Sunday, December 11, 2011

What Christmas means...

Every year I struggle with finding a way to teach my children what Christmas is about. I want to make sure they realize Christmas is NOT about the presents. It's not about the lights or the decorations. I try to find a way to enrich them that will become a memory, a reminder, a subtle thought of what the day and season really means.

Christmas can mean many things for different people. It could be about the new Red Dress, or the fancy tree, or even the parties they will attend. For some, it is about Jesus, or another higher power, and the day of birth.

And for others, it is about Family.

Family to me is what Jesus represents. His love and understanding, his forgiveness and kindness, his unconditional faith in humanity is all about FAMILY. He thought of us all as his family, when he chose to die for us. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to push any religion on you, nor preach my faith. I believe we all have the right to love and believe in whomever makes us feel better.

But family, when your all together, when you take away all the outside interferences of the "retail Christmas", makes you all warm and cozy, safe and fuzzy.

You see, I use to think this was Christmas:

But life changes lately has made me realize, that Christmas is more about this:

And most importantly this:
It did all start with this:

And became this over time:
Love is Family ~ Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Prayers please...

I am writing this post as I sit beside my daughters Hospital Bed holding her hand. My heart breaks for her as it seems she never gets a break. We are here for several days while they run many tests.

Last night while sitting in the doctors office, after hearing him say she had to go back to the hospital, she broke down in tears that were enough to break my heart. She cried to not go back, and although i wanted nothing more then to kiss her and tell her it was going to be ok and protect her, i knew deep inside that going to the hospital was what would help her to feel better and find whats wrong. As badly as I wanted to say "you don't have to go", I just hugged her and promised to be there holding her hand every step.

Life is so unfair for her. I'm so frustrated with how much is thrown her way. As much of a trooper as she is, and truly is my hero, enough is enough. Her life is hard enough without adding more things on. As if her road hasn't been crazy enough with road blocks, we have to encounter more. As if she hasn't already learned about strength from going through so much already, she needs to be tested more? As if she hasn't learned about patience, she needs to fret and worry more about her little world?

I have walked every step with her, gone to every therapy appointment, exercised her, taught her sign language, speech, walking and how to make friends. I've held her hand through every trial, wiped many tears and listened to her cry herself to sleep on too many nights. I've attended every doctors appointment and fought the political mess of school funding for her special education to the mess of insurance and medical funding. I have filed more paperwork for her then I care to ever see again, and I've watched her like a hawk for any new signs. I've cried myself to sleep and my brain never shuts down with the many things that still need to be done, but i have NEVER stopped fighting for her.

I know inside that she IS where she is because i didn't give up. And I know many families face much worse then we do. But just this once...just this one time...I need to say...LIFE STINKS SOMETIMES!

So please pray for her, for us, so that she may catch just a little break for once. Just enough so she can catch her breath and get ready for the next hurdle to be thrown her way.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday...

The Boy went and turned another year older! No matter how many times I tell him to stop aging because it's making me look bad, he keeps on doing it.

Austin turned 15 a few days before Thanksgiving, and this year he wanted to take a bunch of friends to play Laser Tag and sleep over. And I said sure! Thinking only a few friends and how I'm getting off cheap this year for a party, this will be a breeze.

So when he heard back from the invites, a few said no, so he invited a few more. And then those few came back and said "hey, plans changed, we are not out of town for the holiday, now we can come" and then I had a house full and had to drive 2 cars.

So DH and I drove these 6 HUGE, as in tall and meaty, teenage boys to Laser Tag, and waited while they played arcade games for an hour, ate in the cafe, and played 2 games of LT. Then these eating machines were hungry. So off to Pizza we went. Five Extra Large Pizza's and Breadsticks later, we headed home for an all nighter gaming night.

Oh and don't forget the Gourmet Cupcakes for dessert.

They were wound up. High on excitement and sugar. I only was awaken at 2am to the front door opening and closing. Caught 2 of them sneaking out, or should i say, sneaking in. The boys finally crashed around 5am from what i hear.

I woke up and made a huge homemade breakfast for them with 1 dozen Scrambled Eggs, 2lbs of Bacon, 2lbs of Hash browns, 1gallon of Apple Juice, 2 packages of Tortilla's for the breakfast burritos and 1/2lb of cheese.

And then....their parents arrived to take them all home.

And I collapsed.

He had a great time, and it was great seeing him laughing so much, and overall, they are a really great bunch of guys he's friends with.

But I'm scared for the big "16" party next year!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Decorating...

