Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Clarissa!!!!

My baby turned five today. Sniff. Sniff. I can't believe she's five already. And when we return from vacation, she'll have the weekend to get ready for her first day of kindergarten. WOW - where has the time gone?!

We spent the day at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, since it was free to get in with our zoo membership from home. It was also free parking, so that was another pretty cheap, yet FUN day. YAY. The kids LOVE all the interactive things at the zoo, and Jacob had saved his quarters for the duck feeding stand. The weather was perfect, and it was the perfect way to celebrate CJ's birthday.

Thanks to a wonderful angel, Clarissa was able to go to her FAVORITE restaurant for dinner tonight--Texas Roadhouse. She asked me to thank my friend again for the giftcard because she LOVED that treat and it was no longer in the budget after our car trouble last week. She enjoyed her meal, especially the peanuts, and she liked when the servers danced.

Yogi Bear Campground

The kids were ecstatic to go back to Yogi Bear campground for swimming yesterday. It was such a LONG day, though they did great and had so much fun. They rode water slides for almost two hours, and Jacob tried a speed slide for the first time! I at first said no when he asked to try it, but I decided that I have to let him try new things, especially since he doesn't usually want to try things. So, I said yes. He went. He survived. LOL. And he LOVED it!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beach Bums

We spent the day at Pokagon State Park. The kids had SO much fun -- especially in the water. Here are a few pictures to show our fun day. Where else could we have so much fun for $7? Oh, $13 - I forgot about the pony rides.

Fish Tales

WOW! Both my kids have the fish tales gene. LOL. They're having so much fun out here. They've both caught more than ten fish, and Jacob's highlight was catching a cat fish. Last time we were here, only CJ did that, so he's thrilled that he got one. Aside from that one, most of the fish have been pretty small.

Here is Jacob out enjoying a boat ride.

And here he is later explaining how big the fish was that he caught.

And here CJ is out on the boat.

Unfortunately, she can REALLY tell the tales!!!! She caught a small rock bass, but she said it was "as big as a shark."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On Vacation...

After a week of car troubles and other uncertainty, we made it to the cottage for vacation. We've already been out on the boat a few times, and both kids have caught quite a few fish. Jacob caught a catfish already, and he's ecstatic because Clarissa was the only one that did that last time. Now Clarissa can't wait to catch one again!

We spent the day at a local campground today that has three pools and a small water park. CJ went on a water slide for the first time today, and she LOVED it!! She went a few times and cried when I dragged her out to leave. She can't wait to go back later in the week.

Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts this week. I had a roller coaster week, and I appreciate all the positive vibes you all sent me. I really should not be spending money on vacation after all the money I spent on my car to get us here, but I need this time.

And as you can tell from this picture, I've already been soaking in the sun. Ahhhhhhh.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff.

While I still feel emotionally defeated, I thought it only fair that I also share another emotion I have toward a very special person right now. Gratitude.

I feel gratitude toward an amazing woman. She has no idea how much I appreciate her kindness, and she can't even imagine how perfect her timing was. I have more problems than I care to share online, and I'm having such a hard time right now that I can't even talk about it. But she always manages to bring a smile to my face. She doesn't know the depths of my problems, yet she knows just how to make me smile and realize there is hope.

I won't "out" her in case she doesn't want me to. If she wants to be known she can comment here. But please know that I am ETERNALLY grateful for your thoughtfulness and hope to meet you sooner rather than later. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being you.


de·feat (dĭ-fēt')

1. To win victory over; beat.
2. To prevent the success of; thwart: Internal strife defeats the purpose of teamwork.
3. Law To make void; annul.

Today, I feel defeated. I don't know what God has in store for me or what all this crap in my life is supposed to be teaching me. I also still think he's picked the wrong person because I CAN.NOT.HANDLE all this! I'm a little lost, and quite frankly, I'm a little angry. Most of all, I'm just defeated.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, not until January, but I'm definitely going now!

I've been back and forth with myself as to whether or not I should attend the SSMi3 retreat in January. With DH working in another state, it's put A LOT of strain on our lives, including but certainly not limited to financial strain. I thought it was too selfish to go, because spending that money would be another weekend he can't come home to be with the kids.

