Friday, August 29, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt- Beautiful

A Beautiful lady and a Beautiful view





Here the daughters of each of the sister just below. These first cousins grew up together and it is difficult for them to see each other these days. It's sad but it's called growing up.



From L to R TC, her sister Lisa and her sister Debbie.




The feet of my wife and daughter. Not sure why I posted this I just thought it was cool





Me and my Daddy's Girl






Thursday, August 28, 2008

To The Love Shack James

We are off this morning and are glad to have a few days off. Chad arrived last night and will stay through Friday morning. We are all off to NC heading to the Love Shack. Last night I got really sick as I was watching some of the US Open, by accident I turned to the Democratic National Convention. I lost my whole supper. Not really but folks I just gotta say those people are idiots, and like Forrest Gump, "that's all I have say about that" Well we are off now see ya

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Roof is Leaking, What?

Chad called this morning and he will soon be on his way. His plans include stopping by here as we are not too far off Interstate I-85. He just received his hard copy of his new orders and he said he has to be at Fort Bragg by Friday. The bad part is that a long weekend is coming up so he may have to spend extra in gas if he wants to come back home. We'll see. Last night found me up in the attic trying to find a water leak. The leak was coming through the ceiling just inches from our bed so of course the drip drip was very obvious. I couldn't find the leak and soon after it stopped. Just when everything was working, something else to go wrong. Today is another cloudy and rainy day so no big plans, just doing some inside stuff, although yesterday in the rain I had to change a tire on the camper. That was fun as I thought about how as a little boy I loved playing in the rain. I thought I might let the boys go out and play in the rain and then I remembered who would have to clean up the mess, so we put in a movie. A short way out but hey, we are not perfect. All for now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things that make you go HMMMMM

When everyone arrived back home yesterday there seemed to be something different. Jared, the 13 yo private placement, was talking different. He said he was tired up being the one in trouble all the time. What, I asked? He said after seeing the new kid he saw himself in him and did not like what he was seeing. OK, we'll take that. In the meantime the new kid is scheduled to go to the doc real soon about some different Meds, and after a quick meeting with others, we took up a new plan for him. He must make a change within a month to remain here. Having here as added an extra support staff until it gets worked out. Just another day at Collins!!!

CHAD UPDATE: Things that make you go HMMMM- After all he has gone through to get Sationed at Fort Bragg NC and nothing seeming to work out to reach that goal, Chad got his new orders yesterday for, get this, Fort Bragg NC. OK, I am thinking, How is that going to work?. Well that means that he will go again to Airborne school in 6 months. Chad has bought a 2002 Mustang GT so he has his own car now. He is leaving Fort Benning on Wednesday and coming here for the night. We are excited to see him again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Budgeting and Balancing

Recently I have been reading a lot of blogs and history of other children;s homes. Some private and some supported by the state. There are tons of them and each one has a different spin on things. Let me tell a little about Collins and how TC and i operate. First, I am the morning person. I wake the kids and feed them breakfast. On Monday's (normally) TC gets to sleep in. After that it is all fair game. In turn TC is the one doing stuff in the late afternoon such as homework and also bedtime rituals, like peeing, brushing teeth, etc. It's a plan that works great with the rare Monday morning when i wake up 20 minutes past get up time. YES, TC got up and helped. Another big difference is that this home has decided to allow the Houseparents a lot of flexibility with our budget. Many places you get the minimum and then the administration takes care of the rest of the stuff. While Collins pays for the gas card and the major repairs, we have the option of making our our budget. WE get a set amount per person living in the home and the first of the month. Then we are allowed to make our decisions based on our needs. AS the months roll by we can save some and that is whey we were able to take the boys camping to the beach twice this year. One at Easter and one during the summer. We are very pleased to have this freedom. While I must keep it to the exact penny and sometimes there are a few questions why we bought this or went to this place to eat, all in all I feel the freedom we have to live life here the way that suits us pretty good. For that we are thankful to our supervisor and director. Just a little useless information for you here on Monday Morning. All I know is there are no kids here right now. I love school time!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Church and Chicken

