Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Just because I've been quiet doesn't mean it's been smooth sailing.




Newbie #1 had to go to another home this week because behaviors escalated to the point, that it was far beyond my pay grade.  

I breathed a big sigh of relief because 1) Zach was starting to act out  2) Steven was going into depression and 3) I can't spend 12 hours of my day talking this kid off the ledge when there are 5 more that need me just as intensely. BUT then the minute everyone went to bed, sadness and guilt seeped in and I went into my bathroom and had a big old bawl fest.

I feel like I let him down. Yet  I feel relief.   I feel anxious because will he be cared for?  I feel helpless because I didn't know how to even begin to help him or get through to him.

I used my contacts and connections and found him a program that might help hiim, and as of today, I hear he is getting an intake next week.  I have offered to drive him EVERY DANG DAY to school because HE NEEDS help.

Lacey helped me through my anguish of feeling inadequate by reminding me how many SKILLS I developed over the course of the month he was here.  New tools in my tool belt.   God stretching me beyond my wildest dreams on patience and understanding and needs and development.

S  T  R  E  T  C H  I  N   G   G   G   G  G  G   G    GGG   

And how I know I am being obedient, my cash coffers were getting low toward the end of the month, and I will be ding dong darned, if 5 minutes after I had inventoried my fridge and pantry, making our lunch and dinner menu... my friend Jill Self Perry drives up in my driveway with GROCERIES FOR DAYYYYYSSSSSSS.   I mean.   And Thin Mints.  For me.  In my closet.  Secret Stash.  Amen.  

"God told me to do it".    (cue crying into kleenex here)

God is forever faithful.


When you don't think you can take one more step because of the burdens you are carrying, you lean into HIM and let HIM carry you.

He can CHUCK NORRIS carry you through all of it.  I mean.   yeah.

With Kip and baby getting ready to take full stage in about 2-3 weeks, I'm going to try and hold off on getting kid #6 in here.   I wish beyond reason that Newbie #1 could get some behavior help and come back.   I like having siblings together, even if they FIGHT EVERY SECOND ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.  Sibs belong together.  

So we will see what God has in store.  It's always interesting.  Newbie #3 has a 9 month old brother (she's 10) and I told caseworker that he could come over and have overnights if his foster family ever felt comfortable about it.  

Now don't go thinking I am going to lose my mind and get a baby, because NO that's not going to happen, but I'm in the business of health and healing, and if snuggling with your baby brother one whole night puts this little girl to rest(that has stolen my heart OUT OF MY BODY)and help her find her happy smile, then I will put aside my sleeping need for one night every month or so, and let the good times roll.

It's just sleep.  What's that all about.

And in other EXCITING NEWS.   





and to a FRIEND!  She will tell you it's just one step short of amazing, but I will tell you it is ALL GOD AND that I have a FRIEND next door to my mom, and any worrying I ever had going on is GONE.  And my friend is ridiculously OVER THE MOON about ADULTING and buying her first home, and it's just a WOW EE MAN  awesome good feeling.

April 13, Friday the 13th this year is going to be a very very good day.


God is faithful,  He is present.   And He Is Good.  Even when we are Sad.  

All the time.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Reckless Love

I have so much I want to write on here, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

What has transpired this week, in me, in the kids, and overall, is just short of a God given miracle.

I'm just going to back up and start at the beginning of the week.

I was defeated.

I was tired.

Satan was having a field day.

I had a counselor appt with my Newbie #1 (8 yo male).  I'm not going to lie.  That appointment was all for me.

I'm a hammer.  I've always been a hammer.  I've raised children without a 2nd parent.  No good cop, no bad cop.   So I have all the roles to be.  So the most effective parenting skill for me was being a hammer.  It worked.  I raised pretty awesome kids.

However, I find myself in a new season.

New kids, new triggers, new problems.

What I was doing wasn't working.  At.  All.

AND Satan was Clapping his hands in GLEE.

So, sitting in the doc's office.  Defeated.  Saying, "Help me fix this little mess kid.  I'm just over my head and he's about to get kicked out of school, and he stays in trouble 23.5 hours of the 24 hr day".

He looked me square in the eyes, and said,  "Have you focused on the .5 hour of the day, what he is doing right?  Ever?"


No, that's not how I parent.  He asked me why I foster, and what is my goal?   (then ironically, my son in law asked me the same thing yesterday, but I digress)....  To help kids.  I feel it is a calling.  I feel God has brought me to this season for a reason, and I'm trying to be the face of God to these kids.

