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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008

Another Christmas gone by...



We survived Christmas and it was wonderful as always, my kids are so spoiled between us and our families they made out like bandits. Christmas Eve we went to my Grandma's house our usual tradition that I have been doing since I was 3. My kids look so forward to it which makes me feel so good having traditions for them. Another tradition that my Mom started years ago was me and my sisters and herself must all wear matching Christmas socks. Yes she is a dork but I still love her. This year she waited until the last minute to find socks and all she found were these light up knee high socks. Very uncomfortable but we still enjoyed them.. Christmas Eve is also my Moms birthday and I often feel like she gets ripped off because it is never a day all about her, but Steph made her an awesome birthday cake with her favorite thing (popcorn). All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. Now we have a new year to look forward too. We are having our usual get together for New Years. My kids look so forward to this night. It will be transformed to a game house, the guys are planning on hooking two Xbox's up so they can play on seperste TV's against each other, and we have the Wii so hopefully us ladies will get a chance to play that. Plenty of food and kids running around the house, catching up with all the ladies that I see but never get a chance to really talk too. Can't wait and I am praying that 2009 is a good year for everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies and Gingerbread




This weekend was perfect except of course for all the snow, the bad roads, our snow blower breaking down and Hailey running a fever. (ok maybe it was not so perfect) No really it was, I got all my presents wrapped, caught up on all my laundry, and baked a few cookies with the kids. I got to take my Sunday afternoon nap, life is good for the moment anyway. We baked some cookies with the kids Saturday night, that's always a treat with Hailey, the chick has zero patience and does not believe in waiting her turn to help at all, but she actually did good, I think we only had tears one time that night. I love doing things with the kids but I sometimes dread it only because of the hassle. I know that sounds bad but I like to have all my stuff in order and do it myself and with 3 extra sets of hands things can get complicated. I do it to myself every year I plan out everything in my head, we will make Christmas cookies listen to Christmas music and everything with go smoothly and perfect, then reality always hits me with disappointment, the kids fight, things never work out the way I imagine. Well over the years I have learned to just relax. I am trying to be more like John and be more go with the flow. I am happy to say for the first time I did just that. We all had so much fun, baking ,listening and singing to Christmas music, the night could not have gone any better. We even did the our gingerbread house with nothing uneventful happening. I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. We finished the night off watching Home Alone well the kids did anyway.(Mommy and Daddy fell asleep on the couch) I really watched John while we were making cookies, he is so patient. I have always known what a good Dad he is and how lucky the kids and I are to have him but sometimes I don't take the time to really appreciate him. He loves being a Dad, I love that about him, he has never looked at it like a job. I can honestly say that he has more of a hard time letting our kids grow up than I do at times. I will be the first to say that I love how much easier it is now that they are older. John does not want them to grow up and leave us ever. We can not even discuss what things will be like once they are out of the house. He honestly gets mad at me for even talking about it. All I kept thinking was how lucky my kids are to have him, how lucky I am to have him, he has taught me so much more about parenthood, love and life than I would ever admit to him. He makes me want to be a better Mom. He is constantly reminding me to stop and just enjoy the moment, he keeps me grounded when everything else in my life is crazy. He always reminds me that money is nothing we should lose sleep over. As long as we are all healthy and happy, those are his famous words that I so take for granted. Most women would appreciate their husbands reassuring them and I take it for granted because I hear it all the time. Anyway I hope all my friends can do the same, appreciate whats in front of them this Holiday season. Appreciate the life and the people that God has blessed you with... I know I am.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Great Wolf



This past weekend we took our once a year trip to Great Wolf Lodge and as always it was blast. None of us were ready to come home. This year was especially great, for the first time in a long time I was able to relax and just enjoy my kids. I promised John I would leave all my worries about money, family and my many other issues home and try to be a stress free as possible. Which I am proud to say I did. I savored every moment with them. Even when they were asleep, I found myself starring at each of them just being thankful for my blessings. It was so much easier in the water park now that the kids are older. Hailey was able to do everything. The video is from our dinner at Red Lobster it does seem that we make a scene every time we go out to eat, and that night was no exception. Hailey had burned her tongue on a cheese stick and let out a roar of a scream but still did not stop her from eating more, when hers were all gone she wanted Tylers, he said she could have it for her dollar, she agreed but once she got it she did not want to part with the dollar. John is fully annoyed because I find the whole thing somewhat amusing. Great fun, great laughs, I love my family!!!

Dinner

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Wednesday Bitch!

So this week is proving to be vey stressful. Bad things usually happen to us on weekends, or Mondays , well now they are hitting us on Tuesday's and Wednesdays. Yesterday I go to plug in my straightner and it is completley dead. Now I have one of those fancy straightners that you order off TV not the $40 ones you can buy at Meijers. It was very expensive, I purchased it back in August and told John it would be my birthday and anniversary gift. I had to have it. It has not even been 6 months yet and it is already broke. Luckily I bought the protection plan. It's fully covered but it is going to take forever to get back because I have to send the broken one in and they can try to repair it or send me a new one. This could take weeks people... So I finally get over my selfish moment and see that it's not the end of the world, its only hair. It just burns me that when you spend more money on something it should last you a bit longer than the cheap ones. So I am over that and I get the kids off the bus and Hailey casually informs me that she pooped her pants at school, I'm looking at her she is in the same pants I sent her in. I bend down to make sure I heard her correctly and then I could smell it. Are you kidding me??? So I take her in my bathroom, throw her underwear away, and start asking her ???. She then tells me that she pooped when they were painting. She said she went in the bathroom but a boy in her class kept turning the light off while she was in there, so she got scared and came out. Unable to hold it any longer she pooped her pants. So this poor girl sat with a huge terd in her underwear for god only knows how long and rode home on the bus like this. Never once telling anyone. If that would have been Ty or Kenzie they would have been crying and thinking the world was coming to an end. I started putting the puzzle together, poor Hailey has been having issues about school for about a week now. She never wants to go and each day her fits get worse. I asked her more ??? She told me that this boy picks on her constantly along with another girl. First off I can't believe that Hailey actually puts up with this. She is the kind of chick that usually takes nothing from no one. I guess thats what being in a different environment will do to you. So I called her teacher and left a message and still have not heard anything back. I will give her until this afternoon then I will call again I guess. I had to drag her in the bus kicking and screaming once again this morning. It's the most awful feeling making your kid get on the bus when you know that they don't want to go. One more thing to add to my list's of bitches today, our furnance once again is not working, we woke up to a freezing house. Are you kidding me? Has it even been a month? The repair man is coming this afternoon, so thats when I will find out how much it is going to cost this time... So now I am taking a deep breath, thanking God for all my blessing, these problems are just minor I must tell myself that even when I'm frustrated I must remember it could be MUCH worse. I am going to try to stay positive and make the best of my freezing house because at least I have one...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New church members and a bit of bragging about my son.


