Monday, October 20, 2014

Calli turned SIX.



Calli turned SIX on the 11th of October...
that's like already 2 weeks ago.

I am just finding my desk,
apparently my new organization system is really working this year.
NOT.
so depressing, but that is another ballgame to talk about. :)

Calli. she shines. she smiles. a LOT. she giggles. a LOT.
she is my hugger. and kisser. she is loving kindergarten, and also loves mommy
picking her up at 1 pm. :))
she writes her a's backwards almost every.single.time.
it doesn't seem to matter that she writes them in her name a lot.
she counts well, but misses 13 pretty frequently. what does that mean, anyway?
she loves to color. and read.
she LOVES karolina. they are very, very good friends.
she takes care of her needs. sometimes before mommy. :/

here's some pictures of our celebration of calli ann...

[you can look here to read about the day she arrived, and you can look here
to read about her delivery...]



 

 





cousin- Piper.


calli- with cousin, Reese, looking on.




Uncle Matt- always trying to win over the neices/nephews, with Karolina, and wife, Naomi...
Aunt Meg, with neice, Destiny.


Mam-maw with cousin, Hope and Karolina.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

a little something on my heart.



it took every ounce of courage i had to show up at my first Moms In Prayer meeting.
it was held at a church down the street, and i had a few acquaintances that attended,
but no one that i was really "close" with.
i went. and i went the next week.
and continued, even when I didn't "feel" like dragging my other 4 littles out the door.
i went out of my comfort zone, and started praying outloud. in front of others.
and it got easier. and easier.
and now. NOW. almost 6 years later, i am leading that same Moms in Prayer group in my home.

WOW. God astounds me sometimes. well. most of the time actually.
How about you?

so...if you are an Octorara mom, and you want to pray for your children...please come.
it is a small group of moms who meet the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.
bring your littles...they can hang on your lap, or play in my basement.
and we pray. sometimes we cry.
we.are.real. life moms. sharing in the blessing of mothering children together.

situations have come into my life.
and shaken me.
i cannot waste time NOT praying for my kids, and their friends, and their school.
it is a passion.
i.am.in.
all in.

if you are not an Octorara mom, but would like to see if your public school has a MIP group,
check out their website: www.momsinprayer.org. there is a place there, where you can search for a group. or if you just want to check out their website, go for it...

Happy Tuesday.
They should be arriving any minute. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

divorce is hard.

nothing new there.
right?

divorce is hard.
it's ugly. and hard. and tears families apart.
it makes things weird and akward.
and makes life way more complicated then it should have to be.

i think it's fair to say that i hate it.
i hate divorce.

i am not a child of divorce.
i have only ever been a niece of divorce.
a cousin of divorce.

but i experienced something last night that was HARD.

i went to the Memorial Service of my aunt.
my x-aunt?
no...that doesn't sound acceptable.
let's just keep it at my aunt.

my aunt Donna, who i haven't seen since i was 14 years old,
was killed tragically in a car accident on September 12th.
in California.
where she lived, with her husband, and family.
2 days before her 56th birthday.

it's so interesting when you get news like that.
someone i haven't seen for so long, yet memories flooded my mind instantly.
so...to Donna...some things i may have never told you...

she had always been one of my favorite aunts.
she had been married to my uncle Galen, my dad's youngest brother.
well. until i was 14. or I was 14 the last time i saw her "as my aunt".
they had always lived in California, so we didn't see them all that much.
but when we did, boy, was life a party!

and that's what i remember.
life was a party with them!
i hope i will always remember her laugh. it was great.
and full. and deep. and contagious.
she made us feel like gold. we were special.
she hugged us, and tickled us.
she got in the pool with us to swim.
she may have even played marco polo with us.
she played football with us in the yard.
she bought us things. Galen, might have contributed to the gift buying too? :)
two specific things i remember getting from them: a) a white "I love L.A. t-shirt."
                                                                                  b) a fancy antique purse.
my sister and cousin, Shelly, would put on "shows" for them when they came in for visits.
the one i most recall, was "Johnny and his bushy hair."
i can still recall the first couple lines of our made up jingle.
and how Galen would whistle, and they would scream and cheer for us,
when we were done. again, made us feel so awesome.

