The Boys, and then the Girls

The boys came first, actually. First Charley came into our lives on Cassie’s 13th birthday.11047954_10152668740340925_2918404935380975437_n She wanted a kitten, so I took her to the cat shelter to pick out the one she wanted. She picked out a tiny orange kitten with bright blue eyes. At the time, we already had a big

10426245_10152241828160925_8596708978409769163_ngray striped cat named Walter. Poor Walter was in poor health though, and we ended up losing him about a week after we got Charley. So, since Walter was gone, and Charley needed a companion, we went back to the cat shelter and adopted Diesel. Diesel was a little gray kitten (a bit older than Charley, by a couple of weeks) with a white stripe across his face.

Later, the girls joined our family. First Randi came into our lives. I was sitting in the park1173892_10151561014850925_2110907501_n one day, on my lunch break from work. A woman pulled her car up and parked in front of me. She got out of her car and placed a tiny little chihuahua puppy on the ground. OMG was that puppy cute. I asked her where she got such an adorable pup, and she told me her son’s dogs had puppies and he was looking to find homes for them, and she gave me his phone number. I spent a day or two thinking about it, as our boys were already quite a handful, constantly chasing each other through the house. I finally gave in, and called the man. Miranda was adopted the next morning. Randi, for short.



Sasha came to us three years later, actually. She’s the oldest, as she’s easily at least four years older than Randi. A lady I worked with was staying with a friend, and that friend had to go to the hospital. She was apparently pretty bad off, so my coworker was trying to find homes for all of her pets. Sasha and her siblings were skittish, uncared for, and terrified of people. Her nails were overgrown and she could barely walk. So I brought her home. Almost a year later, she’s finally letting us pick her up and hold her, and she’s finally willingly coming to us. She’s a pretty little white, long-haired chihuahua. And before you judge, yes….I do buy my girls clothes!


Family Vacations

Over the years, I haven’t always worked. I was a stay-at-home mother with Nichole for many years. Therefore, vacations were never something we took very often. Usually, vacations consisted of going south to Mississippi to visit my mother. I did manage to get my kids to Niagara Falls once though. Most of our time we spend together is more local, such as the trips to the zoo or going canoeing.

When I took the kids to Niagara Falls, Nichole was four years old, Cassie was seven, Robbie was nine, and Darcie was twelve. They really weren’t impressed at all. I was. The falls were beautiful. But I suppose I understand that a bunch of water isn’t all that interesting to kids. You can really tell looking at their faces how much they truly didn’t care. A decade later, it kind of makes me laugh….

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I’ve managed to get them to Mississippi quite a few times over the years. As I gather more of my pictures later and scan them into my computer, I will add them here. For now, here are pictures from:


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Down the Creek WITH a Paddle

One of the things I started doing a few years ago for my children’s birthdays is little day trips. This year, Cassie chose for us to go to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Last year, 13260092_10153544884450925_6774664386418963996_nfor Darcie’s birthday, we decided to go canoeing down the Mohican River here in Ohio. I hadn’t been canoeing in 18 years, 13342987_10153536830070925_5498415774584568104_nso I was particularly excited to go. My kids had never gone before so I knew they’d have a blast. She’s wanting to do it again this year, so this Sunday, we’ll be canoeing once again. Pray for me, as I’ve divorced my canoeing partner, so I guess I’ll have to paddle myself this year.

13406917_10153536743115925_7018479267310073463_nLast year, we took along Darcie’s boyfriend, Jason. He’ll be attending again this year. This year, Cassie’s boyfriend, Ryan, will also be attending. Robbie will not be attending, due to recent life changes he’s made. Nichole doesn’t want to attend either, but her beef is merely because of the water. Asperger’s children tend to migrate 13419181_10153536787765925_5278684630110918410_naway from certain textures that make them uncomfortable. Water is a hot button for Nickie, especially since our canoe tipped last year and she and I both went under water (which was a little more than knee high at that time).
Hopefully, this trip will be even more fun than last year.


Friends are Family

Darcie and Cassie have had a handful of friends over the years that had practically moved into our house. One actually did for a short while. I loved a lot of their friends like my own kids, and occasionally I miss seeing their faces. Try to enjoy your children’s friends. Family is family, but friends are random people you meet and adopt into your life. How long they stay in your life is entirely up to you. It’s amazing to think that your children can make friends at such a young age, and manage to keep those friends for years.

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At last, the Nickie-isms….

Remember when I told you about Nichole’s mind? Well, she’s never had a filter. You know what a filter is, right? Filters out the bad, let’s the good flow on through. Some people refer to it as those little shoulder angels/devils. Other people call it your conscience. Anyway, Nickie doesn’t have one. If a thought pops into her head, it pops right out of her mouth! Example: One day, when I took her to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for her annual MRI, we were sitting in the waiting room. Now, I’ve always taught my children to be color-blind when it comes to racial differences. Nickie, however, doesn’t see racial differences as a bad thing, but more as a most fascinating thing. She’s never even called African-Americans “black” because Nichole is very literal. What she sees is exactly what they are. So, when we were sitting in a very crowded waiting room with many, many African-American families, I could’ve dropped into a puddle on the carpet when she looked around and stated very loudly, “Mom, there are an awful lot of brown people here today!”

Thank the Lord she amused the other families. But–for years, she referred to Amish people as “the Classics” as well. We live in Ohio and see an awful  lot of Amish and Mennonites when we go out and about. I can’t explain her train of thought there, sorry.


So, over the years, when these little unfiltered thoughts popped into her head, I tried to keep a log of them. I will share them below. And just so you know all the players, “Eric” is my 2nd ex-husband. “Aubrey”, “Warren”, and “Nate” are his children.


