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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Oh so exciting!

Today S had NO accidents when it comes to potty training - none.

Yet again, today she did not poop though - which is really disappointing.

BUT, she actually TOLD me she had to go potty today - have I mentioned for the past two weeks she has never once told me she had to go, she would just hold it until I decided it was time to put her on the potty again, NOT a fun guessing game.

Anyway, I am happy, I am getting some where!  There is hope!  Hopefully tomorrow will be even better!

And, I just have to reiterate, Kobe was WAY easier to potty train!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I don't know if I want to post this...

...but, my life is my life.  

As I sit here with this little dark eyed girl sitting on my bed next to me, color pictures on some paper stopping only to have me remark on them and as I do tilt her head back and forth with a huge smile on her face all the while clicking her tongue, I can't help but think of S's life.

Today, S's mom & grandma apparently decided to be idiots.  It's thursday-we all know that that means S had a visit scheduled with her mom.  So, I go to the visit and am waiting for her mom to get there.  When mom walks in the doors S runs over to her & gives her a big hug and then I see S's Grandma AND UNCLE walk in behind mom.  Now-I have to explain why that is a BIG deal.  The whole reason S was taken away was because of something her uncle did.  It isn't what you are thinking, I guess a better way to put it would be something he did around her.  I think that is a little more accurate.  Anyway, a few weeks ago S's mom & Grandma asked if her Uncle could come visit S and they were told NO, he was part of the problem and he was not allowed to see her.

So, here he is.  And here I am.  And I am the only one that knows he isn't supposed be here. The normal social worker that usually supervises the visits & know very well that he isn't suppose to be there was not there and another social worker was doing the visit.  So anyway, S has run over to her mom, and there her uncle is and of course mom & Grandma are all like "Look who came to see you!"  And he gives her a hug - by this time I already have walked over to the receptionist's window and looked at them very seriously & said, "He is NOT supposed to be here."  So, I think Grandma & Mom got the gist of what I was doing and Grandma & Uncle go out to the car.  S is in her mom's arms and I asked to speak to the social worker privately before I left.  I told her that he was NOT supposed to be there and asked her to please not let S's mom come out to the lobby for any part of the visitation time because I didn't want them coming in the lobby and spending time with her there.  Sometimes S's mom will come out early so Grandma can have a few minutes with her.

So, I left and called Ben because I was upset.  I made sure to come back almost a 1/2 hour early to make sure he wasn't in the visit with her, and he wasn't.  He didn't come back in the building.  When I got back our normal social worker was there and when S's mom came out with her I mouthed to her, "Her brother is here."  To which her eyes got big and she was not happy.  

*side note* Again this week S came out of the visit and was excited to see me and wanted to go to me and mom didn't like that much.

Anyway, so Mom starts to carry S out to my car and thankfully the social worker is walking out with us.  S's mom takes a detour so S can say good bye to Grandma at Grandma's car and the social worker follows her over to the car.  Mom proceeds to introduce the social worker to her brother and then the social worker says, "You need to take S back over to Leah's car."  As they are walking over to my car the Grandma says, "So he can come to the visit next week right?" and the social worker says, "No, I have not submitted any request even asking if he can"  WHICH SHE ALREADY DID AND THEY SAID NO!!!!!!!!!!!

So, S's mom puts her in my car & they leave and the social worker and I talked.  She couldn't believe that they had brought him and that they were stupid enough to think that he would be able to come next week?  They were told NOOOO!!!!   What part of that is hard to understand?!?!??!?!?

Anyway, the social worker said she would call S's mom and tell her that

 #1.  He is NOT allowed at visits, in the parking lot, or in the lobby.

#2.  If that is a problem she will have to start using the transportation provided by the agency and they would come pick up her and only her.

So, it was kind of a crappy visit.  At least for me.  Afterwards S was all weird too.  Threw fits over nothing, peed & pooped her pants.  It was just weird.

Now, she is back to her lovely little self, I can't tell you how many times she has told me "wove you" and how smart she is.  She has been all over me all evening and has been cracking me up with all her antics and how she is following the boys around copying everything they do.  (Kobe has a friend over to spend the night tonight)

As I first stated, this is my life.  It sucks sometimes, but the bad comes with a whole truck load of good and covers it all up.  Thank you Lord for that!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Now that I know what is going on...

