Momlog 2015: day 5 pooping in the potty


Potty training has been very “hit or miss”.  My sassy daughter put a package of “Newmy” (Minnie  mouse) panties in my buggy one day at Walmart.  I’ve been trying to bribe her to go poop in the potty for months.  The deal being, if she does, I will let her wear the panties.  She knows how to pee in the potty but is too busy to take time go to the potty sometimes.  I’ve been trying to bribe her with m&m’s too.  Which is not allowed with foster children… They say it causes eating disorders.  This is how we were all trained…m&m’s or candy corns.  Not sure if that is ridiculous or explains some things.  Haha.

My mom came for coffee one morning last week and she suggested I put the panties on her and keep taking her to the potty. Let her experience the wet.  She hasn’t liked having poop on her for a while.  She would go and almost immediately come tell me so I could change her.  

I took mom’s advise and yes, we used all 7 pairs of panties in 4 days (she had two wet accidents).  We are on day 5 of pooping in the potty. 

This mamma is so happy.

This reminds me of the Johnny Cash song, Folsom Prison Blues.  Random right?  We grew up on Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Elvis, Marty Robbins, Willie, Roger Miller, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Horton and a whole, whole lot of the Gaithers and other gospel music. Basically, gospel music and old school country.  I knew the words to most of Johnny Cash’s songs.  Here’s what I remember..”my mamma told me ‘Son, always be a good boy and never play with guns. I’m shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die…”   I always thought, “if only he would have listened to his mamma.”  People, listen to your mamma.  

I also thought about how sometimes things have to get messy so we can grow up.  That might preach.  



If you are a follower of my blog you know that I have a passion for the fatherless…both spiritual and physical.  Yes, there are spiritual orphans and spiritual step-sons out there.  You can read about Spiritual step-sons here.  Here is a blog about spiritual orphans.

When I read this blog, What is Your Love Lid?,  by Kris Vallatton it resonated with me.   Naturally, I wanted to share it with you.

When I read it, what resonated with me is often the person who has trouble receiving from others is a person who hasn’t yet recognized who their Dad is.  When your Dad is the King, you learn to graciously receive.  It’s part of being a thankful son.  It’s not a matter of anyone owing you, it’s just a matter of knowing that He is a “Good, Good Father.”  It’s who he is (to quote one of my favorite songs lately).


Has He Answered?


I have a card in my Bible with a list of prayers from 2011.  I came across it today.  Many prayers were answered and checked off. One of the prayers not checked off was a prayer for my church.

Some of the prayers were…

That we would buy a house (check)

That Nic’s adoption would go through (check)

My prayer for my church was that it would be “healed, delivered, become a place of Kingdom and GROW!”

Something in me at that time knew that our church wasn’t healthy…that think inside me would be the Holy Spirit.  I was praying for Spiritual health, I was praying for Kingdom, I was praying for growth (good prayers).

That church pretty much dissolved.  We are in a different church now.  We are in a healthy church, that is place of Kingdom and that is GROWING!

Sometimes God’s answer to our prayer is to move us!  

I count our current church as an answer to a prayer I prayed five years ago.

Think about some of the prayers you have prayed.  Has God answered and you just haven’t realized it yet?

I would love to hear from y’all about different ways God has answered your prayers.

Our Girl


Hi All, just wanted to share with you all that our daughter’s adoption is complete.  We are so excited.  Just as every birth mom has a birth story, every adoptive family has an adoption story.

You can read a little about the back story here.

While we were attending a Kairos event almost 2 1/2 years ago, our fostercare agency called us and told us, “We have a brown baby for you”.  My Husband is Hispanic and we had been offered two other babies who were blond-haired, blue-eyed (like our son).  I had turned them down telling our agency (who told our CPS worker) that we wanted a “brown baby”…I really didn’t care if the child was Hispanic or African-American or middle-eastern, etc. We did want a dark-headed, brown-eyed baby.  We said, “Yes, we will take her.”  But we were four hours away in Dallas and she was in the hospital near Austin, where we live.   The placement caseworker at our agency suggested we start praying. If a foster parent is available for placement, the state will move down the list to the next family.  Apparently, this baby was baby number 10 for this mom and all the rest of her children were in fostercare or with family members in other words,  they believed she would be “adoptable”.  The family that had five of her siblings and were adopting those siblings did not want to take on a newborn.  The systems does attempt to keep sibling together.  The adoptive mom in that family had a health condition and did think she could handle a baby.  (Thank God).  My prayer at the time was simple…”God, if this baby is the one for us, please work this out. In Jesus name.”  Two hours later, the caseworker called back and said, “Are you at a church right now?  Because the state just agreed to allow the baby to go with the other foster family for a “sibling visit” and you all can pick her up anytime tomorrow.”  WOW!

