Miscarriage: My Deepest Fear


I've had one reoccurring thought since my miscarriage: what happens next?

In a strange way I feel like I'm waiting for "the other shoe to drop." I'm waiting for some other terrible thing to happen.

My son developed a fever a few days ago. He was up many times in the night. I gave him some medicine for his ouchies and fever and tucked him bed again... and again. One of the times I was up with him I had a lingering fear that he was dying. I kept thinking that he would die in his sleep that night. The last time I tucked him in, he told me that he'd seen angels in his dreams. "God's good angels. And rainbows too, Mommy." My mind wondered again, "What happens next? Is my son next? Is this my last conversation with him, hearing of his beautiful dreams of being with God?" I know that I can't trust my sleep-deprived, middle-of-the-night thoughts, but this wasn't the first time I'd had such fears seem so real.

I keep pleading with God. I tell Him that I'm not strong. I remind Him that I am not Job and could not handle losses like Job endured. My deepest fear is that my miscarriage would mark the beginning of an ongoing season of loss. I don't want to lose any more. I don't want to lose my kids. I don't want to lose my husband.

These thoughts are irrational. These fears make no sense. There is no reason for me think that I'll be dealing with the loss of my kids or my husband or anyone close to me any time soon. But the irrational thoughts and fears remain, as unfounded and crazy as they may seem.

I remind myself of God's goodness and the fact that He has led us thus far. I remind myself of many others who have suffered miscarriages but later conceived again and carried healthy babies to full-term. Then my mind goes back to our history of infertility. Then I'm back to the question: What next?

Will we welcome any more children into our family? There is a 4-year-4-month gap between my daughter and my son. There would've been a 4-year-2-month gap between my son and our miscarried baby. Now what? Will it be another 4 years before we conceive again? Will God miraculously intervene? Will He lead us through an adoption miracle in a way we cannot even imagine right now? Will we conceive again and miscarry again? Will we remain a family of 4 and learn to be content that way?

Many questions. No real answers. Maybe I shouldn't be thinking about the future, for it will play itself out one day at a time. And each day has enough trouble of its own - why borrow more from tomorrow? True enough.

Maybe I'm crazy and this post gives you a glimpse into my insane thoughts. I wonder if it's common to have these types of fears during seasons of grief.

For now I live each day, trying my best to enjoy my children, my husband, my life. Living in light of eternity, knowing that at any moment this life could be over, and yet trying not to fear that day coming sooner than I'd like. And I trust in verses like this one: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor 4:17). With an eternal perspective, our troubles on earth are small and temporary. And with a big God... He can handle our fears and doubts and sorrows and weave them into something beautiful and glorious somehow. I'm banking on it.

Deals Around Town


Here are a few deals I've taken advantage of recently.

At WalMart, I picked up 2 packages of dental floss, 2 packages of Kotex pads, and 2 packages of Ball pectin (to use for canning jam). All of these were BETTER THAN FREE. How does that happen? When an item is less than $1 but the coupon is for $1 off, WalMart gives you back the overage. So the dental floss was 88 cents, but my $1 coupon gave me the floss for free and an additional 12 cents off other items I was buying.

I picked up these items for less than $1 each.
Pull-up flushable wipes for 64 cents (after $1 off coupon).
Visine for 62 cents (after a $3 off coupon).
Bic 12-pack of razors for 57 cents (after $2 off coupon).
The Dial soap was 18 cents (after a 35 cents off coupon was doubled) at Kroger.

A month or more ago I received a coupon for a free package of Jif-To-Go. I picked that up last week while doing my regular grocery shopping.
Total cost = $0.

I love free!

Family Photo Friday


Friday is here again. On this blog that means that I post pictures from our week. Here's what this week held for our family.

A picture of me and my hubby - rare for us to be in a picture together, since one of us is usually behind the camera.

I liked my son's smile in this picture, as he showed off his sippy-cup inside a blue plastic stickered-all-over wine glass. I think he looks good in yellow.

My daughter came across this Indian dress and fake fur. Since we're studying American Indians in school these days, she immediately tried them on and became Pocahontas. She pulled out the felt/fringe/bead Indian purse we made months ago to complete the ensemble. Her hair in Indian braids would be the only thing missing.

My son and my hubby playing guitar together - a favorite pastime!

