Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Confessional


It is Friday and you all know what that means? Yep, you guessed it, time to fess up. Come join the fun over at Aubrey's High-Heeled Love. She host this little party every Friday.

I confess...

I took a tiny break to deal with home.  I needed to concentrate on getting Noah in the right place. Darn it... I mean Christian.  This is going to be hard to call him by his middle name as he requested.  Any way, he has been much better after returning from his Dad's this Summer.  The only problem is his sleep schedule has been totally out of wack.  Dad allowed him to sleep all day and stay up all night.

I confess...

This was a little adjustment but he also had access to his computer the entire time. He understood his hours will drop to 2 hours/day during the week and he can have 6 hours/day on the weekend or basically when there is no school.  I believe this caused some anxiety issues for him.  He is so wrapped up with the Internet. 

I confess...

He was also a little concerned about drama his friends and he seem to create.  They feed off of one another and he is aware of this.  He was excited to begin school in order to find more friends and possibly a group who create less drama.

I confess...

I think I handled this well this time.  We sat down and talked about what he was willing to share.  I pointed out he will have school work first as a responsibility and due to the classes he chose he will not have as much free time during the week for the computer.  I think he understood because he seems to be okay with it for now. 

I confess...

We have the first week under our belt of his Sophomore year and it looks good so far.  He agreed with me that he was thinking irrational by wanting to quit Show Choir and he was glad I told him to hold off and think more about it when his emotions were settled down. 

I confess...

I gave him a small vial of Essential Oil sample I received for anxiety/stress named Stress Away.  I told him to keep it in his pocket and he can smell it if he feels anxiety approaching and if it is a rough day he can place a little on his wrist and jaw as well.  He did use it once this week he said and it worked.  *HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF*

I confess...

We also scheduled all of his therapy sessions for the rest of the year, so he has ease there knowing the schedule for therapy.

I confess...

Sunday I plan to catch up and comment on the blogs I follow and will be back on Monday blogging as I have in the past. 

What do you have to confess about this week.


Thursday, August 20, 2015


Our house is going through a lot of changes right now, thus why I was away for a week.  Christian (a.k.a. Noah) came home on August 8th.  He was so happy to be home, he hugged Todd.  I cannot ever remember him hugging Todd do not get me wrong they have had a good relationship but he has never hugged him.   He told me how much he missed home.  His spirits were up.  He and Ethan got a long.  I have been trying to get him back on a schedule.

Ethan last week was so frustrating, he was going to be physically moving out on Saturday August 15th and he had very little packed.  He kept going out with friends and working.  He would stay out late, sleep all day, when he was home and awake it seemed like all he did was play games then it happened.  His bedroom was emptied.  An empty bedroom.  At one time I had this smiling boy, the next he was spreading his wings and moved across town to live with his brother.  Now, there is only one home with us.

I did not like the empty room.  It was too hard to see, so we started to fill the closets and added a bed for guest and Taj's toys.  Our living room is now not a toy room as well.  I have been working over time as well this month, so between it all I am tired.

Back to I mean Christian.  He made City Lights which is one of the swing choirs, it is mainly Freshman/Sophomore Swing Choir.  It has been great, this has been an incentive for him to bring up his grades at the end of the year.  He signed a contract and in this contract, he cannot miss a lot of school, he has to pass all of his classes, and he cannot drink/smoke/or do drugs.  It has been great watching him so excited and seeing him caring about things again...

One thing I have learned with being his Mom and I know it is horrible to say, we (Todd and I) are always waiting for the other shoe to drop with him and it has.  Tonight I came home and he was down.  He is closing up and will not share what is going on.  He told me he is going to drop out of show choir now.  I just do not know what to say about this.  I cannot keep going on with battling him to do the right things.  I begged him not to do this, to sit on it for awhile and allow his emotions to connect again because I do not want him to be sorry later.  I also told him the group depended on him. 

I have no clue what to do, school starts on Monday and his spirits are not in a good place at all.  This is so damn frustrating!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vacation 2015 ~ Day Eight - Devils Tower

Devils Tower is the first National Monument, so if you have been following my vacation post that makes the state of Wyoming to have the first National Forrest (Shoshone National Forrest), National State Park (Yellowstone), and National Monument (Devils Tower) this should help inform how beautiful Wyoming actually is. 
It is actually not fully understood by geologist how Devils Tower came about, however the most popular theory is it is most likely the interior of an extinct volcano where the remaining debris and ash has eroded away over time.  The monument is 1,267 feet and it is part of the Black Hills mountain chain. 
The monument is within an Indian Reservation and one must respect the land and keep on the track because the monument is on Indian Sacred ground to the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Kiowa. 
There are a couple of trails you can hike to go around the monument.  The inner circle, which we took is 1 mile of paved path which does have slopes.  I found some of the slopes a little too steep for my knees but I just took them slow because I wanted to see the beauty.
If you register with the ranger's office you could climb the tower.  However, during the month of June, climbers are asked not to do so to honor the wishes of the local tribes.  Below is a picture of someone needing assistance from the park rangers while climbing.
There are two American Indian Legends on how the monument came into existence.  One: The Devils Tower was created when six Sioux girls were picking flowers in the forest and they were chased by bears.  In order to save their lives, the Great Spirit lifted the ground under the girls.  The bears attempted to clime the rock, but could not reach the girls at the time.  The marks around the monument are the bears scratch marks. (This is the most popular legend.)
Another Indian Legend is of two Sioux boys who wandered away from the village.  A giant bear who was named Mato attempted to eat them when Wakan Tanka the creator raised the ground below the boys.  The bear clawed its way to the side of the rock trying to get them but was not successful so he wandered off forming Bear Butte near the Black Hills.  Wanblee the eagle lifted the boys off the monument aiding them to return to their village.
However the monument was created it is a very beautiful and peaceful place.  Visitors are requested to watch their voice levels again to respect the Indian's sacred ground.

