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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/10/2014 in all areas

  1. 128 points
    Bye, bye breast cancer. I had my last radiation treatment today. Let’s hope cancer’s butt is sufficiently kicked that we don’t meet again for many decades, if at all.
  2. 121 points
    Hard to believe our sweet little Alex is 4 months old already! The novelty has not worn off yet. Mr. Five still covers him with kisses sixteen million times a day. He is a very jolly baby, very content and easily entertained by watching the crew. He is all about shoving toys and burp cloths and anything else he can grab into his mouth and then giggling. I adore him so much and still sometimes can't believe I have him to cuddle all day long. Here are a couple of recent pics.
  3. 110 points
    Hi all, I have not been around much anymore, but I wanted to post an update because we had this looooong thread three years ago when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and how to find a new calling (not just something to keep me busy). This one: You all had so many interesting suggestions, and several commented that they were in a similar situation. So, I figure I owe you an update on how it all turned out: As I had posted towards the end of that thread, about 8 months after the initial post, I have gone back to writing. I am still working in my regular job as a physics professor, but have focused the remaining time on poetry. I have - completely accidentally - found community in a very unlikely place. Remember me talking about how this is a small town with few opportunities? I found a cluster of people in an even smaller town near here! I am regularly participating in live events, have gotten work into a few journals, and my first book has just been published through a small independent press! I feel like I have found a new direction and calling, something that defines me and goes beyond merely filling time. I want you to know that life post empty nest can be wonderful and fulfilling, and also that it took me several years of deep searching to figure out my path. I hope this is encouraging to those of you who are starting on that journey and are facing the end of the active parenting years. Best wishes to you all. ETA: Because people asked further down the thread: if you are interested in my book, please pm me. I won't post an advertising link in the thread.
  4. 95 points
    My 19 year old Aspie got the kennel job he interviewed for! He's there now filling out the paper work. He'll be working "close to full time" and his shifts start at 6:45 am. He woke up at 11am today, this will be interesting, lol. But good for him!!! So excited for him!
  5. 93 points
    My oldest dd is an aspie. She is the reason we homeschooled. I remember crying one day when she was in 8th grade after she asked me what a 'frak-T-on' was (she was finishing pre-algebra at the time-- she had a partial seizure and had completely forgotten what a fraction was). DH actually over heard the conversation and wondered if she would ever be able to support herself as an adult... DD is now 28 and has lived on her own (with a bit of parental support) for the past few years. Today she found out that she is now the official studio manager at the photography studio she has been working at since she graduated college (she did that with honors!). This is her DREAM JOB. She will be 100% financially independent-- has insurance benefits too! I'm so proud of her!!!
  6. 87 points
    I got to spend my morning today with a WTM member who lives not very far from me. She helped me restore order to my homeschool room. She is also terrific company! She didn’t even make fun of my disembodied manequin heads for displaying knitted baby hats, although I think she did agree they are more pleasant and less Stephen King when they actually have a knitted hat on. She didn’t criticize me for having 900 colored pencils and a lifetime supply of Sharpies. Everyone here should be so lucky as to get to know a Hiver IRL. I know she would not seek accolades, but I just want to thank @Garga publically. She’s a gem!
  7. 86 points
    ...and I'm only telling everyone I ever met and all their friends and family keep it to yourself. Local-to-Kirkland/Bellevue WA-Peeps--You are invited if you would like to come! This is my first exhibit, and Windermere Real Estate in Kirkland is my sponsor. I'm excited and a bit of a nervous wreck. That watery first photo is my "signature" photo--it's called Water Colors and I use it on all my marketing materials. Anyway, I'm pretty excited. I told my dh I am Miss June and expect a tiara and a sash. :0) (Mercifully for all, there will be no bathing suit competition.) There are twenty wall-size photos that will hang in their office for 2 months. I'm hoping a few will sell. :0). I've already sold one... Yay! If you want to see the full publicity, it is on Facebook, Windermere Real Estate Kirkland (They also go by "We Are Kirkland" as their marketing phrase.) Anyway, that's my news. :0) ETA: BUT please don't use your phones--the phone app is not working right at the moment. It WILL--trust me--I've got that look in my eye. This info also added in update 5/22/18 at about 4:40pm.
