Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A positive post.

I really am thankful for all the prayers.  I have no other explanation for when the circumstances really don't change all that much, but the ability to get out of bed and face another day & believe that I can do all this once again, happens.

When I can play my A game, even though I know I have no A game left to give.

See, when I play my A game, Kiahna can play a C game.  Usually.  Sad reality is that I must be on top of it.  Every day.

I have so many struggles in my mind with my overloaded schedule.

I recently have set alarms on my phone to remind me that we need to eat dinner, and that I need to close the lap top & focus on my children.  Or close the lap top (AND PHONE) screens up and and focus on God.  As elementary as it is, it's the reality.  I work online.  I must spend an incredible amount of time on my lap top.  (I have the back pain to prove it)

When I consider different things, I fear falling back into a schedule that is so neck breaking fast paced and overwhelming that I can't see straight.  I need to set up some better expectations of my older kids.  Very badly.  I have a list though.  A list that includes setting up some better expectations for my older kids & responsibility around the house.

Just making a list took off tons of stress.

Marking things off feels good.

So, I guess I just want to say, I got a breath of air.  I thank you for prayers.

I am grateful we went into public multiple times this weekend without being a public display.  At home I haven't had to restrain for a few days.  

I am working on being more loving towards Z, and not so full of fear, aka anger towards him.  I know  he has to make these life changing choices for himself, and no amount of frustration from me is going to make them for him.  Balancing being loving and not being a doormat or being tolerant of something that isn't acceptable.  Trusting God has some plan, even though it feels very slow, if moving at all.  

My body has been protesting the stress.  My diet protests the stress.  I hate that I can do so well all day and in the evening not give a care what goes in my mouth.  

I am choosing to have Faith when I can't see.  I am believing God isn't out of control.  I know that HE promised to be the FATHER to my fatherless children.  I have no idea what all that means.  But I am choosing to be an overcomer.  

In His Grip,


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The thaw & some thoughts.

Here comes the rain, the thaw & the mud... before the freeze & the cold return again.  I wish we could somehow transfer from winter wonderland, to summertime dry... But, that's not life is it.

I took this yesterday before the thaw began.  This is the high spot on our road.  Where i got stuck Monday night.  Just wanted the memory!

Dealing with my emotions & my frustrations over life.  Wanting people in my life to be things that they just aren't capable of being.  Either because they aren't healed enough yet, aren't mature enough yet, or just don't have the capacity to be what I wish they would be.  Letting go of those expectations and dreams that sometimes you didn't even realize you had, but you do.

The public humiliation of having a child like Kiahna for example.  When I need to remove her from a public situation and she puts on her brakes.  Makes a scene.  It's more than just her.  It's me.  It's my family.  Feeling embarrassed by her inability to be socially appropriate and having to drag her out of areas that she can't handle.

Happened this weekend at the swing choir concert.  I was in tears.  Just so tired of it.  I really struggled with my own emotions.  My own embarrassment.  My selfish desire to have her be something that she very obviously isn't capable of being right now.  Quite honestly I don't know what to do with it.

Sunday night, my sister came and tried to help.  Well then Kiahna just turns on me and says how much she hates me & how mean I am to her.  No one believes that is true.  But, it doesn't mean that it doesn't make me angry at the betrayal.

I went into the kitchen where some friends were and received some love and comfort from them, while I cried.  And my sister had Kiahna in the bathroom for the second time trying to calm her.

It boils down to the reality that I am not okay with missing out on the lives of my other children because of her behaviors, and yet I can't control or predict her behaviors, so I end up in these social situations that she "should" be able to handle and she doesn't and we become public displays.

I really don't know where we go from here OR where we will end up.

I am looking for and finding people to keep her more often.  I don't take her into places that I know ahead of time will be hard for her.  (Like long trips to see James at college)

I am looking ahead at events I will need care for her, like the wedding, graduation, musical... I am thankful for willing people to help out where they can... Join me in prayer for the future and for continued resources.

