Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Saturday, February 26, 2011

5 to 95

I have been struggling with how much food to feed our two foster sons.
They are always complaining of being hungry. If I give them a larger portion of food than anyone else (including adults) they still want more. In an effort to appreciate that they are from a different mold than my children, and therefore may really need to eat more than my skinny minnies,
I wanted to find out what a healthy, average weight is for a child of their age and height.
I found a site with a program to do just that.

Well-it's no wonder I have been struggling.
My boys fall under the 5th percentile for their weight.
My two foster sons are both above the 95th percentile for their height and weight.

                                        Psalm 139:14                                                                                              

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

All the boys are wonderfully made-whether in the 5th or 95th percentile-and most of all-and most importantly-in the image of God!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Try, Try Again....

 Visit this fun blog-Todays Woman- for yet another chance for a free It's a Blessing gift of your choice!
Rose does a lot of fun reviews and give aways-so if you enjoy that-her blog is one you might like to visit often!

Todays Woman

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Check It Out!!

Visit this sweet, beautiful, God glorifying blog to be encouraged and for a chance to enter
It's a Blessings Give Away! 
Up for grabs: your choice of a free keychain, book mark or blessing bracelet.

Just click on Blueberry Cottage to be taken directly to her site.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


 "AAAAWWW, How cute..look how motherly my little Caeleen is. 
She has such a sweet tender way about her." 

I thought to myself as I watched her tenderly scoop something up off the carpet and rock it and sing to it. At first glance, I thought it was a bead. be loving on a bead. But, hey-whatever-she is still being so kind! Second glance: "What is that?-it looks like it's moving!" I think, "It must be a fly." My compassionate side takes over, "Oh, poor fly-it's not going to like her game. I should save it from her grasps- if it's not already dead." I follow her. She puts down her "little baby" and lies on her belly on the floor to watch it move and interact with it. From behind, I can not see it, but I hear her cute baby talk- sing-songy- to her little one. Then, just as I get close enough to bend over and see, she leans down to KISS HER BABY!!!

Do you want to guess what it was??? Or should I just tell you?????

Monday, February 21, 2011

Talk about Time


My two year old spent more time crying over the televsion that wouldn't turn on....

Then she usually spends watching the dumb thing!
Our power was out today for 11 hours! Got down to about 40 degrees in the house. While I was buddled in as many layers of clothes as I could manage, borrowed hot water for tea from a neighbor with a gas stove, and was even going to take seven children to McDonald's playplace just to get warm (THAT IS DESPERATION!) of mine ran around bare foot all day...the baby was sweating buckets under the pile of blankets I wrapped her in at nap time, and one requested ice cream for snack! But, the toughest part of the day was realizing that I let the baby watch too many videos. She was absolutely in withdraw. She knows how to turn the tv on and push the tape in, and was SO mad that no matter how many times she did it, or which tape she tried, it would not turn on!
Very, very, very, thankful for the heat that did come back on, the wonderful neighbor who made my tea and even made mac and cheese for ALL my kids so they would have something warm in their tummies and for "Officer Mark" who stopped by to make sure we were ok!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Not So "Little" House

Do you remember the Little House on the Prairie episode when Laura's dog Jack dies?

She is hurt, angry, confused, lonely. Pa brings her a new dog and Laura wants nothing to do with it.
She loved Jack so very much and can not imagine ever loving another the same.
In fact, you get the sense, she almost wishes she never had Jack in the first place so she wouldn't
have to feel the pain of losing him.

Today-my New Jersey friends...I am really missing you. Missing you, like Laura missed Jack. Missing you like, I almost wonder if it would have been better to never have known the wonderful joy of having such women as you as my dear friends. For, on days like today, when I am sad, and lonely - it is then I realize the most what I am missing. Laura, in time, came to love Bandit-in a different way than Jack-but loved him all the same: I know in time I will come to love new friends here. I am also reminded, ONCE AGAIN, that I should be leaning on the Lord more-and looking to lean on people less.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Thank you God, that I didn't move out here without You! You are with me, wherever I go-in whatever challenges I face and give me all that I need to get through it each day. Please, Lord, give me the courage to persevere and the compassion and love to do it your way.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Well-the Bible does warn that we will reap what we sow...

Apparently, letting Caeleen fingerpaint with ketchup on the window and 
lip balm on the stove proved to be a poor decision-even if the cake did turn out yummy!

She has taken to finding new "mediums" to explore her window decorating talents.

