Friday, January 31, 2014

January Instagram

Copied this idea from my friend Sarah 

January Instagrams...

Began the year at Pokagon with my family... played games, ate & it snowed...

Came home... it snowed.

Played more games, ate more food, got snowed in...

The sunrises with the snow refection is incredible...

Spent more time with family... ate more food...

And it snowed...

Took a few outdoor snowy snow sessions, 3 seniors guys, 2 families...

Celebrated Leah's birthday with family...

Read books.

Got a free peppermint mocha, when someone paid it forward at the Shaka Shack...

And it snowed.

Ran a promo for my photography business...

Visited the Shaka Shack again... used a gift card this time!

Watched Adams Central beat Bluffton in boys basketball from home, after Kiahna threw a tantrum at the game & we had to leave.

Played more games on days off of school because... it was cold.

Kiahna's car during life, she landed on the square where she had to pay $50,000 per child for college... then she ended the game without paying off her college loans & not enough money to do so... too realistic!

They got along, I took a picture, so it would last longer...

We ate more food.  Being snowed in made me want to eat things made of flour & sugar... like these banana pancakes... got the recipe off pinterest, couldn't waste those rotting bananas on the counter!

Braided hair.

Missed more school... more snow... record colds...

Set up a photo studio in my living room.

Record colds.  Record snows.  Good times.  Good food.  Family.  Provision.  Love.

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I have added a reminder to my phone to write.

I really feel like I am missing out on something I really need to have in my life when I don't take the time to sit & write something.  Might not always be here, might be in my journal, might be both.  But, I think it's good for me to write.  Thanks for those who read.  Not going to focus on my audience.  Going to focus on doing what I feel I need to do.

A follow up for those who read my post from a couple days ago.  I did talk to the probation officer about Z.  Had a good long conversation with her.  As I told her what I had found on Z's phone,  she documented it.  But, because I hadn't actually seen the incident with my eyes there wasn't much that could be done about it.  She asked if I wanted her to talk to Z about it.  We came to the conclusion as we talked and processed it that maybe it was best to see if Z isn't figuring out on his own that that wasn't such a great decision to contact that person again.  Some of the events that happened after the fact (when I didn't even know the truth of the matter) make me hopefully that when he saw this person again, he may have just seen things in a different light.  Oh, I hope and pray that that is true.

I understand the reality of the situation, I can do everything I can to enforce his probation & keep him accountable, but if he chooses to return to the dog vomit... (yes, I said that) life then, he will.  I pray he is seeing the truth.  That God is revealing.  That the Saving Grace is excepted very soon.

We have hopes to go to watch James run tomorrow... We also have an ice storm in our forecast.

Thanks for all the kind words about James & Brookelyn's engagement photos.

Today I am going to get a massage, have a photo shoot with a 6 month old, get the bills paid, work on cleaning up the Christmas stuff & getting it packed away... who knows when the next day the kids will be in school will be...

Still working on my 1000 Gifts list...

* God's financial provision each & every bill.

* Woodburner & full propane tank.

* Bubble baths

* Good neighbors with tractors that clear our lane out every time it snows.

* Softening of hard hearts... even if it's just a little bit softer.

* Two days in a row of school on time!

*  Spring Break plane tickets!!!!!!!

In His Grip,


Thursday, January 30, 2014

My son's engagement photos

I blogged my son's engagement sessions on my photography blog yesterday:

James & Brookelyn's Engagement Sessions

We did four sessions one in each season of the year,  they were more and more comfortable each time we went out...

I've been asked over and over if I am going to be the photographer for their wedding, I am NOT.  I have hired the very capable Jenna Stoller to take care of the photography for the day & I am really excited to be on the other side of the camera that day & enjoy my family.

I am very happy for these two.  They are really amazing.  Such huge blessings to our family & our lives.

They will both graduate from Bethel College on May 3.  Brookelyn with a nursing degree & James with a degree in social science.  He is still on track with the Indiana State Police Academy & is planning to attend there after the wedding.

Her family is from Greentown.  (with roots in Bluffton, and with our church, so bizarre how that works)  They are planning their wedding in Kokomo, and it will be an outdoor ceremony on the lawn of the reception hall if all goes as planned.  The back up is inside the reception hall.

Brookelyn is a star softball player for Bethel & James is still on the track team.  A captain this year.  Just so amazing.

Another pretty awesome thing, is that when he & two of his best friends went to Bethel, roomed together (2 of them all 4 years)

This is from their senior year of high school track banquet.

