Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Birthday DrakeE boy!

Blowing out the candles on the birthday brownies...

Wow! another DS! =0)
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ripping them open...

Happy Birthday!!

Can you believe it? Drake is 11! How amazing to think that 11 years ago yesterday, I was holding you in my arms and becoming a Mom for the first time. *Sniff* It's all enough to make any Mom be a little nostalgic..
I know for a fact that I have nothing but preteens (minus Seth) in my house because all Drake asked for for his birthday was a Nintendo DS, Pokemon Heart Gold edition, The new Super Mario Bros. for see a pattern here, right? =0) Well, he got everything including some needed clothes and a Mario Bros. DVD and a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark...he was very excited! What Mom loves is that Drake never asks for more than just a few things for his birthday, not material minded in any way.=0) He requested brownies instead of birthday cake and, Mom obliged.=0) Auntie Cara sent money for another DS game and we'll meet up with both sets of Grandparents on Friday for lunch to celebrate the rest of the way!=0)
Happy Birthday DrakeE boy, Mom and Lee and Adree and Seth love you so very much! =0)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trippin' North...=0)

The kids in Cara's neighborhood =0)
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Not my best picture, but look at the scenery! =0)

Adree, Breah, and Aftyn =0)

This is one of the best parts about being an older cousin!

Look at that face! =0)

Well I must say, that one of the advantages to being jobless for the definitely being able to go visit my sis when I want!=0) The kids and I went to stay with Cara, Nathan and family for the weekend and we got to see that cute baby of course!=0) It's fun to get to go someplace different for a couple of days and I have been cooped up here for far too long! Cara and Nathan have adorable kids and it's always fun to get to go see them in person! Let me tell you, I also appreciate the fact that someone else can have the babies, so I get to hold them.=0) Many apologies Sissy on posting the first family pic, I couldn't help's so cute! =0)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pics of the crew...

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The kids and I took a little adventure (alright so it was just a couple blocks away) and I took some pictures of them! I'll say it 'cuz it is so true...I feel so blessed to be part of such spectacular scenery on a daily basis! =0) Also, can you believe how big the kids are getting? It's crazy! I swear I just blinked and they all grew up to my shoulder (well, except Sethee!) and it won't be long and I'm sure I'll be looking up at Drake instead! Wow!=0)
The unemployment thing has been great...but, I seem to not be able to find the time to get everything I want to get accomplished done...for whatever reason that is...ha!=0) You just get used to only having a certain amount of time to accomplish the bare minimum of tasks and just cram it all in, I guess! Oh well, I'll probably just get into a groove and then have to go back to work...I'm going to try to enjoy it as much as possible for now though. =0) Lee seems to enjoy having his laundry done and dinner made most of the, I guess I'll keep it up! The kids love Mom picking them up from school on a daily basis, I notice their rooms sure get messy faster with them home more...
A quick shout out to my Sissy who is the big 30 today! Hey, it was bound to happen right? I for one enjoy telling people how old I am and getting unbelieving looks from use it to your advantage! And I'll steal this from Mom for a moment..."You'll love it when you're my age!"...Hmmm...perhaps we will...=0)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Listen closely, I'll likely only say this once...

look what I found growing in my yard today! =0)

fuzzy memories...

