-

"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them."

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Playing in the snow...finally!

Post here

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Program at Church

more over here

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Because I can not leave well enough alone.

You know, it is an interesting thing having someone live in your house you know very little about.


Especially a child that is calling you mom.


To say I am curious would be an understatement.


So, as it turns out I couldn't help myself and so my story begins...


One of the funeral homes I work with is in Flint. K, my newest foster son is from Flint. It turns out - after figuring out which school he went to prior to coming to live with us - that I have been driving past K's school every week for about 4 years now. I have noticed the school, I have seen kids outside at recess playing at the play ground as I drive by, and who knows, maybe I have even seen K and didn't know it.

So, since having K come to my house he has made several trips with me past his old school to work with he and he always says "There's my school!" very excitedly.

Monday we were making one such trip, I had ALL the kids with me, and I couldn't help myself. I wanted to see if K could remember where he used to live. I figured it had to be close to the school so, after dropping some stuff of at work, I pulled into the school parking lot and asked K which way the bus used to take him home. He pointed down a side street and away we went. Less than a mile down on the left he told me to turn onto his old street and was able to take me right to his last home:


Yes, there are bars on the windows. Yes, it is in a bad area. And, yes, it at least looked inhabitable.

So, we didn't stay long, just kinda paused and drove past. A door or two down was this house, and other around it all boarded up:
And then, at the end of the street was this building:
Now this was interesting. K says, when he sees this building, "I used to go there with my Dad!"
Now, hold on. This house it huge, empty, boarded up and all the windows are broken out. By "Dad" I assume he means the old foster Dad because he doesn't know who his biological Dad is. So, considering the state of this house I started to ask questions.

I asked "What did you do in there?" - to that I didn't really get a response.

I asked "Did your Dad have friends in there?" - to which he said "Yeah"

I asked "Did you Dad used to smoke in there?" - to which he said "Yeah"

I asked "Did your Dad ever buy anything in there?" - to which he said "Yeah"

I asked "What did you used to do in there?" - to which he said "I think I used to eat ice cream"

So, your guess is as good as mine as to if K remembers this correctly or not and to what was going on but I am sure you can figure out my assumption.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is there any point to me having this blog anymore...

when I end up posting everything over here anyway????

new post over here

Friday, December 18, 2009

A post to Grandma Neighbors

click here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grieving

From the minute I told our agency "yes" to taking S as a temporary placement I think I started the grieving process. If you are not familiar with it that make two of us because I don't sit around trying to remember things like that. But, right now I am smack dab in the middle of taking a class that is "teaching" us all about things we already know and is labeling somethings that we all experience all the time but don't over analyze.

The 7 Stages of Grief:

1. Shock & Denial

2. Pain & Guilt

3. Anger & Bargaining

4. Depression

5. The Upward Turn

6. Coping

7. Acceptance


Now, obviously if you read a lot or "google it" some people label it as the "5 stages of Grief" or they use different terms to describe these stages but it is all pretty much the same.

I think from the minute that I fell in love with S I decided to live in the DENIAL phase. When I would get too upset about the thought of her going home for good I would just think that "today is not that day and I'm not going to borrow sadness from that day" which is a good way to live in general but it did and has fed into my denial on the subject.

I have bounced around in my grieving process, going from denial, to bargaining, back to denial and so on and so on.

Well, obviously we still have a couple months to get through but I have for the time being landed towards the end of this process. I am hovering right above accepting this situation for what it is. It still makes me sad and I still DO NOT LIKE IT, but I am doing the best I can.

I am BEGGING GOD to get my mind and heart on the same side as HIS. The side that is going to win in this situation. I have been asking HIM to some how make me fight for her to go home as well. And let me tell you, I don't want to fight for it. But I will.

I am going to do everything I can to make sure S is getting the best possible chance she can have in this life. I am taking care of doctor visits and paper work. I am keeping up to date records and am fully prepared to make sure the judge sees EVERYTHING they need to see prior to them letting her go home. Good or Bad.

I am fighting for her. Not to keep her but for her.

And it sucks. And I hate it. BUT, I wouldn't change meeting her. I wouldn't change being her "Mom" for 6 months. I wouldn't trade that away to get rid of the hurt as much as it sucks.

And, as always, I sit back and laugh as I shake my head and think "...and to think, I signed up for this."


