Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Your prayers did this:

Your prayers did this:
The house 'closed' today.  I came home for a quick lunch break and found the 'Sale Pending' sign had been changed to 'SOLD'.
Wonderfully exciting and yet a twinge of sadness.
I've been ready for this moment for two years, yet I was shocked when I saw it. 
I'm ready for this.  It's what I've been hoping and praying for.  But the feelings of 'this isn't my home anymore' are hard to comprehend.
I'm packing like crazy (have to be out in a week + two days).

My mind is reeling with trying to process my feelings.  I am super excited for 'five year old child on Christmas morning' excited. 

But I'm nervous. 

I'm getting ready to take a huge leap of faith and am trusting that God's arms are big enough to catch us.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This is as political as I get

I’m going to jump on the bandwagon of politics. 

Just for a minute.  This is as political as I’ll get here.  
Bear with me.

America is a wonderful place to live, full of freedoms and riches beyond measure; but what frightens me is the direction we are headed.

Tonight I was reading our nightly reading of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House Series’ to the children.  In book seven, Little Town on the Prairie, there is a chapter called ‘Fourth of July’.
When I was reading I had to stop for a moment to process what was written.

Laura hit the nail on the head.
(This excerpt comes after the reading of the Declaration of Independence in her small town the morning of the 4th.)

No one cheered.  It was more like a moment to say, “Amen.” But no one knew what to do.
Then Pa began to sing. All at once everyone was singing:

“My country, ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing…
“Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

The crowd was scattering away then, but Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought. The Declaration and the song came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king.
She thought: Americans won’t obey any king on earth. Americans are free. That means they have to obey their own consciences. No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself.  Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders.  I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought.  This is what it means to be free. It means you have to be good. “Our father’s God, author of liberty—“The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty. Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.

Do we think of God as our King?  Whether we are American, whether we vote or how we vote; do we think of God as the author of our liberty and the One who gives us true freedom?  Most importantly, the freedom from our sin.  Or if this is being read in another country, where freedoms are not common like in America, know that through God, He can set you free. 

Through this election season, just pray for the leader that God, our King, chooses to put in. 
Even if it isn’t who you would have picked!!
I’ll get off my political soapbox now.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Reagan's Day Out...posted really late

I had taken each child out for a fun outing this summer.  I had already taken Rhianna to Build a Bear and Riley to see White Savage. 

After meeting Becky (Rhianna's Build a Bear) Reagan wanted to go there himself.

Warning: There are a lot of pictures.  He's just so stinkin' cute I couldn't resist taking tons of pics of his twinkling brown eyes.

Ready to go!
First time visiting Build-a-Bear!

"I think this is who I want...he has eyes like me."
Changed his mind.  Chose a white bear. 
Then insisted on buying shoes for Rhianna's Becky before shopping for himself. 
Told you he was sweet :o)

Waiting for 'Snow' to be stuffed.
Pushing the pedal to stuff 'Snow'.

Giving Snow an air bath.

Squeeze test!
Ready to go home with Snow!
Stopped by a photo booth for a fun shot of the two of us.
Waiting on them to print.

Love photo booth pictures. So much fun!
Snow is dressed and ready for some football!

Enjoying a sandwich at Mickey D's.

Setting down the sandwich and ignoring the fries, he devoured his apple slices.
 Love my apple lovin' boy :o)

We had tons of fun together and the day went by too fast. 

I'm so glad I decided to spend a few hours alone with each child; it gave us time to talk and reconnect.  I'll try and do this every summer!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wayne County Fair '12

The county fair in our county is a huge tradition and everyone goes.  I think its mandatory for residents of Wayne County, Ohio to attend.  :o)

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to take the kiddos to the fair this year.  Its just so expensive and I wasn't overly excited about spending money I shouldn't.

My mom caught wind of this and said she would give me money to take the kiddos to the fair.  I'm so blessed with such a wonderful mom! 

Mom, Thank-you. Again.

Here are just a few photos of them enjoying the fair:

Rhianna's artwork!

My friend met up with us and took 'her boy' for a ride of his choice.


Rhianna was nervous of the Carousel at first :o)

She went on the carousel a few times but her favorite was the dragon roller coaster...
I CAN'T believe I didn't get a picture of her on it :o(

Riley ran into a friend and they went off to ride the 'big rides'

Riding with the Indian's football cheeleaders :o/


Of course we stuffed ourselves with fried cheese, gyros, hotdogs, and cotton candy.  Not sure if we will ever make it back for the fair, making this year bittersweet.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I can't get these images out of my mind...

