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Memories of my Grandmother

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      My gram as I always called her was the most influential in my life both as a child and as an adult. While her daughter thinks that she was because she gave birth to me, she would be wrong! Since I am expecting a few new readers, I will say this only now and then the subject is closed: my mother is/was very abusive to me. I do not need anyone to be sad or feel sorry for me as I am as reconciled to her actions as I can be, however, it is why I was so very close to my Gram and why I still miss her very much 24 years after her death. Now this doesn’t mean I’m pining for her or not moving forward in my life but that she contributed much to who I am as a person and I miss her.
     Now, that being said, Gram loved New Year’s Eve! She always stayed up for it and no matter where I was living she called me at 12:01 every year! Many years I would be sleeping, since I had little ones and didn’t see the need to stay up to greet the New Year…..even now I don’t see the need but more on that in a bit. I remember one year i made the mistake of telling her I did not appreciate the midnight call and she replied with ” why are you sleeping its midnight?” I now wish she was alive to call and wake me up at midnight on New Year’s Eve. 
     I never asked her why it was so important to her but I’m guessing it was because a new year filled her with hope. I believe from the few things that I’ve learned over time that my Gram made some detrimental mistakes as many of us do and somehow the hope of a fresh start brought her comfort and perhaps a feeling of redemption in her life. In spite of her failings which as a child I knew none of, she taught me so much, about forgiveness and love. I ponder if it was because she never knew much of either of those necessary things? As a Counselor Trainee, and grad student in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program; I can tell you that I believe she had a mental illness and self medicated all of my life as did my mother. Gram was a smart woman but she was very much a product of her time in society. Born in 1924 when women had few rights and little expectations beyond being a wife and a mother, also at a time when mental health issues were ignored. She worked hard at keeping traditions and helping to support her family. All of my knowledge of etiquette came from her as did my desire to have family traditions both of her making and ones I’ve added in. In sum, most of everything good in me that was given by The Lord, was nurtured by her. The Ark, my 17 yr old son, has his first serious girlfriend this year and I made sure that he gave a Christmas gift to her mother because of the many times she has driven him to swim practice or them to/from the mall. As I did that I was reminded once again of my Gram, and how proud she would have been that I realized she was the one who taught me that! The girlfriend’s mother was very impressed which made The Ark happy as well!
    I’m thinking of how I want my children to know that all those little things I teach them about etiquette, love and forgiveness are things I learned from their great grandmother. This holiday season was a bit harder for me without her than others have been, I almost burst into tears in the middle of a store this season at some memory that hit me hard. Thanking The Lord for my psychology and counseling training!
    Part of me is sad for her, she taught me love and forgiveness but I don’t think she ever had those things. In dwelling on my memories of her, I wish she had the relationship with The Lord that I do! While she focused on New Year’s Eve as a time of hope, my focus is on the birth of Jesus and Christmas Eve. ” my hope comes from The Lord” is very much who I’ve become as an adult. For me, there is nothing better than dressing up my family in whatever color theme we decide on and being at church to celebrate! Many years, I will be there with my family and then go back for the 11pm service by myself. I think this is the first year I realized that Christmas Eve is my New Year! The birth of my savior gives me the strength and hope that I can continue walking down the road The Lord has for me. When she died she looked at peace so a part of me is hopeful that she found the love and forgiveness from God then! Which makes me even more grateful to have been given it now, to celebrate my redemption and model it for my children!
    I will always miss my grandmother but I can now celebrate her life with greater understanding because of the many things that she taught me that were so much more important than any monetary gift!
    I hope you enjoyed this look into my life, this post is the first writing of my goal to write more, I have a book to write one day and need to flex my writing muscles.

 

Morning Conversation

So the princess came and cuddle in my bed this morning and we were talking about her going away to college one day and She wanted to find a shrink machine and put me in her pocket but then we started talking about dorm rooms~ bad idea ~she said “no way Mom,” I am not living in a dorm room, they may have people in there with bad hygiene and messy or perverted” So we will have to find her a college where she can commute as nothing else is doing it for her! She is so determined already, I’m not budging her at 18 if she doesn’t change her mind! My plan is for her to take a few art classes at a community college level then maybe we can push her out the door to a dorm room.

This child brings me so much joy! She is hilarious!

Over Two Months?

