Thursday, March 31, 2011

Temporary Sacrifices...

And God's plan unfolding (we hope *grin) Since we never know what God's plan is for our life, we can only assume that the opportunities laid out for us time and again, are God's way of smacking us in the face with his plan. (did you see that in your head the way I saw it in mine?) I won't pretend to know exactly where He is leading us but I see that the temporary sacrifices we're making are leading us to someplace...better. This all started with Todd being laid off from driving in summer 2009, it lead him to go back to school full time to get his teaching license, which led to him being available to help one of my clients move last summer where he caught the first glimpse of our next house (I think that was God's first attempt at trying to open our eyes to this home - - I remember asking Todd if it was a house we'd want but at that time it was perfect for someone in my family so we backed off, they have since bought a different house more perfect for them). Then just a few weeks later as my Mom and I were headed out of town, she stopped to talk to a friend, who mentioned that Todd and I should look at...that same house. Mom and I drove out there that day and I was HOOKED! It was perfect, well it could be perfect, we could make it perfect! But after talking it over, Todd and I agreed we couldn't be ready to move/sell in time to buy this house off the foreclosure list...and we let it go, instead focusing on making our house "ours". Then last month, (I don't remember how it all started) but Todd looked up the owner, called him and inquired about the place. It's worth our time to try and buy this place. So this summer, to make things happen Todd decided he'd go back to work (part time). Yesterday Todd took his afternoon to go look for a job...and will start work the second week in May. God does not work in mysterious ways. So our children will go back to spending their summers at a sitters or with the daycare...but it's a temporary sacrifice. One we feel will benefit our family enough to sacrifice one summer for...we'd like to pay off the 4 wheeler (since that and the blazer our only 2 remaining debts) and save up a down payment, we'd also like to get the house on the market (we'd like to do that before May but have so much work to do on's praying).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


When we owned the farm we had 5 horses, Chase, Chance, Montana, Jan and Miracle. Chance was mine Montana and Chase (a rescued race horse) were Todd's Jan and Miracle were boarders. We enjoyed them when we had time to work with them. Todd was over the road most of the time we had the horses which left me (and my Mom) with the bulk of the responisibility. We didn't have running water in the barn so every night, after we put the horses in the barn for the night, we'd have to carry 10 - 5 gallon buckets of water to the barn, feed and give everyone hay. It was a lot of work and very time consuming, we rarely went out of town, because Mom would have to take care of the horses. We loved them, but they were a lot of work. I wouldn't trade them or that time in our life for anything. I miss them, I miss the feeling of having that much power and strength beneath me, I miss riding, I miss Chance. Now we're facing moving back to the country and have decided we'd like to have a couple of cows, a few pigs and chickens (all for food purposes) but won't have enough land for horses (we'll have to acres, God willing, 3 out buildings, and we ideally should have 1 acre per horse). My brother has 2 horses and 14 acres. He moved here a year and a half ago. This weekend he dropped a bomb (of sorts)...this spring/summer, he plans to move to Arizona with his wife and children....and thinks he might leave us his horses. These horses are old, and they're rescues. They're moody and have thrown most of their riders. We don't know anything about these horses histories and the abuse they endured. Bottom line, we just decided we don't want any horses...let alone some one's problem children. We just made this decision. Ugh!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Plans

This weekend I have decided, no one will leave my house. Not one toe will slide off our property and we will work tirelessly, a well oiled machine, to get the house ready for sale. We'll decide tonight where our priorities lie. I have so much I'd like to do but I know it all takes time. We had people in on Friday night, most of them family but one friend who came had never been to our house before, and the next night called my Mom to ask what we're asking for the place. When we told him, he didn't balk at the price, he thought it was more than reasonable! My cousin who hadn't been in the home since we bought it said the living room felt like the beach! *sigh* that's how I feel too. I know that things will only work out the way they work out...I'm just excited to give it a try!

A Taste is Too Much

This weekend I was standing in my kitchen, when I realized I didn't feel well, I had a headache, my stomach was sort of cramping, I was light headed and shaky, and a panicked feeling came over me. It was a nervous, sweaty panic. I had 4 nieces and a nephew hanging with us for the day and I was terrified. It finally dawned on me. My sugar was low. I tested and sure enough I was heading low...which is strange since I've never felt anything like this and had eaten that day (I don't usually eat breakfast but had oatmeal and coffee with a little sugar). It wasn't until I had eaten something and started to feel better that I realized that so much of Lane Michael's life is feeling like that. Headaches, shaky, nervous, panic. It was a slap in the face of reality. His reality. I have a new appreciation for what he goes through, I now realize, the pokes, the shots, the blood work...that's the easy stuff compared to that feeling.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Dangers of Basing Self Worth on Our Children

Disclaimer: This is where I apologize for hurting people's feelings.

