Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My oldest son starts high school in about 5 hours.  I hope he is getting some sleep.  For some reason, Bear and I aren't.  So here I am.......I've spent the last hour or so working through some of this stuff in my head and decided it was time to put fingers to the keyboard, so to speak.  Apparently, these are things I needed to work through.......

I graduated 8th grade in May 1991.  I had mixed emotions.  I remember being so excited about another step toward adulthood and terrified of moving into a new school with lots of new people.  I was NOT a social butterfly. 

Anyway, the summer started off ok I suppose.  There was the 8th grade graduation and dance.  That was fun......and a few graduation parties that classmates threw......
I turned 14 midway through June.  Nothing special there.....I don't even remember my birthday which means I probably spent it in a field somewhere.  That was pretty typical.  Anyway, my maternal grandmother was sick.  Really sick.  She had been diagnosed with colon/liver cancer the summer before and although she managed to come to my graduation, things went downhill quickly after that.  We spent a lot of time at their house in Newton.  I remember hospital beds and not being allowed in the living aunt's new husband.....playing cards with my maternal grandpa.  My Grandma Diel (Mary Diel) passed away early morning of July 4th. 

My brothers and I had spent the night at my paternal grandparents home the night before and when we woke up that morning my parents where there.  Grandma and Grandpa Pickens were great, we stayed with them that morning while my parents got some rest and they took us to the Dieterich 4th of July parade.  That night my parents took us to the fair. 

I think that we went on vacation later that summer.  Not very far away, as my Grandpa Diel had alzheimers, aggrevated by the loss of his wife.  My mom called every night to check on him but a few times he wouldn't accept her collect phone call.  I didn't understand alzheimers.  I tried, but until then I hadn't ever heard of such a thing and I didn't understand why my grandpa didn't know me.  I remember begging my mom not to make me go to high school.  I loved learning, I hated social situations.  I was terrified.  She made me go anyway. 

It was a miracle I made it through that first day without a nervous breakdown.  I got lost twice.  Ended up in the wrong classroom (sitting there waiting for class to start) once.  Thankfully my cousin saw me and sent me in the right direction.  I didn't cry.  I don't know how I managed that, but I didn't. 

I tried to join some clubs.  I spent some evenings sitting on my Grandpa's back step because the club function had gotten over early, mom wasn't there to meet me, and Grandpa wouldn't let me in because he didn't know who I was.  The boy I had "puppy loved" for 2 years asked me out and then dumped me 2 weeks later because I wouldn't make out with him after school.  Less than a month later one of my best friends killed herself.

Fourteen year olds shouldn't have to go to the funerals of friends.  And they shouldn't have to go alone.  Sure, I had friends there, but my parents weren' was harvest season, you see.  I was so blessed by the support of the mother of another friend.  I cannot descibe the pain that one feels after a loss like that.  I wasn't alone in my pain, so many of my friends were hurting as well, but I felt alone.  In less than 3 months I had lost a grandmother, best friend and essentially my grandfather as well.  I was barely coping in an educational setting that I wasn't really equiped to handle.  I had my heart broken (and the ex was spreading nasty rumors about my moral character).  Go me. 

I managed to persevere.  Now,  I wonder how I didn't have an emotional breakdown. 

At a band competition the next month I, along with other members of the band, was taken to the ER for frostbite.  My parents were not there and my father had to give permission for them to treat over the phone.  I was fine, but the trip home was agony.  I knew what was waiting.  It wasn't the worst tongue lashing that I had ever gotten, but it probably lasted the longest.  For several years afterwards it was thrown in my face as me wasting family resources and making bad decisions.  Go me.

Holidays that year sucked.  One of them was at our home.  Just my family and my Grandpa Diel (who was rapidly declining).  For some reason, during the dinner preparations, my mother felt the need to get into a huge phone conversation with her sister, in her bedroom.  I get that it was probably a hard year for both of them, having lost their mother.  However, I was left with dealing with a huge meal.  Alone.  My Grandpa came in and starting fiddling with things while I was trying to take something out of the oven and I couldn't get him to safely stay out of the way.  And I got a little grouchy.  My father went ballistic.  I understand now that my poor Grandpa had no idea about the safety of the oven in that situation.  I know now that he wasn't in his right mind and he didn't mean to be in my way.  I was just trying to do the best I could in yet another extremely stressful situation.  My father, reading the newspaper in the living room, made sure to let me know how I had failed.  Again. 

I am sitting here tonight wondering why in the world I was even in that kitchen.  I think now that I should have just went to my room, or outside.  Let someone else step up to the plate and deal with it.  But I didn't.  People pleaser all the way, I took responsibility for everything.  I always felt/feel like I have to carry the burdens of the world.  Lord knows I was carrying a lot of them that fall/winter. 

