Schedule: All The Things

We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving week off of school! I was somewhat worried about how I would fill all the extra time and keep A entertained and busy like he has become used to at preschool each morning. But… the time just flew by! He had two requests for his week of vacation from school. He asked for a play day at Nana’s house and a mall day. We fit in both, so he was a happy boy!

He is ready to be back at school though. He asked me the other day why he doesn’t go see his friends anymore. Still having no real concept of time, I think he feels it has been a really long time since his last school day. I’m glad he is enjoying it so much. I’m ready for my mornings to myself again to get caught up on my work!


This coming week will feel packed full with already having scheduled two appointments for ourselves. Jesse is busy with final preparations for an upcoming speaking engagement, which means he may have some late nights.

But then… we are foster parents, which means we don’t always have control over our own schedule. I am thankful that (at the moment) most of our foster care related workers are easy to get along with. We have regularly scheduled visits from the therapist, case worker, guardian, and our licensing worker. They all have different lengths of time between required visits to our home. Usually, they end up being spread out throughout the month. However, occasionally all the visits end up being due at the same time.

This is one of those weeks. So, we will have each of these workers in our home at some point this week. It still makes A go a little crazy when so many workers want to ask him so many questions… and it’s even worse when all the visits are back to back like this. But, on the bright side, we should be done with state required visitors for while after this week!

Blessed Chaos by Ashley Wells

chaos Being foster parents is the simultaneously the best and the most difficult thing Jesse and I have done together. In total, we have loved and cared for eighteen children. Some only stayed one night and some stayed months. We have learned so much from each one of the children we’ve had in our home.

Even though we went through foster parent training with a fantastic instructor, it’s hard to ever really be prepared for how much “blessed chaos” can arrive in your home instantly. In her book, Ashley Wells, does a great job describing what day to day life can look like when you are involved in the foster care system. My husband and I could so easily relate to many of the situations she shared about in her story. I love how open and honest she is with her struggles and how she and her family had to work through them.

Back when we were dreaming of our first foster child placement we were busy decorating bedrooms and buying clothes and toys. We were thinking about how we would do as first-time parents to the child who happened to need our care and home. And although we learned about trauma and the behaviors that we might expect with a child coming from a traumatic background, that wasn’t in the front of our minds as we accepted the call for our first little boy.

On top of the parenting aspect of foster care, which every new parent deals with, we were also trying to figure out what was normal kid behavior and what was traumatized kid behavior. Then we also had to learn to deal with the constant flow of licensing workers, case managers, guardians, and therapists coming to our home… sometimes unannounced, as required. And then there are also extra appointments, family visits, staffings, and court dates to attend.

I appreciate and was encouraged by the honesty in Ashley’s writing about just how crazy this foster care life is. At times I felt like I could have reading my own story. I would highly recommend Blessed Chaos to those involved in foster-adoption or those considering or just starting out on their foster care journey. It would be a great read for friends and family wondering what it’s really like to have children brought to your door and have to suddenly learn how to best care for them.

I’m honored to have received a copy of this book and to be able to recommend it as a great read. Get your copy of Blessed Chaos today!

Toy Story Moment

Remember the ending of Toy Story 3? Andy is leaving for college and decides to give away all his favorite toys to the little girl so they will be played with again. He stops by her house to introduce all the toys to her and then Andy plays with her with his toys one last time.

We experienced our own toy story moment yesterday…

We were out driving around to garage sales, which by the way A loves doing with us! He and I have been earning extra money dog walking together so he understood that he had some of his own money to spend if he found something that he wanted. We were at one of our last stops and A hit the jackpot! We found a huge bag full of cars!

My first thought was that more cars was the last thing we needed around our house. But then I spotted a police car among the bunch, I knew A would love to have that one! Then as we started looking through them we saw an ambulance and A found a GARBAGE TRUCK! He is so excited about garbage trucks these days.

Since the whole bag of cars was priced as a set we asked if we could just pick a few to buy. The seller was a twelve-ish year old boy and wasn’t sure what he should do about our request. What came next turned out to be very cool teaching moment. The boy’s mom came over and talked him through the fact that his goals were to get rid of old toys, make some money in the process, and she could tell that A would really make good use of these cars. They went back and forth and came to a price of $0.25 each or five cars for $1.00. Which was perfect because Jesse had just told me that he had $2.00 left in his pocket… so we told A he could pick out ten cars.

A went about carefully choosing his favorites. After the first couple of choices the older boy caught on to what A would be interested in and started searching for ones he knew that A would want. He showed him that the ambulance doors opened and how the dump truck could dump his load. So sweet!

new cars

A paid the boy the $2.00 and the boy handed us a bag with the ten cars. A could not be more happy with his purchases! All of his new rescue vehicles have been working non-stop and he is driving his garbage truck around his pretend city making all the truck noises the real garbage truck makes.

What a great lesson for him too! Even at his age it’s clear that there is something very satisfying to have bought the cars with his own money. We really want him to understand the value of working hard and earning the reward. It’s something we’ve been trying to teach him about since he often has a hard time when Jesse has to leave us to go to work. This turned out be the best way so far to illustrate that to A and a great teaching moment for both boys!