Life or Something Like It

Sadness in America and the Celebration of New Year in Ethiopia

Sadness in America and the Celebration of New Year in Ethiopia

Today, September 11, 2020, is a hard, yet beautiful day.  There is Sadness in America and yet the Celebration of New Year in Ethiopia.  When you are raising a son, from this beautiful country, you want to celebrate their traditions. This helps him understand and honor his culture.  Yet, as an American, this day is extremely difficult.  The difficulty is due to the attacks on our country.

September 11 attacks - Wikipedia

Sadness in America

Four commercial jets were hijacked. American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into Tower One (the north tower) of the WTC at 8:50 AM.  United Airlines Flight 175 then crashed into Tower Two at 9:04 AM.  American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.  United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The fourth jet was to target the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Instead, the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.  Amazingly, the passengers on the flight fought against the hijackers to regain control of the plane.

The Collapse

Tower Two of the World Trade Center collapsed at about 10:00 AM. At 10:30 AM, Tower One also collapsed.  The attacks resulted in the deaths of 2,977 people.  The victims included 246 passengers and crew on the four planes.  Sadly, 2,606 in New York City, both in the towers and on the ground.  Also, 125 individuals at the Pentagon.  Men, women, and children from more than 90 countries died in these attacks.

Terrorist Death

The 19 terrorist hijackers also died in the attacks. The hijackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia.  Furthermore, several other Arab nations reportedly backed financially.  Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network did this.

In 2004, Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as reasons for the attacks.

Ethiopian New Year's Day - US

The Celebration of the New Year

As a harbinger of the New Year (Enkutatash), a song called ‘Abebayehosh‘ is performed by groups of Ethiopian girls. You could be at home in your PJs, sipping on some coffee, or maybe taking a stroll.  Then, a group of girls might approach you beating their drums, clapping, and singing the traditional song.

 

Ethiopia celebrates New Year 7 years behind the Gregorian calendar

The Ethiopian Calendar is seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar. Interestingly, Ethiopia’s New Year (Enkutatash) means the “gift of jewels”.

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Life or Something Like It

Good Information from Make School Community

Good Information from Make School Community

Photo by Jumana Dakkur on Pexels.com

I received this email from Komal Desai at admissions@makeschool.com.  There is some Good Information from Make School Community.  This is a very difficult time we are living in and I want to make sure that resources are available.  I do not want to be a part of the problem, I want to be a part of the solution.  Here I am, listening, learning, and advocating.  In all honesty, my son (from Ethiopia) deserves to be able to walk down any street and be safe.

Thoughts

First, Black Lives Matter!  Second, EDUCATE yourself.  Ask questions and be willing to learn and adapt your thinking.  I found myself tagging things with the hashtag of All Lives Matter.  Then, a sweet friend taught me what that phrase means to her, as a black woman who LOVES Jesus.  This meme led me to reach out to her, in love, and ask her to educate me.  She did and I’m so thankful.  Now, I get it!  I’m so thankful she didn’t see me as disrespectful but willing to learn more.  Also, she is willing to answer my questions.  In raising my beautiful black son, I want him to be proud of his skin, proud of the country he was born in, proud of the country he is raised in, and safe.  I want my child to be safe, all the days of his life.  Third, support black-owned companies and businesses.

Good Information from Make School Community

Good Information from Make School Community

We (at Make School Community) have been following the protests uniting our country over the last week. The bravery among all those fighting for black lives is inspiring. We demand justice for George Floyd, justice for all the innocent men and women killed by the police, and support the calls for our government to take concrete action towards ending police brutality against the black community in America.

Make School exists to provide avenues of upward mobility for students of all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in the tech industry. We cannot achieve our mission if we do not do our part to dismantle the systemic racism that affects so many in our community.

To start, it is time to listen and learn. We are learning from the following resources on the history of racism in the United States and how best to be an ally:

List of resources to help you support the black community:

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I am NOT a Failure

Life or Something Like It

Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19

Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Self-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 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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Faith, Kids, Life or Something Like It

I am NOT a Failure

I am NOT a Failure

I am NOT a Failure

Repeat after me:  I am NOT a Failure.  Those words still resonate in me after a late-night chat with one of my closest friends.  After a particularly hard evening, I texted my friend and said: “can you talk?”  She has as many kids as I do and her life is not easy.  My friend is raising these kids from hard places and trying to maintain a farm.  Inspiration.  She is my inspiration.

