Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Blog-Worthy Day

A GREAT day today. We were able to get together with some fellow bloggers and share companionship, stories, and our kids. It's hard to even explain. Such a great time. With people who understand. Who get "why" we do "this", who are just as excited when someone else gets that referral or that call, who are "home" in many ways. As quiet as I am at times with people I haven't been around much (yes, it's true!) I loved spending time with these wonderful women, and one great guy! I hope to do it again soon...

Words couldn't really put together how blessed I was to spend time with these friends, maybe these verses from The Message can help to express it...

Ephesians 1:3 -6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Proverbs 8
"God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic— before he did anything else. I was brought into being a long time ago, well before Earth got its start. I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes. Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape, I was already there, newborn; Long before God stretched out Earth's Horizons, and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather, And set Sky firmly in place, I was there. When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean, built the vast vault of Heaven, and installed the fountains that fed Ocean, When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said no trespassing, And then staked out Earth's Foundations, I was right there with him, making sure everything fit. Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause, always enjoying his company, Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family.
Philippians 2
[ He Took on the Status of a Slave ] If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Evening at the BEACH!

It was a bit chilly at the beach, and although you're going to see a couple of interesting goings on in the following pictures, we did have a great time! :)

Braeden had one time out while we were there for throwing sand. Not too big a deal. Well, Liam has recently been Mr. Monkey-see-monkey-do with Braeden as his role model, good or bad, and he decided the throwing sand thing looked pretty fun. He is also Mr. I'm-not-listening-to-mom-even-when-she-counts-me-to-three right now. So he ended up with a time out too. Only his time outs make him mad and he often hits walls, floors, his head, whatever is near. So in his time out today at the beach, here is how it played out... and he didn't care a bit...

Of course the very spot WE happen to be at this beach, a bride chooses to come and get pictures taken. I couldn't believe it. I took this and kept picturing the blog post in my head where Braeden or Liam throw sand on her... Only to have OLIVIA not five minutes later go rushing by her, not paying attention in the SLIGHTEST and barely miss running on her dress by INCHES! I wanted to crawl in a hole!

Our finishing moments...


Right before Christmas I received an email from the CEO of San Mar Children's Homes in Western Maryland. They operate group homes, a school, a foster care agency, and an adoption agency. He was doing some research while developing a newsletter and was going to be using some of the book Parenting Other People's Children. During his research he came across my blog post of this book. (In case you missed it, I read this book not long ago and really got a LOT out of it in understanding Olivia and some her "issues.")

His email went on to say that he would like to use some or all of that post in the newsletter in order to give a foster parent's understanding of it. I agreed and he will be adding almost all of the post along with my information to the newsletter. How exciting! I hope that my thoughts can help others to do some reading and/or research. I know I haven't been fully prepared for some of the issues that have come up, and wish that someone, anyone, especially my foster care agency or some of the professionals I've seen in regards to some of my kiddos, would have helped me to find the knowledge I need/needed.

Their website is:

The newsletter is hopefully to be posted online once it's completed.
Monday, December 29, 2008

A Day at the Gardens

We had a wonderful day at Busch Gardens yesterday. The weather was perfect, and Olivia (my fellow rider of the group) was tall enough this time to go on another roller coaster. We couldn't get to everything, but loved what we were able to do!

The day started off with a stop at the Christmas tree!

Going on the Sky Ride

Braeden resting on Sissy as we waited for a special surprise!

Olivia, Braeden and I were going on a "safari" to feed giraffes, a gift from Grandma and Grandpa!

We got to touch and love on them, it was so cool!

Feeding the giraffes!

Not sure about the giraffe's heads being quite so close! :)

Waiting for our favorite show here, Katonga!

I couldn't get the flash to go off, but that's a white tiger laying right above Olivia and Liam in a pop up viewing "window" :)

Liam and Ms. Giraffe

Braeden as a tiger

Olivia's face painting

Liam hanging out in the stroller

Braeden throwing rings. We had seen this a few times through the park. If you got one around a green bottle, you won a huge tiger, Braeden was eyeing it all day. BUT, if you got it around the one yellow bottle in the middle, you won a Wii! I thought why not try, we never play game, so we got one small bucket of rings to share. They loved it. And, the very last ring, thrown by me, landed right on the YELLOW BOTTLE!!! And then bounced right off! :) I kid you not! But the fun is in the playing and it was a blast! :)

Finishing with the Christmas on Ice Show
Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Rest of Christmas Day

So, after a morning of opening gifts, shown in the last set of pictures, we had lots to do still on Christmas Day! Grandma and Grandpa, even after saying they would cut back this year, were MORE than generous. (It was lots of fun though!) And Santa was a little generous too, although Liam's new trike has a front flat! :( I've pumped it a few times and within a couple hours it's back down. :( So I'll need to get that fixed before he really does some riding.

Braeden's new buddy Spike

The kids each choose a name to give each other gifts. This year Liam had Olivia, Olivia had Braeden, and Braeden had Liam. Which were the hugging pictures earlier after they had given their gifts. :) I love watching the excitement on the face of the giver as their gift is opened!

We then got dressed, in some new clothes, and headed to the movie theater (another of our traditions.) We were going to go to Desperaux, but I've heard that more than half is quite violent and scary, so we opted for Marley and a little sadness instead. It was very good. Braeden was a little antsy in parts that were slower but the others did great! Liam and Braeden didn't really understand the end and were ok, Olivia did well and was just a little sad. I was quite choked up! :( There were a few scenes/words that I was in my seat cringing as I realized the kids were watching, but I don't think it really hit them like it did me. They won't see this again for quite some time due to those however.

After returning we ate dinner - ham, sweet potato casserole, and cinnamon apples - and then celebrated Jesus' Birthday.
Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus...

Blowing out the candles...

The cake was delicious!!!

Afterwards, I worked on hooking up the wii that we were so blessed to receive this Christmas and the older kids and I got used to some of how it works.

The kids' favorite so far... Mario Kart

Grandma watching from the couch...

Braeden Driving Recklessly!

Just in time for a good night sleep!!! We had a very blessed day!!!

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve here in Florida! We dressed up, headed to church where we had a WONDERFUL service, went out to eat at Red Lobster where we've eaten every Christmas Eve since I was a little girl (when that was the ONLY restaurant open), came back and made cookies for Santa, changed into new jammies, listened to a bear read Twas the Night Before Christmas while eating one cookie, and went to bed to await Santa!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fun and Free

I love finding new things for the kids and I to experience, especially if they're cheap, let alone FREE!

Tonight we went to the Florida Botanical Gardens to see their lights. It was great! Liam, Braeden, and Olivia had a blast navigating their way through the lit paths, looking for the different sculptures, and listening to adults comment on how cute they are! :)

Let's Connect!

Search This Blog


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

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Blog Archive

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:

Other Awesome Blogs

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