Wednesday, January 15, 2014


It’s been a fabulous week so far.

We’ve done school.  We’ve done chores.  I’ve gone grocery shopping.  It’s been very mundane.

I almost feel guilty feeling this wonderful… the week our foster children left the house.

I cannot explain why we are foster parents except to say that it’s God’s fault.  It was never our plan.  But it was His, and so we do it, and it’s been good.  I can definitely say we’ve grown in grace, patience, love, compassion and negotiating skills.  During the last two and a half years, we’ve had between one and four extra kids in our home all but two months.

Mostly it’s been… easy is the wrong word… manageable is the wrong word… fine?  Fine.  Mostly it’s been fine.  The last two kiddos were more draining than some others, but even with them, it was fine.  There have been highlights and struggles, but when does parenting not have highlights and struggles?

So since Monday afternoon — a whole 48 hours — we’ve been foster-child free.  And I feel like someone added an extra two hours to the day, erased half my to do list, and infused me with a mega-dose of some magic stress-reducing, energy-amping drug.  

Wade and I have been talking about taking a couple month break from doing foster care.  We’ve been feeling drained.  Tired.  In need of a rest.  But I had no idea just how drained I was.  It’s not just the extra time and effort of walking kids to school, making sure homework gets done, overseeing chores and doing an extra load of laundry that’s been exhausting us.  It’s investing passionately in the hearts and heads of kids who maybe we don’t always make you feel much like investing in them… in kids who’ve been taught or trained or picked up as survival skills things like lying, sneaking or bossing.  It’s wearying.

But now we’re on a break.  And it feels so good.  And I almost feel guilty about it.  But I think God knew we needed this respite, however long it turns out to be.  And when He decides to open our home to more kids, we’ll (hopefully) be ready to love, give, invest, and have the energy to do it with gusto.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Christmas Break Resolutions

I don't do New Year's Resolutions, but this year I did have two Christmas/New Years break goals (did you know two-week goals are a lot easier to follow through on than 52-week goals?): play lots of games with all my kiddos and purge some atrociously cluttered areas of the house.  Yea for success on both counts -- woohoo!

This year's break was a full two weeks long (including the weekend on either end, we actually had 16 days off) so there was lots of time for play and work (in that order).  The kids and I engaged in many games of Sorry, Hands Down, Feed the Kitty, Connect Four, Mancala, Doodle Dice, Stratego and the Bean Game, and I assisted in the building of several Lego structures.  And the tupperware cupboard and sewing/crafting/storing room are also navigable again.  It was a very good break.

In the morning school and schedules begin again (except only sorta, since the public school is cancelled due to extreme cold).  And that's a good thing too (the routine, not school being cancelled.  That's actually kind of a pain, because it's awkward teaching some of my kids at home with my other kids running around).  With a (somewhat) decluttered house and kids whose game/attention/love-banks are full, I feel ready to start 2014 with gusto.