Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday morning... after the wedding.

I have a feeling I will be processing my first child's wedding for awhile.  Not that anything is wrong, just that life changes take time to process.

A sound bite for a radio program came on this morning, something to the tune of things that put you in awe of God... teared up.

Like I figured, seeing my oldest son get married brought a great amount of joy, awe & love to my heart.  Mix in with the expected frustration with my ex-husband and his life, and having to share the moment with someone who doesn't really feel like they deserve to be there.

Weddings are stressful.  We had some stress.  I would venture to say each one of us felt it on some level.

I felt it when Leah & Zach were both not ready for to leave for the rehearsal dinner when I told them to be.  Then when it took us about 20 minutes longer than I had expected (or been told) it would take to get there (thank you gps, we didn't listen to him again).  I felt it again when I didn't feel like I was really being involved enough in the preparing process & wished I could do more.

Felt a little shock when I saw the dress my ex-husband's wife wore.

REALLY, felt panic when we couldn't find the ring for about 10 minutes.  That happened.  NOT A GOOD FEELING.

Zach was feeling the pressure of the best man speech.  He was DEFINITELY feeling it when the ring was missing for that 10 minutes.  All around he seemed to be burdened all day.  I have a number of photos of him, where he just looks awful.  I hope the real photos of him, he looks better than the ones I have.

I hope that James & Brookelyn were feeling the day went smooth.  Outside of that whole ring thing.

I know, need to tell to you about the ring thing.  I asked for the rings to give to the photographers, Zach had Brookelyn's ring.  (which kind of surprised me, I know he was the best man, but still!)  I took the rings, gave them to the photographer.  After our family photos, someone asked where the rings were & Zach said that I had taken it from him and that he didn't have it.

I figured the photographers must still have them (but it surprised me that they would, I would NEVER want to be responsible for the rings that long!)  I went and asked the photographer, and she said that she gave it to James who gave it to Zach.

And Zach doesn't have them.

Panic sets in.

James gets wind of it, and tries to leave the family photos he was taking with Brooke's family to come look.  I told him I would find it, he needed to stay where he was.  He wasn't happy.  Obviously.

We started searching pockets, praying & thinking, replaying the events & trying to remember what happened.

There was the whole, wear the jackets or don't wear the jackets dilemma, and they took their jackets to the photos & then didn't use them and put them in a pile.   A group of wedding party decided to head back to were they took the photos to search.  It was in the box, so at least we knew that much.

They were in the parking lot when Alex felt in another suit coat pocket and found it!

I guess when they threw their coats in a pile, Zach didn't get the same one back.  SO glad, thankful that it was found that quickly!

That was the worst feeling I have felt in a long time.  Glad that didn't last long.

My overall impression of the day was feeling totally blessed, in awe of my blessings... thankfulness that my line of vision did not include my ex or his wife very often.

I'll share more photos later.

In His Grip,


Monday, June 23, 2014

Wedding Week

It's here.  Wedding week.  I think I am still in a state of denial or something.  Maybe just trying not to think about it so much.

James leaving again will leave a hole in our family.  They will live two and a half hours away for at least this first year.

We hosted a big bunch of James' friends Friday night & Saturday morning.  The bachelor event.  All went well & I took no photos.

Leah was gone at Girl's Camp with church all weekend.  She came home last evening very happy.  Thankful for her.  She starts a job at Pizza Hut tomorrow.

Had another big blow up conversation/issue with Zach this weekend.  So much hurt in him.  So hard. And I can't say anything right.  My dad's guidance is that we just have to let him go & figure this out. We have done all we can do.  I am not sure what that is supposed to look like.  I can't tell you how frustrated I have been feeling with him.  I know it's not my job to change or help him, it's just incredibly frustrating to watch.

Yesterday, the song, "Take my life & Let it Be" was on my heart, I searched it online to listen to it.  In Sunday School with Kiahna, they sang it.  Then when the superintendent stood to speak, he brought up that they had sung that song on a mission trip to Jamaica a couple years ago & it was their theme song for the trip.  Zach's senior mission trip.  Not sure what I am supposed to be thinking about all that yet.

Kiahna finished the second week of VBS very well.  I am so thankful for that answered prayer.

She and Jadon have still been doing well together, it was just the two of them home with me Saturday night and we had fun.

Praying she can do this weekend without too much struggle, she will be with my sister Allison Friday & Saturday until the wedding time, then she will come to the wedding for photos with Caitlin (who has helped me with her a few times so far) and then Caitlin will bring her home to our house & stay with her until we return late that night.

Prayers for the whole weekend.

In His Grip,


Monday, June 16, 2014

Huge praises.

I usually try to write on my blog on Mondays... didn't get that done yet this morning, so here we go.

VBS is in it's second week.  Kiahna has been doing FABULOUS both there & at home.  Sometimes it's hard to pin-point exactly what makes the difference in her.  First, and for most, I know we are seeing answered prayers.  She is being prayed for, and we can tell.

We began a new medication a month ago, for mood.  I was told that it could take up to a month to see the full effects.  After 3 weeks, thankfully we see no ill effects, like we so often have with medications, and we have doubled the dosage.  With the doubled dosage, I am seeing some real improvements.

At this point, I am able to look at her & think "wow, I could do this if this was all the worse it was".  And, it's true.  She is so much better.  She isn't perfect, typical or completely healed by any means, but she is so much more tolerant & she is showing capability of being able to function on a much more normal scale.

