Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Random updates (in a bullet list, of course!):

  • Jack started kindergarten!! He loves it, and he loves his teacher. I guess real-life has started because he has homework every. single. night. But he is making new friends, and learning lots!
  • I started a new job! Thank you, Lord!! I have a part-time position as the preschool and children's director at Calvary Woodworth. The first couple of weeks were stressful because school wasn't in session yet, and I was furiously trying to complete back-to-school monogramming orders. But now that I'm in the groove of it, I am LOVING my new schedule!
  • Sydney started daycare two days a week so that I could get some productive hours in at work :) It has been so good for her! She had a really hard time the first two weeks, but now she looks forward to her days "at school."
  • We had a hurricane scare! I was a little nervous thinking about all the LARGE trees surrounding our house (see picture below), but everything turned out okay here in CenLa!
  • Jack has been wanting to do a building project, so he and Clint built this little putt-putt castle. Jack was so proud!!
  • We bought a minivan! We have totally hit the frumpy jackpot :) We didn't expect to have a new vehicle for another year or so (and hopefully another kid or so...haha!), but we found a great deal and the Explorer sold quickly, so we jumped on it!
Here's some pictures!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Beach 2012

My dad booked an awesome beach house for a week this summer, so my sisters and our families went to beautiful Destin, Florida for a few days!!

Sydney and I had LOTS of quality time while Clint and Jack fought the waves. Sydney much preferred shoe shopping to the water!

Cool Jack ready to race

Laura and Bob were able to come all the way from Colorado. She misses me so much, can't you tell?

The LaFitte grandchildren!

LaFitte Family!

Sydney liked playing by the side of the pool 

Iles Family!

We entertained ourselves on the car ride there!

4th of July and Yard Stuff

 I have been a terrible blogger this summer, so I want to update (really for my own blog-book purposes) with one major summer event at a time!

Every year we choose one house project to tackle...our first year we painted, the second year we added landscaping (twice...darn ants), the third year we did more landscaping, and this year we decided to tackle the backyard. When we moved in, there was NO landscaping around the was quite terrible. The backyard had no grass, and there was no outdoor space to hang out. Now we have flower beds around three sides of the house (the fourth side isn't seen by anyone), so this year we wanted to tackle the backyard. Our budget was pretty limited, so we went with simple concrete squares, landscape timbers, and lots of pinestraw...and we got what we wanted! We lay sod across the entire backyard. We have watered and watered and watered. The sod has not done wonderfully, but I'm hoping with some fertilizer and grass seed to fill in the bad spots, it will be okay.

Jack and Syd the first day we were able to eat outside!

The day after we lay the isn't quite this green anymore :(

This awesome dog was ours for two weeks....then he ran away. It was quite sad!1

My super fun kids on the 4th of July!

This summer we have eaten lunch outside as much as we could. We listen for wildlife and make up crazy stories about the creatures in the forest. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I am a girl. Therefore, my feelings and emotions tend to run my life.....

Anyone with me?

My husband, the dear soul, has learned to roll with it. He is well aware that I get on certain "kicks" and that if he just nods and listens, the kick will fade and I'll be on to something new. My "kicks" as of late have been running, sewing some new bedding, a book I've been reading (he is so sweet to let me read parts of it to him), a get the idea....

However, sometimes my feelings are not productive. I get in a funk with parenting, I get negative about relationships, I get tired of church (did I just say that out loud?). Then, my feelings overtake the calling that God has placed on my life to bring glory to Him in all circumstances. I get lax with infusing Scripture into our home, I get complacent in friendships, and I lose the urgency to give 100% into preparing for Sunday School. 

I read a quote from John Piper on an adoptive mother's blog today:

My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God’s word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes – many times – my feelings are out of sync with the truth. When that happens – and it happens every day in some measure – I try not to bend the truth to justify my imperfect feelings, but rather, I plead with God: Purify my perceptions of your truth and transform my feelings so that they are in sync with the truth.
― John Piper

So, I guess I lose the excuse that "I just don't feel like it" ???

Dadgumit :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tee-Ball 2012

 The 2012 Tee-Ball season is coming to a close! Jack has really learned a lot about the wonderful game of baseball this year, and it has been so much fun watching him. Another fun part of Tee-Ball this year is that Jack and Noah are on a team together. It has been great being able to hang out with Clay and Robin during all of those games! The boys have had a blast together!

Really and truly...they just play for the snacks:)

Sydney and Luke...I will choose to remember that they sat just like this at every game. Yeah right!!

On deck!

Sydney is the boys' #1 Fan!!

Dee came for a game!

Running for first base!

Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Help a Foster/Adoptive Family

Hey guys!

