Sunday, August 6, 2017

Quick Tips: Sister Day

Today is Sister Day, and Author Jeanette Hanscome shares tips not only for today but every day.


Quick Tips: Sister Day

My two younger sisters and I have a bond 

that friends envy. Here are three of our 

secrets:
·  Be sweet to each other. When I moved back home after my husband left, my sisters welcomed me, listened without prying, and loved my son. Three years later, when I published a book, they were my biggest fans. 
Sisters grow closer when they share difficulties and successes.

· Play together. My sister Sherry and I are visually impaired—we can’t drive or see colors; Kristy sees perfectly. Shopping together doubles as fun sister time. Kristy is our designated fashion consultant.
Plan sister time. It can be as simple as hanging out a park while the kids play, or setting up Facetime for long distance.

· Don’t overuse “family helps each other.” I am “the aunt who bakes,” but Sherry still asks before assuming I can help her daughter make a cake. We’re family, but we’re also busy grown women. 
It’s easy to take advantage of family. Know when to ask for help and when to give your sister a break. 

If you’re thinking, I don’t have a good relationship with my sister

remember that girlfriends can also be like sisters. The same secrets 

apply!


Jeanette Hanscome is an author, writing teacher, and speaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her newest book, Suddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and Promise, published by Worthy Inspired, is her first devotional for women after many years of writing for teen girls and tweens.
You can connect with Jeanette on her Facebook page.
Here are two of her books:


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Quick Tips: Make a Difference in the Life of a Child

July is make a difference in the life of a child month, but really that should be our desire every month. Author and speaker Crystal Bowman shares her ideas.


Making a Difference in the Lives of Children
One of the ways we can make a difference in the lives of children is to spend time with them. And one of the best ways to spend time with children is by reading books that stimulate delightful discussions. Kids are full of questions, and those questions often arise during reading time. Since there are countless books to choose from, here are a few suggestions:
  • ·        Choose books that are enjoyable to read so the experience is positive. If books are too long or boring, the child will lose interest.
  • ·        Many of today’s toys are multisensory and interactive. Choose books that engage children and bring them into the text such a counting books or books that ask questions.
  • ·        Choose books that help children learn more about God as a person. The more children learn about God’s character, the more comfortable they will be in pursuing a relationship with Him.
  • ·        Choose books about animals and nature so children can see God’s love and care and in His creation.

Reading to a child is an education, spiritual, emotional and physical experience. If you want to make a difference in the lives of children, let them crawl on your lap and read a book together.

Here are some of Crystal's books:



To find out more about Crystal, how she got started writing and all about her books, visit her Facebook pagewebsite or Amazon page

You also might want to check out these other quick tips:

Preparing a Child's Heart for Easter
Showing Kindness Every Day
Fresh Starts
Keeping Your Mind Strong

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Who's Left?

Most of you know that we live in the Florida panhandle. None of the panhandle kids are ones that would fit well in our family. So we are looking out of county. Our limit is 5-6 hours because we have to make so many visits. Well, it turns out that many of the boys we'd chosen are in Miami or just as far down the state on the west side. Two are in Tampa and two are in Jacksonville --a little under six hours for Tampa and a little over 4 hours for Jax. Here are the two Tampa boys and the two Jacksonville boys.





CHRISTIAN --TAMPA
Age: 15


Christian is a polite, reserved, intelligent young man. His hobbies include video games and playing basketball. His favorite subject is math and hopes to become an Architect. Christian's favorite foods are pizza and chocolate but won't turn down any food offered to him.







  PARRIS --JACKSONVILLE
Age: 13
Parris is a talkative and social young man. He is physically active and enjoys yoga and tumbling. He says that he is pretty good at a back handspring. Parris's favorite color is blue and he loves to eat Mexican food. Parris also mentioned that he enjoys attending church. Parris is open to being adopted and wants to be a part of a forever family. He would do best in a family who can provide the love, support, and structure that he needs. A family that can help Parris get involved in dance, gym, and gymnastics and help him grow in those areas. Parris wants a mom and a dad and is open to siblings.







TOMMIE-- TAMPA
Age: 13
Tommie is an active, inquisitive kid who loves family and having fun. He's a diligent student who strives for good grades and he especially enjoys reading. Tommie likes sports of all kinds but is particularly good at football and dodgeball. He's a natural leader and would make a great coach or mentor one day. Family is important to him and he is eager to become part of one!







