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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chalkboard paint

My newest obsession:  chalkboard paint.  

I have painted several places in the house with it now.  This is my son's room  All the black (the plane, and the door) is chalkboard paint.  My son free handed the plane (I know it's not perfect, but he did it himself) and we did the door together.  I love this stuff!  

Since this paint comes in many colors, I painted both sides of all the kids doors - bedroom and closet - so they have a place to personalize their room, write notes and reminders and just have fun.

I even painted my refrigerator in chalkboard paint.  It was a plane jane older fridge.  It was white and had several scratches and dings from years of use, and moving.  Now it is black (matches the other appliances) and looks brand new.  I will upload a photo after a few touch ups.  After a few months and a few kids, the corners are a little chipped.  Easy fix though.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Birthday decor

I love celebrating my children's birthday.  Decorating is one of the best parts.  Between the cake, friends, games, and excitement it's one of my favorite days.  Of course the kids love it too.  For Baby Girls birthday we put up a bunch of balloons and streamers - it looked so cute.  The best part is, it was super easy.

To start with, we took red and white streamers ($ store) and taped them to the curtain rod.  They were long, but not to the floor.  I had planned to put the table in front of the window so they just had to go behind the table. 

Then we blew up a bunch of balloons.  Using dental floss (yea, floss.  It's cheap, and readily available), we tied balloons on the string.  Leaving about a foot at one end of the floss, we tied each individual balloon on.  It sounds like it would take a while, but really, it was less than an hour.  The closer the balloons are tied together the the more "fluffy" it looks.  I wanted it to be really full and covering all of the curtain rod (where the streamers were taped).

Then, to finish it off, I taped two balloons to each end of the curtain rod.  

I loved the way it looked, but I wanted more color.  I still had plenty of streamers so I started on one end of the curtain rod, twisted the streamer and taped it to the light.  I did this about a dozen times.  Then, to cover the taped on streamers, I taped two balloons on the light - right on top of the place the streamers met.  

To finish it off, I used some curling ribbon.  If you are gentle and light with the ribbon, you get a loose curl.  If you press hard you get a tight curl.  I just did a few loose curls, it really made a great difference.

This entire thing (minus blowing up fifty balloons) took under an hour.  With help from Big Girl (handing me tape and streamers and balloons) and everyone blowing up the balloons, it was very simple.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - Month 1 Update

The last 6 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions.  Every time I wanted to sit down (as if moms get 'time' to sit) and write an update something else came up.  I had to write an update for the kids, a kid needed something, hubby needed something, mom needed something, or I fell asleep.

We were so glad to finally have a placement.  I love the kids we received.  God put them here to challenge not only hubby and myself, but also my children.    When God said 'these are your kids,' we listened.  One thing I didn't ask Him was 'how long do we have them?'  Well, as of yesterday, we no longer have them.  Just one day shy of 6 weeks.

Week 1 was busy, but good.  We had VBS all week.  We also had a family visit this week.

Week 2 was just as busy, traumatic, but also good.  This was the week of sports camp.  Also, the week that the dog died.

Week 3 was full of settling in and gathering supplies.  We had some great fellow home school families who gave us a bunch of toys and clothes.  My little baby boy was given so much clothing and so many pair of shoes I couldn't find a place for all of them.  We also had a visit this week.  We will do this every other week.  This week we experienced a lot of testing.  We started in with the disobedience and lying.  A lot of it.  This is very ordinary behavior for a 5 and 7 year old, but there was a lot more than I remember from my other three at this age.

Week 4 - There is going to be a lot of testing this week.  They left their last home at this point.  It is a fresh trauma.Traumas come in so many varieties, especially with children.  They experience a loss  of family, friends, security, hope..... When the anniversary of that trauma comes around they tend to have reactions.  We expected Little M to act out more than usual.  Why?  Just to see if we would send her away.  It's a sad thought.  We can't understand what goes on in a child's head, we can't even expect the child to completely understand what is going on in their little head.

Sunday - we went to fireworks. We were rolling down a hill.  Little M ran into a sign while rolling.  I took my eyes off baby T for 60 seconds while I checked on little M.  I forgot how fast 5 year olds run.  Baby T decided to follow big brother.  He was gone before I realized it.  We had many officers looking for baby T.  Once he was found, Baby T had no idea he did anything wrong.  The rule is stay with mom or Big Boy.  He was with Big Boy.  Long story short, we got a toddler leash.  I never liked those things before.  Now I see the necessity.  We call it what it is - a leash.  He loves it!  He knows that this is safe and wants to wear it.  I will hold the leash.

