Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas - Less or More

Tough times and spending on the holidays.  That seems to be the big issue now-and-days.

Unfortunately we were a victim of this decision this year again.  Back in 2008 we were first hit with the loss of a job suddenly because of the economy.  We had a nice home that we were renting and going to buy and lost it.  We were given the bad news during December to leave by January with my husband now being unemployed and I working part-time.  We found a townhouse apartment to live in  that year and six months.  Back on topic, we had one daughter in high school her last year, one in grade school and kindergarten.  Our oldest was working at the time after school had band and other school activities.  She would hand over her check with no questions asked, thank goodness for her help.  We had good friends and daughters coworkers helped us through that because Christmas was going to be nil. I couldn't even express the gratitude we had at that time. 

As time moved on my husband got a good job working at a job he loved, we moved into a three bedroom home in the town we wanted to live in and I became pregnant with our fourth child unexpectantly! Our oops baby (lol). 

Things were looking up and we were doing fine.  We got a semi new/used car and I was a stay-at-home mom again for another 5-6 years. We managed to stay afloat with downsizing to the one car, living without cable, basic phone, basic internet and a very fine budget.  We were skimming the surface like everyone else.  We also were paying for bad financial decision from the past.  Ahhh the things we learn.

Time moves on and we moved to a smaller house and less rent 3 1/2 years later.  Mind you we have been renting homes for a while.  This one was a pit stop we were hoping for at least another two years so we could buy our own, to having to move again a year later because our lease was up, owner wanted to sell, and the unthinkable happened again, husband lost his job after five years.  This was out of the blue.  Farmers were not able to get big tax breaks for farm equipment so that led the company to make cuts and he was one on top of many others that lost their jobs too. 

So here we are again jobless and needing to move again.  Thank goodness after a long summer of searching my husband settled in a factory job again.  We are blessed.  After finding the job we were still hunting for a place to live and coming to the thought that we may have to move in with my mom until we found a place in the area we were already in so we didn't have to relocate the kids to a different school.  Blessed again we found a home to rent that was a little bigger has a huge yard and by a local park.  God is good.  All this with two months before Christmas and we are thinking, "what are we going to do". 

This leads me to this topic, less or more, spend what we do not have, borrow from friends and family, or live with a new tradition.  I have always wanted Christmas to be less about gifts and more about time and family and true meaning on the story of Mary and Joseph's journey to being parents of our saviour.  Well we took the plung.  I do believe God had his hand in this the whole time.  We did worry how the kids would take it. Now the kids are 3, 11, and soon to be 16 so can you imagine if this went bad.  Well to my surprise we have done a good job raising our kids. 

Satan was working on my husband and I in making us feel guilty.  This year we decorated and watched a lot of the holiday shows.  My 11 year old had her list made out and was hoping for some gifts that were out of our range.  When asked "do you think I'll get some of these from Santa!" well, here was our window of opportunity (live or die) take the plung.  I opened up with "you know your getting to the age that Santa doesn't give to you like you were when you were little", I get this big eyed look like is he "real" look.  My hands start sweating and my husband gives me the raised eyebrow look.  I said calmly and pray for guidance "Santa is mostly for the little kids because the don't understand a lot".  I try not to go far on that in fear the topic gets to deep and I may not have answers for.  I proceed "As you get older the gifts lessen in quantity and become that one gift that you really want that Santa can help mom an dad with.  Sometimes that may be the only one you get depending on the demand and how expensive it is, and sometimes we don't get what we want no matter how much we want it because it may not be what is needed and if it is for selfish reasons.  The main goal is that we have to accept this and remember the reason for the season.  We have to keep the spirit alive for the little ones like your little sister then every now and then when you get older you get one from Santa".  I know this is a run-around answer and I have some family and friends that would disagree with the way I handled it. I just can't bring myself to be the one who does the "dirty deed" the truth when we spend their childhood building this fantasy up.  I know my older two children have figured it out and play along with me but I never had to tell them they just accepted it. 

