Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wow!!!

I will say it again..."WOW..." It has been a long time since I have found the time to come here...life has been happening and it has been good. "Don't cry for me, Argentina" and all that jazz.

Let me quickly update you because, really, this would be a stupid-long post if I didn't do bullet points.

  • Enjoyed a fun, family-filled summer. ("Wish you were here" postcard kind of summer)
  • Started the second semester of school
  • Rush started her first year of college (disabilities support worker)
  • Great news received...not one, not two but three VERY important people in our life are moving back to our town in two different installments...news and details of that to come as they get here...but you need to be excited...GRIN...
  • BigDaddy and the two youngest kids have a minstry trip coming up in a couple weeks for a few days...they are excited to go and I am excited for a couple days of totally uninterrupted study time...like get me a Little Caesars cheese pizza and curl me up with my books, laptop and highlighters kind of study time...woo hoo!!!!
  • I am preparing to photograph another wedding...yikes and have had a few different photoshoots for families this Fall...
It doesn't seem like much but it all adds up into a big ball of "I prefer to spend my time hugging and snuggling on my kids than on the blog"; I hope you understand...it's not you...it's me...promise...

I hope to back here a little more regularily but don't look for posts every day or even a post every week...I want to live as much of my life away from the computer and in the company of those I love...

Til next time... <3

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Summer of Silence

Shhh..did you hear that...Myhrtscry just made sound waves that are being picked up on the sonar...LOL

First part of summer I was quiet because we have been busy enjoying it as a summer...now, I am silent because I have a broken hand. It has taken me a mucho long time to type this short message to say I am alive and well and still here...just taking a forced time of silence...I will be back as soon as I can be...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beautiful Family

I was able to spend the day, a few weeks ago, with some friends of mine and...






I shot them!

Here are a few of those shots.



20 years of marriage, 2 beautiful boys...infinity of love

Monday, July 9, 2012

Two can be as bad as one

Remember that song? Or at least remember hearing that song? I think the memory I have of it is the Fresh Prince of BelAir where Will and Carelton find themselves in trouble and in a county jail cell and the "biker" guy is singing it.

Inspiration for this post: a conversation I had a couple years ago with a single mom I knew:

She thought I was so fortunate to have a husband and not doing it all by myself like she has been. I told her that sometimes what you see isn't what is and that you just need to make the best of life you are currently living instead of wishing for what other people have because you never truly know what they have behnd closed doors.

I have been married once before this marriage to a man not engaged in our marriage or our family for that matter...and I have been a single mom. I know both sides of this equation.

I can tell you there is nothing lonlier than feeling lonely when you are in a relationship which should create a partnership.  It was much easier, in my experience, to be lonely when I was supposed to be than to be lonely as a couple...in a relationship that totally disengaged itself from me. One that didn't communicate, that couldn't engage in time we had together (something was always a distraction, more important, more pressing, turning in the wheels of his thought processes waiting for a phone call, to be needed by someone), one that could walk beside but not hold my hand or other signs of affection...one that paraded me as a trophy wife publicly but ignored privately and left me excluded from his thoughts, goals and day-to-day life.

Having things you say forgotten and seemingly unimportant is not as easy to swallow as not having someone to tell them to. Eating dinner alone is easier than eating dinner alone with someone seated across the table from you. Sleeping alone is also easier than sleeping with what seems like the Pacific ocean between you and the one who "loves" you.

Why rehash an old conversation? Well,. I was talking with people today about the perception of the grass being greener on the other side and was reminded of this conversation.  I think we should not judge anything based on appearances: not people, tasks, relationships, scenarios... We need to keep in mind that although an illusion of a magician may appear real, it is, after all, simply an illusion.

One is a lonely number and two can be as bad as one and the moral of the story is make the best of what you have and if you aren't satisfied, figure out why...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pure, unabandoned, devoted love




These are my babies...oh how they melt their mama's heart...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"If only it were that easy" button

You know, I had a terribly long post that sounded whiney and poor, poor pitiful me-ish. It was all about wondering if I would still be who I am if I could go back in time and erase some of those terrible experiences, choices, words...would I be a better me, totally different, would my life be any sort of resemblance of what it is now...

It was very remniscent of teenage angst...emo drivel...

I can not mourn what was or what was not...what could have been or should have been...it is what it is and I am what I am.

And I choose to be the best that I can (even though I find it completely ironic that I typoed on 'best' and originally typed 'messed')

I have an unorthodox history, one that is less than stellar with shady characters and climatic twists in the plot, mellow dramatic soundtracks, highs and lows and I need to be ok with that...I am ok with that. Not all movies are of the caliber of "Gone with the Wind"...sometimes they are a bit more "Pirates of the Carribean" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (ok creepy Johnny Depp theme here - Grin).

"I yam what I yam"...me and Popeye...we be kicking it old school...loving ourselves, not only for who we are, but for who we are capable of being...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jellybean was a wax statue

and she was a beautiful, animated, theatrical wax statue...


 Meet the fabulous Harriet Quimby...


And her "parents"...my grandparents who played a supporting role in the wax statue star's shining moment.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Family Ties

Uncle Hammer came to visit.

We, meaning the kids, leapt for joy. Literally. From our porch and into his arms. It was a great surprise. We ate pizza and drank Dr Pepper and laughed and laughed and then we hugged, snuggled, took silly pictures and made plans for a family trip to an upcoming fair. Jellybean and Uncle Hammer wrung their hands with glee as they plotted and schemed all the crazy, daredevil rides they will be going on together. While I made plans to take my camera and keep my feet safely planted on terra firma. :D


 Oh no, they are definitely not related in any way, shape or form...oh how I love these goofs..By the way, Jellybean is no where near as tall as her Uncle Hammer let her appear to be. :D

Aw, brotherly love....

Today, we get to spend the day with Uncle Hammer as we will be celebrating the graduation of Rush with a family barbeque in just a few short hours...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Memories of sweet, sweet ducklings

Here is Moby Duck and Webster...

The ducklings that Bug's Grade 3 class raised and released into Memorial Gardens.



