What was I thinking?

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So we aren’t even a week in with 5 kids and I am already asking this question. The insane amount of noise, the constant chatter, the endless questions, screaming, fighting, and laughing. The chaos, oh goodness, the chaos. It’s never boring. And now when I go out I find myself counting kids! Just to make sure all 5 are there! That’s ridiculous.

So today for instance the new worker came by the house to see the kids and where they are living. She made it here at 7:50am, yea that’s right. Before 8am. Who is productive and presentable at that time? I cleaned the house the night before. ūüėČ So in the middle of going over the case and discussing possible future plans. I hear water pouring. Literally pouring from somewhere. Then I hear a kid say, “the toilet is overflowing!” so I assume it’s just a normal overflow and will be plunged and wiped up. After several minutes of trying to continue the discussion with the worker, I still hear water pouring. I watch as Matt walks out with towels, blankets, dirty clothes, and bowls. This isn’t a normal toilet issue. So I casually ask Matt what’s going on. His eyes give me the death look. Another trip to the laundry room another load of towels. So I ask again, “Matt, what’s going on?” He tries to keep his composure as he answers through clenched teeth, “the upstairs toilet is flooding and coming through the ceiling” {WTH!?!?} SERIOUSLY? So I then try to keep my composure and just look at the worker, smile awkwardly and say awesome. Well then of course the worker needs to see the kids and their bedrooms. So off we go. Right into the foyer, where the ceiling is literally breaking off and falling in the floor. The chandelier is hanging down and water is running down into the globes. They are full of water. Again this is 8am. So now we are standing in the foyer with 5 kids, a ceiling falling on the floor, buckets and blankets full of water, and the worker. Anyone who has had to deal with workers coming to your house know the stress. This flooding didn’t help.

Thank God she was understanding and realized we don’t live like this. We don’t normally have the ceiling in the floor. Or ¬†buckets of water in the foyer. You know, we do try to keep the house somewhat livable. So she left, ¬†and I called the water company to see where the main shut off valve is. Oh, it’s on the neighbors farm, behind a black fence. Exactly where we need the main shut off to our house. Perfect.

So I leave to take one child to therapy, enroll 2 in school, go to the grocery and come back home. Matt has successfully stopped the leak, the floor is cleaned up and now there is just a brown stain in the ceiling. That can be fixed. So the question comes back, what was I thinking? And honestly I don’t know. Clearly I wasn’t thinking about how crazy I would feel. How I want to bang my head in the wall or pull my hair out.

And then I think about where these kids would be with out foster care. What would their lives be like? Would they get to eat today? Would they witness domestic violence? Would they witness drug use? Would they be made to stay in one room all day so they don’t witness these things? Would they be scared? Then I hear the prayer from my newest girl, a prayer thanking God for having all of our family gathered around the table for dinner. Prayers that she and her brother have a good life here with us and that their mom is having a good life. The humbling prayer for a good life. A 9 year old thanking God for our family gathered. ¬†We need these kids as much as they need us. That’s what I am thinking.

When God Speaks

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Have you ever had that intuition? That gut feeling, that 6th sense? Well I have, often in fact. And what I used to think was some form of greater understanding, I now recognize as the voice of God. Just last week God spoke to me. There were no loud words from Heaven. No booming thunder, no audible voice. Just that ever so gentle nudging. That awareness of what was going to happen.

So let’s go back to last Monday. My eyes opened at 7am, like every other morning. But immediately I knew I would be getting a phone call for a placement or placements. (foster kids) I lay there in bed listening to that silent but ever so present voice. I would get a phone call today asking about accepting some kids. Get ready Emilee. Be prepared. You will be called. So of course my mind started racing. I need another bed. This child will need their own bed of course. And where will I put this bed? Extra room upstairs or sharing a room with Ashlyn? So my type A personality starting configuring all sorts of solutions.

All day I made sure to keep my phone with me, anticipating that phone call I would be receiving. I waited and waited. Lunch no phone call. I began to doubt whether I heard this voice right. Another few hours passed. Nothing. Then around 3pm my phone rang, displaying my case workers name on the caller I.d. This was it. Here it comes, the request. So I answered and she started by saying she has a referral she wants to ask me about. She explained the situation. Told me what little info she has. I tossed the words around in my head. I bit my cheek (nervous habit), I asked Matt what he thought. I hung up not giving her an answer, telling her I would let her know in a bit. Why was this so hard to decide? This is what God had been preparing me for all day. So together Matt and I agreed that we would accept these kids.

