Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I hope you dance

This was sent to me as an e-mail. Enjoy.

Dancing With God

When I meditated on the word Guidance,
I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is
a lot like dancing.

When two people try to lead,
nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that,
and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back
or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness
from one personand gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.
When I saw "G" I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i".
"God, "u" and "i" dance."
God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust

that I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
and mercies be upon you on this day and every day.
May you abide in God as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead
and to guide you through each season of your life.
If God has done anything for you in your life,
please share this message with someone else,
for prayer is one of the best gifts we can receive.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards;
so let's continue to pray for one another.
And I Hope You Dance!!!!!!!!


Fill your mind with whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute , any excellent thing worthy of praise; for whatever you think in your heart - so you are!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The more things change....

Last night the police were called to DH's ex wife's home again. There were no arrests this time, but the police read them all the riot act, I guess. From what OSS told us, the police said they will arrest everyone if they are called again within the next month. It sounds as though MSS probably should have been arrested again for domestic assault, but his mother refused to press charges. And she wonders why these boys behave the way they do....sheesh.

OSS wound up coming here last night and spending the night. Tonight YSS will be spending the night. OSS said last night that he is tired of all the junk and he wants to come live here. He has been forewarned that we have rules and he will have to abide by them. We'll see if it was just anger talking last night, or if he follows through.

I feel bad for all of them. I know DH's ex is doing her best, but she has stated several times that she hates men and doesn't trust them. How difficult it is to be the son of someone who hates you because of your gender, even as she is supposed to love because she is your mother. Growing up with those mixed messages has got to be difficult at best.

Lord,
Help us to have wisdom in this situation. Help us to discern YOUR will for this situation. I want to obey You, Lord. I admit, I am wary about taking in my stepsons. We have tried to provide them a safe haven here and we have been badly burned by their behavior and attitudes. I don't want to close my ears to You out of fear, Lord, so I beg You to make Your will impossible to ignore. I ask this through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

Amen

Monday, November 20, 2006

Update on the boys

Well, the boys were arraigned today. MSS had bail posted at $100. The probation officer and DH strongly urged DH's ex not to bail him out. The probation officer talked to her about the way MSS talks to her. MSS was yelling at her to go get the money...ask Gram for it, etc. I guess he was quite confident he was getting bailed out even as late as 3:30when YSS was finally called out of the juvenile lock up at the court for his hearing. As far as we know, his mother actually listened to what she was told and left him in jail tonight. The probation officer told her to let him stew at least until after the holiday. DH was telling me about this after he came home and I said, if he is locked up, she doesn't need to worry about him taking off and getting in more trouble again, and he will definitely show up for his next court date because he'll be escorted in shackles and cuffs. He was charged with delinquency, truancy, Assault and Battery, and possibly with possession of marijuana (he apparently had drugs on his person when he was picked up) as well as violating probation, as he was released conditionally after his last arraignment. It seems that on top of his violent behavior, he has missed 8 days of school since November 1st. He doesn't seem to get it that he is not in charge, and that if he doesn't behave, he will go to jail. DH said that the probation officer was explaining to his ex that anytime MSS (or either of his brothers for that matter) threatens her or her mother in any way, she should be calling the police. He explained to her that there is more they can do to help her out if she reports the behavior. She has let them get away with so much for so long, and I am not sure if she will actually let MSS stay locked up. I am told the bail increases to $130 after he returns to lockup, though.

YSS was giving tighter restrictions. He has a 7 p,m, curfew, and he has to attend school. He was warned that if he skips again he will wind up locked up as he violated his probation once already. He did not wind up in lock up per se this past weekend, but rather in a temporary foster home. He said it wasn't too bad, but he was talking to another kid who has been moved around every few months and said that sounds like it sucks. I think he was released to his mother this time because they are hoping that being taken away for the weekend and seeing his brother getting locked up might be enough to straighten him out. He has been warned. He claims he has "been clean for a month and a half." He said he knew he was going to get probation when he went to court the last time, so he stopped smoking pot. He claims he only smoked it 4 or 5 times. I have never tried the stuff, and frankly I never understood why anyone would want to use drugs and lose control of their faculties.

We are supposed to have the boys every Tuesday night for several hours. DH has been lax with them up to now. MSS will not be returning here, but his brothers, or at least YSS will be coming on Tuesday nights whether they like it or not. DH figured they were getting older and wanted to be around their friends, etc. Now he figures this is one way to prevent them from getting into any trouble....at least on Tuesday night.

Well, we have done what we can. The boys have been taught right from wrong. They are choosing to behave this way. They are very angry young men, but that is a long story that I am not ready to tell.

