Monday, December 30, 2013

To Sum "IT" Up

"IT" being the entire month of December, wherever the heck it went.

As I flipped the calendar from November to December, I was shocked to see something written on every. single. day.  Appointments, jobs, no school days, days off, parties, and birthdays. So many things to organize and keep track of. 

I started my seasonal job the week of Thanksgiving. Worked 530am-1200ish.  It was an easy job and I was thankful to have it as it paid for Xmas. But, I was tired, people. Like, in bed, asleep by 7pm, tired. 

Then, we got approximately 500 feet of snow. Or 2 feet. Whatever. The little boys had 5 no school days!!
And, it wasn't the "let's play in the snow and build a snowman and have tons of fun" type of snow. It was "this snow is so powdery and it is below freezing out here,  let's go back in the house and never, ever come out here again" type of snow.
I had to call in 2 times because the roads were so bad. I had to call in one other time as Jayce (my 15 yr. old) was going slightly insane watching the boys while I was at work. Originally, they were suppose to be at school while I was at work, but the snow altered those plans.
The snow altered alot of plans, actually. 
My husband worked approximately 500 hours of overtime. Or 20. Whatever. That was a plus side to all the snow. Perhaps he will not get laid off next month! (Please, Lord!!)

Jayce turned 15, right in the middle of the snow storm. I risked our lives and took him down to get his drivers permit.  And, then, he couldn't drive for 2 weeks as who is going to teach their kid to drive in the snow? Not me!!
Now, that the snow is melted, his dad has been taking him out to practice.
It's funny, when I was 15, it was a perfectly acceptable age to start driving. But, now? Notsomuch!

Christmas seemed to arrive earlier than expected and brought with it it's own set of issues. Choosing which family party to attend, which party to skip.  I make it sound like we're are in such high demand but mostly, it's the result of divorced parents (my husband's) and everyone wanting their share of time. But, we did manage to have Christmas Eve to ourselves and that was a first. And, it was nice.

With my youngest being 7, it's interesting, and if I'm honest, a little sad, to see the toys being replaced with electronics and clothes. When my husband and I were out shopping, we saw so many toys that our kids would've loved, 5-15 years ago. Woody and Buzz toys were not available when Jayce was into ToyStory, 13 years ago!!  And, the dinosaurs!!!  Where were those when we needed them?? 

The month is closing out on Josie's 11th birthday.  I took her and a friend to the movie "Frozen" (cute!!) and now,as I type, they are getting ready for bed and I'm wondering how much sleep they will actually get. Luther is patiently waiting for the lights to be turned out so he can "sneak" (as much as a smelly, 120lb dog can sneak) into bed with the girls.

Tomorrow we will go to yet another party, where we will stay up way past our bedtimes, hanging out with friends and letting the kids eat as much as they want. We will "ring" in the New Year.

2013 definitely had some low points, but it had some highs as well.

I wonder what 2014 will hold?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Old Fashioned Recipe

Jeven (2nd grader) brought home a flier from school today.

Apparently, the school is making a cook book and asking for parents to contribute recipes.

Great fundraiser, if you ask me.

I asked Jeven if he'd like me to send a recipe with him.

He said "Yes!"

I asked, "Which recipe would you like me to send? What do I make that you LOVE!!"

"You know that stuff that has ice cream, gummy worms, crushed up Oreos, whipped cream and cherries?"

"You mean a 'sundae'?"

"Yeah!! That! Send the recipe for that!"

It's nice to see my hours time on Pinterest, trolling for healthy, yummy recipes was well spent.

Friday, November 15, 2013


One of the things I've enjoyed since I've had more "free time" at home, is helping my friends.

One friend recently had her third baby. Her little boys were delighted to welcome their new baby sister into the world. But, little boys and rest and quiet don't add up, so I was thrilled to take them off her hands for a day.  If I could hold that sweet newborn baby girl. Which, she happily allowed.

It gave me baby fever. There is NOTHING like a tiny, new person.

Another friend, mother of 7 (yup) was going out of town for 2 weeks. Her older 5 were going to Grandma's and the newborn with her. That left the little 2 year old boy. Christy's mother in law is of the mindset that even tiny babies can be potty trained (I'm sure you've heard of this. In fact, maybe you do elimination communication with your own children. I'm not here to judge) but it just stresses Christy out. Lord knows, she has enough to do with a newborn, a two year old and 5 other children under the age of 12.  I could see it was causing Christy some angst, the thought of her mother in law losing her patience with little Seth.
I jumped right in and volunteered to keep him.

Figured, if anything, chasing a two year old would cure me of that fever.

This little boy, is as close to perfect as you can imagine. I'm not kidding.  I had to bribe him to NOT GO NIGHT NIGHT as it was too early in the evening. He obeys, he eats anything I put in front of him, he's funny, adorable and this fever is burning me up.

It's probably a very good thing my husband and I are both "fixed".  Even after 7 years since my last baby, even after I'm done with diapers, sleepless nights, potty training and having to work around naps and feedings, and I'm so glad I am, I tell  ya, when I hold that precious baby, or hear a two year old giggle because the dog licked his toes, it makes my uterus hurt.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Honeymoon Stage

It has been almost 2 weeks since I had my last day at the assisted living facility.
Making the decision to indeed quit was very, very difficult. I'm one of the rare people that enjoyed (most of the time, if you looked past the "politics and procedures")their job. I loved the residents.
And, while we needed the money, we didn't need the money.
But, my family does need me and they will always come first. Working 40+ hours a week, random days was not what I signed up for.

After I gave my written notice (3 week notice, mind you) my boss did propose a job share type of scheduling accommodation for me and while I sincerely appreciated his effort, his lack of effort previously and the fact that he has been screwing up my schedule from the day he took over the building, didn't leave me with much trust that he'd get it right now.

