Saturday, November 24, 2012

One year

It's hard for me to believe that one year ago today we were anxiously awaiting word on the closing for our house.  It has been a crazy year.  We got the keys for our house on December 5, 2011.  Then the work started.  Walls being torn down, electrical and plumbing work being fixed, carpeting removed and replaced, flooring removed and replaced.  Walls built back into new places.  This house has seen a complete transformation.  It was wonderful to be able to decorate this week for our first Christmas here.  Last year it still felt like we were in transition. Being able to live with my mom was a huge blessing, but it did make the Christmas holiday seem kind of lost in a way.  We were so busy working it passed with very little celebration.  We moved into our house on January 28, 2012.  By that time Kaitlyn was in school and we were not happy with her placement.  I learned how to truly fight the system. In May Joey was born and summer was a blur of diapers, feedings and giggles.  School started in August and I felt like my head may actually get a chance to slow down.  Then I blinked and Thanksgiving took center stage. And now here we are, preparing again for Christmas.  

We celebrate the tradition of Advent, so our Christmas celebration is the entire month of December.  Monday I start my own personal Advent study and the following Sunday we start our family study.  For any Christian that doesn't incorporate Advent into their Christmas tradition, it is an amazing thing to do.  The four weeks before Christmas is a study into the reason for Christ.  We celebrate Hope on week one, Peace on week two, Joy week three and Love week four.  Hope looks into the expectation of Christ by looking at prophetic passages as well as looking to His second coming.  Peace celebrates the peace we can have because of Christ, Joy the incredible ability we have to be joyous in everything because of Christ and Love celebrates the love God showed toward us by sending Christ to die in our place.  In the center of our wreath is the eternity candle, symbolizing the everlasting life we can have because of Christ.  It really is a fantastic tradition, and one I hope my kids will carry on with their children.  

So that is that... a full, busy, crazy but joyous year.  So many things to be thankful for.  I am VERY thankful to be home after 10 years.  I have loved each and every place we have lived for a different reason, but I think I can truly say that this is, by far, my favorite place!!  What a holiday season this will be!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

IEP's and nerves

Not quite sure why I always get butterflies in my stomach when I have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting.  Seriously, these things should be commonplace.  I have at least 2 every year!!  Still, those annoying little flying guys enter my system.  I think it has to do with feeling like I might mess up and ruin everything for Kaitlyn.  We've come such a long way, my biggest fear is failing her.  Letting her quit before she's at her fullest potential.  I want her to be the best she can be... cliche I know, but it's the truth.  I don't care so much if that's 3rd grade or a Ph.D. I just want her to be her best.  I want her to know that God loves her.. that we love her.. just the way she is.  It's hard to let go of those goals and expectations we all have for our kids.  I still cry when I realize something just isn't coming.  It's hard to see her struggle.  Andrea is at the point of completely passing her.  She just finished the first grading period of Kindergarten and is already passed Kaitlyn in reading and writing and some math.  Kaitlyn is starting to realize she's different.  She told Andrea the other day "I don't have to because I'm special".  Wow... where does that stop!  True, she is special, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have to do whatever... (this was in regard to cleaning up or something like that)!!  Hard days are ahead.  I had the "Don't expect so much out of your sister" talk with Andrea again the other day.  *sigh*  these are the rough things I really don't want to deal with!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Laughter is the best medicine


Especially the laughter of children!  My kids are rolling on the floor ready to pee their pants watching this video.  Not sure what’s so funny about it, but I laugh at them laughing!  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A crazy week


So since I’m so awful at actually logging in to my blog and typing something there, I’ve started a blog file in Word.  Perhaps sometimes my posts will seem a bit rugged or scatterbrained, I assure you, that’s just me.  My brain doesn’t think in a straight line. 

