She gathered their personal belongings and headed for the door with a quiet, "I'm gonna load these and then its time to go." to which he growled under his breath, "I want Animal Crackers!"

I gently snuggled next to him and reassured him I wanted animal crackers, too. Trying not to cry we gave our last snuggles and were strong as we loaded them in their carseats, gave kisses and I love yous, then waved through sniffles as they pulled away in that white van.


4 days earlier, we'd gotten a call. Matt's been fielding them for a couple weeks now. After our first placement for a child that fell through after days of preparing and lots of tears, our house was "officially" open so the calls came pouring in. Our counting is over run with kids in the foster care system needing placements but for the most part can get them housed. Out of county placements have been the main phone calls we've received. With us being a last resort they're more willing to sign age wavers and such to make sure the kids at least stay in the state and in a home with a family rather than a shelter. The call we received Monday as we drove to meet my in-loves for dinner was for an out-of-county placement. Due to the age of the child we had to turn them away and reminded them the age range we were open for. She offhandedly said, "Well, I might call you back."

Sure enough, around bedtime she called us back. They still had 2 small boys needing placement of the sibling group in need. They wrote us a waver and gave us basic information then told us they would be to our home around midnight. Matt and I scurried around finishing nightly chores, tiding what would be their room,  set up a crib, changed bedding, and tried to breath. We put on a movie in an attempt to stay awake. Midnight came and went. I finally closed my eyes on the couch and Matt woke me around 1:30 am on Tuesday morning to let me know they'd just pulled in the driveway.

I took a deep breath and followed him out into the dark, cold morning air to help scoop the little sleeping guys out of carseats and into our home. I held one boy as I signed papers and Matt  tucked the little brother into his crib before returning to tuck big brother into bed. That was the easiest bedtime of the 4 we would have with little man. We washed their belongings and tried to go to bed ourselves.

They slept off the stress of the day before and stirred around 10:30 Tuesday morning. Our bright-eyed and bushy-tailed crew was chopping at the bit to meet them. Matt and I went in to get them ready for the day with fit-throwing "Pudding" and non-talking "Peanut". It was a jam-packed day with mandatory physicals and shopping at our local CALL Mall for clothes in the right sizes for our new friends and school, naps, dance and gymnastic classes for our girls, and grocery shopping somewhere in the middle of all that. We pulled it off working as a team with lots of flexibility and grace- and not the elegant ballet kind but the unjustly forgiving kind. Screaming commenced as bedtime rolled around and we fought it out for over an hour with "Pudding" but won as "Peanut" slept through the entire thing.

Wednesday was our first [close to] routine day we had. Everyone woke around the same time, we did breakfast, school {with our new friends}, daddy left for  short time to get some work done, and best of all I didn't kill anyone during a 30 minute toddler-showdown that included kicking, screaming, and gnashing of teeth. We ate lunch, conquered protested naps, and then survived yet another new adventure with an afternoon full of movie time, dinner, and our new friends' first valley experience. This day the cutting eyes and icy glares lessened from "Pudding" and he began to become more snugly. "Peanut" fell right into place as if we were running a preK program and we got giggles, smiles, and even a few words {mainly spoken to our children}.

Thursday was hard with more mandatory team work between "Pudding" pulled his temporary cast off {meaning an orthopedic specialist appointment was added to the docket} and me already committed to working a consignment event an hour away. THIS is why DCSF is so insistent on foster families having a support system. You need extra arms and legs to love on children! With the help of my in-loves sitting with babies, Matt and I met up as we passed one another to switch vehicles for the evening. He

That brings us to today. Friday. This is our built-in catch up day for school and pretty much life. We'd completed everyone's school for the week so that means MOVIE DAY! The kids finished their chores, played with their new friends, and popped n a movie. Matt went to pickup our grown-buddy to take him to work and "Pudding ask to go along for the ride. No sooner than Matt has buckled him into the seat, we came back in because he'd gotten anther call. The court decided this morning that a relative was able to take the entire sibling group, including our 2 new little friends. Not only that but they would be here to pick the boys up in less than 2 hours.