First off as you can see, Lee's grass growing attempts seem to be somewhat successful! This will be nice to have cool grass someplace in the yard for the kids to enjoy!=0) I've been meaning to take a few minutes to type this experience down goes:
A few weeks ago I found myself face to face with my ex-husband on several occasions. Keith, the kid's Dad, had been staying with his current girlfriend who lives in England since December. It was more than a little bizarre and I was the victim of taunting by a few co-workers after I almost ran into him without even noticing who he was! I stared at him wide eyed and apologized to him when I realized who he was. Just a shell of the man I met 14 years ago, he doesn't look a thing like he did for the almost 7 years we were married and we dated on and off for about three years before that. I'm going to type down a little history on our broken life together, mostly for the kids (I print and save my blog posts for them in a book) and you all are welcome to read and get a little insight as well. I wouldn't ever bad mouth him (I never have and never will) to the kids, but I won't sugar coat things either so bear with me...I'll try to be as honest as possible.
In September 1996 I moved to Dixie to attend college and live in the dorms and work an evening job to somewhat support myself. My Mom knew someone who was the General Manager for the movie theaters here in town and had promised to hire me when I moved to town to go to school. We went and talked to him the day I moved over here and he promised to give me a call as soon as he had a position open. This only took a couple of days and I soon found myself behind the snack counter at the theater behind the mall. That was the first day I saw Keith. Keith was the Manager. I remember when I was first introduced to him I couldn't take my eyes off wasn't until later in life that I realized I had the strangest feeling of knowing my life would be forever changed from that point on.
Keith stood at about 5'9" had longer slicked back dark-blond hair and had a flash of the most interesting green eyes I had ever seen, like the color of old fashioned glass bottles with amber-colored spokes. We became fast friends. The other girls and I would often gang up on him spiking his soda, (if left unattended) bombarding him with hands full of ice, and I wised up quickly and learned to mop AFTER he had done his final walk through inspection (his shoes left black marks and I always had to mop again!).
In December the owner of the theaters fired the General Manager and out of loyalty several people quit at the same time too, Keith and myself included. After that Keith and I were inseparable. Keith got a job as the Assistant Manager at Dominoes and I tried to concentrate a little harder on school. Keith also made plans to attend school in Florida and get his degree in Audio Engineering. In February of the following year we discovered I was pregnant. We kept this from my family as long as possible...and I soon moved in with a friend and looked for a job, leaving any school plans behind for the time being. My folks discovered the pregnancy and were shocked and ashamed and I don't believe they told much of anyone, well close friends and family of course. Keith was to leave to go to Florida the end of May and the day he left to fly out, I had a late term miscarriage. I was devastated. I mean imagine giving birth to a dead baby...fingers, toes, he looked like Keith and we layed him to rest next to my beloved grandfather in Kanab.
I moved home with my folks and essentially hid out for the next six months, trying my hardest to heal emotionally. I flew to Florida in September and spent a week with Keith and his roommates, much to my Mom's chagrin. In January of 98 I gathered myself up and moved back to Dixie and worked and made a few friends and enjoyed attending singles (not college associated) activities with a friend. Keith and I lost contact with each other and I tried to move on with life. My friend and I hung out together, taking motorcycle rides to Zion, rollerblading, hanging out at his house he owned and paid the mortgage by renting out all the rooms. It was a platonic relationship and it was nice to have someone who just hung out with me.
In June my friend who had struck up a love interest up North at this point, had a cousin of his move in with him. He spent a lot of his free time traveling to see his new girlfriend and asked me to befriend his cousin and show him around town. I did just that and I showed him the fun things to do and we went hung out together and I became a bit uncomfortable at his insistence of things. Where we were going to go, what we were going to do and I lived by myself. He would show up at my door and made me feel uncomfortable and I will say this today and this will be the only time I say it, He took advantage of me and made me do things I didn't want to do.
My friend and his cousin followed a job opportunity that took them to Vegas in August, my mind set was not where it should have been and I would go and visit them frequently. Perhaps I was trying so hard to make amends for mistakes I had made, more likely I was afraid to be alone. My friend left for about a week and his cousin invited me to stay with him for the week, which I did. I don't know why...I've asked myself this very question a thousand times over, I've let it go now...I still don't have an answer.
I showed up at their apartment a few weeks later, hung out with my friend, went to church with the both of them...we hung out at the Stratosphere, rode the roller coaster at New York, New York...ate dinner and ice cream at the Santa Fe Station, which was close to their apartment. It was just like old times. Before I left I confessed to my friend that I had stayed with his cousin a few weeks before, I also confessed to his cousin a secret. I was answered with a "I'm not ready...." and I went home knowing I probably wouldn't hear from him again. I never did.
