Friday, September 23, 2011

Finding Sunshine...

I try to find the bright spots in my darkness.  At times, things can be pretty dark in my world dealing with something that I have no answers for and can not explain. 

Mental Illness and Addiction {Dual Diagnosis} are like two separate gruesome demons.  They mask themselves at times and you have a slight glimmer or glimpse of the person you know is in there.  Other times it rears it's ugly head and sends you reeling. 

Trying to separate your emotions from love, fear, anger and desperation becomes a daunting task that takes you on a roller coaster day by day.  It is a wonder that I have not developed some sort of disorder of my own.  {perhaps I have and don't know it!}

I have to be one person in dealing with Taylor, yet another in my mothering of my other three sons and yet another as a wife to a husband who is too growing weary of this affliction that our son is trapped by.  I then am a business owner and nanny too. 

Honestly when people marvel at my strength, it is all due to my faith.  I know that God is mighty to save.  I know He has my back and without the promise of hope in each new day, I can't say that I would be who I am today. 

I want to run, hide and escape my life. I know the Lord does nothing by accident.  There IS a purpose in all this madness.  I may never know what that is, but wish to pass His test.  I want to hear "Well done, my good and faithful servant".

I look at the blessings that the Lord showers upon me.  People He places in my life to make me laugh and help me to rediscover who He created me to be.  You see, I have been a bit lost.  I have been in survival mode, and still am to a degree. 

For a long time I have held back.  Taken things slow.  Waiting for things to get messed up.  Disorder and chaos has been so rampant in my life that I have come to expect that all good things will end.  I forgot who I was in all of this.  I forgot how to laugh, how to smile and how to believe in ME.

I am digging my way out.  I am learning my limits, learning to say no and be okay with not doing all the things I think I should take on.  I cherish the little things and appreciate the "moments" when they come. 

I treasure the friends that the Lord has brought to come along side me on this path.  As I look back I see different people, some still here, some not; that He has brought into our lives.  Each one plays a role in helping me know that He is sovereign.  He is provisional and unconditional.

Yesterday was a very no good, simply rotten, horrible day.  Today I will find the sunshine and keep holding on to the promise of a better tomorrow.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Something to hold on to...

Life for me is so unpredictable right now.  One day I think things are looking up and the next the world seems to be coming to an end.  I always thought that I was cut out to care for Children with Special Needs.  I do have a lot of patience, but dealing with my son's mental illness is proving to be so much more that I ever imagined.

He started taking a new medication via injection on Wednesday.  So far it is not going very well.  He has angry outbursts, paces around talking to himself, won't go to sleep at night and is ultra obsessive.  It is just completely unexplainable.  I prayed and am still praying that this medication will help his condition.  It just has to.  I do not know what else to do.

I cling to the fact that Jesus loves me more than I will ever know and that he died to know me.  I know this love.  I have it for all of my children.  I would gladly endure anything necessary to make the world right for them.  All I can do is pray for my son, which I do all day long.  When he is angry and yelling, I pray.  When he is confused, I pray.  When he is talking to "invisible people", I pray.  When he refuses his medications, I pray.  When his body is contorting in wild movements, I pray.

The financial challenges we are facing dwarf in comparison.  I can almost handle being evicted over the minute by minute watch I am on with my son.

I need you.  I need you to pray on my behalf.  This problem is so much bigger than I can even explain.

I have no answers.  Only God does.  So, I wait.  I hold on to the hope that there is an answer.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My son...His son.

The Lord blessed me with my first son December 14, 1990.  He will soon be 21.  I longed for this child, and prayed for him.  He entered the world beautiful and happy.  He was the light of our world.  He did everything early, sat up at 5 mo., walked at 8 mo., and talked before he was a year old.  He was perfection.

He grew to be a talented little boy excelling in sports and skateboarding.  He loved people, made lots of friends and had the most caring and compassionate heart.  He loved going to church and loved the Lord.  He accepted Jesus on a cold Halloween night when he was just 7.  He then dressed as a Preacher complete with a Bible and went door to door trick-or-treating asking people if they too had the love of Jesus in their heart.

He was Baptized that Thanksgiving at our little Church in Lee's Summit, MO.  He was so proud, as were we.  He started having a bit of trouble in school with learning.  He was diagnosed with a disability in written and oral language in the third grade.  Although he struggled he still did well in school.

In Middle School he started to clown around in class to divert the attention away from the fact he was not getting the lessons.  He started to get into a bit of trouble and then is when we learned he had been exposed to marijuana.  One Sunday afternoon he broke down before we headed out for Church.  He told me he was a bad person and that he did not belong in our family or belong at Church.  It was then he told us that he had been using marijuana at age 14.

My world was turned upside down.  I never thought or dreamed that one of MY sons would use drugs.  We thought we were doing all the right things as parents.  We went seeking help from family, church and medical professionals on how to "deal" with this situation.

Over the next couple years we were faced with a rebellious teen who skipped school, continued to use drugs and experiment with alcohol.  We enrolled him in youth programs that educated him on the dangers of drugs and alcohol use, took him on tours of the jails and had him report to an Officer twice a month.  We felt we were getting a handle on things and were thrilled when he got a job at age 16.  He did well there and got several promotions.  He had a beautiful girlfriend and life was somewhat normal.  

We by then had 4 sons in all.  Trenton was born when Taylor was 5, then Turner when Taylor was 13 followed by Trevan when he was 14.  We attributed some of Taylor's behavior to the fact that he was crying out for attention.  The "babies" took a lot of our time and perhaps he was needing to feel like he was still important.

Our lives changed forever on a crisp afternoon in January.  I received a frantic phone call from a woman who told me my son was found in the road bleeding from the head unconscious.  She thought he had been hit by a car.  She told me the location and I did not know which son she was referring to at that moment.  Both Taylor and Trenton were out, one on their skateboard and one on their bike.  

I scooped up my little ones and shuffled them to a neighbor's home.  Another neighbor came around the corner and I told her what happened.  She put me in her car and we drove to the scene as quickly as possible.  Arriving there within minutes just behind the ambulance, I see it is Taylor.  His head is wrapped in a baby's security blanket of the woman who found him.  Blood is soaking through the soft pink fabric.  He is still.

A fury of phone calls to my husband, my parents and my Bible Study Leader.  I rode in the front of the ambulance turning my body so I could see my son laying motionless in the back.  I prayed like I have never prayed before.  "Lord, please don't let him die."

