Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Camden's first day of preschool

I can't believe the day has come. Camden started preschool! This is my third year teaching preschool and I love it. Camden will have half day preschool for two years before he starts kinder so for now I'm only sending him Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It was so fun having him with me today. I loved my job already, but I will say its even more special for me that my little guy gets to be a part of the program.

Before we left for the morning we had to take a picture with daddy of course!

We dropped Ander off with miss Lauren. Cam kept reassuring Ander that we would be back to pick him up soon. It was really cute.

In front of preschool with mommy/teacher ;)

By his cubby

His other teacher Miss Mallory

With his cousin Kara. He loved that she was at preschool with him.

With Miss Cindy

and Miss Brandy

We got busy after that and I'm so bummed we didn't get a picture with Auntie (Miss) Amy. Also Miss Erin doesn't work today so we missed that one too.

We are so blessed to be part of this special little preschool family. It's fun seeing everything from a parent perspective now. I can't wait to see my little guy grow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

5 years!

Brian and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary last month. I can't believe we've been married for that long. It seems like we were just dating at APU... but at the same time it's hard to remember my life without him. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful husband. We had a great trip. It started with a walk down memory lane...

Where it all began.

More specifically here...

The Crestview pool. At the beginning of my Sophomore year I was hanging out with some of my friends at the pool. Brian and his friend (another Brian) came by the pool after a game of tennis. Somehow we ended up at their house for a BBQ... I believe it was Labor day weekend.

This was the house...

Brian lived in the canyon house with.. 6 (trying to remember exactly, but not sure) other guys. Lots of memories were made here! From BBQ's, to Christmas parties, becoming "officially BF and GF and even our first kiss!! How cheezy, but all memorable times in our relationship.

This was where I was living.. the good ol' Mods

We spent a lot of our time between classes hanging out here..

Cougar Walk!

And my junior year I lived here...

We ended our little visit down memory lane with a stop at the first place we lived when we got married. Parkwood Place apartments in Glendora.

We had fun visiting all the places that hold so many great memories for us. However, we were more looking forward to our final destination. Crystal cove. We got an awesome deal on a little beach cottage. It was gorgeous.

The side of our little cottage

We had such a big yard I felt like we needed to entertain some guests... We did end up getting to see some great friends.

Our view from the porch

The inside

The beach

Such a cool little community

The little cottage on the cliff above me is where we stayed.

This was staged but not far from how we did spend most of our trip.. no internet and no tv... relaxing!


Brian's brother and his wife came to visit us the last night we were there. We were so happy we got to spend a bit more time with them before their big move to Texas! We will miss them like crazy... but Christmas doesn't seem TOO far away.

We had a wonderful trip and I can't wait to go back there sometime. Hopefully next summer for a family vacation. =)

Friday, August 12, 2011

What's next for Foster Care and our Family?

You've heard our exciting news... we are having another baby, due in March. Some of you may be wondering what happened to wanting to do foster care??? Well we are still very much involved and wanting to help children in need.

Before we got pregnant we were approached by our foster care agency about a new (or new to our area) program called Safe Families. It's a program that helps families in crisis. They help families before CPS needs to get involved. An example may be a mom that needs to go to rehab but has no support system to help with her kids while she is in the program. Safe Families can help that mom find a safe family home that would be willing to take her kids while she was getting the help she needs.

For now this program seems to be a perfect fit for our family. The average length of care needed is 6 weeks. We need something short term. I like it because its a program that also supports the parents. They are working with parents that want to do better for their family but just need help.

The biggest hurdle we are facing at the time is getting started. In order to be a part of Safe Families you need to go to a church that has a Safe Families ministry. There are non in the central valley, but hopefully that will change soon.

The director of the private foster care agency we have been going through is trying to get Safe Families in our area. He has quite a few churches going through training in the Sacramento area. All it takes is a few families in the church that want to help. There are different roles that need to be covered. Here are the roles from what I know so far.

Host Families: Families willing to take in children. Requires training and fingerprinting.

Family Coach: Requires training (and I think finger printing). Helps the host families by supporting them. Works on building relationships with parents and getting them involved so when they are ready to have their children back they will continue to have a support system.

Family Friends: Requires no training but will be given a guide on how to help. Their roll is to simply encourage the host families and help them when needed. Being involved in such an awesome church with great people we already have this. We would just need some of those families to become official "family friends".

Another cool thing, Merced County knows Koinonia is trying to bring this program to Merced and they are all for it! They know that if parents can get help before they have to intervene it can be a huge help to everyone.

So if you go to FBC Merced and this sounds interesting to you let me know! In order to make this work we need at least one family in every role that wants to help. disclaimer: we are pending elder board approval to get this ministry going, but we know if it's God's will for our church to take this on it wont be a problem. Once (or maybe I should say if) the Elders say we can go for it we will announce a meeting that will give more info on the program. It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks to have a Safe Families program up and running so hopefully we can do that soon. We have already been approached about a family that will need our help from December-March. I really hope we can make a difference to this mom and be ready to help her in her time of crisis.

If you don't go to FBC Merced but still want to get involved, look on the the Safe Families website to see if there is a church in your area that does Safe Families.

Here is the website.

So what if FBC Merced isn't willing to take on the Safe Families ministry? Then I think our next step will be to try and do emergency foster care. Again short term. Our agency is currently trying to see if Merced is need of emergency foster care homes.