Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
~ swearing, cussing parents following said throw-up incident - 2
~ girls crying thinking we have to turn around and go back home and miss the gymnastics meet - 2
~ stress-filled miles driven on icy, snowy roads in the dark - 75
~ gymnastics meet barely arriving in time for - 1
~ moments of pride watching our girls compete in a big gymnastics meet - 8 (or more)
~ quiet afternoon spent with family - 1
~ amazing dinner of sushi and hibachi style steak and shrimp with good friends - 1
~ shot of patron - 1
~ one sakerita - 1 (japanese margarita)
~ evening spent listening to some of Minnesota's finest musicians - 1
~ another round of boy throwing up - this time on the kitchen floor at 2am - 1
~ moments of misunderstanding and miscommunication between me and my Robot - too many to count
~ massive cold sore eruption - 1
~ one non-kissing goodbye at the airport (see above) - 1
~ kitty cat happy to have his people home - 1
~ tired, worn out momma - 1
~ missed Christmas party - 1
~ husband arrived safely to his destination - 1
~ kids tucked into bed - 4
~ quiet evening spent enjoying the glow of Christmas lights all by my lonesome-1
If you add it all up, you get a weekend chock full of yuckiness with just a few moments of goodness to make it all worth it. Such is life.
Friday, November 26, 2010
This one... (the smallest of the small ones)
And these two...(the middle littles)
And there's this one...the oldest...
And this guy...oh my.
Other things (in no particular order)...
Monday, November 1, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
I miss my husband so much my head and heart hurt. He’s only been gone for 3 days, but we haven’t really spoken and have barely even IM’d with each other since he left. This seven hour time zone difference pretty much sucks. I.miss.him. Only 12 more days to go.
My head is spinning with the volume of information I am trying to keep organized for the things I am responsible for and committed to this week.
I am tired. I only got 4 hours of sleep last night. Partly because staying up way, way (way) past my bedtime is what I do when he’s gone. And partly because the kiddos don’t sleep well when he’s gone and I end up with at least one of them waking me up in the middle of my already too-short night. And it was an early morning at church and a good, but long day in general.
I feel slighted. I happened upon an event today that was being hosted by people who I thought were friends, in honor of someone I thought was a friend. And I wasn’t invited.
I hate feeling fearful in my own home at night when I am here alone and “in charge”.
I really miss my husband.
I am dreading this week and really hope I (and my sweet kiddos) can make it to Friday with a little hair left on my head and my sanity intact.
I am anxiously waiting to catch my husband on a skype call - he is just waking up Monday morning and I have yet to go to bed Sunday night.
I feel truly blessed to be a part of a church that oh so awesome... and where I get to use my gifts and passions and make a dent in the kingdom with song. And a classic 80’s rock song at that.
I also am blessed with the love of a friend who woke up early on her anniversary to help me out of a scheduling conflict and carpool my girls to a gymnastics meet. Words cannot begin…
I am thankful for second chances and to feel like I have the friend that I have prayed for.
I am thankful for genuine, authentic love from people who love me and my children and invite us to spend the afternoon at their home to play in the country sunshine chasing cats, 4-wheeling and shooting things.
I am proud of the thoughtful young man my oldest son is becoming.
I am proud of the commitment my strong and beautiful girls have made to the sport of gymnastics.
I feel loved when my youngest tells me that only my goodnight kisses help keep the bad dreams away.
My heart hurts cuz I really miss my husband. Or perhaps I mentioned that?
Saturday, September 4, 2010
For me, the start of a new school year is a fresh start, almost like a “second chance” New Year’s, complete with a new list of goals and things I want to accomplish. All four of my kiddos will be in school all day for the first time and I am looking forward to big blocks of uninterrupted ME time to finally work on several around-the-house projects that have been on hold for quite a while!
September also brings us the first official day of Autumn, a visit to the apple orchard (and all the goodies made from the fresh picked apples!), breaking out our jeans and sweatshirts on crisp cool days, raking leaves, and taking an afternoon roadtrip with My Robot to see the colors. We usually do one to celebrate our anniversary which is also this month.
