Saturday, October 17, 2015


. Things have been really tough for the past couple of months. Fourth grade is a huge challenge for Jon. Academically, he should not have any problems. He is an A - B student. Very smart. But....his anxiety is causing issues. We are at the end of the first nine week grading period and he is failing every academic subject. The teachers allow the kids to re-test on the important grades. They provide extra teaching sessions, make them do corrections on the initial test and then give them another chance. Jon failed to attend one re-test and got a 30% on another. His answers were random and nonsense. There were missing worksheets that he did at home and were in his binder as he left the house, but never made it to school. Homework with food all over it. Torn worksheets. Missing work.
  Why? I have several theories but no definitive answers. Also, we are revisiting some nasty bathroom behaviors. Pee and poo all over the bathroom. On the floor. On the wall above the toilet. On the cabinets next to the toilet. On the bath tub. Everywhere. Plus toothpaste on the tub, the floor, the toilet, etc. And then, deodorant smeared all over the mirror. Nasty messages written in deodorant on the mirror. Nice.
  Lots of tears and temper tantrums. Treating me very nastily. Just acting out any way he can think of. He is hurting himself, sabotaging himself. We tell him this but he doesn't get it. So last week, I let him "accidentally" overhear me talking to his Dad. I to,d him how worried I was that because he had only been promoted 'conditionally' to fourth grade that if his grades were failing they would move him back to third grade now. I told him how upset I was by that idea and how awful it would be for Jon. He would lose all his friends, be with littler kids, and be so embarrassed. Surprisingly, ever since that day he has been scoring in the upper 80's to 100 on every assignment. I knew he could do it! We have been giving him great praise and congrats. Maybe, just maybe, he is turning this around. Oh please, let that be the case!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hanging at the Island

Working on getting the fishing rods ready for action. So many fish! It was amazing. Someone was reeling in a fish every couple of minutes!

At the beach. Rocking the Red, White and Blue!

Sunset was so beautiful.
   The view from our bedroom. Is that awesome or what?

King of the beach!

 What's to eat? That is the sound I hear all day, every day. I can't even unload groceries before they are into them and ripping into the food. Worms, I say, WORMS! They must have worms!!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oh Ahren

  Something is going on with Ahren. This past school year he struggled with attention, which was nothing new. He is sweet, laid back and would prefer for someone, anyone, to do everything for him. But then as I spent more time with him this summer some new issues have appeared.
  He rocks back and forth on his feet all the time. If I interrupt him he can stop, but it starts up again shortly. He flaps his hands. He struggles to get words out and repeats the first two words of his idea over and over again. This isn't stuttering, it is different. He is stuck in a loop of thought and cannot escape it. His severe constipation and encopresis is not responding to the normal treatment. He is walking in a weird stumpy, bent over position.  He is often confused and asks the same questions over and over again.
  He had a doctors appointment today and got blood work, urine, ekg, etc. next step is specialists. Again. Will we ever get answers? So worried about him. He just seems lost.....

Friday, August 07, 2015

Time for honesty

  Okay, let's be honest here. One of our munchkins is struggling. For the past 7 months he has been a hot mess. Here is a bit of a rundown on his behaviors that we are seeing and trying to deal with.

1) He came within a fraction of not passing third grade. In fact, he wouldn't have passed except his teacher didn't enter a bunch of zeros into the computer and therefore his grades barely passed. Why was he flunking? He didn't do his work in class or he did the work but put in non-sense answers. He actually ATE his spelling test one time. He is a smart kid, very smart, and it took a determined effort to rise to this level of failure.

2) He threatened to kill a classmate. He hurt classmates physically. He said and did mean things to his friends and brothers, but always away from adult eyes and ears. He stole things. He denied each and every instance even in the face of multiple witnesses.

3) He has clogged the toilet multiple times with so much toilet paper that it is sticking out of the seat. Then he flushes and flushes until it all flows all over the bathroom. Then he shuts the door, walks away and denies it was him.