Lord,
You know all that these boys have been through. You know they are loved and that we have tried to teach them how to behave. They are in your hands, Lord. Your will be done. Help us as we parent the younger children to guide them in Your paths. Please protect them from this anger and rebellion that the older children are experiencing. Bless all our children, Lord. Bless DH's ex wife with strength to follow through and leave MSS in lock up until his next court date. That boy is so lost right now. His mother desperately needs You to help her withstand the temptation to go and rescue him yet again. The only way he will learn that he has to be responsible for his own actions, Lord, is to be left where he is to take the consequences. This is hard. Please help us all get through it. Please help us keep it from DH's father right now. DH's mother passed away just about a year ago, and his dad would have a really hard time dealing with all this right now. Thank you, Lord.

Amen.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

And the saga continues

We found out last night that MSS and YSS are both locked up in juvenile detention this weekend. Apparently YSS was put on probation when he had his CHINS hearing. Apparently he also was caught at some point with "weed" as OSS put it to DH. YSS skipped school again and was picked up. MSS was arrested for assault again. Apparently he beat up on another kid. Of course, DH didn't get a call from his ex about any of this and found out while IM-ing with his oldest son last night. I'm sure there is probably more to the story than the little bit we have gotten from OSS. DH is a bit of wreck over all this. He is mostly upset about the youngest being in lock up. I think there must be a whole lot more to the story than what we are getting. From what we were told, he was pulling regular kid stuff, but they don't usually put you in lock up for skipping school. OSS seemed to think that he was "finally going to be an only child" because he thinks his brothers are going to wind up in some sort of foster care. DH had at one point thought about having his youngest come here to live, but I said no. I will not put the rest of the children who are in my care in this house through the same junk they have been through in the past year with MSS and ODS. The younger two are finally starting to seem really happy, and YDS is settling down and behaving much better lately (although he is bouncing around right now).

Dear Lord,
Please soften the hearts of MSS and YSS to accept your love and to reject the ways of this world. They have been taught by their mother that they can have whatever they want and that "love" is shown by buying things. I think they are both angry and searching for something to fill the voids in their hearts, Lord, the voids that only You can fill. Bless DH's ex-wife with wisdom in this situation. Give her strength, Lord. Please place a hedge of protection around OSS, Lord. He has not been in the kind of trouble his brother's are in, Lord, but he too, has his vices. You know his needs and his weaknesses, Lord. Only You can help any of them, Lord.
Lord, give peace to DH in this situation. You know he has tried to set these boys straight. He is so upset, Lord, and he takes it out on those around him. Please help him to see his behavior is harmful to those who love him, and does nothing to help his boys. Your will be done, Lord.

Amen

Sunday, November 05, 2006

This and that

Well, Life has been busy. The younger 2 kids are settling in to the home school routine. I think we have accomplished more in the last few months here at home than would have been accomplished in "real school" despite all the distractions we have had.
MSS is back at his mother's. He failed to show for his arraignment and a warrant was issued for his arrest. When he found out about the warrant, he called DH and starting screaming obscenities and blaming DH for his own irresponsibility. Of course it was DH's FAULT that MSS didn't go to his arraignment. DH told MSS that he lives with his mother now and it is his mother's responsibility to either get him to court herself or make arrangements for him to get there. I guess MSS wound up getting locked up for 2 hours (shackles and cuffs with no shoes) when he finally went to court. YSS had to go to court because his school filed a CHINS motion against him for skipping so much school. CHINS stands for Child In Need of Services. He now has a curfew of 8 p.m. and must do community service to "pay" for his attorney. Of course this is "idiotic" and he should get the lawyer handed to him free. These boys have learned the entitlement mentality from their mother, and indeed may even take it further than she does. OSS is the only one who, so far, has been able to stay out of trouble, and is working a part time job. He seems to understand that if you want something you work for it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....I always wanted to say that...LOL..ODD has a part time job. She had orientation today from 2-4. It is currently a seasonal (Christmas) position, but she may have an opportunity to stay on after the holidays. At this point, she has a job to get her through the holidays and will have a reference after the holidays for any other applications she may put in other places.

My car is running again! It cost me nothing to repair as it was the emergency fuel pump shut off that caused it to "die" in the first place.

My oldest is still not speaking with me. I have heard through channels that he is having problems with pressure in his eyes due to the medications he must take for his autoimmune disease. I miss him. My little ones miss him. He seems to have forgotten them. Of course, he is 18 and working full time. I don't think I spent much time with my brother once I moved out of my parents home. My brother was 15, though. It is a little easier to understand at 15 than it is at 10 and 6. They feel abandoned and forgotten.

