Saturday, June 30, 2007

Prayers for my Mom

I woke up this morning and was enjoying some peace and quiet before everyone woke up when the phone rang this morning. I thought it was my Mom, however it turned out to be my brother. "Jess, there's something going on with Mom. She's asking weird questions. I need you to call back in a minute." I asked him if she had just woken up or something thinking that maybe she was just coming out of a dream or something. He told me that she had been up for a little bit, but he just wanted me to call back in a minute. I went and woke Andy up and told him that something was going on with my Mom and that I may need to run over there.

I went and called my Mom and at first she was just mumbling lowly and I don't even know what she was trying to say and then hung up on me. I called back again and she said "Sorry Jess, I must have hit some button or something...I don't know what happened." I told her that was ok and was just about to ask her if she feeling ok when she asked me "Where's Daddy?" I told her I didn't know. She asked me why and when I told her that I hadn't talked to him in a few days she asked me if he was in Georgia. I told her again that I didn't know. She asked why. I told her again that I hadn't talked to him in a few days. She then asked "Did he go back to GA?" I asked her what she meant and she asked me again "Where's Daddy?" I then asked her what she meant. She's had dreams before that have been prophetic, so I had wondered if she had a dream that my Dad had been in an accident or something (he's an over-the-road truck driver). Then, she says "Jimmie said he got remarried." It was then that I knew that something wasn't right. I told her to put Jimmie on the phone. She said that she wasn't going to. I told her that I was going to come over. She then asked "Why won't anyone tell me where Daddy went?" I didn't know whether to tell her the real answers or not at this point as I didn't know what was going on. My Dad remarried about 4 years ago and she's known that all along, but something wasn't right. I told her again that I was coming over and when she said something to my brother in the background, I hung up.

I broke down in tears and told Andy that I needed to Mom was not in her right mind and I had no idea what was going on. I couldn't think clearly at all I was in such a panic. He told me she may be having a stroke and to call 911 and get someone over there. I picked up the phone to call 911 and then thought "well, if I call 911 and they take her to the hospital, I have no way of knowing where they've taken her by then as I'm 30 minutes from there. I hung up to get on the road (I was going to call again after I left) but I couldn't find my keys. In the meantime, 911 called me back...I explained the situation and they gave me the police department number. I called them as I was walking out the door and they told me that I needed to call the sherriff's dept. I called them and explained the situation and they wanted to know if I wanted a sherriff to go out and check on her. I told them that I didn't know whether we needed an ambulance or the sherriff, but I needed to get to her so that I knew where they were going to take her. She took my number down so they could have the sherriff call me back. They said the sherriff would call for the ambulance if one was needed. I called my Dad in tears and could hardly speak and I was growing increasingly frustrated that everyone in front of me would not go the speed limit. Dad told me that he'd call her and choked up himself. I told him then that I didn't know if that was such a good idea either, but I couldn't stop him from doing it. After that, I called Andy and gave him an update and he told me to keep him posted and to try and calm down. I asked him to call my work and tell them that I had a family emergency and would not be coming in today. I feel bad that this is my 2nd Saturday that I've missed in a row, but I just didn't feel comfortable going in. My Dad called me back just as I was turning onto the back road that goes down to their street and said that he just talked to her and it sounded like she just had a bad memory relapse and she seemed to remember as he talked to her about things although her mind was fuzzy. He had to get back to a meeting, but he wanted me to stay with her today and I told him that the police should be there checking on her. An ambulance whizzed by me after that and I freaked out not knowing if it was her. I was on a very low battery on my cell phone and was praying that I didn't lose signal before I knew what was going on with her.

I pulled up to their house and 2 cop cars were there. I started crying again and tried to pull myself together. I got in the door and my brother came up and wrapped his arms around me and my Mom was crying. She said that after she talked to my Dad she seemed to come out of it. She said that she felt fine otherwise and the cops said that they thought she just had a bad memory relapse and that stress or anything could have caused it. She didn't want to go get checked out and kept saying that she was fine, so after they took down some other info from me they left. She kept saying that she was fine, but the more we talked about stuff her memory was extremely fuzzy...she didn't remember hanging up on me, she didn't remember asking some of the questions that she had asked, and when we said some things she had no memory of it. She knew that she talked to Dad as well, but she had no memory of what he told her or what he had asked her but she did remember feeling good about talking to him. With all that, I just didn't feel right about leaving her in case she had another relapse, so I told her that I was going to spend the day with her.

We spent the day crying and laughing and just going along with what she wanted to do. We went and got some coffee, we went to a couple of garage sales, and we went out to dinner and she was extremely embarrassed about what she calls "her senior moment." I'm still worried about her and she did tell me that she found out on Friday that some medical tests that she had came back positive and that she had to go in and have more testing done to find out what was going on and that she was a bit stressed about that. I didn't know if that's what maybe caused the episode today, but I told her that I wanted her to talk to the doctor about what happened today when she went in this week. It was hard to leave today and I told my brother to call me if anything else happened during the night or over the next day. All I know is that it scared us pretty bad. I still don't know what happened, but she said that she just felt like she was in another realm. I don't know if it was a minor stroke or not and seeing how as she wouldn't go back in as she said that she felt fine, I don't know if we'll ever know, but I hope we never have to go through this again.

Abba, please watch over my Mom and keep her safe and please let her medical tests come back showing only good things.

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Ever feel like you've just stepped into a tornado?

The transition from 1-2 children really didn't phase me much...although it did take me about a week or so to get used to his schedule. The transiton from 2-3 has been a tad overwhelming, especially with the babies only being 5 months apart in ages. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of everything, their therapy appoints started and Andy went out of state. I do fine when it's me and the kiddos at home. I'm getting a schedule of how to do everything. It's when you start adding in worker visits, therapy appointments here at home that they want you participating in, doctor appointments, stuff out of the house that we have to go to that I start majorly stressing and feeling overwhelmed. It's hard to focus on that 4th dimension (whatever it may be) when I'm chasing 2 babies around the house, trying to keep E from bullying the other ones, and trying to keep everything flowing nicely and yet I have to focus on some other thing that is going on here. Not to mention, that usually they're here when it's the kiddos nap time and they get into everything they're not supposed to when they're tired way more than normal.

Tuesday went fine...that was our free day and we just played around the house. When the kids napped, I used that as my down time and I stayed up way late after everyone went to bed to have some time for me since Andy was gone and couldn't give me a break.

I'm learning that Wednesdays are my rough days...not sure why...not sure if it's just because that's the half way point through the week or what. But, it's been a hard day to get through for whatever reason. Anyway, Deidra was feeling out of sorts (probably because Andy was out of state and that was a change in her routine), we had the therapy coming out for a major appointment, I was trying to get in the shower and the house cleaned during the boys morning nap time, they didn't want to go to sleep. I asked for her help in cleaning up the toys and she was fighting me on everything. She destroyed her room and I had to put her in time out until she cleaned it. Daddy called in the middle of her tantrum, asked to talk to her, and she willingly cleaned everything up then...which tells me she was desperately missing Daddy. The therapy people got here, she was wanting attention to and to be included, I was answering a zillion questions, trying to keep the boys out of everything, Deidra and E wound up getting into it and that was so unlike her...normally she's so patient with him. I think she's just tired of getting bit and her hair pulled. But, she was too agressive with him. Anyway, after they left I wound up putting the boys down for a nap and I told her that I needed to have a serious talk with her. I told her that she is in no way to ever put her hands on the children again, there are serious rules about this stuff, and that she wouldn't be going to gymnastics or to the play place to play and that we would be staying home until she could get her behavior back on the good side whether Daddy was here or not. Talk about majorly stressing me out. I worried all night about it.

