Thursday, August 28, 2008


Oh how I love politics. I know, it is a touchy subject. Maybe that is why I talk about it...or maybe it is because I feel very passionate about certain things...something to think about I guess.

Either way, we have been watching the Democratic Convention. Some of it I really like....some of it just makes me laugh. I did enjoy Michelle Obama's speech and the video that was played before she spoke. I like she was a "south side" girl that pulled herself up from her bootstraps. I do however, have a criticism. Although Michelle grew up in a rougher neighborhood (I am only assuming because I have never been to the south side of Chicago) and I am sure her family struggled to pay a bill or two - I am 100% positive that she had two advantages over all of my clients! Here is what they are - ONE: She had two parents, who stayed together. She did not have to wonder who her daddy was and she was not raised by her grandparents or neighbors or foster parents or the teen aged girl who lives next door! TWO: She had a mother who stayed home to be a MOM, not to run the streets or do drugs or to drink all day & (here is the biggest point) her Father got up everyday and went to work - he did not rely on the system (even when he was sick) but instead went to work. You see...Michelle Obama grew up instilled with those wholesome middle class values that the majority of us grew up with! That is how she is different than those families who are truly at the bottom. I don't know how to change the cycle. I have been thinking about it so much. Many of my clients are in their early twenties and I see they are really just a product of their environment - they are doing exactly what they grew up seeing. It is starting to get on my nerves to hear people say stuff about "people taking advantage of the system". That is one of the most JUDGEMENTAL things I have ever heard. I am not innocent...I've said it a few times myself. But as I have gotten to know these families I am learning that I didn't have a complete story - there were big chapters left out. I mentioned before I went to a training about poverty when I first started this job (Bridges Out of Poverty). It was so informational. There are a couple of books about this subject - if you have any interest in changing things then I highly suggest them. Anyhoo....back to what I was getting at - before you judge someone think about this - you don't know what any person has been through and how they were raised. A person may look perfectly capable of working and physically they may be but what about socially or can they even read? Several of my clients can read a little but probably not much past a 5th grade level. At that training they explained that most people develop a base vocabulary by the age of two - words that are used everyday. I don't remember exactly how many it was but there was a significant difference between the middle class number and the poverty level number. This is something that is very difficult to develop when a person is older. Therefore, many people who grew up in poverty don't even have the same vocabulary as someone like you and me. When I worked at Safe Landing I remember the girls always said I used big words! I always thought that was silly. Now it makes sense. Man, I could just rant and rave and rant about this. I do think there are people out there who take what they can get. And I think there are people who take it for granted. But the "system" doesn't give and give and give. More than one of my clients has to go down to the Job Center like they are going to a full time job in order to continue receiving their benefits. I've seen how much they earn - it isn't even equivalent to a full-time minimum wage job. Plus they have to find childcare because it is not provided. And their housing....don't even get me started on that - how would you like to live in a building that is FULL of cockroaches? I have seen it - in fact just yesterday - roaches crawling all over the walls! The landlord told them they exterminate twice a year and that is enough...obviously not! This is not just a family or is entire neighborhoods full of people and children.

Well, I certainly got off my topic. I didn't even get to talk about Hillary or Bill. I will say this - I don't think you have to be the President of the United States to make a difference. So, on that note - I can't save the world sitting here at this computer so.....gotta go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't remember...

I don't remember my first day of kindergarten. It was at West Robbins School in Tennessee. I only went to that school for a few weeks then we moved back to Ohio and I went to Valley View Elementary in Vermilion. The crazy thing is...I remember the first day of school there. I remember walking into the classroom with my mother. I remember meeting my teacher and meeting a girl I would later graduate with. I still remember several people who were in my kindergarten class.

Now my little boy is in kindergarten. He was reluctant to go but after his first day he came home and informed us that he wanted to stay at school forever. I told him to pack his bags. He changed his mind when I told him he would have to get a job. Before he went to school I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up. I suggested a Dr. Jake said "a pet doctor". Jude said, I think I will work in a pet store. And I want to own a dog and a lizard. Boy, he sure is ambitious!

Today I asked him if he played with this one little boy that was on his soccer team. He said, "No, he is bad, he had to sit in time out." So, it starts.

Well, here are the zillions of pictures I took of the day! They are all out of sequence!

Jude insisted I take a picture of his back pack.

Finally....Some Pictures!

Pictures from the picnic on Sunday at the "beach".

We started out on the paddle boats but a storm was rolling in and the wind was blowing so hard we couldn't paddle forward. Jude was scared!

Pictures from Jacki's wedding reception.

Last week it rained so hard and fast this happened to our street!

These are pics from when we got together with our old friends. The kids were digging for bones!

Jake playing.

