18 October, 2014

I'm Not Sure Why I'm Finding This So Confusing

     Okay, so I'm pretty sure that I am home schooling.  The Man said that I needed to get the house situated for home school and that he would likely give his consent, which I mostly have.  So the plan is to let the school know on Monday, then start the Monday following.  The issue that my brain is having is keeping which courses she will be doing straight and not mixing them up.  So here it is, her week laid out so that I can't mess it up.  In no way do I expect to adhere to a strict schedule.  The schedule is only to help me figure out what should come first.  So, her days will tentatively consist of:

7:45 - Drop Girlfriend off at school
8:15 - Get home
8:25 - Breakfast and a Bible Lesson
8:45 - Reading
9:25 - Writing
10:00 - Snack
10:15 - Elective
     Mondays: Library
     Tuesdays: Art
     Wednesdays: Music
     Thursdays: Home Economics
     Friday: Health/PE
10:50 - Lunch and Recess

12:00 - Math
12:40 - History
1:20 - Science

Then of course her outside social activities consist of:
Monday: Playground with friends
Tuesday: Soccer
Wednesday: Band, Playground, and Youth Group
Thursday: Soccer and Awana
Friday: Kids Club
Sunday: Sunday School and Jr. Church

14 October, 2014

Trying Not to Get Myself Too Psyched Up

     So it's official, after thinking about it for a good, long while and talking with moms who are experiencing it first hand, I have officially decided that I want to homeschool.  It's just one year, unless it goes exceptionally well.  Big problem... Broofy is not on board yet.  Here's why:
     Last year I tried Summer schooling to help The Big One catch up.  I was depressed and couldn't even pull myself out of bed most days.  I had four other kids at home all day, every day and most days, I honestly forgot that we were even doing Summer school.  So what makes me think that I can do it now?  Simple: I am not even remotely depressed anymore.  I get right out of bed, stay awake until bedtime, and I feel great.  I didn't even know that my body could do that!  It's a total answer to prayers.  And also, besides that my memory is improving every day from my depression being gone, the other kids are in school all day.  How could I forget that it's a school day when the house is so quiet for 8 hours a day?

Click me if you want to buy me!
     I KNOW I can do this.  And with amazing resources, like TeachersPayTeachers.com or Homeschooling-ideas.com and of course, Pinterest, how could I go wrong!?  I've even planned our first home school social experiment.  We're going to place a mock voting booth at a local library and learn first hand how elections work!  Awesome, right?  And for learning the digestive system, we'll print out iron-on transfers with the system on it and make a T-shirt.  And don't get me started on all the art projects I have in mind.  Mod Podge and spray paint anyone?
     Oh, man.... I'm having such a hard time not getting super excited about this.  It's not a sure thing.  He's never taken this long to give a yes or no answer before.  It means that he's thinking about it, which is good, I guess.  I just... I know deep down that this is right for her.  She can't concentrate at school and her daily grades are stacking up against her.  Even if she were to magically catch up this instant, she would have all those other grades bringing her down.  And she won't magically catch up right now.  Her grades might not catch up enough even if she started to improve today.  And with an environment that she has trouble learning in, she likely won't improve.  However, one end-of-the-year test based on what she's learned in an environment where she CAN pay attention and focus... THAT she can do.  It's a shot, a good shot at that.
     I know he worries and I will pray that he makes the best decision for her, no matter what it is.  I just feel like it is supposed to be home school.  To help bring this point home (no pun intended), here is a list of the pros and cons:
  1. I could totally and utterly fail and she might stay back and fall further behind.
  2. She will not see her friends on a daily basis at school.
  3. It might cost a little extra each week for supplies/projects/gas, etc.
  4. Broofy worries that the school might look into why we are homeschooling, worry for The Big One and try to intervene somehow, which will only cause headaches.
  5. Punk might give a hard time going to school because she might want to stay home too.  I won't lie, this one is concerning.  Punk is relentlessly aggravating when she wants to be.
  6. She will miss the school field trips.
  1. I already have all the materials (minus special project supplies) on hand.
  2. She will still see her friends 7 times throughout the week in a fun and social type setting, plus she will see extended family more throughout each week as I run errands.
  3. She will have opportunities to use math, geography, science, etc. in real world settings like the kitchen, supermarket, and through geo-caching, etc.
  4. She can learn what she needs most help with at a pace that is optimal and through activities that she can relate to, have fun with, and that she will remember.
  5. She could concentrate and learn with almost constant 1-on-1 attention.
  6. She would not feel silly asking questions aloud.
  7.  She would be out from under Counselor Lady's thumb about the whole evaluation/medication issue (HUGE PRO).
  8. She would be able to attend all of Baby Bee's field trips with us, plus numerous field trips of our own planning.  She will also be able to go to the 6th grade trip with her friends next year if we are successful.
  9. No Common Core foolishness.
  10. She wants to home school.
     No decision to home school is ever easy.  The act of home schooling isn't a piece of cake either.  I'm sure that some days I would want to rip my hair out, but just like the pain of labor or the pain of exercise, the results are worth it.  I'm really hoping that we can make the right choice.  Until then, it can't hurt to clean like crazy and set up a work place so that Broofy sees how committed I am.  Am I right?

