Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anniversary and Weekly Update

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary!  It doesn't seem possible.  That was such a fun day!

And here we are now...
Still having fun!  Love you, Joe!

I would really like to have at least a weekly update about our journey to become foster parents, but there really isn't much going on this week.  We did complete our CPR/First Aid training yesterday.  Another thing to mark off the list.  I have to keep mine up to date for work, but it expires this month.  It was also time for Joe to be recertified, so our nurse at work was awesome and let Joe come to our training so he didn't have to find it some where else! 

We are hopefully going to training January 7, 8, 14, &15.  I haven't heard back with a for sure yet, but I am praying that works out.  UPDATE:  We are for sure scheduled for that training!  Another prayer answered!  Joe is headed back to the health department today for his second TB skin test.  We have our physicals on January 10th.  Then we wait for our home study........and we are done!! 

It feels good to get more and more things marked off our list!  Besides training not being offered when we wanted it to be (which majorly held us back) this process has really been realtively smooth.  And for that I am very thankful!

Hopefully I'll be back next week to report even more progress!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Beginning of Our Journey

So, I'm going to try to do a much better job of keeping up with the blog.  I do not want to forget one moment of this journey!

I decided I better get busy documenting before I start forgetting.  We used the picture in the post below in our Christmas Cards to announce to our family and friends that we were going to begin this journey!

We made the decision on November 1, 2011, that we want to be foster parents.  It is something we had been considering for quite a while, but finally decided we would definitely persue it that day.  Because of my job, I knew there was a process to becoming a foster parent, but I had NO IDEA how extensive this process would be!  Oh my!  Someday I might add THE list to the blog so you guys can get an idea of what I mean.

Another thing that Joe and I didn't realize is that we picked the wrong time of year to decide we want to be foster parents!  There is no training at the end of November or at all in December due to the holidays.  30 hours of training are required before becoming a foster/adoptive parent.  We were hoping to have children in our home by Christmas.  We were definitely sad when we realized that was not going to happen.

On December 1, 2011, we went to our first informational meeting that counts as part of our training.  December 1 was also the day Joe and I went out on our first date 10 years ago!  Ten. Years. Ago.  Doesn't seem possible.

The meeting lasted about 2 hours.  I have a picture I would like to add of Joe and I at Froyo after the meeting, but it keeps showing up upside down?  Oh well.  I'll try to fix it and add it later.  The meeting went great and we were able to schedule our first home visit for Thursday, December 8, 2011!!

The home visit also went great!  During this visit they check a lot of safety features like fire extinguishers, child safety locks, where you keep your chemicals and knifes, and other general safety features.  They also measure the space where you want to have foster/adoptive kids, which in our case is our extra bed room, and decide how many children you are licensed for.  They licensed our extra room for 2 children!  Exactly what we were hoping for!

Because we now live in our new apartment in the new residence halls, thankfully we were pretty up to date on most of the codes.  The only concern was that the windows were not made to open for ventolation purposes and emergency exits.  I just got the call that that is okay!  Hooray!  They approved it because they are break away windows that can be broken out incase of an emergency.  And we have a very large ventolation system that cleans and circulates our air.

 Our next step (besides the mounds of paper work) will be attending the training.  Prayers are appreciated that we can register for and attend the training the first 2 weekends in January!  (Another hurdle!)

We are planning to adopt one day, but for now we are just taking it one step at a time.  I hope you guys enjoy following our journey!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

So, I know it has taken me a while, but better late than never, right??

I had a great Labor Day weekend in Branson, MO with my mom and Percie.

On our way!  Percie loves to go on trips and stay in hotels just as much as her mama and grandmama!

We left for Branson Saturday morning.  We stopped in Conway at Hobby Lobby on our way and found some awesome deals!  I also ran in Big Lots and found Percie a cute Halloween toy. 
She loves it!  Here she is at the hotel.

We got there just in time Saturday to spend a few hours at the pool.  It felt wonderful!  Then we got ready and went to eat at Cantina Laredo at the Branson Landing.
Here's mama at the restaurant.  We love Cantina Laredo!

After we ate an awesome meal we shopped until the Landing was closing.  I found some awesome deals!  I love shopping in Branson!

