Sunday, December 28, 2008
How easy it is to spew forth with words of hurt, or anger. How easy to vent on whoever happens to read it. How easy to put down on paper something our conscience might hesitate to let come out of our mouth. How much easier to not be in audience as the words sink in and the reader shows the emotion caused by what you have written. How easy to be absent from the consequences of your words. An apology for something said seems to be easier to accept than one for something written and sent to someone.. via email or snail mail. Damage is done much deeper it seems when it is written. Wounds seem harder to heal.
I try to be careful of that here. There are things I have posted here and elsewhere that may seem harsh, but I wrote them willing to take responsibility for those words because they were how I felt, and my intent was clear. I did not and do not regret writing them. That is the choice we make when we write. To own what we put down, good, bad, or indifferent.
I have things saved from over 25 years ago. One I would like to think the writer regrets. I also have love letters from Brian, notes from my children (good & bad), journals I wrote in a different place and time. Watch what words you say, and write. Once out there they have a life of their own..
We had pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Since we had a turkey & ham for Thanksgiving we decided to do something different for Christmas. I fixed a standing rib roast, loaded mash potatoes, and fresh green beans with leeks and pine nuts. I had 7 layer cookie bars and pumpkin pie for dessert, but everyone filled up on everything else.
It was a good day. We got the kids a puppet theater to share. The Teddy Ruxpin we ordered never came in, but they had enough stuff to not even miss it. They all got Leapster 2 game systems, and clothes. The boys got Star Wars and Indiana Jones toys, Potato Heads, puzzles, books, and several other things. Alexa got princess dolls, fairies, and lots of girly stuff. It was scaled down alot from last year. Alexa's doll bed and pram stroller for her dolls was back ordered, so we may save them for her birthday if they come in by then.
It was a good day. We take those good moments when we can get them and appreciate every one. It seems easier to look back and remember. Not less painful, but I think I am getting used to and accepting the pain rather than fighting it. The remembering is painful, but pleasant as well, so I focus on the pleasant part and let the pain come. We are making new memories and want to enjoy these times and moments as well.
Hope you & yours had good moments and good memories. Hallalujah, the holidays are over!
They have been so sick and miserable they are just now getting to enjoy their toys. We have been taking it easy and sticking close to home. At least they were out of school anyway and didn 't have to miss any days other than Tristan missing the last day before the holiday break.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Later I caught the tail end of a conversation between Hunter & Alexa. The part I heard was Alexa asking him "Will Mommy die driving her car?" He quickly told her "No, God wouldn't take both your Mommies away." She accepted that and they moved on to look at another ornament.
I debated bringing it back up, then decided to wait. I asked Hunter about it when I was tucking him in. He said Alexa had asked him where Mommy Kierra was and he told her she was in Heaven. She asked if that was far away. When he told her yes, she asked how she got there. He told her she died and when Alexa asked how she died Hunter told her she died in a car crash when she was driving her car to work one day. That is when I caught the end of the conversation. Hunter asked me if it was wrong to tell her. I told him no, I just wondered if she was old enough to understand. We agreed if it comes up again we will all talk about it together. I thanked him for reassuring her and for being such a great big brother.
I have thought countless times what it would be like to tell them. I wondered when would be the right time. I didn't think of it being part of a simple conversation between 2 children. I forgot how matter of fact Hunter can be, and that I always tell him to be honest. I think he handled it very well. I hope I can handle it as well when they start asking me questions about it.
Tristan walks around and thanks me for all the decorations almost every day. He and Alexa would also point out (before it was up) they couldn't thank me for the tree because it wasn't up yet! They can be too smart sometimes. We put together a box to send to Alex in Iraq and we put in some candy that was called reindeer food. Tristan said maybe it would help him fly home fast like the reindeer can fly with Santa. Alexa looked at him so seriously and told him it would have to be flying camels, because they didn't have reindeer where he was, just camels!
We also put together a box for their new little sister, Hayven. Alex told us when he called last week that he & Dawn had a baby girl in September. I reassured him that it was great news and I would get Tristan & Alexa big brother and big sister shirts and take pictures for him. I think he forgets we are such an extended blended family already, what's one more?! I imagine that makes it all the more difficult for him to be deployed again. I have the shirts, just have to take the pix. I will post Hayven's picture soon.
