Hope this finds you all well today. Thank you for reading my story and I hope you are enjoying it. Remember this is a true story from my heart and how love is a choice.
Well we moved into a big two story house, and got the kids back to school. Our friends from Lawton, Oklahoma asked us over for the holidays. It was only a couple hour drive, and well worth it for that at home feeling.
1993 rolled around and we started with birthdays again. Poor Jessica did not have that many friends yet so we had her ninth birthday party at McDonalds and the staff was wonderful making it special for her. Jimmy had his fortieth birthday and I surprised him at work with balloons. Jennifer turned fourteen years old so a slumber party was in order for her birthday. In March Regina turned six and McDonalds helped us out again.
You must think that I am really crazy but I feel that birthdays are worth celebrating. I believe that each year is a gift from God, so I always made sure that something was done special for each birthday. I loved the old fashion kind of birthday parties with games like pin the tail on the donkey, fill the bottles with water, man-made wheel barrels, egg toss contest and tug of war. But I could only do these parties when we lived someplace long enough for my kids to have a handful of friends.
I had to find a job around the kid’s hours and luckily I found one at McDonalds. This was the first time I ever heard of a person being over qualified. That is what they told me before I talked them into hiring me. I use to work the drive thru in the evening and then stayed to clean the store before I got to go home. Sometimes we would not get out till two AM with all the work we did so the store would be ready the next day. I think this was the hardest job I ever had. Plus my kids started to get tired of McDonalds hamburgers and salads because I would bring any leftover ones home to eat.
This year my oldest daughter went to her first prom. This was a big step for the both of us. It is hard to see your child grow up so fast. She looked like such a beautiful woman. Plus having five children money
was tight so I really had to shop for her dress. Kristina worked part time at McDonalds and she had to help pay for her dress.
We explored this new city of Norman, and one of the kid’s favorite places was Frontier City a big amusement park. Softball summer leagues started again and of course we had four of our kids each in a team. Erik’s birthday came and we spent the day at a water park, after Jimmy took him and his two
friends fishing. My parents were now living in Saudi Arabia and would come back one month a year. They surprised us with a visit for a few days. One of my favorite things to do with my kids since they were small was to have breakfast at the park. I know it sounds lame, but I would pack up cereal, bread, banana’s, milk and orange juice and we would have breakfast at the park and play to start our day.
So I took my mom on one of my excursions which I think she enjoyed. My dad and Jimmy and Erik went fishing, and my parents took my kids to the water park before they had to leave and visit my other siblings.
This year Jimmy and I decided that we would try and take a vacation. You know a regular vacation with sightseeing something new and no relatives to visit. We scraped and saved and decided to take out kids to Colorado and show the kids where we went for our honeymoon. We found a place with a couple of rooms and a refrigerator at Lake Estees Park. It is so beautiful there. It is a valley surrounded by mountains. We brought the kids to the Garden of the Gods, and horseback riding. But we also did something we had never done before; we went River Rafting down the Colorado River. I don’t think my kids ever had so much fun on this vacation and we hoped to do something like this again.
This was one of the first times we actually made friends with other adults from church. I mean we always go to church, but Jimmy decided to go to Sunday school with me and the results were great. We had a Halloween party this year for adults and our friends from church and some neighbors came over
for the fun. Of course I still helped my kids get dressed up and we went trick or treating on Halloween night.
I made it a tradition to carve pumpkins every Halloween, and pick out costumes which sometimes I made and sometimes I bought. I loved dressing up and making a big deal out of getting free candy. Every Christmas I would have my kids bake all sorts of cookies. I let my kids be in charge of the Christmas tree with the only part I did was put on the lights. A couple of days before Christmas Eve I would take my kids Christmas caroling to neighbors houses or nursing homes. We would sing with candles lit over a paper plate to catch the wax and hand out some of the cookies we made. To me it was important to make some kind of traditions even if they were not passed down from our parents. This was always something my kids expected to do with pleasure and fun. I wanted them to know that life was fun and something to celebrate.
So another Thanksgiving came with a visit from my father in law and another Christmas came for us to be thankful for the birth of our Lord and Savior. The New Year started again 1994. Birthdays came and went with our usual fun. Easter came and I made a tradition for that holiday also. I would buy four or five kinds of decorator’s sets for the three dozen hard boiled eggs and let the kids use their imagination. I enjoyed making the Easter baskets and hiding the eggs and baskets for Sunday mornings to find before getting ready for church. This year we decided to have Easter at Mt Scott and eat at Meers. This is in the middle of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. If you like to run in the rocks of mountains and see buffalo this is the place to go and we had a good time. In fact in my book called A Struggle of the Heart this is one of the main places in my book.
