Focusing on What’s Important

As I wrote the other day…life has been a struggle for me and like in days and years past I let my emotions control my actions…I had a counseling session scheduled for today BUT yesterday in the middle of my angst I cancelled it ~ DUH…now more than ever I really needed that time to get refocused and calm my spirit. I did have enough sense to schedule another appointment for next Tuesday…NO I will not be cancelling it!!! Telling myself that as much as you!!!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4:07, struggled through the day with tears, worry, anxiety but I didn’t take a nap thinking it would help me to sleep better last night…well it didn’t…I was up numerous times and this morning I woke up at 4:22!! I laid in bed for about 15 minutes and then got up…made myself a bottle of water (taking thyroid medication can’t have anything to eat or drink but water for an hour), combed my hair, put on some earrings, made my way out to the living room. Putzed around until our night staff person left shortly after 6:00a. Cleaned off my desk, put some more pages in my planner and then opened my Bible and devotionals.

I don’t know why but I am
ALWAYS
and yet you always meet me where I am…
and this morning was no different!!

I opened Pocket Prayers for Moms given to me by my bestie and this was the verse that was written….
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along with this prayer
Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of all, the almighty God and the everlasting one. Be near to me when my family faces change. When nothing feels steady, it is hard on all of us. Give me strength and courage in times of transition. Allow my family to see YOU leading the way. May the rely on you, especially when they feel uncertain. I am so grateful that even when everything around us feels unstable, YOU are there. YOU are our rock. I thank you and praise you for that. In Christ’s name. Amen

Just WOW!!

This prayer says it all…all that I’m feeling and thinking…there is just so much uncertainty in today’s world yet GOD remains steadfast and consistent…the things this mama needs to be for her family…steadfast, consistent, loving, kind and caring. I need to remember to extend the grace that I am so willing to extend to others to myself and our kidlets.

So many changes are happening, transition is the name of the game…transition from kidlets going to school to being schooled at home, from fixing one meal a day to fixing two or three and then being reminded to accept the help that is being offered…our school district, like so many will provide breakfast and lunch for all our kidlets. At first I told the principal “no, we’ve got the meals covered” and then our boss reminding me that by allowing the school district to provide breakfast and lunch five days a week it will relieve me/us of some of the pressure and thinking needed to be done.

WOW…yesterday was the first day we took advantage of the school lunches and it was wonderful…no comments from the kids that they didn’t want such and such. They ate and cleaned up after themselves. It was a good thing. And we have breakfast for today: pop tarts, apple juice and milk. Easy for everyone!!!

As I continued with my time with the Lord, I wrote…
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and then I got distracted by looking for something on Facebook
but it turned out to be just what I needed for me, for us today

As I posted on Facebook we don’t have any beer but that’s okay, I have my Coke Zero, I won’t make a coffee cake but I will make my pineapple angel food cake bars…topped with whip cream and since Tuesday is one of our “chore days” we will pass on the big chores for the day like cleaning the bathrooms (we have six in our house!!!) and vacuuming but the laundry will at least get washed and dried…maybe even folded and some school work will get done…and this mama’s goal will be to keep a soft tone…remember the

marshmallows…and I might even have some for a treat for the kidlets!

Thank you Lord for my time with you this morning, for the many reminders that have come my way today…even this one…

Let’s remember…today is in the Lord’s hand, HE is in control and though we may face some struggles we will get through this and through it all let’s remember to give

April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s this year is a bit different…in years passed I have pulled a couple of jokes…like in 2011 when we were working at Lone Star Corral in Hondo, TX and I posted early in the morning that at 5:00p I was heading for home. And left it at that. I turned off Facebook. I started getting texts from friends in WA. Even got a phone call from my pal, Mary asking if we had gotten fired or quit. I did have to call Mary back and reassure her that no we hadn’t been fired or even quit…it was a joke.

But the joke was on me…the person who I wanted to see it was my boss, Bonnie…she never even got on Facebook that day!!!

Another year while working at a doctor’s office we “borrowed” a bunch of free samples from another office as our doctor did not believe in accepting “free samples” as he saw it as the drug companies trying to buy his business. We put pens, sticky notes, scissors, bags…you name it with a drug company’s name on it, we put it around the office…he wasn’t too happy but he didn’t get mad either. Another prank that didn’t go well.

