Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a dreary, soggy day...

Today has been a dreary, soggy day in our little part of the world. As I sit & type this, the rain has been pouring down for over an hour. The forecast is calling for temperatures to start steadily dropping into the evening, so tomorrow's commute to work & school ought to prove interesting.

I've been busy trying to get some things accomplished today. I helped my folk's prep their living room to make room for their Christmas tree & drug the big tub that contained it up from their basement. That felt great on my shoulder that I hurt yesterday morning when I was taking our dog outside. Our back steps were icy & treacherous.. but I held on tight to the hand-rail and was fine. It was once I placed my foot on the sloping driveway that I was up-ended! It happened really fast & all of a sudden I was on my right hip with my arm sorta twisted under me. ;) (no, Grace isn't my middle name!).

Anywho.. back to the holiday prep at my folks house! My ladybug "helped" me put the tree up for them. I already told my little brother than he "gets" to put the lights on it. Lights are not me favorite part of the decorating process anyway & with my arm/shoulder aching.. it would be very not fun. Hopefully we'll get the ornaments on it in the next few days, too. My older brother is coming to town for early Christmas festivities this coming Monday.. so we've got to get busy making my folk's house look Christmas-y! :)

I was also successful in getting my folk's Christmas letter all copied for them. I had typed it for them the other day & they had given me some pretty paper to run it on. Several months ago, I scored a xerox copier & cabinet for FREE from a friend of a friend, so I told them I would just run them this year. They usually get their letter all ready & then take their paper to a local printer to have them run them on the paper they purchased seperately... I told them that I would take care of it at our house this year--and hey! I'm only charging them a nominal fee! ;) Just kidding! They do so very much for us, it's the least that I could do for them.

Well.. I better close my post & get my fireflies & ladybug all ready to go to dinner for our youngest firefly's birthday this evening. He's been super excited about it all day long. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

happy 5th birthday, firefly!

Today is my youngest firefly's 5th birthday! It truly is hard to believe that it has already been 5 years since we welcomed him into our little family.

My doctor induced me a week ahead of my due date because in the last week of my pregnancy I had gained 3lbs in water! We arrived at the hospital bright and early that Monday morning in 2003 & excitedly awaited his arrival. My doctor had estimated that our firefly would be about 7 1/2 pounds.. I thought to myself, ok.. that is do-able, a nice size.. not too big. (my oldest firefly came into the world at 6lbs 11oz). They started the iv with all the fun drugs & as soon as my doctor broke my water I was ready for that amazing epidural! ;) After my water was broken, it only took about an hour or two for me to know that it was time to deliver my baby. With all of my children I have been fortunate to only have to push for about 1/2 hour at the most to deliver them.

Then, at 1:45pm he made is debut into our lives! I remember thinking to myself when I first saw my son, he is beautiful & he's huge.. how did I deliver a baby that big!?! ;) It was only after they put him the scale & it read, "8lbs 14.1oz" & measured him at 21" tall, that I was even more amazed! I am only 5' 2" tall and although, I am heavier than I'd like to be.. I'm not that big. I still tease my doctor about his 7 1/2 pound prediction for my almost 9lb firefly! ;) (incidentally, he was better with his guess on our ladybug's weight).

I remember those first few days with our firefly like they were yesterday.. the smell of his tiny little head, the look & feel of his tiny hands & feet. And what an amazing boy he has grown to be.. at 5 years old he already has quite the sense of humor, is on the verge of reading on his own, can write letters & numbers like nobody's business... there are so many amazing things about him, I can't list them all in this post. He's a funny little guy who at times struggles to find his place in our family.. he's a "big" kid, but still isn't totally sure that he wants to relinquish the role of "baby" to his little sister. He is very thoughtful & gives me lots of hugs & kisses, too.

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Firefly! Mommy & Daddy are so very proud of you & we love you to the moon & back! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

happy weekend

Happy Weekend! ;)

Actually, it's been a roller coaster weekend for our corner of the world. We got a call from my husband's mother on Thursday afternoon saying that her Aunt(whom she had gotten herself appointed as "power of attorney" for about 2 1/2 years ago) was not doing well & not expected to live much longer than 24 hours.

So, Thursday evening we all went to see her for the last time at the nursing home.. she was unresponsive & didn't know that anyone had visited her. She passed away around 12:30am Friday morning.. just a few short hours after we had been there. Aunt Vera was 90 years old and was my husband's Great Aunt.. so, she was a Great-Great Aunt to my fireflies & ladybug. The kids were great & squeezed her hand, told her that they loved her, etc. My ladybug waved to her(Vera's eyes were closed, but it was precious to watch), said "bye-bye" and then she blew her a final kiss. It was as if our ladybug knew or could sense that Vera was getting ready to meet Jesus. How glorious it must have been to wake up in God's presence and not be sick or in pain anymore.

My mother-in-law has always had a knack for being over-dramatic, but she is understandably upset over Aunt Vera's passing. I've been trying to help her with phone calls, etc. over the past couple of days & my husband is going to be one of the pall bearers for the funeral that is going to be this coming Thursday. We all knew that this day would come & with each visit that we paid to Vera at the nursing home, it was more clear that she was slipping away from this life, so we are all at peace with her passing.

Our younger firefly's 5th birthday is Monday!! :) We celebrated with some good friends this evening after going to a children's play and having dinner at Pantera's pizza. I baked him a cake and decorated it with a dinosaur and "happy birthday". He really enjoyed it and our friends gave him a "totally cool" Star Wars action figure. ;) I also baked 3 dozen dinosaur shaped sugar cookies for his birthday. He is taking treats to his Sunday school class tomorrow morning & birthday treats for his preschool class on Monday. Tuesday evening we are all getting together as a family to celebrate his birthday with dinner out at Casa Guillardo--he has a free kid's meal postcard from the birthday club to use! :) Yummy.. I can't wait! ;)

Well, it's getting late & now that I look at the clock, it's actually already technically Sunday morning... so I better get my little self upstairs & tucked into bed! :) Good night & hopefully another post tomorrow(I mean.. later today!).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

happy thursday

Happy Thursday! First, I need to update you on Ladybug's eye.. just a scratch under her eye.. luckily she didn't end up with a big black eye or any other bruising from the encounter with the stocking holder! ;)

Despite all the weather forecasts to the contrary, we merely got a dusting of snow last night. Our yard looks a bit like a big frosted mini-wheat with the grass & leaves poking through the thin blanket of snow. It was pretty to watch it coming down last night & is certainly helping things feel more & more like Christmas.

Today will be busy(as usual).. ladybug & I have Play Pals this morning, then we'll get together with my folks & my youngest firefly for lunch and a few errands. I have some more Christmas gifts to pick up. I am hoping to be able to get another shirt or two for my husband.. the style that he wants was clearanced at one store location(great deal, but they didn't have his size!), so we're going to search for his size at another location today. Hopefully we'll be successful in our endeavor & I can get him a couple to replace the ones that are worn out. :)

Well.. the shower is beckoning me & my youngest firefly & ladybug are busy wathing Diego right now, so I better grab my opportunity for a few minutes of "mommy time" and run with it. ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

starting to look a lot like christmas..

Well, it's starting to look a lot like Christmas around our house. My two fireflies & my little ladybug "helped" put our tree up & get the lights on it afterschool yesterday. After wrestling with the lights and repeating "please move back so Mommy can put the pretty lights on" about 10 trillion times.. I was done in for the day. So, this evening we've been decorating the tree with ornaments, a process that is going fairly smoothly considering the ages of my helpers. ;)

Last night was Bunco for me(YEAH!!), so I made sure that my husband and kiddos had what they needed for their turkey burgers & I headed out to meet some of the Bunco girls & carpool to our friend's house that is about a 1/2 hour drive for most of us. As always, it was a refreshing evening of adult conversation.. although almost all of us have at least one kiddo & we end up talking about mommy stuff. It was especially neat last night because my friend Carrie brought her 2 month old daughter with her & my friend Melissa brought her 2 week old son with her. Oh, how precious they are... how quickly they all grow up, too! Kristi, our host, made the most wonderful sandwiches & potato soup for our dinner. Yummy! :) She is going to email all of us the soup recipe.. I can't wait!

Tonight was supposed to be a potluck at our PTO meeting at school.. I hope that it will be successful, but I just couldn't do it tonight. It's been a longish day, it's cold outside & well, I needed/wanted to just be at home & spend time doing Christmas stuff with my kiddos. I want to have lots of wonderful holiday memories with my kiddos.. and I don't want their only memories to be of us always rushing about. The fireflies & my ladybug all enjoy helping make and decorate cookies(& especially eating the cookies!). I look forward to doing things like that with them that I hope will become cherished childhood memories for them in the future.

Well.. the kiddos are beckoning to finish the tree decorations, so I better close this & make sure nothing gets inadvertantly broken. Currently, my younger firefly and my ladybug are totally fascinated with their stockings & are busy jabbering about them. Until... they managed to knock down one of the stocking holders & it cracked my poor little ladybug in the face! :( I am praying(as she holds "get better bear" fresh from the freezer, on her face) that she won't get a big black eye to go along with the scratch that the stocking holder made under her eye on it's way to the floor! There truly is never a dull moment in our household! ;)

P.S. I'll let you know how her little eye looks in the morning!

Monday, December 1, 2008

i'm still here...

Wow! I knew that I had been in a non-blogging slump for quite awhile.. I just realized that it's been almost 2 months since my last entry! Geez! I didn't realize that I'd been hiding out for that long.

I have been in a funk for a long time & just haven't really felt like posting anything. Health issues with my mother-in-law in October & just other "life" stuff have been holding me down on many levels and I haven't felt like posting anything that anyone would really want to read(not that more than say 3 or 4 people even look at this).

