Advent Season and Foster Care

Perhaps the two have more in common than I have ever thought of.  Both are seasons of waiting.  Waiting for something to come.  Waiting for a change to ones life.  Waiting.  Waiting for parents to make changes so children can go home.  Waiting for trails to happen.  Waiting for paper work to happen.  Waiting for forever families.  Waiting that for some kids happens their whole childhood.fosteradvent

 

Waiting.  I have been a foster parent for about 8 years now.  We have fostered over 20 kids both short term and long term.  We understand waiting.  Waiting for find out the next move of DHR.  Waiting for the next court next.  Waiting each weeks for visits and the aftermath we have to slowly help our children over come.  Waiting through bouts of screaming and yelling.  Waiting for social workers and others to visit.  Waiting.

This is the first year we have a foster child who believes in Christmas and Santa.  And she is waiting for what is next in her life.  We are waiting.  We have no control over this.  At all.   DHR does not either.  We are her 6th home in 2 years between family and foster homes.  So I try to put myself in her eyes of what she may be waiting for.  And how this Advent season I can give her something else to wait for.

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On a side note: We believe in Santa.  He helps my kids believe in things that are not their.  When they are old enough to know the magic around Santa, they get to help.  Our kids are well balanced in if you ask them about the meaning of Christmas, they are going to tell the story of Jesus.  We also got an Elf a few years back…Popper… and while it is a pain to come up with ideas, this year it will be a key element for a certain little girl waiting.

Waiting.

Our little Lulu (Not her real name, just a nickname I gave her) asked me a few weeks ago if Santa would know where she was this year.  THIS YEAR. Because remember she has been moved so many times in her little 7 year old life.  I promised her that Santa knows these things and that I would be send a special letter making sure he knew for sure.  Well, when our Popper made his crash landing yesterday, I made sure there was a note that came with him that included names.  Her name was on it.  I put the names in order of how they came into our family, not oldest to youngest.  (These things are important sometimes.) Little Lulu gets up first to goto school.  As she read Popper’s note, she was in awe that her name was on it.  “Santa knows where I am.”

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Waiting.

We have an Advent calendar that builds the Manger Scene.  Last year my kids fought over who’s turn it was to put the little things up.  So this year I said youngest to oldest-and they know which day’s are theirs to Christmas Eve.  (unexpected math lesson there LOL)

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Waiting.

Little Lulu doesn’t understand Advent Season.  At church Sunday she noticed our advent wreath.  The kids explained to her why only one candle was lit.  Last night we did our first Advent Devotion.  I decided to follow Truth in The Tinsel for our Advent Devotions. Our Popper brings them their clues every morning.  Little Lulu asked what Advent Devotions were?  I told her we are getting our hearts ready  as we wait for the birth of Jesus.  I believe she gets this waiting.  As does any kid waiting for Christmas Morning. Or any foster kid waiting for the unknown steps in her little life.

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Waiting.

We are waiting.  Waiting on her next step in her future.  Waiting on the next morning to see what Popper does.  Waiting to see what craft our devotion will bring us.  Waiting to see who’s turn it is to put up the next item on the advent calendar.  Waiting on the next family event.  Waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus!

Waiting.

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When the pumpkin pie turns out to be sweet potato pie

I don’t know about you, but I always have a perfect Thanksgiving Day locked in my head.  With lots of homemade foods and crafts.  Where the table looks like a picture out of Better Homes and Garden magazine.  Everyone is dressed in their finest clothing.  Table manners abound.

Yes all in my head.  And while I try to make Thanksgiving Day a special day for my family, I have come to the point where I know it is not worth stressing about!  My house never got clean.  In fact my dinning room needed about an hour more of good attention and floor scrubbing.  My kitchen was cleaned-for about 3 minutes between cooking.  Let’s not even talk about the kids bedrooms, the sunroom.  The living room was just cleaned yesterday and was cleaned again today.  And I am hoping there was toilet paper in the bathrooms cause I never checked.

My menu was planned.  I had shopped three times.  Seems I bought a 26 pound turkey.  It was on sale and I had a 20% off coupon.  There is just something about cooking on this day.  It’s more for the people that gather with us! And not so much for a perfect house.
It was our first Thanksgiving with our new foster daughter.  She could not wait to eat in our dinning room.  It was a first for our newest granddaughter and her mommy. My son joined along with them. My granddaughter Haddie and her mommy and aunt came. Our Vicar from church and his family came.