This is our “brown baby”  (She isn’t really all that brown) as a newborn.

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We picked her up at a baseball field.

We had not had newborns in the house for almost two years.  I wasn’t entirely prepared.  Thankfully, a friend from Church, went on a shopping spree at Target and brought us everything from diapers and formula to sweet baby girl cloths (Thank you Leilani Owen! Seriously, you were one of the only people who came through for us.  I will not forget that act of kindness and pray often for God’s continued blessings on you and your family…one of the many reasons that God will continue to bless you!).

Here’s the kicker of the story…when our sweet girl was only a weeks old 5 or 6 weeks, her bio parents convinced a family member to take her.  The family member had four children of her own that were five years old and under and they lived in a two bedroom place (This is significant because in order to be a licensed foster home you must provide a specific amount of space for the children…this is not required for “family” or “fictitious kinship”).  She didn’t want to do it because her significant other was illegal and did not want CPS in their home. She took our baby girl anyway.  I’m not going to lie…I was very upset when they came and picked her up.  I started to pack away baby items.  I prayed.  I remembered something my friend, Esther had told me when I had my miscarriage, She said, “You can trust God with your children now or you can do it later.”  I prayed and I told God, “Please watch over my baby girl.  I know that you worked all this out for us.  I trust You.  Please keep Your hands on her and protect her.  I’m very disappointed.  I wanted more than anything to see her first smile and hear her first laugh.”

Three days later, her CPS caseworker called (a precious lady named Bonnie – who was an angel to us and who even attended baby girl’s Adoption yesterday.  God Bless, Bonnie!).  She asked if she could bring our baby girl back.  I will never forget her setting down that baby seat and saying, “The aunt said she screamed for 3 days straight.”  Baby girl, had already fallen asleep.  Bonnie looked at me and said, “She just wanted her momma.”  And with that, I was her momma no matter what the papers said.

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one happy momma.

Samantha 214

Every CPS case is a little different. Except for one thing…the one thing is, if you do what they ask you to do, you can get your child back.


Baby girl’s bio parents could have gotten her back if they had done what CPS asked them to do instead of fighting the system.  They didn’t do what was asked of them.  They got into trouble and ended up in jail.

We know their names.  I am not sure what we will tell our daughter when that time comes.

Their parental rights were terminated.  They had the opportunity to mediate a plan with us to see or at least receive pictures of their daughter, they choose to fight instead.  I am not even sure they know our names…

After two and half years, we adopted this little Texas tornado.

As you can see she charmed the judge (legalizing adoptions has to be a more enjoyable aspect of her job).

Although yesterday was one of my most memorable days with my daughter, my “best day ever” with her was the day Ms.Bonnie brought her home.  

Momlog 2015: Potty Training Saga


Eventually, they all learn to use the potty…right?  (Yes, I need some affirmation).  My compliant son was potty trained at age 2.  My “do it her way daughter” is becoming a challenge at 2 and 1/2.  She is simply too busy to use the potty and will not poop in the potty.

Conversation today:

Me: You have to poop in the potty. No one wants to clean this up.  You aren’t going to be able to go anywhere.  

Her:  You no clean me?

Me: No, I don’t want to clean you.  No one does.

Her:  Cha (aunt Sheila) clean me?

Me: Cha doesn’t want to clean you.

Her:  Meow, clean me?

Me:  No, the kitty will not clean you. Kitty can’t clean poop.

Her thinking…

Her: Deb (our niece Devri) clean me?

Me:  No, Devri is too little to clean you.

Her:  Aunt Jeanny clean me?

Me:  aunt Jenny doesn’t like to clean poop either.  

Oh my goodness!!  She is going to give me a run for my money!  