I love September. It’s my favorite time of year.
Monday, August 16, 2010
…Facebook style. meh.
Friday at 1:13am…just bid her sweetie pie a good night as he boarded his plane for the 15 hour overnight flight to Sydney, Australia. (he’ll be gone 10 days…..much sadness)
Friday at 1:23 pm…wonders if taking the kiddos to one her favorite places on earth counts as being the "fun" mom? (IKEA makes me happy and eating out makes me happy. So eating out, at IKEA, with my kiddos is my idea of being a fun mom)
Friday at 1:45pm… had lunch at IKEA with the kiddos today…
(we had a great time shopping too, it was their first time actually browsing the store, and were amazed how they could build entire model apartments INSIDE the store.)
Friday at 10:03pm… I linked to a blogpost from My Robot...it’s about a song written very long ago and now finally dedicated to our beautiful girls. (oh how I love this man)
Friday at 11:34pm… is a little freaked out about all the posts I've seen re: tornado warnings, sightings, storms etc today while we are not home. Thinking a call to the neighbors is in order tomorrow morning for a status on our house!! (All is well.)
Saturday at 9:47pm…enjoyed spending the day tending and caring for her sweetie pie toddler-aged niece, but is also kinda glad she is not a momma to a toddler anymore. (s-i-l’s youngest brother got married, the girlies and I attended as “the nanny” for my 21 mo old niece, Kaylen. Beautiful day, lovely wedding, but very tiring!)
Saturday at 9:49pm…is now really hoping to connect with her husband via skype or AIM...even he's probably out to lunch...literally..since it's lunchtime on Sunday for him.
Saturday at 11:17pm…still nothing...wonder what he's up to on HIS Sunday afternoon? really don't like going a whole day without at least IMing with her honey...oh well....too tired to stay awake much longer trying.
Saturday at 6:20 am…Finally a message from my sweetie….
Dear Wife, I am truly sorry for not connecting. I missed your posts and everything. I was on a LONG walkabout in the Blue Mountains. If I can stay up 3 more hours maybe we can connect otherwise I'll wake up tomorrow and IM you for sure. Love you lots!!! I actually can't quite believe I'm so far away.
(We did finally connect, via Skype and AIM…missing him so much)
Sunday at 10:49pm…is finally back home from a very tiring, but very fun weekend! (I decided to spend an extra night in the big city and not rush home late after the wedding Saturday night like I’d planned. So Sunday was spent sleeping in, relaxing, chatting and general merriment with the brother and family…)
Friday, July 30, 2010
Here are a few things that came down the pike in the Hinterland this week….
Fun with family
More House cleaning
A Tupperware party…here at my house
Fresh salsa and guacamole
Flourless chocolate cake. oh.my.
Fun the in the kitchen with kids
A broken washing machine
A possible $40 fix for the washing machine
Nope not fixed.
A morning at the laundro-mat (first time in nearly 20 years)
My Robot’s parents arriving for an extended stay (it’s a good thing!)
Time with extended family
Another possible fix for the washing machine
Nope not fixed
Awesome night of band practice at church. My Robot rocked it.
Researching a new washing machine
Buying a new washing machine
Shoveling mulch. so much mulch
Ordering out for pizza for dinner
Fun times with the grandparents
Drinking favorite beverages
Being next to My Robot as much as possible
Life is good.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Once the fest wrapped up, we made out way up to a local pub and shared great conversation, tasty apps and our favorite beverages. We closed the bar down (which isn't hard to do when last call happens at 11pm at this particular locale). Tim the bartender even stopped by to personally see if we were "all set". It was an extremely enjoyable night out. I hope she thought so too.
On Friday, I invited JP. back over to my house so our kiddos could play and we could have fun finding homes for some of my recent garage sale finds. SO. MUCH.FUN!!! We had a blast arranging and playing around with the strange multi-purpose space that is my living room. It still needs a few more touches, but I loved watching her mind churn as she worked and could see the potential that I couldn't. Can't wait to do it again.