Friday - July 4th.  We spent the entire day at the park.  I enjoyed watching the kids play with the other children at the park (thousands of people there).  Even with the horrible storm, the fireworks were fantastic and the children enjoyed themselves.  I was getting text messages from my mom all day regarding the health of my grandmother.  I knew she wasn't doing well, but I wasn't sure about leaving the park to go see her.  We will definitely see her tomorrow.

Saturday - I took the girls to cooking class and hubby took the boys to the Home Depot build.  I get a call from mom and rush right home.  Hubby made arrangements for respite for the little ones and dropped them off.  I took the big kids to go see great grandma.  They needed to say good bye.  A few hours later, she was gone.

Week 5 - This entire week was full of planning for my grandmothers memorial.  There was a lot of work to be done.  Not only was there stuff to do with her estate, the funeral home, and a memorial here here in Houston, we were also planning a memorial in Seattle where the rest of our family is.  The kids took it ok.  They tried my patience often, but that is to be expected.  These precious little ones want to know they are loved, they have boundaries, and that I am not going to send them away.

Week 6 - we had another VBS.  This week was a lot easier, until Friday.

My kids were taken away today.

Not only have these kiddos experienced a lot of loss, but they have experienced so many new traumas in the last six weeks with us.  Unfortunately they were not things I could protect them from.  They were things that come with life.  At the same time, the five of us experienced a trauma when they left.  Those were my kids.  I didn't have to give birth to them.  I didn't need to change diapers or give bottles.  I know it was only
 weeks, but we were so fully invested in every part of their lives that my heart was ripped out when they left.
I really don't know how foster parents do this every day.  I'm not strong enough to do this alone.  Even with all the 'groundings' and time outs, the kids didn't want to go.  All I can do now is pray.  This was not my plan, but God has another plan for our family.  It's easy to say, but I still cry (it's only been 48 hours).  I know those babies are with family, my family was able to love them and teach them until the family was ready.

This journey is not over - not by a long shot.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Re-stuffing buster

Good ol' Build-a-Bear.  I took all three of my children there years ago.  I spent a small fortune buying 3 stuffed animals.  My Big Girl got a puppy.  She was 3 years old at the time.  She is now 12  After years of washing, cuddling, carrying and taking this puppy everywhere, it was pretty worn out.  This puppy dog, Buster, has been through surgery, moves, vacation, sleep overs and everything else a little girl goes through.  Through the years Big Girl has bought clothes, a leash, a car seat, and other accessories for this fluffy friend.

Then we made another trip to the mall.  These trips are few and far between, so when we do make the trip, a stop by Build-a-Bear is always requested.  Knowing that Mom would cave and stop by, Big Girl brought Buster to the mall with her.  While looking around an associate noticed that her puppy was well loved and asked if she could re-stuff the dog.  

Really?  Sure!  Buster no longer stands on his own.  His belly is slightly sunken in (lots of hugs) and he is slightly discolored.  The woman started by cutting the original stitches.

She then proceeded to remove much of the old stuffing.  Yuck.  It was no longer white.  Or fluffy.  It was really quite embarrassing.  I'm not sure why, but it was.

After removing much of the old stuffing, she hooked Buster up to the stuffer and refilled him.  She got plenty of stuffing in the head, legs, and belly.

This is a very happy birthday girl.  Even at 12, she loves her puppy.  He has a lot of memories.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pizza bread

I love a good deal.  Who doesn't?  When I am at the grocery store I typically look at the clearance section for what ever I can find.  A gallon of chocolate milk for .75 cents?  Sure!  The expiration date is tomorrow?  No problem.  My kids drink 4-6 gallons a week, I just won't say no to this gallon :)  They love that!  Sometimes I buy meat, cook it, then freeze it.  Its a great excuse to do some freezer cooking.  (Click here to learn how to freezer cook).  I know bread can go into the freezer, I have done it before.  However, this time I didn't want to do that.

I had bought this baguette at Kroger.  It was good, but we only ate half.  By the second day I had to find a way to get everyone to eat the remainder, or it would be compost by morning.

