2012 Round Up!

Wow… I cannot believe that it’s already the last week of the year. Seriously, I would like to know who stole 12 whole months of my life? It’s been a really long year and a lot has happened. I’m going to try to give a rapid overview of  it all…

We were still living in Kentucky this time last year after our move from Georgia. I just have to say that Kentucky was NOT my favorite place to live.


Kentucky (Photo credit: davebarger)

Of course January was fraught with worry and stress as we tried to decide what we wanted to do. We could not afford to live in our house any longer, and the prepayment on our rent was up. So, we made the choice to move to Indiana with friends – and did so the first of February.

It has been exceedingly interesting, living this far North. I’ve always been a southern girl and this is a far cry from the warm and sunny South! We arrived to a couple of inches of snow on the ground from a snowfall a week before we got here… dang – we were concerned if it lasted until noon when and IF we got some in Georgia!

Our first few weeks here were an adjustment period for sure – trying to fit all of us in the same house was definitely a new experience. Our five and their six made for eleven in one place – two shy of classifying as a boarding house (which coincidentally is illegal without a licence and at least 3 bathrooms). But we lost two, and gained  a bedroom in April – which was a very good thing because sleeping on an air-mattress with three dogs – not so wonderful. Not to mention the cat… yeah.

We made the decision to get married this year… after 10 years of being together. Kind of a change for me because I wasn’t sure I really wanted to actually “tie the knot” again – but we started planning. If you think wedding planning is stressful – try doing it with two special needs kids and no money… what a wild time.

We also enrolled Little Man in school for the first time in over a year. I was so apprehensive about it – he has never done well in school, it’s always been a trigger point for him, and I was so worried that he would not do well. However, it has proven to be the best thing we could have done, ever. Also – it made me wish we had made the move to Indiana a couple of years ago!

I think I mentioned at some point in a much earlier post this year, that Our Guy decided against staying with us and moved back to Florida with is bio-mom. He has not done well in that endeavor and is now living in a homeless shelter down there.

Little Man has made so much progress since Our Guy has been gone that it’s becoming more and more evident that we made the right choice in letting him go his own way. We and his therapist are exploring the possibility that we may very well have transported one of his chief abusers right along with him when he came to live with us. Scary freaking thought… but as long as LM is making good progress, we’re not rocking the boat.

Of course we had to deal with the drama of Our Girl – and hooboy was there some major drama. So much that she wound up getting thrown out of the house, moving in with a guy she knew for just a few days, AND getting pregnant by choice all in the span of less than 6 months. Oh please just kill me now.

So, now we have a pregnant 19 year old bi-polar, hormone walking around the house. And to top it all of “baby daddy” turned out to be the biggest loser, and y’all not in a good way. In the 4 months we allowed him to stay in our house he worked a total of 3 days. Not even kidding here. So – he’s down the road and she’s not even 6mo. pregnant yet.

Which brings me to my next point – she’s already got a new boyfriend. Yeah… I know – kind of odd right? I thought so too – but hell she’s 19 what can you do about it? If you forbid it, she’s just going to leave. So we just deal. And we hope beyond everything that she and the baby are healthy and happy and safe.

Historic Dentzel Carousel

Historic Dentzel Carousel

We had our wedding in September at a historic carousel here in our town – it’s one of only four left in existence – and it’s amazing.










Mom and Dad with the greats!

Mom and Dad with the greats!

It was even more special because my parents got to meet their great grandchildren for the first time… My mom was in heaven!





It was an amazingly wonderful day and I was so grateful and blessed to be able to make it happen!




Sigh… the last part of this year was kind of a letdown after all the excitement! LOL

Actually, Little Man brought home his report card a few weeks ago – three C’s… nothing failing, all wonderful! Yet, he was complaining that it wasn’t good enough. We try so hard to instill some self-esteem into this boy, but he doesn’t care to hear it and is not impressed by our efforts. It wasn’t until my nephew told him that he had actually made better grades than he did that Little Man kind of calmed down.

So this pretty much brings us to the close of 2012. What are my hopes for 2013? Well, I guess you’ll have to stop by tomorrow to find out when I post my 2013 goals and hopes. 🙂

Happy Saturday!

Friday Confessional – Mommy Issues


Welcome to another Friday Confessional. Today I’m talking about Mommy Issues. Not my issues with my mommy – because really I don’t have any of those. No, I’m talking about my issues as Mommy to this guy here:


Yeah, that’s our Little Man… not so little anymore at almost 6 feet… .but our youngest nonetheless.

