December 16, 2013

Wishing you a blessed Christmas


" and there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ..... And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men! "

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year

Public School Holiday Presentation



This Christmas card reminds me of Fiona’s solo in the Holiday program at school. The song is Peace I Leave with You by Mozart. Fiona did a great job with her solo and her voice was a great fit and sounded so beautiful. I got a little teary-eyed listening to her—Tears of Joy! Kinsley warmed my heart and made me smile during her segment.

I was very impressed with the school’s production. Every child from 4th grade on down to pre-K participated and the gym was jam-packed full of family eager to watch their kids sing, play an instrument, or present. Yes, these kids present on a microphone or they sing solos at certain parts from 4th grade on down to pre-K. They are all amazing!!!

REASONS FOR THE SEASON!

4th Grade–HEROES
A Tribute to the Armed Services
Bring Him Home (Les Misérables)

Piano Solo
Strings–Good King Wenceslas, Seminole Chant/Tribal Lament, Jingle Bells, Nutcracker

1st Grade–MIRACLES
Hanukkah Festival
Hava Nagila (Horah–Jewish Folk Dance)
Candle on the Water

Free Spirit–HELPING OTHERS/GIVING
You Can Help

3rd Grade–LIFE
Child of the Universe
Don't Worry, Be Happy

Free Spirit–LAUGHTER
Away from the Mistletoe

2nd Grade–MUSIC
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas
How Can I Keep from Singing?
Kinsley's segment warmed my heart! :)

Free Spirit–PEACE
Peace I Leave with You (Mozart)
Fiona's solo was beautiful! :)

Kindergarten–SNOW
The Little Snowflakes
Frosty Hand Jive

ECSE/Pre-K–FAMILY
We Are a Family
Turkey Dinner

Free Spirit–DREAMS
The Nutcracker...In About Three Minutes (Tchaikovsky)

FINALE–LOVE
Put a Little Love in Your Heart/Love Train
School Song

May Your Birthday Bring You Joy


May your birthday bring you
so much joy 
that your celebration
makes heaven
a little happier. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY


Love to Fiona from Great Aunt B.

December 10, 2013

10 On Tues: 8 is Great Part 2











It’s definitely great to be eight on Thanksgiving! Kinsley was a little worried about her birthday falling on Thanksgiving. We celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa’s new house with all the cousins. There was lots of good food to eat and yummy deserts galore! At the end of the day Kinsley said it was the best birthday ever!! xxoo

10 On Tues: 8 is Great Part 1












Kinsley had a lot of fun with her friends for her birthday. Don and I took cupcakes to her school and she passed them out to everyone in the class as well as the front office. She was excited to take one to Fiona’s teacher, too.

On the weekend before her birthday she had her class party at the community center. I can’t get over how affordable it is to rent out one of those rooms for one hour. It was great! Afterward, all the girls swam for two hours. It was only $1.00 per child to swim all afternoon.

I think Kinsley had a great birthday with her friends. Fiona had fun, too!!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all the joy and happiness
this Christmas season brings

Everything Merry and Bright


Wishing you everything 
merry and bright
through Christmas
and the coming year.

Wishing You a Beautiful Season


With very best wishes
for the holidays
and new year.

December 7, 2013

Crazy, Busy, Good

I’m not sure if you guys realize this or not but my life is crazy right now. I would say my life is crazy busy good. The best part about my life these days is I’m not waiting for the sky to fall. Isn’t that awesome? It’s the holiday season, we have so much to do and I’m not even worried about it like I would have been three years ago.

My kids have been busy and WE have been busy as a family. Ten weeks ago I wondered how we would get through our fostering classes. Today I look back and think to myself, “We did it!” We did it as a family, too. Every Monday Don would get off work at five and we’d hit the road. It’s about a thirty minute drive to get to class because class wasn’t in our town. We set the kids up in the back of the room with their video player, homework, games, and anything else they wanted to bring to occupy their time. Class ended at 9 pm and we would hit the road to come home and up to bed the kids would go. Let me tell you—they did a GREAT job! Every Monday for nine weeks we were able to participate in our class and our kids were busy at their table in the area being busy. Well, and what kid doesn’t like to watch movies with their headphones on a school night?

