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Hopping to It: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are Lenten Services really for Kids?

It seems that every year Advent and Lenten services hit me the wrong way.  Maybe cause it seems that it is a service for adults with few children- normally mine and by the time the service has ended my children are tried and cranky and not wanting to be there.  But every year it seems I drag them to the service, because I need to be there.  I need that time to communion with God, to listen to His word, to sing His praises.

Instead of feeling fulfilled, I feel flustered cause I am not sure what my kids got out of it, and I send my time trying to keep my children quit so they don't disturb those worshiping around them.  So days I wonder whats the point, all these people here have forgotten what it is like to be parents.  Ah I know they have not forgotten, but when a service is only for adults, with not even a children's bulletin of anything special for them to say, "hey you are important to us we are glad you are here-all are welcomed in the house of the Lord"

Instead I get the old people walking down going-"ssshhhh"  It is tiresome.  Of course I want them to behave, but I would rather have noisy kids who listen and get something out of the service.
Tonight, one child is laughing, the other making noises, I felt like all I was doing was shhhing them.  While I know I wasn't the only other family dealing with their kids "stuff", by the end of the service I found my self just laughing.  Cause here is Isaiah (4), with the hymnal open, singing as loud as he can making up his own words as we go along!

I just laughed cause sometimes I worry about what everyone is thinking, and at that moment, it was like God was saying, "don't worry about what everyone else is thinking!  You bring your children to worship Me.  Regardless of how cranky or tired, snotty or rude, giggle or quiet noise maker (darn those pencils sometimes are noisy), regardless of how many potty trips are taken or drinks to the water fountains, they are hearing My Word.  They are hearing My Word that fills them up, and even if they wonder about Me or even say I don't exist, then you keep bringing to Me.  I am all that matters in this church tonight.  Worship Me. "

I find myself sighing, and as always agreeing with Him.  I mean when is God wrong?    Yes Lord, regardless of everything, my job is to bring them to You.  Isaiah reminded me that tonight when he bolted out that hymn! "Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  Proverbs 22: 6.

So yes, Lenten Services really are for Kids!

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Going through the storm

We have approaching storms, and are under tornado watch. For some it is not a big deal, but for many in our area it is just a reminder of what happened here last April. We sit on edge trying to be calm, while many are still reliving last years storms. It is just a reminder we are not in control, the best we can do is be ready for the storm!

How are you ready for when a storm hits!

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The Quiet of the Morning

Truth is when you do foster care, you say goodbye a lot.  Each of these little lives come into your house and touch your heart and when they leave, they take a little bit of your heart with you.  And I learned it is ok to feel sad, it is ok to shed tears.  Each of us really handle this differently.  My two youngest ones had really rough morning's yesterday.  I am not sure if it was cause the two littlest ones were leaving or it just was a bad morning.  Robby knew he was going to be sad.  He knew he was going to cry.  He always get attached to one child more that the other one.  After the baby left, he left me notes "In room I am sad."  I would tell him it is ok to be sad.  These little guys we will get to see again.
Respite care is a quick in and out with kids.  Sometimes for one or two nights.  Sometimes for a week.  I have never had a bad child for respite, but I do know that when my foster 5 year old went into respite for the week he showed his true colors right way!  I never worried about my kids in respite but hope the foster parent!
And now this morning we are back to 4 kids, and the mornings are quieter with out the extra little ones toddling around or asking a 100 question a minute!   Now we just wait for the next time!


Video Game Cords-before and after

I hate cords! They get all tangled! And our video games just got crazy! No one could play cause no one wanted to untangle them.
Well one day at Staples I found the Martha Stewart collection and found these cord labels/rubber band! Awesome!!
So before


The little tags look like this

I have not labeled these cause I can't find my Sharpie marker.

I wonder what else I can use the for?

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Really you have 6 kids?

I always love when people ask "how many kids do you have?"  My response varies but normally is something like "6 kids right now."  And normally their faces drop!  Right now?   Which normally allows me the opportunity to share our story of fostering and adopting.
For the last week we have been a family of 8. We are doing respite care for a 3 & 2 year old.   While it takes a little bit of logistics to get things together these two little kids fit right on in.  My kids adjust well to having new kids in and out.  I am very proud of them and how well they do and how much they step up.  I feel that we are teaching them about serving others and caring for theses that need a safe home while their family figure things out.  And like respite care, we are helping other foster parents.
Somethings that we had to do to get ready. We switched the crib and the toddler bed putting the crib in the boys room and the toddler bed in the girls room.  While their suit case just ended up in the boys room, I found a crate to put their dirty clothes in.  I have different plastic bins with different age toys in them.   So we got out two bins- funny thing is the older kids have fun playing with them too!  Other than putting car seats in the care, we were ready to go.  Because I want to try to keep kids schedules as stable as can be, LeAnn went to her mommy day out.  But it made my afternoon schedule a little crazy, cause I had pick up at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 pm.
My favorite part of this respite care was when we went to the Chinese Buffet with 8 kids (we two visiting that day) and yes we were that family whom all our kids were well believed and listened and I was very proud of them!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Too many Recipes

I am in the process of getting ready to make Tortellini and meat ball soup for dinner. A perfect way to end a cold day! I have looked at 12 recipes all different and when it comes down to it I am going to merge the recipes together, instead of picking one. Sometimes you have to! What do you do when you can't decide what recipe to use?

