Large Family Happenings, Life or Something Like It

Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, Bathrooms

Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, BathroomsBaby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, Bathrooms

Can I just say that I can sometimes overwhelm even myself?  Well, I do.  More times than not, I get myself into more things than I should.  So, now I’m in the middle of a Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, Bathrooms.  In between November and the end of March, and (of course) the holidays, there is a lot happening.  We have about 12 birthdays and anniversaries.  Then there is my first grandbaby that will make her appearance.  Now, we have to slap in a baby shower, bridal shower, and a 5-day hospital stay and you have my life in a nutshell.  All birthdays went very well.

Baby Shower

With that being said, a baby shower is a must.  Due to covid restrictions, we did a virtual baby shower at my house.  My sister came and my kids.  We ate, she opened gifts, and we had fun.  She got a ton of stuff for Charleigh Mae and they are very thankful.

It is so surreal to see your daughter pregnant with her first daughter.  She is so beautiful.  This pregnancy has not been easy for her.  She has struggled with all-day sickness, loss of appetite, and all the other fun things that happen.  Yet, she has handled it beautifully.

She is going to be such an amazing little mama.  I can’t even contain my excitement.  Who would have ever thought I’d be excited to be a grandmother.  Honestly, who ever thought I was mature enough to be a grandmother.  Yet, here I am.

Bridal Shower

We had scheduled the shower for a week before the wedding.  I just couldn’t get it all done in such a squashed amount of time.  Sadly, Alyssa got really sick before the shower.  We knew she didn’t have covid19, so we assumed it was a bug or the flu.  Since we weren’t sure, we decided to postpone it.  If it was a stomach bug, Arkie could have gotten it and there are a lot of immunosuppressed people in our lives.

Arkie never got sick, but other things ended up happening.  We had a hospital stay (Hunter) and a snowstorm because that is just how things roll.  It got pushed back to the day before the wedding.  We were trying to get a date that his mom could be there, but due to the storm, it just didn’t happen.

It got done and they had a good time. We were all tired but the kids seemed to enjoy opening their gifts.  Luckily, we got great pictures that I will send to his mom.

Rehearsal

That was something as well.  It seems nothing wanted to go smoothly.  This snowstorm just threw a wrench into all the things.  His family was not able to travel to the rehearsal because they got more snow than we did.  I hated that for them.

We were able to get in and get a lot of decorations done.  Most of the people who were in the wedding was able to come.  I’m so glad there is a trial run because that’s when I got all of my squalling out.  Those songs she picked.  Geez.  I was crying, my mom, the girls…it was a cry fest.

We ordered pizza and just came back to the house to eat.  After eating, they opened gifts.  Then, we cooked for the wedding.  It was a long and crazy night.  After all that was done, we snuggled for a good long time.  Sigh, that girl has my heart.

Bathroom Remodel

To add to our fun, we decided to do a remodel on our bathroom.  A few years ago, my boys got into a scuffle and things happened.  One boy aggrevated another boy.  Then, the other boy pushed the one boy.  That boy’s butt went through my wall.

I have not used that bathroom in a long time because I get so mad that all I see is his full butt print.  There are 2 cheeks and a crack.  I bought stuff to redo it, my way, because we weren’t getting it done any other way.  Bart stepped in and did some work.  Then, he made some phone calls.

Once that happened, all the things happened.  We now have a new shower, the toilet was already fairly new, bought new flooring.  Our friend ordered new closet doors.  The next big thing is to get the sinks out, new ones bought, and installation.

Go Big or Go Home

So, all this stuff, at my house, happened with a torn up bathroom.  That and a front closet FULL of Charleigh Mae’s gifts, a corner in the living room FULL of Alyssa’s gifts, and birthday presents.  Upstairs was full of wedding stuff.  I mean, there is stuff every where and I haven’t known which way is up and which way is down.

Honestly, I wouldn’t know how to do something 1/2 way.  I have got to do it all they way and then add a little spice.  It’s what dreams are made of.