...I can share :)

Yesterday I got a call, from our agency, asking me if we would be interested in a 1 mo. old baby baby.  He is still in the hospital, he was born addicted to drugs and is being weened off them using some very strong meds.  At the time of the call I was told, besides the obvious, he was healthy, was 8 lbs when he was born, was doing well eating and things like that.  The worker also told me the baby has other siblings that are in care that have had their cases moved from "reunification" to "termination of parental rights".  With that being said, it looks like the baby may become adoptable.

So, knowing only these facts, I said yes.  We would do it.  I asked when the baby was going to be released from the hospital and he didn't know yet.  That was the last I heard yesterday.

Now that we have done this a few times I noticed a HUGE different in how excited I was about this.  I was interested but not too invested because the likelihood of getting babies isn't really high and I just decided to not worry about it.  I told Ben about it and we decided to see what happens.  Last night I prayed about it quite a bit, and I later found out Ben did this morning on his way to work.

Just a few minutes ago I got a call from the worker.  The baby has tested positive for Hepatitis C.  That was basically what he called me to tell me.  The first thing out of my mouth was, "I have other kids in my house, maybe if I didn't..."  and the worker totally understood.  I'm not there yet.  I can't do that with Kobe here.  Even if the chance is small I refuse to take it if I know about it.  Someday I may get a child that has it and we don't know about it and I will leave that up to God-but I really felt like the answer had to be no.  And, I was a little relieved it was.

Potty training...

Yesterday we had a very successful day!!!  We only peed on the potty!!!  And that was with us going over to my mom & dad's house, out to eat & to Old Navy!!!  But, she did not poop yesterday.  That has been the big struggle.  The 2 days before she pooped in her underwear, not on the potty and then yesterday didn't go at all.  I am trying so hard, I will be so excited once she gets it!!!

And, for the record, Kobe was WAY more easy to potty train than this.  I started when he was around 2 years & 4 months.  S was 2 years & 3 months.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kite Flying Sunday Evening...

It was the most perfect day to fly a kite!  There was a storm rolling around and the wind was great!  

I love Brook's tan legs in this picture...straight from the ocean :)

Kobe has missed Grandma & Grandpa while they have been traveling

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Video

To see video go here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Night & Day...

I have no idea what happened but ALL days today Savannah has been peeing and poopin' in the potty.  Who is this kid?

I am so proud of her today, she is doing so great!  She had a visit with her mom today, which you need to click here to read about, at which she did pee in her diaper according to her mom-but also peed in the potty during the visit too!  Every moment I have had her today, including at the grocery store, in the car for 3 hours AND at home she has not peed in her diaper at all and has gone on the potty every time I put her there.  Which has been once an hour every hour :)

I seriously cannot believe this!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

potty training...

...is just how I remember it.  We are winning some and loosing some, but I see enough improvement to keep it up tomorrow.  :)
I have posted a few freebies and printable coupons over at gooddealsorfree.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Looks like there is potty training in my future...

You will have to click over here to see all my recent pictures, I know, it shocking that Savannah is in most of them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today, we slip & slide

It is so nice out today! Not too hot, not at all cold! I love it! Anyway, after S had her visit with her mom we went home and immediately got in the water. My Grandma found me some amazing deals at a garage sale that the kids have been loving! First, she found them a little tykes place set for $25 (it is the big square thing with the slide you will see in later pictures) and she found us this little lady bug sand box for $4, which I have yet to buy sand for so it was a mini pool today :)

We decided to turn the slide into a water slide and attach the slip & slide to the end of it and the kids had a blast.
My child is obsessed with drinking from it...
...which then makes S obsessed with drinking from it.

We are babysitting Shelly's dog until tomorrow. She was enjoying the outdoor time as well.

I love this boy!

Click here
to see more pictures of S and here about how her visit went.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Story - written by God

Sometimes I get on here and I pour out the little thoughts in my head.  They are the thoughts most people would probably keep to themselves.  I obviously have many moments and thoughts that I do not share here, and sometimes I choose to share the not so "happy go lucky" ones.

The reason I share them is simple.  My story will always be about what God does in my life in-spite of me.  Alone I can't do this.  If I relied on my own strength and emotions I would have quit before I even started.  But I'm not alone.  Not only did God give me the best husband and son to go through this with me, and a family that has been really supportive, but He gave me Himself.  He gives me strength when I don't have it and a safe place to go when I want to cry so hard it hurts.