Enter Keith fresh home from his schooling... He had been home for about a month and I received an interesting phone call from him a couple of weeks after the incident in Vegas. I really had no intention of having anything to do with him again, but somehow agreed to meet him someplace to talk. It didn't take long for us to spend every waking minute together again.
In October Keith and I traveled to my folks' house and announced we were getting married in January. My Mom was not pleased and gritted her teeth attempting to be supportive of my decision. Keith told her I was pregnant and the circumstances involved, he promised her that he would take care of me and the baby. I am certain this was his intention, I'm not convinced to this day that he ever had the skills to be a good husband. I forgave him years ago and wish him nothing but the best in life to come.
We married in January 1999 and welcomed Drake in April. We had moved to Vegas for work and lived there till October before moving back to Dixie. Keith worked a couple of jobs and I worked as well...we struggled to stay above water, it was tough. In January of 2000 we discovered I was pregnant with Adree. Drake was only 8 months old at the time and I had just barely stopped breast feeding him to go back to work.
Tired of drowning financially, Keith and I attended a job fair for Aramark and both secured jobs through the resort. Keith would be cleaning houseboats, I would be working for W.R.A. in town for float trips from the bottom of the Dam to Lee's Ferry.
We moved in with Mom and Dad to save up enough money to ultimately move to California so Keith could again work in his field. We fought constantly. Anyone who has moved back in with their parents as an adult knows this too well... I was having a rough pregnancy and Keith couldn't cope with me trying to work and spend time with Drake and him and my folks and after a huge blow out, Keith packed his things and moved to California without me.
I lived with Mom and Dad and worked up until I had Adree in August. I was eternally grateful to move out again with my two kids 17 months and 6 weeks to California to be with Keith in October. The weather was great, our apartment was old, in disrepair, and coated with mold. Keith worked long hours and sometimes for days at a time. For the most part if he knew he had to stay at work all weekend he would drop me off at his best buddy's house in Orange County, who didn't work weekends and loved kids (he was divorced with a little girl of his own) and for some reason had no problem dragging us around with him to the beach and whatnot.
We lived in Cali for almost two years before Keith lost his job and we made the decision to move back to Dixie to be closer to family. Before we left, he and I felt that we had one more little spirit waiting for us and we got pregnant with Seth.
We moved into a house in Dixie Downs and he and I both found jobs easily. I worked more than he did most of the time and he stayed at home with the kids. In December of 2002 we welcomed little Sethee into the family. I went back to work just 5 weeks later out of necessity and ended up being promoted a short time later. Keith seemed content to not hardly work at all and out of frustration of not being to keep up with our bills, I dropped him off to sign up with S.O.S. staffing for a job with more hours and closer to something in his field. He was able to get a much better job that paid decently and I worked about 45 hours a week in my new position. We mostly worked opposite shifts to save on our sitter (our next door neighbor) and in November, we finally paid off our car that was falling apart and traded it in on a new (to us) van. Of course a month later I lost my job.
Being home all the time, I was able to have more than a minute to myself and realized how deep down unhappy I was. Keith was abusive in many ways and obsessive over me. I felt I couldn't even breath without him questioning, "where and why and how", I was suffocating and was nearing the point of mental breakdown. I finally convinced Keith that we needed to break it off, I was so unhappy with our relationship and deserved better. He refused to let me take the kids to my Mom's and I knew he wouldn't provide any support to me to keep them. He insisted that we take them to his sister's and I didn't have the capacity to protest any longer. Either he left for good or I would lose it entirely.
I took me several months to gain the courage to file for divorce once he left. I worked constantly and traveled 400 miles every other month with my Mom to take the kids for the weekend. Keith meandered from Florida to California and back to Utah in the same town as his sister.
Once the divorce was finalized and I was granted full custody of the kids, they moved back to Dixie with me in December of 2005. Keith ended up remarrying in May of 2006 and the marriage only lasted a matter of a year maybe?...I'm not sure, you know the power of divorce? It makes you so you don't have to care anymore..ha!
Back to the present: Keith was only here for about a month after returning home from England. I honestly don't know why he didn't stay there, but the kids enjoyed him picking them up on a few occasions...taking them places and even to church when I was work. There was something different about him, his aura has changed. He has lost probably 70 lbs since I was faced with him on a daily basis and was struck by those green eyes that seemed to leap out at you as you passed. Perhaps he woke up one day and realized that life was passing him by and maybe he should take the time to enjoy it before it was gone...I'm not going to speculate. He has returned to England while his fiance sells her house and gets all the necessary paper work in order for them to move to the states again. I guess she joined the church and has a 12 year old? daughter, they plan to be back here in about six months to move to Florida.
Okay, I know that was really long and I apologize if you fell has now been said and now I can go on blogging about the kid's activities and whatnot! It takes two people to create life and wishing for the other person to not exist is kids, my life wouldn't exist without him.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let's try something a little different