The past two days, her mediums of choice were...
Bananas-a bar of soap-and a chicken nugget.
The bar of soap is my personal favorite-goes on ever so smoothly and she can make beautiful designs on the glass!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm a Camel

Tonight I am a camel. A big, fat, mean, spitting, ugly camel.
I don't like myself right now.
To tell the truth, I don't really like anyone in my house right now.
I feel like every child (all seven of them) were out to get me this afternoon. I was pulled in 7 directions,
whined at, yelled at, complained to, cried to, and the straw that broke this camel's back was when one child decided to enter into a major power struggle with me over picking up his mess in his room.
"Pick up your room."
Whining: "I CA-A-A-A-N'T" From there we continued this battle of wills for about 20 minutes. Finally-I gave in. Sort of. Told him to just go to bed. No story-no nothing-just go to bed. His retaliation: spaghetti legs! Drop! Onto the floor and more whining: "I CA-A-A-A-N'T" So, I helped him! That didn't go over well. We then had some kicking, scratching, pinching, yelling, angry-evil eyes, spitting, struggling---and that was just me!                                                               

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Talk about Time


It took more time to have my teeth x-rayed and cleaned....

Then it took for me to give birth to 3 out of 5 of my children!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finger Painting

Oh the memories...
When my oldest (now 13) was a baby I was "Super Mommy!!!" (you have to say that like a super hero.."Super Man!"). I did nothing but play with him all day...we read more stories than a library could hold,
went for walks twice a day as I constantly narrated what we saw: "That's a trash truck! Those nice men take our smelly trash away for us. Can you say "pee-eeew"? We never, ever watched any television and Liam knew all of his colors by about 10 months old!!!

In fact...I have a picture of him (somewhere-this was 13 years ago remember-when we used to actually develop pictures-so it's not on my computer), finger painting at ten months old. He was sat nicely at a Little Tykes table, legs tucked under, paper taped to the table, a plastic mat on the floor. Various colors spread across in a masterpiece of toddler wonder!!!! forward about 13 years. Caeleen (who just turned 2 years old today) has never sat nicely at a Little Tykes table-legs tucked under-with the opportunity to finger paint. But...children are very resourceful!

Just last week, we found our kitchen window "finger painted" with ketchup! Caeleen stood there for a good 5 minutes using her finger to dip, dip, into her plate of ketchup and then decorate the window with her own masterpiece!

Today, while I was working on making her a birthday cake, she got her hands on a little container of home made lip balm. Pretty thick stuff. She proceded to scoop in out with her finger and "paint" all over my stove front.

Here's the best part. "Super Mommy!" that I am....I LET HER! I guess I figured if I'm not going to find the time to provide her with meaningful, enriching, art experiences that the least I can do is allow her artistic talents to come out as she sees fit!!

What? Your not buying it? Ok....You're right. I was too pre-occupied to stop her and decided it was worth cleaning up the mess later if I could just get this cake in the oven!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Caeleen!

Our Youngest turns two today!!!! 
Happy Birthday Caeleen!
You are such a precious gift from God!
We love you and treasure every day with you!! 

Everyone so excited a new baby coming soon!

Very Happy to be in labor-couldn't wait to meet our new baby!

5 babies in..still in awe of how God does it!

Teagan was present for Caeleen's birth and the first of the siblings to hold her!

All Brogan wanted to do was touch her nose!

Where did the time go??? Seems like just yesterday.

Teagan and our "big girl" Caeleen.

 "Be careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16

Fun Give Away

Have you seen the adorable Scentsy Buddies?

Go to:

for your chance to win a free one!!! I just entered..hope to win one for Caeleen!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Job Description

I think if being a Mommy came with a job description.....
one of the line items would read:

"Must be willing to clean poop out of the tub on a regular basis during toddler years."

Here I am...back at Philippians 2:14 - again!

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe...."

I don't know if I shine for Jesus as I should, but I'll tell you what, if my baby keeps "going" in the tub, and I have to clean it this often-at least my tub will shine!!!!

This was Caeleen's first bath....long before she started leaving
us gifts there!!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Chat About Crying

The "I am really angry" cry

When our 4 year old foster son is punished-he looks like the picture above. He is MAD! No doubt about it-pure and simple ANGER!! Spewing out in all kinds of explosive ways. It's not nice. Partly because it is SO loud, and SO violent and SO mean-I don't feel compassion towards that kind of crying. In fact, I often have to just walk away and regain my own composure so I don't join in the tantrum myself!!!!!

The "I got caught and I'm not happy about it" cry

 This is what I see when our 6 year old foster son cries. It just happened. I sent him into the bathroom with the same instructions he hears every night. "Pee, flush, wash hands, brush teeth." 
He goes in. He comes out. WAY TOO FAST! So, I question: "Did you wash your hands?" 
"Yes" He replies to the floor. I take his hand. You can see his eyes spinning as he tries to quickly come up with a reason for the perfectly dry hands. Without missing a beat he says, "I only used soap, no water." Well, that was a new one for me, but easily proven wrong! So..we had a little chat about how good Mommies who love their children want hands washed-Mommies who don't care, well-they just don't care. Since I love him, he must wash his hands. He nodded in understanding-with an expression of almost "yeah, you love me, that's nice". Until the bomb dropped. I say, "Ok, so we both understand. Now, go back into the bathroom and wash your hands for real, and then go to your bed. Your punishment for lying to me is that you have to go to bed now instead of playing." 
Then, I get the picture above. The tears start to flow. Interesting. There were no tears of remorse when he knew he was wrong. Only once he realized he would be punished.

