Monday, December 22, 2008

BUSY

too busy during day
too busy at night
too busy making meals
and breaking up fights

too busy to answer
too busy to think
too busy cleaning kitchens
and the bathroom sinks

too busy to go
too busy to come
don't i deserve
a nice drink with some rum

why i'm so busy
i'm not quite sure
is there a pill?
is there a cure?

people to help
people to please
on the surface i do it
with nothing but ease

do i need to say yes?
do i need to say no?
when i wonder what they're thinking
why can't i say................."so?"

too busy to sit
for the love of pete
i KNOW i'm too skinny
I'M TOO BUSY TO EAT!

no matter what
and try as i might
i'm way too busy
even to write

too busy to chat
too busy to ring
too busy to do
extracurricular anything

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Anniversary, Thanksgiving, Birthday and other fun stuff...

so my life is officially out of control. well...i guess it is more like managed chaos. i find it harder and harder to blog these days...something that i love to do and used to not have any trouble keeping up with. i have time to check facebook and that's about it. even regular e-mail is a struggle lately. but...i press on.

our anniversary was on thanksgiving this year, which was fun. we stayed at my parents house for the holiday and they watched the kids for chad and i to go out to eat and to go get our annual anniversary ornament. we got a "hope" ornament this year. that morning, chad left early to go play football in the 1st annual turkey bowl with guys from the church. so when i came down to the kitchen, my dad was making coffee and the kid's pancakes. he said, "your husband said to serve you a cup of coffee this morning and to say happy anniversary." i thought...well that was sweet of him. so my dad handed me the coffee and it was in a starbucks cozemel mug. chad had bought it for me during his latest travels to cuba and it is where we went on our honeymoon. i thought it was very sweet.

then, for chad's birthday, his mom, dad and i got together and got him the thomas kinkade print of fenway park. it came from the official redsox shop right across from fenway park in boston and is matted and framed with the major league baseball symbol and redsox symbol on the mat under the print. he was soooooo surprised and loved it. i can't believe i actually pulled that off.

today, i am off to take aiden to pre-school and then to the craft store to buy all the stuff for polar express day at the school and the "holiday" party. (they won't say Christmas...which i think is really dumb). then, i have to go to the school to finish tranforming chase's teacher's door into a 3-d gingerbread house. (oh...they will win the door decorating contest...if i have to dress up like a gingerbread boy myself and stand there passing out candy to the judges...) there is so much that i have to do for his class that we will be lucky to have presents under the tree. oh well...every time i walk in to his classroom, chase is so excited that he jumps out of his seat and tells everyone who will listen, "THIS IS MY MOM!!!!" and...he loves walking into the gingerbread house door to get into his classroom. i guess it's worth it!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

colton. he's witty. i'll give him that.

i have a back log of little comments and things that our oldest has said. they are all recorded in random places so that i won't forget...like post its, grocery lists, and the like. in an effort to clean my desk drawer...i shall record them here instead.......

his comments on aging from a school project last year...

"when i am 100 years old i will smell like i haven't showered in 30 years and i will have lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren and i might have wrinkles and white or gray hair and i don't think that i won't live to be 100 years old."

i was correcting some of aiden's table manners (or lack thereof) at dinner one night. i had put a small roll in my mouth and had just swallowed it. aiden started putting the food she didn't want in her water. i said, "aiden...that's not using good manners." colton replied, "but putting a whole piece of bread in your mouth is?" chad and i couldn't stop laughing...to which colton then said, "that should be a blog."

our babysitter couldn't come for small group at the last minute (she watches them upstairs and we are downstairs), so i told colton that he was going to have to be responsible and watch his brother and sister for us during group. i even said, "and i will give you 5 dollars" which is a lot for him!! i thought he would be elated. i saw the wheels turning while he just looked at me. then finally, he broke the silence and said calmly, "15."

he has been asking for a dog for christmas. he found one on-line that he wanted and called me in to see it. i said, "colton!! those dogs are 950 dollars." colton said, "from santa...........free."

the other day, he had a scratch on his elbow. every time he would bend his elbow, the scab would pull a bit. he walked up to me, showing me the elbow and said, "ummmm mom. we're gonna have to cast this thing."

i love witty.

i love colton.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Halloween and Other Scary Things

Man...things are so busy here that I barely have time to post anything...which makes me sad. I miss recording stories. I feel like I have missed so much. Let's see...there was Chase's birthday party at the gymnastics place. We decided on an Olympic theme this year...which was thrilling. The cake was an olympic flag, and we had a medal ceremony at the end where they all got a gold medal and their party favors which included energy bars and gatorade. It was that day that I pulled every muscle in my leg while attempting my old bar routine dismount. Yeah...you heard me right.

Then, there was the New Kids On The Block concert where our horrible seats got upgraded to the 18th row on the floor. I was so excited when they came out that I fell backwards because I was jumping up and down so much. Don't worry...my friend...(and the chair)...caught me.

Next was the surprise birthday party Chad and some friends threw for me. They got me good. Everyone was acting like they were too busy to do anything with me for my birthday. This was upsetting because it was on a Friday night and my parents had offered to watch the kids. I thought we could do something a little out of the ordinary...but noooooo. Everyone was busy. Little did I know that they had planned a luau in the backyard, complete with tiki torches, music, and amazingly thought-out food. I was so shocked when Chad pulled up the driveway that I sort of froze like an idiot...just staring at all the people staring at me. I was quite excited.......until they made me wear the coconut bra...which put a damper on things for the few minutes that I appeased them before taking them off!!

