2016's Word of the Year

2016 word of the year- EXPECT- my happiness and contentment is often controlled by my expectations. I have resolved to expect great things but also to keep my expectations within reason so that I do not live in chronic disappointment.

Monday, April 11

Expectation revisited

I never really realized how much I let expectations drive my life.

First, there were the expectations of how one should behave. Not that this is a bad thing, but if you're not careful you can be overwhelmed with trying to please others and stressing out if you think you don't meet other people's expectations. I spent a large portion of my life doing just this and never quite came up to the mark and was always sick due to stress.

Second, there are the expectations we set our hopes on and if it doesn't happen just like we think it should we are severely disappointed. I have a good example for this. In 2002 we were going to Chicago to our daughter's boot camp graduation. I was excited to go see her after 8 weeks of training and I was excited to go to Chicago because I had never been there and my mom always talked about her trips there as a child. So I had this big list of things I wanted to do, places to go, sites to see. In my mind this was going to be so fun. But it didn't work out that way. I won't give you all the gory details but I felt like crying all the way home because nothing had lived up to my expectations. And this was mostly my fault. I should have expected less and then the disappointment would have been easier to deal with.

I have always been a pretty optimistic person but sometimes that can really affect the way that I see life. It affects what I expect to get out of life, and it affects what I expect from my life. And the last few years have been incredibly disappointing. My expectations have controlled my emotions and how I see my life. I am 52 years old and haven't done hardly any of the things I wanted to do with my life. I haven't traveled. I haven't accomplished things I would like to. But the worst thing is that I let my disappointment about this get in the way of the life that I do have. It's so very easy to wallow in your grief over the life not lived and totally miss the life that is here, right now.

So that is why chose the word EXPECT as my word of the year.

Sunday, April 10

Gossip told to teach a lesson is still GOSSIP!

I am struggling today. I lost quite a bit of sleep last night worrying over something that I shouldn't even have to worry about. Sigh...let me start with an explanation. My youngest son is developmentally delayed. He is almost 11 years old but has the mental capacity of a 4-5 year old. He is amazingly honest, in fact telling the truth is something he excels at even if he is brutally blunt. It is not uncommon for him to walk into a home and say, "Pee-ewsky, it stinks in here!" He doesn't realize he is being rude. The subtleties of being polite are lost on him. He thinks it; so he says it. Last year our neighbors divorced and dear Alex still comments on it every time he sees them. He doesn't mean to be rude or hurtful, he just doesn't understand. Most of the time I am able to contain the situation or give people a heads up so they don't take offense.
But then last week happened. Last week a person told my boys something about someone else from our church. I am assuming they were told this trying to teach them a lesson.At least I hope they weren't just gossiping for no reason.  But Alex has talked about it nonstop ever since. Now I am worried that he may bring this up to the family involved and I don't want that. First I don't want to hurt them because they have had enough hurt and are moving on. Second, I don't want them to think that I told my boys about this because I know firsthand what it's like to have your child's mistakes thrown back at you. Trust me, if you are ever tempted to judge parents on the decisions their children make, know that they have already judged themselves more than you ever will. Instead you could show them some grace. They could probably use it.
So now, I have to do three things.

  •  I am left with having to talk to the family in question and let them know what happened so that if Alex mentions it to them they will be prepared.
  • I have to explain to Alex that we don't talk about this because it is gossip and will hurt their feelings and then pray he forgets about it all together.
  • And I have to talk to the person who started this entire situation in the first place. And I really don't do confrontations very well. 
These kinds of things really frustrate me. All of this could have been prevented if someone would have just stopped to think before they spoke. If nothing else it's a reminder to me to use my speech wisely and think about what I say.

Friday, March 18

Where have I been??

I can't believe that it's been nearly 2 months since I last posted! What have I been doing? Where have I been?
Oh wait, I've just been here at home, doing my daily stuff like teaching my boys and keeping the household running smoothly. I've been reading and watching marathons of NCIS on Netflix. I've been de-junking my closets. I've been making deliberate attempts to get my daily exercise. And I've been trying to focus on the positive things in life rather than worry about the things that stress me out.
Usually winter really drags on for me and I fight depression quite a bit. This year has been different. It has been a much milder winter except for one big storm last month. But I think the key factor for me is that I just feel better. And I give the credit for that to the pink drink that I have been taking daily since the end of June.

I wrote a blog post about this in January but then I took it down. I didn't take it down because I had changed my mind but because I realized that I was trying to work for two different MLM companies and since they sold some competing products I had to make a decision. This was not easy for me because I really loved products from both companies. But after careful thought I have decided to go all in for Plexus and I'll tell you why. It's because I feel better than I have in years! Maybe 20 years! My joint pain is all but gone. When I get out of bed in the morning I don't hurt. I have more energy, in the morning and all through the day. I don't feel a need to take a nap in the afternoons anymore. And the best thing is that these are all natural products and help balance my blood sugar.

Another thing I really like is that this is not a meal replacement and it's not a shake. I really don't care for shakes or smoothie type drinks. I mix up one packet with 12 oz of water and drink it first thing in the morning. It kinds of tastes like cherry kool-aid without being so sweet. It's really simple. I also take the Bio Cleanse and the ProBio and my digestive system hasn't been this healthy since I was a kid.

I have felt so good about this pink drink called Plexus Slim that I have started giving it to my son who has many health and behavioral issues. Have I  seen a difference? Yes, but they are subtle. The biggest thing is that he isn't always hunting for food in between meals. And I do think he is a bit calmer. He's only been taking it a couple of weeks so I will continue with him and see if we see any big changes.

If Plexus is new to you and you want to learn more please check out my website. http://shopmyplexus.com/kristuttle/ . If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I really can't tell you how much better I feel. 

