Thursday, September 18, 2008

Puffy Heads and Shiny Fishies

Wow...I'm 38 and one week old today. LOL

Tomorrow my "little" brother turn 29. Scary! You can see his picture on the last post...he's hiding in a bush. :-)

Life gets SO busy sometimes I barely have time to catch my breath. I really felt like just crawling right back into bed this morning instead of coming to work. I'm fighting off a sinus/cold and feel really icky. You know that feeling where your head is in a bubble and feels about 50 pounds heavier than it usually is? Yup, that's the one. I just want to lay it down for a while and rest my burning, itching eyes. Alas, it is not to be. I work til 5 (with a trip to the courthouse on my afternoon break to visit Cassie's probation officer with her), then supper and worship practice from 7 until 9, then I can lay my heavy, swollen head on my pillow and drift off into dreamland and hopefully wake up feeling better. :-)

Some of you may remember that all of our fishies died while we were in North Carolina on vacation in July. The tank wasn't doing all that well before we left, actually, and we'd been losing fish several times a week before we went. Well, the rest of them went to fishy-heaven while we were out galavanting in the ocean-side state. Since then our sad, empty tank has sat there, growing algea, breaking down the last of the fish-corpses as they went from mold to nothing in the water. 

Finally three weeks ago we had the time, energy, and wherewithal to empty it out, boil all the parts, and put it back together. So for the past two weeks it's been sitting all shiny and new, but still empty. Dar and I stopped at Petco last night and bought TWO new fishies for our tank! (and the crowd cheers! OK, maybe not the crowd, but the Mohlenbrock's certainly did). They're shiny and new too! Seriously shiny!  We got two Silver Mollies because they were on sale at Petco and they're live-bearers and relatively hardy fish. Our ultimate goal is a community tank with several species(?) of fish, but we needed to start with just a couple so our tank can get used to having LIVE fish in there again. 

Anyway, that is the highlight of our week so far and it's good to see a couple little swimmers bringing life to our tank again. Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work I go. :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm hiding in the bush...shhhhh

OK, so you may be wondering what in the world is up with the picture of me in a shrubbery saying "shhhhh"?!?!? Has Kendra gone off the deep end? Well, that may be true, but it's not the cause of the photo lol.

As you know I turned 38 last Thursday. Now, I'm not freaking out over this number because in my brain, age is how you feel not what the number is on your driver's license. I feel 23, so that's how old I am. I don't look 38, I don't act 38, and I certainly don't feel 38, so there you have it. I'm 23. :-)  But, back to the bushes...

I suppose I must attribute something to the number of years I've walked this planet and that is that I've finally "grown up" enough to realize that I don't have to go out and get drunk to celebrate my birthday. Then again, maybe I should attribute that to my walk with the Lord and where's He's brought me in my life. Regardless, I wanted to go out and celebrate my birthday with my friends but I didn't want to play the slam-shots/see-how-drunk-you-can-get game.  

So what's a girl to do? 

Most of you reading this were probably there, so you can attest to this...I sent out an email whining about how my DH had to work and I wanted to go celebrate, and would anyone please join me? I have wonderful friends and family who said they'd join me, and plans were made to meet at the Sugar Room in downtown Mankato on Friday night. The Sugar Room is a tiny little jazz club that serves up yummy food and great music. So I'm picturing in my head how the night might go and realized that sitting around a table eating and listening to music didn't sound very exciting and I wanted exciting!  So I came up with the idea of doing a scavenger hunt. :-)  

By Googling "adult scavenger hunts" and thinking about things that I like, I came up with 13 ideas and made up a list. The plan was to find the things on the list and take a picture with digital cameras for "proof". Here's our list, the story behind their selections, and a few of the photos....

1. the coolest pen you can find (Anyone who knows me knows I have a pen fetish and love to collect awesome looking pens!)