Now.. that Christmas season is upon us again. The fireflies & my ladybug are all getting very excited & can hardly wait to help me put the tree up & decorate it after they get home from school today. Traditionally, I put the tree & decorations up the day after Thanksgiving, but this year it's not happening until several days after. That is because the room that our tree goes in has been the playroom(otherwise known as "the pit of despair") and I have spent 3 days(working off & on) picking up 400 trillion Lego & bionicle pieces and chucking tons of broken &/or cheesy kid's meal toys. Yesterday afternoon I got it all done!! :) I also swept & swiffered the entire room in prep for putting up all the decorations & the tree this afternoon.

My Mom & I went shopping the day after Thanksgiving & got some great deals on stuff for most of the folks who are on our list this year. My youngest firefly's birthday is a week from today.. hard to believe he is already going to be 5 years old! Where does the time go?! I was able to get the radio controlled 4 wheeler toy that he wants for his birthday at 50% off, too! :)

I have lots to do to get ready for the big birthday & Christmas, so I better close my comeback post. My goal is to get back in the swing of things and write more on my blog in the days & weeks to come. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

another long week

This week has been very long... it started with my "over-doing" last weekend when I got busy cleaning out a ton of brush & trimming bushes in our yard & working on digging all kinds of junk out of our basement, too. From time to time our basement gets wet & unfortunately so did a great deal of stuff in the basement.. digging out wet, moldy stuff is always lots of fun. ;) The job is by no means "done".. but certainly is a lot better than it had been & fortunately the garbage men took all the bags & assorted other crap that I piled at the curb this past week.

My "reward" for being so.. industrious last weekend was to feel crumby all week long. The right side of the back of my head & neck have been killing me for the better part of the week.. downing the maximum amount of ibuprofen that is recommended on the bottle has been the rule of thumb for me. Today finally brought relief.. although I am not sure what made today the magic day! I have a sneaking suspicion that my headaches & neck pain have not been entirely related to my over-doing things... I think that it started as that in the beginning, but also had a great deal of help with the stress level I've been feeling lately.

Yesterday & today, I had another garage sale with my brother & sister-in-law.. beautiful weather both days & I did make some money off of it--not as much as the last one, but it's extra & will absolutely help out.

Monday is Columbus Day & both my fireflies have the day off from school & preschool. They are going to have a surprise sleepover at my Aunt's house tomorrow evening after we go to church & then at least a partial "play day" at her house on Monday. It will be a short week for both of them because my oldest has an in-service day on Friday & subsequently another day off from school. We have also decided to keep the younger firefly home from preschool that day since his brother will be home, his Daddy is taking the day off & his Grandpa will be in town from Mesa, Arizona!! :) We're all very excited about Grandpa's visit.. as I mentioned in my last post, he has not ever met our ladybug in person & she just turned 17 months this week!

As I type this tonight, my fireflies & ladybug are all snug as bugs in their beds upstairs and my husband is watching a movie based on a book he read... not my cup of tea, but I am sorta keeping him company. Although.. my pillows sure all calling my name! :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

long time.. no post

Wow! It's been a very long time since my last post. Life has, as usual, been busy with all sorts of things--big & small.

Heritage Days was wonderful this year. Everyone enjoyed the new location on the Lewis & Clark campus' front lawn. The shade and the smaller area made it really feel like a vibrant little village this year. I have heard tons of great feedback about how things went that weekend. :)

Things are starting to get busier with my fireflies at their respective schools now that fall is officially upon us. Our preschool firefly got to go on a field trip to the apple orchard with his Daddy last week & we have a family campfire evening at the Nature Institute, as well as a field trip to the pumpkin patch scheduled with his preschool buddies for October.

Fundraiser pick-up night is this Thursday at our older firefly's school, PTO meeting tomorrow evening & next week is our Fall Festival--my husband & I are running the duck pond station for the evening.

Our ladybug keeps us on our toes.. she is very busy all the time! ;) We're all excited & can't wait for October 16th to arrive... my husband's Dad is coming up from Mesa, AZ for a brief visit. Grandpa hasn't gotten to meet our ladybug in person yet.. just lots of pictures emailed (& snail-mailed) to him. Ladybug will be 17 months old on October 8th.. time sure flies!

Well.. it feels as though this post rambles a bit, but there.. I've posted something in October & hope to get back in the swing of things on a more regular basis! :) Gotta get busy and make apple dumplings to take to Bunco tonight!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall Y'all!

So.. today is the first official day of fall. The weather here is just about perfect today--low humidity & a high around 80.. beautiful sunny skies, too! :)

I've been busy this past week helping my Aunt get ready for Heritage Days on the Goshen Trail.. it's the 29th year for the event this year. She has been on the board for several years now and my fireflies & now my ladybug, too, help her distribute information about the event each year. If you're interested in checking it all out.. I am including a link to the website with lots of information. If you're in the greater St. Louis area & are looking for a great family friendly(& educational!!)event.. please join us on either Saturday or Sunday. www.altonheritagedays.org

Our garage sale went well a couple of weekends ago & we made some extra $$$, always a good thing! :) Planning on having another small sale with my brother & sister-in-law in a couple of weeks at their house. Hopefully we'll do well again.

Well.. laundry & dinner prep are calling my name(yet again).. so I will close out this post. I pray that everyone will have an amazing week!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday, Sweetheart!

Happy 40th Birthday to my Sweetheart!! :)

I've been teasing him a bit about how "old" he's getting.. sitting here at the ripe ole age of 33, I can afford to tease for a few more years! ;) hee hee!

I hope that you've had a wonderful day & that the next 40 plus years will be even better than the first 40 have been. Once you reach a certain age it seems like it's really just another day.. but, then again.. even if that has become your mindset.. it makes you feel special to be remembered, too.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

it's been far too long

It's been far too long since my last post. Life has been busy with both of my fireflies in school now(well, the younger of the two just started his 2nd year of preschool).

I have been trying to focus on getting the house dug out & re-organized again. We are having a big garage sale this coming weekend with my folks & my "little" brother's family. I have tons(& I do literally mean tons!) of baby and kid clothes to sell, some toys & assorted other stuff. My last garage sale netted us $350, so I am hopeful that we will do just as well(if not better) this time around.

My husband is busy mowing yards this afternoon.. I decided to take a much needed break from laundry & cleaning to sit down and finally type a post. Of course.. now that I am sitting here, all that I can do is yawn and try to keep my eyes open.. much less write anything exciting.

Friday, August 29, 2008

longest two weeks

These past couple of weeks have been the longest that I can think of having had for quite some time. It's been an emotional roller coaster for my family with my folk's 40th anniversary, my Uncle Jackie's death, my older brother's visit, my Uncle Jackie's funeral yesterday morning & the memorial celebration luncheon for him at the group home. Now it's Labor Day weekend.. 3 days of relaxation(well, hopefully!).

I was so.. incredibly proud of my fireflies & my ladybug yesterday and the graveside service & at the luncheon, too. They conducted themselves with amazing maturity & showed such awesome love & compassion towards Uncle Jackie's friends at the group home, too. I was/am proud and my heart smiled to see all 3 of them just make themselves at home & not be even the least bit concerned about the fact that they were in the midst of folks that have a variety of mental & physical disabilities. The "kids" at the group home had such a good time having my fireflies & my ladybug there with them. One little guy immediately latched onto my oldest firefly & wanted him to sit on the couch with him.. he had hugs & kisses for all of us when we arrived and when we left, too.

I was especially touched by one of the residents, Ricky, who said the most beautiful prayer for lunch & for my Uncle Jackie. What amazing faith this "child" has.. I was so blessed to be with him. It took him a little while to get what he needed to say to God out of his mouth, but it was awesome & so very precious. As we were leaving, Ricky took my hand, looked me in the eyes & said "God bless you".

God has blessed me indeed, Ricky. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

busy week...

So.. last May, I opened my mouth at a PTO meeting & volunteered to co-chair the fall fundraiser for this year. (what was I thinking?!).. actually, I don't think that it's going to be horrible & my co-chair is super organized. The kick-off assemblies are in the morning.

Our younger firefly has a back-to-school ice cream social at his preschool tomorrow evening. He is very excited about ice cream & seeing his friends from last year, too. His first day back will be next Wednesday & he's going to go all day, 3 days a week this year. :)

It's another busy week around here.. Thursday morning we will be laying my sweet Uncle Jackie to rest, the group home where he lived is providing a catered lunch for all of us & his friends from there, at the group home afterwards. They are calling it a Celebration Luncheon to celebrate Jackie's life. :) I would appreciate your thoughts & prayers as we gather together to say goodbye one last time. Thursday evening we have orientation at the oldest firefly's school, too.

I have to share something special with you, too... we went to the group home yesterday to do some more of the paperwork for Jackie. Uncle Jackie loved elephants & we'd given him a countless assortment of stuffed ones over the years. After he died, we told the group home to share his collection with the other residents. Well, while we were there, Ladybug just happened to discover one of Jackie's cute little elephants(complete with his name on one ear & it's tummy). She was immediately drawn to it(she loves all things stuffed!)... but this was a little different--like she had an instant connection with the fact that it had belonged to her Great Uncle & she wasn't giving it up to anyone. I was able to get it away from her long enough for it to take a trip through the washer & dryer last night.. but she insisted on sleeping with it and had to have it as soon as she got up this morning, too. I am glad that she discovered it & fell in love with it.. how special that she found one Jackie's prized elephants. Ladybug will take good care of it for you, Jackie. :)

Ok.. now I am getting myself all upset again about Jackie.. sorry 'bout that. Thank you all(ok, all like 5 or so of you that read this regularly!) in advance for your thoughts & prayers.. they mean more than you know.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

details finalized

As my sweet Uncle Jackie would say.. "well, well, well.." all the details seem to be finalized for his graveside service.

We will be putting him to rest in a private service this coming Thursday morning at 10am. I helped my folks pick out a beautiful urn & vault for him this past Wednesday, but it has all be somewhat surreal. I would love to go with my folks when they talk to the cemetery about Jackie's stone, too.. he loved elephants & I think it would be cool if they could engrave a tiny one on his stone.

