Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Life Inside A Blender

That would actually make a good book title. I think I might have left my blender on high. This season of life has been.... surprising? chunky? blurry? Almost sounds like a smoothie. Little bit of this, some of that, and I just hope it tastes somewhat decent.

When we last saw our heroine, she was somewhere back in March. In rolled April with her last home school convention and her in-laws coming out for a visit. She had all these thoughts of writing an encouraging home school book, even started up it's own blog (should I just confess that I wrote one - 1 blog post and haven't even looked at it since?) but atlas, that just seemed to have fizzled out. Instead our heroine felt that part of her assignment is coming to a close and doesn't feel sad about it. Like at all. I seriously thought I was going to be all weepy about it, but the trip actually was a complete dud for me. And when I sat down and thought about writing to encourage other homeschoolers I was surprised that I felt nothing. I mean she. She felt nothing.

Yes, SHE pondered that possibly it was an assignment but it was further down the road because maybe there was something else that needed to be tackled. Little did she know that tackling was just life in general. Ahem.

Over dramatic you say? Try this - M had a back molar that broke a while ago, said it didn't hurt and money being what it is didn't really do much. Then same tooth on the other side broke. Took him to a dentist to discover that his lower wisdom teeth grew into the broken molars causing them to crumble. 6 teeth had to go buh-bye. However, that dentist didn't want to touch it and their office was without an oral surgeon. Blah, blah long story was referred to wrong office, delay after delay finally got it done right after the home school conference. Did everything right, dude got an infection. Felt like the worst recovery nurse ever, but was told it was a good thing I was on top of it as it could have been worse.

So M recovered and was glad he did it. But wait, there's more. Who's shocked that whole twin thing kicked in? Anyone? N has the exact same problem, same teeth, x-rays almost look identical. Even though I warned them M was a twin and I would be bringing in N, it freaked out the whole office. It was amusing. Nicholas was a good sport about the whole thing. Same 6 teeth are going next week and you better believe I'm going to be all over it. Don't even think about it, infection!

We had a string of car break-ins in the neighborhood. Michael's driver's side door doesn't unlock with a key. So he has to crawl through the side to unlock it. He didn't lock it as he keeps nothing in his car, had no problems for months. One night he went to go to work but noticed the driver's door barely closed and glove box open. Nothing was missing. A month goes by and he was heading out to his car for work (he leaves anywhere from 3:30 to 4:00 a.m.) to see his car door wide open. We think it being that early, he caught the guy in the act. He said he felt like the Holy Spirit was telling him to get in his car and go! Don't look around, get in and go! His car is parked along the curb as he leaves so early with our other four vehicles in the driveway. A lady posted in our Nextdoor group from her security camera there were three guys that have been hitting people's car. I don't want to think about what could have happened. Needless to say, dude locks his car and just climbs through from the other side. We finally move out of the ghetto and now we have to be even more vigilant with our security. The frustrating part is they are wearing hoodies and masks, they know they are being recorded. Grr!

In the midst of this, J finished up his junior year. Less than a year and I will be done! But dude turned 18 and we are now a family of all adults. Maturity levels is still questionable, but that's sort of normal. Yes, I started him late. It was a last ditch effort to see if the rapture was going to happen so I didn't really have to do this whole homeschooling thing. Good thing I actually got around to doing the whole school thing or this would be awkward.

Thought I would pass along this info - if you have a male turning 18, you have 30 days from his birthday to register him with the Selective Services. When the twins turned 18, they were in the midst of getting driver's permit so forms were sent. There was nothing for Jared so we did it online. Right now, if they don't get registered they can't get any federal help for pretty much anything. They won't be eligible for college grants or loans that are federal, or any type of federal housing loans. I did read an article that there are lawmakers trying to push for harsher punishment for not registering. I don't like it, but it is what it is. I hope and pray it's never used, but I don't want to screw their future over either. That and that whole law thing. So now you know. Read up on it.

Dude has been super busy lately. He helped my dad out with a gun and knife show. Was glad he got all his school stuff done before his laptop croaked. He went to church camp and came back pretty sunburned. We'll just leave off someone forgot to send suntan lotion. Still working at logging in his driving hours. That whole process feels like it takes forever. You think wow, we did a lot, how much time? 10 minutes?!? Nooo!!

