Friday, October 12, 2012

Gray Hair

Recently I attended my 20 year class reunion.  How all those years have passed is way beyond my comprehension.  I wasn't excited about my reunion until I found out the bad ThunderKat was playing.  I am a personal friend with the band and their wives so I knew that even if I didn't want to associate with my old classmates I would be in good company with the band.  I have to say I suddenly felt so much cooler then I ever felt in high school!!

I had a great time rocking out and dancing like I had no abandon.  Heck I had no kids and we had a babysitter all really was fun.  Throughout the evening and a few (or maybe a few more) drinks we started talking about hair.  This conversation should be quite innocent.  Who can get all down and dirty while talking about hair.  Then we started talking about gray hair and dye jobs.  Okay still pretty innocent and then it happened. 

Julie:  "You know, I notice my gray hair way more in that spot." 
Lorene:  "Which spot?" 
Julie:  "You know on me I notice the gray hair there." 

Okay now I know the spot and frankly I am at a loss as to how to respond.  So I figure if we are having this conversation to jump in with both feet.

Lorene:  "I don't know gray hair there because I don't have hair there."

Needless to say I now know way more about my dear friend Julie then I ever thought I would know.  I know that she doesn't want to shave everywhere because she doesn't want her husband to think she is an 11 year old girl.  She'd rather be a football field then the Amazon rain forest and she thinks waxing hurts like HE--!! 

Yes the conversation was lively, the bad rocked out and thanks to both old and new friends the memories will last a life time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Life

I never intended for this blog to be about my children.  I thought my blog would be about my life and my ponderings...aka...Lorene's Babble.  Cute isn't it.  Instead though as I read back over the last several years I realize that my life and my ponderings are my children.  They are one and the same.

I became a mom for the first time at the ripe old age of 15.  I turned 15 in July and had Robby in August.  Cue 2 years and I turned 17 in July and had Dennis in September.  Life happened and in between raising my boys and earning two college degrees I met and married and man of my dreams, my best friend Tim.  We miscarried our honeymoon baby "Peanut" and then proceeded to be blessed with two beautiful daughters, Sydnie was born when I was 26 and Bridgette when I was 28. 

If you have followed my blog you know that we are now blessed with four beautiful foster children.  We have six kids in the home ranging in age.  They are 11, 9, 8, 5, 2 and 10 months.  I can honestly say that I never planned my life to be a mother but it is something I love and I am damn good at it.  Mary Kay once said that if you love your work you'll never work another day in your life.  I do love my children and I will never say they aren't work but I can't imagine my life being any different then it is right now.

Thank you Tim for sticking by my side and continuing to raise "our" children.  Thank you Sydnie and Bridgette for making the family decision to begin foster care.  Thank you God for being by our side every step of the way. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have been a Foster Parent for 3 months.  I have biological children ranging in age from 23 down to 9.  Needless to say I've been a parent for awhile now.  I love each and every one of my children and would lay my life down for them.  I love them, each and every one of them, every day of my life.  I can't imagine not having my children. 

Currently we have 4 foster children.  They are 10 months, 2 years, 5 years and 8 years.  I look at these precious babies and realize that out there in this world right now is their parents and they are not with them.  They don't see them on a daily basis, they don't talk to them on a daily basis and sometimes not even on a weekly basis.  I don't understand where you have to be in your life to not have your children.  To have someone else determine you are not a fit parent.  To have a check list to get these children back in your life.

Recently I found out that our 10 month old 8 year old are about to become a big sister and big brother.  I am so confused.  I don't understand how when you have lost two of your children you simply replace them by getting pregnant.  Is it to hard to follow the orders you have been given to get them back?  If it is so hard to get them back should you be allowed to keep this newest baby?

I don't have the answers to these questions and for that I am thankful.  To understand these questions means that I have slipped into that mentality.  Instead I'd rather be the one who these babies turn to when they call out Momma and I'd rather be the one there for them day in and day out.  In the mean time I hope these parents figure out and remember what they have lost before it is to late for them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chinese and Karma

I have a doctor's appointment today.  I'm not necessarily excited about this appointment.  I don't want to know what I weigh or how my blood pressure is doing.  I know these things.  I am overweight and my blood pressure and I aren't friends.  I have 6 kids in the house.  Of course it is a little high.  Do I exercise?  I ask if this is a trick question.  I don't per say exercise but I do chase around a 10 month old, 2 year old, 5 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old and 11 year old.  I think that should be an Olympic sport.  Every mom in the world would qualify and somehow every mom would win.  We are the masters of this new art form. 

So knowing I have a doctor's appointment and knowing how it is going to go what do I do.  I order Chinese for lunch.  Yummy Hunan Beef and Egg Rolls.  It sounded good at the time.  I knew Karma was coming up to bite me hard.  I dripped the oil from those egg rolls all down the front of my shirt.  So now when I go to the doctor she has proof that I also eat very bad for me food and also happen to wear some of it.

