Saturday, July 31, 2010

Water Logged

No, we actually aren't water logged but we have (moreso my family) been able to spend a lot of time at the beach this week, fishing, boating, swimming, floating...

Wednesday & Thursday BigDaddy took the kids and a friend to the lake with the church's boat.  They had a blast.

Yesterday, I had a day off so off the 4 of us went.  Again, we grabbed the boat to catch some a fish.  Then we played in the water, boated around, enjoyed the cool spray of water from the boat and ate some roasted hotdogs before coming back in time for Corporate Prayer (it was a great day).

Today, we are waiting for BigDaddy to get back from taking J.J. (our nephew) back to work and we are hitting the road again.  Going to a quiet, little known lake to visit with my Dad and Jude.  They've all ready caught a couple fish this morning and it sounds like a fishfry is on the menu for supper!  WooHoo! 

(next week I will be uploading pictures so I can share some of our fun times with you guys - just need the time to do it and it will not be happening this week.  Off to enjoy my family! See you soon!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Working 9 to 5

No, I am not going to write about Dolly Parton (and her song). (Dad, you're welcome! {wink})

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I have now completed Day #3 of my new job where I am working for an Opthamologist as an assistant to him.  All that really means is I get to do vision tests, dilate patients' eyes and do some pre-testing to save the doctor some valuable time.  So far, I am loving it (I feel like I need to add a 'ba da ba ba ba' in there or something to make it authentic).

My brain is on information overload and I am feeling so fortunate to have been able to  gather enough brain power to string these few sentences together coherently.  But, mostly, I am feeling so fortunate to have this job.  Still working part-time at the grocery store and part-time for the doctor.  I am just so thankful to God for providing this opportunity for me.

Off to have a nap so my brain functions enough to remember my children's names.  I need a synapse to "fire" NOW!  {grin}

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beach Boys (and girls *ahem*)

We took a day trip to one of the MANY lakes we are fortunate to have around our little town. We had sun - occasionally.

The water was...

...um, invigorating...

But we adapted (and by we, I mainly mean 'they')

Bug and I warmed up a bit under our towels while the sun was hiding in cloud cover...

BigDaddy and his parents never did venture into the water.

Wimps {grin} - but don't tell them I said that.  Let's keep it our little secret, ok? Ok. Pinkie promise and all that jazz!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Raining Again...

These pictures are from one of the major storms we have had this summer.  I posted about it here (you know, the post where I spelled 'summer' wrong - oh well).  Ironic as it may be, as I type we are in the midst of another severe thunderstorm "watch" right now, and I have heard the skies rumbling from time to time.


The view from my kitchen window.  Through all the rain it is difficult to tell that our car, the back alley, a park and a school are in plain sight.


One of the neighborhood boys.  His umbrella didn't stand a chance against those winds and it wasn't that bad on our end of town...
The streets flooded immediately with over worked storm drains hardly able to accept the torrents of water that came down.

Here's the building that is about a block down from our church.  We ended up with part of this roof and a door from somewhere on our parking lot due to the plow winds (I believe some people call them straight winds).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My heart is breaking

and I just can't seem to get control of my emotions or my heart right now.  I am writing this raw.  Straight out of the moment.  I will apologize in advance for things I say that don't sound like they are founded in faith or hope right now.

I have been trying to get my daughter to visit us all summer.  She keeps telling me she has no way out here so I made arrangements with BigDaddy that we would go get her.  Now she is too committed to babysit my nephew for free than to come here for two day. I am so choked at Rush and my sister right now!  I hate that this part of my life has come to this.  I hate that my daughter is not a part of my life! I hate that I know the guy down the street better than my own daughter! I hate that my heart is breaking and it seems like there is no hope she will ever really be part of our lives again - not in a loving way.

I love Rush.  She was appropriately named.  Her name means "to hold dear : feel or show affection for; to entertain or harbor in ones mind deeple and resolutely". She is one of the best things that has ever happened to me so WHY does it have to hurt this much to have her in my life?  Does my heart really have to be broken in a million pieces for the rest of my life?  God, I don't think I have the strength to do this!  I know I don't!  I need You to help me through this. I can't do it on my own.  I can't...

Today is supposed to be a day of celebration.  Today is Bug's 7th birthday party.  Today is supposed to be all about him!  I have to pull myself together, get off this pity party train and be the best mom I can be to the children that want me in their lives. I need to stand strong, rise up and be Jellybean and Bug's mom and, I guess,let that be my motherly focus. I have done what I can with and for Rush.  Now, I leave the rest to God.

