Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mice


We live in the country, and our house is apparently not entirely mouse-proof.  Every winter with the cold weather comes the start of a battle between the mice and I.  I use traps and usually can keep them at bay with only a few fatalities.

Anyway, a couple nights ago I woke up with a bad backache during the night.  I staggered into the master bathroom and reached for the Advil bottle in my medicine cabinet.  Alas my coordination is at its worst in the  middle of the night and I felt a pill slip from my hand to the floor.  In my sleepy fog I decided to leave it there and take care of it in the morning.

Several hours later I awoke to a scuffling noise in our bathroom.  Mice!  I lay there wishing they would die of old age or some other natural cause.  Pretty soon I heard another noise.  A nasty grating chewing noise.  What on earth were they doing?  It sounded like they were eating my drywall.  (Noises in the middle of the night are SO LOUD.)

I must have drifted back to sleep, and in the morning I immediately thought about the Advil on my floor.  I searched everywhere for it and couldn't find it.  I even swept the floor, but no Advil.

Did the mice eat my Advil?

I wonder if a mouse can survive 200 milligrams of ibuprofen.

I hope not. :)



Monday, December 3, 2012

This Morning

So far I've.........

changed 2 diapers

washed a load of "wet" bedding

served breakfast

given two baths

started homeschoooling

settled two arguments 

negotiated with a toddler

kissed hubby on his way out the door

and it's not even 9:00am!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Funny

Disclaimer--this is a nitty gritty mommy post--if you have a weak stomach you might want to skip it.




One of the things that I love about homeschooling is the tolerance and patience it builds in both my life and the life of my children.

For example:

Today I was burping Sugar Pea while my 8 year old son recited subtraction facts to me.

Sugar Pea is not a silent diaper filler.

As she grunted away merrily her brother never missed a beat in his recitation.

He simply pinched his nose between his thumb and forefinger in anticipation of the smell that would soon follow.

For some reason listening to subtraction facts in a nasal tone amused me.

I didn't want to break his concentration however--so I tried to suppress my humor.

It didn't work--I started to shake with choked back laughter.

After a few seconds of this the scholar turned to me with a pained expression and said "Moooom."

:)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Taco Rice Casserole

DSCN1433


More comfort food!

I will admit that this casserole takes a little while to put together--but it is so worth the effort!

I have one child who is not overly fond of cornbread in any shape or form, and yet likes this casserole moderately well.

First Layer:

1 pound hamburger fried

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1 medium onion diced

16 ounces tomato juice

1 cup cooked rice

Fry the hamburger with the diced onion and then add the taco seasoning.  Stir in the rice and tomato juice, and spread the mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.

Second Layer:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Stir these three together and spread over the hamburger mixture in the 13 x 9 pan.

Third Layer:

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon oil

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

Mix the first four ingredients together in a bowl.  Beat the egg, oil and milk lightly in another bowl and then stir the two mixtures together.  Spoon the cornbread mixture on the top of your 13 x 9 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Seriously?

Do you ever have a day that turns out nothing like you planned?

Every Monday and Friday I leave the house at noon to take Sugar Pea to a town 45 minutes away for her birth parent visits.  

They last two hours and I usually spend the time shopping.

The fact that this occurs right during my 2 and 3 year olds nap time does not make for happy moments in the store, but we cope.

Anyway, this past Monday I loaded up the van with my munchkins and headed south.

We arrived around 1pm and I dropped off Sugar Pea at the agency.

I drove across the street to a shopping plaza and was unloading children when my cell phone rang.

It was the foster agency--apparently the birth parents forgot what day of the week it was and could not come to their visit--their words not mine.

Soooo I loaded everyone back in the van and picked up Sugar Pea and drove 45 minutes home.

Seriously?

They forgot what day of the week it was?

Sigh




Friday, November 23, 2012

Fit For A Queen Soup


DSCN1423

If you are trying to figure out what to do with all the leftover turkey this soup is a tasty alternative to turkey sandwiches.

4 cups chicken or turkey broth

1/2 cup chopped onion 

1 teaspoon salt

Simmer together until onion is tender.

4 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

Make a white sauce while the onion and broth are simmering.

Mix the broth and white sauce together and add...

2 cups diced chicken or turkey

2 to 4 chopped hard boiled eggs

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat gently, but do not boil.

Don't be scared of the thought of hard boiled eggs in a soup--it's really a true comfort food kind of dish.






Sunday, November 18, 2012

Harry?







My three year old is completely absorbed with pretend phone conversations.

His "phone voice" is LOUD--normally he is soft-spoken so this makes all of his phone play funny.

A normal conversation goes something like this.............

"HI GRANDMA?  ARE YOU THERE (fake laugh) YEAH (more fake laughter) ARE YOU AT HOME?  BYE!"