My washing machine decided to stop working last weekend.  It would fill itself up with water and just stop.  Quite annoying.  I discovered this little annoyance when I tried to wash a load of diapers.  Needless to say, it stunk.  Sat there all day Sunday and most of Monday.  Tried to spin it out on Tuesday (only then because I forgot about it Sunday afternoon!)  and it still wouldn’t work.  Because it’s an HE front loader I couldn’t open the door either.  What to do.  Phil was home on Wednesday (sick unfortunately) and he was able to take a look at it.  After much prodding and internet searching we discovered that there is a removable panel on the front of the washer.  Who knew.. and behind said panel is a wonderful little filter that sits just before the water pump.  This is great because it apparently catches the socks that my washer eats.. and the nails, and pennies and countless other things.  Gross nasty socks.. had that washer for 7 years and never knew that filter was there.  Who knows how long that sock has been there.  From the looks of it, quite some time.  But my washer is fixed, and working beautifully.  I have rewashed everything, and socks will be in a garment bag from this day forth!

My excitement for the week came last night in a wonderful little e-mail titled “Congratulations”.  First thought in my head…. SPAM!!  But alas, it wasn’t!!  I had entered a drawing on one of the blogs I follow.. The Pleated Poppy .. for a gift certificate to a wonderful little Etsy shop called The Throne of Grace.  I can’t say that I never win anything, because I have several times, but each and every time it catches me totally off guard.  I was so excited last night I was talking during movie night.. a big no-no in our house!!  So I’m excited to see what I ordered.  They sell these really cool prayer journals.  That’s what I decided to order, I’m excited to start using it!

Last Saturday Phil and I got a date night.  We started trading kids with some friends.  Once a month we or they get a date night.  Last month was their turn, so we took their kids for an evening.  This month was our turn.  We had quite a fun time.  We dropped the littles off and headed to Big Lots.  Sound weird?  It was a challenge.. we each had $10 to spend and we had to find something as a gift for the other.  Not just anything, it had to mean something, and we had to be able to tell what it meant.  It’s harder than it sounds!  I originally considered doing it at the dollar store with just $1 for each of us.  I gave Phil the power of how much was spent and where we spent it.  After that excursion we headed to a local park and had our packed picnic dinner.  A French baguette, dipping oil, fruit, veggies and cheese.  People don’t have picnics like that much anymore!  The last families I have seen having a picnic have KFC or burgers!!  So anyhow, while we ate I had printed a list of “Pillow Talk” questions.  Things like “Who do you admire?” and “What is something you would like to do before you die?”.   Our date rule (a while standing) is that there is not to be any talk of kids, finances or home improvements.  Those are things we can talk about every other night of the month.  The only problem with that rule is it often leads to a lot of chewing and starring.  Then we leave our date night feeling like we spent no time together at all.  A list of topics or questions helps immensely!  So after we chatted a while we gave our gifts.  They were rather silly, but quite touching.  Smiles all around.  Then we went for a walk.  The park we were at has nice trails along the Chagrin River.  We saw an 8 point buck just yards away.  Got some wonderful pictures of him.  Then we headed to Starbucks for dessert.  Any time we’re at Starbucks we do our best to come up with a million dollar idea… we have yet to succeed.  I can’t believe we haven’t come up with anything yet.  I saw something ridiculous just this morning being sold on TV….a pump for your drink container.  Seriously, like a pump on a lotion bottle.  You screw it into your gallon of milk and your kid can pump the milk into their own cereal in the morning without spilling all over the table.  If that kind of stuff sells WHY haven’t we made our million yet?!?!?  Oh well, perhaps next trip we will come up with something equally stupid. 

Well.. I have posted.  Check that off the list for today :-P 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

HA RIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

So all good intentions still existing, I have failed in my first week's attempt of making sure I post something every few days.  That being said, I do have an excuse.  I have been sick.  Not only have I been sick, but Joey (the 4 month old) has as well :o(  poor baby.  A stuffy nose is hard to contend with when you're not quite sure how to breath out of your mouth or sleep without sucking your thumb!  Thankfully we are on the road to recovery!  Mom's don't get sick days, but it was quite a blessing that Phil was able to be home on Tuesday when I was at my worst.  I went to bed at 8 (I think I was in bed before the kids!) and Wednesday I awoke feeling much better.  Unfortunately, a very busy week with a sick mom leads to a disaster of a house.  And Friday I added to the disaster by re-covering (with help) all of my chairs.  Not just the dining room chairs but the desk chair and my craft room chair too.  Quite a fun (but messy) project.  I have to say though, they look FANTASTIC!  When I get the chairs painted I'll post pictures.  Okay, now off to clean the bathrooms, make beds and hopefully take a shower before Phil gets home from work.  We get a date tonight!!!  So excited :o)  I LOVE living near friends and family again!  We're trading off babysitting with friends every other month.  It's nice to have that guaranteed fee-free babysitter once in a while!  I found a fabulous website for "dating your spouse" ideas. www.thedatingdivas.com  I'm having LOTS of fun with it!  This will be our first "out of the house" adventure.  Perhaps that will be one of my posts next week!  ~ L