What’s Going On?

That was all she said. Not even a “hello” just a statement.  In fact, I don’t think we ever say “hello” when we call each other.  It is rare when we get a few minutes, within a month or so, to dedicate to chatting.  Yet, when it comes to me needing her or her needing me…we make time in the chaos.

Last night, she made time.  I am forever grateful to my friend.  She means the world to me.

Tears Flowed

I couldn’t even get words out…all I could do was sob.  There was a sentence I mustered about a life-altering decision that we have to make in regards to one of our children.  Instead of instantly telling me all the things I already know, she sat, silently, and let me cry.  Throwing in phrases, between the sobs, of “I love you.  You love your children.  He is not a failure because of his mental illness that I did not create.  I am not a failure because I did above and beyond what needed to be done in order for him to live a successful, safe life.

You are not a Failure

She said that over and over.  I repeated it and then I let it sink in.  He is not a failure.  I repeated that and it is sinking in.  We are not failures.  He just needs more help then maybe I can give him.  That doesn’t mean I’ve failed him.  It means I have loved him enough to get the help that he needs.  In having to do what we may have to do does not dictate my love for this child.  If I didn’t love him, I wouldn’t fight so hard for him to succeed in life.

Yet…who does what I’m doing?  Who does what he is doing on a constant basis?  Why can’t love just fix everything?  What about God…where are You in the chaos?  I know He is there.  Yet, I can’t hear Him through the storm.

My Support System

Is very small.  I mean, I have my husband.  The love of my children (whom I try to shield from all that swirls in my mind).  I know my mom loves me and supports me.  There is my sister who never waivers, never judges, never gives advice without me asking, faithfully prays for me…what would I do without her?  I simply don’t know.  Also, I have a couple of faithful friends that I can bear my soul with and never be betrayed or judged.

Struggling

There is some serious trust issues that I have always had but have peaked the last few months.  I’m battling with anger (which is fear and/or sadness).  I can easily identify the fear that no one believes me, that I have no self-worth, no confidence, that love comes and goes like the ebbs and flows of the ocean.  Feeling like a failure because my dreams of raising kids is not what reality is.  Honestly, feeling like all the things wrong is my fault and that I can’t fix it.  Sadness because of the loss of what I thought I knew…I’m not sure it is even there.  Maybe it is there but buried deep inside and doesn’t want to appear because of fear.  Such sadness at the choices of a child.  Sadness for an uncertain future.

Emotionally Stagnant

That is what my counselor said that I was.  When we got off the phone, I told my husband and he AGREED.  Then, I called my sister and told her…guess what…she AGREED as well.  I have a hard time expressing my needs, feeling safe, accepting help, and just being vulnerable.

I am not emotionally stagnant.  The emotions are there, I just pick and choose who sees me have a moment.  Emotions, to me, instill weakness and if one is weak, one doesn’t think clearly and can be overtaken.

That’s how I perceived my father growing up.  He is not the emotional kind of guy (forever police officer).  I rarely remember him yielding to emotion. He did, I guess, just not where us kids could see him.

My mom, however, is free with her emotions, for the most part.  I just took more after Pop.

What People Don’t See

Is when I’m alone, in my room, crying my eyes out.  People don’t see me taking long drives down roads I don’t know…crying my eyes out.  Screaming.  The poison gets so intense, inside me, that I just scream.  So, I’m emotional, in a controlled environment.  If I were to say to the people who have hurt me, how badly I feel wounded…they will not respond well.  Many things can be said.  Also, those things that were said cannot be unsaid.  If I did say them, they would no longer love me.

Fear of not being loved or belonging…that’s a big one.

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made…

My Thoughts

In the everyday chaos and uncertainty, He calls me to walk out on the waters, where it is completely unknown and my feet will fail in the deep ocean.  Yet, He says I will stand on my faith.  When I call upon His Name, He is faithful to keep my eyes above the waves.  He is calling me out on the waves to confront, in love, the people that I need to confront.  One of those people is me!!
I need to know that I don’t depend on anyone’s love but His.  My battles are not for me to fight according to Exodus 14:14.  “The Lord will fight my battle.  I just have to be silent.”
I won’t look around at all the things going on around me and the struggles that I am facing.  My job is to step out on the waves, in the deep ocean, where His grace abounds.  I am always loved, always believed, always worthy, in His eyes.