As it turned out, my son had been skateboarding too fast down a hill, without a helmet.  He hit a manhole cover and struck his head on it.  He suffered a skull fracture and 3 brain bleeds.  He has never been or will ever be the same.

He become very angry with violent outbursts after the accident.  His short term memory was non-existent.  He could not remember things he learned in school.  He declined rapidly and dropped out of school.  He was forced to quit his job because he could not remember simple tasks asked of him.  This led quickly to a severe deep depression.  We went from doctor to doctor for help - only to have meds thrown at him that he refused to take.  He then started to self medicate with drugs and alcohol.

For three years now we have watched our son live in a hell.  Held captive by the voices in his head.  Our lives have been tormented beyond belief as we have tried to keep him safe and alive.  He has been hospitalized 12 times for either an overdose of drugs and alcohol or for trying to take his life.  He has been arrested, gone to jail and put into 4 rehabs.  He has been diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder and OCD.  

This a mental disorder characterized by recurring episodes of elevated or depressed mood, or of simultaneously elevated and depressed mood, that alternate with, or occur together with, distortions in perception.  Schizoaffective disorder most commonly affects cognition and emotion. Auditory hallucinations, paranoia, bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social and occupational dysfunction are typical.

We are faced now with no options for our child.  He functions on a 12-13 year old level.  He requires a lot of care.  There is no where for him to live.  California will not hold anyone without their voluntary consent.  He does not see the severity of his illness.  

He has refused medications because they made him gain nearly 80 pounds and recently he has lost nearly 40 pounds in 2 months.  He has had horrific episodes that required long hospitalizations.  We are now going to start to take him for injections tomorrow so he can not spit out or refuse his pills.   

He is sweet and gentle at times.  He is loving and caring and can become deeply emotional.  Other times if he does not get his way he is quick to anger and things can escalate.  He hears voices, lives in a paranoid state of fear that people are out to kill him.  He constantly tells us to keep our voices at a whisper as he thinks "they" can hear him.  He shuts all the doors, windows and blinds.  He can not go out in public.  He paces constantly and smokes cigarettes one right after the other.  He then coughs all night long.  He refuses to follow simple directions and rules we set for our home.  

He wants to know who I am talking to when I am on the phone, where I am going if I leave.  He wants to see my computer screen and obsesses that I am talking about him to people.  He stands over my husband and myself if we are trying to talk.  He follows me from room to room.  I am locked in my bathroom with the water running so I can write this now.  He has never had longer than an 8 week stretch that he was "functioning somewhat normally".  

My children lost their brother that fateful day and we lost our son.  Although he is still here - the Taylor that once was is gone forever.  I had hope that one day he would heal and come back to us.  I now know that will never be.  He is His Son and I have to surrender him.  I can not explain to my kids the "why", because I do not know.  I can only trust that the Lord has a plan in all of this.  I pray for my strength to carry on when I want to just be done.

People think I am strong.  I guess I am by default.  I go on because I have no other choice.  My heart swells so much that it bursts and tears flood down my face more often than people know.  I cry in the shower, I cry alone in my car.  I cry in my bed at night.  I cry out to Jesus.  "Help me, Oh Lord through this pain...Carry me because I can't walk on anymore!"

My husband and I do not have a marriage any longer.  This has ripped our family apart.  Shortly after my son's accident my husband was also in an accident.  He rolled his truck while driving down the same street.  He suffered a panic attack or a heat stroke while driving.  He nearly lost his arm and suffered a head injury as well.

Shortly thereafter we became homeless.  We lost everything.  We lived in a hotel for nearly 5 months as he recovered.  I changed his dressings, bandaged his wounds.  Drove him to doctors appointments and months of physical therapy.  All the while dealing with Taylor and his unimaginable addiction and mental illness.  

Things such as these either tear people apart or make them grow stronger.  Sadly we are being torn apart.  I know he does not have any answers.  He wants ME to fix everything.  He wants me to make it all better.  After all, that is what wives and mothers do.  Well, this is too big for me.  Only God can fix this.  This problem is all His.  I get that and I CAN surrender.  Sadly, my husband is not there.  He does not know how to ask the Lord to lead him.

I am growing weary and ask that you pray for my son, my marriage, my children and for me.  I feel very worn down, worn out and at a place of desperation.  


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Love Change?

Young love.  It can change from one day to the next.  One day she loves me then next...not so much.

I love change.  I live however in a house with 5 males.  Four of which are very fond of routine.  I roll with the punches and love to switch it up a bit.  Keeps life interesting!  As we transition from Winter to Spring I feel that there are a lot of changes around the corner in both my personal and business lives. 

I am making some changes in my Photography Business that I am excited about!  I am partnering with my friend and neighbor Kristen to form a sister company to Giggle Moon Photography.  We will be launching our new company "Birdie-N-Bee" on Facebook and the Web very soon.  For now you can see some of our collaborative work on my Facebook Page...Giggle Moon on Face Book.

We are going to be doing a huge Give-Away and I have been busy preparing our site for that.  I'll let you know when it launches!  

Becoming busier with my business brings a little more stress into my home.  My kids don't like me leaving for Photo Shoots and they hate all the time I spend on my computer editing and working.  I can say that my husband is a HUGE GRUMP when I work the night away on my sofa...But hey!  At least I am home and not in a dank office until the wee hours!  Gotta find the light in the darkness!

Be prepared to see some great things around the corner!  


P.S. Hop over the The Trendy Tree House and VOTE for the pic above it is #41!  It is Shutter Love Tuesday!  Theme Hearts!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Getting old.

{my super hot, young, intelligent, model like friend Irini and Baby Sophia}

Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have drop dead gorgeous friends that are like WAY younger than me, or the fact that I am in a month turning 44...that I am feeling really old.

Midlife Crisis?  {perhaps}  I know that all of a sudden my inner voice is screaming "CHANGE THIS and CHANGE THAT" on a daily basis.  I have things in my head that I am determined to accomplish.

Putting things in writing helps so I am spilling it here for all the world to see.  If you are my friend you will help encourage me.  If you are a foe then you can laugh if I don't succeed.  {I don't really care if you do...I am good like that}

Either it is!

For starters I am going to lose the rest of the weight that I have promised myself that I would.  Down 12 pounds so far. {yea me}  
If I could drop 10 more I'd be pleased.  15 and I'd be happy.  

My challenge is exercise.  I have the healthy eating down just fine.  I hate to exercise.  I get short of breath and sweaty. {yuk}  I know I must overcome the discomfort and push thru.  I am going to enlist the help of my uber skinny, cute and sassy friend Kristen.  She hits the gym faithfully and has not one ounce on her tiny, skinny, toned {did I say skinny} adorable little frame.  She will have to have patience with me as I am a DECADE older than her.