  8. 83 points
    We have a new little DD! Labor was fast and my blood pressure spiked but then dropped which made for some kinda hairy moments but we are both doing well and I'm so happy to not be pregnant anymore! Woo hoo! @RootAnn my age made it harder for me to push as effectively I think but that's all 😉
  9. 82 points
    This could mean anything, right? In this case it was coming from DS5. DS5 is my youngest. He has, at minimum, a speech delay. He may or may not qualify for an ASD diagnosis. DD7 has one, but she barely qualifies and her speech delay was the biggest factor. He is much less delayed, in all areas than she ever has been, so I just don't know where he would fall. I feel like if I pushed FOR it he would qualify, if I pushed AGAINST it, he would not qualify. Regardless, I am well aware of his strengths and weeknesses and more. Today, he surprised me. Out of the blue, after he was totally ready for bed, jammies, teeth brushed, etc etc. He walked into the front room and said "Mommy, Daddy, I have somfing to tell you. Thank you. Thank you for helping me." Then, he came to me, climbed in my lap and said "Fank you. Fank you for helping me roller skate. I wuv you." And he hugged me and "smackered" me on the cheek. THEN, he got down, went to DH and crawled into his lap and said "Fank you, for helping me protect my sisters." Then, he got down and finished his chores. UM, HUH? I am like blubbering at this point lol. We continued with nighttime chores and bed time routine. THEN, while he was waiting for the toilet to be free for the "before bed, EVERYBODY go pee!" He climbed back into my lap and said "Fank you for being there for me." Like literally actually his words. I have no idea where these thank yous came from. So I will take them as sincere. They are just so far more than I ever expected out of my 5 yr old.
  10. 82 points
    Thank you all so much for the hugs and commiseration. He's fine. He turned up right about the same time the acquaintance pulled into our driveway to deliver the apartment keys to my husband. I got a message from his girlfriend about two minutes before that telling me she had finally heard from him. Apparently, he updated his work schedule on his phone, but had not hit sync. He actually had his first shift at the new second job this evening, which ran later than expected. He didn't get around to depositing the check, because there was a long wait when he stopped at the walk-in clinic to do his drug testing for the new second job. As predicted, his phone battery died while he was busy at the new second job, and he didn't even realize how late things were running, because he wasn't checking his phone. Unfortunately, my husband's first reaction when our son came in was to be angry, which didn't land well on son who was already tired and probably embarrassed and stressed. So I have spent the last two hours trying to talk him down. This leaves me with about four and a half hours to sleep . . . assuming I can ignore the pain and tightness in my chest long enough to doze off. But, big picture, my son is safe and mostly okay. We spent a couple of hours of quality time discussing intense but worthwhile issues. And he has promised to try and be more careful about keeping his phone charged and his calendar synced.
  11. 80 points
    Emma turned one month old yesterday and I've been meaning to share a photo, but I had exceeded my attachment size limit and only got around to deleting some old photos today. It worked out because dss just sent us this picture last night. We're a boy-heavy family with 2 sons and 2 grandsons, so we're all pretty excited to finally have a girl join the crew. She'll be the last grandchild until ds 21 has kids (if he does), and we hope that won't be any time soon! Emma has Down Syndrome. Fortunately thanks to positive changes, she'll have much better opportunities in life than if she was born even as recently as 10 or 20 years ago.
  12. 76 points
    I was considering quitting but was convinced otherwise because many of you made me realize what a perfect situation I have in my job. Well, I kept it (of course) and started putting almost all of my paychecks into a separate savings account. I now have $10,000 which is enough money to pay off DH's car ???. So I am paying it off ❤️
  13. 71 points
    If you remember I started the thread saying I was considering doing childcare to bring in extra money. Well, I wound up responding to a Craigslist ad about an 88 year-old man that needs help with cleaning and food prep 3 days a week and I got the job. This is a much better situation for my family and I am very happy with it. Thank you for your ideas, encouragement and prayers.
  14. 71 points
    DS8 has a placement!! For those who don’t know, DS8 is on the spectrum with some associated behavioral challenges. He’s been in a self contained, small classroom all along and done fairly well. This last year his teacher, psychologist and counselor all left over Thanksgiving break. This was deeply traumatic for him and it didn’t help the new teacher didn’t understand or know what to do with behavioral kids. The school has eliminated all but one self contained classroom so there was nowhere else for him to go. He’s been on homebound since February and is very, very lonely. I tried to make inroads in the homeschooling community, but it’s not very inclusive here. It was clear they weren’t overly welcoming toward a SN kid who flaps his hands and says things that sound mouthy and disrespectful(though it’s just his awkward way of communicating) and occasionally refuses to do anything. Poor kid of mine had struggled so much the last few months—but we have a new class in a school about 40 minutes away. We went and visited and it’s absolutely perfect for him. I have such complete peace and know it’s a great fit. He’s excited about going too. In other news, I’m packing three little kids in my car and going to Washington DC for a week. Two of my kids, including DS8, are in the middle of an obsession with American history, so I’m making the most of it. Wish me luck.
