My name is Sheila and I am 45 years old. I married my High school sweetheart at the tender age of 17. We had our first son 9 months later. 14 months after that son number two was born. 22 months later we had our little girl. So there I was, 22 years old, with three wonderful children and the love of my life.I loved being a Mom and I enjoyed it more than I ever thought possible. I would hold them and watch them sleep never wanting to put them down. Clint and I were very young and I'm sure some thought we were crazy, but I wouldn't trade it!As my children grew and we bought our land and built our home I began to miss having a little one. My babies weren't babies anymore. I decided it would be fun to have little ones around and approached my husband, then the kiddos about becoming a foster family. I thought it sounded like a great idea and it would be wonderful for the kids to be involved in helping those that needed us. Everyone agreed, I made some phone calls, and we began our journey.....We went to foster parent training and did our paper work, back ground checks, home visits and then we waited. I was a little surprised that we didn't get a child immediately. Then it happened on March 18, 1998 while I was shopping with my friend Chris I received the phone call that would change my life forever. The social worker wanted to know if we would take a little boy who was 18 months old and his 3 month old baby sister. I was so excited I couldn't wait to get home.Richard and Katy came into our lives that very evening. They were beautiful but they didn't smell so pretty! My daughter Ashley and I gave them baths and fed them. Ashley read Richard a story while I rocked Katy. They stayed with us for 15 months and then the dreaded phone call came. Richard and Katy were going home. I know I am supposed to be happy and that the goal from the very beginning was reunification. I had watched the parents with Richard and Katy and I truly felt in my heart that they were not ready for the responsibility. Katy was so frail when she came to us she was failing to thrive, she spit up all the time, had frequent diarrhea and many ear infections. She was just beginning to blossom. I feared for her safety. There was nothing I could do but pray to God to watch over these children and keep them safe. I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to let go. I loved these children and I didn't know if I would ever see them again. With a broken heart and tears streaming down my face I stood next to Clint as we said our goodbyes. I will never forget the looks on their faces. I felt as if they were asking me why they had to go away.Three weeks had passed since our sweet little babies had gone away. My heart ached and I thought of them constantly. The second week in July I received a phone call from D.H.S asking me if I minded speaking with Katy's doctor. The worker informed me that Katy had been found unconscious in her crib and rushed to the hospital. She had suffered a metabolic crises and because of a lack of oxygen she had brain damage. When she awoke from the coma she was unable to speak, sit up, stand or walk. The doctors needed to speak to someone that knew when Katy had attained each milestone such as walking and how well she talked. They had nothing to compare her current condition with. I asked if we could come to the hospital and be with her. When we saw her tiny little body in that big hospital bed with all the tubes coming out of her I couldn't believe it was the same child. I stayed with her night and day. I took her to the play room and coaxed her into taking tiny little steps with help. I got her to take small bites of food. I bathed her and brushed her tangled hair.The doctors explained that Katy had a rare metabolic disorder called Medium Chain acyl CoA Dehydrogenase. Medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, or 'MCAD,' is a disorder in which your body is unable to breakdown fats to make energy. Normally, fat is broken down into energy by "enzymes." This energy keeps your body running whenever it runs out of its main source of energy, a sugar called 'glucose.' In MCAD, a very important enzyme for breaking down fat, the medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase enzyme (MCAD) is missing or does not work correctly. This means that people with MCAD can't break down fat for energy when they run out of glucose. When people with MCAD fast, they can experience a range of serious life threatening symptoms or even death. Persons with MCAD cannot use this fat to make energy, consequently, the body begins to fail and malfunction once the food the person has eaten runs out. The main treatment is to avoid going without food for very long periods. Children should eat high carbohydrate meals like sugar-containing drinks, cereals, and pastas when they are ill. Children with MCAD should follow a low fat diet. If not detected and treated appropriately, MCAD can result in death. Untreated MCAD can lead to mental retardation and death.Katy was released from the hospital into our care. Richard went to another foster home due to all the therapies and constant care Katy needed at this time. Richard never made it back to us. He was adopted by a family that fell in love with him while we helped Katy with her long journey back. We spent everyday working with Katy encouraging her to walk and talk.On April 27, 2001 when she was 3 1/2 years old Kaitlin Elizabeth Kimble became our daughter. She was officially ours. When the Judge announced her new name and put her in my arms I felt the same joy I felt when my biological children were born. The same feelings overwhelmed me and I knew that God had brought us to Katy and that she was supposed to be with us and never have to say good bye again.Now it is December 2, 2007 and Katy will be 10 years old on the 24th. She is in the third grade. She is truly a gift from God. She brings us so much joy. I will admit though that it isn't always easy. Katy has developmental delays and ADHD do to the metobolic crises. She goes to speech, occupational and physical therapy twice a week. She has a Para professional that helps her because Katy has not learned to read. She needs constant supervision as she does not think things through. She is very revved up and is on medication to help her sleep. I was very much against giving her any medication in the beginning but after being up until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning trying to get her to sleep and regularly being late for school, I soon realized that this was a good choice for Katy. It slows her down enough to be able to go to sleep and she is able to wake up in the morning feeling rested and ready to go to school.Katy has three older siblings Chris her oldest brother is 27. Randy her brother is 26 and her sister Ashley is 24. She has a niece Brooklynn who is 6 and a nephew Hayden that is 3. She has another nephew Peyton that is 3 1/2. Join me as you peek into my life and all that it entails as a Mom to three grown children and Katy a 10 year old who keeps me on my toes. I'm Nana to three beautiful grandchildren and wife to the love of my life. The journey continues......