Okay.  That felt good.  Next my closet will receive an overhaul.  Once I am toned and fit I will discard all the old, ratty, faded loose fitting items that I try to wear to hide my muffin top.  I know I am too old to look "cute and hot" {like Irini who is 13 years younger!} but hip and trendy I can do.  No more "Look! There goes a mom of 4 boys who clearly has no style, but look at her hot friend" comments for me.  

I'll admit I am not a fan of jeans.  I can't find them to fit my short legs and hate when they are too tight in all the wrong places.  My closet is filled with "comfortable clothes".  Tees and leggings.  Capris and sweatshirts.  I live in my rainbow sandals.  High Heels are a thing of the past as I can not run in them to catch my boys.  I did recently add a pair of black polkadot kitten heels to my wardrobe and love them...{Irini there is hope}.

Sooner than later {praying that Shannon can help me this week} I will be getting a new hair doo.  I have let my hair grow out and it is in need of a new style and shape.  Thank goodness I do not have any gray hair but a nice color is in order.

Beyond my total overhaul I have things I am in dire need of.  My cell phone has quit ringing at full volume, does not alert me when I have messages and has no keyboard.  I need to get with the times and get an iPhone {on my wish list} so I can keep all my appointments at my fingertips.  This would help in in my quest to be MORE organized in my family and business lives.

I need to save for another lens for my camera, a wacom pad for editing, an awesome camera bag {I hate the one I have} and more items to make my photography business run smoother.  {all in time}

In an effort to not overwhelm my self I think I will stop here.  I think this is a good start.  I know I will never grow younger, only older.  I can, however put forth the effort to make this process easier.  With faith, hope, help from God and great friends I can and will succeed in making my goals happen!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Time flies...

Whew.  Where does the time go?  It has been over a month since I have updated this blog.  Thanks for all of the kind emails checking in on me!  I have not been crushed or eaten by my 4 boys!  

Turner, Trevan and I just returned from a wonderful weekend in Sonoma.  We got the pleasure of attending Siblings Weekend at Chloe's College - SSU.  We pretended that the boys were her cousins.  It was beautiful up there and very relaxing.  My boys had a blast and flying on an airplane to get there was a special treat.  Trevan asked 1001 questions from "What is that noise" to "How long do the flyers of the plane have to go to school to learn how to fly?"  He was quite observant and did not let anything get past his inquisitive mind.  Turner on the other hand just kicked his seat back and laughed at the cartoons on the video screen.  Not a care in the world...that is him!

We were not sure we could go as everyone in the house got a round of the flu the week before we were to depart.  Kids missed school, mom spent many a night up changing the sheets and patting backs as kids got sick over the commode.  Oh!  The joys of motherhood.

Thank the Lord they got well...and I did not get it!  We did have to haul the breathing machine to Sonoma with us as Turner's asthma has kicked up again.  Not as bad as last year thank goodness!

Stace, Trenton and Taylor survived the weekend and I came home to a clean house which was a surprise!  

Taylor is doing well for the most part.  He is applying for jobs which has not been fruitful as yet.  Trenton is doing well at his new school {thank goodness or he was getting all that hair chopped off!}

I have been very busy with my photography and just finished rebuilding my website today.  I have to add some polish and change a few things but am pleased with my new look for 2011.  I am still learning my Nikon and am loving it!  My calendar is filling up with lots of appointments and I couldn't be happier for the opportunity to use my new gear.  I have my eye on a couple lenses that I am going to be saving up for.

Soon my mom and I will be departing for our trip together.  I look forward to spending some quality time with my mom.  We are cruising to Mexico for my Birthday!  Ahhhh the peace and quiet...what will I do??

Well... that is that in a nutshell.  I am alive and kickin' - just busy!  Thanks again for checkin in with me!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Precious Moments.

I remember the precious moments spent with my kids when they were babies.  I was their rock, their fortress, their protector - their world. 

I learned very early as a young mother that MY happiness was not paramount.  I was here to serve them.  I was happy doing so.  

As the years go by and they grow so fast it gets harder and harder to fill that role.  You can no longer make their world right by hugging them, cuddling them and picking them up.  A sweet song in their ear, pacing the floor with them, or showing them a new toy no longer brings the joy it once did.

I am entering a strange era with a now 20 year old "man child" that needs to be taken care of.  His needs different than those of his 3 brothers.  A brain injury and mental illness come into play as do limitations on what he comprehends and how he sees the world.  

Having a 15 year old is another ball of wax.  I remember what it was like to be hyper focused on body image, style and peers.  I get that.  I also know that the respect my mom expected and the expectations she had of me were not far off from what I expect of him.  Difference is times have changed and kids seem to think THEY are entitled to NOT follow the rules and give that respect.

I hold out hope with my 7 year old and 6 year old.  It is all I can do.

Turner is gifted and special in his own way.  He has limits and challenges that are different from his little brother.  He has Asperger's Disorder.  At times he appears just like the others.  Then there are times when he locks himself into "his world" and acts very different.  I wonder what life will hold as he enters his teens and beyond.  At times I am flooded with emotion at the thought of my children not fitting into the "world".  Other times I embrace it.

As our world continues to become a harder place to live, I try to hold out for the "moments".  Moments that have sparked a gleem of hope into my heart and forever left a mark.  Moments that I can make with my boys for them to cherish.  I try to make joy and make time for the opportunity to present its self as one of these.  

I have been hugely impacted by the strength I have seen in my friend Irini who is a single mother.  Her precious baby Sophia is pictured at the top.  Being 30 years old and beginning a life with her precious daughter she is embarking on a journey.  It is not easy.  I see her dedication to her sweet girl and her love spills out in all she does.  I strive to have that force back.  I am committed to being a better mom for my boys this year.

This brings me to my sweet friend Sue.  I met Sue a year ago.  She wrote me after reading my blog and told me that she felt the Lord put us together for a reason.  We have laughed and cried over the past year, shared play dates and birthday parties with our kids and have had "girls night out" together.  We have talked on the phone, chatted on FB and emailed one another.  We have so much in common...soul sisters.  I just learned that she is home on Hospice.  Her husband had to tell her 4.5 yr old daughter and her 7.5 year old son that mommy may have to leave and go to Heaven.  I am heartbroken.  I do not understand God's plan and know it is not for me to question.  

