Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Silver Lining

Today is the day my Felicia comes home. She has been in Europe since May 22nd. We have heard of her awful air and train experiences and have heard of her many wonderful and exciting travels. But now I get to see her and hold her in person and finally stop worrying about her being over there.

MD & I are excited beyond words. We see some major parent smothering coming in her near future.

A Devin update:

We got to visit Devin again last night. It went as well as one can expect. We heard a lot of commotion going on on his side of the phone. Devin said that there was a kid having a fit in his room. He said that the kid has been doing it a lot, especially when he has to be in his room. Luckily Devin's room is in another hall and does not have to listen to it all night.

Devin speaks with us in a total different tone than ever before. This alone makes us believe we have done the right thing. I am only hoping that he can keep this change up and get on the straight and narrow (so to say) again. He keeps telling us he wants to come home and that he was wrong before, home is better than anywhere else. He has told his DJO that he will do what ever he has to do to get to come home and stay there. She is not totally convinced yet but is keeping an open mind with him.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A new beginning

Day three, visit two, went much better. Lots less crying on both parts. MD and I received more details on how his days are spent, his room and rules he has to follow. He received a point against him today because he had two cups in his room (he is only allowed 1) He said that he will not let that happen again. He said he had made sure that his bed is made, dressed properly, and following all the rules. He is currently a level 1. I understand that everyone coming in starts out at that level. Hopefully he can get himself up to level 3, that way when we visit we can have a private room where we can at least hold his hands.

He is realizing and Understanding what got him where he is. MD and I have noticed a HUGE difference in him with just the way he speaks to and with us. Also his stance is not defencive. He is our little boy again, just a lot bigger. Devin had his hands on the glass and we place ours up against his(yes I about lost it at this point) and realized ....... This kids hands are the same size as MD's hands. Devin still has about 6 inches or so though before he is as tall as MD.

We are hoping that he keeps this attitude and continues to improve. If he does than all this has been worth every minute. Only time will tell.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When will he learn?

When will my kids ever learn......

We were your age once.....

We have been where you are now......

We have experienced what your going through..............

As parents MD and I want our kids to experience everything they can and learn their own lessons. We deep down believe that learning from ones mistakes (with a little help from us) teaches them right from wrong better than us parents always deciding everything for them.

The one thing we constantly say is EVERY ACTION HAS A REACTION. The reaction justifies the action be it GOOD or BAD.

My son has decided that MD & I know nothing. That when we tell him what he is doing is going to land him in trouble he thinks we are talking out our backsides.

He has been getting into some trouble the last 9 months.

So off to juvenile legal system we go. To start they put Devin on Probation. Rules of probation:

1. Call probation officer every Wednesday & meet twice a month

2. Daily curfew of 9pm (too late if you ask me)

3. Go to fire intervention school (this never happened)

4. get into no more trouble

Devin decided that fire school was not going to happen, curfew was optional, and so was calling his probation officer. At one of their meetings he explained to her that there rule are "stupid" and he was not going to pay attention to them. Well he kept to his word with one exception. He actually started coming home by curfew most nights. But everything else, he quite.

Now his friends were telling him that they would do nothing to him. Well maybe that would be true if we his parents did not stand on the side of the court. We told him that if he were to not start obeying the rules set for him then he and only he could be responsible for the reaction that would come from that. And soon the day would come that he would have to pay for those actions.

Today was his day for answering to everything. We went to court this morning. he sat before a Judge. Answering questions as asked. But what I do not think he excepted....he received two weeks detention. They escorted him out of the court room without even a glance at his farther or myself.

We were told that when they went in back, he had o clue what was going on. When it finally sunk in ...... huge sigh.

The detention officer called and said that Devin is asking for his night meds, so at least I get to see him and how he feels about this whole mess.

I hope beyond all hope that he is taking this time to realize what he needs to do to start undoing the mess he is in. He is not out of the woods yet, we have a second court date to attend. The second will determine whether or not he gets to come home or stay a ward of the court for I have no idea how long. It is all up to him at this point.

Really when will he learn?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where did June go?

This year is going by way too fast. I blinked and June was gone!

With time flying by so quickly I am loosing track of it.

Things I wanted and meant to do I am running out of time to do.



In June, neighbor Jim had his 40th birthday. (it felt just like yesterday that I had this birthday, in actuality it was 3 YEARS ago!). His wife gave him a surprise party (of course) and we were invited. We had a very good time, we like seeing others getting older and joining our 40 club.

