Thursday, March 31, 2011

Someone has a crush ;-)

Hi, this is Molly. Consider this entry a piece of investigative journalism. ;-)

Josefina likes a boy at her school. I mean likes likes.

She would try to be all subtle about it, too. She'd slip his name into conversations just like her other friends. But Kaya noticed she has this different tone when she says his name. "David Ryyyyan is in my study group." "David Ryyyyan chose the macaroni and cheese in the cafeteria today too." Hahaha, it's really funny! I wouldn't have noticed, but Kaya is totally right!

Lately Josefina has been taking forever in the bathroom in the morning, too - and we all have to wait, even if we just wanted to brush our teeth. She keeps asking things like, "Does this shirt look alright?" "Is this skirt too short? But... is it short enough?" I can't help but laugh.

I think all four of the older girls are in on the secret. They split their allowance to buy body glitter and wore it to school today. I think Josefina is trying to get David to notice her. But she can be like, "Oh, no, I'm not trying to attract your attention! See, Kirsten, Felicity, and Bree did it too! It's a sister thing! Look how quirky we all are!" Poor David!

Now you all know the truth! :-)


We've Been Tagged!

We've been tagged by the lovely ladies at the Bolton Girls Travel Journal! How fun!

How we think this works is that a blogger shares seven random facts about themselves, then they "tag" other people who post their own seven facts on their own blog. Since all of our sisters write for the blog, we're going to include facts about our whole family.

Seven things:

1.) We have only one bathroom and only one TV - but two computers.
2.) Kirsten and Felicity not only share a birthday, but that birthday is Christmas Day.
3.) When Bree was little - and just our cousin instead of our sister - we called her Bean for a nickname.
4.) We have different taste in television, movies, and books... but we all love Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
5.) We live in Canada, but all of us except Evelyn were born in the United States. Ev was born in Quebec.
6.) We've probably mentioned that we quote songs a lot - but we sing a lot around the house, too! Even those of us who sing very badly.
7.) Our favourite chore is shoveling snow because we like to have snow fights! We don't clear the snow very efficiently, but we have a good time.

So now you know seven more things about the Green Girls! We would like to tag some of our friends, too. (Only if you want!)

* Taylor at LFS Kid
* Reagan at Reagan Grace Sheffield
* Cate at Another Island
* Sabine at Une Enfant du Siècle
* Emily at Everything Emily
* Keesha at Princess in Cleats
* Sarah at Sarah Anneliese

Anyone we didn't tag - we still love you just as much, don't worry! Have fun, guys!

The Green Girls

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

About Fiona

Hi, this is Bree again. You guys are going to be sick of hearing from me. I'm doing another entry for a couple of reasons. For one thing, this is an intro for my sister Fiona, and I'm the only one who has actually met her. For another... I like blogging. It's relaxing. ;-)

For those who don't know my whole story, Fiona is my biological sister, but we didn't live in the same home very much because our parents split up. Eventually Fiona ended up in foster care because my mother wasn't doing a good job looking after her and didn't keep her safe. Since then I've gotten to visit her once and talked to her on the phone a few times.

When plans were first made for me to move here, Blakeney didn't even know that Fiona existed, because she was born after our families lost contact. Once I told her about Fiona, she said she would try to get custody of her too. Social services agreed. A couple of days ago, we were notified that Fiona will be placed here within the next couple of weeks. (Government bureaucracy stuff is always slow, though, especially between countries.) I'm really excited... but I'm nervous, too. What if she doesn't like me anymore? Am I a bad sister for not knowing her better than I do?

Here's what I do know: She's a great kid. She likes playing with dolls and stuffed animals, and jumping rope. Her favorite thing on the school playground is the jungle gym. Fiona likes to sing, and she's always the star of her school plays, unlike her stage-shy older sister. She's really smart and a lot of fun to be around.

Fiona has some problems, too. It's harder to talk about the bad stuff than the good stuff, but I'm sure it'll come up at some point and we don't want anyone to be surprised. She has biopolar disorder, like our mom. She takes medication but sometimes she still has trouble. Fiona has also been through some pretty tough situations - especially for her age - so she acts out sometimes.

I hope she'll do OK here. I hope the other girls will like her. I hope all my sisters - adopted and biological - can be one big family. I don't have that long to wait, now...



Hehehe, I couldn't resist the melodramatic title! :-)

This is Kirsten. Our planned blog post didn't happen tonight because our power went out for a couple of hours.

It wasn't storming, or unusually windy, or anything. It just went out randomly. That happens now and then. We think maybe our neighbourhood has faulty wiring, because the power was out all up and down our street, like it does every couple of months.

