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    Kisses that Melt

    Some days bring me to the edge of my sanity. There’s nothing like family and dipping my toes in the Gulf of Mexico to make you forget all your worries.

and then there were seven,….our foster care journey

May is Foster Awareness Month. Never in a million years did we think this month would mean so much to us. But here we are. In May….

This week our brood will change from 3 children to 5 children (10 and under). We have been entrusted to care for two precious siblings for however long God needs us to.

and then there were seven, our foster care journey : foster and grace

You probably have a 1,000,001 questions and as many concerns. We have thought about,  discussed and pondered every single one of them; many times over. We know your fears.

We KNOW your fears.

We’re scared too. For more reasons than we can ever share or articulate, our family feels led in this journey.

It is an unlikely and uncertain journey and it is riddled with sadness and hurt and brokenness. More than enough of it for a few lifetimes. There will be great heartache in this journey, yet we rest easy in our faith and in His promises.

God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing, All you need is faith. — Joel 2:25 Foster Care Quotes

Many have asked us if we need help and if so, how they can help. Yes, we do! and Yes, you can! More than anything else, we would appreciate your prayers and support because we know we’ll need those as we make our way in the murky waters of the foster care system. We’ll need them more than we can ever imagine.

We are passionate about foster care and especially the children that live it and we LOVE to talk about it. Please know that there will be a lot of things we simply can’t talk about. Our children will have stories to tell of their journeys. But we want to remain mindful that they are just that: their stories. Their stories are not our stories to tell. But we are happy and eager to answer your questions about foster care in general because it’s a cause we wholeheartedly believe in.

Even though we hope our journey will someday end in adoption, we know that this may not be the case for any child that is “placed’ with us. We want the very best for our children, and that may mean reunification. We don’t and won’t know much at any given time. We won’t know how long we’ll get to love on them, or what the plans for them are for tomorrow, or next month or next year. What we do know is that we will live day by day, prayer by prayer. And we know we could sure use your encouragement.

In the meantime, you may see us coming at you and we may look a lot larger (and wilder!) than when you last saw us. You’ll know the story of how our family grew in the blink of an eye without us having to have awkward conversations in front of small ears who hear everything. You’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that when I reply “Yes, they’re all mine!” that in my eyes and in theirs, they most certainly are our children. Every. last. one. of. them.

Pop us a line if you have any questions. We’d love to share our journey with you and remind the world about all the children out there that feel forgotten. We hope you understand if replying takes a while during this transition period.

If you’re interested in some inspirational blogs and podcasts we follow that shed a positive light on foster care, I’ve listed some of my favorites below. I hope you enjoy and I hope you come by soon and meet the newest members of our family!

The Forgotten Podcast
The Forgotten Initiative
Jason Johnson Blog
Foster and Grace
Humans of Foster Care
The Foster Care Roundup

Budgeting Made Simple and Fun

ok. I know, budgeting isn’t fun. Not when your finances have a hold on you. But it gets fun, I promise, when you take control and you make that money your bitch. Sorry, I cuss a little… but I love Jesus A LOT!

I finally found a budgeting system that I love! I did Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University over 12 years ago. I wanted to get back on track and on budget because I love his plan but it was going to cost me almost $100 for all of the new and updated material and the membership. So, (because I want to be smart with my money and not spend $100!), I ventured out for a budgeting calculator on my own and I have been very happy with these. They serve different purposes and it turns out I really like all this organizational shit so it may be overkill for most.

Most of the budgets I use are on the Zero Based Budget(ZBB), which is my favorite way to budget. In a nutshell, it is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Basically, no penny is left behind. Every single dollar is accounted for and given a name/function etc.

So you want to make the income minus all the expenses equal to zero when budgeting. For example, if after all your expenses are entered you have $500 left over, don’t just leave it hanging there with zero purpose. You have to tell it where to go or you’ll never know what happened to it. I promise. Pinky promise. This money has a way of getting lost and you lose a cnahce to make this money really work for you in getting out of debt or saving for that home remodel or growing your wealth.