I saw things in Africa this Summer and had a chat with God.  I know He knows what he is doing, but I beg him to help us who do not understand His ways find a way to cope with the heartache.  I know he wastes no hurt.

Through all of the trials and pain I push to find His message.  Not my will Lord, but yours.  So, I thank all of my dear friends who have been here to encourage me, help me and pray for me.  I ask you to continue to do so.  I stumble, I fall, but I vow to get up and keep on going.

I am off to make "moments".  I will capture "moments" with my work.  I will try to find a way to honor God through my pain.

Here is a Poem sent to me by Chloe, it was read at Grandma Daisy's is so fitting for my season of life...

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth…
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
That can still be rearranged

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
with your life’s actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?

by Linda Ellis


Monday, January 10, 2011

44 reasons why I have not updated my blog...

I use to be great at updating my if anyone really cared in the first place!  I have gotten a few emails asking if I was still alive, but with Facebook it is easy to keep tabs on people these days.

So here goes.  I have 44 reasons why I have not updated.

1.  Taylor came home to live with us mid-November.
2.  We moved to a larger apt. to accommodate all 6 of us.
3.  I got crazy busy with photo sessions.
4.  We had Thanksgiving and I prepared a grand meal.
5.  My kids decided to all react to Taylor's homecoming in different ways.
6.  Turner took it the best and just needs more love from me.
7.  Trevan regressed in behaviors and is "off the chain" 99% of the time.
8.  Trenton decided to completely not apply himself and has failing grades.
9.  My mom and dad went on a 2 week cruise to Hawaii and I found myself floundering without     emotional support.
10.  Stace's lack of work threw him into a tailspin with Christmas approaching.
11.  I wanted to have a memorable Holiday and could not figure out how to pull it off with lack of funds.
12.  Facebook needed my updates rather than my blog.
13.  My allergies and asthma decided to deal me fits and I was sick for 10 out of 12 weeks.
14.  My kids all decided to get sick.
15.  Having kids with the flu requires doing extra laundry and making numerous trips to the store.
16.  We tried to unpack and are still in process.
17.  My car decided to breakdown.
18.  Stace's truck decided to breakdown.
19.  My camera broke down.
20.  I tried not to breakdown.
21.  I made a feeble attempt to erect a small Christmas Tree for the kids this year.
22.  We decided to make a Gingerbread House and Christmas Cookies.
23.  It rained.
24.  It rained some more.
25.  It was super cold in our new apartment.
26.  I attempted to do some very last minute Christmas Shopping without much money.
27.  Then the gifts had to be wrapped.
28.  I had customers who waited till the last minute to order items.
29.  My kids had Christmas Break.
30.  My brother came to visit with my nieces and nephews.
31.  I was exhausted.
32.  Taylor has his ups and his downs.
33.  Taylor often does not cooperate which causes a lot of frustration in our home.
34.  Stace is in need of medication.
35.  I probably am in need of medication.
36.  We laid low for the New Year.
37.  I decided to make some changes in 2011. {I had to take time to be deep in thought}
38.  Chloe came home from College and we had to Celebrate her and my mom's Birthdays.
39.  Laundry.
40.  I discovered Nutella and realized how much I love Bacon.
41.  Nutella and Bacon are not on my "Health Plan" for this year.
42.  I made new friends who I love to spend time with.
43.  I got my new camera and am learning how to use it!
44.  I am just plain lazy.  

So in a nutshell that is why I have been on Facebook and NOT updating my blog...I vow to do better {if I can find more minutes in the days ahead}.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

My wish for a day...

Oh, to be one of "those" people.  Just for a day. {okay I lie...not just for the day...for a while}  You know "the" people I am talking about.  

The ones that have all their Christmas Shopping done before Halloween.  The ones that have picture perfect kids that never say a cross word to one another, never mess up their rooms and always do their homework.  The kids that are satisfied with socks and undies wrapped cleverly under the tree.

The people who on a moments notice can have a house full of people over for the best gourmet meal {made from scratch} around a neatly decorated table complete with place cards, matching dinnerware and a centerpiece they threw together with flowers from their Lily Garden and pine cones from their yard.  The ones that have the most adorable family dog that wears sweaters to match the season, can get the morning paper and never barks.  "Those" people who bring the most creative gift to the party, have the swankiest style and perfect husband hanging on their arm.

Well...I COULD go on, but I am sure you know the people I am talking about.  If you are reading this and are "one of them" - remind me to kick you swiftly in the backside next time we see each other.  Oh, that's right I won't be seeing you as I am not in your social circle.  If I were I'd be one of you!

Each year I dream of having my home all decked out for the Holidays in an adorable fashion.  I have big plans and a creative vision and then something happens.  I don't get a tree put up, decorations are not unearthed from storage and our home just remains a place that I dwell with 4 boys and a husband.  Can I do it THIS year?  I wonder.  I want to make memories with my boys.  I want to create a warm, loving atmosphere to enjoy the wonderment of the Holiday Season in.  THIS will be my year.

Taylor is doing the best he has been in years and years.  Perhaps we can celebrate by "decking the halls" with some "fa, la, la, la,, la, la, la."  After all, "Tis the season to be Jolly."  

Wish me luck, as Martha Stewart I am not.  I have ideas.  Oh, yes.  Lots of ideas.  It is the execution that creates a problem for me.  I just have a hard time with time management.  Somehow, I just never seem to have enough...time.  I have so much I want to get done, then the next thing I know it is here.

 C H R I S T M A S...

It sneaks up on me silently.  I know it is coming then one day "WHAM!" here it is!  I find myself unprepared.  No stuff for the stockings.  Gifts hidden in places I can't find them.  No gifts for those I swore I'd hand make something special for.  I then get a huge stress headache and want to run for the hills.  

Help me.  Remind me that "time flies" and that before we know it we will be leaving cookies for santa and carrots for the reindeer.  This year I vow to be one of "those" people.  I will role play and pretend that I can do it all.  I will take on the challenge and let you know how I am doing...each step of the way!


P.S.  49 days and counting...till Christmas!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One of those days...

Gotta love 'em!

Ever had "one of those days"?  We all have.  I should have known after going to Canon and finding out that my "soft focus" problem was not an easy fix, but rather something that could force me into early retirement from photography that it was gonna be "one of those days".  

The girl behind the desk told me that I had exceeded my 100,000 shot limit for my camera by oh...say 40,000.  She then told me for just a cool $1700 I could upgrade to a refurbished Canon 5d Mark II.  She then said, "Would you like to do that today?"