Ugh, I had no idea until I stopped by that it had been that long since I wrote here. #bloggerfail but in my defense, life is crazy as is my normal here. Homeschooling a 4th, 6th, 8th and 11th grade children is rough, not to mention taking 4 graduate level classes. The good news is that I am half way through the semester and things seem to be easing up a bit in a couple of my classes. I spent most of my weekend working on schoolwork but feel good about where I am currently. Now it is just keeping up and reading/writing every day for the next 2 weeks on the two upcoming presentations that I have to do by Nov. 18 and 24th. 

I have a practicum site set up to start in January, which takes a huge load off my shoulders! I contacted 9 places for 2 interviews and got both positions! I told the one I liked the least I was sorry but due to them not calling me sooner, I had accepted another site. I hate feeling like I burned bridges with that agency but they told me I would know within 2 days and then it was 7 business days later. I like the place I’m going better anyways 😉 I have to stop by and drop off paperwork for them on Tuesday and go do another background check but I’ve now done so many in the last few years that is old hat to me.

I guess I will let the proverbial hat out of the bag, and tell you I have decided to pursue my doctoral degree pending getting admitted into the program I want, also pending getting a graduate assistantship. I will be applying to Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral programs next fall!!!!! (Doesn’t seem that far away).  I feel I am being led to teach counseling to master’s level students. With that in mind, I have applied and been appointed the secretary for our honors society, hope to be assigned a first year counseling student to mentor and will be co-leading an academic group for 5 weeks starting tomorrow. Yes, I am crazy but I am happy with where I feel the Lord is leading me and hope that I am listening correctly. I am an anomaly as I love research and I love teaching! I also love mentoring, so what could be better than to do all 3 as a professor with my PhD? Not to mention that I can move to wherever I want and just take the licensing exam for that state if I want to counsel in my spare time. Plus, if I teach, my littles might be able to go for much less tuition.

No, I am not really sure when this happened but I have always wanted my doctorate for myself and had thought that it would be in clinical or counseling psychology, now I realize that would have not been who I am. I would have ended up in private practice and probably never given a thought to research or teaching. I have also realized that mentoring young adults not only benefits them but it keeps me young! 

On the home front~ The Ark took the PSAT, I’m trying not to be disappointed as I’m sure he did not do well, his dyslexia was a factor when he was studying, although he at least got the experience. We will start studying for the SAT and ACT after Christmas. Ace is doing well in confirmation and is doing fundraising with The Ark so they can go to the National Youth Gathering for Lutheran Youth next year, it is in Detroit. The teens are very excited. The Ark has been looking forward to them going together since he came home from New Orleans. The Princess is taking art lessons still and the Peanut is still singing in the choir. We have the grand baby until after the holidays. Jassy came home to visit and brought her boyfriend. He is perfect for her and they are such a cute couple. We went to the waterpark for the day and had a blast! Once the kids realized that heavier people go down slides super fast in the inner tubes, I had to go down them with each child! I was either body sliding or inner tubing for a total of 12 times. Climbing up those 4 story steps was murder though. Would love to add photos for you but do not have time tonight and I didn’t take any at the waterpark for obvious reasons. The husband did get hired into a school system but only as the substitute custodian, but it is a start to getting a job there. Now if they would just call him so he can show them what he can do. 

This is all the update I have in me for the moment. I am really tired from a busy weekend and so much studying. This will have to suffice until I get another minute or two. 

The Color Wheel Project with the Littles

Some of you may remember that I did an edible color wheel project with the two older boys, who are now teens. I decided it would be fun to replicate the project with the two littles. So today was the day, since tomorrow we start school, I was hoping to have a fun project for them to offset the horrors of having to go back to school! It is still a tiring project and can be frustrating trying to help 2 children get the right colors, we did have a small glitch since food dye does not color as well as it once did! IMGP7579 IMGP7582 IMGP7584 IMGP7585 IMGP7586 IMGP7587 IMGP7589 IMGP7596 IMGP7600

The Walking Tour of John Carroll~

I know that my friend IrishMum has been waiting for this post for a long time but here it is. It was a beautiful sunny warm summer day in NE Ohio and I am blessed to have spent it with my dear friend Robyn. While walking through the campus I am amazed yet again at how the Lord knew what I needed out of a graduate school! For me it isn’t just about the program or the professors or the coursework or even the praticum/internship opportunities (they are all very important) but God knew that I needed to be in an aesthetically beautiful place, with buildings that are of a bygone era. God also knew that my soul needed a place that would renew my faith, not ignore it or have so many other students argue my Christianity with me. There is a peacefulness at John Carroll, even when the campus is crowded I can feel it. JCU is a small haven in a huge suburb of Cleveland and it amazes me how once I’m there how the rest of the world ceases to exist for me. I took 124 photos that day! I won’t be uploading all of them but enough so that you can see how beautiful it is here. On second thought how about a smile box slideshow? so much easier. Maybe. 