Related Posts

My Bowels are Stirring

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Large Family Happenings, Medical Issues

Family Update February 2021

Family Update February 2021Family Update February 2021

Here is our BUSY Family Update February 2021.  For the shortest month of the year, it *feels* like this month lasted 428 years.  So.  Very.  Busy.  That meme cracks me up.  I’m not sure if it is my guardian angel, my mama, sister, or therapist.  Maybe all of them do that when I tell them something new.  Tis my life.

School

Still, Job Corp is not open.  I believe, to date, one has opened, so that is progress.  Right?  Noah got accepted into MSU and got his financial aid going.  He is figuring things out, so I don’t have to.  We’ve decided that Hunter will have his therapies at school.  Virtual therapy is STUPID.  It is seriously the dumbest thing ever.  He will only be at the school for an hour and a half.  Physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech will all be done weekly.  Maybe we will see some progress.

As for the boys, Jude is doing well.  He is learning to take his time.  The school gives him the ability to redo his assignments, but not tests or quizzes. He is learning to ask questions and study.  It has been a journey.  Daniel is struggling.  With FASD, it is hard.  Teachers “see” one thing (virtually), yet life is another.  We are going to take him 2x a week for tutoring.  After much back and forth, we adjusted his 504.  Praying that is going to help.

Happenings

There have been lots of birthdays this month.  Grayce, Hunter, Alyssa, Mimi, daddy, and several nephews have celebrated.  Also, we had a wedding shower for Alyssa on Hunter’s birthday.  That is one way to crunch it all in.  Originally, we had a separate day to do their share. Sadly, Alyssa got the flu or a stomach bug.  She was pretty pitiful.  We were not certain what she had, so we canceled until the 19th.  That would be one day before her wedding.

The rehearsal didn’t quite go as planned because there was a major snow/ice moment.  We considered postponing the wedding.  It was touch and go.  Alyssa was a wreck.  Arkie was a rock on the outside, still unsure of what lies beneath.  We got that done, without Arkie’s family.  Sadly, they got more snow than we did and just couldn’t make the trip.  I know that was a hard decision for them to make.

Once home, we did their shower.  Luckily, both my moms were here.  Hannah and Savannah were here.  Once the parents left, we started cooking.  We were all so tired but got it done.  Then, my girl came and snuggled with me until about 2 am.  Sigh.  Worth it all for that moment.

Wedding

All in all, we got it done.  My daughter was breathtaking.  Simply breathtaking.  Arkie.  I tied his tie and saw this sweetness in his eyes.  He really is a sweet boy.  Change is just hard.  Alyssa.  Stunning.  His family was able to come home.  The sun was shining.  Her pictures will be so beautiful with her flowers and the snow.

My mom knocked it out of the park with her flowers, doors, and all the things she creates.  She is brilliant.  My other mom was so helpful.  I’m so thankful my aunt was able to come.  The boys kicked in and helped clean up.  The food was good, the company was good.  Alyssa was so full of joy.  Arkie was so excited about his apple pies.

Health

Big Daddy was diagnosed with diabetes.  He has lost a lot of weight and his sugar levels are really good.  My plantar fasciitis sucks pond water.  That is in my right foot.  In my left foot, I’ve lost feeling in a couple of toes and the top of my foot.  It is due to a bone spur.  Eventually, when I lose feeling in more toes, we’ll address it.  My essential tremors have calmed down as have my psoriasis.

We have some upcoming appointments with Daniel to have him assessed for autism.  Honestly, we have always suspected it but as he gets older, things become more prominent.  Also, we have some upcoming appointments for Jude.  We are hoping to get some help with his FND.  Hunter had a massive treatment that I will address in another post.  So, stay tuned.

Related Posts

Life As It Happens

Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY

Large Family Happenings

Family Update January 2021

Family Update January 2021

Family Update January 2021

I believe it is time for a large Family Update January 2021.  SO much has gone on with everyone in my house.  I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  Honestly, I do not remember the last time *I* deep cleaned my house.  Sleep is not my friend, my emotions are on edge, and I have gained weight.  Also chopped my hair off, but that is a different story.