I am not thrilled that the staff from the group home where he lived are being allowed to be at the private graveside services.. in my mind they don't have a right to be there.. they're not family & I don't feel that they did the very best they could to take care of Jackie in the last few months. My Dad is Jackie's legal guardian and has the final say.. so I will keep my mouth shut so as to not hurt my Dad's feelings. (that is why I am venting through my blog about it).

I am still on an emotional roller coaster.. I am sure that my husband, the fireflies & my ladybug are getting tired of my crazy mood swings this week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

silence & tears

It has been a few days since my last post... since Sunday evening, my life has been turned upside down.

Here is why:
"My Dad's youngest brother, Jack(who has downs syndrome), wasn't feeling well yesterday & had apparently thrown-up a lot of phlegm & there was some blood mixed in it. The person at the group home where he lives called my Dad around 4pm to say that she was going to take him to Alton Memorial emergency room.. but that she couldn't take him until 5pm when there was shift change or something. So.. evidently 5pm rolled around and she put him in the car(still fuzzy on whether it was her personal car or the group home's van).. in the front seat. (the group home is located in Pontoon Beach, IL).

She says that they were about 6 minutes out from the hospital when he just slumped over in the seat & was unresponsive.. she couldn't get a pulse/heartbeat. She told us that she figured she could get him to the emergency room faster driving him herself instead of waiting for an ambulance after calling 911(which, she never did.. no call was placed on behalf of Uncle Jackie). She raced him to the hospital and the doctors worked to get him to come back... they estimate that he didn't have a heartbeat for 10 to 20 minutes! All that we know for sure is that he slumped over in the carseat when they were supposedly 6 minutes from the hospital.. he could've been unresponsive longer than that & she didn't notice until he slumped over.. add that to the time that it took the ER staff to work on him.. the latter estimate may be more like the amount of time he didn't have a heartbeat.

We(Mom & Dad, Mark & myself) all rushed to Alton Memorial to be with him.. his heart-rate was finally stable and his blood pressure and respiration looked pretty good late last night when they moved him up to ICU. But.. because his brain was deprived of oxygen for so long.. they don't know what kind of damage was done. They did a brain scan on the way up to the ICU last night & it didn't show any bleeding on his brain. But.. the entire time that we were in the emergency room & with him in ICU.. his eyes were fixed & dilated and he was unresponsive. I just stood and held his hand and stroked his little head.

My Dad is Jackie's legal guardian & he spoke with my Uncle Don(who is in Florida) last night about decisions that will have to be made. As hard as it is to let go.. we all decided that we don't want the doctors and nurses to try any heroic measures if Jackie goes into cardiac arrest again. The doctors have been amazing & so.. very sweet to all of us throughout all of this. Jackie just turned 65 on July 2nd.. he has out-lived all predictions for his life expectancy by decades & the doctors commended all of us on the wonderful love & care that my Grandma gave him as a child and the love & support that we've all given him, too. They were kind words to hear in the midst of all of this.

Mark said last night that he was sure that my Grandma was waiting in heaven for Jackie with a plate full of his favorite cookies. :) We know that Jackie is going to be welcomed with open arms.. it's just hard for us to have to say goodbye. Jackie & I have always had a special bond.. from the time I was about Ladybug's age--it was so hard to see him hooked up to all the monitors and stuff & not responding to my voice last night. I honestly think that it's just his little body that is still working(and barely at that).. my sweet Jackie is already gone."

That is what I sent in an email early Monday morning... this is what followed last night to update everyone. It's far easier & less time consuming to just cut & paste what I wrote.

"My Uncle Jackie passed away this evening around 7pm. We, as a family, made the decision to take him off the ventilator this afternoon when we received the results of the EEG test that they did yesterday afternoon. The EEG showed no activity in his brain... it confirmed what we knew deep down when we were with him in the emergency room on Sunday night. Our sweet Jackie is with his Mama & Daddy in heaven.

We are all struggling with his passing, even though we know that he is happy & not in any kind of pain anymore. Please keep all of us in your prayers.. especially my Dad who has always taken on the role of father for Jackie. My Grandpa(Dad's father) died of what we think may have been stomach cancer when my Dad was just 7 years old.. Jackie was less than a year old.

Jackie was a special blessing in our family.. a true miracle baby from the start. My Grandma was over 40 & had both chicken pox & german measles while pregnant with him.. to top that off, for the first 4 month of his life, Jackie ran a high fever & had spinal meningitis, too(that was all in addition to being born with a severe case of Downs Syndrome). No one believed that he would make it past his first birthday... he made it just past his 65th!

Thank you again for all of the prayer support! You are all a blessing in our lives."

We all truly appreciate your thoughts & prayers as we mourn our sweet Jackie.

Friday, August 15, 2008

a wonderful evening with amazing women

Tonight was my big Secret Sister's Dinner and it was wonderful. I am not just saying that because I was "in-charge" of all the festivities this evening. ;)

Seriously, we all had a lovely time at our dinner this evening.. good food & good fellowship with a group of ladies who I love & admire. This was our 16th dinner--we started our group 8 years ago(two dinner per year). It doesn't seem like it has been that long since we started it, but after thinking about it, we did start up when my oldest firefly was about 18 months old & he is soon to be 9 1/2 years old.

When we first started there were about 60 ladies involved, over the years participation has fluctuated a great deal.. this time around we only have about 16 ladies who drew names this evening. Our dinners are always a fun time of fellowship and it is neat to "finally"(we draw new names every 6 months) find out who has been encouraging & spoiling us. It is hard to describe the atmosphere of excitement & genuine loving friendship that is in the air whenever we get together for our special evenings. You can truly feel God's presence. :)

I am so very thankful for all of the ladies, my dear sisters in Christ, who God has placed in my life. They are all amazing & beautiful and I have learned(& am still learning) so many wonderful things about God & His grace. We don't always see eye-to-eye on everything, but we can all learn from each other--through our triumphs, disappointments, and heartaches.

I can't wait to start encouraging & spoiling my "new" Secret Sister! She was recently baptized & I am really looking forward to getting to know her better & hopefully be a positive example in her life, too. :)

It has been a long week getting ready for this evening.. but it was all worth it. Now, dreamland is beckoning. Tomorrow is another Saturday to be filled with working on the house & I have baking to do in prep for my big brother's visit this coming week. Sunday is also my parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary, too!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

update on my friend mary

I just wanted to post an update about my friend, Mary. Please continue to pray for her & her family.

We were told at church last night that her sister is not doing well at all & the family has been called to her bedside. Mary's sister suffers from C.O.P.D and is now in the intensive care unit and is totally dependent on a ventilator. Don & Mary(despite her own struggle with pneumonia right now) have gone to be with her sister & the rest of the family in southern Illinois.

As if they haven't been through enough in the last month... they got more bad news this past week. Their beloved dog, who Mary saved from their burning house last month, has been diagnosed with some form of cancer. When it rains, it pours!

We know that God has a plan for all of this and we are praying for His wisdom & comfort for Mary, Don and the rest of their family right now. Thank you for joining us in lifting them up in prayer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

all in a day's work

Well, our younger firefly ended up coming home & sleeping in his own bed instead of having a sleepover at my folk's house last night. Apparently, he just needed some Mommy & Daddy time without his big brother around. ;) I can dig that.

Today has been fairly quiet around our house... my younger firefly & my ladybug have been playing together off & on all day long without too many sharing issues. I've been busy working on stuff for my Secret Sister group's big dinner this Friday evening. My co-leader has been having really bad last couple of months, so the entire thing is on my shoulders for Friday.. not a big deal, it just means that I have to focus & get it done.

Speaking of my co-leader, please keep her & her family in your thoughts & prayers. Mary & her husband, Don(who is an elder for our congregation), lost pretty much everything in a house fire on July 7th.. they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 26th and not quite a week later, Mary's sister passed away in New Mexico. Upon returning from her funeral, Mary has come down with pneumonia and another of her sister's is in the hospital on a ventilator dying from the same condition that the sister they just buried had. I am amazed by their faith and am praying hard that this stormy season in their lives is almost over.

Oh yeah.. on top of my added responsibilities.. my folk's washing machine stopped working! So, I am working on doing several loads of their laundry to get them caught up until they can get someone out to their house to either fix the machine or they buy a new one. It's really not a big deal.. like I've said before, I enjoy doing laundry(I know.. I'm a freak!). Besides.. they have let me use their "laundrymat" on numerous occassions when I have had issues with mine.. so turn about is fair play.

Well.. I need to go get dinner started & make sure everyone has clothes ready to change into for church this evening, too. My older brother is coming up from Texas this coming week to visit & celebrate my folk's 40th wedding anniversary(which is officially this Sunday) and I've got a bunch of baking to do for that, too!! Hopefully I will be able to find the time to post again soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a swimming we will go...

My fireflies, ladybug & I joined my sister-in-law & her two ladybugs, along with my Mom & my Aunt at our friend's house for swimming this afternoon. We had perfect weather for it today.. mid '80s, low humidity & beautiful sunny skies with a few puffy white clouds. :)

My oldest firefly has certainly conquered his fear of fully immersing himself in the pool from last summer & summers before that. He is becoming more fish-like and really starting to get the hang of swimming. Our younger firefly is still not crazy about putting his head under water, but put aside his apprehension this afternoon & with a pair of goggles over his eyes & his swim vest on, he covered pretty near every square inch of Sharon's pool.. even the deep end! YEAH!! :) He was pretty proud of himself and we all cheered for him. Ladybug was pretty content to float around in her ladybug and just chill out. She wasn't crazy about her oldest brother repeatedly splashing her in the face when he jumped in the pool, but she had a good time. After a long hard fight, she fell very soundly asleep in my Mom's lap while the rest of the kiddos squealed & had a grand time in the pool.

It was a fun, relaxing afternoon together. As of tomorrow, we have exactly one week until our oldest firefly starts school again--he'll be in the 4th grade this year(already!). While not my first choice, he did get a good teacher again this year. :)

Well.. I need to get some clothes together for the fireflies.. they are both having sleepovers tonight--the oldest with my Aunt and the younger on with my folks('cuz he was upset that big brother got to have a special only him one with my Aunt.. who is on the very short list of those responsible for hanging the moon in their book!). My Aunt had promised each of them a special "just them" sleepover before school started back up this fall.. so tonight is the older one's turn.

