Thursday, April 28, 2011


at first when I thought about what my philosophy of parenting was... i was stumped

then i percolated... a philosophy outlines your goal - the main end you have end mind

i harp on my students that they have to have goals... if you don't have goals, how can you meet them?

what is more important than parenting?

i have long taught Bee that my MOST important job was "to keep him safe", it was our mantra...

it has changed in the past year (after reading frances chan's crazy love)

my number ONE job is to "help him become a man of GOD" and my number TWO job is to "keep him safe"

we often talk about how these are our priorities. usually it only comes up w/ keeping him safe.

if these are my goals, what will i do to accomplish this? how am i ensuring that he will become a man of GOD, and keeping him safe to live to the age of becoming a man of GOD?

i need to better outline how i will accomplish my goals... i will be looking at my friends (one of the most important things a momma can do is surround herself w/ other christian mommas)

i love how LISA talks about presenting the Gospel to her son in moments of discipline

i love CHRISTINA's G.R.A.C.E. model

To Show Them Jesus

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

two weeks and counting

things to do in the next two weeks:

1,000 loads of laundry

re-clean house top to bottom

"support" but NOT NAG hubby as he finishes the addition

paint the addition


spend last moments of only child time w/ Bee...


two weeks...

today i got an email i had signed up for... you know, the type to get coupons... i guessed at my "due date"... and according to that - i am "38 weeks"... prophetic, ironic, creepy????

According to this email at 38 weeks a common problem is fear of labor... ummmm yup... so here's a twist on the steps to relieve fears of labor pain (foster care style)

Review your class notes. Review what you’ve learned in your childbirth education classes. If you know what to expect during labor, you won’t be as frightened as your contractions intensify and become more frequent.

in foster speak - i will review the MAPP info -

Brush up on labor research. Read books and magazine articles about giving birth. Because each woman’s labor is different, it helps to become familiar with a variety of anecdotal histories of labor.

in foster speak - read every blog you can find (hmmmm.... think i've got that one down!)

Prepare a birth plan. Participate as fully as possible in the birthing experience by preparing a birth plan to help clarify your goals.

foster speak - tweak the questions we will ask when placement calls come in remind ourselves of our limitations to the placements we can accept - check that we are stocked as possible

Share your fears. Tell your partner what worries you and let him know that you’re counting on his strength and support during labor.

no need for translation - same for foster care

Labor isn’t forever. The average is 14 hours for first-time mothers—and most of that is in the relatively easy first stage of labor. Also remind yourself that the memory of labor pain often is erased by the euphoria of seeing your newborn.

foster speak - hahahaha... labor will last forever! seriously - we won't be first timers forever... the goal of reunification or walking a child through adoption into our family or another family will be worth it. the pain that we will experience is our sacrifice to GOD

Seek support. Talk to a friend, perhaps someone you’ve met at your childbirth education class. Share your concerns with her.

foster speak - same! and i've got the BEST friends to walk me through this - even if they haven't lived this - they have unique life experiences that have proven invaluable.
Remember that anesthesia is available. You won’t be considered a "failure" or a "quitter" if you ask for it. There are anesthetics available that are considered safe for you and your baby when given at moderate levels—and that will allow you to participate fully in the birth.

foster speak - hmmm... wine, chocolate...??? seriously though - screwed on that one :) full ripping and pain of heart to be expected - but i will turn to THE HEALER and FATHER for my relief.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


OH MY....

approval notification by May 10th......

so they say!

deep breaths...

like dust

In the midst of our remodeling, it hit me...

The dust that settled over our entire house (have a definite hatred of drywall dust now) has become a part of my life.

A friend of mine warned me that this dust will be around forever, just when we think we have gotten rid of it, we'll find more. She's right... it hangs out on everything. We've scrubbed and scrubbed.

Just when I think it might be gone, I get dressed to go out... to work, to church, whatever... and then there will be a big white streak across whatever I've worn.

Just as sin creeps into every corner of our life. Just as when we think WE have it under control, we look down and see it's ugly stripes across our soul, our life.

WE can't control it, WE can't "fix" it. WE have to trust and turn it over to HIM.

Monday, April 25, 2011

grateful 119 - 130

119. dirty fingernails that show me my boy is being A BOY

120. Bee requesting broccoli
121. 4 day weekend!
122. pre-k "graduation" pics... sniff sniff
123. a foreseeable deadline for the room to be done for my hubby (to help motivate him)
124. Good Friday - and explaining it to Bee

126. Ambrosia Salad

127. 3 generations hunting for eggs

128. w/ the fourth generation looking on

129. Having a family tradition turned around on me
130. NETFLIX via Wii

Saturday, April 23, 2011

hurry up and wait....

