Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School is in Session...

Hello, everyone!! I'm going to attempt to come back to the blogging world. I've taken the last month and a half off as I recovered from my laminectomy, but I think I'm ready to blog weekly again. I will post more about my surgery and recovery in my next post. But today is completely reserved for my adorable kids.

Jacob turned eight this summer, and he started 3rd grade yesterday. I cannot believe my (not-so) little boy is getting so big!! Some days, he seems so grown up that I want to cry. His feet went from a size 3 to a size 5 this summer (Well his shoes did, anyways. I imagine his toes were hurting a little before we got him new tennis shoes.) He also doesn't fit in any jeans from last year, so we're going to have to make a trip to Target before it gets cool. I don't even want to think about his winter coat!!! (But of course I already have. :) I found one at Salvation Army, but it needs a whole zipper replacement, so I didn't get it. UGH!) Anyways....he's growing. Like a weed. I can't keep up with him, which is how he likes it. He's a wonderful boy, and I am so proud of him. He had to get glasses this summer and was also diagnosed with asthma (like his mommy), but he took it in stride and has such a good attitude about life. I feel very blessed to be his mommy.

Clarissa turned six last month, and she just started first grade. She's sassy as ever, despite my great attempts to get rid of that attitude. Don't get me wrong -- she's a fantastic kid, too...but only when she WANTS to be. She is stubborn and definitely gives me a run for my money!! This summer, she had her first ever sleepover -- and she went away for FIVE NIGHTS!!! We were worried she'd not make it the entire week, because she had never slept over anywhere before. But...she pleasantly surprised us and has already proclaimed that she's doing it again next year. She better hope my brother and sister in law want her back!! Clarissa is trying to find her "activity" which has been pretty challenging. Jacob always knew what he wanted to do, but Clarissa is still searching for her "thing." She liked dance, but she thought it was time for something else. She is getting ready to start volleyball again, so hopefully she'll enjoy it. She, too, is growing like crazy. Her shoes went from size 12½ to size 1, and none of her jeans fit her either. I tell ya -- these kids are so expensive. Who knew?! LOL.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

See you on the Flip Side...

O.K., so I'm not really on vacation -- I'm just at home recovering from surgery. I will, however, be under the influence of heavy drugs, so it could be LIKE a vacation. LOL! I won't be updating my blog for a while because I'm going to spend my time recovering (and surfing SS). I'll be back, though.

Have a wonderful summer!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Prayers as I face surgery...

I've been feeling a little anxious about my upcoming surgery, and here are two things a friend sent me.

O God, the source of all health.
Fill my heart with faith.
Be near me in times of weakness and pain. Although I know You are in control, I am apprehensive about what faces me. You made me, loved me, and have provided my surgeon with needed skill to perform a miracle in my behalf. Sustain me by Your grace that my strength and courage may not fail; Heal me according to Your will.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To See. Or Not to See.

Three weeks ago, I took the kids to an eye doctor. Jacob thought it would be fun and couldn't wait to get there. Clarissa did NOT want to go...until we got there, and she saw the free water and cookies in the waiting room. Typically CJ!!

We were talking as we were waiting, and Jacob asked WHY they needed their eyes checked. I told him that I had a very strong feeling that he needed glasses. Wha?? That's pretty much how he looked at me. Then, he insisted that I was wrong and told me he'd prove me wrong.

Unfortunately for him, I was right. He needs glasses. He was SO disappointed, so I tried to focus on the positives -- like the fact that he would finally be able to SEE things clearly. We picked them up Monday, and when he put them on, he couldn't believe the difference they made. He can finally see all the things he didn't know that he couldn't see.

Friday, July 3, 2009

And all is just as it should be....


Jacob came home from camp tonight. He had a BLAST and did nothing but talk until he went to bed. And when he put his head on his pillow, he was OUT. They said the boys were up until at least 11pm every day. Hopefully Clarissa will let him sleep in tomorrow. He made friends right away and had an amazing time.

