Monday, June 19, 2017

M-O-V-I-N-G

One of the goals for 2017 was to move Momma's Silver Lining to it's own site.
This weekend I decided to take the plunge and see what kind of mischief I could get myself in to with websiting, websitting, website-ing.  I don't think any of those are actual words.  But away I went!
Ok, so the new website is probably a bit basic (for now).  Give me a little time to learn a little more and I'll add a few more things.  This is all leading somewhere!  I've got some ideas for Momma's Silver Lining!  Don't worry the blog isn't going anywhere!  This nightly writing has become a big part of me that I'm not at all ready to give up.
So for those that follow me on google, please bookmark the new site!  Tomorrow night's blog will be off of google and on to Momma's own page!
For those that follow thru my facebook links, no worries, I'll still be sharing on facebook!
Here is the new site:  https://mommas-silverlining.com/
Please feel free to send me any feedback you may have!
Tonight I am thankful for this opportunity to move Momma's Silver Lining and open up more possibilities of things to be thankful for!

Again, here's the new site :)
https://mommas-silverlining.com/


Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Secret

I've had this blog rolling around my head for a few days now.  So on this wonderful Father's Day, my blog is being written a bit earlier in the day than usual!
I've had the privilege of knowing a few different fathers in my life.  The styles are all different.  But I think I have pinpointed the secret of what makes an awesome father!!  Here it is . . . drum roll please . . . He Tries.  That's it.  Just that one decision made over and over and over again, numerous times a day, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.  He keeps trying to be there for his kids because he loves them.  And that makes a great father!
I didn't quite realize when the hubster and I started out, but I definitely have some hard limits on acceptable behavior for the father of my children.  I was raised by two different men in my life, and it left quite an impression on me for what is and is not ok with children.  Seriously, I hadn't thought much of it and didn't even realize that this was a part of me until I had kids.  Of course my husband also had his upbringing and his ideas of what a dad should do.  Ah!  Talk about a collision course!
We have butted heads many times over the rearing of our children!  But the awesome thing, and the thing that I've come to appreciate so much over the years - is that he keeps trying.  We both love the kids.  We both want them to grow in to the best people that they can be.  And although we get frustrated with each other and with the kids, we keep trying.
There are dads that don't.  There are dads that give up.  There are dads that go away.  There are dads that put themselves first and their children last.  There are dads that don't even care that they are dads.  There are dads that look thru such a hazy, self-absorbed life lens, that they can't even see who their kids really are and what they need.
I am thankful every day that the father to my children tries.  His favorite dinner dish of cereal, means that he feeds the children.  His irrational insistence that their socks match (and my socks, although I truly don't care) means that he wants them dressed well and paying attention to detail.  His chocolate milk that he makes for the children with half the glass being chocolate and the other half being milk, means that he loves them and wants to spoil them with yummy things.  His sharing of inappropriate childhood rhymes means that wants to laugh with them and have fun with them.  He tries, because he loves them.
Today I am thankful that for the past almost 14 years of parenthood, I have had this man by my side.  We've had many "Can I see you in the other room?" moments.  We've had many eye rolling moments - at each other equally.  We've had some tears.  We've had many hugs, many kisses, many, many laughs, many talks, and a whole lot of love!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

In Writing

I will put in writing that the hubster is nervous of me signing on to do a 5k in the fall.  I had previously signed the kids and I up for a 5k in the fall.  And he was ok with that one because I wasn't going to try to run the majority of that race with the kids.
Now, with this other 5k with my cheerleading group, I'd like to be able to run as much as I can.  I will admit that my knee is not 100% and I don't know if it ever will be.  But I also know that the last few months, I have been focused on making it thru life and not taking care of myself.  So I have not been exercising my knee like I should be to keep it strong.
If I end up injuring myself on this 5k.  I will admit that the hubster was right and maybe I should sometimes admit that I am not unstoppable.  But, there's no need to admit that right now.  So I've got a goal!  Honestly, I don't know about running the whole thing.  I am taken back to my goal for my last birthday to run a mile, on the one year anniversary of injuring myself.  I worked quite a bit towards that goal.  And I hit it!  And I hadn't been in that much pain or limped that bad in many months prior to that day.  But, I hit the goal! :)
So we'll see.  I don't want to injure myself again . . . or injure myself further.  But I really don't think I should I try for anything less that what I might be capable of either.  And how will I know what I am capable of unless I get out there and try?  :)
Tonight I am thankful for some kiddos coming to the track with me today.  We did some laps and I ran some bleachers.  And I have a LOOOONNNGG way to go!!  So here I go!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Easter?

My kiddos were slacking on their egg hunting duties.  A week or so ago, I went out and cleared out the favorite egg laying places.  I guess I made the chicky-ladies a little upset that I stole their collection.
They are good if the eggs are taken every day, or maybe every other day.  But when they have a bunch all together . . well, they get a little touchy, seeing all their hard work disappear.
Since I cleaned out their favorite spots, I've only gotten a few eggs.  I've been looking slowly for their new spot.  I suspected that they were laying their eggs by the pine trees.  Today, my daughter stumbled on their stash!
In the irony of ironies, my feminine feathered friends were laying their eggs just about a foot outside my office window!!!  I've seen them up here a lot.  But I thought they were coming up just to visit with the kittens.  They do seem to like the kittens.  Maybe they had a deal worked out for the kittens to act cute and cuddly while distracting the humans from the eggs??  I'll never know.  I do know they are BUSTED!
I had the boys try the eggs in the water trick.  And all the eggs are still good!  I'll be boiling some eggs up tonight!
Tonight I am thankful for finding the new egg spot!  These chicky-ladies like to keep us guessing!  I think they laugh when no one is looking ;)


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Comfort

Some of these blogs were easier when the kids were younger.  Now, with the kids being a bit older, I try to be more conscious of what I write about them.  I don't want to embarrass anyone.
Today something happened where one of my more independent children needed me.  I've gotta tell you.  I honestly didn't expect the situation.  The child had been in the same situation before, so nothing was new.  But I was needed to comfort my child.
My sweet kiddo who is growing up need only to ask and I was there.  I don't like that my child was nervous  and a little scared.  I don't like that at all.  But I like that I can still give comfort.  I mean, hey, I'm 36 and I still call my mom when I'm upset.  So it's not like I thought my giving comfort position was over by any means!  Today, I just wasn't expecting it and it turned my heart to mush.
Tonight I am thankful that my kiddos know that I am always there for them!  They will always know that I will always be there for them!  There is no question.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Six

Today was my six month appointment after my Lasik eye surgery.
I am seeing wonderfully!  I am still having halos around lights at night.  This was a problem I had with my contacts as well.  My pupils are larger than average, which causes this.  So I think this is as good as it gets.
Hey, I'll take it!!!  I just keep looking at my GPS light or my cell phone light when I drive at night to keep my pupils from getting too big in the dark.  It works fairly well and has been my go-to might vision method for a long time.
I really thought I'd get in trouble today for not sleeping enough (I'm still working on it!).  Fortunately the eye doctor was looking at my eye itself and how the tissue has healed, and all that good stuff.
So six months later, I thought I should write my feelings for all who have contacted me and wanted to know if this surgery was worth it.  Here it is - ABSOLUTELY!!  I wish I would have done it years ago!  Fear held me up.
I know the cost can be a factor also.  The money was a bummer to spend.  For me, it was a celebration though.  My big, fun thing to do after completing the Dave Ramsey Step 2 was to get this surgery.  Some people celebrate with a party or a cruise.  Not me, I had lasers cut my eyeballs!!  ;)
Tonight I am thankful for 6 months of sight without contacts or glasses!!!  It's been wonderful!  I don't regret it at all!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Duck Story

