The Smell of My Childhood

Do you ever smell something and it jolts you back to a certain point in time? Not too long ago we were at Home Depot and I realized that home improvement stores reminds me of my childhood. My father was (is) always working on some project or another so we spent a lot of time at Hechinger’s and Home Depot and Lowe’s. Probably less time than my memory tells me we did, but it sure seemed like a lot of time when I was a kid. At any rate, my childhood smells like Home Depot.

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Fostering

About six months ago we started working toward becoming licensed foster parents. The amount of paperwork we had to turn in, the amount of questions we had to answer, the amount of training we had to do was so much. But that makes sense because we will be entrusted with the lives of real live children, all of whom have dealt with more trauma than anyone their age should ever be subjected to.

Two weeks ago tomorrow we were licensed. Now we wait for our first child. It’s kind of a weird feeling of limbo really. We know we’ll get a kid, but we don’t know when or how old or their race or gender or even if it will be just one or if we’ll get two at once.

We are often asked why we decided to do this. Basically, to decrease world suck. When Trump shut the government down back in January and Jamie was forced to work but we had no idea when he’d get paid for that work, people were so kind to us. It was quite incredible really. That got us thinking and praying about what we could do to pay it forward and the answer we received was to become foster parents. So here we are.

One really interesting thing happened while we were going through the licensing process. We got invited by Amazon to join the Vine program. This means we get products to review. Stuff in exchange for our words. We’ve reviewed well over 300 items so far as part of that program. Many of the things we have gotten are for babies, toddlers, and children. Toys, clothes, carseats, diapers, even a crib mattress and a twin bed base. Things we would have needed to buy. So that’s been a huge blessing.

We also were given a bunkbed (just needed to get mattresses for it) and a crib by friends who were getting rid of them absolutely free. It’s like the stars totally aligned (or, rather, we were super blessed by God for being willing to do this crazy, hard, incredible thing of caring for and loving His little ones).

We should have our first placement very soon. You never know when a child (or two) that matches what we are approved for (girls 0-3, boys 0-7; that’s all based on the space in our bedrooms and the laws in Texas) will need a home.

The Quadrangle

Last week for the first time since we moved to San Antonio, I went to the Quadrangle on Fort Sam.

Lots of animals live in there including geese, squirrels, peacocks, and deer.

They are rather tame and will come right up to you.

One peacock came up to me, looked me right in the eyes, and dropped a feather at my feet, and just walked away.

It’s so calm and serene in there.

I’ll definitely go back!

Bullet Journal Update

I’m almost through the bullet journal I started in January. It’ll only last another month or two. I’m up to page 200 of 240. Anyway, it’s been a while since I posted pictures of my bullet journal so I took some pictures of August’s set up.

Each month I pick a theme that goes along with a holiday or whatever that happens some time during the month. Some months are easier than others. October is easy as is December. Some months aren’t obvious though like March or August. The theme always has an image or two I can draw and at least two colors. I ended going with a watermelon theme for this month using light pink, dark pink, light green, and black.

I’m still doing the menu calendar the same way. It has worked so well for meal planning and I can see at a glance what we haven’t eaten (the bubbles aren’t filled in) so I can rearrange or move to the next week easily.

The page after my menu calendar is the month at a glance calendar page. That page carries on the color theme and very quickly gets filled up when I transfer the month’s already scheduled activities from the future planning section to the monthly calendar page.

The next page is all my many to do’s. I’ve had so many people say they are overwhelmed just looking at that page, but it works for me and it really isn’t all that much stuff or time when you really break it down. I always have a bookmark in my bullet journal marking the monthly calendar and to do’s (they are facing pages).

The next page I added starting two or three months ago. It’s a tracker for exercise minutes and the number of steps I take each day (as reported by my Apple Watch). I don’t have any particular goal in mind each day and this is more for my own curiosity than anything else.

Facing the step page is a page to record the books I read that month and things I randomly think of during the month that I am grateful for. I number twelve spots for books because I usually finish 10-15 a month. I just add any past twelve in the space to the side. I continue my theme of the month in the gratitude section by making the places to write things down the image I came up with.

I no longer pre-make the daily pages before the month begins. I found that I was writing stuff until I ran out of space and then nothing else happened that day (even though other things did). So now I just start each day and write things down until the day ends and then start another day. Some days take up just a few lines while other take up half a page or more. I put some washi tape in between the days to divide them and add some stickers and my pages make me very happy.

I still love bullet journaling. It keeps me organized and lets me be creative, too. The little guys just started their own bullet journals, too, because they see how much I enjoy mine.

Cleaning Tile With Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The tile in my kitchen and breakfast nook are absolutely disgusting. I’ve tried so many things to clean them, but nothing has worked. Then my dad read somewhere that Magic Erasers will clean tile. I tried it out and the results were incredible so I went to Costco (because Mr. Clean Magic Erasers happened to be on sale there) and got a whole bunch.

I’m just amazed at how after just a few minutes of effort, the tiles look as good as they did when we bought the house.

They are not kidding when they call them magic!