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Take Me Out To the Ball Park

Yes it has begun.  Baseball and Softball season.  And this year we have 3 kids playing.  Isaiah is starting T-ball, AnnieQ is in her second year of soft ball and Robby is starting his sixth year of baseball.  It is hard to believe that for the last 6 springs our lives have been consumed by baseball.  I remember Robby at his first practice.  Oh may, he was very not ready for t-ball.  He didn't know how to throw a ball, how to catch it, his focused was not base ball.  We struggled a lot that first year.  It was all new.  And to top it off, we were brought onto the team that had won the t-ball championship the year before.

Through out the years we have learn a lot about balancing the time of year.  Like practicing throwing and catching at a young age.  Isaiah will be walking in with no issues at all, other than listening and following instructions -common at that age.  But he has hitting down, better than a few years ago when he didn't know which end was up!

I think that he will do better now that he know which end to hold the bat at!  Some what are some things we have done to help them learn.

  • We bought a bag of tennis balls.  For the little ones this was to help the throw and catch.  (we also have a new puppy so she had a ball chasing all the balls.  Also the bright yellow helps eye hand coordination for the tee.  Now that the season has begun, we will start replacing them with the balls they will learn to use.  
  • We have high walls in the back of the house.  When Robby was little I drew a big circle, then a smaller one.  I told him to aim for the middle circle.  
  • Simple throw the ball up in the air to catch it.  They love doing this!  
 The other aspect of baseball season is being prepared.  I have ides on how to keep three uniforms together-cause something always goes missing!  Also having to work on meals on the go!  We are going to be living at the park so we need to make it the best time while there.


Free Milk

So since I posted about milk this morning I thought I would share this link for free

Free is always good!


For a week we are doing respite care for two little ones.  A humorous adorable little 3 year girl, who asked if I was potty trained and a snugglable little boy who has just turned two.  We have taken care of them before last year for a few days.  When they were dropped off by their foster parents we were given a gallon of milk from Wal-Mart.  When you have little ones in foster care you get Wic to help with some food.  So the gallon of milk came in and was put into the refrigerator.  Not a thought about it.

Robby asked the next day "What is this?" (note he was the one who put it into the refrigerator for me).  "Milk," I said.

 "Are you sure I can drink this?" Robby inquired.

"I'm sure"  He stands there for a moment.

"What's wrong Robby?"

"I'm not sure about the milk?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"It looks different."  Robby said.

I looked at the gallon- "It is the same kind of milk-2% milk we drink-just the packaging is different."

Who knew the just the color and the way the label looks affects kids.  The milk we get from Costco also looks a lot like the Krogers milk with the dark blue label so it never really affects the kids.  But for some kids it does!  I had to let him know every time he used it yesterday that this milk was the same as the other milk.  I can't imagine what would happen if I changed the % of the milk!  Different color caps!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Drivers

It is such an exciting time for new drivers.  Finally a sense to have a new found freedom in the game of growing up.  A chance to go where they want. An opportunity to show off a little, like a toddler learning how to walk, the  "look at me" - I'm so proud of my self as I learn this new skill in life.  I remember getting my permit. It was a thrilling time.  Drove here and there, but not often.  By the time I finally got my drivers license I was 17.  Yes I admit I failed that test about 5 times before actually getting my license, but I did that in-between my dad's Chemo treatments, so it was limited time to go.  And of course having the "of course I am going to pass" only crushed by the fail stamped on the sheet, knowing I would have to come back again.  But I finally did make it and became an independent driver my senior year in High school.

I know find my self as a parent of a teen learning to drive.  It is a new and scary experience.  And maybe more so for me, because I have a hard time being in the drivers seat.  When my husband drives, I don't really pay attention, if I do, I get too work up over traffic.  Guessing this comes from having accidents.  Always this fear of what I can't control.  It is a bad fear when teaching a teen to drive.  The knowing that there are other cars around that your new driver is learning to maneuver around.   Then there is the learning how to ease into stops....gaging turns well, and the whole learn just learning to drive.