Our house will be quiet & peaceful this evening.. well, with the exception of our little ladybug!

Monday, August 11, 2008

girls night

Tonight was big girl's night... my night to go play Bunco with my friends, while my husband has "boy's" night with our fireflies. Well, recently it's been switched to "boy's + girl" night since our little ladybug is walking & into, well.. pretty much everything now. ;)

We had the best time at Bunco tonight & I seriously can't remember the last time that I laughed so.. hard! We all laughed so hard that we were tearing up! :) Laughter certainly is some of the best medicine.

We have been enjoying watching Team USA participate in the Olympics the past few days. My husband & I were screaming/cheering at the television last night as we sat on the edge of our seats watching the Mens's 4 x 100m swimming competition. I found myself trying to push the US team faster in the pool! ;) That was one awesome relay to watch & a sweet victory!! One of my favorite parts of it was when the score was posted & it became clear that "we" won.. Michael Phelps screaming "who's talkin' now?!" in response to the loud statements that the French 4x100m team had made leading up to the relay("we're going to smash the US team"). Well.. not only did they not "smash" us.. we won by like 7 100ths of a second & set the new world record!! :) GO USA!!!

Ever since I was a little kid I remember getting excited about the Olympics. I have never been an athletic person.. but have always enjoyed living vicariously through the super-athletes that have represented the United States. How can you not be excited to see someone representing your country standing on that medal stand & watching your flag be raised & listening to your national anthem all as the entire world watches?! I get a lump in my throat & a tear in my eye whenever "we" win gold.

Oh! I almost forgot.. I scored a xerox copier this evening.. for FREE!! It's a small one with a little metal storage cabinet--for like personal/home office use. It's 9 years old, but is in good condition, has all the paperwork/books with it & a container of toner, too. Some friends of a friend from Bunco were getting a new one--this one only need a $30 part & my friend sent out an email about it this morning. I replied to it first.. so, she delivered it to me at Bunco tonight. :) That will be very helpful to have.. my husband is excited about it.

We are going to go swimming at my "Aunt" Sharon's house tomorrow afternoon. She has been my Aunt's best friend since they were baby's together in the nursery at their church(they're both 66 now). Anyway.. Sharon has an in-ground pool with a diving board & she has graciously invited us, along with my sister-in-law & her two ladybugs, to go swimming. My fireflies are super excited about getting to swim in the big pool at Sharon's house. Last summer our ladybug was too little to get in the pool.. we did let her little feet dangle in the water, but this summer.. she's all about the "poowah". She points at my folk's pool & says that excitedly, too. :)

Time to close for now & climb the stairs to drift off to dreamland.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

busy bees

It's been a very busy week around our little corner of the world, but none of us are too worse for the wear. ;)

Our oldest firefly attended Music Day Camp at my folk's church this week & seemed to enjoy the introduction to all kinds of instruments. He wasn't crazy about the choral music part of the camp.. guess he's not going to follow in my footsteps with a love of singing.

Although we didn't have a big turnout for the Kid's Ministry Movie Night at our church last night, we had a great time & the kids loved watching the Muppet Movie. We ordered pizza, had kool-aid, homemade chocolate chip cookies, brownies & rice krispie treats, too. It's a bummer that we didn't have very many kiddos show up for it, but everyone is trying to get in last minute vacation time in before school starts up.. most in our area are set to start in another week or so. We are also supposed to host next month's activity.. still working on plans for that though.

Well, today has been busy as well.. I know, big surprise there! ;) We picked the fireflies up from their sleepover at my Aunt's house this morning & headed to the library to return some books, the Friends of the Library were having another used book sale today(books for 10 cents & 25 cents each!).. our younger firefly scored a bag full of books for 50 cents. :) After that, we headed across the mighty Mississippi to get some gasoline for the mini-van in Missouri--the gas tax isn't as outrageous there & we got gas for $3.53 a gallon--that is 23 cents cheaper than it is here in town! By the time that we were done over there it was time for lunch.. so we had sandwiches & chips at home.

This afternoon has been productive.. more laundry; dishes; gave our dog a much needed bath; cleaned out the mini-van; washed car seat covers; my husband changed the oil, oil filter & air filter on the mini-van; mowing 3 yards this afternoon/evening... I may be leaving something out, but you get the picture.

The weather is beautiful here today, so we're trying to get a lot accomplished while still enjoying it. We turned the air conditioner off for the day & have all the windows open today.. it is glorious! :)

Perhaps I should get busy again.. I have to figure out a dessert to make & take to a fellowship at church tomorrow evening & I also have to make a crockpot full of mashed taters for a farewell potluck tomorrow at lunchtime(also at church).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

finally some relief from the furnace

Today was another extremely hot day in our corner of the world.. heat itself wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't accompanied by oppressive humidity. This evening we got a bit of a break from the usual midwestern sauna via a big thunderstorm that rolled into the area around 6pm or so. There was a lot of wind & lightning in it.. followed by some monsoon-ish rains, too.

My oldest firefly enjoyed the 2nd day of his music camp today and the younger firefly scored a cool Speed Racer toy from my folks when we went to Target this morning. :) Well.. afterall, big brother has gotten to go to 3 camps this summer (& VBS).. and he only went to VBS.. not a lot of consolation when you're 4 1/2 years old and think you should be able to go with big brother to camp & all that other cool stuff, but you're still too little.. but it seemed to do the trick today! ;)

The house is nice & quiet tonight.. all the fireflies & our little ladybug are snoozing (or on their way to dreamland). My husband & I are getting ready to put in a movie that I picked out through Netflix (it's awesome!!!).. a romantic comedy--I'm sure he's gonna "love" it! ;)

Ladybug goes to see our pediatrician in the morning for her 15 month exam.. still can't believe she's already that old! We are hoping that she has reached that magic 20lbs mark, so that we can turn her carseat to forward facing.. little ones have to be a year old & 20lbs for you to turn them to forward facing in your vehicle. At her last visit(which was when she was sick) about a month or so ago, she weighed 18lbs 6oz.. we are hoping that she's gotten up to 20lbs or more for tomorrow's visit. Believe me, the kiddo eats(& eats & eats!) pretty much anything that doesn't attempt to eat her first & that is saying something considering she still only has 4 official teeth! She is just going to be a petite little princess ladybug.. & I'm cool with that.

Well.. I better close this post & put the movie in before I am too sleepy to enjoy it. ;)

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's HOT in Topeka!! ;)

The title is a line stolen from one of the fireflies' favorite cartoons "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" on Cartoon Network. Well.. it may well be hot in Topeka today, too.. but it's certainly HOT here today!! The temperature in the metro St. Louis area is currently 98*--factor in 54% humidity & you've got a heat index of a sweltering 116*!!

My oldest firefly had a blast at his first day of Music Day Camp today. He is excited about going back tomorrow. :) There are about 50 kids, grades K to 6th who are participating in the camp this week.

Today has been fairly productive so far.. clearing clutter & getting a little more organized before school starts on Wednesday the 20th(not that I'm counting the days or anything!). ;)

I've got lots going on between then & now though.. Ladybug goes to see the pediatrician for her 15 month exam on Wednesday; Play Pals with her on Thursday; Music Day Camp for the biggest firefly every morning this week; Fee payment day for the oldest firefly on Thursday; Friday night my husband & I are hosting a Kid's Ministry Movie Night at church.. we're showing the "Muppet Movie"(I'll be baking several dozen cookies & brownies for that, too); Saturday there is a 10 & 25cent used book sale at the library; farewell potluck for friends at church on Sunday; BUNCO on Monday night!! and I am sure that I am forgetting some other big thing that is on my agenda, too. I am tired just thinking about all of it!

I suppose I should heed laundry's beckoning & go downstairs to switch it over again. We are going to take the fireflies & our ladybug over to my folk's house this evening & let them swim for a while. It's so.. hot this afternoon, but I had to be home for the Dish Network dudes to come and install a brand new dish--the one that we had was 9 1/2 years old.. they had never upgraded our dish & we have apparently not been getting all the channels that we've been paying for. Hey.. it was free! :)(always music to my ears!). The kiddos will enjoy the swim time this evening just as much though! :)

Ok.. back to work for me!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

early monsoon, but a beautiful day in the end

We all got up early this morning and got ready to make the hour trek up the Indian Creek church of Christ in Hardin, IL. My husband was scheduled to preach up there again this morning & is our tradition.. I made muffins for all of us to eat on our way there. (they are yummy & very transportable).

While getting ready this morning, I looked out the window and the sky to the north of our house was crazy looking. There were distinct bands of different shades of gray.. the last band(and at that point still the farthest away by about 10 minutes or so) was a very ominous looking angry dark gray. We finished getting all the critters fed & taken out to do their business when the winds started whipping trees in our backyard.

My husband & I were just getting ourselves into the mini-van when it started sprinkling on us a little bit. By the time we got to our downtown area(about 5 or so minutes from our house).. the rain started to become more of a heavy shower & by the time we were up the Great River Road a little ways.. it was a full-on monsoon!

Finally the heavy rain had stopped by the time we made it "up & over the mountain" and parked at Indian Creek. The service went well.. they had 94 there this morning & it was hard to find seats!! :) They had their Vacation Bible School this past week & averaged 191 for attendance!! (that beat us city folks by about 50 or 60 people!).

My oldest firefly is going to be going to a Music Day Camp at my folk's church this week--it's from 9 til noon each day. He is looking forward to it & I am hoping that it will be a good experience for him.

