Friday, August 31, 2007

One Thing Leads To Another

Well..it's official...

This is my last day as a full-time, stay-at-home mom.

*sigh*

I have spent this week primarily at home but also running back and forth to the school for inservice duties.

Come Tuesday morning, I will make my first trip to work as a librarian/afternoon Kindergarten person.

I feel I've already transitioned into "working Mom" as I came home today from the school and noticed a very foul smell in my house that could only mean that something has decided to rot or die in my absence and while totally revolting...I needed to plop on the couch for a few minutes before dealing with it because I was so worn out!

Ah, yes...no more extra time for OCD!

I also realized that this is the last day for any of my mom friends to call and chat with me during the work hours! Sad...I can't get ahold of any of them to commemorate the revelation.

This was also my last day to go be with my neighbor Sanford which is very sad all by itself. Sanford turns 100 in another month and I'll miss seeing him and his wife on a regular basis.

BUT...I've had a few weeks to really ask God to help me handle this transition with a little more grace than I usually respond to things. This whole life change has been much harder for me than I expected. I can't believe BOTH of my boys will be in school all day. It feels more like a blow because we have been homeschooling and I've had them both home all day these past few years.

It just seems like the end of a very significant part of my life, but I know...One thing leads to another.

God has ordained this change in my life and directed us to a new place. I have a job to do and it is my choice to gently accept that even if I do not understand it or it seems to leave behind something else.

I'm blessed to be able to continue to be with my kids at their school and for them to know that both mom AND dad are available when they need us. I love the people that I'm working with and after some time shaking hands and meeting students today, I know I will love the kids also.

God has taught me lately that living by faith is not looking at what God is doing but meditating on and accepting who He is. I will not always be able to understand His ways but I know that His doings cannot contradict with His heart. He is good all the time and He only does what is good for His children.

So...from one good thing to another-I await with joy for what I will learn from this new phase!

(and then I sneak to the bathroom to cry a bit!)

_____________________________________________

Wanna see our new "home away from home"? Go to http://www.brca.us/


Monday, August 27, 2007

OH MY...Guess who's turning 35?!?!

My husband turned 35 today.

I find that to be a little surreal seeing that I first met him when he was getting ready to turn 16...he looked liked this:


I was 13. So basically, we grew up together. We began dating around the first few months that we met and had an "off again, on again" or better, "I SAID we were off but you better not date anyone else, Matt!" kind of relationship!

Ironically, he always did wait for me. He's never stopped doing that.

Here he is getting into his car that he had while we dated. I loved this car. You could see...and hear him coming a mile away! We zipped all over town in this bug and have a bucket full of memories those years....


I wouldn't have passed Math without Matt. He was the only guy patient enough to try to keep helping me. This is a picture that my mom took of him at the peak of his frustration with me!....


I have spent every Christmas of my life from 13 to now with Matt. Last Christmas, I secretly tried to remember every one of them. I love that there were too many. Christmas has been differently special since we had children to take the focus but before then...I was a princess. Matt always bought me the 12 days of Christmas and it was very important to him to spoil me with whatever I wanted. Here we are one Christmas exchanging photo albums of our dating at the time. He still has it...
(Notice his pegged pants...what a stud!)


Oddly enough, we were always "on a break" when formal time came around! But, my Senior year we pulled it together.


Matt and I continued to date after high school. We spent alot of time at his parent's house (and mostly by force because it was so small and he was embarrassed to take me around his parents!) I totally fell in love with his parents and felt very much at home there. Matt's mom always made things very quaint and you could tell she loved being at home. Here we are playing a game at their table...


Matt and I always had the best time together. I knew I was happy back then because when I was with him...I didn't want to be anywhere else. He really was my best friend and we laughed and laughed all over the place. We still get asked alot to tell some of our adventurous stories! Matt could crack anyone up and ALWAYS tried back then. Here is a picture of him on the night that we first got engaged...


Matt tells me all the time that I am the only girl he has ever loved or wanted to be with. Can you imagine that? Not many marriages get that kind of history.

Some will say that it is too risky to get married young and that high school sweethearts never make it but I disagree.

Staying married and being loyal is a choice in any relationship. Keeping your vows is something that you are to fight for and submit to because it's right and good. No one particular person or age will make you faithful-faithfulness or unfaithfulness is a condition of your own heart.

Today, I not only celebrate my husband's birthday but also the fact that we are together to share it. Matt is a wonderful man and husband. He's the kind of guy that ticks all the other guys off! You can't match him.

It was like God favored me above all His other daughters when He picked my husband for me...I think of Matt as my "heavenly kiss".

Happy Birthday, Matt. I look forward to many more...

(We still got it, yeah?)
 

Matt's Party...