The decision has been made went from 5-6 presents a piece to just one to the 11 yr old and one to the 16 yr old and three to the three year old.  Is this the way I wanted it but there was no choice. It was better than nothing.  My husband and I really struggled with this and felt like poo over it.  A couple of days before the big day we really concentrated on stories of family and scriptures that I could think of and the reason why Christ was born and the role he had in his life from birth til death was for us to be forgiven and to be thankful each and everyday for what we have and that one day when Jesus comes back to reign on earth forever there will be no suffering and only happiness.  I think it hit home with my 11 yr old. I asked her if she would be disappointed if she did not get everything  but maybe a few, she said no that family and God was the real reason.  She said, "I'm not going to lie, I would love to have a new phone, mini Ipad, and more but those are just things."  I was floored.  Maybe I need to listen to myself more lol. 

The 16 yr old I think was so happy to buy for her family with her money from her job that the thought of not getting a lot was not a bother to her.  She was real excited to go shopping with her older sister.  She adores her so much and hangs on to every minute alone with her.  Now it has never been like this and they still have their tifs. 

The big day comes Christmas morning and it goes off without a problem.  They get gift certificates from their grandparents, big sister and fiance and my mom included.  My mom made them hand crochet angels to hang in their rooms, puzzles and coloring book "Frozen" themed.  Now you know the 3 yr old is in her relm.  So out of all again we did something right and were blessed with family time, movies, games and laughter.

I don't want anyone to think I'm shaking my finger at anyone who goes over board or indulges in the holidays. I have been guilty of it as well.  But, times are changing and are getting harder and harder and I dont want my kids loosing the focus of the real meaning of Christmas.  So if you found yourself struggling this holiday I hope this helped you.  Your not alone.  I do believe though we have started a new tradition and will continue.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Dark Night Rises with many Super Heroes.

11:35 p.m. Nightline comes on and my daughter and I are glued to the boob tube.

Let me take you back to late Thursday night to early Friday morning.  I was in all my glory sitting and cruising the internet and watching several movies with my eight year old, waiting for my 21 year old to come home from "A Girls Night Out" for the first time since she turned 21 and now soon to be 22.  Of course my "spidey senses" go off all the time when my kids are not home, (especially now, my 13 year old has been gone for 2 weeks in Ohio) and I'm so ever TINGLING from head to toe.  Anyway, I have to stay on track here.  The night proceeded, she came home safe and sound, and chit-chatted about how fun her night was with her girl friends and the movie they saw "Magic Mike."  She talked about the types of appetizers and drinks they had and how they were going to play it safe and walk from the mall the movie theater to watch their show.  

Morning comes, I'm on my third cup of coffee and watching the end of "Live with Kelly" ready to watch "The Nate Show" and down comes my oldest daughter wide eyed and asking if I heard or watched the news this morning.  No, I had not yet and she filled me in on the shootings in Colorado.  At this time of the morning the news was over and all that was left was the internet.  Well, I caught bits and pieces here and there on the internet and really had to do my mommy duties so the full affect had not settled in yet, nor at the time was it important to me with all the things I wanted to get done for the day.  I had managed to get by through the weekend with tidbits here and there on what had happened with my busy weekend and lack of sleep with a teething baby, but still in the back of my mind all I could replay was Columbine.  I would shake my head and continue with what I was doing because the mere thought of the incident really put me off and something like this has always consumed me physically and mentally, especially since 9/11.   

Today (Monday)  was the first I was able to sit and catch what had happened when I watched Fox News and was rather stunned at what I was seeing.  I could not believe what was going on in James Holmes's mind.  You could say he was faking it, medicated or was so mentally out of it and reality finally caught up with him (what I mean is the demon left him to deal with the mess).