Love to you all,

In His Grip,


Monday, February 17, 2014

James gets an award at Bethel...

Saturday was such an amazing break from the day-to-day reality of my life.  I am truly thankful.

And more than anything I give God all the Glory.  He has done a good thing.  Not me.  Him.

My oldest son, James, is a senior at Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN.  When he got the track scholarship to go and run hurdles there as a senior in high school, I was shocked.  He had a life long friend who already had a scholarship there for track and who told him to go for this scholarship.  I was a doubter that it would happen, I must admit.

But, then it did happen... not only that but they went to include a third friend who also got a scholarship for the track program at Bethel.  I would learn in the coming years that Bethel is a very amazing place that is focused on the people they are developing and invest in their students above all.  James ran all 4 years of college track, with no track facility on campus.  No home meets.  No high tech equipment.  Yet, this program continues to be the top of their conference and top notch.  Because, they invest in their students.

A couple of weeks ago,  James called to tell me that he was going to be presented with an award at half time of the basketball game on February 15.  In all the years James has went to Bethel we were always wanting to get to a basketball game, to watch Brandon G play, and just to see what James has been experiencing as a student there.  He has been quite the mega fan.

We have enjoyed seeing these photos be posted online of him, it was fun to see from a distance what was happening for my son at school.

So, we went to Bethel on Saturday.  My parents, myself, Leah, Lucas & Jadon.  I got a sitter for Kiahna, and Z refused to come.

At half time of the game we went over to the other side of the court & they began to announce about the award and all the candidates were announced.  Each coach for each team nominates one person & then all the coaches choose one male & one female winner.  It included a $1000 grant.

Leah took some photos for me:

It was a great day.  One I will savor.  As the presenter told me what a great job I had done with raising James... I knew... There is no way it was me.  It was all God.

To HIM be the glory.


In His Grip,


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day Give-A-Way and Wedding Special!

There is a Valentines Day Give-A-Way & Wedding special going on over on my photography blog!

Win Chocolate or Cheesecake!  YOUR CHOICE, from one of my FAVORITE places in Adams County... Goldies Goodies Bakery (no one is paying me to say that, and I they are not donating this prize)

Win a $50 Gift certificate from ME for my photography services or prints from past sessions!

And if you have friends who get engaged today!  Tell them if they book their wedding with me this month they will get a FREE Canvas of their choice!

Now go over there and spread the love!!

In His Grip,


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Probably the most depressing blog ever

It's going to be a good day.  We woke up with the temperatures above zero!  The sun is shining!  I have dinner in the crock pot and it's not 8:30 yet!

I am sorry that I have the most depressingly hard life and blog.   I hate being a downer.

How about some good news!

I believe God answers our prayers.  It should kinda freak me out that someone would go back a year on my Facebook and like a status.  But, since it wasn't a weird person who did it, but a good real life friend, and it set a light bulb off in my brain and it HAD to be from God, I won't freak out.

Seems that it was Feb 11, 2013 that I was having the EXACT same issues with Kiahna and was implementing (for the first time ever) the exact same parenting strategy that I resorted to this week.

So, that leaves me with a few questions.  Why, would this be happening in February 2 years in a row?

Could be linked to her "mood disorder" diagnosis.  Could be.  But, let me tell you why I am not buying into that.

When I cleaned out her room of all of her possessions. Every toy, every skirt.  Moved them to my room.  No, she wasn't happy.  She was ticked.  (see my last post)

When she came home from school on Tuesday, after our awful morning, I was ready for her.

I had her exercise ball out.  Timer ready.  Plan in mind.

She was happy when she met me off the bus.  I told her that if she had a good report from school she could choose one of the things she lost as a reward.  But first she would need to bounce one minute on the exercise ball (this is for her SPD and it regulates her body & I have an awful time getting her to cooperate and remember to do it).

She willingly did.  She took her after school meds with a smile & was thrilled to get to choose a toy from my room.

We set the timer for another hour.  If she could control her anger for that hour, bounce on the ball for another minute, she could choose again.  Success.

