Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Respite Redefined Podcast

Hello internet!

Lets play a game of high/low. Lately around here…there have been plenty of both.

High// I’m on the Respite Redefined Podcast (episode No. 34) today talking about being a first-time foster mom. Check it out! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/respite-redefined/id1001837006?mt=2&i=1000384544893

Low// We experienced some issues with our neighborhood about our chickens and we had to find a farm for them to go on with their happy lives because they couldn’t stay here. It was due somewhat to oversight on my part but there is nothing I can do about it now. The girls said tearful goodbyes, but overall they have not been too upset about it- thankfully. My dreams of being a crazy chicken lady will have to wait until later in life I guess. Boo. : (

High// Beach bum life is back. It is consistently hot enough to hit the beach any time of day and lately there have been Man-o-War jellyfish washing up onto shore and we have had fun looking at their bright blue squish.

Low// I’m been experiencing the ‘waiting’ blues. We’re waiting on a few things that can’t yet be shared, but waiting ain’t my favorite. The Lord is growing patience in me the hard way. That is how I learn most things- the hard way. : )

High// We found an AMAZING deal on airline tickets to go somewhere special for our 10th anniversary/ My 30th birthday next year. I’ll share more later, but this was a serious HIGH because I never dreamed this trip would fit into the budget, but it was too good a deal to pass up. We haven't been on a vacay just the two of us in quite a few years.

Low// Along with being beach-bum season, it is also bug season. I feel like there is potential for a big new weird bug around every corner. Every time I go out of the deck I get a surprise of some alien bug that I didn’t even know existed. So, I have concluded that it is possible that hell’s gates have opened and things are crawling out to terrorize me. Bugs = Low.

Let’s end of a HIGH// My parents visited a few weeks ago and as usual- it was a blast! I love when we have family visitors!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Love,

Mama Sally

Monday, March 13, 2017

Crazy Chicken Lady

Hello dear friends!

Well…two weeks ago our first foster care placements went home. We miss them dearly, but we are glad we got to be their bonus family for 5 weeks. We are taking a short break before our next placement just while we have some family in town over spring break. Then, we will be so excited to open our home to a new placement of a couple of kiddos : )

Meanwhile, we’re diving into a new adventure- backyard chickens! We have talked about having chickens for years, so it has been a lot of fun actually making it happen. Plus, we like to bring a little mid-west to this sunny, sandy land.

For our first flock we decided to make life a little easier and skip the high-maintenance chick-phase. So our flock is 8 weeks old. We each picked a hen. The girls picked “yellow ones : )” AKA Buff Orphingtons. Mr Manlove and I picked Barred Rocks.

 

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Mr Manlove did a good job engineering our little coop.

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Gertrude

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Wisteria

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Calliope & Hennifer Aniston

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The girls trying to get their new friends to eat bread out of their hands. It may take a few to for everyone to warm up to each other : )

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Hooray!

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Next Steps

Hello!

This is our fist official update on our foster care licensing process. And FIRST we need to say a HUGE thank you to our friends and family that helped us offset the costs of a van for our family that can fit lots of car seats! A family friend also gave us a really great deal so it all worked out perfectly and SO FAST. God is so good.

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On the subject of things going FAST…lately doors in life as far as foster care goes have been WIDE open. The licensing is *supposedly* going to go a lot faster than we were originally told (we should be licensed by Christmas). We got a van within a week of asking around how to make that happen in a budget conscious way. We have gotten random messages from people asking if we needed (blank) because they are no longer using said item.

We have put our trust in the Lord to move and provide if this was the path for us and He has done so. Therefore I can only believe that provision will continue!

We are starting our training classes later this month and have a home study to complete.

We are praying over many things- Our own family as we prepare to open our home and our lives to other kids, over our foster room- that it will be a safe and happy place for the kids that need it, and that families would find healing and restoration and our own small part in that.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, and for being a part of our lives!

 

 

 

 

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