Sunday, August 19, 2012


I think every commercial out there must be trying to get the attention of the 4 year old child. Or maybe just Leah because she ultimately believes or wants anything she sees.

Take the target commercial for the Dora Mermaid doll. In it the doll is swimming in a lagoon or something, and then it shows a little girl playing with Dora in the bath. Suddenly the little girl has fins!

"Mommy! I wish I had that Dora mermaid. She swims! And she will turn me into a real mermaid!!" she told me after watching it the first time. I tried to tell her it was just a costume. She didn't believe me and when it came on again she insisted I watch it with her. "see??? She's a real mermaid!"

I finally convinced her it is just a costume but now she wants me to find a mermaid costume she can swim in.

Don't even get me started on dream lights, wubble pets, a sparkly singing repunzel, pillow pets, and have you seen the new seatbelt pets!? She has. Wish Netflix had more movies so I could be done with these commercials.

Tonight Matt brought me home some command hooks so I can hang my nifty new organizer. She saw them in the Walmart bag and got very excited.

"these are just what I've been wanting!!"
She said emphatically.
"you've been wanting command hooks?" I asked.
"yes! To organize!! They come off cleanly!!"

She's a walking infomercial.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fostering: Successful Reunification

I have not written much about our lives as foster parents.  Mainly it is because we had 5 kids, I was pregnant and sick much of the time, still working, and then we had 6 kids and one was a newborn.  I just got away from blogging in general.

On September 4, 2011 we took on 3 children.  2 boys and one girl.  Now they are 11, 7, and 5 (almost 6).  Our lives became hectic.  We were thrown into this world of school age children, and having to cook a decent sized dinner every night, and different forms of discipline than we normally use for our own children.  I was so sick in the beginning from being newly pregnant, tired, and hormonal.  And although we knew what we were doing was being obedient to God and to our hearts, it was still very hard.

We raised these kids for a year.  We went through the ups and downs.  We had great times and really difficult times.  There were times we did not think we could take anymore, and then moments of pure joy.  We became broken before the Lord in ways that we did not know possible.  We relied on others more than we ever have before.  And God provided.

They became our kids.  And then we had to give them back.

Thats the goal of fostering.  You have the kids, raise them as your own, and then one day the judge says "they can go home" and you  find yourself frantically packing up things for them to never live with you again.  Its strange, but also it really is such a joyous thing to be able to do.  I have watched their mother learn and grow and build a relationship with the Lord that I pray continues. She did everything she could to get her kids back. And she did!

I am amazed at the changes I have see in the kids this past year.  Sometimes we wondered if we were doing any good at all.  Did we get through to them?  Did we teach them anything?  Did we model what a Christian family should look like?  A Christian marriage?  Were we too hard?  Not hard enough? Did we do it right? I hope so.

Throughout most of the year we were told by DHR not to have a lot of contact with their mom, so we remained distant.  This is not something I agree with but we got our hands slapped a few times so we did as we were told.  Once the kids started getting weekend visits with her, I had more time to talk to her and I feel like we have a good relationship now.  What a blessing!  This has been the most amazing triumph to me.  These kids have had father figures come and go.  Now Matt could have just been another one of those.  But I think we will be able to stay in these kids lives forever, Lord willing.  I hope Gabe calls Matt (not me!) about a math question, and Anahi comes and has a sleepover with the girls who she considers her sisters.  I hope Angel can continue to see Matt as an authority figure over his life who can guide him and help him make good decisions.  And right now I see that as a possibility.  Their mom says we will always be like parents to her kids, and she even said she considers us as her parents in a way.  I hope we can remain a constant in her life as well as she learns how to be a mom again.

They went home August 14th.  And there were many tears. And what amazed me most as we were leaving their house, their new home, was the 7 year old was the one who was crying most.  He was the one who always acted out.  He was our most difficult child.  He just wanted to go back home.  And we had to be tough on him.  But he was taking this the hardest.  It showed us that even when we think we have done nothing, it wasn't nothing.

Matt got down at eye level with him and told Angel that he wasn't going anywhere.  That he was always a phone call away, living at the same house and was not going to leave his life.  And Angel cried even harder.  I was amazed.  I thought he would give us a hug and run off and play.

Gabe even asked if he could come spend the night with us the next night.  We all laughed at that.  They wanted to go home more than anything.  And I feel good about it.  But it has to be difficult to be thrown out of the life you know, make a new life, then get thrown back into the old.

We came home to a very quiet house even though we still have our 3 kids.  I teared up at seeing the boys room, still full of all their things.  And when I walked in my bathroom and saw 3 pairs of little girl flip flops.

They stopped by the next day to get some of their things.  And all the kids played outside for 2 hours while their mom and I chatted.  It had not even been 24 hours.  

This is not typical in fostering but right now I am grateful.  It has been a roller coaster of a year but it ended better than I could have ever hoped for! We are going to take a few months to enjoy our family of 5 since we have not been a family of 5 yet and see what 2013 brings.  Right now I have a great peace inside me, a little heartbreak, and a feeling that our family has just been extended.

These were taken the night before we left.  Noah was taking a nap, so he is missing.  The one at the top of the page was actually taken the day after, when they came by to get some things.  