My plan - pizza.

I don't know a kid that doesn't love pizza.  Certainly none of mine!

I already had a ball of mozzarella, , pepperoni (always!) and spaghetti sauce.

Simply slice the bread into thin slices and spread spaghetti sauce on the sliced bread.

Top with cheese and pepperoni (and any other toppings you want!)  Bake at 300 until the cheese is melty.  Everything is already fully cooked, so you are really just melting the cheese and heating the other ingredients.  You could even skip this step in a rush.

This was the last batch - no more pepperoni, but the kids loved it with just cheese.

This was a super cheap, really easy, and kid friendly dinner.  The bread didn't cost more than .50 cents, the spaghetti sauce had been on clearance as well.  If I had used a less expensive cheese it would have cost even less.  However, I had purchased the 'good' cheese for another recipe, sometimes the 'good' stuff just tastes better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Why does such a depressing word, start with F-U-N?  I'm a little behind on blogging because the last two weeks have been more nuts than usual.  With five kids, two dogs, a husband, my mom, caring for grandma, and homeschooling through the summer, I am way too busy to deal with a funeral.  We don't get to choose when - or if - it is going to happen.  We can, however, choose to make our good bye easier on our loved ones.  My grandfather passed almost four years ago.  My grandmother went to join him just about a week ago.

It was sad, but we knew what she wanted.

We knew she did NOT want life support.
She DID want a DNR.
She DID want to be cremated.
She did NOT want a funeral.

We obeyed her wishes.  Mostly.  We had a small memorial, for my mom's sake.  A way to say good bye.  It was very non-traditional.  We had a backyard BBQ and swim party.  It's something my grandmother would have enjoyed.  All of the family was there, a few old friends, and the mood was kept light.

I knew that my mom would need my help with the arrangements when my grandmother passed.  I'm glad they were easy, but it made me think.  Does hubby know exactly what I would want?  Do my kids know?  Does my mom know?  Heaven forbid something happens to me before my mom, but I want her to know as well.

OK.  I admit it.  I am a control freak.  There.  Are you happy?  I want to know what is going to happen, who is involved, when, where, why, and exactly what is going on.  I don't do spontaneous very well.  I have too many kids to be too spontaneous.

I started doing a bit of online searching.  I found two great webpages that can help anyone.  The first one you need to go to now.  Fill out the info, print it, and keep it in a safe place (I also have a copy from our funeral home if you want a copy).  If you don't like the online thing, go to your local funeral home (we used crowder for my grandparents),   get a packet and fill out the info.  Our funeral home will keep the info on file for 'later use.'  If you are funny about people having too much personal info, keep it in a safety deposit box or a locked box at home.  It doesn't really matter where the info is, just as long as your children can find it easily when you are gone.

Also, make sure your family KNOWS your wishes.  Do you want a full military funeral?  Cremation?  Hearse?  Obituary?  Life support?  What about before you die.  Do you have a burial plot picked out?  What about a nursing home?

The other website I found - totally by mistake - is FUN.  Plan and have control over how you WANT to be remembered.  Your grandchildren and great grandchildren may not know what was on your bucket list - or even that you had one.  Upload info, photos and stories you want to always be remembered.

Other info to know - whether for you or a loved one

Get multiple copies of Death certificates
Consult a lawyer
Collect important documents
Notify Social Security, the post office, insurance, credit bureaus, and credit card companies
Cancel accounts, subscriptions, and memberships
Apply for benefits
Pay final bills
Run a final credit report

Cancel the phone number right away
Cancel credit cards right away
Inform everyone right away

I didn't go into detail about the how or why, just click the link for more info.  This helped a lot with the final affairs for my grandmother.  This is never an easy time, but being prepared can help ease the burden. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Morning to do list

How do you keep the house clean(ish), get everyone up and ready on time, and make sure everyone takes turns feeding the dogs?  You write it all down.

I love lists.  If it is written down, that's one less thing in my head.  There are days when my head is spinning!  I cannot keep up with whose turn it is to feed the dog or even who cleaned the kitchen yesterday.  So I came up with this:

It has been a life saver.  It looks like a lot of stuff to do in the morning.  Look closely.  The very first thing you are supposed to do: wake up.  The next thing: brush your teeth.  There are only 1-2 jobs assigned every day.  Nothing hard, just 'it's your turn' type of jobs.

