Monday, June 30, 2008

3-day weekend blur...

We had a 3-day weekend and it all blurred together. I was really sick on Friday and had to go to the doctor. Andy came home to stay with the kids while I went in. Then, after I came home and we ate some dinner he put the boys to bed for me and took the girls in to work with him to do a little bit of work that he had to do. He came home and put the girls to bed and I was asleep on the couch and didn't even hear the door alarms go off. Oops! Those meds do a number on me that's for sure.

Saturday, I was still not feeling all that well, but we had a function to go to up at our foster care agency and the kids had fun. We came home and had nap time and Andy and I tried to clean up a bit while the kids were napping and then we sat on the couch and tried to nap ourselves for a bit. Yeah, like we ever thought that was going to I think the key word here is that we TRIED. Oh well... He got the kids put down to bed for me and then he had to go in and finish up some work. He left around 8:30 and I felt so bad that he was giving up sleep to go into work and I had told him earlier in the day that he could go in and I'd try to muttle through everything, but he wanted to stay home with me to make sure that I was taken care of. I was touched... He's so sweet...I told him that I'd try to stay up and wait for him the best that I could. He left and I fell asleep on the couch for a bit and then I woke up thinking it was a lot later than what it was. Baby J tried to get up and I had to go put him back to bed...he just wanted another cup of water. I got him back down and then I came down and emailed Andy. Watched tv for a bit and he wrote me back. Waited up until about 1 am and then decided I was going to go lay down. Yeah, what was I thinking...Deidra woke up and had had a nightmare and wanted to lay in Andy's spot in bed. I let her lay down and she is horrid to try and sleep next to...she's a bed hog and she's constantly rubbing her feet against mine or against my legs and it drives me batty. So, I got up and went and laid back on the couch. When Andy's not here I hear every little thing and it freaks me out. So, I got up and called him just to hear his voice. We talked for a minute and he said it was eerie being at work with nobody there. I laughed as I get like this every time he's not at home at night. He said he wouldn't be too much longer, he just had one last task to do and that was just doing a few moves and rewiring their computers. He said it would take about 15-20 minutes per person and if everything went well he'd be leaving soon thereafter. I went to lay down again and the cats managed to knock a huge canister bin of markers and crayons down and it made a huge noise not to mention I had crayons and markers all over my kitchen floor. So, here it is 2 am and I'm picking it all up off the floor. I get that cleaned up and decide to go lay down one more time and I just about doze off and the baby woke up screaming. Poor baby had bad tummy pains. So, I sat with him for a long time trying to calm him down, tried to feed him and that only made it worse. So, finally I gave him some gas drops and a little motrin and fed him some prune juice and that did the trick. I got him down to bed around 4 and then I called Andy once more to see how he was doing and to tell him that I was finally going to bed. He told me he was on the way home. I stayed up to wait for him since he wasn't that far away and I think we finally made it to bed around 5 to have the kids up at 6:30. Oh well....

Sunday, we were SO tired and dragging, but we did the best that we could. I still wasn't feeling all that wonderful and we had quiet time for the girls and nap time for the boys and tried to nap ourselves. Then, we had some errands to run. We came home and we all went to bed early.

Today (Monday), we went to the water park with the foster parent's association. We had a ton of fun, but we all came home with sunburns. I got it the worst. :-( My face, shoulders, neck, and back all look like a lobster. Came home and had Andy help me slather on Solarcaine with Aloe Vera gel. Hopefully, it will feel better in the morning. Baby J fell asleep riding on the intertube with me on the Lazy was too cute. I wish I would have had the camera to capture that. He had so much fun there...he's a little fish...he loved riding the kiddie water slides too. I thought they'd scare him with the water a little bit, but he got to the bottom and just yelled out "FUN" and he instantly wanted to go again. So cute!

We have a very busy Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then we have another 3-day weekend. We're going to see some friends that we went to high school with in San Antonio. It should be fun! And the 4th of July is always a fun trip down memory lane for Andy and I anyway...10 years ago this 4th of July marks the day he proposed to me. Awww!