January

We started off the year with no school.  Really, no different for us because we were already doing virtual school.  This involved getting Daniel enrolled in high school.  He was coming off of being gone for several weeks and we had to enroll him.  There was a lot of togetherness.  We were all pretty much sick of each other.  Let’s be honest, we’ve been sick of each other since Covid19 and quarantine began.

We had the baby shower for Charleigh.  Again, not what we wanted but what is necessary due to the pandemic.

Counseling Continued and Began for Some

I continued on with counseling through January.  Honestly, it is nice to talk to someone but still frustrating.  I want to see more results, heal more, resolve more.  The boys also started counseling.  Honestly, the jury is still out on it.  They are with the same group as I am, but 2 different fellows.  We shall see how this pans out.  I hope it is successful.  We have goals.  There has been on revelation type opinion that we are further seeking out.

School

Again, it has not been the best experience.  I know the teachers are doing their best, but it is so hard for the students who struggle with special needs.  It’s almost like they are just continuing to ignore and let these kids fall through the cracks.  Just get by.

The kids do get the opportunity to retake homework and such to better their grades.  Yet, one of my kids needs more.  He struggles but no one sees it because he can work really hard and make passing grades.  The invisible disease of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, possible autism, and a host of all the other things make education hard.

I am not impressed with the level of care the administration has for my son.  They said that there is nothing really that they can do and I find that disturbing.  Hunter is doing well, for the most part

Technical School and College

Job Corp is still not open, so we are in limbo.  The county that this particular school is in has to go “orange” in order to open.  College is going well for my son.  In the fall, he will begin going to Murray State.  He will start his junior year.  Where did the time go?

Health

It’s been a hard month OMS-wise.  The shaking is pretty significant in his hands.  His behavior is hard.  Schoolwise, he is doing really well.  Jude had one seizure this month.  We did up his meds for epilepsy.  He has not had any more Non-Epileptic Seizures.  The Functional Neurological Disorder stuff is a work in progress.  Daniel is transitioning home fairly well.  It has been an adjustment with him being home.

Family

Bart is okay.  Work is a struggle.  Covid19 sucks.  Bug and Ben are well.  Baby is doing great!  I’m so excited to meet her.  Alyssa and Arkie are engaged.  So, there’s that.  G … life as it happens.  Noah is good, busy, but good.  I pretty much gave the update on the younger boys.

For me, I’m tired.  Old.  Tired.  Trying to find time for self-care.  This level of parenting is so different.  It isn’t physically exhausting as much.  For me, it is mentally and emotionally exhausting.  I just want to be and do all the things for all the kids.  Sadly, I can’t.

Related Posts

Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

To Care for Others, First Care for Yourself

The Rank Card Game be sure and use the code BRANDICRUM for 20% off of this fantastic card game!

Guest Blogger, Large Family Happenings, Medical Issues

Hurt People Hurt People

Hurt People Hurt People

Hurt People Hurt People

A phrase my mom has always said is Hurt People Hurt People.  That is a true phrase.  I always thought that I was your favorite person. You would make time to come down and see me, you brought me books and movies. We would go to the movies and have the best time ever. It meant everything to me that we had a good relationship. But all that changed… now you can barely say two words to me. Now you won’t even make eye contact with me most of the time. And to be honest, it is hard for me to talk to you because I don’t know what to say. 

 

Life After Death

 

After my cousin died, I was hurting so much. After realizing that he may not be in heaven where I so desperately wanted him to be. After him leaving so suddenly and I never got the chance to say goodbye, it was hard on me. Because I loved him and I wanted to know I would see him again. And I loved you so much that I wanted to know that if you left suddenly that I would see you again. 

 

Blaming Myself

 

Do you know my mom would not even let me read the letter you sent back to me? Because she knew it would hurt me if I read it. It was easier for me to not have to read it. I blamed myself for ruining our relationship. But now, I think it was more on you than on me. I was coming from a place of love but also of sadness and hurt. I didn’t understand why you didn’t believe the way that I did. I had no idea you would react the way you did. 

