Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Friday, January 22, 2016

"Just take away the mental health care.....yeah, that'll do it"

Oklahoma DHS is broke.

Not only as a system, but financially as well.

Yesterday, doctors, foster parents, adoptive parents, CASA workers, Licensed Counselors, Etc spoke at the Capitol to see what they could do about the state taking away the right to a private counselor for these broken, traumatized kids.

I know all about this, because I have three that live with me.

I had a counselor for the kids (from the state agency provided) right after I got them, and they counseled with her for a year or so.

She helped them learn to speak their anger, instead of using their fists or hands.  She taught them coping skills on a superficial level, and then vanished into the night, as most of the state employees, that are linked to the child welfare system, ultimately do. 

It's not because these people are bad people, or lazy people, their hearts are certainly in the right place.  But to be required to have 30-50 cases each, and be paid just minimal wages, is just setting everyone up for failure.

Kids that are removed from homes after the age of 5-6 (sometimes even before), are without a doubt, broken, broken kids.

They are terrified, angry, depressed, defiant, untrustworthy, abused, neglected little beings.  They have the coping skills of a turnip.

And now, Oklahoma wants to take away their access to mental health care.

I thought my oldest two, had turned the corner.  Hadn't had many PTSD episodes lately, everyone doing pretty great in school, good friends, social activities.... and then there is a stupid tv show on that trips their triggers, and Steven cries out in his sleep all night, and Gina describes her dad's "Hands on my throat, squeezing my air out, and pulling my hair" as she attempts to close her eyes goodnight.

My kids are broken.  And because the state agencies are all they have now to get any kind of treatment, they will remain broken.  It is a sick, sick turn of events.

So please be in prayer for this.  So many children need extra help.  And now the waiting list begin, and when (and IF) you ever make it to the TOP of the list,  the marginal, new licensed counselor, with a big heart and an overwhelmed schedule will be handed the task of completely turning these little beings around.  These counselors experience burn out within months of taking on this job, and are gone.  Our broken children, after baring their hearts and souls to these well-meaning people, are once again, asked to recount the brokenness with YET ANOTHER counselor, and the cycle continues and continues, while your child goes no where.

I know I am personally not equipped to handle the things that come out of my children's mouths, when they are in a PTSD episode.   I don't have time to go to college and get my degree (though I am sure I could get a minimum wage job with the state as the agency's new licensed social worker).

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT discrediting ANYONE who works at DHS.  I ADORE and appreciate the socks off of them.  They are in a thankless, no win job, and I salute and applaud them.

All I can ask, if you have a minute to go and  email THE OCHA board  asking for exceptions and ANOTHER way to fix the child welfare system mess that this state government has made!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fillings, Freezing and Frowing Up

MLK day was pretty intense in the mansion.

Gina marched in the MLK parade downtown with her Stomp Club from her high school.  She froze her booty off, and figured out really quickly that not all sponsors are all created equally.  Can anyone say "UNORGANIZED?"  Sheesh.  My right hand Amanda, (the kids first caseworker and always referred to as Elastic Girl in my early blogs) kept her overnight and hauled her down to the parade.  Seriously don't know how I would do this deal without my Amanda. 

Last night I was sitting on the couch watching tv with Hallie and noticed I had been colder and colder as the day rolled on, and finally discovered that I had zero heat rolling out the vents.


$650 later I am the proud owner of a new circuit board in my 15 year old unit.  Almost as fun as buying tires.  

The boys had dental appointments first thing.  Zach doesn't have good teeth at all, (Mom had zero prenatal care, so his teeth have really taken a hit) and had 3 cavities.  Last time he got 4 crowns and had to be sedated, so I was a bit worried he wouldn't be able to roll with the gas and the numbing, but he surprised me and was a TROOPER. 

Steven got an A+ (as usual) from the dentist, and as soon as he walked out of the office, he got dropped at his basketball practice.  Found a pretty nice guy to coach, from what I was watching it didn't look so much like basketball practice, but maybe more like herding cats, but he had a lot of patience and that is a good thing.

I have started the Daniel Fast today with my work, and it was a hard day to give up my caffeine.

Where's my sweet tea.   WHHHAAAAAAAAA.

As soon as Steven finished his lunch, it showed right back up.  In the trashcan by his bed.  He is such a good son.  Didn't leave me a mess anywhere.  So polite.    Poor kid.  I have never seen so much throw up.  Blek.   I'm the worst throw up mom in the world.  Sympathy hurler all the way.  So everything is done at full arm's length and I hand rags with one of those pick up sticks and kind of shove it at the sick kid in question.

My BFF volleyball mom, Johnelle saw my plight on facebook and drove us down some DIGIZE essential oils to smear all over the sick kid, and now he is sitting in a chair sipping ginger ale.  AMAZING.

Now if the rest of us can PLEASE OH LORD PLEASE just not share in that joy.

So what a day.

I need a serious do-over.

However, in all the excitement I stuck to the Daniel Plan and only ate 1500 calories.

I think I will go ahead and go to bed so I can quit thinking about how hungry I am.

It all has to get better.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dearest Little Birthday Angel

Dearest Little Birthday Angel...