When we have had foster care placements, I was often asked "How can I help? What do you need?" I always felt uncomfortable answering that question while I was in the middle of a placement, mainly because I'm prideful and have a hard time asking for help :)  We are in the very (very) beginning stages of forming a foster/adoptive support group in CenLa ... much more on that later....  and so I thought I would write out some ideas on how to help families that are "in the trenches." Maybe you know a family that could benefit from one of these ideas:

1. Bring them food. They are hungry, their kids are hungry, and they are so stressed out that they REALLY don't want to cook. But, those kids (especially the foster child who is probably already malnourished) needs some home cookin'. Another idea along with this: Cook a meal that the parents will enjoy, but also cook something that KIDS will enjoy. It's not very helpful if the meal is not kid-friendly :)

2. Get the kids out of the house and allow the parents to clean up. That momma/daddy would probably feel A LOT better if their house was clean. There's something to be said for clean floors and toilets. Heck, I could conquer the world if my bathtub was clean! Take all the kids to the park for two hours, whatever, just get them outta there.

3. When the family goes to a function, like a birthday party/church event/family get-together, take responsibility for that foster/adoptive child at the event. Say "Hey, Amanda, I'll take responsibility for ______ for the next two hours. I'll fix her plate, take her to the restroom, help her resolve conflicts, and keep an eye on her while she plays. You sit down and enjoy yourself while you're here and don't worry about _______." Be intentional about it. It is such a relief to know that someone else has taken full responsibility for that child for at least a little while.

4. Bring the momma her favorite drink/snack during naptime. For stay-at-home moms with young children, naptime is her only time by herself...and those two or three hours (if they are lucky) is precious. Swing through Sonic and surprise her, then stay for a few minutes and hang out...but don't take up her whole naptime :)

5. Call and ask the parents to schedule a date, then keep their kids for a few hours. It's so hard to afford a babysitter and a date, especially if you have three or more children. And most teenagers are not ready to handle the tantrums/issues of a foster child....the parents would really feel more comfortable with an adult around. While you are keeping the kids, feed them supper and bathe them. This will truly give the parents a night off.

6. If you are able, provide overnight respite care. With both of our placements, we had a couple of weekends away. I really don't think we could have made it without those mornings to sleep in, spend time in the Word, and really get rejuvenated. We have provided respite care twice, and it is such a blessing to know that you are giving that family a break!!

7. Appreciate the daddy. Oftentimes the foster father is overlooked. Yes, most of the work lies with the mother, but I would say most of the stress lies with the daddy. He is trying to lead a family that is (usually) falling apart. He is trying to be a father to biological kids AND teaching a child that has never had a father how to trust. He is also trying to care for his wife, who is exhausted and overwhelmed. Take him out to lunch, write him a card, encourage him, pray WITH him, let him know he is not alone.

8. Help with homework. If you can provide some free tutoring, you would be priceless. The heavens would open up and angels would sing. Get the picture? Foster children (typically) are not stellar students. Can you blame them? They've been a little stressed out with grown-up issues :) And 99.9% of foster families really don't have the money to pay tutors, or the time to bring a child to tutoring. Pick up the child, bring them to your house/library/park/whatever, feed them a snack, help them with homework, and bring them back home. I'm telling you, you will be a hero.

9. Invite them over for supper. They are in need of some adult interaction. And while they are there, if the foster child doesn't something embarrassing, like licking food off the floor, tearing up toys, pitching a huge fit over nothing, picks through the trash, etc. etc. etc. (these are just things I've dealt with - haha!!) please don't raise your eyebrows or act surprised or appalled. Just think of how much of a break you are giving that family!

10. Pray for them. All the time. Pray for that child, and the biological kids, too. Call them up and pray over the phone. Write out a prayer and stick it in their mailbox. Send a text saying you prayed for them today. Ask for specific prayer needs, and then PRAY FOR THEM. This really is the most important thing.

I hope this is helpful for you as you try to minister to foster/adoptive families. It truly is a beautiful thing when a community of like families rally around each other for the kingdom of Christ. For His glory, and His fame, and His redemption in the lives of broken children and broken families.

And you can be a part of that.

Just go to Sonic :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer 2012 Bucket List

Here it is, folks!! Our Summer 2012 Bucket List.

I'm the type of person that needs a list, or nothing will get done. So, when I realized that Jack would be home for THREE WHOLE MONTHS this summer (slight panic!!) I knew that we needed to actually write down a list of creative, educational things to do, or the whole summer would get away from us.

I will try to take pictures throughout the summer as we complete projects/activities. No promises, though. I would just like to have it all on the blog so I can print it out later.

Please steal our ideas (since they are really other people's ideas to begin with). And if you're in the area, join us for some of our adventures!