Now tonight on "Nightline" they talked about the four heroes that saved their loved ones lives.  As the interviews had ended and the next program proceeded I was left numb and confused. My daughter (tender hearted) was in tears and said, "I would not have wanted Erik to have done that for me, I don't know if I could live without him". Wow, is all I could think. My immediate reaction was, "I would have wanted him to do that, I could not live without you."  But, then again I think, what if that was my husband and I at the theater. He naturally would have jumped and took a bullet for me, his girls, or anyone that was in harms way, as would I. Then he would have stormed him like a ragging bull when the opportune time came. All I can say is when you listen to the stories and think of the lives that were taken how can you not be scared to do anything.  For instance Jessica Ghawi, last month was spared of a tragedy that happened in Toronto and wrote in her blog after that incident, "I saw the terror on bystanders' faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath." Wow, I get goose bumps every time I read that and think if only she knew what was coming.  You can go here to read the full article.

I have no answers for what has happened or why.  I don't know why James Holmes withdrew from school and decided to rig his apartment in booby traps and go on a crazy spree.  He obviously had planned this strategically to have emergency responders at his residence when his alarm was planned to go off and to then go on his shooting spree.  I THANK GOD, literally that this booby trap did not go off.  Stop and think for a minute, shhhh, stop and think and let this really sink in.  If that alarm would have gone off at that time of the evening, can you imagine, with all the explosives that where there and the damage he could have done to the innocent people there and the amount of police, fire and emergency responders.  Then fast forward to the movie theater, he knows his trapped worked and now he has the whole theater and other joining theaters to invade.  HOLY CRAP!!  Again I thank GOD for the intervention.  It was a pure miracle that the bombs did not go off.  This article goes into depth of what was in his apartment.

Now, from what I understand, next weeks court hearing will tell more on the future of James Holmes and if the Prosecuting Attorney will be pursing the death penalty or life in prison without parole.  Phew, as a christian woman I have mixed feelings about the death penalty and life in prison.  First, I would want an eye for an eye, but then I know God will filter this all out in the end.  As a parent, I again, would want revenge.  I don't think that is wrong to want or have that feeling, but when do you let go and learn to live with that feeling of not getting back at the one who stole your loved ones or about killed you?  Second, do we want our tax money going to a support a crazy person, where, lets face it in some cases some prisoners get an education, free cable (which I don't have), meals (rather it is bread and water, some of our struggling US citizens don't even get that) and so forth?  I hate to say it but maybe it is better that he does serve life in prison under solitary confinement because rumor has it that people want him dead in prison for killing a six year old.

I have to put a good note in here to make me sleep better tonight.  Katie and Caleb Medley had a beautiful baby boy named Hugo.  Prayers goes to this family as the father is still fighting for his life and mom is still recovering from being shot and giving birth.  Again, thank God for his many blessings.  Please go to Caleb's website and support the family however you can.

The Victims of Aurora, Colorado shooting: 
Jessica Ghawi, 24
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
John T. Larimer, 27
Alexander J. Boik, 18
Jesse E. Childress, 29
Jonathan T. Blunk, 26
Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32
Alex M. Sullivan, 27
Gordon W. Cowdon, 52
Micayla C. Medek, 23
Alexander C. Teves, 24
Matthew R. McQuinn, 27

When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5, 6ESV) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hot and Lazy Brown Summer

Well this month has been relentless to say the least as far as heat and the ending desert look to my yard.  I have been able to break out some of the babies clothes before my youngest grew out of them.

I keep forgetting we live in Indiana.  I walk out in my yard and think do we live in the west with all the dead grass and dust blowing around when ever the (little bit of) wind we get.  It is almost like winter so depressing.  It has been so hot here that the kids really can not enjoy the summer vacation.  My second youngest keeps asking when will school start and it is only July.  WOW.  Great surprise though this week we actually had rain for a couple of days.  The grass is starting to get that almost green look back again which leads me to a news report here in Indiana where a local painter's business was running a little slow and he decided to paint his lawn green.  Here is the link-
I thought that was so funny and how ingenious.

Earlier this year when the weather was beautiful my daughter and husband went on a fishing trip in the small lake behind our house and caught a turtle.  Here he is in all his glory.  This little turtle seemed a little miffed at us for bugging him so he turned his head away (a little camera shy).

Here is another quick look at him face to face. 

