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Thursday’s Fostering Blog

We are fast approaching half term. It has been one of those half terms that has felt like it has gone on forever, but now we are approaching the break it somehow seems to have gone fast. Looking back we have crammed so much in; so many appointments at the hospital and in the community with our foster daughter. I think that Lauren has just about got into the new routine at her new school and we are all getting to grips with the amount of homework that high school expects and the stresses that causes both the girls and Charlie and I.

Lauren will be celebrating her birthday during the half term. We have booked a week away in a cottage on the south coast, so she will get to do some of her favourite things by way of celebration – choose her favourite breakfast, sit on the sand and watch the tide coming in eating pasties and then have her favourite takeaway for tea – Chinese! But before all that can happen I have got today and tomorrow to sort everything out for the holiday – packing clothes for me and Alice, checking that Lauren and Annie pack their clothes, then I tend to the list we have for Alice – her medications, catheters and equipment that must be taken wherever we go on holiday. I now have a list that I print out whenever we go away. Although, I have a pretty good memory, there are things that simply can’t be forgotten and would be impossible to replace while away – the last thing we would need is a trip home to fetch forgotten items.

As well as all the packing, we also have to finish buying and wrapping Lauren’s presents and then try and hide them in the car without her seeing. The last thing on the list to sort (and probably the most time consuming) is the birthday cake. Unfortunately a couple of years ago I started making home made cakes. They went down so well, that now the girls only ever want home made cakes. Shop bought cakes simply wont do.

This year is a cat theme! So in the middle of packing, I bake a three layered madeira cake (have found that madeira lasts a bit longer, and is easier to ice) filled with butter cream, crumb coated and then covered in fondant. I will then pass the baton to Charlie who is very creative and will make the fondant characters to place on top of the cake! And when all that is done we can go on holiday and hopefully get some rest and relaxation too!

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Fostering Blog | Neighbours

Sunday’s Fostering Blog

There are many times in life when you feel like you are juggling too many balls and is only a matter of time before one of them drops. Some years ago a close friend told me to prioritise things in life. I thought that this was easier said than done, but I gave it a go. One of the things I decided that wasn’t so important in our life was the ironing. I decided that I would stick to ironing the essentials like the girls uniforms, Charlie’s work shirts and clothes for going out. Everything else could be put away and folded and we wouldn’t worry about them. I have to say couple of years on I don’t think anyone has noticed that I don’t iron everything, or at least no one has mentioned it! One thing is true – I certainly don’t care about it in the same way that I used to.

Other things that are not that important to us have also lost priority in our lives. Another one of those things is the gardening. Before we moved house last year I really couldn’t have cared less about our garden. Our back garden couldn’t be seen by the neighbours and our front garden had been paved by the previous owners, and so all I had to keep up with was a couple of potted plants sitting out the front. However just over a year ago we moved to a house that comes with Charlie‘s job. It has a large garden – front and rear. The back garden is shaded by huge hedges and so apart from visitors no one really sees it. However, the front garden is on show for the whole community to see and the fact that we are a corner plot makes it even more visible.

Whilst we usually divide up household chores pretty evenly when it comes to the garden, it is left to Charlie. I simply cannot manage pushing the heavy petrol mower around the garden nor the hedge trimmer, so poor Charlie has been nagged pretty much all summer to sort the garden out. It has got to the point where neighbours or commenting to one another about the state of our garden. With the busyness of life with our own children and with the complexities of fostering a child with additional needs both physical and learning the garden really hasn’t been a priority.

I was over the moon when an old neighbour who had moved away had returned for a couple of weeks stay in the area. Knowing our situation and plenty of time on his hands he offered to come and trim the hedges. We have always been so self-sufficient and never really had offers of help before and usually I would find it difficult to accept such help but on this occasion I could have bitten his hand off. I was so pleased and at the same time relieved that the talk of the neighbourhood will soon be about someone else and not our garden.

I realised how bad we had left it when it took nearly 2 days to get the work done. I am hoping that we won’t have to touch it again until next year and hope that we tend to it before it gets so overgrown next time. It has been a lesson for us that fostering takes up and consumes a lot of time, others can’t always help with this side of fostering but they can help in other practical ways. And when the offer comes we need to make sure we are not too proud to say yes, because really that will just free up time to do the things that we’re meant to be doing.

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Thursday’s Fostering Blog

We are fast approaching half term. It has been one of those half terms that has felt like it has gone on forever, but now we are approaching the break it somehow seems to have gone fast. Looking back we have crammed so much in; so many appointments at the hospital and in the community with our foster daughter. I think that Lauren has just about got into the new routine at her new school and we are all getting to grips with the amount of homework that high school expects and the stresses that causes both the girls and Charlie and I.

Lauren will be celebrating her birthday during the half term. We have booked a week away in a cottage on the south coast, so she will get to do some of her favourite things by way of celebration – choose her favourite breakfast, sit on the sand and watch the tide coming in eating pasties and then have her favourite takeaway for tea – Chinese! But before all that can happen I have got today and tomorrow to sort everything out for the holiday – packing clothes for me and Alice, checking that Lauren and Annie pack their clothes, then I tend to the list we have for Alice – her medications, catheters and equipment that must be taken wherever we go on holiday. I now have a list that I print out whenever we go away. Although, I have a pretty good memory, there are things that simply can’t be forgotten and would be impossible to replace while away – the last thing we would need is a trip home to fetch forgotten items.

As well as all the packing, we also have to finish buying and wrapping Lauren’s presents and then try and hide them in the car without her seeing. The last thing on the list to sort (and probably the most time consuming) is the birthday cake. Unfortunately a couple of years ago I started making home made cakes. They went down so well, that now the girls only ever want home made cakes. Shop bought cakes simply wont do. This year is a cat theme! So in the middle of packing, I bake a three layered madeira cake (have found that madeira lasts a bit longer, and is easier to ice) filled.

A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog