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Outside in Kansas City~Sunny and 37 degrees.  We have been enjoying record highs lately and the forecast predicts 60 degree weather again this week!

I am thinking~that I would like to blog on a regular basis this year. I am also hoping to start training for a 5k and am entering into a new discipleship relationship.  Excited about new things in 2012.

I am thankful for~family time over the holidays.  It was such a blessing to have all our children and grandchildren with us on Christmas.  I know there will be years that this can’t happen so I truly appreciate it.

In my kitchen~I am planning to eat from the current fridge, freezer and pantry offerings this week.  It will help to clear things out before they go bad and save some money after the Christmas spending. After that I am planning to try out Once a Month Mom’s real food challenge and the Whole Food’s Menu.

I am wearing~My new fleece pullover from Land’s End, Jeans, Nike’s.

Last creative endeavor~is to regularly entertain, distract, and care for a nine month old 😉

Sleeping Sweetie!

I am going~to travel to El Salvador with a group from Faith Community Church for 10 days in March.  My daughter, Gaubri, will be going too. We are very excited about going to serve others and share the love of Christ.


Can’t wait for~tomorrow, every day is a new adventure. Longer term I am looking forward to a trip to Europe in spring 2013, Lord willing.

Family News~We are down to five people at our house right now.  Our foster son who has been with us since last January transitioned to his new home the day before Thanksgiving. He is being adopted by a family member who really loves him so this is a great ending for our placement with him.  We really need prayer about future placements, if, who, when, we take in more children.  Initially we were just focused on having a “break” and even though we have gotten several calls about placements we have told everyone that is what we are doing.  We still have our foster daughter, and she is spending three nights a week with her birth mom so we are in a very doable place right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that internal nudging that there is such a need and the constant reminder from the calls and the postings looking for placements on the foster care email loop keep me pondering what our next step should be.

Current Read~I am starting Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lynn Severance.

I am hearing~The hum of the computer, Brent took Gaubri and Shakur to basketball practice and baby D is taking a nap.

I am hoping~to keep the household organized with a new app I purchased for my Iphone called Motivated Moms 2012. It also comes in printable versions and breaks household tasks down into daily lists, similar to the old card system that the Sidetracked Executives used or Flylady without the deluge of emails.

Around the house~the dead Christmas tree has been taken to the woods and the living room is back to normal. The house seems very empty and quiet after the holiday invasion…

Simple pleasure~quiet time to blog and meal plan.


Outside in Kansas City~ It is already hot and muggy at 7:20am this Saturday morning. According to  The common weather themes this holiday weekend are what you would expect them to be during the first week of July: heat and thunderstorms.

I am thinking~a lot about Biblical Counseling, biblical change; especially how it needs to affect my life, and about anger specifically.

I am thankful for~God’s grace and mercy and the insight and dedication of his people. On another note I am grateful that I got a full night’s sleep last night for the first time in months, both babies had a super good night, no dog barking, no husband snoring, and no older son coming in late. Bliss!

In my kitchen~there is a happy, well-rested three-month-old playing happily in her bouncy seat and a 13-year-old boy munching his way through a big bowl of cereal.

I am wearing~Gray capri sweat pants and my Faith Christian Academy Walkathon t-shirt.

Last creative endeavor~was to start writing my first biblical counseling certification paper.  It may be a very challenging and painful endeavor because I have not written a paper in years. My book choices are Why Christian’s Can’t Trust Psychology which I read months ago and really loved and Competent to Counsel which I am currently reading.

I am going~to attend the IABC National Bible Conference in Colorado the first week of August (Lord willing). Julie Ganschow will be one of the conference speakers.

Can’t wait for~school to start…I know weird.  I will miss the some things but I really prefer for the kids to have the structure of school.  In our neighborhood there are not a lot of good options and it is hard to provide recreational opportunities that work for 3 months to 16 years.

Family News~My son, Nicholas and, his wife, Staci, graduated from Dordt College this spring and moved to Holland, Michigan where he is working for Gentex and she is working in a shop that sells wine from a nearby vineyard.

Current Read~Getting a Grip: The Heart of Anger Handbook for Teens by Lou Priolo. This book was recommended to me recently and I am so glad to have it. It is written in a really practical way.  Lou Priolo is a newly discovered and appreciated author for me.  The church I attend, Faith Community Church, recently had men’s book studies utilizing his book The Complete Husband and his writing and heart for Biblical counseling is refreshing.

I am hearing~our little foster son babble from his stander.