Bangs phone back on the hook, and is immediately snatched back up to his ear.

"HI  I'D LIKE A PEPPERONI PIZZA AND A CHEESEBURGER--THANKS!"

Most of the time I tune him out, but yesterday his conversation was different.

It went like this.............

"HARRY?  CAN YOU HEAR ME?  HARRY ARE YOU THERE?  HARRRRRRRYYYYYYY."

He doesn't know any Harry's. :)














Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sugar Pea


DSCN1419



I think I have the best job in the world!








Thursday, November 1, 2012

Etsy continued


Last time I told you that I was enjoying my window-shopping in a certain etsy shop.

Anyway I finally made a purchase--actually I made two--but I'm only writing about one today.

I collect teapots, and although I have about fifteen of them I have only one other teapot that's blue and white.

This particular blue and white beauty caught my eye in Betsy's shop. 

It arrived in excellent shape and in a very timely manner.

Isn't it pretty?




Have you bought anything from an etsy shop?





Friday, October 26, 2012

Etsy--how I love Thee


Before I became a mommy one of my favorite things to do was browse antique stores.  I know that may seem odd to those of you who have been in my home because I don't have a lot of antiquey furniture or knick knacks sitting around.

The truth of the matter is I rarely made a purchase, but I loved to wander and look, and literally lose myself in all the junk treasures.

However, since I have I family, I don't go near antique stores very often anymore.  Antique dealers tend to frown on toddlers careening through their breakables, and I can't afford broken porcelain chamber pots.

Etsy shops have become my "mommy friendly" alternative.  I browse through the junk treasures to my hearts content, and the chamber pots are safe. :)

I have a couple favorite shops, but until last week I had never made a purchase.

...............to be continued.





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's New

I haven't posted for quite a while--mostly because life has been rolling on without much extra time or brain cells for blogging.

Sweet Pea is getting chubby and is very close to rolling over.  She is a little over 4 months old.

My two year old has graduated to a toddler bed--he is doing pretty well with that.  Stays in bed most of the time.

Three year old has had a lot of anxiety this fall--I've been trying to figure out some activities for him to do during home school.

My seven year old is doing very well with second grade--surpassing his and my expectations for this year.

My nine year old is having some allergy issues that come with the fall, but is doing well with school, and amazing me with his maturity.

And me...............well I'm struggling with all the gray fall weather.  The leaves, and temperatures are dropping and I'm trying to find a balance in my days.

I've been browsing a certain etsy shop, and recently made a purchase.....I'll share that with you when it arrives. :)

I've also been trying some new recipes that I'd like to share with you--yummy fall comfort food!

So, what's new with all of you?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cleaning the Coop With Grace





I did something I really enjoy doing yesterday.

I cleaned out my chicken coop.

I don't know if it's the satisfaction of seeing something so utterly filthy become tidy and livable again.

Or, if it's the fact that I spent several hours outside.

Or that I completely exhausted myself with a physical job.

Whatever it is I LOVE IT!

I get this feeling every time I clean the coop.

My chickens on the other hand do not appreciate my efforts.

They peer suspiciously at the fresh bedding and refuse to enter their clean home.

It looks different.

It might be scary.

The dry bedding might feel weird to their little chicken feet.

They liked the manure-filled mess they were living in better than the fresh redeemed home I offered them at no personal cost.

Why does all of this sound vaguely familiar?

Jesus daily offers me a fresh portion of grace at no cost to me personally.

I ponder it suspiciously, and wonder, am I good enough for this beautiful gift?

I didn't do anything to deserve it.

It might feel scary to my heart.

I think I would rather wander around in the "manure" of yesterdays mistakes.


 "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"


Ephesians 2:4-9



By the way, I only feel this way about MY chicken coop I would get no wonderful sense of accomplishment from cleaning out yours. :)





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Signs of Autumn


There is something about morning light filtering through the trees onto my bedding that reminds me of autumn.






