Friday, August 18, 2017

Project 365, Week 33

This week we managed to farm out nearly all of the children, leaving us with just one 17-year old who worked during the day. It was such good timing for Shaun and I to get some extra time to be together, to heal emotionally and to get some work done. Turns out that makes for some boring or non-existent photos, so many of these were sent to me.

August 7
As with most government agencies, the Department of Children and Families requires a great deal of paperwork. The administration piece of being a foster mom can be a part-time job.

Cousins in Maine!

August 8
I live in wonder of God's creation and sometimes I'm compelled to pull the car over and breathe it in.

With no kids with me at Shaun's softball game, I got my nephew all to myself!

August 9
Aiden helped Pop with the nursing home service.

Tubing at the cabin!

August 10
Hydrangeas are one of my very favorites.

Hiking part of the Adirondack Trail.

August 11
Happy fishermen. :)

Gavin had a little cold, so he was feeling extra snuggly. He kept giving Aiden hugs and kisses while they were reading a book together. (All the heart eyes!!)

August 12
Back together (all but J)!!

August 13
Sunday evening chill on a perfect summer evening.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August's 10 on 10

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month (Thursday).
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day! }

Shaun and I took H out to breakfast.

Making returns and shopping for supplies for the other house.

K has worked as a counselor at a small kid's camp this summer. This was their last day, so I brought a fruit salad to their cookout and watched her in action for a bit. She's a hard worker and I'm proud of her for having something to show for her summer. Also, a couple weeks she brought Ginger for the day, so when the kids found out I was K's mom, they were all asking where's your dog?? She's so nice...she doesn't bite or bark! :)

Working from home, with my kid-made treasures that the girls stuck to my computer many years ago.

Manual labor at the other house with a trusty sidekick.

Pretty things.


Working at the office. Yes, with just one kid at home for most of the week, we worked a lot. I love this family photo from many years ago that sits on my blessed.

We had Ray and Quinn over for dinner. Life is hard when you are first starting out and still have so much growing to do but they both understand that who their Source is. Ray's doing things imperfectly but making progress and it was encouraging to spend some time with them. I took a private moment to remind Ray that he's got a good thing going with Quinn and he should treat her like she's the best thing that ever happened to him. ;)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Project 365, Week 32

Honestly, this was a really hard week for us, which is not reflected in the photos (and that I'm not quite ready to share here). Putting this post together, I was reminded again of the wonder that sweet and bitter can reside together. That life can be all together beautiful and brutal. That joy comes in the morning. And that God is concerned with the details of our lives.

July 31
My rescuer! When we bought our first fuel injected car more than 20 years ago, Shaun gave me a scary speech about the dangers of running out of gas with that type of car as opposed to the old kind that you just dumped a little fuel on the carburetor to kick start it. I took him seriously enough that I've never run out of gas in a fuel injected car. Until this day. 

Knowing we were going to be trading in our Acadia, I was trying to keep just enough gas but not too much because yes, I'm that cheap apparently. But trying to save $5 backfired and I ran out! Once Shaun put gas in, the car started right trouble! All these years I thought it would be bad to run out of gas and yet it turns harm done. {wink wink}

After paperwork, we brought our "new" car home. With the 8-passenger Suburban we got in the spring, it didn't make sense to keep the 7-passenger Acadia. So now I have a 39 miles/gallon little car that I can use when I'm by myself or am running just a couple kids. Its also a car that my licensed teenaged daughter can drive and probably a line of kids behind her in the years to come.

Aren't hoses so much fun??

August 1
This was a hard, traumatic day. But as I was driving home, I felt seen and loved, knowing this sunset was just for me.

August 2
No picture.

August 3
Our local DCF office gets points for beauty and charm. J and I had a meeting with several people to get school decided for the fall, which actually just involved me telling them our plan and asking them to ok it.

August 4
At one point, all 8 kids were skipping cute to see them lined up counting skips.

August 5
Sarah and I are training for a full marathon in October and this weekend the training schedule had a half marathon on it. Sarah found one that was close and free...perfect! Perfect, except the day dawned rainy. So much so, that most of the drive there I was toying with turning around and instead spending the morning in sweats and holding a coffee. But! I'm glad I stuck with it. I felt so great and the two-hour run did wonders to clear my head and heart.

My time was 2:11...nothing amazing but it was a win for me.

Amazingly two teens and a tween wanted to get up at 7AM and be out in cold rain to support me. So sweet!

August 6
Remarkably, we got rid of a whole bunch of kids, leaving just K at home for a couple days.

J has SO been looking forward to ranch camp and the day finally came. I helped get her settled in and thought the accommodations were pretty nice.

When I got home from drop off, Shaun was changed and ready to take me out on a date. It was a perfect evening to sit on the patio, felt like a normal person thing. :)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Project 365, Week 31

July 24
My nieces and nephew are visiting from Texas, so Amy pulled together a day for our family to get together and spend time with them. It is so good to see them and hard that they live so far away.

My sister is a genius at many things, one of them is being a "fun mom". She's good at making games out of nothing. On this rainy day, she paired non-siblings together and tasked them with building a lego creation out of the random pile they received.

Maddy's School of Dance. :)

July 25
Boys stayed at Amy's, girls came to our house. Always safety first at Auntie Lisa's house. ;)

July 26
Sometimes you step outside and the morning seems too good to be true.

News flash...being in foster care is hard. The girls dealt with some hard this day, so Shaun thought an evening ice cream outing would be in order. It definitely helped. ;)

July 27
My only picture of the day, taken from the camp's website. H is on an excursion trip, biking his way through Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

July 28
The sweet old lady who we've been helping this past month had a birthday and we didn't want her to be completely alone. I was sick and didn't want to give her germs, but she beckoned me in, waving off my attempts to save her from a head cold.

The heavens declare the glory of God...beautiful sky down at the softball field.

July 29
Avery is a hard worker. Also very cute.

July 30
Shaun had a double header softball game so in between we took a walk to nearby water. Such a pretty day!

I took the older girls and the dog to the river for an evening swim. Next to us a family came down, set up their chairs and the kids got to work playing. I noted that the kids were similar in ages to our bio children and they seemed so sweet together. At first, the kids made some attempts to engage the parents and get them to look at something they were doing, but the parents were deep into their phones. Except once in a while, a kid would finally get dad's attention and he would look up long enough to berate them, peppered with a steady stream of swearing. And then, as quickly as it started, he stopped and was right back in his phone.

It was so saddening and reminded me of these photos I saw a while ago that I thought were very poignant. I can't help but think we are getting this smart phone thing all wrong.