Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some days I think its really too bad I cant at least glimpse into the future. It doesnt have to be far, or even long, but just a peek...enough to let me know if putting the effort into some things will pay off in the end. I guess that would take the fun out of things, but it sure could ease some heartbreaks.

I'm really hoping for a change in my life...an addition to it maybe. I think the girls would be happy with it, and it would add some fun. But this is one of those things...is it worth the effort? I cant believe God would leave this in my life for soooo long for no reason at all...so I'm hopeful. But its hard, and I hate waiting. I need a sign, lol.

I'm planning the New Years Eve party. Not really party as much as get-together. Planning on some games and eucher! I'm looking forward to the new year, and optimistic of things to come. Like my phone wallpaper says "Give me a new year to remember".

Works for me. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

A couple days late. We had a really really nice Christmas. Friday we did the traditional seafood dinner at the home with my grandma. Even Ralph and his girlfriend were here this year. Then back here for gifts and goodies. At the 9pm Christmas Eve service, Mom, Chad and I sang O Holy Night. I love doing that. Its my favorite Christmas song.
Saturday we opened gifts here, then the girls went to their dad's while the rest of us went to my aunt's for brunch. Mmmmmm. Then they went to get my grandpa and we all came here for gifts and food and games. It was a fun day.

Now we're trying to get things back in order for the New Years get together here on Friday. There seems to be so much to do before then, and its not getting done very quickly. Oh well... I'm not really sure how many people are coming, but I wouldnt mind if its not too many. The girls are having a few friends over, and I'm hoping to have a friend over... I'm in the mood for eucher!

Its just been a really nice Christmas break so far!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

T minus 4 days...

...til Christmas. I'm almost ready. I just cant figure out what to get my mom! She should be the easy one to buy for, but I'm pretty much clueless. If I had a bit more money, I know what I'd get her, but since I dont...and the clock is ticking...

Sis is here. The girls are thrilled. And today was their last day of school, so tomorrow they're going to bake cookies. I still have to work, but it should be a pretty easy day. Then the fun begins. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 3 of 3

We are now officially out of snow days for the year, and its not even Christmas break yet. Who came up with this brilliant idea??? I guess I can look on the bright side...I'll be getting paid for some of spring break. :) I think they'll be kicking themselves for today though...I think we could have gotten by with a 2 hour delay. Doesnt look too bad at all out right now, plus the sun is shining.

I havent gotten much more done than I did yesterday. Must get busy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 2 of 3

Ugh. Snow day today. One more and we'll have to start making them up. Not only that, but no pay today. :( Please have school tomorrow! Its not looking real promising outside. Its been snowing pretty hard off and on, plus its still blowing a lot. If there isn't school again, I HAVE to be more productive than I was today!

Please have school. Please have school.... (2 hour delay would be nice, lol.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweets and fun

Yesterday was a fun day. My mom and 2 aunts came over to make cookies and candy. We made 2 batches of Russian Tea cakes, 7 layer bars, cutouts, turtles, chocolate covered pretzels (knots and rods), buckeyes, peanut clusters, raisin clusters, fudge, caramels and peanut brittle.

We're getting hit with snow and cold now. We're really wondering if there will be school tomorrow. Honestly, I'm hoping for a 2 hour delay. I can still get to school on time and not lose any pay. However, I won't be hugely disappointed if there isnt school. We'll continue with the baking and candy making. I'd like to make a few more kinds of cookies, and we dont have anything with white chocolate yet. The girls also want homemade donuts if there's no school. (Maybe for lunch, lol.) So it wouldnt be awful if there wasnt school, but I really do need the money. (I only get paid for 2 days over Christmas break.)

I can really do without the snow though!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moving Right Along

I feel like this week is just flying by. I cant believe tomorrow is already Thursday! Usually I dread Thursdays, as they are my long days, but I dont think tomorrow will be so bad. The kids are making poinsettias this week, after we read about Christmas in Mexico. So far they're having a fun time with it, and they are really turning out great.

We're making cookies and candy on Saturday. Looking forward to that. The only thing that would make it better is if Sis would be here. But I think I have most everything we need. Mmmmm, just the thought is making me anxious! :)

I have the big girls Christmas gifts ordered. I'm so excited! I got them each a Zune 30gb mp3 player. They are awesome. I think I got a great deal, and hopefully they'll be here by the end of the week. I did a little more Christmas shopping tonight, and got the little girls each a pair of boots they wanted. (Some "like the big girls"...not "play in the snow" boots) They'll love those. Not sure what else to get. Oh, I did get a few stocking stuffers too...

The workers are done on the house. They are really a super group of guys. They did some little extras they're not allowed to do, like paint the living room where they patched, and the big girls' bedroom. They would have done mine too, but I must not have any leftover paint. They put new aerators on the bathroom sinks, so the water doesnt spray all over the place anymore. They cleaned the basement so we'll have room to set up the ping pong table and bowling table. They put up the tv shelf on the wall in the big girls room. They were just wonderful. (Mom said they're having a luncheon for the whole weatherization department next week, so I'm sending in some of the cookies they liked so well.) I just hope they realize how much I appreciate everything they did!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

:)

My heart is happy again. Had a nice visit with a friend. He started not feeling well, so I thought he might go home, but he stayed...we went for dinner, then to get him some meds at Walmart. He took some when we got back here and seemed to feel better after a bit. He already asked about coming back next week with music for the girls and stuff. I'm smiling again. :)

Sasha's photo shoot was, um, interesting. It was her kids and David's sisters baby. Trin didnt want to sit with them, or she wanted to touch them or whatever. But I think I got a few decent pics. And, my friend offered me the use of his camera. Nice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moving right along

The house is coming right along. They have all the insulation blown in the main floor. (not sure if they're done in the basement yet...) Its a bit messy, and I spent a lot of last night cleaning the living room. I had to vacuum the walls, furniture, dust everything, etc. But its better. Now I need to do that to the rest of the house. Ugh!
But, they are a great group of guys working here. They're very respectful to me and my things, clean up after themselves, etc. They tolerate the girls when they get home...even Maddy who wants them to pay attention to her. I just appreciate all they're doing for me!

One setback is they called me on Tuesday and said I was getting water in the basement. Great. They went out in the pouring rain and dug around the septic tank, and found out its full. Thats pretty much impossible, since the tank is HUGE and it was just pumped last year. So something is wrong. I had someone come look at it yesterday, and thankfully he thinks its not going to be a huge expense. Of course, he's just guessing at this point, but he said it doesnt show signs of being something awful.

And I'm finding through this whole process, 95% of life is who you know. I'm also incredibly thankful my mom is such a great lady, because I think a lot of what I'm getting and what they're doing is because I'm her daughter. Not that they dont do the whole package for everyone, but I requested the furnace guy who came. I didnt lie...he was here the longest and was the most thorough during the inspection, but he's also the husband of my mom's good friend at work. He was great. He's also going to come back to seal up a couple entrances in the drains. But, in his estimate for that, he worked the numbers so he could get a drain camera to run through the drains to see about the water. He did that Weds. Community Action wont pay for that, but he worked it so he could do it for me. Then, when he found the cracked tile, he gave me the number for the guy who came to look at it yesterday. This guy even called the furnace guy to see what he saw/found with the camera. Its all in who you know...

My friend is supposed to come back to visit tomorrow. Hope he's still planning on it. I'm taking pics for Sasha. I thought it was Sunday, but when I looked at the calendar, its actually tomorrow. Good thing I checked.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hard

Today was a very hard day. I had the papers to sign to give the house back to my grandpa, so we could go through all the steps to get it back to me legally and w/o taxes and such. The problem was, Mike had to sign off too. When I first told him, he was ok with it. But then sometime this week he got a burr up his butt about something, and decided he didnt want to sign. He wanted $10,000 for his troubles. Um, really? This is so my grandpa can stay in the nursing home and get the care he needs and deserves. Plus, we agreed this would be my house and that one would be his. So whats the big deal??? I was so stressed out today, talking to him, yelling at him, texting him, etc. I was on the verge of tears many times. I didnt want the girls to see how bad this was affecting me, but I'm sure they did. Plus I had a friend's kids here, so I didnt want it to be awful. But it was. Thankfully it all worked out, and he finally signed. It should be back to me, but they need to be filed with the lawyer now. I'm SO glad to have that out of the way. There really isn't anything else he could take from me that means this much, except the girls of course, but they wouldn't go if he decides to fight me for them.

Then to top it off, my friend was supposed to come over tomorrow, and now we need to reschedule. He had family show up unexpectedly from out of state, so understandably he wants to spend some time with them. But I sure could have used the distraction... Another day soon though.

Guess I'll crank the Christmas tunes tomorrow and make the place look festive! I am going to be happy for the holidays! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I've been looking forward to it for quite some time now. Its going to be different...I only have one place to go this year. And I'm looking forward to that too. So much has changed this year, and I have so much to be thankful for...

-My relationship with God continues to grow
-My mom remains cancer free
-I have 4 beautiful, healthy girls that mean the world to me
-I have a nice warm house to live in
-I'm part of a great family
-I have a job I like
-I have wonderful friends

I could keep going, but those are the basics.

Of course, those wonderful girls like to keep things interesting... Today at school things were crazy. It was the Thanksgiving feast, where the whole school eats together in the gym. Then everyone goes out for recess at the same time. The kids were really good being out there for so long together. But, about 5-10 minutes into recess, I saw the playground aide walking Livi back to this side of the playground. They got part way over, and Livi knelt down. I figured something was wrong, so I went over. I looked at her and she had a HUGE goose egg on her forehead. So I took her in to get some ice. She said she wasnt dizzy (but had been after it happened) and didnt feel sick, so at the end of recess she went back to her class. Its still pretty ugly, and continues to get green/blue. Should be pretty for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Ramblings...

