My Year in Review – World Events & A Year in the Life of a Single Mother

A Navy flag - posted to honor the SEALS who got bin laden

Thank you to out Navy SEALS and all our military for your work in 2011.

My Year in Review includes links and information on world events – from the devastating earthquake in Japan to the triumphant capturing of bin laden by our Navy SEALS – and reflections my 5 boys and I have-from the joy of the Green Bay Packers to the loss of our home and the failure of government run agencies meant to help people like us. Thank you for joining me to reflect on 2011.

January – February – March 2011

World Events

2011 began with news of the Tucson shooting. Six individuals, including precious 9 year old Christina Taylor-Green, were tragically killed by a lone madman. Over the next year, we watched the strength of Garbrielle Giffords as she made an inspiring recovery from gunshot wounds to her head.

News of Brazilian mudslides would bring more sadness as we heard of hundreds killed.

Sparking the year of the protestor, Egyptians rioted in the streets. Businesses shut down and the government tumbled. Questions and concerns rose as to who and what would rule there.

In the most devastating of 2011 world events, heartbreak did not even begin to describe what we felt watching the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Death tolls climbed as reports of impending nuclear disaster brought fear beyond any we could imagine. Our prayers remain with the people of Japan.

Our Personal Life

When I told my children I wanted to write a year in the life of our family and asked what they remembered, January-March held their worst memory. It was no one life altering, earth shattering event but the daily exhaustion of life that wore us down. Despite deliveries of wood from our local Lions Club and friends, our house was freezing. My ex, who makes a 6 figure salary, had stopped paying child support before Christmas, and our house was always cold. We used only the main floor of our house and four of the boys sleptwith a space heater in my room, two on the floor, each night. One stayed on the couch under a mountain of blankets preferring quiet time and braving the cold.

At the beginning of March, I finally convinced my lawyer to file for an Order of Pendent Lite Relief – court ordered child support.

On a positive note, when Matt was five years old, he played Pop Warner football for the Packers and has been a Cheese Head ever since. When the Green Bay Packers won SuperBowl 45, he was ecstatic and we all (except Troy who is a Dallas fan – haha) celebrated with him!

April – May – June 2011

World Events

More happy news came with the wedding of Will and Kate  who won hearts around the world as they exchanged wedding vows, a bittersweet day for me – April 29th is my anniversary too. Their wedding brought up the love and admiration I felt for the beautiful person Princess Diana was, and I felt less alone knowing someone as wonderful as she was had gone through difficult times too. I prayed for the success of Will and Kate’s life together knowing that they would meet challenges all married couples face made even more difficult because of their place in the world.

Tragedy struck the US as deadly tornadoes swept through the Southeast causing devastation not seen in over 50 years and people wondered if God was signaling the end of the world.

The most triumphant moment of 2011 came thanks to our Navy SEALS. with the killing of Bin Laden. There are no words to adequately describe this or to thank our SEALS and all our military. God will judge Bin Laden now.

Our Personal Life

From mid-January – June, my ex paid very little in child support and nothing toward the mortgage or upkeep of the house. Foreclosure notices poured in, and the house was put on the market. In June, we accepted an offer $50,000 less than the one my husband refused in 2010.

I scrambled desperately to find housing for the five boys and myself and met with obstacles at every turn. Understandably, people were reluctant to rent to a single, underemployed mother of five boys. My credit rating had dropped from an A to an F due solely to the unpaid mortgage and lack of child support – another failure of our system.

Three months after filing for emergency support, the Pendent Lite ruling finally came through, and the judge ordered my ex to pay $4400/month in child support plus 98% of medical and daycare costs! I was thrilled. I would receive financial support and, just as importantly, I could work and afford daycare. This meant I could begin building a resume. There was a light at the end of the tunnel!

Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan, and I have yet to receive full support, tens of housands in retroactive support, or anything toward daycare or medical expenses. Supreme Court is backed up and I was told to come back in August to finalize the divorce. I went to family court for help, but, because we have a case pending in Supreme Court, Family Court’s hands were tied.

I hit a low point when filing for food stamps and requesting help at our local social services department.

At the Child Support Collection Unit, I was told that I would need to wait until the divorce was final for enforcement.

I applied for food stamps – a humiliating and dehumanizing experience. Although I was actually receiving at most $360/week from the boys’ father, my court issued paperwork said I should be well above the food stamp limit, and I was denied.

My Year in Review | July – December 2011 | An Intro to Tomorrow’s Post

Six months into 2011 found me defeated but refusing to give up. We were scheduled to close on the house in the lst week in July, and our divorce would be finalized at a court date set for the beginning of August. Even with the full support, I qualified for WIC and made an appointment to get milk and eggs and other staples for the baby. Anything I could get would be a help. If I could just find housing and hold on that long we would be okay…

Tomorrow’s post will continue with the second half of my year in review including both world events and a look into my year in the life of a single mother. I hope you will join me.

In the meantime, continue to pray and believe. God Bless…

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Links to All Posts in this Series:

New Year Resolutions - Five Simple Steps to Change Your Life for the Better
My Year in Review Part II – World Events & My Year in the Life of a Single Mother
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