January 2, 2014

With a BANG!

We are starting 2014 with a BANG!
My only personal resolution for 2014 is to slow down.
I live a very full and blessed life, but I have a hard time saying no. I volunteer for things that I enjoy and I accept all challenges to help out, even when I may not enjoy it. I plan to change that this year and only commit to the things that I truly love and enjoy doing. This will be a big change for me, but I am looking forward to it.
Johnathon and I are switching bans this year and as a couple we are putting forth more of an effort to save and spend a little more wisely. Have I mentioned that I have started couponing? Nothing too crazy, but I was able to save almost $10 the other day without even looking at the ads. I was so proud of myself and I hope that this is something that I can pick up quickly and see great results!
We also made a family resolution for 2014: to live life to the fullest.

As a result of spreading myself too thin, we haven't had the time to go out as a family and truly enjoy life. We are always rushed and even though we seem to fit in so many fun activities, we don't invest the time to truly be present at those times.

I have hardly taken any pictures since October and most of those are on the IPAD or my cell phone. I'm having a little mommy quilt about that.

Today we decided to take the kiddos to a beach near our home. It was so much fun and we plan to visit another beach this weekend.

My girls are growing and changing right before my eyes. It's a precious thing to witness, but it makes me emotional at times. I compare my feelings to those that I feel about foster care: You know certain things will happen and you can talk about it until you are blue in the face, but until you actually live it, you have no idea the amount of emotional toll it can have on you.

Baby D is still in our home. Not everyone was on the same page at our last court hearing so things were set to trial. Unfortunately, I don't think the extra month will have much of a difference with the outcome.
I know so many of you are itching to know what the end of this placement will look like and I just simply do not know.
It just doesn't work that way. We are actually very low on the totem pole and only time will tell what D's future will hold. Trust me, as soon I know something and am able to share it, I will. Until then, please continue to pray that we are able to accept and be encouraging to whatever heads our way.

I used to say that being a foster parent is like a crazy roller coaster ride, but I no longer feel that is a true statement. That would imply that there are ups and downs, followed by more ups and downs. That is false.
Being a foster parent is all about being able to enjoy the ups while being down. It's about not letting the downs destroy you while you have so much to be thankful for.
You see, it's never just an up. It's never just a down.
Those feelings go hand-in-hand.

Alyssa and Allison received an extra week off of school for Winter break. Next week we will be busy trying to relocate their school to another temporary location. Wish us luck!

I'm enjoying having the twins home from school. We all slept in until 9am this morning and it was amazing.

I just started (and finished) 'Orange is the New Black' on Netflix. It was hilarious and I can't wait for season 2!!

Wasn't it just gorgeous today?

It was D's first time at the beach and there are so many other photos that I wish I could share, but I can't. Those will have to be kept private among the family.

I've started D's 'life book'. I'm not sure what other foster parents do for theirs, but I found the perfect blue and tan chevron photo album that held around 800+ pictures. Every other page I have placed a fact card in place of a picture and filled it with random fun facts about D. What he likes, doesn't like, his favorite toy, etc. It's turning out really nice and I am so proud of it. No matter where his permanent placement may be, he will know about the first year of his life and have many pictures to show of it. It's the least I could do for him.

I met another young family at the beach today who has foster care in their hearts. It was so nice to chat about our agency and how amazing they are. I can't say it enough how much we love and appreciate everything that they do for us and help us along this journey.

I filled out Madelynn's application for kindergarten a few weeks ago. Luckily for us, she gets accepted pre-lottery since her big sisters are already enrolled. I am so thankful that I won't have to endure the lottery and have a back-up plan in case she doesn't get a spot. They attend such a great school and I would be heartbroken if I had to send her to our local public school.

The girls walked around and gathered shells today. We plan on cleaning them and painting a few tomorrow. See what I mean about living life to the fullest? We are doing it!

We already have the weekend planned out with fun family activities and a movie.
After the beach today we headed to a park near our home and let the girls play.

Johnathon has to work tomorrow and hopefully we can get around to cleaning out the garage.
Fun times! ;)

Peace! xoxo

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