I quickly reevaluated our picnic at the park plan as I secretly packed all their belongings into the bags they came with. I tried to hold it together while I put their art-work we'd made this week in their medical passports. I decided the park was happening and would be a good end to our fun week knowing it was going to be so hard. I packed a simple snack-lunch and had the kids scurry around cleaning up their toys and putting shoes on. Matt returned home and we all headed to the city park with our picnic in-tow.

It was beautiful weather and the kids got up and down from the the blanket in the shade over and over again. Different kids squabbled here and there about which part of the lunch they didn't like but all seemed to understand that was lunch. lol Towards the end, negotiations started and I compromised with "eat 1/2 of that and you can have more of this." Then it hit. "I don't want to eat [the minuscule piece of] cheese. I just want animal crackers!" Wow. Where did that come from timid, obedient, compliant, no-tears, brave "Peanut"?! The fit grew bigger and bigger as each kids got up from the blanket to play. From across the playground, Matt shrugged with a did-you-already-tell-him look as dude yelled and kicked. He would calm down and listen as I gave him his options, "eat the cheese and get the animal crackers OR don't eat the cheese and just go play with everyone else." Neither one of those sounded okay and the built up emotion inside of his tiny little body just kept overflowing disguised as rage flung in my direction.

I shook my head a Matt as I cleaned up our picnic spot and helped "Peanut" walk toward the playground with his angry face on. He stomped around the playground still confused about the real reason behind his hurt. Strangers had shown up as soon as we sat everyone down for lunch when we planned to tell everyone about the boys leaving so time was thinning as we gathered the kids on the opposite side of the toy to tell them. Arms crossed, lips puckered out, and brown nearly touching said lips, he sat as we tried to tell them that he "got" to go back and live with his relatives. The kids scattered and played for awhile, we gave to complementary 5-minute-warning, and then started to load. "Peanut" began SCREECHING as we walked to the car, stopping and mad.

In the car we laid out the timeout consequence if the temper-tantrum didn't stop. He listened and then started back up with even more passion. At home he went and stat on his bed to hopefully finish his fit. I went in a few minutes later. First I sat next to him as he cried. Then I scooped him into my lap and let him yell and cry on my chest. Then God told my heart to tell him, "You so brave. Monday was hard. Tuesday you woke up to strangers, Wednesday and Thursday you learned a new routine and family. And today all that sadness, fear, and anger came out when you weren't in charge of your lunch and ultimately not in charge of life right now. It's okay to be sad. Cry. and to be angry. I will hold you while your upset. It's not okay to turn those feeling onto other people. I love you. Jesus Loves You! And God has big plans for your life even though its hard right now." He sniffled a bit more and then let me rock him a bit longer. Then Grace.

Grace overlooked the well-earned timeout he was supposed to have and we sat on the couch, snuggling and watching a movie until his eyes caught the white van pull into the driveway. He breathed deep on my chest as he watched her walk to the door through the front window, anticipating the doorbell ringing. He walked with me as we answered the door then pouted as we gathered his new toys he's picked out at the CALL Mall Tuesday. I brought out backpacks and reassured him his cool new shirts and undies were all in there. Matt played with "Pudding" getting newly-found laughter and giant smiles out of him and "Peanut" couldn't decide how he felt about any of this.

She gathered their personal belongings and headed for the door with a quiet, "I'm gonna load these and then its time to go." As we found the remaining pieces of his toy he growled under his breath over and over again, "I want Animal Crackers!" to which I replied, "I want animal crackers, too!"

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Indian Joyn Purse

In my Fair Trade Friday Club trail box, I received the gorgeous purse. The most beautiful part of this item were the 3 names, individually written, specifying who personally did each step of crafting this purse. Skimming my fingers across the ink, I can just imagine the sigh of relief that was breathed as each women pinned her name after her hard work was complete and she knew she was finally able to provide for her family.


Gagan, Samtagoh, and Serita, THANK YOU for your quality work and craftsmanship. This item will be used and treasured for years to come with it's thick fabric, tight piping, and sturdy magnetic snap.

