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my football-her...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

'Look, mom,' Maddie said as she wacked herself on the shoulder. 'It doesn't hurt.' Then she turned around and headed outside to play football with Alek.

After he tackled her, she jumped back up and yelled, 'That didn't hurt! Bring it!'
I think I'm in trouble.


my coupon clipper

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It doesn't violate any child labor laws if she actually LIKES cutting out coupons, right?! This stack took Maddie most of the morning, but somehow she didn't seem to mind. Still... I think I'll take my FB friends' advice and pay her with some chocolate chip cookies. Ya know... To lessen the chances of a lawsuit. :)


My view

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm figuring out that I have the most time to blog when I'm sitting on a bleacher somewhere waiting for a kid to get done playing a sport. So if you can put up with the typos, you may be hearing a bit more from me this summer.

Today I'm waiting on Alek to get out of basketball practice. This summer is the first time he hasn't played baseball since he was four years old and I have to admit it was tough for me to swallow. And of course, you know it's ALL about me. ;)


Play ball!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm posting this from my phone, sitting on the bleachers at the ballpark, so I'll make it quick.

We've been crazy busy with the end of school. The kids have been off a week now and we're starting to get settled into our new routine. And, of course, that includes baseball.

Maddie's team started practicing tonight and she couldn't be more excited. Hope to have more updates for you in the coming days.


little house on the prairie

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

God, it seems, has a sense of humor.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a real life friend, who has become not only a great encouragement, but my own personal moving buddy. Our lives have eerily mirrored each other in the last six months. Insanely so, really. First her husband lost his job and then was offered a miraculous solution just six weeks later. Not only that, but they had to make an out-of-state move. Sound familiar? Yeah. The same, exact thing happened to us just six weeks later.


wagers and wages

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We're not the betting type.

We don't visit casinos, I rarely buy lottery tickets and I haven't filled out a March Madness bracket in years.

But this week we've had a family bet going - which U-Haul design would grace the side of our moving truck?

We're weird that way.

The kids REALLY got excited! You should have seen them on the drive home from school yesterday. They BEGGED me to take them right home so they could see the truck's design. Unfortunately for them, we had about two hours worth of errands to run. By the time we turned onto our street they were straining their little necks for the first glimpse at the side of the truck...and who had won the bet. Shad picked the manitee, I wanted a canoe, Alek was sure we would get the fish, Anya picked a flower and Maddie wanted a butterfly.

Nick won. It's a moose.

I don't know how ANY of us could have gotten it right with all the design choices, but he says he 'felt' it. ;) Anyway...Nick was presented with a movie-size box of M&Ms as a prize. He was thrilled. It's the little things, really. We've used the guessing game to help build excitement for each of our last few moves. It makes picking up and moving across country a little easier to swallow if you have some chocolate to help it go down. ;)

Day one of packing went well. Actually, I should clarify...Shad did well. I sat at my computer feeling guilty all day because I had to finish some freelance writing assignments.

Never fear! I get to do my part today. We're about a third of the way done. Shad packed all the non-essentials yesterday. Our 'new' house is WAY too small so we're putting a TON of stuff in storage...and all of that is going in the front of the truck.

And when I say WAY too small, I mean it. It's a one bedroom house that has been turned into a three bedroom by finishing a basement. We'll be packed in there like sardines, but that's alright. It's temporary.
Yes, that's how we do things in the Sunflower household. We find temporary solutions. ;) The town we are moving to has a housing shortage. A severe housing shortage. I think we were lucky to find this thing. We do, however, have a lead on a much larger house that should come up for rent in December. And it's in Tiny-Little-Town (still looking for names)...which is good, because that is where the kids are going to school.
We visited Tiny-Little-Town during our College Town housing search last weekend and I have to say, I love it. The district superintendent volunteered to met with us at the school (on short notice no less) and gave us the grand tour...on a SATURDAY! She was genuinely thrilled to have the kids move into the district (I think it has something to do with us increasing their student population by 5%!)

