Monthly Archives: May 2013

A whirlwind of a week . . . or two. (Part 2)


After spending Memorial Day at an awesome reception, I headed home and met up with my amazing small group.  Have I told you how incredible my small group is?  They are.  I am so lucky to have such a cool group of friends who encourage me and are always there for me.  Monday night we skipped the discussion part of group and just had a party.  (Two parties in one day, woot woot!)  Scott made an awesome dessert and summer sangria and we played Imaginiff–a game I purchased on my vacation which turned out to be hilarious.

Unfortunately after my crazy week and lack of sleep, I headed into the rest of my week with some kind of upper respiratory craziness.  You know that “I’ve been run over by a mack truck” feeling you get when you’re sick?  Yeah, I hate that.  And I’ve been battling it all week.  If you know me in real life, you know I’m an extreme night owl.  Like, going to bed at 1am is early for me.  I’m really lucky that I don’t have one of those jobs where I have to be up at 5 or 6 am.  So it is a dead giveaway that I am sick when on Tuesday night I was in bed by 9pm, and Wednesday I left home early and was headed to bed by 5:45pm.  Woah.  Not so fun.

Which made me wonder what I’ll do when I have a foster kiddo to take care of and I can’t just hit the bed.  I’m sure I’ll manage somehow–mostly because of awesome friends, but also because I have been a nanny before and there were times that I had to show up and watch two kids age two and under when I wasn’t feeling so hot.  So, you manage.  Somehow.  But it was a thought.

At any rate, I am thankful that this is only the second time I’ve been sick since I moved to Syracuse.  Those of you who knew me in other places, will be impressed that it’s only been two times.

The other thing I’ve been up to this week is collecting more items for my foster kiddos.  I am finding Craig’s List and e-Bay to be an awesome help in setting up a kid’s room.  I bought a twin bed frame.  (My plan is to have a room set up with both a crib and a twin bed.  Although I’d prefer to only take one kid at a time, this will enable me to take a bigger variety of ages.  Also, if there was a sibling set I would be able to consider taking them.)

I’ve also gathered a diaper champ (nanny-tested and approved, it is so much better than a diaper genie), a baby monitor, some more pj’s, some free safety latches (thanks Proctor & Gamble), and buckets full of fun stuff from the dollar store.  Here are a few shots of some of my finds:

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So, that’s been my crazy two weeks.  How ’bout you?  What have you been up to this week?


A whirlwind of a week . . . or two. (Part 1)

A whirlwind of a week . . . or two. (Part 1)

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, to say the least. Mostly great, a tad overwhelming, and completely exhausting. Last week I joined our team at the Vineyard on our pastor’s retreat. It was full of laughs, discussions, crazy stories, and falling ceilings.

Seriously . . . falling ceilings. I haven’t really written much about Murphy’s story on here lately, but let me just say that we went away for a retreat and the cabin ceiling fell down. Ceiling tiles, metal framing, and plaster ceiling . . . all crashing to the floor in a loud cacophony.

At any rate, it was a great retreat despite the less-than-comfy couches and falling ceilings. It was great because I work with an amazing team of people. Seriously. Amazing. They are hilarious and smart and tenacious and graceful and amazing. They challenge and encourage me. They have patience with me and I am becoming a better person and a better pastor because of them. It is an incredible blessing to get to work with such a team, and I thank God for that blessing every day.

After the retreat, I moved into party-planning mode. Those of you that know me understand that if I ever give up ministry I’ll probably become an event planner or wedding coordinator. I love making celebrations beautiful and memorable for people. On Memorial Day, Jenni and Tim held their wedding reception and I was honored to be able to decorate for them.

Here are a few shots from the day . . .

The centerpieces for the table. (You can’t tell from the picture, but inside the third mason jar is a photo of the awesome couple.)

Table Centerpieces

This was the guest book for the day . . . a game of Jenga.

Guest Book

It was a busy week, but pretty awesome. Jenni and Tim know how to throw one awesome party . . . Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a nacho bar, a bounce house, an ice cream bar, sand volleyball, and ultimate frisbee. Congrats to the awesome couple!

Also . . . another thing I haven’t posted a while is any of my artwork. So, here was my present to the happy couple:


Lessons from a pro


Today I had an amazing opportunity to sit down with a foster care pro and ask her some questions and hear her perspective. I’m so thankful that she took the time to meet with me, and as a great bonus it was a warm day here in the ‘Cuse so we got to enjoy our coffee while sitting in the sun.

She has poured into the lives of multiple kids and teens, and has been both a foster mom and a foster-to-adopt mom. I got to hear her thoughts about visits, meetings, the process, timelines, and much more. What she does and who she is is amazing and I’m sure she’ll have lots more to teach me as this journey continues.

In other news, I’ve essentially given up playing games on my iPad in leu of finding things on Amazon and eBay that I want to by my future foster kids. Check out this cool placemat . . .


And how cool is this . . .


And one of my all time favorite kids albums . . .


Yeah, I’m totally gonna spoil these kids!

On the Merry Go Round of Cazy


It’s been a crazy busy weekend for me! On Thursday I went to an info meeting for foster parenting. Which is a little backwards, since that is supposed to be the first step, and I’ve actually done steps two through four already. But it was great for me to get a chance to meet the voice behind the phone. We discovered we have lots of mutual acquaintances. They got to ask me some questions they normally wouldn’t because for the first 30 minutes I was the only prospective foster parent there.

There were a few awkward moments when I thought, “maybe I shouldn’t have shared that just yet?” For example, I wanted to ask if childcare vouchers could be used for nannies instead of facilities. I’ve heard the stories of foster kids having six appointments a week between family visits, caseworker and lawyer visits, doctor appointments, and early intervention evals. That’s a lot of running around, and for a working parent it seems like a job better suited to a nanny than a daycare. Plus, I’ve been a nanny and have tons of friends who currently are nannies. I believe they can be the best choice for kids and parents (not to mention incredibly helpful for kids who really need one-on-one attention).

Anyway, I asked the question and he looked at me like I might be trying to work the system. He then explained that childcare vouchers go directly to the daycare, not the foster parent. I would not be getting the money. I wanted to laugh. Part of the reason I waited so long to become a foster parent is that I wanted to be more financially stable, because I will spend far more on my kids than the state will ever give me. Heck, I’ve already spent about $250 starting to set up the kids’ room and I don’t even have a kid yet!

Which was the other thing. I may or may not have mentioned that I already bought a bed. They looked at me like I was crazy. Clearly they’re not used to people as gung-ho about fostering as I am.

In other news, Friday night we had our Family Worship Experience and it was amazing. Here are a few shots of the evening.










Your mission, should you choose to accept it . . .


I feel it’s one of my missions in life to spread the love of reading to kids. Reading probably saved me as a kid/teen who faced a lot of drama. Reading allowed me to escape to another place, a magical place of excitement, adventure, fantasy, honor, and love. So its natural that I want to share this love with others.

And so tomorrow night I’m heading out to an awesome book sale with my friend Scott, where I am planning on stocking up! I can’t wait to fill shelves with books for my future foster kids! I’m sure I’ll end up getting some treasures for my adorable niece as well!

If you were going to stock up on kids books, would be on your must-list?