Thursday, December 29, 2011


Obviously, blogging isn't really my thing.  I think it could be, but it just hasn't been a very high priority these last few months.  I could go on and on about busyness, but anyone reading this is probably in the same boat.  Just wanted to give a quick update.
Baby A has been with us for 5 months.  I thought about this while I rocked him to sleep tonight and wondered how many miles we have rocked these 5 months!  He is such a sweet boy.  We had to get up at 4:00 am to prepare for an EEG his neurologist wanted to do to rule out seizures.  Our instructions were to keep him awake and one nurse even said if he falls asleep, we will have to reschedule!  Scottie and I were both up with him and then took turns taking short naps.  Keeping him awake was pretty easy at first, but got more difficult as the morning went on!  Our appointment wasn't until after 10:00 am so you can imagine...6 hours of keeping a sleepy toddler awake!!  Some of our tactics were eating, walking outside into the chilly air, playing with all sorts of toys and a cold, wet paper towel on the head and face!  They worked well!  Things got really tough when we left for the appointment. A wanted to go immediately to sleep in the car.  Scottie had to task of keeping him awake there.  I had a hard time not speeding to hurry to the appointment!  Long story short, the appointment was a success.  It was not easy for this momma to sit and watch the tech glue 24 electrodes to his sweet head while he fussed and cried.  When the test was over, we thought he would go right back to sleep, but he surprised us all by staying awake!  We drove over to Mad Pizza (one of my favorite places to eat) for lunch.  A stayed awake through lunch and even munched on some ham and cheese.  He did take a great nap this afternoon after we got him home and cleaned up (he still had some glue in his hair).
Christmas was so much fun!  We haven't had a little guy for a while, so it was a fun experience.  He got some wonderful gifts from family, friends and Casa.  We have had a wonderful time together as a family this year, for sure!
We went to court recently and will have baby A for a while.  It's tough to know how to pray.  It is even tougher not to be selfish.  I have to keep reminding myself that he isn't mine.  He is in DHS custody and I'm a third party raising him for the time being.  Our goal is still reunification.  We pray for God's will everyday for this little guy's life and want whatever is best for him, even if that means we don't get to keep him.
The new year holds lots of promise and excitement for our family.  We can't wait to see what's ahead!  Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It's been a long day.We had court today and I had no idea how exhausting it would be.  For all of us.
I am thankful today for a judge who sincerely has the best interest of children in mind day after day.
I am thankful today for a system, though flawed, seeks to protect children of all ages.
I am thankful today for an incredible and supportive family who I love dearly and they love me.
I am thankful today that God put me in a family who loved me and took care of me.
I am thankful today for a network of friends who love me and my family.
I am thankful today that God has called me to be a mommy to children I did not give birth to.
I am thankful today my own son is able to love other children just like they were his siblings.
I am thankful today that God is always with us equipping me for every good work.
I am thankful today for so many reasons.  Too many to name them all.
Most of all, I'm thankful for this crazy journey we are on.  I am learning to trust God more and take it one day at a time.  I am also learning to be prepared for anything at any moment!

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Can You Do?

I have been thinking a lot this week about foster care and the church.  I have read James 1:27 a bunch of times.  Yesterday I read foster children referred to as "American orphans" and it took my breath.  It is so true.  I just read this post and was brought to tears.  There is so much you can do to help, to bless, to love foster families.  You don't have to become a foster parent to love foster children and support families who care for them.  You can help be Jesus to these precious little ones, too.  So, I ask...what can you do?? 

Friday, September 2, 2011

County Fair

Henry had his first opportunity to show a sheep at the Washington County Fair this week!  It was very exciting.  And as you can see from his expression, even though he was a total rookie, he was all business.  He was very serious and even though his sheep (not really his, just the one he got to lead) didn't win, he was really proud.  And he got a free t-shirt!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back To School!!

The last 2 weeks have been unbelievable.  Getting back into the routine of going back to school is always a bit challenging, but throw a baby into the mix and it's downright silly!  I really don't know if I can sit here and actually recall everything that has happened.  Let's just say that every time the phone rings we hold our breath and say a prayer.