And while I knew what I had to do to get it done, I got sidetracked with some other things, and wasn’t feeling to great Wednesday.  So I knew the pumpkin pie wasn’t going to get made.  So I was going to cheat and buy one.  And pass it off to my kids as if mommy made one. (They would know I had not-but it was always fun to try).

Wednesday night I ran to the grocery store.  I got all the groceries from the car in the cold windy weather (that had come in as I was in the store!)  Thinking I had got everything I needed I started unpacking.  It was shortly after it was pointed out that I had gotten a sweet potato pie, and not pumpkin.  I could not believe it!  I got the pecan pie.  Cool Whip. But no pumpkin pie.

Robby, needing pumpkin pie was going to make one.  But I didn’t have every thing.  So Thanksgiving day he made pumpkin cheese cakes. We adapted and adjusted! Besides the mayo being bad for our deviled eggs and my gravy flop we had a great day!!

We did not buy anything Black Friday. I ended my Thanksgiving with a horrible migraine and Friday recovered from it. So in the afternoon I took the kids to see the Box Trolls movie and we adventured to Target just to see.

Tomorrow we will start decorating for Christmas and getting ready for Advent!! IMG_4335.JPG

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Getting Ready for Advent: Truth in the Tinsel

With everything that has gone on-I am ready for Christmas this year.  More so Advent.  Now that I have three little ones (two 7 year olds and an 8 year old) plus a 13 year old, I knew I wanted something special and meaningful.  I had looked at the Truth in the Tinsel a year ago or so. After thinking about writing something myself, I was brought back to Truth in the Tinsel!  This year I just purchased it and I am excited!  I love the little clues for morning time- that way my kids can think about it all day long!  And I am thinking about putting a special tree up in the Sun room for these ornaments!  (4×25 will be a lot!!)  So it will perfect!  I also bought the printable ornaments to have for on the go.    Click here to visit ohAmanda.com to see all about the Truth in the Tinsel Advent Devotional!

What are you doing for Advent this year?  If you need more ideas goto my Pinterest page for lots of great ideas!

 


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5 Things I Wonder on an Advent Monday Morning

1. I wonder if Mary got these quiet Monday mornings after she feed baby Jesus to just nuzzle him in her chest as he slept. Did she enjoy those moment or was quiet not really part of the life style or community? I just wonder.

2. I wonder what the second week in Advent will bring. I found our advent candle holder and am going to put candles in it to use it. We have been doing our devotions and putting our ordainments on the tree.

3. I wonder if I will have a full normal week of homeschooling. Seems there is always something happening. I have to have Robby finish his Math U See book this year to start fresh next year!

4. I wonder if I will get my house cleaned! It’s a never ending battle! And finished decorating for Christmas!

5. I wonder if I will get to go grocery shopping! We are in need of food in the house!

As the morning quietly awakes, I ponder these things. But I think I will cuddle Baby Squeakers a wee bit longer and start my day.


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The Ultimate Guide of the History of Christmas

As I type this our tree is up, the lights are hanging outside, the train is circling our little village. The kids have have their list to Santa, cards are being addressed, the Sunday school Christmas program is almost here. Advent calendars are being slowly being added to every day, devotions are read and songs are sung! Why is it that we do all this?
I asked the other day on Facebook for one word that describe Christmas. The words I got where…
Love -Jesus- Emmanuel- Misunderstood -Magic- Misrepresented
Why is there Christmas? Where did it come from? Is it misunderstood or misrepresented? Or is it about love and Jesus? As a Christian I have one view of Christmas and the history maybe different of a non-Christian. I believe the first Christmas hymn was when the angel sang to the Shepherds. Has Christmas gotten out of control? Yea sure because we are sinners. But if you look at the history of Christmas, Christmas has always gotten a little bit out of control. Jesus was born into a world out of control.

    • Free downloaded able ebook from Bible History Daily on the History of the First Christmas
    • History of Christmas for Kids
    • Did you know at one point Christmas was banned in the early American? Check out the History Channel video.
    • Continue watching watching all the videos for some great videos on the history of Christmas.

    • History of Christmas Tree’s from History Channel
    • Have you ever wondered about picking your own Christmas tree? This site helps you find a Christmas tree farm close to you.
    • Who invented electric Christmas lights? Click here to find out.