We put him down to see if he would come out of his shell and boy I will tell you he had some speed to him.  He booked it across the deck in a quick hurry.  The kids and dad took him back down to the shore of the lake and they stated that this guy took off like lightening.

I will have to say I love it when we go out and find little critters like this.  We find a lot but there are times I don't have my camera with me.  Bad, bad, bad for someone who loves to take pictures.

Another fishing trip with the same daughter and her dad caught a fresh water clam in our little lake/pond.
 Now from what I have heard it that they can produce actual pearls, but they are worth nothing and that they are protected here in Indiana.  Rumor has it that Indiana is putting water back in the waterways via fire hydrant to so as to not lose the beds.  What! not now they are not with the drought going on.  I would be a little miffed if so since I can not water my desert in my back yard.  I mean look at the picture above, that is some brown, crunchy grass.

Well that is it for now.  Hope to post more critter and creepy bug pictures later.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Me, myself, I and everyone else.

I am probably no different than any other mom with kids, my only problem is that we are all female, the ages range between 9 yrs between the first and second, 4 yrs between the second and third, and 8 years apart from the third and fourth.  I guess it is not that crazy but the age span is what is getting me.  We really tried to have them all close to age but obviously God thought it as funny to space them out so when you thought you were done with one age group the one behind the other started in.  I strongly do not recommend this to anyone!   I go from dealing with a semi new adult (21) and enjoying now an adult conversation to some what of a crash and burn of a tweenager (12) with moods you can not figure out because the first child you managed to scare the crap out of so you did not really deal with the mood swings to grade schooler (8) that you can still persuade to be sweet and cute, to an  infant that makes your heart melt when they smile, coos, and puts you in a trance like state to think "Awww this is not to bad", BAM the aroma of a diaper, fussy teething and baby mood swings to "What the H E double hockey sticks was I thinking".  You give the evil eye to your husband, "you touch me again I will divorce you"; like that would take care of my problems.

Now I will have to admit I am very fortunate to be able to stay home to raise my kids.  My husband works very hard, 15 hour or so days, five to six days a week.  We live on a very limited, I say limited, budget.  We do not have cable, we have the bare necessities of phone service and Internet and a not so new car.  We have the average debt that every family has so we are sitting in a boat with a million other families.  I don't consider this a "Rant and Rave" blog, just a chance to let out my frustration in a comical or sarcastic way.  I don't really care to get into any politically correct debate and everyone has the right to be heard.  If you don't like what is said here just move on to someone else.  I just think the things I mention will be things you have thought of or shook your head at or just say "Good Grief."

Yes, we all live under the same roof in a three bedroom house.  This is where my crazy not so important life starts from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.  I added the Ha as a sarcastic note.

Now do you ask, how does your husband deal with this?  He doesn't, he fishes a lot, which  I guess saves his sanity.  Do I resent this, well depends on what day you ask me. ;-)  I really don't mind it so much.  I get lucky sometimes and can shake the 8 year old off on him and giggle when I do.  Now the 12 year old, a couple of years ago, did not mind going. But now there is "ewwww, my hair, I'm bored, I'm hungry, how long are we going to be." So it is not worth the rolling of the eyes and raised lip look when I suggest it.

I know I make my 12 year old daughter sound like and handful, but she really isn't it is just the communication that kills me.   You can pretty much slide her a meal under the door or on to the computer desk and not hear a word from her until it is something she needs.  Now what is the deal with the communication you ask. Well let me tell you the volume.  This beautiful petite girl can speak without moving her lips and the volume is so low that you are constantly asking "what, what" then you get the eye rolls and the huff and so on.  I am really hoping this is a phase.  I have to laugh though when she gets all worked up she can be quite comical.  She truly is a sweet girl but has the passion for arguing and debating from her father.  Geez oh Pete, she is relentless in this department.  I like how she will debate with you like you are getting a deal if you let me do this and her memory is like an elephant.  The big clash comes with her and her oldest sister who is now 21, living at home and in college.  There are tons of debates of "why can she do this and not me?" Well, she is an adult.  That, you can tell, goes over real well because she sees her as a pain in her side.  There is constant bickering and arguing. This will lead me to the oldest daughter.