Snuggly, Cuddly, Loveable ducklings...
who even napped with the kids and who even peed on one of the sleeping beauties... hee hee

Friday, June 22, 2012

Here I am



Mom

Wife

Sister

Daughter

Ophthalmic assistant

Photography

Mary Kay beauty consultant

Worshipper

Aspiring (but not exceptional) writer

Embracer of family

World traveller...at least I plan to be

Over achiever

Fighter for justice

Low self esteem overcomer (at least that's where I am headed)

Shy (although I have spoken to nations at one time)

Loud laugher, practical joker

Daddy's girl

Animal, nature lover

City dweller with a longing to return to the country

City mouse fused with country mouse

Tattooed, pierced purple highlight wearer

Rock-n-roller

Heights despiser

Non-swimmer

Antique seeker

wild west fan

and that is just the tip of the ice berg...





Thursday, June 21, 2012

Joy in every day

My life is full...

full schedule

full days

full of joy

full of life

full of adventure

and full of wonderful people

 Two of my girls from our worship team
 Me, two more of my girls and a visiting friend from World Revival Church in Kansas City, MO...fabulous worship leader, Dustin Smith
Me, loving the life I have.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Restoration is right

Sometimes, in life, we get in the way of our own destiny, our stubborness and hard heartedness create wedges between what should be and what we think needs to be. We decide if or when we are willing to be teachable, bendable...and if we think something is worth fighting for or railing agianst. 

You know it's true...human nature...think Beastie Boys and "You've Gotta Fight For the Right..." mentality. We all think we are entitiled to {insert whatever here}. Smokers think they should have the right to smoke wherever they want. Non-smokers think smokers have no right to smoke any where so they can have their right to fresh air no matter where they are. Each side rails against the other. The examples, really, are as endless as our very own diversities.

5 years ago we met a lady and her 6 children. She and her husband we in the tangles on on again and off again. There was anger, resentment, frustrations and walls put up with no desire on either side to reconcile.  Divorce was not just spoken; it was made reality.

That was then...


and this is now...



5 years of fighting for and praying for...

Became.

5 years of standing firm in beliefs and standing for what was right...

Became.

Restoration is right...when it is threaded in prayer, desire on both parties and guided by God.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Train Whistles Blowing Create a Long, Lonely Sound

Mon, Tues and Wed I was in a ladies conference and I live today a completely different person...a completely different mom.

Roots of bitterness were exposed in my life in areas that I never fathomed even existed. My kids. I know your perception of me just took a nose-dive and is plummeting to its death at a rapid speed. I don't mean I was resentful of my kids and having to care for them...

I have, over time and circumstances, allowed wedges to be driven between me and my children. I held them close but at just enough of a distance that they weren't pulled in as close as they could have been. (I'm just being transparent here). As a mom, there have been hurts and I think I just shoved them down and smiled like all was well...all while holding my children close enough that they knew how much I love them but not close enough that I could be hurt by them to the most possible depths. (not entirely logical is it?)

That is until this week where that tap root of biterness was ripped to shreds and destroyed through the life transforming words of God spoken by a spitfire of a lady who I have loved and admired for many years now.

Tonight, I lay down on the top of Bug's blankets as he struggled to sleep and began to rub his forehead. The instant I began to rub his forehead, I began to sing some of the songs my children loved to hear when I would tuck them in. I cried as I struggled to remember the words to one of those songs, as I thought of lost moments...

The thing with revelation is you have a choice...stay where you have been or move to where you should be. I choose to move to where I should be...to lessen the gap that I have put between my children and I.

Do you know how I started?

"Train whistles blowing
Make a sleepy noise
Underneath their blankets,
Go all the girls and boys
Rocking, roling, riding
Out along the bay
All bound for morning town
Many miles away
Somewhere there is sunshine
Somewhere there is day
Somewhere there's a morning town
Many miles away
Jellybean's at the engine
Rush rings the bell
Bug swings the lantern
To show that all is well
Somewhere there is sunshine
Somewhere there is day
Somewhere there's a morning town
Many miles away"

We made the song ours by inserting our names...and tonight, I made it ours again...somewhere there is sunshine and I found that place the moment I let the son shine on that darkness and fill it with transcendent light!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ambushed and bamboozled

That is what I feel happened to me during the first half of the course I am taking. I had no idea what to expect...content wise, expectation wise, exam wise... Most weeks I wasa single mother as BigDaddy was away with work for weeks at a time. I ran with kids here and there,got them home and to bed and then studied into the morning, got a few hours sleep and one day looped into the next just the very same. Things fell apart here. Fast food meals were purchased more than not, laundry was neglected until volcanic mountains of laundry erupted, spewing forth from our rooms, papers were not dealt with, they were simply piled and groceries were not boughtasthey should be - a bread/milk run here and there. Stress levels escalated...primarily mine. I am in clean up phase one of recovery while waiting for my second half to begin. I am also much more equipped to prepare for the second half.i know what to expect. I will be ready. Prepared. I think I know how to make the conclusion better...I at least know where to start. My last post divulges that information...I will seize the moments and not let them seize me...

What is meant for destruction can be turned for good

Tragedy has reared its ugliness at us the past few weeks and our community has been reeling from the passing of quite a few young people in a very short timeframe. One of those young people was a schoolmate of my youngest two children. Strange circumstances around a couple of them...the two closest to our family and autopsies are needing to be done on both. The young friend of my kids...sounds like it was bacterial meningitis. My instinct as to write "scary" after that last sentence...but no. God is bigger than meningitis... People will ask 'then why did this boy tragically lose his life' and I have to say that I do not know but, what I do know is God doesn't make bad things happen. He does take bad things and brings good from it. This angry God that religion preaches is not the true image of who God is. He is love; He corrects as a good parent should but what parent would punish their child by inflicting them with cancer or earthquakes or tsunamis or meningitis? God is just and merciful. He does not wish to destroy His creation. Jellybean has had, not a hard time grasping but, a hard time with M's death. It is a lot of an elementary student to take in...this is, after all, the second student in their school to pass away this year. Her heart's cry, desire and her prayer this week has been that M's parents would not blame God but they would find strength through God. That is what is happening. The funeral was today and M's dad stood in front of a church full of people proclaiming the goodness of God. Jellybean's face was full of brightness and joy as she heard from a friend of ours (who attended the funeral)the words of life and hope from the dad. No matter the turmoil stay grounded with roots that are strong and deep, an unshakeable pillar of your faith...know that God doesn't change an the midst of joys or tragedies...He will always remain the same just, merciful God who has no intention of making your life, or mine, miserable. Ww do a good enough job of that all on our own. This passed couple of weeks I have really learned (& the lesson seems to be a theme for the year): grab hold of the moments but don't let the moments grab hold of you. Treasure those precious moments, make simple moments precious but don't turn around and be consumed by a moment that doesn't really matter...chores not being done etc. I am not saying don't correct poor behavior in people; I am saying that you can correct a misdeed with the same love, justice and mercy as God has shown us. Correct without harshness, anger, etc. Don't dwell on things that don't matter...I think the book is called "Don't sweat the small stuff". That is my lesson for the first half of 2012 & I think I have gotten a good enough grasp on it that the second half can focus elsewhere.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What a feeling!

