Saturday, September 24, 2011


By faith we understand...
By faith Abel...
By faith Enoch...
By faith Noah...
By faith Abraham...
By faith even Sarah....
By faith Isaac...
By faith Jacob...
By faith Joseph...
By faith Moses' parents...
By faith Moses...
By faith the people...
By faith the prostitute Rahab...

The "faith chapter" in Hebrews was part of Tony and my couple's devotions the other night.  I had had a rough week (s) and was worn down, stressed, and worried.  Each "By faith..." hit me with both a peace and conviction.  Lately I've been struggling with just having faith.  I have a running list of things in my mind we need for foster care, a deadline of when we need them buy, and an overwhelming number of how much they are going to cost.  But it was all about me/us. "How are WE going to afford that? Where can WE find that cheaper? What should WE do about that?"  Most of my day was filled with these questions and formulating a plan to carry it all out.  Turning it over to God is never easy and I have to repeat to myself almost every hour of every day, "God is in control.  God loves orphans.  God has called us to do this.  Let God provide."   God is working on my faith.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


What type of placement are you looking for? Foster to adopt? Emergency?  Are you just fostering?

This is the question we answer most as we tell people about this new journey in our lives.  I thought I would take the time to answer it here.

We will not be considered emergency placement (usually these kids are placed very temporally until a more permanent placement can be found).  However, we won't turn down a placement just because they are considered short term.  Our hope is to show Christ love to these children for as long or as short as they are in our home.

We are not looking to be labeled "foster to adopt" for a few reasons.  We don't want to be passed over for a placement because state our goal is to adopt.  Also, DCFS goal is reunification.  We have our own opinions on that.  We will advocate for what we feel is the best situation for these kids and pray that God takes over from there. 

That being said if children with in our care become adoptable we will adopt them.  There placement in our home will be their last unless DCFS removes them or the situation is life threatening. I recently talked to a family that had five children in a year and a half.  Another family I know thought there placement would be there 3 weeks and 3 years later they adopted her.  The system is up and down like that.  Our first placement may be our only placement (for now) or we may go through several.  I'm setting my heart on the former because right now its easier for my heart to hold onto that.

I guess what it boils down to is that we will not take or turn down a placement based on what DCFS thinks may happen.  If these kids do not become adoptable then I pray that they felt as if they were our children while they were in our home and they will know that Jesus loves them for who they are.  If they do become adoptable then I will be thrilled to watch my little family grow!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Backwards Pants

The front in the back
"Take a picture of the back of the turtle."
My child walking around all day with her pants on backwards was a reminder of two things for me; first she was growing up fast, and second the humbling feeling of NOT being in control.

Yes, she had been insisting all day that she needed to put her clothes on herself.  It was the second day of the fall chill and I couldn't comprehend why now that we were wearing long pants and long sleeves this was necessary.  She tried several times, the pants were her first success.

"Mommy, these are my pants."
I sat by her dresser pressing my hands together and biting my lip, fighting the over-whelming urge to jump up, turn her pants the correct way and do it for her.  But she got it.  As backwards as they were, they were on.  She was proud.  Me on the other hand- I had lost control.  How had this happened?

Giving up control is something hard for me, whether it is parenting or in what God would have our family do with our lives.  However, when God takes control complete control- its bliss.  Suddenly I don't have to fret and worry.  I just hand him the pants and they end up right how they should be!  And when I let my child take a bit of control she gains the understand of responsibility and pride in herself for accomplishing a task.   

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick Update

Just a quick update to say....the home inspection went well.  After talking to a fellow adoptive momma licensed by the same person I found the whole thing rather humorous.  He was stuck on the fact that we don't have a gate at the top of our stairs (we own one, we just don't use it) and the fact that we don't have storm windows on all our windows.  We also need to get two more smoke detectors (basement and attic) and a carbon monoxide detector.

I always enjoy hearing the stories of what kids do during these inspections.  Typically they do something they would have never of done on a regular bases.  Our child was no exception.  She fell in our yard and cried (thankfully he didn't notice).  She fell off our playset (which she hasn't done since we first moved in).  He already didn't like it (but didn't tell us to change anything), the falling didn't help.  She also was jumping on our guest bed, which is pushed up against a two windows, and pounded on the window really hard.  I thought she was going to break it and fall through.  This was right after he started talking about storm windows.