So, I slowly let residents know I would be leaving at the end of the month (October). **Ami, imagine telling your kids you would be leaving them in 3 weeks!?  Heartbreaking!!**
Some residents were flat out angry and wanted to speak to my boss immediately. And, while I appreciated their sentiments, I had already made up my mind.
Some residents expressed their regrets and I was sad as well.

On my last day, there were many, many tears. From myself and residents. Some, I didn't even know they knew who I was, but here they were, giving me cards and hugging me. It was horribly sweet.
I promised that I would return, that I would come back and volunteer and they would see me again.
One lady said "They all say that." I said "Rochelle, you know me. When I say I will do something, I do it. Right?"  "Yeah, you did say you'd pluck my chin hairs and you stayed after your shift and got every single one!!"  ( :

We did not tell the kids I was quitting my job. For several reasons. A) to make sure I actually had the guts and would really do it. And, B) I was going out of town immediately after my last day .  I didn't want to be "Kids, mom will be home with you more now. But, not yet!! See ya!!"

My last day was a Thursday. So, the following Monday, Josie noticed I wasn't getting dressed for work. I was there to greet the little boys off the school bus. They knew something was up.
As they ate their ice cream sundaes (best after school snack ever!!) I told them "I don't work today. Or the next. Or the next. Or the next..."
They caught on very quickly and were over the moon with happiness. Made my mama's heart very happy.
However, Jeven did expect ice cream for a snack the next day as well.

The last 2 weeks have been WONDERFUL!!
My house has never been cleaner.
The laundry has never been more caught up (still not 100% but I'm still holding on to that dream).
There has been banana bread, pumpkin pie, caramels, chicken pot pie, and biscuits. All handmade from scratch.
I've been more relaxed. The kids have been more relaxed.
Things have just been.....dare I say it....peaceful.

I know that this is probably the Honeymoon Stage. Where it's all wedded bliss until the new husband leaves the toilet seat up. Or, in this case, until someone catches the flu. (Or, when I start my seasonal, temporary part time job at the end of this month)

But, if the last year and a half has taught me anything, it's that my heart is at home. I know now, more than ever, that it's a blessing. I know there are many women (and men, too!) that want to be home but can't .

I hope the honeymoon stage lasts a very, very long time. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I'm not in a bad mood, I swear.
The weather has been so pretty. So far, we've avoided the sickies that have been going around. Life has been just fine.

But. There are still some things that are irritating me. And, I thought it necessary to gripe about them here. we go.

1:  Zombies/Vampires/Other Horror Crap---Yes, I know it's Halloween season and that stuff tends to "go" with it. But, the zombies and vampires have been BIG for quite awhile now. Apparently, there is a tv show that is HUGELY popular about zombies and walking. I don't watch it. I find it all stupid. And somewhat disturbing. But, the "Horror Theme" is just everywhere and I'm a little peeved about it. I was in a store the other day (which reminds me of the next peeve I'm going to list. Stay tuned.), found a cute hoodie, on sale. But, upon further inspection, I noticed it was covered in skulls!! I just...don't....get it.  If that sorta thing is something you like, then go for it. I'm just tired of seeing it everywhere.

2:  Being Asked to Donated to Random Charities When I'm Already Spending My Hard Earned Money in Your Store--Seems to me, every store is asking me if I'd like to round my total up to benefit some charity. And, while I have no problem giving to charity, I do have a problem with people asking me for MORE money. The money I'm about to spend on the ONLY pair of jeans in the entire town that fit my 10 year old daughter, like a 10 year old girl and not a 21 year old hooker, (peeve!) is enough of a dent in my dwindling budget and you're asking me to donate money to a charity that I have no idea of it's validity and if you will indeed give the money to them? I think not. And, while I'm at it--wearing pink or posting my bra size on facebook does absolutely NOTHING to fight cancer. I'd rather donate my time in helping a mother/woman by giving her a ride to chemo, babysitting her kids, buying groceries or any other easy task that would be actually helpful . Rounding my purchase up at Penney's is not going to help my neighbor.

3: Since When Does the Music in Stores Have To Be So Loud--I know Ami wears headphones when she shops and while I think that's a wonderful idea, I find it somewhat claustrophobic and I have a hard time keeping a watchful eye on my kids if I'm wearing headphones. Why not have a station at the checkout where if you want to listen to the crap they play on the radio these days, then you "rent" a pair of headphones and can listen and other shoppers will not scream and pull their hair out because some girl singing a song about "Maybe" is driving her insane?

There. I feel so much better getting that all off my chest. And, yes, I realize it makes me sound like I'm 88 instead of 38 is what it is.

What are your peeves?  Everyone has some. Spill it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Camera Dump

Jarrett with the hermit crab he found in a tide pool!

Friends just hangin' out.

My big 2nd and 3rd graders!

Judd's Grandma and Grandpa, celebrating 65th wedding anniversary.

Jayce's first doe, with his father, family friend and Great Grandpa.

Josie watching t.v. with the duck. Yup.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Total Irony

I was out of the job field for 14 years before going back part time at the assisted living facility.
And while I always had bosses that treated me fairly and that I got along with , I am not totally naive in my thinking that sometimes, it's all about the money. Money the boss receives in a bonus for being under budget,  under hours or full filling some quota or another.

But I was still shocked at the happenings this past week.

My shift is 3pm-9pm, and it's called the "half-shift" although it's more of a three-fourths shift.  The "full-shift" is 2pm-10pm, with each caregiver assigned a certain section of the facility and me floating around, helping every where. 

Tues, I got to work on time and was greeted with "Makayla called in sick, we are short a girl." 
So, we all ran our butts off and constantly asked management if they were calling anyone in to help us out. "We are working on it." we were told.
Then, it was 4:59 pm 

Do you think management stuck around to make sure we had the help we needed? 
Do you think they kindly asked if I would consider staying until 10, to make sure our residents were well taken care of?


I kindly stayed an hour past my shift, took no lunch break and gave a 100%, like I do every time  I work. 