We attended mass on Wednesday for All Saints Day and on Friday for first Friday. The priest at the church where we attend First Friday mass is so good with the children. He takes the time to really gear his sermons to them and really EXPLAIN the scriptures. He also takes the time to explain Eucharistic adoration to them. He has taught them a song and a prayer for time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I have known this priest since I was 15 years old. In many ways he is just the same as he was then. He wants to pass on his faith to the younger generations. He is not really a very well spoken man, but you can tell he really loves Jesus.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the gifts of friends and family. Help us all to see you in those around us. Help us to remember that "whatsoever we do to least of these we do unto you." So often it is easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of every day and to forget to take the time to stop and help a "neighbor." Be with ODS as he struggles with his illness. Wrap you love around him and heal him, body, mind and spirit. Be with all my step sons and their mother and grandmother. They all so desperately need you, Lord. Be with the 3 children remaining here. May they know they are loved and cared for and that You are to be the center of their lives.

Amen

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Arrested

Well, DSS2 managed to push limits to the point of being arrested for domestic assault and battery tonight. This is the second time I have had to call the police and have him arrested for pushing DH around. The kid just doesn't get it. He has been horrible at home and in school because he decided he wants to go back and live with his mother. We fought to get him out of her home because he was supposedly being abused (I am not sure what to believe about any of this anymore) almost daily by her. He knew when he came here that we have rules and there are consequences to your actions. He abided by the rules and was genuinely doing well for the first 3 or 4 months he was here (he came in April of 2005). He spent a chunk of time over the summer of 2005 visiting at his mother's and came back to us last September totally off. His behavior has done nothing but decline since then. All summer this year his mother promised to do what was necessary to regain custody of him so he could go back and live with her. She did not follow through. He had to be forced to come home to start school, and by the time 3 weeks of school were done the principal already knew his name. ODS managed to graduate without the principal knowing him. YDD will be known to the principal because of her outstanding test scores and the scholarships she is already (junior year) eligible for.
Today DSS2 skipped half his classes. We got a call from the school that he skipped 3 class periods. We took the internet away from him for the night. He claimed he had homework for his networking class, so we allowed him to go on the computer to do that, but then he was watching videos online instead of doing home work. We made him get off the computer and he flipped out and started cussing ("f-bombs" as DH calls them) at everyone in sight. He started to yell at YDS when YDS told him his language was bad, and DH got really angry. DH got right in DSS2's face and started telling him the facts of life. DH never touched the kid, but DSS2 threatened to "lay him out in the hospital" and so on. Then DSS2 pushed DH several times (3 or 4 I lost track). At that point I dialed 911.

Police arrived and DSS2 had calmed down a little, but he was speaking aggressively and tried to tell us and the police how things were going to go. DH and I decided that the best course of action was for him to be arrested. As of now, I don't know if he wound up in a lock up or if he was released to his mother. I kind of hope it was lock up because his mother will somehow make everything out to be the fault of anyone but him.

I really hate this stuff.

Lord,
I am feeling so drained that I feel like I can't even pray. Heal my children, please, and be with DSS2. He needs a heart adjustment.

Amen

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fuming

My ex husband is court ordered to carry health insurance for my 2 oldest children. He finally (after 4 years) got health insurance for them in July. He refuses to give me an insurance card for my daughter, however. He told her he only has 1. She had to go to the doctor today and had to have a script filled. Her father wouldn't give us the information to fill it. He insisted that HE had to take her to fill the prescription. He also had my address crossed off her medical chart at the pediatrician office. God forbid there was ever an emergency. He WILL NOT answer his phone if I call him, so we would be SOL at an emergency room. Needless to say, I am a bit peeved by this.

