Friday, May 27, 2011

an "ah - Ha" moment

I was talking the other day with a friend (Cousin) about how parenting seems to be a whole new ball game when children go off to Kindergarten [and beyond... gulp!] We felt we had "100% parental control" when our children were/are Pre-school age... they were/are usually within arms reach.

I mentioned the other night that our foster care class taught on parenting. It was GREAT! And it was Mainly, about how to teach our children self discipline, especially the ability to problem solve and be aware of the result of their choices.

Well, John and I had a big "ah HA!" moment during this class! [This may be something everyone else is already doing? Especially Teachers?...] ha!

One of the speakers told a story about his daughter, who was 3 at the time. We'll call the daughter, Kara and the dad, Garry. Garry was letting Kara play unsupervised at 9 pm. Garry knew this was not ideal in the first place. [note: He is a child psychologist, ha!] Kara walked into the living room holding an armful of oreo's! In that moment, Garry realized that he had never told Kara to make a choice for herself - in her whole life! Garry told Kara: "You may choose to keep one cookie and put the rest back! OR You may choose to put all of the cookies back!" Thus, fully expecting his daughter to make 1 of 2 choices. Kara stood there for a moment and her eyes rolled high as if to try and look into her brain, Garry said. [LOL!] Kara then took her cookie collection back into the kitchen... AND, returned with just one! [copy write: Garry L. Landreth, Ph.D.]

Garry calls this his oreo cookie theory. And he claims it works on all ages as long as the parents always follow through, of course. And, the consequences [in the moment] can be called just that; giving the parent an extra few seconds [or hours] to think of one.

In just 48 hours we've seen some great quick obedience with our girls by following the oreo cookie theory.

For Sadie, we currently have a reward chart, too. It's just a plane piece of paper labeled "kindness & quick obedience". When I cover the whole thing with 'X's' Sadie earns an outfit for her build-a-bear! She's almost halfway in just a week! *warning* She does try to tell me when she's obeying so she can get an 'X' and we've just started implementing that from now on 'only mom or dad can give her an 'X' sometimes and that when she catches herself doing the right thing she can be happy knowing that she'll grow up to be a person who does the right thing even without a reward because that's what matters most to God'.

For Lauren, the oreo cookie theory has quite possibly saved what was becoming a big get-out-of-bed-at-bedtime mess. In just 48 hours, she stays. in. bed. WOW.

One final thought that this speaker shared was on the topic of transparency. In short, he told a story about his daughter [again] at age 5. One afternoon he yelled at her and they accomplished nothing. That night, at bedtime he told her that he was sorry. He went on to say that when he apologized their relationship was restored. As it was broken "over" before the apology. So powerful...

I thought I'd share this just incase it may help you, too?

Happy Memorial Weekend!!!

my girls

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foster to Adopt | Final Class

Last night was the end of the every Thursday night classes that lasted 8 weeks [at 3 hours each]! The theme was parenting/discipline.

We listened to three Speakers (one via video)!

The Topic was how to help our children make the right choices, problem solve, have good character, be responcible, etc. Great, great tools to have in our back pocket(s)!

We left with our '24 hours pre-training completed' certificate in hand!!! So exciting! Comparable to hitting the 20 week mark in pregnancy, I think!

Another strange biological similarity - getting 'finger-printed' was like having blood drawn at a prenatal clinic visit... sort of! [Ironic. While we were getting our finger prints done, a GLOWING couple walked in holding their baby who they were planning to adopt... beautiful.]

Bonus: we've made some great new friends in the past two months!!

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat." -Mother Teresa

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Out 'n Bout

These photo's are [mainly] for my dear friend, Leslie, who doesn't do facebook. SO? Have I lured you in for a visit?? ;)



I need to remember this:

“She came tonight as I sat alone, the girl I used to be…
And she gazed at me with her earnest eye and questioned reproachfully;

Have you forgotten the many plans and hopes that I had for you?
The career, the splendid fame, and all the wonderful things to do?
Where is the mansion of stately height with all of its gardens rare?
The silken robes that I dreamed for you and the jewels in your hair?

And as she spoke, I was very sad for I wanted her please with me…
This slender girl from the shadowy past the girl that I used to be
So gently rising, I took her hand, and guided her up the stair
Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay innocent, sweet, and fair.