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Life or Something Like It

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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Life or Something Like It

Covenant Eyes

Covenant Eyes
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Covenant Eyes

This is a fun topic, huh?  Covenant Eyes is a type of program that I have used for years and years.  It is not limited to just my children, either.  Covenant Eyes can be installed on any tablet, ipod, phone, or computer.

Some of the Things of This Program

Screen Monitoring

Our software periodically captures screenshots of your screen activity and stores them securely on your device.

Screenshot Analysis

Advanced artificial intelligence analyzes those screenshots, on your device, for explicit imagery.

Screenshot Processing

The software rates the images, blurs them to protect your privacy, then prioritizes them based on content.

Activity Reporting

A report of concerning activity, circumvention attempts and other activity is sent to you and your ally.

Importance

Sadly, porn is everywhere.  I mean, television shows, commercials, and websites are inundated with inappropriate images and scenes.  It is really sad.  We talk with our kids, but they hear things in school, get curious and decide to “google” things or better yet, get on YouTube.

YouTube needs that crap off their sites.  However, it is SO readily available.  I must say, we do not do a whole lot of screen time.  My kids watch movies, that we watch with them or have separated out what is okay and what is not.  They don’t get cellphones until they are 16 and even then, it is closely monitored.  Furthermore, we do not have computers or tablets at their fingertips.

Electronics

We have 1 computer that can be used.  It is password protected and I use Covenant Eyes to go in and close off apps or block sites (ie YouTube) altogether.  If someone tries to access that, I get email notification of the date/time/account (each person has their own account and password for CE)/activity.

When I get that, we address it immediately.  It is not easy.  Porn is a sin just like lying, gambling, coveting, murder, etc.  It is not greater or lesser than any other sin.  God hates ALL sin and it grieves Him.

Worth it

It is worth the $14.95 a month.  This is one thing that I will not do away with because, in this day and age, things are so much more prevalent.  It is so easy to click on one thing and it leads down a dark path.  You can type in something completely innocent and it can come up with the worst things ever.  Once that seed is in there, it is there.  It is my job to do what I can to keep that seed from rooting into my family.

No one is exempt.  We are not perfect.  Please, during this time of quarantine especially, monitor your kids’ online presence.  All of us being forced to homeschool means they are on a device quite a bit.  Talk to your children.  Have conversations with your spouse.  Check yourself, if you need too as well.  Always be willing to have the hard chats.  It is worth it.

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Life or Something Like It

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.”

Hunter is 6!!!!!!Hunter is 6!!!!!!Hunter is 6!!!!!!Hunter is 6!!!!!!

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 learning 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!

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Hell Has Frozen Over

Hell Has Frozen Over

People who read my blog.  It is official.  Hell Has Frozen Over.  For some odd reason, I have NEVER wanted to go to Chicago.  I don’t know why.  My sister in law lived here for years and there is SO much to do, see, and eat.  Yet, I’ve just never had the desire.

Tiny Bit of Background

My husband and his family are HUGE Cubs fans!  I mean, wow.  About 30 years ago, Bart, his brother, and his parents went to the convention.  Bart still has the cup that he was gifted on that trip.  We still have the convention pins, a few pics, and he has a ton of memories. Such good memories.

He has talked about going forever, but tickets always sell out.  Honestly, we could never afford it and I really would rather eat toe jam than go.  I always thought if we could afford it, then he would rather take Noah or someone other than me.

Christmas

Christmas came around and he wouldn’t tell me what he wanted.  This is typical.  Normally, we just buy what we want and call it a day.  However, this time, I tried to be all stealthy and sneaky.  We had the money, for a change and there were limited rooms left.  I bit the bullet and bought us tickets with a stay at the same hotel that the convention is held in.

Not gonna lie, when I finally did it.  I cried LOL.  Not because we were going but because of the pressure of living up to his memories.  I can’t live up to the passion of his parents and I didn’t want to make him sad.  Plus, I have never booked anything like this.  This is his job, not mine.  I didn’t want to mess up.

Keeping the Secret and the Big Reveal

Holy Cow, it was SO hard to keep this secret.  I told NO ONE and I used a different account.  Plus, there is no paper trail that he could get into.  I went as far as to use a different bank account.  Then, I might have taunted him with the knowledge that I got him something and I couldn’t tell him.

On Christmas morning, I made him open his gift last.  This was torture because he loves everyone taking turns and soaking it all in.  He wanted his turn!  I think he was super surprised at his gift and a little taken aback.