  15. 69 points
    Update! I had an ultrasound today and at 8 weeks they saw the flutter of a heartbeat so we are cautiously optimistic it will stick! ❤
  16. 69 points
    Caden is 3 today!!! He is a happy, healthy, absolute joy of a three year old. He’s showing some global delays, but that’s unsurprising considering his traumatic pregnancy and birth. Oh, and he’s really the cutest thing ever.
  17. 68 points
  18. 68 points
    I have been sitting on this news since June, unable to announce on social media (though I'm terrible at secrets and some of you know, and I've been dropping hints all over the place)--We are moving to Jerusalem in October! Back in March, as I did share, my husband was sent an email detailing an available position as Dean of St. George's College in Jerusalem. He interviewed in late May but, although one of two candidates, did not get the job. We were saddened and a little stunned, because so much about it seemed to be right, but I was also a bit relieved. My husband told me he had a feeling things were not "finished," and just to stay tuned. He said he had a picture in his mind of a ball on a pool table, aimed for one pocket, missing, and rolling allllll the way down to the corner pocket and going in. lol We are big on metaphors and such here. That's exactly what happened. 2 weeks after the rejection for the Dean's job, the Archbishop sent an email to my husband offering him the position of Chaplain to the Archbishop. It is a job on the cathedral/clergy side of things instead of the academic side. (The cathedral close houses the church, the college and the accomodations for the pilgrims.) He accepted, and we are currently getting ready. We fly out on the 15th. It should be interesting! My feelings are mixed, but I do feel this is right. Thanks for letting me share!
  19. 67 points
    “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison
  20. 67 points
    When I was into my homeschooling journey people told me over and over "You need another interest, you can't make your kids your whole life, what will you do when they are grown? How will you let them go after centering your whole life around them??" Years after homeschooling is over the answer is easy. Grandchildren. Grown children. I am blessed enough that our three boys live within 2 minutes or 20 minutes down the road, and our two daughters 90 minutes away. My "other interests" are things that include the kids. Horses, gardening, living on a farm. We have big family dinners once or twice a week for anyone who can make it. I have the grandkids as often as possible. I do things for the grown kids when they need me, whether it's help finding a lost kitty or cooking dinner for 20 people because you lost a poker game. I'm not trying to brag on myself, I just want to encourage young moms who center their lives around their family. Keep it up girls. There's nothing better. Relax and enjoy.
  21. 67 points
    Sharing because I think sometimes the difficult in-laws get more than their share of radio time 😄 Thanksgiving wasn't easy this year. My dh's depression has been in a flare up all month and he crashed completely the day before Thanksgiving. Not a holiday triggered thing, just the way the timing worked out this year. Thanksgiving morning it became clear to me that I wasn't going to be able to get him out of bed let alone to his family's Thanksgiving gathering (unfortunate as he always perks up around them). I didn't feel it was safe to leave him alone but I also didn't want my kids to miss Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I contacted my sister in law who was hosting and also dh's dad and told them what the situation was. My father in law drove the hour to our house so he could sit with dh and the kids and I could go to the dinner. SiL told me just come, don't worry about the dishes we were supposed to bring (that weren't ready). We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, lots of family, kids enjoyed time with their cousins. Pie was supposed to be at 7:00 but I wanted to get back to bring food to FiL and dh and see how he was doing so they served pie early to just my family and sent us home with extras. I'm always so sad when I read about hard to get along with in-laws, I wish I could share mine with everyone.
  22. 66 points
    I've been here a long time, and today, I just feel like calling out another long-time poster, Lori D. I go on a lot of the boards, but esp college and chat now. I frequently see these truly helpful, amazing posts by Lori D. She gives incredible lists of literature, movies and even games, tailored to people's requests for their children. She has a scholarship list and a list of schools that give 100% merit aid. She is, quite simply, one of the most useful sources of homeschooling info, and beyond. So I wanted to say, THANK YOU, LORI D, for all you do for us boardies. You bring light and cheer, information and peace, and you are just a wonderfully supportive member of this very special community.
  23. 66 points
    Your wish is my command! ? Initial pathology is very good. For those who like the technical details: Stage 1, Grade 1, ER+ and PR+, HER2-. For the layman: early, slow-growing, most common profile, 95% remission outlook. Still on the docket: sentinal lymph biopsy, MRI, genetic workup. Of these, the genetic workup is the slowest report and treatment partially hinges on that. That is a two-week-wait and it hasn’t been done yet. IF those workups don’t reveal unpleasant surprises, I can skate out of this with a lumpectomy and radiation. I’m hoping for this outcome; I do not want to go double mastectomy and reconstruction route unless the baddies lurking in my genes strongly suggest that route. Lots of appointments coming up! Feeling positive though and and SO relieved to hear the “slow-growing” and “early” parts of this report.
