Friday, October 23, 2009


So, even though we felt we couldn't afford it, we went and bought a second car. With Bill's work picking up, and mine staying at one or two days a week, we needed something. We bought a '93 Pathfinder. It runs well,and is in very good shape. It has it's character points: the hatch doesn't stay latched...but it has a gate over the hatch that does latch, if you have the physical strength to lift the gate, and slam it. Not me. LOL. THe stereo is a lot of work to get going, and keep going. THen when you shut off the car, it goes back to an invalid station. Reminds me of when we had to take the posts off the battery each time we shut off the car, and then reset the radio every time. It is a royal pain. Bill has taken to just hooking up his zune and bypassing the stereo altogether.

I get to keep the Ford. Whoopee. Every trip I take is weighed out before I leave. Is it REALLY worth it to climb over the center console to get out?? Now, if I take a kid, then I am fine. They don't mind coming around and letting me out. I tried a shortcut to church and now I have a slow leak in my front tire. The Terra Cotta dirt road to Nichols is just not worth it. Other than that the Ford is long as there are no hills on the way. The transmission is still garbage. If the tach doesn't spin on take off, then it can't hold it's speed on long hills. You will find me in the far right lane, holding up the big rigs. Two more years of payments and this treasure is ours!!

The goal at this point, if work holds steady, is to pay the car off in the next six months, and buy a work truck. A big Chevy( never EVER a Ford again!!) dually with tool boxes and a sweet ladder rack. THEN we will go get a skin and advertise Bill's company. LOL.

I went to the cemetary today and had a nice visit with my brother. His headstone is lovely. I felt much better afterward, and the guilts are not as bad. The comfort and peace I felt as I sat there, enjoying the sunshine and pouring my heart out to him was just beautiful. I left with a smile.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So, last week, was Menifee Stake's Day in Heaven. The goal was for every family to do the work for one name. We had a few struggles along the way, but I think that is the adversary, putting up roadblocks to see that we truly want these ordinances done. My mom has worked tirelessly to get the work ready for Bill's mom and dad. We then went to the San Diego temple to complete the work.j

Thursday night, Bill and I and the two boys, Hunter and Chandler went down to the temple to do the baptisms. Hunter was going to be dunked for Bill's dad, and me for his mom. Grandma and Mom rounded out our group. There was a family ahead of us, and while we waited, a bunch of kids started filing in. How pleasantly surprised were we when we realized it was the youth from my mom's ward. I am sure it must have been hard for her to see them there, knowing Arik should have been with them. Her bishop, Bishop Elkins, lets no moss grow under his feet, and within minutes I had ten more names to do and Bill and Chandler were changing into their whites so they could participate too. It was beautiful. They had Bill help with the confirmations, and witness the baptisms. They rushed him back and forth so he was there during his own parents turns.

Bill confirmed his mother, with me as proxy. He choked up, and had a hard time talking. Bishop Elkins was there with him, and told him to take his time, there was no hurry at all. LOL. Only 20 youth waiting thier turns to do their ten names each, and still get home in time for early morning seminary the next day. But Bill finally was able to do it, and what a touching scene.

Hunter was baptized for his Grandpa, and he wondered if Grandpa remembered him. It was a valid question, as Grandpa died five years ago, and had Alzheimer's for many years before that. While he was being confirmed, he heard a small voice say "I remember you". How touching it was to see his face, and the tears in his eyes, as he told us of his experience.

We got home late, and fell into bed. Mom and Grandma were smart, and rented a hotel room outside San Diego. Bill and I wanted to, but it was a school night, and what would we do with the kids?? So, we got them off to school Friday morning, and hopped on the freeway to meet Mom and Grandma by just before ten. We started with initiatories, and how fun it was to run into my new RS president. She was in my group, so we waved when we could. I had extra names again, which is good. I have only done it once before, when I took out my own endowments, 13 years ago. I didn't remember anything about it, so doing it for 8 people helped me out. THese ladies doing the ordinances are so sweet and so helpful to the dummies who come in, namely me. You know they have this down, and have seen much, and not much surprises them anymore. Anyway, one of these sweet ladies broke down crying at the spirit in the room as I did my MIL. I had felt it and feel like my efforts were welcome, and well received by my MIL. But to have this wonderful lady feel it so strong that she had to stop and compose herself, and then give me a big hug was really neat.

The sealing was really neat too. My Oma has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and it explains a lot of her recent behavior. She has really degenerated in the three years (today) since Opa passed. Her getting confused, and frustrated is now a part of life for us, and we do everything we can to make her happy, and content. So, the sealer had Bill and I do his parents. Bill has just been over the moon about all of this. The sealer had a few more names to do and asked if I minded if other ladies in the room could proxy with Bill to do them. The only other ladies were Mom and Oma, and I laughed and said it was my mom. He then promised Bill he would not seal him to my mother. LOL. It was neat to be a part of all this. Later, Oma mentioned how priviledged she felt to be able to seal Mary. My mom gently reminded her that I had done Mary, and she actually did strangers. Oh. Later still she said it again. By the third time, we just let it go and let her think what she wanted. Why worry about it??

I am looking forward to going back and doing other names my mom may find. We are planning a trip in January to do Arik's work and to seal him to my parents. I can't wait for that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

She is home

It lasted five weeks. Honestly, I knew it wouldn't last, but I didn't expect the fallout to be quite so bad, or aimed at me.

If you remember, I never wanted her to move out in the first place. But, being faced with her moving in with a ward member, or running off to who knows where(as she had threatened so often) we finally agreed to let her go. It was hard. I questioned my mothering skills on more than one occasion.

She hit her limit on Thursday. She wanted to come home and regretted leaving her family. She waxed almost poetic on how a child should always stay with their parents. She also said she was extremely unhappy, as as soon as ward member figured out that she could not change Kailey, or do a better job than I was doing, she became angry and abusive toward Kailey. Kailey is a difficult child, with a mind of her own. She will be a strong adult, and if I can just help her find her way, her strong testimony will not be in vain.

Let me say a few positives about Kailey, since I have shared so much negative, ward members must be scared of her. She has a great personality. She is very witty, and keeps us in stitches. She is very loyal, and gets angry when someone is less than nice to me or her dad. She acts like her siblings are the most annoying on the planet, yet she bristles if anyone looks sideways at them. She really is a kind and caring person, and as she grows the good is overcoming the temper fits and the anger.

Anyway, things came to a head on Thursday. Kailey has a lot of guy friends, and some of them are not real thinkers. This one called her at 6:30 on Thursday, and said he was outside, come talk to him. This set off the host, and she was yelling at Kailey that they are civilized people and no one who is civilized shows up at a friends house at 6:30 in the morning. A rule I have never heard, but I do agree it was early for visitors. Kailey was angry and decided it was the last straw.