"Ummm...yes!  Why I would!  Let me run home and pluck my money tree!" I thought to myself.  Instead I told her that I could not afford to do so.  She looked at me like I had 3 heads.  She then told me to cough up a mere $180 so they could start to "diagnose" my camera's problem.  If it was going to be un-fixable or more expensive they would credit my card and call me.  It could need to be re-built to the tune of $1200-$1500.  oh yea!

Super-de-duper!  I left a bit stunned.  As I drove home, coughing and hacking for the 4th week now a huge {splat!} thundered through the car and startled both Turner and I.  {Turner is home sick too}.  Nice one.  As I looked up to see a giant crow flying overhead my eyes returned to the ginormous poop he so kindly deposited on my windshield.  Obstructing my view I attempted to wash it away with the wipers creating a huge mess.  Lovely!

We are in the process of getting Taylor placement in a transitional program.  I was waiting on calls from his social worker and probation officer.  I quickly scanned the car and my purse to check my phone only to find I left it at the house.  Really?

I hurried home to retrieve it and tripped going up the stairs nearly breaking my nose!  I had to laugh.  One of those days.  

I pick Trevan up from school and take the kids to grab a bite at Burger King {we have no groceries and I am too exhausted to go with 2 boys in tow.}  I eat, they eat.  They play.  I sit in a stupor watching as a guy lines up his onion rings on his tray.  He makes 3 rows of 3 rings.  He methodically takes 3 packets of ketchup and gingerly squirts a perfect circle onto each one.  I find myself fascinated by this.  Wow.  So much work.  

I look down at our tray piled high with all 3 orders of crispy fries in one big heap.  Next to them in the corner of the tray is a small mountain of ketchup.  Easy-smeasy.  No neat lines for me.  No method to my madness.  I glance into the play room to find Turner poking one fry then another then another into his mouth.  In awe, I sit and count as my kid pokes 6 french fries into his small mouth.  I then sit to watch and see if he chokes.  What is wrong with me?  I didn't have the energy to to get up and stop him, so I sit behind the glass just waiting and watching.  What a great mom.

We make our way home.  I tell the kids I need to take a breathing treatment and lay down for a little rest.  Turner reminds me that Daddy needs work clothes and that I am to do laundry today.  Thanks son.  I know this.  I decide to enlist the help of my big strong High School Freshman and wait till he gets home from school.  Yes.  Good plan.  I pull in, anxious to lay down to rest.  

What do we find?  Big trucks.  Men with chainsaws.  Loud ear-piercing shrill of the blades ripping through the branches.  Crack!  Whoosh!  Men yelling.  Tree Trimming in the complex - Ahhhh - one of THOSE days.

I get the call that the Social Worker has an emergency and calls off meeting with Taylor and us.  Oh joy.  Then she informs me that he needs to get a doctors release by tomorrow to be allowed into the new program.  Ah, sure.

As I tackle these obstacles Trevan knocks a glass of water over on the table where the iMac lives.  I cast my laptop aside, jump over him grabbing a towel from the kitchen and in one feld swoop mop op the water before it hits the keyboard.  My exercise for the day!

Looks like no rest for the weary.  I must call the doctor, then Taylor's Social Worker, Cooper Fellowship then Ivy his Probation Officer.  If only he knew all the work I go thru to help him.  He can't see all the "behind the scenes".  He just wants to come home and make me feel guilty for not letting him.  Parenthood - aint it grand?

So, off to see what the rest of this day holds.  Hopefully you are not having "one of those days"!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween...if there is such a thing!

Turner's "Bumpkin" {on left} Mr. Munki {in the middle} Trev's "Plumpkin" {on right}

Well...well...well.  Here we are.  It is Great Hallow's Eve; {not my idea of a Holiday} and not my favorite night.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want to rain on any one's parade.  If you like creepy, spooky, goblins, ghouls, smashed pumpkins, spending money on costumes and candy, kids gone wild and collecting more candy than any one human should consume in an entire year - then hey...knock yourself out!

I loved Halloween when I was a kid.  My mom use to make our costumes.  We would make hot apple cider and caramel apples.  We attended safe and sane neighborhood Halloween Parties and dawned the doorsteps of Grandparent's dressed in our costumes.  

Then, I had kids of my own.  Taylor was my first and I made him an adorable lil Devil costume {much to the dismay of my Grandmother}.  We took him out with friends in our neighborhood and all was fine and dandy.  That was 20 years ago.  Things then were still pretty harmless.  

As the years passed and Trenton came along, Taylor got older and was VERY afraid of the displays at the grocery store.  He hated going out in public before Halloween and did not really even want to trick-or-treat.  We did the fun night at our church and had a ball.  

The Halloween before he turned 8 years old he came to me and told me he wanted to dress up as "Pastor Dan" our Church's Pastor.  He knelt in our basement, which was converted to my in-home daycare and asked me to pray with him.  He told me he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart to live there FOREVER!  He had his Veggie Tales Tie, his Bible and his nice "church clothes".  We prayed together and then called up Pastor Dan to share the news!

Dressed like a little man, he went from door to door, ever so reluctantly as we came to homes that were all "spooooky".  He knocked on the door and then asked the person with the candy bowl "Do YOU have the love of Jesus in YOUR heart?"  When they looked at him stunned holding their bowl they stopped to think and then answer.  Most said "Why yes!"  He would then shake their hand, smile and say "Great!  God Bless You!  I just asked Jesus into my heart! Have a Great Halloween!"  Spinning on his heel, anxious to get to the next home...he didn't even take the candy!  He was on fire for the Lord and he was gonna tell the whole neighborhood!

We thought that one day, he would grow up to be a Pastor.  He has such a caring heart, so feeling, so loving.  He was baptized a month later at our church's Thanksgiving Feast.  

Fast forward 11 years.  He has battled drug and alcohol addiction for 5 agonizing years.  Left with no answers as to "why" or "where we went wrong".  The pain and heartache is indescribable.  I pray we are on the other side now...but you never know.

He has been sober now 90 days today!  Praise God.  I am not sure how my life would have changed if on that night I could have seen into the future and had known what a painful road we would have to travel down to reach his 20th birthday.  One never knows.  That is the irony of this "life".

So, tonight in an effort to allow my last 2 boys to "make a memory" I will drag my sick self {been battling sinus problems and allergies for a month} out to collect the candy with my kids.  We will have one Skeleton and one Darth Vader.  We will go to our church where they have planned a super evening of fun for the kids and families.  

