Friday, December 31, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday- Last one of the year!!

Flash Fiction Friday; Every Friday write a short story, poem or prose
of 55 words, no more no less, then report it to the g-man!!!

"this is the last day of 2010
very anti-climatic for being the end
the new year is coming so hold on tight
just trust in the end it will all be alright
we've all suffered sorrows and shared our good times
let's hang in there together with this blogger, our favorite pastime!!!
Happy 2011!!!"

Here ya go G-man!! I slipped one in a little bit late, but still in time!! Have a Kick Ass new year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

finding the reason for the season

 here are wes and the bean at a santa night, their second one of the season. we go every year to century two's night with santa and the same santa does the pictures with the girls the last two years. this year the girls decided to give santa a christmas card.
 when we saw the second santa gillian was upset, she put her little fists on her hips and looked up at me and very seriously said to me 'mommy, that is NOT santa.' she pays attention to detail. in the first picture that IS the real santa, in the second, it is an imposter. 
 oh, well on to bigger things.. the Double Birthday Party!!!
 here haley is trying to get the bean to smile...
 ah it only lasts a moment she keeps sticking her tongue out. i think she is the only child who, when you go to kiss her you have to say 'no tongue gillian.'
 here is the big cake. i thought hey let's get an ice cream cake should be easier than cake and ice cream, yeah right. i left my honey in charge of searching this out, at one point he actually said why can't we just get an ice cream pie. i thought i was going to lose it, i could have made the cake myself if he didn't want to get it... he got it!! yay
 here we are making cookies for santa, at my sisters house. it gets messy...
 here are the girls at the assembly line frosting and decorating the cookies. someone took the lid off the sprinkles at one point and gillian made a mountain of sprinkles on top of the cookies.

 my nephew, he was so serious. later there was a frosting fight, my beaters broke that day and i had to go get a new one to make the pies. my nephew ended up rolling out the dough and putting the last few batches in the oven. the kids had so much fun. i was tired.

 here they decided they were going to paint themselves with frosting, here is haley with her famous rojo frosted lips, in fact every red cookie was done by miss haley, it's her favorite color. the beans is green. my christmas girls have christmas colors as their favorite colors how appropriate.
 here is my nephew trying his skills with my famous, Paula Deen Cookie Mix!!
 i just love the sugar cookie recipe and ever since i found it, it is the only one i use for this type of cookie...

 here are some of the finished products. in all we had over 144 sugar cookies 268 chocolate chip and an equal amount of butterscotch cookies!! we gave santa the 'hook- up'!! can you see haleys red cookies and the one up in the corner there, the one that looks black, that is the beans cookie with a mountain of sprinkles on it!!
so if you ever wonder about the reason for the season, well for me, this is it, the memories that i have creating all this fun with my girls, and the rest of my family. i can't think of a better feeling in the world right now then the journey through the holiday season. i think i am getting excited for next year already.

i am heading to the gym today. for the first time in a week. i have been quite sick this last week and last night wes had a bit of it as well. hopefully we are done with this viral bug and won't have to worry about it any more. i have not heard from his mother since christmas, i hope she is not feeling like a grinch still, but there is nothing i am worried about.i would have been thrilled to see my kids at the holidays and to get such a lavish gift, she seemed unimpressed with us all. what she shows me is how not to treat my children. then it won't be 25 years before i see them in the same room. i have a lot of empathy for her though because she is all alone and she is a mother and a grandmother and it must be aweful to sit alone in that little apartment day in, day out. her phone hardly rings. and she is dependant on people to bring her things like, groceries and medicine. she has alienated her daughter, whom i have never met, and i just think it is sad that there are four adult children who have a mom, alive and well, and they don't want to be around her. i miss my mom terribly. i guess that leaves me with today's thought;
"When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves."- William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

life goes on... holiday's or not

so i had therapy last night with my main therapist and told her about the joint session with 'A' and how bad it went. apparently i wasn't the only one who thought it went bad, because 'A's' therapist called my therapist to tell her how bad it went. the whole situation was silly and it blew up out of proportion. it reminded me of my recent issue with service work, where i wrote an article for my newsletter and now i have a censorship committee that will review the work before it is sent to print. i used the words 'vagina' and 'sex' to discuss predatory behavior. and really someone did not like it. that is what it boils down to. well the other day i was parenting my daughter. my other therapist said to use the word parenting not discipline that would make it easier for me to handle, because i don't want to be a disciplinarian. so when 'A' got home from school on the last day before Christmas break this is what happened