In other news, YDS has been really upset the last few days about ODS. He misses ODS and is old enough to understand that ODS keeps in touch with ODD but makes no effort to see him or YDD. He is angry and sad at the same time about this. As I type this blog, ODS is across the street at my neighbor's house. I saw him drive in to the driveway. He is 100 feet from his siblings, but miles away at the same time. My heart breaks all over again for my 2 younger children.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001
On the fateful day of September 11, 2001, I was still a "working mother." I worked in an elementary school in a neighboring city, in the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods. Many of our students were considered minorities, and many had relatives in NYC. I was working on my computer at the time the first plane hit. A friend from another school called me to tell me about it. I ran from my office to the main office. I turned on the television in the office while telling the school secretary what I had just heard. As the television came into focus, the second plane hit.
Two of the teachers had close relatives in NYC on that day. One teacher's husband was in the city for a business meeting. Another teacher's daughter taught elementary school there. Both were eventually contacted and safe. Before long, the entire school was frantic for news. Some teachers put the televisions in their class rooms on and watched with their students. Parents arrived to pull their children out of school so they could try to get into the city and check on relatives that could not be reached by phone. The telephones were ringing off the hook with frightened people asking if school would be closing early.
I stood, horrified, watching the replays of the planes hitting the towers and realized my own children were in school in a city that could easily have been a target as our city holds an Air Reserve base that houses C-5A's. It is one of the last stops on the trip over seas for many in all branches of the armed forces. I realized I should find out if my children were staying in school. My YDD was in kindergarten. This event frightened her. We stopped turning the television to any channel that might be showing replays of the attack. Only children's programming was on for several weeks. I don't think any of us slept very well.
In the five years that have passed, we have re-examined many things in our lives. We have decided that our family is more important than "success" in the material sense. I quit my "job" and came home to fulfill my calling as a mother. The job I do every day now is so much more fulfilling than the what I used to do. I am more focused on the here and now than on the "yet to be." I pray to understand why someone would attack us. This is beyond my understanding, though. I get angry when I hear people complain about this country. I feel like anyone who makes derogatory remarks about our country should go somewhere else and learn about the freedoms we have by experiencing first hand the lack of freedom elsewhere.
I get angry at those who denigrate our soldiers. These brave young men and women who fight oppression and stand for freedom deserve our gratitude. They stand and fight that we may continue to have the freedoms to which we are accustomed. Many do not see them as fighting for our freedoms when they stand in Afghanistan or Iraq and fight the oppressors who would kill them without a second thought. Many refuse to see the danger people who hate bring to this world. There are some people who do not want to "sit down and talk about it." They would as soon shoot you as look at you. Many here in our great country do not or will not understand this. In our naivete, we want to believe that everything CAN be worked out reasonably, without fighting. Unfortunately, that is not the reality.
Our great country is under threat of attack every day that people like Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden roam free and spread their own prejudices and hatreds. Their words and thoughts spread like poison through those who would believe that we are "infidels" because we don't think exactly as they think.
May we learn from this.

Lord,
How wonderful it would be if all peoples could get along. Your word shows us that people from the earliest times, however, have not gotten along. You have shown us that there is good and evil. Many people at this time believe that "right" is relative to your situation. They see everything in shades of gray. I believe in your word, Lord. I believe there is right and there is wrong. I try very hard not to be relativistic. It is difficult, sometimes, to stay the course. It is easier to "go along to get along." I try to recall that You never said it would be easy. You predicted there would be persecution for following You. Please be my strength. Guide me in Your ways. Remind that I am frequently one "of little faith."

Amen.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Week 2 begins

Tomorrow morning begins week 2 of our "school year." Last week we did ok....I have begun to rethink a bit, though. In talking to some friends who school at home, I realized that I was expecting a bit too much for the first week, and that if I really want my children to learn, our schooling must be fun as well as educational. I have my darlings at home because I didn't want them to have a cookie cutter education full of special interest group propaganda. I want them to learn to think for themselves. This means challenging them in ways other than "finishing the book."

In other news, DSS2 has been at his mother's house all summer. He now refuses to return home because he wants to go to school there. We have him because the situation there (home and school) was out of control. According to his mother, she has been telling him he needs to come back and he refuses. At this point, it seems, he is technically a run away and she is aiding and abetting....he already needs to go to court at the end of this week for assaulting DH back in June.

My home is so much more calm without him here, but it appears his mother (who has assured him all summer that he could stay there this fall but has done nothing to change custody) does not really want him there, or that her mother, who owns the house in which she resides, has said he cannot come back....I am afraid only God Himself knows the truth of that one.

Lord,
Be with us as we begin our new school week. Be with ODD on Wednesday as she begins a very heavy course load in her junior year of High School. Be with YDD and YDS and with me, please. Help me to make "school" fun and educational. I am trying to remember that many things that we do throughout the day are educational if we take the moment. Light those moments for me, please, Lord. Be with our children who reside elsewhere. May they know that we love them. Heal them in any areas where healing is necessary. Place your hedge of protection around our family, Lord.

I pray in Jesus' holy name.

Amen.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The more things change...

My oldest dear son turned 18 last week. He posted a rather harsh blog the day after his birthday that I believe was aimed at me. He moved out in December after he and my DH had an argument. I supported his decision, and I did not try to "win him back". I love my son, but I am afraid the fight has gone out of me. I was not as hurt by the diatribe I read as I might have been even a month ago. I am trying to concentrate now on the children who still live here. I need to be the best mother I can be for them. My son is convinced that I was/am a horrible mother. I can't change that. All I can do is pray for God to soften his heart. I am human, not perfect. God forgives mefor this. Maybe someday my son will, too.

Dear Lord,
Please help me today to be the best wife and mother that I can be. Continue to heal my family. Despite my sons feelings, let him know, deep in his heart, that he is loved. Give me the strength to keep going on. Please provide your protection to my children, Lord, and to my husband and I. We need you.

Amen

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Testing

Just setting up house