I had a first at school yesterday. After a particularly long and stressful week, it was Friday and my last class of the day, which happens to be first grade. I'm thinking this will be an easy time, as they were going to finish watching a Thanksgiving movie, then check out books and go home. So they come in and I start the movie. There is a little girl in that class that really drives me crazy. She tattles, she whines, and nothing seems to suit her. They had only been in there about 5 minutes, when another student comes up and says this little girl is stuck in her chair. I didnt quite understand, so I went over, and sure enough, she was STUCK in her chair! She had been sitting on her knees rocking in the chair, and slipped through the back up to her waist, and could not get out. I tried helping her, but she was really stuck. Of course she was crying, and I just as I went to get help, her teacher came in to see what was wrong. So we tried to get her out and no luck. Two more staff members came in then, and they took her out in the hall so I could get the rest of the class back on track. What a circus. It took 3 of them to get her out. I'm not really sure how they worked it, but she came back in a few minutes later free of the chair. I kinda felt like it was karma, but she wouldnt understand that yet. I just want to explain to her that if she does what she's supposed to do, this wouldnt happen...that she should be concerned with herself and not everyone else. Anyway, I'm sure she's over the trauma now. I still get a good laugh thinking about it.

The girls are at their dad's this weekend. I'm here alone. At least its been relatively productive. I wasted most of the morning just vegging...I needed that a lot! I'm still on the verge of a cold, so the extra rest felt good! Since then I've done 4 loads of laundry, taken all the stuff out of the bathroom and scrubbed the carpet, and gone to do pics. I have 2 loads of laundry to finish, and I'd like to clean out the bathtub, but I'm not sure I'll get to the tub tonight since the carpet is wet. It will be so nice to have a bathroom in some kind of order again. I hate the change of seasons clothing pile up!

Is it bad I'm (almost) counting the days until my friend comes back for another visit? I just had such a nice time last weekend. It would be nice if this became a regular thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stress

Is it Friday yet?

Its been a long week. I've been ready for Friday for several days now. Last night was particularly bad. The girls came home from school in moods. Every one of them. Fighting. Picking. Tormenting. They wouldn't stop for anything...not when I took things away, sent them to rooms, etc. So I left. Yep, just left. Took the grocery list and went to the store. Of course, I got texts and calls while I was there, but they finally left me alone. They were all banished to their rooms by 8:45. Not a good night.

I've been waking up early too. 4:00 yesterday morning from the wind. 3:30 this morning from coughing. I dont really have a cough, but I'm getting a cold, and the back of my throat is covered in big red bumps, and I had a tickle. Yesterday I never did go back to sleep. Today I finally went back to sleep at some point, but it wasnt long enough.

And I have the start of this cold. I'm doing the neti pot twice a day to hopefully keep it at bay. I cant get sick. I dont have time. I think if I keep that up, keep hydrated and get some rest, I'll be ok.

On the bright side...They started weatherizing my house yesterday! Its going to take 2-3 weeks to get it all done, but at least I'll have a nice warm house for Christmas.

I'm been reading my SIL's blog lately. It gives me a lot to think about. I wish my thoughts were as organized and as well put together as hers. I'm all over the place, kinda like this post. I just type as things come to mind, in no particular order, with no profound words or advice or meaning. Just my ramblings.

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday. I need a weekend to recoup.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Smiling...

What a nice day today. It was super sunny, 70* and so nice. To top it off, my friend came to visit today. I haven't seen him in 8 years, so it was really nice to catch up. I mean, we've kept in contact over the years (ever since we met), but its not the same as just having the chance to have a real conversation.
We walked all around Fredericksburg, just taking in the sites and such. He took a few pics, and we chatted. Walked up to the park for him to take some pics of the big tree, then sat up there for a bit and chatted. Then we went to have lunch in Berlin. Not sure why I picked Berlin, since its a super nice day---and Saturday---at noon! But there was a reason. We walked into the restaurant and there was a display of paintings for sale. He wasnt impressed, and the most expensive one wasnt very good. So it put a bug in his head about painting and trying to sell some around this area. :) I told him it was a sign, and he said he agreed.

We came back here and he loaded photoshop for me, showed me a few easier ways to edit, etc. He didnt really want to leave, just wanted to sit and enjoy the view, the peacefulness... But he wanted to drive at least the back roads in the daylight (what was left). He also asked when would be a good time for him to come back. He's talking the week of Thanksgiving...thats like only a little over a week away!

It was just a really nice, relaxing, laid back kind of day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

God is Good!

Breathing another HUGE sigh....
Mom and Aunt Jackie went to an estate planner today. He asked a lot of questions, about the family, Grandpa, etc. When all was said and done, he told them they could keep everything. I can sign the house over to my other aunt, and because she's disabled, it will be considered a gift from my grandpa. She can then sign it over to me. It will be mine. For real this time. I'll still have to make payments on it, but wont have to get a loan. I'll just pay into a trust fund. He's going to take care of everything so they wont have to go through probate when something happens to Grandpa. So, my mom can keep her house, she doesnt have to move in here, and we get to stay. He hopes it can all be done by the end of the month.
It seems to me that someone much higher up wants the girls and I to live here as much as we want to live here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Warmth

The furnace guys are coming today. I should have heat by the weekend! Thats always a good thing at this time of year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ahhhhh....

What a wonderful weekend. It was the crafter/quilter retreat at Round Lake. I went after work on Friday, and left today around 3. We had so much fun!
Friday night we stayed up til around 2, then went to our room and chatted til about 3. Up and at 'em bright and early Saturday morning for breakfast at 8. Then we had the day to do what we wanted. I almost finished Mr Richard's scrapbook. Other than that, I made cards. I didnt get any of my own scrapbooking done, but I didnt take anything intending to get any done. I should keep the momentum going and work on it here now.
Saturday after dinner we were hitting a real tired time, so we took a nap for about an hour. That gave us our second wind. At 3 am Heather got out stuff to do a "project". We made ornaments. It was fun. Then at 3:30 (which was actually 4:30 old time---it was daylight savings weekend) we decided to go to bed. But first we did cartwheels in the hallway.
This morning was pajama worship, then crafting the rest of the day. We had to be out by 2:30-3:00 today.


Its nice to be home, but this weekend is something I've really come to look forward to. Its so relaxing, refreshing, and just plain fun.

Now I need to catch up on my rest. I'm not really overly tired, but I think I could go to bed now and sleep til tomorrow... :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One down...

IT PASSED. IT PASSED!

Need I say more??? :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Waiting...

So today is the day. Today we find out whether we'll continue to have community elementary schools, or whether they'll be closed and torn down. I'm really stressed today. If this doesn't pass, I'll be crying tonight, for more than one reason. I really hope people dig deep and search their hearts and do what's right.

Last night was the first night I heard Brenna say how stressed she is about the whole situation. Thats sad. The kids should not have to worry about these things. They should just enjoy school and being kids. I hope they have reason to relax tomorrow!

Oh, and the big girls party went well. Before Matthew even got home he was texting Ali saying how they need to do that again soon. I dont think they did much, but I guess they had a good time just being together.

In other news...I have to come up with the money to keep the house. The nursing home is already asking about it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. Mom said one solution would be for her to sell her house, renovate the basement, and move in here. While it wouldnt be all bad, I dont want that at all. I want the basement for the girls to hang out in. I want a cool place to go in the summer. I want to have parties and get togethers.... There has to be another way. I have the ping pong table, bowling table, etc...for the girls. Where am I supposed to put those??? There has to be another way...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ahhhh....

Breathing a sigh of relief. The bookfair, and the longest week I've had in a long time, is over. Feels good. I think the bookfair was pretty successful. I kept a bunch of books out of the bookfair for me to add to the library, and still have a bit of money to spend. Its kinda fun. :)

Yesterday I went to the 6th grade room towards the end of the day (they were having their end of the month celebrations) and asked for volunteers to come help tear down the bookfair. I had 6 BOYS come down to help...gave up their free time and a bit of outside time to help me in the library. So I bought them each a pop, and we were done in about 30 minutes. I appreciated their help a bunch!

Then after school Livi had 3 friends, and Maddy had 1 come over for a little party. They ate donuts off a string and bobbed for apples. Then they had pizza, played for just a bit, then went home. I think it was a success, even for only 2 hours. It made Livi happy to be able to have a party, made the kids happy to do some fun things, and made me happy to have them out after a short time, lol. :)

Tonight the big girls are having their party. I have no clue what they're going to do. We looked in to a murder mystery, but didnt know how many kids were going to end up coming. So, I'm thinking bonfire, maybe a scary movie, pizza.... Just dont know. So we'll see. Of course, this one is going to be coed, and longer---4 hours. Hope I'm still breathing that sigh of relief when its over. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When...

When does it get easier? When do things work out like they're supposed to? When do I get a break? I got an email from Mom today saying she needs to talk to me. Its VERY important. And she left it at that. You cant leave me hanging like that. So I asked her what its about and she said the house. We were afraid this might happen. The nursing home has apparantly asked what happened to the money from the sale of the house. Well, I havent paid on it yet. I'm planning to start after the first of the year. But they want the money for him to stay there. I cant just keep the house since it hasnt been 5 years since I bought it...its only been 1 1/2. Its so not fair. I'm trying to do whats right...trying to take care of my family. I dont want to lose this house! But who is going to give me a loan with only a part time job? I really need this to worry about on top of everything else. Sometimes life is just not fair.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday

Well, its Monday. The little girls missed the bus this morning. It wasnt their fault. They had a sub driving, and he was about 8 minutes early. The girls were just heading out the door, and he only slowed down, never completely stopped. Grrrrr.

I set up the book fair over the weekend. It took about 4 1/2 hours. I had waaaaaay too much stuff, and not enough places to put it all. So its everywhere! I'm hoping for some good sales though.

And now tonight I have a headache. Lovely.