  24. 64 points
    Rant ahead. I am seeing this question every single day from parents of 6 and 7 year olds, and I'm fully convinced that at least half of those kids would be way happier in a classroom. I know it's inside and too many hours. But really. A child should have SOMEONE in their world who is directly interested in helping them learn. Now if you don't think formal learning is important at a young age-- I can respect that. But to force a child to do online classes, while aiming for LOW PRICE rather than quality, stinks. To me. I have a learning disabled kid and I get that school is not a great place for everyone. If y Take one hour out of your day to educate your child!! I'm willing to hear other views. For the most part, i just feel REALLY sorry for kids when I see these notes over and over.
  25. 63 points
    Meet the newest hive member! She just missed having a 4th of July birthday by a few hours. She’s a little chunk at over 8 pounds!
  26. 62 points
    So, I have news!!!! (recap was I have friends, but no Catholic friends, and really no Christian friends, and my kids have no Christian friends, and I'd like to meet some, but the mom's group at Church said I couldn't bring the kids with me because they were too old) Anyway, I posted on a Florida Catholic Homeschool facebook with a question about a particular umbrella school and in one of the comments someone mentioned something their pastor said on Sunday. And MY pastor said that too, so I asked and yes, she goes to my parish. And then another mom piped up and said she does too. And then one of them messaged me and they have a small, informal group of 7 homeschool families that meet during the school year!!! And I am welcome to join. In fact, the mom that messaged me has kids exactly the ages of my two middle kids, and had just asked one of our priests to pray that she'd find more Catholic homeschool families and I posted the next day. ?
  27. 62 points
    Today I was blessed by a random act of kindness from two strangers. I had been shopping at Salvation Army (clothes for DD) and had seen a table that I thought would be just right for my husband's new postdoc who still does not have any furniture in his apartment. So I bought the table, but it did not quite fit into the trunk of my car (hatchback). Two gentlemen just happened to be there; one got a wrench out of his pocket, the other got one from his car, and they helped me remove the table legs, which took quite a while, and load the table into my car. This is not the first time random people have been nice to me, especially in this town. I like to think that most people are actually kind - it's more fun to live in a world like that. It's easy to lose sight of that, and I am happy these friendly and helpful strangers reminded me.
  28. 61 points
    Dh had to take a placement test for college. He did horrible in school and only took a few classes in college, and pretty much failed all of those too. He was bright but a late bloomer(and young for his grade), watching my son I think he is bright w/ some difficulties with writing. His parents never expected much or encouraged, so he's had this stuck in his head that he's not very smart. Well, he needed to place into Calculus- he only ever took Algebra 25 yrs ago, he scored into Trig, just 8 points shy of a score high enough for Calc. His score on Reading and math were high enough to get him a request to join the Honor's program. He totally bombed his writing, like his son that is his weakest subject and he didn't realize he would have to write an essay(the practice test was multiple choice) and totally messed up. So, I worked with him and he wrote essay after essay and retook the test today and made a 7 out of 8! Now, he just has to retake the math portion of the test to get into Calculus, which I have no doubt he will be able to do easily. He's so proud and I'm so happy for him to get some external validation. This is a huge step for him to have the guts to go back to school, to finally have the courage and confidence- I think his dad's passing was an impetus that life is short, he should just go for it. Who knows where this will lead but I think this a great thing for him and even better that his job is paying for nearly all of it (and he should get aid for the remainder).
  29. 60 points
    I love being a grandmother. It's totally living up to the hype and she couldn't be more perfect. This picture shows her on her quilt I made for her. I'm a very slow hand quilter so it took me over 200 hours just to hand stitch swirling hearts.
  30. 60 points
    I think people have the right to do as they want, but they don’t have the right to expect emergency personnel to risk their own lives to come save them when they choose to ignore mandatory evacuation orders.