Here's to the best!

09 October, 2014

Wednesday's Joy Dare

Cardinal rules, which I am clearly not following too well.
     Yesterday wasn't a complete mess.  I was flustered for a good part of the day, but I also wasn't for a good part of the day.  Here's a breakdown of the day:

6:00AM - woke up and started getting kids ready.
7:00AM - kids leave for bus.
7:30AM - go to drop Baby Bee off at preschool.
8:30AM - go home.
Boogie naps and I edit my new blog header until...
11:30AM - Go to get the Bee.
12:00PM - Arrive home.  Work more on the blog's buttons and such until...
2:00PM - go to get the kids from school.
2:30PM - leave to Brother-in-law's (BIL's) home.
3:00PM - Arrive at BIL's and I start dinner.
4:00PM - Kids eat and we head out for teacher conferences.
4:10PM - Pick up mom so she can hang out with the kids and I at nephew's school.
5:45PM - Bring BIL to run a few errands.

6:15PM - Head to youth group.
8:00PM - Head home and get the kids to bed.
Picture via Sugar Baking Blog
     So everything was pretty straight forward except the part where I picked the kids up for school and had the run in with Counselor Lady.  I was able to talk with BIL some about my frustrations with the whole thing and I was glad to feel supported.  It helped me overcome my anger at the time and just enjoy the rest of the evening.
     I went to make supper, but we had trouble with the stove and had to improvise.  Instead of stove-top stroganoff with noodles, it was microwaved stroganoff over fries.  But all was good, it was edible.  So then we headed out to the conferences.  It was all just hanging out with Mom and the kids in the van until we ran errands.  We pretty much just got some groceries and some gas and I dropped him back off to go to church.
     At church, I was really happy to see a new friend of the girls and her family there.  Those kids are both really friendly and adorable.  I am glad we get to see them next week too.  They seem like a really wonderful family.

     Alright, on to other things.  Yesterday's Joy Dare was 3 gifts prayed for.
     Okay, this might be tough.  Truth is, I haven't done as much praying lately as I should.  I don't know why.  But I'll try to figure this one out.
1.  Okay, number one is definitely the loss of my depression and the ability to voice my disapproval aloud.  I am so angry about the counselor issue BECAUSE I voiced my objection and was ignored.  The fact that I voiced my disapproval is completely against my nature.  I still can't tell a person to screw off, per se, or I would have yesterday.  But at least I did stand up for what I believe to begin with.  That's HUGE.  And I don't even know how I did it, one day everything was just different.  I felt different, like I was freed from some cage that I had been living in for 28 years.  This is definitely something that was prayed for for a long time and I know that it will only get better and I will only get more confident in myself.

2.  Hmmm.  I have long prayed for help.  Help with the kids, help with getting them to get along and help with being a better family.  We needed that help from someone on the outside.  And we are getting that.  That family friend (which I am going to just call Agent L from here on out to save myself the effort of describing him each time) and his wife (Coach K) have been a serious God-send with the girls and getting them to react more appropriately to anger and to work better as a team.  I've been able to breathe the past few weeks, stress levels have gone down for sure.  So I am grateful for that help.  Truly, utterly grateful.
Geo Caching
3.  I have also prayed for opportunities for my children.  I know that I won't ever be able to offer my kids the opportunities that I want to see them have.  They will never be in ballet class or gymnastics.  We won't ever go to Disney World or probably even the Drive-In.  I sign the kids up for every free thing that I can.  They have done week-long day camps, Vacation Bible Schools, Summer reading programs, Fun Park church events, a free-only family vacation (that was fun to plan), lots of other family days around the area, sports, and even a church sponsored week-away camp.  We did also try geo caching once, but came up empty-handed.  I have been blessed that my community offers so many free things for my family to do together.  The fact that we also have amazing people in our lives that can offer my kids experiences that I could only dream of offering is absolutely an answer to prayer.  This weekend The Big One will be going on an incredible trip that I would never be able to take her on myself.  And next week I will be sharing all about it.  I can't wait to find out how it goes and see all the pictures that they bring back with them.  I couldn't be more excited for her and she doesn't even know that it's going to be happening!  Blessed is an understatement.

