Tuesday, January 17, 2017

An update is probably in order...

In the span of about 30 days I saw nearly my entire family! Now for most people that would be quite a feat most likely, but when you consider my family lives on both the east and west coast and in the middle states, well, that's just amazing and not likely to happen again in such a short amount of time. I didn't actually get to see Uncle Geoff and Uncle Richard but I did see mom, Aunt Diane and Uncle John in December 2016

The Chaney family on New Year's Eve 2016 (including Dalton via face time since he was deployed)

 The boys and I went to California for Christmas 2016

So the cousins got to spend some time together

And in November 2016, just before Thanksgiving the boys and I went to Connecticut to meet up with dad and visit the Robichaud side of the family.

We got a new dog about a year and a half ago. She is a mini husky (though she got bigger than I expected). She is very sweet, we got her when she was about 4 months old. She is very floppy too. And sheds. Alot. Her name when we got her was Rizzo, I didn't like it so now she is Shiloh.

Kaleb has finished his 2nd year of football. He loves the game and everything about it. Year 3 will be here so quickly.

Memere turned 98 in December 2016. I loved visiting with her and wish I lived closer. She is still so mentally there it is awesome. She went bowling for her 98th birthday, cause why not?!

No more patrol car in the driveway since Jerry is now on long term disability :(

Sunday, January 15, 2017

An updated picture of the boys

11 and 9 years old

12 years of Santa pics

Same Santa. Same boys. 12 years of changes.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I got the job!!! 3 years ago...

What can I say...life. Its been busy and hectic and stressful and the last 3 years have gone by so fast.  I love the job I have, that I interviewed for in the last post. I have been promoted twice, I've learned a lot and I truly enjoy the work and the people.
Jerry just went on long term disability so I now carry the insurance for the 4 of us. My pay isn't much but I miss my work when I'm away like the last nearly 3 weeks with the visit to California over Christmas because Aunt Candi died and the immediate turn around trip to Minnesota for the Mayo Clinic for Jerry.
The boys have grown so much, not only physically but also in personality and skills. Zachary is very sweet and helpful. He likes basketball, he's not what I consider athletic but he does try and he improves his skills consistently. He is very smart and enjoys math and science...does not take after me there, although I have learned to appreciate math as I've gotten older. Kaleb is a football specifically and sports in general fanatic. He can spout stats like no other 9 year old I know. He is not a big fan of schools but is so smart and if he could just appreciate how much school will do for him if he tries his hardest now life would be so much easier. Kaleb is still somewhat of a cuddler and is almost becoming a mamas boy, not in that he is a wimp or whatever but he just likes to do things with me where Zac would rather spend time with daddy helping with the rentals or doing anything with tools. Zac is definitely a mechanical mind, I'm not sure I can pinpoint Kaleb yet. He likes to sing and dance and act and move and be outside but he is one of the shyest kids I know too.
So quick, not nearly all encompassing update but as good as it's gonna get right now.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I have an interview today....

This job would be the perfect fit.

For my skill set.

For my kids' schedules.

For our bank accounts.

I really want this job and I'm trying so hard to not want it so much...

Interview is at 10:30....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

December 27th 2013 was a very sad day...

My friend Rachel is like a sister to me.  We share everything.  Then she went and moved 2 hours away from me.  We still share everything.  We just don't get to see each other nearly enough.  When we start to play phone tag every so often it's kinda funny.  One of us will call the other, miss or ignore the call because we are busy and try to call back when we have a minimum of an hour and a half, cause we don't end phone conversations quickly.  We usually tag back a forth a few times before we actually get to talk but when we do it's like no time has passed at all.  

My kids call Rachel and her husband (who I met first, we worked together and he kept telling me I had to meet his wife cause we'd get along great...who knew, men can be right ;) ), anyway, my kids call them Aunt and Uncle and her kids call me and Jerry Aunt and Uncle.  My mom even adopted their kids as her grand-kids.

Rachel and I had a grand idea a few years ago.  We were going to take our then 4 kids total (Kara was 5, Zac wasn't 4 quite yet, Kaleb just turned 2 and Timothy was about 9 months old) to California so they could go to Disneyland.  And we drove.  The whole way in 2 days.  4 car seats.  3 kids in diapers.  3 kids could barely if at all feed themselves.  Medical paraphernalia abound.  3 stroller kids (and a 4th if Zac could con his way into one). And we stopped at the Grand Canyon on the way too.  There is a tad bit of crazy in our friendship :)  I think it was Rachel's mother in law who said if were were still talking at the end of that trip we would be friends forever.  I agree.  We were still talking and not even bitchy with each other.  We even had a great time.

Rachel watched Zac for me when I worked nights/evenings while I was pregnant with Kaleb.  There were some interesting times with this too.  Like they had to move the crib bottom down so Zac didn't climb out but they didn't realize he would be able to until he was almost out since Kara never tried to climb out.  I heard Zac nearly gave John an heart attack when he cried out at night, Kara never did so it was new.  Rachel told me Zac would come in and just talk and talk with Kara.

