Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's been awhile....

So I fell off the face of the earth for what....6 years??? I think that qualifies me for the worse blogger of the decade!  What do you think?  When Facebook came around, I stopped blogging.  But now I think I may give it another try.
image signatureLots has changed over the last 6 years and to lament those things would be counterproductive.  Let's just say I'll be thinking of a new Blog title and the photos definitely have to go!  I guess I need to find someone to bling my blog yet again. 
Stay tuned for more...

Friday, October 16, 2009

To call or not to call....that is the question

I don't blog much since I'm on Facebook~I don't know if that's good or bad. But here I am today...blogging. Facebook is more for little "blips" of your life. Blogging, at least for me, is more in depth information. But that's just me and how I utilize both venues.

So back to the call or not to call. I needed to get some thoughts out so I decided the blog was the best place since I can't post really long messages on Facebook (FB). Yesterday afternoon, my son returned home from school at around 5:00 p.m. and informed me that his homecoming date (a friend, not a girlfriend), had canceled their date via text message to attend the dance with another boy. Imagine my shock...and anger, when he told me this. I was livid and all he said was, "She could have done it earlier and I wouldn't have bought her the $20 ticket for admission." He said it didn't matter and he doesn't really care. That of course is a big, fat lie!

In my anger and haste, I posted this to FB and got a huge number of responses from friends. Some said to call the mother, others said to let it go. Let it go and let karma take control, let it go since it will make things worse on Tucker, let her go because her parents probably don't give a hoot, just to list a few. Everyone agreed that her behavior was tacky and she lacked any time of manners and integrity.

My first inclination was to call the parents and let them know what transpired, at least from my end. Of course, I would begin the conversation with the fact that being a parent myself, I would definitely hope that another parent would inform me if my son/daughter behaved in this fashion. I was extending this courtesy to them to inform them of the situation and they could do what they seemed appropriate. I in no way would call with "guns blazing" and an accusatory attitude. Because let's face it, I only have 50% of the information.

If I call, I do so because it is what I would want a parent to do for me. I pray that someone would inform me that my children were behaving in a hurtful, mean, spiteful way and give me the opportunity for a "teaching moment" with my child. The fact is, I've taught my children to be more respectful than that. I've taught them that when they make a commitment they follow through with it. Otherwise, they are compromising their integrity and mine as well. Why are they compromising my integrity? When you hear of a child "misbehaving", what is you first thought? Mine is...."Where are their parents?" Let's face it, we all think that. Naturally, it's the parent's that are raising the child and teaching them right from wrong. So when a child chooses what I deem to be "wrong", its probably because the parents did not teach them any better. Kids make choices all the time and many times it is the wrong choice no matter how they have been raised. That's just the nature of the beast. So which do I assume, bad parenting, bad choice?

Many people would respond with, "The parents probably don't even care!" But what if they do care? Again, face it, kids make choices all the time that have parents scratching their heads wondering where in the heck that came from. I know I do. I know that my kids know better, but still make wrong choices. So do I assume they don't care and just ignore the tacky behavior?

If I don't call, I feel I compromise my integrity by not practicing what I preach and by not standing firmly behind my values and morals. I don't want to impose my values on anyone else, but I would want someone to make sure I was being accountable.

If I do call, will she make things even more difficult on my son who already hates his school, feels he doesn't fit in and that people just don't really like him? Will that happen? I don't know. Do I take a chance on making him more miserable than he already is?

After sleeping on it and talking to a few friends, I did what any mother would do....I called my dad. His opinion is the one I value most. He said not to call. I can only say, that high school can't end soon enough for me and my son! My decision has not been made yet...I'm still pondering it.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Teen Angst, Toddler Turmoil, Transition Time

Summer is going by at breakneck speed...makes me a little sad. It's been an uneventful summer, which can be a good thing when you have four kids and nothing major has happened to anyone or anything. So, for that, I am very thankful!

With that, I can't say that things have been entirely smooth! Tucker seems to be suffering some teen angst. He's seventeen and going to be a Junior this year. My heart sinks a bit as I realize that he will be leaving the nest in just two short years for college. I know he'll attend college (probably West Point, if he has way) and he'll never come home. Although it is not my choice for him to go into the military, it has been his dream since he was 9 years old. I admire his high ambitions and the effort he has put forth to gain entrance into the academy. He still has a ways to go, but for his sake, I pray he gets there.