So there it is, my Joy Dare for yesterday.  It's great to look at all the good in my life.

Until the next post when I will be undoubtedly in a better mood,

Insert Sigh Here

     Rough day yesterday.  It didn't start out that way so much.  I mean, yeah the kids gave problems getting ready for school and that always sucks, but things like that don't typically ruin my whole day.  They're just blips.  It's what happened at school that got my blood to boil.  I stayed in fume mode most of the day afterward.  So here's the lowdown:
     The Big One has had a hard time sitting still and concentrating in school.  She fidgets, she's impulsive, she doesn't listen well to lessons.  For years, I have out right refused any sort of medical evaluation.  This is in no way against anyone who's child has an ADHD diagnosis or for anyone whose child is on medication.  I don't judge other parents, parenting is a hard, hard road.  Personally, I'm just against it.  I promised myself that I would never, ever go that route for myself or my children.
     Well, this is the second year in a row that she is failing in multiple subjects and she will be held back if it isn't fixed.  Against my very nature and against all my beliefs, I finally decided that I would have her evaluated.  I decided this privately and it only came to light when I asked the school for letters from her previous teachers as part of the process.  I did this as privately as possible because I've seen this process a few years back.  The parents got a diagnosis and all of a sudden the school was putting them under pressure to medicate and it was a huge mess.  Turns out that the school gets extra funding for every child in the school that's on medication.  Scary.  So right from the start, I said that I would not allow any release between the school and the evaluation center.  Under no circumstances do I want any swapping of information without it going through my hands and my okay first.  If she was on medication, it would be taken at home and it was none of their business.  For the first and only time ever in my entire life, I stood up for myself and made that point very clear.
     So the guidance counselor immediately asked if there was any previous release forms on record between the school and doctor, implying that she would just use that so that I don't have to sign a new one.  The nerve of her to even ask was astounding to me.  It was like Holy Disrespect, Batman!
Like, Excuuuuuse Me!?
     She then looked all over for that blank release that I told her I wouldn't sign and then went out of the room to get one, claiming she needed some for her office anyway.  *eye roll*  Yeah, oookay.  I totally don't see right through THAT.  That right there was infuriating enough, but then she went on to tell me that my daughter had too many absences last year to accredit them all to sickness and appointments.  Essentially calling me a liar.  To my face.
F*** you, Lady.  I'll make you a f****ing list.  Witch.
     At this point I am down right angry.  If there is one thing that I am not, it is a liar.  I despise liars.  She went on to tell me that ADHD is just as deadly as diabetes or peanut allergies, and wouldn't I want The Big One treated for that if she had it?  Pretty much throwing my opinion about how ADHD is waaaaay over-diagnosed right out the window and insinuating that I am a terrible mom for allowing my daughter to possibly die of suicide later in life.  At this point, maybe she wasn't actually insinuating that, but I'm outraged and pretty much thinking that I like her less than the last counselor.  That counselor assumed that I kept my kids home whenever they fought me in the morning because I was too lazy to fight back.  Forget the fact that we had numerous absences due to a stomach bug that made 3 rounds through our house that winter.  I could write a book on my feelings about that experience too, but at least she didn't call me a liar.  Probably because I sat in the corner of the office crying and didn't say a word the whole meeting.  But, let's move on.  In case anyone is wondering, I can be throwing flaming darts at someone in my head and show no outward signs of anger, so no... I was not yelling at the woman or being anything but respectfully opposed.
     She asked again if I would sign a release.
Yeah, pretty sure I already said no.  But what I answered this time was "No, thank you", all nice like.
     Okay, that was a week or more ago, so it isn't what angered me yesterday.  Yesterday was way worse, it was a violation.  A blatant and unapologetic violation.  I went to school to pick the girls up so that I could help a family member out with a ride and also get the kids something to eat before bed (tight scheduling, it's the only way that both could get done).  So as I'm picking them up, Counselor Lady comes up and asks if I had dropped off the paper work for the evaluation.  You know, the evaluation that I promised myself that I would never, ever even do.  It's not the first time that she asked me in just that week or so.  I get the feeling that I'm not breaking my belief system fast enough for her.  Immediately I am irritated.  Not showing it, but deeply, DEEPLY irritated.  This lady just rubs me the wrong way.
     Ready for the blood boiling part?  She then tells me that she was at the evaluation center the day before and inquired about whether they had received paperwork for The Big One yet and they said that they hadn't.  Big thanks to the center for lying on my behalf.  You know, unless they just looked under the wrong last name.
But, WHAT THE FLIPPING F****!?!?!?!?
    Excuse my asterisks, but are you freaking serious right now!?  Who gave you ANY FRIGGIN RIGHT to contact the evaluation center directly concerning my daughter?  Because I know that I made it unmistakably clear that you had no right.  And did I mention that it was the only time EVER in my whole life that I made my opposition to ANYTHING actually known... to another human being involved in that same anything?
     Yes, I am that much of a saint, or that much of a coward, take your pick.  Confrontation bothers me IMMENSELY.  Confrontation for me has the same level of discomfort as crawling into a spider's nest may have to the normal person.  So I have never stuck up for myself or shared my actual feelings verbally to anyone outside my immediate family before that meeting.  The meeting where I made it very, VERY clear that she was to have no direct contact with the evaluation center regarding The Big One.
     I calmly told her that I had no idea why they said that they didn't have it, but assured her that it was there.  Then she said "Well, they said they didn't get it yet, but until then I see she's making it to school, so that's good."
    OHHHHHHHH, Lady... did you both call me a liar about paperwork and then also throw a stab at me about absences last year in the same damn sentence!?  Cue the clenching fists.  Not really, but in my head, I was sooo clenching.  I want to punch her out at this point, but instead, I grabbed the baby and left.  I'd like to think I did it with purpose and that she noticed my disapproval, but someone came to talk to her at that same moment, so she probably didn't notice my fuming hatred of her at all.  But oh, if my thoughts could play a song.  It would be something like this.
     Not the whole song, because how weird would that be?  But the chorus sums it up nicely, and by nicely, I mean nicely because my thoughts aren't so sweet as this song.  Yeah, I said it.
     Sorry for the novel, but really... I have to let it out somewhere or I will fall right back into that self-loathing-can-never-do-anything-right-even-for-my-own-kids-I-suck-as-a-mom-and-hate-mankind depressive abyss.  I feel it coming, it started when I left the school and I haven't recovered yet.  I need a Xanax, I am so angry right now.  If I never see that woman again, it will be way too soon.
     Just to be clear, I am now seriously looking into homeschooling options and VERY SERIOUSLY considering scrapping the whole evaluation.  I gave an inch.  It was my own fault, I knew better.  I gave an eensy, weensy, tiny inch and now she is on my heels with me under her thumb, manipulating and controlling my every move and I so want to just... well, I won't say it.  There is, after all an ever so slight possibility that she comes to some kind of harm under suspicious circumstance and I don't need people thinking it was me.  But I'm angry.  So super, incredibly angry.
     As a general disclaimer, I ADORE my kids' school and almost every employee it has.  Really, I swear.
     Now that I've wasted this whole post venting, I have no real room for the Joy Dare.  So I will get to that in a bit.  It will help me to realign my day or whatever.