We had some overnight guests this week - my husband's cousin Doug and his wife Christina and their daughter Mia, who live in New York and were passing through while on vacation. In this picture Doug is reading to my daughter, my son and his daughter. He reads books with a lot of dramatic flair, so I believe he entertained the kids with at least a dozen fairly lengthy books during their 3 days with us.

Happy Friday to you!

A Farm Visit


A few nights ago we got together with some extended family members who own a small hobby farm with horses, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dog.
What fun the kids had with all the farm animals!

My daughter was able to ride the pony more than once.

My son had his first ever pony ride! He held on tight and rode like a big boy. He loved it and wants to do it again soon.

My daughter fell in love with the four farm kittens. I am allergic to cats, so there will be no pet cats in our future but she sure would love to own one.

Who doesn't love farm fun?!

Miscarriage: What God Works for Good


Here's a description of what grief looked like for me, as we get to the 9-weeks-since-my-miscarriage mark. I'm also doing my best to describe what I see God doing through this situation.


There were days that I felt like David when he wrote this in Psalm 13: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?"

I had a week or two when I didn't want to talk to or see anybody. I didn't answer the phone. I didn't make any plans to do anything. I stayed home. I isolated myself. And I grieved. I also had a week or two when I didn't want to think about what happened, so I lost myself in a huge book series that kept my thoughts elsewhere. As much as possible, I put life on hold and just thought about anything other than our lost baby. All of this is common for grieving people to go through, as a normal stage of grief - denial and isolation. These are days that feel dark and gloomy, where the sun doesn't seem to ever shine.

There have been some days more recently when I can relate more to David in Psalm 30 where he wrote: "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning... You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing." I can say now that the fog is lifting. The sun is starting to shine again. I find myself at a different stage of the grieving process - the place of acceptance.

Of course, the deal with grief is that you can move between stages at any time. It seems that it only takes a small event or word to be a "trigger" that puts me back in a place of questioning, denying, crying, etc.

I have said before that grief comes in waves. It crashes over me, often in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Recently we started singing this worship song at church - Holy Love by Andy Park. A few lines from the song have challenged me - "Like a crashing wave pouring over me, holy love, flow in me! Many sorrows cannot quench Your love. Darkness cannot overwhelm it." Since those words have settled in my soul, when I find that a wave of grief is crashing over me, I am consciously turning my thoughts towards the love of God and picturing it as the next wave to come crashing over me. The thing with waves is that one always follows another. Sorrow and grief, followed by God's overwhelming love.


God's Word says that "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." So I can know that He is working things for good out of this situation. And although I certainly don't claim to know the mind of God, I can see some glimpses of His "working things for the good."

* Because of our miscarriage, both my husband and I have had a stronger-than-ever desire to be more intentional, to be more biblical, to be more godly in the way that we raise our children. Therefore my husband has started a family Bible study that we all take part in each evening. This has become the highlight of our day and the children miss it when we skip it for any reason. God is calling our family into a deeper relationship with Himself, deeper into His Word, deeper into His purpose for our lives. And it's a beautiful thing.

*My brother, who lives in Wisconsin, shared our situation as a prayer request with two men at his church, as part of a small group setting. It turned out that both of those men had wives who had miscarried. And this simple prayer request led to a deeper discussion for them about the pain, the grief and how they handled it. One mentioned that he had handled it very badly and been a jerk to his wife about it. He vowed to make things right with her. He also wanted to do something for us, so he purchased a book and mailed it to us as a way to show that he now understood the weightiness of the matter. I find it amazing that God can use something we're going through to bring others to a point of healing.

*I also know that one of the mightiest ways God uses difficult circumstances is to turn us into ones who can minister to others going through similar difficult circumstances. Just weeks before our miscarriage, some friends miscarried. Both my husband and I felt deep sorrow for them and we tried to express our support for them. Yet now that we have experienced miscarriage ourselves, our support would be very different and our understanding would be much greater. No loss is ever exactly the same, so nobody can truly say and mean "I know exactly what you're going through. I've been there. Done that. Know it completely." Every loss is different, but ones of who have experienced deep loss can relate more with the feelings and the grief of others who experience deep loss.