Fast forward. A week had passed and still no word on these 2 kids. (my patience was wearing thin) We didn’t know if we would get them or not. In that time we had received 2 more referrals, which I declined, stating my heart was with those 2. I wanted to wait. This past Monday around 10 am my phone again rang, confirming these 2 kids would be coming to our home! Luckily I found 2 twin beds for sale last week for $50, ¬†AND I bought them. I knew I would need them. ūüôā Plus as a foster parent you can never have too many beds.

So today we get to meet these 2 children. Ages 9 and 6. And tomorrow they move in. ¬†(Eeek!!!) I am not sure what the plans are with these kids. I am not sure what the future holds, but I do know that God has his hand in this 100%. No doubt in my mind he prepared me last week for these plans. And I am sure it isn’t going to be easy…..5 kids…..shew!!! But I know that I will be able to handle it. God’s got this!

It’s that time of year again

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Even though it seems like summer¬†is just beginning it’s really close to coming to an end {WAHWAH, it’s Debbie Downer} and it’s time to think about the coming school year. For most parents that means getting back to school supplies, finding out who is their kid’s teacher, new school clothes and shoes. For those of us that homeschool it means decision time. And there are so many choices!!! It’s overwhelming. Do we want to use the same curriculum from last year? Do we want to add or take away anything from that? Do we want to try a whole new direction? How much is it going to cost? Are we going to do a co op this year? And sometimes it even involves questioning whether we want to homeschool at all anymore.

There are days that I look across the road and see that pretty blue roofed elementary school sitting there, and think….jeez that would be nice to have them there ALL day. Seriously, think of what all I could get done! No kids….for 8 hours….I don’t know what that feels like. Because in all honesty there are times I don’t want to homeschool anymore. I don’ want to pick out the curriculum. I don’t want to sit for hours teaching my kids, heck people went to college so they can do that! Why on Earth should I be doing it? And then there are times where if I don’t get a moment away from the kids I will¬†look like Goldey Hawn in overboard…..buhbuhbuhbuh, grapes being thrown at her face. So¬†I quietly slip off to my room and hide. I try to lay as still as possible under the blankets, because you know blankets have the ability to conceal even the largest of things! So I lay still and listen. A few minutes pass and then it begins. The hunt for mom. Where is she? Where did she go? What is she doing? So down the hall I hear, “Mom” and I lay there even more still. I don’t even breath. Then after repeated attempts to call for me, the door slings open and some how they realize it’s me under the blankets. I barely peek my head out of the top, and pretend I didn’t hear them! Of course by now they know the truth.

So I climb out of the bed. Drag myself back into the homeschool room and we began again. Then I see the light bulb go off in their heads. I watch their eyes light up as I see that they “get it”.¬† They start asking questions and reading more, and want to gather as much info as possible. Then we finish up, get some lunch an they usually go outside to play. They spend hours outside each day. Literally, 6-9 hours a day they are outside. Exploring, playing, taking care of animals, helping out with chores, and just being kids. So then I look back over at that blue roofed school and watch as those kids traipse back into the building after 20 minutes outside, to sit in a block classroom, at a desk, and finish up their 8 hours. That’s when I decide that there is no other place I would rather my kids to do school than in our home with me.

Protecting the Innocence

In this ever changing world consumed with Facebook and snapchat,¬†how do children stay innocent? I see kids that I feel like are too young, already with social media accounts. And to each their own. It isn’t affecting myself or my family, but it breaks my heart. For these kids. How is a child supposed to remain innocent when scrolling through Facebook? Even with all of the parental controls on the account, they are still exposed to more than they need to be. All of the memes, the rate me posts, the relationship posts, etc. That gives a skewed view on self worth and what a healthy relationship is. How many times have you seen a post that has bad language, sex, drugs, alcohol in it? I am sure The majority of these kids aren’t posting these things, but they see them from other people. The¬†selfies with girls wearing way less then they should and showing¬†way¬†more then they should. I want my¬†daughter to know that modesty is beautiful and my son to know that girls¬†don’t have to dress that way to be attractive.