2. something purple (also anyone who knows me at all knows that I LOVE the color purple and sometimes randomly yell out "PURPLE" just for fun. If I describe something as purple, it means it's awesome, very cool or just flat out fabulous). The best thing we found was a purple Harley with blue ground lights. Dar and I have a dream of owning a couple of bikes and when the kids graduate we're going to take off and tour the country. So this one definitely won the prize of being my favorite!

3. someone (not in our group) born in 1970 (it took us three hours and 3 locations to find someone born the same year as me. Most of the time we got these incredulous looks and comments that 1970 was light years ago and we must be ancient! lol) Following is the photo of the co-1970'er. 

4. a tube of lipstick or gloss with a cool name

5. someone holding a screwdriver that was in their purse/pocket (ok...a bit of background here. When Dar and I had been married about a year we were in the middle of a HUGE fight and pushing each others buttons. I was standing in our bedroom door with a screwdriver in my hand. I think I'd been fixing something. He was half sitting/half laying on our bed. He pushed one too many buttons a little too hard and I let the screwdriver fly. As soon as it left my hand I realized what I'd done, obviously too late to stop it. Thank God He loves me and caused the screwdriver to hit Dar in the chest with the handle and not the tip! We don't fight nearly as violently anymore and I certainly don't throw screwdrivers anymore!!!! But this is the reason for the screwdriver being on the list lol)

6. a member of our group dancing with a stranger (we have some single ladies in our group so I thought this would be fun  :-)

7. We were in pairs and one person from each pair had to sing a karoake song and get their picture taken. Dan (my brother) was one of the singers and you can see/hear him in this video...

8. someone (not in our group) who has had their 15 minutes of fame (ie: been in the paper, on TV, been a hero, performed in public, etc) The gentleman below performed with a gymnastics team that won State and they got to perform on ESPN. Very cool! Way to go! :-)

9. a sock with a hole in it (preferably on a foot)

10. a couple (not in our group) kissing

11. one person in the pair hugging a stranger (everyone needs a hug now and then)

12. a stranger's tattoo

13. one person in the pair hiding in a bush and saying "shhhh" (this is from a movie I recently watched with the kids called Son of Ranbow. It was very cute and this line was my favorite from the movie...thus it got included in the list) Everyone had fun with this so here's a couple of photos..

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A birthday blessing...

I just have to tell you how Cassie blessed me on my birthday! She gave me a card that says 

"Happy Birthday Mom; Everyone thinks their mom's the best, but they can't all be right; (inside) Just me." Then she wrote: "Even though most our lifes together we've been on a roller coaster of've always been there for me through the best and the worst times. You'll always be my #1 Mom! I love you with everything. Happy 38th Birthday!"

I will tell you right now...I cried. My number one goal as a mom is to be there for them, to love them unconditionally, and for them to know that no matter what they do, I will always stand by their side. Not everyone understands this or agrees with it, and it certainly doesn't mean that we just sit back and let them do whatever they want. We discipline, train, teach, give appropriate consequences, but through it all I want them to feel and know LOVE and GRACE just like Jesus has always shown me LOVE and GRACE! 

This card was such a blessing to me because the past year has been a roller coaster ride, and we've had some rough moments. She's told me she hates me, she's told us "f*%k your rules", she's thrown God and our faith back in our face. But through it all, we have loved her. And now, a year later (one year ago on Monday she disappeared for the first time for 30+ hours), I feel we are on the right track again, and her message to me on my birthday is testimony to that. 

Are we "in the clear"? Absolutely not. Is she the "perfect child"? One does not exist. Are we "perfect parents"? IMPOSSIBLE. BUT, we are headed in the right direction and for the first time in a year, I SEE the hope. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1) and we've had faith that God would bring her through all this, faith without having anything of substance to base it on, and now, God has brought us hope. We will NOT grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up! (Galatians 6:9) God is good. God is faithful. God is worthy of all our faith and trust. And to HIM goes all the glory and praise and credit for everything good in our life.

To quote a family who set this example for us, who showed us how to be parents who never, ever, ever give up hope and faith...