So, she came home yesterday. She was angry we wouldn't give her her phone back. She had given it back when hosts had put her on their plan, and with it came the latest state of the art phone that does everything, including make toast. She gave us her on it's last leg razr, and we gave it to the boys. They were thrilled with it, and so grateful. So, when she comes home, without phone, she wanted her phone back. It doesn't work that way, sorry.

We also made it clear she would not take over Bill's office. He spends a lot of time in there, at all hours. Most of it is necessary for his company to thrive, but some is saving the world, a way for him to unwind. He still has sleeping issues, and many 2am's have found him at his desk, trying to figure out an issue, or playing Bejeweled on Facebook. Her putting a bed in there, and taking over the closet is not an option. She has been angry that we planned on her just staying in the family room, on a futon. I offered for her to stay in with the girls, but it is already crowded in there with their bunkbed, dresser and desk. It is the smallest room in the house, but the one the girls chose as theirs. They did not want Kailey moving in with them, and I didn't blame them. So, the TV room it is. She was upset last night that she was tired and the boys were still playing video games. Their bedtime on Friday's is 9:30 and she wanted to go to bed at 8:15. She solved it by moving to the living room.

It will be an adjustment for all of us, but especially for her.

I was quite upset yesterday as her host called me yelling, making accusations, calling me names, and telling me that I had made temple covenants and I was not keeping them. I realized months ago that this girl was not my friend, and I have been going thru the motions til we moved to avoid drama. And, while she berated me on the phone, I was thankful I had figured her out a while ago. I finally hung up on her tirade. She would not give Kailey her stuff til K had given back the house keys and the cell phone. Even for her, her behavior was juvenile and out of line. I am so grateful to be in another ward now. I won't be going back to visit anytime soon.

In a way, even thru my anger and hurt, I feel sorry for her. There must be a mental imbalance for her to act in such a way. She must really think she is justified in her stand. That is sad. It is never appropriate to yell at and call a kid hateful swear words. Whore was thrown around when Kailey only went on a few dates. It is also never appropriate to call another sister in the gospel names. I wish her the best, and seriously hope she is able to get the help she needs to deal with her anger issues.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The whole month of August went by without a post. Not that I didn't want to...I just never found the time. Plus my comp is all wonky, and drops things all the time. Hopefully I won't lose this.

We are moved. The garage is piled high with unopened boxes of treasure and trash. I told Bill that since we have everything we need, I am tempted to just never open them. LOL. Except for the photo albums and the kids homemade stuff. And, by the time I found all that, there would untold numbers of items I just couldn't live without.

A new ward/stake. Yikes. Although we are now in the same stake as my parents and Oma. So, stake functions will be family affairs. Already awkwardness in the new ward. A family that fired me as their babysitter is now in my ward. Of course the kids I watched are now all adults, with kids of their own. I was twelve, they had four kids with the oldest being a 10 yr old boy, with a huge case of the naughties. I was fired when a mug crashed to the floor after he threw something at me, as they walked in the house. My mom was called, and this lady yelled at her over this coffee mug, and said I would never watch her kids again. It was quite humiliating, but a good learning experience for me. I started refusing jobs if I felt it was too much for me. And, when I started leaving Brittany with the kids when she was 13, I always had this boy in mind.

Anyway, I recognized them because he bore his testimony and stated who he was. So I kind of had the upper hand. She surreptiously studied me thru RS, andI am not sure if she figured out who I was. LOL I no longer look like the teen I was when we moved out of that town. But, as I have gotten older, I have unwillingly began to look like my mother. I get recognized for that all the time. So she may well have figured it out. I talked to Mom, who said she has seen this sister at stake functions, but neither has approached the other. So we will see how this goes. I hate conflict, and I would like to think we could put 30 yr old issues to rest.

I will post pics of hte house as soon as I find my USB cable. LOL. I am sure it is in one of the boxes in the garage.

Friday, July 31, 2009

They are dropping like flies.

So, with all the talk of moving, Kailey has been very upset. She wanted to graduate from the high school here, with the friends she has known since Kindergarten. She has been frustrated with me because I am not as adamant as she is. Really, she is starting her third year and her grades are so dismal that she is on the five...possibly the six year plan. If it was so important to her, why is it so hard to do it right?? And why is her lack of preparation my emergency??

She wanted to find a family in the ward to take her in so she could stay here. I was not too happy. She is my daughter, and even with her moodiness and ill temper, I love her desperately. Plus, I felt it was asking a lot of someone, in this economy, to take in another kid. I wanted her to go with us and just give it a shot.

So, she found someone willing to take her in. This sister is willing to drive her around the mountain every day to school, and then come pick her up. I can see that getting old soon. The plan was to wait until a) we moved, or B) school started, which ever came first. She has been taking boxes of stuff over there, and rhapsodizing to me how wonderful it is over at Sue's house. Great, I hope you will be happy. She was home yesterday afternoon, and then said Sue was coming and she was going over there for a while.

When she didn't come home last night, I didn't think too much of it, and half expected her to show up any minute this morning. I needed my phone charger, and since hers broke last week we have been sharing it. This means she keeps it and I hunt it out when I need it. Her room is empty, except for the trash. I texted her, and she said it was a last minute thing and that she had no idea she was moving out last night. Really?? Yet you took all your stuff??

I am hurt. What am I doing wrong, that my kids are so desperate to get out??

She keeps telling me that she is not bryttani. Yet, she did the exact same thing. Disappeared in the night. The only difference is I had a clue, and she didn't move in with her boyfriend.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Count your blessings, Name them one by one.....

The job in the high desert has exploded. Bill is so busy, he is not sure when he can finish Chaffey college. He is getting four or five houses a week, which is keeping him and his crew busy. Then he gets a call from his boss. Bill was tipped to this repo job by a friend in another ward. So, his boss is LDS also, and he and Bill have become great friends. It also helps to develop trust when you are brothers in the gospel. Anyway, Chris, his boss, calls the other day and said he is not happy with some of his other crews and he wants to phase some of them out, and have Bill pick them up. This means Bill will eventually have the whole lower half of the state. This is a huge blessing for us. We have prayed for work, and Bill is deluged. He has also had some personal testimony builders to show him how much Heavenly Father loves us and knows us. One was last Sunday. He was behind on Chaffey, and felt it was best to work on Sunday to get caught up. When I got home from church he called me and was on his way home. He said the guilt feelings were so strong that we were so blessed by being obedient.....and here he is working on the Sabbath. He made a vow it won't happen again.

He also knows that me paying our tithing in full, whether he was on board or not, is why these things are going so well for us. For the longest time I paid almost on the sly. I told the bishop I was hiding the yellow slips so Bill didn't get frustrated. He knew tithing worked, he was just so scared of us having to move, or not having enough food. He has realized neither will ever happen. He supports my tithing paying now. He told me he was sorry he has been such a spiritual galoot.

