Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mamaw's Vanity!

So we are thinking....seriously thinking....about moving.  If all goes as I  God wants, we will be outta here sooner than later.  Of course, if He says wait....we will wait happily and with cheerful hearts (insert sarcasm here).  Waiting is not something I'm good at, but God has made me wait before; and I know He will make me wait again.  I'm just kinda hoping it isn't now, always turns out good when it's in His timing....isn't it funny how that works?  I give up control, and let God take over; and things go well.  Hmmmm....wonder why that's so hard for me?  Never mind that I've been waiting to move for 4 years now, but I's all in your hands God....pray for me people.  Anyhoo....we are thinking about moving....and with that comes, packing!  UGH!  We have lived in this house for almost 20 years and have about 45 years worth of stuff.  We have decluttered and cleared out time and time again, and somehow it never goes away.  I know it couldn't possibly be all that reclaimed wood, chairs, old furniture and linens that I hoard collect.  I have big plans for that stuff y'all, get off my back.  SHEESH! Even if we don't move, we still need to pack....not for the sole sake of packing, but to get rid of stuff.  We have too much, plain and simple.  We have started, and when I say we; I mean ME (and NPayne a little).  To give him credit, he will be tackling the garage this weekend. I know, the fact that he has agreed to take that on, will surely get him into heaven; and he is sort of the sole provider for the family that darn job gets in the way.  PTL for NPayne!  We started on our closet this week.  Now y'all have to understand....we live in a house that was built in 1908.  A hundred years ago, people built their own homes with their own hands; and they didn't waste space for closets.  
A.  They probably had a weekday dress and a Sunday dress....bless their hearts.  
B.  They didn't have a need for spending the time and money to build a room to house....what...clothes, what's that you say?  Who has enough clothes which would require a separate room? 
Uh-hum....anyway, they used wardrobes and chifferobes and things of that sort to house their 2 dresses.  What I'm trying to get around to here is this....our house was built without closets.  In the 50's sometime, a misses decided that she needed a place to house her wardrobe; addition was built on our lovely old home.  This addition consists of a garage, for their very cool car, because cars from the 50's are cool; a breezeway and this big room right off the master bedroom.  When I say big, I'm talking 10x10 or so.  Now I'm not sure what the 2 families, who lived in our house, before us used it for; but we use it for a closet.  A closet that is 10x10 or 12x12 (I can't remember) is nice and roomy.  Someone could easily set up camp in there, but we set up clutter instead....except that one time when that 5th SURPRISE baby came along, and we set her up in there.  Don't worry, she was in a bassinet and had plenty of air; and it was tidy when it was her camp.  Over the last year or so, it has become a storage facility for more than clothes and shoes, and now we are cleaning it out.  We cleared everything out, and I cleaned the floors and furnishings which include a dresser and my Mamaw's vanity.  I love this vanity. When I was a little girl, I use to sit at this vanity and cover myself in my Mamaw's costume jewelry trying to brush my unruly hair with the brush from the vanity set.  I know it's just stuff, but I do cherish the memories and time I spent sitting there pretending to be the amazing woman my Mamaw was. It also houses many of my treasures:  love letters from my parents, a vanity set that was my Mamaw's, my perfume bottle collection, that very expensive and tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5 that NPayne bought me years ago, a pair of white gloves that I found at my grandmother's house, photos of my mister when he was a long hair, my parents' wedding rings, my grandparents' wedding rings and other special pieces of jewelry that belonged to my mom and Mamaw.  There are trinkets, that dear special people have given me over the years, that have lots of love attached.  When I looked in the top drawer, I found all the notes to and from the tooth fairy over the years as still my heart.  I love the tooth fairy, not the idea of the tooth fairy, but the actual tooth fairy aka NPayne....he she has the prettiest, curliest handwriting and the wittiest replies to our kids' letters to her him.  All sorts of wonderful things have been discovered in that closet this week, and a few scary things as well. But as we prepare to go or stay, I'll keep clearing out all the stuff in our lovely old home.  There are some things I'll never part with....this vanity is one.

Mom, Sandy, Moo...You Should Be Here!