This is sad, I can't even remember what else I had going on. Nothing important as I'm having to shove it aside. My dad just had a stroke last week. Brain doctor is saying it was the heart doctor's fault for having his blood pressure too low. Not sure what's going to happen with that. His heart only functions about 25% (he would brag that it's up from 15%) so not sure where his blood pressure should be at. He's going to recover but it's going to take some time. His speech is fine but his vision is messed up. He can't drive for now so this is going to be interesting. He's pretty much done selling BBQ sauce, which is good because we've been on his case for month that his body can't take it. Jared was even saying he didn't think grandpa looked too good when he helped him. Not sure how all of this is going to pan out.

They were going to put him in some rehab clinic, but they changed their minds and sent him home. We're all thinking they ran his insurance to see what it covered and then decided they weren't going to get paid so out the door. They did that when my mom had her stroke. Thankfully, mom recovered her speech and has been back to normal for quite awhile. She said it took about 6 months to finally feel normal so all we can do is wait and see what the brain does.

This, however, means the plans they had for their already paid for conference is in need of an extra driver as my mom can't do all the driving by herself. Not sure if I'm a really good person or if I'm being punished for something, because guess who that extra driver is going to be? We have no idea how well dad is going to travel or how his brain is going to react. I should get back just in time to take N to the oral surgeon and have a week of taking care of him and managing pain meds. Week after that I'm going with my folks to go hear Robert Henderson.

So August - August looks like it might behave. Might. I'm planning on painting the kitchen. I held out as long as I could. We did the cabinets last year, so this is just caulk and paint, not stripping off layers of paint. We're talking about painting the hallway too - not sure. At this point, I might just make a blanket fort and not come out for a while. Except by that time I better get in gear for J's senior year.

Dramatic enough for you? If I hear someone say being a stay-at-home mom is so boring I will try really hard not to punch them in the throat. I'm starting to think my smoothie has some huge chunks of ice in it. Not very smooth but hey, I'm still going, so can't be all that bad.

And it just dawned on me tomorrow is July 4th from all the fireworks going off. It's hard to tell because they have been doing that for the last two weeks. We are not amused especially since the guys all work early morning shifts. I can't keep track of stuff like holidays anymore. Someone is always working a holiday, so everyone is coming and going at odd times. Gone are the days where we even watch TV together anymore. It's crazy! It takes serious plotting and planning for the five of us to even go see a movie together.

But happy independence day, America! Let's hope you really can turn things around a be great again.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

That Time I Met Jenny Lawson - The Bloggess

Granted, it was a whooping 10 seconds at a book signing, but that is besides the point. And she is just fabulous! The whole time we were in line, I kept telling myself to play it cool, don't be a freak and gush how much you admire her bravery, her honesty, and just how freaking crazy she is or how her writing really help shine a light in a dark place to say hey, you're not alone. That and her dark place makes mine look like a picnic on a slightly cloudy day.

Perspective is an amazing thing.

She even talked about that before she faced the masses to sign books. I sort of feel slightly guilty after reading her books that I feel way better about myself, but what's really cool about her is that she knows that and gives you permission to feel better that you aren't as messed up as her.

When it was my turn to have her sign her new book/coloring book, I wasn't a gushing dork, but I'm pretty sure my brain thought this was supposed to be a mannequin challenge and froze. No trying to connect, no saying something funny, zilch, nadda, nothing. I finally managed to squeak out I love her writing just as she finished signing the book and she genuinely thanked me. Either that or she is a world class actresses and has missed her calling in life. If you read her blog, you know that is not the case. Especially since she said she was having a panic attack before she came out on stage and took the wrong meds and was waiting for the vodka to kick in.

I'm glad we left early. It was a 2 hour drive down to Louisville, and because Mother Nature is off her meds, it was blowing snow. Didn't bother me a bit being from Michigan. I was lamenting that I feel bad that my kids don't know how to handle weather like that because any snow we get lasts for about 3 hours and then the sun comes out and melts it all away. I think we had some snow on the ground for a whole 2 weeks beginning of the year. I could still see grass poking through, so technically that doesn't count. Just a dusting.

We made good time due to I was talking and wasn't paying attention to how fast I was going. We actually got a pretty good parking spot, but it was parallel parking. I called it close enough and left it at that. I didn't tag the curb probably because I wasn't even close to it. I'm pretty sure the guys can parallel park better than I can. But it's not like my TrailBlazer, aka The Beast, turns on a dime.

