Summer Is Here

The days are longer and the nights are shorter, like Mom’s patience – we are talking about Summer! My kids are rejoicing and my mom friends and I are tentatively celebrating the end of homework – yay! We all know what is headed our way – late nights, houses full of friends, endless trips to the grocery store and the dreaded words, “I’m bored.” Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but my vision of summer in a rustic beach cottage reading books and strolling quiet beaches and my reality with four kids at home (not located on the beach) are very different! How do we make our reality more like our dream?

The reality is that summers are easier with older kids – they are more independent! A few summers ago, I ran into a friend one hot July afternoon at Target with my four wild kids, and she looked so refreshed and relaxed with her teenage daughters. We spoke briefly and I asked what they were up to this summer. She answered calmly that they were enjoying these hot afternoons reading and napping!! What?!? Really? My mind was blown!

I thought this would never happen in my house, but I am here to tell you that this is a slight possibility for me this summer – my girls have chosen books to read and seem content with the idea…it is early and time will tell, but I am hopeful!

For the rest of you with young kids, I have a few tips.

First, Keep a routine – This is for the kids and you. Start every morning with a schedule for the day allowing for downtime and naps as well as snacks and meals and ending with a set bedtime for your sanity and theirs!! This bedtime gives you something to look forward to all day or during any meltdown, and also allows your child the rest he needs to avoid meltdowns. If your days are really long, I suggest curtains with blackout linings, these are great for energy efficiency too, and available at a reasonable price from many retailers, including Target! I bought a set recently for my girls’ room and love them!

Second, Leave the house once a day! This may sound silly, but this gives the kids something to look forward to, as well as you. A change in environment is often just what we need to refocus our attention and thoughts. This outing can be a simple walk down your street, a trip to the library or museum, grocery store – use your imagination, but remember the simpler, the better – make this an easy part of the day. My kids love the grocery store outings where I send them to get items on the list. (Only try this on a good day with young kids) My girls started helping me around the age of 4 by selecting fruits and their favorite snacks, and now at 12, they are very helpful and can run in alone to grab ice cream or a forgotten item for me – nice perk from my summers of training! The library is another great spot full of free activities for the kids to participate – always encourage reading and you might have those quiet afternoons! The library is also a good solution for the child who struggles to enjoy reading – he can check out several books at once to try!

Last but not least, Relax and lower your expectations. The house is not going to stay clean, the kids are going to test your patience, and things will not go as planned, but these are all memory making moments, so enjoy! Stay in the moment and enjoy your kids because they will not be young forever. One summer soon, they will be those quiet kids reading and napping in the afternoons and you will miss the crazy! My grandmother would tell me to cherish every moment because these memories are what keep us going. So do just that, enjoy summer, the good, the bad and especially the crazy!

Grace & Peace,

Allyson

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Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and especially to our foster moms!! We are passionate about children and Moms at Fostering Community and we want to take this moment to celebrate you!

As a mother to four beautiful girls, I cherish every moment of being their mom. From the first “good morning” to the last “good night, sweet dreams” hug at the end of the day and every up and down in between, the Love is amazing and fulfilling more than I can explain with words. In fact, it is when we are apart for various reasons that I truly understand the impact we have on each other daily. I love and nurture them as much as they love and nurture me – what an incredible relationship!

My children need this love everyday, and my heart breaks for the thousands of children who do not know this love. In our state alone, we have almost 5000 children in foster care. These children long for their mother’s love everyday, and dream of the day she will be the strong, steadfast Mom that God intended for these children. We pray for these moms struggling to succeed.

We Celebrate our Foster Moms who so generously offer their motherly love to these children. These moms love, nurture, encourage and support these children during their most vulnerable times and when these children need it most! Foster Moms do not have all the answers about the child’s future, but they focus on the love and guidance needed for today. What an amazing Mom – you are worth celebrating!!

I will share a quick story from this past week while I was working our Foster Care Closet. One of my favorite families arrived with their seven children. This Mom and Dad fostered and adopted all seven children – that’s worth celebrating in itself! We ask that visitors to the closet complete an information sheet to help us track our efforts, so, One of the younger sons started to complete the form for Mom. He stopped quickly and tugged her sleeve. She looked over and he pointed to the first blank on the page with a startled look in his eye. He said, “that says foster parent name, and you aren’t a foster mom anymore, you adopted us, right?” In this moment, little Michael’s world stopped. His smile changed and he needed Mom’s reassurance that he was her son. She smiled and reassured him that Yes, she was not a foster mom anymore, but his forever Mom. That simple answer and reassurance was enough for Michael to smile again and continue on with his day. In this moment, I saw the importance of Mom and how even the smallest reassurance by mom makes everything better. A mother’s love is magical!

There is no better time than Mother’s Day to celebrate all the Mom’s in our lives. Enjoy being a Mom, enjoy time with your Mom and pray for all Moms everywhere!!

If you are interested in becoming a foster mom or helping us support foster children, comment below or visit ourWebsite.

Grace & Peace,

Allyson

Fostering Community

Let the fostering community journey begin…

We provide support and encouragement to foster families through a variety of resources including the Louisiana Heart Gallery, the Foster Care Closet, a parent support group, education and more! This exciting journey is one of faith and filled with prayer!

“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming Me.” Matthew 18:5

We believe every child deserves a loving forever home to thrive. The Louisiana Heart Gallery showcases special children looking for just that! Check out our fb page to see these smiling faces and to hear their stories. Is your heart leading you to foster or adopt a special child?

Will you join me in praying for these amazing children?
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of these beautiful children. Please bless each one with peace and joy. Fill their hearts with your love, and help us to find a loving family for each and every one of these children. Amen.

Join our community by following and commenting on this post. Let us know what foster care topics you want us to address. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of these children.

Grace and Peace,
Allyson