I am hoping~to get lots accomplished over this holiday weekend.  I may use the 15 minute approach because I have such a variety of things that need to be done.  We will see how that works-15 minutes of decluttering my bedroom where every stray piece of  paper and clothing seems to congregate, painting on the ongoing woodwork project as we move from brown trim to white, etc…

Around the house~still working on the trim throughout the interior of the house and I love the change to warm white so much.  It’s amazing how there are constant repairs to do to any house you own.  We have a list right now that includes replacing the garage doors (unfortunately a necessity), mudjacking the driveway, rebuilding a crumbling brick area in the front of the house (caused by the need for mudjacking the driveway) among other less pressing things like finishing the exterior painting started last summer and repainting/staining the deck which was just done last year but because I chose the wrong stain has to be done again already.

Simple pleasure~Iced Coffee

Outside in Kansas City~28 degrees with freezing drizzle…gloomy and gray outside.  Forecasts for this week include record snows and low temperatures so everyone seems to be preparing for the worst.

I am thinking~that I will be glad to have all my family home safe and sound tonight before the bad weather hits.  Brent home from work in Topeka and the kids home from school.  I kept our newest edition home from his daycare today.

I am thankful for~The safe arrival of the dental team and Emily Duffey back from their mission trips this past weekend.

In my kitchen~I’m ready to start whipping up some comfort food to keep us warm through this frigid weather.  I think I’ll start with a batch of Hamburger Buns in 30 minutes, these make such great bread for a variety of uses. Some simmering soup seems to be a logical second step.

I am wearing~Paint clothes-jeans and one of my husband’s comfy long sleeved paint shirts along with warm wool socks to keep my feet cozy.

Last creative endeavor~ Worked on some embroidery  a few nights ago and just ended up pulling it all out, just not feeling the needlework thing. Dining room wall will have to be my “creative” outlet for now.

I am going~to introduce J our newest household addition.  He is a sweet one year old boy who is operating at the same level as a pretty newly born infant in a lot of ways.  He has brain damage from a lack of oxygen and it affects his vision as well as his control of/use of his whole body.  Sweet J is fed through a G-tube and takes nothing orally.  He is on a strict schedule but otherwise has moved pretty seamlessly into our household.

Can’t wait for~a visit from Taylor, I’m missing him!  Got to see Nicholas unexpectedly this week and it was a blessing.

Family News~Nicholas and Staci will be graduating from Dordt College this spring.  Nicholas has a job interview in California in February.  Please be praying for wisdom for them as they make decisions regarding their future.

Current Read~What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp it is really very good.  Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill so far so good, I’m trying to tighten my food budget which has gotten out of control in the past few months.

I am hearing~The humidifier in J’s room, very quiet here today.

I am hoping~to finish my dining room project before the day is over…

Around the house~the refrigerator is restocked as well as the pantry, prescriptions refilled, firewood stacked, necessary paper goods double checked, sidewalk treatment restocked and broken snow shovel replaced.  Bring it on!

Simple pleasure~Big mug of hot sweet tea.

The Classical Education You (Probably) Never Had

The college education that I barely started and probably will never complete is sometimes a true regret for me.  Although I love to learn I am usually randomly pursuing practical information I can use in daily life.  This is useful, but I still have the desire to expand my horizons and experience much more of the classical education several of my children have been blessed with.  I had purchased the book The Well-Educated Mind~A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer a number of years ago.  The basic premise of the book is introduced here and here. I chose Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes as my first true literary endeavor and made it halfway through.  Feeling like a failure I loaned my WEM book to my daughter and put my Great Books goals on the shelf until recently.  I am reinspired to begin my education and am hoping some will choose to join me so we can discuss, in person or via blog comments, what we are reading.

If you are interested in reading and discussing a book at a fairly slow pace, the next step would be to decide on a genre-fiction, autobiography, history, drama, or poetry and then a book within the genre.  Such as-Jane Eyre, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, The Prince, Oedipus the King, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Let me know if you are interested, otherwise I will proceed alone with Susan Wise Bauer as my guide.

Outside in Kansas City~It is an absolutely beautiful autumn day!

I am thinking~That it has been a long time since I last posted and how to best catch everyone up on the many things that have been going on.

I am thankful for~The great opportunities Taylor had to learn skills this week while helping the Hallams move into their home in the Northeast.  He was able to help lay laminate flooring and is now excited about replacing the flooring at our house.  Nicholas and Jeremy were both blessed to be able to learn valuable skills while serving the church too.

In my kitchen~All is clean and quiet and I love my new kitchen faucet!

I am wearing~Black knit shirt and teal skirt.