Kristina went to her senior prom and we are proud to say she graduated high school that year. My mother in law came down to see her walk and our celebration dinner was at Olive Garden.
This was the first year for Regina to start T-ball and her team won second place. Of course Jennifer, Erik and Jessica were playing ball also, the one thing we could do with our kids that did not cost us a
fortune and was good exercise besides teaching discipline.
Mean while I changed my Beautician license and finally it was good to use in Oklahoma. I found a job at National Hair Care in the Wal-Mart as a beautician. I gave my two weeks’notice at McDonalds and I was ready to leave that place. It was a good job, but it was hard work and I was getting worn out. At National Hair Care we got paid by the hour not by the patron. It was important for us to work fast and see how many people you could get finished in your time period. We actually had to depend on our tips to make decent money. It was at this job where I started to learn about people. My boss was a nice lady but really could care less about me, no matter how many times I would try and be friends with her. When the top people of the company would come in to check in on us, they wouldn’t even say hello. There was an opening for a new manager and I tried out for the position and guess what, I got it. That is when I experienced how fake people can be. All of a sudden the top people would say hi to me when they came to my store. The employees who really didn’t talk to me much when I worked with them side by side, all of a sudden wanted to be my best friend. I worked hard at this job, always on call if someone didn’t show up and every Friday night would do inventory. I was in for the competition to keep my store as the highest rank for sales. I wanted to be a different kind of boss. I thought one way to do it was to be extra nice to my employees. So I planned a summer party at a pool with hot dogs and burgers. I thought it would be fun to get together in a different environment instead of work. So we had our fun, and when my birthday came up that August and I turned forty Jimmy sent balloons to my company and the employees bought me a cake. But I am not so sure that I was actually making points with my employees. Maybe it was just because I was the boss, which continued to keep us apart.
During this time I also was having trouble with one of my children. My Jennifer would sneak out of the house in the middle of the night. I have that mother’s instinct and I would never sleep all night
without getting up in the middle of the night to check up on my kids. I remember the first time I got up and her bed was empty. I could not go back to sleep that night. When she finally slipped back into the house I grounded her. But that didn’t stop her. So I had to get creative and place little things by the doors and the windows to let me know if they were moved because she would lie to me, never admitting. The school called me once telling me that she was on some kind of drugs, and I needed to have her drug tested. We talked as we drove and Jenny said they were crazy, until we got into the parking lot of the medical facility when she decided to tell me that I didn’t need to get her tested and yes she took something. I was devastated. I had trouble understanding this. I didn’t take drugs or get into any kind of trouble so why is my daughter? In fact this is one of the things that my husband would get annoyed with. “Do you know how hard it is to live with Mary Poppins,” he would say about me. Now Jimmy is another story and had taken drugs in his youth, and he took some when we were married and I wouldn’t even know it. That is how naïve I am I guess.
I decided I needed to start keeping an extra eye on that daughter. I asked the school if they would make her stay in the building at lunch, because they had open campus, but they told me no. So I tried to get away at lunch time, to take her to lunch to make sure she would go back to school afterwards. I would make her call me when she got home from school and just tried to keep an extra eye on her which was pretty hard when you also have a full time job. One thing about life is you have to always accept change because change will come whether you ask for it or not. I was not asking for a rebellious child but that is life.
I think the biggest deceitful thing she did was the time she was suppose to be on a church event. I actually dropped her off at the church. When I got the call that night telling me my daughter was not there, I was so worried. Where was she? The pastor of the church told me not to worry until Sunday, if she doesn’t show up. It was the longest weekend I ever had. But he was right; on Sunday she showed and talked to us like she was on the retreat. The pastor told us not to say anything to her about not being on the retreat and to bring her to church after school on Monday. That was when he asked her why she lied to us. In fact if you read my book The Silver Locket I have something in my book about this event. But please remember the book is fiction and that part of the story has some made up events.
The school called me again for my daughter being on drugs again with her insisting that this time they were wrong and when I got her drug tested, it came out negative.
Then one day I got a call from the school secretary, whom my daughter didn’t know that I was good friends, with to tell me something that my daughter was doing but I had to be discreet. The school had a policy that if the kids wanted to have sex and wanted to know what kind of contraceptives for safe sex they can leave the school building during school hours to the health department to find out without telling the parents.
OK that his enough for today. I think I have talked off your ear off today. Have a great day and remember to love with your whole heart.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &