Friday, December 28, 2007

Even better.

Today was the first day that Josiah has acted like he felt well. He has been rather fussy since all the illness began. He has wanted someone holding him most of the time. And after worring that he was not eating enough he has begun eating every hour. I guess he is making up! So today he has actually sat in the swing and even slept for an hour or so straight. I hope this trend continues because he has been such a good baby. And I have gotten some housework done!

Tonight is pizza, popcorn and movie night. We just watched a movie we got for Christmas. Just a kid cartoon about dinosaurs, but so nice to all snuggle up on the couch together! I think the kids are planning on a camp out in the living room. (That's one thing I hope they leave me out of, but I bet not!)

Not sure what we are doing this weekend yet. It's hard to do much that requires being outdoors with Josiah still recuperating, but I am so tired of being in! Maybe I'll get to go out and use my blower! I still have not used it yet, but the leaves ave almost all fallen.

Well I am being challenged to a Wii tennis game! Gotta go!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Better at last!

Well, Josiah is much better. We were able to keep him out of the hospital but I wonder if it would have been easier. We were up for several nights in a row. But all is good now and we are catching up on missed sleep. Although, I don't think we will ever be caught up completely. Isn't that a parent's plight?

We had a great Christmas and hope you did too. We stayed home all day and Steve and the kids just played and played. Steve's brother, mom, and her husband stayed with us this year. They joined us in our glorified camping as I call it. We still have most of our things in storage since mom's business equipment is with us. We have just the necessaties (and sometime less). So they slept on couches and floors. But they were there when the kids got up to see what Santa brought. So hopefully it was worth it. (Probably more worth it to my mother-in-law than the men!)

So in our glorified camping state, I cooked Christmas dinner for 9. We got our table in on Christmas eve. I cooked a ham, a very big ham. It took twice as long because I could not keep the oven temp up. I had to crank it up to 500 to keep the oven around 350. So, we will see how the oven fairs over the next few days! I mashed sweet potatoes with a fork since I do not have a mixer, blender, or food processor. Steve spent Saturday cooking ratatouille (inspired by the movie - for the kids) They loved helping make it, but were not to crazy about eating it! Then we had store bought rolls, oriental salad, black eyed peas and sweet potato pecan pie. I had wanted to make a Happy Birthday Jesus cake, but because the ham took so long it did not get finished. So we just sang Happy Birthday to Jesus before going to sleep last night. I was very tired by the end. I wonder sometimes who holidays are for. Seems we women work harder on a holiday than a work day!

Anyway not much else to post right now. I am trying to get Christmas cards out. Josiah's illness has put me way behind. So know we are wishing you well and will send the cards out soon! (They have a cute picture!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ear infections, pneumonia, and RSV, OH MY!!!

Who am I talking about? My youngest! Last week he started with a little cough. He was on the bed Thursday night rooting around and fussing. When I turned him over he was blue around the lips and hands. Fortunately just the position change began to bring back the pink in just a few seconds, which seemed like hours by the way. He had a low grade fever but did fine the rest of the night. I took him to work with me the next day to keep an eye on him. He coughed a lot and just acted like he felt bad. So we started with an inhaler. Saturday was okay but coughing and coughing. Then Sunday we were using the inhaler every 6 hours and still wheezing and coughing. And he had an ear infection to top it off. At midnight he had a fever and we gave Tyleno and the inhaler. After basically sitting with a stethescope to him for two hours, I finally decided to go to the ER. Of course, the trip perked him up! I think the moving around made a difference. The doc said,"He doesn't sound that bad!" I said, "No, he looks better right now. If he looked this good at home I would still be in bed!" I told him he sounded really awful at home using my medical lingo so he would know I knew something about breathsounds! Then I said you know since we are here can we go ahead and get xrays? He agreed and came back and said he had pneumonia. He gave us oral antibiotics! I was not happy. He was sending us home without an updraft. My 4 month old has pneumonia and he was not giving him an antibiotic shot! I could have done everything they did except for the xrays in the morning for free! I take better care of my patients!!! Anyway, I left not wanting to raise a stink and the baby was doing better.

So, the next morning (just about 4 hours later) I take him to work and we did RSV testing which came back positive. Now he gets the shot and updraft we are so desperately needing. One of the nurses was so sweet and said I should have called her at 2 in the morning and she would have met me at the office for the test and updraft (I can never remember the code to get in!). So now we go to lunch and around 1 I go to change his diaper. It is dry! I think the girls must have changed him before I left. So upon returning to the office I asked and they said they checked him and he was dry. He has now gone 8 hours at least without wetting a diaper. So we start really pushing the fluids. I thought for sure we were going to end up in the hospital on Monday. But he takes the fluids well and over the next 8 hours the dehydration is resolved for the moment.

Today, I basically have just sat and watched him breath, counting his breaths and heartrate. He has had ups and downs but this afternoon he began smiling a little. He has just laid and looked at us for the past few days. Some times he would even arch his back and neck a little. But he now is laying normal agian. And the part that makes me feel the best - they gave me the pulse ox machine to bring home tonight. So now every so often I check his oxygen! I know where we stand and that helps me so much! I am able to treat him like we would in the hospital except for IVs and oxygen. But I have a better handle on when he might need the next step.

So, I am praying that tomorrow is even better than today. When Hogan had this he was a little smaller (1 month) and he rocked along for 3 or 4 days then went down hill and we ended up in the hospital for almost a week. Please keep Josiah in your prayers for the next couple of days. And pray that mommy and daddy have the ability to foresee his needs and respond. I am most worried about when I doze off. I was so tired for Sunday night that Steve took watch last night. I was able to get a few hours of sleep. But now we are both tired. I need to get up and give updraft treatments and just check on him.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Princess!

Posted by Picasa

Today is her birthday! 7 years ago we were welcoming this wonderful gift into the world. I look back at those days in the hospital as some of my very happiest days on this earth. Mom told me then that it only gets better and you only learn to love them more with time. She was so right! It is hard to imagine but it is true. This little princess lights up my life! I can't wait for her to wake up every morning (she sleeps in a little now!) and smile for me. She is so beautiful when she smiles. I love her laugh and her dance. I love to hear her sing. I love our snuggle time and I love to hold her hand while we walk. I love to hear her stories and boy can she spin a yarn! (She has Pruden running through those veins! At the ripe old age of 3 she told me we needed to talk. I said well okay. She looked very seriously at me and said "I think you need to sit down." I was very interested at this point. So I stopped right where I was and sat down. There at the top of the stair case she looked me in the eye and said with great concern, "Mom, I hate to tell you this, but I am pregnant!" It was all I could do to keep from falling down the stairs laughing! And just today she had questions about "birthboxes". But that is for another post!)

So, with great joy and humility at being given such a precious gift, I say, "Happy Birthday Princess, I hope you have a wonderful day!"

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Desperate Prayer Request!

Steve's aunt called today and I want to pass along a tragic story and ask you to pray for the family. A young lady that grew up close to this aunt was traveling with her young family to attend church with her mom this morning. It was herself, her husband and their two children ages 6 and 9. Apparently, a gas drilling rig's crane fell on their passing car and crushed the car. Her two children were killed and her husband was Med flighted to a major trauma center while she remains in the local hospital. Her name is Elizabeth (that's all I know).

I can not imagine her sorrow. Please pray for her and her husband and their families. I'll update on whatever news filters my way.

Where is Christ?

Okay,I usually try to post happier more pleasant thoughts, but today I just need to vent and rant a little! You see it all started a couple of weeks ago. I need to help the church decorate some tables for a ladies Christmas party. A lot of our things are still in storage, so I had to use what I could find around the house. I decided I might need a collection of angels and needed a couple of extra to round out what I had scavenged. So off to Wal-Mart I went. I looked very hastily and did not find any angels except tree toppers. So I thought in my hurry I overlooked them.

Well, last night I was not in a hurry and I needed several more Christmas items. So I am back at Wal-Mart looking in their Christmas display area. I find Santa, snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes, etc, etc, etc, but no Jesus! What? How could this be? I even found breast cancer awareness wrapping paper, but no Jesus! Now I understand that some people don't celebrate our Lord's birthday and just pay homage to a fat jolly fellow but some of us still think it is a religious celebration! Don't we deserve the right to be able to buy items that remind US and our loved ones that we are celebrating a royal birthday!? Fine have Santa every 2 inches, but give us a choice! I might want wrapping paper with a dove or some other Christian symbol on it! I might want an angel to place around the house. I might want a Christian Christmas!!!!!! I know I support breast cancer awareness, but I can buy that in October during BCA MONTH! I have one day to celebrate my Savior's birth and I want to celebrate with things that remind me of Him, not to check my breasts! AGHHHHHH! So have the employees say Happy Holidays! I will respond with Merry Christmas, because I as a Christian have a right too!!!!! (I used to roll my eyes at mom when she would get on these rants so I hope she is getting a laugh out of this because I am indignant!) By the way I am closing this post to write Wal-Mart! Oh yeah and Target is no better! I left Wal-Mart to check out Target and found about the same craziness!