Dandy's rules

The kids spent the night with Mimi and Dandyc(Matts parents) while Matt and I went out for our anniversary.  (woo hoo!)

Apparently the girls were running in their living room and jumping up onto their brick fireplace.

Dandy told them that they needed to stop or they would get hurt.

Leah went right up to him, gave him a hug, and said "I am so glad I have you, Dandy, so you can tell me the rules."

Probably not the reaction he was expecting.

Hand Me Downs


Poor kid has two older sisters.  He gets stuck with some of their things.  Not their dresses or anything, but towels?  Come on, no one sees if he wears a princess towel with a crown, right?  Unless his mean momma takes a million pictures of it.  I couldn't help it.  I didn't use the towel with ill intent.  But when I saw my precious little boy all decked out in a pink towel, with a crown on his head... well the camera had to come out.  

He didn't cooperate anyway.  All he does is try to stick his entire fist inside his mouth. Any pictures that are fistless were taken within the 1-2 seconds I had pulled his hand away before he brought it back to his mouth.  Serves me right.


Then I tried to get some pictures without a towel.  Still no cooperation.
I mean, seriously?


I quickly had to pull both hands away here...
And I was making all kinds of crazy noises to get his attention...

This one I took because this is one of five things that the girls had that he can wear.  I found it while going through bins for consignment.  And out of the 5, 4 of them look just like this.  I loved these sleep sacks.  Im selling the hot pink ones so he is not scarred in his future.

Decorating Cupcakes

I am always trying to think of new ways to entertain the girls.  Since I make cakes, they are always wanting to help, and I came across this little idea from pinterest and I knew it would be a hit.  It was.

Next maybe someone will teach me how to use the camera on the proper settings.  Another day perhaps.



And of course all the hard work was rewarded! 

Fun in the sprinklers

I have permission to post pictures of my foster children now (they have gone home to their mom now, which I will write about later).

This is just the quintessential picture of a perfect summer evening.  And it was a great moment for the girls to share before Anahi went home a few days later.  There just isn't anything much more fun than sprinklers!





Friday, August 3, 2012


This is where Noah would rather hang while his sisters play in the inflatables at ijump. Win win.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Noah at the pool

It's pretty got out but the girls love to swim. Noah doesn't love the pool like he loves his bath but he does ok. He's cute anyway.

One day I'll remember to take pictures with something other than my phone...

feeding the baby

My sister and I talk all the time.  Whenever she calls and asks what I am doing, my normal response is "feeding the baby" which she laughs at.

We went to a friends farewell party last week.  And this was the only picture I was in.  Figures...
He does love this set up though.


Noah- bathtime 3 months

Could he love it any more?

Noah 3 months

Noah is 3 months old and getting so animated!  I cannot believe how much he has grown.  Amazing.


He is really sleeping well now.  Most nights he sleeps 10-11 hours.  Sometimes he sneaks in his 4am feeding.

He still hates the car.  I wish he would get over that because we are a family on the go!

He loves his snuggle time in the am with me.  If he wakes up at 6 or 7 he wants to go right back to sleep after he nurses and I love that time snuggling with him.  I did that with the girls too (out of desperation for sleep) and they have always been late sleepers.  Maybe I am on to something?

He is still a belly sleeper, and likes his swing a little more now.  And he takes a good nap during the day which lets me get dinner done.  I appreciate that.

His favorite thing right now is his bath.  Loves it.  The pool he could live without but he gets all excited when we sees the water.  Just like his sisters.

He smiles all the time now.  It kills me when it is the 4am feeding or his nighttime feeding and he will look up at me and just give me this huge grin.  Which makes me smile.  Which makes him smile more.  I hate it, but I love it.

Pajama Day

We have pajama day a lot.  The girls can not be in the house and be in regular clothes.  But this one day it was planned because it was nice and rainy outside.  The perfect day to stay comfy and watch movies.  Noah joined us.  

Monkey see...

Matt walked into the bathroom one night and the girls were playing "babies" while taking a bath.  This is a common game for them.  When I was pregnant, they were often seen walking around with a doll under their shirt.  But they will swap up, one being the baby and one being the mommy.

On this one occasion, I heard Matt yell out "NO!" and then walked out of the bathroom and told me to deal with "my children".  Ha.

Turns out one child was being cradled by the other and the "baby" was nursing.  For real.  Guess thats an issue for the actual mommy to handle.  

I talked to them about it and told them that it was only for real mommies and real babies.

They have done it again a few times, and when I ask what they are doing, they quickly respond that they are only sucking on each others shoulders, and not doing it for real.  Good to know.

Sweet Big Sisters

The girls are constantly asking to hold Noah.  Hannah gets really mad if she doesnt get enough time with him.  It is so not fair, according to her, that I get to hold him all the time - even if I am just having to nurse him.  Leah loves her time with him, but eventually she will say that she is tired of being stuck.  They are so sweet to him though.

I took about 20 pictures and got a few duds...

and finally got a good one...

Too bad it was with my camera on my phone.

Hannah will even spend quality time with Noah watching his friend, The Fan.

The Many Faces of Noah