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we waste no time in preparing for Christmas in our household. It is our favorite holiday for my Hubby and I. I think it has something to do with us really just being kids at heart, but i feel happier, merrier when everything is decorated. And my absolute FAV is sitting in the evening's when it's dark out and just having the Christmas Lights on.
So Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, Hubby starts pulling all the Christmas tubs out of the shed, and I hit the stores at 5am for Christmas Shopping. Usually by the time I get home, half the outside is decorated.
You see, our home is one of those that people drive by to see. Not intentionally, it just seems to grow each year. I lost count at 15,000 lights. Add in several inflatables, yard decorations, wall designs, garage magnets, and front porch scenes, you can imagine what I'm talking about.
So Saturday Morning, the inside tubs come in, and I spend the day moving furniture to prepare for the tree, stringing and decorating all the bannister's in the house and hanging stockings. We have a Nativity Scene, a Christmas light up village, A Santa collection, 6 inside trees (4 mini, a medium one, and a Live large one), ribbons, wall decorations, you name it, we have it.
It usually takes us the whole 3 days to finish the inside and out. Christmas Music blaring, the kids help out too. Austin enjoys doing the outside with Dad, now that he's old enough to get on the roof and do them himself, and Emily helps me with the inside. She's great at directing me and unpacking everything.
There's something about decorating for Christmas, that brings out the child in me. I feel the excitement growing inside, the giddiness of a child, the warm, fuzzy feeling of what Christmas means. Watching the wonder and excitement on my children's faces, and the glow in their eyes. Christmas means more then the decorations we put up. Its the wonderment of what the season brings. It's the kindness and consideration of thinking of others, the thought that is put into the home baked goodies and gifts, the memories that are made.
Now if only I could get an elf or two to wrap all the presents for me, then I'd be really happy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Surprise...

Our family got the BEST Thanksgiving Day Surprise ever this year. One that made me scream! Made me run. It also made me tear up. And then I hit my brother!

Let me start from the beginning.

We all gathered at my sister's home for the holiday with my brother's family, my parents, my sisters family and my family. So in all there were 16 people there, sitting around, chatting, snacking on yummy appetizers from The Pioneer Woman's Blog and preparing the main meal.

And we were all reminiscing about the good 'ole days when all of a sudden...

The front door opens...

And in walked...

My Navy Nephew, Nick from Virginia!!!!

After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I ran and jumped into his arms!

And then I punched my brother in the arm.

Seriously!! I was so ecstatic, I couldn't stop grinning. You see, he just got off a Navy Ship in the middle of Chaos and War and Oceans galore for the last 8 months. And he was sent to San Diego for more training in the beginning of November. And being that S.D. is only 9 hours from me - I have been tempted many times to jump in my car and go see him. But the fact that he was on a Military Base, with my having no way of getting on, pretty much prevented me from going.

The little poop head told us all on Facebook that he had put in a request to be able to come home for Thanksgiving since he had the 4 days off, but the Chief denied it stating that it wasn't his home base and he didn't have authority or time to take off. Blah, Blah, Blah...was all I heard. I was crushed, that he was SOOOO close and yet so far away!

My parents (Nick's Grandparents) were so set in their ways to go see him, and since my dad is Military and Navy retired to boot, they made hotel reservations on base and were leaving the day after Thanksgiving to go see him.

But little did we all know, that little poop head Nephew, had conspired with his FATHER (my BROTHER) to keep it a secret, and set us up on Facebook thinking he wasn't coming!!! When he had actually driven up the night before Thanksgiving to his parents house!!!

So they played it off well, walking in alone without him and sitting around talking about him for an HOUR before that Nephew of mine walked in the door!!!

Best damn surprise ever!!!

sniffle, sniffle...

I miss that kid.

I got to visit with him the night before he had to head back to base and made him take a few quick shots since I was too busy fussing over him on Turkey Day to get any good pics.
So as you can see, he really is a poop head.
But I still love him.

And he can surprise me any time he wants.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's time for Christmas...


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Summer Vacation...

Summer Vacation for 2011 happened to involve getting up before the crack of dawn to load everyone and everything into the car and hitting the road.

There was a lot of this...
And more of this:And this is what DH's was doing:

And then there was this:

Yes, do you notice the Pillow behind DH's head, blocking the camera's angle of getting a certain SLEEPY boy in the pic???

Can you tell how super excited I was to be going away?

Stay tuned for more adventures to come...


Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Friday Quote...

"The Value of a Man should be Seen in What he Gives and Not in What he is Able to Recieve." ~ Albert Einstein


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boy's Weekend...

Boy's will be Boy's, if you let them that is. Hub's decided that the "Boy's" needed a "Man" weekend away and get back to nature, so him and Austin packed up the truck and ran off to meet his brother for a camping/fishing weekend.

But from what I can tell from the pics that came back, there was a lot of this that went on:
And definitely some of this:
And absolutely lots of this:See? I said lots of it:There was even some of this:
ACK!!! Who in their right mind put Austin in charge of driving the boat????And while they returned to their natural roots of their "Caveman" ancestors,It's nice to know they can go have this time to be dirty, stinking cavemen and still be able to come home and shower and return to being my boy's.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Friday Quote...

"I Believe...that we don't have to change friends, if we just understand that friends change."


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Boy's and their Toy's...

Someone please tell me, do GIRL'S have anything in this world they value so much that they will spend 4 hours, yes, I said FOUR hours: washing, waxing, polishing, wiping, shining, scrubbing, drying, vacuuming, spraying, dusting and rinsing???

That's exactly what THESE boy's did and then got up at 7am when the "lighting" is perfect and moved into position with the said Toy's!


Will they ever grow up?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homecoming 2011...

Homecoming happened in our town a few weeks ago, and this year "I" as the "MOM" was banned from having anything to do with homecoming, Austin, driving, involvement of the restaurant or friends going. And it sucked! I felt so left out.

This year it was all about "Dad" being there and helping, and driving, and advice and...and...

"Mom, you're just not cool to go. A guy can't have his Mom there. Don't even think about showing up for pictures. Don't even dream about showing up at the restaurant. I'm not telling you who's going with us."