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Peyton

Today is my first Grandson’s 3rd birthday! Happy Birthday Peyton. I remember how excited we all were three years ago today. Your Mommy was scheduled to be induced so you could be born. I went to the hospital to wait with your Mommy and Daddy. We kept talking and wondering who you would look like and how much you would weigh. Your Mommy and Daddy were so anxious for you to get here so they could hold you and take care of you. Your Mommy was told that she needed a c section so they whisked her off to surgery. A lot of your family had gathered to be there for your arrival. You were so beautiful! You looked like your Mommy and your Daddy. You weighed 6lbs.15ozs. When you left the hospital you came to Poppa and Nana’s for a few days. When you would wake up and cry in the night your Mommy would already have you before I could even get to you. We love you very much and we are so proud of our sweet little boy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A New Job

I interviewed for a child welfare job even though I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it. I felt like I needed to get my foot in the door so to speak so I could possibly get a job I liked better. I graduated in May with a degree in Social Work but it seems every time a job would become available some one from child welfare would get it. I have been praying for God to put me where he needed me. I told myself if I got the child welfare job that God must want me there. Then out of the blue I get a call from a friend of mine telling me that our area is getting a new shelter for foster children and they were taking applications for a shelter coordinator. She encouraged me to fill out an application and I did. I received a call to come for an interview the following Friday. Today they called and offered me the job! I will not hear from the other job for another week. I am so excited! I feel like God has had his hand in this all along. I start Monday, but the shelter doesn’t actually open until sometime in April. There is so much to do to get ready for the opening! Things are going to change so much for me and my family. I haven’t worked outside the home much so this will be a new experience. I am so excited I just had to share.

Free Free Free

Almost free anyway. I just bought 27 packages of bacon for tax. The bacon was on sale for $1.99 and I had $2.00 coupons! This is a nice addition to my freezer. I love being able to add this nice stockpile to my freezer especially at this price!

Monday, January 28, 2008


If there is one thing I hate with a passion, it's going to the dentist.
Have you ever noticed that familiar scent that all dentists' offices seem to have? It always brings back memories of pain. I get nervous the instant I smell it. I had a tooth worked on for 90 minutes. My mouth and my head were throbbing by the time I left! Guess what? I get to go back tomorrow for another round of fun! I need a crown so I will get to listen to the sound of the drill and hold my mouth open while I enjoy the taste of latex!

Friday, January 25, 2008


I went to Walgreens and bought the buy one get one free Jane makeup with my $2.00 coupons. Free make up! Thanks Billie for directing me to Money Saving Mom! I also found some razors regular price of $11.99 on clearance for $2.19. I plan to print some more coupons and get some make up to donate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why Do You Do It?