At one of the indoor track meets at Bethel.

Now they are all three set to graduate.  All three met great girls at Bethel.  All three engaged.  All three in each other's weddings this summer/fall...  Just pretty amazing.

Sad thing for me is that this all is hard for Z to live in the shadow of.  And believe me he lives there.  By his own doing of course.  Telling me all the time how I want him to be like James.  (not so much lately, but it's not fully resolved in my head)

James has asked Z to be his best man.  Which I think did a lot for Z's confidence.  As Z's life was spinning out of control a few months ago, James wondered if he shouldn't reconsider his choice.  I asked him to wait it out, he has and he hasn't changed it.

Biggest anxiety for me when I think of the wedding, is what will happen with the Ex & his family.  James has them all invited.  I really don't wish to share the day with them.  Right or wrong.  It's the way I feel about it.  I will put my feelings aside and do what James wishes and I will be polite.  And I will help my kids put their lives back together after they deal with him again that day.

Never had to be this way.  Makes me so sad.

In His Grip,


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back to school... back to school...

I will be ready for the kids to go back to school today.  Don't get me wrong, the time off has been good.  Had some stressful moments, as life does, but it's been good.  I just want to get something done besides playing Life, cooking & eating!!  :)

I really have loved the breaks.  Our house has been warm for the most part.  Owning a wood burner is the best thing.  Usually heats our whole house, in these temps the furnace was running at night though.  PLUS, with a woods on the west side, in this weather pattern that protected us so much too.

Hoping they go back to school today, at least get a few days in before the next system hits!  We really will be in shock when we actually go to school on time one of these days.

The paperwork was finally processed through the state for Z to get his restricted driver's license.  I took him yesterday to get it, and he drove himself to work this morning for the first time.

And... I read some stuff on his phone last night that told me some information that I am going to have to call his probation officer about.  I confronted him.  He was mad.  Said I disrespected HIM for looking at his phone.

I love how when we do the wrong things we look for reason's to turn our sin around and blame someone else.  I deal with this mindset every time I deal with my ex.  (which thankfully isn't that often).

I really need wisdom in how to live with an adult child in your home.  An adult child who is on probation.  I guess in my mind his choices have limited my ability to be able to treat him the way I wish I could treat him.  I wish he wasn't living here & having to take on all these adult responsibilities.  My choice for him was that he was in college, living a few more years of being a "kid" in so many ways.

Instead I have to treat him differently than I would choose.  Based on his choices not mine.

Is it wrong to pick up his phone, when it's laying on my counter, and browse the messages when he is living in my home, under probation, making questionable friendships with random people I don't know?  Is it disrespecting him?  Or is it accountability?  Is it responsible parenting?

I admit that I very well could be doing this all wrong.  I have never had a child on probation.  I have never had a child drop out of school & live in my house after high school like this.  Like any other new territory of parenting, I am bound to be making mistakes and looking back at it all & saying, that didn't work out so well.

I have told Z that if he breaks his probation I will call it in.  If he breaks it for 10 minutes, hours or days... If I say I will call it in and I don't.  What does that make me?  A liar.  A push over.  Not someone who is going to be liked very much if I do it.  But if I don't do it, will he repeat the pattern.

In my conversation with the probation attorney, he agreed with me that I would need to turn him in the first time and every time.  His comment was that it's like a dog, if you let him pee on the floor 5 times and then punish him the 5th time for it, he is going to pee on the floor again.

I hate this.

Praying for wisdom.

My parents made it back from their vacation Saturday night.  We were glad that the flights went and the weather cooperated.  At least I have them to bounce these things off of.

Thanks for prayers, always.

In His Grip,


Monday, January 27, 2014

Another snow day...

I may have giggled just a little bit as Z was picked up from work this morning... His journey into the grown up world has been nothing pretty to watch.  I wonder how long he will keep wallowing in the mud before he decides there is a better way?  God's making Himself very clear to me... I have to think He's doing the same for Z, Z just isn't responding very much (at least from my perspective).

My parents flew in last evening.  No flight issues due to the weather.  We all journeyed out of our homes to their house for the evening (which meant we were all there waiting for them when they got home)  It was so good to see them home again!  I was a little nervous about their travels home in the weather.

As I visited with my three sisters last night, we all concluded that we don't mind this weather at all... feels like a defective gene when you compare to the majority of the world.  Made me love my family even more, and wonder what it is that makes us feel this way?