The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of my Lord.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I have been posting quite a lot on my other blog

So I guess you will have to go other there to see what we are up to

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What I want to say

I want to sit here and complain about how ridiculous it is that the judge, out of nowhere, decided S could have her first at home visit ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

I want to tell everyone how we were told that WOULD NOT HAPPEN - not even a chance.

I honestly want to sit here and complain and complain and complain about how this is not what I thought was going to happen. Not right now at least.

But I can't.

And I am going to tell you why.

You know what would ruin my Christmas?

You know what would absolutely be the worst thing ever?

Wanting to be with Kobe and someone telling me "No, you can't see him on Christmas. In fact, he can't live with you anymore and you can only see him 1 hour a week".

That would be it. That would be the worst thing-and maybe the only thing that could ruin Christmas for me. And that hasn't happened.

But it did happen to S's mom.

Yes, I see it as her fault.

No, I am not sure it is a good idea for her to go back there.

But, in a weird way it is a Christmas miracle. Not for us, but for S's mom & grandma it is.

You know, they told me they weren't even going to celebrate Christmas this year because S wasn't going to be with them. They didn't put up a tree, they didn't make plans, they were going to sit at home like it was any other day of the week.

No, I am not trying to make them sound like they are victims of some injustice - but no matter who you are or what you have done that sounds like a horrible horrible Christmas.

I'm not too worried about S's safety, mildly yes, extremely no.

S is honestly the only bright spot in their lives that I have ever heard them mention. The rest of their lives, all the situations they are in sound like total crap. Partly their fault and partly just how their lives are.

As much as I wanted to strangle someone, today I can't seem to shake a tiny bit of happiness I feel as a mom for another mom. It makes me feel crazy because I didn't want this but I can see a little bit of good in it.

To end up doing what we are doing you have to at least have a tiny bit of compassion for people. Just people in general. They are human and God loves them as much as He loves me.

And maybe He just wants them to see that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drawing Blood

Today I took S to get blood drawn to check on her "tumor marker" -whatever that is.

The doctor wants to start at the beginning, as in all the follow up care that should have happened right after the surgery to remove her tumor. Yes, she is 2 1/2 years old and we are starting tests that should have been done when she was 2 months old. I have pushed a lot of this to the back of my head and I really am not too concerned. But, when we got there and I got thinking about what they are looking for it kinda sunk in.

Please pray S is healthy despite all the things that didn't happen after her surgery. It wasn't very fun holding her in what was just short of a wrestling hold to keep her in place to get her blood drawn. She did great though, didn't cry-she's a tough little cookie.

And I haven't mentioned it but GUESS WHO IS FINALLY POTTY TRAINED!!!!!! She totally is-and it is wonderful :)


We went to see Santa!

You can see the pictures here

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kobe's 2nd Grade Christmas Program

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kenny's 4th Birthday Pictures

over here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh, the holidays!

Wow! I thought life with 3 kids was busy! Now throw in the holidays and you are ready for some real craziness.

This year we had planned to drive out to Ben's family's house for Thanksgiving in the afternoon and then we were hosting Thanksgiving for my side of the family at our house! I was very excited about this!

Well, as usual, everything didn't turn out exactly how we planned and we ended up staying at our house and only having one Thanksgiving dinner which was a nice chance of pace (and wonderful since I have two nappers right now - nap time is sacred around here now!)

I had so much fun making dinner with my mom. The night before I got everything ready by brining the Turkey and then made Pioneer Woman's roll dough and shoved it in the fridge for the next day. I also whipped up some sweets that I let the kids try and it made them VERY excited for the next day.

The next morning my parents came over and it was so weird to not be running all over. We had planned on my parents baby sitting the turkey while we went to see Ben's side of the family, but I ended up staying while home with my parents while the kids slept and Ben ran over with Kobe to see his mom and dad. Talk about a low key holiday for us! Ben and I enjoyed it so much and the kids had a great time too. Kenny seems to be obsessed with my dad and he is a great sport about it.

Dinner turned out so good, if you ever wonder if you should brine a turkey or not go for it! I also made Pioneer Woman's Corn & Wild Rice casserole. It was wonderful. The pies that everyone brought were wonderful and all of our kids had a great time trying all the food.

We had 13 people over for dinner (5 were just us). We had a great Thanksgiving, but didn't end up taking too many pictures. The pictures we did take can be see over here.



________________________________________________




On another note, life has been crazy as usual. Kobe is having a great time in school, I am still working on getting Kenny & S into school a couple days a week - but I think they are having fun together being at home with me for right now. I don't think Kenny has ever had a stay at home mom but he has adjusted wonderfully and it is helping with that parental bond.