Best Ever


When the Hubs and I were dating, way back when, we were both broke.  Many of our dates included walking in the park and drinking coffee or watching CSI (the original one…not all those knockoffs).

When we were first married, we would sometimes drive into Austin in the middle of the night to go to Kerbey Lane.  Our “big night out” usually consisted of dinner and a movie.

Then we started fostering and getting a sitter with foster children is like getting teeth pulled.

We often do family dates but getting to go out on dates, just the two of us has been a juggling act.

Lately, it seems that God has been setting us up on some very nice dates.  And they have been FREE.


Last month, we found out that the Cheesecake Factory was doing their “soft opening” at Barton Creek Mall.  In order to train their staff, they offered a free meal for those who made reservations.  The Hubs made reservations.  We had a lovely night out with a three course meal was wonderful.  We tipped our wait staff of course but the $148 bill (we doubled with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law) was completely free.

This past weekend, the Hubs won tickets to the Texas Longhorn game.  These were just free tickets, they were through the Texas Club which means…great food (fajitas, gourmet sandwiches, roast beef, fondue, etc), air conditioned club level and then great seats in the end zone.  I seriously felt so spoiled.  I would love to attend every game, if I could attend like this…but the tickets alone are $600+ a seat plus yearly donations.  What a great date though.  The only cost we incurred was parking.

ut game1 ut game2

And more importantly, it was a great game.  My Longhorns lost in the last few minutes by one point.  While I hate that they lost (Lord, bless that kicker) the game was fun to watch and our guys played pretty well.  I’m super impressed with our QB.  (Sorry for all the football talk….for Texas girls it is required that we learn about football).  This is also a good indication of how God has worked in my life in the past few years.  I gave up football for quiet a while as I was getting very emotional (read angry) about it.  Don’t get me wrong…I do not know enough to play fantasy football with the boys but at one time I knew my teams.  Being a true Austinite (born and raised) my first love (when it comes to football) is college ball, specifically the Texas Longhorns.  When I lived in Alabama, I rooted for University of Alabama (Roll Tide) but it was never the passion I felt for my Longhorns.  Hook’em.]

Extra bonus…Matthew McConaughey was at the game…we got a few glimpses of him in his box seats that were on the same level as our club level seating.

ut game3

The score was 38 to 45. If UT got at touch down and field goal the score would be tied.

Interestingly, I am sooo very thankful and grateful.  While I am in awe, I am waiting with great anticipations to see what setup God has for us next.  Seriously, I wonder how He will top this latest blessing.  Trip to Hawaii?  (I’d be thrilled with a trip to Galveston).  Trip to Colorado?

God is good!



Have you ever had something physical in your life closely reflect what happening in the spiritual?  Kind of a crazy manifestation of your life?

A year ago, the Hubs bought me a lovely, not-brand-new luxury vehicle.  We were extremely blessed in getting it.  It was sold to us at the “family price” and I doubt we would have purchased it if not for that blessing.  I enjoy this SUV very much.  Every time I drive I feel that God and my husband love me…a lot.  The vehcle has been running great.  Having said that, I am not the best at vehicle maintenance.  To be honest…I am kind of a big picture girl and I like to leave the details to others.  In fact, I have a vision for what my house should look like and I really need someone to come over and take care of all the details (*put all our crap stuff where it is suppose to be).  I thought when I got married, my husband would love taking my vehicle to get the oil changed and put gas in it.  He doesn’t mind, but I have to let him know it’s due.  I admit, I have driven around with the oil light on, on my vehicle. Please, don’t tell my car-man, broth-in-law….he would be disappointed.

Right before Labor day weekend, Blue Bell restocked and the Hubs went out to buy ice cream. (YEAH!!) He took my vehicle and it was low on gas so he stopped to fill up.  After filling up, the vehicle wouldn’t start.  It had to be jump started.  The next day, I used it and it worked fine.  We were leaving on the Thursday before Labor day to go camping.  I mentioned to the Hubs maybe we should check the water in the battery.  (I am no expert on car maintenance or repair but I know that batteries need water).  He forgot to check it.

We left for our trip on Thursday evening, stopping in San Antonio for dinner.  When we came back out to the truck it wouldn’t start.  We had to get a jump.

