My Family

My Family

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When something is good..

When something is good - you share it
When something is pure - you cherish it
When something is special - you rejoice with it

I will not hide
I will not brush aside what I feel

I was given the opportunity to make someone feel happy and whole. I take pride in that. Every. Single. Day. I suggest everyone else try and do the same.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful for my sister

We are all exposed to different people while growing up. Some are only children and some have a TON of siblings or sometimes there's only a couple. Every experience is completely different that the others. When you're unexposed to certain things, people, options & views - your ignorance isn't a fault. There is usually a time in everyone's life where they have the ability to expand their knowledge.

Growing up I was considered the Middle Child. I had two older sisters and a younger one. The oldest was very independent, cool (in my eyes) and smart. I looked up to her, wanted all her clothes and wished I was as outgoing and talented as her.  On the other side, I felt my little sister got away with more because she was the baby, along with a sense of jealousy because who doesn't want to be their parents baby...forever. :)  But of course if anyone messed with my little sister I could come out of my middle child shell in a millisecond.  Finally, there was my second older sister. She was born and diagnosed with mental retardation.   Nowadays when someone uses the word Retarded or Retard it's considered slander or a put down.  So to ease peoples minds I use Mentally Handicapped. But her Mental Retardation is it. *Get over it or get used to it*

Growing up with a retarded sister (yes..there's the word again - see * above.) was something that I have to actually think about when people ask me "how was it?"   There was a time when I want to reply...well how was it growing up with brown eyes, or how did it feel eating wheat bread vs white bread? There's not much to feel. She was always there, she's my sister.   But now I feel way less sarcasm and more empathy. Knowledge is power and I love sharing and providing insight to someone else. If it helps them to be a better person, I did good. So a better question would be "tell me more about your sister and how do you feel it helped make you the <awesome> person you are now." You don't have to use awesome...but I won't mind. ;)

My sister is a couple years older than me. And if I remember the facts correctly she had a difficult birth and had water in the brain. I'm sure a family member can correct me. She was rushed from the hospital to another that had the expertise to help a baby in this life threatening situation. I heard she was hooked up to tubes...but have never seen photos of that and it's not something my parents talk about a lot. Nowadays we have pictures galore and live feed births online and all that stuff...haha.   Well, it wasn't until my sister was about a year old that my mom noticed she wasn't developing like other babies. She was beautiful but slow. That's when she was diagnosed. I was born about a year later.

I don't remember much about my sister as I was a baby or even into toddler-hood. My mom said that my sister picked me up once and dropped me and after that my mom wouldn't leave me alone. haha. Prolly bonked my head too hard...if you ever wanna know what's wrong w/ me...I really was dropped as a baby! hehe.   Once I got older I understood more. She went to a private school to help with her development.   She would always say she was special. She is special. Very special.

It wasn't all smiles and giggles. Our trips and outings were on her schedule. If she was having a bad day we all ended up missing out. The awesome thing is I don't recall ever being bitter...or see my other sisters upset towards that. It was just what it was. If we had to leave a restaurant or park it was what it was. Our dad was amazing though and he'd end up taking us all over San Diego on little adventures. We were far from deprived.  I think it ended up making all of use less selfish and more emphatic towards others when we go out into the world. You never know what the other person is going through.  You have NO idea how they grew up or what it's like behind their closed doors.

In elementary school I was so incredibly shy that my parents actually pulled me out my 4th grade year and put me in private school. That lasted only a year but it worked and I was able to socialize more. Nothing traumatic ever happened to me, I was just very shy. VERY shy. However, if anyone ever called someone a 'retard' or pretended to be a "retard" and do that slow talking and that hand thing to symbolize retardedness I would suddenly find my tongue and give out a lashing. "My sister IS REALLY retarded and that's mean!" haha. But coming from someone who never talks, it shut them right up.  My friends would end up telling others to NEVER use that word in front of Lesley.  I still remember the day my mom said something to me on the subject. She told me that the word "Retard" was just a word and that they weren't making fun of my sister and they didn't know any better and it wasn't worth getting upset at. It was like an ah-hah moment.   Then I started thinking. It's socially acceptable to use the words 'dumb', 'stupid', 'lame' and those all are a REAL disability..just like 'retard'.  I still don't use it or encourage it and I still don't like it...but I don't get all fired up and angry like I used to. It's just ignorance and this is my way to educate. Don't even worry about me taking out my soap box and climbing way up on it and even lecturing someone if they use it in a sentence. It really doesn't bother me like that. *slowly climbs her clumsy self down off the box*

