My Lifetime Movie Life

There are times when I feel like my life is being filmed for a TV movie of the week for the Lifetime Channel.

And this is one of those times.

Two days before Valentine’s Day we received word from the federal attorneys that our adoption agency was being shut down.

As in goodbye, kaput, all gone, no more.

And our money that we had turned in?

It was also goodbye, kaput, all gone, no more.

Thousands and thousands of dollars.

We were informed that if we had received a referral the government would help us finish the adoption process.

We were literally next on the list to receive a referral.

So that leaves us, and one hundred other families, with no adoption to follow through with and federal attorneys who say it’s completely up to us if we want to try and get some of our money back. They can’t help us. They are going to keep us up to date on legal proceedings but helping us with money? Nope. Can’t do. Not our area folks.

See, just like a Lifetime movie.

But sadly there’s no Tom Selleck or Dana Delaney character who’s about to sweep in and take our case.

Believe me when I say I had no humor about this situation when it first happened.

I almost instantly became physically ill with a severe cold and eventually lost my voice.

I blame it on all the crying. and the crying. and the crying.

I had to run a Valentine’s Day party for my son in the initial midst of this and all I really wanted to do was run out of there and sit on the couch watching movies and eating girl scout cookies.

(Don’t even get me started on how many girls can go to camp this year because of my cookie intake in the last 3 weeks).

Even though adoption is something I had wanted to do my whole life, it’s not a decision my husband and I came to easy. There were miscarriages, heart to heart talks, and a long process to get us to the point of actually moving forward with the idea.

I have grumbled with God. Several times.

But God is funny.

Right before we’ve had big losses, I’ve always been offered a job, seemingly out of nowhere. I accept the job and with days to go before my start date something major will happen.

I think it’s God’s way of keeping me moving forward and having a different focus.

I also think I’m never going to take another job in my life. Seems like I might be able to head off some of these life moments.

OK, not true.

But if we win the lottery I might just stick to that thinking.

So I started my new job.

God said, “You think you’ve got problems? Go tutor these homeless kids and then tell me about your problems.”

My new job is tutoring elementary aged kids who are homeless. All of those words should never go together in a sentence but sadly they do.

They are homeless – some sleep in their cars at night, some have beds some of the time until an uncle gets angry and they sleep on the lawn that night with their mom, and some live in shelters.

But I tell you what. They are amazing, beautiful kids. They have the best smiles. They are so eager to learn. They are so happy. They have struggles yes, but they have joy.

And so I take my cue on living life from some 8 year olds who have it much tougher than me.

The past 3 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions but I feel good about where I am going with this whole life experience.

We are not quite sure what our next step is but that’s okay.We’ve got each other and we’ve got a roof over our heads.

The rest will work itself out.

And if it doesn’t, I’m sure I could hunt down Tom Selleck’s phone number from somewhere.

Posted in adoption, observations, parenting | 8 Comments

She is Fierce: Bedroom Art

Anyone who knows my four year old knows that she has a mind of her own.

I present to you one of her latest self chosen preschool outfits as a small piece of evidence.

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So when I came across the Shakespeare quote, “And though she be but little, she is fierce,” I knew it described Caroline and it would be perfect somewhere in her room.

One day while the boys were at school Caroline and I made this sign:

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Here’s how we made it:

We found a board in the garage that was roughly 1 1/2 ft by 3 1/2 feet and gathered some paints. Since this is going in her “rainbow room” we grabbed an assortment of colors.

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We then slapped on some color with the foam brushes, pausing after each color to dry the paint with the hair dryer.

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“Please don’t touch the hair dryer it’s hot.”

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Aaaaaand we touch it anyway.

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I’m thinking maybe I should make another sign that says, “And though she has good hearing, she chooses to ignore most of what her momma says.”

After we had covered the entire board with bright colors I took some gold paint and randomly placed it on the board and completely around the edges.

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I then found some leftover vinyl letters that we used on science fair boards several years ago and fashioned them into the letters we needed. I cut the letters and number below to create “she.”