I just have so much on my mind these days:

The levy is starting to stress me out again as voting draws near. There are still some really stupid people out there. I read their posts on the Daily Record site, and I wonder what they're really thinking. I mean, really??? Sorry, but there is nothing more important that my kids education. No matter what they decide to do...they need a good education. So if we need to support it now, why wouldnt we? I just dont get it.
But its not only affecting the kids this time...it affects me too. It makes me ill to think about getting a different job. I have the perfect job for a single mom with kids in school and activities. I keep thinking maybe they can find more hours and stuff for me to do next year if it passes. That would be great. But if it fails, I'm out. (Ok, thats not for sure, but I'm almost positive.) Even if I would stay, do I really want to deal with 35 kids in the library at a time in a strange school? I cant think I'd like that job all that much.

Then there's Grandpa. I dont know how much better he's doing, although Mom said he was sitting up tonight when she went. She said he still looks bad. I'm going to try to go see him Wednesday.

So Mike stops by tonight and we were chatting. He said his mom asked him about Thanksgiving and if he was going to bring the girls out for awhile. And that I'm invited too. I still dont think he knows what he wants, and I know she'd like to see us back together, but its not gonna happen. Its not what I want. Its not what the girls want.

My mom is battling a bit of depression. I worry about her. Her health is good at the moment, but if she gets depressed, its not going to help at all. I dont know what to do to help her. Alexis went down tonight to help her rake her leaves and mow her lawn...

And of course the other thing thats on my mind often....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This and That

Grandpa is back at the nursing home. They did some tests and found out he has legionella pneumonia. So they changed his meds, and he's doing a bit better. I hope he continues on the right path!

Today the stuff for the bookfair arrived at school. Holy overwhelming feeling! They stacked everything at the end of the library, so of course the kids wanted to see everything. I havent looked in all the boxes yet, but there is some neat stuff. I hope the kids find something they like and can get. I have the unfortunate task of setting it all up myself over the weekend. The girls will be with Mike, so... Fun times.

I have 3 people coming tomorrow to give estimates on a new furnace and hot water tank. I hope this doesnt take long...its COLD in here! Every time they come for something, its at least 2 weeks until I hear from someone, so I hope its not the case this time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grandpa is back in the hospital. He went to a new nursing home on Friday, but wasnt responding to the meds, and his fever went way back up tonight. They took him to Millersburg, then transferred him to Wooster. He has an infection. They think it must be viral since its not responding to the meds. He's pretty sick. I'm pretty worried.

I went to a community meeting at Holmesville tonight. There weren't a lot of people there, but there was some good information. More people need to go. I know times are tough, but we cant afford NOT to pass this levy. It would cost us all dearly.

I'm tired tonight. I've been feeling stressed again lately, and my eye has been twitching like crazy. Makes me crazy. I think I'll go to bed and try to get a little extra sleep.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bored

I dont really have anything in particular to write about...I'm just bored. The older girls are at youth group, and the younger 2 are winding down for the night. I'd just like to crawl in bed now, but I have to pick up the older ones in 40 minutes or so. I have such a headache tonight. Gotta love hormones.



I need to check the weather for this week. I'd love to have some time to work outside. I would just like to keep things under control.

I also need to call about the furnace.

And I need to start Christmas shopping. I'm going to have to start now so I can get some things put away. I wont be able to wait til closer and buy it all at once. I already know a couple things I'm going to get.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Room to Breathe

I think things might start to slow down now. Today was Brenna's volleyball tournament. They lost the first game. Sometimes I just dont understand people's thinking. All season they played team 1, team 2, then if needed, team 1 again. 90% of the time, team 1 lost, then team 2 won to keep them in the match, sometimes against the same girls. But yet, today team 1 played the first set and lost, so she left them in to lost the match in 2 sets. Nice. Anyway, she's done now.

Ali still has practice this week. Then she and the little girls play next Saturday, then soccer is over too. I think the only thing they'll have then is Power of the Pen. Alexis has been doing that, but Brenna is talking about doing it too now that volleyball is over. I wont complain. Its educational, and once a week, lol.

As for me...I'm still plugging along. I worked out at the burn pile today. I really want to get it ready for bonfires...and we're going to try to have one Halloween weekend, which is rapidly approaching. Still have a lot of work to do, but I might have a bit more time to put towards it now.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for one other thing thats in the works. Preliminary plans look promising, but I'm not holding my breath. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fun Times

Turning 40. Wow. I dont feel like I'm almost 40. Pennie, Heather, Stacie and I went out last night to celebrate Heather's b-day. She's the first of us to turn 40 (she will on Tues.). We went to Steve Dakota's Steakhouse. I know when I go somewhere with them, we'll be loud, and of course, Pennie and that laugh.... Well, we got to laughing last night, and the people at the tables on either side of us started making fun of Pennie's laugh. (The backs of the booths were too high to see over.) The manager walked up to our table, and we thought we might get a "warning", but he just wanted to see what all the fun was about. He made several visits to our table after that just to chat, and the owner even stopped over once.
After that we went back to Stacie's and watched "It's Complicated". More laughing. We just really had a good time.

I guess laughter really is the best medicine.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Emotional

I'm a bit of a mess today. I guess I didnt realize how things were getting to me until tonight. I really miss the girls when they go to Mike's. Its nice to have a bit of time alone, but when I'm just sitting here, I want them here.

I went to get a few groceries after they left. When I got home, I decided to straighten up the house. When I walked into the living room, one of the couches was gone. When we first split, I told Mike he could have it. But he got to keep his parents couch, so this one was going to stay. He just came and took it while I was gone. I was pissed. Its not that I need it, and if he'd have just came and talked to me about it, I would have let him take it. But it was the fact that he just walked in while I was gone and took it. So I called. And bitched. I told him I dont want him just walking in anymore. This isnt his house, and I NEVER go to his house. Ever. So I dont want him here at all when I'm not here, and if I am, knock. I dont want to be a bitch about things, but I'm not having him pull this crap whenever he feels like it.

My emotions are a bit screwed right now too. I'm still on the mini self pity party. I'm back to the self doubts I have. Why couldn't I make my marriage work? I know it takes 2, but still. I know there was a lot I messed up, but I still feel it wasnt entirely my fault. So if I couldnt make this one work, what makes me think I could ever have another? I would like to someday--I think. But how do I know I wont just mess that up too? I learned a lot...about myself, about being with someone... I would do a lot of things different. But that doesnt guarantee anything. There is no guarantee. In anything.

So, I will push on. I'll get over this. I should see a shrink. But maybe I'll just go cry a bit instead.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy (?) Anniversary

Happy anniversary to me. 15 years. Actually, 14 1/2, but we're still legally married, so 15 years today. In a way, it makes me sad. It seems like such a waste, to be with someone for so long, then have it end. Yet I have 4 wonderful girls that I wouldnt trade for the world. So while a lot of the last 15 years were not happily married, I'd have to do it all again if given the chance, because changing it wouldnt give me my girls. And I love them dearly!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Family Fun

Why do they have to fight? Why??? So things are fine all evening. They're even playing together...until the little 2 go to bed. Now the big 2 are fighting over who gets to shower first. Usually its who has to shower first. But no. Not tonight. So I can hear screaming and fighting clear in here from my bathroom. Lets just say they were not happy to see me show up in there. Really girls?

(I of course, have an obvious solution to the problem, but that will lead to accusations of favoritism and such. Its really a no win situation...)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blah

I started this post once, but it wasnt coming out quite right. Let me try again.

Things are just a bit blah in life right now. Maddy was sick Friday. I started feeling not so good on Sunday, and have had stomach cramps since. Today Brenna came home early from school not feeling well. Lovely. I hope we get over this quick!

I found out Saturday that Mike has a girlfriend...his second since we split up. Guess I just dont get that. I mean, I know how he is, but still... I asked where he met these women (I was pretty sure I already knew), and the answer was online. Really? The thought of that just scares the crap out of me! I mean, he can do whatever he wants, but if he decides to bring my girls around her, then I need to worry. What do you really know about someone you meet online???

So I decided to check out the site he met them on. Its not set up as a dating site, but it sure looks like one to me. You dont have to pay, and its a way to "meet people", but still... He said he wasnt really "looking" for someone, but after seeing the site, I cant honestly believe that. I guess I just dont really get it.

Sure, I'd like to date someone...have someone to hang out with, spend evenings with when the girls are with their dad, but I just cant resort to looking online. The thought just creeps me out.

Anyway, I told him I'd just like to get the papers ready, get the quit claims done, and when I get a bit more money, I'll file the papers. It would be better all around to just have it done. I guess part of me worries what it would look like if I dated someone now when we're still legally married. Maybe I shouldnt care...we're apart, and its going to stay that way. So I just want to get it over with and out of the way. (Our 15th anniversary is Thursday.)
(Oh, and I have no doubt that if I asked him back, he'd come. I just cant do that again. I want to be happy, and I really want him to be happy too...we just cant do that together.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

10th Month Already

I cant believe October is here already. And its nice and chilly. Too bad it means it is inside too. Brrrrrr. :) (Its good football weather though...)

The girls want to have a Halloween party this year. I'll have to see what kind of shape the house is in by that time, but I'm up for it. I also REALLY want to have a new years party this year. I love having the room to do it, now if I can just get it finished up so its all usable!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Warming Up

The guy from Community Action came today to do the weatherization check on the house. We failed miserably. He couldnt believe how high the number was when he hooked the fan to the front door and measured the amount of air flowing through the house (with closed windows and doors). He said it was like leaving a 4' X 4' window open all the time. No wonder its so cold in here in the winter!
He also shut the gas off to the furnace. He said its not safe at all! Nice. It is original to the house though...

After all was said and done and checked, this is what he came up with:

-New boiler. A few new pipes where some have been replaced with plastic. They're not approved for the heating system.
-New hot water heater. This one is only about 2 years old, but the valve on it doesnt work properly, so it will get replaced. (and wrapped)
-Insulation blown in the attics.
-Insulation blown in all the outside walls. Unfortunately this means they have to cut holes in all the walls except the family room to do this. I guess its worth it to have a warm house.
-Take down old insulation in the basement garage and put in new insulation board, and blow it with filler. (more pipe work here, and a bit of electric work as well)
-Vent the dryer. Its not vented right now, and wasnt vented properly.
-Spray insulation around the top of the foundation and stick other insulation to it to fill in all gaps.

