Loving What You Do Makes Things So Much Easier

Loving What You Do Makes Things So Much Easier

So, last week we posted my daughter’s episode for her YouTube channel and something magical happened. If you watch the video you will see her just come to life. For a while, cooking has been her coping skill especially after PTSD took over. It really helped to act as a caldron for the negative energy she was feeling.

It is so important to establish something positive when dealing with children who have been victims of bullying. We started her YouTube channel two maybe three weeks ago and since then she has stayed three nights at a friend’s house. Some of you might be like that’s not a big deal. Well, for her it was a big deal because prior to three weeks ago she had never felt confident to stay away from home, we are talking about 5 yrs of not wanting to be close to anyone other than us. Her friend was like you are 17 and never slept over anyone’s house and she was like nope!

So of course when her friend stayed over here, I might have went a little all out! I talk so much about what she has been through and this video just shows how she’s laughing and loving life. If you are dealing with children who were victims of bullying, remember being there is number one. Don’t try to push them into anything until they are ready. I might have suggested she try a food show, but it’s all her.

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Decorating On Half!

Decorating On Half!

When I first started this blog I had just moved into this house with multiple rooms to try to furnish. If some of you are new to my blog which means you have been following me less than a year, you recall my story. If not I will do a quick refresher. My family basically went from an income of over 100000 a year to almost half of that with hopes of zeroing in on what we deemed as most important which was family.

We didn’t really downsize in the house because we couldn’t, but we had to find a cheaper way of decorating the house. We moved into this house about 1 year and four months ago. At that time we had 3.5 empty rooms which would need to be furnished at some point in the future. This is how we managed to update our house on a budget using sales and The Dollar General. We took three major areas inside our house and turned them into purpose driven rooms.

Due to the house being so large, finding furniture was a really big issue. Now that we were on a tighter budget we would have to pay special attention to sales and stores. One of the big reasons I gave up my job was because I wanted to be there for the girls. As an investigator I spent hours away from home which resulted in many 16 to 18 hour days. So, we decided that we would create a room for fun time. The room would be a central location or like a mini hub within the house.

We managed to make sure that one of us is always facing the children.

The person in the corner is able to look into the kitchen and keep an eye on my 13 yr old’s door while the person on the other side is able to keep an eye on the area my 17 yr old would be emerging from. I like to pay attention to faces. If someone isn’t in a good mood, I want to be the first one to notice it. One of the big issues I ran into when I was an investigator was not being able to notice the simple stuff with my children because I was never home. The girls were miserable because they had an absent mom. I tried to push expensive phones and trips ever so often their way, but it didn’t really help. It didn’t hit home just how miserable they were until I found out that my 13 yr old was self mutilating. So, now that I am home, my main focus is on my girls.

With all of that said, we call this location the hub area of our home. We are still looking to upgrade the table. Finding the perfect computer table isn’t easy when there are three computers in the house. We do not believe in computers being in the rooms, so until we can find a table, the dining table is the temporary home.

This is the real dining table. Someone needs to tell my husband that the picture needs to be centered!!! Not really! I did it.

So, for those of you who might be thinking oh my gosh she traded her eating table for computers! Never fear, here’s the table, right here! We managed to get it on sale from a local furniture store. I like the idea of pubs and this table kind of reminds me of Obrien’s Irish Pub down the street. So, I managed to capture it for my home!

Take notice of the dog gate because it is awesome. I needed something large enough and long enough to keep my dogs out of the guest entertaining area. It was embarrassing having to always explain tears and rips caused by my four legged babies, so when we got new furniture I had to hit Amazon up for a dog gate. Heck, I didn’t even know that gates came in any size other than for a small door, so when I found there were gates large enough to protect two doorways, I did a major happy dance. This means I do not have to explain anything else, or deal with stains on my carpet. Carpet keeps odors in so keep that in mind if you are thinking about getting a new place to live and you are a pet owner.

This shows a better picture of the dog gate. It even matches my furniture. It is large enough to keep my middle size dog from climbing over, but it isn’t 100 percent perfection. He has knocked it over once because it wasn’t positioned the right way. I do not think you can ever really protect yourself against future bathroom incidents involving pets, but certain materials make it easier to clean up. So, we do not do cloth fabric sofas. We like the idea of being able to wipe things off just in case the unthinkable becomes a reality! When it comes to carpets we go really cheap, I am talking Walmart’s 50 bucks cheap! It is much easier to replace a 50 dollar carpet than a 350 dollar carpet. Remember you are trying to have a home you can enjoy, but you are also trying to have a home that will not make you cry if something happens like an accident on the carpet.

