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.

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Review and Giveaway Church People

Review and Giveaway Church PeopleReview and Giveaway Church People Movie

This is a Review and Giveaway Church People Movie.  Please like or comment on this blog or any of my social media links.  Must enter by March 16th for me to submit your information.  I will be randomly drawing a winner for a free digital copy of this movie.  Please respond to me, if you win, so I can get the information to the “powers that be.”  Thank you!

About Church People

Weary from the showiness and materialism that has overtaken his ministry efforts, Guy (Ramsey) goes on a journey to get back in touch with the heart of ministry and be a real role model to his youth group kids. He makes the difficult decision to cut short his speaking tour managed by his money-focused agent (Faison) after realizing that his reputation has become more fame-based than Gospel-driven.
But when Guy attempts to return to regular youth ministry, he is thrust into the throes of dissuading the youth group from performing a strange and potentially blasphemous stunt for the upcoming Easter service, starring a young, zealous new believer, Blaise. In attempting to manage his youth group while navigating an unexpected love interest in the Senior Pastor’s daughter (Cahill) and being a new father to his grown daughter (Manfredi), Guy ultimately rediscovers and puts on a powerful presentation of why we all need to put our hope in Jesus and not in ourselves.

Thoughts

“WWJD”…what about “What Has Jesus Already Done.”  Powerful statement.  “God loves the mess we are right now.”  “God’s love is bigger than our mess.”  Stephen Baldwin’s character, Chad, wow.  Thought-provoking.  Joey Fatone is hysterical.  You can definitely tell which are trained and which are not.  Reminds me of Faith Like Potatoes and Fly Wheel.  Great movies if you can get past some of the actors.  Excellent message.  Music is great.  The scenery is great.

Is it sad that I, personally know, 2 pastors that are just like the megachurch pastor in this movie?  So into the next big thing.  Lying to kids, parents, and whoever watches them online.  Congregations buying them vehicles that cost more than my first house.  Once I saw the person behind the pulpit, I knew that they were not all they claimed to be.  So many people being misled.
Slightly idealistic about adoption and finding that long-lost father.  Once found, it all seems perfect.  That can be very triggering to children who come from hard places.  This is what they dream of and this movie fits the bill.  I know that it is probably mute and most people do not understand.  As an adoptive mom, I get it.  As good as this movie is, I will probably not let my younger adopted kids watch this.  It could be very triggering for them.  That makes me sad, though I do see the point.

Rediscovering Your Passion

This is a Christian comedy about the megachurch mega-production subculture and getting back to the simplicity of the Gospel.  It stars Christian comedian Thor Ramsey, Hallmark Channel’s Erin Cahill, Stephen Baldwin, Donald Faison, and NSYNC’s Joey Fatone.
This movie is a powerful message about rediscovering your passion for Christ and learning to surrender what you hold dearest, all told in a redemptively humorous way.  We could all use a good laugh right now, and Church People is a movie your whole family can LOL to!

Social

Church People Trailer

Website for Church People

Press Release

Endorsements

“CHURCH PEOPLE was a complete surprise for me. I had no expectations whatsoever, and I was totally
shocked when I absolutely loved the movie. I was inspired. I laughed, and then I laughed some more.
Thor Ramsey was phenomenal and his performance brought light to the dark times many of us have
been going through. I can’t recommend this movie more. As a matter of fact, if you’re going, buy me a
ticket and I’ll go see it again with you.

Chuck and I have always believed that Christian film needs to elevate it’s game. That it needs to be
great. It needs to be fruit that if you lay it at the altar, God would be pleased. I believe that CHURCH
PEOPLE has accomplished this. No higher compliment could I give this movie than to say for 90 minutes
I was able to get away from the world, and was the better for it. Christopher Shaw’s directing work in
CHURCH PEOPLE showed passion and love not only for the material but for the cause of Christ. As
filmmakers, Chuck and I we’re inspired by it.”

– Cary Solomon & Chuck Konzelman (Writers & Directors of God’s Not Dead and Unplanned)
“I loved CHURCH PEOPLE! It made me laugh out loud but more importantly, it has a message that
leaves a true impact in your soul.. a perfect watch for this Easter season. If you are seeking something
fun to do with the whole family, make plans to see this movie!”

