Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Update on Venus

Well, the vet wanted us to collect a stool sample. So, I brought it in this morning. They ran the test and didn't find anything in the actual stool. He said she didn't have parasites or anything. I told him what happened yesterday and that the blood was on the outside and went on our carpet too. He thinks that she has an anal gland infection and he said that she may have punctured it or something. He said that it can be painful and she may be associating the litter box with pain right now. So, he put her on some kitty antibiotics for the next week. He said we may have to put her in a room with the litter box for 24-48 hours to retrain her to use the litter box if she doesn't return on her own. I'm just glad that it's not something more serious. He said if we still notice problems after a week, then he'll need to see her. But, I pray this is the answer and she'll be all better soon.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Prayers for one of my kitties...

Our kitty Venus (Slene as we call her) started pooping on the floor about a week ago. We've been perplexed as to why she's doing this. Anyway, today it had a lot of blood in it. I called the vet and she wanted a stool sample to begin with. I didn't even think to save it. So, I have her in our upstairs bathroom with food, water, and a litter box to collect a sample. Please say a prayer that she's ok. I'm worried. She's 8 years old and I don't want anything to be majorly wrong with her.

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I'm behind on a few Musical Monday entries...

a song that reminds you of someone...

I can remember riding in the car with my real Mom and she'd have this song playing on the radio.



This song reminds me of a guy that I met when I worked at Handy Andy. I had it bad for him, but we got to be really good friends. He always looked at for me. I used to go visit him when he was at school at MSU in Lansing. It's weird how when I first met him, I couldn't stand him. I totally didn't understand his sense of humor and thought he was just being mean. Later, we got to know one another through e-mail when he was at school and I really liked him. He always went after the other girls at work who were prettier and more popular and I always would have them pegged. He got to where he never wanted my opinion as he knew I was right. I went on a double date with him to the movies and my friend went with. Wouldn't you know she left me sitting on the end so I couldn't even sit next to him. We went to see Money Train. Anyway, later on I found out that he was going to ask me out before Handy Andy closed down, but he never got the nerve to do it. I seen him at our 5 year reunion and he greeted me with a hug and we talked for a bit. When I left, he gave me another hug. At our 10-year reunion, he had just gotten married. When he saw me and the way I was looking at her (she was standing across the room), he said "I don't even want to know...just shush." I laughed and thinking about it now...it's been 4 years since then...I wonder if they're still together... Anyway, anytime I hear this song, it reminds me of him.



The #1 Song from the Day You Were Born:

Play That Funky Music -- Wild Cherry September 16, 1976

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Fosterparents



I'm working on my fosterchildren's lifebooks and I did this layout of us for their books. I used the family history kit from Scrapbook Flair for this one.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

My candles came today!!

My candles came today! They are awesome. They look so nice and they smell wonderful! I can't wait to order more. YEAH!!!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's one of those days...

I could NOT fall asleep last night. Finally at 12:30 I got up to take some Tylenol PM. Still not feeling the greatest. Anyway, I get the girls up at 6 and I had to give Little J a bath. When she got out, she knocked the shampoo over but I never realized she did it and she never bothered to tell me or she didn't notice that she did it. Anyway, I put the boys down for the afternoon nap as once I go get the girls from school...it's going to turn crazy busy. So, they sleep and I go to get them up from their nap to give them a bath and get them ready for later. Baby J had a very poopy diaper that had leaked out and all over everything and he was covered in it. So, I quickly take him out of the clothes and go to bring him in the bathtub and I just about slip on the floor. I couldn't figure out why there was soap all over...then I realize that Little J must have knocked the bottle over. Anyway, I get Baby J into the tub and go get some towels to sop up the spilled shampoo. Then, I ran in to get his bed cleaned up and I ran and threw the poopy filled blankets into the washer. I get that all going and go upstairs to wash Baby J up and discover that he's been dumping cup fulls of water out of the tub. At this point all I can do is laugh... It is truly just one of those days. So, we go get him dressed and he lavishes me with hugs and kisses and that more than makes up for it. I crack his window open to get some fresh air in there and hope the poop smell leaves the room quicker and he looks at me and says "P.U." Yup, you've got that right little one. I go to get the boys their lunch and Baby D announces "Mommy, poop." Great, let's go change you. I bring him upstairs and we discover that he's got diarrhea and so I decide that I'm just going to give him a quick bath to clean him up since he's starting to get butt rash too. So, we run in to give him a bath and he proceeds to poop in the water. Drain out the water, soap him down, rinse him off with clean water and go to get him dressed. Now, let's get back to getting the boys some lunch. I finally get them their lunch and sat down to eat and Baby D had grabbed one of the girls markers and proceeded to draw all over his hands and the tray. After that, Baby J decided he was going to throw his tray with his food all in it all over the floor and when I turned around to say no, Baby D apparently thought that was a great idea and did the same thing all the while laughing. They both were put in time out after that stunt while I cleaned up the pudding and the corn and the chicken nuggets all up from the floor. We leave in an hour to go get the girls...then it's going to turn crazy.

2:40 pick up Little J
2:50 pick up Deidra
3:00 Little J has play therapy
3:45 meet up with Andy
4:00 Little J's service plan at the agency
5:00 run to grab quick food for everyone
6-8 med training at the agency

I need some down time!!!

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World's Shortest Personality Test

Your Personality Profile

You are pure, moral, and adaptable.
You tend to blend into your surroundings.
Shy on the outside, you're outspoken to your friends.

You believe that you live a virtuous life...
And you tend to judge others with a harsh eye.
As a result, people tend to crave your approval.

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What Donut am I?

You Are a Caramel Crunch Donut

You're a complex creature, and you're guilty of complicating things for fun.
You've been known to sit around pondering the meaning of life...
Or at times, pondering the meaning of your doughnut.
To frost or not to frost? To fill or not to fill? These are your eternal questions.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Roe vs. Wade

I was listening to mass on Sunday on television and they were talking about how with the anniversary this week of the Roe vs. Wade decision that we needed to be in prayer for those who were participating in the Walk for Life and to support them.

The topic of abortion is one that can bring tears to my eyes. I can remember many a discussion in high school of those who supported abortion and I would tear up thinking of those little babies. It always strikes me that someone could say "well, a women should have the right to choose, but it's something that I could never do." Well, if you can say that you could never do it...don't you then know deep down that it's wrong?"

I understand that some people say well what about if the baby is the product of a rape or the baby has birth defects or it's a matter of incest or the mom is young. Well, to me that's not the baby's fault and there are so many people out there that want to adopt infants and newborns that I can't understand why they don't have them to give them the gift of life and then give them to someone who desperately wants them. I just don't see it as our decision to be able to play God and stop a baby from having a chance to live life.

I know even when we got pregnant and I saw that tiny little heart flickering away at just a few weeks old...you can't deny that is a life there that is very present. And what a gift from God that life is. Who are we to take that away?

I just see abortion as a very selfish thing to do and my heart aches for those unborn babies who don't even get a chance to live life. I don't judge the women that have done it, but I do pray for their babies and I pray that they don't ever decide to do it again.

I'm not out there with this post trying to condemn anyone or anything...so please don't think that if you've had an abortion or have contemplating having one. I just know that hearing the homily about abortion made me want to write my thoughts down and really truly rejoice in the gift of life.

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Presidential Stuff

http://glassbooth.org/

This is a link to help you figure out which presidential candidate
best matches your thoughts and beliefs.
You rank each topic with what you think is most important,
and then answer questions based on those topics and rankings.
It will tell you by percentages who you best match up with.
You may end up with interesting results... you should share if
you'd like!

I wound up having a 66% similarity to Mitt Romney's views.

John McCain was 65% and Hillary was 60%. I will not vote for Hillary (she scares me)and I don't see me voting for McCain either. So, I'll look more into Romney and go from there. I'll admit that I really do not know much about the presidential candidates and I need to research them more.

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I'm whiny!

