Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hiking Without Phones

Over Spring Break we didn't do a lot as a whole family, Ben was out of town, kids planned different activities with different people. Luke and Owen got to spend a couple of days with Memere and Pappa Lloyd. So before school came back and I lost the opportunity I planned a day out at Sweet Creek Park where some of the third Hunger Games was filmed. That was my incentive to the big kids anyway, encouraging them to check it out with me. It was a beautiful day, we packed a picnic lunch, and drove out there. When we got there I took all the cell phones and locked them in the center counsel. It was fantastic!!! I didn't feel like I might be  needed elsewhere no one was looking at some random anything, we were just there. Beau was reluctant, I didn't have to pry it from his hand but it was close. Overall we had a great day, and just enjoyed facetime together.

He tolerates me.

Mating Lizards, a science lesson on the trail.

Checking out a giant sink hole, Atlanta may be falling apart.

One might think that they are looking at their phones, but no they are each looking at something from nature and talking to each other. These two have always been good friends, but they won't admit it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Ins and Outs of Foster Parenting

As of January Ben and I were officially recognized by the state of Georgia as foster parents. After several calls and then no children entering our home, we received a sibling group into our home at the beginning of March. They stayed for a month, then we received another sibling pair who stayed for a week. We have had three calls this week that were not right for our family, I prayerfully have to remember that not every child will work with out crazy schedule and there are some rules and regulations that we have to follow like sleeping arrangements so we can't accept two boys. Saying no is the hardest thing I have to do.
I titled this post the ins and outs of fostering because part of me feels like we have a revolving door and when the children come in so much is brought to our family. Then they leave and out goes a piece of our hearts. Each child has something to share with us and we pray we are sharing something with each child. I have learned so much these past few months I'm going to attempt to share a little here so that I remember as the weeks go on what the first few months were like.

"Tough love" isn't just a phrase it's an action that takes more of you then you realize, but leaves you with deep hope for what you are planting into the child who is receiving it.

Night time story time is so much more than I ever thought, it's decompression, it's security, it's routine, it's the same book over and over sometimes adding new words to help close the day.

Stopping to remember the good things about the day is important, making the child say them out loud is important, some children don't know how to focus on the good things, it is a learned skill, and one that sometimes needs relearned.

Little feet can fill big shoes and sometimes a 2 year old makes you realize there is a big life out there and you only have this moment.

The same 2 year old can show you that the tall skinny 15 year old has a heart buried underneath all that teenage angst and isn't immune to said 2 year old wrapping his arms around his neck and holding on. This was a moment I won't forget because the toddler had shown very few physical attachment moments up to that time, and choosing to show it to Beau surprised us all.

Sometimes 4 year old attitudes are bigger than you ever thought possible, but take pleasure in the small victories and know when to let go, control isn't real, life is real make it happy.

The feeling when they leave your care is one of emptiness and it's heavy and oppressing and brings you to your knees, right where God wants you.

When new children come you don't forget the old ones, the list just grows and your heart gets fuller.

It doesn't matter what that baby in your arms  look like when you are feeding them a bottle all you feel is that connection, of this is "the least of these" and Jesus is with you.

The unknown is scarier and bigger but God is greater and if you let Him He will take it all in His hands and only give you joy.

There has been a lot of difficult moments in this process moments when I wasn't sure we were supposed to keep going forward and I had intended to write about some of those, but then I started writing and I can only think of the good moments, the ones that will stay forever in my heart and the children that put them there that are forever in our prayers.

These children come with one basic need to be loved, however we have also learned that the extra things that come up can add up so I've started 31 again, every cent goes towards providing for our foster children. Right now we need some baby gates, not something I have used many times in my life but has become a necessity now. Starting tomorrow there is an outlet sale at 31 if you feel inclined please visit my facebook page and you will find a link there tomorrow for the sale. or

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to get better about blogging as life is moving fast.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Owen's Homework

Owen had 11 lists of 20 sight words that he had to be able to read without messing up. He passed list 11 on Thursday so he is done for this year, thank goodness. He stresses way too much about these words. He practices writing them on the white board of his easel, he's a very visual learner so he loves his easel.

Kids Mopping

A few more pictures of the updated kitchen with kids working on their snow (except there wasn't any) day.

We've Been Busy

Before Christmas Bentook all the doors off and last week we took out all the drawers, we stripped them, stained and lacquered and now we have an updated kitchen. Aunt Christine and Uncle Ken gave us the Noah's Ark cookie jar for Christmas which found a perfect home on the open shelf. Aunt Christine filled it with ginger snaps last week but they only lasted two days. I have all the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies so that's the plan for tomorrow. Tonight we have a dinner in the crock pot and all counter tops are cleared and shiny.
In the midst of the kitchen updo we had a great friend in need of a table for her new apartment. We had an oak table in bad shape that could easily be used if it had a little love. Our problem was Ben and I were so busy with the kitchen we had no time to give the table. Beau and Anna solved the problem, cleaning and sanding the table before painting it. They painted the base black and the tabletop white. Our friends found matching chairs and I think it looks great plus I'm really proud of Beau and Anna for stepping up and getting it done with minimal supervision. Guess they have learned something from their dad over the years even though they might deny that. Now on to the next project which is singing the basement. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

 Today is my mom's 60th birthday. I really wish I was there to celebrate with her, but over the last 20 years I think I have missed all her birthdays. Some people get huge parties for their birthday or a great gift, my mom didn't get that and she would never ask for it, she's happy just to get time with her family whenever she can get it. So this is her birthday gift, the things I've learned from my mom.

1. I've learned her faith in God has carried her through and her prayers have carried me (and my siblings) through more times then we will ever know.

2. I've learned how to love unconditionally.

3. I've learned to forgive because I love.

4. I've learned it is possible for someone to love my kids as much as I do because she does.

5. I've learned she might not always say the right thing or do the right thing but she's always got my back.

6. I've learned in letting go she gave me the confidence I needed to create the life I have and I too will be able to let my kids go one day.

7. I've learned sometimes she has faked it til she made it, but nobody knew it because she's that good at faking.

8. I've learned in putting others first she finds happiness.

9. I've learned she's not perfect but her love for me is.

10. I've learned I'm incredibly thankful for the person she is and the role she played in making me the person I am and the role she has played in the lives of my children.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Michigan Artwork

Anna spent over an hour creating this masterpiece in the driveway at my parents house in Michigan. She is super proud of it.