So, now our family history story. My mom was called to be the family history person in her ward last year. She said then that since ours is done back to the Savior, she would work on Bill's. He is a convert, and except for some dabbling by an uncle, not much had been done. First off, when Bill was baptized in '94, he had a faith promoting experience. He said as he was listening to the bishop speak, he felt someone put their arm around his shoulders, and he was filled with a feeling of love and rightness. He figured it was my mom, since she was such a verbal supporter of his choice to be baptized.When the bishop was done speaking, he turned to acknowledge my mom, and was stunned to see her three rows back, and no one directly behind him. As he turned the feeling of the hug slowly left him. He was baffled by it, but felt it was a grandmother, and they were happy he was baptized because they wanted their temple work done.

I am confused by my PAF file, and not much has been done. Not enough time to dedicate to it while I was changing diapers and cleaning koolaid out of the carpet. So I was excited to learn my mom's calling, and her choice to work on Bill's line.

Last Wednesday, she calls me, just ecstatic. She found some of Bill's family. A Mary Steele. Mary was listed as a single mom (possibly a widow??) with two sons, William and Robert. William had a son, Huffman, who had a daughter, Mary (Bill's mom) who had Bill. I thought it really neat that Mary Steele had a William, and two generations later, Bill's mom, Mary, had a William. I would love to ask her if she knew of her great grandmother, and the naming situation. Someday, since she has been gone seven years now. Anyhow, my mom was thrilled to find this line, and was looking forward to calling me with the info....right after her institute class.

As she gets there and sits down she said it was like abolt of lightning. Mary Steele is the 'grandmother' who came to Bill's baptism. She hasn't thought of that story in years, and here it was, and she knew it was right. Now she was really anxious to call me and almost ditched her class. LOL. I had her tell Bill. He was almost in tears, and the spirit testified to him that what my mom said, and found, was true. That it was Mary Steele who had such a love for him, and was waiting for her work. So, soon, we are making a trek to the temple.

We have been so blessed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I run hot and cold.

In regards to this blog. LOL. I have something to say for a few days, and then nothing for weeks.

So, the high desert job has come thru and Bill does his first two work orders next week. The college is still not ready for him to do his last week or so of work, so no money coming there.

We went to Victorville and looked at the five bedroom house, and all was a go....until the lady asked to see a picture of Delilah. She said no, based on the fact that Dee is a pit bull. Uh, what?? No she isn't, she is a lab mix. We do agree that she has a small percentage of pit in her. It explains her gold nose. But, she is a lab, with a lab temperment. Apparently it is difficult to get or keep homeowners insurance with a pit on the property. Whatever.

Actually we are still on the fence about moving so far away. We have a few more weeks in this house.

Sunday, as I was leaving to go to the Pioneer Day planning committee meeting, I found our eviction notice in the fence. Sunday was the 12th, and the paperwork was dated the 9th, and you only have five days to answer, or else you default and the sheriff's will come and lock you out. I was stressed over this because weekends and holidays count. So, I called a paralegal we had already talked to, and he made the appt for Wed the 14th, which was the fifth day. Phew. He also said that since it was not handed to us, we actually had 10 days,but let's not risk it.

We took all our pictures and our email correspondence with the landlord over the last two years with us. The paralegal thinks we have a very good shot of winning, between all the promises of repairs and the ugly pictures. My request is we don't end up with a black mark on our record over the eviction. We sent the answer to the landlady's lawyer and we are waiting now on a court date. Our paralegal thinks that once the lawyer reads the answer and the emails he may want to see the pictures, and may want to settle. Keep your fingers crossed that this is what happens.

I don't even know what to say with the situation with Cory. Mom wants him out of Grandma's house. Actually, Mom has no problem with him there. He is good about helping Grandma with the chores that are hard for her. He is company. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and it explains so much of what has been going on. Not only is she very forgetful, but she is becoming ornery in her old age, and really mean comments are coming out of her sweet mouth. She went to spend a week with Aunt Sharon, and told her things that had Sharon calling my mom demanding answers. Apparently Grandma said I had just showed up one night with Cory and dumped him off, and have not been back to even check on him. She also said that I dumped the little girls off on her for a week while I went on a trip. "Why does Pam think I want to raise her kids??" I was hurt, but Mom reminded me she is no longer in her right mind and we can't take anything personally. With Cory, we had talked back and forth for a week. It was all planned. I could deal with this one. But the little girls hurt. The weekend before I left for camp, we had a birthday BBQ for Hunter. Grandma asked ME what I was doing with the girls. I told her Bill was off work, and if he did have to work, Cindy was going to watch them. It was all arranged, and not a big deal. "Oh, let them come and stay with me, I would love it." I was not overly comfortable with it, but Mom said she would help. So, they planned on picking them up MOnday morning, and Bill would go get them Tuesday night. That was it. Bill and Cindy had them the rest of the week. I think we are in for a roller coaster ride with her.

I cancelled my trip to Vegas. I am sad, because my friends are there right now, having fun without me. I just couldn't justify the expense, but more I couldn't see leaving the kids again so soon. But, oh, I wanted to go.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The end of a chapter??

We have an appointment to look at a few houses this weekend. Yeah, an hour and a half away. It is looking like this is the door that has been opened for us, and we need to have faith and step through. I need to have faith. Everything is falling into place. I was talking to the lady at the property mgmt, and we seemed to hit it off. She is excited for us to come, and we are excited to see her. We are looking at a five bdroom house with a bonus room. But there are other nice houses as well.

The guy who hired Bill for these high desert jobs called today, and is eager for BIll to come out and get started. We need to vacate this house by the 20th of July, so we are sort of cutting it close. LOL.

Girls Camp is Monday. I have bittersweet feelings. I love YW, and was hoping to stay in it for a while, and be in there when Cameryn becomes a beehive in Jan of 11 ( coming faster than you realize). I want to go to girl's camp with her, and help her with her personal progress, and just have a good time with her. And Tyler a couple years later. I had a plan, dang it!! A new ward, and I am fearful I will end up in Primary again. Don't get me wrong, I love Primary, and have served in every capacity except President and pianist. Those take talent. LOL. But, I was there for 26 consecutive years.....and I love the change YW is.

So, I go to camp Monday, knowing it is my last week or so with these girls. My heart is already heavy. We moved into this ward 11 years ago. Some of these kids were in nursery then. I am so going to miss them.