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The Ice Cream Personality Test

Your Ice Cream Personality:

You like to think of yourself as a fairly modest person. And it's true that you don't talk yourself up... but you're also pretty happy with who you are.

You are incredibly cautious. You rather miss out on something than make a mistake. No one would ever call you wild... but they would call you responsible.

You are a fairly open minded person with a wide range of tastes. You are quite accepting of unusual ideas and people.

You tend to have a one track mind. You prefer not to multitask.

You can be a big dramatic and over the top sometimes. You are bold in every way


Saturday, June 28, 2008

What a sweet hubby I have!

I've been sick this week really bad with sinus stuff. On Thursday, I knew I had an infection, but didn't want to go to the doctor for myself with everything I had going on with the kids. Friday, I woke up and the whole left side of my face just hurt like I had been socked in the face and my ear was bothering me too as well as my back teeth. I called the doctor and they didn't have any openings and I asked if the doctor could call me in a prescription. The nurse called me back and said she could fit me in right before they closed for the day.

Andy came home an hour early so I could go in and he stayed with the kids. The doctor said I had a fever (didn't even know I had one), a bulging ear drum and he was going to give me some zithromax for the sinus infection and a decongestant/antihistamine to help get rid of all the congestion and pressure and green goo I was experiencing. Andy had to go back into work when I got home and he put the boys to bed and took the girls in to work with him so I could rest. It was a good thing too as that decongestant/antihistamine really did a number on me. As a matter of fact, I didn't even hear the door alarm go off when they came home. I woke up later and saw that he was home and I went to bed. I tossed and turned all night long because of the facial pressure that I had going on.

I woke up this morning and he said he had to go back to work to get the new hire people set up as he took Monday off since we're going to the water park with the foster parent association, however, he told me he'd go in tonight after the kids went to bed for the night so he could help me with the kids as he knew I didn't feel well. I'm still running a small temp and my ear is still hurting. But, my hubby sure is taking good care of me! He's so sweet! I feel bad that he's going to up late tonight getting his work done, but I told him that I'd wait up for him the best that I could.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Homemade Detergents

At the beginning of the month, I made homemade laundry and dishwasher detergent.

I made Tropical Citrus Tango dishwashing detergent and it smells and cleans awesome.

I made Sun Dried Linen liquid laundry detergent and it makes the laundry smell so good.

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Prayer Request

One of my best friends from high school (I lived with her and her Mom for a year before I moved to Chicago) has a brother that has stage 4 lung cancer. He was doing really well on treatment and then in January they found that it had started progressing. He didn't want to know his prognosis or anything, he just wanted to keep fighting it. He went through more chemo and had his MRI last week. He's supposed to get his results back today to know whether the treatment is helping or if it's still progressing. Please say a prayer for good news for him and his family today.

Abba, please give him good news today and help him beat this thing!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Please let them stay a long while...

Abba, I pray that we'll get to keep Little A and Baby L until their Mom finishes working their case plan. They have a mediation hearing and 14-day hearing to report the status of how they're doing and give Mom services to work tomorrow. And they discuss if any family/friends have come forward to say that they'll take the kids. These kids are a great fit and I'd love for them to stay for a long while until Mom is done working her services.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Spider Bite

I went to take a shower last night and took my sweet time in there. It felt nice not having to rush and letting the warm water just rain over me. The kids were all in bed and Andy was playing a game online. I was just enjoying not having to rush and I felt a burning sensation on my neck and went to reach for it. I brushed at something and when I looked down I discovered it was a spider. Not a particularly big one or anything and it didn't look like anything I needed to be afraid of (only 2 poisonous spiders to fear here). I finished up and got dressed and came downstairs to tell Andy. 2 little fang marks on the right side of my neck. Andy asked me if I was ok and I just said it burned a little bit. I hate spiders and am horribly afraid of them, but I was pretty mellow about what happened. I think I even surprised myself.