Friday morning I wrote my first final for this course...One semester down...5 more months to go.

Right now, however, I am on a break (Cue "Friends" theme song here).

2 quizzes 93% average
one final exam 76%
one essay yet to be marked

I have guesstimated that, if I were to get at least an 80% on the essay, I will have a final mark for the first semester in the low 80s. Yay!!!!

I'm not going to blow smoke at anyone, including myself...
It was difficult. There were moments of frustration, tears, defeat, lonlieness and resentment.

Yes, I felt resentful. I am not proud. I had moments where it felt like I never saw my family, likemy pastor just didn't understand how hard it was for me to balance my schedule with this giant snag that had been put into my resurrecting schedule.I cried tears in my pillow, mumbling things like he just didn't get it and there was no way I could do all I was being asked to do.

The truth of the matter is he understood how busy I was, my schedule, all that was on my plate, that BigDaddy was gone a lot... He knew and he knew what I was/am capable of and wanted to prove it to me. He strengthened me through pray, let me have days off when I needed to pout (much to my dismay) and when it came time for me to study for and write the exam, he and his wife, prayed, text words of great encouragement...all which were great gifts...

BUT

the greatest gift of all

I know I am capable of more than I thought I was.

Including passing this course...I did it! And I will successfully complete the second one as well...

My family understood...understands

and they understand that there will be another season of it.

Next go around I know what to expect, how to plan...

The next little while, I am enjoying my family...

And I am taking time to smell the roses...which means a few picnics, museum trips, strolls with the family...

Oh, and maybe get back on track here...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Tale of Two Duckies

(Bug's 3rd grade class has been raising two ducklings to release into Memorial Gardens in honor of their classmate who passed away earlier this school year. A lot of 3rd grade classes do this project each year but this year, for our family, it has special meaning because of Mathew's passing. Each student takes a turn to bring the ducklings home to care for them during the evening. Tonight was our turn. I thought it would be fun to send a letter back to the class, sharing the details of their visit with us...here is "The Tale of Two Duckies")

Dear Mrs B and our Grade 3 class friends,

We had a lot of fun tonight at Bug's house. Some of his friends came over to meet us - a few kids but mostly grown-ups. Our fuzzy yellow, adorableness (that's duck for 'cute') brought big, joyful smiles to their faces; we think they felt young at heart just to be around us.

Webster spent a lot of snuggle time with Bug's sister, Jellybean. In fact, at one point of the night, she was holding him like a baby, stroking his head and he was soaking up all that love like a sponge.

Bug & I spent a lot of quality time together. Don't tell Webster but, I'm pretty sure I'm Bug's favorite. Close to Bug's bedtime, we were snuggling on the couch and we were both so comfortable with each other that we fell asleep. Well...until I did something to wake us both up; I'll let Bug tell you that story if he wants. He's way better at story telling than I - after all, I am a duck.

Bug shares very nicely. He let us use his tub for swimming, nibble on his fingers, ears, hair and nose. He giggled like a mad man when we did that - guess he likes it. We were glad he liked the way we showed him our affection. (His sister had sparkly things on her ears and neck; we really like sparkly things! :D)

Our room {insert to add: a giant rubber made tote}was always neat, clean and dry; Bug made sure of that. Well...except for when all we wanted to do was play in the water. He let us play & then cleaned up after us. How cool is that?

Bug & his family have pictures of us and I'll bet they will share them if you want {insert to add they will make their grand appearance on this very blog in the next couple of days}.  We had a wonderul adventure here and are looking forward to another adventure with another child from Grad 3.

Keep it real, peeps.
(that's duck for 'bye for now')

First part of school...

almost done...Yes! And again I say YES!!!! Assignment 1 and 2 are turned in and 1 has been marked and returned - 91.3%. I'm anxiously awaiting #2 being marked and returned. My essay, on glaucoma, is completed, proof-read and sent to my boss for a final "inspection". I will email that as soon as I hear back from him. I have a checklist I needed the doctor to sign to fax in to the college and I am good to write my final for part one...

I came close to my breaking point a couple times...there were tears, there were tantrums, there were moments of complete doubt in my ability to even get to where I am right now with working full-time, my husband working out of town so much and a buys family/church life...but I did it!

Oh and P.S. I know it wasn't me all on my own who did it...I have lots of kind, supportive friends and family and I have a God who empowered me on those days I just didn't have the strength to go any farther...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lesson Learned

So, Monday afternoon I looked into my 8 year old son's room and saw that my numerous requests for him to clean his room had not reached his ears. 

Lessons need to be learned and threats needed to have follow through.  While Bug was at school, this mama took a box of big, black garbage bags and cleaned his room her way. He may or may not be thrilled with what he begins to discover are no longer in his possession.

I think the lesson has been learned because the remaining toys have been picked up since AND...his bed has been made every morning before school...

And, side note, Jellybean has been making her bed each morning before school too...Lesson learned x 2!!!  Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's coming together

I have been working my behind off...unfortunately, it hasn't been in the literal sense of the phrase but, I digress one sentence into my post.

I finished the first part of the course I have been working on 3 weeks before my deadline. This means I have 3 weeks to write my essay on glaucoma and to study for the first final exam. Two assignments have been handed in and one has been returned. I am pleased to say I got 91.3% on the first one and am thankful that the final exam is only worth 50% of my mark...