The only thing that wasn't necessarily enjoyable about Branson was the traffic!  Oh my!  It took us over an hour to go 4 miles.  I am not exaggerating.  The traffic was insane!  But, at least we didn't have any where we had to be at any specific time.  

Sunday we got up and went to the continental breakfast at our hotel.  It was not so great, so we decide we would go back to the room, get Percie, and run to McDonald's.  Well, like I said, the traffic was insane so I noticed the Waffle and Pancake House almost right across the street from our hotel.  We had Percie with us, so we couldn't go in and eat, but I went in and placed an order to go and we hung out in the car with Percie until it was ready.  When I went in to get our order I noticed a sign that said cash only.  All I had was my debit card.  Ugh!  It was almost 11 by this time and I was hungry!  The waitress told me that there was a Walgreens close by that had a ATM.    So, I walked to Walgreens and back in about 15 minutes.  It would have taken 2 hours to drive.  Paid for our breakfast.  And we headed back to the hotel.  We ate our breakfast at about 11:30 a.m.  Ha!  Even though the day started out rough, we ended up having a great afternoon!

We got ready and headed to the Tanger Outlet Mall.  I LOVE outlet malls!  We got some awesome deals!  Finding a parking place was interesting, but after we found a spot we walked the whole outlet mall.  Shopping is good exercise!  Ha!

After leaving the outlet mall we headed to Kringles Christmas Store.  It is a must while in Branson!  We walked around that shopping center for a little while and then ate supper at the Hard Luck Diner.  The food was great and the entertainment was fun!  All of the waiters and waitresses sing and dance while they wait tables.  

After supper, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a minute and spend some time with Perice.  The weather was absolutely awesome!  It was one of the first cool days of fall!  So, we decided to take Percie to the Landing to walk around.  Mama got a piece of cake from a cake place and I got some ice cream.  We sat outside, walked Percie for a while, and had a great time! 
Percie looked so cute in her pink striped dress and got tons of attention!
(Seems like I just took tons of pics of Percie Labor Day Weekend and no one else.)

Monday morning we decided to pack up our stuff and Percie and leave the hotel about 10.  We were hoping we could make it the 1 mile to McDonald's before they stopped serving breakfast at 10:30.  No lie!  We barely made it!  Ha!  Then we took Percie with us to the Red Roof Outlet Mall.  We just took turns going into stores.  Of course we found some awesome deals!  

We had a really god time and already have plans for our next trip!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

The last 2 weekends have been great!  I can't wait to share.  But for now, I want to share my 9/11 experience.

On 9-11-01 I was 21 years-old and a senior at Arkansas State University.  I lived with 2 of my Delta Zeta Sorority sisters, Maranda and Julie, in a house in Jonesboro.  I had to be at work at 7:00 a.m. that morning to ride the van at the Pediatric Day Clinic.  I remember getting back from the van route and one of the teachers was crying saying she couldn't believe what happened.  If I remember correctly she was a little dramatic, so I just blew the situation off.  I do remember everyone looking a little freaked out.  

Just a few minutes later I left work, which was very close to campus, and went to my 9:30 a.m. class.  Abnormal Psychology.  It was an awesome group.  I loved that class!  I remember my professor coming in and turning on the TV in class and letting us watch the news coverage.  It wasn't until then that I finally figured out what that teacher at work was talking about.  (I can be a little slow sometimes, okay.  :) )  

I definitely thought I was a mature adult and totally understand what that day meant, but I didn't.  

My professor let us out of class.  I went to my house and I remember talking to Maranda.  I remember how upset she was.  We met at the house and stared at the TV for what seems like forever.  My parents were school teachers, so I never had the ability to talk to them in the middle of the day.  Well, unless it was an emergency.  While this was an emergency, there really wasn't much my mom or dad could do, so I didn't talk to them until after they got out of school. 

I remember Maranda talking to her mom (who was a manager at a gas station), and her telling Maranda and I to go get gasoline NOW because the price was about to jump.  I remember sitting that the gas station on Caraway in my white grand am forever!  (It was the gas station right by the exit ramp off the bypass, in front of the new movie theater-well, the movie theater was new then, anyway, if you were there you know what I am talking about.)

I remember sitting in line watching the gas prices rise.  I am pretty sure that is when things started to sink in.  It was pretty scary to watch the desperation in every ones faces.

