Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 reflections

This is my 2013 family photograph.

Just took a deep breath looking at it.

I love these people so very much.

Our families.  Our greatest joy.  Our greatest pain.  

God has been so good to us.  Our lives have been so hard, but He has been so great.  I can't say one without saying the other.

I admit when I think about 2014… part of me wants to crawl in a hole.  I feel like every year I have a fresh start on life, and then after awhile it just gets all muddled up again.  Yes, God is so good and He has carried us through each rough day.  But, I am tired of rough days.  There I said it.  I am tired.  So, so tired.

Honestly, in the past month with the photography season slowing to a crawl, I have been just exhausted, physically.  Then with Z's drama heating up and coming to a head.  Mentally shot me.  Kiahna's daily needs don't take a day off.  Add Christmas to the mix.  I just want to sit, light candles and stare into them.  Which I have in fact done most evenings this past month.  

I had two weddings booked for 2014, both of them have decided to post pone them to unset dates in the future.  Another photographer continues to show up at the school sporting events seemingly taking over my position I have enjoyed there.  I wonder if my season for photography is ending?  I wonder what would happen if God closed that door?  

I am a horrible blogger for my business, and one of my goals is to catch up and blog all of 2013 before spring break.  I blogged a wedding last night, and my heart was just so happy seeing those photos again.  It gave me some hope that I might not be losing my love for photography after all.

Here is a link if you wanted to take a look:  Moments… by Pam Photography blog

I look forward to many things in 2014… I am glad to brush the dust of 2013 off my feet… although much of the dust seems it will carry into 2014… 

2014… my oldest will get married.  Graduate from college.  Get a job  Begin a home of his own with the love of his life.  I'll become a mother-in-law.  I'll have my 3rd senior in high school.  I'll help my sister with her first child's high school graduation.  I'll redirect my daughter 100's of times each day.  I'll take her to her weekly appointments.  Try to make the best choices that I can for her future.  I'll try to figure out how to help without enabling Z in his choices.

No great, amazing news on Z.  His consequences have stopped his actions.  He says he is trying to change.  My standards are pretty high.  Trying to be encouraged and not frustrated.  Trying to keep my focus on God and not on the kid & all I hope for him.

I need a fresh dose of hope for 2014.  

I need the prayers of those that love us.

In His Grip,


Friday, December 27, 2013


We have had a wonderful Christmas.

Not perfect for sure.

But wonderful anyway.

Feeling the prayers of those who love and support us.

A few photos:

Our house before our Christmas meal at home:

Our living room before we opened gifts, with our little gift model in the midst… 

The letters I wrote to my kids for Christmas.

Playing with the camera and taking some random shots around the house…

Our Tree

Our table close up

Our Christmas Card

Love this I got at Meijer this season.

All my kids in front of the tree.  Last year none of them will be married at Christmas. 

Jadon opening a gift

My gift from one of my kids

Kiahna happy!

Always up for a goofy picture from James.


Leah reading my letter to her

Z reading my letter to him.

K and her new doll

Now we switch to our Christmas at my parents:  Leah with two of her cousins, Livia & Kaitlin

Livia and Z

Uncle Ben smashing Livia and Z.

K & Addison

Benjamin, Quinn & Jadon

Lucas getting a pet rock from Brandon.

James gets Legos, (not really, i got my gift in a lego box too!)

Giving each other matching shirts, Z & Koty

Brookelyn opening a sign I got her.

James & Brookelyn, (JUST 6 months til the wedding!)

Goofy gift opening by Leah

More goofy

And still more goofy

And… food… lots & lots of food…

In His Grip,


Friday, December 20, 2013


Just a lot of sentences that are running through my head.

I need to clean this house today and prepare for two weeks of kids being home.  I need to prepare for two weeks of kids being home.  Yikes.  My kids are going to be all on me for two weeks.  Zach's going to start a job.  I am going to have to drive him.  James came home yesterday.  I wonder how the two oldest boys are going to get along.   I am thinking and reading a lot about what Phil Robinson said and how he said it and what the media is doing with it and how we as Christians should be responding.  Not sure we are responding correctly.  I don't agree with everything he said.  I hate controversy. I bought the Duck Dynasty videos & Christmas album before all this broke out.  I have gifts to wrap.  Leah wrapped most of them.  So glad she likes to wrap.  I hate to wrap.  It hurts my back.  We missed the trash yesterday.  Not a good week to miss the trash.  Our road is a disaster.  I wish that the snow wouldn't have melted.  My basement is going to get wet.  It's just a matter of how much and how wet.  We have our first family Christmas tonight.  This will be our first Christmas without our Grandma Ringger.  There wasn't going to be a gathering, but thankfully some cousins stepped up and planned it.  I love my family.   I need a shower.  Lucas cut ten seconds off his 100 meter breaststroke race last night.  I got to the swim meet with my camera and the battery was dead.  I haven't had my camera out since Thanksgiving weekend.  I have needed the break from my camera.  I am afraid of Z messing up again.  I am blessed beyond measure.

In His Grip.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Court today.

I have to say, today went pretty good, considering.

Like I said last night, this morning as I was getting ready this morning for court, I had to think how thankful I am that I am getting ready for court and not for the funeral home.

On a side note, not sure why I thought people dressed up for court, I could have went in my pajamas for some of what I saw there today!

I learned a lot of things about how our court system works, things I never really needed to know.

The prosecuting attorney in our county has kids who go to my kids school.  He had a daughter who graduated with Z last year.  He knows our family.  He was very good to Z.