Even as an adult if I posted a “rate me” post, and received bad ratings or none at all, it would hurt my self esteem. Seriously. Maybe that is childish of me, and maybe that’s why I don’t post those things! I can’t handle the truth, ūüėČ But imagine what it does to a 10, 12, 15 year old. A child that is struggling to find themselves. To come into their own. To accept them selves as they are. Rate Me 1-10……cricket chirps…..no ratings…..Come on guys, how hot am I? 1- not hot 10- I would date you…..ooh, I got a 6. So at least someone thinks I am mediocre. This is no way for kids to be spending their days. And I know kids ¬†still do “kid” activities with social media accounts. But I don’t see the benefits of children having these accounts. They need to be outside, playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, participating in sports, going to church, and involved in people’s lives. Waiting on approval from other is a long wait.

I am glad my kids aren’t asking what ROTFF, WTF, LMFAO, SMDH mean. They aren’t asking because they aren’t exposed. Of course there will be a day when they will be exposed and they will be asking hard questions.¬†And it may¬†seem¬†that I shelter my kids more than I should. And that they need to learn to be tough skinned and see how hard life really is. And I agree to that on some points. I don’t baby my kids. They know that life isn’t all about them, and that things aren’t always going to go their ways. They know to expect bumps in the road.¬†What they don’t know is how hot they rate. They don’t¬†know about posting selfie, even though they do like to take them! They have a sense of innocence that I want to keep around a little longer. Sooner or later they will be posting and scrolling. They have the rest of their lives to worry what others are doing! But for now, I am content with my kids being kids.

Did #lovewin?

Did #lovewin? That has been the popular hashtag this week. And maybe love did win. But maybe it isn’t the love that everyone is thinking. Maybe the love that won is the love of Jesus and the love from Christians. I have not personally seen any bashing of homosexuals since the ruling by the supreme court. (Not saying there hasn’t been any!) ¬†I have however seen the photos from the pride parade depicting Jesus on a cross kissing a man. That to me isn’t love. So maybe love did win. The love of Jesus Christ won by the sinners that follow him and rely on his grace.¬†That’s not to say that¬†the following week hasn’t been scary. It has been confusing, at least to me. I have not been able to make heads or tails of what all is happening in our world. And I don’t want to discuss all of the details and go in depth on where I stand. If you know me, you know that I am a Christian. I do not agree with same sex marriage but I also don’t agree with drinking, cussing, murder, adultery, etc. I am the same on all of the sins, to me sin is sin. And some may say that homosexuality is an abomination but so is a prideful heart. (Proverbs 6:16-19)¬†So it all just depends on what fits your agenda I think.

With this post I am not trying to offend anyone, and if I do, I am sorry. But I would much rather offend someone that to offend God!¬†I am just working out the thoughts swirling in my head. As I sat and thought about what all has taken place, my thoughts lead to my children. I do worry about their future, not just because of the Supreme Court ruling but because of the world as a whole. Everywhere there seems to be some sort of discord, destruction, or¬†war on something. Living in this politically correct¬†world has turned people crazy. It seems like someone is always offended, fighting, protesting, etc.¬†¬†And of course this should be the time where I could say, “can’t we all just get along” But that isn’t reality. People have been at war with each other since the beginning of time. It’s human¬†nature.

And I know that God has a plan for all of this confusion. And His love and kindness trickles on down to little ole’ me in this great big mess. So I have chosen to trust in the Lord. (Proverbs 3:5-6)¬†I am not promoting same sex marriage, or removal of the confederate flag, or ISIS killing 74 children, burning of black churches, or anything else going wrong in this world. What I am promoting is¬†trusting a sovereign God.¬†And love of all sinners. And kindness towards people.¬†And protection¬†of my children’s innocence.¬†Regardless of the supreme court ruling my teaching to my children would have and will be same. We don’t agree with this lifestyle but we love everyone. Just like we don’t agree with the lifestyle of the addict. We don’t go around bashing any of these lifestyles with hateful words. We¬†teach our children that we all have sins and make mistakes and that we as Christians, rely on God for his grace and forgiveness. No one in this world¬†is without sin. And if my children learn anything from this changing world I hope it is to love¬†everyone.

So yea, I do think #lovewins.  #Jesuswins #Jesusislove #winnerswithhislove

And if you have read Revelations, you know in the end Jesus’s love wins! We all win with HIS love

Hang up that Shrug!

I am guilty. I project my worries, anxieties, fears, and concerns onto my children. Now by this I am not talking about major adult issues. I don’t involve them in situations that are not intended for them. By this I mean I say things without thinking of how it may sound to them. Even though I am 90% of the time being sarcastic there is an undertone of real worry in my statements.

