Sunday, September 28, 2008

changes that have happened in the last 10 years

I told Donovan this week, If we don't go on a date this will need to commit me into a mental institution. It was one of those weeks. I needed one on one, with my hubby. I needed uninterrupted conversation. I needed to remember why we got got married in the first place.

on our date
We've been so caught up in the day to day. The laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, packing lunches, groceries. You know how it is, I know. We haven't been on a date in a very long time...And I desperately needed to be with my husband, to be taken out of the role of mama. I know you know, Right? And I really wanted to see the new movie that came out on Friday, FIREPROOF. I'm sure you've heard all the hype on Fireproof. Let me promise you that all the excitement is for a very good reason. It is the best movie ticket you will ever buy. I hardly ever cry at movies. Donovan never does. We both cried, it was moving. It was drama, it was romance, and even a little action. It was clean. A clean movie, with morals - what a concept. What an eye-opener to where your marriage can go when you don't put your spouse 1st before others, and things in a marriage. It is so easy for me to let everything crowd out my relationship with Donovan. There are so many things to do that are good things to do. And most of those are family related things we do. But if you don't take time to connect with your husband/wife, you are putting yourself at risk. I have done that. I don't take time to really be with Donovan. We are together a lot. We are with the kids a lot, that is our season of life. But to be engaged in one on one time with each other is far and few between. It's so easy for me to let all the other things consume me or to get so caught up in this place we are with our 4 kids. It's so hard for me to say no to others. It's so hard to fight for time for just Donovan and I. But oh, when we do, I am better for it always!

So Saturday night we went for a shared chicken burrito at Chipotle, and then went to the movie. It was such a great reminder to make time for each other. We talked all the way home on ways that we need to work harder at our marriage, and not let this season of life force us to put our marriage on the back burner. I Do NOT want to get to Suzy's graduation and not even know my own husbands dreams, and passions in life. And then finally take the time to work at strengthening our marriage when the kids are all grown up. What a great reminder that our marriage is not needs to worked on so that when the fire comes....we stay committed to each other and our promise to God.

I have not arrived. I am work in progress.

This is one of the many areas in my life I'm still working on. A huge thanks to Donovan's brother Jon and his wife Arlene for braving our 4 kids in addition to their newborn, so that we could enjoy this night out at the movies.
So I'm off my soapbox for now...but please go and see the movie. It is awesome!!
In other news....We got to go to the MCC Relief Sale again this year. Not before taking a loan out at the bank on the way there....because is it just me, or did everything get more expensive? Or is it just that my kids eat SO MUCH?? I know, I's a good cause, you're right.

And the homemade ice cream was totally worth it....we are enjoying some in the picture here.

And that brings me to tonight's festivities....We were in the ol' stompin' grounds again. Sigh from all the faithful readers I know. A friend of mine from Sturgis had an open house celebrating the new home they moved into.

Any of you that have known me for the past 10 years or so will remember 2 little girls that I spent a lot of time with. Nicholette & Dannette. Before I was married I worked with their mom, Nann. She is pictured above. And her and her husband were also involved with Amway. They needed a babysitter on a weekly basis in the evenings so that they could be at functions. That's where I came in. Nann was even sweet enough to feed me and let me do my laundry at her house, while babysitting. It was a sweet deal for us both. I absolutely fell in love with these girls. I often wish I could've kept them for my own.

Esp. after I got married. We had them in our wedding, as flower girls, I kept thinking it would be fun to keep these little sweeties for our own.
Well now, look how much we all have changed in 10 1/2 years.....

Yes, Nicholette is taller then I am, absolutely amazing!

In Nann's new kitchen she tried several different colors of paints on her kitchen soffit.... until she finally had a suggestion from one of her daughters to use chalkboard paint. So how cool! All her guests signed her kitchen.

It's so fun to be with friends when time does not diminish any part of your friendship.

This was a picture I snapped just before we left tonight....looking like fall, isn't it???

Quote of the day:

William: "Mom, I said, if I didn't cry I wasn't going to have to take a nap."

Me: "William, YOU are not the boss."

William: "How about you, daddy, and me can be in charge?"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

County Fair

I am going to attempt to blog tonight....although the excruciating pain of the pimple that is smack dab in the middle of my eyes is causing extreme pain. Serious pain. And hopefully it will be halfway healed by morning, because I'm not sure there's enough foundation in my whole town to cover-up & hide this eye sore. I have to be in public places tomorrow.
So here goes some thinking...I'm warning you it's going to be cloudy at best.