4) Be breaks everything he touches. At current count there are 5 broken sets of headphones, at least 7 sets of broken goggles, two broken RC cars and one RC helicopter, pool floats, his computer, his iPad, two chargers, the painting in my entryway, his watch, a curtain rod, and much more I can't even remember. Just yesterday he tore a pool noodle into three pieces. We keep taking things away and not replacing them, so he breaks other people's stuff. He came home from camp one day with a pair of sunglasses (not his) that he had twisted into a pretzel.

5) He has zero impulse control. I subbed at school one day and took him with me (no way I could leave him home) and he was out of control. He hit a 4 year old in the head with a tennis racket, got in trouble for wrestling multiple times, knocked over and then walked on a space divider in the library, knocked books off the shelves, repeatedly threw the playground balls at peoples heads, and used the large balls to ram and knock over people. I made him sit out over and over again and he then sat there and gave me the death glare. Really, if looks could kill I would be dead a million times over.

6) Everything is 'Sorry, it was an accident.' He wanted me to smell his soup today and managed to pour it down my shirt. He went to give me a hug and bent my arm backwards hurting me.  He is walking through the dining room and knocks over a chair. He smacks his friend in the head with pool noodle. He breaks something. 'Sorry. It was an accident.' Okay, he's a kid, accidents happen. But after the 50th or 60th 'accident' of the week you have to wonder what his real agenda is. If it is to drive me insane, then he is succeeding.

We have greatly reduced the amount of stimulation he gets. Very few playmates and only at our house under my watchful eyes. No birthday parties, no trips to the zoo or movies or anything fun. We have made sure he is getting enough sleep (he is a monster if he is tired). He goes to therapy. The only thing we haven't done is put him back on medication. It has been almost 2 years since we got him off of everything. Well, it is time to revisit the idea of meds. He has an appt next week. That will give us enough time to get him used to them before school starts. No idea what meds we will use, that will be determined after we see the doctor and have a long talk. The child is not going to be happy. He hates meds. They are the source of a massive power struggle between us. I wish we didn't have to go there again, but this cannot continue. He has a very tough, no-nonsense teacher this year. His life is going to be absolutely miserable if this behavior continues. My biggest fear is that they will kick him out and send him to the alternative school. Honestly, after he threatened to kill a classmate they had every right to do exactly that. He is on borrowed time already and their tolerance for his actions is gone.

So there it is. The ugly truth. We are struggling but not giving up and not quitting!!!

Oh, I forgot to add, when our traumatized kiddos behave the most unlovable, that is when they need the most love.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Six Months

  Yesterday was the 6 month mark since the day my 19 year old nephew died. It is unfathomable to me it has been that long. It is inconceivable to me it hasn't been much longer. Time has become something warped in those six months. He would now be 20 years old, graduating with his EMS license, ready to join the military to become Special Ops and about to head off to see the world. He had big dreams, big plans. Had. That has to be the saddest word on earth. 'Had'.  He had so much going for  him. His future shined as brightly as any could. His family loved and supported him. He was on the verge of stepping out into the world to make his mark and oh what a mark he would make!!!!

  Instead there are broken hearts, so many questions, so much pain and grief. Why? We will never know. It is not for us to understand. We must simply learn to accept and be okay with that. I think we all struggle with the questions, the guilt, the anger, the senselessness of what happened. Suicide. What an ugly word that describes the world ceasing to exist as we once knew it. The tremendous loss cannot be understood unless you have felt it. Unfortunately, as we have learned, way too many lives have been  upended suddenly by suicide. I never knew so many people around me had suffered this sort of loss. It isn't often discussed. I mean, how do you launch into that discussion? "I am planning to stop at the store on my lunch hour and my nephew/brother/cousin/etc killed themselves." I am not sure if it made me feel better that so many people truly understand what we are going through, or if it upsets me more because so many people have had this particularly difficult experience in their lives.

  What I do know is that Zane's death affected many, many people. Not just family, but friends, church members, mentors, and the families of Zane's friends. It's a huge ripple effect. Strangely, part of why he died is that he felt so unloved. If he could just see how many, many people he left behind hurting and broken hearted. If he could just have had a sense of how much he was truly loved!