It's official, we meaning John and I along with the Palmers and my Mom are now members of our church. To think we have not even been attending there a year yet. It was such a busy day at church, I was sucked into doing the Advent reading and candle lighting with my Mom, my Mom did the lighting and I did the reading. Which I must confess I was a bit nervous about. I also had to go back up and read the scripture later in the service. I did not really give it much thought earlier in the week but last night I started feeling a bit anxious over getting up in front of everyone. All morning long all I did was practice to John and Tyler, (sorry guys, I am sure I drove you both nuts). I was so thankful when it was over with, John just could not understand why ME of all people would feel nervous about reading in front of everyone after all I talk everyones head off. I explained that the older I get the more I really hate the thought of everyone starring at me and I was certain I would mess up in some way, but thankfully it all went well and in all honesty it was not really all that bad. Pastor even asked me afterward if I would be willing to do it more. I'm a bit bummed I have to miss Tom and Lea having a turn next week. Good luck guys!!! Something else I wanted to share was about Tyler. He receieved two academic awards the day before Thanksgiving. I am so proud of that boy. We had gone to conferences a few weeks ago and he was struggling in two subjects all because of a one test in each subject. He was given the chance to retake each test and passed them both with A's. Which brought all his grades up to A's and B's. He amazes me each day, he actually loves to learn. He is full of questions and although sometimes I am annoyed with all his asking I am so very proud of him for wanting to know and fully understand everything. I Thank God for blessing me with him for a son!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catching Up!




So our Thanksgiving went great, this was the first year in a long time that I can remember not cooking. John usually insists on me cooking so he can stay home and watch football and we are guaranteed left overs. This year on account of my Gradma being alone I thought it might be a good idea for her to have all of us over her house and she could do the cooking since it is something she really enjoys. Plus the Lions are really sucking this year so John did not really care where he watched them. I must say I still feel strange walking into my Grandma's house knowing that I am never going to see my Grandpa sitting in his chair again. I just does not feel right. In fact Thanksgiving was the first time that I have been able to sit in his favorite chair, some how it brought comfort to me rocking Emma in it. For that feeling I am so Thankful.. Before heading over there we took our Christmas picture for our Christmas card, what a joy that always is. Hailey has had this dry bloody nose for about a week now and it looks like there is a sore in it, well I had cleaned it out before the picture and made it bleed alittle. (Stupid on my part.) I really did not think you could see the red when we were taking the pictures but then when I loaded them into my computer I wanted to cry every picture you could see her red nostril. By this time it is the next day and I was in no mood for any more pictures, so luckily John found a program to take it out. So hopefully you won't be able to tell on our Christmas cards. Thanksgiving night we headed to Johns Mom, after a few hours of the kids visiting with everyone I had to bring them to my Moms for the night, because John and I were staying the night at his Moms in order to get up early shopping. We did not go to bed until after midnight and got up around 3am. Not enough sleep for me but i was excited to get to the stores so at that time it was not bothering me. We headed to the Walmart in Fremont, my mother in law had said that she had gone there last year and it was not really that busy. So we get there after 3:30 am and the parking lot does not look to bad, but buy 4:30 it had turned crazy. Luckily John had come alone because I needed him to stand in a line for me. I left him in the toys secton along with my sister in law, their mission was to get a certain toy for my nephew and High school musical 3 dolls. My poor sister in law probably took the most abuse getting the dolls, she said people were acting so crazy. I went for the PJ's for $4. I thought no one should be to crazy in that area. Boy was I ever wrong, I encountered some of the most craziest women in that isle. In the end I got everything I wanted but it was an experience. After that we hit all the other stores in Muskegon. I was so tired by noon, but it was so worth it because of all the money I saved, I will be doing it again next year thats for sure. We had a few good laughs along the way too and memories like that are priceless. By the time I got home my Mom was more than ready to send the kids home she had all five kids over night, taken them to Chens for lunch and to Pamida (CRAZY LADY). So she dropped them off and I felt so bad I went to bed I could not stay awake, John had fallen asleep on the couch so our kids were basically taking care of each other for a few hours. It took me until Saturday to feel normal again. I don't do well on little sleep. So I am almost done with my shopping I have never been done this early it almost does not feel right.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Being Thankful


In the spirit of Thanksgiving I have been thinking of all the things and people I am thankful for in my life. I had my nephew Alex this past weekend and as always he is such a joy to have around. He is one of the easiest babies that I have ever had to watch. His parents (Johns brother and his wife) work at the hospital and work the weekends so I get to have him when I am needed which is usually once a month. They live over by the Grandville Mall so other than getting him for a weekend we don't see him as much as Jr and Emma so I am grateful that we get the chance to watch him and spend some time with him. Tyler had two soceer games on Saturday, and afterwards we went grocery shopping and you could not ask for a more easy going baby. Considering he spends the first half of the weekend getting malled by the kids he seems to be happy to be with us. Yesterday our furnance just stopped working, not something you want to happen on a normal day but especially on a Sunday. We were going to try to hold off until Monday so we did not have to pay the furnace man big bucks but we could not do it, our kids were freezing and I did not want to take the chance of getting Alex sick. So we called, thankfully we did because it turned out to be a pretty easy fix and the repair man must have been in a generous mood and charged me nothing when he usually charges $90 just for a service call on a Sunday. He even thinks the part might be covered so we may end up paying nothing. How wonderful is that? Could it be that our luck may be starting to change? Also John called and told me that there is one job with about 40 hours worth of work on the horizon, like possibly in another week or so. I know it is not much but this is huge to him because there has been nothing coming in. We can only pray for more work to come in. My friend Jen sent me the book that I am reading right now it's called Just enough Light for the step I'm on. (Thanks Jen) It is a wonderful book and it could have not have come to me at a more needed time. It is making me see all the good in my life when I feel that I am surrounded by bad. I am on the last chapter and I am sad that I am almost done with it, it gives me hope and just reaffirms my faith in God. Also we had a house burn down Saturday night in our neighborhood. Katie had called and asked me to pray because there was someone trapped inside. She knew this because Rich is a volunteer firefighter and he was called out for this fire. Katie and I went and took a ride to make sure it was no one that we knew or to see if there was any way we could help. As we stood across the street watching the house burn and all the fireman coming and going, we were beside ourselves. Years ago we watched our Uncle's house burn down to the ground in the middle of an April night. It was one of the worst things to witness, but here we are watching it and someone is inside unable to escape. The others that were able to escape were standing directly in front of us but on the other side of the street. I just wanted to reach out and hug them, but kept my distance because I was not sure the state of mind they were in. I regret not saying at least something, I just felt so bad I did not know the right words. I came home and told the kids and they were scared because their uncle Rich was battling the fire. It is a good thing Katie and I did not know which fireman was Rich (because they all look alike) because he later informed us that he was one of the first three to enter the house. Thank God for these brave fireman who risk their own lives to save others. I also came home that night and felt very thankful for my family and that we were all safe for that moment. So anyway here's my list, I know there is much more to be thankful for, but here is a few that are sticking out to me at the moment.


~I am thankful for all three of my kids

~I am thankful for my husband (even when I feel like he is one of my kids)

~I am thankful that God is the MOST important part of my life

~I am thankful for all of my friends

~I am thankful for my health and all the health of my friends and family

~I am thankful for cheaper gas prices

~I am thankful that I am an Aunt

~I am thankful I am a sister, daughter, mother

~I am thankful I have a home with heat in it

~I am thankful for books without them I would be forced to play video games with
my husband...