I have been sick for the past two days with a bad headache that I'm thinking is a migraine. I went to bed last night with a bad stomach ache and I was in bed by 9. Shortly after 1 am I was up throwing up. Andy came home from work yesterday afternoon to work from home so he could help with the kids and he stayed home today as well so that he could help me out. I laid in bed and watched National Treasure (I didn't think I was going to like it, but it was a great movie!)and took a long nap afterwards. I still don't feel well. We took the kids to church tonight and Andy and I went to the bookstore for awhile. I started feeling like I was going to throw up my dinner while we were there. We came home and I'm looking quite pale. I just want to feel better....tomorrow is such a busy day too. I need to be better!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My First Crush

I had a huge crush on a boy that was 2 years younger than me. I met him when I was in 5th grade and he went to our church. He is the oldest of 9 children. Anyway, I had it bad for this boy and his family totally fascinated me. We grew up together and we both were raised pretty strictly. He wasn't allowed to date at all until he turned 16. So, we just talked and so forth at church. Well, when I was in 6th grade I took to writing a little fictional story about how I wanted our relationship to go and my relationship with his sisters and so forth. I called it Lovers Lane (I was big into Anne of Green Gables back then). Well, it was totally innocent (hey we were both in Catholic families and we were raised well), however my best friend at the time confiscated it so she could read it and I didn't know that she brought it to school. She announced that I had written a love story and people were fighting to get their hands on it...the teacher took the papers and I never got them back. I was horrified!

Well, my crush on him continued however I had other crushes too throughout the years. In 11th grade, my family moved to the same city that he lived in and we wound up going to school together. He lived in the same neighborhood that we did and we rode the bus home together all the time. We sat together a lot. I started dating someone in my senior year of high school and his sisters always used to tell me that they didn't know if they liked that or not "they had to make sure he was good enough for me." It was cute. He started dating a cheerleader (he was a football player) and I was dating someone from our high school band. They dated for a couple of months and then broke up, but I was so jealous of her. Do you think I ever spoke up for my feelings and told him how I felt? Nope...we just went on being friends. We teased each other relentlessly about things at school and we talked in the confession line at church. We'd stare at one another in church (he was an altar boy), but I never told him how I felt about him. I went to college and when I didn't have to work I'd come to church. We'd talk and so forth and I'd talk to his sisters and say hi to his parents. When he went away to college, I remember feeling heartbroken. I told him if he wrote me with his address, I'd write to him. I kept up with him through his sisters and I told them that I'd write to him if he ever wrote me with his address. His sister said "him, write a letter? ha ha!" Shortly therafter, I met up with Andy again and the rest is history. When we moved back to MI, I went back to our church alone. I wanted to see their family. I stood in the back of the little church just looking at everything (they had since moved the church and I had never been there to the new building). His Mom saw me and greeted me with open arms and took me around to re-introduce me to everyone. And when I saw him, my heart leapt. We had catechism after mass and I walked downstairs with one of his little sisters (who now wasn't so little) and she told me that they all had missed me. It was neat to catch up with them and see how big they had all gotten and what they were all up to. The elder sister (just a year or so younger than her brother) had gotten married and had her first baby. We chatted for awhile and then he came and sat down by all of us too. He asked me where I had been and when I told him that I had moved to Chicago and had gotten married, he got really quiet. His Mom told me how she always thought that I would be a daughter to her one day and one of his sisters told me that he really had liked me and they thought we would have gotten married one day. Well, if I only would have known that sooner...you never know what would/could have happened. Anyway, it was nice to catch up with them. I went home and told Andy that I wanted him to come with me the next Sunday. So, the following Sunday he reluctantly agreed to come with me (I forgot to mention that I was raised in the traditional Latin mass once we converted to Catholicism and Andy just wasn't sure with how comfortable he'd be there). Andy hated it and he just wasn't comfortable there. He went one more time with me after that and he told me that their rules were so strict and so forth that he just couldn't go there...he didn't feel like it fit him at all. We stayed after to talk with a couple other families and so forth and he wanted to go home. So, we left. I returned a few weeks later alone...I felt at home there...but I knew that I needed to find a church where Andy felt comfortable. We never did find a church home in MI. I was able to say good-bye to him though and his family and I still send them a Christmas card at Christmas time and I truly hope the best for him.

Everyonce in awhile, I think of re-writing that book (I maybe had a chapter or two written before)and seeing about having it published. But, I just don't know...maybe one day. He was definitely my first crush though and it lasted a very long time. I still think about him and I hear how he's doing through the grapevines. He'll always hold a very special place in my heart...his whole family will actually. Beautiful family and beautiful people and they all have true hearts for God.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This is where we went today....



We got bored and decided to head over to the Russell Stover factory. They have an outlet store and little cafe where you can get ice cream, fudge, coffee, and truffles and other chocolately goodies. I hit up their clearance and blooper stations and we came home with so much chocolate. We spent $9.99 on a 3 lb box of blooper chocolates. They don't look the prettiest, but they still taste yummy and heck you can't beat the price. If we would have bought the pretty box it would have been over $30. We also got a bunch of clearance chocolate and we tried all the samples. Russell Stover also has their own Weight Watchers line of chocolates now and I think I'll keep my eye out for them in the store. We got a huge bag of jelly bellies for $1.50 for the boys to share and a bunch of Halloween whipped hearts for $25 cents a heart (they're pretty big). The girls each picked out a Peanuts character with a Valentine's heart attached and I got a couple sampler packs too for 99 cents a piece. Seriously, I can't believe how much chocolate we came home with and our total was only $31. Yummy goodies...I tell ya! I was bummed though that we couldn't watch them making the goodies today. Did I mention that we travelled an hour one way to go? That's what some good PMSing will do for you. lol

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Friday, January 18, 2008

What a day!

The girls were out of school today. Their teachers had an in-service day and they have a 4-day weekend now due to MLK day on Monday. Little J was in another one of her moods so the morning and afternoon were a struggle. Then, I had to take her and Baby D to their visit. The visit went well and I met the CASA worker when I went to pick them up and we talked for a good 15 minutes about the kids and the latest goings on. Then, the parents and grandmother came out with the kids and I was pleasant. It was a little awkward with Baby D calling me "Mommy" right in front of them and then Little J started calling me that too. But, if it bothered them they didn't show it to my face and I was good about reminding the kids to give them hugs and kisses good-bye. Baby D actually wound up pouring his orange juice on me and the grandma and we laughed about it together. I didn't feel as nervous around them this time...and his parents were pleasant. I tried to hand Baby D back to his Mom for one last good-bye hug but he wasn't having anything to do with it. He let her give him a kiss, but his arms were wrapped around my neck and he wasn't going anywhere. She handled it very well though. I'm proud of them for working their case plans and they've never missed a visit. I just really hope and pray that they'll do good by their kids and keep up the good work and effort once the kids go home and that they don't slip back into the old habits and life.

Baby D sat on my lap for a long time with his head on my chest and I just rocked him tonight and when I got up to put him to bed he wrapped his arms around my neck and said "love you, Mommy, love you." I love him too and I just really hope the judge makes the right decision at the court hearing next month and doesn't decide to send them home too soon. I want the parents to be truly ready for them to come home so that they have the best chance at doing good by their children.

Abba, I pray for Baby D and for Little J and for their family and I put their case into Your Hands. Please guide everyone involved in this case to do right by these children and let the timing be right when it is finally time for them to go home.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Finally got what I hope is the right diagnosis for Little J...

After last week's episode between Deidra and Little J, the psychiatrist wanted to see her. We went in and she couldn't sit still, crawling all over the table and the floor...barking like a dog, meowing like a cat, I'd tell her to sit still, she'd laugh and wouldn't listen. Part of me was embarrassed that she wouldn't behave, yet part of me was relieved that finally someone was seeing part of what she does for me and doesn't like anyone else to see. He changed her meds...I hope this med change will help. Part of me is just relieved that we finally have something to work with. I brought up some of my concerns and so forth and he understood where I was coming from. He thinks I'm on the right track and he added in some other things to consider as well that really made some sense.

Lord, all I can do is pray that you fill me with an overload of patience and I pray for healing for Little J.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Please give me patience...

Little J was really trying my nerves yesterday, I really hope that today goes better. Deidra didn't want to get up for school and it was a battle just to get her dressed this morning. Thankfully, she finally came around and finished getting dressed, but then she kept telling me that she didn't want to go to school. I'm still not feeling very well and Baby D is exceptionally whiny today and Baby J is into everything. I need patience to get through this day if all this continues. I have the boys watching Sesame Street right now so that I could get a little break. We have therapy this afternoon as well.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Places I have lived...