I have to tell you—I won’t be blogging about fostering specifics. But, if you ever have questions about how fostering works please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. Remember, I myself am just a beginner and have a lot to learn. We are never ever really done learning in this life. Learning new things is on-going, not something you can put into a box. I believe in sharing experiences, strengths, and hope in a way that doesn’t cause division. So, I hope I can be real with you if you have questions.

One day I will tell you what brought us to this place. I believe God called us to do this and what’s even sweeter is my husband has been leading the way in this area of our lives. The icing on the cake is that our girls are open to sharing us with other kids, too. We’ve been talking to the kids and praying about this for over two years. If the kids weren’t on board we would not be doing it. It’s amazing what can happen when a plan comes together.

I’ve had an interesting reaction from quite a few people in various circles regarding our decision to foster. Most people are very uplifting and positive about it and have given us a word of encouragement. Honestly, some people have said things about it that have left me gaping and I have to seriously consider the source and just realize these people are extremely limited in their thinking. They live in a perfect box with a pretty bow on top and cannot understand or comprehend having compassion or mercy for people who are different from them. That is how I see it, for the moment. Maybe I will change my mind later or maybe I am just willing to acknowledge what it is that I see.

One individual said to me, “Don’t these kids come from troubled homes? Don’t they have a lot of problems?” Uh, yeah—that’s the whole point of fostering. My Aunt who fostered for many years has been mentoring me. She told me there would be naysayers. When I asked her how she handled the negativity she told me there is plenty of love to go around. She’s right! There IS plenty of love to go around and kids deserve to be raised in families surrounded with that love.

God places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)

December 4, 2013

Put the "Christ" Back in Christians


Theological debates gone wrong, legalism/man-made rules within churches all over the world, misunderstood bible doctrine turned upside down are a few things that really irk me. Christianity is not about religion. It’s about a relationship.

December 3, 2013

The Radiance of a Hope


May the God of Hope Fill You 
With All Joy and Peace. 
Romans 15:13 

The birth of Jesus Christ is the
radiance of a hope that runs from the 
beginning of time to all eternity.

Thank You, Billy Graham and Franklin Graham! :) 

Please pray for the ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 
and for the many people God has called to Himself this year 
across our  nation and around the world. 

A Home Within Our Hearts


May the Lord of heaven 
grant you all the blessings
of Christmas 
in your home 
and in your heart 
now and forever. 

"The Kingdom of God is near you." 
Luke 10:9 (NIV) 

1st Christmas Card of the Season! :) 

November 29, 2013

Triangulation and Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Narcissistic Famlies


Setting healthy boundaries requires direct statements and clear communication. Narcissistic families commonly have a skewed, ineffective communication style called “TRIANGULATION.” Instead of the mother talking to the daughter, the mother may express her thoughts and feelings—usually negative and criticizing—to another family member in the hope that he or she will tell the daughter. Then the mother can deny that she said it, although the message somehow got out there anyway. This triangulation in communication is PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE and is an expression of the sentiment “I will get you back, but not directly to your face.” Many families, unfortunately, communicate in this dysfunctional manner, but narcissistic families are the poster example.

H/T: Karyl McBride, Ph.D.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

November 22, 2013

Duct Tape


I should seriously consider carrying some of this around and making sure to have it everywhere I go. Sometimes I am amazed by what comes out of people’s mouths. In case you were wondering, the duct tape isn’t for them, it’s for me. One of these days someone’s going to make an ignorant uneducated comment around me and there will be no duct tape to save them.

November 20, 2013

10 On Tues: Love & Logic Style


Children are not caged birds!



2. "Anger and frustration feed misbehavior." We know a mom who repeats this to herself when she feels like responding with lots of anger and wrath.

3. When a kid challenges your decision with a "But, why!!??", experiment with a "What do you think the reasons might be?" instead of a long justification.

4. Signs Love and Logic skills & products may NOT be right for you: 1) You had your sense of humor removed in 1987 2) You believe raising kids has to be miserable 3) You find something negative about everything 4) You secretly want kids to be incapable so they need you 5) You enjoy punishing 6) You hate fun Aren't you glad none of these describe you?

5. Just because kids are star athletes or talented in other activities, we should NOT give them a 'character pass'.

6. "The struggle my child faces today can become the strength my child possesses tomorrow."

7. My kids will face challenges. I will empower, not enable.

8. "Love you [pause] too much to fight about this." ~Said lovingly, but without a lot of emotional energy.

