Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jake's Halloween Costume

If you can call it that. It is really just a hoodie that zips up OVER the face, with mesh over the eyes, Lol. I couldn't be happier since it is a step up from last year's duct tape boy... boy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Summer's Costume

For this upcoming Halloween, Summer has changed her mind numerous times about what she was going to dress up as. So when last week she concretely told me she was going to be a "tiger" I knew, like the other ideas, it would probably pass.
Days went by, but yet she still persisted that tiger it was! Saturday we packed up the younger kids and went to the Halloween store, and I KNEW that once she saw all the wonders of Halloween, that it would hard for her to decide.
Princess gowns, fairies, and favorite cartoon characters could NOT persuade this one. She zoned right in on her target and clutched it tightly.
a white tiger to be exact {{sigh}} thank goodness for bleach...
She has worn it almost as much as normal clothes ever since. She has chased neighborhood boys and growled with delight. She has dirtied the paws and grass stained the knees. She says "I smell meat" and laughs!
She IS a tiger.
although she did mention to me that it is hard work to have a tail, lol. Sitting down is not as easy now I guess!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's Beginning to Look alot like...Halloween around here!

Summer and I have driven by the gentleman that carves these witch's house everyday on the way to preschool. She delights in them. They are sceery! We had to get one for ourselves!

And as a matter of fact they are. Lol~ they catch my eye every time I come out the front door, and for a split second I do a double take. Apparently the feeling is common, for Jake has been muttering about how scary "that darn witch is" in the early mornings...LOL!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mike Got a Gig

It was a beautiful autumn night, cool and full of fall smells. Held outside at grape winery. People casually drank glasses of wine and brought picnics of casseroles and snacks. The fields behind of we filled with rows of grape vines, and children ran around and danced and played. It couldn't of been more perfect, more gentle for his first real time on stage.
He did great. He was well prepared. He had practiced and practiced for weeks. (for decades really) This was what he has been waiting for. He loves this.

You did awesome honey! I am so proud of you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Letting Go

I never realized I had such a tight fist on my children. I guess if in other circumstances, like an adrenaline pumped life or death situation, I of course would know. I could prove. I could use that tight clasp to show.

But this is 360 of that. This is not lifting a car off their body to save their life. This isn't walking through flames. This is the complete opposite. This is trusting all the precious time I had before this moment, to have faith I served them well, and to let go.

You know that moment. It comes in little practice spurts as they grow. Oh, like riding the bus for the first time to Kindergarten (I follow Tatum in my car), or letting them ride their bikes off your street.

But this. This is the real McCoy. This ain't playin.

This is that moment in time where you uncomfortably sway from foot to foot. Wanting to be strong, feeling your child's esp message saying..."Come ON Mom". You hope that you taught them well. You actually feel fear. All that time of them growing up, that seemed like forever to live...all those moments you HAD to teach them, are gone. It is gametime. It's now. Put up or shut up. The grains of sand are gone. Prove it.

Tatum is with a boy. She and he really really like each other. They are together whenever they can be. All I know is she is NOT here. Lol...she is missing our little group of 6's dinners and talks and car rides instead to opt for her own plans. She is pushing curfew every night, and off in her car with her own job and school and life {sob} it seems.

She is smart. And headstrong, and beautiful and independent. And I couldn't be prouder. But she has become HER.

Jake I let ride his bike to school today. 6:30 in the a.m. With a bike lock, cell phone and promise to call me as soon as he got there. My son is OUT THERE with CARS.

Cars people.

Ouch. That one hurt so bad. The fist reacted strongly to that.

They are coming left and right now. These bittersweet moments. Soon my hand will not be in a fist at all, but open for when THEY chose to come back to hold it.

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings."
Hodding Carter

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This a teenager

This boy...keeps me on my and night.

Has me chasing my tail, up nights biting my nails, worrying about him.

This SLAMMING into his teenage year, not walking or running, but full forcing going. {{with him, I would expect nothing less :) }}

This boy makes me laugh like no other, and comes up with ca-raziest ideas. He makes me so proud, and tires me out all in the same second.

This boy has my heart...and I am so blessed to get the chance to be his mom. I just hope we both make it one piece!

Happy 13th Birthday Jake! I love you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The New Me

It has been a long process to get to this point! Whew. I know everyone keeps saying, Gosh! You have all the kids in school, how is it?!?! But to tell the truth, it is not like ripping off a band aide...not immediate results. This is a long drawn out process, that is wonderful and busy but certainly not immediate. This IS the year that all four are out of the house at once and I for the first time in almost two decade do not have someone in my care! But, Lol, it has almost been a tapered deprogramming session to get to the real experience of what that is like.