It was really dark, because we have a downstairs apartment so there wasn't any moonlight coming in. When the lights first went out and our vision was adjusting, I accidentally elbowed Bree in the eye; she was very forgiving. We read books by candlelight, and chatted. When we had to go to the bathroom we took the little light Blakeney uses for her e-book reader, and it was kind of creepy with that pale little glow shining on the mirror. Our eyes got really tired from being in the dark, and it got cold because the heat was off, so we took the covers from our beds, gave up on reading, and just talked.

It was kind of an adventure, I guess.

No longer in the dark!

Monday, March 28, 2011

First Day of (New) School

This is Bree, obviously. Who else would be having a first day of school at the end of March? ;-)

So today, Monday, was it. The big first. New school. Hopefully new friends. I was nervous. Very nervous. I probably didn't show it, because when I get worried I just go silent, but I was kind of dreading it. In the end... it wasn't that bad, actually.

My new school is the public high school closest to our house. It's within walking distance; nice thing about living in a city. The weather wasn't great today so we took the bus, but when it warms up we'll usually walk if we're ready in time. It's not as big as some of my old schools - I've been to a lot of different schools. That's why I don't have a very... um... stellar academic history. It seems like I was constantly trying to get used to a new place, and I was absent a lot. Hopefully I'll do better here.

This is the same school Kirsten goes to, but we didn't have any classes together because she's a grade above me. (She's already sixteen, and I won't be until my birthday next weekend.) I'm in the same grade as Felicity but she and Josefina go to a different school where they study French and stuff. I wasn't quite ready to try school in a different language - if I can attend regularly and do alright in my own language, I'll be satisfied!

I was afraid the kids would snub me because I was a newcomer with a different accent, but they were all pretty nice actually. I wouldn't say I have friends yet exactly, but I made some nice acquaintances that could turn into friends in the future. My biggest fear was that I would have to sit alone at lunch, but I didn't. Some kids from my English class invited me to sit with them.

Classes were pretty much the usual. I had English, Math, Science, and History today. By the end of the week I have to decide whether to take French or Spanish. Luckily either way I have sisters who can help me.

I signed up for the Literary Society - which was kind of a given - but I decided to try Drama Club too. I'd always wanted to do drama but I was too scared to go on stage. Today I decided I was going to be brave and go for it, finally. Once the weather is warm, I may try out for Track and Field, too. I've never competed but I like to run. I may be too busy, though... I need to catch up in school, so I may not have time for three extracurriculars.

So that was my first day. It was tough. It was stressful. The whole time I was afraid I was going to do something embarrassing and humiliate myself. It wasn't bad, though. It was actually... maybe a little bit good. Tomorrow, I won't be anywhere near as nervous.

On an not-school-related note, I'm getting really antsy to find out when Fiona is coming. No one has given us a firm time yet. I miss her. I'm having lots of fun with my new sisters, but it'll be good when we can all be together.


Greens Need Flannels!

Dear Readers,

Blakeney has told us that when she gets paid, we can get a few new clothes. (Nothing too crazy expensive - she gave us a budget limit!) We've been looking around and have tentatively decided on a few things. Mainly just some jeans/cords and shirts separates from Etsy that will go with things we already have, because that's what we need most.

There's one thing we're having trouble finding, though. We'd like to get some flannel shirts - not the pyjama kind, the day wear kind - because we all like them, but we're having a hard time finding them in our size.

Any advice on where we should look or sellers who make these?

The Green Girls

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Josefina and the Haunted (?) House

Hello, this is Josefina.

I don't want to admit this to my sisters in person - so I'm going to write it on the blog and let them see, because some of them are going to gloat.

I've never believed in ghosts. Lately some of my sisters have been claiming our house is haunted, and I just kind of laughed. I thought it was pretty silly. Now... I'm starting to wonder. I'm not saying I've started believing in ghosts. But I've started thinking maybe something weird is going on after all.

Tonight I was working on my homework. It was an essay for my literature class. I had put it off, I admit, because it's due tomorrow. It's about Samuel Beckett - which, if you've read him, isn't exactly the most transparent material. To make matters worse, I was trying to write my essay in French. (In case you don't remember from our dossiers, Felicity and I go to a French immersion school.)

It wasn't going that well, and I was getting more and more frustrated because I didn't know what to say. I was sighing a lot, erasing a lot, and muttering under my breath what a pain this was...

And suddenly my paper just caught on fire!

It was the weirdest thing. I screamed, threw it on the floor, and hit it with a sofa cushion until the fire went out. It was just a little flame, so that wasn't hard, but then the smoke detector went off. Everyone ran into the room, and they all just looked at me like I was crazy. Evelyn finally asked, "Why did you set your homework on fire?"

I tried to explain that I didn't, but they seemed skeptical. They all thought it was really bizarre. To make matters worse, I had to start my Beckett essay all over. At least I still had my notes.

So yeah, maybe our house is haunted after all. Ghosts, if you're reading this, leave my homework alone!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Birthday Ideas?