An example of this. I wanted to wear a summer maxi dress, it’s flippin’ 100 degrees outside. And I didn’t want to put on that blessed¬†shrug to cover my arms. My arms that have definitely been slacking in the workout department. The arms that have quite a bit of jiggle to them and are¬†pretty pale. Not that I am tan, EVER, but my upper arms haven’t seen the sun in years! {because of those shrugs!!} And on top of the jiggle and paleness I also suffer from keratosis pilaris. So I have all those tiny red bumps all over the back of my arms. {bluk} After years and years of hiding, exfoliating, covering, and moisturizing they are still there and not going away! And my daughter inherited this as well. So I do consciously try not to make comments about how I HATE my arms because of the bumps, because I don’t want her to hate her arms. So putting on this dress and looking over at the shrug I asked my kids if it would be ok to wear the dress with out the sweater. They both looked at me like I had 3 heads and nodded yes.¬†I then felt the need to explain that I just wanted to make sure because I felt like my arms are too fat to wear sleeveless clothing. Ashlyn shook her head, and said that was the silliest thing she had ever heard. And she was serious. That was silly to her.

I stood there and thought about how it probably did sound silly to a child. And then I realized it should sound silly to an adult as well. But it didn’t. I¬†was truly¬†concerned that my arms were too fat to wear a sleeveless dress in 100 degree weather. Then I went to get the cover for my arms, and looked at it. There was only about 3 inches of the sleeve from the shoulder seam to the end of the arm seam. What on earth was that going to make a difference!?! Three inches isn’t enough to cover these bad boys! And if I thought I was fooling anyone into thinking I had beautiful, buff tan arms, then I was SILLY! So I just laughed and hung that shrug back up!

These arms may be jiggly, white, bumpy, and fat but they are amazing arms that God has blessed me with. They have held babies, carried toddlers, wiped away tears,¬†and picked up crying kids. They have given me the ability to carry infant seats with babies,¬†carry in groceries for my family, brush my daughter’s hair, cook dinner, cheer on Griffin during soccer games,¬†and hug my family. Maybe my arms aren’t worth buying tickets to the gun show for, but they are mine and they are beautiful. So from now on when you see me, another woman, or yourself¬†out there with out¬†sleeves on those¬†arms, instead of looking at the imperfections,¬†look at¬†¬†the blessings those arms are capable of.

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Why does it have to be so hard?

Parenting is hard. Being a mother is hard. Being a¬†dad is hard. Being a child¬†is hard. Being a¬†single parent¬†is hard. In every situation there are different¬†circumstances that make it difficult. Just yesterday my 2 year old cried hysterically for 20 minutes over a toy truck. He wanted the sounds on, but didn’t like the “roar” sound and when the truck became a monster. So I turned off the sounds, he cried it was “broken” So I turned it back on, he screamed a high pitch shrill scream every time it roared which was like every 2 seconds! So eventually I just put the toy away….no more truck. Well that led to another reason for him to scream and cry. It was hard.

A friend of mine called me asking if I knew anything about a certain toy line. She wanted to know more about it before she spent the money that it would cost to get a good little set up going. At first I was so distracted by said 2 year olds¬†fit that I said that I had never heard of this toy. Then I realized that yes, I had, my kids had played with them. Within this conversation the friend addressed what she was concerned about, was the toy worth the money, would she even play with them, would she pick the velvet like skin off the toys, and so on. I do the exact same thing when making a decision for my kids. I drown myself with worry, confusion, reviews, opinions, and second guessing. Seriously, look at the¬†energy wasted over a toy? And we all know what will happen with any toy we buy our kids. 1 it’s favored for a few weeks then tossed aside or 2. it’s “accidentally” vacuumed if it’s small enough….. Why as mother’s do we consume ourselves with worry? And self doubt? Seriously!!! It’s exhausting.

Then¬† I have friends who are facing tough circumstances. Decisions that need to be made that are really hard. Ones that will affect themselves and their children for the rest of their lives. Not just which toy is best, which school to send the kids to, but major life changing decisions. The kinds that will send the kids down a path of destruction or the road to success.¬†And on top of the tough decisions many of the choices are out of their hands. It has to follow protocol. It has to be in time. When services are available. When it is deemed necessary. When the system sees fit. Is that when it’s too late? How long do these parents have to sit around and wait on the hard times to pass. For the waves to stop pulling them under. When they no longer feel like they are drowning. When can they finally breathe again.

