Friday, September 29, 2017

Looking for Inner Peace? Read this book.


Confession time:  I am a disorganized pack rat.  I seem to pile things all over the place.  I keep things for years because who knows if I might need whatever it is, but of course I would never be able to find that thing I thought I would need because of all the stacks.  I am also a control freak with respect to other people and events outside of my sphere to actually control. 

Reading this book was very convicting to me for the very idea that my private world is disordered which is reflected in my outside world.  Gordon MacDonald delves into the personalities that develop to cover the disorder inside which describes me perfectly.  Disorganized home?  Yep, me.  Attempting to control the events and people around me? Yep, me.  Driven sometimes to meanness? Yep, me.  Failure causes deep depression? Yep, me. 

The answer is discovered in this well written and well understood book.  It is not a quick fix to success or to a minimalist life.  Nor is there a promise of a perfect life without trouble.  Taking the advice and information offered is an act of the will and will not be an overnight change.  Help is here to reconnect to the only One, Who can truly order your private world.  Gordon MacDonald will introduce you to that One but you must take a step toward Him too. 


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This is 100% my opinion.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mother Update and It's All Down Hill From Here

I want to update the blog with my mom’s condition.  My dad is still very much in charge of her care.  There is a sitter who comes roughly 5 days a week so my dad gets a small break.  G and I are no longer going out to my parents’ house as often due to the new location of her school and her ride situation this year.  

Since we don’t see them often, I am more intentional about going out there.  This past Saturday I gave dad a break.  I had taken my BSF questionnaire out to work on and just let me say how impossible it was to complete.  I couldn’t spend the time to focus on the questions much less the answers.

So my mom can’t carry on a discussion and rarely realizes how wrong her words are.  She touched the table beside her chair and called it “Le” over and over again.  She wasn’t speaking French and then she said, “I don’t know why I said that.” 

She talks oddly enough about people (in her mind I guess) demanding that she do something but she is either unable or these people (old bosses???, I’m spit-balling here) won’t help her do whatever it is she is imagining well.  So I just ramble with her or agree or whatever.
    
So my dad went to the grocery store while I was there with mom.   He told her that I would stay with her but she had no idea I was there as she had turned away from me to talk to him and forgot that I was even there.  Of course she didn’t know who I was even though Dad had told her.  Literally, she could be looking at someone then turn around for a second and not remember there was a person at whom she had been looking/speaking before turning around.

I attempted to watch the football game on but that was way too distracting.  I changed it to the southern gospel music station but there weren’t any familiar songs.  I took mom for a walk around the yard until her back hurt too bad to be there.  I served her lunch of left over Chinese food which she loved and couldn’t get enough of for lunch at least only to learn later that she refused to eat it the night before when it was fresh, according to my dad. 

At one point, mom looked at me and said, “What is your name?”

I told her who I was and she said, “I have never seen you in my life.”

I explained that she had given birth to me and my 3 siblings.  She said, “How old are you?” 

I told her and she did this thing with her mouth that she does when she is trying to process something in which she doesn’t believe.  My dad came home and mom greeted him as if he had been away for years and years.  He then worked in the garden and started to make some tomato juice. 

By this time I had been there almost 4 hours.  Mom had gotten up to tell my dad some secret about me whom she didn’t recognize.  I watched her, and she saw me looking at her talk to my dad.  She became so agitated and got really mad at me watching her tell on me for something.  She had no idea who I was, and I had no idea what I had done that she didn’t like.

I said, “I think this is the time for me to go.” 

I got ready and stood in the den trying to make sure my mom was okay.  She came over and hugged me and said, “Don’t pay any attention to what I say.” 

I can honestly say I didn’t pay attention to what she said.  There was an initial jolt of pain for me but I realize she hasn’t any clue and meant nothing towards me as her daughter.  As I left my dad told me not to pay attention to her as she doesn’t know what she is saying.  I told him that I knew that and wasn’t upset.  I had already told her that we would be out on Tuesday after G gets out of school to see her. 

I will say that I can’t determine what hurts the most for me.  Is it the fact that I am losing her bit by bit, the fact that she has forgotten who I am, or the fact that I did something to make her so very mad and don’t know what it was or if I should be truly blamed for it? I don’t want to get to the point where I can’t go out there for irritating her so much that my dad can’t get a break.  I came to realize as I left their home that my mom had no clue who I was the whole time I was there.

I guess as we continue to travel this road I ask for prayers of strength for my dad.  Also, I continue to pray for my own feelings that I would live in rational thought and not emotions.   Rationally, I know my mom doesn’t know and can’t help not knowing as she continues to decline.  I pray that Jesus will protect my emotions.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

School Begins Again

This year G starts (another) new school.  She will be attending a private school near my work.  It is a classical Christian school.  It is full uniform everyday.  She is signing up for cross country which is 3 days a week.  Soon I will have pictures of her in the new uniform.

The other school wasn't going to allow her to be involved in a true school experience because of the distance from my work.  She was going to miss out on extra curricular activities, and I just didn't think that was ok.  She will be coming home in the afternoon 2 days a week and my dad will meet her on those days for the afternoon.