Taking time to "build" a relationship with his sisters!

But, I digress. Back to the angst...with those high ambitions, he tends to be a bit different than most teens. There are times he feels "alone" and that difference seems to be bigger than Mt. Everest. Not being invited to parties and having "texts" ignored is very painful. Those are the times when my heart breaks in two for him. We've spent several late evenings chatting this out. I see his potential and know where that potential will ultimately land him in life. I also know (from experience) that the popular crowd look somewhat different in 10/20/30 years. Unfortunately, saying that to him, today, right now when he hurts the most, doesn't make him feel a whole lot better. So, I sit and listen, hold back the tears, but on a brave face and just smile when he needs it and kiss his cheek when appropriate. He still hugs me and kisses me when he leaves the house or when I leave. Sometimes, I squeeze a little too hard or hold on a bit too long, but he indulges me and I can feel him smile when I do so. He has planned a bit of a party for Friday night, with the boys. I'm looking forward to it for him. His spirits seem to be a bit higher and he even visited some friends. So, I guess the chatting has help. I hope so!

Me and my girls....

The girls are amazing, ornery, feisty, fiery and yes, bratty! They fight and argue and play together like I had hoped they would. Elise is awesome and starting kindergarten this year. I can barely wrap my mind around that little detail for several reasons. Seems like only yesterday she was placed in my arms in the hot and humid room in Guangzhou. Then I think about me, at my age, having a child in kindergarten. I'm not looking forward to standing next to all those young mothers this fall. First one that asks me if I'm the grandmother might be making a trip to the ER! Feeling scrappy today!!!!

Millie has been home for two years and what a couple of years we have had. I look back and my head spins. Sometimes I wonder where the time has gone and then other times I wonder when the medical journey will end. But she is walking now...fifteen weeks after the hip surgery. It's not a pretty walk, but she's walking and rebuilding her strength and for that I thank the Lord!
Giggs makes me laugh...I just wish he wouldn't stick his nose up my rear end. Yeah, I know, TMI! But seriously, the dog has got to be rubbing up against someone or something all the time. I seem to be his choice, but I think that's because I'm the most convenient. He's developed a great relationship with the girls and they even "play house" with him. The poor guy ends up on a leash, being pulled around the house and locked in rooms with the crazies. But, he's good natured and indulges them. If I hear him start to whimper, I rescue him. But he rarely complains. Tuck is his favorite play toy. The noise level in the house ticked up several decibels when Tuck walks through the door. It requires some deep breathing on my part, but ultimately, makes me smile!

The worst part of the summer has been Steve's transition. He's looking for a job and we are prayerful that one is offered soon. His company is closing it's doors. I would LOVE to go into that, but it would be a bitter rant about an ego-maniac that had no business being put into the position that he was and then the idiocy of those in charge who's egos got in the way of admitting a hiring mistake. But like I said, it would just be a bitter, mindless rant ;-).

As for me....I'm looking to plan a little get away....all by myself...alone. For the first time in my life, I need some time to recharge without anyone or anything expecting something from me. It's a lot to ask for, but I'm crossing my fingers that it can happen. I want to be NO ONE for a few days. I want to sleep when I want, eat when I want and not even hear my name. It's so very selfish and there's a piece of me that feels guilty. But then there's a piece of me that's screaming to get away. I have the perfect place in mind....think spa!!!!

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Friday, June 19, 2009


Summer is underway and before I know it, it will be July! Where does the time go?? No exciting vacations planned due to the economy and other unfortunately circumstances. So we'll hang out at home and make our own fun!
Elise just finished her first year of dance class with a year-end recital. I was so proud of how she came around and performed. She tends to just stare at the audience and do nothing during this type of thing. But I found she'll dance, she still won't do the little performances at school (singing etc.), but she'll dance.

I took her to have her photo taken in her recital dress. This is our favorite. I have to say, she leans toward stunning. I can say that since I had nothing to do with her looks ;-) .

Thanks YOU ROCK! Elise danced to "Under the Sea" and "Teddy Bear".