Until then,

07 October, 2014

Fear is Only a State of Mind

     Remember the problems I mentioned about Punk and Bus Kid?  Well his guardians have agreed to meet with me at the kids club in town so that we can watch how the two are when around each other so that we know who is doing what kinds of things and how to help the kids to get along.  I expect that I will survive, but I'm anxious.  Who am I kidding, I am anxious over ANY social interaction.  I'm like Baby Bee that way.  But Friday will be that day, so wish me luck!
     Today was another lazy day.  I did dishes and made cookies for Boogie because he asked me to.  Talked a little more with the family friend about The Big One and all that good stuff.  Then I went to a soccer game that was cancelled for tragic reasons, so we just stuck around while the girls played on the school's playground for a bit.
     All in all, it was just a nice, quiet day at home.  So on to the Joy Dare.

A gift baked, stirred, eaten.
Well, darn.  I only made one thing today.  So we'll start with that.

1.  Baked:  That would be the Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies that Boogie gave me to make.  I let the Bee help me make them and then of course she got the spoon.  We ate them all before the girls got off the bus.  Normally I am way more thoughtful.  Although we did save them each a 1/3 of a cookie and they were utterly grateful.  Made me feel bad.  But anyways...
2.   Stirred.  My coffee, I am always thankful for coffee.

3.   Eaten.  The apple that Punk left for me on my steering wheel on her way to the bus this morning.  It was a nice surprise when I went to bring Baby Bee to school.  Also the plum that The Big One gave me when I walked in the school doors and the apple Punk brought me when she got home.  My kids can be so thoughtful.

