Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

The Easter bunny made his annual appearance. Shortly after the youngest members of the family checked out their loot, a friend texted that she underestimated the amount of cinnamon rolls her new recipe would make. Would we be willing to take a pan full off her hands. Would we? Silly lady, of course we would! They were incredible.

We wrapped up our morning reading the Easter story with the aid of Resurrection Eggs. Ty knows the role of the donkey best but also comments throughout most of the symbols how sad the story is until the Happy Ending we celebrate today. It is a happy ending indeed.
Someone got bubbles in his bucket and oh boy can he blow those bubbles....he cracks me up.

And tonight....dinner with neighbors. Old friends who moved to Michigan (my husband will be upset I have even posted the name as he calls it the "state up north") a few months ago made a stop on their way through to Gatlinburg for their spring break this week. One neighbor hosted and several of us brought dishes. Since we couldn't be with family today, good friends were an awesome substitute. Sometimes I think God gives us surrogate family for support and encouragement along the way.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Airplanes, Easter Eggs and New Babies

We picked the girls up from the airport today. The kids enjoyed watching for the plane from behind security. Remember the good ol days when we greeted loved ones as they emerged from the plane? Either way, it is good to have them home.

After getting settled and hearing their stories from the week, we colored a few more eggs and then headed out to play. Around that time, my neighbor called me to come sit with her little ones while she proceeded to the hospital to to see if it was finally time to have her third. This little one was due on Erin's birthday and my momma friend was more than ready then. Baby news is my favorite kind of news.
Rumor has it the Buckeyes won a significant game last night. There also appears to be some story floating around on Twitter that one of my children celebrated Indiana going down. Sometimes I think they forget where we live! In both cases, Greg is happy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Gilmore

Ty and Greg were playing golf on the wii today.
I wish I had a sound card because his sweet little voice is adorable as he analyzes each stroke.


We spent this sunny day wandering around the zoo where Ty was continuously excited by all he saw. The lion roared, a giraffe strutted through showing everyone just how important he was, an angry goose took on a vending machine (hilarious), the gorilla wanted to make friends and the white alligator slept. The kids walked the entire three hours and left worn out.

At this point Greg and I discussed how Kate wanted to name him "Bear". She may have had a better handle on what we would be dealing with than we realized.  

Signs of spring were popping up in random locations throughout the zoo. It was good for my soul to see evidence of it's impending arrival. And on the way home, a call from Lauren. She was walking on a beach with Makenna and they wanted their little sibs to know they collected some sea shells for them. It takes about two hours to get to the beach from Grandma's house but it was worth it. Tomorrow...they fly home, refreshed and God willing, ready to conquer these last two months of school.

And the icing on today's cake....I don't have to serve jury duty next week after all. Amen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Date Night

Erin took Kate and Ty to Pizza King to see the train deliver drinks while they ate. It was a perfect date location for our favorite little man. He very enthusiastically announced what that train was doing to everyone who passed their booth. Erin then delivered the dessert.....a trip to the car wash which Ty calls the Big Blue Vacuum. He was in his glory and decided later the only thing that would have made the night better would have been playtime at the park. Had it not been 40 degrees, the park would have been reasonable.
While Erin entertained the little ones, Greg and I used the Olive Garden gift card from my parents. Dinner was delicious and the ability to speak in complete sentences was priceless. Rather than wander around Home Depot, we mentally spent a fortune there planning future home improvement projects over black tie mousse cake.
Our dinner dates only occur when we have gift cards for our birthdays so, Erin took a quick shot upon our return. We were cold but seized the opportunity since it's a rare day we are in front of the camera rather than behind it.

Bathroom wrap up

Greg wrapped up the drywall repair and painted today. I added the final touches. We refrained from replacing the light fixture and updating the mirror for now.