You may be wondering why I have all these posts of cities and all the fun information. It all started from a friend. We went to high school together and she forwarded me the link to the fun facts about our town, Jenison, where her and her husband met as well as Andy and I. Interestingly enough, we all met up again in the Chicago area where we all lived in the area. Anyway, it got me interested in looking up fun facts about other places I have lived and so I thought it would be fun to post them. I've lived in quite a few places growing up.

I was born in Grand Rapids, MI and lived there until I was in first grade.

In first grade, my family moved to Dutton, MI where I attended Dutton Elementary and then went on to Caledonia Junior High where I only attended for a couple of weeks before my family decided to move.

Shortly after 7th grade, my family moved us to Wayland, MI. It was a cute little town and we had the cutest house. We were all really happy there, but 6 weeks before the end of my 11th grade year my Dad got the itching to move.

So, right before my end of my junior year we upped and moved to Jenison, MI. I hated it at first and I'd come home and cry because I missed my friends and it was an awkward time of the year to try and meet new people when there was only 6 weeks left of the school year. If it wasn't for band I would have been lost...all my closest friends and my first boyfriend came from band and the fact that we were always together helped me to form friendships that bloomed. That was also where I met Andy although we were nothing more than friends then. He used to pick me up for band practices, competitions, and football games and he lived right around the corner. My senior year of high school went very well though, but I owe it all to the friendships that I formed from band. Unfortunately, my parents hated it there and my Mom still says to this day that everything happens for a reason and that move was for me to meet Andy. I owe some really good friendships to that move as well.

In 1996 my parents moved to Red Oak, TX, but I didn't want to come down. My Dad was pretty upset with me for it as I was really already supposed to be down here. I had talked to the Air Force recruiter and was supposed to go to boot camp in San Antonio in 1996, however I needed to lose 20 lbs first so they wouldn't take me. After the fact, Andy and I'd relationship really started and I didn't want to move.

So, on my best friend's wedding day, we went to her reception and I got an emergency phone call saying my parents were leaving for Texas....they weren't waiting until the next day like they said they were...my Dad had the itch to get on with it and since all their stuff waas packed they were on their way. I stood crying in a pizza parlor and came back to my best friend's reception that had just started crying. She was sweet and took me into the bathroom with all the other bridesmaids tofind out what was going on and when she hugged me I got my mascara all over her dress. My Dad wanted me to leave the reception, but I wasn't going to leave her since I was in the wedding and the reception had just started. So, they left and I didn't see them for a good couple of years later.

I started out living with my Aunt and Uncle in Jenison, MI and later moved back to Wayland, MI to live with my friend and her Mom.

In June of 1998, I moved to Chicago, IL, to be near Andy. I had a little studio apartment that he found for me in the Gold Coast so that I could walk back and forth to work. I paid $549 for my little studio apartment. I worked at FAO Schwarz on Michigan Ave and got to see some famous people, Noah Wylie, Anthony Edwards, Dennis (I just forgot his last name...but I thought he was rather rude), Oprah, and there's a couple others I can't remember. We also saw movies being shot and an episode of ER being shot. It was fun, but I was in major culture shock and I didn't like being alone much. Andy was in his last semester at Columbia so he used to come over after school all the time and he used to come get me from work so I didn't have to walk alone. On the 4th of July, he proposed to me on the way back from fireworks in the rain along the lake. We married on September 12, 1998.

We moved up the street to get a 1-bedroom apartment and we paid $1075 for our 1-bedroom. We stayed there for a year and then moved a couple streets over.

We wanted to get a nice 2-bedroom that we found. It was $1250 for our 2-bedroom plus parking and we had the hardest parking spot to get into of all the cars. Andy actually got us wedged in once...we laugh about it now, but man was that spot stressful.

When we found out we were expecting Deidra, we couldn't imagine trying to raise a child in the city, so we moved again. We bought our first house together and moved to Hanover Park, IL. A few months after Deidra was born, Andy's company was bought out by another company and he was laid off. It was very stressful to say the least and he had a hard time finding a new job. A good 7-8 months later he was able to find work again, but the job didn't pay nearly as much as what the other one did and so we were still really struggling. A bunch of stress and a bankruptcy on our record, we chose to move to be near our families as we really felt we needed the extra support with everything that we had been through.

So, in October of 2003, we upped and moved to MI. Andy's dad had built a new 2-story house and since he was hardly ever home he offered us his lower level to stay in. He was exceptionally generous with letting us stay there, but I was anxious to get back into a place of our own after a year went by and it was hard to discipline Deidra and so forth with trying to keep her quiet so his Dad could sleep in the afternoons and after the first year of staying there it became hard on our marriage. We also wanted to add to our family and Andy began looking in Texas for work, although I didn't know that at the time. A few months later, he told me and we put a plan in place to move. We needed to line some things up first. My transfer with Home Depot went through alot sooner than I originally thought it would. It took less than a week to go through.

In April 2006, the day after Easter, Deidra and I drove down to Texas to find a place for all of us to live. My Mom found a place in Waxahachie for us that was close to the church we planned on going to and we met with the landlords and we took it. I spent the rest of the time cleaning the house and getting it ready for us to move in. I flew back to MI on the first of May to help Andy move down and Deidra stayed with my Mom. We really enjoy living here.

In May 2007, we decided to build the house that we fell in love with the floorplan of. We put money down on our lot and they started building a couple of months later. October 11, 2007 we moved in. We don't plan on moving again. We really love our little neighborhood and the people are friendly and Deidra has more kids to play with here than she knows what to do with. We always have a yardfull of kids. :-) We're very happy here and really enjoy it.

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Waxahachie, TX

Where we live now and absolutely love it!

Waxahachie is a city in Ellis County, Texas, United States. The population was 21,426 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Ellis County.

Waxahachie, the county seat of Ellis County, is on Interstate Highway 35E and U.S. Highway 287, thirty miles south of Dallas in the central part of the county. The name comes from an Indian word meaning "cow" or "buffalo" and is also the name of a local creek. Waxahachie was established as the seat of the new county in August 1850 on land donated by Emory W. Rogers, a pioneer settler. Rogers, J. D. Templeton,qv W. H. Getzendaner, B. F. Hawkins, and J. H. Spalding were among the first settlers in the community, which began with just over 100 residents and grew rapidly from the start. In 1850 the first county courthouse was built, and a general store and the post office opened. Other businesses and residences soon followed. Local residents had organized a Methodist church in the spring of 1849 at Rogers's home. The first church building was constructed in 1851 on land owned by Rogers. Before the Civil Warqv four churches-Methodist, Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian, and "Old School" Presbyterian-existed in Waxahachie. The community's first school of any consequence, the Waxahachie Academy, was established in 1860 and operated for thirty-seven years. A system of free public schools soon developed. The community's first bank, owned by J. W. Ferris H.P. Sims and W. H. Getzendaner, began operation on July 1, 1868. The first newspaper, the Waxahachie Argus, began publication in 1870. The town has continued to support at least one newspaper since that time. Waxahachie was incorporated on April 28, 1871, and adopted a mayor-alderman form of government. Four years later the state legislature granted a corporate charter to the investors in the Waxahachie Tap Railroad to construct and operate a rail line to Garrett, twelve miles east. Ground was broken for the line on June 14, 1875; construction was completed, and the line was in operation in September 1879. Within one year of its completion the road transported over 5,000 bales of cotton from Waxahachie and carried over 140 carloads of lumber into the community. The arrival of additional rail lines during succeeding decades combined with the county's growing agricultural production to accelerate prosperity and rapid growth. The Civil War and Reconstructionqv seemed to have little effect on the development of Waxahachie.

By 1880 the population stood at 1,354. The following year the Waxahachie Tap was absorbed by the Houston and Texas Central Railway, which extended the line, and thus the town's connections, to Fort Worth. Six years later the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad built through Waxahachie. In 1876 the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, had founded a high school called Marvin College in Waxahachie; in 1884 the church sold the institution to the town for use as one of six free public schools. That year Waxahachie had ninety businesses. By 1899 it had over 100 businesses, including an electric light factory. Its population rose from 3,500 in 1890 to 4,000 in 1892, and by 1892 four banks and three weekly newspapers operated in the community. The mule-drawn Waxahachie Street Railroad provided public transportation. The population reached 4,215 in 1900. In 1900 and 1901 a cotton textile mill, capitalized at $100,000, began operation. The finished plant had 204 looms and 9,000 spindles and used 4,000 bales of cotton a year to produce single-filling duck and toweling cloth. The plant doubled its capacity in 1907, but, like many of the plants constructed during the South's "cotton mill campaign" of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it eventually became unprofitable and closed down.