Once upon a time there was a boy who wanted a pet duck.
The little boy went to his Mommy and asked her if he could get a pet duck.  The mom didn't know much about ducks.  She told the boy that he would have to research ducks to see which kind would be best for them.
The boy did as he was asked.  He read duck catalogs.  He searched online.  He decided that Khaki Campbells would be the best duck for him.  They lay lots of eggs.  They are friendly.  And they do well in the cold winters.
Unfortunately for the little boy, this particular year was a bad year for birds.  Bird sales were limited.  Poultry Swaps and Auctions were cancelled.  There was a bird disease that was sweeping thru and ruined the chances to getting the boys ducks.  The boy's mom found some Khaki Campbells for sale in another state; but it was a ridiculous amount to pay for shipping.
So the boy waited.
The next summer the family got some little Pekin Ducks.  These ducks were added to the family the same time turkeys were added.  Something wasn't well for the ducks and two of them died.  The third went to live with a family that had other ducks.  And that duck was very happy in his new home.
So the boy waited.
The next summer, no new birds were added to the family's little farm.
So the boy waited.
Finally, this summer, the boy went with his family to pick out new chicks at the farm store.  He was so excited to see that the farm store had a whole bin of Khaki Campbell ducks!!  The boy got closer and saw that all the ducks had already been bought.
The boy talked to his parents when they got home.  The parents called the farm store.  The store said they were getting to the end of the season.  They could order some more ducks, but they would need to be paid for in advance.  The dad took the boy to the store and they paid for the new ducklings.
Then the boy waited.
A week went by, and no call from the farm store.  The mom called the store.  They said it would probably be sometimes in the next week.  Today the call finally came in!  And on her way home from working, the mom stopped and picked up the ducklings.  She brought them home in a box and told the boy to open the box.  The ducklings were very quiet.  So quiet that the boy had no idea that they were in the box (although the mom thinks the boy suspected).  He opened the box, and there they were!!
Tonight I am thankful for our new ducks!  More than that, I am thankful for my boy's patience and persistence to wait for his ducks.  These may end up being the most loved ducks this state has ever seen!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ketchup and Stress

I've told the kids, this is my catch up week.  I've been behind on things for weeks and weeks and weeks.
I've had great plans to get caught up, that I just couldn't follow thru with.  In the meantime, kid stuff was done, school stuff was done, everyone ate food, and wore clothes.  So yeah, the important stuff was good.  And now I get to work to regain my sanity.
Of course my goofball daughter came and put a bottle of ketchup on my desk.  She said there was my ketchup and now I could go play :)
I appreciate her sentiment.  I'll get to play soon!
Tonight I am thankful for a week to catch up.  I am thankful for humor.  And I am thankful for this Stress Away oil blend right here . . . it is definitely noticeable!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weird

Weird is good.  I think I usually fall outside of "normal".  And I am not only comfortable, but very happy being weird.  Seriously, like this is a life long thing.
So when I first started reading Dave Ramsey books, 2 1/2 years ago now, I was a little drawn to the talk about not being "normal" with debt; and to instead be weird.  It was like my ears tuned in just a little more . . weird . . . that's right up my alley!
I've given updates in this blog with our walk thru Step 1 and Step 2.  Lately we've been moving on Step 3.  I'll admit, we're moving a little slowly on it.  I may need to re-adjust the end goal date for all the steps. Life has a way of changing plans.  Things came up that were more important than money, and those things got attention.
There have been weeks where we've gotten off budget.  But, we've gotten right back on.  That is life too, you take a step back sometimes.  But then you step forward again!
There are some things about this plan that are completely awesome, which are simply a part of our lives now.  We don't stress about bills like we used to.  And a big part that I have loved has been our sinking funds.  We established those while working thru Step 2.  The $1000 emergency fund was not enough for me to sleep well at night.  There are a lot of emergencies in life that cost more than that.  If we were closing down credit cards and putting all our extra money to pay things off . . . . what would happen in an emergency?  So yeah, we did the sinking funds early in the Step 2 phase.
One of our funds is reserved for household items.  While conceptually, this fund would be for like new towels or rugs, etc; we decided the household needed something a little more fun tonight.
The hubster has been wanting to get a basketball hoop for awhile.  At first he wanted one on a pole.  Then he thought one to attach to the barn.  We had a project one that we couldn't save.  And tonight was finally the night to purchase one.  We even had a mPerk to save money on a basketball hoop purchase!  (Because I'll always love saving money!)  This summer, my kiddos will have fun shooting some hoops!
If you would have asked me 5 years ago what I thought about budgets, I wouldn't have had a lot to say.  I knew back then that we should have one; but we didn't.  Overall to me, a budget sounded like a limiting kind of thing.  And with my business, it just sounded difficult.  Fast forward to today and I can testify that a budget is actually freeing.  When you have a plan and tell your money where to go; you no longer look down at the checkbook and wonder where it went.  If we had wanted a basketball hoop 5 years ago, we would have went out and charged one on the credit card.  And then paid for it for the next many months, maybe even year.  Tonight, we had the cash sitting there and paid cash for it.
Weird?  Yes, we may be a little.  We do things differently now.  And we are teaching the kids to do differently.  I still pray regularly that they remember this journey.  I pray that they never become in debt.  I pray that they are always living in Financial Peace!
*By The Way - around Christmas I was giving away copies of Financial Peace.  I have decided to always keep some on hand.  So if anyone every wants a copy, just let me know!  This stuff is life changing!
Tonight I am thankful for this weird way of doing things!  I am thankful for budgets and having a plan for our finances . . even that includes having fun!  We don't budget for every dollar to go towards the bills.  That would be no fun!  And we haven't lost sight of our goal.  We are going all the way thru to Step 7!  P.S. for those who aren't familiar with Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps; Step 7 is when everything is paid off, even the house, money is invested for the future, and you just Build Wealth and Give!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

It Just Got Real . . . . (Yikes!)

At our last cheer meeting, my wonderful coaches suggested a challenge for the kids to do over the summer.  This would help them be in shape in the fall and improve their skills.  I was game for that.  Then we were talking and added in a goal of running a 5k together (parents invited too!).
Do you know what this means?  I seriously need to get my act together!
For the past several weeks, I have made great weekend resolves for the upcoming weekdays.  Then the week hits and my resolves go out the window.  Yes, for me that all comes back to scheduling.  I do not leave enough time in one day to do four days worth of work and sleep.  I know this.  I'm working on it.  This is going to be one of those hard-to-learn-lessons.  But, I WILL GET IT!  It's just gonna take me longer than I originally thought!
This morning was the time for the challenge.  I was wondering who would come, with it being the morning after the last day of school.  We had a pretty good turn out.  Better than I had anticipated.  We went over stuff.  We played some music.  We sweated in the sun.  We had ice cream.  And we ended early, feeling a little like rotisserie chickens in the heat!
And now . . it's real.  The challenges are passed out.  The 5k plans, date, and information, is in writing and out there.
I'll admit, that I haven't ran . . like really ran, since my birthday.  Last September I had a goal to run one mile.  It had been one year since I had tore my PCL - yes I had done it on my birthday in 2015.  I once also got rear-ended in a drive-thru line by my insurance agent on my birthday.  I should just stay home on my birthdays and eat ice cream all day!  Um . . sorry, I got side tracked.  Anyway, I worked hard.  I built my knee back up.  I hit my goal!  I ran one entire mile.  Then I limped horribly for the rest of the day.  I was so proud of myself and so done with the pain of pushing a less than 100% joint, that I haven't been on the treadmill since.  I have ran a little in the yard and things like that.  But nothing major.  Well, it's time for that to change!!
Tonight I am thankful for challenging the girls this year and myself!  It's time I took on a new challenge . . I'll tell you that my motivation is not here yet . . but my body sure needs this!  So where motivation is lacking, determination takes over!
Oh yeah, and we added an extra bonus that if I can do the splits by the end of the season, the girls will have to do something.  I don't know what yet.  But I know they have good odds.  I have never been able to do the splits in my 30-something years.  I guess there's a first time for everything though . . .

Friday, June 9, 2017

Bad Decisions

I read an article the other day that has been bothering me.
Here we are, the last day of school . . the day that I've been waiting for . . . and the kiddos and I had a very serious talk.
The article I read was about a boy who lived close to me.  He made a bad decision.  He had some new friends who did some bad things.  And he did some bad things too.  And he felt that this was so bad that he had to end his life.  The article had some other things involved.  There is concern about how adults handled things who saw he was upset.  I couldn't even imagine what his parents are going thru. And I pray I never have to find out.
So I sat the kiddos down and we had a talk.  I told them about this boy.  And I told them that they need to ALWAYS remember that there is nothing that they could ever do that we couldn't face together.  I reminded them that everyone makes bad decisions sometimes.  Some bad decisions are bigger than other bad decisions.  But the most important thing is how you handle the situation.  You apologize and you work to make it right.  No matter what it is.  And their dad and myself will always be here to help with that.
One kiddo thought she was being silly and said, "What if we accidentally kill someone?"  She thought she was joking, but that's real.  I said, Ok, that happens.  Sometimes people accidentally kill other people.  And if that happened, we would face it together.  My mom once had a client whose 16 year old son was driving in to the sun one morning, reached for his sun glasses, and hit two women riding bikes.  One woman died and he was charged with manslaughter.  It was an accident.  A terrible, terrible accident.  And if something like that ever happened, we would apologize and do whatever was the right thing to do.
Tonight I am thankful for the chance to hug my babies today.  I am thankful for the chance to talk to them and to try to cement in their brains that they are never alone, that we will always love them; and that we will always try to help them do what is right.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Woo Hoo!!!!

