Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Birthdays 2012

Rhianna turned 8 in mid-September.  I meant to post about her big day and then with the move I just didn't have the time.

Riley turned 10 two and a half weeks ago.  I meant to post about his big day but I was writing essays and submitting resumes. I just didn't have the time.

Reagan just turned 7 two days ago.

I decided I was going to make one big birthday post. And I better do it now.  :)

For the past few years I have made it a tradition to cover Rhianna in balloons and then wake her up.  The boys stay up late to help me blow them all up and then we all wake up early, cover her in them, and then all sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" at the top of our lungs to wake her up.  She LOVES it.  It is always the best way I can think of to spend a single dollar to make her 'day' start out perfect.

We went to my moms for her little party/family get-together.  She was spoiled with so many gifts. 

Auntie Tricie and Kya

 My mom's birthday is five days before Rhianna's and my sister Tricia's is 6 days after.  We did a combined party this year.  They graciously let Rhianna pick out the  ice cream cake.
And didn't even complain that it was covered in plastic horses and green globs :-)

Molly, Rhianna, and Madalyn quick pose for a sweet picture of the three cousins.
Rhianna had a great birthday, spending it with her family and getting lots of presents.
The last night that Riley was nine, he sat on my lap and we chatted for quite awhile.  It was hard to imagine that I have a child who is 10!  I took a picture of him quick, so I could remember our last chat of when he was nine. 

Riley loves 'Angry Bird's (What 10 year old boy doesn't?).  I found this simple pizza on Pinterest and decided to try it.  It is so.very.simple.  And he loved it.  

Can he manage to blow out all TEN?

Is this not the cutest thing? Ever?  Three of my little nieces sitting eating the ice cream cake; only one looked up to give me a blue-mouthed grin :)
Riley had a great birthday.  I can't believe my sweet little baby boy is TEN.  He has really grown in the past year; physically but emotionally too.  I am amazed at what a wonderful young man he is turning into.
My attempt at a monkey cake.  Banana cake, of course.  

 He seems to like it.
Reading 'The Magic Treehouse: THE TITANIC" that I got him.  This little guy loves the Titanic and will sit and read about it for hours.  I think it's precious. 

This balloon adventure is a great story.  Well. Kinda.  Funny, but not one I want to relive.  I found this idea on Pinterest: To tape plastic along the door trim and stuff balloons between it and the door.  The object is the person who opens the door will get covered in balloons.  Perfect for a little boy's 7th birthday morning, right? WRONG. 
We had it planned that Riley would stay up late and help me blow them up and get the contraption set.  Rhianna had the camera for in the morning and would wake Reagan up when I banged on the living room wall (adjacent to her bed). 
All went as planned until Reagan would not get up.  Rhianna was sitting in her bed (or so I assume) trying to wake Reagan up.  He was just screaming "NO. AND PUT THE CAMERA AWAY. DO NOT TAKE MY PICTURE." 
This went on for quite some time.  Until I started to get nervous that we would be late to school/work.  I stood on the other side of the door begging Reagan to just get up.  I usually go in and wake him up myself, but if I opened the door, it would ruin the surprise.
He finally got up (yelling at Rhianna about the camera the whole time) and opened the door. 
The balloons fell on him and he SCREAMED. was he mad.  He slammed the door, yelling, and crawled back in bed.
At this point I was able to go in his room and finally convinced him to get up.  He did but was grumping the whole time.
So much for my fun idea :(  Maybe I'll wait until we have a Saturday morning birthday instead of a Monday?!
I'm hoping we can laugh at this someday...I'm already chuckling as I type this. 
What about Rhianna and the camera?  Well, I guess I didn't teach her good enough.  She couldn't get any.  I'm sure being half asleep while Reagan was screaming didn't help much either. 

The evening of his birthday, in a much better mood, he let me take his picture.  Isn't he a handsome, young lad?
And so goes another season of birthdays. 
While birthdays at our house aren't fancy with lots of expensive gifts, I try and make them special.  Even if that includes tormenting my poor little boy with a shower of balloons :-/

Saturday, November 17, 2012


He is wise beyond his years. 

Riley has been struggling with the idea of leaving Rittman and moving to CT.  He knows he has friends there and he knows it will be good; but he wanted to stay here.  And he was extrememly vocal about this.

I was getting worried at how it would go.  How he would choose to react to the change.  I know moving is the right thing for us but I still was concerned for him.