Perhaps it's how we were raised?  Having good & pleasant childhood memories of snow days playing together & enjoying the family time.  Maybe it's the attitude of our parents who I never remember complaining about the weather.  Who knows what it is.

I do know this.  I like it when the weather behaves like it's supposed to.  I like it snowy on Christmas and warm on the 4th of July.  I love the seasons.  I love living in Indiana, and vacationing in Florida.  I lived in Texas where it was blistering hot in the summertime... not for me that's for sure.  You will more likely find this girl complaining when she's hot than when she's cold.

Like the other night, when we went to the swim meet.  My thought was that since the temperatures were ranging in the below zero zone it wouldn't be that warm inside the pool area.  My head was wet with sweat & I had to go to the hall to cool down a few times... seriously.  I just about peeled off my knee socks & boots and went barefoot around the pool.

If I hadn't been photographing and just sitting, it might not have been as bad.

(my swimmer, Lucas)

We spent most of the weekend staying home.  Our church was one of the few to actually hold services yesterday, but we opted to stay put.  Enjoyed much of the day, playing games & making & eating food...

It made me giggle when Kiahna had 6 kids (two of them were adopted even) and she landed on the "pay $50,000 per child for college" spot.  And she ended the game with not even enough money to pay off her own college loans.  Feeling a little more real than game!  I ended with over 2 million, what's up with that!

Baking and creating food with flour and sugar seem to be what we crave on these snow days!  Banana pancakes were a hit yesterday morning!  We had 5 rotting bananas on the counter, whats a snowed in mom to do!  I see another recipe on the schedule today!  What to make is the question!  

We also have spent some time working on braids... the never ending project.  She has taken to putting them in her mouth & using them to tickle her nose, much like she used to do with her blanket when she was younger.  I have had to stop putting beads in because of her constant pulling them out.  I have told her that if she keeps doing it, I will have to do a different style on her hair so it can't reach her mouth.  

So here's to winter.

All it's beauty.  Slower days.  Snowy days.  Family time. Warm homes.  Good moods.  Good memories.  Thankfulness.

In His Grip,


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snowed in...

We made waffles out of refrigerated cinnamon rolls this morning... Good recipe for a cold morning!

(sent this to my dad this morning after he texted that their ship had docked, haven't heard from them all week, they thought maybe they should just stay on the boat, and I didn't think that was all that bad of an idea)

So sick of people whining and complaining about the weather.  Staying off of Social Media for awhile, it just makes me angry... and goodness knows I have enough to be angry about without the weather and people whining about it!

My parents are supposed to fly back to Indiana tomorrow, not looking too promising.  Just praying for a safe arrival.  I told them they should find a condo for another week and wait this out, not like much is going to happen here, or anyone could get to the airport to get them!

Kiahna's behaviors have escalated in the last day.  Can't pin point a reason.  Had to leave a basketball game when she quickly became overwhelmed by her cousin, who was already playing with someone when we got there, and couldn't process all three of them playing together.  As I tried to get her out of the area to calm her, it just went from bad to worse, before we left and she went home to bed.  This morning she's been struggling to be nice & not angry about everything.

(K, Working nicely on a book at the moment of writing this)

Z still doesn't have his drivers license back.  (limited when he does get it).  Thinking this may just be God's way of letting my dad return from vacation before we have to deal with that all... blessed.

I am okay with being snowed in for awhile... life got too crazy too fast for me... I'll take some time off and be inside, make cookies (no carb diet isn't looking too promising for the weekend)

(Jadon made snowflakes of every color this morning)

Here's to more family time, less stress, and beautiful winter snows... oh & safe flights...

In His Grip,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Blessings

One of my goals is to be, remain, become a more positive, thankful person.

For a myriad of reasons.

First being that when I was going through my divorce and the deepest pit of my life thus far, it was what saved me.  Thanking God in the midst of the worst circumstances has so much power.  I know.  I was there.

I purchased a book a year or so ago, that I really like the concept of.  I had followed a blog by the same author for years before that, reading it off and on.  Feeling jealous of the poetic flow of the words and shocked by how much I could relate.

The book is 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I am reading it for the third time.  Starting my list to 1000 for the third time.  Pledging not to let the busy life of being a single mom & business owner take over my every waking thoughts again.

This is why I love winter.  It slows me down enough to be able to think, gain perspective, see where I have strayed.

