8.28.2011

"Unconventionally Normal"

Another great article from Texas Baptist Children's Home! I'm thankful for individuals/families who make me move outside of what I feel is comfortable. A single mom with 4 adopted children. Wow! I thought I was about to have my hands full! I've been humbled!


My favorite line from the article is the closing quote: "The only thing I can tell people is that this was not an easy process," Scherrie said. "But believing in God and being obedient, I've been so blessed. It's fun. So much fun!"

I've been thnking about her words over the past few days- there is joy in obedience.

8.25.2011

i can't make this stuff up, folks!

J-man = Mega Personality.

Our sweet music class has a lullaby time during each week. During this time the adults count down from 5 and then pretend to blow out the lights as the teacher turns them off. Then everyone enjoys looking up at the "stars"- stringed white lights that hang from the ceiling. Great ambiance!

During this particular class, as everyone was counting down, one of J's friends, Lev, made his way over to J and sat practically in his lap. J-man didn't mind. He loves the company. As the lights were blown out J put his arm around his buddy, Lev. Melt my heart. To complete the scene, the two of them then looked up to gaze at the stars together.

A picture perfect friendship!

8.23.2011

a man of many talents

There are so many perks that come along with being 1-year old. One of them is getting to develop those fine motor skills. And since all of Austin is back in school today, we thought it would be fitting to try our hand at some art work this morning. 

first set of crayons and paper!

hmmmm... which color? which color?

Well. Most of the crayon ended up on the paper. Don't worry apt. complex,  I'll be working on scrubbing those stray lines off the wall this morning.

8.21.2011

1-year is such a fun year!

I cannot believe it. Our little J is 1 year old!
Of course we had to celebrate this momentous occasion right. And what better to celebrate than with a puppy party? 

Big thanks to Sandra and Bake-a-Wish for their sweet donation!

Puppy-themed snacks! Puppy Chow and biscuit-shaped sugar cookies.
And for party favors- frisbees, of course!

Our party poofs!

The banners speak for themselves!

1 is so much fun!

and everyone's favorite moment at a 1 year-old's party- the eating/wearing of the cake!

Scrumptious! There wasn't much left after he gobbled it up!

Thank you everyone who made his day so special, both for us and for him. 

8.16.2011

sayonara skinny!

If you know me at all, you know that I'm just a little obsessed with working out. Those of you out there who work out because you have to, I don't understand you at all. Sorry. Working out for me is a "get to"!

Anyway, when I was at one of my beloved classes yesterday the instructor shared a quote that she had heard recently- "Strong is the new skinny". Love it.

I hope our little girl grows up valuing the importance of health and strength, rather than a stick-thin figure. The body is "the temple", right?

8.15.2011

mom-to-mom

I have had the privilege of getting to know J-man's Mom throughout this past year. It's almost scary how I can so easily take scattered facts that I know about a person and mix them up with ideas from my imagination to conjure up this idea of who I think a person is. Of course this isn't always an accurate reflection of who they are! And this has been the case with his mom, I am ashamed to say. Getting to know "her", the real "her", has helped me to put aside my assumptions and appreciate her for who she is.

During weekly drop-offs and pick-ups when J bounces back and forth from Mom to me, the two of us have had some nice opportunities to chat and begin to get to know one another.

We had a sweet exchange last week when she confided in me that she was nervous about taking J on the bus for the first time. This was a great reminder to me that she has similar fears/concerns that I have at times. As moms don't we all fret about things like that? We have so much more in common than it seems from the outside.

Lately, I have been making it my goal to carefully choose how I phrase things. I want to honor the fact that she is J-man's Mom. Here are some examples:

- Honor where "home" is for him: Instead of saying "When J gets home (referring to our place) we will be sure to...", I try to say something like "When we get back to my place, we will be sure to...". I know, I know, our place is his home right now and in all honesty, our place has been almost all that he has known of a "home". But this the idea of "home" is transitioning for him and I want his mom to know that I respect and support that transition.
- Honor her role as "mother": Instead of making it seem that I know what is best for J, I try to invite her opinion. For instance, asking her questions like, "Are there certain types of hair products that you would like for me to be using in his hair?" or "Are there any types of foods that he is eating at your place that I could try offering him at mealtime when he is with us?".
- Compliment successful parenting skills: When she shares small things such as, "He was able to take a longer nap today" (establishing routines!), or "I tried to tell him about a dog that he saw when we were out walking" (building vocabulary and communication skills!), or "I'd like to take him swimming one day soon. Could you pack some of his swim gear that day?" (being active with your child!)- I try to compliment her in naming the strong parenting skill that she is demonstrating. For instance, "I'm so glad that you are taking the time to talk about what you see when you are together. This will really help him to understand the world around him and help him learn new words!"

I know not all relationships between foster and biological parents are this "good". This is God working on behalf of J-man. It's been important for me that all people involved in this case work as a team, especially myself and Mom. Part of working together requires effort on my part to take the time to get to know her and serve her. I truly believe that when I take the time to serve her I'm indirectly serving J.

8.01.2011

bow wow!

I came across this sweet story on Texas Baptist Children's Home's website. Reading to a dog? I would have loved this as a child and wish I knew about the program when I was teaching.


J-Man has been doing a lot of "reading" these days as well! Our cat isn't quite as patient as these sweet pups in the program, unfortunately. J loves to sit in front of his book baskets and pull the books out one by one and then studies the pictures.

J has recently mastered the great skill of turning the pages in his books. This tends to speed up the story when we're reading to him. He is always anxious to turn to the next page!