As you may have noticed, I seem to be taking up a lot of time in my family blog here with my thoughts, opinions, and what not...and seeing as though I have been given the gift of time here recently, I've decided to to do all the opinion, thoughts, and maybe a few tips in a different forum. I started a new blog! Yes, I know "don't i have like 2 already?" Yep, I do skippy! =0) One of them has been dedicated to stories from my employment in the land of the convenient and seeing as though that isn't holding any interest for me anymore, (yeah, who knew!)I thought I would rededicate this blog to the posting of pictures and stories of my family. Would you like to take a look? Click here. Also, feel free to send any ideas or tips you'd like to share my direction! Here's to having the time to express myself! Cheers! and happy blogging...=0)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Easter...Let Freedom Ring?

Lookee what I got for Easter!
Adree zooming past on the wiggle car
Racing down the street..
Seth pausing for the moment
Lee's new obsession! =0)

Hey, I seem to have found myself with a lot of time on my hands all of the sudden! Which will be lovely for keeping up with the housework and the kids much appreciate me being there to pick them up on a daily basis from school...I'll get to the reasoning in a moment let me talk about Easter first.=0)
Easter in Dixie wasn't too bad, albeit a tad cold...the sun was out most of the day and that made it nice. I worked for a little bit in the morning and sent the kids top find Easter baskets when I got home. (Thankfully, no one really believes in the cotton-tailed menace anymore) After seeking them out and the kids rummaging through them a bit, Lee sneaked outside to grab the wiggle cars I was able to get a score on the day before. (psst...2 for $50!) The kids love them! Taking no power to roll them (just a wiggle of the steering wheel), they have proved to be great fun! Seth took a shot of me on one, but I purposely omitted it for the blog...I hope you understand! =0)
Lee surprised me the day before by setting up my own porch swing! What a great thing to have! It's out on the front porch where we can view Pine Valley mountain unobstructed and listen to the sounds of the birds and the leaves rustling in the trees in the twilight of the evening. There is many an hour to spent with my family gently swinging...*sigh* =0)
Now what's with the new found freedom you ask? Well, it seems I have been dismissed from my duties at ________(sorry, still no plug), for the time being. Am I sad? Not really. It seems that someone has gotten access to this blog through F.B. and took that opportunity to share what I've typed in recent posts with _________. These posts were used as a basis for my dismissal. What about freedom of speech? Ha! This seems to be no longer an option in the land of corporate America...Is this going to make me think twice while I type? Well, no. I mean what can happen now? I get canned again? This blog is for my family, friends, and those of you feel the need to read my silly thoughts, if you don't get that then what can I say.....?
For now I'll sit back and enjoy my new found freedom (the stress was getting unbearable) and enjoy the day as it comes. I'll watch my children as they enjoy playing outside after school and never have to worry about getting up at some ungodly hour to drag myself to someplace I was beginning to loathe again. Thank you freedom of speech, it seems you have truly set me free. =0)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

One of a kind...

