Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Around Town | Congaree & Penn

This weekend we decided to try something new and go to the you-pick Muscadine grape event at Congaree & Penn Farms. We were not sure what to expect, but we decided to make the drive to NW Jax and check it out. I am SO glad that we did! We were welcomed by the kindest people who cared a lot about the farm and were so knowledgeable about what was being grown and the land. We picked our basket of grapes, rode on a hay rack ride farm tour, talked to some random folks and played a little corn hole. The atmosphere was just laid back and nice. And Lou & KoKo loved grape-picking.

I know we are planning to go back in the fall for their you-pick pumpkin day and we will be keeping a look-out for other upcoming events as well.

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Check out this lovely dining + event space.

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Corn hole

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Thank you to the people at Congaree & Penn for the beautiful day!

Love,

Mama Sally


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dusting off the Blog

Hellllllloooo!

It has been so long! The last post I can see is when we had our first foster placement and that now seems like it was so long ago. Since then we have had another placement of two sweet girls come and go and we have also done a few rounds of respite foster care (basically keep a foster child for a few days or a week while their foster parent takes a break or goes on a business trip or whatever else). If you follow along on Instagram you saw a lot of glimpses of what we were up to with our last placement. We miss them dearly but we feel confident that where they are is a really really great place for them.

For now, we are on a foster parent break. We have a few things we are working on that we can’t reveal quite yet, but it would be really exciting for our family. We will let you know what is happening next : )

In the mean time, here is some summer eye candy because we all know that Mama Sally is better at the pictures than at the words. : )

Backyard tree frogs

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Amelia Island ice cream & Sea World

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Lou turns 7 in epic rainbow unicorn fashion

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4th of July- A few days before we said goodbye to these precious babies.

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Mango flowers with friends : )

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Mama drove to Texas

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Whew! School started for Lou this week and KoKo starts preschool soon. I hope your summer was also full of memories!

Love,

Mama Sally

Friday, February 17, 2017

Foster Care Update

Hello friends!

Its been awhile, yes? We have an exciting update! All of our infrequent posts over the past months have been about our progress in preparing to be a licensed foster family. Well, not only are we officially licensed, we are 3 weeks into our first placement!

We currently have three sweet boys in our home in addition to our two daughters. Yep. We. Have. Five. Kids.

The boys are 6 months, 6 months (twins) and 5 years old. Thankfully the twins are not identical and we quickly learned to tell them apart. One likes to wake up and eat frequently and weighs quite a bit more than the other and has some very kissable chubby cheeks. The other is a champ sleeper but hates car rides. So the 3 big kids often sit with fingers in their ears during car rides OR sing Christmas carols (of all things?!) OVER the crying baby. Lord have mercy.

Overall, being parents of 5 kids is what we expected it to be. Hard. Crazy. Also fun. The big kids entertain each other a lot and the trampoline has seen many hours of bouncing and giggles.

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Our church and friends have brought us meals, diapers, wipes, and hugs. People are just so so good.

I have to say. Pushing twin babies around is somewhat like carrying a panda. Everyone stops you and wants to know if they are twins and you stop yourself from saying “duh.” My foster parent friend sent me this:

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I would say my top 5 challenges as a mom of 5 (two of them being babies makes a big impact here) are:

-LAUNDRY. So much laundry.

-Getting 5 people in and out of the car is like watching the clowns at the circus when they just keep coming out and your brain starts to go fuzzy because the amount of space and person ratio is messed up.

-So many feelings. Our girls of course have a lot of feelings about sharing us, sharing space, sharing toys, etc… Our babies sometimes have feelings that it seems unfortunately can mostly be communicated through tandem screaming episodes. Our other new son has feelings about us, feelings about where he has been, homesick feelings, on and on.

-Time to do anything other than taking care of kids. Someone is always pooping, having some sort of strange problem they got themselves into when I looked away for.5 seconds, or deciding to change their clothes and pull everything out of a drawer. Or someone is in their bathroom and the next kid has to go RIGHT THIS SECOND. I have decided that all foster parents should get weekly shipment of dry shampoo, IV bags filled with coffee (I am usually too busy in the morning and have to heat it up 5 times because someone needs my help while it is hot- They have hot drink radar), and laundry fairies.

-Navigating “the system.” As in , the foster care system. There are case workers, court appointed people whose titles are not supposed to understood by humans, Family service counselors, therapists, and a lot of emails/phone calls. It usually is advisable to not have two babies crying in the background of said phone calls so….speaker phone is my friend while two babies bounce on my lap.

