Friday, November 16, 2007

I promise I've been busy....

STAMPING! I know, I should be taking pictures... and I will tomorrow. Promise.

I've been working hard on Christmas cards for 2007, some thank you's as a bartering deal worked out with my fabulous hair stylist, Carey... some ornaments that I've been giving away as fast as I can make them (which is pretty fast with these quickies).
I've been having lots of fun. I've done a lot of paper hoarding over the past few months and I've finally broken down and cut some of it up and used it and gave away what I've made... that's what it's all about, right?

We had a fun family night tonight. We all ate dinner together (which is pretty much an every night thing round our house), then we went to the Mills Mall in Hazelwood...girls to Archiver's/boys to Cabella's next door. :) Everyone's happy. Then we came home and popped some popcorn and popped in a movie. Tonight we watched Evan Almighty. It was really cute, and what was even cuter, was when it was over, I asked my two kiddos... who are 7 and nearly 5..."what was the lesson of this movie? If God asks you to do something....." to which they replied... "DO IT!". Ah, too cute and ouch... too true. Don't wanna learn some lessons the hard way, so I'm going to try to make tomorrow a better "listen to Dad" day.

This weekend we'll host a Thanksgiving dinner with my family along with some extended famly on my dad's side. Then on Wednesday, we'll head northeast to Indiana to spend the holiday with Dave's folks. So, I'm going to attempt to start being more focused on things I am thankful for. Here are just a few:

1. I am so thankful for my husband Dave. He and I have plenty of chances to marvel in how well God has matched us together. Especially when we have seen several of our friends deal with either divorces or just "dead" marriages here lately. Not that we have it "all" together, cuz we don't claim to. But we are serious about this being "it"... we are committed. We are in love... and we know how to laugh and be completely stupid together... and that seems to be the glue that holds us tight. We are also BIG advocates of date nights. Which leads to my other things to be thankful for.

2. I am thankful for parents on both of our sides who genuinely WANT to spend time with our kids. I have so many friends who either have family that is far away and not accessible, or family who lives right here in town, but just don't give a rip. I've got a grandma who doesn't give a rip, so I know how that feels and I'm blessed that my children never have had to experience that. I'm thankful that my kids are loved and spoiled shamelessly by our parents.

3. Which brings me to my kids... I love those little stinkers. Hannah and Spencer are so full of life and so full of "other" stuff sometimes too. :) But they bring so much to my life. I cannot imagine it without them. When they are gone to Dave's folks for a week, I start to go literally crazy missing them. But I'm thankful that they are adventurous in a safe way. They like to push the line, but they are pretty responsible. Sometimes they are overly responsible, like tonight when Hannah was going on and on and on about "intruder alerts" at school (which is just sad to begin with), but let me tell you ... that 7 year old of mine--she's got a plan for whatever room she is in...on the other hand, she got her brother ALL wigged out about intruders now. Oy... she's too smart for her own good, but it sure keeps us on our toes. They are so kind to each other and just really good playmates. I so love them.

I know I'll add more to my thankful list. But I need to pace myself. :) That, and my fingers are cramping...

Tomorrow will be cleaning day to prepare for company on Sunday and probably laundry day too. A mom's work is truly never done. NEVER! Good night!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bargain finds!

Thanks to the enablers at Splitcoast, I was given a tip that Michael's had some Martha Stewart goodies on clearance. Namely some 8pk note cards, for A DOLLAR!!!! And the 40% coupons are able to be used on Martha stuff now too. That used to not be the case. I also used my coupon for a cute little acrylic stamp set that consisted of a little floral frame with about 7 or 8 Scripture verses. I thought that this could help me make some more Christmas gifts for teachers and my Mother in law.

I earned a little fun money tonight and plan to sneak back to Mike's tomorrow morning to see if there are any other colors at the store on the other side of town. Never know, right? :)

My folks are taking a plane ride to San Antonio on Thursday to visit my sister and brother-in-law. So I took my kids over tonight for some grandparent time, while Dave and I went our for a few hours of NON-parenting time. Had some yummy breakfast for dinner at IHOP and it was nice to just have some quiet.

Also worked on school "black and orange" party crafts. We have lots of foam crafts for the first grade class my daughter is in. We're also playing a balloon popping game, in which a little toy or candy will be inside the balloon and the kids have to pop it to find out what's inside. And finally, cookie decorating. Should be fun. There is only an hour to have the party, which is hilarious to me, but I understand. Just makes it crazy to organize 21 kids who are craving sugar in an hour's time :).

Well, I'm about off to bed. The silly dog was up twice last night. I'm getting too old for all this waking up during the night busness. Sometimes it feels like we will never sleep thru the night ever again. *sigh* Better luck tonight.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More stamping samples.

I had lots of fun doing some more stamping. Took out a few of my older sets and tried to make them feel new again. I am excited about all the ramblings I'm hearing about Stampin Up being a little less restrictive on where we can sell things made with their stamps. I'm hoping it will be possible to fund my habit by making stuff with my addiction. We shall see. Thanks for looking! All the details for my cards are on splitcoast, which is linked to the right of my page. My ID on there is hhroady.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Been busy stamping.

I've finally had a stamping streak! YAHOO! I'm going to attempt to post pictures. All of these are already posted on Splitcoast, which is linked on the right side of this page. My name on Splicoast is hhroady, so all of the details of these cards can be found on there. Enjoy!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Camping is not for wimps.

So my mom tells me today while we were shopping, "It's funny that you will catch frogs, hold snakes, and shoot guns, but you don't like camping." I laughed. It sounds weird, doesn't it? It's not exactly that I don't like camping. It's just that for starters, it's a lot of work! I have to spend much more time preparing, setting up, and taking down, that if I "camped" in a hotel. Secondly, it was HOT! It was miserable August weather hot in OCTOBER! Thirdly, our lovely Town and Country, that has been a pill since we purchased it 2 years ago, was a super pill this weekend in the middle of nowhere. So, I wouldn't exactly say that I don't enjoy camping, tho give me a snake over spiders and ticks any ol' day, but I didn't necessarily enjoy this camping trip... not all of it anyhow.

Now that we're home, I did run around like a chicken with my head cut off today. I scored some area rugs at Old Time Pottery today... four of them, to the tune of $16 bucks! Can you beat that? I got 3 for my kitchen, on at the back door, for Belle to get dirty, instead of my floor, and one in front of the sink and the oven, where I frequently stand. The fourth is in the entry way. All of them nice looking and CHEAP! So if they get destroyed in the wash or whatnot, I'm only out 16 bucks.

Then I grabbed a check from the consignment shop for nearly $30 bucks, which was cool. I used my 50% Michaels coupon on nothing exciting (blade refills for my paper cutter). Woohoo. I know, boring, but you can't NOT use a 50% coupon. :)

Now I have to run a package to the post office. And decide what to make for dinner that is easy and not too unhealthy. Is that possible? :)

Tomorrow I have only one kid instead of 2. Spencer has mom's day out again. So maybe tomorrow will be less crazy, I hope.
On the upside... STAMP CLASS IS TOMORROW at my pal Lisa's. She's got 2 weeks in a row of classes. Yeah for me! :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A new season of GREY'S ANATOMY--yeah!

Finally, Grey's is back on! What the heck is going on this season? Will George split with Callie and stick with Izzy? What's up with Burke? I know he was leaving the show, but will it end like this? No real "end" to he and Christina? And will Derek and Meredith just be idiots with the on again/off again business? It will be interesting and thanks to Tivo... I'll have my butt glued to the couch each Thursday night.

In other news, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the whole week it seems. Cycle break this time around seems to be dragging on forever and I cannot find enough htings to keep Hannah busy. :-) I think she misses school too. Today we did open play time at Pump It Up. Then we got some pizza, ate real quick and did some more running! We scooted out to my pal Heather's, she is on the down hill slide of her chemo treatments...she is doing AWESOME! And she had a little birthday gift for me. It's a really pretty necklace with a sterling and abalone pendant. It's very versatile and I just felt so loved for such a special gift.