It has been a busy few weeks since my uncle's funeral. I have finished the course content of school (first half - as said before), had a few photoshoots (including a wedding - pictures coming soonish), a few more coming up and have some upcoming weekend training with the girls from work (looking forward to that!)

Anyway, back to glaucoma...the internal pressure is getting to me (pun completely intended although somewhat inappropriate)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today's fond memory

brought to you in part by Scrabble and Pictionary...

My husband despises board games...loathes them even and so, it is a rare event that we happen to play one as a family - very rare indeed.

As a child, I played Scrabble with my granny as often as I could. She would pull out her worn and well utilized Scrabble board, a worn down pencil (usually sharpened with a paring knife), a piece of looseleaf, neatly folded and a dictionary for challenges and we would play and laugh and snack. We both won. Granny with points and me, well, I won because I loved the time I was able to have spent with her, looking into her sparkling blue eyes full of love and mercy.

Fast forward several years to a life of children of my own and I think to some of the rare moments P.B., Jay I convinced BigDaddy to play a rousing game of Pictionary with us.  The giggles, the tears from laughing so incredibly hard at our drawng or lack thereof and our guessing and lack thereof...

Simple acts. Great memories...

(This post is not endorsed by Scrabble nor Pictionary as they don't know me from Adam; these are simply the games my memories are associated with. That is all. GRIN)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lockdown

Thursday evening I read about the school Rush attends being locked down on an on-line paper for our area. Some of you, unfortunately, know the meriad of thoughts that bombard your thought process and your rational thinking at that moment.

Why hadn't I heard from her yet? Were they still in lockdown? Had something gone disasterous? I had to "talk myself down" into a place of knowing, of rational thinking and take hold of those terrible thoughts penetrating my mind before they ran away with my logic. Someone would have contacted us somehow...

6 boys, not from her school, went there, brandishing items in threatening ways to induce fear...upon detaining them it was discovered most of these items were harmless. One boy, however, had a machete hidden on his person...a machete? Like for real? Rush has also heard that there was a gun, or guns, involved.

Our encounter of it is all hearsay or what the media shares, as, unbeknownst to us, Rush was not at the school that afternoon; she was, in fact, safely at her job, completely unaware herself of what was happening at her own school.

{Cue big sigh of relief}

For those new to reading or if you may have forgotten, Rush is our daughter who our relationship with was severed for a bit and who had left home.

She did not feel nor witness the fear, the chaos, the confusion...she was wrapped in the prayers of her parents, her pastor and many that love her who go to battle for her and her protection every day of their lives.

So thankful for God's protection...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I'd like to kiss

Yeppers, you heard me. I'd like to k.i..s.s... keep it simple silly...

I've thought a lot about simple living...

not in the trendy sort of way...just simple.

Typing this, I am looking at my bedroom and I see clutter on my dresser, on my night stand, on BigDaddy's dresser and nightstand and a whole heap of clothes on my side of the floor that are screaming to be folded and put away. I have not had time... I am certain there are clothes in that heap that I would probably never remember I had should they disappear. I am also certain that in the midst of the dresser clutter are items I have forgotten we have.

What does this mean? Well, a few things. It means
1. I have too many clothes.
2. If I don't know I have it and I need it I will probably go buy another and waste money purchasing something I all ready own.
3. I have not made it an importance to care for these items
4. My children have too many clothes (thankful for hand-me-downs but I could always donate the excess)
5. I am wasting time doing laundry on clothes that may or may not have been worn or simply because of the volume of clothing period.

What does this mean?
1. I need to sort through our belongs, organizing as I go.
2. I need to have an idea of what my children, myself, my husband need to keep for clothes (let's say a list as to what our ideal wardrobes would be) to know what needs to be donated, tossed, folded/hung up or purchased.

What would it feel/look like when this happens?
Nirvana? Euphoric? Perhaps.

Aside from school, working on achieving what I stated in my last post about legacies and all the other things I do need to do in life...this is one of the things I will be whittling away at...bit by bit...it will be a process but, every step forward is a step forward, right?

I think I shall begin with the clothes situation...and then, perhaps, toys...I wish for our home to be a place of serenity and peace for us and those that happen to cross the threshold into our lives. I see the chaotic state of our lives in just about every area of our home (closets, cupboards, pantries, even our fridge). It is time to K.I.S.S it goodbye!

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'll leave a legacy

I have been thinking a lot about legacies lately, since Wednesday to be exact, and about how we will all leave one when we die. (Why the heavy thought process? My dear uncle, who has been battling with cancer, passed away at 5:20 pm on Wed April 4 and the legacy he left...well, I will get into that later.)

It doesn't matter what we do, good or bad, we will leave a legacy behind. Dictionary.com defines legacy, in part, as "anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor".

What will my legacy be? How will I live my life that my character, actions, courage, heart, or lack there of will be the memory, the character that my children, grandchildren know me as?

My grandfather has a legacy, as does my grandmother, of nobel character, strong work ethic and immense love...a legacy my children, who have never met them, have heard and learned through stories and memories from numerous family members.  My uncle, who just passed away, has left a legacy, to me, and I am certain others, of a man who, inspite of terrible odds, inspite of a death sentence being placed on his shoulders, never stopped fighting, never gave up his will to live and, while he still had the strength to do so, never quit working. He did not outwardly mope about his fate but grabbed hold of moments. He didn't say "I only have so long to live"; he simply grabbed hold of his family and lived - fishing, golfing, laughing, hugging, enjoying...

We live in a day and age where technology and self-importance takes precident over quality time, over relationships. We feel wo important hearing a notification come in that someone has responded to our senseless or silly facebook status, or alarming us to an email or text to the point where I see fathers and mothers interupt hugs or family dinners to check, with baited breath, that they are needed, important or noticed - all while dismissing the one on their lap, at their side, or their dinner table who thinks they are all those things and more.

Will my children remember me as someone who made them feel important or as someone who got a lot of texts or spent a lot of time on my computer? Will they remember me as I do my grandparents, as I think of my father or other key people in my life (especially my childhood)? (Ironic that I empty my thought process about this on my laptop. don't you think?)

