Favorite Quotes

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  • "I'm so busy.... I don't know if I found a rope... or lost my donkey! - Unknown"
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Fluff Cycle on the Dryer

When we lived in Park City, KS the laundry room was in the back corner of the basement. Bob had sent Frank downstairs to take the clothes out of the dryer so that they could fold them.

I was in the shower, and the kids start banging on the bathroom door. I couldn't really understand what they were saying, but I was supremely irritated that I couldn't even take a quiet shower without kids hollering for me. So I hollered back for them to go away. A few minutes later my HUSBAND knocks on the door. He says "I think you probably want to come out, we accidentally dried your cat in the clothes dryer." I scramble out of the shower...of course I was wet and didn't take the time to dry off properly which makes it really hard to get clothes on. As I'm scrambling to get dressed I yell thru the door "Is he dead? I just want to know if he's dead." The curt answer I got back was "Almost".

When I finally got out there to check on him, he looked okay. Bob was holding him...he was panting and drooling like crazy.

Frank and Bob told me how he accidentally got dried. Bob had sent Frank downstairs to take the clothes out of the dryer. When Frank checked on them they were still a little damp, so he left the laundry room to go to the bottom of the stairs and ask Bob what he should do. Bob, of course, told him to put them on for a few more minutes. Apparently Frank had left the door to the dryer open while he went to ask, and Shadow had jumped in. We figure that he was in the running dryer for about 15 minutes!

After we found out Shadow as going to be okay, it became kind of funny. I have the front loading washer and dryers with the clear fronts. I can only imagine what it must have looked like with Shadow going round and round in there!!! Poor cat!!!

For about three days, he could not walk straight. He'd be going across the room in a drunken weave. Then about a week later, a faint line appeared at the tip of one of his ears. I figured the other cat had scratched him, but to my horror the line started to erode. Eventually the tip of his ear fell off. I guess it got too hot in the dryer.

I'm sure that cat lost SEVERAL lives that day!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Habla Espanol???

The house next door that is under construction has been a thorn in my side for the past year. As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, they have finally started working on it again in ernest, and there are now lots of workers over there on a regular basis - many of them Mexican.

I let Madi and Carlie play in the front yard if Frank or Libby is out there with them. One day last week they came inside and Madi says "Mom, we were talking to the guys next door who were working on the house!!" I raise my eyebrows and say "Are you supposed to be talking to strangers? Madi thinks about it a minute and says "No, but we weren't speaking to them in English." And Carlie chimes in "Yeah, we wer speaking to them in Spanish."

Sooooooo of course I ask "What did you SAY to them in Spanish???"

And they go "We said Adios, Amigos!!! And "Ola!! Ola!!!"

I asked the girls what the guys did when they spoke to them in Spanish. And Madi said "Oh, they just smiled and waved!!"

No telling what those construction workers thought!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

First I Lobster....Then I Flounder

I found the hamster. I found the hamster!!! Alive even!

I have been home alone most of the week. Bob had a wedding to attend in South Dakota. He left Wednesday, and my Mom came and picked up the kids. They took the remaining hamster and the cage with them.

While all the kids were gone, I searched the house high and low several more times looking for the darn thing. Then I ran into the former owner one night at the store. She told me that this particular hamster had escaped several times, and they always found it asleep in a tennis shoe. So I went home and looked in every shoe in the house....and with as many kids as we have....that's alot of shoes!!! But no sign of Hannah.

Then I put out a pile of hamster food upstairs and downstairs. On Friday night, I went down to check on the pile of food, and the one downstairs was gone. So then I knew she was still alive and downstairs.

So I start checking shoes again. In Libby's tennis shoe, I didn't find the hamster, but I DID find hamster FOOD. So I knew she'd been there. So I shut the door and went through Libby's room. I found Hannah behind the closet door. Whew!!!!

So now I have the missing hamster, but no hamster CAGE!!! So I put her in bucket in my whirlpool tub, and I closed the bathroom door. I came back an hour later to check on her, and the door to the bathroom is open and the dang hamster is gone AGAIN!!!