While I made these same vows last winter, and ended up still getting carried away by the pressure repeatedly.  I will make them again this year.  Most likely I will get carried away again.  But, maybe a little less... and maybe for not as long.

So, it is with that in mind, that I bring to you my thoughts on this cold winter day in Indiana... as I open up my social media sights and see post after post of negativity surrounding the weather... My heart hurts... It burns within me to write something positive & I wonder if I will be drug to the corner and stoned if I do...

This morning, I woke up to a toasty house.  I added wood to the wood burner that keeps us mostly heated even in the extreme temperatures.  I had slept in a bed that was so warm and comfortable I didn't once wake up because of the cold room.  If I had woken chilled, there is a closet filled to overflowing with extra blankets.  My coat is warm, in fact I have coats to choose from.  I also have multiple pares of gloves and hats that are just darling, if I am not afraid of musing my hair.  Hair that I fixed after taking a hot shower in a warm bathroom.  All so I can make a few steps to my vehicle which has been warming, because I have a working heater and enough gas to let it warm.  So I can sit in my warm van & drive to a warm building, spending only a few minutes out in the cold a day, if I so choose.  Driving on roads that someone has stayed up most of the night clearing ahead of me so I, and my children can drive safely and go on with our lives.

Go ahead throw stones.  If you are missing any of these things in your life, then you might be able to complain.  If you need a coat you can have my extra.  Each of my children have a couple of them too that you could use.  If your house is cold, we have extra beds and plenty of space.  If you need a ride, I can pick you up.

Maybe I am hopelessly optimistic.  That's okay.  You all know that I can write a post a lot longer than this with all the crazy things that go wrong around here... Hope you can join me for a change of perspective, leave me a comment with your thanks if you wish!

In His Grip,


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just happened.

I just found Kiahna in her room, when she was supposed to be asleep...

She painted her new bottle of lotion with my new nail polish.

And there is a bowl of chili in her drawer beside her bed.

Can't make this stuff up.

In His Grip,


Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday musing...

Quiet Monday morning with extra time, since school delayed 2 hours again... looks like we will go though, snow plow past our house, that's always a good sign that the main roads are decent because they made it to our road!

When last I posted, I was telling you about the week of things going wrong... well it continued to be interesting... and encouraging... and well... interesting.

Friday, Leah stayed after school for musical practice (both her and Lucas will be in it this year, and Z is really missing his days it).  She calls on her way home and says she ran out of gas (her who preached to me that I shouldn't let MY tank go below a quarter in the winter)... ahem...

So, she runs out in front of a farmer friend's house (and classmate of hers).  They put a couple gallons in, but it still won't start.  I drive to get her.  They keep her car there, push it in their shop hoping that it starts when it warms up.

Start driving home with her.

My. transmission. goes. out.

Leah says, "this is what my car was doing when it quit".


Why did you think it was out of gas then?

She didn't know, she just figured it must be.

Did I mention she drives my grandparents 1988.

We drive home at 30 mph.  I call my parents, who are in Florida waiting to board their cruise... tell them they are not going to believe this... we decide it's laugh or cry... we choose to laugh.

Call the dealership and check on my warranty.  Unlike the brakes, the transmission is covered and I should bring it in in the morning for a rental car until they get it fixed.

The farmer who kept Leah's car calls and says he got her car running.  I tell him what she said about the transmission.  He says he will drive it to our house for us.

He arrives and tells us it drove fine.

Huge relief.  Because if the transmission had went out on her car.  It would not be something we would pay to fix.

Saturday morning, I drive to take Jadon to basketball, and then head to the dealership to take care of my van.  Leaving extra early assuming I'll be going 30 mph.

It drives fine.


Now what?  Do I trust it?  I had thought of going to Ft Wayne Saturday night.  With a van that's transmission may or may not be slipping???

What now!

Call the dealership.  They say I can bring it in next week for a test to see if there is an issue.


We get ready to go to Ft Wayne, and when we are start driving, the transmission slips again, just for a second.  Not driving it that far.

We go to my parents and use their vehicle to go to Ft Wayne.  (Sorry mom and dad, glad you are floating on the Caribbean so we can use you vehicle to drive through snowstorms)

After finding amazing bargains (think $3 shirts that were $29!!) we drove home though the current snowstorm.

Thinking of writing a book on how to drive in snow storms.

Someone should do it.  And it should be a required reading and a course for all drivers to pass before driving in Indiana.