 We love you Zane!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Quote of the day

  Yesterday's post was very emotional for me. After losing my nephew in January at the tender age of 19 I am a raw nerve. Learning that Rachel is once again fighting for her life has hit me hard. Children should be naive, have fun and never have to deal with anything harder than whether they want vanilla or chocolate ice cream. I tend to start feeling sorry for myself when dealing with Jon's issues but something like this reminds me of my favorite saying:

                            I felt sorry for I had no shoes until,I saw a man who had no feet.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself and then feeling guilty, I bring you the quote of the day......

Levi: "I don't like hotdogs. They taste like they are made from pigs' buttholes."

Nothing truer has ever been said. Just saying. I still love them though. Here piggy piggy piggy.....

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rachel…..Please Pray

Rachel is the 9 year old daughter of a friend of mine. Anne and I worked together for many years, we have been at each other's kids birthday parties and Rachel is in the same class with Ahren and Jon at our school.

Over the past six years Rachel has fought and beaten cancer, not once but twice! She is an amazing little girl with amazing parents. 

A few weeks ago she began to experience weird symptoms. Tests found an inoperable brain tumor. It is a glioblastoma multiforme, Level 4. It is an aggressive cancer that is difficult to treat. They have placed her survival rate at 10-20%.

Rachel has heard this before and beaten it. 

What she needs now is lots and lots of prayers and donations. Two rounds of cancer have depleted this family emotionally and financially. Now is the time to rally around them and prove that there are great people in this world. Caring, loving people who take care of others in their greatest time of need.

Here is the link to Rachel's Go Fund Me page.

I will keep you posted as her treatment plan is decided on and the treatment begins. 

God Bless you all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hurricane Bill

We can rebuild!

We live in Houston. Well, a suburb of Houston, north west of the city proper. The media were in full swing the last couple of days with their dire warnings and scary predictions about what this Tropical Storm/Hurricane was going to do to our area. Memories of tropical storm Allison and Hurricane Ike drove the feeling of fear. And then…..pfft. We got rain. Lots of gentle rain. I know areas along the coast flooded and all the normal areas that flood did too. Not as bad as a few weeks ago but still significant. But all in all the terrible storm they were hyping didn't materialize and that is a GOOD thing. Now I need to go and start repairing the damage done to our property.

Note: pic copied off the internet, not sure who to give credit to

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

And with the good comes…….fallout

  We knew there would be fallout over us being gone for several days. We prepared as best we could, called multiple tomes a day, sent pictures, had special surprises delivered while we were gone, and an amazing nanny lined up. The boys stayed in our home, in their own beds, with their own things.   The Nanny kept them busy, very very busy. It cost us a good chunk of change but those boys were on the move constantly. Here is a run-down of their activities: in-door trampoline park, movies, kayaking, Incredible Pizza, swimming, The Aquarium, and out to eat numerous times.  They never stopped moving.
  Was it enough? Not quite. One little guy (I bet you can guess who) still struggled. He punched his brother multiple times, threw fits, was loud and obnoxious (still trying to decide if that one is normal for a 9 year old boy….) 'hated' the activities even though he was laughing and participating, had nightmares and trouble sleeping. Poor sweet boy. At what point will he ever know deep in his soul that we will be back? He knows it on the surface, but not deep down. He may never truly feel that safe.
  When we got home we found a bloody paw print on the floor. It looked like a dog had cut his paw. Chris then found that a small knife he kept on his desk to open mail with was missing. We found the pouch for it in Jon's bed. When it was mentioned to him, he lost his shiznit, began screaming and crying that HE DIDN'T DO IT! DID NOOOOTTTTTT!!!!! The only thing we asked was if anyone knew where it was because someone or some dog was going o get hurt. This was followed by much huffing and puffing, tears and slammed doors. It was late and we put them to bed.
  Next morning, Levi decides he is going to look for the knife. Jon dashes past him on the stairs and Voila, in less than 30 seconds finds the knife and is a self proclaimed hero. Is anyone buying this? If you are, then how was that recent fall from the turnip wagon?
  I calmly took the knife from him, thanked him and asked him to sit down for a minute. He began the eye-rolling, twitchy, 'I have been cornered' routine but i just talked calmly. I told him that I really didn't care about the knife as long as no one got hurt. What I was really concerned about was his lying and especially not being truthful with himself. He twitched and cried and lied and got very angry but I just reiterated the point calmly and let him go.
  This is not the first time this has happened. Heck, this isn't even the 100th time. Just in the past few weeks there was the case of the girl's favorite pen disappearing at school. Everyone said Jon had it, but HE DID NOOOOTTTTT! Later, in a different room, he magically found it on the floor and returned it to her. The Hero. Then the last week of school I had a baggie of change on the table alongside Levi's lunch. They were having a little economics fait that day and he needed the money to purchase items from the sellers. I showed him the bag so he wouldn't forget it. Jon grabbed it and yelled MONEY'. I told him to put it on the table and told everyone to load up their backpacks. The table was cleared and we headed to school. Levi asked for the money and I said he had put it into his backpack. He said, no, it wasn't on the table and he thought I had it. Soooo, Jon gets home from school and I ask him if he knows where the bag went. Kaboom, tears, anger, lying and HE DID NOOOTTTT DO IT!!!! I let it go for a little while. Thirty minutes later Jon 'finds' the money on the table, underneath one of his Dad's t-shirts. Look Mom, it was there the whole time. It was just under the shirt. I am a hero! Never mind that the table had been empty and his Dad's shirt had been in his closet…..
  Does anyone else have this issue? I keep bringing it up to his therapist but I think he has her totally charmed and manipulated. She doesn't seem to take this issue as seriously as I do. Sure, at 9 years old it is an annoyance. But what about at 13, 15, 18? He thinks he is getting away with it. He thinks he can steal whatever he wants and then 'find it', therefore not only escaping any consequences but becoming the hero too. I am about to impose severe consequences for this behavior. Something that really hurts him where it counts, makes him stop short and THINK for once.(Not talking physical hurt)  I just don't know what that is…..