This is an exciting time for us, I love the idea of having a new driver in the house, one who can go pick up the kids or drop them off.  One who can run to the store when I need milk.  And in the mean time we will just have to ease into this learning how to drive.  Since driver's ed isn't till this summer, I will have to wait for those independent steps in life.  And it gives me time to do a little be more letting go of the I start slowly getting my teen ready to be released into this big world.  Till then (2013---achemmm since his dates moves to like 2015 -says he needs to be feed well LOL) I have a year and a half to finish getting my son ready for the world outside of our home.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday - you want me to do what?

Ok while it is not my goal to go into discussion of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent (which may come later).  To learn more about Ash Wednesday come with me to church tonight and hear for it your self.  Or do some reading, last year Pastor Terry Cripe wrote on the Ohio District page this blog post.

 I am not here to gloat at "look what I am doing!"  Nor is this some spiritual experiment or anything like that....I am just one simple momma who have identified two areas of life that needed some adjusting.  Lent for me is many things, on many levels, one of those things is a time to look at ones life and evaluate.  While I would need to make huge changes to many things, I chose two.  One does not have to do this, and this has nothing to do with food.  My adjustments are simple...less Castleville and more walking!  Thats right, I love to play Castleville, some days I find my self on it 5-6 times a day waiting for more energy to come. I love playing the little missions that come along and beating up the bad with the good.  It is a great place to escape, but I have been escaping too much into it.  So I am limiting my playing, my goal is more to get on and off once a day to send gifts and materials that my other friends may need.  I will not sit for hours waiting to see if I can finish a mission.
On the flip side-all that sitting I could be walking.  I got a Fitbit last month.  It is pretty cool.  I clip my onto my bra and off I go.  It measures my steps, how many stairs I climbed, how many calories you burn through out the day, and how you sleep (although I forget to put my wrist band on often.)  But it is my motivator to how many steps I walk.  Yesterday I walked 7398 steps.  Close.  My goal is to hit at least 5 days a week to 10,000 steps a day.

So here is it and here I go!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Hopping back on the Band Wagon!

I am not sure where this month went to?  And here it is the third week and I haven't posted much at all!  At the beginning of the month I went to a Youth Leader Retreat for our district.  I have engrossed myself with the topic of leadership right now and am reading a few books on it.  ( That will be another post for later. )  Since the retreat I spent the next week getting ready for AnQuenette's and Isaiah's birthday party.  And then I got sick-after I started getting better I had a DHR mid year visit and have done some HUGE purging.   I also have been working on a healthier me, which includes trying to walk 10,000 steps a day and logging my food everyday.  Being sick did not help me.  
One of the other things I have been working one, is identifying my passions in life.  I find I have many.  Is this good or bad?   Besides my husband and kids, I find that I love to talk about church ministries (which is why I find myself so interested in leadership right now),  fostering and adopting and homeschooling.  Which is a lot of things!  So I am trying to refine how I spend my time and focus on the things I really want to be involved in.  Unfortunately I am spending too much of my time playing Casteville and on Pinterest.  And spending so much time on them are not helping that trying to get to a 10,000 steps a day goal!  With all that said, Lent is in a few days so look for a post on how I am adjusting my life for 40 days.  
With the last three weeks of being off, I didn't get a menu planned for the month, tried to cook and freeze 15 meals, but got sick, and meals fell apart.  And since we are doing respite care for two little guys (we took care of them last year) 3 and 2 I knew I had to get this part into place.  They come on Wed and stay for a week.   So my dinners are:

Tuesday- Egg Salad Sandwich/veggies to dip /apple sauce/
Wed-Ash Wed-Rock Soup-crock pot
Thursday-Homemade Hot Pockets/cheese and crackers/yogurt
Friday-Tator Tots Casserole
Saturday-Tortellini and meatball Soup
Sunday-Shepherd’s Pie
Monday-Chicken Waffles
Tuesday-Tuna Sandwiches/veggies to dip/apple sauce
Wed-Dinner at Church

My challenge is on Tuesday and Thursday we are at swim lessons and don't get home till 7-on days Dan and I don't work out.  So I am doing sandwiches those nights.  With Baseball, softball and t-ball around the corner, I really need to become creative in my cooking, and the portability of my meals.  I don't know what games are like, and while I am glad for the concession stand, I can't always eat there.  (watch for more post of spring baseball/softball and how I keep life organized or not!)

Well with all that said, I am hopping back into the blogging mode again.  I will be also starting a new blog  "i foster and adopt 2" and inviting others to share their stores and advice with their experiences.  I hope by March to have that blog up and running.  And I also plan to make a few changes to my blog, so keep an eye out for that.  

And now I just count down to the cruise at the end of many more days honey!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Truth in life

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

World’s Easiest Boiled Eggs

World’s Easiest Boiled Eggs I am always looking for easy things to do! I saw this on Pinterest, then couldn't find. But I found the Blog I found it on and tried it and it worked-minus two eggs that just didn't want to peel. But I did 18 eggs- I suggest just a dozen! Just an easy tip!