The following day, I went into my boss' office and had to report why I stayed late and did not take a lunch. When I stated that there was not enough coverage at 9 for me to go home, and I took no lunch because again, it would have left not enough aides on the floors, I was lectured about budget hours and labor laws. 
Not a "thank you" for staying to take care of our residents.  Nothing.

Except a reminder that scheduling rules were changing.
Now, instead of people having certain days, and times, off, the schedule would rotate to 4 days on, 2 days off.
When I asked, "Even the part timers?" I was told "Yup."
When I asked, "No matter what agreement was reached when I was hired? With my availability accepted then?" . I was told, "This new schedule will void out all that." 
"Hmmmm...that doesn't work for me. I chose this job, and you chose me for this job, with the understanding that I could not work certain days and I only wanted certain hours. We both agreed on this certain schedule."
"Doesn't matter."
"Well, I don't think I will be able to work here then."
"We are hiring more staff in the anticipation that we will lose some current staff."

I have worked there a year!! I have called in sick two times.  I have come in on my days off numerous times. I have stayed past my scheduled shift numerous times. Residents request me, by name, to help them. Co-workers request me on their shift.  I am not a slacker employee. I have won prizes from the same management team.

I thought I was a valued employee. 

I guess I was wrong. 

The irony? 

It was staff appreciation week. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Walking After Midnight

Sleepwalking is not like it is depicted in the movies. Arms out, chanting, roaming the streets. Wait. Maybe that's zombies. Which is all the rage these days, much to my disgust.

Anyways....sleepwalking can be quite funny, if done correctly and safely. 

My brother did it often. Once, we all (dad,mom and myself) watched my brother, perhaps he was 8, go down the front steps and climb into my father's big Ford pick up and pretend to drive. All while sound asleep. We lived out in the country and after witnessing this latest trick, my parents started to roll the portable dishwasher in front of the front door so he wouldn't roam off into the wilderness at night. 
My mother also worried some when Luke was in the Navy and out to sea. A Navy ship is not something you want to sleepwalk off of. 

I have done a few episodes myself. During the summer after high school graduation, I worked all day and hung out with my friends until the wee hours of the morning. I would often times wake up shortly after going to bed and be so confused that I would think I was late for work. Therefore, I would frantically try to find my clothes, do my hair and be completely dressed for work only to realize it was 5am and not 10am. Then, I'd go back to bed. Still dressed for work.

Shortly after my husband and I were married, I awoke in the middle of the night to see a man standing at the foot of our bed. I can, to this day, tell you what he was wearing and what he looked like. I woke up my husband and told him about the man in our room. He quickly turned on the light to find...nobody. I calmly went back to sleep. My poor husband, however, laid there, heart pounding and very alert, for a very long time.

To this day, when I get extremely tired or stressed, I do these weird things in my sleep. And, I can totally remember them the next day. The what I did and also,the reason why I did them. The episodes mainly revolve around work and thinking I am there instead of home, in my bed. I have roamed the house, looking for the time clock. I have tried to communicate with co-workers on my walkie talkie. My husband has gotten used to it and just rolls over and goes back to sleep. And, makes fun of me in the morning.

Just recently, while my oldest son and his friend were staying up all night, playing video games in the living room, I got up, went into the kitchen and opened a bag of Cheetos and proceeded to munch away. My son recognized my actions as my sleepwalking fun-time and calmly took the snack away and told me to go back to bed. His best friend thought it was hilarious and went home and told the story to his mother who also happens to be our Pastor's wife. Now, at any church picnic or function, if there are cheese puffs, she teases me horribly. 

Hey, you don't have to be completely asleep to enjoy Cheetos, am I right?

 My children have inherited their mother's habits. When Josie sleepwalks, she is looking for the restroom. She has pee'd on a kitchen chair, in the living room and once in the bathroom sink. Unlike her mother, she remembers nothing the next day.

My absolute favorite sleepwalking story involves my oldest son. It was this past summer, around the 4th of July.

He told me the story the morning after he did it as he DOES remember after he sleepwalks.
He was dreaming of lighting firecrackers and smoke bombs, in his bedroom. He would light the fuse, throw the bomb under his brother's bunkbeds. In reality, he was throwing his various blankets and pillows onto the floor.
One firecracker, in his dream, was HUGE. He just knew it was going to be dangerous but he lit it anyways and immediately regretted it. He knew there was no time to save everyone, so he saved himself.
He ran down the hallway, and crouched down in the corner, by the garage door, in the kitchen and plugged his ears. He felt horrible that he wasn't able to alert anyone else in the house about the impending explosion. He waited and waited and waited. But, nothing exploded. With a sigh of relief, he went back to bed.
And awoke the next morning with no pillows or blankets on his bed.

I couldn't believe that he went through that turmoil and we all slept peacefully in our beds. And, I still laugh today, picturing him crouched in the kitchen, with his fingers in his ears with a look of panic on his face.  
And, I try not to be concerned that he thought it was normal to light firecrackers in his bedroom.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whip It Good

Jeven HATES to get up in the mornings. I literally have to drag him out of bed. Kicking and yelling and fighting me every step of the way. At least on school mornings. On weekends? Up 30 min EARLIER than a school morning. Yup. It's grand.

After one especially exasperating morning, when I stated I didn't know what we were gonna do with him, Jeven offered up this suggestion:

Jeven: I know what you can do!
Me: Oh yeah? What?
Jeven: Buy a big thing of licorice!
Me: Wha??
Jeven: Yeah!! You can spank me with the long strings of Red Rope!
Me: Oh? And, then what? Let you eat it?
Jeven: Yeah!! THAT would be my punishment!! Eating licorice that touched my bottom!!! 

I don't know what to type here, as I wasn't sure what to say in response to his whole plan. I think I just told him to get his shoes on and get out to the bus stop. 

For the record, we don't not whip our children with ropes, Red or otherwise.

