Monday, October 7, 2013

Had a fabulous birthday today. Will fill you in on the happenings tomorrow.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tough night tonight y'all. I will write more tomorrow. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Dog's Journey and pet blessings

Today, we attended the blessing of animals at St. Margaret's. We celebrate it every year on the first Saturday because we are celebrating St. Francis of Assissi. I can't tell you how many pet blessings I've been to I my life, but they are numerous and usually meaningful. Today was no exception.

The girls wanted to take our dog, Daisy, and so we did. She was very well behaved and I was glad we took her. She was definitely not the only dog there. There was a Siberian Husky, a Weimaraner and many small dogs. But the one that true touched part of my soul was a baby terrier that the Humane Society had brought to be blessed. She had German Shepherd markings and was small but oh so good. I fell in love!!!

How I wanted to take her home, but alas my husband says no. It's too soon, he says. And perhaps he's right. Although I can tell you decades could pass before the hole that Rachel left in our lives will be filled. Oh, this puppy reminded me so much of her or at least of how she looked when she first came to us. She was just six weeks old then and someone had dumped her out in the country. She'd found her way to my door and the rest was history. Rachel lived with us for 6 years. She was my first dog to raise from a puppy and she was definitely family.

So as I looked at that puppy who responded differently to me than it did to others, I couldn't help but wonder was it Rachel who had returned to us as another dog.

I know that may seem silly to some, but to me it makes sense and I got this idea from a book called: "A Dog's Journey."

If you haven't read the book I highly recommend it. It's written from the perspective of a dog and is about the bond a dog and person have. It's amazing.

Anyway, the puppy didn't come home with us today. I'm praying she gets adopted and will probably check on her to make sure she does. Even if I can't bring her home there's no reason she needs to stay at the pound. And who knows perhaps my husband will change his mind and decide she can come and live with us too. 

But even if he doesn't it gives me peace to know she has been blessed and encourages me to try to find her forever home for her. 

So if any of you are looking for a puppy give the Moultrie Humane Society a call and ask I see her. I just know you won't regret it.

Boop droop de doop

Friday, October 4, 2013

Setting 12 week goals

My life has been just slightly crazy lately. My home definitely has begun to show the wear and tear from my frantic pace...and many obligations, but let's my honest my home usually begins to show wear and tear even when I have a normal amount of obligations and responsibilities.

However, tonight as I began to ponder this weekend and all that we have planned. And trust me I'm excited about almost everything we have going on this weekend, I also began to think about how long it's been since I've been working out on a regular basis. It's been a maybe 1/2 a year and I think I'm about to get back into the habit. See this last January I joined a group of ladies who had decided to get in shape in the new year and win some money to boot.

We competed again 143 other teams people (4 or 5 people per team) and the weighed in each week.  Our individual percentages counted as did the teams percentage. Honestly, there were weeks it was stressful, but it was also quite fun and motivating. I lost almost 30 lbs in 10 weeks.

To be completely honest, when I began the team lean challenge I had no idea that I weighed as much as I did (as strange as that may sound) or that I could possibly afford to lose almost 30 lbs. But not only could I afford to lose it when I look back at the pictures from before I question how I couldn't have realized how needed the weight loss was just to be a more healthy individual.

Since January I've put back on 5 lbs though and I never quite made it to my goal weight for team lean. I was 8 lbs above where I wanted to be. So I have decided I am going to have to find time in my busy schedule to start again. My deadline will be Thanksgiving and I'm going to get rid of those last 13 lbs.

I think I can...tomorrow starts a new day. And I think doing so not only will make me proud of me, but will help me have more energy to be a better Mom and perhaps more energetic too. I'll be honest, I've felt quite sluggish lately due to all my allergies. So perhaps this will least one can hope.

So wish me luck...because this portion of team lean is beginning again. 12 weeks, 13 pounds...totally totally doable. And when I meet this goal, it will be nice to know that I'm lighter than I've been since I finished high school and probably healthier too.

So here we go!

Boop doop de doop

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Losing my brain at the DMV.

Today has been a day from start almost through finish. Very, very early this morning at 1:41 to be exact I awakened because my allergies have been acting up. I'm very, very, very allergic to smoke and my dearly, beloved father in law and mother in law smoke like chimney so helping to care for them while being something that I am truly enjoying doing has had many bumps along the way for my health. Last night was just another one of those bumps. I took some nasal spray and then laid awake for two hours before finally managing to fall back into a sleep induced stupor.