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

We did it!

For the first time in over 13 years Chris and I went away by ourselves for a  bit of vacation. In the past, we we're waiting on adoption news, in the middle of an adoption, just adopted or having to deal with an adopted child with major abandonment issues. We did what was best at the time, but we were the ones who sacrificed greatly. We don't mind, it is what we chose, but  now we have opportunities. They are small and short lived, and they take great coordination and resources, but we do have them!

We flew out on a Thursday. The nanny had met the boys several times prior to this and was all set. We flew to Park City, Utah and made our way to a 4 star resort. The resort room we had usually rents for up to $1100, especially during the Sundance Film Festival held there. We did not pay a fraction of that but we still felt like celebrities.Our bed was huge, we had a fireplace, and the staff was amazing.


One day we spent putting around the old town Main Street area with local shops and eateries. We ate amazing food, talked to amazing people and bought perfect souvenirs.

Then another day we road tripped to three states to see state/national parks. We talked and laughed more than we have in years until I got motion sickness on the way down the mountain and things got a bit quiet. Chris was so sweet. I love him more than anything!

We dined and ate cheese, crackers and wine. Slept in and cuddled. Watched our favorite TV and took naps. What could have been more perfect!!!

My sweet. loveable bear of a hubby rocking on the porch. I love this man more than oxygen itself…...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

End of the school year....ugh

  Anyone with a kid who has 'issues' knows from experience that change is a very bad thing. Very bad. Big change is just that much more bad. Sorry, bad grammar. The strain of this has turned me into a brainless lump of mush.
  So we have been dealing with the fallout of an unexpected death of a young person, the extreme and scary emotions a parent has displayed, and the abandonment of the mom in the midst of such upheaval. (I went to my sister's house for a week after my nephew died). Add in the extreme stress of the state mandated tests that the kids have been working towards all year. Poor Jon, he is an anxious mess.
  Now we have the end of the school year anxiety. What is going to happen?  This is exacerbated by the question if he is going to get to go to fourth grade or not. This is the recipe for extreme dis-regulation.  He wakes up each morning growling and snarling at me. Not just a poor morning person, truly nasty. He tells his brother he wants him to die. He puts his shoes on and then takes them off and we can't find them. He blames me. He can't get his pants on. He can't find his backpack. I hand him his lunch and it is gone.
  I am also stressed. I am down to the last few days of school with my class. I have not slept because of the extreme storms our area ( Houston) has been having. I am on alert for the Red Cross but when they asked me to open a shelter on Monday I turned them down. My family comes first. I am not at my best. Not so patient and understanding.
  Then there is Ahren. He is negative about everything. I say school has been delayed and he wails like a stabbed sheep. Why? Because he thinks he has to stay at school that much later. No. Just a shorter day. He still wails. Why? He doubts I know what I am talking about and he will be in trouble for showing up late. This is a bit understandable, but when he screams because I give Jon a plate,of,breakfast and he thinks that means I won't give him  some? Of course I made some for him. Where is this coming from? Anxiety. Ahrens version. I hate it.
  Now tonight, Levi began throwing up. First time he made it to the doorway of my bathroom where he projectile vomited all over everything. Toilet, walls, toilet paper, floor, door, everything. It was nasty. I had to hold my breath while I cleaned it up. Poor Chris thought I wa mad because I huffed at him but it was only because I had been holding my breath. I think he understands....