Friday, September 7, 2012

Routine

School has been in session for two weeks and I think we have finally settled into a bit of a routine.  Given that, I have vowed (yeah right, like that EVER works) to post on my blog AT LEAST three times a week.  I should be able to do that right?  I mean, I'm kid free- except for the baby- three days a week.  Now I just have to come up with things to talk about.  I don't feel very interesting.  I love to write, just have a difficult time feeling like I have something worthy of writing! So anyhow.. I'm going to try and come up with so sort of schedule for posts.  I've seen a lot of the "What I Wore" and "wordless" Wednesdays.  Maybe I'll go back to something like that, though I don't like to take pictures of myself!  We'll figure it out.  Big thing is, thanks for sticking around when I'm quiet!! ~ L

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Throwing up my heart...

Ok, just a warning, I'm posting something rather personal today.  This is a bit of insite into me I guess.  I found a journal of poems I wrote from 1996-2000.  One of them I wrote at camp, the night I was saved, in July of 1997.  I thought I'd post it... for why I have no idea, but I thought maybe someone somewhere would like to read it.  Yes, I'm throwing up my heart on my blog, so be nice!!!


My Prayer- Lydia Orban
Tonight I walked in silence
To find my lost souls home.
Tonight I cried through pain
I’m bearing on my own.
Then someone took my hand
And showed me that you cared.
They said you died to save
My lost soul from despair.
I’ve know that this was true
And that you gave your Son
To die, my soul to save.
That victory he’s won.
I thought I gave my life to you
So many years ago.
And yet, still in sin,
My heart is wandering so.
I want your gift of grace
So badly to receive
That I may find true rest
And my soul may find relief.
So Lord, I’m asking now,
Please give me strength today
To overcome life’s trials and fears
And live for You each day.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Heat makes me think.

So I posted a sort of book review over on my other blog. Here it is if you want to read it.

Okay, so if anyone out there is still reading this crazy blog... I haven't expired.  Though I have felt close to it a time or two!  The heat up here is crazy!  I haven't experienced heat exhaustion in several years, but the last two weeks have been miserable.  AC is a necessary addition to this gorgeous house of ours.  I realized that I haven't posted anything about our renovations so that will be coming.  For the moment I need to step away from the computer and go feed my crazy kids!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Joey

So since I last posted...way too many months ago... we added to our numbers.  Joey was born May 2.  He is an incredibly content baby and I am thrilled how Kait, Andi and Chris are taking to him.  They fight over who gets to hold him.  The biggest blessings come in the tiniest little packages!!


Now do you see why I'm in full on heart melt???  I can't get enough of him!  Definitely taking my time and enjoying every moment of this :o)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Random Encouragement

