Monday, December 5, 2016

Real Life Is Messy

Today I looked at blogger for the first time in months. I haven't read a blog or written a post for so long. Right now, December 4th, I am looking at heaps of laundry, Christmas decorations half done strewn across the house, Christmas cards that need addressing/sending, and a very dirty floor pretty much all throughout my house.  On top of that there are just the every day and even some extraordinary stressors beating on my hearts door.  

As I was perusing the blogs that I used to read almost daily and enjoy looking at occasionally now it kind of made me sick. Everyone is posting how to decorate this or that for Christmas, showing beautifully decorated rooms and blogging Bible studies themed for Advent.

This post is not about any of the themes of the preceeding paragraph.  I'm feeling real life today and it is messy!  Not just tangibly but in my soul. Things that shouldn't be happening are happening and life feels kind of overwhelming.

Yesterday our sermon at church was about the unexpected.  All of December our sermons are going to be about expectations, but I'll confess, I didn't see the theme of dealing with the unexpected coming.  We've had arguments and unwelcome surprises this week in our home.  We've had to make changes in work schedules and family get together schedules.  I feel like an old pinball machine that is stuck on tilt.  

But this morning in my soul I felt peace. A word of encouragement on a cousin's social media,  a chastising word from Jesus in my Bible reading and just the Presence of Jesus in my life is giving me peace.  

If you are looking for decor perfection or life instructions don't come to my blog.  But if you want to know where to go to find true peace I can point you there---Jesus.






Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer and a Family/Puppy Update

Well, I'm sure like everywhere else, it is HOT HOT HOT  in the land of Ahs.

That's because it's summer!







We've been baking for about 2 weeks now in the upper 90s and 100 degree range.  Good thing we had tons of rain in May!  We could actually use some rain now but haven't been able to "cook" anything up so far.

So, it's hot.  This morning before 10 o'clock my pups have already been in their pool to get completely wet and then come into the house to be cool.  I dry them with a towel and then they lay in front of a fan and/or on an AC vent to get dry and cool.

I think they are prepubescent.  They are getting a little less obedient at times but not bad.  They are truly really good puppies.  They got a little rowdy in the kitchen after they came in from swimming this morning.  I guess nobody can sleep all day long and not get antsy.

M & B are growing like weeds in the hot sun.  I'm kind of sad at how fast they are growing even though I knew it would happen.  They are just the cutest puppies ever when they are small and I miss it now that they are getting bigger.  They are medium size dogs now.  When I try to imagine how big they are going to get it makes me sad because they won't be puppies anymore.  But it makes me happy because I love big dogs and when they are grown they truly do just lie around doing nothing all day and don't get into much.









Katrina is finally enjoying her time in Alaska.  The first two weeks she was so homesick that she wanted to come home.  Thankfully, we got over that hump and she is doing better.  She worked it out with her employer to get  a couple days off each week which helps her to recharge her introverted batteries.

Anna is about to have her first summer job and she is so excited.  It isn't all put together yet but it will be good for her and she will stay busy, which she likes.  She gets bored being here with me while I am just hanging out with the dogs, sewing, cleaning, and working the landscape. She loves structure and misses being in school which gives her that.

Adam is doing great and we see him from time to time when he comes over to see the pups, mow Grandma's yard and at church on Sundays.

Zach is working hard at his job and has been home a couple times in the past month.  He works every other Saturday so that makes weekends less likely to come the hour trip this direction.

Nathan has been working on so many projects at work that had hard deadlines for graduation parties, etc and I think he has finally gotten to slow down a bit. He also has come home a couple of times to see the pups which has been so nice.  It is not a fun trip from Wichita to here but he has graciously done it.

Craig has been swamped with work ever since it started raining and hailing in the spring.  He never seems to take a break even when he is home except for doing things around the farm or house that he feels need doing.  The heat is getting to him since he walks in fields counting up losses for farmers on a daily basis.



Anna and Berkley



Adam and Berkley


Zach and Murphy



Nathan with Murphy and Zach with Berkley

Anna with Berkley and Katrina with Murphy (this picture makes B look exceptionally largeer which she is not)



Because, you know, it's all about the puppies and the kids!!!!!




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pinterest Summer Treat



I pin a lot of recipes on Pinterest.  I've tried many of them.  Some have worked out and were delicious.  Some were tasty but didn't quite meet my expectations.

