Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our College Graduate

  On May 9th, Kaytee is graduating with honors from Texas A&M University. I am so proud I am about to burst! And yet I am so sad. It feels like I am losing her. I didn't feel sad when she left for college. Only now, and it is really hard.

  Why now, I wonder? Well, for one thing she got a job in Dallas which puts her 4 1/2 hours away from me. At school she is just over an hour away. We could drive over and spend the day together easily. Not anymore. She also has a serious boyfriend and they are planning on saving money for a while and then moving in together. I asked her about the future plans and she told me if they get married it will be in Dallas, not here at our family church. I won't be able to be involved much and that hurts, too. And then there is the fact that her Dad is in Dallas and she will be living with him and spending a lot of time with him. Him, not me. He is a good Dad, and he hasn't been able to spend that much time with her over the years, so that is good. But it's not me. 
  I am losing my baby. She is officially flying from the nest and it hurts. I am so proud….

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Every year during the Houston Livestock and Rodeo (a ginormous event here in southern Texas) the schools all have a Go Texas Day. It is a very big event. All the kids and staff dress in cowboy wear and they bring in ropers, horses, snake handlers, saddle makers, horse trainers, farriers (horse shoers). The entire day is spent playing cowboy and celebrating Texas. Here are my boys in their cowboy finest. Ahren and Jon decided they needed mustaches to be 'real' cowboys. LOL!

 He may have a future in modeling.  He struck this pose all by by himself.

Levi decided to channel Johnny Cash and dress all in black. He had a black hat, too, but was not cooperating very well with my picture taking. I got one shot and he was done.

I need to start posting to our cooking blog. The boys, especially Levi and Jon, still love to cook with me. They are getting to the point that they are actually really helpful. Someday they will make their wives very happy.

 One of the pitfalls of living in southern Texas is the nasty critters that live here. I found this little guy in the dryer when I removed a load. That means that he was IN the dirty clothes when I scooped them off the floor and started the wash. It was only luck that kept me from getting stung. I always turn on the lights at night when I get up to use the bathroom. Otherwise I might step on one of these lovelies….

Levi is growing his hair out. He has my thick, semi-curly hair and here is what it looks  like in the mornings.

Levi designed his own shoes on the Nike website. The good news is we now have no problem finding them each morning!

Hey, what are you doing up there? (He is standing on the counter) His answer? Exploring. My response: GET DOWN!

Levi made dinner. Chicken enchiladas. Yum! I directed him but he did all the work. They were super yummy!

 Notice the safe technique. No fingers were hurt in this demonstration!
 Derp! Why can't they just smile for the picture?????
 One day after grocery shopping I discovered the cat had helped herself to the family sized pack of tuna. What the heck? She must have been able to smell it through the package. It's cans-only from now on.

Spring in Texas. The skies are so blue and the clouds white and puffy. The grass is emerald green.

We have baby turtles in the pond. Here is one, about the size of a half-dollar. These are Sliders, a semi-aquatic species indigenous to our area. We have worked really hard to make our pond a very healthy eco-system.

The garden is growing! Here is the very first baby tomato. We have eggplant, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, peppers of all kinds, herbs, and pumpkins. A lot of things do not grow well here so we are a bit limited.

Levi, my helper. He loves to come help with whatever I am doing outside.

Sweet Basil. I can't wait to cook with this!

My other 'boy', Rio. He is just the sweetest. He nickers at me when he sees me, follows me around like a dog with his head over my shoulder trying to see what I am doing, and just loves me to pieces. He has gained almost 100 pounds since I got him, weight the vet told me was good for him. He is now perfect weight. His hooves are 100 times more healthy, too. He is still losing his winter coat so he is looking a bit rough, but still shiny and healthy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Still Struggling