I was blessed to have my sister go to high school with me. I was compelled to watch over her and volunteer in the Special Education class. My oldest sister went to college and is now a Special Education teacher.  My children know their aunt is special and they love her. My 16 yr old has volunteered in Special Ed events and classes because of a close friend of ours with Trisomy 18.  They aren't afraid to ask questions rather than turn away in fear...which sadly a lot of people are just afraid. The unknown is scary. But questions never hurt. I suggest to try and keep your questions respectful. Some "edumakated" people would ask my mom why she didn't put my sister in a special home. I thought that was uncalled for. She had a home. A very loving home.  She's with her family, where she belongs. But people not living it can't imagine their lives being interrupted and scheduled around someone else like that. No reason for me to judge them or be angry with them...everyone is different. We don't know them behind closed doors either.

 We all judge...but there should be a limit to what we let overcome us in our judgement. Everyone judges. Let me repeat that. EVERYONE JUDGES. E V E R Y O N E. You can't stop human nature. Judgment is a form of survival and we must do it or else we'd die. There are different ways to judge though. For example if you see someone swinging a gun around mumbling death threats..I would say one would judge him to be a threat to our life and we should run away.  But just because someone is different than ourselves - we judge them...but we don't have to let our judgement take over and dismiss them. Our judgement should turn to curiosity and interest. Ignorant Judgment is judgement at it's worst and doesn't help anyone or anything.

So when asked how it felt to grow up with a sister with mental retardation. It felt great. I wouldn't change it for the world. She's hilarious and beautiful and I know I wouldn't be as empathetic or compassionate of a person if it wasn't for her. Don't let your lack of knowledge limit your desire to learn about something. Don't let your judgement affect your ability to accept someone different than yourself. 

Stoll Family (click on photo to enlarge)

Stoll Sisters (click on photo to enlarge)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thank You

My friend Roberta shared this. I had to post it as it's so beautiful and the lyrics so you understand. <3

"Thank U"

how bout getting off all these antibiotics
how bout stopping eating when I'm full up
how bout them transparent dangling carrots
how bout that ever elusive kudo

thank you India
thank you terror
thank you disillusionment
thank you frailty
thank you consequence
thank you thank you silence

how bout me not blaming you for everything
how bout me enjoying the moment for once
how bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
how bout grieving it all one at a time

thank you India
thank you terror
thank you disillusionment
thank you frailty
thank you consequence
thank you thank you silence

the moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
the moment I jumped off of it
was the moment I touched down

how bout no longer being masochistic
how bout remembering your divinity
how bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
how bout not equating death with stopping

thank you India
thank you providence
thank you disillusionment
thank you nothingness
thank you clarity
thank you thank you silence

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Love is..

Love isn't about looks, or money, status, popularity, other or things.
It's most certainly not about bitterness, jealousy and hatred either.

Love is a feeling.
It is wanting what's best for someone no matter how it effects oneself.
Love is strong and good

One can love so hard it hurts. It's not necessarily a bad hurt.. maybe more like an ache. Loving so strong that you never want that person to hurt. Loving so deep that you actually feel a loved ones pain. Loving so freely that you are happy when they are happy - even if they aren't with you (if that's what you desire)

Love is giving of your time even when you're "busy"
Love is not an obligation.
Love is not a game
Love is not a contract

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
(English Standard Version)
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Love is forgiveness
Love is healing
Love is warm and comforting

Wrap yourself up in love and feel good.

Love you all.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Love with no regrets

Live each day with love in your heart. Treat everyone around you with kindness and compassion. Pour positive over the negative like a soft warm blanket.   Bite your tongue if anger wants to spill out. Forgive.  Love. Embrace.  Tell your family and friends how much you love them. Don't leave in anger. Don't say things that you could possibly regret or can't take back. Anger is a poison that quickly swarms and eats away at us.

Bruce was my best friend. We talked every day for months and months. We talked about everything. He loved his children and family. He actually cried when he spoke of his kids. He cared so very deep for them. He wanted harmony. He wanted happiness. Bruce was the least selfish man I knew. Rarely did I ever hear anything negative come from his lips. He wished happiness on all those around him and would help anyone he knew that was in need.  Never did he ask for anything. He could have asked for the world and I would have tried to make that happen. He lived to see others happy. He lived to make sure his kids could have whatever they needed.  He lived for his best friend and cousin and for his mom who he adored. Never a day went by when he wouldn't speak of a family or friend of his. His soul was pure love.

