Friday, August 5, 2011

cooking for a crowd. my happy family of 10.

THankfully I am part of a wonderful Foster Parent Association which allows us to shop at a Food Bank Ministry. The other day I invested in a case of Alexia French Rolls.

Using two bags tonight and two bags for a later date, I made a total of 32 mini sandwiches!~

Thaw rolls on counter and slice.

Stuff with cooked chicken, cooked bacon and cheese, top with a bit of butter.Wrap in tin foil to refreeze or cook immediately for your family to consume!~ I baked them on a sheet at 400 F for about 8 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Dinner has been on the porch lately. Pretty much every night! The weather has been gorgeous!!
TinyV falls widly off his little stool and KinderA bursts into a fit of laughter. WE all get quiet. Even the other boys are surprised by his outburst. As i snuggle TinyV I talk to KinderA about his choice and decide to BUDDY him up with TinyV for the remainder of the evening. He helps him throughout dinner, he helps him upstairs for bath. He helped him with his jammies!! He was incridbly sweet! I told him that he was being such a wonderful BIG Brother. He "read" him several stories as they snuggled on the toddler bed.

Now I simply just love buddying them up! I did it on Saturday at the birthday party. And i reminded them about their buddies on Sunday as we played the day away.


ON Facebook the other day I asked several mommies about how they make it work? Especially focusing on mommies of 3 or more. Now I want to share with you a post by my wonderful friend and foster/adoptive mom Christine. SHe describes her buddy system in point 2.


Thank you Rachel for this opportunity to share what works for me as a single mom of 5.

1. I keep my faith strong. I pray my way thru EVERY DAY. Even the good one's. I ask God for peace and guidance in directing His children in the way He wants them led. I joined a weekly Ladies Bible Study.

2. We have a territory/partner chart posted where it is well seen. On the top are my older 3 children's names. Underneath is their partner's names (twin M, twin R and mom). Under that is their assigned areas to sit in the mornings for devotions. Under that are 2 cards. Each one lists the areas in our home and the expected chores in those area. I rotate the cards under their names weekly. This way they get a new partner, a new devotion location and can learn all the chores expected of them in our home. Plus, it keeps down boredom of them doing the same thing over and over again.

3. Me and my older3 monthly play a game related to behaviors. For example, monthly I make 2 faces. Feb. was (yellow-smiley) CHOOSE ME! CHOOSE ME! and (white-frown) Don't choose thee! Don't choose thee! I put in several behaviors (put God first, listen, be helpful, be rude, etc). ALWAYS HAVE MORE POSITIVE THAN NEGATIVE. Then, we play war. Whoever wins the hand, gets to pick out a behavior. We discuss it. In the end, we count up who picked out of the bowl more positive than negative. They may get an extra small piece of candy. We tape them on the correct face while recapping what we learned. Then, they are all hung up on one wall. This month will be TO BE or NOT TO BE.

4. If you have several children that need help with homework @ the same time or just to keep some order, set up centers and get the rotation started. So the toddler do not feel left out, make sure you include them. You can read them a book during THEIR time. This way, you get accomplished what you need to and they all get some one on one time with you.

5. Stay as organized as you can. Kids in school should have their backpacks in one area and everything needed for that day inside. Outfits should be picked out the night before and that includes socks and shoes. REMEMBER, IT IS OK FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO DO THIS EVEN IF THEIR CLOTHES DO NOT MATCH.

6. I prepare dinner nightly. I also have EASY back up meals too (like oatmeal). Most importantly, even if I have a meal planned and my children want me to take a break from cooking (and no this is not bc I can not cook, lol), I let them have their way. I feel this is my way of acknowledging their kindness and thoughtfulness for me.

7. I am a single mom of 5. A 10 yo male, 9 yo female, soon to be 8 yo female and 2 1/2 twin boys. This is very much a challenge. However, even harder than this is something I have had a very hard time doing but have learned it is very beneficial and that is WHEN YOU NEED HELP (OR EVEN JUST A BREAK) ASK FOR IT! It does not make you weak. It actually allows you to regroup to be the best mom you can be. Your children will benefit from it greatly too!

Thank you again Rachel for this opportunity. I pray we all continue to learn from each other as we take care of God's children.

Be blessed. ☺

Parent Relationships

Im the foster mommy. The ones who cares for the children who are not with their biological mommy. You can see why it might be easy for the mommy to "hate" me. I have their children! It is also very easy for foster mommies like me to get very emotionally when we find out about what these children have gone through. So right there we can all plainly see how a relationship between foster and biological parents come off to a rocky start!!

I CHOOSE to meet the familes. I attend staffing meetings. I go to court. I have even dropped off children for a family visit. Right now I am blessed to have a talking relationship with the mother and father of my KinderA and Little T.

I want to show these children, right in front of them, that we communicate and even at times laugh! Its not about me. I'm sure mommy and daddy have to put aside a few emotions when they hear their baby call me mommy... But for their(child)sake we Both smile. We continue to allow the children to grow and feel safe.

