Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Update

This is a really boring post, but it is what it is. We've had a good weekend, but it hasn't been exciting by any means.

I got up and made muffins on Friday morning for Joshua.

The night before, he had told me that he was down to just two packages of Pop-Tarts. I thought it sounded odd, because I for sure thought he had a whole 'nother unopened box...but whatever. I told him I would make blueberry muffins. He smiled, kissed me goodnight...and went up to bed.

But when I got up on Friday morning and I opened the pantry...LOW AND BEHOLD...what do I see but two boxes of Pop-Tarts. The little stinker probably snickered to himself...thinking he had realllly pulled one over on me.

I made the muffins anyway. :)

In other news, even tho they've suggested it for a week...even tho they've hinted at it for days...even tho they warned us it was coming, but it wouldn't be the kind that kept kids from going to school...it did not snow here on Friday.

ARGHHHHH! And I mean "ARGHHHH" like when Charlie Brown says it.

Before my feet even hit the floor, I looked at my Twitter and it said it was snowing here. I got up and ran to the window. NO SNOW.

I'm not really a fan of bad weather. Ice reeks havoc on our community, and on the employees who work at the utility company. My daughter and son-in-law both commute 40 minutes each way to nursing school and work. I don't like them having to drive on slick roads. HOWEVER, a plain, ol' snow day...I wouldn't hate it. Especially if it's predicted and I have food and stuff that we need.

Don't tease us that it's coming...unless it's coming.

In other news, we bought Joshua a Play Station 4 for Christmas, and we got him a football game to go along with it. He has loved playing the game with Clark and Aaron. Joshua is pretty good at it and he beats Aaron quite often. Makes Aaron so mad! I could hear them in there talking smack with each other. Aaron said, "you'd better be quiet because I'm gonna run this ball right now...and you can't stop me."

And then I could hear Joshua saying, "heeheeheehee..."

On Saturday, Jim was up at THE crack of dawn. He had to run 10 miles. I can appreciate his dedication and all, but SATURDAY.

I never could go back to sleep, so I went ahead and got up. I had kind of tried to time how long I thought it would take Jim to run...and when he wasn't back, I thought I might have to use "find my phone" to find him. He ended up walking in right as I was getting ready. So thankful. I worry about him when he goes on any run, no matter how long. People are just crazy these days.

And he ran 11.2 miles. I'm so impressed.

Holly and Aaron came over and we watched the Razorbacks play basketball on tv. And then Holly and Aaron went home because they had plans. We got ready, and the rest of us went to meet Logan and Morgan for dinner at the Mexican restaurant which is our half-way point.

And I was one happy momma.

We hadn't seen them since January 4th. I know I'm being lame about it, being that I have friends whose sons are serving our country in lands far away...and 3 weeks seems like nothing. I know. And I feel for those mommas as well.

Time seems longer when you are the Mom.

"Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you." Proverbs 23:25

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Privacy and My Father-in-Law

I struggle with my privacy on social media...do you?

Argh.

I'm a pretty private person in real life. I share stuff with my family and close friends. I'm pretty uncomfortable opening up my life to people who might want to anonymously criticize me for my beliefs, or how Jim and I are raising our children or whatever. So many crazies out there.

BUT, I've also "met" some really, really nice people (I'm lookin at you, Deborah and Heidi)...and my real life is full of women who are constant sources of encouragement and support for me and my family.

I love writing on my blog, but I don't link it to my Facebook page on a regular basis. Sometimes, but not always. The reason is because of Joshua.

I love to write about Joshua on my blog, but he doesn't know I write about him. I don't know how he'd feel about it. I think he'd be okay with me writing about some of his antics, it's just when I write about the serious stuff...I don't know. The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt his feelings, or make him feel embarrassed. Or sad.

I have Facebook, IG (martythemoose) and Twitter (moosethemarty), too. My IG is private, but I always accept people who read the blog.

I struggle with how public to be about everything. I really want to encourage as many people as I can with Joshua's story. And with Clark's. It's constantly a matter of prayer.

Privacy.

Everyone wants to know everything about everybody...and we live in an age where that is entirely possible!

My father-in-law? He has fought against technology with everything that's in him. He's convinced that the internet is the devil. He thinks credit cards are the downfall of all humanity, and that if you can't pay using cold, hard cash...then you probably shouldn't buy it. He's not wild about banks...a feeling that, until recently, my mother-in-law did not share. But when she took a large check to DEPOSIT at her local bank branch down by The Krogers...the teller said she couldn't deposit it because "SHE DIDN'T KNOW HER."

