summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

your life's story....

No one wants to hear a stranger's life story. Except for me, I want to hear it. I'm one of those ladies who gets in these conversations with people at the store, and my kids just raise their eyebrows. Maybe I don't know how to gently extract myself from their tales, maybe I'm actually interested, maybe a little of both.

People are just lonely sometimes. When you're old or infirm, or even a bit poor, it can take tons of effort to just get out the door and out into the world, and if it only happens occasionally, it's a big deal. These people need socializing. I know a little bit about this, being a not really stay-at-home-mom. You do talk to your kids, but I did crave talking to actual adults sometimes.

Anyway, every single person has a story. Not all of them are earth shattering, but all are interesting in their own way. I sit here every morning, blabbing on and on about minor details of a normal life here in central New York favorite things to yap about are:
1. Traveling
2. Coffee
3. Trying to lose weight
4. The kids
5. Bargains
6. Adventures
7. Home decorating ideas or projects
8. The Labradors
9. The marriage
10. Memories of growing up

I get comments sometimes from readers, reminding me that people actually do read this, and I love it!

But here's the thing: I want to hear YOUR story. If you have a blog, let me know! If you don't, tell me about yourself! I want to hear YOUR story.

Here's my story for today...

Kathryn bought me a new laptop/Chromebook. It's shiny and new, and the screen doesn't turn black at the slightest jolt. There are no missing keys,and when you plug it in to charge it, it just charges without having to hold the charger just the right way. I absolutely love it.

Here's a fun thing: Kohl's has had 30% off online orders, free shipping, and a $10 off coupon for $40 more of kids' clothes. The clothes are on sale already (good thing because their regular prices are way too high). Anyway, I ordered Char, Cam, and their best buddy cousin Dani, these pretty princessy dresses. This was very exciting!

Isn't it pretty? But nice dresses don't come free! Yesterday, we cleaned out the laundry room! Our laundry room ain't what it used to be, with the mountain of bedding in the doorway, me never ever being able to get to the bottom of it...our old washing machine was a nightmare, it rarely spun out without me giving it a spin by hand, and loads had to go through several times before they spun enough water out to be able to go in the dryer, it took all day to do a load sometimes, and when there were lots of small children and lots of bedding to wash, and of course the clothes and towels...and socks.

This isn't even the white ones, ha.

Anyway, I enlisted the kids to help me get this done yesterday...sorting and straightening, rooting through and bagging up clothes too small, ect.

Today we were going to go to the science museum, but it's so cold out! 16 degrees this fine snowy spring morning! So the twins are coming over to play later. We have school to do first. Tomorrow, library trip.

Kids are up and busy and I need to get moving again...


Marilyn Reid said...

Della I am one of those people who talks to people also!! Years ago when I lived in Vancouver I had to travel about 45 minutes by bus to get to work and I would often get into a conversation with the person sitting beside me. One old lady showed me pictures of her family. They all lived far away and I think she was lonely. I would relate some of these stories to my husband and teenage daughters.......they could not believe that I would actually have these conversations with strangers. They would roll their eyes ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„ (not my teenage daughters๐Ÿ˜‚) I am still like that....I talk to people in stores, in the line up at the supermarket etc. I guess I'm a people person too ๐Ÿค— The dresses you have ordered for are three little girls are so pretty and summery.....hopefully the weather turns summery soon!! We have a bit of a cool down here and could even get some showers tonight. We saw Beauty and the Beast last night and loved it too. A friend of mine whoI have known since he was born, worked on some of the visual effects for that movie! Did you ever see Cinderella? It was out 2 years ago and I just loved that one. Well you have a fabulous day!!

Marilyn from Canada

Eighteen said...

I've been reading you for literally YEARS (since your youngest was about 2 I think) ... but hardly ever comment. I don't blog very well publicly, I've had an online diary for about erm, 20years, initially at OpenDiary and now at where I share all my day to day life with Prosebox members who care to read! I have 3 children, aged 11, 9 and 2.

Dram said...

Hi :-) I read and enjoy your blog. I don't know how I found it… . I can't explain it but when I read it it gives me a break from my reality. Here's my story-- i'm originally from Ohio where I grew up on a horse farm showing quarter horses. I now live in Orlando Florida. I have been married for 28 years to my high school sweetheart that I met when I was 14.I have three children that I have homeschooled and did co-ops. Amanda is 27 Drew is 23 and Faith is 14. I have two dogs a poodle and a Lab. I love the Lord and enjoy volunteering at my church.
I do not have my own blog but I do find reading blogs to be therapeutic. Thanks for sharing about your life in New York, about your dogs, coffee, winter weather and the love you have for your family !
Blessings from Orlando Florida

Mary said...

Short life story: My name is Mary and I am a wife, mother of one daughter, and a new grandmother to a baby girl born on Dec 30. I don't have a blog or youtube, but you can get to know me on instagram through my pictures. There are only a few bloggers that I follow, and yours is one of them. I have been following you since Camille was born or shortly after her birth. I do watch a lot of you tube vloggers, and never watch TV. I was born and raised in Boston. I work for a Japanese company as a customer service rep. I love photography, crafting, crocheting, bargains & food (mostly sweets). I have lost 70 lbs and my current goal is to lose the 40 lbs that I gained back. I love to travel. I have been to Ireland three times, London, Bermuda, Aruba, Canada, and many of our states, especially if their weather is warmer than mine! I read your blog because you keep it real. Best wishes, Mary from Boston

16 blessings'mom said...

Hello Mary! Ireland three times, wow! I have been to Boston, years ago, when my niece was in the cancer center there for a bone marrow transplant. We had a ride on the subway, and ate fish at the wharf. I enjoyed the accents, :)
And hi Darla:) I can see how we have lots in common, and you have no idea how much I appreciate the feedback! You grew up where winter was real, now you live in constant summer...and today as I look out at all the snow, I can appreciate that.
Eighteen, thank you for responding! I like getting to know those who read this!
Marilyn, the teenage daughters and their eye rolls, ha! I almost like to go places without them sometimes so I can talk to people without their sighs. And yes, I saw Cinderella in the theater with the little girls! We don't go to the movies very often, just when it's something enchanting, which I believe described Beauty and The Beast perfectly. I want to go again!
As I write this, Paul and Kathryn are both texting me, Molly texted looking for a babysitter for tonight, the dogs came in and out, my mother-in-law has been texting bye...and thank you, guys!!!

Luanne Lewis said...

Hi, My name is Luanne. I live in Florida and I am a kindergarten teacher. I have two daughters Amelia 10 and Lydia :) 5. I don't remember how long I have been reading here. A long time- before Ben went into the military. I always wished I was a kid in a large family and as an adult I wish I had a bunch more kids..I just turned 40 so I guess there is a little time for that maybe - but for now I like reading about your life. I also grew up in upstate NY but my grandmother lived in Western NY in Sodus so it feels a bit like home when I read. I am enjoying spring break - going to work in my classroom today. I got a great deal on some things at a thrift store (I also like to read about your good deals!) and I am going to rearrange a bit to surprise my students. I don't want to put too much of my story for the world to read! LOL - but I am happy to share a little so you know who is reading. I am a loyal reader but a terrible commenter. I admire your honesty with weight loss. I too struggle but find more excuses- I know I need to take care of myself. It is refreshing to read you talking about real things and you show the mess and the chaos. Other blogs are too perfect and frankly make me feel a little bad about myself. I think we would be friends - which seems crazy to say! But thank you for writing.

Michelle in Florida said...

Hi Della,
I don't have a blog anymore but I did about 10 years ago. I live in southwest Florida, have 7 kids. My kids are ages 8 up to 23. My oldest daughter lives on her own nearby and works 2 jobs while paying her way through college. My oldest son has been in the Navy for 2 years and is currently on a ship somewhere. He's married to a sweet girl who is graduating college this May. We have always homeschooled except for a few trials in public schools that didn't go so well. I am always trying to get healthy, eating lower carbs, exercising when I know how it is. :)
I have been reading your blog since Camille was a baby...time flies! :)

patricksnona said...