 

You Stopped 

 

You stopped writing to me. Also, you stopped all communication.  You just stopped. And that was hurtful for me, I looked up to you. I wanted to come to stay with you and wanted to be like you. I admired you for being as successful as you were. I understand now that what I said may have offended you, but at the time, I was a child and didn’t understand how it would offend you. 

 

Ensured Salvation

 

In my mind, I was just wanting to ensure that I would see you again. That I wouldn’t have to have the knowledge that you would be in the next life and not in a bad place. I was hurting so much and I was only a child. How was I supposed to know that one email would change our relationship forever? 

 

I think our Aunt blames me for our relationship not being where it used to be. I can see it in her face. I can feel it in her energy. But I know this was not my fault. My intentions were not of malice. You sent very hurtful letters back to me. It was not my intent to hurt you. Ever. 

 

Now, I Understand

 

I have gone through a very hard time since then. I have suffered much and you have no idea. And I so desperately wanted you to love and accept me like I love and accept you now. I feel guilty because I didn’t mean to hurt you. I would never intentionally hurt you in any way. I would hope you felt the same way about me. I do not judge your lifestyle, I am not a child anymore. I now understand how offensive some statements can be and I choose not to make those statements. 

 

I love you. I want you to love me too. 

 

Related Posts

Postpartum Depression and Suicide

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Large Family Happenings, Medical Issues

Update on my Family

Update on my Family

Update on my Family

Well, I guess it is time for an Update on my Family.  It has been a while since I’ve given one and I guess it is long overdue.  Can I just say, I am SUPER glad September is over!  That whole month weighed so heavily on my heart.  Reading the stories, reflecting on my journey, and just allowing myself to feel.  Suicide is a real thing and it is out of control if you ask me.  Please, check on your friends and family.  Spread love and kindness.  Help.  Be an ear.  God is so much bigger than that moment of uncertainty!

Bug & Ben

They are still married (yay) and are doing well.  Still young, still got a lot to learn, still navigating all the things but all in all, things are good.  They are both working from home, so that is a LOT of togetherness!  In that togetherness, they forgot to be socially distant and are now expecting a little one.

Let me repeat.

They.  Are.  Expecting.  A.  Little.  One.

One more time for those in the back.

I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER.

Breathe.  It’s fine.  I’m fine.  Breathe.

Don’t get me wrong, Flash and I are excited to meet each other.  Hunter named the baby Flash because well, he is 6.  We don’t know if it is a boy or girl.  Honestly, I could care less.  I used to think that was a crock of crap when people said that.  Now, I get it.  I truly don’t care.  So, I am going to be Lolli and Big Daddy will be Pop.

Get it?  I wanted us to be Harriet and Nels or Alice and Mr. Edwards.  Only Bug agreed with that, no one else did.  Whatever.

Peach

My girl did it.  She graduated college with her Bachelor of Science.  Sadly, her last semester had to be done virtually because of stupid co-vid, but she did it.  Come November, she is walking for graduation.  I could not be more proud of her.  I mean, geez.  She is brilliant and beautiful.

Trying to find that “big girl job” has been tedious, but she is working.  It is not her dream job but that will come.  She really is good at what she is doing, it is just hard emotionally.  Her niche is geriatrics.  She loves the elderly and has such respect for them.  The love and grace she shows in working with them…the respect.  She is her mother’s daughter.

Echo has a friend now.  My Ted moved in with them and so did Maureen Kitty.  She is a plant mama and has a cute little apartment that she has decorated so pretty.  This girl of mine…she is going places (just not too far from me!)

Gigi

It’s been a hard summer.  Honestly, it’s been a hard 13 years.  I am not going into any detail because my head and heart simply can’t.  This month, she will be attending school, away from us.  She will be learning a trade and life skills to move forward in her life.  This has been a hard decision for us to make but it is necessary.

For 2 months, we were blessed with the best gift, at the perfect time.  A friend offered to let her come to her house for a couple of months to let life settle a bit.  It gave us all time apart to heal and reflect on what is best for her and the rest of our family.