There is always one thing I have issues with and that is when women or couples post on Facebook or Twitter that they are pregnant! AS A JOKE! In my eyes and in the eyes of many that is just not funny…as so many women/couples deal with infertility issues and yet some people still joke about it.

Today, in this season of life, in the here and now someone posted that Gov. Abbott, of Texas had stated that all students in Texas will be repeating their current grade next year since so many schools have cancelled classes for the remainder of this year…I will tell you I WAS LIVID. This very topic was something the home parents here at BBYR were just discussing yesterday as a possibility. Had the governor really thought that decision through?

I made a comment on the post stating how unfair that was to the students …. maybe not so bad for a kindergartner but kids in other grades, especially the kids who struggle so much already with school and adding distance learning which is hard on so many children and their parents and what about seniors in high school…making them repeat their final year. My mind was racing as I thought about all the repercussions that such a decision could cause.

And I thought…now that’s a topic to write about on my blog. I finished my comment and hit share…nothing happened and then a screen came up saying the post had been deleted. I went to my friend’s page who had posted the “announcement” and it wasn’t there either. I sent Dana a PM and asked her about her post. She messaged me back “she found out it was an April Fool’s joke.” I replied, “so not funny,” and she agreed with me…for such a time as this when so many parents and children are stressed and feeling overwhelmed what would possess someone to think saying something like that would be funny.

I found this meme…it is so true for today (sorry if some of the verbage offends you) but this is truth for today, April 1, 2020!

almond tits on Twitter: "April fool's cancelled this year cause ...

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I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer so ask that you share a funny prank you have pulled in the past to celebrate April Fool’s Day!!!

Do You ever Wonder?

It has been a rough week for me…and as I reflect back on the week I keep asking myself why was this week so hard…IF I look at all the good things and there are many I wonder even more why has this week been so tough?

How has the week been tough…

  • I am exhausted…I can take two 2 hour naps a day and still sleep 8+ hours at night and still am exhausted.
  • I am struggling with not following through on things in a timely manner…so not me.
  • We are dealing with an issue with our kidlets that just doesn’t make sense to me.
  • I have one thought that keeps running over and over through my mind. I wake from a sound sleep thinking about this one thing. I prayed about it, rebuked Satan from my mind and yet the thought just keeps coming to my mind.

My life is filled with many blessings…

  • I am well loved by my husband.
  • I am surrounded by great friends who are my family.
  • I am for the most part, pretty healthy…my A1C dropped from 10.3 to 7.1 ~ and that is great news!!!
  • We are financially more stable than we have ever been in all of our married life.
  • We have great health insurance. My medications used to cost me $1500+ a month and now it is $74.99 a month!!! And I don’t have to skip meds any more.
  • We are starting to build friendships with people at the church we have attended for the last 10 months.
  • The pastor preaches great sermons each week and are so relevant to our lives in the here and now.
  • Our boys, Jamie & Brandon are well adjusted young men, are both married to wonderful women and have blessed us with the best grandchildren a Grammy could ever ask for.
  • We have many friends around the United States who are more family than friends.
  • And probably the most important thing is that we are loved and guided by Jesus each and every day of our lives.

And yet I am struggling. Struggling to feel peace in my heart. Struggling to feel like we are doing what the Lord would want us to be doing. Struggling to get my diabetes under control. Struggling to not rock the boat. Struggling to be a good example to and for our kidlets.

Struggling is hard and the want to just hide is strong yet it’s hard to hide when we have kids to take care of, errands to run, appointments to keep and life to live…so I struggle on the inside and then I see it ripple to the outside in my frustration over stupid things, over things I can’t control.

And then I think of something I have shared so many times…I need to learn to give the grace that I extend to others to myself.

So tonight I want to end the day focusing on a positive…the positive interaction with our girl, who struggles to be herself without coming across rude to others who told me tonight as I was tucking her into bed…Mama I love you, thank you for loving me even when I don’t do things right…OH Girl…if you only knew I am trying to be the Mama to you that I so wanted as a little girl. And then I silently say “thank you Jesus for giving me this opportunity to love these kidlets in the manner I always wanted to be loved.”

Little Things = Big Memories

Once a mom, always a mom…is how I responded to a friends post on Facebook and it took me down memory lane on a weekend in Post Falls, ID with our son, Brandon and his family. Brandon was there to coach basketball and we love basketball and seeing our kids and grands so off we went to Post Falls. We were in our motor home, in between jobs so a mini vacation sounded great!!! So off to basketball we went…after the tournament we found out that the only two roads in/out of Lewiston, ID (where Brandon and his family were living) was closed due to snow so onto plan B…find something for dinner for the boys and hunker them down at the hotel for another night.