ANTWAN--JACKSONVILLE
Age: 15
Antwan is an outgoing teen who describes himself as smart and intelligent but with a playful side. He enjoys making people happy either by making them laugh or cooking 
them a meal. He is very active and is hoping to join the track team at his school this coming year. Antwan also has a creative side which he exhibits in drama and performing R&B and gospel music. Antwan is looking for a fun and accepting family that will be there for him throughout his life. Antwan has the potential to accomplish so many great things and just needs the love and support of a committed adoptive family. He would be a joyful addition to any family!


Christian is the first one I discovered on the list. He's in a group home in Tampa. I have not made contact with his case worker. 

Tommie we are not sure about. He's young and we don't get a good feel for him from the little they say.

We fell in love with Parris' photo online, but the fact that he just turned 13, is adorable but still on the list makes us think he has issues. He is only 11 month older than the twins. We hope for the new child to be more of Jasmine's "buddy."

Antwan has become our favorite choice. He goes to church. He sings gospel music, acts and wants to run track. He sounds like a perfect match.

The problem is that he doesn't want to leave his county. 

Parris' caseworker called us today and asked us to send our home study. She can't tell me anything about him until she gets our home study, but I did tell her I have twins about a year younger and she said that wouldn't be a problem.

We have had a situation come up suddenly that we need to deal with before we decide, so please pray for that situation to be resolved.

We also have the situation with Kayla to deal with when she gets home from camp. I really feel she will work through the stealing and lying. We will be constant and supportive while that happens. Kaleb too. He just wasn't in on the last incident so does not have to go to teen court. Kayla's worker would like him to be there though so he can see what goes on. I am hoping the five weeks at mission camp will have an impact on them.

That's all our news for now.

In the next post I'll talk more about our trip, and the one Rick and Tyler are on right now.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Who Will Be Child 9?

Or lack thereof. A little of both. I have heard that we are home study approved. I am trying to find out if that is true. In the meantime I assumed it was true and called the adoption line to get the caseworker info for the following kids. The information I really needed is where they are at. Since there will be several visits before the child will be placed in our home, I set the line at a 5-6 hour drive. It's getting late so I will post next time about which four turned out to be within the six hour drive limit. It was a bit heart breaking, and our favorite (Justin if you remember when I talked about the teens many posts back) was placed in a home several weeks ago, so he's not listed below.

Hard to choose and hoping God will open and close doors to get the right young man home to us. Many of these may not want to leave their county, so we will see what happens.

Curious, which child would you pick for yourself and which child would you pick for us?



CHRISTIAN
Age: 15

Christian is a polite, reserved, intelligent young man. His hobbies include video games and playing basketball. His favorite subject is math and hopes to become an Architect. Christian's favorite foods are pizza and chocolate but won't turn down any food offered to him.





MATTHEW
Age: 15
Matthew is a very personable and polite young man. He describes himself as "introverted, respectful, athletic and having good morals." He is hopeful that he will be placed in a family that is religious with similar morals as his. Matthew listens well, and accepts verbal redirection if given. Matthew is intelligent and smart; and is really motivated to learn. Matthew is doing very well academically and makes good grades. He hopes to attend college to major in either Criminology or History. Matthew does well in social settings; but appears shy and guarded. He enjoys sports; especially football and loves to read. He also wants a dad who likes sports (football) and who will be there for his family. He wants a mom that is kind hearted, caring and loving. Matthew really needs stability and a family to call his own. He needs parents who will be patient, provide guidance and encouragement, willing to motivate Matthew to be the best he can be! Matthew would make a great addition to any family. Are you the right family for this friendly and lovable child? If so, he is waiting for your call!




Meet DOUGLAS
Age: 13
Douglas is a Hispanic male with a beautiful personality. He is a happy teenager who enjoys outside activities. Douglas is very active and outgoing. He likes outdoor sports, bike riding and skating. He likes to play basketball and soccer. Douglas likes video games and watching movies. His favorite T.V. shows includes Digemon and W.W.E. Douglas has the ability to be a leader. He loves to be active.




Meet JORDAN
Age: 15
Jordan is a Caucasian male and he is 15 years old. Jordan is a charming young man with a lot to offer to a family. He loves playing games on the computer, and actually wants to design video games when he gets older. In addition, he loves swimming, and various water activities. There is never a dull moment with Jordan. Jordan is a laid back young man who enjoys relaxing and watching television. Jordan is quite intelligent and can ace a test with very little studying. Although Jordan is intelligent, he needs a family that will push him with his academics and make sure he does his school work and projects. Jordan is excited to have a forever family in his life.





