Sibling Day Out Launch
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
2M ago
Siblings matter to children in foster care. They provide a source of stability and comfort when everything around them is changing. Whenever it’s safe and appropriate, brothers and sisters are supposed to be placed in homes together. For various reasons, that isn’t always possible. There may not be a home available that could keep all the siblings together. There may be a situation where one child needs a higher level of care or supervision. There can also be a history of abuse between siblings which means it isn’t safe for them to live together any longer. Siblings may have different noncusto ..read more
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What to be “Aware” of During Adoption Awareness Month
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
3M ago
November is Adoption Awareness Month and this year the word “awareness” is really sticking out to me. There have been seasons where I thought of it as “Adoption Positivity Month” and then years later it felt like “Adoption Shame and Guilt Month”. The different circles I’ve been in and the different voices I’ve listened to have influenced my perspective. But this year, I want to take seriously the idea of raising awareness about adoption. But what exactly do I want people to be “aware” of? I’ve got some thoughts after 20 years caring for other people’s children and 16 years as an adoptive paren ..read more
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Making The Case for Toys
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
5M ago
I was at a training about a month ago where a retired judge talked about the importance of creating a welcoming climate for kids who come to court. As part of his presentation he held up a board book and said he liked to give them to babies in his courtroom. He said, “Sometimes a mom would apologize that the baby chewed on the book and I would tell her that’s what they’re for and ask her if she wanted another one.” He encouraged the room full of child welfare professionals to think about what the experience of court is like for kids. And I couldn’t think about anything else for the rest of the ..read more
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How a Scheduled Mom Survives Summer
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
8M ago
Moms who thrive on a routine and structure can start to feel this panic as the end of the school year arrives. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO EVERY DAY? I need the automatic scheduling the school system provides to tell me what to do and then I work around it. Freedom, creativity, endless hours of doing “whatever we want” (what I want to do is be on a schedule) is just not my jam. Now I know that makes me one of those Not Fun moms and I’ll own that. I know who I am at this point. But I also think some of the Fun Moms end up banging their heads against the wall mid-summer when the kids are cranky and ..read more
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When You Don’t Want to Need Your Village
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
10M ago
My son participated in a track meet in another city this winter. Track season is usually in the spring, but he conditioned all through the winter and participated in an indoor meet outside of what the public school typically offered. It was in a city about 45 minutes away and he said he’d just carpool with a friend. He told us it wasn’t a big deal, we didn’t need to come, he was just trying to stay in shape. After the meet, he showed me video of his race (he did great) and it felt like a gut punch. As I watched his tiny phone screen, I saw him running down the track and heard the unmistakable ..read more
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That Time We Stone Souped a Small Group
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
11M ago
We have been involved in church small groups for years. I remember babysitting for other people’s small groups during my teen years and hiding in the basement while my parents were hosting their own. I believe strongly that creating community happens best in homes around cups of coffee or a shared meal. Sunday mornings with your church are beautiful and have an important purpose to serve, but if you want to get in deep with people, you have to find additional connection points and set aside time to be together. When we joined our new church about a year ago, we struggled to get connected. We l ..read more
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Self-Talk for Touched-Out Moms
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
11M ago
I genuinely love being physically affectionate with my kids. . . until I don’t. I have eight kids and my oldest is 16. That’s a lot of years of dealing with kids when they are at their physically neediest and there are times I’m just a little bit tired of being touched. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t parented a toddler just how constant the touching is. I can’t remember what it’s like to brush my teeth without someone dropping the bathroom stool on my toe so they can brush RIGHT. NEXT. TO. ME. Cooking dinner is an obstacle course of stepping over and around the little person who is ..read more
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The Picture that Changed How I Look at My Pictures
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
1y ago
My son snapped this picture of me a few summers ago. When I look at it, I am immediately transported back to a moment in time. And that moment was not pleasant. We were on vacation in Colorado. Vacations with kids are not my happy place as much as I truly wish they were. This particular day was a doozy. We had driven a curvy road in our massive van up the top of a peak. I was NERVOUS the entire time, which meant doing irrational things, like leaning my body into the opposite direction of every curve in the hopes of keeping us from toppling down the mountain. The kids were oblivious to my shee ..read more
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Christmas Luke Reading and Questions: Chapter 24
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
1y ago
My family has a yearly tradition of reading a chapter a day of the book of Luke, leading up to Christmas. It has been such an enriching experience that helps center our holiday season on what is most important to us. If you’d like to join us in these readings, I’m providing questions to talk through with your kids to help spark conversations and meaningful engagement with what you read. I hope it’s helpful!  (Here is where you can find background information or to start this project at Chapter 1.) Before you start each night, think about the environment you’re creating for this experience ..read more
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Christmas Luke Reading and Questions: Chapter 23
A Musing Maralee
by Maralee
1y ago
My family has a yearly tradition of reading a chapter a day of the book of Luke, leading up to Christmas. It has been such an enriching experience that helps center our holiday season on what is most important to us. If you’d like to join us in these readings, I’m providing questions to talk through with your kids to help spark conversations and meaningful engagement with what you read. I hope it’s helpful!  (Here is where you can find background information or to start this project at Chapter 1.) Before you start each night, think about the environment you’re creating for this experience ..read more
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