'Mom i just found out i have 2 assignments due today in AP History.' i said
'Well then i guess you better get on it.' so she goes back to her room. a little while later she came to me and said 'Mom i have a 76 in the class without this work.' and i said 'What will you have if you do the work?' she said 'The teacher said it would bring my grade up to a B.' i said then it would be worth trying to get part of it in.' a while later as i was coming by her room she said 'mom i can't figure this out' she was very distressed. she said the answers were supposed to be in the book but they weren't so i said 'Honey i wish i could help you but i just can't. why don't you google howard zinn and the questions this is what happens when you wait till the last minute to try and get your homework done. so you have to think outside the book.'

 see 'A' only missed 2 class periods, both times were when she had to do work for JROTC, one was a blood drive and the other was an out of state trip. and these assignments were online so there was no reason for her not to know they were due. she just chose to not look up for any missing assignments, instead she played on facebook. now her teacher was giving her a chance to get her grade up and i simply told her she should try. 

then she came to me when i was getting ready for an appointment and said 'Mom this is just too hard i just want to take a C.' and that is when i said 'Well i guess you should also consider weather or not you want to do swimming in the spring because if extra curricular activities are getting in the way of you getting your homework done then you won't be doing any in the spring.' so she huffed off and got her assignment done. so she says. then a little bit later wes came home and she said something to him and went over and grabbed the phone and called her therapist. then she got off the phone and said 'Mom 'T' wants to talk to you tomorrow for a few minutes before my therapy. OK 

So i saw my other therapist and told him i thought i was going to get balled out by her therapist for disciplining her. i told him what happened and he said "don't call it 'discipline', it is not 'discipline', it is called 'parenting'." and he assured me it would be fine and that a good therapist would not triangulate a situation between a parent and child. yeah right.

So the session could have gone better, it lasted 2 hours and it was exactly that. 'A' called 'T' to tell on mommy, mommy went in to talk to 'T' and 'T' said at this point we let the kids decide for themselves what kind of grade they choose to get. that if she were in middle school that is where we provide the little push but at 17 it is too late to threaten the kids with discipline if they don't get a good grade in school. i said i wasn't disciplining her i was parenting her. and she said no, and took out her notes, and said you told her if she didn't get her grade up she wouldn't be able to swim in the spring. Uh yeah, i did. that is discipline she said a natural consequence would be a lower grade. no not true if she got low grades in college they would tell her she could not participate in swimming also. it is the right consequence.

so then 'A' was brought in and i felt ganged up on. yeah it didn't go well. i held my ground. i was a little shaken up but the therapist insisted to my daughter that this was not going to be a deal where mommy made her mad, she calls 'T' and 'T' tells mommy 'bad mommy' even though that is exactly what happened.

so then after Christmas 'A' said she needed a prom dress, just like the phone issue i said 'what are you willing to do to earn it.' so finally she goes, 'OK mom make me a list, what can i do to earn money' so with wes and his family there we made up this list, you know like wash out the van; 10 bucks. 3 loads of laundry, wash, dry, fold and put away 8 bucks, wash the blinds 10 bucks. things like that the little nitty gritties that i put off doing. feeling like i was being very lenient with the list i handed it to wes to edit. this was the negotiating part between him and i. so he changed the wash to 5 bucks. and a few other things he lowered the price on. i said 'your such a slave driver.' we were joking, we were laughing. and we handed her this list. she took one look at it and said 'My therapist needs to approve this list.' yeah.

so we told her look you don't have to do any of it if you don't want to. in fact it was a pick and choose list. if she wanted to earn her money doing nothing but laundry then so be it. ah, such is life. bless her heart. and i am not acting out on my behaviors today. this is what it is. she doesn't like that i am feeling better and parenting her. 