Getting Here

We got here, unscathed in the Chicago traffic.  The timing was good but then we realized we were going to be nickel-ed and dime-d to death.  We *had* to valet, which is $73 per 24 hrs.  Our lunch, which consisted of 2 hamburgers, was $30.  Thank goodness I packed lunch and breakfast stuff.  I ate the smallest salad, ever, for $11.

The Visual

The visualization of ALL the cubs fans in ALL their cubs clothes was a lot for a girl to take in.  There were probably 3 people who were not dressed in attire.  I was one of those three.  So.  Many.  People.  There were so many floors of so many things to see, do, touch, and buy.  Everything is SO expensive.

Bart is so good to me and indulges all the things I love.  I wanted him to indulge in the thing that he loves.  We have walked, stood, laughed, sweat, eaten, and people watched all weekend long.  Currently, I’m eating a cheese platter I brought with us and he is getting autographs.

Conclusion

We will probably not make another convention.  This was fun, but overwhelming for us both.  I hope that he made good memories that will tie into the memories with his father.  It has been nice (and cold) to getaway.  I wish we could have seen the city, but it is what it is.  It isn’t about me or what I want.  This trip is all about him and seeing joy flash through his sweet eyes.

Pictures

Hell Has Frozen OverHell Has Frozen OverHell Has Frozen OverHell Has Frozen OverHell Has Frozen OverHell Has Frozen Over

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A Little Less Scrambled with a Side of Squirrel

A Little Less Scrambled with a Side of Squirrel

Last week, I was a little scrambled with my intentions.  The other day, however, I was A Little Less Scrambled with a Side of Squirrel.  I slept in till about 9:30 and then headed downstairs to see what awaited me.

Kids.

Kids awaited me.

And dogs and cats and Big Daddy.

I did have a goal and that was to cut hair.  There are lots of heads of hair that I needed to trim up.  When there is such a need, what does one do?  Well, they call their mama.  So, I called my mama.  We chatted a good bit while I pet the dogs.

The resolve to do anything was dissipating by about 10 am.  I sat down to work on my calendar, check emails and such.  Jude got out ground beef for supper and I got him off to basketball practice.  We are in a bit of a conundrum because we are down a vehicle so everything has to work together well in order for everyone to get from point A to point B.

In the midst of life

I went into, what is now Hunter and Daniel’s room.  See, we only have 3 bedrooms downstairs so we have had to play musical rooms for a long time.  When we had all the kids here, we had 3 boys in a room, 2 girls in a room, a big girl in her own room, and Hunter up here.

Now that 2 kids have moved out, we have 1 girl in a room and the other 2 rooms have 2 boys each.  Originally we had Noah (18) and Daniel (15) in a room, but that did not work out for specific reasons.  Now, we have Noah (18) and Jude (13) in a room. D and Hunter share a room.  D has a loft bed, so that frees up space to add a desk for him.

When we got our new bed, upstairs, we moved the massive cabinets downstairs to D and H’s room, so they would have space to put their clothes.  It has all be a process.  All that being said, I have a front “coat closet” that we have added shelves too and cubbies.  This has been Hunter’s “room” for a long time.

Glorified Coat Closet

I use the word “room” lightly because all it has in there are his toys, dress-up clothes, and books.  It does not have any doors on it.  We took those off when he got sick because it was too hard to maneuver his gait walker or wheelchair in that space.  This space is ALWAYS a mess.  It looks like a 5 yr old boy plays in there and that is perfectly fine, but it gets on my nerves.

We need to paint it, as well as the hall, and change some things up.  Yet, it is functional, he uses it everyday and we try and keep it contained.  I decided to move things around and move ALL his toys into his room.

Reduce and watch your kids’ imaginations soar.

That was a success.  We threw away a lot of stuff and we put up a lot of stuff.  By the phrase “put up” that means that I bagged up what he didn’t play with and I took it out of his toy “rotation.”

When a kid has less options to play with, you will find that they start actually playing.  An influx of toys can cause a kid to have sensory overload because they do not know what to play with because of all the colors, textures, noises, etc.

I rotate every 6 months so he feels like he is getting new things often 🙂  Smart girl, I know!  While I was moving from here to there to yonder, Alyssa came home.

Legos

We found ourselves talking at the kitchen table with a massive amount of legos.  So, what do 2 squirrely girls do?  We color code the legos and then arrange them by shape…yes sir, that is what we do.

