Monday, August 10, 2009

My last baby starts school today...

We start school today. It is my 11th year of homeschooling. Savannah will be in 6th grade and Sebastian will be starting Kindergarten. I didn't plan it that way. Savannah's birthday is October 2nd. She really missed the cutoff and should be in 5th grade. When she was just about 5, I started her in school because she was ready. I was anxious to do all the cute stuff for a younger student. I started homeschooling Timmy in 5th grade, so I missed the early years of homeschooling. While it has been fine that Savannah started early, sometime last year I began to wish I hadn't started her early simply because it means she will be done with school a year earlier. All of a sudden I realized how fast she is growing up and I happy I would be if she were still in 5th grade this year. Academically, she really could fall into the 5th grade on some things, but past the 6th grade for others. So - in the end - she will move on from high school when she is ready - not because we will say she has completed 12th grade. That brings me to Sebastian. His birthday is September 30th. So, I faced the same decision with him. Pretty much since the beginning, I planned to keep him on the public school time table meaning that he would not start school until he was actually nearly 6 years old. He misses the cut off by 30 days this year, so he technically wouldn't be heading off to K right now. Well... the plans of mice and men... The boy is learning to read all on his own from absolutely NO HELP from me. I love all my children and they all have special gifts. Sebastian has a gift for learning and learning quickly. With many months of thought, I decided to start him with Kindergarten only I am not sure I am going to call him Kindergarten on paper. I guess I will still put him in his age level at church and for activities. I don't really know. What I do know is today my last baby is going to start school with us. Time sure does fly. Just yesterday I was walking Timmy home from Kindergarten calling him Timmy Pokey Molasses because he walked so slow. Actually - that yesterday - was 15 years ago. Time goes too fast.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th...


Today is the Fourth of July. I would bet this is my oldest son's favorite holiday. He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES fireworks. So much that he sent money to his dad to buy fireworks so his little brother wouldn't be "deprived" of the excitement. When Timmy was a little boy he and his dad would "sneak" off to spend some ridiculous amount of money on fireworks. Then they would put on quite the show. I had to put my mom nerves aside and let them be. This was very tough for me. Over the years, it just became part of the holiday. I don't know that we ever actually celebrated the 4th of July thinking about the freedom it represented. I don't know if I actually even ever discussed it with my son. Sure, we covered history in school. He knew about the Declaration of Independence. I just don't think on the day of lots of food, fun and fireworks - did I ever once mention our country's freedom. Strange how that is, huh?

Last night, Tim pulled up a video for the song Bad Boys that is the theme for the Cops TV show. I guess my nephews were making a video and had titled it Bad Boys. That got him thinking about the song and he pulled it up. Sebastian was dancing around like a fool. I started to cry. Yep - that's a surprise - me crying. Tim asked what was wrong. I asked him he remembered Timmy dancing around like a fool to that song. He thought for a moment and then he did. Sebastian has the same dancing ability that Timmy used to have. It is the "I am going to kick the crap out of somebody" dance routine. Crazy!

I miss my son. I never, ever thought that there would be a 4th of July that he would be on the other side of the world fighting for the very FREEDOM the 4th of July represents. I never thought that I could miss him so much that my heart just hurts. I am so proud of him. We are all proud of him. Tim is going to take Sebastian and Savannah out in a little while to buy fireworks with that money Timmy sent. Then tonight, Sebastian is going to try to get right up there and light them. We are going to have to tell him 5000 times that he is not allowed to be that close. He will argue with us. He will tell us he is BIG and CAN DO IT. He will squeal as the fireworks light off into the air. He will jump around with excitement. And I will put my mom feelings aside and let him enjoy his night. I will tell him that his brother is a STRONG and PROUD SOLDIER in the US ARMY. I will tell him that he is serving his country and making sure that freedom remains intact. I won't forget to tell him about freedom and let him think it is just about burgers, swimming and fireworks. We will pray for all of of soldiers that keep us safe. God bless them and their families.

Monday, June 08, 2009

These days are busy...


My sister bought him some sunglasses to take to Floriday. We were waiting at Publix and he kicked back on the hammock. I guess that means it is summer - time to relax and have some fun!

As often as I hope to blog, I have something dragging me away. I thought summer would mean less on my plate, but the truth is that June is insanely busy! I don't have much on the calendar for July, but I am sure that is set to change rapidly. I have probably lost all of my readers because I have become that awful blogger I used to whine about. The one that sucked me into reading about her family that I didn't even know and THEN she just went away. I was like - EXCUSE ME - I have gotten used to starting my day reading your blog. How dare you abandon me like this? Yep, that is me. I think I put my finger on when my blogging went downhill. Sebastian stopped taking naps. Yep. Now, I go - go - go all day. I don't have a lot of free time that I can actually think. I have some free time, but I am pretty brain dead and then I just read other people's blogs and feel guilty about not writing on my own. Maybe I will get it together, but I am not sure.

