Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friends Forever

On the way to our 5th grade field trip yesterday my teaching partner mentioned that she has a journal and she had recently written about something she was thankful for. She went on to tell me that her mom finds something to be thankful for everyday and writes it down. I thought this was a great idea and want to join the thankful bandwagon. I plan to blog often about things I am thankful for. I don't ever forget things that I don't like or enjoy but I tend to forget the things that make me happy or that I am so fortunate to have in my life.

Today I am so thankful for my very best friends, Jennifer and Allison. We have been friends since 4th grade, which is a total of 21.5 years. Wow. We are thirty-two years old (Allison will be in April) so for most of our lives, we have been friends. Not just friends - best friends. You know, BFFs. Kids don't realize that the friends they make in elementary school may be their friends for life.

Jennifer, Allison and I had many other friends that we enjoyed being with in high school and through college and we still continue to make new friends along the way but there is no one that can ever replace the bonds that we have created, the memories that we share, the secrets that we tell or the power of friendship that we have with each other. We are all different but the love we have as friends is all the same.

We went to dinner tonight and since Ava was sick we only had six kids between us. We went to Roadhouse and enjoyed the time that we got to talk and look forward to a big girl's night out soon. We try to get together once a week when it works out. Our kids are all friends and we hope that they are able to build relationships as we have done.

In closing, thank you Jennifer and Allison for being such special friends to me and always being there with your words of wisdom. Allison is always able to humor me and speak the truth and Jennifer is always able to mother and nurture with scripture or just her soft spokenness. I love you both and look forward to creating many more memories in the future!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You're A What?!

Yesterday I stayed home from school. The week long nagging cough got the best of me. It has robbed me of getting enough rest at night, so I decided to stay home to try to make up for it. Ashlyn played and watched cartoons all day while I stayed on the couch (when I wasn't straightening, washing dishes or doing laundry). Jared left for Arizona after lunch and will be gone until Sunday. Around 3:30, Ashlyn and I went over to Ralph and D'Uan's driveway to wait for the boys to get off the bus. I had sat out meat for dinner so when we got home I started cooking. Then, I got a pounding headache. I took some tylenol and continued cooking the chili-mac and green beans for the boys and I. I forced Ashlyn to make a decision on what she would eat for dinner. She wanted peas but I did not have any. Her next choice was cereal, as usual she wanted something sweet. She takes after my Granny in that way. She finally agreed to spaghettios. For those of you that don't know, Ashlyn is a very picky eater. She does not eat any meat except chicken nuggets from McDonalds. There is hardly anything that she likes and just because she likes it one day does not mean she will like it the next. So, we sat down in the living room to eat when everything was ready. There was play-doh all over the table so we ate and watched American Idol. The boys finished hastily and Ashlyn ate four bites. I told her I would put Emma and Arron (her babies) up if she didn't eat. She ate the four bites and Trey finished off the spaghettios, practically licking the bowl.

Ashlyn went to take a bath after dinner and the boys went upstairs to play the play station. Because of the way I felt (headache and coughing), I told the kids that they would be going to bed at 7:00 and they could watch tonight's American Idol in bed. They were as cranky as I was so I knew they needed the rest to get them through the rest of the week. 7:00 came and they all laid down. They fought and played while I scolded until about 7:45. As soon as I turn the kitchen light off because I am through cleaning, Clayson, Trey and Ashlyn decide they are hungry and thirsty. I lectured them about eating when it is time and asking for more at bedtime. I let them have a drink but their hunger would have to wait until breakfast. Ashlyn came back downstairs about 8:15 and was crying for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I could not deny her this nutrition. I got on to her for not eating, etc. She cried harder and through her tears she said , "I'm sorry momma. I'm just a failure". I was stunned. Had she said what I thought she said? "You're a what?", I asked. She repeated the word failure. I hugged her, assured her I wasn't mad and that she wasn't a failure. What four year old uses this word? I asked her over and over where she had heard this and the only thing she could remember is that she saw it on TV.