***Edited to add:

I have been blitzed by the enemy.  I let all the thoughts and feelings I was having overwhelm me but, I want you all to know that, even though I am embarrassed by my emotional breakdown, I am a lot better now.  Does it hurt less?  No, it does not.  Do I miss her less? No, not on your life.  Am I handling it better?  Yes.  As I said earlier, I have faith in my God (don't think it was this post) and I know that his arm is not too short that He can not plunge it into this situation and alter it forever.  I know.  I believe and I trust.

Thank you for the prayers of those friends who I know are praying. Your prayers have lifted and carried me over some sorrowful times and I love you for that!

Oh Canada!!!

Only slightly late.  3 weeks to be exact but who is really counting?  You are?  Oh...

There are countless Canada Day and Independence Day posts with pictures of fireworks on them and I, too, thought of adding a "firework" shot until...

I came across this picture, which was (technically) taken a day or two after Canada Day but, only because I didn't get a shot of this earlier.

Reason #876 why I love Bug: He has such a wacky, quirky sense of humor!

Friday, July 23, 2010

5 Question Friday

oooo. it's been a long time since I have done one of these. I am so excited that I forgot to use capitalization on my first two sentences and I am ok with that.  Really, I am.  I never once started to back space because it was driving me crazy. I am definitely not testing myself to see if I have the guts to just leave it there (because I most certainly didn't have the ability to leave the 'i' uncapitalized in this current sentence).  I am a geek.  I am ok with that.  It has been a journey to acceptance... Ok, I will get on with 5QF.

1. What were your school colors? School colors? Green and gold.  We were the Mustangs! We rocked!

2. What's the best compliment you ever received?

That my children were some of the most well-behaved children those people had ever seen.  Besides that, people really love my curls.  I think they are crazy for saying so but I guess my curls do have character (and their own zip code...)
3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper?
This is a trick question or, at the very least, a trick answer. I buy expensive toilet paper but, only when it is on sale (and then I stockpile) *insert evil money saving laugh here - perhaps Uncle Scrooge*
4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?
 I have never had a surprise party.  I have never had a birthday party.  I know; it is sad.  You can cry for me if you want to.  Or you can have a birthday blog party for my birthday (I promise, I'll act surprised!).  My birthday is in the middle of August, you know, just in case you feel moved to have pity on me {wink}.

I have thrown a couple surprise parties for other people.  My husband was one.  It took awhile for him to get over that, as I had made my "lies" *ahem* tricks to deceive him into believing that there was no hope for even a birthday supper incredibly believable.

I have thrown two others for husband and wife.  He got me to do hers first.  She retaliated.  I mean returned the favor!

5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"?
Ok.  That was tough.  I had to take a 5 minute break to think about this one.  {grin} Here is my dilema. My camera is literally attached to me most times of the day so that is definitely in the running but I am usually on my computer uploading or editing pictures or *ahem* blogging or facebooking (I have a problem - {grin}) so my laptop is a contender.  And then there is my cell phone.  I am constantly getting texts from friends and family about meetings at the church, get-togethers, "let all the prayer team know", stuff like that.  I also get ones that go something like this "I need a ride", "I have no money", "I need, I need, I need..." I am not as fond of those ones 'cuz I usually can't help much.  But I am getting off topic here in a big way.

Anywhoodles, in my 5 minute ponderings I decided that I am just going to invent ONE system that will make these 3 things one so that they can be my one thing I can't live without.

For those of you who had the same dilemma as I, you. are. welcome!

Now, hope on over to MamaM's and see some more fabulous answers! I mean it!  Go!

Hope for all you women

and couples who are experiencing difficulties conceiving.

I have children of my own. I can never understand the pain and the frustrations and the heartaches you face everyday.  I am not even going to begin to pretend to.  I can only tell you that my heart goes out to you all. With that being said, I do want to offer you hope.

I know the two women in this video.  They attend World Revival Church in Kansas City, MO. You can find about the church/ministry by clicking here but this link is only for the church not the testimonies. (Look farther down for the link to the testimony video that was uploaded to Youtube.

This is so beautiful and full of hope and God's goodness. Listen to the testimonies of these two women who had all but given up hope to ever hold a baby of their own.
 Check the video out here.

God is no respecter of person.  He did this for them and He can do it for you!

Summer Fun




Leads to...

BIG appetites!!!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Remember

this post?

Well, I have a winner.  Well, a winner in theory and less in prize since, as I said, there was no actual prize other than me thinking you is da bomb if you could figure out what in the world Bug was talking about.