When we finished talking, we were finished with our squirrel sorting…then, she went to the bedroom to help me finish my task of organizing.  Guess what we did?  Oh, yes we did!  We took over 10,000 pieces of legos, dumped them and sorted them by color and shape.

Clearly, we have issues or a lot to chat about.  After about 2 hours of not getting the room done, not cleaning the original closet out, not starting supper, not cutting hair, and not accomplishing anything other then color-coding/sizing legos…we gave up.

I will have you know that it was a sense of accomplishment that lasted 0.4 seconds!  We did end up finishing that room and closet.  I did cut hair and cook supper.  It was late, but it was done!

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From the Outside Looking In

From the Outside Looking In

Do you ever stop and realize that jealousy has overcome your thoughts and emotions?  Well, From the Outside Looking In, this is where I am being convicted.  Honestly, I don’t even like the word jealousy, so I use the word covet LOL…like how is that any different?  LOL

I’m so extra!

There are times when I look at people, situations, homes, social media, etc. and I struggle.  They look like the happiest, most in-love couple.  Their houses are Hallmark worthy.  The kids are well dressed with awesome haircuts and their dogs don’t shed.

I mean, let’s be real.

Big Daddy and I have disagreements.  Now, we certainly don’t “fight” but we’ve had our issues over the years.  One issue, in particular, has taken me a lot of time to forgive and come to peace with.  My house has all sorts of different flooring, there are vomit stains on our carpet, pee stains that have warped my laminate, and it smells a bit like green onions and feet at all times.  The children wear the same clothes day in and day out.  I mean, seriously, these clothes can walk themselves to the laundry room.  However, I have learned how to cut hair, so if you want to be bald, buzzed, or go for the Amish look…I’m your girl!

My animals.

Well, I have Karl who is very much a lover of people but is quite the exhibitionist, so we gotta cover him up quite often.  Karen likes to lick your face and get in your personal space while you pee.  Chip is a bit crazy and likes to bite toes.  Inez, well, she isn’t my cat.  I have named her and I feed her, but she isn’t mine.

Francis is a senior dog and she has bad hips and a bad back.  We think she is going blind and she doesn’t hear as well as she used too.  Her anal glands are a bit potent.  Ted has short man syndrome.  His mouth doesn’t shut all the way so the tip of his tongue sticks out all the time.  Lola.  She fell off the couch and swallowed 4 teeth.  Honestly, she falls going up and downstairs.  She falls walking across the floor or getting in or out of her bed.  Also, she walks with her right leg up, at all times.  She thinks she is a princess.  When you pick her up, she is a nervous licker so you get the full effect of her breath which smells like sewage.

Nothing I own is nice.

Parts have flown off my van while I have driven down the road.  I have buttholes (literal) in my walls.  There was a child that was thrown through a wall and lest we forget the head that was plowed into the wall.  The leaves and frogs in my pool.  Our chicken nooses still hanging on the mancave.

This is our reality.

So when I see the images, my brain perceives one thing when the reality is so different.  I feel those fleshly feelings of wondering why my life cannot look or be like another.  That person has the perfect marriage.  This couple never has to worry about money.  Their kids are so respectful, see where I’m going?

YET the Lord has shown me that what I “think” I see is not reality.

There are so many instances of Him showing me this.  Honestly, I can distinctly remember when I was chatting with a friend that I perceived as having it all.  I mean, a Hallmark worthy home, great kids, great jobs, great marriage, always in church, etc.  It seems like nothing is out of their reach.

As I was speaking to her, I made a statement about something I had dealt with in my past and I looked over and tears were streaming down her face.  It caught me off-guard.  I sat there, in silence, with my arm around her.  At that moment, I knew that words did not need to be spoken, just love and silent prayers.  She shared, briefly, what was going on inside her Hallmark home and her heart was broken.

Which humbled me and broke my heart.  People, you just never know.  Unless your feet are under their table or you are able to jump into a person’s skin and walk around a mile or so in it…never assume.

The guilt I felt after the realization of truth was profound.

There are no perfect people.  Also, no perfect families.  My job is to love one another.  Share my story and use my story for His glory.  Do my best by my family and live a life honoring to God.  I need to stop coveting (being jealous) of others and be thankful for what the Lord has blessed me with.

Big Daddy, I adore.  My kids are precious.  The animals bring us joy, most of the time.  We have a home, vehicles, and the ability to pay our bills.  God is good, all the time and all the time God is good.

I need to get over myself.  Simple as that.

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