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and you get to spend it with all the
People you are thankful for!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The places she will Pee!


Anyone who knows my kids will know which one I am talking about. My dear little Hailey. Ever since she has been potty trained I have caught her peeing in the woods like the boys, I have even heard from the kids that she will occasionally poop in the woods (gross I know). I seriously don't know where she comes from. She really does not believe in wiping, it drives me crazy. The other morning I come in from taking the kids out to the bus and I go in my bathroom and I see three small terds courtesy of Hailey, the reason I know this is because there was no toilet paper with the terds. Dirty girl, one good thing is she has an obsession about washing her hands after she uses the potty, I guess thats something to be happy about. Any way Friday night my Mom took the kids to the movies and we picked them up from her house around 9:30, we came home and got them all in their pajamas. Soon Mackenzie comes running out of her room with her garbage can in hand screaming Mom look in my garbage can. I had no idea that I would be seeing pee. I could tell that it was fresh pee (the bottom of the can was warm) so I asked Hailey if she knew who peed in it. She responds with Isaac, (poor Isaac he gets blamed for everything), knowing that it was not Isaac I said are you sure it was him because I am going to call his Mom and he will be in trouble. She responded no it was Ashley, I tell her the same thing I said before "are you sure?" After thinking about it and me pretending the dial the phone she broke down and said, "it was me Mom I pee in the garbage please don't be mad" The good news is that she would not let someone else get in trouble for her. But this peeing thing is crazy, honestly who pees in a garbage can when their bathroom is across the hall. ONLY HAILEY.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A beautiful story

My sister sent me this email and it touched me so much I thought I would share.




Breakfast at McDonald's

This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end! (After the story, there are some very interesting facts!):

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology.

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.

It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'.

His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..'

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers.

That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it.

Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?'

I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:



UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.



Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to

LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

There is an Angel sent to watch over you.

In order for her to work, you must pass this on to the people you want watched over.

An Angel wrote:

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head.

To handle others, use your heart.

God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remebering Todd..


Yesterday we had another dedication to Todd and two other fallen soldiers from West Michigan. This was a very short and sweet ceremony. It was held at the VFW out in Fruitport. Driving out there gave me the goose bumps because the last time I had been out by the airport was when Todd's body was brought back home from Iraq. We arrive and I am immediately targeted as Todd's widow, this was something that happened at every visitation, ceremony and even Todd's funeral. I must look like a widow, my sister laughs and says it's because I look much older than her. Whatever it is I hate that feeling, people come over to offer their condolences and think I am Steph. It creeps me out. Anyway Stephanie and our family were called to stand up so Stephanie and Emma could except a quilt from six ladies here in Muskegon that make them for fallen soldiers families. Steph is asked to introduce all of us and she just loses it. She is suddenly over come with emotion, in fact I look at every one of my family members and they are all filled with tears, all but me, so you guessed it I had to do all the talking. It is a beautiful quilt and it is so nice to know that Todd will never be forgotten. We sat behind another family, the fallen soldier left behind a wife and 2 young children. Several times I found myself starring at them, wanting to say something but just could not. On what seemed to be such an emotional day for everyone else, I did not cry. Which is very hard to believe because usually all it takes is to see my sister or my Mom crying and I can't help but to join in. I just did not feel the need to cry. I still miss him and love him and think about him every day but I think I have actually gotten to the point where I have excepted the fact that no amount of sadness I feel will ever bring him back to us. Looking at these other families I could not help feel a bond with all of them. We all have that something in common. We know the pain and the suffering that each other has felt because we have lived it. I really must say that without God's help I would have not made it through or been able to help my sister make it through those first unbearable days after Todd's death. I think it shows more and more with each day that I am able to deal with and accept him being gone. It is so wonderful that Emma will be able to have all these things that others have given her to remember her father. Someday she will be able to wrap herself up in that quilt and look through old pictures of her father and hopefully feel some how connected to him and also very proud of what he stood for.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boring weekend

Two posts in two days, wow hard to believe for me anyway. I must say this has to be the most boring weekend I have had in a long time. Part of our money saving we decided to really do nothing this weekend, which in all honesty feels rather nice. We did venture out grocery shopping this morning in the rain that was great fun with three kids. Literally last night I stayed in my room watched some TV, read 3 different chapters of 3 different books and texted Lisa at work. I am reading this new book called "praying through life's problems" To be honest I started it the other day and it scared me so much I stopped reading it. I guess what scared me the most was it is stories of real people keeping their faith through accidents, diseases, loss of loved ones. It gave me the realization that any of those stories could be mine at any given time. I hate thinking about what could happen it scares the hell out of me, I try not to if possible, but I must admit those types of thoughts creep through my mind whenever I hear of it happen to someone else. Instead of being scared last night I just dove right in, John came in the room several times and each time I was bawling like a baby it gave me such inspiration. Of course he thought I was just being my CRAZY self. Maybe but it felt so nice to cry, it felt like a weight had been lifted off from me. Men just don't understand that sometimes we need a good cry. Another great thing happened today I received two checks from google each for $100. How cool is that? That means I have made a total of $400 this year which does not seem like much but I have not had to put much into it. Most of you are probably lost the ads on my blog and my other blogs are by a program called google adsense and whenever someone clicks on an ad I make money, sometimes only 4 cents other times 25 cents, just something I have been doing on the side. It could not have come at a better time also. We have hopefully our last memorial for Todd tomorrow. Not that he does not deserve all these dedications and memorials it is very draining on the family. A part of me has been dreading it all week. I even was unsure if I was going to attend, I feel like it just opens wounds all over again, but realizing that not attending does not change the fact that he is gone I might as well go and deal and hopefully heal a bit more from it. I also wanted to thank every one who left comments and emailed me. It means a lot to me that you all care so much and although I am not looking for sympathy it felt good releasing some of my feelings. I went back and read my post and I wanted to clear something up, when I said I would read others blog and see picture perfect lives I did not mean that in a bad way it, I meant for me I felt like mine was starting to portray only the good things in my life and every time I would read someones else's I would find myself comparing and become a bit envious. I just wanted everyone to know the real me, I am not always happy and maybe in the process help others to see that it's ok to have problems. So hopefully I am out of my funk for a while (at least a few days) and I will have happy things to post about. I need to take my own advise and see all the good in my life. Everything will work out, it always does....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just babbling.

