Archive for July, 2011

Home is Where Somebody Loves You

July 29, 2011

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and in it’s right time. This belief is the only thing keeping me from going crazy about not having a house yet. I’ve filled my days with looking for a house and keeping the kiddos busy and entertained.

We’ve had lots of fun visiting with family and friends and exploring new water play. My beach kids are getting introduced to the river. I’m much more nervous about this than they are. In fact my nerves are frazzled because they’re fearless! I’d like to instill a healthy dose of respectful fear! I’m ever grateful for the people who come into our lives each day and bring little doses of good things! Yesterday the kids got to participate in a little bit of fishing. Max was mesmerized! Fish! Real fish, straight from the water that are still alive! All 4 of my younger kids enjoyed learning about the process and being able to touch the fish as they came out of the water. Good Stuff!

I’m waiting on a phone call for a house I’ve put an application on. Everything is hinging on getting into a house. I’ve got to get these kids registered in school! It starts in just a couple of weeks! Ugh! But my nerves get soothed by little things each day. Yesterday I heard a conversation between Tristan and Max. They were talking about “home”. Tristan said, “Home is where somebody loves you”.

This sentence from my 11 yr old to his younger brother made me feel so much better! They’re ok! They’re being kept busy and happy and they’re not as stressed as I worry they are. To let go and trust like a child is definitely a goal.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Waiting For it All To Fall Into Place

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If Your Mom Had a Blog She’d Do the Same Thing!

July 27, 2011

I’m taking a lil break from talking about life changes, moving, house-hunting, divorce, Aspergers, homelessness and being grateful for fabulous friends to point a huge neon arrow over to a lil preview on Itunes that features my eldest daughter, Kateri, singing with a friend of hers. I’ve always enjoyed listening to her sing and one of the things I’ve missed most in the last 5 years, since she left for college, is hearing her move through the house in song. Here’s a bit to share-enjoy the preview and think about downloading the entire song. Seriously, what’s .99¢?!


So Beautiful (feat. Kateri Lang)

Doing the Dance of the Children to the Sweet Sound of My Girl’s Voice~

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Nor Cal Stuff

July 25, 2011

3 things that are on my mind about being in Nor Cal this morn

1) Sprouts is Henry’s. I kept hearing about this great, new grocery store that I was going to HAVE to try out because of it’s GREAT deals and awesome produce. I was even given a coupon to try it out. So the other day I added it to my list of shopping stops. The second I walked in, I knew I’d like it-because it’s a store I’ve been going to for over 10 yrs! Henry’s IS Sprouts. Now that I think of it, when I’d write a check to Henry’s it would clear as Sprouts. This makes me happy because Henry’s has always been seriously Good Stuff! Yea for familiarity within all my change!

2) The property management company called this morning to say that they’ve received all they need for my application and will begin the process. They said it looks like an easy app and will take 1-5 days, depending on how quickly references get back to them. *fingers crosses*, prayers offered! Everyone cross and pray along with me!

3) Traffic…this is my only complaint so far. What the heck is up with stubborn people getting in the fast lane and driving 60-65?! Come on people!!!! You get where you want to be A LOT faster if you just find 75 and go! It’s really the one thing that’s got me up in arms. Since 1997 I’ve been driving in So Cal traffic on the 5 and I got comfortable with traffic moving at 75 mph. You didn’t dare drive in the fast lane at under 80 mph and everyone got where they wanted to be, easily and quickly. Try it. I promise you’ll like it!

So now that I know my application is in the processing phase, I can move on with planning the day for the kids. The morning chores are done and I think we’ll pack up and find some fun.

Doing the Dance of the Children With My Fingers Crossed & My Lead Foot Itchy~

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Good Morning Sunday

July 24, 2011

I’m busily taking breakfast orders from the kids and trying to hurry them along to get ready for church. I think at least one of them is going through a growth spurt because he’s eating like a football player. They’re all sleeping in later but I think that’s because they’re spending each day playing hard and going to bed late.

I’m still looking for a house and have an application in on one we’d really like to get. I’m have no shortage of impatience while I wait to hear. If it’s not this one, we have one other we’re waiting to see, but we don’t like the location as much. I have to hold onto the belief that the right house will be the one we get.

We’ve spent our days enjoying the sunshine, finding plenty of places for water play and getting used to the idea that we have so much family nearby. The other day we got to spend the afternoon and evening with cousins for a birthday celebration. It made me so happy to see my kids running around with their 2nd cousins. I’m kicking myself for not snapping pictures, but I was just so glad to see their happy faces that I didn’t even think about the camera. We’ve spent a lot of years away from family because of living the military life. Now that we’ve left that part of our life behind, it’s nice to be able to walk into an environment with a ready made support system full of family and friends. It’s good for all of us!