Because she didn't know my mother-in-law.

Because the TELLER didn't know my MOTHER-IN-LAW, she told my MOTHER-IN-LAW that she couldn't deposit the check AT THE BANK WHERE SHE'S DONE ALL HER BANKING BUSINESS FOR UMPTEEN YEARS.

My mother-in-law just couldn't believe it. She said, "you won't take this check FOR DEPOSIT because you don't KNOW me?" And the lady said, "yes, ma'am." And my mother-in-law said, "well, I don't know YOU either, but I bring my money in here all the time anyway."

I mean...have you ever?

Anyway, that's how my mother-in-law put the hurt on that bank when she pulled all of her money out of it.

My father-in-law...he'd prefer to keep his money close. That's all I'm gonna say about that. And he "don't want no credit cards." Which, if you want to live in the 1800's...that's a good philosophy. But if you live in 2015, and you want to, say, buy a cell phone...and you go to the cell phone place...and they don't have any record of you...because everything is all in your wife's name...and you don't have any credit...because you pay cash for everything...well, let's just say that you will not be getting a cell phone from them.

No sir.

Not even if you go home and get your bank statements and bring them back to the cell phone place to "prove" you have money.

Yep. That actually happened.

And. there was the more recent time when he tried to write a $6000 check for a lawn-mower at the tractor supply store and they wouldn't take it. Because, again, no credit history.

And also, because he was dressed like a bum in a manner that did not scream, "I promise I'm good for it."

You know, over-HAWLS and his boots, talking real loud because he can't hear. And he keeps his "teef" in his pocket.

I know we're not supposed to judge people by their appearances, but if you want to write a $6000 check for a lawn-mower, then you might want to spruce yourself up for the occasion. You know, try to look like you know what's going on...instead of like someone who just came down from the mountain.

So there may or may not have been a loud scene made about it, and we may or may not have had to add that store to the list of places my father-in-law can't go anymore...like, the bakery, the Chinese restaurant, the scrap metal place, the Outback...and the bank down by The Krogers.

But as much as he rails against technology, he went and got himself an iPHONE (well, he had to call my mother-in-law to come to that phone store and give the people "all of her numbers..." before he got the phone. And, even tho he is convinced that people are out to get "all of his numbers" so that they can take all his money and listen to his phone conversations and monitor where all he goes...he loves that phone. He taught himself to text, and he texts Jim and I, and all of our kids, and it is SO HELPFUL to be able to text someone who is severely hard of hearing. I wish my Dad would try to figure out an iPHONE. It would tickle me to no end.

My father-in-law also got an IPAD, and he's been trying to learn how to use it. One time, he tried to "face-time" Jim. He was yelling on the IPAD because he didn't know if it was working. We could hear him yelling, "YELLO? YELLO? IS THIS ON? YELLO? I DON'T THINK THIS IS WORKING. YELLO? JACK! I DON'T THINK THIS IS WORKING. GOOD NIGHT ABOVE."

And during this event, Jim is trying to "connect" with his dad, and we are falling on the floor laughing.

My father-in-law tried to "hide" his IPAD from everyone and keep it put up at their house. But, he needed so much help with it that he would bring it out to ask questions about it...and some of the family members would occasionally use it when they were there for a weekend...and when everyone left, he said it wouldn't work for him because "people changed his password."

And so he would shake his IPAD like it was an etch-a-sketch, trying to get it to work.

OH MY GOODNESS.

I think there's maybe a happy medium out there, but it does require some work...and diligence. I want to protect my family, but yet I also want to share Joshua's story and our stories of our life with him. I want to be able to share Clark's story as well.

I just want to always point to God as the SOURCE of all joy...and of every good thing in our lives.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lunch and a Movie: Joshua and Jenni

Early this morning, Jenni's helper-friend, Tiffannie, called to say that Jenni wanted a date with Joshua. They were going to be in town, so they made plans to meet for lunch. She said that they were going to a movie after, but Jenni didn't mention anything about him going. She said, "they are funny about their time together and about their relationship."

YA THINK?

They certainly don't do things the way "normal" couples do them...and that's okay. And they don't act or REact the way "normal" couples do...and that's okay, too.

They are like two large toddlers out in the world.

I don't mean that in a bad way. They just have to have supervision, even tho they don't think they need any help. Scratch that. They know they need help. They just don't like that they need help.