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So, there are many challenges throughout the day, but thankfully I have the best partner who agrees to do these hard things with me. He loses a lot of sleep and then works so hard to provide for our fam. Also, we have seen God’s provision through others in such a powerful way. Several unexpected people have sent us gift cards. So many of you have sent us messages of encouragement or to let you know that you are praying. We thank you!

So, today if you will drink something hot for me and if you have some free time relish it so. I am happy for you! And I am happy for me. This is hard, but it is good.

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Love,

Mama Sally

 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Around Town

There are a TON of new murals and newly painted colorful buildings around our city. You know we love this. It makes us happy. If you’re local and want the deets on where this is and the artist, head over to my Instagram.

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I hope your weekend is as happy as this wall!

Love,

Mama Sally

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Foster Care Licensing Update & Halloween!

Hello friends & fam!

We are glad to say we have started our foster care training and are on track to finish it by the end of the year. Also, we have gotten a lot closer to being ready for our home study. We got the van (see a few posts back)! We purchased bunk beds and mattresses and some sweet church friends gave us a crib, crib mattress, crib bedding, a changing table, and another church friend gave us a dresser. Some lady at a garage sale who learned we were doing foster/adopt gave me 3 non-expired car seats for free. What?! I love you people!

A reminder if you have not seen past updates: We are planning to accept sibling sets of 2 or 3 because there are not many foster families that have to capacity for siblings. There is a great need because when kids have already been separated from their parents, they really need to to stay with their siblings. To answer the questions I most often get: Yes, this will be overwhelming. Yes, we will get attached to them- they need someone to attach to them. And to answer the thought in your head: Yes, we will be a walking circus at times : )

Many of our friends have asked what we still need and the main thing we are gathering right now is a few outfits for each age that we plan to accept. We don’t want to gather full wardrobes but we do need to show that for each size child that we will be licensed for we could clothe them and have the basics they need for when a placement begins.

Thank you to those of you who have asked and here are specific sizes of gently used clothes we are gathering:

***Updated: I have done a crossthrough or changed the # on ones that people have let me know they can provide!

Boys:

0-3 months – 2 full outfits, 1 set of PJ’s, a few pairs of socks

9 months- 2 outfits, 1 set of PJ’s, a few pairs on non-slip socks

12 months- 3 outfits, 1 set of PJ’s, a few pairs of non-slip socks, 1 pairs of shoes

18 months- 3 outfits, 1 set of PJ’s, a few pairs of non-slip socks, 2 pairs of shoes

24 months- 2 outfits and 1 set of PJ’s, a few pairs of non-slip socks, 2 pairs of shoes

 

Girls:

0-3 months- 2 outfits, a few pairs of socks

6 months- 1 outfit, 1 set of PJ’s, a few pairs of socks

9 months- 2 outfits and 1 set of PJ’s, 1 pair of shoes

12 months- 2 outfits and 1 set of PJ’s, 1 pair of shoes

24 months- 1 outfit

Toys: Peg Puzzles (2-3), Dress ups geared towards boys (ex: fireman)- we have lots of girl dress ups; Shape sorter, construction or dump truck, a doctor play set

Other: waterproof pads for under sheets, hooded bath towels (2)

We are purchasing a few items each week to get ready. Those items have been added to our Target Foster registry HERE: http://www.target.com/gift-registry/registry/MDp1LzvzlNRmt710dy9NJw?ref=registryCopiedLink 

A few books for kids who are in foster care on Amazon:

Maybe Days

A Terrible Thing Happened

Murphy’s Three Homes

Whew! What a blessing you all continue to be! I never knew how much “stuff” would be required but when you do not know what ages you will be placed with, you need a little of everything! Again, thank you to those who have asked.

Here’s a little Halloween picture update from our fam:

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Trick or Treating with neighbors : )

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Koko (not her real name) walked up to many houses and shouted “Im a mingo!” (flamingo : ) instead of “trick-or-treat”!

Thank you for stopping by the blog!

Love,

Mama Sally

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Savannah

Savannah, GA is one charming town. A friend and I took a day trip on a whim this weekend and enjoyed every moment.

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I told you- full of charm. Staircases, iron gates, cobblestone streets, and spanish moss. <3

Thanks for stopping by!

Love,

Sally