Well I guess that's it for today.  Until next time,

06 October, 2014

My Kidneys Hurt

     I just spent an hour being kicked and punched in the kidneys and ribs by Punk.  Why?  Because I have read that one should ignore undesirable behavior, so I ignored it for the most part.  I did take her shoes off, which was a mistake, because then she used her big toes to really get into my side.  I did tell her to stop, maybe threatened to cut her toe off once or twice.  But when she didn't stop, I resorted to ignoring it mostly.  Why was she kicking me?  Because I wouldn't take her on a walking trail that she had JUST walked an hour earlier with Girl Scouts.  Why did she want to rewalk the trail?  Because I wasn't there to take pictures for the blog.  Seriously.  Apparently this blog is a dangerous hobby.  Now my kidneys hurt constantly.  Ironically, someone did take pics and look... a faceless photo for my blog.  One identical to one that I would have taken.  Ugh.
     Thank you, Punk.  That's her in the red.  Red to match her temper.  After about an hour of using my kidneys as punching bags, The Big One got defensive and struck her in her sides with a soda bottle, pretty hard.  Punk went into tears and stopped hitting me.  Thank YOU, Big One.  I didn't condone it and Big One had consequences, but I was grateful for the behavior's end.  She later apologized ON HER OWN for hitting Punk.  She even offered to bring Punk her supper since she was sent to her room for the rest of the evening.  I was in shock.  And Punk also apologized to me, though she needed prompting.
     Anyway, our day was a pretty lazy one.  I pretty much just edited pictures and caught up the blog all morning.  I talked some with that family friend of ours and got some incredible news about The Big One.  More on that next week, you can count on it.  It might be all I talk about.
     But I had no coffee this morning, so I took a nap in the early afternoon.  I woke up in time for the bus, went to collect Punk at the lake where she ended up after her Girl Scout hike, then brought her to soccer.  That's when she refused to play and resorted to beating me up.  I'm sure that I know where Punk gets it from, but I can't do a thing about genetics.  So we will work on proper ways to show anger and we will pray for her to realize how she makes others feel.  Until then, I'm usually pretty great at ignoring.

     So onto my Joy Dare.  Today is 3 Gifts Redeemed.  Another Merriam-Webster moment, I think.

a :  to buy back :  repurchase
b :  to get or win back
:  to free from what distresses or harms: as
a :  to free from captivity by payment of ransom
b :  to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
c :  to release from blame or debt :  clear
d :  to free from the consequences of sin
:  to change for the better :  reform
a :  to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
b (1) :  to remove the obligation of by payment <the United States Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand> (2) :  to exchange for something of value <redeem trading stamps>
c :  to make good :  fulfill
a :  to atone for :  expiate <redeem an error>

b (1) :  to offset the bad effect of (2) :  to make worthwhile :  retrieve 
     Wow, I could go in a ton of directions with this one.  Too bad I can't think of anything from today that goes well with these.
1.  I guess I did redeem Big One for her violence.  Sure, she had a consequence, but normally I would have been all over that.  Today I redeemed her with having to do something for Punk as a way to give back.  I didn't put her in time out or send her to her room as usual.  Selfish I suppose, but she was defending a fellow family member and I tell her that defending a family member against violence is her duty.  She stepped up, even though I had asked her not to.  Her intentions were good, so I didn't blame her for her actions and she was redeemed on that count.  I was grateful for the break of being hit.

2.  Gosh, this is a hard one.  Can't wait til tomorrow, that one will be easy.  Ok, redeemed... Well, that wonderful lady who dropped off sweaters for me, she redeemed Boogie by offering us a pair of thick tights when I walked out of the house forgetting his pants.  It was a chilly day and I had originally just thrown him in the van without pants to get the girls off the bus.  Then I remembered that Punk needed to be picked up, so I ran in to get pants and a couple other things while Big One buckled him in, then somehow left without the pants.  It was not good, but she saved us and it isn't the first time.  She pretty much rocks and we are always grateful to have her in our lives.
3.  The fact that we have not been in the Troop for the last few years is not affecting whether or not we can go to the amazingly awesome trip next month.  So in a sense, we were redeemed.  We can still go and they can even cover half of Punk's expense.  I can't stinking wait.  I am so thankful for all the opportunities that have opened up even in just the past few weeks.  It's been wonderful.

Well, I'm off to sleep away this kidney pain.
So until tomorrow or whenever,

Yesterday Was One Day Away.