He said he was a little scared the first night because his bunk was right by the window, which they left open at night. But, after that, it was fine. It rained on them a lot, and they didn't get to go to Lake MI because of it. They did go to the Dunes, though. He danced with a little girl at the dance last night, and he said that was really fun. He wrote Clarissa a letter while he was gone (the only one he sent), and at the bottom he wrote CAMP ROCKS really big. I'm so glad he had a great time. He has already declared that he's going next summer.

But right now, he's asleep in his own all is just as it should be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Getting Beautified

Clarissa was feeling a little down that Jacob got to go away to camp and she didn't get to do anything like that. So.....I took her for a manicure and pedicure tonight. It was totally NOT in the budget, but I did it anyways. I had to be very creative with the meal planning these last two weeks to make it work, but I did it. It was worth every penny. She felt very special, and she was all smiles tonight. What fun for her.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My eight year old boy is in a car on his way to church camp. This is the first time he's been away from home other than a local sleepover, and they will be gone for five nights. He was SO excited that he woke up at 6am this morning. He ran in and asked if we could start getting ready for church. When we told him it was too early, he actually giggled and said he was so excited about leaving for camp.

So, after church this morning, we went out into the parking lot and got his stuff loaded up into the trailer. All the kids going to camp were so excited -- they were HYPER as all get out. (Made me very grateful that I can't physically take eight hours in the car so that I didn't have to volunteer to pick them up! LOL!!) I admit, I will miss Jacob A LOT this week. But honestly, I'm not all weepy or sad or anything. I thought I'd cry when he left, but I am SO grateful that we could get him to camp. I hope he makes it all week (he IS a little young for this, after all.) But even if he doesn't make it and has to get picked up, I'm so proud of him for wanting to go and having the courage to try it. I hope he allows himself to have a WONDERFUL time, because I remember how fun camp always was.

Jacob and Clarissa while the kids were getting their bags loaded. She misses him already!

Pastor Cave came out and prayed for the youth and adults on the trip.

This is Jacob and his little buddy from Sunday school.

When the youth director came out and said it was time to leave, the kids posed for one more picture. Then...they were off to Lake Michigan.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have to admit, the anticipation of my upcoming surgery is killing me. While I've got the normal anxious feeling that always goes along with having surgery, I am SO excited for the date to get here. Not because I want them operating on my spine again or because I want to go through that horrid recovery again, but because I'm hopeful of the outcome. I'm starting to worry myself that I've become TOO optimistic about it. If something doesn't go as planned, I'm not sure I'll be ready to cope with it. But I feel so certain that things will go perfectly and a year from now I won't remember the pain I've been suffering for three long years.

You know what changed?? I gave it all to God. I realized that I made the leap to go to the Mayo Clinic, even when people were doubting my decision. I was criticized for spending so much money (that I don't really have), and I was told that I was being ridiculous, selfish and even that I was exaggerating my pain. I wish some of the people saying those awful things could have been in that room with me when the Mayo doctors validated my uneasy feelings about my doctors here, validating my pain and confirmed (and explained WHY) radiation made me worse, and insisted on surgery at their facility with their world-rated surgeons. Enough about the naysayers, though, and back to my point. I prayed A LOT before going to Mayo. I prayed for God to tell me if this was the right thing. And I KNEW before going that it was what I had to do. I resolved myself to the fact that the doctors there may have told me that my doctors here are doing everything right. But I was O.K. with that because I HAD to know. I trusted that God was leading me there, and I'm SO glad He did.

Then, once my surgery was scheduled, I started to become a doubting Thomas again -- wondering if I was doing the right thing. People around me were again asking if I was sure I was doing the right thing and asking if I should really take the risk of another spinal surgery. I let all those fears consume me, and I wasn't listening to God or my heart. Well, now I AM listening to God. I pray about this surgery, and I know it's the right thing to do. I believe whole-heartedly that it's my best chance for a pain-free future. And I do know deep down that it's possible that won't happen, but I also know God led me to Mayo for a reason. I am putting my faith and trust in God to get me through this, and I know I will be just fine thanks to His grace. I am ready for surgery and just wish it would get here.