It feels like forever since I have written on this thing or even visited anyone else's blog for that matter. The time I have been spending on the computer is usually on MySpace or Facebook catching up with old friends and family. I've mostly been reading with any spare time I have, it takes me away from all the worries of life. I am having one of those moments where diving into a book is just not cutting it for me today. I need to release fears, anxiety, and other emotions that I am feeling before I explode on the wrong person. I have many draining days, if it is not my own worries I am constantly taking on the weight of everyone else's. I swear God is trying to tell me something, I know I need to be taking a different path in my life I just wish he could help line it up a bit better for me, I guess put it more in reach. My youngest sister is struggling in life at the moment, I want to help just unsure how. I sit and I read everyone else's blog's and how happy and perfect their lives seem. It's hard for many of us including myself to let our real faces be shown. It's hard to show how vulnerable we are as women, wifes and mothers. I find myself only blogging about the happy times in my life and often forget that blogging itself was a huge part of what got me through Todd's death. I was able to get my true feelings out there instead of keeping it bottled up inside. Granted at the time no one knew I blogged, so I didn't have to worry about what others would think of me. It's hard to put yourself out there almost naked for everyone to see. I am not a perfect person, friend, sister, daughter, wife and mother. I struggle with depression, anxiety and many other issues. I have had a struggling marriage and often still struggles in many ways. I struggle as a Mom, I struggle with daycare and the toll it takes on me and my home and my patience with my own children. John and I are facing many new challenges these days. Mostly financial ones. With the struggling economy Johns work is not doing well. He is not even getting his forty hours a week in. Kids are costly having a family of five is very costly. We are so used to John getting over time here and there to help balance out the extras we need. Now we are starting to see that we must prepare for the real possibility of a job change. It seems like all we do is argue about money well lack of it. Groceries have gone up so much I can't walk out of Meijers under $350 and I have to make that stretch for two weeks, thats not only feeding my family thats feeding a daycare besides that. We decided last night that instead of fighting over these types of things we need to take action. We will have to really cut back on things. Account for every bit of money that is spent. I learned that John would really like to move out of state. He has been mentioning this to me for the past few years and I have never really taken him seriously. Don't freak out if you are a day care parent, we are only talking, it could take years before this would even be possible. I have many issues with moving, mainly my kids, leaving family, friends having to start over. It scares the hell out of me. John wants to start sending resumes everywhere, which also scares me a bit. How will we know if we like it or if we will be happy. Writing about it is giving me anxiety... He needs me to trust him on this, have faith in him. I do realize that Michigan has been very hard hit by the economy. But this is my home, my family, my friends. Another suggestion that I had was maybe me actually getting a part time job out of the house on the weekends, that way I could still do day care during the week. The only problem with that is I think of all the things I would miss with my own kids. I am at a complete stand still. I understand that my husband wants to do something before it gets worse, in his eyes losing his job would be the worst, or me losing daycare kids. I have been trying to pick up an extra kid to help but everyone that needs me only needs me part time. I have to make it worth it especially when my sanity is involved. I prayed this morning like I have never prayed before, instead of praying for things and others I prayed for more faith. I need more faith in God, in my husband, even in myself. I prayed for guidance and strength. Whats the purpose for this post? really not sure just tired of pretending, wanted to remind myself that no life is perfect, and my struggles make me who I am. Mainly I think to just feel better by releasing things that are going through my mind. Thats my new goal for this blog, I am going to be more real, show who I really am, that includes the bad with the good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The most wonderful friend...

So I get on MySpace tonight and I see that Lea posted a new blog. Yes Lea blogs but only on MySpace I have tried talking her into joining blogger world because she is a terrific writer, but she insists that MySpace works just fine for her. Anyway little did I know that I would be reading about ME. All I can say is that I am speechless and very emotional, I am so LUCKY to have someone like her in my life. Lea, you made me feel so important and loved. Hope you don't mind I did a bit of copying and pasting. Thanks for being YOU, Love you too!!!!





Happy Birthday Dear Friend(s)
Current mood: blessed

I happen to know of SO many people who have October birthdays (me being one of them). I can't help but feel this overwhelming urge to tell you about a few of the awesome, dear friends I am blessed with who share an October birthday month.

Today, I'm taking the opportunity to share one of my closest friends with you: Shelly. Most of my fellow myspace friends also know Shelly but I'm not certain everyone knows the story about how we met or why our relationship has stood so strong and steadfast over the years.

Flashback to 5th grade - Whitehall Middle School. There I was, in class and in walks this cute, dark haired, dark eyed, petite girl sporting the biggest dimples I've ever seen! (Ok, she was also wearing some pretty big glasses too, but in her defense, they were the coolest things for that time.) I'll never forget the outfit she was wearing: a matching shirt and pants that were both made out of sweater like material, with a pattern that somewhat resembled a bumble bee. I know this may sound strange, but come on - it was the 80's!! And in all honesty, she really pulled it off!! Little did I know that her warm smile and friendly hello to me, was the starting of a lifetime friendship.

It was in that class I discovered so much about her. During Project CHARLIE I learned she was a bit more shy that I realized. She INSISTED I put on the board she liked hearts so she knew which one was her when she came back into the room. (Guess you had to be there to completely understand this one.) Also during this class was when she sought out my advice on whether or not she should kiss a certain boy who was asking (for saving embarassment, I won't mention any names). ;-)

It was her I turned to for boy advice since she always seem to have the right answer. It was her I shared my fears with, my dreams with and even band class with. Yes - band. Boy - those were some fun times!! (NOT!) I believe it was Shelly and I always competing for last chair! HA! We did have fun teasing Mark and Vernonell - oh and Gene, the only guy who played flute. I'll never forget the one band concert everyone was teasing me insisting I called Mark just before and sang him "I Just Called to say I Love You". To this day, I have no clue where that came from or just who made that call. To clear the air - it was NOT me!) By the way - those band sweaters were SO cool!!! (Not!!)

Fast forward to freshman year. Wow! What a change! High school!! That summer, Shelly decided to stay in band (ok...so I basically ditched her, sorry girl). She failed the first semester because she didn't attend summer band camp. That being the whole reason I didn't stay in band - camp was held at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp that summer. Since I grew up there, there was NO WAY I was going to attend band camp there. (If I only knew about "American Pie" back then!) Thank God Shelly did stay in band because through her being in band, I was able to met Tom.

We shared many good memories throughout high school. Who to date, where to hang out, drama class, Everyday Living class with wearing of the empathy belly (easy A) and who would drive to school (mainly me). During these years, I spent a great deal of time at her house and with her family. Doing so, I always felt more than welcome and I became part of her family. I watched Steph go through her "Darlene" phase and helping to tighten her back brace. I watched little Katie get blisters on her thumbs from playing Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo and twist her hair into tangled messes. We were able to ask her mom any sex question we could think of, and she would give us answers. We talked about how Uncle Jer was so cool - and SO hot!! We had Mary Kay parties at her house, went for walks with boys and had numerous sleepovers. We shared dances and she didn't even yell at me when I splashed steak sauce on the collar of her dress! (I'm still sorry about that...)

We graduate and she ends out in Norton Shores. By this time, she met a "cute guy who drove a Beretta" (that's how she first described John to me) and they get married. They have a beautiful baby boy and I still visit her fairly regularly and we take baby Tyler to eat at Subway. John was working nights and Tom was working a 2nd job at the local hobby store.

In 2000, Tom and I are getting married and we ask both her and John to be in our wedding. She was pregnant with her beautiful daughter Mackenzie and she is supposed to be taking it easy and keeping her feet up. So here it is, my big day and I'm following her around with a folding chair reminding her she is supposed to be "taking it easy". Well, she is more worried about me having a wonderful day. She ends up standing outside freezing during our ceremony, dancing for the bridal dance (even though I encouraged her not to) and making my day all the more memorable because she and John shared it with us.

