finding happiness in everything

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Plans to Move the Chrissy Adventures Blog


I am moving this blog by the end of the year. The new URL will be http://brunerbubbles.blogspot.com/

Although this is a new address, this is not a new blog for me. I created it to be a secondary blog for this WordPress blog, but it seems that Blogger has a more appealing layout and more opportunities. If you are following on this site, sometime over the next few weeks, please bookmark or follow the new site. Within a few months, I will have moved every post over to the new one.

I feel like the friends I have made at WordPress are family and I don’t want to lose you in the move!! So, I will move slowly from this site to the next to allow everyone a chance to follow the new address.

I love you all dear readers!

Chrissy 🙂

Holidays, ODD & family visits


This article is part 11 of a series. If you have not read part 1, part2, part 3, and part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 , part 10 – I urge you to do so if you are searching for help on this subject. If you’ve read along with me already, I want to welcome you into the next weeks of our journey and Knight’s recovery.

In the last article I shared Knight’s journey up to week 26. He was not doing the best with authority figures (especially in school) but I didn’t mention his grades yet. Before he came to live with us, he was a low C to high F student. He had failed many of his classes in the other schools he’d attended. Now, he was doing much better. The average grades he was bringing in were high B’s. Occasionally his grades would slip to low C’s or high D’s if he got lazy about turning in his work. We would issue reminders about his grades, offered him weekly updates on his progress and coax him into catching-up. By the end of his courses though, he would finish with a low A or high B. He really was doing better in this new environment.

Jumping forward to weeks 28 & 29, Knight completed 2 weeks without getting into trouble at school. I was extremely happy for him and attempted to shower him in praise. He was continuing his attempt to join the football team, but we didn’t have his paperwork complete at that point. He was pretty much benched to the side lines. His coach carried continued discipline into each practice and game if he’d been disciplined at school.  Football was good for him and in a few more weeks,  he would be cleared to officially join the team.

Knight was still hanging out with his friends and going to church regularly. He had attended Church camps, outings, retreats, and other special events  (which were all incredibly expensive). He would often speak about the Lord after these events and about how God was touching his heart. His friends were also encouraging him to stop cursing and doing the vulgar things which he had grown accustomed to in his previous life. Let’s face it, our kids will act one way around us and then another way around their friends. It happens. It’s just the way teenagers are. I was not blind to this. I was happy however that the friends he had picked were good enough to also issue him gentle reminders when he got out of hand in these areas.

Skipping ahead to week 32, this was the last week of the first semester for him in his new school. He had made it 4 weeks without acting out at school, but continued to tell me everyday that 2 of his teachers “hated him” and “had it out for him”. He was doing well in those classes though. On the last day of school, we all received a surprise visit from his mother. She drove in from out-of-state and said she wanted to take him for the Christmas break. He wasn’t ready to go just yet. She was traveling to another state also to pick up her daughter and agreed to swing by in a few days and pick him up on her way back through.

Knight left with her 2 days later, early in week 33. We allowed him to open some of his Christmas presents early since he would not be with us until after the New Year. We were all sad to see him go. Both of my boys kind of moped around while he was gone. They really did miss him. It was a realization for me that they truly had accepted him as part of our family now. Maybe they had done so much earlier than I realized? I don’t know. I couldn’t tell through all the arguments, disagreements, complaints from one boy to the next about each other. I was seeing obvious evidence of this now though.

Knight called often while he was away. He would give me an update on how he was doing (if he was being good to his mother and sister), and would tell me if he successfully avoided an outburst of anger. He also called to say that he missed us. By the end of the first week, he called to ask when he could come “home”. I reassured him he was not being punished and that his mother would be bringing him back soon – because school would start back soon. He said he wanted to be home by New Year’s Day so he could celebrate with us. I cried after our conversation. I’m not sure why I cried though. Maybe because I missed him too?

On the last day in week 34, Knight returned home. It was New Year’s Eve! He would get to be with us for New Year’s Day after all 🙂 A few days after Knight came home, Knight’s father received a call from Knight’s grandmother. Knight stayed at her house while he spent time with his mother and family. She remarked about the significant change in Knight. Actually, she was amazed that he was not the same boy at all! She said, “I’m not sure what you are doing with him, but keep it up. He was the most respectful child! He was a pleasure to have and he’s practically unrecognizable. You’re doing a good job. I’m proud of that boy!”

