Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Choosing Gratitude

For our women's bible study, we got the book Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Honestly, I didn't really want to read about being thankful to God, I would rather study His word and learn more closely about a book in the Bible.



But then, I have a day like today, where I can be nothing but thankful.

Today I woke up. I'm alive. 
I'm healthy.
My home is safe.
My husband is amazing.
I am loved.
I have food in my kitchen.
And clean drinking water.
I was able to pray without being prosecuted.
I was able to see a prayer answered.
My friends and family love me.
I am truly blessed.
I see the beautiful things in my life, and the things that God created.
Most of all, I know God is with me. 
And with all that, I am thankful.

And if I were to die tomorrow, I would die incredibly happy.




Friday, September 16, 2016

A Little Date Day

Travis got home earlier than I was expecting. I was upstairs by the time he got home, so he lured me downstairs by suggesting, "Let's get a brownie." {Who would seriously argue with that?} When I made my way downstairs, these beauties were sitting on the kitchen counter.


Aren't they so beautiful?!!!!! 

I'm blushing just thinking about how wonderful Travis is and how truly blessed I am!

We have been trying to enjoy the weather as much as we can before it turns to cold and white stuff falling from the sky, so we decided to ride our bikes to a favorite restaurant near by. 


We enjoyed an incredible lunch with each other with this beautiful view. It was a perfect lunch date.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Just the foster parent"


I was reminded recently that I am "Just the foster parent" Let me share with you "just" what I really am. 
I'm "just" the one who got a call at midnight and said yes to adding a little one to my home with 10 minutes notice and no hesitation. 
I'm "just" the one who held that little one in my arms his first night. And second, and almost every night for 2 years. 
I'm "just" the one who took him in for surgery and sat by his side through medical appointment after medical appointment. 
I'm "just" the one who had to quit my full time job because the child has 7 appointments a week. 
I'm "just" the one who had to explain to my 8 year old that she didn't deserve to be hurt.
I'm "just" the one having to help a 5 year old overcome her fear of police because her stepdad threatened to have her taken to jail over and over. 
I'm "just" the one having to take a 4 year old in to get a hair cut and be told the levels of drugs in his hair are the highest they've ever seen. 
I'm "just" the one whose 5 year old follows me room to room because he doesn't want someone bad to find him. 
I'm "just" the one who has to clean the feces off the walls day after day because my 4 year old was sexually abused. 
I'm "just" the one who has replaced a tv, 2 doors, a bunk bed and countless other items because my 10 year old doesn't know anything outside of breaking things when he's angry. 
I'm "just" the one who has been accused of everything imaginable by the bio parents but has no lawyers to fight for me. 
I'm "just" the one who wakes up at 6:30 every morning and gets the child ready for school. 
I'm "just" the one who provided birthday and Christmas presents only to have complaints of "spoiling" made against me. 
I'm "just" the one having to call the hotline for disclosure after disclosure of abuse. 
I'm "just" the one taking my foster kids to behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, speech, doctors, eye check ups, physical therapy, etc. 
I'm "just" the one buying the school supplies and back to school clothes. 
I'm "just" the one who picked that newborn drug addicted baby up from the hospital and the only parent that baby knows. 
I'm "just" the one telling this child she is "precious, loved, smart, funny, amazing" every single day to try to rewrite the lies that she has been told. 
I'm "just" the one facing judgment, criticism, stares on a daily basis each time I go out in public. 
I'm "just" the one trying to care for this child on 20 cents an hour. 
I'm "just" the one mentoring, supporting, encouraging the bio parents in their journey so that they might get their kids back. 
I'm "just" the one who says goodbye to child after child after child, and grieves as if I had birthed them myself, and most of the time without a hug of support or a word of encouragement from family or friends. 
I'm "just" the one loving these little ones as if they were my own, 24/7/365 only to be told I'm "just a foster parent". 
I am here to politely say that I am just that and so much more. And I consider it a blessing to be a foster parent despite all of it

□■□ Feel free to share publicly □■□ 

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Just wanted to share that foster parents are so, so, so much more for little ones. 


Thursday, September 8, 2016

One Sad Puppy Dog


Trig went to the vet today. He was so scared without his brother since he is rarely without him. Poor boy had to have a shot for his allergies. His allergies have caused a yeast infection in his years and a bacteria infection on his feet, where he is licking them till they bleed. :( Tatum must have sensed how scared he was when Trig arrived back home. Then this happened:


My animals love each other, which makes me beam from ear to ear. :)


The cats even look for Chippy (the chipmunk) and all of the other Snow White forest friends that come to visit together. LOL.




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things


One thing about fostering baby L is not only do we love her, but we also love her family. We think about them often and we pray for them always. We were blessed to see all of them the other night for dinner and share share stories with lots of laughter. Baby L seems to be doing wonderful and it makes us smile to see how much they all love each other. Hopefully, our relationship continues to blossom.



Friday, September 2, 2016

Keep Calm and call Batman!

via



Travis gets ready in the dark.

How he does that, I don't really know. He doesn't like lights in the morning. But a few days ago, he did decide to put a night light in the bathroom for when he gets ready. Thankfully he did that, because well...

He got up and went to get ready once he got out of the shower. He hangs his clothes up for the next day in the bathroom. He shook out his pants, and what he thought was my underwear fall out (sometimes my pesky underwear get stuck in other clothes doing laundry, story of my life), but realized it moved, so then he thought it was a rat. He then turned the light to catch a better glimpse of what it was.

