Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!!! 1-1-11

Happy New Year Everyone!

Last year was a pretty great year, and I am really hoping this one is EVEN BETTER. As a matter of fact I know it will be!

So what did we do in the last year you ask...
Well since the last time I updated my blog was around Easter I will catch you up!

I started doing emergency foster care. Basically that means that I do foster care for children when they are first taken out of their home. I prefer to do little babies (newborn) as they don't really know what is going on. They usually stay with us for one to fourteen days, but I have had them as long as 22 days. Over the summer I took a break from emergency foster care to just hang out with the kids. We spent a lot of time going to the pool, the boys went to skateboard camp for a week, and we spent some time down in Orange County with my family. All in all a pretty great summer.

The boys have really gotten into skateboarding. I looked and looked on for a half pipe for them that we could get and put in our back yard. Most were too expensive and if it was free it was not in our area. Finally I found one on craigslist that was free, and right around the corner from us! It took Shannon and Adam the better part of two days to take it apart, transport and put it back together, but I am happy to say we now have a mini half pipe IN OUR BACKYARD!!!

In August school started again (WooHoo)!!! Skyler is in third grade and David is in first. I help out in their classes on Monday mornings. They both really like school and have great teachers. I enjoy helping in their classes. It keeps me in touch with the teachers and they love having me there! (the boys, and the teachers). Skyler is in a class that is taught by two teachers, one at the beginning of the week and one at the end and they switch off Wednesdays. I thought this might be a problem for him, but he has done quite well with it. One of his teachers has a working cattle ranch and so we got to go out there as a family (the whole class got to do this) and have a hike and lunch. It was a lot of fun.

David's birthday is in the beginning of October, and he decided he wanted to have a roller skating party. It was a lot of fun and the boys really liked roller skating. They recently started doing roller hockey on Monday nights at Rollerama. Skyler is a born athlete! He seems to be good at whatever sport he tries. David is good too, but he is a couple of years know... he will get better as he goes along (and has gotten better!)

Hallie is such a cutie!!! She is 18 months old and really a lot of fun. I am enjoying having a little girl. It is so different than having boys. She is really a good baby, happy and good natured. She currently repeats everything you say (good and bad) and is learning lots of new words each day. The boys seem to really enjoy her and are such great big brothers! The most exciting news about Hallie is that WE GET TO FINALIZE OUR ADOPTION ON JANUARY 14th!!! Less than two weeks away. Let the countdown begin.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We drove down to my sister Amy's house in Orange County, took our fifth wheel and spent the week down there. Christmas Eve was at Amy's. We had a wonderful dinner (as always Amy and Brock are such GREAT hosts!), and then it was on to the gift opening bonanza. The kids all got a lot of presents and were SO EXCITED! Christmas dinner was prime rib at my parents. It was so, so yummy!!! We got to spend time the rest of the week playing and enjoying our cousins, Aunties, Uncles, Grandma and Papa! We went one day to the Discovery Science Center which was really interesting and the boys really had a lot of fun. We were intending on staying through New Years Day to be able to eat some really great Korean food, but came home a couple of days early as there was a threat of SNOW on the Grapevine. We will have to go back down in a few weeks and pick up our 5th wheel.

So today is a NEW YEAR! Happy 2011. May you all have a Happy and Prosperous year filled with Joy and Blessings!!!
Love Ya,

ps: I hope to get some pictures up here this afternoon! Oh and send out my Christmas cards this week!!!

Monday, April 05, 2010


Easter 2010

Wow, the title is almost a song! It really has been a long strange year. Let me give you the highlights.

The last time I posted the boys had just started back to school, we still had Esmerelda, and had just got a new baby who we thought we were going to be able to adopt named Gracie. Much has changed since then....

We only had Gracie for about a couple of weeks and she went to her Mother's cousin. Adopting her was not in God's plan for us.

I was still working as a preschool teacher at our church three days a week.
In the beginning of August we got a phone call about another little girl named Malyna. She was almost a month old, and we were a little skeptical because we at that time had, had Esmerelda since January and although we knew we were only supposed to have her for three weeks we did know she would be going home someday. We were nervous about opening ourselves up again to another child and then her going home. I am sure you can all understand that. We really asked the worker a lot of questions before deciding to go ahead and bring her home. She came to live with us the 4th or 5th of August. Happy Birthday Shannon (August 5th).