      • If you need a Santa suit this is the place, but they have a nice little summary of Santa.
      • Elf Academy– great activities for kids here
      • Eclectic Homeschool Online has a nice list of resources for the history of Christmas

From Pagan’s wild parties to Puritans outlawing the celebration of Christmas, from Santa to Christmas trees, to candle light service Christmas focuses around the birth of our Savior. What we do with that day is up to each of us. Christmas is more that a day, a moment, a present. It is about celebrating, sharing, honoring, being with family, sound of children, cooking together, worshiping, singing, reading, dancing, baking, decorating, hoping, growing, showing, peace on earth, it is about Jesus. For our family, we focus on so much for Christmas, all the fun, but it all focuses back to Jesus. I joined 24 other ladies in 25 days of Christmas this year-make sure you check out their other awesome list.
I leave you with these two finally thoughts:


 

 

 


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Pocket Advent Devotions: Day 11 Prophet

 

Day 11 Prophet

Isaiah 9:6 A child will be born for us.A son will be given to us.The government will rest on his shoulders.He will be named:Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God,Everlasting Father,Prince of Peace.

More Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

A Little Extra Thought:  A prophet did not mince words.  He said it the way it had to be heard.  Yet I find it interesting, that Isaiah uses a lot of law/gospel in his writing.  While he lays it out the way it needs to be heard, he wraps it up with God’s grace and promise.  A prophet’s job was to get the attention of the people.  How would you get the attention of the people around you?

Activity: Challenge your self and the kids to memorize this scripture verse today.

Day 1 Angels

Day 2 Waiting

Day 3 Favored

Day 4 Pregnant

Day 5 Kick

Day 6 Praise

Day 7 Name

Day 8 Joseph

Day 9 Census

Day 10 Virgin


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Pocket Advent Devotions: Day 10 Virgin

 

Day 10 Virgin

Matthew 1:25 He did not have marital relations with her before she gave birth to a son. Joseph named the child Jesus

More Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

A Little Extra Thought: In today’s standard’s some may not see this as a big deal.  Someone came and told Joseph that Mary was pregnant.  Joseph, thinking that Mary was a virgin, and Joseph being a good buy was just going to make this quietly go away. But as we all know, God had other plans.

Activity: The Birth of Jesus always brings up questions about sex for children.  What is a virgin?  How are babies made? Answer them as you see best.  Personally we use Concordia sex series book are amazing to help you teach “healthy” sex from a young age

Day 1 Angels

Day 2 Waiting

Day 3 Favored

Day 4 Pregnant

Day 5 Kick

Day 6 Praise

Day 7 Name

Day 8 Joseph

Day 9 Census


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Pocket Advent Devotions: Day 9 Census

 

Day 9 Census

Luke 2:1 At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire.

More Reading: Luke 2:1-3

A Little Extra Thought: Have you ever filled out a census?  It is pretty easy for us.  Fill in a few bubbles, write a few numbers and send it in.  It was not so east for Joseph and Mary.

Activity: Research what a census is and how it worked back in the day of Joseph and Mary and how it works today.

Day 1 Angels

Day 2 Waiting

Day 3 Favored

Day 4 Pregnant

Day 5 Kick

Day 6 Praise

Day 7 Name

Day 8 Joseph


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Pocket Advent Devotions: Day 7 Joseph

 

Day 8 Joseph

Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

More Reading: Matthew 1:1-17

A Little Extra Thought: Where do I come from?  Having three adopted children I am very aware of that. They know us, but they wonder about their birth parents.  Many times we all wonder where did we come from?  I love the commercials for the websites that look up the history of people’s families.  It is fun to find out what your great grand parents did.  I explained to my kids that my history is their history.

Activity: Make a Family Tree.  Check out my Pinterest Board “Strong Families.”  I pin a lot of cool ideas to make some family tress.  Or take it a step future and research your family history.

Day 1 Angels

Day 2 Waiting

Day 3 Favored

Day 4 Pregnant

Day 5 Kick

Day 6 Praise

Day 7 Name


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Pocket Advent Devotions: Day 7 Names

 

Day 7 Name

Luke 1:60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”

More Reading: Luke 1:57-62

A Little Extra Thought: Naming a child is always an interesting process.  Some people know before the even become pregnant what their child’s name will be, others spend the whole nine months working on it.  Some are named after family.  Other’s are named from popular names.  Some are named from odd and strange reasons.

Activity: Look up the meaning of each persons name.  Take it step future and look up the meaning of your last name.  Look up the meaning of John and Jesus.

Day 1 Angels

Day 2 Waiting

Day 3 Favored

Day 4 Pregnant

Day 5 Kick

Day 6 Praise


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