Friday night, Wren and Jewel's gymnastics team had been invited to do an pre-game exhibition for our local collegiate league baseball team. Boy, was that fun to see. Level 4-10 gymnasts do tumbling passes down a path of mats laid out between the bleachers and home plate. Here's some video I shot...they are in blue/silver leos with black shorts on the lower front mat.
Other than my sweetie pie Jewel not feeling well, it was a nearly perfect weekend full of everything and nothing.
(ps...I took "The Littles" to the Dr. this morning. Jewel has full blown pneumonia, Wren has an ear infection and Jaxon has bronchitis. FUN!!! Can you say..."Zithro is in da' house!?!)
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Lots of Chillin’
Dinner and a movie at church
A Late night
Lots of screen
4th of July Parade in the rain
Toy Story 3
Trip to Target to stock up on junk food
Cancelled fireworks because of the rain
Lots of fireworks and patriotic concerts on the big screen instead Another late night
Cloudy and hot and humid
More waterproof band-aids
Steaks and brats on the grill for dinner
Real fireworks (finally)
Another late night
Gratitude for a happy and mostly healthy family…
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Ever since then, I get the occasional reminder that I have a child with a congenital heart defect. Someone asks about her scar or I need to fill out a medical form for camp or school or something. But for the most part, it's something that happened very long ago and her mended heart is truly not something I need to worry or think about. Ever. She was fixed. No worries or concerns. We visit her cardiologist at most, once a year. Sometimes even less than that. We get the "all clear - looks good- see ya next year." She is completely asymptomatic and for all intents and purposed, healed.
But there was always something lingering on her doctor's "radar". As a part of her cluster of defects, she has narrowing (stenosis) in her left pulmonary artery. And at our last appointment in March, her doctor dropped the news that now would be the time to address it. Sooner rather than later. The difference in size between her right and left artery is such that it could begin compromising her heart and lung function if left untreated, especially as she grows.
So on Thursday, July 1st, she will undergo an angiogram and catheter procedure to have a stent placed within that artery in hopes of opening it up. There are all sorts of things I truly don't know about any of this and there is some concern that the stent can't be put into place through a catheter. We haven't even met the cardiologist doing the procedure (altho I do volunteer work with her husband and know she is a a follower of Jesus!)
The only thing I know to do is place every ounce of faith my own head and heart can muster in my Heavenly Father to carry us through all the unknowns...
...to bring our sweet Wren in and out of the general anesthesia with little discomfort.
...that His hand will be covering over her doctor and nurses throughout the entire procedure.
...that the stent can in fact be placed through the catheter, it will go where it's supposed to, and stay where it's supposed to.
...that Wren won't be afraid. And her beautiful twin sister, Jewel, will be brave enough for them both.
…that her momma and dad won't be afraid. (we are very afraid)
The hardest part of all of this is moving forward with the renewed awareness that I truly am the momma of a child with a mended heart.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
No more crazy o'clock early mornings.
No more strict bedtimes.
No more homework.
No more harried and rushed dinners thrown together.
No more forgetting to sign permission slips,and checking homework notebooks.
No more forgotten library books.
No more cranking about grades that could be better if they'd "just slow down, check your work and care a little more."
No more middle school crap, resulting in conversations with teachers, counselors and assistant principals.
No more spending an entire afternoon tooling around town in my mini-van delivering various kids to various activities.
No more after-school whining "but I'm soooo hungry" - all while cleaning out the cupboards an hour before dinner.
I so, so, SO can't wait. Only 9 days left. We had a beautiful campfire last night with a couple of friends to kick off the holiday weekend. The rest of the weekend looks to be nearly perfect weather-wise, I come Tuesday morning I will even more ready. This year has flown by, and has pretty much been a giant whirlwind of busy-ness.