Lastly, we swung thru the super wally world for some camping gear as we are heading to southern Indiana to camp with Dave's folks. I initially was excited, til I heard it will be in the freaking 90s all weekend! It will likely be warmer this weekend in OCTOBER when we camp than it was in JULY when we last camped! Ridiculous! As Dave's great aunt Teenie would say, "it's all because of that El Camino..." teehee... El Nino? El Camino? Gotta love old people.

So, we'll finish up packing in the A.M. and drop the grand-dog off at my parents' house and hit the road. With any luck, the mosquitoes will know we have the DEET packed and steer clear of us!

Everyone, have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Long time, no blog, part 2 :-)

Since I last blogged, let's see what's gone on? Nothing much. My oldest baby turned 7, that's the biggest news I suppose. She got her first quarter report card, which was absolutely perfect, even earning a personal note from her principal. We are so proud of her. She just adores school. She's not a happy camper when she is sick and cannot go. Today is her last day for the quarter. Cycle break begins tomorrow and lasts for three weeks. We are in a year round school system, which I am loving. She goes 9 weeks and is off three. We took a trip to Hilton Head Island at the end of September last year and it was incredible. No crowds, pool to ourselves most days, and just plain relaxing! We plan to do that next year again.

Today, my youngest has his best buddy from pre-school over for their first play date at our house. Spencer talks about Alex ALL the time. I know they will have a blast today.

I plan to stamp some thank you notes for Hannah to send for all the cool gifts she got for her birthday last week. Lots to make! I'll try to post some pics of my cards from now on. I realize I've never done it, except to post on and I don't do that often enough, so I should get on the ball and share my work like everyone else does. :-)

BBQ Chicken quesedillas are on the menu for tonight. I just cook the chicken and BBQ sauce in the crock, and then assemble with whole grain tortillas, and cheese...then melt it all together in the oven for a few minutes. MMM, good and super simple. Serve with some fiesta rice or a side salad. Yummo.

Only one more day til the weekend, YAHOO!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Alison Krauss concert and other happenings.

Yesterday was a busy day. Got the kids up and Hannah off to school. She, by the way seems to be enjoying 1st grade very much. No homework yet, but this is our first full week of school.

Then Spencer and I ran a few errands. We stopped and got some pedicre implements to treat my friend Heather to a pedi. We also stopped and got her some flowers, some cran-apple juice, and also some candles. See, Heather is in the middle of a battle with breast cancer. She's just finished her 2nd out of 4 chemo treatments, and her hair started falling out the other day, so I went over and cut it much shorter to make it more manageable while it falls, and her little 6 year old, Levi, well, I shaved him bald. :-) He looks adorable! She looks great, and tho she feels a bit drunk/dizzy from all the meds, I have to hope with all the hope I can muster that she will be fine in the end. I know realistically tho, that a lot of things can happen, so I'm doing my best to think positively. I also sat her down and treated her to a pedicure, since she cannot risk going out and getting into the germy nail places. I enjoyed doing that for her and plan to go back in about 2 weeks to do it again. :-)

On a lighter note, Dave and I hate a super fun date last night to the Alison Krauss and Union Station concert last night at the Scottrade Center/savvis center/kiel opera house, WHATEVER they call it these days. :-) Her voice just gives me the goosebumps and she makes me want to take some fiddle/violin lessons. I just love her style of music. Not only that, but she is really goofy. Seriously goofy. She makes me laugh and they all seem to get on really well together. Some of her band has played with her for more that 18 years now. She seems so young, but she started very young, so that's not surprising.

So, if you like bluegrass/country/folk.... check her out.... she has worked on many soundtracks, like Cold Mountain, which is probably one of my favorite movies of late.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Can't stand the bad news anymore.

I'm about to have to give up on the news. It's just too hard and hits too close to home now-a-days. Cases in point: A mother and her three children are found shot to death in their family car just a few hours from Chicago. This was not just a stranger to me, it was someone I graduated from high school with. Her name is Kimberly Vaughn (nee Phillips) and she is a twin to Jennifer. They were classmates of mine. I just can't wrap my head around the mystery of the whole thing. Her husband is not considered a suspect, tho he was shot only in the thigh. You can see the story here:,0,2505416.story

Then this morning I hear of the nine firemen who lost their lives in the line of duty. I can't imagine the grief that is flooding that town in SC. It's enough to bear the loss of one loved one, but multiple deaths like these overwhelm me with emotion.

I can't imagine what my friend's family is feeling. What her twin is feeling. How it must ache so very much.

So, I think I'll be skipping the news for a while. I need to concentrate on all of the blessings I have, and as I've learned since we lost my brother in law Jeremy, to make the most of every day and tell everyone you love them as much as you can. It's all you can do. Life has to go on, and I have to go on with it. I'm so thankful for my husband and children and our parents and siblings and nieces and nephew. So much love to pour out on so many people while the sun still shines for me.

So even though it's kind of a blah blog tonight. I'm going to savor the moment I curl up beside my sweet husband, on the night before our 9th wedding anniversary and thank GOD that he is alive and well, and that we are madly and deeply in love. We have two beautiful, healthy children who love us very much and bring so much joy to us (nevermind when they are button pushing). :-) I have my health and my home and my dog and much to be thankful for. A new church to grow into and be encouraged and loved on... So much to be delighting in and not dwelling on what cannot be changed.

So, let this not make you feel down after reading, but let it open your eyes to what you have to be thankful for. Each breath you take, each sunrise, each bird you hear singing in the trees, each detail of your day and your family. Hug someone, share a smile, and high five someone just for fun! Focus on what's right ( I know it's hard some days, but try!). Peace!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


First things first. It's Father's Day and I have to say, I feel like I didn't do a good job of it this weekend. I tried. I made Saturday a do-nothing day, tho he mowed the lawn...but I also made his favorite meal and we just had a nice relaxing day. This morning tho, just seemed like we couldn't do anything right. Our checking account prevented us from going out for breakfast this morning, then at church, we listened to a message about Heaven and that sort of a set a mood for missing Jeremy, on top of which my poor husband misses his parents so much right now too, cuz we've not seen them since February. Then we had to go sit in the heat for my niece's birthday party, which didn't go so badly, just not what I would like to do for Dave on his day, you know? I tried to tell him it was okay to go shoot in lieu of the party, but thankfully, he wanted to be with us. Anyhow, though none of the hassles of the weekend were really bad, it just felt like nothing I did was right. We all have those times, and he did keep re-assuring me that it wasn't me, but I felt like it was some me.

So sweetie, if you read this, here's my Father's day tribute to you.

You are the love of my life, you know that. I am so blessed to be your wife. In good times and bad (some REALLY bad, even), we have thrived and fallen more in love. You helped me make two of the cutest kids in the WHOLE world, and challenging as they are sometimes, they are a constant reflection of how much we love each other. We are all well fed, and comfortably sheltered each night because of how hard you work at your job. Even the jobs you've been miserable with, you've plugged along just to know you were taking care of us. For that we are ever so thankful.

Most of all though sweetheart, is that I love how you show our kids how much you love me. I know you think you don't show them much sometimes (cuz sometimes everything we say goes in one ear and out the other, without sinking in), but I know every time you hug me, kiss me, hold my hand, slap me on the hind end, any number of million ways you show me affection will have a GINORMOUS effect on them. Trust me, I missed that a lot, and you know that I still wonder about my parents sometimes. Thank you for that HUGE life lesson that you show them every day without even thinking about it. Thank you for loving me the way you do. I love you so much. Hannah and Spencer love you so much too. Thank you for being our hero and taking such good care of us. Hugs and kisses!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another weekend is here!

Wow! Where did the week go? Let's see if I can recap.