I will have to consider myself extremely lucky to have a good role model for my younger children.  My oldest daughter has always been well behaved growing up, but we have had our fair share of teenager years.  I remember when she asked us for a sibling and we did honestly try and 9 years later she got her wish.  We were thrilled as this would be my husbands first child.  Yes, my oldest was from a previous marriage and we will leave it at that.  I have to laugh listening to both of them talk and debate things.  You get the 21 year old that will go down 9 years in age to fuss with her sibling.  Now I ask why do you do this? Just ignore it or go above it.  She will just get so flustered and exasperated with dealing with her and state "I liked it when she was little".  LOL

Now my third daughter is a world of her own.  She is a character.  This kid can sing about anything from brushing her teeth, coloring in her book, looking out the window, you name it she will sing it.  She is a busy body.  If I could harness her energy I would make a million.  No Joke.  She has now adapted her 12 year old sister's attitude (at least she thinks) until I give her the evil eye and threaten to sell everything she owns and then we are right back on page.  My biggest complaint at this time are the marks she gets from school on her take home book to have signed everyday.  How hard is it to stay on green!  Yellow and orange are the colors that come home with occasional green.  Well let me tell you this is why she is a busy body, she is constantly busy doing what she wants and not what is expected.  Go figure.  You know I'm kind of okay with this, she will be independent and self reliant for the future, just hard to convince the teacher of this.  Here is an example of a situation that has happened.

  • Phone call from Principal at school! Ring, ring, (I pick up) Hi this is Mrs. (name protected), the principal from Emily's school. (me) yes, is everything okay.  (Principal) well we had an incident at school today and I wanted to inform you of this, but Emily is not in trouble just wanted to make sure you know ahead of time of what happened.  (Me) Uh okay, what happened.  (Principal) well Emily was caught pole dancing on the playground today!  (Me) WHAT!  (Principal) Yup, she was teaching several of the girls how to swing on the Tether Ball pole and there was a little boy that was doing music for them as well!  I was summoned by the teacher on duty and I told her that is something we do not do here and where did you see that at.  (Emily) well I was watching America's Got Talent and there was a guy! (yes) that was dancing and I wanted to do the same thing!  I thought it was neat! (Principal) Chuckles and said, she is not in trouble but explained to her that is something we can not do here.  (Me) Oh my Gosh! (not really the word I used) So sorry did not think that she would pick up on that.  (Principal) Don't worry it was kind of funny, we had a good laugh, but had to say something to you in case we get calls from the other parents that Emily was teaching them to pole dance!  
Needless to say I had to call my husband at work and let him know ahead of time what was happening.  His response was laughing.  Honestly that is all you can do is laugh once the horror and shock of the news passed.  Lets just hope this does not become her future.  LOL.  I can imagine some of you may have received  some type of outrageous phone call from your school.  I just had to share this one.

Now we move on to the newest addition to the family.  Our little now 6 month old.  You really can't complain about her at this point.  We are climbing the hill of teething and restlessness of a baby wanting to do more.  She can melt you heart immediately.  The girls all fight over who is going to love and hold her.  I laugh now at this because in about a year and a half they will be complaining about how she is into everything they own.  Oh the joys of raising a family.

Really in all good humor I am so blessed with beautiful and healthy children.  I just never imagined them being so far apart in age.  Geeezzz. God does have a sense of humor.  LOL.  I love the comedy the good and bad times we share with them.  I do believe that it makes me grow into a good parent and makes me think on how good or bad of a job I'm doing.  I strongly believe being a parent and not friend, in my case, enriches us as a family as well as God in our lives each and everyday.  Again I am truly blessed with a loving husband and beautiful children.

The purpose of my blog was to just vent out the crazy stuff that comes in my life and too the everyday complications of raising kids.  I hope you enjoy and laugh at this while drinking your coffee.  I will try to keep updates of the funny and serious things that come across my mind.  I never want to be judgemental about anything but to just vent my opinion of everyday life and it's craziness of it all.