Tomorrow is it!  The last day of school!  We did it!  We all did it!  We made it!
This school year has been rough.  But we all made it!
We are going to have a picnic tomorrow :)  I am looking forward to some time for the kids to relax, recenter, and retreat from daily pressures!  Kids need to have some stress free days for weeks at a time.  I've noticed that with that, my kids become the best versions of themselves :)  They do good just being kids and having fun :)  Kids being kids . . I love it!
Tomorrow I am thankful that it is THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!  I've had a countdown going for weeks and weeks now!  And just like this train we saw today on the field trip, we'll be OUTTA THERE!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Proud

We are Sooooo close to the end of school!!  I seriously cannot wait!!!
Tomorrow is a F - Day.  What?!  "Field"  Geesh people!  My middle schoolers have Field Day and my elementary schoolers have Field Trips!
Today was awards day in the middle school.  I am very proud of my kiddos!  Not because they got a piece of paper - although that is cool, don't get me wrong!  But I am proud that they both survived a year of middle school!  My sixth grader has done very well with the added freedom and responsibility!  My eighth grader has done amazingly well with middle school drama and struggles!
Of course I am proud of my elementary kiddos too!  My fifth grader has plowed thru this last year of elementary with flying colors amidst all the growing pains of fifth grade!  And my third grader has crawled, climbed, and just kept pushing thru this year to see it to the end.
Yes tonight (and always) I am thankful to be a proud momma to four amazing kiddos!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thankful for Both

I learned awhile ago that taking responsibility for life is a key to happiness in life.  I could complain that I have to work.  Or I can take ownership of the work; and be thankful that I get to choose to work today.
I could complain that my house is always messy.  Or I can take ownership of my busy, crazy house; and be thankful that it is crazy and full of love.
I could complain that we have to cook the food (again) to eat.  Or I can take responsibility for the choice to be economical and healthier to eat at home; and be thankful that we have food to eat.
I could complain that weeks where I take off time for field trips, I work like crazy before and after to make up for that time.  Or I can take ownership that I choose to do both, field trips with the kids and maintain a steady work flow; and be thankful that I have the opportunity to do both.
Tonight I am thankful that I get to go on field trips, like the one coming up on Thursday.  I am also thankful that my job allows me to work more before and after a field trip to make up for that lost time.  And with that thankfulness, I am going to bed now.  I'm exhausted!

Monday, June 5, 2017

99 Meets 91

Imagine this - you are 91 years old.  You actually just had a birthday, 2 days ago and turned 91!
As you look back over the years, you have a lot to be grateful for!  You were married to a wonderful man for over 50 years.  You have 5 wonderful children, 12 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.  You are very blessed!
Of course, your 91 years had some rough times.  Every life has some tough times.  To hear your story, well your rough times got pretty rough.  Yet somehow thru faith and perspective, you've always smiled.  You've always seen the blessings thru the dark days.  And you've always remembered that someone else would love to have the things you would be inclined to take for granted.  For that, you try to never take things for granted!
You somehow just don't feel 91.  You sing and dance.  You play with toys in the toy aisle of the store.  You hold the door open for "little old ladies" who are 30 years your junior.  Age is a number that will never define you; so you just live your life, enjoying your blessings.
Now here you are, 2 days after your 91st birthday.  You live with your daughter and her husband.  They take good care of you.  It took some adjusting when you moved in.  But you feel at home and loved!  Today your son-in-law is having some of his extended family over for a visit.  His aunt is coming from over an hour away.
When she arrives, she sits down in a chair by you.  Your daughter tells her that you just had your 91st birthday.  And she says, "Well you're just a kid!".  The aunt is 99.  She'll be 100 in September. :)  You enjoy chatting with her!
Everyone in the room sees a few things in common here.  You both have a sense of humor!  You both are faithfully grateful for the good things in life!  And you both have a mutual appreciation and love for your families!
I'm no rocket scientist, but I see a trend here!
Tonight I am thankful for my Grandma, the kid :)  And I am thankful for Mark's Aunt Kate, also a bit of a kid herself :)  And tonight I am thankful to be blessed to see the important things in life, lived out right in front of me in my life.  These ladies are excellent examples on how to live life . . and I'm taking notes!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Determined Children

I'll always remember the first summer that my parents made a list.  It hung on the refrigerator.  It was of varying jobs around yard that they wanted done and what they would pay for the job.
Now I know some people would say that my brother and I should have just done the jobs.  We did have chores that we did because we in the house and had to be responsible.  These jobs on the list were bigger tasks.  And it sent a good message of working hard and making money.
Since I was younger, and a girl, there were jobs on that list that were meant for my brother.  Well, I wanted the money.  So while we were home during spring break, I picked one of the harder jobs that had a higher dollar amount.  I don't remember what I was saving for at the time.  I don't think it was even about the money so much as that they assumed my brother would do it.  I was never told I couldn't.  I just remember seeing the surprised look on their faces when they came home after work that day and saw what I was doing.  Well, the look was surprised and proud ;)
I finished the job.  And I earned the money.  And I was pretty proud myself!
Tonight the hubster and I talked to our kids about our own list that we would have available for kids who wanted to earn some extra cash this summer.  The first thing on the list is moving some heavy rocks.  A lot of heavy rocks.  It just so happens that my youngest just found some fancy, shmancy Pokemon set in this big huge box thing for $50.  He just saw it yesterday in the store and had a tear running down his face when I said he'd have to save up for it.  He just knew he couldn't save up enough money to go buy that thing before someone else did.
Guess where my youngest was tonight?  Out in the yard moving rocks.  And he'll keep moving rocks tomorrow and the rest of this week too!
Tonight I am thankful for determined children.  When used correctly, this trait will take them far!  I am thankful for a chance to teach the kiddos to work hard for what they want! 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

FAKE

So, let me get real with you for a minute or two.
I am the heaviest right now that I've ever been (not including pregnancies).  I am not proud of this.
I have tried eating healthier, and nothing changes.
I have increased my exercise, and nothing changes.
Do you want to know why?
Because I know why.
Despite a good effort at the beginning of this year to sleep more every night; I'm still not sleeping enough.
Yes, my thyroid is a little off.  And a few other things are a little off.  But guess what plays in to thyroid and other things . . sleep.
So, on a good note, I'm not sleeping 4 hours a night anymore.  I am up to an average of 6.  Guess what?  6 hours is not enough for me.  Especially after years of not sleeping enough.  I need to do like a month of 10 hours probably to make my body happy.  Yeah, I don't see that happening either . . .
So I'm shooting for 8.  Maybe I can do 8.  I actually had a thought today . . I need to shoot for 9 hours.  Then I can get closer to hitting 8; at least 7 then maybe?
A friend recently lost 30 pounds and wrote about using her Fitbit to see the calories she was burning versus what she was eating.  I'm not really knowledgeable about Fitbits.  All I see is people posting how many steps they've taken.  That's not really impressive to me (sorry guys!).  But after reading her post, I wondered what else a Fitbit could do.  So I looked it up.  Did you know it can also track sleep?
I hopped on amazon and looked up Fitbits.  Did you know they are over $100?!  Um . . well, I'm cheap . . . . er frugal.  So I went looking for a knock-off.  I found one on amazon called MoreFit.  The reviews were good and the price was much better.
It came today!  I wore it as I walked around this evening.  And I'm going to wear it tonight.  I don't plan on wearing it every night.  But I'm interested to see how I sleep.  I wonder if my sleep is not as good as it could be?  I mean I know the hours of sleep have definitely been an issue for years and years.  But maybe there is more to that?  Maybe there's not?  It'll be fun to find out!!
And if I can get disciplined enough to sleep enough, this MoreFit will at least help me with the eating healthy and moving enough.  I usually do fairly well.  But there are days that I don't.  And this nifty little thing has a reminder on it.  So if I forget to be moving, it will remind me to be moving!
Tonight I am thankful for this new little wrist thing.  I don't know how long I'll stick with it (because I've never been one for wearing things on my wrist); but it'll be educational while I do it!