My my, what a week. I for one am ready for it to be night time. Right now TC is getting the boys ready for devotions and bedtime. There have been so many things broken over the last month or so, and it seems to continue. Currently we still have one dryer down and the ice maker has taken a turn for the worse. I thought it was fixed but I guess not. The first week of school went fairly well. All the elementary boys like their teachers and of course the twins are loving everything. In fact everything is their favorite. The oldest is a challenge and we are in meetings currently to get him into a wilderness school, and our newest boy has turned the whole house upside down. One boy has gone back several months. Today we had to call the director to our home and was glad when this child showed himself in front of him so he can know what we were talking about. I don't think he will be here long. Great day at Church and we had some friends over for lunch and of course you guessed it we had chicken. That's all for now here in SC.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We'll be Eating Chicken for a month!

Sorry for the blurry pictures. Not sure what happened. Today Collins had their 25th Annual Barbecue fund raiser and it was a giant success. Some say that it raised over $40,000. There were so many volunteers from this area and also the turn out of Clemson University students was tremendous. I took the boys up to where they were cooking on our property and then we went over to where they were serving at Seneca High School. It was pretty awesome, but I forgot my camera when we ate. Anyway, we had a good time and the chicken was great!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Pizza and a Movie

It's Friday so that means two boys have gone home leaving us with five. We are going over to some friends house tonight for pizza and a movie. They have two kids so all of them should have fun. I am sure that Scott and I will have some sort of a discussion. Jennifer and TC enjoy each other's company as well. These are good people. Scott is the youth pastor at Bountyland Baptist Church. Saturday is shaping up to be pretty busy, I'll get in to that a little later. For now it's Pizza time!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- The Army Difference


Progression

Things are progressing here at Collins just fine. The schedule this year is completely different than last year. We have only three in elementary school, three in middle school and one in private school. That gives us only 7 kids, and we don't know when the other spot will be filled. The private school student is experiencing some serious problems right now and may be sent to a wilderness program. We have done all we know to do and there seems to be nothing working. Other than that everything is up and running pretty good. We met with some good friends this morning for breakfast and just had a great time. I think we will do a movie night with them this Friday night, as he has a large screen TV and surround sound. The boys will like that very much. We also have a fund raiser this Saturday and it is the yearly barbecue, which is huge. It will be held at Seneca High School. Also on Saturday I have a 31/2 hour training class to be a small group leader at Foothills Community Church. It looks like it will work out great as we will have the small group here on Tuesday nights while the boys are at Boy Scouts. The boys are almost finished with homework and chores and supper time is approaching. All for now...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A/C- We are so spoiled!

Well the A/C guys are here this morning. It's been one week for repairs to take place. Hopefully tonight we will be sleeping cool as last night was tough. The first days of school has been good for the boys. Everyone seem to be fitting in to their classroom. We do have one boy that his future is probably limited with us and that causes us pain but we cannot make him cooperate with us. More on that later. Our new boy Nate is doing very well. He is very smart and willing to work. We had our first meeting yesterday and then they took out to eat. It was nice. Of course there are some staff issues that the administration is having to deal with but hopefully that will be resolved soon. All for now,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just Like That; It's Over

Here's Chad's story: After finishing Basic Training he went to Fort Lost-in-the-woods Mo., where he attended AIT(Advanced Individual Training fto be a 88M which is classified as a Motor Transport Operator, ie truck driver. After getting the run around there and being held over I think about two extra weeks, he finally got to Fort Benning, where after all this time they said his paperwork was not correct, vision testing so on the last Friday he got that done and could not precess in in time, so now after three weeks of waiting he started this morning very early. The first is the PE Test. The first part of that test was the push-ups and he was required to do 42 in two minutes. He got 51 but the counter would only count 41. He said that the others were not correct Airborne push-ups. SO, what does this mean? He is done with Airborne. All that waiting for nothing, well I guess it was not all in vain. What's next? Wait some more. Within the next two weeks he will receive new orders and we do not know where he might be sent. We will just have to wait and find out. Bad news but I believe he did his best and that is all I will ever ask of him. Chad, I am still proud to be your Daddy and I love you

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Returning from Fort Benning-Go Airborne

The campground at Fort Benning was great. Very secluded and there were dear everyday just a few yards away. We also saw some Racoon's, they are so cute, but he ran up a tree. What a great time we had with Chad.

