Holiday Chaos….er Happenings.

HI Everyone!

Yes…of course we have chaos…we are a big family with lots of friends. This is where I thrive. Truly. I am happiest when I have an event with social obligations. A couple members of my family are introverts and they struggle. It was especially difficult for Carl last night during the wild Christmas party at church. I thought on more than one occasion he was going to have a melt down. Thankfully he didn’t.

So yesterday I had breakfast with my quilty group. Great gals! I am so blessed to be a part of their lives. I am just amazed how God works in all of us. All the time. It’s so easy to be with them and the time always goes by fast. 🙂 To fast!

Then I came home & lounged for awhile. Rob & I decided to take the dogs out for a walk. We wanted to see how Merle would walk on the leash. How he would react to the city noises and yappy dogs that dart out & bark at him.  Gracie has been ours since she was a pup and she has never handled this stuff well. She isn’t aggressive just anxious( which Makes her insecure and I fear would turn into aggression) …but the more I compare her to Merle…I am thinking we have treated her to much like a human baby..LOL That she just doesn’t have any doggie instincts. Maybe we have protected her to much? I have no idea? She has been socialized…..she is just so protective of us and we are a big job. She has been the princess without any strife in her life. Merle has had much strife and takes every day easy come easy go.

We discovered that Merle and Princess, the cat do not get along. In Merle’s defense Princess doesn’t like any other animals. She fights with tom cats ect. She has never been fixed and she has never been pregnant because she doesn’t let anyone close to her …except us. Little dogs are even prey for her. So we don’t typically have them around her. She doesn’t go looking for trouble in the house…she just stays away from the dogs. But Merle approached her and that meeting did not go well. My bedroom is trashed. The good(but bad) thing is that Gracie became his back up. So they were a team.

We left the house empty and went to the store for 20 minutes. We came back and discovered that Merle likes to dig in garbage. Hard lesson learned. We have not had to deal with that for YEARS…so we kind of forgot that happens with dogs.  We will take better pre-cautions until he learns that is not OK. The foster parents said that when he first arrived it was difficult to get him to learn commands. He was stubborn and probably finished with humans mistreating him. But once he bonds he has a need to please ( like most mastiffs) and he will start listening to his one person. When Rob tried to get him to sit yesterday before entering the house (from our walk) He wasn’t sitting. Rob tried pushing on his hind end…to no avail. I broke out the bacon. So we can teach him with the reward system. That works.   We also took him to the Church Caroling party last night. I knew he would be a champ and the crowd would fall in love with him. I was right. He went straight to the middle so that  everyone could love on him…he was in his element.

Gracie has never been able to go into crowds of people…..she can’t keep track of all of us. But what she hated worse was us taking him & not her. She made quite the fuss when we walked out of the house with him & not her. She never did that with Brodie. So we brought her out. I told Bryce to walk her 10 feet behind the crowd…so she could at least be a part of it and see what was going on. Slowly but surely she worked herself into the crowd. She let strange ( to her) men pet her and love on her. It was pretty amazing. Jealousy is working a bit, I think.

But this morning there was a bit of a scuffle between the two. Carl was petting the both of them and Gracie got jealous (jealous not in her favor). So she tried to nip at Merle. Merle love his soul. He is very vocal but not a fighter. So he was trying to tell her to back off. She was trying to bite him. Carl didn’t really know what to do….I made Gracie walk away. But they are going to have to have some scuffles until she  learns who the pack leader is. She has not ever really had any strife in her life…so this will be painful for me to watch. It’s the animal kingdom…so I have to let it be. She is a quick study….I think she will pick it up fast. LOL I hope anyway.

The Christmas party was good, loud & fun. It was nice to see everyone and have fun for a bit. Rob & also did a few last minute Christmas details. I am hoping that today we can get some Christmas baking done…so that should be fun. Bryce’s BFF arrived last we had a few extra teens. Clarissa has a friend coming today to meet Merle. He’s a big deal around here you know? As if you hadn’t noticed? hehe. We have dinner at our Pastor’s house tonight as well.