Brandon took a count of the money the kids had which turned out to be almost nothing since they thought they were headed home…so mom mode kicked in. I made two big pans of spaghetti, bought some garlic bread, salad, oranges and milk…kids love milk and took dinner to the hotel for the basketball team, parents, coaches, the bus driver and even the hotel desk clerk. Lots of laughter and good eating was had by all.

Brandon along with the other parents thanked me for pitching in and I remember saying “once a sports mom, always a sports mom”…just this time it was a coaches mom. I love being a mom and Grammy and am thankful for this opportunity to be mom to our kidlets here at the ranch!

And now I’m a baseball & softball mom!!! AR is playing baseball…it is fun to watch him as he tries every position and throws the ball like he’s making a lay up on the basketball court BUT hey he’s trying!!! AZ is playing softball, well she will be once the practices start happening. They have been delayed due to rainy days and a sick coach but one day soon we hope to see her running the bases and having as much fun as her younger brother!

On another note life just keeps happening…this morning in one of the groups I belong to the question was asked

“It’s Friday…How was your week?

My response started like this: I would like to just be hibernating but have to be a responsible and flexible adult today and this weekend…one of the other HP’s is in the hospital…the doctor’s are trying to figure out what’s going on…and then it continued:

a few years ago my word was FLEXIBLE…then INTENTIONAL…and this year it is CHAOS TO CALMNESS…why oh why do I have to stay focused on all three when I would rather just be drinking coffee and crocheting and watching my crime shows…my eating has been terrible for the past few weeks and I’m supposed to get a fasting blood test on Monday and then see the doctor…don’t really want to see her…I don’t need a lecture!!! I need to get my act together but instead I just want to eat chocolate covered graham crackers!!!

And now I just want to cry…I am 62 years old and feel like I am just sabotaging myself….why can’t I just eat what I want to eat…I hate diabetes and depression….and I hate that my desire to get healthy is just not enough, that I need self-discipline and will power and motivation to get my act together, to make healthy food choices, to choose to drink water over a delicious cup of hot coffee…the rant continues…

My bestie and I have often asked “why don’t I/we do the things I/we need to do and what we know to do?” So I googled the question and this is the first response that came up.

It is by Jean~Paul Pangolas:

  1. You are trading short term pleasure for long term sacrifice. In other words, you are doing things that provide you immediate pleasure rather than focusing on the things that are hard to do but that will give you significant rewards in the future.
    The reason this is happening is because you don’t have a big enough WHY. You are clear on what you need to do to be successful but your WHY isn’t big enough. I don’t know your personal details but I will give you an example: If you are a salesman and needs to make 5 sales a month you will need to contact X amount of clients to close the call. If your why isn’t big enough to actually put in the work and effort your motive will not get you moving. If you had to get those 5 sales to feed your child every month, that is a huge WHY and will get you moving. In the other hand if you live with your parents and don’t need the extra money, your WHY will not push you to get the results you want.
    Okay, I can agree with this one.
  2. Unconsciously you are being rewarded for your current behavior. The activities and things you are doing now are giving you more pleasure than the pain of doing the things you need to do to be successful. Okay, I can agree with this one.

Then https://sarabest.com/know-eating-basically-dont-just/ states: I get that there’s a lot of confusion out there these days around nutrition. This friend is doing paleo and that one’s gone vegan. One day coconut oil cures everything and the next it’s giving you heart disease.

But all the alarmist Facebook and local news stories aside, we all (kind of) know what we should be eating and not eating, right? We all know that more fruits and vegetables are good. We all know that too much sugar and processed foods are bad. We all know that fast food is a no-no.

Okay, great. So why don’t we just do that then? Why don’t we just eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies, no sugar or processed foods and never again roll through a drive thru? Why, in fact, are we (as a species) getting fatter and fatter every year? Why is diabetes on the rise, to the point where the number of people diagnosed with the disease is projected to double over the next thirty years? If we all (basically) know what we should be eating, why aren’t we doing it?

I believe that a big part of the problem is that we’re focusing too much on the food (how to eat more protein, avoiding carbs, etc.) and not focusing enough on the root cause of our seemingly irrational poor food choices. We’re smart people. Many of us have built successful careers or businesses, we’ve raised children, learned all kinds of skills and navigated really tough and complex situations in our lives. And yet, when it comes to making smart food choices and creating the healthy life and body that we want, we fall short again and again.

