Floors...those beautiful floors!

This is a patch Allan had done where a wall previously was. Can you see the door frame? The guys we hired to do the floors said they would "lace" the repairs in so that it wouldn't look so obvious.
Here is the after! Obviously it's not been sanded or finished, but the wood was laced in and it looks great. They did this to the big hole in our living room and they're working on the dining room too.

Here is a big nasty water rot spot under the window before they came...

And there it is, (or rather, ISN'T), after they sanded it. You can still see some on the edge, but they got the hand sander out and fixed that, too. YAY!And these were the stain options. I really loved the one on the far left, but we chose the 3rd from the left instead. Lots of reasons, but it's pretty too. The guy called tonight and said that they'd be done by Saturday. Apparently the floors were waxed A LOT and it's taking a lot to sand them. That's okay, I can handle waiting an extra day for great floors. At least we're seeing some PROGRESS on that part of the house.

Now maybe we can get our electricity back in our garage. *sigh*


My sh*t list

But first some pictures because I haven't posted any in a long time and I know ya'll want to see them.

Ain't she cute, sleepin' with her butt up in the air?

This is my rocker girl with a scrape on her face from kissing the pavement in our driveway. It healed in no-time fast, thank God. I thought someone was going to think I beat her!She is just so darned snuggly!! I've never held such a cuddly little thing in my whole life.

So lately I've been pretty depressed and I realize that I've NEVER known how to deal with grief. I just put it off and shut myself up because I feel like I don't "deserve" to feel it and I don't pray about it because I don't know how to pray to "feel better" because it doesn't work that way...so here is my prayer list and I'm going to consider this my way of "handing it over to God" so I can move on, hopefully.

1. We had to move out of our house.
2. We've been stuck in a house the size of a bedroom for 3+ months now.
3. My kids don't listen to squat and aren't free to roam/play/work out energy out here.
4. I have no computer during the day while Allan is at school.
5. I miss my mom and sisters, especially after I had an AWESOME time in WI in Dec.
6. My "dad" didn't say SQUAT to me or send a Christmas card for the 2nd year in a row.
7. My "church family" seems not to care that I tell them I'm lonely and stressed. I still only see them on Sundays.
8. The "extreme home makeover" has turned into the extreme home demolition...oops we don't have the money to fix it, so you'll just have to live with it.
9. I'm about to lose my promotion and become just a consultant again.
10. The only friend I can hang out with during the day and who I adore and learn from and appreciate so much just moved 6 hours away.
11. I got a ticket for being a neglectful mom.
12. The surrounding circumstances triggered my PTSD and now I'm super sad about crap I haven't thought about in years.
13. I have to go to court and file a complaint and all I want to do is forget about the whole thing.
14. A cousin from my step-family called me and I felt really bad about it.
15. Someone from church reported that I didn't clean up good enough after my Kids in the Kitchen workshop, even though I did.
16. My uncle died last week and I don't feel like I have the right to mourn because I pretty much disowned that family when I was 13.
17. No matter how hard I try I can't seem to feel close to God.
18. I can't make myself walk into the church service to save my life for the last 3 months.
19. I hardly get to cook anymore since our kitchen is torn up and I have no stove out here. The cleanup is horrendous.
20. My husband's been in 2 car accidents in the last 2 months.
21. My car is acting up.
22. My husband's PTSD is acting up and I can't fix him. I wish he didn't have to understand how I feel.
23. No matter how hard I try I can't stop screaming at the kids
24. I feel alone, scared and stupid.
25. I can't do anything right and everything I touch gets screwed up.

26. I had to give up nursing.

27. I had to give up pumping.

27.5. Formula is EXPENSIVE!

28. Violet is ALSO allergic to cow's milk and has to have soy formula.

29. The kids and I have been sick for a couple weeks with allergies.

30. I've been realizing I need to learn to reconcile old me and new me instead of just forgetting that that life existed. This is harder than I ever imagined.