Monday, December 3, 2007

An Awesome Day!

Well this is what our Saturday looked like. We held the free garage sale and had beautiful weather. We started setting up around 8:30 and it was a little chaotic. We were just in this empty lot and dependent on the neighbors for electricity. Well they came through for us after a panicky few minutes and we got the moonwalk up and running. We had hot apple cider and LOADS of cookies. We had lots of wrapping paper and ribbon. We wrapped the things people picked out as gifts for others. We highly encouraged this type of shopping. At noon we were able to grill hotdogs and serve water. The traffic was slow at first but picked up around noon. I can not tell you what an awesome experience this was. People just thought it was a garage sale when they first came up. Then we would either approach them and explain it or they would ask a price on something. The looks on their faces were priceless. We had to tell most people several times that it was free before they would believe us. We heard so many stories about families in hard times. So many said they didn't think they were going to be able to have Christmas before this! There were many tears and most of these people wanted to donate money. We just kept telling them no, that this is just purely a blessing! We had people ask us to pray for them and were able to share God's love with so many.

One of the most amazing things we experienced was the people's integrity. They were so careful to make sure they took only what they felt they needed. They would be sure the clothes would fit the kids before just taking the stuff. They were often hesitant to take extra things and we had to encourage them often! I really thought someone would just pull up and load everything into their car. But this never happened! Amazingly, we had one man that came right back with stuff of his own! He had looked around and found out what we were doing. He got in his car and we just shrugged thinking he must not have really believed us or something. Then next thing we knew, he was back and his car was full of things! They were nice things too! He wanted to give, even in his need!

I know I said it earlier, but I can not tell you what an awesome experience this was for us. I believe it may have blessed us more than those we served. Tonight our group talked about how to make this an annual event. We talked about how to make it bigger and better. We also talked about leaving it the same as not to lose the heart of the whole project. So who knows what next year will look like, but I can't wait.

I would encourage and maybe even challenge you to try the same thing. Most of us have too much stuff as it is. It is crowded our closets, cabinets, and toy chests. We are going to give and get more stuff this season to place in these crowded storage spaces. Please think about cleaning out and just offering it to those in need. You don't need to have many people involved to make a difference to someone. I started out planning on doing this in my front yard by myself. I know there are lots of charities that will take things, but standing there talking with people and offering it for free is a priceless experience. You can take the leftovers to the charities! We did!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blessing others.

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. We missed mom terribly, but were able to have a nice diner with everyone there and a very good meal. Anna (aka superwoman) hosted it at her house. They have done a great job remodeling and updating the house. We ate on mom's table, with Anna's china and decorations and our food. Of course the food was not as good as mom's, but I don't think you can ever measure up to "mom's" cooking!

The week before Thanksgiving, my family headed out for vacation. It is the first real vacation we have had since mom got sick. We went to the cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN (see link to Smokies View Cabin for a picture!)We shopped, rode horses, hiked, fished and slept in a little. It was so nice. Then we drove to Atlanta and went to the "world's largest" aquarium. It was fun. The kids love aquariums. They saw beluga whales, 2 whale sharks, and Hogan was even brave enough to pet a shark! They had a great day. Then we drove to see Steve's granny in Mississippi. Sarah spent the night with her cousin Tori and Hogan had a night with just mommy and daddy and Josiah. I got some more shopping in too! Then we drove home for dinner with my sibs.

This weekend we are helping to host a "Free Garage Sale". I read on the Internet about people who have decluttered and then just given the stuff away in a garage sale. I thought about the community we live in and how much need there is here. We feel God has lead us here for a reason (yes, other than just a horse). So we are going to start by blessing others this Christmas. Our small group from church is joining us and we are going to turn it into a block party with inflatable jumpers, cookies, apple cider, coffee and fun. We will wrap things people want to give as gifts for Christmas. We are all very excited about it and hope we are able to minister those who come as well.

My friend from high school, Melanie, who had breast cancer is scheduled for her next round of chemo today. Please pray for her. She had a really rough time after the last dose. Her sister also went in for a routine mammo after Melanie found her cancer. Well, she too had a lump that was cancerous. It was very deep and would not have been found until much too late. But hers is more aggressive than Melanie's. She will have to have a double mastectomy then chemo and radiation. Her name is Kim (for you prayers!) Please consider giving yourself a mammogram for Christmas if you are over 35 and not done so yet! (Am I harping yet?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I did it!! It came!!! It happened!!!

I did it! I actually went back to the gym! Twice! I so dreaded this day. I was working out 2-3 times a week when mom got sick and that came to a sudden halt. I would take her and walk with her around the basketball courts but that was about it. Then we were trying to move and then had a baby. So now all my excuses are gone. It really wasn't that bad. The worst part of all are the walls of mirrors! They have way too many of these and I think they are totally unnecessary. I can tell if I do an exercise incorrectly by pain it will induce, I do not need to see anything! As it is everywhere you turn, there you are! Anyway, I am back and hope to continue. Now if I can just drive past McDonald's!

It came!! The backpack blower came! It is already dirty, smelly and a little worse for the wear. I have not tried to start it yet. That will happen soon I hope. The great thing about the wear is that I will look like I am a pro! I could blow leaves straight up in the air and an onlooker would think, she looks like a professional so that must be what she means to do! Image is everything! And sometimes that requires a little dirt and grime!!!

It happened!!! Our youngest got sick. Last night he was a little gaggy with the passy and did not eat well. Then this morning he had a fever. I got up early and got my shower since Steve was not feeling well. I was checking on the baby when I heard and say his little tummy rumble. I was frantically trying to get the towel off my head and in front of him when the volcano erupted! Needless to say I had to go back in the shower! Poor little guy had a rough day. He is sleeping well right now and the fever is gone, at least for the moment and the sheets are once again clean. Hopefully tomorrow he will be himself again! I am very grateful he is past the 3 month mark or we would be typing this from the hospital! We've been there before and I don't do well!

Check out Beautiful Mess (blog listed to the right of this post) for a wonderful reminder!

(Becky, I don't have your email address!!!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Toy....Hmph!!

Ok Angie is going on and on about this leaf blower, but a leaf blower seems about as much work as a rake. So I am thinking we need one of THESE!!!!!

What do you guys think?

New Toy!

Okay, I just need to write something happy! For those of you who follow my mom's blog I just added a new post. But now I need to focus on something lighter.

I am anxiously awaiting a long desired object. This object is supposed to make my life easier, but I think it will be fun as well. It is big, it is noisy (I'll have to use ear plugs!), it is heavy (I'll have to wear most of it on my back!), it is powerful (Steve says too powerful for me!) it will vibrate me to death. Do you give up yet? It is a commercial backpack leaf blower!!!! I got a great deal on eBay and I couldn't be more excited. I think I ask Steve everyday if it has been shipped. I have always enjoyed coming out to grandma's and helping her rake her leaves. We would take more coke breaks than I think were warranted. But the key here was helping her. She spent a good part of almost every day of her life raking leaves. She somehow kept all these leaves at bay with a single rake and about a gazillion matches. Side note here: Steve said one day he drove up and there were at least three large fires going. He could see smoke long before he got to the house. The road was barely visible because of all the smoke. When he got to where grandma was, there was not one water hose out! He said her reply to his offer of help was that she looked up, smiled and said "Aahhh, your just in time for a coke break!" Well that was grandma! But now I am here and I don't have a good part of every day to spend raking! About a month ago the leaves began to fall. Sarah and Hogan would say "Why is it raining leaves?" Guess what! The trees are still FULL of leaves and I have millions on the ground! So can you see why I am excited?

But not just for that reason. I have a secret desire. I watch trucks go down the road with these big trailers on the back. In the trailers are all sorts of fun! There are these really cool new large lawn mowers that you sit on and steers with funny looking sticks at your side. (I hear you can almost sling yourself off if you go fast enough!) They have nice big weed eaters and edgers, rakes, shovels, loppers, shears, and of course the famous commercial backpack blowers! I think this love comes from my genes and the experience of mowing my grandma's field as a young girl. I had mown our lawn for some time with a push mower. I even mowed the neighbor's yard. Then I was finally old enough to mow with the riding lawn mower. I felt freedom. I was in charge of this machine. I could go where I wanted (in the field). I had time where no one interrupted me. I had time to think, to pray, to sing... to be free for just an hour or more. (I am a terrible singer so the singing thing was fun to me until years later grandma told me they could hear me all the way to the house and would just laugh and laugh! Needless to say I don't sing loudly when I mow anymore!) Any way I think this loosed some sort of yard freak in me! I love to be out in the yard taking care of it. We will see what I think in the next few years to come!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Monday, October 29, 2007

Never a dull moment!