She never ceases to amaze me with what she hears and that she is able to use it in the right context. I reboosted her self confidence and then sent her back to bed. A little bit later I hear, "momma, I'm thirsty"....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Your word is interesting

Today was the 4th and 5th grade spelling bee. Clayson was a 4th grade representative. He was top speller in his class so he got to participate in the bee. Last night he tried saying that his throat hurt, until I told him the spelling bee was today and that he could not miss that. He never mentioned it again. (I may hear it tonight because there is nothing special going on tomorrow.) We studied the words on the way to school, that's us - the procrastinator family. I could tell he was excited and nervous. I assured him that no matter if he got out on the first word or the last that it was an honor just to be on that stage as a good speller. The bee started at 8:40 and I was a judge that had to listen to the speller and gave sentences and / or definitions upon request. I was front and center, with my camera, of course. I counted out the students and found Clayson's first word, pirate. I was so glad to know that he would make it to the next round. He made me proud by spelling pirate and then another word correctly. The third round, his word was "interesting". He spelled it like we say it "intresting". Darn, he was out! I was just proud that he made it this far and that he is a good speller. (Spelling things incorrectly is one of my biggest pet peeves - and it may stem from me receiving the spelling award in 2nd grade with a 102%. I cherish that trophy.) His teacher told me later that Clayson had told her it made him nervous for me being right there watching him. Maybe I should just be a bystander next year.
Just for the record, I do have a daughter that will give me plenty to post about soon! I can't believe that I haven't written a story about her. Her time is coming.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Motorcross Mania

So, here we are. Clayson, Trey and Logan were ready for some vroom vroom excitement. Me, I was hoping I could handle the people I would be hanging with and the amount of time that I would have to spend here. I kept telling myself that it was for the boys. We went to El Fenix for dinner and headed to Reunion Arena. I only had to call my dad twice for help getting there. We got there two hours before the event started. I didn't know how long it would take to park and walk and then get to will-call to pick up our tickets so we left home early and got to the event way too early. Getting there so soon did allow the boys to go down on the track for autographs and just to run around.
I was so happy to see "normal" people.

We made our way to our seats and realized that the racing did not start for another hour and ten minutes. Arrgghhh. I got Clayson's IPOD and made a list of the 270 songs I have downloaded. That took about ten minutes. It was a long wait. Right before it started the stinky haired family of five came and sat in front of us. I think they rode their dirtbikes to Dallas from a very long distance and have not taken a bath since Thanksgiving. Here they are.

So, we moved seats. A little later, we got booted out by the ticket holders and made our way back to sit by the stinkers. I could not wait for the motorcycle fumes to come up and cover the smell. Once the races started the smell wasn't as noticeable. The race is on....and on, and on again and again and again. I thought at some point there would be interesting tricks or wrecks but no, it was the same race time and time again. I don't even know if there were different drivers (nor did I care). I just know that six races into it I was going stir crazy. I kept asking the boys if they were ready to leave and of course they weren't. I got out my calendar and took notes. Then I took pictures.

Clayson asked me why I was taking so many pictures and I told him through gritted teeth that it was the only thing I had to do! Trey got mad at me for laughing when they would fall off of their dirtbikes. He would elbow me and tell me that they could get hurt bad. At 9:30 (show started at 7:30), I finally convinced them that we needed to leave to beat the traffic and they were okay with that. FINALLY!! We got back to the car, called my dad twice for directions and before you know it we were at the Seagoville Wal-Mart. I needed some staple items and meat. We were loading groceries when I was approached by a lady for "just a dollar". I told her I did not have any money and shuffled the kids into the car. After being at a skanky event feeling oh-so-safe, I find myself in more danger at Wal-Mart. Go figure....