I will be so happy to get this done. I think it will make such a huge difference. I'll be anxious to see how much the bills go down.
He also told me to go to metropolitan housing to see about getting some upgrades done to the house...such as a finished bathroom in the basement and the bathrooms redone upstairs. I will probably go there next week to see what they can do.

I hate being poor. I really do. But its nice to know these agencies are out there to help me get things in order so I can make it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hoping...

They say patience is a virtue....I'll have to take their word for it...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It always helps

Tonight was the annual church hayride. They tried something different this year, and started games for the kids at 4. They had a blast. Then we ate at 5 (hotdog roast/carry-in). Then the hayride. The whole evening is just so much fun. Time to talk, have fun, forget about other things for awhile.
Plus the weather is finally cooperating and it feels like fall. We wore sweatshirts and jackets, and it felt nice to sit around the fire.

This weekend went way to fast though. I could really use another day to just rest.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Needing Something Happy

I'm just feeling blah. I have over a month until the levy vote. That is creating a lot of stress for me right now:
What can I do to be getting the word out, and getting people to really understand how important this is? What am I going to do about my kids education if this fails? What am *I* going to do if this fails? I dont want to think about it, it makes my head hurt, but I'm not sure what to do until I know the results.

Life is just a bit emotional right now. Lots of things going on, lots of things I'd like to have going on. :)

I need to get out and do something fun to get my mind off things for awhile.

Heavy Heart...

I went to the board meeting last night. I honestly could just sit here and cry today. I feel so bad. If the levy doesnt pass in November, my whole world (as well as the girls) is going to change. And I cant say its for the better.
They've proposed to close three elementary schools, and of course ours is one of them. They would have PK-3rd in AC, 4-6 at the current middle school, and 7-12 at the high school. Thats awful. The schools are going to be busting at the seams! On top of that, they'd lose 12 elementary teachers, 4 secondary teachers, possibly 1 special ed teacher, 3 secretaries, 3 librarians, 2 administrators, 3 custodians and some other aides. It just breaks my heart.
So not only will the girls all have to go to different schools, I would be out of a job...just as things are starting to look up, things are not looking real good right now.

I'm still not sure they're going about this entirely the right way. The two big things that hit Wooster hard were no sports/extracurriculars, and state minimum bussing. I didnt hear anything about those. I just dont know if it will pass with what they're proposing, even though its HUGE. I dont know how to get people to understand. I'm still considering an email to the superintendent. If they have considered those things, I'd like to know why they decided not to put them on the chopping block.

I dont know what I will do if the levy fails. Obviously I cant move, but I'm not sure I want my kids in this school district anymore. I cant believe I'm actually saying something like that. But they're planning on going to college. They need to have extracurriculars on their applications. They're super students academically, but they need the extra stuff too. What are they going to do in a school with no sports? No musicals? No marching band? No fall play?

I sure hope people open their eyes and see how important this is, and what they're denying our kids if this fails.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In the Blink of an Eye

How fast things can change. Thursday evening I was at JRL watching Brenna's volleyball game. The 7th grade game was over, the 8th grade team was just finishing warm ups when the principal came in the gym and announced that the tornado sirens were going off in town and we needed to get to the middle of the school now. So everyone left the gym and went to the middle classrooms to wait. And wait. And wait. It didnt look windy, just some rain. We had really been oblivious to anything going on outside besides a bit of rain. After about 20 minutes, we were given the all clear. I took the little girls and B and we went home. Ali was here with a friend... I was actually glad she wasnt alone. Thankfully the tornado didnt come near the school, or my house, but it hit about 5 miles up the road and did a LOT of damage. They classified it as an F-2. The most damage was to the OARDC/ATI and surrounding area, but it went further than that.
Tomorrow the church has organized a work crew to help a family from church whose house was hit. The insurance will take care of the house things (windows, roof, garage) but not the trees that fell in the yard (over 25). So I'm going to help, and hoping for a bit of firewood for next year. (I would go help even if I dont get any wood.)
We lost power for 22.5 hours. Thankfully that was it. There are some places still w/o electricity. We also didnt have school Friday since there was no electricity. That really stinks since 1-I dont get paid for it now, 2-we only get 3 snow days this year and we've used one already, and 3-I couldnt even do things around here like vacuum, laundry, dishes, etc. But it came back on a bit after 4 on Friday, so all is well now.
I'm just so amazed how fast things happened. I didnt even know what was going on, and couldnt find out for quite some time due to the power outage. I'm just glad everyone is ok.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy Fun Weekend

Saturday Dad and Sis came in for the fair. We got there a little after 9 Saturday morning. We walked through the barns, got Lerch's donuts, then got ride bands, and the riding began. The girls rode and rode and rode. They had so much fun. We stayed until at least 3:30 or so, and we were all pretty wiped out by then. Thankfully we made it out before the rain came that evening.

Sunday we went back to the fair for a bit and took Grandpa. We're not sure if he enjoyed it or not, but at least we all went together. We only stayed an hour or so, and he was tired.

Today there was no school because of the fair. There is no way I'm taking the girls on fair day. I'll probably end up going next year (if I can) to listen to the band since Alexis will be playing. This year we decided to go to the Cleveland zoo instead. It was a really nice day. We had great weather, it wasnt crowded, and met my brother there. It was fun.

Tomorrow is back to the grind.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Looking Up?

I have a happy heart this morning. Saw a post on facebook last night from my friend. He started a couple paintings last night and posted pics. It was so nice to see that. Then he IMd me. He said it was because of me that he painted last night. Its part of what I told him. He has started thinking of painting as a way to support him in his later years, instead of something fun and relaxing which is why he started doing it. I told him he needed to paint with that in mind instead of thinking it might be a "career" someday. So he did. I think sometimes someone else's point of view can help. I'm glad I can from time to time. :)

I talked to Patty at school yesterday and she said I can probably use the extra classroom from time to time so I'll have access to a smartboard. Yay! Now I need to come up with some ideas for that.

The fair is this coming weekend. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Getting It...

Its coming together. Getting ready to start week 3 and I have all the plans done except 3rd grade activity. (I have the book ready, just not sure what I'm going to do with it.) All the other classes are done for this week. I have a feeling we're going to be doing a lot of games with sight words and letters in the younger grades. They definately need that reinforcement!

Got another email from my friend. I'm hoping he can see where I'm coming from with the monotony causing depression. Even if its not causing it, it definately wont make it any better! I'm thinking about emailing Pastor Jack about it and seeing if he will email him...just to make contact. When I asked my friend about talking with Jack, he said he isn't opposed to it, but isn't sure about it because of the whole faith issue. He doesnt know where he stands with that yet.

So, things are coming together.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Better

This was definately a better week at work. I had things planned, the computer worked all week...it was good. Except for the heat. Holy cow it was HOT! We had like at least 6 straight days at 90+ degrees. Doesnt make for a fun time in an unairconditioned school. I took some of the classes outside to read to them, and one day they came looking for us because we missed a practice tornado drill. Lovely, lol.

Tonight was the homecoming. It was fun. We got there, ate, then I sat with Grandpa for awhile. Mom and Aunt Jackie went to get him. He had a great time. It was so nice that so many people came over to say hi. I know there are people that avoid people after they've had a stroke, but those people who came over really made his day. He will probably sleep all day tomorrow, but it was worth it for him to be out for awhile tonight.

I played bingo with Pennie, Heather and Stacie. It was nice to just sit around and chat with them for awhile. We're thinking about a trip to New York City over a long weekend to celebrate us all turning 40. Wow---40!

The downside to tonight is my poor kiddos. Alexis had to help clear tables for an hour or so, and when she was done she went to Mike's to sleep on the couch. She had a friend over, so she stayed at the homecoming and hung out with some other friends for awhile. We got ready to leave, and Alexis and Madelyn both have headaches and fevers. Mike took Ali's friend home and is keeping Livi overnight (she was so excited). Brenna was supposed to have a friend spend the night too, but she went to her house instead. Hopefully they'll stay healthy.

So here I sit in the peace and quiet tonight. Seems strange.

Friday, August 27, 2010

***Insert Sigh Here***

Inhale. Exhale. Its nice to have the first week down. Its been a trying one, but I feel things will only get better now. I have the weekend to get some things done at school. Then I'll have a plan in place for next week and wont have to stress every night about things working or being ready for class. Hopefully I'll sleep better too. I'm in serious need of some sleep.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is it Friday yet? (Or even bedtime?)

I cant sleep. My body is not meant to sleep from 10pm to 6 am. I need to sleep from 11 (or so) until 7 am. 6 am is killing me! (Ok, so 6 am wouldnt be quite so bad if it didnt come so early...there is something very wrong with getting up before the sun. But really, if I could fall asleep earlier, then I could tolerate 6 better.)

Today was a rough day. Its my longest by far. I have 6 classes on Thursdays. The good thing is the day flies by since I'm busy non-stop. But geesh, ALL the kids were so chatty today! I hope its just a back to school thing, and not a whole year thing. I dont like kids to get in trouble, but I'm not going to put up with the noise and not listening all year.

Then I come home and the girls are just as bad today. My head is NOT happy tonight. They girls were fighting, arguing and just generally being loud. Then I dont know what was going on with A and B, but B ends up with big scratch/claw marks across her side that were actually bleeding in places. Nope, I will NOT put up with that stuff at all! Arguing, wrestling around, etc is one thing... Deliberately trying to hurt someone is another. Bedtime is rapidly approaching.

Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts...

I was going to come here and post, but I stopped to read a friend's blog first, and what she had to say is going to change this post somewhat. It was really inspiring.