Technology, while great in aspects, is robbing us of relationship, of ability to communicate with those that are closest to us. Yes, it has given us the ability to correspond so much easier with people we love who aren't so near (in my case, to keep in touch with my dear cousins in Norway or Italy and to keep up with the incredible tales my cousin writes here or. personally, here. It also helps me to keep in touch with you all and make new and dear friends but, should it take priority over snuggling with a child wrapped in a fuzzy blanket learning all about giant squids or sharing a playground story or classroom antics or even something as simple as a walk along the river, watching the ice break up and sharing a peanut butter sandwich - uniterrupted by the buzzes, dings, song alerts and chirps our phones, bluetooths (teeth ? grin) make - reminding us of our importance to the world.

Odd that my ramblings would sway this way when I began on the thoughts of legacy but, perhaps, it is because I long for my children to remember me (moments, laughter, connections) and not a mom whose connections where wireless or wired-in and I certainly don't wish for them to remember me with fondness of words like, "Ah, Mom, yeah, remember how she was always on her phone or computer? Remember how quick she was to respond to texts or to stop doing what she was to run and check her email? Yeah, those were the days.". 

 Instead, I want to be remembered in ways I remember those people special to me: sitting in the warmth of the sun beside my granny, tipping and tailing beans talking about everything and nothing but just being, uninterrupted, beside her; going for walks with my grandpa and being so tired he had to carry me home; sitting as a pre-teen in the same chair as my dad and having it tip over, us stranded, legs swinging in the air attempting to resuce ourselves while laughing too hard to succeed...lazy days in the summer heat, laying on a blanket, a border collie cross laying across my back watching lady bugs scurry and birds fly listening to the sounds of my hard-working father and grandfather in the field, checking the time every so often so I knew when the moment was right to get my horse to take lunch and drinks out to them and sit between them basking in the love I have for them and they for me as they smelled like sweat, dust, gas, wheat and tractor...

My cell phone and my computers (yes, computers) all have power buttons, silence options and I have the ability to ignore. I know I do, I opted to use that option far too often with my dad when I was a teenager. I opt to use those options again. Yes, the world has changed since my childhood and some of those memories are not probable for my children to have of  theirs but they can be similar inspite of their differences...the feelings, the security, the warmth, the love...

My legacy will not be of one tied to an outside world as though it were my lifeline. My legacy will be one of family and love and God and mercy and relationships as though they were my lifelines because they truly are...I will use technology as my tool not as though I am ruled by it. Exercise is good for you and so, I encourage you to exercise your right to power off your technology or to excerise your ignore option in order to create unwavering bonds with the ones who are right in front of you...technology has its place, let's remember to keep it there as a tool for us to use as we need it...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Joy, joy, unspeakable joy...

If a picture is worth a thousand words...I shall speak volumes with three simple pictures...



These are three of my seven beautiful children...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Too pooped to pucker (aka the Rip Van Winkel nap)

Yes, I used the word 'poop', or at least a derivative of...but I digress.

With BigDaddy having been gone for the last three weeks and all tasks, chores and responsibilities laid upon my weary lap I have become, well, wearier. (I know single moms do it every day 52 weeks of the year...I have been on that road myself)

There is something to adaptation. I have been a single mom but I had a simpler life. I had one child, most things were within walking distance; she was my only responsibility. I worked part-time or, for part of it, went to school, could keep up with housework, had no babysitter to worry about, had me and a 3-5 year old to feed...

I got married, inherited 4 more children, gave birth to two more, began working full-time, became a part-time photographer, became very involved in a church and the cause that it is working towards seeing...and became accustomed to having two grown ups splitting the running around and the chaoticness of days.

Now I am in school as well, taking a class through distance-learning...and my husband is gone every second week. Weekly reprieve is sweet.  This past month, it has all been placed in my lap and I have been too exhausted at the end of the day to study. I picked up my books, read the same 8 words repeatedly with no comprehension, set my books down, defeatedly, and slowly crawled into bed.

BigDaddy comes home today and I should be excited to see him and spend time with him because I have missed him, which I have, but...I am so tired, I am looking forward to him grabbing hold of the baton and running the next stretch of this relay while I fill the tub with steaming hot water, soak for 10 minutes, slither out of the tub, pour myself into my pajamas and pull my sorry butt the 10 feet to my bedroom where I will promptly channel Rip Van Winkel and sleep for hundreds of years...

...or at least 12 hours. {sheepish grin}

I know he will want a kiss when he walks in the door but I am afraid, due to a crazy schedule and a mush-brain due to studying, these lips are too pooped to pucker - at least until after my Rip Van Winkel nap

Thursday, March 15, 2012

And still my heart shall sing

Remember my uncle?

The one I photographed this summer

Please remember him in your fierce prayers of warfare.

Speak strength, healing and wholeness into his body.

I'd be ever so grateful.

Thank you.

Running the race

Yesterday my son, LilB put something on Facebook that reduced me to tears.  Good tears.  Tears brought by 3 years of prayers, of believing, of the feeling a parent has knowing your child is not on the path they are intended to be on; I have spent three years knowing who God is over the situation with my kids, standing in the gap for them, fighting, through prayer, for them... I have watched as I have looked into their eyes knowing that they know they are not doing what they know they should be...you know that look in their eyes..the one is vacant, no spark...
 
Yesterday, that fight came to an end for me regarding one of my children, my oldest, LilB (I am not saying I have come to a place to stop praying but a moment has arrived where I can stop fighting with the intensity and heartache I have been...at least for him.
 
I want to share with you the words he wrote; I hope they find you peace in the hopeless situation you find yourself in (whatever it is) or if you are at a crossroads in your walk with God, struggling with your faith - let the words of a 25 year old man who, as a child and teen, ran hard after God, hit some barracades in his life and made choices that have brought him to this revelation.
 
"When you make the conscious decision to walk away from God and do your own thing (don't let anyone fool you it is always a decision), when you finally decide to turn back its twice as hard to do simple things like pray, have faith, obey. In January it had been almost 3 years since i had tried to talk to God. I know i made the right choice to follow Him again. When i look at what God is doing in my... Friends and Family i realize what i almost through away. Now i am several laps behind in this race called life. I say all this to be a lesson to anyone thinking about walking away. Eventually you will see where you should be. The Question is how far behind will you be and how much struggle will you have in those years off the track? Learn from those of us who have turned away. Don't make the same mistake."
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Do you know what is equally moving and heartwarming as his words? The words of support of the people he surrounds himself with and who we know and trust to love him. As some may remember, my eldest son lives in a different country, a 24-hour straight drive away from me.
 