I hope I earned some brownie points tonight.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Motorcycle Momma

If there was mom-of-the-year going on right now, I would nominate myself! Ashlyn is at my mom's for the weekend playing with a cousin and so I was trying to think of something I could do with the boys tomorrow, since I rarely ever have that opportunity and I am just not into boy stuff. While thinking, a commercial came on for the Toyota something something Motorcross that will be going on at Reunion Arena tomorrow night. They saw it too and wondered what time it came on TV. So, I looked into the ticket prices and decided that we could go to that. They have recently gotten motorcycles for Christmas so this is the newest boy interest at the Davis household and momma's biggest fear. So, think about me tomorrow night while I am getting revved up by some muddy motorcycle madness.

I wonder if there is a way I could get on my computer while they enjoy the event...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

First perfection (or at least I am trying)

The pressure is getting to me! My friends Jennifer and Allison are posting like crazy and I haven't posted in 5 days. I am close to falling under the pressure of blogging about my kids but, quite honestly, I am enjoying some "me" time - even if it is on this blog. So, today I will write about Jared and I again, but mainly about me.

In October 2006 I went to the doctor complaining of being too uptight / anxious and grumpy. I went to a lady we call the doc-in-a-box. She'll give you whatever you want if you tell her your diagnosis. haha. So, she gave me a prescription to lexapro. I paid around $70 for this one month prescription and took two or three pills and said, nah, this is not helping and went back to my old ways - griping, OCD cleaning, bossing and being in a bad mood around Jared and my kids.

I thought of medication as a cop-out because as a teacher too many times we hear, well he/ she is not able to do this because we need to change their medicine or they forgot to take it and on and on. Parents become such enablers ... but that is a whole nother post. (Is nother a word, it seemed to be the only thing to make since there?!) So, anyway, I did not want to become this mom / wife that depended on something to alter my moods or my OCD tendencies. It's funny how when some idea comes into your thoughts you seem to hear about it more often - the news, other people, the internet. I guess I became enlightened to the topic because for the next year it seemed to come up in random conversations with other moms / wives. I still wasn't ready to make the medicated committment.

One year later, in October 2007, I became desperate. Something had to change or my marriage was over. And that is matter of fact. I just hoped that it wasn't too late. I was willing to do whatever it took to work this out. I contemplated on whether or not this was what I wanted - did I want to be a single mom with three children, did I want to have to move (again), did I want to be forced to make ends meet with my salary and child's support? Of course not. No matter how mad and how hurt I was , I loved Jared through it all. I was not ready to give up on 11 years of marriage before taking drastic measures. I started seeing a counselor. I knew that I had issues that I could not fix on my own. Jared has told me for many years that he would be the best husband if I would just let him. I have never let him. I was controlling, demanding and bitter. Walls had been built between us through these 11 years and it would take some major hammering to knock these walls down. It has not been a two person job, it has been three. Jared was willing to give me a chance to get things right, I was willing to get help and God saw us through it all. He picked us both up and carried us out of the valley.

Back to my story.... I started seeing a christian counselor who is an educator and a wonderful lady through and through. She listened to my story and asked me if I had ever been on any kind of medication and I told her what I mentioned above. She suggested that I get back on the medicine and give it three to six weeks before seeing an effect. She also gave me some great marital advice that I would love to share with others. So, that night I started taking the medication again. A couple of days later I felt like I was seeing a change - here is where the questioning comes in - was it all in my mind or was I making changes I had not been able to make before. Whatever the answer, I would keep doing what I was doing. I was trying to be a better person and quit being so, for lack of a better word, anal.

I continued seeing the counselor, implementing her advice, sharing the thoughts with friends and became aware of my actions and reactions. I also continued taking the medicine. Suddenly, it was okay that the end table had dust on it or that one of the kids did not pick something up. It would get done. How often do I really have company any way?! Not only did my OCDs start fading but I was nicer to Jared and my kids. If anything, this would be the top priority. Jared and I were getting along, we were talking and laughing and spending time together. Wow! We were making strides.