Hi Everyone! This is Kaya. :-)

While we were in Florida, a certain sister named Bree let slip that she has a birthday next weekend. She seemed embarrassed about bringing it up, and I think she wouldn't have even said anything except that she'll be sixteen and she wants to start taking drivers ed with Kirsten.

Obviously we want to do something to celebrate!

The question is, what should we do? Normally we'd have a party, but she doesn't really know anyone here yet besides us. Bree is not exactly a social butterfly, so filling the house with strangers next week seems like it would potentially be really awkward. We want her to have fun, not be uncomfortable and have to socialize with a bunch of people she's barely acquainted with. It would be nice if we could find something that would work for just our family.

So, dear readers - do you have any suggestions for an activity? There will probably still be snow on the ground and it will definitely be grey sky and cold, so an outdoor thing is probably not going to work. Otherwise we are open to ideas!

Whose days may be numbered, probably soon to be murdered by Bree for revealing her upcoming birthday to the world ;-)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Interview With Bree

Hello, readers! Today we're going to interview our new sister, Bree. Each of us are going to ask her one question. (Well, that was the plan, it didn't turn out quite like that.) Once we're done, hopefully you'll know her a little better.

So, on to the interview!

Kirsten: Hello to our new sister. What's your name?

Bree: You're seriously going to waste your question on that? Bree.

Kirsten: That one doesn't count. Okay, here's a better one: Why are you named Bree?

Bree: Yeah, that one is better. I'm named Bree because my parents were in a phase of being obsessed with Lord of the Rings when my mom was pregnant. I was actually moments from being named Pippin on my birth certificate when wiser heads prevailed. Bree, as well as being a village in the fictional world of Middle Earth, is an anglicized version of the Irish name Brigh. I think my parents didn't know that at the time, but I'm actually glad. Anyone who can read can pronounce Bree. I would rather not go through life being called "brig" all the time.

Felicity: My turn now. Have you chosen your future career yet?

Bree: Um... no... actually. I'd like to make a really amazing film, or write a really amazing book. I've thought about studying psychology or becoming a librarian. Maybe I'll just do a little bit of everything.

Kaya: What are your favourite book, movie, and television show?

Bree: Wicked for book, Labyrinth for movie. The Princess Bride for both book and movie, also. Buffy, Torchwood, and Doctor Who for TV.

Kaya: Then I've finally found a TV buddy...

Molly: The Princess Bride isn't a book!

Several of the Girls: Yes it is!

Kirsten: It wouldn't kill you to crack a book from time to time, Molly. Then you might know these things.

Felicity: So, moving on...

Josefina: Which countries have you visited, and which to you want to visit?

Bree: I've only been in the United States and Canada. I'd love to travel, though. I'd like to see India. I've heard it's beautiful there, and the culture is fascinating. I'd also like to see Paris and Madrid.

Charissa: Blakeney says we need to go to Italy within the next ten years.

Bree: Why Italy, and why the ten-year timeframe?

Charissa: Because she read an article about how a lot of Italian art and architecture treasures could be lost within ten years. Like Pompeii could be totally gone!

Bree: How are we going to break it to her that we're almost two thousand years too late to save Pompeii?

Josefina: *laughs* Not the actual village itself! The archaeological site is deteriorating because it isn't being preserved.

Bree: Oh. Okay, sure, Italy. As long as Blakeney is paying, I'll go.

Molly: Next question. Would you rather freeze to death or be burned alive?

Bree: What? Do you ask everyone that, or should I be watching my back?

Felicity: She pretty much asks everyone that.

Bree: Okay, um... freeze to death, I guess. It's less dramatic, but it sounds more peaceful.

Kirsten: When we were kids, we read an article in a magazine about kids who froze to death in a blizzard in the 1800's. It was like they were going to sleep.

Bree: Huh? What kind of children's magazine would publish a story like that?

Felicity: That would be the American Girl Magazine, actually.

Bree: Wow, you people had a strange childhood...

Charissa: My turn now! What do you think will be the best part and the hardest part of being in our family?

Bree: I think the best part will be us all sticking up for each other. Well, I'll stick up for you, and then you'll feel morally obligated to stick up for me back, in theory. The hardest part... only having one bathroom, I guess?

Evelyn: Who do you like better, Superman or Batman?

Bree: Neither. I like the X-Men. They seem to have more fun. Okay, now I get to ask a question. What do you think is the most crucial thing I need to do to fit into your family?

Kirsten: You have to be able to use Simon & Garfunkel lyrics in casual conversation. How about it?

Bree: Well, I'd rather be a spider than a snail...

Kirsten: Alright, you're in! No, seriously, the most important thing is that we're all totally loyal to each other, even when we argue. Is that cool?

Bree: Absolutely!

And that concludes our interview. :-)

Look for more postings with our new sister Pippin (My name isn't Pippin! ~B) on our blog in the future!

The Eight Green Girls

Back From Florida and Bree Squee!