As I walked to into the pediatrician's office holding the hand of my almost 11 year old son a thought struck me, "How many 11 year old kids do you see holding their Mom's hand?" Probably not many would be my guess, but not many kids are Drake. Drake has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of high-functioning Autism. Kids with Asperger's are unable to read social cues, have poor coordination, tend to focus heavily on one subject of interest and have a hard time making friends. I find myself cringing when people refer to kids with Asperger's as handicapped or having a disease, it isn't true. Asperger's kids are everyday kids, they just don't fit into stereotypes in anyway.
Drake has almost illegible handwriting. He knows what it says and when his teacher has questions, he has him read it to him. Drake is obsessed with Legos, Pokemon, and video games. Drake carries a book with him most places (at the moment it is the Ultimate Guide to Pokemon) and reads them till they are dog-eared. Drake insists upon wearing few colors, they would be black, brown, gray, orange, green, or blue. He has plaid pants (see picture) that he wears so much that he has literally worn holes into the backs of them! Drake lacks coordination, falls down a lot, walks with a funny gait (on the balls of his feet with a bounce), and runs with his arms flailing behind him like a cape. Drake loves baseball, he thinks its really fun, but we haven't been able to teach him to hit the ball or catch it because he refuses to participate, unless it was his idea of course!
We took all the kids, their bikes, and the baseball gear with us to the park a couple of weekends ago. This particular park has a lot of open grassy space and a long winding bike path. The kids were riding around the path and I was helping Seth with his bike when Lee brought the ball and gloves and bats out of the car. Adree ran over and wanted to catch the fly balls Lee was hitting. They did that for a while and I went over to join them. A few minutes later Adree was hitting the ball and I hear Drake come over and tell Lee, "I want to hit the ball!" Lee patiently set Drake up with the bat taught him to stand and square up with his shoulders and preceded to coach him into hitting the ball as it went past. Drake hit it! Several times in fact! Drake was beaming, he hit the ball and ran around the plates and was so excited to get to play baseball which is his favorite.=0)
Drake was very upset earlier this weekend, his bed had broken a slat and I took his mattress and put it on the floor to sleep on until we got it fixed. It was okay that night, but they didn't have school this Friday and the kids stayed home with me. I picked up Drake's mattress off the floor and had them clean their room because it looked like a tornado had gone through it. Drake likes to have his own little space, somewhere he can sit and be quiet and play in his own little world. This little place happens to be his bed. He reads on his bed, he plays Legos on his bed, I fish Legos out of it every night before bed. He was very upset that he couldn't spend his time there. Kids with Asperger's like consistency and have a really hard time not doing the same things everyday. Lee and I went to Home Depot later that day and rounded up some plywood to remedy his bed once and for all, so we didn't have this happen again. He was happy to have his own little space back.
I spend more time explaining to other people about Drake, than actually dealing with him myself. Drake having Asperger's only explains his behavior to everyone else, it doesn't change a thing to me. Drake, my one-of-a-kind great kid who marches to the beat of a different drummer...=0)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Where I haven't been...

Adree as the "trainer"...
Drake as a dog...hmm...=0)
Adree attempting to master the hula hoop
Swish! =0)
Looking a little greener! =0)

I know it's been a while since I have posted much and I actually have several things I want to, I'll take a couple of days here to try and catch up. My new position has me busy. I am scheduled about 36 hours a week and usually end up there more than that. I just got so used to getting maybe 30 hours a week for the last couple of years that I got spoiled...=0) All this and I was lucky enough to battle a bout of insomnia over the weekend and of course this meant I came down with a nasty cold (yuck!), all this while working 36+ hours... It has taken me all the way to today to feel human again! I didn't even Facebook at all this week and I'm totally addicted! =0)
All right, since you all know I haven't actually been anywhere but sick and annoyed about can all stop crying! Just kidding! =0) BTW...look at my pretty house! We are so lucky to have found it, I love is home.=0) Also, the B-ball hoop was a whole 40 bucks and will be most awesome when we get a pad poured for it! I know you've seen the pictures of the abysmal state of our backyard...front yard first, back yard next, last INFINITY AND BEYOND!! =0)