Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Well, today, New Years Eve, we got a bunch of snow, so Kevin and the kids went outside to play.  I opted out since I had just shoveled the driveway and sidewalks, and Asher just cries when it's cold, so we kept him inside!

I am not sure who had more fun, the kids, or Kevin.  He thoroughly enjoyed pelting the kids in the face with snowballs, but he got it in return, a nice shot in the ear!


He is not above using children as a human sheild!


Matthew was getting showered with tons of snow from Daddy!



They gave as good as they got!  Too much fun!

We hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!  May 2010 be the best year yet!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Fun!




Merry Christmas!

Christmas is over, the tree and decorations are put away, the boat load of toys have been taken out of the packages (the makers of which should provide assistants who have nothing better to do on Christmas morning than to untwist, pry, cut, yank, unstick, unscrew and assemble said toys, complete with batteries of course!), arguments over toys have ensued and continue, even though it's bedtime and they should be sleeping, and the garbage cans have been loaded to overflowing.  Has anyone ever thought maybe it's not worth it??  All this hulabaloo?  My vote is to go on a trip next year, no presents, no decorations, just time with my family, enjoying each other without fighting over toys, laying on a warm beach somewhere, eating out every night, no cooking, no dishes, no worries! And top it off with an awesome Happy Birthday Jesus party!  THAT would be a holiday for me!  It seems every year it becomes harder to balance everything, while maintaining the spirit of joy.  At the very least, next year we will be taking the presents out of the package before I wrap them, so the kids can enjoy it right away.
Ok, my ranting is over.  We really did have a good Christmas, just wanting to remember this next year, to prepare myself. 
We hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas, and wish you a very Happy New Year!!!!


Here are some pictures of the kids decorating their gingerbread village.

Matthew ate his right after he finished!


My brothers came over to visit.....I was left short on the height genes!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season!

Well, I haven't posted in a while, and I am just now getting back to a somewhat 'normal' life.  After 2 months of having cranky baby with us, I couldn't handle it anymore.  I started to go into shutdown mode, and at that point, I called the social worker and told her I couldn't take care of him anymore.  We were lucky enough to have a couple at church who was willing to take over, which was a blessing!  The baby, of course, was a happy baby for them, which was good for them, annoying for me, but at that point, I was so stressed out and cuckoo, it wouldn't have mattered if he had been a good baby.  Turns out my limit right now is 2 1/2 kids.  It is creeping it's way back up to 3, which I know the kids will be grateful for!
To try to snap myself out of this funk, I joined the gym at the begining of the month, which has helped me tremendously.  I have never been in shape, or been an active person by any means, so this has been an adjustment.  In high school I was always in the 'fat class' where you didn't have to run, because if I was graded on my running, I would get Fs! (The lowest I got before they switched me was a D, mom was not happy!)  Anyways, I met with a trainer and set up some goals, which surprisingly, I am meeting!  I go to the gym every morning during the week to do either Group Power or Group Kick.  And let me tell ya, it kicks my butt every time!  I may not do the moves right, but I'm pretty sure the sweat makes up for it! 
Hannah has been coming the the gym with us while school is out, and this week she has been doing rock wall climbing.  I was so surprised, this was her first time ever doing this, and I walked in to her climbing to the top!

So my goal is to reach my ideal weight by May, just in time for summer shorts and swimsuits!  When I reach my goal, I am hoping to reward myself with a cruise, or some fun thing!  Maybe a trip to Israel!

Now the household has a new routine, which seems to be working out quite well.  Asher is potty training, and is doing pretty well, as long as we are at home.  Other potties scare him to death, so he won't go anywhere else.  We will have to work on that!


The kids have been fun this Christmas season, running into santa at Walmart and decorating the tree have been the highlights.  We are going to decorate a gingerbread village tomorrow with Uncle Kyle and Michael!  After that it's off to eat yummy pizza and head to church for a candlelight service.  And we can't forget presents after with Grandma and Grandpa!  Round off the night with birthday cake and icecream!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, or as a friend would like to rename it, JESUS-mas! I am thankful for all my friends and family who stuck with us this year, but most of all, my God, who will never leave me, no matter what!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shopping trips

I went to a class in August and learned how to become a 'couponer'. I signed up for my 5 newspapers, yes, five....and now I am reaping the benefits. I love doing this!!! My pantry is so full right now, we could probably live on everything in it for 3 to 4 months. Now we have been talking about needing a small freezer in the garage for more stuff!!!