Planning our 10-Year Anniversary

Planning Our 10-Year Anniversary
We've been talking about what we wanted to do for our 10-year wedding anniversary. We each had a couple different ideas. I wanted to get away from everything familiar and go on a cruise and just have that time together away from distractions and the everday things of our everyday lives. Andy wanted to go see's something he's wanted to see for quite awhile. I had also tossed out the idea of going to NYC or to London. We looked at the cruise books and decided that we may go around Thanksgiving or spring break next year. We decided finally on what we're going to do...Wicked is in the works along with our other plans. But, we decided we were going to retrace our history...this is Andy's idea and I thought it sounded incredibly romantic. So, now we're going to sit down one night this week and make the hotel arrangements and make our flight arrangements. Andy has an idea of where he wants us to stay even though I think it's a bit too expensive. But, it's a beautiful hotel and I told him it was up to him. I'm looking forward to our little get away. And to be honest, I really don't care where we go...I just want to spend the time with him.

I can't believe we've been married for 10 years already. I look at the things we've been through together and I know we can get through anything...we've been through a lot that's for sure. But, I'm just glad that we have each other and I love him more than anything. He sent me a card the other day too saying how he never would have thought we'd be where we are today when we first got married, but that now that we're here (Texas) he couldn't imagine it any other way and that I was the best wife he ever could have hoped for and that I was a great mother and that our children were lucky to have me. Everything that we've ever wanted has totally blossomed for us here and we are truly happy and feel very blessed. I love my husband and I'm so lucky to have him by my side. I know that no matter what life brings us, he'll see me through it and we grow stronger and stronger all the time.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

My family is driving me bonkers...

My Dad came into town for a doctor's appt today. He came in last night and I visited with him and ran him up to the doctor. Then, I had to run Little A and Baby L up for their visit. After all that, we grabbed some Chick-fil-A for lunch and brought it home to eat and then I put the babies down for their naps. My brother Jimmie called to see if we could get him from the field house up at school and since we couldn't all fit in the van and my Dad can't stay with the foster kids while I went to get him, he offered to take Deidra with him and drive my van up there and back.

So, I sat and enjoyed some quiet time with Little A while they were gone. They come back and my Dad started getting testy that Deidra had to be right on top of him or attached to him wherever he went. I snapped a little bit at that as she doesn't get to see him that much at all...heck he's only here once a year usually or twice if we're lucky. And there's been some years that we haven't seen him at all. Anyway, they started picking at Deidra and tickling her and so forth and she wound up trying to get away and slammed her head into the back of the couch. She started crying and woke Baby L up (he was way tired and had only been asleep for about 5 minutes). I couldn't get him back to napping and he just started screaming. I've never seen him that worked up. I walked into the pantry to see what to make for dinner and my brother said he wanted mac and cheese. Baby J is acting up left and right and so I send him to his room as he wasn't wanting to sit nice in time out. He slaps me in the face and my patience was running thin. I put him in his room and explain to him that we do not hit and slap people and that he was in time out for doing so. I come downstairs and my Dad is laughing. Once again I'm trying to get Baby L calmed down and everyone is talking about how they're hungry. So, I'm standing at the stove with a screaming baby trying to make mac and cheese. My brother chooses this time to start telling me that I need to clean my laundry room. Yeah, I can totally do my own laundry when my Dad is doing his before he has to leave. Anyway, I tried to ignore it and just didn't say anything. My Dad finally says "I think you gave the baby a bellyache with how much you've been feeding him. Every time I turn around you have a bottle in his mouth." Gee Dad, the baby eats every couple of hours and hasn't eaten that much at all today...he's failure to thrive...I think he NEEDS to eat. Once again, I let it slide and don't say anything. The girls start fighting over something and I told them both that they need to quit fighting over such stupid things and just be respectful of each other and Deidra decides to call me a liar which totally got my goat. I brought her into the pantry and told her that she is NEVER to talk to me like that again and I sent her to her room. She comes down a few minutes later so that I could talk to her and she asks if she can get a toy from the store and I tell her that I'm not going to reward her behavior and that she will not be getting a toy because of how she talked to me. My Dad says "you need to simmer down, you're being too hard on her." NO, I'm teaching her consequences...thank you. Once again I let it slide and I told him that she needs to understand that she cannot talk to her parents that way and I'm not rewarding her for her behavior.