I also removed our dark brown duvet cover and spruced up the pillows to lighten the bedroom as well. The man cave is slowly being transformed.
While we've been working, our little people have been busy as well.
Erin replaced my Spring break message on the fridge. Sadly, hers is more accurate.

And tonight.....Date night! Erin offered to take the little ones to Pizza King while Greg and I use his birthday gift card to Olive Garden. We may just pull off a stroll through Home Depot too. We are living on the edge.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baby it's cold outside!

It was a blustery first day of spring break. Lauren and Kenna are now in Florida, after the two hour delay we spent chillin in the airport this afternoon.

And because of said delay, dinner was Chick-fil-a for Kate, Ty, Greg and I where a balloon artist supplied my children with weapons. Ty, filled with absolute glee informed us he was ready to beat us up when we got home.

Joy. Pure Joy. We needed to find a place to let the kids burn energy and Chick-fil-a did not disappoint. The weather got the wrong memo and is providing winter rather than the spring we requested for outside activities this week.
The opposite of joy. Drywall repairs began tonight. Greg gets to work on the house throughout another vacation week. He's thrilled. I may need to hide the balloon swords.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Celebrating Erin Saturday carried over into celebrating Greg Sunday; typical for the last 18 years. He's a bit older than her so a nap was requested on his day. Eighteen years ago Greg asked me if I could hold out just a bit longer during labor because he'd love his first child to share his birthday; his barely noted since. I am pretty certain I wasn't polite in my response to his request at 4 am March 23, 1995, although who can recall precisely what was screamed said.
We participated in a local church Easter Egg hunt yesterday with Anne and her kids. It was a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon. The kids had a great time and Ty continues to carry around his bucket full of "egg treasures" today. Mom and Dad joined us before Mom took the older girls out for tea and Ty took Grandpa on a walk through the construction site. We're glad we were able to get some fresh air yesterday as a winter storm is moving into the area today. Ugh. This forecast is not what we needed for Spring Break.

Lauren and Makenna are flying to Florida tomorrow to spend the week with Greg's parents. They are looking forward to the warm weather and sunny skies. Erin's trip to Boston was cancelled so she's planning to relax around the house with friends and at the end of the week, a group anticipates an overnight stay in Nashville. She also hopes to find a new job this week. Her current position with Subway has been challenging. We will be all too glad to have her out of that environment. Now that she is 18, she has more options. By the way, any opportunity she's had to mention she is an adult has been taken, amusing us all. Two hours after waking yesterday she told Ty his life was pretty easy compared to being an adult. She received several messages throughout her day, our favorite being from my 8 year old nephew who wanted to know if she was moving out yet. Theresa must run a tighter ship than me.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


This gorgeous baby is 18 today. Where did the time go? She is hilarious. She is smart. She makes me smile. I love her quick whit and appreciate her world view. Her sense of fashion has evolved but her style is still very much her own.
 We couldn't be prouder of the young woman she's become. Happy birthday baby. We love you.
Kate discovered these key chains at Justice a few months ago. She immediately insisted upon buying them for Erin's birthday. I held her off believing she would forget about them. Weeks passed but periodically she would mention them. I finally consented when she said she needed them so Erin would have something to remember her by when she moves away for college.  Erin opened them last night because Kate couldn't wait any longer. Erin grinned appreciatively until Kate told her why they were so important. At that point, she couldn't speak as she embraced her little sis with quiet tears streaming down her face. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

My drug rant

Fair warning. I am emotional. A friend has a nephew who is addicted to Heroine. So is his girlfriend. They have a three year old boy and a baby girl on the way. I am angry. I am sad. That sweet boy sleeps on a dog bed, with the dog. The house is deplorable and CPS refuses to investigate. I cannot understand it. Once this little one is born, drug addicted as well, theory is that someone will step in. But I know from Ryan's experience that as long as someone can legally abort their baby, drug addicted babies who pass away are not investigated. It's a "choice". And to that I say, BULL.