While thinking about all of this I realized that really none of us have any real control. It is all in God’s hands. And no, that doesn’t give immediate relief to the anxiety. God never said it was going to be easy, he never said¬†that life wasn’t hard. All he promised is that he would be with us when things are hard. God promised to stay faithful through everything. Lamentations 3:22-23 remind us of this: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; GREAT is your faithfulness” And 2 Timothy 2:13 also reminds us even when we are doubting God’s faithfulness he remains faithful. Is it ok to be discouraged and down during these hard times, of course. That’s human nature, but instead of giving into our flesh, give into God. Remember his faithfulness.¬†As my¬†pastor reminded me, When you are being tried, you’re being tested. When you are being tested you are trusted. Trust in God and his faithfulness especially in the hard times.

Why does my child have on the cone of shame?

So, as most mothers that stay home I am responsible for the animals eating as well as the rest of the family. Now my kids do feed the animals, but they have to be reminded, daily. Like anything changed from yesterday or the day before. “Why yes, Griffin, the dogs need to eat today too”¬†My husband wouldn’t notice if the animals ever ate again, nor do I think he would care if a couple of them didn’t! ūüėČ So after 5 hours of swimming and 3 hungry greasy sun screened kids we hopped in the car to go the 7 miles to the nearest Tractor Supply store to buy some cat food. Did I mention that we have 2 indoor cats, one that was found abandoned in the yard at 5 days old that I bottle fed every 3 hours for 5 weeks….. {what the?}¬† and one that was a present for Ashlyn. Moonpie and Cannoli are their names. And of course being the animal loving kind hearted person I am, I took in a mother cat and her 3 kittens, to be strictly barn cats. We have since gotten rid of 2 of the kittens so we have 2 outside, resulting in 4 cats total on our little farm. Joy is the mom cat and Oreo is the kitten we kept.¬†Pulling into the store I remind the kids that we are only getting cat food. No toys, no candy, no guns (BB of course) and to not even ask me for anything. Before I pull in the parking spot, Ashlyn sarcastically says, “can I get some candy?” {where does she get this from?} I glare at her with that mother death look, she chuckles and I don’t. We get in the store. Here I am, looking at all the different kind of cat food. I know what we will buy for the 2 indoor cats, same as usual. But it’s on the more expensive side and I don’t really want to pay that much for the “barn cats”. As terrible as that is, but I can’t afford the high end food for outdoor cats that don’t even like us! But the second guessing sets in and I am turning bags over looking at crude protein amounts and what are the first ingredients listed. We don’t want to feed them by product or corn meal as¬†that commercial¬†reminds us.¬†A-bear is in the cart screaming wanting out and wanting the buckle tightened at the same time. I notice that I hear Ashlyn and Griffin laughing and look over to find…. Ashlyn has snapped a dog cone collar around Griffin’s neck. In the middle of the store….. Of course my initial reaction is to scream to get that thing off his head! Why on earth would you put that around his neck?! And I think to myself do all mother’s deal with these sort of things when trying to shop? Do all mothers have¬†to tell their kids to take that¬†cone off? My sister and I joke that when you become a mother,¬†you say things that you never thought you¬†would say. This is a prime example. ¬†Surely it isn’t just my children who would put on a dog cone while in the store. Eventually I pick out the cat food I feel is a happy medium, not too bad and not too expensive. One that won’t kill the cats but keep them fed. Now to go and feed the kids! Hopefully the Captain D’s won’t kill them either! Share some of the things you never thought you would have to say to your kids!

Hello world!

So this is what blogging is…..a place where I can come and write what’s going on in my life and see if people care! Where do I start? Do I need to explain why I want to do this, why I feel the need to put my daily ramblings on line, why I want to share my activities with complete strangers? No, I don’t think I will. I will just write when the mood strikes and see where the Lord leads this! Some of my posts will be mommy humor, some will be serious, some will be questions that I will need replies to ASAP as I am a very impatient person, and some will be just to get the weight off my chest! There will be days that things don’t go as planned and then there will be better days. The Lord has given us each day so we try to make the best of it, 90% of the time I fail! I am an anxious, worrisome, intolerant homeschooling foster mom, so my plans usually never work out. But we go where the Lord points our feet.