It is now January 2008 and I was at lunch with some friends today. No one ever wants to admit that they have problems in their marriage but I have a story worth sharing. As women, we gripe and gripe about things our husbands don't do that we feel they should be doing and all the things we have to do as moms and wives. You know where that got me? Slapping mortar on that "brick wall" I mentioned before. During lunch, that kind of conversation came up and I was able to share my success story. It took me changing for Jared to want to change. Did I feel like I needed to be the only one in the counselor's office? No way. Did I feel like I was the only one in the wrong? Not at all. Was I willing to make a change to see if things could get better? You better believe it. I feel almost though it has been a manipulation process - I have changed and Jared has also changed. Me being nicer, being more willing to do things he wants to do, taking an interest in what he is doing and sharing my life with him has him helping with the kids - in all aspects, even discipline, and always being willing to help me with household chores. I don't even have to ask or become angry for it to happen, he has taken initiative. Things are SO much better with us and I know that I will forever be thankful to the friends that listened to me rant and rage and then cry my heart out, the counselor, and my Lord Jesus for taking us out of the valley and putting us back onto solid ground. And as I tell my friends, thank the Lord for the lexapro! You can call it a cop-out, I call it a life saver.

By the way, I looked up nother and it is a word :0)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Home is Where the Heart Is.... and the welder, the trailers, the El Camino, the Bad Boy Buggy and the motorcycles

Oh, the places you'll go.

Jared and I have been married for eleven years and our happiness is always under construction. Journey with me as we move from place to place creating memories along the way!

August 1996

We started out in a 30 foot travel trailer. We thought this would be the perfect place to start out our marriage and was quite affordable while both of us were determined to continue our education. It ended up being "not-so-perfect" when the sewage tank needed to be emptied and you knew this because the smell seeped through the drain in the shower and the toilet. We had to use a special toilet paper that would disenegrate and not stop up the tank. My menu consisted of spaghetti and hamburger helper every night. It was inconvenient to try and cook on a two top stove and find something to eat in the mini-fridge. Hardly anything fit into the mini-microwave. It wasn't long before we realized why this was meant for traveling and not necessarily for living. We have some great memories from the trailer. I took my first pregnancy test there (negative) and we enjoyed watching TV on the sofa that made into a bed but the confinement took hold.

September 1996 - February 1997

Less than two months after we were married, Jared was accepted into the Kilgore Fire Academy and he moved into a dorm there. I tried to be a big girl and stay in the trailer but it was lonely and even the slightest rain caused it to move. Jared's parents offered us two of the rooms in their house. One we made into a bedroom and the other was our living room. Jared was gone all week so I spent late nights with his mom and Ralph. D'Uan and I started scrapbooking while Ralph worked on his gourds. It was a lot of fun. We laughed and we cried and in the meantime created memories that still make me smile. I was going to school every day and some nights. I worked at Countryside Homes on the weekends. Ramen noodle soup and baked chicken were on the menu a lot. Jared and I spent weekends together either at his dorm or in our rooms. We spent many nights watching TV and laughing. As soon as Fire Academy was over we decided to find a place of our own.

February - December 1997

We found a two bedroom house to rent in Seagoville. While the people were moving out, we were moving in (literally). The rot and the roaches could not keep us away. We made so many changes and improvements to the house. Jared worked at The Body Shop and then at Albertsons while I went to school and babysat on my days off. Shortly after we moved in, we found out that we were pregnant. It was so much fun to decorate a Noah's Ark nursery. I remember our late nights at Kroger buying the store brand can goods and other groceries and using our coupons. We got a rotweiller puppy from First Monday and kept it in the garage until it was big enough to go into the back yard. While living here I graduated from college and Jared was offered a job by the Ennis Fire Department. This was great news except for the fact that he had to live within 20 miles of the first station so this meant that we would be moving to Ennis shortly after Clayson was born. The adorable nursery would only be in pictures.