I asked again about the water.  It was late (dark outside) so he decided to check it in the morning.

We stopped at walmart and bought some jumper cables.

Our trip was 7 hours from home.  We stopped for the night at a hotel.

The next morning, the vehicle wouldn’t start.  The Hubs checked the battery and it had very little water in it. We added water and got a jump start.  We were hoping the problem was solved.

Nope…we made one stop where we turned off the engine at a rest stop about an hour and a 1/2 from our destination.  We had to be jumped again and then our air suspension system went out, not all of it, just the rear suspension. What this means is, the system that keeps everyone in the vehicle from bouncing every time you hit a bump, went out.  We felt every little bump.   The kids loved it.  It was great fun.  We stopped at an Autozone to have them check our battery and starter.  They found nothing wrong.  The electrical system was “good”.

We went on our way. After all, the computer said we were good.

When we got to our camp site, my dad and brother-in-law checked it out and decided we needed a new battery.

My dad bought us a new battery (the plan was to pay him back…when they went into town, the Hubs didn’t have his wallet.  (This detail will be important later).

They men replaced the battery and the vehicle started fine.  But the rear suspension was still out.

On our way back we stopped at Autozone again to have the air suspension system checked.  Their computers could find nothing wrong. We drove 7 long hours home with no suspension in order to take our vehicle to our mechanic.

We noticed every sign that said, “Rough Road Ahead”.

Coinciding with all of this we have had some personal trials.

I am not going to share the details.  I know this…there are certain things that relationships cannot do without, just like vehicles.  If you don’t gas up, you won’t go anywhere.  Likewise, if you don’t put water in the battery, the battery will die.  If you don’t water your heart, your heart will die; your passion will die. If your front suspension works fine but your rear suspension is out, your vehicle is going to shake everyone in the vehicle.  Just like if one spouse is down for the count, the whole family is going to shake.  It is what it is.

Every time I saw that “Rough Road Ahead” sign I wanted to cry because our situation looked like it could be a “rough road head” for a while.  Life can feel overwhelming and look overwhelming in the face of uncertainty.   Let me tell you one thing for certain, “rough roads” with Jesus are better than smooth roads without Him.

Healing is never a “one time” event.  As long as we live, we will need a Healer. 

We made it home. 

After being back for a few days and basically staying home because I didn’t want to drive without the rear suspension, we contacted our mechanic.  He took a look and said he could replace our air suspension with coil suspension…for $360 (about).  We asked each other what we thought.  I had read this kind of repair could cost anywhere from $450 to $1500, so $360 sounded okay.  Neither of us had an answer so we prayed.  A little while later, our mechanic texted the Hubs and said he found a lose hose and he reconnected it and the suspension was working fine.  He charged us $40.  Praise God!

Sometimes when we get disconnected, disconnected from God, our spouse, our family and even our church the isolation leads us to feel every bump in our rough road.  Connection smooths our ride.  Those things that could shake us to our core, become a small bounce in the road.  We need each other.  Check your connections, make sure you are making real connections in your life….Facebook doesn’t really count.  When you are with people, put your phone down and pay attention (listen) to the people you are with….that is real connection. 

Back to the truck, I received an text from my dad on Sunday saying, we do not own him for the battery, someone paid him for it.  Unexpected blessing in the middle of a difficult situation.  A demonstration that God loves us and He is for us.

We all have situations that God allows to manifest in the physical.  He does it to show us things.

Yes, the road has been rough….it’s not forever.  Yes, we let the water evaporate from our battery and that killed it.  We had to replace it…or rather, we have had to allow God to replace it.  God replaces our passion when it goes out.  We have to  pay attention to when our passion is evaporating (our passion for God and our passion for each other).  Yes, the suspension may go out again…and we will get it fixed again.   As I said (rather randomly) , “Healing is not a ‘one time’ event.”  Healing is an ongoing journey.  We are people in need of a Healer.  Get connected.  You do not want to travel down your “rough road” alone. 

“They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel…” Jeremiah 31:9

With God, even the rough roads are straight.  No confusion but peace in the storm.

Remember, our rough times reveal those things God wants to heal.  Don’t despise the trail, there is a testimony hidden in it.  We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  Look around for the testimony in your situation!