Tristan has been running a high fever since yesterday morning. They rarely run fevers. To the extent that I had to dig up the 2 thermometers we had and both had dead batteries. I had to run to the store to get a new one. He threw up some yesterday afternoon, but that stopped last night. Now he has a fever rash in his groin area. He seems to be feeling better, but that fever is hanging on.
Greta was having Hunter over for a sleepover tonight and ended up taking Alexa too. She asked Hunter if he minded sharing his night and he said Alexa could go. She had gotten very upset that he was going without her. I thought Tristan would be upset at being left home alone, but he wasn't bothered at all. Now you know he is sick!
So I am baking 7 layer bars, and trying to get the motivation to finish the tree. The breakable ornaments are going higher on the tree and I guess that is my job. This may all be done just in time to take it all down and put it away again! The kids love it and that is what counts. Personally, I think it looks like the North Pole puked all over the house!
Images flash on the TV,
Everywhere I turn, it seems,
You're right in front of me.
I can hope there will come a time
when this all gets easier to do,
yet deep inside my heart I know,
I'll never get over losing you.
Some say you are in a better place,
that doesn't ring true for me.
Better than here with your babies
is something I just can't see.
We can't go back, this I know.
We can't undo what has been done.
So we try our best to nurture
the lives you'd just begun.
They smile your smile
and it's so easy to see,
every time I look at them
you're right in front of me..
mjs started 11.3.08
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Horton Hears a Who
Narnia- Prince Caspian
Veggie Tales, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
Star Wars Clone Wars
Polar Express 3D version
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play
My world is changing
Does that mean Christmas changes too
Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love
Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Horton Hears a Who
Narnia- Prince Caspian
Veggie Tales, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
Star Wars Clone Wars
Polar Express 3D version
I did not go to the site of her accident this year. Brian put flowers there. I drive by it, but have not stopped there in a while. I don't think I intentionally avoid it, I just don't make a point of going there. I think of her and "see" her in so many other places, on so many other days than the day she died. I am not sure what meaning I want to give to that specific spot, so for now I give it none.
I also mentioned to a friend that I resented that day this year, but not just because of her death, I resent that every hour of every day. It has seemed as though, on most other days, people tend to tell me to not dwell on it, to try to move forward and not let it drag me down. To find a place to set my grief aside so I can enjoy my children, my friends, my life. I do try to do that. Yet on that day, the "anniversary" of her death, it is expected, almost encouraged, for me to give in to it. It is expected for me to be inconsolable and best left alone. Like one day is all I need to purge my sytem, to heal my heart. I know that is not how it is meant, but for some reason, that is how it felt. I am a control freak, yes, I know. So, to not have control of how I feel can be quite frustrating.
I have waves of emotion (as Nancy has described it for me) and I am not a good surfer! I had a hard time the day I had events at Tristan & Alexa's schools for Thanksgiving. I could not stop myself from crying when I was on my way to Tristan's Rodeo. I wanted her to be going, I wanted her to be the one they called Mommy and ran to when she walked in the door. I wanted her to be the one they showed off proudly to their classmates. I let it out and got through it with smiles for them, but it was hard. I did not expect the onslaught of emotion and could not stop it until my tears had run out.
Brian & I were heading to the movies to meet all the kids yesterday afternoon. We had a great day together. When we got in the truck a song by Gloria Estefan came on about "Until I had You, I didn't know I was missing out" I think it is "Christmas through your eyes" about her daughter. We both had to change the station and we talked about some of the hardest parts of missing her. It was like being hit by a 2X4. It knocks the breath out of you. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, we are powerless to stop it.
So I don't know how we will handle the rest of the Holidays. Of course we will celebrate and do things for the kids. They deserve to be happy and enjoy the whole Christmas thing. We will keep riding the waves and do our best to quickly reach the surface when one takes us under. We are becoming stronger swimmers, and someday I may be able to ride the waves and stay on the board. For now I have learned to just hold my breath and swim like hell!
On the 14th, our Jezell gave birth to our Peurto-rican grandbaby, Michael, after many, many hours of labor. She thought he would be born the 13th, but I told her he held out to have his own day! Both are healthy and happy.
Then Brian's Mom came to visit for the week of Thanksgiving. It was a handful with her and the kids to care for. She isn't as mobile as she used to be and needs more help with things. She also isn't used to being around small children and they aren't used to sharing me with anyone else. They all managed and I think she had a good visit. She went home Saturday. Brian and I took the kids to the zoo that afternoon and then thanks to Brianne & Justin, he & I spent most of the day alone on Sunday and then met them all to see Bolt in the afternoon. It is a very funny movie. We all enjoyed it and still laugh when one of us quotes the hamster, Rhino!