A couple summers ago, we took a laid-back, stay-at-home approach to summer and it was the best thing I ever did. We bought a big blue pool, the kids met some new neighbors and we stayed put. It was awesome. This year the kids will each do a week of camp, and that's pretty much it. Not only is that easy on the budget, it's easy on all of us. We are even taking a break from formal music lessons. Most days of the week we won't have anywhere we HAVE to go and I am so excited about that! I am very much about spontaneous fun. I am looking forward to a true mental health break where we are home enjoying (hopefully) each other's company. The Hubs is even planning to work from home A LOT which means all sorts of goodness.
Summer here we come!
Friday, May 21, 2010
So really, we aren't fat. We are enormously cultured, educated and happy.
Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good grief, look how smart I am!"; it must be where 'Smart Ass' came from!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
1. He does...literally. He is an amazing musician...guitar, piano, composing, playing, leading. He really does rock and one of my favorite things to do is watch/hear him play.
2. He works hard to provide for our family. He is blessed to have a job he loves and excels at, but he takes his role as "provider" very seriously.
3. He tells me I look pretty.
4. He is so supportive of my need for some "extra-curricular" activities outside of my job as SAHM/CCO(Chief Chaos Officer) of our family - outings with friends, my MOMs group, church stuff and my silly little part-time job. He goes so far as to take days off or will work from home to be with Jaxon during the day if needed. He knows those things feed me, help me stay sane and add value to life for me.
5. He does the dishes. 'nuff said.
6. He handles our money. I know what’s going on with it, but he takes care of all the day-to-day stuff because he's good at it, which is a good thing cuz of how much I dislike counting money, keeping track of money or math and working with numbers in general.
7. He doesn't blow his top when I get a little lax in my spending on "non-essentials" and I also know he appreciates my attempts at thriftiness.
8. He often tells me he never wants to be more than 3 feet away from me.
9. Whenever I or any of our kiddos arrive home, he is always happy to see us. Every time.
10. He knows every single bit of my junk - the procrastination and laziness, the bad moods, the selfishness, the mildly neurotic fears, the freakish love for eating out, the impatience, the .com obsession, the stuff that keeps me awake at night, the inability to throw anthing away without careful consideration - and loves me anyway.
I could list many more, but these are the top ones!
I love you honey. I am so glad we are on this adventure together!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
2. an early morning rainbow
3. the rain-soaked smell of spring
4. blooming trees
5. three mornings at home all in the same week
6. the chance to steal away this weekend for a fun MOMs convention
7. My mom and dad being back home here in the Hinterland
Friday, April 2, 2010
and there my Lord was crucified
and purchased there my pardon free
my Savior bows His head and dies
to heaven’s joys and endless day
that You would give Your life for me,
To bear the cross and agony,
in that dread hour on Calvary
Friday, March 19, 2010
She works with my husband and we have jokingly referred to her as his "work wife" since they traveled for business together a lot through the years. She is passing the 4 month anniversary of her husband's passing away at the much too young age of 51, after a 2 yr battle with Lymphoma. They have 3 middle/high school aged children and the four of them have experienced many "first withouts" these past four months.
These are such gentle and easy reminders about how to live each day and I want to share them with you here...
That’s what is so hard about this. I am ‘without’. I am facing a challenge that has no fix to it. Every other challenge in life was something to get through because it was on a path to something better. This is different. It just is. I know I am not the only one. I know that there are others facing facts just as difficult or more so. But, it’s still hard. ‘Take it day-by-day’ sounds like such a cliché – but it really is all we can do. Our time on this earth is so short. And, I personally believe our days are known & numbered before we are even born – nothing we do or don’t do changes that. How long we live is not the point. It’s what we do while we’re here. It’s the relationships – the people we meet. Are we glorifying God? Are we setting a good example? Are we helping people help themselves? One major affect this entire experience has made on my life is a change in priorities. There are so many ‘problems’ that just aren’t problems anymore. It’s interesting when you truly look at your life in the context of eternity and God’s plan. Creates a whole different perspective.
Until next time. Speak from the heart. Physically touch your children & spouse with love. Listen to what people are really saying. See the world through a child’s eyes.