Well.. it's getting late & despite my 1 1/2 hour nap this afternoon.. I am tired tonight. Hopefully we'll have a good week & get a lot done--that is my goal at least. ;)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mission Complete

Good news! I finally got all the priming & painting done at my folk's house on Thursday afternoon. It seemed to take forever, but furniture had to be moved & stuff taken down off of the walls.. then a few places needed to be patched, the entire room & hallway that adjoins it needed to be primed. It was a long week, but we got it done & it looks nice.. brighter in both areas. :)

Yesterday we went back-to-school shopping for the boys. This weekend in sales tax free in Missouri on school related purchases & I had an good coupon for The Children's Place outlet store at St. Louis Mills.. so my folks, the two fireflies, my ladybug & I all loaded into their mini-van and we were off! I love the clothes at Children's Place and especially love the clearance racks at the outlet!! (plus, they let you use coupons there, too!!). Everything that we purchased was on clearance there.. most items for $1.99 or less! My Mom and I had a huge bag of great stuff.. including two pairs of shoes for my nieces--we felt great about what we got & even better that we didn't have to pay the 8.25% sales tax on any of it, too! :) We checked out Old Navy (got a cute bib & onesie for Ladybug & a nice striped polo for my oldest firefly), the Carter's outlet (found one thing for Ladybug--just $3.99), Gymboree outlet (found some more cute stuff on clearance).. all-in-all, we had a good day of bargain hunting. I still need to get both of my fireflies some jeans for school, but that isn't a priority with a couple more months of warm/hot weather in our future.

The fireflies were troublesome while we were shopping.. even with the oldest spending a great deal of time hanging out with my Dad at the bookstore. As the day wore on.. my patience with them was definitely waining, but I do feel like I got something accomplished as far as getting some school clothes for super cheap! Ladybug was a trooper all day long & is a great little shopper. Of course, she's not starting school.. but she scored some adorable stuff, too.

Well, I must close this post & get busy. My Cousin is getting married next month & all us girl cousins are going to a bridal shower for her this afternoon... we decided to do a group gift of something bigger on her list, so.. I need to get that wrapped & fix the card, too. I believe there is also a trip the library in my future, too. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

a painting we will go!

Today was spent helping my folks get their living room & hallway primed and ready to be painted (hopefully tomorrow!). At the end of September they will have lived in this house for 13 years & they haven't re-painted the living room from what the previous owners had painted it (a kinda light taupe-ish color).. so it's about time for a little bit of change. My Mom picked out a pretty creamy butter yellow to re-paint it.. which also means the hallway because of the layout of their ranch-style house.

My "little" brother went over to their house Saturday afternoon & painted the ceiling for them (he's 6'3" tall). That was very nice to have done.. 'cuz even with a roller that has an extender pole on it, at only 5'2" tall it is not an easy or fun task for me to do. :) Yes, I am a munchkin & proud of it! ;)

My Aunt was gracious enough to offer taking the fireflies for a playday this afternoon & my ladybug took a nice long nap with my Dad on my folk's bed while "we" worked on the living room. I say "we" in quotes because, as is a sort of tradition with all projects my Mom & I work on together, I end up doing the majority of the work(manual labor or otherwise) while she "supervises"! ;) I always tease her about it, but don't let it bother me too much anymore (well.. most of the time!). Her supervising ended up in her falling asleep in their glider rocker while I primed my little heart out. Oh well.. I can actually work faster when she isn't in my way working on "stuff".

My husband went & mowed for a widow lady from our congregation this evening and while he was gone doing his good deed, I worked on laundry & made teriyaki chicken with rice for dinner. Everyone really liked it, so I guess that means I will be working it into our menu line-up on a semi-regular basis.

Tomorrow will bring more exciting priming & painting into my life. I am hoping that my Mom was able to get some more priming done this evening so that I can get started with the painting. I can't wait to see how pretty their room will look with the creamy butter yellow on the walls.. it will really look nice with their new couch. I also promised her that I would thoroughly scrub their hardwoods in the living room & hallway before we put the room all the way back together, too. I never learn.. I always have to open my big mouth & offer stuff and it always ends up as lots of work for me! Oh well.. they do a lot for my family & I.. it's the least that I can do for them. :)

Well.. I've got some more laundry to fold & switch over, so I suppose I should close out this post for tonight. Hopefully I will post again tomorrow night after I get home from my friend's Pampered Chef party. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

whirlwind week!

This has been a whirlwind of a week around our household & I've been either too busy or too exhausted to post this week. I wanted to post something on Wednesday evening after we got home from Vacation Bible School, but because of an incident earlier in the day... I was in too much pain to type anything.

First of all.. VBS went really well this week.. we had an average of 160 for the week(that includes all the adults in classes & helping in general). Amy & I took care of all the crafts this year.. it went really well & we had more than enough to cover all of the kiddos. :) There were really only a couple of things that we decided we should change about the way that we did things this year, so.. although we're tired.. it's a good tired. :)

As I have mentioned on here before, I take care of yard work for my folks because of their health issues. Well, the week that my oldest firefly was at camp was super hot & humid, so I didn't mow for them.. which of course translates into their yard really needing to be mowed this week. No big deal.. I decided that I would do that on Wednesday morning since the fireflies had spent the night & were having a playday at my Aunt's house that day. Only having my ladybug in tow wouldn't be so difficult.. even with my folks having a doctor's appointment in St. Louis that morning, I decided I would just put her in the stroller with some toys & we'd be golden. ;)

So.. their evergreens needed to be trimmed and raked around, too.. so I decided to go ahead & do that and get all twigs picked up in preparation for mowing the yard. I started shaping the bushes and had gotten to the 2nd one, when all of a sudden something stung the back of my left hand. I remember thinking, "wow.. I didn't see a bee buzzing around.. & that really HURTS!!" ... about that time, I saw a big wasp fly back into the bush that I was trimming. They say that you learn something new everyday.. well, I had no clue that wasps like to build nests in evergreens.. apparently they do! I quickly unbuckled my ladybug who was just a few feet away in her stroller & grabbed her up with my good wing. I tore apart my folk's kitchen looking for the baking soda to make a compress like my Grandma always did for us when we got stung by bees as kids. After I left the compress on my hand for a while, I sucked it up and went back outside to finish trimming the rest of the bushes and clean up my mess. My hand was really swollen & red and hurt like thunder, but I worked through the pain to get the job done.

The other thought that raced through my head was "Gee, I hope that I am not allergic to wasp stings, 'cuz my folks are in St. Louis & my little ladybug isn't going to be able to help me at all!" My hand was swollen & really sore for a couple of days.. it's just now getting back to normal. I think that stupid wasp must have hit a nerve when it stung me.. I couldn't bend my fingers for a good 24 hours. The only thing that I can liken the pain to would be how horribly my hand ached every time I have had an iv in it when I had my kiddos. I sucked up the pain & got their front yard mowed for them.. the back still needs it, but it can wait a couple more days. ;) Later in the day we discovered another very active wasp nest in one of their other bushes.. all of them have been thoroughly sprayed with wasp spray!!

Yesterday & part of today has been spent working on the bottomless laundry! ;) I am one of those weird people that likes to do laundry.. but even I grow weary from time to time. My husband is mowing yards this afternoon/early evening and after he's done with that we're supposed to drop the fireflies off at his Mother's house so the two of us (with ladybug in tow) can go out to dinner together. We got some gift cards to Chili's and Applebees for our anniversary from my little brother & sister-in-law and from my sweet Secret Sister at church, too. I think Chili's sounds good to me this evening. :) My folks treated us all to dinner last Saturday(on our actual anniversary) and gave us a pretty card w/ a nice check in it, too. I don't know what is up with his Mother this year, 'cuz she always makes a huge deal out of our anniversary.. but didn't say anything at all about it & didn't give us a card or anything---kinda strange, but she's that way sometimes.

Oh well.. laundry is beckoning again. Washing our bedding and trying to get the towels all caught up again.. it's a never ending battle this time of year. :) I hope that everyone will have a wonderful weekend! Hopefully I will get a chance to post again tomorrow too & get back into the daily posting groove. ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday, Everyone! :)

We had a busy weekend, but we all survived. We all enjoyed dinner with my folks, my Aunt & my "little" brother & his family Saturday evening. As usual.. we ate way too much, but the food was awesome and the leftovers are going to be very yummy, too.

Yesterday was a crazy day, but lots of fun. Vacation Bible School started last night at church and we were busy helping with all the details. We had a pretty good turn out for the first night.. 75 kids(including about 20 or so youth) and with the adults included in the count, we had about 150. It has been traditional for the kid count to rise as the week progresses as more of the kiddos invite their friends to join them.. so we'll wait and see what the week holds.

The fireflies had a good time & were worn out enough from it to sleep in for me this morning! ;) (that is always a good thing in my book!). Little ladybug, however, woke up when she heard her Daddy getting ready for work.. that's okay though, because after he brought her into our room she snuggled with me for a long time. :) She's really enjoying her recently discovered mobility, so the snuggle sessions are becoming fewer & farther between. Hey, ya take what you can get, eh?! ;)

Agenda for the day consists of some more laundry, house cleaning & taking the fireflies & ladybug to swim at my folk's house. The forecast is calling for thunderstorms here this afternoon, so I better get in gear so that they can swim before it hits!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Wow! Exactly 11 years ago today, my husband & I exchanged our wedding vows... vows that we wrote together & our minister asked if he could use in his example book in the future. :) Our ceremony wasn't extravagant, but it was perfect for us & truly a worship experience.

A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge since we got married on July 19, 1997... three children here on earth, three babies in heaven, lots of financial ups & downs, responsibilities at church, responsibilities at our firefly's schools, etc. It's easy to get caught up in all the craziness of life sometimes, but no matter how aggravated & infuriated I get at him at times.. I still love him with all my heart and we've stuck together through thick & thin.. even when the storms have been raging all around us.