Little Man as you may know (and if you don’t you can read all about it here) is Severely Emotionally Disabled. He has a plethora of issues ranging from PTSD to Paranoid Schizophrenia and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not otherwise specified (it’s an Autism Spectrum Disorder). This sweet boy came into my life 10 years ago as a badly damaged 7 year old. He has had some horrible issues over the years, but he’s basically a joy to parent.

My issues are not with him as a child – not at all. My issues are with myself as his mother. Ya’ll I’ve been a mom for almost 30 years. Parenting is hard on any scale, but parenting a child like this.. that is incredibly hard.

It’s not the constant questions, inability to function socially, or the meltdowns. It’s the terribly low self esteem, the desire to kill himself, and the inability to make or keep friends that has me torn up. I stay in an emotional turmoil over this child. Not because of myself, because I”m good… really. Because nobody should have to feel the way he does about himself. Because nobody should have to go through what he’s gone through… nobody on this planet should be affected in such a horrible way by something like this.

I cry when he comes home talking about “bullies” at school – because I know there are none, and he’s desperately seeking attention and approval. He takes memories other people have shared with him and makes them his own; telling the tale in a very stilted manner so you just KNOW he’s not giving you facts. He goes to school and tells the teachers things like “My cousin sleeps with his fan pointed directly on me, and I don’t have a blanket… so when I get up I have to take an hour long hot shower just to be warm”… Yeah, he did that. Thank God the teachers and staff at his school know he does this and don’t take into account stories like that when dealing with him.

All in all I feel inadequate as a parent because there is nothing I can do for this child. He has been in therapy for over half his life, and really has not made a whole lot of progress. He has attempted to kill himself three times. Any time he is confronted with something he has done wrong he attempts to hurt himself. I feel like a total failure as a parent because I cannot protect this child from himself.

I know that I am not an inadequate parent, or a failure as a mother. I am a great mom – deep down I know I am. I am just the mom he needs – with all my flaws and imperfections. God chose me to be his mother for a reason. He put his dad and I together so that I could be the mom he needed when he needed me. I know this… sometimes, it’s just doesn’t feel that way.

Happy Friday!



Our Girl – revisited

So, ya’ll… wow. It’s been ages since I’ve really posted about any of the kids. And lately, it’s been so hectic that I can’t post about anything.

However, today I am going to post about Our Girl -well, because things have kind of taken a turn and I don’t know if it’s for the worst or for the better – I just don’t know anything anymore…

Our girl is now 19 and guys it’s one of the hardest teen to adult transition I’ve ever dealt with. So far I’ve had three teens turn into adults (Ky, Jon, and Jack) and the DH has Sean. We’ve weathered the storms quite well I think and they’ve all turned in to reasonably responsible adults. But Our Girl? She took this transition to heart. She’s an adult now. Meaning in her mind that she can do what she wants when she wants regardless of how anyone else in the house feels about it.

Eight months ago she wound up being thrown out because she was totally and completely off the chain when it came to her dad and I. She was rude, disrespectful, insolent, and mean. We couldn’t take it anymore – so to teach her a lesson, the dh’s brother took her down to the local homeless shelter – with her little dog in tow. Of course, Uncle T knew that the shelter wouldn’t take dogs and figured she walk off her mad and come on home. Nope, not our girl. She wandered around for a bit until some guy stopped and asked her if she was okay, and if she needed a ride. She took him up on it! Yes, I know guys – we have tried for years to instill in her a general suspicion of strangers – but she’s unable to be suspect of anyone. We could drop this child out of an airplane with parachute at 20,000 feet over New York city and she’d have 20 friends before she hit the ground!

Anyway… this fella apparently worked out at our riding stables – known around here as the ranch. He took her out there to check it out, then returned her to town. After spending a couple of days with her dad’s cousin – she went back out to the ranch for an “interview” as a hand.

They worked her for a week or two and in the meantime she started a relationship and moved in with guy who picked her up off the street – we’ll call him “E”. Now mind you, this child still  has no GED or diploma – she just won’t do anything to make that happen. We tried desperately to talk her into going to Job Corp to get her GED and some training – but she refused, saying she’d take the test, but wanted to stay at the ranch. So… we told her – if you’re leaving fine – but don’t come back without your GED.

Things seemed okay for her – she was working, and now living at the ranch and seemed happy.