Last Wednesday we were at the St. Joseph County Fair. This was the fair I grew up going to. I know, Here we go again with the ol' stompin' grounds thing. Well I can't help it, I'm nostalgic that way.

One of the favorite parts of going up to Centreville for the fair, is I usually run into old friends, and old school buddies that I haven't seen for a while. Problem was we were there on Senior Citizen Day. Not especially a lot of people I grew up with. But still fun.

Here is a little monkey that will tip his hat when you give him coins. He however will not take pennies. He's funny like that. He is totally in it for the money.

One of the favorite spots we have at this fair is the tent with small animal babies in it. They have baby chicks that you can actually watch hatch. William enjoyed it.
And Jack liked the baby lamb. Here he is modeling a small piece of junk he picked up from one of the free tables in the commercial building. That may or may not be in the trash already.
This fair also has a building that shows wool being spun into yarn. Pretty cool. As you can see in the picture above Suzy is keeping watch for suspicious activity in the yarn building. Poor thing didn't get her stroller pointed towards the yarn spinning.
Quote of the day:
From last night at dinner.
William is touching, antagonizing, and bothering Jack while eating.
Jack: "Mom, William isn't respecting my personal space."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

fall camping

Have I told you people how much you rock lately??? That's right, you my friends. The ones reading this. Your sweet comments and encouragement from recent posts totally floor me. Everytime I get another one, it feels like a big ol' hug. I'm serious. What a network of friends that make me feel so special. I am blessed.

So wanna see what we were up to this weekend??

We were at a church campout at Camp Amigo in Sturgis, Michigan. Yup, the ol' stompin' grounds as Donovan likes to say. As a girl growing up our church (Locust Grove) would also have a church campout at the very same camp ground. So it was pretty neat to be at the same place some 20-25 years later. Our first night we shared a meal with friends/cousins Ben & Jen. How fun to set up camp and have our supper ready and waiting when we were all set up. Thanks Jen, it was delicious.
The next morning the fabulous 4 forgot to reset their internal clocks to weekend mode and were up at the crack of dawn. I lay there in our borrowed camper trying to "pretend" to be sleeping amidst all the noise. I kept thinking if I shut my eyes tight enough I could block them out. And this is how it went....

Donovan looked over and said, "really?... you think you're going to be able to sleep with all this racket?"
Me: "Well, really can't you just do some bonding with them and let me go back to sleep? It's not even 7 a.m."
Donovan: "Well, I could take them out fishing."
Me: "REALLY?" I wanted to go too, but can't we do that later? Like in an hour or so?"
Donovan: "Well, what else can we do for an hour?? I think I'll just take them. You just go ahead and sleep in."
I lay there after all the chaos left for a good 12 minutes solid. Thinking of how I should get my lazy *beep* out of bed and join these people who keep me from sleeping in. On a Saturday. Who I love despite the early hour of waking. I got dressed and headed out in search of a cup of coffee. Which I scored with a bonus long john. (Thanks Marlys & Loretta) I called Donovan on his cell to find out he had them all loaded up in a boat and would pick me up on the dock halfway across the lake from where he loaded them in.

Here is the part of the story that needs to be set straight. You see all these morning people and people with other small children were out and about, sitting around camp fires only saw one parent taking the sweet children out to go fishing. Which he technically did do all by his handsome little self. I know he did get Suzy dressed. He did get them all life jackets. He did get a snack for little ones to keep them occupied. But HELLO???!!!! Little Miss Guilt Ridden did get her lazy *beep-beep* out of bed. She did join the precious memories.
And she did get to see her firstborn son catch his very first fish. So to set the record straight for all those that for the rest of the weekend razzed me about "getting to sleep in" I was there. I did feel bad for getting to lay in bed. I only missed the hard part. (which was life jackets, loading 4 small children into a row boat, and rowing accross the lake to pick up lazy lady) I am blessed, I know it. And spoiled. I know.
We shared a breakfast with all of the church after our fishing. Which was about 180 people!!! It was hot, it was delicious. It was amazing. Kudo's to Aunt Cathy & Uncle Sam for planning the weekend.
The weekend also helped us get to know each other better. For us all.

Jack just may turn out to be a ladies man, like his daddy. William enjoyed some organized childrens games and bubbles with little friends.
Isabella had fun too....Here she is with some friends that are sisters- Whitney and Cassidy. There was a soft serve ice cream machine the church had brought with 3 flavors. Isabella said she lost count after 5 cups.