Sometimes I'm talking or reading or typing or sitting or gazing, and you pop in my head as if you were sitting right there. I can clearly hear your voice and your laugh and all of the sudden I either smile or cry....I miss you so much mama! Our baby is getting ready to go to college, and you should be here to lavish her with advice and love and unnecessary dorm accessories.  You should be here to reassure me that I've done a good job being her mama.  You should be here to tell her how proud you are and what a wonderful young lady she has become.  You should be here, so she can tell you all about her dorm and her roommate and her classes.  You should be here to secretly add funds to her bank account and offer to buy her a new pair of school shoes.  You should be here to tell her stories about my days in college and your days when you were 18.  You should be here to hear all about Family Weekend and football games.  You should be here to encourage her and to hold my hand.  You should be here to reassure me that letting her go is part of parenting, and it will be okay; because she knows how much she is loved. I'm so glad you are where you are, but it doesn't make missing you any easier....for me or her. I wish you were here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quirky, Weirdo, Whatever

I'm a weirdo....plain and simple....or maybe I'm not, but I just think I am.  I have a lot of strange quirky things I do and do not do, and there are some things that just are not okay for me.

I don't do crowds...pretty much ever.  If Lenny Kravitz gave me a backstage pass, and I knew there would be hundreds of others getting one too....I would go home.
I don't do this could be because I have had some significant hearing loss in the past year, but even before that...I didn't do noise.  Now with the hearing loss....I really don't do noise.  And I need to remind myself to say, "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry I didn't hear you" instead of "HUH".  I'm working on it, it's all new to me.
I don't do feet...EWWWW!  Do not even think about touching mine or me touching yours.  I'm not even a fan of looking at feet.  One exception to this rule is baby feet....they are totally okay for me to touch....I even kiss them.  And on that note, I never ever ever go barefoot....WRONG!
I don't do scary...I love nothing more than to scare someone or watch someone be scared, but if you scare me; I will punch you in the throat...true story.  I will laugh harder than anything at someone being scared....except maybe someone falling down....I know it's inappropriate, but it's my coping mechanism folks.  Scary movies, scary songs, scary photos, scary anything are not for me.
I don't do crunching, chewing, smacking, slurping, gulping, silverware on get it.  One word's a real thing, and I have it big. Just ask my family .... how annoyed I get, and how annoyed they get at how annoyed I get.
I don't see a movie after I've read the book pretty much ever.  I have done this a few times, and it was tragic.  I like the vision I've created from the book to stay in my head forever.  The exception to this so far has been The Secret Lives of Bees.  Loved the book and the movie.
I do sad movies, but only once.  Some of my favorite movies and the best movies are sad ones, but I will see them once and once only and don't ever ask me to see them again; because the answer is absolutely not. However I will re-read a sad book if it was one I loved....Poisonwood Bible....yes and yes again!
I do read the last chapter of a book first...not always, but if I can tell it's going to be sad or stress me out; then I will read it first. I love surprises, but only if they are happy and going to work out well with sparkles, love and rainbows....I'm so realistic. ;)
I don't feel the need to finish every book I start....if it's going nowhere for me, I'm out.  Life is short people.
I don't multitask well.  I'm sorry I just can't.  I start folding laundry and remember that I was going to pay a bill and then remember I was planning to make a salad and then remember I needed to address that envelope and then get the picture.
I do lists....lots of them....and they usually work for me unless I see that SQUIRREL.
I do plan....planning is my middle name....Hi, I'm Lorie Planning Payne! ;) This has not always been the case, but this whole mothering thing sort of forced it on me. Truthfully I think I should be compensated for it, it's a lot of work people.
I do counting....every since I was a kid, I've done this weird thing where I will count the letters in a sentence that I've just heard or said.  If the letters don't come out even, then I need to add a word to make it right.  I know it's weird...but it's my weird. but don't enjoy. If I ever won the lottery, I would provide clean water for the entire world and pay someone to drive me around.  I's not even close to being on the same page, but that would be my luxury.
Talking on the phone....only when absolutely necessary....not a fan.  It takes me days to call and make an appointment for something, because I have to gear myself up to get on the phone.  Text and email....I'm all over it....I kinda fancy writing over talking.
I do dancing....pretty much, car, elementary school, grocery store, thrift shop, restaurant....I'm a dancing queen. And I've never had any training, except that time I was 2, and I stood on stage waving at my daddy. It comes natural....bwahahaha!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

HOPE...Caught Caring!