– Jenn Gotzon (Actress & Producer of “The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland”)

Disclosure: Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Review and Giveaway Church People

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Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show

 

Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children ShowReview and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show

This is a Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show.  Please like or comment on this blog or any of my social media links.  Must enter by March 10th for me to submit your information.  I will be randomly drawing a winner.  Please respond to me, if you win, so I can get the information to the “powers that be.”  Thank you!

Well, first off, I just about choked on my fruit snack when I saw the Cubekin framed photo of Jesus.  Their little eyes remind me of those stuffed animals that were so popular years ago.  Furby is the name, I think.  There are some educational things that they talk about. Also, teaching aspects of responsibilities.  I enjoyed the cartoon feature of the scenery.  The colors are engaging as well.

Cubekins

Cubekins is a wholesome, small-town tale of a rambunctious, seven-year-old boy named Kip exploring his ever-changing world while learning more about his never-changing God.

this is a new Christian “Faith-based” Show for Kids, like Veggie Tales set in Mayberry.  It is fun, family-friendly, and faith-based content for children ages 3-8!  The best thing, for me, is it is created by two homeschool dads and their families.

You can buy/rent Cubekins Ep. 01 Invasion of the Cubecumbers on the Cubekins website (or other available streaming platforms).  Also, check out exclusive member content.  There are coloring books, bonus videos, and more.  You can view this by becoming a fan member at cubekins.com!

Dove

By going to Dove, you will see this review (and others) that are family-friendly.  “Cubekins is a great kids show—children will be entertained while learning morals from a Christian perspective. Parents need not worry about negativity or inappropriate themes. When looking for a wholesome way to teach and occupy their children, parents can trust Cubekins to fulfill those needs.”

Includes…

A link to watch/stream our 22-minute Cubekins Pilot and Bonus Songs Content
A digital download of our “Kip Loves God” coloring book.
A digital download of our full color “Kip Loves God” Reader.
Access to our Members Only section of the Cubekins website
Access to future Membership perks

Press Releases/Media Hits

Dove Article

Testimonials

Faith Talk Live

PaxTV Livestream

Christian Casting

Faith Talk Live

Social Media Links:

Cubekins Gallery

Cubekins Song Lyrics

Review and Giveaway Cubekins Children Show

Disclosure:  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post

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**Giveaway is for North American residents.**

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Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie

Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie

Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie

This is a Review and Giveaway Dolphin Island Movie.  Please like or comment on this blog or any of my social media links.  Must enter by March 14th for me to submit your information.  I will be randomly drawing a winner.  Please respond to me, if you win, so I can get the information to the “powers that be.”  Thank you!

Thoughts

No language.  There is no violence.  There is a sleazy lawyer in it.  It does have some deep themes.  Themes such as loss, grief, decent, theft, lying.  Also, this girl’s parents die in a water accident trying to save a dolphin.  The 2 sets of grandparents are both wanting custody.  This movie, I would consider, is PG due to the deep themes involved.  It is not for children under 10 years old.

All About Dolphin Island

This is a fun, colorful adventure for the whole family to enjoy!  There is a FREE downloadable Family Discussion Guide to spark meaningful conversations.  These are can be conversations about courage, forgiveness, and/or faith.  It is a heartwarming of love and accountability, entertaining for the whole family.

This movie has been awarded Winner of Best Feature Film at the Christian Film Festival 2021.  Also, it is Dove approved for all ages!  You can purchase Dolphin Island after its on-demand release.  This release will be on Tuesday, March 2nd.  Then, you can watch from the comfort of your own home!  You can also buy links by clicking on THIS LINK.

Trailer

Other Accolades

Kids First says: “5 out of 5 stars.”  Also, “Recommended for ages 7-18, plus adults.  It is family-friendly and highlights the importance of family.

The Dove Foundation states that it is “a heartwarming tale of love and accountability will be entertaining for the whole family.”

Disclosure: Many thanks to Entertainment Squad for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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**Only North American winners are eligible.**

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Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game

I have never been able to have a review or a giveaway for a card game.  We are completely stoked over here!  With that being said, here is the Review and Giveaway Rank Card Game.  You can purchase this game from Storyastic Website.  You can put in the code BRANDICRUM for an additional 20% off!

Card Packs in this Game

Included in this game:  Everyday Life, Adulting, and Leisure Time.  Also included are the scorecards.

The expansion packs can be bought at the above website for $15 each.  They include Risky Business, Sports and Outdoors, MORE Adulting, MORE Everyday Life, MORE Leisure Activity.  Also, Culture Vulture, Faith Pack, Girls Night Out, Relationship Goals, Guys Night Out, and Make my Own.