 I need smacked in the face the next time I complain to myself about 'no shoes' for an outfit.

When we pray before we eat, is it out of habit, or true thankfulness?
This boy looks about Riley's age. 
I wept when I saw this. 
 Why were we put here and this mother and son there? 
Do we thank God enough for what He has given us?
Do we think about those who know true suffering?
Do we do anything about it?
Start with prayer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's Dinner

There is an amazing group of families, from church, that signed up in a rotation to bring my children and me dinner on Tuesdays. 

I come home from work on Tuesdays to find a meal in my refrigerator ready to be heated up and enjoyed.

I know the meal is coming, and yet every Tuesday I am left speechless and humbled at the loving work they did to bring my family food to lighten my load. 

I hope that they can understand how helpful it is. 

I hope they know what a light they are to my children; they will remember this and do likewise for others in the future.

I want to encourage my readers to do random acts of kindness for a single mom or widow.  Especially ones who don't have the incredible strength of a church family or the helping hands of immediate family members.  There are so many single moms out there who are alone.

My load is so very light compared to there's.  I catch myself whining to myself at times and then I kick myself.  I have nothing to complain about.  I'm rather spoiled...

Please?  Remember all the single moms around the world who are struggling.  Whether you judge them think they put themselves in their position or not.  Lift them up in prayer.  Lift their children up in prayer.   God knows them.  He knows the tears we they cry at night; from loneliness, exhaustion, fear, doubt, worry.  He knows their needs and how they can be met.  You don't need to know  their names; He knows them already.  Just remember them while you pray. 

I have it so.very.good.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Does he?

When the call came from the realtor that Randy signed the thought struck me: “Does he ever think about them?”  As he signed the paper, they must have crossed his mind.  Didn’t they?

Does he ever wonder how their day was or what they are doing now?  Does he remember that it is Rhianna’s birthday today and does he know how old she is?  Does he remember their middle names?  The color of their eyes?  Does he remember their personalities? That Riley is intense and motivated and a really great kid.  Does he remember that Rhianna is sweet and tender hearted and she is the only one of the three who still prays for him at night?  And that Reagan is so stinking cute and so.very.ornery and keeps our lives entertaining?

Does he remember that Riley has a slight dimple that you have to watch for to catch it?  Does he remember that Rhianna has the blondest, softest, hair and that she still screams when I comb it?  Does he know that Reagan’s eyes have a certain gleam when he is plotting the next activity?  

Does he remember how much they loved him, even when he was so mean and pushed them away?  Does he ever feel guilty for abandoning them and hardly supporting them with only a few dollars in support here and there? 

Does he know that Rhianna’s favorite food is macaroni and cheese and Reagan still doesn’t eat much?  Does he know that Riley eats 5 apples a day (literally!).

Does he know that Riley prefers to ride his bike to school early to hang out with his friends?  Does he know that Riley is in the 4th grade?  Does he know that Rhianna is having a difficult year and that she misses her 1st grade teacher?  Does he know that Reagan can read now?

Does he know that we have taken up fishing as a hobby?  Does he know that all three kids can ride their two-wheeled bikes?   Does he know that Riley is playing football this year and is doing really good?  Does he know that Reagan started flag-football and scored a touchdown at the first practice?  Does he know that Rhianna wants to start baton lessons?

Does he know that Riley is trying to be as tall as me as quickly as he can?  Does he know that Riley can mow the lawn now?  And start the mower, alone? Does he know that Rhianna is old enough to help me cook and work in the kitchen?   

Does he know that we are doing good. really~ really good without him?  Does he know that Reagan thinks he died and tells people this? Does he know that these kids are rising above his abandonment and becoming really great people?  Does he know that we are moving on and creating our own family with the four of us?    

Does he even care?
It was approximately 18 months ago he last saw them.
Above photo was around that time.
Below photo is current.
Would he know them?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Remember THIS?



Willingly and cordially.

And I didn't have to face him.

Praise the Lord for wonderful people in this world who decided to go above and beyond their job duty and met with him to sign the papers.

This was a miracle.

Thank you to all my readers who prayed this would go smoothly....HE answered your prayers!

It won't be long...

Only a few more months...

And I'll be moved and settled in CT!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pa Ingalls

As a single mom, I am aware of the statistics out there for boys who have no father in the home. 

Basically, according to stats, my boys will end up in prison and my daughter will be involved in an abusive relationship. 

'Kinda depressing.

I have decided to do my part to fight those statistics in my children's lives.

My children have two wonderful uncles (and aunts!!) who play hard with them and spend lots of time with them, not to mention cousins and friends. 