So "Dad" helped him get dressed.
And "Dad" drove him in the "cool" car.
And "Dad" picked him up after in the "cool" car.
You seriously would have thought i asked to KISS him at the MALL in front of all his friends with girls looking on the way he carried on for me to get these TWO pictures of him.

And "MOM" went to a friends house and drank lots of WINE to deal with the Trauma of being left out. :o(

Really, I did.

It was good.

And it helped.


I still have Emily. Maybe she'll let "Mom" be involved when she's in High School.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Reunions and Fish...

This past weekend, Austin and I hit the road for a 4 hour road trip to a Family Reunion. We went to see family I haven't seen in 5+ years, even some i've never met. Austin has only met a few of them, so it was important that he go since he is old enough to really remember and get something out of it.

Now I have to warn you. I have a HUGE family. Seriously - on both sides of my parents families. Both of my parents come from large families, and those siblings had allot of kids, and so on. So this reunion was just one branch of the extended side of my mom's family.
We had a blast, the two of us. I love road trips anyways. And I especially like driving. And i especially like not traveling with DH. Don't get me wrong, he's great and all. But when he drives on a road trip, there's no side trips, stops or potty breaks. It's "we have a destination and we won't stop until we get there" for him. Drives me nuts and the kids crying to get out.

Sooo...since I was driving, I stopped when I wanted to, shopped when I wanted too, or drove like a speed devil when I needed too. :o)

So our first night there, We all hit the pool at the hotel after dinner and then this happened:

That's not me. That's my 14-3/4 yr old who couldn't last past 9:30pm. Notice his phone plugged in and next to him?

Saturday was the actual reunion, and we arrived early at the hall to set up and prepare food. We had Homemade Enchiladas, Hand Rolled Tamales, Enchilada Casseroles, Mexican Chicken Chili Beans, Homemade Refried Beans, and Burrito Roll-ups. We had a Salsa and Appetizer Table, We had a Homemade Salad table, and we had a Dessert Table full of goodies.

Austin's favorite part, was going fishing with all these cousins he just met and also grew up with. He caught 6 fish!
But he wouldn't clean or gut them. Chicken!

The adults got together at a local bar in the evening, and Austin got to babysit the little cousins. He was in heaven. He's so good with kids. They all love him. He gets that from his dad. When DH and I were dating, he'd come by my house to see me, and be on the floor playing with my niece and nephew and totally ignore me. But it was okay, it showed me what a good guy he was and what a great dad he'd make some day. Austin's the same way. Now when my lil guy comes over, he runs into "Auw-tin's" arms instead of mine. :o(

Oh that part about "I'm driving, and I'll stop when i want too" - yea, we stopped at the Outlet Mall on the way home and shopped. hee hee

I'm already planning another road trip. It felt good to get on the road and open it up. No worries, no stress, just wherever the road lays in front of you.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First day of school...

Emily getting ready to leave for her first day of 5th grade!
She is definitely stylin, got the newest fad of "Feather in the hair" day before school started, so she's super excited to see what colors her friends all got.
Seeing her favorite Teacher and greeting her with the 1st day of school flowers for her bouquet. Where does the time go????


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Where has the summer gone...

Holy cow - where have I been? Well, I apparently took the summer off from blogging. Not intentionally mind you, I've just been so darn busy. Juggling 3 part time jobs, doctors appointments, vacations, house projects, kids home for summer, summer school, play dates and somewhere in between BREATHING!

This summer just flew past so quick. The kids started back to school this last week already, and with it brings a big SIGH which means the craziness is replaced with homework and school schedules, sports practices and games.

Emily started 5th grade on Wednesday! I was so sad, this is our last year EVER at this Elementary school. This will be our 11th year going between the two kids. Austin went the very first year it ever opened as a brand new school. It was our LAST 1st day of school there and walking her to class, our last year of bringing flowers to the teacher on the first day, our last year of being with the most AMAZING Special Ed Teacher in the world who loves the kids as her own and who has managed to bring Emily out of her cocoon and is now greeted with smiles.

Austin stared High School on Thursday as a SOPHOMORE!!! Yikes, when did this happen??? Seriously, When? Oh yea, he grew another 3 inches over the summer and came home on the first day of school proudly GLOATING in my face that the PE teacher measured him at 6'1! DH is only 6'2. And this kid is only 14. He still has another year to finish growing!

They both had fabulous first days, went to school with smiles, new outfits, fresh haircuts, and new backpacks, and both came home with the "bah humbug" school has started attitude. hahahaha

My babies have changed so much this summer. This has been my first summer home with them and getting to see and do things with them. It's been great and stressful. :o) I've watched Austin do allot of maturing this summer. Looking more "manly", but also his attitude and personality. He's helped several neighbors over the summer with handyman jobs, earning money along the way, had his first dealings with a girl liking him but he didn't like her back slash stalking him, and being able to hang out with him now on our own now that he's older and able to do more adult things.

Emily has changed in many ways. She not only has hit the whole puberty thing this summer and shot up and out in every direction (sorry if any men/boys are reading this), but she has really blossomed in her socializing. She is such a lil gabber now, and so polite. She also grew this summer and is now to my shoulders and wears a size 5 shoe. Let me remind you she's 11. Her face has been changing and looking older. She cut 4" off her hair, and got the newest trend of having a feather in her hair. And she thinks she's all that now.

