Saturday, January 30, 2010

the (2nd) snowstorm of winter 09/10

when the entire city shuts down over a few flurries, even though your mom and dad can navigate the roads, but nothing is open, there's not many places to go.
what else to do but... watch movies! lots and lots of movies:)
here's matthew and noah with their special "blankies" taking in yet another viewing of kung fu panda. anybody else looking forward to the sequel just to hear new phrases over and over?

Friday, January 29, 2010

"i have a dream"

Ari's class was discussing MLK Jr. before the holiday and how he emphasized people of all kinds working together. the students were commissioned to draw a picture of themselves working with someone to achieve something together. This is what ari came up with...
if you can't quite make it out it's Ari and i working with the cricut. my speech bubble says "push that button" and his says "ok". not quite what Martin Luther King Jr. had in mind, but very cute just the same:)

Monday, January 25, 2010

"meat and potatoes"

when we were training for therapeutic foster care the social worker told us that the average "honeymoon" lasted about ten days and then foster parents reported the "meat and potatoes" portion of their experience began. well...we like to over achieve and we blasted right out of honeymoon and dove deep into those meat and potatoes after just FOUR days! yup. it's official.
they look so sweet and innocent, don't they? well, they are, but they're also both dealing with a whole lotta change and transition to their little lives that they never signed up for. that kind of shock to one's system requires some acting out, doncha think?
here they are searching for ants together. they're also searching for time, attention, and affirmation. stability, love, and guidance would be good too. it's a lot for one momma to handle. the weekend was rough. today has been a bit better with the return of routine and not so much "together" time. i also got to see a bit of an angry and non-compliant side of matthew which sounds like trouble, but was actually quite refreshing and easier to handle after the days of constant fake smiles, begging for love, and high pitched whining. thank you all for being the kinds of friends who i can share this with. it isn't all romantic, this reaching out to traumatized children. yeah, it can be great and very rewarding, but trudging through the day to day can make you want to poke your eye out with a stick. or as my favorite parent of traumatized children would say..."let's face it....you just wanna poke out THEIR eye with a stick".
so yeah. we'll keep trudging ahead and i'l be removing the sticks from my reach:)

Friday, January 22, 2010

makin' lemonade

it was a rough morning. putting it lightly. i think it's finally sinking in to noah (and matthew) that they have to share my attention and they're not too keen on the idea. balancing all that i do really came to a head today and i was frustrated. with a little bribing and a lot of praying the boys took a nap so i could too. i was just exhausted. they woke up just before we had to pick up ari and i thought....it's beautiful out, i didn't get to do anything today cuz of all the stressors, and we need an outing! i threw some snacks and sippy cups in a bag and we swung by nicolette's to pick up her wagon (thanks, friend!) and off to the zoo with my three boys!
ari actually pulled the wagon the ENTIRE time. if you know ari and if you know the inclines at our zoo, you will be amazed. it was so nice not to have to maneuver and strain with the weight of the wagon. the boys loved it. and they only flew off the path into the woods once, so i felt good about it:)
matthew in the playground
aren't they precious?
the zoo kicked us out at 5 and we just weren't done having fun so right across the street was a new sonic (yum) with an outdoor playland (fun) so we stopped!
ari-climbing every mountain
noah being ....well.....noah. we love him.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

i gots muscles!

when you're at the age where you can't choose when or where you sleep, what or when you eat, how your hair is styled, what you wear, where you go, and who you spend time with-it feels great to know you could save the world with just the slipping on of a costume.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

binky patrol

can you imagine your child not having a blanky? something that is just their own, something that soothes them, has been through all of their ups and downs, something that comforts them, and is just always there. even if your child has never attached to one blanky or stuffed animal, wouldn't it be so sad if they navigated their little life without the option of something like that?

foster kids (or homeless kids) often don't have anything close to that. i don't think it's necessarily the lack of financial resources but more just not thinking beyond meeting the child's need for food, shelter, and healthcare. i was SO surprised when matthew came into our home with the most beautiful handmade QUILT with all kinds of brightly colored "boy" fabrics and his name embroidered in the corner. wow! this was a work of love. i noticed a tag sewn to another corner with a website. i found out that binky patrol is an organization that commissions crafters all over the country to make knit, crochet, or sewn blankets for "forgotten" children. there are groups of people all over the country that get together to create these special pieces for the needy children in their community. you don't have to do much to make your own group. you just send .41 to binky patrol to get 30 labels to sew into your creations. they can give you info on a group that will distribute the blankets or you can just take them directly to a foster agency or shelter.
i may never know who lovingly put together that one of a kind quilt for the special one in my life, but i will be ever grateful. she thought of him when no one else was. if that's not an expression of God's love in a tangible way i don't know what is.

