Monday, June 1, 2015

Three Year Later ...

Wow!  It is hard to believe that it has been 3 years since I last posted on this blog. Little did we know that less than a week after my last post God would turn our world upside down.

I thought that I would return to the world of blogging now that summer break has arrived and life is somewhat slowing down.  I must begin by documenting the events of a journey that has completely changed our life and has been an answer to a specific prayer request that we had for about 12 years.

On February 23, 2012 God brought three little sisters to our doorstep ... literally!  After 15 years of a wonderful marriage and 12 years of praying for children, our focus changed and we realized God had another plan for us.  We decided to begin training to become foster parents.  We prepared for about 6 months in 2011.  After receiving approval in December of 2011, we spent a wonderful Christmas holiday with our family.  Once the holiday season ended we settled into the routine of work and daily life.  After about 6 weeks into the new year, I began to wonder if our name had been lost in the system.  Would we ever be contacted to be foster parents?  We still had many questions as to how the process worked.

At about 8:00 p.m. that dark, cold February night I received a phone call about three little girls (ages 4, 2, and 7 months old) who needed a place to sleep for the night.  I asked the DCS case worker who called where the children were at that time.  She said they were with another case worker driving around in a car waiting for a home to open.  Brian was out of town at a basketball tournament, and so I struggled for an answer.  I told the caller that my husband was out of town, and we were only expecting to take in one child.  She persisted and asked which age child would we take?  I was overwhelmed by the thought of having to choose only one.  The Lord then gave me the thought that Brian's brother and his wife had also gone through the foster care training.  I asked the case worker if she could look up their name and maybe they could take the other two.  She saw their name on the list and told me that she would call them.

In the meantime, I called Brian and talked over the matter with him.  He asked me if the child came to our home how long would she stay?  I told him there were probably family members who would come for the children.

Tony and Darla were also at the basketball tournament watching their oldest son play.  The buzzer sounded to end the game and the case worker called them.  When they heard that there were children needing a foster home, they immediately left the gym and started back to Chattanooga.  It would take them 3 hours to get back to town.  So within a 30 minute period it was decided that we would take the girls.  I had about an hour or so to prepare, although I did not have clothes or baby items.  I wondered if they would be scared.  So many questions and so little time to prepare.  I tease my friends who have had children that they had nine months to prepare; I had a little over an hour ... but God was guiding and directing the paths of these precious children and us.  I will continue a section of the story in each post.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Berean Academy presents Little Women November 2011

October 2011

This post is about kitties and enjoying the fall weather.  Essie loves to get in all of the windows of our house.  I thought this was so cute even though she isn't supposed to be on the counter.  She obviously had something important to look at out my kitchen window.

October consisted of many late nights grading papers.  I took this one so that my students in Algebra II could see how interested Essie was in sniffing their papers.  Evidently there was a smell on them that simply fascinated her.  She sniffed and sniffed for the longest time!

Our good friend Sheila had a birthday in October and so I went to visit her at her office.  She had just gotten a new Persian kitten named DJ.  He was so cute. I'm so glad Sheila now has a little creature to keep her company.

The fall colors downtown were so pretty.  Brian and I spent one afternoon walking around and, of course, drinking coffee at our favorite coffee house Remembrandts.

September 2011

Once I was finally feeling better I returned to several home projects that I had been working on in the summer.  I hung these drapes in the bonus room all by myself.  I was so distressed on my first attempt because I thought they were too long.  I called the lady back who I had worked with in buying them.  She said that the pole was too long and it was to be installed almost to the ceiling.  I hadn't thought of that and was definitely relieved.  My kind next door neighbor very easily cut the pole and things went much faster.  Essie is such a curious kitty.  She had to come in the room with me while I struggled to watch every detail.

I really like the pillows and small ottomans as well which now completes the room.  Essie was very willing to pose for the pictures in the bonus room:).
We had our teacher's convention in Gatlinburg this year.  These are some of my colleagues that I went out to dinner with on the first evening.  We took the trolley and we were actually late to the opening service.  We finished eating and went to the trolley stop with plenty of time to make it back to the hotel.  However, we had to wait for about 40 minutes for the trolley.  What an adventure!