I appreciate that so much.

But I decided to go one step further in finding examples for my kiddos. 

This idea came to me one night when we were reading Little House on the Prairie.  

Pa Ingalls went hungry so Ma and Mary and Laura and Carrie and Baby Grace could eat. 

I pointed this out to my boys.  "This is what a real man would do for his family".

Since then every night when we are reading, and Pa does something that stands out to me, I point it out to them.  To the boys of what they should be and to Rhianna to what she should look for in a man.

Charles Ingalls was probably just doing what he knew was right to do to provide for his family. 

And yet 100+ years later, his example is making the difference in 3 children's lives.

I know I have quite a few single parents as readers.  Don't give up hope.  Don't give up trying to raise your children to be Godly people.  Though statistics (Satan) shout in our face that we will fail; fight back in all the ways you can! 

I tell my boys all the time that they have so much knowledge that some other boys do not have.  They know what it is like to be fatherless.  And with that knowledge they have a choice.  Either repeat what their dad did and abandon their children (and then I would chase them with a stick:o) or they can pour all the hurt they have into loving their children and being the best father.ever. 

I'm just thankful that all that is required of me is my best.  And God will fill in the cracks.  Pour Himself in between the bricks of our lives and be the mortar that cements us together.

I'm so thankful for all the wonderful examples God has put in our lives.  Even Pa Ingalls.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I have the sweetest daughter. In the whole world. Really, I do!

Setting the stage:

Saturday night Riley and I started bringing boxes down from attic to move to the storage unit. We stacked them in the living room so I could run a few boxes over every day in my car.

I gave each child a job to do so I could run one load over right then.  When I came home one box had papers strewn all over the living room, another box of snow clothes was spread all over and three containers upstairs had clothes drug through.

And not one job was complete.


What happened after that:

For the most part, I can control myself.  But I was dead tired and instead of three jobs done, I had a wreck of a house.  I had homework and probably a list a mile long.

Instead of staying calm.

I flipped out.

I guess it happens rare enough that when the yelling occurs they march to the orders.

After I put them to bed, I felt bad that I lost my temper.  But the mess that they made was enough to make anyone lose it; and I am worse than just anyone.  I can't stand messes. 

What I found the next day:

Dear Mom I'm sorry we made you so mad can you for give us  sore Rhianna
PS. look on the back. somthing is ther it's not much.

I found this cute note on the floor by my bed on Sunday afternoon. I guess Rhianna left it there Saturday night and I missed it in the morning.

I hate to admit it, but I laughed and laughed.  It wasn't funny, but it just struck me as such.  It was too cute. 

I snuggled her and we talked.  She sheepishly grinned when I asked her if she understood why I was so upset the night before.  Of course, all three did.  (It was a MESS!)  I apologized for yelling and they forgave me.  We've all moved on since then.

I am so thankful for the children God gave me.  Each one is so unique and special.  They each show me they love me in their own way and I appreciate them so much.  I am giving them my best; I just hope that even with my mess-ups, its good enough.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:Genesis, 12:2

I’m not sure where to begin this post.  I feel pressured to nail it; to fully describe my emotions and intentions without causing you to doubt my decision.

Right or wrong approach, I’m going to start on the defensive. Its my nature to go into something I am anxious about with a defensive manner.  Forgive me if this offends you.
I came across a quote that sums up how I feel. To eliminate the negative attitude that the original quote screams, I changed the wording but the meaning behind it is the same in a sense. 

“Don’t criticize my decisions. You don’t know the half of what I’ve been through and dealt with.  There’s a reason I do the things I do, there’s a reason I am who I am.”

All I am doing is begging for understanding of this and also have faith in me that I am making the right decision.  That I did pray about it, that I did seek the scripture, and that I did talk to those with wise counsel.  Bottom line, the decision was mine to make and I had to come to peace about it before making it.  I did find that peace and it continues to flow through me in this decision.
I’m not going to go into step by step detail of how this came about; but share the highlights. I had been thinking about this choice for about 6 weeks before talking to this one special person. (This has been in the process currently for 5 months as of this posting).  I had already received some wise counsel on the subject.  There was one person I really needed to talk to about this.  Someone very special …very special to me and even more special to my three children.  I asked her what her thoughts were regarding this because what I was considering had been done to her when she was younger.  Her instantaneous reply was “Do it.  It will be the best thing you could ever do for them”.  Speaking to her was as close to walking into my children’s future as I could get.  She is my children’s older sister.