That's my boy

And he is bigger than me

Big ole Mama's boy!
Chad and his childhood dog, Benji


We rented a Jon boat and had a blast.

Did I say we had fun, oh yes we did, running down the Chattahoochee River.

Just trying to stay safe man.

Yip, those are the jump towers. We were able to watch some guys fall from that thing, well not fall but you know what I mean. Last week a guy got hung up and broke his arm. Ouch!

Goodbye until graduation son.

Airborne, Whoowah

Oh yea, a good steak and grilled chicken too.

Time Flies

I can't believe that it is Sunday morning already. We have enjoyed being with our Son so very much. Last night we built a fire and sit around talking until I could no longer keep my eyes open. TC and chad stayed up later but then again that is the way it has always been. Our connection is so slow that I will have to wait till we get back to share some pictures. We will probably break camp around 11:00 or so and then eat lunch with Chad before we leave and head back to Collins. That;s all.....

Friday, August 15, 2008

We are arrived with chad waiting on us so we picked him up and then went and set up the camper. After a short rest we headed for Columbus and had a steak at Longhorn Steakhouse. It was so good seeing Chad and he was glad to see us. It was fun watching him joke around. He is excited about starting jump school. We are so impressed with Fort Bennings campground. for only 18 bucks a night and it is so nice. The campsites are spread out and all the facilities are a plus, although I did have to take cold shower this morning. So, TC and I are just going to hang out hear today and wait on Chad to process in today. We should be able to pick him around 5 this afternoon. That's all for now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ENJOY

We are off this morning to see Chad and enjoy not only being with him but to enjoy our time off and to enjoy Fort Benning along with the Chattahoochee River. The Key word is to ENJOY

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Evaluation and Excitment

The A/C is still not fixed, the repairman had to order a part. Maybe tomorrow. In any event we accepted our new boy today and took all of his stuff and put it in his room. He will not show up until Sunday but it was good to get all that out of the way. Our two other boys are coming on Sunday so that will put us back to seven boys. The summer is almost over and it has been a great one. We've been very busy getting ready for school and doing a lot of errands like haircuts, show shopping, buying some clothes and other stuff. We have also been getting ready to leave Thursday and go camping at Fort Benning to see Chad. We also got our 6 month evaluation today, even though we have been here for over 7 months. Everything went well as expected. All for now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Working At The Carwash

It's 10:30 PM and the A/C is still not fixed. Anyone seen the repairman cause I sure haven't. Anyone?

Thought we would put the little rascals to work today.

I am really not sure how clean the van is now but it was fun....a little

I just had too, that's why.

Ole Gus-Trying to post a video

While I was trying to learn how to do this based on Miss Bee's advice I thought I would post something from the number one movie of all times!

Also, we had the final interview with a 12 year old today and it looks like he will be coming this Sunday night. We are excited as he showed up wearing a cowboy hat and bandanna with a nice Levi's cowboy shirt on. He likes cowboy movies too, I think we will get along just fine.

Jamming and Jelly

I do not know how to link a video from youtube so someone please help me, thanks All I can do is do a link for now. TC put this on her myspace for her son. I thought I would just mention it here. Actually there is nothing on my calender to do today but for sure we are waiting on the A/C repairman. It was very nice and cool this morning sitting out on the front porch. Sunday was a pretty good day. Of course what topped it off was the fact that I went an jammed with my buddy Scott for about an hour. He played the electric guitar and I played his drums. he is left handed but I adapted pretty well. Of course all we played was Southern Rock and some Country threw in but that is all he knows on the guitar. I hope to get play with their full band one day, we will see. Gotta go as it is breakfast time for the boys.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