Basing my self worth on my children is easy to do. It starts with pregnancy and I fear it never ends. We pee on that stupid plastic stick, and wait 2 minutes for the fortune teller to tell us the future. And at that moment, we are no longer ourselves, we are Moms. we eat differently, we exercise differently, we drink more water, cut the caffeine, weigh the benefits vs harm of eating fish and what kind of fish. We re-organize our homes. Buy the newest and best baby gear. And suddenly can't think or talk about anything but our midsections. How far along? Do you know the gender? Do you want to know the gender? Do you have a preference? Natural birth? C-section? Epidural? Water birth? What hospital? Breast or bottle fed? Making your own baby food?

My Ladytown and the girls have just become appropriate dinner conversation!?! How did THAT happen?!

And it's down hill from there. You/I no longer even have a name. We are the Mom of _______. No longer are we defined by our own given name, our jobs or by our spouse, only by who our children are.

Our homes are no longer the oasis we long for at the end of a long day but now the largest source of stress in our life. We hit the door running, dinner, laundry, homework, bath, bed, clean the kitchen, pick up toys, vacuum one more time, bed...oh wait, I forgot to clean the bathroom after baths, back out of bed, and return 30 minutes later. And finally at 11 pm I sleep (maybe).

And since we have no doubled (or tripled) our housework, we can't take a weekend away, away from home, the source of all our stress. Birthday parties, and every holiday now require a treat and a t-shirt, a gift or a costume. Our career loses focus after all, we can't devote 100% of us anymore. And we lose touch.

Our childless friends suddenly seem self centered and can't possibly 'get it'. The man we have bound ourselves to is not an inconvenience and the only interesting party topics we can summon are Ethan's quirky sayings (which I adore), Ryan's new funny faces (there are plenty of them) and Lane Michael's latest A1C. No one actually cares about these things.

But none of this is my problem (after all, most of it describes me).

The dangers of losing yourself in your children span from immediate dangers to long term effects. Effects on our family unit and on our society, effects on our women, our view of marriage and how we value our husbands.

In the Bible (I will use the Bible, not for religious purposes but to show historically how women were viewed), women are mentioned only by their relationship to their husband or father. Currently I am best known as Lane and Ethan's Mom. And most women joke that now they're no longer "Mrs. _________" or "Oh you know, she works _________" but are now only referred to by our children's name. This isn't necessarily how we view ourselves but more how society now views and values us.

There has been a definite shift in our families where children are becoming authority figures, decision makers and money spenders. Walking through the mall, there are very few stores geared specifically towards Men and/or Women. Instead, we have the basic department stores which have a section for men, a section for women, and a section for children/teens. But walking out of those department stores, we find 5 stores specifically geared towards children and teens. Why? Because they hold a very large portion of the buying power in our homes.

Another example, there were no television stations geared specifically towards kids, instead we had Saturday morning cartoons. Over the years we have developed nearly as many kids TV stations as we have adult. Why? Because they now control the remote, and if they don't control the remote, they have their own TVs.

A second problem I see is that in putting all a woman's value in how many, how fast, and how well she can birth her brood, is devaluing the women in society who choose not to have children or who are unable to have children. Women who want to be Mom's but aren't able to be are hurting in the most deep and basic ways, they don't need prying eyes, wanting to be privy to bedroom details. Some women don't just want the baby, but want the experience of being pregnant, sharing their birthing story and blushing over the money shot her husband took accidentally, so adoption may not be the best option for those couples. And lets not forget that women who choose to not have children make some rockin' awesome aunts!

The tole this "kids first" attitude is taking on the family's destroying us. Marriages are breaking up, kids are growing up too fast, being too spoiled, being raised with questionable values and it's carrying over into their adult life. These divorces are causing a lot of children to be raised by the TV and computer...which can desensitize children to some very mature subject matter.

There are so many different dangers and aspects to consider, I truly believe our family unit is at peril. I believe to get back on track we need to start with our parenting decisions. Beginning with allowing/forcing our children to be children and mature at their level, not at societies speed. Putting the needs of the family first (obviously there are exceptions to this), prioritizing our lives and just slowing down.