Tomorrow I will sort the candy, hide the candy and battle with my already very high spirited boys over why candy is not an appropriate breakfast food.  Everyone has their favorites - Daddy loves 3 Musketeers and Snickers, mine is peanut M&M's, Reese's and Almond Joy.  Trenton loves Reese's and SOUR stuff.  Turner loves suckers and skittles.  Trevan loves push pops.  Taylor...well he loves it all.  He has never been picky. 

The boys will make a bag for their big brother.  They love him so.  Stace and Trenton are there visiting him now in his rehab.  He will complete that program on November 3rd and then go to a transitional home.  He wants to come home, but I don't feel we are all ready - yet.  

One day at a time.  That is all we can handle.


 Taylor on Halloween 10 year ago.  
He ironically dressed as a skateboarder.  
Little did we know that 7 years later he would be involved in a skateboarding accident that would change our lives forever...leaving him with a brain injury.

Cherish each day...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hold my hand...

If you think about it, all we really want in life is a little direction and guidance.  Someone to come along and pour into us some hope, zest and motivation when we are lacking.  People do not want to be made to feel like they are stupid, clueless or unworthy of knowledge.  If each person would just take the time to slow down and help guide others in their quest for the "things unknown" to him...would our world not be a much nicer place?  Inspire.  Encourage.  Educate.

I do not understand the mentality of "knowledge hoarding". 

Seriously.  Think about how many times you have asked someone for advice about something that you do not possess full knowledge of, only to have them "play dumb" {when you know they are fully in the know} or flat out ignore you?  Better yet, have that person throw you under the bus by giving you bogus info all together?

Does this come from the dog eat dog mentality so common in our world today?  Perhaps.  I am not sure. I started to ponder this when I realized my freshman son was failing all his classes.  What did he need?  Does he have an impairment?  A Learning Disability gone unnoticed?  Not in this case.  He was lacking direction, motivation, organization.  

Take Taylor my 19 year old currently in Rehab.  He is being sent out from 8am to 5pm each day on "JOB SEARCH".  Oh, wow.  They make it sound so "glamorous".  He has no car, no bus money, no high school diploma and has no clue where he is.  Don't you think a little guidance would be helpful?  

All he wants is direction, encouragement, motivation.  Knowledge.  He just needs the knowledge on how to accomplish the task at hand.  Yet, where are the people who can help him?  They are right in front of him, hoarding their knowledge.  He asks and is told to "figure it out".  Granted this can be useful in some situations, but not all.  Giving someone a hand up - could it really hurt?

So often we as adults think we have all the answers and find it easy to "preach" to others.  Not stopping to think that this may have a tendency to make others feel "less than".  There is a fine art to "teaching" someone something and having them walk away feeling like they just gained useful information.  

I have asked people in my field questions about their craft.  I figure if I want to know I had better ask.  I have not been met with great enthusiasm.  Some ignore my inquiry.  Others tell me they charge money to divulge such information.  Baffling.  The way I see it, I am blessed to know what I know and it is my obligation to share my knowledge with anyone who asks.  I feel if I share then perhaps it will come around and I may gain at some point some useful information that I do not know now.  

Sometimes our minds grow quiet.  Like lemonade made from good old powder.  It tastes fine but fresh squeezed is so much better.  When I have someone come to me who is thirsting for some fresh squeezed I am happy to roll up my sleeves and deliver...are you?

I challenge you to look for the opportunity to "hold someone's hand".  Guide them.  Give them a hand up.  After all - knowledge is free.  

Roll up your sleeves and deliver some fresh squeezed inspiration to someone who is thirsty!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Simplify. Period.

Simplify.  Period.

I am in my simple phase.  I want to simplify my life.  I have been on a cleaning bender while my husband has been out of town.  I have been cleaning closets, filing papers, throwing out junk and donating.  I want simplicity.  Streamlined Organization is my dream.  I keep thinking of the people in Africa and how they live so...simply.  Not us Americans!  We have SO much junk.  Overabundance is commonplace here.  Well...not for this family.  I am no Martha Stewart {wish I was} but I do indulge in the fantasy of a perfectly tidy home.  I envision neat color coordinated bins with all our stuff living perfectly inside.  I want to wake up to my home looking like one of those cute little cottages you only find in a magazine.  You know the ones that have no humans under the age of 40 occupying them!

I am a simple girl.  I live in my rainbow sandals and love comfortable soft fabrics.  My dress is casual, as is our home.  Beachy Keen is our theme.  Soft blues and greens and shades of sand, comfy fluffy pillows and dreamy soft blankets.  I am all about comfort.  Lately my kids "junk" has been swallowing up our lil 900 sq ft of space that we now call home.  Try as I might to file things in their little bins, things keep finding their way out and littering my space.  I am reaching the point of no return and have threatened to just pitch things.  Our new rule is:  If I find it on the floor - it's gone forever!{well not forever ever...but don't tell them that}

My goal is to be all "simplified" before Thanksgiving hits.  Wish me luck.  My kids {and hubby} like to hold on to some of the most random stuff.  My hubby is a box keeper.  He keeps the boxes to everything {as if we will EVER put them back in the box they came in}.  Well, while he has been away - I have done gone crazy clearing out all the unwanted cardboard.  WOW!  I have reclaimed some much needed closet shelving!  Yipeee!  Wonder if he will even notice?  Perhaps not.

Maybe my paranoia has developed from laying in bed alone into the wee hours and watching "Hoarders".  What a trip!  I just can not bear the thought of massive amounts of stuff taking over my living space.  Ewwww.  More creepy than the show "Sister Wives"...don't even get me started on THAT.  Anyway, back to the topic.  I found this great site called Zen Habits.  Their motto is "smile, breathe, go slowly."  Works for me.  Check out the25 Ways To Simplify Your Life With Kids.

I love a bunch of them but especially love #25.  

Focus on doing, not on spending. Too often we send messages to our kids about how to live life, based on what we do: we like to go shopping, and eat out, and go to the movies, and so our kids learn that having fun means spending money. We focus on material things, and therefore so do they. Instead, teach them (by talking but also by your actions) that what’s important is doing stuff, not buying stuff. Go for walks in the park, play outdoors, play board games, read, tell stories, play charades, cook and clean, go to the beach or lake, build stuff, wash the car. Spend quality time together, doing stuff that doesn’t cost money.