Kendra :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bye-Bye Bipolar

We met with the Psychologist this week and after further testing she has determined that Cassie does NOT have bipolar disorder. She said she will "leave it on the table" as it was brought up by another psychologist, but had we brought Cassie in, with no prior testing, she would never have brought it up herself. She clearly has ADHD and some peripheral disorders such as Conduct Disorder and Social something Disorder, but she believes those are a spin-off of the undiagnosed ADHD and that as we get the ADHD handled, they should fade out. Woo Hoo! This is good news. Cassie seems to be on the upswing. They psychiatrist upped her Strattera once again to 60mg from 40 and this medication does seem to be helping. 

Cass likes her new school and seems at this point to be doing very well. I am waiting for the login and password info to check on her grades online, but appearances seem to be good. I'm praying that she's on the upswing!

Spiritually, she seems to be heading in the right direction. I was having a rough day yesterday and today at work and I had to go pick her up from school today (she got sick at school :-( ) On the way home she said "it's ok'll get better. Have you prayed?" MY daughter asking me if I've prayed! Again...Woo Hoo! This is good news. I've said from the beginning that this is a spiritual battle and this is more confirmation that God's side is winning! She also said that my bad day is just satan attacking me and I can make it through. I thought it was very sweet how she encouraged me, and it did help. I'd been telling myself that all day anyway, and yes, I'd been praying, but it's always good to hear it from someone else and to confirm it. 

Anyway, things seem to be looking up in the Cassie area.

Chris is enjoying 6th grade as much as any 6th grade boy can enjoy school. He doesn't like doing homework, but his best friend is in his class and lives a half a block away, so they do it together a lot which helps. Ad he is getting it done, so whatever it takes, right? 

Oh, and in case you didn't know...IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY! Yup, I'm another year older. 38 now! Where does the time go? I still feel like I'm in my 20's but with a daughter who will be driving next year and a son who will be in 7th grade next year, I guess that's not possible, is it? Oh well. I work all day today at the front desk of the paper then Dar and I have worship practice tonight from 7-9, so there won't be any going out for my birthday today. Dar started at Domino's Pizza on Monday and he closes on Friday night and works late night on Saturday, so he can't go out this weekend either. BUT, I'm blessed with friends and siblings who will go celebrate with me, so we're going to go out tomorrow night. I'm not sure yet what we'll do, but something will come up. Any ideas? Email me! I'm open to suggestions!

Better run...lots to do yet...but I wanted to get an update out!
Love ya'll! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Cassie started her first day of classes at Cleveland High School today. She's been asking us to let her switch schools for a long time and we've resisted. However, after last year being as horrible as it was, her now being on medication and seeing the psychologist and psychiatrist as well as being on probation (LOTS of accountability in her life right now), we decided that if ever there was a time to try it, this is it. So I made some phone calls and a visit to the new school yesterday and just like that, she's now enrolled in the Cleveland Public School system. 

She was very excited to go today (something we haven't seen in a LOOoooooonnnnngggg time!). She'd texted everyone and told them about the change. Because of her long struggle with anything educational as well as the issues from last year, she did not have enough credits to start as a full 10th grader. Our options were to start her as a 10th grader who has to re-take some 9th grade classes, or to start her as a 9th grader who is accelerated into some 10th grade classes. We decided for the latter, so she is entering the school year as a 9th grader. She said she was ok with that, that she understands that it's because of her previous choices. This is good, to me, that she seems to understand her role in where she's at right now. 

I told her that this is her chance to re-define Cassie Mohlenbrock. She can leave the past behind and move forward into a better life if she so chooses. Some of the kids know her from before, but I think most of them are friends of hers who hopefully won't give her a hard time. The other kids have no idea what's gone on before, so she can start fresh. I think this is what she needs. I'm a parent who will try anything and go to whatever lengths it takes to help her move forward and make better choices. I pray this is the right decision and that she takes this opportunity to re-create who she is and live a better life. Please join me in this prayer. 

Appreciate still and always all the love and support you all give us.
Love ya!