They want to be able to drive and work and be married and have a home of their own and cook and go out and just BE...you know, all the stuff we take for granted. And, some of those things, they can do. They can work...altho you know it's not like what you and I might do...and they won't make the money that you and I can. Most people with Down Syndrome, they don't drive. In earlier years, we thought it might be possible for Joshua....we didn't want to set limits on him when we just didn't know. I have no doubt that he could memorize the drivers-ed manual, and probably eventually pass the written test. However, the driving part is a whole, 'nother thing. We thought we'd try Joshua out on the golf-cart at Jim's parent's house.

UMMMM. Hello, tree.

UMMMM...NO.

And they might can be married, and they can cook some and might can live somewhere that's not at home with us...but they still have to be checked on. Frequently.

Back to Joshua and Jenni...they've been "dating" for over 10 years. They are sweet and innocent in how they approach their relationship. Unless you count that time that Jenni put Joshua in the closet to have "7 minutes of Heaven," and I had not seen the movie (13 Going On 30), and had NO CLUE what they were talking about. And unless you count the time when they got in trouble at camp for smooching. Or the time at our house when they sneaked into every bedroom and shut the door so they could be alone. I have no idea what they would do in there if we just left them alone. Knowing Jenni...she would probably fall asleep. BUT YOU NEVER KNOW so we remind them that "we don't entertain in our bedrooms" and invite them downstairs to watch a movie.

They are frustrated with us at times, and feel like we are treating them like babies. They are kind and introspective. They are caring with each other, but also very jealous. They keep track of who does what with who. When Jenni posts something on Facebook, Joshua will say, "she only got 3 likes." It's a big thing to get "likes." If Joshua doesn't get enough on something he posts, he will delete it. They are wise and immature. Joshua is very deep spiritually. His prayer life puts us all to shame. He talks to God, and I believe him when he says God is speaking to his heart.

They are also a little manipulative. They can be childish. They have ALL THE FEELINGS and have no clue what to do with them. And honestly, I don't know what to say or do in these situations. Because...MY FIRST RODEO.

Today, I took Joshua to meet up with Jenni and her helper-friend at the restaurant. They were wary...eyeing each other like they'd never met. Seriously? Just give each other a hug. I asked Jenni if she was excited about Therapeutic Recreation starting back up on Tuesday. She shrugged and said, "ehhh...I GUESS." Well, I know GOOD AND WELL that she is excited about it, and so is Joshua, so I said, "well, I bet if you talk to your mom, she would let you stay home." I thought her eyes were gonna pop out of her head.

When I got in the car, Holly said, "real mature, MOM." I'm just sayin'. I came to play, sister. 

Jenni ended up inviting him to go to the move afterward. I asked what they were going to see and she said, "Paddington Bear." I thought there would be NO WAY Joshua would agree to that, but I gave him the option of going...or not. He thought for a minute and said, "I want to go."

We got the re-cap when he got home.

They ordered lunch...Jenni and Tiffannie shared an entree, but Joshua ordered his own. He ordered water to drink. When they brought Joshua his burger, he cut it in half...ate one half and put the other half aside to take home. This is classic Joshua. Eats half of his meal when we go out...saves the other half to bring home, and then will fight anyone who tries to eat his leftovers from the frig the next day. Ha.

When they finished with lunch, he said they had about 20 minutes before their movie started, so Tiffannie took them to the dollar store that is in the same mall. She and Jenni got movie snacks. Joshua said he didn't want anything BECAUSE THEY HAD JUST EATEN. Law. Tiffannie told him to get a drink, anyway. I guess she didn't want him getting thirsty in the movie...and then they MAY OR MAY NOT have smuggled said snacks and drinks into the movie theater.

Whaaaaat?

Joshua LOVED the movie. He said that the "father bear" was the voice of Dumbledore from Harry Potter, and that everyone in the movie had a "Harry Potter accent," because it all took place in London, where Harry Potter lived.

He had a great time with Jenni today. So thankful they were able to get together today, and thankful for Tiffannie for hanging out with them. Joshua and Jenni see couples everywhere they look...especially in their own family. So thankful that they can spend time with each other, and enjoy the benefits of companionship.

I pray that God will continue to show us the way in this crazy, crazy path He has chosen for us.

"And your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left." Isaiah 30:21

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Errands, Chicken Dinner and Jermaine Taylor

"Get ready and let's go run errands...and we can get Chick-Fil-A for lunch when we're done."