Poor Andy finally comes home and I ask him if he can empty the noodles for me and him not knowing what's going on says "Umm, Jess, how long did you cook these noodles for?" I snapped at him that I had had a total mess of meltdowns to deal with and they got a bit overcooked." He looked at me like he totally didn't know what hit him.

To top it all off, we get dinner cooked and my brother says "Oh, I'm not eating I'm going to Wal-mart with Mom" and my Dad says he's going with them as he needs to get his meds and so I made 5 boxes of macaroni and cheese for nothing. And my brother said some snide comment about my Mom and we started playing around and I said "hey, she was my Mom first." His comeback (and I know he was just joking but it really stung) "well she gave birth to me." They laughed about it. Maybe it's stress and hormones (my monthly visitor just left the building), but that really hurt. I had to fight tears and I was not going to let them see me cry. They left for the store and I just vented to Andy.

I put the kids to bed early and I'm making the big kids go to bed early too as I think part of their problem is that they keep wanting to stay up late. Andy finally told them that the reason we have a bedtime for them as early as we do is so that all this chaos doesn't happen because people are overtired. I think Little A finally got it...that or she saw how upset I was and didn't want to test the boundaries. I thought I did a pretty good job of holding myself together though.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Attention Span

Your Attention Span is Medium

Your attention span is just about average.

You may think that you have a short attention span...

But being distracted is something most people struggle with.

The most important thing is that you're aware that your mind wanders.

If you find yourself daydreaming, you can usually snap out of it.

It may be tough to concentrate at times, but you can do it... if you want to!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pickles and Ice Cream

It's so funny around here...Andy went to the store last night and got a bunch of stuff for hamburger fixin's and ice cream for dessert. Deidra wants the ice cream and Little A just wants the pickles for dessert. Even today, Andy says "who wants ice cream?" Deidra is all about it and Little A is yelling "I just want a pickle." Too funny!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

We have 2 beautiful new placements!

We got 2 beautiful new foster placements last night/early this morning. We have a 6-year old girl, Little A, and her 8 month old baby brother, Baby L. They are beautiful. I hope they stay awhile!

I still am doing respite for a friend's 8 month old baby girl too and what a sweet and content baby she is. I have a true taste of what having twins are like though with both of them around. Thankfully both are good babies, but to get Baby L's weight up, I've been feeding him pretty much every hour on the hour so I didn't get much sleep last night.

Baby J so doesn't know what to think of these babies in the house...he needs a shirt that says "hey, my role is the baby around here." You can totally see it in his face that he just doesn't know what to think. I'm trying to give him as much attention as I can, but sometimes to him it's just not enough and he's got to tell me about it. ;-)

Deidra and Little A took to one another this morning. I tried to tell her last night that she was going to have a new fostersister and all I got out of her (she was dreaming I think) was "I don't want any sugar." It was around midnight when they came, so she had already been asleep for awhile. She was thrilled this morning though when she came downstairs and discovered that she had a new playmate. I'm hoping they'll get along well.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's been in the high 90s and it just does NOT feel that hot!

We've been in Texas for 2 years now (May 1st marked our 2 year anniversary of being down here. It's been around 95 all week and I was just telling my Mom on Sunday when we were out and about is either we've really gotten used to living down here or the humidity is different than it was last year because it does not feel that hot to me at all. Last year, in the high 90s, I was in the a/c as much as possible and we didn't do much at all outside. This year, we've been out doing yardwork and taking walks and all sorts of stuff and it just doesn't feel that hot to me. I never said anything to Andy about it and we went out to run a few errands last night and Andy said "I must be used to Texas now and lost my MI blood because it's 98 outside and it just doesn't feel all that hot to me." I started laughing and said that I had just said something similar on Sunday to my Mom. Don't get me wrong, it's warm, but that weather in MI would have me feeling sick to my gets hotter here than up there obviously and it just doesn't seem to be phasing me.

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Praying for Hubby Day 4/31

Lord, I pray for Andy that he might learn to take every thought captive, to not be conformed to the world's thinking and to think scripturally.