     I can't remember most of what we did yesterday.  Okay, I'll start with the morning.  We woke up, got dressed and went to church.  One of my favorite ladies was out on vacation, she is the one who always helps me with the kids at pew time.  It's not that they act up too terribly, but there are five of them and some days they have bad attitudes.
     So they went to Sunday school and worked on the Christmas program with the wonderful lady that does that.  Then we just stayed downstairs for pew time.  The girls played in the nursery until Jr. Church time.  At that time a family friend brought Baby Bee to class for me.  So I was upstairs by myself for service.  No kids, no nursery or sitting in on Jr. Church to ease separation.  It was awesome.  I doodled the whole time.  It sounds bad, but it really helped me listen.  I just doodled instead of taking notes.  My doodles were pretty good actually.
     It was a service all about voting for what you believe in and having the responsibility to go vote.  I learned stuff too, I love that Pastor K always throws fun facts in there.
     Anyways, after that we went home.  I have no idea why I thought that I would have time to make a quick stroganoff.  I had like 20 minutes from the time that I pulled in until the time that I had to leave for the soccer game.  I started defrosting the meat and boiling the water, then looked at the clock and panicked.  We were about to be late.  So we grabbed snacks from next door and ran.
     Okay, I'd like to say ran, but really, I begged and pleaded and we still left late.  We showed up 10 minutes later than intended, but we were still not the last ones there.  The Big One still had 20 minutes of warm up before the game started, so it could have been worse.
     She did awesome!  The first part of the game she did what she always does.  She ran with the ball and kept up with it, but if the ball came to her, she waited for someone else to handle it.  But after the first part, she actually kicked the ball.  Then again!  She actually got the ball away from someone.  It was amazing!  Total transformation out there, it was wonderful to watch.  And they won!  9-2, I'm pretty sure it was our first win this season.
     We hung out for a bit on the playground there before leaving.  Then we went home and settled in while we waited for that same family friend to come grab Broofy to go play some bowling.  While he was gone I finally made the stroganoff.  Then I did some dishes and cleaning and laid down to watch Chicken Run.  I only got a few minutes into it when The Man came through the front door.  He must have had fun, cause he was in a pretty good mood.  And I hear he didn't do too bad.
Okay, now on to my Joy Dare.

Sunday's was 3 gifts returned.  *sigh*  Time to put on my thinking cap.

1.  Well I guess if my husband returning home counts.  I mean, he returned.  So...  We're going to go with that.  My husband had a great time.  He won a few games, lost a few games.  It was good for him to get out and have fun without the family.  I'm happy for him and grateful that he could do that.
2.  The roller blades that The Big One got for her birthday were returned to us this weekend.  It's not a huge thing, the people borrowing them could have had them for a lot longer, but she loves having them, so we're grateful to have them.  We bought them for $1, which was also something we are thankful for.

3.  Phone call.  At least we'll claim it was a returned call.  About Girl Scouts.  I have been wanting the girls in the scouts for years, but it hasn't happened because I am always out of a vehicle in the winter just long enough to sabotage plans.  But not this year!  Wait, did I just say it was Winter?  Yeesh, I think I did.  Feels that way some days.  Anyways, the call was about Punk being able to go hiking today after school with the troop.  Punk was so excited.  Just another thing that we are grateful for.

Well, I have just one more post for today, so until then,

Whoops, Forgot the Joy Dare...

     If my head weren't attached... and all that.
     Okay, so the Joy Dare for Saturday was 3 Gifts Reaped.  Reaped?  Doesn't that mean harvested or collected?  Let me run off to Merriam-Webster for a sec.


: to get (something, such as a reward) as a result of something that you have done
: to cut and collect (a plant, crop, etc.) from a field

     Well look at that.  Something I more or less earned for myself, huh?  Or collected from the great outdoors.  Okay.
1.   Wow, this is super tough.




     Okay, well I did reap happiness when I put the effort into getting the kids out of bed and dressed.  It isn't always easy to do that and some days I just don't want to.  But I had been looking forward to the ambulance at Home Depot for a month and it paid off to put that effort in.

2.  Next is the freedom that I felt at knowing where everything in my van is.  Jackets, shoes, blankets, pens, diapers.  No searching for every little thing, if I needed it I knew where it was because I cleaned out the van.  Go, Me!  So I did reap that.

3.  Relief, sure we'll go with that.  Getting desperate, but I did reap a sense of relief when I woke my sister up after Home Depot.  We stopped in to give her one of the EMS trucks and to ask her if something belonged to her boys.  I didn't want to wake her on her morning off, but as it turned out, she had overslept because she is used to her night shift and she was missing a special event that she had planned to go to with the boys.  So I was relieved and also happy that I was helpful and not irritating.

Okay, well that's my Joy Dare for Saturday.
Til later,

We Love Home Depot!