Hello, blog readers! After a vacation in sunny Florida, we are back in snowy Canada and back to our blog.

I, Josefina, will be reporting a little on our trip. I got picked to do it because I want to be a journalist and travel writer someday. So here goes.

Last Tuesday, we got up really early because we had to be at the airport by 5 a.m. This time of year, most flights leave our airport in the early morning. Before we got in the taxi, we got some good - but surprising - news. And by "got some news" I mean "Bree showed up on our doorstep." We thought she wasn't going to make it, but she did, with moments to spare.

Blakeney asked if she wanted to come to Florida or stay with our neighbours like we planned. We all kind of held our breath, I think. It seemed almost like... a make or break moment. Did she really want to be part of our family, or was she just going to be like a roommate? Now, rationally, we knew it didn't mean that. Maybe she would stay because she was tired, or overwhelmed, or wanted to set up her room... or just didn't have any warm weather clothes packed. We understood there were all kinds of reasons she might stay. Not because she didn't want to spend time with us. Not because she didn't want to be our sister. Still, we were all kind of tense.

Bree said she would go. :-)

We all had a really great time. We went swimming in the outdoor pool every day, and went to a couple of different beaches. Our favourite was a place called Honeymoon Island. We also went kayaking one afternoon, and another day we took a boat tour from Tarpon Springs, which is a little town famous for sponge diving and Greek culture. On Sunday night we went to see a belly dance performance, which was really cool and fun. We also ate lots of good food, and enjoyed being able to dress for warm weather. There were all kinds of palm trees and cool birds. It was really great!

It was a really good way to get to know Bree, going on a trip together. We were all pretty relaxed since we were on vacation, and we had a lot to do so there weren't awkward silences. By the time we came back, we all felt like sisters. (Which was good because we had a lot of delays because of weather on the flights back, and if we didn't get along by that point we might have cannibalized each other when we finally got to Toronto four hours late and none of the food places were open except Tim Horton's, and there was an enormous lineup to wait for our bagels. Just kidding about the cannibalism. Sort of...)

We came back in the snow, and tonight till tomorrow it's supposed to snow another 20-30 centimetres. We're not upset, though. We still have that post-vacation buzz. A change of scenery was great. We're glad to be home too, in a way, and the blog is back in business.

Bree says hello, by the way... from home, finally! YAY! :-)

Josefina and Sisters

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Travel Plans and Seasons

We've made the odd mention of this, but we haven't officially announced it yet: We're going on a trip!

Early Tuesday morning we leave for Florida! Yay for beach and sunshine! It'll be a nice change from the winter. We'll be gone for about a week, and we're really looking forward to our vacation.

Now, I'm sure there's a question on all of your minds: Will Bree be going with us? We don't know. We hope so. We planned this trip a long time before we knew she was coming, and we can't really cancel it for several reasons. Unfortunately unless she makes it in tomorrow, we won't see her till we get back, and she'll have to stay with our neighbour. That would be a bummer. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow, and we're not sure how that will affect things (either Bree's trip or ours.) We really hope she makes it in time!

Yes, it's still snowing sometimes here. There could potentially be snow for a couple more months. Generally we expect it'll be gone by May 24th - Victoria Day. On Victoria Day weekend, our city pretty much clears out because almost everyone goes camping, even if it's still cold! It's sort of our local acknowledgement of spring.

Last year it snowed on May 27th, though. It felt kind of wrong to have snow after Victoria Day. The snow hasn't been terrible this year, though, so maybe we'll have an early spring. We can hope!

Either way, it'll be nice to get away from the cold and have a change of scenery.

We aren't sure if we'll have internet in Florida. If so, we'll try to keep the blog updated, though it likely won't be as frequent as we post from here. If not, there probably won't be much action here till we get back. We'll miss you, dear readers, and we'll be thinking of you while we're in the sunshine!

The Green Girls

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Favourites

Just for fun... a list of our favourite things! :-) Bree and Fiona sent their answers too.


Kirsten: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray

Bree: Wicked, Gregory Maguire

Felicity: The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Josefina: Poetry 180, selected by Billy Collins

Molly: Macbeth, Shakespeare (technically a play but whatever! ~M)

Kaya: Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech

Charissa: Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Fiona: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket

Evelyn: Harry Potter Series, J. K. Rowling


Kirsten: The Manchurian Candidate

Bree: Labyrinth

Felicity: Lord of the Rings

Josefina: In America

Molly: What Dreams May Come

Kaya: The Star Trek movies

Charissa: Tangled

Fiona: Lilo & Stitch

Evelyn: The Princess and the Frog

TV Show

Kirsten: BBC News

Bree: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Felicity: Iron Chef America

Josefina: Underworld Histories

Molly: Project Runway

Kaya: Dr. Who

Charissa: That's So Raven

Fiona: Wizards of Waverly Place

Evelyn: Dora the Explorer


Kirsten: St. Patrick's Day

Bree: Halloween

Felicity: Christmas Eve

Josefina: Cinco de Mayo

Molly: Halloween

Kaya: Summer Solstice

Charissa: Halloween

Fiona: April Fools Day

Evelyn: Christmas

Thinking About Japan

Hi, this is Kirsten.