We met when I was a bridesmaid & he was a groomsman for our mutual friends.. the first time we saw each other was the night of the rehearsal--Thursday, July 11, 1996. I thought that he was funny & kinda cute and was happy to hear that he was the groomsman that I was supposed to walk arm-in-arm with during the ceremony. The next evening at the wedding, we were supposed to walk in first to "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring".. well, the person that was "in-charge" of the music messed up big time & he ended up playing the "Wedding March" as we walked up the aisle together. ;) He ended up giving me a ride home from the reception and we went on our first date on July 18, 1996-- the night before I was leaving on a Mission Trip to Memphis, TN with the church I grew up at in Kansas. We started dating seriously after that & knew by that September that we were going to get married. He gave me my engagement ring on November 7, 1996 and we went to Mesa, AZ to meet his Dad, step-Mom & his Grandma over Thanksgiving that year. I was so glad that we went over the holiday to see everyone, because his Grandma passed away around Christmas that same year. Our wedding date is pretty special, too.. not just because it's our wedding date, but because it would have been my Grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary.

Oh the memories! Sorry for the trip down memory lane.. just pondering where we've been & what God may have in store for us in the future. As is my tradition.. I will be hauling our wedding album out this evening to look back through all of the pictures from our day and thinking about all the funny little anecdotes from that day, too. We are all going to dinner at Amarillo Tex's Steakhouse this evening with my family to celebrate.

So.. Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Friday re-cap & Saturday morning adventure

Yesterday we picked up my husband early from work(later than originally planned, because he was having issues with a big project) and we headed to Ferguson, MO to have a very late lunch. Our final destination was the Whistle Stop Depot Cafe, located next to train tracks in what used to be an operational train depot. They have soups, salad, sandwiches & yummy ice cream treats.

Since the youngest firefly is over-the-moon for all things railroad, we decided that it would be fun to end our week of him being king with a fun lunch treat there. We had been there once before back when I was pregnant with our little ladybug, so we knew what to expect. There weren't any trains going past while we were there, but he had a good time & my husband enjoyed being silly with the kids.. so it was a good time for all.

This morning we got up bright & early to make the trek an hour & a half south to pick-up our oldest firefly from Camp Ne-O-Tez. He had a blast this week! :) As soon as we got home he went in the bathtub & I made sure that he was thoroughly scrubbed!! I started tackling the camp laundry a little while ago.. some of it can walk by itself. ;) To say that our tiled entry area now smells very much like the monkey house at the zoo is not an understatement (no, seriously.. I am not kidding!).

Our firefly is hoarse.. he didn't completely lose his voice(better luck next time, eh?!). He did end up in the nurse's cabin again this year. As we were double-checking the "lost & found" table before leaving camp, the nurse came over and showed me on his back where she had removed a big tick a few days before. I am glad that she showed me where.. it looks fine, but in the process of looking at where it had been, we discovered another tiny tick on his back not far from where the other one had been. We all headed to the nurse's cabin for tweezers & the big light with the magnifier on it. She was able to get it out, we put medicine on it & I took the opportunity to scan the rest of his torso while the tweezers were still out. Good thing that I did, cuz I discovered a tiny one in his bellybutton, yes.. in his bellybutton! ;) The nurse got it out & we again applied medicine. After we got home and I was inspecting him at bath time, I found another tiny one on his ankle--it had been hidden by his sock earlier.

So.. for anyone trying to keep track.. he ended up with numerous mosquito bites(forgot to put on his bug spray!); 4 ticks total; tons of fun & he got an award for being an "Outstanding Bible Student" this week, too! :) It makes my heart smile to know that he not only had a blast at camp, but he was also a great Bible student. Evidentally, we're doing something right! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

amazing family time!

We had an amazing time as a family this afternoon/evening after we picked up my husband from work and headed to the St. Louis Zoo to check out "Dinoroarus" and all the critters there. Our youngest firefly & our little ladybug had a blast and it was hard not to smile watching them enjoy themselves so much.

Money is always tight at our house.. 5 people on 1 income & the cost for everything rising rapidly means that we look for family friendly activities that cost little or nothing generally. The St. Louis Zoo is one of the few "free" zoos left in the country & we partake in what it has to offer a couple of times a year usually. Dinoroarus, is of course, not a free part of the zoo (just like the train rides, the children's zoo, etc.)--well, we rarely do that stuff because by the time you shell out the dough for all of us to be able to do even 1 of the activities, there's nothing left for anything else. My folks were sweet enough to buy us a membership to the zoo for the year, so we are even more excited about going there now. With our newly renewed membership(we had one back when our oldest firefly was really young), we get 36 "anywhere" passes to stuff like the train, etc. and it was only $1.50 for the three of us to do the Dinoroarus exhibit(Ladybug is still under 2 years old.. so she is free!).

It is really hard to go somewhere cool like that with the kids & see how excited they are about the train, etc.. only to have to say "sorry, not this time, cuz it just costs too much". It breaks my heart, but that is life & the current financial hand we've been dealt.

Anyway.. back to our adventure, we had a blast! My husband had a great time & it was so.. good to see him enjoying our children. Once we got to the dinosaur exhibit our firefly was a little bit apprehensive when he saw how big they were & heard them making their dino sounds. He didn't want to get too close to them, but seemed to appreciate the exhibit & enjoyed the "dino dig" at the end of the trail that was lined with the robotic dinosaurs. The dig site consisted of a big sandbox with some resin "fossils" buried in it & the kids could take paintbrushes to carefully(no flinging sand at anyone) brush the "dirt" off the "fossils". He was Mr. Bigshot at the dig & actually had it all to himself, which was nice for pictures. He was so proud of himself when he was finished carefully brushing clean the T-Rex skull. :) On our way out of the zoo this evening, we stopped by the gift shop (which incidentally we get a 10% discount at w/ our membership!.. I love a deal!) and let him purchase a small plastic T-Rex figure. Firefly decided that a good name for him would be "T", so.. T the T-Rex is sleeping with our firefly tonight. :)

On the way home from the zoo, we stopped at a mexican restaurant for dinner. Again.. a special treat for us, but I had a "buy one meal/get one meal for free" coupon.. so we all ate & brought home leftovers, too for less then $25. :) It was a great end to a great adventure.. even though our little ladybug was very rambunctious and spilled my husband's soda all over his lap & the floor! ;) I believe that all of our kiddos have now spilled sodas all over their Daddy's lap... such as life!

Tomorrow will be another adventure.. a mini one, but I know that it will make our firefly smile and then bright & early Saturday morning we will pick-up the oldest firefly from his camp adventure. Well, it's off to bed for me now.. I am tired from all the fun! :)

preparing for a dinosaur hunt!

Today is the BIG day that we are taking our youngest firefly & our little ladybug on the much anticipated trip to the St. Louis Zoo to see a cool new exhibit, called "Dinoroarus", that they have there until September 1st. I am sure that both of the fireflies would get a huge kick out of going to see it, but our oldest is enjoying a week of church camp.. so the two little ones get to enjoy a zoo adventure. :)

Despite the glowing forecast that I had seen for this week online around this time last week... God had different plans about how hot & humid our area would be this week.. today in particular! It's supposed to be about 10 degrees warmer today than the original forecast prediction & with humidity I am sure that it will be sweltering on our zoo adventure. I already have a bunch of bottled water in the freezer(did that yesterday afternoon in prep!) and we always take a little cooler bag in the stroller for cold water during our zoo adventures, too. We'll just take it easy and rest in the shade.

Our firefly is crazy excited about going to the zoo & about being the "king" for a week with the older firefly off at camp until Saturday morning. We've been (within reason) letting him do a lot this week and not saying "no" too much.. that, of course, is a fine line to walk because we don't want to create a monster. I do think that he is feeling more special though.. we try our best to make each of the kids feel special & loved beyond words, but somedays that kinda gets lost in translation when life gets crazy.

Ladybug has started walking on her own now.. she can still get places much faster if she just crawls, but she is starting to cautiously explore on her own two feet without holding onto furniture. It is neat to watch her take those first timid steps & bittersweet at the same time, because she is no longer my tiny little baby anymore. She is starting to say a few more words, too & has learned to say "mo"(more) and sign it, too. :)

Well.. I better get in gear and get ladybug's diaper bag re-loaded & get ready to pack the bottled water, too. I will try to post some pictures of our zoo adventure later in the day.. if I'm not too worn out from all the fun in the sun! ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

silence, feelin' crumby & 4 1/2 year old confidence

It has been several days since my last post.. computer problems seemed to be mostly solved, but we've been super busy with a lot of stuff the last few days.. so I have been letting my posting slide a bit.

Our congregation is having our Vacation Bible School this next week (July 20th through July 24th) and although I am going to be a helper in the nursery class(with my little ladybug).. my good friend, Amy, has enlisted my help in getting all the crafts prepped and ready to go.. so far I've traced & cut-out 64 pink craft foam pig parts for one of the projects and labeled 100 little bottles of bubbles for it, too. :)

Our oldest firefly is at camp all this week... we dropped him off yesterday afternoon & will pick him up on Saturday morning. The quiet that has settled on our house is very pleasant. ;) I am interested to see how the older one comes home this weekend.. in the past two years when he attended Pre-Camp(2 1/2 days long), he was almost hoarse when we picked him up... so, I'm thinking the quiet may continue for a few days once he's home if he has been gone to camp for an entire week!! BONUS!! ;)

My younger firefly is enjoying some more attention while big brother is at camp. He just about talked our legs off on the way home from taking his brother to camp yesterday. We've been busy doing pages in a big preschool workbook; we had lunch at my Aunt's house & played in the treehouse there.. lots of fun. We're planning a special trip to the St. Louis Zoo this week, too. I asked him what he liked best about his big brother being away at camp for a whole week & he told me "I like it cuz he can't be the boss of me when he's at camp!" :) Honest little dude, eh?!

I'm running a fever & have felt achy all day.. yippy! Hopefully I will be over this soon.. Mommy can't get sick(at least not for very long!). Despite not feeling 100% I am busy with laundry & 100 other things this evening. Well.. hopefully another post tomorrow! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ridiculously huge post

So.. here it is, another ridiculously huge post... at least that is what my oldest firefly says that I am going to be doing instead of letting him get on the computer & play games on the Lego website this afternoon. Ya know.. I am just one of the mean Mommies that doesn't let there fireflies play online after they've been annoying & mouthy towards their Mommy at various times throughout the day.