I am not practicing what I preach. I work 5 days a week and solo parent 2-3 nights a week. I allow my children to have (limited) control of the remote, and often don't consider my husband's wants when making decisions. But our family dynamic is changing, summer is coming and hopefully someday,we'll begin to slow down *grin*.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Talked to the Realtor

Todd talked to the realtor...a house recently sold similar to our house. Right now, she thinks we could get out for what we owe but finishing the renovations could allow us to walk away with a profit. We (Todd) have finished the paint job in the living room and the dining room. Our next step is to clean the living room carpet and the immediately pull it up (it's in great condition so my aunt is taking enough to carpet her great room until they finish the house and then after construction is done she can replace it with whatever she likes. After finishing the hardwood floors, we'll move to the basement (get rid of the dryer, the treadmill, the couch, and other random useless furniture), pull up the carpet and paint the floor with floor carpet. We'll then move the playroom down there, paint the playroom to be the big boys bedroom, paint our room to be Ryan's bedroom and paint the boys bedroom to be our room. It sounds like a is a lot. I don't know how fast we'll be able to get it done. If we aren't able to get this house sold in time to get the new place before it goes to foreclosure (which is a real possibility) then we'll hope to sell in time to buy it at the foreclosure. We may have to get a small apartment between this house and the next. We know this is all far fetched but we also know God can throw mountains into the sea so He certainly can make this move happen. If it's His will.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What went wrong?

Yesterday, as I sat with Lane Michael and Ethan eating lunch, I watched them interact, watched Lane Michael walk "like an old man" and Ethan "shaken his booty" as they giggled together the way brothers do and I just couldn't help but wonder where my relationship with my brother went wrong? Today is our birthday, and as I sat at my computer reading all the "happy birthday" wishes on Facebook, I deliberately didn't send a message to Lou, I wanted to give him the chance to be the hero and was shocked when he did message me a wonderful message wishing me a happy birthday, he told me he loves me. This isn't our usual relationship. We don't normally speak and I have a lot of hard feelings regarding him. I've been burned a lot over the last couple of years started long before then. I don't know exactly when it started. I see pictures of us as kids and I know we were happy. I know I enjoyed hanging out with him. But somewhere along the lines I developed one hard feeling after another. I remember being jealous when my parents would feed him a constant stream of praise (see it even comes out in my writing this many years later), I think that's where it all stemmed from. Jealousy. And maybe my jealous feelings bled over into my actions or my words. But I feel as though he has chosen the relationship that we don't have. I'll be honest, I never put a lot of effort into a relationship with him. I invited him to my wedding, he didn't come...he says he didn't get the invitation. I sent him and Andrea cards, again they were "lost in the mail". They didn't attend Braden's funeral. None of these missed events is a big deal in and of itself. Add them altogether though, topped with my feelings of jealousy and inadequacy and you have a strained relationship. The point of my post, my ramblings, how do I avoid history repeating itself? How do I avoid treating them different while equal.
Ethan is a lot like me, while Lane Michael is very similar to Lou. They have different needs at different times. Each have their own talents and skills. Their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. I can see now, Lou required very little parenting...Lane Michael needs very little from me...very little guidance, instruction, discipline. While Ethan does require guidance, instruction and discipline. I want to give Ethan the opportunity to be independent and not require all those things, I want him to know that I'm as proud of him as I am of Lane Michael. I don't want to treat them the same but without allowing either child to ever feel "less than". I want to have boys who want to spend weekends away together, I want them to still be best friends as adults, lean on each other, camp together, raise kids together. I want them to see in each other the wonderful person each of them are. I want Ethan to see Lane Michael for his strengths, for his wisdom, his goofy, playful self, and I want Lane Michael to see Ethan for all he has to offer, his willing heart, his compassion, his disorganized, funny, snarky personality. I don't mention Ryan in this because he's so young, I don't know yet where he fits in. I love them and want them to love each other, which I see is what breaks my Mom's heart! I see that we are breaking her heart every day, I just can't be the one to fix this. There have to be major changes before we can have any real relationship. My cousin would tell me to worry less, pray more. This is great advice.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Update on Drama