31. My stomach is still all icky and fat from giving birth almost TEN months ago.

32. My long-lost step-daughter's aunt found me on MySpace and made me wish we knew her.

33. I miss Rhiya like crazy and it makes my heart ache. I love to talk to her on Sundays but I cry when I get off the phone with her because I wish she was here and I'm so impressed by the woman she's turning into.

There some of it is. Maybe now I can walk away from it or deal with it or whatever it is I'm supposed to do. Thanks for being my journal, blogger.




Sec.22.10.LEAVING A CHILD IN A VEHICLE.(a) A person
commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child
in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the
child is:
(1)younger than seven years of age; and
(2)not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is
14 years of age or older.

I'm filing a formal complaint against the officer who triggered my PTSD. I got his name and I'm going to get it notarized tomorrow. I'm also going to talk to the judge about how I'm NOT going to pay $932 because I left the vehicle for 45 seconds TOPS, which is much less than FIVE MINUTES.

Lots of other sh*tty stuff has happened the last 2 days, but I don't feel like typing it. Hope ya'll are having better months than me!


If you can't say something nice...

...blog about it.

Today I got in trouble. For being a crappy mom. Yepp, the occifers came to get me. I parked my car in the city hall parking right next to the cop shop. It was cold, so I left it running with the kids in the backseat, (GraceAnne was feeding Violet and both were happy), and locked the doors. I had to run across the street (25 ft) to drop off a hostess packet to someone who works down there. I knocked on the door, but the shop wasn't open, so I came back to the car. As I was getting into the car I heard the girl hollar to me, so I went back to give her the packet. She asked me a couple questions, (right inside the door of her shop...I could see the car and the kids the whole time), and I told her to hold on while I got her some more catalogs and moved the car, (didn't wanna get a ticket), and got the kids. When I got back across the street, (all this took no more than 45 seconds), a guy with a bandaged hand was yelling from the stairs. I said, "I know, I'm moving it right now, I'm sorry." He came over and tried to get into my car! I freaked, but figured we were in front of the police station in broad daylight, what could happen? I unrolled the window a hair so he could talk to me. He said, "I work for the police department, do you have a license on you?" I said yes and thought, "here we go...a parking ticket." He said, "you're going to have to step out of the vehicle." For parking in the wrong spot for 2 minutes?!? So I got out and he asked me what I was doing. I told him dropping something off, realized she had more questions and was moving the car, getting the kids and going back in. He asked how old the kids were and I realized this was about THEM and not my parking. I told him 9 months and almost 5. He just clucked at me. He said there was a patrol cop on the way and I could go do what I needed to do, but to leave the kids and the car there. OVER MY DEAD BODY am I leaving my kids here with some strange man, officer or not! So I stayed and he said nothing else to me. While we were waiting the kids were getting antsy, so I opened the back door and was talking to them. When the other officer got there, (how long does it really take? This town has all of 17,000 people and we were RIGHT in front of the station...give me a break!), she gets out of her car and the man says to her, "this woman left her 9 month old and 4 year old in the car alone. Just thought you'd be interested in that." To which she replied, "OH! I am VERY interested." The man drove away in his big, stinky diesel truck and the woman started taking down my information. The first thing she said to me was "did you know it's illegal to leave your children in a car by themselves?" I said, "I was unaware it was illegal to leave your children in a LOCKED car when you can SEE them and you're only gone for a few seconds." She said, "well, it is." At this point I have to get the kids out because she's taking forever and they're getting mad. So I'm now on the sidewalk holding Vi and GraceAnne jumping around. She ended up getting back in the car, (not in her carseat), cuz she was cold and she was jumping around in there like a fool and not listening to me which was just FANTASTIC for my nerves. The woman came to me with a little electronic dealy-bob and told me to sign it. I asked her what it was, because I KNOW I don't have to sign anything without being told what it is. She said, "No, you need to just sign this now, I'll explain in a minute." My bullsh*t meter was beeping, but I was about to blow a fuse so I signed it. She gave me the citation for 1. abandoning my children in a vehicle and 2. having said vehicle running. She told me to call the number on the citation for directions on what to do.