Jadon & Kiahna are playing amazingly well.  I have been showering Jadon with compliments, and he has been taking on his roll as Kiahna's playmate very seriously.  WHEN they can play nice together, life is a breeze.  It's a true miracle.

(a fort on the swing set)

(I finished her yarn braids again)

Jadon requested a couple of weeks ago that we not attend church on Father's Day sunday.  It's just very hard to know that all the other boys in his class have dad's and he doesn't.  Even though he has a great grandpa, that loss is very real.

So, while the older three went to church, I took J & K to the park.  We rode bikes, played on the playgrounds, had a picnic, walked all the way around the buffalo trail & then rented a paddle boat for a half an hour.  If you know Kiahna, this was an incredible feat.  She did NORMAL things and had very little complaining.

Now, she just got mad at me for making them come home from swimming at the neighbors after she hit Jadon, she kicked me and told me I was the worst mom ever.  But, honestly.  She did this once today.  We were on a level where we were doing this behavior constantly, all day long.   Where we were lucky to have a good hour here and there.

We are still using lots of Essential oils, the change in meds, the help from Jadon... we are surviving.  We are more than surviving, we are actually living!!  This is so good.

James & Brooke's wedding is less than 2 weeks away.  I am not sure how I am feeling about that.  When Kiahna asks me how many plates we need to set the table and I answer "seven" I get a little pang of sadness at the end of this era... There is so much joy, and it's a happy change... don't get me wrong... but there will be tears, happy tears & tears of a mom watching her kids grow up and being proud of them & aching over the changes.

(from a wedding he was in last weekend)

Zach gets off his driving restrictions at the end of this week.  Still on probation for another six months, but can drive wherever he wishes.  Can't say I am confident we won't have some hard days ahead.  I ache for him to get himself off of the couch and be with the good friends that he has so many of.  I don't understand the level of pride he has that tells him he would rather stay home in front of the television than go be with good people.  The grace to keep praying & believing.

This past weekend I went to the graduation party of my ex-husband's nephew.  Long story.  But his mom, Judy, is a good friend.  While there much of Jim's family was there.  We actually talked quite a bit, as it was a small crowd.  I am feeling like it was a good ice-breaker for the wedding.  As majority of them are supposed to be present at the wedding.

The biggest stresser of the wedding for me will definitely be having to share the day with Jim and his wife.  The grace to be kind & to not let a root of bitterness rear it's ugly head... and then to watch my kids deal with his presence will be difficult all around I have no doubt.  Please keep us in your prayers for this that day.

Feeling very blessed & thankful for so many prayers & words of encouragement.

In His Grip,


Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer has begun.

Good Morning.

Second Monday of summer vacation.

First day of VBS.

Graduation is over.

Wedding is in less that three weeks.

Never a dull moment around here.

I think I am in some state of denial that the wedding is this close.  It seems very surreal.  I don't have much to do with it all.  We have our hair appointments, we know where to be when, we need to do some alteration appointments yet.  Well, we need to MAKE alteration appointments and then DO them, sure hope we aren't in trouble there!

Things with Z mellowed out.  After finding out that I would have go to the probation department and make a statement about his choices.  Then there would be a hearing and I would have to testify against my son.  We decided that he could have one more chance to get his life back on track.  If he can't do it.  I have to turn him in & testify against him.  Praying this isn't what happens.  I am actually not sure I am strong enough to do it.  With Christ, if I am supposed to I will.  He needs all of our prayers continually.  This battle is far from over.

There has been a lot going on with Kiahna.  I am exhausted just thinking about writing about it.  I have never had the time or energy to pour into being a full time advocate for her.  The world of special needs can be a full time job, with all the appointments, all the phone calls, all the research.  It's exhausting.

The respite facility, Agape, that I used for her for the first time last weekend, has stated that they do not want me to bring her back.  They will watch her for the wedding, since they already committed, but they do not want her other than that.  They had stated they didn't want any aggression.  I didn't get into it with the director, at the door with all these people around, when I went to pick her up on Friday, I plan to call her today & find out what exactly happened.

Kiahna went on to have a rough rest of the evening for her next caregiver too.  Not sure what the whole deal is.

Saturday she was great (for her) and Sunday she was FABULOUS (for her).

Praying for a FABULOUS two weeks of VBS for her!

I have a couple of new leads for respite for her.  Possibly for therapy also.

The therapy we have been getting has been less than helpful.  It gives me a little 45 minute break from being the central focus of her care, supposedly.  usually I spend most of the time rounding her back up and redirecting her back to these current therapist.  When they show up.

Fun times.

My nephew, Colton, graduated from high school this year.  I did what I could to help my sister, Lana, to pull off the open house.  She hosted it in their (garageless) home.  So thankful for the beautiful weather we had on Friday.  That was an amazing blessing.  I had her two year old and four year old most days last week, so they could work without the work being unworked.  Jadon & Kiahna loved having them here.

The party was wonderful, her house looked great (still wouldn't recommend in home open house to anyone though... waaaaaaaaay to much work)  I LOVED being able to help & be at the open house visiting and being "normal"... this was why Kiahna was in the respite, she would have been a mess.  ESPECIALLY with all that RED candy tempting her from the tables!!  YIKES YIKES YIKES!!

I also worked on her video of all her photos of him growing up & I painted all her frames white for her, and helped her paint her bathroom... did I say it was easier to have it somewhere besides your home?  Just making sure.

It was fun, it was good, glad it's done & ready to move on to the next big thing... the wedding... is that really happening?

In His Grip,