Who knew Chinese and Karma were synonyms!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School has started, School has started, School has started!!

School has started, School has started, School has started!! 

Maybe I shouldn't be this excited but we now have a schedule.  Okay as much of a schedule as we can.  We have Sydnie and Bridgette playing volleyball, Battle of the Books and Choir, Sydnie has Math Club and then SAS has football.  Throughout all this we are also working with 2 case workers for 3 family visits a week.  In our down time (okay quit laughing now) in our down time we are still chasing a 5 year old, 2 year old and 9 month old.  I have been asked a lot recently if I am losing weight.  The only response I have is that I don't have time to eat I am to busy chasing one kid or another!

Of course now that school has started what does that mean.  According to the kids it means lets get ready for birthdays and Christmas.  Yikes!  I don't think I can release the joy of school starting to stress over 6 birthdays in 2 months with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years sandwiched in there.  Lets just go back to my original joy...

School has started, School has started, School has started!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Time

It's hard to believe that school is starting right around the corner.  We have had so many changes in our lives over the last couple of months that I find it hard to believe that is it is already August.  We had SAS and ALK join us on June 7th and then we had GRC and BDC join us on July 11th.  When I wonder where the summer has gone I have to remind myself that we have expanded our family from 4 to 8 in less then 2 months.  We now have an 8 month old, 2 year old, 5 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old and 11 year old.  When school starts I will have 3 schools and 2 day cares for 6 kids.  My head is already swimming with all of this.

On the upside I know the girls have had a great summer.  We started with a family vacation to Albuquerque.  What a trip it was.  An entire another blog.  Surmise to say that we won't forget that trip for a long time to come.  The girls then did a week long day camp with Girl Scouts.  I took a the week of July 4th off.  The girls did a week long camp with Girl Scouts (Wow was the house quiet...Okay as quiet as it can be with 4 kids remaining at home!!).  The have played softball and swam, visited with friends and to round out the summer we have already started volleyball.

I hope that as they get older they can look back at this summer and say "Remember when..." and do it with a smile.  I know that I will.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Growing Family

When my husband Tim and I got married we had a ready made family.  We knew we wanted a large family started working on that right away.  When our youngest was born we had Robby 13, Dennis 11, Sydnie 2 and our newest addition Bridgette.  At the same time his sister was living with us.  We had no time alone and decided we were done having children.  This decision was the only time we both agreed.  It didn't take long before we wanted more children but the surgery was done and there were to be no more.  We have discussed this decision for years.  We have contemplated reversals.  We have talked about IVF.  We have talked this issue to death.

Back in August we made the decision to pursue Foster care.  We wanted to make a difference in a child's life.  We decided to Foster to Adopt.  Although we love children we had a few limitations.  No children close the girls age (11 & 9), no older boys,  no school age children.  Fast forward to last week and the call came.  We have a 7 month old little girl and an 8 year old boy.  There was no conversation.  We both said yes.  But wait, an 8 year old boy.  That goes against all of our limitation but yet we said yes. 

That day last week was the best decision ever.  We now have Sydnie 11, Bridgette 9, SAS is 8 and ALK is 7 months.  (Due to confidentiality I cannot post our newest additions names).  They are great kids.  I can't imagine not having all of my kids.  I know we are the honeymoon faze but I love them already.  My most sincere hope it the their bio parents figure out how to be great parents and be there for the little ones.  In the mean time I am Mom and Tim is Dad.  We love them and we are on the ride of our life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mom I am sharing religion and recruiting!!

The month is May and to just cut through the chase it means it is chaotic.  We normally manage to run through soccer, softball, choir, piano, band, Math Club, Girl Scouts, Battle of the Books, friends, sleep overs, end of the school chaos, etc, etc.  Let me remind everyone we also just got our Foster Care license.  I don't know what they were thinking but they licensed us for 4 additional children.  Keep in mind this would up the number of kids to 6 and a ratio of 6-2.  Hmmmm...have we lost our mind.  Probably!

Earlier this week Bridgette had soccer from 5:15 to 6:30 and Sydnie had softball 6:30-8:30.  Lucky for Mom they were at the same fields.  Yeah!  As Sydnie is warming up Bridgette asks if she can go play.  Sure (quiet time for Mom to read)!  She runs off and returns within 10 minutes with a snack and a drink.  Where pray tell did those come from.  "Mom I was playing with the coaches son and normally he hates coming to the fields.  His mom was so excited because he was having fun so she shared.  Mom I told her that I needed to practice being an older sister for foster care.  She thought that was cool.  Then Mom I told her all about Corpus.  I shared Religion with her Mom and I recruited!"