Included in this giveaway is a sneak peak of a full round of Storyastic’s new game, Brandish.

Here is what 3 of my many kids said about this game.  There was a lot of giggling going on.  I am anxious for the rest of my kids to get here so we can all play this game.

Sav (18):  Really fun but even better when you when 3 times in a row.  5/5 stars

 

Jude (14):  It is fun and entertaining.  5/5 stars

 

D (16):  It is interesting and fun to learn things about other people.  4.5/5 stars

ABOUT

The Rank Game is the game about you and your people—your likes and dislikes. It’s a card-based game that gamifies how well you know your family and friends. The ranker ranks four items, and the guessers guess how you’ve ranked those items to achieve points.

GAME PURPOSE

From founders Chip and Dana Brown

You’ve probably seen statistics or news stories about how technology, screen time, advertising, and social media are eroding our ability to simply be together face to face. You’ve probably even experienced this first hand in your own life. Even when we want to quit tech and spend more having real experiences in authentic relationships, it’s kind of hard to do. It’s awkward. The truth is, all of us need at least a little bit of help to succeed at this. That’s why we made THE RANK GAME.

THE RANK GAME is easy to play at home, on long car trips, on the beach, at a restaurant or bar…ANYWHERE! The game quickly gets us off our phones and TALKING with one another in eye-to-eye, real-world gameplay. So, we get to know each other better.

THE RANK GAME is a really fun way to learn more about the people we feel we know already (friends and family) and also is outstanding as a way to make for great conversation and “break the ice” at social gatherings and even work. Oh, and also, it’s competitive, fun and really funny!

FUN FACTS

Kickstarter funded in 48 hrs
Toy Fair 2020 favorite pick

OVERVIEW

Product category: game
Title: The Rank Game (by Storyastic)
Campaign focus: game giveaway promotion with affiliate partnership
Release: limited availability nationwide; available in select independent retailers

GIVEAWAY CONTEST

You can like this post or any of my other social media posts in order to be eligible to win.  If you win this giveaway, you will receive:

  • The Rank Game
  • 1 winner per participating blogger.
  • Only US-based and Canadian-based winners are eligible due to shipping limitations.

Social Links

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

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Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Well, here we are in a new year.  Can you hear the angels singing?  I sure can.  For this year, I am going to do a Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021.  Really, that won’t mean a lot to my readers, so no big changes for you.  Working on color schemes and themes and such.  Checking broken links, photos, rewriting some things, deleting duplicate posts, and such.  Just cleaning up.  After 10 years of blogging, it is time.

What Would You Like More Of?

Is there something you would like more of?  I’m really working through self-care and emotional healing from trauma, so that is at the forefront of my mind.  Healing through the trauma of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, all the big T and little t traumas, so to speak.  Really focusing on the metaphysical reasoning behind some physical ailments.  From family to friendships…transformation.

Food and Lifestyle Changes

Also, we are having to get serious about our food around here since all the new medical stuff has come up.  Good times.  Big Daddy has had a new diagnosis.  Jude has had a couple.  I’m struggling with some foot and shoulder issues.  Blah blah blah.  Part of it is getting older (for us parents), part of it is nutrition, and part of it is just, again trauma.  So maybe some trial and error recipes and such will appear.

Working Towards Minimalism

Yes, there is that word again.  I have sorted and plugged away for years.  That is how I work through things but geez, with all these kiddos, things continue to accumulate.  I continue to sort, throw away, consign, and donate.  It is a work in progress.

Honestly, I want to get to a point where when Bart and I start getting older, I don’t want my kids to worry about things.  Health and death tend to bring out the “best” in people and I want to eliminate as much stress as humanly possible for them.  Morbid, I know but necessary.

Family Growth and Changes

So many things happened in 2020.  We are not the exception to the many families who experienced trials and tribulations during a horrible year.  There were some glorious moments, but man were there some sucky ones too.  Our family is continuing to shift and change every moment.

This year, we are adding 2 new additions to our family.  We have one daughter having a life-altering event with a fella she met.  Another daughter is having another life-altering event welcoming our first grandchild into the world in March.

We have kids moving out and moving on.  Kids finishing school and growing and learning more about themselves.  Lots and lots of things happening.

