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It’s Not Scary, It’s Pretty

children, Family, foster parenting By 08/01/2010 No Comments

I must confess, I was quite nervous about providing respite care this weekend. There is just no way to know what to expect out of foster children being placed in a temporary, new environment.

Big Brother and Little Sister hopped right out of the truck and uncertainly stood at my front door. Big Brother has autism; once the door was open, he let himself in and began to explore his new world for the next 24 hours. Little Sister wasn’t quite as brave, but she and Owen really hit it off and before too long, they were running around the house squealing with joy.

I was relieved.

I was told neither of them could swim without life jackets, so I decided to take them to the Y after lunch since they have several kiddie pool options. Little Sister and I went to Target in search of a little bathing suit on clearance; we found the perfect suit. Pink and red and white with little sparkley polka dots; she loved it.

The pool was a success but we had to leave after just over an hour because a storm was rolling in and it began to thunder. Dinner was corn dogs, tater tots, and applesauce; everyone ate well. My in-laws picked Owen up around 7:45pm and headed over to the church to get Joshua and Jesse before going home. Once Owen was gone, the kids sat beside me on the couch and we read four books. When we finished our stories, they brushed their teeth and got into their beds. As I tucked little sister into her bed, she looked up at me with a big smile on her face and said, “I’m not scared. This isn’t a scary room, it’s pretty.” My heart ached and my mind wandered as I remembered what their foster father told me of why they were removed from their biological mother’s care.


Severe neglect.

They were found living in squalor, left alone in a nasty rent-by-the week motel in the worst part of town. I can only imagine what they’ve seen, heard, smelled, and experienced.
By the grace of God, they are delightful, happy children.

By the end of the night, I was already Mommy.



New Babies and No Babies

children, Family By 07/29/2010 No Comments

We did not end up getting the two little foster children. We did however get another call yesterday with a placement of three: ages 2, 4, and 7. But we decided to stick with our “only under five” rule, so we said no. I think we’d be more open to consider a five or six year old if the oldest is a girl, but there are just too many risks as the foster boys get older (pertaining to sexual abuse unfortunately); we have to protect our children first.

I had the opportunity to bring lunch to a friend yesterday who just had her second child. His name is Isaiah and he’s so tiny and precious. I made chicken salad on croissants, fruit salad, and cookies. The best part was, I made a lot of everything so my kids and I could eat the same thing. I haven’t made chicken salad in a while, it was delicious and refreshing to eat by the pool after swimming lessons yesterday.

Today was the last day of swimming lessons. We came right home at 1:30, the kids ate lunch, and Owen went to bed. I got to work immediately on knocking a few things off of my Deep Cleaning/Re-Organizing to-do list. It was WONDERFUL!

I spent about an hour completely cleaning out and reorganizing my closet and Josh’s closet. Thank goodness, we have “his and hers” closets. They aren’t walk-ins, but they are both double door closets and it sure beats having to share! They look SOOooo much better now. I smile when I open the doors. πŸ™‚

I also cleaned out our coat closet, which still had afghans and winter coats in it. I found an empty rubbermaid bin and stored it all away for at least the next three months before having to pull them back out again. Believe it or not, every single one of my twenty-one rubbermaid bins is FULL! If I find anything else that needs to be stored, I’m going to have to buy a new bin! The main reason there are so many is because we have several bins full of miscellaneous sized boy and girl clothes, never knowing what foster children we’ll have and what they’ll need. The excess really drives me nuts!

I’m about to head over to Heather‘s house and help her finish cleaning her empty house and load up the camper. She and her six kids leave tomorrow in a big Chevy Express with a 30 foot camper in tow. Final destination: Washington, where they’ll welcome home Jason, who has been in Iraq for over 15 months.

I cannot imagine.

Please pray for Heather and her children as they travel over the next two weeks. They’ll make stops along the way to see friends and family, but it’s still unnerving being the only adult, traveling alone with six children, no man to help you out if you were to have any difficulties along the way. My kids and I are committed to praying for them every single day until they reach Washington. Will you join us?

Can you believe it will be August next week?? When does school start in your area? Our public schools go back ONE week from Monday!! That is just crazy to me! I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to our co-op starting up on August 24th. I love walking through the stores right now as their aisles are lined with school supplies. Walmart has some of the best deals on the necessities; crayons, pencils, notebook paper, folders, etc. I could stroll the school supply aisles for hours. I don’t know why it’s so nostalgic.