She took us through the whole school, opening doors and answering every one of our questions without acting like we were putting her out. And she engaged the kids in a way I haven't seen in a long time. She is FANTASTIC.

That sealed the deal.

That, and the fact that we had the whole town (and I'm not exaggerating...much) looking for a home for us. We had real estate agents calling clients, neighbors calling neighbors and bank presidents following leads. In the end, we didn't come up with housing in Tiny-Little-Town, but we did come away with the feeling like it would be a fantastic place to live.

It's a bit 'Mayberry-ish'...which is just fine with us. After all, how many towns still have country music piped through the downtown music system. Seriously. Oh, and they have one of those A-Frame community notice boards sitting in the intersection of First and Main.

I love it! Of course ask me that again in a few years after we re-discover there are no secrets in small Kansas towns. But that's okay...we'll still take it. We believe the small class sizes will be just the ticket for Nick who is still struggling in math and for Maddie who, while doing fantastic in school, could use the extra one-on-one attention. Alek is excited that he won't have to worry about trying out for a team...he'll get to play, regardless...AND he can get his driver's permit in a couple of months. (Lord, help us, please!)
Anya is our wild card in this move. She says she's fine...but she's one of those 'waters run deep' people. She can appear totally fine on the outside and truly be struggling on the inside.

Sigh. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Shad starts his new job on Monday...so the packing continues. In earnest.


adverbs and adjectives

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It looks like this is the week.

All the pieces are falling together...so it MAY be the week to move.

I say MAY because we haven't been able to get in touch with our landlord here to let them know of our decision. They know Shad was laid off...and they've known for the last month that this would more than likely be it...but every time we have called them in the last week to discuss details, we haven't been able to touch base with them.

It's frustrating. But we're forging ahead. The thing is...if we don't leave now, the kids and I will have to be separated from Shad again. And I'm NOT doing that if I can help it. So we're packing...and lifting...and cleaning...hoping against all hope that our landlord will FINALLY get his act together and call us back.

In the meantime, we've found a little place to live. And when I say LITTLE, I mean it. But that's okay. This time we'll have a nine month lease. Just long enough to put about 2/3 of our household goods into storage and wait until a nice BIG house in a little tiny town comes up for rent in December. ;)

And then we'll be set. No more moving until our house is built. Yes, you heard me. That is the plan. We are bound and determined to put down roots...and roots require land, at least at our house. We'll rent for a couple of years and then build. Something we've wanted to do for a long time. And living in the tiny town, at rental prices of a tiny town, will allow that.

I'm so excited! :)

In the meantime, I need to come up with a new moniker for the itty bitty little town. Something appropriate. The Emerald City is already taken...and City really doesn't describe the itty bitt little town. It doesn't even describe the middle-sized town we'll be living in temporarily. Dodge City is a little too close for comfort geographically...Po-Dunk a bit demeaning.



blessings in abundance

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My friends, we have witnessed a miracle!

God heard our prayers...and answered...in spades!
When I last updated you, Shad had just been laid off. There was no real warning. She just waited until the end of business on a Friday, handed him a check and sent him on his way.

The day before, Shad had received a job offer from a community college back in Kansas for a job as an instructor. But he was hesitant to take it, because it meant leaving the veterinary field and taking a HUGE cut in pay.

The Monday after his dismissal, he called the college back and asked them several questions, none of which they had the answer for. The most serious of which, how much would his summer pay be? We couldn't just move our family that far and not have something to carry us through three months!

Over the next week and a half we waited, continued the job search, and prayed...but NOTHING happened. Seriously. Nothing. They didn't call...no one returned calls on his resume...nothing. Nada. Zilch. To say we were discouraged is an understatement. We both went through some serious soul-searching. Were we really supposed to go back to Kansas, regardless of whether they answered our questions? Why was God being so quiet?

Then Wednesday evening the college finally called back. They not only answered his many questions, they increased his salary (to just short of what we were making here)  and are allowing him to do consulting and relief work.