As a foster parent I have had my share of questions from people that don’t seem to understand why we do it. I think the number one question I get asked is how do you let them go? They go on to tell me that they just couldn’t bring a child into their home and then let them go. I will be the first to tell you it isn’t easy but no matter how much it hurts we do heal. God gives us the ability to let go and to trust that he will continue to provide for each and every child. Another question is how do you deal with the delays and the baggage that most foster children come with? I believe that God prepares us for every child that we take into our home. While it may not be easy he allows us to handle each situation as it arises.
The welfare of the children is important they are the future. My prayer is that we model Christ like unconditional love and support so we can break the chains of abuse and guide each child into lives filled with faith, hope and love.

Christ Kids

Today and almost every Wednesday after school is Christ Kids. My sister and I with help from many other people have an outreach program at our church for children in first through sixth grade. The church van picks the children up from school and takes them to church. We are just a few blocks from school which is a good thing because sometimes we make several trips. The woman’s group provides and serves a snack. We have people available to help with homework if they want help.Then the children have play time outside if the weather permits. They line up and come inside to sing songs and share things they want to talk about. We have prayer and then divide up by grades and go to our individual rooms. Here we have a Bible story and talk about what we learned. We usually do a craft and sometimes we have work sheets, crosswords or word finds to go along with our lesson. We have field trips. We make cards, plant flowers, sing and decorate pumpkins for the nursing home. We have an Easter egg hunt at the park. We have a carnival and a cookout or two. We have a Christmas program and we make sure that everyone who wants a part gets one. We invite their parents and have snacks and fellowship after the program. This may be the only time some of these parents and children ever come to church. We try to make each child feel special and let them know how much Jesus loves them! This is our fifth year and we have had as many as sixty five children. The youth group is very involved in helping us with this ministry. They do an awesome job!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Too Many Abrahams

Today after school Katy and I worked on money. We are trying to help her understand the value of money. It has been hard for her to grasp that a big nickel is less than the small thin dime .We play store and she buys things from us. I decided to take it a step further and ask her to identify the presidents on the $1.00 and $5.00 bills. She stared at Abraham Lincoln for quite a while and then she said, “Oh I remember thats Father Abraham.” I tried not to laugh but it was so funny!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moonlight Dreams

I was looking through Katy's Life Book and ran across this. It is one of my favorite pictures.This was taken just a few days before she left us and before the brain injury.

The night is still and silent.
The moon gives off a cold white light.
There is a chill in the air,
But she doesn't feel it.
She is inside, asleep in her bed.
The moonlight shines through her window,
Illuminating her in its cold white light.
The moonlight lays across her pillow,
And caresses her cheek.
She is sleeping peacefully.
The calm of the night is upon her.
As I stand there and watch her sleeping,
I wonder--
What figures dance through her moonlit dreams?

Nadine-Brenna McManus

Spending less at the Grocery Store

I read Ashley’s sister in laws blog and was inspired to write about how I save money on groceries. My shopping technique is to shop more often, and focus my shopping on the special deals at each store. If there is a great sale, I buy as much as I can afford and have room for. For example, Once in a while, a store will have cereal at half price and I’ll literally load up my cart with cereal. If I have coupons it makes it an even better deal. I have a store that doubles up to a $1.00 every day so I can get cereal for 50 cents a box when I combine the coupons with sales. The key, is matching coupons to good sales. The idea is to use your coupons when an item is on sale and stock your pantry when something hits rock bottom prices. Keep your eye open for unadvertised deals and coupons in the store. You can often get many things on your list for pennies on the dollar or even free. We also plant a garden and freeze and can the excess. We make pickles and pickled okra. We raise chickens so we have fresh eggs. We raise our own beef which taste much better and is less expensive than buying at a supermarket. I can’t remember the last time I paid more than 15 cents for toothpaste. I have enough Crest, Colgate, and Aqua Fresh to last for a very long time. I have three packs of Dove, Caress, Zest and many other packages of soap that I only paid tax on. I have at least 75 toothbrushes that only cost me tax. The list goes on and on. I have two large shoe boxes full of razors that were free. Free edge and skintimate shaving cream. The internet is a great source for coupons. Not only can you order exactly the coupons you want you can also print them. Tylenol recently offered a $5.00 coupon on any Tylenol product. Clorox offered a $3.00 coupon on the new Anywhere spray cleaner. This made it 9 cents a bottle. I rarely pay more than a few cents for name brand cleaners. If I do happen to run out before a sale I make my own cleaner with tea tree oil. Another very important tip to saving money at the grocery store is to keep an eye on the register. Grocery stores are not always reset with current sale prices. Your chances of being charged the full price on a sale item are high. According to an article I read in Woman’s Day magazine Americans lose anywhere from 1 to 3 billion dollars a year on scanning discrepancies.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who is Tasha Tudor?