We debated about whether to blog about the earthquake in Japan, not because we didn't think it was important... quite the contrary. More like because it was so huge and so tragic, we didn't quite know what to say that wouldn't be trite, especially since we weren't personally affected.

In the end, though, we decided that we didn't want to let it pass without mention, and without publicly voicing our support and well-wishes for those who were affected. We're all citizens of the same world, and tonight we're thinking of those who were killed, those who are missing or whose loved ones are missing, those who are displaced, and the rescuers trying to help them.

Kirsten and Sisters

Career Plans

What do you want to be when you "grow up"? For some of us, that's closer than others. Kirsten only has two more years before university, whereas Evelyn is only in Grade Three. All this is subject to change, but this is what we're currently thinking thinking we want to do for careers.

Kirsten: Politician, political activist, or lobbyist.

Bree: Psychologist or librarian.

Felicity: Doctor or craft store owner. Maybe I'll start as a doctor and do crafts once I retire!

Josefina: Journalist and (not or!) travel writer

Molly: Artist, of course. Probably mostly painting and sculpting.

Kaya: Teacher and Native rights advocate.

Charissa: Dog trainer, animal behaviorist, and/or vet

Fiona: (We don't know yet. We haven't gotten a chance to talk to her.)

Evelyn: Own a horse stable, own a greenhouse, or be a teacher at an elementary school. Maybe all three!

How about you, readers? What do you want to be when you grow up?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Attention seeking, low standards, and trust issues

Hi, this is Bree. I'm still traveling, and I'm bored, so I decided to write something for the blog. It ended up being more serious and introspective than I was expecting. This post is gratuitous self-analysis, so if you don't want to hear about all my emotional problems (and I don't blame you) feel free to skip it. What I'm trying to do is figure out the ways in which I self-sabotage, so I can stop doing it.

I don't want to be one of those people who blame all their problems on their bad childhood. I know we're all responsible for our own actions. The thing is... sometimes when we don't get much love when we're little, it messes with our minds when we get a little older. I never got much affection from my parents. They were actually pretty terrible to me for the most part.

I think everyone needs attention. If we don't get that, we get kind of weird about it. I seek out attention. Not in a really obvious way. It's subtle. I want people to like me, though, and if the people show me even the slightest interest I latch on like a puppy. Not good. Not healthy.

That's what I mean by the "low standards" part of the title. When I'm getting a little attention and someone seems to care at all, I don't really ask the right questions or expect much. Even if they're being kind of wretched to me or are just one step above completely ignoring me, it doesn't occur to me that I deserve better. I leave myself wide open to getting hurt by people who are cruel... or even more often, people who are just indifferent towards me. More people are indifferent than actively cruel - but in the end, the results are more or less the same.

When that hurting happens (and it's pretty much inevitable) I pull back from everyone. Even people who are genuinely nice or want to help. So I sabotage myself twice. I cling to the wrong people, and when I get burned by them it makes me ignore the right ones.

All this sounds kind of dire, but I actually think that recognizing it is going to help. I'm going to try not to do that anymore. It's after the 1st of January, so I can't make a New Years Resolution... but I think I'm going to make a New Place Resolution. In my new home, I'm not going to mess things up for myself. I'm going to do my best to trust my new family, because they deserve my trust, and I'm going to ignore people who don't deserve it.

So says Bree. :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things about us that are different

Do you have things about you that are different? Disabilities, diseases, disorders? Some of the girls in our family do. It's not the main focus of our lives, and that's why most of the time we blog about other things - usually there's just not much to say about it. We wanted to share this, though, in case some of you can relate.

Molly has what is currently known as Asperger Syndrome. (The reason for this phrasing is that the next edition of the DSM, in 2013, may eliminate Asperger's as a diagnosis and include it in the broader diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders.) Basically, her brain works a little differently from other people's, and some social stuff is harder for her. It also makes her very focused on her interests, particularly art in her case. Molly is what's called "high functioning." She goes to a regular school - actually she's in the gifted program - and participates in activities with her classmates. Sometimes people ask if Molly has friends; yes, she does. She has some extra challenges but for the most part she's just like any other girl her age.

Molly also has an eye disease called Keratoconus. The causes aren't known for sure but it's believed to be genetic. Basically, it's a degenerative disease of the cornea. She's going to need to get special contact lens, and someday she may need corneal transplants if it gets more serious.

Charissa has a hearing impairment. She is not profoundly deaf; she has some hearing. She does have to read lips in conversations, though. Charissa also has some minor learning disabilities, so she has to work harder in school to keep up.