DH and I got away a few times this summer on our own. A few date nights, and also a "romantic" weekend away which i had no idea about. It was adorable. He had it planned for weeks, and had taken the kids suitcases over to my parents days ahead so i wouldn't notice, and told me he was taking me to dinner and my mom was babysitting. So off we went. Only after dinner he pulled into this Fabulous hotel on the river and pulled out a suitcase full of my clothes and things. And it was this gorgeous suite overlooking the river. We had the best time walking around old town and seeing the car show.

We also took an amazing family vacation, which will have to wait for another post to tell you about.

I'm sorry I've been away, and I hope i haven't lost too many of my loyal fans.

So? What have you been up to this summer?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer is here...

No more Homework
No more Bedtime schedules
No more Lunches to pack
No more waking up grumpy kiddos
No more Signature Checks on planners
No more Teacher emails



We never had a Spring Season. We had Rain, Rain, Rain, Thunderstorms, Lightening and Hail until June 8, then immediately went into 90 degree heat. Suppose to hit 105 by this weekend. Really not liking going from complaining about Rain to complaining about Heat. I really love my Springs! :o(

And it's wreaking havoc on my garden. I have lots of Tomatoes, but they need the heat to ripen, lots of Zucchini and Squash dying off because there's too much water and not enough sun to make them grow. They are starting to take off now that we have sun, but I'm afraid the damage might be done. Looks like small crops this year. Boo!

Oh and don't get me started on the WEEDS that have popped up everywhere from all the rain and wind spreading them everywhere! Errr....

But I am happy that it is Flippy Flop weather and I can FINALLY put the sweaters and jeans away and yank out my shorts! Hard to believe 4th of July is around the corner, with all the rain, it seems like we should be just having Easter. I think it's gonna be a short summer.

We had several small trips planned, but I have decided to have my Hand Surgery done now so I have help while they are all home and get it over with.

What are your summer plans?

I "DREAM" of Sunny beaches, crashing waves, Cold Drinks with Umbrella's in the them, Cabana Boys, Tropical Fruits, Swinging Hammocks, and Perfect Tan Lines.

Reality Bites!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Weekend...

What are your plans? Vacations? Trips? BBQ's? Family Time or Party Time?

Do we know the TRUE reason why we have a Memorial Day?

According to the dictionary, it means:
"A day of remembrance for those killed in the line of action"
An Official Holiday of Remembrance in the United States of America.

I take my hat off to those of you serving, abroad or here, away from your families, active or retired, reserves or sea bound, foxhole or Humvee, fighter jets or tanks, seals or grunts, I owe you my life, my freedom and my gratitude. I will forever be indebted to you.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My baby is growing up...

This weekend my baby girl turned 11 years old. :o(


Where has the time gone? Just yesterday she was sitting on my lap asking for tickles. Just the other day she was asking for help tying her shoes. Just last week she asked to cuddle. Just weeks ago she was wearing single digit clothes and I could buy her shoes in the toddler section. Just months ago, she was sitting in her door swing, bouncing her chubby lil legs and giggling that infectious laugh that always made my day and gave me that smile that would melt any bad mood I was in.

Okay...maybe it wasn't just "yesterday", but it sure seems like it. They seem to grow faster, get older so much sooner as they age. Infant thru toddler hood, seemed to take forever, but it's these ages that I long for now.

Last week, she made a list of her Best Friends.

1. Melissa

2. Haley

3. Kailey

4. MaryPat

5. Austin


7. Dad

8. Toby (the dog)


I use to be #1 in her life. And now I rank #6!!

Dad had even harder time accepting that "mom" came before him and guilt tripped her until she swapped out numbers. BOOGER! He didn't get dessert that night.
Emily and her BFF, Haley

Emily continues to be my hero! She has achieved so much in her short life already that doctors told us she would never do. Obstacles still keep getting thrown at her, but she continues to find ways around them or conquer them. I am so very proud of her. We have a long ways to go with her, but when I look back at how far she's come, I have no doubt she will find a way in this life. My precious Angel that God sent us, has reminded us that it's really the simple things in life that we need to grab and hold onto.

I love you Emily. I hope and wish that all your dreams will come true. Never stop believing. Never stop trying. Always be confident and always have Faith.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Here comes the bride...

OK - you thought i was exaggerating, didn't you? You thought I was just a little off my rocker?

There's NO WAY that CLW meant her daughter was dressing to be a "mini bride".

You were wrong.
This precious, adorable, angelic and beautiful sight is my daughter.
We had her First Communion Portraits taken.


When, Oh when, did my little girl grow up so?

Daddy even got misty eyed. (although he won't admit it)

And for any BOYS reading this, Her daddy has a shotgun by the front door, so don't even THINK about knocking on it! ;o)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Babies, Tiara's & Baseball...