Posting

So, if you see a lag in posting, think nothing of it.  I’m working on the backend of the blog.  If you see broken links or no pictures, send me an email at barefootfaithjourney@gmail.com  I will get it fixed.  I hope to continue to do reviews and giveaways, as well as, guest blogging.  Of course, we have a multitude of medical issues that I hope to educate others on.

Just wanted to give everyone an insight as to what is going on in my world.

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Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19

Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19

I have been in this house since the beginning of March.  Well, I have been “out” 2 times.  Both times were to take my son to treatment.  **Be jealous.**  I do drive around town, occasionally.  My son is medically fragile.  I choose to be safe and keep my behind at home.  My husband works outside the home 2 days a week.  Boo, our oldest son, does have a job.  For the most part, my family is contained.  We don’t see anyone and no one comes here.  YET…things are slowly opening up (wear masks and wash your hands)!  So, Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19 is happening!

Excitement #1

People of the internet land, I am getting a massage!  I cannot tell you how excited I am.  When my friend texted me, she told me that A) she was opening up with HUGE restrictions based on our state.  She scheduled me.  Then, B) she had to cancel because the number of restrictions were hard, so she was going to have to wait until it loosened up a little bit more.  Safety for all people, ya know.  Mad respect for that, yet HUGE disappointment.  Then, C) because God is good…our governor switched things up again and I got scheduled again.

90 minutes of sheer bliss.  I can’t even.  Not only do I get to see the precious face of my friend but she is totally going to jump on my back and work her toes into my knots.  She is AMAZING!  I’m so pleased that she is so mindful of the rules, my health, her health, and all the things.

I might have told her that I was gonna walk in with nothing but my mask on.  She, politely giggled and said “Uhm, no.”  LOL.  I love the fact that we laugh and talk.  It isn’t total silence.  We catch up on all the things.  Then, when she does my back, I fall asleep and drool.

Excitement #2

I GET TO SEE MY MAMA!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh.  My word!  I have not seen her in 3 mths.  Now, we talk multiple times a day but I get to SEE HER FACE!  You will not be able to peel me off the ceiling!  As you get older, you realize that you still need your mama (and dad) and how precious they are.

I gave her instructions.  First, we were going to hug for an hour.  Then, she was going to rock me for at least 2 hours.  Next, I’m going to curl up in her bed and she is going to stroke my hair and sing to me while I nap for about 4 hours.  Last, I’m going to wake up and she is going to have cooked my favorites.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and lima beans.  Before I leave, we will hug for another hour.

She kindly said “now, Brandi, we probably won’t do all of that because there is no touching.”  Little does she know…I will wear a garbage bag or something to keep the cooties away.  I just want to see her person.

Excitement #3

We are meeting friends for dinner, at their house (where they have not gotten out…so no one will have been exposed).  Grilling out, swimming, chatting with other adults.  All my kids (who again, have been quarantined).  Stop it.  Just stop it right now.  I miss this friend, terribly, and I’m so glad that we have 1 case in our county.  For the most part, people are abiding by the rules.  There are the ones that don’t listen well, which is sad.  Having a medically fragile child puts all the things into perspective.

Excitement #4

I am getting my hair done.  Let me clarify, I’ve decided to let myself go gray (oh my word).  So, I’m just getting a haircut BUT I miss my friend.  I’m so excited I get to see her.  There have been some amazing humans touch my hairs.  I have been so blessed by the hairstylists who have become good friends.  Now, if God would just create in my hair a pretty blonde and ringlets, that would be great!

I have been cutting my boys’ and husband’s hair for a long time.  It is an art and I am not qualified.  Luckily, my husband lets me shave his off.  My boys’ hair, I have learned how to scissor cut and not make them look like they have an Amish hair-do.  I did, last night, trim my daughter’s hair.  My friend gave me tips and I did a pretty good job.  No layers, bangs, or anything wild over here.

Excitement #5

Because all things have been closed, my #2 daughter has asked that my oldest daughter, the youngest daughter, and me over to the place where she sleeps.  She wants to have a “spa” day and treat us all.  I mean, how sweet is that.  We will probably order pizza and watch movies while we pamper each other.  By “pamper” each other, I mean they give me a mani- and Pedi- because that is not something I’m good at.  Maybe we can get those peel-off masks that are so relaxing to me!