Shortly after, we were looking to buy a house. There just happened to be one for sale right next door to John and Shelly. Of course I was hesitant to take a look at it - how in the WORLD would Shelly feel if we move in next door?? I should have known she was MORE than thrilled and even was the one to suggest it to us. A few months later we move in and we couldn't have made a better choice for neighbors. We hung out pretty regularly at their house with other couples and their kids (Tom and I were still childless at this point). Shelly was always having get togethers and since John is a big kid himself, he had all the newest gaming systems and a great TV to play them on.

Shelly was the 2nd person I told I was expecting my first baby. She never missed a beat when she offered to watch him for us! Wow - how great that turned out to be! A sitter directly next door who is already considered family. I couldn't have prayed for a better place for our boys to spend their days.

Here it is, 20 years later, and we are still "family". I seriously do not think our kids have the slighest clue they really are not related! And I couldn't ask for it to be any other way! Her mom is my boys "nanny", her grandma is "grandma" and her entire family treats us wonderfully and includes us in EVERTHING!! I know there are MANY other things I am not including in this...but what I've shared are some of the highlights.

My point here is, Shelly is the most wonderful, caring, considerate person to everyone she meets. She has treated us and welcomed us like family and that is something not a lot of people can say. She is a therapist, mom, aunt, sister, wife, sitter, writer, and coach. But most important to me, she is my friend...and a "sister" by choice!!

Love you girl!!
Happy birthday....you deserve the very best year yet!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Daddy and Daughter


After a crazy morning of trying to catch up on laundry, dirty dishes, and cleaning the cat litter boxes I was in a pretty frustrated mood, especially when my husband was on the computer putting songs on his i pod all morning. We skipped church because I have had this incredible headache all weekend long and I think Chuck E Cheese had not helped it the night before. I caught myself huffing and puffing every time I would walk by John on the computer, I kept thinking it must be nice sitting on your butt while I am busting mine. Mackenzie decides that she wants to listen to music out in the family room while I am loading the dish washer, not something in all honesty appreciated considering my headache but I said nothing and went about my business. She gets to the song "My little Girl" and I see her take off out of the corner of my eye.. She heads right for John and pulls him right up out of the chair and wants to dance with him. At this point all my crankiness just disappears and John is once again #1 in my book. How wonderful it must be for Mackenzie to just feel so comfortable with her Dad that she can go up to him at any time to snuggle and ask for a dance, I have only longed for that type of relationship with my Dad. Hailey feeling a bit left out headed for Daddy's arms also and Mom grabbed the camera. John whispered to me "I am so lucky" I whispered back, "our girls are the lucky ones".

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Mackenzie


My little Kenzie - Lou is 8 years old. I remember the day I found out I was having a girl, Daddy and I went to Target and bought you your first pink outfit. I cherished every minute of my pregnancy with you, I call you my special child. After three miscarriages I thought it was a great possibility that Tyler was going to be an only child, now I see that God was just waiting for you to be my daughter. You came into this world 9 days early so I should have known that you were going to be an impatient, testy little girl. I have cherished everything about you, the way your doll blankets would have to be laid out perfect on the floor with no wrinkles, or your pants would have to be pulled up just perfect, along with your socks. I remember the way you pinched the top of my hand while I used to nurse you. I remember like it was yesterday you sitting on your potty chair( with only socks on) watching Barney. You were such a little Mommy to all the day care kids, I remember your twin dolls aka Allison and Isaac. Now you have become a school teacher to all of them. As soon as the bus pulls up all the kids run to greet you at the door waiting for you to play school with them. I love that you are so spiritual at your age, the people and things you pray for and how you take notes in church, so you can ask me about it later. Honestly I know no other girl like you. You are such a blessing Mackenzie. Happy 8th Birthday, Mommy loves you!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Learning something new...

I am attempting a new hobby. And I stress ATTEMPTING.... My mother in law makes beautiful cabbage patch clothes, she not only makes them for the girls she has a store on Ebay. She is very talented, she follows no patterns and the quality of her clothes is outstanding I am very jealous. I asked her if she could teach me how to sew, she was very excited to say the least and even let me borrow one of her sewing machines to bring home and practice. So today was my first lesson. Not as easy as one would think. I am totally dumb when it comes to stuff like this, I always walk by all the fabric and think "oh I wish I could sew and make something for someone" but never did I consider all that is involved. So after about an hour in a half of learning to thread the machine and needle, I was off, I soon realized I can't sew in a straight line to save my life and pushing a petal and sometimes a separate lever and guiding fabric all at the same time is not easy for me to do. The whole process is a bit overwhelming to me, but I am determined to learn. I think I may even purchase the book sewing for dummies, because I really need to learn more basics. Luckily for me my teacher is very patient. I am going to practice at home this week with just feeling more comfortable with the machine and get a better feel for it, then with my mother in laws help I will try to tackle a pattern, maybe pajamas for the girls or a purse. Wish me luck and who knows maybe I will actually get good at it and I will be able to make some extra special Christmas gifts for everyone. You should check out my mother in laws Ebay store to see her work, Hailey's picture is even on it. If you go to Ebay's home page hit the advanced search button and type in crawford176 in the sellers spot. She has the cutest doll clothes..

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

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P.U.S.H


I realize that I have not been blogging as much lately, I call this my quiet time, I go through these times when I get kinda stumped with what to write about. I have lots to say but not sure how to put it into the right words. My life is still the same busy life but for some reason this time of year (maybe it's the fact that I will be turning 32 in a few weeks) kinda gets me thinking. I am really missing my Grandpa right now, his birthday is the 12th of this month he would have been 74. Crazy to think that a year ago he was here with us and now I am missing the sound of his voice, I can only imagine what my Grandma must feel like. There is this empty space at sporting events, my kids birthdays and I sure it will be the same at the upcoming Holidays. We celebrated Emma's 2nd birthday Sunday. Last year on her birthday we were all still in a bit of shock from losing her father, and I just realized recently that the last picture that I took of my Grandpa was at Emma's 1st birthday last year. The picture was of John and him and it was a really good one. Shortly after that he became ill and we learned that his cancer had come back. He never made it to Mackenzie's party that year he was to sick. Little did I know, a few months later he would be gone. If someone would have predicted two years ago that I would have lost my brother in law and my Grandpa all in the same year I would have thought no way possible, but life is fragile as many of us are learning with age. We have our good times, but we also must endure the bad. I have gained a brother in law (Rich), a sister in law (Margie), a nephew (Alex), I am learning with age to treasure the good, because you never know whats around the corner. My sister Katie just informed me that I am going to be an Aunt yet again. Her and Rich are expecting and could not be any happier. Congrats to the both of you. The same day Katie starts spreading her news they learn that Rich's mom has Cancer. Katie's first OB appointment falls on the first day of Becky's chemo. Please keep Rich's Mom and family in your prayers. Katie also learned her due date yesterday, she is due June 11th, which is Todd's birthday, life can be a bit strange huh? Speaking of Todd, his sister and her three beautiful kids attended Emma's birthday, her youngest son Kevin looks identical to Todd. It's a bit overwhelming to see so much of Todd in him. I am so grateful that I have become closer to God, because if there is one thing I am sure of, there are reasons for all this good and bad in our lives we may not see them now but they are there. So when you feel stressed about money, gas prices and all the other economic crap, take a breath and look around, it is written all in our children's faces especially in their smiles. I am learning that life is not about what you have but who you help and who you are there for. A saying that I heard in church Sunday. P.U.S.H it means Pray Until Something Happens. Be thankful for today, I know I am!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dance Routine

Hailey Update....