Romans 12:2
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 10:5
5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Decorating the House...

We cleaned out the garage yesterday,now to just unpack the totes. I'm going to try and do one tote a day minimum. Anyway, we went to church this morning and I asked Mom to come by and help me hang pictures. She came over for most of the day and we hung the pictures that I had out (I still have a ton more in totes) and we went shopping for some other ones that I wanted. I found a couple cool ones that I'm going to save up for and I bought some cool frogs that hang on the wall for the kids bathroom. It looks really cool! Anyway, I've got the decorating bug now. Mom is making me a wreath to go with one of my pictures and I can't wait to see the finished product. It feels all homey in here now with just a little bit on the walls. I started my stairway too (all Deidra's pictures are going to be hung from birth to her senior year) and even my Mom commented on how nice it looked. Deidra came home from her sleepover and that was the first thing she noticed. I'm going to go up and get frames for our foster children's pics to go in and then have the pics from respite kids that I've done to put them into their slots too. The kids I've actually had as placements are going in their own 5x7 frames and the kids I've had for respite I'm putting in a big multi-picture frame. I can't wait until I get it all up. I'm going to try and take Baby J in to get his 2 year pictures taken at Wal-mart this week too so I have his professional picture to hang on the wall. I'm getting into this decorating stuff. It's about time since we've lived here for 8 months now and the walls were bare until this weekend. It really does make a difference. I have so much I want to do now...I've been inspired!

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Praying for the Hubby Day 3/31

Abba, I lift Andy up to you in prayer and ask that he may be a man of contentment.

Proverbs 15:16
16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD
than great wealth with turmoil.

Philippians 4:11
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

1 Timothy 6:6-8
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Hebrews 13:5
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."[a]

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

2 Books I Read....

I've read 2 books over the last 3 days by Mary Jane Clark. The first one I read was "Nowhere To Run" and I read it in less than 24 hours. I thought it was a pretty good book and I was completely wrong when I guessed who the guilty party was.

The book I started late last night and finished this afternoon was "Do You Promise Not To Tell?" and that also had me stumped. I thought I had it figured out and then I found out that I was wrong. Definite page turners! I love how all of her books revolve around the news media and KEY news too. I can't wait to read more of her books.

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What a day!

We went garage saling for ebay this morning. We went to the arts & crafts fair at the park. I wanted some homemade soaps, but I wound up taking their business card instead as neither one of us had personal cash on was only business cash that we had. So, then we came home and finally cleaned up the garage. Now, there's a bunch of totes we need to go through. I have freecycled so many things today...Andy's synthesizer (sound cards and stands too), guitar amps, our upright carpet cleaner, our handheld carpet cleaner, 2 end tables, my massage chair, my foot bath spa, some candle holders that hold votives, Deidra's easy bake oven, 2 cat carriers, 2 box fans, and 3 garbage bags full of clothes. It feels good to give this stuff to people who need it.

Now, we're off to Dickies BBQ from some loaded baked potatoes with barbeque on top. Then, it's back to organizing we go.

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Prayers for the Hubby Day 2/31

Lord, I life Andy up to you in prayer that he might grow in all 11 descriptions of a man who will not be shaken.

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

These are the things I pray for Andy, Abba. I lift him up in Your Name.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Making Detergents...

Lisanne, over at , piqued my interests the other day when she posted about making her own dishwashing detergent as well as laundry soap. It got me investigating making your own cleaners and so forth and I ran out to Wal-mart today and got stuff to make my own dishwashing detergent and liquid laundry soap.

I made Tropical Citrus Tango dishwashing detergent (it smells wonderful...I just hope it cleans wonderful) that I'm going to use when I run the dishwasher tonight.

I made Sun Dried Linen liquid laundry detergent and even Deidra commented that it smelled good when I was making it. I have to wait 24 hours until it gels up to start using it, but I can't wait to try it out.