i always admired her long, brown, curly hair.
mine is straight. :/

i am so glad i went last night.
i know her parents, and siblings.
and her sister came up to us, and we hugged and cried.
and that was hard.
she has a lot of the same mannerisms as my aunt, and sounds like
her when she talks. :/
also talked briefly with one of her brothers, which also helped me remember all i loved
about Donna.
her sense of humor was outstanding.

i kept in touch for a little bit over the years, which eventually faded into nothing.
that's where it gets hard.
she got married again, and fell in love with a new family.
(exit us)
my uncle got married again, to Deborah, who I have also come to love.
(insert her new to us family)
and now we visit and share life with them.
which is great and fabulous, but...

there were never any real goodbyes.
just an exit. a fading away.
and that's okay, it is just one of the hard things in life.
the last memory i have of them together was at my brother's high school graduation.
that was in 1992.

thanks for reading.
pray for her family.
they are so sad.
and i am tearing up again as i type.

life is hard.
there are not always answers to life's hard things, is there?

xo.





Thursday, September 25, 2014

shattered.

my cell phone.
it shattered.

do you have a visual?

i am carrying karolina in my arms.
my big purse is around the opposite shoulder she is clinging too.
you know...the one that holds everything?
i am also clutching my cell phone in that hand.
i am desending our back porch steps, trying to put karolina down.
who is now crying because she doesn't "want" to put her bike away.
and. well. she just woke up from her nap.
and hasn't had the time she "needs" to quite awaken.
but she needs too. it was 5:30 p.m. and now
 we are going to be late to drop off kaden at baseball practice,
if she doesn't put her bike away.

so i try to put her down. she is sobbing by now.
and it all happens at once.
her legs hit the ground. my purse flys off my shoulder to the ground.
and takes my cell phone with it.
it lands on the left side corner, and shatters.

just.like.that.
no one to blame. but me.

hmmmmmmm.

how's that to start your day?

to make matters worse.
we get to kaden's practice, and he speaks loudly...
(he prefers to say he wasn't yelling at me), but i beg to differ
he forgot his cleats.

he is sitting in the front seat.
in his sneakers.
to go to baseball practice.

so. we leave. we go home. kaden is with me.
i did not appreciate being treated that way.
so. now kaden is crying.
because I forgot his cleats to bring to his baseball practice.
(in his defense...he is my oldest. responsible child. he has never forgotton
anything for baseball in his life, nor does he usually require reminding).

i had a hard time recovering from the mess of that 20 minute piece of my day.
hard.
messy.
is my life sometimes. and probably you have some stories to rival mine, right?


:))))

*********************************************************************


one of the highlights of completing our local summer reading program,
is FREE dutch wonderland tickets.

we finally went, and drug daddy along with us.
it was a pretty fun day.
we usually try to meet up with family and friends while we are there.
this year, it worked out to be with friends.



this is Calli and her friend, Sadie.


 
it is so interesting to watch my kids.
they really do cater to karolina. :)

************************************************************************

school adjustment is going well.
i have a meeting with kaden's teachers next week.
that always makes me nervous.
and i am eating my feelings already.
i HATE that i do that.
my jeans are already tight from summer.
sigh.
why can't i turn myself into one of those people who runs out their feelings?
you know there are people like that?
who enjoy running out their feelings?

i wish. i wish. :))


he is such a trooper.
fifth grade is proving to be a challenge for him in reading/writing.
the 2 go hand in hand this year, so that is very hard.
and very hard for the mama to watch.
i am sure i will get teary during the meeting.
trying to stick up for the difficulties he is having.

he got a 100% on his math test though.
he thinks he should get a prize. :))

*************************************************************************

and the fall Bible study i participate in started yesterday morning.
Gideon, by Priscilla Shirer- who happens to be Tony Evans daugther.
she is so good.
yesterday was *fabulous.

we are encouraged to memorize a new verse each week of the study.
awesome.goal.for.me.

i will leave you with my verse for the week, incase you want to join me. :))

the Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

                           ~zephaniah 3:17.