  Two more days of school and then two days of I service where I work half days. Then I am 100% mom. Hopefully that will turn things around. If not, I am looking for a circus job for an overweight, middle aged woman........

Monday, May 25, 2015

Thank you

  Thank you to everyone who made suggestions. We also met with his therapist Saturday for a couple of hours and hashed out plans, including him in the conversation. I truly appreciate the advice, ideas and non-judmental delivery. Believe me, I beat myself up enough that no one else needs to step in.

  This is what we are doing today for memorial Day. It has finally stopped raining after 3 weeks of non-stop storms. I got called to go run another Red Cross shelter this morning but I declined. It was a long way away and I am just getting up to speed on what to do. I still need another manager around to help if I get stuck.
  The pool is the best investment we have ever made. The boys use it constantly. Notice how we have two little brown-skinned nuts and one albino boy. Poor Levi, he is pigmentally challenged!

They make up contests like who can make the biggest splash, who can hold their breath the longest and who can do the dumbest jump into the water. Of course I have to be the judge for all of these.

We have not gotten the landscaping and new fence in yet. Reference the rain comment above. We could have planted rice or seaweed maybe…..

I can't believe I actually got a picture of a kid smiling and not making some sort of a derp face.

This is more like the pictures I usually get. One kid under water, one making an evil face and one in full derp mode.

I hope the sunshine lasts. We may have to trade the pool in for an Ark at this point.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hey Mom, I made my own doggie door!

You know \the old saying, 'when it rains it pours'? Well this week has pretty much sucked on every level. Today it hit a new low. I locked the dogs in the boys' bathroom when we left today because it was stormy outside. I do this all the time and they are fine. This is what I came home to today. They ATE the friggin door! I put them outside and poured myself a drink. I think we might be eating barbecued Boxer for dinner……...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Out of control....

  I am going to speak very openly about some issues here. I know some will judge me, but I don't care. If you have advice or ideas, shoot them to me.  I am that desperate. I need to do whatever I can to help my son. We have made a lot of progress but now we are stuck and the future doesn't look so bright. Tear me up but help my son!
  I love Jon. I love him as much as any of my kids, maybe more because he needs me more than they do. But...he works very hard at being unlove able. Here is what has been happening.
  Ever since my nephew died at the end of January he has tanked at school. His grades went form 98% to 56% in just 8 weeks. How did he do this? He put nonsense answers on his work, he didn't turn in his work and he actually ATE one spelling test. He has been telling lies, stealing and has a nasty attitude.
  Yesterday, I had a bag of one dollar bills and change that Levi needed for a sale at school on the dining room table next to their lunches. I told Levi his money was there and Jon grabbed it and ran. I told him to bring it back and he did. I thought it went into Levi's bag but when we got to school,it wasn't there. The table was bare when we left.
  When we got home I asked if anyone had seen the bag because I had lost it. No one had seen it. Five minutes later Jon 'discovered' the bag of money on the table underneath a shirt (no shirt was in the table before that). He acted like he was the hero, finding the money.
  Then tonight I got a call from his teacher. He has not turned in any work in the last two weeks. If she had been logging in those zeros he would be failing third grade. Then she told me he failed the big state exam for reading. Normally that would mean he did not graduate to fourth grade but they changed it this year. Whew! He just has to,do lots of tutoring and extra work next year. Note, he is perfectly capable of passing, no, excelling in that exam. He is very smart. He sabotaged himself. The math results are not in yet. If he fails that he will be retained in third grade.
  He is doing this to himself. I cannot stop it. He,is self-destructing. I have no,idea what to do. Do I give him more ove or more consequences? Do I let him fail and hope he gets it? Do I give up and hope he just stays out of jail?
 He lies, he manipulates, he has fits, he is mean, he talks incessantly just to hear his voice, he is hell-bent on self-destruction. How do I save him????

