Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I'm sure it's where you are as well. It's scary how quickly this "superbug" is spreading through schools. We currently have 3 children in our building we know are being tested for MRSA. One has been out almost a week. His cousin, from another district, was officially diagnosed with MRSA and they think "our" student contracted it from him. If it's possibly in my school, I am sure it's possibly in Olivia's school. I've heard nothing from her doctors about this. Should I be concerned that my daughter, whom has a questionable immune system, is potentially around this??? I wish they would send out a letter letting us know if this is something to be wary of.
Monday, October 29, 2007

What to do

Phone call today at noon: Yes this is ----- from Girlie's day care. She has bitten THREE times today and someone will need to come pick her up.

Me: Are you kidding?

Them: No, I'm afraid not.

Me: She was just evaluated for a behavioral intervention on Friday. They are going to be developing a behavior plan and talking to you about it. I really have to come get her?

Them: Well it sounds like you're a step ahead of us on the evaluation, we were going to have someone do that too. But yes, you do have to come get her.

Luckily I have a great school and asked if I could bring her here. They said yes. My class has it's Movie of the Month today (they earn movie and/or movie and snack by their behavior during the month). We were just starting that. She has slept from 12:20 until now at 2:40 and is still asleep! Must have been tired. I have a snack and all ready for when she wakes up. At least it's not Braeden, he would not do well here - too crazy! :) She'll be ok, but really, picking her up because she bit!? If it happened three times I really don't know how well they're watching. You know she just bit, set her aside from the others for a while or something. At least be more vigilant! Argh!
Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Saturday

We had originally planned on being at another large pumpkin farm on Saturday. It looked awesome and we were going with a close friend I unfortunately don't get to see too often. But, some unfortunate circumstances came up for them and they were unable to come. :(
So, instead I took the kids to Boo at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo. We went last year and they had a blast.

We normally go to Lincoln Park Zoo, which we LOVE, but this was a special occasion. I forgot however that at Brookfield you can't take strollers inside the houses! I wasn't about to take the 2 little ones out at every house to walk through in five minutes and then strap them back in. SO, we stayed outside. It was still great. We did go to the dolphin show. :) That was the only behavior we had, Braeden was a little too active. Crawling all over the benches and licking, yes licking, the water that had splashed us from the dolphin jumping. He switched places with Girlie in the stroller for a bit after that. :) But the rest of the day was wonderful. We got some really cute pictures and they had lots of fun. Braeden likes Brookfield because they have elephants, which Lincoln Park doesn't. The weather was a little chilly at times, but not bad, and the animals must have been liking it because they were all out and parading around. The leopard and giraffe were very close and the little ones loved the dolphin show, except for the splashing! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Car

My minivan is junk. It really is. I think I've blogged before about all the issues I've had with it, since day one, literally. I think about everything that can be fixed or replaced on it has been fixed or replaced. My check engine light is on. It's been on for 3 days. I hope beyond belief that it is nothing and just needs to be reset. The van goes in on Halloween.

I have heard of many who have gone to God in prayer over the "things" in their life and He has met their need. I need new transportation. BUT, I want a 12 or 15 passenger van! I want to add to our family at some point. God calls us to take care of the orphans of the world. I want to travel with my kids and not worry about my car breaking down.

I am going to God in prayer over somehow getting a passenger van. I owe too much right now to trade mine in or I would. I am still "upside down" in payments. Please pray for my car situation if you feel called to do so. It would make life a little easier. :)
Sunday, October 21, 2007

Halloween Pictures

Almost forgot, our halloween pictures turned out great. The kids did so well. Braeden didn't smile, but he didn't do the sticking out the bottom teeth thing either. :) And Little One didn't smile, but it looked great since he was a Scarecrow and I had "stitched" on smile lines. :) Yay! We celebrated with Dairy Queen! (No Whitey's around here! - for those of you who know what ice cream is!)

Dream Halloween... What a Wonderful Experience!

Wow. That's all I can truly say, but I will try to add more. Wow. It was amazing.

I don't know what I expected for sure, but it was completely different. :)
Just the thought and preparation and time that went into this one evening was amazing. I know it was a benefit and that it's purpose was to raise money for CAAF, but being able to experience it was such a gift. I saw a number of families who were there as "guests," (as we were distinguishable by our orange "credentials"), who seemed to just take for granted all they were being given. I could tell many of them had been there previously as they brought metal "carts" to haul all their stuff, or got tables right away so that they had a place to roost when not taking in attractions and when they were eating.