But that is not all! Shad decided to sleep on it...really kind of waiting to see if anything came through on the veterinary job he had interviewed for. After all... he is still a vet at heart.

Instead of hearing from the job, Friday morning he got a call from the state vet in Kansas. Shad had put in a call earlier that week, wanting some answers to some questions about some medical stuff I'm clueless about. Anyway... Shad finished up the conversation with a random question about a veterinary student loan repayment program. It was something he had heard about happening in Colorado and Wyoming. He wanted to see if there were any open positions in Kansas.

'Sure,' the guy said. 'We just finished updating that information. Let me give you the locations.' He read down the list... and one of them was for the community college!!!

NOT. ONLY. THAT!!! It is for the EXACT position Shad had been offered!!!! So he is the ONLY one who can apply for and receive that grant.

This grant is MASSIVE...at least to us. It will pay $25K a year, every year Shad works for the college until his student loans are paid off. I don't think I have to tell you how huge of a student loan a doctor can have! This has been something that has hung over our heads for YEARS! In fact, just the night before he received this news, we had been talking about how I would HAVE to go back to work, just to pay for his student loan. It was a given...we had no other option. But God just gave us one.

NOT. ONLY. THAT!!!! The state veterinarian also told Shad that the area vet, based in another town, is retiring...and they want to move the position to the college town. He thinks Shad could do that on top of his teaching duties...so there would be some extra benefits and pay that comes along with it.

I CAN NOT tell you what a HUGE thing this is for us. When Shad told me, I screamed...and then I cried - a BIG. UGLY. cry. God is SO good. He is SO faithful.

So...we're moving. Again. Hopefully this time for good, but honestly, we have learned our lesson to NEVER say never where God is concerned. Our God's job is still not done. We STILL have a lot of loose ends to tie up. We need to find someone to take over our lease here before we can get out of it. AND we need to find something reasonable to rent there. A large dairy has moved into the area and is snatching up all available housing for their employees. There is NOTHING for rent right now...nothing. But again...with God ALL things are possible.

Could you pray that something opens up...and if it is in God's will, that the housing be in the TINY town nearby. The school district there, is the same size as the one Shad and I grew up in - less than 100 kids in the entire school - K-12! We believe after all the chaos of the last year, the small, intimate setting is just what our kids need.

We also need to give Colby a start date...something we have NO idea about right now. We really don't want to send him off to Colby by himself. We've been there, done that. It's no fun. So prayers for wisdom would be helpful too.

But honestly? I'm not so worried any more.



Friday, February 24, 2012

Today was the day.
She let him go.


the waiting game

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The interviews are over.
Now we wait.
And you know how I feel about waiting. Unfortunately, for me and those in my immediate vicinity, I'll be at it for at least a couple of weeks. Neither job will be done with interviews until the beginning of March.
Both interviews went reasonably well. Unfortunately, both positions would take us back to what Shad earned right out of vet school...which means cutbacks and more than likely, I would have to find a full-time job.
Not exactly what any of us want to hear.
In the meantime, there's nothing new on the job boards, unless you count the position in Guam, but somehow I don't envision us moving our clan to an island the size of a postage stamp, out in the middle of the Philippine Sea.
Besides, it's hot there...and the mosquitoes are as big as your head.
No. I think we'll stick to the continental U.S., thank you very much.