So things are headed back to normal just in time to be thrown into chaos again with the Christmas Holidays. I haven't put out any decorations yet. I will have to get motivated in the next week or two. I got some Thanksgiving cards sent out and am waiting for the kid's school pictures to send out the Christmas cards. They should be in this week.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Enjoy the Holidays and hug each other for me!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
As it baked, the pie got bigger and bigger, kind of like the old Jiffy-Pop popcorn you could cook on the stove and the foil would puff up as it cooked. The poor turkey was stretched beyond it's limits and then it happened.. the pie cracked open in 3 places and oozed pie filling all over the place. Thank goodness we put a cookie sheet underneath it! What was left was good with vanilla ice cream and we made sure the second pie wasn't as full.
Bri also made some Orange Blossom mini cakes that were really yummy looking. I am looking forward to trying it when she makes it for Turkey Day. It was great to have time with her even if it was a bit hectic, and we will always remember the Jiffy-Pop Pie!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
That statement was at the end of an email story I received. I felt compelled to share it. Chad leaves for basic training January 6th for basic training with the Army. He will be there 9-10 weeks then go to Arizona for a year for Tech school. It is strange to have him going away. It is time I know, I just never thought of him as the military type. He continues to suprise me! In researching info for Chad, Brian came accross some info about age reduction for years served, so he has been looking into info for the Air Force Reserve or Gaurd, I am not sure how I feel about that. I have always, and will support him in whatever he decides, but I am not sure I am willing to make the sacrifices as easily as he is. It is alot to think about and this is already an emotional time for us. We will see what happens in the days & weeks to come. I am not sure I can handle my son & my husband writing that blank check!
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
You can also:
Download and print a free card.
Please follow these guidelines when mailing a card to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members, veterans and their families. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.
*All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards sent after this date will be returned to sender.
*Please ensure that all cards are signed.
*Please use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
*Please send cards as opposed to long letters which delay a quick review process.
*Please do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
*Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
*Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a larger quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope.
*All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums.
Where to Send Phone Cards, Gift Cards and Care Packages:
Phone cards or gift cards will not be accepted with the holiday cards. Those wishing to send calling cards or gift cards/certificates should go to www.aafes.com, scroll down to "AAFES Community Connection" and click on "Help Our Troops Call Home" or "Gift Cards/Certificates for Our Troops" in order to send such items.
No 'Care Packages' will be accepted at this address. Those wishing to send care packages should go to www.AmericaSupportsYou.com and click under "Homefront Groups" to find out how to send care packages.
When mailing your Christmas cards this year,take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful, special people who have sacrificed so much would get! When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
* A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001 *
I got this in an email from my sister-in-law, Leslie. What a great idea! How simple and how thoughtful. I hope you take the chance to do this and not only help someone in need, but get to feel the true meaning of giving for yourself! I am sending out several Thanksgiving cards to them today as well! MJ
We received a video in the mail from the mother of an old boyfriend of hers. It was of her and him in the slingshot ride at Oldetown in Orlando. She loved it and I couldn't help but laugh as I cried watching her beautiful young face on the screen before me, so alive. So we will cherish those moments, those memories, and keep going. That is what we do everyday. Thank you for your love, support and understanding. We couldn't get through it all without you!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Randy- He got his trache taken out a couple weeks ago, almost 3 weeks ago now. He is doing better and is supposed to be released to go home this Thursday! They had said November 1st, but don't want to send him home on a weekend. It has been a long road and still won't be easy for them, but I know it will be a relief for both of them to have him back home. Be sure to keep in touch and I know he would still love to have visitors at home.
The twin's father, Alex, left for Iraq on Saturday. It is his second tour there. He was led to believe if he went into the gaurd then he would stay stateside. May he stay safe.