I don't know what is going to happen with this current case. Do we ever, until the last minute?

Like I said the aforementioned relationship is blessed!! What kind of relationships have you had with familes?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Age appropriate chores

teen daughter giving 4 year old a mohawk.

Many Children coming into foster care do not know how to thrive in a healthy family environment. One thing we strive is teach them how to act like a family member.

Things My Two year old Helps out with:

Putting toys and other items away.
Sweeping up food with a small pan and brush.

How my Three year olds pitch in:

Take piles of clothes to their drawer and put them away
Wipe down highchairs after meals
Move small table into hall so that moping and sweeping can begin
put their own dishes in the sink as well as those of the younger children.

My four year old has even more responsibility

puts clean shirts on hangers
refills the upstairs diaper and wipes station
puts the trash in the garage
puts trash bins and recycling out by the street (supervised)
uses the handheld dustbuster to vacuum stairs
sweeps kitchen floor after younger children have attempted

The six year old can do even more

match clean socks and put them together
organize books on the bookshelf
sweep porch and wipe down the porch toys
bring all the laundry bins down stairs to laundry room and sort
wash plastic/melamine dishes
wipe down around toilet after making careless "peeing" mistakes

the Teenagers in our home

help with the younger children
cook and get plates ready for younger children
wash dishes/ load dishwasher
mop kitchen floor
do their own laundry

Now even though i don't have children in the ages 7-15 arena most of the teen chores can be done by children in that age group. When a child has a certain responsibility it makes them feel as though they belong. I never leave one child to sit and watch as the whole family is functioning. When the kitchen is finally clean after a meal we can all admire our work . Everyone feels good because each member has contributed to the final result!

Always remember to praise the child for the chore they have have completed!

"You are doing such a great job sweeping"!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

{How do you Love}

Its 2 am and my fourteen year old comes bursting into my room yelling that there are cops at the door. I sleepily make my way down the stairs missing two or three and twisting my ankle.

I open the door and see the deputy and my 16 year old daughter. I'm really still asleep listening to the deputy chastise ME for my daughter sneaking out. Oh I'm sure he has the parenting skills of a saint. Now, since I do highly respect the law enforcement career, I smile and nod and listen to his sage advise.

He leaves, I spent three dazed minutes with my daughter, and go to bed sick to my stomach.

I feel violated. Its personal. I'm a woman, I'm human and I take things personally maybe to a fault.

Morning comes and I take care of the little ones , and while washing dishes Miss sweet 16 comes up to me and hugs me. She says Sorry. We have a short mother daughter chat.

Now I think to myself, that she does not know what unconditional love is. Even my 4 and 6 yr olds tell each other "If you let me play wht that toy, I will be your best friend". That is a very CONDITIONAL friendship, is it not?

How do I show her that I love her Unconditionally? I was blessed with parents who loved me, now maybe some days they didn't LIKE me, but the love was there. I never had a moments fear that they wouldn't love me any more.

But My daughter HAS been told she is not loved anymore.

There were consequences for her actions. Boundaries were tightened for a time. However the love blossomed and I think I found more ways to show her I care.

I'm only 30. I never thought Id be parenting a teen. I am learning so much every day and enjoying the relationship that I am building with my daughter!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Coming and Going: ever changing: always the same

This last month has been one of change for our family. Two weeks ago on Saturday- Lenny left us. He was with us since the very day we got our foster license.

The following Monday Mr6 and MrT3 joined our home. Last Tuesday our Miss14 went back home.
Christmas has come and gone and the new year is upon us! I look forward to seeing our little family bond with the new additions while we mourn the loss of those gone home.

For the children that remain in the home I find it helpful to not change a bit of routine. Things need to be the same. The children that aren't going anywhere, including my son Michael, need to feel just as safe as the new ones coming in.

Routine makes toddlers and young children feel safe. We still eat at the same time, put our clothes in the same place, shower before bed, lotion up, and go to church on Sundays. The list could go on with things that are important. Rules also need to stay intact and the new children will quickly catch on when seeing the others do what is expected. What things are important to you and your routine?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

He reached for my hand

Last week two new boys came to our home. One is 6 and the other 3. Sweet children with a violent background. Within minutes the little 3 yr old was clinging to me and calling me mommy. He has been ever sense. He is very attached and does not want me out of his sight. Things were a little different with the 6 yr old. He really didn't want anything to do me. He told my daughter that this was not his house and that the toys were not his toys. I told him he was being so brave for being in this situation. I told him that he was safe. I would hug him, and be consistent with patting his head and shoulder the next day. I spoke kind words. I wanted to SHOW him he was safe.

For two days he would not look at me. His communication was limited.However, He bonded well with my son Michael. Then ,I drove him to elementary school. We filled out paper work, and waited. After walking him to his classroom we went inside and greeted the teacher. Just at that moment he reached for my hand! My heart jumped and I felt relief that he might be feeling safe with me!