Tuesday, March 31, 2015

your foster questions answered: part 1

I got a lot of questions! which makes me really happy!  So I've broken the answers up into several posts.  It's important to me to share this information, so I want to be as successful as possible about sharing the answers.  This would've been a HUGE post, though, so it came down to running the risk of you not coming back to read the others versus you getting bored after 10 questions and skipping the rest.  Hopefully this is the best way to do it!  :)

I've done my best to answer, but if you still have questions after reading - if I've not answered clearly, if reading an answer raises more questions, if I misunderstood your question - here's the link to the original survey to ask anonymously, or you can comment.

Why did you decide to do foster care?
I was first introduced to foster care by my piano teacher growing up.  Her family fostered infants, and I thought the idea of having fun new cute babies every once in a while sounded awesome.  Hahaha:)  As I got older, I started thinking a lot about adoption.  Joel's family helped out friends / family members a few times growing up, letting them stay in their home, and this was something that was important to him.  We decided we wanted our home to be a safe place for more than just our family, whatever that would end up meaning.

As life went by, I started having the desire to help sibling groups, too.  I fantasized about giving a home to a group of kids who'd always wanted one.  During all of this, someone told me it was a gift to be able to love other people's children as much as your own, and I realized it was true and that I had that gift.  Joel and I talked on and off about fostering but always as a "someday" thing.  One Sunday, our bishop asked a man who'd been a foster parent for 10 years to speak about some of his experiences and how they'd strengthened his testimony of the Atonement.  When we got home from church, Joel and I both knew it was "someday."  A couple weeks later, we started the training and we haven't looked back.

How long have you fostered?  How many children have you had?
Joel and I have been licensed since September, so... about 7 months.  We've had two groups of two children.  The first group was for about a week; the second group has been since Halloween.

Can you start and stop whenever you want?
Being a foster parent - Pretty much, yep!  The licensing process is pretty intense so you probably wouldn't want to do it over and over, but you can choose to let your license expire whenever you're ready.  (The license lasts a year.)
With a particular placement - If you have a placement you just cannot get along with, you can ask for them to be moved to a different home.
In between placements, you can take as long of a break as you need.

What's the best part of fostering?
I've never been a biological parent, but I would imagine the best parts of fostering are similar to the best parts of biological parenting - seeing them be happy, having a successful family night, watching them learn...  But there are some really sweet moments particular to fostering - seeing the boy who's always played violently be sweet; having a full night's sleep after weeks of nightmare nights; hearing her say her favorite movie is Peter Pan instead of "Walking Dead" - seeing that you're making a difference.

What's the hardest part?
Knowing how much they miss their parents.  When a parent cancels a visit, even if it's for a good reason.  When the case [aka Mom and Dad's choices] gets worse instead of better.  Imagining how it would feel to get ripped around.

Who decides who you get? and some more. :)


“And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Friday, March 27, 2015

foster care: what do you want to know?

We are foster parents.
We get asked a lot of questions about it.
We honestly don't mind the questions.  

Someone suggested to me recently that I write a post about foster care - what it is, what we do, ... -because a lot of people don't know much about it.  I've thought about it off and on, but I had an hour-long conversation with someone yesterday about foster care, and the "write a post" suggestion was in my mind all last night as I went to sleep.  

Now's the time!  But as I started planning what I would write, I quickly realized things would turn out better if I knew exactly what people wanted to know.  

So I'm opening it up.  I know some of what people are curious about, but I want to know what you want to know.  So please, fill out the form below!  Ask me anything!  Ask about what we do, how to qualify, how much we get paid, our specific situation... anything.  It's anonymous, so I won't know who asked what.  (And, if it makes you feel better, I really don't get offended by personal questions.)  If I can answer [legally], I will.  Also, know that we're in Utah, so any questions regarding licensing and policy will have answers specific to Utah's program.  

The better your participation, the better the outcome! :)  So.  What have you always (or recently) wanted to know about foster care?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1 reason I won't take my daughter to see (insert movie title here)

1. She doesn't really like watching movies.

Have you ever noticed that those posts come out every time a movie rated PG or lower is released?  Dear World, Some people love Disney movies and other people have issues with them.  I'm sure your daughters will turn out great, seeing how all those posts are evidence of how much you love them.  Love each other, too. :) Love, She


“The moral of this story is, firstly, that no one, however great he may be, should permit himself to jest at any one beneath him, even if he be only a hedgehog.  And, secondly, it teaches… whosoever is a hedgehog let him see to it that his wife is a hedgehog also, and so forth.”
“The Hare and the Hedgehog”

Friday, March 20, 2015

Play-Doh day

Child: That's BYU Cougars!
Me: Booyah!

Child: That's Utah Utes.
Me: You gotta learn your letters somehow.