Monday: The most I remember is finally having Haley Jane back for the day. It was fun. She is such a gem of a niece. She's 9 1/2 months old, and is just a silly little thing. Doesn't take much to napping for me, unless she falls asleep in the car, or if I'm holding her, and I've been instructed that I'm not to do the holding her while she sleeps thing anymore, but gosh, I miss that, cuz my stinking kids are too big now!

Tuesday: First day of swim lessons for Hannah and Spencer. They had a blast! And thank the Lord, although many people from the church we've recently "moved on from" were there, it was as pleasant as could be. All that were there, loved on us all as much as I could have dreamed of. I love my friend Teena, for just saying she loves me no matter where we go to church, as it should be, but you know how life really is... Anyhow, it was fine.

We also had Hannah's last regular ballet/tap class. This week will be dress rehearsal, in full hussy make up and all curled up and made all purty. I'm afraid I've complained so much about the recital that she asked me the other day, "mom, do you like ballet?" and I had to tell her that I loved watching her dance, but I just thought the recital business cost too much money, that's all. She was cool with that. And truly, we've spent over $120 just to dress her up for 5 minutes and hear the song Chattanooga Choo Choo. Between tickets, costume, and all..... ouch. So I told her if she ever wanted to dance again, then she could, but we'd celebrate the end of the year a different way, like maybe a trip to six flags or something less expensive... but more fun!

Wednesday: sadly, this day has already slipped my mind.

Thursday: Hung out with Mom and Sarah and Lucas and Amanda. We played at Mom's for a while, and then she took us to a McDonald's with an outdoor playground. The kids had a blast! It was fun. The weather was lovely. Afterwards, I took Sarah, Hannah and Spencer to the library and we watched a puppet/marionette show. It was really nice and it was absolutely free as well. I've been searching for fun, free things to do this summer. Hannah actually has only 6 weeks of summer break.

Friday: Grocery/Target trip. But the kids were relatively well-behaved. I really don't enjoy shopping with both of them for a big grocery trip, cuz Hannah, especially gets bored. She's too big to ride in the cart, so she gets antsy and dances around, in my way, in other shoppers' way. No real major behavior issue, but annoys me to no end. I need to lighten up about it. Friday night we stayed at home and had a spaghetti dinner. It tasted wonderful, but I was miserable! Too many carbs yesterday! I'm going to crack down and try to Phase 1 this next two weeks, to hopefully slim down before the wedding in 2 weeks.

Today: The kids let us sleep in. Til nearly 9:00! Woohoo! Got up and we all ate some breakfast. Then Dave left to go shooting (which never worked out, cuz the range wasn't open). The kids and I headed to the convention center for the Friends of the Library Book Fair. Oh my. A sea of books! And we left with 11 books from the children's section, for, are you ready???? $2.30 That's it. I couldn't believe it. It was a little crazy with them there, and maybe next year, I'll pay for the early bird special and get a better selection, but it was kind of fun. Then we went to one of our local libraries to cash in our reading program page. Each kid got a toy and two tickets to the Rascals game. The River City Rascals is a small independent baseball team here in our town. Tickets are dirt cheap and you're really close to the game and they do lots of fun activities in between innings. It's a great time. Now all four of us can go on a Tuesday night for FREE! Not a bad deal, huh?

This afternoon, we headed to my friend Jamie's (who's wedding I am in in two weeks) and helped her pack up some of her condo to move out. She is closing on the sale on the 15th. She is a frazzled woman, but I know it will all work out. We worked for just a little while and then we had to head to my brother's to drop Hannah off for a sleepover with Sarah for her 5th birthday. She was a bit nervous, but we've not heard from them yet, so I'm assuming all is well. Then we took Spencer out for a picnic in the park and some playground time. Next a trip to Bass Pro Shops for some climbing around on some boats and seeing some guns. :-) Lastly we went for ice cream and met my friends Lisa and Karn there. It was a fun night, and we are all tired. Hoping all sleep well tonight.

Tomorrow is church and then nothing of significance. Which will be nice. I think Dave may try to go shoot at a different range, but we'll see. Sunday is usually laundry day around here too so that's about all I'll be tackling.

And then we start another crazy week....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Greg's funeral

Today was Greg's funeral. I'm amazed how God supplies the strength for families to get through these times. Berkley was ever so composed, as were Tanner and Hanna. She spoke so sweetly of Greg, she was even able to sing "Amazing Grace" at his grave side service. I don't know how she did it, except that God gave her the strength. We felt that strength once, then we came home from Indiana after Jeremy's funeral and the avalanche hit us like a ton of bricks. My prayer is to be here for Berkley when that avalanche hits her. After all the people stop coming by, after the shock settles in, it sucks. That's when the pain seems to settle in. The reality hits. The alone-ness sinks in. I cannot imagine what would happen to me if I lost Dave. I'd fall apart pretty bad, I am certain of it. I pray I never have to find out.

Sissy woke up and threw up this morning. Thankfully she improved after the day went on. I'm so glad. I also, on the other hand seem to have pink eye again. Unbelievable! SO what little I was home today, I spent cleaning my kitchen with Lysol. I mean I washed down everything! Still have the floor to do, and the microwave, but all the cabinet pulls and appliances are washed down really good. Dave tackled the bathrooms for me. .... SEE how blessed I am by him? I managed to change out our sheets, have to do the kids still. Ah well, tomorrow's another day. Yeah, another day to call the doctor about another round of pink eye! GRRRR! We even threw open the windows, and turned on the attic fan to blow out any germs in the house. Wish we could get this out of our system. The weather is far too nice to feel this crummy over and over again.

I was fortunate enough to make it to church back at Grace today. So thankful for that place right now. I've just really enjoyed the feel of it. The worship was lovely this morning, and I was thrilled that the fiddle/violin was still there. It's just so lovely to hear while worshipping. The message was good too. Pastor Perrin spoke of how patient God is with us, and how, tho He is, we ought not continue in sin, but turn toward Him and strive for his holiness.... hard work. But he spoke of how the more we continue in our sin, the easier it is for us to tune out to God's voice and the easier it is to fall into rationalizations, like "well, I'm this far in, there's no hope that I can change my ways"..or.."well, I guess this is just part of who I am now.."....thoughts like that are Satan's way of stealing from the kingdom of God. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The more of us Satan convinces are unworthy of God's grace, the less the Kingdom can thrive. We aren't worthy, but God is faithful and full of grace and mercy. He gives us many chances to turn around, and follow Him. Not without consequence, but without guilt, and with NO condemnation. I am so thankful. And I look forward to what next Sunday will bring, and I am excited about church, and hope that I will continue to feel that way.

So tired am I tonight. I'm looking forward to no alarm clock in the morning. And to having my little niece, Haley Jane back tomorrow. I've not had her for a few weeks. Hoping we'll all be over our junk so we don't pass it along to anyone else. Here's wishing you all a blessed week. Hug anyone you love and TELL them you love them. Life is just SO short...don't waste it!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fun game.'s harder than it looks! Everything has to start with the first letter of your Name.

Your Name: Heather
1. Famous Singer/Band: Hannah Montana
2. 4 letter word: Hugs
3. Color: Hunter green
4. Street: Highgate Lane (the street I grew up on)
5. Gifts/Presents: Handmade gifts
6. Vehicle: Hum-V
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Hats
8. Boy Name: Heath
9. Girl Name: Hannah (my daughter's name)
10. Movie Title: Hunt for Red October
11. Drink: Hot tea
12. Occupation: Hair stylist (been there, done that)
13. Flower: Hydrandea
14. Celebrity: Helen Hunt
15. Magazine: Highlights
16. U.S. City: Honolulu, Hawaii
17. Pro Sports Teams: Houston Astros
18. Fruit: Huckleberry
19. Reason for Being Late for Work: Held up in traffic.
20. Something You Throw Away: Holey socks
21. Things You Shout: How many times do I have to tell you????
22. Cartoon Character: Homer Simpson
Ok...if you've read this, consider yourself tagged!