He is getting ready to head off for a week of camp (we're all counting the days!) and has gotten a wee bit mouthy and very much teenage mutant attitude lately, too. I love him dearly, but he drives me crazy with the 'tude! He is a very bright and thoughtful kid.. most of the time though.

In actuality.. this is not going to be a ridiculously huge post today because I have had a headache all day long & we haven't really done anything very noteworthy either. Perhaps I will have exciting things to post about tomorrow. Better get off of here & prepare to make Breakfast for Dinner and gather up more camping stuff to be labeled and packed tonight, too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

sorry.. i am brain dead today!

In my previous post.. I meant to say that our younger firefly (son) is too big ... or thinks he is... to do all the baby stuff with our little ladybug (daughter).

Chalk it up to my being brain dead today.. cuz I typed it out as our ladybug being a firefly & she definitely is not! :)

Ok.. now I am heading out to de-clutter the van! Wish me luck! ;)

computer issues & a busy past few days

I'm back! We've been having some computer issues here at home & have also been super busy with all sorts of different things.. so my last post was on July 4th (that was 5 whole days ago!).

Bunco went great at my house on Monday night.. I ended up making italian beef for dinner & everyone loved it. We also had a bunch left-over, so we've been enjoying some yummy sandwiches, too. Yesterday was kind of a goof-off day, because it was much needed after my marathon of cooking & cleaning the two previous days! The house looks great though (if ya don't look upstairs!) and I feel way less overwhelmed to start tackling the rest of the chaos in the coming weeks.

My oldest firefly will be leaving on Sunday afternoon for a whole week for the 3rd to 5th grade boys week at Camp Ne-O-Tez. The camp is great & run by the churches of Christ in the metro St. Louis area. My husband went to camp there as a kid & loved it.. he is now the representative for our congregation on the camp board. This week is filled with lots of exciting gathering, labeling & packing for camp. :)

We are also planning on doing some fun stuff with the younger firefly next week while the big one is away at camp... unfortunately, he's at the age where he is too little to do all the big kid stuff & too big to do the baby stuff with our little firefly, too. He is stuck in the middle & has been acting out in his state of frustration of late, too. I am a middle child with one older brother & one younger brother (the only girl!).. and I can relate to that position in the family a great deal.

I am hoping to get back in the routine of posting daily again now that our computer seems to be back on the mend.. something about windows not booting at all.. sounded not good & complicated. Good thing my husband is the computer guy! :) Well.. I am on a mission to de-clutter the mini-van now--it is quite scary in there!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 232nd Birthday, United States of America!!

Happy 232nd Birthday, United States of America!!

As we go about our day of cookouts & fireworks, it is my hope that each of us will take some time to reflect on just how sweet our freedoms are in America and about the sacrifice that so many before us have made.. as well as all those men & women who are currently serving our country right now. "And the rocket's red glare.. the bombs bursting in air".. those are very real things to so many who have marched into battlefields here & abroad.

We've been doing a lot of talking in our family of late about our ancestors (partially brought about by our recent family reunion & my cousin compiling an awesome book on our family tree, too).

 My Great-great-great-great Grandfather, Jonah Scroggins enlisted two seperate times (once as a private & later as a sergeant) and fought in the Revolutionary War to free our country from English rule. How cool to think that he was their to witness firsthand the birth of our nation. He also lived through the presidential terms of : George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and John Tyler.  Just think about all of the history that he witnessed in his lifetime!

 I also have a Great-great-great Grandfather, Thomas Riley Gilleland fought for the Union Army during the Civil War.. and served as a guard at the penitentiary in Alton, IL.  (there is still a small portion of one wall standing here in town). We put flowers & flags on their graves every Memorial Day weekend.. to carry on the tradition of earlier generations & keep promises that we made to them to never forget about what our forefathers did for our country.   I also have many cousins who proudly served our country during World War II & Vietnam, too.

So.. today I salute all the amazing men in my family who have sacrificed for our freedoms.  May we take their lead & stand up for what our country was originally founded upon.  I pray that you will have a wonderful 4th of July & remember to take some time out to reflect on how very blessed we are to live in America!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

family day & ladybug update

Today was a good day for our household.  My husband took the day off so that he could accompany us to Ladybug's PlayPals class and our oldest firefly's Summer Science Camp's last day cookout.. also for reinforcements when I had to take ladybug to be re-checked at the pediatrician's office this afternoon, too.

Our morning went well.. everyone up, ready & out the door in plenty of time to drop of the oldest of the crew at his Science Camp, then off to PlayPals with ladybug & the other firefly in-tow.  Our class is big this session, there are 12 little ones(both fireflies & ladybugs) ranging in age from 6 months to almost 14 months(that would be our little ladybug!).

We got monsoon-ish thunderstorms in our area last night with lots of thunder, lightning & RAIN! Needless to say.. the venue changed from everyone going to the local park for the cookout to all of the parents meeting at the middle school & eating hamburgers, chips, etc. with our kiddos in the cafeteria.  We had a good time despite the plans changing though. :) 

My afternoon was quite exciting, too.  I went to 2 grocery stores all by myself! Ladybug was fast asleep and the fireflies were busy playing(my husband was working on building another model rocket to launch with the fireflies).  After I got home and put the groceries away, we loaded everyone in the mini-van and headed to my folk's house to drop the fireflies off for a little while so we could take our ladybug for her re-check appointment.

She was already totally hip to what was going on when we got to the pediatrician's office.. poor thing. I dosed her with some Tylenol before we left my folk's house so that it would hopefully be kicking in by the time she had to have the cath done.  It took what seemed like forever for the nurses(who are always awesome & super sweet with her) to get the cath in. Ladybug is trying to cut more teeth & as a result has horrible diaper rash.. everything is very sore and swollen in that area to start with, so she was none too happy with what was happening.  

On two happy notes.. her initial urine "dip" was perfectly normal!! :)  They will be sending it off to the lab for further testing, but don't anticipate any surprises.  Second happy note.. she has gained another 13oz! (we're getting closer to being able to turn her "big" girl carseat to forward facing.. little ones have to be 20lbs & a year old to be able to face forward--in case someone reading didn't know). We're getting closer, My Precious Little Ladybug! :)

We ordered pizza & started watching a movie from Netflix during our gourmet dinner this evening. Tomorrow we are getting together with some friends from church for a cookout at their house. I baked a double batch of brownies tonight & am in the process of marinating some chicken breasts to be grilled tomorrow, too.  I am going to make some homemade guacamole for tomorrow.. but it's better if you make it closer to serving, so I'll do that in the morning.

Well.. I am tired, a good tired this evening. We've had a good day together--everyone got along great today.. hopefully more of the same for the rest of the big holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I am totally exhausted tonight!  I got the fireflies & my ladybug up early today and we all quickly got ready to go to my folk's house so that I could mow their yard for them before the thunderstorms rolled in.  There was minimal feet dragging, which was most definitely a welcome thing! ;)  

As we loaded into the mini-van, I happened to look up over the trees to the west of our house & saw some pretty ominous dark gray clouds... in fact they looked kinda "angry".  I was determined to beat the storms today, so we took off for my folk's place.  As we drove we encountered some light sprinkles of rain.. then some bigger drops.. and finally a full-on rain shower.  When we got there the streets in their subdivision were most definitely wet.. GREAT!  

We parked in the driveway & I unloaded the troops... we made some muffins with my folk's and enjoyed listening to the fireflies talk all about going to see "Wall-E" at the theater with my mother-in-law last night.  (they had a great time, ran into some good friends from church & made it home safely by 8:30pm).  I decided that since the grass was barely wet under the big sweetgum tree in the frontyard, I was going to at least get it mowed for them.

I got the frontyard done quickly and headed to the back to start on it.  The weather had cleared by that time & it was sunny and super humid.  I pushed really hard to get the back done before lunch... I thought I was going to die before I was finished, but I got it done.  :)

Lunchtime & the afternoon were nice.. my sister-in-law & her two ladybugs(2 1/2 yrs old & 1 1/2 yrs old.. yes, they're just 13 months apart!) came over for a couple of hours.  My Mom and I went over to McD's drive-thru and got sandwiches, fries, etc.  for everyone and we had a nice little picnic in their backyard.

After lunch the fireflies, all 3 ladybugs and myself put on swimming suits and got in the pool.  Oh did that cool water feel good to me today! :)  I did feel a lot better(with the exception of the heat induced headache) after chilling out in the pool for a little while.  My ladybug loved hanging out in the pool in her litte ladybug(seriously.. it's a ladybug!) float... she really digs the water.

Tomorrow looks to be an exciting day... my husband took the day off and we are taking ladybug to PlayPals and then going to a local park for our oldest firefly's Summer Science Program's last day bbq.  We also have to take ladybug back to the pediatrician tomorrow for a re-check.. I am not looking forward to that because they will have to do another cath on her. :(   (it's for the best to make sure that the meds worked.. but it's no fun for her--or Mommy to have to watch).  

Well.. it's time to put my newest Netflix selection in the dvd player & chill for a while. Hopefully I won't fall asleep in the middle of it! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy July! & stuff

So... Happy July!  Geez, this year is flying by just like last year did.  ;)

Another beautiful day here weather-wise and somewhat productive, too.  I was able to get a little more done on my list, too.  The fireflies had what they call a "playday" with my Aunt(their Great Aunt), who spoils everyone in her world.  :)  She had to go to Target to get some stuff this afternoon, so of course the fireflies scored some loot while "helping" my Aunt with her list.  The oldest firefly got another lego set & the younger firefly got some cars of some kind.

It is quiet around our house this evening.. just my husband, our little ladybug & I are here. The fireflies went to see "Wall-E" with my mother-in-law this evening.  A local theater has what they call "Bargain Tuesday".. all tickets all day long to any movie they have is just $5 per person & you get a free 46oz popcorn, too.  I am always a little apprehensive when my mother-in-law has my children in her "care".. especially if she is going to be driving them anywhere.  To say that I pray fervently that they will return to me safe & sound is certainly an understatement.  Again.. my readership is basically folks who already know how she is.   (also.. I am not sharing/venting about her to purposely hurt anyone's feelings.. sometimes I just can't always hold it all in!).