I was put on the stake committee for Pioneer Day. Our stake activities chairman was in the ward back a hundred years ago, before I was married even. She was the Primary President and I was the Sunbeam teacher. So she tells the stake rep she wants me on the committee. A funny. She really has a hard time letting go of my maiden name. She submitted my name for the committee and stake rep was baffled trying to find me. LOL Anyway, I hate for them to come to rely on me and mehave to move. I also hate to say no to helping if we end up staying here. This weekend will bring a lot of answers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sometimes, it is no help

I am sure there are times when people look on a situation, and think they know the best way to handle it. Many times they do not have all the pieces of the puzzle, and their 'help' is not welcome. We have encountered this this week.

Cory was released from probation on the 27th of May. The state of CA had forgiven him, and we had forgiven him. We were waiting to hear from Job Corps, or we are looking into other options. We realize he can't live here, but he was staying with us in the meantime with the blessing of the juvenile judge and his lawyer. We also had safety measures in place, even though we trust him. But, would you leave the keys to the liquor cabinet with a recovering alcoholic?? I hate using a drinking analogy, but it fits.

He was here for three weeks, when we got a knock on our door late Wednesday night. Like 10:30 late. It was CPS and the cops. Someone had called them that Cory was home again. I was stunned and upset. Bill was panicked. CPS was prepared to take our other kids that night. They had brought a police issued mini van. WHAT??! I explained that the judge had said that he had paid his punishment, and there was no reason he could not come home. Are you going to tell me that you are going to override the judge. She just pooh pooh'ed me and said the minutes from that day only state that his probation was terminated, and he was released into his own custody. I told her that his record was going to be sealed when he is 21. She agreed, he is not a threat. He could live here as long as he wanted. But, go get shoes and wake the other five kids. I got angry and said "You are NOT taking my kids!!" Can you imagine the horror??

In desperation, I tried to call my mom. She is deaf in one ear and sleeps on her good ear to ensure a good nights sleep. No luck there. Keep in mind we have been trying for a year to find somewhere for him to go. And now we were under the gun in the middle of the night.

I called Brittany, and she said he could come for the night. She lives with her boyfriend and her boyfriend's father in a four bedroom house not far from my mom and grandmother. Bill loaded Cory and his stuff into the car, and left while CPS was still here.

The next day, I had to do DC over at the DC's house. As with any job, it is not cool to spend the day on the phone. I had no choice. I got a hold of my mom finally and told her the situation, and pleaded for her to ask Oma if he could stay there. Oma has gone back and forth whether or not she wants him there. She was all for it while Opa was alive, and when he could actually help. But, she did say yes. Meanwhile, Brittany called a few times, reminding me that she didn't plan on having him all day. Umm, 1, he is your brother.2, we have bent over backwards for you, and you can't help me in return??and 3, I am trying my hardest while trying to do my job at the same time. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, I just didn't want the MIL to say later "Pam was on the phone all day...."

So, for now, he is at Oma's. I blamed his PO because the timing was too perfect. He had asked the day before about Cory and how he was doing. I also wanted it to be the PO because otherwise, someone close to me had betrayed me. Only a few know the whole story. Most got the "He is living with his grandmother" story.

So, whoever called, did not know what the judge or the lawyer had said. Or they did not care. They just had a sense of righteous indignation, and set out to do something about it. I have an idea who it was. I hope they never have anyone be so myopic when looking at their life.

We put in an application for a house around the corner. No point in going far til we want to buy, then we can relocate if needed. In a way, it would be great to start over where no one knows what we have been thru. I called and left a message, so hopefully I will hear soon on how it goes.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Court was Wednesday. Cory's lawyer had a meet n greet with us before being called in to see the judge. He was recommending termination of probation and releasing Cory to his own custody. Cory's nineteenth birthday was the same day. This was certainly NOT in my plans for his 19th when he was a child. Anyway, the judge was happy with Cory and confident that Cory is ready to go and start his life. His juvenile record is closed, and he can come back when he is 21 and apply to have it sealed.

This is excellent news.

So, Cory is staying with us while he tries to get JobCorp going. The judge said the state forgave him, and if we forgave him, why can't he stay til things are set?? WE agreed, and he has taken over our living room for now. We still are on alert, and I doubt things will ever change there, but we are happy to have him home. The four younger kids are thrilled.

Kailey was not. Kailey has not forgiven him. She also refused his efforts at an apology. We took her out there one day last year so he could apologize. His counselor talked to her first, explained where C was in the program, what exactly would be said, and how did Kailey feel about it?? Kailey said "I'll wait in the car. I am not interested in what he has to say" The counselor backed her up, and we left with Cory upset and hurt. But, Kailey has been upset for a few years. I talked to her about how she is justified, and I understand, but she will never get past this if she doesn't hear him out, and let him apologize.

So, when he came home with us unexpectedly on Wednesday, she was shocked. I tried to soothe her wounded heart, and we had a long talk. I asked her just to be pleasant (to the best of her abilities) and pretend he is not here. "Pretty hard Mom, when he is 6'2 and 280 p0unds."

She did good Wednesday. Spent most of the day in her room, probably calling and texting her friends with her frustrations. Yesterday, Cory went to work with Bill, and as I was at the DC house for the day, she ditched school. My sweetie. She and I texted all day her with her questions, and me with what I hope were my reassurances.

This morning, they were laughing and talking like old times. I hope she is okay.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

While looking for something else entirely...

...I came across a few amusing shots.

Ithought this one funny, but the look on Hunter's face in the backseat, far left is hysterical. LOL Here is the source of their fear.....Dad behind the wheel.
Okay, this is my all time favorite shot. This is the last time Kailey has been in lavender, and I had to bribe her for this picture. Tyler's feelings about the whole thing are self explanatory. LOL

Where are they???

I know I have pics of the house I took when the landlady came out last time (2/08). I remember thinking I hope no one ever sees these because Iwas so embarrassed. Now, I could really use them. I am taking more, but to have older ones to show how long the house has been like this would really help. But, even these ones will do. Really. There is a leak under my kitchen sink. I told her plumber last week, and he said it was because I have a towel to drain my dishes. The water is running through the crack in the tile and pooling under the sink. Okay. So, I did dishes yesterday, early afternoon. We went to friends house for a BBQ, and came home and went to bed.

I get up this morning to a puddle under my sink, and pooled on the floor. Explain that. The water was barely used for 18 hours. And I didn't do dishes again. It goes against my moral code to do them twice in one day.

I pay the city five dollars a month for an extra trash can. Usually we can get away with one can, but if we have a party, or a clean up session, the second can comes in handy. Last Tuesday, the day after trash day, and the day before we found out we are moving, the next door neighbor asked if she could use our second can. Hunter had assured me the previous week that both cans were empty, and we were managing on one. So, I told her no problem and let her take it. I then figured I had better check my other can to be sure. By this time, she had my spare almost full with trash she had stacked in the garage. I open the second one and I could have died when I realized it was 2/3 full, and my little darling had lied to me.

We had a full week til trash day again, and I let him know how angry I was. He felt it my fault for loaning out our can without checking first. Today is finally trash day again. I was looking forward to getting started on the pre pack throw out. Starting with Kailey's pit, since she is home sick. Boo hoo.

Trash truck came two hours ago, and I went out ten minutes ago to get my cans. And the neighbor has filled our second one again!! I was shocked. You need a second can?? Pay for it then!! I hate to be unneighborly, but it is my can, and I really need it! I told her we have to move and I was planning on using the can this week. "Oh, I didn't think you needed it" Normally no, but couldn't you have checked first??

So, I am going to start anyway, just not as enthusiastically as I had planned.

Off to dig some more for the pictures.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My magic moment

In our Beehive class, I instituted "Magic Moments". I actually stole it from the RS, and I have no idea if they still do it, but our class has been doing it for almost two years. It is a time for the girls to share with us the exciting things that are happening in their lives. We get some really neat magic moments, and some silly ones, but it makes no difference. We want to know what is important in the girls lives, and we want them to know we are there for them. But, this means Sue L. ( the Beehive Counselor) and I need to share our magic moments.

After losing my income, and being told to vacate the house last week, I was a wreck, with no magic moments making themselves known. On top of all of it, I find out Cory didn't graduate his program, has blown off every interview for other programs, and will most likely end up in a homeless shelter on Wednesday, when he is released. He has done nothing. I think he is still sitting back and waiting for Mom and Dad to swoop in and rescue him. We can't. He put himself here, and he has to get himself out. I don't want to sound like a mean mom, but there are circumstances that prevent us from ever letting him live here again. My heart breaks for him, and I have been depressed all week.

To top it off, Wednesday is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Son, you have no where to live!!

Back to magic moments. I wracked my brain Sunday morning for something, anything, I could share. I was praying to Heavenly Father for anything. I mean, I am grateful for our health, we still have a house, the kids took it well, Bill is working more hours than we could have hoped for, and we have plenty of food. I am grateful for all that, but they really don't qualify as a magic moment. Ididn't want to bring the girls down by acting like Eeyore.

During Sacrament Meeting, it hit me (I am also grateful I don't have babies anymore, so I am aware when a message comes in. LOL) I have a magic attitude. I have been upbeat and happy and kept the kids in the adventure mood. That is a magic feat if anything is. So, I now had something to share. I touched lightly on my woes, and then how grateful I was that Heavenly Father gave me the gift of optimism and a happy outlook. How else could i have gotten thru these last two years without it?? I know my Heavenly Father loves me and looks out for me. He gave me such wonderful gifts-talents- and I am so grateful.

Keep Cory in your prayers that he hits bottom quickly, and decides to do something about it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not a good week.

Monday. DC mom finds herself in a tight spot regarding MIL who insists on moving in ahead of schedule. MIL refuses to go home after a visit, and must have someone with her at all times. So, notice was given at work that she would be taking a leave of absence in order to acclimate MIL to her house and get her used to things. She gave work two weeks notice, and me too. I was in no way ready to lose this income. Bill has been working full time for the last five weeks and we are slowly coming out of this financial mess we have been in for the last year. I have three days next week, and then I am done for a while. That is if she is able to go back to work.

Last night, late, we had a knock at the door. It was obviously the landlady's sister. There was no denying the resemblance. She very nicely gave me a sealed envelope, after making sure I was Pamela. I knew what it was before I even opened it. We have 60 days to vacate the property.

We moved into this house seven years ago when our last landlady died, and her daughter wanted to sell the house asap, and get the heck out of dodge. She gave us notice on Thanksgiving, and then called Christmas eve ( Iwould swear on my firstborn she was drunk) railing because we were stillin her house. I was toward the end of a very high risk pregnancy, and now looking for somewhere to live in a market that all rentals had virtually dried up.

We found this house because the people moving out were in our ward, and they talked to the mgmt company on our behalf. This house was in sad shape. The carpet had wear holes, and so did the linoleum in the kitchen. The air never worked. There was a black trash bag stapled to the front of the house that on further investigation revealed a hole in the wall under the kitchen sink. At that time, anyone could have broken into our house just by pulling the trash bag off, and crawling in under the sink. The patio was rotted thru and falling, to the point I wouldn't let my kids play out there. Things were haphazardly fixed over the years, but a lot of it was just made worse by a jill of all trades who messed up a lot. She put in a new disposal, but neglected to remove the plug in the line going to the dishwasher. This made the dishwasher back up and blow it's motor. He came out to replace the dishwasher and they had built the cabinet around the door and blocked it in. He then said a dishwasher is a luxury item, and not required by CA law. So, I haven't had one for five years, even though there is one sitting there.

Owner fired mgmt company about two years ago. She then asked why he had refunded our deposit. I freaked out because it had never been refunded. Come to find out, he was trying to save his own butt after not being able to produce our 1000 dollars. Owner came and did an inspection in February of '08. 15 months ago. Promises were made. New carpet (she admitted she laid this carpet about 20 years ago) New shower (no more using vice grips as a handle to turn the water on and off)New floor in the kitchen. New dishwasher.

We didn't hear another word from her til last week. She wanted to do another inspection, and make a new list of priority repairs. This week we got a new sink in the main bathroom, and a new shower nozzle and handle. Summer is close, heat is already here, and there were promises of a new unit.

And instead we receive a vacate notice last night.

Her reason was she has out of state family that need the house. Yeah...right.

Our theory?? She told me she was trying to get new homeowners insurance on this place, and an inspector was going to come out and make sure the house was in good condition. We knew she would not get a new policy with a huge wet broken wall in the master bath. There is new drywall there now, but the repairman didn't mud or tape it, and of course no paint. He just left the edges uneven. It would never pass with leaky sinks, and a shower with no handle.

But the biggest issue is the flooring. She talked of putting tile throughout the house, and we were fine with that. Bill has laid tile before and offered to help, to expidite the process. This was last year. Last week, she said again it was a priority. I was looking forward to new floors.

I am not sure how it works with the inspector, but she is vacating the house so she can get it up to code quickly. Because she works for the housing authority and it wouldn't be good for her job if they found out she was really a slumlord. I am tempted to take pictures of some of these things, just for my own protection.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Bill's jobs are trickling in. It doesn't seem like many, but he has been working steady for the last few weeks. We are happy, and he is excited to text/email me (on his new BlackBerry) each time he has another bid.

I have offered to come and be free labor on days I don't have daycare, but so far it hasn't worked out. One of these days. Of course, I can tell myself I am helping but I am sure from bill's side of it he is humoring me like I do the younger kids when they want to help.

I am still doing daycare. We really need a second vehicle so I have a car during the day. But that will have to wait until we are doing better. Somehow we are managing. I still work 12-14 hours a day, four days a week. There are times it is overwhelming.