The bucket was knocked over. So I don't know if she managed to escape herself or if one of our dogs and cats gave her a "lift" out of the tub. I start searching for her again, and Hunter (our cat) had her cornered behind the dresser in the little girls' room.

I'm gonna change that rodent's name to Houdini!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Seven Years Ago Today, We Met Frank and Libby

Bob and I had been married just a little over a month, when we got the call from the Social Worker about Frank and Libby. We were told that it was a pair of sisters, Frankie aged 4 and Shawna aged 2. We were told to meet the former Foster Parent at the DHS offices in the afternoon. We were so excited. We got to the office on time and waited and waited and waited, and the other Foster Mom didn't show up. Finally she called into the office to say she was running late. Again we waited and waited, and finally she showed up with Frank and Libby. And Frank turned out to be a BOY not a girl and he was 3 instead of 4.

They were very quiet at first. Their old Foster Mom was an old lady in her 70s. I asked her if she'd told the kids that they were going to be living with us, and she said "Oh no. I didn't tell them they were leaving. But don't worry, they are used to going with strangers all the time, and it will be a long time before they figure out they aren't coming back to my house." That mad me SO mad. They'd been with her for over a year, and all they had to show for it was a bag of clothes that I wouldn't donate to the Salvation Army and a small box of broken toys. That was it.

We took them to McDonalds, and then on home. Libby didn't talk at all. Frank only said a few things. Getting them to go to sleep that first night was hard...but it didn't take them long to settle in at all.

I can't believe it's been seven years.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pilates Truck

Bob went out of state this week for a wedding, so Granny took the kids home with her today until Saturday. They were all so excited to go, and took the remaining hamster with them.

On the way to her house, Granny said they had to wait in line for road construction. They were in a place where there was one lane of traffic and had to wait forever. Finally a Pilot Car came for them to escort them down the one-lane road. Carlie said "Granny, that sign on that car says Pilates Truck. Follow me. WHY do we have to follow a Pilates Truck???"

That just didn't make sense to her.

P.S. About Losing Hamsters

We still haven't found her. We've all looked everywhere.

But there are two things you realize when your hamster gets loose.

1.) Your house is alot bigger than you thought it was.
2.) Your house is ALOT dirtier than you thought it was.

I've found some dust bunnies under my furniture that were down right scary!!!

I hope we find her soon :0(

We have a prison break on our hands!!

It tooks less than 48 hours for one of the hamsters to escape. We think the escapee had help from the outside....the suspect is one Carlie Pool...aged 5....both child and hamster should be considered armed and dangerous.

They played with the poor hamsters allll day yesterday. And remember, Hamsters are noctural creatures. They like to stay up all night and sleep during the day. Bob made them put them up occasionally for a brief rest, but that's about it. At bath time, I sent the little girls to the bath tub and the big kids to the shower. One of the hamsters was left unattended in the hamster ball. When all the kids left, I swear it gave a big sigh of relief and just sat there in the hamster ball.

When I went to bed at 11pm, I decided that I'd better go check on the hamsters. Normally they'd be awake and playing at this time...instead ours were out cold in a corner of the cage...yes, I did check them to see if they were still breathing.

Madolyn (the one who really, really loves animals) got up at 6:30am this morning so that she could play with the hamsters all by herself without sharing. At 9am this morning, I get a frantic call from Bob that one of the hamsters is missing.

They think that Carlie set it down somewhere and left it. They have looked for it all day, and can't find it. I think it's probably off in a dark corner somewhere wonderfully relieved to be away from the Pooligan clan.

Now I've had experience in finding lost hamsters...so when I get home, I'll see if I can find it. They think it's down in the basement somewhere, so hopefully it hasn't gone far.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meet the Newest Pooligans

Welcome Hannah and Angel to the family. A neighbor across the street offered them to the kids...along with their cage and supplies. The more the merrier, eh??

Monday, July 14, 2008

Visit from the Police

I guess considering how wild my kids are, it was inevitable that the Police would one day visit my house.

JB rang our doorbell at 6:30am this morning. Bob got up and answered it. He asked if he could "take a nap" here. Bob told him he could sleep on the couch downstairs. He was out like a light until I got him up at 4pm.