He does love licorice! And, he chooses black as only 1/3 of the people in our house will eat it. (2/6 really but, that is not a lowest term fraction, and it bothered me.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Falling In Line

Did you hear that? That huge **sigh**?  That was me.  Sighing with relief that the cooler weather, routines and Sunday afternoons watching football have returned. 

Spring has always been my favorite season but, I do think Fall is coming close behind.

Jarrett and Jeven returned to elementary school, in 3rd and 2nd grades. Jeven has a teacher that we know well and have been very happy with. Jarrett actually has two teachers as they job share but they've been there for a long time and I've heard great things about both of them.

Still trying to figure out why Jeven states, often, that he "hates school" and get to the bottom of that. His teacher and I are communicating back and forth and so far, no huge alarms are going off. I honestly think he just wants to stay home and be lazy. Who doesn't, right?

Jayce is a freshman in the online school and doing very well. He is in 2 honors classes, Literature and Geometry. We both were a little nervous as I have NO TEACHER'S MATERIALS so really no way (other than my natural geniusness. Wha?? That's not a word? Should be.) to help him or check things before he turns them in. You know, kinda like High School. Anyways, he has an "A" in each course with the exception of an 89.9% in Literature. We'll take it!!

Josie started 5th grade, in the online school as well. And, she's doing pretty well, too. She is doing much more on her own and not needing me right beside her with every. single. worksheet/lesson. Which is good as Pinning dishes, laundry, and cooking do not do themselves.

The "evil lady" is still at my work. And, while I've accepted it and have learned to cope, it's still a challenge, to say the least. But, her health has deteriorated, even more so than previously, so I'm not sure how her story will end.

I leave for work, 4 days a week, approximately 3 min. before the little boys get off the school bus. It's difficult, as I see them for a few min. in the morning then not again until the next morning. But, we're getting into a groove.  I do have Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays off. While Wednesdays and Sundays are packed full with church activities, Saturdays are basically our "free" days. And while I try to cram as much free/chore/fun/relax/nap time into one weekend, and take advantage of being with the kids, because I miss them so during the week, by the time 7:30 comes around Sunday evening, I'm wiped.
Just because my kids aren't toddlers nor in diapers anymore doesn't mean they can't exhaust me to the ground!

As I'm typing, the kids are in bed, the dishes are done, packpacks (what we call backpacks) are, well, packed, laundry is neatly folded at least out of the dryer and in a communal basket. I have a Pumpkin Spice wax warmer going and I'm just ....content. 

For some reason, with the entrance of Fall, I just feel like things have fallen in line 

Although, I'm no fool. I know the reality of raining, cold days will start to drive me slightly insane and also make the kids stir crazy and the holidays are fast approaching and my cloud of Pumpking Spice will soon give me a headache, I'm gonna bask in contentment for awhile M'kay? 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Animals Are Awesome

Remember that itty bitty tiny puppy we got last year? He has grown a tad.

With all the things that come with owning a dog--hair, fleas, hair, slobber, hair, poop, hair, vet bills, hair and food (oh, the dog hair? yeah, it's everywhere. every where)--they still manage to weasel their way into your hearts and quickly become part of the family. Luther is a big dope with a heart of a marshmallow. He loves to be with his family, never hurts anyone (on purpose. he does step on our toes alot.) and has really been the perfect family dog, for us. That doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated and question what in the world we were thinking, getting another dog, especially one so..large. But, he belongs with us.

Friday nights are super crazy at my work. Lots of showers and people leaving for the weekend and such. One Friday night, a few weeks ago, I was sweating like a pig, running around doing all the things I do. It was 915 and I hadn't clocked out for dinner yet (I get off at 10) and it didn't look like I was going to be able to. I was also training a new girl. It was just super stressful.
My cell phone rings and I see it is my home. I answered, thinking it would be my husband putting in his request for Sonic or some other treat, on my way home.
"Hello!!" (said impatiently)
"Mom??? (It's Josie)
"Josie??" (my heart immediately started beating 1000 beats a second)
"What? Where is your dad?" (I knew Jayce was not home)

At this point, all I could understand was the dog was gone, my husband had left the kids alone,at 915 at night, and my daughter was besides herself with terror/guilt.  I was needed at home and I was at work and helpless to do anything about it. It was the worst feeling in the world. I finally managed to leave work (a whole 10 min. before my shift ended) and I rushed home, also looking along the road for signs of our missing dog.

I get home, expecting all heck to be on the loose, to find my daughter happily watching t.v., the boys playing with their Legos and my husband asking "Did you bring me home anything?".
Oh, and I was also greeted by the dog.

The story was told to me in bits and pieces.
The short version is: The kids left the gate open, the dog went out into the night, it was awhile before anyone noticed that the dog wasn't around (it was when they were eating dinner and he wasn't up in their business). Judd was angry, Josie was scared. Judd literally went around the corner to find our dog on someone's couch, looking out their front window. ("Hiya Dad!! I went on an adventure!!")  The owners of the house were not home so my husband decided to camp out on their front porch to wait. He tells me it was because he didn't want to drive ALL the way home (seriously, it's like less than 300 yds ) but when further pushed, he finally confessed it was because he was afraid the neighbors were dognapping his beloved pooch.
Luther made it home safe and sound, the kids will NEVER leave the gate open again, I suffered a mild heart attack.

Just another Friday night.

It has been one week, today, that we lost our beloved black kitty. She was 13 years old. Judd surprised me with her, just a itty bitty kitty, shortly after I suffered my miscarriage in 2000. She has been a constant in our house for many years. She was a tough cookie kitty. We came home from church to find her in the road. It was all very sad and not to be too dramatic over a cat, I've missed her this week.

And, last but certainly not least, is this:
Because? It is totally sane and logical to bring home a newly hatched duck and introduce it to your dog, your other cat and your children.

Do not question my judgement.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Lackage

This summer has really, for a lack of a better word, well, lacked.