Hailey had another doctors appointment Friday morning and they removed her cast to be able to take yet another X Ray of her elbow. She did so good but for at least 15 more days she will need to wear her cast that they reused (gross). The good thing is that we can remove it for bath time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday Tyler


It seems like only yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the very first time, hearing you say your very first word, seeing you walk your very first step. Now 11 years later I am having to let you grow up a bit more with each new day. Before I became a mom, I had no idea how much you could really love another person, then you were born and you became the most important person in my world. My heart was over flowing with love and constant worry for your well being. We used to dance together to Elton John's "The way you look tonight" it would put you right to sleep. Something about your smile and your kind heart and the way you sometimes now comfort me 11 years later, reminds me each day how lucky I am to have a son like you. Happy 11th Birthday Tyler, I love you!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mackenzie's Field Trip....



I got to on Mackenzie's 1st field trip of the school year, this is something that I very rarely get the chance to do. I don't get personal days in Daycare, I like to use my vacation time for actual vacations, so when doctors appointments come up or field trips I try to find a sitter which is usually one of my sisters, or sometimes John will arrange his schedule for me at work so I can attend and no one else has to find another sitter. Yesterday was one of those days, Katie who switched her own works hours to help me stayed at my house with a few kids so that I could go to Lewis Farms with Mackenzie. Those of you who really know Kenzie just know that she suffers from middle child syndrome. She's not quite big enough to do what her big brother sometimes does, but she is not the baby of the family either, this results in many arguments between her and I and basically she tells me that I don't spend as much time with her as she would like. Yes I am often reminded this on a daily basis, so yesterday morning was her day. We had a great time, she had to hold my hand almost the whole time, she loved having my full attention and it felt nice just spending time with her. Another Mom made me feel so good, she had said that last year in class she had helped Mackenzie with a lesson on writing about what she wanted to be when she was a grown up, "I remember this and I believe I saved this because it touched me so" She wrote that when she grew up she wanted to be a "MOM" just like her mom. The other Mom said she was the only one in the class who had written such a thing, most wanted to teachers, doctors, not Mackenzie she wanted to be a "MOM" like hers. I remember reading it at the time and thinking "we need to establish a bit more expectations in life" but this other Mom was like "you must be one amazing mom"
Can you really ever get a better compliment than that?? I'd say that I have a pretty amazing daughter and I am the lucky one... So special thanks to Katie for always being there to watch a few kids so I don't miss being a Mom sometimes, and to Steph who will be helping me out next week when I go with Hailey to the Farmers Market. Without your help I would not be able to do these things, I appreciate it more than you'll ever know...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Changes


My head these last few days has just been spinning with all the thinking I have been doing. John would say that I am just being myself but lately I have been feeling like my mind has been putting in a lot of over time. The worry of Hailey and her broken arm, adjusting to school, making lunches, kids school pictures, book orders, the list goes on. Tyler will be turning 11 next Friday, that has got me feeling really depressed. He is so big but yet still my baby. I was thinking back to when I was in 5th grade and the things I used to worry about. It just does not seem possible that Tyler is experiencing some of these same things. He and I shared some quality time outside Wednesday night, which never happens, I have no idea what the girls were doing but we were all alone. It was so nice just listening to him talk about things. He can be such a grown up when he wants to be. We got on the subject of mean kids, he started to get choked up a bit, I started asking questions and he quickly said Mom I don't want to talk anymore, well that was not going to work for me, so I pushed a bit harder and the next thing I know he was in tears and I was pissed, I promised him that I would not share to much of this with anyone (I know here I am blogging about it) I just need to get it off my chest, but for his sake I won't get into details, he is just having some problems with a few boys at school that he used to be great friends with but now they have turned very competitive at recess and if Tyler scores a goal playing soccer, they will literally push him down and call him names and cheat at the game so that they always win. Instantly I want to call their parents, but I have to stop myself, I can't fix every problem for him, he does not want me too, and as much as I would like to go to school and kick 2 5th graders butts, I can't!!! He said Mom, if these boys keep pushing me I am going to push them back, I have always taught Tyler not to hit or hurt anyone, but he is not in first grade anymore, John explained to me that Tyler must not be afraid or it will only make matters worse. Tyler wanted to make sure that if he got into trouble at school for defending himself he was not going to be in trouble at home with us. John told Tyler the next time someone pushes you to push them back. My advise was just don't play with them, he said he was taking his Dads advise because he was a boy. See Kristin, you thought you had problems with Isaac & Alli fighting in school, wait until it involves other peoples kids, you have tons to look forward too. I have no idea what will come about with all this, nothing happened yesterday, so maybe the problem will just go away. So Wednesday night I found myself just sobbing thinking about Tyler and the bully's he may someday face at school, John wanted me to watch a movie with him that night, he said it would take my mind off things, we watched the Kingdom, very good movie but not if you have lost someone in another country. There was a lot of truth to this movie so maybe that is why it hit so close to home. It got me thinking about how Todd was killed in another country, by the people he was there to help, by nights end I am crying, mad, sad and feeling very confused about life and asking God why do things have to be so hard?? I guess it is just another day in the life... All I can do is just keep moving on like I have been until the next issue occurs and then I will deal with it then...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mackenzie will love this!!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This made me smile....


I had left a diaper out on my counter and when I went to find it to change Andon I could not find the darn the thing. I thought that I was losing my mind when I looked over and saw it on Eeyore. For all of you who don't know Eeyore, he is Ashley's most favorite toy in the world. I asked Ashley why Eeyore needed the diaper, her response was that he had to poop and she did not want the mess.... I love Kids....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Following Jesus Christ

Tomorrow is a huge day for me... I will be getting baptized... This is something that I have really been thinking about for a long time now. About two years ago I was given the book "The Purpose Driven Life", it is the book that takes you so many days to read because you can only read a chapter a day. I was given this at a very difficult time of my life. I was fighting anxiety and depression, that was making me crazy and putting a real strain on my marriage, I had a lot of issues. My youngest sister Katie loaned me the book, she thought it might help. I was desperate, so I read.. John was working the night shift so I would read a chapter every night before bed. My sister Steph would come over at night and we would discuss it and sometimes I would even read it out loud to her... Remember this is all before we lost Todd... I remember reading that you needed to find a church home and family, I thought at the time, I didn't need church to believe in God, (I still believe that) God is with you no matter what!!! but at the time I thought I would never be a member of a church I was just to busy... Finally I finished the book but nothing really changed, I mean I may have thought of God more often but I still seemed to be so darn depressed... Then Todd was killed, I like everyone else starts questioning God.. For the very first time in my life instead of running from God when I had problems, I decided to run to him. Not full force or over night but God is what got me through it... I started remembering more and more about what the book had said and I started seeing things way more clearer than ever before. I had so much hurt from miscarriages, daily life struggles and relationships I did not know how to handle them, finally one day in my bathroom, I just cried and asked God to help me, to hear me and to guide me. This may sound strange to some and I am not trying to preach but for the first time I felt relieved. After this everything else just seemed to fall into place, better relationships, feeling happier, and finding a church home. Every time I attend church I feel as if the pastor is talking directly to me.. Now tomorrow I am going to be baptized, but what makes this even more special? I am doing it with my husband and Lea. We have all chosen to follow Jesus Christ how wonderful is that??!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hailey Update..