This week at my new job has not started off well. I got on the computer, only to find out I didnt have a user ID or password. Got that taken care of. Tried to log in to the library software, only to find I didnt have a user ID or password. Hmmmm, sound familiar? And no, its not the same one. I tried all of mine, with no luck. I could log in under the substitute ID, but that only gave me limited access to the program. No one at school seemed to know what needed done. So I made several phone calls with no answers. Finally, an email was answered and got me started on the right track. I could now long in. But the problems I was finding were still there. Sent another email. Heard back today, and when I had a free moment, I logged in remotely and the lady from the central office took over my computer. I watched her download the updates, work on my programs...and finally she opened a document to chat with me. She asked me a couple questions, then showed me how to do things. Then asked another, and showed me again. It was SO helpful. She organized all my classes for me, and then told me how to print them out. I'm ready to go! Open for business, lol.

But what does my friend's post have to do with this? She reminded me that through all the trouble, frustrations, ups and downs, there's only one thing I really need to think about...would I rather be buried under the weight of this world, or embrace the life of Christ? And you know, the one thing I prayed for last night was to go to school today and have the answers I needed to get my computer running the way I need it to. And look what I got...

What do people do without faith?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm Ready.

Well, as ready as I'm gonna be. The library is decorated for the most part. I found the perfect book to read tomorrow (only one class)...its called The First Day of School Around the World. How awesome is that??? Oh, in case I havent mentioned, the theme for the library this year is "Where will reading take YOU this year?". So it works great. Hopefully when I read it tonight I'll find it to be appropriate for the younger kids this week too.

I still have sooooo much to learn. I have to get a log in for the computers. I need to learn how to make bar codes for the new kids, and how to check in/out books. I need to make plans for the classes. Not sure what I'm going to do with the kiddos. I need to check with the teachers and see what kinds of activities they'd like me to do.

I'm excited but nervous to start this new adventure. Its so nice to be back in the work force, especially somewhere I'm familiar with people I already know (for the most part). But I'm still uncertain about what is totally expected of me...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Clearing the Mind...

I'm so tired, but I have soooo much running through my head I cant sleep. I'm going to try to dump it all here so I can get some rest.

First is school. The meetings werent so bad today, and I made it through. But I still have so many questions! I dont know how to use the phone system, I think I have a mailbox somewhere on the copier, but no clue how to get to it, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to turn in "lesson plans" for what I'm doing during the week.... I need to come up with a theme for the library, but not sure what direction to go with that, I need to get bulletin boards covered this weekend, I need to decide what to do with the classes the first week...
I dont know if the library gets any PTO money this year, and how do I decide what books to buy if I do get some? I need to get the book fair date set.
I'm sure once I get going, it wont be quite as overwhelming as it seems now. My head is spinning. Maybe I should FB Shannon so she can keep me filled in on what I'm supposed to be doing, lol. I hope they cut me some slack the first few weeks since this was so last minute. I had less than a week to get ready...

I have to get my house cleaned so the weatherization guys can come on Monday afternoon.

I need to get the dissolution papers filled out, and have Mike do the quit claim deeds.

I'm worried about my friend, and hope he's doing ok.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Making Friends

That is what we're supposed to do at school, right? Tonight was open house at school. We took Livi to her class (man its HOT up there!) and talked to her teacher. Then we went to Maddy's class. There is a new teacher there this year, well, new to our school but not the district. She's really nice. She and Mrs Conrad are co-teaching this year---job sharing actually. So I was talking to them for a bit. I mentioned how I'm dreading tomorrow and the district meeting, and they said they'd save me a seat so I dont have to look for someone to sit with. I thought that was really nice. Guess thats a good example for my kids too. :)

In other news, I'm a bit worried about RTS. He's having some personal issues, and not being able to deal with them they way they need dealt with is definately not helping. He told me not to worry, but how can I not??? Just wish there was something I could do to help.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Take a Deep Breath

I'm feeling just a bit overwhelmed right now. I have SO much to do...here and getting ready for school. I have laundry to get caught up on, planning on what to do at school, finding stuff for school, etc. Tomorrow, Mom and I have to get phones transferred; we all need haircuts; we need to get the last few things for school...

Breathe in...breathe out... I know it will all fall into place.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Past and Future

Ok, so here goes...

The year I graduated, I started working at a smaller convenient-type store in the next town over. I worked evenings, and it was actually pretty fun with the people I worked with. I left for college, but moved back after a semester and worked there again while going to the local college.

Not exactly sure of the precise time, but one night a guy that worked at the restaurant next door came in. At that very moment, I believed in love at first sight. :) He's not the drop dead gorgeous type, but so cute. He's too skinny. He's super friendly. He hung around and we chatted while I worked. I think he came in every night after that when he got off work. (He lived above the restaurant.)

We got to be really good friends. I went to his apartment a couple times after work just to chat and listen to him play the guitar. He's so talented!

And then he broke my heart. He asked me if I thought a friend I worked with would consider going out with him. I was crushed. But, me being the good friend that I am, said why not try. So they started dating. We still stayed friends. We still hung out at times. I came in to work one night and there were 6 yellow roses and a card waiting for me in the cooler from him, just for being a good friend. That was one of the nicest things anyone had done for me. He and my friend got engaged. I was going to be in the wedding, and even had measurements taken for the bridesmaid dress. Then she broke it off and pretty much disappeared for awhile. But he and I stayed friends. I had started dating dh, and I dont remember if it was right before I got married, or right after, but right around my wedding time I got a letter from my friend (this was before email), and he said he had had a crush on me. Broken heart #2. I thought it was too late to break things off. So I went ahead with it. We all know how that turned out. (Although I wouldnt change a thing, because that would mean giving up my girls, which I wouldnt trade for anything in the world!)

Anyway, we've stayed friends all these years. I've met him a couple times for lunch, and got to tour his recording studio when he had it. But thats about the extent of seeing him. We've stayed in touch through email.

Now I'm going through a divorce. He is still single. Could there be a chance? He is still so much in my heart. I dont know that I can, or want to, go out with anyone else until I know if there is a chance with him. The thought has always been in my mind, and I feel its an unresolved issue with me. I've spent a lot of time wondering "what if...". I dont want to spend the rest of my life wondering the same thing.

Of course, I'm not sure I have the guts to make the move. I've asked if he wants to have lunch or hang out or something, and he said sure, but so far it hasnt happened. I know he's having some issues in his life right now.... I'm just not sure what to do.

...and now you know, the rest of the story. (but I hope its not the end of the story) :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lookin' Up!

WOOHOO! They called this afternoon and offered me the job! I'm so excited! I have to meet with the superintendent on Monday, then he'll present it to the board Monday night, and then I'll be officially hired. Woohoo!



I am really happy to be working again. I hope everything else falls into place like its supposed to. This job is going to be great for the situation. I'll work school days/hours, have holidays off, snow days, etc. (Not sure about inservice days and such) I'll be off in time to catch the girls extracurriculars, which is great since 7th grade games start at 4:15. I'll still get the little girls on the bus, be home when they get here... I'm happy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Waiting Continues...

I had my interview today. I have no idea how it went, but I think it went well. Its been so long since I've been through one... I think its good that they know me already. If everyone they interviewed went in and said the same things, at least they know my personality and such, and I'd hope that would give me a bit of an edge. :) They said they'd let me know Monday or Tuesday.

Brenna started volleyball this week. So far its a lot of conditioning, and she's pretty sore. But I dont hear her complaining, so she must be enjoying it. She was really hoping they dont have to run on the track today.

We went to see Grandpa today. I can still see progress. I'm so amazed at how much more he uses his right hand/arm, and how much stronger it seems to be getting. I dont know if he's been standing or walking (or trying to take steps yet), but Aunt Jackie seems to think thats what they've been working on. He just wants to go home so bad.

I forgot to get cilantro at the store yesterday. I have a bunch of grape tomatoes that are ripe, and maybe even some regular ones. I have one pepper, and a jalepeno or two ready, and I'd like to make some salsa. Might have to take a drive later. :) (I dont have any chips either.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bits n Pieces

I have an interview next week! Woohoo! I'm soooooo hoping to get this job! Its at the elementary school for the librarian job. Would be a great place to start.

I have a hearing at the Wayne county child support agency on Monday. Not sure why we have to do this right now. I dont know how they can "order" him to pay child support when he doesnt have a job or any income at all while workers comp jerks him around. He's still paying me, so what does it matter? I guess we'll see what they have to say.

Hmmm, what else? I think Mike is bailing on his visitation tomorrow. He said he figured since my dad was coming, I'd want them. Then ask. My dad wont be here til dinner time, is staying with my uncle, and Sis has the county home picnic from noon til 4, so no one will be here anyway. But he said he's already made other plans. Yeah, wonder what happens when I make plans and want him to take them on my weekend????

Not much else. Hoping for more news in the near future!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Really Bad at This

So I've gotten out of the habit of writing. I'm going to pick it up a bit. Its just, I'm so boring! I mean, really, what is there to write about???

The school levy failed again yesterday. Stupid stupid people. Ok, I know times are tough...I mean, I really know...but still. There isnt ANYTHING more important than an education. No matter what you decide to do, you need at least a basic education. But yet, they keep cutting our funding, and people dont want to pay, which I understand, but then the outcome is not good. More dropouts, less individual attention and help, etc. Plus, we now have pay to participate...not just sports, but the musical, play, power of the pen, etc. So its going to end up being extracurriculars are only for kids whose parents can afford to pay. That means more kids on the street after school instead of practice. That means less kids who get the "well rounded" education that looks so good on college applications. Does anyone thing about any of this? Or just the money? There has to be a better way to fund schools!

I'm still waiting to hear about the librarian position at school.

Brenna starts volleyball next week. Mom decided to pay for that for us. Thankfully Alexis will play soccer and softball, both of which aren't through the school. We'll have to pay for those, but not as much as if it was a "school" sport. Next year it will be.