 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 13, 2007

Worlds Collide

After a day of shopping and touring my town, Steph and I got cleaned up and met Anne and Di and Amy for dinner.

I have to say this...my friends here as so wonderful. They are completely excited for me when my friends come into town and Anne and Di loaded up the car and drove and hour and a half late last night with me to pick up Steph.

So, we ate and laughed alot and it made me really sad that Steph lives so far away and can't be with me all the time but I feel so blessed for this couple of day together.

I've got to go...we're watching the premier of one of our favorite shows and we NEVER get to do that together!



Seventeen Years of Being Best Friends



Anne, Steph and Charity


Di, Steph and Charity
Posted by Picasa

A Perfect Afternoon

Chips, Mountain Dew, A good book, Spider Solitaire, shows and my best friend.

What more can you ask for?





Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 10, 2007

Party Day

Well...the partying has commenced.

Sam came and jumped on my bed this morning to alert me that he had found the kitchen decorated while he slept. This is a tradition of mine every year and it always cracks me up that he FULLY EXPECTS to find it that way and still he seems legitimately surprised on his birthday morning.

It's totally worth waiting for him to force himself to go to sleep. (He comes up with a gazillion reasons to get up and take a peek!)

The special friend, Austin has arrived for the sleep-over and they tore into toys about a nanosecond after they came in the door. We'll eat a special birthday dinner and then it's off to the movies!

Sam and Austin are HUGE Harry Potter fans so they are going to see that with the other boys in the house and I am settling them in and then running across the building to see "Becoming Jane". YEAH! I haven't seen a movie by myself in a long time and while it has its perks and disadvantages...I couldn't find anyone to see it with me. Thus...I'm a loner on this one.

I'm sure I'll write again soon although tomorrow is a mad dash to get the house ready for Steph to arrive.

Then...Party #2







Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Exhaustion Wins

I had all these big blog plans for these couple of days before Sam's birthday but after running, shopping, decorating, planning, cleaning and painting...I'm just too tired!

All of that and he's not really having a big party. Just one friend, a movie and sleep-over and Wal-Mart cupcakes! So, what's my deal?

Regardless, I love my little Sam and tomorrow is his day!

Samuel is proof that really great things can happen to an average, ordinary girl.

He makes me special.

Happy Birthday, Sambo!

Room Update-Stage Three

 
 
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes comes to our House

Sam has been asking for a year now for us to decorate his room.

He and Jo have inherited their Dad's love of the cartoon "Calvin and Hobbes". Matt has every cartoon book created and the boys love to sit around and look at them. They'll do it for hours! (It puzzles me...)

So, naturally, we are doing a C&H room. We yanked up the carpet and Matt is doing a mural on their wall that will be completed with an actual swing hanging from the tree in the picture. We also have little tiger prints that will be all over the room. I think it will be really cute.

Here it is in stages so far...

Stage One:



Stage Two:

Posted by Picasa

Sister Revenge!


I need to send a personal "thank you" to my sister, Jeannie...who ignored the fact that I don't want my kid to come down with some disgusting virus and went on to send Sam gift cards to Chuckie Cheese for his birthday!

I hate that place!!!!

Sam, on the other hand, has deemed Jeannie his favorite Aunt and the one who clearly has her finger on the pulse of every nine year old's dream birthday destination!

I will have to say that I am thankful for the gesture. My hospital bills came this week and this is an answer to prayer in regards to the ability to take him somewhere fun when we could not afford it right now. I guess it's really God that has it out for me! :)

From Sam:

"Thank you, Aunt Jeannie, so, so, soooo much! (He just said that if you were standing here, he would give you a BIG hug and a BIG kiss!) Now I get to go to Chuckie Cheeses! I miss you very much! I love you, Sam"

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sam #2-An Interview with an 8 year old


When Sam was a baby, we lived far away from family and I used to send these types of pictures home to manipulate my mom and dad into coming for a visit! It worked every time!

Sam did this "scrunchy nose" for a good while when he was little! It was so cute..

Favorite Color: Royal Blue
Favorite Toy: Bionicles
Favorite Day of the Week: Monday..because it seems like a fresh, new, cozy day.
Favorite Cartoon: Sponge Bob
Favorite Show: "Universe" and "Man vs. Wild"
Favorite Dinner Food: Pancakes
Favorite Desert: Pumpkin Pie
Best Friend: Josiah and Austin
Why? Jo is my brother and there are too many reasons why!
Austin is very nice and very kind.
Favorite School Subject: Science
Least Favorite School Subject: Writing and Math
Favorite thing to do on a Saturday: Play with Daddy
Favorite Holiday: Valentine's Day because Mom makes a party at our house and Halloween because I like to dress up!
And Christmas Eve.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Beach
What I want to Be When I Grow Up: A Christian Scientist that tells everyone that the Bible is true.
What do you think about girls?: (loud ugh noise)
What do you think about God?: He's the best ever! He made everything and that is cool.
What's the best thing about turning 9?: I'll be one year older and I'm getting closer to 10!
What adult thing so you wish you could do as a 9 year old?: I could play computer games more.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Caught off Guard

video

When we first moved here a few years ago, I played around with a feature on my computer that lets you make movies. I am such a dork about these things and so I launched into making a bunch of them after we got our digital camera.