In other news... we are in Florida! Savannah and I are here to go camping with her girl scout troop. Yes, I AM INSANE!!! Who drives from SC to FL to go camping for girl scouts? ME! Waving my hand in the air over here. Why would I do such a thing? Well, because we love our friends. They have been our friends for so long and we miss them. When we are with them, we feel joy and let's face it - life isn't always full of joy. You have to take it when you can get it. So, we are taking our joy and going camping for a few days. We will be canoeing and doing archery. We will be heading to Weeki Wachee Springs for the Mermaid Show and water park. We will eat some junk food (I am sure of it!). We will just enjoy ourselves and hopefully make some awesome memories that we will remember for years and years to come. It is an all girl holiday and I am looking forward to some time with my favorite girl. Tim will be at his parents hanging with Sebastian. They have some pretty big fishing plans. I don't know what else, but I am forcing myself to LET GO and just not worry about what Sebastian is doing. He will be fine. Dad will take good care of him and it will all be good. Do I sound convincing?

We went to the beach, yesterday. It was nice. I have pictures, but I can't get them on the computer. I was having a mini-panic attack that I had messed up all of our lives and we should have stayed in Florida. I am better now thanks to talking to my sister, Michelle. She talked me down from my panic attack. I have blog worthy stories to tell about that and more. I need to ask Keith for his wi-fi password when I get back. Maybe I could blog while Sebastian swims. Maybe there is a blog answer ahead! Gotta run! Lots of memory making needs to begin soon!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Good friends...

Tricia (or Patty as some of you know her as) and Me!!!

This is another "trip to Illinois" post. One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Illinois was to see my friends. These are my friends I grew up with. They are home. They are actually where I did begin in many ways. Tricia and I have been friends since we were 2 years old. We don't remember ever not being friends. She is my sister - my family. When I think of her I feel love. Sometimes we don't talk for awhile. There have been times when we haven't talked for close to a year. It doesn't matter - we are family. At this point - we hadn't seen each other in almost 6 years. She had never met Sebastian and I had yet to see her new baby boy, Shaun. When I got to Illinois - as luck would have it - her whole family was working on a remodeling project at the tanning salon they own. I waited for a little while and then her mom came to get me. I walked into the place and we just hugged and hugged some more. Then the tears came and I couldn't imagine why we had let 6 years go by without seeing each other. When I was a kid, I would have never thought we would go a week without seeing each other. I remember when I went to Wisconsin for 2 weeks. I thought the world would end because we would be apart for so long. We had a nice and exciting visit. Some of the excitement wasn't all that pleasant, but I am sure that is why God sent me to Illinois at this particular time. I was there for a reason and I am glad I was there at exactly that time.
Jorgena with her son, TJ.

My other bestest friend in the whole wide world is Jorgena aka Jorge. I have written about her before. We met when we were were 12 - nearly 25 years ago. Again, she is my family. She probably thinks I am nuts because she is not as mushy as I am. With Jorge - I have been lucky enough to see her quite a bit over the years. Her inlaws live in Florida and she would visit at least once a year. We would meet and spend the day shopping. I loved those days. Unfortunately, I now miss them because I am in SC now. It had been quite awhile since I had seen her and I was really excited to spend some time with her. We were talking a few times a month until she recently quit her job to be a full time stay at home mom. Now, I bug her once a week and babble on and on. I love her! I love talking with her and sharing stuff. I don't know why God gave me such good friends when I was young, but I am forever grateful. Jorge graciously opened her home to me and my kids. We pretty much moved in for a week and her family made us feel so welcomed. It was nice to have a place to go and just hang out with a good friend. I don't know if there are the right words to express how great of a friend she is. She is just always there, never judging, always listening.
Jorgena, Tricia, Me, Cari and Sebastian (who didn't want to get out of the picture!)

And... thanks to Facebook... I was able to meet up with an old friend that I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years. Her name is Cari - just like mine except with a C. We were good friends in High School. We actually were pregnant at the same time. Yes, we really were nice girls - just a little off the track. She had a beautiful daughter a few months before I had Timmy. She found me on Facebook a few months ago and I told her that I would let her know if I was ever back in town. She came and met us for dinner on my last night there. Tricia and Jorgena were friends with her in High School as well, so we all had a nice time together. Something that struck me as funny though was that Cari never had anymore children. Her daughter is all grown up. I, on the other hand, had Savannah and Sebastian with me. Sebastian had to poop to be BLUNT. All through dinner, he kept urgently telling me that he needed to go potty. I would jump up quickly - fearing a nasty accident - and run him off to the bathroom. After several attempts - nothing. I felt like a jack in the box - the way I kept jumping up during dinner. I apologized I don't know how many times and Cari was sweet. Finally, he was "done" and settled for a moment. Then there was Savannah that desperately wanted to talk and talk and talk some more. I sat and looked at how calm Cari was. It just made me giggle. I love my kids and I know without a doubt this is exactly what I wanted for my life. Sometimes it is nice to think about how calm I might actually be if I had just had Timmy though. Just for a second and then I am right back to being thankful for all of my kids and all of the chaos.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Visit with Great Grandma in Illinois...