Side note this is our neighbor who brews his own beer and makes amazing port! And it is OOOOO so good.


Then Fathers day my parents and my friend Jodi came over for grilling and swimming. One of the few days (in my opinion) that it has been warm enough for swimming. I had MD's favorites for dinner..... beef kabobs and grilled shrimp. YUMMMMMY!!


I think MD has adopted Jodi as a surrogate sister. He never wants her sitting home alone. Anytime I am on the phone with her he asks me "if she is home alone tell her to come over here". She is a friend I have been reacquainted with through Facebook, she grew up with my sister and I and she gets along fabulously with my folks so it is nice to have her over.



As proof that my baby is growing up she is now slowly growing out of the "tom boy" stage and wanting to be a little "girly". Case in point the family brows ..... she inherited these from my side of the family. Poor thing. I had started waxing in 6th grade. As did Felicia (I believe), my side of the family is not lacking in the HAIR department that is for sure! So now every month or two Mikayla asks that we get hers done and of course a hair cut. Smart kid, she vies for everything she can when we go on these little outings.



I also (I have blogged this before, but she is definitely worth mentioning twice) had the privilege of meeting another blooger mom while she was in town. Rachael at Huse blog is it Anyway was in town and having a Karaoke night with her friends at a pub not far from where I live. She invited me to join them, so of course I had to oblige. But since I am skittish about meeting new people I drug Jodi along for support (yes I really am down deep a big chicken, though I am trying to overcome that).


This one would have been a great picture of me and Jodi if not for my stupid eyes being sensitive to the flash! I was trying not to blink .... note to self, just close them next time.



With my parents living here only part of the year (dad does not like cold weather so they head to warmer places when it gets cold), and the fact that their house is what, 30 years old... it is starting to need some repair and updating.

BUT you have to have met my dad to know, understand, and love him. I have inherited his habits on money a bit I have found.

See for the most part my father is VERY frugal with his money. Takes a while to get him to part with it. That is unless he really wants something, then the wallet does not come out fast enough. Take his house here for example, it is old, started to need some MAJOR renovations. But my dad does not want to put anymore money into this house. He does not want to live here. He wants to be in his home in his warm weather state all year round.



The reason he still owns this house you ask? My mom. She does not like the extreme warm weather (women who have gone or going through the "change" will totally understand this). She likes to have seasons. And my sister and I are here, she does not want to be that far from us.



Well now things are really starting to need attention, like the pool and deck. So instead of repairing he decided to get rid of them. He said that if he wants to swim they will come to my house. That's fine, so he got a few bids to have someone demo and remove the pool and deck around it. OMG they were high, so he decided to do it himself. I had Devin go over and help remove the liner, then on another day I went and helped remove the pool itself. Dad did eventually hire someone to take down the deck, regrade the yard and put sod down. And all for a relatively decent price.



MD and I went over to their house for dinner and domino's last night, checked out the work that was done, and Holy Crow, he needs to get the remaining deck repaired! That thing is pulling itself off the house! One corner has dipped a good 4-5 inches! He of course started grumbling about money. Maybe one of these weekends I can get over there I will jack up that side of the deck and get him to re pour a footing to at least get better stability under that thing. I would hate to see it totally fall of the side of the house.

Well that was my June. Not very exciting by most accounts I am sure. Maybe later I will have the energy to give an update to Devin's progress or rather there lack of. He has been a roller coaster ride that wipes me out at the end of the day. Rest is coming, but that will have to be a different post.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rainy Day

MD is home which is unusual. He volunteered at the All-Star 5K run is St. Louis this morning, and was home by 11:30. Which meant that he would not be working in a basement today. Normally that would be great, as we rarely get to spend time together. But it is raining, and I mean big time, sideways, thunder and lightening raining. Now he is antsy and wants to go do something. Unfortunately we have additional children here. Mikayla had a sleepover with two of her girl friends and Devin has a friend over (one of the only boys we do like) so I refuse to leave the house with it full of unsupervised children.



MD decided to give them an ETA for departing. They have an hour, which means he is going to get me to venture out into this mess.



Meanwhile rainy days for me means ..... decorating. Even if it is only really dreaming.
We want to put a fireplace in our pack yard. We had a bid a couple of months ago for one. First I did not like the rendering they came up with, and two ...... HOLY CROW it was expensive. For now it is on the wish list again. Need to save up for that one. I can not believe how expensive fireplaces are. The bid we got was for about 1/2 of what we spent on the entire front of the house! We were not expecting that high of a price. And the fireplace they drew was just a plane jane type. I would really hate to see what we really want would cost.