Joyn Purse handmade in India

“We are so thankful for this partnership. Our hear ts align and our missions align. Fair Trade Friday purchases JOYN products - each one made some of the most  marginalized and oppressed people in the world - individuals with leprosy, disability, those who have grown up begging on the streets, former prostitutes, former  addicts and your purchase employs at least 70 of our artisans with every order,"
-Melody, Joyn Founder, India

Interested in joining the Fair Trade Friday Club or Earring of the Month Club? click those highlighted thinks!

note: If there's a waiting list, DO IT anyways. That allows them to plan ahead and increase their boxes for members, product production, and inevitably empowered women working to provide for their families!

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YOU Can Help KaBoom! Vilonia

Thank you so much for loving us! I know many of you feel we've forgotten about your humble offerings to help but We Have Not! It takes time to pull a community back together after something like this or to even assess needs so  thank you to those still waiting in the wings to jump right in when called upon!

I will remember our CovenantA need has arisen and we need Your Help!

Vilonia Is Getting a PUBLIC PARK/PLAYGROUND on April 18th, 2015!
We're talking "Extreme Park Makeover Show" is going down in our town and you can be a part of it!

This is something I've been passionate about since we moved her and I'm so excited to see how God has chosen to let that happen. The local schools have awesome playgrounds that are open to the public but that's only when the schools themselves aren't using them. Totally understandable but as a homeschool mom with lots of littles, I'd love a place to get my kids out of the house for some great educational outdoor playing, meet friends for a picnic, or just get the wiggles out. And now its happening and I didn't do any footwork. hehe

A group called KaBOOM!​ will be assisting our community in building an amazing playground, funded by Kimberly-Clark, in the same space that last years tornado destroyed the former baseball fields and tiny playground equipment.

Thus far, the professionalism of this group is top notch! Maggie was selected as on of 35 out of 300+ students to be a part of the Design Day and therefore I get to be a part of the adult planning team. eeek!


The night of the Design Day meeting, the kids sat around and dreamed up their ideas for the perfect park. They chatted with news reporters and colored inspirational drawings. Maggie, in preparation for the meeting, drew no fewer than 30 ideas in a notebook to share with the group {she didn't really know how this was going down} so she copied as many of those down onto her giant paper as she could. She ask friends prior to the day what ideas they has so she could share them as well. <3 That child!
After the kids finished up, the parents compiled their ideas, looked through the gazillion options KaBoom! had for equipment and even down to the colors tried to plan a park of our kids dreams.

Design C{just an example of the possibilities}

Right now, we are currently in the 6 weeks of planning between Design Day and BUILD DAY. There are tons of details for our town to work through and figure out. There are many things I'm attempting to help but with but the main ones I'm focusing on right now that I need YOUR help with are:

How YOU Can Help!

  1. We are collecting toilet paper cardboard rolls! You know, the inside thing you throw away or make pretend binoculars out of and then throw away. Yeah, we are collecting those for a fun project since our playground is being funded by the Kimberly-Clark's "Tube-Free" Scott toilet paper campaign. Don't toss'm. Bring them to ME 😀
  2. We need tools! THIS is the list of tools needs and if you have 1 or 5 of those items, we would LOVE to borrow them for 3 days {prep day 1 and 2, and some of them for build day} but better yet, if you have connections with a hardware store that could donate or loan a giant number of them at once, that would be Even better!
  3. We need YOU! There are so many ways we need you but we definitely need committed hands to show up on BUILD DAY, April 18th, from 8am until about 3pm right here in Vilonia {I'll get ya directions 😉 } We need help ranging from helping play with small children, moving mulch, drilling equipment together, serving food, registering the volunteers as they come in, and to I'm sure I missed something else. This would be great for a short mission trip or youth event. Signing up your Group to help would be a guaranteed fun day they'd remember forever. The Valley will use heading up a Serve Here day with our crew!
    Here is the Link to sign up online or you can print this Reigstration Form for Vilonia KaBoom! Park Build Day for large groups and then input them each. 😀

If you have any questions or have another possible way you'd like to help, hit me up! Thanks in advance!!! This is going to be so fun.

