February Foster Care Budget

Groceries (these are groceries I've purchased specifically for the kids- not myself, or family meals in general. These only account for additional purchases made solely for the children) :
Breakfast Cereal: $10
Oatmeal: $10
Cheese, Meat, and Crackers For School Lunches: $20
Sandwich Supplies For School Lunches: $20
Fruit and Veggies For School Lunches: $20
Granola Bars: $15
Juice Boxes: $20
Valentine's Day Cookie-Decorating Supplies: $25
Valentine's Day Candy: $15
Fruit Cups: $20
TOTAL: $175

2 Hair Brushes: $10
Bulk Hand Wipes: $40
Body Wash: $10
TOTAL: $60

School/ Court Meetings/ Family Visitations: $60
TOTAL: $60

School Valentine's Cards: $25
School Valentine's Candy: $10
Teacher's Valentine's Day Gifts: $20
Loose-Lief Paper: $5
TOTAL: $60

Hats: $15
Mittens: $10
Wool-Socks: $15
TOTAL: $40

Movies/ DVDs (including rentals): $15
Books: $10
Valentine's Day Plush Gifts: $20
New Blankets: $25
Magnetic Chores Chart: $10
Spongebob Birthday Decor: $45
How-To-Train-Your-Dragon Birthday Cake Supplies: $10
Birthday Gifts: $60
TOTAL: $195


NOTE: An important thing to keep in mind is that this 'budget' does not account for any extra groceries I buy for daily meals like dinner- which I would be cooking for myself anyways, I just make more now (which is probably another $200 to $250 total each month). It also doesn't cover any of the costs of bringing a new child into my home.

A Poem For Bad Days

Whenever my one of my kids and I have had a rough day, I end their evening with this poem. While I'm tucking them in, or handing them their goodnight snack- this is what they hear. And I think it's extremely important that every child who comes into my home- no matter how old they are, knows that they are NOT a bad child (no matter how 'bad' they may behave).
Everyone sometimes cries.
Everyone feels sad.
Everyone get's teary eyes,
but that doesn't mean they're bad.

Everyone sometimes yells.
Everyone gets mad.
Everyone does angry things,
but that doesn't mean they're bad.

You can whine today,
it's okay if you need to cry.
Let those tears come freely,
I'll be here to wipe your eyes.

If you sometimes get upset,
and do things you shouldn't do.
Know, no matter what you say-
I'll always still love you.

You can kick and scream,
you can say you've had enough.
If you get mad and if you get mean,
I still won't give up on my love.

Because you, my child, are special.
You're one of a kind.
I see brilliant things within you,
and I'm so happy to have you in my life.

Positive Mantras To Tell Your Child Every Day

I love compliments- who doesn't? Receiving compliments makes anyone feel good, and once you hear the same compliment again and again, you start to believe it yourself. Nonchalantly tossing a few great words in your child's direction every now and again can truly make an impact on the way they view themselves. So take a couple moments each day to say one of these kind things to your child...

You Are Beautiful/Handsome: This can be interpreted so many ways. And once they feel attractive (on the inside AND the outside) their confidence rises. They start to believe that they're worthy of good things and give off a poised vibe to people around them- drawing good things right in reach of their grasp.

I Love Your Optimistic Attitude: If your child makes even the smallest positive remark- make this comment back to them. Even if they are pessimists 99% of the time, when you encourage the 1% of the time when they're positive-thinkers, they realize that there are positive effects to being optimistic. Plus, telling them that they DO have an optimistic attitude, will make them- over time, believe that they have an optimistic attitude. Once they believe it, they will, and with a positive outlook anything can happen.

You're So Smart: Does your child quickly get an answer right during homework? Or do they blurt out the winning phrase when you're watching a game show together? Do they beat you in a tough board game? Let them know how intelligent you think they are. Encouraging their inner smarts will pay off in their confidence in school and the work-place later on.

You Have A Great Sense Of Humor: When your child makes you or someone else laugh, let them know how funny they are. The fact that they have the ability to make other people happy, will make them happy. The happier they are (and the happier people around them are), the happier everyone's lives will be. So encourage that quirky humor- it can make so many lives, so much better.

You're Very Talented: A lot of people will say that this comment is just 'blowing up your child's ego', but I disagree. Encourage your child to follow their passions in life. If they LOVE drawing- let them know that they are an exquisite artist. If they're all about baseball, let them know that they are so great out on the field. Motivate your child to do what they love- whether or not they are the best at it, doesn't matter. Their talent comes from their heart. Let your child know that they are always great at what they love to do, and they should always follow their dreams.

You Are Going To Do Great Things: I LOVE this compliment. Simply telling your kid from time to time that they WILL have success in life can make such a difference. They know that someone else believes in them, and soon enough they'll believe in themselves as well. This small attitude can give them the needed-drive to actually do great things!

There's Something Special About You: This is my favorite compliment, because it can be perceived so many different ways. They get to choose what's special about them. It might be their smile, or their intelligence, or the way they handle certain situations. But there IS something special about them. All kids should feel special, all kids should feel loved and admired. So be the one to hand out that admiration. Be the one to tell them how awesome they are.