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!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Permission to Dream

I've always been a dreamer.  It comes natural to me.  It took me years to realize that not everyone thinks that way.
I want my children to be dreamers.  I want them to believe that anything is possible . . because it is.
You can't just tell a child that.  Here's why - not all dreams work out.  Shocking, right?  No, not really.  To keep on dreaming, you have to be able to pick up your dreams when they wipe out.  You set them back up.  You dust them off.  And you try again; this time maybe with a new plan, or a new drive, or a renewed purpose.  That is how you learn to stay a dreamer . . . you learn to handle failure.
Too many people fail and jump ship.  Some don't even fail, they just don't succeed how they intended, and they jump ship.  Success isn't always what you envisioned.  Sometimes success doesn't look like you thought it would, but it is there.
Recently my son had an idea to start a club at school.  He made a plan. He met with the principal.  He arranged a meeting with a teacher who might sponsor the club.  This afternoon they met and they made some plans to get more details around and see some interest among students.  It was interesting watching my son process all that.  This wasn't what he expected.  He hoped to just start the club.  But he's sticking with this.  He's seeing there is a process here; and a timeline greater than he imagined.  Not the success he had first envisioned; but success to this point!  Perseverance and patience are not his strongest qualities yet.  But he's getting some training in them.
Tonight I had a meeting.  When I got home there was a folder on my desk.  My daughter has ideas for a club too!  Inside the folder was her business plan, very detailed I might add.  I reminded her that next year, she won't be in elementary school.  Elementary school is where the clubs are.  So she had some options.  She could pass on the idea to see if younger grades might be interested.  Or she could see what the possibility is of a middle school or multi-club.  Not quite what she had envisioned; but she's working with this new plan.  She's got her folder and she's going to ask some questions tomorrow at school.
Tonight I am thankful for the kids learning that when dreams start moving, they change forms.  Plans get altered to stay alive sometimes; and both kids are rolling with the changes well right now.  I am also very thankful for a school that encourages the kids to dream and be active members of the community!  The kids see this.  And it empowers them!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mom Guilt

Oh the Mom Guilt :(  I hate the mom guilt :(
I was all prepared to write my blog about my morning adventures of catching a runaway horse.
But no.
That won't be tonight's blog.
I have been growing my nails out.  They are painted all pretty.
This afternoon I was reaching for my son.  He turned at the last minute.  I scratched his face.  It looks absolutely horrible :(  A line on his forehead . . . check.  A big gouge right under his eye . . . check.  I feel like a monster :(
I know it was an accident.  He knows it was an accident.  I came in my office and cried.  I hurt my baby boy :(
Tonight I'm thankful that wounds heal.  In a week or so, he'll be all healed up.  In the meantime I'll cry a little more in my office.
P.S.  I cut my nails now.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Glad I Didn't Leave

We took the family out to breakfast this morning.
I think ever since the children could talk, I've had them order their own food.  This is good to help them learn to be confident when speaking with others.  And of course, for them to be able to articulate what they want.  As an adult, a cheeseburger and fries is easy to say.  At 2 or 3, it is harder.
Anyway, before the ordering, I ok their orders.
so we sat down at our booth with our menus.  We worked thru 4 orders of what they wanted and what they could actually order.  Then I looked at the menu for myself.  This whole process takes around five minutes at times . . times like this morning.  I didn't clock it, but we were close.  Once everything was decided, I looked up at the hubby.  He looked irritated.
It only dawned on me than that no one had come by for our drink orders.  He had noticed several minutes ago.  He said something about leaving.  I said ok, let's go.  I'm sorry but, yes, I've walked out restaurants before.  I'm not horrible about it.  But if the experience starts out that way, it usually never gets better.  I've found especially with our clan of 6, this theory seems to true 100% of the time.
The hubster was on the fence, but his ears were turning red.  So I moved to get up from the booth and leave.  At that moment a waitress came up.  She apologized for our delay.  There was something about a waitress who didn't work there anymore and they still had the girl on the schedule, so they were short staffed.  We gave her our orders.  But I was skeptical.  VERY skeptical.
A couple minutes later the manager came over and apologized.  This was a first in our experiences of slow service.  After she talked with us, I saw her walk over to the waitress and say something to her.  A bit later the waitress came back and said that our drink would be free and our mail would be discounted.  I was impressed at this point.  We hadn't asked for anything.  And most times nowadays, businesses don't just come out and offer to make something right.
We had a wonderful breakfast.  I watched our waitress cover extra tables, looking pretty frazzled, but smiling at each table.  She was attentive.  And she was definitely trying to keep up with her extra load.  We left her a big tip.
Tonight I am thankful for a breakfast that totally redeemed itself!  We will be back.  And we'll ask if our waitress is working when we come in :)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Hallway