Last night on our way to Wadsworth, we passed signs for the Interstate with East and West labeled.  He pointed to the East and said "that's the way we will go when we move." 

I noticed a difference in his tone of voice.

It held anticipation and excitement. 

Something that I hadn't heard before.

I mentioned this to him and asked him how he was feeling about it.

He responded with this:

"Mom, I've come to peace about it.  I know it is the right thing to do and that it will be good for us.  I'm really excited to finally move.  I'm ready."


I was silent in amazement.  Was this one more thing that God needed us to wait on?  For Riley to come to peace about it.

And seriously, what 10 year old says "I've come to peace about this." 

I'm so thankful for his ability to think through things, know to pray about them, and be willing to accept things and find peace in them.

That, my friends, is wisdom.

Friday, November 16, 2012


This past week and a half has been quite eventful.

Nothing in concrete.  Nothing guaranteed.

Before it all started God showed me that I was going to be okay.  And it was going to be good. Soon.

Right now I'm still pondering it all in my heart.

Will blog soon.

Keep praying. 'K?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Not exactly what I wanted to read...but I'll trust anyhow

This morning I sat down with my coffee to read the Bible.  I closed my eyes and prayed for many things.  One of which was His guidance in the next couple months, in helping me find a job and a place to live in CT.  I actually had the nerve to tell God that I’m at the end of my rope; I’m done fighting, I’m done struggling.  I need this to go smoothly and simply because I cannot take it anymore.  I am tired of that feeling of drowning in things to do and children to help and essays to write and resumes to submit.  It’s just too much.  I asked God to make this road easy. 

I opened to Acts 28 and it was right in the middle of the chapter.  To learn more about what was going on at that point of the chapter, my eyes fell to the bottom paragraphs of my study Bible.  These paragraphs give verse by verse explanation of what was happening.  In the explanatory verses of Acts 28: 17-20 this is what was written:

Paul wanted to preach the Gospel in Rome, and he eventually got there-in chains, through shipwreck, and after many trials.  Although he may have wished for an easier passage, he knew that God had blessed him greatly in allowing him to meet the believers in Rome and preach the message to both Jews and Gentiles in that great city.  God worked all things for good (Romans 8:28) for Paul, and you can trust God to do the same for you. God may not make you comfortable or secure, but he will provide the opportunity to do his work.

 –Life Application Bible, KJV

In all honesty, it wasn’t really what I was hoping to read. I wanted to read about flowery promises of how easy life will be, not about  chains and shipwrecks.  I know that God will take care of us, even if He doesn’t always allow things to be easy.  I need to remember I grew the most and learned the most in my greatest trials. 

Just pray that all of this doesn’t consume me.  That I have the energy to do everything I need to do, most importantly be a mom.  Some nights this seems to take back burner, when I’m dead tired and have a list a mile long to complete, I don’t give my children the attention they deserve.  Pray that a decent job will open up and that I find a place to live that the children will feel at home. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Praying Mother

Over the past few days, I've been fairly open about my situation here on my blog.  I have been amazed at how the numbers rocketed with readers.  I've also been amazed at the wonderful and prayerful responses I have had.

One response was a reminder for us to pray for our children, their futures, and their marriages.  A response I very much appreciated.  And I've thought a lot about that statement over the past few days.  I agree wholeheartedly on that statement, concept, and action.

However, I wanted to take it one step further.

When praying for our children and their future decisions, also pray for their safety.

I had/have a praying mother.  She spent countless nights awake through the night praying for me.  She prayed for me when I was a baby, colic and screaming.  She prayed for me as a toddler, an adolescent, as a teenager.  She prayed and prayed and prayed.  She told me that the only way she could sleep some nights (when I was running wild) was to mentally wrap me up in a blanket and hand me to God.

So why weren't her prayers answered? 

Why wasn't God manipulating me to make better choices?

Because He gave me free will. 

While her prayers may have seem to go unanswered, they were in fact being heard and something was being done about them.  Even though God was allowing me to make a mess of my own life~by my own choice and against His quiet pleading in my heart, He kept me safe.

I cannot begin to tell you of the situations I would find myself in.  I could have been beaten, abducted, killed, or worse.  Even though I made really bad choices, I was kept safe.  A hedge had been placed around me by the prayers of my mother.