We went to the see the bone doctor this morning and had another Xray taken. Things still looked the same so the doctor put her in a "pink" cast and said that we need to come back in a week for another xray with the cast on and that will determine surgery or not. He seems to be fairly confident that she will not need it, but with our luck many prayers are still needed. Thanks to everyone who has called and left messages your thoughts and prayers are very appreciated. She is one tough cookie thats for sure.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I spoke to soon...


Just as I am feeling relief about the school issue and life started feeling a bit calm again, my darling Hailey falls from out steps that lead up to our play area on our swing set and breaks her arm. YES BREAKS HER ARM... We had just gotten home from Mackenzie's game and I brought my nephew inside and my three kids go out to the back yard to play while we are getting ready to take them all out for dinner. Not even five minutes inside I hear this awful screaming and crying, I go running outside and Hailey has a mouth full of dirt and is holding her arm. At first John was sure that she had not broken it because she could move it, but I knew when she wanted to go to the doctor it must be bad, what four year old wants to go to the doctor. So off to the ER we go, I sat in the back trying to comfort Hailey as best I could, but she literally had all of us in tears, Tyler and Kenzie were all upset and crying. It is the very worst feeling in the world when your child is hurt and you can't take the pain away. The whole time in ER I felt like puking but had to remain strong for her. They took some xrays and determined that she broke it at her Elbow, which is a very painful break the doctor said, which explains why she was in so much pain. The wrapped it and we have to go back Monday to a bone doctor to look at and cast it, I am praying for no surgery. After the pain meds kicked in she was able to play but she is already sick of having her arm wrapped up. She slept horrible last night so I am hoping for a better night because we both need our sleep. I think back and still can't believe that this happened, I was just reading about Lori's daughter Gracie and how she broke her arm and had to have surgery and now a few days later, my own daughter breaks her arm. Go Figure!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A bit of relief...





Finally my day of dread is over, meaning Hailey's first day of school. All weekend long it was all I thought about. We did so many fun things but in the back of my mind it was always there. John thinks I am crazy, he did not understand what the big deal was, I think in my case I have never had to send my kids somewhere, so the whole trusting my kids with others who don't really know them is such a huge deal to me. I acted the same when each kid started school but honestly this time around affected me way more because she is my last one. The night before I probably got maybe 2 hours sleep, I either had a stomach bug or it was just my nerves, so by the time I got her on the bus I was just a wreck with no sleep. She did so good, but as the bus pulled away I bawled like a baby. I jumped in the truck and headed to school so that I could find a secret spot to watch her get off the bus. Camera in hand I waited and pretty soon the cutest little girl in pig tails just jumps off the bus all excited and followed a helper right to her class. I should have left but being the stalker I am I had to follow. She had a bit of trouble opening the door to her class room but she made it in and I watched from the window for a bit. She put her back pack up and started playing with puzzles. I cried the whole way home. She doesn't need her Mommy like she used too. Now the reality sets in and time presses on. My next huge milestone will be with Tyler when he goes into middle school next year, oh well at least I have a whole year to prepare myself..

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School



School starts next week and honestly I can't believe how fast summer just flew right by. I am starting to have anxiety over my kids going back. I know it is good for them and I deserve the break but I really only feel relaxed when they are at home with me. You would think I would be used to this, after all Tyler is going into the fifth grade, but each year it feels harder and harder to let go. This will be Tyler's last year at Ealy and Mackenzie's last year at Shoreline, and my baby Hailey's first year at Shoreline. Thats right all three of my kids will be in school starting on Tuesday. I have never not had another baby at home since Tyler first started school. It is so crazy. The hardest part for me is going to be putting Hailey on the bus. She has hardly ever been away from me and I am just supposed to stick her on the bus. There will be many tears that morning from me. I have to put my trust in the aids that they will get her off the bus and take her to her class, that is very hard for me. The way home I am not so worried because I know that I will be getting her off the bus and she will be riding with Alli, Isaac and Abby, but making it through that first day, I'm just not sure I'll make it. It is the strangest feeling when I think about having all three in school. It seems like yesterday I was putting Tyler on the bus for the very first time. I thought it was supposed to get easier the older they got, but it really does not because I still worry about the older ones, making new friends, fitting in and hoping that they really enjoy school. I'm guessing that Monday night will be a pretty restless night for many of us Mom's.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taking the moment


The past weekend was busy as usual. Friday Johns bother got married, after the reception/open house we met my sisters at the drive in something we have not done all summer long. Tired out from such a long day we both fell asleep during the movie. Tyler is the only one that made it through the whole movie. Saturday we decide that we are going to start school shopping. We thought we would start at the Outlets in Howell. I was driving and John noticed that I had a rash of some sort on my neck. So as I am feeling for the rash I discover a lump in my neck right above my collar bone. Anyone who knows me well knows that I jump to the worst conclusion. Within minutes I am fighting back tears, Johns yelling at me for getting upset and thinking I have cancer and my kids are wondering what the hell is wrong. They asked why I was crying I said it was because I had a headache, not realizing that is what I always say when I am upset, Tyler says back, "you always say that when you don't want to tell us something." I just ignored the comment and stuck to my headache story. The rest of the way to Howell all I did was think. Which is sometimes not a good thing for me to do. In fact the whole weekend I was quiet and felt awful. I had a very hard time enjoying myself at all. I kept thinking what are my kids going to do without a Mom? I don't want them to see me sick, I know I am CRAZY. Feeling sorry for John yet? I literally drove him out of his mind all weekend long. I would go from cherishing every moment with them to crying hysterically. I was so upset with John I almost felt like he did not care or was not taking me seriously. He kept explaining to me over and over that he was worried but he was not going to officially worry until he had something to worry about, if that makes any sense... I kept insisting no John, this is my body and I know I have cancer and thats that. Everyone tried to reassure me that everything was probably fine, special thanks to Tom, Lea. my Mom and Mother and law for trying to make me feel better. By Monday morning I am convinced it is cancer because it felt bigger, so I call the doctors office asap. I mean withing minutes of them opening. I explain everything to the nurse and she basically tells me to watch it but since I could move it, she was not so concerned, and that when my doctor was back from vacation in a week I could have it checked out. I did not feel comfortable with that answer so I said I would see any doctor. She then put me on hold and got my chart out. She gets back on the phone and says can you be here in 15 minutes. Now I would love to see this chart of mine, I am convinced that it says CRAZY lady somewhere in it and on my kids it probably says CRAZY mother, let her come in or she will keep bugging.. There is very good reason for them thinking I am a bit paranoid at times, when my kids were smaller I would freak out over the smallest of things. Like for instance I read in the paper when Ty was about 4 that some other small child had died from the flu, well I wanted answers and Ty had a very bad cold but no fever, so I lied and said he had a temp just so he could be seen. Another example after suffering several miscarriages after Tyler I was filled with anxiety, so much anxiety my heart would race, well I was convinced that I had a heart condition, two different doctors told me it was anxiety but nope I was not buying it, I insisted in an EKG.. Well no heart problem just one over paranoid woman. So over the years I think they have just learned to work with me. I am not nearly as bad as I used to be but I do have my moments. Back to the lump, I did see a doctor and I am fine, I am fighting a cold and allergies so my lymphoid is swollen creating the lump I felt. Thank you God, after receiving that news I was in the greatest mood ever. The kids could have burnt the house down and I would have still been smiling. I hate that I always presume the worst but honestly I think I do that to protect myself, I don't ever want to get that news being unprepared. I hate surprises. I also think that the older I get and the more I hear about others having cancer that our my age and younger, it really scares the hell out of me. So for this moment I am taking it and being thankful.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Attention All Moms