So I'm outside this afternoon working in my flower beds, and a city policeman gets out of his car and is looking all over at JB's car. I went over and asked if I could help him with something. He said there had been a hit and run last night and someone died. The car involved was just like JB's Intrepid and had damage on the right front passenger side. JB's car already had damage there from a fender bender Prom night.

I explained that. He wanted to know who owned the car, what his relationship wast to me, etc. And I explained all that. I was SO panicking. I was on my way to go wake JB up and ask what was going on when the officer came back and said he'd cleared JB's car...it wasn't the one they were looking for. Whew!!!

Spill-My-Guts Libby Strikes Again!!!

They are building a house next to us. They started it over a year ago, and it's sat there forever with equipment and piles of dirt and trash in the yards...the weeds are grown up. It's been really hard to keep the kids out of it, and I've really gotten tired of looking at it. I was just about to call the city and complain.

I was out weeding my flowerbeds last weekend, and a guy on a motorcycle drove by...my new neighbor. He stopped and introduced himself and explained that they were finally going to start working on the house again and it would be finished in mid-August. He said he has a son who is Frank and Libby's age.

Last weekend, I hear my girls in the front yard talking to a man. So I go outside to see who they are talking to. Well it's my new neighbor and his son. I step out there and the new neighbor says "Well, it's been really interesting talking to your kids. They told me all about how you are tired of looking at it, and lots of other things!"

Nicccccceee. Thanks Libby!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kendra and Kathleen - Trip to the Hospital

I was single when I first became a Foster Parent. My first long-term Foster Kids were Kendra who was 5 and Kathleen who was 3. They were the youngest two kids of a sibling group of 6.

I had only had the girls a few weeks, when Kathleen got very sick. She was a teeny, tiny petite thing. She looked much younger than 3. I had no medical history on the girls and really we didn't know each other very well yet. At to that, I was really a pretty inexperienced parent.

I took Kathleen to the minor emergency center one cold night. She was wheezing and coughing, running a high fever and very pale. The doctor was a very handsome young man. He had dark hair and green eyes. I'm wondering if he's single. He starts asking me questions about Kathleen's medical history. He wants to know if she's been diagnosed with asthma. I tell him that I don't know...that they are my Foster Daughters.

It seemed like we were in there all evening. They are giving her breathing treatments and putting an oxygen mask on her. Every time they mess with her, Kathleen starts wailing. Every time Kathleen starts crying, Kendra gets scared and starts crying too.

Finally the doctor comes back in and tells me that he thinks they need to put Kathleen in the hospital. I'm terrified. I've never had a child in the hospital, and I don't even know this one very well. And there's tons of red tape when a Foster Child is sick. And what am I going to do with Kendra while I stay in the hospital with Kathleen??? As all of this runs through my head, my eyes start to fill with tears. The doctor looks at me and calmly says "If you start crying too, I swear thatI'm going to throw ALL THREE of you OUT of here!!!" That bit of humor helped me get a grip. LOL.

I call my Mom and she says she'll come and get Kendra and stay with her at my house. I pack up the two little girls and head over to the hospital. By now they are both exhausted and so am I. We haven't had any dinner. On the way to the hospital, Kendra sees a McDonalds. She starts throwing an absolute fit to stop at McDonalds and get something to eat. I have a three year old in the car who isn't breathing well....no way am I stopping.

We get to the hospital and I park in the parking garage. Kendra is into a complete meltdown by this point. I'm walking across the parking garage and she just falls down on the cement kicking, screaming that she wants McDonalds and having a Wall-Eyed Fit. I just look at her and calmly explain that I am taking Kathleen into the hospital whether or not Kendra follows us, and I walk off. Kendra lets me get out of sight around a corner, and then jumps up and catches up with me.

I finally get checked in to the hospital. Granny has over a two hour drive, but I wait and wait and she doesn't come. She was driving in the dark and goes through a horrible thunderstorm. She said it was raining so hard she could barely see the road. Then when she got to Tulsa, she couldn't find the hospital in the dark. But she put on her "Towanda Suit" and finally made it to the hospital.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mrs. Pool, I was really afraid for your kids!!!