Trinity University moved to Waxahachie from Tehuacana in 1902 and operated there until 1942. The Nicholas P. Sims Public Library opened on April 5, 1905, on land donated by W. H. Getzendaner. The library began from Judge O. E. Dunlap's collection. The Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway completed construction through Waxahachie in 1907. Five years later the completion of an electric interurban line from Dallas through Waxahachie to Waco further increased the town's transportation facilities. By 1920 Waxahachie had a population of 7,958 and 200 businesses, including three banks, three cottonseed oil mills, five cotton gins, and two daily and two weekly newspapers. Local manufacturing plants in 1926 included cotton textile mills, a garment factory, a broom factory, and an ice and ice cream factory. Besides Trinity University, a high school and four elementary schools, served 250 students. In 1933, when the town was incorporated, it had a population of 8,042 persons and 280 businesses.

Though population growth slackened during the years of the Great Depression and World War II,qv the reversal was not lasting. The town's number of businesses decreased from 280 in 1933 to 212 in 1945, but its population actually increased to 8,655. This increase was no doubt connected to the local agricultural, commercial, and industrial economic foundation. Although Trinity University left the town in 1942, its grounds were occupied the following year by the Southwestern Bible Institute, which moved to Waxahachie from Enid, Oklahoma. This institution later changed its name to Southwestern Assemblies of God College and became coeducational. A branch of Navarro College is also located in Waxahachie. Between 1952 and 1964 Waxahachie had a population increase from 11,196 to 13,712. Local businesses continued to number around 300. Although the population declined slightly from its high of 15,720 in 1968 to 13,452 in 1977, the town became increasingly industrialized. A cottonseed oil mill, feed and poultry processing plants, and clothing, furniture, and fiberglass manufacturers all operated in the community. In the late 1980s Waxahachie had 336 businesses, including the Waxahachie Daily Light and radio station KBEC.

Waxahachie has been nicknamed the Gingerbread City because of the architecture of several beautiful homes and buildings remaining from before 1900. A yearly tour known as the Gingerbread Trail includes Victorian-style houses with gingerbread carpentry, the most popular architectural style, as well as combinations with Queen Ann's, Classic Renaissance, or Roman Doric revival. The red sandstone and granite Victorian courthouse, designed by James Riely Gordonqv and completed in 1897, graces the town's square. The Nicholas P. Sims Library (1905) and the octagonally shaped Chautauqua Auditorium (1902) are examples of the 300 Waxahachie structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the 1980s four movies were filmed in Waxahachie-Places in the Heart, 1918, and Tender Mercies (all 1985) and The Trip to Bountiful (1986). The town is home to the Ellis County Historical Museum and Gallery and also hosts the annual Scarborough Renaissance Faire and an annual Christmas parade and tour of homes. In 1990 Waxahachie had a population of 18,168.

The first syllable is pronounced "wahks", not "wax" as is often the case. Also, the official Native American meaning of the name is "cow creek" or "buffalo creek" and is not the name of a Native American tribe which is a common misconception.

The city is home to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Waxahachie is also widely known for being the site of the now-defunct Superconducting Super Collider.

It is also locally known for its elaborate Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse, considered by many to be among the most beautiful of Texas's older courthouses. The town also features many examples of Victorian architecture and Gingerbread homes, several of which have been converted into bed and breakfasts. The city's annual Gingerbread Trails festival features tours of many of these homes.

Additionally, Waxahachie has a growing reputation of being a "little Hollywood." The Academy-Award winning films "Places in the Heart" starring Sally Field and John Malkovich, "Tender Mercies" starring Robert Duvall, and "Walking Tall: The Payback" were filmed in Waxahachie. The long-running television series Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris was filmed in Waxahachie.

Employment opportunities in the city are highly oriented toward industry: Owens Corning Fiberglas, Georgia-Pacific, and neighboring Texas Industries and Holcim. Positions for these companies are mainly filled through the Texas Workforce Commission which has an office in the city.

Among the larger non-industrial employers in the city are Baylor Medical Center and The Waxahachie Independent School District.

Waxahachie is served by the Waxahachie Independent School District. The district, recently identified as a rapidly growing district[citation needed], has begun construction on several new campuses. There are currently five elementary campuses, two middle school campuses, a ninth grade center, and two high schools. Waxahachie Global High School, a T-STEM school emphasizing instruction in science, math and technology in a small-learning-community environment, opened on August 27, 2007. Two additional schools are currently under construction and are expected to be finished for the 2008 school year.

WISD aims to offer all of its students a well-rounded education and offers AP and Dual Credit courses as well as varied vocational courses. Waxahachie High School is classified as 4A and offers a range of extracurricular activities to its students, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, concert and marching band, drama, choir, drill team, and dozens of academic teams and clubs. Several of the school's programs have achieved national recognition in recent years.

The area is also served by several private schools offering K-12 education.

Two post-secondary educational institutions have campuses in the city of Waxahachie. Navarro College, a junior college located in Corsicana, TX, has a branch in Waxahachie. Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private four-year university affiliated with the Assemblies of God offering accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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Wicker Park, IL

When I moved to Chicago, Andy was living in the Wicker Park neighborhood. When we were in our long-distance neighborhood (I was in MI and he was in Chicago going to school)I took many a trip to go visit him there.

Okay, aparently my job today is to give a more proper definition to the Chicago hoodies I know and love that have already been noded by people who I doubt have spent much time in them.

I guess its true that more 'yuppies' are moving to Wicker Park than there were before, probably because of the relatively cheap rent and fun things to do. Also, the blue-line el and prevalence of key streets make it really convenient to downtown. However when I read this vague write-up by bort13 I was quite taken aback - there is such an incredibly vast world of difference between Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.

Even with all the new kinds of residents constantly streaming in, Wicker Park is still a 'hotbed of artsy types' and is filled with galleries and studios of all kinds. While River North is the real gallery district of Chicago, Wicker Park is considered the center for 'outsider art.' It is also incredibly diverse in the categories of age, race, lifestyle and socioeconomic status.

The main Wicker Park intersection (Damen, Milwuakee, and North) is extremely bustling because of all the things to do there. It is the center of a huge array of clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes of all kinds, and any social person is bound to find their type of place to hang out around there.

On any given day on that corner, one can find a pretty equal distribution of artists, tourists, freaky deaky folks, crack-heads, working people (both yuppie and non), people asking for money, people sleeping on the sidewalk, decked-out clubgoers, hippies, gang-bangers, and salespeople. All races are covered but the majority of people are white, black or Mexican. There are so many great places around there that I think I am suddenly inspired to write a separate 'guide to Wicker Park bars and restaraunts' node.

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The Gold Coast of Chicago, IL

When I moved to Chicago to be with Andy, he found me a studio apartment within walking distance of Michigan Ave. I was scared to death to ride the trains and wanted to be able to walk where I needed to go. He found me a do-able studio apartment in the Gold Coast. I paid $549 for my little shoebox apartment.

A neighborhood in Chicago just north of the Loop known for extremely ritzy apartments and condos that average the highest rent in the city, not to mention the highest density of BMWs in the city.

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Jenison, MI

This is the place where I graduated high school from and where I met Andy. And we were in band of all things. :-)

Jenison, Michigan is not so much a city, but a business district within Georgetown Towhship, 15 minutes west of Grand Rapids, Michigan. the district proper is actually just a small triangle of land on which rests a post office, and two shopping plazas, dominated by a Target and McDonalds.

The rest of "Jenison" may lie in Georgetown, but it may actually be a sub-division of limbo.Maps can be very confusing things. What is certain is the presence of the quasi-township in the Guiness Book of World Records. Or at least one of the streets. Baldwin Avenue is listed as having the highest concentration of churches per-via in the world.

It can be argued that these churches make up one of Jenison's two chief exports. Religion is the favorite pastime of the residents. There are well over 60 oficially registered churches on the street (although some are merely internet churches). Many are small store-front affairs, sharing building space with local orthodontists and Little Ceasars Pizza Parlors. Most are variations of the Christian Reformedchurch (or as non-members sometimes call them, "a bunch of uppity Dutch Christian Conservatives").