  31. 59 points
    Sharing some of my excitement and a bit of my anxiety as I leave tomorrow with REI adventures for Kathmandu for 3 weeks including travel time to trek Everest Base Camp with a group of 8 others. Reaching 50 and Empty Nest is excitedly sending me out the door to see what life has to offer me and what I have to offer it:) Updates and pictures upon safe return-Lord willing! My adventure was incredible. I found my stillness (in yoga-ese) but more importantly God revealed Himself to me every step of the way as in Psalm 46:10-Be still and know that I am God. The Psalms came alive to me in so many aspects of my 19 day sabbath/sabbatical and I am definitely restored and revived. I have experienced much and have much to share, but mostly I was so encouraged by the sweet and complete care and love of the Sherpa people and the peace and contentment in the simplest of lifestyles. The joy of s hot water bottle in my sleeping bag when all my layers (3-4) of wool and fleece were still not enough. The assistance to reach Base Camp and then to achieve 18,400 feet for amazing views of Everest and the surrounding peaks. The refreshing rest of 10 hours of sleep a night and lots of food after a day of vigorous activity. Not showering for 14 days and very primitive facilities:) The sweet jingle of Yak bells to lull me into contentment and bliss and of course the awesomeness of God's majestic power and beauty. I only have some pictures to share as I was to absorbed in soaking up the experience than in recording it, but others in my group took copious amounts of pictures and will be sharing them and then I can share them with you-if desired. God has given me the vision of a children's book from the perspective of a Yak as he conquers Everest and more importantly fear. I am excited to have a creative work to share my experience-hoping other's hearts will be blessed and graced the way mine was. Always attempting to be featured in a yoga calendar someday😊 IMG_3292.HEIC IMG_3292 2.HEIC
  32. 58 points
    Last week my oldest ds's college called my dh and invited us to an awards ceremony at the school. They told him that ds would be receiving some kind of award but didn't tell dh what when he asked. I decided to drive the two hours and go to the ceremony and take ds out to dinner as we have not seen him this semester. The awards ceremony was mostly for graduating seniors and looking at the program we couldn't figure out what ds (a junior) would even be up for. Turns out they award a few scholarships to upcoming seniors that were not listed in the program. My ds won two of the four scholarships awarded! The first he was aware existed because he applied and interviewed for it. It was an endowed scholarship funded by the alumni association of the accounting department of the school. It is substantial and the letter he got explained that the alumni association stipulates the award be stacked and not reduce any other offers from the school. The other scholarship he didn't even know about and did not apply for. It was one of two endowed awards given to rising seniors who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom and in contributing to life on campus and in the community. He doesn't even know how much it is, but it seemed like a big deal! He has gotten smaller endowed scholarships from the school in the past without any notification or fanfare. They just showed up in his account. So, the assumption is this is substantial as well. He is anxious to get over to financial aid this morning and find out the details. Ds has paid for his own school. He got a good financial deal going in, then won a large scholarship from my dh's employer that the college allowed him to stack without reducing their aid. He has worked long hours at miserable jobs in the summers and taken a few loans (not even to the max of the federal limits) and taken pride in carrying the load of financing his education. He has scrimped and saved and lived in the oldest junkiest dorm to save money. Now, it looks like he has a full ride for his senior year. Tuition, housing, etc. everything should be covered. I am just so happy for him to get this sweet unexpected reward to go into his senior year for free. He already has a professional internship and a side hustle lined up for summer so he will make a good chunk of money and for once actually be able to keep it and not pay for his school. He has worked so hard and with such a great attitude. I am just so proud of him and happy for him. Ds introduced me to the husband/wife couple that presented the award. They are both accounting alumni and have worked in the "big four" accounting firms and are active in giving back to the school. The told me they are already working on getting him lined up for jobs and they both told me that he is graduating into a powerful alumni network and will always have a job. It was an obvious point of pride to them that they claim 100% job placement for accounting grads. My ds has already been to multiple recruiting events for one of the big four firms as well as smaller firms and banks in the city. Such a nice night for ds. He is bright and hard working but he isn't ever the smartest kid anywhere. He has never had a 4.0 and isn't even the top of his accounting class in GPA. But he works hard and is humble and a good leader. He's just a good kid. He could have gone to higher ranked schools or schools with more amenities but he went to tiny Oglethorpe University in Atlanta with a 76% admission rate. People in Atlanta usually have not even heard of it. LOL. He got a fantastic value, has had a nice experience, and it looks like he will actually have a job in the end. Another kid not ruined by homeschooling!
  33. 58 points
    Ds22 got his drivers license today. A huge step towards independence. He asked me to drive home though because he was still feeling anxious. 🙂
  34. 57 points
    Dh and I have spent most of yesterday and likely today rearranging and getting rid of crap. I’ve been slowly doing it all year but hitting it hard this weekend. Moving beds and furniture and going through every bit of clothing and toys and STUFF. Ugh. It’s frikken everywhere. Five black trash bags of boys clothing that isn’t used for whatever many reasons. If my youngest boy outgrew it, I’m no longer keeping it for any next kid. Same for baby girl. 42 pairs of boys shoes donated. Probably double those trash bags in stuff thrown away. Furniture I don’t want around anymore. I’m just tired of all the stuff that needs cleaned or put back or doesn’t quite work right so has that not really a big deal but always a minor irritation to deal with stuff. I’m not selling much, I just want it gone. So donations. A few things I might sell on FB. The children are disgruntled but not complaining too much. Dh is none too happy since he is tearing down beds and rearranging them in different rooms according to my requests. But whatever. It’s the first thing he’s done around the house in years bc normally I do literally everything house and kids and errand related. I’m going minimalist. Not because I care about being minimalist but because I’m just tired of dealing with it all and frankly I’d rather spend the money on a vacation. And because while I hope I live at least another 50 years, reality is I probably won’t and I for sure won’t take all this crap with me for most of it. It’s just stuff. It’s not important to me so I don’t want to spend energy and money and time on it. Anyone else spending this week jump starting new year goals and plans?