I know you would think since I haven't written in awhile, it must be because I'm off doing really awesome things.
I haven't been.

Let's see...........

My husband is still constantly looking for another job. One that pays ALL the bills and maybe would give us some breathing room. Or even one that has potential for promotions. The one he has now, he has topped out unless we want to move out of state for management position. And have him work 70+ hours a week. Which we do not want.
Anyways, he actually had an interview last week and it sounded very promising. The man even went as far as to tell my husband that he would send us an employee benefit package. 
A week later, we still haven't gotten it. My husband called and was told the position had already been filled. (And, not by my husband, incase you needed further explanation.)
It's all very discouraging.

The abusive resident is still at my work. We have been told no fewer than THREE times that if she was not out by three different dates, the police would be called. It has not happened and I've given up hope that it ever will. Seems assisted living facilities, among many other facilities, are motivated by one thing--money. Don't even get me started on that whole issue. (more money=better care for seniors/children???)

We did manage to go to the coast two different days, as a family. I've arranged numerous playdates and sleepovers for the kids. I've done, what I consider, a heartfelt attempt at making things fun for my kids.
And how do they repay me?
By fighting non-stop and complaining.  Yes, I know. Kids fight. They complain. They are ungrateful. I get that. And while I resolve, everyday, to do a better job parenting so that I will have grateful kids that show love and respect towards their siblings, and others, I am also a realist. And I remember how I treated my brother, whom I love and respect very much. It wasn't pretty. Or kind.

But, my whole point here, when confronted and asked why such behavior is constantly happening, my kids respond with, "I just don't like you working."

At first, it was huge guilt overload. But, I've been working a year now. And, while it has been an adjustment, it has been very livable and has afforded us opportunities we wouldn't get if I didn't work (coast trips, to name one!).

Finally, after one horrible day of yelling and crying, I sat the kids down and said my working would no longer be an excuse to act disrespectful and I would no longer try to compensate by letting them get away with everything. I explained trying to make me feel guilty would no longer work!! I could see Josie, who is the HUGEST instigator in the "Let's make mom feel guilty" exploitations, admit defeat and her and I made eye contact and she was feeling me. 

Since then, things have been better. But, I will be honest. I'm looking forward to summer being over. We are in need of some more structure, some routine. Even our eating habits have been out of whack. And while I could try to redirect some of the routines and diets, I just feel like the end of summer will be the start of some many things. Good things.

I know that my last few (okay, you caught me, ONE) posts have been pretty much "my life is hard" theme, I am working on getting some pictures posted and some more lighthearted posts. (I saw that Karey!!!  You just rolled your eyes, didn't you?Because you're thinking "I've heard THAT before?" AmIright???)

Who knows? Maybe the end of summer will mean me posting more. Anything is possible!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Bit Ballzy

I know I'm bad off when I'm looking forward to getting up at 630 am and taking the cat to get neutered.

It will be the first time I've been completely alone for months! (And I guess, technically, I won't be completely alone as the cat will be with me. But I have a feeling he won't be asking me a hundred thousand questions.  Nor will he be fighting with his siblings over EVERY.THING!!) 

Is it wrong that I enjoy my alone time? That I need alone time? 

I made a (suppose to be sarcastic) comment in my last post about how my husband and I may not survive retirement. I then received a comment ( from "anonymous", don't you just love those?) about how doomed my marriage must be. (I paraphrase)

While I take little stock in comments from people that don't know me, my husband nor have the decency to leave their name, it did make me feel guilty. 

I do love my husband. A lot. And, just as importantly, if not more importantly, I like him. We have lots of fun together and he is the first person I talk to when anything happens, big or small, in my life. I respect him. Appreciate him. Cherish him. 

But, I do not want to spend every second of every day with him. You see, while he is a great many things, one thing he is not is self sufficient. Let's just say, if I was to disappear for longer than 3 days, with no warning, he'd starve and run out of clean underwear.  I kid!! Sorta. 

He may be able to fix his own food, but he doesn't know what to make or where to find the ingredients. He doesn't know how to do laundry. He doesn't know where I keep the extra bottles of shampoo. 

To his credit, he never had to learn. A certain woman (not his mom!) did everything for him before we got married and then, I just took over. Because I wanted to. I still want to. He's never made me. It's just the way our marriage is and 99% of the time, Im happy to be my husband's help meet. 

But there is that 1% where I really just want him to leave me alone. Not forever. Just for a few hours. 

So,while that comment made me feel guilty for a beat or two, Im still looking forward to my cat getting his "boys" removed tomorrow. 

If that's wrong, I don't want to be right. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The One Where She Posts After a REALLY Long Time

I cross my heart and hope to die, there are 5 posts started but yet unfinished in my draft folder.

I would deem something "post worthy" and start it only to be dragged away by something more important and by the time I'd get back to it, it wasn't all that interesting after all. 

But, it's been so long since I've posted, I'm going to muddle through a random catcha up post. It will be oh so very interesting (hardly) and life changing (snort), you will wonder how on earth I've been away so long.

It is over. Both public and homeschooling. All four kids did well and frankly, I'm glad the morning battle of getting 2 out the door and 2 up and ready to start school is over.

It is here. Whether I like it or not. I hate being hot. Being hot makes me cranky. Being cranky makes everyone around me cranky.
I will be honest and say that the first 2 weeks of summer being dark and gloomy did not hurt my feelings at all. It was rather nice. However, the kids are going ape crazy. They are fighting non-stop and so very bored. So far, we have set one new rule. If you say the words "It's not fair!" or "I have nothing to do", you will be shown life is not fair and I will find you something to do and you will not like it.
Seriously, I'm DONE with the whining.

Husband's Work:
He is back at it, full time. He actually went back in April but...cough, cough...I don't think I've posted since he went back.
He was actually on vacation this week.
Let me just say--while I love my husband dearly and I enjoy spending time with him, I do not know how we will ever survive retirement. I feel horribly guilty about not wanting to be with him 24/7 but...well, I don't.

