Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please, please, please ... :)

Michael Bublé
Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA
Sat, Aug 11, 2007 08:00 PM


Update: 06-27-07
Section 112
Row Q
Seats 9 - 10
Description PRICE LEVEL 1
Type 2 ADULT

Ticket Price
US $88.00 x 2
Convenience Charge
US $14.85 x 2
Grand Total = $205.70

What do you think? A bit pricey perhaps? A weekend on beach listening to all his CD's might run just about the same and it would be more intimately relaxing ;)

May have missed this one ... :( Seems it is sold out :(

Diana Krall - Mon, 07/16/07, 8:00 PM
Filene Center -- Wolf Trap Phone:(703)255-1900
1551 Trap Rd Vienna, VA Tickets

How do you measure the good you are doing?

I've been married twice, and given birth to four children, two with each ex-husband. The marriages didn't survive for a number of reasons; from disrespect, poor judgment, continual deceit and drug abuse hidden behind the mask of religion, habitual procrastination, compulsive spending, tax evasion, mental, emotional and physical abuse of the entire family. I am not trying to place blame on my ex-husbands, after all I did choose to marry each of them, obviously poor judgment on my part. Our children are the best part of the unions.

Each marriage lasted over ten years and within each one there were many attempts to seek help to repair the wrongs. However, as with anything else in life it takes two willing partners to make it a successful attempt and a consistent effort to stay on track. Neither of my ex-husbands were willing to go the extra mile to correct their behavior to make our marriage last. So, in each case I chose to end the marriage for the safety of our children and my sanity.

But how do you measure the good you are doing when you attempt to hold the father of these children accountable for their actions? How do you, when they continue to exhibit the same old patterns? How do you protect the children without them developing a bitterness or anger, or an unrealistic image about the greatness of their absent parent? How can you trust your children with the one that disrespected everyone so badly both directly and indirectly, if those behaviors have not changed? How can you protect your children if you are unable to see what goes on, if and when they begin to visit one another again?

Both men we given visitation; one abused that right and the other utilized it after being forced to take the children for weekends. Eventually both men decided that it was easier to step back from their visitation. One gave it up all together, the other moved away. When we move to where we had family, the one returned to our previous home town. He missed four months of child support in what appeared to be a show of anger that we moved. Then after not calling on birthdays, holidays, missing child support payments and threatening to take custody of our children, the one father decided that it was too much trouble to be a co-parent. On the one hand, it seemed like a blessing, but it would prove to be a thorn in my side and emotionally upsetting for my children.

Even though I have encouraged my children to write their dad letters and share their feelings, he would not respond. Finally this summer, during Jenn's visit with her older sister, she got to see her dad after four years. My mom and I had talked about the possibility and then the girls and I talked about it. I even had a chat with the ex before the visit to encourage him to let her talk and to answer her questions with honesty. I am happy that she got to see him, and that she feels better about things.

My son was in VA last summer and even though they rode passed his fathers house, he had no interest in seeing him. He says he as gotten past the anger, that he has let it go and chooses not to have anything to do with his father. I am not sure a forced meeting will change his feelings about his father and he has decided that it is safer for him to experience his life without the instability of his fathers support. He has had many mentors since we moved here and has found their support adequate enough to meet his current needs.

What puzzles me about the visit with Jenn's dad; Lisa's step-dad, is how my eldest responded. Somehow she feels that as parents, we didn't do anything successfully enough, to caused this reunion to happen before now? This is all to familiar to me, after all I spent nearly twenty years combined trying to make things better in each marriage. It didn't work then and trying to have these men work with me on visitation has proven to be equally as frustrating. I hope that one day my children will understand just what I experienced with these men and the lengths I went to, to insure a safe and healthy home life for them. When you have done all you can do to make it work and you do not have a willing partner, it will make everyone miserable. Still, I am left wondering if my efforts to make things better for my children were in vain when I listen to their comments about what should have happened according to them. I do not know how Jenn is feeling about all of this but it is apparent that my eldest has a strong opinion about how it could have been better.

I wish I could help them to understand all I have done to make things happen for them where their fathers are concerned, what I have done to protect them, to make things better for them. It makes is difficult for them to understand when they forget how things were when we were all together. It's hard to get them to understand that it is impossible for someone who is not willing, to change their behavior. So you do what you have to, in order to protect your children. Someone once said that your past is a great predictor of your future. If you are a dead beat dad, a habitually absent absent parent, then chances are you will repeat the behavior again. If your ex-spouse wouldn't change their behavior in the face of professional and compassionate encouragement, then it might take a miracle to cause such change.