It was one of those moments when a mother's heart swells with pride and love.  You realize how many things your kids catch because that pure innocence cannot be taught.  So as our schedule gets more chaotic and crazy I can think back to those precious moments and realize that every day it is well worth it!! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bad Car Karma!!

I, as a woman, have mastered the art of a self pity party.  MASTERED!!  I claim to have only mastered a handful of skills in this life but I have mastered the party aspect of it. 

Two weeks ago as spring break is approaching and I am knee deep in this self pity mode I get a call from my dear loving husband who is on his way out of town with our girls.  His car has stopped all forward motion.  It is spewing oil under the hood and he fears it is the transmission.  Short story is that he then took my van on vacation and I was left stranded.  In come my Knights in Shining Armor the Fasse's.  They came to pick me up Saturday morning and hauled me around.  They took me shopping, for a pedicure, a parade, to a wedding, out to dinner and back home.  My saviours.

Monday morning I have to go to work and I am still stranded.  In comes my next Knight, Jean.  She gave me a ride to work and even checked up on me to guarantee I had a ride home.

Fast forward to Thursday and we still don't have 2 cars.  In comes my next Knight, the Showalters.  They give me a ride to work and back home and then again back to work again.  Friday night I am expecting a half relaxing evening and weekend.  Que 5:00 and my van won't start.  My husband is at work and I am at work.  Thankfully the last Knights were still around and helped get us at least in the same location.  The fuel pump has gone out.  YIKES!!  We have no vehicles.

Saturday morning we are geared up to get either the car or the van (hoping for both) back.  We are excited to get out the motorcycle for a beautiful ride.  What, the bike won't start.  The battery is dead.  Seriously...the transmission, the fuel pump and now the battery.  Bad car karma!!  To top off the bad karma the van does get done but not the car.  (Seriously this is an entire other blog!!)

Monday morning...they haven't even started on the car yet.  We live in Perry, work in Topeka and our girls go to school in Lawrence,  How are we going to swing this ridiculous schedule I ask you.  Thankfully my Knights haven't ran out yet.  Thank you Laurie Ostronic.  You will never realize how much help you have been.

So 2 weeks later and lots of bad car karma I have realized those self pity parties may need to come to an end.  I realize I have more friends then any one person should be blessed with and God will provide.

Thank you Fasse's, Jean Martin, Showalter's and Laurie Ostronic!!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I knew when I became a mother that there would moments of difficulty.  I never knew those difficulties would one day encompass moments, hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes even years.  I thought having a newborn was hard.  I didn't know how easy that infant was until I had a toddler.  I thought having a toddler was hard.  I didn't know how easy that toddler was until they hit kindergarten and beyond.  School was hard.  I never realized how easy school was until they hit the teenage years.  Those teenage years were hard.  I thought to myself although every one of these stages are hard, surly we are coming to the end of the hard times.  They have grown and they have grown and now we can become more then a mother/son we can become friends.  Fast forward to their 20s and I realize the last 20 years have been a preview of the moments, hours, days, weeks and months to come.

When Dennis left home at the ripe old age of 16 everyone told me "He'll come home."  He never did.  When he graduated everyone assured me "He'll grow up."  He never did.  When he got married at 18 everyone said "He'll mature."  Yep still waiting.  I continually hear "When he has kids..."  We'll wait and see on this one.  I'm hoping the wait is a long one.

When Robby graduated at 17 and left for boot camp I was happy for him.  We had arrived.  He was joining the National Guard and had a full scholarship for football.  He was happy and I was happy for him.  The day he graduated boot camp he gave us a plaque that read

"Parent's Appreciation Certificate"
Let it be know that
Lorene & Tim Martins
having mastered the art of parenting
by having a child successfully complete
Basic Combat Training
and for being the parents who stood by, watched over, comforted
and guided me down the path to a
successful graduation has accordingly been awarded
this successful parents
Certificate of Appreciation
Robert J M Martins
August 2007"

Fast forward a couple of years after he has dropped out of college, lived in my basement, been unemployed and then deployed, married and now living in his wife's parents basement.  The 20s are hard.

It hurt when Dennis changed his last name and it hurts no less as Robby is doing it.  I'm not sure how we went from successful parents to the losers they now believe we are but that is where they have delegated us.  It hurts, it's hard and I don't enjoy this.  Tomorrow as Robby gets married for the 2nd time (to the same person) and changes his last name from Martins to Madden it will be difficult. 

I hope they always realize that although times were difficult and will continue to be I'll always be there mom and they'll always be my babies.  I love them even when I question if they love me.  Sending prayers to God for grace and dignity.

Monday, March 5, 2012


As most know my girls go to a Parochial school, Corpus Christi Catholic School.  They love it.  They love their friends, they love the curriculum (as much as a 9 and 11 year old can), they love the school, the teachers, on and on and on. 