See what I did there?

I decided that we needed to run a couple of errands this morning, even tho it was rainy and cold. Joshua is hard-of-hearing, so instead of yelling up the stairs at him, I decided to just text him.

I decided to just text him and use bribery.

I knew he wouldn't really want to get out in the rain. I also knew that he wouldn't pass up lunch at Chick for anything.

This ain't my first rodeo.

I also added, "don't look scruffy" to the end of my text.

I smiled when I heard his razor buzzing...it lasted about 3 seconds.

When we got in the car, I glanced over at him. I said, "you missed a spot, or 9000, when you shaved." He just grinned and said, "weh-oh (well), there's only one day a week that I shave close, and that's Sunday."

I said, "well, it's Thursday...so there's that."

We finished up our errands, picked up lunch at Chick, and came home. I had texted Clark's girlfriend, Faith, to see if she wanted to join us, and she did. So the 3 of us had a fun time.

I knew Jim had a meeting tonight, so I started cooking dinner early...so he could eat before he went. When he walked in after work, he said, "I think we are eating at the meeting."

And that's how Jim died.

JUST KIDDING.

By the time I got dinner on the table, Jim had gone to his meeting...and Clark had gone to Faith's house...so it was just Joshua and I at the table. Which was fine. He prayed for the ones in our family who weren't able to eat with us, and he prayed for my brother, who hurt his back last week. He told me how much he enjoyed running errands with me today, and that I had made a "killer good" chicken dinner. I got to hear about his intense dislike for Alabama (they were playing the HOGS tonight in basketball), and that the HOGS had gotten two new assistant coaches this week. I also got to hear his thoughts on how Jermaine Taylor needs to "man-up" and get his act together.

He said that he was reading this book on how to be a man that I had gotten him for Christmas. He said, "Jermaine Taylor might not have had a fatherly role-model in his life." And then we talked about how important that was, but that after we are adults...we are responsible for our own actions.

And he said, "Jermaine Taylor might not have had a fatherly role-model in his life."

(blink...blink)

(sigh)

And I said, "that is very sad, and it might be a REASON why a person thinks a certain way or makes certain choices...but it cannot be an excuse. Because he's an adult and he knows better."

He said, "I know. But when he gets out of jail, he needs to get on his knees and cry in front of his kids...and apologize."

And before I could respond, he said, "this is the best chicken dinner I've had all year."

Not too shabby for the 22nd day of January.

"The LORD is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But He does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected--even children in the third and fourth generations." Numbers 14:18

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Links For You: January 21, 2015

We had a quiet day today...I never left the house until tonight, when I went to choir practice. Holly spent the night with us last night, because Aaron-the-son-in-law went duck hunting...so we had her little dog, Marley, with us today while she was in nursing school. Joshua enjoyed hanging out with him, and "helping" with him. He calls Marley his "furry nephew." He took him outside for several "walks" around the yard, and played "fetch" with him.

We've enjoyed several nice weather days this week, but tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy. Not my favorite, but whatcha gonna do? I mean, it's WINTER, after all. Everyone is talking about how mild it's been...and it has, so far. I was transferring information from our 2014 calendar to our 2015 calendar the other day, and noticed that we had THREE ICE DAYS in January last year. I'm thankful we haven't had to deal with that yet, but I don't think winter is gone by a long shot.

And, you know, God made the seasons. I love living in Arkansas, because we get to experience all of them.

Sometimes we get to experience all of them in one week! Ha!

KIDDING.

But not really. 

Here are some links for you this week:

This post on finding meaning in the mundane.

This for when you feel like you're in a holding pattern..."God is growing us beneath the surface..."

Awesome answered prayer from the Shull family.

Is God calling you to adopt? Do you have questions? Another post from Shay.

This on how we sometimes miss out on friendship opportunities because of how we perceive others.

The mundane and the magnificent intersect around the table...this on the importance of the family meal.

You wanna talk blended families? My sweet friend, Katie, has these words for you from her own, personal story.

And, here is a blog that I recently found because someone sent me the link from IG. If you have a child with Down Syndrome, or know someone who does...or just want to see beeeea-utiful pictures of her family, then follow this blog. How cute are her kids?

If you've ever wondered about the benefits of friendship, this from Melanie Shankle. So precious. I don't know her or her friend, Jen, I just know that no prayer would be wasted that is spoken on Jen's behalf.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalm 27:14