We have already met the teachers and set up her locker.  Well, sort of, we didn't decide to pick up a locker shelf until after we got to the locker.  Tomorrow she will be setting up the shelf and adding some magnets and a mirror and a cup thing to hold pens etc for the locker.  She has the bottom corner locker in a section so she only has one person above her and two to one side of her.  She is admittedly a bit nervous.  Even though she has changed classes she hasn't done it with 5 mins between each class and independently.  Her past schools the classes all changed at the same time lined up going to the same class.  She hasn't had a different schedule or been let out with 5 mins to get to the next class that may be different from the majority of her class.

G had to take extra math lessons this summer because the previous 2 years allowed students to learn at their own pace and like children are wont to do she did the bare minimum and really didn't learn math.  According to the last school's documentation she passed 7th grade math but didn't learn the math like she should have.  I think this year will be hard but I think she needs hard for a bit.

She believes she will be a "youtuber" and I told her that if she made a million a year she could quit school at 16.  The key is she must make a million a year nothing less and it must be consistent.  She has uploaded videos but they aren't all of high quality and she seems to believe that "it'll be fine."  I don't have to worry about her quitting school at this point.

G is very much into Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Taylor Swift.  We found a new and used dvd/cd place and she has purchased used dvds and cds of the three singers.  She is so excited to get to hear the cds when we drive home the 3 days she has cross country.

G has kept 3 of her friends from the last school though she hasn't seen them all summer.  They stay on the phone or text.  One of the girls is from the first year and the other two friends were with her the last two years.  I hope she can keep two of the friendships and the other needs to end.  I have my reasons but it isn't a healthy situation.  One unhealthy situation exposed itself over the summer and that friend is no more.  My hope is this other unhealthy friend will go away as well.  I am praying she will meet many new and sweet girls this year at her new school that will be more than just school friends but will be much deeper and longer lasting than just school.

Work is going well or still very slow, but I have a job for that I am thankful.  Mom is not well obviously.  We never know what she understands, and she doesn't make sense.  I hate seeing her go down this path.  I don't help much because I am not there often.  G mowed the yard this summer.  I was able to get off work early by an hour by going in an hour early.  Gotta say, that was nice while it lasted.

For the time I was at my parents' I was able to at least clean the kitchen after dinner or be there for dad to run to the store.  A couple of nights I helped get mom ready for bed.  That was awkward for us both though I am the one who knew it to be awkward longer than the moment.  Dad continues to be primary caregiver though there is a lady who sits with her 4 or 5 days a week for 6 hours a day.

My mom doesn't like him to be out of her sight and when he is then comes back it is like he had been gone days or weeks.  She is so sweet and grateful.  Thankfully she hasn't had a mean personality change like some people with dementia have.  She is always surprised to see us and all summer couldn't remember that G was just in the living room.  And as she is surprised each time she sees us, she is also glad to see us which is a good feeling.  I don't know how much longer before she doesn't even know that we belong.  I am not looking forward to that day.

My weight has finally leveled out at around 142-147 lbs.  I am still every other day fasting except like on special occasions or when I am really hungry for something.  Then I might just fast across 1 meal rather than all day.

We did absolutely nothing this summer, no trips, no camps, no church trips, nothing.  G was fine with it.  We went to a couple of movies.  I worked and she hung out with my parents.  It worked I guess.  She has all but ditched youth group.  One reason is the school change is rather daunting so I decided I didn't want to push it.  Not an argument I am willing to keep having all year.  She doesn't have any girls her age that she has been friends with previously and for some reason she doesn't want to make friends with them.  This year is going to be difficult on many fronts and she will get Christian teaching at school plus Sunday School.  I am not going to force the youth group until she is ready.

For this school year my prayer for G is that God will grab her heart and she will see her need of Him.  That her goals will become the goals God has set for her.  I pray she is really finds her purpose in Him.  I also pray she finds her footing in algebra.

So that is all for this update, I think we will all survive the teen years on the one end and the dementia years on the other.


Friday, May 12, 2017

G's class project

German Prisoners of War in AR was a class project that was submitted to our state's historic preservation and AETN sponsored competition about historic places in AR.  This is the class video but the original project was for the kids to partner and make several videos.  Then the kids voted on which parts to use to create the one class video which won 2nd place in the competition.

Last night we attended the ceremony at the state capitol, 2.5 hours away.  I haven't seen G's actual video she made with her partner but her contribution to this class video is the printed words.

It was a late night and we got home very late.  They really did a great job and I was pleasantly surprised.  I am exhausted now and can't think straight right now.

We screened all the winners and student select picks at the ceremony.  They all were really good.  It was a fun evening and the whole class was able to attend.  Several of the parents got to go as well.

I am very proud for her and her classmates on their hard work.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

7th Grade Photo

Yes, her school uniform is still too big and we are stuck with it as she isn't going there in the fall and they are changing the logo which makes current uniforms obsolete.