When I was a high school teacher, I had been asked to go to a conference in Oklahoma City. My kids were ages 6, 5, 2 and 1 at the time. So Bob asked his mother, Arlene, to come down while I was gone and help him watch the kids.

I had also hired a high school girl that year to come and clean our house for us once a week. I told her that I was going to this conference, but that my Mother-in-law would be at the house, so she could go ahead and clean at her regular time.

Well Memaw took our new mini-van to the school to pick up Frank and Libby. Bob was at practice. When she got home, she said she was about to pee her pants, so she told the kids to stay in the car while she ran in the house to go to the bathroom, and then she'd come back out and unload the little girls and take them in the house.

Well while she's in the bathroom, she hears the Panic Alarm go off in the Mini-van "Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep..." She finishes her business and goes back outside. The kids (Frank and Libby) have locked themselves inside the mini-van....with the keys in there....and the two little girls....and have also somehow managed to set off the panic alarm.

**I** have the second set of keys in my purse with me....in Oklahoma City!! She tries to get the kids to unlock the door and they just look at her. Somehow she finally pursuades them to open the doors and she's able to get the little girls out....but even though the doors are unlocked, the panic alarm is still going strong. She presses the panic button, but it won't go off.

Note: When the doors are locked and there is movement inside the vehicle, the system assumes someone is trying to break into the car and sets off the alarm. The way to turn it off is to hold down the Panic Button for 10 seconds. But Memaw didn't know that!!!

Neighbors begin to call the house asking if She knows the car alarm is going off. The alarm continues to go off for another 15 minutes until it finally shuts itself off.

So when I come home from the trip, I ask how things went. Memaw tells me "Oh, we had this little issue of Frank and Libby setting off the car alarm, but we got it taken care of."

I really didn't think any more about it until I went to school the next Monday. The girl who cleans my house comes up to me during class and goes "Mrs. Pool...are your kids okay?" I'm like "Yeah, last time I checked....why wouldn't they be?" And Erica says "Well I was at your house cleaning it when your kids locked the keys in the mini-van and set the alarm off. And I was afraid for your kids!!!" And I respond "Yeah, I know about that, Memaw told me about it. Why were you afraid for them??" And she says "Well I went out there to try and help her turn the alarm off and get the kids out of the mini-van. And we couldn't figure it out. And when the kids finally unlocked the door, your Mother-In-Law was yelling and screaming and chasing them across the yard. And Mrs Pool, I was really afraid for your kids!!!"

Hmmmm....Memaw had neglected to tell me about that part. LOL.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

J.B. has flown the coop

He's out on his own now. He's staying with a friend while he's working on getting his own apartment. I miss him, but it was time. We still see him every other week or so, and talk to him by phone a couple of times a week.

He works at Domino's Pizza almost full time and is planning on going to Butler County Junior College this Fall. He has a full Pell Grant.

Did I say I miss him? LOL. He's only been with us a year. I can't imagine how much harder it will be when one of my little kids flies the coop.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Well normally I don't post embarrassing things about anybody else's kids. But we had a couple of great stories this week that I just couldn't pass up sharing. Mostly because it makes me feel good that my kids are not the ONLY ones that spill their guts about everything.

First of all, any and all kids are welcome in my home as long as they are respectful. And we almost always have at LEAST one extra kid at any given time. Frank is in Oklahoma this week, so this weekend I took my three girls to see the movie Wall*E. We invited one of Carlie and Madi's dear friends to go along with us. This little girl lives with her great-grandma. Her Mom died in a car accident when she was a baby. She's a total sweetheart and not a bit of trouble. So on the way home I'm listening to the girls talking in the back seat. Madi starts talking about her birth parents. And this little girls says "Yeah, you know my Mom died when I was a baby. And my Dad, well he was all messed up on drugs....and he had to plumb leave the country before I was born. He didn't even get to see me!!!" I nearly drove off the road. LOL.