Halloween was a success even though the party I was throwing for the kids ended up having to be cancelled due to Colton having a fever. I let go of control this year and let each kid pick what they wanted to be. (I used to have them all coordinate) I knew that was going to eventually come to an end. It was fun while it lasted. Colton was a football player. Chase was an astronaut. Aiden changed her mind at the last minute and was Tinkerbell instead of a kitty cat. I did not have to buy anything this year...which was lovely. I had already bought some decorations for the party...so we put orange and purple lights on the front porch and had pumpkin candles lit. My parents and my brother came over and went trick or treating with us. Kevin and I still dressed up, as we were already planning to for the party...that was not had. It was such a fun night because the whole neighborhood got into it. Even a lot of parents dressed up. This was great until a man in a mask jumped out of the bushes at this one house and I ended up screaming at the top of my lungs. My brother started laughing at me and the kids ran off in the other direction...not because of the man in the bushes...but because of my stupid screaming. The man felt so bad that he took his mask off and profusely apologized.

In other news...Colton has been given some trading cards by his friends at school. Yesterday, I asked him to explain them to me and show me how they play with them. They are called Yo Gi Oh! and they all look very scary. The text on the cards are in a different language...so I was not really sure what the "monsters" were supposed to be. I did see that some of them were called "demonio"...which was a red flag...even with my lack of any understanding of foreign languages. I looked up the word and it means demon/devil...as I suspected. Sooooo...I told Colton to put them in his backpack and wait for Daddy. Who would have thought we would have to sit him down and tell him why we have to take a child's card game away from him...due to the fact that he was playing with pretend demons. Now I feel like I need to walk through the house with a crucifix and oil praying against any Oh Gi Oh! weirdness. Scary.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Favorite

Colton

Chase

Aiden
Not only 3 of my favorite pictures...but 3 of my favorite people as well.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

if i can't be an olympic gymnast...

...here is the next best thing.
that's right...that would be olympic gold medalist, nastia liuken. today, chad called me from gloria dei...where the base camp for C.O.R.E. is. he goes there every morning to meet the volunteers and send out work teams to different houses that, in most cases, need to be gutted. so anyhow, he calls to inform me that nastia liuken randomly showed up to be taken on a tour of the area, meet some families, and work in a house. she was in town for the gymnastics superstar tour (which i went to tonight) and requested to come to the coast. i told her that i was coming to see her perform tonight and then i may or may not have offered to show her my 4th grade beam routine. at that...chad pretended to not know me. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

for family and friends who have been asking...

ok. so here is our big magazine cover. 2 days of photo shoots and a few phone interviews and voila...the finished product. (i love that chase is yanking my hair in the picture they chose!)

to see it, go to www.planaheadgetahead.com

then click on "download current issue of plan ahead. get ahead.

chose the link...
"Finding Balance: Balancing spending today and planning for the future. Wondering if you're on track. Typically ages 35-49."

you will see the pictures and article.

thank you...we will be signing autographs all month. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

LOSS

depression sunk in yesterday and i could not put my finger on exactly why. i have everything to be grateful for. my house survived. we have power restored. we have food in our pantry. and so on and so forth. but...i still felt so "wrong". i had those feelings that make you want to curl up on the couch, send your kids to play in the playroom or put a movie on, and hide under a heavy blanket until you drift off to sleep...hoping that things will seem different when you wake up. as i sifted through my emotions and tried to define what it was i was feeling, i was able to come up with two words. i felt sad. and i felt angry. ok...that was a start. so...why? why were these emotions surfacing today? as i talked through it with a friend, i realized that everywhere i looked...i saw loss. there is a whole spectrum of loss that is surrounding us, our church family, and our community. when these are combined and you experience them on a daily basis...they become somewhat hard to swallow.

just in the last week, i have found out that the schools were severely damaged...causing teacher's to lose their entire classrooms. some of the kids are going back to school to enter an empty classroom, with no supplies or desks. some kids are being routed to different schools entirely. our kid's school was severely damaged and we have not found out yet the exact conditions of what we are sending them into next week.

i have walked through a friend's home who lost everything. possessions from furniture to clothes to baby albums were destroyed.

chad is leading the relief effort and we see him for brief time periods right before the kids go to bed. the poor guy lost his voice the other day from sheer exhaustion. i think he goes to bed at 2 am and leaves the house by 7. i miss him. the kids miss him. but we know that he is doing what he is supposed to be doing and i'm so proud of him.

on friday morning, i attended the funeral of a 7 year old, little girl who had been battling cancer for a lot of her precious life. her little sister sat in front of me sobbing for her sister to come back.

friday evening, i loaded the kids in the truck to go pick up oakley...our new puppy that we had been talking about and waiting months for. they were so excited and it had been a source of joy and excitement that seemed to be alluding us all. we picked out a cage, a collar, a leash, food, shampoo, a bed, and had a cute little tag for his collar made, reading "oakley". the time had finally come and you could feel the happiness coming from the kids in the back of the truck as we pulled into the driveway of the breeder's house. as we drove home...oakley in hand and 3 very excited children, chase began whining. i turned around and he was covered in hives. 1 night and lots of children's benedril later...we made the tough decision to return oakley. the kids said a heartbreaking goodbye and left with my parents so that they did not have to go with me to return him. they were so sad and so angry. and so was i. i drove him back to the breeders and said goodbye to what i realized had been aiding in getting me through the evacuation...the sadness of the destruction...and the loss that had encompassed this community. i realized that new life...even a puppy's...brings hope with it.

today, i dropped aiden off at preschool, and the boys and i went to the store to get the stuff to make treats for some of the families who's homes we are working in. we came home, made the treats and delivered them. we went to what is left of a single mom's house. a group of volunteers from church were tearing out all of the walls, cabinets, and bathroom tiles. when i saw all of her furniture and her children's things out on the front lawn...ruined from flood surge, i all of a sudden felt really dumb standing there with peanut butter rice krispie treats. they have lost everything. there she is...with a broken wrist...trying to move furniture with one hand. like sugar is going to help that. it's just sad. everything about it.

i saw something written this afternoon that brought a peace that i have not felt in weeks...