I was very specific on what was to be done.  I even listed "get your Bible and water bottle" for Sunday mornings.  

Not every home will need to be this specific, but it helps out a lot around here.

If you would like a copy of this (made in excel) email me.  I haven't figured out how to attach a template yet (or a link to a template).  It is totally customize-able.  I even made one for myself, and had 3 pre-made for 'just in case' we got kids who were old enough to handle a list like this.  So far Little M has her own.  She is 7 and wants to help out.  Why not remind her what to do every morning.  

We have been using this list for over two years now.  Every once in a while (usually when the page needs to be reprinted) I will change things up and switch jobs around.  Most of the routine is the same.  I know that Sundays and Mondays are extra busy mornings, that why the jobs are the easiest on those days.  I know that Fridays are our easiest day - so the jobs may be a little bigger.

This chart is a constant work-in-progress.  Even though this one has been in  use for several months, you can see a scratch out.  I refuse to reprint for a single mistake.  Our lives are constantly changing - so we pencil in the changes and reprint when it's too messy to read.  

Give it a try.  It works for 4 out of 5 of my children.  

I am currently working on a list - with all photos - for my non-reader.  I will let you know how that goes.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freezer cooking how to

With so many people in the house, and such busy schedules, I don't have time to cook every single night.  But my family deserves a hot meal every single night.  I refuse to go to Mickey D's, Jack in the Box, or eat out at most places.  

1)  It gets expensive really quick.  Even if I give everyone a $3 limit, times 6 people, I am spending at least $18.  Plus tax.  Even half price shushes at Sonic, I will spend at least $12.  Do you realize what I can buy for $10 at the grocery store!

2)  There is nothing healthy about it.  Even Subway.  You're eating a yoga mat (I know, I know, I am exaggerating, but come on - how many chemicals do you need in bread!?)

3)  I don't like the mess left in the truck.  It smells bad and attracts bugs.

Soooo, I freeze meals.  A lot of meals.  Sure, I could run to Kroger and get some frozen lasagna, maybe some chicken parm, but it's not homemade.  It certainly isn't as healthy (I use a lot of healthy substitutions), and it is still expensive (still $12-15 for a main course).

The freezer meals I make are generally pre-cooked.  This means that if we have doctor appointments late in the day, a flute lesson, then church in less than an hour - my kids can still eat at home.  And they can eat more than just a sandwich.  If the meal is pre-coked, it can be pulled out of the deep freezer, microwaved, and served in less than 15 minutes.  On a non-busy day, I can put it in the oven, on the stove, or even in the crock pot.

So, now that you know the why.  Here is the how.

Some people just make a double batch of everything and freeze half.  That works.  But if I am going to do something, I usually go big.  I don't have time to cook daily, so I can't guarantee that I can cook every other day.  I don't go nuts and make 30 meals in a day, but I do take one recipe a weekend (maybe 2 if I am super ambitious and the recipes are really easy enough) and make 10-12 batches.
Yup.  That's a lot.
No, I don't feed my family the same thing for 10-12 meals.  I pull them out over the next few weeks when that meal sounds good.  I get tired of the same thing over and over again.  I also have meals for blessing others.  When the neighbor has her baby, when my friends kid is in the hospital and she doesn't have time to cook, for my mom when she is working a lot of over time.....
In this photo you see a lot of food.  I made a chicken tortilla soup. 18 quarts of it.  This is a huge turkey roaster that I use - a lot.This is the perfect place to mix large batches of chili and soups.  You don't need something this big, I know that not every kitchen can hold something this big.  I have often layered the ingredients right in the bags.  Less dishes that way :)

After mixing (if I mix) put roughly 3/4 of a gallon of soup into the bag.

HINT:  roll the top of the bag down so that the zipper part cannot get dirty.

Freeze flat.  I like to put my bags flat on a cookie sheet so that they stay flat.  That usually means that I only freeze a bag or two at a time, but the others stay in the fridge.

HINT:  Don't put hot stuff in the fridge or freezer - you will change the temp of the fridge/freezer and potentially ruin the food in direct contact with what you just put in.  Completely cool your food before freezing.