School started again at the end of August. Skyler is in 2nd grade and David is in Kindergarten. They are both really enjoying school and doing well. It is currently our Easter/Spring break and the boys have had so much fun! They have spent most of the week outside with friends coming over to play everyday.

David turned six at the beginning of October. We had his birthday party at our house. We had a bounce house and boys from his class (he chose not to invite any girls.) It was a lot of fun and a good way for me to meet some of the moms from his class. I decided at the beginning of the year to volunteer in the boy's classrooms. Each Tuesday I was going to Skyler's class at 9am and David's class at 10am then eating lunch with David at 11am and making my way home! I took a little break after Christmas, but hope to get back to it soon. It really is fun going into the classrooms and getting to know the boy's friends.

I worked through the end of August at the preschool three days a week. The preschool decided to get licensed and go full time. I had the opportunity to work there but decided not to. We decided that financially it would not be a good decision. I still work at the church doing childcare for the Bible study on Wednesday mornings, Awana/discipleship classes Wednesday nights, MOPS every other Thursday morning, and then for evening services on Sunday nights. I think that the Bible study, discipleship classes, and MOPS will soon be coming to an end for the summer and I will soon just be working Sunday nights.

We went to court with Esmerelda in October and at that time they just continued her case and scheduled the next court date for March. Her mother was again pregnant and the baby was due in January. Since her parents were doing so well they petitioned the court in December to get her back early. We went to court in the middle of December. At that time I truly thought she would go home, but God had other plans for her. The judge said that the Mother should go ahead and have the baby, adjust to having the baby and then go back to court in February. She did visits with her parents a couple of times a week to help her adjust to them, and when we went to court on February 22, she did go home. It was a sad day for all of us, I am just grateful that we were able to keep her for so long. She really brought a lot of JOY and LAUGHTER to our home. I said all along God had a plan for her, and I was able to take comfort in that when she went home.

So what about Malyna??? Well she had been doing reunification with her parents. At the end of December her parents started showing up sporadically, and even then even less in January. For some reason they showed up for every visit in February, but have not showed up for any visits since the end of February. We go to court April 15th. At that time the county is recommending termination of reunification services. 120 days after that they will do termination of parental rights and I think 90 days after that hopefully we will be able to adopt her! We are going to name her Hallie (it was my Grandma Richards name). Won't that be cute, Hallie Hamner.

So when Esmerelda went home we decided to do emergency foster care. We started the sixth of March, and since then we have had. . . a one day old little girl for four days, a one day old little boy for ten days, a 19 month old little boy for 14 days, and I just got called about a six month old little boy. We will see how long he is with us.

The boys continue to get bigger it seems like every day! They both got awards at their respective reward ceremonies in the last month. David for outstanding academics and Skyler for most improved. I think they both really like their teachers. Skyler's teacher has been wonderful working with him and he has really improved.

I think you are pretty much caught up!

This past weekend Hallie and I took a trip down to Orange County. Amy had brunch at her house for Easter. We went down early Saturday morning and came back that same day. It was fun seeing everyone. We also got to go over to the block and visit the Gymboree Outlet, and also visited with my good friend Sharon! Totally an easy fun day!

Sunday we went to church, Sunday school and Services, then over to Camilles for lunch. In the early afternoon we had an Easter Egg Hunt over at the school with three other neighborhood families, and then it was back to work for me for evening services!

I promise I will make an extra effort to do better at posting! Sorry for the really long post.

Happy Monday (last day of spring break woohoo!!!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


WOW, even Esmirelda was excited about the boys going back to school. I was doing the happy dance I have to tell you!!! All these girls were talking about their kids going to school and how sad they were going to be and how they cried, but I have got to tell you, I sang a happy song, did a happy dance, even this morning I did another one!
So Skyler is a big second grader and David had his first day of Kindergarten yesterday. They both liked their teachers and had great days. I think David is a little tired, he is currently having a tantrum! Maybe we better go to bed earlier tonight! Getting into the routine of doing homework again is seemingly going to be a challenge. Skyler thinks he should play the wii for a little while before doing homework. It may be ok for this first week, because there is really not any homework, but after that it is NOT GOING TO FLY! Home, snack and homework in that order. No privileges until your homework is done! I can't tell you how nice and quiet it is when Es is taking a nap, and the boys are at school. Woo Hoo!
Anyway, just checking in!
Happy Tuesday!
Love Ya,

Monday, August 03, 2009

Well. . . .