Rabbit trail here... saw a parent of a child one of my kids age (driving age) post a complaint on Facebook about people driving 30 mph in the storm this weekend.  Honestly felt like punching her in the face.  Probably wouldn't be the Christian thing to do.  :)  

Yes, I drive 30-40 mph in snow storms, and encourage others to do the same.  Because I feel safer.  And when you tail gate me or plow by me at 50-60.  Makes me feel unsafe & think bad things about you.    


Back to my van issues.

Taking it in this week to be check out, after driving my parents van and then getting back in mine, definitely something not right.

Jadon returns to the special class today that he had trouble in last week.  I tried talking to him about grace and forgiveness & God giving us strength to do hard things.  Offered to pray with him before he went to school.  His response.  "I am not going to that class today"... hum... praying...

Z should be getting his limited drivers license this week.  If the state gets the paperwork processed.  Last Saturday was actually the 30 days.  He wasn't thrilled when I told him he wasn't going to be able to get it yet.  Gave us a chance to talk to the probation department again & have a conversation where he was told that I will be reporting him to his probation officer for breaking probation.  First time.  Every time.

He needs a lot of prayer still.  While he has for sure, stopped doing the things he was doing, he really isn't moving forward into a new life with any different friends.  He is more like frozen.  Feels like he is just waiting for the sentence to be lifted so he can go back down the slippery slope again.

Really prayerful.  God's been speaking to me on that issue over and over on praying and not panicking.

Speaking of panicking.  Running a promotion on my business page for free Engagement sessions with any wedding booked with me before the end of January!  Tell your engaged friends!  It's so easy to get worried about the future of my business.  I came up with the promotion and prayed about it for awhile before posting it.  I didn't want it to be my panic of not having enough work scheduled ahead and too many bills in my mailbox, that made the decision.

The kids went to school... so I am going to get myself off to the treadmill and run some errands!

Have a good prayerful day!!

In His Grip,


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Keepin' on...

There is only so much that I can do.  I reach the end of myself every day.  I can't believe it's only Thursday, one of the longer weeks in my life.

Last night as I dealt with my angry 19 year old, and the fear began to creep in over his future.  His words were spewed to bring some sort of reaction to my heart.  Would I fear and panic or would I keep trusting God who is the only One who can really make a difference here in this heart?

As conversation continued with my ten year old over the morning's issue.  I realize there is still a heart issue there that hasn't been resolved.  I sigh in frustration.  Why can't these kids just listen to me and let go of these things?

We are all so human.  Raising kids brings out the worst and the best in all of us.  It seems like a daily decision to decide which we will let it do.

Ahh... yes.  Dying to myself daily.

Can't say that I succeed each day with letting myself be dead to my selfishness.  My desire to have things the way I want them when I want it... like for my 19 year old to grow up NOW!  Yah, that.


Praying for the grace to keep on going today.  For the love for my unlovable children.  For the peace that can not come from anywhere else than a heart that trusts God has control.  For the wisdom to say the right things, and to not say things when they aren't helpful.

My parents are leaving for a vacation today... that doesn't help my mental state.

Was so blessed this morning when I walked in to the local coffee shop and was told that the person who had been there before me had paid for a small espresso drink, if I would like it... Thank you.

Today's agenda, sort out the bills, pay the bills, go to Zumba class, get groceries, take Kiahna to OT, make dinner.  Breath more.  Pray more.  Trust more.  Find things to be thankful for.

In His Grip,


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Treading water

Bet you are just wondering what exciting things are going on over here today!!

You know it's never dull.  never.

The reason Jadon came home early from school feeling sick has been dealt with.

Took teacher phone call, school visit, and a lot of time spent with him at the school this morning while he dealt with his life.  I don't know how much to say, but just that he doesn't do well being accused of things.  He doesn't do well being accused in front of his peers.  He struggled very much in seeing what he was doing wrong.  It wasn't fun or pretty.  I hope and pray that with his amazing classroom teacher, the counselor at the school that I ended up having to ask to come in on the situation, that his anger has subsided and he can deal with the consequences and not make things worse for himself.

Last night I went to bed early.  I was feeling a little bit like I could be getting a cold and wanted to rest it away.

Leah was still up and was doing some laundry.  (Leah has suggested she would like to go out and get a job, I have suggested that she work for me and that I will keep paying her bills for her while she babysits, does laundry & helps around the house, worked out well)

Apparently, one little miss nameless little sister would like to learn to do the laundry too.  I have no idea how much laundry soap was in the washer.  I had no idea it was in there when I started a load yesterday.