Good luck!

Daddy's home!

Dave finally made it home, granted it took hime a lot longer to get here than it should have, but he is safely home. There were some nasty storms last night. I'm just thankful he's here and on the ground.

Sissy's last day of school was yesterday. I know have a little first grader. So hard to believe. Her teacher, Miss Meyer was so wonderful. So vibrant, and caring, and just did a fantastic job. After all, my 6 year old is reading on a fourth grade level. We are so proud of her.

Today the kids are just playing, Hannah has a freind over. It's raining, again here. And tonight we have to go to a wake for Greg Smith. I'm so sad for Berkley and the kids. I can't imagine losing Dave ever, much less at such a young age. Tomorrow will be the funeral. I know it will be a lovely service. She was picking out some music, the other day when I was there visitng.

I hope that tomorrow we'll make it to church, back to Grace, and be as blessed as we were last Sunday. I'm really hoping that this could be where we can call home someday.

Right now we're watching 10mph. It's really good so far. I am enjoying it. It's fun, and what an adventure they've had.

Now I'm going to snuggle up with my hubby on the couch and finish the movie. Cya!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Okay God, what exactly am I supposed to learn from all this????

So, today I found out a friend of mine's husband died suddenly last night while working out at home. His 18 year old son found him collapsed, but he was not able to revive him. They also have a 14 year old daughter. I'm just so crushed. Not only does it make me miss Dave that much more, while he's in CA this week, but it also brings back all those feelings back of when we found out about Dave's brother Jeremy. Like one minute you're just living your life as normal, then the very next moment you're thrown into this out of control universe where you're standing still, yet everyone else around you is going on as normal. It's horrible and sucky and I wish no one ever had to experience it ever again. I miss my Dave and wish he was here for me to hug right now, and feel like everything will be just fine.

And in better, less sad news, my little girl had a Kindergarten awards ceremony today. She got awards from: reading, art, writing, music, physical education, a literacy award, and a junior achievement award. We are so proud of her. She's so bright, and we just are super proud!

We enjoyed some dinner out with Miss Sally, our dear friend who lost her husband a year ago now. We love her SO much, she is our adopted family. Then the kids and I stopped at the park to play for a while on the playground. Came home and took baths and now we're getting ready for bed. I'm fairly certain I won't sleep much today again, but there's always hope. :)

Tomorrow we have a few errands to run tomorrow, and after school, we'll hit the library at some point and head to my folk's house for spaghetti. mmmmmmmmm Been a long time since I've had spaghetti. Then it's only that much closer to Friday for us. Yeah! I can't wait til Friday! C'mon Friday!

So, I'm off for the evening. I'm exhausted and am praying for restful sleep.

Be well and hug your families.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And the Idol is.....

Jordan Sparks!
I think she is amazing and I am really happy for her.

I asked Dave what he thought it would feel like if we were the ones sitting there one day watching one of our kids on a huge stage like that. I felt that way a bit at Hannah's Kindergarten program, but I didn't get to sit up close, and could barely see her the whole time... so I can't imagine what her parent's must be feeling.

Today was a fun day. Spencer and I had the whole day to ourselves. We did visit with Tracy Burton and her little men, Joe and Charlie. Spencer really enjoys playing with Joe. They were born only three days apart... and they get along greatly. Then Spencer and I played a game, and had some lunch here at home. Finally it was time to go get sis from school.

After we got Hannah is when the real excitement of the day began. We headed from school to the grocery, and while waiting at a left turn light, we witnessed a car accident right behind us. Some hot dogging high schooler fish-tailed his stupid little pick-up truck around a corner at a high rate of speed, and basically lost control, hitting the Escalade behind me. A woman and her two children were in the SUV, and thankfully were fine. The kids and I were able to let them take shelter in our van while we awaited the police and the woman's husband. I am thankful that we had an opportunity to serve their family. It was a neat way to make a yucky situation better.

This evening the whole little family headed down to the Katy Trail. We walked for just a little while, and while we walked, we saw many things. Tons of teeny tiny froggies, a little bitty snake, a cave, a spider and it's web, a squirrel that ran across teh trail in front of Hannah on her scooter--giving her a fright... then driving back home we saw a coyote as well. It was a lovey evening. We came home and watched American Idol. It was a really decent night...not too much drama... always some, but not too much tonight.

Tomorrow is Hannah's field day. Should be fun! And tomorrow is also haircut day for me! woohoo!!!! I can't wait for the shape up! I love haircut day! It's one of my favorite things!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Last morning without kids for a while.

So today is the last day of Mom's Day Out for Spence. I think this year will be an adjustment for him not to see his little buddy from school on a regular basis. However, his mommy and I traded numbers, so hopefully we'll have some Alex time this summer. :-) Hannah's not done til June 1st, so there is still a little time left for her. And being in year round schools, means she has only a 6 week break for the summer.

So, today I'm hanging out at Panera bread. I've never just hung out and played on my computer somewhere other that my own house. It is kinda fun. Lots to look at, lots of distractions, but I am not working, so it's okay. It's right at noon now, so it's getting loud in here. :-)

Soon it will be time to head to the ob/gyn... fun fun! Ah well, it's only once a year. And on a better note, my eyes are getting better, so that's good.

So, I'll write more later. Too hard to concentrate! :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

A letter from my hero. :-)

Today I received a thought provoking letter from my friend and aforementioned hero, Becky McCotter, and in it, she laid out many reasons to encourage me toward home schooling my two youngsters. I'll share it with you and it will also keep it handy for me to be able to read more easily.

Dear Heather (and Dave and children),
Greetings to you! Such a treat to be able to see you recently, and to get to meet your children. They are precious~and a beloved responsibility. As I considered your challenges as a mother~the questions/issues arising, I have taken it upon myself to write, at length, a rationale for homeschooling. I figure any other mode of child-training probably doesn't NEED much explaining--homeschooling is "the road less traveled," and therefore may need a "closer look" in the Marketplace of Ideas. So, if you'll permit me: Since I truly believe that our culture is NOT getting more and more godly (as we approach the end of the age), this mode of teaching our children may gain increasing attention. Homeschooling allows for exploration of God's world, supervised free experimentation, exposure to "real life" as disciples with a master model. They (the home educated children) get to experience "normal," home-based life rather that a room full of 30, 3rd graders and one harried teacher (maybe not harried, but at least 'divided'). The homeschooled child gets to see: What does is look like when Christian faces trials, hardships, sorrows~meals to others, bearing others' burdens, praying together--considering God in any and every pursuit. They can experience the joys of clean living, in simplicity. I've read that a homeschooler "plays longer and matures faster." We've found that creativity can proceed in an unstifled, unsullied, unashamedly encouraged manner; academics needn't be SO overwhelming (homework occasionally, perhaps but NOT every night/heavy), pick a few good things to study, there's plenty of time later for specialization and mastery. God provided opportunities for broader interests: expenses are minimal versus private education or even public (which is costly in OTHER ways!). Life skills can be learned naturally, and even interaction with Creation can be a part of study: integration of ages (not just age-mates), animals can be brought into the picture more completely, plants, gardening, etc. You can experience adventures TOGETHER~even reading aloud adventures together--living books, not revisionist history bled of anything VITAL or Christ-revealing/exalting, TRUE science is NOT foolishness! You can organize co-oping groups with friends to add some flavor or extend hospitality to others TOGETHER by inviting another family over for "tea" or lunch or "play day" or "art day" or field trip day. Determine your needs/requests (social skills)--then ask God for HIs provision for them. There's time to DO REAL THINGS (instead of rushing out the door to planned group activities). (Always GROUPS! when so much of life is in then reality one needs to know "who one is" ALONE, before the face of God. Solitary.