So... Resurrection Sunday is tomorrow.

We had thought we would have kids by now (when we got the wow! we hope to have you licensed by the end of March ---- remember that???)

last email i got from our licensing worker...

Hi M...,

Thank you for the work you did on the home study. We just have a few things left do and then we can go ahead and submit this week. Thanks for your patience! I will let you know exactly which day as you have requested so that you can be focus on it in prayer.


See the part where she says the end of the week she'll submit and let me know.

Hmmmm.... it's Saturday - heard nothing.

it's good b/c the playroom is still not done - but hubby has a deadline he has to meet w/ the room by Thurs. of this week (which will be on  my grateful list :))

we have a wedding next weekend... but i had been looking forward to (and feeling sorrow) that we would have kiddies by mother's day.

i KNEW this would happen. but we got the fake out.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

in the little things...

my real life friend has an awesome ministry via this blog.

we have been friends since about the time Bee was born. she has been a real role model in teaching children to truly LIVE for CHRIST.

i have learned alot from her - and definitely wish i could be a bit more like her in the wisdom she imparts to her kiddies.

she has begun as awesome link-up - TEACH ME THURSDAYS:

this week's inspiration:

Deut. 6:6-9

6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

raising our son to love the lord is hard...

it's the small things - praying at meals and bedtime, praying when we pass an ambulance...

leading by example, he sees me praying w/ small group - making CHRIST not A priority but the priority

reminding him constantly that all is possible in the LORD.

one way this has been done, Bee loves telling me he loves me more than i love him

i used to tell him, "it's not possible"...

one day he looked at me and said, "momma... with GOD all things are possible"...

so now i've taught him the definintion of probable :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the snake of discontent

reading through the free easter devotional from ann voskamp.

day four: (yup i'm - as always woefully behind)

Numbers 21:4-9

*recap of jews complaining to moses and GOD about how better their life was when they were in egypt.

irony... i read this as i was UBER frustrated in general with life

i am stressing out (ouch - atheism) b/c i have come to the realization that my life will be a bunch of bureaucratic frustration for the foreseeable future. i am a public school teacher in a state w/ an anti-education governor about to become a foster parent

i have been catching myself yelling at Bee more. not MAPP parenting style at all!

he has been SUPER argumentative and debating everything we say (and y'all he's not quite 5) ugh ugh ugh

the prayer from the devotional was great...

Father, we repent of our grumbling, our complaining, of all the stuff we wail that we can no longer stomach. We've been bitten by the snake of discontent. Cause our eyes to look on Jesus and live. Withe Jesus, we have more, more than enough

*from Ann Voskamp's free devotional

after reading this... i felt a calmness... would be great to say it lasted.

tonight my husband let me know our house isn't sound proof.

Bee had issues going to bed tonight, and i lost track of the prayer above... i yelled, fussed, etc... and apparently all could be heard outside (bicyclers turned...) ugh. ugh. ugh

praying for patience, fortitude, and strength as we continue down these paths of crazy super bureaucracy.... and for less yelling...

Monday, April 18, 2011

grateful 106 - 118

106. a peice of paper and pencil found on the floor of the room i administered the "state test" in to jot down thanks

107. the face of a sleeping boy - this often angry, resentful, closed off boy who sat in my class for a full semester. i see him now as he slumbers (after finishing STATE TEST) as his momma must when she checks in on him - he is almost a grown, but not quite yet, and i see the faint traces of a child in his completely relaxed and unguarded countenance

108. that MY SON is not yet there... i have 10 more years... long but short - HE has already blessed me with 5

109. time with my thoughts as a test administrator... we are NOT to be on the computer, grading papers, etc. but monitoring students... this gives me time to process my bible readings, to pray, to sing hymns in my head (How GREAT thou art)... as if i am a nun who has taken a vow of silence and worship

110. life changing books from life changing friends (finally finished ann voskamp's one thousand gifts that vixen gave me for my bday)

111. viewing the world through the glass of GOD and truly seeing it

112. playing hide and go seek w/ my lil' boy in my grandparents' jungle... (he thinks it is his as their last name is his first)

113. watching him from my hiding space try to find me... running and getting all sweaty

114. that this weekend my boys (husband and son) went on a father-son camping trip

115. my son GOT DIRTY on the trip

116. BAIT, the dead fish my hubby let my son play w/ for 2 hours

117. that i wasn't there to stop it

118. an adoption party to see the end result... the beauty of a daughter and mother finding and learning each other

Sunday, April 17, 2011

walking out in front of a bus

Love this quote about "don't you get attached"?