Henry's first day back started off like this:

And ended something like this:
I had just stopped and picked up dinner at Wal-Mart (a rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies and Steam and Mash mashed potatoes).  The cashier even made a crack about my purchases being an easy dinner.  I was driving to the after school program to pick up Henry, literally down the street when the director called and told me "Henry has fallen off the monkey bars."  And I knew.  I knew the evening of an "easy dinner" and stories about our first day was out the window.  When I got there I could tell he was in a lot of pain.  Bless his heart.  I called his pediatrician and they told me they don't do x-rays after 5:00 (it was just after) and said we should got to the ER.  Yeah right.  Not if I can help it!  I wasn't about to make my baby wait for hours and hours!  We picked up the baby from daycare and headed to the Mediserv Clinic on Wedington.  I cannot say enough good things about this place.  They have been there for us so many times on the weekends and after hours.  Thankfully, they do x-rays, too!  He had fractured his arm and would need to get a cast.  Through it all he was very brave. 
The nurse said we would be going to see the orthopedist the next morning and they put a temporary brace on his arm.  I called a sub for the next day (2nd day of school, no doubt) and planned to take him with Scottie to get his cast.  But they didn't set the appointment until the FOLLOWING day, which meant I would also miss the 3rd day of school.  Not a great way to start off the year for H or me!  But family always comes first.  Always.  The baby had a check-up scheduled that Scottie was going to take him to, but I ended up being able to do it.  He had a runny nose so we had that checked out, but were told it was viral and he would be fine.
H got his super awesome blue cast on Wednesday and couldn't wait to get back to school.  Scottie and I took the opportunity for a lunch out together after he was back at school and I had plans for a nap.  As I laid down in my bed the phone rang.  It was daycare.  The baby had a fever and needed to be picked up within the hour.  What?!  So off I went.  Which also meant he couldn't return the following day because he has to be fever free for 24 hours before returning.  Oh my.  I had to get back to school!  I hadn't even seen my 6th graders yet and it was nearly the 4th day of school!  Crazy.  In steps Grama and saves the day!  She agreed to keep him at her house and poor on the TLC Thursday and Friday so I could return to work.  What a lifesaver!  The week seemed to end alright after all.  I was thinking this week had to be better that last week!  Monday seemed to start out well enough even though the baby had been kind of restless the night before.  Then the phone rang at school.  It was daycare again and the fever had returned.  Really?!  Scottie went to pick him up and I made a doctor's appointment.  Turns out he now has a sinus infection and the beginnings of an ear infection.  Here we go again.  Our friend, Kelly, graciously agreed to keep him for us at her house.  Yet another lifesaver!!  She even made us dinner!!
I am really hoping we are on our way up.  After all that has happened, it is hard to say for sure.  But I am definitely being optimistic!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


As I type, a precious baby is asleep in his crib down the hall. 
He has crawled all over this house today, cruised all around our living room furniture (he's getting quite good at it), eaten some yummy baby food, had a few poopy diapers and made a trip to Wal-Mart.  Whew!
Baby M. has been with us for a week now. 
We are having the best time!

Scottie attended the first hearing this week which went well.  He was able to talk to baby M.'s mom and reassure her that he is safe and doing very well.  There was a possibility he might go with a family member next week, but that has fallen through, so he will likely be with us for a little while.  We are tickled to have him as long as we can!

God is doing some amazing things in my heart and in our family through this little guy.  We are trusting Him for what is best and praying for him and his family.  We are all growing though this experience.

I have been asked by several people lately, "How can you do it?  How can you get attached and then have to give them back?" and even, "What do you do if you get one you wanna keep and have to give it back?"  I have had to think about my answer to these questions.  Here is what I have come up with:  It's not about me.  It's not about what I selfishly want.  Becoming a foster parent is the opposite of selfish.  We are giving up time, energy, money, sleep, comfort - you name it -  for children who's parents who have made poor choices.  I am not allowed to be selfish in this whatsoever.  And that's why it's a calling.  I sensed God calling us to adoption on November 3, 2010, but had no idea at the time what that would look like.  We have such a peace that this is exactly what He wants for us to do right now.  Even though it's not easy (what about the Christian life is??  Really??), God is in control.  This is all His.  These precious children are His.  I am just being Jesus to them for a little while.  What an amazing opportunity we have!