This may have just sparked a new interest and hobby for me. It sounds weird to be interested in making your own cleaners and such, at least to me, but it was fun to do and I already have thoughts of other scents and so forth to try. :-)

This just makes me want to try my hand at making soaps too, but I don't know how to do that yet. Any soap makers out there want to give me some tips or easy recipes to start with?

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Poor Baby J...

I took him to the doctor yesterday and he was diagnosed with protracted diarrhea. His bottom is so raw, and the pharmacy is out of Nystatin until this afternoon sometime. I'm just waiting for them to call me saying that the perscription has been filled. Anytime he goes potty, he will cry and tell me "Mommy, poopy, poopy." He will scratch at his diaper to get it off right away. If he wasn't a poop smearer, I'd let him go to bed without a diaper on, but I know if I even try he's going to have it smeared all over himself, his bed, the floor, and all the walls. I just cleaned up diarrhea off his carpet in his room the other day and I'm not in a big hurry to do it again. Back in footed jammies he is. Turning them around backwards is my only saving grace. UGH!

We just got back from Wal-mart and he's eating some fruit that I was reluctant to give him, but he just screamed for it (oranges, strawberries, and apples) and wanted it so badly that I couldn't resist giving him some. He wolfed it down. I know he's probably getting sick of his bland diet...his appetite is still poor. I just keep him drinking his pedialyte and give him water when he's napping or down for the night.


Praying for my Husband Day 1/31

Lord, I pray for Andy that Youwill give him the blessings and the graces to become a holy man, a man of prayer...that he will lead his family through prayer. I pray that he will mature in the Lord, growing always in his knowledge of You.

1 Thess 5:23
23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 4:12
12Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Ephesians 1:18-19
18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,

Ephesians 3:16-19
16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God

Ephesians 6:18
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What Caseworkers Say and What They Mean


He's a very busy little fellow
He's destroyed my office apart in 20 minutes flat.

She seems to have a little cold.
Her temp is 102 and she can't breathe for coughing.

The family situation is slightly chaotic.
They've been living in the family car which has been re-possessed.

Mom needs to get a little more organized.
Mom doesn't remember where she left the baby.

These children need an organized, consistent atmosphere.
They've never worn clothes and they eat off the floor.

You're the only one I would trust with this child.
Everyone else has turned me down

This child is a picky eater.
He eats only cheetos, twinkies and Mountain Dew.

She has difficulty with peer relationships.
She tried to kill her foster sister in her last placement.

We may want to talk about counseling in a few weeks.
She thinks she's a dog and barks constantly

It's a complicated case.
I think the grandfather is also the father but he may be the uncle.

I know I promised to take the child on the visit but I have an emergency.
I'm dumping it on you.

Don't you think you are overreacting?
I don't know what to do either.

He needs a lot of love and understanding
He's locked himself in a workers car and he has a knife.

The school staff seems fairly unsupportive in his last placement.
He held the principal hostage.

We're going to move quickly to get the child home
We can't find his mother

Previous foster mom has switched jobs and can't deal w/ him right now.
He's 2 months old, weighs only 9 lbs, can't keep anything down, screams constantly cuz he's starving, and nobody can figure out what food he can keep down.

She's very unique.
She has so many mental and/or medical issues that even the doctors get confused.

It's only temporary...
...Unless no one else wants a 16 yr old with RAD, ADHD, dislexia, autism, texture sensitivity, eating disorders, anxiety, bi-polar, fascination with fire, a history of acting out violently and sexually towards other children and adults, has been expelled from twelve schools, etc. ad. nauseum.

She's a very easygoing child.
She's probably RAD, so she doesn't care if you're there or not, or where you take her, or what you feed her, etc.

His hair needs to be washed, and he has a rash around his diaper, but he's a sweet little baby.
He has lice, so you better wash his hair and clothes and bedding and then repeat the process for everyone else in your home after you discover this.

They say,
You work well with boys like this one.
They mean,
Lock up is full and they have no place to put him.

They say,
It's interim, he's going into a residential program.
They mean,
They haven't found one that will accept him.

They say,
He needs close supervision.
They mean,
He runs away.

They say,
Keep him away from younger children.
They mean,
He has sexually assaulted little boys.

