Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chloe's 7th Birthday Dress


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I planned, sewed and finished Chloe's birthday dress with time to spare. Amazing!


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Chloe loves the dress, but more importantly Chloe adores the bag (with giant flower) and the headband. You would not believe how easy that headband was to sew. I am thinking I should make her some to match her other clothes too. Chloe loves to wear headbands and we have quite a few but I end up finding them scattered hither and thither when they start to hurt her head. This headband is made with fabric and an elastic piece joins the ends at the nape of the neck. Nothing to hurt my sweetie's ears. I like it.


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What little girl does not enjoy a matching bag? And that flower. Isn't that just over the top sweet? I had to inform Chloe that this was her Birthday Dress and she cannot wear it to play in this week. She has such a long time to wait! (two and a half weeks) The flower was a little tricky to sew on. I gathered a long strip of double-folded fabric and then wound it around and sewed the salvage edge (on the inside edge of the flower) to the bag.


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This is such a fun dress. I love everything about it. The knots for straps, the ruffled pants, the flowered bag, the headband, the apron. Chloe did a fantastic job choosing the appropriate fabric for a party dress.


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Now I need to finish 14 Jedi Knight Robes. Sigh.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Book #4 Review: Our Own

While visiting (interviewing) with our adoption agency director about 4 weeks ago, I asked somewhere around 1,298 questions. Okay. Maybe not that many, but I am sure the number was abundantly lavish. I like to ask questions. I enjoy learning. How can I learn if I don't ask the questions?

So, anyways, after question #972 (or thereabouts) our sweet director stood up and reached for a book from her bookshelf. She handed me said book and said it was mine to keep for forever. (You can imagine my delight at scoring such a wonderful resource.)

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The same day our director contributed this wonderful resource book to my personal library, our "paperwork lady" (not to be confused with the sweet and generous director) handed us about 3,000 papers to fill out. Okay. Not quite literally, although the pile on my coffee table might argue that point. (I think it's obvious who my favorite person in that office is right about now.)

Well, part of that stack of papers/forms for us to work through included a 5-6 page checklist of behaviors or illnesses or developmental delays we would be willing to or having the skills to parent.

My goodness gracious but that list freaked me out.

Whew! Thank goodness the kind director gave me the aforementioned book. Had I not read it in a 3 day timespan (literally), I don't think I could have finished the dreaded checklist. Some of the items on that list flat out scared me to death! (and that's putting it mildly.)

After reading Our Own by Trish Maskew, I felt 90% more confident about answering those questions. She wrote about various behaviors and issues that arise from adopting older children out of the United States foster care system. I will now be able to recognize those things and understand that "they are normal for these children." Not only did she describe these issues/behaviors, but she gave practical ways to deal with them. Did you read that? Practical was to deal with them! What a lifesaver this book will be further down the road.

My fear is abating. Once I realized the "why" behind some of these common behaviors and the "how" to deal with it and help the children overcome these issues and past hurts, my fear subsided and I thought, "I can do this".

Now I am reading "Brothers and Sisters in Adoption" by Arleta James. While I know that I have the ability to parent a lot of these issues, the question now comes into play of whether that would be appropriate for Chloe to be exposed to at such a young age.

This gives me quite a bit to think and pray about. We will be praying for wisdom and guidance with the faith that God has the children picked out for us who need to be in our home. We are trusting in Him to guide and direct us to those children.

I am thankful I have this book as a resource in my personal library though. It will be the first place I turn to in one of those "What on earth?" moments I am sure I will have.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book #3 Review: Shepherding A Child's Heart

I have to write it. I just have to. This is the best child-rearing book I have EVER read.

EVER!

I may need to write that again.

THIS IS THE BEST CHILD-REARING BOOK I HAVE EVER READ.

Did you catch that? If you never read another parenting book in your life, you have GOT to read this one. (Well, if you are parenting children, that is.)

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Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.

It opened my eyes to what parenting really is all about. It delves deeper than merely changing a behavior or simply raising a child to be a success. It points you constantly back to the Bible and what God says about children and parenting.

This book doesn't beat around the bush. It took certain beliefs and values that are even prevalent among church-goers and showed them for what they really were. Sin. Because when you get down to the heart of the matter, you find out what is really going on. Why are two children fighting over a toy? Well, the logical question is...who had it first? Justice is served, right? But when you look deeper into the hearts of both children involved you find sin. Both children are in the wrong. As parents we need to be concerned about instilling the saving gospel of Jesus Christ into our children's hearts. We should be pointing them to the Cross. Showing them their need for a Savior.

The most helpful advice I found in this book for the stage of parenting I am dealing with right now was the concept of appeals. We are working on first time obedience in our home. Obeying right away, without delay and without excuse (or complaining or whining or moaning or fussing or eye-rolling or stomping...). The child starts the process of obeying a directive but can respectfully appeal.

Say your child is building a Lego carriage and you walk into the room and tell her to go to bed. She starts the process of cleaning up her Legos but asks politely if she can finish her carriage first. Now you can say yes or no. She must still obey even when you say no, but she has the opportunity to appeal which gives her a voice. She is not a robot. She has feelings and thoughts too.

Anyway, if I write any more you won't read the book. So, I will just leave it at that. Go pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself.

Now I am off to write another book review. Hopefully by the end of this year I will be much better at reviewing books. My 2012 Book List can be found here.