Bruce was the strongest man I knew. He will live forever in my heart. I don't think there is a man out there who is near the same as him. Anyone who knew him was blessed. That is a fact.  Cherish your memories of him. Hold them tight. He is looking down on us and will watch us and care for us.

I love you Bruce.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


One needs not only the physical touch, but an emotional one. Both are equally necessary in love.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Ramona Martial Arts Demo 6/9/13

Allison is a red belt in Tang soo do and she is on the demonstration team for her karate school. This is a 10 min video of their demo performance they did at a local church event. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Born to love..

I was born to love. It was stitched into my very soul. Loving can be warm and fulfilling; overwhelming and achy.  I am grateful. Loving is beautiful.

I was born to feel. My entire being feels so deeply it is as though I'm in a constant whirlwind of emotion. Feeling can be as soft as feather stroking ones skin or as sharp as a knife in ones heart. I am grateful. Feeling is wondrous.

I was taught to be thankful. My parents and family around me showed me how remarkable it is to be thankful. Thankfulness is being happy with what one has as well as what one has given your soul. I am grateful.  Thankfulness is humbling.

I was taught to give. To give without thought of one's self.  To give without wanting or needing anything in return. Giving is like a present and should never hurt.  I am grateful. Giving is a gift.

I am tempted to hate. All around me there is hatred, mean spirited talk and actions. Hatred sucks the happiness out of a body and replaces it with evil. I try and avoid all hate. Hate is cold in ones heart and like smoke in ones eyes.  I am grateful for the challenge to show others how to avoid hate. Hating is monstrous.

I am tempted to lie. White lies to make someone feel better. Big lies to try and better ones personal situation. Lying is everywhere. There is no benefit to a lie. If one must spit a lie instead of spilling the truth they are filled with shame. Lying may make one feel better for a short while, but will rip you apart over time.  I am grateful for the opportunity to tell the truth. Lying is disrespectful.

All in all I am surrounded by each of these and it's up to me how to use them. Filling my soul with the good and casting out the bad.

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.


Monday, June 3, 2013

A lifetime ago..

A lifetime ago

It was a lifetime ago that I wished of having a wedding and spending my life with one person.

It was a lifetime ago that I imagined carrying my first child, giving birth and holding her sweet body in my arms.

It was a lifetime ago I thought all my dreams were coming true.

It was a lifetime ago one person stole my innocence from me and I still struggle for understanding.

It was a lifetime ago I felt the warmth of Gods love in my heart.

It was a lifetime ago that I felt total security

It was a lifetime ago when I felt strong and able.

It was a lifetime ago when I knew nothing would get to me.

It was just yesterday I wished of having another wedding and spending the rest of my life with one person.

It was just yesterday I wished of carrying a child and holding her sweet body in my arms.

It was just yesterday my dreams changed

It was just yesterday I thought of the one person who stole my innocence and innocence of others and I struggle for understanding. Why me? Why her? Are there others?

It was just yesterday I yearned for the warmth of Gods love in my heart

It was just yesterday I begged for security.

I was just yesterday I dreamed of a day when I would be strong and able.

It was just yesterday when it got to me.

Now it's today...

A Little Humor...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Purple...the 'how to'

How to turn everything around you purple 

(or how I call it...poiple)

First you bleach the tips of your hair using the handy and cheap plastic gloves the color kit gives you. Haha. This was totally random. I had on the gloves and I was applying the bleach to the tips of my hair and then took the gloves off by pulling them inside-out and then rubber-banded them to my hair to let the bleach sit. haha. Worked quite well and it's quite amusing walking around with plastic gloves tied to your head. :p

Once the bleach is rinsed out and the plastic gloves are thrown away (the kit only provides one set...grumble) I decided the gloves were such a hit that I would use plastic ziplock bags for apply the color!! I filled two ziplock bags with purple hair dye and dipped my hair into them and attached it with a hair clippy thing-a-majig.   I still got some on my hands...and chest...and shoulders and face... 

After an hour or so (I lost track of the time) I rinsed out my hair and 'magically' turned my entire bathroom purple and here's the result. I love it!

Every time I shower, more of the semi-permanent color rinses out. Ah well. I'm still happy with it. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

..... A touch of Love

A Touch of Love

You were six months old and full of fun
With a blink of an eye you were suddenly one.
There were so many things we were going to do,
But I turn my head and you were two.