I am not looking forward to the day when this all comes to a head and the joy of having our first foster child is replaced by a mix of emotions that I don't know what to do with.  But I know, in-spite of myself, God will be working.  Doing what is best for all of us.  Even if it doesn't feel good in my flesh I will always know that God is at work.  Even when I feel awful inside.  He is going before me making my paths straight.  And I am so thankful for that.

This is His story, I handed it over to Him along time ago and so far every bit of it has been amazing.  He has poured down so many blessings on me that I can truly say "My cup runneth over".  I don't expect that to end.  No matter what happens I know that Joy will come in the morning.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Choking on my words

Uggg...so, are you ready to here about my ugly feelings?  I feel like they are ugly.  I thought that I would be able to throw my whole self into foster care.  That I would look at my foster kids and have no reservations treating them like they are my own and loving them with everything I have...and then it came up.  Those three words that EVERY child should hear EVERY DAY of their lives.  And I choked.  I literally had to spit them out of my mouth.  Because she deserves to hear them.  Every day.  No matter what.  And I hesitated.  I choked.  And I don't want to hurt.

When my sister was in her accident I took care of her little boy when ever they needed me to.  He spent a few days and nights with me and then just the days until Bobbie came home.  I told him I loved him everyday.  I told him I loved him more that once a day.  Why?  Because I knew that that is what my sister would do, that is what she would want him to hear.  And I meant it.  I never choked on it.  I said it, and it was easy.  It was easy because I knew he would go home, but I would see him again.  I wasn't going to tell him I love him one day and then hand him off to someone that is a stranger to me and never see him again.

I had had S for a couple weeks and all the sudden it hit me.  I had only said "I love you" once to her.  And there she was playing around my feet and looking up at me and I wanted to say it to her, I wanted to mean it...and I started to say it and choked, and then spit it out.  There I had said it.  But I didn't want to mean it.  

I had thought I was doing so good, that I wasn't putting up any walls between my heart and S, but I was.  In that moment I thought of the other ways I had been building a wall between my heart and S.  I always made her sleep in her crib.  I never rocked her to sleep.  I never let her snuggle up and fall asleep on me.  That was too close.  It would remind me too much of my own child that I have done that with hundreds of times.  And I can't feel that way.  Because she's not mine.

The biggest problem is that I do love her.  And I hate saying it.  I hate feeling it.  And I love feeling it.  It is so confusing and alarming and scary.  Because she's gonna leave.  And the feelings will still be there.

So, today, I walked out of the living room and told Kobe I love him, and he said it back.  And then a little female voice echoed Kobe's.  With the same words.  Telling me she loved me, whether she meant it or not.  So, I turned and looked at her and said it back.  All the while knowing she's gonna leave.  And I'm gonna hurt.  But I do love her, even if I choke on the words.

Zender's Splash Village!!!!

Sunday we spent the evening at Splash Village.  I have no idea why we have never gone there before, but I am sure we will go again.  Kobe & Ben had a great time, I am sure Kobe went down the big slides dozens of times and he just LOVED it!  So did Ben, it really cracked me up seeing Ben have so much fun.  He wants to go back every weekend :)

We didn't take our nice camera but we happened to still have our video camera in the car from going up north so once I saw it wouldn't get soaked I went and got it and took some great video I will post some time.  I pulled all these pictures from the video.

We had an absolute blast.  It is the perfect place to take kids that are all different ages.  Most of the water is under 3 feet deep and there is TONS to do, no matter what age.  S loved it too and you can see pictures of that here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Elle!

Wow, I can't believe Elle is 2 already!!!  Matt & Lindsay, you guys are raising a beautiful little girl!   We hope you have a great day today!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family Reunion 2009

This one was a whirl wind!!!  Because Ben's immediate family was not able to attend this year we decided to only go up north for one day.  We decided to go up Friday night and come home Saturday night, that is a long trip to make!  It is about 4 hours each way.  

We traveled at night in hopes that the kids would sleep but it didn't really work out that way.  They were so good and were pretty quiet and entertained themselves quite well until the last 45 minutes of the trip back home, but that crabbiness was short lived.

We both were really glad we went and had fun seeing everyone.  We hung out with Lindsey & Ryan down at the beach which was fun and the after the reunion we went to House of Flavors to get ice cream and then swam at the pool where Grandma Corey was staying.  The kids LOVED the pool!  They would have stayed there all night had we let them.  Kobe is doing great swimming and S loves the water too!!!