The whole evening when this way.

No anger.  No tantrum.  Happy girl.  Happy mom.

What does this tell me.

Lots and lots of things.

First thing it tells me is that, as unfair as it is, if I am not on top of my game at all times, she won't be either.

That's the biggest thing.

Second is that she is overwhelmed by the chaos in her room (which she creates in minutes after it's cleaned up) and once she begins choosing her items I will get rid of many of the things she hasn't chosen as important enough.

She can control herself if her environment is controlled.  She can succeed if she is given the proper motivation and boundaries.

BUT, when I become distracted and worn down by life (aka as the 19 year old who lives here and acts much like her with no excuse except sin).  And I stop remembering what she needs to have in her life to succeed.  When I am distracted by life's activities.  When I am tired of having them in the house all day, every day & our schedules are all off.  I can't expect her to be successful.  It's not in her to succeed without guidance.

That is her sad reality.

I wish I could say that I will remember this every day & that each day I will be on top of my game and we won't have these incidents.

Then we have the element of the reality that I really just want her to be and act normally.  I'll save that for another day.

Thanks so much for prayers, know they are felt & we are doing much better today.

In His Grip,


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rough morning.

I was hoping for a better start to the day that we had.

We did go to school on time, despite the minus 14 temperatures.

That made the morning rough, not use to school on time, and all the skirts K wanted to wear have been removed from her room as punishment for her behaviors, and she will need to wear pants & earn back her belongings.

I honestly thought that this was going to be it.  I was going to have to call 911 and get help.  She was that upset.  She calmed pretty quickly, and I didn't get bit or hit.  No one else was injured and the chair she threw wasn't broken.  She threw her water when she refused her pills, but did calm enough to take them then.

Honestly.  I am at a loss.  I feel like God is silent on the issue.  I fear the future.  I have no idea how we will continue on as she grows and matures and gets raging hormones.  I know one day at a time, but these days are bad enough.

Is it weather related?  Routine related?  Chemical related?  Seasonal related?  Diet related?  Just no clue.

Now that she is in school, I can breath & I did some zumba and some strength training... I need to not go crazy here.

Z is not doing well either.  I have been processing things with my dad.  We really need wisdom, guidance and miracles.

Please pray.

I am praying.  I am worshipping.  I am reading my Bible.  Just so you don't think I am not.  :)

In His Grip,


Monday, February 10, 2014

Silent prayer request.

Having some hard days... more than one kid struggling.

Facing some hard things.

Overwhelmed with it all.


Please pray for us.

In His Grip,


Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter Woes

When my alarm to write this morning went off... I was organizing the furnace room for the repair man to come.

Woke up with the house 68 degrees and the furnace not running.

Tested my resolve to continue to keep positive in this winter weather, I must admit.

Added wood to the fire.

Checked the propane.

Cleaned the filter.

Called Liechty's in Berne.

They were out here before 9 am.

Realized that the flue was covered by a snow drift.

Said prayers of thankfulness that we didn't have carbon monoxide.

Kicked myself for not realizing it myself when I went out to check the gas, I had thought of how much snow was up by the back of the house.

Thankful that's all it was.

In His Grip,


Thursday, February 6, 2014

More snow days. More motivation.

Same story.  New week.

More snow.  More days off of school.

More working on keeping positive and motivated & not complaining.

Seriously, what could I complain about?  I have no job to dig my van out for.  I can work from the comfort of my home.  The road is the best it gets all year.  Frozen roads don't deposit mud, grime, dust, or horse shoe nails onto your vehicle.  Not that I have driven since Tuesday night.  :)

Tuesday after the freezing fog, I went out with my real camera for a few photos.  I was lamenting my lack of a micro lens, but got some okay shots without it.  It is on my wish list for sure though.  (I rent one for weddings at this point)

I motivated myself yesterday by posting before photos of the projects I wanted to get done.  It did wonders for my motivation.  I really wanted to post the after photos.  Maybe it's silly, but it worked!