My brother does have my gun!! Woot woot! He gets big points for that! However, he loses points for not only not paying my Mom and buying a gun but also taking his family on vacation from Ohio to Arizona....his family will drive down next week and he will fly down a week later to drive them all home. So he's spending money on the drive down and back and on a one way flight to AZ...normally I'd say his spending and vacations are none of my business but when my Mom is still being hurt by his actions, I have a hard time not caring. But he does have some points for the time being.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update to yesterdays post

I went to lunch at my Mom's shop and as soon as I walked in she asked what was wrong. I told her that my brother bites...her eyes immediately welled up with tears. She said she had seen the Facebook post last night and had melted down. I asked if she knew if he had my gun back. She didn't. I didn't ask about the money he owes her because we both know it's still not paid and that would just be salt in the wound. She's having a very very bad week. Please pray for her.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Camp Perry

Just about the time I graduated high school and right before leaving for the Army, my Dad took me to Camp Perry to a shooting competition it was a statewide competition and there was of course an adult competition, a juniors competition and then there was a team competition and it was a father/mother/son/daughter competition. My Dad entered us in this competition and we placed 6th in the state. It was one of those weekends I'll never forget, we had such a good time hanging out and getting to know each other on a different level...before that weekend, it had always been my brother and my Dad or my Mom and me...but my brother and my Mom weren't there to buffer was just the two of us on the range. He taught me to shoot, to load a weapon, and to talk to him. That weekend made me feel so special and so loved. He went out of his way to find something for us to do together, I could have stayed there forever. At the end of that weekend, he said he was so proud of me and he had even snuck off long enough to buy the M-1 Garand we had shot (today it would cost around $500-$1000 if bought through Camp Perry). When Dad passed away, he still had 3 (I think) of these rifles. Because how the will was drawn up, I got one and Lou got the others. At the time, I wasn't quite ready to take my "inheritance" home with me, and when Lou came to pack them up, he took my rifle with him also. No big deal, I can get it back from problem. Until he pawned it. Then this weekend he advertised that he had purchased a $1200 rifle for himself. He owes a large sum of money to someone who shall remain nameless (*cough *my Mom* cough*). I'm hurt. I'm more hurt for my Mom...he continues to choose to hurt her. I will probably never see my M-1 Garand. But I have my memories. I was hoping to pass those memories to my kids...hoping to pass the rifle to one of the boys. I understand this all sounds very selfish and a little shallow. I have not spoken to my Mom to see if Lou got my rifle back from the pawn shop. But my real beef is the money he owes my Mom....$1200 isn't a drop in the bucket. It's significant. And he continues to choose to hurt her.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tightness in my chest.

We currently have 30 tomato sprouts and zero pepper plants. On my kitchen counter.

I have Christmas lights on my house. (yep. we are "those" people *yuck*)

My dining room paint job took 27 hours start to finish. My living room still isn't finished. This is what I was afraid of.

Todd just got back from Tennessee.

Ethan's grades are still improving and he now only struggles with composition, which may come with time.

My boys all need haircuts.

My house is a wreck.

There's a firewood rubber maid storage container un-assembled sitting by our front steps. Still.

My stomach is in knots and every night before I even get into the house I'm angry, upset, want to vomit. I'm nauseous all the time. And I don't have time to fix it. I know that all I can do is as much as I can do but when I have people deliberately working against me, I get angry and of course that doesn't help.

Enter a Giveaway!


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Monday, March 7, 2011

Kids Ruin Careers

If you struggle with infertility, this may not be the post for you. Please don't read this if you are struggling...I love my children and wouldn't trade them for anything in the whole world...but lets face it, they aren't good for careers!
I work in a 3 man office. When D is out, no one can fill his shoes, when S is out, no one can fill her shoes and when I'm out, no one can fill my shoes. We all have very particular roles and while I can do the things they do, I can not step in and know the circumstances behind each veteran. S took 2 weeks off for vacation in Florida (I'm so happy she was able to spend this time with her sister and it seems to have been really good for her). D also had a lot going on while she was gone, work done on a vehicle, his puppy getting "fixed"...this and that. And it just turns out that it was Todd's first week of student teaching, which left me the primary parent. Tuesday of last week, our sitter wasn't able to take Ryan...I had to call off work, Wednesday the boys were home sick so I was about 10 minutes late because I had to take them to my Mom. Thursday Ethan had to be picked up at about 9:30 because he got sick...I had a 10:00 appointment with a client, so I had to run to the school, then take him to my Mom...I was about 5 minutes late for my appointment. Friday went well. Then Monday (today) Lane Michael spilled juice on himself and needed new clothes, and Ethan had to be picked up because he was still sick. Thank God Todd was able to get him and I didn't even have to tell D and S about it...I love my co-workers but D gets irritated if I have to run an errand for my kids (weird).