The other export of this tiny hamlet is the local high school marching band, a cult unto itself which commands the allegiance of a huge portion of the teenage population of the townlet.

Sadly, since Jenison is fully landlocked between the big city and corn fields, and virtually all available land within its limits is already developed, expansion is impossible. This is not a major concern for residents however, due to local belief of the village's invincibility. The legend, kept alive by the youth of Jenison and Carl Jautakis, runs thusly: Jenison is a bubbletown. To most this means a safe little place isolated from all its neighbors, where life is boring for the youth, but is still the kind of place that later, in their adulthood, they all admit is perfect for bringing up children and they can't imagine for the life of them why in the world they ever tried so very hard to get away from.

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I am so proud of Deidra!

Her school definitely rewards good behavior! If they get less than 3 check marks for each grading period, they get to attend the Right Choice Rally (they do something fun for making right choices). If they get less than 6 check marks the whole year they get to go do something fun and have lunch with the principal. Well, she got to attend the Right Choice Rally the first grading period and she gets to do it again this grading period. Also, she got picked to go have lunch with their school counselor for her good behaviors one day a week over the next 4 weeks. I am so proud of her!

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Random Questions

What is the highest and lowest that you typically will set your heat at in your home?

Summer--Andy turns the air condition to 74 and I'm always turning it down to 70-72 when he's not home.

Winter--Andy turns the heater to 72 and I'm always turning it up to 74 so I'm not cold.

How much do you typically spend on groceries per week?

Well, when it was just Andy, myself, Deidra, and Baby J I spent about $90 a week. However since adding Little J and Baby D to the mix I find that I have to double all the recipes in order for us to have enough food for all of us so now we spend between $170-$200 a week depending on what we need to get that week.

What is your favorite kind of bread? Do you eat the ends/heels of a loaf of bread? Or do you toss them?

We always buy the HEB brand of wheat bread since it's cheap. And no, I don't eat the ends...Andy usually will.

Are you hoping to have any more children? Or for those of you who haven't had a child yet, are you hoping to start a family soon?

Well, I always wanted a big family. Unfortunately we suffer with infertility problems and so I'm unsure if I'll ever experience a full term pregnancy again...however I haven't given up hope yet and we just go without birth control and hope for the best one day. However, we are really enjoying being foster parents even though it does have it's fair share of struggles too at times...but it is a huge blessing to see the children blossom and to be a part of that. We are hoping to be able to adopt during our fostercare journey as well and add to our family that way. I can see us with anywhere from 4-6 kids when our journey is complete.

Have you read anything good lately? I'm always on the hunt for a good book to read.

Currently,I am reading two books. One is by Daniel Hughes and was recommended to us when we were in foster parent training. It is called "Building the Bonds of Attachment Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children." The more of it I read the more it really reminds me of Little J and I'm really starting to think that she's got more issues going on than what anyone is aware of. I just wish she'd open up more, although she has started to little by little. I just hope she'll do it in time for us to be able to help her. I'm really starting to think though that she may have RAD (reactive attachment disorder)in some mild form. It's something I guess I can bring up to the psychiatrist next time we're in there. Anyway, the characters in the story are fictional, but it does a good job of portraying what can really happen to these children and I think it's a story for anyone wanting to foster or adopt (domestic or international) to really sit down and read as it does a good job of explaining why we attach and why we learn the behaviors that we do and what can happen to these children when they're babies and they don't get those attachments and interactions from their caregivers and what can happen because of it.

The other book I am reading is "Me & Emma" by Elizabeth Flock. It's very good so far and I highly recommend it...

What is your biggest pet peeve?

A big one for me is people that committ to doing something or saying that they'll do something and then they don't follow through with it. That's something that I was raised with "you say you're going to do something, you do it...no excuses." I've just carried it with me to this day and it makes me angry when I give of myself to make sure that I stick to what I said I'd do and then people can't have the same courtesy back. Drives me crazy....

Have you ever bought something from the Home Shopping Network, or the like?


Yes, I think I have once. It was a scrapbooking kit that I bought a couple years back.

Do you prefer paper or plastic bags at the grocery store? Why?

We use plastic....they serve 2 purposes for us. We carry the bags easier and then we save them to use to collect our cat littler clumpings and they they're thrown out.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Not feeling the greatest...

I woke up to the arrival of AF this morning. I'm cramping pretty badly and just feeling very tired. Add to the fact that I'm also trying to get a cold...ears are sore, throat is starting to hurt, and I'm running a little fever. So, I decided that since I had to cancel therapy for Baby D and Little J today that I was going to have myself a mental health day and try to get the house cleaned and back in order a little more. I started out with great intentions, but I haven't really gotten much accomplished other than one load of laundry folded and a new load thrown in the washer. The boys are taking a really long nap now that I finally got them down to bed and I have been taking that time to enter my sparkpeople.com stuff to try to get back to being healthy and monitoring more closely what foods and calories that I'm consuming. I also started exercise today and I did the strength exercises that they gave me to do and I also did 1-mile with WATP. Now, I'm extra crampy so I'm trying to take it easy. I really need to pick up the living room and vacuum, but I really would rather go curl up with a book on the couch.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

$75 worth of Gymbucks...

Wow, I just did a huge online order for the kids at Gymboree while I was clearance shopping. I spent $170 for 4 kids including shipping and taxes. I don't think I did too badly considering that I was able to get them each 2-3 complete outfits with accessories to match. I earned $75 worth of Gymbucks too. Yeah, I had $25 worth of Gymbucks already from last month's purchase, however Andy thinks he accidentally threw it away not knowing what it was. Men, I tell ya! Oh well...

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What a beautiful day!

The weather outside is just beautiful! We did some stuff around the house this morning after Deidra and I "watched" mass on tv. Then, I ran to the grocery store where I ran into my Mom. Chatted at her for awhile and then I came home to unload groceries and put them away. Then, we took everyone to the park for some fun and a long walk along the trail. Afterwards, we went to Braum's for ice cream treats before we just now came home. Call me silly, but I'm thinking about going for a walk around our neighborhood for awhile. It was nice to do something fun with the family today. Now to fight off this cold that I have brewing...my ears are sore and my throat feels raw! I think maybe I'll go make some Green Tea Mojo to sip on.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Trying to stay positive...

This week has been so busy and I just feel drained. Add in the little sleep that I got last night as Baby D and Little J's sister stayed over last night and the fact that my Dad came in very briefly just before 6 am this morning to give me money so that I could start his checking account and so forth here. The kids all had their sibling visit today and Little J came home absolutely hysterically crying that she couldn't be with her sister and the CPS worker didn't know how to calm her down. Lots of hugs later, I started talking to her and she calmed down when she showed me what she got at her visit. The CPS worker and I talked a bit about things and she said that it's so clear to her how bonded Baby D is to me that in her eyes he thinks of me as "Mommy." I told her that Little J really struggled with what to call me once her sister came in and her sister was struggling over what to call everyone...they are so afraid of being disloyal to their "real" mom. I told them that nobody is putting any pressure on what to call anyone, at least here, and they were welcome to call us whatever they felt comfortable with. I never expected their sister to call us anything other than our first names as she doesn't know us...however I didn't want Little J to struggle and to Baby D he's never called me anything but "mommy." I have never told them that I am mommy or to call me mommy...it's just what they've taken to calling me. But, I know the guilt that I felt after my Mom died too and I refuse to do that here. I understand that they have parents and that will always be "mommy and daddy", but just because someone gives birth to you doesn't necessarily make you a mommy and a daddy either. There's so much more than that...so if they feel comfortable calling me mommy, I'm fine with that and I really don't feel that anyone should make them feel guilty for it. I know that even when the caseworker talks to their birthparents and refers to us as the "fosterparents" the dad has gotten upset and said "you mean...those fosterPEOPLE?" He actually got quite in her face about it once and she told him that she wasn't changing what she called her fosterparents for him or for anyone else as to her that's what they were...we parent their children and to a lot of fosterchildren...their fosterparents are called "mommy and daddy." I just hate seeing the kids feel guilty over it and it makes me remember the guilt I used to feel and still do at times and when you start hearing the pauses and the stumbling over trying to figure out what exactly to call them. Little J in her prayers always says "thanks for ALL of my parents." Little J is really struggling right now too as she misses her sister SO much and I really think that someone needs to tell her that there's a very good chance that her sister is going to stay where she is as I think if someone doesn't she's going to struggle very hard with that later on, however since I can't talk about the case with her and whatnot, that's really not my place to do so. However, my heart is very heavy for her. I really don't feel that the kids are ready to go home, however that's not my place to say that so I will not be the one to tell her.