Our slowly filling woodshed is another sign.

~~~~~~

 Have you seen any signs of Fall?




Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stinker



RSCN1375
See that little blond fellow on the far right?

Well, he just turned two, and he is out to prove it to the world.

He threw all my baby bottle nipples in the trash yesterday.

I had JUST WASHED them.

Given a chance he will sit in mud puddles--

flush bathtub plugs down the toilet--

stop the dishwasher mid-cycle, 

and generally cause chaos wherever he goes.

When you scold him for something his response is to shout "All right!"

He recently discovered that wacking people with a fly swatter is much more exciting than killing flies.

But when he asks me if he can kiss the baby, and gently brushes her tiny cheek with his pudgy lips..........

my heart melts. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An Angel in Jeans


I am a pretty sluggish person by nature.  My husband and I joke that if my blood pressure was much lower I would be in a constant coma.  I combat this with a good multivitamin, and coffee.

I've tried different brands of vitamins over the years, and rejected them for one reason or another.  Then a couple years ago a friend told me about these, and I LOVE them.  They have a lot of B vitamins in them which help with energy, and enables me to handle stress well.  I don't like to ever be without them.

I can buy them locally, but if I purchase them online they are half the price--so I get four or five bottles at once.  I knew that I needed to reorder them soon, but in the back of my mind I was sure I had one more bottle.

On Saturday morning I tossed down my vitamins, threw away the empty bottle, and went to the cupboard to get the new one.  Imagine my irritation when I remembered that I had sold a friend a bottle, and it was my last one. 

I immediately ordered more online, but typically it takes about four days for them to arrive.  My husband kindly offered to buy a bottle in town that afternoon, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  

Due to a number of delays by the time he reached the health food store they were closed.   I was frustrated, but resigned myself to wait for my order to arrive.

On Sunday night my baby started coughing and running a fever, and by Monday afternoon I knew she should see a doctor.  In our town there are no 24 hour clinics so the only option is the emergency room.  I made the required call to my caseworker, and waited for my husband to come home and watch the other children.

By now my lack of vitamins was catching up with me.  I felt like I was wading mud, and I threw up a desperate prayer that the health food store would be open on Labor Day--

It wasn't.  

Then I remembered that my friend takes the same vitamins, and I called her to see if she had an extra bottle.  She did, and we agreed to meet when I got done in the emergency room.

When you live in a small town--with no walk in clinic, and you take your baby to the emergency room--on a holiday you will be there

 a

 looooong

 time. 

 Four hours later I walked out of the hospital and gave up on the vitamins. It was too late to meet my friend.  I will just have to be tired for the next four days I thought.

I drove home, fixed a bottle for the baby, and settled in the corner of the couch.  

My dear husband had fed the other munchkins, and tucked two of them in bed.  

My laundry sat unfinished, there were dishes waiting in the sink, and my baby was still sick.

As I sat there thinking of everything I needed to do yet there was a knock at my door.

My son opened it and there stood my friend, and her husband, with the bottle of vitamins in their hands.  

To fully appreciate this story you should know that my friends husband is a tow truck driver.  He had worked two 24 hour shifts over the week-end, and was finally heading home to sleep.

He drove out of his way to go home and get the vitamins, and then come back and bring them to me.

He looked terrible--his eyes were bloodshot--his shirt had been slept in, and his jeans were dirty.

But to me he looked like an angel.






Monday, September 3, 2012

Night Owl







I love sleep, and I need quite a bit of it to feel my best--7 to 8 hours a night.

However, as a mom, I rarely sleep a full night without interruption.

Currently my baby has a cold, and her congested breathing often wakes me with a start.

I used to dread this.

I would go to bed at night praying "Please help them sleep--so that I can too!"

I have learned some strategies though for "night prowling" with a baby or toddler that make it easier.

Prepare--if you know that your baby will need medicine, a bottle, a drink etc during the night put it beside your bed so you can grab it quickly if they wake up.


Relax--if you are walking the floor with the baby resist the urge to look at the clock and repeatedly calculate  how much sleep you are missing.  A tense mother doesn't help a baby go back to sleep.


Enjoy--snuggle your little one while you can--before you know it they will not need you during the night.


Distract--sometimes I read a book with a low light on, and before I know it my little one is snoring again.


Pray--I do some of my best praying at night--often at night I think of some of our friends who live (literally) on the other side of the world, and who are awake and working at that very moment.


What are some of your strategies for coping with wakefulness at night?








Friday, August 31, 2012

Do You Need a Safe Place




I was chatting on the phone with a friend yesterday, and she mentioned that their home seems full of turmoil lately.  

I told her that very recently at a court hearing for our newest arrival I felt so anxious, and my mind and the courtroom itself felt the same way.

During this time the verse below kept running through my mind.

There is great power in God's name!

If you are having turmoil in your life think of it like the picture above--high in the hills--above all the circumstances--is a strong tower

Run to it!!!!!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

The righteous run to it and are safe. 

Proverbs 18:10

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yikes

We are starting our school year next Tuesday.

I'm feeling a bit of panic.

I have a nine week old baby.

My two year old is acting his age--think flopping on the floor and screaming when life doesn't go his way. :(

I'm still taking baby to two birth parent visits a week which removes about 5 hours from my week.

Oh, and my canning is not done.

However............

I'm ready for the more scheduled days.

The quiet mornings when all that can be heard is pencils scratching.

The restful afternoons when the little ones nap and the older ones have quiet time.

In the words of my oldest son.......

"Summer was fun, but I'm ready for school."






Monday, August 27, 2012

Smile


DSCN1365

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home

We recently returned from a several-day trip out of state.

We pulled in our driveway in the half-dusk, and I peered anxiously out the window at our house like I was seeing it for the first time.

It looked like a mansion!!!!

As I staggered up the porch steps with a baby on one arm and an over-full diaper bag on the other I felt like a queen.

I was home!

Maybe the reason this hit me so hard was that I haven't always felt this way.

There were seasons in my life when I would have rather been anywhere but at my house.

I'm not really sure what changed that.

Over time my home has become a haven for me.

A "safe place" where my family can hide when life gets rough.

It's not perfect--there are dust bunnies, clutter, and noise.

.......but it's home!

As I thought about this while sorting through the suitcases it hit me.


Maybe this is what heaven feels like--like going home!



Friday, August 10, 2012

Sacrifice





Currently I'm struggling with something.

Every year our church has camp meetings just across the state line about 150 miles from where we live.

I've been attending quite regularly since I was a baby.

This year and last year we've had to miss them.

To go out of the state with a foster child requires written permission from the birth parents.

We already had a wedding this month that required an out-of-state permission slip.

Birth mom is not real cooperative about this, and we figured once a month was pushing it.

The sweet little gal who is currently snoozing in my arms is totally worth this.

But there is a part of me that struggles with this.

Being a parent is hard.

You will miss important events because your children are sick.

You will lose sleep, dignity, and privacy.

It just comes with the territory.