The real question these aliens are asking though is “Isn’t it so incredibly painful when the children are reunited with their parents that you want to go walk out in front of a bus?” and I get the question, I really do, but not so much
Because doing nothing makes me feel like walking out in front of a bus.

i feel like i am on the curb, getting ready to step off.

no progress or info yet on where our paper work is.

i think it is still at the county level.

when it hits the state level we will have 2 weeks till clearance.

as we wait i try to focus on why we are doing this. on HIS timing, it'll happen in his timing not mine.
i am trying not to think about how even as excited we are to start, this is the end for someone else. also, it means that once we start, there will be a child who will be experiencing the greatest trauma of their life... it also means, that we will be starting the process of helping that family reunify. we will begin losing our peanuts the day they come to us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

and more

cool gifts and me!

fabulous cupcakes with the heart in heart design

More pix from foster shower

My silly sister making faces behind my Momma

pin the foster baby on the foster momma

Foster Shower Part II

see part one here


1. pin the baby on the foster momma

2. unscramble the baby (foster-care) words

3. Mad Libs foster care style


Pink Lemonade (w/ Vodka) and Blue Hawaiians (rum, pineapple, and more)

soft cheeses, bleu cheeses, etc (things preggy mommas can't have)

stuffed mushrooms and more


gift cards (awesome! for when the kiddies come to be w/ us we can go purchase what they need)

diapers, wipes, girl clothes (we have tons of boy clothes), bath toys (great for kids and you always need more - they get gross)

books i registered for on AMAZON (one of few places you can find good multi-cultural books and books on FOSTERcare)

pix from my ubertalented friend:

yummy drinks

cool decoration (and game!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


If authentic saving belief is the act of trusting then to choose stress in an act of disbelief…. Atheism

- Ann VosKamp – one thousand gifts


oh how this thought strikes fear in my soul

doubt is not the absence of faith, i have held fast for a long time to that thought – that doubt is faith seeking greater understanding…

i hadn’t considered what was a lack of faith, to think the stress out moments are that – a slap in the face of our almighty father is breathtakingly scary

how many times a day do i feel the ugly thief of stress creep up my back, my neck, and into my brain

in her book, ann mentions stress living in her toes, her fists, the bunched up neck. i feel it now, as i look over a room of 23 angry teenagers…

i’m sitting in after-school detention – a side gig. puts almost enough money in my pocket to pay for the tank of gas in my tiny car to come to work every week. it’s a blessing, this opportunity, but on these days i feel the stress begin around lunch. these students… blessings counted by their mommas (i hope) are in this room for a reason, skipping, tardy, insubordination, dress code, and it’s always a great injustice. i am the gatekeeper, the jailer, not the judge. the students do not see the blessing or grace that has been given them (detention – not suspension) (a time to read, do homework in a quiet setting)

today this boy is sitting in front of me and he is angry, he looks around for an audience, wants his fellow detentionees to pay attention TO HIM, so it will give him an opportunity to perform. he looks at the clock and sighs heavy – we have over an hour left. he turns to a friend and gives a big grin trying to get him to goof off as well.

i am patient, “turn around please”. i try to read, and in the peripheral of my eyes, i can see him looking around, smiling giggling. as i type i can look at him and see that he is still there still seeking that audience and approval of others, not me.

when GOD sees us, does HE see me as the child in a room full of detentionees… every moment we are here has a purpose, a goal in the eyes of HIM. even the times of trial are to help us to learn something, there is a purpose, it could be a blessing , but we waste the time… fidgeting, complaining, stressing… watching the clock for the NEXT thing… rather than taking advantage of the time we have been given. does he see us seeking the approval of others and not of HIM

Sunday, April 10, 2011

not just surviving, but thriving

today our church had a congregational meeting to elect a new senior pastor - hallelujah! as he is younger than chef hubby and i, it seems a tad ironic to call him senior... but still - we officially have a new teaching elder...


as it was read that it passed unanimously, i was overwhelmed... i had to work hard to not just break down and cry...

