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

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of 2nd Grade

Today was the day!  Kobe was excited, I think we all kinda were :)  We have switched back to the school year bedtime (8:30 pm - during the summer it was 10 pm for S and whenever for Kobe) so that is always a big adjustment for all of us.
Kobe was up before I went in to wake him up.
We got everything together and left right on time...
...even with an extra person coming with us this year.
I love these pictures of him every year!


Wow, it is amazing how these pictures change every year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A little miracle laying on my table.

One year ago my sister was in a horrible accident.  One year ago that little person on my table was in my sister when she was in that accident.

One year ago was one if not the worst days of my life.  But, the month after that became one of the best months of my life.  I got to see God up close and personal.  He saved my sister.  He saved little Noah.  And now he comes over and lays on my table while my sister & brother-in-law go out.  (Once in a great while :) )

They are miracles.  God's miracles.

*And, yes, this is my version of getting a picture of all the kids together while I am by myself.* 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2nd Grade Open House

Today, after S's visit, we had Kobe's 2nd grade open house to go to.  They finally chose a teacher, Mrs. Wright, who is usually the 3rd grade teacher.  She seems nice and Kobe had fun seeing his classmates.  He is SO excited to go and I will miss him!  Kobe and I had a nice time together during S's visit.  That is the one thing I LOVE about her visits, Kobe and I get to have a private lunch date every week during the summer!  
Kobe is growing up so fast, his second front tooth is getting ready to come in (I can't wait!) and he is so tall, thin & tan.  He is such a good boy.  

She's going home

She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home



Maybe if I say it I will believe it.



She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home



Maybe if I believe it I will get used to it.



She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home


Maybe if I get used to it it won't hurt.

She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home
She's going home...


No, nothing has changed. I still expect that she will be with us well past 
Christmas. It has just been a hard day.
I hate her visits.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wordless Tuesday

Monday, August 24, 2009

Discovery...

A week or two ago I posted this picture over at my other blog.  It was of the balloon that landed in my Grandpa's Field during a cook out a couple weeks ago.  Well, while Bobbie & Dave were over someone noticed that this balloon looks exactly like the Balloon that flew over Ben & I's wedding 8 years ago.
Here is a picture from our wedding of the balloon flying over our wedding:
I always thought it was neat that we had a couple hot air balloons fly over our wedding reception and I love all the pictures that they are in.  It was neat to have the people in the balloon shout "Congratulations!" to us from up there :)

Anyway, we thought it was funny that the same balloon or a look alike landed in my Grandpa's field and right around our 8th Anniversary no less!  

Sunday, August 23, 2009

oops

you know, i saw on another blog quite a discussion ensue after another foster mom mentioned that her adopted out of foster care daughters still receive WIC.  i was surprised how opinionated people were on the subject, but I guess I am too.


i was wondering if people who were in a similar circumstance as us would use it and i guess i got may answers.  i would just like to point out that no matter if you would or wouldn't use it, i don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer.

i think if you use it, it is fine.  if you don't, it's fine.  and i can relate to EVERY comment that was left because I have thought about all of it from every point of view.

thanks for you thoughts, it kinda helped :)  lol

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Everyday is vastly different yet oddly the same."

Well, time is marching on around here.  School is getting closer, we are pretty much ready for that, at least I hope we are!  Whether I am ready or not Kobe is so that is good.  As every kids does, he has already started to look forward to the next school year.  I tell him, "I can't believe you are going into 2nd grade this year!"  to which he replies  "I can't believe I am going into 3rd grade next year!"  Slow down kid, I'm not there yet!

Also, I finally went and picked up the paper work I have to fill out to send S to daycare.  It took me forever because I had to go to down town Flint and that isn't exactly my favorite place to go hang out with the kids.  But, regardless, I have it.  They said I could mail it back in or come between 8:00 am & 10:30 am and talk to a social worker.  Hmmm, should I mail it in and see if they ever get to it or go in?  I wish by mailing it I could reply on someone to actually do something with it!

I then got the opportunity to go into my first WIC office.  That was equally as lovely.  And took much longer.  I was at the WIC office because S has WIC.  Before going to the WIC office her WIC had been in her first foster parents name ever since she left.  I have put this off for so long because I don't do WIC.  Boy does that sound snotty or what.  As you may have guesses we don't exactly qualify for WIC nor have we ever applied for it even when we could have used it.
I have been wanting to get it transfer out of her old foster mom's just because she is with us now.  I am a little weirded out by the thought of actually using it though.  I think it come on that "Bridge Card" thing and I am not a huge fan of those.  I have never had one but when I shop in Burton, MI I am the only one who doesn't seem to have one so I feel a little left out sometimes  ;).  