There are two primary reasons for this and they both have nothing to do with food, and everything to do with your brain. The first is the fascinating way your brain actually works, and the second is the way that many of us have learned to use food to manage our feelings. How Your Brain Works Let’s start with the first reason – how your brain works. Many of our habits, patterns and cravings around food are the result of a series of neural pathways that have been formed in our brain. These are behaviors we’ve learned because we’ve just practiced them so many times that they’ve now become automatic and easy. Doing something different now feels awkward and uncomfortable. We also have to factor in the reward centre of our brain and its friend, dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical in your brain) whose primary function is around reward-motivated learning. To grossly simplify some complex neuroscience, dopamine plays a big role in making you crave cupcakes when you see them on the party food table, or chocolate ice cream when your busy day is finally over. Thanks to dopamine, the reward centre of your brain remembers that these things felt good once so it pushes you to do it again.

Using Food to Manage Feelings The second reason we keep making poor food choices, despite knowing better is our tendency to use food to manage our feelings. You know how this goes. You feel stressed – you eat. You feel tired – you eat. You feel bored, restless, worried, unappreciated or overwhelmed – you eat. Over time, our brains have learned that eating makes us feel good (see dopamine connection above) and, as a result, we’ve developed a habit of eating whenever we have a feeling that doesn’t feel so good. We even use food to augment happy feelings. Again, our brains have learned that eating makes us feel good so when something fun or exciting happens, it triggers our brain to think, “this is great – eating would make this even BETTER!” By continuing to eat as a way to manage our feelings – good or bad, we actually develop physical neural pathways in the brain around these behaviours. We’re practicing these behaviours, in the same way you’d practice playing the piano, or mastering the perfect golf swing. After years (sometimes even decades) of practice, the tendency to turn to food to deal with our feelings has become second nature. We do it automatically and, even though we know it’s not serving our long-term goals, it somehow feels familiar and comforting, so we keep doing it and on and on the cycle goes.

But, here’s the good news! Recently, we’ve begun to learn more and more about a characteristic of the brain called “neuroplasticity.” Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to adapt, change and rewire itself. And it turns out that it’s something your brain is really good at. This means that, even long practiced behaviors like eating potato chips at night, or using food to manage our feelings, can be changed. Yay! Once you understand these two massive – and often completely overlooked – reasons behind our struggle to stay on track, and learn how to do the underlying work necessary to break the old wiring in your brain around food and create new wiring around new behaviors, the healthier choices start to feel natural and so much easier. Remember, it’s not about the food, it’s about training your brain to think about food in a whole new way. That’s the answer. That’s the true path to a relationship with food that feels healthy, balanced and easy. Okay this sounds great but can come someone please tell me how to change my mindset without having to buy into XYZ or watch a cazillion videos online which cost a $Cazillion????

Okay, enough rambling for today…I have a 5 year old that wants me to read to her…at least I know how to do that and it doesn’t cost me a ton of money!!!

Tired but Staying Focused

I’ve been trying to stay focused on positive things and see the good in things…
…today is a hard one for me 😦

Due to new Federal Regulations for children in care in the state of Texas, if the organization has more than six (6) children total they must have 24 hour AWAKE staff while in residence.  Don’t ask me why, but when we take the kidlets camping we don’t need the 24 hour AWAKE staff person…go figure…!!