Then in September, she got fired – probably because she was way better at watching E work than she was actually working herself – or it could have been her generally nasty attitude. Who knows? We rarely get the ‘truth’ behind anything. Because she was fired, she was not allowed to live out there anymore – so in all of his infinite wisdom (as a 27 year old man – yeah, I didn’t think it was awesome either) he decided that if she couldn’t be there – he wouldn’t either and quit! Lord help me! So guess who comes trailing back home with boyfriend in tow?? Yup, Our Girl. We agreed to let them crash for a few days until they got their pay from the ranch which according to them was close to $1000. Plenty to get them on their feet. When the check came it was for $100. We told them that while we understood that they were in hard times – they had a week to figure it out and move on – she wasn’t even supposed to BE here without her GED.

Just a couple of days later we were informed that she was pregnant.

Ummmm yeah, let that sink in ya’ll… pregnant

Not an accident either – they planned it, because an apartment over a barn full of 3000 lb death traps is exactly  the place to raise a baby. Actually, as she says, they had been promised a job and apartment elsewhere. Oh really??? So you make the choice to have a baby with a man you’ve known less than 6 months on the promise of a job and apartment?? Oh my Heavenly Father, Help Me!!!!! Where did we go wrong?

So… we agreed to let them stay here until E could find work and save for an apartment. Four months went by – and during that time E worked 3 days… yep, 3 whole days. Finally, with us breathing down her neck and his – she decided to kick him to the curb for the useless piece of trash he was.

So, now I have a pregnant bi-polar daughter sleeping on my couch – who still has all the attitude she had before, coupled with hormones of pregnancy. We’re trying to get her into housing so she can learn how to live on her own. We’re working with her to get her GED, and we are doing the only thing we can do – support our child through what will turn out to be the most difficult time of her life.

This has not been easy for us – we’re a bit angry because there were no adult thought processes used in the decision to bring this baby into the world – it was a selfish bid for what she wanted. We are sad because we know that the chances of her realizing all those big dreams she had this time last year have just dropped exponentially. We are excited because we’re going to have another grand child – number 4! And we are hopeful that she’s able to put aside her selfishness and concentrate on her baby.

Say a prayer for the Set in my Ways family – it’s a long hard road for us!

Happy Easter

I just wanted to post a quick weekend wrap up! I’ve been concentrating on the  A-Z April Blogging Challenge all week and thought a quick personal post would be nice for a change.

Things have been wonderful this week – I’ve had my grandson, and it has really been special for me. I know my daughter misses him so much, but it is nice to be able to give her a break. I’ll be heading to her place on Friday of this week, and don’t know how long I’ll be staying – until my new grandson makes his appearance in a couple of weeks I’m sure!

We have heard news about Our Guy – and its not good. Apparently there was a mishap, and they were forced to baker act him. He spent a few days in the hospital for stabilization, and now he’s home but on some sort of probation that requires therapy – if he misses any of his appointments he could go to jail. We’re not pleased, nor are we surprised. We warned his bio mom that there would be problems, and that she would likely not be able to control him if he had a meltdown, and we were correct. But, this is what he has chosen for himself, and there is nothing we can do for him, or about his situation.

Our Girl got to go to Chicago with her second cousin and her family, and had a great time, except that it was cold! I told her it was called the windy city for a reason. 🙂 She got to visit an actual museum for the first time – the Field Museum. She really enjoyed herself  and got to spend time with family that she loves. I’m so glad that my husband and his cousin’s kids can begin to foster a close relationship!

Little Man has had a great week, even though he’s suffering from a perceived lack of attention with the baby here. He is jealous, because we have to do so much for the baby – that we won’t do for him. I have to remind him frequently that the baby is only 2 – he’s 16, of course we have to do everything for him…

Well, I guess that’s it for a weekly wrap-up. I hope you all have a truly blessed Easter!

Happy Sunday!

Things your child can teach you.

Yep, it’s Thursday – meaning it’s time for:

Today I’m choosing prompt 2.) Things your child can teach you.

As most of you know I’m raising a special needs child. We call him Little Man around here – and it would take a book to tell you  everything he’s taught me.

Some of the lessons have been hard, like having to have him hospitalized for a year and five months, because that was what was best for him.

Other lessons have been easy, like learning that having a six-year-old in a sixteen year old body can be pretty funny at times. Yes, I find humor in his antics – I have to… see if I don’t laugh – I might never stop crying.

He has taught me  humility, compassion, unconditional love, and patience. He has taught me that my “typical” children were a true blessing to never be taken for granted. He has taught me that I do have much more strength than I ever thought I could.

