Friday, April 27, 2018

Newest Sponsored Child

Tonight Jasmine and I were Compassion Volunteers at an Anita Renfroe event at a nearby church. Our job was to give out information about children waiting for sponsors.

Jasmine and I both sponsor children through Compassion International. Actually, I have two through Compassion and one through World Vision. So I didn't really plan to sign up to sponsor a 4th child. But I realized they have older children now. Instead of a sponsorship ending when a child turns 18, it ends when they complete school.

I kept looking at the photos of three different young men. I can't say I felt any great conviction to sponsor one, but decided it would be cool to give an older child a chance. So I chose one of the boy's cards and filled it out to be his sponsor.

Afterward I realized it was the first time I hadn't chosen by birth date. My World Vision child has the same birthday as a child we wanted to adopt from Haiti but were unable to. Then after the twins came home, I started sponsoring two children whose birthdates are within ten days of theirs. In years past I sponsored children the ages our children were at the time.

I knew all three of the young men photos I had been looking at were born in 1999, but I never looked at the date. So I pulled my newly sponsored child's picture back out of my bag and looked at the birthday. TODAY is his 19th birthday!! How cool is that? It's too bad he won't know for several weeks that he has a sponsor. I wish he could know today and perhaps consider it a special birthday gift.

Shellie Tomlinson, Jasmine and I with my photo of Reynaldi Waworuntu in East Indonesia.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Winter is 1!!

I posted many of these pictures in my last post, but since there hasn't been anything to post about, I decided to give her a post of her own.

Winter turned one on April 21, but we couldn't celebrate with them that day, so we had our own celebration the next evening.

Sadie Rose welcomed the birthday girl with kisses!

I bought beach chairs for both girls.

We had chicken nuggets and fries. She was waiting patiently.

Unca Ty Ty (as River calls him) needed a fry

Unca Ty Ty bought Winter a V Tech Lights and Sound steering wheel

Aunt Jazzy bought Winter a reversible stuffed animal

Grandma Sims and Aunt Lou bought an electronic book and the outfit Winter is wearing

Aunt Kayla and Uncle Kaleb gave her a shape sorter

We also got her a ball activity toy

Unca Ty Ty helped blow out the candle.

We bought her this outfit.

Happy birthday Winter!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kid Updates part 2

Last time I updated on Ashley, Tyler, Jessica and Jeff.

A comments on Jeff's. Even though I reconnected with Jeff, he does not want any birthday presents from any of us. I was hoping that we could rebuild some sort of relationship and also meet my new daughter-in-law.

Next up is Adam. He does not live in town anymore. He was sent to Albany, GA for active reserve. He had said it was only for six months, but it's been at least a year. He is cleaning out his house here, so I think it may be permanent.

He does not seem to be lacking for friends.

Jasmine is in her second semester at the children's theater. She is too old, but they let her stay. In fact, she is in the Tuesday/Thursday class, but they asked her to also play her character for the Monday/Wednesday class too. The person playing that character dropped out. So Jasmine will be busy between now and the performances the first weekend in May.

She is really struggling with school. We have to figure out how to deal with the classes she has little hope of passing. She may have an extra year of high school, or at least a half day. I don't know if she can do some of it online this summer.

She helps me in the shop most of Saturday and Sundays after church. She is the one who check batteries in all the toys.

Kaleb is still in the JDAP program. He completed his community service hours, but his case worker gave him 20 more for breaking Rick's windshield. Eventually he will catch on. You do stuff, there are consequences. When I mentioned to his caseworker he was going to Teen Missions this summer, she looked at me and said, "Who gave you permission to sign him up for camp?" I said that he had been signed up long before JDAP. She basically said, too bad, he's in the program now. So we will see. He will have to knock off the behaviors and work with his counselor. 

Thing is, he can be a great kid and a big help. But he can also act out very defiantly, especially with Rick. In fact on weekends when I'm on the shop, he automatically goes into defiant mood, decides he is not going to do any of his weekend jobs and starts acting out. It usually means he goes to bed early and misses the extra fun stuff. Why he does it is anyone's guess when he knows it will mean a loss of privileges. He sometimes regrets it later, but couldn't care less at the time.