Tasha Tudor, who turned 91 in the year 2006, is one of America’s best known and beloved illustrators. Her first little story, Pumpkin Moonshine, was published in 1938. Among her most famous illustrations are for the books Mother Goose, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Little Women, and The Winds in the Willows. Her home, though only 30 years old, feels as though it was built in the 1830's, her favorite time period. Seth Tudor, one of Tasha's four children, built her home using hand tools. Tasha lives among period antiques, using them in her daily life. I first learned of Tasha Tudor while reading an article about her in a Victoria magazine several years ago. I really liked her books and beautiful illustrations and her simplistic lifestyle. One of the first books I remember reading was A is for Annabelle. I was six years old and remember the story still. I have now discovered that it was written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt"

Yesterday was the State Bowling Games for Special Olympics. Ashley met me in Elreno and went with me to watch Katy bowl. It just amazes me how uplifting and encouraging everyone is. They are so supportive of each other. They are so happy when you knock down your pins! Katy won the Bronze. She had a lot of fun. Last year was her first year to bowl and she used a ramp. This year she bowled with out the ramp. She does have a hard time getting the ball to go fast but she is improving. She doesn’t have enough strength to throw the ball with one hand so she granny bowls. If you ever have an opportunity to volunteer for Special Olympics you wont be disappointed. It is very rewarding.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Love One Another

As I think about the various children we have had in our home over the past years. I can't help but wonder what they did for Christmas this year. Were they warm? Were they safe? Did they have enough to eat? Did Santa visit them this year?
We should all remember to teach kindness by example, and learn to love all, especially those that are difficult to love. As the holiday season comes to an end and we reflect on the time of year when we celebrate our faith with family and friends. We take time to remember the blessings of togetherness, belonging and traditions. Yet, there are many children in our state who have not been as blessed as so many of us have with the gifts of family, love, security and safety. As we begin the New Year, and give thanks for the abundance that we enjoy, may we remember those most vulnerable among us, the children in foster care. And as this season passes, may each of us be challenged to continue to care, to act and to share with those who need us most. This year, may our resolution be to make a lasting difference in the life of a child. I pray for opportunities to serve others when they need help; for people with willing hearts to serve where there is a need.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Katy gets her ears pierced

Today was the day. Katy has wanted to get her ears pierced for a couple of years now. We told her when we felt she could take care of them we would let her. On her 9th birthday we told her she could. When we got there she decided she didn’t want to. She wasn’t ready again until today. Her little niece Brooklynn, Dad and I were all there to offer her support and hold her hand. There was only one lady on duty at the jewelry counter. She informed us that she would not be able to do them both at the same time since there was no one there to help her. I explained this to Katy and she was okay with it. She picked out the earrings of her choice which were April birthstones. This is the month we adopted Katy and when we celebrate her birthday. We pulled her hair back away from her ears and then the lady put little black dots on her ears. I told Katy it would sting and be a little uncomfortable. She squeezed her eyes shut and squeezed my hand. Then she waited there was a clicking noise and it was over. I wasn’t sure how she would feel about the second ear, but she didn’t mind she squeezed those little eyes shut and grabbed my hand. She was so brave and she didn’t cry. She was so proud of her self. She shows everyone her ears!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Dreamer