Even though this was not told to me, I found encouragement in her words. We were doing something right if others could identify a significant difference in him. I was happy for Knight and especially happy to have our family all back together again. 🙂

You let your kids do what?!


There are many things to write about on  my mind and we have had adventures that still have not made their way onto this blog yet. There is one thing that’s just weighing heavy on my mind right now though – Friends & their Mothers.

The boys (all 3 of them) go to friend’s homes and their friends  come here to ours to spend the night or hang out. I love to meet new people and I have a strict policy about meeting people first before my children go off to someone’s house. Maybe it’s how I was raised that has rubbed off on me, but I like to ensure that no one is making meth in their bathtub before I send the kids off packing to stay an evening with them.

I don’t judge, condemn or compare myself to the other parents I meet, but I have met some parents over the past school year that do. Everyone is different. Some of these meetings leave me scratching my head as I left totally speechless.

If you have any children maybe you can relate. If your children are very young, just wait…you’re in for it too.  (No child or parent’s names will be listed and these are in no certain order.) All conversations begin the same way: “Can X spend the night mom?” I reply, “yes, but I need to speak with their mom or dad or whoever they live with first”. Then I usually hear, “Okay, I’ll send you their #. ” I usually start off, “Hi, I’m X’s Mom. He asked me if your son could spend the night and I said that was fine, but wanted to speak with you to make sure you knew and it’s alright.”

Random Kid #1 Experience:  “Uhm, okay. Yeah, thank you for calling. I already told him he could. The boys have already decided everything and made plans between themselves”, is the answer I received.

“So, you’re fine with it?” I ask.

“Yeah”, she replies.

“Do you want to know where we live?” I ask.

As the phone clicks to signify the hang-up, I hear, “No, the boys will work it out.”

**End result: The child was relatively well behaved. I had to make several phone calls to locate the mom in order to take him back home.

Random Kid #2 Experience: “I am so glad you called. I wanted to meet you before sending X over to your house and make plans to pick him up tomorrow.I feel more comfortable talking to you first, seeing if we know any mutual people and such.” (This parent spoke to me for over an hour.)

This child was a handful, but is welcome any time to come back!

So, sometimes the roles are reversed and I am the one calling because my son is asking me to be able to spend the night at another kid’s house. These conversations always start off with, “Hi, my name is Chrissy. I am X’s mom. He has asked me if he could spend the night with your son and I wanted to speak to you, make sure you are aware and okay with it, and will be home with the boys.”

Random Kid #3 Experience:  “Oh yeah, X asked me and I said it was okay.”  Long pause…”Do you know where we live?”

I get the address and then ask what time she would like for me to pick up my son the next day.

“Just …whenever…is …fine …I …guess”,  she answers. “They’ll be shooting each other in the yard most of the day, so just any time should be fine.”

“What!? Did you say they’ll be shooting each other?” I clarify.

“Oh yeah”, she says as she huffs into the phone. “X’s big brother will be there with them overseeing everything to make sure no one gets hurt. They do it all the time. We have extra guns if your son needs to borrow one. Do you need my son’s phone number so you can text him and get all the details?”

“What?! I think I must be hearing you wrong. Did you say they are going to be shooting each other?” I ask again.

“Yes,” she said through a giggle. “They do it all the time. We live on a farm and have several acres. The boys make obstacle courses, wear extra clothing and shoot each other.”

😦 Geez…she wasn’t kidding either!! 😦

Random Kid #4 Experience: “Oh hi! It’s fine for X to come over! I’ve met him and love him! He can stay as long as he likes and I’ll be here with the kids the whole time. They may shoot some basketball, play video games, and watch movies. Does that sound good?”

🙂 I reply, “Yes!!!  That sounds great!! I can pick him up any time you’d like tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet you when I drop him off!”

So come on moms, chime in! Am I alone in this crazy world we live in? Would you let your child go to some of these homes? Some were great, some where not.  Do you call and speak to the parents of the children before your kids go to another’s house? Would you allow your teenager to go to another kid’s house to be shot with or without supervision? Am I paranoid?

