Sunday, June 27, 2010

A School Birthday and a Park Birthday

Judson's birthday was on a monday this year. He wanted a party so bad, but monday's are super busy for him. He gets home from school about 2:15 and has to be out to Camp Hippo for therapy from 3:00 to 6:00. We decided to have his party on Tuesday. He counted down the 'sleeps' until his 'school birthday' and until his 'park birthday.'
We HAD to take treats to school for his birthday so I made this SpongeBob cupcake cake. They were little mini cupcakes. I actually made two of them so he could take treats out to Camp Hippo also.They were soooo cheesy but the kids devoured them so I guess that is all that matters.
For his party, I thought I would be smart and have it over at the park so the kids could just play on the new big toy they have there and I wouldn't have to come up with games and entertainment. I am just not a 'games' kind of mom. I wanted to keep things simple and easy. Mother Nature had other ideas in mind. It poured down rain all day Tuesday. Yep--we still had it at the park, just inside the pavillion. I found a Pin-the-tail-on-the-Donkey game and got some crepe paper streamers for the kids to play 'Spider Man' and wind them all over the pavillion. They had a blast doing that. Then we opened presents, had cake, and ran Jud through the spanking machine, cleaned up and went home. It lasted just a little over an hour and he was one happy little boy.

This was his 'Park Birthday' cake. He is really into dinosaurs. Especially T-Rex's. At school, when it is the child's birthday, the teacher has them stand on a little podium and call on their classmates, one at a time, to tell them what their favorite thing about them is. Almost all the children said Jud makes a good T-Rex when they are playing at recess. It made me smile.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Please don't call me a Saint

About 8 years ago John and I decided to apply for a Foster Care License. It took us a while to fill out the paper work, because it seemed a little intimidating at first. Then we had our background check and home study and all that stuff. If I remember correctly, we were notified that we passed everything and would soon be getting our license in the mail, then, BAM! I was in a car wreck and ended up in the hospital for a week then in a hospital bed in my living room for 8 weeks. The week I got home from the hospital we received our license in the mail. I remember thinking, "Wow! We waited for this and now we can't do it for who-knows-how-long." I think I forgot about it after that because my next few months were filled with healing, therapy, surgeries, etc. My mother came to live with us for a time, I went back to work substitute teaching. and prepared for summer to hit. One day...
I answered the phone. Caller ID said, "Idaho State Government." CRAP! What did we do? It was a service coordinator for Children & Family Services telling me they were taking a 2 week old infant into care and would we be interested in taking him? OF COURSE!
Over the next 7 years, to date, we have had 17 foster children. Most of them have been infants, but we had a 3 year old girl and her 8 year old brother, and another brother/sister pair that were 9 and 13. The 13 year old girl was something. She taught us a lot in the 4 days she was with us!
Just last week we got our 17th baby, a little girl. She is the most precious thing!
I love doing foster care. It is very challenging dealing with the family because they can be very hostile at times, but I focus on the fact that we are taking these precious little ones into our home to love them and care for them in the short time they are with us and, hopefully, give them something they can draw on later in life.
Our first little 2 week old baby boy ended up becoming ours forever. We knew when we consented to adopt him that he was a drug and alcohol baby. We would not know for some time, if ever, the problems he might have from it all. As it turns out, he has a seizure disorder, which can be very serious (we almost lost him once--had to Life Flight him to Salt Lake), he is developmentally delayed in many areas, and he was just diagnosed last year with Autism. He is an extreme challenge but everyone who knows him will agree that he is the most loving, friendly little (big--he is over 4 1/2 feet tall and 100 lbs & 7 years old!) boy they know. He loves everyone! And everyone should love him.
Through all this, I get the comment, quite frequently, that I am a saint. NO I am NOT! To me a saint is someone who is right up there next to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in perfectness. Not quite perfect but close. I am nowhere near that! I lose my temper frequently, (I even swear more than I should), I do not keep a perfectly clean, organized house, I sometimes have a problem with judging others too harshly, I don't read my scriptures like I should and many, many other things that do not land on the 'Saint' list. I just try my best to be patient, listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit to help guide me, and remember how much I love my family and am grateful for all Heavenly Father has given me. Because I have been given much, I, too, must give. This is the way I can give!
So, please, don't call me a Saint, because I am not. I am just a normal person who happens to love what I am doing and knows that it is my calling in life at this time.