Chad suprised us today. He is taking the ASVAB next week. That is the miltary aptitude test. He has decided to join the military. He wants to go to college and realistically would have to work 2 jobs to do it, which would leave little time for school. He has been considering it and is ready to take this step for his future. His test score will help him decide which branch he will sign up with. I have very mixed feelings about this. I am proud that he is moving forward and doing something that will benefit his future. He is well aware of the commitment to defend his country as part of this decision. I am proud of him for that too, yet as a mother who has already lost a child, I am hesitant to embrace a decision that may risk losing another. No matter how small the risk, it is still a Mother's worry for her child to be in any kind of danger. It is different from the fear and worry I felt as a wife when Brian went to the Gulf War. I will support him and love him wherever he goes and whatever he does. I will keep you all posted.
Trying to organize and juggle 3 children in school is my latest challenge. I have 3 teachers to communicate with, 3 Halloween parties to send things in for or help with, school pictures x3, school papers x3, school projects x3, field trips x3, and even birthday party invitations x3! I am going to have to get a large planner calendar to put on the wall with color coded squares for them all! I don't know how I managed this before. I worked so I didn't get as involved in their school activities, but the thought of adding dance classes, karate, and/or sports to the mix really freaks me out. I have a new stress reliever..ie: addiction.. popsicles. The new slowmelt ones. I have eaten 3 in a row at times in the past week. I tried the sugarfree ones.. but they aren't as good. It is my version of taking a cigarette break!
Brian is working alot of city overtime the next couple months. They are always shorthanded. He gets to grow a beard every fall if he donates to the United Way. I will have to post pics. He was starting it when we took our cruise, but it was just coming in then.. still at the scruffy stage. He has to shave it after Christmas. He is still counting down to officially be a Sargeant. I will let you know when it is his turn.
It'a almost 4am. I am going to try to sleep again. Probably just in time for Tristan to get up early! TTFN
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I had to miss it to volunteer at Hunter's school for their Fall Festival, but I am hoping to be at his next show so I can watch him win in person!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tristan & Alexa were evaluated for a special preschool available at Hunter's school. Tristan tested as having some developmental delays, so he qualifies and will start school on the 23rd. All day, 5 days a week, the same schedule as Hunter. Alexa had some delay in language concepts, but tested at her age range or above on everything else, so she does not qualify. She will be going to a private preschool starting on Monday, the 20th. It really wasn't in the budget to do that, but I couldn't see sending Tristan to school and keeping her home. This way they both will be ready to start kindergarten in the fall. They had their physicals and flu shots today. (That was fun... NOT!)
I already have Thursdays booked to help in Hunter's classroom and will have to see if they need volunteers in Tristan's class. I would like to have a day or two a week for the horses.. and maybe, just maybe I can get caught up and keep up with the housework! We will see!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Today I had Chad take the twins to daycare. I was ready to "git er done!" and guess what.. it is POURING! The dam has burst and I am foiled once again! I am going to get out there and pick my way through what I can, but it would be soooo much easier to move the big stuff out of my way!! I am not sure why I am running into so many obstacles with this project, but I am determined to forge ahead! Wish me luck!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
This is my baby brother. He has always been a wanderer. He goes his own way and does his own thing. But this time feels different. No one in our family has heard from him since the end of July. That isn't all that unusual. A close friend of his had expected him in Alabama over 3 weeks ago to work for him. Roy Albert has always kept in touch with this friend. He never showed up and hasn't been heard from. He travels on his black Harley motorcycle and was last seen in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. How do you find someone if they have a habit of not wanting to be found? Adults aren't looked for as a missing person unless they have a mental illness or foul play is suspected. So Bro.. where are you?? And more important than that.. Are you okay??
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
I still have the majority of Kierra's things from her apartment. I have gone through some of them, but most of them have been untouched. It has been almost 3 years, I will never get over losing her, but I am ready to get past holding onto the material things. I will keep what will mean something to the children, but most of it is just "stuff".
I am heading into the project with the attitude that if we haven't used alot of what is out there in the year plus that we have lived here, then we don't need it and won't miss it! There will be alot of donations made to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Local Shelters, etc.
My deadline is the 4th, then Brian & I are escaping the 5th-12th of October. I figured that would prevent me from procrastinating!