Jonesboro was crazy!  So I just went home for the rest of the day.  
My other roommate Julie worked at the court house.  She drove by the Mosque on her way home from work everyday.  This day was no different, except someone shot out one of her back windows!  I'm telling you, people went crazy!  She does have very dark straight hair, so we are guessing someone thought she was middle eastern and decided to shoot out her back window??  Who knows, but luckily she was not hurt.  She pulled into the parking lot across the street and called 911.  The policeman said that who ever shot out her window used a pellet gun.  That is better than a gun that could have really hurt or killed her, but she was still very shaken up.  And rightly so!

I remember getting the phone call that there was going to be a candle light prayer vigil on campus that night and that we were all meeting in the sorority suite and going together.  I remember that so many of my sisters came that night.  I also remember how safe it felt to be in that suite with all of my sisters.  I may have been 5 hours from home and away from my family, but those girls were my family.  
I remember finding out that one of my sorority sisters (Candace) family members was on the flight that was supposed to hit the White House, but they fought back.  I remember that he called his wife and told her what was happening.  I remember hearing that there was a flight attendant from Arkansas on one of the flights.  I remember how close to home that made the attacks feel.
I never imagined that anyone in Arkansas would be directly affected by attacks in New York.  

I also remember that I had tickets to the Nickelback concert in Little Rock that next weekend and it got cancelled.  I was bummed!  (Oh the things that were important to me when I was 21!  ha!)

I remember that for the first time in my life being patriotic meant something.  I remember feeling that bond with everyone just because we were Americans.  I remember seeing the American flag every where and loving it!  

I also remember some crazy things like when watching the coverage on TV, there were pieces of paper every where!  Paper was lining the streets and flying through the air.  I remember how crazy that was to me.  Does anyone else remember insignificant things like that?

Where were you that day?

(Side Note:  I went out on my first date with my husband 3 months later.  Some good things did happen in '01!!)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 2011

My goal was to be caught up on blogging before September, and I almost made it! 

August was another crazy busy month around here!
The first week in August we kept Joe's parents very old very blind Boston, Max.  I love Max!  He makes me laugh.  He actually gets around very well and learned our place pretty quick.  He loves to lay on Percie's dog bed.  In the picture above he got a little confused and climbed into Percie's dog toy basket instead of her dog bed!  Ha!  He was just happy not to be on the cold floor!
The first Saturday in August is always Joe's family reunion at the Spring River.  This is the only picture I took all day?? I don't know what has gotten into me lately!  At least it is a cute picture of my niece, Rylee, pretending to drive my car!
The next weekend, my niece, Mattilyn, had a soccer tournament in Little Rock.  I LOVE to watch her play soccer!  Side note:  I cannot believe that she is in high school now!  And I really cannot believe she is taller than me!  I was holding out hope that I would not be the shortest female in my family, but it looks like I get to keep my status.  Oh well.  And another side note:  I almost think we favor in this picture and I have never thought that before!  Is it just me??
Anyway, it was great to see her and her team won Grand Champion! (Against a 16 year-old team.....they are 14)
I also got my new tags for my car!  Yay!  Gotta support my Red Wolves!  (Even though when I went to ASU we were the Indians.)
In August we also had the Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Residence Hall (aka where I live).  It was a crazy busy fun day!  There were hundreds of people who came to tour the new building (and our apartment). I really had a lot of fun!  And I could breath after it was over because everything was moved in, unpacked, put away, and the apartment was clean!  Ha!
The Saturday all of the students moved into the new dorm, I went to Jonesboro to take my niece shopping for her birthday!  I can't believe she is six!  We had a great time, of course.  We like a lot of the same things and she is a great shopper!  I would definitely trust her to pick out my clothes!  
And she got a feather!  She was so excited!!
Last Friday, my sorority sister and very good friend, Liz, came to Beebe to show us all the new awesome jewelry she is selling!  I enjoyed hosting a Guy and Eva Jewelry party!  Liz is the only rep in Arkansas, and you should really check out their stuff!  It is SO cute!  (and inexpensive!)  I can't wait to get my new jewelry in!
Last weekend was actually Joe's weekend off, so we left Saturday morning to spend a day/night in Trumann with his parents.  We had a great time!  and Joe got to relax and sleep!  This is Percie and Missy sleeping after a full day of playing!  They love each other!
And here is Max (you know, the very old very blind Boston) sleeping in his chair!  He has always loved that chair!  Ha!