Can we say PISSED? Can we say HORRIFIED? Can we say EMBARRASSED beyond all belief? I spent a lot of time crying today and I'm left just pretty ticked off. I have to call tomorrow and find out what they want me to do. My very sincere prayer is that they don't have CPS come investigate us. They won't find anything but Lord knows what they'd say about us all living in the guest house. I have no idea what the dollar amount attached to this will be, I'm almost scared to find out, but if I only have to pay a fine and never hear another word, I'll be happy.

I hate these trash stories. It makes me feel trashy. Yes, I did wrong...but does anyone care that I was WATCHING them the whole time? It's not like I went grocery shopping and left them sitting in the car, (which I've seen around here!). It's also not as if I were gone all day. Do I need to take them out when I pre-pay for gas now? It's so very ridiculous. Things seem to get better and better around here.

Praise God for our health and for each other. Praise God that all things will work out in the end, because they sure aren't working out right now. Praise God because otherwise I might just think to hate Him for half a minute and I know that's just the devil working on me cuz I'm under stress. Praise God because I am not getting this onslaught of crap because I "deserve" it, but just because I live in this stupid, fallen world and someday it'll be better. Praise God because He still Blesses me, even when I refuse to see it. *sigh*


This post may offend...

This blog post may offend any non-believers out there. 2.5 years ago it would have offended me. Maybe we need to be offended so we can think, grow and accept the truth. So, consider yourself warned.

Allan got into a little bit of trouble at school today. There was a speaker who was talking about "disorders" in children and how there are many more disorders than we know about or diagnose. She talked for more than 45 minutes about how these kids have no impulse control and they are stressing their parents out. She gave 2 examples...

1) 2 little boys, (ages 6 and 5), were playing in their bedroom. The father was downstairs and kept hearing thuds. He was going to go check on them, but figured no one was crying so they were okay and decided to finish what he was doing. Then he heard a loud crash. He ran upstairs to see what had happened and it turned out they had been taking turns jumping from the top bunk. The older boy wanted to "fly" and grabbed hold of a fan blade, spinning around the room. He didn't pull the fan down, but something got knocked over, resulting in the crash.

2) a 16-year-old girl wanted to go to a friend's house. She borrowed the family car and didn't tell her parents where she was going. She broke her parents' curfew and didn't want to face the consequences, so she just didn't go home. The city had a curfew law, however, and the girl got picked up by the police and escorted home. This is how the parents found out where their daughter was.

So the argument is that these children have something wrong with them, but Allan took issue with that. What 6-year-old hasn't done something "wrong" and "damaging" because it looked fun? I'd say most of them have. My 4-year-old does on a daily basis. What 16-year-old hasn't disobeyed her parents and made things worse because she didn't want to own up to her mistakes?

At the very end of the presentation, the woman finally said, "perhaps the stressed out parents are affecting their children and causing them to behave this way." Then came Q&A time. People asked their questions and my husband happened to be the last to get to ask. His question? "Do you have children." Her answer? "no." Afterward his professors were upset with him. Apparently he embarrassed a very respected psychologist in front of the entire university. Was it not a legitimate question? People without kids probably don't think so, but I know you parents out there understand--KIDS ARE KIDS and HERE is WHY:

Life is meaningless without assuming a God. There's no reason to look forward to a future, no reason to be good, no reason for anything. How depressing. So let's assume there is a God...you know I believe this. God puts out rules, which is good, because HEY...who's right down here if we're not all right? We need guidelines or else all is chaos. So in being human we are ALL born with the propensity to sin. Don't get your panties in a bunch over the word "sin," either. It just means doing wrong and we all do wrong, so don't let the verbage catch you up. Children cannot teach themselves. They must be taught by others the difference between right or wrong. Anybody ever read Lord of the Flies? (Another point in the case for God...who originally taught us what is right and wrong?)