Bryce also picked up a job at a winter camp as a counselor for the city. So he’s pretty excited about that. Everything is falling into place for him on the job front. I am happy for him. It seems God is putting him in all of the positions HE has been training Bryce for his whole life & use his gifts. I like seeing that come together as his mom. It’s just the beginning…..but I like to see the successes. I makes me feel like I am doing well as a parent. His boss said that Bryce is the best Ref they have ever had.  In the winter camp they are teaming him up with the kids that have special needs. Bryce has always been good with kids..especially ones with special needs. He works at the summer camp and gets teamed with the difficult kids. He also volunteers in a school program to help difficult kids by playing with them and helping them with school work & playing sports with them ect.

My heart swells with pride. I recognized early on…like when he was 4 that smaller children were always attracted to him and he was a strong leader. He could take a crying kid and turned it around to make them laugh. He wants to be a teacher…he has ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher & a coach. I think he is on the right path. Now he just needs to stay on it. Which will be the tricky part. Follow through. But I do know once he puts his mind to something he does it….which is WAY easier for me to work with. He is a teenager & of course doesn’t see the path he is on quite the same way I do. But he is earning more money this month than he has ever had in his life and that is all he can see. LOL Typical.  But I know he is saving a portion of it and I don’t even have to force him to that. Which also makes my heart swell that he can survive on his own & make good choices. Don’t get me wrong..He has faults. Trust me. We all do. But after struggling with child #1 on every front it’s good to see that #2 did pick up some good lessons.

Cole is finally back to Basketball ( he sprained his ankle early on) . He has a game out of town last night. So he didn’t get home until past 11 pm. Rough day. Then a 9:00 am practice. But they seem to thrive on the pain. The game is all that counts. Cole has been a bit edgy…..he’s having the “mommy separation” issue.  Loves me and wants to be near me one minute and hates me the next. I know all boys have to go through this….it’s very difficult for all involved. He’s not half as explosive as Bryce is, thankfully. But it’s difficult none the less. I just try to talk it out the best I can…and hope for the best. That’s really all I can do.  I know mothers & daughters have difficult times together…probably more long term?? I have no idea. I don’t have any normal relationships in my own life to compare. I won’t know until Clarissa starts this process. But the boys & I have a special bond because for several years it was just us. So there are some differences. I knew Bryce just needed me to stick by him and not abandon him or even elude to that. Cole is a perfectionist and I will never be perfect. So he is learning I have faults and it is bothering him. There is not a lot I can do about that. Hang in until …until ???

With all of that I laid in bed this morning thinking about 2013 and all of the ups & mostly downs. You can’t ever prepare for what happened to us this year. So much….but through it all God is always working. Always bringing light in times of darkness. When I got the news about my siblings ( earlier in the year) God had my schedule cleared. That had never happened. So he was preparing me for that. When Brodie died last week –> my schedule was pretty light…God knew I would need that. Coincidence? I think not. In the darkest parts of my family drama..God brought me full circle with people I didn’t know I needed to have that moment with. He is always providing me with people-family-friends that are meant to fill those gaps that  I pray for. The pain I experience is so worth all of the good times. When God brings people to you that love you from the heart rather than out of obligation…well than you know it’s true love. True love. true love is the type of love that God offers us. No conditions. Charitable. True.Secure.unlimited.Grace.

I am eternally grateful. As we go through the hustle & bustle of cleaning, wrapping, shopping, cooking and living in the moment. I would just like you all to take a moment and think about Love. Here is a verse to think about and let resonate so that we may have the heart we need to deal with the stress of holidays.  It’s a verse that I shared at the beginning of 2012 at the start of my bible study. It still rings true.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For the most part I have kept this close to me this year. But I am human afterall and I have faltered. I have deliberately went against the word and wanted justice. In his time. It’s all in his time. I have to let go. Nothing is in my time.

Thanks for hanging in with me. Thanks for loving me & my family. My quilting and encouraging me along the way. It helps my soul.

Many blessings to all of you!







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