Halloween Was SO Emotional

Took the kids to Respitality this weekend (local organization provides monthly respite for parents of children with special needs) and the theme for the night was all things Inside Out. It reminded me that I never posted Halloween pictures.

This was the first year we didn’t have an idea brewing in the summer. Seriously, my kids have always had an idea or I have seen a common love and the ideas have just flown from there. This year that was NOT the case. KB wanted to be Mal from Disney’s Descendants (costume=$80 store bought and almost as much to put together creatively) and the first week of October Bubba mentioned Toad from Super Mario. By that time Little had seen a Joy costume and said that would be good and I felt it was the PERFECT costume for our Little Joy and so I suggested everyone go as an emotion.

Bubba was immediately on board and asked if he could be Anger. We all voted that it would be a fitting costume and went on. KB pitched a bit of a fit about not being the cruel daughter of Disney’s scariest villain. I gave her the choice between Sadness and Disgust but her attitude was so . . .well, disgusting, that I made the choice for her and went to Goodwill to look for a dress in green.

By the time it all came together everyone was content and they had a GREAT time wearing their costumes to school during the day and Trick-or-Treating that night. Our neighborhood is FULL of kids and Halloween IS BIG. It was super fun; felt like a community. But I didn’t get all teary. . . I kept my emotions in check. *wink* Get it? My emotions?


As a bit of a side note, the kids carved pumpkins for the first time in their lives too.Now, for those of you who are shocked by that, calm down! I didn’t carve a pumpkin until I was 30 so they are way ahead of that curve. Plus, we have a couple special brains kicking and so sharp objects are not what we reach for first when celebrating a fun season!

Each one did their own and each one rocked it. It was a fun memory – I know because KB said, “We are making a fun memory. You like that don’t you mama?”






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Wrestling a Wrackspurt

luna_lovegood_and_wrackspurts_by_amarantbus-d4vs1x4“A Wrackspurt. . . they’re invisible. They float in through your ears and make your brain go fuzzy,” she said. “I thought I felt one zooming around in here.”  Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 

For the past 13+ months I feel like I have been doing battle with a wrackspurt . . . and mostly losing. I consistently find myself unable to think – unable to get my thoughts into a sensible order. It has been of a cycle that has caused me to live a bit reclusively; I’ve had limited contact with the outside world. (That sounds so sci-fi it’s ridiculous.)

I haven’t felt at all like myself and I guess one could see why. My temperament leans toward anything BUT reclusion and the zooming in my mind that I am used to are thoughts and ideas and plans for fun. This past year has not had any of that.

Why am I bringing this up?

Today I was driving down the street and I survived a wrackspurt attack and then had a moment of clarity. . . understanding, if you will. A dear friend wrote to me last night and I shared a couple of thoughts with her. She wrote back today and pushed me to think a bit further and even commit to action and my brain shut down; I could not respond to her.  My brain went fuzzy and I didn’t know how to explain to her what I was thinking (’cause I didn’t know) and didn’t have the emotional energy to try to focus enough to work it out. I went back to making Halloween costumes as if the conversation hadn’t happened.

In my car this afternoon, on the way to pick up the kids from school, I found my thoughts returning to my friend and the conversation. My first thought was fear that she would be upset with my silence but that was short-lived. She has known me long enough and loved me through enough that this fear was unfounded. My thoughts moved forward and I heard myself think, ” Why can’t I get my thoughts together? Why don’t I want to put the effort in and do what she asked?” The next thought was like a movie screen – not so much words of explanation but a picture of what was going on in me.

I keep thinking my life now . . . the way things are now. . . are temporary. I think somewhere deep inside I just keep waiting for things to go back to normal. NOTHING is as it was and, in my humble opinion, NOTHING is as it should be. I keep being shocked that I am where I am living as I am living with the people I am with and without the people I am without and I keep waiting for it to be over. It isn’t a conscious and purposeful waiting. I honestly don’t know that I have had the thought before today, but the thought today was more of an “oh, yes” instead of an “Ah Ha!”

It seems silly that I have moved around quite a bit in my life and all of a sudden I am not taking issue with the changes. As I try to process the whys, I realize that there has always been a constant home, an anchor of sorts. That has been tampered with and it feels like the fabric of reality has a rip in it; nothing will ever be solid again. Every moment seems precarious. My heart is cynical. heavy. bitter. alone.

Even this entry feels disjointed – wrestling with wrackspurts as I write. I am hoping my friend will read this and know what I didn’t write back today. And I hope another friend reads this and knows why I haven’t returned her call yet. I fear a wrackspurt attack while we converse (by pen or voice) and the fear can be paralyzing.

I was just reading through a bit more of Harry Potter and it seems Luna’s father created some sort of wrackspurt siphon, “to remove all sources of distraction from the thinker’s immediate area.”  I gotta get me one of those!! Until I find one  – patience please, dear friends. 

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Catching You Up. . .


