Monday, July 31, 2017

As Promised

It is going to take some time to get back into writing mode, so these next few blogs may end up awkward, LOL. Plus, my life is so chaotic right now between homeschooling 4 of the 6, working, and taking classes (One class alone is 30-50 hours homework a week), and just life in general. Throw in barreling towards menopause at break-neck speed, and I end up all over the place. So forgive me in advance.

Today is the first day back at school for my homeschoolers, so I am trying to set up a schedule with who gets the computer when and so on and so forth. So I just real quick wanted to post some pics of the family. I still don't have pictures of all the kids on my laptop, but I will post updates of Gisela (and Osmar Lenin), Andre, and Sendy later this week.

The kids and my (then 93 yr old - now 95!! - grandfather) late December 2015
when we were in Florida for my Grandmothers funeral.
Just a look how they changed that I made last year.

The youngest six in October 2016.
New pics will be done in September!!
 These kids drive me nuts, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

The girls.
Isa, Mickey, Lana, and Ari.
The boys.
Levi, Isaac, and Johan.

In the picture above of the boys, that curly headed monster is my bubbs Isaac. That is Jordan's son. There are no words to describe the love that I have for that boy. As I sat here thinking of how to describe it, there really is no words to describe a grandmothers love. It is different than a mothers love. My favorite thing to do is just spend time with him. Well, when he isn't acting like a brat. Those days my favorite thing to do is send him home with his momma. LOL.
Whenever I went to do my schoolwork
This is what would happen. He
wanted to see what I was doing.
Looking at Indio Lempira on his shirt that GiGi (me)
brought him back from Honduras.

We love our snapchat sessions.
My favorite face. Ever. 

I guess if I am talking about my bubbs, I have to talk about his momma, LOL. Jordan is almost 20, and doing great. She is getting married this Friday to an awesome guy who I love, and who I am so happy to have join our family. He is so good for Jordan. She is somewhat high-strung, and he calms her down. He puts up with her moods, and loves her and loves Isaac. 

Rey after she said yes!!
Jordan and Rey.
I love them both.

My greatest wish is to have all my kids in one single picture. I don't know if that will ever happen. But until then, I have to be content with randomly pasting the faces of everyone that is missing.

All the kids in 1 single picture.

The kids aren't the only ones who have changed. I too have made a big change. All my life I have been fat. Not overweight, fat. The last few years in Honduras, as my ankle got worse and worse, I pretty much sat and did nothing all day. As in, I moved only to go to the bathroom, go from couch to hammock, to bed, type of did nothing. I will say though, my years in Honduras, with the exception of a short time that I randomly lost 60 pounds, my weight stayed somewhat constant. My average weight was 330, with it fluctuating between 320 and 340 at times. I had decided that since my medical insurance covered weight loss surgery, I was going to have a gastric sleeve done. I knew I had to do 6 months of supervised diet with the doctor, so I arrived October 10th, and by October 20th I had already seen the doctor for my first visit. I found out I was pre-diabetic, and my starting weight was 344 lbs. It took me until March though to get an appointment at John Hopkins Bariatric Clinic. By then I had managed to get to 325ish. The surgeon gave me the huge list of things that had to be done beforehand, and due to my arthritis and medications I am on, she wasn't sure if I was a candidate or not. One thing she said was, she wanted me to lose 50 pounds total. So I had another 35 pounds to go, before she would even consider me. I was upset because it had taken me sooooo long to lose those 20ish pounds, all I could think of was it'll be until next year before I get below 300. In my mind I was NEVER going to get to where I need to be to have surgery. My thought was - If I could lose the 50 pounds that easily, I wouldn't even be here, I'd be at home doing it.

But I took the papers, went home and kept on keeping on. I steadily lost a few pounds a month, and come May, after I had my first surgery to fuse my wrist, I went off prednisone.

Going off prednisone helped a bit, and even though the weight still came off slowly, it picked up a little bit. Then something just clicked. Losing the weight became - not really easy, but not so hard. My thought of - if I could lose that 50 pound so easy, I wouldn't be here to begin with, well that became true. I decided that I was going to do this myself for as long as it was working, and not go through the weight loss surgery. I mean this past year I have had 5 surgeries on my hands and feet, if I can save me another surgery then Im down, LOL.