The second shining moment in my decision was when I wrote about the lawyer post.  I soon had a message from a friend.  This friend is older and so much wiser and has guided me through so much in the past 4 years.  I told her of my decision/plan and her immediate response was “Good.  I have felt that you needed to do this but it was strange enough I wasn’t sure how to approach you on it.  How to you go to someone and suggest this?”   Knowing she felt this way made me think that God had spoken to her weeks earlier so she could later give me the support I would need.
The final and confirming moment for me was when I pulled into the cemetery for my weekly Sunday morning visit.  The sun was shining down on my dad’s grave.  The ‘Dale’ faded in my sight and ‘Bauman’ stuck out so clear.  I then realized that a person’s last name is more than just a name.  It is your identity and it ties you to someone. Typically a man: father or husband.  A man that is supposed to love you and cherish you.  When a woman gets married she takes her husband’s name and it ties her to him. I wanted to be tied to the only man who ever really loved me.  I wanted my dad’s name.  I wanted to be marked and identified by the man who actually loved me.  Who cherished me and adored me.  And even though he never held my children; I know he would’ve loved them so much. And shown them he loved them.  He wouldn’t have abandoned them.  They deserve his name.  They deserve his good name.

In my reading of the Bible and putting the word 'name' into a Bible search engine, I was surprised at the number of results that popped up. (958 times in 861 verses KJV).  As I sifted through the verses, glancing over them I came to the realization at how important names are to God.  The first thing Adam did for Eve was to name her.  His first job in the garden was the give each living thing a name.  The names in the Bible have meaning behind them; an intention of what that person or place should be or represent.  Names are labels and are important to God.   

Experiencing those things truly confirmed that God was allowing pushing me to do this.  After I decided to go for it, I started to wonder if that was why God kept me in Ohio for so long; to get to the point that I needed to get to.  Doing this will allow me to truly move on, not just physically but emotionally.  It is as though God is stripping all the bad away from the past 10 years and is leaving me with the 3 good things that came from it.  
I have decided to file divorce and change my last name, along with the three children’s name, back to my maiden name.

The filing divorce is completely and totally Biblical.  Not going to go into the details of all he has done against me and our marriage…I am aware that I have readers who are a bit younger.  But trust that there are many things that Randy has done to give me Biblical allowance to file divorce.  
This was a tough decision.  I cannot get remarried because of the Bible’s commandments against remarriage/adultery. My thoughts had been how would a divorce benefit me?  I kept opening to Matthew 5:31 "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:"  I then realized that while divorce sadden God's heart and made Him weep, He knew that there were the situations where divorce was needed; closure was necessary.  I was still wrestling with the concept of me filing for divorce.  But to change my name I needed this done.  I needed the name change.  Seeing his last name attached to mine was disgusting and painful.  I didn’t want any part of it.  But if the kids wanted to keep it; I would’ve gritted my teeth and dealt with it.  Also with a divorce, I can have closure.  How do I answer the question "Are you married?  Where's your husband? Where did you meet him?  How long have you been married?  Yadda yadda yadda...."  What do I say?  "Yes, I am married but my husband has not been around in 18 months and last I heard he is living with his girlfriend???  He shows no interest in our children who now I claim as only mine."  Now I can say, "No, I'm not married" End of discussion.  This whole process, while long and mentally trying, will bring peace in the end.

I spent countless hours talking to the kids about the name change; as a group and individually. To make sure they understood completely what I was talking about.  All three were in unison: Change our name! 
Speaking to an older and wiser man his concern echoed mine: “What would they think in 10 years?  Would they be angry? Or bitter?”  Another thought was concerning the concept of labels.  We are what we are labeled.  And Riley was acting out and his excuse was “Well, the Call men act that way”.  Bad excuse because they all don’t; but was acceptable in his mind because he saw how his dad was. (Or in this case, what his dad wasn’t).

In deciding to go forth with this it puts a hindrance on the move.  The house is in the process of selling and I need to be out in about a month.  However, I have to stay in the state/county until the legal process is complete. Adds a whole new plethera of problems but it will be worth it in the end.
Because we are staying a bit longer, Riley asked to sign up for football.  It has been such an awesome thing for him.  But that is neither here nor there…the main benefit is that he asked to be signed up as 'Bauman'.  Even though his legal name isn’t that yet.  He wanted ‘Bauman’ on his jersey.  He did not want any markings of his father on him anymore.