9. Stay classy... when there is a conflict. That way, your kids will see how to stay classy when there is a conflict.

10. We want kids THINKING about and owning their problems. Often, it's a matter of ASKING them what they are going to do about it instead of TELLING them.

Hat Tip: Love and Logic Institute, Inc.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

November 11, 2013

Get used to it—life is messy!


Foster care classes are going well. We’ve been faithfully attending each class for five weeks. We finally finished our questionnaire a couple of weeks ago and have four classes left including the one we will go to today.

In the beginning of the classes our instructors said not everyone starting the class would be there at the end. There are a few people who have already dropped the class and it’s totally understandable.

Right now we are in the process of getting our home in order. For example, we keep our cleaning supplies under our kitchen sink as well as all our bathroom sinks. Yesterday we started the process of gathering our cleaning supplies and transferring them to a high shelf in the unfinished part of our basement where we store boxes and other extras. We also have prescription medications that need to be locked up, too.

I would like to have a clutter-free home before we get our license. Our house is really not that bad but I want everything to have its place and make sense. Slowly but surely the goal is to get our home organization project done before we become licensed.

So far we still want to foster, even after all of the difficult scenarios we have encountered during class time. It has also been pretty interesting the various reactions we have received concerning becoming a foster family. I am always amazed at what naysayers will come up with to try and put a damper on things. I have a whole new take on “diarrhea of the mouth” and am simply amazed at the filth that is spewed in our direction.

Our family has been through enough “mess” to know that life is not a fancy wrapped boxed with a pretty bow on top. Life is messy! Our family has a lot of love to give to all the kids who find themselves in our home.

God places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)

Photo Credit: Pinterest

November 8, 2013

Helicopter Parenting is a Problem


Helicopters are exciting because they make a lot of wind, noise, and vibration, and they don't go very fast (except for jet-powered attack helicopters; which we will discuss later). Their place in the world is to hover, rescue, and protect. Emergency response teams couldn't function without them.

But what if the helicopter hovers overhead when there's no emergency? Then it's a problem.

When parents insist on hovering overhead to provide constant protection, it's a nuisance. It can even hinder normal life. We call those who use this approach "helicopter parents." They stay close by in order to rescue their children whenever a problem arises.

To get a good look at helicopter parents, just visit your local middle or high school. You'll see them hovering in and out the front door, carrying field-trip permission slips, homework assignments, band or orchestra instruments, and coats. Helicopter parents watch for their beloved offspring to send up a signal flare, and then they swoop in to shield their children from teachers, playmates, and other apparently hostile elements. Unfortunately, they also shield their children from any of the significant learning opportunities offered; helicopter parents accept the worry for consequences their children should be shouldering themselves. You'll hear the principal muttering under his breath, "Wow! How long did it take the kid to train his parents to do stuff like that?"

Other moms and dads sometimes regard helicopter parents as model citizens. After all, look at how involved they are. They're on every committee and seem to be at school more than some of the teachers. They seem so caring. They're always "there" for their kids. Besides, the dangers are real, so kids need rescuing, right?

But if you look just under the surface, you'll discover that helicopter parents often do things for their kids because of the way they—the parents—feel. Out of "love" or guilt, they will refrain from imposing or allowing consequences, because they feel uncomfortable with consequences. When their children hurt, they bail them out—because they hurt too.

Helicopter parents behave the way they do because they confuse love, protection, and caring. Each of these concepts is good, but they aren't synonymous with each other. 

Helicopter parents won't allow their children to fail. If their kids fail, they mistakenly reason, it means they are uncaring and unloving parents. Rescuing parents often rescue out of their own needs. They unconsciously enjoy healing another's hurts. They are parents who need to be needed, not parents who want to be needed. 

Children who are raised with the "love" of helicopter parents will turn into helicopters themselves. But some day they will run out of fuel and crash their personal lives. Why? Because their learning opportunities were stolen from them in the name of love. 

These kids keep breaking the speed limit because they know Dad will pay the fine, or they engage in promiscuous sex because Mom paid for the birth control pills. A few years later, they flunk out of college, mishandle what little money they have, or meander about "getting their heads together." The real world, these young adults discover, doesn't offer a grand helicopter parent in the sky to heal their diseases, pay for their bounced checks, save them from irresponsible people, or literally bail them out of jail.