Lauren spent her morning talking with a friend experimenting with cough syrup and weed. She was upset and determined to get him to see why his choices are so damaging. Frustrated doesn't begin to express her feelings. We were both in tears after she hang up. This is another situation where the parents are not only aware but providing the drugs. Where do we go with that? At 14, 15 and 16 they believe drugs are "harmless". These kids are reverting to what they know, thanks to their parents. You know, the ones who are supposed to be protecting and educating them?!?  It's their escape. I want to love on them. I want to shake them. I want to go after their parents. I feel helpless and conflicted. I am angry. I am sad.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Say what?

I decided to break out the Easter eggs a little early to occupy Ty for a bit today. He needed a quiet activity to do while resting and hopefully recovering. He loved it. He is pretty efficient too. Note how many eggs he can color at one time.

I attended our annual HOA meeting tonight to see what the fallout was going to be since our attempt to bring in a management company failed in January. I left that meeting a new board member. Life is full of surprises. And peer pressure is very real, even at my age.

Facing fear

Ty woke us Monday morning with more belly issues and continued fever but was much more concerned about the "loud storm". We cleaned up the tummy troubles and initiated "bedtime storm watch". Each of my kids have at one point or another been afraid of thunderstorms and my approach to facing that fear is to literally face that fear. We turn our pillows and quilts backward on the bed and open the blinds so we can watch the storm together, noting just how much cooler God's fireworks are than anything we've seen on the fourth of July. Ty decided he loves lightning but not "funder". Lots of cuddle time has taken place the last couple of days and we are relieved the 103 degree fevers are lower but would like to see an end to the other symptoms.

Preparing my home for overnight guests to arrive is insane. I know without doubt I wouldn't notice dust in someone's house but will pick apart every element of mine when welcoming others into it. Why do I do this to myself? There are times I would simply cringe if someone knocked on the door unexpectedly because I was not quite ready for them to see the very failed side of me; as if toys all over the house symbolizes failure anyway. I am so blessed to have authentic relationships where I could comfortably push piles of shoes out of the way of the threshold and invite friends into my chaotic world but I still struggle with insecurities with anything being out of place for people outside that comfort zone. I constantly have to remind myself that the people who live here deserve to live in peace without me frantically cleaning up behind their every move. What I really want is to be in control of my life. I want to feel like there are elements I can manage and manipulate into workable pliable situations. In reality, I can't control anything. Even a perfectly dusted house can succumb to fire, a wind storm or even less frightening, a toddler with Cheerios! And if I am being totally honest, even the simplest acts can be performed with the wrong heart. If I am trying to keep up perfect images, I am covering failed thoughts and heart issues. The total package isn't flawless skin, a fingerprint-free house with organic meals and well mannered children. I wasn't designed to be perfect. I was created to be used by God. That is a messy process and  includes a growth journey on the inside; the stuff you can only see in my reactions as I am placed under pressure. I have fooled myself into believing if I can keep everything on the outside looking good, what is going on in my heart is also good. It's a lie. There is nothing like mouthy teens, messy toddlers and a dirty dog to reveal those messes and the need for the process. If I can focus my attention on dirty floors, the real fears in my heart don't get attention. Like my son's fear of storms, most of mine are irrational. Others are very real. Neither can I control. Learning to lean on the Lord for "Life's storm watch" is an on-going journey for me. Fortunately, He promises to storm watch with me, making it a lot less frightening.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Makenna's first book

Makenna wrote a book.....check it out on Shutterfly.

It was Spring....for a day.

Yesterday I sweet talked my favorite men into mulching the landscape. One was more excited than the other.
He even allowed Lauren to use his rake because he's pretty sweet. We were outside by 8am and didn't roll in until 6pm when the temperature started dropping from glorious 70 to the freezing rain we woke up to today. Weather is fickle. So are germs. Ty is now running a fever.
But yesterday....he and Kate were ready to take on the world, Super Hero style.