I have a meeting Monday with the child support agency. Not really sure what thats all about. We dont have anything court ordered yet, but Mike is still paying each month. So not sure what this is about. Its because I signed the girls up for Medicaid. When he lost his job, they lost insurance. Not much we can do about that at the moment. He's planning on picking them up again when this whole workers comp is straightened out, but they're really being stupid. Until then....

The garden is growing. I'm surprised anything is living. The ground is SO hard! But, I picked my first handful of grape tomatoes yesterday. I have a TON of green tomatoes. I'll have to make salsa or sauce or something (I'm sure it wont make much, but its more than we can eat at one time). I saw 2 green beans (lol) on 2 plants, and one pepper thats coming along. I'm planning on tilling and weeding tomorrow to help things along. I'd like to start composting too so I can have some good stuff to plant in next year!

See, I told you...boring!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just Letting it Out

I cant sleep. Lots on the mind tonight.

I hate depending on people. I mean, I know we need to to some extent. But I hate that I have to depend on other people for a place to live, utilities, food, a car, etc. It really has me down tonight. There have been unexpected expenses come up in the last week, and I hate that I have to ask for help. Even if its not financial...just the need for someone to fix the van. It really puts a HUGE dent in the self worth. And like mine doesnt already suffer...

I'm trying to make changes. Some days its really tough, because things dont happen quite fast enough for me. Its hard to see a difference from day to day. Just trying to remember the big picture...

I've also decided I need more *girl* friends...ones who like chick flicks, lol. There are some movies coming out that I'd like to see, and I'm sure the girls wont want to go see them. Not sure how many of my friends are in to those kinds of movies either. I need some sappy friends. :) Now just where to find them???

This is a rather negative post, but I just needed to vent. I'm well aware that I have a LOT to be thankful for. Sometimes too much negativity clouds my mind for awhile, and I just need to take a moment to remind myself whats really important.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Heart

We went to see Grandpa today, and its the best I've seen him yet. He was just getting finished with a haircut when we got there. We went back to his room to visit for awhile, and he was really awake and alert and looked really good. He played ball with Livi for awhile and was even joking with the girls. Then we went outside and walked around for a bit. He really wanted to get up once we got outside. I hope he gets to the point where he can.
Aunt Jackie was going to see if she can get something to help hold his teeth in. He's so hard to understand when he tries to talk, and I think that would help. They have a meeting today to see what the nursing home has to say---how they can help, how much they think they can do for him, etc.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catchin' Up

Didnt realize I let this get so far behind....

Lets start with Grandpa. They did the trach, he moved to the rehab floor for a few weeks, they took the trach out, and he's now at Smithville-Western nursing home for rehab. He's doing ok now, but had a bit of a setback a couple weeks ago when he came down with pneumonia. Mom and the aunts have a meeting with the nursing home people on Wednesday to get a prognosis, what they think they can do, etc. I guess then they'll go from there.

Its been hot. Really hot. And with no a/c, its. been. hot. We've done a bit of swimming, and went to a movie this week to stay cool for a couple hours. We had VBS all last week and it was quite miserable in the sanctuary. We had a record number of kids (97), and they didnt seem to mind. It was a good time.

I'm trying to plan a short trip with the girls...I'm thinking about going camping for a couple days somewhere...maybe Lake Erie. I just need to get something planned and do it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The next step...

They're doing a tracheotomy on Grandpa tomorrow at noon. I dont know what happens after that...if he stays in ICU or goes somewhere else where they'll work on getting him off the vent.

Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

What a difference a day makes...and then another.

After my somewhat positive visit with Grandpa on Tuesday, Mom called yesterday afternoon to tell me he was really bad, and they were going to take out the vent and let nature take its course. The doctors felt that he wasnt going to get any better, he wasnt waking up anymore, wasnt responding, etc. I explained things to the girls, and it was just an all around awful afternoon.

Then she calls this morning. When Aunt Jackie and Aunt Bobbi went in to see him this morning, he ws sitting up in bed watching tv, and watching people walk past his bed. I think thats the first time he's done that. It was such a complete turn around, I couldnt believe what I was hearing. Needless to say, they decided to leave the vent in. If he's the same tomorrow, then they'll do a trach.

I just cant believe what has happened the last 2 days with him. We spent yesterday afternoon in tears, preparing to say goodbye, and then today we're hopeful for the future. I just dont know where to put my emotions these days. It hurts so much to think about losing him, but its sooooo hard to stay optimistic and then have the bottom drop out from under you. But I cant just sit in the middle somewhere.

I'm going to go up to see him tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday?

I'm just not sure what to think anymore. I got to the hospital and went back to see Grandpa. He opened his eyes, and I really thought he was trying to squeeze my hand to let me know he knew I was there. But I just never know. No doubt he was moving, but why is the question. While his eyes were open, he was looking up towards the ceiling. I dont really know if he was looking at something or not, but he was pointing towards where he was looking. When he finally looked at me, I really thought there was a flash of recognition in his eyes. Its what I wanted so bad, so I didnt know if thats really what I saw, or if it was wishful thinking.

I just got off the phone with my mom. She asked me what I thought, and I said I wasnt sure. She said he was actually answering yes or no questions tonight...bearly, but he was trying. He was also making grunting noises like he was trying to talk. Well, when I was there, he was opening his mouth like he was trying to talk, but they have his vent and feeding tube taped across his lips now, and I thought maybe that was just bugging him. But now I dont know.

I was pretty depressed when I came home today. I dont know how much to say to aunt Jackie because I'm not sure she's as optimistic as some. So I left with that sagging feeling again. Now I'm not sure what to think. I guess we just wait to see what tomorrow brings.

(I did have a very nice lunch with Pam today, and many birthday wishes on Facebook, so those things helped keep my day bright.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Exhausted, in a good way finally

Tonight was the sixth grade recognition dinner. I think a good time was had by all. Let me start at the beginning...

I got up this morning and went down to the elementary school to pick up the PTO money for the dinner. Then went to talk to Mr Richards to see if there were any more RSVPs. We chatted for a bit (and I found out someone added more to the envelope I sent to camp than what I sent). Left there and went to Pat Catans for some scrapbook stuff, and to price tablewear and such. Went to Factory Card Outlet to get balloons and price other stuff. Ordered the balloons...36 helium balloons. Went to Walmart. Got the punch, plates, cups, napkins, etc and the cakes. Went back to get the balloons. They started popping before I got them all in the van...they were filled soooo full. Back to Pat Catans to get the brown tablewear. Then home. By the time I got home, I had 6 balloons left. 6! Out of 36! $30 worth of balloons.
I had to stop to pick up someone's stuff for the scrapbook, then headed to the church to set up and decorate. By the time I got there, I had 5 balloons. We got everything set up, I called the store, and someone ran in to pick up the replacement balloons.
The dinner was great. Lots of food, lots of fun. Everyone got a kick out of Brenna's prophecy. I presented Mr Richards with the scrapbook, and he cried. So then I teared up. Then he got a standing ovation. He so deserves it! I'm going to miss him a lot.
We cleaned up after the dinner, and now I'm home. I'm tired. Tomorrow is my birthday. I'm not going to do much. I'm taking stuff down for the 6th grade to use for cleanup day, then going out for lunch with Pam. After that I'll probably go see my grandpa, and hope for something good for my birthday. I'm not going to Livi's game. I'm not sure what time I'll get home from the hospital. I'm going to come home and do laundry and relax and maybe work outside a bit.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sigh

Grandpa opened his eyes yesterday morning. He stayed awake for about an hour, then was asleep the rest of the day. Of course, all that happened before I got there, so I didnt get to see him awake.

We went up today and when I walked in I took his hand and said, "Hi Grandpa". He opened his eyes just a bit. He didnt keep them open for long though. So far they dont know if he realizes who is there or anything like that. He isnt really responding. But whenever someone else came back when I was there and talked to him, he'd open his eyes just a bit.

The intensivist told Aunt Jackie that he's surprised he woke up at all. They've been saying they thought he'd survive the stroke, but I guess they didnt mention that they didnt expect him to wake up.

So here's hoping for more small miracles.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Updates

Lets start with some good news today...my mom's CAT scan came back clean again!!! Woohoo! She's still dealing with some blood count issues, but at least there's still no cancer.

Grandpa is still doing about the same. On Weds the neurologist said he still feels he's going to recover from the stroke, but its going to be a long process. His fever came back today. The infection must not be gone yet. He still isn't responding. He did open his eyes today when the radiologist took the electrodes off his chest after the u/s on his heart. It makes me think he's feeling the pain or discomfort, so I just want to pinch him and say WAKE UP!

Brenna is home from camp. She had a great time. I knew she would.

I'm going up to see Grandpa again tomorrow. If all is still the same, I probably wont go Sunday. We have our mission trip presentation on Sunday, and then I'd like to get the garden put in before it gets too late.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Words...

I just dont even know where to start. I'm just so very sad. My grandpa wasnt any better today. He didnt open his eyes. He didnt smile. He just slept.
The doctor was in when I got there. He said its going to be a long process, but they're going to try to wean him off the vent over the next week to 10 days. But if they cant, they need to think about whether or not he would want a tracheotomy. They would hook the vent up to that then, but I dont know if that would be a permanent thing, or just another step. I'm not really sure what his expectations are, but he didnt seem all that positive.
The CAT scan today was still a bit worse...not a lot, but still....
I dont like to go back there and just sit and look at him. It feels so impersonal. I know they want him to rest, but I want him to know I'm there. So today I just sat by his bed and held his hand and cried for an hour.
I am an eternal optimist, but I'm also realistic. And I'm scared. He means the world to me, and I feel like he's slipping away. I'm not ready to lose him. I know its not up to me, that God has a plan...I just dont want him to suffer. I love him so much.
I just want to walk in tomorrow and have him open his eyes. I'd just like a little bit of good news for once...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ups and Downs

I went to see Grandpa again today. He was sleeping peacefully, not at all restless like he was the last 2 days. They found out he has a UTI, sinus infection and pneumonia. So he's on antibiotics, and since his fever is gone, they think the infections/fever were causing the jitters. But he didnt open his eyes the whole time I was there. I just want him to open them. I want to see them. I want to know he'll respond.
They said the CAT scan was a little better...some of the bleeding was gone, but the clot was either the same size or just a tad bigger. They're giving him platelets to try to stop the bleeding. They'll do another CAT scan in the morning.