I pray the Lord guides her every step.

Boo

Well, he still has a female friend and has mentioned moving out.  As I choke back on my vomit and tears, I now refuse to discuss it.  I was pretty good about the girls moving out, but why oh why am I struggling.  Geez.  His little female friend has captured my heart.  She is a sweet girl, though we often talk about making space for Jesus when they sit too close to each other!

He is still in college and loving it.  I think he wants to be a sports journalist.  He loves sports and he has discovered that he loves writing.  In his job, he left his first job for another and then left that one for the first one because he was going to be promoted.  He is a hard worker but his room is a pigsty.  I just don’t get it.

Catfish

Due to the events of the summer, D is away at school until December.  Some things occurred where it was necessary for him to be away.  I email him.  He writes (when he remembers) and he calls every Friday.  Some are good calls and some, he just misses his mama.  I sure do miss him but I know he is learning so much.  Thankfully, this school is geared towards the career that he is wanting to pursue.

Sadly, he got co-vid (well, he and 13 other boys).  That was crappy but luckily they were asymptomatic.  We have had to send him a lot of soap LOL and shoes.  He is wearing them out!  Thankfully, he is learning and working through the events of this summer and processing some of his choices.  I am super proud of him.

Jude

He doesn’t have a nickname…wonder how that happened?  I’ll have to think of one.  He is “virtually” schooling from August until December.  I am hoping he will be back in school in January.  The past year, we have been struggling and fighting to figure out what has been going on with him.  This summer, we finally got our answer.

He has Functional Neurological Disorder.  In normal terms, he has narcolepsy.  Let me tell you, it is not like what you see in the movies.  It has been so hard.  In the midst of all the testing for Idiopathic Hypersomnia (which turned out to be FND), we stumbled on Epilepsy.  Yep, you read that right.  He also has Generalized Epilepsy.

Triggers

His triggers are stress and lack of sleep.  We have had TONS of stress this summer and he has narcolepsy, so there is your lack of sleep.  He had his first grand mal seizure and that is something I never want to see again in the history of ever.

Kid

Good grief.  He is busy.  So.  Very.  Busy.  He talks.  All.  The.  Time.  He is virtually schooling and doing pretty well.  Amazingly enough, he has promoted up a reading level…to HIS reading level on HIS grade!  He is reading so well.  Treatments are going as well as they can.  His OMS is still there and prevalent, but he compensates like a beast.

He is getting so tall and loves being outside.  His favorite thing to do is run.  “Mom, I just need to run.”  I can think about it when he was in a wheelchair.  Most days, I just sit and watch him run back and forth through the yard and I smile.  This child is fearless.  He brings joy to my heart.

As For Us

We are healing, as a family.  Big Daddy is adjusting to working from home.  I’m looking at going back to work part-time.  We have A LOT of kittens.  When they are weaned, we are getting the mama’s fixed so we don’t have to worry about that anymore.  I know you want to know their names…right?  In no particular order:

Karen, Inez, Joan, Janis, Joplin, Lloyd, Linda, Lonnie, Ronnie, Roger, Kim, Pat, Wenago, Tibebu, Ephraim, and Bart.

So freaking cute.  I love cats.

I guess that is all for now…until next time.

Related Posts

You are Not Your Trauma

I am NOT a Failure

Large Family Happenings

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Today, I am Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend. Every time I see this picture, my goodness this Lady is GORGEOUS in red! That was my favorite color on her. She is smiling because it was her 81st birthday and her “boyfriend,” aka Big Daddy, was taking her on a fish date. I was the third wheel because all best friends are great third wheels.

How She Loved Bart

She loved him so much. Even during a very trying time in our marriage, where she could have just said: “Leave him,” but she did not say that. What she did was carry my weary body into her home, place her beautiful hand on my hand and the other on my head, and prayed.

Then, she picked up the phone and called a trusted and amazing human. She briefly (and discreetly) said a few things and then hung up the phone. As she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, she said: “It is going to be okay.”