He re-wired my hard wired way of thinking into finding the positive in EVERY THING THEY DO.  I'm not going to lie or say I'm perfect, but our house changed that first evening.  (Yes, I carried the sheet of affirming statements around with me, so I could cheat, but whatever works, we are trying)

Satan isn't happy.   Since things were changing at home, he followed newbie to school and kept him stirred up there.   After a conversation with teacher, things are changing.  Friday was for the most part, principal office free. 

We focus on the positive.  We give no energy to the negative.  If you screw up, you do your time out, no energy from mom is given to's not personal, it's business.   "I care about your well-being, and setting the porch on fire, doesn't work in this house, so it's 5 minutes time out". 

These kids have been so verbally, physically abused their whole life, my hammer didn't even phase them. 

Love phases them.

We have been singing a song in church the last little bit, and it resonated with me, to my very soul.

God NEVER EVER leaves us.  In our greatest and most trying times, HE IS THERE, asking us to trust HIM and love Him.   TRUST.   Trust   TRUST.

We think that if we ask God for something, that we will get what we ask for exactly the way we ask.

God takes our pleas, the heart felt prayers that we fervently pray over our lives and finds a way to refine us, to work our hearts to HIS good.

That's where so many people get so off track.  "If I ask God for it, He doesn't Listen!"   Oh, friends..  He listens. 

I've been praying for patience and God's love of people to flood me for years (since Laynie) and LOOK what He has done to give me the answer to my prayers!   He gives me the most challenging and heart stretching trials.

I'm such a work in progress.

Lacey told me about a netflix show yesterday and I watched it this morning (since my body is already preparing me for the SPRING FORWARD debacle that happens next week) since I was awake at 5 am.

Spend the next 75 minutes watching this powerful, life changing video.Get on Netflix.    Friends, God LONGS for you.  There is nothing He won't do for you.   You may have walked away from Him, but He is sitting there WAITING and LONGING for you.

Let Him find you.   Take up your violin and play with your Father, who loves you beyond any reason. 

There is nothing, NOTHING, that can keep God from Loving you.

Just open the door and let Him in.

Be free.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lolly's no good, all crap, very upsidedown day



This whole day has been a crap factory of the highest and utmost magnitude.

I don't even know how or when it started.

Maybe when I OPENED MY EYES this morning.  Hang on to your hats. 

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO....  I had to MOM hard today. 

Newbie #1 had to do a cleanout because of poop accidents at school.  So turtle mcturtleson had to drink 2 giant bottles of gatorade with an equal amount of "tasteless" miralax stirred in it.

One bottle in, kid about to throw up their cookies.  I get it.  I've had a colonscopy and that clean out is for the birds.

After an hour we had some success, but this kid being the turtle speed, didn't get the second bottle drank.  So all that work, and I'm pretty sure we still have a problem.... so that means back to the doctor.


Then newbie #2 decided that newbie #3 was being too successful (learned how to ride a bike today, PRAISE) and sassy mcsasserson said so many mean spirited things to newbie #3, that newbie #3 had an anxiety attack in the closet and I had to pray sweet thing through it.

Newbie #1 and Newbie #2 have SERIOUS issues.

I'm trying them at counselors this week to see if we can get some of this under control, but in the meantime, I'm growing an ulcer the size of Montana.... I just might be.

BUT WAIT.....There's more.....

Newbie #1 triggered and SHUT TOTALLY DOWN for 2 hours, then after the drama that was my house, came out of the episode and ACTED LIKE I WAS THIS KID's BEST FRIEND.


 Zachary (bless his heart) MELTED down, and I don't mean a little I mean FULL DOWN melt and I had to teach him to inhale in his nose and blow it out his mouth in an effort to calm him, and WHOA.


It's been a day.

Somewhere in there, the Vietnamese boys and I managed to clean the Learning Center here at the ranch (part of our community service) and I enjoyed that.  You know the day had to be straight out of the crap factory for me to enjoy cleaning EVEN ONE SECOND.

Oh, and I let Steven (age 14.25) drive us to the Learning Center.  He did a super duper job except when he turned.  He can go STRAIGHT LIKE HE'S THE BIG BAD BOSS OF IT.

Gina bo Bina drove us home from church yesterday, and rocked it like a pro.  She spent almost 2 hours with an instructor on Saturday who deemed her "a natural" so I guess I better get on board and let her start driving, so I don't have to drive her to college.