My day's have been filled with the cutest little boy ever. I started watching my cousin's little baby boy. Remember 2 years ago, I was watching him for about 6 months when he was a newborn. My kids and I could not get enough of his sweet face. Well, now he just turned 2yrs old, and I started watching him again. He is such a joy with his personality shining through. My kids argue over who's baby he is "Ryder's MY baby", "No, Ryder's MY baby" and then I step in and take him from them and say "No, he's MY baby". hee hee. Emily is also getting ready to make her First Communion at Church. It is a very big step in our Catholic Faith. They are accepting Jesus into their hearts and souls, and acknowledging his presence in the bread (communion) and blood (wine). The girls dress up as mini brides, as they are pledging themselves to God. So I have been crazy busy planning her reception we are hosting and buying her Dress, Tiara, Veil, tights, shoes, gloves, and purse. I am so super excited to see it all on her. She's going to look BEAUTIFUL! Groupon had a coupon off for a local 1hr professional photo session. It was normally a $118.00 package and I got it for $18 (includes sitting fee + 6 sheets). I'm going to dress Emily in all her outfit and take her for pictures! I'm so excited. Then I'll use one of those prints to make her invites! Now if only I had a Groupon for the Reception. Austin started playing Baseball a few weeks ago. He is the oldest on the team, and loving it. Austin has some talent when it comes to sports and he plays with a lot of heart. But he has always lacked the self-confidence he needs to excel and drive forward in the sport. No matter what we do or say, or private lessons we pay for, he just has always had this issue. But this year, I see a change in him. It could be that he is now High School. Or that he played on a high school team, so now Little League is a breeze. Or it could be that being 14-1/2 yrs old, he finally found his mark. Whatever it is, he has been on fire this year! He is playing with such gusto and confidence, that it pours out of him now. Instead of pouting to the car after each game, he's grinning and saying "I played good, what a hit I had, I felt the sweet spot on the bat, what did you think mom?" I hear him encouraging his teammates from the dugout, being the first one out to warm up the pitcher, and assisting the coaches. And it's paying off, he's playing first string all season so far and has played First Base the whole game. His coach has asked him to consider pitching again. I'm so nervous. He really wants to try it, but all I picture is that Blue Cast on his arm for 2 months after he broke his elbow pitching in a game 2 yrs ago. He hasn't pitched since. I'm also nervous because we play on a much larger field now with 90ft bases and the pitchers mound is A LOT farther away. So he would have to throw much harder to get the ball all the way across the home plate. When I express my worries, he tells me not to worry, that he can do it. And I'm sure he can, because playing first base, he has to throw across to third or all the way to home, and he can. But i think it's the mom in me that just doesn't want him hurt again, or his self-confidence he is just getting, to take a major blow if he finds out he can't pitch as good as he use too and they don't let him. This is one of those life lessons that I can only sit back and let him try and learn from. But it doesn't make it any easier on MOM! XOXO

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And life goes on...

or so I hear. When one is sick, hurt, or down, life continues to move on, leaving in it's wake very little sympathy or concern for what it leaves behind. My whole life in the last two weeks has revolved around my daughter. Poor Emily has had Pneumonia so bad, they almost hospitalized her. We are still fighting it. She's been on so many meds, her poor tummy is tore up. there is nothing worse then watching your baby be so sick, and you can't do anything to help. Her fever lingered for 10 days at 105 and she has lost 12 lbs in 8 days. Broke my heart to see her like that. It makes the Mama Bear in me want to come out. Hear me ROAR! XOXO

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Where have I been you ask? Oh where to begin. Austin was sick with Pnuemonia for over a week. I got Bronchitis for over a week and thought I was dying. My lil ones I watch got sick. I got Bronchitis, Sinus Infection and Double Ear Infections AGAIN! Emily now has Pneumonia. The End. P.S. Please send the Poison Control, Hazmat Team and Quarantine tents. XOXO

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Garden is in...

Yea...the NONSTOP, POURING and RELENTLESS rain has finally stopped!!! We actually have 5 days of 75+ weather and full sun before the next rain. The first day of Sun, I ran out and got my garden plants. Austin and I tore into the soil getting it ready by shoveling out the old dirt, pulling weeds, mixing in fresh Compost and Soil, and getting the plants ready. Then later that evening, Hubby and I got all the plants in the ground and the trellis fence up to keep the dog out. I'm so excited! Although all this rain, means it will be a very late harvest, if there is one at all. Late rain means a very Humid Summer, and late harvesting. Late harvesting pushes back the production into the heat of summer, and many of the veggies will burn or die. So I'm crossing fingers. This year I planted a few new ones: Red Bell Peppers Yellow Banana Peppers Artichokes Asparagus Yellow Squash Zucchini Better Boy Tomatoes Green Onions White Onions Garlic Chives Garlic I can't wait to make all sorts of yummy goodness when it starts to grow! XOXO

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where has the time gone...

Wow - I apologize - I can not believe it has been a month since I posted anything. How bad am I?

I have been very busy with working 3 part-time jobs, baseball starting and lots and lots of doctors appointments.

Let's see, I have been the sole driver lately and have to take everyone everywhere. Baseball practice, games, church classes, planning and shopping for Emily's First Communion happening in May, planning her Birthday, Working nonstop, house never getting cleaned, laundry always calling my name, running from point A to point B and somehow, in between, breathing!

I promise to post something really worth reading soon. Cross my fingers...


Monday, February 28, 2011

A new day...

What a great weekend, beautiful weather, well-behaved children, and getting out of the house. It's amazing that having the Sun shining can do to your outlook and mood. After 5 days of WIND and RAIN that brought a tornado to touch down in a NON tornado area, and the next 5 days of solid WIND and RAIN again, that the two days in between storms happen to be the weekend, and brought with it SUN! :o)

Spring is on the way. The trees are budding and blossoming, the flowers are growing, the plants are sprouting and birds are chirping. It's almost time to start getting my vegetable garden ready. What to plant this year??? Hmmm...