So, whether you freeze half of a double batch, or you go nuts and make 30 meals in a day, just remember that the extra work now will pay off on that busy night when you don't feel like cooking.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - Placement week 2

If you haven't noticed, my posts are delayed several days, sometimes several weeks from the time something happens, to when it is actually posted.  By the time you read this, several days will have passed and everything will be under control again......  If we make it through this week, we can make it through anything!

Sunday - Father's Day.  I wanted to keep today simple.  I wasn't sure how the kids would act.  Would they want to celebrate for this new dad, or would they miss their bio dad?  After church we needed naps.  Little T was not being a nice friend in Sunday School.  These kids sleep so well.  After a three hour nap the kids wanted to make something for Daddy.  We don't buy gifts very often, but the kids love to make cards and pictures.  So, we spent some time pulling out the art supplies and being creative.  Dad had to work late, so we didn't even go anywhere special :(  Originally we had planned on keeping the 'special' part of the day low-key, but going to Itz to keep it special still.  Dad loves that place!  Oh well.  We made him a yummy dinner and watched a movie

Monday - Friday  Sports Camp!

Today started out well, but by nap time it went down hill - fast.  Our 10 yo boxer started having seizures.  I wasn't sure at first if that is what I was seeing, but I told Big Girl and Baby Girl to get out of the room quickly.  I didn't allow them to come back in until it was over.  This is Baby Girl's dog.  I knew it would be difficult for her to see.  He had about 6 more seizures before nap time was over.  We ended up being secluded in our master bath so that none of the kids could see him.  I felt so bad for the poor baby, but I have to look out for the 2-legged babies as well.

In the classes we took, we were told to keep the kids active and involved in everything we do.  Well, what kid doesn't like to be outside, with friends, and playing?!  I signed up Little T for soccer and Little M for volleyball.  They had a blast!  Little T had a little accident within 5 minutes of getting there.  Another little boy was hanging on the soccer goal (portable, child size and made of pvc) and caused it to fall.  Of course my Little T was in the wrong spot and got hit on the head.  A few tears and a lot of anger later, he was back in the game.  He only played a few minutes before loosing interest.  I can't really blame him.  30 kids and 12 balls with only 4 coaches = a lot of standing and doing nothing.  Little T wasn't the only one in la-la land.  He spent more time in my lap hugging me than kicking the ball.

Tuesday - Not a good start to the day.  Poor Sox was up all night with seizures.  I didn't sleep well.  Hubby went in late and we took him to the vet.  I didn't tell Little M or T he wasn't coming home.  The big girls took it harder than expected.  After we left the vet, it was time for lunch and quiet time.  We all needed it.  Just after lunch my phone rings.  I used to not answer unknown calls, but with all the caseworkers, lawyers, and other people calling, I have learned to just answer.  

There are people you never want to hear from.  Your child's school nurse, the camp counselor (or nurse), the police, basically anyone who has bad news about your child.  My son is in Africa.  I don't want to hear from anyone about how they are doing because "no news is good news."  I just want to see the facebook updates and see the happy photos of him kissing giraffes and teaching children to play ukulele.  

Within 30 minutes of coming home from putting the dog down, the missions pastor calls me.  I didn't want to hear from him.  My son is in the hospital.  8731 miles away.  He had a massive asthma attack.  I won't go into the details, but it did send me over the edge.  I called hubby, who had gone back to work, and let him know.  Then I quickly sent out a prayer request to my 30 closest friends, whom I knew would stop and pray.  then I lost it.  Loosing my dog was hard.  Now add this on top.  Never mind the emotional roller coaster we have been on the last few weeks, and the exhaustion from last week and yesterday. I broke down.  When I had finished I showered and got into bed.  After praying I felt much better.  I know Big Boy is in good hands.  God is in control.

Later on, I got an update.  Not as good as I was hoping, but I got a lot more details and got to hear Big Boys voice.

Little M has had to have several talks already about lying.  Hubby and I 

Wednesday - lots of school work today.  Little T needs to work on letter recognition and Little M needs to work on reading.  We spent about 3 hours 'getting smart.'  After Big Girls flute lesson we had a 2 hour nap before going to sports camp.  

I have noticed so far this week that when Little T is tired, he gets extra disobedient, rude (mean words), and physical.  Not physical to cause harm, but definitely overly rough.  