We took three areas and turned them into safe areas for my children and pets. If you live like us, you can’t afford to be replacing stuff every year. While our pets are part of our family, we still want to entertain others who might not like the idea of our furry babies getting so up close and personal. So, the gate really does help to section off where they can roam. All of this was done under 4k.

Living In A Racial Climate With Children

Living In A Racial Climate With Children

It shouldn’t be a secret at this point, we are living in a racial climate. Whether you are living in the United States or in the UK, at this point there’s no escaping race issues. So, with the weekend at our feet, I thought it would a good idea to leave you with this.

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We do not have to look like each other, hold the same credentials, practice the same religion, or even use the same vocabulary! We simply need to do one thing when it comes to weathering the storm. We need to understand that underneath it all, we are all the same. We all house emotions, have goals, and live in this world.

What inspired this post, some of you might be thinking! It comes from a conversation at the dinner table that was innocent, but very telling at the same time. We do not normally gather at the dinner table for dinner unless it is Christmas or Thanksgiving. Last night we decided we would try something new because we have been finding cups in the children’s rooms. So, after the chicken was roasted, we informed the kids that we would be eating dinner at the table.

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As we headed to the table and took our seats, one of the girls stated how we were being like white families. She then smiled and scooped a thing of potatoes on her plate. My husband looked at me and I in return looked back at my daughter. I informed her that when I was younger I never ate anywhere besides the dinning room. We ate dinner as a family. I didn’t know that children were seeing something like eating at the table or the lack of it, as a racial expectation. It was a teaching moment for not only us, but for the girls as well. The moment resulted in explaining that race has nothing to do with where we eat! We explained that perhaps culture played a part in what might be found on people’s plates, but that it wasn’t fair to conclude that certain groups shunned tables! Then it was on to the next topic which was about boys and sending inappropriate pictures. That’s a story for Monday! Have a great weekend.

My Daughter’s Encounter With The Police

I’ve been struggling with something lately. This past weekend my daughter walked to the store which isn’t very far from our house. She informed us that on the way to the store a cop slowed down to a near crawl and drove beside her. She then stated that it made her nervous so the turned around and walked the other way. The policeman then turned around and proceeded to follow her in that direction as well.

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Due to the cop making her nervous she decided to go to another store which ended up being a little closer than the first store she planned on visiting. As she entered the store, the cop drove away. We have had talks about staying away from trouble. She does a good job of it, to be honest. She doesn’t really go anywhere with anyone. We have covered the basics, even warned her about staying away from hoodies which is something she had on last weekend. She hates the sun! I’m feeling kind of confused and stressed about the policeman following my daughter, to be honest. I never thought I would have to explain the dangers of being a minority female on foot. We tell her to watch out for strangers, watch out for people who look jittery, but we haven’t had to talk to her about watching out for cops.

I used to bake cupcakes and bring our cops back in Garland treats to help show our appreciation. Hell, I would even go to Taco Bell and grab food just to take it to patrol cars to show how much we cared. I’m scared because the atmosphere is changing and in many ways it has changed. I told my daughter something totally different this weekend when we talked about the encounter with the officer. I told her to be careful, face the officer, and smile if he follows you. Then I started thinking about what I was saying. Why was some officer following my daughter around and is she safe here in this small town, we call home?

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Just what do we tell our children about interactions with the police?

Summer School My Way

Summer School My Way

My children can’t go to summer school, so I will bring it to them this year. It appears that both of my children have inherited my husband’s disdain for history. I happen to love history, life science, social science, and even managed to take extra classes in those areas in college. So, it is safe to say we will start today with a lesson on how it all started.

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This morning we will start off talking about Pangaea, Continental Drift theory, Southern/Northern Hemisphere and how we all started. If you are wondering how and why we decided that our children needed this lesson, it is because one of our lovely children thought California was in Texas. It really was a wtf moment. We have helped with history homework in the past, but for some reason that lack of knowledge never came to surface.

After we made it to the store, my husband politely asked me if I would teach our children this summer exclusively over the subjects they seem to be low in, and of course, I was delighted. This morning I will work on my lesson plan, and try to help the girls better understand the world as we know it. I knew those classes would matter one day!

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I have science and history covered. However, I need help with drama. Both girls are in theater and both are on the fence about their drama classes. I would like to do something for them to help them gain more confidence in reading plays and memorizing them. Does anyone know of a good method for studying drama?

Using Disability As Cash Cow

Fair warning*** Some of you might not like the article of the day. However, it’s Friday, so you will get over it. When I first starting working in the social work field I was introduced to the disability cash cow.

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Before you get irate, I’m not talking about people needing help because they honestly need help. My mother worked most of her life, she got sick in her 50’s which resulted in her having to get disability. A few years after she got her disability, she died. I’m talking about people placing their children on disability as a means of income. There are some issues that will automatically give birth to the need of disability, however today we are talking about the ones that do not.

