Friday, December 7, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
1. The building says Office of Children Services but really it should be called-Office of We're Giving These Folks Every Possible Chance to Screw Up the Lives of Their Children and Endanger Their Safety and Well-Being. I suppose though, that it would cost too much to make a sign for that building. lol
2. No one prepares you for what you are going to go through. There is no class, book or Google site that can properly prepare you for all the challenges you face, issues you need to address, learning techniques to help your child, etc. You must constantly research and study new techniques, medicines, approaches and the like.
3. Every meeting, court hearing and the like that you attend, you are not even considered a party or participant. The child is hardly discussed and instead it is about the parent and the progress that they have/have not made.
4. There is a total and complete lack of minority and/or native foster homes. There is a lack of foster homes. Period. The number of children, here in Alaska, that need a safe home is well over 1300. Think of that for a moment-1300 children. That's just the ones that are reported. Doesn't count any new ones born each day, and doesn't count the unreported incidents.
5. Often, YOU are these children's ONLY voice. Sure, they have a court appointed guardian ad litem, but I can count on one hand, the number of times we've seen ours in 3 years. The only one who has the child's best interests at heart, and can bring their interest to the forefront of the case, address their needs whether that is therapy, physical therapy, intervention services, etc is YOU! The squeaky wheel gets the grease- so squeak loud and proud!!
6. We were so naive when we started this whole process. We truly believed that the bad guy got punished and went to jail. Yet, we have learned that in our case, the bad guy, keeps on doing what he has done the entire time, has over 70 court cases and hasn't done any jail time, follows us from OCS, but nothing can be done, racially threatens us, yet nothing is done, and even threatened my life with the words, "IF you wish to remain in her life..." and yet, nothing is done. It is written down and a report is filed. The end. This dude even has attempted to kidnap another child in another state, and yet NO JAIL TIME! Wondering when this bad guy is going to get punished. ;(
7. No matter what you endure, the trials your lovely little one puts you through as they detox, or face their anxiety issues, etc, it is all worth it at the end of the day. You have given loving care to someone who needed it desperately. You have provided them shelter in their time of need, a shoulder to cry on, someone to voice their opinions/feelings to, without fear of reprimand, and that in and of itself, is a blessed thing.
Please, please consider becoming a foster parent. There are so many children who need you! You can help! You can make a difference. Contact your Office of Children's Services today!!
Monday, August 20, 2012
Here are 10 ways you can do that, for FREE:
1. Make a conscious effort to smile; You'd be surprised how often a simple smile can brighten someone's day.
2. Give someone a genuine compliment; Pretty skirt, nice shoes, I like your hair like that, or even You are so patient! Good job!
3. Remember your manners-say please, thank you, no sir, yes ma'am, etc. Being polite is always helpful!
4. Do something nice for someone; take initiative and fold the laundry, grab an extra cup of coffee from the coffee pot for your spouse, make a homemade goodie for after work/school etc.
5. Go through your stuff; donate old clothing, shoes, furniture, what nots, etc. Someone can use them and appreciate them! AND your home will be neater/easier to clean so you are helping yourself at the same time!
6. Volunteer-I know, you are so busy. But are you really so busy you can't spare 20 minutes a week to read to a group of preschoolers, to cut out shapes for your child's teacher, to make copies, etc?
7. Do a good deed; Gather your vacationing neighbor's mail, walk a dog, wash a window, cut an elderly neighbor's grass, etc, clean the home of a new mom, sick neighbor, etc.
8. Organize a neighborhood garage sale/food drive/clothing or toy drive; Give the profits/proceeds to your favorite charity. You can also do the same with any of those home party companies; Scentsy, 31 Gifts, Tupperware and have the proceeds donated to your food bank, women's shelter, etc.
9. Make something for someone; perhaps you have a painting talent-paint a picture for a sick neighbor, or sewing-make a pillowcase for Conn Kerr Cancer Center, knitting-knit a remembrance blanket for a family that's lost their little one.
10. Send a letter, text or email; just to let someone know you are thinking of them and how much you miss them, how important they are, what a good person they are, etc. Take a minute to personalize it. Haven't heard from a friend in a while? Write them and let them know you care, they just might need to hear it.
If you do one or more of the things on this list, you WILL make a difference. Not just in someone else's life, but in your own!
Sunday, August 19, 2012
1. "Oh, she's so pretty! What is she?" Umm, she's a human, she's a little girl, she's a two year old-what exactly is the response you'd like? lol
2. "Did you adopt her?" Um, do I know you? This is your business, how? Maybe the wife before me was brown, for all you know. Does it make a difference?
3. When telling someone about foster care and the number of kids in AK that need homes, "So, I can get a brown baby of my very own?" Um, yeah. Once you go to the hospital and have my foot removed from your behind, you sure can.