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Once all of the letters are arranged the way you would like them, peel the stickers off and place them onto your board.

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For the last step, I spray painted the entire sign white. Once the sign is dry, peel off the letters to discover the fun design underneath.

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The sign is now sitting on Caroline’s bed frame waiting to be hung up

IMG_4130Describes her perfectly.

Man I love that kid.

 

Independent. Spirited. FIERCE.

Posted in art work, bedroom, caroline, crafts, decorations, house projects, quotes | 3 Comments

February 2014 Goals

Alright, here are my goals for February…

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Here’s a blank February goal page in case you’d like one.

What are you hoping to accomplish, complete, do this month?

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A Colorful Bedroom Wreath

My name is Jennifer and I am a craft materials hoarder.

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When you are a craft materials hoarder it’s easy to say, “This project didn’t cost me anything.”

At least that’s what I tell my husband.

He is well aware that at some point in the past five years we’ve paid for these materials but he chooses to go along with my “free projects.”

I’m pretty sure we’ve found the key to a successful marriage.

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Not sure where I accumulated all of these materials from but I’m thankful I did.

Wrap a wreath in fabric strips and secure with glue gun.

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Make rosette flowers with fabric scraps.

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Make felt flowers with felt leftovers.

Have a few extra buttons lying around?

Go crazy and glue them on.

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Arrange and rearrange until you get it just right.

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Then use that glue gun very liberally.

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Free decorative wreath for my daughter’s bedroom.

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Score one for craft material hoarders everywhere!

Posted in art work, bargains, bedroom, caroline, crafts, decorations, husbands | 1 Comment

Barbie Comes Full Circle in Our House

My sister gave my four year old some Barbies for Christmas.

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Caroline wanted Barbies more than any other gift.

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When I was younger I loved playing with Barbies.

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I loved them but couldn’t quite resist giving them some much needed improvement.

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I was sure that one day I was going to be the Jose Eber of hairdressing and I was just practicing my craft.

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Caroline is four, I’m pretty sure I was double and triple her age when I made such Barbie improvements.

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Amanda, I promise you she loves the Barbies that you gave her. She cried when I asked her what happened to Cinderella’s hair.

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But just to be safe, I’m keeping a close eye on Snow White.

Posted in caroline, observations, parenting | 5 Comments

Caroline’s Room Plan

Whenever we paint around here my 4 year old gets super excited and asks if we are going to paint her room next.

Since nothing in her room has really changed since she was born (minus the crib change out for a big girl bed) and she’s getting ready to turn five (sniff sniff), I decided now was a good time to redo her room.

She settled on a rainbow theme.

Less than thrilled I went with it but really like what we’ve pulled together.

And by pull together I mean found around the house and made.

Besides the paint color (75% Repose Gray), ceiling paint (white), and the main fabric the big project in her room, I used what we already had. (Gramma will be throwing in a new comforter set once we get to that point – thanks Mom!)

And guess what?

I’m really excited with everything and so is she.

So here’s the basic plan which I put together after I had completed about half of the projects.

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While Caroline and I made all of the art work in her room, here are the links to the pieces on the design board:

HGTV Mod All Over Fruit Punch (main fabric in room)

Robert Kauffman’s Urban Circus fabric

You are Loved print

Though she be but little print- Sugarhouse House Ink

Felt hearts – Flickr

Unicorn print – Block Party Prints

Alright, I’ve got to go work on some projects if I’m going to meet my goal of finishing her room by the end of the month.

Happy Designing!

Posted in art work, bedroom, caroline, crafts, decorations, etsy, house projects | 2 Comments

January 2014 Goals Reviewed

Alright, so let’s get to how well I did with my January goals.

And just so we are completely honest with each other, I made these goals about Jan 15.

I had already been working on some things so I just decided to give myself to the end of the month to complete them.