Leah came and got me out of bed to tell me that she needed help.  She had tried running the machine on the clean cycle to get the excess soap out.  The entire barrel was full of suds.  We filled 3 trash cans with suds and Lucas dumped them outside.  We think that we got them all out, although the next load I ran still smells awfully strong of laundry soap.

I told the little miss that if she ever does that again I will be taking all her skirts and giving them away and buying her all blue jeans.  If you see her in anything other than a skirt you know she lost the privilege to wear the.  Hey, whatever works, if that's her thing, that's her thing.

I went to bed and tried to focus on prayers for others... my friend who is dealing with the wait for her adoption, my cousin who is holding a baby that the birth mom could still decide to take back for a few more days, my friend who is taking her son to prison for the next six years today, my friend who is sitting by her father-in-laws bedside as he waits to die.  Plenty of worse things going on today in the world than my drama.

Working on my perspective.  Working on my thankfulness.

Picked up my van and the bill today.  Wondering how God is paying this?

Z decided he was sick today and couldn't go to work.  Letting him keep learning that life isn't very much fun sometimes.  Taking him to get paperwork done to get his limited license back.  He has to pay for counseling next week that will cost him a bundle too.  Insurance on his car is more than doubled now and he has to go off my plan (thankful for that one!)  Hard expensive consequences.  Soon he will learn to go to work even if he has a tummy ache (insert sarcasm here).

The sun is shining.

Time on the treadmill today.  Still feel like I might die.  Weighed myself this morning though and it wasn't near as bad as I thought, or my scale is broken.

In His Grip,


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The list of things I am thankful for from my last post.

After you read my last post, I just wanted to take a minute and list the things that I am thankful for the past couple days.

1.  A tire place that treats me amazing.

2.  Used tires.

3.  A car repair place that treats me amazing.

4.  My brother in law who lets me use his car until mine is fixed.

5.  That Jadon really isn't sick.

6.  That the sandwich's were still good & yummy.

7.  My parent's help all the time.

8.  Leah's help.

9.  That I know that the bills for the car will be covered somehow, God hasn't left me hanging yet.

10.  Too many to mention them all.

In His Grip.


I can't make this stuff up people.

I really do try to live a quite, normal little life.  I do.  Really.

Saturday, I drove to Monroe to pick up Jadon from basketball.  (he has taken an interest in this and is totally clueless on how it works, but he wants to learn so he is trying it out)

My tire pressure light came on.

I've learned quickly that is not a good sign with this van.  It's been spot on to warning me of a looming flat tire multiple times in the six months I have owned the van.

Flat tires are a norm around here.

Driving in amish country, horses lose their shoe nails, stone roads collect the nails and deposit them into tires.  Seemingly I have a magnetic pull to find these nails and collect them in my tires multiple times in a year.

Sooo... warning light is on.  Drive to Monroe.  Check tires.  No sign of flatness.  Go into school.  Come out.  See sign of flatness.  Drive to tire place (Monroe doesn't have much but at least it can take care of my tire issues like a boss).  Attempt to put air in tire that I can now HEAR air leaking from and it's coming out faster than I can put it in.  Leave totally van with totally flat tire sit in the Tire repair shop, because they had closed for the weekend thirty minutes earlier.

To put on a spare would have required assistance on wet ground, in the cold.  Couldn't even see where the spare was, had to google it.  Found out it's in the front of the van between the drivers and passenger seat.  Great place for it to be 6 inches off the ground.  A jack would have been required to even get to the tire.  Let's just say that I hope in all my days I never have to put on that spare by myself.  I would be one miserable human being.

So, Leah picks us up and we all spend the rest of weekend piling in her 4 door car.  It's large, but for 6 people, it was a little comical.  I thought of taking a photo of us piled in there.  But wasn't sure if I wanted that memory recorded.

(blog post interrupted while I go and try to find a ride in to pick up one of my kiddos who supposedly feels like they are going to throw up.  REALLY!)

Back, with a docile (unmedicated for his ADHD because he forgot to take his pill this morning and Leah forgot to take it to the nurse when I sent it with her to give to him.)

Confused yet?

Back to my flat tire (yesterday's news)

Leah dropped me off before school Monday (first day back at regular time since before Christmas break).  I go into the tire shop, they fix my tire within the hour I am off to the fitness center to get back on the treadmill.

