Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year 2012

I have been really bad about keeping up with my blog but so much has happened since my last post.
My DD turned 11 and we had a great celebration with friends. My oldest nephew graduated from High School and within that same week my youngest sister was killed by a drunk driver. I think the world stopped for a time in June.
Nothing has been the same for our whole family since June.
Christmas Letter 2012

Enjoy the Christmas Letter and here is to a better New Year!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bowl of Cherries and Then Some

There are so many different witticisms we use on a daily basis it just makes me wonder...

Never fails when I get a bowl of cherries there is at least one sour cherry in the batch. Who really wants the sour cherries? Certainly not me, I have more than my share of sour cherries if you ask me.

When life giver you lemons...find the vodka before they rot. If you are going to make lemonade, it needs to have a kick.

I have been feeling like I am in a proverbial batch of sour cherries, pits and all. I am not sure why since things have been so much worse for us, but I guess I am in a funk. I am ready for the kids to be finished with school. I want to take off for a while this summer and just enjoy some time away from everything. I need to watch my planning for away time so DD can make all of her Girl Scout Camps this summer, but there is plenty of time to spend away from home around the camp schedule.

Some great things have come about with hubby's disabled veteran status...we have free entrance into all the National Parks and reduced camping rates at National Park Campgrounds, plus we got a lifetime access pass for the state parks and state lands that allows for free camping. These two items will greatly reduce the cost to take off camping when ever we want.

We took a day trip on Mother's Day to Mt. Rainier National Park and what a beautiful day it was. We really had a great time. The sun was shining and it was 85 degrees as we were coming into the park. Of course the higher up the mountain we went the cooler it got. The kids were even able to find a good 3 1/2 feet of snow on the side of the road.

Maybe I need to remember to dig through the cherries better to avoid the sour ones.

Mt. Rainier, Washington

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Update on Life

I have not written much recently because honestly I have not been in the mood. There is so much going on that it is hard to keep up it seems.

We would like to buy a house, this could take a bit since the loan process may have to wait a couple of months since buying the new car. I really want to stay in this area but there are times when I wonder why exactly to I want to stay here? What is there for us as a family here? If it were not for having made great friends since coming to Olympia it would be easier.

Because of DH's PTSD we have basically been shunned from the family. In order to go to family functions I cannot bring DH which means, the family is separated and my Son will usually opt to stay with Dad. I have learned so much about PTSD and TBI over the past few months that can prove the things the family does not like about DH are directly caused by the PTSD/TBI but they do not care. Also since the PTSD/TBI are not new to our lives just recently, it has probably played a huge part in past behaviors as well. With this being the case we are left out of many events, which hurts my kids more than anything else and that is not tolerated by me at all. WE are a family and WE will stick together regardless of what others think.

I have managed to have so much on my plate at one time...the kids and school, my schooling, DH and caregiving, the house...etc, etc, etc. It is very overwhelming and there are times I wish family would offer the help, but they won't so I will continue to be Super Woman and handle it all myself.

My DS managed to finish Math and Earth Science by the end of March and have moved on to the next grade level of courses. DD missed it by just a bit, if she would have worked harder she would have advanced early as well. In fact the kids are almost finished with the school year and we will be working on supplemental activities to help round out the year. So proud of them for putting forth such an awesome effort this year.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Update

I decided it was past time for an update on what is going on in our lives.

We had successful Girl Scout Cookie Sales for my Dear Daughter. She has had a GS Sleepover, an Easter Egg Hunt, and World Thinking Day going on in her life. She is going to GS Camp later this month and is super excited.

My Dear Son has advanced in two of his courses already, Math and Earth Science. We are now starting Algebra and Life Science. His materials arrived on Monday and he got a microscope, boy did that cause some great excitement.

Dear Hubby is still working within his own challenges with PTSD. The VA finally gave a rating on his knee but it was not very favorable by just using x-rays, which to me is just a DUH moment on their part. He really needs an MRI and not just an arthritis doc wanting to push more meds. We have been going through some pretty sleepless nights, like every other night. I am not sure how to handle it but I have been trying to relax and let things happen as long as no one is getting hurt.

We finally got some great news on the VA Caregiver Program and not only do we qualify but we qualify for full time and I have my own income. We are making more money monthly than we have probably made since he returned from his tour of duty. We believe that we are in a better place in life, finally, even if it is not perfect.

Being a full time caregiver I do not have to work outside the home but I have begun volunteering for Family of a Vet and love all the wonderful people I have met through this wonderful organization. Their work is amazing and I am so happy to be apart of something so wonderful. I will continue with my research and advocacy for Homelessness among Veterans and this is a great group willing to support that as well.