Thursday morning, I knew that the end was in sight as Andy got home later that night. However, I didn't know how I was going to make it through the dentist appt with all 3 kids by myself and that was worrying me. We still don't have a double stroller and the waiting room there is like a shoe box. Anyway, I was still worrying about the incident between E and Deidra and I wanted my caseworkers opinion about it all so I called him to talk to him about it. Deidra woke up crying and asked if we were going to have to give the kids back because of her. I spent the morning trying to comfort her with her kept saying that she was sorry. I knew she didn't hurt him, but I just kept trying to tell her that if he did anything that she just had to keep telling Mommy so that Mommy could deal with it. I try to get to him when I see that look in his eyes to reiterate the nice behavior but I can't see everything. Not to mention that sometimes he barely touches her and she freaks and it's hard to tell what really happened. It's come down to now that I have to check for bite marks and he's got her good a couple of times. Anyway, the caseworker reassured me that these things are going to happen with their ages...they understand that, but that we really have to reiterate with Deidra that she cannot touch them or that will eventually get us in trouble if it keeps happening. It's only happened the one time and she feels immensely bad about it, so I don't really foresee it happening. She didn't really understand about the rules before now either (other than me telling her not to do anything back to him when he first did that stuff to her and she never really tried. Anyway, I found out a good thing with E to try for when he does the "bully" behavior. He can sit in time out forever and it doesn't phase him (he's still in the living room with the other kids). However, I started putting him in the playpen in his room for 3 minutes and he hates being alone. Then, I go back to get him, tell him that if he can play nice then he can come out and play, and I take him to the kid that he has hurt and make him give him a hug. When he does nice behavior I have also started to really play it up by telling him what a good boy that he's being and we all clap for him. It seemed to work much better and I think he is slowly getting it. Being in the car is a whole other story though...I still have to think of ideas for that one. We really need to get a van and then it will be a non-issue because he won't be able to reach anyone.

Anyway, we survived the dentist appt. I put J in the stroller since he was the only one who didn't have an appt. D and E played...well E got into everything he wasn't supposed to. I had paperwork to fill out on D and E and it was horrible trying to fill it out with him running and getting into everything. It took me a half an hour to get E's paperwork done before they could see him. Then, his appt was literally 2 seconds. I was hoping for a reprieve while they cleaned his teeth to be able to get Deidra's done without having to keep an eye on E at the same time. They took D back while I was doing hers and I literally just finished it about 5-10 minutes before her appt was done. However, things did quiet down once I was actually able to concentrate on both boys and didn't have that dreaded paperwork to try and get done. Both kids had good appts and nothing wrong with any of their teeth. We wound up going to McDonalds afterwards because they got free french fry coupons from the dentist along with their new toothbrushes. We came home to eat and then I had to take them all to a training up at the agency that we had to go to on SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome. That gave me an hour to myself to wind down a little bit. I was able to talk to our caseworker again and I felt a lot better about everything. I went and picked up the kids from the rec room after training and then we had to run to the store for more milk. Got home and got the kids ready for bed, in their jammies and gave them their medicines, and put them down to sleep. Deidra asked to stay up to see Daddy since he was supposed to be landing soon and I told her that she could cuddle with me on the couch. There turned out to be a major delay in his flight though...I was worrying about why he didn't call and then Andy's dad wound up calling me asking if I had heard anything from Andy and when I said that I hadn't he informed me that the flights out of NY were delayed due to weather. He wound up landing shortly after 10:30 although he never made it home till shortly after 1 am. I was just relieved that he was finally home.

All I know is that it's hard work taking care of 3 kiddos with no break and I don't want to be a single parent ever. I hope Andy won't have to go out of town for work anytime soon either.

Thank you, Abba, for surrounding us with your protection while he was gone and for seeing us through this week.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

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He made it back...

Andy made it home last night from NYC. I was very happy to see him. He was supposed to land at 8:40, but due to weather delays didn't land until shortly after 10:30. He made it home a little after 1 am. My stress level went down a few notches when he came home. It's hard to take care of 3 kids with no help and no break. He was going to go in for a little bit today, but when his flight got in so late he just decided to stay home with us today. I can handle that!

Abba, thank you so much for watching over him while he was gone and for returning him home to us safely. He was worried yesterday that he wasn't even going to make his flight as they forgot to call for a car for him. He had to catch a cab and with all the traffic and getting a late start, he was really doubting that he was going to make his flight. Turns out they sat on the runway waiting to get permission to leave for 2 1/2 hours due to the weather, but they were all sitting on the plane when the delays started happening so it's a good thing that he did get there when he did so he didn't get bounced to another flight. I am just glad that he is home and hope he doesn't have to leave again anytime soon.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Everything is BIG in Texas!

I have been having too much fun doing digiscrapping. I made both the boys their first pages for their books yesterday while they were taking their afternoon nap and then after everyone was in bed for the night I decided to do this page. I stayed up way too late playing around...but I had fun and it was a good destressing time as well. These were just some of the huge things we've seen in Texas this past week.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

I have finally found a digital scrapbooking program that I can figure out on my own and an added was totally free to download. I decided when we made the decision to foster/adopt that since I didn't know how long these kiddos were going to be with us that I was going to do digital scrapbooks for them. I think I may even switch over from paper scrapping to digital scrapping for Deidra as well as I like not having a mess to clean up when I'm done. There is some pretty neat stuff out there to use as well. I have been collecting a ton of freebies and have a ton of sites bookmarked for really good bargains when I decide to buy some stuff too. I just made the boys their 1st pages for their books and Deidra wants me to do a couple for her. Only bad thing is that right now most of our digital pics are on Andy's computer...what's so bad about that?? Oh...well, he's in NYC for most of this week and I didn't get this bright idea to start this project until this afternoon.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Daddy is off to Yew Nork...

tomorrow morning for work. This is the first time he's had to do any major traveling for work and we're both a little nervous about it. He's nervous about going to such a big city that he's never been to before. He's also nervous about flying and we've both had thoughts of he hasn't flown since that all happened. He's also worrying about leaving me home with 3 kids, although I keep telling him that it'll all be ok. I do fine with them when we're home during the day. This week is going to keep me pretty hopping with therapies, dentist appts, doctor appts, and a training class that I have to go to. But...Deidra is pretty good about helping I think we'll be ok. I'm more nervous about being home alone at night...yes, I'm scared of the dark...ok...I admit it. It doesn't help that we've been egged, water ballooned, and crazy stringed all in the course of this week on separate occasions either. Granted, I know it's just stupid prank stuff...but if anything like this happens and I hear it when Andy is gone it's going to majorly freak me out. I think I'll be sleeping with my cell phone close by while he's gone. I just don't tend to sleep well when he's gone. However, I know we'll be ok and I pray for a safe flight for him and I hope he has some fun while he's gone too and will get out and explore. I'm bummed that I can't go with him this time, but he said that next time he'll bring me out...we also talked about maybe going out there for a long weekend for our anniversary this year. So, we'll see.