December 1997 - January 1999

Another rent house came our way in Ennis. It was a cute house, three bedrooms with one bath, a kitchen and a dining room. I remember the floor sloped in the kitchen, the dining room smelled like cat pee, the living room cable did not work so almost the entire time that we lived there was spent in the master bedroom. We ate in there, watched TV in there and slept in there (all three of us). I was through with college and would babysit occasionally. I continued to work at Countryside Homes on the weekends and when Clayson was four months old I worked during the week while he stayed with my Papaw and Granny. Clayson's first Christmas was in Ennis but because of an ice storm we came up and stayed at my mom's on Christmas Eve. The house here never really registered as home to me. I would rather have been at my mom's than stuck in the master bedroom all the time. I can still see Clayson eating his eggs in his highchair and Jared puking into the large pot, normally used for making spaghetti. (Don't worry, it was thrown away after his illness.) I remember taking walks and feeding the ducks in our own front yard. I remember listening to the police/fire scanner and following Jared on an ambulance call. I remember the Ennis tire fire that he fought. I remember in July we found out that we were pregnant again. Clayson and the baby would be 17 months apart. After much contemplation we decided that we were ready to move back closer to our families. Jared was offered a job at Seagoville Fire Department and this was a true blessing.

January 1999 - April 2001

Home, home on the ranch was where we found our next house to rent. It was three bedrooms with a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room and even a laundry room! It was on a 10,000 acre ranch and we were two miles off the main road with no one to bother us except the horses, cows, possums and snakes. Jared worked at the fire department and built fences, I babysat six to eight kids everyday. Trey had a Winnie the Pooh room that he loved to be in, he loved his baby bed. Clayson still slept with us. We made one of the bedrooms a toy room. Internet was becoming popular so I spent time in my room on the computer. The kids loved to play outside in our little yard that I loved to mow. We had a lot of water leak problems including the hot water heater going out and flooding the hallway. We recarpeted the entire house and put down new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. If the landlord was moving the cows you were out of luck until he opened the gates. Allison almost picked up a rattlesnake thinking it was the water hose and out of the blue some man came up and wanted the snake. We saw a bobcat. We had possums looking in the back door. We had mice. We had crickets and grasshoppers. We had a dog named Boomer that ran away. We could go out and feed the horses. Jared had a tractor that Clayson was obsessed with. I decided that I was ready to go to work and I got a job at Crandall Intermediate School. This was a house that brings back a lot of memories. We were happy here until we heard they were going to sale the ranch so it was time to pack up those boxes once again.

April 2001- February 2002

We moved to Crandall. Once again, another rent house. This one had two bedrooms, a small bathroom, a living room, kitchen/dining and an enclosed garage. It was right across the street from the Intermediate School which allowed me to spend many late nights at school getting my classroom ready. We took bike rides. We walked over to the school playground. We played in the front yard. We were here when 9-11 happened. After settling into my new job and realizing that there was a chance that we could stop renting and save money to buy a house, we moved in with my parents.

February - September 2002

We lived with my parents and got our new house underway. I don't remember much about living here except worrying about making a mess! I do remember running over my dad's good sprinkler and him telling me that he could replace the sprinkler but he could not replace the air conditioning unit if I ran into that. Jared spent many late nights working on the house, much of which we built ourselves. We made many trips to Home Depot and Lowes. American Idol was in its first season. We took a TV to the house so we could watch and see who won while working on the master bath. We were busy, busy, busy until we were able to move into the house we could call our own.