So, there's my day.   It's a shame I don't like wine.

But I found I like an entire box of lucky charms, a can of caramel peanuts and french onion dip and potato chips to be just the ticket, rocking myself in my rocking chair in my corner of my room, just rock...rock....rocking. (just shy of sucking my thumb)

Then Newbie #1 wants to come in my private sanctuary and pray before bed, and offers a sweet prayer of apology to Jesus (see yesterday's blog for the LOUD and exuberant prayer I had prayed before this newbie in the car the day before), and proceeds to tell me "I'm the nicest person they know and they are going to learn RESPECT."

Yeah.  Tomorrow's a new day.   Now for that last box of lucky charms.

Prayers are welcome.  At this point, I am wondering what in the living HELL I was thinking.

But It's 7:35 pm and there is NO SNOW in the forecast, so that means in less than 12 hours, the school bus will come to my house and drive them all away for 8 hours. 

So tomorrow will be better.  I have a good friend that visited with me this past week, and told me that He LOVED hanging out with me, so that way he feels better about his own life.  So there's that.

Please dear LORD let it be better.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Sinner Saved By Grace

Boy, did I squirm in church tonight.

Pastor Craig talked about hypocrites, and I'm not going to lie, I felt super convicted.  Mainly because he kept talking about social media, and how we portray our lives, and then live an entirely different way.


Do I do that?

I wrestle with this a lot.  I'm a big ole sinner.  That has thankfully been saved by grace.

Do I write this blog to seek accolades?  I hope that's not what is the root of the base of the bottom of the reason.

But then as he unpacked the message more, and he called himself "an honest sinner", I felt myself relaxing.

I'm a sinner, saved by grace.

I have said that so many times.   I sinned my way through life, sitting in a pew almost every weekend, thinking I was a "Great Christian"  and then Lacey prayed a dangerous prayer and God sent us an angel to save us all.

Laynie's life changed me.  Her pure goodness and my constant need to seek God, because I was so out of anything I had ever experienced before, brought Him to me in a way I had never dreamed possible.  I had heard all the stories about "peace that passeth understanding" and "redeeming grace", but never experienced them first hand.

Dangerous prayers are necessary to bring you to knees, because only on your knees, do you truly, recklessly seek and desire God's hand.  

When I searched for answers on Laynie's "Why" in the pages of my bible, I became a sold out, believer of the one and only who can give you the peace you forever need, and it changed my life.

Sometimes, like today, I am so plagued with Self Doubt that I am worthy of God's love.  The enemy seeks to destroy my peace by always plaguing me with my sins of the past, but GOD INSTANTLY forgives you when you seek His forgiveness.  His forgiveness is DEEP and Strong and constant.  If only we could forgive ourselves the way that God forgives us!

But I'm still a born again sinner.   I said,  "Damn" in front of my children and maybe the S word, when school was let out for the 2nd day in a row this past week.  I felt like I was stuck in a "punk'd" episode, Weekend, out Monday for president's day, barely back to school one day and out TWO MORE DAYS, then back on Friday and Hello, Here is weekend again.

For one thing, there's all the cooking, and the eating, and the gooming and the goming (which is my mother's term for anything not done neatly) .  There is the ENDLESS fighting between the two new siblings (which is wearing me thin, SO VERY THIN) and just so much.......constant.

So, yeah, I feel like I may have been a hypocritical messazoid this week.

Then Craig continued to make me feel better by saying,  You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide, and mercy, that hit me where my mama lives.

If you aren't honest and open about everything  (I may have a problem currently with Girl Scout Samoas, just sayin), then chances are you have a problem.   It really opened my eyes when he said, "if in the morning you open your youversion app and read the bible, then on that same phone, look at porn in the afternoon.....there's a gap."

"The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him with their lifestyle.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable"  Brennan Manning

With the journey since Laynie, at first it was to keep people informed of her well being, and then it became a heart matter with me.

People private messaging me, and telling me story after story how my words helped them, caused massive relief, or encouraged them...made me believe that I was sharing my spiritual gift.

Only God can lead a sinner from the life I was living into the grace one only gets with a sold out love of Christ.

I share my story because I hope that you will see, if this born again sinner can do the things she doing, you will be spurred to do more.

Life is one time, guys.

You get one shot.   ONE SHOT.

If my time on earth is limited to the time my dad was given, I have just over 3 years to leave a legacy.