In Time

It was, but during that “it time” part, she held me accountable in my words and actions. She also had another man work with Bart. Together, they walked with us through the mud. Our marriage is stronger because of the prayers and the advice that we received.

I miss her so much that I physically ache. Everyone should have a Ms. Jo. I mean everyone. Someone strong, not afraid to speak her mind, and loves so completely. I never doubted that she loved me. She never doubted that I loved her.

I Wish We Had More Time

We had little time, ten years maybe, not long enough. It is as simple as that. What started as me admiring grace and beauty (and her voice) moved onto noticing her beautifully crooked finger. Then it matriculated into me timidly requesting her to be my mentor. Quickly, followed by me sitting on her porch and squalling. I cried so bad that she said we were making the neighbors talk, and for the love of all to get in the house.

Next, it moved to me helping out here and there. Going to lunch and running errands. Lastly, it moved more into caregiving and sitting with my Lady. Many nights of me making supper and us eating it together while watching Jag. Cleaning. Oh my goodness, I cleaned things out. We looked at her billions of pictures, and I soaked up all her memories.

Find a Mentor

Talk to your church and see if you can set up a mentor/mentee program. It is so worth every moment! “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5).

You will not regret it. I miss you, Lady. More than I can even describe. My best friend, person, mentor, accountability partner, teacher. I am so excited to see you again! Until we see each other again, in heaven, I love your face off!

Related Posts

Emotions From This Week’s Story

My Lady Go Big or Go Home

Large Family Happenings, Medical Issues

Read His First Book

Read His First Book

Read His First Book

Bob books are amazing!  And Hunter Read His First Book with the help of them!  It is no secret.  I hate teaching kids to read.  It is so mind-numbing for me and frustrating.  Yet, I press on and I teach.  I’ve taught every single child to read.

I pulled this out because we had been working on -at words for a couple of weeks.  We recorded him reading it so we could send it to his teachers.  He was so proud of himself and we are so proud of him.

He gets the sound it out and runs it together mode of teaching to read.  My other kids didn’t necessarily get that concept. Also, I do not teach phonics because NO WAY.  We are going to try and video it again so I can post it here.

Gearing Up

He has treatment this past Friday, so I am mentally prepared for that.  Sadly, he is also aware and so his behavior has been off.  He is more anxious and less willing to do things.  I hope he will read it again.  As he does, the book becomes easier to read and flows better.  Honestly, it gives more confidence when things just roll off the tongue.

Either Way

My kid that was not supposed to be here is still here.  He is still playing, learning, loving, and now reading!  I can honestly tell OMS to kiss my a$$.  It has no power over my son anymore!

Related Posts

Hanging up my Hat

The Results of MIBG Scan

All Things Adoption, Large Family Happenings

Hunter is 6!!!!!!

Hunter is 6!!!!!!

Hunter is 6!!!!!!

I simply cannot believe that my baby is 6.  For real!  Hunter is 6!!!!!!

I was looking back on my Facebook memories and this memory came up:

“February 12, 2013, at 1:53 PM · My uterus is hurting…..Lord, help me be content in all things and where You move or want me…I will move and go.”

Who knew, a day later, my niece would give birth to her third child and my seventh child. Who knew that 21 months after his birth, he would officially be mine.

Amazing how God prepares you for things that are not on your radar. I’m so thankful that Paige gave him life and then gave him to me to raise 21 mths later.

God is good.”

Amazing Me Daily

He inspires me every day.  Overcomer.  Warrior.  Tough as nails.  This is the baby that was not wanted, in the beginning.  Also, this is the baby that had his life turned upside down when he got sick.  This is also the baby that a doctor told me that he would “succumb” to his condition.

 

He runs.  Never stops moving.  Honestly, never stops talking.  He can now feed himself.  His brain is always learning something new.  He went from 3 letter sounds in one week to learn 19 sounds in another week.

This child is BRILLIANT.

