out consequences if things get crazy. This girl is SMART and I know she’s going to do great things, she has this destiny about her…she just oozes charm and her smile could brighten any room. Blue is into all things culinairy and I’m trying to get her into a summer camp or class to help expand on that talent. I wish I knew how Blue’s case will pan out, it’s currently reunification. This month they’re revisiting the subject and there has been lots of talk of severance. I hope and pray her parents do all the things that are asked of them, I want her to go home and live the life she so desperately wants. She’s a true gem, she adds so much to our household, I want her happy more than anything. I want to protect her from many things, she needs to understand what’s happening within her case and it’s not always positive. It breaks my heart to tell her my thoughts and ideas on her case, I want to take away all of her pain.
Boychild, oooh boy! He’s just his typical self. He’s always been whiny, it’s terrible, and he constantly feels victimized. It’s ridiculous. But, that’s my boy. He recently received his report card and he had 2 A’s! Boychild had never been an A student, he’s my B/C student. I’m perfectly fine with that, he does his best and im proud of him. I’m over the moon excited that he has A’s, he’s really working independently on bettering himself. THAT is amazing. Now, if we could work on his work ethic and doing things the right way the first time…he’d be a dream come true! He is really into working on his dirt bike, riding his bike, and magazines. He loves to get mail. He’s a sweet boy with a big heart and a goofy personality. Boychild will be going to a sleep away camp this year, he’s pretty excited. He is into engineering and STEM stuff.
Bunny, 7 is a weird age. This kid is emotional. Bunny is the girl who cried wolf, I’m not kidding. She recently scratched her leg at a cheer competition and she was behaving like the world was ending. The full on howl-cry. I used to be embarrassed about it but now I shrug it off and carry on. Some people cater to her and treat her like a baby, however, it’s not long before people are onto her and her fussy ways and follow suit, shrug it off and carry on. She’s a bright girl, all year long she’s got nothing but A’s on her report card. I’ve promised that I’d buy her a new American Girl doll at the end of the year if she keeps it up. Bunny loves cheer and gymnastics but she’s recently signed up for a summer play. Bunny will also be going to summer camp, a sleep away camp. This will be her first year!
Lemon is challenging. I’ve got to keep her really busy to keep her in check behaviorally. She attends preschool, cheer, tumbling, kindergarten tutoring, an educational development class, and races striders too. When she isn’t challenged she’s naughty, she was even hitting her BFF just to get a reaction out of her…she told me she knew it was wrong but did it any way to see what would happen. Shes been out in time out in preschool too. Lemon has a strong personality and she’s pretty much a jerk. Lemon has been working on addition, sight words, and kindergarten readiness. I have enrolled her in kindergarten and I hope this charter school let’s her in. She has to undergo testing and a sort of kindergarten boot camp to asses her readiness. In addition; I’m going to see if I can’t get her into this summer kindergarten readiness class with a personal friend who is the teacher.
Lemon had a haircut and now she looks like a big girl.
Boychild and his best friend.
Bunny and her bestie.
Sisters doing sister things.
Blue and Biscuit.
Biscuit and Pretty.
We had been hanging on to Bells and Shy’s personal items for several months. We had bikes, scooters, skateboards, and heaps of clothing that belonged to them. The kids had packed things quite early on and put the boxes in the garage; I thought I had packed all of their boxes in their transport vehicle the day they had left. I had also anticipated a better relationship with their family but something changed…I’m not sure what. It’s common for family members to believe whatever random things the kids tell them, I guess I just assumed it wouldn’t happen to me. Well, it did. I was shafted by the adoptive family and children.
Yeah, it hurts but it comes with territory.
I did donate all of their items recently. Their things had taken up quite a bit off room in the garage, I had kept it hoping the family would request their personal belongings and I’d be able to see the kids. The kids left in October, it’s February…If they needed or wanted their items they would have come for them or asked a caseworker to facilitate a retrieval. I was bummed out because most of Bells nice jeans and Uggs were packed in those boxes and Shy’s Legos were also in there, those were important to the kids.
I was told that their family could contact me but I shouldn’t reach out to contact them. I have all of their contact information and I’ve been updated on their current case standings…but reaching out is forbidden has it has been since November of last year.
Just as one chapter finally closes, a new chapter opens. I’m excited about life and my community. I’m learning lessons everyday and feeling good, sometimes rotten things happen but it doesn’t define the future. 💋
Our Level 5R team, Odyssey, had already recieved a bid at a prior competition but the team was honored to be awarded again! And our Level 1 team, Secret, was absolutely ecstatic. AND Biscuit’s Level 4 team, Matrix, was awarded a bid too! The kids are all extremely happy and proud of themselves; as they should be! This means 4 of our gyms 7 teams have bids to the Summit in Orlando! Well, 2 of the teams aren’t eligible…Tinys and Minis don’t compete at The Summit. We need just one more of our teams to snag a bid at the next few competitions. I have faith in the kids on all of our teams. C’mon Junior 2!!
Odyssey, Obsession, Matrix, Secret!
Summit bound, I am extremely proud of these kids!
It still blows my mind, our gym is in a small town primarily know for partying or geriatric folks. Our gym has under 100 athletes on our all star cheer teams. We win at huge events, like Duel in the Desert, and recieved bids! I am truly thankful for our coaching staff at the gym, they’ve taught my daughters self confidence and amazing skills.
Now we prepare for The Summit!
Wait. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out what the heck just happened, what is the Summit? What is a bid? How does it all work? I’ve snagged a few excerpts from Heart of Cheer to help my readers clear up any confusion.
What is The Summit, what is a bid?
The Summit is an annual event, and it is held by Varsity All Star. It was first introduced in 2013, and is also held in late April at Walt Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. This competition includes Youth, Junior, and Senior teams of all levels 1 through 5.
…competitions require teams to earn bids. A bid is an invitation to compete, and must be earned through competing at an event that offers them. A team cannot compete at either competition without earning a bid.
What type of bids are there?