Goofy boy on a Cow!


The kids with Great Grandma Gladys.


More ice cream pictures on my blog, imagine that!


She did one with a normal smile, but I like this one better.

While were were in Illinois, we got to have lunch with the kids' great grandma. Grandma Gladys is Tim's maternal grandmother. We met her at Colonial Ice Cream one day. I asked my friend, Jorgena to go along because we were staying with her. The minute I told her Colonial - she started to laugh. I was like, "What the heck is your problem?" Then I remembered. Colonial has some very odd memories for us. When we were teenagers her mom took us there from time to time. It just seemed like we went there after some kind of drama. Yes - my life was full of drama even back then. I will share one incident, but will keep the other to myself! Sorry, some secrets need to remain in the past. Anyway, the summer I was pregnant with Timmy - I spent a lot of time with Jorgena and her mom. It was because I LOVED my friend and maybe a little about the fact that she had air conditioning and my house didn't. So, one afternoon when it was blazing hot, we went to the tanning salon. The ac was broken. I sat in the waiting room and waited. I was getting so hot and I had the worst morning/all day sickness. Her mom, Sandy, sent me down to the White Hen Pantry to get something to drink. I was obsessed with Hawaiian Punch at this stage of my pregnancy. I gulped down this huge bottle of the stuff. Then we get in the car and Sandy (a part-time realtor at the time) proceeds to drive around town looking at houses. I am getting sicker by the moment. I am also a pretty shy person back then and hate to say - STOP DRIVING AROUND BEFORE I TOSS MY COOKIES!!! I am trying so hard to not throw up and then all of a sudden it is OVER!!! Before I even realize it is happening, I am throwing up HAWAIIAN PUNCH on the backseat floor of Sandy's husband's new car. Yep! I did it! It was so gross! I admit it. Sandy has no idea I am pregnant. The only people who know are Jorgena and Tim. She is so sweet and just takes me to her house and sends me to the bathroom. My friend, Jorgena is left to help her clean up the car. Yes, I still owe her for that one. Did I happen to mention that Sandy's husband is a super jerk. I mean he hated us! So, I throw up in his new car. Great! I come down, the car is clean, life it grand and Sandy announces that she feels we need to go to Colonial for dinner. That was the last time I had been there - nearly twenty years ago. Back to the present - we arrive at Colonial and meet Tim's grandma. Sebastian was silly as always. I had to get them ice cream because well, Colonial has great ice cream. It was a nice visit and I am glad we got to do it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This past Monday, my sister-in-law, Karen and I were at Girl Scouts with Savannah and Karis. I was talking to one of the other moms there. I was telling how Tim had been laid off last week, blah, blah, blah. This mom is one of the sweetest people I know and she was really concerned. She very kindly asked if I was okay. I told her I sat in my closet and cried for about 30 minutes and then I came out. Our conversation went on to reveal that I wasn't always this calm about things. Nope, not in the least. A few years ago, I would have been in a full on panic over a lay off. Two unemployed adults with not one house payment, but two! That would have been enough to send me right over the edge. No doubt about it. Karen joined in the conversation and compared my life to treading water. She said I had been treading water for quite some time. I agreed with her that I feel like I have been treading water since my layoff at the end of 2006. She said was so funny the way she was saying that I am just treading, treading, treading and then SHARK!!!! SHARK!!! SHARK!!! oh, okay... treading, treading, treading, treading, treading - OH NO!!! SHARK!!! SHARK!!! SHARK!!! treading, treading, treading... When she said this I just laughed. It was so funny and yet so incredibly true. It seems like we have just been trying to move forward for so very long and every week or so it seems that there is a barracuda, or a swordfish or an all out hungry shark waiting in the midst. I have played her words in my mind all week long and each time I tell somebody about it, it just makes me laugh again. I have to say that even though it has been hard, it always somehow works out. No doubt about it, that it has worked out. God has been good to us and I will just have to keep treading and hope that my beautiful and peaceful sea turtle is waiting for me at the end of this long, long journey.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More snow pictures...

We are off to field day with our homeschool friends, but I wanted to upload more stuff. I looked at my new blog layout and noticed it showed total number of posts by year. You can see my total has tanked this year! So, I am aiming to get blogging. Here are more photos from our one day of snow in Illinois.


He was so funny! I loved his silly face in this one!


Her very first snowman - EVER!!!


Making his first snow angel.