Friday, June 2, 2017

One Week

There is one week left of school!!!  I can't wait!!
I think this year I want school to end more than the kids want it to end!  There has been so much fighting and drama.  Yesterday I had two kids in tears as we left the school.  They need a break!  And their Momma needs a break!
Four and a half days of school next week.  Two kids have field trips on one of the days. Field day is in there too.  We can do this!  We can totally do this!
Tonight I am thankful that this school year is almost over!!!  If you hear a victory yell Friday afternoon . . don't be alarmed.  It's just me.  Celebrating peace at last!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Intentionality

I have been hearing a lot about being intentional.  This is being talked about in the coaching, the videos, the discussions that I have been involved in to learn more about how to be better.
And I can tell you, it is spot on.  It is probably impossible to improve anything, myself, a system, a plan, my family, my health, anything; without being intentional about it.
The last two weeks I have had a hard time with this.  Guess what?  It is hard to be intentional (like the good kind of intentional with though and purpose) when you are emotional.  And I use "emotional" very broadly.  Anxiety, depression, worry . . all these just bury intentions.
It makes me believe that i am on the verge of something great.  Have you ever felt that way?  Like the devil is trying hard to throw me off my path . . . why is he trying so hard?  What's around this next bend?  It's gotta be something amazing, or he wouldn't care!
So here I am.  Two weeks later and I've got a mess around me.  I'm not beating myself up at all.  This was a mess.  And it is done.  And while I was working on that mess, I let the rest of life become a mess.
As I have logged in this blog for the past many years, I work too much.  Working too much before was intentional.  We had an awesome goal and we nailed it!  Now, I am working on NOT working too much.  And I have to be intentional about it.  Because my intentionally working too much was for so many years, it is now a habit.  Working 80+ hours a week is my norm, my trained reaction, and my comfort zone.  But I don't want it.  And this is the year for that to change.
I had made some good strides towards that so far.  And these past two weeks, I've just lost them.  I didn't stick to any of the procedures that I've put in place.  I was just on autopilot.
I hadn't listened or read any of my Entreleadership stuff for the past two weeks because I was so stressed.  And I really didn't want to try and handle any new ideas.  But today while I was driving around, I tuned in.  And they were talking about being intentional.  Yep . . . I needed to hear that.
Earlier this week I written about the decision to help myself a little again by sleeping enough, eating right, exercising, etc.  And now I'm taking it a step further.  It is time to be intentional again in every area.  Because I really can't be intentional about much else when I am working so much.
Tonight I am thankful for being intentional.  It is a decision.  A well thought, and well felt decision put in to action.  I'm getting back on my path ;)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Great Job!

My little girl was so nervous about playing the ukulele for 5th grade graduation!  She brought it home from school to practice last Friday.  And she spent a good part of the holiday weekend practicing.  She was ready.  But she was nervous.
Tonight she got to borrow her big sister's dress.  She got to wear a little make-up.  And she did awesome at graduation!
We do have a week and a half left of school.  But *gulp*, I'm staring at one more graduation for my older daughter . . . and then I'll have . . . *double gulp* . . . a high schooler, two middle schoolers, and only one elementary schooler left.  This is craziness!
I am so proud of these four!  They are amazing!  And I am so blessed to be their mom!
Tonight we came back home and had s'mores on the patio.  At home on the patio, they are just my kids.  They aren't in different schools or different grades.  They are just my kiddos, laughing and having fun.  It was the perfect way to celebrate the graduation!  We may have a repeat s'more night next week after middle school graduation.
Tonight I am thankful that my Gracie did so great tonight!  AND I am thankful that she didn't fall down!  I let her wear heels that were about a size too big for her feet.  If she took after her mother completely, she would have face planted at the ceremony.  So I am very thankful that she takes after her name and has more grace than I do! :)  I'm proud of you baby girl!  Good job tonight!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Socially Incorrect

I speak when I'm told I should be quiet.  I'm quiet when everyone else is talking.  I sit when I should stand.  I stand when I should sit.  I interrupt when I'm excited.  I sneak out the back when others are saying their good-byes.  When others stand in the back, I walk to the front.
I don't stay in uncomfortable situations just because it would be polite.  And I put myself in more high tension situations to find answers and ultimately, peace.
Today, I had a lot of appointments.  I was driving for most of the day.  The awesome part of my job is the driving.  I get a lot of thinking time.  I was praying and thinking and thinking and praying.  I prayed to forgive.  I prayed to let go.  And it became very obvious that I wasn't done with this yet.  There is one more person that I need to talk to.  And I will do that tomorrow.  Then I'll lay this all down to rest.
It's good when you see what you need to do to let go.  You can't let go of a balloon if the string is still wrapped around your fingers.  You can't let go until you unwrap the string.  Sometimes it is best to just cut the string.  But sometimes you work a little harder to save the string; by taking time and effort to unravel it.
Tonight I am thankful for my social incorrect-ness.  I sometimes call it social awkwardness . . but it's really not.  Most times I don't feel awkward - I could care less what social etiquette is, or how people react to my level of social interaction.  And times like now, the lack of concern for social interaction etiquette does not prohibit me from walking in to situations which maybe I should be more concerned about.  But I'm not.  I'm looking forward to unraveling this string and letting go.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Shaken

S-T-R-E-S-S
For the past two weeks, I have tried and tried to get away from that horrible word.  A little over two weeks ago, I was supposed to have an entire day all to myself.  I was so excited to get away, unplug, re-energize, and brainstorm.  Instead, I spent that morning talking to a state worker and racking my brain at who could possibly think I was a monster.
Since then, I have found out enough to keep my brain half crazy.  It's been a busy work time.  It's been a busy end-of-school-year kid time.  It's been a time filled with some hard social things for the kids.  I've been working slower, sleeping less, and eating worse.
This Saturday, Sunday, and today I did not set a morning alarm.  That has been wonderful.  It really has.  But, I've also been working every single day for many hours.
I'm still not caught up with work.  I'm close.  But I'm going to go to bed soon.  So it won't be tonight either.
I was sitting here today feeling all together unhappy with how I've been lately.  I generally handle stress fairly well . . I think anyway.  But this has been hard.
Tomorrow I'm making some small changes.  Tonight I will sleep enough.  Tomorrow I will get up and do a little exercise.  Tomorrow I will eat a healthy breakfast.  Tomorrow I will remind myself over and over and over again to "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7.  or . . even better right now "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."  Psalm 55:22.  Shaken . . yes, I've been shaken.  I've allowed 2-3 people's accusations to shake me.  It's time to let that go.  I'm not even sure at this point if it is the accusation itself that shook me, or the fact that I trusted these people too much.  Ok, Bingo, even typing that . . the accusation was bad enough.  The fact that I trusted these people was what took this whole thing up a few levels.  Time to let go.  Time to forgive.  Time to just back away and respect these new boundaries.
Tomorrow I will work hard, as I have another busy week ahead.  But getting caught up on work is within reach now.  Tomorrow I will pray for my kids as they head off to handle another day at school with all sorts of situations.  Tomorrow I will remember to take a minute to breathe and be thankful that there are only two more weeks of school and we can all relax a little.  Tomorrow is full of possibilities . . . Tomorrow . . .
Tonight I am thankful for another chance tomorrow to move back in to a healthy place physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Tonight I am thankful for a good weekend moving me a little farther and farther away from stress.  Tonight I am thankful to even have these problems to stress about because today is a day to be thankful for those gave their lives so that we can go about ours.
And nothing to do with this blog; but I am also thankful that I finally got new chicks today :)


Sunday, May 28, 2017

More Than a Parade

**Sorry, it's kind of short tonight.  I'm sleepy!!
Tomorrow, Ethos Real Estate West will be driving in a parade!  This is my first time with such an event.  I think I'm ready . . .
In the morning, we're going to wash and wax the truck.  I have decorations to put on.  I have signs.  I have candy to throw.  I have my nifty "Ethos" shirt.  Check, check, check, etc.!
Tonight I am thankful and excited for tomorrow's parade!  I don't want to diminish the importance of Memorial Day at all.  Since I'm going to be in the parade though, I'm glad I'm ready!  But, I must say that I know there is much more about tomorrow than just a parade!  I've been seeing numbers today of the number of lives lost in different wars.  It doesn't matter how many times I see those numbers, they always catch me off guard.  And I am forever grateful for those who gave their lives so that we can be free.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