As of this morning, I am down 105.8 pounds, and have less than 50 pounds to get to my goal weight. I haven't been for the last month due to car issues and my 2 week trip to Honduras, but I have been going to the gym as well. From someone who hates exercise, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE going to the gym. I still hate cardio. I do 15 minutes of cardio on the bike to get my heart rate up, then I go for the weights. Never thought I would say it, but going there makes me feel good, it makes me happy.

This was me when we were in FL for my grandmothers funeral.
December 2015/Jan 216.
I was huge. I knew it, and had already decided to make a change.
My poor grandfather in the picture above. Squished between me and my brothers. Not one of us were small.

Below is a picture of me beside Andre, on the day of my grandmothers funeral. I had lost like 10 pounds by then. Although you couldn't tell. The right half is me trying on a dress I ordered for Jordans wedding. That picture was taken yesterday.

Mondays is weigh in day for me, and I took a moment to look at my achievement that I have done the last 18ish months. I almost never give myself recognition of what I have accomplished. I downplay it. I mean, when I hit goals, I post about it on FB and Instagram, but then I forget about it. But looking for pictures of the kids, I found these pictures, and it kind of shocked me. I mean I *know* that Im smaller, but seeing these pictures is always a *WOW* type of thing.

The goal progress is for my current goal. I would put 20 pound goals at a time.
This last goal though was a big one, and my last one. 

One thing about the picture above, the progress chart shows me that while I have had ups, the trend was down. It also shows that I have stuck with it, and that I am doing it. That I can do it. (This will be another blog, but since coming back, I have been working on reminding myself that I *AM* worth it. Because my life was on pause before hand. I didn't believe that I was worthy of much. Thanks to God though, I remember. I KNOW that I am.)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Updates and Future Plans

Hey you all!
Its been awhile. I had the best intentions of writing on a regular, or at least a semi-regular basis, but you know what the saying says... The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


So let me catch you up with whats been happening in my life these past few years, and what is in the works for the next year or so.

First, the kids. They are all growing up so quick. I will post pictures in a different post. (They are all on my phone, I have to transfer them to my computer.)

Gisela graduated from university with a degree in , and also had a little boy. My first grandchild. She is now working in a company as a quality control manager. Using her education. Which, in Honduras, is not an easy thing to do.

Andre is is the Army and is married. He has been in the Army for almost 4 years, and married for about a year and a half. They had a baby boy last September, Caleb. However, he was born very ill and only lived for four days. They are expecting another boy this September, Aiden.

Sendy is in Honduras, together with his girlfriend of forever. Seriously, forever, because I can barely remember a time that they weren't together. They are doing well. He graduated as an electrician. He and a nephew of mine, who also studied electricity are starting a business together. While he is waiting for business to pick up, he is also working for a palm oil lard plant.

Jordan is doing well as well. She had my second grandson Isaac, in November 2015, While I love all my grandkids, him and I have a closer bond because I have been there since day 1. He is the one I teach all of the bad stuff too, LOL. She graduated from Steiner Institute of Esthetics last year, and is now a liscensed esthetician. She also has met an awesome person and she and him are getting married next week.

Micaella is now almost 15, almost as tall as me and her father and is my big helper at home. She is the one that I count on to take control when Im not here. She is one of the 4 that are being homeschooled, and her plan is to finish everything in time to graduate before she turns 17. She is in 10th grade classes now, so she will more than likely do it.

Victoria (Isa) is almost 14, loves to draw and this is her first year back at being homeschooled. She is my helper when it comes to Isaac. She is his favorite aunt, and they are almost always found together.

Johan is 12 now. He just got back from spending a month with his dad in Honduras, and didn't want to come back. He is also homeschooled, and he is the one that gives me the hardest time with getting school work done. Its like pulling teeth.

Jolani (Lana) just turned 11. This will be her first year being homeschooled as well. She asked me if she could be, and when I asked her why she said "Last year I let me friends influence me into not making the right choices. I think next year in middle school there will be harder choices. I don't want to be tempted to make the wrong choices, so I think I want to be homeschooled." What a mature way to look at things when you are 11 years old.

Arles (Levi) is my Andre Jr. I am dealing with so many things that I have already dealt with, with Andre. At this point, when things happen, Im just like - whatever. I realized with Andre, freaking out over things didn't change anything. So Im saving my freaking out for major things. Like when its 2 hours past bedtime and kids are still up and talking and playing, LOL.

