New Year, New….School?

Upon getting off work tonight, after working 14 straight hours, I was informed that Nichole’s school is closing its’ doors. Tomorrow. Just like that. No more ECOT. Yes, dear (few) followers. My kiddo was an ECOT student.

I went to her school portal, and found this letter:

Dear ECOT Family,

It is with great sadness that we inform you the ESC of Lake Erie West voted against our appeal at their board meeting tonight. We are very sorry that we were unable to maintain your education through the end of the school year. It was with our every intention that we would continue to provide students a quality education, as we have strived for each year since we began.

The decision has been made to close operations at the end of the day tomorrow. We will be sending each family a letter indicating the address and the name of the school district office where records will be delivered.

As long as we are able to staff people for the phones we will accept phone calls for file transfers other than to the local district. We will be able to send electronic files to the school of your choosing as long as it is permitted by the sponsor.

We will complete all semester one grading and issue earned credits and diplomas over the next few weeks. Diplomas are scheduled to be mailed to the address on file after the transcript has been certified by a counselor.

We are so thankful to each of you for choosing ECOT as your family. We have been inspired by the stories that each of you have shared. Our hope is that each of you are stronger, braver, and smarter than when you logged in your first day. We believe in each of you and believe you have the tools to be successful as you continue your educational journey.

Sincerely,

(Name Excluded by me)

 

Well, this sucks. I’ve had two children graduate from ECOT. Well, ok, I had one child graduate, and one “graduated” with an unfulfilled promise to finish his credits at summer school…and well, that didn’t happen.

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Regardless, now my youngest daughter and I must hurry up and find a new online school. I flat refuse to re-enroll her into public school. Maybe I’m sheltering her too much, but she’s in no condition to attend public school. I refuse to subject her to bullying again. I refuse to subject her to the threats of destructive little assholes that think they need to bring guns or knives or other weapons to school. I refuse to subject her to perverted little punks that may want to take advantage of her innocent soul. Nope.

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Hard Christmases

Have you ever sat alone and thought about the past, and thought about the present, and wondered when it all got so hard? We’re weeks away from Christmas, and I feel like crying. This adulting thing is so much harder on single moms than you could ever imagine.

I’m working my ass off, literally. I’m clocking between 70-80 hours a week, at less than $10/hour. I’m paying the bills alone, and it’s killing me. And now, looming just over the horizon, is Christmas. I’ve got kids expecting presents, as they should. How in the world am I supposed to pull extra money out of thin air to afford gifts? I WANT to buy the gifts, but how? My kids are all older, as any of you have already read. I can’t get away with little stuff anymore. How in the world am I gonna pull this off?

 

Most of the Christmases we’ve celebrated before weren’t just in my court. My first husband always worked, and made pretty good money. When the kids were little, we always made sure they had plenty of gifts, even if they weren’t pricey. After we were divorced, my grandmother helped me so much. Then, I was with my second husband. We didn’t make much money either, but at least we tried. Now….it’s just me.

I’m praying for the strength and wisdom to get through this holiday on my own.

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Q & A with the Queen of Nickie-isms

**I found this in my memories on facebook, and decided to ask her the same questions again, so I enclosed those answers as well** 