Things did get better in high school.  I learned the ropes, made friends, started dating a nice guy.  All of my high school years weren't miserable.  But when I think of high school, those first 6 months are the ones I remember.  The feelings of fear and sadness rear their ugly heads every single time. 

I've been praying all night.  Praying that my oldest (all of my children in fact) will have a good day tomorrow.  A little stress and a lot of fun.  I pray that his high school "career" will be shaped by fun, laughter and freedom. 

Twenty years later (how could it have been that long ago????) I can see that so many things were out of my control.  I couldn't control death, my parents, the weather, other students........I think that considering I did pretty well.  But the tears are falling afresh again.....just like they did then.  I cry for my friend, my grandma and grandpa.......I cry for my naive freshman self and the little girl that just wanted to be protected by someone........I cry for the girl that grew up really fast that fall and learned a lot of hard lessons the hard way........and I cry for the scars that were left behind.  BUT I smile for the woman that grew out of those lessons and scars.  They have helped shape me into me.  Those scars give me the patience to go over that schedule 1 more time with my son, giving him advice about quickest routes to classes.  I know to watch for depression.  I rarely send my children into difficult situations alone.  I love, love and love some more.  And sometimes I learn to let go. 

Its 3:45 a.m. and I am sitting here watching Bear, my 3 year old sleep.  I just want to go around and hug all my babies; big and small.  So many things I can't protect them from.  So I pray. 

Lord, please guide and protect my children today.  Give them courage rather than fear.  Help me help them.  Thank you for each minute that I have with them.  Amen.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I've been feeling weary lately.  At first, I thought it was the heat but the last week or so has been very mild for August.  Then I tried to blame it on the lack of sleep (Abigail still wakes up at least once a night, and lately it has been 2 or 3 times).  I followed that by using all of our stress as an excuse.  Really, I just need to let some stuff go. 

So, I'm letting go of my fear of the reactions of others.
I'm letting go of the expectations of others.
I'm refusing to be anxious about our future.
I'm not placing myself or my family on a timeline anymore.
I'm going to take each moment, each task, each event as its own thing, trying very, very hard not to look forward to the next thing.  Enjoy each moment!

That is a BIG list for me.  I'm going to work on it. 

Anyway, all is well here.  We've been busy the last few days.  I think we have had a good summer.  We didn't have the funds for a vacation but we have spent a lot of time together and with friends.  Just today we spent a few hours at a "fiesta" sponsored by a local, games, prizes.  The kids had a blast and I enjoyed myself, letting go of the long list of things I should be home doing.  A relief.  We all came home tired but happy. 

Julie asked how Sadie was doing.  She is ok.  She was due for a haircut when she was attacked so her hair is longer than normal.  I feel some scabbed spots still but she doesn't flinch when you touch them so I am going to leave them alone and try to schedule a hair appt for her in a couple of weeks.  I imagine we will be able to see the marks of the attack then.  She's even willing to go outside alone again so that is good.  We are so thankful that she wasn't injured more severely.

Well, I'm going to get off the couch and finish up the laundry and mop the kitchen floor.  Then my tasks for the day will be complete.  I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The 5 R's Bundle - Part 2

Last month I talked to you about Lorrie Flem's bundle - Godly Womanhood: The 5 R's for Homeschool Moms.  Last month I detailed the 1st 2 topics and this month I am going to focus on the last 3 topics. 
As usual, Lorrie touches my heart at just the right time.  In fact, I have decided that I will be printing out all 5 ebooks and putting them in a binder for safe keeping.  The topics are so encouraging, timely and necessary for a godly woman.

Refine: From Homekeeping 101 to Graduating with Honors leads us through the day-to-day of being a manager of our homes.  We are managers aren't we?  I like that.....a manager.....that sounds good :)  Lorrie leads us through 7 homekeeping teachings:
1.  Plan to Manage
2.  Plan to Improve
3.  Plan to Start Strong
4.  Plan to Do It First
5.  Plan to Bless Others
6.  Plan to Feed
7.  Plan to Clean

As always, Lorrie keeps it real and gives real-life guidance on managing our homes.  Spending time with God, Before Breakfast Jobs and clearing clutter are all topics she touches on before bringing it around to my ATTITUDE.  We've talked about that before and it is a work in progress.  Thanks Lorrie!

Rejuvenate: What to Do When Abel is Raising Cain details the topic of child-raising.  Consistency is the key!  Lorrie talks about how the Bible discusses discipline.  I think I am going to start a study about that.......
Never leaving us alone, Lorrie gives real-life examples about how she handles discipline problems in her home.

