Friday, July 26, 2013


Has it really been over 5 months since I last posted?  I have to ask myself why I can't stay away from facebook for more than a day or two?  Convenience, perhaps?  The fact that I can post in the flash of lightning from my fancy phone?  (Remember when beepers were cool?)  Or is it a crazy obsession with telling all my business to the world? Probably a combination of all of the above!

Okay, well...5 months...there's a lot to update, so let's get started.

I realized all too quickly I'd taken on way too much last fall when I started working 3 jobs plus tried a home-based business in direct sales. So, in April, I made a change. I left my position with a foster care agency and jumped full-time into a position as the Training Director for the Oklahoma CASA Association. I'm loving it!!! While the decision really was difficult and I didn't necessarily leave the former position as neatly wrapped up as would have made me proud, I know it was the right decision and I'm very happy in my new full-time role. I'm also very grateful that it isn't all that "new" since I'd already been working with OK CASA for a year or more, as a contractor. God opened up an awesome door and I walked through it.  Thank You, Jesus!  I'm still an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma and am so super proud to work with budding social workers, to inspire them to find a passion, and go for it!  Its truly a very cool thing I get to do. Oh, and now I say, with a smile "BOOMER SOONER!!"

I’m also working on my book and on developing my speaking & training business, on a very part-time basis, so I don't lose site of the family priorities again. I’ve recently started writing for Foster Focus Magazine and am a fairly regular contributor to that magazine.  I am making a lot of connections all over the country and believe God  is opening some incredible doors for me to get my message out there.  It’s an exciting time, for sure.  (If you haven't read Joel Osteen's book "It's Your Time", you should!!!  Totally amazing!  Find it here.)

Our oldest son, Shawn, is now a teenager!!! He turned 13 last weekend and we celebrated with a big paintball party. I will never understand the attraction of that game, but he and his friends loved it...little paintball welts on their torsos and all!  Now, when I look at him, I have to allow myself to accept he becoming a young man, which ain't easy for this momma to do. He’ll be in the 7th grade this year and will play football at school.  He loves to hunt and fish with Dad and is definitely a “redneck” boy at heart. He has grown & matured so much in the past two years…I’m amazed every day.  

Our younger son, Derek, turned 11 in June and will be in the 5th grade.  Since moving to Oklahoma, we’ve noticed some learning issues with Derek and finally were able to get him assessed.  He has some characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome, but doesn’t meet full criteria.  His primary issues are in sensory integration, so we’re learning how to best help him focus and to deal with the constant sensory stimulation from the classroom and environment. Praise God his struggles aren't more severe, but it does make me more empathetic to the families of kiddos who do have to fight hard in their world.  We finally have a good IEP for him, so I’m hopeful 5th grade will be a success. He had an awesome teacher last year who worked with him a great deal and he managed to pass all his subjects! On a brighter note, Derek is a total goofball!!! He is HILARIOUS and makes us laugh every day…especially when he breaks into random dance or a rap…a while back he had “apple-bottom jeans” stuck in his head and sang it all the time.  It was too funny!  

Chloe, my little mini-me, is now 9 and is a huge animal-lover. This month, she attended a horse camp and we have to admit we created a monster by letting her go.  She already tries to convince me we can put a horse in the back yard with the dog.  We decided to sign her up for weekly riding lessons and she is in heaven on a horse!  Its fun to see her so passionate about something and the way she talks to her horses is great.  She talks about becoming a veterinarian someday, and I can totally see her working with farm animals more than anything else.  At least, she talks about going to KSU for vet school (Go CATS!). (Yep, still a Wildcat fan, too!).  

Sarah is 7 and is a natural-born dancer & diva.  She loves ballet, tap, and jazz and cannot wait to take hip-hop classes.  She has a special little attitude that comes out and I know she gets it from me.  Ya know, I always joked there was a touch of “black” in me and I see it in her, too…you should see her roll her head while snapping her fingers!  Just yesterday, she was trash talking me as we were playing in the cold water springs near Sulphur, Oklahoma and I refused to jump off the waterfall into the frigid waters.  She stood on the rock, popped her hip, snapped her fingers, and rolled her head as she told me exactly how big a wimp I was and how she was not scared!  She’s yet to learn when its cute and when its just rude, though, so we’re working on that.

Justin is still with FedEx and still likes it, okay, I guess. He is still on 2nd shift, which sucks, but we’re managing.  We're seeking God's plan for him in this area and are waiting for God's direction.  We will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in October.  Hard to believe we’ve been married for 15 years and have been a couple for 19 years!!!  

Our lives are even more awesome now because his two oldest nieces have both had babies.  I am loving up on those precious babies any chance I get. Little Rorie is now 4 months old and that cutie Luis Enrique is now about a month and half old.  Since Aunt Serena doesn't get to love on them too much, I admit, I hog them as much as I can when I visit! Babies are so much fun.  I hope to be as close to each of them as I am to their mommas...two of my amazing nieces!  

What's your update?  How is God challenging you? How is God blessing you? What doors are opening or closing for you?  Fill me in, friend!