Abba, please protect Andy and keep him safe during his trip and I pray for safe travels for him in the air and on the ground. Please bring him back home to us safe and sound. Surround our family with your protection and love while we are apart and keep us all safe. We hope that Daddy has some fun and that it's not all work while he's in Yew Nork (as Deidra calls it) too.


Range of Emotions

Nobody can prepare you for the range of emotions that becoming a foster parent brings. You see these little children and what they have been put through and your heart breaks for them...yet at the same time you're so excited to have them here in your home to love and spoil and we see what true blessings they are. I bonded instantly with J...although it took me about a week to finally make some breakthroughs with E.

Then, I was informed within a couple days of one another about E's visit and then J's visit with their mamas. That alone brought some emotions with it for me. It was hard to let them go a little bit...I wanted to protect them and I saw my momma bear protective instincts come out a little bit...that's when I realized that I was a lot more attached to E than I had previously thought.

Anyway, there was some confusion with J's visit although we finally got it all worked out. We took him out to the hospital to see her on Saturday and I had wanted to take a picture of him with his mom for his room, but we weren't allowed to go back in the room. So, I'll just have to ask for pictures later when I send some of J to his mom. I did want to meet her and let her know that we were going to take good care of J and that I would write her letters and send pics so she'd know how he was doing while she was so far away. Andy told me that I was getting too involved and that I needed to let the caseworkers do their things and that we needed to keep our distance. I don't know if I totally agree...but I'll start out slow with letters and pictures and see how she takes it. Andy told me to keep in mind that she may not see that we're helping...she may be angry at us. I told him that her caseworker doesn't see that apparently as she was going to set up a visit with his mom and J right here at our was us that wasn't comfortable with that. But, I said that I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and I'll start out with the letter and the pictures and see what transforms after that. Anyway, J was all happy when he saw us pull up to get him and Deidra was especially happy that he was back with us.

For E's visit I went and picked out a few small things for her birthday (she turned 18 the day after they placed E with us) for him to bring to her for his visit today. He left this morning shortly before 11 and when they left, my heart hurt a little bit. I couldn't explain just did. Anyway, Deidra wanted me to bring her and J out to lunch and so I took them to Burger King. We had just sat down and started eating when my cell rang. It was the transport worker saying that E's mom never showed up. My heart broke for him. We finished eating and came home to be here for when E came back home. Granted, I understand that he's little and doesn't understand all this...but my heart hurt that his momma couldn't show up for his sake. When the doorbell rang and he saw me, he broke out into this huge grin and that made me smile. The transport worker said that his mom did finally call them back and said that she was sick and didn't have a ride. I told the transport lady that you'd have thought that she would have called that in this morning. She said that she understood where I was coming from and that she was going to try to schedule the next one here in our town. I guess she tried to do it for this one, but the mom wanted it done out of region instead of here. I told the transporter that just makes it more inconvenient for everyone. Not to mention, that considering where his mom lives, this is a lot closer as well and it doesn't involve us having to bring him (or the transport worker having to come 50 minutes) to get him and bring him back either. She left and I was feeding him lunch and he just kept grinning at me. I'll never forget how he grinned when he saw me open the door. I want to cry just thinking about it...but he's definitely bonded to us that's for sure. I went to put him down for his nap and he just wrapped his arms around my neck. I can only hope that next time his mama will show up for his sake. Poor little guy!

Yes, there are some things I guess I just wasn't prepared for emotionally in this journey...but I will be here for these kids every step of the way...they have already taken up such huge pieces of my heart. And this is just the beginning really...we've had J for 25 days...and E we've only had for 2 weeks. I just want to wrap my arms around the both of them and never let them go.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

How is it that...

there can be 3 of us in this house with ear infections??? UGH! I had to go to ER tonight as my ear was hurting so bad, I could hardly turn my head without these bad pains going through my ear and I could hardly hear at all. The doctor was suprised with how bad it looked that it had just started to hurt. So, I got some numbing drops and some amoxicillin and I called in to work tomorrow. Guess I'll be getting all of our ears rechecked this coming week.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is My Mate Looking Upward?

Genesis 2:18
It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

This study talks about a pastor that meets an irreligious lady whose husband was trying to serve God. He addressed her "Madam, I think your husband is looking upwards, making some effort to rise above the world towards God and heaven. You must not let him try alone. Whenever I see the husband struggling alone in such efforts, it makes me think of a dove endeavoring to fly upwards while it has one broken wing. It leaps and flutters, and perhaps rises a little way; and then it beomes wearied, and drops back again to the ground. If both wings cooperate, then it mounts easily."

What a difference it would make if more women would uphold their husbands as they attempt to rise above the world towards God and heaven! In his letter to Titus, the apostle Paul gives some excellent exaltations to women. He writes:

...train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God (Titus 2:4-5).

Oh how we need to teach our women:

* to love their husbands and children.

* to be self-controlled.

* to be pure.

* to be busy at home.

* to be kind.

* to be subject to their husbands.

Traits that are so opposite of what the world attempts to teach us and the world seems to be winning. However, I really started to look at all this a few months ago and I worked on trying to be more submssive rather than arguing with Andy about everything. Now, I state my peace and we talk about things...but the final decision as head of our household comes down to him. We fight much less this way and a lot of times, I really am ok with what happens in the final outcome. And a lot of the times he does take what I say to heart. And now that I'm home during the week, I do try to make our home a place of peace and just that nice feeling to be home. I'm cooking at home more, it's cleaned and paid attention to a lot more (granted with 3 kids it's hard to keep clean)...but I do make more of an attempt again to make it homey here and I am happy to do so. Yes, I stress myself out a lot, but things are going well and I'm happy to be home again. I will make more of an effort to support my husband and really listen to him though and take the time out for him. I want him to always know how much he is loved and cared about. I want to try and remember to always pray for him and keep him surrounded in prayer and keep him looking upward.


E has his first visit...

with his mama on Monday. My mama bear instincts are coming out a little bit since finding out about it. I just hope that we have a chance to help him some more before he goes home. I think we will as the doctor and the psychologist had some of the same fears that I did...but I'm just worrying. I had a bit of a hard time bonding to him, but over the past couple of days things have been easier and he actually came up to me today and threw his arms around my legs and hugged me and gave me a big smile. I sat down on the floor with him and he sat in my lap and I just started to cry. I can't really get into the things that I'm suspecting, but it feels good to know that the doctor and the psychologist were thinking very I hope that my documenting all this and them documenting it all too will help out and get him to where he needs to be.

Abba, please help us and let him stay with us for awhile so that we can get him the help that he needs and some time to really look into seeing if our concerns are valid.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The sickies are just going around...

Poor baby J has had green goo in his eyes since yesterday every time he wakes up. It was really bad this morning and I knew I needed to get him in. He also woke up a couple times in the middle of the night last night and that's very unusual for him. He was really fussy this morning as well and kept pulling at his ear, so that got me wondering about an ear infection. He was also supposed to go up and meet with the clinic psychologist today as well. I was worried about him having pink eye and didn't know if any other kids were going to be around. I made him a doctor's appt and then the agency wanted me to bring both boys to the evaluation. Andy came home early to help me out as I had to bring both boys up there for their evals with the psychologist and then I had to bring J to the doctor. Poor baby has a double ear infection as well as a sinus infection. I am thankful that it wasn't pink eye as I didn't want that going around the whole household. Both boys did ok for the evals though....they both qualify for services to get them up to par with their milestones. It was nice to know that my concerns were validated and now to get them the help that they need.

