Between Families – December 2020

Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Entertained at Home

Given the possibility of a twindemic — or the potential convergence of our annual flu season, which lasts from December to February in the US, with an expected “second wave” of coronavirus cases — we’re planning on staying indoors as much as possible this winter. Of course, your kids’ health and safety is paramount, but keeping your little ones entertained for hours on end is also vital for your sanity.

  1. Have a movie marathon. Thanks to streaming services, there are plenty of movies on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. Postpone your strict screen time rules and veg out in front of the TV.
  2. Make a fort. How many hours did you burn growing up building the perfect hideaway?
  3. Do an easy craft. No need to go over the top, just give your kiddos some construction paper and crayons and let their imaginations soar. Parents who are looking for ideas can take a peek at this list of fun crafts and science experiments for inspiration.
  4. Make an obstacle course. Use old pillows and toys to set up a quick-and-easy obstacle course in the living room. Just lay out a few instructions for your little ones to follow.
  5. Write letters to relatives. Have your kids craft a letter to a grandparent or family member. It also helps them practice their penmanship, talk about a win-win.
  6. Make a simple recipe. Get kids involved in the kitchen by having them help you prep lunch or dinner, with supervision, of course. Here’s a list of simple recipes to get you started.
  7. Do a puzzle. Amazon is chock-full of puzzles for kids of all ages. Prime one to your house and let the kids go wild.
  8. Get building. Use Legos or building blocks to create a true masterpiece. Go for a more complicated build, like a bridge, to give your kids the lowdown on basic physics.
  9. Cuddle up with a few books. There’s no such thing as too much reading, so carving out an hour to hunker down with your kids’ favorite titles is certainly a good idea.
  10.  Stage an impromptu concert. Ask your children to practice a favorite song or dance and have them perform it in front of the family in a post-dinner talent show.
  11. Many more ideas available at: Indoor Activities For Kids to Do While Staying at Home | POPSUGAR Family

Kansas Care Provider of the Month

The Rhea family became licensed with TFI in 2016 and ever since has worked to provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment for their foster children! Aaron and Joy have an unmatched capability to work in partnership with their foster children’s biological families, and they quickly adapt and change their parenting approaches meet the unique educational, emotional, or behavioral needs of their foster children! Aaron and Joy always ensure their foster children have access to equal opportunities and are treated as equal family members! Thank you for your dedication to Kansas children!

Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

Justin and Paula Bush became certified as TFI foster parents in February 2020. At this time, they have three boys placed in their home. Two of the boys placed in their home are siblings, and they are committed to keeping siblings together, if possible, to decrease the amount of trauma for children as well as maintain that connection for them. They have a strong desire to foster teens. Justin and Paula work as a team to provide the boys with 100% virtual learning, transportation to and from counseling appointments, involvement with all of the boys’ sports activities, additional appointments for services as needed, maintenance of connections with biological families, as well as getting them actively involved in church. The love and concern they have for the children in their home is evident in every discussion and in the details they provide to each individual child’s needs. The Bush family is whole-heartedly committed to their family, and their definition of family includes all children in their home, regardless of DNA.  Thank you to the Bush family for being such an amazing part of TFI!

Oklahoma News

Welcome to our new staff! 

Michael Lopez

Michael J. Lopez has more than 25 years’ experience in juvenile justice services. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University. Michael began his career with the TFI family in October 2020 as a Foster Care Worker.  Previously, Michael has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections as the Program Director for substance abuse treatment services, Oklahoma State University as the Counselor/Coordinator for Project SOAR (students overcoming academic roadblocks).

Melissa Wiederkehr

Melissa Wiederkehr is married with two girls, ages 20 and 15, and has moved a bunch so she is happy to finally be permanently home in Oklahoma. Melissa has two mini Aussies and two cats, so, “please excuse the pet hair when you meet me!” Her hobbies are photography, essential oils and reading! She is excited to be a part of the team and help foster kiddos!

David Mabon

David Mabon was born and raised in Miami, OK. He is a graduate of Cincinnati Christian College. He spent 30 years in church ministry and more recently 7.5 years with OKDHS. David is an avid OU fan. He has been married to Carol for 34 years. They have three adult children.