You can say "let's pray together about _______________________", a more realistic lifestyle for those dependant on Christ. You can take advantage of situations/teaching opportunities where one or two children involved isn't overwhelming to the staff (where a classroomful might NEVER be allowed to participate because logistically there are just too many little bodies being busy!) : Elizabee and Trevor volunteering (at different times) at Doctor's Hospital! They got to do all sorts of amazing things~each as "just one of them", instead of a big group of them--also Trevor, caddying at Boone Valley (while his compatriots were sitting in a classroom somewhere, or riding the bus:(). The childred and I volunteering at Daniel Boone Home was another shared adventure in understanding people/life/history. You might try volunteering at a Nursing home together--or a garden somewhere: hands on. Botany is so much more "catching" than book learning.

You might ask Dave what he would desire his children to learn. Get your direction from GOD, via Dave (maybe plan a date-night/lunch or breakfasst to plan and pray together and trust God together for His leading you!) Ask his (Dave's) advice frequently; he'll grow into it. he is, as the head of the home, being given a tangible opportunity to do what God will enable him to do. You won't be perfect at this--at least WE never have been, but it's definitely WORTH the doing.

Heather, there's plenty of advice out there, plenty of curriculum, plenty of guilt trips, even but you'll need to sift through it all wlith the Lord and determine what's doable for you guys. It CAN be done!

You are loved and prayed for regularly,

Keep me posted!

Becky McCotter


Last week Spencer had red, swollen, icky eyes, later in the week Hannah got them, this weekend, I got them. They aren't pink eye, according to two different doctors, but something is definitely going around. There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and being unable to open your eyes. It's just not fun. And poor Dave seems to be getting it now too, and he's an avid contact he'll have to brace himself to wear glasses this week.

Anyhow, the worst part of it, and I am waiting on a call from the doctor, is that at the Walmart this morning, I had a terrible dizzy/nauseous spell. I got a little freaked, cuz my 4 year old was with me and I wondered what would happen if I really passed out. But thankfully, I didn't and was feeling good enough to drive home. Haven't had anymore of that all day, so hopefully it was a fluke. I just know I don't feel good at all, and am ready to.

Some good news is that my endocrinologist called me this morning and she said after two weeks off my meds, that my thyroid is still functioning normally, so that it good. So far, I don't think I'll have to have it nuked. So, there is some good news.

The other bright side of having sick eyes, is I'll have to go shopping for all new mascara! There's a bright side. Shopping for make up! :-)

Anyhow, hears hoping that the doc calls soon and tells us what to do to fix it, and then here's also hoping that I can go to stamp class tonight without having to worry about spreading anything!


Friday, May 18, 2007

Busy Day

Well, this day has been a running day since we got outta bed. It's 10:21p.m. and this may be the first I have sat down except for eating dinner. Whew. Tomorrow is when I am hosting a bridal shower for my dear friend Jamie. So, I DID start my day with a pedicure at the beauty school, and got my nails fixed up. But then it was a whip cracking kind of afternoon. I have mixed dips, cut and prepared fresh fruit, made miniature cheesecakes, and set up the serving area. I have spread mulch, grocery shopped, picked kids up from school. I have stamped 20 thank you notes. I have gone through papers from Kindergarten. It was a productive day, that is for sure.

Right now, I'm listening to a message by Beth Moore. Man, she's a little powerhouse. I'm trying to fill myself up with God stuff, so that maybe what gets squeezed out, is more God stuff and less YUCK! Part of her message today is how the enemy really can get to us when we start to isolate ourselves. I struggle with this at times, but I honestly don't feel like I am right now, the way other people think I may be. Certain people that will remain nameless... Cuz if they really knew are cared to know, they would know that I'm connected to people... just not them. :-) And God is doing stuff. He truly is. It's a S-L-O-W process. I believe He is trying to do stuff in our whole family. Trying to heal. Trying to connect. Trying to humble. Trying to shape. Yeah, it's painful, sometimes more than others.

Okay, I'm losing all concentration now, so I'm going to close. I'm hoping for a wonderfully uninterrupted night of sleep. No alarm clock for me tomorrow! woohoo! good night!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How much can one family take?

My friend Bethany just called this evening.. her husband was in a car accident not far from their home. He thinks he blacked out. He is diabetic, so it's quite possible. They are still at the ER waiting to see a doctor. Bottom line is that this family has faced a Job kind of time together. Loss of a lot of things. But thankfully all of their lives are in tact tonight because the circumstances could have been worse. I try to remember this verse during these kinds of times, but I find it hard to live it out.

James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Sounds so simple, but how does one go about practically living out this verse? Somehow, Bethany does. She rarely complains. This is a person who has endured much. And the "stuff" seems to keep coming down the chute, and I don't mean good stuff.

I have another friend who is enduring much... and just beginning a journey of physically enduring more. She is a wife, mother to 4 beautiful children, friend to many, and she is getting ready to fight a battle with cancer. She will be undergoing a mastectomy within a week or so at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I am scared. I don't know how to consider any of that pure joy. And yet, each time she updates her journal on Caringbridge... I thing the one who's most courageous is her. She makes me feel stronger and I'm not the one with cancer.

I long for that kind of assurance. I know it's mine to have, but I have to believe it. Beth Moore often uses the phrase, "I do believe, help my unbelief." It's actually a portion of scripture in Mark 9:24 when Jarius's daughter has died, but Jesus heals her. I am so glad someone took note of someone being in the touch, see, and feel presence of Jesus who still says, "I do believe you, but help me to REALLY believe you." Cuz that is how I feel so often.

So day by day, minute by minute... I have to try to remember that I'm only meant to strive to be like Christ. I will never have it all together, but He loves me thru my stumbling, and questioning. And as long as I love Him and seek Him, He will hold me up and get me thru...sometimes kicking and throwing a big ol tantrum, sometimes giving up the grip I have on something and going on my own. I'll get there. And I can only hope that as I journey there, I can learn to trust and look out for Jesus instead of always looking out for myself.

I did it!

I said no to someone. I had to, but I did it without feeling guilty. I have a busy weekend planned, or at least a busy Saturday and one of my sibs needed some babysitting. I said no. I'm hosting a bridal shower for my dear friend, Dave has a shooting tournament, and my youngest sister has offered to take my son for the day/night on Saturday too. So I'm not really interested in adding more kids when I'm loaning one out for the day. :-) And on Sunday, I'd like nothing more to do than NOTHING! I know, novel idea. I've just read a little chapter in the new book I'm reading called Taking Care of the Me in Mommy, by Lisa Welchel... and it really talked about how we've lost sight of the idea of a Sabbath. So, this weekend, I'm going to try to just enjoy the day. We're going to my parent's church to see my dad get baptised. Possibly a cheap lunch following, and then I'd like to come home and stamp or scrapbook, or read, or sit outside. Maybe Dave will want to take the kids fishing, and I can take a chair and a book. We'll see. Just relax. No duties for the day.

Anyway, my biggest news was that I said no, confidently without saying "lemme think about it"... just no. *pats self on back*
One practice down, keep trying it till it becomes a habit. :-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

One of my heroes...

Today, I was fortunate enough to meet up again with one of my heroes. I didn't know this person was ever my hero, until I became a mother, and even more so recently with some parenting stuff that comes up. When I was growing up, this person went to my church. She was the mother of at least four, maybe five children at the time and in my eyes, well, she was just a little "different". She home schooled. which then was the exception to the rulel, she was always making up little songs to scripture (which I now wish I had valued more), and I don't know, she just different all around. Not in a bad way, but as a young teen, in a way that wasn't "cool". Ya know?

Fast forward to today, when I was able to see her and hug her, and with tears in my eyes, ask, "HOW EVER DID YOU DO THIS?" And her simple, and poignant reply, "I was on my knees, and sometimes on my face by the grace of God." Ah, simply put... she didn't know at times what she was doing either, but instead of grumbling and whining and shaking her fist and raising her voice like I tend to do, all to often I might add, she simply cried out to the Lord who hears all of our cries, even when we are too proud to utter them out loud. Thank you Becky McCotter, for your wisdom, your wonderful embrace today, and your prayers for my little family. I will treasure that moment this morning, when even for 5 minutes, I felt like someone understood exactly what I feel. And I will try much harder to follow your example to take my cares to my Father and let HIM comfort me through it.