I share, with you, their words as well.
 
Bryan R glad to have you back in the race, now see if you can keep up with me... :)
 
Sherry L I am crying right now at your words. It's not how fast you run, it is whether you finish the race. We will be running along beside you.
 
Lynette P Well you aren't running alone my friend!
 
Jeremy H Well said my friend!
 
Harold B  Love you!
 
James B What awesome insight man. After words like those I am wondering how far I gotta go to catch up and run beside you.
 
What joy floods my soul!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

60s Mystery Night

On Saturday, March 3 the adults of our church had a super fun night - a 60s mystery "Who dunnit" night.





I think the pictures have spoken enough...I don't need to say any more

other than...

THIS was so much fun and I hope we do something like it again!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remember "the date"

that these two grinning kiddos planned for their dad and I?  The one I talked about here...



I have finally managed to tear myself away from studying long enough to get some pictures of the event up (as well as some other ones, as some of you may have been noticing. I have been a little less vocal on here as I could be but studying and life are taking priority these days.)

Check out the hand-written menu.

We each had our own menu to look at, written in Hilroy notebooks. Mine was pink and BigDaddy's was blue.


The decor was eclectic. An orange table was set in the middle of our living room with candles and a bouquet of flowers, candy fruit slices were scattered on the table and, as you can see a glittered, foam heart and a stuffed hedgehog named Teaspoon were propped against the table.


 We put Jellybean's photography skills to the test to get a picture of us in our date clothes...she has room for improvment on waiting until people stop speaking and begin smiling...ha ha ha

But here we are, in the clothes the kids picked for us to wear...wedding dress and all.
{GRIN}


Our server was pleasant to look at and to speak with...his manners were simply delightful and it didn't hurt that his eyelashes are a mile long, his smile melts hearts and he looked at us with so much love and adoration while he served our drinks, meal and dessert.
I don't think I will ever forget the day my children showed me their true character, the true measure that is in their hearts and how much they love their mom and dad.

It was one of the best memories of my life.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nothing like a big brother


And Jellybean and Bug happen to have two of them...

...Yes, Tuff is making a rare occurance on this blog. He is so uber busy with his work schedule and school that it is rare we get to see him...but, as you can clearly see, it doesn't mean we love him any less (or he love us any less)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where'd my little girls go?

****WARNING****   *****WARNING**** TOO MUCH INFO ALERT ****WARNING****

The following post contains girly information that some may find embarassing, offensive or too much information... You have been warned.


Today I lost my little girl. She threw a ginormous grin at me as she jumped out of the car this morning, hobbling her sprained ankled self into the school, ready to spend the day at the ski lodge gliding down the hill watching her friends roll down the hill as she stayed safe and warm in the lodge mending a bad sprain from yesterday's Pirate Tag...

Pirate Tag... yesterday, a young girl, carefree...between Barbies and ponies and nail polish and hairdo's.

She asked me, last night, if she could sleep in my bed with me - a heartbroken little girl who needed her mama to snuggle her through the disappointment of not getting to participate in, what would have been, her first ski trip ever.  So, we snuggled...she slept in the bed with much comfort and room and I slept with a size 7 foot nestled, ever so lovingly, against my cheek... {Grin}...my baby girl...

Upon picking the kids up from their friends' house (I had no idea I was suddenly in the presence of a young woman), a quiet, somewhat embarassed voice (because her little brother was in the car with us) whispered  "Mom, I think I got my thing..."

A quiet metamorphasis transpired in the blink of an eye. My baby girl, on the edge of awkward teenagehood, became a young lady on the edge of girlhood...a beautiful, rare, genuine, passionate, kind, awkward with an inner grace, merciful, compassionate, intense, loving young lady.

Where has time gone? In the blink of an eye, Jellybean has gone from a pudgy-cheeked baby to a ladybug loving toddler to a gangly pre-teen with a heart of gold and a desire and zest for a life full of life and hope...a toddler who, due to verbal apraxia, could speak only a handful of awkward (sometimes made up words) to a young lady who can captivate an audience or a hard-hearted gang member with her words and electrifying personality.

I don't put this out on the "interweb" to one day embarass Jellybean but to, one, mark time; two, share with other moms that open discussion with your girls (even boys) about the facts of life, of what to expect in life/from life and they will come to you with their questions, their concerns instead of going to their friends and other sources to get their information. Create moments and opportunities to build trust and foundations with your children that you become their go to person, that they know you will be open, upfront and honest with them in, of course, age appropriate ways.

I have spoken, in some manner or another, to each and every one of my children with open-ended conversations about every aspect of life and growing up. If they have a question, I will never dismiss it; I will answer it as best as I can  in the most age-appropriate manner I can.  There have been times I have said something along the lines of there being more to it but, that at their age, that is all that needed to know for right now until they were a little older or more mature and they honor that...

Because of that, Jellybean feels that she is able to come to me as she discovers things that shock her about growing up - people she knows turning "emo", cutting, friends with eating disorders and I talk to her about my experiences, share with her honestly, don't dismiss her...if she doesn't have the knowledge, hear the experiences, hear the truth as I see it and discuss with me the topics as she formulates her opinions of what she wants for her life based on  these topics, she gets lead, blindly by her peers. Do I really want her peers formulating her morals, her ideaology of what is right and wrong, her theology...?

Talk with your children...not to them...not at them...talk with them. Communicate. Interact. Engage. Make and take time for...







Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Year Old Beauty

You had me at the first moment I laid eyes on you...you know, your first 10 minutes of life...so beautiful...so perfect...

Last month, you turned one...walking, full of mischief and wonder, an expert at the "Elvis lip"...so beautiful...so perfect...

SO LOVED



Monday, March 5, 2012

Science Fair (Round 1) Pictures


Jellybean's Science Fair...Round One.
She still has a Round Two to go as she won silver at the School level and is going to Regionals.




 The ingredients

 The display...looking all professional and, dare I say, cute and sassy.

Bug's Science Fair project. First one ever.
Magnetizing a nail with a battery.


