Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wondering How I Am

I am wandering around, wondering how I am.

Wednesday I was great.  I got to see one of my absolute favorite people.  Had a great day.  Then had an errant thought that won’t leave.  It has me all tied in knots.  I notified the correct people and had a good conversation Thursday with my therapist about coping mechanisms and how to reduce my anxiety during the holidays.

I was in a good place.

Then Saturday came.  We had a holiday party to go to.  Our only one. I was really excited.  Until we got there.

It happens to me all the time.  I am excited to go someplace and be social…until I get there.  Then, I want to climb in my shell and hide.  I am afraid every word out of my mouth will be the wrong one.  I am afraid I will offend or hurt people, or, very likely, just bore them to tears.  I am sure that every person who accidentally talks to me wants to get away.  Fast.  And I hate myself.

That was yesterday.  Thankfully one friend I can be totally myself with was there.  And her pretty baby.  Whom I got to cuddle and rock to sleep.  My hubby even complimented me on my baby skills, “you’ve still got  it.”

I totally don’t miss the infant days.  I absolutely miss having a baby I can focus on in hard situations.  Sigh.

And today?  I am completely uncomfortable in my own skin.  I feel like I’m dragging, while my heart is racing with half formed thoughts of how I need to hide and get away.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I don’t know how to be around people.

That’s the place I am in.

Our Three Wise Men

We have been doing a Christmas Unit Study as part of our schooling.  I enjoy the learning we are doing, we all enjoy the crafts the author, Amanda Bennett, has been adding recently.

Today was a hand print Wise Men scene.

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It was very simple to create.

Our blank canvas, was, just that, a blank artist canvas I got on sale.  You could also do it on heavy paper.

We did hand prints in brown acrylic paint, upside down, to create the camel.  I had the girls put them in order by size, then we did the pointer finger in a pretty color of acrylic paint for the body of the wise man.  Finally, we painted the crowns on with glitter glue and added camel tails in brown and hooves with glittery glitter glue.  We had to have some royal pizzazz, right?  Caitlyn added the Star of Christmas and smaller stars with glitter glue to light up the night sky.  Once it dries, I will put their names and ages on the back.

Four Months in Coming…

Four months ago, Caitlyn hit the mother lode of dreams for a 7 year old…a loose tooth.  The watch for losing it was on…and on…and on…and on.

She wriggled.

And tugged.

Apples were bitten.

Her tongue pushed and prodded.

To no avail.

It stayed put.


It got looser.

And looser.

She started telling me it fell out.

I started falling for it.

Until TODAY.

It fell out.

Oh Glory!!!

My response, “really?  For real this time?”

Who can blame me?  I’ve been living with the girl who cried teeth.

But, yes, it was true.  She now speaks with a whistling subtext due to the absence of that front tooth.

With it’s loss, came Sue’s laments that she had not lost a tooth.  When would she loose a tooth?

Both, thanks to having read a book about Pinkalicious writing to the tooth fairy, decided to write the little nymph a letter.

They are so precious.

Sues’:  Der Toofee  I do not hav ene los tef.  Can no wit bac

(Dear tooth fairy,  I do not have any loose teeth.  Can you write back?)

Caitlyn’s:  Dere Tooth Fairy  I have a tooth for………you  I love you veay muuuuch  P.S Thank you  P.S send me a picher  Love Caitlyn PS I am 7! Now!

The tooth fairy wrote back.  And she’ll be keeping the letters.  She also left a picture.


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Love and Memories

This morning I donned an apron made by my Great Grandma H to make my Great Grandma Ks’ molasses cookie recipe that I remember my Grandma D making.

The cookies were in a jar in Grandma Ds’ kitchen on the long counter to the right of the door as you came in.  Hers were big and round.  I chose to make mine into Gingerbread men.

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Grandma Ds’ kitchen was always warm and open to anyone.  I loved going there.  I miss going there.

This time of year always finds me wandering among my memories.  We said Good Bye to Grandma a year ago this month and my dad, her son, would have turned 62 this year, tomorrow.

So amongst all the gaiety and fun of the season, I spend time, as many do, with memories of those we no longer hold close with our arms.

I remember Grandma H and the many Christmases we went there for brunch before heading to Grandma Ms for more Christmas.  I remember the couple of years they convinced my dad to dress up as Santa Claus and come to my Grandma Hs’.  I have no idea how they talked him into that, or how they got all that white make up out of his beard in time to get to Grandma Ms.  I also remember wondering why every year there seemed to be a reason he had to run home to tend our wood stove fires and miss the visit from Santa.


I remember gathering at Grandma Ds for family Christmas a few days after the actual holiday.  They had a finished basement with a family room in it.  There were so many people, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.  How I loved the years we got money to pick our own gifts.  Talk about feeling grown up!  Or the year I got the DELUXE Wheel of Fortune Game I had been desiring.  That was Christmas JACKPOT.

Christmas at home was a little complicated.  We didn’t have much money.   My mom did a great job of yard saling (still does) for gifts, so I never felt want, but my dad felt bad he couldn’t buy us a bunch.  It put him in a rather unpleasant mood.  I wish he had understood it didn’t matter how much I was given, anything mattered.

