Remember the strip of photos at the top of this post, that we took as part of our foster/adopt "maternity" photo shoot with my sister? Well, we had an additional purpose for them as well. They're the foundation for our house rules.
Foster parents are advised to have their house rules clearly presented somewhere so children that are plopped into an unknown environment can easily know expectations and safety for that home. You may remember from this post that I read a book last year by Karyn Purvis called The Connected Child. In that book, she outlines a suggested foundation or starting point for house rules, in a concise format that is easy to remember.
We decided that was a great place to begin our house rules, partly because we truly do like it and partly because we've never done this before so we have no idea what our house rules should be and we were happy for someone else to tell us. Specific things can fit into those broad statements as appropriate. For example, the specific rule of "we don't run in the house" would fit under No Hurts because you could fling yourself into a bookcase and get hurt. Or "we don't leave the house without permission" would fit under Stick Together. We can also use it as a broad reminder, like "if you are pouting, that's sad and we can't have fun" or "we are all pitching in to do some chores and if you don't help, we aren't sticking together."
So. Ideas started brewing and the recently smothered crafty side of me had some fun. First I used picmonkey.com to overlay text onto each of the photos we took with my sister Sarah, like so:
Then I had them printed as 5x7s and headed to Michael's down the road to look for some frames with the mattes that you can write on, like people use at weddings sometimes to write well wishes. Even better, I found craft frames that you can actually just paint or write right on. And they were only 50 cents each. Win! I assembled them and Trent did all the necessary math to hang them evenly spaced and staggered near our dining room.