I was constantly in awe. There were craft tables, huge, long craft tables for kids and beyond these, against the wall were boxes and boxes of extra craft supplies so that they would not run out. I can't imagine they used all of them, there were so many. And the trick or treat areas, little "houses" the kids went around and had their credentials punched for each one, looking inside there were piles to the ceiling of the gifts they were receiving. Amazing.

Anyway, upon entering the evening, each child was given a huge decorator pillowcase to fill with stuff, and their own halloween disposable camera for the evening. I let Olivia trick or treat first as she was so excited about it. We went to 2 of the 3 areas and she got some really neat things. A Dora wheeled luggage bag that is a yellow car with the characters in it and the lights in front light up and it beeps, a Scooby Doo scrapbook kit, hair things, an American Girl hardback book, a poster kit, a coloring book, and a necklace and bracelet set. Then we went to an area with Eli's Cheesecake! They had mini cheesecakes and these long tables at kids' height with bowls of real whip cream, choc chips, gum drops, candy corn, etc to put on top of them. We went through one side of the room on the way there that was restaurant after restaurant of food you could eat. We got Ziti and bread from Maggiano's and then ate at Eli's area because, like I said, the tables were gone. We then went to the third trick or treat area and she got a Barbie toy phone, and two other things.

The remainder of the evening we wandered from place to place. There was a large stage at the front that had rotating entertainment, which repeated once through the evening. There was the huge craft area, where Olivia made a candy bracelet with licorice rope and candy, and a magnetic bat (there were 3-4 other crafts we didn't get to). There was a retro type carnival game area (no prizes, just fun) which she loved to play. There was face painting and stick on tattoos. There were many characters, some she had no clue about: Popeye and Olive Oyl, Geoffrey, many clowns, the penguin from the surf movie, Tweety, Sylvester, Bugs Bunny, etc. There was another line down the other side of the room of other restaurants. We ate here later and had CA Pizza Kitchen. There was a beverage area. There were TONS of volunteers helping with everything. A bunch of them had the job of carrying around polaroid cameras and cardboard frames which had been decorated with halloween stickers and a sticker saying Dream Halloween 2207, etc. They would take pics and hand them out along with the frame, so cool. We got 3 of them. One of the two of us at the Eli's tables, one of Olivia and Barbie :), and one of Olivia and the penguin (name?). A silent auction took up a part of the middle. As far as entertainment, we saw part of Bitty Bear's matinee from American Girl, Barney, a couple really good dance groups, one Irish dancers, one contemporary, and the live auction. This was when Melina K from CSI NY came out and hosted. They had prizes like a trip to LA to see CSI, a trip to Shanghi, a trip to London, a new car (as the lowest of these went for $3600, I didn't bid :) ). We also were able to meet Melina and had her autograph Olivia's credentials.

The evening wrapped up with all the characters on stage and dancing with the kids. Olivia just walked around them, a little intimidated, but not wanting to get off the stage. :) She had SUCH a great time!!! And everywhere we went people were telling her how beautiful her costume was. I am glad I got it for her. :) As we were leaving, there was a big table full of "adult" gift bags. Someone stopped me and said, "Wait, you didn't get your gift bag. I just need your credentials." Mine was turned over to the back, I really assumed these were for sponsors, etc., not guests. I said, "But I just have an orange tag." She said that was ok, everyone gets one! I was awed again. Inside my gift bag was a Dream Halloween Tshirt, men's cologne, a limited ed Barbie of the girl from Titanic, an American Girl book and craft kit Molly's Halloween, and two I guess specially made for this, matchbox cars in plastic display cases that say Dream Halloween 2007. The cars are special in that they have Halloween themes and say CAAF, Dream Halloween, etc. How fun!!!

Here are a few pics from the evening:

Waiting in line outside to get in.

Bipass looking at Barney,
and see if you can spot the purple butterfly fairy on the screen behind him!!! :)
(You can click to enlarge the pic!)

Melina K from CSI: NY

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dream Halloween II

Dream Halloween is TONIGHT!