God bless my boys...

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Something I made last night...

that was a total hit with all my family. So, I thought I'd share the recipe.

Nacho Cheese Bake

Brown 1 lb hamburger meat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion to the mixture. Once meat is all browned up, add 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and bring to a boil. In the meantime, take a package of crescent roll dough and put it in a casserole dish or pie dish and make a crust on the bottom and bring it up along the edges. Then, sprinkle crushed cheese tortilla chips (we used Doritos) over the dough. Then, take your meat mixture and pour that over the top of that. Then, take an 8 oz package of sour cream and dump it over the meat. Then, sprinkle the top of that with shredded cheddar cheese and a few more crushed cheese tortilla chips. Pop it in the oven on 350 degrees for 20 minutes. It was a hit with everyone and so easy to do.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Whys of Life

Ecclesiastes 7:16
Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise--why destroy yourself?

Father God, humble my spirit so that I might be open to new truths today that I might better understand the whys of life (the big and the small). You know that I want to expand my mind to be more like You. Amen.

I think we will always wonder "Why?" when certain things in our lives happen. When we are undergoing especially hard times of testing, I know we will always wonder why this is happening to us. What are we supposed to be learning from this? Why is this happening to me? I know I especially wonder "why?" or "why me?" when certain things in life happen to me. Yet, I also know that what I want out of life isn't always in the grand Plan that Christ has laid out for my life and that He allows certain things to happen to test us and to help us learn lessons that we are supposed to be learning. Some of them are harder than others and a lot more painful to learn.

What are some of my "why's" of life?

Well, let me go back to when I was younger and work up until the present.

* Why can't you see God?
Yet, I've always believed in Him and I believe that I always will. Too many things have happened in my life where I have experienced Him for me not to. That's a later post though...that deserves it's very own post.

* Why did my Mom have to die so young?
I still wonder about this one. There's a lot of things that I've struggled with throughout my life with her being taken from me so young (I was 8), but yet I know we will be reunited in Heaven one day.

* Why am I an only child? Why couldn't I have siblings to go through this whole experience with to know what I am feeling?
This was what I often wondered after my Mom's death when I felt so alone.

Those were some of my childhood "why's." These are some of my adulthood "why's."

* Why is it that we don't always get the family support that we've been looking for?"
I'm slowly learning to let this one go little by little. It doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to, although if I get to really thinking about it sometimes it does start to bother me. However, I know who truly supports us and when it comes to needing advice/support I've learned to go to the people who I know truly support us. I know deep down that as long as our own immediate family is in agreement with whatever is going on...that is truly all that matters.

* Why is it that some people can't have a baby when they are great and loving people yet some people get pregnant with no problems and never want their children or can't see the true blessings that the children really are?"
This one, I think I will always struggle with. There are some things that just don't make sense. The teenage girl that gets pregnant and throws her baby in the dumpster, the lady that just put her child in the trunk to get her out of having to go back into foster care, the people that complain and complain about their children but yet keep popping them out left and right, the moms that keep drinking and doing drugs while they're pregnant because their too selfish to give that up to keep their baby safe for the 9 months that they're pregnant...yet you see these people who are so sweet, giving, loving, and have so much to offer a baby and yet they struggle and struggle to have a baby and they can't. I just can't understand and don't think I ever will understand that one.

* Our we ever going to get to have a baby?
This is something that totally tested my faith, yet it was through choosing faith and constantly praying and believing in God's answer that got us our precious Deidra. There's not a day that goes by that I don't feel totally blessed to have her. Even on the bad days, I know that I am blessed and that does help.

* Why is it that children have to die?
Sweet, precious, innocent children...why do they have to die so young? Why are their families put through this grief and loss? I've read so many blog entries about children dying from cancer or fighting cancer battles and it's so heartbreaking, you hear the news about children dying because of brutalities done to them, children dying in auto accidents or the freak accidents. It's a shame that they have to die so young...yet I read somewhere that when God calls you to perfection early...that is why He takes them to be with Him. God just needs them and wants them to be with Him sooner. But, it's so hard to watch their families grieve over them and that's a grief that you never do get over. Sure it lessens with time, but it's something you never truly get over.

* Why did we have to go through our money troubles?
This was also a very trying and testing time...I felt many times that people never understood what we were going through. Then again, I think it's one of those things that you don't truly understand until you're going through it and living it. And I know that everyone goes through it at some point. Anyway, I think it taught us a lot about how to handle money and that we needed to live well within our means no matter what. Filing bankruptcy wasn't something that we were proud of and we felt scorned by many for having to do it, however it gave us a chance to start over again and learn our lessons and we are a lot better off now for having learned those lessons.

Then there's my silly "whys"....

* Why do there have to be spiders and creepy crawly bugs?

* Why does the earth have to spin?

* What does Heaven really look like?

* What does one do in Heaven?

* Can animals go to Heaven too?"

* Will we ever get to live in space one day?

* Can animals talk to one another like we talk to each other and understand?

* Can loved ones in Heaven see me now?

* Will we ever manage to get pregnant again one day?

I guess I changed some of the whys to will we's...but it's all the wonders of I guess it all goes together.

I thank you God for giving me the gift of curiosity and I thank you for the questions that I have answers to and also for the ones that you will reveal the answers to me later on.


How exhausting...

Poor E woke up from his nap around 5. He was a little fussy when I got him up and just thought that he needed some time to wake up. I picked him up to cuddle him and he fell asleep on my shoulder. I went to sit him down on the couch and his cheeks looked a bit rosy and he felt a little warm. I wasn't sure if he wasn't feeling well or if it was just because he had been covered up with his blanket for his nap, when all of a sudden he vomits everywhere. He continued to vomit an awful lot in only a matter of minutes and then got very listless. So, I decided that I needed to take him to the ER to make sure he was alright. We sat in the ER for probably 3 hours and he continued to scream and scream and vomit and vomit. I bet you that poor baby threw up at least 20 times in 3 hours. He was covered in it, I was covered in it. But wouldn't you know when we got called back, that he finally stopped. Turns out he has a very very bad ear infection, which is odd to me because he had tubes put in at the end of March and I just had him at the doctors on Tuesday and they noted that both of his ears were draining and didn't look good and they put him on ear drops then. Anyway, he wound up having to get a shot and they gave him some motrin and he was doing a lot better. They gave him a couple popsicles to make sure he could keep them down and him and J ate a bunch of those little gerber puffs.

I called my Mom to ask her what she thought when it happened because I wanted a second opinion. She told me she'd meet me up there as she didn't want me to have up there alone with all 3 kids. She actually beat me up there. However, Andy pulled in and met us in the parking lot, so she just said that she'd take D. We didn't get out of ER until amost 10:30 so she said she'd keep Deidra. Deidra had started crying that her throat hurt when E was getting sick and I couldn't tell whether that was her ploy for attention (she's been saying that for probably a week in order to get a popsicle) or if she really was hurting. I gave her some motrin to be on the safe side before we left for the ER. Anyway, since it was so late when we left, Mom said she'd keep Deidra overnight and bring her back in the morning when she came in for work. So, we got the little ones home, bathed, gave them their meds, and put them to bed and then we had to try to clean up all the barf and stuff so that the house was somewhat presentable when the therapy people come today. We went to bed around midnight and Andy had to be up at 3am. The phone starts rining in the middle of the night and it's my Mom. Jess, you're going to have to come get Deidra...she's crying again that her throat is really hurting and she wants you and Daddy. Andy went to go get her even though I kept saying that I'd go since he had to be up so early. That was around 1 am. So, they got home around 2. Deidra is still fussing that her throat is hurting, however she's not running a fever...but I guess once the therapist comes and does her thing that I'm going to have to try and get her into the doctor's this afternoon.