All of this is happening over the next few weeks, so it’s not like I’m doing it all in a day.  My mental health has taken a hit, like most people.  Self-Care is not selfish or wrong.  It is imperative that we take care of ourselves.

Listen to Me

Reach out to a friend, call your pastor, check with a counselor, call your doctor, take a bath, take a nap, read the Word.  Find a good book or movie or show.  Pet a cat, bake cookies.  Whatever you find relaxing DO IT!  There is no shame in having a movie marathon day.  Your mental health is so important.  If you need help, it is there.  You are loved, you are worth, you are strong, you are kind, and you are good!  Love yourself.  If you ever feel like life is too much, you can text 988 for help!  Or you can call Suicide Prevention Hotline.  Your life is worth saving!

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Channeling Karl

Channeling Karl

Channeling Karl

I am going to be Channeling Karl.  If I can’t see the children, then the children can’t see me.  We shall cover our eyes and ignore.  It’s not me…it’s them!  All this “mom, I cut myself or mom, I’m hungry or mom, someone looked at me.”  I don’t hear it because I don’t see it.

I’m going into the weekend with no hopes and/or expectations for any of us to do anything major.  My prayer is that we survive.  Throw food at the wolves and survive.  We will survive….now that song is in my head.

Just Because…Why Not.

I need to make a quick clarification for my 5 viewers.  We have Ted, Lola, and Francis.  They are our inside dogs.  Also inside, we have Karl and Karen.  We also had Karole, but she passed away at the ripe age of about 16.  Also, we had an outside cat, Chip.  He died a month ago and we are heartbroken.

Chip brought along his common-law wife, Inez (she is not my cat).  She was completely feral but with his love, we can now love on her but not hold her.  Chip left her a widow, pregnant.  She had 5 kittens, under my house.  We pulled them out and have them in a safe place.  We have three Russian Blue looking cats, Maureen, Jennifer, and Linda.  Then she has 2 dark tiger striped cats, one is a girl (Chipette) and the other is a boy (Troy).

Lest We Not Forget Joan

Joan started showing up.  Very affectionate (except towards Inez) and we could tell she had been an inside cat.  She was VERY pregnant when she came around.  I named her Joan because, well, she isn’t my cat but I feed her and she needs a name.  She threw identical triplets Russian blue kittens.  Janis, Joplin, and Lloyd

So we went from 4 cats to 3 cats to 4 cats to 3 cats to 12 cats within no time at all.  Actually, 13 because there is a black and white tuxedo male in the mancave.  I named him Jorge.

How did I become the crazy cat lady again?

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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!

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Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

Gracious, this book, Night by Elie Wiesel is one that I struggle with reading but love.  It is a simple read and it is not very long.  But.  Just but.  It is packed with horror, devotion, beauty, fear, and survival.

Elie’s story is so heart wrenching.  The thought of my son, who is now at the age Elie was when he was taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, makes my heart sink.  You read about the ebbs and flows of his physical and mental state.  The devotion to his father and the yearning of his mother’s hands on his face.  He kept a picture of his sister, Tzipora, etched in his mind.

Trauma

The massive amounts of physical trauma that he endured, yet the parts that stand out to me are the prisoners who were hanged.  It wasn’t enough for the SS officers to shoot them, they had to hang them, as well.  Man, woman, child.  I cannot imagine the images that were burned in his head.

How Does One Survive?

Seriously, how did he survive?  Starvation.  Malnutrition.  Lice.  Issues with his feet.  The beatings.  Watching his beloved father be beaten.  Listening to his dad die and wondering what kind of God would allow this horror.  That is what the Holocaust was…a horror that occurred in this world.  All because someone is Jewish, they were hated.

Deep Hatred

How does one man, Hitler, have such a deep hatred for the Jews?  Honestly, how did he come to such power to have so much influence to create such chaos?  I will never know but I can certainly pray that it will never repeat itself.

Holocaust

We have been to the Holocaust Museum in DC and for as many people that were there, you could hear a pin drop.  No one spoke, at all.  People calmly and quietly filed through the room after room, just taking it all in.  We will never know the magnitude of the sites, smells, and events because we were not there.  Yet, this museum honors the people who suffered and died with walls upon walls of pictures.

Thoughts

This is a book that everyone should read.  Also, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Hiding Place.  Anne Frank is a good book, though I have not read it in years.  That may be my next one!  By reading these books, you are supporting the authors and their families.  It also gives you a better understanding of racism and hates at its core.

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