so i will keep updates on progress. the point is it is not about me. she will be leaving home in may. i won't be there to give her guidance. she will figure it out on her own, the easy way or the hard way. it is up to her. but while she is here, i call the shots.

today's thought; "Many people are living in an emotional jail without recognizing it."- Virginia Satir

Monday, December 27, 2010

post christmas blues...

well we had a very merry christmas, with grinches and all. a wonderful visit with family and i am sad it is over. the big house that has done lights for years did not shine this year. there was a for sale sign in the yard. wes said they went into foreclosure to pay for the christmas lights!! goof ball. he loves his kindle, i finally got him a gift that is not collecting dust on the shelf!! he totally geeked out over it and the Red Swingline Stapler!! yes the one from office space, if you haven't seen the movie you won't get it and if you have seen the movie and don't get it, don't worry i didn't care for it either, but he works in an office and is a cult follower of that geeky movie and i finally found one!!hey i will add some pictures!!
 here are my beautiful flowers my baby gave me for christmas.. made me cry i got the sniffles now
 these two picture perfect girls looked fabulous in their little dresses. we went today and got portraits done, tomorrw my haley will be 5. no more fours!! right now they are both 4.
here is what santa left under the tree.. lots of goodies though mom thought she got robbed because her present wasn't under there, i waited until her children got here so they could all give it to her together.
 then i let wes decide how to cook the roast beast and well lets just say the house filled up with smoke for a bit!! here is a shot i took of the living room and my camera captured the smoke!!

 mom was quite the unexpected grinch all day. of course we gave her a hell of a cold she wasn't feeling good but she could have tried to smile for the camera.

 oh look i think she crakced one!! maybe not. the whole afternoon she chose to not speak to anyone, it was strange, now mind you this is the first time all three of her sons were together for a picture in 25 years. seriously my honey in orange on the left then mom and his older brother darryl and his oldest brother ben. she looks frightening here. i wonder what she is thinking...
 oh it looks like she is smiling now. i enjoyed the whole thing and wes was upset at his mom's behavior. she had ben take her home as he lives in kansas city. so he set up her tv. chris and darryl stayed through monday and we had a blast the rest of the weekend talking and just enjoying each other. it was awesome.
 here is my bean eating home made whipped cream!! and cheesecake!!

 here are larry, moe and curly then some of the fun shots trying to get everyone to pose for the camera!!
 yeah that puppy is not real he can't be in the picture, but the real one can!!
 katie, chris, juliette and darryl
wes, haley me adrianna and the gilly-bean, and her fake dog!!

hope you all were blessed with a wonderful holiday weekend. i know i was!! thanks for sticking around as long as you have, and thanks for caring and being here. hope to read you all in the new year as well. hey guess what my new jeans are a size 10!! can you believe it!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Merry Christmas everybody!!! It is Christmas eve and guess what?!? I am not cooking!!!! My brother-in- law is here making some real Carne Asada with fresh tortillas and beans!! He is from the state of Oaxaca, in Mexico where the big mudslides were. The village, where his father lives was almost leveled and he just got back from a trip there to see his father and assess the damage.

he is treating us to a Christmas, Oaxacan meal!! In his village the whole community comes together and makes meals and everybody shares their food and everything is free. it is a big community celebration, they break pinatas and sing. they do not have Christmas trees and gifts to give, they celebrate by giving of themselves to each other.

Dinner and gifts, family and fun. cooking and eating.... placing presents under the tree after the kids have gone to bed. stuffing the stockings.. sleeping for a little bit, until the children come to tell us "Santa Came!!"

then more family and fun and celebrating the gift called Life...

Happy Holidays Everyone, i hope you enjoy your holiday as much as i am enjoying mine.