*Loss of any type is hard on a marriage, but losing a child significantly increases the likelihood of a couple divorcing. Why? Because spouses grieve differently and tend to drift apart in their grief, rather than coming together in their grief. I am so very thankful that the Lord has been gracious to my husband and myself, in allowing us to grieve together and to become stronger through this loss. Stronger. Gentler. Closer. United in purpose and mission. More precious to one another.

*I've mentioned this before, but death helps put life into perspective. Our family, including our two young children, have a better perspective of life now. We understand heaven more. We long for eternity more. More than ever we want to live lives that give glory to God. We want to be intentional about serving Him with whatever days we have. And when our lives on earth are done, we look forward with great anticipation and excitement to what comes next.

I end with the lyrics to a song entitled "Bring the Rain" by MercyMe. I share it because it is my story and the cry of my heart also.

I can count a million times, people asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, O Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain!

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!

Mailbox Monday


Here are a few of the freebies I received in the mail recently.

All of this for free: a Huggies onesie, 1 high-value Huggies coupon, 2 samples of Huggies diapers, 2 samples of an off-brand diaper, a free Scholastic book for my daughter (part of a summer reading program deal), and a free copy of the book "No Longer a Slumdog" (still available here). All free. All received in the mail. Can't beat it!

A sample of Motts for Tots apple juice, along with 3 coupons.

Not a mailbox freebie, but an exciting deal:
Last week at CVS I was able to get a pack of gum, 2 bottles of body wash and 2 candy bars for less than 25 cents total! I didn't get a picture of that deal, but it sure felt good to use spare change to pick up 5 items!

Three cheers for deals!

Family Photo Friday


It's Friday again.
It's been a busy week, so I have only 2 pictures to share from our week.

Here's my son, eating corn on the cob - a fun summer treat that we all LOVE at our house!

Here's my daughter, reading a school book on the backyard swing. Her favorite place to "do school" is outside. Who can blame her, with the beautiful weather we've enjoyed this week?!

Happy Friday to one and all!

Miscarriage: 8 Weeks Later

It's been 8 weeks since my miscarriage. I wonder how long I'll be counting weeks like this... not the kind of counting of weeks I would've liked. I would've been 16 weeks along in my pregnancy at this point. Definitely showing. Definitely in some maternity clothes. Definitely elated.

I find that few people know what to do with a grieving mama.

  • The majority of folks just don't bring it up. Don't talk about the baby, the miscarriage or the grief. It's easier that way. And I know they don't want to make me cry. So we don't talk about it.This isn't really helpful, however. Most grieving people want to talk about their loved one, the one they've lost. It is healing to talk about what we're feeling.
  • A handful of folks consider the grieving person to be "broken" and in need of fixing. So I have had a few people talk to me as though they are taking me on as their personal project, to fix me back up and make me joyful. As though I just need to "get over it" - the grief, that is. If sadness and grief is bad, then do away with the bad and get back to the good. Looking at someone who is grieving in this way isn't helpful either. They don't need fixing. They need healing that comes from time, from compassion, from processing through what they are feeling. Grief is a process that cannot be rushed and nobody should be pushed through it or made to feel like they are taking too long.
  • Unfortunately the smallest group of people are those who understand. They have often gone through a deep loss themselves so they can empathize. They don't hesitate to bring up the loss. They know that talking about it helps and shows that they truly do care. They respect whatever is shared - the good, the bad, the ugly, the truth and the lies - about how one is feeling. They respect the process and know that it will lead to eventual healing.

I find comfort in this beautiful hibiscus plant that is growing in our yard. A friend from church gave us this and encouraged us to plant it as a memorial, to remind us of our baby. We did. I wasn't sure how much good it would do, but I find that I very much enjoy looking at it each morning. It's regularly full of beautiful blooms. It encourages my heart and brings a smile to my face. Looking at it is like letting the sun peak into the darkness of my sorrow.

While reading a a book written for grieving parents, I was strangely comforted by this thought: "Life is for the living." This life is for those living it here on this earth. It isn't for those who have passed on. They are gone from this life. This life is for those of us who are left and it will only last for a short time. And this life isn't all there is. There is eternal life yet to come. But for now, this life is for those left here to live it. So life goes on... for me, my husband and the two children who are still here.

And my thoughts remain torn between life here and life there. Schedules, homeschool, meal prep, child training, couponing and a dozen other things consume my thoughts as I live life here. But many times a day my thoughts turn to life "there" - eternal life, time with Jesus, time with my child, spiritual maturity, worship of my Lord and King, walking on streets of gold.