One Down

This morning I slept in until 7:30!  Ok, so that may not seem like a lot to some.  But, I went to sleep last night around 9:30.  Doesn't that sound much more amazing now?  Hmmm???  10 whole hours of sleep!
YES, my plan of sleeping is going swimmingly!  I don't know how it will go tomorrow.  We have a little more planned for tomorrow.  So hopefully I can sleep in again.   I am tired now for sure!
Tonight I had a wonderful time at a wedding, drank a bit of alcohol, and am ready for bed!
So tonight I am thankful for a wonderful evening.  And thankful for another night of going to be without setting an alarm in the morning!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Public Sleeping

"What are your Memorial Weekend plans?"  I've been asked that a few times this week.
The first time I answered a little quietly, "staying home".  "Maybe working on the yard".  Then I put a little thought in to it.  And I changed my answer, "sleeping".  :)
That made me happy . . just the thought of it.  This weekend I am going to sleep!  For three mornings, I will not set an alarm!  :) :)
I think I've been handling the stress of the last couple week very well.  But my body begs to differ.  I have been so tired.  I fell asleep yesterday at the dentist office while the kids were getting their teeth cleaned.  In my defense, they have a very comfy loveseat with lots of pillows in the toy waiting room.  I was sitting in there with the boys while the girls got their teeth cleaned.  When I woke up, I looked at the time.  I had been sleeping for around 12 minutes . . . in public . . . . Public Sleeping!  I asked Sammy if I was snoring.  He said not really.  So, we went over the rule that if mom is ever snoring in public, please wake her up!
So yes, tonight I am thankful that my Memorial Weekend plans do NOT include camping, or big parties, or traveling for hours.  I am thankful that my Memorial Weekend plans include Sleeping!  It sounds heavenly :)  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, no matter what your plans are!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

When He Reads

I don't have as many years experience as a parent as some people out there.  But from my experience, I can tell you that I learn something new about my kids almost every day.
Both of my boys took a little longer to start talking when they were little.  And both of my boys did not pronounce letter sounds correctly.  With my older son, we worked and worked at it.  By the time he started school, he spoke correctly.  With my younger son, I missed the mark.  I didn't carve out that time to work with him.  And he started school not pronouncing some letters correctly.  I wish I would have made the time back then.
The school worked with him.  And he is now, at the end of 3rd grade, pronouncing his letters all correctly.  That is wonderful!
I noticed last year that his reading was suffering because of his speech.  The letters on the page were not the sounds that he heard for the words.  He didn't just speak the letter sounds incorrectly, he comprehended them incorrectly.  That would make reading very difficult.  If he says "woad" for "road" - well that is one thing.  But if he actually thinks that the word is "woad" . . well then reading the word "road" wouldn't really click as the thing the cars drive on.  And of course with reading, there is also writing.  Yep . . .
He hasn't wanted to try in these areas at all.  And I get it.  I really do.  He is a very smart boy.  And these things make him feel dumb.  He takes longer than the other kids.  And that frustrates him.
So, he and I had a heart to heart talk about this.  We talked about why he isn't trying.  We talked about why he isn't "getting it", like the other kids.  And we worked out a plan!
This summer's Mom School already has a curriculum!  In years past, I start looking at Mom School after several weeks of summer vacation.  But this summer, oh this summer we have a big task ahead of us!  My boy wants to be up to par with the other kids in his class.  And he is very much capable of this goal!
Step #1, we are taking a step back.  We aren't going to worry about the mechanics of reading and writing at this point.  There is no use dissecting something that isn't functioning correctly anyway.  It'd be like greasing the bearings on a flat tire.  We're going to fix the tire first.  We're going to make the words make sense.  Then we'll move on.
It is awesome to watch him already!  Just breaking this down to the root of the problem and setting up a game plan to work on it has made him feel empowered!  That was visible tonight when he WILLINGLY read to me while we drove home.  It was just he and I in the car.  It was quiet and safe.  And he read me a story out loud from cover to cover.  It was wonderful!
Tonight I am thankful for a plan!  Mom School starts early this year!  Let's Go!



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Every Moment

I had a 9am appointment this morning.  A man opened the door.  I walked in and a little girl ran up to me who proudly proclaimed, "I Used The POTTY!".  I congratulated her and told her what a good job that was!
Upstairs I had to peak quietly in to a bedroom because the baby was sleeping.  I opened the door and a pair of blue eyes stared at me.  I smiled and waved and backed out slowly.
I remember those days well.  It makes my heart happy to think of my babies when they were babies.
I am very thankful for who they are now!  I love watching them grow and become their own people!  And I do NOT want to go back to diaper days.  But sometimes, some random stranger children take me back to the innocent days when my babies stayed with me all day long.  There was no outside world trying to force them to grow up faster than they were ready for.  There was no one talking about the news or the evils of the world.  There were just smiles and laughs; with the celebration of little things, like using the potty.
Tonight I am thankful that my children all use the potty quite well by themselves!  I want to reiterate that I am very content with where we are now in life!  I am thankful for where we are now as a family!  These kids have worked hard to be who they are today!  And I couldn't be more proud or more thankful!  I am also thankful for all the memories we've made as a family!  Every stage of life is precious and will live in my heart forever. :)



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Unclear

I heard a new saying a couple weeks ago that keeps going thru my head.  "To be unclear is to be unkind."  
This really resonates with me.  I try to be very honest and forthcoming in my day to day communications.  But I can have problems when I am having issues with someone else.  I tend to have a hard time having a conversation with someone and pointing out a specific problem I am having with that person. 
Sometimes I do ok.  There have been several times when I get myself upset.  When I get a little mad, I can get over my reservations that I may be hurting some one's feelings.  
I have never viewed hurting some one's feelings in a kind light.  But it really depends on how you look at it.  If I am not setting out to hurt some one's feelings; and I am trying my best to be compassionate in conversation; then I really should not feel responsible for the other person's feelings.  But I tend to.
Now looking at the same situation in this new light, "To be unclear is to be unkind."  Well, that's true.  To beat around the bush just encourages confusion and possibly untrue conclusions.  And that is not kind.  It is much more kind to lovingly and politely be direct and clear about issues so they can be resolved; or worked thru.
Tonight I am thankful for these words.  They aren't complicated words.  But their truth is ringing loud in my head.  I may paint these words on my wall some day.  I don't need to get mad to have enough courage to bring up issue with another; I can remember that I need to be clear about the issue, and subsequently be kind enough to have honest communication that leaves little room for confusion or distraction.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Big Mouth

So here's what is great about the internet . . . I have found that I am not completely abnormal!!  You may scoff at that and think - "actually you are abnormal, sorry the internet lied to you".  But I guarantee that there are others out there that share some traits of mine!
Let me take you back in time to my first regular 40 hour a week job with benefits.  I was 18 when I started.  And was probably in a little over my head.  Luckily, that's never scared me.  I ended up getting laid off from that job.  There were several reasons.  But the one that probably sealed my fate was when I walked in to the Vice President's office to point out something that just wasn't right.  It was something he had done.  I honestly thought he cared about what was right, and that he had missed all the facts of what he had done.  It should be of no shock to anyone that I was considered slightly insubordinate.
At another job I was in a meeting and very politely corrected my boss.  He didn't like that.  He argued with me.  I proved him wrong with his own QS9000 book on his desk.  After the meeting he had another meeting just with me, where I was instructed to not do that again.  That just seemed silly to me.  If we were having a meeting, then everyone should have correct information.  It was just logical.  Why wait until after the meeting to point something out?  How unproductive!  That boss later tried to fire me.  I rolled my eyes at him in a meeting with the guy who ran the plant.  Oops.  Fortunately, there was another boss guy there who saw my loud mouthed potential and spoke up for me.
So I regret nothing.  Seriously.  It was logically a right or wrong situation.  I've never been one to censor myself due to a title or situation.
Most people have a little more thought on these situations and see where a little vocal suppression may help them keep a job or something.  I see that point.  I do.  I just don't feel that is the right route for me.
Ok, so with that knowledge about my choices in life with words; it is easy to see where I don't feel I necessarily go with the norm with my verbal blunt-ness.  Most people choose to be quiet and keep their jobs . . and that's obviously a good life choice.
And then, I was listening to Dave Ramsey and he was talking about an Entrepreneurial person.  He was describing characteristics like shorter attention spans, lots of ideas, and then he said "truth tellers".  He said these are the people who will tell it like it is.  He talked about a person he had working with him.  The man told Dave that his idea sucked . . in a meeting.  Dave was not liking being told that.  And he reminded the man that he owned the company and had socks older than the boy.  The man replied, "I don't care that you own the company, your idea still sucks".  I would totally do that!!!  Ownership of a company doesn't make an idea good.  A boss running a meeting doesn't make him right.  And a man managing a plant doesn't make his treatment of people above questioning.
I like the perspective that I'm not rude first of all . . that does good things for my ego.  I never set out to be rude, although that is how I am taken.  I set out to have the right thing done, as I move around people.  People, who are all just people, none more and none less.
Tonight I am thankful to find that I am not the only one who would lose multiple jobs rather than turn up the verbal mute button.  Again nothing against those who can control their mouths and keep their jobs.  It doesn't seem like a difficult concept; it's just not one that's done well with me.  There is a big reason that I work for myself.  I won't fire myself!  Well not anytime soon anyway ;)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