And I told her that these are my only gems, and precious they are to me;
That silken robe is my motherhood of costly simplicity.
And my mansion of stately height is love, and the only career I know
Is serving each day in these sheltered walls for the dear ones who come and go.

And as I spoke to my shadowy guest, she smiled through her tears at me.
And I saw that the woman that I am now, pleased the girl I used to be.

- Author Unknown

Sunday, May 22, 2011

sweet, sweet summertime

Goals for the girls:


two pages of writing each day.
20 min of reading.
5 math problems each day.
go outside at least once each day.
getting shoes on by herself [this has been a struggle as she has tactile sensitivities].
ride her bike by herself [with training wheels].
climb the net at the park.


get totally potty trained.
pick up toys quickly.
read to her 20 min.
do puzzles.
learn [all] colors.
learn [all] shapes.
learn letters.
learn letter sounds.
go outside at least once each day.

Both Girls/Family

neighborhood pool twice a week.
a new hike each week.
drive into the mountains twice each month.
2 camping trips.
roxborough nature center for 'kids time'.
chick fil a 'story time'.
library reading program & special events.


jog around neighborhood 'horse shoe loop' twice = 1 mile.
yoga TWICE each week.
read 3 books.
cook 2 dinners IN each week. [John does much of the other dinners! :)]
juice for the whole family once every other day.
blend smoothies for breakfast once every other morning.
Read to the girls each night = bible stories about 'being brave'!

This is all simply a list of our ideals to reference as a guide. HAPPY Summer!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Foster to Adopt | Class

This was our second-to-last class! The topic was 'the first 6 months' after a child is placed in your home. It was great to hear the stories of 2 parents who had been through this. We have asked to be placed with one baby boy only [at a time], age 12 months or younger. [We had originally asked for an 18 month old boy or younger.]

We tell the girls that a baby boy will come and visit for a little while because his parents have some things they're working on. We plan to be a total 'team' with all involved... We'll love him like a cousin, even though he belongs to his own family. Sadie is a deep thinker and she understands what adoption is. So, she does know that oneday we hope to adopt one of the baby boy's who stays with us.

All paperwork = DONE
Background checks & finger prints = submitted [pending]
Refferences = submitted [pending]
CPR/First Aide = needed [about 1 month out]
Physicals for all 4 of us = needed [about 2 months out]
Homestudy = needed [about 3 months out]
Home Inspection = needed [about 4 months out]
Getting Licensed = Oct, Nov, Dec...??

John and I would LOVE to put a few more gifts under the Christmas tree this year for a sweet little someone... [my not-so-secret prayer!]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

[Then] The Yampa's

came to visit!

We enjoyed:

seeing the Moody Blues at Red Rocks
feeding squirrels in Estes Park
having a picnic in Rocky Mountain National Park
seeing elk, mountain goats and deer
climbing on boulders, walking in a stream
manitou springs
roxborough park
and great conversation :)

And, the weather was in the 70's mostly!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Bumpa's

came to play!

John [and Lauren] were able to play 'tour guide' most of the 8 days they were here!

The Bumpa's visited:

Red Rocks
Roxborough State Park
City of Golden
Garden of the Gods
City of Manitou Springs
City of Estes Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Cripple Creek

and various resturants including Chick-fil-a, of course!

We also celebrated Barb's birthday with the family here! Much fun was had!

Foster to Adopt | Class

Tonights class was about cultural differences. How to listen and accept the lifestyle of our potential future child. The subject of racism made a few appearences. An African American Gentleman [one of our classmates] brought up the point that he feels the words 'ethnicity' and 'colored' should not be used anymore -- because we are all simply human beings created by the same God. :)

Good stuff.

We still need to do:

two more classes. one make up class. CPR/FirstAide class. Fingerprinting. more paperwork. Homestudy. Physicals.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

God was the 1st Adoptive Parent.

I was pondering this statement today.

Why do we chose to become parents? [Well, some of us get surprised... that's another rabbit trail...]

Is it because we want our children to be cute? Or marvel at how they are just like their Great-Aunt Thelma? Is it that we want our children to grow up and make us proud? Have someone to care for us when we are old? Raise responsible adults who will add to society?

I think these are all somewhat common and somewhat harmless.


What if as parents it was a common requirement to raise a child who didn't have grandpa's blue eyes, or daddy's quick wit... What if parenting was "just" based on acceptance and grace [encouragement & boundaries]?...

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
-Romans 5:8