The fireflies were barely home from my Aunt's house long enough to scarf down some grilled cheese sandwiches & bolt out the door for their cinematic adventure.  I had seen lots of previews for the movie & read a wonderful review about it on a site that does an awesome job of reviewing movies, music, etc. from a Christian perspective.  So we agreed that they could go with her to see the new movie this evening. 

We just got back from a nice long walk uptown with our little ladybug.  The weather is wonderful and it was fun to take a walk with my ladybug and my husband--there have been only a handful of just the three of us walks, so it made it even more special. :)  Right now ladybug is sitting on her Daddy's lap on the couch saying "Daddy-aDaddy.. wuv wuv wuv aDaddy!".  Do ya think she might like him a little?! ;)  It makes my heart smile to see them together & watching her wrap him around her adorable, chubby little ladybug fingers! :) (although he'll never admit that she has that power over him!). 

Monday, June 30, 2008

searching for the right words

Tonight I am searching for the right words to tell my two fireflies (especially the younger of the duo) that the last of the three little kittens that I have been trying to "nurse" into at least teenage cathood passed away this afternoon.

You see, my youngest firefly loves all kinds of fuzzy little critters & had fallen head-over-heels for those sweet baby kittens.  He is so gentle and loving with the little guys, too.   I waited a few days before telling him that Marshmellow (Mel for short), the first of the kittens to pass away, had done just that.  He took it fairly well when I explained that he was really sick.. which my fireflies were somewhat aware of.  Then on Saturday morning I discovered that Fluff (the 2nd fluffy white kitten) had passed away during the night. I was heartsick over it because I had tried so very hard to help the little guys.  I buried Mel & Fluff under our redbud tree in the backyard & the fireflies have gone down to "visit" with them.

This afternoon I went out on the back porch & called for Curtis (my youngest firefly named the kittens.. and the black & white one for some reason was dubbed "Curtis".. which he always pronounces "Turtis").  He didn't come like he usually did.. he followed me around all the time "talking" to me.  :)  I did hear him meowing & I looked all around the porch to see where he might be.  I discovered him down under the steps that lead to the sidewalk & backyard... I don't know if he had fallen in between the porch & the top step(that is a hefty fall.. so I am really hoping not) or if he simply crawled under there on his own.  Anyway.. I just knew that he wasn't long for this world by the way that he cried out to me.  

There is barely enough room for me to get my arm in between the steps & the wall to the backporch, but I wasn't going to let him just die under there.  I worked for what seemed like a long time & was finally able to get him out and took him up to the porch.  I placed the poor little guy in the little box that he's been sleeping in.. complete with his towel.  It wasn't very long before he wasn't breathing anymore. The fireflies don't have a clue that he passed away. I know that it is going to break their little hearts because they had become so attached to the little guys (especially Curtis).

Curtis was a cute little kitten. He really enjoyed climbing up on my husband's chest the last few days when he'd be out on the backporch reading one of his books.  I am going to miss having my little shadow & laundry buddy, too.  Curtis was  a little "talker" and incredibly curious about everything!  :)  

The fireflies & my ladybug are fast asleep for tonight... I will figure out a good way to break the news to them tomorrow.  I had high hopes for this being a good week.. this will be the 3rd kitty funeral in a week's time.  Geez, come to think of it.. this is the 4th pet funeral in a month's time.. (3 kittens & Eduardo our pet turtle).

**Yeah, in case you're wondering.. "Eduardo" got his name from one of the characters on "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" on Cartoon Network--we got him after my oldest firefly's 1st grade class hatched him from an egg.**

good intentions & a great day

Ok, so I had the best intentions of posting something yesterday, but in the end it just didn't get done.  In fact, very little got done around our house yesterday, but we all had a good day & enjoyed just spending time with each other.  The kids got to swim for a while at my folk's house in the afternoon, too.

Yesterday morning we slept in a bit & went to church with my folks.  I was a little surprised that my husband was hip to the idea of visiting with them, but he said that it would give them a chance to show off the fireflies & our little ladybug to their friends.  The service ended up being their congregation's patriotic choir program, but it was pretty good.  I am super proud of my fireflies... their behavior was perfect!! :)   They were well behaved, polite when spoken to & quietly respectful during the program, too.  (unfortunately for them... we've seen their good behavior in action so we know that they can do it!).  ;)  Actually they are pretty well behaved & know what is appropriate for a worship service, etc.  

With the exception of our little ladybug, the fireflies have been going to church since they were 2 weeks old--it's old hat to them.  Ladybug was born 5 days before Mother's Day last year.. her debut was on Mother's Day at just 5 days old.  I had waited so long for my precious little girl that I wanted to show her off to everyone!  I have to say that last year was one of the best Mother's Days that I have ever celebrated-- I was so proud to show off my beautiful family.

Today the weather is beautiful(although we do live in the midwest & that can change in the next 10 minutes!).. sunshine always helps bring a smile. I know that it will come as a big surprise to my readership(all like 4 or so of you!), but I have a big list to accomplish today.. I've actually already gotten a lot of it done & it's only 9am! Thanks to the fireflies sleeping in a bit today(they are up now, but being quiet) & my little ladybug is still snoozing away upstairs.   :)  

I'm off to tackle yet another list & a brand new week with lots of wonderful possibilities...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

another busy saturday

Today is Saturday... a day (at least around our house) that it known to be super busy.. packed with lots of "to do's" and events to take part in. Today is certainly no exception to that "rule".

My husband has already gone & mowed his Mother's yard(a sore subject with me.. cuz she demands that he does it & never reciprocates with any gas $$ for our mower--or our vehicle either for that matter--when my husband takes at least an hour away from us to go across town to mow). Oh, sorry... didn't mean to get on my soap box! ;)  Now.. where was I?  Yeah.. so, he's mowed her yard & is now about 1/2 way done with ours, too.

I've gotten 3 kids up, dressed & fed; done two loads of laundry(& counting); gotten a kitten ready for burial in the backyard this afternoon(one of the 2 remaining kittens that I've been trying to help along since their mother has been leaving them alone for long periods of time);  made a couple of phone calls; checked email; am in the process of posting another blog entry; cleaned up the family room for the 10, 000th time(today!)... I could go on, but I don't want to bore you with all the excitement in my life! ;)  

This afternoon we are going to a surprise 60th birthday party open house for a sweet lady from our church. Nora was my oldest firefly's Bible class teacher when he was in the 4 & 5 year old's(what seems like yesterday!) and she is now my younger firefly's teacher.  It's a come & go thing, so that will be nice--they have a small house & the fireflies get cabin fever quickly there. ;)

On a happy-ish note.. we discovered that although my husband's paycheck is supposed to be direct deposited on Monday the 30th, for some very nice reason unbeknownst to us.. they direct deposited it yesterday! :)  That is the kind of surprise I like to see when I look at our account online... unfortunately, far too often it's a "surprise" that makes you want to throw up.  

I suppose it's about time to see what all else I can accomplish today.. oh, I almost forgot we have to go to the library today, too!  :)  At least the fireflies are getting along well today & our little ladybug is in her perpetual good mood, too.  In fact, it's just about ladybug nap time---maybe that will help with my list of accomplishments, too.

Friday, June 27, 2008

update of sorts..

I actually got a nice little nap at my folk's house this afternoon & my little ladybug ended up falling asleep on her Grandma's lap, too! Unfortunately, before she(& I) fell drifted peacefully away to napping land.. she bumped her little head on the arm of their gliding rocker. She's got a bump right between her beautiful little eyes now.. I thought for sure that it would look a lot worse than it does & that she might end up with a shiner around her left eye, too.  Unless you knew what happened this afternoon.. to look at it you really can't even tell(thank goodness.. but at least she had her pictures taken at the photographers last week).

The fireflies got to swim for a little while this afternoon.. not as long as they wanted because we had thunderstorms come through our area with lots of thunder & some lightning.  There was a lot of griping from both of them, but they got over themselves and enjoyed watching a couple of shows about UFOs on the History Channel while I napped on the couch. :)  So, it ended up a win, win kinda thing for all of us!

We have an exciting evening ahead of us.. we're going to make homemade pizzas & watch some old "boys" stuff that my husband got from Netflix.  I believe that some Johnny Quest & Stingray(much like Thunderbirds.. Supermarianation stuff from the '60s) are on tap for our viewing "pleasure".. it's definitely more a boy thing than my thing.. but they'll enjoy it. Oh the sacrifices that a Mommy makes for her fireflies! ;)

It sure was nice to get a little break & get to take a nap to finally get rid of my monster sinus headache this afternoon.  My folks are pretty awesome.. we have our moments when we disagree on stuff(don't get me wrong.. and my Mom & I haven't always had a super relationship), but they're always there when I(we) need them.  Although my husband may not agree with me all the time about them... they are far less psycho than his mother & way more bearable to just hang out with, too! ;)  I know a lot of people who whole-heartedly agree with me on that, too.  (seriously!)

 I am blessed and sometimes I take that for granted.. I take them for granted.  My Dad is 71 now & my Mom is 70, both have numerous health issues and I know(although I don't like to think about it) that in not too many years from now they won't be with us any more.  That scares me a bit, so when I start to think about that eventual reality I always push it back into the "I'll deal with it(or not) later on" part of my mind.

I suppose that it is time to get in gear & start making some yummy homemade pizzas!! :)  I cheat a bit & use Betty Crocker's pizza crust mix(it's only 88cents a pack at our local grocery store & all ya do is add water to it!), pizza sauce & then whatever toppings everyone wants. Typically the fireflies & I have a hamburger pizza & my husband like hamburger, pepperoni & sometimes jalepenos on his.  I like the ease of the crust mix & it is a fun family activity getting to build pizzas... occasionally I will just use canned biscuits for the "dough/crust" and the kiddos love that, too.  Cheap & yummy fun for the whole family!  :)