Texas Care Provider of the Month

Virgel and Katie Duncan have been licensed with TFI since early August. They are a busy family with an active life and have opened their hearts and home to two wonderful children from the 3B region of Texas. The Duncan’s are helping in the most important way possible, and that is to offer Texas children a safe and stable home to thrive and grow in. Their family has loved these two children and provided them with excellent care. TFI appreciates the Duncan family so much!

Texas News

It is the time of year when we give thanks for all of our many blessings, and TFI Texas is no different. The agency has been greatly blessed with tremendous growth and we would like to thank everyone who has referred families to our agency. This time of year, let us all take a moment to reflect back on the many positive things we have experienced throughout 2020. TFI is thankful for the soft hearts and warm hugs our children receive each day. We are thankful for the hours spent in service to others and self-sacrifice our children experience continuously in your homes. Thank you for all your do.

Training Corner

Handling Picky Eaters

Is your preschooler refusing to eat anything other than chicken nuggets? Or would your toddler rather play than eat anything at all?

If children’s nutrition is a sore topic in your household, you’re not alone. Many parents worry about what their children eat — and don’t eat. However, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week. Until your child’s food preferences mature, consider these tips for preventing mealtime battles.

Read the article below, fill out the quiz and send to your worker for credit. 

Want More Training Opportunities?

Click below to learn about upcoming trainings available to you in November and December.

Recruitment Spotlight

It’s Christmas time, and what better way to earn some extra cash for Christmas presents than to refer a family to become a licensed foster home? As most of you know, you will earn $500 for every family that you’ve referred who becomes licensed with TFI. Your referrals help us ensure that children are placed in homes within their local community, which is especially important during the holidays.

As many of us transition back to working from home, the recruitment department is continuing to ramp up our virtual recruitment activities. That being said, we need your help to share some of our upcoming virtual events on social media. We encourage all of you to visit our TFI Facebook page, open events, and invite friends and family to our Virtual Foster Care Information Webinars. These webinars give us a chance to provide information to our communities and to answer any questions families might have about becoming foster parents. Thank you for all that you do, and everyone have a Merry Christmas!

– Recruitment Team

Fund Development

Happy Holidays! The Fund Development team has been overwhelmed by the generosity of our employees and donors this holiday season.

A corporate partner of ours made a sizeable donation to the agency as a result of an employee giving campaign and we’ve seen a handful of employees donate sums of money to help with Christmas gifts for foster kiddos. All of this on the heels of employees and faithful supporters donating more than $16,000 for Christmas gifts at our annual ball drop!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such great support. Reach out to us (contact info below) or swing by our webpage at https://tfifamily.org/donations/ if you would like to join in the fun!

Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 | ehayden@tfifamily.org
Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeveille | 918-728-3378 | smandeville@tfifamily.org 
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | skearney@tfifamily.org 

Have you heard? We have an app for YOU! You can find the portal online at https://fosterfamilyportal.com/. You can also find it in the Apple App Store and on Google Play! We hope you take the time to download it today. If you have any questions about the app, please contact your foster care worker!

Thank you for opening up your hearts and homes to children in need. TFI is so grateful for your compassion and dedication to children and families. We hope you take the time to download the app today!

Happy Anniversary

Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.

18 Years
Ray & Karen Berry 

16 Years
Opal Williams
Ray Young & Sharon Foster 

15 Years
Madelyn Crawford

14 Years
Robert & Linda Gibson

10 Years
Daniel & Laura Bergman 
Tommy & Tonya Williamson
Leisa Baird

5 Years
Morgan & Penny Wright 

1 Year 
Jamie Junkersfeld 
Wade & Leslie Doering
Katie Clopton
Clayton & Sandy Perez
Jonathan & Tiffany Almaguer
Logan & Rebecca Campbell
Ben & Heather McCaleb
Bryan & Kelsey Weems
Allen & Jennifer Sebes 
Wesley Phillips & Andrea Hutchison
Jonathan & Ashley Schlieper
Denny & Alicia Hund
Brandi Poage

Amazon Smile

Every time you make a purchase on Amazon, TFI Family Services can earn money and participating does NOT increase the price you pay for your purchases. Visit smile.amazon.com or click the picture above and select TFI Family Services to support youth in foster care.

Dillons Rewards

Every time you make a purchase at Dillons, TFI Family Services can earn money. Please visit dillons.com/i/community/communityrewards or click the picture above and select TFI Family Services as your nonprofit to support youth in foster care.