 How I love to think about you.  And remember what a sweet, tiny blessing you were.  

This year something happened.  

Your baby brother was born.  

And we believe that he has his very own, special guardian angel. 

Today we celebrated your birthday and showed Deaton your very special place. 

He liked your flowers.  

Laynie, you know first hand how incredible your mommy is.  And now, so does Deaton.
 She is supercalifragilisticexpalidocious.  

You changed all our lives for the better.  And though losing you was one of the most painful thing our family has ever been through, I would not change one little thing.  

You taught us Hope.

You taught us Faith.

You showed us God. 

Little dearling, you taught me how to be a grandma.  
And how to trust God, and know that I
can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.  
Because if I hadn't had Christ, I would have never gotten through those days.  

But JOY does come in the morning, through the hard, sad times...
and we learned that because of you..  

We cherish your brother even more, because you showed us all about life on a grander scale.  Life isn't a given, it's a gift, and we appreciate him in a way only you could have taught us.  

So, on this day, eight years after the day you were given to us for 29 precious, lovely months, I say Happy Birthday in heaven, Layniebug.  

You are forever, your Lolly's Girl.  

Team Hope Forever

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to Win a Lottery

I asked in Facebook land today about "How does one go about buying a lottery ticket".

This coming from the chick that won't even throw a quarter in a slot machine, because I don't want to waste a penny.

However.  The Powerball is up over a billion dollars.

That's not chump change.

I realize I have a better chance of a vending machine falling on me and killing me (Someone assured me of this on my facebook page), and or just taking $9 and flushing it down the toilet. (which someone told me to go ahead and do that).

Hey, I figure "You will Never win if you don't buy a ticket".

Guess who gave me the best advice??

KIP!  Who admitted to buying tickets SINCE COLLEGE.  (Kid has solid goals).

In fact, she is checking out how much I win tonight and letting me know.

It'll be nice rolling in dough.  I won't forget anyone either.  In fact, I'm keeping just enough for me and the family, and donating all the rest.

It was fun allowing myself to dream today...... Car I will buy  (Dodge Durango seats 8)....... House I will buy  (4 bedroom, 3 bath at LEAST 2000 square feet)........ UGG Boots for the first time ever.......and a disney vacay for my whole family (cousins, everyone).

But bigger scale are my BIG FAT HAIRY GOALS like building a girls center for teens in the system.  So hard to find them foster homes, and I would love to have a youth center for girls.  Make sure they don't leave the system HIGH RISK and end up back in the system with their own kids.  Man I wish I could figure out a way to get that done.


So I bought a ticket.

I'm pretty sure I'm lucky enough for a vending machine to fall on me, so I might just win the dang thing.

Go big or go home.

Tell ya tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Teenage Angst

All I have to say this evening, is,


Clearly, I have lost my mind.

Prayers are very, extremely and intensely Welcome.

That is All.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Boys, sports and Million Dollar Clubs

There is never a dull moment at the Mansion.

Steven is just about to start winter basketball with the city of Norman, so that is going to be a fun whirlwind of nutness.

He is so athletic, and I am so not.  Everything I have learned about sports, has been with the crash course with Hallie.

She wants me to put him in Football, Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, Track, Cross Country, Basketball.  You name it, she wants him in it.  And so does he.

Here's the deal, pickle.  I'm not a seasoned "boy" mom.  It's taken me 4 years of club volleyball to finally understand what the heck is even going on.  I can ALMOST explain a game to someone to now.  (not really).  SO even THINKING about learning a new sport makes me break out in hives and hyperventilate into a bag.

There isn't school sports in 6th grade, so next year, I will plug him in to school sports and we will see where he shines.  And maybe throw some tennis lessons at him next spring/summer.  All I know is he is fast as lightning and has incredible hand/eye coordination and can throw a football like a rocket.  But he's about 4 foot tall.  and weighs maybe 80 pounds.  That slows this mom down. 


Mr. Deaton Holt has his FIRST TOOTH!  I have never been so glad to hear (I have yet to see it) of something in my life!  He has struggled for over a month with that mean ole tooth pain, and one has finally broken through the surface!!  YEAH!  now he can bite me along with pinching and pulling my hair.  JOY IS MINE!

I love love love this pic of my two favs, because you can see his little hand creeping down to find mama's necklace and I'm sure just as this pic snapped he yanked that sucker and either gave her whiplash, or stuck it in his mouth to chew.  He is HILARIOUS.

He laughs like a cross between a jock  (Huh, Huh, Huh, in his low boy voice) , and Forrest Gump  "I'm Ruhhnniiing".   They came out to watch Hallie play volleyball this past weekend at Bricktown, and we walked to Spaghetti Warehouse in the mildly chilly weather, and he was in his stroller bundled all but his head, and I'm not kidding, he laughed the whole way.   He was PUMPED to be outside, IN THE COLD, with all his buddies.  It was sooooo funny.