in september of this past year (2010), our previous senior pastor - who had just started when Bee was born (and all the fun that then occurred) stepped down

the reasons were many - but i truly feel he and his family were under attack from the moment they stepped up to fill the pulpit - from spiritual enemies - and earthly

i hadn't realized how scared i still was that our lil' church would fall... i realize it's not out of the woods quite yet i feel that we are past the survival stage - and on many levels - we are thriving

we are CHRISTfollowers, not "christians". there is a tight knit group fighting tooth and nail to bring HIM glory and do HIS will

this hit me as i washed out paintbrushes (for the 100th time this month), and i thought of my old friend and neighbor, Mama T. when i first moved back to my home town, she and i became friends through our workplace.

chef hubby and i had done the church shopping, and had not found the place that truly fit us. she introduced us to the church that we call home. she has since stopped attending church, and truly we rarely have contact but watching one another dogs...

it's no secret that the location of my humble home is a thorn in my flesh, had thought it was a quiet street, but it is actually a through way and very busy and sometimes we have teenagers who want to camp out in our yard... but i digress...

i have ofen reminded myself that all works for HIS glory and HIS plans. since we moved to this house on this street, i was introduced to mama t, she introduced me to my church, and through my church... i did not JUST survive, i have thrived

i have thrived... even as i type i know i am asking to be smacked down to humility, but i feel i am closer to HIM through all i have been through in the past 5 years.

i have met women who i truly consider sisters-in-christ, i have been held accountable, and pushed and stretched in my faith that may have never occurred if we hadn't lived in this house.

i would have survived the complications of child birth - i would have survived the hysterectomy, most likely would have pursued foster care...

but i am able to do this and be full of JOY for HIM (note - JOY - not happy... not to be mistaken!)

and that... is thriving...

Friday, April 8, 2011

the wait continues... a glimpse of the "other sides"


a few posts back i was panicking b/c things were moving so fast, and it sounded like we would be getting kids in april

we got an email from our resource worker last night (the person who gets us licensed and relicensed), just a "few more" things to tweak on our application - so it'll be relooked at next week - and maybe go to the state at the end of next week. from there it is about 2 weeks until licensing.

last night during his prayers Bee prayed thank yous for his friends, etc. and said thank you GOD for baby peanut...and then he paused and said "Where are you???" (in a sing-songy-hide-and-seek-voice). it 'bout broke my heart. we made the mistake of telling him we thought peanut would be here before easter, and w/ today passing and our paper work still stalled - that's not going to happen.

today, on my drive home i just thought of that... and how much i worry for peanut, what he's/she's/they're going through... how i just wish i knew...

in that moment, a thought in complete clarity broke through...

this is what the BIOLOGICAL parents must go through in the weeks and months.

whether or not "they deserve" to lose their children, i am beginning to get a picture of what they must feel in those first few days.

i am imagining the WORST situation peanut could be in.... trying hard not to let my mind set there. people have horrible images of foster parents. greedy, lazy, abusive, etc. and someone who doesn't trust the system must think these things.

i also realized... this is NOTHING compared to the pain and grief we will experience when peanut(s) go home.

reunification is the best option (if possible)

it should be the goal

--- heartbreak will occur ---

a glimpse...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

IT'S STUCK! (or how my son embarrased me at home of pot)

good blogging calls for a light-hearted funny post after uber serious... so... for future mortification of my son, let me tell you how he mortified me tonight

i am not easily embarrassed.... i appreciate good potty humor... i am not squeamish (after all, i am a MOM)

so, tonight, when i say my son's potty antics were mortifying, they were... but also the kind that makes you want to pee-your-pants from laughing...

we ran to our local mega-hardware store (home-of-pot), and bought MORE stuff we didn't realize we needed for our addition.

we then did the cardinal no-no and started looking around (after 8 pm on a school night - gasp! already have lost my gold-star momma award)

chef daddy and i realized how late it was and he went to check out while Bee and I decided to go check out patio furniture. we are about to head out when Bee looks at me and announces he has to go potty. we live less than 5 minutes from the store, but he has to go NOW. he then grasps his little man bits with a death grip as we walk from the front of the store to the back.

as we get in he says... i gotta poop.

now - none of this embarrasses me - but the litany of info to come from my boy on the potty made me pray prayers of thanksgiving that no one else was in the restroom and plees that no one outside would hear him


***bee, momma can't help you - plus - you are locked in the potty, i can't get to you


***baby, just push







***Bee, just calm down and push, it'll come out

then from the stall in a sing-songy voice
"POO-POO STUCKY, POO-POO-POO-POO STUCKY" (ending on a great falsetto high note)

regular voice


***Bee, there is nothing I can do honey, do you want to go home? Can you wait?


***silence - in my head all i can think is please don't go there

*** then --- "AHHHHH, I'M DONE!"

***toilet flushes

Bee squeals


and i, i just sigh... and decide - daddy is taking him to the potty from now on!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

when the walk gets hard and ugly...