This is a Pinterest win!!!  A refreshing summer treat that is good for you as well!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • about 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • Parchment paper
Directions:

  • Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt and honey
  • Pour and spread the yogurt mixture into the base of the lined baking dish
  • Sprinkle the different berries and gently press into the yogurt
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours or until completely frozen
  • Use a knife to make the first "break" and then you can break with your hands. Break into serving size pieces and serve cold.



There were no pints of berries the day I was at the store so I bought a bag of frozen mixed berries, thawed them in the fridge a bit and used them.  So mine doesn't look as pretty since I was lazy and didn't slice the strawberries.  But they taste great!





Tripe Berry Yogurt Bark on 5DollarDinners.com:






Thursday, May 12, 2016

When The Future Doesn't Look Like It Does For Everyone Else

It is graduation time around here and probably in most every community in the U.S.  We have several parties to go to over the weekend from two different schools.  I hope we can get everybody visited.

As happens at this time of year everyone is buzzing about what each other will be doing next year:  going to college, tech school or working.  Most people have some dream or ambition about which they are excited.  And for most people they will achieve whatever they set out to do within reason. Some people will far exceed their ambitions.

But for special needs kids and their parents graduation is a frightening time.  My youngest will graduate next year and she has been worrying herself about what she will do with her life for many years.  I have put her off of it for a long time telling her it isn't necessary to worry about it. But with it now looming into our field of vision, I can't do that much longer.

Most kids have so many options that the world truly is their oyster (whatever that actually means).  But whatever their "disability" is, special needs kids have unique situations that make it a bit harder.  I have a friend whose daughter is super smart but who happens to live life in a wheelchair.  Sending her off to college is a bit more of a daunting thought for her parents. 

My daughter has an invisible disability.  Although she has cerebral palsy which affects her left leg, that hasn't stopped her from doing life.  She embraces sports and loves them with her whole heart--she just never really gets to succeed at them.  My heart nearly broke recently when we were at a track meet and she came over to us in tears and said "will I ever succeed at anything?"  

My darling girl wants to be involved in everything life has to offer her in school.  She just never gets to be the best at anything.  So while other kids are getting awards for sports, arts, music, drama  or grades, she just sits there wondering why she has to suffer with being inflicted with a life that she did nothing to deserve.  Don't get me wrong, she works harder than anybody I know and every single teacher she has had has said the same thing.  So many days she comes home and in her frustration with  her life she labels herself "stupid" because she is not like everyone else her age.  I don't allow her to have social media because she doesn't need to compare herself to others any more than she already does and she also doesn't need to see all the times she is left out of social activities.

She won't know that I am writing this.  I'm trying not to sound or be bitter.  Having a special needs child is harder than anyone could ever imagine.  There are some kids who would look at my special needs kid and think she has the world by the tail.  Everyone's disabilities are different. But if you don't have a child with special needs you don't realize how left out they feel or how frightening the future is for them. 

We didn't set out to be parents of a special needs kid.  We knew that when we adopted we were getting a child with a "slight problem with one leg" but the other stuff, the FAS stuff, we didn't know about until it began to show itself and explain why sometimes things were harder for her.  No one sets out to have a special needs kid unless they are intentionally adopting one.  There are a lot of people who just end up living in that foreign country of special needs and never got to read the guidebook to know where they would be going.

But I'm thankful for what having a special needs child has taught me.  It has made me more compassionate and understanding of kids with learning disabilities.  It has made our family more sensitive and supportive to people with special needs I hope. But more than anything else, it has made me realize that we should not take anything for granted.  I have 4 kids who skated through school like I did--not truly appreciating how easily things came to them and getting good grades in spite of being lazy students.  Brain injuries can happen at any time in life and none of us knows what the future holds. 

I guess what I want to say here is this:  if you are a student with life spreading its table of opportunities before you, be thankful.  If you are a parent of kids who are "normal", be thankful.  And for everyone who doesn't live in my daughter's shoes, be understanding that it is hard to feel like you are "less than" everyone else around you when you have done nothing to deserve it.  

Happy Graduation Week!


Monday, April 25, 2016

My New Redneck Patio

Today I decided to embrace my new reality.  So my patio has had to be removed and is now a dirtio (that's a patio made from dirt).  I may not love my new situation but I can somehow deal with it and use it to my advantage.

