Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I’ll be back in a couple days. I hope your post-Christmas experiences are as nice as ours’. Love and good wishes to all!!!!!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
PS If you have not been a regular reader of this blog for the last year, or might have forgotten, please make sure to click on the above links so you can catch up.
May you all take a moment to see the answered prayers and miracles in your lives!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Of course, the master bathroom is still quite a mess. That will probably happen at some point after the holidays. In the mean time, we decided it just might be time to get some Christmas decorations up. The tree had been stalled by the ill placed mattress, and the rest of the decorations were stalled by my inability to handle more chaos while my house was already in such disarray. Fortunately, I got over my phobia yesterday, and my husband brought home a beautiful tree. We spent the evening decorating the tree and putting garland and lights around our banisters and railings. We also hung the stockings, and put a few other random decorations up around the house. The wreath even made it to the front door. We may never go through it, but the postman and UPS guy are sure to enjoy it. I might be biased, but I think it looks great.
The best part of all of this is the smells. When I walk through the living room I smell the subtle, but wonderful, smell of a fresh tree. When I walk into my family room, the smell of "Creamy Nutmeg" candle fills my nostrils. By the way, you can find that candle at Bath and Body Works or The White Barn Candle Company". Yummy!! A little later today, my Mom will be baking with my kids. They will make rolled sugar cookies, pull-apart bread (monkey bread) and a strawberry birthday cake for Baby Jesus, that we will share on Christmas Eve (strawberry with whipped vanilla frosting). Yummmm!!!!
We do still have some shopping to do, but with built in babysitters in town (thanks Mom and John), that shouldn't be a problem. The greatest thing for me this season is that I am actually feeling like celebrating. There have been plenty of years since Jeff died (1/6/00) that I didn't feel very festive. While I still remember, the joy of the season with my family has finally won out. Yeah for family! Yeah for Christmas!! Yeah for holiday fun!!!
Monday, December 17, 2007
#1 The names can not start with a "K" or and "A". They already have a Kayla and an Alicia
#2 They have eliminated the name "Jordan" from the list.
So people, what do you think? Can you help? It would be so very appreciated.
PS My friend Perri reminded me that a last name would be helpful here. Oops!! Their last name is Soliday (said like holiday). So, now you all can figure out what would flow nicely.
Thanks again everyone.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Honey, on the other hand, was most unhappy about being at the shelter. It was actually a nice place, but Honey was terrified. After we paid the $48 to spring her from jail, a nice lady went out to bring her over to us. After walking up and down the rows of kennels three times, she asked a couple other guys that worked there to help her. By this time, I was getting a tad concerned. All three of the employees walked up and down the rows, and finally asked me to come over to have a look for myself. First they took me to another yellow lab. Definitely not Honey. Hmmmmm... We finally found her in what appeared to be an empty kennel. You see, each kennel has it's own dog house, and Honey was so freaked out by all the unfamiliar noises and surroundings, she was hiding in the dog house. She finally peeped out when she heard my voice. The poor dog could not get to the car fast enough. This was definitely more adventure that she had planned on.
We still don't know how she got out of the yard to begin with, but you can bet that Honey will not be going outside without a leash until we do. We have a new license that I paid for at the shelter, and my parents have pledged to give her an early X-mas present....A Shiny New ID Tag. Yippee!!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Anyway, back to the story. My original goal was to pick out an outfit for the following day for Justin. It seemed simple enough. The first hiccup in my plan came when I discovered that none of Justin's laundry had been put away. Apparently, his older brothers found it far too strenuous to include putting the clothes in the drawers when I asked them to take the washed, dried and neatly folded laundry to the appropriate rooms. Silly me. Once I had sorted the clothes, and put them into the appropriate drawers, I discovered the second challenge in my mission. Justin seems to have grown approximately 6 inches since the last time he wore a pair of pants. He was wearing a pair of black jeans, and had one other pair of pants in the drawer that didn't make him look like he was ready for a flood. Since that was the only option left, I decided to look for a shirt that would work.
