Update

 

Our foster kids are staying with us indefinitely.  The kinship placement fell through.  It was disappointing and yet okay.  We have had a lot of feelings swirling around within us regarding our foster kids’ transitions.  We were preparing for them to leave in early May.  What a roller coaster ride this year of fostering has been.  The past few weeks have been no exception.  We are sure of one thing today, we are privileged to care for them.  They are happy here.  Knowing that we have been their consistent home, feels really good.  It is difficult not knowing what lies ahead.  We have learned the hard way that we must remain extremely flexible and open.

I have been substituting more and more.  I really like it.  I have filled in for Kindergarten on up to 5th grade.  Today and tomorrow I have the opportunity to fill in for a fourth grade teacher.  Before substituting at my kids’ school, I get to shadow the teachers that I am filling in for.  It has been very inspiring to watch these teachers do what they do.  I have learned a lot and will continue to do so.  For now, it is nice to get out of the house and do something different, earn some money, and see my kids during the day.

Scott has been taking Julian with him more this week.  I have been doing most of Julian’s homeschooling up until this substituting opportunity presented itself.  Scott has continued to work along side me to help keep things running for our family.

Sadly, my grandmother is sick in the hospital.  Honestly, my heart is not here today, it is there with her.  I love her so much and I can’t get her out of my mind.  I do hope she recovers soon and returns to her comforts within her cozy home.

Today, Madelyn took off early with her class on a two day field trip to the beach.  They are studying lighthouses and they get to camp right under one tonight!  How cool is that?  Scott was a trooper and got up with her at 5am this morning to get her to school super early.  She was so cute and excited.  Scott was able to take a 6am spin class, so I guess he benefitted from rising early as well.  🙂

Tomorrow, Julian will leave for his first middle school church retreat!  Ready or not, our little ones are spreading their wings.

Happy Place

Where do your thoughts go these days when you try to get your mind to go to a happy place?  You know, when you’ve had one of those days and when you just don’t know how you are suppose to feel.  Today, I turned my thoughts towards a happy memory of an outing our family recently had out at Pullen Park in Raleigh.  Annette and my mom took us there to celebrate some birthdays.  What a fun and happy day we had.  Here are a couple more photos and images I love to pull up in my mind.

Fried Plantains

Have you ever tried plantains before?  They are in the fruit/banana section of your local grocery store.  They are bigger than bananas.  I would say if you are going to buy them and try them, but them with some blackness to them.  They should be a bit soft to the touch when purchasing, sort of like a ripe banana.

I made these friend plantains recently.  They turned out fabulously!  They were gone in just a few minutes.  Our family first tried them back in Boone, NC several years ago.  They are wonderful alone, but they are great in burritos as well.  Try and enjoy!

One tip… stay with them.  Don’t multitask when frying this fruit up.  I have learned the hard way.  🙂

Fried Plantains

Ingredients:

Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil

2 firm or ripe Plantains (about one pound)

Sea salt

How to:

Peel the plantains and discard the skins. Slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. I cut my in a slanted way.  Fry the plantains in oil, turning occasionally, until a golden brown color on medium heat, about 2 to 4 minutes. The longer the plantains fry the sweeter they are. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the plantains with a little salt.

Girls on the Run

This past Saturday Madelyn and I ran our first 5K together.  Shanda, my sister-in-law, ran with us.  We had a blast!

For the past few months, Maddie has been a part of the Girls on the Run program at her school.  It is a wonderful program that not only encourages girls ages 8 through 12 to exercise, but also weaves in discussions dealing with self-esteem and character building.  To finish up the curriculum, the girls were invited to participate in a 5K Girls on the Run race.  So, Madelyn and her team joined about 1500 runners on Saturday to run the 5K.

I am so proud of Madelyn, Shanda and myself for accomplishing this goal.  I certainly would not have thought I would have done such a thing, much less enjoy it.  Check, check.

Jan and Jerry also joined us on Saturday to celebrate the day’s events and Madelyn and Kalen’s birthdays.  Here we area at Locopops living it up.

At School

This photo was taken outside by the playground of our kids’ school.  They have a very cute system when it is rainy and mucky outside, they let kids borrow boots to play in.  These boots stay at the school.  Isn’t that neat?  Number one, it is really cool that they keep these on hand for kids that don’t happen to wear boots to school or don’t have any at all.  Number two, it is extremely cool that kids get to play outside at this school even when it is rainy and muddy.

Central Park is a different kind of school.  I could go on and on about the out of the box and positive things that go on during any given day there.  We are thankful to be a part of this community.

I will be trying something new there tomorrow … substituting.  I have been wanting to do this for awhile now.  With our foster kids in preschool and Julian able to go with Scott to UNC on any given day (he is home schooled), I am free to try out this hat.  I am nervous, but excited at the same time.  I shadowed some teachers today just to get a feel for how they run their classrooms.  I am very familiar with the school and how it runs, however, it is a totally different ballgame being the one in charge of a class/classroom for the entire day.  That is a different kind of knowing.  I will keep you all posted on how this goes.

Sunny Side

Choosing today to be thankful… looking more on the bright side.

Our foster two are back with us this week until friday.  I am thankful we get to pour love into them for now.  Even if it is touch and go.  They appeared fine after their weekend away.  I am sure they have plenty of emotions stirring around in their little two and three year old bodies, they disguise their hurt well.  When I went to their preschool yesterday to pick them up, our littlest one ran to me with a huge smile.  She couldn’t get to me fast enough.  She squeezed me with all she had.  That felt good.  I loved on her right back.  Our little guy was more subtle, but a grin soon arose on his face.  I assured him of all the familiarities of home and tried to distract him from yet another transition with questions like “what do you want for dinner? and do you want to see Daddy?”  He smiled a brighter smile and his eyes showed me he knew where I was taking him… home.  It was easy to see that he wanted to go.

There is good even in this place.

I am thankful for springtime and for sunshine.  Today was a gorgeous day, everywhere I looked outside seemed to reflect green.  I breathed deeper.

Our Central Park School kids started back school today after their three weeks off.  I am so thankful for our community there.  It felt so good to walk back into those doors and be greeted by so many warm smiles and cheery greetings.  The kids were ready and eager to start their last quarter.

There is comfort in community.

I folded clothes for eight people today and instead of complaining my way through it, I was thankful to still be touching and folding size 2T and 3T clothes.

We had neighbors over this evening to play in the back with our kids.  This wasn’t planned, of course.  I am so grateful for the laughter I heard emerge from the backyard as Scott and I got supper together.

With so much uncertainty that has come along with fostering, it is often difficult to stay in an optimistic and thankful mode.  Today I didn’t let doubt, worry or anxiousness win.  Today I lived in thankfulness of the now.  I have so much to be grateful for.