"He is big enough to take every bit of the pain and anger you can throw at Him and love you through it all."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"The Boardwalk is Broken" said Chase today.

the parking lot as you drive into the boardwalk

the contents of a child's room (in the boardwalk parking lot)

boardwalk parking lot

a restaurant on the water

what is left of aiden's favorite ride...the carousel

what is left of our family's favorite, traditional ride...the century ferris wheel

one of the horses from the carousel

the Landry's sign

what is left of Starbucks on the boardwalk

the bbq pit...somehow floated or blew into the parking lot

all the boats washed onto nasa rd 1

random sailboat

boats from who knows where

same

the mcdonald's by NASA...the astronaut still stands!
i am abundantly grateful that our home, my parent's home, and my grandmother's home was spared with the exception of a tree and some fences down. a small child prayed the night of the hurricane that "God would send sparkly angels down to surround our house and protect it." that little boy's prayer was honored. despite the devastation and magnitude of the storm...the sparkly angels came. our house was spared. in the place of my birth and our home town, however, houses and businesses were destroyed in a way that i have never seen personally. when i left the safety and miracle of my home today to travel to one of our family's favorite places to go, i was overcome with emotions of sadness and despair. the kemah boardwalk is a tourist attraction for many...but for us it was a traditional family outing. our kids have grown up going there and take for granted that it was a mere 10 minutes from our house. for us...it was as common as mcdonalds. sometimes we would do it up right...eating...riding all the rides...and topping it off with ice cream or coffee. or sometimes, i would take the kids there during the week to stroll around...eat a picnic and play at the playground. sometimes, we would sit and watch the live music on summer nights, and sometimes we would be entertained by "boo on the boardwalk" during the month of october. we would always feel the magic of the sounds and lights of the rides...and would take friends and family there when they would come for a visit...becoming the favorite place for all the kids and adults as well. no one is allowed into the boardwalk now. the carnival music can't be heard. the lights are out. as we were driving through the area that once elicited screams of excitement from the kids and a childlike joy from their chaperones, chase...who was sadly looking out the window said, "mommy...the boardwalk is broken."

Monday, September 08, 2008

thoughts on not alot

so, my dilemma is that i love the feeling of starting the week with all clean laundry that has been folded and put away...as well as a clean house. when i wake up on monday and get the kids off to school, that is what i want. it just feels orderly. controlled. organized. however, that is not really a good plan because in order to do that, i have to spend saturday and sunday doing laundry and cleaning the house. and the weekend is family time. if i do it on friday, then by monday...it is already feeling chaotic again and the laundry is already getting full. but, if i wait until monday to do all the laundry and tuesday to clean the house...then it really never gets all the way finished because then we have homework...taking and dropping off of 3 kids with 2 different schedules...and everything else the week brings. so i find, that no matter how hard i try...the laundry is done, but not put away and the house is always only part of the way clean. i may get the bathrooms done one day, the furniture dusted another, and the floors swept and mopped and vacuumed another. i feel like i'm never "finished". does anyone out there with kids in school have a workable schedule that they love and are willing to share? if so...please share!!

in other news...this morning, chad was talking about hurricane ike before the kids went to school. we were taking about an evacuation plan and all of that when colton piped in. i figured, with him being in 2nd grade and already studying weather and knowing some about hurricane tracking and evacuation procedures and hearing chad and i along with the rest of the community discuss the destruction and seriousness of these storms that he would have some worries about this one. he has watched the weather channel with us. he has seen the news coverage. he has heard the debates by us and family members on whether we should evacuate or not and has even evacuated a couple of years ago because of hurricane rita. and...he worries. so, it was not a shock to me that he may have some concerns. when chad finished telling me what the latest forecast for ike was, colton asked worried, "so when would it hit?" and chad said, "saturday." then, i began to feel the mommy urge to comfort him and assure him that we would be ok and that we would take our special things and be out of the city before it hit. he, appearing even more worried than before then stated, "so...we are going to miss our saturday morning donuts????"

at least we know that his evacuation plan has to involve passing a donut shop.

Friday, September 05, 2008

on repeat this week...

i think...that without my music, my mood would always be a little blue. My favorites for this week include...but are not limited to...

Best for Last-Adele
The Beach Boys sounds of Summer
Audience of One-Big Daddy Weave (acoustic version)
Time-Chantal Kreviazuk
Baby Now I-Dan Reed Network
Imagine-David Archuleta (American Idol Performance)
Falling Slowly (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
I'm Yours-Jason Mraz
Kerosene-Miranda Lambert
Cover Girl-New Kids on the Block
Time after Time-Quietdrive
Don't Stop the Music-Rihanna
Shut up and Drive-Rihanna
Take a Bow-Rihanna
Heart and Soul-T'Pau
Africa-Toto
Best of Intentions-Travis Tritt
City of Blinding Lights-U2
The Walk-Sawyer Brown
The Continuum Album (John Mayer) really on repeat every week!!
Shining Through-Jill Scott

Friday, August 29, 2008

the man of my dreams...

growing up, i tried to picture the man i'd marry. would he be tall? would he have blond hair or brown? would he be rugged or clean cut? would he be from texas? would he be my age? older? younger? would he be outgoing...matching my sanguine personality? or would he be shy and quite? would he be cute? would he have to grow on me or would i like him right away? would he be someone i knew or would i meet him in college or even after college? would it be love at first site? would i notice him first or would he notice me first? would he make me laugh? would he be gentle, sweet and kind or more of a smart ass...(excuse my language but there is really no better way to call it.) would he be someone i've dated? would he be an athlete? after all...i did love athletic guys. you know the kind. not the jock, per say...but the one who is agile and coordinated. one that was strong. one that could take care of me. one that looks good doing whatever it is he is doing. all kinds of questions that would go un-answered. that is...until chad.