     The first Saturday of every month is one of our favorite family days.  First thing in the morning we wake up and get dressed and do that hurry out the door thing, but it's all worth it.  Because this is what we are getting ready for:
     How fun is that?  Each month they make and paint a new project for free.  Last month they made a Wizard of Oz birdhouse with the witch's feet underneath.  This month, they made an EMS truck and got to explore an ambulance up close.
     It was so much fun this month.  All the kids did great on their EMS trucks.  They built and painted in record time.  Each used different colors and Punk placed her signature heart on her truck's roof.  They had a fun time.
     But the ambulance was the real show stopper.  We're very fortunate that the kids' school brings in the smoke house, fire truck, and ambulance every year for the kids to see and they love it.  But this time, it was a bit more interactive.  The girls got to go in like always, but there were stretchers and things that they could sit on.
     Just as we were about to leave, Cutie saw that a boy got his face bandaged and asked if one of us could do that.  So Mouth asked for her completely unaware that she would be the one getting it done.  Delta Guy wrapped her head up in a bandage, and then tried to make her trick or treat.  I think it was mortifying to her, which made it way funnier for the rest of us.  We were cracking up so hard.  But she wasn't scarred for life, so we're good.  She had fun.
     After we left, we went to visit my sister and the boys, then home to get Punk and Mouth ready for their games.  Punk refused to play because Daddy took her drink away.  Mouth didn't have her mouth guard for half the game and didn't try as hard as she could have the second half.  It was also drizzly, so it was a crappy couple of hours.  But we survived.
     After that we went home and had a marathon of House because that's how you end a day.  With House.  And Pepsi.

Until my next post,

See? I Told Ya!

Baby Bee at Kids Club
     I knew I couldn't keep a consistent diary, but that's fine.  I'm going to attempt to backtrack and make up for the last 3 days.  That puts me at Friday, the 3rd, right?  Friday was the first time we had direct deposit so that I didn't have to wait until my husband got home before shopping.  He might end up regretting that.  So what I did first that morning was make sure that the kids got off to school, then I dropped the Bee off at preschool.  I had to stay a little while, but got out after about 40 minutes, so it could have been worse.  I was going to go shopping in my neighboring town, but on my way out of the school the counselor asked me about paperwork that I hadn't dropped off yet in the bigger town.  So I decided to go shopping there even though it meant less time to shop.
      I went through my sister's town because we don't have a highway through ours.  Her house is right before the highway on-ramp and I usually stop in to see if they need to go in to town to save gas and you know, just to be nice.  I almost didn't that day because I knew that I didn't have much time and I didn't want anyone to feel rushed, but I stopped anyway.  Turns out the alarm clock misfired and a couple kiddos didn't make the bus on time, so it was good that I stopped in.  We got them off to school and went to drop off paperwork and shop.  It turns out that shopping without a bunch of kids in tow is actually not as scary as I thought, it was nice.
     That said, I went over budget.  I couldn't help it, all those things that I could use and no exact number of bills in my pocket.  Too much freedom for such a small girl.  But most of what I got was for the house, so at least there is that.  All the cool cleaning supplies has gotten me back into the rhythm of things, which I totally needed.
     Anyway, later in the day Big One had a soccer game.  Her coach/kids club leader offered to give her a ride.  I was so thankful because I had actually taken the initiative to invite the people who had called me earlier in the week about Punk and their grandson not getting along to kids club.  The thought there was that we could see the two children interact and see exactly who is doing what so that things could be worked on.  I opted out of Big One's game to see if they would come.  I was sorry to miss it.
     Anyway, so I dropped The Big One off early with Coach K at the kids club building so that they could leave and the other minions begged to stay there.  We were an hour and a half early for club, so I got a pizza to fend off the grumpy bugs.  That was pretty much the end of the night.  The people that I had waited for didn't show and Big One's game didn't go so well because players didn't show and they were short-handed.  But the day itself went well.

Okay, on to the Joy challenge for that day.

3 gifts caught, let go, mid-way:
Tough!  Man, these aren't easy some days, especially when you wait so stinking long to do it.  Alright, 1.  Caught.  My husband, not that he's a fish or anything, but he IS a great catch.  Poor guy surprised me with a hot steak bomb sandwich without knowing that I had gotten pizza.  He's always doing such thoughtful things.  I ate it anyways, it was good :)  And the day before, he brought home a lobster from his work's BBQ for me.  He does things for me that don't involve food, I swear.  But those were two very recent examples.  So I am thankful that I "caught" Broofy.

2.  Let Go:  My apprehension.  It kind of goes along with the whole letting my guard down thing.  There is NO WAY that even a month ago I would be hanging out at kids club for an hour and a half before the club started.  A month ago, the only things in my mind were the feelings of awkwardness and constantly wondering how others perceived me.  I also didn't have the patience to deal with all four younger kids in public.  Even if they were well behaved, the smallest misbehavior would have had me frustrated and worried about what people were thinking.  What can I say, I was depressed and depressed people don't think rationally sometimes.

3.  Mid-way:  Well I guess that would be the Punk thing.  Also NO WAY, Stinking Jose would I have ever invited Bus Kid's grandparents anywhere within a mile radius of me even a month ago.  So the fact that I came to meet them half way is a huge step for me and for the whole situation.  I really feel great about the progress I am making.