In December 2007 we had a bad ice storm and the boys and I went to stay with Rachel and John for a couple of days because we lost power for over a week and it was cold and I had 2 babies.  While we were all trying to sleep, Kara was on the floor in the living room and Kaleb in a pack n play in the dinning area and they just talked and talked all night.

A lot of people said Kara couldn't communicate.  Boy are they wrong.  She knew what she wanted and let you know in no uncertain terms if you were getting it right or not.  Just because she didn't use words didn't mean she wasn't quite aware and determined.  And I still swear she said Mama more than once that I heard.

Kara Beth Mitchell

April 9, 2004 - December 27, 2013

Kara Beth Mitchell, 9, was suddenly called into the arms of the Lord on December 27, 2013 at her home in Blackwell, OK surrounded by her family.

Kara was born on April 9th, 2004 in Stillwater, OK to John and Rachel Mitchell (Guilfoyle). Throughout Kara’s short time on this earth she made a lasting impact on the lives of many. She showed us all about hope, fighting to overcome obstacles with all of your might and most importantly unconditional love.

She is survived by her parents John And Rachel and two brothers, Timothy and Jackson of the home, grandmother Helen Mitchell of Blackwell, OK and step grandfather Gary Pierson of Perry, OK and her great grandmothers Kathleen Guilfoyle of Garnett, KS and Dolores Hunter of Altus, OK. She also leaves behind her aunts and uncles Megan and A.J. Gillinger of Grapevine, TX, Harla Enzenauer of Lawton, OK, Benjamin and Cheril Guilfoyle of Perry, OK, Chris Pierson of Ft. Lewis, WA and many great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her grandfathers Johnnie Mitchell and Timothy Guilfoyle.

There will be a celebration of Kara's life at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the First Christian Church, 306 East Coolidge, Blackwell, Oklahoma. 

This is Zac and Kara in February 2007.  Kara was his first girlfriend.

Kara 9 years old (2013)

Yesterday was Kara's celebration of life.  OMG I cried. I tried not to for some reason, but I did.  When we were paying our respect to John and Rachel after the services Rachel and I just attached to each other and couldn't let go for a good while.  (I backed up the line...but hey, they could wait cause my -for all intents and purposes- sister and I needed each other).  

Kara will be greatly missed.  I know my life is richer for knowing her.  My boys lives are too.  

And my great accomplishment yesterday was that I got John AND Rachel to eat a full meal.


I've gone through so many chore charts.

Sticker charts.
Dry Erase charts.
Magnetic Charts.
iPhone app charts.
Computer charts.
Spread sheets.

Some work for a few weeks but then I either stop using them or the boys don't care any more.

I need something that is changeable since each week different chores are needed.

I need something simple that the boys can understand.

I need something visual so the boys can remember what they need to do.

So I came up with this:
I already have the paper. 

I already have the pens.

The boys get to mark off what they complete.

The boys get to see that mommy and daddy have chores too.

I can have all new chores next week for everyone.

I can change the chores as seasons change (mowing the lawn for instance).


So far.

 And just because it's hilarious...this is Kaleb getting all his clothes out of our new washing machine to put in the dryer :)

And yes, my 6 3/4 year old does his own laundry with supervision (mostly adding detergent).  He puts his clothes in the washer, moves them from washer to dryer, takes them out of the dryer and folds everything and puts it away in the correct drawers except shirts which I help him hang and put on the rod in his closet since he can't reach it yet (and probably won't be able to reach it for a few more years).
The 8 1/2 year old does it too but he can reach all his stuff.

So I get this question a lot.

"How do you get your kids to __________."

My response is usually something like:

"They get a choice?"
"I don't give them a choice."
"I'm the parent."
"I make the rules."
"They are old enough to be contributing members of this household."

I am lucky that my kids sometimes enjoy cleaning (seriously I have NO idea where they get that!) But it doesn't mean it all goes smoothly.  There can be a lot of yelling on chore day.  Or any day I tell (notice I didn't say ask - because they DON'T get a choice) them to do something.

I'm also asked about allowance...by other parents and my kids.

My response is usually something like this:

"I'm broke."
"My kids get food, a bed, clothes and every other necessity they can imagine; plus extras like cub scouts and baseball."
"My kids have so much crap they don't need a few dollars a month to spend on more crap."
---Side note: yes my kids have savings accounts.  Yes we put money in their accounts when they get it for birthdays or holidays.  Yes I am teaching my kids how to budget.  I don't need to spend money on paying them to live in our house to teach that.  Besides at the rate they are losing teeth they are breaking the bank anyhow.
"I believe kids need to learn how to be a contributing member of a household and thus a community without a reward attached."

I refuse to be a parent who says "If you do ____ I'll give you ____."

In my family I say "You need to _____."
Kid: "Why?"
Me: "Because it needs to be done and you are fully capable of doing it."
Kid: "Why can't _____ do it?"
Me: "Because I told you to do it.  The discussion is over, if you'd like to argue or complain go lay on your bed and come out when you are more pleasant and do it."

Lately I get more "Yes ma'am"s than the argument which is nice.

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