AMEN!  Tomorrow we are doing just that.  Taylor is coming for a home visit and given the nature of his last visit - I told him he had to be of assistance to me.  SO, he is helping me tackle the mountain of laundry and cleaning the bathrooms tomorrow!  Yea!  Turner and Trevan enjoy their chores {surprise} so we will kick off the day with cleaning and scrubbing everything that I have not gotten to.  I have a new love, the Clorox Handi Wipes.  Can't clean enough with my reusable cloth heavy wipes.  Bye Bye dish rags and sponges!  See, I am easy to please!  At a buck sixty nine, you can't go wrong.  Simple pleasures... gotta love them.
Well, it has been a long day and I have bored you enough with my ranting...I have cleaning to do tomorrow.  Off to bed now {I will forgo "Hoarders"} don't want to have nightmares!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Forever Sunshine

Taylor October 2010

My hubby has been in Big Bear for the better part of 2 weeks.  I now know what it is like to be a "single" parent - going it alone!  {not really - but kinda}
We have been chugging along with Soccer, Groceries, School, Laundry, Errands and the like.  We are no worse for the wear.  We have had some laughs - as my boys continue to crack me up day after day.
Yesterday Turner says  "How much money does your wallet hold?" I said, "Well, as much as I have to put in it." He replies "Well Mom, you NEVER have ANY cash, so I guess you just have a wallet so that OTHER people think you have some!"

We go from having fruity pebbles spilled all over the kitchen to mommy rolling on the floor laughing!  Before bed the other night Turner said " You are the most beautiful mom in the whole "white" galaxy." "I love you more than anything in the whole world".  I want to cherish these precious moments and burn them into my memory forever. ♥

I wish I could have "forever sunshine."  I use to sing "you are my sunshine" to my Taylor when he was little.  He use to say "sing to me mama...sing me "forever sunshine".  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I am glad to report that he is doing well at the Cooper Fellowship.  Today Trenton, Turner, Trevan and I went to see him and take him lunch.

I came home to get ready to go do a photo session for The Lopez Family.  It has been fun watching the girls grow up the past several years.  Here is a shot of Alexa...only 9 years old!!  Boy...they grow fast!

I am happy that the boys have one more week on school break.  We have plans to go Whale Watching this week and then Kids Small Groups start up on Wednesday.  The boys and I are excited for that to begin!

Stace should be home tomorrow or Tuesday then my Jeep will get new tires!!  I SO need them.  I nearly spun out on the freeway in the rain the other day!  I like excitement - but not that kind!

Until later...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Long time . . . no blog.

Whew!  Finally some cooler weather!  I hope FALL is finally here to stay!  I love California but have grown tired of sweating in our lil apartment!  Being closer to the ocean our units are not equipped with central air or heat.  So, we roast like little piggies at night!

It has been weeks since I have had a moment to update my blog.  Each time I sit down to do so, the phone rings, someone comes to the door, or one of my boys has decided to "accidentally tie his brother to his bedpost and needs help freeing him".  

In the past weeks, Taylor was granted another try at Rehab and has been in the Cooper Fellowship since September 24th.  He is being let out tomorrow on "job search".  He is expected to find a job {without a car} within a reasonable distance to the rehab. We'll see how this goes... most businesses around there are commercial or require that you speak another language besides English.  Last I checked Taylor was not fluent in Vietnamese.

He was able to come home today for a "home visit".  Needless to say it was a bit stressful on me and the little guys.  After being in jail for nearly 2 months Taylor was glad to be home and jumped in like he had never been away.  He was anxious to get a hold of his CD player, raid the fridge and rifle thru the closet looking for his favorite old Tee Shirt.  I did not expect anything different, as this is still his "home".  Always will be.  He chose however to call a "friend" and virtually disappear most of the day.  My anxiety level went thru the roof.  You can't blame me.  We have had years of unpredictable behavior and my mind just ... "goes there".  

Lil Trevan was also a nervous wreck.  He went to the window and watched to see when and if his big brother was coming back, and in what state of mind.  He came back about an hour before I needed to take him back to his rehab.  I could not tell what if anything he had been doing.  As he came in the door he slipped on the wood floor as it was raining.  He went sailing and Trevan fearing he was drunk started to cry and got very upset.  

He disappeared into the bathroom and then I discovered that he helped himself to something that did not belong to him.  I confronted him and he was not happy.

We had words and his anger boiled over like old times.  I could tell we were not getting anywhere so I pointed to the door and told him it was time to go.  We drove to the rehab in silence, my stomach in knots.  Stace left to work in Big Bear again this week so I was thankful that my mom had dropped over and went with me.  Upon his departure I told him I was sad and that he would not be allowed home again for a visit.  We would instead go someplace or do something.  He was angry and expressed his displeasure by slamming my car door - VERY hard.  

I cried most of the way home.  This is not the progress that I had hoped for.

"Let go.  Let God handle it."  I had to keep telling myself.  "You are not in charge here..."  

So, tomorrow is another day.  One day at a time.  This is all I can handle.  Can't change the past nor control the future.

The little guys are still on break, so we may venture out to the pumpkin farm tomorrow.  Since I have written last I have had several photo shoots, gone to Santa Barbara, had a friend in from out of town, been to the wedding of our nephew, and driven back and forth to Taylor's rehab many times.

With Stace gone this week I will need to get Trenton to and from school, find a way to get some food to feed these boys with $34.87 in the bank, clean the house, figure out a way to do some laundry without money on the laundry card, pray my car does not decide to go ker-plunk this week, take Trevan to Soccer, get Taylor to the doctor, make goodie bags and have a Birthday Party for the boys all before Friday!  Whew!  At least tomorrow is just Tuesday!  I still have a few days to get it all done!

Just thinking of all I have ahead of me, makes me tired.  I think I will turn in now.  Hey!  At least I get the bed all to myself tonight {sorry Stace}!  It is SO nice to spread out and hog the WHOLE bed!  No fighting for the covers or covering my ears while he saws logs!  Gotta find the simple pleasures in each day {or night}!  LOL!

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Murphy's Law

When life turns crappy - eat Cupcakes!

I use to scoff and laugh at people who talked about "Murphy's Law".  I thought it to be a joke.  Never laugh at such things...You would know - Murphy's Law has decided to take up residency on my doorstep.  

{Murphy's law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong"...} 

I was thrilled a week ago to find out my husband would be going out of town to work.  I immediately had visions of grandeur.  I envisioned nights filled with me taking charge of the remote - controlling the T.V. watching whatever struck my fancy!  Evenings of going to bed when I wanted and running the house MY way.  I dreamed of sleeping all night long in a bed all to my lonesome.  I was going to cook foods that he does not like and maybe even eat dessert first!  I was going to leave dishes in the sink, let the water run when I brushed my teeth and hit the snooze button as much as I wanted!  It was going to be SO much fun!