Child: A jellyfish!!
Me: ...

Me: Tell me about it!
Child: It's a plant.

I also made a smiley face.  The response was, "Where's my forehead?"

Sorry I don't have pictures of cute faces!  Besides the fact that they're foster kids (and we're not allowed to post cute faces online), some of us have to do play-doh half-naked at this house.  #happyconfession 


Is Draco alive?  Is he in the castle?”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making stuff

Sometimes, every other week or so, life in the afternoon just gets boring.  So we make stuff.

Face paint, 

St. Patrick's Day wreaths...

They're all fun, really.


“Judging by your look of stunned disbelief, Harry did not warn you that I was coming,” said Dumbledore pleasantly.  “However, let us assume that you have invited me warmly into your house…”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Friday, March 13, 2015


I don't know what to do!  I'm so conflicted!

I dislike hashtags outside of Twitter, as a general rule.  But after my non-depressing confessions post, I've had people use the tag!  So doesn't that mean I should use it, too?  Part of me wants to.  The other part wants to say no forever, on principle.

I'll probably use it.

But what about on Facebook, where I especially don't want to use them??

I don't have a Twitter account, so Facebook and here are the only place I'd ever use it.

These are the kinds of inner conflicts I have on a daily basis.


The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years.  All was well.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

wish list

Joel and I give each other a monthly allowance.  We can buy whatever we want with it, guilt-free.  

About me: I am a hoarder with money.  I always have been.  When I was younger, my siblings were always jealous because I had a lot of money just sitting around.  

However, every once in a while, I remember how much money I have saved up, and I just want to spend ALL OF IT.  (Note: When I say it's soooooo much, it's usually like, $137, which is about as much as it was when I was a kid, too...)

So.  I'm reading, seeing daily deals, getting emails from The Grommet [I want everything on that website], whatever, and I just want to buy everything.  
As you might imagine, when I go through these phases, I also am constantly reminding myself that most of what I want is unnecessary and I'll probably forget about it tomorrow.  (Maybe I do that to preserve my money stash?  For some reason I have a weird thing about not wanting to be below $100.  But I also dislike buying unnecessary extras.)  

But sometimes.
Sometimes I don't forget about it tomorrow.
And I know I still don't need it!
But I still keep the tab open, just in case...

That being said, here's what's on my "what I really want but have not justified buying [yet?], usually because it seems so expensive for what it is" list right now.

Seche Vite top coat.  Apparently, it keeps your nail polish on really well.  $5

Jelt - an elastic belt that supposedly lays flat and is super grippy on your pants.
Belts never work for me, so I'm easily attracted to belts that seem like they work.  $30

JUMBO - the most adorable cutlery drain ever.  (I say "cutlery drain" like anyone knows what that means.  Basically, you set it next to your sink, put wet stuff in it, and the water goes out of the trunk into the sink.)  I would totally use one of these for my dish scrubber thing.  $17.46

Lettermate - a spacing stencil for addressing envelopes.  I tell myself I would use this all the time.  Who knows if I actually would, but I want one SO BAD.  $14.95

"A monthly gift that rewards + uplifts mothers."  You pay a monthly fee (or you can just do one month) and get a box with 4-6 gifts in it.  For one month, it's $33, but the monthly price goes down the longer your subscription is.  I found this when I was having a particularly rough mothering day, so now I feel like I would love it?

What's on your list?


Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.  "After all this time?"
"Always," said Snape.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dear Abby,

It can be excruciating!, lying there in bed, knowing you have the answer to someone's problem but not being allowed to share it.

I'm sorry if this sounds arrogant.  I don't want it to, it's just how I feel sometimes.
...but sometimes being perceptive and wise can be hard.
(Hey, [several of] you called me that first, not me.)

That's why I blog - sometimes, anyway.  So I can generalize my advice and share it with the world.  because sometimes that takes away the excruciating-ness of not being able to say it to who I think should hear it.  (And I allow myself to believe that maybe they read it and, without knowing I'm talking to them, take my words to heart.:)  


Stories give you a way to see things.  A way to understand the events of your life.
Even if you don't realize it while you're hearing the tale.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

the mood rings, the bracelets and the beads

This is our song. :)

(minus all the parts about breaking up and being wrong for each other, which I just realized today is most of it)

It came on the radio yesterday, and I kept thinking about how perfect it is for us -
a "love" song with just enough "don't take yourself too seriously" mixed in. :)

That is us.
I mean,
my favorite engagement picture was a High School Musical jump on a trampoline.
What says "love and committed without taking yourself too seriously" more than that?


“Oh, there you are, Albus,” [Slughorn] said.  “You’ve been a very long time.  Upset stomach?”
“No, I was merely reading the Muggle magazines,” said Dumbledore.  “I do love knitting patterns.”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince