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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8.10.1998 ~ the Fourth

Labor and delivery for my second baby was easier than the first, for the most part. I remember at one point my labor just slowed to a stop. The doctors finally came in and told me that I had two choices. I could stay at the hospital and they could break my water, which would kick start labor back into gear. Or I could go home and wait for labor to restart on my own. This choice was given to me at about 8am.

Rob and I discussed the options and decided that since we were already there, and we already had Darcie firmly with a babysitter, we might as well just stay put. So, the doctor broke my water at 8:45am on August 10, 1998.

That definitely worked. Labor returned with a vengeance. My son was born at 9:17am….32 minutes after they broke my water. My sweet baby boy was the only child I had that was born in the morning. Gorgeous baby boy. Robert Scott Stewart IV.

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Nineteen years later, my son isn’t nearly what I expected when I dreamed of what he’d be like as a grown up. But who is?

Happy Birthday, Robbie!

World Wars

Have you ever watched television or movies and wondered how in the hell these families

AR000902have kids that don’t constantly fight? This plagues me constantly. It hurts my heart to hear them talk about how much they hate each other. I’m well aware that siblings everywhere fight, but I can’t figure out at what point in time that all finally ends?

17523436_739932349500584_4913308194758659748_nI have an older brother myself, but we didn’t really grow up together. The few years that we did live together as kids, I do recall the occasional arguments here and there, but he was also five years older than me. He had his friends and his life, and I wasn’t included in any of that. By the time I was 11, we no AR001202longer lived together.

These days, my kids have had their whole lives together. In the last couple of years, Darcie and Cassie have finally gotten to the point where they’re close and loving sisters. It was a long, hard road because they’re 10402378_10152144751115925_129885094075340088_nalso five years apart. Stolen makeup and sibling arguments kept them going for a while but now they’re close and loving and have learned to appreciate each other.

 

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My issue is my son’s relationship with his sisters. And the girls’ relationship with their brother. I don’t know how to solve the issue, especially when none of them are interested in making the effort. My son is almost 19. At what point do they begin to make adult relationships with their siblings?

I feel like pulling my hair out.

I included “happy sibling” photos to remind myself of the few times they were happy together….*sigh*

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:

2015

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2017

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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.

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