  1. That job I wrote about last time? I don’t have that job anymore. It became obvious VERY quickly that they should not have hired me; I am NOT meant for working in the health arena. They had a couple of kids who were really sick (unmanaged diabetes) and the anxiety was extreme. I asked if they would please hire someone else and gave two  weeks notice.

2. Jamberry has expanded to Australia and it has been something else. Several of the girls I used to meet with have joined the company and we are working together. It’s a different kind of laboring but it is so great to talk with them each day and hear snippets about their lives. It has made me miss them and the country I fell so in love with like crazy.

I continue to love this aspect of my life and laugh that the Lord would choose to use fingernails to minister to me and allow me to minister to others. He never ceases to amaze.

3. Several people dear to me have died in the past few weeks. A man from my home church who invested in me and my family for YEARS. He was a supporter while I was in college ministry, an usher in our wedding, and a dear family friend. A friend in St. Louis’s husband died suddenly; I lost my breath when I read about it. My mother-in-law’s mother died last week. A guy i knew from singles group died this week. I can’t bring myself to write a sympathy note to anyone. I continue to grapple with my heart on all this – death, I mean.



My baby turned eight this weekend – I can hardly believe it. We went to a local corn maze to celebrate and I was told it was “the best birthday ever” at bedtime.



Best line of the day was when the kids all started swinging and Honey walked over looking shocked. He said, “No one needs our help. They are all swinging by themselves.”  Milestone.


Everyone rode the pedal cars and the men did corn chucking.


Then there was pizza, there were presents and there was cake. It was a good day.


I am such a softy – I never thought I would be so emotional about things like my kids’ birthdays, and yet here I am all teary. She is growing up so fast. . .

Duck - 1 week

Duck – 1 week


Duck – 8 yrs.

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Health Office Hack

IMG_2758 IMG_2759

Ice packs made from sponges in sandwich bags. SERIOUSLY SMART!!

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Movie Review – The Intern


The kids went to Respite Care today and honey took me to see The Intern. Let me warn you, the previews are killers; so many tears shed it was ridiculous. That said, let me tell you that the movie was phenomenal; tears were shed once again but not nearly as many.

For my brothers benefit I will tell you that it was a good four part story! There was conflict, sacrifice, redemption – a good story. For my mother’s benefit I will tell you that there was one use of the “F-word”. For everyone’s benefit I will quote my husband at the end of the film, “That is the best movie I have seen in years . . . and that’s including The Dark Knight Rises.” (If you know my husband, you are probably reaching for your phone and the Fandango app, already purchasing tickets of your own.)

Nancy Meyers tends to write/direct films that depicts the seniors of the world in an honoring way. Her writing is honest and gives dignity to those that many in our culture patronize; The Intern is a prime example.

Deniro [Ben] did a great job being a “good man” – a gentleman with integrity, wisdom, and grace.  The patience his character demonstrates is respectable, his work ethic worth emulating, and his word choice is on point. The character values people and pushes them toward excellence – it is beautiful to watch.

Anne Hathaway [Jules] is adorable and wonderful and her character is loveable, brilliant, and strong. Her standards are high, her needs are real, her struggles believable and her choices respectable. The character is written so honestly – it is refreshing and gripping. Really, when was the last time you saw characters facing issues that weren’t dealt with quickly and with snippy jokes? This movie shows true growth in the characters and there is a great balance between spelling it out for you and asking you to think.

Honey summed up his thoughts with this comment, “If you are a woman in Jules’ position you should watch this movie and LEARN FROM HER. If you are a man in Ben’s place in like you should watch this movie and LEARN FROM HIM.” I think everyone can walk away from this with something learned and that is saying something when the film is main stream and not produced by a Kendrick or Pure Flix.

Viewers will laugh and cry might just want to see it a second time. People who liked Pitch Perfect will enjoy seeing Adam Devine in a completely different role and folks who know Anders Holm’s quirky characters on The Mindy Project and Workaholics will enjoy seeing him playing off type as well.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I liked the movie and think you will too. Ebert would have given it two thumbs up. I can’t wait to hear The One-Minute Review about it. Let me know what you think after you see it.

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Overdue – 10 Things and 3 pictures

Yearbook Photo (1) Yearbook Photo (2) Yearbook Photo (3)1.My oldest went away for three days with a load of 5th graders. She had a blast. She was treated kindly. She came home safely. This was a huge mountain crested for me; not so much the going away, she has done that. What consistently seems insurmountable for me, the mother, is trusting others with her. So, while this 14er is behind us, there is a complete range ahead. Now that we have one climb behind us, I pray the next will be that much easier.

Little’s only lament was that she thought she was going to miss the school book fair.

2.  A new season of Dr. Who started and within the first 10 min. of the first episode the writer had posed an incredible ethical question. THAT is why I love Dr. Who and don’t mind if I am called a geek; good writing, tough questions, and humor can be a real gift.

3. It is too late in the night for me to blog – I will write something personal and sad. So I will pause here until tomorrow when I can be pensive and funny. (Let’s see if I really get back to this tomorrow or in a month!)

