Wind, rain, snow, and a new belt

Weather in our state is so unpredictable.  We started the week of Valentine’s Day with almost 70 degree weather and clear skies..then windy and cooler, and by Wednesday close to 60 and rain.  Schools closed down b/c of flooding in our counties and nearby areas. However, we’d planned a field trip to the zoo and I gave Little Cutie the option of waiting or going that day (Thursday) in the rain.  She chose to go.  It was awesome.  Turns out for the first time since the workers could remember, we were the ONLY patrons in the zoo.  We had rain coats, boots and an umbrella.  Stephen sat in the gift shop and Little Cutie and I saw all the animals.  No fighting crowds, almost all the animals out and eating. The red pandas were sleeping and the jaguars weren’t out.  We rarely see the Spider Monkeys anyway.  We had a blast. Hopefully getting giraffes soon.  The hand carved/hand painted carousel is still down for maintenance but we are being patient.  Here are a few of my favorite photos. 

Friday it was colder and still rainy.  Little Cutie prayed it would snow enough for her to make a snow angel.  By Saturday a.m. it was snowing.  It did snow enough for her to make a snow angel but it was mostly gone by 3 p.m.  We ended up with only a couple of inches. We still enjoyed it greatly and had such fun.  Wish we’d get one more really good snow but can’t always get what we wish for.

Little Cutie also tested for her last Little Warrior belt (a camo one) on that Thursday.  She did an awesome job on her test and we are so proud of her.  Her mom got to come the following Tuesday to see her get her belt and I got to rank her so it was extra special.  She’ll keep this belt for a few months then test into regular class as a yellow belt.  



If you were one of my xanga friends, you may know a bit about what we’ve been through with Stephen.  Back in 2006, he got encephalitis from the shingles/chicken  pox virus.  Longer story shorter, it left him with an acquired brain injury.  I went to the hospital with the man I’d been married to for almost 24 years at the time and came home with a stranger.  “E” totally changed his personality.  He was volatile, angry, forgetful, demanding, accusing, and had other ‘residuals’ and health issues due to the ‘E”.  We called the first two years our ‘hell years’.  

Through the years, though he’s gotten better, he will never fully recover, nor will he be the same as before ‘e’.  He has a LOT of health issues and has been on disability due to the ‘e’ since 2010.  Recently, (as in about a year ago) he started back as part time youth minister (though he’s only paid expenses.).  However, any thing he does totally wipes him out.  When home, it’s a battle to get him to do anything.  Today he left about 12:30 for a meeting an hour back home about 6, ate, and went to sleep tonight.  I finally got him up for a shower 5 minutes ago.  This is how wiped out he gets just doing little things. 

Now, you can understand a bit better my frustration with our ‘kids’ and why I stay exhausted.  Despite my own health issues, things have to get done and I have to do them.  I’m a caregiver, teacher, mom, Gigi, Sensei, tutor, etc.  Lately, I’ve felt even more stressed and overwhelmed.  Stephen has helped by taking us to karate so I’m not stressed over the drive, saved to take us to see a movie, and talked to the kids for me so I won’t be so angry.  I appreciate that and it’s a lot for him.  When people say ‘rest’ sounds good but pretty much impossible.  I’m hoping to have one day to at least sleep late soon.  We shall see.  I greatly appreciate all the prayers.  

Tbear, the farm, and a hawk

Meet Theodore Desmond  He’s our grandson to be born mid July.  Our dil has a blood clotting disorder which probably was the reason behind Vincent being stillborn.  She is on a baby aspirin daily, being checked more often and is considered high risk.  We are excited but there is much to be done before Tbear (as I will probably call him lol) arrives. Prayers appreciated.  We truly need to find someone who can give us a good deal on either adding on or enclosing our porch.  Then..getting the money together.  LIFE. 

We went to the farm this past weekend.  Yesterday was my daddy’s 81st birthday.  We went to celebrate him . It was a good visit and I’m glad we got to go. 😉

At the farm,  Little Cutie was helpful.  She LOVES ‘helping’.  She got a lot of goat kisses. 😉

On the way out we saw a hawk.  He was beautiful though my phone photos don’t do him justice. 


Back into the swing of things….