Hat Tip: Parenting Teens with Love and Logic
Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin 

November 7, 2013

Mathematical Operations


Sisterly Questions and Answers



Yesterday on the way to church the girls were having a pretty intense discussion about God and the bible. Lately Fiona has had a lot of questions and Kinsley is pretty black and white when it comes to this stuff.

Fiona: Okay, how do we really know that God is not a she instead of a he?

Kinsley: Come on Fiona! The bible says that Mary gave birth to a baby and HIS name is JESUS. That makes him a BOY. Get over it!

Later on in the van on the way to church Fiona said she was a little confused by the trinity. She said the thing that is confusing for her is that the bible says Jesus prayed in the garden to God.

Fiona: So mom—what does that mean? Jesus prayed to himself in the garden?

We talked about the trinity some more. I also brought up H2O and how you can get it in three forms but at the end of the day it’s still H2O. That seemed to make sense to her.

I think the trinity is pretty confusing for a lot of people and while the actual word “trinity” is not mentioned in the bible it does exist.

I think we will be doing more bible reading together. Fiona is asking some really good age appropriate questions. Kinsley has some great answers for her sister, too!

October 18, 2013

My Doctor Appointment is Over


First of all, I want to thank everyone who left a comment or sent me an encouraging world via text message. I appreciate all of your prayers. For the next two years my doctors will follow my right side every six months on top of my yearly mammogram. I am so grateful that I received good news this week.

October 14, 2013

My Doctor Appointment is Today

I really need my doctor appointment to go great today! Please pray for competency and knowledge from skilled professionals. I am one of those patients who refuses to accept the standard responses and unquestionable treatment some routinely provide. I’m sure there’s a notation on my file somewhere that says, “Proactive Patient—Doesn’t take poop from anyone.” I’ve waited 6 months for this appointment and I’d just like it to go well. I don’t want to leave the hospital like I did 6 months ago just to have them call me at home the same day saying, “Oh—we need you to come back. We saw something.” Uh, no—that cannot happen again. If you haven’t had your mammogram yet at least think about getting one picture taken so that doctor’s have something they can look at. Don’t let any doctor tell you that you have to wait until you’re 50 to have your first mammogram. If breast cancer runs rampant in your family don’t let any doctor tell you that you have to wait until you’re 40 to have your first mammogram, either. I had my first one when I was 40 and 3 pictures later they thought they saw something. Thankfully, they had the first picture they took to compare all the other pictures. Yeah, God didn’t create me to be quiet. What’s the point of breast cancer awareness if I keep quiet? October is Domestic Violence awareness, too. In the spirit of not holding my tongue (or my keyboard) let me just say that it’s never too late to get out of an abusive/controlling relationship. The only time it’s too late is when you’re 6 feet under. Am I missing any other “awareness” type things for October? Okay, so it is Monday—just pray that everything goes well. I know God is already where I’m supposed to be and I trust Him—I just don’t always know or understand how much more I can take. I think that’s a pretty typical human response and I do have the picture of the footprints in my mind. I know that no matter what happens in this life God always provides us with a soft place to land. Amen? Amen! Okay—thanks for praying.

October 13, 2013

Student of the Month


Fiona was selected as the October Student of the Month at her school. We are super proud of her! The school awarded her with a certificate and a free kid's meal at Applebee's. Keep up the great work, Fiona!

1st Place



Kinsley got 1st place in a drawing contest for her grade level at school. Way to go, Kinsley!


October 4, 2013

She Did A Great Job!

I am super proud of our second-grader, Kinsley. Yesterday she had a focus lab presentation at her school. The kids get up in front of a room filled with parents and on microphone they talk about their power point presentation they made in class. These focus labs at her school are amazing! She did a great job!

Who You Are: A Message To All Women

September 28, 2013

For the Love of Sisters

Kinsley: Do I have to listen to Fiona?
Me: That depends—what is she asking you to do?
Kinsley: She wants me to do this bible study thing with her.
Me: Oh, okay. Well—maybe you can check it out and if you don’t like it, don’t do it. But, at least try it—especially if she is asking you to do it with her.
Kinsley: Oh, I guess. Okay, I’ll try it. But, if I don’t like it—I’m not doing it.
Me: That’s sounds good to me.