But that being said, isn't her smile gorgeous?  She looks so grown and now as an official teenager she practically is.

So we had the last parent teacher child conference last night.  She brought her math grade up 2 years so she officially finished or will finish 7th grade math before the end of the year.

Her reading, however, is very far behind. She's just not interested in reading for information's sake.  I think on some level her teacher just blew smoke at me through most of as I am not sure how much he agreed with my assessment of her progress or was just agreeing for agreement sake.

He wished us well and said we will receive her work (for the 4th time of being asked) for the 2 years she was there.  I will be excited to have the records and objects she created.

So as for her birthday last Saturday, she had the best birthday ever.  I managed to get her a computer and we made brownies to share with my parents.  No birthday party due to lack of finances.  She understood after opening her computer.  I also gave her the movie fantastic beasts.  Not our favorite but in HP line so it's good.

We have 4 1/2 weeks of school left then summer.  She will be spending majority of time at my parent's.  Can't afford trips this year for a variety of reasons.

It's all good though.  She'll have a good summer working for my dad in the yard.  Until next time...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's Been Awhile

Happy Belated Easter- HE IS RISEN

Bible Study Fellowship has been in the book of John this year and the events of Jesus' life in this study happened to correspond to our Easter Holiday season which has been fun and convicting and uplifting all at once.

So G has 5 more weeks of school then summer break.  New school next year closer to where I work so she will be able to be involved in after school activities.  There is so much I want to say and document about the last two years at this current school, but until I know something and the school is out I cannot speak.

G looked lovely on Easter for Church.  She has become a pink lover, the color not the person.  She has also taken up ironing her clothing.  I had to buy a new iron because I lost the one I had so many years ago.  I have no idea where it went. Had to get a new ironing board cover because the dog chewed mine up, also a long time ago.  I refuse to purposely purchase clothes which need to be ironed for me anyway and G is mostly in t-shirts, but she enjoys doing it.  Here she is ironing her skirt for school.

G picked the shirt for Easter.  No dress this year but no shorts either as she will be 13 on Saturday and no longer a child, so I refuse to allow shorts to church anymore.  We attend a very casual church.

I was honored to be a featured reader at our Easter service.  It was a 3 minute long list of all the places Jesus is found in every book of the Bible.  I read perfectly in practice right before going into the sanctuary then messed it up near the top of the list.  I finished strong though so only (as far as I know) G and I heard it. : )

So G will be 13 on Saturday.  Tonight she was invited at the last minute to see the Sound of Music musical at the theater in big city.  I wanted to take her to that myself and couldn't really afford it so next best thing: last minute invite from BFF.  I will call it a bday gift from them though I am sure they don't remember it is G's bday.

She called me at like 4:41 (I was still at work) and asked if she could go with the friend, and I said yes.  I failed to tell her to change into something not t-shirt/short wear.  She hadn't had supper.  I didn't know who all was going other than at least the mom and the friend, and I didn't know what time it started or when they would be home.  After looking at the start time on the website it I discovered she won't be home until midnight or very close. Tomorrow morning is gonna be a bear.  

We aren't doing anything for her bday.  She wanted to go to the zoo, but we went  like 3 weekends in a row right before the membership expired.  I couldn't afford to renew it this year, or rather not yet.  I asked her if she wanted me to get her cupcakes or if she wanted to make brownies; she opted for brownies.  Her bday gift from me is so expensive (good deal with tax refund) that I couldn't justify a party; though, I did ask if she wanted a make-up party like Mary Kay or Beauty Control- she said no.  So quiet bday weekend.  But 13, where did the time go?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Another Post! Miraculous...

Not really but it does demonstrate that I have the computer to use.  G and a friend from school are going to a youth conference with my church so I took off work to pick them up from school to get them there.  I have a weekend to do and watch what I want when I want and read all I want without being disturbed.  WOOHOO!

I pray this weekend will give her a "mountain top" experience.  I pray she can be less distracted by her friend being there to actually engage her mind.  I pray it is a conference that affirms the Bible and doesn't shove some progressive leftist stuff in there.  Our denomination hasn't been known for traditional Biblical stances in the past.  Slowly, they are coming back to the Book.  So with that, G is going and bringing a friend.

She just doesn't feel comfortable in our church's youth group yet.  I am not inclined to attend my old home church where her friends go and want her to be in our youth group.  That being said, I want this weekend for her to realize God calls us into a community of believers to be participants not consumers.

On another note, my dad is cleaning out my mom's closet.  I am the beneficiary of those items.  Mom and I have always been able (mostly) to wear each other's outfits and shoes.  This is both morbid and nice.  I needed some new jeans and really didn't want to spend the money to get any.  My mom can no longer fiddle with buckles and buttons so her clothing needs have dramatically changed.  He is downsizing now so it won't be an issue later.  Most of her stuff will be going to a women's shelter in town.  And honestly I would rather get the clothes now rather than when the inevitable happens.  My dad is not a person with emotional ties to things but I am.

Anyhoo, that is the update for the week.  Have a better one and be blessed.