Anyhooo, my trip today consisted of 20 items for a whopping total of $5.70. I saved $54.20!!!
I used a coupon for each thing, plus 3 doublers at Alberstons. Not too shabby!! Cha-ching, money in the Disneyland fund!!!

This trip cost me $4.93, a total savings of $45.07


Stocking up on cereal, quick easy breakfast now that it's back to school!!
Spent $12.76, and saved $29.53.
This trip I spent $45.59, which is more than normal, but I saved a total of $65.27 and I received $15.50 OYNSO (on your next shopping order).
9/3/2009 #2

I am going to start a running total in October, now that I know it works!!  From what recepits I can find for September, I have spent $190.51 and saved $399.45.  A lot of that was stocking up on cereal for breakfast, lunch snacks to pack in Hannah's lunches, soup for the upcoming cold months, and any healthy frozen items.  Yes there is chocolate, but hey, if there is no pay off for me to do all this shopping, then what's the point ??? :0)

If anyone out there is interested and hasn't done this sort of thing before, I use Fistful of Coupons to print my grocery list with all the deals on it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hannah's First Day of School


Well Hannah has been in school for 2 1/2 weeks now, and she is doing totally great!  Her teacher is really great, and I know that we are very lucky to have her teaching Hannah this year.  Hannah was really excited that her desk was the kind where the top raised up.  There are 12 kids in her class, and she made friends with the girl she sits next to on the first day of class.  There is another Hannah in her class, who happens to live 2 blocks away from us, in the same exact floor plan as us, AND they drive a gray honda odyssey WITH a disneyland license plate frame, same as us....I talk to Hannah's mom the other day, and we plan to get together soon to see what other eerie similarities we have!

It has been a good thing for me to have to get going in the morning, although sometimes it is hard to try to wrangle 4 kids and get them all ready and out the door by 8:15.  It is a little easier on the days sqeaker doesn't have visits with mom at 9:00, cause then I can leave him in his jammies if I run out of time. 
Getting ready for school
Thankfully Hannah hasn't gotten sick at school, but she did wake up one morning weak from not eating dinner, and could barely move, and threw up once after eating a square of toast and a drink of juice.  This is her thing, I don't know what to call it, low blood sugar??  It took her an hour, was totally back to normal, and I carted her off to school.  Hopefully that doesn't happen often.  I will have to pay more attention to how much she eats at night.  I did give her some yogurt before bed tonight to give her some protein, keep her good until morning.
We have had to deal with some attitude issues, Hannah thinking she is all that and a bag of chips.  I expected her to talk non stop about her day and be so excited to see me....not really the case.  Hopefully that will get better as we get into a routine!

Setting Sail

Now that we have our first foster child, I thought it was time to start recording how we got to this point, and in the future look back at all that God has done for us and through us.

I guess this story starts in July 2008, when a lovely friend suggested I go to China on a mission trip.  Ha!  Such a funny girl.  Photobucket
Well God used that conversation to spark a series of events, and by September, I was on my way to Spokane to learn more about this trip that would take me away from my family for 2 weeks, and into a communist country where you can go to jail for talking about Jesus.  God was totally in the decision, and I know this because I was under attack in my marriage, for the first time in 10 years.  Satan did not want me to be a part of this, and as time went on, I started to see why.

On November 1st, 2008 I flew to China and spent 2 weeks at an orphanage where God totally opened my eyes and changed my heart toward those who have no choice in their circumstances. 
PhotobucketWhen I came home, it was very difficult to convey all that I felt, especially to Kevin.  My heart had been broken, and was hard to get back into my life as a wife and mother, while still dealing with all that I saw and experienced in China.  I think I cried for a week straight, with no provocation at all.  My poor husband probably thought I was losing it!  Life happens, and I got back into the groove of things, sort of forgetting about what God might want me to do with all that He had shown me.  It wasn't until sometime in November that I felt that burden come back.

A friend sent out a mass email about 2 children, a 3 year old and a 5 year old, who really needed a good home, as their Grandma was unable to care for them anymore.  She was also asking for help to collect toys for these kids for Christmas, to bless them despite their circumstances.  I read the email, and broke down crying.  Not just a teary cry, but a soul, body wrenching cry.  I called Kevin, sobbing, could hardly spit out what was going on.  I knew there was nothing we could do at the moment for these kids, but it made me sick to my stomach that these kids were going through this.  They were the same age as Matthew and Hannah.

We talked then about our options.  Should we adopt?  Should we have more children?  Should we do foster care?  Nothing was decided, only that we would pray about it. 