For several years, we have been doing random acts of kindness.  The girls love love love it.  It's not a big, planned out, difficult thing; but something that we hope makes someone feel appreciated or loved.  They bake brownies for a staff member at their school, take the crossing guard a route 44 ice water from Sonic, leave flowers on their SS teacher's doorstep, and other things.  Most of the time, we do our best not to be identified; but sometimes there's no option.  When we went on our mega road trip last week, we decided we would do some of these things.  We weren't sure what, since we were going places we had never been before.  Drew suggested we make bags to distribute to people, we saw, who were in need.  So....we put together some bags with a few necessities:  toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, water, granola bars and a few dollars.  When we would see someone, who was asking for assistance, we would stop the car and someone would jump out and hand them the bag and the money.  At some point, all of the girls handed out a bag.  
We were all always on the look out.  It wasn't much, but it was something. I think we are going to keep a few extra bags in our car to hand out anytime we see someone who is asking for assistance. On the front, we will write "Do Everything in Love" 1 Corinthians 16:14. 
And my prayer is that the people who received the bags got something they needed and maybe felt a little love and hope as well.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mamaw and Papaw....always a part of me!

Somewhere in the middle of Georgia....there is a family home back in the midst of those trees. Every time I'm in a rural area and see a homestead with nothing around it for miles, I die a little inside and smile a lot. How I would love that. I spent much of my childhood...especially summers with my Mamaw and Papaw on their cotton farm in West Texas. It was not too far from the very small town, I was born in, but far enough; and they had LOTS of land to explore. I never watched TV but instead helped Mamaw collect rocks for her rock garden, picked and shelled peas, washed dishes in the sink, played outside for hours with lemon juice on my hair, picked and shucked corn for supper, put sheets on or took them off the clothes line, played with Cynthia...the girl who lived on the farm across the road, walked down to the RR tracks to leave a penny on it and then walked back the next day to retrieve my smashed coin. I also picked cotton by hand and drove the tractor. Mamaw would take me in town on Fridays. She would get her hair done at the beauty shop, take me to the Super Dog or HaTaHoe for lunch, the Dime Store for a toy and the Drug Store for an ice cream soda. I would usually see a cousin or 2 (on my dad's side) while in town. Sometimes we would stop by the courthouse, where my Papaw, was the County Clerk and then the Judge of Jones County for as long as I can remember. On Sundays and Wednesdays we went to church and occasionally, we would drive into the big city aka Abilene to go bowling or visit the zoo. Once a week, the 3 of us would go to the laundromat and do the laundry and stop by Dairy Queen for a treat while we waited for our clothes. I remember when they got a washer and dryer, everyone was so excited...except me. I loved our laundromat days. Thankfully she still used the clothes line for sheets sometimes. Every single night, Mamaw would serve me vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, lemon ice box pie she made from scratch or fresh peaches and cream after supper. Papaw would always have dessert with coffee that he sipped from a saucer instead of a cup, so it would cool faster. We would watch Johnny Carson and then go to bed. Mamaw and I always slept in the guest room together, and Papaw slept in their room all alone. He needed to get some sleep for work the next day, and she and I would stay awake talking while she would tickle my back and sing me nursery rhymes until I fell asleep. I adored them and treasured those times. They are a huge part of me still. And to think...I can't remember where I put my keys most days; but I can remember so much of my days with my grandparents. Isn't it funny how our brains work?

They Know Of What They Are Speaking....