Isn't it pretty when you know it will only be there for one day?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Illinois Snow in April

video

I know I said I would be back earlier today. It just seems that my life is so extremely busy these days. I have all the intentions in the world of blogging, preparing for a garage sale, doing school, putting laundry away, baking 50 cupcakes, doing my Wii Fit and the list just goes on and on and on. It seems that somehow my life is more busy. I can't put my finger on it though. I was always busy when I lived in Florida, but somehow I had more time. I don't know what the difference is. I was thinking maybe it was because I have a bigger house and have more to clean. Then I thought maybe it is that my blogging has tapered off since last August when Sebastian stopped taking naps. I think there may be a little truth in both of those things. Whatever the reason may be - I feel like I never have all the time I need to do all the things I want. It is after midnight and I have a busy day tomorrow, but I wanted to start the Illinois stuff on here. So, for tonight - there is a video from our snow day in Illinois. I could hardly believe it was snowing in April. Before we left, I had read that snow was possible, but I didn't really believe it. We arrived shortly after 4pm and by 5pm it was snowing. I looked out the big picture window in my friend's mom's house and there it was. It was so pretty. I remembered back to when Timmy was 8 years old. We were in Illinois on November 1st, 1997 and it snowed then. It was quite an early snow. Now, here we were with my other kids and they got quite a late snow! They were thrilled! Absolutely amazed! Sebastian tried to walk on water. He didn't realize the ice on the koi pond wouldn't hold him. Oops! He was in for quite a surprise! I don't ever want to live where it snows, but I was really happy my kids got a chance to play in it just for a day. We will have to go back for a snow day when Sebastian is older so he has a better chance of remembering it. I hopefully will get more pictures up soon.

Looking like I am skipping the whole month of April too...

Not intentionally! I have many, many pictures and things to share from my trip to Illinois. I am supposed to be getting ready for a garage sale today. I think I will set a goal to filling X amount of garage sale boxes and then I will reward myself with coming back to play on my blog. That is my hope! Come back later today!

Friday, April 03, 2009

I skipped the whole month of March...


Tim II in Iraq

I started my blog 3 years ago - today. I blogged faithfully for most of those years. Then all of a sudden I just didn't want to blog. I think it was a mix of things. Many things. Some will sound whiny and I apologize in advance. The last couple of months have been really hard for me. I think the top and foremost thing was having Timmy leave. I know he left to Oklahoma and I actually did super well. When he left for Alaska, I pretty much did a nosedive with my feelings. I was in a total and absolute funk. He left on a Friday and by Monday morning he called to tell me he was going to Iraq on his dad's birthday. My nosedive just went below sea level at that point. I wanted to stay in my sweats and hide in my bedroom. I am not a depressed type of person by nature. Most of the time I can just brush it off. This time I just couldn't. One weekend afternoon, Tim asked me to come sit with him outside. He point blank asked me if I was depressed. I thought for a moment and said, "Yes, I think I am!" I went on to tell him that I just didn't know how to deal with my child leaving. He did what he always does and he just listened. I built up so much fear over Timmy leaving for Iraq. I wasn't sleeping and I was just so worried. There were a lot of other things going on - Florida house stuff (Will it ever end?), Tim job stuff, feeling isolated from friends stuff and a to do list a mile long. Slowly things started to seem better - not that anything really changed all that much. Timmy left for Iraq and he seems okay. I get to talk to him on the phone or IM everyday. So far, he is staying put working for the battalion commander. Doesn't thrill him, but makes me very happy. The FL house stuff is the same or probably worse, but I just can't do much about it. I am fixing loan interest rates that will hopefully give us a little more breathing room. (I hope!) Friends - well I didn't see a fix for this coming not in the least bit. I am lucky to have my sister-in-law, Karen here and we have a lot of things in common. The rest of the family is pretty hit or miss as far as really connecting and I guess just "chatting" as Debi and I used to call it. I was pretty down because I thought that if I lived here, we would all become very close and after a year - I have realized that is not happening. It really made me miss Debi because things would be so very different if I had gotten to live next door to her while she was here. Many times here, I feel like I am somehow out of the loop or just not welcome to things. That is hard when you live right next to so many people. I don't think it is earth shattering - I just think I was hoping I would be close with all of the women I live by. I decided I just needed to be thankful that Karen is always there with a smile and willing to talk to me. I had been praying for a solution and then I found a homeschool park day. Wow! I have met the most interesting and chatty bunch of ladies. I absolutely LOVE it! And the kids love it! A couple of weeks we met with them twice a week and a then this past week we met with them at an amazing park day. We stayed for 5 hours and just had the best time. I felt like I climbed so far out of my hole just from connecting with people that wanted to share their lives with others. I am so thankful for an answered prayer. So, I think I may be ready to start blogging again. I really want to have some kind of record for my kids. I want to post pictures for Timmy to see and I want to feel my creative side of writing again. I just needed a whole month to be down for once. I hope I don't need that again anytime soon. I hope you will stick with me through this! Thanks! (Oh and Happy Birthday Leann!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just another day...