Jack’s Summer 2012 Bucket List

1. Host a family car wash.
2. Picnic at the Park
3. Night walk in the neighborhood with flashlights.
4. Water balloon fight
5. Make a magnetic puzzle for the fridge*
6. Go bowling.
7. Do an exercise video.
8. Make ice cream sundaes
9. Go to VBS
10. Balloon Ninjas*
11. Rock painting
12. Play “Go Fish”
13. Feed the ducks at the pond
14. Go to the Splash Pad.
15. Play Balloon tennis*
16. Take a bath with the lights off with glo sticks.
17. Volunteer at the Manna House
18. Go to the movies
19. Go to the library and read 25 new books
20. Go to the zoo.
21. Have a puppet show.
22. Make crayon art*
23. Bathtub painting (colored shaving cream)*
24. Eat lunch with GiGi.
25. Spend the day in Dry Creek
26. BINGO Game with words in favorite movie*
27. Ride bikes at camp.
28. Go fishing.
29. Go hiking at Kisatchie.
30. Have a sleepover.
31. Have friends over for an Angry Birds game.
32. Sight words parking lot*
33. Make cookies for neighbors
34. Spend a day in Dry Creek.
35. Memorize 5 Scripture verses.
36. Learn 5 music notes.
37. Go get doughnuts.
38. Go get snocones.
39. Complete a kindergarten math workbook.
40. Make a dinosaur land.*
41. Go to the beach.
42. Go to a water park.
43. Play “Twister.”
44. Watch Star Wars.
45. Camp in the back yard.
46. Learn 10 states on the map.
47. Track summer growth on the wall.
48. Legos math*
49. Fly kites at Compton Park.
50. Make popsicles.
 *Found  on Pinterest

We completed #5 on the list today: Make a magnetic puzzle for the fridge. Thank you, Pinterest! I got a cheap puzzle from Walmart, stuck magnets on the back, and Voila! A superhero puzzle any five-year-old would be proud of. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Five Years Old

My Jack is five years old. My heart swells with love and gratitude when I think of Jack. He is such a sweet blessing, and we cherish every day with him. For his birthday party this year, he wanted all of his friends to play tag. Isn't that funny? (And probably the easiest birthday party ever!!)

Me and Sydney! We love taking pictures together :) 

Jack opening presents. This is a Captain America mask, and Jack LOVES dressing up. Perfect gift!

Soooo happy!

Birthday morning donuts made by Daddy!

Easter 2012 (Finally) and Other Random Pictures

I just can't get enough of Sydney Kaye in her swimsuit. I mean, can you stop smiling right now??

Jack is playing T-Ball right now, and we went to Woodworth Park to take some practice hits. I told him he needed to get angry at the ball. Here's his angry face. Be scared. 

Sydney and I did a Pinterest project for Mother's Day! Someone was selling these solid wood shutters for $5 each. We nailed some plastic pots and planted some annual flowers, hostas, and elephant ears. The two shutters nailed to the house are mine and the two leaning against the house will be going home with GiGi and Dee. Sydney really had fun helping me pot the plants!

I'm finally putting up some Easter pictures!! Here's the three LaFitte grandchildren!

The only picture of Jack smiling by himself. He was so ready to go play!

Sweet, sweet kids. can't stop smiling, can you??

Afternoon Fishing Trip

A couple of weeks ago we took an afternoon fishing trip to Valentine Lake. Jack has been asking about fishing a lot lately, so we loaded up and headed to the water! We didn't catch anything (of course), but it was fun watching Jack cast and reel over and over and over.  

Happy boy with his Spiderman fishing pole

Not Sydney's best picture :) We brought LOTS of snacks and drinks to keep her happy. It worked! She had just eaten a whole bag of popcorn and a bag of blackberries before this picture. 

Note: There is a scratch on my lens, and the scratch casts a shadow on some this case, right on my belly. When this picture uploaded, I was like, "Wow. I look rather pregnant." I'm not, people. I'm not. :)

Very fun afternoon with my very fun family.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Happenings

This spring has been so much fun around our house! There are so many spring/beginning of summer (since it all kind of runs together in good ol' Louisiana) activities that we have enjoyed, so I decided to just stick it all into one blog post. And since Poptart was with us for the majority of these activities, most of the pics include her!

Sno cones!! Last year, Sydney did not enjoy the sno-cone stand....but this year, we are in love. (And probably will have lots of "fluff" to show at the end of the summer for it!)
And if you know Poptart, this face is CLASSIC :)

We ate at Pluckers in Baton Rouge. We especially liked the fried pickles and Ranch dip. Sydney will tell you that their mac and cheese is to die for. 

We've been to the park ...  aka Sydney sits in the stroller while the big kids play. 

We went to the movies (both Sydney and Poptart's first time to go!)

We hunted Easter eggs

And got all dressed up!!

Sweet kids

He was not thrilled with taking many pictures, but we did get a couple of good ones!

The kids all got new swimsuits. 

Syd is quite proud of hers!

And obviously I can't figure out this new Blogger format. So, at least there's some recent pictures. Even if they are rotated the wrong way :)