~~~~~~~~~






Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Little Boys

Upon hearing a bit of scuffling in my younger boys bedroom this morning I entered To get them up.


"Good morning" I sang out cheerfully, and this is what I heard in reply.


"I poop!!!!" (from the two year old)


"I didn't pee the bed mom!" (from the three year old)


Bodily functions are a big part of their world right now. :)



Saturday, August 4, 2012

Things I'm Happy For This Saturday 6







Haven't posted one of these in a while. :)


My Washer and Dryer I can't even estimate how much time these two appliances save me.


Children waking up happy  My almost two year old is always cheery in the morning--snuggling with me and saying "Luf oo mom"


Garden Produce We don't have a garden of our own this year, but so many of our friends have blessed us with their bounty--thank you!!!!


My Case Worker She went on vacation this past week, and I truly missed her--I know case workers sometimes get a bad rap, but this one is a GEM!!!!


A Husband Who Understands I've had a number of days this past week that I didn't accomplish much--due to a baby that wanted to be held, and he never complained once--just pitched in and helped when he got home after working all day in the heat--he's one of a kind!!!!


What makes you happy today?





Friday, August 3, 2012

In A Nutshell





Sometimes I feel like my life is on a carousel that is spinning out of control.  It is going faster and faster, and I can't get off--nor do I really want to--and I can't slow it down.

Currently Sweet Pea ( our newest foster placement ) is getting three birth-parent visits a week.  I transport her to two of them, and they take place in a town about 45 minutes away--so I spend about three hours a week driving.

Thankfully both of these visits take place late in the afternoon--a time of day when I'm not very productive anyway, but sometimes it seems like all I do is run out the door.

I would have to say that birth-parent visits are one of the more difficult parts of foster parenting for me.  They tend to be stressful, and confusing for the children often causing fussiness, acting out, and sleep issues afterward.

I try to constantly remind myself to put myself in the birth parents shoes, and think how happy they are to see their little ones.  When I have to travel a distance for the visits I pray for the birth parents during the drive.

That's my thoughts in a nutshell right now.










Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Freezer Pickles



We are a pickle-loving family.  My hubby, and children enjoy them both as a snack or as a side to a meal.

During the winter we first tried these tasty pickles at a friends house.  My husband LOVED them.  He kept exclaiming how good they were.

That's usually a pretty good hint that I need to get the recipe.

I'm happy to say they are as easy to make as they are to consume!


Mix together

8 cups thinly sliced cucumbers

2 cups thinly sliced onions

2 Tablespoons salt

Let this mixture stand for thirty minutes, and then drain off the excess liquid.

In the meantime mix together

2 cups of sugar

3/4 cup of vinegar

Stir until sugar is dissolved.

After you drain your cucumbers, pour the sugar and vinegar brine over them and stir.

Fill freezer boxes and press down to make sure the liquid covers the cucumbers.

Thaw for several hours in the refrigerator before serving.

This recipe yields approximately 3 pints of pickles.







Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Birthday








Yesterday was my mom's birthday.  I won't tell her age because I'm pretty sure she doesn't want all of blog world knowing that.

When my mom was..... er, over 40, she found out that somewhat unexpectedly she was pregnant.  I'm pretty certain she thought her days of babies were over, and then I came along.