Paint Caroline’s RoomCheck!- My wonderful husband painted her ceiling and her walls since I wanted to give her room an update since she’s almost five and it’s looked the same way since she was born. Since I’m not sure if our room arrangements will be the same next year I wanted a neutral color. I really wanted to paint the room all white but chickened out once I got to Sherwin Williams. I decided to go with Repose Gray at 75% (it’s 25% lighter than the color). Now that it’s painted, I really like the color and am glad I went with it.

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Record Exercise – check! I’ll share more on that late in the week as well as a printable to go along with it.

Date Night with Hubby – fail! – Nope, but my sister is coming in town this month so we are going to take advantage of her being there – thanks Kelly!

Sew Christmas Tree Skirt - check! – Believe it or not I completed this task and probably written the first Christmas post of the year. I won’t be sharing it to the fall but I’m really excited about it since I started making it with the kids two years ago.

Go to bed at decent time – check!

Add 1 new product to etsy shop – fail!

Finish Christmas thank you cards with kids - fail! But we are getting there, only a few more to go!

Finish and hang family word art - fail! Project is complete now though.

Try 2 new recipes – check! – Look out world I went crazy and tried 3 new recipes.

We ate this Slow Cooker Lasagna the other night – probably won’t make it again since I thought it was just okay but if I do I will use sausage instead of ground beef. My 8 year old really liked this meal (I doubled the sauce and cheese amounts).

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – I made these before school one day and to say the kids were shocked is an understatement – what, no cereal this morning? I didn’t make the icing for them and just served them hot out of the oven which my kids enjoyed. I will make these again since I’m so happy they didn’t come from a box.

Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe – We had this at a friends house one night and we loved it. I made this recipe the next week and again we all loved this. We had it with some coleslaw and fruit and we will definitely make this again. Once the meat was finished cooking we mixed it with some BBQ to make it extra yummy.

If you see this packet in the grocery store, pick it up since you’ll need one to make the recipe:

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Write More – check! Although I didn’t write as much as I would have liked, I did write more than usual so that’s a win for me. Next month I need to be better about just sitting and journaling at a specific time.

Any progress on your goals, resolutions, and lists?

Posted in goals, recipes | 3 Comments

Chicken Wire Frame in the Ol’Bedroomo

Isn’t the title funny?

No? Well as I’m watching this football game I’m finding that I need something to entertain myself.

Actually, truth be told, I’m not even watching the game.

Gotta grab those quiet moments in front of the computer when I can.

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A few months ago I spray painted an old frame that I picked up at a garage sale for $1.

I first spray painted it white and then did little spirts of silver.

Before the silver dried I dragged a cloth over them to move the silver around a bit.

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My husband, the world’s best, then added chicken wire to the frame.

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I love seeing these picture of us up every time I walk by in my bedroom.

Makes me ridiculously happy.

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My 4 year old thought having a picture of Princess Elsa would make me happy as well.

And while that does make me smile, she has got to go.

Princess Elsa that is, not my daughter.

(The best thing to hold onto in life is each other print found here.)

Posted in art work, bargains, bedroom, caroline, husbands | 2 Comments

January Goals 2014

I’m starting off this year with goal sheets for the month again since I found them so successful two years ago (and yes, I totally realize there are only 11 months left in the year).

Goals. Resolutions.

Tomatoes. To-ma-toes.

I have found that having goals written down just makes a world of difference in my productivity.

Now for my goal sheet for the month of January:

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And before I tell you how I did on meeting these goals I’ll be sure to take advantage of the last 2 days of the month.

Click here for a blank copy of the January goals page and here for a blank copy of the February goal page.

Do you have any goals you are working toward this year? month? day?

Posted in goals | 1 Comment

Waiting

Sweet girl waiting for a friend to arrive for a play date.

IMG_3088-001She ended up waiting there for about an hour.

Having a snack and generally asking me every five minutes if it was time yet.

This is why you are never late to play dates people – Get there on time!

Posted in caroline, observations, parenting, Uncategorized | 3 Comments