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It seems to have worked! I hope you have enjoyed the tour of JCU! They were putting in a fountain in front of the Chapel, so I will stop by at the beginning of the semester and get a photo of that for you as well! I also heard that they had renovated Murphy’s Hall and did it through the historical foundation and it is supposed to be fabulous! 

Reality Mondays

Today’s post is part lament and part joy!!!! I adore my children and grandchildren and was blessed this summer with the youngest granddaughter! It was hard!!!! I often feel that I am too old to be doing the toddler thing on a daily basis 😉 There were days I was tired, frustrated and wondering if we would all survive the summer. Then there were days where she would curl up next to me and talk and laugh “saying I love you grandma” that made me feel guilty for feeling less than loving! By the end of June I doubted my sanity but then we had a two week break while she went to visit her father and that helped me put everything back into perspective.

Renee drove up Saturday and left yesterday morning and suddenly it was quiet and I was missing the chaos of having a toddler. No sighs of relief, just an overwhelming sadness that part of my family was gone and I would not be seeing my grandbaby for awhile.

Which leads me to the thought of just how will I survive when the Peanut goes off to college? That day somehow doesn’t seem that far away right at this moment! The Ark only has 2 years before he is off to college! Where has that time gone? I know a great deal of it went into raising my children and helping out with my granddaughters. Homeschooling and my college took up another big chunk of time. There is always the cooking/cleaning and laundry to factor in. I just want to stop time for a month or so and cherish this time with my kids! But the teens are rushing to go up and the littles are just happy to play outside and watch a bit of tv……..

So my plans are to start researching and planning a backpacking trip through Europe when the Peanut is off to college and maybe by the time I come back, I will be able to handle the quietness of my home! I’ve always wanted to travel and I travel light, just recall my 10 day trip to Guatemala last summer when I survived with just a carry on!!!! Or perhaps I will just go be a missionary then!

So today, I dragged out of bed and went to the gym, I am a bit more committed to losing a few pounds and getting into better shape if only because I want to have fun with my kids while they are still here and backpacking requires work! I am hoping to make it m-f with an occasional Saturday thrown in. I did my 30 minutes on the Arc Trainer and a bit of ab work! I tend to over do it and then can’t go back for days! So I’m trying to start off slow! I did hit my goal of 4,000 steps today! I’m at 5803 and the day isn’t over yet!!! I also am the proud owner of a fitbit and it is helping to motivate me to be more active! plus it makes life so easy to track steps, since it is on my wrist all day! I don’t have to remember to put it on! Hopefully next week I can raise my goal to 5,000 steps and do okay with it………exercise and I have an on again off again relationship and it sucks! I always feel better when exercising but the time it takes away form my kids or my studies during the school year gives me mega-guilt and then summer is so busy with my kids and swim team/swim lessons. I am hoping to gradually over the next 4 weeks to get up at 6am and hit the gym by 6:30am be home by 8am and start school with the kids then! We will see how it goes.

While we will not start a full school schedule until Aug. 18th, I am making the kids do math every day now! I have the littles working on getting through this years math while Ace is reviewing concepts he is shaky on and the Ark is reviewing concepts for taking the PSAT this October. They are not overly happy about it but they will survive I am sure.

So the dishes  were washed and put away, kids fed, a load of laundry, the bathroom sink unclogged and a couple of errands run today. But the best thing? Just when I was about to give up on a school system calling the husband for an interview as a custodian, they called today!!!! He called as soon as we got home but it went to voice mail. I will have him call again in the morning! I am so praying that this is where the Lord is leading us and that he gets the job! It is more $ than he is making now, he can take his pension which will give us a bit of money and if he gets second shift he can keep the church job until we get can pay off the van and get another used car! within a year or two, our financial situation would be so much better! Not to mention that the husband would be sleeping at night instead of trying to sleep in the chaos of our lives. I am trying so hard to leave it in God’s hands but I’m finding it difficult! I have been praying for a solution to our financial situation for awhile and so hoping that this is it!