Chataloochee Village Farm Recreation


I just wanted to take a few minutes and share with you some pictures from our trip to North Carolina. This was my favorite spot we visited.  The Chataloochee Village Farm is a recreation site. It was so peaceful and historic. It touched my heart as it brought back many fond memories of my childhood 🙂 I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I did taking them 🙂

🙂 Blessings

He said, “Follow Me”


We had a great adventurous weekend!

Nick, the boys and I had a weekend with our new friends Shawn and Kimbra. Shawn being a long lost relative of the great outdoors, he offered to merge some outdoor time into our weekend. Nick booked hotel rooms for us at Harrah’s Cherokee and we were off!

We packed Friday night and encouraged the kids to go to bed early. We got up early and were still late leaving out to meet up with our Road trip tour guides Shawn & Kimbra. 😦 Oops!

So…it started! We started off on Interstate 40 going East and our first pull off was in Hartford Tennessee.       He said, “Follow me.”      Hartford had a post office, an outdoor adventure place, and a stream for white water rafting. That’s pretty much it 🙂 We checked out the tiny little place and then we were back on the interstate again.      He said, “Follow me.”

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Another pull off  adventure popped up, so off we went on a back road towards the beautiful country side.
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We saw a cool let-in place where Shawn said he lets in his rafts, boats, canoes, or other floating types devices for white water rafting.
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(I would love to do that sometime!) Shawn mentions a park up ahead and says, “Follow me.”
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We saw beautiful mountain streams, creeks, and found some cool rocks. At one point, we found ourselves at a tiny little zoo type establishment along side the road. image

There were llamas, a donkey, and I think I saw a pig – but I’m not sure really 🙂   There was also a cute little out building shack that posed an awesome photo opp.

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We took in a bit of local history (read signs) and hoped back in the vehicles and were on to the next sight.

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As we were leaving Shawn says, “Follow me.”

I think at some point we were given the option of getting back on the interstate or going the back roads. We chose back roads, and let me tell ya, they didn’t get much more “back roads” than this! 🙂
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Cosby highway went from  normal state highway size (2 car- painted lines) with guard rails and edges of shoulders, all the way down to almost less than 1 car with no painted lines without guard rails mid-mountain height, to gravel with giant pot holes and drop-offs, to plain ole dirt roads hugging the edge of the mountain as it curled all the way to the top.
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Signs posted “No Passing”, “One lane road”, “Beware of Drop offs” (2400ft elevation).  We drove about 10 miles on the top of the mountain through twists and turns where the tree roots were the only traction under our tires and if a bird landed on our car, we’d have just tilted and plunged down the mountain.
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After about 15 miles, we were all feeling a bit sickly in our stomachs. We did however, pick up an inside joke that the kids will probably discuss the rest of their lives. On our way to the top of the mountain, we encountered a cyclist trying to make it up the 2350 ft elevation of the mountain. He peddled his little heart out and could not grasp the concept that our big truck needed around him and he peddled at a 10th of a mile an hour with a banana sticking out of the back of his pants. We couldn’t pass him and he wasn’t letting us around him. We eventually had to ask the cyclist with the banana to stop and move over so we could pass. If we hadn’t…we would still be on that mountain right now! It wasn’t the biggest mountain we’ve ever driven, but it definitely was extremely fun!
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Once we reached a decently elevation, we got back on the Interstate and made our way into Maggie Valley, North Carolina. We’d been here before, but we stopped a few times so our friends could snap some pictures and then we were off to Cherokee as they said, “Follow me!”
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We grabbed a bite to eat, checked into our rooms at Harrah’s, then left again to go out toward the Smokey Mountains National Park.
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After a bit of exploring, we had dinner and went back to the hotel. We finished the night in the casino .

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The boys explored the large hotel, pool, exercise rooms, arcade, etc while we played. Kimbra had a brilliant spa idea, but when we checked with them, they were booked solid 😦

We did much more than this on the trip and had many great memorable moments 🙂

I think Shawn and Kimbra were fun to follow. As Shawn said most of the trip: “Follow me.”

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