I pray that Jenn's heart is protected from further hurt, but only time will tell. My best encouragement for all of my children has been and will continue to be, love their fathers for who they are, forgive them for the stupid things they do and accept that if their behavior never changes, it is part of the fabric of who they are. To remember to let it go, for in doing so, they win and not the bad behavior and hurt caused by their fathers.

As for the absent father, the lawyers have stated that he needs to re-establish a relationship with his children. It would benefit the children if he could learn to put his differences aside and be a co-parent. Co-parenting is what the ex-husband and I both signed on for when we decided to have children. When did that or does that cease to exist? How will I know what good I have done where my children are concerned, when will I know that what I have done has made a positive impact on their lives?

Monday, June 25, 2007

the meeting goes well ...

This past weekend Jenn met with her dad whom she has not seen in four years. It's not because she hasn't wanted to, but he failed to be involved in any of his children or step-children's lives in a positive way. Jenn says they met for lunch around 2:30 p.m. and didn't finish up the meeting until nearly 7:00 p.m. and that she got answers to even more questions than she had for him. I truly hope she found what she was looking for and I can't wait to give her a big hug for being such a mature young lady! More to come later ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

He's wonderful and it's another hit!

For the nearly a year now, we have been enjoying the music of Canadian Jazz crooner, Michael Buble. You can check out the single from his latest CD ... here he is; Micheal Buble singing "Everything" on AOL Sessions. You can search AOL Videos for more of Michael's music, like his hit song, "Home." I love having this sung to me as I am danced across the floor in the arms of my love! There are two performers I would love to see live in concert together, imagine ... Michael Buble and Diana Krall ... now that would be awesome! ;)

Photo & musical link courtesy of AOL Sessions

a visit with an absent father ...

Last night Jennifer called and asked about setting up a meeting with her absent father. Funny, my mom and I were talking about that very subject this weekend too! I have to talk to both Lisa and the father and see what can be arranged. It's been four years since he has seen her and for his own reasons. She has questions for him she says only he can answer. I hope it will be a peaceful meeting and that she is better for the experience. More later ...

NC's FFA State Convention

This week my son's school will attend the convention at an area college where teams will compete for great prizes! First place will win a Craftsman toolbox and $500.00. This would be great as he still needs $160 for Leadership Camp and $175 for a fellowship outing in August. Since he has been chosen to be the Chaplin for the group this year, the latter will be good practice for the year. I can hardly wait to hear how this week's trip will go. For now, it's all quiet on the home front; just me and Lil' Man chillin' around the house.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

the stories from the lake ...

Yesterday my son returned home from his adventure at the lake, or should I say adventures? There were water-ball games, canoe races, a talent show, tug-of-war, softball, four-man race, underwater swim, and block parties each night. No way for these kids to get bored! On top of all of this the weather was beautiful most of the time they were there, in fact, it was unseasonably cool during the night and low humidity during the day. He managed to come home without a sunburn and other than the exhaustion from the activities, he was no worse for the wear.

He even managed to sneak in a dance on the last night with a really good friend; she also happens to be "Madam President" of the FFA team for the 2007-2008 year. He performed in the talent show and was quite comical in the face of technical difficulties. He is much happier that he chose to go this year than to have spent a week at home doing chores ... hmmmm ... wonder why?

More later ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

adventure at the lake ...

There will be stories to tell when my son returns from his week long adventure at the lake. Each summer the FFA takes its members to a nearby lake for all sorts of excitement. There will be races, campfires, hiking, swimming and lots of other fun things to do. This will be a bitter sweet summer camp though as one of the groups favorite teachers will be moving this year to Alabama. My son is especially fond of this teacher as he has been his mentor for the last two years. I am so thankful that Ryan has had the opportunity to have such a great teacher and friend. Thanks Mr.L, you're the best!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer vacations begin ...

This weekend we drove to a small town in NC to meet my oldest daughter and have lunch. After lunch my youngest would transfer her luggage to her sister's car for her summer vacation in VA with her sister and her husband. Last year her brother Ryan spent about a month with his sister and it is Jenn's turn this summer. She is looking forward to the time together as she hopes to learn some of the secrets to how Lisa stays so slim. Jennifer should have a good time as she and Lisa have some special events planned to do while she is there in VA. Here she is with one of her friends the day before heading to VA.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Successful Year

Well, in just four more days school will let out for the summer. Where did the year go? It's been a wild ride at times, with all three of us in school, studying, taking tests and completing projects. All in all though, it's been a success! Even though I get frustrated at times with my children's antics and "gimme" attitudes, they do really well in school and I thankful for all their positive efforts.

Both of them are growing up so fast, in just a few years they will both be out of high school and into college. Another big adventure for sure! Here is a picture of Jenn on prom night and Ryan showing off some of his artistic talent.