I'm feeling kind of down in the dumps today too...the kids are tired and grumpy yet their all taking their naps at different times. Deidra was having a hard time that nobody was coming over just for her, so I woke her up to get a hug from Grandpa when he came. I'm stressed about taking over my Dad's accounts and so forth, but the bank was really great when I went to open the new bank account and let me add him right then and there. She just gave me a sheet for him to sign the next time he's in town and then I just have to bring it back to them.

Andy and I had a chance to spend some quality time together on Friday (he took a personal day and worked from home part of the day too) and it was really nice.

I just can't find my groove the past few days...there's so much I want to do...just when I have time to do it I can't seem to find my motivation to do it. I guess I just need to jump in and do it anyway and hope I find my mojo again.

I did get a new book to read too. It's by Daniel Hughes and it's called "Building the Bonds of Attachment." The characters are fictional, however it tells the story of a little girl with really bad attachment disorder that goes through 4 foster homes and how she got to that point (spending months in her crib, going hungry, crying to no avail, getting thrown across the room, breaking ribs, her father peeing on her and how she figures out that her parents don't meet her needs and so her behavior changes to doing bad things to gain that attention or to be vindictive as she no longer sees herself as worth anything). It is a heavy read, but very informative and the more and more that I read about this little girl, the more it makes me think of Little J. I've done some more research on the internet too and I really think she's got RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and I'm going to talk to my caseworker about it this week. The manipulative behaviors, everyone else thinking she's an angel, the hurting herself, the rages, the lying and constant whining, no understanding of consequences, all sorts of different things...I really do think it's pointing to Little J.

I really do need to find some more friends down here too and I think that will help my moods. I just feel very alone lately and that I don't get much adult interaction. Andy even teased me the other day that I talk the caseworkers ears off. With 3 kids in care and things going on, there's a lot to talk about though. But, I do like my caseworkers too and could see us being friends if there wasn't a conflict of interest there. lol. Thank God one of my friends up north doesn't mind that I still call her all the time and we talk among the kids screaming in the background. We understand when one of us has to go and whatnot, but not all my friends are like that and will get mad if I have to hang up or something.

I think I may go up and soak in a nice warm bubble bath and lather myself in body butter afterwards. Maybe pampering myself for a bit will help.

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Novena to St. Joseph -- Day 9

PATRON OF A HAPPY DEATH

Saint Joseph, how fitting it was that at the hour of your death Jesus should stand at your bedside with Mary, the sweetness and hope of all mankind. You gave your entire life to the service of Jesus and Mary; at death you enjoyed the consolation of dying in Their loving arms. You accepted death in the spirit of loving submission to the Will of God, and this acceptance crowned your hidden life of virtue. Yours was a merciful judgment, for your foster-Son, for whom you had cared so lovingly, was your Judge, and Mary was your advocate. The verdict of the Judge was a word of encouragement to wait for His coming to Limbo, where He would shower you with the choicest fruits of the Redemption, and an embrace of grateful affection before you breathed forth your soul into eternity.

You looked into eternity and to your everlasting reward with confidence. If our Savior blessed the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon, John the Baptist, and others, because they greeted His presence with devoted hearts for a brief passing hour, how much more did He bless you who have sanctified yourself for so many years in His company and that of His Mother? If Jesus regards every corporal and spiritual work of mercy, performed in behalf of our fellow men out of love for Him, as done to Himself, and promises heaven as a reward, what must have been the extent of His gratitude to you who in the truest sense of the word have received Him, given Him shelter, clothed, nourished, and consoled Him at the sacrifice of your strength and rest, and even your life, with a love which surpassed the love of all fathers.

God really and personally made Himself your debtor. Our Divine Savior paid that debt of gratitude by granting you many graces in your lifetime, especially the grace of growing in love, which is the best and most perfect of all gifts. Thus at the end of your life your heart became filled with love, the fervor and longing of which your frail body could not resist. Your soul followed the triumphant impulse of your love and winged its flight from earth to bear the prophets and patriarchs in Limbo the glad tidings of the advent of the Redeemer.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Help me to spend each day in preparation for death. May I, too, accept death in the spirit of resignation to God's Holy Will, and die, as you did, in the arms of Jesus, strengthened by Holy Viaticum, and in the arms of Mary, with her rosary in my hand and her name on my lips!

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

As the foster father of Jesus, I know You understand my heart in wanting what is best for our foster children. I pray that we are able to adopt Baby J and that his mom is given peace and comfort with the decision and that she will sign the papers. I pray for Baby D and for Little J and that they will receive the healing that they need and that their family will do good by their children when they go back home. I also pray for healing with all the children in the family. I also pray for no allegations or investigations in 2008. They tell us in training that in foster care it's not a matter of if you will get any, but more of a matter of when you will get them. It terrifies me...so I pray that our house and names stay allegation and investigation free this year and always.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Novena to St. Joseph -- Day 8

FRIEND IN SUFFERING

Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Savior. All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you, and the cross of labor followed you everywhere. Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you. Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary's virginity; by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune. Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast. To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner, and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you -- you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence, and love. You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Savior and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love. But God never forsook you in your trials. The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows, and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me, and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering. Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence, and of gratitude toward God. In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life. This was God's Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God. If suffering is the flowering of God's grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul's love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need. Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering. You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle. Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass, and share like you in Mary's spirit of sacrifice.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

As the foster father of Jesus, I know You understand my heart in wanting what is best for our foster children. I pray that we are able to adopt Baby J and that his mom is given peace and comfort with the decision and that she will sign the papers. I pray for Baby D and for Little J and that they will receive the healing that they need and that their family will do good by their children when they go back home. I also pray for healing with all the children in the family. I also pray for no allegations or investigations in 2008. They tell us in training that in foster care it's not a matter of if you will get any, but more of a matter of when you will get them. It terrifies me...so I pray that our house and names stay allegation and investigation free this year and always.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Novena to St. Joseph -- Day 7

PATRON OF WORKERS

Saint Joseph, you devoted your time at Nazareth to the work of a carpenter. It was the Will of God that you and your foster-Son should spend your days together in manual labor. What a beautiful example you set for the working classes!

It was especially for the poor, who compose the greater part of mankind, that Jesus came upon earth, for in the synagogue of Nazareth, He read the words of Isaiah and referred them to Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor..." (Luke 4:18). It was God's Will that you should be occupied with work common to poor people, that in this way Jesus Himself might ennoble it by inheriting it from you, His foster-father, and by freely embracing it. Thus our Lord teaches us that for the humbler class of workmen, He has in store His richest graces, provided they live content in the place God's Providence has assigned them, and remain poor in spirit for He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3).

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility. You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practiced -- a virtue most pleasing to Him. He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned, but a little workshop of Nazareth. Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man. What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer. From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life."

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power.

The light of divine faith that filled your mind, did not grow dim when you saw Jesus working as a carpenter. You firmly believed that the saintly Youth working beside you was truly God's own Son.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labor and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me. Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins, and gain rich merit for heaven.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

As the foster father of Jesus, I know You understand my heart in wanting what is best for our foster children. I pray that we are able to adopt Baby J and that his mom is given peace and comfort with the decision and that she will sign the papers. I pray for Baby D and for Little J and that they will receive the healing that they need and that their family will do good by their children when they go back home. I also pray for healing with all the children in the family. I also pray for no allegations or investigations in 2008. They tell us in training that in foster care it's not a matter of if you will get any, but more of a matter of when you will get them. It terrifies me...so I pray that our house and names stay allegation and investigation free this year and always.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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It's looking like Baby D and Little J...

are going home in February unless any new developments come up before the court hearing. Otherwise all the workers are thinking that the judge will be sending them home as the parents are working their plan and testing clean. Please pray for the kids and that the judge makes the right decision in February for the sake of the kids.