I am her only daughter, and perhaps the source of quite a few grey hairs on her head.

Funny thing is. I never heard her complain about starting over with a baby in her 40's, but then again I haven't heard her complain about much of anything over the years.  She is one of the most patient people I know.

Sometime in my early teens my relationship with my mom changed to more of a friendship.  The older I get the more that is true.

Almost every day I talk to her on the phone as I finish my morning coffee.

We talk about the weather, how well we slept the night before, and what we need to accomplish that day.

Simple things, and yet so important.

We laugh about the funny things my children have said or done.

Our relationship is comfortable---like a broken-in chair.

I hope that I am as good a mother to my children as she has been to me.


Happy Birthday Mom--hope your day was special!







Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interview

Many of the blogs that I enjoy are written by people that I have never met.  However, Joyful Maiden is an exception.  I grew up with Esther's mom, and my husband worked with her dad for a couple of years.  Several years ago her family moved to New Zealand, and we now keep up with one another's lives via blogs, and the occasional email.  She is doing an interview on her blog, and I thought it would be fun to join.


Question 1: Give us your name (not last name for safety reasons), age (optional), location, hobbies, interests, etc. Basically, introduce yourself! :)
My name is Rebecca, I'm 33 years old, and I live in midwestern Michigan.  I am a mom to two adopted sons--9 & 7, and 2 foster sons--2 & 1 (whom we are currently adopting), and one foster daughter--1 month old.  I enjoy taking care of my family, reading, blogging, sewing, and gardening.

Question 2: How did you become born again?
I was in a church service where the pastor was preaching about Jesus' death and crucifixion.  I realized that my sins were a part of the pain He endured, and I responded to the invitation that was given at the end of the service.  I was ten years old. 

Question 3: What is your current walk with the Lord like?
He is my reason for living!  I wouldn't make it through one day without Him!


Question 4: How do you help and serve your family?
Well, I am a teacher, bus driver, foster mom, chef, housekeeper, conflict resolver, cheerleader, counselor, etc.................


Question 5: How do you serve others?
I try to be an encourager through my blog.


Question 6: What are some of your favourite things?
My family, reading, and chocolate. :)


Question 7: What are some of your struggles?
I struggle daily with patience, and with finding a balance between my schedule, and real life.

Question 8: What encouragement do you have to give?
My grandma once told me "now is the best time of your life--enjoy it"  I think this could apply to any age or stage in life.  







Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lullaby

I've been singing to babies for almost nine years now.

There's something soothing to both momma and baby about a soft song.

I sometimes just hum a never-ending medley of tunes, but there are a few songs that I have sung to every one of my children.

"Follow the Path of Jesus" --this is a hymn, but it is also my prayer for my children.

"That Little Boy of Mine"--I'm told that my Grandma sang this song to her children.  You can use the link below to listen to it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8o-9wjVHIo&feature=related

"Jesus Loves Me"--one of the first songs our children learn to sing themselves.

What are your favorite lullabies?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Family





Having a place to go - is a home.  Having someone to love - is a family.  Having both - is a blessing.  ~Donna Hedges





Monday, July 16, 2012

Update


"Sweet Pea" is sleeping four hours at a time at night---bliss for mamma. :)

Some foster placements feel seamless, and this is one of those.

I will blog post more as we get into a better routine.

I've taken up baby wearing as a new hobby. :)

Don't babies smell so good?--even my older boys think so. :)

The intense heat this summer has made me start using my crockpot almost more than my stove.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pink


Now you know when I post a picture of marbles it usually indicates that something exciting is going on with us as a foster family.

This post is no exception. :)

On Wednesday of this past week I got a phone call from our case worker.

She was almost giddy sounding which struck me as a little uncharacteristic.

She told me that the birth mom of our two younger boys just had a baby girl.

She wondered if we would be interested in fostering her.

I had to think about it for a long while...........NOT.

I nearly shouted YES!!!

So after a five week break we are back in the saddle with a teeny five pound baby girl.




Thursday, June 28, 2012

God's Timing




God has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patience and it takes a lot of faith. but it’s worth the wait. ♥

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baked Beans

 
Have you ever tasted baked beans that were so flavorful and sweet that you could serve them for a main course?

  This is actually my sister-in-law's recipe, and she is so famous for them that we tease her that she can't come to our family reunion unless she brings her baked beans. :)


1 (48 ounce) can of Great White Northern Beans drained slightly 

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 pound of bacon fried and drained ( or you can use the prefried variety )

Splash of molasses

After you drain the beans mix all the ingredients in a baking dish.  Bake at 300 degrees for at least 2-3 hours--more is better--the flavors blend more the longer you bake it.  Serve with your favorite picnic menu.