Well, he's pushed me over the edge with his selfish JUNK lately, so I've decided that I deserve to be selfish. I deserve a break. I deserve to go and enjoy myself. After I decided that, I just had to figure out how I'd make it work with the kids. I can't rely on DH to watch them -- because that's proven to be an unreliable source. So I was chatting with my neighbor, who works at a daycare center, and she has offered to watch them for me if DH doesn't come home. If I have to do this, the retreat will cost me DOUBLE, because I'd have to pay her.

Regardless of that expensive fact, I have decided that I am definitely going. YAY!!!

My next obstacle will be figuring out how to pay for it, but I'm going to make it work. I will figure out a way to get there and relax and have fun. After all, it's just money, right?! LOL. I'm very excited to spend time with my old friends and hopefully make some new ones. SSMI3, here I 4½ months!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I swear, I DO want to Move

I got a call from a representative of our real estate agent today. She wanted to know if an agent can show my house tonight between 8:30 and 9:00pm. We have listed on our papers that all viewings must end by 8:00pm. I declined. I know it would seem to some that I should let anyone come whenever the hell they want because we need the foot traffic - but my kids are asleep by then!!

I told the lady that they are welcome to come anytime before 8pm, as listed on our paperwork. She was quite rude and simply said she'd let them know they can't come when they want to. Yeah, bite my big toe lady. My life is hard enough, and I don't need YOU getting rude with me.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Birthday Bash(es)

Today was Clarissa birthday party day. We started out with a bowling party with her friends from preschool. She hasn't seen them since June when school was out, so she was thrilled to see some of her classmates.

After the bowling party, we rushed home to get ready for the standard party we always have -- a cookout with family, neighbors and close friends. Not many people could make it this year, so it was probably her smallest party ever, but it was a lot of fun. The weather was truly "picture perfect" as they predicted, and we had a great day!! All four kids (my two and my brother's two) all crashed hard and are snoring like crazy. LOL!!

Here are some pics.

Clare bowling...

Getting ready for her party at home.

This is her cousin, who is 1 month older than her. They are VERY close!!

Here she is getting ready to let her #5 balloon go. WOW!! My baby is (almost) 5!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tick Tock, I'm on the Clock

Tomorrow is Clarissa's 5th birthday party. She's having two, actually. One is a bowling party with her friends from school, and one is our standard cookout at home with family and neighbors. The first one is perfect because it's not at my house, so I don't have to clean up after them. LOL!!

The cookout party at home is usually pretty quaint and VERY informal. People sit around in lawn chairs and relax while the kids play. They were calling for rain initially, but now they're saying it's going to be "Picture Perfect." YAY!!! I was worried about having everyone inside. Our house is very small as it is with the four of us, and it would be torture with 20+ in there! Plus, we just got new carpet--I don't want anyone eating in there. LOL!

Anyways, I'm on the clock because my parents arrive tomorrow afternoon (before we get back from the bowling party), and my mom will inspect my house as usual. I normally blow off her comments, but it bugs me when she says it when other people are over and will be walking through the house and using our bathroom. It's ALL I can think of, so I spend the entire time fretting about it.

Tonight, I have a LOT of touch up work to get done around the house, but I really hope I can manage to get it done. I'm on my own, between Jacob's possible hernia and Ron's HORRIBLE gout attack. He's not much of a complainer, and he's been on the couch with his foot in the air, popping pills. Clarissa will offer to "help" but I will probably ask her to dust and then keep the dogs busy because her "help" isn't very productive. I would NEVER tell her that and I usually just fix things she's done after she's asleep. But I don't have the time to do that tonight.

Wish me luck. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

SS Blog Challenge #27 - Character Traits

Compliments of my friend, Traci...
I've come to realize that I spend too much time being my own critic. I can easily pick out my own flaws. I don't think I'm alone in this habit, I believe that we all have this same tendency.

My challenge to you is this: Tell me what your own favorite character trait/ability is. Tell me all about it and how you affect others through it. If you honestly can't pick out your own strengths then I'll give you an easy way out. Just ask the 3 people closest to you to pick one for you. Then blog about those. I'll even give you permission to quote them. I'm sure that you'll find out that you can love what they love about you...

See you in blogworld!

This was a tough challenge for me. Like Traci, I often pick out all my flaws very quickly. I could blog about those for weeks, actually. I also have a hard time giving myself a compliment, which made this challenge difficult.