time's up

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I sent my husband out the door on a job interview this morning.
I would like to say I got up extra early, fixed him a big breakfast and kissed him as he walked out the door, but it was more like I mumbled 'good luck' before I rolled over and went back to sleep.
Cut me some slack. It was 4 a.m.
Shad is on his way to a town about 4 hours from here for a job interview this morning. This is the one I mentioned... the one he interviewed at about seven years ago. At the time they offered him the job, but we just couldn't make it work financially.
We're willing to take a second look now. ;)
But that's not all...
He has another interview on Friday. This one is back in the Sunflower State, although nowhere near our old home. (What is it that keeps drawing us back there?!)
Other than those two jobs, there is nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. on the job horizon. We haven't seen a job posting that Shad would be remotely qualified for in a couple of weeks...which is making me a bit nervous.
Why nervous, you ask? You have until the end of March, maybe even longer?
Hold on, my friends. Get this...
Last week, Shad's boss mentioned that after paying bills she doesn't have enough money to meet the next payroll. She's not sure where the money will come from.
And here we thought we would have until the end of March!
It now looks like our time here is running VERY short...maybe as short as a couple of weeks. Without Shad's job it will be impossible for us to stay here. The cost of living is just too high. We are looking at all kinds of options, including moving back to our hometown in Colorado. Our parents are checking into rental options for us. The good thing is that we would be surrounded by family. The bad thing is that the cost of working somewhere would go up significantly. Living in Home-On-The-Range (or maybe I should call it Centennial, even though there is another Colorado town named Centennial. It reminds me of James Michner's book) requires a LONG commute.
Shad is starting to consider adding a few new states to our search...but doing that would be VERY expensive (licensing and testing), so we're holding out for a little while longer on sending resumes out to new states. Unfortunately, we may not be able to hold out much longer.
The time crunch also meant it was time to talk to the kids, so this weekend we broke the news. It went about as we expected. On the surface, they all seem fine with it...a little disappointed, but understanding. But we're already seeing signs of old issues popping back up.
Alek is back to acting VERY insecure. He's not quite sure if we'll pick him up from school and is feeling compelled to text us several times for reassurance (thank goodness for cell phones. ;) Anya and Nick seem to be doing alright so far, but Maddie is back to hoarding food and her bossy/manipulative/sneaky mean orphanage behavior.
Thankfully, nothing like it was four years ago...or even last summer.
It could be SO much worse, right?
That's something to be thankful for.


what I know

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Who says it takes 30 days to change a habit?
Give me a life-altering crisis and I am a chameleon...a leopard who can change my spots...one old dog who can learn new tricks.
You can now call me 'the sta!ker,' because unlike BEFORE (snort), I now LIVE on the internet. I scour all the job sites searching for new entries...punching the refresh button over and over on the job board at the AVMA in hopes that someone will have just entered a new position Shad will be perfect for.
So far...nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Oh there are jobs in Islip, NY and Stratford, CT, but nothing even CLOSE to our part of the country. And moving all the way across the country is something we're not quite ready to do...yet.
That day may come...but for now we're trying really hard to stay somewhat close to our familiar. I'm willing to move around the Midwest. I don't know that any of us are ready to head to either coast.
In the meantime, Shad has sent one lonely little resume out to a clinic that he interviewed for back in 2003. They offered him the job at the time, but we turned it down due to financial concerns.
It's looking pretty good to us right now! :)
Unfortunately, they're not calling us back...that door may be shut.
Lots of doors are shutting right now...and unfortunately, we don't see God opening any windows.
A friend posted a picture on Facebook the other day that say... 'Faith isn't believing God can, it's knowing God WILL.'
I'm working on knowing...really, I am.