So, I am still doing homework. It is no fun! I remember why I have not gone to school in 100 years! I am so close to being done. Probably tonight.
What else is new. . .
Well Christine had her baby. A really cute little boy.
This happened the same weekend of the Richards Family Reunion.

We did not go up as we had the new baby here and were adjusting (and TIRED!!!) It sounds like everyone had a great time and I am sorry that we missed it! We got a call from the little baby's social worker on Monday and a cousin of the mother had been approved and the baby was placed with her on Thursday. So the little baby went away. Back down to Skyler, David and Esmirelda.
Esmirelda had a high fever (104.7) on Wednesday and Thursday so Thursday afternoon I took her to the E/R and it turned out she had strep throat. They gave her some antibiotics and she is much better. She has a little rash on her face from the high fever, but is fine.
Shannon had a convention to tape this weekend, it was McCartney's birthday (my friend Sharon's grandson), so we went on over there for swimming, BBQ and cake. It was a lot of fun. All in all we had a great weekend, but I was glad when Shannon got home.
Well, that's about it for now.
Back to the grindstone!
Happy Monday,

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I found my camera and the charger!!!
We are in business now. More to post soon.
Gotta work on my homework (yuck).
Happy Sunday!!!
Love Ya,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wow, Look What Happens When I Don't Post For Over A Month!!!

I am so sorry it has been so long. So many things have happened. Skyler turned eight on May 25th and not long after that the boys both grew mustaches. It has been a really long time since I posted!
About a month or so more and Shannon's brain spontaneously combusted. Just lit on fire out of the blue. Or maybe the red white and blue (Happy 4th of July).
And last but certainly not least in the last week the number of girl children in our home has doubled making it a little more pink (and she is little!!!) Oh, by the way, look how big Esmirelda is getting!
Ok, now I will go back and explain a little.
Let's see. We had a great birthday party for Skyler at the Riverlakes Pool. It was so much fun. He invited a lot of his friends and we had about 17 boys and girls there. It was a little cold during the week so I was a little nervous but it warmed up nicely by friday for his party. There were a few parents that stuck around and we all had a great time visiting. We ordered pizza for the kids and then had star wars cake/cupcakes. A wonderful time was had by all. The next weekend we drove down to Orange County for the day to celebrate Skyler and Amy's birthdays at Barbara's house. It was really nice, a wonderful dinner and Skyler got a lot of really cool legos (his favorites!). It was a pretty quick trip up and back in the same day.
Right after Skyler's birthday it was the end of the school year. Skyler was promoted to the second grade and David is all signed up to go to kindergarten! He is pretty excited.
Next came Vacation Bible School. I am working part time at Valley Baptist Church as a preschool teacher and volunteered to be a coordinator for the two year olds this year for Vacation Bible School. Skyler had gone last year and had a really fun time. This year David also got to attend and ALL OF US had a really fun week!
For forth of July this year we went over to my friend Sharon's house in the morning. The boys swam and we all visited, then we came home and had a small front yard barbique with our neighbors down the street. It was so much fun. Our street is really turning into a neighborhood. That is the night Shannon's head caught on fire! Just kidding. He taped sparklers to his hard hat and lit himself on fire! Too funny he is.
Esmirelda is still with us. When she got here she was supposed to be here for about three weeks and six months later she is still here. She is getting so big. She crawls all around the house and boy is she fast! The boys have such fun with her. Yesterday was court and it looks like she might be with us until at least the beginning of October. I just try and remember one day at a time, God has a plan!
Last Tuesday we got a call about a little girl that we think may go right into adoptions. She is just little, about two weeks old, and we are calling her Grace. I will keep you posted as we know more about her situation.
So the pictures. . . .
The first one is odvously the boys (growing up with moustaches already!!!)
Next Shannon on fire!
The next two are Es. Just to show you how much she has grown.
And finally little tiny Gracie.
Well, I am tired so I am going to call it a night.
Happy Tuesday!
Love Ya,

Monday, May 18, 2009


Well, I still haven't found my camera charger, as a matter of fact I can't even find my camera, but here are some pictures the babysitter took yesterday. They are pretty cute so I thought I would share them with you. We had Skyler's birthday party Friday with his friends from school, and I have some pictures from the party on a cd, I just have to upload them to the computer (my new little computer does not have a cd drive!) I will try and get them posted tonight or tomorrow, but until then, enjoy these!
Happy Monday,
Love Ya,