Monday, January 18, 2010

day two

yesterday the boys woke up and asked if they could make welcome signs for matthew. they insisted on taping them to the brick even though i warned they might fall down.
they defied gravity and stayed up with cheap scotch tape
today we have had a lot of activity. we started with cuddling and watching a little of kung fu panda. i then served breakfast hesitantly. we had been warned about matthew's finicky eating and trouble with digestion and bowel movements. he surely laughed in the face of that file! he ate a yogurt with fresh fruit and wheat germ mixed in, two tangerines, and two pieces of wheat toast with organic peanut butter slathered on. wow!
after breakfast we have been playing candyland, reading books, coloring with watercolor pencils, and creating with playdough. of course there have been many "battles" and "adventures" in between each activity. matthew added some new weapons to our arsenal and they just have to be used. so far it's been a great day. matthew slept through the night without issue and everyone is getting along famously.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

big day!

i have lots to post, but i know some of you are DYING for news about our big day so here's a few pics to tide you over until i can post more. we picked up matthew at 5:30 and everything went as well as possible. he seemed really excited to come with us and we were all really excited to have him. of course the boys all gravitated toward the nintendo immediately. bonding over handheld controllers is a must.
noah and matthew weren't really ready for this shot, but they're so cute i thought i'd include it.
here's ari's stoic stance, and matthew and noah's biggest "cheese" face. i cannot thank you enough for enough for all of your calls, prayers, notes and encouragement. we feel so supported and loved in this venutre.



Friday, January 15, 2010

gettin' organized


so i think a lot of us get the itch to get more organized each january. a fresh month a fresh year and a blank calendar full of possibilities. a BLANK calender?! oh no!! what about all those birthdays, anniversaries, dentist appointments and other things i need to remember in 2010?! i do have a master list of those things, but i have to transfer them each and every year and a lot of times people move into my life and people move out so it is an ever changing list. i found something that i think is going to be really helpful. since i'm on the net every day (o.k. 50 times a day) i know i won't miss these helpful notes from myemailreminders. i only have to set up the dates once and i can make them recurring weekly, monthly, yearly, once every third tuesday, or ANY time i want. i can get email reminders the day of, the day before, a week before, etc....however many reminders i think i need for that event. today i got an email that said "get your eyebrows waxed"....how cool is that?!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

get your kicks...

...on route sixty-six!
we live super close to historical route 66 and this very fun stop, Pops.
a giant soda bottle and my two boys...i'm in love
do you see all the pop bottles lining the walls? yes, there are a ton. there are every flavor known to man, and some not known.
anything blue floats ari's boat....especially soda!
momma is happy with diet coke from the fountain.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the visit

just a quick update for those of you who are faithfully supporting and praying for us. our visit went really well yesterday. matthew is of course adorable and a typical four-year-old boy. the social worker was a wealth of information on him, his situation, and foster care and adoption in oklahoma. we learned so much and noah and matthew played beautifully. we left a message for DHS and our foster agency last night that we would accept the placement and they would like him in our home by friday. there is some extra paper work that needs to be processed because he's under five so that may not be possible, but needless to say, it will be soon. there is a court date set for thursday regarding matthew's mother's parental rights for him and his two siblings. there seems to be no family members willing to take them in and the foster family that has the two siblings is not interested in adoption. potentially, we could be the next option on the list. please pray that we will have wisdom should this become an option.

our closing date on the new house is february 9th. we plan to pay an extra month of rent so that the move can happen without a time crunch and we can gradually bring stuff over. i'm hoping this will help the boys (all three of them) to adjust better as well. thank you again for all of your kind words and prayers. there is a lot that will be determined in the next few months and we appreciate all of your love.

Monday, January 11, 2010

cha-cha-cha-changes

the phone rang thursday afternoon and it was "the call". the foster agency had a placement and was wondering if we were interested. after lots of file reading and more phone calls it was decided that this little boy and his social worker would come to our house on tuesday afternoon at 4:00 for a visit. this is just to see if everyone has good first impressions of one another, but i really can't think of any reason why in a short visit we would not take matthew in. he just turned four last month and has been in foster care for a year and a half. this has my mind reeling with all the life changes this will mean for our family and just as my head was swimming we got a call from our realtor (last night) who told us our offer on this house had been accepted! might as well do it all at one time, right?
this house is still in the village (our part of okc), about 2.1 miles from our current home. it is 3 bed/2 bath and 1644 square feet. it has more room than our current house and has two living areas which we are really excited about. we're dreaming of a piano room, a trampoline in the backyard, and just more space to love on kids in.

please pray for us, especially ari and noah as we slam them with transition. we will be having a goodbye tour of our current house and they have known about the possible foster placement, but it's just gonna be a lot of change for their little hearts to handle. we are excited about the new possibilities and will keep you posted:)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

recipe for lifelong memories

take one wii console with two controllers
add a sprinkling of snow (or a bit more)
one energetic puppy
chocolate fondue
an indoor waterpark
an amusement park with unlimited rides
and you have one VERY MERRY christmas