At two you were still dependent on me,
But independence took over when you were three.
Your third birthday, another year I wished to ignore,
But as I lit the candles there weren't three but four.

Four was the year that you really strived,
Why, look at you now, you're already five.
Now you're ready for books and rules,
This is the year that you go to school.

The big day came you were anxious to go.
We walked to the bus, going oh so slow.
As the bus drove away and you waved good-bye
I felt a lump in my throat and a tear stung my eye.

For when the bus brings you home and you jump to the ground,
You'll be wearing your cap and graduation gown.
Time goes by so fast its hard to believe,
Why just yesterday you were home with me.

So I am holding these moments as hard as I can,
Because the next time I look I'll be seeing a man . . .

So I am holding these moments as close as I dare . . .
In a twinkling, a woman will be standing there.




Friday, May 24, 2013

In N Out v.s. Five Guys

5 Guys VS In N. Out

I LOOOOOOOOVE In N Out. It's my favorite. I get a #2 Spread and Grilled onions only w/ fries (sometimes animal fries if i'm starving) and a Neapolitan shake! Delicioso!   I heard that 5 Guys is better. Well I had to try out for myself. What I LOVE about 5 Guys is that you can add any topping and it's not extra. The prices are already high enough so I'm sure they're not taking any loss. I got grilled mushrooms and grilled onions.  5 Guys fries were not very good. Very oily and way too salty and I really didn't enjoy them. I love In N Outs fries. They give you salt if you want but I really don't need that. I love the option of adding Mushrooms to my burger. Makes it so Good. The Grilled onions at In N Out are much better than 5 Guys. I love Cheeseburgers so it was a fun contest. :)

Grilled Onions..............................In N Out
Grilled Mushrooms.......................5 Guys
Cheese........................................5 Guys
Fries...........................................In N Out
Price...........................................In N Out
Overall Burger..............................Tie
Drinks.........................................In N Out 

LESLEY'S WINNER.....................................In N Out

5 Guys

In N Out

In the end I will stll go back to 5 Guys. They make a really good burger and it's nothing to scoff at! I wish they made milkshakes. I love a good shake w/ my burger. 

- Lesley

What makes you beautiful

This was absolutely B-E-A-utiful!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Miss Allison's Karate Promotion.

My baby girl will soon be a full red belt! Mama's so proud!

They make it all worth it...

My babies make it all worth it. The struggle, the tears and heartache. When I can spend moments like this in pure makes it all worth it.

I love being goofy and having fun. I love seeing my kids laugh.

We really do the strangest things..but I love that my kids share my weird humor.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Indiana Cleopatra

A little humor...

Cleansing breath..

After many suggestions and coaxing I took my very first Yoga class today. If you don't count Wii Fit, I've never done yoga before. Going somewhere new is not only out of my comfort's practically unheard of when it comes to me. I like familiar and comfortable. What's the opposite of an outspoken social butterfly? Whatever the opposite is, that's me. If going somewhere new I like to go with someone else...and not just someone else...someone who's familiar with the place. Soooo...going to a Yoga center doing something I've never done at in a place I've never been. Not me. But I sucked it up and went.

The atmosphere was peaceful and calm. The instructor was friendly and warm. The class was large and included a wide variety of experience, size and age. I was unexpectedly one of the younger members. There was relaxing music and it didn't matter if one was new or well trained...we were all accepted.  I sat in the back, which is where I am usually most comfortable. I really enjoyed the entire experience. It challenged, relaxed me and I can't wait until I go again.

A moment in time...

I've always known that everyone's life is a little...or a lot...different than the next persons.  People can act completely different to an identical situation. Who am I to judge how they act, react or other? I'm nobody...yet I'm somebody. I am me. I have my own trials and triumphs and would never compare what I'm going through to what someone else is. It's all relative. Let's comfort others, even though we may not understand what they are feeling. Let's rejoice in others even 'though we may feel their success large enough to celebrate. Because when it call comes down to it...the earth doesn't revolve around "me" or "you". We should all love one another.


In an ideal world we should.

Some people make it very difficult to love them. To like them. Even to stand them. I know I should ask for strength and understanding when I, fortunately infrequently, run across these people in my life.  At times I feel better when I can just hate someone. I don't really hate anyone.  I really don't. If somebody acts in an evil way I assume they are severely brain damaged and cannot help themselves.  Well...not really...but sometimes. :)~

In retrospect, it's going to be a very short period in my life where I was in close contact with someone who I found out was cursed with an ugly selfish heart.  This person made every day of mine torturous in one way or another for 8 months straight.   I feel quite dumb not catching the signs earlier. One sign in particular was where he told me if I ever contacted an old boy friend of mine he would hire someone to break his back. You see, he's Irish and his family has connections with the Irish Mafia..or so he said. He just needs to make a phone call.  This was a guy I had dated only very briefly before the so-called one-in-need moved in.