Totally enjoyed the evening. We were in the second round of signing because someone was smart and color coded people so there wasn't a mass rush to the table. As I floated over to my friends that were waiting for me, I did give myself a pat on the back. While I wasn't my normal witty self, I can say I didn't make an @$$ of myself either. And some days that is a true challenge. Goodness knows I have a track record of opening mouth, shoving foot in up pass the knee-cap in a record of 4 seconds.

Thankfully, that was not the day.

I will give caution if you grab her books. It is for mature audiences and my inner 12 year old. Both of her books have left me crying with laughter, gasping for air. The guys kept asking what was so funny and all I could say several times over was "I can't repeat it." I did read one tiny section to get them off my case and they looked at me confused as to why I thought that was so funny. My inner 12 year old squeals with glee at her books. I am aware that 12 year old needs therapy, but who really has time for that?

This did bring up a discussion later about having apposing views of life. There are times in certain circles my opinion about things is completely in the minority. I've learned to just keep quiet and let people have their own opinions. Now if my opinion is asked - I will give it, and make no apologies for it. But I'm so over everyone telling everyone how they should be, should think, should (fill in the blank). Heard this just last night - "stop shoulding on people, stop shoulding on yourself." ~Melissa Ramos

Words to live by.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Will Make You Fishers Of Men....

And Desserts Will Be The Bait

I'm pretty sure that last part was supposed to be added. At least in the Message bible, because I've caught quite a few people.

Over the years with church gatherings, family reunions, and hanging out with a group, you tend to gather tried and true recipes. Anything from stuff to make in a pinch, or you're trying to impress the socks off of everyone in the room. I honestly never set out to impress anyone, but for some odd reason it happens from time to time. I tend to read recipes like a science experiment which range from yeah, I can do that, to that is never going to happen - like ever.

Something I've noticed lately is no one seems to cook much anymore. Probably because everyone is flat out tired! When I was working, there was no way in the world I was going to spend my day off hanging out in the kitchen all day long only to watch something get wolfed down in seconds and then spend the rest of the evening cleaning up the mess it took to make awesomeness. So now I can really appreciate homemade stuff and the effort behind it like I never had before. I look at it differently and I've tried to put in a little extra effort.

But serious on the little part because I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Ha!

I don't want to say I've created a monster but um, the thing is starting to grow teeth. Our church has life groups, limited amount of people get together 3 times a month and do a bible study and just hang out and do life. Love it! With the whole fam in one group and the older guys in another group, food being involved and me tending to over do everything....well....I now have a following.

I feel kinda bad for the 20 somethings group. Broke and clueless - or at least that was what I was at that age. Our group is really large so you need extra food. I bring a side and a dessert and I never have anything left to bring home. Lately I've been doubling the desserts so the guys have stuff to take to their group. Thought I would try to make it easier on myself. I'm thinking that was totally stupid and should go back to making the guys do their own stuff instead of pulling this AAHH! Life is crazy, I can't do all this stuff! Mom! Help!!

That gets me every.single.time.

The last round bit me in the butt. It was some raspberry white chocolate cheesecake bites made in little mini muffin tins. It was a bit more involved than what I thought and since I doubled it - it took a while. Last week at church we were sitting around waiting on M to pack up his gear when all of the sudden a few people were talking with N and I hear "and THIS is my mom." "Oh the one who made....?" "Yup."

And I'm surrounded. One guy joked if we ever have an extra room open up he would be willing to move in and pay rent. I told him I'm crazy and he said his mom was crazy and can't cook, so he could handle it for the food's sake. That made me laugh.

So very grateful for Pinterest. I spent a whole Saturday doing laundry and surfing for some recipes. M was saying the happiest moment is knowing I'm on Pinterest and hearing the printer going. He pats his stomach and says, "Hear that? Goodness is on the way." That still makes me laugh no matter how many times he does that. I think we might have issues. Back in the day you had to collect cookbooks and usually you only got a small handful of good ones out of a whole huge book. I've noticed that bars are the best to take to potlucks. It seems to keep it even. I've seen a few greedy gulpers scoop out the majority of something leaving not much for others and then bragged about it afterwords about who didn't get any of aunt so and so's pie or what have you.