So here’s the first budgeting spreadsheet I use…

Advanced Yearly Budget Template
I like this one for a whole year overview. It has month by month budgets and is already prefilled in with recommended percentages for housing, charity, etc. This helps you see what percentage of your budget should be allocated for that. The recommendations are just that, every family has different needs so don’t stress too much over it.

Advanced Yearly Budget Spreadsheet Template
I wish I could remember the source for this template. If you happen to find the original source, please let me know so I can give proper credit and link back to them.

Advanced Yearly Budget Spreadsheet Template

 

Simple Monthly Budget Template
This one is a lot like the Yearly above except it lets you tackle it one month at a time if that’s where you prefer to start. I usually start the month with this one and then transfer it all into the yearly so I can get the year to date picture. But I think it’s totally unnecessary.

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Snowball Debt Reduction Template
I’m still getting used to this one so I can’t tell you if I like it or not. My focus has been budget because that’s where I suck.

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Hope you enjoy the spreadsheets and I hope they help you be even more bad-ass than you are now. You’re slayin’ it Mama!

ADHD/ADD Diagnosis and Support in the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen – Edinburg – Mission

Hi there! Welcome. Perhaps you’ve stumbled on this page because you too are struggling with this diagnosis and everything that comes along with it, like I was.

So why am I talking about ADHD? Well, I’ve had symptoms of it as long as I could remember but it wasn’t until I was 32 and had just had my second child that I was diagnosed. I started seeing a Psychologist and then when I started feeling uncomfortable with him, I stopped going at all. That was in 2011.

Since then, I’ve had a hard time finding the right mental health professional to go to for my ADHD here in the Rio Grande Valley, with an emphasis in McAllen, Texas and it’s surrounding areas.

I’ve been seeing my Primary Care Physician (which I love btw!) for my ADHD care since 2011 – he has been a constant. But I knew there was more to ADHD treatment than just medication and I wanted to seek a professional knowledgeable (read “a specialty”) in ADHD.

It has taken me 6 years to finally do the legwork and make the call to make an appointment because, well,… classic ADHD. Also, our insurance just changed from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Humana so I had to start the search from scratch again.

The urgency came from another place, I was learning that perhaps I wasn’t the only one in my family blessed with attention deficit and it made the search all the more urgent. Not only was I looking for a mental health professional that could help me navigate the world inside my own head, I needed someone who specialized diagnosing and treating ADHD and a lot the other conditions that co-exist or mimic ADHD. To say it is all a little overwhelming is an understatement.

Believe me weary Mama (or Dad),

I understand your struggle.

I may not know your exact struggles but it’s a struggle that tugs at your heart as a parent, and the hurt and the need to take care of our babies is the same. I get that.

But more importantly than that, I get their struggle because I live with ADHD every. single. day.

Take heart in knowing that you and/or your little one is blessed to see the world through the glass of ADHD. They can be successful in spite of the ADHD.

What’s even more awesome than that is that they can be successful because of their ADHD.

Don’t believe me? Read the research for yourself. Among the list are scientists, President’s actors, Nobel Prize winners, Artists, Surgeons, Singer Songwriters and Chaning Tatum. Still the list goes on and on…
10 Most successful People with ADHD
Most comprehensive list of Famous People with confirmed ADHD – 46 and counting!
5 SuperPowers of ADHD

It’s not an easy diagnosis for anyone but knowing you’re not alone makes the challenging days a little more bearable. And know that there will be days,…

If you’re looking for some support or resources in the Rio Grande Valley and surrounding areas, check out our Facebook group of local folks who were struggling with ADHD (either themselves as adults or parenting a child with ADHD). You never know who or what you’ll find on the other side of this diagnosis. You might be pleasantly surprised.

We’re always interested to know others who also share the joys and tribulations of ADHD. Introduce yourself and if you have any tried and true resources, therapists, doctors or tools you’d love to share with the ADHD community, please do so!

 

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