I also had a good heart to heart with my friend Tracy. God is doing a cool thing with bringing us together in a new and exciting way. We grew up as neighbors, and didn't particularly get along all that well. Now, since I got married, we've gotten a little bit closer and closer, till this year, when we took a Bible study class together. Anyhow, we both have two kiddos and we both have just really begun to deepen our friendship through some similar church experiences and such. She and I are going to a Mom's Night Out this weekend to listen to Lisa Welchel (Blair Warner, from the Facts of Life). She is a Christian mom who seems to have lots of fun parenting ideas. We are planning to go out for a grown up dinner before hand just to enjoy a kid-free night. We both are just in a parenting rut lately. Trying to figure out what works for each kid and not lose our sanity at the same time. :-)

So, I am hoping that the rest of my single parenting weekend will go as smoothly as this afternoon has gone. Yesterday, not so much, but today was decently decent. And, though I am so glad Dave is having a good time at his shooting class, I really miss having a tag team weekend, where I am not the only parent around.

And, so, I'm off to switch some laundry, and continue tidy-ing up around my home. Trying to make life less hectic, by trying to keep my home less hectic as well. My how the messes can get out of hand! *sigh* My goal is to have a clean house to enjoy by Mother's day weekend, so I have NO work to do on Mother's day.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

We had an Easter weekend eggstravaganza. Began of Friday night with our kids going over the river to my sister and brother-in-law's house for a sleep-over. Uncle Ken and Aunt Caryn are moving at the end of the month to San Antonio, TX and so they offered to keep the kids and take them to Scott Air Force Base to show them Uncle Ken's plane and let them climb around in it. They got some cool pix and I'll have to wait til Caryn emails them to me. But needless to say, my kids had a blast and Ken and Caryn got a large dose of birth control. And are happily enjoying the kidless honeymoon stage. :-)

On Friday night while our kids were away, Dave and I were able to enjoy a dinner out and went up to Calvary Church to see a person called "The Jesus Painter". Wow. It was an amazing production. This 30 something guy has a gift to take a large canvas and just create some amazing portraits of Jesus. I highly recommend a glance at his website. Just google "the Jesus Painter". You can see all of his creations. It's more impactful if you can see him in person, however, because each of the paintings starts as one thing and gradually ends up being a picture of Jesus. Like my favorite, I think it's called, Jesus' eyes, started as a cross and a bridge, with people on one side and one person on hands and knees crawling across this bridge to the cross, and then the whole image of the face of Jesus emerged from that.... it was quite spectaucular. Anyway, check it out.

On Saturday, we all met up at Ken and Caryn's for an egg hunt and dinner. It was pretty fun, the only downer was how tired my kids were, so we didn't stay to play a game with the grown ups. Ah well.

Today, we got up and gave the kids their goodies. I'm thinking they were pretty happy with their Easter treasures. Only a smidge of candy. I'll be a candy nazi for the rest of my life it feels like. Only one time a day, if you deserve it, is my motto. :-)
They were good today too. Still battling the allergies really bad, which makes it hard to go outdoors at all. Not liking that so much, and they're both pretty doped up on Benadryl, which makes it strange here too. Kind of stare off into space a lot. :-)
We went to Calvary for church this morning. It was the first time we'd been to a Sunday morning service there in more than 6 years, but I truly enjoyed the worship time. It was vibrant and fun, and so full of vocalists and musicians. Maybe just a hint of me would find it fun to go back, but not sure that's really where God wants us. So next week, I'm guessing we'll go back to searching for a place to call home. Still no one from the church we're in the process of leaving-- calling to check in with us to see how we are or where we've been. Not one. We've not been there since the end of February. Poor Hannah asked to go there this morning. So difficult for me to explain to her all that's gone on. She would never understand, but she will be fine. I know that once we find some place, she will blossom. She's so friendly and kind, she will make fast friends for sure. I pray that it's soon. Tiresome feeling like a gypsy. But afraid to settle for just anything, and even more afraid to invest my heart and soul into another church for fear of it being stomped all over again. But knowing I have to trust God to make my path and to use the gifts He's given me to be a part of something bigger than just showing up on a Sunday. All prayers apprecialted as we search for His will.

Tomorrow sis is off school, so I'm trading baby sitting kids with my mom. A baby niece for a four year old niece, so I can take the big kids to the park for a while. So they can run and play and get all sorts of energy out. And hopefully not have any huge allergic reactions while we are still insurance free for 23 more days. :-) Also this week, I get to substitute at my son's Mom's Day out program. I nearly forgot about it. But he gets free tuition this month for me working 2 days. Not a bad trade off, if you ask me.

Other than that, I'm not sure what my week holds. I'm sure it will be busy, as it always seems to be. Gotta clean it up real good, cuz I'm hosting Caryn and Ken's going away party on Saturday. *sigh* It's all happening so fast. Even tho Caryn and I aren't the closest, it's freaking me out a little how far away she'll be and how that will change the dynamics of our family. Hoping they'll be able to travel our way for lots of the holidays without too much complication, but you just never know. Trying not to get all sad about it.

So, on a happy note, I'll close with a new pic of Dave and I. Finally cut my hair shorter again this week. What a relief! I'll try to post some kidlet pics tomorrow, or whenever I get them from Caryn. Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I have won two blog candies in one week! How's that for some luck? Both center around stamping, and oddly both around the same blog in a round about way. The first was on Gina K Designs blog. All I had to do was leave a comment on her blog, and I won a bottle of Mono Multi Glue. Cool, huh? But then a few days later, I won a $20 gift certificate to Gina K Designs stamp store from Asela, one of Gina's guest designers, for commenting on her blog also. So, two blogs, one shopping spree! I'm a lucky girl!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


My two wonderfully cute kids are home again. They spent a week in Indiana with Dave's folks. They all seemed to have a great time and all seem to be exhausted as well. :-) The hardest parts are Dave and I saying good-bye when they leave us and then his parents crying as we take them back. *sigh* God love 'em. They are so excited when they get them. And we are blessed to have both of our parents so willing and excited to take our kids just about whenever we need them too!

This week has been crazy so far though! Yesterday was crazy busy. Glad it's done. Then today was less busy in a sense, but a playdate at the park with Hannah and a friend was COLD! I think that I just got so cold and then found that I couldn't get warm all day. So I'd hunker down under a blanket, and then I'd get sleepy. So my day was pretty unproductive! Ah well.

Some fun news: Dave got us 9th row floor seats to Alisson Krauss this July at the Scottrade Center (or whatever it's called now).
We have been to two of her concerts already. And we just really enjoy her and the laid back atmosphere of her concert. So I'm looking forward to that!

Went to the endocrinologist today. Trying to get my doctor visits in while we still have this insurance before the month long wait for our new insurance to start. So I had bloodwork done again after being on the methimazole for a month and my levels are getting better. Looks like my thyroid is balancing out a little, which will hopefully get me out of having to get the radio-active iodine treatment. My true wish is to get off of as much medication as I can. I am currently taking three daily meds and I'm only 33. I don't like that. And I don't want to make a habit of it. Which is another reason that this South Beach lifestyle seems to be a good fit for us. It can maybe help me to a med-free life too. By the way, today I am wearing a pair of capri pants that are two sizes smaller than before! Woohoo!