Adorable...and professional...and VERY nervous...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bless his little bug heart

Last Sunday, during the offering message, I noticed that Bug was effortlessly writing page upon page of notes. I snuck a quick sideways glance and saw "God rocks God rocks God rocks..." 

A slight smile escaped my lips as I tossled his hair and continued listening to the message, thinking 'Boy, I am so blessed to be this kid's mom'.

After service I asked him if it was ok if he read to me all that he had written down in the back few pages of his Bible and he, happily, obliged.

This, my friends, is what he wrote, verbatim et literatim  (word for word letter for letter):

God rocks
God rocks
God rocks
God rocks
devil sucks
devil sucks
devil sucks
devil sucks
the devils lies stops becuase they suck. i'm not Going to allow the lies of the devil in my life. they half to leave right now because they don't have anything to do in my life so devil take your lies and go back to hell and never come back to my life cause they suck. Gods power is the thing i need. not your lies. so God come inti my life right now and i just pray right now for my mom cause she just told me that she had a dream. God rocks and is Awesome and he loves us. Gods mercy endurs forever.

(The dream I had had was a terrible dream about my dear Bug that was maybe a 45 second flash of a dream but was so real and sinister that it shook me to my core when I was shaken awake by its horror but I will not be shaken by it anymore because I will not speak words of negativity over my children but speak the life and power of God over their present and their future.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Heart has been melted

into puddles of mama goop... My two youngest children had a big surprise up their sleeve when we came home from work tonight.

Let me lay out a little background of the day. We both worked; me until 4 & BigDaddy until 5. I received a text from Jellybean asking me to please not come home until 5. When asked what I should do, exactly, with an hour wait, I was responded with "Shopping? The mall? A walk? Bug says angry birds".  I opted for coming home, closing my eyes and running up the stairs and hiding in my room for an hour.

What lay before me on my bed was my wedding dress and a "fake" pearl bracelet. My couriousity was peaked. I patiently waited until 5, got dressed in my fancy duds {grin} and was instructed to go downstairs to wait for BigDaddy.

Jellybean and Bug had set up flowers, candles, Valentine's decorations and a "romantic movie", "Ever After", had a family friend supervise them cooking supper so they didn't "burn the house down", made menus, spiffied themselves up in matching colors and served us our drinks, meals and dessert.

I have pictures, that will be put up in a day or two but what I have learned through this is my children have all ready learned the value of a relationship (thanks, Joanne). Jellybean texts her uncle every day, bringing him happiness, sharing her life and sharing joy & hope and jokes and whatever else her little heart desires.

It makes me realize that I haven't been doing as bad of a job as I thought...that we have learned from the mistakes we have made in the past. I know there will be others but we have learned from the past. That maybe we don't have the time other people think we should, that people judge us about...the time we spend counts.

It has caused me to change my motto - living a life well spent (in all aspects)...make each moment count.  Life is good. I am one happy mama...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Day

is a wonderful holiday in a few provinces here in Canada and we took advantage of it. No work for the hubby or I - we slept in. {grin} BigDaddy took care of a few things at the church that he needed to get done and, once done, we gathered the kiddos up, stockpiled on a bit of candy (fun dips, caramel apple suckers all sorts of goodies...mmm) and took them to see Journey 2 The Mysterious Island. We all enjoyed it but the kids most certainly did - lots of giggles, shared popcorn and snuggles in the movie theatre.  I think it will definitely be a movie to be bought for our collection.

Next family night movie, however, will be one at home and it is going to be Courageous. Now, BigDaddy and I have all ready seen this movie and have fallen in absolute love with it.  We know, with utmost certainty, it will become another favorite of our kids. We have all ready worn out the other films from Alex Kendrick.

Next family night, I am certain, will be next Saturday, considering BigDaddy will be leaving the end of Feb and will be gone (save the Saturdays of each weekend) for at least 3 weeks...looking forward to it.  Must plan some extra fun foods... {grin}

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Job Description

Nope, not a new "job"... I have the same 9-5 job.  What I am talking about is the job all moms/wives have...Home Manager.

That is my new job description. I need to get a lot more organized... I keep saying it and I keep meaning it but I just can't seem to make it mine.

I need to be a lot more organized in the meal dept, the cleaning dept, the my schooling dept...the laundry dept. Anyone else have Mount Laundruvious about to erupt in their house?

So, in the midst of our busyness...how do I regroup? How do I re-establish order? I am getting a meal plan in effect, yet again and I am buying oodles of paper plates, bowls and plastic cutlery. Wanna know why? We have a boil water order (have had for a week all ready and it sounds like it will be another 3-4 weeks before it is lifted). Time is of the essence in this household and we don't have time to be boiling water for that many dishes...we are going disposable for as much as we can for the duration of the order. We have been buying bottled water for drinking and just trying to put some ease into the midst of chaos (not like that is really chaos just a little time consuming).

Time is precious. I have learned that in my life...you know, all 37 years of it. For the life that we have chosen and how busy it is, I want to be able to spend the spare time we have hugging on and loving on our kids and family and friends instead of boiling water for dishes.

So, Home Manager I become. I have not taken care of that the last little while but, I get back on that wagon and try to do what I encouraged my kids to do for their Science Fair...overcome, conquer to the best of my ability.

I am not the same mom I was years ago with the same amount of time I had to be making cute snacks and decorate the window with seasonal clings but I can do the best with what I have now. Jokingly, I tell my husband that I need a wife. Deep down, it is sort of true...I could be cloned or something... ha ha ha

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Choices

Life is full of them, isn't it? Our days are full of them...

I know I daily make right and wrong choices...I just hope that the right outweigh the wrong at the end of the day.

We have been VERY busy in our house with Science Fair projects - two of them. Jellybean did her project on crystallization via Coal Flowers and Bug wanted to show how to make a magnet using a battery, nail and copper wire.  Our choice: to help them to get organized, arrange their thoughts, their processes and then support them in what they had to do after that. 

The Science Fair was yesterday (we won't know who wins until tomorrow) but, there were a few projects where you can tell the parents did the majority of the work instead of merely supporting the children as they learned and worked. That was their choice and I do not judge them for that. Our choice, however, was to make sure our children knew they were supported as they succeeded at what they chose to do.

