Monday, December 31, 2012

Annual year in review

2012 A year in review

8th annual year in review

Please note last years for reference. 

What did you do in 2012 that you've never done before?
Get my LADAC license! Begin my play therapy certification. On a more serious note, my youngest child had a surgery and this was definitely a first for me as none of my children have had any.

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
My only resolution was not to have any, and I kept that. I am going to stick with that one. Same as last year... and the year before... and the year before that... and the year before that. Gosh, I am good, I have kept this every year! Feels good not to fail.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I lost count!  But one of my besties, Ryan, gave birth to her third little girl on my birthday!

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, lost a great friend, Heather Coleman. She was 2 years younger than I. And it was a heart attack. Reality hit hard. Also lost a dear sweet lady in our church family. Praying for a better year in this respect in 2013.

What countries did you visit?
None. Eventually this may change but probably not in the next year, although with congress and the government not doing their job at the moment I might highly consider moving to another country. It sounds more appealing all the time.

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I would like to finish my Play Therapy Certification and then I may actually be done with licenses. I would also like to get paneled on all big insurances so I can take them all in my private practice. I also would like to either buy our first house or get the plans started to build one.

What date from 2012 will remain etched in your memory and why?
December 7th. Heston's hydrocelectomy.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Obtaining my LADAC license and the opening of the Cardinal Care Center, which is my adolescent and child therapy private practice.

What was your biggest failure?
I am struggling on this one as well. I am sure there are several things that I could have done differently. One in particular would be with Heather. We used to have monthly dinner dates, switching who chooses each month. We stopped for a few months due to both of our crazy hectic schedules. I wish I could have pressed more to have these. I guess it's more regret than anything.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
bronchitis and colds. Also labrynthitis, aka fluid on the inner ear that causes vertigo. Nothing crazy.

What was the best thing you bought?
My fee for my license. I suppose my tuition for my play therapy classes but gosh those are almost too expensive to consider.

Where did most of your money go?
Medical bills due to high deductible. And yay (sarcastic) for it starting over in January.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Private Practice office and license.

What scripture is a theme of 2012?
James 1: 2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Same every year.

Compared to this time last year are you:
a. Happier or sadder? Just as happy.
b. Thinner or fatter? Thinner only because of last year I had just had a baby, although I have been slacking and that is in the process of the amount becoming a larger gap. I have goals in mind I am working towards but these aren't resolutions.
c. Richer or poorer? Richer I suppose as my contract work has been going well this past year and this time last year I was doing only a little part time school based work.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Always spend more time with my family. Although it wasn't too bad.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Facebook. It drains me these days trying to keep up with everyone.

How did you spend Christmas?
A little change this year. The family took a short mini family vacation to Branson for 3 days to an indoor water park up until Christmas Eve. We spent Christmas here at the house and enjoyed a quiet one as usual. This past weekend we went to my Parents in laws and then my grandpa's house for Christmas with my family of origin.

Did you fall in love in 2012?
Still in love with my family. Nobody new.

What was your favorite TV show?
Supernatural, watched all seasons up until this one. I also like Good Luck Charlie. Reminiscent of our family.

What was the best book you read?
Catching Fire and Mocking Jay. I got caught in the Hunger Game bonanza. Considering the government undertone, I couldn't help not to.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2012?
I wouldn't say there were any great musical discoveries in the sense of what I consider great musical talent. But I will admit I have gotten a kick out of Carley Ray Jepson's "Call my maybe" and the many variations on youtube that have made me laugh.

What did you want and get?
Drug and alcohol license. Latte machine (yeah something materialistic), husband actually surprised me with that one.

What did you want and not get?
New house, with no diligence though. We weren't looking.

What was your favorite film this year?
Breaking Dawn part 2. Finally over and done with. On to the other 2 remaining Hunger Game movies.

What did you do on your birthday?
The usual. Not much.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If all my insurance paneling was completed and by some miracle all approved in a timely manner. Yeah, not likely.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Comfy but trendy. Still the same. I really got into the scarf craze and somehow managed to have about 5 pairs of different types of boots. For someone who doesn't really have a lot of shoes and prefers flip flops this is a big deal. My mom blessed my with 4 different and amazing infinity scarfs this Christmas. I love the fall wear this year. Hoping spring will be awesome.

What kept you sane?
Alone time, family time, sleep, massages, church, and working out. Same every year. I will also add drive. I realized this year that I work best with some type of goal in mind. However small, I always need to have something.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
 I admire the grace that the Duchess Kate has considering all the pressure she is under now being a royal. Big shoes to fill being Diana's daughter in law. But she is filling the gap and doing a great job with it. And she is expecting so that is always expecting. She is also struggling with hyperemesis which is what I had with Gage and may have resulted in the loss of his twin. It's awful, I feel badly for anyone who has to deal with it.