tonight, i was thinking about the answers to all of those questions. one jumped out immediately. friday night is family movie and pizza night. the kids have a "sibling sleepover" and watch a movie after we build our own pizzas. aiden and i went to the video store to rent the movie and then to the grocery store to get the stuff for dinner. i decided that i would make the kids their standard pepperoni pizza, but that mine and chad's would be somewhat special. i don't know what sparked this, but i ended up buying all kinds of veggies and different cheeses to make it more than just a generic pizza. i even opened a bottle of wine for us to enjoy with it. i got the kids fed and then chad and i sat down for our "special" dinner. when i sat down, i noticed that chad came to the table with his laptop. it was propped open to the side of him as he began to eat. what???? excuse me???? he then started audibly counting down. 5...4...3...2...1!! then he looked like a kid in a very over-priced toy store. he was beginning a fantasy football draft. it wasn't even for him. it was a draft for his brother because his brother could not do it himself for some reason. my first reaction was, "huuuuuuuuuuuuuh." "are you kidding me? i'm getting the shaft for something that isn't even real?" but as i thought about it, i was kinda proud. he loves sports. he is an athlete. he is agile and coordinated. he is strong. he looks good doing whatever it is he is doing. and best of all...over pizza...he talks to me about his brother's fantasy football draft like i'm one of the guys. and i wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kindergarten Chronicled

the beginning of "the boys"

time flying

the kermit backpack

his cute face

brothers

she misses "her boys" so when they are not with her

pre-tears

commence waterworks

he's ready to go in. i'm still hanging on.

"i'm ok mom."

bye.

I can't begin to describe the sadness that I felt as I walked my 2nd born son to his classroom this morning. Put aside all the speech and occupational therapy we have gone through for the last 4 years for the sole purpose of him being ready for today. The thought of how quickly the last, almost 6 years has gone by is close to unbearable. And the thought of how quickly the next 12 will go is too much for me to take. It's like time evaporates. The only positive I can think of to date is that it makes me cherish each minute with them. I remember every step with Chase this weekend and this morning. I don't think I would if I had not had the realization of how futile time is. Again. I had this same experience when Colton started Kindergarten...but managed to forget over time. There it is again. Time. Seemingly the root of all evil right now. Anyhow, Chase chose to go to the beach and to the rainforest cafe for his "starting Kindergarten celebration". We let him pick...and a great pick he made. We headed down to Galveston around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. He wanted to play in the sand and body surf, and that is exactly what we did. We had a blast. Uncle Kevin came along to help us celebrate Chase and all his hard work preparing for the monumental start of public school. I didn't want to take my eyes off of any of the kids. They were so full of life...goodness...joy. They never stopped smiling. (Well, Aiden did briefly when she learned that she was gonna have to pee in the ocean because there were no bathrooms around...but I prefer to think of that as a momentary lapse in time that we won't really remember down the line.) Anyways, we had to pull Chase in out of the water. He only spent a small amount of time building a sandcastle, which was really more of a sand mound once we looked at the creation. Uncle Kevin did build a sand turtle, to which Chase asked, "Is that a frog?" And then it was back into the water they went. I, of course was constantly telling them to stay by me and to not go out so far and to hold on to our hands and to be careful and always respect the water, etc. etc. etc. We did have a blast. Then, once they realized how hungry they were, we went to dinner at the rainforest cafe...which may rank up there with disney world for Chase. He picked out a frog...not unlike the other 184 frogs that he has and was thrilled with the purchase. We ate and got to experience 3 "rainstorms" in the cafe while we were dining and ordered the volcano for dessert which Chase called a "chocolate, chocolate truffle cake." It has a sparkler on it and must be had for all celebrations. We drove home as the sun was going down and I sat back and thought about the near perfect day. Fast forward to today...

He woke up...groggily meandered to the couch where it took a little coaxing to get him to get dressed. He wore chocolate brown cargo shorts and a surf t-shirt, green, of course. He was pleased with pancakes for breakfast and his usual ice water. I made his and Colton's lunches, trying to figure out how to pack them with things that would make a second grader and kindergartener know, magically how much their mother loved them. They each got their favorite sandwich. They each got their favorite drink. They each got an oreo for dessert. They each got a pencil. A frog one for Chase and a football one for Colt. Then...last, but not least...what they call a "love note" from mom. Complete with stickers of batman and a few words letting them know that there was someone at home waiting for them and missing them and thinking that they were the two most special boys in the whole wide world. Would it be enough? I wondered. Then it was time. All of a sudden, it snuck up on me. I had to take the pictures...and then the worst part.......let them go. We took a few at home and hurried out the door. My favorite part of the morning came and it actually didn't involve me at all. I let them walk ahead of me. And there they were. Brothers. Friends. An older one who had gone before...leading the little one who was heading into the unknown. And they were fine. Because they were together. That is when I cried. We dropped Colton at his classroom first. A simple hug would do. He didn't need me. And that was ok. We had been down this road before. Then, little Chase...with his big kermit the frog backpack, grabbed my hand. I fought out an "I love you, Chase." He said, "I love you too, Mom." I honestly don't remember what we talked about on that walk to Kindergarten. Probably about how much fun he was going to have...how excited he was...and on several occasions I remember him saying, "It's ok mom." The thing I remember most was gripping his little hand and never wanting to let go. That and the welling of tears in my eyes that I was trying to will away. We got to the door and I bent down to hug him. He said, "come here mom." He wanted help getting his lunchbox in the appropriate place and hanging his backpack up. We did that together and then he lead me to his seat. His classmates were already seated and I said, "Look Chase. Some other Kindergarten friends." He sat down and looked at me and said, "This is where I live." (A phrase he uses frequently.) Then I hugged him again. But this time, I held on a little longer. We said I love you's and then I had to walk out...starting one of the longest walks I have experienced yet as a mom. The walk home. Alone. I turned around at the door and smiled. He gave me a big dimpled grin and then waved. He was fine. I was thankful. I walked my little boy into Kindergarten. Actually, I think he walked me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

UKRAINE at a glance

some of the ukrainian translators (we love them)

leading worship...night 1

some of the citizens of the ocean area of lviv, ukraine
who came to the crusades

orthodox church (in ocean)

alter call after the last crusade night

keri, me and our friend lena...who we met in ukraine last summer and kept in touch with

men in black
taras, lubchic, and andrei (some of our ukrainian partners)

my brother, kevin and one of the ukrainian boys that loved playing baseball with him

leading worship...night 3 (schultzy...the hat is so cool!!)

