Phone Photo Friday


Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Progress


Jason and I have been working away on preparing our kids room, basically sticking to our design plans and floor plan. We painted the walls Ellie Gray from Sherwin Williams. Despite the gray wall, the room will be plenty colorful between the green night stand, various wood tones, the blue crib we’re getting from IKEA, a blue area rug and the bedding.

This is the opposite corner of the room, shot from the doorway. Those black tables and white table on the floor are marking the spot where the KURA twin-size loft bed will sit. The corner of the room where the chair is sitting—hopefully a rocker someday—I’m calling the reading nook. We’ll put a set of shallow book ledges along the wall there.

The curtain is actually a shower curtain we picked up at Target last year. Nursery curtains was always the plan for it but I’m not convinced yet. I’m going to wait to see how it works with all the furniture and bedding before I split it into two panels.

I made this mobile to hang above the crib but honestly, I’m not so sure about it. It’s navy blue and bright green card stock with dog images on one side. It’s growing on me so we’ll see if I decide to keep it.

I found this dresser on craigslist a few weeks ago. It’s not the ideal color or height or style but we’re running out of time so it’s close enough.The pack-n-play is posing in the crib’s place.

We’re almost there! The last furniture pieces, book ledges and rug will be in place soon. After that we will hang the wall decorations (a couple posters, a clock and some vintage items) and add bedding. I can’t believe how fast we’ve pulled this room together but on the other hand, I’ve been planning it for years… So fun. I’m loving this room and the whole experience of planning and decorating a room for our kiddos!

Baby (Child) Shower for a New Foster Mom


A couple weeks ago some friends threw me a lovely “Baby” Shower. It’s kind of unusual circumstances; at least in my circle of friends it’s the first shower for a foster mom that I’ve ever heard of. There definitely have been a lot of things we’ve needed to purchase to prepare and we’re just like expectant parents in a lot of ways. It was very sweet and generous of these friends (and family) to bless us. My friend Jenna hosted the shower at her house with the help of my sister-in-law Ginger and another friend Katelyn. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the three of them (or me)! Boo.

Jenna took these pictures of the decor. The food table was decorated with books. Tons of books (for us)!

Foam letters were super cute as window decorations and will be fun bath toys for the littles:

Jenna also crafted this sweet mobile:

The food for the shower was make-your-own ice cream sundaes. Hello! All kind of yummy toppings and waffle cone bowls. Yummo!

Angela (and baby in the belly) and my mom:

My mother-in-law enjoying a sundae. (Sorry I didn’t get better pictures.)

Rachel, my niece Eliza and my mom. At least half the pictures I took were of my niece. What can I say, Aunt Martina is enamored!

Leila with Eliza. Leila is soon to become a new mom through infant adoption. I hope we’re throwing a shower for her soon!

Everyone brought a book signed with a special message instead of cards. Between these special books and the ones used as table decorations, we now have a great book collection for our kiddos. I love Dr. Seuss. Yay!

I got all kinds of thoughtful and generous gifts. My mom put together a medical kit from Nurse Memaw and paid for our first car seat. My mother-in-law gave us a gift card for (where I’m keeping a wish list of kids stuff!) and my sister- and brother-in-law paid for the crib I’ve been drooling over for a while now:

This shop & play cover from Angela was a very clever gift and one that hadn’t occurred to me. It’s a shopping cart cover and a restaurant high chair cover. It can also be used as a play mat. Plus it’s farm/fruit/vegetable theme since we love to garden.

I love the compact portability of this booster seat from Rachel. If we get an infant or young toddler we might also want to get a foldable high chair with a tray.

Leila got us finger paints and bath toys. Get covered in paint and go straight into the tub. I like the way she thinks!

Angela also gave us this sweet baby blanket. Animals on one side and blue, green and tan stripes on the other. Perfect match!

Jenna and Katelyn got us this awesome pack-n-play with a bassinet and mobile option. I love the pattern.

My favorite big sister, who is also a soon-to-be mama, sent me this fun stuff from my Amazon wish list. I am really excited about this puppy backpack. I can’t wait to see one of our little ones bopping around with it on his or her back. Also, magnetic cabinet locks, outlet covers, and a chalkboard eraser and dustless (!) chalk for our chalkboard door.

And my sister- and brother-in-law keep giving us random things like a set of Mrs. Potato Heads, play doh, baby wipes and a sound machine/night light for a crib. I can’t keep track of it all. Needless to say, we are very blessed! We’ve got the greatest friends and family. I’m so excited to welcome these special kids into our lives. They’re going to be surrounded with an instant community of love and support.

Classic, Spicy, Delicious Breakfast


Poached eggs are the new fad around this mid-century modern ranch. Jason, who is a wonderfully creative cook, came up with this twist on the classic poached egg and toast.