We got a new car! We got a 2006 Ford Freestar SEL van. We are really happy with it and it was past time for a newer car. We took on car payments but we have checked the budget and we can easily do it.

We are hoping to be able to buy a house soon but one step at a time.

I am sure I have left some things out but I am working on posting more regularly again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sometimes Life Sucks

There are times when no matter what we do life just sucks.

Two weeks ago we had to put our beautiful beagle Hailey to sleep. In my whole life she was the only dog I had ever really bonded with, I am really not much of a dog person. I think there would only be a couple of things harder, decision wise, but that just stung deep in my heart. The kids were heart broken. Poor Duey was not too sure what happened and was not liking the puppy loneliness. On the 17th we went and adopted a mini dachshund named Princess. Princess is long haired and very sweet. Duey is not too sure about her yet but he will come around. Princess is very thin for her size but she does have a good appetite.
DD with Princess

DS with Princess

We have finally finished Girl Scout Cookie Sales and I have to say my Dear Daughter did a wonderful job of selling her cookies. There were times she got tired or hungry but she knew she had to wait until the sale was over to do anything about her minor issues.

Dear Hubby's PTSD has been giving me some issues. He wants to do something but he doesn't know what. With his medications he is rarely on one task for very long. Today has just not been the best of days for me, I am cranky and want everyone to just back off me for a few minutes. Not really expecting much from that, but a girl can wish.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday

We have had a crazy, happy Friday. I actually gave the kids an in-service day since I was a little 'out of service'.
I got a phone call from the VA Caregiver Program will our determination. Now I will take a quick class next week and have a visit from a nurse to talk about safety at home and we will be finished, I will be a full time caregiver for my dear hubby. Too bad I did not know about this program when this whole episode started but then we may not be where we have ended up today.

My graduation is tomorrow from Colorado Technical University Online and in April I will begin my bachelors program at WGU-Washington. Kind of nice when things start to come together.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Free Downloads

 Here is the basics of my Family Profile Form I used for my Home Management Binder. Under Nickname I also put mom or dad just in case of a true emergency.
 On Page 2 I only post emergency medical conditions since everyone has their own page after the family pages.
I put down pet conditions because our beagle cannot bark like a regular dog.

For our emergency contacts I have one local within our area, one out of area and one out of state.
 For the Individual sheets I have room for more details including Blood Type.

Here is a copy of our Family Chores. We can clean the house in just an hour a day unless we are in the daughters room. While I have no chores scheduled for the weekends we maintain the laundry, kitchen and living room.
Chores List

Family Profile Sheets

I hope this helps.


I have started to put some downloads up on my blog. This will be a gradual process since I am still really new to the how-to's of Blogger.

If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to tell me. Special requests as well.
Maybe I should start an Etsy shop for my 'stuff'.?!?!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Home School Thoughts

Ok so we have been at our homeschooling for many months now...we are in our 7th month and I have discovered that home based education of our own children is NOT for SISSIES!!! My 10 year old DD is going to drive me crazy today, she has been "working" since 9 am and it is now 11:05 am and she has not gotten but one subject finished. WOWSER!!!

How is it my son can get finished in no time flat and she has to procrastinate until I am ready to scream?!?!

I will add more later.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

PTSD and Our Life this Week

We have seen a different side to PTSD recently, self-centeredness. I am not sure why it has happened but it reminds me of when the kids were really little. It is not all the time but when it happens, I just want to hide.

Last week the doctor added a something to help him sleep and upped the med that blocks the nightmares. Thankfully, DH is sleeping better but it still seems to be taking some time for him to get to sleep. It also takes a couple of hours for him to wake up enough to actually function. After that we are pretty ok until 8 pm.

I guess any sleep is better than no sleep, if only I could relax enough to sleep now.

As a caregiver there is the chance I could develop secondary PTSD and I honestly think I hit that wall over the weekend. Not only was I stressed about my classes and homework, then they hit me with a new lack of financial aid for the next 2 years but hubby had been asleep for 15 hours. Yes this was after the new meds, and yes he said I was being unreasonable to expect him to be up when he felt like sleeping. He was even right about that...but I was frustrated and tired of fighting with the kids on my own.

Some days I just wish we could go back to the way things were before his deployment, I just want my hubby back.

Other days I just want to find a happy medium with no issues.

Wish me luck.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Crazy Times

We have had some pretty crazy times here lately.

I got really sick and am still fighting off the cold part 3 weeks later.
We had snow and more than a dusting, we ended up with about 13" in our backyard. We lost cable, phone, and Internet, but managed to keep the power the whole time. We didn't leave the house for 4 days due to the snow. We had a great time as a family though.