Suzie Q

Monday, December 20, 2010

christmas blues

this comes every year. i just can't explain it. i feel a bit sad, the season changes and goes so quickly. i have been truly blessed in life. so much so that i have lost friends in the process. i cannot seem to put a finger on what is exactly bothering me.

my sister; her health is poor, she has not been to the doctor since she had a mini stroke last year. she is not taking her insulin and her sleep habits are poor. not to mention her stress is very high, her oldest daughter is living with her and is verbally abusive. she screams and has tantrums and threatens to kill herself. she calls her mother the most horrible names and tells her that she hates her mother. my sister just takes it like a whipping post. their finances are bad, christmas is going to be tight.

she is my matron of honor, so i am pulling her to all these wedding shops and when we first went to look at my dress she was trying on bridesmaid dresses. now she is saying can she just wear pants. she is sad and depressed and i fell like i am adding to her stress, so i don't want to ask her for help. i feel guilty because i have funds and she does not.

a lot of my friends are bad with finances. bad- they shop their emotions away, or eat them away. i don't do that any more. but they don't call me anymore. i am lonely for friends who i can talk to. i hate walking into a room and hearing a friend say 'go on tell me how much wieght you lost so i can be jealous.' so i say '45 pounds thank you for asking.' you know i have worked real hard to lose weight and get my sugars under control. and it is a struggle still, it would just be nice to have some female support you know, not women who feel sorry for themselves saying things like 'i wish i could do that.' i feel like saying 'get off your lazy ass and do it then! stop waiting for a quick fix-it pill and do it.' i want to tell them to stop squandering their money away on pop and cigarrettes. if they stopped spending all their money they would have it for chrsitmas, clothes or to fix their car. or when they are sick they don't go to the doctors because they don't have insurance, so even if i talk about going to the doctors there is this uneasiness. or when they tell me they are  diabetic and then eat half a cake at a recovery party and wash it down with pop. what do i say? nothing. when they go out to smoke i yell 'CANCER SUCKS' it just pops out, that one i cannot control. i feel like i am going t owatch all my friends die because they won't take care of themselves.

wes has not had time to go christmas shopping for me. i cannot go for myself, if i do i won't be surprised. i used to love the christmas mornings wondering what i got under the tree. my mother always made sure i had something, i was always so grateful for whatever it was. i miss my mom. i miss my dad.

the guys at the meeting were talking about football last night. i haven't been into the games since my father passed. i used to love watching the games with him, football, boxing, basketball, the olympics, baseball he always loved finding out who was going to be mr. october. or was it september.. i don't remember. does that mean i am forgetting him? i had a dream about him the other night and i introduced him to my girls. he has been gone 7 years this past november. november 15 2003, that is when i lost it, spent the next year in a self induced hell. 2004 was just a blur, i don't remember much. i got clean in january 2005, elvis's birthday was my first day clean. mom was around to see me get my 3 year coin before she passed on january 15. i can hardly believe she will be gone 3 years now and my girls won't remember her, or how much she loved them.

maybe i just miss my family, maybe i am feeling older. scared to die today. you know that is a miracle. me being scared to die. there was a time where i welcomed it, dared it to come. i used to think how peaceful it would be to just slip away, close my eyes and disappear. today i am so busy with life, i don't want it to ever end. i want to always hold my girls and love them and kiss them. i want to always have wes with me. there is a lump in my throat and i am happy, scared and sad at the same time.

there was a time when i did not feel anything. i am happy for these feelings, they are mine. i will hold on to them for a minute or so more, then i will go and try to find someone to talk to. and then let the ones that make me feel bad go. i am not afraid of my feelings today. they are just feelings.

i got my wedding dress and it is beautiful. it is the most beautiful thing i have ever owned. it was one of my favorites online and normal price was $649, i got it for $298, the beadwork is beautiful and it goes in a V shape down the back of the train. it laces down the back and is strapless. it is so pretty. i want my bridesmaids to have matching dresses with all of them wearing the same dress, full length the only difference, my matron of honor, she will wear a shrug as she feels her arms are too big.  no decisions on flowers or colors yet. trying to find some dresses that my matron of honor can afford, i will have to wait until after the holidays. she is in a real funk and i hope she comes out of it soon. it makes me feel funky too.

today's thought; "The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together."- Saadi

Friday, December 17, 2010

there's a little grinch in everyone...