Come close to death on the treadmill.  Seriously.  Hasn't been THAT long has it??  uhg.

Get back in my van and the tire pressure light is on again.

Nothing looks low though.

Drive to the grocery for supplies to make sandwich's for the swim team.

I left out the fact that there is this growing grinding sound that has started.  Sounded like snow stuck up there, but now the snow is melted and it's 40 degrees.  Maybe it's dirt from our thawed stone road that is a total disaster?

Get supplies.  Go home.  Still have the light on.  Still grinding noise.

Call tire place.  Not wanting to risk driving to Ft Wayne and the swim meet and getting another flat.

They say to come in and maybe the warning light just didn't reset.

Go out to my van to drive it BACK in to Monroe.  Tire that was just fixed is flat again.

Call tire place,  They come out to my house, put air in my tire and follow me back in to Monroe.

I threw some buckets of water on the wheel (not the flat one) that was making the grinding noise hoping to wash off whatever was making that sound.  Worked for a few miles.

So.  Nail was found in the new used tire they put on that morning.  Second used tire is put on.

Go home.  Make 80 sandwiches for the swim team and my family.

Bake all the sandwiches.  Put them in the cooler to keep hot during the meet.

Drive to the meet.

Meet my parents in Ft Wayne and they take Kiahna, who wouldn't do well at a swim meet that late at night.  Jadon is home with Leah & Z.  Leah will drive Jadon to his basketball practice.  Ends up also driving Z to a friend's house.  This girl needs a prize.  She is so helpful and amazing.

Get to the meet.  It's running behind and still hasn't started.  They won't allow me to bring the cooler in the facility so it has to sit out in my van and get cold.  Ya.  Cold-hot ham and cheese.  Uhg.

Ended up being good and the kids were starved and ate every one of them.  Thankful for that.

Drove home.  Van still grinding awful.  I think it's getting worse.

Lucas asks if I can take him in to school at 7, because he wanted to try out for musical and forgot to go to the try out that was after school yesterday.  grr.

Get up and drive him in to school early.

Go back home.

Get Jadon and Kiahna up and ready for school.

Take Jadon to the bus stop.

Forget his pill.

Give his pill to Leah.  Who is running late because she is curling her hair.

Grouch at Leah for making K late for her bus to her school.

Drive in to wash my van real good underneath to see if the grinding stops.

Drive in to the treadmill and reach near death again.

Grinding hasn't stopped.

Drive to the car repair place and have them tell me my brakes are so bad it's unsafe to drive.

Call my parents and my dad comes to get me.

Call the place I bought my van to see if my extra warranty covers breaks.  It doesn't.

They don't know when my van will be done, not sure they will fit it in today.

Get home.

Mop dog foot prints off the wood floors.

I hate this weather.  Just be cold and frozen or be summer and dry please.

K's therapist comes to go over here treatment plan and update her records.

School calls to say that Jadon is sick.

Call my dad to go get him and he is at an appointment.

Mom is headed to appointment.

Call my sister.  She can help.  Her husband ends up giving me his car until my van is done.

That is up to the moment.

Jadon is on the couch.  I am on the chair.

He's awfully calm for being unmedicated.

No vomit yet.

Is it bad that I would just like to be snowed in again and live that simple life we were living last week?


Oh, and I am dieting again.  And hungry.

Deep breath.

In His Grip,


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our year so far.

The year has started out to be an adventure!  Shouldn't take anyone by surprise!

January 1, we had reservations with my whole family at Potawatomi Inn.  We slept in, after an uneventful New Year's Eve, most of us in different places with different friends.

No one really set a time to be up there, just said "when we get around", so we started getting ready about 11, ended up with a bunch of fighting going on between my boys (mostly it's my 19 year old who is acting like he's 10 and fighting with my 10 year old).  (Said, 19 year old may have been just a little put out that he was not going to be joining us, but it was his own decision that made it that way)

We realize that between Leah and I we have one ripped pair of snow pants & she has no waterproof boots.

We bring along an empty cooler to put some food in, but since we were playing the relaxed mode, I had no food bought and would have to stop and buy some lunch and breakfast items at Walmart on the way.

We finally get going, trying to be relaxed and take things in stride.  Stop and Walmart, trying to return a Red Box movie and the machine is frozen up.  Go look for boots and snow pants.  None to be found.  Get some groceries for the cooler.

Realize we haven't eaten yet today at it's after 12.  Stop at Hardees and wait and wait in the drive through until I just leave, because I am annoyed.