He woke me up, but he couldn't finish his sentence, "There's a ... There's a...." 
What is it man??!!
So I just assumed, it was a spider (poor guy is scared of spiders, although he says he's not that scared of spiders, lol). So yah, I just laughed at him. "A spider?"
"There's a BAT in our BATHROOM!!!"

And with all the commotion going in the room, the dogs didn't even flinch.
They may have opened their eyes, but that's about it.
Didn't bother to see why mom and dad were running around the house.
They must have thought that this is a daily occurrence  and we act this way all the time? 
Or they are just lazy in the morning. LOL.

Anyways, so Trav runs and gets an oven mitt. It's a pretty sturdy one (thankfully because the bat is trying to bite him) and puts the little guy outside. The bat just lays on our front porch and isn't moving. "Awww! I hope he's going to be okay. He's so cute!" I exclaim (as he just tried bitting my husband). We turn off the lights hoping he'll be okay (we actually like bats and want to put up a bat house soon). The little guy flew off after a couple minutes or so (he was probably in a lot of shock with just what happened). 

So yah, that was a good start to the day at six in the morning! LOL. So now we joke that Trav is batman and I'm his batwoman! Haha! And we still have no idea how a bat got in our bathroom!

Moral of story: Remember to shake out your pants!



Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Little Mud on the Tires

Since being a proud Jeep owner, we have always felt like, our jeep can get through anything. Right?! I mean, it's a Jeep?! That's what they stand for. I have a mud, snow, sand, etc gear options. So when a friend asked us to go on a trail for cancer research, we were all in. I don't really know how many people showed up, but we were guessing there was probably around 200 Jeeps there, and people who came from other states to be here.



It rained a lot the day of the trail ride, causing delay after delay until we could go on the trail. Our Jeep didn't really fit in because we were probably the only stock car there. Sadly, our car was marked as a beginning trail. We were thinking the trail would be like a circle for beginners and wanted to go on the intermediate trail like everyone else was (there were a few in the extreme line). As we prepared to finally be able to go on our trail, hours after the delay, we saw tons of people letting out their tires. Nah we thought to ourselves. I mean we're going on the easy trail, right?! They also announced that they were making everyone basically go back a trail, so those intermediate people would be doing the beginner trails, and for the people like us on the beginning trail (we would be going just out to play for 10 minutes) because of all the rain and mud making our trail, without with the right equipment, barley able to pass. We were just excited to get our tires dirty, and that it was finally go time!




So here we are just able to play in the mud for 10 minutes. We barley could get up the small little hills (if you could call it that) and then we got to a mud pit. Mind you, we were following a Hummer that was in front of us. {Warning, I did cuss in this video, lol}


video

And we got stuck. Thankfully, another Jeep was able to pull us down from the top of the hill.  LOL.


 
It was a tad embarrassing.


But, there were a lot of people getting stuck, so they ended up closing the trails down about an hour after we left (some people were still waiting to get on the trails).

Maybe we'll do it again next year, but only if it is dry.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

MI Road Trip



Trav went on an all guy's golfing trip to Traverse City, and Arcadia with his dad and brother. I met Trav on the last day of their trip, where we stayed at Crystal Mountain Resort. Trav picked up a groupgolfer deal, and when I got there, the first question I asked myself was, "Where am I?" It was crazy big. Michigan is having a lot of rain lately, but thankfully it cleared a lot of our trip.

Crystal Mountain Resort:
We had no idea that Crystal Mountain Resort would be such a family place, so a couple with no kids really didn't seem to fit in. But there was a pool, so we found ourselves most of the day while we waited for our room.

I was really kind of dissapointed with the food that they food and the service at the Thistle Pub & Grille. We went back to eat another time because we thought we may have just got a bad server/ and perhaps I didn't pick the best thing to eat, but when we went back for a second time, we ended up leaving before we order since we just sat a table with no waitress that would come to our table. We ended up going to the Wild Tomato Restaurant & Bar, and the service and the food was WAY better :) 

Our room at the Hamlet was disappointing as well. It was really outdated, it smelled like walking into a hair salon. Plus, the ceiling had black things on the wall. So, for being such a good resort, we weren't impressed. 

But, there was a slide!







And that was pretty awesome.

And they had ice cream. So you didn't find us complaining about that. LOL.


With the deal we purchased, Trav got free golf. The next morning we got up at six in the morning to get there by seven. We were there so early, that they still had sprinkles going on with almost every hole.




 



Later that day, we tried to drive some of the coast.


Frankfort:



 




A guy who ended up golfing with Travis this morning recommended Sleeping Bear Dunes. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes:




 







 




Some of those little specks are actually people. I would have actually love to go down there with Trav, but I was scared that since I really haven't been to the gym since baby L has been with us, that I wouldn't be able to get up. {Note: Baby L was with her parents during this time since her visits are getting extended before she is reunited with them}






Crystal Lake:

Somewhere off roading:
One thing that is awesome about having a Garmin, is that it will show you other roads while you're driving. So Trav found a little detour and found this little hidden gem. 




Northport:







 

 














Traverse City:



Since we were traveling and weren't really sure where we wanted to stay, we tried calling that day about a place to stay. Not a good idea. Everything was starting to sound booked, unless we wanted to pay $499 for a night. That is a little out of our budget, so when we called Best Western, they were half the price. Then they gave us a room that we've never been in before and what was even better, was that we got breakfast in the morning. :) After a long day of traveling, we were pretty excited to relax a little.

Coming Home:
My FIL golf ball. It made me laugh when I found it. Like he is saying his shots are "money". LOL.

This just made me laugh, as Trav calls our society as a "trophy society"


And we happened to get a good report about our zoo :)


We loved our little road trip and it was nice to get away for a bit!