Today is just another day for so many people. It is Friday to them. It is payday or maybe it is the start of the weekend. Whatever it means to them - it is just another day. Today - for me - is the day my oldest son moved to Alaska. We drove to Charlotte in the wee hours of the morning. It was barely 4am. We talked a little bit here and there. I found myself thinking back to taking him to pre-k for the first time. That same lump in my heart appeared. Taking him to pre-k was just another day too. I took him to his class and he was so happy to be there. He was the same age that Sebastian is now. I went out to my car and I cried. I cried so hard that I was sobbing. I remember driving down East Bay and looking at people in their cars. To them it was just a typical Monday morning. They had no idea why that crazy young woman was sobbing at the stoplight. This morning, I looked at my son wearing his hoodie. He is off to Alaska and yet he doesn't have a winter coat or gloves or a hat. I felt like I needed to tell him to put his coat on and zip it up. It was cold in NC this morning and by the time he flies from NC to GA to TX to WA to finally ALASKA it will be freezing. It didn't matter that he will be 20 in less than two weeks. It didn't matter that he is a soldier. I looked at my boy and thought how much he needed a coat and gloves. He assured me they would issue him a parka. I asked if he could get one on Saturday because I can't imagine him waiting until Monday. He said yes, but I think with the hint of "I am just saying this for you mom" in his voice. I left him at the airport and made my way home. It was just another day of highway drivers. My mind has thought of so many days over the last twenty years. The way I cried when he walked his baby walker down the stairs. Then there was that funny day that he picked up a fish off the ground. He put it on his fish hook and came home to trick me. He told me he caught the fish. I got my camera and took a very proud picture. Only later did he tell me that he had fooled me. That was just a typical spring day when he was about 8 years old. As we were driving last night, he mentioned the huge raccoon on the side of road. The minute he said raccoon, I thought of our camping trip in High Springs. The raccoons tried to eat our s'more stuff. On one of those days of camping, Timmy hand fed a deer. I held my breath as he did it. All of those days seem so far away and yet like they were just yesterday. So, today is just another day. It is a day where I miss my child so much that the tears are just a second away. I am proud of him and I know he has to go. I just wish it wasn't so far away. If you see me driving down the road - crying at a stoplight - it is because it is just another day that my son is so far away.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My kids...



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When Tim II was on leave in December, I took them to get the pictures done. I had ordered special outfits for Savannah and Sebastian to coordinate with Tim II's uniform. You may recognize Sebastian's outfit as his Halloween costume because he went as what he called an "Army guy". I was so pleased with the way the pictures turned out. I have been getting my kids pictures done since Timmy was 5 days old. I think I counted and I have been to about 40ish photo sittings between all the kids. There have been a few family ones here and there too. Needless to say, I have experience with portrait studios. The woman at our Columbia SC JC Penny's is amazing as was the man who did these pictures. I have had years where the pictures are just okay. This year, I have loved all of the kids pictures. I have them hanging on my wall and each time I look at them - I am just overwhelmed that I have been given these kids. I mean - who knew? Who knew that when I knocked on Tim's door over 22 years ago that some day I would be getting our 3 kids pictures done together. Who knew that my heart would feel such pride when I look at our oldest child in his US Army uniform? Who knew that my little guy would look so much like his big brother? Who knew that my daughter would have a smile that brings me pure joy? I surely didn't see all this. I hoped and I prayed for a family, but I didn't know for sure. God is AWESOME!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gratitude...