Of course, God knows I'm not completely ready -- I DO still have to set-up care for my recovery. LOL! If only I could give THAT to God, I'd be stress free about the entire situation.

I'll send with the refrain from one of my favorites songs.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom pow'r and love
our God is an awesome God

Monday, June 15, 2009

EIGHT?! How did that happen?!

Jacob turned eight years old yesterday. I seriously don't know HOW that happened. It seems like he was just born a few months ago. We had a party for him on Saturday, and he was SO excited that his "favorite" cousin was coming. The rain held off for us, and we had a great time. They party was a huge success. Happy birthday, Jacob!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

M. I. A.

I will be MIA the next few days. I'm leaving for Minnesota tomorrow and will be computer-free until I return Wednesday night. DH and I are meeting at the airport and spending the weekend kid-free, so we're pretty excited about that. We haven't been away together overnight since 2004!!!!

Monday is my appointment at the Mayo Clinic. Please pray that all goes well. Some of you know how anxious I've been about this, so I appreciate any prayers you can send my way. I'm hoping to leave with a much better picture of my future treatment plan, and I HOPE they can give me a better prognosis than "we'll try to manage your pain." I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but at the same time, I'm really excited as to what they may be able to do for me. The Mayo Clinic is one of the world leaders in spinal cord tumors. I am VERY thankful for this opportunity.

Have a wonderful weekend, ladies. I'll "see" you on the flip side.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Photo Shoot

I decided to take a few pictures of the kids yesterday in an effort to get something I could use for a Father's Day project. I don't really have a project in mind, but hey, I can always use good photos. LOL!

So, we went outside in the backyard first and then took a couple inside. I'm embarrassed to say that we really don't have that many great places to take pictures (with a nice background), so we used the fence. Pretty boring, I know, but better than nothing.

Here are some of the shots I got. Let me know what you think of them.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baseball Season is Underway

Jacob started baseball practices a few weeks ago, and he had his first baseball game this morning. Their team is pretty awful, but he played great. He seemed nervous for some reason, but he had a great time. He really did play fantastic, so I was very proud of him!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dance is Finally Over!!!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE sitting through dance every week. I'd never tell Clarissa that because she loves it so much, and I take her because it's what she chooses to do. BUT...she has proclaimed that she wants to play soccer in the fall, so I'm done with dance for a while. Woooooooohoooooooooooooooo!!!!

Here are just a couple pictures from tonight. I didn't get many, because I had a bad migraine all day. I did the best I could, but all the flashes, including my own, made my head throb more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27?!

Holy cow. It's May 27 already. Where has the time gone?! I can't believe that it's almost June. How could this be happening? Why does time pass so quickly?

It's been almost two weeks since my last blog post. I've been crazy busy, which I suppose is better than having nothing to do. Keeping my schedule full usually makes me more productive. Kind of backwards, I know, but the busier I am, the better it is for me.

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents. They aren't doing well, and I wanted to see them again before it was too late. Most likely I won't be able to go back for their funerals, and I wanted to spend some time with them while I could. It was sad to see my grandmother in such a state, but I am SO grateful for the opportunity to visit with her. And I thought my grandfather looked great for just getting out of the hospital, but he's obviously suffering. I took him to church Sunday morning, and it was the first time he'd been there since late March. Everyone was so happy to see him, and he was thrilled to be there. I LOVE his church and was so happy to go with him. I hadn't been in there since my grandma's funeral, and it was just as beautiful as I remember it.