He was able to bring all his grades up to C's and up which is good. He is in state testing now.

Kaleb loves the little girls. Even so, he wasn't willing to cooperate in getting ready to celebrate Winter's birthday tonight so had to go to bed early. Crazy crazy!

Kayla has some of the same issues as far as not cooperating, but she functions much higher socially/emotionally. She is signed up to go to camp, but we got a letter concerning her behavior last year. She told us she was very cooperative and helpful. Not so. There was a long list of behaviors, but none of them were cooperative and helpful. To return this summer she has to write an apology letter and a promise to follow all the rules and have a positive attitude or she will be sent home. I know she can do it. She is very capable of cooperating, and I think she would possibly have leadership skills if she would chose to.

She finished track, but only ran two of the four meets. Her school chose not to run the make up meet from a rain day, and another time she skipped practice so her coach wouldn't let her run. She was not outstanding, but I think she'll be a much stronger runner next year.

Child Nine. No progress. It is looking like it will not happen. Our county is the most adoption unfriendly one I know of!And yes, we can handle another child. We have dealt with so much already and we know where to go for help and how to get resources.

Winter turned one yesterday!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Kid Updates

Some new things going on, some thing remain the same. So here we go ...

I don't post much about my step daughter, so I'll start with her. She is married and has two children who are growing up much too quickly. 

These shirts are perfect, because it's their names!

Ashley is a hair stylist, so Phoenix gets to try out a lot of new looks.
 Tyler is good about spending time with the kids. The sad part is that after he's spent time with the twins, they'll turn around and steal from him. That's just life as it is right now. Up days and down days. I think they are actually trying to do the right thing, but some days they just don't care. 
Ty and I work together at the flea market during the weekend. We divided into two stores, but he's right across the hall from me. I have more general toys, and he has more pop culture, 80s action figures and more specialty type toys. I'll try to post pictures of his store soon. He still works at the mall, too.

River and Winter love their Unca TyTy. Unfortunately I don't have photos of them together. They were lost off of my phone.

I get to spend time with Jessica every week because she works evenings. She gets overwhelmed at times, so I try to meet up with her at least twice a week. She has applied at a restaurant much nearer to her house that will be  opening this weekend. I know that many, many people applied, and I don't know if they are done hiring or not.

River is two, and Winter will be one on the 21st. Winter said, "Gigi" yesterday!!!! I haven't heard her talk before. Jessica says that she said "thank you" the day before.

That brings us to Jeff.

Just last week we found out that Jeff got married on December 29. Rick saw a picture on his facebook page and it was tagged as Jeff and Briana Cassel. He messaged her and found out about the marriage. It doesn't appear they had any sort of ceremony or that they even told anyone. He merely posted a photo of them together. But since every one wrote "Happy New Year" rather than "Congratulations," I'm assuming that other than the people he's stationed with, no one else knew.

The second picture was posted the day they got married. She turned 18 in November, and he will be 25 in a couple of weeks. I sent both of them friend requests on facebook, and both accepted, although I don't think Jeff is on much.

Okay, that's half way through my crew, so I will post this for now, and continue it later.

Saturday, April 7, 2018


This was Winter's first Easter. I don't have as good of pictures as I'd like. This is the only one of either of the little girls still dressed up.

River was ready for a nap about the time we were cooking a late breakfast (after early church) on the beach. So she was in a cranky mood. Cranky two year old children like to throw food on the ground in case you don't remember!!

She did cheer up when we went on the beach to "hunt" for eggs. But she didn't want to pick them up! Jessica got her to pick up some and put them in her (Jessica's) dress.

Then, in keeping with Haitian tradition--and our own--we flew kites.

Kaleb, 12

Jasmine, 17

Kayla, 12
Rick cooking


Kayla cooking


River picking up eggs

Winter with her eggs

Not quite sure what to do with them.

She was a lot more interested when I showed her there was candy in them.

River walking with Aunt Kayla


Flying kites

I will be doing a kid update next time. I have one very interesting update.