I know... I know... I haven't been writing. I want to. I do. I just haven't had the time or the energy. We went to Florida for 10 long, tedious days. Ugh! It was a lot of work. Something we would both like to forget. Our house is on the market. Ugh! I don't want to think about that. I have handed it over to a realtor and God. That is all I could do. I cleaned, painted, help fix and everything else I could manage to accomplish. It is all I could do and now it is all up to God. Tim did so much work and never even lost it. I wish I could say the same. Thank God for my mom who talked me through my hyperventilating phone call at some point during our trip. Gratitude... that is what this post will be about. I am thankful for my husband. He worked and worked and worked some more to fix our house. The renters left us quite a job. He just got to work and did an amazing job. I am so lucky to have him! My mom... she is always there when I call. I call and I complain and cry and she just listens. She doesn't tell me that if she hears me whine about this house one more time - she will hang up on me. She just listens and tells me to have faith. Tim's parents... they gave us their spare room and let us come and go like we were at a hotel. We just worked so much and barely spent any time actually visiting. My sister-in-law, Jessica... she made brownies and let me know there was ice cream and toffee bits to go with it. She knew I would be needing that chocolate. Then there are 3 other AMAZING PEOPLE! Alex, Susie and Cindy. Oh my - where to start... These are 3 ladies that have been my friends for a long time. Each of them has a daughter that Savannah is friends with. I formed my friendships with them through our girls. When we got to Florida, I dropped Savannah off with Miss Alex and her daughter Seraphina. Savannah spent a couple days there, then I dropped her off with Miss Susie and Elizabeth for a couple days. Next, a day back with Seraphina and then a couple days with Miss Cindy and Lauren. I didn't have to think of a thing for Savannah. They swooped in and helped. Alex took Sebastian to play at her house twice, so I could paint. At one point, I had FORGOTTEN about picking Savannah up to take her to another house. Susie called me and asked if I would like her to take Savannah to the next house. I looked at the time and couldn't believe I was an hour over when I said I would call and pick her up. I was so flustered. Susie was so sweet and said she would just take her over to Alex. At that exact moment, Alex rang my doorbell. She said she was out and decided to stop and see if she could pick Savannah up for me to help me out. I nearly cried. I had Susie on the phone trying to help me and Alex at my door trying to help me. I seriously was overwhelmed with gratitude. My friend, Cindy, picked Savannah up for co-op (yes, they all even made sure she got to her homeschool co-op and girl scouts) and took her home. Then Cindy made pizza for Susie, me and her. I just got to sit and relax with good friends. When we decided to stay an extra day because we still had work to do - Cindy just kept Savannah for another day. It felt good to know my child is so loved by her friends and their families. She was gone for most of the 10 days and I knew she was always in good hands. So, I have so much to be thankful for even if these are some of the hardest days of my life right now. Faith... Family... and a week or so of the best of Friends...

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things...

I did this for Facebook and thought I would share it here too.

1. I am a homeschool mom. When I had my first kid nearly 20 years ago, I thought homeschooling was for crazy people. When that child went to K and my nephew started homeschooling K - I still thought that was something I would never, ever do. I am finishing up my 10th year of homeschooling this year and I can't imagine anything else for our family.

2. I have a irrational fear of dinosaurs. Not like on tv - but the big ones in museums, etc. I actually think it has to do with the size of them that overwhelms me more than the fact that is was a dinosaur because some of the 3d type signs in Orlando freak me out too. If you are a Florida friend, the dinosaurs at the exit on I4 for Dinosaur World drive me nuts. My kids always try to make me look at them.

3. I think waking up with a baby cuddled next to you nursing is one of the absolute BEST things I have ever experienced in my life. It is probably the only thing I miss about my baby days being gone.

4. I met my husband when I was 14 and he was 15. He was telling some girl (Shawn Heinz) his address on the school bus. They lived on the same road. The next day, on a walk to the grocery store, I convinced my friend to walk over to his house with me. I didn't know him, had never spoke to him and was a very shy person all around. I knocked on his door and said hello. That was over 22 years ago. I think God sent me there.

5. I have an unnatural love of shelving. Every time my husband installs shelves for me - I feel pure JOY! I love storage!

6. I own two houses. One in FL and one in SC. We moved from FL after I was laid off from my telecommuting job. It was one way we could afford to keep homeschooling without my income. My husband is wonderful because he LOVES Florida, but LOVES his kids more.

7. My mom is my hero. She is just awesome! She has always, always supported me in everything that I have ever done - even the things that weren't probably the best choices. (My dad did too!) She moved from FL to SC so I could continue to be a homeschooling mom because she knew I would never leave FL if she stayed behind.

8. I love Disney World (well not just Magic Kingdom - the whole thing) . I have had season passes twice. If I could afford some kind of lifetime pass, I would buy it.

9. I love snorkeling. That makes no sense because I am afraid of most things like that. I forced myself to try it out because Tim loves it. It is the most relaxing and amazing thing to swim with sea turtles. I want to take my kids back to St. John with us to share the experience with them.

10. My best friend is in heaven. I really don't think I will ever meet another person that understood and got me the way she did. I miss her terribly.

11. I make up silly songs and sing them to my kid while we are out running errands. I do not have a good singing voice - so this can be embarrassing. I don't care. Someday they will laugh at the memory of their mom singing about how she needs to find graham crackers in the store.

12. I am addicted to the internet. Some people have to have their morning coffee... I have to check my email, Facebook, and read a few blogs.

13. I live next door to my husband's brother and family. I live across the street from my husband's two sisters. We have close family friends that live around the corner. We sometimes call it a compound. Crazy, huh?

14. I am slowly beginning to freak out that my son will be moving to be stationed Alaska in less than a month. I can't imagine not seeing him again until possibly Christmas.

15. I have an obsession with Starbucks Hot Chocolate with Hazelnut. I don't even like coffee and had never entered a Starbucks. Then my son gave me a hot chocolate with hazelnut. It is an addiction. I just smell Starbucks and I want to buy it.