Then through my marriage, she knew it was horribly rough.  And I believe it was her prayers that kept the abuse to a minimum.  It was also her prayers that helped me be the wife I needed to be to maintain a resemblance of peace for the children.  It was her prayers that kept the children from being abused by their father.  It was her prayers that helped keep food on the table even when 'R' wouldn't bring home money.  It was her prayers that kept me safe when I was on the run from him.  It was her prayers that helped me stay strong over the past 3 years and still.

So when you pray for your children, even if they are small, pray that God will:

1) Grant them the wisdom and courage to make wise decisions.
2) Protect them when (not if, but when) they make an unwise choice.
3) Allow them to bring beauty from the ashes of their mistakes, big and small.

We need to trust God and His goodness, but we need to be realistic and realize our children have the same free will that we do.  They will mess up.  Pray that God will help them through tough times but also that He will keep them in the hallow of His hands.

My mom may have wondered where God was and why He wasn't listening to her.  Truth was I wasn't listening to God.  Thankfully, He lovingly waited for me to listen to His call and kept me safe while He waited.

If you have a child who has strayed, don't give up hope.  God does hear your may seem as though all hope is lost.  Just know that God is working behind the scenes of your prayers.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Alone in this.

I've been waiting for the tough emotions to come.  I'm not trying to create something that doesn't need to be; but I'm aware that they may come.  With this thought it hit me Wednesday night.  I'm doing this parenting thing all alone. 

I know I have God to help me.  And He has. And I'm thankful.  But trust me, its not the same :o).

I was sitting in the hallway reading our nightly chapter of Laura Ingalls Wilder and all three children were tucked in.  They were softly breathing, listening, and taking it all in.  When it hit me.  Its just them.And me.  From here on out.

I was waiting for the anxiety to consume me at the thought of raising these children alone.  But it didn't.  Instead a feeling of freedom, a lightness in my chest, a feeling of desire to succeed in this. 

I know I have been doing this alone for over 3 years now.  So that part shouldn't have taken me by surprise.  I do remember telling my mom, about a month into it that I feel like I should be perfect at it.  I shouldn't be making the mistakes I was making.  I shouldn't be so tired.  She told me that I was still new at give myself time to figure out what works and what doesn't.  That I was still emotionally spent from the drama 'R' was causing.  And that being a single mom is the single most hardest job there is.  

But Wednesday night I realized that I'm not new at this anymore.  Its become my life.  And it was a good thought.  While I have made plenty of mistakes the past three years, we did survive them and came out stronger in the end.

What felt different was I wasn't tied down anymore. 

Its still going to be tough.  Really tough.

It's like swimming the Atlantic without that 180 lb bag of weights strapped to your back.
It's still tough, but much easier without the baggage dragging you down. 

I'm going to stop waiting on the sad emotions to come.  I am going to put my energy towards giving my children the best childhood they can have, in spite of our circumstances.

I'm so excited for our future.  Its going to be so good.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


It went better than I expected. 

I arrived at the courthouse about 20 minutes earlier than planned.  My friend, Diane, was meeting me there and she pulled in a few minutes after I arrived.

We walked in the courthouse together, nervous, not really sure of what to expect. 

We sat in the large hall, waiting.  I spoke with my attorney for a few minutes.  He briefed me on how it would go.  It seemed fairly straight forward.  We sat down to wait our turn.

Court was scheduled at 9:30.  It was 9:10 by this time.

I knew he wouldn't show up.  But I was still nervous that he would.  I wasn't sure how I would react if he walked through the doors.   

The hearing before us ran over by 15 minutes.  Once we hit the '9:30' mark, I knew he wouldn't show, so I sat there and relaxed and chatted with Diane.

About 9:45, the courtroom opened and a woman walked out, shaking.  Her friends had been waiting in the hall for her and put their arms around her.  She immediately started crying. 

Seeing her pain was the hardest part of my day.

A minute later a man walked out, I'm assuming her ex-husband.  He glanced at her and walked on by.  I wanted to kick his shins.  But I didn't.

It made me realize the pain and hurt in divorce.  I was only feeling the relief.  I had felt that pain of betrayal so long ago.  For her, it was still fresh and painful. She glanced down at me (I had been smiling and talking to Diane).  I instantly felt remorse.  Here I was, happy to have this completed, and she has just experienced such emotional pain. She probably thought I was horrible for looking so happy.   I smiled gently at her and I hope she knows I prayed for her right then and often since then.

I walked into the courtroom with Diane following.  (They let her come in...yea!!!).  I glanced at the magistrate and noticed a digital clock on his desk.  It said 9:48 am.