Like the year he got me a Crystal Barbie, what girl didn’t swoon for her sparkly dress and purple eye shadow?  Or the amazing year he forgave my debt for my car engine.  Now that was a gift a girl can never forget.  To him, it was a failure because he didn’t shop for me, to me, it was the weight of the world off my shoulders.  And then there was one of the last gifts he ever bought me, a beautiful lamp.  He had gotten me one years before that I cherished, but it got broken in my move to college.  I was elated the day I unwrapped the new one.  It sits, to this day, next to my bed.  The WHOLE family knows not to touch that baby.  I don’t need it in order to keep my dad close, but I dread anything happening to it.

These are just a few of the memories I live among during the holidays.  I hold them close.  I hold my loved ones closer, and pray those in eternity are watching down on us and sharing memories too.

Happy Birthday Daddy.  Merry Christmas Grandmas and Grandpas.

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Get Ready For A Sappy Post

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See that family up there?  It’s mine.  Mine.  That’s my hubby, my girls.  Mine.

I posted these recent family photos on Facebook yesterday and two college friends reminded me how I had been so sure I would never meet anyone, have a hubby or kids.  I was sure of it.  They were sure I was wrong.  For once, I’m glad I was wrong.

I love those four people like crazy.  More than words can ever express.  I love them.

I love the good moments, I love the hard.  I love it.

This weeks has had some hard.  Patrice was sick, really sick, Wednesday night.  She has recovered, but now Sue is down.

In the middle of that, I started to panic I was not teaching the girls the right stuff.  I don’t have specific curriculum picked out.  I am working a lot from items I find on-line, iPad apps, I Can Read books, and hand-me-down workbooks.

Today I feel better about it.  The hand-me-downs I have are really great books.  I am photocopying a bunch of math for Caitlyn right now, won’t she be thrilled.  I have Rod and Staff Bible/Reading material to start in the new year, the girls are in love with and challenged by the Teach Me iPad apps, and I ordered some handwriting and phonics material from Christian Book Distributors (CBD) today.

Even that teared me up.

We used to get the huge CBD newspaper print catalog.  I would drool over it for days.  I would choose something to save my pennies for.  I remember saving and saving for Janette Oke’s Love Come Softly and When Calls the Heart box sets.  I still have them, and due to my high book handling standards, they are still in pristine condition.  Fast forward a couple decades and here I am, pouring over CBD again to find what is just right for my girls.  Mine.

So, I cried.  Tears of joy, utter joy.

And while sick kids are part of the hard, there is joy there too.  I am the mama.  They want me when they are sick.  I can help them feel better.  I can be there and love them.

In sickness and in health.

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And because you need even more cute of my family…

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And if  you could only see the cute going on in my kitchen right now…

Caitlyn and Patrice are having a dance party.  Patrice just pointed at Caitlyn and said, “lets do it!”  And do it they are!!!  They are busting a move with the “Funky Chicken” and “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Rolling in Luck

For homeschooling, it seems like we are never, actually home.

Okay, that is an exaggeration.  We are home most of the time, but we do get out and about.  Today we went to a homeschool group Christmas party and bowling.

We haven’t been bowling since Caitlyns’ birthday in August.  And I was so sick I barely remember it (I was hospitalized that evening).

But today, today was a ton of fun.  Caitlyn, especially, reveled in the fun.

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There was a quick intermission to exchange fun gifts.

And then Caitlyn and I were back to bowl the last few frames, for ourselves and our coplayers who had abandoned us.

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It was a whole lot of fun!!!!

Reading for the Rainbow

Sue is struggling to read a bit.  I think part of it is lack of motivation.  Sooo…

Yesterday she was asking me to color my hair pink.  I found the offer of putting pink or purple stripes in my hair if she learned to read coming out of my mouth…

Me.  The woman who has never colored or highlighted her hair in any way.  I had a couple perms almost 30 years ago, but that is it.  The some total of my hair bravery.

But today I cemented the deal with Sue.  I will put pink stripes on one side of my head and purple on the other when she can read Fancy Nancy the Book Report to me perfectly.  Every. last. word.

I even made us a chart after counting the roughly 500 words in the I Can Read Book.

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A Beautiful Mess in Photos

Life is a beautiful mess around here…

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Ride em’ cowgirl into Saturday Snapshots with my friend at An Ordinary Mom.

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Here is the beginning of our Advent Jesse Tree.  This is our first time doing this for Advent.  I love how it takes us all over Scripture to prepare for Jesus’ birth.  We have studied Jacob, Moses, Abraham, just to name a few.

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This last week found me tackling make homemade bread.  The first attempt was a bomb, the second was yummy cinnamon bread.  I even got Caitlyn involved with kneading the dough.  10 minutes is a long time, yo.

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I also dug out my old cross stitching materials in hope of doing a project for my Grandma (see the red Cardinal?).

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FYI, my house is almost always a stage of disaster, but this little girl declared me the best mommy ever as I allowed her to destroy my kitchen in order to paint.  I’ll take that over clean any day!

Getting to Know You

I met a new therapist today.  We’ll have a long, fulfilling relationship, of two weeks.

I found out they have a program at an university near me where you can get free therapy by working with students logging their necessary hours.

The location is wonderfully convenient to my house.  It is easy to forget I am being videotaped, well my voice is.  And who can beat free?!

Unfortunately, it is almost time for a new group of students to come in, so I will only see this lady one more week.


Ah well.

We got a lot of history and preliminaries out of the way.  Hopefully that will help the new person hit the ground running.

But not running away.