After measuring our rooms he declared, "this house is definitely licesnable."  It made my heart smile.

Tony and I crashed (as in fell asleep) in front of a movie at 9 last night.  The weeks had finally caught up with us and we could allow the fatigue to roll over us. (Anybody who knows my husband knows this is very uncommon for him).  I woke up this morning and thought, "what am I going to do today?"  The house was clean.  There are few dishes.  And it was raining so no line drying clothes.  My head wasn't full of the hundreds of things still needing done.  It was amazing!

Now to work on paperwork (which I already started-its a pile but not too bad), take our nine weeks of classes, and get our physicals, background checks, and finger prints.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Typically when Tony has a day off it either means family fun or family bum.  Yes, we either go out and have a fun filled day or we bum around the house.  Either one is amazing.  However, this Labor day was filled will just that....laboring. 

Tomorrow the licensing worker comes to see our house for the first time and begin the process to obtain our foster license.  Our house was in major need of a deep clean.  We bought the house just a few days before we moved into it and it was filthy when we moved in.  What should have been spring cleaning turned into keeping our heads above water.  We cleaned as we went in the mist of unpacking, painting the kitchen, and just trying to figure this place out.  Now, after a long four months we said goodbye to the rest of the dirt and hello to rooms finally set up like they should be.  (Although the dirt will be back by the end of the week thanks to the joys of a country town and the elevator almost in our back yard.)

At the end of the day on Monday I looked at Tony and said, "welcome to ever six months for the next [at least] 3 years of our lives (because that is how often we have to get a home inspection)." 

One thing I realized was how grateful I am that my husband and I are on the same exact page.  He gave up his entire day AND night to get this place ready.  He worked HARD.  In the fostering/adoption world spouses NEED to be on the exact same page when taking the next step and shouldn't move forward until they are.

Tony and I could of bickered and fought all weekend.  However, we knew why we were doing what we were doing so instead we enjoyed ourselves.  We laughed, teased, took time to enjoy our daughter, got some fun treats from the gas station, and enjoyed big bowls of ice cream.  We understand what we are getting into.  While we will never be 100% ready for it, we are on board.   

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Frugal Tips and Tricks

I've never had the desire to make this blog a "frugal" blog.  Mainly because while I'm getting better at being frugal I am FAR from an expert (and I feel to give others advice on that subject I would need to be much better equipped myself).  However, I've picked up a few trips and tricks along the way.  Many of these I know because others passed on their knowledge to me.

Buying Spices at Whole Food Stores:
Thyme is my all time favorite spice.  However, at a typical grocer I can only find it in glass jars that cost me $4.  I was about to cut it out of our lives when someone informed me that buying spices at a whole/organic food store is MUCH cheaper.  These stores buy in large bulk and allow you to buy as much or as little as you need.  You cut out the packaging and the high price.  That same amount of thyme now costs me $1.  I buy almost all my spices there now.  I also have the money to splurge on a few that I never would of purchased, such as the six cinnamon sticks I bought for around a $1.

Bread Machine Baking:
My family is a sucker for a good loaf of bread.  That is where our bread machine comes in.  I can make loaves of bread that cost $4 to $6 at a bakery for around a $1 or less.  One of our favorite things to make in our bread maker is pizza dough for our pizza nights every Friday night.  Not only is the crust yummy but it is about $3 to make the pizza as compared to $10 to get from our favorite pizza joints.  We also love rolls.  I make up a batch of dough, form it into balls, and freeze.  I'm hoping to make cinnamon rolls soon.
You can find bread machines at garage sales for $10 to $25. 

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
I know what your thinking, "it will never work", "my clothes won't come clean", "its WAY too much work".  I used to think that too.  It took a long time for me be ok with it.  However, for about $10 I made my first 10 gallons.  The next 10 will cost a $1 and my clothes are just as clean as before.  I used the Duggar's recipe.  And it was this blog post that convinced me to take the plunge.