Daisy (4) handed me her sippy cup saying "Mama please heat up my hot cocoa it got cold in the middle of a sentence." I asked what she meant. Really trying to buy time cuddling with Lucy. "Well, everything happens when other things are happening. My Hot cocoa was hot, then it got cold." I nodded and asked "Whose sentence was it when it got cold?" She rolls her tiny eyes, "MOM anyone's sentence silly! Its all about TIME like the commas, now can you heat up my cocoa?"
Today as we celebrate Veterans day, I wanted to talk to the kids about both what it means to serve and how we can help our troops. Having family serve in the military can be a source of fear and pride. The kids do not have immediate family abroad but have heard from their Grandfathers and family friends about both war and leadership serving in the armed forces. We made a list of what WE could do from home. ~The kids' school has a program to send care packages to the troops. Shop, Ship and Share has lists of helpful things to buy and send to the troops. We got beef jerky, sunflower seeds and baby wipes for the kids to bring in to school for the program. Many locations participate, google to find locally! http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/press_room/e-zine/articles/index.php?item=4518 ~ http://www.operationgratitude.com Check out for more ideas and programs happening to support our troops. ~Sending Halloween Candy to the troops, google the closest locations. We found a
We welcomed eight children into our home between March 2020 and today, we have had twenty five children placed as foster children since 2015, and an additional five as respite placements. These numbers look so bland on paper. Thirty children have been part of our daily living in the last six years, we have nine of our own children. In putting some thoughts on paper about what these numbers mean, it boils down to acceptance and hard work. If anyone is new to the Otis family speak, "our own" is a loaded term. We have five biological children and four adopted children. Early on one of our sons told us the power of the question "which ones are your own?" And the fact that I answered without hesitation all those years ago, "they are all our children" from birth or adoption, feeling fully accepted and claimed has become the way we walk in this family. This does not take away the respect and open conversation about birth families, first families and sacrifice. F
Finding out our family of ten is going to be at home together for the foreseeable future lead us to brainstorm some structure. This schedule allows kids ranging baby to senior in high school some level of routine. We have a clear plastic tote for phones for the two hour afternoon slot in the kitchen. Our daily and weekly chores are not changing. Over the summer we are much more relaxed. For our family, accustomed to athletics, faith formation, and being on the go, this will be a challenge. We are doing our best to meet it head on with: ~ 1 Hour Outside activity (at least, can combine another requirement such as chores) ~ 1 Hour Reading without a screen, can be a book, comic, printed out article. ~ 1 Hour Fitness, this can be walking the dog, weights, running, list choice: ~ 1 Hour childcare slot, or playing with one of the youngest three ~ 30 min MATH related time, online games, worksheets, watch Kahn academy, Youtube ~Help the household r