A Fun Idea For An Advent Calendar

A Fun Idea For An Advent Calendar

Today is December 1st. I’m not sure exactly how this happened?  It’s the last month of the year and Christmas is only a short 24 days away. The holiday season seems to approach faster each and every year.  My kids are buzzing with excitement and have begun the annual countdown until Christmas day. When my kids were younger we purchased an Advent calendar for them.  Each day they opened a little paper window and were rewarded with the date and a small chocolate.  They loved the practice and couldn’t wait to receive their small present. I was discussing the idea of decorating for the holiday with a friend and she informed me that they use an Advent calendar every year, but instead of having it full of chocolate each day the window reveals a fun holiday related activity.  For example, Fridays usually contain an instruction to watch a favorite Christmas

A Time For Every Season

According to the calendar the first day of fall began this year on September 22nd.  However, the first technical day of fall felt a lot like a typical day of summer.  Today marks the first day of October, and here in Oregon it has begun to feel like fall.  The leaves are beginning to change from green to gold, orange, and red.  There is a chill in the air each morning and a bite to the breeze in the evening.  Fall is the transition from summer to winter; the great bridge between the heat and cold.  It is a time for warm mugs of tea and blankets by the fire, with a book by your side.  The season brings carved pumpkins, hay rides, caramel apples, spiced cider, football, and mounds of leaves covering the yard. It is a time when once again we are reminded that life is broken into

Life Lessons Learned Through Volleyball

As another new school year begins, my thirteen year old daughter decided to play middle school volleyball.  This is a sport she has played for the past two years, and she seems to truly enjoy it.  In order for her to compete on the team a few registration forms were necessary.  The first form to complete was the standard informational questionnaire regarding prior medical history and known medical problems.  It’s the typical sports registration form.  The last form in the packet was the required “Parent Code of Conduct”.  This form lists 15 rules all parents must comply with, and it is completed with the necessary signature. As I was reading through the list I was surprised by several of the rules… Number two states, “I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.”  I read through number two a second time. 

Disney’s Documentary: Chimpanzee

On Earth day April 22, 2012 Disney released the nature documentary entitled Chimpanzee.  The film follows a young common chimpanzee named Oscar who finds himself alone in the African forests when his mother is killed.  Oscar is in his toddler years when he is orphaned.  He is a part of a close-knit tribe of Chimpanzees, but no other female chimpanzee can afford to take him into her fold.  Oscar is too young to care for himself and he attempts to find a spot in each of the other family units within his tribe.  After being rejected by all possible care takers he approaches the leader of the tribe named Freddie.   The pair slowly begins to warm up to each other and eventually Freddie allows Oscar to ride on his back, something only mother chimps do.  It is a moving documentary that took over four years to film.  The film gives

Do Something

When we see the need around us, all around us, we must ask ourselves the question, “What are we going to do about it?” “Several years ago, when singer/songwriter Matthew West invited people to share their stories to serve as inspiration for an upcoming album, he had no idea it would be the start of an amazing journey that would forever change his music, ministry and life. Armed with more than 10,000 stories from fans all over the world, the floodgates of inspiration opened and West crafted a landmark album, The Story of Your Life. Suddenly people were given a voice and a chance for their stories to be heard. It started a powerful wave that continues with even greater momentum on West’s new album Into the Light. “Do Something” was inspired by 20-year-old college student who is changing the world. “She went to Uganda for a semester to study

Our A Taste of Home Event

A Family For Every Child’s summer event A Taste of Home was this past Saturday at Sweet Cheeks Winery.  It was a beautiful evening full of good food, excellent music and spectacular views.  Once again, AFFEC was blessed by our community of supporters and we were reminded that this job could not be done without every single one of you.  The support each person brings whether through volunteer hours, financial support, positive feedback or encouragement, is invaluable.  We are an agency formed with the mission to help every foster child and equipped with the hands of all who care to offer support. We couldn’t do it without you! We received a thank you email from one of our adoption families, and I was going to paraphrase the note, but now feel its best left in their own words. As I watch my children, I am often reminded of the story

The Importance of a Life Book

Below is a story describing the importance of a Life Book, one of our many programs at A Family For Every Child: “18-year-old set to graduate next month after 16 years in Arizona’s CPS foster system” By Mary K. Reinhart The Arizona Republic Yvette Winsor is just about to graduate from high school after 16 years in the foster care system and at least 18 different placements.  Her main source of self-history and foster history is from her Life Book.  She has been through one failed adoption, one near-adoption, two guardians, several shelters, group homes, and several foster parents and siblings.  Some research shows that for every new foster placement, a child has potential to fall a semester behind.  By these statistics, Yvette should probably not be graduating this year, showing her perseverance and dedication to herself. “Now a poised, articulate young woman just weeks away from high-school graduation, she says telling

Marco Polo

I grew up in Norwalk, California which is a city located 17 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  In the early 1900’s Norwalk was home to some of the largest sugar beet farms in Southern California, but during my childhood in the late 70’s and 80’s any trace of the prior farmland was long gone.  I lived on Tina Street, which sat directly across from the largest mental hospital in the state.  The street was full of small bungalow style homes which were built at the end of World War II.  I have fond memories of my childhood on Tina Street and this is entirely due to the kids that lived all around me.  I was fortunate enough to have my older brother Butch to play with and about 10 other kids of various ages.  We spent our time swimming in Joey and Jennifer’s pool, riding bikes, roller skating, and

Discovering a Child’s Heritage

  She begins the morning conversation with a request, which is her usual practice, “Tell me again about the day I was born.  It was a blizzard…right?”  I  relay the story, as I have done many times in the past, starting with the below zero temperature and blowing snow conditions.  She listens with rapt attention and focuses on every word I say.  She loves to hear about her first breath. If only her homework could captivate her this easily.  It is a frequent conversation that we have and I believe it is a common one.  All children desire to know their origin, their heritage, their family heartbeat. As any child gets older, they begin to crave knowledge about their past.  They want to know what their first words were, what they looked like as a baby, and stories about their childhood.  For children in foster care, there is often no