So, there.  That's how I feel about it.  We still feel called to adoption, but know that baby M. may not be our "forever child."  If he's not we will give him back when it's time.  We pray that God gives us the grace to give him back and we know we will be sad.  But we also know that means our "forever child" is out there and we will keep loving children through Jesus until we get to him or her.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Brothers (part 2)

Another call came last week. 
Thursday at 8:00 am, to be exact.
It's amazing how one phone call can change EVERYTHING.

The DHS worker said there was a baby boy who needed placement.  A baby!  I told her I would talk it over with Scottie and call her back.  In a matter of moments, we had a critical decision to make.  We were both groggy and still sitting in the bed talking things over and praying (sounded something like..."God - what do we do??").  See, we were leaving the next day for a wedding in Mountain Home where we would both be singing and I would be playing the piano.  We also knew I would be in Hot Springs for a few days at the ARKCDA Convention.  We were trying to figure out how to make it work and I kept thinking about The CALL video where everyone was too busy to take a little girl.  I couldn't be that person!  I called my mom and she agreed to step in while I was away.  We could make it work!  I was excited to call DHS back and say yes!

I picked up baby M. later that day.  What a precious little boy!  He has the most amazing smile and is so, so happy.  We took him with us to the wedding where he charmed our friends and they fell in love with him instantly.  We have had to adjust to making bottles, changing diapers, baby food, spitting up, teething, diaper rash, rocking to sleep, etc. again.  It's been 8 years!!  But we have settled into our new routine with him and it has been so much fun!  Henry is an INCREDIBLE big brother.  He is so helpful and encouraging (he gave me a high five today and told me, "good job, mom!" after I was able to rock M. back to sleep after he woke up hungry from his nap!).  This little guy has captured our hearts!

We do not know what is ahead and we are waiting for word on his hearing.  We are praying for him and his family and enjoying him for as long as we have him! 

We are so blessed to be on this special journey.  We can't wait to see what God has in store.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Henry and Rollie have a special relationship.  H has considered R his "brother" since he was a kitten!  They have a brotherly bond.

Even though H will annoy him (like any brother would), Rollie prefers to sleep in H's bed to anywhere else in the house.  R will burrow under H's covers and sleep all day in his bed.

Brotherly love knows no bounds!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why We Do What We Do

The first time I saw this video was in church and it made me cry.  I cannot imagine being "too busy" to help a child in need.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:27 (NIV)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Quiet House

Today our house is quiet. We took our girls to live with their grandma yesterday afternoon. It was very bittersweet. We enjoyed having them in our home for 9 days. We swam, played barbies and kitchen, ate at "Chick-A-Lay" twice (K's pronunciation) and I braved Wal-Mart with the crew by myself twice! They got to watch Henry play baseball, went to church, ate at MickyDonald's (again, K's pronunciation) and went to 2 swim parties. It was quite an adventure, to say the least! I'm happy K and L will be with family and will be able to visit with their mom. At the same time, I grew to love these little ones and desire nothing but the best for them. We saw them flourish during the short time they were in our house. We made a special point to love on them, encourage them and praise their good behavior and efforts. We all had moments of frustration, but we had a very good first experience with fostering. I have believed for some time God has called us to this unique ministry, but that was only confirmed after the last 9 days. It is my prayer that we will have a positive impact on the children who come through our home, no matter how long or short they stay. We will love them as our own for as long as we have them!

For now, our house is quiet. Henry and I are snuggling in the chair with Rollie waiting for blueberry muffins to cool enough to eat.

We will enjoy the quiet for now, but can't wait to see where our adventure takes us next!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our Adventure