16. I had my first child when I was 16. My husband and I chose to get pregnant with him. I would not advise my kids or other teenagers to do that in any way, but I believe that God sent my child to us for a very specific reason and at the perfect time. My life has been so amazing with him in it and I can't imagine it any other way.

17. Sebastian is my bonus child. We had decided to stop after two kids - Tim II and Savannah. Something changed my husband's mind and he suggested we have one more.

18. I am superstitious. I don't like umbrellas open inside. I will criss cross my window if a black cat crosses my path. I always say if I drop a spoon that a child will visit, fork - a woman, knife - a man. I have a strange habit of not being able to mark off a calendar until the next day when that day is really finished.

19. I believe in teaching my children to learn, not just fill in a blank, but actually learn. I find that most learning doesn't come from textbooks or traditional studying. It comes from many places. Right now we are having fun making lapbooks to store all the info in. I think it is a gift that I get to help them find a way to learn.

20. I love real estate. Not owning real estate (anyone wanna buy a house in Florida?) If I weren't homeschooling and had a 4 year old, I think I would get my real estate license. Maybe when my kids are a little older.

21. I have always been a Christian. Always believed in Jesus, but didn't really strive to understand more until my sister-in-law passed away 5 years ago. It forced me to lean heavily on my faith and seek more. (see number 10) Having said that - I really don't enjoy reading the Bible at all. It puts me to sleep. I keep praying for some divine intervention that makes me find it enjoyable.

22. When I was pregnant with Savannah, I wanted a baby girl more than anything. When I had my first ultrasound, they couldn't tell me if it was a girl. My wonderful husband set up a second ultrasound, paid for it since insurance only covered one ultrasound and took me the very next day. They still couldn't tell me for sure if she was a girl - only about a 90% chance. I went and saw my dad that day at the hospital and told him I was having a girl. He passed away a couple days later knowing we were having a girl and we would name her Savannah. He said that was a "hillbilly name" with a big smile on his face. He would have loved her so much.

23. I once stopped Splash Mountain at Disney World. I am terrified of theme park rides like that. I chose to get on to make my husband happy. We asked at the beginning of the ride if there was just one drop or many. The guy said one drop. He lied! There were many drops and by the time we got to the last drop, I was having a full panic attack. When the ride stopped just before going over the big drop - I stood up to get off. I scared my husband to death! The disney staff was great - they turned on the lights and came to get me right away. Oh and a guy had died the week before from jumping off right as it had gone over. That made my husband even happier to hear that one!

24. I love to scrapbook. The only thing is that I never make time to do it. I once scrapbooked 300 pages in a year. I have really big hopes to get back to that one day.

25. Sometimes I stop and think about my husband and my family. I cannot believe how blessed I am. That is not to say my life is not crazy because I always have some sort of drama going on. Ask anyone that knows me well. Even with that, I have been given a wonderful husband that I have grown up with and 3 amazing kids. I thank God for them all daily - even when I am pulling my hair out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

One CRAZY week...

If you know me in real life, you know that my life is never dull. I am just not one of those people that has a ho hum existence. I have a good friend, Jorgena (Hi Jorge!). She, for the most part, has a pretty calm life. We have been friends since we were 12. I moved out of state when we were 18. These days we talk on the phone about every other weekend. I love talking to her because I never feel like she has changed. She just listens to me ramble on about the craziness of my life. Then there always come the moment when I ask her what is new with her. Very occasionally she will have something to tell me that is out of the ordinary. Most of the time, she is very calm and things are just normal for her. This is NOT to say that she doesn't have her share of challenges because she does have trials in her life. Just not as frequent as mine. This is true for a lot of people I know. I just seem to have some sort of knack for upheaval. Anyway, this week - really started last week. I found out through a phone call from another landlord that our tenants were planning to move out. This was news to me! Last I heard they were signing another year long lease. This has led us down a less that wonderful road of lost rent and an eviction process that we would rather have avoided. This also has led us to decide to put our house back on the market again. First we need to head to Florida to prepare the house for sale. Going into this week, we still weren't sure what we were going to do. I also began training to be Cookie Mom for our Girl Scout troop on that same day. I have been working on all that stuff. Monday was a busy day with Girl Scouts and talking about cookie sales. Tuesday was just CRAZY! It SNOWED! Savannah and Sebastian have never seen snow. It wasn't a ton of snow, but it was indeed snow. The morning was nice with the kids playing... the afternoon was filled with renter frustrations. I wanted to run away. Wednesday was as busy as ever. I have started going to a bible study with a friend. Sebastian plays with his friend Kameron while we attend. Afterward we take them to Burger King to play. I can't tell you how many times my phone rang between realtors and others. During this time, Tim II calls and says he can come home the NEXT DAY. I come home and deal with more realtor stuff while looking for a plane ticket for Tim II. There are a lot of different airport options from OK to here. I literally spent 3 hours looking at different scenarios vs. roundtrip and one way to different airports. He needs to be back in Dallas to catch his flight to Alaska in a month. I finally got him booked on a flight to Atlanta for Thursday morning arriving at 9am. So... my mom and I decide to get the kids up at 5am and head to Atlanta for the day. We didn't really find much we wanted to do there, so we just ate lunch at Chili's and headed back home. A 7 hour round trip drive for lunch at Chili's! Crazy, huh? Friday was a day of cleaning and a beautiful afternoon to sell Girl Scout Cookies. Today, more cookie selling and then out to the book store and dinner with Tim and Tim II. I am exhausted from the week. I think we are a little bit clearer on our plans, but still not set. It looks like we will be heading to Florida next weekend to spend several days to a week there fixing our house up for sale. Our plan is to price low and hopefully sell quickly. We can use prayers and good thoughts. We are so DONE with this house thing. I will leave you with a video of my kids playing in the "blizzard".
video