Some things I've heard, experienced, lived through in raising 5 kids....
They don't stay little very long....that growing up happens in a blink.  When people say, they won't go to kindergarten in diapers....well, just don't ever say that to anyone....because their kid just might.  Mine did.  When people tell you to treasure every minute of those sleepless nights with your newborn, reading stories to your lap babies, holding little hands and waiting in carpool lines (well maybe not carpool lines)....listen to them.  They know of what they are speaking.  When people tell think you're busy now, just wait until they are older.  These people are very wise and again know of what they are speaking.  You might get more sleep, but a lot of it is done in a car/bleachers/auditorium while waiting for someone to be finished up with an activity or event.  Make sure you have a car you like being in, with a good cup holder and radio; because you will spend most of your time in it.  When people tell won't be worried for long....regarding your newest driver.  They sort of know of what they are speaking.  I was nervous for about 35 seconds until I sent her out for coffee and to retrieve her sister from dance, and then....I danced a jig.  However I wouldn't necessarily say I don't worry.  I can say I don't worry about HER driving, but I do find myself worried about other people's get what I'm saying....but I'm a self proclaimed worrier, I'm working on it people.  When people tell you middle school years are the most difficult....they know of what they are speaking, at least this has been accurate information for moi up to this point of parenting.  I have found that my middle schoolers are not interested in showers, conversation, quality time, game nights, or really much of anything....except sleep and Instagram.   When you hear people say....they come back around in high school, again they know of what they are speaking.  Once in high school, I hugged their necks and said WELCOME BACK!  I've missed you this last year or so.  When people tell you there is always drama....PEOPLE....listen, because there is.  And I'm not talking about the theatre, what do I wear today kind of drama.  I'm talking about the gossipy, hurtful kind of drama.  And all of you boy mamas....listen too, because even if your boy isn't involved in any drama with his friends; I guarantee you he will hear about drama between some girls.  Encourage your kids not to get involved in drama. Tell them to be kind but use their discernment about which friends thrive on it and which friends don't.  It doesn't mean you can't be friends with ones who crave drama, it just means that you have to be willing to step back and evaluate the situation and realize that maybe you need to give them a little more kindness. When people tell you that you will be much more lenient with child number 5, they know of what they are speaking.  At least it has happened for us, but I will also say that child number 5 is self sufficient and obedient and we are just plain exhausted after all these years of little people.  ;)   Child number that is a whole different ballgame, she will be under my thumb until my arthritic thumb won't allow that any longer.   I'm not even sure how child number 3, 4, 5 learned to read; but I think child number 1 taught them.  ;) After all, I taught her all her letters, numbers, shapes, colors, nursery rhymes, how to write her name and she could read by the time she was 3 1/2 months or 3 1/2's all the same to me now.  ;) When people tell you that you need to be connected to all of your kids' devices, accounts, etc.  they know of what they are speaking.  Now I realize that kids can set up "secret" accounts that we parents may not know exist, but I also realize that if you establish an open an honest relationship with your kids; they won't feel the need to do be secretive.  And...if you look hard enough; you can find those secret accounts anyway.  When people tell you that you will cry a lot as a mother, they know of what they are speaking.  When they are little, this will be because of their sugary cuteness in their school program,   they ate their first chicken nugget (true story) , they said "I WUV YOU DIS MUCH" with arms stretched as wide as possible, or out of pure exhaustion.  When they are older, it will be because they are stressing you out or have a broken heart or spirit or are experiencing some dark and sad times.  It will also be because they do things that you make you so proud that you want to burst, they talk to you about what it will be like when they are a mother (which makes you envision yourself as a grandmother and then you start making big plans for what you will be called, summer camps at grandmas, etc.; but I digress), and you can see what gentle loving people they are becoming.  When people tell you to know your kids' friends, PLEASE PLEASE listen....they know of what they are speaking.  Of course you may not know every single solitary friend your child has, but knowing the ones he/she spends the most time with is essential.  When people tell you to just sit down and talk to your kids about any concerns, questions, hard stuff, yes this includes SEX....they know of what they are speaking.  DO IT!  If your child tells you all is well, but you know deep down inside it isn' don't have to nag and nag, but let them know you know and let them know that you are available to listen and help and love them.  Realize that if they don't want to talk to you, they still may need to talk to someone; so help them find that someone.  If they tell you they already know about sex, because they go to public school....PEOPLE, catch your breath, wipe the sweat from your brow and have that discussion immediately.  When people say give your kids boundaries, they know of what they are look for protection and direction (even big ones), they need to know someone is looking out for them and cares enough to make sure they are safe.  