Some other time I will share about some of the ways I see God bringing good out of this situation, because I do see some these small glimpses of light in the darkness. And I will share more about how my grief is affecting me and my choices in life. Next time...

Foster Parenting - Log #20


MORE OF THE DAY TO DAY: After thinking more about what I shared in the previous foster parenting log, I wanted to correct a false impression I may have given. Although it was very crazy and intense having Jason and Amy with us, it was not mass chaos 100% of the time. 99% of the time, yes. But there were a few instances when it seemed that we were connecting with them.

We saw progress in Jason over the days they were with us. He stopped biting. He was hitting less. He started to use "please" and "thank you" on occasion. He started to respond to consequences ("If you continue to do ___________, then you will sit in the time out chair. Do you
want to sit in the time out chair? No? Then stop doing what you're doing"). I did not see any progress with Amy, but hers were not as much bad behavior issues as they were related to her disability (something similar to autism) so it will take intense therapy to even hope to overcome them.

Both children were sick with fevers over the weekend they were with us. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Both spent more time laying around, wanting to be cuddled, wanting to be read to. Being sick allowed them to allow us to parent them and they could do nothing but accept our love.

HOW DID OUR BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN RESPOND TO THIS PLACEMENT: We learned a lot about our own children as a result of having Jason and Amy in our home. My 8-year-old daughter was able to roll with most of what came our way, but she did not enjoy it. She is excited about foster care and is anxious for us to take in some children. But once the new children come, it doesn't take long for her to wish they were gone. She's honest about it and she lets us know ho
w she feels. She didn't do well with the chaos that Jason and Amy brought to our home. She spent more time in her room by herself, lost in her books. She walked away from meals, saying that she would eat later, because she couldn't handle the noise level at the table with all 6 of us present. On the positive side, though, since she is older she was able to be consistent in good behaviors and habits - not being influenced by the bad behaviors going on around her. I was very proud of her for that!

My 3-year-old son is a different story. He was basically the same age as Jason and soaked up Jason's bad behaviors like a sponge. For example, my son did not have an issue with biting people, but two days into this placement (with Jason introducing biting as a way to respond to your anger) he started biting others. It was ironic that Jason gave up biting a few days later but my son continued with it. And like my daughter, my son also expressed that he wanted Jason and Amy to go home after a day or two of having them with us.

Both my son and my daughter knew that the rules in our house were changed because of these foster children. Certain things (like homeschool) were put on hold. Certain behaviors that we don't tolerate in them were now tolerated in the foster children (like the rudeness, the running in the house, etc). The amount of attention that our kids were used to was greatly diminished and they were expected to be more independent, taking care of things themselves without parental help simply because parents were busy with more immediate dangers/issues. There was an inconsistency that our kids picked up on immediately.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: Experiences like this make us examine our desire to foster. We are not wanting to sacrifice our children on the altar of ministry. We are not wanting our children to resent us for spending more time with foster children than we did with them. We are wanting our children to see us loving others, loving the least of these, welcoming children and orphans and guests into our home.

So we are left again wondering if this is the season of life we should be fostering or if our desire to foster should be put on hold for a few years. Clearly my daughter at age 8 could handle having younger children in our home without major influence on her behavior. Maybe we should wait until our son is closer to that age as well. Or maybe we continue what we're doing and just know that we will spend time de-programming our children after foster children leave our home. It takes time to re-adjust to normal life and normal rules. And we would just know that they could change again at a moment's notice. Of course, this placement was also WAY harder than a normal placement. The issues were all magnified. We've had similar issues with other placements but not to this extent. So maybe we should not "throw the baby out with the bath water" because of this one week of a difficult experience.

WRAP UP: In foster care circles, there is a large emphasis placed on the fact that foster children are not in foster care because there is something wrong with them. They are in foster care because their parents somehow failed as parents. While this is true - foster children are not broken, defective children - foster children often do have "issues" as a result of their broken, defective family lives. These two children have been deeply affected by their parents' choices. Without the grace of God and the intervention of others, their lives are not headed in a positive direction and their futures seem nearly hopeless.

