Unexpected addition to the family (and one of my favorite spring cheese ball recipes)

We started the weekend with some stress – Harley Guy interviewed for a job he really wants but the salary limitations would make things very difficult if everything else remains at status quo – he has until this morning to give them his decision.  Then Friday night Thing 2 got a phone call from her best friend (T2BF)  telling her that she was no longer living at home and her phone would be turned off any minute.  We worried all night about her, hoping she would show up at our door, but she didn’t.  Saturday Harley Guy and I made a decision and went to her mother offering to help out during their difficulties by taking T2BF into our home.  We are currently emptying out the room that will someday be our spare room/craft room but has most recently been our catchall so she will have her own room like my girls.

Food at her house was sometimes scarce but stretching meals here won’t be a problem and I try to keep a good variety of snack foods, fruits, and veggies; I make most meals from scratch, always shop for the best deals, and am really trying to become coupon savvy.  I don’t see that the extra laundry will be that big a deal either, Thing 2 and T2BF have been sharing clothes back and forth for years (which can be pretty funny when you consider T2BF stands just over 5′ while Thing 2 is almost 6′ tall).  What I am worrying about is her schoolwork because she doesn’t really apply herself (her grades are a huge point of contention at her house) and with only 9 weeks left of this school year I’m hoping this change in “home life” won’t negatively impact her.  I’ve already told my girls that starting today we will be implementing mandatory homework/studying/reading time after school because I don’t want T2BF to feel singled out.  I’m kind of hoping her mom holds off on putting her on ADHD meds as our house is much quieter and more orderly than what she’s used to and she won’t have to compete for attention with or be responsible for much younger siblings as she is at home.  I don’t want you to think I believe I can “fix” things, I’m just hoping in a different environment there might be some positive results.

I know she’s sad, she misses her mom and siblings and until this seems “normal” for her I expect her to grieve.  One positive, I fell yesterday and sprained my ankle so that it really hurts to walk (no, that’s not the positive).  When it got dark I noticed a blind wasn’t drawn and when I got up to go across the room to close it she told me she didn’t want me to walk so she’d close it for me.  The reason I look at this as a positive is that she has always seemed to be more comfortable around Harley Guy and kind of afraid or standoffish  of me – Harley Guy is very outgoing and has told her about his dysfunctional home life growing up and I think she feels he can relate to what her life has been like.  I tend to be a bit reserved and quiet but I’m very affectionate with my girls giving hugs, saying “I love you”, and making it obvious that I enjoy just being around them.  Last night I told T2BF that I didn’t expect it right now but that I’d like it if in the future I could give a good-night hug to her just like I do to my girls.  Much to my delight she got out of bed and gave me a hug and when I told her I love her (because I do) she told me she loves me too.  I also found out last night that she has me listed on her phone as “Mom 2” and I like that.

Hawaiian Cheese Ball

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8 ounces finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature

2 Tablespoons tropical relish like guava, mango, or papaya (ok to sub with pickle relish)

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

1/4 cup finely minced sweet onion

2 bacon strips cooked crisp, finely chopped

chopped macadamia nuts

Mix all ingredients except nuts until combined.  Refrigerate until firm enough to handle then form into a ball.  Roll in chopped nuts.

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