Last creative endeavor~ No time!

I am going~With Brent to Sioux Falls, SD next weekend for a workshop about starting an Orphan’s Ministry at your church.

Can’t wait for~ Spending time with my husband next weekend.  We have reservations at a B&B.

Family News~Luca Ethan was born Tuesday, September 16th, at 1:52 p.m.  Luca weighed 8 lb. 8 oz. and measured in at 21 inches.

Current Read~Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray, Parenting the Hurt Child by Keck and Kupecky.

I am hearing~Insects in the backyard.  I guess you can tell there are no kids at home right now.

I am hoping~To get the house cleaned and in order in time for another case study visit and Nicholas’ coming home on Wednesday and bringing along a friend to stay for the weekend.

Around the house~I am trying to get home repairs caught up before we receive our first foster children.  I started a plumbing project last week to repair the leaky faucet and leaky sink.  We ended up having to replace the faucet and the sink basket.  Of course none of the old stuff wanted to come off and we did not have the best tools for the jobs…First I sent out the emergency call to my brother, Brad, who came over to help me when I still thought I could repair the faucet.  He injured himself in the meantime, so sorry Brad.  Later after I found that everything would have to be replaced Jeremy took pity on me and came over to help (ie do most of the job) his temperment, skills, interests, match up to this a lot better than his dad or youngest sibling.  Yay!   Jeremy to the rescue again.

Simple pleasure~Painted my toenails with new red polish that my mom bought me called I’m Not Really a Waitress.

Plans for the weekend~This weekend Brendan came home with grandpa and spent the night on Friday.  We met with his mom and dad at the City Market Saturday morning to hang out and return him.  It was a beautiful day and we came home with spices from Planters, pumpkins for the porch, and ground chuck from Pleasant Pasture Farms.  Brent is replacing all the guts in one of the toilets today and treated the yard to try to get rid of our mole infestation.   Next weekend is the trip to South Dakota.

If you are considering foster care or adoption, which I hope all of you are for some point in your lives, then I highly recommend the book Another Place at the Table.  I had a hard time putting it down it was a really easy read and took you through foster care from the experiences of one foster mom.  She shares her challenges, victories, heart break, mistakes, joy and despair while taking care of many foster and adopted children. 

From Publishers Weekly
It’s 1988, and Harrison, a happily married mother of three, takes a job with Head Start, working with at-risk four-year-olds. Her heart goes out to the foster kids; before long, she and her husband take state training and adopt two sisters. Five children make a big family, but Harrison finds it tough to turn her back on needy children. She and her husband start accepting emergency care “hot-line” foster children, too; soon, Harrison quits her day job and becomes a full-time-overtime, really-foster parent. In addition to a stay-at-home mom’s usual duties, Harrison is caring for children with serious emotional baggage and often complex medical problems. There are lawyers, therapists and social service people to meet with, plus the scheduling of visits to birth mothers, an emotional roller coaster for all parties. Birth mothers, she finds, are often “harder to hate than you might expect,” and when an especially difficult child comes along, it’s almost impossible to accept that even foster parents have their limitations. And how do you “give enough” to each child so they get a healthy sense of family, “without loving them too much to let them go in the end?” With over half a million American children in foster care today, Harrison’s personal but vitally important account should be read by public policy makers and by anyone with a spare room in their home.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist
With so much awful publicity surrounding foster parenting, Harrison’s story of opening her home to foster children, three of whom she later adopted, is tender and inspiring. It is also filled with heartbreaking truths about abused and neglected children and a social service system that is overburdened and occasionally negligent itself. For 13 years, Harrison, along with her husband, three biological sons, and three adopted daughters, has fostered abandoned infants, runaway teens, disabled preschoolers, and children discharged from psychiatric hospitals. The Harrisons also became hot-line foster parents, willing to accept children in emergency situations with little or no notice. Harrison describes the process social workers use to place children, the horrifying circumstances of the children involved, and the training required of foster parents. She brings her story home by focusing, with heart-rending details, on four troubled children, including Danny, a developmentally delayed eight-year-old; Lucy, a deeply depressed eight-year-old abandoned by her mother; seven-month-old Karen, eventually adopted by the Harrisons and later diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome; and Sara, a six-year-old who had been sexually abused. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Four copies of Small Town, Big Miracle are available from FCC let me know if you want one, they are $10 each and I will wait to see if there are any left for the bookstand after I hear from you guys.  I just received a packet of information from Family Life about launching an Orphans Ministry in your church.  I am really excited about it and will let you know what progress is made.

June 2019
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