On Tuesday (August 24th) Jake was the first to start school. Jr High. 7th grade. He is doing so awesome, his dad and I can hardly believe it. Getting up at 6 am is no easy task!

On Wednesday (August 25th) Tatum was the next to go. Junior in High School. 11th grade. How did this happen. I must have blinked.

On Thursday (August 26th) Matt started 4th grade. He got a WONDERFUL teacher this year, and with new glasses to help with his tracking disorder, we are hoping for positive GOOD year!

After a weekend of a fishing derby (Matt), volunteer at the Free Store (me), special day with grandma (Summer), Work (Tatum), bonfire (Tatum), and general catch up, on Monday August 30th Summer started PRESCHOOL! No tears and alllll smiles!

Day one...I got a pedicure and a milkshake. It didn't feel as much as a break as I hoped and dreamed and hoped and dreamed. I ran to the grocery, did the ledger, picked Jake up from Cross Country, and before could set my purse down, Mike and Tatum both were at the house (my private house...wahhh!) the whole time and I was new at this....
Honestly with alll the paperwork for 4 schools, medical release forms, picture days, the rigorous cross country schedule, keeping up just with catching buses, writing lunch checks, clean clothes, food in the house, and my end of business afloat, my head has been spinning. So I didn't even know where to start!

Day two...My mom came over and we after we dropped off Summer we decided to go to Hobby Lobby and redecorate my tv cabinets. They were dusty out of date messes that hadn't' been done in a decade. It was fun! I was warming up!

Day Three and I think I was starting to get broke in. I had decided in my "catch up on life project" that I was going to PAINTEVERYROOM, ceilings and all, and clean the carpets after, meanwhile asses anything needing repair room by room, update, clear out and organize. I was starting with the family room which is cake. Three walls. Not much to it. I had done some of the decorating yesterday! This summer I had purged and really cleaned the room out. I really just had to paint and clean carpets and minor things.

Mike told me he didn't think this was a good idea. There was crown molding that was "crisp". He was afraid I wouldn't edge careful enough. Yada yada yada.
But you know what..this was suppose to be our summer project that never happened. I was going to make it happen.

Bah. I called him halfway through taping the crown molding after taking all the light switches down, buying paint and dropping off Summer at preschool. He laughed at finding out that I really was painting that day. Silly man...

As his business ventures grow bigger and bigger, and his nights out playing guitar increase, I realize that no one is asking me to make any major decision or to play background music. I need to do that myself. I am me, and although we ARE a team, Alanis Morrisette says it best as "I believe that one and one make two." I had it wrong in my teenage wisdom.

This is a phase I have never had, and after 17 years it will be liberating. I started to smile. It was as left alone as I have been in a long while. I was on my own plan and okay with it. I cracked open that paint can!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


***Jake's test results came back just fine for his chest and back! I am so relieved and thankful! Apparently he just has a thick bone in front that we will watch through puberty??

***School starts next week for the kids and each one starts on a different day!!!! Whew! Jake start 7th grade on Tuesday, Tatum starts her Junior Year on Wednesday, Matt starts 4th grade on Thursday, and Summer starts Preschool the following Monday. I am SO READY!!!!

***We put on our super cat savers capes today and found the home for a lost kitty. We had to keep it overnight, and the kids loved on it. Mike was ready to ditch some of our cats for this one, and I was lost as how what to do with a 5th cat! But it was all worth it when the owners were found and the man said he couldn't wait to get it home to his wife and daughter who had been crying all night :)

**Last week Jake started Cross Country. I crack myself up thinking of the runners in the movie Juno every time. Actually this has been quite a huge adjustment for him and I can't believe he has stuck with it. {we almost fell over when we saw he signed up!}

He has traded in sleeping in till 2 pm for getting up at 7 am. And yesterday and today they ran them FIVE miles. He actually threw up ( apparently many of the runners do???)today. I really couldn't be prouder. This is the best thing ever for him!
***Matthew just got to spend two nights at grandma's house, and had his fill of baking cookies and swimming and undivided attention. He is home now, and already the house seems so much busier and louder and fuller, lol~

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My take on Marriage~today at least/ letter to Mike

Where do I start??? And how do I diplomatically explain this all without making me look so bad, lol?

All marriages have peaks and valleys. When you are at the top of a peak you feel empowered. "We did it! We can do this - see! We can show the world! You and Me, babe!"

And when you hit the valleys you have to just ride them out. Ride and ride sometimes. This is where we loose alot of people I think today.

They fold.

If the valley is long enough I can understand the temptation. Especially if you feel you are in the valley alone.

I was raised in a family though luckily where marriage was forever. Like for real. No matter what. Problems arose and things got ugly, and you just stuck it out and were together. There was not divorce. Mike came from the exact opposite, but the result of his line of thinking came to the same place. His parents divorced and things were so raw and sad and loud and ugly that he knew he never wanted that either. I think that is a part of why our marriage has lasted so long is just the mentality of "We are together. Period."