Above and below are some ceremonial ties which were placed on trees along the grounds around the monument

Below is a type of wild flower.  Like Yellowstone, if a forest fire begins, they let it burn because it is good for the nature.  Their are trees which has a type of cones which only open with extreme heat like fire.  This will then be the new seedlings for new trees.  This is true for some flowers, such as the flower picture below.  The only time rangers fight fires are to protect historical sites/buildings or people.
I am truly thankful the Indians allow us to visit this site.  It is true beauty and tranquility.  

Vacation 2015 ~ Day One and Two
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Three - The Grand Tetons & Day One in Yellowstone
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Four, Five, and Six - Yellowstone
Vacation 2015 ~ Animals of Yellowstone
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Seven -  Cody
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Eight  - Devil's Tower


Vacation 2015 ~ Day Seven - Cody

We left Yellowstone trying to beat the sun going down.  The East entrance is a scary one with several winding roads and a few hair pin turns.  I left Yellowstone mainly with my eyes closed.  I did not take any medicine before we left.  We also had to drive through the Shone National Forrest which was the first National Forrest.  By, the way if you did not know, Yellowstone was the first National Park? We stayed two nights in Cody and I loved the hotel Todd picked out.  It was perfect.  The Cody Hotel.  It was so luxurious after tent camping.  The staff was great, the continental breakfast was wonderful, they had home made cookies waiting in the evening in the lobby. They had a nice fire pit and one night a baggie of s'more mix for those who wanted to make s'mores.  Taj would have loved staying here too.  Day seven we spent the day in Cody.  We headed towards downtown to begin with and found several bison art on display. It reminded me of our Herkey on Parade or the Books Parade.  Here are a few of the bison statues.

My favorite is below.

My second favorite.

We did a little shopping. We had a couple of things we had to pick up for some of our boys.  Christian (a.k.a Noah) wanted chocolate covered sunflower seeds like he had two years ago.  We wanted to pick up hot sauce that Joshua had two years ago.  Joshua ate a huge sample to flirt with a girl.  You can read about it by clicking here.  We had a couple of hours to shop until our trolley tour of Cody.

It was a fun two hour tour of Cody.  We saw many historical homes.  Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody) built Cody, Wyoming.  In order to have the railroad stop at Cody, Buffalo Bill had to build a hotel.  He spent his own money to build the famous Irma Hotel, he named the hotel after one of his daughters.

Did you Know: Buffalo Bill is from Le Claire, Iowa.  Yes, William F. Cody was born a little more than an hour from where we live. 

There were so many deer in people's yards.
We have a lot of deer in Iowa but they do not hang out in the day light.
I have never seen a little fawn before.  I thought he/she was cute. (above)
Below is a log cabin which has never been moved since it was built
in the 1800's.
Below is a picture of the mountain ridge near Cody Dam.
After our Trolley Tour of Cody we went to see Buffalo Bill's Museum. 
A few pictures of the outdoor attractions at the museum.
We were able to taste test a chuck wagon meal.
A statue of Buffalo Bill and Todd.
I did not take any pictures inside.  There were so many rooms, one can spend several hours possibly two days to get through the entire museum.  We took a 45 minute tour and then spent the remainder of our two hours in three rooms of our interest.  We then headed back downtown to the Irma Hotel where we ate dinner prior to the gun show outside.  The bar's cherry wood was a gift from Queen Victoria.  Buffalo Bill believed Cody would be a resting point into Yellowstone and helped lobby and convince the government that Yellowstone needed an East entrance.  He was one who wanted to protect Yellowstone but also make it accessible for visitors to see the beauty.

The town of Cody has wide roads, this was designed by Buffalo Bill because he was tired of having difficulties making turns with his wagons for his shows.  After dinner we found our reserved seats in the front row to watch Cody's Gun Fight.  It was a cute little show.
Above: Buffalo Bill
Below: Calamity Jane

The Cast

After the show, we went back to the hotel to relax and enjoy the lobby.  It was so wonderful to sit and relax and read while having a player piano play.  I truly loved spending time in Cody and time with Todd.
Vacation 2015 ~ Day One and Two
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Three - The Grand Tetons & Day One in Yellowstone
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Four, Five, and Six - Yellowstone
Vacation 2015 ~ Animals of Yellowstone
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Seven - Cody
Vacation 2015 ~ Day Eight - Devil's Tower


He Loves Me