I am so thankful that the Lord put that desire in my heart 1 day before this baby was born.  Also, I am incredibly thankful that my niece was able to raise him for the first few months of his life.  Then, I’m really thankful that he was safe during a period of his life.  God is so good.  I would not change raising this baby for all the coke and cheese in the world!  He has my heart and then some!

Related Posts:

Hunter’s Song

Adoption Choosing for My Heart to Be Broken

Spin on Tortellini Soup

Large Family Happenings, Life or Something Like It

6 Month School Update

6 Month School Update6 Month School Update

It has been a bit over but here is our 6 Month School Update.  As you may or may not know, I am a former homeschooler.  I homeschooled my children for about 20 years.  Successfully, I have graduated with 4 children.  For my younger 3 kids, I decided to try public school.

Myriad of Reasons

I love homeschooling, for the most part.  It has been a bit harder because I do have 4 special needs children, so it was also not the easiest.  Our decision to put them in school was a quick and swift decision.

I knew when I was done, I would be done.  Honestly, I was just overdone.  My exhaustion level had reached an all-time high.  When you have a child who is medically fragile, life changes.  Our traveling had hit another level and I wasn’t doing anyone any justice by being 1/2 in.  Their education is far too important for me to let it slide by.

Ben and Bug

They are well.  Almost ready to celebrate 2 years of marriage.  They are both working hard and learning so much.  Bug is moving through some things and she has made some brave decisions.  I’m incredibly proud of her.

Peach

She just started the first day of her last semester of college.  **Cue the angels singing.**  I have no idea why it seems she has been in college for 549 years, but it sure has.  She has done well.  There is that excitement mixed in with the “oh crap” mixed in with the thrill of fixing to truly start her “adult” life!  She is also working and loving her dog.  I’m incredibly proud of her.

Gigi

Thankfully, she has finished high school.  Good gracious that was a chore for both of us. She was about 6 mths late in doing so, but she worked 7 days a week to get finished.  A good friend hired her to work and that is going well.  She has MASTERED getting ANY types of stains out of clothes and she is really good with kids.  There is still a lot to figure out, but we are taking one step at a time. I’m incredibly proud of her.

Boo

He has started the last semester of his freshman year of college.  That seems unreal to me.  He is working part-time and helping out at home.  Still, though, uncertain about his major, we have ruled things out and then put things up closer to the front.  He will figure it out.  There is a little female that he has been spending time with…I just can’t talk about that right now.  I’m incredibly proud of him.

Catfish

For a kid with SEVERE dyslexia and FASD…he is rocking school!  He has had great grades and is learning to navigate life.  There have been some social issues that we have had to work through.  Mostly learning who is safe and who isn’t.  How to work around bullies.  Oh, and have there been bullies.  Bullies are not limited to children, ya know.  Adults bully too and we have certainly dealt with that.  I am not well-liked, at the school, by some people but I really do not care.  I’m incredibly proud of him.

Jude

He has excelled, as well.  Academically and with sports.  He is so much fun to watch when he is playing ball.  We have, again, dealt with bullies.  Also, sadly, lots and lots of racism.  Racism now is more underhanded and calculating.  Methodical and intentional.  There isn’t the outward act of separating out things just the subtle undertone.  It has been so sad to see and to deal with.  Again, I’m not well-liked by many.  I really do not care though.  I’m incredibly proud of him.

Kid

He has made great strides in school and in his therapies.  For a little guy, he is in a different therapy 5 days a week.  He has OT, PT, SLP, Vision, and Horse therapy (the best one of them all)!  One major accomplishment is he has learned to spell and write his name.  The thrill is unlike anything I’ve ever had!  Our hardest thing has been treatment monthly, steroids monthly, and keeping him well.  He has had 2 flare-ups since starting school.  One attacked his hands and legs.  The other attacked his hands and his speech.  I’m incredibly proud of him!