4. I’m back. KB’s class has been studying insects; each child was given a mealworms to care for and watch as they turned into Darkling Beetles. KB names hers Chocolate. The teacher’s plan was that once one worm turned into a beetle all the kids would take theirs home. Chocolate came to live with us this week. He did great for a few days but as of this morning and I afraid Chocolate has gone to meet his maker (Either that or he is in the pupa stage, but  I doubt that.)  I found myself praying over a mealworms this morning, asking Jesus to please let him not be dead. KB is going to be crushed; she is so tender-hearted.

5. I quit my job; first time I’ve ever done that. This is a whole post that I am preparing to write.

6. I love selling Jamberry. It’s funny – in high school you take those tests that tell you what you should do as a job in your future. Mine said sales and I giggle about that when i think of how much fun I am having.

7. We went to the movies as a family today and Lily made it through the previews and one sentence into Hotel Transylvania 2. She and I got our money back and went home until the show was over. (This goes on my list of positives for living in a place as small as FoCo. After the movie we all went to Chickfila and turned in kids’ meals toys so that everyone had free ice cream. We also all wore sports team shirts and all went home with a free sandwich for dinner. This frugal mama was LOVING that.

8. Mom, Bubba said today that he wishes we had a cool porch on our house like Memom has at her house. Apparently he is convinced it would come with a hammock. He has forbidden KB to ever talk about swinging on the hammock over Labor Day. Hilarious.

9. We are reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe aloud. Little and Bubba let me read it to them when they were six but KB has never made it past the first chapter; she is my sensitive one. So now, finally, I told her we were going to push on and she would see what a lovely book it was. Her eyes have been the size of saucers each night and she begs to read “one more chapter”. We just finished Peter’s First Battle and it is has one of my favorite passages in it. It led to an amazing conversation with my seven-year old and that is probably going to be a post as well.

10. Bubba has joined the Run/Walk club at school so every Monday and Thursday he can be found doing laps outside for an hour. I never thought, in a million years, that my son would choose to be active for an hour but I am overjoyed. He has a goal to go 100 miles during the course of the year and three days in he has done 5.75 miles. When I picked him up on Monday of this week he told me that he had a new strategy. He realized he would go further during the hour if he would run more, so he was running a little bit of every lap. I held back a giggle and asked if he had worked out a pattern to run the short ends and walk the long ends or something of that nature. He responded, “Even the short ends are too long to run the whole thing, mom.”

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First Day of School


School started this week for our kiddos and it’s the FIRST TIME EVER that all three went to the SAME school. I got choked up Monday morning while praying for them before they left; I was just so excited they would all be together. It was also the FIRST TIME EVER that I dropped my kids off at school and didn’t call my mom crying. I called my mom – I just didn’t cry.

IMG_2455The school where they are all attending starts at 9:00 AM so we had a nice leisurely morning before they had to be there. Honestly, this is one of the things I am most excited about this year. We had breakfast together – it was “National Pancake Day”, so we had pumpkin pancakes. We spent time with God together. It was so great.IMG_2456You can see the verse we looked at. . . this is Bubba’s picture. I wish I had a recording of his voice saying, “This is me now and God is with me and loves me completely (God is represented by the smiling sun in all of Bub’s pictures) and this is me when I am old and God is still with me and loves me just as wholly and completely.” Seriously? Happy mom moment for sure.

IMG_2482Little was committed to riding the bus even though I was going to have to drive her siblings in the car right behind her (their paperwork is finished yet.) I walked out with her, gave kisses, and waved her off; she has the same bus driver as last year and it was “home-townish” to see and greet someone we knew.

Walking KB and Bubba up to their doors wasn’t as intimidating for me as it was last year. For some reason there weren’t as many dogs and Little wasn’t with me to stop and talk to the ones we did pass. Bubba had a death grip on my left hand and I was so focused on silently praying for his day that all else seemed small. KB said, “The first day is always nervy and then. . . it’s the second day. Bye, Mom.” Gotta love her.

Bubba did NOT adhere to her “rip off the bandaid” approach; instead he attempted to rip off my pointer finger. He said the words, “I wanna go back to TPAAK, Mom, ” and I saw the lip begin to quiver. I whispered a prayer in his ear.

It literally hurts watching our son build up enough nerve to do something like walk into a new classroom. I could NOT be more proud of him. I could see him shaking and eye contact with his teacher (who was greeting everyone at the door) was not an option, but he did give a fist bump and walked in.

Can I tell you one of the great blessings of the day? I had dropped the ball and not gotten the kids’ medical forms signed and so I had to go back up to the school at 1:00PM to give Bubs and Little their medication. Little was, of course, in heaven being back at school and she threw back her pill and headed out with barely a wave. The beautiful thing was Bubba. He walked in talking and left talking. . . they were doing a bingo game and the teacher had changed a diaper and this boy was born outside Colorado, and on and on. Happy Heart.

When I picked the kids up and started walking down the street toward the van, I listened to them chatter about the day. I asked Bubba, “So you’re okay with being here instead of TPAAK?” and I could swear that I heard angels sing as he answered, “Definitely!”

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