Fast forward to March.  We had decided to pray more about foster care.  We didn't feel like any of the other options fit for our family.  At this point the orphan ministry at church started to plan a conference for November, and I went to a planning meeting.  At the end of the meeting, the conversation turned to a couple who had just gotten their foster license, and they were looking into getting the same 3 and 5 year old from last winter.  Instantly that heart wrenching burden hit me, and I couldn't stop crying.  I went home and told Kevin about it, and he said to get the ball rolling and fill out an application to get our license.

Has God ever told you to do something, and you agree to do it, but things just happen and you never get around to it.  That's pretty much what happened, and I never felt settled.  Finally in April, we went to the Orientation class, got our paperwork, and signed up for our PRIDE pre-service training. 

Let me just pause here and express my thanks to all my friends who supported us in this.  If you were to ask me last year what I thought I would be doing now, this most definately would not be it.  It never even occured to me that this is something God would call our family to do.  I am a very selfish person, and it was hard for me to adjust to having kids.  I had to really learn how to die to myself, and I am still learning :)!

We turned our paperwork into DSHS on June 1st and completed our PRIDE classes on June 20th, and got our certification for CPR and first aid June 23rd.  Somewhere in the middle did our fingerprinting.  On June 30th we had Trish our licensor do the walk through and interview.  On July 13th, we recieved our foster care license.  This the waiting game began.

As a side note, the reason we turned in our paperwork on June 1st was because someone told us to get the process going, because there might be twins available soon.  This really excited us, so we sped through as much as we could, but still had to wait on our classes.  Halfway through or classes, we became aware that a couple in our church had the twins placed with them.  I will be honest.  It broke my heart.  For some reason, I had my heart set on those twins, and in my heart they were already mine.  It took me about a week to get over myself, and realize that those twins were not mine, they were God's children, and he knew best where to place them.  Kevin and I laugh now at the thought of us having those sweet girls.  We were so not equipped to care for them, and the parents they have now are totally awesome. 

We are doing a women's bible study right now through the book of Joshua, and it talks about Moses dying and Joshua being appointed the next leader.  A question was posed about how death brings about new life, and how that applies to your own life.  Well, the dream of having those twins died, but it brought forth a new plan.  God's plan.  And His plan is always better than mine.  One of these days I will learn that.  Maybe :)!

So now we start the waiting game.  I used the situation with the twins to describe our trip so far.  We decided to get on this ship, God being the Captain, sailing us where he wanted us to go.  I was totally content to let Him be in charge, until he passed by that island that I thought we were supposed to stop at.  It was perfect from what I could see, and I didn't understand why he kept sailing.  But like I said, I decided I would trust that He had something better.  This island that He had in mind for us better look a lot better than the one we just passed! 

All through August, we just sail.  No calls, nothing.  Ok, did we hear right?  Are we supposed to do this??  They really do need foster parents right??  Well at the end of August, we are called to watch 2 girls for a day and half.  God totally used that to show us we can only handle 4 children at a time, not 5!  Ok, the twin thing comes back to me....thank you Lord for not stopping at that island back there!!  Right after the girls went home, we get a call to take in a 3 year old and 6 year old.  Again Lord, that you for showing us that we can only handle one at a time!

September arrives, and I'm not too concerned about not having a placement.  God's timing is always right, so I'll just let him keep sailing this ship, and keep my eye out.   

We were planning on homeschooling Hannah this year, so when it was the week before school started, I was confused when I started having issues.  I felt like I was losing it, little things setting me off.  After talking with some great friends, it came to my attention that maybe it wasn't God's plan to keep Hannah at home, at least this year.  So we enrolled Hannah in Calvary Christian School 5 days before school started.  It was another one of those burdens I felt, and as soon as I obeyed, it was lifted!!  Praise God. 

Three days later we get a call that there is a newborn who needs a home for 2 months.  Ok Lord, is this it?  Are we wanting to foster, give this child back??  Can we do that?  Trust you?? Ok, you're driving.  Here we go.

So we welcomed this cute little sqeaker into our home on Saturday September 5th.  He was 2 days old and totally perfect. 
I have to say, that God has given me a peace that surpasses understanding.  Whatever I am able to do, it is because of Him.  So many things I lack, he is able to make up the difference!  Yes I am tired, and it is hard work, but this is what He called me to do.  I try not to look too far forward, keeping my eyes on today, and what I can do TODAY.  We still don't know if we will keep doing foster care , or if we will adopt eventually, but we are doing what God wants us to do in this moment, and we are content in that!