Speaking back in the day, I've noticed that recipes were once a guarded secret. I'm quick to print off a recipe and fork it over to the shock of some people. I tell them my grandma took a couple recipes to her grave and I can't tell you how much that annoys me. You ever eaten something and it teleports you back in time to that memory? Yeah.

Maybe that's why I go overboard or try out something new. Just another way of making some happy memories.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

That Was Awkward

How is it possible I let so many weeks, nay months go flying right by my head without a blog post? Real stinking easy. I get that we are all busy, but I don't think I've had a season in my life that has been such a blur. I'm juggling everyone's schedule that I have no control over any of it. Before I had plotted and planned and was able to shift things. Now? I need at least 2 weeks notice to do anything with anyone or it's not going to happen.

I have to laugh at myself because I'm noticing things that I was letting myself get stressed over has a way of sorting itself out. Example: that whole pharmacy week thing I was freaking out over? Turns out dude had that slated as a vacation week and I was off the hook. Well, sort of. We HAD to get our back deck painted. There was a lot of exposed wood and with winter pretending to be here, we knew it needed treated before snow was supposed to fly.

I say supposed to fly because we had snow for like 3 days. It warmed up and now all we've had was rain. It's been in the 50s and 60s, which is odd because a few weeks ago it was single digits. The weather is crazier than I am and I'm not sure how I feel about that. We did have a nasty ice storm beginning of December. And it was on a night that Fred's car died while he was getting on the highway on a left side entrance. Read that as no where to park. It took me almost 2 hours to get to him. Dude was freezing as scrubs have nothing to them. The whole thing was a mess. Couldn't get a tow truck as there were close to 500 wrecks. By the time we finally got a tow truck lined up the next day, the state police got to his car before we could. Took a few more days to locate the car. Was seriously overpriced on towing fees, went with a different company to tow it to the garage to get it fixed. This was a week after we had to get a new water heater, so our Christmas was a real ba hambug! But pulled through it as we always do and life chugs on.

The happy note in all of that was back in the fall we did Dave Ramsey's financial peace program. This last round wiped out the emergency funds, but it was covered. The bonus is I made the guys do the program right with us and they have been saving up their money. Shortly after their 21st b-day (how is that possible I ask you?) they both bought used cars in cash. No debt and it took a huge strain off of us. Which is good because Nicholas has been doing all opening shifts and I would have had to take him. So happy dance on my end! Except now we're working on Jared's driving hours, so it was a short lived dance.

Imma say it a thousand times over: teaching someone to drive is not for the faint of heart!

The snag is now our parking situation is beyond redonkulous. We have 5 cars and a small driveway. Right now it's working simply because Jared's car really isn't in play. Once he has his license and his own schedule is when the poo will hit the fan. I just graded his last semester stuff because I have finally learned that waiting until the end of the year causes me to cry, cuss, and try to sell everything on eBay in total surrender that I totally suck at all this homeschooling stuff. Which is hilarious when you consider next year is the last one. Glory!

Although, I'm finding a lot of identity crisis has been popping up in my head lately. I have taken a ton of crap from relatives for making my kids my career. I came close to caring once. Not true, I have to work hard not to let their words and opinions weigh me down, which is easier said than done. The last round of holidays left a few comments about once J is done I'll have no more excuses and will need to get off my large butt and get a real job. How I managed not to spew forth sarcastic comments still amazes me.

I guess Jesus really is working in my life.

I feel like that thought had been sort of rolling around in my head, but I never stopped long enough to voice it and certainly not so cold. So to hear it said like that was unexpected and unwelcomed. Especially now that it went from a vague feeling to a loud shouting voice. And this is why I try to avoid family reunions.

I'm glad at one of the library book sales I picked up the book Soul Detox. I'm only a few chapters in and I'm like, well snap! Lot of toxic thinking going on up in here. Then a church sermon, a blog post, even a podcast all talking about being more mindful. Way to start of the new year with a kick in the noggin! But I do find it frustrating that I know this stuff, but seem to fall short of putting it into practice on a regular basis. I tried that whole Jesus take the wheel approach and He was like nice try.

So here is to a new year of being more present, more mindful, and with a ton more gratitude than what I have been in the past. The sarcastic part just seems to be there no matter how hard I try to curb it, so not much promise in changing that part. Besides, I think it would cause me physical pain if I tried to stop now. I'm not going to risk it.