Ari is also my Andre Jr, but in a different way. She is so super smart. She is one of those smart people that just know stuff. Next year she is going into the GT classes at school. She is also little miss sass. Im trying to curb that, because it is borderline brat. And sometimes over the line brat. But its a fine line. Her personality is that of an older woman. She acts like an older woman, and in an 8 year old, that comes across as a brat. No one might be asking her opinion, but she will freely offer it to whatever you are talking about.

All my kids though are loving, good kids. In general they listen, and they are respectful. It makes my heart happy to hear how much people and teachers love them, and the compliments that I get on their behavior.

Now, onto the plan for the next year.
So, you guys know that I am here in the states. Come October, I will have been here for 2 years. I came because I needed surgeries and medical stuff that I couldn't get in Honduras, but I also came because I needed to have space between my husband and myself. There are changes that he needed to make, and never made the effort. Thats not true. He made an effort, but not a big one. He never expected me to leave though either. Him and I had issues for a long time, and I was always there to help him, support him, to never let him hit rock bottom. When he knew I was leaving, and as the day came closer, it started to hit him, but still he didn't get it. He would say he was going to miss us, but that this was better for the kids education, and for me. But because he hadn't got it yet, not once did he ask me to stay. My intention when I came was never to divorce him. It still isn't. We have been discussing how to fix us, and changes that needed to be made, the immigration paper process that we are doing and the time limit on them, etc.

Well in June, Johan went to Honduras with my in-laws to spend the month with his dad. I went down in July for a little over a week. In the days before I left, he kept asking me not to go. To please stay.

During that time, him and I continued our discussion and came up with a plan of things. A plan of our family being together once again. It will be easily another 3 to 4 years for immigration to approve his papers, but there are other steps that we need to do in these 3 to 4 years, but we don't have the money to do it. He talked about coming here illegally again, because his children do need him. Levi especially right now needs his father here to take charge, and not just me. But I don't want him to take that risk with his life, nor with the papers. If he got caught, its see ya later USA forever. So the plan we have right now is in January, I will take the 6 (not so) little kids to Honduras. I will stay a few weeks, then come back and work for 6 months. I will then go back to Honduras, and begin a 3 month rotation schedule. Spend 3 months in Honduras, come back to the states and work for 3 months. That cycle will repeat itself until I am tired of it, or until his papers come through. If we finish the immigration process, and he is denied or whatever, then we will re-evaluate what we will be doing.
Those plans those are contingent on him doing certain things, before we even buy the tickets. But knowing what life is waiting for me there, this time I will be more prepared. A garden will be going in soon, so that it will be producing before I get there. We will again have animals, but there will be some for family food, and some to be butchered to be sold. We also have an acre of fruit trees going in so that within a year of me going, they will be producing, and that is income. We have some palm trees - the kind that make palm oil, not like what you see in Florida or California. The trees are already producing, but by next spring, they will be producing enough to bring in some money as well. So over the next year, I will be once again planning my move to Honduras. This time with more knowledge about what I will need vs want. What I can get there, and the prices of things. What I can do without. So, I have set an alarm on my phone so that each week I will write a post. Hopefully I can get some calm time in the middle of this chaos that is my life.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thinking about blogging again...

You know, it has been so long since I was able to sit down and blog on a daily basis. Or at least on a couple of times a week basis. Moving to Honduras, I got out of practice of writing. For awhile I was writing blogs in a notebook, but then by the time I got to the states to put those blogs on here, it just didn't seem as funny, or as important anymore, so they never went up, and the hand written part went to the trash. And then it became a "Why bother, if I am not even going to post it." type of thing.

However, as most of you know, I am back in the states. And have been for 17 months now. My life has a crap ton going on, as well as almost nothing going on, all at the same time. So I thought, what better time than now to add blogging back to my life, lol.

The blog is no longer about following my husband to Honduras, well, because I'm back lol. It will be my daily life, dealing with the US immigration, trying to get him here, and just things of that nature. For those of you who don't know, I am pretty much an open book - and I say what I mean and feel. So you never know what I may even post on here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stream of Consiousness for Black Hawk Down

While watching the movie Black Hawk Down my mind was all over the place. So many thoughts brought on because of the movie, were bouncing around, running into and over each other, I wasn’t able to just relax and watch the movie. So I grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote down my thoughts as they came to me. It was interesting to go back and look at my thoughts and reactions after the movie was done. I think I might do this again with other movies.