Do you have a favorite baked bean recipe?  If you do feel free to put a link to it in the comments.  I enjoy trying new recipes!


Monday, June 25, 2012

ABC's of Motherhood







~~~~~~

M is for "Make The Best of It"

~~~~~~


Motherhood has a way of handing out some tough challenges.  Some of us have children with special needs that we never imagined when we pictured being a mom.  Some of are facing financial challenges that are stretching us.  Some of us may be experiencing marriage problems.

While I'm not suggesting we stick our heads in the sand I think some of life's problems are best faced with a bit of common sense.  If we spend all our time bemoaning what "might have been" we aren't putting our heart into making it better.

That child whose struggles frustrate us isn't helped by a mother who is in a state of depression.  The financial struggles aren't improved if we gripe about what we can't afford, and most marriages aren't helped by wishing that we had married prince charming.

Find a mom who has a child with similar special needs, and ask her for some input with your child.  Look online for tips on saving money and budgeting what income you have.  If your marriage is faltering talk to your minister about some quality marriage counseling, and in the meantime try praying for your spouse no matter how much they are frustrating you right now.

Most importantly commit to not communicating negatively about whatever is challenging you.  You should talk about it, but if you are constantly complaining about it the issue can become a mountain.

I am by no means an expert on any of the three challenges that I wrote about, but I have experienced all three at different times in my life.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Like Spaghetti




Some days my thoughts feel all tangled up like spaghetti.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Breakfast

 
A cinnamon raisin bagel with a cold cup of milk


The perfect breakfast for a warm summer morning.


What did you have for breakfast?

Monday, June 18, 2012

ABC's of Motherhood





~~~~~~

  1. L is for "Laughter"
~~~~~~


There is something about maintaining a sense of humor that makes the more intense difficult days of being a mother more bearable.  In fact I have a theory that some of the best mothers are the one's who can laugh at the worst circumstances.

I have a good friend who has children that are just a few years older than mine.  One day as we chatted on the phone I could hear whoops of laughter coming from the background--somebody was obviously having a very good time.  When I inquired she told me that her children were sliding down the stairs on a crib mattress. 

As I silently pondered the damage to the mattress and the stairs she added that she wanted them to clean out from under their beds, and she saw this activity as a means to an end.

I learned an excellent lesson that day in just enjoying the moment.  Eventually this mom would put an end to the mattress surfing, and they would start cleaning, but in the meantime she was laughing with them.

Now it's your turn--what are some of the best laughs you've had lately--either with, or at your children.




Friday, June 15, 2012

Randomness

We're in the middle of two weeks of Vacation Bible School.

My oldest is having a flair-up of asthma-like symptoms.

I'm tired.

The weather is very hot--upper 90's.

I need to go grocery shopping, and lack the motivation to do it. ( How pathetic is that?)

My brain feels like there are cobwebs in it.

When that feeling goes away I'll try to blog more.

What's new with all of you?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Second Son





This morning I saw his blue eyes sparkle as he watched a plumber pull a hairbrush from our toilet.  Instead of being appalled he was fascinated, and I smiled. 

He is my ever curious son who pushes every button, and dismantles every toy just to see what will happen.

I sometimes wonder who, or what he will be when he grows up. 

He has caused me a lot of worry in his seven years because he tends to do first, and think later.

Sleep is an unnecessary nuisance to him.

He is the last to go to sleep and the first awake--life is much too interesting to waste sleeping.

If I lose something (and I frequently do) I always ask him first, and often he knows where it is. 

He is my official "baby watcher."  When I have a job that requires a lot of concentration he is the one I ask to help with the little ones. 

In personality he is very different from me, but I love him for it!

He smiles and flits his way through his days like a slightly over-caffeinated angel making impulsive choices that cause me to sigh, but at the end of the day curling up to me on the couch--all angles and elbows, but full of impulsive love for his mom.





Monday, June 4, 2012

Finding A New Normal


Where have I been you ask?

Well, I've been on vacation--or at least my brain has been.

My body on  the other hand has been right here at home doing laundry and all that other mommy stuff.

But every time I try to write a blog post--my brain draws a blank---so it must have been on vacation.

I'm hoping it went somewhere nice--like a quiet little cabin on a lake.

Where it could sit with a cup of coffee on the back porch and watch the sun rise.

Does my brain drink coffee when it's separated from my body?

Anyway, we are all adjusting to a new normal around our house.

Going from nine people--back to six people does feel rather different.

And yes, there have been some tears, and some yelling, (Why do little boys yell when they feel sad?) but we're going to be ok.

I can tell--because my brain is back from it's vacation, and feels like blogging again.


Friday, May 25, 2012

To Do It Well

When we first started our foster parenting journey I had some preconcieved notions of how things worked. 