Our kids crack us up every day with their shenanigans that they get into. Kenny now helps "jail break" S out of her crib - well, he did once, then the next morning when they tried it again I put a stop to it. It wasn't the safest idea. :) They are a handful but we love them very much. Kobe enjoys having a boy in the house.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving...OH! and...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNY!!!! He turned 4 years old today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our Dining Room

Recently Ben and I have changed a few things in our dining room. A couple months ago we added the stuff on the back wall. This weekend we FINALLY installed a light! This was very exciting because for the past two and a half years we have had NO light in there. We just never used it unless there was natural light coming in the window. Well, I realized I had invited family over for a 5:30 pm Thanksgiving dinner and that unless we wanted to eat in the dark we would have to do something so I went and picked out a simple light fixture (yes, I know, I am kinda dull with my decorating but to me less is more) and while Ben was at work I had my Dad come over and install the light. That is my version of "getting things done" .... he he he.

So, here is a shot of the room now:





Click here to see old pictures of our dining room

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Card Photo Bloopers - 2009

You'll have to go over here to see them

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Card Photos - blooper addition

The other night I ran over to my sister's house to snap some pictures of her and her family for her Christmas cards. I love trying to get a good shot of more than one kid because it can be really easy, really hard, or anything in between! We were lucky enough to get one GREAT shot of the whole family which is not posted here (I didn't want to ruin their Christmas cards by posting it here first) but I thought I would post some of the other hilarious shots we got because they crack me up...and because we are going to try to do ours tonight and I am sure it is going to be a train wreck! :)


This is by far our favorite "terrible" shot of Noah. Is he crying? Is he winking at us like a used car salesman? who knows :)
Way to catch him with his eyes open Leah.
David did GREAT for the first 60 seconds...and then decided he could only smile with his eyes shut.
The more we said "smile" the harder he squeezed his eyes shut.
Nice face David :)
He has the smile down...just not the eyes...
Then he started posing, you know, like kobe does.
And here is Noah trying to lick something...
After we were "done" we tried Noah again.
All these are his expressions as he jabbers "da-da-da-da..."


I did get some cute shots of the kids and one great shot of the whole family. That was the goal anyway right?



Oh, just wait until I post bloopers of our session. I can just see it now, me "telling" the kids to smile-hold still-don't move-look at the camera-stop touching each other-look AT the camera-don't stick your tongue out..."


Can't wait *sigh*


:)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am so ready for Christmas!

Are you?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Update!

This offer's expiration date has now been pushed up to THIS Saturday, November 21st, so hurry! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birthday Pictures

Over here

Thursday, November 12, 2009

50 Free Christmas Cards

read about it here. 50 free photo Christmas cards & FREE shipping!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pictures

over here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Adventures in Foster Land

Read about it here

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

Kobe!
"Storm Shadow"
"K" - Spiderman
Kobe & Brook!

Donut Face :)


Click here to see more!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Field Trip - Pumpkin Patch - 2nd Grade

Kobe and his class had their first field trip of the year to a pumpkin patch. I did not go. That was a big deal for me. I have gone to EVERY field trip ever since Kobe has been in school. He had lots of fun and I got this picture from a friend. He is growing up so fast.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New little person...

...wandering around my house. Hopefully not right now though, it is past his bedtime. You can see him here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Carving Pumpkins

I took a bazillion pictures but of course S is in most of them so you will have to click here to see all of those.
This year Ben was lucky. Kobe picked a really easy design for his pumpkin, unlike some years.

The kids had lots of fun playing with the guts. They dove right in!

And, of course, Kobe was all about the "vomit".

This is a picture of Kobe with a pumpkin seed in his mouth. I cannot tell you how many times the kids put those in their mouths and then spit them out. They thought it was hilarious.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cross Road Village

Sunday we ended up having the perfect weather to go let the kids trick or treat at Cross Roads Village. The kids were very excited, most of all about riding on the train!


Kobe was "Storm Shadow" from the GI Joe movie.


We took the kids on the carousel and I had never been on it before be I road on it for Savannah...well, let me just tell you that thing is FAST and scary. I can see why the kids loved it!






At the end of our time there we road the train. S had been talking about it for days. She sat with GG and they would say "choo choo" when ever the train did. She really liked it. That, and her candy :)


To see more pictures click here