So today it’s off to church and then my sister and her husband are coming for a visit. There’s a possibility that my mom will come by this evening. So I have to say that even though the heaviness of finding a house and getting the kids settled into school is hanging over my head, there’s still a lot of good stuff happening.

Focusing on the Good Stuff!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Hello OCD Tendencies-How Can I Serve You Today?

July 21, 2011

For the last couple of months I’ve been keeping my anxiety and OCD tendencies at bay. I’ve spent plenty of time telling myself that there simply isn’t time to deal with my hang-ups and that I needed to push through the issues of each day and all the crazy, anxiety-filled stuff that’s been thrown at me lately.
Let’s recap;

I had to get my kids through the end of their school year, quit my job, be ready to move out of the house I’d been in for the last 10 yrs, look for a place in one area, found out I would not be moving to that area and that I had no movers coming to move all my family’s things, found storage, packed everything with the help of a loving support system, became homeless and jobless, packed my kids into my van and drove to a friend’s house in N. Cal., was without my kids for a week while they traveled with their dad, had a mini identity crisis, started looking for houses in N. Cal., stopped looking for houses in N. Cal., looked for schools, back to the house searching…

So, I’ve found a couple of houses in the area I want my kids to live and go to school. Now I’ve finished a rental application, which took a lot of self-talk because I haven’t had to apply to live anywhere in about 13 yrs and now I sit here with a finished application and I’m going to give into my OCD tendencies and walk it in instead of scanning it and emailing it. I’ve pushed myself through so many things that made me nervous that I’m going to allow myself this. I just feel like it’s better to walk in and hand everything over instead of being a faceless email. Will it matter? Who knows! Will I feel better? Yes!

I’m seriously so nervous about getting into a place that this is the way for me to salve my anxiety. Gonna do it!

After I deliver this app, I’m going to continue to look at houses. I really really need to get into a place and get this whole next phase of life going. School is looming around the corner for my kids and I need to get settled. Let’s hope it all falls into place!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Allowing Myself Some Leeway~

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There’s A Gift To Find In Each Day

July 20, 2011

I didn’t mean to let so many days go by without writing about what’s going on. The days are full of keeping the kiddos busy, looking at houses and heading to bed late, wishing I’d gotten more done. But each day has held Good Stuff-visiting with family and friends, touring the Empire Mine, swimming…

What I had to key into is the fact that I get this unique, little piece of time to spend on my kids in a way that I don’t usually get. When I’m at home with them there’s all the housework and running around that needs to be done. Yes, I’m WITH them each day, but I don’t get uninterrupted time to just focus on them. I’ve WISHED for time like this! Granted, I didn’t wish that it meant I was homeless and living off of the good graces of others, but you need to notice your blessings when they’re in front of you! This time isn’t going to last long (right?!), so I need to enjoy it while it’s here. Before I know it I’ll be knee-deep in unpacking a house, homework and sports schedules.

Encouraging us all to see the blessings in each day.


Max Ta Shunke Witko (Crazy Horse) under his namesake’s bar sign in Nevada City


Tristan (very excited about his meal) at lunch with family


Me and the kiddos at the Empire Mine


Gabi and Lex checking out the Reflecting Pool at the Empire Mine

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Catching Up On Friday

July 16, 2011

I am so so grateful for the doors that have been opened to us and the support that I’ve been given. The fact that the kids and I have a comfortable, safe place to stay and plenty of fun activities to fill up our days is a HUGE gift. We’ve spent this week keeping busy.

On Tuesday I realized that the schools in this area start a lot earlier than the schools in San Diego and that I better make some decisions and get some plans in motion. I spent Tuesday afternoon and some of Wednesday narrowing down what I want in schools for my kids and came up with, what I believe to be, the best area for my kids to go to school in. On Thursday the kids and I went to the district office to ask questions and get information. After gathering what info we could, I realized that there really isn’t much that can be done without an address.

*tapping my fingers*

I really wasn’t sure what to do. For all technical intense and purposes, our official status is Jobless and Homeless. Those are not 2 labels anyone wants to wear. And when you DO wear those labels, there are many, many choices you just don’t have. Where to send your kiddos to school happens to be one of the choices you might have to give up.

So I spent the rest of the day wanting desperately to move forward, but not seeing anyway to do it. Then…I got a phone call from Clay. He said he’d gotten a job offer and that he could be leaving as early as this coming Monday. We talked about the schools I’m looking at. We talked about what I want for the kids. We talked about how VERY VERY grateful I am to the beautiful people who have been placed into my life and the lives of my children. By the end of the conversation I realized I would, indeed, have the power to go find a place to live for myself and the children, if he, in fact, has or takes this job. I started searching property listings and by this morning I’d made appointments to view houses.

I spent a couple hours keeping the kiddos busy at the pool and then settled them into the house and the dinnertime schedule and left to go see a house.