This week has been quite an adventure. To say the least. I always wondered where I would be when our first call came. It was Tuesday and Henry and I were at the car wash. Two little girls needed a home. Even though Scottie was out of town and we had several obligations over the course of the week, how could I possibly say no?? Wouldn't that be incredibly selfish of me? After all, this is why we signed on to be foster parents. These girls' world had just been turned upside down and they needed help. Of course I said 'yes, bring 'em over!'
They came later that evening and didn't have much with them. I bought them some pj's and a few things to get us through the next few days. These precious girls are so sweet! We have had a great time loving them and playing with them. We have spent quite a bit of time playing outside and went swimming yesterday for the first time. They loved it!! I wasn't sure how they would like it, but they did so well. They are even tolerating Maggie swimming with them really well! We have had a few moments here and there, but I think the girls are adjusting very well. Henry is a super big brother! But I knew he would be! He has such compassion and is very caring with little ones. He is pretty patient and loves helping them do things. He is having to learn to share ALL his stuff...something tough for an only child! It's a new adventure for all of us. Scottie has been so anxious to get home from Super Summer and meet the girls. It has been hard for him to be so far away knowing all that is going on here. He comes home today and we can't wait!
There have been several amazing blessings that have already come out of our adventure. A lot of people have stepped in and offered help. I have bought the girls several things, but we have had lots of stuff donated. An organization called Nothing In Return brought us a bunch of toys, clothes, snacks, soap, toothpaste and all kinds of goodies! A DHS worker came yesterday afternoon with a sack for each girl of brand new clothes from The Children's Place and we had a fashion show! They are thrilled to have new things. I really don't think they have had anything new before. We have a meal coming tonight through The CALL. We are so blessed!
Beyond that, I appreciate Henry more. The last few days have been a huge adjustment for all of us and he has been such a trooper. He has had to share me with 2 other people, something he has never had to do before! We snuggle and hang out when the girls are napping and after they go to bed. I am trying to be careful to spend one-on-one time with him when I can. I have also come to realize how spoiled I am. I have been really selfish with my time and I didn't even realize it until the girls came. I went anywhere I wanted, bought what I wanted, ate out whenever I wanted and didn't even think about it. I have been blessed beyond measure and took it for granted. Having two precious little ones come into my home with nothing has made me realize a lot of stuff. God is doing an amazing work in my life through these kids and their situation. I had no idea that would happen. I knew I would be helping out some kids who needed it, but I didn't know they would be helping me, too.
Please pray for K. and L. The first court hearing is next week and I will be attending to find out as much as I can about their situation. Pray for their family. My prayer is for reunification, but I want them to be in a healthy environment.
Thank you for your prayers!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


This is Henry's first year to play baseball and it has been such a positive experience. His coaches have been wonderful and patient as he learns, and the players really work well together as a team. We are so glad we have had this experience this year.

We have traveled to Lincoln, Prairie Grove, Elkins and West Fork for games.

We had lots of games to make up because of a really rainy spring!

Henry's last game was this past Wednesday. They won 12-6! It was a great way to end a great season.
Tournament is this week and we are pumped!! The Fireballs are ready!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What We've Been Up To

It's been a while since I've blogged. The end of the school year came so fast and we were so busy, this has taken a back seat for sure! I wanted to update on our journey into foster care/adoption. We officially began our journey on January 17th at an information meeting with the CALL. The first part of our journey ended yesterday with our "final" final walk-through with DHS yesterday. DHS wanted to come on April 30th for our final walk-through, but we were not in town that day. I didn't hear back from them for almost a month. They came on May 26th and found several things that I needed to change or do. The night they came, Kendra and I were in the process of painting the "foster" room and Scottie's gun cabinet was still in the room! Shameful! Our DHS worker said we would have to have the room set up before we would be put on the list to get a child. I hadn't been told this before or I would have had the room set up a long time ago!! We were also told to put key locks on our gates and shed and a chime on our back door (they were pretty concerned about our pool). In the garage we had to put away some things that were just out. We were also told there would be a safety plan for the pool, the gun cabinet (which is now in our bedroom...ugh) and Scottie's 4-wheeler. With the end of school, my final concerts, Henry's baseball games, church, etc. we decided to wait until I was out of school to finish everything and have DHS come back. It was a good decision.

Yesterday we were approved for 2 children, age 0-5, either sex.

Here are some pics of the room:

Our journey is just beginning. We know it will take a few days or so for our information to be processed and entered into the computer before we get a phone call. We have been praying for wisdom and discernment in as we enter into the next phase. There are lots of unknowns, but we know God has called us to this ministry. We were told yesterday by DHS that there are 130 children in foster care and only 28 foster homes. We are humbled and excited to part of this huge need. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for us!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Easter and A Craft

Easter Sunday was a great day! We had an early service at church in addition to regular worship. Grama and Papa came to church with us.

Henry was so handsome! He actually wore a tie that I got to pick out! That is a rare thing.

The Easter Bunny brought him some tasty goodies and his favorite...Legos!