I dont have a blog, wouldnt even know how to begin. I dont remember how I found you but I remember being fascinated that you had so many children and started following you, your youngest two were quite little then, and I have continued! lol I love how you write, I can picture you drinking your pumpkin coffee and the dogs and all the kids and everyones happenings, its fun seeing other peoples lives! We dont really have alot in common but yet I believe we would be very good friends, does that make sense? :-) I live in Chicago, only two children, both married, one grandson that is the light of my life, I was widowed at the age of 46 and that majorly sucks but I am dealing with it, I have 4 older step grands and thru them I now have 3 great grands, love it! I work full time in the business office of the local hospital, CANT WAIT till retirement, think about it every single day even tho the plan is 2 1/2 more years. I have one teeny little 5 lb dog that rocks my world, her name is Precious and she would NOT want to meet your fur babies, she dont like other dogs :-( She LOVES people but other dogs, not so much. I cant imagine life without her. Oh, and I totally understand the weight loss struggle, I have tried (unsucessfully) about everything there is, I just never stick with it. I am pretty much now at the "I have never been thin and I never will be thin" stage and just not worry about it, my dr wants to choke me tho! lol Well that is some of my life story.........have a great day!

16 blessings'mom said...

Luanne, I think we would be friends too! I think being a kindergarten teacher would be vastly entertaining, how do you stand the cuteness? The things those trusting little children say! I'm sure it takes mountains of patience though, and it's probably a bit heartbreaking sometimes, as family situations, money issues, ect., burden the poor kids. Sodus Point, with the lighthouse, and playground in the sand on the beach, is beautiful. We live less than an hour from there. It's so nice to meet you!
Hi Michelle! I think it's really interesting to hear about kids who were homeschooled, and how they decided on careers, college, ect. I know in my heart the kids will do fine, but sometimes I question it, so it's reassuring, reading about your daughter. She will go far in life with that determination! And you have a son in the Navy, you should be very proud of him! In these days it's a bit scary too, so I will keep him in my prayers. And yes, time does really fly.
Patrick's Nona...hello! Retirement, yay! I am sorry for your loss, 46 is very young to be widowed, very sorry. I'm glad you have a grandson who is the light of your life, imagine how wonderful you are to him, too. Seriously. I never had grandparents, and was always jealous of the kids who did. (my mom's mother died when she was 14, her dad packed up and headed to Alaska. My dad's mom died when I was two, his dad even before that)
And...the elusive thinness...we know it exists, but why is it so hard to attain it? But here's the thing: I have actually met/been with people who:
1. Didn't care for dessert, they were full. UM, what's that got to do with anything?
2. Didn't like chocolate, or whipped cream, or even a whole food group, like ice cream.
3. Thought one cookie was plenty.
4. Didn't look forward to the wedding cake all the way through the ceremony, ha.

Anyway, I love the life stories, please, feel free to comment more, I appreciate it.:)))))

mamadragon said...

Hello from Orkney! Though I grew up just north of you in Canada. I have followed your blog since I was pregnant with my then third baby girl, at the same time as you were with your youngest sweetie. It is completely unfair that they are 9 years old! I have seven children aged 1,3,5,7,9,11 and almost 13. We live in cottage right on the waterfront, in an old fishing village, and have a small farm. Sheep, chickens, ducks, and all the pets. I was a nurse until after I had my number five, I just couldn't do night shifts after that pregnancy. Now, I write books and articles, when the little sleep. But mostly, I just try to soak up every last bit of them. I love listening (reading? lol) to your day. I think that is what I miss most about working in the hospital, not hearing as many people talk about their day, their lives. Though, I sure do a lot of listening in a very different, but the same sort of way. I have a blog, but we have ridiculously bad internet which often deletes words, and makes uploading difficult so it isn't nearly as complete as I might like. My youngest was diagnosed with epilepsy this year, which has also left me doing a lot more thinking and not as much talking, I really hope to better with that - my April goal. I think, I am just about ready and really need to start talking (blogging) more. I am rambling, but thank you sharing your blog.

Joybells said...

Della, I enjoy your blog so much. I read your article on ActiveChristianity and knew I had to meet you. :) I grew up in a busy household of 8 kids where people came first and "things" were a distant second. Your family reminds me of that. I love all the fun stuff you do with your kids and it inspires me to do more with my own daughters, ages 2 and 4.

Recently I decided we needed to get away from our screens and into the great outdoors. This is going to be interesting because I prefer a quiet book by the fire, but both my girls have Sensory Processing Disorder and they need to get out and move. Even though they, too, prefer sitting quietly indoors. So we're turning off our screens and out we go! Yesterday we went for a walk and I carried my younger daughter for the better part of 2 miles because she was overwhelmed and cold (refuses to wear a jacket or even pants most of the time). But she had a good time in the end and with time I think she'll overcome those things.