Monday, September 8, 2014

40.

my husband is 40.
forty.
wow.
 
i tried for months to conceal a 40 party for him.
it didn't work.
i tried my best.
i planned this dinner party for eleven of his close friends and their spouses.
it was HUGE amounts of fun.
 
i planned it around our chickens.
well. because that seemed smart.
until. they threw us a wrench.
yes. a wrench.
 
we have been having 4-6 days off between flocks for over a year.
and this time.
well. this time. they gave us THREE WEEKS.
are you kidding me?
so. when we get more than 6 days off, it means that we pack up. and leave.
 
so. naturally. we packed up and went to the mountains our first weekend off.
matt had big plans to pack up and leave for our second weekend off.
which meant leaving thursday thru monday.
i didn't freak out just yet, because we had a wedding on that saturday...
but all the suddern he decided we were going to "skip" it.
he would talk to the mother of the groom, and all would be "fine".
 
oh DEAR. now i started to panic a teeny bit.
 after some panic? questioning? with a friend. i decided i had to tell him something. so...
i told him that we were not going to be able to go away until monday.
because there was a suprise scheduled for sunday.
he said "oh".
that was it.
not another peep from him.
 
[if that was me, i would have been peeping on the computer at his emails.
listening in on phone calls, spying on texts, and bugging him to no end to spill the details.
my man. did not ask a single solitary question.
it kinda drove me crazy actually. :))
it would have been much easier if he asked, and i could have just told him everything.
apparently, he likes surprises. :))]
 

had to remove the centerpieces...just not enough room. ;/

when i decided to have a surprise, i decided to have it catered.
those who know me well, know that i love to entertain. i love to throw parties.
 and i love all the little details.
there was no way i could surprise him, if i was buying and preparing food all week prior
to the party. therefore,
the notion, go big or don't go at all came into play. ;))
 
i used Blue Marlin Catering out of Rising Sun, MD.
i was thrilled with their food and service.
I took care of drinks and desserts, and they covered the rest.
a huge buffet meal, with appetizers and their reknowned crab bisque soup.
#yum.
 
i don't know that i need to have a surprise party anytime real soon. :)))
a) the weather disappointment, and b) trying so hard to surprise, and then it doesn't
work out is kinda a huge bummer. in my book.
but it was a fun night.
matt totally loved it.
thank you so much to everyone who came.
it was truely a time of having his closest friends together.
thank you for the part each of you  play in our lives.
we are blessed.
 
that was something else funny.
it was a holiday weekend, so i anticipated only a few people making it, and EVERYONE could come.
so.much.fun.
 
the other glitch was...the weather.
i was hoping to host one of those beautiful outdoor parties, by our pond.
you know, totally pinterest inspired.
i was so excited.
a friend, and my sister, and parents came to help me decorate...and prep.
 
well. it poured. FOUR times, from set up to completion of party.
so...obviously we did make the right choice, and had it inside.
huge deviation. but fun. none the less.
lots of moving furniture, throwing things in closets, and putting my mom to work at
putting vases of flowers everywhere. ;))
 

stunning clouds...

my friend, kelly, holding my other friends baby, sadie. :)

i really did have lots of flowers...they just didn't fit on this table either. :))

thankful for a big house that can house 24 guests.
cozy. but not unbearable.
thanks to everyone who helped me pull it off.

happy 40th babe.
xoxo.


 




 
 
 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

school is here.

each year the summer rolls around.
with such excitement.
i really do love the change of pace.
the sun and warmer temps fill my soul.
the kids being home.
sure there is more instigating, complaining and messes.
but really...what should i expect?
5 kids and a mom in a space together.and throw in the dad sometimes too.
of course. this is real life living.
 
all that to say, we had a GREAT summer this year.
it flew by way too fast.
and each year as school approaches, i get this little belly ache about it.
i suppose i am not the only mother who wonders about her schooling decisions?
 
we have had a great year in our public school system thus far.
 
kaden is in 5th grade this year.
lots of newness.
a new building.
a locker. changing classes. trombone lessons.dances.
(of man, i have to start bribing him to stay home from dances ALREADY?) ;/
lots and LOTS of responsibility.
i came back from his parents back to school night, filled with both excitement and terror.
maybe some of my fear is not knowing quite what to expect.
yes, i heard the high expectations from his teachers, but wondering since we have an IEP for him now, what that will look like?
 
