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:


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


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.