Don't get me wrong...I love my kids and wouldn't change or trade them for the world and I know that motherhood is a 24/7 job, I love and appreciate the gift it is to be their Mom...I just hope I'm still able to build my career while being the best Mom I can be!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Owner

I'm so proud of my Mom!! She is purchasing the building her business is currently renting!! WootWoot! She is doing this alone, she'll hold the mortgage and the business will now rent from her! Ethan said "you mean I could own Casa Chic?" yes buddy, you could! I'm so proud of her! It's the best shop in Wapakoneta! She's got so much going on right now, and is facing it all with a brave face! I love that woman! I don't know what we'd do without her! I feel bad for people who don't have a fantastically awesome Mom...because seriously, mine is the best! She always tells us "you can't do anything I haven't done" so every time I screw something up and I'm frustrated and she's frustrated she reminds me that I can't do anything she hasn't done! That statement has allowed me to trust her with all my baggage and all the things in life I regret. I'm so proud of her and I strive every day to be like her!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Fortunate Turn of Events.

I see God's hand working in our lives. So what the title actually really reads is "A Blessed Turn of Events"
I will admit that I am blessed. I am a lot like my father in that I can fall in a big vat of poop and come out smelling like a rose. It began early, getting pregnant with twins, I married Todd...before we even really knew each other...God blessed us...neither one of us turns into an ogre...often. Then when Todd fell 18 could have been worse. When we needed a buyer for the farm, not one, but 2 buyers fell into our willing to pay significantly more than the other. When we were ready to sell the trailor, a buyer literally came from no where and bought it. When we were ready for Todd to go back to school but not ready to make that leap, he was laid off. We have never had a tragedy that God didn't bring us through and he's always set us in a better place afterwards. So I have no doubt that if moving to this farm is his will, he'll help us make it happen. So today, when I called to pay off a medical bill that was ready to go to collections (I'm not proud of this but I was fighting with the hospital. whatever), I called and told the lady what I needed and she said that it hadn't gone on my credit report...and in fact, they had never sent anything to my credit report. *good news* I think I have decent credit but haven't had it pulled recently to know. Then I called Dayton Childrens and found out that the bills I was getting ready to pay for $154 and $200 were not billed properly and we won't owe anything! Not only that, but the bill I paid last month for $167 should be refunded! More good news! God does not work in mysterious ways and always answers our prayers...sometimes his answer is just "no"
We talked to the boys over the last couple of days and explained that they're going to have to go to the smaller bedroom soon and Ryan will move to our room...they were ok with it. *shock* We also explained they'll probably lose their playroom...again met with good attitudes and finding the bright side!
Then we dropped the bomb...we can't go on vacation until our house sells. Met with...more good attitudes...and "maybe we can go camping" "can we go to Tennessee"..."can we give you our allowance to help get the new house?" This one made my heart swell...they didn't ask if they could help pay for vacation...they just want the other house...they are such good boys. I talked to the hotel and they said we've got about a year to use our vacation package...hopefully, we can benefit from this...but if we can't, maybe we can offer it to someone else. I'm so proud of these boys! And right now, life is good!

Moving update. again.

So, the house on 198 is not in foreclosure and will not go to Sheriff's sale. There are 2 owners of this home. One is in prison for 16 years (or so) for a brutal rape and will get out in 2020, the other owner seems like a really nice guy and is owed a large sum of money by the first owner. So, he's calling the bank to see how much money it would take to get out from under this house. We've been working feverishly to get our house on the market...a few more weeks and we should be ready to go. We have quite a to do list:

-take up carpet in living and dining room
-finish the edges of the hard wood floors in living and dining room
-touch ups on the living room paint job (that post will follow)
-trade bedrooms and paint those rooms (as a quick fix Ryan will take our room, twins will take play room, Todd and I will take master bedroom and we will strip out the carpet in the basement, paint the floor and make it the playroom)(this will mean painting all these bedrooms)
-fix stairway and bathroom wall paper
-re-finish molding that Heather's dog chewed on
-basement ceiling

I'm sure there's more...but this list will get us started...and I think if this is completed, we can go ahead and get the house at least on the market. Wish us luck!