On the Grill

We haven't been good cooks in this house lately.  The hubster and myself have just not felt in the chef-mood.
So the last couple weeks have had more frozen dinners, more eating out, and a little cooking here and there.  The thing about having four kids is that these times of unhealthy eating resonates in multiples.  I would normally just feel bad if I was eating poorly.  But now adays I feel bad that I am eating poorly, the hubster is eating poorly, and the kids are eating poorly.
Ok, so I can justify that it isn't all bad.  I mean we did Subway once.  Pizza is greasy, but does contain items from all four food groups.  Frozen dinners have come a long way since I was a kid.  It's better than feeding them cereal every night - which the kids and hubster would all be in favor of actually.
Well tonight I went and got groceries for some healthy choices to be in the house this week!  I can't guarantee that all dinners will be freshly prepared and wonderfully healthy because we do have a number of things on the calendar this week.  BUT, we will be better than last week!  And we started tonight.
Tonight I am thankful for a good family meal this evening with meat from the grill and corn on the cob.  YUM!  We'll do better this week!  It won't be the best.  But it will be better, so I am thankful :)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rain, Rain

I had my alarm set for 4am this morning.  I hit snooze about 4 or 5 times.  So I reset the alarm for 5:30.  I didn't get up then either.  My body needed to sleep today apparently!
I had a wonderful breakfast, getting some good ideas and insight from a friend!  I had to show a house.  And by the time I got home, I needed a nap.
Then I laid in bed for awhile reading.  Then I took another nap.  I watched a movie with the kids, Robin Hood Men in Tights.  Somewhere in the last 20 years, I had forgotten about the amount of sexual innuendos in that movie!  Fortunately, those were missed by the littler ones.  And everyone laughed a lot :)
Then I went back to bed for another quick nap.  Then more reading.  Another quick nap.
I haven't rested and laid around so much in months.  I'm glad for the rain today.  I'm thankful we stayed home and rested.
Tonight I am thankful for some down time.  I'm still tired and going to bed now.  Kinda crazy!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Part 2

I've written and deleted, written and deleted.  Sometimes this blog is hard.  But that is why this blog is good.
Today I reached out for my son's arm and drew my hand back.  I am now a little afraid to touch my own children.  This is insane.  I wasn't like this last week when I believed that maybe a stranger was involved.  Now, knowing it was someone close, it's unsettling to say the least.
I drove my daughter by the place where the people called CPS on me; and I felt like throwing up.  I am supposed to go there next week.  I may need to cancel.  Except I promised my child I'd go; so I'll just go and throw up when no one is looking.  I've been nauseous most of today.
I've felt this before.  Anxious, depressed, breaking down, and constantly trying to remind myself of who I am.  The kids make it easier.  They give me a reason to try to be strong.
When I started this blog, I was not in a good spot in life.  I was moody and losing hope.  I knew I had a lot of good things in life then; but I couldn't feel them.  There is a difference between knowing something and feeling something.  When I started writing this blog, I went day in and day out feeling bitter and storming.  It was not a good place in life; but it was different than now.
I've had days of anxiety and depression.  Two really large chapters of my life are shaded by these days.  I am working hard not to make this the third of these chapters.  So I'm clinging to what has worked for the last six years of this blog - I'm going to be thankful.  I can't keep this situation constantly in front of me; it is tearing me apart.  So I'm working on keeping my blessings in front of me instead.
Tonight I am thankful for the outpouring of love that has shown up in the middle of this.  I am thankful for the people in my life who believe in who I am.  I am thankful for my children and my husband who bring meaning to my life.  I am thankful that God's hand is in this.  He is keeping me safe; this I know.  And I am thankful for a chance to go back to my original thoughts when this happened - at first I was praying for whoever did this.  I stopped when I learned who it was.  But just because it was someone closer to me; that doesn't mean I should take this and hold on to it.  No, I will pray.  I will give this all to God . . thankfully he is big enough to carry it.  And I will pray for these people - I pray that God can work discretion in to their lives and wisdom.  And I know I need to pray to be able to forgive this.
I am thankful for the weekend to spend with my family.  I think we need to run off somewhere together and just enjoy each other.  I am thankful that this week is over because I have had enough of it.  I am thankful that in the midst of all this, some of my new business ideas were put in to place this week.  I am thankful for baby kittens to snuggle with.  And I am thankful for the powerful lesson this blog has taught me over the years, to be thankful . . always and in everything.

1 Chronicles 16:34

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lessons that Hurt

I have this problem of asking too many questions.  You know, sometimes if you ask enough questions, you'll get answers.  And sometimes the answers haunt you.
Last week I accidentally scratched my son.  It looked horrible.  I felt horrible.  I cut off all my nails.  And I just had a bad feeling.
Sure enough, Thursday morning my son told me that a woman had came to the school to talk to him the day before.  Someone had called Child Protective Services.  Someone felt that I actually was a danger to my own children.  That was hurtful enough.
Then I found out more.  When someone asked my son about the situation, he explained.  He was supposed to be cleaning the bathroom - his chore for the week.  His sister needed to use the bathroom.  He wouldn't leave the bathroom.  Mom intervened and made him come sit down.  He sat down with an attitude and said how he wasn't going to clean the bathroom.  I got up to walk over and talk to him.  He took off running.  I followed him.  He was hiding in a corner with his arms over his face.  I reached for his arm to pull him to his feet and that is when I accidentally scratched his face.  After that he put his hands over his face because his face hurt.  I'm sure it did.  Like I said, it looked horrible.  I felt horrible.
We came in to my office.  I cut my nails.  We put ointment on his face.  And THEN we had our talk about how saying "no" he wasn't going to do his chores is not ok.  We talked about how next time when he is cleaning the bathroom, he needs to leave when people need to use that room.  Even in his statement to CPS he said that when he gets in trouble he usually gets his video games taken away or he gets "talked to for hours".
Here's the thing.  My nine year old boy did not know, until the other day, that adults beat up on children.  I never told him that.  Why in the world would I tell him that?  He is an innocent boy and he does not need to know the evils of this world at age nine.  So when he told someone that he was hiding and got slapped.  He did not clarify that he was hiding to avoid a big talk.  And he did not explain that his "slap" was me touching his face firmly.  Why would he clarify this?  He had no idea.  But why wouldn't an adult ask him?  Does an adult really expect that every nine year old understands child abuse and uses the words the way the adult does?  Is this the expectation?  I had to explain to my nine year old boy that his words conjured up an image of a boy terrified of getting beaten and punched by his mother.  I had to tell him that there are adults who hit their children so hard they break bones and kill them.  His face was so somber, he said, "But mom, everyone knows you are kind."
From my conversations with adults now, somehow another word got thrown in there.  But I don't use that word.  I asked my son about it and told me at least three times that he did not say that other word either.  So I don't even know why this situation was made worse.
I was doing better when I thought that maybe this whole thing started with someone that I didn't know well or something.  But no, the truth seems to be that this whole thing is from people that I know.  People that I trusted, people that trusted me.  I am heartbroken.  I am trying so, so hard not to let this bother me.  But how could I not?  Ricky Holland was mentioned in a conversation because "you never know".  I worked in Williamston during the time of Ricky Holland's death.  I helped provide drinks to searchers.  I had a new baby and couldn't help search personally.  But, I followed that case.  That woman was a phsycopath.  She has no heart and she has no soul.  She is evil personified.  And she was brought up in a conversation relative to myself.  She hid her son.  Neighbors found her son going thru their trash.  She moved to hide details of her derangement and abuse of Ricky.  And this was brought up in a conversation having to do with myself.  I am nothing like this woman.  For someone that has met me to even think this is a possibility has had me feeling like I want to throw up constantly.
I shouldn't have had that talk.  But I did and now I know.
I am blessed that the CPS worker, a stranger, can see that this was an accident.  A stranger can see that I love my children and wouldn't hurt them.  People that I know and trusted can't see that though.  I am trying very hard to find the silver lining in all this.  I guess I have a good reminder of why I shouldn't trust people.  I've loosened up over the years.  I was letting this idea of "community" grow on me.  But no longer.  People play games.  And I won't.  I don't pretend to trust people that I don't actually trust. And sometimes I assume that is a two way street.
Don't worry.  I'm not going too far off the deep end.  I know not all people think this of me.  And I know that what others think is not what matters.  The truth matters.
But I hate feeling foolish for trusting people.  I'm re-evaluating some things.  And I'm opening back up the possibility of moving to the mountains some day in my retirement to avoid people and live happily and carefree amongst animal friends.
You nice people, we can still communicate via the internet.  But real interactions have never been my thing much anyway.  I thought I was getting better at them.  Now I think I was fooling myself.
The logical part of me can see, given what my son said, how this happened.  But my heart doesn't quite get it.  Words were twisted.  Explanations were not asked for.  Assumptions were made.  And trust was broken.  That's a bridge that won't be rebuilt.
Tonight I am thankful that this is temporary.  This feeling won't last.  My kids know how much I love them.  My family, God, and the CPS lady know I would never hurt them.  That is what matters.  The rest will be a lesson learned.  I hate these lessons that hurt so much . . I guess that is life though.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Steps