He has taught me that even when I don’t want to do something, I have to build up the courage and strength to do it, because he does.

He has taught me how intelligent the autistic mind can be, regardless of what is IQ score says.

He has taught me that even though I thought I’d be “done” actively parenting now, God’s plan for my life is different – and I just need to accept the things I cannot change and move on.

He has taught me courage to face each day with the innocence of a child.

He has taught me that a child does not have to come from your body to be yours. I didn’t give birth to him, and he didn’t come into my life until he was eight years old, but I wouldn’t say that to anyone – he is my child, through and through and I love him deeply.

Mostly, he has taught me that regardless of his deficiencies, he has amazing strengths that make him who he is; my child… m

Little Man, being goofy!

y beloved boy.


Yesterday we decided to go on an outing so that I and the kiddos could be introduced to our new home. Now that it’s not freezing outside and we can actually do that sort of thing you know. So we decided to head over to River Bluff Trail and take the dogs on a walk… mind you there are seven of them. Yes I said seven – don’t judge only five of the little buggars are mine. Ok… yes, I have five dogs, but they’re all very small and really only equal one big dog.  Anyway – they needed a good run, and all the humans needed some fresh air and sunshine themselves. So we took a walk. A lovely walk…


A walk that included lots of limestone, and beautiful flowing water….




A walk that also included a dam:











And dogs in the water…

Dogs in my purse…

He was tired... don't judge me!

It also included ducks:

 Ducks who were apparently less  impressed with us than we were with them.

This walk also included trees:

 And more dogs…

Beautiful trees!

I’m not sure what this is – but it was LOVELY!





See how pretty?








And of course the walk included kids… how do you think we handled all those dogs??

Little Man, being goofy!

Our Girl!















Oh yeah – there were flowers too!

And what walk is complete without at least one kid and or dog playing “King/Queen of the mountain”??

King and Queen of the Mountain!

In the end, it was a good day. We all had a great time and the dogs/kids got plenty of exercise… I Loved it!


What makes frustration

I’m at a point folks… I’m sure you know the one, the point where you don’t really know just what to do about something – laugh or cry…

The Lord has led me to this place in my life, and I know that He is  now expecting me to use my free will to decide whether or not to laugh and praise Him or cry and beg for mercy. And I don’t know which to do.

You all know that I’ve got three special needs kids… and that I’m their primary caretaker. You may not know that Our Guy took off to live with his bio-mom a couple of months ago, and while I’m proud of him for getting himself on the road he needs to be on and doing what he needed to for himself, I’m a little miffed that he chose to go about it the way he did.

Of course, you all know about Our Girl and our trials and troubles, I’ve talked about that many times. She’s just turned 18 and thinks she not only knows more than I do about live she’s lived the same experiences I have… that doesn’t make for a good situation.

And then there is Little Man, who through no fault of my own has been off his medication for six months and I’ve noticed that there isn’t much difference between ON meds and OFF meds, which means the drug cocktail we had him on wasn’t really the right combination to begin with… Sure there is a little more OCD tendencies that on meds, but honestly if counting the squares on the floor, ceiling, couch, chair or whatever is the worst of it then I can live with that. He’s not hurting himself or doing much of anything that he was doing when he came home from the hospital last year, so that’s alright too. God has him where he is for a reason.

That’s what makes for frustration… I want so badly to ask God why he let this special, intelligent, amazing child be hurt the way he was. So profoundly damaged that even with the best of care he’s still an 8-year-old in a 16-year-old body. But I know that asking Him why won’t help, because generally the “why God’s” don’t get answered. He knows why, but right now it’s not for me to know. I know he’s here to teach me patience and unconditional love. Because lets face it, lesser women than me would have run screaming from the scene a LONG time ago. But God placed this precious child in my hands for a reason, and I need to help him to the best of my ability. It’s just I don’t know if I have the ability. I know, I know – God never gives us more than we can handle, and it’s only by his Grace and love that I have managed to last this long.

I live my life by Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I love God, and I know he has a purpose for putting me where I am right now, and that everything I’ve gone through in my lifetime has prepared me for this moment right here in time.  He has put me in this place, with these children for a purpose – His purpose.

I cannot wait to see the miracles to come as God works in not only my life but the lives of my family on this new stage of our journey. Though I grow frustrated, and feel downhearted at times, I need only to look up and know that my Father above is watching over me all the time.