Both Andy and I are exhausted today and he found out that he's going out to NYC next Tuesday morning to late Thursday night. He's totally nervous about going and he's nervous about leaving me alone with all the kids even though I keep telling him that it will be fine.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

The truth about fatherhood...

We went to see a presentation at our church at Easter time on The Passion of our Lord. I found this little thing on fatherhood on the table afterwards. So, in honor of Father's Day, I thought I'd post it. I hope all the Daddies out there had a wonderful day!


A father gives his children a great gift by loving his wife
and leading her to Christ!
A father looks into the eyes of his children with love!
A father corrrects his children out of love, not out of anger!
A father is an example of holiness, peace,
kindness and strength of character!
A father is a source of encouragement and godly wisdom!
A father teaches his children the value of life!
A father teaches his daughters to be ladies
and his sons to be gentlemen!
A father is a defender and protector of what is good and holy!
A father looks to God as his source of strength!
Divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood!


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A biter and hair puller...

Abba, please help me out with some guidance here. This is new territory for me. Deidra never did the whole biting thing and other than playing with my hair when I was holding her, she never was one to pull other kids hair. Baby E (just turned 19 months old) has been pulling Deidra's hair (he's gotten a couple of clump fulls) and if Baby J has something that he wants, not only will he go up and snatch it, but if Baby J tries to get it back E will bite him. I've been constantly telling him no, taking the things back from him that he's been biting for, and he sits in the time out chair for 18 seconds. After his time out is done, I tell him again that we don't bite and pull hair. I can only hope that if he sees that his efforts of biting and pulling hair aren't getting him anywhere that he'll stop. I also hope that when he starts his speech therapy, that he'll be able to get his point across better and that will also help to discourage this biting and pulling hair to get his way.

Anyone that had a biter or a hair puller have any advice for me of things I'm not already doing that worked for you?


I'm it!

Lacey tagged me, so here goes!

These are the rules…. each player starts with 7 random facts about themselves on their Blog. People who are tagged need to blog 7 facts about themselves and post the rules as well. At the end of their blog list 7 people you are tagging. Let them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment. So, time for my 7 random facts:

1. Andy and I met in high school although we were just friends. We didn't start dating until after our sophomore year of college.

2. I have lived in 3 states. MI, IL, back to MI, and now TX.

3. I have always wanted a big family. Big families have always fascinated me. I could easily see myself with six. Yes, I did say 6.

4. I don't have a ton of friends, but the ones that I do have will always have my loyalty, respect, and dedication. I hold them near and dear to my heart like family.

5. I have a horrible fear of spiders.

6. I need to lose about 120 lbs.

7. I used to play the trumpet and the french horn and miss it dearly.

So, with that I tag ...... Vicki, Corey, Tricia, Jen, and Leslie.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

We saw one of these...

We ran out to do errands last night around 7 and as we were getting the kids in the car, Deidra says there's something crawling in the street. We turn and look and Andy said "I know what that is." I had no idea from where we were. We get closer and Andy says "yup, that's a big tarantula." It was just walking down the road. He went into the neighbor across the road's yard and then when we left, we saw it going across their driveway. We didn't get too close to it as it does walk quite fast.

I just thought it was funny that when I was talking to my Mom about moving down here I was worried about the spiders and the rattlesnakes and she had said that she had never seen any. Well, we've been here just over a year and we've seen 2 rattlesnakes (at the park of all places) and now as of yesterday, we've seen our first tarantula. I'm just hoping that he's not anywhere around our yard right now. Deidra and I were freaked last night about even getting out of the car in the dark.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Today is going 99% better!

Today is going so so much better. The boys have been playing nicer. E is starting to come out of his shell a bit more and it's nice to see some smiles and hear some giggles from him. I was able to get 3 loads of laundry done as well as clean the house and that alone made me feel a lot better. The caseworkers came over to do their home visit for the boys today and that went well. It's hard to totally concentrate on what they're saying and asking though in the middle of chasing after them and answering Deidra's questions as well (I keep telling her that she needs to leave me be when we have visitors...but she wants to be part of the attention too). It made me smile though when she said to them "I'm just the big sister." They asked her if she was liking it and she said "It's the greatest job in the world." So, that made me smile and it made them smile too. Anyway, yesterday was just a bad and hectic day. Today has been so much better. I have a lot to do later...the paperwork needs to be done over the weekend and this being the first time I've had to do should be interesting. I'm sure I'll figure it out as I go and if I can't...I'll just have to call the case worker and ask.


Hard day yesterday...

I had to take E to the doctor for his check-up and he had to get 3 immunizations. He wasn't feeling too well afterwards. I had him on motrin. He also got a couple of perscriptions so I had to do those with him too. Anyway, he was fussy most of the day. Andy stayed him with D and J while I took E to the doctor and by the time I dropped off his perscriptions, I didn't have time to wait for them before Andy had to leave as he had a deadline at work. Andy and I got into a small tizzy over the way he acted when I got home (I was later than I thought I'd be and he was worried he wouldn't be able to set up for the conference before it needed to be done by and everyone was really busy at work and couldn't help him).

So, after the boys morning nap, I got them all into the car to go back to Walgreens to get E's meds. What do you know but it starts pouring. Deidra took Evan to wait under the awning while I got J out of the car. We run in and get his meds and a few snacks. Come back home and I brought J in with Deidra and Deidra fed J something that he wasn't supposed to have while I was out getting E from the car. Poor guy had some major intestinal issues, got horrid butt rash, and was majorly fussy. I wound up having to give him a couple sitz baths as well as piling on his perscription butt cream afterwards and a little motrin. I couldn't be mad at Deidra as she was only trying to help, but now she knows that she can't feed them without asking me first.

I'm trying to feed the boys lunch and J has another explosive diaper...I pick him up to go change him...E is in the high chair...the doorbell rings. It turns out to be J's caseworker that was supposed to be here on MOnday that never showed up. She said she just needed to take a quick picture of J and she asked me a few questions about his mom that I didn't have the answers too. Turns out, it's under investigation whether he can even be placed with his mom or whether they needed to remain to be separated. I had no idea it was under investigation at all. Anyway...I gave her the name of someone she could call and E dumps his food all over the floor. She finally says that she sees that I have my hands full and she got all that she needed. She left and I looked around and I was like with how messy and chaotic it is in here from them not feeling well and the messes they've been making...yeah that probably made a wonderful impression. All I wanted to do was cry...

Anyway, with both the boys being fussy, Deidra wasn't getting the attention she what does she do while she's playing in the sink...she decides that she's going to be a baby too and since she's seen me bathe J in the sink...she climbs on the counter and says she got something on her foot and is going to wash her foot. I thought she was just going to sit on the counterand put her foot in to wash it off...nope she decides that she's going to sit in the sink full of water. I put the babies down and go run over there to get her out and she's slopped water all over the counter, under the microwave, down the cabinets, and all over the floor. Oh, and while I'm trying to get her out and the water cleaned up, E decides to bite J right in the center of his forehead.