I'm also taking all 4 to try to get Halloween costume pics this morning, could be long day! lol

The Frustrating Things

There are a few different things of being a foster parent that leave me boggled.

Why is it that the agency who place children in our homes feel that they can announce appointments, visits, etc at the last minute? Why do they think that if the child/children are in day care and they need to reschedule a visit that they do not have to tell you because the child is at day care anyway, it's no big deal?

Last week I was called at 11:47am on Tuesday, Little One's visit is always on Wednesday from 10-11, only to be "told" that they moved his visit to Tuesday and were currently at his day care to pick him up for his 12-2 visit. What? Unbelievable. Yes, I have no need nor desire to know where "my" child is when they're not with me, you're right. Not to mention that I know they knew about this for at least a week because my friend's visit was rescheduled for Little One's time and I had wondered what they were going to do since both were at the office as supervised visits. In addition, Tuesdays are our long days, and LO had a doctor appt after I picked him up. So, he had no nap, a dr appt at 4:15, dinner in the car, and then we took Olivia to cheerleading from 6-7. What a day, poor guy.

This week, Girlie's cw called Monday night to tell me her mom was in treatment about an hour away and they were moving her visit to Tuesday, the next day. (Hers is usually Wed also.) So she would be picked up at 12:30pm, and brought back at 3:30pm. I usually get her at 3:50 on Tuesdays so we can get the boys and go home for dinner before cheerleading (no dr appts this week). I called at 3:45 to see if she was back yet and she wasn't! I had no idea where she was or how much longer it would be. I decided to run some errands and even found a new outfit for myself for Dream Halloween tonight. (I never splurge on myself!) At 4:41pm the case aid who had taken her to her visit called and asked where to take her as they were just getting into town. I asked why they were so late. He laughed and said that the visit had been moved back an hour and that it was the cw job to tell me, sorry. I picked her up at 5 right after she had been dropped off. So another Tues with dinner in the car on the way to cheerleading. I called and emailed the cw and the supervisor about this. The cw NEVER responded. I did get an email from the supervisor who said that the visit had been moved back a half hour and the cw didn't think it would be a big deal. He then said the case aid got lost on the way there and stopped for food for them on the way back. (Would explain why the healthy snacks I packed weren't eaten.) Well, if all that is true, why didn't he apologize on the phone when I talked to him and tell me he had gotten lost, etc? That would have made sense. The case aid has been "caught" telling lies about my friend who is a foster parent and I'm not about to join that bandwagon. This is ridiculous. He has my cell, he could've called and explained he was going to be late. But no. We foster parents just sit around and have no life except for our foster kids and their schedule.

Why is it also that we who are with, see, take care of 24/7 the child/children in our care can't make a simple decision such as getting their hair cut!!???

Little One has not had his hair cut since last MAY, when I had finally hounded them enough that they got mom to say she would get the money for it. She wanted to take him, and not let me. But on it dragged until I finally gave the cw the money and said to tell her it was from the agency. So she got it cut (after about 3 more weeks). About $8. I have again been hounding them for the last couple months. Mom was going to have the money the first of this month, then had to spend it on something else. If she can't even afford $8 to get his hair cut, when she has no other expenses for him right now, no bday gifts, nothing, how can she afford to care for him full time??? So I emailed the cw and supervisor as to what is the solution??? The cw called mom to see if I could take him, no. The supervisor emailed to say that five months was a lot of time and maybe mom could meet me at a hair place to get it done? She has been one to say a lot about me without ever meeting me, one reason he has a CASA worker. I said that would be fine if the cw or aid were there also. He talked to her Wed at her visit and got it ok'd for me to take him and then keep it up. It was cut last night. Looks much better, but I had to get it cut like how she did it last time. Not the way I would do it, but at least it's short again! :)

Frustrations! :)
Sunday, October 14, 2007

Proud Pumpkin Pickers

Since we are going to another large pumpkin farm with another friend and her son on the 27th, I let Braeden and Olivia pick out pumpkins this Saturday and will let the little ones pick some (with help from B and O I'm sure) the next time.
Today we carved the pumpkins. They have never before wanted to even touch the insides, but today did a lot of the de-gooping. Olivia drew her pumpkin face herself and even carved the large eye alone. (I helped with the rest as she was taking a while and the others were more intricate. We have non-sharp cutting tools.)