Now that I'm all caught up, I hope to be back every Monday night with weekly updates!  (It's my goal anyway.)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The New Place in iPhone Pics

I can't wait to share these pics with you guys!  We have known for over a year that we were going to get to move into this new place.  So, I have been planning and shopping all that time!  My husband's boss was totally awesome and let me have a say so in the paint colors, counter tops, cabinets, and flooring.  Of course I was picking within limits, but still I think that was THE best to get to help create our new home!  It definitely feels much more like home!  Joe and I still had all of our college furniture that we just combined when we got married.  (Seriously all of the new furniture and wall art could have never helped our last apartment look awesome, so we chose to spend our money in other areas.)  But, since we had the opportunity to have this awesome new place, I wanted to help it look as great as it possibly could.  And it really was great that we had so long to plan, shop, and save!  I have to brag that I have not paid full price for one thing in our new place!  I am seriously so proud!  I shopped sales and watched certain pieces and waited to purchased specific things.  And I loved every minute of it!  Okay, I'll hush and let you see the pics.  Oh, and I hate it that all of these are iPhone pics, but I cannot find the cord to my camera!  Ugh.  Moving = losing things.....ugh.
Welcome to the new place!
The view of the kitchen from the living room.  I LOVE that it is all open.
Living Room
Living Room.  Percie had to join in the pic!  ha
Living Room.  This is our door to outside.  Our door that goes out into the dorm is in the kitchen.  Percie hopped into the pic again!  Ha!
Living room again.
Living Room Again.
  (This recliner was the only thing Joe requested for the apartment!  Ha!)
The view of the living room from the kitchen.
My awesome new fridge!  I didn't pick it out, but I LOVE it!
Kitchen.  Can I tell you how excited I am to have a dish washer and a garbage disposal!?!
The Hallway from the Kitchen/Lining Room to our Master.  The bathroom is on the right, the 1st bedroom is on the left, and our master is straight ahead.
Joe's side of the 1st bedroom.  Joe has his computer desk, TV, and stuff in here.  I also have all of my crafty stuff and my computer in here.  It is wonderful not to have all of my ribbon and tulle all over our living room!  This way if people come over, I can just close this bedroom door!
My side.....without all of my crafty stuff out.
The bathroom.  
Okay, I know that blue is probably not what most people would choose for their bathroom, but I love it!  It is actually more turquoise than it looks in this pic.
 Other side of the bathroom.  I just have to add that Joe and I could not both stand in our old bathroom at the same time it was so tiny.  I would like to do an experiment some time and see just how many people will fit in this bathroom!  Ha!  My guess is 20.  No lie.  I LOVE it!
Our Master.
I am very pleased with our new bedroom furniture!
Our Master Again.
We have a very large walk-in closet.  I did not photograph it because it is not photograph ready!  Ha!  When I get it all organized, I will share.  It is currently still a work in progress.
Joe, Percie, and I the day of the ribbon cutting/open house.  
I hope you guys enjoyed your (very long) tour!


Monday, August 29, 2011

July 2011 Continued

So much happened in July, I couldn't fit it all in one post!

The Week that Christy, Corbin, and Carson came to visit my car died.  It hadn't been running very good for a while, and I had already started looking.  Well,
this is the #1 reason I should never drive Joe's truck.  Yes, that is a big scratch on the drivers side of Joe's truck.  Ugh!  I can't believe I did that!
And, this is the #2 reason I should not drive Joe's truck.  At least it was just a warning this time!  In my defense, the speedometer in Joe's truck does not work.  It says I am going 140 mph all the time.  Thankfully the nice state trooper felt sorry for me!
And this is the new ride!  I love it!  (even though I have to make the first payment this week, I don't regret our purchase one bit!)  
A few days after we got the new ride my other 2 favorite boys came to visit for a week!  Logan and Braden loved riding with the top down!
For some reason I didn't take very many pictures, but we went to Play Time Pizza, Wild River Country, to swim at Mrs. Pam's, and to the movie's to see Smurf's and Captain America.
 We also spent 2 days at Greers Ferry Lake out on the boat.  It rained some, but we still had a great time!
Feeding the fish one time while we were waiting for the rain to clear.
And in between, the lake, Wild River Country, Play Time Pizza, swimming, and the movies, Joe and I moved into our new place!  LOL!  Oh, and did I mention I worked 4 days that week. 
This is Percie sleeping on the couch the first night we moved in!  LOL!