We are currently trying to get our house (not grandma's but OUR house) ready to sell. They put a for sale sign up earlier this week and things are not in tip top shape. I have hired help but it has not meet my specifications just yet. So I go over for an hour or two every chance I get. I have gone through SEVERAL magic erasers. (I love/hate those little things!)

So Monday I decide to go over and clean a few walls on my lunch break. I open the door and am hit with a terrible odor. My mind races back to our funny sounding freezer which is now quiet! I head toward it immediately and the closer I get the stronger the stench! I open the door and am just about knocked over with odor! I feel inside and it is barely cool. So I get the large outdoor trash can, the only sacks available (the old trusty Wal-Mart sacks), paper towels and a bottle of Clorox Clean Up (my favorite cleaner!) Then I touch and smell things no human should be subject to! What a lovely way to spend lunch!

A couple of days later I go over with my two young boys in tow. The older of the two is almost 5 and very busy. I get him working with Windex and paper towels. He is a good helper when directed where he wants to go! We work on several windows and I am just getting in the swing of things. We go outside to clean mud from the dog off the window and he is helping me with a wagon that I am using as a step stool. We are almost finished with the last window on the back of the house when he moves the wagon, trips backwards over the sand box (which is full of muddy water) and falls in bottom first! It is about 45 degrees and he is now crying. I don't even have a towel! All I have are paper towels. So I rush around and get the baby loaded in the car, strip him nude and put him in the car and cover him with my jacket and turn on the heat! Poor little guy was not a happy camper.

This whole ordeal puts me so far behind. I was planning on going to the store to buy fixin's for two other families that are just overwhelmed with life right now. (Been there, but no one gave me a shirt just for the record!) But I have to tend to my son first. We finally make it to the store and almost $200 later I can cook! We go home and start this least favorite process. I spend the rest of the afternoon madly making chicken noodle soup and coca cola cake all from scratch! (Just for the record, I've never made chicken noodle soup and only made coca cola cake on other time!) Fortunately, everything goes as planned until we have to stop to go pick up my daughter from school. We come home and now I am desperate to finish the cakes. The kids so want to help and I try to let them but soon realize this is not going to work. I try to gently nudge them out of the kitchen, but no one thinks this sounds fun. So I am trying to give them simple uninvolved jobs in the kitchen. I nudge more forcefully, but still not takers. They want to be right here with mommy. My nerves are really beginning to unravel. It looks like dinner will be at least an hour late to the recipients at this point. Then I hear the wild giggling and then roaring laughter and squeals! I turn around (background information: my kitchen was just swept and mopped yesterday) to find my very busy son using a bag of powdered sugar as some sort of powder puff! He discovered a pin size hole in the bag and learned if you squeeze the bag a cloud of sugar comes shooting out! At this point I lose it! According to the research that claims yelling at your child is a damaging as spanking, I might as well have been beating these kids! My arms are waving wildly in the air as I proclaim they must leave the kitchen quickly or I will not be responsible for what happens next. After the scurry out of the kitchen I look around at all the powdered sugar coating everything, even the dog, hang my head and begin to laugh! I hide the laugh though! They need to be hiding for a few more seconds anyway!

So, I finally get the soup and cakes done. I am now realizing I have made big pans of very hot liquid that must be transported. I have flashbacks of an afternoon from my childhood. It involved two beautiful little girls (me and Jana:-)) a couple of Easter baskets full of dyed eggs, and a car's floorboard and some little feet! And yes, we were being beaten half to death if yelling is as bad as spanking!!! I am still driving the Hummer. I stop dead in my tracks. I had not thought this part through! So I go to the kids room and grab a couple of plastic bins they keep toys in and just like the expert mess maker I am - I turn them upside down dumping everything in a split second. Then I put towels in the bottom and place the pans on top. They ride in the Hummer like champs! Not one drop was spilled!

Now I am pulling up to the first house (on two wheels) only 1 1/2 hours later than I planned but still dinner time! As I knock on her door I take a deep breath and pull myself together. I glance in the windows as I wait. I see my friend get up off the couch where it looked as if she was sitting reading to her kiddos. (The whole family has been sick for a few weeks.) I'm thinking about how my house would look at this point (I can tell you it would be a mess!). As she opens the door a VERY clean home is revealed! Now I am wondering which one of us should be bringing the other a meal! Anyway they are very grateful and I am off to the other friends house. After I get home I have to begin dinner for my family. I thought I had planned enough for all three families, but as I packed everything up I thought about all their kids and realized I would just have to start over for my family! I make a third batch of soup and collapse. My poor family will just have to do without cake!

So that was my day and I did not even tell you about the adorable conversations I had with my very busy, too smart for his own good son! I will say it involved the sentence, "you're a big ole person" and a discussion about a cute little night gown he found in the back of my closet and how it would not make me look pretty!

Monday, October 22, 2007

It is now a SWEET Ordeal!!!

Okay, so the van got towed this AM, I am in a borrowed car and things are okay. The service department is being very accommodating and we will know soon what is wrong with the van. They told Steve all I had to do was call to arrange a rental car. So I called at noon. They had me call the rental place and they referred me to the local store. They tell me no problem, we will call you at 4:30 to find out how to get to your house to pick you up. This all sounds good to me. Well, 4:30 comes and goes. I finally call at 5:00 (thank goodness Steve arranged to get Hogan!) They say when the driver comes in they will have him call for directions. At 5:30 I call again. The driver was in and I gave him directions. Why had they not called if he was in? Well he comes to get me and sits in the car as I load my two kids, their seats and a few things - IN THE RAIN! So I am not too happy at this point. Steve has been waiting at the rental place to make a kid swap for almost 30 minutes! He could have driven to the house to get me and we would have been there before now. So Steve is telling me about this new Hummer sitting on the lot. I feel like he is teasing me because Hummers are my dream car. I have wanted a hummer since long before they were popular. I would love to have one that was actually in the service. I think one with actual bullet holes and camo would be too much! I mean what else can say here I am than a Hummer? To me they are like the jock of the football team or something! When you drive one you are taking up all of your space on the road and nothing can stand in your way!!! I could drive anywhere I really wanted to whether it was pathed or not! Well you get my point - I LOVE HUMMERS! So Steve says, maybe they will let you drive the Hummer. I laughed and said "fat chance"!

We go in to get the paper work done and I figure I will be driving the little SUV they picked me up in. I am happy because it is much nicer than the minivan I drove last week. I even left my stuff in the car thinking maybe I could persuade them to let me drive it if they wanted to give me another stripped down van! Well the guys start looking and talking about available cars and I am trying to keep to rowdy kids to a dull roar. Finally the one guy says to the other "You don't have a choice." The other guy looks at me and asks if I live in town. I tell him no, but we still own a house in town if that helps. He asks where I work and I tell him in town. He says, well we will have to come exchange the car tomorrow because we are going to have to let you take the HUMMER!!!! I just about jump out of my skin! I could dance! I try to very calmly say okay and finish the paper work! As we are getting the kids buckled in the HUMMER Steve looks at me and says I prayed for this. So after I laughed at him and told him fat chance, he sat there and asked God to grant me a favor! I am humbled by such a wonderful husband and awesome God!

Do you think they could keep the van? I'm ridin' high tonight!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The ordeal is ongoing!!

Well, I have thought all weekend about what I was going to blog when I got home. I had thoughts of using the title "Morning at the Spa". I would then elaborate on how wonderful it was to be in this tiny bathroom at my mother-in-law's where the kids were under someone else's watch and I was able to sleep in until, get this, 10:00!!!!! And then take a shower long enough to shave 2 entire legs!!! I had salon brand shampoo and conditioner. There was not even a bar of Dove or Oil of Olay soap (exclusive brands in my house hold, even Tone is a treat to me), but here there was only liquid soap from Clinique!!! There was matching lotion and a shower head with several settings! I even used a foot scrub cream!!! (Happy feet!) How such a simple shower can turn into a treat is something only a mom would understand!

Then I thought about the title, "Who has the best Mother-in-law?" The answer was going to be "me"! Mine invited us down to her house for our birthdays. She cooked us a nice meal on Friday night, and plotted with my 6 year old for days about an over the hill singing candle. She let me have the "morning at the spa" After my spa treatment she took us to a cute pumpkin patch where the kids had a ball. Then the gave us the best gift, she kept all three kids and sent us on a date!!! She even gave us birthday money to spend! What a treat! We had steak and seafood, went shopping and saw a movie! We would have thought we were teens, but we did not know where to go parking and were in by 10:30!!!!