I'm praying I am granted more than that, but my goal every day is to show God to my client's, and try to raise 6 little kids that society had pretty much given up on, into a life of action for God.  That's my life.

Some days it's just perfect.

Some days it's a giant crap factory.  (no pun intended, as tomorrow we are doing a clean out of the highest magnitude, gatorade and miralax bought and ready)

It's frustrating, exhilarating, but never boring.  Sometimes I want to pluck my eyelashes out ONE at A TIME and just pull every single hair out of my hair.   And that's before the bus arrives. 

BUT, I seriously, have never felt more content, more alive, more aware in my life.

As I prayed out loud in the car, after asking for prayers from my friends over an issue with one of the newbies,  I was just pouring my heart out, (with the newbie in the car with me), because honestly, I didn't even know what to do,  my heart kind of stopped and skipped a beat, when I ended my prayer with an "Amen" with maybe more gusto than was warranted, a small voice in the backseat, echoed, "Amen".

We're all going to be ok.

One day at a time dear Lord.  One day at a time.

Please let me show your face and your mercy and your grace to these mostly, thankless, little stinkin, fighting, punching, mouthy, eating machines that have been given into my care.  .  Give me patience and unending grace.

I have the music to this song, and I play it on the piano a lot lately,and sing it as loud as I can, (mainly to HELP ME LIVE THROUGH THE DAY, Dear Lord and AMEN)  and how I love to hear the little voices, still singing it after I have left the piano. 

Never let me Go, Lord.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When God gives you Signs

Last you heard, I had put one of the newbies in the truck and drove to Shawnee to retrieve a key.

I didn't know why God told me to take this particular kid.... He just did.

And these days, I'm on full alert to His voice. 

So yesterday.

I had one appointment and it was all the way in Mulhall.

The day before my kid had told me there was another sibling living in Mulhall and how they longed to see him. Hadn't seen him for years. 


Here I am sitting in this house in Mulhall  (You know what I'm about to tell you, don't you) and as I get the biographical information I get on every appointment, and the lady was a TEACHER at Mulhall. 


I casually ask her if she knows a student by that name  (First name only, wasn't sure of last name, pretty sure it was a solid shot in the dark).

Uhm, not only did she know him (he's in her class), she is friends with the aunt that adopted him.


I'm pretty sure I'm suppose to have contact with this kid.  From what I hear, he is a pretty bomb basketball player, but the aunt isn't sure how to help him with that, and well....hello....I helped my kid get into a D1 college, and Trae Young's momma is on my speed dial, and that chick knows EVERYTHING about basketball.


I wind back into wondering, and am taken aback how orchestrated all this was.  If my keys hadn't gotten locked into my Tahoe, I would never have gone to Shawnee, and if God hadn't prompted me to take just one kid  (I was initially taking two of them), I would have never had that one on one time to bond enough with my kid to even KNOW there WAS a brother. 

Sometimes, God's plan OVERWHELMS me. 

I am still sitting here in goosebumps wondering what is in store for me with this little boy?

And then, today my newbies are all struggling in some aspect in school, so instead of running in and running straight for the tv, we had "mock school"  (ACK!) and did spelling words, some math and my oldest newbie drew me a picture and presented it to me, and I'm not going to lie....I shed a tear. 

It's probably all good I'm feeling so sentimental, because it looks like tomorrow will be a snow day and I'm going to have ALL THESE CHILDREN in my GRILL again.

I'll just keep re-reading this little love note and it will be all good. 

All in All....a stellar week.  Even in the sleet. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

When Worship is the Way to Live

Holy Moly Worship Leader.

Lifechurch was on FIRE this morning as Craig Groeschel delivered an ANOINTED message, straight from God.

I left sobbing.  Tears.  Snot.  Anointed.

I've had a hard few days.  I mean.

H. A. R. D.

These kids like to argue.

And argue.

And pick.

And argue.

I'm used to my vietnamese that run like a well oiled clock.

Now I have triggered, chaotic, little hot messes.

Usually, I'm on board.

Last couple of days.   Ready to blow my stack to Jesus and then some.

Then a friend, Stephanie Cramer (Fellow foster mom, she will tell you I got her in it, and I'm happy to take that label) text me on her way to a volleyball tournament (I AM SO JEALOUS, I miss volleyball, WHHHAAAAA) to see how I was.

As I unloaded on her poor self (boy did she hit me at the wrong time), she just poured wisdom and love all over me.  She hooked me up with a lady that has fostered over 100 kids and knows EVERYTHING in the world to say to a road weary foster mom of 4 under 10, and basically anointed me via text message.