Then tonight, one of Libby's best friends is over. I had never met her before. And she is also a very sweet little girl. At dinner tonight, she was telling me about her family. She said "Yeah, my Mom takes care of a Handicap (not a Handicapped person, a Handicap). He lives in our house and that's how we make our living. My Mom has a bedroom, he has a bedroom and me and my two brothers share a bedroom." So I ask her how old her brothers are and she tells me that one of them is 6 and the other is 13. And then she whispers "And my 13 year old brother....we don't really know who his Dad is. But I know my Dad. I went camping with him last week."

I nearly spit my Diet Coke all over the table. Like I said, I'm glad my kids aren't the only ones who spill their guts!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Is it a Full Moon tonight?

He didn't want me to take his picture being ugly, so he put the pan over his face.

For some reason having Frank and Libby together just equals trouble. Frank has been away all week visiting with Memaw and Pepaw in Oklahoma. I had very little problems with the girls while he was gone, and he got into very little trouble while he was away.

He got home late yesterday. The two of them started in on each other first thing this morning. Bobby said he sent Libby to her room early in the day, and she ended up spending a chunk of it there.

Then I came home from work and started dinner. Bobby had to leave for to run the Weight Room as soon as I got home. After we finished dinner, I asked Frank to empty the dishwasher and re-load it. I came back a few minutes later and he is gone, and the dishes are still piled high in the sink. When I called him upstairs he INSISTED that he'd emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it.

Well what he'd done was taken a couple of dishes out, stuck one dirty one back in there and said he was done. Now I was born in the day time, but I wasn't born yesterday.

So I make him empty the dishwasher and reload it while I stand over him. He gets a total attitude. He finally tries to run from me, but I anticipated what he was going to do. I got him by the neck and took him down to the floor before he could get more than a step. We stayed on the floor for close to an hour during which time he told me repeatedly that I was the meanest mom ever. When he was finally back in control of himself and ready to apologize, I let him up so that he could complete the chore of emptying and reloading the dishwasher. THEN he had to do additional chores for me since I'd had to spend so much time making him do the first one the right way. So now I have a really clean house!!!

While I was outside having Frank pull all of the weeds out of the patio, I hear screaming from the house. Madi comes outside dripping wet with a towel half-wrapped around her naked person. She tells me that while in the tub Carlie has thrown a Barbie at her head and caused a big knot. I herd her inside. I find Carlie in the bathtub, naked, looking very guilty. She explains to me that Madi MADE her hit her in the head because Madi was being a TOTAL jerk.

So I tell them they are both going to bed IMMEDIATELY. And not only that, I was going to make Madi sleep in the room they share, and Carlie was going to sleep in MY bed. That was the worst possible thing I could do to them. They begged and pleaded to be allowed to sleep in the same room. I calmly explained that they couldn't stand each other (or at least I thought so from the way they were treating each other) so I didn't want them to have to sleep together.

While they were finishing cleaning up the bathroom, they came up with a plan. They found me in the livingroom and informed me that they had kissed and hugged, so could they please sleep in their room together. So they are in bed right now chattering away to each other like the bestest of friends!!!

Awwwww...the joys of parenting.

June Quotes

When I get one of those 'mom' headaches, I take the advice on the aspirin bottle. Take two and keep away from children. - Rosanne Barr
Do or do not... there is no try. - Yoda - Star Wars
I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost
I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much - Mother Teresa
Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up.

4th of July

We didn't have any big plans this year. So we went to the zoo for the afternoon for Wet-n-Wild. They brought in a fire truck and sprayed the kids down for the afternoon. We had alot of fun.

Then we came home and popped some firecrackers in the driveway. Even Madi and
Carlie were setting some small ones off. Here are some pictures.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

House Work

Bob went to Oklahoma today to pick Frank up. So I gathered the girls up to help me clean the house. Carlie has been in trouble all weekend. I've spanked her about three times a day for being smart alec or flat out not doing what she was told to do.

This morning she started whinning because she didn't want to help with the housework. Her first job was to empty the bathroom trash cans. She told me that was WAY too hard for her to do and she didn't like to do housework anyway. I said "Housework is a part of life. Get in there and empty those trash cans." She gave me a mean look and said "Well housework isn't a part of MY life!!!"