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The week from Hades

 First, no answer from the school or anyone involved on the militant cafeteria helper. Not happy. I think I will have to escalate my complaints. I hate to do that but my child's health/life might be on the line. Luckily the allergy treatments he has had are working and he does not have life threatening reactions any more. But...other kids still do have life threatening allergies. This needs to be fixed!!

  This past week we have had intense storms in our area, including severe flooding. I am a Red Cross Disaster Relief Center Manager. I helped open two relief centers this week. It was hard work, late,nights and no sleep but so important. I didn't miss any work, stayed up at night, organized the efforts and kept alert. We had only three people need our shelters, luckily. Still, I didn't sleep much for two nights this week. I was a walking zombie. In fact, one day I lost Levi at work and I was running around yelling his name when the director reminded me he was at my home, not school. I had almost been in tears!!! That,is too tired!!!!

  Today we served at our,church for something we call Beyond The Walls. The people of our,church reach out to,our community to help the elderly, needy, homeless, etc. plus we have a team making dresses for little girls, visit nursing homes and take them cookies, and wash cars for free. 

  The biggest effort was Stop Hunger Now. More than 250 people gathered together to package meals for the hungry worldwide. Each bag we made contained vitamins, dried veggies, soy protein and rice, enough to feed six people. We made 40,0000 packages today. I am so proud of my boys. Each one worked a scale, adjusting the weight of each bag to fall into a specific range. We worked for hours making these meals but not one kid quit. What an amazing lesson for them. Three years ago they served meals to the homeless, then the next year to a shelter, then last year we painted rooms at a shelter. Lead by example. That is the thing we all need to do. Lead by example!!!!

  I am soooo tired. Sorry for typos. I am just so ,tired......

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mama Bear is Mad!

  One morning this week Jon began telling me about a cafeteria monitor at his school that was 'being mean'. His words, not mine. First he told me that she asked him to put water on his head. I was so confused. You have to understand, he has a big problem putting his thoughts into words so I have to dig to understand what he is trying to tell me. It turns out she didn't like that his hair sticks up and demanded he wet it with water and slick it down. First, I have to say good luck with that, he is part porcupine. If I can't get it to lay down with 57 different hair products, water is not going to work. Secondly, WTF? She is a cafeteria monitor! What should she care about his hair? It is well within the guidelines for hair so back,off.
  Then he tells me she won't let him use the restroom. Since I worked at the school last year I know that the restrooms are available during lunch. Kids eat, drink, need the restroom. It's biology. Just saying.
  Then he tells me she told him the word "bullcrap" when he said he really needed the restroom. Oh, now I am getting a little ticked. My son does NOT need anymore bad words in his vocabulary. And he certainly does not need to be talked to that way.
  And then.......Ahren tells me that last week he left his lunch in his classroom and when he asked her to go get it she told him no and made him go purchase a hot lunch. She led him to the lunch line and made him go through. He was too scared to not do what she said. But, this is my child with food allergies. The kind where he has doctor orders on file, Epi-Pens in the nurses office, medical care directives for emergency care. This past week he has had asthma issues and has thrown up. Is it from the food? The more I think about this woman and her power trip on the kids the madder I get. I wanted to march into the school, find her, and confront her. I decided that was a bad idea because I knew I might have lost my shiznit and gone totally Mama Bear on her. It would have been ugly. So I didn't. Instead I e-mailed the school,and they are "looking into it". No word yet. I may still have to go into the school and I hope I can keep cool. I would look horrible in a mug shot!
  I hate stupid people. I really do. Just saying......

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Where did my little boy go?