So is there really something wrong with these children, or is it simply their propensity towards sin? Each of us wants what we want. It's not until we're older and taught differently that we start to think of others/consequences before we act. Even then many of us don't act unselfishly. I hate when people walk around saying, "my kid has a disorder and that's why he screams in the restaurant." Okay, allow me to redeem myself by saying YES, some children DO have disorders that cause them to act out. Most parents of these children act accordingly and are very humble. The ones who irritate me are the same ones who irritate you...the ones smoking cigarettes and sipping coffee while allowing their children to run and jump off other booths and scream bloody murder with no sense of dissatisfaction or embarrassment that their child is behaving in this way. How should those kids know any different when the parent can't take 2 seconds out of their time to TEACH them how to behave in public? And the father's sin is visited upon the child...selfishness (I don't WANT to take the time or energy to teach them any differently) breeds selfishness (I don't care that the people around me would like to eat the meals that they paid a lot of money for in peace).

Maybe I'm rambling and this doesn't make sense, but when we realize that we live in a country where so many don't have faith in anything and so many don't fully KNOW what is wrong because they don't accept God's Word, of course we're going to think our kids are "messed up." Why shouldn't they just "know" how to behave themselves? After all, the evolution of humans has made us just THAT superior...we don't need to be taught anything, we came to these conclusions on our own. We have to realize that we NEED God just as children NEED parents. Then we think of what role God plays in our lives. He is a leader and He doesn't always give in to what we want. He knows what is best and He acts according to that plan. So how should we be raising our children? We should be leading them and not always give in to what they want. Just like we throw tantrums, (hello, I whine daily about being in the guest house!), our children will, but that doesn't mean we should just give in and assume they have a disorder and call it a day. God doesn't give up on us just cuz we're stubborn mules!

*sigh* I have to go because my 4-year-old is trashing her bedroom. Maybe I should take her to the psychologist and see what type of disorder she can be diagnosed with so I don't have to face the fact that I'm addicted to the internet and given to yelling at every little thing. Yeah...maybe then I'll feel better! I'll let you know in 14 years how that works out for me. ;)


Our Big Baby

9 months old! Can you even believe it? I sure can't! Violet is 18lbs 4oz and 29 inches long. She's only about 50% for her weight, so she took a big drop from 6 months, (80% then), but GraceAnne did the same thing and she didn't drop as much as GraceAnne did, so we're good. She's been very active and had been on a 2 day feeding strike before I took her in, so I think she's probably gained a few ounces now that she's decided a certain type of formula is her friend, (we like Similac Organic). She's very LOOOONG like her big sisters...95th percentile...and should be tall like they are, too.

Right now we're planning a few trips, so I'm very excited. First we're going to GA for a conference for Allan and then to FL to spend time with sister-in-law and mother-in-law. That will be in March. Mother-in-law wants us to come to PA in May for grandmother-in-law's 90th birthday bash. I'm not sure how we'll get there yet, but hopefully we can! Allan wants to go to PA pretty bad. We haven't been since GraceAnne was just a little over a year old, so it's probably time. Then we'll be going to Chicago in July for National Conference for me. I want to make that trip about a week long, (as long as Allan is not working), so we can see family and go to the Brookfield Zoo, (GREATEST ZOO ON EARTH!!), and Navy Pier with the kids. Rhiya will come with us so it will be SO MUCH FUN!

I love love LOVE travelling and we haven't been able to do much of it for the past few years because of school and money. Now that we've got the 2nd mortgage paid off we've been able to save a little more and do some fun stuff. Thank you, Lord! I missed travelling A LOT. Allan and I were in 28 different states in the first year we were together and made trips every 6 months from WA state to WI, besides little local trips in between. Once we moved to TX we became homebodies for the reasons stated above. I'm feeling very Blessed and very happy to be getting back to doing stuff. We usually drive everywhere, so we get to see a lot of really great things! Woohoo for getting the heck out!

To update everyone on my progress toward my goal of earning Disney World...I had $1278 in commissionable sales last month, so I earned a total of 5,556 pts. I need 52,000 total, so I got over 10% of my needed pts! I have until Dec. 31, 2009 to earn points, I WILL DO THIS!! We will absolutely be celebrating GraceAnne's 6th birthday at Disney World and I will absolutely be getting her breakfast with the princesses because the rest of the trip will be FREE! Please check up on me from time to time and kick me in the butt. I need all the encouragement and prayers you can offer to get this business going and meet my goals. I appreciate you all so much!