Long about the time I found a shirt, Justin came wandering into the room. He must have been less than thrilled about the outfit I chose, because he immediately headed over to his dresser to see if he could find something else. Since I already knew that his search would be fruitless, I told him that he was stuck with my choice, and that we need to get to the store to shop for some pants.
"Well Mom, I could just wear what I wore to school today."
"No, son. We can't wear the same thing everyday."
Said with a completely serious expression and tone, "I could if you just washed it."
He seems to have begun his "man training" early. He is already trying to avoid shopping. 8^)
Saturday, December 01, 2007
There is a movie that will be coming to a theater near you this upcoming Christmas Day. It is directed and acted by Denzel Washington (two time Oscar Winner). It is produced by Oprah Winfrey. The cast includes, Oscar winner, Forest Whitacker; not to mention the rest of the brilliant actors. This movie is set during a time when the fight for Civil Rights was truly intense (not that it isn't now). It is based on a true story, and appears to be well worth the dollars it costs to see a movie in a theater. The film has not yet been assigned a rating, but Denzel, Forest and Oprah assure us that it is a film for the ENTIRE family. Obviously, I will check into the specifics once the rating is released, but Will and I (at least) will definitely be seeing this movie. If you'd like to view a trailer, feel free to click here. Also, for what it's worth, Oprah had an entire episode dedicated to this movie earlier this week. If you are interested in learning more, please click here.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
4 Layering Tanks (juniors)
1 Zip-up Hoodie Sweatshirt (mens)
1 Ca-ute T-shirt (juniors)
2 Pairs of Slip on Flats (womens)
.....for $109.82. That includes tax and $0 shipping. The sale goes on until Monday, 11/26. Don't forget to click the link on my sidebar. Happy Shopping!!!!!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
1. I have the right to use, or misuse, any word I choose to; or for that matter, make it up out of thin air.
2. I have the right to say something, whether I believe in it or not. This does not condone lying or impersonating an individual. As we are all aware, the children (and friends and family) are reading. However, for entertainment's sake, some things just might need to be included.
3. I have the right to give random facts about myself, such as I'm 5'7", live in So Cal and am Mom to five pretty great kids; but not include any details I see fit to keep to myself. Frankly, it's none of your business if my kids were naughty, or if my husband and I disagreed about something.
4. I hold my right to refuse to use restraint in situations where you show up, on my blog, and say something that doesn't make much sense, close to my heart. Who are you, and why are you wasting your time (as unwelcome as it is) on my blog?
5. I do not need to subject myself, or my readers, to obnoxious and disrespectful comments; even when they are said "In the name of God".
6. I reserve the right to eliminate all "Anonymous" comments. If the thing you have to say is worth saying, surely the act of including your name is trivial at best. Please be proud enough of your statement to sign your name. Otherwise, you will be deleted.
7. I am a dedicated, Christian, stay-at-home Mom. You don't have to agree with all of my thoughts or points of view, but if you publicly question them in a disrespectful manner, you should remove me from your reading list. If you choose to disregard this piece of advice, your comments will be deleted.
8. I believe that if you don’t vote, you need to strongly consider your right to complain. You might disagree with the current/future administration, but where were you when it came time to decide?!
9. I, even if intending to make a list of ten things, might through lack of creativity, end up with only nine and then stop writing. Too Bad!! I do intend, however, to write all of my posts in English. Hopefully that will be fine with all of you.
10. I also reserve the right to intend to stop my list at ten, and then decide later to add to that list as I see fit. Hey, does anyone else have inspiration come to them in the shower/bathroom/while working out, etc.? Some things just MUST be included.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Mostly, we're all doing a lot better. The colds are lingering a bit, but that really just means we are going through extra Kleenex. No one is sick enough to not function normally....PRAISE GOD!!! My ankle is on the mend. I am supposed to start physical therapy this next week. I know that will help a lot because I can really tell that it is weak. Will has a little discomfort from his shingles still, but is feeling pretty good. The liver enlargement isn't gone, but the GI doc said he expected it to take a few months to resolve.
My Mom is doing great. She finished her last Herceptin treatment a month or so ago. She is working on losing some weight so she can get her reconstruction done soon after the Holidays. The surgeon told her that she would be happier with the long term results if she started at a healthier weight. The word is that she's doing a good job so far.