4. "White trash whore." This one I left alone for two reasons- the people that said it were two huge, fat, skinhead looking dudes, and I choose to act like a lady in front of my children.
5. "What are you going to tell her about her real mom?" Um, hello? I have had her since birth, taken care of her 24/7, it doesn't get any more real than that! Thank you.
6. "White people shouldn't get to adopt black babies." Well, you know what they say about opinions. ;) And for your info, she is not JUST black, she is also Native. My husband is Native. We are educated folks, me with a degree in Childhood Development-so I do think we are knowledgable enough to teach her about her culture, expose her to people of different races and heritages (that's the good thing about the military) and to be honest, if OCS waited for folks of suitable cultures and races to be found for each child, there would be even more homeless children than what we are dealing with now! And furthermore, using the same argument, she will get more education about her culture and heritage in my home than what she would in her own birth home. This has been a proven fact.
7. "She's not your real sister." This was said to my son and I love his response, "We are the only family she knows. I would do anything for her and I love her so much. She is too, my real sister. "
8. "Oh, she's your FOSTER daughter." No, she is my DAUGHTER. ONLY. No additives, no adoptive daughter, adopted daughter, foster daughter, just. plain. daughter. ;)
9. "She's so lucky there are people like you to take in kids like her." Um, Wow. She is not a dog. She is not a stray and if you ask any member of my family, WE are the lucky ones. We have been truly blessed to get to know and take care of this little one. You should always help others, it's the right thing to do. We choose to set the example for our kiddos, instead of the whole do what I say, not what I do theory that seems to be so popular nowadays.
and finally the MOST ANNOYING THING EVER SAID TO ME/MY FAMILY:
10. "Why didn't you pick one that looked like you, then nobody would know?" Well, it's not like you can hit your local Walmart and look through the aisles selecting the "perfect" child. And when we entered into this decision, though admittedly we wanted a girl (my house is testosterone city) , we decided we would help whoever needed it, boy/girl, baby/teen, white/black/purple, etc. I am not, nor will I ever be ashamed of having a child that looks different than the rest of my family. I am so proud to have this little one, and any future little ones that we may have one day. I know that the rest of my family feels the same.
These children need you. They need a shelter from the storm that is their everyday life. They need kindness, love and a nurturing environment. That is and has always been our number 1 objective, to provide a safe home for a child in need. When you do that, with an open heart and open mind, you set a wonderful example for your family and for your community. I ask that you think, before you speak. My little one is getting to be two, she does understand what is being said and so do her brothers, who are usually present.
If you are curious about a family, ask them when the children aren't around. Be discreet. If you'd like to consider foster care; I implore you to do so! There are hundreds of children right here in Alaska, that need homes.
For more information on becoming a foster family;
1-800-478-7307 or http://hss.state.ak.us/ocs/fostercare/default.htm
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Kellye Green of Cat's Meow-Donated a custom baby wipe case-Winner's Choice
Jean Santiago of Body by Vi-Donated a Balance Kit, Shaker Ball and Blender Cup
Tiffany Dalzell of Scentsy-Donated One Plug In Warmer and Three Scent Bars-Winner's Choice
Jessie Goodwin of Crib Couture-Donated One Beautiful Pettiskirt and Matching Bow-
Sandy Turner of Discovery Toys-Donated a 10% off Gift Certificate
April Mazey of The Steady Hand-Donated a $10 Gift Certificate to her Etsy shop
To like the Facebook pages (mandatory entry) just click the links and click like.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
This is a multi-blog event for a FABULOUS Coach Purse and Wallet!
This giveaway will run from 6/14 12:01 am EST thru 6/30 11:59 pm EST
If you've entered any of our other Madamde Deals Events, this will be easy for you.
There is 1 mandatory entry of a blog comment plus Facebook likes for bonus entries.
Wait for the Rafflecopter to load and enter below:
Monday, June 4, 2012
What's more, American Family is offering a new recipe ebook for barbecues! Download it to get 25 entries to the giveaway! PLUS an additional 25 bonus entries for it, giving you a total of 50 entries for just downloading! How can you pass up these FREE entries? I don't know about you, but I am ALWAYS experimenting in the kitchen and appreciate new recipes, especially FREE ones! ;)
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Sunday, May 27, 2012
What makes Jennifer Ouellette’s designs so special?
Jennifer Ouellette does not just sell hair accessories for profit, their utmost aim is happiness. They provide guaranteed satisfaction to their customers.
Jennifer’s sense of design began during childhood days spent in her mother’s vintage clothing store in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, majoring in Textile and Apparel Management & Costume Design. She continues to combine her passion for vintage fashion with her modern New York City style. Using her needle and thread as an artist uses pencil and paint, she applies her manual sewing techniques to her millinery sculptures with loving detail.
