Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet Lucy!

I feel like I need to use this blog to provide opportunities to you readers who may want to help kids with significant needs overseas from your own home.

Meet beautiful Lucy.

Lucy is the newest addition to the Mattaw Children's Village in Kitale, Kenya. She was rescued just a few days ago.

She is thought to be around 3 yrs of age.

Lucy has a medical bill that needs to be paid. Would any of you want to cover expenses for her?

There was another child in the hospital for 10 days and the bill came to roughly $100 that has already been covered, so it shouldn't be much at all, as she was in the hospital for just a few days.

If you feel lead, email

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life as a Social Worker. . .

At times, when I am asked "what do you do for a living" and I tell them, I get a variety of looks.


Statements like "oh, you're one of 'those people'"

I love what I do. But, like most things, it has its setbacks.

Like today.

Please pray for a family that is heavy on my heart today that is in court for Termination of Parental Rights (or TPR).

As much as I love keeping kiddos safe and stabilizing them in foster homes after enduring trauma in their home, my heart aches for families that are about to be "legally" broken.

It's a tough balance. Working with families who have not been able to provide nurturing environments for their kids, but finding JOY in watching their kids blossom when they ARE put in stable enviornments. Or, the JOY of seeing kids go back home to their family that is whole again.

As I posted earlier, "the least of these" are as far away as your backyard. Consider becoming a foster parent in your local community!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Uganda update

A big part of the reason why I started to blog, besides to just sit and ramble on about various details of my life, was to bring awareness of things going on in... AFRICA!

On Tuesday, April 28th, Steffany, Amanda, Ann, Kim, Debbie, Brandi, and Ria, are traveling to Uganda through May 6th. Their mission? To identify and visit care points that are in desperate need of sponsorship. These gals will bring back a group of kids that have been laid on their heart to sponsor and get their local church/business/friends to work together to get these orphanages and child-headed households sponsored.

How precious it is to impact a child from across the globe! This is all done through Children's HopeChest.

Pray about it-get involved. If this is something that tugs at your heartstrings, check back with me in a couple weeks. I have asked Brandi to identify an orphanage on my behalf and though I will not be going on this trip, I really want to see the blogging community dive deep and impact Ugandan Children in a way that has never yet been seen.

Many of you know that my heart beats for the least of these-specifically in Africa. I talk about it a lot, I read about it a lot. Though I know that it is something that God has instilled in me, I am patiently waiting for what it is He is going to use me for in this-if it is here in the US or across International borders.

I believe that God doesn't suggest that we do something to minister to the "least of these" but rather commands us to serve them.

To hold an orphan in your arms, to stare into the eyes of a child that has been abused, neglected, tossed aside like a peace of trash is an amazing experience. What is even more amazing is when you watch her/him turn her heart to love Christ. To see a once broken child become whole is an awesome thing.

Search your heart and ask God what you can be doing for "the least of these".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update on Stellan

Come on you prayer warriors! Stellan is in surgery and we need to shower this family in prayer. Click on the button to the right of this post and get the update.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Encouraging Discipline

As most of you know, I work full time as a case manager for children in treatment foster care homes. I place kids with special needs in specially trained homes as they wait to be reunified with their family or adopted...ha-that is such a poor summary.

Anyways, I have the priveledge of knowing families in our community at such a deep level. I also get so many creative ideas in ways to discipline children at a variety of ages. You think that from all the "life experience" I get living vicariously through my foster parents, I'd be able to tackle most of the problems I run into at home with my own kids-who aren't considered to have "special needs" (though, I beg to differ some days).

Ha. Did I just say that? Did I not just post a few days ago about my 2 yr old spraying everything in sight when he is in a not-so-pleasant mood?

Not that I am an expert in discipline, because, me, living by the grace of God, I have a lot of work to do.

Wouldn't this be a perfect post for a NOT ME MONDAY!?!?! Yeah, I thought so.