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Well, Baby J's mom isn't ready to sign the adoption papers...

the attorney has met with her. I wasn't aware of that until this morning, but we talked to her for a bit yesterday. She cried a lot and wanted to know when we were going down to see her. The court hearing is March 25 for the courts to take permanent custody of him, so they're hoping she'll relinquish on her own before then so she can still get an open adoption for him. But, if not, they'll take permanent custody of him on the 25th of March and he'll stay in our custody. Then, they'll terminate her rights and then we go for adoption after that. If it goes through the state, their adoptions are closed.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What a busy week!

This has been such a crazy week so far...not one spare day!

Monday, Baby J had his first speech appt. Then, Baby D had speech and then I had to go get the girls from school and then Little J had her speech appt.

Tuesday, we had our foster parents association meeting.

Today (Wednesday), we called Baby J's mom, Baby D had speech and then once I got the girls from school Little J had speech and then the kids have kid church and crafts tonight while Andy and I get an hour and a half to ourselves to run errands. I was thrilled though to find that the therapist is seeing the same things in Little J that we are. They're wondering if she didn't have any trauma to her head a long time ago or if she's got some other psychological issues going on. I'm going to bring it up at her appt tomorrow. I'm going to see if we can't get her a cat scan or something too. But, something definitely is not right with this girl. Her short term memory is awful and where she should be soaking up this stuff that is being given to her, she can't remember anything. The kids are even making fun of her at school over it. And the therapist brought out her supervisor today to bring it to his attention as well. They're going to have her evaluated for OT as well.

Tomorrow (Thursday), Little J has an appt with the psychiatrist and then she has play therapy and then I'm babysitting for a friend.

Friday, Baby J has physical therapy and Baby D and Little J have their visit and then their sister is coming into town to spend the weekend at our house to have their sibling visit.

Saturday, Baby D and Little J and their sister have a sibling visit with the parents.

Sunday is church and I'm not sure what else is going on that day. All I know is I have major housework to get done as well as getting my business inventory accounted for. I've made Andy my accountant. :-)

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Sometimes this is really hard...

Sometimes this parent stuff is hard and sometimes this fosterparenting stuff is really difficult. It's so much harder than parenting your own children...at least with your own you get to start them off with love, affection, discipline, you get to start your own foundation and grow from there...you're not picking up years later and trying to establish right and wrong and other things with a child that has already had a different way of life than what you think is best and whatnot.

Parenting Little J is very hard sometimes. She's oppositionally defiant...everything is a temper tantrum and not just any run of the mill temper tantrum, no...she tears her clothes up, bites herself, pulls her hair out, and plays the "I guess nobody cares about me" card. I've started anticipating her behaviors when I have to ask her to do something as it's not pretty, but yet I can't just give in to her either. And she learns stuff so slowly that we're really starting to think that something is not right with her cognitive development. I just don't know anymore, but she just doesn't comprehend things that she should.

Anyway, yesterday the boys fought their naps all day long and once I got the girls from school, I put them down for a nap. They finally fell asleep and so I told the girls that while they were watching tv and the boys were napping that I was going to go upstairs and take a quick 10 minute shower. I was almost done in the shower when I hear one of the girls banging on the door and Little J yelling "Deidra slapped me." I throw a couple towels around me and go answer the door and find Deidra crying hysterically that Little J attacked her. I ask her where Little J is and she said she was hiding under her bed. I pulled Deidra in the bedroom and put her up on the bed to get her to calm down and explain to me what happened. Apparently they were watching tv, Little J started saying obnoxious things and kept telling Deidra "duh" and Deidra asked her to stop being so mean. Little J proceeded to get in her face and her personal space and Deidra asked her again to go away and to stop it. She didn't quit and Deidra got really aggravated and slapped her forearm. That in turn caused Little J to scrape her arm with her fingernails and she went and pulled a metal sticker off of the Home Depot stool that Deidra had did in the children's workshop and proceeded to scrape Deidra on the left side of her chest and shoulder area with it over and over. Thankfully no skin was broken, but she was quite red. Anyway, I finally got her calmed down enough to go talk to Little J. Surprisingly I was really calm, but I let her know very firmly that she could have hurt Deidra very badly and that wasn't acceptable at all. Immediately, she started crying "you just don't care about me." I told her that wasn't true at all and she knows that, but I can't have her attacking the children in the home like that either. She told me she just wanted to go back home to where she got tooken away. I told her that I understand that she is angry about that, but that she wasn't going to take that anger out on the other children here. She said "well, Deidra slapped me." I let her know that I wasn't happy with Deidra for doing that either, but there were no marks on Little J at all and she really could have hurt Deidra seriously. A metal square sticker that doesn't bed when you touch it could do serious damage. As a matter of fact, I think I may write to Home Depot and tell them to come up with something else for the children's project stickers to put on their wooden items so something like this doesn't happen to anyone else.

Anyway, she cried at me for a long while about how we just didn't care about her and I kept telling her that I did care about her or we wouldn't have opened our home to her. I let her know that from now on for awhile she's not leaving my line of sight. She's not going to get to play outside with the neighbors or outside in the front yard. And if I have to go upstairs she's coming with me and if I have to go to the bathroom, she's going to sit right outside the door and talk to me while I'm in there as I can't trust her behavior. I also asked our caseworker to come over and talk to her. She thought the same thing that I did...she doesn't see that she did anything wrong and she shows no remorse for it. But, we both agree that she needs to be supervised more closely and things are going to be hard for her for awhile. And I think if anything even remotely happens that could hurt anyone again, I won't hesitate to have her moved. I feel bad doing that to her as she's already on her 2nd foster home here since the end of August, but I just can't jeaopardize Deidra or any of the other children here. My caseworker did let me know too that because of the potential serious incident and the fact that Deidra could have been seriously hurt, she had to make a report to the CPS hotline as well. That had Andy and I worried for awhile, but she told me not to worry about it. I'm feeling a lot better about things now. Strangely after that all happened, the girls were getting along really well and they were getting along well this morning before school.

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Novena to St. Joseph -- Day 6

Saint Joseph, I venerate you as the gentle head of the Holy Family. The Holy Family was the scene of your life's work in its origin, in its guidance, in its protection, in your labor for Jesus and Mary, and even in your death in their arms. You lived, moved, and acted in the loving company of Jesus and Mary. The inspired writer describes your life at Nazareth in only a few words: "And (Jesus) went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them" (Luke, 2:51). Yet these words tell of your high vocation here on earth, and the abundance of graces which filled your soul during those years spent in Nazareth.

Your family life at Nazareth was all radiant with the light of divine charity. There was an intimate union of heart and mind among the members of your Holy Family. There could not have been a closer bond than that uniting you to Jesus, your foster-Son and to Mary, your most loving wife. Jesus chose to fulfill toward you, His foster-father, all the duties of a faithful son, showing you every mark of honor and affection due to a parent. And Mary showed you all the signs of respect and love of a devoted wife. You responded to this love and veneration from Jesus and Mary with feelings of deepest love and respect. You had for Jesus a true fatherly love, enkindled and kept aglow in your heart by the Holy Spirit. And you could not cease to admire the workings of grace in Mary's soul, and this admiration caused the holy love which you had consecrated to her on the day of your wedding grow stronger every day.

God has made you a heavenly patron of family life because you sanctified yourself as head of the Holy Family and thus by your beautiful example sanctified family life. How peacefully and happily the Holy Family rested under the care of your fatherly rule, even in the midst of trials. You were the protector, counselor, and consolation of the Holy Family in every need. And just as you were the model of piety, so you gave us by your zeal, your earnestness and devout trust in God's providence, and especially by your love, the example of labor according to the Will of God. You cherished all the experiences common to family life and the sacred memories of the life, sufferings, and joys in the company of Jesus and Mary. Therefore the family is dear to you as the work of God, and it is of the highest importance in your eyes to promote the honor of God and the well-being of man. In your loving fatherliness and unfailing intercession you are the patron and intercessor of families, and you deserve a place in every home.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of living in the Holy Family and being its head. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain God's blessing upon my own family. Make our home the kingdom of Jesus and Mary -- a kingdom of peace, of joy, and love.