trading places

Friday, February 3, 2012

I never did send that email.
Oh, I planned to. I had all kinds of great intentions, but then I thought, 'I'll wait until I calm down a little. Let me think it over and rework it.'
And then life happened.
We need your prayers my friends... like never before!
As you all know, we moved back to Grab-Your-Lasso about six months ago in order to purchase a vet clinic. The plan was to work for a couple of years for the owner, then gradually buy-in, before purchasing it outright a few years after that.
This week those plans changed.
The owner called Shad into the office and laid him off. Unbeknownst to us, she hasn't been taking a paycheck for the last several months, and it is to the point where she can't really afford to pay Shad either. Since we're not in a position to buy the clinic yet, she is letting him go as of March 31.
In the midst of all of this, we can see God's provision. She didn't have to give us two months to find something else. She could have sent Shad packing that very day...but she didn't. God has given us some time...which we are SO thankful for.
She is also allowing him as much time as he needs to search for a new position and to travel for interviews. Again...God's provision.
However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried...and yes, maybe even a bit scared.
I'm not letting it win. Really, I'm not. God has truly given me a peace about all of this. It's just a little scary.
Two months isn't that long, really to find a job.
Shad has already started the job search and we have let our parents and closer friends know... about this, but we have NO idea how to break it to the kids. Obviously, we need to do that before they either overhear something or figure it out on their own.
After all the drama/trauma of last summer, when Shad moved here without us, we're concerned about how the kids will take it this time...every last one of them.
Last summer, Alek (13) regressed into asking question after question after question about the situation, and this time I have no answers for him. Anya (11) was my shadow, making sure I didn't leave her sight. Nick (10), who I thought was okay, turned out to be internalizing everything. He STILL won't go to anyone's house to spend the night...even a cousin's home. And Maddie (almost 8 - can you believe it?) regressed into true orphanage behavior. I can't WAIT to see how that plays itself out at school.
I think the thing that saddens me the most, though, is the fact that once again, we're packing the kids up, moving to a new town, starting at a new school and making new friends. When we signed up to be parents the whole moving multiple times thing really wasn't on the radar. We figured we'd find a nice place to live, settle down and raise these kids...hopefully keeping them in the same school from K through 12.
Sigh. It's not to be.
While we really do love this place and we can't imagine living anywhere else, we're going to have to.
If you're the praying type, please send a few prayers up for us. That Shad will be able to find a job to support us... That the kids will (once we tell them) look at this as a new adventure... That I won't let myself be drawn into the 'what ifs' of fear... That our family will come out stronger...and that we'll finally have a place that we can truly call home.


iceberg ahead!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I don't like confrontation...but a certain teacher, who shall remained nameless, has got me ticked.
I am getting ready to call her out on the carpet...
Or maybe the hall...
Or quite possibly the playground.
Anya's teacher showed her class of fifth graders...
Wait for it....
Titanic. The movie.
Okay...not all of it. Just the last 30 minutes or so. You know, the part with a bunch of frozen dead people, a wacked out guy who shoots another guy before blowing his own head off and then there are the screams from thousands of dying passengers as the ship breaks in two and sinks to the bottom of the ocean.
Yea. That one. Because you know...it is SO appropriate as a historical teaching tool for a bunch of 10 and 11-year-olds. I guess I should be thankful they didn't show the modeling or sex scenes.

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So... I'm drafting a letter. Here's what I have so far...

Dear Mrs. F...
Anya informed me of the movie that was shown during last Friday's class. She described in vivid detail the last 30 minutes or so of the movie Titanic. I have to admit, I was not only surprised, I was sickened by your decision.
Consider this description from Focus on the Family's website PluggedInOnline.com...
The terror facing those left behind on the doomed liner is disturbingly realistic. Violent moments find panic-stricken passengers falling from great heights. Other victims are electrocuted, drowned or crushed by toppling smokestacks. A nervous armed guard attempting to control the crowd shoots a man, then kills himself. When the ship's stern is thrust high into the air, its weight causes the boat to break in two, and the rear half crashes down on people flailing in the icy water. Once Titanic disappears below the surface, a lone lifeboat navigates the silent sea of dead, frozen bodies bobbing in the night tide. A grim climax.It could be argued that calamity and death are central to Titanic's maritime legacy and should not be sugarcoated. But what's truly unnecessary is the script's considerable dependence on profanity, including numerous s-words, one f-word, an obscene gesture and more than a dozen exclamatory uses of God's name. Was such language really de rigueur in 1912?
Anya was quite disturbed by the movie. She described in vivid detail the portions involving frozen, dead people, the murder/suicide and the screams from dying people as the ship broke in two and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. It took a long discussion about the difference between movie and reality...which involved, 'Yes, it happened, but the people you saw aren't dead, they are actors' just to get her to sleep. I would hate to think of the children in your class whose parents weren't there to answer those questions for them.
And then there is the subject of children who have trauma-related disorders. While I don't believe Anya suffers from anything that serious...many children coming from her background do. Trauma triggers as simple as this movie often makes these children react in a fight/flight. Anya's sister, Maddie, may in fact, react very differently from the same movie. It is not something I want any of my children (including Nick next year) exposed to...especially without the supervision of their parents.
It's not that I so much opposed to you showing movies to the kids during school - although I'm not crazy about entertainment movies being used as an educational tool. Instead, it is the fact that a portion of a PG-13 movie was shown to my daughter without my permission. We have a very strict family policy of no PG-13 movies until the child reaches the age of 13...and maybe not even then. We have not allowed our 13 year old to watch Titanic...and I don't see that changing any time soon. I certainly didn't want my 11-year-old to see even a portion of it. Now, our family policy has not only been violated...her innocence has been as well. The most violent movie she had seen up until last Friday were PG rated Disney movies. It was that way by design.
I respectfully ask that a note or email be sent home if any more movies are on the schedule, so her father and I can determine if it is one we would like Anya to view.
I appreciate your cooperation.
So...did I miss anything? I'm trying to be the adult here. I'm trying to take the higher ground. What I really want to do is go into their school tomorrow morning and knock some heads together.
But I won't.
Honestly, this teacher is one of the better ones in the school. She is strict, expects a lot of her kids, usually has a high moral standard and engages Anya in a way I have seen few teachers be able to do. Anya likes her...respects her...and responds to those higher standards. I would hate for he to lose that.
Homeschooling is looking more and more enticing all the time.