My Work:
I've cut down my working to 3 days a week. Seems to be somewhat reasonable. I like my job, still. But, I also like, and miss, being at home. We are thinking that I will do it for one more year. We should have the rest of our debt paid off at the beginning of next year and want to save for Disneyland in November of 2014. Going with my folks and my brother and his family! But, that's alot of clams to save. And, really, you can't pay in clams so we need to save some money, too.

One of the posts in the draft folder was about a resident that is abusive to the aides. And, when I say abusive, I mean it. She has physically threatened me with scissors, ran my feet over with her power scooter, and spat at me. But, verbally she is way more powerful. Horrible.
To the point where I was having nightmares and making myself sick to my stomach. But, lest you think I was singled out, don't you worry! She was like that to everyone.
In Feb., she was given a 30 day eviction notice. However, legally, you can't just throw an 80 yr old crippled woman out on the street. Legally, she was entitled to appeals and court appearances. But, finally, the judge decided that indeed, she needed to move out. She should be out by the time I return to work on Monday. I can't even begin to tell you the weight that has been lifted.  From me personally but also from the whole establishment where I work.

My Son's Work:
Yup. My son is "working" this summer. He is 14.  His best friend, who is 17, is running his own lawn care business. He picks Jayce up in the mornings, they work all day, and Jayce is home by the time I need to go to work,on my work days, to watch his siblings.
He is getting up early and working very hard. And while it's not a job that he receives a pay check, he is making money (cash) and not sitting around complaining about not having anything to do.

His father and I have witnessed some struggles between Jayce and his friend. For the most part, we've let them handle it themselves and some lessons have been learned. But, we've told him, put the friendship before the money and you will not regret it. We love his friend like a member of our own family and would hate to see anything happen where he wasn't around, mooching all our food and putting his feet up on our furniture.

Summer Plans:
None. Not really. I do have my 20th high school reunion this coming up weekend. Sorta looking forward to that. We had one at 10 yrs but I discovered 10 yrs. isn't enough time for everyone to grow up. Some of us had but the majority had not and that was not fun. But, I think we are pretty much in the same place now. Some of us with older kids, some with younger. Some on our 2nd (or even 3rd) marriages, some not even thinking about it. But, sadly, it's the ones that are deceased that will be missed and the reason why we are doing it in the first place. You never know when the "last time I saw you" will truly be the last time.

You are all caught up. 
You can check that off your list because I know surely I was on there.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Notes in the Morning

One thing "they" don't tell you when you have kids is that you will never sleep the same again. Ever.
And, I don't just mean when they are babies. That's kind of a no brainer. New baby=no sleep.
But, toddlers have bad dreams, 10 yr. old girls have various, random maladies that necessitates middle of the night curing (usually Neosporin), and teenagers bring entire issues of their own.

And don't even get me started on the animals. Needing to go out. Needing to sleep on your face. Needing to run in a squeaky wheel that leads to nowhere. Needing to fill the entire bedroom with the most horrible aroma imaginable.

Needless to say, I haven't slept decent in 14 years. And, I love sleep. If I have to choose between chocolate or sleep, sleep wins. Hands down.
Lately, with my work hours, I'm lucky if Im in bed by midnight. Then, getting up early to get the boys off to school, doing school with the other two, then back to work, it's leaving me constantly craving a nap.

But, my 8 yr. old? He never sleeps. Okay, that's not ENTIRELY true. But, he's the last one to go to sleep and is up at dawn most mornings. School or not. And, amazingly, he is rarely tired. He goes 100 miles an hour all day,every day. He is like Hammy from "Over the Hedge" when he drinks the energy drink.

Most mornings, I get up to find him dressed and building with Legos. (Now, my 6 yr. old I have to LITERALLY, physically drag from bed, kicking and screaming. Never boring mornings here, I tell ya.)

Recently, the stars aligned and for whatever reason, there was a night when NOONE had to get up the next morning.

I begged Jarrett to please, please sleep in or at the very least, not wake us up!
"But, Mom, I am hungry when I get up"
"Well, eat a banana or any other quiet food."

Later, that night, after everyone was tucked in, I had the most brilliant plan. It was genius, I tell you.

I left a note where Jarrett was sure to see it upon getting up in the morning.
"Jarrett, there is a bowl of cereal on the table. There is a cup of milk in the fridge. Pour the milk into the cereal and eat! I love you!"

It solved everything. He could get up and not be hungry and I knew he would love "making" his own breakfast. And, I could sleep! See? Genius, right?

6:30 the next morning, I awake to Jarrett poking me on the nose. He leans close and says "Mom! Thanks for the note!!"

Totally missed the point, Hammy.

Oh well. Guess I can sleep......when the kids move out???

Monday, April 8, 2013

Indecent Proposal

There is an unwritten, unspoken rule that says a man can reach a certain age and us woman will find it adorable when they flirt with us. And our husbands will find it harmless.

A 60 yr. old man saying "Hi, beautiful." seems inappropriate but, add 20 yrs to that and it's considered "spunky".

At my place of employment, we not only have "old" people but we also have a few men and women that aren't that old and are only living there because they can no longer take care of themselves fully. Such as stroke and vehicle accident sufferers.
One lady is actually younger than my parents. Her 16 yr. old son comes by and visits after school or basketball practice.
Another man suffered a stroke and he is not much past 50. He has flirted and I do find it creepy and it makes me uncomfortable. To the point that I make sure I don't stand too close to him lest he touch me.

But, then there is another man, in his 80s, that calls all us girls "Babe" and has made comments that would make a sailor blush.

Then, then there is "Cowboy". An 85+ man that travels around on a motorized wheelchair. He wears a cowboy hat, always, with cowboy boots and if he's not smoking a cigar, he at least has one in his mouth. When I pass him in the hall, he always greets me with " Hi young-un." or "Whoo-wee! Looking pretty today!". Totally classy, right?