Randy was transferred back to Heartland Rehab Wednesday night. He had a blood infection and they did a heart test Wednesday and it did not affect the heart or valves. He has another 10 days of IV antibiotics and he should be done. He is feeling much better. He is ready for the therapy part so he can come home. His mind is in the right direction for the final stage of his recovery. Thanks to all of you for your support through this. If it weren't for you all where would we be? Randy loves the company and it brightens his day when he gets a visit. There are no set visiting hours. Please pass the news on to those I might not have gotten here. Thanks! Greta
Monday, September 01, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
I haven't found what I was looking for, but this was so much better! I am trying to get things packed for a trip to NC with Greta to make her & Randy's neice's wedding as special as we can last minute. We leave tomorrow afternoon, wedding Saturday, head home Sunday. It will be crazy, but it will be a good kind of crazy. I don't know if I will have time or access to get online, so if all else fails I will catch up late Sunday night.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"Real Love Stories never have endings." (in the corner near my reading chair)
"Holding you, I hold Everything." (on a blank wall on my side of the bed)
Then I put this one in our bathroom over our big garden jacuzzi tub;
"Together, a great place to be."
That finished off decorating our bedroom, I still have to decide if I want to do anything else in our bathroom.
Just a few little things, but it was productive not to just buy them, but to put them up!
Randy is doing much better and will be transferred back to Heartland on Normandy Blvd tomorrow. (if you didn't get the room # via email.. call me, MJ) He had a blood infection which they are treating with antibiotics. They think it was caused by the pick line in his arm. They are looking at replaceing it. It has three ports so they can give iv fluids, meds, and pull blood. That way they do not have to keep sticking him. It has been in over six weeks. He is also getting over a cold, not pnemonia thank god.
I am going out of town this weekend for a very quick trip for Heidi's wedding in North Carolina. I will be leaving some time tomorrow and returning on sunday. for those of you who are in town if you get a chance to stop by Heartland and see Randy I would appreciate it. Jennifer is staying behind to look after her dad so I can be with Heidi.
Randy's attidude has improved greatly and he is ready for the challange of physical therapy so he can go home. It has taken some talking to get him where is is mentally. He made phone calls to all his brothers and sisters last night and it was great seeing the smile on his face being able to communicate with them.
Our love to you all and thank you so much for all the prayers and support. It has been the only thing that has helped me keep my sanity.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I digress.. what I meant to talk about was when I spoke to Nancy yesterday morning we talked about the "messages" we get from our girls. I had left Nancy a voice mail the night before because a commercial came on TV. It not only played the song "I Can Only Imagine", (which is one of the songs Mada chose for her own funeral) but the CD they were selling was titled that as well. The CD was full of songs of faith. Mada's message to me was two-fold.. Hey MJ.. call my Mom.. and by the way.. here's your sign! Similar to when she met Cher in person. Mada gave her a bible. Cher thanked her and admitted she didn't have one of those. Mada's mission wasn't just to meet her favorite singer, it was to give her a taste of faith.
That commercial was Mada's version of giving me a bible. No I did not order the CD.. Keep working at it Mada.. maybe someday. That song came to me several times the morning Kierra was killed. No matter what station we turned it to, that song came on. Lisa & I commented on Mada saying hello because we were camping without her. Now I know it was Mada reminding me she was there, maybe to let me know she was there when Kie got there.. if indeed there is a Heaven.
Wow, I digress again.. not everyone believes in those kinds of messages, or any messages from the ones we have loved and lost. Whatever works for you. I have experienced it even before we lost Kierra, so I have my own opinions and beliefs. I told Nancy that I am sometimes a bit resentful of how strong & clear Kierra's messages can be to others. I get them , but not as much as I would like sometimes. I see solitary dragonflies often, at the strangest of places. One flew in to the office where Alexa has speech therapy when we walked in the other day. It was huge, and would not leave no matter how hard we all tried to coax it back out the door. Anyway.. those are the coincidences that soothe me. That no matter how chaotic I am feeling.. that will bring me a moment of "hmm.. hi there.. got it."
So take a moment now & then to notice those moments. You never know who is trying to say hello!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Our trees are young and small, so that isn't an issue for us either. We are starting to see some standing water in our side yard, the rain doesn't stop long enough for it to drain. The kids play house blew accross the yard early this morning but didn't damage anything. So for us the hardest part is being cooped up inside for 3 days! They expect rain throughout the weekend, but hopefully the winds will die down sometime later today. Now we are having tornado and flash flood warnings. Our street seems to be draining well, but I am not going anywhere!