It was so wonderful to have my parents at the convention as well.  Of course, we spent lots of time together when we weren't all working.  We all loved this quaint little coffee shop and visited it several times.

While shopping at the outlet malls we ran into one of my friends from high school.  Angie Willan Ashworth teaches in a Christian school in Kentucky.  It was fun to visit with her.  Both her mom and my mom taught at Calvary in Normal while we were in high school.  We said that we feel like we are walking in our mothers' shoes now that we are the teachers!:)  So thankful for this wonderful time in Gatlinburg.  Brian and I spent the night with Mom and Pop in their trailer and then headed back to Chattanooga on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

August 2011

A week after I returned from my wonderful trip to North Carolina, I came down with a very violent illness.  It lasted for quite sometime.  I couldn't seem to figure out what it was and couldn't seem to get over it.  It limited my ability to get much accomplished for my last weeks of summer.  Finally on August 17 (my dad's 70th birthday) I spent about 6 hours in the doctor's office and my doctor finally identified what I had contracted.  It was a condition called Cyclospora and it was basically a parasite that I had contracted from food I had eaten.

I immediately began taking the medication for the parasite and nine days later I had a violent reaction to the medicine.  I had to rush to the doctor's office and was given benedryl to combat the reaction.  Thankfully it worked and a few days later I was finally on the mend.  All in all I was sick for about 5 weeks.  While I was sick I still spoke at the TACS preschool convention.  Here are some of the preschool teachers from our school.  God gave me strength to speak and then I went back to my room and collapsed.

I also somehow got my room ready for school and even painted my classroom just days before the start of school.

God also gave me the strength to begin the school year.  I taught for about a week before the doctor discovered the cause of my illness.

This year I am the junior class sponsor.  Here is my class on the first day of school.  I have been with the same class since they were in 8th grade.  It is hard to believe they are now juniors.

It is also hard to believe that our oldest nephew Austin turned 16 in August.  I have Austin in Algebra II.  He is a fine young man and an excellent basketball player.  I am so glad that my nephews attend Berean and I get the privilege of being their teacher.

July 2011

I have been looking for quite sometime for the right artwork to put above our bed.  Finally this past summer I found these two prints that fit perfectly.

Here is my little friend who is my constant companion.  Essie is always curious about whatever I am doing.  She was especially clingy this night because I was packing for my trip to North Carolina.  I think she had an intuition that I was going to be gone for awhile.

I flew to Raleigh to enjoy a fun-filled week with my parents.  I was able to go into work with them at PosAct and even got to use an empty office to work on my online college classes.

Mom, Pop and I spent several fun-filled days on the Outer Banks.  We did many fun things including shopping.  I loved this little shop where I got a beach cover up.  They had this beautiful tame cat that was laying on the counter top.  Unbelievable! 

Of course, I had to join in the bike riding adventures on the Outer Banks.  My parents are quite the avid bikers and I have to work hard not to let them show me up.  We enjoyed biking by Kitty Hawk.  

Since my dad is a history buff any way and has really gotten into learning about the Wright Brothers, we were all overjoyed to learn more about this monument in this man's front yard.  

Wonderful coffee shop!

Happy Fourth of July!  

We also rode bikes around the outdoor theater where they do "The Lost Colony."  We have seen the production several times but I've never been able to explore and look backstage like I did on this day.   

We even got to spend time on the beach.  We had lovely weather and had such a relaxing time.

I love "camping out" with my parents.  We have come a long way from the pop-up camper we had when we were young.  I like this kind of camping so much better!

Right before I flew back home we met my cousin Sara, her children and my aunt and uncle for lunch.  Sara and Dave live in Raleigh and so it is always wonderful when we are able to spend a little time together.  

June 2011

My good friend, Janel Nale, who is a missionary in Guinea, Africa came for a visit.  We had a lovely afternoon eating lunch, sitting by the pool and catching up on news.  

I am working on some areas of the house.  Here is our bedroom.  I've got a picture collage to put above the little sofa that I covered with a slip-cover.

Love our cozy bonus room where we "hang out" most evenings.

Love the spring and summer when I work on my green thumb.  I try to keep our porched decked out with flowers.  Some of my arrangements are visible here.