But a cute little transmission has topped the weekend! I got my van back Friday and drove all day with no problems. We drive all the way to my mother-in-laws about 2 hours away and as soon as we hit the city limits we notice problems. We drove around Saturday, more problems. Drove to church this morning... you guessed it - more problems! We head home holding our breath. The transmission will not engage at times and you just rev your engine and go nowhere. This happens at the gas station just out of town. We finally shift into gear and baby the van along. In my head I keep hearing on mechanics story of having a $300.00 towing charge from out of town. Every mile feels like a penny saved! But we are driving 2 hours at around 45 miles an hour and just barely keeping the RPMs in a safe range. Around 30 minutes from home we are all in bladder overload and stop for a break and some food. By this time the kids are hyper and tired of the car. So the break was good for us, but bad for the car. I can't go fast enough to turn left out of the parking lot and make it across the street, so we go right, get in the turn lane and head into a large gravel lot to make a smooth turn around. The only problem is I am so focused on the dash and what traffic might be coming that I hit the only large rock on the whole lot!!! This makes Steve happy!! Fortunately, no damage, but we are still creeping along. We make our way to the interstate and are able to go between 45 and 55! I am glad it was a fairly low traffic time. We get to our exit and I have to stop at a yield sign to wait for right of way traffic. Once the cars have passed we wait some more because the transmission will not engage at all! Now we had seen the firetruck pass and go into the nearby gas station. I guess the police were just curious, because they pass us just sitting in the intersection with hazard lights on and decide to ditch the gas station and come see us!! Lucky us! So now I am not only drawing enough attention to myself with a cute van with hazard lights siting at a stop sign going nowhere fast, but I have a undercover (yeah right!) cop car siting behind me with his lights flashing! He is very nice and stands back and watches me rev the engine and go nowhere! He gets in his car turns off his lights and waits. Now I am reving harder, shifting back and forth from park to drive almost frantically. The kids are finally quiet (I think they are scared) and Steve starts telling me which gear to put it in. My favorite is reverse! What? Are you kidding me? There is a police car behind me and you want me to put it in reverse and rev my engine and hope to it engages? You are joking right? He is not! He keeps telling me to try reverse and I keep saying no there is a cop there! Cute little disagreement here. So what is the cop doing anyway? I'm still not sure what he was doing, probably running my tags. But in the meantime a guy and gal in a pick up truck pull up beside us and offer help. They get out to help push and suddenly the cop is ready to push too! So Steve and the cop push us around the corner and fortunately gravity takes over and we coast to a wide shoulder. Steve now want to drive! Like I was not doing it right! Yeah I wouldn't go in reverse!!! Hehehe! He does coax the car to sputter along long enough to make it to a well lit parking lot across the street from the police station. We call a cousin and he comes to get us in his "much-older-than-my-van car" which he points out is running! (Thanks, Joe!) So now we can call a tow truck in the morning after we call the service shop! Hopefully this is the last of the saga. By the way, this is the van I said I would drive until the wheels fell off! Oh yeah and I said this in August when we paid it off!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some good news!

Melanie did well during the surgery and is recovering well. She got her results back from the surgery and the lymph nodes are clear!!! She will begin radiation and chemo in about 3 weeks. They did find another precancerous tumor during the pathology and are trying to figure out how best to handle this one. The doc is consulting with the oncologist and radiation guys. Thank you for your prayers and please continue to lift her up. I will keep you posted.

I was in a small group Sunday and 3 out of the 4 women there had a friend our age that had been diagnosed with breast cancer. We are 30 somethingers and this is so young. Please do your monthly exams, get your mammos (beginning at age 35 now!) and see your gynecologist or primary care doc yearly for clinical exams. Melanie's surgeon had 4 women in their 30's come in with new breast cancer diagnosis the week she went in! He said this was incredible!

Okay off my soap box now. Kids are STILL in soccer and loving it! I am tired of it! Sarah is doing well in school, so we think. We will know in a couple of weeks when report cards come out. Hogan is loving preschool still. He is really good at soccer too! Josiah is more alert and awake more often now. He is smiling but not laughing yet. I am still trying to recover from camping and working so much, plus I am sick with sinus stuff :-( Steve is always too busy. We are trying to get the house ready to put on the market and he had to move out a large family of red wasps tonight! I was too chicken to be there!

My car is getting a cute little - transmission! Yipeee! The whole ordeal has been just that an ordeal! Should be ready by Friday. You know you are paying too much when they get you a rental minivan for free! They wanted to put me in a 2 door sports car! It looked great, but all the car seats were sitting on their sides! I looked at the car when they pulled it in and gently asked if it would hold 3 car seats. OH yes they replied. Then went to their hidey hole and let me haul all our stuff (backpacks for school, diaper bag, my back pack, extra wet wipes, my box of tissue, my pump, 3 car seats an infant and helpful 4 year old. I though okay I will play this little game. So I spend 20 minutes or more mini-moving. Wiping sweat from my forehead, I extract myself from the 2 door sports car ( I had to stand in the back to get seats crammed in) and sweetly say "I don't think this is going to work." The man looks at my crooked seats and decides he can now offer a rental car! The only other loaner car only has two seat belts in the back seat! Now why would you even make a car with only two seat belts? I guess we have more than our allotted 2.o4 children! And I guess you can only have 3 friends! Craziness to me! The rental car was a mini van! The kids think it is wonderful!!! So funny, it is a striped down model, no frills at all. I can't even adjust the seat so my feet touch the floor board. Have you ever driven with your feet dangling? I feel like a kid taking mom's van out for an illegal spin! I set the cruise (too hard to stretch that far all the time) and just dangle my feet. Sometimes I swing them! Hehehe! I think I need to sing a kiddy song or something, but I already do that a lot anyway! So if you see me driving you know my feet are freestylin'!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Prayer Request!

I got a phone call from a very good friend telling me about a mutal friend that is 34 years old and just diagnosed with breast cancer. After the biopsy they classified her as a stage 2 with invasive ductal carcinoma. She goes in for surgery tomorrow afternoon around 4 oclock. Her name is Melanie and I am asking for your prayers once again. We are praying the cancer has not spread to her lymph system and that they will get clean margins during the surgery. Thank you for your prayers, I will keep you updated.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

"I miss Mor-Mor!"

These were the words spilling out of my little girls tear streaked face last night as we were going to bed. She had moped around for about 30 minutes saying her day just wasn't going good. I had assumed she meant it was bedtime and she did not want to go. She started out by saying she had something to tell us. She then relayed the story of the little boy in school who was talking to her and got her in trouble with the teacher. I tried to make light of the situation as it was seeming to upset her so much. We talked a little about it and then said our prayers. She was not happy but seemed content. So, I sent them off to bed. Next thing I know she is coming back into our room. I am just about to give her the "just go to bed" speech when I look up and see tears welling up in her eyes. I still think she is upset about school. Then as the tears start rolling down her face this statement, "I miss Mor-Mor" comes tumbling out.

I can not tell you how heartbreaking this was to me. We have witnessed this several times since March. Things will be rocking along and suddenly things are turned upside down. We have all cried on our way to school. Usually I fight these very sad moments off by talking about mom and how much she loved them both. We tell stories about what she used to love to do with them and for them. This works very well most days. This time though I pulled her into my lap and began my usual reminiscing when I remembered a small box in my closet. I went and go the box and we opened it up to find all sorts of mom's and grandma's things. I put on a pair of reading glasses and asked them to guess who's they were. Suddenly I hear "Mor-Mor's" from two smiling children. We pull out several pairs of glasses, passports, hankies, a bracelet, and pins. The more I pull out the more they smile. We tell several stories and then they trot off to bed.

I am telling the same stories over and over. One of their favorite stories is about mom taking them to church on Wednesday night and taking them to McDonald's afterward for ice cream. She would take them in and let them play and buy ice cream on the way home so they would have more time to play. They were really to little to eat ice cream in the car. They would be covered in ice cream and require another bath. (They usually had one before church.) Then on top of the chaos they would be all wound up from excitement and sugar!