The only hope for Jason and Amy rests in God. And the only hope for our family, as we consider our future, rests in the same place. It's all about Christ and His plans and His glory. It's about living out His love for others - in our marriages, in our family lives, in our "ministry" to others.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, not to harm. Plans to give you hope and a future!" Jeremiah 29:11

I invite you to pray with us for that future and hope to come to pass for all of us!

Foster Parenting - Log #19


Phew! Sigh! I'm tired. The last week has been a blur of activity and my brain hasn't had time yet to process it all.

Jason and Amy, our two foster children, left our home last night. They were with us for 8 days [We have yet to foster children for more than 10 days... all of our placements have been short term even when they start out expecting to be long term].

What can I say about this placement? It was hard. Harder than anything I've ever done. The most stressful week of my life, of my family's life. I am not exaggerating. Both Jason and Amy have special needs that require more attention than we/I could give them. They are on their way to a therapeutic foster home - a special type of foster home designed for children with special needs. They will also be reunited with two of their siblings in that new foster home.

What made this so tough? The never-ending demands on me take a toll after some time. I know what it's like to be a full-time mom. I realize that kids have needs that you must care for throughout the day. I'm used to filling cups, changing diapers, refereeing squabbles, helping put on / take off clothes, etc. I don't mind these tasks. Yet I do need time to recharge my own batteries.

Naptime and bedtime are generally those times when I get a little breather and can gain perspective. With Jason and Amy, neither naptime nor bedtime happened in a way that provided me with any break. Neither of the kids would fall asleep without the other one in the room and neither would sleep without me in the room. This isn't a huge issue, as there is an extra bed in their room. Yet, they still fought sleep. About half of the days we tried, they napped. The other half, they ran around - screaming, hitting, kicking, banging on doors and windows. They could not be left along in their bedroom, for fear of them hurting one another or breaking something (like the door, the window, etc). They also screamed even louder when left alone in a room.

Our nights weren't much better. Again, I had to be in the room with them. They took over 2 hours to fall asleep most nights. Then they woke up at least once during the night, running around, being loud, waking the other one up, etc. One night Amy was up from 10 pm until 3 am. Night after night of sleep deprivation doesn't lead to good things... for children or for moms!

Perhaps the sleep issues wouldn't have been so bad, if our days were filled with fewer issues. But our days were filled with many troubles of their own. Jason was aggressive and violent. Amy had no restraint and didn't understand "no," so she was often caught turning the microwave on, trying to turn the knobs on the stove, getting into the fridge for whatever looked good to her, playing with the computer, sneaking outside, etc. My attention span whittled down to 30 seconds - I needed to know where both of them were every 30 seconds of every minute, every hour, every day or there was likely trouble happening somewhere.

Case in point: one day I was walking my son through an "I'm sorry" session with his sister because he hit her. My daughter, my son, Amy and I were all in the living room as my son was apologizing. As he's talking, I hear the back door open and close. Only Jason is unaccounted for. I walk away from my son's apology and head to the backyard. After a quick look around, I don't see Jason and wonder if he didn't actually go outside after all but stayed in the house. I return to the house and do a super quick walk-through and don't find him. I ask my daughter to help me find him outside. She quickly spots him on the road in front of our neighbor's house. I call for him. He takes off running further from our house. I told my daughter to stay in the house with the other children as I ran as fast as I could to catch Jason. He made it 4 more houses down the road. Thankfully there were no cars in sight, so he was not in any real danger. But this was a 2-year-old with no qualms whatsoever about walking out of the house and booking it as far as possible down the road.

So the constant 24/7 supervision took a toll and coupled with the lack of sleep and the fact that I had my own two children to care for - there was no way this placement could last for long.

I will share next time about how this placement affected my biological children and where we go from here.

For now, I'm taking a much-needed breather and planning to catch a nap!

Family Photo Friday


It's Friday! Here are a few photos from our week.

We enjoyed a day at the Lake Michigan waterfront this week. Sunny and 70s - wonderful beach weather. The lake was choppy, though, with some big waves rolling in. So here's my son running in the sand.

Here's my daughter, sitting in the sand where the end of the waves would just reach her.

My son giving his boy doll Eli a piggyback ride.

We found a used swingset for free last weekend. My kids are LOVING it, playing on it every afternoon. Such a great find!

Happy weekending!

