Butte couple adopts five siblings

“It is my quintuple pleasure,” attorney Mary Kay Starin says in this heartwarming story about a day of adoptions in Butte.

The five siblings were removed from their birth parents’ home by Child Protective Services and placed with the LaPiers, who are relatives, on a foster-case basis at first. Nearly three years later, the day of adoption has arrived.

Congrats to all!

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10 acts of kindness

Lately I’ve been focusing on helping my two children get along with each other better. They have a pretty typical sibling dynamic going on, as far as I can see. They love each other, and they prefer each other’s company most of the time. But they also compete for my attention and get on each other’s nerves.

So in an effort to draw their attention more toward the positive behaviors in their sibling relationship, I made a chart. Every time I catch one of them being particularly kind to the other, I write it down. When we get to 10, we all go do something super-special as a family – and they get to decide, together, what that will be.

There’s no time limit or time frame. I’ve lost track of how many times they’ve filled up 10 slots on the chart, but I know they keep track. They’ve gone weeks without me filling in a single line, and then they’ve poured out 10 acts of kindness toward each other in a matter of days.

Most recently, Willow used her own money at the grocery store to surprise Landon with two Hot Wheels cars on Thanksgiving. It was her own idea, start to finish; her way of expressing gratitude for her brother. Of course I wrote it down on the chart, and what do you know but that brought us to 10 acts of kindness.

The kids picked going to a movie, so we all went and saw “Frozen” the day after Thanksgiving. It was probably the highlight of our entire weekend – which was a highlight in and of itself.

I can hardly wait to start a new chart.

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Sweet little everythings

Willow and Landon usually get along pretty well together, but when they don’t get along – they REALLY don’t get along. Times like that, I wonder about the strength of their relationship. I worry about what that relationship will be like in the future.

But then one of Willow’s friends will accidentally break her reading glasses, and while she cries over their loss Landon will bring her the 3-D glasses he got from the theater (which she turned down), then one of his Hot Wheels cars (also turned down), and then finally his very favorite stuffed animal that he sleeps with every night (and which Willow doesn’t want either).

And for his birthday, Willow made him this card:


Dear Landon,

You are the best brother I could ever have. Sometimes you are like a fighting tiger, and other times you are like a calm lion that never gives up. I hope you have a awesome birthday.

Love, Willow




This morning on the playground, a friend asked Willow why her 6-year-old brother was making “those weird noises.”

I quote her exact response: “He’s happy. That’s his joyful noise.”

Her friend continued to look confused, so she added helpfully, “Landon has music in his soul.”

Times like these, I think they understand each other in a way nobody but a brother or sister could.

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