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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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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.


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.


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?


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.


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.

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Fun and LOTS of Food Day

Fun and LOTS of Food DayToday, we had Fun and LOTS of Food Day.  Recently, my Martha (mom) asked me to possibly help her cook/freeze foods for her and Pop.  I love to cook and I love to freezer cook even more.

I jumped at the thought and I pulled her together with a list of some of my family’s most popular dishes.

She chose several.  She did part of her grocery shopping.  I did part of her grocery shopping.  Then we planned a date.

We have cooked all day long.  We have laughed, shared memories, fixed computers, solved the world’s problems, and tended to Pop.

My kids LOVE spending time with them.  Boo “helped” Pop all day long in the leather business.  My heart just swells when my parents spend time with my kids and my kids eat it up.

My Other Mom came over and she grazed on what we made (we needed a person who would sample all of our goodies).  She loved the kids and played dominoes forever!

I’m so blessed to have so many people, who have invested their time and love in me and my family.

I hope to do this again….it was a long, sweaty day but so worth the memories that I made and that my children made.



Life or Something Like It

Brandi’s Bucket List

Brandi's Bucket List

Brandi’s Bucket List

Here is Brandi’s Bucket List that I, continually, add to.  This list has been fun to make and the adventures have been fun to have made.  Some, I have made alone and some with my family.  However, the larger ones have been with Big Daddy.


  1. Visit Hawaii
  2. Head to Italy
  3. Tour Europe
  4. Go to Grand Canyon
  5. Kiss Big Daddy under a waterfall
  6. Go to Niagara Falls
  7. See the world’s largest gavel
  8. See the world’s largest rubber stamp
  9. Go to New York
  10. Take a trip with mom (June 2018 FL)
  11. See a volcano
  12. See the pyramids in Egypt
  13. Go to Jerusalem
  14. Go to Ireland
  15. See the 7 Wonders of the World
  16. Visit all 50 states (TN, IL, OH, KY, TX, CA, GA, MO, IA, IN, AK, NY, PA, VA, WVA, DC)
  17. Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
  18. See the ocean (2009, 2011)
  19. Explore a cave (Mammoth)
  20. Go on a weekend away
  21. See Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon, SD
  22. See the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Darwin, MN
  23. Go to Holland and walk through the actual tulips
  24. Visit an orphanage (2009, 2011)
  25. Go to Africa  (2009, 2011)
  26. Go to the Louvre
  27. Drive Route 66
  28. See the albino squirrels in Olney, IL
  29. See Carhenge
  30. Go to Disneyland (February 9-16, 2019)
  31. Float in the dead sea
  32. Hug a redwood
  33. Stand in the middle of Stonehenge
  34. Visit 10 capital cities (Frankfort, KY; Little Rock, AR; Nashville, TN; )
  35. Kiss Big Daddy in front of the Eiffel Tower
  36. Be in two states at once
  37. Fly first class
  38. Ride a train
  39. Vacation alone  (2008?  CA)
  40. Spend the whole weekend by myself (2013…did not leave the room.  It was fantastic)
  41. Put our shoes on the MSU shoe tree


  1. Get a tattoo
  2. Learn to pick locks
  3. Write a letter to my favorite teacher (5-5-14, Glenda Bittner….my art teacher through middle and high school)
  4. List 10 things I am thankful for an entire month
  5. Be present at a birth
  6. Serve food a soup kitchen
  7. Paint something at a ceramic shop
  8. Master a new language
  9. Learn CPR (September 2018)
  10. Take a makeup lesson (09.21.18)
  11. Learn to use chopsticks (2/14/2014…dinner out at Jasmine’s…learned but not mastered)
  12. Contact someone with my own name (1/5/14…I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m crazy LOL…she even had my middle name, though it was spelled differently).
  13. See a Broadway (went to see The Lion King.  It was a Mother’s Day gift from Big Daddy 2013)
  14. Learn to hula dance
  15. Make something homemade (new) (yogurt, granola, cleaners, there is a whole category for the things I have been making)
  16. Learn photography
  17. Buy someone’s groceries just because (2010)
  18. Pay for the person behind me at the drive-thru (2012)
  19. Watch 26 Movies I’ve Never Seen Starting With Each Letter of the Alphabet (started 2011 and finished 2013)
  20. Discover all the uses for hydrogen peroxide
  21. Be a grandmother
  22. Complete a 365 project (currently working on since 1-1-14)
  23. Lose more than 50 lbs
  24. Learn Chess
  25. Write my will
  26. Get my Master’s (2013)
  27. Stay up 24 hrs. (2013, watching Boo in the hospital)
  28. Be an organ donor  (since I turned 16 and got my license)
  29. Sponsor a child  (2013)
  30. Have a vehicle emergency kit for all vehicles (Big Daddy’s truck 5-23-14)
  31. Create an emergency kit for home
  32. Perform CPR on a chicken (2-14-14).
  33. Wear a mustache while grocery shopping (6-7-14)
  34. Write a book
  35. Get my doctorate
  36. Create a photo journal
  37. Teach a class (College class)
  38. Send a card to every family member for their birthday
  39. Learn how to cut hair (2018)

With my Kids

  1. Read Bible in chronological order with kids
  2. Have another cat and name it Dog (5-1-14, Shirley had kittens…one is black and white and named Dawg)
  3. Go cheese tasting
  4. Send care packages to soldiers
  5. Teach someone to read (every one of my children)
  6. Graduate all my children (#1 kid 2013) (#2 kid 2015)

With My Fella

  1. Ride in a horse and carriage
  2. Adopt a child (2007, 2009, 2016)
  3. Be debt free
  4. Ride in a limo (February 9, 2019, for Make A Wish)
  5. Raise my own meat (pig…check; laying chickens…check, meat chickens…check)

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Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY

Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY.  Note to self:  What happens between Peach and Papa at the horse sale STAYS with Peach and Papa.

Me to Peach:  “Are you behaving”

Peach:  “Yes”

Me to Peach:  “Is Papa behaving”

Peach:  “No.”

Me:  “What is he doing”

Peach:  “Well, he got out his gun and was waving it around and shooting because of the stubborn bull.  Then, we got pulled over.”

Me:  “Let me talk to Papa”

There ends the story because you would *NEVER* believe what he was trying to do.  It involves the gun, other people with guns, and a stubborn bull…………..hearing her giggle, hearing him giggle, makes all the trauma in my mind okay.  That is the story of Guns Bulls Cops Amish OH MY. I love that my dad took the time to show my girl love.  She adores him and he is pretty fond of her.

The Saga Continues

Hopefully, more adventures are on the horizon for these two peas in a pod.  It is important to foster the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.  I am so thankful for my Granny and our relationship.  Love her and those memories so very much.

I can honestly say, though, that there were never Amish, bullets, or guns involved when we were together LOL.