Foster Parenting - Log #18


Disclaimer: due to state regulations concerning foster children, I am not allowed to post pictures of any foster child's face. Therefore these pictures are all I can show you of Jason and Amy.

Loving children can be difficult. I admit that it's been a challenge to love the two current foster children in our home. Those who are most difficult to love are the very ones who need to be loved the most. Jason and Amy fit that description!

They so much need to be loved and it is obvious that they have not been loved as children should be. They have not been cherished. They have not be nourished. They have not been taught. They have not been listened to. They have not been trained in any way as to how best to live life and interact with others.

And because of these things that are lacking for Jason and Amy, these ch
ildren are offensive. They scream. They are rude. They don't share. They throw things. They hit. They cuss and swear. They don't respond to "no" or "stop." They throw tantrums. They are just children who have had nobody love them, nobody invest time or energy into their lives to show them how to live, how to act.

They are in our home now. We are doing the best we can do to love them and invest in them. Yet sometimes I wonder what difference we can make in the little bit of time we have with them. Will they interpret our actions as love or as mean-ness? The discipline and training seems mean to them, I suspect. It seems cruel to make them clean up toys or say "I'm sorry" when they hurt someone else. Life was probably easier for them in their home of origin where they could do what they wanted and get away with anything. Our home probably seems too harsh. Not that they could put that into words, but it may be some of what they are dealing with.

We are also left wondering if we can invest the time and energy it will take to truly help these two. We can love them, yes. We can give them a safe home and provide for their basic needs. Yes, we can and we are. But can we invest the time it will take to re-train Jason, to go from hitting/kicking/throwing/biting to self-control? Can we invest the energy it will take to work with Amy over and over again until she can grasp a new concept, such as keeping food in the dining room instead of wandering around the house with it?

I'm not so sure at this point. I'm thinking they need more than we can give them. Because they need more than just love. They need extra time and individual attention that is in short supply in our home, with 4 children.

We'll see where it goes from here...

Foster Parenting - Log #17


As of Monday night, we have two new foster children in our home.

I hadn't published anything here, but we have actually turned down 2 foster placements in the last month. One was simply too soon after our miscarriage and we said no in order to allow ourselves more time to grieve. The second time was simply a bad fit for our family, with the ages of the children so we said no.

On Monday the call was for the placement of a 2-year-old girl and 4-year-old girl, only to find out later that the 2-year-old was a boy. Regardless, we said yes.

The 4-year-old girl, whom I will call Amy on this blog (not her real name), has some developmental delays from a car accident she was involved in a few years ago. She wears diapers. She doesn't speak much and is generally slow in understanding and learning.

The 2-year-old boy, whom I will call Jason on this blog (not his real name), is all boy. He will turn 3 this week, so he is close in age to my son. He wants to run, jump, hit, throw, climb and get into general mischief - like most boys his age!

I am always amazed at how much you can learn about a child's parents/upbringing by observing the child's behavior, words and mannerisms. These two children were obviously cussed at regularly. Therefore I have been called more swear words in the last 48 hours than I care to count. These children were left to fend for themselves, so they will try to get their own food from the fridge and fill up cups from the faucet. They hear commands (like "please pick up the toys") but have no reason to act on what they hear (so they don't pick up the toys, but walk away and do something else entirely). They have no manners but are used to being barked at, so that is what they are repeating. "Come here!" "Give me that!"

On the lighter side of things, my 8-year-old daughter is quite unfamiliar with swear words. So upon hearing the kids screaming some of their curses, she said "Are they even speaking English?"

This placement will be short-term, but we don't know how short-term yet. We anticipate one month or less, but we know from past experience that things can change quickly with foster care.

If you're inclined to pray for us, we would appreciate it.
*Pray for Amy and Jason as they adjust to living in our home (new rules, new place, new people, etc)
*Pray for our family as we adjust to having these two with us
*Pray for Amy and Jason's family - especially their parents to get things together and work towards reunifying their family
*Pray for God's strength and wisdom for all involved
*Pray for God to be glorified through us and through these circumstances, because bringing Him glory is our purpose in all of life.

More to come on how things progress with these two as the days go by.

Home Makeover: New Ceiling Fan


Last weekend, my husband gave me a birthday gift.
He installed a new ceiling fan / light fixture in our dining room.

Here's a shot of the original from the 1960s era. Just one bulb never seemed to do the trick to light the entire dining area.

