At least this post I could think of a title for. LOL Katie did not back out. Yay! And easy child came along so it was with all of my girls. We did, however, skip the cemetery this time around........was not exactly what I'd say the right atmosphere for such a get together. The GW outlet was an experience, to say the least. A good one as we all found some treasures for a steal. In fact, Kayla now has an entire summer wardrobe for next year for less than 20 bucks and most of them were new clothes (name brand) with the tags still on. Then we went to the Christmas Store and well that place is always fun. easy child worried her presence might bother Katie, but I told her that it had to happen some time and Katie needed to see that even easy child doesn't have an "issue" with her as in being mad or holding a grudge or whatever. In fact easy child was very open and we chatted and laughed a LOT on the trip up to Nichole's. Actually, we did a LOT of laughing most of the day. It seems to be that way when we're together just us girls. Katie was thrilled with some down time away from her kids...and biomom......and a whole day was like heaven on earth. To see the 4 of us together you'd never dreamed we've just seen each other for the 1st time in a year after a major family rift. It was as if nothing had happened. And this is what I needed Katie to see. This is how real families are......this is how it is when someone loves and cares about you. There can be disagreements of varying degrees, but the family unit continues on once they're worked out. You don't just up and cut off contact with people because they made you mad or hurt your feelings. Makes me sad that a whole year was lost, but that is not our fault. That was Katie's decision. But she has to learn how real families work. I'd say "normal" but well with the amount of difficult children in the family I'm not so sure that applies. lol Kayla is having issues at school because she doesn't get her homework turned in. Otherwise she is excelling in art and was asked to paint a portion of the school mural and is both super proud and excited about it. Alex is doing very well and according to his last meeting was working on a 3rd grade level at least in math skills. He's not thrilled that now his teacher expects real work out of him. He doesn't think it's fair. (typical difficult child) Evan is loving school this year and doing really well, is even keeping up with the class and reading. He stayed back in kindergarden and it looks as if it was the best thing for him. Katie has gained about 20-30 lbs. And while she is now a bit heavy........we were all glad to see it as she looks healthy. It's much better than the near gaunt she was when we last saw her. She didn't seem to have any issues talking and she laughed quite a bit. Used her own money shopping and even said she has the kids xmas nearly finished just some little odds and ends for stockings. Her eyes lit up when she said that. I also saw M.......and I did manage to be polite, even friendly. My grandma taught me well. To his credit he was polite as well. I can't say I out right hate the man but he's a pervert and nothing is going to change that. I do not and will never like the fact that my grandchildren share a home with him. I don't know what goes on in that house. I don't know for certain the relationship/hold he has on Katie. (I have a very good idea though) But that is Katie's problem, not mine. I can't fix her and I'm not going to try. I just planning on loving her and showing her that the best way I can. Maybe knowing her family loves and supports her regardless will someday give her the confidence to do what she needs to do. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. At soon to be 33 yrs old, Katie is the person she is.......either we love her and accept her or we don't. No one is perfect. I have not walked a mile in her shoes, heck I don't even know what all she's been through, so I have no right to judge. That is my new mantra when it comes to Katie. It is what it is. Bottom line is we all need someone to love us for who we are regardless of our faults. It was a really nice day all the way around. And now I have "officially" Katie's cell number.......because Nichole and I'll be calling her for get togethers in the near future.