So daybreak happened much earlier than I would have preferred this morning. Then as I ran through my morning routine I realized. The allergy medicine that I would have sworn to you was 24 hour medicine was actually 24 pills of 12 hour medicine. Oops! That certainly explains why I've been awaking with breathing issues so much lately. Thankfully, this was an easy problem to fix and I happily went on my way.

Then at some point of the morning it dawned on me, I needed to go get my driver's license renewed because it expires this coming Monday. So....I began to make preparations for that.

Ah, the DMV. I'm sure I've begun to think of it as this world's torture center. Both my daughters and I spent two interesting hours there. They watched three Curious George Episodes on my iphone. They played with their princess figures. They colored. They cried, and cuddled and I think we all wanted to scream and run away when my number was finally called. Amazing! I do believe I thought the heavens were going to open and the halliulah chorus sound. And then perhaps angels would break into Ava Marie since I had all of the proper documentation to renew my license. With all the new requirements this was no small feat. I had to take my current license, social security card, passport, tax return,  & property tax bill. Ummm...all just to prove I am me.

But I did it! And I got my picture made. The girls looked it. The representative was really friendly to my girls. And it was a great picture. I was ecstatic until she asked me if I'd like a 5 year license for 30 or a 10 year for 50. Uh oh!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd forgotten my cash and debit card at home. No worries, she says. They take credit cards, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, etc...blood of your first born child. But I wasn't quite ready to sacrifice Ella Rose. I try not to use credit cards so I don't carry them. So I decided I'd also left my brain at home. Who spends back to back days at the DMV as a customer? Yep, only me y'all. Two hours, two exhausted children, I'm mind numbingly frustrated and ready to cry. And we were starving because it took so LONG! But it must have been worth it, even though we did it for nothing. Practice run? I think so, because guess where we are going tomorrow...that's right. Another fun filled fieldtrip to the DMV. Join us! You too can participate in the extremely grueling and tedious job of renewing your license. It's fun, really...join me and see. Just bring half the paperwork in your house and you too can have a GA drivers license renewed too. After all everyone needs to get in on the fun and torture of the DMV....just make sure to arrive early so you'll get one of those nice plastic chairs.

And if you need me tomorrow and can't find me, you know where to the DMV the DMV! Sigh.

Good night,
Boop doop de doop


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Political Perspective

I've debated with myself for the past few days over whether or not to write anything about my political perspective on the world in which we live. Please understand, I LOOOOOVVVVEEE politics. I don't even mind when people disagree with me politically, but what I do mind is how divisive our world is. I truly despise how filled with hate, and how selfish and uncaring people behave. I know that a large portion of this hatred and selfishness comes from fear and lack of knowledge, but nonetheless it saddens me.

 What's more it bothers me that some people I consider family, and close friends are  so closed minded and frightened of the idea of a national health care plan. And to be honest, I do understand where they are coming from. Growing up, I remember a couple that emigrated to the United States from Scotland because they needed medical care. I was just a small child, and I know their names were Mr and Mrs Edwards. Do I remember what care Mrs. Edwards needed? No. I do not. But what I do remember is that Scotland had a nationally (Socialized) run medical program and that there was an extremely long waiting list for the care she needed. So rather than wait, Mr and Mrs Edwards came to the United States to get faster health care. I assume it was better care, but I can't swear to that.

And I'll admit when I first heard about National Medical Care in the United States these were the first thoughts that appeared within my head. So I get the other side, I truly do. BUT, and this is a major but then I began to explore it further. And through the twists, turns, experiences, and discussions within my immediate family (and almost immediate family) my opinion of  the Affordable Care Act began to change.
First off, I have a nephew who was born with hydrocephalus. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's literally water on the brain. I've included a picture of a child with hydrocephalus that hasn't been treated so that you can get a more clear picture of what I'm describing.

 So, all people have some fluid around their brains, but the body regulates how much fluid is made and cushions the brain. For my nephew this isn't true. His body just continues to make more and more fluid and his skull would not have fuzed together properly without brain surgery and a shunt being inserted. The shunt drains the extra fluid from his brain into his abdomen. As I'm sure you can imagine this surgery, literally brain surgery, is very dangerous, but also very expensive! Combine that with the fact that this nephew was a mere two pounds and some odd ounces when he was born there is no doubt he would have maxed out any lifetime cap that insurance companies placed on care within his lifetime. See he won't just need brain surgery once, but possibly every seven years or so. He's seven now (soon to be 8) and so far has just had to have one surgery, but we all (in our family) know there will be another one in his future and more than likely another one after that etc...