The past many weeks (well honestly months and years) I have stupidly taken it upon myself to prove that the human body needs sleep and rest.  I was all "look how much I can do on little sleep!"  Ok, well it wasn't really like that.  But I chose not to take care of myself to get more work done.
A big goal for 2017 was to start sleeping more.  Here's a problem.  That's not enough.  I have dragged myself down so far that sleep is not enough.
Alright  . . rest . . . can I learn to rest while awake?  I occasionally take relaxing baths.  But, this rest things needs to be a daily effort I believe.
I rested today.  Please, please, hold your applause ;)  As I was resting, I did some reflecting . . . the lack of rest thing is not new for me.  I've known this.  It is not my strong suite.  If I'm up and awake, I want to be doing something.  I see a great disconnect between what my mind wants and what my body needs.
So, I'm going to work on it.  Today was a small step in the right direction.  Tomorrow I'll take another step, and then another, and another.  Look at me . . all scheduling (yesterday's blog) and resting and stuff.  It is sooo not my style.  BUT, I know it is sooo what I need.  So I'm working on it.
Tonight I am thankful for tiny steps in the right direction.  I am tired of being tired.  So I'm changing . . slowly but surely.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Turning Point

At the beginning of this year I made a goal to sleep more.  I was doing good with that . . until several weeks ago.
I knew I had a work-scheduling problem.  Well, I've known that for some time actually.  And I've known the steps I need to take to fix this problem.  But it was a little scary to me.
Starting at the end of last week, I've actually been taking the steps that I need to fix this scheduling problem!  This might sound like a small thing to those reading tonight.  But this is a huge thing!
I can look at my lifelong uncomfortableness of lists and schedules and see why this is such a problem for me.  I don't seem to like anything that puts limits on things.  Lists put limits.  And schedules definitely put limits.  I am now seeing though, that maybe these limits are good.
I'm not limiting myself or my life with a schedule.  I'm limiting my work.  Because God knows that I need help with that!  Seriously, God knows . . . I've been praying about this.  The answer seems so simple.  Practicing the answer is not simple at all. 
Today, I had my scheduled desk time to complete files. Unfortunately, I am still a little behind.  So I did not work on the files that I had scheduled to be working on.  But, just the fact that I scheduled a day to be at my desk working on files was a giant positive!  And I got a lot done!
Tonight I am thankful for enforcing on myself, what I've known needed to be done.  I'm sure I'll fall off the scheduling wagon from time to time.  But, I'm making this a turning point in my professional life.  No more shoving work in to every nook and cranny of my life that I can shove it in to!  That is exhausting and stressful . . . and I've had enough!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lovely

A local credit union has this neat program with the school.  They come in once a week and the kids get to do their banking.  5th graders get to apply at the beginning of the year to "work" for the credit union.  They have real applications, an interview process, the whole nine yards!
Tonight was the end of the year party for the kid credit union workers.  My hard working banker went out there and tried her best to roller skate.  Unfortunately, the child has her mother's coordination.  She took the skates off after a bit of time and put her shoes back on.  She has a new appreciation for her shoes!  
I let her play on my phone, making silly pictures until she was ready to head home.  We cranked the radio and sang along.  We were silly and laughing.  It was an absolutely wonderful ride home!  She's been a bit anxious lately about things.  It was wonderful to see her being silly and laughing!
Tonight I am thankful for a fun time tonight with my daughter!  I love our family all together!  And I love the one on one time!  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mom

Happy Mother's Day!
I hope everyone got to have some fun today with a special mother in their life!  I've known for a long time that I have a very special Mom.  :)
The thing that still amazes me the most is how she gave things to my brother and I that she never had.  She didn't dream big things for herself growing up; but she made us believe that anything was possible.  That still amazes me.  Most people want better for their children of course.  But if you watch people, to make that work, you have to do more than just want.  And she did more.  She lifted us up so high that we had no doubt that the sky was the starting point of how far we could go.
She never did learn to swim; but I remember being out in the lake with her when she instructed us to learn to swim.  That is a funny one.  The woman still can't swim; and no longer has any desire to learn.  I asked her once how she knew what to instruct us to do, when she couldn't do it herself.  She said she just watched what other people were doing.
I've thought often about how she shaped who I am.  My natural tendencies are abstract . . for lack of a better word.  My thoughts and my feelings swirl around like a whirlwind.  She was the one who was my kite string and brought me back down to Earth.  She didn't just tug me back.  She guided me back, taking the time to explain how the bubble I was in my head, was not lined up with reality.  This is an important tool for someone like to me learn.  And I learned it . . after about the millionth talk with her.  My thoughts still swirl, my feelings on occasion; and because of her I have the tools to channel this energy in to something that works in real life.
Tonight I am thankful my Mom :)  She has been, and will always be my biggest supporter, my biggest cheerleader, and my best friend.  I love you Mom !



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Out Loud

I don't live in secret.  I don't look over my shoulder to see who might be watching me.  And living this way is a choice.  I choose to live out loud and not as a whisper.
I remember two distinct times in my life, making those choices.  Once was in school.  Most of my middle school days were spent with me being quiet.  If no one noticed me, then no one would continue to make fun of me.  Well, that didn't work and I wasn't happy.  When I entered high school, I changed my mind.  I was going to put myself out there.  I was going to talk to people.  And I wasn't going to feel embarrassed.  Yes, I actually told myself that I wouldn't be embarrassed.  Of course I was, but I didn't let it stop me.  I reminded myself that my happiness in the next four years of my life rested on my decisions to not live in the corner anymore.
The second was as an adult.  I had three small children and was pregnant with my fourth.  My marriage went thru a very rough time.  It's a small town.  Everyone was talking, accusing, and making assumptions.  The rumors flew like crazy.  And I found out during that time about privacy settings on social media (myspace back in the day), as I had been stalked online.  I could have cried with everyone and played the victim.  I could have stopped being online all together and hid from those who would seek to destroy me.  But I didn't.  It was very hard.
Have you ever walked in to a room knowing that everyone was looking at you, talking about you, judging you, and/or pitying you?  It's a tough walk.  But doing it with your head held high is character building.
I refuse to live in the shadows for fear of people's opinions.  It's a choice.  It's been a choice.  And it will continue to be a choice.  Even with this week's disruption, I don't question this choice.
A very hard thing this week was watching my child feel bad for telling the truth.  He felt bad that he told people that mommy accidentally scratched him.  I know his mind was thinking that if he had lied and said it was a tree branch, or a toy, or anything else; that no one would have called and reported me.  He wanted to hide the truth because of someone else's judgments.  I assured him that he was just fine.  Telling the truth is always the right thing to do.  I wouldn't ask him to keep a secret for fear of what someone might think.  I wouldn't ask this of him a week ago, and I certainly wouldn't ask him now.  We tell the truth.  And we live our lives.  We don't walk in the shadows to avoid judgment.  People will always judge, no matter what.  Someone's narrow-mindness will never be a restriction on my life.  And I pray the same for my children.
Tonight I am thankful for an opportunity to show the kids to always remember what is right and to always be themselves.  Taking the right path is not always the easiest; but it is always worth it.