Levi was just a baby yesterday. I remember rocking him at night during feedings, savoring the sweet feel and smell of baby in my arms. An adorable tow-headed toddler, making everyone laugh with his silliness. Worried little boy heading for kindergarten, serious and somber, taking it all so seriously. 
Those blue eyes the color of denim, his Dad's nose and eyebrows, my hair, a smattering of freckles. 
My little boy is disappearing right before my eyes.

Instead a young man in emerging. Strong chin, muscles, broad shoulders, no more baby faced boy. He acts like a boy most of the time, but in some moments I see the older version of my baby. Sweet, caring, funny, handsome, very smart. So much like his father. It is amazing to watch the transformation……..but I miss my baby.

Sunday, May 03, 2015


We live in a very nice subdivision. We have lakes and a golf course, riding trails for our horses, and a Homeowners Association that insures that our lawns are well maintained, etc. 
For the past 6 years, homeowners have been trying to get board approval to erect flag poles at each of our three entrances. One for the American flag and one for the Texas flag. Oddly, the board never approved or disapproved the plan, just kept delaying things.

  Homeowners banded together and raised the money to buy and place the poles and to have the flags replaced every 6 months. The money did not have to come from our HOA dues and the maintenance was already taken care of, but without board approval the poles could not be placed on subdivision property. One enterprising man then approached the county and asked if the poles could be placed on the county easement just in front of our entrance landscaping. The county granted him approval and everything seemed to be moving forward.

  And then….KAPOW! It all blew up horribly. The BOD got their feelings  hurt that someone would go around them to get the flagpoles up and they dug in their feet. A nasty war of words ensued on a public forum that not only our homeowners could see but all of the surrounding community as well. It became very ugly, very fast.  After the melee died down it was decided that a survey should be done to allow the homeowners to vote yes or no on the flags. No surprise, it came out overwhelmingly in support of the flags. Still, this did not satisfy the board so they ordered another survey which also came out overwhelmingly in support of the flags. Nastiness continued to be flung around, the board continued to drag their feet (they have had the survey results for a while and have not posted them yet). The board meetings have been full of more contentiousness and no answers.

  Then, suddenly, the flags appeared at our entrances and there was a huge outpouring of pride and happiness from almost all of the homeowners.  We have no idea who did it! At the last board meeting, two days after the flags went up, the board announced they were having them taken down and would then begin the process of coming up with a design and getting bids to place flagpoles, all paid for out of the HOA dues. Say what? They want to take down the flags and make us pay to have the whole thing re-done on our dime? The flag poles are on the approved county easement so I don't think legally they can touch the flags. They didn't pay for them, nor do they have jurisdiction over the property they are on. They announced the flags would be removed on Wed. and homeowners camped out around the flags to defend them. No one ever showed up to take them down.

  Again the whole issue was hashed out in a public internet forum, but also in the news and on the radio here. We are being called the subdivision that tears down flags. Nice….

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Levi loves the show Dr. Who so I found the original pattern and made a smaller version of it for him. 

Chris surprised the boys with a new dirt bike. The old one was getting much too small for them.

Levi in the kitchen with me making braised short ribs. All of our boys love to cook and I enjoy the help and the company! 

Yum Yum!!! And easy-peasy.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's been a long, difficult, time

  I know I have been very absent. Even my family has given up bugging me for updates. Huge sigh…. I lay in bed at three am and write posts in my head. They are so witty and entertaining and informative….they just never make it into print. Of course everything I think at 3 am seems terribly witty, entertaining and informative. It is probably all drivel and makes no sense. Hah!
  So, when my nephew died I was devastated. The kids saw me lose my shiznet in a way no one has ever seen. Then barely more than a day later I leave for a week to be with my sister and family. The boys seemed to deal with it, the week was uneventful here and life went on. When I returned I felt like I had been gone forever, living in an alternate universe, very disconnected. I burst into tears randomly, had trouble connecting with anyone and slept very little. Levi and Ahren showed great empathy and suffered a little along with me. Jon spiraled out of control. His grades went from an average of 98 to 57 in the last 9 week grading period. He began stealing again, he put nonsense answers on his work, he destroyed important papers (field trip permission slips…several of them) he lied and acted out and was a completely unregulated mess. We immediately found a grief counselor who specializes in attachment issues. She is new to the area or we would have been on her doorstep a long time ago! She is helping but it is slow going. Many layers to unravel.
  After his third trip to the principals office in 10 days we instituted commando parenting. He has lost all extracurricular activities. No parties, no sleep overs, no play dates, no electronics, no special anything. He is getting tons of hugs and love, lots of support making good decisions and lots of physical activity. Every day we give him a pep talk about how great he is and what he can do if he only wants to do it. His teachers are on board and supporting this too. It is working!! He is trying, he is making better decisions, and he acts like he feels calm and loved! His grades are coming up. He still has moments, but they are getting farther between and lesser in degree.
  We still have a long way to go. Even to just get back to where he was 6 months ago. The good thing is that by working through this and surviving, he has learned such a valuable lesson. He is stronger and more confident in himself. Without trials in life how will he ever learn? The answer is he can't. We could place him in a bubble and not rock the boat but we can't protect him forever. It is more important to give him the tools and foundation to handle the normal problems life hands us. Let's tough it out now and then he has the chance at a very happy, successful life.