(Darcie) Nickie left red toothpaste all over the sink! (Nickie) You forgot the blue toothpaste. I left a lot of that too!

(Eric) Nickie, you need to hurry up and eat so you can get dressed! (Nickie) Um, Eric…slow and steady wins the race.

(Nickie) You are kind of cute, Eric, but I don’t love you. You make me eat vegetables!

(Nickie) I have a rabid friend named Jesus. (Me) I thought his name was Rayman.

(Me) Why are you sleeping in the spare bed? It has no sheets or blanket! (Nickie) My bed isn’t as comfortable!

(Nickie playing LPS video game) I got a dalmation. (Darcie) gonna name him spot? (Nickie) No, I’m gonna name him Harold.

(Nickie still playing LPS video game) Isn’t he cute? He’s a lot like Weinie, except he doesn’t ween.

(Nickie) “Nickie” is dumb, I’m Nichole. (Me) How about Nick Jr (Nickie) No (Me) Nickelodeon? (Nickie) How about Fox 28 ? (Me) I like it!

(Nickie) Eric, why don’t you practice going away?

(Eric) What did you learn from watching The Santa Clause (Nickie) To Ignore a “Clatter”!

(Nickie) Christmas is all about being with your family and giving. Its also all about bribing.

(Nickie) Ohhh I get it! The drinks are to make the pee and the food is to make the poop!(uh…wow)

(Nickie) I need your help with this game (Cassie) maybe later! (Nickie) Then I will wait for your reply!

(Nickie – to a little boy) Are you a little boy? (boy) I’m not little. I’m 5! (Nickie) So you’re a lot of boy?

(Nickie) Rides at the fair don’t cost money! They just check to see how tall you are!

(Nickie) I’m going to hide in the bathroom so you can’t see what I’m doing. So you should probably just not open the door.

(Nickie) I’m not your best daughter anymore. I’m mad at you. Don’t talk to me.

(Nickie) I need some cereal so I’m not mad at you anymore. If you would move the bowls so I could reach them, I could just stay mad!

(Nickie) Can I still play my gameboy? (me) No, you’re grounded from video games (Nickie) Gameboys aren’t video games. They don’t live on the tv!

(Cassie) I’m full, may I be excused? (Me) No, u have to eat your veggies! (Nickie) I’m fat now, Mom….can I be excused?

(Nickie – trying to crack a password on LPS wii) “I’ll figure it out…” (then types E-n-t-e-r P-a-s….)”

(Me) whatcha singing? (Nickie) just to myself (Me) how can i sing along then? (Nickie) you can’t, mom, it’s single-player, not multi-player

(Nickie) I had a butt situation but I just had to poop. (me) oh ok (Nickie) I kinda feel like I gotta pee now though, but maybe later.

(Nickie) Mom, can I stay up until 9:30? (Me) Sure (Nickie) Really? Awesome! (Me): Nick, it’s after 10, Go to bed! (Nickie): Hey! You cheated

(Nickie) Does everyone have white marker thoughts? Like on tv, when they’re thinking of something and you see a drawing above their head.

(Nickie) Mom, when I was a baby and lived in your belly it was a lot like watching tv with no picture. I couldn’t see a thing! (sometimes shes scary)


Nickie-ism of the Day: (brushing Nichole’s hair) “Ouch! Please brush gently henceforth!”

The rest of them I saved when they popped up on Timehop, so I’ll just share them as photos:

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Robert ~ The Hardest Battle

 Roommate shot and killed himself. I met his brother at the funeral and a little over a month later, we started dating. Couple of years later, we were married and had Darcie.

Now, over twenty years later, my son, Robbie, is showing the same signs and making the same threats about suicide. I wish I could figure out how to help him. The night of his graduation, he ended up in the ER for a psych evaluation, under suicide watch. This was the second time the police have taken him in for the psych evaluation. Over the years, I’ve tried sending him to different therapists, and he’d just get bored and quit after a handful of sessions. He has a hard time making friends, and inevitably he chooses friends that end up using him for his car or his paycheck. He’s always been shy and awkward around girls, so when he does have a girlfriend, he tends to bend over backwards and give them whatever they want to keep them happy. In turn, they end up using him as well. I’m at such a loss. How do I help guide him towards better friends and better relationships? How do I help guide him in appreciating all that life has to offer when he just continues to get shit on?

He breaks my heart. He makes my soul ache. I don’t want to lose him and yet, I don’t know how to keep him. I try so hard to make him feel appreciated and loved, to make him smile or enjoy life. I just don’t feel like he does….

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Darcie ~ The Bestest Biggest Sisterest

Poor Darcie has been hanging in with me since 1995. She only got to be an only child for three years, and didn’t get all that much out of it past chicken pox. She was handed a baby brother in 1998, and tried her best to trade him away in exchange for a bologna100_0302 sandwich. She learned to appreciate him eventually. In 2000, she was handed a baby sister. IMG006By then, she was pretty used to her baby brother and was looking forward to having another sibling. Cassie was supposed to be a boy, according to the ultrasounds, so Darcie was definitely thrilled to find out she had a sister instead of the expected brother. In 2003, she was handed yet another sister, which thrilled her to pieces again. All three of them were tickled pink to have a baby sister.  14316804_626517987508688_4229944888694658463_n

Darcie has almost always been a model big sister. She’s tried to set an example in almost 11988191_1490175107943113_4828603847719535908_nall areas except keeping her bedroom clean. She played with her siblings constantly, and as the years went by, developed a very close relationship with Cassie. After she graduated high school and went into17523436_739932349500584_4913308194758659748_n the work field, she got involved with a man that had a daughter from a previous relationship. Because of her experience around younger children (yay being the oldest!), she was able to relate better to her boyfriend’s daughter. Someday, she’ll be an excellent mother….



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