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. :)