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Thanks for the reminders Kristi!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
1. crisp, bright sunshine streaming in the windows on a chilly, winter day
2. an easy, cheerful morning of getting kids out the door to school
3. a day at home with nowhere to go
4. my crockpot
5. a nice phone chat with a friend
6. my husband
7. an evening with everyone home all at the same time
Sunday, January 31, 2010
We contacted the math teacher and gifted specialist (and cc:ed the 7th gr counselor who we'd already had some interaction with) on Monday via email. We explained that we felt that moving him back down to grade level math mid-year would do more harm emotionally than any good, even if it means he ends up with a C or worse on his report card. His heart and emotional state are so much more critical to think about over any grade. They were both very understanding, his math teacher esp had very kind things to say and said she would try to be more mindful of his and his classmates interactions from here on out to try to nip any problems she might see in happening in her class. We have a plan in place to be overseeing his school work general a bit more, especially math to guarantee he doesn't slip thru the cracks again. We had also contacted his band teachers regarding some issues he had in band a few weeks ago with similar response.
So our next step is to send a personal note to his other three academic teachers and include an asst principal/principal in those, just to get them all on the same page. We are encouraged by the responses we've had so far and will pray that his other four teachers can join us and ultimately help Coleo feel like someone's got his back.
We have also submitted an application to transfer to a smaller "choice" middle school available in our district We won't know whether we get in or not for next year until mid February. And we will let Coleo decide if that's the route he wants to go.
We are also looking into a couple of different extracurricular activities to plug him into and are hoping that will help too. Some martial arts stuff (he is very interested in Hapkido and weaponry) and also a community service-based youth drum corps.
Again, we are so thankful to know so many are praying for him and supporting us so faithfully. Please continue to pray for our communications with his teachers and for that friend...we know there's gotta be someone out there for him!!
love and hugs...
Saturday, January 23, 2010
In a nutshell, school is and has been a miserable, miserable place for him to spend 35 hours of his life every week. Beginning in 6th grade, he has struggled with the social side of the hell otherwise known as middle school.
On a "good" day, he simply feels like he doesn't have any friends and is ok with that.
On a bad day, he feels completely alone and ostracized.
On a terrible, horrible, no good, really bad day, girls tell him he stinks, he's a freak and no girl will ever like him. Kids ask to have him moved off their team in Phy Ed (and the stupid substitute teacher actually does it) or he is blamed and taunted for making the snare section in band sound bad (when in all reality he could probably kick some serious trash against any of them). The mama bear in me gets all riled up just thinking about it.
Up until now, he has been resigned to feeling alone. And I always answered the question "how is school going for Coleo?" with the answer that "socially it's been pretty tough, but academically he's doing great."
We just learned that he is is getting C's across the board, and actually failing his acclerated math class. It's being recommended that he drop back down to the grade level math class for next semester.
um....yeah. sure. cuz THAT'S not going to knock him to his knees emotionally.
The kicker is we had no warning until the email arrived today (at 4pm on a Friday no less) from the "gifted specialist". Not one single ounce of communication from his math teacher or anyone else, that our son had failed two chapter tests and a couple of quizzes. It's partly our fault for not checking in with the grade tracker website on a more regular basis. But if *I* were a math teacher, and a kid who HAD been doing ok, all of a sudden dropped quiz and test scores, I'd like to think that I would make some effort to touch base with the parents; wouldn't you?? So yeah, we are pretty pissed off and frustrated and sad about it all.
It means making the kinds of phone calls on Monday that raise my anxiety level to the roof. I hate making calls for something as simple as dentist appts, so this kind of intervening/confrontational junk is just not my cup of tea at all, even for my kids. I tend to cry instead of being calm and assertive and confidant. It's what I fear and dislike the most about this parenting thing.
So if you know us and love us, please pray for our son. First and foremost, he needs to know we love him, and that lots and lots of you love him too. Second, he desperately needs a friend at school. Lord, we need someone to come out of the woodwork who loves You, to stick up for him and reach out to him so he knows he's not the freak that he's told he is everyday. To see him for the talented, witty, creative and all around good kid that he is. And please pray for courage and wisdom for me and Greg as we wade through this mess and try to do right by our son.