So, after two days thinking about this, I'm finally ready to blog it. I think my best character trait is determination. One of the definitions of determination on is "a fixed purpose or intention". I feel like that applies to my life in so many ways, and it's one of the few things I really feel like I'm good at. (Not saying I'm only good at a few--just that this is one of the few I give myself credit for.)

I have always been determined to succeed. In life, in school, in athletic competition, in my career, with my family, etc. I am determined to succeed in life, and even though I've had a lot of ups and downs the last two years, I have remained focus on that goal. I have held that determination close to my heart so many times--knowing that I have to persevere through the hard times for the sake of my children.

When DH lost his job, I was determined to do whatever I could for my family and keep my kids' life normal. I did such a good job that they didn't even know he was out of work until he moved out. But even then, I used that same determination to make their lives as normal as I could. They ran me ragged, but they still did great at school while participating in soccer, basketball, baseball, dance and gymnastics--because I was determined not to change their lives more by pulling them out of activities they had already been involved in.

When I was going through radiation, I was determined to get through it. Yes, it was hard, and I had HUGE internal struggles of whether or not I could really do it. But I did it. I'm stronger and wiser now because of it.

Determination is probably the only word I would use to describe how I survived the last two years. Well, also the word Faith, but I wasn't sure if that was a character trait or not. If so, I should have blogged about that because my Faith is the most paramount thing in my life. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Great is the Lord

This morning in church, we sang this song. I don't know if he's the "original" singer, but it's on my Michael W. Smith CD.

Great is the lord,
He is holy and just
By his power we trust
In his love
Great is the lord
He is faithful and true
By his mercy he proves
He is love

After church, Clarissa was sitting in the pew with her eyes closed and a horrible look on her face, as if she was in pain. I asked what was wrong, and she said nothing. She picked up her "church" bag, smiled and said she was ready to go.

We got out to the car, and Clarissa told Jacob "we're going to the Peanut restaurant for lunch."

He got all excited and screamed "YES!!!!!"

I turned back and said why on earth would you think that?

She said "Because the Lord is great and we trust Him. He proves His love to us. And I told Him that I wanted to go out to eat, so I trust Him to make sure it happens"

I couldn't argue with that 4yo logic, so we went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch. LOL!

Friday, August 8, 2008

SS Blog Challenge 26

Compliments of Christy....

Today, August 3, is National Sister's Day!

From the Holiday Insights website:

Sister's Day celebrates being or having a sister. That means a lot of us will celebrate this special day.

Sisters are truly special and unique. Sure, we may argue and fight. But, when it comes right down to it, sisters are the best, the very best.

To celebrate Sister's Day, your blog challenge is to tell us what this sisterhood here at S&S means to you. Some things to think about: What special experiences have you had here? What makes the "sisters" here special enough to come back to day after day? What would you celebrate about this community?

Wow. I don't even know where to start with this challenge. SS is a very special place to me. When I was first told about SS, I had never been on any kind of chat board, had never IM'd, nothing. I actually went to SS thinking I'd look at a few ideas and then not go back much. Unbeknownst to me, I would be there FREQUENTLY. LOL!

I found SS at a very difficult time in my life, and I have never been shy about saying that I don't know what I would have done without SS the last year and a half. And that just isn't a phrase that many people overuse--I truly don't know where I'd be today without SS. It didn't take me long to figure out that I found a network of wonderful women (with a few pretty great men), and I am so grateful for the support, the chats, the humor, the differing perspectives and everything else I get at SS every single day.

I think what makes the "sisters" (and brothers lol) at SS special is that we are all very different, we have our own problems, our own viewpoints, etc. Yet, for the most part, we can have good discussions and learn new things from each other. We can support each other in a way that I never knew was possible with "internet friends." I've never been a feminist, per say, but I truly believe that we could be a fierce group of ladies if we spent more time building each other up and supporting each other. It's such a neat thing to see.

I've made many friends at SS, and that's not something I do easily IRL. I even worked through my anxiety and went to a retreat this year. MAN, am I so glad I did!!! Being able to meet some of these ladies was just surreal. I am grateful for their friendship, and I appreciate the unconditional support they've given me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


CJ woke up this AM and screamed "IS TODAY MY BIRTHDAY PARTY?"

I chuckled and said no, it's another week and a half away. She started to cry and got back in bed and put the covers over her head.

I went in to talk to her about it and explained that her birthday is actually 3 weeks away, but she's lucky that she can have her party sooner.