Had stamp class last night. Made some really cute cards at my friend/demo Lisa's house. She is quite crafty and I usually truly enjoy myself. The last few times have been crazy though! So many people, which is great for Lisa, but man, it's like LOUD and crazy! I took advantage of the Stampin Up March special and got me some fun paper, a jumbo wheel, and stamp set for bundle price and then got to order anything out of the mini catalog for half off! I was boring and got a pre folded card set in a new size... but I got it for only $3.28! And mostly went with that because none of the other stamp sets really lit me up. This weekend I was supposed to go to a shoe box swap, but time is just so packed with stuff to do, that I was able to talk another stamp friend who's going into taking my stuff for me. I was excited that she was willing! Thanks Beth!

Tomorrow I'm keeping Madison for Tracy. She is the little girl I watched part time for a year before my dog bit my son. After that, they stopped brining her. But this is Tracy's last full week of work as she is having another baby on 3/29. So, Maddi was asking for Spencer and Hannah so we'll have company all day tomorrow. Hopefully it will go well. Madison has just a slight temper! ;-) And quite a bite too!

*yawn* Well, I'd love to ramble on longer, but my brain is toast! I'll leave you with a fun is from our winter trip to Indiana. My kiddos' first b.b. gun experience! They were hilarious!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 2 without kids

So, it's been alright since my kids left to spend a week with Gma and Gpa. But it TOO quiet and I'm lonely. And I miss them! But it's been nice at the same time too. Dave and I walked Sunday and Monday nights. Tonight we were able to go up to the mall for Dave to find some pants for his new job, in a smaller size (way to go honey!). And we visited Trader Joe's for the first time where I discovered dark chocolate covered cherries. OMG! Delish! Tomorrow and Thursday nights we have dinner plans with two different couples. Which will be a blast too. Then on Friday morning, we'll head to Indy to see our kids and the in-law and the great grandparents too!

Today the weather was incredible! High 70's! I wore bermuda shorts. Not sure how I feel about how I look in them, but my friend Bethany assures me they looked fine and that my butt looked cute. I guess the most important thing was that they are a size smaller than what I had to wear last year. Last month for that matter. Although I have to say, eating healthier has its good side, but I am definitely going to be excited to eat a slice of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake tomorrow night! Lemon-Raspberry!
Bring it on!

Also today Bethany and I hung out. We ate lunch here at my house. I made a quite tasty chicken salad. Simply put, I cooked some tenderloins (the frozen ones from cosco) in the crock pot with minced onion, pepper, and chicken broth. After it was cooked, I shredded it, added some chopped red grapes, chopped celery, chopped walnuts and some mayo. Light on the mayo, cuz I don't prefer slimy salad. We served it up on little whole wheat pita bread. Nothing to go along with it, and it was fine. Quite happy with how it turned out. Then we ran a few errands together and came home to watch a movie. We watched, The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. Very charming movie! I really liked it! It's long, but I highly recommend it for a nice romantic movie with some laughs too.

Anyhow, I'm off to watch American Idol. Tomorrow is Bible study and lunch with my dear friend Lisa. Haven't seen her face to face for quite a while. Looking forward to it!

Ta Ta For Now!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bye Kiddos:(

Today my two kids are leaving me for a week to spend time with their grandparents in Indiana. I'm so sad for them to go, tho I know they will have a blast and that Dave and I will have such fun not having to worry about childcare or ANY disciplining for one whole week. But it is still weird to let them leave. Feels like you looks all control (which I guess, in a way, you do). Dave's parents are great and I know this will be theraputic for them too. They are lonely up there since Jeremy's been gone, so this will be good for them.

Our kid-free plans for the week include: a day at the shooting range with Dave's new pistol, dinner with my sister and bro-in-law at cheesecake factory, dinner with another couple on another night, Dave's last week on call with ESI (woohoo!), and then a day off for Dave on Friday so that we can go get our kids back!

Speaking of Dave's last week on call with ESI! He got a new job as a consultant. He will be doing something pretty new for him, AND he will have a 50% pay raise on his hourly! That is going to be a huge blessing to us as we have some debt that we've been working on. Who doesn't, right? We've been pretty faithful every year when raise time came around to continue living off of the original salary, and applying the rest toward our debt. So, by doing this with the new job, we can very potentially look at having only a house payment left by the end of a year! I'm so thrilled by that prospect. It would be a huge stress relief and hopefully make us even more conscious about creating debt. Like learning to wait for what we want instead of instant gratification.

South Beach diet still going pretty well, I realize that we really need to incorporate the exercise part into our routines now. I hate that. I hate exercise. Always have. But I know it works and I know if I want to have a splurge once or twice a month on a night out in a restaurant of choice without regret, then I'll have to work harder on exercizing. So, we'll see how I can do that this week. Dave too. Wish us luck. He's down 18 pounds already! So proud of him!

Well, I'm off to do bathtimes so that my in-laws don't have to take stinky, dirty headed kids home with them. :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Houston, we have strep!

So, to the best of my memory, we have our very first case of strep throat. My 6yo was running a fever when Dave and I got back into town from our weekend away. She was runnng about 102.7, so I kept her home from school yesterday and took her in to see our family doc. Doc says, throat isn't even red, fever was down, but she'd do a strep test anyhow. She came back into the room and said, "well, I lost the bet, cuz she's got strep". She said she never would've suspected it because of the symptoms not matching up.

Other than that, we are just waiting for the weekend. I know, it's only Tuesday. But on Thursday, Dave meets with his small group from church to tell them of our decision to leave this particular church. Then on Friday, Lord willing, he'll be giving his notice at work and, Lord willing, will have signed with a new company. Then LORD WILLING, our lives will once again not revolve around CRAP! We are so ready to just be done with these two overwhelming issues. Ready to be excited about going to church and for Dave to not dread going to work. We need some changes or we'll lose our minds.

Anyhoo. Hey, I've posted 2 days in a row! That's a record, I think!

Tonight we have parent/teacher conferences with Hannah's kindergarten teacher. Since she is home sick today, I sent her an email asking if there was anything she'd like me to have Hannah work on. And her teacher replied, that Hannah is so far ahead of the game, that she could do whatever she liked. You know what? She is a smart little girl. We are so proud of her!

I also got Spencer registered for Mom's Day Out for next year. He is excited. He loves school this year and is already excited about being in the monkey class next year. It will be a big class, but there are three teachers and they have a blast! He only goes 2 days a week, but it's so fun.

Idol's on tonight too! Woohoo! The guys are alright, I like Blake and Chris Sligh for the guys. The gals, I am all about Melinda Doolittle! She is my absolute favorite. And if Annotella Barbra doesn't get her hind end voted off this week, I'm gonna pitch a fit! She's is awful and people need to not vote for her to keep her around to make a fool of herself! Seriously!

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Forced Hand and Answer to Prayer

So, the last year+ background revolves a lot around the loss of my BIL, Jeremy. He died while responding to an EMS call in December 2005, Middletown, Indiana. Since then, our lives have been a roller coaster journey. Sometimes more harried than others. Other factors have played into this craziness like Dave's job (him being very unhappy where he is and seeking a new job), my health (recent diagnosis with hyperthyroidism, which took a long time to diagnose), and then just normal craziness is life.

