Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Every T-day, I write down &/or say out loud what I'm thankful for. Some years, it's been difficult to come up with anything. Some years, I had a LOT to be thankful for. This year, I have a list:
1. My friends, old & new (no, Manny; I'm not calling you old!).
2. My animals; two of which have health issues, but they're still here.
3. My home; paid off two years ago, and slowly being upgraded.
4. My career & the flexibility it gives me for home life.
5. My clients; two of which this year had to deal with some very serious health issues themselves... and have come out on top.
6. My SKs. These two try my patience quite a bit, but I love them, and cannot wait to see them finally grow into adulthood.
7. My husband. We've been through some crap, I'll tell you. But, he's my rock, and he works very hard to make sure we're well taken care of. He's working today, even, because working today gives him Christmas off.
8. My daughter. In her 10 years of life (so far), she's had some terrible things happen to her; things no one should ever have to go through. In spite of everything, she is happy, healthy, and very loved; and she knows it.
9. Food on my table. There are a lot of people who go hungry. I am not one of them.
10. My health, and that of those around me.
11. My beautiful & so smart niece, C. She amazes me, more each time I spend time with her.
12. The rest of my family -- "adopted", married-in, &/or birthed. MWAH!

Now, eat, drink, and love on your family and friends!

Monday, November 16, 2009

LONG-Overdue Update

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. Well, I guess I'd have to believe in a diety for that. Besides, not blogging for a while just means I've been busy, right? Looks like my last blog was just over a month ago...

Since my last blog, nothing new has been done to the house. There's been a lot of rain, wind, ice, and cold temperatures... not to mention CHILDREN & DOGS in the house. Since the next project is painting the ceiling and replacing the lighting fixtures, we'd have to turn off the power to the house to do that. Ace and I are okay for a while without heat & lights, but can you imagine two teenagers and one pre-teen without lights, heat, computers, or television?!? I'm all for torturing them, but that (I believe) would torture US, so we wait.

Other than no house stuff to report, there are some life updates:

First, our Princess turned 10. That's right; DOUBLE-DIGITS! She took it a little hard, at first. She didn't want us to do much to celebrate, she didn't want many gifts, she didn't want to do something special with her Mimi... As it got closer, though, she lightened up and got a little excited. The Tuesday prior, the mini-fam went to her favorite Mongolian place (T - do you still like that place?); she wanted to make sure her beloved Papa could join us (he worked on her actual birthday). We had lunch together at school, then dinner together at Red Robin ON her birthday, and I let her open a couple gifts.

This past Saturday, we had a large group of her friends come over for crafts, pizza, brownie cake, gifts, and good times (it's what she wanted), then four of them stayed the night. I told Ace to take his kids & our dogs to the beach house, which worked out well for all involved. Her friends are great; they treated me to a dance party, a fashion show, some artwork, and a lot of laughs & squeals (true to pre-teen-dome).

Second, my two older sisters, my mom, and I took our annual girls' trip. This year, it was New Orleans. We had some good southern cooking (I tried collard greens for the first time), got to tour some cool plantations, hit a jazz club, Bourbon Street on a Saturday night, and many bars. NOLA has the best "French Market" as well -- it's like a Saturday Market and Farmer's Market all in one, but BIGGER!! There was Cafe du Monde for coffee & beignets, and a carriage ride tour of Jackson Square in the French Quarter. The whole trip was great; just a little short. Next year... CHICAGO!

Third, a little not-so-good news. Ace fought long and hard; even asked his doc to assist, but was eventually officially turned down for his request to remain on his modified schedule at work. The benefit to his modified shift was two-fold. Not only did he get to spend most of our parenting time actually with his kids, but he hasn't had a migraine in over a year (the modified shift matched his natural body rhythm).

His new (normal) shift trades his every other Saturday off back to every other Wednesdays. Since the older two kids are now in high school, though, they are wanting to be part of the parties, the football/basketball games, the dances, etc; most of which are Friday nights. So now, the kids get to participate in more Friday night school & friend activities, and Ace doesn't feel like he's missing out on Saturdays, and leaving all their parenting to me. We do have the option to take EVERY weekend (except holidays belonging to Mama) instead of the three/month we have now, but we'll see.

This also leaves a little more ability for Gamerboy to get that job he's been saying he wants for over a year... His ADHD could be a hinderance to keeping a job, not to mention where they live, the practically non-existent transit system out there, and his lack of want to get his license. Guess we'll see about all that, too. I keep waiting for him to be interested in having a girlfriend (or boyfriend; we really don't care which). Ace thinks that may change his outlook on getting/keeping a job, and getting his license. Just a really late bloomer, I guess. At least his grades are good (Squeeks, too, btw).

Fourth, as far as my legal stuff, there is nothing much to report. Princess' bio-dad still owes me a huge chunk of money; I do not expect to ever see any of it. I don't need it; she's perfectly taken care of (and then some) without it, but that doesn't eliminate the fact that he owes it to me. Yes, I could ask for jail time; he IS on bench probation, but I won't... not right now, anyway. Status quo is working well for us at the moment, and as long as waves aren't made... He did make it to half of one soccer game this season. Yes, I said half; as in 1/2 of ONE. Princess and I decided some time back that if we don't expect anything, we're not surprised. So far, so good on that note. Princess is happy, healthy, loved, and secure in our home; "my parents" she calls us. Ace and I give her the stability and the honesty & truth she needs, and she is blossoming.

Thanksgiving will be fantastic this year. We've been invited to my bff's & her family's home for Thursday's dinner, and Friday, we have a family/friend gathering at my mother's. This year, we expect 12 people at mom's. I look forward to the holidays, a time to celebrate love of friends, family, and winter (Mother Nature is a powerful, awe-inspiring, thing).