Clarissa's dance recital is Friday night. She can't wait, though most of that anticipation is being able to see Mamaw again. She just loves my mom, and she has missed her tremendously this month. She's going to be spoiled these next few weeks, seeing her three weekends in a row!! I think my mom is as excited as she is. Fun, fun, fun!! Jacob has his first baseball game Saturday, too. We were going to miss it to go to the church camp for a weekend, but now I'm not so sure. He may be there after all.

I'm heading out of state in a week and a half to see some specialists regarding my tumor. I would really appreciate any prayers you could say, both for my trip and for the appointments. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but I am really hoping they can help me beyond what my neurosurgeon and oncologist are doing here. But honestly, even if they tell me that my doctors are doing everything right, I will be happy with my visit. I need to know I'm on the right path. I'm a bit anxious about the whole trip, but I want to get there and get this addressed with them. No matter the prognosis, I am grateful for the opportunity to see the world leaders in spinal cord tumors. It's an opportunity of a lifetime.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Down Time = Bliss

Last night was our bye-week for soccer, so we had no game scheduled. We probably wouldn't have played anyways, because the amount of rain we had left the fields A MESS, which can cause injuries as well as ruin the field. Add so that the fact that Clarissa's dance was moved from Thursday to Tuesday this week, and we had a light schedule this week. LIFE IS GOOD.

Last night after I picked the kids up, we went home to eat dinner. They both wanted cereal for dinner, so that's what we had. (Don't you dare judge me. I USUALLY give them a protein and a veggie. LOL!) Dinner was an easy clean-up, so I soaked our bowls and left them for later. I vacuumed the house while Jacob did his homework. When he was done, we played a few games. The kids ended the evening with checkers, and it was hysterical to watch (and listen). They crack me up....when they aren't bickering, that is. During the evening, in between games, I was able to complete three loads of laundry (it's all folded in our baskets, but I'll put it away tonight), and I made cookies. YUM.

The kids went to bed at 8:30pm, and then I cleaned the kitchen. I scrubbed the counters and floors and started the dishwasher. It was such a relaxing evening, yet I got SO much done!!! I absolutely love watching my kids do their sports, but I sure LOVED this down time. And to think...I have another two days of. We have nothing planned for tonight or tomorrow. YAY ME. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

A huge Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I hope your day was filled with love and joy.

I had a fantastic weekend!! I kicked it off with a mani/pedi Friday night. Woohoooo!! Saturday, I left the house at 8:45am and didn't get back until 3:00am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never stay out late, and I've been dragging ever since. was so worth it!! I met a great friend at the Mega Meet at 10am, and we were there until 4:30pm. We saw some cool demos and of course bought a few things. Hee hee. Then, we went to two scrapbook stores, and out for dinner -- where we proceeded to talk in the booth until 11:30pm. We drove back to her car and sat in my van talking until 2:15am , though neither of us realized how late it was until Ron called me wondering if I was O.K. When I got home, the house was perfectly clean and ALL the laundry in the house was done. What a man!!!

Yesterday, Ron let me sleep in, and I missed church. I hate missing church, but it was nice to get some extra sleep. I jumped in the shower and got ready to go eat lunch, but the kids wanted to do presents first. They each got me a Willow Tree statue and then they got me a picture frame with the Proverbs 31:28 on it with a picture of them in it. Then, at DH's insistence, we went out to eat (we had agreed to eat at home because of my mani/pedi), and we had a great meal. The company, I mean, was great. The food was alright, but it didn't compare to the family time. Unfortunately, DH had to leave after that, but the kids and I played outside for a while. We ran to the grocery store and then went home and had a small dinner. (Really a snack since we ate a big meal at 1:30pm). It started to rain, so we watched a movie (and I napped a little ) and then it was bedtime already. All in all, a great day.

Here is what DH got me. LOL!!! For those of you that don't know, it's a t-shirt that promotes the Christian movie Fireproof.