School, Swimming and Sweating

Saturday came with school orientations. One of the girls staff took the kids for the morning session and I took one for the afternoon sessions. It was divided by grade level. Anyway, of course with most things to do with the public school system it was totally messed up with very few people even doing what they should be doing. After struggling through that confusion we decided to take the boys to South Cove County Park for some Lake swimming. South Cove is only about 5 minutes from us and the county Park Ranger gave us a free pass to get in all year long. TC passed because she does not like such muddy water, but the boys had a blast. We came home to find that one of our A/C has went out. Now remember this is a 5000 SQ FT house so it needs two. The one that went out was for the bedrooms, but at least the rest of the house is cool. Not much planned today, just church a good lunch and probably some Nascar for the old man of the house. All for Now

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt Theme #122- DARK

It was DARK outside but we were bright on the inside. Celebrating 25 years of marriage.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Work and Willing

While yesterday was relatively calm today is quite different. I started this morning helping at the recycling center with 6 trucks bringing in newspapers from a development called Keowee Key. These are very rich people but I was astonished at their work ethic. After that to be honest I had to take a breather. In just a bit I will join the administration while they interview a prospective young man and his family to be placed here for a few months. The twins did not have a visit today and that is sad because their Dad, or the one tho donated his seed for their existence, did not show again. I have to take two of the boys to to get the results of their yearly TB test and there are other things this afternoon as well. Saturday will be spent at the schools for orientation.

Now a Chad update. He arrived at Fort Benning a week ago and could not pass the eye exam. Then, he passed it but by the time he got back to in processing last Friday he only had a little over an hour to do it. That is not enough time so that put him another week. Only problem is there is not a another class until week after next. He is a little bummed about that but his spirits are high. We are planning on going down our next break and do some camping near Benning and so I think that will make Chad very happy. All for now!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

No Appointments

Today is Thursday and we have no big plans. There are no appointments at all. So, we will be able to just get some things done around the house; some clothes washed, grass cut etc. Tonight we are joining with the girls cottage for a spaghetti dinner here at our house so that should be fun. Friday is a different story and a different post!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fire Ants Attack

Monday went as planned, some what. It seemed as though everything took twice as long as it should have. We receive a rear attack from the fire ants as somehow they broke through the bearer and entered our private walk in closet. After spraying in there I had what seemed like hundreds of dead fire ants. So after it sit a while I just went and got the wet/vac and took them out. Good news is the fridge was repaired late last night, the camper repaired and returned and the lawnmower was picked up. Everything this morning so far is working. Today TC is taking the boys to a private swimming pool just down the road from us. The lady there is nice to let us come and swim even when she is not home. Another busy day here at the Golden Brothers Cottage

Monday, August 04, 2008

Joy Overflowing

We are back at work here at Collins. Today is a very busy day. The fridge is still not working so I may just go ballistic on the repairman. That is two lies he has told. I will need to pick up the lawnmower from the shop today and get busy, seeing how no one else seems to be willing, then I need to pick up our camper from the shop as well. It seems that we are behind as the weekend was not so good here. Thankfully, we have a support staff coming in today so we will get her to help with the clean up of the aftermath called our four day break. Other than that, things are awesome. We are winding down the summer and are beginning to turn our attention toward school supplies, clothes and even new kids that will be coming in a week or so. Back at it with smiles and a heart overjoyed. TC and I like most House parents struggles some days as at times it is too much to bear, but we are thankful that God has put us here in a place of service that comes with so many physical and visible rewards.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Heading Back

Yesterday TC had a craving for some Crab legs, so we went to a nice place in Morganton NC. TC loves that stuff but for me it's too much work for very little meat. I had salt and peppered catfish fillets. After we went to one of our favorite places, South Mountain State Park, where we of course just walked through the Jacobs Fork River. Of course we attempted to take a nap, but we sure got in some good discussions. feeling like reminiscing, we watched some old video tapes of the kids when they were small. We have got to turn those things in to DVD or something before we lost them. Today we head back to Collins and we are going to arrive earlier than usual so our relief staff can leave early seeing how she is starting her vacation early Monday morning. Vacations are coming to an end so things around the boys cottage will be beginning to run a little faster. All for now.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt- Clouds

These are what I call traveling clouds. They are some shots over the past year that just happen to be on the laptop. Enjoy.

Reno Neveda Clouds. Sure was a bright day.

Florida West Coast Clouds


Cracker Barrel Clouds



Oklahoma City clouds









Grand Canyon Cloud