Matt had told me that Blogger had a new feature that lets you upload your movies fairly simply and so I went into my files to find one of Sam that I could put on for his week.

I unexpectedly came across this one.

It was the very first one I ever made and really I was just trying to figure out all the features and so it's very rough. I even picked just a random song to put behind it to get through it quickly.

It's of a group of my friends. I've blogged about them before and clearly...they know who they are.

I clicked on it and I just started bawling. It totally touched me and zapped me back to a memory that was happy. I had to even stop and think if it really happened? Such a different time...

This last year has really been a tricky one all round. Life has turned in some difficult, painful directions and while you'd think that would bring you closer to those you love and hold dear..it doesn't always. This part of my life is very hard and private for me so I won't say anymore but I will end with this....It must have been providence that I quickly selected that song years ago because I find it to be very fitting and appropriate for where we are now.

I don't know if God will see fit to re-create what I thought was many years ago but I know that what He wills is good. I know even more that He is the better than any earthly friend you can have and as He "guides us with His grace" we will survive.

"The Prayer"

I pray you'll be our eyes

And watch us where we go

And help us to be wise

In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer

As we go our way

Lead us to a place

Guide us with your Grace

To a place where we'll be safe

I pray we'll find your light

And hold it in our hearts

When stars go out each night

Let this be our prayer

When shadows fill our day

Lead us to a place

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe.

We ask that life be kind

And watch us from above

We hope each soul will find

Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer

Just like every child-Needs to find a place,

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe.

Week Of Samuel

This Friday my firstborn baby will turn 9.

That is so unbelievable to me and while it's not a big birthday per say, I'm taking it hard because it's the last birthday before he goes "double digits"!

When they turn 10 then it's no time before they are 12...16 (and driving!)...and then 18! I hate it. I want to force him to stay one number age only!

Oh well! He grows...

This week I'm dedicating my blog to Sam. I know from experience that it is very easy to love my nieces and nephews and my friend's children but the truth is...NOBODY celebrates your life like your mom.

So, for the next few days, I'm going to celebrate Sam. He will always be my little boy and while I'm sad to see him get so big so fast, I'm really enjoying this current stage and all the new experiences it brings.

For nine years, Sam and I have been nearly inseparable. He is not only my kid but somebody that I really like to be around. He's very loving and considerate. I'm proud of the person that he's becoming.

Here are some of my favorite pics of Sam as a little guy and one bad one of me as a pregnant mom. Sorry about the quality! Digital cameras weren't popular then and these seem to be the only photographs that I had taken at that time. Thank goodness! I'm not a beautiful pregnant girl!


Sam at Steph's wedding....age 2

Sam at a park. I posted this for Sam so I could confirm the stage that I tell him about when his head was SOOOO big! Of course, I tell him it's because his brain was so big, but I'm still baffled he didn't fall over more!

Me pregs...7 months at my shower.

Sam's first official pic in the hospital after birth. I have such beautiful babies even in the beginning. It's like he made sure to gel his hair before the shot was taken!
Posted by Picasa

Mass Clean-Up

I don't usually post any "mommy tips" because I'm figuring there's nothing new under the sun but I was watching my boys tonight and was amazed how much this little activity helps not only them but ME!

I call it "Mass Clean-up". I've been nurturing both boys for the last year or so with odd jobs that they can do at their age and then the last couple of months I'll occasionally yell "MASS CLEAN-UP!!" and they spring into action.

I've starting really pressing this lately because I'm going back to work full-time in September and won't have all day to take my time to clean up the house. I know that if we all race through it...it will take little time at all!

Here are some of their jobs:

Jo (age 5)- picks up all shoes and takes them to the right room, Picks up toys. Grabs a dust rag and sprays a little dust cleaner on it and dusts the coffee table and tv and computer desk.

Sam (age 8)- Picks up toys. Gets the vacuum set up and plugged in for me in the living room. Sometimes goes ahead and vacuums if I'm behind. Puts everything away in the bathroom and then takes a Clorox wipe and wipes down the sink and the toilet.

I load the dish washer of any dishes sitting out and wipe down the kitchen...vacuum and sweep and straighten the furniture and computer desk.