When people tell you to monitor your kids' screen times, they know of what they are speaking.  This gets more challenging as they get older and as the devices get fancier, but it is still important.  Go on family adventures, have game night, make goofy videos, hold a contest of lip sync battle...but make sure they aren't spending every moment of free time locked in their room on their phone.  When people say make sure they get some exercise, they know of what they are speaking.  Besides the obvious reasons exercise is good for you, it also releases positive endorphines and just makes you feel better.  When people tell you that you will count heads even when they are big, they know of what they are speaking.  We just went on a mega adventure, and I counted 1,2,3,4,5 about 557 times; and my oldest is officially an adult. When people tell you to let your children suffer natural consequences, they know of what they are speaking.  This, my friends, is key in pretty much every aspect of life.  Sure....occasionally rescue them, but let them see what happens if they make a bad choice or are not responsible.  We also give ours an out. We have told them if they are in a situation they are not comfortable with or invited somewhere they don't want to go, they can always blame it on us.  We have told them to call or text us if they are somewhere they shouldn't be....whether it was their "fault" or not, and we will come pick them up.  Teach them about child predators and "bad" people and scary stuff, but do it appropriately according to their age.  They need to know that there are a lot of good people in the world, but sometimes there are some that don't have their best interests at heart.  Once they have shown they are responsible, give them an inch; but don't let them take a mile.  I'm going to say monitoring whereabouts, instagrams, face books, text messages, twitter, etc. is EXHAUSTING; so only agree to let them have what you can actively monitor.  When people say "That is the hardest thing you will ever do"...., they know of what they are speaking.  Whether it is weaning them from nursing, sending them to kindergarten, helping move into a dorm, holding them when their tears won't end, watching them walk into their therapists office or grounding them "for life" that particular moment, it may the hardest thing you have had to do.  There will probably be harder things, but for now; this is it.  When parents have experienced something you haven't, don't pretend like you know....just be there for them.  When people say go on dates with your significant other and make sure you have some alone time for yourself, they know of what they are speaking.  There are seasons as a parent where this will be EXTREMELY difficult, and it is almost as much work to make time for this as it is raising quadruplets; but DO IT.  You can have alone time in the car, at the grocery store or in the bathroom (well not if you live in a house with one bathroom, but again I digress).  As for dates, those are essential as well.  When our kids were little, we rarely went on dates.  We couldn't afford a babysitter and a date, so we sometimes we would watch a movie or eat dinner together after they were asleep.  Make time to talk with your partner, face to face, and don't always make it about the kids.  On this same note, when you have children who need alone time; grant them some time for this.  My oldest girls definitely need alone time, so we made a schedule this past year of when they could shut themselves in their room and when they were "forced" to hang out with us.  ;)  When people tell you to let your children see your emotional side, they know of what they are speaking.  Let them see you sad or angry or overjoyed.  Let them see you cry out of joy or pain.  Let them see you show affection to your partner (G rated of course).  Let them hear you exchange kindness and love language and kisses (even if they say eeeeewwwwww, which they will when they are in middle school).  Let them see that your relationships with friends, your partner, your parents, etc. are important as well; and that it is okay to cry for a friend who is going through rough times or cry for a friend who is celebrating.  When people tell you your kids need to do the dishes, their laundry, cook a meal, clean their rooms and sometimes a toilet or mop a floor; they know of what they are speaking.  We will set them free one day, and they need to know these skills for the sake of their roommate or better half, as well as, their own. When people tell you that you cannot control everything they do, you have to give them wings and you need to let them succeed or fail on their own; they know of what they are speaking.  This is so very difficult to do as they get older, but at some point; they will be an 18...good grief.  They then don't "need" you for anything.  They can make their own doctor appointments, vote, open their own bank accounts, borrow money, be tried in court as an adult, and the list goes on.  You hope and pray that you have taught them enough about life and love and faith and being good, kind, considerate people who love others and don't judge; is their life.  With that right to life, they have to make decisions and choices.  We are here to get that ball rolling, but it is ultimately up to them.  Of course when your 18 year old still asks you to go to the doctor with her, you feel a little weepy that she still "needs" you in that way until she asks you for gas money; then your tears dry up.  When she asks you for guidance or help in a difficult decision, you assure her that you will be happy to help her; but it has to be her decision....then you let her know that you will always be here for her...and she says "BRING IT IN" and gives you the biggest hug.  Then you cry!