One thing that hasn't made it to blog world yet is that my Step-Dad (Grandpa John) has prostate cancer. They caught it early, but with his family history and the type he has, he has to treat it fairly aggressively. He started radiation therapy and hormone treatments a few days ago, and will have radioactive "seeds" implanted after the new year. So far, he seems to be tolerating the therapies very well, and they are planning to come out to spend Christmas with us. Hopefully that will continue to go well. 8^)
For now, I am doing my best to wrap my brain around the idea of the upcoming holiday season. There's lots to do to prepare for it, but since it is pleasant stuff I am looking forward to it.
So what's happening with all of you?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Oh, I almost forgot to mention......
The Chargers whooped the Colts yesterday!!!!
Saturday, November 03, 2007
While this is MY blog, and I have the right to post whatever I choose on it, I do want to take this opportunity to offer a brief explanation of my thought process behind the post that has stirred up such controversy. It was intended to be rather lighthearted and un-noteworthy. It included a silly link showing Barrack Obama and Ellen dancing around on her show. I found it funny and entertaining....period. I now see that some might have taken the fact that he happened to be on the Ellen show as me somehow endorsing a pro-homosexual stance. I can honestly say that the thought never crossed my mind. Perhaps this fact has been lost on some of my more inflammatory readers, but I have never mentioned gay marriage or abortion on this blog. That is not because I am without opinion on these issues, but simply because this is not the venue where I wish to discuss those matters..
I started reading blogs about two years ago. During that time, I have read plenty of posts that I disagreed with. In most cases, I just ignored them. As much as we grow to feel like we really "know" other bloggers; in truth, we only know the little bits and pieces that they choose to share with us. If I find that I regularly disagree with a particular blog, I just remove it from my reading list. After all, it is that person's right to say whatever they want on THEIR blog, and my right not to read it if it offends me. On the rare occasion that I have found it necessary to voice my contrary opinion, I have NEVER hidden behind anonymity. If my opinion was important enough to share, it was also worth signing my name to.
For the record, I am more than happy to have you all participate in lively discussion on my blog. I strongly believe that all Americans/Christians have the right to their own opinions, and that is one of the things I appreciate most about the country we live in. However, there are times and places that are more/less appropriate to get on our soapboxes. This particular incident took me by surprise, and I am grateful for my husband (Will), Dad (Tim) and cousin (Julie) for jumping in to defend me. I hope that the same would be true on any of your blogs as well, if you were subject to a similar attack. And for the record, I appreciate my friend Christy's comments too. We might have some different opinions in some areas, but I love her, and her willingness to stand firm in her beliefs.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
So far, I am still going to the Orthopoedic Doctor tomorrow, as planned. I only hope there will be some good news to be heard there.
Monday, October 29, 2007
On the fire front, we are doing OK so far. There is still one fire (out of 35) that is a small threat to our community. It's not so much that it is likely to burn us down, but the smoke is overpowering. The entire school district closed on Thursday and Friday. Even though the kids were able to return to class today, they were still unable to participate in any outdoor activities. The district hopes to left those restrictions by Wednesday. I guess we'll see, huh?
Will has been on Jury Duty since this past Thursday. It's kind of nice that he gets to sleep in a little (usually hist first class starts at 7:10am), but he also gets home quite a bit later than usual. Of course, he does get paid for Jury Duty. I guess this is what most families deal with when the parents work 9am-5pm. We are truly spoiled!! He expects to serve throughout the week. Hopefully, things will be wrapped up by Friday.
So, that pretty much covers things for our family for the past, and next, few days. If anything comes up that is especially exciting, I'll be sure to let you know.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Anyway, back to the newscast I was listening to. The reporter dutifully covered the latest statistics on each of the fires. She told us that SEVEN counties in California have been declared disaster areas so far. She then moved on to traffic. Traffic on a Monday in Southern California can be rather dicey under the best of circumstances. Throw in some Santa Ana winds, and a whole lot of smoke, and things get downright ugly. After reporting at least 6 different accidents along one 50 mile stretch of freeway, and covering the freeways that were closed due to fire, she moved on to the weather report.