All 4 little ones got into the act for a little while.

The proud results!!!

We Have A Couch!

Finally, we got our couch from when I won the money a little while back. It came Friday and we LOVE it!!! We finally have a place to sit in our living room, what a concept! We've lived here over a year and no living room furniture as yet. We have, on the side to where the camera is, a dining room table and chairs, and then along the wall to the left of the camera, 3 bookshelves filled with books. (We LOVE to read!) Now a couch has joined the conglomeration! Hopefully soon we will add two small chairs and a coffee table, then we should be set. :) It's getting there! :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Gotta Laugh

Tonight we were talking at dinner about Olivia and I going to Dream Halloween. Braeden was quite miffed that he was not going, even though I told him that she would do this with mommy and then mommy would find something for Braeden and I to do special together. He was having none of it. I went on to TRY to explain that Olivia has a "sickness" in her body that she would always have and that this was a special event for her to participate in. Braeden turned to his sister and said,

"But Olivia, I have a cough too!"

Kids. LOL!

Girlie Update

To update you on Girlie...

First day of new day care she ended up with double ear infections and 103.5 fever.

She was home with me the next day, and then a friend watched her the next. She went back to day care the following day, 2nd day there, and bit THREE times!!! Within an HOUR!!! Hello! Are you not paying attention!? She's been there two more days since and no aggression, so maybe we're heading into better territory?

She ended up with no bio mom visit last week, long story, but that is the day she bit. Tomorrow is her visit day, we'll see what happens. Supposedly the last visit she had Girlie reacted "differently" toward mom. Whatever that means. Cw said she acted very differently toward her and that mom was acting really paranoid. Who knows. Cw also told me that the regional director said that they should start toward termination, that mom isn't doing much and probably won't as she has had four not returned in the past ( high school aged now). Even though she said that, and I thought it would head that way myself, doesn't mean we're looking at an adoption any time soon. IF it goes toward termination, it will still be a long process... (but I am thinking of girl names!!) :)

Today's Mail

Can you tell what I got in the mail today????

Yes, Dream Halloween tickets and a Parking Pass!!!!! Woo Hoo! We're going! Hooray!
Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Day at the Zoo

We had a great great day today. I took the kiddos up to Lincoln Park Zoo. I hoped for a free parking spot, and we found one! We took lunch and snacks, so it only cost about a quarter tank of gas. :) The kids had a ball. We took some time to run and play in what will probably be the last "summery" day of the season.

They had a "Fall Festival" in the farm area of the zoo. Lots of very neat, free activities. The kids got to ride John Deere mini gators (like Power Wheels), and had their faces painted by what have to be the best face painters I've EVER seen! They were so quick and the faces were AMAZING! Only problem was that Girlie was scared to pieces and cried whenever they came near her, especially Braeden! lol :)

If we get to go to Dream Halloween (I am in the lottery for tickets, no set slots as I hoped) I wish these people could do Olivia's face again, how beautiful!!! :) (It's hard to really see in the picture, but it was so great up close and personal. Even sparkles, she was in heaven!)
There was also a free pumpkin "patch", but seeing as we're going with a friend next Sat to a large patch, Braeden goes with his day care the 16th to another, and we go to yet another the 27 with another friend, we passed on getting pumpkins for now! :)
Needless to say, everyone slept well on the drive home. Too bad we have no chauffer! :) Could've dozed off myself. Too much traffic!

Friday, October 05, 2007


I don't think I've officially posted the costumes the kids are going to use for Halloween.

Olivia as you know will be Pippi Longstocking, her new found favorite movie.

Braeden since day one of discussing it, has wanted to be an elephant. But not the cute Dumbo Disney one I saw, because that one uses the child's face for the elephant's face. No, he wanted a trunk! So I found one where the elephant's face is on top of the child's face, including trunk. It's plush and will be nice and toasty if we have a chilly Halloween.

I got an adorable hand-made Raggedy Ann for Girlie.

I looked and looked for a Raggedy Andy for Little One, but couldn't find one his size that would look right with hers. So, I found a very cute hand-made scarecrow for him. So, we are ready.