It has been a hard balance for me to digest the whole definition of "ME". We are partners, but one has the career and one stays home with the children. (don't get me wrong about reading this sentence- It was my life dream to get to stay home and raise babies. That was the best wish come true!) But with that entails the One has the income, the status, the time clock, and the power. You really loose your sense of partnership in there- how could you not??

If he leaves for work before the kids gets up- and gets home after they go to bed...did he still get to fit in a workout at the Y?? home late because of his guitar gig?? -when he comes home he wants me to watch his guitar gig on the computer and I don't...he is mad. Does he not know that right before he walked in I peeled the sleeping 3 year old off my chest after 45 minutes of trying to get her to sleep. that I worked in the office on his business for 3 hours that day. That I did dishes and laundry, and drove the boys around. That I battled our preteen over video games, and got the garbage to the curb for garbage night. That I vacuumed and washed Summer's hair with knots and that's she had 2 tantrums that day. That I deposited money in the bank and made sure the 16 year old was home by curfew. That I JUST haven't had a minute to myself yet, that I even had to poop with a preschooler and a cat and a 9 year old knocking at the door???

Do I support his playing????

Well...did you just read the previous paragraph?

I may not be able to sit throughout the video. I'm so sorry. Tatum had just walked in with my damn Cinamelt from McDonald's, and LA ink was on. I hear you play guitar throughout the air vents for HOURS every. single. night.

But do I support you???


I think I've got your back. And if you don't see that then I'm hurt. Man. I need a moment too. I love you. Go chase your dream. Help me chase mine. But we have to be aware of our other half.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Antics

Summer being a dog...for an entire afternoon!
Her Single Ladies dance at her dress rehearsal...she had the whole place laughing!

braids from Sissy
a swollen goose egg that turned into TWO black eyes. She totally looked like avatar...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

13 year Check Up

Today I had to take Jake for his 13 year check up. He doesn't officially turn 13 until September 8th, but with Cross Country starting next week, I had to get his physical in...

I love this time with this kids. It's almost like a prideful time to show them off with the doctor. Sick visits and other visits are awful, and painfully icky and slow...but their yearly check ups I look forward to. We get to talk with the Doctor ALL about them...and the pride in me makes me cluck like a mother hen :)

The boy has grown 5 inches since last summer! And put on 20 lbs! I swelled with inner pride as the doctor breezed in and first commented at HOW MUCH the two of us are starting to look like each other. She knows what a hoot he is and said she loves our banter. She laughed because he wore underwear this time....(last time he surprised us ALL when she peeked for the exam, and he was going commando for the day...@!) We talked about the frustrations of ADD and changed his meds for the upcoming school year. We got excited about Cross Country and she gave a firm hand in the department of him not staying up so late, hence sleeping all day...
Then as I was on cloud nine with how smoothly it all was going...she asked what was going on with his chest? Could he take off his shirt? What is this??
Jake in his maddening way pipes in that yes he had told me about that but I was too busy or didn't pay attention...
Chest xrays are ordered, and she is filling out paperwork...."don't you see this Lump of bone? she asks? On one side of his chest. By his heart?? This whole side is uneven...
She assures we just need to get it checked out...but try to tell a mother not to worry!
What in the world could this be. Oh please Lord, let it be something silly and little...!
So I am off to get it checked out tomorrow!
Rotten kids.
They sure like to keep life interesting...sigh...:(

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


That point in the summer has come. I have been fulfilled. I have accomplished the essence needed to call it a summer, and have the strong desire in me for the lazy chaos to be rattled into a more uniform schedule of school.
The bottom of my feet have been blackened well from walking outside without shoes. I have established my horrible 2nd shift life style upon my children to which we all embrace all too willingly...lunch at 3pm...Dinner not until 10pm...bedtime by 2am.... not dare waking before 10 to 11 am. We have all done the mandatory but fabulously wonderfully horrible 40 hour car trip in which we endured siblings, and calls of nature, and popped tires.
We grilled out, and enjoyed friends, and ate ice cream.
We swam, and our skins are brown, and our hair has lightened.
But I am toast. No more can these children be in this house lounging, eating, arguing, and watching tv. I need to clean this place up, and keep it that way for 20 minutes :) I need to be able to hear myself think....
I am ready. God Bless August. You are here. You have come to take them. I appreciate the wonders we have had!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Free Store