Bauman-#2.  He chose that number because of a cousin
that has been a great influence on him. 
Riley is so excited to wear a Rittman Indian's jersey as 'Bauman #2'
Starting this post on the defense, I’m going to end on the offense by sharing my heart with my decision.  (Offense-Defense…too much football talk around here ;o)

This morning was Riley’s first football game.  As I was helping dress for the game, I slid the jersey over the shoulder pads.  I was getting ready to slip it over his head and he paused.  He held the pads/jersey in his hands and looked at the name on the back.  He sighed and smiled. “Bauman, number 2” was all he said.  I could see the peace in his eyes. 
I just wish I could somehow write and describe how much this decision has affected us.  The children are enrolled in school under their legal names, but in the classroom they go as ‘Bauman’.  Having this change, releasing the negative off of us, has been absolutely amazing. 

I stand in awe that God loves me enough to allow this, to have put this thought in my mind, to put the words in my friends’ mouths, to provide me with wise counsel.  It is as though God has taken an eraser and has wiped my slate clean.  Things that still haunted me about my abuse from Randy don’t haunt my thoughts anymore.  They have faded into a distant memory; almost as though I remember it from a close friend sharing her story with me but I hadn’t actually lived it.
I used to believe that a name was just a name and you could make it whatever you wanted it to be.  I don’t believe that anymore.  A name speaks a million words.  A name can make you feel weak and bad and dirty and beaten.  A name can make you feel good and strong and loved.  And that’s what I’m doing for us.  Please be prayerful through these steps and changes. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Little By Little (or perhaps I should say) 'A Whirlwind'

About a week ago, I wrote about the (new) obstacles I am facing with the sale of the house/move/life in general.

But as that verse I read in Exodus 23 said “little by little…” and little by little things have settled.  Actually, in one big whirlwind.  It was as if God saw my extreme stress and how it was affecting me physically and came and wiped it away.

My list of stresses was

·         Randy signing the document

·         Finding a place to live

·         Packing

In that order.

Well, since then almost all have been wiped away.  All but the biggie.

Living arrangements:

I won’t be borrowing an apple bin from the orchard to fill with straw to sleep in.

K. I wasn’t actually that worried, but I am such a planner that I did have a mental plan of how we would survive if we were homeless. :-/ This mind of mine drives me nuts.  (Maybe I’ll write it down and share sometime…it was quite creative I must say.) 

I was telling a friend at work about my living arrangements issue and he mentioned a friend who owned a duplex..yadda yadda and so forth and within 24 hours I had a place to stay. 

We didn’t go see it until the next week.  I wanted the children to see where we were going; to give them a peace of mind about our future.  The place is small in comparison to our current home, but is so completely do-able!  The layout of the duplex will give us much more room than anticipated. 

The landlord will live right next door and I’ve known him almost for forever.  He was friends with my brother in high school and knows our family well.  He loves kids and I see him being a great role model to my kiddos. 

Funny thing…he has the same name (first AND last) as the man from church in CT who offered to help me find a place to live once I move.  So my landlord in OH and CT might have the exact same name.  I guess the name I write on the rent check will be one change I won’t have to adapt to. 

The packing? 

Well, my goal is to take a box to storage every night on my way home from dropping Riley off at the park for football.  I’ve managed to do it about 2 times out of 8.  I think I either need to get on the ball or rethink my plan…

My mom came up with the idea of me packing what I am going to take to the duplex and leaving everything else that I am packing to storage to move to CT.  Then she will come in with my sisters/aunts and they will help pack up the rest. 

I think between the combo of me taking a box a night and my amazing family helping, I’ll be perfectly fine. 


Place to live: check

Packing: check

The biggie still looms. 

Randy signing the document.  In some ways the issue is resolving and others it’s getting more complicated.

The women from the title company, along with my realtor have been amazing in helping me with this. 

I believe they (we?) are going to find him, but they are going to do the talking and suggested I not even go along.  That’s the huge positive.

The negative?  Actually finding him and convincing him to sign it.  He also has to produce a driver’s license to prove he is him.  Not sure if he has that still…

I just have to put all this in God’s hands.  He brought me a buyer, has had everything go through smoothly ~ even when we weren’t sure it would go through.  Things are being approved days faster than expected.  I just have to trust that this final thing will go smoothly as well. 

I’m looking forward to moving.  It’s a much smaller house and life will be simplified drastically.  We will live there for a few months until the legal garbage is dealt with.  This is a 2-step process (will write later about it) and once step one is complete, depending on the time I will either file step-2 here or wait until we are in CT.

Once I am settled, I can concentrate on finishing school (have FOUR more classes…yippee!) and finding a place to live in CT and a job. 

This journey is far from over, but the light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a flicker in the dark but a steady beam. 

We are almost there.

Little by little.