To comment on my last sentence from yesterday---we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch today. They had a chinese bar today, and I had a fortune cookie with my lunch. My fortune said, "A long term goal will finally be accomplished.". Could it be....?

To be continued....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Wonders

Grandpa is off the vent. I know thats a step in the right direction, but I dont really know how he's doing, or what the prognosis is. He was sleeping when I saw him the first time today, and seemed to be restless. He opened his eyes once, but I dont think he was really awake. I went back in later before I left, and they were telling him he had to leave his clothes on. He was taking his gown off. So they got him dressed, then restrained him again. I hate that. They also gave him something to relax, and he went back to sleep. I know at times he's answered questions, but he's never been awake enough when I'm there to do that. I'm still really worried.

I've been thinking about some other things this weekend too. When I got home from the hospital this afternoon, I spent a few hours working outside. I got the little patio done and the white furniture put on it. I dug more hostas and planted them up front, and finished the path through the flower bed. Its starting to look good. I was "talking" to my grandma while I was working. I hope she's happy with what I'm doing here, and that I'm raising my girls here. I still miss her bunches.

I've been having some converstaions with several people, and I'm trying to figure out what I want out of life. You'd think by now I'd know, but I dont. Well, I guess thats not entirely true. I want to raise happy, healthy, respectful girls. I want to be happy.
I guess what I need to decide is what I want out of life, and what I need out of life. I need a job to support us. I want a job that I like. The thing is, I have no clue what I want to do. I dont know that I want a career...I just want a job...something to do to get the money I need to be happy. I'm not materialistic...I dont need things.
I would like to have "someone special" in my life. Right now I think it would just be fun to hang out with people...go to dinner or movies, have a cookout, etc. I think someday I'd like to be married again. I know it would have to be someone really special...not every guy is going to be willing to be with someone who has 4 kids.
Someone said one thing to me today that really made me realize how far I've come in my life. Maybe its because I was so unhappy in my marriage for so many years... I've learned that it really doesn't matter what other people think of me...I have to be happy with me. And I'm 85% happy with me these days. The other 15% I'm working on right now, and I'm making progress.

There is one thing I know I want. I've wanted it for a long time...a very long time. It hasnt changed. I just have to figure out how to go about getting it....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sad

Last night started out nice. We went to church to help paint scenery for VBS. Got done there and went to watch the Little League team play. We had only been there a few minutes when I got a phone call that my grandpa was being taken to Aultman hospital. So I got a hold of mom, and she was going up with Aunt Jackie.
She called later to say he had had a stroke. He had fallen down the porch steps because of it, and someone drove past and saw him laying there. He was unresponsive at the hospital, so they transferred him to Aultman. He's on a ventilator, but he could answer yes and no questions last night.
I went to see him today. He was really agitated from the vent. They have him restrained because he keeps trying to pull the tube out. And because of all that, they keep him sedated most of the time...at least until they can take the tube out.
It really scares me to see him like that. It just reminds me of Grandma after she had her last stroke. I think I'll probably go up tomorrow to see him again for just a bit. I hope they can take the vent out. I think he'll be happier and more comfortable.
Sending lots of prayers to you Grandpa. I love you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Future Planning

I had an interesting conversation with Alexis yesterday. We were in the van, and we found a copy of father-in-law's will. (Why it was in the van I have no clue) Alexis wanted to know what would happen to them if something happens to me, and I said they'd have to go live with their dad. She said "Not if he's married to some mean woman!". I just had to laugh, but I knew where that comment had come from.
Today I asked them if it was ok if I got married again someday. The first question was "To who?". (Um, like I have any idea at this point, lol.) I asked them if I'd have to ask their approval if I wanted to get married, and in unison they answered "Yes!".

Guess I have my critics looking out for me. :)

In other news, Brenna won the Gettysburg Address contest at school yesterday. She gets a $50 savings bond and will recite it at the community Memorial day service. (Alexis won last year!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Progress

The hosta bed is coming right along. I'm loving seeing the progress! Its so fun. I have started a stepping stone (kinda) path through it, and have some hosta planted. But I need more. I still have some I can transplant from around here, but I'm not sure thats enough (although I'm not sure how much closer I can get to the tree with all the roots). When this bed is done, I'll move across the sidewalk and work on that area. The house is finally getting some curb appeal.

And to add to that---grass seed. Mike put it down today, so hopefully the rain they're calling for will come tomorrow and water it down in. I'm so ready for a yard and not a mud pit.

He also brought some 2x4s to start on Ali's bedroom. I'm so glad he's still going through with helping on this stuff. Its really not an easy time, and he's not going to be here to reap the benefits, but I'm very thankful he's still helping. I was even nice and fed him dinner for the work.

Glad for Monday?

This was a bit of a rough weekend.

I think I'm entirely too nice at times. Over the weekend, I questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing...not for me, but for everyone else. Are there too many hurt feelings? Do people deserve a second chance (or 1000th chance)? Then things happen, and it just confirms to me that yes indeed this is the right thing. Things will not change. I have done a lot of changing and growing in the past couple years. I've worked on my attitude, on my relationship with God, and I'm definitely in a better and happier place than I was a few years ago. But I can only change me. I cant change anyone else.

So I'm glad its Monday (at least this week). I'm ready to get back to the place I was before the weekend. I'm going to work outside today. Things are coming along, and it feels good.

And to top it all off, I've lost 24lbs so far, people are starting to notice, and that feels good too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Understanding

Talk about ups and downs... I talked to Mike on the phone this morning. It was not a nice conversation. He threatened to be mean and nasty in the divorce if I didnt do things "his way". So it was not a fun morning. He called back a bit later and apologized. We have the kids to deal with together for awhile yet, so I dont want to hate him. I really want us to get along. He also asked if I was sure this is what I wanted. I think he might have been a little surprised when I said yes. He asked if I'd let him come back. I said no. He said what if he wanted to come back. I said no. It hasnt worked for 15 years, its not gonna work now. So if he doesnt know what he wants, what is he doing with someone else???
I do care about him, and even though he's been quite mean to me over the years, I want him to be happy. It just wont be with me.

He said he will come and help me get the stuff finished that he said he would...like Ali's bedroom (which he said he'd start soon), the shower/tub, the kitchen addition, and grass. I could probably put the bedroom together (with a little help) myself, but I dont have the money for the supplies. Same with the kitchen, although I'm not too sure about drywalling. The shower, well, thats not in my league.

I dont want to fight, I just want to get things done, get this over with, move on and be happy.

Rules?

Mike has a girlfriend. I found out today. He says its only been for a couple weeks, but I really think its been much longer. I wasnt sure what to think of this at first. I mean, there's no love lost between us, so what do I care. But then he asked a couple things that I thought were really inappropriate, and that got me thinking more.

What is the "appropriate" amount of time to wait before dating? This seems a little soon to me, as we havent even filed the papers yet. But its not like there's a chance we wont go through with it. Its not like something sudden happened and we just decided to split up. Its been a long time coming. But the thing is, he has SO many issues. Why did he jump into something already before he had time to really resolve some of those issues? He has no place to live. He doesnt know how he's going to have visitation. He says his kids are his first priority, but after what he said to me tonight, I really have to wonder. I know he loves them, but he seems to be wrapped up in other things now.

He said he'd help me finish up a few things around here. I hope he still means that. After that, I'll find someone else to help me. I think the less contact we have the better. I'm not going to ask him to take the girls to games or practices. If he offers, fine. Otherwise, I'll do it. If he decides to find a place to stay and wants the kids every other weekend, great. If not, we'll find something to do. I just hope he's not losing site of what's really important. I really think I'm the only thing stable in their lives. (But it would be nice to have an occasional weekend to relax and unwind, or go have fun.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Really?

I have so much running around in my head right now. Something came to light today, and I'm not sure what to think of it. I need to sort some things out before I start putting things on here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thoughts...

Is Happiness a Choice?

Thats the question I heard on the radio today. My first reaction was to say yes. I listened to a few of the answers people gave, and I thought some were interesting. Some people thought yes, happiness is a choice. Some thought no. A few said joy is a choice, and happiness is the emotion that goes along with it. Here is something someone posted: "Happiness happens. Both words come from the same Norse root. Happiness comes from outward circumstances we like. Joy comes from the inside." So maybe a better question would be: is joy a choice? (or being joyful)

Things are a bit rough for me right now. It hasnt exactly been a cake walk up until this point either. Yet I've found things and ways to stay happy. I just cant be a negative person. Life is too short to focus on all the wrong things. I think trying to see the positive in all (most) things helps me stay happy. Of course there are always those days when something goes wrong or something happens to put a damper on life, but its how you choose to handle those things and deal with them that gets things back on the right track. It does no good to dwell on the past, or on things you cant control.

So in my mind, yes, happiness is definitely a choice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More Emotions

Why do I have to be the sensitive one???

Today is my grandma's 90th birthday. What an accomplishment. My uncle had a party at his house this afternoon, and it was wonderful to see all the people who showed up. There was a dvd with photos from her life, and what a lot she has seen. She isn't in the greatest health, and I dont know how much she remembers from day to day, so every day with her is a day cherished.

Sis's sale is over. Its bittersweet. I'm glad I dont have to spend all day sitting up there at the sale, but it also means its time for her to leave. I'm still so torn over this, so I will probably shed some tears over the next couple days. I think she'll be back for awhile soon, as my step-mom is going to Atlanta for a bit this month. I cant think Sis will stay there alone since my dad sleeps during the day and works at night. This whole thing is really tough for me.