I drew up picture yesterday what I would "like" it to look like. Surfed on the net today for other options and here is what I cam up with:
Of course the drawing I did IS NOT on here, I do not care do embarrass myself like that here. I do enough of embarrassing myself other ways. But it is similar to these except shorter sides, wider in the middle, and the top has a more curved stack, but still looks very much like these. I wonder how much it will really set us back.
Wishfull dreaming I guess.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Mastercard Moment

No Doubt/Paramore Concert Tickts = $30

Soda, Water & Popcorn = $19

Concert Tank Top = $40

A night out with my daughter Mikayla .......



PRICELESS!


I took Mikayla out to a concert last night, we had "lawn seats", sat on a blanket, bounced to music, and had a wonderful night together.




Mikayla wanted to go to the concert just to see Paramore (the opening group) but ended up totally enjoying No Doubt with Gwen Stefnai. She did not think she would like No Doubt, she said they were an "OLDE" band! Wow that did make me feel old. She ended up liking them just fine and we ended staying for the entire concert.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bye Bye Francis Howell High... At Least how I Knew It


If you don't know, or don't live in the area the Francis Howell School District has decided to rebuild Francis Howell High School as a single building facility. The costs to connect, enclose, and repair the existing A, B, C, D, G, and H Buildings is almost as costly as it is to build a new facility.



For you Alums who don't remember the buildings:

A: Art, English, A Office, Activities Office
B: Social Studies/Foreign Language (now Howell Union High for at-risk kids on the first floor)
C: Math, Science, Business, Home Ec, C Office, Guidance Office, Attendance Office, Nurse
D: Industrial Tech
G: Old Gym, Cafeteria, Library, and those shady ass sketchy classrooms in the basement for Health and Driver's Ed
H: Horticulture & Agriculture (yeah... it was that kind of school)

The new gym and auditorium that opened in the early 1990's will remain, but gone will be portions of the A Building all of the B, C, D, G, and H buildings. Has anybody ever figured out why there was no E Building or F Building?



If you think about it... the school has been on the same site since 1881 when it was the Howell Institute so this is by no means the first rebuild... most of us can still remember the old Army barracks that were on the site adjacent to the A Building. Since I attended (many years ago) they have since been bulldozed to build Gym #2 and the Auditorium.


The Thomas Howell Cemetery across the road

A OLD grave of one of the Howell's

The current Howell is a mash-up of different buildings from 5 different decades and there are 2 gyms (at one time there were 3 until the oldest gym was converted to a weight training room).


I do not ever remember having a problem with weapons "on-campus". But we did live (at the time) in a very rural area so many people had their hunting rifles hanging in their windows of their trucks.


But I do remember people bringing alcohol to school!


The two newer high schools in the district: Francis Howell North (which didn't open until 1987... some 106 years later.. and graduated their first class in 1991) and Francis Howell Central (which opened in 1997 and didn't graduate their first class until 2001) are single buildings with nicer amenities and better layouts.


This will be an exciting change for the old alma mater. So here's to you FHHS... for 128 years old, you just keep on getting face lifts... never mind the botox... Vikings don't screw around.




Yes, I went to the school where the kids paint crap on the highway in front of it. But when I went to high school we did not bother with the road, we climbed the humongous water tower and painted graffiti on it.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ants in your pants

Did you ever have the feeling like you had ants in your pants? I mean, antsy feeling, not being able to sit still, can't sit for any length of time?


I could not sit still last night. But I did not really feel like doing anything productive. Went for a walk, sat and chatted with a neighbor, walked again. Could not get rid of that ants in your pants feeling.


Even tried going to bed, no luck, was 11 pm before I could even think of closing my eyes. Of course I paid for that today. And still kind of antsy.


Ever feel that way, and if so how did you get rid of it?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July Blog World!
As we celebrate this our independence day, Please remember to keep all of our military men & women in your thoughts and celebrations.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I Miss My Baby

Felicia is having a travel experience I have only dreamed about. I am excited for her but I am now missing her, terribly. I do not know why it feels different than her just being 3 hours away at school, but it does.


Pictures from her London Trip









Pictures from Paris





I do get to talk with her everyday, so I do not know why I am feeling the way I am. Maybe because of the issues with Devin, who knows.

Maybe it is that empty nest thing. I mean really, the other two are NEVER home. Now sometimes I am glad for the peace and quiet. Its just it does make me miss certain things we all use to do together, when everyone got along, when looking back, it seemed easier.