We sat down and we went through the motions...promising to tell the truth...stating my name, kids' names, addresses, etc. etc. and so forth.  I did sneak in a comment about Randy not being around for 19 months.  Just wanted that on the record :o)

Then the lawyer asked me if I wanted to restore my name to any other name.

I immediately said "YES" with a grin on my face.

Then he asked me to state my name and spell it.

I quickly stated 'Bauman' and spelled it.

The magistrate smiled.

He is from Rittman.  He knows of my family :o)

Then the magistrate said a bunch of legal stuff which I was assuming was all good. 

He then dismissed me and told me 'Good luck!'

As I walked out, I glanced at the clock.

9:54 am.

6 minutes.

My wedding took longer than that. 
And I almost said it to him. 
But chose to remain silent.

The lawyer pulled me aside to go over what was next. 

I have to wait a few days until it goes through the judge and then clerk of courts.  Then he gets the paper, then I get the paper...yadda yadda.  Basically, my divorce and name change isn't legal until it hits the clerk of courts.  Most likely Thursday or Friday. 

But to me, it had already happened.  And I felt so free from all baggage.

I told the lawyer that I wanted to file IMMEDIATELY to get the children's names changed.  He said that the paperwork is already in motion and it should go in front of the judge within 60 days. (MOST LIKELY BY THE END OF THE YEAR!!!!!)   He said that I will speak for the children.  He didn't want to put them through that.

What he said next shocked me.  He said that Randy had called in about papers I needed him to sign.  The lawyer told him about the divorce and Randy said "Yes, I know about that. I'm not contesting that."  Then the lawyer told him I was changing my name and also the children's names and he needed to sign those papers.  The line went silent for a moment and Randy said "I don't know how I feel about that." 


He doesn't know?  He hasn't attempted to see his children in almost 2 years.  He has given them piddles in support in the past 2 years.  Why on earth would he care.

On the flip side, they are his children.  He SHOULD care.   But he says "He's not sure if he cares or not?"  What kind of father is that????

My lawyer told him: "We are filing it anyhow.  If you change your mind, feel free to come in and sign.  But it is going to court."

I stood in the court hallway speechless.  I couldn't believe he had called in.  Weird as it may sound, that is all I needed.  To know that he remembers we exist. 

I sent those two letters hoping he would sign the papers.  He didn't.  Deep down what scared me is that he wouldn't even call the lawyer.  That we were so meaningless to him and those 10 years and his kids were nothing to him at all.

Even though he didn't sign.  Even though his answer is slightly twisted for a father to say.  I found the closure I needed.  As I write this it doesn't make sense why I would feel this. Why I would even care.  But knowing he called makes all the difference.  And I have no idea why.

We closed the conversation with the lawyer saying he would be in touch.

Diane and I walked out all smiles. 

I cannot express to you how light and free I felt...and still feel. 

I felt so guilty, knowing God hates divorce.  But I can't help but believe that God hated it when I was abused, and the breaking of the marriage happened years ago.  The divorce just represented me moving on and overcoming the pain.  I felt a deep peace run through me.  I can't help but believe that God is okay with this and He knows it all.

Diane and I decided to go to lunch quick.  As we were walking into Panera, we walked right into that woman.  She was standing alone with two boys, about Rhianna and Reagan's age.  Her face was still puffy from the tears and her eyes looked like her soul was exhausted.  I just smiled gently and nodded..she smiled back.  I hope she knows I understand her pain.  Even though mine happened years ago.  I still haven't forgotten her face. 

This past summer I had counseled with an older wiser man.  His warning about going through a divorce (even Biblical supported) the hardest part was the emotional distress.  Even those where the marriage is long over and abuse was horrible.  He warned me to be ready to face some difficult emotions.  Thankfully, I have felt none other than relief.  Little did I know that looking at that woman's face would be the hardest part of this divorce.  Can you all lift her up in prayer?  Especially over this next week or so....I think she may have a tough road ahead of her.

It's only been a day.  And my marriage was technically over 3+ years ago.  But I feel so free..unburdened...and like I'm ready to take the challenge of the next step. 

My day would not have went as easy if I hadn't had your prayers.  I know so many of you were thinking and praying for me all morning.  I felt them.  I literally floated through the day.  Thank you for that.  Thank you for carrying me through this challenge of single parenthood. 

Next step...a job! :o)