Suzy with her friend Kamryn, who happened to be wearing the same cute shirt. Great minds think alike, right Brooke??

And then there was some women's / men's tug of war compentions, and organized volleyball. Absolutely perfect weather for playing outside.
Here is a small group of some friends I got to know better. Just wish I would've gotten more pictures of all the fun people we were with!!! There was lots of fun hours spent around the camp fire after all the kids were tucked into bed, just having fun.
What an awesome weekend spent with great people. I'm already looking forward to next year's church campout.

Quote of the day:
from this past week....
Jack sneezes, while putting dishes away.
Me: "Bless you Jack. I wonder if you are developing allergies."
Jack: Yeah, I'm allergic to dishes"
Me: laughing out loud.
Jack: "I'm serious!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

business as usual.....

Well the perpetrator came forward and come to find out it was a relative playing a "joke." All is forgiven, and we are full steam ahead with the blog business. Thank you for all the supporting emails & comments. You girls totally rock!

Yesterday was a heavy day for me. While most years it doesn't affect me....and I am o.k. yesterday made me long for a relationship I deeply miss. Yesterday was the day my mom died 20 years ago. I can't even believe it has been that long. I was 13 years old. My mom died at the age of 44 of cancer. While most years I just really rejoice and focus on what I have been blessed with - yesterday I got up saw the rain (again), and wanted to just crawl back into bed. I really didn't want to go to church. I didn't want to be a mama. I just wanted to have a good cry. I choked back the tears through breakfast. And then while I was doing my hair...Donovan came in and asked, "o.k. what's wrong? Don't you like what I'm wearing?" I told him what was on my mind, he hugged me. He loved me. After I had a short cry, I felt better. And then I started thinking... my mama Faye would've wanted me to be in church. She would've been beyond pleased we have a place we feel so loved, and so at home. What better way to honor her than to be where she raised me to be Sunday morning. Taking my kids, doing what she lived out for me in our short time together. During our worship time, I felt that there was one song meant just for me. It blessed me beyond words. Here are the words.

Victory in Jesus
I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

O victory in Jesus,My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,Come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and bro't
To me the victory.

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there
The song of victory.

And that's the part that got me. The part about the mansion. Thinking again about God's promises. Thinking about my mom being up there in a Mansion. She IS walking on streets of gold. She hears the angels sing Every. single. day. What a promise.

I can't wait to see you Jesus. And I can't wait to see you again mama.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm contemplating ending my blog, due to some "anonymous" comments I have gotten. I'll let you know what I decide.

never say never

I have always said, "I will never have a cat!" No offense to cat lovers out there...I've just never been into them. Kittens yes. Sometimes. But the work, the mess, the food, the vet. Four children seem enough work most days.

And then I stopped in at my friend, Jackie's house this week....and she needed a home for these kittens. That are about 4 months old. Although you can't see in the above picture...This kitten has blue eyes. He is so cute.

And again...I said never....but look at the joy this little animal brings. So far William changes his kitten's name everyday..His name has been Junior, Sugar, and Buddy.

These kittens stay outside. And so every day since we got them on children spend hours outside.

Just loving on them....
And watching every move.

However we were gone last night and the kittens must have got lonely...because the neighbor called and had a little message for us. And I quote the phone message,

"Ugh...Don & Heather, this is Toby....this is NOT going to work - your cats are crawling on our screens. My dog is going crazy. This is not going to work."

Ahhhh....I know that's what I get for living in a sub-division.

But honestly this is the only complaint. I love that we can walk in the evenings without fear of fast paced traffic. I love the neighborhood. There is just a few things you sacrifice to live close to others. And I know God planted me here for a reason. I have several things to work on. One of them being my attitude.

Fortunately Donovan in this situation took care of personal relations this time. He called the neighbor this morning and apologized for the inconvenience and disruption. And that we will work at a solution.

I do not want to ruin their screens. I do want the kittens to stay over in our yard. Now any ideas how I can accomplishment this?? Without pouring money down the drain?

In other news....this was applesauce week.

Since our 2nd child was born, it has been our tradition to invite both of Donovan's grandma's over, his mama, and my step-mom over to help. This year my step-mom wasn't able to help, but my sister-in-law came instead. I really did poorly at getting pictures this year.

