Friday, August 29, 2008

Guess what I found?!

I have been rooting through things looking for a heart hole punch I have misplaced. I have been looking through things I have looked through numerous times. But tonight I emptied a small hallmark bag with some recipe cards and odds & ends in it, and there, mixed in with those common, unimportant things, I found a small photo book I lost over 3 years ago! The last pictures in it are of Hunter Dec. '04 and the twins 1 year pix Feb. of '05. I am so excited. There are pix in there that I don't have on my PC or anywhere else.. I will have to scan and post them when I get a chance. (Probably sometime next week!)
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

More Wall Words..

I put up some more "wall words" today. I put these two in our bedroom;

"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 Update from Greta..

Randy was transferred to a Jacksonville Rehab Facility on Saturday, he wasn't feeling well, but it was chalked up to the transfer and he hadn't been feeling well for a while. Sunday night he was taken to Shands Jax after another day of not eating and not feeling well. Here is the recent update from Greta.

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


Originally uploaded by mommanana
This is for my hubby.. who works harder and longer than he should. After one of his long days he took over with the kids, let me hide in our room to watch a food network show I wanted to see, AND put them to bed while I took a long bubble bath. That is better than a dozen roses!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Okay Mada.. hmmm, hi there, I got it!

Yesterday was the "anniversary" of Mada's passing. Strange how I hesitate to call it Mada's death. Yet with Kierra it is a death, a killing, so to say she "passed" seems trivial to me. But Mada did not "die" in the real sense of that word. At least she didn't think of it that way. She had more faith than the holiest of preachers. She did not fear dying. She looked forward to heaven. She would have made one hell of a Televangelist!
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!

Randy is one step closer to home.. literally!

Randy has been transferred to a facility in Jacksonville! He moved yesterday. I don't have all the info yet, but will email it out when I get it. It will take a few days for him to adjust, but I know any visitors will be welcomed and are much needed to get him back on track. Change is hard and his road to recovery is still a long one. Everyone's prayers and support have been a big help and are still needed. Greta can only do so much. There isn't AMS staff in Jacksonville and Randy definitely does better when he is not alone. So if you have any time to give, let us know.

Cop For A Day

Brian sent me this and it really says alot. Check it out.. Cop For a Day - Baltimore Police Department Official Web Site - City of Baltimore, Maryland I don't want them to quit either!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away!

We are in day 3-4 of Tropical Storm Faye. The winds have been off & on, but the rains are pretty constant. We have been fortunate that our powerlines are underground, so trees and winds can't knock them down. Over 70,000 people are without power. We lost ours for about an hour in the middle of the night Wed. night/Thurs. morning, but have had no problems since then. When we moved in we had the whole house put on a surge protector provided by the electric company. It costs a few extra dollars each month but is more than worth it. Greta was without power from 11pm last night til about 6 am this morning. When the power came back it surged through the house and burnt out all her electronics, tvs, computer, etc. She is having issues with the back end of her house still without electric, probably something to do with the breakers/fuses. I am too far south to do her any good until the weather clears. One of her trees came down accross the neighbors screen porch and some branches have come down on her roof, but so far there doesn't seem to be any roof damage that she can see.
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

Happy Birthday Chad!

And this 7 inch marshmallow man started the whole nostalgic toy hunt that got us fru-fru too! This was one of Chad's toys when he was little. It is from the first Ghostbuster movie. Brianne found this and a t-shirt for his birthday. She got him the shirt and I got him the Stay Puft guy. He thinks he still has his original in a box somewhere. We got it because Chad was a very chubby baby and he had so many wrinkles he walked like him too! Now he is a very tall, very skinny bean pole! Who'd of thought?

fru-fru (Kierra's Childhood Toy)

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

Chad, Me, Bri, & Justin 8.17.08

Here is a group pic from our weekend. There are a couple pics from the log ride you'll get a chuckle out of, so click on this pic and go to the photo gallery and check them out!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sheikra 8.17.08 Busch Gardens

This in no way shows how truly huge this ride is. That little car full of people at the top?.. is hanging suspended there before it plunged down that almost straight drop. It was awesome!
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.

Idol Audition Registration 8.11.08

Idol Auditions 8.11.08
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Every year I commit to do whatever the "Birthday Boy/Girl" want sto do for their birthday. This year Brianne asked if she could get 2 days. We were up and in line about 5 am on Monday for the registration process for Americvan Idol. Then on Wednesday the 13th (Bri's birthday) we were up an inline early again for the actual auditions. She didn't really expect to be chosen, but really wanted to be able to know she tried instead of always wondering "what if?" It was on her birthday, which was actually her day off as well, so no loss, just a fun time and a chance to make new friends. They said they liked her energy and she had a good voice, just not what they were looking for this season. They did alot of taping for the Jacksonville part of the show, so who knows, we may still end up on TV! I am very proud of her for trying out. I am very proud of her for that and so much more! We love you Boog!

