Thinking about 2020-21

I’ll only have two kids homeschooling in the fall. Fritz will be in 9th grade and Adrian will be in 7th. Foster kids have to go to public school and even if we adopt kids, I’m planning to send them to public school for at least the first few years in case any issues pop up that need to be addressed (kindergarten/1st grade is often when they do).

Fostering takes a lot of time. Babies take a lot of time whether they are foster kids or not. So do toddlers and preschoolers. Add the paperwork of fostering and my available time has shrunk significantly. So doing a lot of mom-intensive planning just isn’t the best idea for next year.

Jamie joked that we could just send them to public school. Fritz said that would be his LAST choice. Seriously, half a year in second grade scarred that kid for life.

Anyway, I’ve been looking at options where they could get a high school diploma through distance learning. I think I’ve narrowed it down to either Calvert or Keystone. I think. A whole lot less of me needed, an excellent education… sounds like a win-win to me!

That would be a bit different from what I’ve done with my other two high schoolers, but I think at this point in our lives – whether we are fostering or adopting little ones – this makes the most sense.

Geography: Heartland States

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our geography topic was the heartland states.

We did mapwork.

We learned about the Great Lakes.

We learned about Chicago’s Great Fire.

We learned some facts about Indiana.

Jamie told the story of how he had to go on a business trip to Indiana four days before Adrian’s due date and I wouldn’t let him stay overnight just in case so he went for about an 18 hour day. It turned out Adrian wasn’t born until 12 days past his due date so Jamie could’ve spent two weeks in Indiana and still made it home before the kid was born.

Adrian identified all of the Great Lakes on a blank map from memory.

We added the flags of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to our passports.

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.

NOT Back to School Day 2019

Today we celebrated NOT Back to School Day. We decided to go bowling this year. Cameron was able to join us before heading off to work. This is his last NOT Back to School Day ever.

The little guys had never been bowling before. Fritz especially really liked it. When Cameron set up our game he programmed the bumpers to Fritz, Adrian, and me. That was a good idea.

Then we stopped at our doctor’s office for blood draws. I needed to have my titer done for the pneumonia shot to see if it worked. The little guys had to have TB tests done.

We picked Ani up and went to Tarka for lunch. They have the best food and most of it is gluten free, too.

We went to PetSmart and looked at the animals. The cats were really fun. We can’t have cats because of allergies, but they are fun to look at anyway.

After that, we went to RediClinic and Jamie, Ani, and I got TB tests started. We have to go back in a couple days to get them read. For some reason Ani’s body decided it didn’t like it and her heart rate dropped pretty dramatically and she almost passed out. She does things like that sometimes.

We finished the day with some D&D and cardmarking. Another successful NOT Back to School Day complete! (For past NOT Back to School Days, go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Baseball!


My brother’s family came to visit for a few days and while they were here we went to a San Antonio Missions minor league baseball game.


The Missions won something like 10-2. There were a couple really great plays and a whole lot of watching batters and pitchers set themselves up to bat and pitch.


Fritz and Adrian have decided they have now see more than enough baseball games to last them a lifetime. That would be one. They’ve only ever seen one baseball game.

Service Missionary Conference in Houston

A few weeks ago Jamie, Ani, and I went to the first gathering of service missionaries in Texas. Just a couple days before that, Ani had been set apart as a full time service missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


There are currently only a handful of service missionaries spread across Texas. Only something like 16 in the entire San Antonio Mission (which stretches to the border and includes Austin).


Going to this conference gave me the chance to see Houston for the first time. Now the only major city in Texas I have never been to is El Paso.