So she got to do not only HER chores today, but also some of the other girls'.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Not many kids get to pick their own name.

We'd had Frank and Libby nearly two years before we knew we'd get to adopt them. Frank was in Kindergarten, and Libby was in Head Start. At that time their names were Franklin Thomas Robey and Shawna Lois Robey.

Their counselor first brought up the idea of changing their first names when we changed their last names to Pool. I thought that was totally strange at first....we'd called them Frank and Shawna for over two years, how could we start calling them something different.

But I thought about it awhile, and first asked Frank if he'd like to change his name. Frank thought about it a few a minutes, and says "Yeah, I would really like to change my first name." So I asked him what he'd like to change it to....and he responds "STRING. I want to be STRING Pool!!!" So I quickly nix that idea and told him String isn't going to work for a first name. So he goes "OH, Well I know then. I want to be Mr. Mobley. Mr. Mobley POOL!!!" Mr. Mobley was the name of his much admired Elementary School Principal. So I nixed that idea too, and we forgot about it for a while.

Edited to add: Granny just reminded me that Shawna also had an interesting first idea for a new name. Her first choice was "Dora the Explora Pool" and like "String Pool" it was quickly nixed :0)

Then that summer though, Libby went to Vacation Bible School. Her High School helper was a girl named Liberty who went by the name of Libby. I had never really liked the name Shawna. We all had names or nick-names that ended in the "i" sound except for her. We had Bobby, Julie, Frankie, Madi Carlie....and Shawna.

She was very vehement that she wanted to change her name that summer and didn't give up on the idea. So when we adopted them, we changed her name to Shawna Elizabeth Pool, and she goes by Libby as a nickname.

What's really weird, is when I think about her during our earlier years together, I think of her as "Shawna"....when I think of her now I think of her as "Libby" its almost like two different kids.

Anyway, Libby has the uniqueness of picking her own first name.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Football is already breathing down my neck!!!

It's not even July yet, and we had our first FIFTH GRADE football meeting. The boys will be practicing two hours a day six days a week from the end of July until school starts. They are encouraging us to start conditioning them now so that they aren't puking their guts out when practices start.

He has the same coach that he had last year, and he's a good coach. Frank should learn alot this year. We'll see how tough he is once someone hits him with full pads on.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lord of the Flies

I don't know why all the really weird things happen to ME. Bob had weight lifting tonight, and Arlena was watching the kids until I got home. I came home to a completely empty house. I drive up, and not only is the garage door wide open, but the door between the garage and the kitchen is wide open too. All four of our pets are outside.

I go in the house, and it looks like a tornado has gone through it. At first I thought maybe there'd been a buglar. There was clutter all over the place. There was jelly on the cabinets, the dining room table was filthy. Then I found the REALLY gross part. Quit reading if you are squimish.

I walked by the sink which was piled with dirty dishes and a SWARM of flies flew off the dishes. They were EVERYWHERE. There were probably 30 of them on the big picture window. I raised all of the blinds and started killing flies. I killed so many of them that you could see them piled on the hardwood floors on the kitchen and on the carpet on the landing. I went into the Master Bath and killed 14 of them on the window there.

When Arlena and the girls got home, I lined them all up on the couch and chewed some butt. I made Libby get the vacuum and vacuum up all the dead flies on the floor. I made Lena clean the kitchen. I made Madi get the windex and wipe the fly guts off all the windows. And I made Carlie take toilet paper and pick up the dead flies off of my bathroom floor. Carlie was screaming "I can't do it. I can't do it. They're still moving. I saw one moooovvvvviiiinnnng."

Bob called Lena afterwards and she told him "Boy, Julie is sure an intense person!!!"

I have never seen so many flies in a house at one time. It was GROSS....like a B horror movie. I may have bad dreams about it tonight.

Happy Ninth Birthday Libby!!!!

I can't believe how much you've changed over the years. Happy Birthday, Long-Legged Libby!!!!

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