One evening, before dinner, another aide and I were in the dining room when Cowboy comes up and poured himself a cup of coffee. Now, this other aide is 19, super skinny. She also has a nose ring and burgundy hair. To these old people, she is preposterous in her appearance.

Cowboy turns to me and says "Hiya pretty lady."
Me: Hi! (blush, giggle)
Cowboy: You know, back in my room, I have a marriage license. It has 4 spaces on it for wives and I still have room for two more. What do you say?"
Me: Well, I say sure thing except for I'm already married.
Cowboy: Do you think he'd mind if I stole you from him?
Me: Probably not so much. But, I also have four kids. They'd have to come, too.
Cowboy: Four!! I don't know 'bout that. **turns to other aide** Hiya pretty lady. I got a marriage license....

So, in less than a minute, I was proposed to and then dumped.

And, it was adorable.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ack With a Thousand Exclamation Points

April? How did we get here already? And, not even the teensiest part of April, but, the first week is almost crossed off. Time truly does fly when you're...

I'm not sure how to finish that above sentence, really.

Having fun? Certainly we've been having our fair share of that. Road trips where the kids argued and Jeven constantly tried to tell a knock-knock joke. When I finally had had enough and blew a gasket and yelled for everyone to hush up, it was silent for approximately 12 seconds. Then, a quiet voice from the back of the van, "Mom? Knock-knock?"

Busy? Duh. Certainly we've been busy beyond "normal". School. Church. Work. My brother and his family were here for Spring Break and I managed a few days off and we spent some time with them. (That should probably go in the "fun" category). My brother has found a woman that truly makes him happy and it was a pleasure to be around her and her kids. If you knew anything about my brother's past, you would perhaps appreciate that fact a little more.
But, being busy with everyday stuff definitely makes time fly by.

I've missed blogging and connecting with people here. I have gotten so excited to get an email that says " so and so has left a new comment on your post" only to be angry when it turned out to be from some stupid anonymous spammer.

I am hoping that I can get back to regular posting soon. My husband went back to work (yay!!) this week so I will be cutting back my hours (yay!! yay!!) giving me just oodles of free time (eye roll) to blog.

At least before Christmas rolls around. I hope.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Detailed Update

1)You can take the word "detailed" in the title to mean whatever you'd like but I meant it sarcastically.

2) Husband still not working (but one day a week). He has another month or so until it's either call him back or he's let go permanently, therefore we lose our insurance. And things get seriously scary.

3) I'm still working a butt load (that's alot) of hours and am pretty much exhausted, all the time. Of course, I've always been exhausted but this is different. I do a whole day's work, before  I even go to work.

4) Husband and I take turns being depressed and then optimistic. Thankfully, we take our turns separately so one is up while the other is down.

5) The kids are all taking this individually. The oldest isn't affected much (we think), Josie is constantly upset that I have to go to work and is surprised even though my schedule is posted for all to see. Jarrett goes with the flow and Jeven is the baby and makes me feel like do-do with his crocodile tears.

6) The dog and the cats, the fish and the hamster seem to not need therapy, at this time. Although, Josie was seriously put out when I did NOT buy this for her hamster, Oreo:
Alas, poor Oreo will just have to jog without a vest. Money is tight, ya'll.

7) I have at least 2 posts in the "draft" file! Hoping to get to them soon!!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Since my last post, I've been a partying fool!!

Of course, I've been the only one at the party as the theme was "Pity".
But, I've rocked it nonetheless.

Doesn't anyone know how hard my life is right now? Doesn't anyone care?  Hello? Where are the dozens of phone calls with job offers for my husband?

My "everything will be okay" attitude of last post has sorta gone off the path, just a bit.

For the most part, I'm grateful I have a job that I like and can work how many hours I want. I'm grateful my husband has taken over some household duties to lessen my load some. I'm grateful that truly, we will be okay.

However, the lesser part of me is exhausted and feeling sorry for myself. I miss being home with my kids. I miss cooking dinner, I miss bedtime, I miss sleep.

The kids have been frustrated with the new set up we have going on. But, they know mom and dad are doing their best and (hopefully) it's temporary. Josie especially has had a difficult time adjusting. In her honest to God best effort to let me know she loves me so very much, she left this note on my pillow, for me to find when I got home at 10pm. Because I'm so very lazy I'm not going to take the time to scan it but it said:

"Dear Mom, Did you know that when you're at work until 10:00, I sometimes cry because you're gone so long? That proves how much I LOVE YOU!! ALOT cause you're the best mom in the whole world! Love, Josie"

There were some tears shed that night and the pity party was out of control.

I truly, wholeheartedly, believe there is light at the end of the tunnel and my husband is meant to get another, more satisfying job. I don't believe I was meant to be a working mom. I was meant to be home, with my kids and my husband. Some woman don't want that, but I do.

Just when I thought life is so unfair and nobody cares, I get this message from a very sweet friend:

"Jackie, I will not take no for an answer. I am bringing dinner over tomorrow night. Your husband and kids can eat it for dinner or you can save it for after church Sunday. We love your family, you are such a blessing to everyone."

More tears but this time of shame for thinking nobody cares and of gratitude because of course God cares for me, for us.

Every thing will be okay.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vitamin Deficiency

In my last post, I said that the flu bug has become an unwelcome house guest.

My oldest had a head cold and I picked up the flu from my work.

In an effort to prevent my husband and kiddos from suffering as I have, I stocked up on some vitamins. And, in my logic, decided that the higher the dose, the better.

I had my husband give them their first round Saturday night, with dinner, while I was at work.

That evening, I slept on the couch, to prevent me from breathing in my husband's face. Oh, and also because with everything clogged up, apparently I make slight noises while sleeping. The words "chain" and "saw" were used but surely that's an exaggeration.