Kailey went to Prom with Aaron Chandler of J1. They had a really good time. I can't believe sometimes how quickly my kids are growing up. And other days I count the weeks til the youngest goes to college. I had someone tell me this week that seh is having the hardest time adapting to the empty nest. I know when the time comes, I will have a hard time too....but there are days I am right out jealous.

The kids found an old VHS tape of Easter 1993. Brittany was almost four, Cory almost three, and Kailey was just four months old. The kids laughed, Kailey did some silly commentary, and I held back the tears. I really miss the babies my kids were. Then, I change a poopy, and am glad the babies go home at the end of the day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


So, keeping on my diabetes meds has proven difficult. We don't have insurance on Bill and I. So, whenever I go see the dr, I pay 15.00. This is a fair price I think. They go on a sliding scale, and with Bill collecting unemployment, this is our share. But, it doesn't cover the blood tests I need to make sure the meds are helping or not. That is an additional 100.00, which is more than we have been able to come up with recently.

So, I went to the doctor a few months ago, and got quite the lecture. I tried to explain, but she wouldn't hear it. She said this was more important. Okay, which kid should miss meals so I can have a blood test?? They are already wearing ratty shoes. My boys haven't had their hair cut in months, and it is embarrassing. Where am I going to squeeze money from?? We get free bread on Tuesdays to help.

Now I am low on my meds. I know the doctor will not reup my prescription without the blood work. Now what??

Oh, and to make it worse, we are putting our rent money toward Bill's insurances so that he can go to work and support his family. Keep your fingers crossed that the landlord doesn't pop a cork over it. LOL

Monday, March 16, 2009


I thought it was time for an update. Bill has put in a lot of bids, and has landed a few. One is for a local college. They want part of it remodeled, and the job will take about ten weeks. This has been a major blessing. He has a few more bids out, and we are waiting to hear on them. His summer is booked, and if we could get a few jobs sooner it would be great.

He lost one bid to a friend. He now has insurances he needs to pay, and overhead, and the guy wanted him to do it for the same rate Bill charged when he was desperate. Okay, we are still desperate.But now that Bill is licensed, it is insulting to expect him to do it for what a new employee would be paid. He also was good at saying things like "Since you are right there, would you just slap some paint on that??" Again, totally insulting to minimize the amount of work painting takes. And to think, he is a bishop. I am glad Bill didn't get the job, and since he is not our bishop (but is in our stake) I hope Bill cuts off this relationship. I hate to see him taken advantage of like this.

One of the sisters at church commented that Bill was one of the first casualties of this recession, and he is coming out of it right as others are losing their jobs. She is right. Bill has been out a job for ten months now. Only Heavenly Father saw us through. We are truly blessed.

Mom is doing better. Once she let her floodgates go, she was a wreck for a few weeks. It was hard to see her so upset. She got a copy of the police report, and it was 11 page of the most graphic minute details. I wish she hadn't read it. The lady who hit Arik called her that day, and Mom told her she had read it. The lady was sad for her, and told her she was sorry she had seen it. I thought that nice. I have the room about half done. I cleaned out the books and toys and clothes. I just need to get the furniture out, steam the carpet and paint the walls, and it will be ready for Oma. Time is a precious commodity right now. Finding enough of it and a truck at the same time has proven difficult.

Tyler turned seven last week. Sigh. We had a party at the park, with cupcakes, friends and a pinata. She is still a very happy girl with a zest for life. She loves everyone and has no enemies. She is such a great kid.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A surreal experience

How often do you get to hear of a big experience in your life, from a strangers perspective, 12 years after the fact?? Hearing a story that is all too familiar, yet the details are different?? I am still processing it, and wondering at the oddity of it all.

My sister, Karen, met and married a control freak, drug using con man when she was 20. She had already had Vanessa by this point, and went on to have four more by the time V was 5 1/2. Mike was abusive to the kids, and by the time they had three or four kids, he was full time on drugs, and not working. Her ward stepped up and made sure the kids got to church, and they had food. Karen ended up working full time to support them all, including his habit.

My mom and I tried to help Karen escape, but you can't help someone who can't or won't help themselves. We stood by while she spiraled down and self destructed. Then we stepped in and I took custody of Mikey, then 7 and Andrew, 5. Mom took Vanessa, 8, Jonathon, 4 and Emily, 3.

We had the kids for a year before Karen got them back. In that time she got rid of Mike, got her self an apt for her and the kids, and started a new life. The kids are now 20, 19, 17, 16, and 14.

Meanwhile, Back at the ranch. I have lived in this ward for ten years. THe boundaries have changed a few times, the name has changed, and last year the stake was revamped and 1/3 of the bulging neighboring stake was now part of our stake. We ended up with half of another ward to really boost our numbers. If my sister still lived over in that little house, she would be in my ward now.

Last night we had a presidency meeting. I am the only member from the former ward in YW, and have made great friends with the gals from the new ward/stake. Girls camp last year really helped us get closer. As I sat down, one of the girls asked me about my sister's last name. It is a unique name, and I was rather stunned when she said it. She went on to tell me that not only had she been in the ward at that time, she had also worked at the kids school. She said those kids made such an impression on her because it was her first experience knowing abused kids. She told me things I had no idea about. Things Mike did at church to show everyone he was in control of the kids. Things the kids told her on one of the many times she gave them a ride. And how she was the one who Mikey confided in that last day, when CPS ripped them out of the school and called me to come get them. By the time she finished, we were both teary eyed for the lost childhoods of these kids. I thanked her for being there, for loving my extended children, for being a guardian angel to kids who really needed her. Ihave often wondered about hte woman who did so much for the kids that they told me they referred to her as an auntie, and she has often wondered what happened after that fateful call.
So, Mom's bishop called me to talk to me. LOL. My own bishop still has no idea about any of this, and he is too busy for me to be bugging him. My mom was so upset that she printed out the letter and took it to him. He counselled her to throw it away, and with it, all the hurt, and anger over her accusations. So, she did. He then counselled me to do the same, and not give her the satisfaction of getting to me. I took his advice, and I feel much better.

She rarely enters my thoughts, where the day after, I was angry all day. I just feel pity for her. Barbara, you were right, she isn't going to get away with it, so why should I worry??

I am going out to Mom's next week to begin dismantling Arik's room. Mom has been trying to figure out for a year where to put Oma. Monica and Lexi have the third bedroom, and Mom can't afford for her to move out right now(even though making the money she does, and never paying mom what she owes, and expecting mom to buy diapers and Lexi's favorite foods isn't helping Mom financially).Oma is getting, at 92, to the point where it is hard on her to live alone. This has been an answer to that. Not the answer anyone wanted, but an answer.