The Angel

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.  Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then, when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum.  When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.  In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor.  He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa.  Isn't this a lovely day?  I have a beautiful tree for you.  Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Not a lot of people know this. I think people don't want to believe that Santa can get cranky too... So for all my little grinches out there, it's OK, Santa gets grinchy too!!

So sorry I haven't posted I am heading out to get my Mother in Law in Topeka, Gillian is now 4 years old!! I have two four year olds in the house!! Everyone is coming for Christmas and my m.i.l. is going to be so surprised!! i have a few last minute gifts to get and oh, my dress for the wedding. i am so disappointed. the dress was only 298!! and then the undergarments were another 100. OK so then they wanted to do some hem and bustle alterations, well when i talked with the guy and asked him how much, i honestly thought like 30- 50 bucks, he said 250!! WTF!!! I just felt so heartbroken wondering, do alterations really cost that much? So i called the other shops in town and found out that hems on a wedding dress start at 30 dollars and bustles run about 30-50. So i am going to the other bridal shop in town and if they have a dress i like for under 300, i am going to cancel my layaway order and let them have the 40 dollar cancellation fee. i just feel like that was very underhanded not to say what they charge for alterations in the first place. i mean my sister, who has less money then i do, she will need a dress and alterations and her dress was only 100 and then the alterations would be 250? that is outrageous, she can't afford that. neither can my two bridesmaids.

anyways i loved this little story about the angel, it makes me giggle and i hope it makes you giggle too!! we are going to see some great Christmas displays and hopefully i can get some picture up. i am going to take my girls in to take their 4 year pictures while they are both 4 years old, Haley will be 5 on the 28th so i have just about 2 weeks.

today's thought "Life is a fast ride, my suggestion is to get in, hold on, and enjoy the ride."- me

Thursday, December 9, 2010

flash fiction friday and a little christmas spirit

today is a double post first a Christmas story that always makes me smile, then a flash fiction Friday, which I haven't done in quite sometime so I am a bit out of practice. however lets start with what Christmas is all about....
You can scroll down to the Flash fiction Friday if you would like!!

 Better bundle up; the goosebumps will freeze you!! I think I need to read this every year at Christmas.

"Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

 It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was 15 years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason, I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self pity. Soon pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that i could see. We already done all the chores, and i couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when told to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what....

Outside I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood- the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa", I asked, "what are you doing?" "You been by the widow Jensens's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a  crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?" Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children- sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out. "We brought you a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last a while. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "god bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. This list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the sizes right. Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The Turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't quite have enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life."

I just love Christmas and remembering why we celebrate, I hope you enjoyed this message and now for a flash fiction Friday!!! Every Friday, or Thursday night, write a short story, poem or prose of 55 words, no more, no less and then report it to the G-man!!!!

"Christmas cards are in the mail- check
Dinner planned and guests invited- check
Pictures with Santa, the big guy,- check
Tree trimmed and lights on the house- check
Stockings hung up for Santa to fill,
Presents wrapped and ready to go,
Shoot it looks like I will be up all night on Christmas eve again!!"

Here you go G-man, OK i am out of practice i can barely count to 55 anymore!! i am going to try on wedding dresses tomorrow and and i just found a ton of things i need to do for Christmas still!! Can you believe it is in a few weeks!! My sisters Christmas party is this weekend, my "A" is taking her ACT on Saturday again, next Wednesday the bean turns 4 and the double b-day party is on the 18th, mom is coming the 17th. oh and she just called and told me her TV is going out!! go figure!! i told her when she comes for Christmas we would take her shopping for a new one!! God i hope she don't buy one!! but hey, did i call that or what?!? I love this time of year!! i hope to stop by later tonight or in the morning to check on the Friday players!!!