In 1999, she was granted a US patent for the development of a unique headband design and construction, which greatly increases comfort and value. Her sustainable approach to her design proves she is a recycling artist. “I get creative when I start to clean my studio, reinventing our scraps is my expertise. I am content when we have zero waste.”
Jennifer Ouellette’s work is included fashion’s best periodicals around the world and her loyal customers demand more than shallow trends to compliment their style. Her designs are full of vitality and innovation, with inspirations from history, science and nature.
This is one of their most favorite designs.
An enchanting beauty that even your little girl could not resist wearing.The Giveaway
FadandGlamor.com and Jennifer Ouellette and a group of amazing bloggers are giving away 9 headbands to 4 lucky followers! A total estimated value of more than $400.
1st Winner – 3 headbands ($150 value)
2nd Winner – 2 headbands($100 value)
3rd Winner – 2 headbands ($100 value)
4th Winner – 2 headbands ($80 value)
This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE (free shipping) and will end on June 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST. No purchase or sign up required to enter. The winners will be emailed and have 24 hours only to respond, otherwise, another winner/s will be drawn. So, make sure you always check the email address that you’ve submitted in this giveaway. Kindly submit your entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Goodluck and stay beautiful!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Welcome to the Extreme Makeover: Summer Home Home and Beauty Blog Edition Giveaway!
Just in time for swimsuit season and all those backyard BBQ socials you'll be having, you can makeover yourself or your home! This sweepstakes giveaway is sponsored by ALL female entrepreneurs who are offering awesome prizes. If you win, you will be able to consult with an interior designer, receive services/products from a stylist, or get the latest skincare and beauty products. Thanks to the sponsors listed on the Rafflecopter!
You must be a resident of the United States and 18 years of age or older to participate. The winners will be select at random by the Rafflecopter widget. There are multiple choices for how you may enter. One winner will receive each prize and will be notified by email at the end of the sweepstakes. The beginning time is the date/time of this post and the ending time is shown in the countdown on the Rafflecopter.
It is easy to enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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Want to win a Kindle Fire?
One winner will receive a free Kindle Fire shipped right to their door.
There are some great ways to earn extra entries into this giveaway! All mandatory and extra entries must be submitted within the Rafflecopter Giveaway box below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here are the Details:
(READ ALL BEFORE SIGNING UP)
1) You need to put up a post on your site advertising for other bloggers to join. You can see the original post here
****** You will need to grab this button and code to put it in a post and/or on your side bar. The blogger that brings in the most people will get a space after the hosts. We will have a question on the sign up doc for who referred you. Make sure you add in your post: “Make sure to tell them (Creative Expressions) referred you.” ******
3) The prize is a Coach Purse and Wallet.
4) The Event will take Place June 14 12:01 am EST – June 30 11:59 pm EST
5) The following are the hosts of the event:
Dixieland Product Reviews & Giveaways
Colleen’s Book Nook
Still Blonde after all these YEARS
Saving More Than Me
6) You need to sign up here
7) Once signed up, you will receive your html. Please go ahead and schedule your post now so you don’t forget!!
**You must be a FAMILY friendly BLOG. You must also have a Facebook Fanpage! You can not link up a personal FB page or a FB group!
8.) If you are not already in the Madame Deals Free Events group, please join:
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The baby was immediately taken to the incubator, suctioned, and oxygen tubes inserted all while the other nurses tried to stop the bleeding. The baby's heart was racing, yet the baby was determined.
Even though born over 5 weeks early, weighing in a little over 4 lbs, she was determined.
Over the next three days, this baby grew stronger and stronger, no longer needing the oxygen tubes, or the heart monitors.
A call was placed to a husband. The husband told the wife. The wife cried. The wife cried the majority of the rest of the day, but knew in her heart, this was the call they had been waiting for. That evening, they went to the hospital to meet this precious little soul.
The NICU nurse, brought the baby to the door, so Ca could see. She pulled off it's knit cap, and out fell this long, black bushy hair!
This tiny little girl, looked at us and with tears in our eyes, we knew.
Dad and Ca went home. Mom stayed for the NICU class, and while the baby was disconnected from the rest of the machinery. Mom learned all about reflux, tremors, DTs, etc. Then, a few hours later, she took the baby home. It was swallowed by its tiny carseat.
She placed the baby seat on the counter so everyone could see. Bub did not want to look. Why? Because he didn't want to love her, only to have her taken away. He quickly changed his mind. :)
Little did we know, this course of events, that took place exactly two years ago, would forever change us. We have fought and continue to fight the good fight, and yet we wait.