So, I am sure you will read ALL about the first time I actually use one, when & if I actually do.  It seems dumb to not take free milk, eggs, bread, cereal, ect. but at the same time should I not use it because technically I can afford to by it for her anyway???  I really would love to hear what you all would do because this has been on my mind ever since the first foster mom told me I should transfer it into my name.  

To WIC or not to WIC.  That is my question. 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I knew this would happen...

...but you would think from my reaction I had no idea it would.

OK, when we got S everyone was talking September.  "She is going home in September" - always the plan.  

Then, as I watched S's Mom's lack of progress I knew September was a dream.  After talking to S's lawyer I realized that September was a joke.  Finally everyone else it catching up on this fact.  In a post last week I think I mentioned that S is pretty my guaranteed to be with us until December, actually a little past that.  Well, now March is being thrown around as the EARLIEST that she could go home and that is based upon her mom doing everything that needs to be done:

-gain employment

-get approved for help from the govt with rent

-find a place for S and her to live

-finish  parenting classes

-continue to pass drug tests

-complete a home study

-prove she can maintain a stable living environment for S

-get approved for SSI (whatever that is - don't ask me)


In the past 5 1/2 mo. she has done her parenting classes, done her drug tests and got on food stamps.  She has also supposedly been diagnosed with bi polar (which she is not able to get medication for), and discovered that her heart is not working correctly but has had no further doc visits because her medicaid was discontinued because S is no longer living with her.

In the words of S's social worker "It could take 2 years for her mom to do all of this."
She also said that she ran across a document that was filed before she was given this case and it says the "Date of return" has been filed as March and there is nothing she can do to change that - as in make it sooner.  There is plenty that can happen to make it take much longer than that.


And, with that I was thrilled and my heart sunk all at the same time.

You know why.  It is the same reason everyone looks at me and what Ben and I decided to do and says, "I could never do it."  "What are you going to do when she has to go home."  "Isn't that going to be hard?"

Many times I feel like rolling my eyes and saying, "Wow" because seriously, you think we don't think it is going to SUCK if/when she goes home?  really?  yeah.

You think I don't spend most days turning to God begging Him to give me the strength to TRUST HIM with S & our family's hearts as all this happens?  Do you think I had any choice to begin with?  I am THRILLED to say God chose us for this!  I am even more thrilled to say that when God asked us to do it we ACTUALLY said yes, we would do it.  No matter what.  Because HE asked us to.  I can only imagine how many other people He has asked that said exactly what everyone says to me.  "I could never do it."

The thing I struggle with is, in my head, I jump right past all the wonderful time we will have with S and go straight to the day she leaves.  That is why my heart sinks.  But, it is not written in stone either way here.  God knows what the out come will be.

Ben said something last night that I have NEVER been willing to even utter probably because of my horrible lack of faith.

He was talking to Kobe and asked him if I had told him that S would probably be with us longer and Kobe said Yes.  And then Ben said, "It is another step towards S maybe being able to stay."
And he's right.  It is.  Or it's not.  But, every minute she is given to us is time God wants her here so I am thrilled that she is not going home in September.  I even more thrilled that she isn't going home in December.  So, we'll just go from there.


Also, you can click here to see a video of the kids playing with Ben :)


This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us...let us not love with word or tongue, but with action and in truth." I John 3:16-18



PS I just got a call from S's social worker.  She got a voice mail from S's mom saying she wouldn't be able to come to the visit today because she doesn't have gas money.  Also, her cell phone has been turned off.  So she left a message from a friend's phone.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday was SUCH..a monday.