Tuesday, January 26


If you have a child or grandchild who has dolls with messy hair, you might want to go read my daughter's blog post from yesterday. She has been playing hairstylist!


2016 Reading Challenge

My friend April at Life...Simply Unscripted is having a reading challenge. If anyone is interested the list is right here. I have put the books I plan to read in bold. As usual my planned reading list is always subject to change. I don't mind being fluid, I never know when I'm going to see a new author or find an old book I want to re-read.
I still have some undecided categories so am open for suggestions.

1. A book based on a true story
No Longer A Slumdog
2. A book with pictures
Pocketful of Pinecones
3. A book that “everyone” is reading

4. A book made into a movie
The Other Boleyn Girl
5. A book with a green cover
6. A book set at Christmas time…I dare you to read this in July
Redbird Christmas
7. A book your friend loves

8. A book you bought or checked out just be cause of the cover

9. A book at least 15 years old

10. A book from the library

11. A book you keep starting but never have finished
The Book Thief
12. A book by an author you love

13. A book of poems
Verses of Virtue
14. A book based on another country
Sisterchicks On The Loose
15. A book you were to read in school, but opted for the Cliff Notes version instead
Julius Caesaer
16. A book that will (not guaranteed) make you smarter
10 Gifts of Wisdom
17. A book you allow your child to pick out (this could be interesting)
Harry Potter and the Golden Goblet
18. A book based on a place you have always wanted to visit

19. A book with a color in the title
The Green Ember
20. A book you love, reread and continue to read over and over again
A Lantern In Her Hand
Bonus 21. Challenger Choice

Here’s my challenge…if you read all 21 different books, you will be a Rock Star. If you read 15, you will achieve “You’re still pretty awesome” status. If you read 10 or less, maybe it’s time to carve out some more time for reading. If you read 5 or less, maybe you need to reevaluate your priorities. Reading is great for the mind, body and soul. You might learn something new, find a new place to visit, find a new author, get to the library more often and so much more.

Who’s up for the challenge?!

Tuesday, January 5


(Political Correctness Disclaimer- I used the word retarded in this post. It is not used in a derogatory way but it is used.)
Last year I learned a lot about expectations. When our youngest son was re-diagnosed from ADHD with an emphasis on the H to a disappointing conclusion that he was actually extremely low functioning my hopes were dashed. I must be dense because it took the Dr explaining in terms that I understood, that our son was just a few IQ points above severely mentally retarded that I understood. You see, I thought he had dodged that bullet.
When he was first diagnosed with Infantile Spasms we were told that 65% of the children who survive this type of seizure end up severely retarded. But he survived the seizures and continued to progress. Many hours of speech and occupational therapy and at the age of 5 he finally started to talk. But he was so uncontrollable, so angry, so hyperactive, so incredibly busy. The Dr's put him on meds to help but even though it made him less hyper he wasn't really more focused and he started to develop harmful habits.
In our world of political correctness, the school used the term developmentally delayed. I thought that meant exactly what it said. I assumed that if we continued to work that he would eventually catch up to his peers. That's what delay means right? Slow?  Behind? At one time we thought he would never walk and he did. They said he wouldn't be potty trained but we accomplished that. He was non-verbal and they cautioned us that he might never talk. Now he talks non-stop. So you can understand my confusion with the term developmentally delayed. And now I know why the IEP team at school rolled their eyes at me when they asked what my goal was for my son and I answered that my goal was to help him to be like all the other kids. I was missing vital information.
What I did not know is that today the term developmentally delayed is the same thing as mentally retarded. Apparently the powers that be think this sounds nicer but the problem is that we laypeople don't understand. Seriously if people would have told me 6 or 7 years ago that my son was mentally retarded it would have saved us all from much stress and much grief. You see I grew up around other children who were labeled mentally retarded and I understood that they were wonderful, loving people but they could not learn in the same way that the rest of us did.
So after months of dragging my kicking, hitting, severely distraught child to school in first grade, and after being called many times to come get him from school because he was disruptive, we brought him home for school. After all I had homeschooled my three oldest children so my thinking was that he needed more one on one attention and we just had to find his learning style. After a year and a half I was ready to throw in the towel. This child was so stubborn, refusing to learn, crying, kicking, screaming (I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the cops) I took him to the pediatrician and she listened to my woes. She also commented that our son was much more mature and behaving so much better than the last time she had seen him,always an encouragement to hear. She complimented both of us on his progress. And she suggested we see a psychiatrist and have him tested, that maybe it would give us some insight.
And that is exactly what we did. That day was eye opening for me. I was allowed to watch the testing from another room and I was astonished at how totally overwhelmed my son became. I could see that he failed miserably. When I heard his answers they seemed so random, nowhere near what was expected of him, but because I had worked with him so much I could understand why he answered what he did. The verdict of the testing was low IQ. In fact the dr said if we could bring him up to the level of a fifth grader that would probably be as good as we could expect.
I did what any mom would do. I went home and cried for a week, maybe two. This news was devastating to me. First I wondered what kind of life will my boy lead? Will he be able to learn to live on his own, to take care of himself? Second I thought what does that mean for us as older parents? Are we going to be able to financially prepare for taking care of him indefinitely.
After I had time to process this new information we had to rethink how we did school. The dr had suggested that the bad behavior may come because our son was so overwhelmed with the work that we were expecting him to do. That maybe we should start from the beginning and take it as slowly as we needed to do. That is exactly what we did and that is where I began to realize how I let expectations drive my life.
This post has gotten very long and I am feeling weary, as if writing about it I have lived it all over again. I will write more on what I have learned about expectations and how they affect my life. Until then I will say good-night.