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christmas '08


So, it has been a few weeks since Christmas. It is never too late to post Christmas pictures, right? I really wasn't sure how Christmas would feel in a new house. I am happy to say it seemed like it was always home this Christmas. I even put up a lot more of my decorations. The first time in years that we did that. I was so excited Timmy was coming home. I just wanted the house to look very festive. On Christmas Eve, we all went to church and then we came back and had our traditional Chinese. I am a Christmas Eve person. I like Christmas Day, but I love Christmas Eve leading into Christmas morning. My mom and my sister come over and we exchange gifts with them. We gorge ourselves in Chinese, watch a Christmas story and just relax. My mom spends the night and the next morning the kids open presents from Santa. It is just a nice, peaceful time. This year, my sister-in-laws Jessica, Jennifer and Karen came over on Christmas morning. They were talking to Timmy and I was talking to them about how great he looked. I was just taken with so much emotion. I could hardly keep from crying because I was SO STINKING HAPPY he was home. I don't know how many more Christmases he will get to be here. I didn't see that coming. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that he may not always be here for the holidays. This was my favorite and best Christmas present this year. Just awesome!


We got him a camera to record all the views of Alaska.


Santa arrived!


I loved the fireplace with stockings all hung. (Too bad we had to open a window because it was so warm!)

My little elf.


My Christmas present!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amazing...

I wrote the last post on Sunday night. I went to bed feeling pretty down missing my friends. I sorta realized that was a bit whiny of a post and I have said before that I don't want to do that here. It was just what was on my mind and my fingers typed it. Then, yesterday, I got a call from my friend, Susie. She is in Florida. She told me that our Florida girl scout troop had their cookie meeting where the girls discuss what they would like to choose as their reward for selling cookies. She went on to say they chose SAVANNAH! Yes, they chose to come visit us! I literally almost cried. I told her about my post and how it was odd that she called just hours later. She went on to tell me that we should come visit and just hang out with all of them. Again, I could feel the tears coming. Sometimes when you move away, you begin to think that nobody thinks about you anymore because you are not there. It was so nice to realize that we are missed. I am not the only one sitting here missing people, but I am missed too. I don't know if we will get back to Florida when Timmy is here next, but I hope so. We have such great friends and I can't wait until they all come visit!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A new year...

It is a new year and I have a list of things I want to do that is a mile long. I put blogging on that list. I don't know why I stopped writing. I have sat at my laptop a few times and thought I really need to blog, but then nothing gets typed and no pictures get uploaded. I am feeling really frustrated with the fact that we will be here a year next week and I don't know that I feel anymore "at home" than when I first moved her. In some ways I do because I know where lots of things are and how to get to them. I have made some friends and find familiar faces in the store. I just don't feel like I am finding the group of friends like we had in Florida. I miss going to co-op with my kids and hanging out with everyone. I miss going to Miss Vickie's to just visit a Friday night away. I miss going to girl scouts and talking with Cindy and Leslie while our girls giggled with Miss Susie in the other room. We have friends here and actually I think Savannah is pretty happy. It is just a me thing, I guess. I feel very disconnected from people. There are a few in our homeschool group that really do want to get together more and I find that encouraging. I am hoping spring will grow these friendships and maybe I won't feel like I am starting completely over again from square one. We really do have a great group of ladies in this group. It is not that they aren't the nicest bunch of people. Many just seem to have their routine and their comfort. I don't seem to have found that yet. As for other things on my list - sparkpeople, exercise and scrapbooking. They are all really things I want to do and haven't done for quite a long time. There is not better time to start - I think. Week number 1 went pretty well minus any scrapbooking. Week number 2 starts tomorrow - so I should head to bed. I don't know if I have any readers left after my long, long break. I hope so. I really would like to share my everyday blessings and hopefully encourage somebody along the way.