Tomorrow is Friday! Smile!



What A Great Idea

children, Family, Homeschooling, organization, Parenting By 05/16/2010 No Comments

These days, with six children, my organizational tendencies come and go…mostly GO.

However, I have been despising a certain pile of magazines on the floor in my room for some time now, and I decided it was “high time” to do something about it. My friend Mary inspired me when she showed me a notebook she had created for all of her take-out menus. She simply gathered their favorite take-out menus and put them all in sheet protectors in a nice, neat notebook. She’s even done the same thing for friends that were new to their area and weren’t familiar with the restaurants. I thought, “Hmmm, what a great idea. I may run with that!”

My pile of magazines consisted mostly of Family Fun, Better Homes and Gardens, Parenting, and Southern Living. Over the years I have dog-eared my favorite recipes, projects, crafts, decorating idea, etc. I decided to take the plunge and finish this project, knowing that in the end the magazines would be gone and I’d have the best of all of them in three organized notebooks!

I started by tearing out all the great ideas. I organized them by crafts, activities, holiday, recipes, and just plain great ideas (decorating, parenting, party planning, etc.). I purchased three notebooks and a few packages of sheet protectors and got to work. Here are the finished products. I’m quite happy with the results.

I hope this helps someone out there who has been hoarding magazines for fear of throwing away a really great article or idea!

Happy Organizing!


Fun In The Sun….And A Puddle Of Mud

children, Family By 05/13/2010 No Comments

My sister-in-law, Erin, came over on Tuesday and washed her car. Of course, when there’s sun and water, my boys are IN IT! They quickly got their bathing suits on and splashed in the nasty, muddy, soapy puddle that grew and grew where our driveway dips. They had a blast.

Can you tell Owen is in mid-air in this picture? I told him to jump and this is what I captured. And thank goodness he’s positioned just ‘so’ because Joshua’s new swim shorts are a bit too big and you would’ve otherwise seen a half moon!! πŸ™‚

I must say, the time Erin spent at my house while the kids were all outside (or napping) was such a blessing! She was here for about an hour and a half. The boys had a blast and didn’t come inside once. That allowed me to sit at the computer, write a few posts, check my email, and read a few of my favorite blogs; all things that do not happen very often anymore! Thank you for that sweet gift Erin! πŸ™‚

Have a Fabulous Thursday!! I’m off to Field Day at Jesse’s school!



Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

children, foster parenting, Parenting By 05/11/2010 No Comments

I got a call from the children’s DFCS worker yesterday to inform me that things seem to be working out with their aunt afterall and it looks like the children could be moved next week.

This time does seem more promising, but I’m trying not to let us all start thinking towards “the kids will be gone by next weekend.” It is so devastating to Big Sister when she thinks she’s going ‘home’ one day, and the next she’s told nevermind, you’re staying put.

We sure will miss these children. It’s so strange to think that there could, and will likely be, new children in our home within a few weeks. My prayer is that God is moving these children out to make room for our girls!

We had visitation yesterday and things went very well. Mom even told me I did a great job on Sister’s hair. She didn’t even believe Sister when she first told her that I did it! LOL! Yes, this white girl has learned a thing or two over the last six or eight months.

Only time will tell whether they’re staying or going. I say I’m trusting the Lord, but to be perfectly honest, I’m quite nervous about what’s next…since it’s unknown territory. Will we get the girls? Will our next placement be as young as we like? Should I say NO to a placement if they try to give us children over the age of five for the safety of my own children? I’ll just have to keep leaning on the Lord and the wisdom He gives Josh and me in this roller coaster of a thing we call ‘our life‘.



A 10 Point Manifesto for Joyful Mothering

children, Parenting By 05/10/2010 No Comments

If you’ve never read A Holy Experience, you’re really missing out. She is an excellent writer and her heart for the Lord is sure to bless you. Her post entitled A 10 Point Manifest for Joyful Mothering made me weep. I don’t know why.

Maybe because I’m about to start my period, so I’m ridiculously emotional right now.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been beating myself up lately with the terrible job I’m doing being patient and gentle with my children.

Maybe because the encouragement I found in this post was heaven-sent and I plan to print a few copies and read them daily until they become second nature.

What a blessing.

Please read it.