Rest: Give It Up and Get It All wasn't what I expected.  I was "hoping" that Lorrie would give a list of things that she does when she needs some rest, away time, preferably once a week or more.  I wanted the validation that what I do deserves a break and could someone please back me up on that?!?!?!  I guess not :(  Lorrie gives us so much more though.  I feel encouraged to rest through serving, arranging my priorities to match God's.  I need to lean on God and when I just can't do it anymore, I shouldn't soak in a hot bathtub, I should run to Him and soak Him up....seeking His wonderful wisdom about the things that I am dealing with.  I've done that this week and I can honestly say that I feel better than I ever would after an hour at Starbucks.  **I LOVE Starbucks though and think it is a fanastic treat to hang out there, but I don't "deserve" such a treat just because .  The only thing that can completely restore me is time with God!**

I can't begin to express how much good stuff there was in these 5 topics.  I plan to reread these teachings frequently to remind me to keep my focus on God!  Check out to see The 5 R's Bundle (5 ebooks, 5 mp3 audios starting at $24.97) and other great products that Lorrie has there.  If you're not convinced head over and see what the other Gabby Moms have to say too!

****I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review through the Gabby Moms program.***

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Sadie

Sweet Sadie, my black, 20 pound, cocker spaniel, was attacked by the neighbor's dog in our yard Wednesday morning.  She was outside "doing her business" when we heard her yelp.  A shot in the air scared off the attacker.........we think she will be fine.  It is terrifying to see your bestest four-legged buddy bleeding and hurt.  I've been helping her onto the couch and our bed.  Asprin helps a little.

My sweet Sadie......

We think she's about 8.  We got her second-hand, and they had gotten her second-hand, so no idea of her age.  When we first got her and had a vet visit they said by her teeth they would say 2 or 3, but by her eyes they would say 5 or 6.  Sadie is blind in one eye and hard of hearing.  She has severe skin allergies.  This past winter I could tell that she was moving much slower than before.

Sadie came to live with us during the midst of our infertility trials.  Norman just knew I needed someone to snuggle and Sadie needed a home.  It was the perfect fit.  Having Sadie gave me something to focus on, someone that needed me.  The older boys still needed me of course, but they were beginning to need me a little less than I liked and my yearning for a baby was so strong.....Sadie took the edge off of that feeling. 

When Bear was born I worried that she would feel displaced.  She had been with us for over 2 years and took the new baby in stride.  I was careful to include her in our snuggle times and she was patient as Bear learned to "be nice to the puppy".  They would curl up in the recliner and take their afternoon naps together (I have pictures somewhere but can't find them).

Abby's arrival was met with much the same disinterest by Sadie.  She's getting older.  She's not quite so patient.  Frequently she will go hide under a table to get away from the babies playing. 

Sadie is afraid of everything.  The sight of a gun makes her hide.  She runs from strange dogs.  And cats.  She huddles in fear at the sound of the lawn mower and vaccum cleaner.  Sadie wouldn't hurt a flea.  I guess that is what makes the whole incident so upsetting for me.  This dog came onto our property and hurt my sweet Sadie.  There was no food there, not even a empty bowl.  I can't imagine anything that would have prompted a German Shepherd to attack a 20 pound aging cocker spaniel.

  Norman says she will be ok.  I hope so.  I can't imagine my life without her. 

Hug your puppies tonight.  Keep them as safe as you can.  And if you come to my house soon, give my sweet Sadie an extra pat or hug....she deserves it.

Since the last time......

Many things have happened since the last time I took a second to update my blog here.  Let's see.....

Lee turned 14.  I've been a mother for 14 years.  I would think by now I would have a handle on it, but alas I feel like he was just born.  I LOVE watching him grow into a strong, responsible young man!  His father and I are very, very proud of him.

I registered Lee for his freshman year of high school.  This wasn't as tramatic as I thought it would be.  The high school was exactly how I remembered it.  Paid for 1 month of breakfast/lunch, registration and a yearbook - when did a basic yearbook start costing $61?  I'm still in shock.  But anyway, I think he is excited to start but won't admit it.  I wouldn't want to go back, but I suppose everyone should experience it once.....maybe. 

Abigail turned 15 months old.  It was the same day as Lee's 14th birthday so I didn't even think of it until after.  14 years ago on the 9th I had my oldest, 15 months ago on the 9th I had my youngest.  Hmm.  She has grown so much.  She had strep throat a few weeks ago so I took her in for some meds.  When they measure her she had grown 5 inches since May!  Amazing, but I can see it.  She still doesn't really talk......and her and Bear duke it out a few times every day (she is a hair puller, and doesn't mind when I pull hers).  She's a mean little bugger.  What can you expect when you have 3 brothers?

Greg is at camp.  He will be home tomorrow.  We miss him.  Especially Bear.  Most nights he has been sleeping with Lee, in the living room or with us.  We are looking forward to Greg's return.  I'm sure he has enjoyed a week of his own bed.  LOL

Everything is still a mess here.  Prayers appreciated.  I'm not going into the details but it feels like it will never end.  I've got another post to write, but the babies want to go outside to off we go!

Have a great day!