Next year we will have one more at the annual get together!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where the heck have I been?

I are getting used to my bi-weekly posts at this point.....

We have been so crazy busy. Today I was trying to think when I can slow down and I came to the conclusion it won't be until after Christmas - probably that big snow storm we will have that will house bound us!

Jude starts school tomorrow. He doesn't seem that excited about it. I think he is really going to like it when he gets there. He is in the afternoon class. For the first day his teacher invited all the parents and younger siblings to come and share a snack - she called it "the first BOO-HOO". I think that is funny but I am not planning on crying. It does feel a little surreal that my son is going to be in Kindergarten but not sad. At least not today. I'll let you know if that changes.

This weekend was a little insane. Saturday morning I was out and about by 7 A.M. We went to Bay Village for Collin's birthday party. That is JenF's step-son. It was fun and nice to see Jen, Neil, Lizzy, Collin and my sister (if only for a minute...LOL - she was a little late!). After the party we left and went to New Lawrence (somewhere near Massillon) to have a bon fire with our friends Jim & LeAnne and their 4 kids (when Jim realized he has the same amount of kids as Tim & Steph he said, "oh my goodness, we caught up to Tim & Steph!!!" I thought that was funny.) It was crazy with 7 kids around a bon fire roasting marshmallows in the dark. Jude burned his finger and Ben, their son, stepped on a metal marshmallow roaster while it was still hot and burned his foot. We left around 10, which is late for us to be out and about. The kids said they were scared. They usually aren't out driving around when it is dark and especially not in the country. They kept saying funny things like "Mommy they have stars!" Oh yeah, Elise said something funny earlier in the night. We got to their house while Leanne was at the store. She had the baby with her. She is a tiny little thing. Well when she came in and Elise saw the baby she was of course very intersted. She sat there and kept looking at her then she asked Leanne, "Did you get that baby at the store?" It was so cute.

Today we had another picnic - it was the kids picnic for church. We were going to skip but decided to go at the last minute. It was at a nearby lake. It was fun. I am glad we decided to go. The kids had a really good time.

Last weekend we had some old friends over for dinner. We get together once a year. It is always fun and I think we should do it more often but it never seems to work out. Then on Sunday we went to Jacki's wedding! It was a sweet wedding. Jacki's friend, Becca and her boyfriend wrote a song for them and sang it! I loved it. We didn't take the kids to the wedding or to the reception for the food part but when things loosened up we went home and got them (only one block away) and brought them to the party. They had fun. Elise and I danced to all those typical wedding reception songs! She loved it. Jude wasn't into the dancing. Oh well.

I'll post pictures of all the fun sometime soon. For some reason I can't get the pics onto my computer. I am going to have to restart the silly thing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Indy the Kindergartener

Wasn't this just last week or something?!!

So, today was the first day of kindergarten for my baby. I can't believe how fast the time has always hear that, but you never realize it until its your own growing up too fast!!

I added this picture for a few reasons...Reichen really wanted to be in the pix with his sister; he is really upset that he doesn't get to go to school yet. That being said, he looks really thrilled to be in the pictures, huh?!! Also...Nice purse boy!! Hehehehe!

PS. yes, I cried!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why Am I Still at Work?

Because I have a flat tire. I am a little annoyed but not that bad. Now I have time to blog. LOL. And I am glad it didn't happen in the neighborhood I was in earlier today. Yikes. It is a scary one. In fact I had mentioned to caseworker I was headed over there. She has worked for CSB for 16 years - she didn't want to meet me over there and then told me to be careful. It is one of those areas where young men gather on street corners and stare at you when you drive by. So, I am happy it didn't happen while I was over there. Jake is on his way to help. I told him to think of it as an opportunity to be my HERO. I don't think he sees it that way.

Twice this week I ran into my old friends ex-boyfriend. He is a deputy. Some of you will know who I am talking about now. It was nice to chat and catch up. It is a complicated situation. The girl and I aren't friends anymore. He got married (not to her) and is expecting a baby in January. That is cool.

Anyhooo....the hero is here. Gotta go.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well, of course....

Since I am practically famous it should not come as a shock that my garden is practically famous as well. Here is a photo from Monday's Akron Beacon Journal.

This is what I have been so busy doing.....

I made Avery's cake!

She can open presents!

Some of the kids ate outside!

She is so happy to be ONE!

"Happy Birthday to Me!"

Silly Indy.

Last weekend we went to Portage Lakes and went on a boat.

Avery did not like her life jacket.

Since we haven't taken the kids to the beach they vacationed in our drive way.

We went to the zoo.

Man, look at her white legs!

Akron has a Jellyfish display. It is very cool.

The kids always want their pictures taken while on these bears!

These are some crazy fish eating birds from Portage Lakes.