It was December of 2011 when I visited an 'old friend' in a hospital. He was nice and friendly and we caught up on old times. We soon realized we could help one another  He needed a place to stay...and I extra money in the form of a roommate. Seemed like a good fit.  I met some of his other friends and even his brother. Everyone seemed on board with this fantastic idea.  Right before he moved in I was told that he wasn't quite where he needed to be (see he had been injured and was currently unable to function like the average person). He would need extra care when I had originally been told he would not leave until he could to just about everything he could before the accident. I was told I would be paid for my services as a caregiver until he could function better. That is...if I agreed.  It wasn't supposed to be long. He would continue to get therapy and soon be on his way.  Sadly, that also wasn't so.   So my New Year 2012 (literally the 1st of January) I became a full time nurse. I took care of grown man and did the things he wasn't able to do. The most exciting part always included blue gloves, air sanitizer  and baby wipes.   I had been frequently told he was able to do this himself, but that never happened. Not once in 8 months. I had done hours of research on people in worse condition than him who could do 100x's more than him. Changing clothes, using the restroom, bathing....on and on. This person who lived with me wouldn't even attempt it. Not even a single attempt.

So it started out with threats from the Irish Mafia which came along with his drinking. He drank. A lot. Not just a lot...but a whole lot.  Bottles and bottles daily. Not small little beer bottles...but those HUGE wine bottles. He'd go through 2-3 a day - probably more when he locked himself in his room. I didn't catch it at first. I started calculating how much he drank.  Before he moved in, he told me he would only drink a glass of wine a night to wind down. I think he's bad at math because he had about 50 glasses a night.   During his Dr apts he'd tell the Dr he didn't drink at all. Or smoke for that matter. He smoked about 2 packs a day, if not more and like I said 2-3 large bottles of wine a day (that's just what I saw when I was home)  I would always tell the Dr in the hallway he was lying and how much he really drank and smoked.   Finally his mom told me he was an alcoholic. Hmm...nice for someone to tell me after he moved in. I have kids. I have me. I found out after he moved in that his accident was a result of his drinking. He's a full blown alcoholic. And when he drinks, he's not one of those funny happy drunks. He's mean. He says and does really mean things.
His Dr finally refused to give him meds unless he quit drinking. He said he would. I banned it from my house.

I don't know why I put up with it for so long. I felt stuck. I didn't know what to do. I learned that every single one of his immediate family members had tried to take him in and he was kicked out of their house for drinking. He was fired from every job he's ever had because of drinking. I began to develop anxiety and have panic attacks. I missed a lot of work. I finally went on disability leave and he didn't like that very much. I found out it was because he was secretly ordering booze from BevMo. They would deliver it right to the door. HUGE bottles of whiskey. Huge.  I have no idea why his liver is even still functioning. It's a miracle (or in my case...a curse)

Going out on disability just made my life worse. (And yes there's a lot I haven't put in here). I couldn't stand to be around him. I asked for help from his family and they refused. One day when he overdosed on meds and was hospitalized his mother told me to let him go and not let him back into my home. After asking law enforcement what I could do...I learned it was out of my hands. He could come back to my home and there was nothing I could do about it. The only legal thing I could do was to evict him.  His mom blamed me for his continuous drinking and failure to get back to normal. I'm sorry lady, he was in YOUR care when he got into his accident in the 1st place. I hadn't seen him in 18 years and it's my fault?  I finally went back to court to try   something else. A judge saw my plea and issued immediate removal  from my home. What a blessed day that was. Blessed day.

He went to a nursing home for a while and after that, I have no idea. I never want to see him again. Ever.

I have to say he never did the bad things in front of my kids. That, I am thankful for. Just me.  There's a LOT more that happened during that time to cause my anxiety and panic attacks. More stuff that didn't involve my special drinking roommate. One day I may be able to share more of that...but for now, this is it.

For those who have my facebook
Here's the link to the pictures I had taken to the judge along w/ my 5 page statement of happenings I have dealt with.

Here's what he did to my kitchen on fine morning. Took me and my boyfriend, Mike, 6 hours to clean. *sigh*