**Remember....this is me talking, my perspective, some of my personal experiences or experiences of parents who are close to me. These things may not apply to you, but you never know they may....there is my disclaimer.  Also remember as parents, we are all in this together.  Do your best to be helpful, encourage and be kind to other parents....sometimes you have no idea what their day has held or the shoes they are walking in.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I'm going to've been warned.  I don't usually rant a lot on social media....although I rant inside my own head frequently.  Let me start by saying, I AM NOT PERFECT....oh so far from perfect, not even close.  So please understand that I am certainly not blameless here either.  Something has come to my attention these last few days, and I cannot shush my mouth about it anymore.'s killing me y'all.  I have been and certainly am guilty of this as well, and I try not to judge; but some of this stuff makes me want to shake someone into their right mind and best behavior.  Since I've been home from the mega road trip, I've done typical shopping, washing the car, taxiing kids here and there.  For some reason over the last day and a half, I've observed a lot of this crazy ENTITLEMENT thing happening.  My mouth hangs open and my face gets hot at the thought of some of this stuff I've seen and heard.  Most of what I've observed has been by young adults, in their behaviors and the way they speak to people.  I know ENTITLEMENT comes in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, zip codes, etc.; but the last few has been recurrent in these young people who may rule the world one day.  As I said....I know I have been, am and will be guilty of this as well; but I really TRY...I really do TRY not to get caught up in this.  I am very aware of how much we have, how rich we are, how our needs are always met in this world we live in.   My children are aware and reminded often as well....just ask them....I'm sure they will enlighten you with how frequently they are sweetly reminded that they don't "need" for pretty much anything ever.  When I tell them, we can't afford something....sometimes it is because we really need to spend our money on feeding the 7 people in the house, but sometimes it is because we just spent a lot of money on a a mega road trip or a painting the kitchen (because I was tired of waiting on our in house handy man to do it).  What I'm saying is that even when our budget is tight, and it is more often than not....we are among the rich in the world, we have more than enough.  I really want my children to be grateful, but I also want them to treat people kindly and with respect.  In the last few days, it has been brought to my attention that sometimes ENTITLEMENT is all about how a person treats another.  I don't have an answer, but I sure wish I did.  And....if you ever see me or one of my people treating anyone as if we are better because of our age, status, demographic, or any reason at all; please shake us into our right minds and best behaviors.  END OF RANT! # alwaysbekind