I think it will take three days. One to go thru his stuff and give to DI and cousins who may want stuff. The second to load furniture, and the third to paint and steam clean the carpet. Then we need new curtains, and it is ready for Oma.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So, Brittany did make it home. We had a wonderful BBQ, with burgers (her favorite), dogs, and chicken thighs marinated in soy sauce and 7up. I can hope most of the sugar went up in the smoke we so generously shared with the cranky ladies. It was nice to see her, and the kids were stunned when she just opened the door and walked in. We had told them we had a Valentine surprise for them, and they were guessing silly stuff. The chocolate cake with pink sprinkles?? Dad showered?? When she walked in, and the kids about cried, it was worth the stress trying to keep the secret, and the anger when she promised us 10 am and it was almost 2 when she actually showed. But we had a nice day. Ty didn't come, he went to his aunt's house instead. I am thinking he is afraid of us, even though I try so hard to make him feel welcome.
Cory finally passed Brittany in height. She is 6' exactly, and he is 6'2. LOL. She was always the tallest kid her age. I called her my giraffe, because she is mostly legs and neck. But if you notice, Kailey is not that far behind her.
I had to change my user name on the message boards I frequent. I have been on one board for about 4 years now, and these women have become very good friends. They were there for me when all Cory's mess happened, when Brittany left, and when Arik passed last month. On this board I posted Arik's eulogy, and from that, with the help of Google and the library's computer, my sister, Debbie, posted the nastiest post I have ever seen. She wrote the post to me, but it was my mom she was talking to. In her drunken stupor she may have gotten confused, even with my name at the bottom in 4" glittery red letters. She babbled on about how she wished we would have called and told her Arik was having problems, because she or any one of his sibling would have gladly taken him in and given the unconditional love he so needed. Yeah, that's why you never called on his birthdays, never called just to see how he was, and in fact was deemed unfit by the state of CA and your rights terminated in his FIRST YEAR of life. If you ever did call the house, it was to talk to DAd about sending you more money on the sly, since the witch of a woman who raised you, and was now raising your son, didn't feel it was right to pull from their SS to pay for your drugs, alcohol, or put money on your books in jail. How selfish of Mom. How many times did Dad say "You haven't even asked about Arik yet" I heard him a few times myself. There was no way you were interested in his life, and if the truth were told if Dad had asked you to take him, you would have had 101 excuses why you couldn't. For you to now feel justified in hurting Mom when she is deeply grieving a little boy she hoped would come back to her is evil, and beyond forgivable. His pedi, and school counselor both agreed that his anger issues, and his confusion were linked to the drugs in utero. So actually Mom was just trying to help him deal with the cards you dealt him. If his blood is on anyones hands, it is yours. And if you ever contact me again with your claptrap, I will verbally let you have it. You were given the gift of a wonderful mother when you were seven, and you spit in her face. You never let her get close to you, or to Patty. All this is on you, and you leave me and my mother alone.
I guess I was more upset than I realized. Now I am crying again. How can anyone use someones grief against them, just to make themselves feel better. I actually feel hate for my own sister. She has lung cancer, and I in my upset and hurt state, do not care. I need to go see the bishop, for I am not worthy of holding a calling right now. Forgiveness for this level of hurt will be hard

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Don't want to get my hopes too high yet

Brittany has had it in Colorado. Her job that she has had for a month still has not paid her. There is something fishy there, as they were investigating, and then said it was basically her fault since her name is not on the apt lease where they are living. So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?? She is frustrated because they haven't had enough money to cover their bills, and buy food, and their hosts are getting edgy and hostile. The heat went out in the apt, and the hosts hid the space heaters. Nice, huh?? She has been living on bread. I feel bad for her, but Bill and I agreed not to bail her out of anything while she on her self destructive path.

She is lonely. She knows a girl from our stake who married and moved up there and they are twenty minutes apart. But the girl works full time, and has a husband. While she loves Brittany, and they have always been good friends, she can't devote the time B needs. Other than that, she has Ty. He is working 12 hour shifts at the music store, but the money is not too great as he depends on commissions, and the economy is slushy.

She has been calling or texting me everyday for the last couple of weeks. She is still on our phone plan, so her calling is free. We decided to keep her there so we didn't lose total touch with her. It does annoy me when we call her, and Ty has taken her phone to work, and is rude to the kids because they interrupted him. He lost his phone, and since we are paying, I think he should at least be grateful he has access to one. I hate being bothered at work too, but there is a polite way to handle it and alienating the payers of one of your bills is not the way. None of the kids care for him much. He has done it to himself, by encouraging their sister to leave, and then controlling their access to her.

So, she called Monday and said Ty's dad said they could move back in with him. As soon as they have a few dollars for gas, they are headed home. I am hoping she means it this time, as the last time she got my hopes up, she decided to head to Colorado. It was all an adventure at that point, and I think the thrill has gone.

I think spending the holidays in a strange place, with strange people was hard on her. We are strange, too, but at least a familiar strange. Then not being able to come for Arik's funeral was too much. I wish I had had the money to send for her. But we didn't. It all comes down to agency and consequences. That is something she can never get back, and she will regret for a long time. I also think it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

She wanted to be independent, and be an adult. I think she realizes she went about it in the wrong way. I think she has gained some experience points in the game of life.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Much better

I am feeling much better. I still get teary occasionally, but it isn't that bone crushing pain anymore. How grateful I am for my knowledge of the gospel, and knowing that he is no longer in pain. I took a personal weekend last week, just to wallow, with the determination that Monday, I would jump back into life. And all week I have been okay. Not great, but getting thru.

Chandler is still sleeping on our floor each night. He is terrified he is dying. How do you convince an over anxious child that he is okay?? I got notice that our primary care pedi is no longer taking our insurance, as of 2/01, so I am waiting til Monday, and I will call the new one and have him see Chan. Maybe if a doctor tells him he is okay, he will believe it.

No daycare this week, either. The dad's dad passed so they have been in Vegas all week. So Bill and I have been kicking around like two marbles in a shoe box. We had Chan home a few days, but that didn't stop us.

As soon as we show the licensing board that we have workman's comp insurance, Bill can start working. We put in a call to Richard, Bill's numero uno nephew, and he is searching out quotes. We are going to have a lot of insurance needs really soon, so let him get his feet wet with WC. Next is Unemployment insurance and the dreaded 1,000,000 liability policy. Yikes. Rumor mill says it is 600 down and 200 a month. I worry that we are starting in such a mushy economy. But Bill's contacts still swear they have work for him.

Taxes come Friday, the sixth. With it we will get ahead on rent (the owners will have a heart attack I am sure), do a couple car repairs we have been putting off, and buy Bill a work truck. I have to have a decent car to do the school drops and pickups, so he needs his own. Adrianne goes to preschool in Norco, 7 miles away, and I refuse to walk her, even though she has asked. I told her Norco was horse country and shy of sidewalks. How would I push the stroller with Lillia and Maribella if there were no sidewalks?? This appeased her. LOL. I am so glad, as I do not want to hike that.