The kids have finished their first semester of school and we have moved on to the second semester. They did a wonderful job of finishing all their work and assessments, so proud of them.

I will be finished with my AA on the 14th and starting my BS on the 19th, my new class load is looking crazy.

We had an evaluation for DH knees for the VA and we sent in the application for the VA Caregiver program with an evaluation for that on the 14th.

We have Girl Scout Cookie Sales coming in March.

So many things, this month is going to fly right by.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Rant

Just so every knows first hand this is going to rant about a few things, but it is time to get it out of my head.

What is with the way people drive? I have never seen so many people run red lights when they clearly should have just stopped. I never feel safe proceeding through an intersection without pausing first to see if idiot is going to decide to make a run for it. People seem to believe turn signals are options they did not know came with their vehicle. Yesterday, some guy was go impatient he drove the wrong way just so he could get into the turn lane to wait to get into traffic. WTH is that all about?

Another issue lately here is entitlement. If you have read my posts you know we were in a bad place with no where to go and if it wasn't for the help of a Veterans Program we would not be where we are today, enough said. Even in our situation we never felt entitled to a handout, a shove in the right direction is what we were looking for, and we are grateful. We are still not out of a danger zone since we only received a partial disability for his combat related health issues, so now we are waiting, again. We were told recently to apply to SSI since we have a disability determination from the VA, but I am not sure we will. Yes, I know we have paid into the system but again, there are others in greater need. We do not feel we are entitled to much, but there are benefits we have earned, there is a difference. My husband earned his VA disability.

We get Food Stamps because we do not make enough money, plain and simple, and I am not too proud to talk about it. I am a smart shopper, we go to the meat market for a freezer pack every month before we buy anything else. Then we are off to Costco, with a list.

Why people need to turn everything into a political debate is beyond me and I find it frustrating. Those are the kind of topics we should be putting on our personal FB pages not in a group setting.

Ok, my rant is diminished now. Happy Saturday!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


There are times I am amazed at my lack of trust, but it is never a complete lack of trust, not 100%. Actually, I am on the fence most of the time having about 1-2% keeping me from the whole piece of mind, which comes with 100% trust.

I am not even sure where the lack of trust comes from other than mixed messages we have received throughout our lives. The best example of those messages is "God helps those that help themselves." After doing some digging I have discovered this is not in the Bible but probably developed through a mixture of actual verses. Follow the link above and check it out.

I know first hand what trust in God can do~we would not be as comfortable right now if we had not trusted in God to help us through a difficult time.

The verse for the week from Dandelion Seeds and A Clean Heart is: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

Thank you Lord~For what You have provided us with even when we feel unworthy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Friday of the New Year

So here we are at the first Friday of the new year. As of right now the kids are working on school work and we are close to wrapping it up for the week. It has been a little challenging to get and keep kids on task after a two week vacation. We have gone back to setting an alarm to get up in the morning.

As for the organizing that I have begun we are actually on task and for the first time in a long while the laundry is folded after coming out of the dryer. Sometimes I amaze my myself! The new chore list is working as well with daily tasks and a different room everyday. We are going through and working on getting the whole house organized one step at a time.

I have also started to put together a Home Management Binder. The research alone on this has been mind boggling. There is so much to be found on this subject. I used different things from different sources and then made a few of my own. This is really a work in progress but is coming along just fine. Yesterday I made a cute cover for the binder. I have found a font I REALLY like and that is what I have decided to use throughout my binder. As this project progresses I will post some links and thank yous on here. In the mean time Pinterest has some wonderful resources as well.
Binder Cover
Family Chores


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012

Hard to believe it is 2012! I really enjoy a new year with new beginnings and the fact spring comes next, like a rebirth. So glad the holidays are behind us. There is always so much stress and tension it makes it challenging to try to be together.

We enjoyed a great New Year's Eve with friends here at our house. The 5 kids played Nerf Guns EVERYWHERE...I think there are still bullets under our bed. They had so much fun. The kids were starting to get tired (and so were the Moms) we tuned into the New York Ball Drop Party and the kids saw that. They were so excited to watch the ball drop but bummed they missed Lady Gaga's performance, pretty funny coming from a bunch of 10 year old girls.

Looking forward to tomorrow and getting back to our schedule with school. I am lucky and have one more week off before my last two classes of my associates degree. Pretty excited!! Right now I am working on putting together a Home Management Binder to get better control of our life. I will also be putting together all important papers, documents, etc just in case of an emergency. I actually feel like a grown up.