Friday, May 12, 2017

The Why

First of all, I had an amazing time today at Entreleadership!  It was totally worth the trip!
There was lots of fantastic information.  I mean, just think about the whole pretext of today's event . . . getting to learn from someone else's over two decades of mistakes and learning from their over two decades of successes!  Priceless!  
After the event, I was driving home.  I called my mom to tell her how it went.  We were talking.  I was telling her things that I need to implement and change with my businesses.  Then I had an "Ah-Ha" moment.  Ever have those?  I mean, something so obvious and simple . . but you hadn't seen it right in front of you?
I've been struggling with motivation on the appraisal businesses lately.  Like big time.  I'm just not caring much about deadlines, etc.  And that's really not good for businesses.  I've wished I felt bad about it, because I know I should . .. but I just have lost a lot of caring for customer satisfaction with my timeliness.
The most I'd figured out, before today, was that I was feeling the effects of the burn-out from last year.  Last year, I pushed hard . . . very hard.  But I did it on purpose to reach a goal.
And as I was talking to my mom, I went back to why I started this business.  It's never been about the money or the houses, ever.  I enjoy houses, so the industry fits.  And money, well it's necessary!  But I started this  business 12 years ago to be able to be at home with my babies.  That was my "why".  And that's a darn good "why".  We couldn't afford for me to be home and not work.  And I could not stand the thought of leaving my babies at daycare.  I had to come up with something to work from home.  I tried a few other things that weren't a good fit.  Then a nice lady gave me the suggestion of appraising houses.  And it clicked with me.
All the struggles, all the lack of sleep, all the stress was worth it; beyond worth it, because it kept me here with my kiddos.  Well my kiddos are growing up.  And it hadn't dawned on me that my "why" is changing.  I don't have to be available for them like I once was.  Don't get me wrong, I love that I can go on field trips and be around to pick up kiddos from school when they are sick.  
But day in, day out, they don't need me to be home and available 24 hours a day anymore.  This fall, I'll only have one child left in elementary school.  That is only one child left with field trips.  Only one child left bringing home weekly papers.  The other three won't need me for those things.  I won't get in to emotional stuff with this right now - but from the business point of view . . my "why" has changed.
Wow.
That's big.  I hadn't seen it before today.
The last 14 years of my life have been figuring out how to be here for my babies.  The last 12 years of my life have been doing that - being here, working from home around my family.  This business has served it's purpose well.  I will always be beyond grateful that God brought this in to my life!
To everything there is a season.  Now I have to change my "why".  The "why" for the brokerage is easy.  Seriously, easy.  I didn't have to start a brokerage.  My appraising business is very healthy.  The "why" of the brokerage is to do something that helps people.  Buying a house or selling a house are big things.  I have learned a lot about houses over the years.  And I want to help people with that.  I want to do something where I can feel that it matters more than a report on a house (although I know that report matters too).  I wanted to experience it first hand.  I love to see someone's eyes light up when they see "the house".  The one they've been dreaming about, that they can see themselves living in for many happy days.  And I wanted to be able to provide that chance to other agents who want to help people with that; while providing a chance for the agent to change their own lives with this work!
Finding a new "why" for appraising won't be too hard.  I have a few ideas that are logical.  But I'm taking some time on this.  I need it to speak to me like the last "why".  Honestly, nothing will speak to me quite like the last "why" . . . I mean . . taking care of my babies, nothing in the world can compete with that!!  But, I'll find a good next reason!
Tonight I am thankful for attending today's event.  Despite everything put in my path to hold me back, I went.  And I'm glad I did!  I have a lot of information before me; a lot of planning, a lot of learning, a lot of thinking, and a lot of implementing and/or working on things.  It's all to a good end!  This will be good!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Made It

Two months ago I bought a ticket for a convention.  I was so excited.  I was planning on leaving early in the morning, driving the 3 1/2 hours to the convention, and drive back later that night.  The hubster thought I was crazy.
Then I got upgraded to a VIP ticket.  So I booked a hotel.  I now had to be there a bit earlier if I wanted to take advantage of the VIP stuff.
I was going to leave for the hotel after the kids got home from school.  I haven't left overnight by myself in 6 years.  None of the kids like it too much.  It is especially hardest on the two youngest though.
Somewhere in the past couple weeks I gave myself permission to relax.  My plans changed to leave after I dropped the kids at school.  Then I could drive down, check in to the hotel, and have hours of unscheduled time.  I had all sorts of plans.  I was going to take a nap.  I was going to read some books that have been waiting for me.  I was going to brainstorm.  I was going to write.  I was going to do all of these things.  It sounded like a dream.
Last night the hubster came inside the house and said that my tire was completely flat.  He tried to put air in to it.  The air was going out as fast as he was putting it in.  He found quite a large hole.  I get holes regularly . . drawback of going to foreclosed, trashy houses.  We can work around that.
Then this morning.  *sigh*  This morning my son told me about a woman that came to the school to talk to him yesterday.  I knew what was going on.  I guess she tried to come visit me yesterday at the house, but I wasn't home.  I tried to assure the kids that everything was ok.  Of course it would be, I accidentally scratched my son.  That was all.
But I tell ya, it's upsetting.  It's upsetting that someone would accuse me of purposely hurting my child.  It's upsetting to think that someone thinks I am capable of that.  I got mad.  Really mad.  I got sad.  Really sad.  I cried.  Like big, huge sobs.  I haven't cried that hard in a long time.  This week has been so stressful to get work and home all set up for me to be able to leave and have some relaxing time and convention time.  Everything just erupted and came pouring out of my eyeballs.
Then I called the lady.  We met and talked.  And of course she can see that it was an accident.  Because it was an accident.  I know that.  My son knows that.  The CPS lady knows that.
Well, the kids were at school when I talked with her.  And I just couldn't leave the state with the kids not knowing was was going on.  So I stayed until they got home from school.  I could see their faces when I told them that everything was absolutely going to be fine because I talked to the woman.  I felt better seeing their faces look calm and reassured.
Then I took off to my hotel,  I got here by the kids' bedtime.  I'll get a whole day of rest when I retire maybe someday.  I have been fighting all day to keep a good perspective on this.
Tonight I am thankful that the truth is easy to see here.  I am thankful for a kind, caring person to deal with in this matter.  I am thankful for a vehicle with four good tires.  I am thankful for getting to my hotel with at least enough time to sleep well tonight before my event tomorrow.  And I am thankful that despite all the hurdles in the way, I am here.  Tomorrow will be good.  There will be invaluable information and great discussions.  And then I will be home to hug my babies.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sugar

"Jessie, do you bribe your children?" 
Absolutely!  I mean, who wouldn't take advantage of this wonderful influencer by the name of sugar, right?  Ok, I try not to go overboard.  Lately it seems I may have gotten the hubster on board with the less sugar thing (this is seriously a HUGE win!).  So you can imagine his shock to come home tonight and see the sugary treats that I had bought and set on the table.
They are just sitting there . . . being sugary prizes for the next two days.  Everybody get ready for school without fighting?  Great, have a donut!  After a long day at school, come home do chores without fighting and hang out nicely together?  Wonderful, have a cookie!  
With a little plug from the grocery budget, I am working to ensure minimal issues for the next two days.  I could promise other things, maybe extended tv or game time.  And those things work on occasion.  But the classic, the go-to bribe, the one that never lets me down is junk food.
Am I sending an unhealthy message to my children?  Most likely no, because I say to the children - I am bribing you.  I have not led them to believe that life is filled with endless supplies of sugar just for being decent human beings.  Nope, that is not the message at all. This message is pretty clear - be good, get candy because Momma needs things to go smoothly for a couple days.  No fights.  No snarky comments.  And no arguing.  
They can't argue when they are chewing . . simple, but relevant fact!
Tonight I am thankful that a little bribery never hurt!  I am thankful that we have extra toothbrushes and toothpaste in the cupboard!  I should remind the children that they have to go to the dentist this month.  Um . . . and I am thankful for prayers that the next two days go well for everyone!