  35. 57 points
    It is so much fun! I had a lovely lunch today with @Penguin. She gets around and has met with other boardies on other continents, but I am privileged to have her living practically in my back yard. 😊 So here we are together today.
  36. 57 points
    Thanks to all for your support over the years. I just popped back in to answer a question on the chat board. While I'm here: Hobbes got into his first choice university. It was a bit of a drama because his results were not good enough to study English and French (his school was pretty rubbish at foreign languages) so he had to decide whether to try to go to another university for English/French or drop the French and go to his first choice. He did the latter and they let him in. I'm really happy - I don't think he has a good foundation in French and it would have been a struggle. He's been at university for a few weeks and seems to be doing well.
  37. 56 points
    I got an email from Greta this week...she's been battling an infection, which is difficult when you are already undergoing cancer treatments, so recovery is slow and energy is low. Still, I sense strength through fatigue. She was moved to know of so many messages and of the continued caring people have for her. :0)
  38. 55 points
    December 2018 The annual XXXXXXX Family Christmas letter……one I wasn’t sure I was going to write this year. Christmas letters are where you are supposed to showcase all of the wonderful things in your past year, brag on the kids, etc. To be honest, 2018 was a very tough year for our family. In September 2017 Sandy (now Ex H mom) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Due to her kidney transplant they could not treat the cancer and she was given 6-9 months to live. January started with her health failing and in early Feb I helped her move to a care facility in town. The end of February I got a call at work telling me that I had 45 minutes to bring (now ex husband) in to the local sheriffs department as there were federal warrants for his arrest. After he was transferred to custody of the federal marshals I learned that he was being charged with 4 federal felony counts of manufacture and possession of child pornography. This, of course, devastated the kids and turned our lives upside down. In April Sandy passed away peacefully and we had a beautiful funeral service honoring her life and faith. In her journal she had written, “When people think of me, remember my smile and my love for Jesus and my family”. While missing her greatly, we try to do just that. XXXX has remained in federal custody and later in the spring state charges of child molestation were added to the case. In August our divorce was finalized. After several postponements, in September his case was heard by a jury in federal court. Sadly the evidence was overwhelming and he was convicted on all 4 federal counts. Due to those convictions the local charges were dropped. In January he will be sentenced and faces up to 70 years in federal custody. The kids and I have been through a lot of changes this past year. We sold the horses in the spring, and then over the summer more and more stuff culminating with the selling of our home in October and an auction to sell off XXXX’s tools and the rest of our belongings. In mid October we moved into a small 3 bedroom ranch in a small subdivision closer to town (and the beach 🙂 ) where the bus system can pick up the kids and help ease the burden of transportation for me. I had been working 1-3 days a week as a substitute teacher for severely multiply impaired students. I have now increased my hours and am working nearly full time along with learning to be a single parent and managing the needs (and endless paperwork) for the kids. I still enjoy walking/hiking and kayaking with friends when I can get a few moments away. 30DS is still working 2 days a week in the pizza shop. He washes dishes, cleans, takes out the trash, and jokes around with co-workers. He bought a drone and has high hopes of creating videos for you all to see. 23DD is sill in school full time. She volunteers as Dominos pizza, Chow Hound, and the local humane society. She LOVES the freedom the transit bus provides and often spends her Saturdays riding around town from store to store. 22dd is now working at Walmart and loving her new job. She can ride the Harbor Transit bus back and forth which is great. She and Alex are now engaged and planning a fall 2019 wedding. Throughout the past year, my friends have really demonstrated what the body of Christ is to look like. They all have different gifts but have ministered to me and my family in many ways.....from meals to transportation for the kids, sitting (or walking) with me while the tears flowed to giving me a much needed whap to do the next (hard) thing, from providing a place of refuge for the kids and I when we needed to get away to fixing the lights on the wave runner trailer so Louis didn’t have to lose out on yet another thing, from helping us move and do the final cleaning of the old house to providing wise counsel from experience. THANKS Still, we have hope and a future. The Lord has been with us through it all. We were blessed with a beautiful home that meets our needs. We have jobs that meet our financial needs. We have health. We have a huge support network of friends and family. We have a new year ahead of us. Because of the Lord’s Great love we are not consumed, For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness………..Lamentations 3:22-23 We covet your prayers as we move into 2019 and adjust to our new normal. If you are going through a tough time and life doesn’t seems fair, check out this book. It’s not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Chose by Melanie Dale. It is a real, raw, encouraging book that is even laugh out loud funny at times. I have read it several times over the past year and each time find new encouragement and hope.