I also found out yesterday that I, after two years of trying .... and A L M O S T making it, that my third year!!  I actually broke into the Million Dollar Club in sales at work for 2015.   WOOOOHOOOOO.  That is a huge honor and I am so thrilled I FINALLY made it!   In spite of the many many MANY obligations I have, I still pulled it off.   Yes. Sir. Thank. You. Lord.   So in April, Hallie and I will heading to Cancun for my award trip.   (Lacey & I on the cruise two years ago, Kip and I in Aruba last year, and Hal & I heading to Cancun this spring..... YES)  Tyler and Brandon want in the rotation.  :)

I was probably a little more happier than I should have been with school starting back.  Breaks are hard for this chick.  Everybody's all up in your business, bored, hungry, sick, whiny, fighting, laughing, sneezing, farting.   You know.  Just a typical day.   16 freaking days in a row.  With Christmas Day thrown in there for good measure.

Speaking of Christmas,  Mike and Shannon came up from Texas and spent the day with us, bringing Tilly the Silly Bulldog along for giggles.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  We ate so much food, I'm still a bit sickish.  That Bulldog LOVED Deaton.   And we ALL loved us some Tilly.  Even Lacey, that non-dog lovin' weirdo of a girl, grudgingly liked her.  THAT"S HUGE!
You probably heard on the weather about the tornado hitting Rowlett, Texas.   Well, that just happened to be Mike and Shannon's neighborhood and they were driving in RIGHT AS IT HIT.  The neighbors on the street next to theirs lost everything, and a few people even died.  God had his hand completely surrounding them !!  They suffered some roof damage and lost their fence, but the house is still standing, and everything is in one piece.   Praise be to the Lord.

We are a Jeep family again.   Tyler has been searching the world net for a bit now trying to find a car, since Lacey's got totaled a while back.  He found him a fun Jeep Grand Cherokee today almost as old as Hallie.  In pristine condition.    Oh so very cool.    Happy for the tooth and the jeep that found their way to the Holt house this week.

Anyhoo, just a quick update.  I'm trying to get back in the groove.  Not only is it therapeutic as america for me, it's a wonderful heirloom for the family.  Lacey will read back on blogs and say "Man I'm glad you wrote all that." 

Man, I'm glad I did too, and I want to do a better job going forward.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

18 inches

So 2015 is see ya later, alligator.

Are you freaking kidding me?  Where does time go?  Deaton is going to be 8 months old soon.  How is that even possible??

I remember Memaw telling me, when I was a kid griping about how slow the school weeks went, "Just you wait, Laurie, when you're my age, you won't even be able to keep up with weeks, they fly by so fast".  (Insert teenage eye roll here, and the exasperated "Oh, Memaw!")  

Now I believe it.  

At church, we have heard so many wonderful things over the last month, and I find time rolling so fast, I don't have time to sit and reflect and put into words, my heart.  

That's sad.  

So my word for 2016, is going to be ..... REFLECTION.  

serious thought or consideration.

"she doesn't get much time for reflection"

synonyms:thought, thinking, consideration, contemplation, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing, rumination;

"after some reflection, he turned it down"
Even the dictionary online tells me to "WRITE DOWN YOUR REFLECTIONS"
let's see how that goes.  
Hallie wants to do the Daniel Fast this month.  I asked her, "Have you met me? You expect me to give up sweet tea??  The Lord KNOWS I need this".  (Insert teenage eye rolling here)
We are going to give it a whirl.  Again.  No one is cranky about it but me.  Trying to figure out meals that everyone will eat, and make sure Hallie gets enough protein for her volleyball training (without meat, mind you, or ANY KIND OF VEGETABLE, because CORN is king in her world) is enough to make my eye twitch just thinking about it.  
We are coming up on Laynie's birthday on the 16th of January.  Hard to believe that it's been 8 years.  AGAIN with the TIME FLYING.  
At church we were talking about when God doesn't make sense. I felt her story resonate as we walked through that series.  In fact, I feel her story resonate in every series.  
It's our story.  The one that God hand picked for us.  Sometimes you can trace your purpose back to your largest pain, and it redirects your life.  When people are so quick to blame God and wonder why He would EVER put us through this.....stop for a minute, and please listen to these words I am telling you, He lets you experience pain so that you learn to lean on HIM and give it to God.  Prayer isn't always about the's about the believing.   In all the storm of losing Laynie, I felt more peace in my life, because of all the thousands of prayers sent to heaven on our behalf and all our friends standing in the gap for us.   Delight in the pain, people, because you learn to lean 100% on God.  You experience Him in a way only you could through this pain.  It's the THORN we'd NEVER choose.  I would never choose to go through what we did with Laynie again, but I am here to tell you, I would NEVER change a thing about that time.  I saw faithfulness and the goodness of God in everything.  The goodness of God is more real than the pain that you are going through.  
I know all of this hard for some of you to understand.  But I don't want you to miss heaven by 18 inches.  I don't want you to only have a head knowledge of God, and not a real relationship in your heart with him. Put God in your heart, and seek him in 2016, search for him harder than you creep on your friends on facebook.  Make HIS will for your life, top priority this year.  
Have a heart relationship with God.  Open up that bible and really get to know Him.  He's just waiting on you.  
Don't miss heaven by 18 inches, friends.