Anyways, here are just the latest of the creative ways some parents are dealing with difficult behavior:
1) Noooo arguing! = automatic priveledge taken away (i.e. if you say kids can play outside for 30 minutes and they whine "awww how about 40" the time is automatically deducted 5 minutes)

2) "Jewel" System = Kids earn their own color "jewels" (or colored stones found in mesh bags at craft stores) for doing something that is asked of them the first time. They earn double jewels if they come upon something that needs to be done (such as emptying the dishwasher) and do it without being asked. The point is to catch kids doing great things! Once a month have a service project that is worth 10 jewels when completed (hey, make it cleaning the dog poo from the yard). Then once a month the "appreciation station" is opened up and your kiddos can purchase toys, pop, or various rewards from the station you have purchased ahead of time with their jewels. When a service project is completed, this allows the appreciation station to be open for 1 day at "1/2 price".

My son has tends to have the desire to hang out with older kids, if possible. Thus having him exposed to things that I'm not so fond of. We have found that ensuring that B understands why we say no to certain movies or TV shows is so important...especially when we are training him to be a boy/man who loves God. I see B struggling with why other moms and dads allow their kids to do things when we say no.

Ah, the process begins! Not that it hasn't been for sometime, but now, "just because" isn't working.

How thankful I am to know that I am not perfect yet, I am continually being refined by my Savior, striving to be all He has made me to be-in a wife, a daughter, His daughter, and a mother.

Let us encourage eachother as we raise our children to love God. We are not perfect, however, I'm sure we can gain wisdom and crazy ideas from eachother.

Oh, and for some REALLY fun family time ideas, specifically geared towards verse memorization, check out Michelle's blog!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Doing the boogie!!!!

Wow-what a good week. I mean, ya it's been tough in a lot of ways, but how sweet it is to know that when a storm is rocking your world (or a flood or relationship or work crisis or whatever it may be) that there is ALWAYS refuge in Christ.

Thank you for praying for me! I've been carried through this week and I know I'll need to be carried more in the future, but for now, I'm back on my game and have some GREAT stories to share and fun fun FUN things I've found that I can't wait to show all of you.

But first. I have to say. Ahem. I am pleased to announce......

My favorite 4 yr old is turning five in a couple weeks (wow, big gasp..time goes by so fast)

and what better way to celebrate, than to

Splish ~ Splash~at SEA WORLD!!!!!
I will take many photos to show you as I am almost guaranteed to have some funny moments with my dramatic little guy. We are soooooooooooooooo excited. Just B and I.
I couldn't resist.
I had an offer from a co worker of some really cheap tickets and I could not say no. So, the last week of April, B and I will fully enjoy a day at the beach, Sea World and maybe some time at the Kennedy Space Center. We're going to throw life at the wind and do whatever we feel like for 5 days.
Did I mention taht we are excited!?!?!? Have you been to Orlando? If so, I'd LOVE some pointers and tips on how to make it down there cuz personally, I have never been.
I'm doing the boogie!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Having joy in the pains of life.

I'm going through a really hard time right now. It's painful. I have a lot of unanswered questions and feel as though I need answers NOW, though that is not possible.

I feel weak, but not defeated.

So, can I ask? Will you just pray for me? I can't even spell out what it is I need this moment, this day.

I am learning a lot in this process I am going through. I just struggle with where to draw the line.

I think I may lie in the arms of Jesus for a few days and trust that He will carry me through.

What does bring me hope, and keeps twinkling in the back of my mind, is that I can know and have joy that this, in the end, will glorify Jesus.

Why does life have to ache so much?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The boys are bunkin' and sprayin'...

So, this past week, we have been going through major changes in our home. I finally got my wish of a 'sewing room' and the boys started sharing a room. C was ever-so-gently booted out of his bedroom to bunk with his older brother. ALL IS GOING GREAT! I was fearing many things such as bedtime routine, falling asleep, wake up time, etc. Thankfully the worst happening yet has been C throwing toys up at B at bed time to get a rise out of his older brother (frequent occurrence in a variety of situations throughout the day). I remember bunking with my brother when we were little and pushing my feet on the boards above my head to make my brother's bed clunk up and down. Fun times. :) C is still a bit confused. When he has had a time out in the past, his "place" is to sit on his bed in his room. Yesterday, a time out was required and he went to his room-his old room- and the realized that it was "messy" with my sewing stuff everywhere which threw him into a bigger meltdown....oh to be 2 again.