I finally got things cleaned up, kids calmed down, but my head was killing me. The babies went down for their afternoon nap and I had some stuff I had to try to catch up on. My Dad kept calling me all day over my brother's stupid stuff as well and it just wasn't good timing. J woke up from his nap with another horrid diaper...didn't even want me to touch him as it hurt. I'm in the middle of doing all this and the phone rings again...Deidra gets it for's my Dad wanting to know if my brother got in touch with Andy. Ummm,..I don't know...why don't you try calling Andy? My Dad just kept laughing over everything that was going on and asking me if I was sure that I wanted to do this. Finally I had to ask him if he had never had a hard day. E wound up turning the power cord off to the phone while I was on the phone with I'm sure he thought that I had hung up on him.

I finally called Andy when he was 2 hours late coming home and asked him when he was going to come home. I had a headache (this was 7 pm and it finally dawned on me that I hadn't eaten anything all day long) and I just needed a break. He got home just in time to help me get them in their jammies and put them to bed. I had had it though with everyone laughing at what was going on and nobody being positive when that was what I needed. Thankfully, a friend lifted me up when the boys were taking their afternoon nap.

I ran out to Wal-mart and left Andy to put Deidra to bed...I needed some time to myself. I told him that I was tired of being asked if I regretted doing this, or if I knew what I was getting into, and all these negative comments I kept hearing by family who was supposed to support me. I stepped outside the house and looked up and there was a beautiful full rainbow right in front of our house. I ran back in to tell Andy and him and Deidra came out to look at it. Awhile later, I left to run my errands as J was out of soy milk. I got into the car and tears just streamed down my face...I felt like it was God's way of telling me that He believes in me.

Anyway, I hope today goes much better. This week hasn't been that was just a hard day yesterday. Andy told me last night that he thinks I'm trying to be super mom because of the things that they've been through and I feel stressed knowing that their caseworkers are coming in and out that things aren't all chaotic and messy. He finally got me to understand that they just care that the kids are taken care of and if there's an occasional mess that it's going to be ok. I just need to learn how to chill about certain things.

I pray that today goes much better and the kids will feel better today as well.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Prayers for my brother, Zach...

Mom called me today, Abba, with the news that she got from my Dad. Zach is feeling desperate. He moved to Austin around Easter time with the money he had gotten from his auto accident. He had to put down 6 months of rent to live there. Mom told him then that he desperately needed to find a job. He hasn't yet. I guess he texted my Dad yesterday saying that he's really desperate...he's down there with no electricity and very very little food. Mom is getting a care package together for him and I said that I'd send a little bit down for him too...however I'm not sending money because he never uses it for what it's intended for. She just sent him some money to take some music classes at the tech school...and I'll be surprised if he actually used it for that. I see him making a lot of wrong decisions...however I know that's all part of being a teenager too. I want to help him, but I want to help him where it's needed...I don't want him using the money for cigarettes or something that he can go without. Mom wanted to try and help him get his electric back on and I told her that she needed to find out his electric company and his account number and do it that way, rather than just giving him the money. Anyway, she's really worrying that he's going to get really desperate and thoughts of suicide will come with it being so hot and I told her that we'd just pray for him together. Please pray for him to start making the right decisions and putting his responsibilities where they need to be, that he finds a good job and that he finds Godly friends that will keep him lifted up, and that he stays safe from any harms. I think I'm going to send him some quarters to get his laundry done, a little care package, and I'm going to see if I can find a soup kitchen or something down there for him to go to if he really gets in dire need and print all that off for him.

Lord, I lift Zach up to You and ask that You would put a hedge of protection around him. Protect his spirit, body, mind, and emotions from any kind of evil or harm. I pray specifically for protection from accidents, disease, injury, or any other physical, mental, or emotional abuse. I pray that he will stay away from drugs and alcohol as well. I pray that he will make his refuse "in the shadows of Your wings" until "these calamaties have passed by" (Psalm 57:1). Hide him from any kind of evil influences that would come against him. Keep him safe from any hidden dangers and let no weapon formed against him be able to prosper. Thank You, Lord, for Your many promises of protection. Help him to walk in Your ways and in obedience to Your will so that he never comes out from under the umbrella of that protection. Keep him safe in all he does and wherever he goes. Please open his heart too to always know that his family loves and supports him and that we're here to see him through. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It really is like having twins...

Hi Abba. Today didn't go all that bad. It really is like having twins in the house. I just tried to get them down for nap and fed and diapers changed at the same time. Well, as much as I could. Poor Baby J isn't feeling very well today and had diarrhea for most of the day. Poor baby has horrible diaper rash from it. Baby E did much better today too and wasn't so shy. We actually got some smiles out of him today. Of course, both boys seemed to warm up to Deidra first. She's absolutely wonderful with them. I couldn't ask for a better helper. Although I had to laugh when they brought baby E to us yesterday when she said "Umm...Mom...I asked for a brother and a I have 2 brothers...what happened to the girls?" I asked her today if she wanted to send them back and she said no right away. She is loving this big sister thing. She got them all playing with the blocks today and building towers together and I was able to get some pictures...of course you can't see all their faces as they won't sit still long enough to take decent pics and sometimes I wonder if they've ever had their pics taken as the camera almost seems to scare them sometimes.

Today really didn't go that badly though...busy yes, but definitely doable. The only hard part is when they both start crying all the time and we have to watch E with J a little bit as E will just go up and grab stuff from J and scratch at him and stuff to get whatever he has. J's not too sure on not being the total center of attention either...however they did play nicer together today than yesterday. So, I'm sure they just need to get used to one another.

The hard part is remembering to record when we give them their medicine and everything. Both have colds. J has ecxema and bad allergies that he has perscriptions for. He's also lactose intolerant. Add in his diarrhea and diaper rash today and I was giving him stuff for that. And I gave him some motrin and all OTC stuff has to be recorded in it's own separate log as well. E has athsma and takes breathing treatments at a minimum of twice a day and we can give him a different one if he has issues throughout the day. Thankfully, we only had to do that one yesterday...he was fine today. Both of the boys love playing with the kitties too and chasing them all over...we're learning how to pet nicely. E was scared of them yesterday though...but today he did fine. Every two seconds we hear "'sat?" It's cute. Reminds us of Deidra at that age.

Now, hopefully tonight will go better than last and E will sleep through the night too. He woke up around 3 crying and by the time we got to him, he had woken up J. Thankfully, they both just wanted more milk and they went back down pretty well.

It's kinda neat to have babies in the house that are only 5 months apart in age...busy...but it's definitely a double blessing in which we are truly grateful for.


The Minimum Daily Adult Requirement...

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.

This study talks about how young Christians want to know what they should be doing as Christians to be good ones. How long should I read my Bible each day? How long should I pray each day? How much money do I have to give to the church? Do I have to sing in the choir to be a good Christian? How many times a week must I be in church? Do I have to....? The list goes on. We all want to know what the minimum daily adult requirement is for being a Christian. What do we really have to do each day to be a good one? Then, it goes on to how some people want to know how many calories their eating, how much fat content, what their daily requirements are on the food charts and so forth? So, if we can do it there...why not do it here as well?