What they say:
I've been meaning to call ______________(pick one or all: the therapist/the attorney/the parole officer/the biomom/you)...
What they mean:
Now that you've left me 15 messages and gotten a hold of me completely by accident....I'll pretend to get right on that thing you've been bugging me about for three weeks now.

You're just wonderful to do this
It's 5 o'clock and I'm outta here!


How Do You Know You're a Foster Parent?

So, how do you know you are a foster parent?
You open your homes and hearts 24 hours a day, every day, to children you haven't even met.
You know your family will grieve each and every time a child enters and leaves your home, but having the child in your lives makes it worth it.
Even though you realize you can't heal the child's pain, you strive to be a part of the healing.
You do not look to yourself for the absolute knowledge in caring for the children, but you look to others for support.
You volunteer all of your love even when sometimes children and their families can't accept it.
You give without expecting anything in return.
You see the strengths in children when others see their weaknesses.
You know others may not understand your choice to foster and may even avoid your family. The lost friendships are missed, but your decision to foster is worth it.
Your inner faith is enhanced as you see children grow and flourish. Even the slightest smile of a child is a victory. Their small steps are major successes.
You understand and aid a child returning home to a healthier family. You do what you can, even if you may not agree with the decision. You understand most of us want to be with our own families.
Material wealth isn't important to you. You chose to live with less to be able to give more. Wealth is in helping children find their way home, whether it be with their birth family, adoption, or being independent. You hear a child with different ears. You hear their cries of help behind their fits of anger, harsh words, or through their silence. Your patience is your strength. You don't take their fighting personally because you know they are struggling to find answers. You know their parents may be behaving in the same way as their children, for some of the same reasons.
You will make many mistakes, but you learn from them and keep on striving to do the best you can.
You give to each child in your care without sacrificing your own children.
You give your complete love and caring even if the child lives with you temporarily.
You are humble to the praises of others for what you are doing because you feel this is what we all should be doing. It is your normal way of life.
You record everything that is going on in your children's lives through Life Books, journals, and files because you know for confused children, you are the one to help them make sense of their lives. They can count on you. You are the "memory keeper."
Your arms never close to a child and your heart holds them forever.


You Know You're A Foster Parent When...

You know you are a foster parent when . . .

You open your garage door and passing cars stop, thinking all of the bikes, toys, and baby furniture means garage sale.
You go to a Foster Care meeting and everyone drives vans or station wagons, except for the small cars that belong to the social workers.
You get your exercise from walking or carrying the kids to time-out.
The K-Mart checker asks which school you are from, and you reply, ”We're a family.”
You spend more time with your washer and dryer than you do with your spouse.
Your heart is bigger than your brain.
Santa Claus gives you a key to a store and leaves milk, cookies, and Alka Seltzer for you.
You watch your 2-week placement go from crib to junior high.
You regard your toilet snake as a family pet.
Your local grocer tells you that if you ever move, he would like advance notice because he will have to lay off three employees.
Your personal stash of children’s clothing rivals that of the local Goodwill office.
The term “basically a good child with a few problems” doesn't mean the same thing coming from a caseworker as it does in the real world.
Saying goodnight resembles the end of the Waltons: ”Night, John Boy . . . Night, MaryEllen . . . Goodnight, Lizbeth, etc.”
Light switches, toilet handles, and door knobs last one year or less.
Your idea of a “social life” is talking to the checkers at the local Wal-Mart.
You tell the physician what medication your child needs.
You answer the question, "How many children do you have?" with, "I have x birth children, x foster children, and x adoptive children." And the other adult wishes she never asked.
Everytime you hear the phone ring, you start counting how many beds you have available.
You own an assortment of every known character Band-Aids.
You're the only one of your friends who knows every character from "Rug Rats" and "Telly Tubbies," AND you know the words to Barney's "I Love You, You Love Me."
Special time alone with your husband is a full night's sleep in your favorite baggy pajamas.
You know what the teenager's "slang words" mean and you catch yourself using them.
You get excited when there are more seats in your new mini-van.
You only buy in bulk at SAM's Club.
Your neighbors don't invite your family to barbecues anymore.
Teachers at your local school have nervous breakdowns when they see you coming.
You are surprised that your friends haven't seen the inside of the juvenile courtroom.
You're bringing the child's latest worker up-to-date on the child's case record.
Your kids ask questions about sex and you don't know the answers.
Your kids tell you the agency's policies and the changes to keep you informed.
Your pastor has to reserve a whole church pew for your family.
You go to school more than your child.
Your friends find drugs in their child's room and they ask you what it is.
The police stop you for speeding and don't give you a ticket because they know your kid.
You have to use all the fingers on both hands to count how many children you have.
You own stock in the Ritalin company.