Easter Sunday was cold and rainy. Not ideal for egg hunting! Henry's grama and I hid eggs for him inside.

I don't consider myself to be particularly crafty, but I dabble. We went to Second Mile (second hand store) to find stuff for MORP a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled upon these flowers! They charged me $2 for all of them!! What a deal! Most of them still had the price tags on them and if I would have paid retail, I would have paid over $35! When I got home, I got out my white pitcher and made a little spring arrangement.

I am pretty proud of my new project!! Happy Spring!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Break 2011

We went to Winter Park, Colorado, this year for spring break with 24 teenagers, college students and adults from church. It was an AMAZING trip!! We had a wonderful time together skiing. Driving through Kansas was rough! So flat and a bit depressing...we saw lots of tumbleweeds! Mountains in the distance...
Taking a break on the first day. Scottie was so good and patient with me on the first day! I hadn't been skiing since high school and was a little rusty. He helped me so much!! Henry was in snowboard school all day that first day.

Scottie and I really enjoyed skiing together!! We've been together for over 17 years, but had never been skiing with each other!

We stayed at The Vintage Hotel which was a gondola ride from Winter Park Village. It was very nice and I would highly recommend it!

Henry had a fold out couch bed and loved it!! Our room had a fireplace and a kitchenette...perfect!! They also provided a locker for us to store our ski stuff at night.

Hittin' the slopes with my boys!! This was the last day we skied. It was snowy all day and windy. Made for rough conditions, but we still had a great time together.

Snowboard champ!! Henry really did great. He picked up snowboarding pretty quick and said he loved it and can't wait to go back! We are so proud of him!!

Gondola ride from our hotel to the village.

Tunnel on Village Way

What a great trip we had!! I can't wait to go skiing again - I forgot how much I enjoyed it!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Adoption Journey

Our adoption journey officially began on Monday, January 17th, and an informational meeting. It unofficially began much earlier than that. Mid-way through the meeting I looked at Scottie and said, "We are exactly where we are supposed to be." I just felt in my spirit that it was right. And I still feel that way.

We have been praying for several years for God's direction for our family. After cancer, a miscarriage and not knowing if a successful pregnancy is even possible, we began seeking God's will believing He desired for us to have more children. In November, we sensed Him leading us to adoption. Shortly after, the C.A.L.L. started in our area. While we have considered foreign adoption, we feel there is such a huge local need and decided to work with DCFS through the C.A.L.L. We have completed our PRIDE training and have our paperwork nearly done. We have our home study scheduled for next Friday and will complete CPR training on April 9th. The only thing left after that is a final DCFS walk through and our home will be open.
When we began our journey we planned to go "adopt only." We have the option to foster, foster to adopt or adopt only. As we went through training, we began to reconsider foster to adopt. Our trainers said it is typically the fastest way to go, but as foster parents, the goal is reunification of the child with their birth parents. So that means we could have a child or children in our home and have to give them back. At first we worried about Henry getting too attached and not understanding having to return a child to their parents. We ultimately decided we should foster to adopt and have a real peace about that decision. We have talked to Henry and explained that we may not get to adopt the first child we have in our home. We may only have them to love for a little while and have to give them back. He seems ok with this. Scottie asked him today if he wants a brother or a sister. He replied, "I would like one of each!" We feel we could take one child or a sibling group of 2.

So, the journey continues. Every day we are a little closer to the child God has for us. I pray every day for my children. For the family of the child. For God's direction. We have such a peace as we travel this road. We know there will be bumps ahead and this is not an easy journey, but are so excited to see what God has planned for our family.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Day!!

We had a great day together as a family staying home!! It was my second snow day, but Henry's first. He was very excited! There was cheese dip, video games, TV and pj's all day!! Henry declared it pajama day at lunchtime. Except for a brief period where we had to get dressed to get out, we were all in our pj's all day!

Having fun with Daddy and Maggie outside in the cold!

Daddy' wrestling with Maggie in the snow! Yes, that's our dog under there!

Maggie is jumping to eat the snow. She loves it!

Soon they started throwing their snowballs at me! Time for me to go inside! Quick!!

My boys (big and little) and Maggie Mae had a wonderful time!! With another snow day tomorrow, there is more fun around the corner!!