my little girls that i fell in love with on the first night (they came back every night)

brother and sister...making, yet another memory together!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

projectOCEAN 2008

i am leaving the country today for a mission trip in ukraine. we are going to take things to orphans, and children in hospitals as well as teaching children, youth and adults about Jesus using varioius curriculum from our church (i am in charge of kids ages 4-17). we are also spreading the word about the new church that is launching in the ocean area in l'viv in september. we are putting on a street carnival for kids and doing some various concerts (we are taking a band) to help spread the word. we are also leading worship for a crusade the last 3 days of our trip where Jesus' message will be shared. please pray for this trip.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

stage name

watching the 3 d hannah montana concert on tv
colton would never admit to liking hannah montana...however i feel that this is proof enough. i love watching hannah montana with the kids. it is really a cute and funny show. it keeps us all entertained. the other night, her 3d concert was shown on the disney channel. chad went and got them 3d glasses from blockbuster that ended up not really working...as they were intended for viewing fireworks...but whatever. this was fairly close to the beginning of the concert...before they lost interest and went to play play station in our bedroom. it was at that point, that chad and i looked at each other wondering why 2 adults were sitting alone in the living room, enjoying a hannah montana 3d concert on tv. i thoroughly enjoyed myself though. in fact...i am a part of the band that is headed to ukraine this sunday and will get to sing onstage several times for who knows how many ukrainians. i have decided to change my stage name to mindy indi..........ana!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

hope...ful

chad and i are back in iowa. we got the call at 4:15 am friday morning. you know the one. the one that no one wants to get. the one that makes your heart sink and your stomach sick. it was davey...chad's sister's husband on the other end. katie (chad's sister) had been taken to the er late thursday night with what seemed to be a migraine. several hours later, what appeared to be a drug induced, peaceful and finally pain-free sleep was actually a coma. the doctor said that a test revealed that she had a ruptured brain anuerism. they gave davey a choice. we can let her quietly pass, or we can do a surgery that will most likely not help. davey made the choice. quickly. she was immediately taken in to a 3 hour brain surgery. chad and i left the kids with my parents and and caught the 7:30 am flight from houston to kansas city and then drove a rental car the remaining 2 1/2 hours to iowa methodist hospital in des moines. during our short lay-over in oklahoma city, chad talked to his brother. the doctor had just told the family that the damage was too severe and that they did not anticipate katie ever waking up. hope was lost. when we arrived at the hospital, we were met by nearly all of our family members and close friends. everyone was there for one reason. a miracle. when davey met us in the waiting room, he said that katie had squeezed his hand. she had heard his voice. she knew her husband. she did what he asked her to do. she had fought. God had fought. she showed everyone that hope is never lost. when human knowledge said there was no hope...Jesus said otherwise. katie is continuing to fight. she is fighting to wake up. she is fighting to talk. she is fighting for her life. for her family. through prayers of faith for her life...for her healing...God is fighting too. and i don't know about you, but i would want no one else fighting for her than Jesus. the ultimate warrior. the ultimate healer. her Father.

it is sunday now. chad remains at the hospital. at his family's side. at his sister's side. i am at the house with their 3 children. one of which is their 12 day old baby boy...who everytime i look at his sweet face, i see glimpses of Katie...and miracles...and Jesus.

you can find all the updates and information about Katie and her progress at http://www.confessionsofaslackermom.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

IOWA

on the road again...

who loves willie nelson?

we left this past friday morning at 4:30 am for the great state of iowa. we drove straight through and got here at 9:30 pm. it made for a long day.

so...i'm bloggin' from iowa. never done that before.

we have had so much going on that i sat down to check my e-mail for the first time tonight. it has been constant motion since we got here.

here are the facts...

on saturday, we had my niece's 5th birthday party, which was a hawaiian luau. aiden was in her element...getting to wear a flower in her hair and a hula skirt, colton enjoyed the competition of the limbo, but chase drew the line at learning how to hula. after the party, we got to hang out the rest of the night with friends. (which was a long-time overdue.)

then sunday, we went to two rivers. this was the church that we helped plant right after we got married. i love going there. then we went to lunch with family. after we got home from that, i played outside with all the kids (my 3 and my 2 nieces). we jumped on the trampoline for a lot of that time and then they wanted to get in the hot tub. i got in with them. that is when i played marco polo in a 6 foot by 6 foot hot tub with 5 kids. i lost.

on monday, we went to adventureland...which is an amusement park right outside of des moines. i learned my lesson last year and stayed off all the spinny rides. as did chad. we rode lots of roller coasters though...which i love. chase rode his very first roller coaster. it was the one that went upside down...twice...at a neck breaking pace. his rationale for this...it was green. colton was none-too-thrilled that he upstaged him. colton wouldn't set foot on it. our last stop at adventureland was kokomo cove, which is the waterpark area. there are like 7 water slides and we immediately lost chase and aubree. it was a beautiful day, but for some reason the water felt like it had been specially shipped in from the alaskan border and was freezing. we drew straws for who was going to go in to find them. i lost. i love water slides. i hate freezing water. then we went for dinner at some friend's house.

on tuesday, we went swimming at my friend's grandparent's pool. it was 3 moms and 8 kids, 7 and under. the older ones wanted to go off the diving board, so i treaded water for what felt like 4 hours to help them get to the side. chase has never gone off the board, and can't swim...but decided he wanted to anyway. in one motion, he climbed up, and ran off the board on top of me before i could even tell him what to do. i went under...under his weight...without being able to take a breath in. it took every bit of strength that i had left to keep him above the water to get him to the side. it is hard to explain, but i couldn't get to the surface and had to use only my legs to keep him above the water and get him to the side. i took in a lot of water and realized that i would have to let him go under so that i could use my arms a little to get us both there because i was sinking under his weight. it was scary. when i finally came up, my friend's eyes were like saucers and she was getting ready to come help me. i was coughing and chase was crying and saying..."that was not my favorite." then, last night we were over at my sister and brother-in-law's for dinner. we all went outside after dinner, where we were jumping on the trampoline again. i have a rule for myself that whenever i get a chance to be on a trampoline, i have to do some flip flops and back flips so that i know i can still do them. after that, davey...my brother-in-law was double bouncing the kids and they had to stay sitting in a tuck position. we decided that he should double bounce me and run under me when i flew up in the air. i told davey that i can't do fronts anymore and he said he would try. he whipped around in the air...landed...and his whole body went right through the trampoline mat. that's right. split the whole thing in half. he was just standing on the ground, with the tramploline mat at his waist. we all laughed. alot. oh well. we moved on to baseball in the back yard and smores around the fire pit.