September 2002 - March 2006

1021 Oak Hollow Ln.
Homeowners at last! This house meant so much to us because of all the blood, sweat and tears we put into it. Mainly Jared - but my dad, mom, Ralph, D'Uan, Mylana and I....we all had a part in making the process complete. It was my dream house. The boys had their room with bunkbeds in western decor, they had a toyroom, we had two bathrooms, an awesome kitchen/dining and living room and a bonus room that we planned to complete and eventually made into a hobby room. Shortly after we moved in, we found out that we were expecting our third baby in June. The toyroom went from tan walls to pink with flower walls when we found out that we were having a girl. My dad came over and we painted our hearts out to make it the nursery of my dreams, and that it was. Jared built shelves and they became filled with girly things. The guest bathroom was red, white and blue and had brick countertops. That was my favorite part of the bathroom. The boys room was never used as a bedroom just a toy room. They slept in our king size bed until we slowly moved them to the couch, usually after they went to sleep. Ashlyn loved her room. She never knew any different. We wised up on the letting the kids sleep in the bed! Jared was very involved in our yard, he became a landscaper (at our house). He bought and planted flowers, kept the grass just right and had it looking like yard of the month, if we had had one. I kept the inside clean by sweeping, sweeping and did I mention sweeping?! With concrete floors that was the key to keeping the floor clean. We spent Christmas with the Davis family here, Easter with the whole family and enjoyed family time as we sat by many fires. As Ashlyn started getting bigger and the boys began wanting their own space we realized that this house may be getting too small for our growth. Unfortunate circumstances caused Jared and I to do a reevaluation of our lives and the direction we needed to go. Something was going to have to give. As much as I loved this house, I knew that it was a sacrifice I needed to make. I knew that Jared wanted land and a shop to be able to work in. In my heart I knew that I needed to offer this dream to him, as he had always aimed to make me happy. Unselfishly, I agreed that we should sell this house. Selfishly, I hoped it would take a very long time. We put the house up for sale and it sold within two months. We don't always get what we ask for....

March 2006 - November 2006

Shortly before we signed papers for the sale of our house we signed papers to purchase 4.8 acres of land in Combine. This became a new project for Jared. It was filled with trees, I did not have a vision for it ever being liveable but he did and that is just what happened. He cleared some trees, mowed the grass, had a driveway put in, had a pond dug and it looked awesome. When we moved out of our house we were in a transitional state. Our new house plans were not finished, so we moved into Jared's parents two bedroom house in Combine - all five of us plus the two of them. They were so generous to allow us to live there. Jared's parents were only home Sunday through Tuesday so we never really felt too crowded. It was a tight squeeze sometimes but we had fun times, especially in the pool! Our house plans were done in August but at that time I had gone back to school and did not have time to think about it, prices had gone up on building materials and it just did not seem to be the right time to build. We wanted to build it all ourselves and unfortunately, life got in the way and time was an issue. Jared had said all along that we should build a temporary place to live in the shop but me, being hardheaded, said that I did not want to move twice. I don't know why I thought it would be any different by moving in with his parents but that is neither here nor there. In September, I decided that since a house was out of question for the time being, maybe we should just build a living quarter in Jared's shop. I was ready for a change and felt like the walls were closing in on us once again. So, Jared being the great husband that he is, built a shop and built a place for us. He had a friend who spent many nights working on this with him. Robert's help and donations will forever be appreciated. It took them two months to have it ready to move into.

November 2006 - present

Some call it a cave, others a love shack ... we call it home. It's an 860 square feet, two story home. We have a small bathroom, a kitchenette, a dining area and a living room downstairs with a bedroom and closet upstairs. We share everything here. Ashlyn considers the closet her room, it is where all of her toys are. The boys have the rest of the big shop to play in. All I need is a place to sit and get on the computer and a place to sleep -- oh yeah, and a tub to take my bubble baths in! All of our basic needs are met here - food, clothing and shelter. It makes me thankful for what we have had and hopeful for what is to come. Some days I want out of here so bad but lately, I am okay with it. It is not the ideal situation but like a friend at church says, you can get bitter or you can get better. Have you ever heard the phrase - if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy - well, momma chooses to be happy. It's the easier choice. I know that there is a reason that we have not built a new house and I know that when we finally do, I will know the true meaning of being grateful. For now, the husband, the three kids, the dog, the two donkeys, the six sheep and I are creating memories to last a lifetime on 1785 Combine Rd. - in the corner we call home!