Friday, January 29, 2010


It was late in my High School career, maybe even into my college life, when I realized that not everyone's parents spent their lives teaching lessons through parables.  I had never thought the bible to be obtuse, or difficult to understand, because I was used to puzzling out what it was my parents and grandparents actually meant instead of listening to what they said.  Somewhere between "You make a better door than a window!" (means, you're blocking my view!) and "I hope I never get that old!" (stop whining, I got it worse!) translating in real time became second nature.

So, without further ado, here's one of my favorites.  One that I heard from Bammy, and I tell to anyone who hesitates long enough to listen, about who it is I want to be.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


If you've been following along, by now you know that Topher is my newest kid.  I just thought I'd share part of how I came to love a kid so much that I'd be willing to become a foster parent.  One day, maybe, I'll share how he came to be in the situation he's in ... but I have to come to peace with it first, and my lack of peace is at least part of why I'm here blogging.

Topher came into my life because of my shop.  About 18 months ago, I opened a LAN Gaming Center in downtown Lebanon.  Currently we have XBox 360's, a Wii, a Pool Table, and 10 gaming PC's.  Everything (except the pool table) is connected to the internet, and teens and tweens can come in to the shop and for $3/hr can play whatever they like (with their parent's permission, of course).


I feel we've lost something with our modern, nuclear families.  Maybe it's my old world heritage.  Maybe it's the fact that my older kids are my stepsons, so the idea of "blood relation" never even occurs to me.  Maybe it's the fact that I have first hand knowledege about what it's like to not have the extended support system, and never want to be without it again.  Maybe I was dropped on my head too many times as a baby.  Who knows?

In any case, I can't limit my family just to those people that are related to me by blood, or by marriage.  The closest I can come will be to list the people that get invited to Thanksgiving Dinner, Epiphany, and/or Birthday Parties.  Because those of you reading this may get lost in the myriad of names, here is a guidebook ... a who's who ... so you can follow along and be a little less confised.  Beware ... this is a very long post!

Each of the people below has stories for me to tell, and when I run out of things to say, you'll probably hear them.  Not all of the stories are happy, or end well ... or even end at all.  Some I'll have to get permission for before telling them online, as they aren't 100% my stories to tell.  In any case I hope you stick with me and enjoy ...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Losing your identity

There are a few things I love to share about my family ... tales that everyone who knows me is tired of hearing already knows.  But they're part of who I am, and part of why I'm here, so I figured I'd start off by sharing one of my favorites.

I remember the day I truly became a parent.  The day I totally lost my own identity and became identified by my kids.  It was, honestly, traumatic.

Who am I, and why should you care?

Well, the first part I can answer!

I'm a biological / step / foster parent to (currently) 9 kids in Lebanon, Oregon.  And I'm still alive.  If that doesn't qualify me to write a "Survival Guide", then nothing does!  I'm loud, sarcastic, arrogant bordering on narcissistic, crazy, and I hope sometimes funny.  I have high hopes for what to do with my blog.