But, we wait for someone who is well worth waiting for!
Everything we've done, we have done for her.
To make her life better, to help her, to give her the chance she almost didn't have.
Why? Because she's our baby. Always has been, always will be.
If it wasn't for the care that the NICU provided, we might not have our little beautiful little daughter. Won't you please join me in supporting the March of Dimes and help other babies, just like our K?
Here is the link to donate:
Remember, it only takes one person to make a difference! It ALL starts with you!
Friday, May 4, 2012
I consider myself a crafty person and the directions on ana-white.com were very easy to follow. I like the fact that she is a woman, she is a mom, and she is from Alaska. :)
So, here is what I started off with:
Then, following the directions, we got to this part:
Here it is with the first coat of paint, which should of course, ALWAYS be done on the tile in your entry way, bwah ha ha!
And the totally and completely finished bed, complete with it's imperfectly sewn bedding:
So folks, as you see, you CAN do it! It's not perfect, but she's two! It was handmade by her Dad and I, with tons of love, and isn't that what matters? I'd love to see your completed Pinterest projects! Feel free to share! If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, you can do so here: http://pinterest.com/thegoodwinteam/.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Often times, these children have few possessions. They are often rushed out of one home and into the next without much thought or planning. Things get left behind. You may say, "Well, they're just things. They are replaceable." I ask you to consider how you'd feel if you had already been taken away from the only family you knew, and shoved into a home full of strangers. Well meaning or not, they are strangers to you. You grab your teddy bear and perhaps your favorite race car and that's all you have time to take. Then before you know it, two or three homes later, the race car and teddy are nowhere to be found.
There is an easy solution! Won't you help me, help these kids? I figure, if we can purchase enough zipper pouches, these children can have their own bag to store their things in. If they have to suddenly move, they just have to grab their bag and go.
I have created an event here:
I would ask two things of you; 1) Please share this post with your Facebook friends, your twitter pals and your local religious organizations and 2)Please consider purchasing a pouch or two.
Together, we can make a difference. We can help these children. One child at a time. It all starts with you!
Monday, April 30, 2012
Here is the link:
Friday, April 20, 2012
from Puppythreads on Etsy. Her dolls are customizable, which was an option I appreciated, given that I am picky. Her communication was excellent, ensuring that I got exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it. She even posted the pic of the completed dolls for me to see BEFORE asking for payment!! Now that's putting the customer first! These dolls arrived to my home in standard packing, protected in plastic. The quality of these baby dolls is excellent. The eyes are stitched making them perfect for little ones, and they are sewn with good attention to detail.
These babies are affordably priced and will definitely withstand the test of time. I can see getting passed down to my daughter's own little one some day!
Puppythreads is a great shop! If you'd like to purchase your own creation from Puppythreads, click here.
Please patronize small businesses found on Etsy and Facebook!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Here is the photo of the placemat I created:
I found the website easy to use, though I wish they had a wider variety of ethnicities available. My shipping was only $3, so in all actuality, my placemat cost $3.
It arrived within 4 days (and I live in Alaska!) Here is how it came packaged to my home:
The placemat is made of a durable laminate, that has been used at every meal/snack for my daughter for 5 days now. It shows no signs of wear and tear and she absolutely adores it.
Here are my ratings:
Durability(Toddler Tested): 5/5
Shipping Time: 5/5
Total Score: 100%
To create your own placemat, go to Ink Garden and type in the code PLACEFREE.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
A little about Karen-taken from her Etsy description;
I am also on ETSY under username KarenleeCreations
I first began designing and creating soft sculptured dolls after the birth of my third child in 1983. I worked as a stay-home mom, making and selling dolls until 1998. When my kids entered high school, it became necessary for me to take a job outside the home, mainly for insurance benefits and a more reliable salary. For ten years I worked in customer service. I loved working with people but something was missing. So when I lost my job due to Multiple Sclerosis, a friend of mine suggested that I make my dolls again. I thought "you must be kidding. I don't know if I remember how and none of the materials I used in the 80's are still available. But still....it would be nice to have something to keep me busy. So my original pattern underwent a re-design and I went on a treasure hunt seeking new materials. "Karen's Kids" were re-born!
I love making dolls and put a little bit of my soul into each one. I credit God for giving me the inspiration and ability, and thank Him daily. I pray for my customers, and am sincerely happy to hear their positive feedback. For me, it's not about making money. It's about connecting with people, the sense of accomplishment that comes from the creative process, and above all...about giving glory to God!
God bless you and thanks for stopping by!
To see her dolls go here.
Here is the example I ordered for my daughter's birthday;
I will also be posting a review upon receipt of the dolls. I will discuss packaging, quality, etc.
It took her less than a week to make them, after I ordered!