I had observed other foster parents who seemed to parent these little ones effortlessly, and I wanted desperately for our home to be a safe and happy place for those who came there.

I never wanted to have a "us" and "them" mentality.  I wanted our family to be one unit that flowed seemlessly from foster children to adopted children.

I've worked hard at this, and for the most part it has been a sucess.

In the past several weeks though--I've come to a realization.

There has to be a solid and healthy "us" for us to take care of and minister to "them."

My children need to be secure in the awareness that foster children may come and go, but they will always stay.

Because of this there are things that I need to do for my children that I might not be able to do for the foster children in our home.

There are words that I can't say to my foster babies--words like forever or always.

This in no way means that I show favoritism to "my children" by buying them special things, or toys, or letting them get away with disobedience or wrong behaivior.

I'm really talking more about the emotional side of our relationship.

I know that there are a few foster mom's that read my blog, and I would like to hear how you handle this.






Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Change is Hard



Change is hard--whether it's a "good" change or a "bad" change.

We tend to be creatures of habit, and frankly we like it that way.

However, change is unavoidable, and our family is currently going through a big one.

Our three newest foster children are moving this week.

And no matter how you look at it--we are going to have some HUGE adjustments around here.

So, if you would pray for us as we experience this change we would appreciate it!!!!


Monday, May 14, 2012

ABC's of Motherhood


~~~~~~

K is for "kind words"

~~~~~~

As mothers we have a lot of influence on our children, and a good part of that comes from the words we speak. 

For me it's not so much what I say as it is how I say it.  As the day wears on and my patience stretches and thins my tones get sharp.  Frequently words are said louder than they need to be. 

My children don't respond quicker or more positively when I speak that way, and what's even worse it makes my home a dreadful place to be--not a haven.

I've been making an effort to bite my tongue before I snap at my children, and to turn down the volume on my voice.  My children actually seem to listen better when I speak quietly.











Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Big Announcement

Now what was I going to blog about today..........hmmmm...........seems like it was something important, but I just can't seem to remember--I'm just kidding. :)

As most of you know last year in June we had two little foster boys placed in our homes.  They were 20 months and 10 months old.

In the early part of this year both of them had parental rights terminated making them available for adoption.

As you may have guessed we were definitely interested in adopting them.

However, there was one little glitch.

There was a family member that was also interested in adopting them.

For reasons I can't blog about that would have never happened.

But as a formality they had to have an adoption home study done.

Basically what this meant for us is that the adoption of these two little guys would take a looooong time.

Those of you who have been through the adoption process know what this means.

Extra stress!!

Because, until the last document is signed, and the judge makes his ruling there is just a feeling you have.



Maybe it's a little like being pregnant, overdue, and just wanting to give birth. ( I've never been pregnant so that might not be a good analogy.)

Anyway, back to my story.

Yesterday my case worker ( whom I like a lot ) called me and told me that the family member had withdrawn their appeal to adopt the boys.


Which means..................................


We are adopting these two little guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Guess What

I am so excited right now!

I'm sitting here at my computer desk jittering, and I am NOT a jittery person.

There is a silly smile plastered across my face.

See there was something that I've been wanting to share on this blog.

But there was one more prayer I was waiting to be answered first.

The last couple of days have been rough for me.

I just felt tired and discouraged.

But today I got a phone call that was that final prayer that got answered.

So, I have some big news to announce.

But................

I think I'll wait till tomorrow to do it.  hee hee




Saturday, May 5, 2012

Facing My Fear



 I have a couple of secret fears--especially in relation to foster parenting

Things that I'm pretty sure I would not handle well.

This past week one of those fears became a reality.

I found head lice on my children.

I very nearly lost it.

I washed bedding,

I scrubbed heads with weird smelling chemicals,

I nit-picked. (literally)

I fretted and stewed until my husband could come home and look at my head. ( Which itched like crazy )

I called everyone who we had been in contact with for the last couple of days.

And at the end of the day I realized something profound.

HEAD LICE ARE NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!

Don't get me wrong I wouldn't wish the crawly little bugs on anyone, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

  Many loads of laundry washed in hot water.

 Lots of head scrubbing and holding squirmy toddlers still, but we all survived. 

Somehow my imagination had ranked head lice up there with a national disaster, and it's really not.

Have you ever faced your worse fear, and realized it's not as bad as you thought?



Monday, April 30, 2012

Did I Really Just Say That?


Want to listen in on a phone conversation I had earlier today?

It went something like this.

Me, "Hi D- I'm so glad I got ahold of you. I was wondering if you could babysit for me tomorrow?"

D- "Sure!  I have a little girl I'm babysitting right now, but I don't have her till Wednesday."

