I love summer. I usually plan too much but I feel like it is always 3 months of accomplishment! This summer is no different. We always plan a garden with 3 other families and my summer is full of cultivating, harvesting, and canning. I love seeing my pantry full of a years worth of food at the end of the summer! The garden makes trips difficult so it does ground us but this year we are doing two trips. We are not Disney goers but we were invited by some dear friends in Atlanta to go with them to Disney for a week in June. Sarah and Will have been but Molly didn't even know what Disney World was until we told her! She will enjoy it. Then a week in July we are all going our separate ways! Jeb to Mexico, Will to AL Senior Camp, Sarah to AL Junior Camp, me to a sign language conference in Atlanta, and Molly to her Nan and Granddaddy's house! We figured knocking out our activities during the same week will help.
I always try to home school somehow during the summer since the kids are now in public school. This year I am doing a Spanish curriculum with Molly (yes she has forgotten it all!) as well as a summer reinforcement program that I will do with Will and Sarah. I also have a bible program that I am doing with the girls. We are studying "Growing Little Women" by Donna J. Miller. There is a book for young girls that I will study with Molly and another I will study with Sarah. I look forward to sitting down with them and opening the book. Sarah is starting to "close up" and I feel a little teenage distance starting so hopefully this will help her begin to talk again. I have also implemented the IF/THEN chart for the summer. If you do this, then this is your punishment. As well as the blessings chart and the Reaves house rules chart. (Can you tell I love charts?) With these charts I am not constantly screaming (yes, unfortunately I do scream sometimes:( ] orders or punishment but I can just say, "Go read #...)
I also have printed all the chores and put them in a bowl. Each night they draw out their 3 new chores for the following day. This way their chores don't get monotonous.
Something I am very excited about is that we bought a camper. I have been searching for about a year. I wanted to find the perfect one for us, with the perfect setup and the perfect price! That's why it took me a year! Finally we have our camper. It's a bunkhouse with queen bed in the front, middle kitchen, and bunks in the back. It does have a slide out so there is plenty of room. We found it on Craigslist and it is a 2003. The reason we got such a good deal is that it was dirty. It is perfect, nothing wrong with it, just dirty. Well Jeb and I have fixed that problem and it is as good as new! We look forward to taking off anytime we feel like it and spending a night with the family. No tvs, phones, or computers! Can't wait.
Well that's our summer, it will be gone before we know it. Hope you enjoy yours!
April has been a tough month for me as well as many around us. May continues to be as well.
Many of you know about the tornadoes that devastated AL one week ago. The atmosphere reminds me of Katrina in many ways when we lived in Mobile. There was panic that set in for a while, long lines at gas stations, no food on the shelves at grocery stores, electricity and water shortages (400,000 were without power), and phone lines overloaded. Many of those things have passed, but the atmosphere is still very sad. There are images everywhere of devastation. As with 9/11 and Katrina people's moral can really get down because it seems to be all around us. Jeb, Will, and I worked with the cleanup for 3 days last week. There were 5 families directly affected by the tornadoes. They all lost their homes and one almost lost his life. It was sobering to see the destruction. There are 250 confirmed dead in AL alone and 300 people still unaccounted for. Please continue to pray for those affected.
I personally have been going through something that is very difficult as well. My mother died 8 years ago of complications from diabetes. Since then my dad's mental health has been progressively gotten worse. He is a Vietnam Vet. The things he did and saw there can not be described and it has haunted him at night for 45 years. Although he never spoke specifically about his memories, my mother helped him with the nightmares all of those years. When she died they started to overtake him. He was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The past year has been terrible and then past month horrible. He is not supposed to drive or have guns but puts many miles on his truck per day and has an arsenal. My brother and I get calls everyday from people in the small community where I'm from. People call to report things my dad has done. Everyone is scared of him. Recently he hit may brother and has since threatened him. He is not always angry, sometimes depressed, sometimes confused. Last week he bought a whole restaurant their breakfast and left a hundred dollar tip. He has also made some other deals where people have taken great advantage of his money. He is not making good decisions right now. As of yesterday the psychologist agreed to admit him for a 30 day evaluation, but can't do anything unless he comes to an appointment. Dad's paranoia makes him question everything and we can't get him to go. He has always been a man that you don't cross, that you don't tell he's wrong, and short tempered. Coupling that with his mental illness makes for a difficult situation. I woke up today knowing that he may have to be taken by force to the hospital. That is so hard.
My dad is the main reason we moved back from Mexico because I knew that I needed to be within driving distance to help my brother the best I can. I covet your prayers that we will deal with the situation in the best way.