There were two MAJOR meltdowns this year. Jellybean had one two days before the "big day" as there were daily journals, project reports, single page analyze reports, and the list goes on and on...she became overwhelmed. We could have, and resisted choosing getting right into the midst of what she was doing and take over but...we, as parents, decided to take her in our arms for a moment, soothed her tears, told her how bright and smart she is and that she is perfectly capable of achieving all she was hoping to accomplish.  We prayed with her and her little brother gave her a big hug and told her he believed in her.  Bug had his the night before. "What am I supposed to say to the judges? I can't talk to them!" We talked it out, did a few practice runs, hugged, prayed, laughed and sent him off to bed to just get a good night's rest.

That next day, as much as I wanted to not go to work so I could go to the Science Fair, I wanted to send my kids a good message. I went to work, grabbed a lunch I could eat in the car and on my lunch break zipped over to see and support my babies.  The responses from the judges were so positive. Bug was told that he presented his project very well and really understood what he was saying! Jellybean's feedback was super positive too! {Tomorrow we find out the results and, to be honest, both kids are hoping they don't win first place as there is a next level to go on to}

We could have stepped in and did a lot more work with the kids than we did but what kind of lesson would that have been. I don't know if our choice was right or wrong, more right or more wrong than what the other parents did or didn't do but I do know that for our children, the decision was right.  They came home with a sense of accomplishment, a sense of overcoming and a sense of consequence to their decisions.

We have a busy house so arranging and organizing time to do these projects has been a challenge for both.  Bug came home the night of the Science Fair, settled into the couch, snuggled into a blanket and asked if he could please just stay there all night. "I was pretty stressed out, guys."

I think it is so funny that, as much as they want to have done well, the best either of the kids wish to have gotten is third because that ensures they will not be moving on to the next level in March. I, personally, think that they have all ready won so much more than a ribbon; they both feel such a sense of accomplishment, of overcoming a, seemingly, hopeless challenge and a job well-done. I am so proud of those kids and so relieved that neither one of them want to do this again, so far, next year... {grin}

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sometimes

you can't listen to your first instint response...

Let me tell you a story to explain myself.

Now, I want to put this on record first, I am not telling you this because I want accolades because I certainly don't deserve them based on my knee jerk reaction.

It was -30 something Celsius here today, with a windchill. In a nutshell, COLD. I had some errands to run before I went to an afternoon training session for work. Now, I live in the rough end of town and usually when you see something out of the norm, you aren't really sure how you can or should respond.

So, here it is cold and out of the side of my vision about a half block ahead I see a figure on trying to stand up and people passing it by in their vehicles without pause.  As I got nearer to the figure I see it is an older man with a patch on one eye and a cane in his hand, trying with all his might to get up.

Knee jerk reaction: I am a girl, this is a man. It is cold out. Is this a trick? Does he really need help? A guy needs to stop and help him.

Split second after knee jerk reaction: No one else is stopping; I need to step up an step out and know that God is my shield.

I pulled over.  Found out who the man was (name, address, what's going on) as I was helping him to his feet. He was on his way to the hospital and so, after getting him to my car and calling my husband to tell him I was "going to be late for our (non-existant) meeting because I was taking so-and-so to the hospital" (Daddy didn't raise no fool; I still made sure that someone else knew who I was with, what he looked like, where we were going...) and I got my poor, new friend to the Emergency room at our hospital, checked in, triaged and made sure the nurses would make arrangements for him to get home.

What makes me sad is that he was out there struggling to get to his feet for an hour in this cold while people passed him by.  What makes me sadder, I was almost one of them... I don't ever want to be anything but the person who will go out of my way to help someone. I don't ever want to be like the religious people from "The Good Samaritan" story.  I don't every want to be the person who will see someone broken, lying in the ditch and crossing to the other side of the road to avoid dealing with it.

Today was a HUGE learning lesson for me, a growing moment that I am SO GLAD I learned from...

Here's the Thing

You know, the "thing"... I have not had internet, other than on my phone and it is just too difficult to be making any kind of blogposts on my phone. Sigh

I have had so many things...so many thoughts...and, alas, there was no venue for me to voice them other than my family and, I think they just might be getting a little tired of hearing my voice echoing these thoughts over and over. ha ha

Like I said, there has been SO much...all the things I learned from the conference I was just at (including all the things I learned just being on a road trip with 14 ladies!!!). I've been studying like a mad woman and, have sometimes, looked like one {grin}! There have been plenty of pictures taken and moments of celebration, grief, frustration and joy in the last, almost, month...

So, there's the thing...think you can bear with me as I take advantage of the internet being back...you may get hit with a plethera of verbal diarrhea..ha ha ha

Consider yourself warned. {GRIN}

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From hearts of innocence

come words of simple beauty.

Last night we took turns praying for things/people that were on our hearts.

Bug wanted to pray for his sister, Rush.

His words were not many but so pure, simple and beautiful.

"Dear God, please help *Rush* turn and run back to you and have her make *4x4* run with her."

* 4x4 is my current blogname for Rush's boyfriend, at least until I can think of something a little better...who knows it make stick..

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sometimes you have to dig

through life that is...
No one ever said to me that because I became a Christian my life would be sunshine and roses and I am so very fortunate to not have had that misguided, preconceived notion looming over my head, especially this week.

Christian marriages have ups and downs and arguements and disappointments; children misbehave, act up...run away. Our houses aren't always spotless, our hair perfectly coiffed; we get runs in our stockings and, if you ask Lisa Bevere, sometimes our shoes don't even match and sometimes, life throws things at you that you never dreamed you would deal with (like when Rush ran away or..).

Take, for example, this past week. Dear friends of ours have been faced with the unthinkable, Our son, LilB, has been faced with the unthinkable.  His very good friend, and the son of the couple, I mentioned, was shot and killed on Thursday in a tragic run of horrific events that are just too complicated to delve into at this moment. He was a military man, a daddy, a husband, a friend, a son and his death is living a hole in everyone's life that was touched by him and his giant personality.



No, life is not perfect or a cake walk because you decide to be a Christian - don't let religion tell you otherwise. It won't always be an easy walk but what differs is how you dig through it. The father of the young man, stood up in front of the congregation of his church 2 days after his son was shot, declaring the goodness of God.  That is how I want to be able to respond out of brokeness and grief.  Mr. Long (sr and jr) you are on my list of heroes...