We are totally back into the swing of things with home school, tutoring (though a couple of my students have been sick these first couple of weeks back.  

Sunday, I have to go to South Ga with a couple of friends.  One is my Sensei’s wife and she has a baby shower (her dil’s) to attend.  My Sensei won’t go (not sure why) and she doesn’t want to go alone or drive so..another friend and I volunteered.  Makes for a long day but….

Little Cutie is already upset by the fact that she and her parents are going to Son #1’s home for a late Christmas presents exchange.  Personally, I think Son #1 is being a pain in making them come.  He wasn’t happy they stayed here this year, but such is life.  I’m holding them to the deal of rotating. 😉 I’m also thinking they are going to find it difficult to travel with two children.  We shall see.  Anyway, though I’ve explained to LC that they won’t leave til after 7 at night and will return about the same time I do on Sunday, she is still sad because she wont’ be with me. She’s a mess.

I take my 7th grader for an extra half hour every other week so our first week back, I had him make a gingerbread train with Little Cutie….it was adorable and we all had fun.  They ate as much as they decorated, I think. LOL

Back to the grind leaves me with little time to myself and I’m on mission to find a way to add a room/space so we will have room for the baby.  Prayers appreciated.

Catching Up…

Christmas Eve was awesome because Little Cutie and her family were here for the first time in about 3 years the entire time. 😉 .  We did all our family traditions: making sugar cookies (some for Santa lol), going out and looking at lights, stopping and getting a drink as a treat while out, treasure hunt for Little Cutie, etc.  A small inexpensive train was her treasure hunt gift. 

Christmas Day was a blast..watching Little Cutie get so excited about her presents.  Simple things but wanted and loved by her, eating a HUGE brunch (cooked by Stephen), “vegging” the rest of the day, watching movies, etc and pizza for supper.  We totally enjoyed our time together.  For a few years, I’ve been trying to get LC’s parents to get her a battery for her big jeep that a friend of mine got her.  She’s had it for about 3 years but unable to ride it.  This year they could afford it so..It’s a favorite thing of her and it has been such fun watching her enjoy it.  My favorite gift was from Stephen.  A couple months back, my mama gave me her mama’s class ring and a pin.  The sets in both were ‘out’.  Stephen had them fixed for me. Treasured items.  Made me and my mama cry. 😉

The visit to my parents and son #3 was mostly great.  Busy and tiring too.  Son #3 took us to see a movie and got us popcorn and drinks too.  My sister and oldest brother visited. My younger brother called.  Long story short and private story kept private, he’s caused a lot of heartache, hurt, and anger, in our family.  I love him, but, y’all, if I could punch him I would.

Little Cutie ended up on our karate page’s profile pic.  Love it!


We are still working on how to either enclose our porch or add a room for the upcoming addition..Oh did I share that?  Yeah…DIL #2 is pregnant.  Of course, since we lost Vincent we worry.  She is high risk so this time there are more Dr. visits.  We don’t really have the money to add on or enclose the porch and yet…seems we are going to have to.  I already stress over the ‘work’ a baby will add. But we are still grateful and happy.  With our situation, it’s more like adding another child instead of a grandchild but y’all already know that. 


Little Cutie’s  ‘adopted’ grandmama gave her some things including a book (Harold and the Purple Crayon) and a canvas and purple marker.  She loved it.  That is her and a house in the top part of the pic and me, her and a candy tree in the bottom part.  Love this book.  Such fun.  A great aunt and uncle gave her a ‘paint your own’ cupcake bank.  She loves art.  It’s often the center she chooses. 

Lastly, I’m back at tutoring and home school.  I’m up to 9 students now with 2 more on a waiting list.  It’s a sad situation so I’m praying about some rearranging to see if I can work them in.  Also got red added to my hair..hope it stays.  We shall see.   