I have to post from my screen shots, I already deleted the originals off my phone... guess I was on a cleaning roll!  

This is my before photo collage:

My afters of each area:

Feels so good to get the Christmas all packed up and put away.  I must confess this area of my house is so easy to leave undone and undealt with.  No one sees it but us.   It's an area that is so hard to keep cleaned up.  I need to take a trash bag back there and get rid of a bunch more stuff that Lucas just pushed back in the cupboards (I went back in there last night and the floor in the center photo above is covered again)  They pull out toys and dig through the chaos looking for who knows what!

Today we should be able to get out no problem.  It's kind of sad.  I like the slow days of not being able to leave.  Tomorrow there should be school.  There should be schedules as usual.

Today we will bake cookies.  Relax.  Renew.  Refresh.

God's worked hard to slow us down this winter.  Have we gotten the message from Him?  Have we heard?  Are we even trying to hear?  I am trying.  Sure I don't understand His ways.  But, trying to hear.  

In His Grip,


Monday, February 3, 2014

Our weekend...

The surprise of the weekend is that the rain didn't freeze & the schedule didn't stop... us mid-westerners are getting pretty good at this winter thing.  Which is a good thing with the pending forecast.

I continue to analyze why this cold & snow doesn't bother me so much.

One reason is, ONLY snow will give you this type of reflective light & create this type of color for a photograph.  This is my neighbor, who is a senior this year and I took photos in the late summer, but wanted a few winter shots yesterday in the amazing beauty of the season... So glad she asked.  Taking another senior out today!

I also must consider that fact that I sweat heavily in heat (especially my head)  My thin, fine hair absorbs the heat like a mop.  Not something I deal with in the winter, except when I attend swim meets and I overdress.  Whew.  Reminder of what summer days and my hair are like.  I may need an attitude adjustment in the 100 degree days, much sooner than I need them in these 0 degree ones.

Jadon had a basketball tournament on Saturday morning.  He is learning basketball.  His lack of a father, lack of interest from older brothers, and lack of watching basketball & learning the game in general are very obvious.  Thankful & prayerful that the men who are coaching are seeing the full picture and teaching him patiently.  He is learning.  Each time he plays I see progress.  And he is really enjoying being with the boys & on the little team.

We left the tournament early, he had 5 games scheduled, we stayed for 2.  He really wanted to go with us to watch James run at noon.

We debated the weather, and with my dad driving us, decided to go for it.

We drove to Taylor for an indoor track meet.

James wasn't at all happy with his results.  He is a huge leader (captain) and encourager of those around him, but you can tell his heart has moved past this season.  He is ready for the wedding & the marriage... maybe the job too, but he hasn't heard from that.  A little concerned as a parent that his eggs are in one basket with his job.

Another snow overnight on Saturday, 6-7 inches of the beautiful fluffy stuffy.  Not hindering our drive to church.

Z had an interesting weekend.  He kept busy, 2 nights with church friends and one night with old friends.  Needing so much wisdom in this area.  Needing prayers for him to see that you can't live on this fence.  Needing it to be his choice.  Needing the Holy Spirit to move mightily.

A good word picture.  On Friday the neighbor came over with is skid loader and removed all the snow in front of the barn so Z could put his car inside the barn.  Z drove the car back to the barn, but didn't open the doors and put the car in.  The car sat outside the barn in the snow all weekend.  This morning he goes out to go to work.  All that snow piled on the car.  When it could have been protected inside the barn.  He didn't make the effort to move it in.  He was scrabbling for a scraper this morning.  No gloves.  Didn't have to be that hard.  He could have easily moved it in.

Off of here now, on to my day... I let Kiahna sleep in, she is still in bed.  She was still trying to fall asleep when I went to bed at 11:30 and she was up at 3:30 too... so she is home still asleep & I'll take her in before I head to my shoot at 10 am with a 3 month old baby.  Then a senior outside at noon.  Thankful for the business in a usually very slow season!  

In His Grip,