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Decluttering Kids’ Books with a Win Win Win

One of the places I've delaying in the Decluttering-My-Home-thing has been the kid's bookshelves.

Decluttering Kids' Books with a Win Win Win

Sadly, this isn't because I'm a book-lover. I was a little sentimental about who/where they came from but it is mainly because I'm not a reader. I didn't read a lot as a child but I want my kids' to love reading. I know you can learn anything if you're a good reader. I was scared that since I don't really like reading, I'd just chunk everything and be THAT terrible homeschool mom who had no books for her children to read. I mean really, what would people think if they came over and I had no books?! lol but really!

I finally hit it hard last night. As soon as the kids were in bed, I finished picking up and then had my hubs drag ALL their books into the living room from the play/school room where I strung them everywhere while we/he watched a TV show.

I was nervous.

I made piles. Then I reorganized the piles. Then I doubted my piles. Books from HIPPY {that must mean they're good, right?}. Books that damaged. Books I recognized from seeing in the school library as a child. Random. Donate. Trash. I'm not sure.

Ya see what I'm saying, I'm okay at organized but reluctant to declutter. Everything has a purpose, someone one would use it, I might be able to make $2 off of it. Ugg

I finally confessed my fear of getting rid of books to my hubs and then dumped my pile of random books next to him to help me make finally decisions about.

We cleared out a giant tub-full of books. Some I could have possibly sold at the Duck Duck Goose Consignment Event but I just decided that if they made it into the tub from whatever reason, I wasn't going to look at them again.  I'm not sure how shaddy this was but I just left the 'donate' and 'trash' pile all together in the tub. I ask my hubs to take the tub to the garage for now so 'the kids' would dig stuff back out of it.

Today we picked back up our attempt at weekly library trips. As I walked out I grabbed that tub. The stupid thing is clear. That's Not Helpful.

I didn't look. I just put it in the front seat and after double checking with the librarian, I brought in the tub and left it with her. Tub and All. I couldn't take the chance of watching her sort through them. Guilt. Regret. Embarrassment.

When I got home, I was hoping the kids didn't really notice me running back into the library with their books. But apparently that's hard to miss. They announced at lunch, "Daddy, we took our books to the library! Now we can rent them any time we want."

Hmm That had never occurred to me. I mean. I'm a genius. I convinced my children it was okay to declutter/get rid of books by taking them to the local library because now someone Else has to store them, we can check them out any time we want, AND other can use them as well! 😀

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Happy New Year {2015}!!!

So weird to be writing again. I've read about things like this on real-actual blogs. Writers saying they feel out-of-place, lost in their own space, awkward in unfamiliar territory that used to be so cozy, comfy, and personal.


I've been gone so long that I don't remember what its like to write. Write for fun. Write because I feel like I have something to say. Something that's inside me needing to eek out.I want that again. I've spent some time doing some virtual assistant work, writing for a couple other contributor sites, and ya know...life with lots of littles.

I've also seen tons of people walk away from said space when they got in a funk. Some people have created a new space to try to find a new groove. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be hard to find myself here again and I do have new interests in the realm of blogging but I stick I'm gonna stick it out.

I have a habit of not trying to hard. I don't like the idea of work super hard for something that I may fail at. I don't like doing things half-way but I am also learning that what I consider half-way and what God thinks is exactly what He's looking for are totally different sometimes.

This year, I'm not doing the resolution thing. I'm not doing the one-word thing. I'm going to do the try-chase-Jesus-in-a-healthy-rhythm thing.  lol I just mean I want to find some normalcy. Routine. Schedule but with flexibility. Discipline and Grace.

I'm really hoping that writing is part of that rhythm a little more often than it has been this past year. I'd love to reorganize here. Start a new site {already bought the domain name}. Finish the book {idea} I've started.

So what's been up with you? 😉 How has your year been? Are you doing resolutions, one-word, or the just-keep-truck'n?

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