Today's thought;"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for."
- Epicurus

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

could not sleep again last night. my baby came out and laid with me. she is such a cuddle bug. i give up going to the gym today. my little one keeps taking her clothes off, she does not want to go so i will surrender today. i have therapy tonight and then i am hitting a meeting.

i am struggling today. my "A" got an expensive phone for her birthday not two months ago, then on her trip this last weekend a girl in her squad was angry at her so she retaliated by tossing the phone in the toilet. there is nothing i can do to fix this. "A" does not have the $150 to replace the phone. neither do we. she was told no electronics were allowed on the trip by the school officials. all students were told this, yet they all still take them. so i did sign her up for a Christmas wish on the radio station. i know there are much more needier kids out there. i just am heartbroken as much as she is about her phone being gone. she did not have insurance on the phone it is a pre-paid monthly phone and we had an agreement that if she does all her chores and keeps her grades up we would give her 25 each month towards her phone bill and she would pay the other half out of her babysitting funds. so she did that just this month and now no phone. she will be graduating this year and heading to basic training in May. then on to jobs training and college. i feel her accomplishments should merit something. yet i  cannot afford another phone. if her Christmas wish does not come true then she will simply have to wait until her first paycheck from the national guard so that she can get another phone. her babysitting money is paying for future school trips right now so she won't be able to use that. we did go and get cap and gown pictures done, and she is really getting things moving forward for her life. i am sad and proud at the same time.

i think i will make some chili now it is cold out and i have a great recipe with black soy beans and it is low glycemic!! the hard part about staying home is staying out of the fridge!!
my honey has a couple of gifts from Santa being delivered today, i am excited i need to start wrapping some of this loot!! i would love to be surprised with a ring under the tree, but i know we are waiting for February.

i am excited about the meeting i am going to tonight. i need to get started on my newsletter. i did not get fired from that service position, however they did issue me a censorship committee. so i am procrastinating this part of service as i am a little bit hurt because of the whole situation. i even read to them the positive comments i received about my article and those members who do not go to service committees do have a voice and that is who i write for. the only thing i regret about the committee meeting is that the actual article in question was not read out loud. other then that i did not get upset or even hot under the collar. i felt ok and that is new for me. i live a pretty good life today. i have been a bit disconnected from my recovery and that does bother me. i KNOW where i came from and i know what i need to do to continue this path of recovery, so tonight, a meeting.

for today's thought; "I don't need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me."            - Stephen Fry

Monday, December 6, 2010

alone again

so here i sit alone in front of this computer, my honey in KC and he won't be back for a week. i could not sleep well last night. co-dependant. i need to get to the gym this morning. i will be going to a meeting though i don't know where.

plans for the wedding are moving forward. i have found some gorgeous dresses online now i need to go in and try some on so i can see if i like them. my brother has left town, he spent the last couple of weeks in the hospital and now he is on a huge pity pot and i really have a lot of compassion for him but it sucks that there really is nothing i can do to help him. he cannot stay here. we are trying, still, to sell this place. he has worse behavioral problems than i do. i see the rage and anger in him, it is all he can hold on to. i know that feeling all too well. probably why i feel so much for him. it made me sad because we were having such a good time planning thanksgiving together, he was normal for about 2 weeks then he just spiralled out of control. he created such madness in his reality and he let it go on for days. when i had my moments of madness it only lasted a few hours thank god. i see his madness and recognise it. and no one else does, except for Wes. i am grateful for my therapy. i am grateful for my recovery. i have not acted out in my behaviors in quite sometime, not that i am not capable of doing so again, but today i am in a real safe place. i wish my brother could find such a place.

Christmas is coming and my house is full of cheer!! my children are going to see Santa on Wednesday. my Haley has one request from Santa this year. a real puppy. she says but mom i am ready for a real puppy i want a bowl to feed him and a leash to walk him. i told Wes that it was very important to her and when we do get one, it won't be this year, but when we do it will be a Christmas present. maybe if we are moved and settled in a bigger place next year would be better. so hopefully she won't be too disappointed this year. the bean of course wants a green unicorn!!! we are getting her a unicorn and putting a green scarf around it.

being on the hunt for a unicorn for Christmas really puts the season into perspective for me. family is so important and my little girls giggling down the hall is the most beautiful sound i know. Haley was running up and down the hall laughing the other night. just laughing. i told Wes that i never did that in my house, i was not happy. i am so grateful my children are happy, they want for nothing and love the simple things like puppies and unicorns. they love wearing princess dresses and playing together, i never had that when i was little, we all seemed to hate each other we were so jealous of each other.

so while half my heart is in Kansas City, i will fill out Christmas cards and go to the gym and hold down the fort. today's thought; "Life is lived forward, but understood backwards."- Bob B.