Little Cutie’s loft bed.  It’s a loft bed, playhouse/play area all rolled into one.  She’s ecstatic.  We all think Stephen did an awesome job.  Fun.  Plus, I got her mom to finally go through all her toys with her and put some aside to take to my parents to leave there, some to give away and the rest to organize.  I did a lot of the cleaning up, vacuuming, etc (otherwise it doesn’t get done) and told LC that if she messes it up again, I give away toys.  She knows I’m serious so…We had to rearrange her room to make room for the loft.  She has LOADS of books (thanks to the used book store (where we trade in) and family and friends.  I took all the books off her tall bookshelf, moved it and put them all back on.  Her room looks great now.  In the photos you can see the chalkboard area I painted.  We may hang a couple of pics in there but other than that, it’s done. 😉  Her huge desk (bought from “One Man’s Junk”) is to the left and has her small Christmas tree on it. The princess in the window is a lamp gotten at a yard sale. 

Stephen’s body temp is always pretty warm.  He can actually place his hand where ice it and it melts.  We don’t need an ice scrapper.  Here, it’s gone from icy a.m.’s and in the 40’s back up to the high 60’s.  Crazy.  I truly want some snow though. 😉

As soon as Little Cutie gets back w/her mom (from her mom’s family get together), we’ll make cookies, go look at lights, and have our treasure hunt.  I’m looking forward to having these traditions with her this year. 😉

Little Cutie’s hand print cards we made. ;- )

Merry Christmas!!

Lots of stuff going on ;-)

Busy as usual and up to 9 tutoring students.  Quite frankly, it’s all the room I have.  I am  tutoring on Wednesdays til 6:30 and Friday until 7.  I just added twins to make it 9.  I took them together at first, but after the new year, I will take them separately.  They are definitely all boy. LOL.  My parents gave me some really cool gifts..not all are pictured here.  I got a elf made from quart jar top cute, a pair of really cool shoes (narrow enough to fit exactly), goodies to eat (zucchini bread, candy, buckeyes, chocolate coated pretzels, peppermint candies, etc.  Little Cutie got candy, an art set and a popcorn can. 😉 My tutoring parents rock. 

At the beginning of class on Thursday, I just had 2 Little Warriors (others came in not too long afterwards so we had a pretty good class) so I let them noodle fight and noodle block.  Little Cutie told me she didn’t think she should have to do homework at a  place that wasn’t home (b/c I had her working during the 2nd class).  I informed her, it wasn’t homework, but uncompleted school work. 

Little Cutie celebrated her 6th birthday.  She got several small gifts from us and some from her ‘adopted’ grandmama.  Her main gift is a very cool loft cabin type bed that Stephen made.  I still need to do a little bit to it so I’ll post pics of it later.  It looks awesome and she loves it.  She’ll sleep in it for the first time tomorrow.  She also had a Dr. appt on her bday (her mama’s doing) and her mama had the flu so we had to take her.  She did great and I got her a flu shot.  Her dad made her strawberry cupcakes and I helped her dip strawberries in chocolate.  We watched a movie (Mickey’s Christmas Carol) and ate popcorn later in the evening.  She had a great day. 

Last night we went to Holiday Lights at the Zoo.  She LOVES this.  We got a pic. made with Santa, made ornaments, colored pictures and saw a lot of our favorite animals.  On the way home, we went by a place in a nearby town that has LOADS of lights and free hayrides.  That was fun as well.  We were late getting home but it was a great time for us all. 

I’d hoped to have a few days of rest but that doesn’t seem to be happening but this is the first Christmas in several years that Little Cutie and her parents will be here on Christmas. I’m stoked about that.  Fortunately, we were able to get most of her gifts from Goodwill or thrift stores.  The only major purchase we got her was a robot dog (the one major thing she asked for) and her parents got her a battery for a jeep that friends of mine gave her several years ago..we just never could afford a battery. I suggested last year they get it but they didn’t..this year they accepted the suggestion.  Christmas Eve we plan to do all the traditions we did with the boys growing up……treasure hunt (leading to a small gift), cookie making and decorating (for Santa and us), going out with hot chocolate and looking at lights, etc.  Then on Christmas a.m. a wonderful huge breakfast.  They will then go to see DIL’s family.  The Friday after Christmas we go to my SIL’s to celebrate my MIL’s birthday (my idea as my husband is extra worried about his mom’s health).  Hopefully two out of our three boys will be there.  Over the weekend, we’ll head to the farm and be there several days.  There’s never resting there but I do hope to get Stephen to handle Little Cutie for an hour or so in order for me to get some reading in.  We shall see.  

Our book down continues. 

Merry Christmas to you all.