Kaya is lactose intolerant so she has to avoid eating too much dairy. Not a big deal.

The other thing you've probably figured out is that a lot of us have some traumatic things in our past. That's kind of part and parcel of being foster kids. Most of us go to therapy to deal with that stuff. Like we said, it doesn't control our lives. It's part of who we are... but definitely not the total!

We don't want to keep this stuff secret because we don't think people should be ashamed. There's nothing wrong with being different. :-)

The Green Girls

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What we did today

This is Josefina, giving you a quick update on the day we all had.

Kirsten started driver's ed today! People of Canada, beware. The first Green is now out there on the road! Just kidding. Kirsten is actually a safe driver... so far.

Felicity is writing a report about Wuthering Heights for school. She's very meticulous, so of course it will be perfect.

Molly had to leave school in the afternoon to go to the eye doctor. I don't think we've told you this before, but Molly was diagnosed with a degenerative disease of the cornea a couple of months ago. If it wasn't for the doctors, she could go blind, but luckily even if it gets bad they'll probably be able to fix it with surgery. Today she got good news from the doctor. It hasn't progressed very much since her last visit, and it's still only affecting her right eye. She doesn't need surgery yet, yay! She'll have to go back to the doctor next month, but for now, things are good.

Kaya had ballet class after school. They're starting to get ready for their spring recital. Kaya is in a whole bunch of dances, for both ballet and modern. She says some of the stuff is hard and she's tired after practice, but she has a good time and it's worth it.

Charissa and Evelyn spent the afternoon at the children's library after they got done with school. They were going to play outside with some of the kids in the neighbourhood, but it was too melty to play in the snow and too grey, slushy, and cold to have much fun playing sports, so they're saving that for another day. They both brought home lots of books and are reading them.

So who's left? Just me, Josefina. (Bree is still in transit and has nothing much to report.) My afternoon has been pretty leisurely. I was trying out some of my abuela's pastry recipes. I used to make them with her while she was still living, but I've never made them on my own before. I think they turned out pretty good! The girls are going to give their final opinion on that after supper, though.

That was what happened today at our house! :-)


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Family Meeting

Hi, this is Kirsten.

Tonight Blakeney called us into the living room for a family meeting. We talked about it beforehand, and as far as we knew there was only one possible explanation. We were in trouble.

There wasn't any specific thing we thought we were in trouble for, but we're not perfect angels, so there could definitely be something. (Like the argument me and Josefina had over the TV.) The only times we really have family meetings are when we're getting a new foster kid, when something major is changing, or we did something wrong.

We couldn't think of anything about to change, and they wouldn't place a new foster kid with us at the same time as Bree because each kid needs time to settle in, so the only thing left was being in trouble. We were going to try to deny it, whatever it was, and if that didn't work, we'd have to apologize. We were prepared.

Turns out we weren't in trouble, though. Blakeney had some news to spring on us. Remember how Bree said in her post (I think she just called it "Bree's First Post" or something) that she had a sister she'd been visiting? Well, Blakeney called to see what was going on. Turns out that Bree's sister is still in foster care. She's waiting to be adopted but no one had applied to adopt her yet. See where this is going...? ;-)

Normally we wouldn't be getting anyone new here so soon, but this is an exception because it's best to keep siblings together if possible. It's possible this time. Blakeney says if we're going to be eight sisters,we may as well be nine.

Bree didn't say much about it when we told her on the phone, but we think she was crying. She definitely said "thank you" a lot.

So yeah, this was a HUGE surprise for us. We're getting TWO new sisters, not one. That's never happened before. Bree is on her way... and two weeks later, we're going to be welcoming Fiona!

Crazy, isn't it? :-D


Dossiers: Added Bree

Hey everyone! As you know, we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new sister. In the meantime, she answered some questions for us so we could make a dossier for her. That way we can all get to know each other better, and she won't be a total stranger when she shows up.

We added Bree's dossier to the long post with the rest of them, so you can find our whole family in one place. In case you don't want to wade through that to see, though, we're reposting it here so you can get to know our cousin/new sister. :-)


Name: Bree

Age: 15

Where he/she attends school: Local public high school

Favorite color: Red, blue, and black

Favorite food: PB&J sandwiches, dried fruit

Personal Causes: At risk and homeless youth, mentoring, poverty relief, educational support and reform, anti-censorship

Favorite passtime: Reading, mocking stupid movies, jogging, sketching

Three words YOU would use to describe their personality: Thoughtful, determined, creative

Three words HE/SHE would use to describe his/her personality: Ordinary, shy, timid

Favorite Quote: "In this beautiful life, there's always some sorry. And it's a double-edged knife, but there's always tomorrow. It's up to you now if you sink or swim. Just keep the faith that your ship will come in. It's not so bad..." -Great Big Sea

Brief biography in 250 words or less: Bree is the Green girls' cousin, now adopted sister. Prior to living with the Green family, she alternated between living with each of her divorced parents, and they rarely had enough money. Her rough experiences growing up led her to be very compassionate and made her very aware of poverty, particularly as affects children and young people. She is quiet and rather shy, but is a deep thinker. Bree aspires to be a psychologist or a librarian someday... and she gets lots of practice with the psychology keeping her new sisters in line.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm a vegetarian

This is Charissa. I've decided to become a vegetarian. I love animals very much and I don't want to eat them anymore.