kaycee is in 4th grade.
can't say lots of newness for her.
she is in the same building i attended...just when i attended it was k thru 4. now it's just grades 3 and 4.
i love that people know "my family" now.
kaden's old teacher saw her in the hallway, complimenting her headband, and gave a HUGE
compliment to kaycee's teacher about our kids and family.
that is real life. in the public school system.
in any school system. the little things God throws in your lap,
to give you a "thata girl", "see, you are figuring this parenting thing out after all."
kaycee loves school also.
quiet. shy. keeps to herself. excels in academics
 
campbell.
my spunky, moody, fun, kicking life to the curb, kinda gal.
is in 2nd grade.
she has walked calli to her class each morning.
love her.
she is also loving school.
she also keeps to herself a good bit.
was sad the other day, when some girls at her table made fun of her snack of peanut butter and carrots.
boo. to them.
she rallied.
she is trying to figure out her place in all the girl drama.
i am not a fan of BFFs...(best friends forever)
girls have a tendency to be allll about this.
i tell her to watch her dad in motion. he is someone i have always admired for many reasons.
but one BIG reason is that he can talk to anyone. and does.
it's all about relationships with him. and so we are really trying to teach our kids that from little on up.
"you don't need a BFF...why don't you go play with the little girl in the corner who no one
is talking too?""be kind to everyone"...
afterall, we all know what it feels like to be made fun of.
even if it's for what we are eating for snack.  ;(
 
and that brings me to calli
she is rocking out kindergarten this year.
loving each minute.
i pick her up each day at 1:05 pm, despite the full day requirement.
nothing against our school, i am just not a fan.
my kids grow up w.a.y. too fast, and i am just not convinced a full day program is necessary when they are 5 years old.
(i did this with campbell, also when she was in k, and she is not behind in any subject...
so that was my go-ahead mama...do it again...)  :))
she can't WAIT to learn to read.
loves gym. and art. and reading.
she is my hugger.
she gleams when i pick her up (even though she would love to stay all day)
and hugs karolina too.
 
and i suppose that brings me to the hardest part about schooling.
knowing and realizing our children are being influenced for more hours out of the day
then we even see them. eeeekkkkkkk.
 i hate that reality. however,
believing and trusting in the Lord, for a great plan to unravel in each of my children's lives.
draws me to my knees infact.
i have mentioned this before.
i love hearing the morning announcements. hearing the kids out at recess.seeing all the sporting events, in my front yard...all draw me to my knees for my kids. causes me to stop a second and pray for them. and me. and our family.
 
anyway. got to mention karolina too.
she is 3 now. she is also full and over flowing with spunk.
she just started telling me NO, and thinking it's funny.
i love our days.
i can get so much done, it's crazy.
i do try to be intentional about soaking up this time with her.
it is fleeting. you don't have to tell me twice. :))
she is potty trained. now, i just need to get rid of that nuk.
she is my last.
very evident. i just keep saying, "maybe tomorrow" .
;)))))
 
 


Friday, September 5, 2014

it's been awhile.

awhile.
yes.
that's an understatement.
it's been a crazy.long.while.
 
i am busy.
and overwhelmed with life.
 
since i have last written.
summer has ended. done. but a memory.
sad.
school has started.
matt turned 40. and i had a surprise party for him.
kinda.
we have had weddings.
and fall ball has started.
ballet has started as well.
 
life is seeming very busy.
most days it's good.
but i am struggling to find a "new normal" right now.
the start of the school year has been fabulous.
but we really haven't started anything hard yet.
like. homework. for instance.
 
i hate when life gets in such a hurry.
like now.
i hate that feeling.
i kept saying...the kids birthdays.
then i would say. school starts.
then i would say matt's birthday party.
then i would say these weddings. and now. NOW... almost all of those things are finished.
and i can focus on ME?
 
is that what needs to happen?
absolutely.
it is crazy different around here with just karolina and i.
i love it. my days can be empty and fun.
if i don't fill them up with stuff.
what a challenge.
 
that's all i am going to leave you with for now.
matt's party was supposed to be outside. but it rained. and rained. and then rained some more.
so i had to have it inside.
which meant lots of stuffing "stuff" places.
so...now i am "unstuffing" and making lots of trips to reuzit.
i have too much "stuff"...
 
and many. many pictures to share soon. ;)