Then today in church.  Craig talked about worship.  I MEAN, DID HE EVER talk about worship.

Let me back up.  First of all, the devil DID NOT want me in church today.   He banged up my knee (well I did it yesterday, but I'm blamin the devil), then the kids locked the ONLY KEY TO THE TAHOE IN THE TAHOE, and my other key in the whole of the world was hanging on Lacey's fridge in Shawnee.

Did I mention all my kids have been arguing, turd ball messes??

As I prayed my way through it last night, on my knees, begging for God's guidance and grace to not throw in the EVER LOVING TOWEL, I fell right to sleep, and woke up this morning with a plan.

I took one of the kids with me to Shawnee, and we treated ourselves to Braums sausage biscuits, and perhaps a donut hole or two, and we talked about our lives.  I shared mine, they shared theirs, and basically had some pretty fantastic one on one time.  I then carefully explained the house rules to them, and had them input some rules they would like to see to make the house be smoother, and by jiminy, when I got home, Gina and Steven had the other tigers by the tail, and the house was clean, bathrooms cleaned, laundry started  (LAUNDRY FOR DDAAAAYYYYYSSSSS, people) and 3 of the 6 were ready to go to church.

And go to church we did.  Erin Crain bid us hello as we rushed into the service, and is crossing our fingers we "pick Edmond" to be our church home  (It's SO HARD, I have so many friends at both campuses, I am basically torn in two), and as the usher led us to seats, little did he know he sat me in my dear friend, Sandy Cannon's seat.   I watched Sandy sit in that very seat for years, worshiping so hard and loving her Lord and just being the hands and feet of Jesus.  We lost Sandy a few years back, but I think about her all the time, and how she always made me feel like a movie star when I saw her.  She just had that knack about her of making you feel so important....every single time I saw her.

So as I sat in her chair, I was already awash in emotion, and then Stephen Cole and team just flat brought it in my heart was so open to the Spirit, it was overwhelming.

Then the message.   Well you need to either a) get to a lifechurch and witness this amazing service in person, or b) watch it online.  (which will still be amazing, but I have to think seeing this in person is LIFECHANGING)

I was so fired up when I got in the car, I carried Craig's fervor to the kids.   I have found out from all of them this weekend, that all their moms are foster kids.  All. Of. Them.

Today I told them that they were not going to have the lives their moms had.  That as of today, we were not going to live our lives with victim mentality.  That we WILL be held accountable for what we do and do not do in this world, and that THEY ALONE can change their destiny.  (I was on fire, I'm telling you, Pastor Craig, stoked the flame).

I mean.....worship isn't suppose to just happen at church, WORSHIP is the way you live.  The way you breathe, the way you exist.

I don't want to be  the christian that just shows up at church and sings the songs and volunteers and heads home and calls it good for a week.   I want to be a living, breathing testament of Jesus Christ every. single. Day.

The peace that comes from this, is unending.  The devil still finds your cracks,  (boy does he) BUT the spirit of Jesus, that encompasses EVERY INCH of your soul, by being in CONSTANT WORSHIP, can crush him out.  By friends that call me, and check on me, and love me through some of the hardest, most wonderful, exasperating days of my life.  (Tyler and Lacey met ALL my kids, yesterday, and Tyler stopped me as I as leaving, and bade me to spend a LOT of time in prayer) LOL.  I live in prayer.  Every second.

God, just rain peace over every inch of my home.  I call on you to send your angels to rain protection and grace over the walls of this place.   Keep everyone in this house safe from harm, and allow us grace, when grace seems so far from what we are wanting to give.  Rain love and light on this home, Lord, and show me the way to guide these children.   Amen and Amen.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Life ain't all breezy

This crap is hard.


I have one of my kids that triggers and poops their pants.  No particular reason.  No understanding or explanation.   Just does it for whatever.  

That's tons of fun.

Then I have one that is in complete denial that mom is guilty of anything.  Complete 100% denial.

Then I have one that non stop talks because if they aren't talking, they have to think about what is happening in their little world.

So, it's fun on the ranch.  And after bio visits, it's even more fun.  I remember the nightmares, and triggered responses back in the day from my trio.

Same story, second verse.

I look at the trio,though, and know there is hope at the end of the long, curvy, windy, confusing, frustrating, crazy rainbow.  

It will all be fine.  


One day at a time, Lord Jesus, sometimes even one minute at a time.