The "I am hurting Mommy, help me!" cry.
  Awww, this one melts my heart. Today, my baby had to have 2 teeth pulled. My brave husband took her because I couldn't do it. She did great-but when she is hurting-she looks like that. Makes me want to scoop her up and hold her close- kiss the boo-boos and make it all better.

The "I am hurting. For real. Deep down inside. I need love" cry.

This is the one that not only melts my heart. It breaks my heart. This is the one that led me to wanting to foster and adopt children in the first place. This is the one where you can almost see right through their eyes into their souls and feel the pain, the loss, the despair. This is the cry that I respond to with the most compassion. The one where I realize that even though Mommy Mode wants to take over and kiss the boo-boos; it won't make it all better.

Then I know it's my turn to cry.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." 
Psalm 34:17
""I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
Psalm 40:1-2
"Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; 
O Lord, hear my voice. 
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy."
Psalm 130:1

Lord I pray you will fill me to overflowing with your great love-your mercy-your compassion. For ALL the cries I see and hear throughout the day. I pray I will learn to really "hear them" and desire to "deliver them from their troubles." Please help me to stop what I am doing and "turn to them when they cry" and be a firm and safe place they can trust. Lord let me follow after your ways and help me to be attentive to their cry for mercy."

Note: the photos used in this post are not my children.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Nibble about Nemo

"I can do it Dad!"
"No, you can't Nemo! You think you can do these things, but you JUST CAN'T"

Then, as Nemo continues to try to persaude his Dad that he can save all the fish about to get pulled up into the net, you can see it in Marlin's eyes. That moment. That moment when he realizes he just did it. AGAIN! It wasn't that long ago that he didn't encourage his son-when, in fact, he discouraged him. His doubt in Nemo's abilities is what pushed Nemo over the edge into defiance as he swam out and "touched the butt" (I know-it's boat-but in the movie, they say, "butt" and try as I might, I just can't be an adult and watch that part without laughing!). Now, at this critical moment he realizes he's just about to do it again...then...he goes for it!!! He let's Nemo try his idea-even though he's terrified of loosing him.

I had a Nemo moment yesterday with my thirteen year old son.

To really get it-you have to know Liam. You need to understand that his brain is filled with these ideas-some amazing-some not so much. But, either way it will take him 3 HOURS to explain his latest to you. I try.  I really try to keep focused. To listen attentively. To not start making grocery lists or singing the Barney song in my head when I'm supposed to be EXTREMELY interested in his latest idea. I usually fail. Somewhere, about 10 minutes in-he's lost me! Happens all the time.

Yesterday, our dog got loose. THAT is nothing new. THAT happens all the time too! I refuse to chase her, or let anyone else. SHE CAN NOT BE CAUGHT! She runs, and runs, and runs until she is good and ready (and good and disgustingly filthy) to come home-at which point she saunters up to the porch as if she was doing nothing wrong in the first place! So, when Liam tried to explain his latest plan to catch her-I was Marlin.

 "You just can't catch her Liam! You just can't! You can stop explaining your idea-it's just NOT going to work!" And on and on and on.

Well-he is not only smart-he's determined- and not easily deterred by my discouragement! So, out into the snow and cold he went. Long stick, string, duct tape, wire cage that covers our square foot garden and a hot dog. He built a trap. He laid waiting on the snowy filled deck. Silently waiting. The dog fell for it!!!!!!! She crept up to the bait and just as she started to devour the prize-SLAM! Cage comes down-dog caught!!!!!!

Wow. What could I say? I gave him a hug. Told him I was sorry for doubting him and silently prayed for another chance.

I got it! Tonight!

Tonight I was blessed with the task of making three blessing bracelets for three young girls whose Mommy died today. I wanted to make sure they would encourage them, bring them a measure of peace-of God's love-and-I wanted to be sure they would fit-but also that the girls could grow into them. I couldn't figure out what to do. Liam, like it was nothing for his brain, says, "Mom, just add another of these, here and do this there, and etc. etc. etc. " Yeah, it took awhile to explain-but I LISTENED! I paid attention. I said, "Great idea! I'm going to try it!" And-I did! And-it works!!!!

My little Nemo....growing up so fast!! One day-he might save a whole boat load of fish! But for now-I'm just thankful for moments when I can see how God has gifted him-and SO Thankful for this second chance to be sure he knows I am on his team! Cheering him on!!! Willing to take on 3 Sharks like the Jelly Man if I have to!

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8