Shame on me.  

He had just left when I pulled into the kids school to notice white smoke neatly curling out from under my hood.  Strangers drove by rolling their windows down to tell me "Your car is on fire!!"  I got the kids out and called my husband who was on his way to Big Bear.  I frantically told him he HAD to come figure out the problem as he could not possibly leave me without a car for a week!  I was now late to school and was to work in the classroom.  Fine start to the day.

He came and fixed the leaking power steering hose and then got a late start up the mountain {sorry dear}.  I proceed on with the days events which included a run to the store for dinner ingredients, coaching Trevan's Soccer Practice and going to the Post Office.  At 11:00pm I was elated at the thought of dropping into bed tired.

I had just pulled the covers over me as I heard the most terrible coughing coming from the kids room.  I went in to find Trevan having the worst Asthma Attack he had ever had.  He started gasping and choking then throwing up.  He soon passed out.  I threw clothes on, called my mom and got him to the E.R.  I was there until 3:00am.  My son had a bad case of the Croup.  


I had to get to Court the next morning at 8:00am - to be there for Taylor's Sentencing for a Probation Violation. 
{ here was good old Murphy's Law again }

Exhausted, I came home to sleep a handful of hours then woke up to the dilemma of "what now?".  I had no one to care for Trevan as my mom had taken a temp job for this week.  I was forced to keep Trenton home to watch him as I went to Court.  {Murphy's Law}

I got to the Courthouse to find that the Public Defender had not gotten a call from the Rehab.  She told me to return at 1:30pm and the judge would see Taylor then.  I returned home to call the doctor to have Trevan seen only to be told that the doctor would not be in until Friday!  {Murphy's Law}  

I went back to the Courthouse yet again, only to sit through a heartbreaking 2 hours.  The Judge was not pleased that he had to return to Court after lunch and had decided to throw the book at Taylor.  He said he wanted to just give him jail time in lieu of allowing him to return to Rehab.  I was so emotionally and physically drained that I wanted to just run away!

So much for my "fun".  I spent the next days caring for not only one sick boy, but two.  Turner woke up that morning with the Croup too.  {Murphy's Law strikes again!}  Friday rolled in with no pomp nor circumstance.  Yes, it was indeed the 22nd Anniversary of my Marriage - or "Marital Confinement" as I have come to know it.  My husband was still on a mountain working.  No love letter, no flowers, no nice dinner by candlelight, nada...nothing.  Zip, zilch. 

In the days since, we have muddled along with our new school routine.  Boys back in school, we just have to do breathing treatments and inhalers plus meds at night.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I work in the classrooms.  Tuesday and Thursdays we have Soccer Practice.  Saturday is Game Day, Sunday is "Go See Taylor Day".  Next week we will start back to Kids Small Groups at Church where the kids go to Class and Trenton and I serve on Wednesday nights.  Chugging along like the lil engine that could...I think I can, I think I can... I try to smile and be thankful for each day.

If only good ol' Murphy would take his "Law" and move on...last night the "check engine light" came on in my car and today Stace's truck just stopped working... what next?  Or do I dare ask?

A bit frazzled today, I decided to make some gourmet cookies.  I got all the items I thought I needed only to come home and find I forgot the SUGAR...{Murphy's Law strikes again...darn it!}

So, now here I sit.  Ready to dawn my pajamas at 4:15pm.  I have meat marinating for dinner and am praying I will find the energy to cook it.  No cookie baking tonight.  I sure wish I had a darn cupcake to eat right about now!  


Thursday, September 2, 2010

And...We're Off!

My lil ones have been back to school for a month yet are still enjoying the busy days of what is left of Summer.  Birthday Parties with Snow Cones, Cupcakes, Bouncy Houses and Water Balloon Fights are sandwiched into our busy afternoons filled with Homework, Photo Shoots and Soccer Practice.  I manage to slip in a load of laundry {only to find someone poured bleach into my machine ruining my clothes... but that is another story} make a trip to the store or scribble a quick letter to Taylor. 

Today though, is a milestone in my life.  My Trenton started High School.  It hit me after I rushed out the door scampering and scurrying to get 2 boys and their backpacks in the car going down my mental checklist of which kid's class I was helping in today that I did not even make a big ta-doo about it. 

Man.  What a bad mom. 

I tried to call the house to make sure he was all set - but he was in the shower.  I started in on my husband with the "Make sure he has his schedule and did he get a lock for his locker?...Oh and what backpack will he be using because if it is the one from last year make sure he takes out the items from our Africa Trip.  Also make sure he has some money for lunch and are you taking him?  Or is he walking?"  Not allowing him to get a word in edgewise. 

I hung up and quickly made a mad dash for the school office to sign in as a Volunteer my mind whirring and wondering if my husband had answered any of the questions I had fired off.  With a shrug I went on with my duties willing my son to have a great first day of high school.  Hey, if he could get on fine in a third world country he can survive his first day of High School!

I am now home and have fed Trevan lunch, fired off a letter to the Kindergarten Class about the upcoming PTA Fundraiser, answered emails, gone back to get Turner from school, got him a snack and am now ready to tackle this week's final round of homework with two very UN-willing students.  All while waiting for my new High School Student to come home and tell me about his day. 

In the course of attempting to write this I had 2 phone calls.  One an annoying telemarketer and the other from my first born.  He sounded cheery although I had to strain to hear him and plug my free ear during our conversation.  He sounds like he is talking through an old tin can.  He informed me that he has 13 days of confinement left and was hoping I had good news on where he would go next.  Sadly I do not have any answers for him as his Public Defender is a very busy and hard to reach woman.  He ended by telling me that he loved me which is music to my ears.  It has been a long time since I could carry on a clear headed conversation with my boy, one that is not clouded with drugs and alcohol.  Such a wonderful feeling - one that I hope will continue.

It is September.  I can't believe our Summer is gone.  My long awaited Mission Trip behind me.  My kids all back to school.  My days will now be filled with driving kids to and from school, working in the classroom, field trips, room mom duties, after school play dates, Soccer Practice on Tuesdays, teaching Kids Small Groups on Wednesday nights and who knows what else!  My calendar is definitely full!

I love my boys.  I just have to be careful not to lose my self in this process of bringing them from childhood to adulthood.  If anyone has nailed this - let me know!