  He is still struggling. We started a new ADHD med last Thursday. I hate to do that but he is miserable. We are only giving it to him every other day and only during school weeks. The great news is that he had grown 1.5 inches and gained 12 pounds since September. We really need to keep that growth going. There are only 34 more school days this year and then he will come of the drugs again. Ugh. Parenting a little hot mess of a RADlet is soooo hard!
  So yesterday I was at the school mentoring some kids when his teacher found me. She did not look happy. He had forged her initials  on his reading log thinking that he could fool her and be able to attend the ice cream party that afternoon. Since August they have been doing this reading game called Readopoly. In order to participate in the ice cream party, the students needed to have read and written a very short description for 12 books. Not chapter books, simple books. Since August. They even worked on these at Library time and in the classroom. How many had he completed? None. Zero. Zippo. Nada. Even though he had read many more books than that. He just never filled out the worksheet. (The worksheet involved writing 3 sentences, drawing 3 pictures and write the title and author.) Now here it is time for ice cream and he was under pressure. Solution? Lie and cheat. Thank goodness he is horrible at forging and equally bad at lying. Oh, he lies often, just not well. He might as well hold up a neon sign over his head announcing he is lying.
  At first I was upset that they put these big incentives out there trying to motivate the kids. A kid like mine just doesn't have much ability to look into the future and act accordingly in the present. But then I got to thinking about it. He was totally capable of completing this assignment. In fact, it was optional. No one HAD to do it. They just got a reward if they did complete it. Hmmm, something to think about. Anyway, I told him he was going to be completing all of the reading and reports before he got to have any electronics back. No matter how long it takes. You know what that little bugger did? He completed 6 of them yesterday! No complaints, no problems. He did a good job, too. I don't know whether to hug him or throttle him. Maybe both. Multiple times. He is so smart.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Fake IRS phone calls

  Today I received a phone message from a woman at the IRS saying that I needed to contact them immediately due to serious legal issues. Say what? Right after I got the message
 I called the phone number they left, and the bizarre began to unfold.
  First, the message I got was in such a thick Indian ( from India) accent that I couldn't decipher half of what she said. That was my first clue. Then, when I called back, the first thing the guy I reached ( also with a thick Indian accent) asked me about was the name of my attorney. I asked him why I would need an attorney? He stated, in a ticked off voice, that I was being sued. By whom? Then he really acted ticked and told me he would read me the 'deposition' and I was NOT to interrupt him but that he would answer questions at the end. Ok, second clue, a deposition is someone's sworn testimony not the list of charges against someone. He rambled on about 3 counts against me, none of which were actual charges and none had any details. They were vague but scary sounding. When he finished I asked him what year the charges were for and he replied 2006-2012. I asked why, if we had used a certified public accounting firm to file those returns,  why they had not contacted them since they were legally responsible for the veracity of those returns. He got really ticked off at that point and screamed at me that he was sending the Sheriff to arest me and he hung up. He used several nasty cuss words in that diatribe.
  Note, each time these people called me they identified themselves as employees of the Internal Revenue Service. They told me they were in the legal department of the IRS. Right.
  I called this man back immediately and he answered the phone by saying"Why are you calling me back?" I told him that he said he would answer my questions and I had questions that he needed to answer. I then asked him why they had not contacted my CPA? He then called me a stupid ^$@&#¥, etc etc. It was really nasty. So I asked why every person I had talked to had a thick Indian accent and why they were not Americans. He continued his nasty diatribe.
  So......I told him he was a fraud, that he was a piece of trash and I would open a can of Texas whoop a$$ on him. ( I actually said a lot more I cannot print here) and I hung up. Then I contacted the real IRS and reported it. Apparently this happens every year and is called Phishing. They scare you, get a lot of personal information and steal your identity. Do NOT fall for this. The IRS does NOT contact you in this manner if they find an error in a tax return. Always double check with the real IRS.
  ** note! I have nothing against people from India, it was just a red flag if everyone from the IRS spoke very poor English.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Back to the Doctor

  Well, it was another week of questionable behavior for our little man. Spending 20 minutes washing his hands in the bathroom, squirting soap on other kids, burping in kids' faces, not doing his work, not staying in his seat, etc, etc, etc. It's clearly time to re-visit the meds arena. I hate to do it. He doesn't eat and he doesn't grow. He is finally in the middle of the growth chart and weighs 62 pounds. Not one ounce of that is fat. He has no reserves at all. He needs to be successful in school and it is just what we have to do for now. Ugh! At least there are only weeks left in the school year and over the summer he will be off meds.
  We have an appointment on Tuesday. I am hoping that we can switch to a different med that has less side effects and still works. Maybe the Focalin patch? I will discuss it with the doctor. The only problem with the patch is he can remove it himself. You know, the kid who is manipulative, hid his pills, fed them to the dog, spit them in the toilet and even made himself vomit to avoid taking them. Yeah, a patch might be trouble. We won't know until we try. I wonder if there is a medicine I can give him as a big ol' shot in the hiney? I bet after a few days of that he would cooperate a bit better. Then again, he may just tell me he loves the shot and smile that 'I win' smile.