The reporter, with her lovely English accent, told us that we are in for EXTREMELY low humidity, increased winds and soaring temperatures for the next two days. In fact, we will be under a "Red Flag Warning" for at least the next two days. For those of you that aren't familiar with that term, it is sort of like the Department of Homeland Security changing the "level" to RED. In terms of fire danger, it doesn't get any worse than that. Next, however, came my favorite part. It was time for the newscaster to talk about our current, local conditions. Here is the report, word for word.
"It is 68 degrees in the town just North of us, and 62 degrees in 5McCKidTown. Winds are gusting up to 80 mph, and there are (and I quote) hazy, sunny, debris laden, sandy skies."
Even the professional, stiff upper lip, English lady could not help but comment, "Now that's a new one!!"
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
We're still waiting to hear back from the doctor about Will's ultrasound. He had it done on Saturday, and it takes 3-5 business days to get the report. You can bet I'll be in the phone to the doctor's office tomorrow. This waiting thing is getting rather old. On that note, I came home to a message from my orthopedic doctor's office yesterday. For some unknown reason, they need to push my follow up appointment back by a week. In the mean time, I get to wear my clunky boot for a while longer. At least I don't have any special occasions coming up. Something tells me that this boot would not make any kind of fashion statement that I might be trying for. 8^) Oh, I just remembered that I need to make a follow-up appointment with my oncologist about my breast MRI too. I need to get on that ASAP so I can mark that wait off "the list".
We're hosting a pool party for my younger sister's birthday on Saturday. My brother is bringing his girlfriend, and this is the first time I will get to meet her in person. I'm excited!! This is the first girlfriend he has ever brought over (maybe the first he has ever had). He is a pretty major computer geek, so it is WAY fun to see and hear him being all goofy and lovey. I am SOOOOO happy for them! It will be nice to have the whole family together too. It just doesn't happen often enough these days.
Well, other than the Middle School drama that comes with having a child in 6th grade, 7th grade and 8th grade, that is about it for us this week. My kindergartner, Justin, is L-O-V-I-N-G Kindergarten. His teacher is as sweet as can be. In fact, Kayla even went in with Justin on a day off (just for the Middle Schools) recently, and volunteered for 3 1/2 hours. I spent MANY hours in my older kids' kindergarten classrooms, so it totally made my day to see her "pay it forward" like that. I guess middle school kids might not be so bad after all. 8^)
I guess I haven't mentioned Grace in this post, and since she's the only one I left out, that just doesn't seem right. Overall, she is doing great. She is growing like crazy, and talks more and more everyday. Someday we might actually understand more of what she is trying to say. In the mean time, SHE is quite certain of the message she is trying to get across. She was rather sad to see all of her older siblings head off to school this year, but has since become quite content with dominating my mornings. Oh, how I love to pick Justin up at lunch time each day. Don't get me wrong. I do enjoy hanging out with Grace, but Justin is still close enough to being her peer to appreciate most of her 2 year old goofiness.
So, there you have it; our life in a nutshell. I hope all is well with you and yours.
They Said What?
Edit: No people!! I did not do crack, or any other drug for that matter, before this post. Puh-lease!!!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
4 Things About Me:
Jobs I've had:
1. Payless Drugstore Cashier
2. Citicorp Credit Card Telephone Customer Service Representative
3. Telemarketer (hated EVERY moment)
Places I have lived: (Where haven't I lived?)
1. Skokie, IL
2. Littleton, CO
3. San Bernardino, CA
4. Winchester, CA
Food I love:
1. Chicago Style Pizza
2. Chinese Food
3. Fettuccine Alfredo
4. Godiva Champagne Truffles
Websites I visit:
3. My Family.com
4. TMZ (My guilty pleasure!!)
Places I'd rather be:
1. Alaska (only in the summer)
2. Ethiopia (to learn more about Grace's culture)
3. France, Switzerland, etc. (just so I can practice my French)
4. Australia, New Zealand (what can I say? I want to see the world.)
Movies I love:
1. The Notebook
2. Sweet November
3. Corrina, Corrina
4. Return To Me
TV shows I watch:
2. American Idol
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
People I tag:
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
As I wait for my own follow-up appointment, and MRI results, please think of all the women you know that have, or might have, breast cancer. I love you all!!