This all came to fruition when Judge Jack in Texas came down hard on the State of Texas Foster Care System.  Here is one article that discusses her stance…click here.  When this first came into being our 3 kidlets were not PMC kids (Permanent Managing Conservatorship) but that changed the week before Thanksgiving and so Nov 19th we had our first overnight staff person here.  
We really don’t have an issue having a person awake it is just different.  It’s far from normal that’s for sure but we make the best of it.  When we were at MCC we had YCC workers who came on at 11 and stayed till 7 so it really isn’t anything new…just different.  And has often happens staff change and last night we had a new night staff person.  Let’s just say that the 2nd person is very different than the first one and that is going to take some getting used to..
and that meant that neither Ron nor I slept well last night and the hours of the night shift person working is different…the first gal came at 9:30p and we were in our apartment by 10:00p and didn’t need to be in the main cottage till 6:30a…now the schedule is that the new gal gets here at 10:00p so we don’t get into our apartment till 10:30p or so…and we have to be in the main cottage so she can leave at 6:00a…we get she only works 8 hours a night but it is different and will take some getting used to.
Usually Ron stays up at night and does the switch over and I get up for the morning switch…which is no biggie as I have been getting up at 5:00a to consistently have my quiet time and incorporate my new daily habits…
…habit 1 ~ drink my water
…habit 2 ~ spend two minutes in prayer
…habit 3 ~ making a healthy breakfast
…habit 4 ~ moving/stretching for two minutes
…habit 5 ~ breathing deeply for two minutes
BUT for some reason last night and this morning has affected me a lot…I mean a lot…I could barely get out of bed this morning and my body was aching.  I hadn’t slept well last night so that didn’t help either (and neither had Ron so he wasn’t feeling it to get up early this morning) but I got up, took care of some stuff, spent some time in the Word and praying…
And the message this morning asked
“Are you walking or talking?”
Intentions are a good thing BUT Actions speak louder than words.
and so I have been thinking about that most of the day…
trying to speak softly and calmly 
as well as being consistent
About 15 minutes after the night staff left, Ron came out of our apartment and told me to go back to bed…by then I was pretty awake but hey
and it is Saturday 
and the kids stayed up later than normal last night
and he didn’t have to ask me twice
so I went and crawled back into bed…
and started chatting with my Pal Mary…
I think I fell asleep though in the middle of our chat…sorry about that!!!
 and then it was 9:45a!!  I had gotten up a couple of times between 6:45 and 9:45 to go potty (you know us old ladies need to do that quite often 🙂  )
I was so discombombulated when I woke up and it took me awhile to get moving
but after making a breakfast of sausage, eggs and biscuits with blackberry jam
me, along with the kidlets and Ron were ready for the day
so off to Victoria.  Victoria TX NOT Victoria BC…Ron still owes me a trip there!!!
We stopped to look at a 5th wheel…we are thinking of trading in our Explorer for a 3/4 ton truck and our 30′ travel trailer for a 5th wheel toy hauler…well the one the guy had on his lot was not what we are interested in…it was a 30 1/2′ but felt very small on the inside…there are few things that are must haves for us…
…have to be able to open the fridge with the slide pulled in
…must be able to use the bathroom with the slide pulled in
…must be able to have two recliners or a double recliner as well as a couple of other chairs or couch
…must have a walk around queen bed
…would be nice to have a washer/dryer combo
…would be nice to have a set of bunks
YES we are planning to go back on the road when I retire in 
5 Years and 4 Days!!!
This 5th wheel was too small…so that’s okay, it was the first one we looked at…
and we weren’t ready to buy today anyway,
must have truck first!!!
Then it was off to Kohl’s to drop off a steamer for our boss,
then Dollar Tree for some Valentine decorations,
then Tuesday Morning…they only had dish towels for Valentines Day,
then Big Lots…got 2 sets of red lights, need one more
then it was off to Sam’s Club…first lunch…all beef hot dog and a soda for everyone, 
Azzy got a mountain dew 😦  I got the other two orange fanta…
Azzy was told she better not get too wired…she did really well and was a big help with pushing  a cart, grabbing stuff from the shelf and making lots of suggestions!!!
90 minutes later we were finally done at Sam’s Club.
We headed towards another RV dealer when I remembered we were supposed to pick up JT and it was already 4:00 and he was due back sometime between 4:30 and 6:00…so no trip to the RV dealer, no stopping at HEB (for the things I don’t buy at Sam’s) and no stopping at Walmart to look for more Valentine decorations and home we went!!
Everyone helped to unload the truck and then AS and AR joined other kids at the playground.  Ron, Azzy and I labeled and put away the groceries.  Ron helped me put up some red lights…that’s when I found out I need one more set…I will take a picture and post what I’m doing once I get the 3rd set of lights and then it was shower and prayer time for the kidlets.
All in all it’s been a good day, we are all just a bit tired.
Hopefully we will all sleep better tonight and wake refreshed and rested in the morning.
Tomorrow is Sunday School, church and football!!!  
SeaHawks play the Packers…it should be a good game!!!
Oh and maybe take down some more of the Christmas decorations.
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Do you still have Christmas decorations up?
Do you decorate for Valentines Day? A lot or a little?
If you don’t decorate for Valentine’s Day
what is the next holiday you decorate for?