Here we go…
  • This whole thing happened 21 years ago.
  • Idealism and the US are not the best mix. It’s too hard to choose who to help. As much as we would like to, we can’t help everyone.
  •  HA! I love it. Yurel is the dude from the movie Tigerland. (Another good movie by the way).
  • Orlando Bloom is way sexier on apirate ship than as a soldier, (where is still sexy) but is 10 times sexier as a soldier than he was in The Fellowship of the Rings/ The Hobbit, LOL.
  • Josh Hartnett is sexy as heck man.
  • Premonitions have got to screw with your head don’t you think. You are sent to do a job. A job that you have been trained for. And then you get this feeling. I would think it would undermine your confidence. But even if it didn’t, would that premonition help you or hurt you? Do you become more careful and extra vigilant, or does fear take over without you even know it, and you over think something and then make mistakes?
  • As a mother in general, a mother to a child in the military, to know what the parents/wives of some of these soldiers are about to hear, it breaks my heart.
  • Black Hawk Down! Black Hawk Down! The whole mission for the day can be summed up into 2 words. Cluster Fuck.
  • Where did the guns and ammo that Aidid’s militia, and the market place venders, where did they originally come from? How did they end up in the hands of these people? Is this another the US will use the bad guys to help further their (the US) plans, train them, heavily arm them etc., and then when they are finished let them go about their lives, only to have to come back and deal with them as enemies at a later date??
  • Above all else, remember you are in God’s hands.
  • I understand the WHAT and the WHY they are doing this, but man this is such an unnecessary loss of life.
  • Where is Chalk 4? They are six blocks away from the crash site. Well they need to haul ass. WTH?? That pisses me off!!! Let’s see, you are at the JOC watching this on a screen. They are on the ground taking fire, not out for a leisurely stroll. They are working their way to the crash site as best as they can. So shut the hell up about hauling ass. You don’t like how fast they are moving, get in there and do it yourself. Let’s see how fast you get to the crash site.
  • It’s horrible that is happened, but I would think when it is all said and done, while grateful that you survived, it would have to be embarrassing to come so close to death because you missed the rope and basically fell from the helicopter.
  • Humvee’s need better protection for the one manning the guns. I wonder if they have been changed.
  • Those *F*ers in the chopper giving directions to the crash site really need to be fired. If I was relying on them to give me directions, they are above me looking down, and they are telling me what they are telling these other guys, I swear I would want to be the crap out of them if we all lived.
  • Two snipers VOLUNTEERING to secure the crash site for super bird 64, and it was denied. They know the risks they are taking. Instead they were told help is on the way. Not sure how long it would take to get help, but it was on its way. (It took hours by the way.) So, thanks but no thanks. (Eventually they were allowed in, and died, but in doing so they saved Michael Durant.)
  • Even with all of the destruction in this place, there is beauty. You have the beaches and waterfront, but also man made beauty. The hanging metal work caught my eye. Even falling apart after being in a building that had been basically bombed, it still was so pretty. (Yes I know it was a film version of the events, but still)
  • I love the lone donkey. He was probably one of my favorite parts of the movie because it was so random. I wonder if that really happened in real life.
  • I understand why they are broken down at boot camp/basic training. It’s to be brought back up – but as a team. To take orders without questions. If they weren’t taught that, you would hear “*F* that – I’m outta here!” all the time.
  •  How was this raid ever a good idea? I’m not talking about the actual raid, the objective of the raid. I’m talking about how was this plan put in place, and everyone looked over it and said, oh yeah this looks like a good idea. Send in this amount of people to do A, B and C. Everyone else in the city, armed with basically the same weapons as us, is going to get scared and let us take a bunch of people with no retaliation. Was it arrogance or what? There had to have been a better plan.
  • Kilo 11 (Hoot). Dude. I could eat you with a spoon. YUM.
  • Since they didn’t tell anyone else that they were going in, and now they need help like yesterday, and the guy in JOC is angry, because 10th mountain said they weren’t in the know, they weren’t ready with back up, so it would take a couple of hours. The need help NOW!!! Um, ever heard this saying? Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. (Even if you are the all mighty U.S of A.) I think that fits this situation dead on.
  • I could never be a doctor or nurse. I couldn’t handle it.
  • It’s never ok to lie. What about to those who are dying. Telling them that they are ok. They are going to make it. Just to keep them calm. Is it ok then, to give them some peace?
  • Why do I choose the loooooong movies to watch late at night?
  •  Why do I choose to drink a BIG glass of tea during the looooooooooong movies?
  • I really, really, really have to pee. But I really, really, REALLY don’t want to have to hit pause. I hope I can make it and not pee myself.
  • It’s got to be hard for the medics to see them die. (I know it’s hard for everyone, but especially hard for the medics). Knowing they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t save them. It isn’t their fault, but I bet they feel that way. Especially in a war zone out in the field, not back at base. Their survivor guilt must be HUGE.
  • How many times did these guys think Why the *F* am I here, why the *F* are we here. (Not in Somalia, but on this raid.)
  • NSA = No Shit Assessment. I love that.
  • These damn beetle bug things that keep crashing into me are starting to tick me off.
  • The vehicles are full. Get on the roof. ??? How is that even remotely ok? So they are going to use the vehicles as cover, and what do they do? Drive off and leave them on foot to find their own way. No cover, no ammo, nothing. I’m sorry, you’ve been out here 15 hours or so, fighting for your life basically the entire time, but you are going to have to find your own way back to us. After all, no one gets left behind, and all of that.
  • Surreal = the Pakistan guys with white towels over one arm and trays of water in the other offering you a glass of ice cold water.
  • HEY! I saw his eyes move. Dead men’s eyes DON’T move.
  • In this SNAFU over 1000 Somalis died. 19 Americans died.
  • Michael Durant who was captured was released after 11 days.
  • I wonder what the surviving troops think about this. I wonder what the families of the dead think about this.
  • What ever happened to Hoot (Kilo 11)?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Its hard being a mother