The meeting between my sister and Todd's Mom did not go as well as hoped. My sister described it as feeling as if she was attacked by Donna and the mediator. She basically said that Donna got to state her case and every time she tried to say something she was interrupted. The mediator is supposed to be somewhere in the middle and basically sided with Donna and was not even interested in Steph's reasons. So it looks like it will go to court. This whole thing is so stupid to me. It is really bothersome to me to think that a judge will have the final say as to who my sister allows to leave her child with. I guess all us Moms should be warned that at any time a grand parent can sue you and force you to have to let them spend time alone with YOUR child. Parents should have the final say. Don't get me wrong, Donna should be a part of Emma's life, but it should be under my sisters terms, no judge should make that final call. I believe that the mediator should listen to both sides and then make a recommendation, but honestly to me it is so stupid that it has even gotten this far, Stephanie is Emma's mother, she decides whats best for her daughter. I am just going to continue to pray for a miracle and some how this can get resolved before it gets nasty at least for Emma's sake.

Some People


So this afternoon I am going with my sister Steph to the courthouse for mediation between her and Todd's mother. As most of you already know my sister was served with court papers last week, stating that Donna wants visitation with Emma. Stephanie has NO problem letting Donna see Emma, she does have a problem leaving her there. Stephanie has made it very clear to Donna, that she could see Emma whenever, either she would bring her over there or she could come visit her over my house. That is not good enough since Donna wants no part of my sister. I guess I am just not understanding this whole thing. She has never shown any interest in Emma before, even before Todd's death Steph was the one that always called her and asked to come over to visit. Many times Steph would call and leave messages and Donna would not return her calls. She did not show up for Emma's birthday, no card, nothing. Now all of a sudden it is her right to a little girl who by the way has no idea who the heck she is. I have a huge problem with that. I am just praying that the court system will see this from a logical stand point. No mother should be told who they must leave their child with. Donna would have not liked it if someone told her that she must leave her child with someone. Yes I understand that her son was killed in Iraq, but that was my sister's husband also, she is not the only one struggling. It seems to me if I were in her shoes and really cared about my grand daughter I would do whatever I had to do, she needs to make an effort and show Steph that she wants to be a grandma, not just demand her rights. I have such strong feelings on this not only because I want whats best for Emma, but I believe that when you have kids you have that responsibility of protecting them. I had kids to care for them myself, it is my choice on who I leave them with. My sister and Todd did not get a divorce, he was killed, she had no choice in the matter. She did not have a child with Todd to share with Donna. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose a child, but if I were ever in Donna's position, I would still consider my daughter in law my family, I would not say well I only want to see my grand child. Thats basically what she has said to Steph. I am just praying that all goes well today... Wish us Luck...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Katie's Wedding

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stop-Loss


We took the kids to the park last night and brought a pizza along and decided to stop and rent some movies. We don't know what to do with our new found freedom, for those of you who don't know Tyler decided not to play football for a season. It was a tough decision and he waited until the very last minute, I mean literally an hour before practice was starting. He just explained to us that he is so burned out from baseball he feels like he has not had much of a summer. He has been playing since 5 years old so I think it crushed John a bit at first but Tyler assured him that he would play next season and the more John thought about it he said it was for the best because he is pretty tired too. And this way maybe Tyler can actually gain some weight by not constantly exercising. He is going into the 5th grade and only weighs 55 pounds. So lets keep our fingers crossed for a growth spurt. Anyway back to my Movie. It was such a debate for me to rent Stop-Loss. I have a very hard time watching any war movies or anything that consists of soldiers for that matter, but John said he heard it was a good movie and assured me that if it got to be to much we could always stop the movie. Oh my gosh what a great movie, it was VERY difficult to watch everything reminded me of Todd. But it really opens yours eyes let me tell ya. What our government does to our Soldiers is not always fair. Even though there have not been a lot of US Soldiers being killed in Iraq recently we forget what these poor Soldiers must endure over there everyday and what they will go through the rest of their lives, the nightmares that will forever haunt them. Our government does not want us to see this, it makes people uncomfortable. They want us to just forget what this war has done to our heroes and in our case what this war has cost our family. Our love one is gone, never to hold his daughter again, I am reminded daily. By the end of the movie I was just crying so hard my stomach hurt. I dreamed of Todd all night. In one of my dreams, he would not look at me, I was begging with him not to go back to Iraq, not to leave and he just kept walking never looking back. I was restless the entire night. We still have not forgotten you Todd, we love and miss you. God bless all the Soldiers.....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Can anyone relate???


~ I hate the price of gas, I never thought I would see the day when I would be happy to see gas at $3 a gallon. It would be awesome to see it even that cheap again.

~ I love being a Mommy, I never thought I could love 3 kids so darn much....

~ I hate that time goes to fast, especially vacations they seem to be over just as fast as they have begun.

~ I love that Tyler still needs me to comfort him when he is sick or when he has a problem, I don't know what I will do when I am not the only woman in his life, it scares me to think that far ahead.

~ I hate that because of the price of gas, the price of groceries have gone way up, like milk for example, it adds up especially when you are buying 8 to 9 gallons a week.

~ I love watching kids eat, just seeing them full makes me feel satisfied, weird I know..

~ I love that after 10 years of marriage my husband still loves to hold me and loves me even when I am at my worst.

~ I hate Cancer and wish that no one would ever have to endure pain and sickness, but I do trust that it is all in God's plan.

~ I hate that I am not a water person, I would love to just feel comfortable in it..

~ I wish I would play more with my kids, I sometimes feel so jealous of how John is just so able to play more with them, I feel like I always have to much to do.

~ I love the sounds of kids giggling.

~ I love watching John with our daughters, I wish I had that with my own Dad.

~ I hate seeing my kids sick or scared.

~ I love it when John and I lay in bed and talk, those are some of the best conversations we have ever had.

~ I hate feeling vulnerable

~ I love holding Hailey when she sleeps

~ I love that so many people trust me with their kids

~ I hate waiting in line for anything. I wish I had more patience...

~ I love watching Mackenzie entertain, she reminds me so much of myself at her age, but she is way more beautiful than I ever was...