But I tell you what...the grandma's that were here cut 3 bushels of apples by 10:30! It was amazing.
I wish I would've gotten pictures of them talking and cutting up the apples.
This is Suzy's Great Grandma Lydia....who helped out by reading to Suzy while we got lunch ready. I really do value my children knowing their grandparents. And their great-grandparents. Something I never knew as a child. They are so blessed.
And this is what happens when the grandma's leave and you are busy trying to get applesauce into the canner. Big brother hands over the chocolate to baby sister. Good thing there is only one bite out of each of the 9 chocolate bars she was given.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"my ankles are making my stomach hurt."

So I don't know if you've been watching the convention or not, & seriously I really don't want to get into politics on my blog. Because of #1 I would not be able to hold a conversation past 30 seconds.

I'm just not into it. I want to be. I want to understand more. I want to at least "sound" smarter, and be smarter. But my days do not allow time to get into the meat of all the talk radio, news, etc. However if your wondering yes, I only have time to be on the computer. Clearly I have my priorities in order.

However my husband is into the political scene big time. Very big. He gets fired up very easily. And in our home it was crucial to watch Sarah Palin give her speech the other night. And I must say it like another mama wrote on her blog the other night...."I officially have a girl crush." Does Palin know her stuff or what? She was totally captivating. One of my favorite parts was when her littlest daughter Piper, licked her hand and patted down her baby brothers hair. And again like Diaper Diaries said on her blog, this is shallow politics at its best. By the way here is a clip....
here, of the hair patting.

Moving on....please take a look at this....

This was Isabella's note to herself today.

To say that we have had an emotional week would be an understatement of the century. We have had tears from both children. Crying, and more crying. Change is very hard for Isabella esp. I have had to practice tough love with her this week. When she starts to get sad, for the 100th time, I reassure her she will be fine. I tell her get movin', get your backpack on, you will be fine. And try to usher her out the door before she sees how I am just crushed at her sadness.

Jack had not cried before school in the morning before today. But both Wednesday and Thursday he said he cried while at his desk. I asked him why and he said, "because I missed you." This morning at 7 bells he was beside himself with sadness & crying.

Neither Jack or Isabella has had things happen at school, they just want to be with mama they say. I think the long summer, with sleeping in late and going to the pool most weeks has been just a little too fun for them to give up. I can't really blame them. Routine is hard to get back into. But today Isabella came home from school, telling me how much she loved it. Really?! Can I get that in writing? So she did. I had her time it too. And tape it beside her bed. I want her to remember that first thing for Monday morning, oh say about 7 a.m. That is usually when the tummy ache starts. And trust me, I believe her. I know it's real, she works herself up that much. And bless Jack this morning his tummy hurt too. In fact he told me, "my ankles are making my stomach hurt." Donovan looked at me and said, "write that down" We both suppressed laughter, but not very well.

And Jack came home also happy about his day. I'm so glad...because I'm wearing out with all the emotions. I have enough, all by myself.

Well in other news....we have some replacements for the dishwasher position I needed to fill while Jack is at school.

While I would love to save this job for Jack when he gets home from school. It's just not possible. We fill this thing at least 2 times a day. And the other kids need to learn the ropes so to speak too. Suzy-very willing. William-not so much. Too bad this picture ended in a broken bowl from my childhood. Oh well.

my quote from today...

Today I started back to Bible study. Something I did in the spring...but we took a break for the summer. I told Isabella I was so glad that she had a day that went so good. And told her that I asked the girls from my Bible study to pray for her.

Isabella responded, "Mom, I guess prayer really does work! I had an awesome day."

"Yes, sweetie it sure does!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

first day of school

You may need to pause the music at the bottom of the blog to hear the video music.

We got through the day with minimal tears, which was a blessing. The kids arrived home safely via the school bus, despite all the evil out there. And now we are just winding down tonight getting ready to do it all over again tomorrow. And I’m going to be completely honest, first and third grade is going to destroy my beauty sleep. For most of the summer the kids and I would lay in bed until 8:30 a.m. which is an hour I only dreamed of for the last 8 years of my life. For the first summer in 8 years I did not have a newborn or 1 year old. I finally had my kids well tuned and trained in the art of a leisurely morning only to see it destroyed by the educational system. Oh joy.

Quote of the day....from this morning.

Jack: "You know why I love that I go to school today? Because now I don't have to empty the dishwasher."

Isabella: "You know Jack, Mama CAN save it for you."