(originally posted in November 2016) WITHOUT prompting ask your spouse these questions and write EXACTLY what they say. The outcome can be hilarious. (In the spirit of facebook, I asked my questions to the queen of Nickie-isms)
•What is something I always say?
(November, 2016) “the F word!”
(November, 2017) “Take the dogs out.“
•What makes me happy?
(November, 2016) “a clean house”
(November, 2017) “well behaved children and a clean house”
•What makes me sad?
(November, 2016) “um…you’re not exactly sad often. I guess losing a family member. You cried a lot when Grandma died.”
(November, 2017) “I don’t know. You’re usually never sad.”
•How tall am I?
(November, 2016) “um…probably about 5 foot?”
(November, 2017) “I don’t know. About 5’6? Maybe an inch or two off?” (I’m 5’5 ½”)
•What’s my favorite thing to do?
(November, 2016) “watch Netflix?”
(November, 2017) “watch Hulu”
•What do I do when you’re not around?
(November, 2016) “Usually when I’m not around, you’re at work.”
(November, 2017) “Work.”
•If I become famous, what will it be for?
(November, 2016) “You could be a penguin breeder or something?”
(November, 2017) “You could be a famous doctor!”
•What makes you proud of me?”
(November, 2016) “When you’re happy and content. Because when you’re happy and content, I’m proud that you’re not going to beat the crap out of somebody.”
(November, 2017) “Your existence?”
•What is my favorite food?
(November, 2016) “pizza. that was an easy one.”
(November, 2017) “Normally its pizza”
•What is my favorite restaurant?
(November, 2016) “um….Wendy’s, I think. You never really told me.”
(November, 2017) “Um…I don’t know.”
•Where is my favorite place to visit?
(November, 2016) “Aldi’s? You go there often!”
(November, 2017) “Work? That’s where you usually are…”
•If I could go anywhere, where would it be?
(November, 2016) “to bed!”
(November, 2017) “Hawaii? South Carolina?”
•How do I annoy you?
(November, 2016) “When you put a song on REPEAT!”
(November, 2017) “Repeatedly telling me to do something I’ve already done!”
•What is my favorite movie?
(November, 2016) “Cinderella? I know its a Disney movie!”
(November, 2017) “I don’t know. Happy Feet? Racing Stripes?” (I hate those movies, for the record!)
•Who is my celebrity crush?
(November, 2016) “I don’t remember. Tom Bergeron? Jimmy Fallon? I don’t know!”
(November, 2017) “This is a joke answer because I have no idea: Johnny Depp”
•You get a phone call that I am in trouble, who am I with?
(November, 2016) “Probably someone that kidnapped you?”
(November, 2017) “Um…the police?”

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Rockin’ Out

So, who has been getting into this rock painting phenomenon? If you haven’t heard 5db2d0e406d8062c9c283f0e5ca611f3--a-rock-painted-rocksabout this, let me give you a quick explanation. Different towns across the country have begun painting rocks (just normal rocks you find anywhere). Here’s the lowdown:

1. Find a rock.
2. Paint the rock (Pinterest and Google has a lot of great ideas)
3. Put a tag on the back of rock with instructions and your unique #. (Mine is #MonkRocks) Your unique hashtag makes it easy for you to follow your rock. (glue it then spray with a clear coat of Mod Podge to seal front and back of rock). It’s about $3 a can at Pat Catans or Walmart. (We’ve written our hashtag and everything with a sharpie, so don’t think you have to print out custom labels or anything like that!)
4. Take a picture of rock and post on (your town’s facebook page; trust me, I’m sure they have one) with a hint of where it’s hidden.
5. If you find a rock, post a picture and include the artists hash tag in the post so the artist can follow their rock, then re-hide it again for someone else to find.
6. HAVE FUN 

(Those instructions were courtesy of Ann Weisent-Page, from her Knox County Ohio Rocks page on Facebook)19399793_1742909605738157_4339511131298441639_n

So, you and/or your children spend some quality time together painting rocks. How could that be bad? And then, you and/or your children go out into the fresh air and hide the rocks somewhere in public. In my town, the various parks are popular hiding spots. While you’re out, you can also hunt for other people’s painted rocks. Basically, it’s like a year-long Easter egg hunt…..for kids of all ages.

You down?

I bought acrylic paint and some cheap paint brushes. Each bottle of paint was $0.95, and the package of brushes was a buck. Cheap entertainment, for the most part. I just love how it gets kids OUT of the house and has nothing to do with video games!! (Can I get an amen??)

Here’s some pics of Nichole and Tessa getting down and dirty painting their rocks…

Belly Buttons and Teddy Bears

Belly Buttons

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When Cassie was little, she was completely obsessed with her own belly button. Now, I’ve seen various kids play with tags on blankets or pillows or toys, obsessing until the tags would become frayed and worn out. Children have security blankets, sure. Children need ways to feel secure, any way they can. I’ve just never seen a kid obsess over their own belly button until Cassie came along. She was worse than Linus and his blanket! But she was so freakin’ cute that the belly button thing wasn’t really a big deal, and she eventually quit.

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Years later, she had her belly button pierced and now has a variety of jewelry for that specific piercing, so maybe her obsession over her navel isn’t over?

 

Teddy Bears

Nichole has had her share of obsessions over the years, but that kind of goes hand-and-hand with Asperger’s. Her very first one was over teddy bears. Even as a baby, Nichole loved her bears, but most importantly she used her bears as pillows. I’m not sure she ever used a real pillow until she was 10. She preferred to sleep on her bears!

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She was so obsessed with her bears that she named and numbered them! “Oh, this is Beary 4!” And she could tell you which one was what number without blinking an eye.