But now, I must get off here and try to convince myself to sleep tonight so I can get up and to the gym a little earlier than 9:30am!!!!

 

 

 

Life in Rose’s House

It is always busy here, swim team, granddaughters, the puppy, the kids evaluations, a garden, you know life stuff! The stuff that never seems to be ending! Now that some of the trees are down, we would like to work on our patio~ again! We took the kids to the St. Charles Festival *the husband grew up in that parish and it is a tradition for him to go, The princess used a whole $0. 25 to win the stuffed puppy you see! On her first try, as soon as we got there! I was ready to go home shortly after that! I bought some new cotton yarn to try for knitted dishcloths, I love it much better than the stuff I was using. We took the kids to the library since it has been unseasonably cold here as well as wet, so you will see lots of those pictures. The granddaughters are leaving this weekend and I will miss them terribly but after a bit over 2 months with a little one, I’m kind of ready for the break and to get some things done like: the patio, working on next years garden space and getting the kids ready for the upcoming school year. Oh yes, the evaluations: The 2 older boys went together the week before the littles. The teacher was impressed with the Ark and his future plans (more on that in another post). He talked very nicely to her, explaining his goals, what he did this past year. Ace was less talkative and admitted to being lazy so we have to curtail some of his electronics time. She was impressed by his History book and the fact that is was hefty reading and he finished it, so that redeemed him 😉 She was also happy to hear that he is finally starting to understand math concepts even if he struggles with what to do with them. We have a plan of action for that but again that is another post to come. The littles wowed her! They are just so bubbly and outgoing that they are easy to evaluate. They both have a future plan which is impressive! Both want to be teachers: The Princess~ Art and the Peanut~ Math, both at the Master’s Level. The Peanut has an extensive vocabulary and uses it appropriately, which still impresses me much less the teacher. And the Princess artwork is awesome! I am very proud of the four of them! It is not easy to homeschool children when mom is in college, even though this year was a bit better because my classes are at night instead of the day. Currently, I am working on next year, still need to buy some of their books, but at least that is coming together.  enough talk about homeschooling plan since that needs its own post as well! Look for more rambling from me next week as I’m sure I will have something to say 😉

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The Husband working on our patio now that some of the trees are down

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The stuffed dog the Princess won in 30 seconds of going to the St. Charles Festival

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The yarn I bought for dishcloths

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The dishcloth in progress

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library time

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Oh you know, just hanging out

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Beautiful glass outside the library

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The Princess hard at work building

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Trains! Let’s build

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I got this!!!!

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All abroad!!!!!

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A doll house!!! Like she doesn’t play with all of the Princess dollhouses?

Port Clinton and Marblehead Lighthouse *photo heavy

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picture perfect: sailboat

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The Princess

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checking everything out

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Marblehead Lighthouse

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Oh you know “just hanging out”

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The brother’s hanging out

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Love the waves

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The Ark in silhouette

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The Princess pouting

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Blessed to have this smilie boy

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The Ark teasing like only big brothers can do

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“Gottcha”

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Princess Rock

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Running on the rocks

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Gotta be a boy or boys as it were

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Love the photos of them rock running

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“I’m going to win”

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catching up!

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Davis-Bessie Power Plant

 

Beach Time

Seriously people we live in NE Ohio, not far from Lake Erie, and the two youngest had never been to the beach! They are 11.5 and 9!!!! I am seriously failing as a mom in this regard……..so in order to correct that offense I took the kids to the beach for a couple of hours of fun! 

 

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Walking down the 100 or so steps to beach level….

 

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What? this is how a lake beach looks?

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The Princess is pretty happy to be here

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Teen boys do catch some rays

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Oh, wait a minute the whole family is in the water except for mom!

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The granddaughter waving at me 🙂

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Boy that water must be cold

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The city skyline not a bad picture considering I didn’t have my Pentax dslr

Then the next morning……

I had to be up and out of the house by 5:30 am…..yes your read that correctly! Now who gets up that nighttime hour after staying up late with 9 children the night before? This mom does when she is dropping her son off at the airport an hour away. The Ark went on a youth mission trip to San Francisco and loved every moment.

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It is too early for this Mom, stop bothering me already!

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driving into the hotel after landing

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Fisheye photo

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Golden Gate Selfie

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Golden Gate at the park

 

He had a fantastic time, and I am so glad that he had this wonderful opportunity…..