One of you did.  I had two guesses and the first guess by Braley Mama was a well thought out guess and darn good if I can say so.  Click on her name to go get to know her.  I just peaked at her lastest entry and it looks absolutely delicious - angel hair pasta with meat sauce.  I am, officially, hungry now!

But the winner, the big cheese, the wizard of Oz...ok, ok, I"ll stop now. {grin} Is Missy! How she knew that a "Sponge Buddy Safety" was my son playing the game and referring to punch buggy, I'll never know but I will tell you this, her children have got to be as crazy as mine in order for her to have figured it out so quickly.  If I had something worthwhile to prize you with, I totally would.

Thanks, ladies, for playing my silly little game. *THUD* Punch Buggy SAFETY!!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This time last year

I was planning a HUGE Sweet 16 bash for Rush.  We were going to go to the spa and eat lindor chocolates and grapes and cheese and crackers and have massages. 

And we did...

We bought her a beautiful daughter pride ring - because we are proud of her.  We invited family over for pizza. 

I wanted her to have the best Sweet 16 party she could ever imagine.  I had been planning what I would do for my girl's special birthday since she was, well, about 6 months old.

16 days later she ran away from home and we have seen her about 5 times since.

It still hurts.  Usually just somewhere deep down in some managable area of my feelings, it is slightly there just sort of "reminding" me.  Sometimes it is a nagging feeling that will throw thoughts at me or memories or something like that.  Today, I am being bombarded by thoughts, memories, feelings, fears.  Like, take this one for example, I was watching Bride Wars with my kids' babysitter and my mind went to thinking "Will I ever be a part of my daughter's wedding? Do I get to help her plan stuff ? Be involved? Or am I just some side line person as she builds the relationship we should be having with my mother?"

Trying to hold these thoughts captive and not dwell on them.  It is difficult at times, like today, but I know that I have the strength.  No matter the circumstances, no matter the cost, I focus on God first and foremost but I do miss my girl.  I miss walking in the rain storms with her, laughing 'til we almost pee our pants, having someone to watch "chick flicks" with,  having someone to go shopping with and eating chocolate explosion cake...

Rush, I miss you.  I want you to come home.  I love you!  You are my pride and joy and, whether you realize it or not, you took more of me with you than you wanted to (when you left).  You took my heart.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A prize

to whomever can tell me what this conversation was about...

"Heh! Look over there! Sponge Buddy Safety!"

"No! I saw it first!"

"Well, I said 'safety' first."

"Yeah, well there is no such thing as a 'sponge buddy'; it's a ..."

You fill in the blank.  And...as for your prize. Well, to be honest, I don't have anything worth while to post as a prize so...I will sing your praises because this is NOT an easy answer - unless your kids are anything like mine.  Then you should win hands down.

Game on!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Whew!

That feels a bit better.  There were times when I was really missing this space and you all, my bloggy friends. Our router decided to take a break.  I updated my twitter account a couple times from my phone but that was the extent of it.  I will get caught up on what has been happening - eventually.

But...

It is a gorgeous day and I think I am going to spend it with my children at the water park or something.

I will let you know that I had a fair bit of excitement the other day chasing a teenaged boy that broke into our car and stole my husband's MP3 player.  (Aren't you thrilled that I decided to share that? You can sleep so much better tonight knowing all about my um, excitement...

Correct me if I am wrong ok but I am thinking that without the cables this MP3 player is pretty much useless to him - I mean, unless he wants to listen to praise and worship and the occasional sermon. Jellybean thinks that maybe, just maybe this will get him saved.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Your faithfullness will be rewarded...just ask Jellybean

I mentioned on here a couple days ago that Jellybean's bike had been stolen and reclaimed.  During the "stolen phase" she never once grumbled or complained - other than her initial cry upon discovery of said stolen bike.  She just kept her faith in God and told me "The Bible says that we will get back what is stolen from us" and that was that.

She testified at church yesterday about getting her bike back and how she never lost faith in God and just lived to honor him and not worry about the bike being stolen. Pastor felt lead to take up an offering for her so that what was stolen would be returned 7-fold. She got enough money that (probably) tonight we will be going out and buying what she wants, something she can invest in herself with - an Ipod nano, lime green in color so that she can download sermons and worship music.  (She did have a business venture while I was at work today to raise a bit more money to pay for the taxes and raised $4 with an iced tea stand.)

I am amazed and humbled by her - yet again.