Mondays around here are usually pretty laid back, we usually get to sleep in, the kids hang out around the house and I will try to get some grocery shopping done.  Sometimes I have to run a video out to a funeral home or something like that and this Monday morning I had hoped to run out a video to a funeral home...until I realized I couldn't find my keys.  AND I remembered them being in Ben's car.  So I called Ben, and yes, they were with him at work.  Well, with him working 45 minutes away I didn't want him to have to come home so I started to hunt around for my spare key.  I had asked Ben on the phone if he knew where my spare key was and he all but laughed at me because finding something like that is not always easy because I never put anything where it goes.  I mean, why would I hang my keys up on the key holder when I can just lay them on the table?  :)  Anyway, after searching a few minutes Ben called me back and said, "Do you want to hear something funny?" and then went on to tell me how a co-worker had just walked up to him and handed him my spare key that I had left in another one of Ben's cars!  Ugg!  So, no car for me!  I called the funeral home and told them I couldn't make it out today (thankfully it was not urgent that I did) and we settled in for a day at home.

Lauren and I had planned on Michael coming over and spending the night and thank goodness I had told her I would drop him off if she brought him here because I had no car to go get him with!

While Lauren, Michael & Baby Ella were over the boys had been playing in the sink.  Well, a little while later I heard "Mom?"  "Mom!" coming from our main bathroom and this is what I found:
S stranded, hanging from the counter because the chair she had been standing on to get to the sink moved.  I had no idea she had been playing in the sink and emptying my liquid soap all over the counter, her self & my little rocking chair!
Busted!
And here is little Ella-Faith.  She is such a good looking baby!  She is officially 2 weeks old today and she loves her mommy!  Michael seems to do very good with her too.  She is a very good baby!


Of course we managed to wait until the sun went away to break out the slip & slide but the kids had fun with it all the same.  Kobe & Michael have a lot of fun together.  We have been arranging this sleep over all summer and thankfully we finally got it together!  The boys have had a great time and compared to some of Kobe's other friends, Michael has been the easiest one to have over so far!  I know he is family so that probably makes a huge difference but it was nice for them to entertain themselves since I had no car!

Here are some more pictures of Ella, I wanted to post them so Lauren could steal them off here if she wants them :)






Look at all that hair!
I did end up having a great Monday-minus my key drama-today, Tuesday is going to be a busy day too!  We have to birthday party for Kobe to go to and I have to work too!

I hope everyone's week started off good!

Monday, August 17, 2009

new post over here :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I do post stuff over here even if I don't mention it on here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Poll





OK, I need to know which movie the Aeschilman girls are more excited about :)

I would like the Wentzels to fess up too...even though I'm not sure vampires are very Wentzel-ish :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sibling group of 6 anyone?

Yes, these are the phone calls I get.  Apparently I have my pick of ages 11 yrs old to 11 mo. old.

I told them to call me if they couldn't place them at least in pairs but I think this is one I am going to not do even if it is just one child.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Eight Years.


Sometimes we fight.  Sometimes we agree.  Sometimes we annoy each other.  Sometimes we can't get enough of each other.  Some day are long and stressful.  Some days we wish would last longer.


Eight years brings a lot of changes.  Eight years has brought a lot of good with some bad mixed in.  But, I wouldn't change any of it and I am beyond thankful that I had YOU to go through it with me.

I can only imagine what the next eight years will bring and I have to admit, I'm excited.

I love you Ben.

Love,


Your Person

Half a post...

I am going to see how much of this post I can get through without having to switch over to my private blog.  I have a feeling we aren't going to get very far.


When we were called to see if we would take S they told us, "She is going home in September."  Prior to that call I vaguely remember Ben and I saying that we wouldn't take on any kids that we knew were going home.  Well, when  I got that call all that apparently flew out the window because there was no hesitation, I said Yes, we would take her because I felt like that was what I was supposed to do, and considering how the words literally flew out of my mouth there wasn't much time to think through it.

Early on, as we made plans to meet S and for her to come live with us I actually found it comforting that I knew when she was going to go home.  I wasn't all hopeful that maybe this was permanent.  I didn't wonder if this was my new, permanent daughter.  I could look at her and see her.  I saw her for exactly who she was and what we could be to each other - no matter what the length of time.  From the first time I saw her I knew that I was meant to take care of her - I just assumed that it would only be until September.

The first time S's lawyer called me to "meet" me and check on S I picked his brain pretty throughly about what the next step in all this was, what the likelihood of her actually going home in September was and what all the steps in between would be.  I walked away from that phone call knowing that the likelihood of S going home in September wasn't very good.  With that came very mixed emotions.  Of course we would love to have more time with S.  At the same time, I would very much love to know when and if she is going home.