Before I made the decision, I had to read about nutrition to make sure I could still get everything that I needed in my diet if I didn't eat meat. I found out that I still can! I just have to make sure my meals are balanced.

No one else in my family is a vegetarian and that's OK. I've just decided that for me, I don't want to eat animals anymore.

Your friend,
Charissa :-)

Bree's First Post

Hi, this is Bree, posting for the first time. I'm not actually at my new home yet. I'm at an internet cafe near the train station in Winnipeg. So... still pretty far from my destination, but I'm getting there.

I'm not really sure what to say about myself that would be interesting. The girls say they're going to "interview" me for the blog when I get there, so I guess I'll save the main intro stuff for that.

You're probably wondering what my deal is, though. What kind of person just disappears? Bree must be a big flake.

Well... not entirely. I'm not that big. ;-) Maybe I'm a flake, but that wasn't what was going on here. Like the other girls said, I didn't know anyone was trying to find me. What they didn't say is where I actually was. It's not their fault; it's because I didn't actually tell them until today.

For the past few months, I've pretty much been crashing on various people's couches. Things weren't good with either of my parents, and obviously they weren't deeply concerned about where I was. I didn't think it mattered that I didn't exactly have a forwarding address.

While I was moving around, I got some news. When I was younger, my parents had another kid that my mom kept when she split with my dad. My younger sister. At some point, my sister wasn't living with my mom anymore. I knew she was a foster kid, but nothing more than that, nothing about where she was, so I didn't think I'd ever see her again.

Then one day I was at a friend's house flipping through channels, and they were doing a news story about states with the best and worst foster care outcomes. They did a few background pans of rooms full of kids... and I saw my sister!

I took off pretty fast.

So that's where I was. Visiting my sister. A sister the Green Girls didn't know I had, because our families haven't been in touch in the meantime. I know, I'm fifteen, and someone should know where I am. I'm not trying to make an excuse. I'm not going to just go off on my own again, now that I have a family who actually cares.

I just wanted you to know I had a good reason for what I did, though, since it was probably a mystery when you couldn't see it from my point of view. Next time I write for the blog, I'll try not to be so serious!

Your friend,
Bree (the new Green)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weirdness Again

Kaya here. :-)

More weird stuff at our house. We're starting to think it may be haunted! (Actually, there's been some debate at our house about whether ghosts are real; the vote is pretty evenly split.) Otherwise we're not sure how to explain this stuff.

We were all sitting around in the living room tonight. Felicity was doing some kind of homework thing, I was reading a magazine, Molly was sketching, Charissa was playing with her stuffed animals, and Evelyn was carrying on a boisterous and apparently two-way conversation with the houseplant. (She's not crazy, don't worry. She's just an eight-year-old playing pretend.)

Kirsten and Josefina were arguing over the TV remote. Josefina said we'd already watched news today and didn't need to watch another news show, while Kirsten retorted that it wasn't fair to watch something in Spanish because most of us can't understand it. They seemed to be at a stalemate, and eventually they were yelling so loud that neither of them could hear the television anyway, so I'm not sure what the point was.

Kirsten was making a particularly impassioned argument for watching Jim Lehrer, and suddenly a glass on the table between them shattered. They both just kind of stared at it for awhile. It was in a million tiny pieces, almost like sand.

Felicity looked up from her homework and told them to chill. I'm not sure if it's what she said or because of the glass, or if the debate had just run its course, but suddenly they both decided they wanted to watch the Wizard of Oz DVD instead.

The point is, a glass just shattered! For no reason! My opinion? Definitely haunted!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Update: Where is our Bree?

Well, she's not here yet, but we finally heard from Bree this evening!

Apparently she's been couch surfing for awhile and didn't know we were trying to get in touch. She's cool with coming to live with us! It'll take her a few days to get here, but she has her travel confirmation and she's on her way.

We're super excited that she's coming, and we're also relieved that the delay was a miscommunication rather than some kind of disaster.

Once she's here, we'll post to introduce her to you. For now, though, we just wanted to let you know that she's safe, she's on her way, and there will be eight Green Girls soon!

All's well that ends well. :-)

The Girls

"Tell the girl
It's a wide and wondrous world
Room enough to leave a life you're hating
The highway runs both ways
And there's seats left on the train
If you take it to the station, I'll be waiting..." -Great Big Sea, "Dear Home Town"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Other Sisters

If you've read our blog at all, you've figured out that we're not all related to each other biologically. (Though some of us are; see Intro and Our Stories posts for details if you don't know but actually care.) Yes, we're sisters, but we don't all share blood.