 Love this little guy more than cheese!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I love him so much

  Jon is struggling. But....he is seeking help,and a grounding in me. He keeps seeking hugs and my affirmations of love.  He is trying.
  In the meantime their is pee and poo in the bathroom on surfaces it should not be on, he is bouncing off the walls, and his language is very inappropriate. He is hurting his friends at school, doing nonsense on his school work, and being super annoying at home. I just keep hugging him, loving him, and talking to him. He went to bed early tonight very willingly. That is a good sign. When he is calm and sleeps he is okay. Poor baby, this really upset him.
  Just to let you know what a kid with RAD/PTSD can do to show you he is struggling, here is the truth: pee on the wall behind the toilet, poop on the wall, dispenser and tub, broken toys, ugly words, underwear with pee and poo, pants with dried pee on them, hitting, sleeping issues, hurting the pets, and any other thing he can think of that is NOT what I want. You cannot imagine unless you have been there. There was a time when he sneaked my earrings and destroyed one of each pair. For a long time I thought I  lost my mind since I only had one of each pair. Then I found the other ones twisted and broken and I figured it out. He was so smart. He took one of each pair and destroyed it. He is so smart.
 Then there werenthe months of poop on everything. Poop on clothes, the walls, the shower, the toys, the doors, everything! Even in the dryer, while it was turned on. Hot poop. Not good!!! We survived and were better for it. Maybe not better smelling but better understanding.
  He needs us to take it. He needs us to persevere. He needs us to be stubborn, and we are, more than he will ever know. Love will win out. We will love him more than he can push us away. He won't win, love will win. We will love him to success. He is so worth it!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


  If we have learned anything about our RADish it is that changes trigger him. Now take this child who has had so much loss in his life, make his Mama super sad, then have her disappear for a week and you get the Tsunami of fallout. At home he seemed to be doing okay, extra clingy and mildly annoying but hanging in there. Then I got the urgent e-mail from the school. Duh-duh-duh. (scary music)
  I met with his teachers on Tuesday and they painted a very different picture. At school he was out of control, failing his work, picking on others and creating mayhem. They showed me some of his recent work and for one math problem he had answered it DOG. Now that takes some dedication and work to come up with completely nonsense answers. Not just wrong answers, but completely nonsense.
  The kicker, though, was on Monday he had convinced two boys to hold a staring contest and as they tried not to blink, he smashed their heads together. I dare you not to laugh! Where does he come up with this stuff? If he would just use his powers for good not evil……sigh.
  We thought about consequences for all of this but decided to just love him more and help him through this. We are seeing a new therapist but not sure I am impressed yet. We may need to consider a return to meds but only if absolutely necessary to keep his anxiety at a level he can deal with.
  So for now, do NOT let this boy talk you into a staring contest.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Broken Hearts

Please pray for my family. On Thursday we lost my dear nephew Zane. He was only 20 years old, a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent young man. We are all in shock. It just can't be real. Someone wake us up from this nightmare. Tomorrow morning I head to my sister Dana's home to be with her for the next week. I wish we lived closer to each other and not half a nation away. A week is not enough time to hug her, touch her, share with her. I love her so much and I can do so little. So very little. Please pray. We need it so much right now.