Poach an egg the way you always do. We use a deep skillet with a few inches of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar and gentle slide the egg into the water when it’s at a gentle boil. Figuring out when it’s done is not an art we’ve perfected yet. Place the poached egg on a piece of buttered toast. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese, dill, salt & pepper, and a few drops of Louisiana Jalepeño Hot Sauce. (Side note: Best brand of hot sauce EVER. I thought I didn’t like hot sauce until I had Lousiana Hot Sauce. Great flavor and not overly hot.)

Easy peasy. And it’s truly yummy! In fact, I want one right now just thinking about it…

Modern Wood Fence — Step 7: Windows


A month ago I published Step 6: Almost Done… Well, we’re still almost done with the fence. Which means not done yet. I needed to refocus our attention on inside projects to get our house ready for our home study. So we STILL have to finish staining, patch some gaps along the bottom and add gates to our lovely modern wood fence.

I haven’t told you about these “windows” yet, though. We have a beautiful flowering plum tree that was in the way of our fence. We didn’t want to mangle one side of the tree by sawing off branches so we decided to build the fence around the tree. Or is it build the tree into the fence. Or build the … nevermind. See what we did here?

In one section we only used half of a plank, attaching one end to the 4×4 post and the other end the 2×4 support post. In another section, we created a small window, bracing a short plank to the planks above and below it using a scrap piece of plank. Did I say plank enough times for you? And yes, I, too, am curious how this is going to affect the tree and fence in years to come…


Step 1: InspirationStep 2: PlanningStep 3: PostsStep 4: ProgressStep 5: Transport, Step 6: Almost Done…

Medical Kit for New Parents of Foster Kids


…or any new parents, really.

I got some wonderful, thoughtful, generous gifts at my shower. Most of them were from where I’ve been keeping a wish list of baby/kid items for my own reference. A couple gifts were totally original ideas. And one gift really took the cake with it’s thoughtfulness. I call it the Nurse Memaw Medical Kit. My mom, soon to be “Memaw” to our foster kids, is a nurse so it’s even more perfect coming from her. This is a great idea for a new foster parent or any new parent.

Medical supplies for kids:
baby wipes
shampoo for kids
baby bath solution
kid-safe toothpaste
fun kids toothbrushes
fever reducer for kids
fever reducer to infants (drastically different dosage!)
medicine droppers
neosporin wound cleaner

My mom is awesome! So clever with her gifts. This reminds me of my bridal shower when she gave me a huge basket full of kitchen staples and spices. All those little things that it’s so nice to have on hand when you need them in the middle of a recipe, or in the case of the kids medical supplies, in the middle of the night.

A week later, a friend gave me the medicine lock box and infant medical pack off my Amazon list. I added this kit to my list because it contains a thermometer, nail clippers, a nose sucker (what are those called?), and some different kinds of medicine droppers. I think we’re all set now. Did we miss anything you can think of? Do you have any other great gift ideas for new foster parents? Is my mom amazing or what?

Gift Ideas for New Foster Parents


A lot of people have been asking us what we need and how they can help. A group of my closest friends even threw me a little “baby” shower. (That deserves it’s own post…as soon as I can track down some decent pictures! I did take this one of my awesome niece. She’s not so sure about that camera I’m sticking her face. Don’t mess with her, she’ll punch your lights out.) So, in case you know some new foster parents and are looking for ways to bless them, I’m sharing what I’ve learned. Please note: this is NOT a plea for more stuff. We have almost all we need already covered. Also, this list is slanted toward newborn-5, our age range.

Before the first child arrives, what to get:
books, books, books
kids CDs for the car, for dancing around the house, for night time
car seats
child proofing safety items (outlet covers, medicine lock box, night light, cabinet locks, etc.)
kids tableware
rocking chair
infant and child medical kit
bath toys
staple toys (blocks, cars, dolls, puzzles, instruments)
booster seat
shopping cart / high chair cover

Before the first child arrives, what NOT to get:
gender specific items (this mainly applies to sparkly pink and purple things)
items with a limited age range (mainly infant items)
big toys (take up too much space)

Child-specific gifts / After a child is placed, what to get:
attachment building helpers (photo albums, snapfish gift cards, vouchers for outings)
child specific clothes*
child specific toys*
age specific equipment (lots of fancy gear out there for newborns, for example)
thoughtful, encouraging card
offer to babysit
duffle bag, suitcase or backpack (to keep personal belongs in if moved to another home)

*Foster parents are given a stipend specifically intended for clothing and allowance for children. With our agency, we’re required to spend at least $1 a day on clothing and a $1 a day on fun things for each child. Some children come with a lot of toys and clothing already, especially if they’re moving from one foster home to another. Sometimes they only come with the clothing on their backs. Check with the parents to see if clothing is a need. Same goes for toys. Keep in mind anything purchased for the child after his or her arrival belongs to the child and goes with him or her if reunification happens. Gifts purchased before a child arrives are considered family gifts and stay with the foster parents.