Hunter & Pop-Pop 8.10.08

Hunter & Pop-Pop 8.10.08
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Hunter & I went to Gainesville so he could visit his Pop-pop. It is hard for children to understand when someone is sick and they can't see them for such a long time. Hunter was glad to see him and now knows he is okay and getting better.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Randy Update from Greta 8.14.08

I just talked to Randy's private duty nurse and he said that Randy had a great day. He did another cap trial on his trach tube today and lasted over 4 hours. This is helping progress to removing the trach totally. Hopefully by next week as well as he is doing. He also walked 22 feet today with his walker. This is his second time walking this week. He is really moving by leaps and bounds. I am very proud of him. He can be Onery at times but i can't imagine being in his shoes. I am going back up for the weekend on saturday am thru monday am.Randy also did another swallow study and they changed his diet again.We are working on getting him placed in a rehab here in jacksonville next week. they project it will take another 2 -4 weeks of therapy and then he can come home. i can't wait!!!!! A special thanks to my sister Robyn for flying in from Nashville to help me with Randy and to Terri Cole for placing the private duty CNAs in his room 24 hours a day. Without all those things in place I do not believe Randy would have progressed as much as he has done. THANKYOU

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A quick trip

Brian & I went to Niceville (west of Tallahassee) to attend his brother Alan's Air Force retirement ceremony. It was a quick visit, but we enjoyed seeing them and being able to be part of it. Alan incorporated some really personal touches that made his ceremony unique and showed what a considerate, loving person he is. He presented special coins to his wife & children and thanked them. He thanked and acknowledged his brothers, Dad, Uncle and Grandmother for inspiring him too. It was very cool. I posted a photo in the gallery, so go check it out. (click on the kids pic below this post and it will take you there.)
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

An Update from Greta today..

"I just spoke to Randy's personal sitter and she told me that the feeding tube was gone and Randy ate his first meal in 7 weeks. He had Cream of Wheat, Scrambled eggs and juice!!!!!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love progress. He is still on the vent but doing well with his time trials. I will call her later today after the other therapists have come in and get another update. A very dear friend who owns a medical staffing agency has placed someone to be with Randy for both shifts on the days i can't cover him. This just started last night. This way he does not have to be restrained and he can get the help he needs right away for his personal needs. The catheter has been removed but he still needs help with the toilet issues. I can call Randy's room at any time and get an update and i can also have the phone put to his ear and he can hear my voice. As soon as he can talk i will send out the phone number so you can all talk to him personally. That won't happen until they downsize the tube in his throat. I will be with him tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm and will get to meet the therapists myself. Keep the prayers going. I actually slept last night since he had the sitter in his room. i only called her three times. hahaha. I went to bed at 10:30 and got up with the alarm @ 6 am."

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

It's Brianne's fault!

It really is! It started with finding a nostalgiac gift for Chad's upcoming birthday. Then I decided to look for size 4 slim jeans for Tristan And I did find, bid on, and win 4 pairs for him at really reasonable prices! One of them ended in a last minute bidding war, and I was determined to win! Now I didn't bid the moon.. it ended at $5.50. But the idea that I may lose to a sneaky last second bidder drove me nuts. I must admit I was a tad bit competitive!
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!

The news for now & How was your day?

I thought Friday was just a bad day for me. It seemed everything I tried to get done turned into a mess. Several things that were supposed to come through didn't and it seemed it was just a funky day. I have spoken with several people who also had a rough day on Friday. Maybe the moons were crossing Jupiter or something! How was your day?

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

How do I??

It is quite odd sometimes to have a thought and then happen upon something that is about that very same thing. I have had a very hectic day. Several things have gone awry and I was feeling stressed and frustrated. It was storming and the kids were wide open. I could feel my blood pressure rise, (which has been a health issue for me). I tried to decompress and thought "How do I change this about myself? How do I change my stress level and how I deal with it? How do I change such a big part of myself? How do I change my life?!
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!

Decorating 8.1.08

Decorating 8.1.08
Originally uploaded by mommanana
This is something I put together to finsih off some empty spaces that bugged me. I put one between my bedroom and the sliding doors, this one near the boy's hallway, and one in the front entryway. This one is a bit smaller than the other two so I only used one cattail, the other have 2.. I know that will bug me, so yes, I will be getting another one to make them all even!

Finishing Touches

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!