So what you may be wondering is... do we have any siblings from our biological families who don't live with us?

Actually, yes. Some of us do. (By weird coincidence, they're girls too. Maybe it's fate.)

Evelyn has two biological sisters. One is older, Aisha. She's fourteen. She lives with Evelyn's aunt and cousins. Ev also has a younger sister, Jasmine, who is six. People usually call her Jazz as a nickname. She's still living with the foster family where she's been since she was little.

Kaya has one biological sister, Rosa, who is seven. She stays with a family on the reservation where Kaya grew up.

It's kind of hard, having siblings you don't live with. For a lot of foster kids, unfortunately that's just life. We keep in touch with them, and they're still family. (Maybe someday they can live with us... but the adults and authorities involved would have to agree, and that's always complicated.) We keep up our hopes that someday we'll all be together again. Hope is a great thing, isn't it?

The Green Girls

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Telling Our Stories: Josefina

Hi, this is Josefina. We've had kind of a long hiatus with this particular line of "feature" posts. That's mainly my fault. I've kind of been struggling with what to say. Finally my sisters told me I have to say something, so someone else can have a turn. So I'm just going to give it a try.

I was born in Texas, just across the Mexican border. I never really knew my father (he was from Guatemala) because he and my mom weren't together for very long. I was super close to my mom, though. It was just the two of us in our little apartment, and a lot of times I felt like she was more of a best friend to me than an authority figure. She didn't let me run wild or anything, she was just really good at showing me how important I was to her.

We never had much money, but we had a lot of fun. Our favourite thing to do together was cook. Mom taught me to make Mexican meals like she and her brothers and sisters had eaten growing up in Mexico, and we also tried making food from other countries too. She loved to decorate, and we were constantly repainting the apartment and finding cool new furnishing at thrift stores and left on the curb. That's how I learned to value creativity.

I was creative in different ways than my mom, though. As I got a little older, I realized my passion was for writing. My didn't always understand the stuff I wrote in English, so I would translate it to Spanish for her. She would always tell me what I good job I did. "Excellent, Josefina!" she would say. "I can't wait to read more!"

It's because of my mom that I got interested in photography. I wanted to have her "eye" for colour and detail, and while I wasn't as much into painting and decorating, through the lens of the camera I could see the world the way she did.

Even though I didn't live with anyone but my mom, we had a lot of family in our town that we spent time with. Every day after school I would go visit my abuela (grandmother) and she would tell me stories about growing up in Mexico, while we made pastries and cookies and desserts together. I also spent time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was great to be that close with all my family.

When I was nine, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She got treatment, but there wasn't really much the doctors could do because it was pretty far along by the time they found it. Mom died when I was ten. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I'm still really sad when I talk about it, so I'm not going to say anything more. I'd rather talk about how things were when she was alive.

After my mom died, I moved around between relatives a lot. They all loved me, but none of them really had the money or the space to keep me for very long. I lived with my abuela on and off between the others, and she wished I could stay but she was very old and getting sick a lot. She needed to go into a nursing home, so she had to find someone else to take care of me.

That's when I found out that I had a half-sister (Charissa) with the same father as me, and that she had three other sisters too. They had room in their house for me, so I went to stay with them. It was a big adjustment to a different culture and climate (hardly any sun!), but I really like it here now.

Unfortunately my grandmother didn't live much longer after she went to the nursing home. I actually think the only reason she held on as long as she did was that she wanted to make sure I was safe and had a permanent home before she died. I miss her a lot too, but she told me that she wasn't sad or afraid about dying because she wanted to be with my grandfather again, and she would look down from heaven and watch over me, just like my mom was already doing.

So... that's my life. Some things were sad, but most were happy. I miss my family members who have died, but I'm glad I have my sisters now. Thanks for listening to my story!


Where is our Bree?

Kirsten here, reporting for blog duty.

We announced awhile ago that our cousin Bree is coming to live with us. So where is she?

You know what? We don't know.

If you read our first Stories post, you've probably figured out that our extended family is... um... kind of dysfunctional. Which is the reason for Bree coming here in the first place. Unfortunately, that means that the communication isn't always the greatest. At the moment, we can't seem to find anyone who knows exactly where she is or who she's staying with right now.

Yeah, we're kind of worried. She's probably fine. It's not the first time one of our family members has dropped completely off the radar, but it still doesn't make things better.

We're still expecting that she'll be here eventually. Blakeney is kind of a bulldog about stuff like this (and I mean that in the nicest possible way.) She'll track Bree down eventually, and we'll all laugh over rootbeers about the pointless drama.

In the meantime, though, we have a bed standing empty, and we're concerned. Good news soon, I hope...