today, we went to the park with friends and their kids...then to visit chad's grandpa lew. grandpa lew took them for a ride around his property in the trailer behind the tractor. chase loved this. why, you ask? it was green. then we got to go see this big little league park that was just named the lew clarkson park in honor of him. then we went for pizza at chad's dad's house and for hawaiian shaved ice. i got grape. chase and aiden got apple. why???? it's green. colton went to the iowa cubs game with his uncle kyle and chad. they just got home.

phew!!!!!!

tune in next time for the exciting conclusion of our trip to iowa.

at your own risk.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane...

and am highly nervous. i have not flown by myself in a very long time. chad does it all the time, but not me. i used to, and the closest i've come in the last 10 years is when i flew with colton and chase when chase was a baby. i don't even want to re-live that experience, so i won't. but i will tell you the part of the story where my mother-in-law dropped me off at the airport with 2 babies...one of which had a respiratory virus, 2 carseats, 2 umbrella strollers that were tied together, and a diaper bag. she could not go any farther than the luggage carwash due to rules and regulations...bla...bla...bla...that i think should be waved for moms traveling alone with more than 1 small child. with no questions asked. so, there we were. me and my boys. needless to say, i was in survival mode. colton was too young to walk through the airport at a mere 23 months of age and chase was a tiny baby. i made it to a bagel stand where i bought 1 for me and 1 for colton to snack on once we got on the plane. i stuck them in the top of my drawstring backpack...on top of burp rags, blankets, pappies, extra clothes for them both, comfort toys, etc...for easy access. once i boarded, it would be smooth sailing. i already felt like a 3 ring circus. everywhere i went...people just watched. other moms would offer glances of pity and support, while business men just tried not to make eye contact. all i had to do...was to get down the ramp, get chase and colton out of the strollers, plane side check the carseats, fold up both strollers to plane side check them, while pinning colton against the wall so that he can't run off and holding chase and the diaper bag. i got into the waiting line and made my way to the dreaded end of the ramp. when it was "go" time, i slung the bag over my shoulder in order to get the boys out of the strollers and when i did, the bagels flew out of my bag and onto the floor. there was this obviously annoyed business man behind me who had been clearly irritated by the slow moving strollers and fussiness and was probably in the middle of a prayer that we would not be sitting next to him when the bagels hit the floor near his feet. i...half-squated down with a baby half in my arms...looked back at the bagels and then up at him. he looked at me and said...and i quote... "i would get that for you...but my hands are full." he had a briefcase in one hand and a boarding pass in the other.

that is a true story.

well, tomorrow's trip to south carolina won't involve that i suppose. i am headed out for a girl's weekend with some much-needed relaxation at a lakehouse in clemson with friends. i'm excited. however...as much as i don't want to admit it...i think...tomorrow...when i'm on that plane alone...i won't even no what to do with myself. is it possible to already miss them? i haven't even left yet.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

i feel like a kid again

this last weekend and its happenings have made me feel like a kid again. and i must admit... aside from a few sore muscles...it feels great!!

it all started with a purchase of 3 concert tickets to a concert featuring a little band i like to call the "very first loves of my life." that's right. NKOTB!! that's New Kids On The Block for all you losers who didn't know. :) the concert is in october and it will be my 5th New Kids concert. there. i said it. i was a crazy, jumpy, hyper, obsessed, wait in line all night to buy the best tickets i can fan. this time i didn't stand in a line all night to buy the seats. i'm a little more "normal" now. that...and with computers...you don't have to. :) i asked chad to get me backstage passes for my birthday so that i can finally meet joe face to face and declare my, like, bizzillion year love for him, but i don't see it happening. none the less...i feel like i'm 14 again. not to be compared to the much more mature 14 year olds of today. keep in mind that 14 now is the new 21.

then...as if that wasn't enough...on sunday, we got to go wakeboarding. now...i LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to wakeboard. we had a boat when i was growing up and we used to ski all the time. then, in graduate school, i learned how to wakeboard and i've never gone back. but...i have not done it in about 10 years. i never lost my love for it though. it just makes it a little difficult when a.) you are either pregnant or nursing for, like 7 years; and b.) you don't have a boat. or a wakeboard for that matter. so...this last birthday, i actually asked for a wakeboard. i didn't get one, due to the fact that the only way i would be able to use it would be to set up the blow-up baby pool in the back yard, strap it to my feet, and have chad and the kids spray the garden hose in my face and dream that i'm on a lake behind a boat. well...as fate would have it, chad and i started a new small group about a month ago and there is a fun, young couple who, not only has a ski boat, but a wakeboard as well. so, there you go. i was so scared that i would not even be able to get up, but i guess it's in my blood, because i popped right up and even managed to go in and out of the wake a little. wooooohooooo!!

i'm just a little sore.

actually, i can't move my arms...but totally worth it.

then, today, i booked my flight for a girls weekend with all my friends in south carolina. i have not been away on vacation for anything like this...well...ever. so...i think i'm due. i leave in a week and a day and get to see my clemson friends that i have not seen in almost 5 years. luckily...i'm great at long-distance relationships. :)

like i said...i feel like a kid again!