Around September 1st S will have been in care for 6 months.  A lot happens in 6 months.  She has learned to go potty on the potty (at least when she feels like it!), she has started talking and putting sentences together.  She has met 2 strangers that have become "mama ci ci" & "mom" to her.  She has met the first man that ever stuck around long enough for her to call "Daddy" - (the same man who I have been married to for the last 8 years officially tomorrow) - also, the only one she has ever chosen to call "Daddy", she also has met her first sister (Angel) and her first brother who she affectionately calls "Toby", and trust me, he is pretty special.

And all the leads me to say this:

I talked to S's worker today for a long time.  Every 3 months S, maybe technically I should say S's mom, has a hearing concerning her progress towards working the case plan that is supposed to lead to her getting S back.  On my other blog I will talk a little about what those steps are, but basically, if S's mom has not moved into a new place to live by early September (her next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16 or 17) S's worker told me that OBVIOUSLY she will not be able to recommend S returning home because there is no home to return to and that will mean that we are almost guaranteed 3 more months with her, until her next hearing in mid December.  The date is fast approaching and S's mom has been told that it does not look like S will be returned to her in September.  Basically there is nothing she could do that would actually get S returned in September, the most that would happen would be perhaps unsupervised visits if by some miracle she finds a place to live.

So, now what.  That is how I feel.  I feel like, as I knew it would, I have no idea when S is going home.  And it bugs me.  Every social worker, lawyer or anyone involved would still most certainly say that Yes, S will be going home.  Eventually.  But, we all know kids can sit in foster care for like 2 years and the parents can still get them back.  I hate that.  And that could be me.  And I hate that even more.  One of the BIGGEST things that bugs me is what she won't have when she goes home.  When she goes home she will have a mom, but what about a "daddy", what about a "Toby".  She needs that.  She has come so far, I never realized that as much I can tell that this is exactly what I was meant to do, I had no idea how much our S would need a "Toby" and how incredibly lucky she would be to have a real "daddy".  I HATE that she can't take that with her.  And I hate that I don't know when she's leaving.  But, I always told myself that if she stayed longer than September every day after that would be the icing on the cake, so that is what it will be.  I'll love every minute and trust God to take care of all of the stuff I don't know.  He can handle it better than I can anyway :)


Click here to read more of the steps of what it will take for S to go back home.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Free DVD Slide Show - $15 value!

OK, yes, i do think it is funny that I make these for a living and that I am going to tell you how to get a FREE one shipped to your door, but hey, I'm all about FREE!

Go here to read about how you can take your photos and videos & turn them into a great DVD and have it shipped to your house for FREE!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kobe's Quote of the Day

"Maybe after I have a really annoying sister for a long time I will get used to it."

-Kobe


(and, no, I don't make this stuff up.)

read about Savannah here

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tonight

Ben is working on trying to fix our "old" computer.  Here's hopin'!!!

AND I think you NEED to go over to my other blog and see how good I did at Walgreens tonight!!!!

"Yip"

Oh my, apparently I didn't realize how often I say to the kids "Yep."  Now that I think about it I do say that a lot.  Well, now my little copy cat is running around saying "Yip" to everything - and I do mean everything.  Just now S was walking around saying "Kobe?" and I said "He is in the living room" - her response "Yip".  Apparently it fits everything.  And oddly enough it does.  She has probably said it over 2 dozen times today and it is starting to make me laugh every time she does.  Her mom is going to think she is being raise by a hill billy once she hears that one!

David's 2nd Birthday Party!

We should have taken more pictures but with 2 kids running around...it doesn't work out like it used to :)

Bobbie & Dave had David's b-day party at a park right by the playground and a splash pad.  Kobe and S had a BLAST!  We were the last ones to leave, even after Bobbie & Dave packed up the party and almost everyone was gone.

David had a blast to and go tons of great (and big!) gifts!  






These pictures of him smiling crack me up because this is when everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to him and he LOVED IT!  It was hilarious :)



Happy Birthday David!!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

http://gooddealsorfree.blogspot.com

Almost a year ago...

...these two were laying in the hospital after being hit by a truck - while laying in their own bed in their own home.
Almost a year ago...
...God told Satan "You can only go this far".
Almost a year ago...
...we got to see a miracle up close and personally.
And trust me, we will never be the same.
Thank you Lord, for saving them.  For putting your mighty hands around them and keeping them safe.  We can't believe what you did, but we know it was YOU who did it.