Me, "Oh good, it would just be four of the kids, I thought to make it easier on myself I would only take three with me to the Dr's office. "

Did I really just tell someone that taking three toddlers to the Dr's office would be easy?








ABC's of Motherhood

~~~~~~~

J is for Joy

~~~~~~

Joy is not a plastic smile on your face as you grit your teeth while changing yet another diaper.  It goes much deeper than that.  Most mom's have aspects of mothering that they struggle with, and if we let them they can "steal" our joy.

I'll give you an example.  Pink eye is making the rounds at our house, and over the weekend it caught up with me.  I staggered around doing my work while my eyes itched and blurred.  I did NOT feel very joyful.

While passing a mirror I glanced at my reflection and was surprised to realize that I looked like a weepy mess.  I hadn't been crying, but my eyes were red and swollen, and a little scary looking.  For some reason this struck me funny, and I kept laughing every time I thought about how pathetic I looked.

In looking at the big picture I realized that this illness won't last forever, it really doesn't hurt, and it gives me something to laugh about when I look in the mirror.


"My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience."  James 1:2-3 




Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is my favorite person in the world's birthday.

My husband is turning 37!

I thought I would celebrate it on this blog by sharing some of my favorite things about him.

He loves the Lord and he's not ashamed to share it with others.

He has a good sense of humor--he can make me laugh when no one else can.

He is an awesome daddy!

He mows the lawn. This may seem silly, but I HATE mowing the lawn, and he has never asked me to do it once in all the years we've been married.

You know how people say "its the little stuff that means the most?"

Well, every day he calls me on his way home from work and offers to bring me something/anything from the grocery store.  If I told him every day that I would like a Diet Coke he would bring me one.  ( I don't, but that is something that means a lot to me.)

He likes spending time with me---I know lots of married couples that seem to just tolerate each other, but we both love just being with each other.

He is one of those people that can "read" other people really well, and he can usually tell you what I'm thinking about something. 

If you know me in real life and you see my hubby today wish him a Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Were They Thinking


When twin two year olds, and an eighteen month old.

Get their hot little hands on a tin of bag balm.


And spread some on the dog.

And quite a bit more on the carpet.

And a little in their hair.

It will take quite a bit of this.


And a good bit of elbow grease.

And some muttering under your breath.

To clean it up.

Oh, except for the dog.

She apparently enjoys the taste of bag balm.

One less thing I have to clean !


Sunday, April 22, 2012

ABC's of Motherhood

~~~~~

I is for Inspiration

~~~~~

One of the best cures that I know of for "mommy burnout" is to gain inspiration from other mothers.  Our job is a hard one with many challenges, and we need to be reminded again and again that it is a high calling.

The internet is a good place to find new ideas and encouragement for new ways of doing our daily tasks.  This past week was a very busy one for me.  We had a lot going on with homeschooling, and some viral illness floating happily around our house.

I thought I would share some places that I gained inspiration during the craziness.

This first one reminded me of something I haven't made in a while, and the picture made my mouth water

This entire blog inspires me!  However this post was particularly poignant, and yes it's about one of my favorite subjects--adoption!

This is a series of posts on natural alternatives to sugar.  If nothing else it inspired me to cut back on the amount of white sugar my family consumes.

Did I just say something about cutting out sugar?  First I need to make these, and THEN I'll cut back on sugar.  If you are looking for some "food inspiration" this whole blog is full of it.  Plus the author is one of the nicest people I know. :)

Ok, your turn.......what inspired you this past week?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Place In-Between

I don't claim to be a poet, but this is something I wrote addressing one of the more difficult aspects of foster parenting.  The reality that you may have these children for only a little while is difficult to face.



My house is a place
That is safe and is warm
There are beds that are soft, and clean

There is plenty to eat
And safe places to play
And babies are fed and kept clean

But sometimes it's not
The place that you stay
The place that you "grow all the way"

Because somewhere out there
There's a family for you
That will love you "forever and a day."

So we love you while here
And hug you and care
For all of your needs big or small.

Cause my house is a place
That you can call home
But really it's just in-between.



Monday, April 9, 2012

ABC's of Motherhood



~~~~~~

H is for "hear"

~~~~~~

Every day my ears are bombarded with many things.  However, I have a choice as to what I actually "hear."
I think most mom's are pretty good at tuning out some things, and listening to others, but it does take some effort.

For example today I could choose to hear a lot of whining and sobbing from my youngest who is teething.  Instead I think I'll focus on hearing his chuckles of delight over the craft pom poms that I allowed him to play with. (It looks like a "no no" and that's what makes it appealing.)

Another thing that I sometimes "hear" is criticism from others.  I can choose to listen and dwell on the negativity, or I can remember that they aren't walking in my shoes right now, and truly may not understand.

What are some good things that you are choosing to hear today?