The hallway upstairs is scary.
There are a few boxes that kids took out of the attic and left there.  Then there are things that ended up there when the kids "cleaned" their rooms.  Then the stuff just multiplies.
This past week I had to go upstairs and turn off bedroom lights that children forgot when they left for school.  I tripped on something when my foot got caught.  I still don't know on what.  Luckily the guard rail caught me.  The dog, who likes to sleep on children's beds all day, looked at me like I was crazy.  So I imagine I was quite a spectacle!
Well that was the last straw.  And today, on this beautiful, sunny Saturday, my children were inside the house cleaning the hallway.
Two children got done fairly quickly.  One child was ok.  And one child is just now finishing up . . eight hours after the "clean the hallway" decree was given.
Tonight I am thankful that the hallway is clean!  Hooray!  If you don't believe in miracles, you should now!  The hallway is clean and I didn't have to ground any child for life!  I came close . . . but I didn't . .  :)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Something Right

For a bit you all are going to hear about some of the wonderful things that I am learning about with my EntreLeadership stuff :)
2005 was the year I started learning appraising.  This license requires a number of experience hours.  My first mentor didn't pay me, which was our agreement.  She didn't really need any help at the time.  But she was going to train me and allow me to bring my two small children with me to her house to work.  It was a good trade for me to get my foot in the door.  Since I wasn't getting paid, I worked evenings/nights at a different job for money.
The set up was working.  But it obviously wasn't ideal.  I started looking around and found an ad for someone looking for a trainee.  I was so excited!  I could work from home with the kiddos AND get paid.  The big problem was that I needed to have the appraisal software on my computer.  And it was expensive.  At that time, I went to the bank and took out a personal loan to afford the software on my computer.  So my first several checks went to payback the personal loan.
In 12 years, that is the only time I've borrowed money for this company.  With the appraisal business running well, the start up of the Ethos West brokerage was much easier financially.  I didn't even need to entertain a thought of borrowing money.  And we are just going onward and upward.
For awhile I was discussing buying a building for the brokerage.  There is one that I like and may someday  go after.  I'll be honest, the thought of taking out a loan for a building was not sitting well with me.  I don't like overhead.  And I don't want it.  One day if the building of my dreams go up for sale, I hope it will be at a time when I have the cash available!
Listening to my EntreLeadership video session tonight, they were spitting out all sorts of stats about small businesses start-ups and failing due to debt.  I am so thankful that somehow with all the bad money decisions that I've made over the years; somehow I didn't screw the business up too!  My life would be completely different on so many levels if I had financed things and not had a good plan for the down times.
Another big issue for small businesses was budgeting for taxes.  I will admit to this one.  This has been a huge hurdle for me.  2016 taxes were the first ones in many, many years where I budgeted well.  So at least I'm improving in this area!
Tonight I am thankful for my businesses operating for over 10 years with no debt at all.  I am very blessed to be in low overhead industries.  So, I'm thankful for that too!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

80 mph

About a month ago I started a completely wonderful and amazing program called EntreLeadership.  I wasn't sure at first because the fee was higher than I was comfortable with.  And I just couldn't see that the content would be there to support the fee.
I was so wrong!  The first week or so I didn't do a lot with it.  I was waiting until I "had the time".  Well then it dawned on me that I was paying for this thing I wasn't using.  And that's just wrong and wasteful!
So I've been playing videos while I work and playing podcasts when I'm out driving.  The information and wisdom here is beyond gold.  I still have so far to go and so much to learn!
I will admit, this has also been wearing me out a bit more.  My brain already runs at 60 mph for most of my waking minutes.  Now it's been at 80 with all this wonderful new stuff!
Tonight I am thankful for knowledge and learning from other's experiences.  And I am thankful for a nice warm bed; because that is where I am taking this sleepy brain of mine!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Yesterday