NOPE! Not the one. Too small. Great area, but we’d be stacked in there a little too tightly for comfort. So the search continues. I say this, not even being sure that Clay is actually leaving for this job. Hmmm…well, I have to keep moving forward, the best I can. The kids need and really, really want answers to what this next school year holds and I keep getting asked when I’m going to go get our things out of storage. I’m just as antsy as they are for the next phase of our lives to begin and to settle into whatever our new routine is going to be.

But I’m so thankful for the little bits we can count on right now and the friends who’ve helped to provide them! Arianna has joined a soccer team and is meeting girls from the area. Having her stay busy and be focused on something is GREAT! She was even able to go with a friend’s family to the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie, last night. Good Stuff!

I’m doing all that I can with so much unknown. School starts in a month. I’ll have Maddi back! All 6 kiddos will be together (the older 3 will be off to college) and I’m hoping we have a house full of boxes that are being unpacked.

That’s it! That’s all I can do-keep moving forward with a plan and hope and pray it falls into place. It will. It has so far. Yes, it’s different than I would have chosen, but we are all doing fine and the future is full of Good Stuff waiting to happen.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Hoping to do it in My Own Home Soon~

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Our Summer’s Day in Pictures

July 13, 2011

It was a beautiful day out and we got to spend it in the sunshine with friends. We enjoyed lots of pool time and in the evening we headed into the yard to make S’mores. A great summer’s day!

Starting the day off

Lex, chillin’ in the pool

Ending the day with summertime S’mores

It was a great day!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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The Kids Are Back!

July 11, 2011

I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier to see my kids, a ton of their stuff and know that I have at least a week, if not 2 or more, of the solid work of being M.O.M. as I am tonight. They rolled in, got unloaded, changed into swimwear and jumped in the pool. I immediately got them unpacked, threw the dirty laundry into the washer and mentally prepared the dinner that Gabi had requested.

Over the last week, one of the things I’ve recognized about myself is that I NEED, N-E-E-D to be of service to others. When the kids were gone I found myself picking up whatever I could wander around and find to pick up, switching the laundry of the family I’m staying with and doing dishes. Relaxation is not my strong point. When the chores were done and I had time to sit down, I found myself struggling with feelings of inadequacy. Not good!

I’m going to have to work on those things. But tonight, I get to be back in my element and take care of my kids. It felt so good to watch them play and to make plans for tomorrow. One of my older kids is here now and I’m excited that her day got filled with things she enjoys. A friend of mine with kids who keep busy with sports, called to invite Arianna to come out and play soccer with her daughter’s team tomorrow. Happy! Happy! Happy! She’s also been hired to do a little work for another friend and work=money, which makes her happy. Yea!

So now that swimming, playing, dinner and a trip to 7-11 for free Slurpees is done, the kids are in their pjs, have brushed their teeth, said their prayers and are all lying next to each other watching a movie. I can sigh with contentment and call it a day.

Good Stuff!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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We Are More Than Our Labels-Staving Off An Identity Crisis

July 8, 2011

The last few days of not having my kids with me, not having a home to go to, not having a schedule or what feels like a purpose have brought me to the brink of an identity crisis. I’ve felt fragmented and completely out of every element I’ve ever come to be comfortable with and in. I’ve had to do some serious soul searching to figure out what was going on in me.

For 22 years I’ve been a mom. I’ve been the primary care giver to all of my children over ALL that time. It’s not only been a label I’ve been wearing, but it became woven into the very fabric of my being-shaping every move I’ve made, every schedule I’ve written and lived by. During a great deal of those 22 years I also wore the label of wife. It took me a a long time to come to terms with peeling that label off. Now I’m dealing with how it feels when our labels become intertwined and  I’m learning to draw the line between where one ends and another begins-how you can take one off and still wear the others. Nothing will ever change the fact-FACT that I’m a mom, not just A mom, but M.O.M. and whether my kids are here or elsewhere, my heart still beats with that label. Now I need to find myself, beneath the labels. For a great many years of my time as a mom, I focused only on that part of me. Honestly, between having babies and moving around, because of military orders, there wasn’t much time or energy available to focus on anything BUT being a mom and military spouse. Then one day I discovered that I had a voice and that all those schedules I’d been writing and all the morning memos I’d put together might, in some way, benefit others.

Once I decided to speak people starting telling me that they believed in the good of my voice, that it had great purpose and that it, surely, shouldn’t be silenced. So I started to write and I started to podcast. Immediately people said, “more!”. I rearranged schedules and found time to pick my own brain for what information my years of raising children, moving around, organizing a household of many and living as a single-parent, might be useful to others and began to write shows, blogs and even magazine articles. I began to wear new labels-Published, paid, writer/working mom/podcaster/blogger/organizer/motivator, all of them empowering and beautiful. People started sending me other labels-”McGyver of Food”/”Relentlessly Optimistic”/”Super Mom”/”The Martha Stewart of Holiday Projects”…Soon my labels were vast and I enjoyed them all. I believed I could continue to juggle them all and that they each identified me in a certain way. Now, I have to gather all the pieces of me that have been stuck to each of these labels and put the puzzle together. I’m naming each of these things so that I can step back, read them all and see that just because I removed one label doesn’t change the WHO of what I am-that I am still whole and full of purpose and that I must continue to believe in what God has given me.