Monday, June 02, 2008

the past week

wow. chad was gone in ukraine for a week and a day. he is finally back and brought me a starbucks mug from germany to add to my collection. needless to say he got two big hugs when he walked through the door. the first being a welcome home hug and the second being an "oh my gosh!!!! i have a germany mug" hug. we are glad he's home.

colton and aiden had a nice brother/sister bonding experience lately. she was about 5 steps up the stairs and colton happen to be at the bottom of the stairs. she slipped and fell to the bottom and her brother actually caught her and kept her from falling to the ground. colton yelled for us and aiden was crying...but not because she was hurt but because she was kind of scared and shocked about what had happened. chad and i got to the base of the stairs and asked what had happened. aiden, half crying said, "i hurt myself on the stairs and colton saved my life." we looked at colton and he shrugged and said, "i totally saved her life."

it was very serious to them and very sweet to us. we smiled and said, "WOW colton!! what a great big brother you are. aiden...you are so lucky to have a brave brother like colton." they were so proud.

meanwhile, back at the ranch...

we were watching something on t.v. and i can't remember what. but, i think there was a commercial on or something. all i remember is that colton said, "hey...that's like the wizard of oz." little chaser...always marching to the beat of his own drum and seemingly somewhat confused said, "what???? the wizard of bob's????"

i just looked at chase and smiled and started to tell him it was wizard of OZ but aiden beat me to it and blurted out, "what the heckda?" (that's her version of ...well...you know what.)

then they all started laughing with aiden and wondered where she got the "what the...." line. i guarantee you that chase still thinks there is some wizard named bob out there. just like he still asks to wear his human form no matter how many times i say, "uniform. it's uniform." just yesterday, in fact.

i love these little people that live in my house. i'm always very proud when someone says to me..."they get that from you."

Monday, May 26, 2008

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN

You are probably thinking that this post will be all patriotic and stuff...being memorial day and all. Well........sort of.

Chase's class did a unit on the olympics last week. They learned all about the different sports and how all the different countries are represented. They made their own olympic flags and talked about the fact that we are sending atheletes from the USA to compete. This was a great way for the kids to not only learn about the olympics...but also about our country. The flag that Chase made had the olympic rings on it and under them was USA. He was very excited about this and has been waving his flag for the past several days.

The other night, my parents brought dinner over and ate with us. Chase showed them his olympic flag and they were very impressed. My mom asked Chase if he knew what "USA" stood for.

Chase said seriously, "Yes I do."

and then, very patriotically and sincerely stated..."The United States of American Idol."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happiness Is...

My Starbucks Mug Collection
so far...
1. austin
2. new york
3. houston
4. colorado
5. atlanta
6. chicago
7. seattle
8. alaska
9. new york (holiday 2007 from mine and chad's anniversary trip to new york)
10. athens
11. vienna

Monday, May 12, 2008

OUR SWEETPEA IS 3!

happy birthday to you, our sweet aiden annee-grace.
our sweetpea...
our lovebug...
our sugarplum...
our gumdrop...
our baby girl...
you are so beautiful, you take our breath away.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

chad out of town...part II

chad's been out of town again. this time...atlanta. some church conference. i got a text from him last night saying that they were getting ready to go to a concert (rumored rascal flatts...but it wasn't) and then to hear jeff foxworthy. i got the text as i was getting the kids dinner made and getting ready to start the bedtime routine. needless to say...i was none-too-thrilled. i guess he didn't learn last time to not tell me about all of these fun things he gets to do while i am taking care of the house, the kids, the trash, the practices, the taking and dropping off, the shopping, etc etc etc, with no one coming home to me at night. anyway...all that's really beside any real point.

i had to coach chase's soccer practice again tonight. this time he didn't seem to mind. i think he has a little more respect for me after the other week. colton had a friend come home from school with him today to play and she was not going to be picked up until 5:30. practice started at 5. i didn't really think through this entirely, but it worked out for anna marie to get picked up at the field. chad told me not to forget the stupid goal that has to be tied up on top of the truck. i didn't forget about it. i just decided that it wasn't happening. the wind was so strong and by the time i got the 4 kids dressed and in the car, i didn't care if they had to outline a goal with their water bottles...i wasn't having to stop in the middle of the road to pick up a soccer goal that blew off with 4 kids peering out the windows. on the way, chase wanted to hear his favorite song of the week and asked me, true to form, if i had my "i pot" (i pod). that made me laugh. then with all the wind, dirt and dust was blowing all around the truck. chase said, "oooohhh look mommy...it's hoggy (foggy)out dare."

practice was going fairly smoothly...until aiden fell on the jungle gym and started screaming and made me hold her on my hip throughout the next bit of practice. about that time, my friend showed up to get anna marie. she needed her backpack out of the car, so i left practice in the hands of 2 other fathers while i went to get it and say goodbye to them. then, when i got back and started the scrimmage, chase was too tired and would only play if i gave him a piggy-back ride. so...there i am, coaching a 4 and 5 year old soccer scrimmage with chase on my back. literally. he did think it was funny when i ran and kicked the ball back into the huddle. i dare say it's the most "into" a game he's ever been.

after practice i was getting the kids in the car and that was when aiden started screaming, "we lost anna marie! we lost anna marie!"

at dinner, chase wanted me to tell stories about when i used to play soccer and colton, not to be outdone, started up with this story about how when he played soccer (he was 3 and hated it) that he was so good that he made 5 goals (he never kicked the ball in a game that i recall) and that after he made a goal, someone kicked him in the shin and he fell down and had to drag himself off the field. i said, "i'm not really remembering that." he said, "that's because it was in 2004 (it was). it was almost 398 days ago. that's why you don't remember." i just laughed and said, "possibly."

at that point, chase said he was still hungry. so, i asked him if he wanted a peanut butter fold over. he said, "what???? a peanut butter forward roll????"