What political issue stirred you the most?
This stupid fiscal cliff crap has me wanting to snap. Congress needs to do its damn job! Yeah that's right, I cursed in writing. If they do nothing as it looks now and let the crap go, I am looking at paying more than double taxes in the next year and it's not a pretty penny! I am not one of those lucky people who get a refund and then to be told that I will be paying more than 5-6 times what the average person gets in refund back makes me want to gag.

Who did you miss?
Still the same, my friends from home, and family. I miss my grandmother who passed away last year.

Who was the best new person you met?
A new colleague who I joined my private practice with. She sees the adults and I am seeing the ones under 18 there. She is a great lady. Another great lady also is doing the music therapy.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Life is fragile, but I knew that already. I am continuing to endure more than I am used to. Heston's continued ear issues and then his issues with his hydrocele/hernia and the surgery that came from that was frightening. But we made it through and hopefully it is completely over and done with.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Peace Train by Cat Stevens
Now I've been happy lately, thinking about good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun
Oh I've been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be, some day it's going to come

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

One of my favorite days of the year and this year is no different. We got back yesterday from our Branson family vacation. The kids had a blast at the indoor water park. I believe this was the first time I have swam in December. Steven and I were beat at the end. Him more so than I as I wasn't in the water as much due to trying to keep Heston out due to a cold. I am trying my hardest keeping him from getting another ear infection. I have been giving him zinc chewables and putting olive oil with garlic in his ears. So far it has been working and he is keeping an infection at bay and the cold just stays at the runny nose stage. We went sight seeing a bit, mostly to find some places for coffee and to get him to nap. Overall it was good vacation and the perfect amount of time.Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures at the waterpark.

Christmas today is going great. The kids got some good things and most importantly some great memories. Steven was actually able to surprise me this year with something I wasn't expecting. I knew I was getting a new camera as it was something that was needed, but he managed to hide a latte machine for me as well. As much as I spend in coffee's throughout the year I am sure it was an investment. So far I am loving it and the fact I can make my own gingerbread and pumpkin spice lattes. He also got me one of my all time favorite movies on Blue Ray. ALIENS! Yes I am a nerd and have had that movie memorized since I was 11. New scenes means awesomeness! BTW, no way would I ever let my kids watch what I watched as a child.

We are doing the typical Kitchens' style Christmas dinner, which is very non-traditional, i.e. lasagna and alfredo! Yum!

Here are some shots from our crazy house!

Kieran, on Christmas Eve, disappointed when I told her that I didn't get her what she wanted and that she needs to deal with disappointment. 

Gage reading his new coin book. 

Our tiny tree this year. Had to get something that we could keep out of Heston's reach.

Daddy sewing up Ryker's new build a bear dog!

Book from Santa.

Kieran opening up the gift she thought she wasn't getting. 

An American Girl doll. Yeah, I don't get it personally.

He's going to make great music.

Their all together big gift. Finally a basketball goal. Yeah we are a few years late on this one.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Not to be confused with the awesomeness that is David Bowie.

My ear has still been hurting or feeling off for past 2 weeks. I have been on antibiotics as I was diagnosed with an ear infection, however it appears that it has done no good because the issues continue. I have tried all the natural cures I have read about, including olive oil, garlic, ear wicks, candeling, etc.

I definitely can hear the fluid behind it and it has been throwing me off balance and messing with my vestibular terribly. I have had several bouts of vertigo that last for hours. I read that Labrynthitis can continue for weeks and some cases much longer. Ugh! It's so annoying.



I have to admit I am glad my kids' school last day is Thursday and not Friday. Do I believe the world is ending then... absolutely not (Matthew 24:36). But I do fear the idiots out there that do and will do some crazy crap! There has even been reports that this young man that did this Connecticut shootings mother believed it was going to happen and that this may have had something to do with him and his issues. Idiocy spreads rampant. It's like a virus. One person "with issues" can easily sway another by sheer presence. None the less, we are staying home that day. I am off as usual and will just spend the day with the fam lounging around. I advise others to do the same if possible. Not saying live in fear, but take it as a mental health day. :)

And the day after, we are going on vacation.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pics from parties

These are from the girls party last week. Been so busy I am just now getting these up. Heston really "liked" Kieran's birthday doll this year. He was dancing with her.

And these were from tonight at the Shiloh Family Christmas dinner.