In the end...it looks great in like 15 minutes or less!

I encourage you to start training your kids to help out early. They really like it and they understand that when it's done, it leaves more time for me to do fun things with them!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Good Genetics

On my trip home this past month, I spent a good bit of time with my sister and my Grandmother collecting older pictures that I could copy and take home. (Thanks, Steph for hanging with me as long as you could while I took on the venture at Wal-Mart!)

These are now some of my most beloved possessions. My kitchen is decorated in antique items and toys from generations past and now these are framed along side those things. I love it.

I have to say...both of my Grandfathers were very suave. I was cracking up at how "cool" they both looked. Unfortunately, I didn't seem to inherit that gene with all of my clumsy dorkiness but I can at least be proud it's SOMEWHERE in the family!

(For those who care..."L" grandparents are my dad's parents and "H" are my mom's)

Happy Birthday!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hard-Headed..thank goodness!



I'm loathe to post about this because of a statement that I continually hear...
The strangest things ALWAYS happen to you!"

It is so embarrassing but true. From needles to the public announcements of deadly infections-I hardly go a month without some sort of strange occurrence that I can tell people to amuse them!

I'm accepting it...

So, I had a run in with a 2x4 board this past Tuesday and frankly, the board won!

We have recently been remodelling our boy's room and our garage and so the garage has become a hodge-podge of boards, junk, old furniture, rolled up carpet, etc.

I went into the garage to try to retrieve my son's scooter for a walk that we were going to take. I was in a bit of a rush and so I bull-dozed through the piles of junk and yanked our futon bed away from the scooter in an attempt to reach it. What I didn't realize is that a large heavy board had been propped up on the bed.

Without much warning the board fell from high up and cracked me on top of the head!

I can only remember bits and pieces of the next few minutes and hours. I have a memory of looking up and taking the board off of me. Then I remember being in my bathroom looking in the mirror. I won't be descriptive (because of Steph) but head wounds bleed bad!

I had pulled my hair up to go for the walk and had taken a clip to get my bangs out of my eyes and that was what cut me.

I guessed that I would need a little help since I couldn't figure out what happened really and I couldn't get the bleeding to stop.

So, I wrapped my head in a towel and staggered across the street to my neighbor's house. She is a retired nurse and I though, in the least, that she would be able to handle the blood and not be sick or afraid! (Quite the opposite of what I would be should a bloody neighbor show up at my door!)

She came out and...well, she gasped at me because it was a bad sight and then sat me down to run in and get more towels. I could feel that I was potentially going to be sick or too dozy to sit up but I let her clean me up a bit and determine where the cut was and if I needed stitches.

Bigger dilemma....no health insurance at this time!

I wasn't too keen for an ambulance or stitches or doctor's visit of ANY kind. Trust me...I can be pretty sick and still muster a stubbornness about my money and health care! My mom still laughs that while I was coming out of surgery with my nose..completely out of it...I still refused to take ANYTHING for comfort or pain that might cost more!

We determined that I could get the bleeding to stop. By this time I was laying down on the front porch. I convinced her to walk me home and that I was fine.

I knew I was dizzy....or was my vision blurry...OH NO...going to be sick!!

Regardless, I kept up my mantra.."I'll be fine...really, I just need to lay down."

She told me later when I went to thank her for her help that while she was pretty cool about the blood what really bothered her was that as she was attempting to find all the cuts-My hair kept coming out in her hands! AHHH!

I called my mom and she and my neighbor agreed that if I would let her check on me and my mom call me every hour that I could weather it out at home until Matt got there. The command was very clear.."DO NOT GO TO SLEEP!"

Yeah..okay..I took my allergy medicine before I got clobbered in the head.

I was sleepy...

But, at four o'clock when Matt rushed in, I was still on the couch in my tennis shoes and bloody clothes and hair...eyes the size of half dollars in my desperation to not go into a comma!

It was then that I started to cry.

About what? I don't know...the massive headache that I had...the fact that we don't have insurance...my favorite shirt was ruined? You name it-I cried about it!

I think it was the stress of being by myself which is silly but at the time it seemed really lonely at my house! I know I could have called for help and a couple of my friends heard and offered to come by but I really wasn't sure of how much it hurt until I turned everyone away.

It hurts to get smacked by a board. I understand why it's used as a defensive mechanism in many scary movies!

So, a couple of days later, I'm totally fine. Headache is gone and my head is a little bald and scabby.

The mocking has begun as expected. Thank you to everyone who's been clever enough to come up with some clippy saying about me being able to "take a hit" or the relief that I'm so hard-headed!

You guys are SOOO hilarious.

Oh well...I'm nothing if I'm not having some crazy thing happen to me to be able to tell people, right?