Tonight was high school orientation.  Yep, Freshman.  In the fall, I will have a child in high school.
I'm really not good with this whole "age" thing.  I feel 20.  How could I possibly have a child about to enter high school when I feel just out of the teenage years myself?  It is simply not logical.
Ok, so I will accept my actual age for the sake of argument here.  But then, what about her age?  I mean we were driving to the school tonight and I was remembering taking her to her first day of preschool.  It seems like yesterday.  Kindergarten, just yesterday too, right?  Tonight I walked in to this room filled with all these children and parents.  Oh yes, I remember them . . from the kindergarten Mother's Day Tea, that was just like last year, right?  No?
The longer I live, the more I see that time is more of an illusion than it is as any indicator of life.  Time has a feeling attached to it that does not equal the ticks on a clock.  There is that verse from the Bible (please excuse my horrible quoting talent) about an hour being like a year, or a year being like a minute.  Something like that.  The verse is referencing our time to God's time.  But I think even our time is screwy.  Time is a number, it is a unit of measure.  It is nothing definitive in life.  If anything, it is a liar.  Years seem like minutes sometimes and sometimes minutes seem like years.  Rarely do minutes seem like minutes or years seem like years.
No, I haven't been drinking.  This is what my mind does when I let it wander.
*wistful sigh*
Tonight I am thankful for past (almost) 14 years of being a parent on this Earth.  Being a mom has been the most rewarding, most introspective, most faith-building, most life-affirming, optimistic thing that I have ever, or could ever do on this planet.  Whatever else I accomplish in this life, nothing will ever compare to being a mom to these four wonderful people; watching them grow, guiding them, and rejoicing with them as they learn and become all that God has planned to bless them with in life.
P.S.  Catch me in 4 years, I'll be crying like a baby for graduation; most assuredly standing proud, and flooding the place with momma tears.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Green Stuff

I am not good at eating green stuff.
Well I like grapes :)  They come in green!  Granny Smith Apples :)  Corn on the cob comes in a green peel, does that count?
I like peas slathered in butter and salt.  And I can do a salad with trace amounts of spinach and romaine leaves, sloshing around in ranch dressing, chicken, cheese, and boiled eggs.
I understand how this is not healthy.
I take multi-vitamins . .  not the same - I get it.
Last year I bought some green powder to make green juice.  I forced myself to drink it for about a week.  Then I gagged it up and it came out my nose (sorry, but true).  I just couldn't do it after that.  And the canister has just sat in my kitchen.  I recently had the brain storm to buy capsules and put the green powder in to those and just swallow them.  Amazon Prime has delivered the capsules, now I just have to fill them with the green powder stuff.
Well, I am trying to be healthy and try more things.  Yesterday I ordered a mozzarella chicken salad from Wendy's.  First of all . . . that's an expensive salad.  There was pretty green leaves on the top of the salad, and white, slimy stuff under the first green layer.  Surprisingly I did like the mozzarella on the salad.  So I counted the whole experience a win.  And I'll probably add mozzarella to salads from now on.
I have avocados sitting on the counter that have been waiting for me.  I've googled different recipes to do with these things.  I don't like guacamole.  Using them in a chicken salad sounded possible.  Today though, I tried making them in to fries.  Because . . . Fries!  Right?  Um . . . no.  I choked down about three of them drenched in ketchup.  Maybe tomorrow I'll try one smashed up in the chicken salad idea.
Tonight I am thankful that I haven't given up on my green experiments.  I know, I know, you're thinking, "Jess, it's only been two days!".  Guess what?  That's two more days then I've done before!  I usually make it about 15 minutes and bail on the whole idea!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Sad to Good

As was painfully chronicled in this blog two years ago now, (when I was trying very hard to stay positive) our basement had become a lake.  It was very, very sad.  Buckets, wet/dry vacuums, fans, etc.  Nothing was enough.  I remember sitting on the basement steps watching the water spring up from the concrete in the floor.  There was nothing we could do to stop it.
One of the big positive things of this house when we bought it was the finished basement area.  Then, not even three years later, it all had to be ripped out.  It molded so fast that the our house was toxic as we filled dumpster after dumpster.
Many thousands of dollars, a B-dry system, exterior concrete, repaired gutters, gutter guards, a whole house dehumidifier and we still aren't finished.  Hopefully this summer's plans will be the final piece in keeping the basement dry.  In the meantime, I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable finishing the basement again.
One day when I was out shopping I bought some spray paint.  I came home and desperately started coloring the walls by my home gym.  The kids have been waiting to join in the fun.
Well when my daughter made her decision about her class trip; she wasn't planning on just sitting at home while her classmates were gone!  She decided she was going to make an art studio!
She grabbed a respirator mask and the girl got to work!
The area is waiting on a few finishing touches.  We have some lattice sitting down here to attach to the ceiling and a carpet remnant to put down and she will be done!
I love this area now!  She took what was a sad reminder of a once finished area and made it in to a happy place to dream and create.
Tonight I am thankful for my daughter's hard work!  This probably would have been easier with actual paint rather than spray paint.  I think her trigger finger is stronger than Wyatt Earp's now!  But she did it . . . with plenty of fresh air breaks!