The girls have really been a handful this week. The attitudes are through the roof. I'm at my wits end with them, so I think we might just have to have a family meeting this week. I dont know why we need all the moaning and groaning and complaining when you still have to do it. I also need a chore chart. I cannot continue to remind them EVERY day several times a day to do what they're supposed to do. Then they go to bed and I find things left undone and end up irritated. I'm really working on my patience with them, and the way I deal with things, but they dont make it easy sometimes. (Of course, even the worst days with them is better than any day without them!)

Brenna, Olivia and I got all the patio blocks moved yesterday and the swing set up. Of course, the weekend is now over and I sure didnt accomplish much else. I hope Mike will take the girls to their activities this week so I can continue to work outside every day it doesnt rain. (Tomorrow evening I have to take Brenna to open house at JRL.)

Still so much on the to do list.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Isn't that always the case????

Things I need to get done this week: paint the entry way/hallway. I had the paint, but never got to it. Now I dont have the paint, so I think I'll pick something different and have at it. I'd like it to be inviting, and not just a jumbled up mess of coats and shoes.

Start the hosta bed. I'm going to do this as soon as I'm off here. At minimum I want to move the patio blocks and get the swing out. I'd also like to lay out how I want the bed to be shaped.

Rearrange a few things. I'm getting the hutch from my grandma's, and I need a place to put it. Not really sure where that is going to be at this point, but I know something is going to have to be moved to make a place for it.

Finish CLEANING the family room. I have a good start on it, but there are things that need to be moved, and shelves dusted and rearranged, etc. I'm also getting Sis's tv, so the old one can go.

Put things away. I know I brought home too much stuff from Sis's, but I figure better safe than sorry. Its things I'll probably want or need, and its better to get them now for free than have to buy them later. I just need to find a place for them now.

I think I might be having dinner here on Mother's day, so thats why I need to get so much done. There may be a bit more family than just the usual Sunday dinner crowd, so I want things to be done and look awesome! :)

Off to get started.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Raw Emotions

My emotions seem to be running rampant these days. One of Sis's neighbors came down to the sale today and wanted to talk to her. I had to walk out, or I would have cried. I'm still heartbroken about this move, but hopefully its not permanent.

I need to get some guidelines set with the dissolution. I need to find the papers to print out tonight. I just want to get it done. I also need to figure out the whole "stopping by to see the kids" thing. He wants to rent the garage from me since he has nowhere else to put his tools and such, and will also keep the yard mowed in exchange. So I'm thinking the girls can go out there to say hi. I'm just not sure I want him coming IN here every night to see them. Its just weird.

And then there's some other things going on. I'm trying really hard to keep my eyes and ears open to the path I'm supposed to take. Its really not so clear at all yet. I wish I knew. I dont want to be impatient, but its hard. I'm just so ready to start new and experience life in ways I havent for a long time.

I hate that I'm so emotional.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time for Change

I've been avoiding posting about this for awhile now, but I guess its time to get it out. I'm going to need a place to vent and get things off my chest, so I might as well start now. I haven't yet because once its on here, its there for the world to see.

For several weeks before the trip, Mike and I have been talking about splitting up. Its definately not an easy decision, but we both think its for the best. We cant get along. We fight all the time. Neither of us is happy, and that doesnt make for a good environment to raise the girls. We decided it would be best for him to stay here until I got back from the trip so the girls could stay here and not have to be shuffled around. But now he's moved out. I mean, he hasnt been sleeping here for several weeks, so I guess its not all that different, but still...

We've been getting along pretty well in regards to how we'll split things up, who gets the girls when (I get custody...that I wont budge on), child support, etc. He said he'd help me get the house finished up and make sure I get to keep it. It would be nice if we can get this finished up and not have to drag it all out.

I feel happy. I know thats not really the right thing to say in this situation, but I feel a sense of peace, or maybe relief? Its just not been a smooth or happy ride a lot of the time. I know its not going to be easy. In fact, I figure its going to be quite hard a lot of the time. But I've turned things over to God, and I feel he is guiding me in the direction I need to go. He knows the job I need is out there, and I'll see it when I'm supposed to. (I have a clue on this one...just have to wait for now...)

I still have some things about me to sort out. I have some mixed feelings and emotions that I'm not sure what to do about. Most are not about the impending ending of my marriage. I've had some things come up in my life, and I'm not sure yet what they mean or why they're there. I know I'll know eventually, but it would be nice to know now. :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Louisiana, Take 2

I'm home.

Last year I went on my first mission trip. It was to New Orleans, to rebuild after Katrina. It was the first time I actually felt "called" to do something. (Maybe it was because I had finally decided to start listening.) I was amazed at how much destruction was still there...how many houses with the marks by the doors, the blue tarps on the roofs, the crumbling brick...

I had an amazing time. We took 8 people from our church, and it was one of the best experiences I had had. It was a chance to do God's work, to get to know the people from church in a different light, and just really have a good time.

And then this year came around. I had no doubt that if another trip was planned, I'd be going. Its just not possible to describe the way it makes you feel to do this for someone else. Someone who has it so much worse than you. It changes you.

This year we worked on a house (actually a house built around a trailer) that belonged to an 82 year old lady in Houma, LA. What a sweet thing she was. We tore out a floor, to the point we were standing on the ground to get around. We replaced floors, built new walls, widened all the doorways in anticipation of her being wheelchair bound in the near future, added ramps, put up a clothesline, rerouted plumbing and arranged a bathroom, fixed wiring and packed a HUGE dumpster with debris they had piled in the back yard. It was a dramatic change when we left this year. (There was also some work done on a neighboring house---replacing part of a bathroom ceiling, bracing an air conditioner, and fixing a sewage leak under the house. The 2 guys who did that will never be the same!!!)

On Tuesday a neighboring church hosted the volunteers from our camp for dinner. This is a tiny church, and the congregation brought in pot luck for us. There was so much food and so much to choose from. Plus a whole dessert table. During dinner we found out they've been doing this EVERY WEEK since Katrina. And they wont take any payment for it. When dinner was over we all went back into the sanctuary. Their congregation circled the volunteers and prayed for us and what we're doing for them down there. I have never witnessed a greater outpouring of God's love in my life. There is no possible way to describe it to someone who hasn't experienced it. It still brings tears to my eyes to think about it.
(A funny note about this night---one of the volunteers from our church was sitting in front of us...a member of their congregation came up behind him, took her finger and squished a bug that had landed on the top of his head, picked it off, then went back to her seat like it was just another normal day. Got a great laugh out of those of us sitting behind him.)

And then there's the people. Where to even start with that??? We took 13 people this year, 8 of which were from our church. It was so much fun to get to know new people, and see people we already knew in a new light. As a matter of fact, I was a bit shocked at times. I think we scarred our church secretary for life...she's pretty quiet and shy, reserved, and I think has been pretty sheltered most of her life. So 6 of us (including her) decided to go into New Orleans one night and visit the French Quarter. We had beignets at the Cafe du Monde, then went walking. All was going pretty well, until we hit Bourbon Street. I'm not sure she knew what to do. I'm sure she's still reeling over that one. :)

I know I've also not experienced much of the world, and am a bit naive, but I thought it was interesting to see my first prostitute.

Then there was a former Swartzentruber amish, who has "jumped the fence" and is now mennonite. He was really quiet, and not sure what to think of us loud and crazy presbyterians. I think it caught him off guard as to how much the women knew and could do. Its just not in his culture. He loosened up throughout the week, and said we presbyterians knew how to have fun, and even started telling jokes. I just wonder what he went and told the people at his church today.

There was the quiet guy. Kinda did his own thing. So I had the chance to work with him one day and he started throwing out one liners, which caught me off guard. But he turned out to be quite funny.

There's one other person who I will comment on here who really made an impact on my life this week. He's gone to our church off and on for several years, but became a member earlier this year. The funny thing is, I didnt even know who he was when I first saw the list of people going. I had to ask. And I guess thats not as much funny as it is sad. I didnt ride in the same van as him most of the time, and it was probably Wednesday until I really had a chance to work with him at the house. At first I wasn't sure what to think...he came across as a bit arrogant. As time went on though, I dont really think thats the way he is. He taught me how to frame a doorway, and was patient as I made him climb in and out of a hole in the kitchen floor he was working on to help when I had a question. (On the second day though I told him things would go much faster if he'd show me what to do instead of doing it as he explained it, lol.) We hung out a bit more at camp, and I had a chance to get to know him a bit better. On the way home I was riding in the other van, but as drivers and co-pilots changed, I needed to move to "the dark side" van, as one of the guys in there put it. I ended up co-piloting with him driving. Thats when things got interesting. We started out just chatting, and ended up having a bit of a heartfelt conversation. He elaborated on a few things we had talked about during the week, and when I mentioned he hadn't told the whole story earlier, he said it was because he had to make sure he felt he could trust me first. That made me feel good. He was easy to talk to, and I was disappointed when our 4 hour shift in the front seats was over. I think I've made another good friend out of this.

There is SO much to get out of a mission trip. You can go and do the work for someone in need. If it stopped there, it would still be a great thing. But when you take in the culture, reach out to strangers, get to know new people and embrace new experiences, it really makes the whole thing so much more fulfilling. I learned a lot...not just about construction, but about myself, about people who are so different in backgrounds, religions, etc who can come together to do God's work. There were 3 other groups at camp this year, and we're the only ones who had our own little devotion/sharing time, hung out together, got along great all week and never had squabbles.

I've had a couple days to sit back and really think about this trip. I've thought about why God chose those particular people to send on a trip with me. I think (hope) I had an impact on someone's life this week. I can come up with specific reasons why certain people were there for me.

Everyone needs to experience a mission trip. You can't go and not come back changed.