We also reconnected with our long, lost niece and had her family over for dinner this weekend. Such a lovely visit and adorable baby boy she has now. Makes me think of days long ago and memories.

Today is our last glance of Sun, so i'm outta here to go enjoy it!


Friday, February 25, 2011

I just have to vent...

So bare with me. It may get ugly.

I am sooooo furious right now. Really??? This whole TEENAGE attitude and selfish behavior is beyond OLD with me now and I am ready to ship him off to TimBukTu for good.

Seriously! This not the child I raised, nor is it any attitude or behavior that we have around the house for him to mimic, and it is not anything that I will tolerate. Nothing pushes my buttons faster then disrespect. No matter who it is, but especially from children, much less my own. That is and always has been my biggest pet peeve. I will snap faster then you can blink if you disrespect me in my house.

The problem? I let it go on for way too long. I excused it. "It's hormones, it's teenage drama, it's independence." I looked the other way because of illness in the household and my attention being elsewhere where it was needed.

And now I have a 14yr old who thinks he runs this house.

And i'm here to make it LOUD and CLEAR that only THIS momma rules this roost.

I'm so over it. Someone's about to have his world flipped upside down.

Stay tuned...


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What we do for our kids...

Last night I froze my tooshie off for that son of mine. And do you think I heard a Thank You? Nope. Not one. Not one little hug, not one "thanks" not one " 'preciate it".

Last night was Baseball try-outs and we arrived at the fields at 6:30pm so he could warm up with the guys and get checked in. It was 44 degrees out. Not bad. A Lil chill in the air. And it started late. And with a last name at the end of the alphabet, and being one of the oldest out there, he was 4th from the end of about 50+ boys.

Which means, I was still sitting there 3+ hours later with now 2 coats on, my gloves and my snow hat and it was now 30 degrees out.

Did I mention that I was Fffrrrreeeezzziiinnngggg??? That is my teeth chattering thinking about it. It's one thing if I was one of those boys running around catching balls or batting, but no, I was sitting on COLD metal bleachers for hours!!!! HOURS!!!

I vaguely remember saying I could not feel my nose, fingers or butt cheeks and my son telling me "TMI mom!"

And I vividly remember telling him that he BETTER remember this moment and what I did for him and that I expected a VERY NICE nursing home in my old age.

And with that I marched my frozen butt to the car and blasted the heater on full blast all the way home.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Have you seen my lung...

I've been sick. I've been really sick. I've been REALLY really sick.

Wanna know how sick? I haven't put on make-up in 5 days!!!

I took Austin to Urgent Care on Sunday because his cough was worse, his fever spiked high, and he hadn't moved from his bed in 3 days and THAT is so unlike him.

He had Pneumonia.

Sunday, the same Sunday, i started coughing. Sunday night, I started coughing allot. Monday I was choking. I spent the next 3 days in bed or sitting up on the couch so I could breathe and not choke. And it wasn't a cough. It was a VIOLENT cough that left me with a pounding headache from coughing so hard, and my back hurting from tensing so bad to cough.

I was miserable.

Monday, I get a call from school that Emily is sick. Coughing to the point of throwing up.

By Wednesday night, I went to Urgent Care. The doctor asked "what's wrong?" as I lay there choking in the room. I said "I purr when I breathe." He listened. He said, "do you hear that too when you breathe?" I said, "yep, like I said, I purr like a kitten." I was wheezing so bad he checked my O2 levels. Then he sent me home with 4 meds and said I had Bronchitis.

It's contagious. This Upper Respiratory Infection. Within one day of being around the person, you got it. The little girl I watch sometimes, got it. The neighbor, got it. The dog I think got it. The fly on my wall got it. The whole school is out with it. And the cough? The cough is HORRID. It hurts. It hurts everything. I swear, I coughed up my lung and it flew out of my body. I can't find it. So if you see it around, can you kindly ask it to come back? I'd like to breathe with out purring...thanks


Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Friday Quote...

"HOPE is the ability to hear the melody of the future.
FAITH is the courage to dance to it today."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventure's and Life Lessons...

Lately, we've had a hard time teaching Austin just how good his life is (when he complains how "boring and horrible" his life is) compared to the times when DH and I grew up. How we didn't get all the toys they have now, or new clothes (hated the hand-me-downs), or bikes & scooters.

So a few weeks ago, DH decided that in order for Austin to understand fully the life differences of growing up with NOTHING and having to beg for odd jobs to buy food, or finding a broken lawn mower on the side of the road and fixing it yourself and pushing it up and down neighborhoods mowing lawns so he could buy socks for gym class at school, that Austin needed to SEE the difference between the house he lives in now, and houses his dad had to grow up in.

So DH packed a lunch and drove Austin the 1-1/2 hours up the hill to his childhood town. He drove him all over to the many houses they passed between, the run down country schools he had to WALK miles too, and places they use to hang out and use their IMAGINATION to entertain themselves with.
Along the way of their field trip, DH stopped off at a spot they use to hike as kids and took Austin to the creek they would swim in while they ate lunch. Austin said this was his favorite spot of the day. It was beautiful and serene. And I was so happy that DH stopped and took a few pics along the way. And let me say, they are AWESOME pics of Austin! They also grabbed a few of the creek, which in the winter time looks more like a river.
Austin hasn't said much about their day together, which usually means he learned something and is stewing on it. I'm hoping that he picks up the vibe from his dad, that he never wanted to live like that ever again, and has worked HARD all his life to make sure he had a roof over his families head. And that HARD WORK is what got him his toys he now allows himself to have.