My first encounter with this situation started around 2012. I was at work and a lady entered my office with her three children. All of her children were under 7 and two of the three were diagnosed with disorders. In most cases, I haven’t heard of people giving children under five schizophrenia diagnosis. Yet, I am not a doctor, so maybe it happens. However, when I questioned the mom about letting her children attend school red flags started to show up.

She went on to talk about how she didn’t want them in a school and how the school wouldn’t be able to take care of them like she did. She was in a shelter and from what I could tell she had other people looking after her children most of the day. She then told me that she was getting around 1500 a month in disability and she was in the process of getting the youngest child placed on disability for their ADHD.

My daughter as many of you know suffers from ADHD/ADD and ODD. She was briefly diagnosed with having an intellectual disability until she was retested a couple of years ago. Around the time she received the intellectual disability diagnoses someone tried to talk me into putting my child on disability. I was told she would be able to get money because of that and her ADHD. I smiled and politely informed the person that I wasn’t placing my child on anything because I was going to help her learn how to control it.

Here’s the point, there are times when someone might need to get disability, but I would think long and hard about it before I sign any papers. Maybe talk to someone in legal. My daughter works and she plans on going to college to get a career. While her struggles have been real, our encouragement has been never ending. I always think back to the 19 yr I met years ago. She was bright, funny, and such a pleasure to be around. I would often make her read aloud in group when we went over coping skills. At first she was scared, but later she started to really shine.

I asked her why didn’t she think about going to college one afternoon. She then informed me that she had a low IQ which prevented her from being able to go to college. Apparently, her mother told her she was too slow and put her on disability with the help of professionals. Her mother was using her disability as a cash cow until she moved out of the house and then issues started because she wanted to work. We must always think about what’s good for our children and not what’s easiest for us.

Planning The Perfect Vacation For People On A Budget.

Planning The Perfect Vacation For People On A Budget.

If your family vacations are anything like mine, most of them result in trips to the ER, after all the fun ends. YEAH!! However, this year we are planning to go about it another way. We will plan the perfect vacation for people on a budget. The first thing we do is look for fun things near our state. It gives the children a chance to go out of state without making us pay so much in gas. This year the winner is!!

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The winner is New Mexico. Some of you might be wondering why New Mexico. Well New Mexico has an ice cave! My husband and I love the idea, I’m wondering how the children will like it. I think it will be a surprise because they aren’t into science like me. However, I want them to respect nature because while it is beautiful, it also has the ability to change life as we know it. Most of our trips have something to do with nature. I would love to go to Yellowstone, it really is a dream. Yet, it isn’t close enough for us and would hurt the budget. We try to find fun things that will allow us fun minus the guilt of spending after we get back home.

This year I plan on learning more about the adventure prior to pulling up to the site, God Willing! I will be a good mommy and make sure I pack lots of water and bananas. We will need to bring a bag with clothing that will protect us from the coldness inside the cave which shouldn’t be too costly. We have bags around the house and we can just use our normal cold weather clothing.

The first thing I like to do is google the distance of the place. It should take us around 13 hours to get to the cave. I have a Jeep that uses e85 gas so I think we are looking at 300 bucks in gas give or take 100 bucks either way. My husband is a state worker so he can get hotel rooms a little cheaper which will get us a better rate on a room. Trying to spend no more than 100 on a room per night which gives us at least two nights without drama. The park fee is 12 per adult, so we are looking at 60 for the whole family. Breakfast will consist of something from the hotel and packed lunches while we are touring.

While I bet New Mexico has nice local authentic food, we normally just stick to the dollar menu for dinner. Normally, our vacations always end with an ER visit because someone does something crazy. One vacation my husband hit is head on the cave ceiling. I was just about to say something to warn him before he hit his head, but I was too late. He started having severe headaches which warranted a visit to the ER.

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The other incident involved me sitting in a hard spot for five hours. LOL Hardspot! Get it! LOL okay, my sense of humor is my own. Anyway, after we made it to the car, I sat with my leg bent in the air for like three more hours. By the time I got home, I couldn’t walk. Turns out I hurt my butt, I didn’t even know that was a thing. I still swear I felt something jiggle around when I was walking. The nurses in the ER were laughing about it, but I was quite worried.

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Lastly, my daughter’s spider bite got infected by the other place we visited. We were having fun in the water which turned out to be irritating her bite. The doctor said it happens more times than people realize. We think those bandages are good for protection, but they can fail. Alison’s bandage came right off and that was what caused the infection. So, this year we will be adding a first aid supply kit to the trip. We are just too clumsy not to have one.

Are you planning anything fun this summer for your family?