Well, thank you all for all the congrats. You certainly know how to make a girl feel loved! Cannot wait for baby #3!
I just realized I never shared the re-cap of our country kids party. If you've been around these parts, you know that we forgo big birthday parties in favor of one HUGE Country Kids Party for the benefit of a charity. We've done this for 4 years.
This year's charity came about after the challenges we've had in getting approved as foster parents, a process that was started in February 2016. While our 1880s home is perfectly fine for us, the banister height doesn't meet the minimum regulations for the state to place a child in our home. Once this was discovered, we were told we needed to pay for a new banister (>$1000 of work) or end the application process. Given our extra $$ is earmarked for parts of the barn so it doesn't fall down, extra money to fix a working banister wasn't in the cards. I learned that it is common for appropriate foster parents to be turned down because of the hefty requirements of the state, window size being the biggest challenge. So, we decided our party would be to help raise money for good families to make the state regulated changes to host foster kids.
This year we had 89 folks come to our party and raised almost $400. Hopefully that money will help a family get set up to take foster kids.
As for us, the fostering process has taken SO long that now we are in a different boat with expecting a baby. While now isn't the time, we aren't giving up! I have contacted local state reps about the challenges with meeting state regulations and proposed my idea of a forgivable loan through the state to make the necessary changes, to be repaid by family fostering in service. This has never been proposed before and I have a sponsor and a co sponsor for a bill hoped to debut next month. They have asked me to be a part in helping tell our story, so I will see what's in store with me for that. Exciting!
Insofar as the Country Kids party, it was a blast! Thanks to all who joined. An animal fun,, cricket catching, flower picking, egg gathering, potato digging, three legged racing ,sawdust sandbox playing, goat snuggling, barn painting, apple printing, washboard washing, running around playing and eating good time.