This was my first attempt at Pinterest cupcakes. I made andes mint ones and boy were they awesome!


Not alone!

In the midst of the recent tragedy it's important to note that whatever this individual was going through, we need to understand that it was preventable. Proper mental health treatment is essential in dealing with children with severe mental and behavioral issues. There is a common misnomer that the only available treatment for children with severe issues is traditional counseling. While counseling is of great importance to the health of our society it is not enough for children or adolescents struggling with aggressive behaviors, either to self or others. Having worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings I know there is a huge difference in the types of services provided in both. To make it clear counseling in outpatient is much like anything outpatient, it's best when the situation is not critical but stable. It can either be seen as preventative or maintenance. When it's critical, i.e. when someone is exhibiting extreme aggressive behavior, suicidal ideation, or homicidal ideation, it is best that these be addressed in a treatment facility. Now there is a difference in acute hospitalization and sub acute or residential treatment. Acute is the typical 5-10 day stay to stabilize. Usually when someone has SI (suicidal ideation) or HI (homicidal ideation). If during this time the symptoms subside they are discharged to regular outpatient counseling. If the symptoms persist they are recommended for longer treatment. Unfortunately for adults there is limited available residential treatment facilities for long term. But there are many for children and adolescents. Some as short as 4 weeks, some as long as a year or more. This type of treatment includes not only typical therapy with a therapist, but medication management with a psychiatrist, regular group therapy, and other interventions deemed necessary to help the children be successful in gaining stability and improve their mental health. 

For those parents who struggle on a daily basis with children or adolescents with severe emotional, mental, and behavioral issues... know you are not alone and that jail is not the only option out there. Your child can get the help he or she needs. You just have to reach out. If I can be of help, please let me know. I can get referrals for most states. Again, just let me know. 

God Bless,


Friday, December 14, 2012


So many opinions are all over addressing the reasoning of this. The real issues are mental health, family lifestyles, and God. Yes, I said it God. We need him now more than ever. We have pushed him out on so many levels and in the midst of something like this we ask where is he. He is here. This could have been worse. So many acts of heroism have come out in this tragedy. Is it any wonder when something like this occurs there is always a description of one of more individuals who lay down their lives for other and then loved ones describe them as someone who loved God. True Christianity teaches the highest extent of love and what that entails. Greater love has none than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Those individuals knew the fear of death, but they knew of something much greater. God Bless each one of them. 

I pray for the families of those victims but I also pray for the family of the attacker. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


What a week! Friday was Heston's surgery for his hydrocele. Some have asked if this is a hernia type surgery, and the answer is "yes". We arrive at the requested time of 6:45 a.m. for a surgery that's scheduled at 8:45. Paperwork took all of 10 minutes. I still have no clue why they want you there so early. Now keep in mind this child is nursing and hasn't had anything to eat or drink since before midnight. It wasn't easy and he was rather fussy. So we go to pre op and talk with anesthesiologist and Heston gets all ready. Only, 8:45 comes and goes and I was already counting down to that exact moment. Finally we ask what's going on and they say the surgery in front of him is running long and it is looking to be more like 10:30! Say what!?! At this time we had just got him crashed out in a nap. We basically told them that if he wakes up screaming from hunger we are leaving. 10:30 comes and goes and nothing. He did indeed wake up but Steven quickly took him into the hall so he wouldn't be reaching to nurse. Finally at 11:15, they say he is ready. Good grief! The surgery itself lasted maybe 40 minutes. He woke up unhappy and couldn't be comforted for about 5 minutes. Then he started nursing and the world was all good. They let us go home right after he nursed. Thank goodness! He was lethargic for a few hours and mostly just laid on me all day long.

This particular weekend was stacked full of stuff to do on top of the surgery. Starting to resent December. That night we had out Sunday School Christmas party in Siloam Springs at Fratelli's. Kieran had a friend staying the weekend with her due to a family emergency so we actually had 5 kids this weekend. It wasn't any different honestly. Maybe even easier as Kieran was on her best behavior and the friend was a sweety. They had their own little pizza party at the church and Heston went with us. Boy did that boy eat!! After all said and done he started walking around. Boy acted like nothing was any different.