For lunch today I took my salad out on my "new" redneck patio and sat down to eat while my pups played.

Can't get much more redneck than this.
 My hubby and 2 of our sons put in an underground invisible fence on Saturday so now the girls can play outside without me chasing them around and worrying they will get hit all of the time




Aren't you jealous?


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What a Week!


Whew!  Life around here has been like a cyclone this past week.

Let's recap:

Last week we got 2 puppies, had major construction work done on our basement, our daughter had her first prom.

Life with the puppies is going well--we have good days and we have bad days when it comes to potty training.  I just try to take it in stride and know that one day they will grow up enough to be able to hold it a little longer.  Most of the training is for ME and making a good routine for them to depend on so they can succeed.
 Berkley likes to sleep with her head like this for some reason.

Murphy tends to love to hang over a leg of the table.
 But mostly they just like to sleep.....

together.
But most of the awake time is like a puppy WWE wrestling match.

The construction was nuts!  The men were here Monday through Thursday digging a huge trench behind my house to the bottom of our basement wall, They fixed the problem but they were here each day for very long hours and in and out of my house with dirty shoes, wheel barrows, cement, power tools, etc.  Wednesday night they were here until 9 p.m.  Craig was gone Wednesday through Friday so I was on my own taking care of the pups, keeping up with Anna and trying not to go crazy with all of the mess. It is all fixed now but we have had a ton of rain this week so now I have a muddy, pond-like mess in the place where it is most natural to take my girls out to play and do their business.

After some of the digging.  That's a man standing in the hole.

New egress window.



One of the new window wells, rubber flashing, waterproofing foam, rock, dirt.
Another window well.


Outside my eating nook window.

Our formerly beautiful patio.


Outside my eating nook.

Former patio 



The prom was held on what turned out to be a beautiful evening.  The kids took pictures next to a pond by a church in town and it was a beautiful setting.  Most importantly my girl had lots of fun and enjoyed herself after a hectic week of preparations by her class each evening after track practice.  Thank goodness there are only 21 days of school left!  Then she can start on her crazy summer before her senior year.  Here we go!
Great girls!
Group that rode our church bus to arrive.

Walking in with their group.


My sweet girl.







Wednesday, April 13, 2016

All Kinds of Crazy!

We are dealing with all kinds of crazy at our house this week.  Somehow, though, that is how we Polsons seem to operate most efficiently.

If you follow me on social media you know that we got two adorable St. Bernard puppies on Monday which we are so excited about.  They are just about the cutest things ever and have done pretty well at acclimating to our hectic week.  The first night we were up with them several times to take them out to potty but last night they were better and learned that after going out they had to be quiet and either sleep or cuddle with each other in their crate. They already follow me wherever I go so I guess I have achieved full mama status.


Murphy &  Berkley when I went to "choose" them.

I'm sure my blog and social media will have more puppy pictures than anyone else can handle.  Sorry, not sorry!

We also have a MAJOR construction project going on at our house.  They are repairing our foundation and basement walls to stop the leaking when it rains.  You can't imagine what a huge job this has been.  It looks ugly and our house is in total disarray because of it.  These pictures don't really do it justice.  They have pounded out a hole in our basement floor to put in a sump pump for future flooding.  Outside, they have dug a 12+ foot deep by 40 foot long trench and are waterproofing where a joint in the concrete was made where there should have been a continual pour.  I can't take the puppies out back because of piles of dirt 6 feet tall and the huge hole just outside our back door.  There is plastic taped to my kitchen floor and basement stairs which is nice, but it makes it a little messy for taking care of pups.  It will be great when they are done and gone.  Thankful they can do it, though.




Recently, Anna was in her school play which was a silly little tale set in the 60's.  She played an old granny woman and had lots of fun.




This next weekend is her first prom so she has been decorating for it and I will have to go decorate for Post Prom tomorrow and Friday.  She also has track practice every night after school and had her first softball practice last Sunday night for summer ball coming up.

Our kids were all home last weekend as well as our nephew and his new wife.  We went bowling together Saturday night and had so much fum.

Nathan and Ruth (our nephew's wife) take a turn

Elizabeth (Nathan's girlfriend) and Anna

Zach, Adam, Josh, Katrina, Ruth

Anna




If you love dogs keep coming back for pictures of my cuties!

Berkley & Katrina

Murphy and Me