  39. 55 points
  40. 55 points
    So, in another thread, I babbled about fulfilling one of my personal goals for the year (having a couple of pieces of visual art I made accepted for an exhibition happening this weekend). Meanwhile, my daughter -- who has been juggling multiple part-time jobs since moving to Brooklyn almost four years ago in order to (more or less) make her rent and (come close to) paying (most of) her bills -- interviewed for a full-time job last week. Within just a couple of days, she got a message l(etting her know that they had gone with another candidate, but wanted her to come in and interview for a different, higher-level position doing the thing she had said during the first interview that she'd like to eventually grow into doing. She did the second interview on Thursday and got a call that same afternoon telling her she would receive an offer letter e-mail by close of business today. She received the official offer a couple of hours ago, and it involves almost doubling the combined income she has managed to scrape together in each of the previous few years, medical, dental and unlimited paid time off. They also have flexible hours and have already promised they will accommodate her schedule when she begins grad school this fall. It's not exactly the kind of work she hopes to do in the long term, but it has her working for a company that does work she appreciates, with people she likes and admires, and the salary and schedule should make the next three years of part-time school a whole lot more manageable and comfortable for her. It's a fantastic surprise, and I'm so grateful and happy for her I could just cry.
  41. 54 points
    So my CA ID expired on my birthday at the beginning of July. CA is attempting to align its standards with TSA standards by 2020, so you can either renew the easy way & go in to the DMV with your old ID and get a new one that will not be TSA compliant by 2020, or you can renew the hard way and go in to the DMV with a stack of documents that ID you as you and get what is called a REAL CA ID. I decided to get a REAL CA ID, so I looked at the list and gathered my birth certificate, my SS card, a bill in my name that shows my current address (this was difficult,) my expires in 3 days old ID & off to the DMV I went. Apparently if you are a married woman you can not get a REAL CA ID without a certified copy of your marriage license even if you didn't change your last name. After 3 hours at the DMV I got to go home. At home I couldn't find a copy of my marriage license anywhere. Not in the fire safe with the other documents or the file cabinet with the copies. I went online to the website of the county recorder's office, I downloaded the official form, took it to a notary to be notarized (did you know your license is expired, Ma'am?) and sent it off with a check and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Three weeks later I received (in my self-addressed stamped envelope) a letter which explained that no record of my marriage or my having applied for a marriage license could be found in the year that I claimed to have been married. They would be keeping my payment because they tried. Because I indicated that I had been married in a different county, perhaps I should try that county. I went to a different website for a different county recorder's office, downloaded the form, took it to the notary who looked at me with suspicion. Why did I need another copy of a marriage license from a different county? Why am I trying to get multiple marriage licenses with an expired ID? Again with the self-addressed stamped envelope and check payment. 5 weeks later I received a call from that county because they also have no record of my marriage. The lovely person I spoke to is someone with whom I attended high school. She informed me that she looked in the month before and after the date I put on the form, but she just couldn't find it. She told me she found all 3 of my sister's (not sisters') marriage licenses, but not mine, which was so strange because she thinks that her cousin was at my wedding, or at least at the reception. She remembers that I got married to that boy I was dating in high school, right? The one on the football team? And am I still married to him? She asked me who was responsible for turning in the paperwork after I got married. I told her it was my mom. She told me I should ask her if she hand carried it to the recorder's office in the county where I got married or if she mailed it to the county where I was living at the time. I told her that would be difficult because my mom is deceased. She blessed my heart and let me know that the county would be keeping my check because the payment is for the search and by golly she had searched. I was at a loss. I started having dreams where my Dad called me to say, "So we finally moved the furniture out of the bedroom and you'll never guess what we found in a big white envelope behind your mom's nightstand!" Maybe I wasn't even married. Maybe these past 28 years of "married filing jointly" taxes have been a lie. What now? Should Dh & I have a re-commitment ceremony? I think I have seen this sitcom. Four months after my ID expired, I received a letter from the county I started with, saying a clerical error in the spelling of my married last name at the time of the search caused my record to not come up on the computer, but now it has been found and if I would like to submit another notarized form and payment I can get a copy. Maybe I will find a different notary..... Amber in SJ
  42. 53 points
    Y'all. I'll never be able to look my mailman in the eyes again. If you read the stunt panty thread, you'll remember I ordered several of which finally arrived today (a month later, courtesy China post). Honestly, I'd forgotten about it. So the (very tiny) package arrived today. Like literally a 6x6 square envelope. You can feel there's not much substance in there. And it required a SIGNATURE! And not realizing what it was, I was like "what is this?" and Mr. Postman said " says women's pajamas." Oh...ooooooohhh. So I sign. I get the tiny package inside, and no, what the package *actually* says on the customs line is "women's SEXY pajamas!" OMG, hahaha. With that teensy package, and I'm a bigger gal, haha. How deliciously awkward. 😄 I'm still giggling.