Brian is essential personal so he worked from 6 am until 8:30 pm yesterday and was back at work at 5 am this morning. He won't know when he will get to come home until they clear them to leave. There are alot of flooded areas and wires down. I can't believe people are going out in this stuff. We are staying put. I figured I would update everyone in case we do lose power again. Hope you are all staying safe & dry.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I thought I was so ahead of the game when I found this toy on Ebay. It was listed as a "Popple" which was one of Brianne's childhood toys. It didn't look like the other popples listed, but it looked familiar to me. When it came in I showed Brian and he reminded me that this was Fru-Fru.. one of Kierra's childhood toys. Alexa saw it and that was that, it is now her childhood toy! And yes, she calls it Fru-Fru.
I wonder sometimes how I can forget things like that. I worry how I will remember all the things in her life. It isn't such a big thing really, but it is something I didn't realize I had forgotten. So I worry what else is lost in my scattered mind...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
I took Chad, & Bri (& Justin) to Busch Gradens this past weekend as a birthday gift for them both. We rode this 3 times.. the 3rd time we were in the front row! We had a lot of fun. It was good to spend time with my older children, I don't get to do that often enough. Brianne is 24 now and Chad will be 22 on Thursday. They grow too fast.. I won't say they "grow up" since they acted like little kids most of the time! It was a blast.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Brian & I enjoyed the time together. It is a shame life and schedules keep us from seeing the people we care about more often. So is you can't hug those you love today, give them a call and let them know you are thinking of them!
Friday, August 08, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
P.S. They did downsize the tube in Randy's trach today and he ate a real lunch too! Talking is still hard but these are major milestones for him.. and for Greta too! Thanks to everyone for their continued support!
Monday, August 04, 2008
I had not been on Ebay in over a year. I hadn't even updated our address. Now there are several items I am "watching". One or two of them I plan on being that sneaky last second bidder that jumps in and gets the prize.. it's all Brianne's fault.. it really is!
Other news and updates;
Alexa is having new tubes put in her ears on Aug. 27th. She is still having a hearing issue in her right ear and her left ear keeps building pressure and shows signs of fluid again. It will be an outpatient procedure so she will come home the same day. Last time it only took a couple hours for us to be back home. I will let you all know how it goes and how she is doing.
Tristan has another recheck for his ears tomorrow. He has passed all his hearing tests with flying colors and seems to be doing well. I will let you know if they find anything else tomorrow.
Hunter has had some side effects to his ADHD meds he was on for the past year. They have changed his meds and he should level out and be back to himself in the next couple weeks. They aren't sure why he had issues after taking it so long, but his new meds have much fewer side effects to worry about, so far so good.
Chad is working delivering pizzas for a place that used to be open near the old house. They had a fire and decided to reopen north of where we live now. Brian & Chad know the owner. That worked out well!
The horses are doing good. I got to ride Tortuga last week. We started seperating her and Reese so they have calmed down a bit and are easier to work with. Barney & Lenny aren't so keen on having to share me, but they will all adjust. I just need a few more hours to my days, that's all!
Randy is breathing more on his own which will help alot toward his recovery. Some days are better than others, but he is more alert and becoming more active. Greta is running herself ragged, but it is a priority for her to be with him as much as she can. Our sister, Robyn, is coming out for the weekend to help so I hope she is able to get a break. I can only help in spurts and it doesn't give her much relief. Terri & I are working on a way to give her more peace of mind and more help, so we'll see how it goes. Keep the prayers and support coming for them, the road to recovery is still a long one!
Hunter is excited for school to start. We are still working toward the twins starting preschool at his school. Just waiting for the school board to do their evaluation. Seems to be a hurry up and wait thing with them.
That's the news for now. I am sure there will be more tomorrow, there always is!
Friday, August 01, 2008
I was changing the channel on the TV to find something for everyone to watch and caught the beginning of Oprah. I think it was a repeat. She had Maria Shriver on. She has a book out called Just Who Will You Be? It is about her realizing at 51 years of age that she had been what everyone else expected her to be and had no idea who or what she wanted from herself. She lived a busy, hectic life and wanted to be "gentler" with herself and everyone else. She was always rushing around stressed out and chaotic. She was being supermom and superwife and the good daughter. But she had no idea how to be Maria. She was amazed at that age to have no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up. She was very down to earth and mirrored alot of things I have been thinking today. I will have to read her book!