So this week is my Spring Break from school. My sweet m-i-l came over and is keeping the kids while Jeb and I are getting some much needed time away from the routine. We are in Franklin TN enjoying the sites. The weather has been dreary but we've enjoyed antique shops, coffee, tea, and even some fish and chips at a local quaint restaurant. We visited a beautiful bookstore with tons of old books and visited some civil war sites. One of our favorite places has been Lieper's Fork, which is a quaint town with about 5 shops. The town was built around a church building that was the first church of Christ building built south of Nashville. We also visited a shop there owned by Alex who appeared on Jeb's favorite show American Pickers! She gave us the whole story about the show and the guys, Mike and Frank. So now we are headed home, back to the grind! It's been a great time.
So now I'm a year into my studies. I am shooting for my Bachelors in Sign Language Interpreting. I should be done by next spring and then be able to take on my internship. The program has been pretty tough! It's like nursing school in a lot of ways, there are a lot of people that drop out in the first semester. I am enjoying learning a 3rd language but it's hard to make my mind do all that is necessary to translate from one language to another. Sign language's sentence structure is constructed a lot like Spanish. I often find myself reading in English, then translating it into Spanish before I take it to my hand and form the signs. Could I make it any harder on myself? I am blessed to be able to get the degree totally online. There are a lot of event requirements and hours of observation put in that I have to set up myself but it's so enjoyable. Every time I come home from an event I tell Jeb, "This is exactly what I want to do!". I have been subbing some at the high school here that educates the hard of hearing students. That is a great experience. I also go to deaf meetings and meet people from all walks of life. In February I went to a silent weekend. I attended many workshops on interpreting, memory processing, and facial expression. We couldn't talk the whole weekend and could only use sign language! I learned a lot. Also Troy University chose me to represent them at the National Conference for Interpreters in Atlanta in July. I will be going there to work the school booth and attend the workshops. Fortunately Will and Sarah will be at Alabama camp, Jeb is going to Chiapas, and Molly with stay with her Nan for a week! So it should be fun. Finally at 37 I know what I want to do! I have been searching for something that I could do for years that wouldn't take away from my mommy duties. This is it. I can work a few hours a week, have a rewarding job, and make good money to help us out.
Things are going well for us. The Mexican days of relaxation are out the window though. Having 3 kids at these ages is a challenge. I have a mommy calender up and it helps some....between their schedules, Jeb's schedule, my school, and my part time job (did I mention I work 2 days a week) we are holding our heads above water! My finals are this week and then I have spring break so Nan is coming to take care of the kiddos and Jeb an I are going a way for a much needed break.
Speaking of those kiddos, they are doing great. They have adjusted well and are all in school (3 different schools, so 3 different car lines). Molly is in 1st grade, Sarah in 5th and Will in 7th. Molly is the sweetheart in her class and her best friend has Aspergers syndrome. She is so sweet and patient with her. She also has a very shy, overweight boy with a speech impediment whom she has taken under her wing named Andrew. He was in her class last year. Every holiday he gets her a small stuffed animal and this Valentine's day he had his mom give Molly a chocolate Rose. Molly Ann is truly as sweet and caring as her namesake, my mom. Sarah is our MBFMM (metal brace face metal mouth) as Jeb calls her and is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She is our wiz kid and easily has straight A's every time. She is also playing indoor soccer and loves it. She is also a compassionate kid and takes care of everyone. Will is now taller than me, I believe he is 5'9" now and plays football and soccer. He is not our wiz kid but gets by in life by being a friend to all. He is kind an funny and doesn't take life too seriously. This causes his daddy to keep his thumb on him pretty hard but he does take the important things seriously and loves people as the Lord would have him to. He is also playing the electric guitar and loving it.
Jeb just had shoulder surgery January 17th. After a long month of immobility he is finally in therapy and will continue therapy for another 2 months. It's hard for that man to be down but he is healing well. He hopes to go to Mexico again this year as well as Honduras. I pray that things settle down in Mexico so that the kids and I will be able to go and see our dear brothers and sisters there soon.
Blessing to you all. I look forward to using pleo as my journal once again!..
I just had a revelation today.
This forum is a comfort to me. That is my revelation.
I miss it.
I drew strength from it while in Mexico.
I can draw strength from it now.
Facebook is deceptive.
I don't truly know those people,
Except for what they had for dinner.
Pleonasters don't tell me what they had for dinner,
They give me spiritual food!!!
So I'm back.