Off to finish dinner.

Oh, this is the last pic we have of Arik. It is Christmas Day, and he and Kailey are goofing off.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am not doing well.

The funeral was yesterday. It was a beautiful service, the chapel was packed and the overflow needed, and everything went off well. I gave the eulogy and everyone laughed in the right spots, nad were quiet appropriately. It was the worst day of my life. I am tired of the family drama. Out of twelve cousins AJ had, I only spotlighted his best buddy, my sister's son. A cousin of mine felt slighted that her daughter, a rarely seen second cousin, wasn't mentioned. Hey, I didn't mention any of my kids either....didja notice?? This was for Mom, not you. Let someone else have the spotlight this time. Same cousin horned in on the family table, too. Really. Mom and dad have three daughters and 13 grandkids. There wasn't enough room for all of us, definitely not for you.

Emotionally I am a wreck. We ran to the store to get trash bags. Ran into a girl I have always counted as a good friend. She knows what I have been thru this week, and even though I am trying to put it behind me and move on, I am still teary, and need a friend. I feel so lonely right now. She was right out rude, and really hurt me.Bill was with me, so I am not being over wrought or hysterical. He was surprised by her behavior, too.

I am thinking of staying home from church tomorrow. Except, my co teacher already told me she had a barrel race today, and wouldn't be up to teaching. Hello?? Your barrel racing is your job and your everyday life. My life has been turned upside down and shaken good.

Edited to add, Friend in grocery store had no idea. Bill had said she told someone else, who called with condolences, and he got the name wrong. Friend was embarrassed by her insensitivity. Had I not been such an emotional mush, the encounter would not have been rude at all. She said she was late to a funeral at the time, and in normal circumstances, I would have had an amused indulgence.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Full Circle.

I am glad this blog is not a real person, because I shamefully neglect it. Then when I need it, I come looking for the release and the solace it brings me to type out all my woes. IF this were a real person, he/she would have kicked me to the curb long ago.

Thursday was a big day for me. Cameryn turned 10!! I have a bad habit of thinking of her and Tyler as 'the babies'. With Tyler almost seven, it no longer applies to either of them. 10 years ago she made her weak entrance into the world. How devastated we were to learn how ill she was. Her lungs collapsed shortly after birth due to the very hard, long labor I had with her. She was finally delivered emergency C section, just in time. Her heart had stopped a few times, and the doctor could not be found.

11 days in the NICU, and we brought her home. To see her today you would never know she had such a rough start. Her birthday dinner was tomato soup with Ritz crackers, grilled cheese (with real cheddar) and cheesecake.

On a different note that day, my 15 year old brother was hit by a car and killed.

Let me back up and give a little history. My dad married my mom in January of 65. He brought his two daughters, Debbie and Patty to the union. Their mom had decided that being a mom was not for her and she split. Debbie and Patty had a tough life, made tougher by the fact they wouldn't let my mom (I was born in Nov. of 65) be their mom. They grew up and were very unhappy, and both ran off by the age of 14, and had their first babies at 16. Debbie had John and my parents took him in when he was 6 weeks old. He was now our brother. I was nine and Karen seven when he came. Debbie and Patty had been gone a while by this point, and i was used to being the oldest. Two years later, when she was 16, Patty had Monica, and disappeared in the night when she was three days old. So, my parents raised her, too.

I was told they were my brother and sister, and that is how I have always thought of them.

Debbie went on to have three more kids, nad Patty one, and all ended up being raised by assorted family members, or foster families.

One day in 1993, Karen called me in a panic. A social worker out of LA called her and Debbie had had another baby (the youngest of Debbie's was 11 by this point). The SW told Karen since she had Debbie's other two boys, and she is next of kin, she was bringing the baby out, and didn't give Karen a say. Karen had four kids of her own, plus was expecting #5, and Fernando and Adam. There was no way she could take a sickly (He was born with drugs in his system, and an STD) baby. I had three kids myself, but I had a three bedroom house. I rushed over there to meet the sw and bring AJ home with me.The social worker said Debbie had named him Angel Jr. I could not see calling a baby after his drug addled, gang banger father, so I called him AJ. I asked for financial help since Kailey was eight months old, and now I had two babies in diapers and formula. THe SW told me I was family and it was my responsibility to provide for him. It broke my heart when he was five months old to call her back and have her come get him because I just couldn't afford it. I have often wondered if his life would have been different if I had stuck it out. But we were sinking, and I couldn't see taking him down with us.

Patty then took him, since Debbie's rights had been terminated. I thought this odd at the time since she had lost her second daughter to the system, and she had been adopted out. And they gave her this baby?? When he was three, Debbie had him again, and was living on the street. The social worker found him starving, and sickly, and them in an alley. She called us again, and my mom felt prompted to quit her job and stay home and raise him. My parents adopted him at four and he was no longer my nephew, but had been promoted to brother. He was, age wise, right in the middle of his twelve cousins.

We had found out later that the social worker had lied. Debbie did not name the baby. Debbie called at some point and asked my parents why I had named him after Angel. So, since he was so used to AJ, my mom named him Arik James at the time of hte adoption. Kind of a nordic spelling for a dark hispanic kid. LOL.

AJ was always a confused, and angry kid. I blame the drugs in utero for his unhappiness. In the last year he had run away often, and was repeating a lot of the same mistakes made by Debbie. In October, my mom's bishop stepped in and offered to give him a home. By this time he had an arrest record. One more, and juvie was in his future. Christmas morning, he dropped Arik off bag and baggage. He apologized to my mom for his thinking that he could do more than she could, and left him. My mom was apprehensive that he would behave and stick around. He took off immediately, and was in and out of the house all thru January. On Thursday, he was supposed to be home by 5:00. Mom went to bed, and the cops knocked on the door about midnight.

Arik (He went to Arik when Monica married a man named AJ. Too confusing.) and two friends decided to cross the freeway at 10pm. The other boys turned back, and Arik kept going and was hit. There were no skid marks, which means the lady who hit him had not seen him in time to brake. In his black jeans and hoodie, with the hood on his head, he was virtually invisible to traffic. My heart goes out to this poor woman who has to deal with his dumb and selfish behavior the rest of her life.

So now we are planning a funeral for a boy who had potential to be a great man. The pain just must have been too much.

My kids are terribly upset. Hunter and Chandler are joining Cory and Karen's three boys to be the pallbearers. I am in charge of the program, and all the music. Brittany is in Colorado, and can't make it down.

Bill has come full circle, as he blessed AJ when he was four, confirmed him a member, ordained him a deacon, and a teacher, and will now dedicate his grave.