Life lessons like these, you'll never know if they got until years later when they become adults. But I know parenting a teenager is a much harder job then parenting a newborn. We actually have to form them into little adults who can be prepared to go into the world on their own and make wise choices. And yet on the same foot, we can't force the life lessons we've already learned on them or they wont understand it, they have to LIVE the lessons themselves. That's a lesson i just learned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stop the Press...

I've been cooking.

There. I've said it. I've been cooking allot. Being home and not working, I'm not tired all the time, stressed (ok, not AS stressed), or cranky. And I have time on my hands. So I cook.

No Frozen, premade stuff. No boxed stuff. No canned stuff. HOME COOKED stuff.

My family is worried.

Right now, I have Beef Stew in the crock pot.

My house smells so yummy.

Tomorrow, I'm making my famous Meatloaf. Hmm, maybe mashed potatoes with it too.

Are you drooling yet?

I'm baking Valentine's cookies this weekend.


I need a job before my waistline grows anymore...


Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you ever smell your mom...

I've been told by many that newborns bond with their mothers through smell. And not just any smell, her smell. Yes, they also recognize the voice and know her touch, but the smell...the smell takes them back to where it all began.

My mom use to tell me a story from when she was growing up, and how she use to miss her mother after being gone for weeks at a time visiting relatives, and run into her arms and take a big sniff and melt into her arms as the smell of her familiar Momma would make her relax.

I remember growing up, I had a really rough day at school, and my mom was the school secretary, and I would fake headaches to get sent to the office just so she would hug me and take me in her arms. Thinking back now, I'm pretty sure it was the smell and comfort it brought me.

Emily spent all weekend at her grandparents and was gone for 3 days. When she got home Sunday evening, she curled up in my arms and grabbed my arm and SNIFFED. Then she looked at me and said, "Mommy, I missed you so much."

What is the smell that we seek? A hormone? A scent of home? A lotion? A detergent? A smell of food? A perfume? A smell only a Mom can emit? What is the smell?

I don't know what it is, but if it brings my baby home and into my arms and brings any ounce of comfort to her, then I'll stink of whatever smell she needs! :o)


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anyone want a teenager...

He's super cute
Sleeps A LOT
Goes by the nick name "Pookie" from his mama
Works hard when he wants too and not when you need him too
Outgrows his clothes faster then I can buy them
Is taller then most women already and is not finished growing yet
Plays nicely with his Lil' sister when he's in the mood too
Otherwise he teases her nonstop until she's screaming
Likes to cuddle with his mama right before bedtime
But doesn't know who she is when friends are around
But knows where her wallet is when he wants something
He costs a lot in maintenance and upkeep
Braces come off in 4 months
VANS shoes cost as much as the payment for his braces
Talks on his cell phone more then he talks to his parents
Disappears into his room for endless hours at a time
Doesn't have anything to say to his parents other then "huh?, what? k, later, and fine"
Has countless girls calling his phone at all hours of the night
Said phone now left downstairs at bedtime
Has girls writing notes on his arms and backpack
Did I mention he sleeps a lot?
No really, A LOT
Did I mention the girls?
Did I mention how stinky he is?
His feet stink just as bad
So does his Axe he sprays on everything
And he goes through a bottle of Hair Gel a week
He eats a lot too
He eats everything
Nothing is sacred, he'll eat it
We have to order him his own pizza now, or we don't get any
He runs 2 miles a day in the evenings
He plays sports
He's really good at them
Did I mention that he eats a lot?
That I am now grocery shopping every 5 days instead of every 2 weeks?
Did I mention how cute he is?

FREE - to a good home
(he's potty trained)


Friday, January 28, 2011

When you may have crossed the line...

Have I mentioned that I'm moving? Yep - cross country too. Going from sunny California to Snowy Vermont. But the trade off is worth it, right? I'm moving into a fully furnished with all brand new furniture and decorations, and as my daughter says, the coolest part is the backyard that has a Hot Tub built into the granite rocks with a gas fireplace next to it. And it comes with a 2011 GM Arcadia SUV and lots of $$ to pay the taxes on this property.

Ok, Ok...I haven't actually WON the house yet on HGTV's Dream Home Giveaway, but when I do, I'm moving!

Emily is the sweetest, most gullible little thing in the world, and sometimes it's fun to play with her, and sometimes when your not even trying too, she falls right into it.

She saw me doing my daily entry to try and win this house and saw the pictures of the house, and asked what I was doing. I "casually" mentioned that I was looking at our new house (insert the snicker i added here after saying it). Well, she didn't catch the infliction of my voice or my snicker and freaked out!

"Oh my gosh, are we really moving? Where's my room? Can we bring Toby? What about my Toy's? Whose going to live here in this house? What about my friends? I'm going to be sad?"

So I ask "so do you just wanna stay here then?" Thinking this would be my way out of the conversation she so already believes is happening.

"Oh No Mom, I'm moving. I want a new house. I hate this house. This house is old. When are we moving? Can I bring my doll's? Are the boy's coming too or just us girl's?"

And before I could say another word, off she ran, down the stairs yelling "DDDAAAADDD, we're moving!!!!! And mom says we're going to ..., MOM, Where are we moving too? Vermont? Dad, we're moving to Vermont!"