  43. 53 points
    I posted awhile back about my decisions to stop being a grumpy Christmas lady. Umm. Something weird is happening. I bought a tree the Monday after Thanksgiving. In the past, I'd always waited because we do a real tree and that's a long time to keep it alive. That meant that in the two weeks before Christmas, when we have 2 birthdays, I was also trying to shop, celebrate birthdays, and buy and decorate a tree. So I thought if I get it done early, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. So I bought the tree and put it up in the sun room (this makes me happy because it's not hogging up major space in the corner of my living room. ) We took our time decorating the tree. It's a big tree and it took 3 days to finish but that's okay. We worked a little at a time. I found Christmas music that I didn't hate before Thanksgiving. This is big. It includes lots of Pentatonix, and Piano guys. Instrumental is good. I also prefer Christmas music about the religious aspects over other more cultural celebrations. No I do not want to Rock around the Christmas tree, nor do I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. I figured out several nice gifts for my dh. I also found some simple gifts for my dad and brother. Each year, I stress out looking for the PERFECT gift when I just need to find something nice that says I thought of you. My kids are NOT IN THE HANDBELL CHOIR this year. I had no idea how running back and forth to rehearsals and performances was sapping my joy. I also declined to participate in our church Christmas program. The last few months have had some major stressors (not related to holidays) and I just don't have the energy for it. All that to say, I'm not dreading the holidays. At least not entirely. Yes, there are still aspects that I won't enjoy, but I'm digging deep to find joy in some stuff. So yesterday, it was icy and cold since we got some freezing rain. We were looking out the window at the ice and it began snowing, large fluffy flakes. I said. "Oh look! Snow. How pretty!" My dd looked at me and I clapped a hand over my mouth. I said. "What just came out of my mouth!" Dd said "You don't sound like yourself. What in the world? What's the matter with you?" So my Joyful Christmas Project is doing something. Strange things are happening around here.
  44. 53 points
    My sister completed a triathlon today. Her first. She places something like 275 out of 315. My BIL has a condition called polycyththemia. Basically, too many red blood cells. His is a rare form related to cancer that, as I understand it, has no cure, but can be chronically managed with treatments and healthy living (Basically, blood draws as needed and meds for vitamin deficincies as a basic healthy diet that includes healthy foods, little to no alkie and no smoking...) BIL was a smoker. It took years after he was diagnosed for her to get him to quit smoking. Beyond that, she started a garden. My mother and I have been gardening for years now, we have been encouraging her to do so but only in the last few years has she started. Before the diagnosis........she would NEVER garden. Now that he's stopped smoking....she's getting more and more into walking/running activities. And although it's good for her, the reality is that he WON'T exercise for himself. At all. BUT, she asked him to help her train for this triathlon. And he did. I could share all sorts of stories about "honest bob's personal training' and 'eagle attacks' and a bunch of other inside jokes. BUT...all those inside jokes aside, the ultimate result is that he was walking with her, biking with her, to "help her train" And the end result is, he is healthier. His condition requires less treatment. She completed the triathlon. He might have added another year or two or five.
  45. 52 points
    ...and there was a "+" sign. I am not ready to tell anybody in real life about this (other than DH obviously) and even if I did I wouldn't get the info I need because I know precisely one person ever who has had a baby after age 45. We definitely weren't trying to get pregnant, but I figured my fertility is not what it used to be and I'm getting to the age where I am just. so. over. condoms. and so we weren't exactly being careful either. I am so so so excited ? and also so so so terrified ? I know some of you have been in this situation, so please tell me this baby will keep me young, not make me old!!! ETA: Oh yeah, and oldest DS starts college tomorrow
  46. 52 points
    Last night, I helped ds24 pack up his car for his cross-country move. This morning, we said our good-byes and wished him well as he sets off for his grown up adventures ... entering his PhD program at UConn! It is has been a journey. It took 2 years to find a program that would take him. In that time, though, he was able to work, buy a car, and leave with money in the bank so he'll be able to buy a bed and necessary furniture. He is actually going to be a grown up. I'll be booking plane tickets to see him for his birthday in October.
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