Related Posts

Papa John’s Spicy Packet CopyCat

Large Family Happenings

The Ultimate Guide to a Barbershop

The Ultimate Guide to a Barbershop

The Ultimate Guide to a Barbershop

This past Saturday, I was sicker than a dog.  Nasty cold, lost voice, just felt like crap.  Yet, that doesn’t give me permission to not parent.  There are too many humans that I have created that need a gentle shove and food.  This day was no exception.  Jude had 3 basketball games that day.  He was playing in 2 games on the 7th-grade team.  Thankfully, Big Daddy let me sleep in some and he went to those 2 games.  I hustled around, got kids situated and I headed to the other game.  He plays “up” and so he was also on the 8th-grade team.  To add to the fun, I found a barbershop, local, that is run by some amazing African American men.  This The Ultimate Guide to a Barbershop.

Be Prepared to Wait

We walked in and the men smiled and said “have a seat.”  Well, there were no seats.  There were 2 barbers and they each had a person in the chair.  The couch was full of people waiting.  This barbershop does not do appointments on Saturdays, only walk-ins.  I learned that, that day.  The best time to go, on a Saturday, is at 7:30 am.  The lovely humans got closer together which allowed Jude and me to have a seat.

So.  We sat.

And Sat

Jude was tired and I tried to talk him into going to the van and napping while I waited. He didn’t want to do that.  As I looked at him, he was taking it all in.  You know, it probably is something to be raised by Caucasian people.  His exposure to African American people are limited to 2 cousins, and 3 other students in the school.  Occasionally, he will play a team with African American people on them, but even that is rare.

I heard him giggling when the barbers were giggling.  We all were laughing.  Talking about parenting, education, sports.  He realized I was just like them, just a lighter version 🙂  The fascination in seeing the hairstyles were bringing joy to my heart.  Honestly, he wanted to try them all.

It is NOT Just a Haircut

It is a cultural experience.  They covered everything from food that they do and do not eat, as a whole (obviously there are exceptions).  We covered Jesus, more food, education, and the importance of it…then there are the dos and don’ts of what is acceptable for Caucasian people versus African American people.  That broke my heart.  Maybe it is the realization that my son will likely not live in my house forever.  Things will change and I’m not sure I want him away from me.  Here, local, people know who he belongs to.  They see my son and not the color of his skin.

Magnet Alert

I did learn that I need to tell any barber we choose, we have to tell him Jude has a magnet in his head.  It has something to do with a magnetized cloth or maneuver that they use.  Honestly, I think nothing of it, but when they saw his scar, they asked.  I’m glad they did!  He will always have to work around that scar.  His hearing aid doesn’t stick when his hair is too long.

The Look of Shame

Jude was sitting in the chair, I looked at the men and said: “he has never been to a barber before.”  I looked down and said I have cut his hair since he was 5.  They asked how old he was and I said “13.”  Everyone in that room stopped what they were doing and just looked at me.  I said “I know, now, that as a white woman, I should never touch my son’s hair again.  Promise I will never do it again.”  Mr. Eye said, “the beginning to healing is admitting you have a problem and then not repeating that problem.”  Then, there was the collective belly laugh from everyone, including me.  Really, that statement made me realize that these are my people.

Revelation

When Trell finished the haircut, he told Jude to keep on playing sports in that “white” school…let them get a taste of what a star he was.  Then, I need to transfer him to Paducah Tilghman where the “brothers” play and that is where he will excel.  I smiled and said we didn’t live in that area but my mom was a teacher at the middle school there.  Mr. Trell looked at me and said “No way!”  Who is your mom?  I told him her name.  He smiled from ear to ear and asked me if she was a fiery redhead!  Yes, indeed she is.  My mom was his homeroom teacher!  What a small world.  He excited to meet me and her grandson.  Praises were thrown my way in what an amazing teacher she was.  That warmed my heart.

Ultimate Conclusion

I like these people.  The place was clean and spacious.  So many people all in the throes of life and doing the best they can!  We will be back and I promise to never, ever, ever cut Jude’s hair again.  I have learned my lesson and I have seen greatness in a person’s craft.  Jude seeing good men, who love Jesus, loves their family, running a successful business, and being men of color is just what my son needs in his life.  Well, those are the Life Lessons Learned at the Barbershop.

God is good!

Related Posts:

In Need of Cheese