Friday, September 28, 2007
1. I severely sprained my ankle in New York.
2. Will went back to work 5 days after we got home from a 22 day vacation, and I was still on crutches.
3. The bigger kids, including Justin, went back to school.
4. Will got shingles.
5. My ankle was still swollen, discolored and painful. A visit to Urgent Care to have it x-rayed again led to the discovery that I was running a fever. Diagnosis...No fracture, UTI.
6. Will's side (right around the bottom of the rib cage on the right) swelled up.
7. We both went in to see our Primary Care Doctor.
8. I still had a fever. I got a new antibiotic, a labwork order, and a referral to the orthopedic doctor.
9. Will got a referral for bloodwork and x-rays.
10. Daniel got chicken pox, even though all of our kids were vaccinated against them. This virus is so rare in kids now, that the doctor examined him outside instead of taking the chance of exposing any other children in the building.
11. All of Will's bloodwork and x-rays came back normal.
12. My bloodwork was perfect, but the UA still showed a UTI. Fortunately I was on the right antibiotic this time.
13. I had a breast MRI to follow up on the inconclusive tests done back in May and June. Still waiting on results.
14. Will had an abdominal CT scan.
15. I had a CT scan on my ankle.
16. The orthopedic doctor told me that all of the care for my ankle up to now was wrong, and put me in a big, heavy immobilizing boot for the next four weeks. We'll re-evaluate then.
17. Will's CT showed a very enlarged liver, with no apparent cause.
18. Justin got chicken pox yesterday.
19. Kayla came down with them today.
20. Tyler went straight into bathroom to vomit when he got home from school today. That's how all the other kids started their bouts with chicken pox. It looks like he might have one spot. I guess we'll know more in the morning.
Of course, at the rate we're going, we might find out all kinds of things in the morning. Ugh!! If you happen to be the praying kind, we sure would appreciate being included. Thanks.
In honor of the chaos that has been our lives, here's a great You Tube clip I got in my email today. I only wish I knew this guy personally so he could customize a song for us....
Saturday, August 25, 2007
During our cross-country RV adventure, I severely sprained my ankle. At least, that was the diagnosis of the hick town ER folk about an hour and a half outside New York City. Keep in mind though, this is the same hospital that did not have have one pair of crutches for people from 5'2" - 5'10". In case you were wondering, that is the height range for the majority of people in America. After splinting my ankle, and ordering me to bear ZERO weight, they sent me back to the campground in a taxi, with a cane. Huh?!?! We got to spend the entire next day going from one medical supply store to another. We finally scored the crutches at the 3rd store. Unfortunately, they could not figure out how to bill them to our insurance. Grrr!!!
Once we made it home, some of the swelling and discoloration seemed to subside. As the time arrived for Will to go back to work, I realized that I needed to be able to drive a car. That's pretty tough in a splint. So we went out in search of a REALLY GOOD brace for my ankle. Our local Sport Chalet had just what I was looking for. It had laces, straps, elastic and velcro. What more could I ask for? Well, that was great for a few days. I could drive the car, and handle the longer walk to the potty and laundry room (it was about 3 steps to the potty in the RV). Unfortunately, the swelling, discoloration, throbbing, weakness, etc., did not subside over the past 2 weeks since we got home.
Now for a quick segue. A few days ago, Will told me that he was having an odd tingly, painful, burning sensation on his stomach. The next day, he told me that the weird feeling had spread to his back. The following day, he told me that it was in a larger area on his stomach and back, and was now traveling down his leg. What?! Well, a few months ago, Will's Dad had shingles, and the symptoms were sounding awfully familiar. I turned to my old friend "Google", and we were both even more convinced that Will, was in fact, dealing with shingles. Not only did every site confirm our suspicions, but they also resoundingly recommended that he get in to see the doctor ASAP. Dang it!