I don't have a blog yet, but I'm thinking about starting one. You are welcome to follow my Instagram account. I'm mama_bearsky (my husband is of Russian descent so many of our family words end in "skie"/"sky".

Thank you for sharing so freely from your life. It helps keep me sane during those sensory-need breastfeeding sessions to hear your friendly voice. I appreciate it very much.

Joy Efseaff
Salem, OR

16 blessings'mom said...

Joy, hello! I have not yet been to Salem, but it is on my list! My son Benjamin and his wife Ashley live near Seattle, so maybe the next time I visit them...I will definitely check out the instagram account, too. I think it's amazing that we live in these times where the internet can encourage and strengthen us, when used in the right way. (Kare's morning messages!!!) It's so good to take advantage of the faith building stuff. Can I ask about Sensory Processing Disorder? I'm not sure what it is. But I certainly have had children who refused to wear pants around the house, and one child was totally and completely against buttons of any kind. This child would refuse, flat out, even a polo type shirt. One morning I foolishly tried to get him to wear one to kindergarten, but it had disappeared. He told me, "God doesn't want me to wear buttons." I never did find that shirt. And I gave up on the buttons. One of my daughters still hates buttons, seriously. She hates buttoning them, looking at them, feeling them. And she is twenty years old.
Mamadragon, I think you are a busy mama! Your home sounds like out of a fairy tale to me. I would love to be able to write for a living...thank you for commenting, and hello!

Joybells said...

Ah, Sensory Processing Disorder. I'm still learning about it myself. The short version is that your brain doesn't know what to do with sensory input. So ordinary household noises (squeezing dishwasher soap out of the bottle, for instance) hurt their ears. When one girl cries, the other has to run out of the room to prevent HER melting down too, from the noise. They both prefer wearing shorts and tank tops, all winter long. Although my youngest prefers super soft knit sleeveless dresses and no pants or shorts at all. She hates the feeling of clothes on her skin (including diapers, waah) and hates clothing tags. Kind of like the buttons! I keep scissors handy to cut those tags out the moment we see them! They can get easily overwhelmed in crowds, including at church, and ask to leave.

BUT my oldest has been in Occupational Therapy for 2 years now, and preschool for a year and a half, and it has made an incredible difference. Where she used to be fearful in new situations or around new people, she's confident instead. She's much more stable and less likely to have meltdowns. She loves church and has found ways to cope with the occasional sensory overload. I'm so thankful every time I think about it. And I'm so hopeful that her younger sister will get better, too.

One of the biggest "cures" for SPD is exercise: moving your body through space, using your sense of balance, doing what OT calls "heavy" work like climbing and lifting things. It helps reset your brain. Thus the reason we're going outside more.

I hope that wasn't too boring. This has seriously impacted our lives so I'm in the middle of yet more research. So to me all the details are interesting and potentially vital.

I'm seeing now that it's important for me to respect my children's limitations. To them, that cute bunny shirt may be horribly scratchy (for example) and it's torture to wear. At that point it's not helpful for me to say, "that's not scratchy, honey" and basically invalidate what they're experiencing. To them, it IS scratchy. I need to believe what they're telling me and support them however I can--even if it seems silly or unreasonable to me as a non-SPD.

When you do come to Salem, I would LOVE to have you over for coffee! And yes, Kaare's morning messages are awesome.

Joy Efseaff
Salem, OR

16 blessings'mom said...

This is very interesting, what a challenge, too! I have also had children who have cut every single tag out of their clothes,(or asked me to) back when all clothes had tags, now days the manufacturers have figured out how to stamp them on a lot of things. To respect their limitations is a very amazing thing, kids are people too! I grew up in the "children should be seen and not heard" sort of era, where kids did what their parents said, "because I said so". I can only imagine how difficult it would be for children with SPD back then, at least in our house. I wish I could have a re-do with my own kids, especially the older ones, I feel like I sometimes herded them through life, not respecting their individual wishes as much as I could have, thinking that they had to be obedient. I know there is no condemnation, I was doing what I thought was right at the time, but...
Thank you for taking the time to enlighten me.