Now, this is where I am going to ask for your help. I would love for you all to send me stories about mom. I would love to have new material to tell the kids and they would love to know new things. You may put them under the comment section, if you are not signed up to blogspot as a user, you may post in as an anonymous blogger, just sign the story with your name like you would a letter so we will know who wrote it. Since I moderate all comments (we had some weird entries before), you can tell me if you do not want them to be posted. Otherwise I plan to post these for everyone to read. You may also send them to me in the mail or by email. I appreciate your cooperation in advance.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Some people have what they call accountability partners. They realize an area in their life that they struggle with and put into motion the scripture that talks about 2 having an easier walk than 1. These people identify someone that they confide in and talk to about their struggle and agree to let this person ask the hard questions on a regular basis. They agree to answer honestly and come to the partner when they are having trouble in this area. In our church the men are encouraged to have accountability partners for any area of difficulty, but often this revolves around purity. Well, I have to confess that I have an accountability partner too. This friend and I email back and forth asking and sharing our latest struggle or victory. Lately I have been very silent because I have been neglectful. So she pulled an intervention on me. She invited me over for lunch! She treated me to a wonderful lunch and very relaxing day. We even ate chocolate and ice cream. When I told her how I was falling down on the job she said "You don't tell your accountability partner what you aren't doing!" Well I thought to my self that is exactly what we are supposed to do! But you know what? As soon as I got home I began working on my faults. She called right in the middle of my progress. I asked how she knew I was thinking about her. (Griping to myself is more like it!) Confessed that I was busy righting my wrongs at that moment. We had a pretty good laugh. She told me she must have been using reverse psychology! We laughed some more as I stood at my sink trying to make it shiny! You see on of my greatest struggles is keeping a clean house. I looked around last night and just sighed! Going back to work has put a big kink in my plans to stay organized and clean! So I think she wanted to show me what clean house looked like! But now my sink is empty and shiny and my counter is cleaned off. Hogan's toys are mostly picked up from the living room and a load of laundry was done! Thank you Shannon for a wonderful day and a little motivation. You are a dear friend!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Work and Play

I went back to work this week. It made for a very messy house! I feel that we have been flying by the seat of our pants. You would not believe how early I have to get up to be at work on time. As long as Steve is here it only takes me an hour to get up semi ready and out of the house. I usually let my hair dry in the car and might put makeup on at work. But one morning a week he has a men's bible study that starts at 6:00. On this morning I get up at 5:30 just to be at work by 9:00! Can you believe that? Seems insane to me. So needless to say I love the mornings that he helps me so much. He is definitely appreciated!

I have changed my work day by skipping lunch and leaving early enough to pick kids up from school. It relieves their stress and mine! Sarah worried every day last year about who was going to pick her up. Now she knows it will be mommy. I also love the time we spend talking in the car. I had a friend tell me she sees me pass her house all the time and can tell we are just all talking away! I like that. I love hearing about recess, spelling test and what so-and-so did that day.

This weekend we went to our old house and packed the rest of our things. I had stuff on high shelves and things on walls that we never packed. We are trying to hire the repairs and yard work done so we can just work around here. There are enough leaves to bury an elephant in and fall has not really started!

Fortunately we have taken the last couple of weekends and spent most of it playing with the kids. We have a camping trip planned soon and the kids are really excited about that. We are going with a lot of friends and their kids. It should be a blast as long as the weather holds out. We have reserved a large family/group camp site and it will have it's own restrooms and is kinda separated from the rest of the campsites so the kids can play a little more safely. Still not sure how camping with a very young infant is going to work. Sleeping in the van and a hotel down the street are my backup plans! One other couple has an infant a month older than ours. I guess we will figure it out together.

Well, I need to go. I smell a dirty diaper and I am about to attempt to help Hogan learn to ride a bike without training wheels!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Simple Update

Tonight I just want to give you an update on what is going on in our lives.

Sarah is loving school, which is a huge relief. She had some bully type issues last year and did not much like going to school. This year is off to a great start though. When asked how her day went, she now often replies "Great!" This makes my heart sing! She is also making really good grades in spelling. We have parent teacher conference Tuesday, so I hope we are not surprised! She is also in dance for the 4th year! She muddles through until the recital, then she loves it! The week will be all about her. Trying on the costume to make sure everything is there, practicing make-up and her hair-do, and carting her back and forth for practice and show time. She continues with her Jiu-Jitsu lessons and frequently wrestles daddy and brother! She is also on a fall soccer team. She LOVES soccer. I know this sounds like a lot, but fall is our really busy time. I wonder every fall if it is too much. But soccer goes by in just a few weeks and then it is over. We miss some dance and Jiu-Jitsu during soccer season to keep things at an acceptable run.

Hogan is in his last year of preschool. He loves words, rhymes, and letters in general. He is great at coloring and loves to play with his friends. He is on pee wee soccer team as well. He played on Sarah's team last year and did pretty well. They divided the age groups up a little better this year and he is doing really well on his team. He is not afraid of getting hurt, which makes him a great goalie! Not always a mother's favorite thing! He also takes Jiu-Jitsu and we are often told how strong he is by the teachers. They say he is one of the strongest they have seen in his age group. (This makes his daddy's chest puff out a bit!)

Josiah is growing. He is awake more and more. He sleeps better at night, although we are up every 2 hours usually. He is smiling some now too. He actually smiled for the first time in the hospital! But it is more common now and reactive. He loves to cuddle still and I have a "Moby", which is a HUGE piece of fabric I wrap around my body several times and tuck him in to carry him around. The minute he goes in this thing he falls asleep! I love it and wish I had discovered it with the other two. It is a little warm, but other than that very comfortable.

Steve and I just run around burning tons of gas to get kiddos where they go on time. We did replace the carpet in the bathroom (carpet in a BR is a terrible idea). Right after we moved in I could not stand the carpet in that bathroom a second longer and decided bare wood was better than the nasty carpet, so I riped it up. To my surprise there was old tile underneath. I tried to clean it but it was so old and stained. It was hopeless with out possibly re glazing it. So we bought stick on tiles and slapped them down last night. They are really cheap since we plan on remodeling this spring. But at least the kids have a cleanable floor to walk on now!

I will head back to work this week:-( I do not look forward to it yet, but it will be better once I get back in the swing of things. Besides, how do you complain about 2 days a week?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Quest

I wrote this for Angie a long time back, so it is a bit of a retread, but I try and surprise her every once in a while. Maybe this showing up in a different place and time will put a smile on her face. I wrote a couple of things for her inspired by the fact that God made Eve just for Adam, and he definitly made Angie just for me. I love you Angie!

The Quest

A valley stretches out below surrounded with snow crested peaks like jewels on the crown of a princess. The pungent smell of the fir trees rise on the warm breeze from below, their dark green bows painting the grey and white of the mountain’s lofty slopes like mosaics on a palace wall. A sea of scarlet and saffron stretches to the depths of the valley below; where the trees parade there exquisite attire. The deer bound across meadows of sage, gold and umber. Rabbits disappear into the emerald undergrowth as if they were fairies in a child’s tale. How can I help but to descend into the depths of the beauty before me? Plunging into the twilight of the forest, exhilaration over takes me as the elk bugle and a symphony of birds joins the chorus. The sun sends out streamers of blazing orange across the sapphire sky, and pierces the forest darkness with shafts of pure gold. An eerie fear sneaks up on me as the air comes alive with the cry of a distant wolf. Stumbling, running and struggling ever forward I grow weary. My soul yearns for something of which I can’t put into words. My heart aches for unknown places. Then like bells on Christmas morning, I hear water playing across stones, dancing its way across the stage before me in a ballet like none ever seen. I yearn for just one taste of the water’s sweet coolness. The coolness of the stream soothes my parched throat. My mind wanders to the source. If I could only interrupt its journey but for a moment, and inquire of the source of its great joy. Where is this coming from? Why does the water draw me like the sirens song? Enchanted I find myself lying beneath the arching limbs of the forest above, craving their protection and strength. The soft warmth of the moss covered bank caresses my face, as I rest my head in its cradling arms. The earthy smells of the forest floor lilt across my face on their way to greet the angels in the heavens. Sleep overtakes me, and I dream of my quest. The fantasies form one after another romancing and intoxicating my mind, drawing me into their spell. Whether I can ever reach my goal, I don’t know. Who can say what that the goal of my journey is even real? But in a place like this, how can I ever abandon the quest. The quest has become a part of me, a quest for the secret garden of Eve’s soul.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, Joshiah and I have both hit cranky, or as Hogan puts it "Cwanky". Josiah seems to be crying unless he is asleep or nursing. We are going through a lot of Mylicon (anti-gas drops for babies). Thank goodness it helps some.

So knowing that you now know I am tired and a little stressed...........

On top of that my van is in the shop. About a month ago my van started making this awful noise. Steve was afraid it was dangerous to drive it, so we drove straight to the fix-it man. It was after hours, so I basically just drop it off and leave a message on the machine. When I talked to the man the next day I was embarassed. The life threatening noise that stopped our world was a meanicing stick! He removed it from under the van and magically the noise stopped. But while I had it there he did some much needed maintance as well - so all was not lost. Then about 2 weeks later the check engine light came on. Once again I just show up at this poor man's house. He was in his jeep going to the bank and stopped to check it out. The computer said it was something I can't remember with the transmission. He asked if it was acting funny. I said no. So he turned the light off and said it would be an unusal problem for my make of van and if anything cropped up to let him know and he would hook up the "big" computer. Well don't you know I drive out of the shop and down the street and the transmision does start slipping. So I bravely ignore the problem! So I finally decide we need to have it looked at and take it to the transmission shop and they have had the van now for 2 days. If you know me, you know that it is torture for me to be without transportation. I apparently am not able to stay home. I have always said home represents work, so I flee!

So now this is day two at home. I have accomplished a little of the work too by the way. But this morning I get Steve and Sarah off, and cooked breakfast for Hogan. (Yes, you read it right, I cooked him eggs!) Then he is sitting quietly in front of the TV and Josiah is sleeping. I am tired and still not out of my night gown so what should I do? Now is the perfect time for a shower. But I can't go anywhere until Steve comes to get me this afternoon. So I crawl back into bed and snuggle up the baby and quickly fall asleep thinking I am sneaking in a nap! Next thing I know Steve is home. He forgot something for work and had to come back to get it! Why have I never been able to be sneaky? I could never get away with anything as a kid or teenager either. Oh well, I guess it keeps me honest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How to make your kids smile in the morning!

Okay, so I go to the bible study for moms at our church last night feeling pretty good about myself. I had gotten everyone to all activities on time, cleaned the house up, done laundry, played with Hogan, went to the grocery store and arrived for the bible study carpool on time!!! All major accomplishments for me (except playing - I do that very well!) The pastor's wife begins by having us make a collage of our life. Mine of course portrays chaos! How else can you describe the last year? I have a disjointed woman jogging with a phrase "out of whack?" and a dog with a shredded roll of toilet paper etc. As we are sitting there visiting the lady next to me begins to talk about milk. Well okay I don't usual talk about milk but I am game. She is explaining to another friend (who grinds her own wheat) that you can buy skim milk and mix it with heavy whipping cream. I am thinking why in the world would anyone do that? So I listen and learn that neither are homogenized. Never really gave this any thought. She states that since you need the fat to metabolize fat soluble vitamins she mixes the two to get a small percentage of fat. Stupid me chimes in with something like I thought that was what McDonald's was for - metabolizing fat soluble vitamins!!! She looks at me and laughing says they will continue to work on me. I laugh and the wheat grinding friend laughs looks at the other lady and says she, referring to me, is laughing but she is not kidding. No I am not kidding, I love Big Macs. I know they are terrible for you, but they are so good to me. I even get the large coke when I eat one!!! If you are going to keel over from fat you might as well have some good old caffeine and sugar on board. The rest of the evening is pretty much the same. These ladies talk about homeschooling, cooking, mixing various milks, cleaning etc. All very foreign topics to me. I keep thinking about the frozen foods I bought to heat for my family, all the house work I left undone, did we read with Sarah yesterday? At least I buy organic milk! :-)

Fast forward to this morning. I am rushing around with stringing wet hair, makeup bag in my hand trying like mad to get everyone out the door on time (Steve had an early meeting this AM- so I am flying solo). Sarah begins to tell me she did not eat breakfast. Then she asks for McDonald's (don't know where she learned that bad habit from). Now she is crying because I said we don't have time. I look frantically at the green bananas, reach for a jar of peanut butter, spoon, bag of chips, cheese dip, and caffeine free Dr. Pepper. Sarah gets the peanut butter and spoon, Hogan gets the bag of chips and cheese dip. Both get a glass of good old caffeine free Dr. Pepper! (Sorry Grandma Marcia!) I shove them in the car and they are beaming now! There are no more fights, no whinning, no fussing, no tears, just silence and a few happy sounds.

So now I am thinking okay, after this I must go mill some wheat, mix some milk, grow some organic vegetables and kill a roaming chicken for supper to make up for this. I will clean house all day, wash the car and walk the dogs. Reality - I run errands, work on Plastag, attend a meeting, visit Steve at work for a few minutes, pick up kids, take care of more of mom's affairs, come home pop a frozen pizza in the oven, offer chips and spinach dip, yogurt, or pickles as snacks while we wait. Pop popcorn after dinner and bake pre-made cookies! I don't guess I will be getting mother of the year awards - unless my kids get to vote!

Disclaimer: Just so you know I really do admire these women. I don't know how they do it. They juggle so much and seem so serene. Truth be told, they are probably better educated than myself because they are educating others. I don't know when I last thought about a proper adjective. (Can you tell?) Homeschooling mom's have to be mom, maid, cook, teacher, and coach all at the same time. I think they are wonder women! And I still need to learn more about that milk thing.


I just sent an email to a dear friend of mine whose mom passed away a year ago yesterday. I feel terrible that I missed calling her on this unbearable day. I have already had so many emotions leading up to our one year anniversary of events. I am sure this day is difficult at best. Then I log onto my blog and read today's scripture which is Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!" Rejoice? Can I really say I am rejoicing for her or for me? No at this very moment I don't feel a bit like rejoicing. I feel cheated for us all. These were two wonderful women. They served God with all their hearts, all their lives... regardless! Neither one had perfect lives, but they laughed, loved, and brightened days for many. How could two such precious people be taken so early. Don't we need them here, isn't there enough bad stuff around already. Why take such good Godly women so young? I think about all the ways we try to explain this stuff and I still wonder. But I know I will trust God and what He has allowed to come into our lives. A song by Natalie Grant (I think) titled "Held" comes to mind. It talks about how life is not perfect or fair, yet this is when we realize that God is holding us and loving us through the pain and sorrow. It speaks to me on a very deep level. This life is full of so many valleys, some much deeper than others, yet God is always there. Another friend that has suffered more sorrow than I told me, "this comes as no surprise to Him". He is watching and caring for us without fail, without taking a break, without forgetting us, without losing concern, without missing a fraction of a second in our lives. We may not be spared grief just because we love Him, but He promises to always love us. This love is palpable at times if we can just stop and feel. Is it easy? No. Am I grateful? Yes. Will I rejoice? Yes, I will commit to rejoicing even though the tears flow now, I will rejoice and I pray my dear friend will be able to rejoice too.

MamaBear I love you and your family. I loved your mom. I rejoice for two lives well lived and a God who loves them. May that love carry you through the next few days once again.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How to have an (almost) Romatic evening!

Our church is focusing on children and I guess families as a whole this year. So in honor of that, they are providing a few nights of free childcare for couples to go out. We were so excited. I am still not in shape after a baby, so I dress up the best I can which means maternity jeans and a nice shirt. We dropped off the two older kiddos at 6:30 and went to the sanctuary where they had a band playing, flavored coffee and couches set around and several tables with candles etc! Very nice. We see our friends sitting around holding hands, laughing and gazing into one anther's eyes. Soon they had someone on stage talking about marriage and its importance in a family. They had a cute skit, a few jokes and then some fun little games to win a free dinner. This all lasted about 30 minutes, then we were on our own for 3 more hours! We decided to try a nice little cafe several minutes from the church. You know somewhere we normally don't go. I feed the baby and we head into the restaurant - just the three of us. We are looking at the menu discussing what to get and I am holding a sweet sleeping baby thinking how blessed I am to be out with two of my favorite men. Baby begins to squirm and I feel warmth on my hand. I look down and his little diaper has failed me terribly. I look at Steve with what I am sure was pure panic and said something to the effect that I needed to make it to the bathroom quickly. As I slid out of the booth, I notice a trail that I am leaving behind. I panic more. I have clothes for the baby, but none for me. I am out with Steve on a rare date and I have you know what on my pants!!!! I rush to the waitress hoping the bathroom is at the front of the restaurant, they shake their heads and point to the very back - past lots of people. I am mortified as I go to the bathroom and every one is drawn to us by crying (I won't say who was crying me or the baby!) I get him on the changing table. He requires a full outfit removal, multiple wet wipes, a trip to the sink for soap and water, a new diaper, new clothes, new blanket and he is set. Now I make another arduous trip through the restaurant where people are now stopping me to see the baby and ask how old he is. I give him to Steve and carry the diaper bag back to the restroom with the hope of hiding the mess. I use all the paper towela in the bathroom (there were few) and most of the wet wipes I have in the bag, along with soap and water on my pants. Now I have this huge wet spot going from my back pocket to the front of my leg and I'm questioning how clean I really got it. I buck up and head back out to the table. Steve had to wipe down the booth seat with wet wipes and wash up while I was in changing the babe!!! I have never felt so romantic as this I must say.