Hopefully we will get good pictures. I love hanging a big 11x14 on the wall of their Halloween picture, they always look so cute. And I have a Halloween mini scrapbook with one page/picture for each year (just 3 so far). :) Love it!
Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Gave In

Alright, I did it, I gave in to peer pressure (maybe imagined, but there nonetheless). lol ;0)

I bought Olivia a Halloween costume on ebay tonight. She will be Pippi for trick-or-treating and school, and use the new one if we go to Dream Halloween and/or to dress up for some special pictures at this awesome place in FL when we go at Christmas. It's beautiful. Purple. Lots of tulle and flowers. Wings. So adorable! I can't wait to see her in it! I hope we get to go to DH!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Well, we must be destined to go to Dream Halloween. Last night the presenter who had originally told me about it called to say that she received an email from someone who had open slots and that if I was interested I could go. I asked if it was a lottery for tickets, but all she had was the email saying they had open slots. She is going to have that person call me. So, it looks like we may be going either way.

Now, my huge why-do-I-even-worry-about-it dilemma. I am handmaking her Pippi Longstocking costume. While it is turning out pretty cute, should I get her a new, more "spectactular" one for this? There are going to be "stars" there. The host is Melina K... from CSI. I don't know... It's just that it's probably a once in a lifetime thing. Ahh.... decisions. :)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dream Halloween

Have you ever heard of this?


I hadn't. It's put on in Chicago and LA, not sure if there are any other locations. It's a benefit to raise money for CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation) for children and families living with HIV and AIDS.

I heard about it when I went to a DCFS workshop recently in Chicago. The presenter suggested I go but when I looked into it, it seemed the deadline for families to apply was past. There is a cost for most attending, as it is a benefit, but from what I'm understanding they invite families affected by HIV/AIDS to attend as well, free of charge. There are celebrities (SP?) hosting, plus there is a dinner, games, etc and some trick or treating in a major way. If she is to be believed, the presenter said that the children trick or treat and receive toys and items worth over $1,000!!! Wow! I'm sure they are all donated to help raise money at this benefit.

Anyway, I had written it off as a possibility for this year but thought maybe we could go next year. Yesterday, in the midst of it all, I received a message at home from Olivia's social worker at Univ. of Chicago Hospital. She asked if we knew about Dream Halloween and wondered if we were interested in going. She said to let her know as she needed to submit names, etc by Wednesday. Of course I called and said we would be thrilled. I would love to get a sitter for the others and just take Olivia so that it is a special thing for her. I did find out when I called her back that tickets are given out in a lottery. So although our names have been submitted, there is no guarantee that we are going yet. I would assume we would know by the end of the week. It's on Sat, Oct 20.

Open Mouth

I have GOT to learn when to stop opening my mouth, so far so good my rear end! Brand new day care called at 3:15 to say that Girlie had a 103.5 fever!!!!! Straight to ER as of course Dr. is at another clinic for the day. 2 hours later, double ear infections and antibiotics to the rescue. But day care today? Of course not!!! Another day goes down the drain...
Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday cont'd

Church was busy yesterday. Not only did we have Olivia's dedication, but all except Little One also led the service by singing. Braeden has been singing these songs all week. Do you think he sang in front of the service? Oh no. At least he wasn't acting crazy and running around like he tends to at times. :) (Because I had a baggie of M&Ms I bribed him with!)

The agency did find a day care for Girlie to go to today. She was able to start there this morning. I stopped at lunch and she had been doing well. So far so good.


Yesterday we went for a walk, it was so beautiful out. Olivia and Braeden were intent on collecting sticks, leaves, etc. They found some acorn caps and had a handful. As we were walking down toward our house, no one in sight, Braeden says, "Hey, someone hit me in the face with an acorn!" :) LOL It was so funny. I explained that no, noone hit you, but maybe one fell from the tree. He laughed and laughed thinking it was so funny that he thought someone had thrown one at him. :)

In the morning at church we had Olivia's dedication. It was really nice. Our youth pastor conducted it and knelt by Olivia. She said that Olivia had had a big day recently and asked her what it was. She said she had been adopted. The whole sermon had been on us being destined to be adopted by God. After service, many came up to tell Olivia congratulations on her adoption, that they were adopted, and that they had adopted a child themselves, it was so nice. Many I recognized but didn't know. It was great.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you