Today I worked my Saturday at the freestore. How sad it is that is such a busy place and grown in such need in just the time that I have worked there.
We had a case of a homeless elderly couple that came in that had been living week to week in a hotel, but now had downsized to their car. The gentle man came in and when I asked if I could help..if he would like a drink and a doughnut, he said yes, but he thought his wife would really like one too. I encourage her to come in also!, but he explained that she couldn't walk well and that couldn't see good because of cataracts. We went to help her in and saw quickly how very sadly she needed really a wheelchair and realized that they both were sitting in their own soil.
Just last month many of OUR resources...the names WE give out to these people for help, shut their doors and asked us to no longer give out their numbers. That they had run out of funds and could not help any longer. We are just a church that runs on donations, and the need seems so great.
Social Services was closed for the weekend. We couldn't not leave them. We called the police who came and I think treated them very nice. The lady left in a stretcher. There was doubt and controversy over this because people were concerned that this was not help, and that they would just be put back out on the street. I know this to probably be true, but I felt good knowing that for today they were cleaned up and helped. What could we do?
Mixed in with of the sad there is such hope though. Such good people working and doing God's work. Sweet stories of wonderful people. I met a lady today who was in her 60's with twin sons in their 20's. One had been born handicapped. Here she was in her 60's still trying to make due. She had come looking for men's ties. Her healthy son had gotten a job! He needed them to keep looking nice everyday! I showed her the few we had and she beamed and took them all! LOL~Good luck to him!
I met an elderly gentlemen who's sole purpose was to find himself a suit. He wouldn't take the bag of food (though he probably could of used it just a bad as anyone else). I couldn't believe my eyes when in the mish mash of jackets and pants I found a 3 piece suit in his size! I told him it was like it had been placed there for him! He was thrilled and left with only his suit :)
Tonight, as I am so very blessed with my health and family and home, I ask God to please watch over these sweet souls out there that are no different than me, and deserve no less than any of us...and to thank Him for this opportunity to be his hands and feet for...and to remember to do it every chance I get!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vegetarian Cat

Today, while hanging out with the kids in the office, our cat Abby came in. I offered her my left over milk from my cereal bowl, to which she promptly sniffed and walked away from. Later as we sat around we were eating fruit and Abby was NOT shy about letting us know she WANTED SOME! She smelled our peaches and WANTED some!
She licked it like there was no tomorrow, biting into it even. She did the same with grapes!
We of course thought this was SUPER cool, and laughed and watched the dumb cat eat fruit.
Who knew?!?!
(it doesn't take much to amuse us apparently, Lol)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Swirling Thoughts

It has been so so very hot here.

It reached around 95 with humidity yesterday. Around the same today. Mike just came in from getting the mail and said it was about the same....maybe a little hotter.

It is that point in the summer where the grass starts to loose the green and shades of brown touch. Porch flowers die unless you faithfully water everyday, and your air conditioner runs non stop to try to keep up with keeping cool.

My heart has been so very heavy this week with the sadness of a family I do not even know. They live just a street over and their 3 year old little girl drown in their out of ground pool in the back yard. The girlfriend of the uncle (the guardian) ran inside just for a moment to the kitchen, and the little girl climbed the ladder into the pool. I pass their house everyday and my heart breaks. That was just Monday. I have done all the mind games of last week at this time... If only.... She was Summer's age....How easy this could of happened... I see the broken down pool in their back yard now and it is so serile.

I have been muddling through piles of laundry and paperwork for work. Slowly making progress. I have been embracing and enjoying the new maturity of my growing son who is reaching teenage years so soon. It is also maddening, but I can catch glimpses of the fun relationship that Tatum and I have and it is exciting.

Summer is moving surely steadily away from all signs of babyness. She is going to preschool this fall and I can see why! She is becoming big and smart and independent.

Chance is doing well and healing good after his operation. He has his embraced his non gender and is loving as ever. He validates every day that money can't put a price on love.

My signature! My blog design got removed! I was stricken with what to do. I actually thought of folding up shop, but I am trying out a couple of designs and trying to be inspired.

"Life is a journey, not a destination" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 23, 2010

Watch Out Nancy....

Gotta have the music on to understand....Her boots were made for walking...LOL...and that's just what she'll Do!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's Around That Corner

Not saying that ANYTHING is happening really.

But who knows.

Maybe it could be.

Mike is going with me to tour a campus this weekend.

Just to check out some possibilities.

This could be the start to a very exciting beginning....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Favorite Moments~Family Cruise 2010

Getting Ready to Leave-19 hour drive!!!! Bring it on!
Getting Drunk on the Beaches of Mexico for Sister in Law Day with Missy

Robert and Summer in Key West in Front on Sponge Man
Mike in a game show...said he was a "dental hygienist, lol!" and then froze on all the answers he knew! and lost poorly :(
Jake in Mexico

Mom and Jack on Formal Night
My favorite Picture of Matty

My brother Tim sticking out of an electric car in Key West