Monday, July 20, 2015


Sometimes I sit and think....too much....okay too often too.  I don't know what I'm doing about 90% of the time, but I'm usually happy doing it.  I know there is more to be done, and I know I am suppose to do it; so I will.  Stay Tuned!  Oh....and we just came home from a 2900 mile in 8 day road trip with the whole family, and it was grand.  I enjoyed every single second of the 11,520 minutes we were together.  I love my people.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


We are all different....although created in God's image....different.  Free will?  I'm not sure.  I have many people in my life, who do things very differently than I do....who live life very differently than I do....who make very different choices than I do.  Sometimes I think, WOW!  I wish I did that, lived like that, made choices like that; and sometimes I think, WOW!  They are nutso.  Either way, I still love them.  I can't help but think how boring the world would be if we were all just alike....I learn something from someone every single day....and that is the honest truth.  Something I hear, read, see....every single day.  Sometimes it's good stuff and sometimes it's not so good, but it's still a learning experience.  When I was younger, I had the most amazing photographic memory and long term memory.  I could remember anything and remember it for like evah.  As I've gotten older and my brain has become full of other people's stuff....mainly my kids....I can't remember very much of anything without a sticky note, alarm, reminder on my calendar; and then I still sometimes forget.  I loved being able to remember so much and soak in so much.  Truly it was a gift.  When I realized that I wasn't remembering stuff like I use to, I had this overwhelming sadness.  As time has passed, I know now that it is just part of my life and who I am.  The good thing is that I can learn things without having the need to memorize everything.  My shift switched from factual information to life lessons and experiences, but still there is learning going on; and I think we can always make the space in our brain, life to learn.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I have recently gotten acquainted with many moms of young children with special needs....many who have children with autism.  When I read their emails, Facebook posts, Instagram takes me back to a time when my boy was little.  There were so many milestones and things I the first unprompted kiss he gave me, the first time he asked to swim when he was six, the first time he went to school in underwear vs. a pull up; but there were so many so many.  There were days when I cried more than I smiled, days when I felt like a complete failure, days when I had a hard time looking forward and wallowed in the sadness, confusion and utter lack of control.  It was a hard hard time.  He did not have the ability to "use his words" or self sooth or many of the things that young children learn to do naturally and with guidance.  He just couldn't do it.  This resulted in many tantrums including physical outbursts but mostly just screaming and flailing. I would literally become a ball of stress if we entered the grocery store and there were no goldfish to purchase at the snack area, because bringing them from home wasn't the same as buying them as soon as we walked in to the store; so no groceries that day.  Because his appearance is that of a typical child, we always had the looks and comments...."You need to learn how to handle that boy."  "He needs a good spanking."  "What is wrong with him?'  "Don't you know how to control your child?"  "He is a brat."  For me, it was oftentimes devastating, always exhausting and I usually ended up sobbing.  There were days when he would wake up and within the first hour, something had happened to upset him; and the rest of the day was shot.  His sisters, especially Addi and Drew, because they were so close in age to him were huge blessings in his life and in mine.  Oftentimes when they were little,  they were my lifesaver for that day or that minute....when I could see things about to go awry....they could get him through it.  They could relate to him so much better than I often could.  I was so busy trying to follow his picture schedule or routine and walking on pins and needles, that I would get myself worked up about it and end up making things worse. As he has grown, there are still challenges....but they are very different and so am I.  I have become much more laid back.  Throwing away his picture schedule was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Don't was essential for a while, but when he and I became so dependent on it that it ruled our lives; it was time to go.  Cal is now able to understand words better, he is able to understand emotions...his own and other people's much better; and that has made a huge difference.  Some of this came naturally as he has gotten older but most of it came through the help of his therapists and teachers.  The main challenge I see now is how he is treated by others.  Those who know him and take the time to get to know him treat him wonderfully.  It's oftentimes those who don't know him, who just aren't sure how to respond.  When you talk to him now, it is very apparent within the first few minutes that he has special needs.  Some people see this and embrace and engage him wholeheartedly, and some people are very visibly uncomfortable.  It doesn't make me angry or upset anymore (except when people will leave the park when we are there, because they don't want their children swinging next to a big 16 year old boy, holding a black cloth napkin and asking them random questions that they would never have any idea how to answer); but that doesn't happen very often.  It is what it is....people are accepting or they are not.  I've had to learn that through the years, and I've had to learn to tame my mama bear instincts as well.  We are all humans, and I can guarantee you I have not treated every single person I've ever met the way they should be treated.  I can honestly say that if I had not been blessed by this boy, I don't know how I would have reacted to a 16 year old boy asking me "Do you know the muffin man?"  or  "Is Harold a helicopter or a bus?" while invading your personal space.  Having Cal has taught me many many things: he has taught me not to take anything for granted, to do my best to live in the moment; but mainly that people need to be treated with love.  We are all different, but to Jesus; we are all loved the same. Cal may ask me the same question hundreds of times in one afternoon, but there are many things that he doesn't do that are pretty awesome: Cal doesn't lie...he doesn't know how to, he doesn't cave to peer pressure, he is not glued to an iPhone, he doesn't forget to do his chores, he is never involved in drama, he doesn't argue, he doesn't conform as Romans 12:2 reminds us.  He is who he is....what you see is what you get; and sometimes that makes him the easiest of them all.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I pretty sure....almost confident....maybe....that we are moving.  Of course things have to go just perfectly, the stars have to align, the heavens may need to part, and there may be peace on earth before it all works out the way we think it should in our ever so intelligent brains; but....I'm pretty confident it's going to happen.  Where we live, the market for sellers is really good.  Where we want to live, the house is really bad...but oh so good.  In other words, it's a complete gut job; but my oh my the potential.  Every since the first time I drove by a few months ago, I've lay awake at night, had visions and day dreams and sparkly fun thoughts in my head of  I'm giddy, but I'm also trying not to be giddy just in case.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE our current house....our home....the only place our children have ever lived.  I thought we would live here until they were all grown and then one of them would buy it, but things change.  It is time for us to go.  I wish, so wish, that we could move our house with us; but that would never be allowed....even though we own our house outright....we would have a huge fight on our hands.  If we could though, we would...or at least I would.  I love my house, but it is a house not the memories; and I have to remember that.  I am very particular about the homestead I live in, preserving the old, keeping the history, etc.; so it makes me sad to know someone else will come in and destroy the integrity of our beautiful old house.  But I also realize that when you're willing to let it go, then you have to let it go.  Anyway....there are many things that have to work out, but I feel it in my bones...we are moving.