I know that a lot of people talk about the hard work it is being a mother. But to me, I don't think it is. Its a lot of stuff, it's never ending, but it isn't hard. I have ten children. Eight of them my own. Eight of them raised from birth. Its been an adventure, but for me it's been easy being a mom. And don't get me wrong, I know that other people have different experiences that I do, and I am not bashing them, or anything else by any means. This is just my opinion on my reality. So please take no offense.

Note though, I said I don't think it is hard work being a mother. It is hard to be a mother. There is a difference there, you see. As a mother, you give and sacrifice and do all that you can for your children. You go without so that your children can 'go with'. But even that is part of your everyday life as a mother. And to me, even that isn't hard.

What is hard is when your children are in pain, or are hurting in any way, shape or form. But especially when they are hurting on the inside. When their hearts are in pain. That's when being a mother gets hard. This past year or so I have had to let go, watch one of my daughters cry, more than once, over the lack of responsibility of her father, seen other of my children cry for various reasons, due to lack of understanding, or due to hurtful things said by other children. That is when it gets hard.

The most recent was Friday. The kids called, and I told Mickey Happy Birthday, because two days earlier, she had just celebrated her 11th birthday. I was sad because I wasn't there for her birthday, and when I talked to her, she sounded really sad. It broke my heart, and when she started to cry and tell me that she missed me, I just wanted to curl up in a ball. My baby girl was crying, and I was the cause of the pain. It didn't matter that it couldn't be helped, it still broke my heart.

Micaella, December 10, 2014

A few weeks ago when after Andre left for boot camp, I was watching videos online of boot camp, and I cried. I didn't want some person in my sons face screaming at him. I cried because, while I know it is a necessary part of military training, someone was in my sons face. And I'm not there to scream back at this person. (Andre would die of embarrassment if I was, and did that lol)

Andre, 3rd from left, in the chow line during basic

This past year other of my children have cried because some other kids have hurt their feelings, or their father said or did something to hurt their hearts, and as a mom, you feel that hurt, magnified 100 times. That's what is hard about being a mother.

All you can do though is give them a hug, and give them the tools they need to deal with this hurt. This world is a hurtful place. And at some point you have to let the kids go. You have to have faith that you have taught them the right way to act and the right way to react to something. You have to have faith that everything you have instilled in them these past 18 plus years will override the negative influences of the world around them. You have to be able to take a step back and let those children go where they feel they need to go, and do what they feel they need to do. Hardest of all, you have to be able to let your children make mistakes. Let your children learn life the hard way sometimes. You can give them advice, but in the end the decision is theirs, and they are the ones who have to live with the consequences. You can be there for them when they need you, (as a mother, you are there for them always, are you not?) you can comfort them and you can support them always, and unconditionally. That really is what being a mother is all about.

That's a lot of what God does for us. He raises you in the faith and teaches you the right way to act and react, he gives you the tools you need to make the correct choices, but in the end, all of the choices you make, they are yours to make. He allows you to make your decisions, and allows you to live with and deal with the consequences. But he is also there for you when you need him, (he is there for you always) he comforts you and supports you always, and unconditionally.