Friday, December 3, 2010

just a quickie

so we went to a dinner party tonight and i really wanted to eat everything!! i didn't though but it was painful. so many carbs and i didn't have any. then today i got angry at my Haley shortly after my earlier post. i was really angry, and i sent her to her room. i got mad at myself for feeling that way, but i didn't act on it. then i called my sister to come help me. she did.

it is hard to stop doing something that feels so normal to do. i spent part of the day crying and i realized that i am upset about "A". she will be leaving soon. to start her life. she will be moving away and she won't be here any more. it will be so strange to not have her come home everyday. she will be out of state for 10 weeks for basic then about 20 weeks for job training. she will start college in Lawrence after that. we are still here in Wichita which is about 3 hours away. we want to move but you know how that is all going. we are looking at Topeka and that is still an hour away from her. i feel a loss. then at dinner tonight i was reminded by a good friend of mine, that at least she will still be here. i can still call her. my friend spent the day crying too. i felt so selfish at that moment. today marks the 6 month anniversary of her oldest child's death. i cannot believe it has been so long. i cannot believe i feel a loss. i feel fear that something will happen to her out there too. and i have my little ones here to love and play with.

this strange range of emotions that are coming out and for the first time i am really observing them. yes i got angry today, but Haley just saw me tell her to go to her room. then her aunt came over and i went to the store myself, without my girls. and part of me felt like a bad mother to need a break. my children need the outings too. my thoughts are all over the map right now. Wes is leaving on Sunday for a week, i have an Avon party scheduled so that will be lots of fun!! I don't know if i have enough room though!! i got 12 gals coming to my little bitty house!! maybe some will forget to show up!! well i do have bean bags!!

i just needed to get my thoughts out. i missed a meeting tonight because i wanted to spend time with Wes before he leaves. i hate it when he is gone. i love him so much.

my brother is gone towards Colorado. i won't be seeing him for the rest of the holidays he said. his life is a shambles and he is on one big pity pot right now. and i can't fix it. but it is my girls bedtime. so i must sign off for the night.

may you all have a wonderful weekend, i think of you guys often i will stop by in the morning and try to catch up a bit. thank you for sticking around, i appreciate my online buddies so much!!

has it really been 3 weeks?!?!

wow where does the time go!? seriously so my online journal update is as follows;

black Friday was amazing!! we got mom the tv and she is going to be shocked!! my "A" got a beautiful new 3/4 length coat and some clothes. the lines were long but in my town at least people were very friendly. i had a lot of fun with my sister and was disappointed to hear all the drama that went around at other sales around the country. Americans are a very selfish bunch.

so "A" went to the KU campus visit and it went well she scored extremely well on her asfabs and is now strongly considering the Army National Guard and ROTC for her future. College will be paid for!!! She had a recruit come by just last night and they cleared a lot of the fog and we are now moving forward for her!! She bombed on her first ACT so she is taking it again next week and has applied for KU.

My tree is up and it looks fabulous!! Thanksgiving came and it went and i am glad it is over. My baby brother had a major meltdown and was in the hospital for over a week. I had lamb on the menu and he knows how to cook it, but since he was on the hospital I did the best I could and it was very, very mediocre. So for Christmas we will probably have prime rib. BEEF, it's what's for dinner!!

my little ones have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, my garden has completely come down. duh, I have a wonderful set of icicle lights up and some happy snowmen out in the yard and it is very festive!! I am so excited about Christmas!!

The wedding is set for February 11, 2012. That will give us a year to budget everything and I will have my ring this February!! We are saving the extra money for it so we don't go into what we already have saved. I am shopping for dresses now and I still have 30 pounds to lose but I am confidant that i can do it.

I need to get to the gym now I have a huge honey do list today and i am hungry, back on my diet, I haven't gained any weight but I haven't lost any in a couple of months.  So i am restricting my intake a bit.

today's thought; "Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but look around in awareness."- James Thurber