The one thing I'm sure they don't love is uniforms.  This is a love thing for me though.  I don't have to argue what they wear.  I don't have to make sure we have clean clothes.  I don't have to keep up with the Jones' on the most current fashion and designs.  No I just have to make sure they have their clean polo's and khakis.  This works for me. 

I remember the first day they tried on said uniforms.  Bridgette loudly announced "Mom I am ugly."  To which I promptly replied "But Baby you will all be ugly together.".  This appeared to be an okay answer for the last two years.  They wear uniforms without to much complaint.  I do hear once in a while; "Mom I wish we had more dress down days."  "Mom I wish we could have a pajama day."  The normal things I would expect to hear.

Fast forward to the beginning of spring.  The warmer weather has broken out the shorts sooner rather then later.  I don't have a problem with the shorts.  I love summer; I love shorts, I love flip flops.  I love the season!! 

I soon realized with the changing of the seasons my dear lovely very beautiful daughter with her 9 year old self would develop her very own style to deal with winter/spring/summer.  All merged into one.  Here comes out of the school my dearest Bridgette wearing a long sleeve uniform short, shorts, knee high Christmas socks and boots.  Oh my...

I do still love uniforms, I love the fact Bridgette is confident and I am left speechless in regards to the uniform!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wrestling Mom

It has happened. I don't know exactly it happened. I am no longer a "Wrestling Mom" but now hold the title of "Softball, Volleyball, Basketball and Soccer Mom". I don't consider myself a sports nut but I do love to watch my kids play. The boys always did football and wrestling. We did have a few seasons of baseball and basketball but those were few and far between especially as they got older. The girls on the other hand cover all sports arenas equally. Every season if you ask them they are playing their favorite sport.

Currently we are in basketball season. Both girls are playing through CYO, Catholic Youth Organization. Bridgette has a large team, imagine 14 3rd grade girls!! YIKES!! They need some serious help most of the time. That is another post though. She is enjoying it so that's all that matters.

Sydnie has turned into quite the dynamic player. Last week they were playing a team from KC KS and the other team was a bit brutal. I am manically texting Tim every change in score, every play, every move!! Then with just a few minutes left we lost the lead. With less then a minute left of the game we were down by 1. With 10 seconds left we scored 2 and were ahead by 1. I was screaming and yelling and cheering. All at once mind you. We won, they did awesome, I was so proud of not just Sydnie but the entire team. As one parent said we were more excited then the girls.

Que Sydnie. She walks over to me and says "Way to cuss Mom. The Wrestling Mom came out!" Let me preface this with I did not cuss. I did say "Bull" several times but stopped with just that one word. I may have silently filled in the rest of the sentence but I did not verbalize this thought. But seriously Sydnie, Wrestling Mom!

I do have to say through all my titles "Wrestling Mom" is probably the most exciting. She screams and yells and jumps up and down and the adrenaline is running. Hence is the reason that with my multiple sports personality she has to stay hidden!! For this weekend I promise Sydnie only Basketball Mom will come out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Momma's Age

I knew when I lost my mom at a young age that I would hopefully live one day to do things that she had never done or to do certain things longer then she was able. Yesterday marked the day that I have been a mom longer then she was. I have thought of this day for months. I know that others (most notably my husband) find this behavior odd but nontheless I have thought of it often.

As I think of my mom I think back to the hell I probably put her through. I hope many things. I hope she always knew how much I love her. I hope she always knows how much I miss her. I hope the teenage years were forgiven. I hope that she would be proud of me. I hope that I never hurt her the way my boys have hurt me. That is the touchy one.

My mom wasn't raised with much affection and even now I reemmber the day her relationship with her parents changed. I was in Kindergarden. My grandparents and my Mom quite speaking to one another. We were raised without grandparents. She was left without her parents even when they were simply miles apart. Mom swore that day that us kids (Me, Travis and Louis) would not be raised that way. She swore we would always know how to hug and cuddle and to always remember to say "I Love You!". She swore we would always know that we were loved. Through all things good and bad my Mom upheld this belief. Then tragically we lost her in 1996.

From that day forward I don't know how but things changed. Small things, big things, everything. Fast forward 15 years and today I no longer speak with my Father and my boys no longer speak to me. How did this cycle reemerge when my Mom swore it would be broken? I wish I had the answer but I don't. All I know is that I miss my Momma and my boys more and more everyday.

My wish is for one day to feel her arms wrapped around me reassuring me it would be okay. I wish for one day to feel peace in regard to my boys. I wish for the day my family is whole and the cycle is truly broken. For today I pray for peace and grace and for all my children born and unborn, those that I have held in my arms and those I have not yet met. I pray that my children will always know they are loved and to know that I am always here. I will be here no matter how long it takes for them to remember.