Baby needs a new pair a' shoes

So it's probably a good thing I got him some heh?  Believe it or not, these shoes were only 2 months old when I took this picture a couple weeks ago.

You see, my Bug started riding his bike an awful lot and, having not quite figured out how to use brakes on the pedal, he used his feet to top himself. 

Maybe I could market these and promote built-in air conditioning and air-freshener.  Hmmm?  Maybe not. The give off more of a sense of no style or something.  {Grin}

(No people were harmed in the process of getting this photo.  We all wore protective gear and, bug got himself a nice new pair of sneakers that were *gasp* orange - his favorite color!)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Perspective

Today I cleaned many, many grubby, muddy hand and footprints off my walls.  Every wall.  Upstairs and downstairs.

I was rather annoyed about having to clean those fingerprints when I started out and was about to tell my children that they didn't need to be dragging their hands across the walls and they most certainly did not need to be putting their feet on the walls when God spoke to me.

"Do all things with a thankful and joyful heart."

My eyes instantly filled with tears.  How many times have I wished that Rush was here for me to hear her stomp up the stairs or what-have-you?  How many times had I wished that I could have Gabriel here to be making messes? How many parents would give their left arms to be able to clean muddy prints off of their walls once again?

How inconsiderate and ungrateful of me to be grumbling about cleaning up mud prints from the palms of my gorgeous children's hands.  My children.  Who got muddy making mud pies or falling off their bike or digging for worms or any number of things that kids do to get dirty.  They had fun getting that dirty.  They made a memory. They enjoyed that portion of their youth.  And I, I get to be thankful to clean it up knowing that my house is full of my children's laughter and joy in every one of those prints.

I gladly cleaned those prints off my walls and I gladly look forward to seeing new ones in their place tomorrow.  I am blessed to have happy, healthy, dirt playing children!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Today I became "a old woman"

Or, how my children guage they are getting older.

Bug was walking in the parking lot of StuffMart (aka well, you all know where) when a truck drove towards him.  As we were walking in the door Bug says to me, "Mama, that black truck saw me and slowed down.  I AM getting older!"

***This next part could possibly contain a bit of TMI if you are of the male persuasion as it pertains to girls growing up just so you are fair warned.***

And the really big reason I am "a old woman"... Today I bought Jellybean her very first bra! {Gasp and TEAR!}  Seriously, when did this happen?  Yes, I know I said I was a grandma-to-be but that doesn't make me old!  I did not birth the mama-to-be; that makes my husband old.  Wait.  He didn't birth the mama-to-be either but you all know what I mean!  {grin}

My baby girl is currently - that is to say RIGHT NOW - wearing a bra! For the first time ever! Someone hand my my cane and schedule my first hip replacement surgery or something like that.

Oh and her reaction to wearing it?

"Mom, it's tight.  It feels too tight." (I adjust the shoulder straps and check it out to see). 
"No, honey it fits just right."
"Then why is it so tight!?"
"It's not tight, honey. Your just not used to wearing something there and you will get used to it.  I promise."

(I just hope she is not like Rush when she was developing.  It seemed like we were having to buy a new cup size every week but that just may be a slight exaggeration - maybe.)

SURPRISE!!!!! and other tidbits

It has been a great week!  We have been busy and blessed.

Tuesday morning Jellybean's bike was stolen.  Surprise! Not a good surprise but a surprise all the same.  Her uncle took her and a couple other of the children here to look for it but no dice.  However she was certain that she saw it Wednesday at a house just down the street from us.  Yesterday Big Daddy and a couple other guys went to get a closer look.

Why so many guys to go get a bike?  In this neighborhood, you never know what kind of person is living in any given house.  We range from little grannies/grandpas to hard-working class family folk to drug dealers and gang members or gang member wanna-bes.  I am most scared of the wanna-bes; they don't even follow the "laws" of the street in order to get noticed by gangs.

Anywho, they were able to get Jellybean's bike back.  Yes it was hers.  How do I know for sure.  I took a picture of the back of her bike and have a picture of the serial number on my laptop and that was exactly what my husband told the City Police when they asked him what proof he had that this was Jellybean's bike.  His response?  "Well, ok then. You take your daughter's bike back {big grin}."
--------------
Tuesday we went to The City to get our passport forms in and were able to see Rush for a bit.  It was nice to see her but I have to admit that I am not fond of the person she is becoming and who my mother/step-father are allowing her to become.  She is a self-absorbed, selfish young girl right now.  I do still keep my faith that she will be shaken and regain her need and love of God.
---------------
I decided a few days ago that I was tired of my family just making enough.  That is what we have been doing this last two years "just getting by" with enough money to pay our bills, our rent, the kids' school fees and have food on the table. 