The answer is though that Paul gave us is that Christ has freed us from this bondage of minimum daily adult requirements. It is not of works, but of grace. Yes, the Bible challenges us to follow in Christ's footstepss...however we need to do good works because we want to...not because we're told to do them. What do we see examples of Christ doing in the Bible....studying the law, meeting with other believers, praying regularly, serving others around Him in need, and giving to others in need.

I also believe though that the stronger our walk with Christ, the more we should be willing to do for others and for Him. He gives us tools in which to share with others in spreading his word the deeper into our faith we go.

Father God, help me not to worry about how long or how often. Put a strong desire in my soul to spend time with You today in prayer and study. Let time stand still and let me forget all about my watch and schedule. Amen.


Monday, June 11, 2007

It's another boy!

We were called on Friday about an 18-month old baby boy that is out of region. His mom aged out of foster care and they needed a place to put the baby until mom got some things figured out and could provide for him. E is coming this afternoon to stay with us for a bit. He's 18-months old and we can't wait to meet him. So, baby J will have a playmate. :-) Deidra is excited too but she is now asking for a sister for her to be able to play with. So, I guess it will be like having a set of virtual twins as the babies will be 5 months apart. I think if I can get them on the same schedule it won't be too badly. Thank you, Abba, for allowing us another blessing! We hope the transition will go smoothly like it did with baby J.


Good news!

We officially signed placement papers on Baby J today! I was so excited to hear the news. He really is such a wonderful and happy baby and we just adore him to pieces. Thank you, Abba, for allowing him to be able to stay with us. He is truly a blessing!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

New car time?

Well, we've been talking about the room in our cars for the kiddos. I don't really want to have to take 2 cars the dilemna we just take in 1 or 2 more kiddos and smush everyone into the cars and have to take 2 cars if Andy has to come with us? Or do we upgrade and get a used minivan? We'd have to trade Andy's car in and he'd inherit mine and I'd get the van to drive the kiddos around in? We just don't know if we should do this now or wait until we're in the new house? They always tell you that they don't want you buying anything on credit while you have a mortgage pending. I think I'm going to call our mortgage lady and see what she has to say tomorrow...however in the meantime...I offer it up to you, Abba. I know your timing and answers are perfect...even if they're not the ones that we currently want all the time. I must put my trust in you.

Any car recommendations out there that will seat 7-8? I've been looking at the Kia Sedona. However, I'd really like to find a Chevy.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

In His Steps..

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Father God, oh You know how I want to be like You. The deepest part of my heart and soul aches for Your wisdom. May today be a special day for new revelation. Amen.

Are the qualities of Jesus evident in my life? I'm sure they aren't all the time...however I really do try and walk the walk the best of my ability.

How can I follow in His steps today? I can choose to forgive and move forward and to love the best of my ability.

Let me explain. Yesterday, someone whom I thought was one of my biggest supporters informed me that baby J belonged with a black family (he's bi-racial)if he came up for adoption as I couldn't provide him with teaching him about his culture. I informed this person that he wasn't fully black...obviously someone is white in his can tell that just by looking at him. Not only did it upset me, but it was also said in front of Deidra and it upset her as well. Later, I sat down with Deidra and told her that that wasn't a very nice comment and that we didn't care what color his skin was...we think he's beautiful and what a joy to be around. He's a very happy baby and he's a very good baby and he truly is a joy. We also talked about the fact that if he does by chance come up for adoption...we would gladly keep him.

I don't know if this person meant it how it came out, but it was very upsetting to me yesterday. However, I'm going to try and talk to them about it today and let my feelings be known. However, I do choose forgiveness and I will try my best to set the best example that I can.


Thursday, June 07, 2007


I'm going to see how much I can get done today with organizing baby J's room so that we will be ready to accept more placements as soon as possible. I went to bed with a heavy heart that we had to turn the kids away last night because Andy wanted to get more organized. I really do understand where he's coming from and it's sweet that he's worrying about me...but like I told's going to take a few days to find a routine with all the kids and get used to their temperments and such. It's not like they're going to come in here and we're just automatically going to know what to do and how to do it with everyone. A lot of it is gettinga feel for their personalities. We've had baby J for almost a week now and things are getting a lot easier with him as far as knowing his routine and temperment. Thankfully, he's a pretty easy going baby so he's really not that hard. He only cries when he's hungry and he doesn't like to get his diaper changed and will try to roll over and get away and he does like to get into everything...however that is just his age. We got very lucky with him. I feel like I'm ready to add more..I think we would have gotten more done had it not been for the training that we had at the Foster Parent's Association on Tuesday night and gymnastics last night for Deidra. We've got training again tonight too, but I'm going to see what I can accomplish today and hopefully Andy will be home at a decent time from work tomorrow so that we can work on his room as well.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I was up at the agency today...

getting some medicines for baby J. I ran into the caseworkers supervisor and got to talking to him for awhile. He told me that they had his stroller, highchair, playpen, and something else I can't seem to remember for us to pick up if we wanted it. They had served notice that it was going to be the birthmom's last day today at the house. She's still in the hospital. I asked him if they had heard how long she was going to be in there or not and he said no. Another agency will try to place her more than likely when she's through with treatment or whatever is going on with her. I asked then if baby J will go with her and he said it's highly unlikely given her hospital stay and the fact that most foster parents aren't willing to take in the mom and the baby although we still have to just wait for the final verdict. He said that their plan is to keep him with me though when they found out that he was free to place which is what he thinks is going to happen. That's good to know so I can get his room all set up for him...we just had him sleeping in the pack and play until we knew more. He said that baby J was such a cutie and such a sweet baby that if he didn't already have a good home, he'd take him in himself. So, I pray that he really will get to stay with us for awhile. He's a joy to have around and really is so sweet. I love to see his little grins and hear his giggles. He's so much fun.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Make Me a Blessing

Song of Solomon 2:12a
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.

Springtime is one of my favorite seasons (minus the allergies). I love to see everything in bloom and the green grass. I love to see all the colors and the leaves on the trees green again and offering shade again. It's so refreshing after everything lays dormant and dead in the winter time. Spring reminds me of life and is a time of joy.

Our lives are like that at times. We may lie sleeping--forgotten, we think. Then something happens that makes us come forward, take a look at the sun and the flowers, and decide that our lives do serve purpose and we are not forgotten afterall. It's also a time to reach out to others and make them see that they aren't forgotten either.

Lord, make me a blessing to someone today and everyday. Give my life a deep sense of purpose and be a blessing to everyone that I am around each day, whether they are near or far. May Your Spirit be in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart always.


People make me mad...

I was out taking the kids for a walk this morning before it got too hot outside (supposed to be 91 today). We walked by the tea house where I told Deidra that I would bring her and Brittany one day (they have been after me to have a tea I figured I'd take them to the real thing). I went up to see what their menu was and such and as we were walking away, the owner walked up with her 2 dogs. She asked me "is there something I can help you with?" I didn't realize she was the owner and I said that we were just seeing what the hours were and what the menu was like. She says in a not so friendly tone "well, we don't usually have children here." Yet, when I check their calendar it says something about next weekend they're having the Little Miss Ellis County Tea there. Well, they won't have my kids there...I'll drive further and take them down to the square where they'll welcome the children and they have Mommy and Me teas and you can even get your pictures taken there.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Babies are such blessings...