Since we acquired our new knowledge on Friday night, that left us with one reasonable optional for immediate medical care; Urgent Care. Ugh!! Since my ankle has still been an issue, Will thought we should go into the Urgent Care together. That was not my favorite plan with 5 kids in tow, but I had to admit that it did make sense. Fortunately, the Urgent Care was not slammed, and we had a fairly short wait. Our self-diagnosis of Will's shingles was immediately confirmed. Of course, the doctor had the benefit of seeing the rash that had suddenly appeared. He handed will two prescriptions and sent him on his way.
My visit was not quite so cut and dry. I thought I was just going in for a x-ray, but life is rarely that simple at our house. While the nurse was asking the standard questions, and taking my vitals, she discovered I was running a fever. I didn't even feel sick. The doctor agreed that my ankle needed to be x-rayed again, but he was for more interested in my mysterious fever. He looked me over thoroughly, and found no outward reason for me to be running a fever. The next step was peeing in a cup on my way down to the x-ray lab. Rather odd protocol for a sprained ankle, don't you think?! Anyway, the x-rays took F-O-R-E-V-E-R. There was one tech to do all the paperwork, answer the phone, and shoot and develop the x-rays. In the mean time, my 5 children were doing their best to not wiggle right out of their chairs. We did finally have one of the big kids walk up and down the hall with Grace.
Finally, the time came for us to head back upstairs to the Urgent Care. Well, some of us went upstairs. Will opted to take Grace, Justin and Kayla out to the car. The doctor had already seen the x-rays by the time we got there, and determined that I did not have a fracture. His only advice at that point was to take some strong pain pills, and follow up with my primary care doctor so she could refer me to the orthopedic doctor. Of course, there was still the matter of the fever to discuss. It turns out that the pee test was exactly what I needed to do. I had a UTI, and left the doctor's office with a prescription for antibiotics. I would have never guessed that I would end up getting no care for my ankle that day, but instead, end up leaving with meds for a completely different condition. So, like I said at the beginning of this post...WTF?
I wrote this way back when, but just realized I never posted it. It's interesting to read how frustrated I was feeling then. Now that we have had a bazillion other things go on, this doesn't seem nearly as bad as it did at the time. Thank goodness I didn't write on the blog for a while. I can only guess what other titles I might have come up with. ((blush))
Friday, August 24, 2007
After our hair marathon on Wednesday, I was not up to another long styling stint. I decided to try a Twist-Out today. It only took about 30 minutes to finsh, and the beauty of this style was that it only got better as it started to come loose. It could be considered "organized chaos". That seemed appropriate after my wasted effort a couple days ago.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
My four oldest kids started school on Monday, so that means Grace and I have our mornings together. Yesterday, when I told her it was time to get ready for the day, she walked up to me with her pick and her hand and said, "Pretties."
This is the same child that screams bloody murder and thrashes about on the floor for hair combing. I was not too sure I was up to fighting with her on what was only my 2nd morning without 5 kids in a long time. She insisted however, so I gave her a bath to get things off to a nice start. She sat beautifully as I got her all lotioned and dressed. She did not complain once as I applied her leave-in conditioner and combed out her hair. Her only concern was that she did not have pretties in her hair yet. 8^) After two hours with only a few wiggles, and crampy fingers for me, this is what she looked like...
PS Unfortunately, even though I only did Grace's hair right before lunch, this is what it looked like by dinner time...
GRRRRRR!!!! Oh well. At least it was good practice.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
We had a wonderful adventure on our journey all over the great US of A (details forthcoming), but we are definitely ready to sleep in our own beds and share more spacious quarters again.
Blaine, Will & Family
PS BTW, the final tally of our trip was 6,633 miles. Holy Moly!!!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
We were SOOOO glad to get out and about after almost 2000 miles of driving. We had a few chores to take care of, but then we were off to the playground. The kids had a great time running around. Grace mostly just enjoyed putting sand in her hair. The best part of the evening was sunset. Not only was it beautiful, but the kids saw fireflies for the first time ever. It was fun for me to share these little memories from my childhood with the kids.