This is all important stuff, this self talk. I must hold my own hand and pull myself from the brink of the cliff of this identity crisis. I must own my own being and purpose and decide to move forward, no matter what bleakness or unknown a day may bring.

We must all remember that we are whole beings, no matter the labels we’ve come to depend on or associate with. It can be hard! We tend to decide that we ARE the label. We are so much more!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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One Day At a Time

July 6, 2011

It’s often hardest to talk when there’s the most to say.

I’ve spent 3 1/2 days without my kids. They are having a GREAT time at their grandparents’ with their dad. I love to hear their happy voices and listen to all they have to tell me about each days’ adventures. But I’m ready for the timer to go off and for them to be back. Having them take a trip to Grandma’s is nothing new, but since all the circumstances have changed, it’s making me antsy.

I still have no answers about where we’ll be living after this Summer Adventure is over and with all that’s unsettled, they are my constant-my sure thing. I’m ready to have them back and fill my day with the purpose I’ve always had.

Tough stuff!

For now, I’m living in the now and doing my best to make that good enough. The answers to all the rest will come. Even though I’m sure of that, it doesn’t make me want to settle into my next phase any less. I’m ready for the answers to what tomorrow is bringing and ready to do what’s in my power to settle into it all. If only I knew what that was.

~sigh~

One-Day-At-A-Time…

Doing the Dance of the Children, Whether They’re Here or Not~

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Plans? What Plans?

July 2, 2011

I’ve always been a planner. I thrive on setting a schedule and holding to it. Knowing what’s coming and how it’s going to happen is how I’ve lived my adult life and how I’ve run my household, even creating a daily Morning Memo so that everyone in the house could wake to the plan of the day and know what was coming and what was expected of them.

If there’s one lesson I’m being forced to learn and adopt in all this change is to let go of the control of planning my day. Every day I wake to wondering what’s coming and when. I’m getting better at rolling with it. But it doesn’t mean I don’t still want it. So, I set a plan in my head and then have to make new plans as things change.

Today the plan was that Clay would pick the kids up and head out to his parents’ for the week. There ended up being too many loose ends in SD for him to leave yet. So now I’m filling the day for the kids and figuring out tomorrow too. Right now they are enjoying the pool and later it’s a rousing trip to Target for a few essentials. This evening I get to go to dinner with 2 girl friends while a brave and compassionate husband watches all the kiddos. That is Good Stuff!

Here’s to learning to live outside our comfort zone and roll with what the Gypsy Wind blows our way.

Doing the Dance of the Children-With or Without a Plan~

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Max’s Take on Moving

July 1, 2011

Yesterday, while we were driving away from the only house Max has ever lived in, he says to me-”Mom, moving is like picking up a handful of acorns and dropping them and watching them all scatter”.

I love the insights into Max’s way of thinking.

Scattered acorns will plant themselves where they fall and become mighty oaks!

Good Stuff~

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Hello Summer Adventure!

July 1, 2011

I woke up this morning as usual-early and w/ my 2 youngest cuddled up to me in bed. Then I looked around and remembered that we were on the 1st day of our new adventure. I laid there and listened to the sleepy sounds of my 4 kiddos. They had been worn out by a long drive (10 hrs in the van) and then a bunch of trampoline jumping, bike and scooter riding and running around with friends. I knew they were pretty worn out. They slept through me showering, getting ready for the day and running out for coffee. I came back to them eating waffles in their pjs.

A good friend of mine has taken us in and made us comfortable. The kids have a place for their clothes, a room to sleep in and plenty of fun, outdoor play to enjoy. Her family is easy-going and welcoming and I feel like the luckiest, homeless, jobless, in the middle-of-a-divorce girl on the planet. Seriously!

So we start this adventure off with packing a lunch and heading out to meet my parents for a few hours of visiting and park play. I have no idea what we’ll do this afternoon, but I know it will likely involve being outside.

Tomorrow Clay is coming with Arianna to get the kids and the van and head to his family for 4th of July celebrating. The kids are looking forward to more adventure and family fun.

I’m confident that there is a Big Plan in play here. That God knows exactly how this chess game is going and I’m willing to continue being His pawn. It’s summertime and we have a couple of places to go. So we’re going to enjoy family and friends, the outdoors and following the Gypsy Wind of each day as it unfolds. Jobs and where we will settle will come. I know it!

Doing the Dance of the Children on a Summer Day~

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