Thursday -  The morning went well.  We worked on school work.  I am seeing a lot of gaps in both children s education.  We went to the library this afternoon to sign up for the summer reading programs.  Maybe that will help Little M with her reading.  Little T can't even recognize most of his letters.  Kinder is going to be difficult in a few months.

Due to misbehavior, neither Little T or Little M got to play sports tonight.  So, we sat and watched.  In the 2 hours we sat, I mentioned "Wouldn't that be fun?"  and "Well, when we make good choices we get to do fun things."  I think the point was made.

I got an update on Big Boy. He is doing better.  Lots of rest.  I'm sure he is bored out of his mind and desiring his Kindle in a horrible way.  He only took a few old books to read.  Everything he took was 'disposable.'

Friday -  We slept in today.  Really late. Till 8!  I never sleep that long.  Apparently after a week like this week, we needed it.  Little T slept until 9.  After a little school was done we went to the pool.  We didn't get to stay long because a storm cloud rolled over and the lifeguards heard thunder.  Oh well, it was nap time by then.  

After a 90 min nap we needed to get Big Girl to the foot dr.  She is having issues with it turning purple/red.  It's been nearly 4 months since she broke it.  I'm getting concerned.  The dr is sending us to a neurologist and a pain specialist.  He believes she has RSD.  Oy.  On the way home I had to pull over two times to put Little T in time out.  I have never done this before.  I just pulled into a parking lot, got him out of the truck, and had him stick his nose on his 'special spot.'  (a magnet that he places his hand on while waiting for me).  Obviously a 90 min nap is not enough.  I'm really worried about sending him to Kinder.  They don't take naps.  If they do, it's not three hours.  Maybe we are just wearing him out.  I will have to keep an eye on him this summer.

Sports camp went well tonight.  All the kids got to play.  Little T used nice words and nice touches.  I reminded him every time he ran over to me.  He still wasn't interested in playing with the group.  It's not that he didn't want to play, he played and played when it was just him and me, or him and the coach.  He just didn't want to play in a large group.  Kind of unusual for a 5 year old, but he is over stimulated easily.

After sports camp I took Big Girl to a friends house.  I thought for sure that Little T would pass out in the truck.  Nope.  Not a chance.  When we got the the friends he played and played and played some more.  The friend has a large yard with ropes to climb, a dog to chase you, a tree house, and lots of bugs to discover.  We only stayed about 30 min, but none of the kids stood still for a minute.  Surely he will fall asleep on the way home. Nope.  The girls did, but not Little T.  That means a really late bedtime tonight. It was almost 11 before he got to bed and fell asleep.  We will see what Saturday holds.

Saturday - Today was a much better day.  Very relaxed.  We hung around the house, did some gardening, and a lot of cleaning.  One day I may understand why a room must become more messy before it can become clean.....  Anyhow, the boys rooms is getting clean and organized for when Big Boy gets back in a few days.  After quiet time we went to the library and the park.  Our neighborhood has a 'dive-in movie night' every few weeks.  It's on a Saturday from 8-10/10:30.  I have never seen them show a movie I will allow my children to watch. Besides, that's way too late to be up on a Saturday night.  We just watched Zoom at home.

Sunday -  I miss banjo and Awana, but I do like being home early in the day.  We left church early because Baby Girl was feeling nauseous.  I really didn't want her to vomit all over big church.  We went home, had lunch, then right to quiet time.  The afternoon was filled with quiet.  Those babies sleep well.  About 4:00 we went to someones house to collect some used boy clothes for Little T.  What a blessing!  Not only did she give us a massive amount of shirts, socks, slacks, tennis shoes, sandals, and boots (he loves boots!), but also several costumes.  We stayed a while to pet chickens, collect eggs, and play with her boys.  Such a fun way to meet new friends.

Once we got home, it was time to put all that stuff away.  I could still smell the detergent, so I wasn't worried about washing all of it.  Just needed to figure out where to put it.  After dinner we read a few stories for the library summer reading program and went to bed.

I knew we would make it through the week, but I wasn't too sure how.  God is definitely with me and guiding my thoughts and actions.  I can see why some people give up, or send kids back.  When you have a crisis in your life, and you are trying to adjust to new people at home, it is difficult.  But these babies need love and security through everything.  They have only been with us 15 days, but they are MY children.  Just like the ones that came from my belly, God has loaned them to me to raise for a time.  I will do His will, and raise them the way He directs.