One of the things I've struggled with for a year now, is our church. Admittedly, we have not been as involved since we lost Jeremy. We got the news of Jeremy's passing on a Sunday morning, and quite honestly--for a LONG time, we woke every Sunday morning feeling like we were caught up in a bad dream. So we found it difficult to get out of bed and go to church. And as Dave would say, we didn't want people staring us down with that "oh, are you all doing alright" look. KWIM? I realize that grieving is a white elephant in the middle of the room. It still is for me when other people grieve, makes me uncomfortable, though now it makes me more sad, cuz I've been there in a real way. So we kind of closed ourselves off in some ways. But not to everyone. Only the ones who wanted us to mysteriously "pop" back into normalcy. The part where is gets difficult is that some of those same people, have accused me personally of running away from God. People who have really made NO attempt to be a part of our lives since our loss. No card, no phone calls, nothing. One of them being the leader of our women, and the other being a friend. They are not the only ones to left us hanging... by any means, but they are the ones who accuse me of being disobedient for various non-issue things. The biggest one being on whether or not I attend a women's retreat. That was last year. This year, when I didn't go, the other EMAILS me to say, she "noticed I wasn't there, so she can only assume that I'm still struggling with my spiritual life or 'church' or both". WHAT? You can get all that about a person that you've had NO contact with in at least 5 months and very little contact with in a year? I DO NOT understand how people work. Especially when they make statements with "I can only respond to what God lays on my heart".
Um, God never lays on our heart to lay into a person and tell them what they assume about that person, or to tell them through email either. Scripture is very clear on confronting other Christians. In Matthew 18:15, we are told how if another believer is in "sin" that you are to go personally to them and correct them in love. However, my not being at a retreat and dropping back from church activities is not SIN. Clearly, I am not in sin on this church issue. I know there is sin in my life, as I am human. But my husband and I and a few family and friends are in prayer for our decision regarding whether to continue as members of the current church we are in, or to leave and seek a new church. This judgemental email I got last week was the answer to that prayer. We will no longer be going to that church. Hurtful as that email was, another dear friend pointed out to me, that I'd been asking God to show me whether to stick it out or just leave and get out of a toxic situation. God showed me how toxic the situation is. So Dave and I feel that is our answer.

Now the daunting part is explaining to our kids that we'll be moving on, and that we will be asking Jesus to show us to a church where not only Mommy and Daddy can grow in faith in a loving environment, but where they can make new friends and learn new things about Jesus too. And have MORE FUN! Any who are reading this who believe in prayer can be lifting us up as we begin our search. That we wouldn't carry this hurt around and that it would not scar us to the point of mis-trust no matter where we go. That we could find joy in worshipping on a Sunday morning again and not dread it so. And that our kids would be comforted and trust that God will show Mommy and Daddy where to go. And that He will take care of us all.

So, a new path begins. The hard part here is walking on it, even tho we don't know where it may lead. Time to boost the faith muscles!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What's new?

Lots going on here lately.

For starters, Dave and I have begun the South Beach Diet. Today started our 2nd week of phase 1. Dave is down 11 pounds already, and I am down 6. Not discouraged tho, I know that stinky ol boys lose weight faster that we girls. No worries. I fit into a pair of jeans that I'd opted to leave in the closet for a while because of comfort issues... so that is proof for me.

Got diagnosed with my first disease. Hyperthyroidism. Not sure how I feel about it. Still kind of trying to figure it all out. I think a part of me hopes that it may be the reason I get so emotional over things here lately. Not that I haven't always been that way, but the last two years in particular seem to have sent me over the edge. I can cry at the drop of a hat, over nothing even. So, my endocrinologist has me trying Methimazole for a month. The side effects are SCARY with this drug, so it's very short term. Most likely, I'll undergo a radioactive iodine treatment, where they will destroy my thyroid to keep it from over-producing the hormone. This will in turn send my body into hypothyroidism, which means I'll get to take medication the rest of my friggin life! YIPPEE! Sign me up! Figures I would not get the sudden weight loss symptom of the disease... instead I get the rapid heart rate.. even when I'm on a beta blocker! Go figure!

On to other frustrations: church. Ugh. I have such issues with it lately. Not church in general, but my church. This past year has been a real eye opening experience of finding out "who our friends are". In particular, for me, I've found out which leaders cannot be trusted. Which, in a weird sense, is good. Because it is forcing me to put my trust only in Christ to sustain me. Easier said than done, but it's all a process. Based on the scripture in Jeremiah 17:5-10. Which basically says, if you put your trust in people, you will wither up and dry up and cease to produce fruit... fear the drought and the storms... live miserably. On the other hand, if you put your trust in Christ, you will be unafraid of whatever life tosses you, and will still bear fruit... be planted by water so that your roots may grow down deep into the soil, strengthening you for what life brings.
Wow! Sounds simple doesn't it? Unfortunately for me, I know not how to make it simple. I am drawn to people more than I am to Christ. I can see people. I can touch people. It's more real. I believe Christ, I've seen His works in many ways, but sometimes, I feel I don't KNOW him as I could if I put forth more effort. So, I've been putting forth more effort over the last two months, and quite honestly, I've felt more turmoil. Especially regarding the church I attend. I feel like I'm coming out of my skin sometimes. Like people there are just liars and they are judgemental. It's like a big high school dance, and all the sides are chosen. All the cliches are formed and the outsiders, or non-conformers are left spinning like "what happened"?
So needless to say, hubby and I are in prayer about it. As much as we can. I find that each time we make it there (which requires effort in itself) we are more and more uncomfortable. What I'm mostly, honestly praying for is a way out, but I'm trying to pray for God's will in the situation.

This next month in March will be a busy one, but should be fun. The first weekend, Dave and I get to have a weekend without kids, as we head to Louisville, KY to the annual Supporting Heroes Banquet. We will meet his parents, and Jalinda, and his cousin Kimberly there. The banquet is to honor fallen heroes in the civil service realm: Police, Fire, and Paramedics.
We, unfortunately a part of this club now, because we lost Dave's brother, Jeremy, an EMT, in an accident in December 2005.
So, this is a memorial and a fundraiser all at the same time, so that any fallen heroes' families can be taken care of when the need arises. It's actually bittersweet. It's amazing how people can come to the aid of families. Amazing.

Then my little Hannah's cycle break comes this month too. She and Spence will be heading up to Indiana for a whole week! Staying with Grandma and Grandpa Rodecap. They've talked about it for weeks and ask all the time, "When can we go?".

Dave will hopefully be blessed with a new job this month too. We are ALL pulling for that. He is in an extremely toxic place right now... nothing to look forward to there or to work towards even. Just a lot of hard work and empty promises. He's done. It's now just a matter of finding a new place to go. All prayers appreciated.

Well, it's that time of day when it's getting difficult to keep the eyes open. We've been enjoying the first Lord of the Rings movie on our new TV. It's awfully nice! Having a geek for a husband has it's perks. :-) I'll try not to wait so long to report again. Hopefully I'll have good news soon! TA TA FOR NOW!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Long time-No blog.

Excuse the absense. No excuse, just haven't updated.

Lots to report tho. The latest news being that I have a new nephew. My first nephew, in fact. Lucas Joseph Becker... and he is just the teeniest, most precious little boy! He was 6 pounds, 7 ounces and around 19 inches long. His mommy, Shannon, and daddy, Dwight, and big sister, Sarah are all happy that he is here and healthy. And so is the rest of his very large family.

And my niece, Haley is growing like a weed. She is coming to spend the day with me on Saturday. I look forward to that. Here is a picture of her and I at the hospital visiting the new cousin. :)

Dave is doing alright. He is really struggling at work. Needing a change, but not sure what exactly to pursue. There is a job opportunity that is coming up with IBM in Indiana, really close to his parents, but it's not doing what he wants to do. Another freind of ours just went back to working for Mastercard... and that may be an avenue that he pursues, which would be a fantastic commute and some good benefits. So, I know he'll be okay, but it is SO difficult to watch him get so down. I know the weather is not helping. It also doesn't help that he is chained to a desk all day long.

This weekend in the RV show in St. Louis. We are going to take the kids down and check them out. We are really wanting to camp more this year. We need to do things like that more.. be outdoors and away from T.V.s and computers. We are getting rid of our satellite as soon as we go buy an antennae for the television. We need to watch it less and read more, play more, sleep more.

The kids are good. Hannah is doing fantastically in Kindergarten. She's basically passed it already. But is loving reading and is reading on a 1-2 grade level, if not a little higher. Spencer is having fun at mom's day out, and is learning his letters really well. He writes his name really nicely for just turning 4.

My biggest news is that I have offically given up soda. Cold turkey, and it's going just fine. It's been nearly a month and I'm not craving it at all. Whew! Hopefully, it will continue that way. I'll tackle another life change next month. Baby steps. :-)