Saturday we get up early and head to Oklahoma for Kieran's and my niece's birthday party. It was super nice out and Heston was all over the place. I will make another post later with the pics from the party. I still need to get them off the camera. Sunday was our lazy day and also the day I started feeling off in my ear. Everything started sounding really loud. It had felt like fluid had been in it for a few days before but it wasn't really bothersome until now. Monday it got worse. And today I woke up at 4:30 unable to lift my head due to the worst case of vertigo I have ever had. The room was spinning if I moved at all. It got so bad I crawled to the bathroom just to throw up! It finally lightened up 30 minutes later. Of all days I also got a subpoena for court and couldn't stay in bed. Ugh! Stupid Murphy's Law. Mind you the only sick days I have taken off in a year were due to Heston going to the ER the night before. I go even when sick, but this worried me because I wasn't even sure I could drive. I wasn't even sure I could squeeze in a Doctor's visit. Luckily my 11:00 canceled and that gave me just enough time to go to the clinic and get diagnosed with an ear infection and be out in time for court.

Now I am home trying to get ready for bed and feeling like I will never feel better. Seems one sickness after the other has occurred in this home. We have definitely made our high deductible this year... sadly. I am so ready for Spring like temps. This winter is going to be brutal. I had to get my big coat out today. I didn't have to get it out at all last year. I hate the freaking cold! I am looking forward to this Friday. An actual day with nothing scheduled but just me and Heston doing the home mom thing.

BTW, officially 2 weeks until CHRISTMAS!!!!

Night ya'll!


Monday, December 03, 2012

Unicorns and Rainbows!!

9 years ago today I became the mother of the most dramatic, enthusiastic, and quite intelligent little girl. There have been many a day (if not most) since then her energy has overtook mine. For those who knew me when I was younger this gives you an idea of how much energy this is. Her teacher said it best when she called her exuberant. Happy birthday Kieran! God help us in her teen years!!

Kieran was nice enough to ask for a homemade cake. I honestly had no clue what I was going to do, so I just grabbed the always perfect confetti cake mix. I planned to make my own cheesecake/cream cheese frosting. So I started early on it yesterday and got a wild hair idea to use some food coloring. Next I made the frosting with an 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese, 1 small container of cool whip, 1 small box of cheesecake instant pudding. I made pudding as described on box, added all the cool whip and cream cheese and beat them together. Another wild hair caused me to add food coloring again. The middle layer was a nice teal color. The top I mixed in swirls of pink.

Granted it wasnt the prettiest cake at the beginning but once I cut into it I noticed that it was quite the ooey goey rainbow goodness that I couldnt have planned if I tried. Then it hit me. It reminds me of Unicorns!! I saw a recipe for unicorn poop cookies awhile back and decided to call this

Unicorn Poop Cake!!!! 

Of course its a hit in this house!


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Fighting the good fight...

The last few weeks have been extremely physically and emotionally draining. I have take Heston to the Doctor 6 times in the last 6 weeks. Between his ears and this hydrocele I am doctored out. There was a chance that he was going to also have tubes done the same day as his other procedure. He has had several ear infections in past few weeks and has been on 3 different antibiotics. I took him back this last Friday and if they hadn't cleared up he would have the tubes done. Well they were clear thank God!! However, he woke up with a fever this morning and the starting of another cold. Agh! The infections always followed his colds. So now he is on zinc treatment to boost his immune system to fight off the cold and prevent an ear infection. Next Friday is his surgery and I pray I don't have to take him in this week before for his ears or other ailment. Friday is also our Sunday School class' Christmas party and then the next day is Kieran and Zoe's birthday party in Oklahoma, if Heston can travel.

If this wasn't enough, Steven was changing the spark plugs in my car and had to take the manifold off and a washer fell down the intake. More Agh! Basically we were tying to save money and ended up have to have it towed to a mechanic to have him get the washer out. Hoping and praying it's not in the engine already because that is going to cost a fortune getting it out. If that is the case Christmas presents will be sparse this year.

Friday I got a call from Heston's daycare owner. Basically the buildings new owner is being a jerk and not renewing her lease but is also kicking them out asap. We have two options: 1. Find a new provider or 2. follow her to her home. Right now we will stick with her and the other worker that Heston really loves is going with her. We will see how it works out.

Kieran's birthday is tomorrow. I have plans to go eat lunch with her at school after a couple of sessions in the morning. She chose Zaxby's to eat from. I am taking the rest of the day as a mental health day, which probably means I will try and take a nap. Normally I would just go get Heston from daycare, but it's right in the middle of his nap. Steven usually picks him up right after he wakes up anyways.

My last play therapy class for the semester was yesterday. Good thing too, as this past week I had all my end of month billing and paperwork to do as well as a final summary paper. I am completely done with after work writing and paperwork for a few weeks until the next semester starts anyways.

Basically, while things are stressful, I am constantly trying to remind myself that it could be far worse. I am almost afraid to put that in writing but I need to. Chaos theory does exist and we are in the midst of it. Might as well go along for the ride. :)