It's crazy how God encourages us sometimes.  Totally random things that come from no where and literally smack us in the face to say "HEY!!!  I'm here and I love you and I care about you. SMILE!!"   Case in point.......I was having a horrible day today.  Phil works on Saturdays until 1- can't complain about that too much, he gets a full day off during the week and only has to work a 1/2 day to "make up" for it!!- so I take the kids to GYM (Gym Youth Ministry) at our church.  The girls get to play for a few hours and Christopher gets some much needed "alone" time with mommy.  Well, today I couldn't get into my car.  Thanks Ohio for getting me used to leaving the car outside with no issues... I totally forgot it was still February until you decided to dump 4 inches of snow on me and freeze my car shut overnight! Great start... the kids have been sick so they were really looking forward to going somewhere.  I was looking forward to a slight bit more quiet!  Anyhow... when a day starts in a funk it's hard to get out of it.  Well Phil got home and we had some errand running to do.  He noticed my lack of enthusiasm and said "Hey, we have Kohls cash, want to stop over there?"... uhhhhh DUH!! yes thank you!  Now, I don't always say Kohls has the best deals, but their sales are typically pretty good.  I do enjoy looking around, though I don't always find something.  But hey, with $20 in your pocket that expires you can find SOMETHING!!!  So we walk in to see a sign that says "Take an extra 40% off all clearance items"... GoldStar clearance time I guess.  Phil got a winter coat last week for $36 and I thought that was pretty good.  We made some purchases for kids birthdays and such, got Phil a much needed pair of snow boots, and got some fantastic deals.  Saved over $500 (off original prices) and only spent $75.. came home with 5 pairs of shoes, and at least 3 gifts for each of the kids.  Not a bad night.  Much better end to my not so fantastic start.  Well, while we're at checkout Christopher is being his typical curious self and goes behind another register.  After a second he says "Hey mommy, your bottle is here."   What does that mean??  well, last week I lost my water bottle.  Not a horrible thing, but it was BRAND NEW... made me rather upset, but hey, it's a water bottle, not a kid.  Sure enough Phil looked, and there it was... right under the register behind us.  So totally random... it still had water in it.  There was my burst of sunshine.  Random encouragement. Such a nice thing given the past week's turmoil with meetings and such... more about that HERE

Monday, January 2, 2012

Update

It's hard to believe that it's 2012.  What a year 2011 was! So much has gone on since my last post.. August.. what a good blogger!  There has been so much going on I guess most of the nights I feel like there is too much to talk about.  Well, it may be a long post, but here is  run down.

September 2011- Phil was hired with 5/3rd bank and officially put in his 2 weeks.  So excited to move home.  We put out house on the market with full expectation that it would take AT LEAST 6 weeks to sell.  WRONG.  We listed the house on Friday, it sold, with contracts signed and financing done the following Thursday.  Sunday Phil left for 2 weeks of training out of town.  So I packed.  I had a good amount of help and was able to get everything done in a week.  Saturday we got the moving truck, packed up and moved all of our things to a storage unit 4 hours away.  Home.  Back to my roots.  The following week we spent with Phil at his hotel and then came back to move in with my mom.  OH yeah, found out in August we're pregnant again.  VERY excited!!

October 2011- Looking for houses.. getting pretty frustrated.  Made offers on two different places to no avail. We know that our house is out there, it's the finding it that gets frustrating.  I'm homeschooling the kids and getting a bit frustrated with Kaitlyn.  It's hard to teach any autistic child, but even more difficult when you don't really have a space to associate with school and have a schedule that is different every day.

November 2011- Put an offer on a house... it was accepted!  So excited.  Seems like maybe there will be an end after all.  The week of Thanksgiving my moms neighbor died.  That was tough.  Known him since we moved here when I was 2.  Like losing a well loved uncle.  Kaitlyn started school 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.  It's been so nice to have a regular schedule again.  She is enjoying it very much, though I can't say I'm too impressed in what they're doing for her.  I'll have to wait and see how it goes I guess.

December 2011- Got keys for our house on the 1st.  What a great belated birthday present for Phil. Let the work begin.. We are gutting the downstairs... that is a whole different post!!  Lots of work, running around etc. Busy busy month.  December 11th my grandfather passed away.  Again, a whole different post will be required to talk about him.  A very bright light went out in my corner of the world.  I posted an article about my grandpa here a few years ago.  December 20th the pastor emeritus of the church I grew up in passed away.  Three funerals in three weeks is not fun.  What an emotional holiday season this has been!!

January 2012- Here we are.. again I can't believe it's 2012!  I remember being in elementary school and thinking that 2000 would NEVER come.  12 years out of High School, 9 years out of college... 9 years married this year... Phil and I have been together for 11.  I'm not old enough for this!!  But I have learned so much over the last year.  Learned about myself, the strength of which I am capable.  The tenacity that resides in my bones.  This year I will not be scared.  I refuse to view things with an underlying fear of failure. I'm sure I will fall over the course of the year, but I resolve to stand up again.  I will not lie down and just give up the fight.  And I, as well as my family, will be better for it!
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