Friday, May 8, 2009

God is Good

I've been having a lot of struggles of late, and I've not been doing a very good job at leaving my problems with the Lord. I've been allowing doubt and fear get into my heart and weigh it down. I am happy to say that I have snapped out of that. I know it's selfish -- it took some good news to make me realize what I had been doing -- but I've prayed nonetheless and thanked God for my miracle this week. He is good ALL THE TIME.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

And here is one of my favorite Psalms. When I was confirmed at church, I had to choose a psalm (as well as a Bible verse) to read that either meant something to me, inspired me, etc. This is the Psalm I chose.

Psalm 100
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his [a] ;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where is the emergency stop button?

So, I've been on this crazy roller coaster ride called life for the last 2½ years, and I'm SICK TO DEATH. I desperately need the emergency stop button. I want off this ride. I want a refund, and I never want to get on this ride again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life Altering

I'm sure you've received some of those e-mails asking all kinds of silly questions, right? If not, I want YOUR e-mail, because I get them ALL.THE.TIME. LOL! I often delete the e-mails with Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: in the subject line, but I do read some of them. And boy am I ever glad that I do because sometimes I get a really big laugh!!

I was going to do something like Letterman's top ten, but I couldn't narrow it down that far. Here are some of the funniest questions/statements I've read over the years. Enjoy.

1. Do bald men wash their heads with shampoo or soap?
2. How can someone be dirt poor and another be filthy rich?
3. When you put THE and IRS together, it forms "THEIRS"
4. What happens to an 18 hour bra after 18 hours?
5. When sign makers go on strike, is there anything written on their signs?
6. If your plan is to have no plan, do you have a plan?
7. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
8. Why do people say something is out of whack? What's a whack?
9. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
10. If a pig loses his voice, he is disgruntled.
11. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
12. Why is the man that invests your money called a broker?
13. Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
14. "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Is that because "I do" is the longest sentence?
15. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
16. What hair color do they put on the drivers license of a bald man?
17. How come nobody ever says "It's only a game" when they are winning?
18. If we quit voting, will they all go away?
19. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station........
20. If quitters never win and winners never quit, what fool came up with "Quit while you're ahead?"
21. What are boxing rings square?
22. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
23. Whose cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have an "s" in it?
24. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
25. If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?
26. Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet soup?
27. Why do doctors call what they do "practice?"
28. How come abbreviated is such a long word?
29. Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours if they are both dogs?
30. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mindless Questionaire

1. Pierce your nose or tongue? Neither!!
2. Be serious or be funny? I like to laugh, so I'd say funny. *I'm* not really that funny, but I think I have a good sense of humor and like to be with funny people.
3. Boxers or briefs? Why are those the only two choices? What if it's neither?! I wear these bikini cut things, so I guess that'd be more like a brief.
4. Whole or skim milk? Skim, please. My husband says that's like colored water, but I love it.
5. Single or taken? Taken.
6. Simple or complicated? I'm complicated, thanks to my tumor. Three years ago, I would have said that I'm simple. At heart -- I am. I hate drama, and I'm so easy going. But my tumor makes everything complicated.
7. Law or anarchy? Law. I am a rule follower.
8. Flowers or angels? Both.
9. Grey or gray? Grey -- like Grey's Anatomy.
10. Read or write? Write. I LOVE to write. But I don't like to read much for pleasure.
11. Color or black-and-white photos? Color mostly, but I do love some photos in black and white.
12. Sunrise or sunset? Sunset. I don't like to wake up early!!
13. M&M's or Skittles? M&Ms. And I prefer peanuts.
14. Go to bed late or wake up late? Go to bed late. I HATE mornings.
16. TV or Radio? Depends on my mood.
17. Is it POP or SODA? Pop
18. X or O in Tic-Tac-Toe? I'm always O because the kids always go first, and they are always X.
19. Leather purse or knit purse? Knit.
20. Eat an apple or an orange? Apple. I don't do citrus.
21. What came first the chicken or the egg? Chicken.
22. Hot or Cold? I prefer cold weather, so I'll say cold.
23. Light or dark nail polish? Clear for my fingers and bright for my toes.
24. Tall members of the opposite sex or short? Tall.
25. Sun or moon? Moon
26. Emerald or ruby? Ruby
27. Mt. Dew or Surge? Mt. Dew
28. Left or right? Right.
29. 10 acquaintances or 1 best friend? 1 Best Friend
30. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream? Vanilla (Unless the chocolate has peanut butter in it!)
31. High or Drunk? I don't like feeling drunk, and I've never been high.
32. Green beans or carrots? I like both. Yummmmmm.
33. Low fat or fat free? Depends on what it is, though I don't buy much fat free stuff
34. What is your biggest fear in the world? Dying before my kids are grown
35. Silver jewelry or gold jewelry? Gold
36. Kids or no kids? Kids -- just my own or close friends'
37. Cat or dog? I am a dog person. A BIG dog person at that!
38. Half empty or half full? Half full
39. Mustard or ketchup? Depends on what I'm eating. I like both.
40. Hard cover books or soft cover books? Hard cover
41. Newspaper or magazine? Magazine
42. Sandals or sneakers? Sandals if I have to wear shoes
44. Red car or white car? Red
45. Happy and poor or sad and rich? Happy and poor...which is what I am, so I speak from experience.
46. Singing or dancing? I can't sing worth a damn, but my spirit gets lifted so quickly when I turn the music up and sing.
47. Hugging or Kissing? Hugging
49. Happy or sad? Happy
50. Purple or green? Green

