Thursday, November 24, 2011


Wow! I came on here to post about the holidays and saw that I have gotten over 1000 page views!  Pretty exciting for something I figured my Mom might read.  I have amazing friends and family and I have even made some new ones through this blog. 

I am really, extra thankful this year.  As usual, we have had our ups and downs, but our family is strong and happy and healthy - and we will be together in our house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I am happy for the family that will be joining us for dinner and missing the ones who aren't.  You are all in our thoughts and we wish you the best Thanksgiving!  Hope your stomachs get so full that you have to wear elastic and you share lots of laughs and hugs and terrible jokes.  Hope your journeys are safe and that you are counting down the days until Christmas too! 

I am thankful for all my guys:  Tim (my husband who adores me even when I am grumpy and splattered with flour), Charlie - my puppy who will never grow old, Kyle (my 5 year old who never stops questioning things and has such a thirst for life and Star Wars), Zac (fan of hats and the alphabet who will say Mama someday), and Liam (the ham who is quick with a smile and laugh and keeps his brothers together). 

I am thankful for all my friends I have made in the last couple of years and all the old friends who I am have reconnected with thanks to that thing we all love to hate - Facebook.  I am thankful to the MOMS Club of Front Royal for teaching me how to be a better Mom and person without making me feel like I wasn't good enough in the first place. 

I am thankful for hot showers and dark coffee.  Slimy kisses and big hugs from my little boys.  I am thankful for this adopted hometown that has made me feel like part of a community and is a place I am proud to raise my kids!  I am thankful for our State and National parks where I can hike with my kids and we can all feel accomplished (even if it was only a half mile).  I am thankful for my kids' teachers who give and care unconditionally (and tell me how amazing my kids are).  
I am thankful for my gigantic family who has been supportive and wonderful and has always had faith in me even when I didn’t.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Foster Care Gift Drive

I am literally always amazed by what people can accomplish.  I have seen it over and over in my adopted home town of Front Royal.  And another act has totally blown me away.  My friend Melanie Salins was a foster mom to 2 children before they were adopted.  She is now a mom to a beautiful and wonderful little girl who I only occasionally think about slipping into an over-sized bag and taking home.  Besides the fact that Melanie makes some amazingly cute baby gear (check out Baby Brims) she has also started a gift drive for Foster Children in our area.  There are 200+ foster children ages 0 -18 and Melanie wants gifts to go to all of them.  It sounds daunting but she has done it before and will do it again.  The gifts will be going to foster children in these counties:  Clarke County, Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Warren County, Winchester City, and Evan's Home in Winchester.  

Melanie has requested items to be unwrapped and new.  Some great ideas are toys, games, art supplies, and gift cards to places like Target, Wal-mart, and Toys R Us.  We will also need gift bag and tissue paper donations.  Some local businesses have agreed to be drop off locations for gifts:  Play n' Trade in Front Royal (50 Riverton Commons Plaza Suite 50 Front Royal, Virginia 22630); Patsy's Pastry Pizza's in Winchester; The Little Gym in Winchester; and Butcher's Select in Winchester.

Melanie could also use some volunteers with bagging and tagging gifts and delivering them as well.   This is such a great cause and it doesn't take much to do it!  Picking up an extra gift while you are out shopping, or even re-gifting something that you never took the tags off or that never made it out of the packaging.  You can find some really cool toys and clothes on clearance at Target.  Usually around 30 - 70% off for things that they are clearing space for.  Having three boys I will be excited to roam the shelves for girly pink stuff.  Lets make this a great Christmas for the entire area!
Please help spread the word as well.  Even if you don't have extra money in your budget to squeeze in a gift for someone else, let your neighbors and family know.  I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would be thrilled to give but are not aware of this great cause!  I can think of some empty-nesters and parents of teenagers who miss the Lego/Barbie days . . .

Check out the Facebook event for the Gift Drive by clicking here.