In the meantime some couples come in smelling of alcohol and sit behind us. They were obviously not close friends as the conversation was all introductory, mainly from the very talkative man right behind us. So there is now no staring into each others eyes and talking quietly to one another as you see in movies. We are trying to enjoy whatever Steve ordered while listening to this man tell his life story in our ears! I can tell you he "respects old stadiums". Whatever that means. Don't you earn respect? Can an object earn anything? At least I didn't have to sit there and act like I was interested!!!! :-)

We finish and head back to the church to get the kids an hour and a half early. I am feeling rather cheated in my rare night out. I am wondering what everyone will think of the poor couple that could not even be creative/romantic enough to stay out the full 3 hours. I think I was sulking a little to be honest. We pull in and just as I am about to really feel embarrassed I notice there are several of our friends already heading back to their cars with their kids! I am sure none of them have wet pants and hopefully did not sit so close to mister loud mouth, but I feel more normal now. I figure they must have busy family days tomorrow - just like we do. They have little ones that need their sleep - just like we do. So it might not have been the dream date of my youth, but all in all we had a great time talking, resting, laughing, and even holding hands!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Another moving day!

Today Anna and Brian are moving into mom's house. I guess from here on we will have to call it something besides mom's! They have already moved most of the boxes and there are a hand full of guys to move the furniture. Then we will begin fixing the house up to put on the market! It will be nice to be down to just one house! It will be even nicer to not have someone on the waiting list to be moved! In the last 2 months every last one of us has moved! When we went to see the atty the other day we had to update everybody's address and contact info! Seemed kinda strange. Anyway the next few weeks will be spent organizing Anna and painting cleaning our house. So much work left but the light at the end of this tunnel appears bigger and brighter every week!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Well. after so many months of shall I say "excitement", I feel I am rather boring now. I wait for an infant to go to sleep, need changing or feeding. I wait to go pick up Sarah after school, or for Hogan to either go to sleep or wake up! I am driving now and that has gotten me out of the house each day. Monday was basically a catch up day. After not having any activity for almost 3 weeks, I literally stayed out all day! We finished up soccer practice and I brought the kids home, bathed them, then we all piled up in my bed and began to go over Sarah's school work while we waited on daddy to some home from Jiu-Jitsu. One of the last things I remember was Sarah asking me how I could see her work with my eyes closed while she tried to pry the open! I mumbled something about looking at the words before I closed them. Fortunately we were on the last page! I vaguely remember Hogan talking and talking and seeing Sarah next to me already asleep too. Then the kids were in their bed and Steve was talking to me. Apparently I never fully woke up and don't remember anything anyone said! I guess you could say I over did it that day!

Tuesday was better. Jana came in and we worked once again on Plastag and went to see an Atty for mom's estate. And of course we had lunch! We did unplug Plastag's fax machine which was a big step in my opinion. I feel we are finally closed. We are still cleaning up accounts with statements and all but hey, collecting is more fun! It just amazes me how much work it takes. Mom always said no one really understood how much work she did and people think because you work at home it must be easier or something. Well I really appreciate that statement now. It has taken Jana and myself and about 3 other companies to do what mom did day in and day out for 30 years! She was amazing!!!!

Today, Hogan and I stayed home with the baby. I have found a new passion. I am trying to organize myself. I feel I run helter skelter all the time. I have no routines (or very few) and stuff just flies around me. Kinda like the kid on Peanuts, I think his name is Pigpen! He always had a cloud around him - that's me! So, I have signed up with FLYlady and study her numerous emails and website daily to figure out how to fix me. I have some really good ideas already and am working on those. I have not really started her program as far as the house goes yet, but that is to come when I am stronger. (I still have a very good excuse and I am using it!) I am shining my sink though.

Josiah is awake more each day. He will just lay there and quietly look around. He is such a good baby! I hope we will have more pictures to post soon. Sarah and Hogan are still crazy about the baby and are so good with him. Hogan is still a little rough but is learning to be more gentle. He calls the baby, "bubba", "bubby", "tiggy-wiggy", and "bear"! He has nicknames for everything and loves rhymes! Sarah is just great with the baby all the way around!

For a little entertainment check out my link to Potter Place and watch the short video. The artist is amazing!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Parenting Conference

We spent all day today sitting in on a very informative parenting conference. It was titled "Grace Based Parenting". The speaker was funny, well spoken, and I agreed with so much of what he said. Steve and I talked about what he presented and pinpointed some areas that needed work with our own parenting skills. We talked about how to remedy these little problem areas and thought we were onto something grand. Well, however much we learned, someone, it seems, has forgotten to explain all the rules to our kids! We are still having the nighttime battle. They have been in bed for over an hour now and they have gotten up multiple times already. Our new system for giving our strong willed children more choices and control seems to be failing already! Steve has had to go in and determine where the scary purple light was coming from and now is off to determine where the scary green and red lights are coming from! How they come up with this stuff I will never know! Fortunately for them they have a daddy that is great at riding the world of scary lights! (Apparently, a best friend and favorite cousin have told them there are purple lights and fires in the bathroom! I'll have to make sure I thank their mom.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just hanging out.

Well, we seem to be getting in a more routine sleep pattern. Josiah still sleeps a lot during the day, but we are doing better at night as a whole. He just really likes to wait until I drift off to start fussing. I keep telling him, if he would not wait until I go to sleep I would be a lot more coherent and quicker on the draw! I wake up confused still sometimes. I guess I am adjusting to having another kiddo!

Hopefully I will be able to drive next week. I am anxious to be able to get around, but still have enjoyed being forced to stay at home and rest most of the day. Last night I spent about 2 hours at mom's cleaning up files and stuff from Plastag. I actually threw out more than I kept! Almost 3 times as much! I know Anna will be glad when she sees it! It is sitting in her dinning room and they are almost ready to move in! Jana will be coming down to finish helping me this week. I hope we can get to some of the stuff in storage as well.

Sarah began her first day of 1st grade yesterday. She likes her teacher and says there are not any mean kids in her class this year. (We had some problems last year.) She has not found a good friend yet, but she is on the look out! The class is almost half and half as far as girl to boy ratios go. Last year was mostly boys! I think I will find out more as the week goes on. You know they never talk when asked direct questions! I waited all day to hear about her day and all I got was "I don't know"! Drives me crazy. Now I will just have to wait for the details to come out when they are ready. Part of a parents life I suppose.

Hogan will not start school until after Labor Day. He will be going 3 half days a week. He will be in the older class this year. He loves school and is doing very well. I think if we had more time this summer to spend with him we could have had him reading. That is one of my goals this fall. He loves words, rhymes, and books! I think he even loves letters!

Steve is staying very busy at work and at home. He looks tired to me and I hate not being able to help him out more than I do right now. He has been such a blessing over the last year. He works tirelessly and never complains (well, almost never anyway - way less than I complain!) We are hoping for a little vacation time when Josiah and I are ready to travel. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


IT is now 4:30am......obviously I am tired.....also bored. We just looked up this guys other videos on you tube, and they are kinda cute. Maybe 'cause I can relate....maybe 'cause I am tired......maybe 'cause it is 4:30AM!!!! Nevertheless, enjoy.


Sleepless in we are home aren't we.....darn!!!!!

Well it is 4am, and Angie showed me this video on her friends blog. I am sure Sheryl is going to think that we plagerize her site constantly, however, considering the time we are putting it up anyway because it is SOOOOOO appropiate. Considering the war over bedtime last night, and the fact that I am sure the rumble (notice I did not say pitter-patter) of little feet from the other side of the house will begin very soon just as this one decides the sun is up so he can sleep.


PS: You might pause Angie's music so you can listen.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reality hits home!!!

Sarah and Hogan came home today. They are so excited to be home. They have talked non-stop and been very happy. That is until it was bedtime! The fact that Josiah gets to sleep in mommy and daddy's room did not go unnoticed. The tears, crying and even some screaming started the moment we said go get in bed. They were suddenly terrified of their room! They refused to stay in bed and came to our room repeatedly. It took Steve going in and staying with them until they fell asleep to get them settled down. I think tomorrow night we will have a bunking party in our room to help ease the unfairness of life!

Josiah is doing well. He has gained 7 ounces since we have been home. His coloring is so much better and last night he actually slept better. He has kept me up until 3 AM and 5 AM! I hope we started a new trend last night. He slept for 3 hours at a stretch and was only up for 2 1/2 hours in the middle. Which I will take over the all nighter!

I seem to be getting stronger as well. I can walk at a little more normal pace! If you ever want to see just how slowly a person can walk go to the postpartum unit and watch! I think they put up speed limit signs or something! But I still am very protective of my stomach. Apparently they had to really push on my belly to get Josiah out. I had a lot of scar tissue from previous c-sections and this caused a little bit of a problem. Steve said there was a very large girl (taller than him and by far heavier) coming up off her feet pushing on me! With all our technology, this is what really happens! To say the least my right side is very tender still.

Anyway, they still won't let me drive and this is driving me crazy. I never stay home all day and now it is day after day. I did go out yesterday and today and I think I might be a little glad I am housebound though. Just riding in the car is uncomfortable in itself. (And no, I did not drive.)