Abba, I have loved having Baby J in the house. It's been wonderful to have a baby around again to love on, cuddle, and watch him laugh and play. Deidra has been a wonderful and huge help. She is loving this big sister thing. She loves to push him in the stroller when we take him for walks. She is awesome and playing with him and keeping him occupied. He is such a sweet and happy baby. He hardly ever cries, except for when he's hungry...and boy oh boy can this baby eat. It's fun to see him laugh and to get giggles out of him. He absolutely loves the kitties though and squeels when they come around. He loves to chase them all over the house.

I don't know how long we'll have him here with us. They originally said through the weekend and then when I went to pick up his things, he said that they really don't have custody of him yet, but if they did get it soon he wanted to know if I'd take him as a placement. I said yes. He said in the meantime that we could do respite for 10 days while they see what's going on with his mom. So, I pray that we'll be able to keep him here with us for awhile. I also want to lift his mom up in prayer.

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A House Divided

Mark 3:25
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Father God, may I be a healer in my family. May my spirit be one that unifies rather than divides. Show me any traits that I might have that need change. I thank You for being here when I need You. Thank You for Your continuing love and Your sweet spirit. Amen.

Abba, I would like to lift up our brothers today. I pray that Andy and Geoff will be able to become close again. So many things happened when we first married and when Geoff too married and I can't say anything on their part, but I know that on my end while I've chosen to forgive the things that were said and still hurts to think about sometimes. They really don't talk much either, yet Geoff is like this with most of his family anyway. I pray that they will be able to be close again and want to share in one another's lives. I also pray that the things that happened in the past will soon all be distant memories that we've all chosen to forgive, forget, and put in the past and start making happier more memorable times with the time that we have left.

I also would like to lift up my own brothers in prayer. I pray that Zach will not be so distant from all of his family and that he will know how much he is loved and cared about and want to know all of us. I pray for safety and protection over him and that he will know responsibility and be able to find a job to provide for himself. I also deeply pray that he will come to know you. I would also like to lift Jimmie up in prayer. I pray that he will be able to forgive Zach for past wrongs and that they too will be able to find that brotherly love and realize that they're the only brothers that they're ever going to have and that they need to cherish that bond. I also pray that Jimmie will have a deeper love for you, Abba.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

We got our first placement today!

The social worker called me when we were out and about today and said that she was still trying to get in touch with CPS on the girls that are out of region. However, she asked me if I wanted to do respite through the weekend for a 13-month old baby boy that was there at their agency. I said sure and said I'd go and pick him up. We got there and there was some confusion as the intake coordinator thought they had him there on campus and it turns out that I had to go and pick him up from daycare. They asked me to return for some of his things around 4:30. Deidra and I headed off to Wal-mart for some stuff for him...thanks Cindi for the help with diaper sizes...and then we headed to go get him. We brought him home for a little bit and then headed back to the agency to get some of his stuff. He is such a sweet baby and he's into everything. Deidra has been great with him. We brought him up to see my Mom for a little bit and they also let me know that they were probably going to have to find a placement for him as they didn't have total custody of him yet as they had to take his mom to the hospital last night. They saw how quickly he came to me and how sweet he was with me and they asked me if I would take him as a placement. I said now it looks like he may be staying with us for awhile. I'm just sad that I have to work this weekend. I'm off to try and figure out what to make for dinner (he's lactose intolerant and is on soy milk).

Thank you, Abba, for letting us get to spend some time with this precious baby boy. He is so sweet!


A Rat in a Maze

Galatians 5:7
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?

Lord God, take away my confusion. Give me clarity in direction. Please unhinder all that gets me off-track. I want to be efficient in all that I do.

Today's Bible study reading talks about a family that basically wanted to keep up with the Joneses' was all about what they could purchase...the Mom went back to work and they dreamed big dreams. The daughter asked her father one day if he still loved their mother as their family dynamic had changed. The kids were in daycare, the mom was back at school and at work, and the father was working 12-14 hour days. He wound up telling her that he loved their mother very much, but if they were going to have more money for the good life then that equaled less family time. If they had more family time...they'd have less money. They were just trying to live the good life. At the end of the story, the mom was really confused and moved out of the house for some time for herself to reevaluate what she wanted.

My reflections...
I think in today's society we are such a materialistic society. It's all about the things that we can buy or who has this or that and having to have that too. Not many people live within their means anymore. So many people have credit card debts and personal loans to buy this stuff that they think they need. I wish I would have followed the advice of my Grandma back when I was in college and she told me to keep saving my money rather than spending it and boy was she mad at me when she found out that I had gotten my first credit card. She told me back then, if I saved for what I wanted, I'd appreciate it all the more.

Then, I got married and Andy made good money. We were living the good life and we were young. We didn't always make the best of decisions money wise. Then, he lost his job shortly after Deidra was born and we got scared and charged things that we shouldn't have because we didn't have the money. Our thought process was always "when he starts working again, we'll have the money to pay them off." We got way in over our heads and when he did find work again...his salary was no where near what it was before. He worked long hours to try to make up for that, but in the end of things we had to file bankruptcy.

We got on board with Dave Ramsey and started to turn things around. We moved in with my FIL and while it wasn't always the best of scenarios...we were blessed that he let us stay there and get back on our feet. We sacrificed a lot and saved up our money and were able to really turn things around.

Last year, we moved to TX so that Andy could find a good paying job as Michigan's economy just wasn't very good. He was blessed with a very good job...I think it will wind up being the best job that he's ever had and things are moving forward for us again. We're building a house, the mortgage lender said that our credit scores are better than a lot of people's that haven't ever filed for bankruptcy, and that they had gotten that way because we were doing all of the right things. We've definitely learned how to live below our means and it is nice when emergencies pop up that we can just go pay cash rather than having to charge it. It's definitely a lot less stressful. Will I say that we'll never have a loan or a credit card, but we're going to do our best to not have to use them or have them for very long and obviously we'll have a house loan when we build our new home.

I am blessed too that I have been able to go down to only working 2 days a week so that I can spend more time with Deidra. She's very important to me and while I know that over the past 3 years I have had to go back to work because of our finances, I'm glad that we have gotten them back under control so that I am able to stay home again. I can tell that it means a lot to her as well to have me home with her again.


Our debt snowball...

I'm loving this debt snowball feature. If we just make minimum payments we'll be out of all of our debt except for Andy's student loan by May 2008. We'll be out of all debt, everything but the house, but 2010. Darned his student loan. However, that's just with making minimum I'm excited now to see what we can do. Abba, help us to keep on track with this and really do our best at getting these debts out of the way.


Taking some initiatives...

Come on gals help keep me accountable!

We joined Dave Ramsey's My Total Money Makeover last night. We're basically already following his stuff, but we're not being as disciplined with paying off our debts as we would like to we gave ourselves a 30 day challenge to see what we could accomplish. Anyone want to join us?

I started spending 15 minutes on bible study a day last week and things are going well. I just need to spend more time with Him each day.

I'm starting day 1 of Medifast again. I need to get my blood sugars back under control as well as start losing some more of this weight. My initiative to stay accountable is that I do well for a week, I get to buy one article of clothing at the end. I found an awesome ebay store with some awesome clothes in it that I really like and I think she's going to be my visit at the end of the week.

Abba, please help me in my goals to be as successful as I can possibly be!

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