After that we got some dinner and hit the road.  It was a quick but fun trip.  It was a good year for us to be there by our selves.  Having 2 kids changes how flexible you can be and this way we just did whatever worked for us!  No stress, no schedule.  That is my kind of day!

To see more pictures click here

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday already?

Wow, where did the week go?  I can't believe the last time that I posted was Monday...

Anyway, Tuesday we took S to get her 2 year pictures taken, per her mom's request.  No, I am pretty sure I don't have to do things like that, but I want S to have pictures of herself to look back on when she grows up.  The money I use to pay for that is from the state-so why not right?  :)  It is funny to get money you have to use on clothes, or that is just for taking the kids out to have fun.

So, we took her and, as soon as we were in the studio for more than 30 seconds, she started crying.  She was still in my arms, it was sad.  She was being pretty ridiculous so I put her in time out and then I sat her down on the table in front of the back ground and let her hug my neck while she get used to sitting up there.  I worked with her and FINALLY she let go :)  We got 2 amazing pictures and 4 other pretty good ones.  The best one was one where Kobe made her laugh and the photographer caught a shot of her true smile, the smile she has when she is really happy, I was thrilled.  I also got a cute shot of S with Kobe.  I hadn't planned on that but he wanted to have his picture taken too :)

I have wanted to post those pictures on here, which were supposed to be up on the web today, but I can't get their website to let me view them.  It is pretty annoying!!!

Wednesday I had our first post placement home visit.  I thought they were going to ask me a lot of questions about how S was adjusting and stuff, but they didn't.  The social worker just let me ask her questions and then we chatted and that was it.  She said she has to come back once a month to check on things, for ALL foster kids, so I guess we will be doing that once a month.

Today S had a visit with her mom and it was cute because she was excited to see her mom and then excited to see me when I picked her back up.  She was in a great mood for everyone so that made me feel good about how she is adjusting to this new "normal".
I also went and got some stuff for FREE at Kmart today, you can read about that here.

Tonight we are going over to my old high school friend Jenny's house to hang out with some girls I went to high school with and I get to meet baby Macy for the first time!  I am taking the kids with me, I don't know how well that is going to work, but it will be nice to see the girls!

Friday we are driving up to Ludington to go to the Ben's family reunion.  We are only staying one day but I am excited to see Gma Ghent and let the kids play at the beach and hopefully at the pool!!!

I will post pictures when I can, I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Our Weekend - Monday

Ben took Monday off so he could have a three day weekend with us and we enjoyed it so much!  Saturday we had a great 4th of July, Sunday we visited my parents, my Grandparents and had dinner with Ben's Dad.

Today we had a day to ourselves that was wonderful!  We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese's, to Sonic, and played around at home while getting some stuff done too!  

We had some new 'little trees' growing in our gutters so Ben and I got the ladder out and I decided to climb up onto the roof and yank them all out, which, by the way, is WAY faster than going up and down the ladder-WAY faster.  So, of course, Kobe sees me up on the roof and wants to come up on the roof with me.  I wasn't comfortable taking him up there with just me-for some reason visions of us both tumbling off the roof popped into my head and since I did not way to spend the rest of the day in the ER I told Ben if he wanted to go up on the roof with Kobe he could, but I didn't want to.  So, Ben took Kobe up on the roof and when I saw them sitting up there with the blue sky behind them I had to take a couple pictures :)

While we were outside the kids road their bikes, played in the dirt, played with side walk chalk & played B-ball.

Then, this evening we went over to see Ben's Dad on his day off  *enter muffled laughter here because, trust me, he didn't have the day 'off'* and had dinner with him and hung out.  S decided to break in Mark & Cindy's new back stairs by tumbling down them in the typical 2 yr old fashion that of course made me scream.  Don't worry, she is perfectly fine.  :)

To see more pictures of S click here

Funniest Moment of MY Day

Making a 2 year old have a time out in Home Depot.  I can only imagine what crazy people we looked like!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our 4th of July 2009

We had such a great time this year.  The past 3 years we have been invited by some friends at church to come to the great July 4th party they have every year!  

This year we went on a paddle boat, played at the pond, had great food, went on a ride through the woods on their 40 acre lot (and got lost!).  The kids enjoyed playing outside with their friends, riding bikes, looking through saw dust for quarters and the AWESOME fire works!  Kobe had a blast and Savannah did really great-especially considering we were out so late!

Click here to see more pictures!!!