Thursday, April 16, 2009

He Gives Strength

I've been having a pretty tough time lately. I'm 32 years old, but I feel like I'm 72! My tumor is growing, my medical records say that it's cancer, and it's affecting my daily life more than I ever imagined it would. My children are constantly disappointed that I can't do things with them, like ride my bike, run and play or pick them up. They don't understand what a tumor is and just know that Mommy has a bad back. I feel like I'm cheating them, and it's so disappointing.

I hate living like this, and I've pretty much been wallowing in self-pity. A wonderful friend sent me an e-mail with just this passage. No note, no personal message. Just this. I think I need to start reading my bible more.

Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Game On

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!!!

I know this is late, but I didn't have time to get on the computer yesterday. I was enjoying the day with my kids, and then I went to bed early since I had such a bad migraine last night.

So, even though it's late, I hope everyone had a GREAT Easter. My kids really enjoyed the day, and they are enjoying Spring Break this week. I hope the rain holds off so they can play outside with the sitter!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

100 things to do in a lifetime

I got this off my friend Beth's blog. I've done the things in BOLD print.

1. Started your own blog- Duh

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you could to a charity - I've given a lot, but never more than I could.

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa

20. Traveled by Train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung Karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on the beach in the moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

(WHERE IS #54?)

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

(NUMBERS 64 & 65 are missing, too...)

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chicken pox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in a day

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Amazing Progress

Background: Clarissa is 5yo now, but last year when she was 4yo, she failed miserably in swim lessons. For some reason, she developed an intense FEAR of the water, and we have no idea why. She doesn't know why either -- she just cried any time she had to sit in water -- including the tub. (Thank goodness for showers). She would try to hit, kick and even bite her swim instructor. :o We pulled her out of the pool one day and never took her back. In some ways it felt like we were rewarding her and giving her what she wanted, but we couldn't put her teacher or the other kids at risk. And she was being MEAN. :o

We talked with the director of swimming, and she very politely told us that Clarissa could no longer take group lessons. She scared the other kids and of course, the instructor didn't like her either. :p

Fast forward to this winter. We used all the money DH's mom gave us for Christmas to put her in private swim lessons at the same place. We told this instructor that she has a huge fear of the water, so all we expected from the class was for her to feel comfortable enough to get IN the water without screaming and thrashing around. Imagine our surprise when Clarissa was doing THIS:

And these were taken last month when my parents came up for a visit. They took the kids to the hotel, and Clarissa was brave enough to jump to her brother!!!!!!!!!!