Monday, May 28, 2012


Our anual bach week was in May.
We are so blessed to be able to enjoy an awesome a great big house, a heated pool and a nice and quiet BIG open beach!

We missed a few regulars this year, Daddy, for one! And our biggest brother, Mason and his girlfriend, Lory. 
Also, the twins and I only went down for 4 days, not the whole 7.

May have to reconsider that next year!

And we had some additions to the trip, Nonnie took a friend, Marie - who we didn't get to see - boo!
And two friend's of my brother's joined us.
And we quickly found out hoe much we LOVED them!

And TINKERBELL joined us!

The weather was not perfect - a little windy, a littl rainy, almost chilly at times.
But BOY - did we manage to queeze some fun in!

 Logan, left.  Austin, right.

 Nonnie's legs and Tinkerbell in her sundress! 
I know.  I'm a dork.
But.  She is my only girl!

 Windblown look.


Crazy ocean!

 We built sand castles.

 Our new friend Cathy, taught us how to dig up sand crabs!

 And more sand castles.

 We sat in a very BIG chair!

And played a speed round of Cold as H-E-Doublepicks and Windy minigolf!

All-in-all a great trip!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baby Alea

I came across this little doll out there in blogland. 

And she stole my heart.

1/2 way around the world, fighting for her life - without a mommy and daddy.

But in the care of a wonderful home and she has lots of surragate mommies out here on the internet!

And of course, it didn't take long (milli-seconds?) for two little boys, who btw, have been praying for a little sister, to fall in love with her too.

They want to adopt her. 

I want to adopt her. 

I want to shout out loud enough for her to hear me.

"HOLD on,
little girl. 

FIGHT for it. 

Fight for LIFE!"

Another adoption is not in our cards.  It's not just a matter of finding the money.  We have not been good stewards of what God has already given us - although we are making HUGE strides on our debt (yay!). 

So, although Alea can't be OURS.  She still has our HEARTS!

We are praying for her.  We talk about her.  We check her blog for updates.

One day, maybe she will KNOW. 


Lemonade and Artwork Stand for Baby Alea
The boys mostly drew butterflies and hearts.

You can read all about precious Baby Alea here.

And you can help be a part of her miracle here!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ten things I learned from my mother

My mom always gets me the most beautiful, the most perfect hallmark cards for every occasion.  And she underlines the things that she especially agrees with!  I never get her cards anymore.  Basically, because right now in my chaotic life, I tend to live minute to minute which means I never "plan" that trip to the store to select cards.  ;-)  BUT what I do do is write! 

So, mom (who has abandoned me on this Mother's Day and is already en route to the beach for a week!), here is your Mother's Day card!

Ten things I learned from my mother:
1) How to sew, Mom is a seamstress.  An excellent one!  Somehow she managed to teach me how to sew.  I hate patterns and just like to create.  Any idea what that can do to a seamstress!?

2) To try and respect other people's things, take care of them. (I always borrowed Mom's jewelry, sweaters, etc...and usually lost them, tore them or somehow destroyed them. ;-(  )

3) To stand by your man - even if you don't agree with him!  There were a few times Dad raised his daughter rather um, old school wise.  Much to my HUGE resentment.  Mom hugged me, counseled me, agreed it wasn't fair, even talked to Dad on my behalf.  But when he stuck to his guns, she stuck by his a loving way, saying "Dad has his reasons for wanting to protect you and I have to support him.  We'll get through this together."

4)  Even though love alone can't save a broken child, never give up on him. 

5) Screaming and yelling at your children does not have long term/lasting effects on them.

6) You don't have to like your children all of the time, but they always need to know they are loved and above all - accepted. 

7) In times of financial stress, go without.  And keep on workin at it - eventually you will cross over that mountain!

8) Women are stronger than men.  And mothers never show their fear.    

9)  Mourn from the inside out.  And then put one foot in front of the other to return to land of the living.

10)  That thank you's from your children are implied and that's okay, but when they take the time to verbalize their appreciation, it does wonders for the spirit.

11) It's okay to let go and watch your children struggle and even fail, but it's also okay to step in at the last minute and save them! 

12) Just by being there and showing support and not judging - you can make a huge difference in a person's life.  And that you may have an additional 10 or so daughters at your house because of that accepting love!

13)  Tell your daughter she is beautiful at every stage of her up and down weight.   Compliment her often.  On her abilities, on her perseverance, her attitude and especially on her own mothering capabilities! 

14) Make your house a home, have lots of places for people to sit, make it warm and inviting, stuff doesn't always have to match, and it doesn't need to be high end.  You'll know if you've achieved this by that fact that everybody falls asleep in your den (even first time visitors).  And also - no one ever wants to leave your home!

15)  That you are never too old to learn new tricks....or new responsibilities, like maintaining a home, and a lawn, and EVERYTHING else that a widow suddenly has to learn in her 70's.