She cried "It stinks."

I said I know, but you just have to wait.

She said "No it stinks because I tooted" - which was followed by lots of giggling and laughter.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Husband Tag

I've been tagged by Char ... keep reading to see if YOU have been tagged!

What is his name? Ron

How long have you been married? 11 Years

How long did you date? 11 months

How old is he? 35

Who eats more? Him

Who said I love you first? He did.

Who is taller? Ron is taller

Who sings better? Me, which sure isn't saying a whole lot! LOL!!

Who's temper is worse? Mine, though my fuse is much longer than his

Who does the laundry? Mostly me since he's in KY all the time, but he does help when he's home.

Who pays the bills? I do.

Who cooks dinner? Mostly me since he's in KY all the time, but he does help when he's home.

Who mows the lawn? Ron or the neighbor boy. I used to do it before my tumor grew, and now I'm not allowed.

Who wears the pants in the family? I'm not sure there are any pants in this family!

OK, so I need to tag someone ... Diane (hey, she's ALMOST married)

The Compassion of a 7 Year Old

Clarissa took a spill on the monkey bars at school today. It happened right as I arrived because I could hear her screaming inside the building when I was signing them out from camp. I told Jacob to collect his things and meet me outside. There she was, covered in dirt that had the outlines of the stones all over her body. She was sitting in her camp counselor's lap crying hysterical. Apparently, my poor baby fell right on her face. What exactly does stone rash look like on my four year old?

After dinner, Jacob sat down to do the "homework" he got in his reading program yesterday. He was asked to draw a picture and write one sentence telling what his picture is about. (Yes, that's WAY to easy for him, but that's what they wanted.) Well, here it is. Clarissa was not amused.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

90 Years Young

Ron's grandma turned 90 last week, so we took a trip to Ohio to visit her. The kids thought her apartment as the assisted living home was neat - especially the red heat lamp in the bathroom. It was on most of our visit even though nobody took a shower.

The kids were grungy and tired from being at the zoo all day, but I managed to get a picture...even if Jacob was being goofy with his eyes. They affectionately call her Nanny, and they love how much she loves them. And they also love her candy and mints. .

I also managed to get a picture of Ron and his grandma, which is almost a miracle...the man does NOT like to have his picture taken. I wish I knew how to take care of that glare on her glasses - though that would require that I have a photo editing program. LOL

Happy 90th birthday, Nanny.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Getting to Know Me..

I know, I know...ANOTHER questionaire. Sorry, but I don't have anything else to blog about right now. LOL!


2. BOOK ARE YOU READING? You The Owners Manual by Dr. Michael Roizen & Dr. Mehmet Oz

3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Trivial Pursuit

4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Anything with scrapbook ideas

5. FAVORITE SMELLS? Cinnamon Stick candles, vanilla

6. FAVORITE FOODS? I'm a meat and potatoes gal...and my butt shows it!

7. FAVORITE SOUND? Nothing but the wind and animals outside




11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? No more kids for me.

12. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY..."? it wouldn't solve my problems.

13. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? On the highway, yes. Through town, no.

14. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? No, but I sleep with Clare a lot of nights. That little stinker sneaks in my room so quietly.

15. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? They are both, but I do love watching them when I can

16. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? A Saturn that I totaled three days before my wedding shower.

17. FAVORITE DRINK? Water. Pomegrante Fusion Smirnoff Ice isn't bad, either.

18. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME..." I would volunteer at the animal shelter

19. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI? Yes, but only if it is steamed all the way through.

20. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? I don't think I'd dye it any color.


22. NAME ALL THE STATES/COUNTRIES YOU HAVE VISITED: I've visited Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington DC, Nebraska, and I don't know where else in the US. I've also been to Canada, Sweden, Gernmany, Norway, and Holland.

23. GLASS - HALF EMPTY OR FULL? Outwardly, I am half-full. Most people that meet me tell me that they like my smile and positive attitude. I wish I felt the same on the inside!


25. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU: She obviously wants to get to know me better.

26. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? Nothing, except maybe some dust and dog hair.



29. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL? Morning person, as long as I go to bed ontime. If I stay up late, I can't get up in the AM!

28. OVER EASY OR SUNNY SIDE UP? Over medium for me, with wheat toast.

31. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? A spa - which I'd LOVE right now.

32. FAVORITE PIE? Lemon meringiue