So, today I have an interview for a part time job with a doctor's office where I will (potentially) be making more than minimum wage and will be able to have "extra" money each month.  This means we will not be having to save up knowing we need to repair a vehicle or when we notice that the kids have outgrown their clothes or if a birthday party is coming up. 

If you're the praying kind, please pray that God's will be done in regards to this interview.  That is my mandate in prayer lately.  I don't want to be coming to Him with my list of demands, er, needs. I want to pray as outlined in The Lord's Prayer: Your will be done; Your kingdom come...
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Two very dear young men have moved back to our city.  Two boys who are like family to this one and they both came home yesterday.  It was a happy day.
-------------
Now, to start preparing for this interview...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taberu Jikan

"What is that?" you say.

That is Japanese meaning 'time to eat'.

And that is precisely what we did!

Our entire worship team, and my husband, went to The City for a night out (on Sunday) and found ourselves at a relatively new sushi bar.  I just happen to be allergic to shellfish and so I don't get daring or adventurous at all with my food experiences.

I had spring rolls, beef/vegetable udon noodles, beef udon soup and cucumber/avocado maki rolls.  BigDaddy got a lot more adventurous.  He tried all sorts of things.  Spider crab sushi, squid, octopus...the list goes on and on.

A look at some of our fun!

The basket has tempura in it - this looks like shrimp and sweet potato.  The shell dish had a skewer of shrimp with a delicious (according to BigDaddy) sauce; in fact I think he ordered 4 skewers (each containing 3 shrimp) and the square dish at the top of the photo is the beef/vegetable udon.

A friend of mine eating her beef udon soup, to her left hand side is a cucumber/avocado handwrap.

There we are - me and my baby.

Another friend eating octupus sushi.

We were in the city that Rush lives in and I was unable to get to see her.  We rushed in and rushed home, as our ride had left her 6 month old son home with her sister and, like any new mom, she wanted to get home to her baby.  I felt awful being in the same city as my girl and not seeing her.

Today we are going back to The City in order to get my passport done for our upcoming trip to KC,MO!  I sure hope we are able to get together with her today!  Even if it is for a quick coffee or something!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sometimes

You just gotta sleep

This picture is of Bug at the end of a Friday night church service.  Yes, he IS sleeping! Soundly sleeping!


Jellybean and friend, Uncle Wayne, sleeping on the couch.  This was when we were working hard on the Manville project. Jellybean too.  I think the proof is in the picture.  Two dear friends sound asleep - listening to some music.

This is what revival's about.  And that is, after all, what we are striving for.  You sleep when you can, wherever you can, for however long you can... {grin}

Sumertime storm

Here are a few pictures from the storm we had on Friday.

I have others as well and this is just from our town that, according to the papers, had nothing compared to a town further south where people are canoing to get down the street and a neighboring reservation that had a tornado rip through it and 90% of the homes were levelled.  These reservations are home to some very poor families and so, my heart bleeds for them and their losses.

Friday, July 2, 2010

wowzers

We just got over a storm here that we have not seen the likes of in quite a while.  Roofs were blown off buildings, huge maple trees have been pulled up by their roots, graineries blown from nearby fields onto our streets, boats have been overturned in lots, cars were stalled in lakes of water, streets were flooded.

We went to the church tonight to discover a flood but, while working together, we got the sanctuary in shape for tonight's service and have fans drying out our carpets.

I have pictures taken from my husband's Blackberry - if I get them.  They are pretty dark but I think they still show enough of what happened. I don't know what the extent of the damage is but it is bad. This was not a tornado but I do believe we had plough winds (I think they are called Straight winds by some).

The other day, in the city Rush lives they had flooding to one out of every 10 houses - bad flooding, a manhole cover was shot through the floor of a moving city bus. Plus all of the trees and all that was blown over or away.

Clean up has all ready begun as the car dealership that wound up with the majority of one of the buildings' roofs in it got their lot fully cleaned up of debris.  All around us, though are reminders of this storm.

I get that it is nothing compared to the storms that some of you get with hurricanes and tornadoes and tsunamis and all those horrific things but for this little prairie town...

But it won't come off

Me: Jellybean?  What is taking you so long in the shower, honey?

Jellybean: I couldn't get the temperature right.  It was too hot or too cold... Oh yeah, and it took me a long time to wash my feet.  It didn't seem like they were gonna come clean.  But then {sheepish grin} I realized it was just my tan...