New Year’s Resolution Time

family resolutionsIt’s that time of year… New Year’s Resolution Time!

Last year, we created some Family Resolutions. I am sad to report that the only one we achieved was running 3 races together as a family. We only had one specific game night that I can recall and that was in January. We did inquire about working with a local food pantry, but they didn’t seem interested in any new volunteers so we didn’t get far with that either. I plan to ask the kids if they want to set new family goals, but something tells me they won’t be all that interested, so I am planning my own resolutions.

  1. Run twelve races in 2014. I ran 10 races in 2013 so this isn’t a huge stretch, but I’m adding it to my list to keep myself accountable and consistent.
  2. Take a class. I’ve been stagnant in 2013. I crave expanding my mind. I haven’t decided what kind of class I will take just yet, but I will definitely take at least 1 class in 2014.
  3. Cross something off my bucket list. Whether it be traveling to somewhere new or playing paint ball, I am determined to cross something off my official bucket list this year.
  4. Create something. Whether I create a scrapbook or sew something, I MUST create something in 2014. I really miss the sense of pride and accomplishment I received through scrapbooking.
  5. Read more books. For pleasure, for education, simply doesn’t matter…. I enjoy it and I don’t do it enough so I’m adding this one to my list so I can do it guilt free!
  6. Get control of our finances. Not really sure what this will look like, whether it means creating a budget or finally pay down some debt, but one way or another, I need to make some forward progress.

[List subject to edits over the course of the next week]



Paper Coterie | School Days Documenting Book

Remember when I shared about the Daily Documenting Books from Paper Coterie? Well, I just learned about their new School Days Documenting Book! I am super excited about this… I had been wanting to find a way to document Daffy’s school days, but all the other books I have found begin with grade 1 and since she obviously wasn’t with us since first grade, I had been sort of stuck! I love this book because it’s themed around just one school year and allows for lots of personalization. I am super excited to use this book as a tool to connect with Daffy about her school experience throughout the year! I definitely see this as something we work on during our infamous “chat time!”

The School Days Documenting Book allows for up to 19 photos to be included. I chose to include only 5 so I will have plenty of room to add photos (with a glue stick) throughout the school year! You can also add your own text… I was thrilled to add Daffy’s adoptive name since she will be adopted this school year! (YIPPEE!)

To receive 40% off the School Days Documenting Book and other Documenting products, enter the code REALNEWYEAR at checkout through 8/26/12. If you are a first time Paper Coterie customer, you can also score a free journal when you enter the code WELCOMEJOURNAL at checkout! Cool, huh?

Disclosure: As a brand new Paper Coterie Affiliate, I received a School Days Book for free to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are honest and my own.

Always learning

I am always learning. Whether its from experience, a conference /class or reading, I am always on a quest to be the very best foster parent I can be! The past 2 days I attended a conference. I soaked in hoards of information. I wanted to share my thoughts here to inspire others to get involved with their educational opportunities.

Keynote Speaker, John Halligan

John and Kelly Halligan lost their thirteen year old son, Ryan, to suicide on October 7, 2003. At the time of his death, Ryan was a student at a middle school in Essex Junction, Vermont. It was revealed in much greater detail after Ryan’s death that he was ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line. In memory of his son, John spearheaded the Vermont Bully Prevention bill which was signed into law (ACT117) in May 2004 and only a few months after Ryan’s death . He also successfully led the passage of the law pertaining to mandatory suicide prevention education in public schools (ACT 114) in April 2006.

I heard John both as a keynote speaker and also took his class- both were phenomenal! His keynote address was deeply personal and I found tears falling many times as I pictured my sons Goofy & Pluto in the face of his some Ryan. His class was extremely well done with lots of information about bullying and cyberbully. As an experienced internet/computer user, I still found many tips that I could take home and apply to my life.

Jack’s Brain, Jill’s Brain with The Upside Down Organization

Established in 2007, The Upside Down Organization (UDO) has built its reputation on providing high quality, dynamic learning experiences for child-serving professionals in the United States and abroad. Partnered with The Children’s Guild and functioning as its external training arm, UDO is unique in that it doesn’t just offer professional development – it serves children and families every day.

An instructor can make a class… I would take anything offered by Heather Higgins! This class discussed the differences of boys & girls and how the brain works. She was able to keep us entertained and laughing and, most of all, learning!

Keynote Speaker, David Roche

David’s face distinguishes him from all other presenters and motivational speakers. What really makes David unique, however, is his remarkable spirit, warmth, wit and authenticity. David has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial disfigurement into a compelling message that uplifts and delights audiences around the world. The story of his heroic journey from shame to strength has inspired standing ovations from the Clinton White House to the Sydney Olympics Arts Festival, from most of the 50 states to Canada, England, New Zealand and Moscow.

I heard David both as a keynote speaker and also took a class from him. While he did have a strong message about overcoming his different appearance, I did not feel I left with something tangible that I could take home and apply to my life.

I am so grateful that our agency encourages us to attend so many varied trainings. I plan to take advantage of as many as I can (with the secret goal of achieveing the most training hours in one year in our state, LOL)