Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goal Update

It is the end of the month so it is time to check on our goals.  I can't believe one month is down, 11 more to go.

1. Have Addilece finish potty trained at nap and night time:

Progress: None

2. Build our savings and emergency funds back to where we would like them and leave them there: 

Progress: We have saved 30% of our savings goal.  We also purchased two mattresses and put new tires on the car.  Not bad with the other big expenses we've had.
3. Put an extra $3000 toward school loans

Progress: None

4. Spend two weekends/overnights together as a couple: 

Progress: My wonderful husband surprised me with a weekend together this past weekend.  It was a birthday treat.  Isn't he amazing.  So we are 50% done and completed within our time frame of first one before June.
5. Finish our wedding scrapbook and start our family album: 

Progress:  I did get some pictures ordered for the family album.  I went to do some work on our wedding scrapbook and realized I had no adhesive.  So I didn't get any scrapbooking done this month.  I will need to scrapbook twice next month to make up for it (after I buy adhesive).
6. Do Bible Study more regularly as a couple: 

Progress:  We've been spotty still.  We are working on getting into a routine.
7. Feel healthy: 

Progress:  We are working out on a regular basis.  I've lost a few pounds and we can feel our bodies getting back into shape.  We are much better then we were a month ago.  However, we wish the progress would be quicker.
8. Have  more homemade and less store boughten products in the house: 

Progress  We made homemade febreze, which we love.  I cleaned the stove with baking powder, which worked wonderfully.  This next month I would like to make homemade maple syrup and  shower cleaner.

9. Have Addilece understand (be able to verbalize) the gospel message:

Progress:  She knows that sin is "bad jobs" and can give you a list of who sins.

10. Be more diligent about Addilece's Awana (first) and school (second). 

Progress:  We are getting better.  I have school planned for the next several weeks and we have been working on our Puggles (Awana).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You CAN Help: Become a CASA

I started a series on practical ways in which you CAN help and you CAN make a difference in the orphan crisis.  I'm a firm believer that taking care of orphans is a mandate for the church, not a suggestion or a guideline.  However, I believe many do not feel called to foster or adopt and are not sure what to do.  In December we looked a having A Wise Christmas.  Now I want to talk about being a CASA.

What is a CASA?

A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate.   CASA's are appointed to foster kids to be their advocate.  They are there for the kids and the kids only (and will be the only person in that court room that is there for only the kids).

What does a CASA do?

A CASA will be given a court order that will allow them access to any information they want.  There job is to talk to the many different people (teachers, birth parents, foster parents, doctors, counselors, etc) involved in these kids lives and figure out what is truly best for the children .

How much work is a CASA?

Being a CASA is not easy.  They take one case at a time and those cases can take a year or two.  Initially a CASA has meetings about once a week and as things settle and decisions are made it may only be once a month.  It is a time commitment, but one I feel is well worth it!

How great is the need?

The goal of the courts is to have one CASA per case.  However, there are just not enough to go around.  In our county we have two supervisors with 30 CASA's per supervisor.  Our judge determines which cases need a CASA most.

What do I need to become a CASA?

First you will need a heart that desperately loves these kids.  You need a little bit of time and flexibility to your schedule.  You'll have to do some pretty intense trainings (I believe its 40 hours worth), and on going training.  You'll also need a little bit of thick skin.  You are the advocate for the child and only the child, which means you may make others (birth parents and foster parents in particular) upset.

CASA's typically have a lot of say in the case (in our county the judge agreed with them 92% of the time).  This is a way to make a BIG difference in the lives of children.  You will be able to see things that no one else can see.  I know a few CASA's and they are pretty incredible people!  I know God has His hand on them as they wade through their cases.  I pray that if we get a CASA they will be as incredible as those I know.

To learn more about being a CASA check out their website

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Little Bit of Two Year Old

Our little Princess is two.  There are things about her that are VERY two.  The other day I was trying to play a card game with her and she says, "No Mom!  There mine!" 

Mine.  One of the most voiced words in this house.  For a two year old everything belongs to them.

Her daddy decided we had enough and decided to teach her that everything was God's, not hers.  God gave her the privilage and the responsiblity to take care of it, but if God wanted her to do something else with it (like give it up) she needed to do that.

My poor hubby spent the first few hours with a child try desperately to cling to what was hers.  The mines where worse then ever.  While he had a supportive wife, she was also a sceptical.

It didn't take me long to realize why this seemed crazy to me.  In  my mind I still wanted to be able to use the arguement with my child, "no you can't play with that, it's Mommy's."  While I wanted my two years heart to be right, I wasn't ready for my heart to be right. 

I told my husband that this is something that he and I still needed to work out ourselves.  We say, "everything is Gods" but we constantly put restraints and stipulations on that.  We give out of our excess, not all we had (hmm...I think Jesus knows about that issue).  So glad that he wants our daughter to begin learning early so it will, hopefully, be easier for her.

Is everything God's?  Truly?  Not yet.  I'll be working on my "two year old selfishness" right along my two year old.