Anna and Brian have just about finished all their remodeling of mom's for now. They are planning on moving some stuff in this weekend. I am not sure when they plan the big move, but I am sure they could use some help if anyone is available and feels called to help! I think they are getting pretty tired at this point and school starts Monday.

Well, that's all for now. I need to take advantage of Josiah's sleep!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Settling in at home.

Josiah and I have spent some wonderful quality time together over the past 2 days. We both love to sleep in! Of course he is still sleeping a lot at this point and I join him on occasion. We went yesterday evening to have the bili levels retested and he is still on the rise but just slightly. We are to take him back to the pediatrician tomorrow for a re-check. He still looks very yellow to me. He has also slept more today than yesterday (higher levels of bilirubin cause them to be sleepy). He is nursing good (we are setting alarms to wake him up and feed him every 2-3 hours.) He has a hard time getting started feeding but does well once started. He is also meeting the output requirements. All these things are important in decreasing bili levels. I have also been setting him in the indirect sunlight during the day. Please pray that we will not have to go back under the lights. It is not a big deal-he just lays under a blue light with a mask on, but it breaks my heart to not be able to hold him. He loves to be swaddled and held close and lying in the incubator all stretched out just does not set well with him. He fidgets, jerks, jumps, and fusses all the time. Steve spent so much time just standing in front of the incubator holding his little hand or stroking his head through the little port holes. I know he got tired, but he never complained.

I will let you know what the verdict is tomorrow after we see the doc!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome home Josiah!

We finally dot to come home this evening! They checked Josiah's bili level again this afternoon and it had only increased slightly so they cut us loose! We are so glad to be here! It seems too quiet without the kids running around. Steve and I both had a hard time letting them go this weekend. I was really feeling bad about coming home and them missing the big event when we were suddenly told we could not go home! Then I was really glad that Sarah and Hogan were not at the house anticipating our arrival. They would have been terribly disappointed. Hopefully, I will be much stronger when they come home later this week!

Happy birthday mom!

So far so good.

Josiah's bili level dropped to 12 this morning. They have let us keep him out of the lights for now. He at Steve are very comfortable together on the couch as snuggled up together. They will keep him until this afternoon when they will redraw his lab and if it has not gone up too high we will get to go home. If it is higher than they would like we will go back under the lights. He is eating well now so we are hopeful that we will get to go home!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Boy oh Boy!!!!

What a week! Wednesday morning we got up very early and headed to the hospital. When we arrived they were not expecting us! Someone had scheduled the c-section and then taken us off the schedule! They scrambled around and got us a room, preped me and had the OR ready by our original time of 0730! Fortunately, we were on the doc's schedule and he was not rattled at all by the mixup! I on the other hand was very nervous. I hate c-sections! I had rather do natural labor than have and epidural! (My sisters have decided that I am crazy!) When they wheeled me back to the OR they made Steve wait outside until they had placed the epidural. I really wished he had been in there with me. They got everything going and I was frantically looking around for him. They then went and got him! I relaxed a bit. The doc came in happy and ready to go. He also made me feel more at ease. He talked to me throughout the whole procedure which was nice as well. Before he started he asked me to guess the baby's weight and I said 6 1/2 pounds. He said he thought I was very close to what he guessed. Well, I will spare you the grusome details (actually I don't know them because they drape you where you can't watch your our surgery for some reason!) but the doc said he was crying before they even pulled him out! They had to use forceps due to scar tissue from my previous sections so he has some bruising on his face. After the doc delivered him he showed him to me and said "that is no 6 1/2 pound baby!" When they finally weighed him he weighed in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce. He was 20 1/2 inches long. His hair is a very light brown or dark blond with a reddish tint so far. His eyes are of course a dark blue. He has a round head and face thanks to the section. And we are in love! His name is Josiah Jonathan. Sarah and Hogan are also in love. Hogan will hold Josiah and say "I love Josiah/bubba! " They have been very excited to come see him each day.

The hospital stay was uneventful until we were packed up and about ready to leave. They had discharged me and we were waiting on the discharge orders for Josiah. Then the nurse came in and said he had to stay because his bilirubin levels were critical and they needed to put him under the bili lights. So they put us in a "rooming in" room down the hall and he is in his incubator with his little mask on and we are watching him like you would an aquarium! Steve is sitting next to the box and has his hand inside one of the portholes holding Josiah's hand. This seems to calm him down a lot. So as our new little baby sleeps under his blue lights we just sit and watch. We are praying that we will be able to take him home tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's a Boy!!!

Well the Titus household was blessed with an 8lb 20.5 in bouncing baby boy Wednesday. Angie and Josiah are doing great, and we will all go home this weekend. I am not going to take a lot of time to post as I need to get to my fatherly duties because Sarah and Hogan have come to visit. I am sure that Angie will be prolific with the blog as she is home bound for a cople of weeks.

I did however want to get some pictures up because I know you are all dying to see. So here it goes.....

Monday, August 6, 2007

Baby's birthday is set!

Today we scheduled the c-section. I think I have been frowning every since. I think Steve and the rest of our family is more comfortable with the section. We will welcome the baby to the family on August 8th around 7:30 AM! I do look forward to being able to lie on my back and soon stomach. My hips and shoulders are so worn out I can hardly stand it anymore. I can't even lean back in a chair now, it just all but stops my breath! I figure we will spend about 3 days at Baptist and be home sometime during the weekend. It will almost be nice to be confined to the bed/house for a few days. If only the baby will sleep all night! Neither of the other two did for a couple of years! But I can always hope! At least for another few days anyway!

When we were at the hospital last we did not have Internet access available on the floors. I am hoping they have changed this but am doubtful. I will post and answer e-mails when I can talk Steve into running to the lobby to download everything. :-) I will keep you updated as best as I can.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Nesting or pure panic?

Today we got A LOT done! After church (which was VERY GOOD by the way!), we began our errands. The most important was buying an infant car seat. We were beginning to think we would have to have a friend with a newborn come pick us up at the hospital and drive us home! They won't let you leave the hospital if you don't have an appropriate car seat. Which is a great rule, but we have been so busy. Well, after a $350 trip to Target, problem solved! Simple huh?

When we finally got home and unloaded the last stuff we got from mom's, I laid down with Hogan to help him fall asleep. I began having contractions they were 5 minutes apart for 30 minutes. So, I got up and began moving around to see if they would stop. I began laundry and helping unpack some. They continued and began to get stronger. So what did I do? Work harder and faster! I began to look around and see how unprepared we were! With Sarah I had my bag packed at 7 months and repacked it every week or so, you know, just to make sure. Now, I have a few things in my bag for this little one!

After about 3 or 4 hours the contractions slowed to a crawl. But we have made a great head way on the house. It is actually beginning to look like people could live here. (Except for the kids room, which looks like a bomb went off in the toy box!). So now my low back is still hurting and we will see. My luck I will go until they do a c-section! I really have wanted the natural delivery I was never able to complete with Sarah. I am praying that if God will grant me that desire it will happen before the scheduled date. Which we are leaning heavily toward a section later this week. I really like my OB and Steve remembers how scary it was in the last few minutes with Sarah's delivery and also my heart rate concerns us a little. At any rate, panic gets a lot done!!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

More Boxes!

Today we brought some of the remaining things from mom's. We are down to what we will store for a few months and all get together and decide who's closet they will inhibit. There are lots of family photo albums and pictures to go through. Some remaining dishes/china type pieces and that wraps it up! In the meantime, Anna has hit the house like a mad woman with a mission. They are really changing the looks of the place. I think she may be delirious from all the primer and paint she has been inhaling! Brian has been busy as well changing light fixtures, door knobs, ceiling fans, and riping out dark wood to be replaced with lighter more modern trim! They are having to rewire some things as well. They have also removed the old gutter lighting (what a dust trap!) So, we are all anxious to see how things turn out. They are leaving the kitchen and mom's room as is for now, so maybe we will still recognize the place!

I think I am slowly killing Steve with moving boxes and furniture. He looked so tired today hauling more of our junk around. I am of very little use these days. At least I have enough kitchen stuff now to cook diner for the family. Sarah goes next door to our cousins house and picks fresh tomatoes for us and loves to help me prepare diner. Unfortunately, she is not always crazy about eating what she helps create! Hogan on the other hand will eat! That is unless he is to busy playing to eat. We are without a table right now so they eat at the coffee table in the living room. This lends itself to more play than eating some nights. Especially when mom and dad are too tired to fight the battle! :-)

I do have some friends who are planning on coming over to help me get things arranged and ready for the baby. It will be such a huge help! One of the ladies is expecting soon herself. God has really provided some true blessings in our lives.