Stop in Ft Wayne to look for snow pants and boots.  None her size at Dicks.  Finally find some at Kohls.

Go through the drive through Chinese restaurant and are told the meat we want will be 7 minutes.  Wait over 15 minutes for that.

Still annoyed.  Still trying to keep my cool.

Getting texts from all of the family asking when we will get there, because everyone is there already outside playing.  We are over an hour away, and the roads aren't great, it's snowing.

Taking it in stride.  Not going to be upset by all these unimportant matters.

Arrive at the Inn.

Get all dressed up in our snow gear.  We still don't have our room so we don't unpack anything, just get dressed for snow.

Get out my camera for a few fun family photos!

Take two photos... this being one of them.

Kiahna tells me she has to use the restroom.  We walk in the doors of the Inn.  She pees.  All through all her layers of clothing & snow pants, down to her boots.

We go to the public restroom in the lobby.  (A one person room)

Get her undressed down to her tights.  Of course she doesn't' have to go anymore.

I tell her I will go out to the van and get her some dry clothes.  She waits in the lobby, in her tights, with my brother-in-law.

I go out to the van.  Can't find her bag.  Just a bag of toys.

Get a pair of Jadon's pants out of his bag for her to wear.

Go inside and ask her if she brought her bag.  She's clueless.

I should have paid more attention when we were packing.  There was so much arguing and chaos I didn't focus well enough.

I get upset, she is upset.  

She puts on Jadon's pants.  Her damp snow pants, boots.

We get our rooms.  Everyone is moving their stuff in.  I am still dealing with the wet clothing in the public restroom and my girl in tights and her brother's pants.

Gone is my resolve to not lose it.  It's gone.  Whatever it was.

My two older kids show up, Leah doesn't know where the bag is.  Lucas comes and said he put it in the cooler (remember it was empty so he was saving space)

I do recall him saying this, but I wasn't paying attention at the time.

My nephews go out with Lucas and unload my van of stuff & bring it all in.

There is my chaos about what room we have.

Finally get Kiahna dressed back in her own stuff.  Jadon wants to go swimming because the cousins are done being outside and are all going swimming now.


So, I make J & K go out with me and force them to have fun.  They want to go look in the windows of the pool.  I give up.

Let's go swim.

Once we finally settled in, we enjoyed ourselves.  There is amazing fireplaces there

I love the atmosphere, where we played lots of games and did some puzzles.

The snow was beautiful.  The environment was warm and comfortable.  My parents, us and a few of the cousins stayed an extra night.

Drove home on Friday with the forecast of a coming blizzard/storm/cold.  Got prepared for that.  

James called asking if we could do the winter engagement photos on Saturday if Brookelyn came.

So we did that!

This was our 4th session, we did all four season of engagement pictures now, they were engaged a year now.  Save the date cards went out today I think!  Got all the addresses together for her!

Love these two.  So proud of them.  James was a huge help to me while he was home.  Cleaned up the house on more than one day.  Shoveled lots of snow.  Cleaned the garage.  Brought wood in.  

It feels like the more James helps the more Z doesn't though.  Z has issues with being helpful.  The issue being.  He isn't.  

And the snows came... not sure how many inches...

Then came the cold.

The wind chills and the wind.  Luck for us, we were blocked pretty well by our woods and didn't have any large drifts or the really strong effects of the wind.  Very blessed.  In fact my boys were in shorts and no shirts all the time, because the basement was so hot with the wood burner going all the time.

We spent Monday trapped in.  We lost power for a couple hours Sunday night but it was back on before we woke up.

Can't imagine being out working in that!

We played lots of games.  (a few videos are on my Facebook and instagram feed but I can't seem to post them here)

It's just beautiful.

Cuddles with my girl and her cough.

The dog knows where it is warm!

The view this morning... beautiful sunrise.

James left to go back to school for his final semester.  Z went back to work today.  Kids are still off of school today.

I am going to try to go out and get to the dentist today.  I have had a tooth ache since Christmas Eve.

I have been feeling blessed.  Relaxed & not too much cabin fever.  After the way the year started I was feeling a little bit like jumping ship.  Glad things calmed down and glad for the break.

I went to bed last night, and realized I hadn't even gotten dressed yesterday.  Nice for a change.

Have 3 sessions booked in the next few days, hoping the snow sticks with us for a bit!!!

Be blessed,

In His Grip,