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!