Z has his chance to get things together, if he doesn't, next time it will not be pretty.

He has probation for a year, a suspended license for 30 days, and then limited for 180 days (he can drive to work, probation & counseling).

He will have to do some alcohol education classes.

No fine, no jail.

The thing that bothered me the most about it all, one of the guys with him had broken probation by getting arrested again.  He did not get more jail time.  That upsets me.  Set the standard to make Z think it's not as sever.  I can say right now that if I am ever in a plea bargain with Z again, and he broke probation.  He will go to jail if I have anything to say about it.  Just irritates me.  Why do we have laws and tell kids this is what will happen and then we don't follow through.  No wonder they don't respect authority.

When I left the court house after we set up his probation, I was feeling really relieved.  I was smiling and happy at the store.  Didn't realize how far down this had me pulled until then.

I felt the prayers.  I must trust God has this still.  I can't fear the future and the mistakes he could still make.  I must trust.

Thanks again for all the prayers.

Who wants to drive Z in to work at 7 every morning for me for the next 30 days… sigh…

In His Grip,


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just so tired.

I am so tired.

I think that every night.  And some afternoons too.

Today especially, I feel like it's all catching up with me.  I am just exhausted.

Court is at 8:15 tomorrow morning.  Pretty much know what the sentencing is going to be.

Z did his drug test for the job today.  And he passed it.

So, he should start work on Monday.

Too bad he won't be able to drive himself.


Kiahna has been really struggling.  Her behaviors have been worse.

Probably because i am stressed and not able to deal with her like she requires.

After she refused to cooperate in the dentist chair today.

Throwing a fit, telling me for the 10 millionth time what an awful mother I am and how she wishes I never would have gotten her.

Bite tongue hard here.

The grace to go on.

To enjoy the season.

Could be worse, at least his name wasn't in the obituary.

In His Grip,


Monday, December 16, 2013


It didn't shock me.

I was shaking as I fumbled in my half asleep state to find my son Z's social security number in at 1:30 Saturday morning.

He was calling from jail.

OWI. Underage drinking.  Endangering.  High BAC.  4 charges.

Car impounded.

May this be the wake up call that is absolutely necessary.

May this bring the repentance we have been praying for.

Hearing is Thursday.

Selling his lap top to cover the bail money.

Drug test tomorrow for job.

Says he is done drinking and wants to change.

Went to church.  Hanging out with church friends.

Gotta start somewhere.

Hope this is the bottom of the pit.

Please pray.

In His Grip,


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Needing some hope.

I feel like my peaceful home has been invaded.

I am praying for God's love to flow through me to this situation.

I have no love of my own to give.  I don't even have a little bit of like.

He may be my son, but I am struggling to find anything positive to think or say right now.

We need a miracle.



Afraid I am going to have to do hard things.  Endure hard things.  Witness hard things.  Say hard things.

I am so deeply saddened.

I pray he gets started on a job next week & things get better.

I pray for quick realization of the truth.

I pray that the consequences of his choices right now are not so incredibly awful that they destroy our entire foundation and rip our family to shreds.

Yes.  It's that bad.

Please pray for my son, Z.  For our family.  For protection.  For wisdom & courage to know what to do.  For hope.  For healing.  For miracles.

Not to mention the mental capabilities of dealing with the rest of them.

Kiahna has an IEP meeting Monday, and I don't even know what to ask them to do for her.  So discouraged by the recent reports.

In His Grip,


Monday, December 9, 2013

The Struggle.

It's been over a week since I've sat down to write.

This morning I read this:
"You can stand around a Christmas tree with a family like Joseph's, with cheaters and beaters and deceivers, with a family like Jacob's  who ran away and ran around and ran folks down.  But out of a family line that looks like a mess, God brings the Messiah.  What was intended to harm, God intended all of it for good, and no matter what intends to harm you, God's arms have you.  You can never be undone."  --Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift, December 9.
I struggle to believe the truth in that.  Struggle as I feel the sting of betrayal, lies, accusations, robbery, deceit.  Struggle as I am falsely accused.  Struggle as I see my kids be torn, hurt, and face very hard realities.  Struggle as I see the reality of reports on papers.  Struggle for my own sanity.  Struggle for words.

I know.  Know. KNOW.  God has made a way.  I know I have been faithful to the best of my ability, with the grace of God.  A heart that desires to please, even if I have made so many mistakes along the way.  God is making good out of this mess.  I must believe it.

I am finding myself really enjoying the beauty of the season.  Relaxing more, getting my work caught up & feeling less stress in that area of my life.  Although it doesn't pay the bills.  But, God always finds a way.

There is much going on here.  Much of it is very very ugly & unmentionable.

But, there is beauty here too.  Beauty in the little girl sitting at my feet playing with her dolls… even if she can't seem to make a friend.  And she will probably be angry at me in a few minutes.

Beauty in the struggling son, who even though his words say he doesn't trust me, his actions say he does.  And he may not be able to pass the tests that are required for the job he is waiting on.

Beauty in knowing deep, deep, deep in my heart that I have a Savior who loves my children so much more than I do.  That I have not been able to be everything to them.  But, I wasn't supposed to be.  But HE fills the gaps.  His grace & mercy are enough.

I will continue to pray in the darkness of life.

Jesus is my only Light.

In His Grip,


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hard day.

Today has been hard.

Hard to see my son in this much pain.

I wept for him.

I pray for peace for him.

I pray this isn't setting him back too much.

I pray he is broken soon.


In His Grip,