So those are my joys for Friday.  I'd say have a great day, but you'll hear from me thrice more today while I make up Saturday, Sunday, and then today.  So until then,

02 October, 2014

Putting Things Off

     I'm stalling.  I have so much housework to do today.  That toilet incident completely messed with my Cleaning Mojo.  Or whatever.  It messed things up, anyway.  So now I am looking at all the extra stuff that has accumulated since then and am feeling the desperate need to detach myself.  So I am going to do my Joy Challenge.  That makes 2 days in a row, I am on a roll!  Okay, here goes.

3 gifts falling:

     Well that's a tough one.  I'm sure I'm supposed to say leaves or something.   But how about these instead:
1.  My guard.  Truth be told, I have been too scared for too long.  Worried about everything, just so anxiety-ridden.  Scared about how I come across to others who just don't know that I'm shy, scared that I sound ridiculous to everyone I talk to because I'm nervous and say the wrong things, scared of the -ex, scared that my home will never be organized enough for sleepovers, just stupid and senseless things.  Either these things will be or they won't.  It's good to be aware, but stressing over it is a waste of time and energy.  So I am thankful that I am starting to be able to get away from that constant fear and nervousness and that I am able to enjoy each day completely.

2.  The price of gas.  Hallelujah!  I heard the price of gas is supposed to drop below $3/gallon for most of the country.  I haven't heard such awesome news in a long time.  With the prices of everything else going up, like food and household goods, it's nice to know that I will have the gas to get to the store and still have a budget when I get there.
3.  Humidity.  Thank God for that.  Falling humidity comes with falling temperatures.  THAT, I'm not so thrilled about.  But as I sit here typing this, an incredibly wonderful family friend has come by to drop off some sweaters for me.  I have had such a lack of sweaters my entire adult life.  I have coats, but not a whole lot that I can really wear inside while I am at the computer or in bed.  I am so grateful for her visit, she has been such a blessing over the years.  I can't wait to enjoy the warmth this year.

     I suppose if I have to deal with falling temperatures, then the falling leaves are also nice.  So I will throw that in here because I know that I'm supposed to.

     Okay, enough procrastinating, on to clean the kitchen and do some laundry.

Enjoy your Thursday!

01 October, 2014

Recovering From Yesterday With a Bit of Thanks.

 Happy First Day of October!!!

     Yesterday was not a great day.  I swore that I wouldn't let it bring me down and that I would rise above and well, I didn't.  I allowed the day to just wipe me out.  After the toilet flooding incident, I got a phone call at home from a grandparent of someone that Punk has been clashing with for years.  I guess she wrote a pretty mean note to this boy.  I found out that it was not only my 8 year old, but that an 8th grader was assisting her and doing the actual writing.  The fact that someone found my home number and called nearly gave me a heart attack.  I don't give out my number and it isn't listed under my name or my husband's name.  In fact, I just don't do phones at all, I don't even call my friends or family except for a few select people.  Truth be told, I am petrified of certain situations and awkwardness is one of them.  I think I cried for a half hour after I got off the phone, and the phone call could have been a LOT worse.
     However, I digress.  It's over and I'm moving forward.  Today, a wonderful woman posted something on her Facebook that reminded me of something that I haven't been doing very well.  Showing thanks.  Don't get me wrong, I always say thank you when someone does something for me, but I don't show gratitude for the things that no person is directly responsible for.  Things of this world that I should be thanking God for or events that we attend, things I don't know how to say thank you for.
     So without further ado, the first day of my Joy Challenge.  Disclaimer: I absolutely do not expect that I will remember to do this every day.  My brain could only dream of being that functional :)

3 Gifts Orange:
1. The pumpkin that will grow from the seed that Baby Bee placed into the potted soil this morning at school. I am thankful that she can write her own name and I am thankful that she is always thinking of her brother, who she made one for when hers was done. I am also thankful that she is enjoying school, even after I leave.

2. The bag of pumpkin spice coffee sitting by the Keurig. I don't use coffee often and will probably still be digging into that bag long after pumpkin season is over. But I am thankful that I have coffee here to fall back on if I can't afford Dunkin. In fact, I am thankful for coffee in general. Especially the Pumpkin Mocha flavor at Dunkin right now

3. The title block of this blog. It's pretty much just an online diary, but it will be my therapy of sorts to help me stay on the bright side of things. It was a free blog template, so I am happy for that.

     I'm sure that I could come up with more, like the Home Depot event this Saturday that we go to every month or the pumpkin patch that we will be visiting, also this Saturday.  But I will stop here for now.

Enjoy your day,

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