Have I told you lately about C's obsession with spray bottles? I mean, what is with that? Is this therapeutic for a toddler? It's almost like a revenge that C uses subconsciously. If you upset him, you are almost guaranteed to be sprayed shortly afterwards with some substance in a spray bottle. Last week, Macy took her ball away from him....a few minutes later, she was covered in Melaluca disinfectant. She hasn't had anything to do with him since.

Last night, C took my Downy Wrinkle Releaser and sprayed my freshly painted bedroom walls, carpet, pile of coupons, computer and my bedspread in a span of time it takes me to go potty. I'm still questioning what he was thinking.

Maybe it is just the age. I remember when B was 2 he would dump out the baby lotion and baby powder in the same spot in his room over and over again....the entire contents.

So, be warned! If you ever come over to my home and you are sprayed, I apologize in advance. Maybe come prepared with a pancho just in case!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mom's Time Out!!!

Okay, so now that I have gotten over myself, I can say that I am ready to start a new week. After my little rant last night, I decided to give myself a time out. So, I put my favorite sweats, flipped on my new favorite show, "Brothers and Sisters" on ABC, and played games on my new found favorite blogger's site, affectionately known as "Mom's Time Out.

Check it out here.

And to all you moms that read this, take full advantage. I am feeling like I could sing opera-style while baking a batch of cookies at the same time. FREE!

Let me know if you have any great "time out yourself" ideas!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I just need to vent....Flood 2009 continued...

I really think that this cold weather is starting to put ice in my veins.

And I'm not talking about the fact that I'm cold, which is still true.

Fact is, I think I am sick of having a positive attitude! We just went through flood #1 and are now getting back to normal-despite the fact that all the earthened dikes and sandbag dikes are still up and being reinforced. I have just recently quit listening to the radio, monitoring the height of the river.

Praise the Lord our home was safe. The most we had to endure was getting up in the middle of the night every 3 hours to dump out a container that was being filled by the moisture coming from our furnace. I know....I shouldn't was almost as if we had a newborn again...

[brief remember the smell of newborns......]

But, what was that? Did you ask me why the dikes are still up? What a funny question. See, you'd think that after a community goes through one flood that it would 'wave' over and then clean up would be done.

But we live in the Red River Valley! Did I forget to mention that?

National Weather forecasters are predicting that we have a 75% chance of meeting and EXCEEDING the crest we went through 2 weeks ago. This is to be happening between April 15 and April 22nd. So, homeowners are going to have to anxiously bite their nails as the river rises yet again and pray that the dikes hold and keep their homes safe.

Because why do we need to move on with our lives? Clearly, we Fargoans are fine with having winter last through May..why not just make it June?

Did I mention I am having difficulty maintaining a postive attitude?

So, I will sit here, next to my space heater and think of the smell of newborns. That will at least help my levels of sanity . . . for now :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The JOY in prayer

What brings God joy? To see a world-the body of Christ- praying for a eachother. Not only by ourselves.

But together.

With our spouse.

With our girlfriends.

With our family.

With our children.

God takes joy in us praying together for strangers who are carrying heavy burdens. I am so thankful that my God knows every need in my life and that my God has more than one phone line to hear all of the requests presented to Him at once and has the time for more than just myself.

My heart has been so heavy for a blog mom I "know" from online writings. She is a mom I blogged about a couple of days ago that has a burden.

God cares about a precious little life that is living in Minneapolis, MN. Stellan is in the Children's hospital and has been for 10+ days. Stellan's heart is struggling to maintain a regular pattern (look at me, NOT a Pediatrician).

Globally, many people are praying for this little guy. This is evidenced by MckMama's name gallery for Stellan. Take time to get your creative juices flowing today and write his name somehow, somewhere, and take a snapshot of it and send it to her.

There have been pics taken with famous musicians at concerts, in the Sahara Desert, along Argentinian streets, and simply as one's living room floor with alphabet blocks spelling Stellan's name.

I've been thinking about a creative way we as a blogging community can help MckMama and her family. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Last I checked, MckMama is in "survival mode" = Eat.Sleep.Breathe.Use Bathroom. What a neat way to surround a family with love and prayer during such a difficult time.

In what ways have you seen God answer prayer in your life? Let Stellan's life also be a testimony in God's faithfulness.

"Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there also" Matthew 18:20

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