I slowly peak my head out the door of the office, and my husband is furious with me because he knows exactly what just happened and is shaking his head at me with a smirk and says "Oh she's gonna make you pay for that"

So I sit Emily down and try in vain to explain that we haven't actually WON the house yet, but if we DO, then we will move, but until then, we are not actually MOVING anywhere. I swear all she heard was HOUSE and MOVE. We tried watching a movie, but every 5 minutes she would think of something else she needed to pack for the move and ask if we could take it or did she have to give away all her things?

Well, by the next morning, I assumed when she didn't wake up mentioning it that we were in the clear and she finally understood we were NOT moving. That is until I picked her and her friends up from school and as they piled in the car I hear "Cindy, is it true your moving? What about Emily's toy's? Can you take the dog? I'm going to miss you? Why would you move? What are you going to do with your house? I don't want you to move? Does my mom know your moving? I'm going to tell my mom your moving. Can we come with you?"

I was ready to either cry or laugh. This clearly was getting blown out of proportion and Emily OBVIOUSLY did not GET that we were NOT moving and had clearly NOT forgotten. I can just imagine what she told the school and friends.

So I try explaining to the girls and home we went.

The next day, I had several parents ask me if it was true? Were we moving? *sigh*

Then the girls pile into the car after school and tell me "My mom said you can't move with out us, and we're going with you. So I hope your house has room. And Emily said she can't take her toy's, but my mom said I can take all my toy's so Emily you can play with my toys. I'll bring my doll's and we can share. Wanna share a room? We can play and run around."

During the car ride home they had planned the whole future and how we were all going to live together. How her friend's mom worried about how to pay the property taxes on that house, how would we adjust to the snow and how would the dogs take to the new house, "Cindy, is there room for the dogs? Is there a dog house for them?"

OK...I "may" have crossed the line in telling her that night we were moving to a new house, but I clearly was kidding and had not intentionally planned on teasing her...

Now if you'll excuse me, i need to go unpack her suitcase now...


Happy Friday Quote...

"In order to Succeed, your desire for Success should be greater then your fear of Failure."
Bill Cosby

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday Quote...

"Remember your Yesterdays, but Live for Today, and while there is
still time...make Changes for your Tomorrows."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Diva in training...

Emily has discovered the phone. I'm not kidding at all. She calls her friends on it, they call her, and they talk about everything and nothing. And they do this for 45 minutes before I discover she is still on the phone and make her get off. They talk about what they are doing right then for example "Haley, what are you doing right now?", "No, I mean right now.", "Oh really, I'm sitting in my room talking to you too.", "Wanna play on our DS' and write to each other?", "When I log on I can't see you.", " Are you sure your on your DS?", "Cuz I'm in my room on my DS and I can't see you on it?". (Even though we live .5 miles away from Haley and the DS' only have a 20ft range, she doesn't understand why Haley isn't showing on her DS)

A few weeks ago, I heard her talking again and knew she had to be on the phone somewhere. And I had just chased her off the phone a few minutes before. When I came around the corner of my office, this is what I found:
Yes, A Diva has been born.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Well, do you...

Like the new look? It's for ringing in the New Year!
My New Year is starting off on a good foot so far. Good as in nothing horrendous or miserable has happened, no doctors visits this year so far, no surprising medical bills came in the mail, and I've managed to knock a few things off my list this week, of the things to get done while I am home.
Then's only 7 days into the New Year...

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Navy Nephew...

Please say a prayer and remember him in your daily blessings. He is being loaded onto a Military plane right now and being sent across the world from me to try and go save the world in a not so good of a place.

This is his first "real" deployment out, and worst is that they are sending him to another crew that is not his own nor will he know anyone. It sucks that there is such a limited supply of speciality skills out there and puts you in high demand.

I worry so much about him. But I know and trust that life's roads take us to many places and he will experience things he would never be able to otherwise. And as upset as he is about not being with his guys, just as life derails from what we may have "planned", his course will be reset and adjusted many times. And the possibilities are endless for him.

I miss him so much already and love him dearly.
God Speed...


Happy New Year's...

So on NYE, our big Sammy Group of friends that we go to concerts with, decided to have a "House Hopping" NYE party! We had so much fun.The little kds playing together.

So we start out having Appetizers and drinks at one house. Then after a couple hours we move onto the next house for Dinner and drinks. Then after a couple of more hours, we ended up at our house for Dessert and drinks. Each event had something unique. We sat around a fire pit in the 38 degree weather, and we played pool and beer pong at our house.
The pre-teen and teenagers all hung together.

The kids loved it! Just when they would get bored, it was time to move to another house.
Food galore everwhere...

Everyone had such a good time. I seriously think I didn't get that drunk because there was so much food being eaten all night long it soaked up any alcohol I may have consumed. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
The men trying to compare who's better at Pool.

We made some great memories. The women kicked butt in Beer Pong, the kids played hard on the Xbox and WII, and the men tried to play several rounds of Pool but I think the cases of beer being consumed may have interfered.
Did someone say "Beer Pong?"

Since we were the last house being "hopped", it was 2am before the last person wobbled their way down the street to home. After cleaning up around the house and getting food put away, it was about 2:45am when I finally crawled into bed.

And the best part was waking up with NO HANGOVER!!

But all four of us spent the day in our PJ's on New Years Day and watched movies all day long. It was really nice having a quiet and relaxing day to end the holiday season.