  PARRIS
Age: 13
Parris is a talkative and social young man. He is physically active and enjoys yoga and tumbling. He says that he is pretty good at a back handspring. Parris's favorite color is blue and he loves to eat Mexican food. Parris also mentioned that he enjoys attending church. Parris is open to being adopted and wants to be a part of a forever family. He would do best in a family who can provide the love, support, and structure that he needs. A family that can help Parris get involved in dance, gym, and gymnastics and help him grow in those areas. Parris wants a mom and a dad and is open to siblings.






TOMMIE
Age: 13
Tommie is an active, inquisitive kid who loves family and having fun. He's a diligent student who strives for good grades and he especially enjoys reading. Tommie likes sports of all kinds but is particularly good at football and dodgeball. He's a natural leader and would make a great coach or mentor one day. Family is important to him and he is eager to become part of one!






JAMAL
Age: 15
Jamal is an attractive African-American male of Haitian descent. Jamal loves any activity that is outdoors. Jamal is seen as a leader among his peers and is very outgoing. Jamal is an animal lover, he especially loves dogs. He excels in school and is very intelligent. Jamal will need the encouragement and support of a forever family that values education.






ANTWAN
Age: 15
Antwan is an outgoing teen who describes himself as smart and intelligent but with a playful side. He enjoys making people happy either by making them laugh or cooking them a meal. He is very active and is hoping to join the track team at his school this coming year. Antwan also has a creative side which he exhibits in drama and performing R&B and gospel music. Antwan is looking for a fun and accepting family that will be there for him throughout his life. Antwan has the potential to accomplish so many great things and just needs the love and support of a committed adoptive family. He would be a joyful addition to any family!




Antonio is a tall male, who often hides his smile when he is shy. He is quiet and polite. He enjoys wrestling, playing football, and hanging out with his friends to play video games. Antonio is very active and would love a family that enjoys the outdoors. Antonio has a lot of energy and a lot of love to share.


Jayden is a very quiet teenager who enjoys hanging out with his friends and riding his bike. He has big dreams for the future and needs a family who will be supportive of his goals and help him work toward them. He is struggling a little in school but mostly from a lack of motivation. Jayden would do well with a family that can provide him with a strong male role model as that has been lacking from his life. If he sounds like a good match for your family, call today.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Quick Tips: Budget-Friendly Summer Ideas

Today author and speaker Dena Dyer shares ideas for inexpensive summer activities.





Budget-Friendly Summer Fun—in Your Own “Backyard”
Financially, the summer can be tough on those of us who have children at home. How do we keep them engaged without A) allowing them to spend too much time on screens or B) blowing our budgets? Thankfully, there are ways to do both, without even leaving our own area:
Libraries and Museums
Most public libraries have free children’s, tween and teen programs during the summer. And family memberships at museums—especially science/discovery ones—easily pay for themselves because of their variety of programming.

Local, State and National Parks
Parks are great for hiking, swimming, exploring, picnicking, and fishing. Many of them even have free explorer/Junior Ranger programs.

Movie Theaters and Bowling Alleys
Thousands of local bowling alleys participate each summer in the “Kids Bowl Free” program. All you pay for is the shoes! Also, check with the closest movie theater—they may offer special kid movies at drastically reduced prices.

Colleges and Theaters
Look up your local college’s summer offerings. These institutions often schedule low-cost children’s and teens classes during breaks from school. In addition, many community theaters host dance, acting, and singing camps for talented kids. (Ask about scholarships if the camps are pricey.)

Other ideas for kids of all ages: volunteer for charity; create their own business (lemonade stand/photography/dog walking); attend local VBS programs.

Bottom line? You can create a memory-making summer for your family. It may take some research and creativity, but the results will be worth it.



Here are some of Dena's books:





Dena Dyer is a professional writer, speaker, and teacher, as well as the author of eight books and hundreds of articles who lives in Texas with her husband, sons and dog Princess. Her interests include traveling, reading, cooking, time spent with family and friends and a lot more. You can connect with her on her webpage or purchase one of her many books here.


Other Quick Tips You Might Want to Read are:

Fresh Starts
Keeping Your Mind Strong

Monday, May 1, 2017

Parenting is Tough

Right now parenting is tough. For whatever reason, all sorts of issues are coming out in our twins. It's tough when you love a child but you are nothing more than a caregiver them. That is the reality of attachment disorder. I don't thing theirs is as severe as some, but I feel like I did all the right things when they got home to help them connect and attach. So why this is all escalating I don't know.

On the other hand, having two granddaughters only 15 minutes away is a blessing, as is watching how they attach with their mom, dad and other relatives.

River is a beautiful 16 month old toddler now. It seems like I was just posting about her birth. And Winter is ten days old. It will be fun to watch how she is the same and different from River, especially since they are so close in age and the same sex/gender.


Other random family  photos.




Friday, April 21, 2017