Reprinted from “Foster Focus,” April 1997, published by the Olmsted County Foster Care Program.


Monday, June 02, 2008

It's been a crazy day...

I woke up this morning and came down to read my email. I had a friend request and the only person I could think of with that first name was my ex-boyfriend's twin brother. Imagine my surprise when I opened it up to see his picture and discovered it WAS my ex-boyfriend's twin brother. He got married 5 years ago and has 2 children and they moved to San Antonio last year. He wanted to know if I wanted to meet up somewhere. I talked to Andy about it and he didn't know them all that well when we were in band together, but he said he didn't have any problems going down to see them or meeting somewhere. So, I wrote him back. I asked him when he wanted to meet up and how his brother and the rest of his family were doing? It's odd that this all happened as I was just recently thinking about them and wondering what they were up to. His twin was my first boyfriend and we dated for 2 years before I made a poor decision (I brought my cousin who happens to be a male to their high school graduation party because I had been out running around with him and my aunt gave me a makeover and if I would have gone back for my car it would have made me really late to his party. So, my cousin said he'd drop me off which resulted in him going with me. A couple days later, we broke up and I'm sure that he didn't believe me when I said it was my cousin as I showed up looking entirely different too due to my aunt giving me the make-over. Anyway, I asked him if his brother had email or anything so I could talk to him. I'd like a chance to talk to him again and make my peace with what happened. I've seen him a couple of times since then, but I just assumed that he didn't want to talk to me. Come to find out later, someone that he worked with recognized me and when we talked (I had no idea who his co-worker was) I found out that he was showing my picture to everyone and telling people that I was his girlfriend. He ran into me in college and gave me a big smile and I smiled back, but I never stopped to talk to him. Who knows...maybe I should have. But, I'm hoping we can talk a bit and I can make my peace with things.

Then, I get a phone call from my best friend. We haven't talked in awhile and she had a lot going on. Anyway, she left a message saying that things were crazy and she'd give me a call when she got back to her parents probably late tomorrow night. Ummm...I'm hoping that her and her hubs aren't having marriage problems...but I went into instant worry mode and I left her a message on her cell to call me asap and I didn't care how late it was, but that I was just worried about her. I haven't heard anything back from her. She made the comment that we had a LOT to catch up on. I'm hoping that it's not all bad news...I'm worried about her as I know she was going through quite a bit the last time we talked.

Baby J isn't feeling well still. He's still having's been 5 days of this now. I'm calling the nurse back again tomorrow. He's been crabby too today. I tried to lay him down for a nap and he wound up smearing his diarrhea all over his wall and a few spots on his floor. Deidra has been acting out too all day long. She's been doing this since Little J went home and I think it's just her way to deal with things, but it's really driving me crazy.

Oh, and Andy came home crabby and nothing I do seems to make him happy, so I just got Baby J down for bed and I'm trying to unwind. I've been trying to help my Dad with some issues today too. My brother blew the motor out in my Dad's car. So, I don't know. All I do know is that I really need that spa day.

I pray for Racheal today, Abba, I don't know what all she is going through right now, but I pray that you guide her and help her through these tough times and get her on the right path. I pray that Dad makes the right decision with his car. I pray that Deidra and Baby J will be better behaved tomorrow. I pray for Andy that you will give him a renewed spirit and I pray that we can spend some quality time together tonight after we get Deidra down for bed shortly.

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