news from 9000 feet

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's warm and dry here...well, relatively warm and dry. Like the rest of the country, we're enjoying a mild winter.
Of course by 'everybody' I really mean, 'everybody but the people of Alaska.' Have you SEEN how much snow they've gotten? I'm thinking Shad was pretty smart not to follow up on the job he checked into there. A Grab-Your-Lasso winter may be about as much as I can handle. I mean, it could be the end of summer 2013 before all that snow melts!
But you're not here to hear me talk about the weather! I imagine you'd like an update. Be careful what you wish for! I have a lot of pent-up posts...ones that I've started in my head and maybe even hinted about on Facebook, but haven't actually done anything with. I'm liable to keep you here for hours getting caught up...consider yourself warned! ;)

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Alek has finally started basketball season, which means Blue Mama is doing a lot of running around. Not only does he have practice every evening, we have a lot of traveling to do.
And by a lot...I mean A LOT.
We have a two-and-a-half hour drive in one direction for a game tomorrow. See? I told you I should have been a taxi driver. Thankfully, Shad can go with us...which means maybe the kids and I can get some shut eye on this trip, because we are, after all, leaving at oh-dark-thirty for this trip. The game starts at 9 a.m. Whoever scheduled a 9 a.m. game, more than two hours away from home, on a Saturday morning, needs to be taken out and strung up by their high top tennis shoes.
In other school-related-news...
Can I just say...I hate fourth grade math? You can add fifth grade to that list as well. Actually, it's not so much doing the math as much as it is TEACHING the math...because, despite what my college degree says and my job description with CrossRiver reads, I really am a 4th and 5th grade teacher. And I don't want to be.
Well, that's not entirely true. I wouldn't mind homeschooling my kids. That way I could decide how my kids learn to divide, instead of having reteach my kids the nonsense they're learning at school. Call me ancient, but 'in my day' we learned how multiplication facts and just DID the math, instead of finding six different ways to Sunday to try to figure out the answer.
Oh, don't even get me started.
Speaking of getting started. I got an early start to my family reunion dinner last weekend. The family and I headed out to our first family reunion dinner last weekend. Some of you may remember the last time we were there and the reality check we got on Maddie's bonding. Thankfully, we didn't have a repeat performance.
Speaking of the Madster...on January 10th, we celebrated the 4th anniversary of her adoption court date. Actually, celebrate is a strong word. We mentioned it...and told her how much we love her, but we'll save the actual celebrating until the 26th, which we consider her 'Gotcha Day,' or maybe Feb 2nd which is her actual 'Family Day.' Of course that's quickly approaching and I haven't given much thought on how we'll celebrate it this year.
I need to get to work on that.
Maddie also passed a big milestone on Jan. 5th...and while I meant to post this big, hug, monstrous post to help us celebrate, I just didn't get it done. Sigh. That seems to be my lot in life lately. Maddie has now officially been with us longer than she was in the orphanage...and that feels GOOD! :) We've seen a lot of progress in Maddie over the last four years. A. LOT. But there are still some things we need to work on. Shad and I had a MAJOR wakeup call over the Christmas break, that I still need to fill you in on. It was scary...and sad...and I hope I don't ever have to see it happen again. Sigh.
Enough complaining for now. Let's talk about mundane stuff.
I just spent the better part of the last 45 minutes grating bar soap for homemade laundry detergent. That's what I get for watching my pennies. It took all of five seconds for me to remember why I haven't made homemade laundry detergent in months.
Which is why after this batch is gone, it will take as long as my short-term memory lasts before I try it again.
Excuse me while I go hack up a lung. ;)