16) How to have a HUGE heart!  My mother gives and gives and gives to us, emotionally, physically, financially.  There is no thank you BIG enough in this world to cover just how much she does for us.  And most days, the kids fuss at her, we forget to thank her, and she probably goes home wondering why the heck she does what she does anyway!  But I cannot even begun to wonder where we would be without her!  I wouldn't be able to work as much, we would be living on Ramen noodles, I probably would have lost my mind, Gary would have left me for being so crazy, and the kids would be left to fend for themselves!  ;-) 

Obviously, it is not just TEN things I've learned from you, Mom!  It's probably 1000x10.  Everything I am is because of you.  Because you have always believed in me.  Always saw me to be more than I was. Or what I thought I was.  You are the strongest woman I know.  You are kicking life's ass at 71 years of age - you are beautiful, you are full of life, and you keep showing up on my doorstep everyday to watch your crazies!  I LOVE you beyond measure! 

 Nonnie and all her grandsons (and their girlfriends!)

 One of my favorite pictures of the three of them - they all so beautiful!

 Nonnie is always ready to help the boys with their various experiments.
Including facepainting:
 Austin is SO serious about painting Nonnie's face, but she is CRACKING UP!
(as was I)

 Yes, the "paint" is chalk!

 Nonnie is a TROOPER!

 She does this a LOT!
Human armchair.

Nonnie, my brother (Mitch) and his better half (Patsy).
Nonnie is modeling her twin-made birthday crown.

Me and my other half. 
Mom, I love you to pieces!
I know, even today, especially today,
you are still in the background of my life.
You do you not receive near enough the appreciation and recognition you deserve!
But I am putting it out here for all the world to know.
You made me.  Not just created me, but MADE me, the woman I am today.
Thank you!
I love you!
You put up with a LOT from me!
I know it is, by far, not the easiest job in the world!

Have fun at the beach,
and we'll see you in a few days.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Conversations!

I made cookies one day.  On a Saturday.  About 45 minutes after they had beenout of the oven, Gary teased me for eating them all.  "No, I didn't Gary.  In fact, noone has eaten any."

Gary: "Well, there are no cookies on the counter."
Me: "huh?"  I go to investigate.  Sure enough the cookies are gone.

Then, in my head, I play back everything that had happened that morning and start laughing. 
Gary, "Why are you laughing?"

I said, "Do you see a tupperware container anywhere around here?  Maybe with some money in it?"

We both start looking.  Gary hollers, "Yep, I've got one in the toy room.  What's the connection?"
Me, "I do believe our innovative child, Austin has been quite jealous of the Girl Scouts, and wanted in on the action.  I'm pretty sure he sold our cookies to all of the neighbors!"

I made another batch for us....and told Austin NOT to sell these!  We also had a little conversation about selling items, raising money versus pocketing money!

As I was walking through the living room one day, Austin looks up at me with a surprised look on his face and says, "Wow, Mommy!  You look pretty.  I thought you were Dad."


I mean where does one even start to unwind and understand that comment? 

Does Gary dress up in my clothes when I'm not around?
Am I pretty in a manly facial hair sort of way? 

20 minutes and a few less brain cells later, I had repieced the events according to Austin:

I had just stepped in front of Austin who was coloring on the floor (Not ON the floor, but on a piece a paper on the floor!).  I was wearing a pair of black dansko-eque type of shoes.  And he thought that the black shoes looked like Daddy's work shoes.  When he looked up, he was surprised to see me and not Daddy (who wasn't even home at the time, btw!), then he thought I looked really retty (awww!) and THEN he shared with me that he thought I was Dad.


One day after one too many heavy sighs, Logan grabs ahold of my hand and says,  "Mom, is being a parent hardwork?"

I laughed, "Well, yes Logan.  A lot of times it's pretty fun, but sometimes, well, a lot of times, it's kinda hard."

Loan:  "Yeah, I know.  I am soooo lucky to be a kid, huh?"

My response to a request to jumping on the trampoline,
"No, honey, Mommy is tired."

What I heard back,
"Well, Austin is not."



While laying down with Logan one night, after several minutes of quietness, he softly says,
"Evan's gonna be a Daddy soon."

Evan had just been home for Sping Break.  His room is right next to the boys.  I am immediately flooded with the thought that Logan had overheard some very disturbing conversation.  

"Uh, yeah?  Really?  So, what makes you say that, Logan?"

Logan:  "Because, Mommy.  He is going to be done with college soon and so, the next thing to do is to become a daddy."

I breathe again. And then we discuss some other steps that Evan could pursue in between college and making a baby.



Austin:  "Hey, mom, can we go to Guatemala for my birthday?"
Me: "Uh, I don't know.  That would be sort of hard to plan on such sort notice.  Is there a particular reason you want to go to Guatemala?"
Austin:  "Well, you said they had the best fruit in the world there.  Remember? And it was all juicy and delicious.  I would like some of that.  So, can we go?"


Logan:  "Mom how do you spell  xxxxxxxxx?"  I spelled it out. 

Logan:  "Mom, how to you spell, Power Ranger Samurai online games?" 


I looked over and saw Logan on my computer and on th einternet.  The previous word he had asked me to spell was my computer log in!  So, he had opened up my computer, typed in my password, got onto the internet and was looking for the Samurai game.

Lord only knows how he knew my password.  I can think of only a handful of times I've said it out loud to Gary/Evan or Mason.  Cah-razy! 

Momma's got to stay on her toes!

Logan comes flying into my bed one night, "MOMMA!!! Somebody peed in my bed."

Imagine that!  Somebody breaking into our house, creepin up to Logan's bed and peeing in it while he was soundly sleeping.  Some nerve!!