Thursday, October 17, 2013

Helpless/Hopeless?

Sorry, but I have to get on my high horse and rant about the foster care system again.
You have now been WARNED!
Read on if you dare! ;)
 
When my husband and I decided to take the classes to become foster parents, we were told that the foster care system is in place to do what is best for the children.
Within 2 months of having the girls with us, I could already tell that that was not the case.
The children are left to ask why can't I stay with my mommy/daddy? They are left to cry when they have to leave mommy/daddy. They are left to be subject to such deep emotional scars that they will never completely heal.
I was so mad after the girls 3 month court case because not ONE person asked how the girls were doing. How were they handling the changes in visits? How were their behaviors? How do they talk about their parents? NOTHING. Not. One. Question.
The only people involved in the court case were the attorneys, the therapist, and the girls' workers.
The daily logs I have to fill out go to OUR worker and she is in NO way involved in the court case.
The only people that truly know what is really going on with the girls and how all of this nightmare is affecting them are not involved in the court case at all.
No questions asked.
Next month we will be having the 6 month court case. As we are nearing that day, I start to think how things have gone over the past 2 months.
Missy,  has made a BIG change for the better.
The daily tantrums have stopped and only appear now and again.
Little Miss seems to have adjusted better also, she is still majorly attached to me, but she is less fussy overall.
The other thing that we have dealt with, with Missy is anxiety. A handful of times she has obviously been worried about an upcoming visit, phone call (or lack thereof), or some other random thing and actually made herself sick. She throws up.
I'm starting to get to the point that after it happens, I can put together the pieces of the puzzle and say well I shouldn't be surprised because she was obviously getting herself worked up all day.
So hopefully I'm getting to the point where I'll be able to tell when it's coming before the puke ends up all over my floor!
As a last note, I have to mention that I purposely called the girls worker before the last court case just to kind of let her know what was going on with the girls.
I was promptly assured by her that these things behaviors "are completely normal" for children in their situation.
I wish my mind had not been so blown that I would have thought of this immediately and told her that it might be normal for their situation, but it in no way is NORMAL for an average child!
We shouldn't be striving for "normal" in foster care, we should be striving for NORMAL for any child!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saving Money on Cleaning Products: Homemade Laundry Soap-UPDATE!

So I told you how I started using homemade laundry soap in this post and am now finally getting to the update.
I started using the laundry soap on January 15, 2013 and used it in the last load on June 13, 2013. That is 5 months of laundry soap. The original blog where I got the recipe said that they used it for 9 months before running out. I don't remember how many kids/loads of laundry the original poster had, but when I started using the laundry soap it was just my husband, little Pumpkin and I. That last month and a half, we added two little girls to the mix and I know that it did add quite a bit more laundry.
I've been happy with the laundry soap. It is better than the cheapo stuff I used to buy from the store, but as far as savings I'm not sure I'm saving that much especially since it only last 5 months. Once again, I must mention that if I were using the name brand stuff I would have saved money.
 
Here's the breakdown of the cost:
Washing Soda: $3.24
Borax: $3.38
Baking Soda: $2.24
Fels Naptha bar soap: $.97 x 3= $2.91
Sun Oxygen (Oxyclean): $2.73 (only used half of the tub, the total cost of it was $5.47, but I will have some for the next batch)
Total for one batch: $14.50 (remember this was a 5 month supply!)
 
So all in all, I think I'm happy with the savings either way. It does take some time up front to make the mixture, but it does a better job of cleaning than the cheapo stuff I was used to (this might be different in your case if your used to the brand names). That time isn't too much though when you consider it lasts for 5 months.
 
I made a second batch and have started using it. The original recipe said that you could use fabric softener crystals to help make clothes softer and make the soap smell nicer. I did not do this the first time around, but decided I wanted to have a nicer smell to my clothes and had part of a bottle of the crystals in my laundry cabinet so I added some in. I do like it better with that addition, but it does add more to your overall cost (just to let you know).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Real Meaning of Halloween

I have posted this post every year since I've wrote it, I believe, but every time Halloween comes around, I just can not say nothing. So here it is again.
 
 

Halloween.
 
It's such an innocent holiday right? I mean the kids dress up as their favorite character and are more than happy to go around getting loads of candy. But where did the skeletons, evil, demonic faces and ghosts come from? Is it just a silly coincidence that they are used as decorations for halloween?
No, they come from the superstitious beginnings of halloween.
It started as the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st, as it was the end of summer and the time of harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter; which was a time that was associated with death. They believed that on October 31 the worlds of the living and the dead crossed. The souls of the dead were believed to return to their homes in hopes of food and shelter, if these were not provided the evil spirits were believed to cast spells on those who did not give them what they wanted. The spirits caused crop damage and were thought to be able to make predictions of the future.
To celebrate the event, they would build bonfires and burn crops and make animal sacrifices to the Celtic deities. They would also dress up in costumes made of animal heads and skins and then try to predict each others futures.
It was widely believed that at death, the good spirits took the good people to paradise, but the wicked men were banished to the unseen world. These spirits were known to haunt the living and in order to exorcise these spirits, people had to offer them food and shelter during the night and if they were satisfied they would leave you alone, but if not they would cast a spell on you.
Today, Satanism and Witchcraft say this is the day that Satan comes to fellowship with his followers.
In 609 A.D. the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church and later included all saints as well as martyrs. It was celebrated on November 1. By the 9th Century Christian influence would spread into the Celtic lands and the church called November 2nd All Souls Day, to honor the dead.  The All Saints Day celebration was called All-hallows or All-hallowmas and October 31st began to be called All-hallows Eve, which eventually turned into Halloween. It appears that the church was trying to replace the evil Celtic festival with a church-sanctioned holiday, but without making the pagans drop their evil practices and accept Christianity, it just made it easier to miss the real meaning of halloween.
 
Did you know that Jack o' Lanterns were used to ward off evil spirits? That was their intended purpose.  To read the whole story, go here.
 
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
- I Peter 5:8
 
"reject every kind of evil."
- I Thessalonians 5:22
 
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead."
- Deuteronomy 18:10
 
 
 
 
I know that this post is likely to not be very popular. It will likely step on toes and it is often a subject that people are totally for or against. I am simply hoping that through this post, that you will do some research of your own and see what the Bible has to say about such subjects. Then let God give you the conviction for how you are to treat halloween.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saving Money-Buying Clothes

 
It has been quite some time since I've done a post on saving money when buying clothes. This summer I got two dresses at GREAT prices that I LOVE!
 
 
The blue one on the left was one that I thought was cute, but wasn't sure I could pull off. Turns out that my husband, who usually does not go for the flower printed kind of stuff Loves this dress. I'm still not sure it's the best cut for me, but I do love to wear it! It's so cute and fun! This summer I wore it with wedges and this fall, I'm excited to wear it with my boots!!
The purple dress on the right is such a simple dress, but I have found many ways to wear it. First, I can just wear it as it is with a tank underneath (I always wear a tank underneath, just in case you thought I was going for cleavage here..NOT ME!), I also have put a thick black belt with it or I also put a skinny brown belt with it. I've worn wedges with it, dressy sandals and this fall I'm excited to pair it with boots! I have also worn it with my denim jacket! It is so versatile, I can't tell you how much I love this simple little dress!!
Now the best part of these dresses is....the blue one I got at a thrift store for around $4.00!! The purple one I got off of an online site where people sell things they don't want anymore for around $3.00!!! Can't beat prices like that!!