happy new year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My parents gave us a wonderful Christmas present this year.
Time away. It was beautiful. And relaxing. And now we're spoiled.
We spent three days with my parents, brothers and their families in Estes Park. It was JUST what our family needed.
I won't bore you with tales of roller skating until we couldn't move, or basketball games against our kids that left us feeling our age...or eating our weight in fabulous food morning, noon and night. ;)
Instead I'll let my pictures do the talking.
Of course, I couldn't take FABULOUS pictures, because some sons, who shall remain nameless, love to watch videos and look at pictures on my camera every time there is a new battery. And right now a $10 battery sounds like a bit of a luxury. So...all of the photos were taken on my phone. As a result, action shots are impossible, and lighting is once again my enemy. But I think you'll enjoy the scenery and get a glimpse of the beauty we enjoyed.
And if any of you are EVER headed to Colorado and looking for a great place to stay. Consider this one...it has ALL of the amenities that any family with kids could need. ;)


My parents gave us a wonderful Christmas present this year.
Time away. It was beautiful. And relaxing. And now we're spoiled.
We spent three days with my parents, brothers and their families in Estes Park. It was JUST what our family needed.
I won't bore you with tales of roller skating until we couldn't move, or basketball games against our kids that left us feeling our age...or eating our weight in fabulous food morning, noon and night. ;)
Instead I'll let my pictures do the talking.
Of course, I couldn't take FABULOUS pictures, because some sons, who shall remain nameless, love to watch videos and look at pictures on my camera every time there is a new battery. And right now a $10 battery sounds like a bit of a luxury. So...all of the photos were taken on my phone. As a result, action shots are impossible, and lighting is once again my enemy. But I think you'll enjoy the scenery and get a glimpse of the beauty we enjoyed.
And if any of you are EVER headed to Colorado and looking for a great place to stay. Consider this one...it has ALL of the amenities that any family with kids could need. ;)


all cracked up

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whaaaaaa? She's back here now? What's up with that? Is she nuts?
Quite possibly.
Let's just say, I wasn't feeling the love over at the other blog. It was quiet...too quiet.
I miss the feedback...the comraderie...the real stuff. And so I'm back. For good. Oh, I'm still speaking, when asked...but I'm not pushing or promoting. I'm settling back, enjoying the kids, enjoying my work with CrossRiver and taking the time to get to try to discover what I'm really meant to do.
Besides, life with Maddie (and yes, we're back to nicknames...I missed those too ;) is interesting enough.
It's a like the tide. It ebbs and flows...most days are fantastic...others not so much. She literally makes HUGE strides for days, weeks, even months at a time and then WHAMO! She does something that blows you out of the water and leaves you wondering, 'Really, how much progress have we made.'
I need to be able to blog about that stuff...with people who get it.
So I've come back 'home' where it's safe. Where I can be myself. Where I can share the ups and downs without worrying if I'm hindering someone else's spiritual growth.
So here I am. Nuts and all.


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