i may or may not go to bed tired and confused tonight. at least i'll have a smile on my face. they are seriously so funny. i think we could be our own reality tv show.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

i'm just a girl

chad left this past monday for orlando and gets back tonight. in my opinion the kids have a tendency to "double" while chad is out of town. 1 feels like 2...2 feels like 4...and 3 feels like 6. monday was pretty uneventful. the boys had school and i did laundry. it seems like aiden and i did something...but i honestly can't remember what. tuesday, colton had his first grade field trip. they needed parent volunteers because there is no way that 1 teacher can keep up with 20 first graders on a farm. especially when you times 20 by about 6 for the other classes and then add in another school that was also there. a lot of parents ended up going to help out which was nice. this farm was about an hour away. i did not know this when we started out. only the kids and their teacher were allowed on the bus, so all the moms had to caravan behind the bus in their own cars. the bus made a wrong turn and got lost, so we then had several buses and a long line of cars pulled over on the side of the road for a while and the bus drivers called and got better directions. then, after we all turned around and got back on track, we got stuck at a stopped train. we sat there for about 15 minutes or so until one of the teachers called the police and had them call the rail line to have them move the train. they did and we finally arrived at the farm. i had drank my morning coffee on the way and had to go to the bathroom really bad at this point. the first thing i notice when i get out are the port-a-potties. yuck. anyhow...we went on a hayride where the kid next to me had an allergic reaction to the hay and started snotting and sneezing all over. then, a cow that we were feeding started swooshing his poopie covered tail all over us. all the kids (and me) started screaming and holding their noses. finally, we moved on. next up was the big slide made out of pvc pipes. i had never been on one and colton wanted me to go with him. huuuuh. i climbed the ladder and we made a train with colton and some of his other friends. then we went to this big jumping thing where i, again, unable to tame the inner child within, jumped with all the kids. there was 1 other mom jumping and a teacher...so i didn't feel so ridiculous. it was so hot outside too. after jumping for a while, i realized how out of shape i was and made a mental note to start working out asap. then, we headed over to the butterfly walk where the kids heard a presentation about the life cycle of butterflies. at this point...i was sunburned and sweating and was thinking "catapillar...wings...miracle...blah blah blah...lets go". side note to self...next time, wear shorts. jeans and sweating on a farm don't mix. then we went to the corn maze where they got to play in corn. at this point, i was over the farm experience and sat on a bench under a tree and texted chad. he was, of course in an air conditioned 5 star hotel with friends having lunch catered. this is when a made a mental note that i was too tired to start working out and we should definitely put that off for a couple of months...or 10. finally...we head back to the school.

we had made early dinner plans with one of colton's friends from school and somehow ended up at chuck e cheese. all you have to do is add a few fire pits and...in my opinion...you have hell.

as i was getting the kids out of chuck e cheese and into the car...which was like herding cats...chad texted me that he was at dinner with rick warren...the author of the purpose driven life and one of the most influential pastors in the world right now. i texted back...something like this...

"let me get this straight. i have been out at a farm all day, currently smell like a cow and stale pizza and am now in the middle of herding 3 very hyper children out of chuck e cheese only to get home to have to do the whole bath and bed thing alone...and you are having a nice, quiet dinner with famous people?"

he didn't reply.

wednesday...i had to register colton for baseball, which would have been fine accept chad told me the wrong place, making signing colton up for baseball a "drive all over creation...drag 2 whiny kids around...in and out of car seats umpteen times...end up being late to pick up colton from school couple of hours." it was somewhere in the middle of all this that chad casually texts me that i will have to coach chase's soccer practice that night. (it was at this point that i had an irrational picture in my mind of chad eating an ice cream cone strolling through disney world.) i digress. i played soccer. soccer was my sport. i know soccer. i love soccer. at the beginning of the season, chad had to ask me how you are supposed to kick the ball. (he's not going to appreciate me adding that in there.) this is not going to be a problem. however...i don't know how effective i can be at coaching 11 4 and 5 year olds soccer with aiden on my hip because she's tired of being dragged all over town for her brother's sake. all she wants to do is color in her hello kitty coloring book with mommy. (i'll squeeze that in during bath time. crayons can get wet. right?) i'll make it work. i sit down for 2.8 seconds and then realize that i have to go tie the soccer goal to the top of the suburban for practice. i got that done faster than i thought and proceeded to get the kids in the car to head to practice. aiden is crying because she forgot her purse and whining that she needs her lip gloss; colton is begging for gum and talking incessantly about the baseball sign up and how i didn't do it right as i realize i had forgotten to pack some water for us all and i'm thinking that i just don't have time for the nervous breakdown i deserve. on the way there, chase said..."where's my daddy?" i said, "he's still out of town, baby." then he says, "who's gonna coach my soccer practice?" i said...proudly..."momomy will." to that he said, "nooooooo. i need my daddy to. you can't play soccer. you're just a girl."

count to 10...count to 10...count to 10. make that 20.

Friday, April 11, 2008

i love that kid

most of you know that chase has a speech impairment. he has been in speech therapy since he was 2 years old. our goal for him was for full remediation to take place before kindergarten starts. i am so thankful that we started him in therapy so early. it has made a huge difference. however...along with a speech delay comes some very humorous words. for chase...his brain processes what is being said perfectly but gets tangled coming out of his mouth. it's a disability involving pronunciation. they say that it involves low muscle tone and that it should totally re mediate itself. this is why he is also in occupational therapy. the mouth is not the only muscle that is hard for him to work right. it has affected his fine motor skills as well. for example...it is hard for him to hold a pencil properly, or color, or form letters. his therapists are great and i know he will eventually get it...in his own time...and that's ok. he loves people and i always tell him that makes me more proud of him than anything else. anyhow...in speech...his biggest hang ups are L's and TH's and sometimes V's...depending on where they are placed in the word. for example...he would say, "i want to brush my teef" and "can i use gwu (glue)". his first swim teacher's name was liz and everyday he would say, "hi wiz." anyhow, the other day he said something so funny that i had to tell the masses. (at least the grandparents :) this is not so much a pronunciation problem as it was what he thought the words were. anyhow...he was wanting to put on his baseball uniform and play outside. he was also looking for his baseball glove and batting glove. this is what he came in the room saying...

"i need to put on my human form (uniform). and mommy...i need my glubbs (gloves)"

after he left the room, i looked at chad and chad said, "did he just ask for his human form?"

i said, "yep. he did."

i love that kid.