I also pray for all Christian families. Your help is needed in our day when God's enemy has directed his attack against the family in order to desecrate and destroy it. In the face of these evils, as patron of families, be pleased to help; and as of old, you arose to save the Child and His Mother, so today arise to protect the sanctity of the home. Make our homes sanctuaries of prayer, of love, of patient sacrifice, and of work. May they be modeled after your own at Nazareth. Remain with us with Jesus and Mary, so that by your help we may obey the commandments of God and of the Church; receive the holy sacraments of God and of the Church; live a life of prayer; and foster religious instruction in our homes. Grant that we may be reunited in God's Kingdom and eternally live in the company of the Holy Family in heaven.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

As the foster father of Jesus, I know You understand my heart in wanting what is best for our foster children. I pray that we are able to adopt Baby J and that his mom is given peace and comfort with the decision and that she will sign the papers. I pray for Baby D and for Little J and that they will receive the healing that they need and that their family will do good by their children when they go back home. I also pray for healing with all the children in the family. I also pray for no allegations or investigations in 2008. They tell us in training that in foster care it's not a matter of if you will get any, but more of a matter of when you will get them. It terrifies me...so I pray that our house and names stay allegation and investigation free this year and always.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Our 9th Anniversary



I used the Cherry Blossoms Jubilee kit for this one. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who made the kit as I didn't save the information though.

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Novena to St. Joseph -- Day 5

PATRON OF THE CHURCH

Saint Joseph, God has appointed you patron of the Catholic Church because you were the head of the Holy Family, the starting-point of the Church. You were the father, protector, guide and support of the Holy Family. For that reason you belong in a particular way to the Church, which was the purpose of the Holy Family's existence.

I believe that the Church is the family of God on earth. Its government is represented in priestly authority which consists above all in its power over the true Body of Christ, really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, thus continuing Christ's life in the Church. From this power, too, comes authority over the Mystical Body of Christ, the members of the Church -- the power to teach and govern souls, to reconcile them with God, to bless them, and to pray for them.

You have a special relationship to the priesthood because you possessed a wonderful power over our Savior Himself. Your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament. To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us -- as it is the priest's function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him. You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people. But how much greater than he were you! Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies. You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion.

God has appointed you patron of the Church because the glorious title of patriarch also falls by special right to you. The patriarchs were the heads of families of the Chosen People, and theirs was the honor to prepare for the Savior's incarnation. You belonged to this line of patriarchs, for you were one of the last descendants of the family of David and one of the nearest forebears of Christ according to the flesh. As husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and as the foster-father of the Savior, you were directly connected with Christ. Your vocation was especially concerned with the Person of Jesus; your entire activity centered about Him. You are, therefore, the closing of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, which took its rise with the Holy Family of Nazareth. Because the New Testament surpasses the Old in every respect, you are the patriarch of patriarchs, the most venerable, exalted, and amiable of all the patriarchs.

Through Mary, the Church received Christ, and therefore the Church is indebted to her. But the Church owes her debt of gratitude and veneration to you also, for you were the chosen one who enabled Christ to enter into the world according to the laws of order and fitness. It was by you that the patriarchs and the prophets and the faithful reaped the fruit of God's promise. Alone among them all, you saw with your own eyes and possessed the Redeemer promised to the rest of men.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the Patron of the Church. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to live always as a worthy member of this Church, so that through it I may save my soul. Bless the priests, the religious, and the laity of the Catholic Church, that they may ever grow in God's love and faithfulness in His service. Protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies. Through your powerful intercession may the church successfully accomplish its mission in this world -- the glory of God and the salvation of souls!

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

As the foster father of Jesus, I know You understand my heart in wanting what is best for our foster children. I pray that we are able to adopt Baby J and that his mom is given peace and comfort with the decision and that she will sign the papers. I pray for Baby D and for Little J and that they will receive the healing that they need and that their family will do good by their children when they go back home. I also pray for healing with all the children in the family. I also pray for no allegations or investigations in 2008. They tell us in training that in foster care it's not a matter of if you will get any, but more of a matter of when you will get them. It terrifies me...so I pray that our house and names stay allegation and investigation free this year and always.


Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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First weigh-in

Did my first weigh-in for my first week on program. Had a few slip-ups along the way, but I lost 4 lbs!

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Monday, January 07, 2008

I am so addicted...

I am so addicted to collecting digital scrapbook freebies. It's become an obsession. Did I mention that Andy installed an extra hardrive on my computer just so that I could have space to store all of them? I'm hopeless!

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A mother's love...

I was reading in a friend's blog (www.roosmom.com) about how in her pre-mom days she thought she knew when she would take care of her nieces and nephews how much she was going to love her own kids someday.

That really made me think...I used to think the same thing when my brothers were born (we are 12 and 14 years apart). I love them so much, but it in no way shape or form prepared me for the tremendous amount of love (that I can't even put into words)that I felt when Deidra was born. I loved her from the very moment I found out about her, but it really hit me the moment she was born. I can remember going to the store with her and feeling a little apprehensive when people would get too close (are they going to try to snatch her..what do I do?) I would drive with her in the car (what if we get into an accident...I couldn't bear to lose her). I would put her down to bed at night (is she still breathing?)and people would tell me how beautiful she was and I would always get this lump in my throat and would feel like crying every time. I don't know how to explain it. Even now that she is older my heart swells with how beautiful she is (and I'm not saying this in a vain way...I'm talking about the person that she is although since I'm her Mommy I will always think she is beautiful on the outside too). This little girl has such a personality...she's funny, she makes friends wherever she goes, she has a very sensitive side to her though just like me where her feelings get hurt very easily about some things, she's giving, and she tries so hard to get along with everyone and to give them things that they need. I look at her sometimes and my eyes well up with tears at how darned proud I am of her and the little lady that she is becoming. There is something about a mother's love...you just have to experience it to really understand it. But it really is true...you'd do anything that you could for them no matter what...a mother's love can move mountains for her children.

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Starting with my losing weight goals again...

If anyone is interested in being a weight loss buddy or anything this year...I'm posting on my weight loss blog again. It's www.healthiermom.blogspot.com if anyone wants to join me or help to keep me motivated.

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Novena to St. Joseph -- Day 4

FAITHFUL SERVANT

Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose -- to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Your noble birth and ancestry, the graces and gifts, so generously poured out on you by God -- all this was yours to serve our Lord better. Every thought, word, and action of yours was a homage to the love and glory of the Incarnate Word. You fulfilled most faithfully the role of a good and faithful servant who cared for the House of God.

How perfect was your obedience! Your position in the Holy Family obliged you to command, but besides being the foster-father of Jesus, you were also His disciple. For almost thirty years, you watched the God-Man display a simple and prompt obedience, and you grew to love and practice it very perfectly yourself. Without exception you submitted to God, to the civil rulers, and to the voice of your conscience.

When God sent an angel to tell you to care for Mary, you obeyed in spite of the mystery which surrounded her motherhood. When you were told to flee into Egypt under painful conditions, you obeyed without the slightest word of complaint. When God advised you in a dream to return to Nazareth, you obeyed. In every situation your obedience was as simple as your faith, as humble as your heart, as prompt as your love. It neglected nothing; it took in every command.

You had the virtue of perfect devotedness, which marks a good servant. Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain. Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully. You would have sacrificed even the happiness of being with Mary. The rest and quiet of Nazareth was sacrificed at the call of duty. Your entire life was one generous giving, even to the point of being ready to die in proof of your love for Jesus and Mary. With true unselfish devotedness you worked without praise or reward.

But God wanted you to be in a certain sense a cooperator in the Redemption of the world. He confided to you the care of nourishing and defending the Divine Child. He wanted you to be poor and to suffer because He destined you to be the foster-father of His Son, who came into the world to save men by His sufferings and death, and you were to share in His suffering. In all of these important tasks, the Heavenly Father always found you a faithful servant!

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being God's faithful servant. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were. Help me to share, as you did, the perfect obedience of Jesus, who came not to do His Will, but the Will of His Father; to trust in the Providence of God, knowing that if I do His Will, He will provide for all my needs of soul and body; to be calm in my trials and to leave it to our Lord to free me from them when it pleases Him to do so. And help me to imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honor of being a faithful servant of God.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

As the foster father of Jesus, I know You understand my heart in wanting what is best for our foster children. I pray that we are able to adopt Baby J and that his mom is given peace and comfort with the decision and that she will sign the papers. I pray for Baby D and for Little J and that they will receive the healing that they need and that their family will do good by their children when they go back home. I also pray for healing with all the children in the family. I also pray for no allegations or investigations in 2008. They tell us in training that in foster care it's not a matter of if you will get any, but more of a matter of when you will get them. It terrifies me...so I pray that our house and names stay allegation and investigation free this year and always.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

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