this is not a nice post, it is ugly, raw, but honest - it's a struggling post about trying to walk the walk of CHRIST while in this wretched body

i had felt that i have had so much progress in my grief. even a little proud of myself. reading the Ann Voskamp book on one thousand gifts. thinking, i can give thanks in this hard time of waiting for placement.

then today we recieved a phone call.

the details and background of this relationship are messy, the multilayered wounds from this person were starting to heal - today they've been ripped open again and are open gashing rents in the heart

it sounds awful, but she's pregnant. we aren't happy - few people who know the situation are. i will love this child, but cannot be happy she is pregnant.

thankful for friends who hold me to the fire that refines my soul...

i hear myself wanting to cry out, it's not fair... her womb is once AGAIN ripening with child, she is at the point where she feels her son stirring. she is for the fourth time going to bring a joyous life into the world.

i sit, empty.

it's NOT FAIR... why don't i get what i deserve -


i don't get what i deserve, through the mercy of HIM, i am not getting what i deserve

she is so SELFISH


so am i... every day i fight the struggle to put my child, my students, my husband and everyone else first... and by doing so to put HIM first

she is so PRIDEFUL


so am i... i think i am a better parent... that i deserve a child and she doesn't, but where is the humility HE calls for in that???????

i have been studying how to heal families in foster care, promising i can work with and forgive parents thinking i will model the forgiveness of HIM to people who need HIM,


but i cannot do it within my own family

i struggle to give thanks in this,
101. for the fact that in the midst of overwhelming odds, this little boy is so far healthy
102. for family who sheltered us from the news so that we could enjoy a good weekend out of town
103. for CHRISTlike friends who are holding me even now in their prayers... prayers i cherish
104. for HIM, HIS plan, whatever it is - while i can't see it, it's for our good
105. that the tears are the small stinging kind, i have survived this news - which i have feared since first having learned i have had a hysterectomy (as horrible as that sounds)... i will survive this

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

waiting… not so patiently

about a week ago we were told we would be getting the paperwork and it would be sent off by friday, april 1

it’s april 5… not done yet

i love our resource manager, she is great… but i am not the patient kind

the longer it takes, the longer until kids come

irony – just a month or so i was freaking out b/c it was coming too fast. now that the thought has entered my head… kids before easter… it’s there… and the deadline for getting that paperwork in to make that possible, is not being met.

this is good, the playroom addition isn’t done, but my kids are out there… peanut <>

i feel myself stressing, and remind myself, in HIS time, but it’s hard…

REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS… oh it’s so hard… why the timing, why the pain, why this twisted, tumbling path that has led us to this moment in this place and time…

the wounds are raw today, the waiting like small grains of sand and salt… yet i am under HIS will, HIS commands – REJOICE, GIVE THANKS…

so… i will rejoice and give thanks for…

96. a few more days/weeks that Bee will be an only child – full attention and love

97. extra time to get prepared and organized

98. sleep we get now that we won’t get w/ an infant

99. moments of cuddle time w/ Bee that are just for him

100. the opportunity to turn and trust HIM and HIS PLAN

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Foster Shower Part I (why?)

today my sister threw me an awesome foster shower...

pics and activities to follow...

but first i thought i would talk about the purpose of the shower... it wasn't for the stuff... showers are never for the STUFF (well not just the stuff)

showers are for the love and for the support

showers are to show the future mother that you are there for her and will be there for her

my sister mentioned that as she searched for info and ideas on foster showers, she found little information on throwing foster showers, rather she found "controversy" around the idea of a foster shower, that since foster parents are paid - they don't need the stuff... and that there shouldn't be a shower

they are right (and wrong) being "paid" --- ha... it's an interesting comment --- the paid portion is true, but it's not that much (the payment is less than you would pay for boarding a dog for that amount of time)

even still, when a family expands through birth, often there is a shower (even if they have older children) something small just to mark the occasion.

why not so w/ foster care?

what a better way to show your friend/family member that you are behind them? that you will be there for them to support them in a scary time...

foster care may not include birth - but there is labor... so why not show your support?

it's odd for me to realize that some people go into this without support...

i have been blessed, so blessed, to have our friends and family behind us 110%