When I close my eyes I go to sleep and dream of the bargains I will soon buy! When I wake up Sunday morning I will find coupons in the Sunday paper. I ignore the headlines that frame the first page, ripping and tearing I go for the shiny inserts. I go through each one reveling in the savings I am destined for. My daughter in law calls me on the phone and begins to tell me about the sales at the local grocery store. My mind starts to race as I recall all the coupons I clipped and filed neatly in my coupon box. The sound of my daughter in laws voice interrupts my visions of bargains and I listen once again to the long list of items that we will soon buy for pennies. I hang up the phone and meet my daughter in law at the store. We start on the first isle with sale ads and coupons in hand. Our eyes are wide open, scanning the shelves for any unadvertised sales that might be free after coupons. Suddenly my daughter in law screams “Look, sugar is one dollar for a four pound bag!” We delve into the coupon file and bring out fifty cent coupons. We can barely contain our excitement as we calculate the savings. We load our shopping carts with sugar, spaghetti sauce, pop tarts, cereal and many more grocery items. We make our way to the check out and stand and smile while the cashier deducts each doubled coupon. My daughter in law is speechless as her trembling hand reaches out to pay for the groceries. She feels a satisfaction that only a true “Coupon Queen” can understand. The last bag is unpacked and put away in nice straight rows. I can’t help but notice how much my well stocked cabinets remind me of a grocery store. I have enough of each product to last me until the next big sale. I wonder how I ever bought groceries without those little pieces of paper. My day comes to an end and I settle into bed to fall asleep. As I lie there a smile forms on my lips as I begin to dream of coupons, sales and bargains.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight and I felt safe and loved.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we were given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handle your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."

Each of us, whether a parent, grandparent, relative or friend, influence a child somewhere. How will you touch the life of someone today?
~ author unknown ~

How Clean Is Your House?

I have found a new show called How Clean Is Your House? It’s comes on at 2:00 and 2:30. There are two women who take a cleaning crew and tackle some of the most horrific filthy houses in England. Its fun to watch and it makes me feel better about the state of my own house and motivated to get off my rear end and find more time to clean. It’s almost like watching a horror movie at times though; I have to shield my eyes every time they get to the gross toilets! Just to warn you it’s not a show you should watch if you want to sit down with a snack! The women, Kim and Aggie, are very funny. And are the Queens of clean. They smell everything. Things I would never stick my nose in! I like all the helpful cleaning tips they give and they show simple ways to deal with household cleaning by using things you have on hand such as lemon juice, salt, baking soda and vinegar. I have tried a few of them and they work pretty well. If you have never seen this show you should check it out. You can not believe the condition people let their homes get into!

Friday, January 4, 2008

"There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

Working Mom?

I graduated in May with a degree in Social Work. I haven’t gone to work yet. I was so excited about finding a job. I actually interviewed for a child welfare job and was offered the job but I declined because it sounded so demanding that I didn’t think I could be the Mom and wife that I want to be with all the demands that are required of a child welfare social worker. There have been other jobs come up that I think are more suitable for me but they always go to someone who is already working, usually in child welfare. I have decided that I may have to work in child welfare in order to be in a position to apply for other jobs when they come up. There is a position coming up in Blaine County. I think I am going to apply. I may not get the job but I need to at least try so I can begin to build some work experience. I am concerned about how Katy will react to me not being here when she gets home from school. She doesn’t get off the bus until 4:15 and I should be able to be home by 5:45. Clint will be here most of the time. I will have to figure out what to do about the times he can’t be here. I really want to have a job where I can make a difference to those that need help. I just wish it was a job that ended at 3:00 or 4:00. I have been in prayer about this for a while now. I know that God will put me where he knows I should be and we will work out all the kinks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, looking forward to the New Year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. I have never been one to make New Years resolutions but decided to try it this year. The first thing I want to work on is spending more time with family. I want them to know that I appreciate and love them. I want to be more sensitive to their needs and not take them for granted. My second resolution is to enjoy life more. I think that these two things really go hand in hand. Because who better to enjoy life with than your loved ones? My third resolution is to start working on getting out of debt. I know it doesn’t happen over night but I can help by spending less and cutting back on a few things. Katy doesn’t need half of all the stuff I buy her. Good by Ebay! This will help make my fourth resolution easier to accomplish. Reduce the clutter in my home by being more organized. I love organization but it is difficult to accomplish when you have so much stuff! Next on the list is I want to remember to be more thankful. I have such a wonderful husband. I truly could not ask for a kinder, caring, more loving man. My children, daughter in law, son in law, grandchildren, parents, and siblings are all a blessing. I am so grateful to have our family. God has blessed me many times over and I am thankful. I want to be able to express this more often and to never take my family for granted. A happy family life is one of life's greatest blessings. Lord please help me remember that happy families don't just happen. They are created by conscious effort, time and attention. Happy New Year!