I have been trying to finish up little projects around the house. These are wall quotes that I found and really liked. The top one is on the wall in our kitchen dining area. It has been up for a while. The lower one I just put up in our front dining room over the window. They really finish off the rooms. Someday I'll be done!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz. pkg of wide egg noodles
8 oz. of shredded cheese (your preference)
2 tblsp. brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Brown the ground beef with salt, pepper, brown sugar, & onion. Add UNDILUTED tomato soup to meat mixture. Set aside. Cook egg noodles per package directions, drain well. Add UNDILUTED cream of chicken soup to noodles.
In a casserole dish, layer meat mixture, then 1/2 the cheese , then noodle mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
When Brian & I were first married I found a little house on the outskirts of town. It was a small, shabby house. I didn't just see a run down, neglected, empty house. I saw a house that could be a home. A house we could fix up and care for. I found out who owned the house and set about convincing them to rent it to us.
That was our first "house". Since leaving my parent's home I had lived in trailers and apartments. When Brian & I first married we shared a basement apartment with his friend, Tim. That little house was a big deal to me.
It took alot of work, and alot of love, to fix up that little house, but it was some of the happiest times for Brian, Kierra, & I. Brianne was conceived the first week we lived there (after months of trying). It held good times and great memories for us. I think back to those times and can't help but smile and laugh over some of the adventures and mishaps we experienced way back then.
We took the small backyard full of overgrown, dead tomato plants and made it a green, grassy space for Kierra to play in. We repaired and painted room by room. We changed out light fixtures and faucets one by one. We made it ours. It had huge lilac bushes on either side of the front door. You could open the windows when they were in bloom and the scent would fill the house. I still love the smell of fresh lilacs.
I sometimes wish for the simplicity of our lives back then. That house wasn't much bigger than an efficiency apartment. But it was enough for us. We lived paycheck to paycheck on meager military pay. But it was enough for us. We have lived in many places since then. Yet none of the houses we have lived in ever felt as much like home to me as that little house in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I don't have dreams about going back to New Mexico, or New York. I sometimes dream about our house in Swaffham, England, but I dream most often of Wyoming.
It seems nothing is simple anymore. I find myself snowballed by so many things to do and not enough time to do them. My "to do" list is never ending. So it is not so farfetched that when I see a shabby, simple little house, I daydream about a little house in Wyoming that stands there still. I daydream about a life that was simple, and safe, and held so much promise for us and the family we had started. I daydream about lilacs and green grass, about sun and snow. And for those few moments my heart smiles and my life is simple again.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
She had been dealing with going back to where her daughter was killed and in the end of the episode she and her other daughter went there. It was very emotional. For me too! I can't help but think of where the last place "Kierra was Kierra". But I so much prefer to remember the last time I saw her, or any of the thousands of memories I carry with me of her. The show is almost too realistic. Not over dramatized or too trite. They have portayed grief from several perspectives and relationships. It is almost as good as therapy!
If you have not experienced such a close loss it can be hard to understand how I can still be so affected after almost 3 years. Why I am not "over it", or able to "move on". I will never be over it, and I think I have moved on, moved forward. I have had no choice. Life hasn't given me the luxury of being able to wallow, or dwell on it to the point of just staying in bed with the covers pulled over my head.
I am not as social as I was before, but I think it is more due to the responsibility of 2 more children than it is that I am emotionally unavailable. Of course my perception is from the inside looking out, not how others see me. If you invite me to do something I will try to make it happen. That is the best I can do, but I can usually work it out. When I am able to do something I try to call and see who can join me. But often I am too busy with too many things to think much about being sociable. So if you want to get together, give me a call. I don't bite (not lately), and I don't have any contagious diseases at the moment. It's just a matter of "catching me when you can!"
I did realize however that there is a primary difference between Rachel & I.. she does not have 3 small children, an older child, a husband, and dogs all around her while she is trying to cook! I felt like I had run a marathon once I was done. She also had reccomended Broccolini, a cross between kale & broccoli. She said it is so great because the stalks are tender and you can eat the whole thing, whereas most people only eat the florets on regular broccoli. We were excited to try it.. until I found out it is almost 5 times more expensive than broccoli! A bought a large head of broccoli for $2.50. The same amount of broccolini would have been $12.00. Not cost effective for our large family.
A bonus this week: I discovered Ziploc Zip-n-steam bags. You can steam almost anything in them. You just put your food and seasoning in the bag then pop it in the microwave. We have been using them for fresh veggies. Even the kids have eaten them up. There is no added water, just the moisture from the veggies. The flavor is fantastic!