This is her shakin' her groove to Teddy Bear. She's even smiling a little bit!
Tucker is off to camp this week. He requested to go to "Junior War College and Military Strategy School. I hesitated, thought it was just one of those gimmicks that sophomores get when they take the PSAT test. We discussed it at length and since it was the very first thing that he asked to do outside of scouting, I had to say yes. We loaded up Betty (that's my Envoy) and headed to Dahlonega for a 10 day camp. The drive was challenging with three children bickering in the backseat. But we made it.
I snapped this photo while two of the three were snoozing. I wish I could sleep like that and not ache for the next several hours when I do sleep in the car. Ah, the joys of flexibility and youthfulness.
I do love the hazy, lazy days of summer, with a splash if Tazo Black Iced Tea...ahhhhhh!

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Becoming an Eagle Scout (Randy Pausch)

New Tree House~Old Tree House
For the past few weekends, I've been helping my son, Tucker, work on his Eagle Scout project. It's been a long time coming~two years. But I have to admit (much to my chagrin), that he would have never been ready to complete this project two years ago. He has matured so much over the past few years. Don't get me wrong, he has his moments when I wonder if he's five again. But for the most part, he doesn't do too terribly bad. He's learning.

Teen life today is challenging and I do worry about him. Sometimes, I worry a lot. That worry causes me to monitor most things he does because you just never know... Some may think it's meddlesome etc. To them I would ask, "Do you have children?" Most will respond, "No. But I would never treat my kids that way!" To them I would add, "Come back and talk to me when you have kids that are teens." We struggle with differences in our home due to being a blended family. But that has calmed tremendously over the last year due to age and proximity. It saddens me sometimes to feel that way, but it's the truth and it's "real".

Completed Tree House

During one of our more challenging discussions, when we didn't see eye to eye, Tucker did tell me that he respected me because I was "real". He appreciated the fact that I didn't hold back with him and was completely honest with him. He understood that honesty can be painful, hurtful and ugly~just like during that discussion. But he preferred that honesty over "sugar-coating" and thinking I was "protecting" him. Yes, I do wonder if I tell him too much. But my opinion is such that he needs to understand my perspective so he can attempt to understand how things may effective me and hence the family unit. I know that's a great deal to ask from a teen, since most teens are very "I' oriented (having two teens, I surely know that). For me, I have learned to be honest with him. I also attempt, to the best of my ability, to present other perspectives and why they probably differ from mine so he knows that I don't just put blinders on. Do I believe this works? Yes, because he always knows what comes out of my mouth is the truth as I see it and believe it. I love having that freedom with him. I never had it with my stepson and never will. I will strive to do the same with my daughters.

So, as this post has turned into a great deal of ramblings, I come back to why I started this. My good friend and godmother of Elise, sent me this quote about Eagle Scouts. Now I wish he would feel the same about wearing his scout uniform ;-). Becoming an Eagle isn't for everyone. Only 2% of the boys that join scouting will successful attain this rank. It's quite an honor and a priviledge to be an Eagle.

By Randy Pausch "The Last Lecture" pg133

I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short-term. Earnest is long-term. Earnestness is highly underestimated. it comes from the core, while hip is trying to impress you with the surface. "hip" people love parodies. But there's no such thing as a timeless parody, is there? I have more respect for the earnest guy who does something that can last for generations, and that hip people feel the need to parody.

When I think of someone who is earnest, I think of a Boy Scout who works hard and becomes an Eagle Scout. When I was interviewing people to work for me, and I came upon a candidate who had been an Eagle Scout, I'd almost always try to hire him. I knew there had to be an earnestness about him that outweighed any superficial urges toward hipness.
Think about it. Becoming an Eagle Scout is just about the only thing you can put on your resumes at age fifty that you did at age sixteen-and it still impresses
My Soon-2-B Eagle Scout having tea with his sister

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My life....

This is just a small glimpse into what life is like with the Giggsmiester. If I don't pay enough attention to him, he bites me~in the rear if it suits him!

PS If you don't check out Millie's blog (my youngest), you should....we just got back from another surgery in St. Louis click on this link if your interested: Amelia's Journey

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dress Ups....

"Dress-Up" is an everyday occurrence at the Wells' Ranch. You just never know what they will be wearing when they descend from above, sometimes it's princess dresses or fancy dresses and sometimes its swimming suits. Today it was leotards! Gotta love it!

"Pinto" the pony even got in on the dress ups!

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