Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Picture Perfect: Family

This past weekend was PACKED with family.  It was tiring but we sure had a blast!

Grandpa Snyder and Addilece
Uncle Tyler after he just accomplished another PR of the season!
Uncle Preston after his girl's team swept the field.
Lots of fun with Julianna and Josiah.
Nana and Papa
Meeting Oliver

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Arrival

Oliver mid yawn!

Grandbaby number seven, on Tony's side made his way into the world last Tuesday. We got to meet Oliver Michael yesterday, capping off a long weekend of travel and family. He furrows his forhead in a way that makes him look exactly like his Daddy. And he has beautiful red hair like his big sis, Lauren.  I was blown away by how attentive he was. I also got to enjoyed snuggling him to sleep. (Tony held him

Congratulations Steve, Erica, and Lauren!  He is wonderful!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preparing For....

Baby? 1st Grader? 1 child? 3 children? Girl? Boy? 

When we were pregnant we didn't know the sex of our child.  This made it hard to prepare somethings, but overall we were ready.  We knew about when she would arrive.  We had a name picked out (depending on sex).  We had a car seat and basic items she would need.  Her room was ready.  We knew about what size she would be.  And we knew that she was only one.

Fostering is a completely different.  We know absolutely nothing about the child or children we will be getting.  We could receive a baby or a school age child.  We could receive 5 and 6 year old boys or a 3 month old boy and 10 year old girl.  We can't prepare car seats, clothes, or food.  We have done some blanket preparations for rooms but it wouldn't shock us to find out they aren't what we truly need.  And we are not even sure when they will arrive; a day after we are licensed?  A month?  Before Christmas? After the 1st of year?

Do you feel the craziness yet???

Now, take that and apply it to a child.  Everything is normal (not safe or healthy...but normal for them).  They head off to school but at the end of the day, rather then walking home they ride with a social worker to a unfamiliar building.  At first things may seem ok as they play with toys and get McDonald's for supper.  However, a few hours later, rather then going home they are put in a new home with new parents and a new sister.  They have never met these people before.  They may not even be the same race as this child.  His favorite pjs (as awful as they may smell) are no longer in his draw.  The furnace makes weird noises and he isn't quite sure were the bathroom is.  He may have even been separated from his siblings.  Nothing is the same.  He is told this is to keep him "safe" and he will be "happy" with these people.  But right now all he feels is fear and confusion.  A few days later he starts a new school, meets new grandparents, and goes to church for the first time.

Me being "prepared" means nothing to that child and what they just experienced. 

Monday, October 10, 2011


The other day some errands I needed to run took me to a part of town that I don't often visit.  I was dropping clothes off at a local resale shop.  This shop is part of our local homeless shelter.  I drove through their campus and looked at the buildings and apartments surrounding them.  This is the place where the poorest of the poor in our community live.  These are the people who have no income and no job.  This happens to also be where D & D live. 

As I thought of the people who lived behind those closed doors and I thought about what I saw behind D & D's door I was moved to tears.  I later told Tony, "we forget, we forget too easily that they exist."  See this town is VERY white collared.  We have two universities and two cooperate offices of large insurances companies in town.  The majority of people that we know and attend church with work in one of these four places.  The town has money, nice homes, good schools, and is pretty conservative.

It is easy to sit in our pews on Sunday mornings, go to our parks on weekdays, and have our family fun on weekends and forget.  We forget that a few miles down the road is poverty, pain, hurt.  Many people could spew reason after reason on why these people are the way they are (D & D's Dad was a career criminal).  However, the bottom line is they are hurting and lost.  They desperately, desperately need Jesus.  But it's easier just to forget.

Follow You by Leeland and Brandon Heath:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Finding Time to Date

Dinner at a decent restaurant......$25
Movies (with out snacks)....$16
Putt-Putt Golf....$8
Coffee for two....$10

I love going on dates with my husband.  It's important to help us stay connected and keep the romance alive.  However, the things we like to do on dates (above) cost MONEY, especially when you throw in that last line of babysitting. We just can't afford to do it too often. 

 Recently Tony and I decided we needed to do something about it, so we came up with dates at home.  Here is how it works: every other Thursday one of us chooses an activity for us to do after Addilece goes to bed.  We focus on that all day and the night just seems extra special.  It has been so much fun to date my hubby again.

Picture by Katie Zeller
1. Switch who plans....
If I am required to plan the date each week I will burn out pretty quickly.  Each of us planning allows us to enjoy our time together and add our personality to the date.

2. Set a small budget...
Our budget is $5 a month.  If we don't use it goes in an envelope.  This helps us to make the night a little more enjoyable without the stress of money.   

3. Make the night extra special...
Each of us tries to do one or two things to make our night special.  One night we had homemade iced mocha's while we watched a movie.  Another night Tony got a half pint of my favorite ice cream, which we shared while looking at the stars and talking.  I'm hoping to buy a package of oreos and enjoy them while playing a board game.  We've cuddled under blankets and talked, done puzzles, and enjoyed treats that we don't get on a regular bases. 

Picture by Katie Zeller
4. Keep it simple....
The fact that our daughter is sleeping upstairs and the budget is low means we have to keep it pretty simple.  We try and do just one special treat and add an activity.  This leaves the pressure to top another date or keep it interesting low.  We have fun just being together.

Traditional dates are still very enjoyable and we do try to go on them a few times a year.  However, this allows us to being intentional and focused with worry about securing a babysitter, getting home in time, and lots of money.  It's also been fun to see our relationship deepen.