Anyways, I slept on the couch, with no alarm. In our house, I am the one to get everyone up and ready Sunday mornings for church. If I have no alarm, a heavy dose of Nyquil, I do not get everyone up and ready in a timely fashion.

I was awakened by my much more punctual teenager yelling in my face, "It's 9 o'clock!! We have to get ready for church!!"

I scrambled to get out clothes, braid hair, grab Bibles, but, I do not feed anyone any food whatsoever. (Which, sadly, is not unusual for me. I loathe making breakfast and therefore, often, do not do it! I home-school half of my children, we eat whenever. My other two have a nutritious breakfast at school. My husband is a grown man and perfectly capable of making his own food. Which he does not do. He eats toast.) But, ever diligent in my fight against germs, I make my kids take their vitamins. 500mg of Vitamin C and 50mg of Zinc. Super Mom award nominee, am I right?

Wrong.  Approximately 5 minutes later, I have 2 boys barfing. One saying he doesn't feel so good and Josie (who took exactly the same vitamins) complaining that her braid is not straight.

I immediately feel horrible for making my kids take those vitamins on empty stomachs!!  I pop in some toast, convince them the worst is passed and all will be fine now.
I am staying home from church, once again diligent in preventing others from getting sick.
Secretly, while I love church and teaching my class, I'm a tad excited to have the house to myself. And to sleep, in my bed, instead of the couch, where I've been displaced for the last 3 nights.

As I'm getting comfy, propped on my pillows, I get a text from my friend saying "Jeven just threw up." I text back, explaining the vitamin/empty stomach scenario.
She texts back "Judd bringing everyone home".
I text back unkind things about my husband and how he never lets me have anything (meaning the quiet time I was wanting) and freaks out at a little vomit, blah blah blah.
She texts back "I understand. I guess Jayce is staying."
I apologize for going off on my husband and thank her for letting me know what was going on.

Eventually, I hear Judd pull in to the driveway. Josie enters, mad because she had to leave her friends. Jeven enters looking rather pale. Jarrett enters covered with puke.  Judd enters looking not at all happy.
We get everyone cleaned up and are discussing whether this is indeed the vitamins/empty stomach scenario or perhaps a bug. That affects everyone at exactly the same time.
Suddenly, I receive another text, this time from Jayce's friend: "This is Jayce. I feel horrible. Can someone come get me?"


We cancel plans we had, unsure of what exactly is going on.

But, by 4p.m., we were pretty sure it was the vitamins/empty stomach scenario as everyone is bouncing off the walls. Except for me, I'm still suffering from my flu (ironically, I took no vitamins whatsoever) and quite upset at my lack of quiet time.

Since then, no one has dared take any more vitamins. For approximately $10, we got exactly 2 doses of vitamins in the children. Totally not worth it.

And, if anyone was paying attention, you would notice Josie was the only one (that took vitamins) that did not throw up. What does this say, exactly, about Josie? Hmmmmm??? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Cried Over Spilled Eggs

Tonight, as I carried the bowl that held our last dozen eggs, scrambled, to the table to feed my young, it somehow slipped and fell to the floor. 

The dog was ecstatic. The kids in shock. I was in tears.

It wasn't the end of the world, necessarily, and it wasn't the worst thing to happen to me lately, but it just was wrong.  Not fair. 

The holidays came as they usually do. Crazy and hectic and jammed full of parties and toys and people and sugar. 
Christmas was a tad different for us this year as I had to work Christmas afternoon.  We had our morning here, my parents came over (which is new) and I made brunch and we relaxed until I had to go to work, then my hubby took the kids to his family's side. I only missed out on a couple hours of celebrating and working a 4 hr. shift on Christmas is not worth crying about.

The flu bug helped us bring in the New Year. Both here at home, and at my work.   A record breaking 40% of the residents are currently suffering from Influenza A. Which can be deadly to the very young, the very old or the otherwise unhealthy.  Here, at home, I've been hit the hardest. At work, my most favorite, most dearest resident (he is the one crying in this post,not because his wife was dead but because she was in the hospital with a broken arm) is dying as I type this, in the hospital. His family by his side.  I say he was my favorite because from the very first day I worked there, we connected. He had a stroke many years ago and wasn't always able to speak clearly or even use the correct words. But, I took the time and figured out his needs and cared for him, and his wife, with love and respect. In return, he and his wife, have listened to me talk about my family, given wise advise and we have prayed together. I will miss him and I cry for his wife who loves him so. 

My husband was laid off of his job of 11+years yesterday.  Lay offs are always a possibility this time of year. But, he has always avoided it.  Until now. He is unemployed, indefinitely.  When he told me, we just stared at each other, shrugged our shoulders and came up with a plan.
He has been wanting something different for so very long, but unsure how to go about it. In case you were unaware, jobs are not plentiful right now. We felt it was safer to be happy with what we had than risk it all and change things.
Seems we were meant to risk, not it all, but at least a little.
I will pick up more hours. We will collect unemployment (a fraction of his wages!!) and he will search high and low for another job. It means some definite changes and sacrifices here at home but nothing worth crying about.

I tried to keep that positive attitude today, as different people had to be told about our situation. The kids were told, and while the little ones think it's awesome dad will be home more, the oldest knows it's a serious situation and that there is potential for stress.

My family loves breakfast for dinner. I hate making it. Hence the reason I don't make it for breakfast. I have two (total) frying pans and only one is decent. Try making sausage, hash browns, pancakes and scrambled eggs in two frying pans. I make one then set the plate in the pre-warmed oven. 

Finally, all the the food was cooked, the plethora of syrups was set out for all to enjoy. The dinner call was yelled and all came running. Only to see the dog eating up the scrambled eggs off the floor.

It is very interesting how we cope with stresses and changes. Some can rock our worlds when they shouldn't and some can make us determined to make things better and buck up and put that smile on our faces.

But, when it comes to food being wasted, in this house, that's always worth crying about.