Over the last 6 years, Joe and I (with mama's help) have rescued many dogs and cats and found them homes.  Some how they just always find us.....mostly by wondering up to the dorm.  The old dorm was on the edge of campus really close to a neighborhood.  I had just told Joe our first night we stayed in our new place that we probably would not have as many animals wonder up now that we are not as close to a neighborhood.
Then Joe sent me this message our second morning at our new place.  And yes, that is our front door mat.  And yes this sweet puppy was asleep on our front door mat when he went outside first thing that morning.  Poor puppy was soaking wet, dirty, covered in fleas, hungry and thirsty!  I told Percie over and over again that morning that she didn't even know how good she had it!  I couldn't stand it.  This poor puppy was so covered in fleas that they were climbing on her eyes and nose even!  Ugh!  So I gave her a bath before I went to work and maybe got 1/3 of them off her.  She wondered up on a Thursday, which is the only day our vets office is closed.  Figures.  I called mama, and she and the boys were on flea removal duty!  Ha!  They bathed her again, used some flea spray on her, and bathed her again.  Finally no more fleas!  A friend from work who has 2 kids took her home to be their new pet!  She is the sweetest thing!  They named her Roxy.  When Sarah took her to the vet last week he said he thinks she is a collie and she will be 90-100 pounds!  Good thing they have a big backyard.

That was our awesome, busy July.  I plan to add pics of our new place, soon!


July 2011

 I only thought June was a busy month!  LOL!

We had a great 4th!
Percie in her 4th dress!
At the beginning of July, Joe went on a trip to Houston, Texas with work. Mama and I packed our whole apartment and got everything ready for the "Biggest garage Sale Ever" while he was gone.  We lived in the same very small apartment for 6 years.  I still can't believe we accumulated so much stuff!!

After Joe got back we started taking all of our things to my friend Michelle's house in Searcy for the garage sale.
We stopped at Froyo in Searcy one night after making many trips with stuff to cool off!  Did I mention it was the hottest summer on record???

In the middle of all of the garage sale planning and moving planning Percie got very sick.  So, we spent more time at Beebe Veterinary Hospital!  Poor Percie!
In our new place, we have a microwave stove hood, so we had no need for our old microwave.  For some reason I could not remember to take our old one to Michelle's house for the garage sale!  I guess when something has been in the same place for 6 years you just get used to it being there.  Anyway, Joe made me this sign so I would not forget the microwave the day of the big garage sale!  Ha!  He makes me laugh!
Percie and I still went on lots of walks even though it was HOT!
And, 2 of my favorite boys and their mom came to visit!  This is Carson in the "good poo."  Carson's Grandmom has a very nice in ground pool.  Carson is not a fan of grandmom's pool.  He really only enjoys playing on the top step.  But he loved my kiddie pool!  Ha!  You never know with kids, right!?!  When he got out of the kiddie pool, he patted the side and said, "this a good poo, mom."  I love him!
I'm pretty sure his brother, Corbin, had a good time, too!  He is so funny!  I miss these boys so much!
One morning the boys were playing and I looked over and saw this!  LOL!  The things that entertain kids!  Both of them were very happy in the dog crate??
 I have to share another funny Carson story.  It is just too cute and I don't want to forget it.  Carson has a monkey that he likes a lot, and he talks about monkeys a lot.  I love to hear him say monkey because instead of monkey, he calls them gunkeys!!  LOL!  I love it!  I asked him if he was my monkey, and with a huge smile he said "Your gunkey??? I your gunkey!"
We had a great visit with Christy, Corbin, and Carson. I can't wait to go to Oregon to visit them!

I should also add that before Christy and the boys came to visit, we were supposed to be moved into our new place.  Needless to say, it didn't happen.  We lived for 3 weeks with our whole place packed, no living room furniture, no dresser, etc.  It was an interesting time.  (Especially because I have a very hard time with everything not being in its place!  I tried very hard not to stress too much!)
This post is getting pretty lengthy, so I will continue July later.