So out with the old and in with the new - more light (2 bulbs), a pretty shade and a fan to help circulate air.

A big improvement! Thank you, honey!



Both my daughter and I celebrate our birthdays in early August.
And my husband's birthday is in mid-July, so in a matter of 3 weeks we do a lot of celebrating! In my mind, that's what summer is for!

My sister-in-law bought me a beautiful necklace from Nepal (bought at church on Sunday from some missionaries who work in Nepal and teach indigenous women to create this jewelry, then they sell it in the US when the missionaries are home on furlough). I'm not a big jewelry fan, but I do love the color and texture of this necklace. Thanks, Sheila!

My daughter's friend (and neighbor) Sarah gave her a Make-It-And-Bake-It craft kit. These are like stained glass projects but instead of paint they use colored beads (like sand) that melt in the oven to create a smooth stained-glass look. They went to work immediately on these.

My daughter received an Easy Bake oven from Grandma K.

So it wasn't long before she had an Easy-Bake-oven-made birthday cake ready to eat.

We also celebrated with our local family, enjoying food and fun.

My kids received an unexpected gift when we found a "free" used swingset along the road in our neighborhood. Neither of the children have stopped talking about the swingset ever since.

In addition to our family birthday celebrations, our local Chick-Fil-A was celebrating its birthday. So one morning last week we enjoyed free breakfast, thanks to Chick-Fil-A. And last Saturday we enjoyed free drinks as headed out to do some shopping, thanks to Chick-Fil-A's birthday giveaways!

Hooray for birthdays!

Mailbox Monday


Here are a few freebies that arrived in my mailbox last week.

A coupon for a free Aussie shampoo product.
A coupon for a free Nestle Drumstick product.
A sample of Crest mouthwash.
A sample of Downy Unstoppable scent booster.
A sample sheet of Shout instant stain remover and a coupon.
A sample box of Honey Nut Cheerios and a coupon (box is missing from picture - was "sampled" before I snapped the picture).

Also missing from the picture are 2 free magazines I received - This Old House and Architectural Digest.

I like free. How about you?

Family Photo Friday


The first Friday of August is here. I love August and associate it with celebrations. It's my birthday month and my daughter's too. As I always do on Friday, I'm sharing some family photos from our week.

My kids enjoying the neighbor's backyard swingset.

We headed to a nearby beach one morning this week. We had the beach ALL TO OURSELVES, which was lovely. Easy to keep an eye on the kids with nobody else around. And it was hot, but not the heat of the middle of the day. We had a great 2 hours of fun in the sun...

and sand!

My daughter's birthday breakfast - pancakes with a candle.
She's a sweet 8 year old!

My son, the black olive lover. He'd devour the entire can of black olives if I'd let him. Fun finger food.

Happy Friday to all!

My Little Girl Turns 8


She turns 8 this week! Who can believe it?!
My firstborn. My only daughter. Growing into a beautiful young lady!

8 years ago I held this little girl and didn't know what I was doing as a new mom. I don't think any experiences or training or books can really prepare you for the monumental task of parenting. It's "on the job" training in which you grow and learn right beside your children as they grow and learn.

As I consider the last 12 months, I know my daughter has grown in maturity. I see greater patience, more understanding and greater effort at working hard. Goals for the next 12 months would include showing more compassion for others, exercising self-control and better time management.

This girl definitely has a fun side. She is very creative in her play - whether hula-hooping outside with friends or building palaces and thrones out of blocks or drawing a floor plan.

My daughter has changed a lot this year in her looks because she has lost so many baby teeth and has permanent teeth coming in. Gone is that little girl look. But that sparkle in her eye remains!

Happy Birthday, Beautiful!

Home Makeover: New Kitchen Sink


Last weekend my husband tackled a major home improvement project: installing a new kitchen sink.

The old sink: very heavy and very stained porcelain. Even my favorite cleaner for tough jobs like this couldn't get it very clean. The old faucet was leaky and the knobs loose (unable to be fixed).

The old sink was so heavy my husband and I together could barely move it. The new one - our little people could carry to the kitchen for us! My husband found this sink and the faucet fixture at the ReStore, so it cost much less than buying new at a home improvement store.

New sink installed and working beautifully.

Thank you, thank you to my favorite all-around handyman! :-)