I've also included a picture, on the right, of my nephew so you can compare the difference that this surgery makes and how impossible it is to tell someone has hydrocephalus when it's treated properly.

 Danny, looks like and functions as a normal little boy because of this life changing surgery.  However, once he hits the lifetime maximum on insurance getting the second or third or fourth necessary brain surgery would be almost impossible. However, the Affordable Care Act removes that cap. And my nephew can have as many brain surgeries as he needs to live a happy, productive and normal life. So that was the first thing that began to change my perspective on the Affordable Care Act.

And if that wasn't enough then there's my sister. God bless my sister! She's one of the most caring, most giving people I know. Any time she sees a person in need, she gives! Even to her own detriment she will give to others. But my generous sister has had some major health problems within her lifetime. She had a tubal seven years ago that went wrong. The doctor tore her uterus and then tried to fix it and tore it again. He claimed it was paper thin and that he couldn't tell she'd borne four children. But she had! Anyway, because of his negligence major scar tissue developed and wrapped itself around many organs within her. She began having blood cysts and endometriosis and extreme pain. She went to the doctor and the E.R. repeatedly telling them she hurt as if she was in labor for days. They gave her mild pain meds and sent her on her way. They'd discuss with her the options but almost no surgeons were willing to operate to remove the scar tissue present. Why? She had no insurance. She had a disc bulge in her back and had very little care because she had no insurance...and I could go on and on with her medical plights. My family discovered during her healthcare adventures that the only healthcare hospitals had to or doctors were willing to provide was for imminent  life saving procedures. Quality of life for those without insurance didn't matter.

And then, I became a stay at home Mom. Until I decided to stay at home with my girls my husband, girls and I had wonderful insurance through the school system. But after that the shock of how messed up our status quo healthcare system was truly hit home. First, I had a very difficult time finding insurance that would cover me, even with exclusion provisions. I had, had two back surgeries and two C-sections in the last five years. All 4 of these surgeries were necessary. The back surgeries because I had a massive rupture of my L4-L5 disc twice. The rupture was so massive that I truly have no disc left at that level. The C-sections were due to severe pre-eclampsia that didn't manifest itself until I was in the midst of labor (both times). Oh and I'm it was almost impossible to find coverage for my family that included me since I was no longer employed.

My husband spoke to his employer about providing insurance but was told it wasn't necessary because all the other employees had it through their spouses' jobs. So we had to search for insurance on our own. Then, we found a company that would approve us for coverage with the exclusion of any C-sections for me. So obviously I couldn't get pregnant, but no biggie. I didn't plan to anyway.

All was good until my daughters caught the flu. When we went to get prescriptions for their flu I was shocked. Total cost for their prescriptions for Theraflu for my two girls and anti-nausea medicine was $500!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. No this didn't include the cost for the Dr's visit. It was medicine alone supposedly with insurance.

Needless to say I began to wonder shortly there after how in the world my family would manage if anyone caught even the slightest cold after that. And decided drastic action had to be taken. I'd been totally against the idea of applying for Peach care for my children before the $500 prescriptions, but after that it became my main goal in life. And it just about took an act of Congress to get it for them, but we did it. So I now no longer have to worry about their medical insurance.

But my dear husband and I still had the lousy health insurance that we were paying out $240 a month for just the two of us and wasn't covering almost anything...and I do mean anything We simply couldn't continue to pay for that. We couldn't afford it! But I didn't want to be uninsured so I called companies and told them I only wanted major medical, like serious problem type insurance. I was told what I was looking for didn't exist. I truly wanted hospital coverage so that if my back had problems again or something to that effect we'd not be out tens of thousands of dollars. So we took a leap.

I cancelled our insurance and we became one of the millions of uninsured. Thankfully, knock on wood we've managed. Neither of us have had any major illnesses. A common cold here and there...but nothing major. And we've held on or at least I've held on to the hope that Obamacare would be the answer. We will be able to afford insurance. What a blessed day! Not only will be able to afford insurance, but good quality insurance. Does that please me? Yes...immensely.

Now let me make this footnote because I know someone may comment, well if it was that important to you then you could have just kept your job and not become a stay at home Mom. Honestly, no I couldn't. I call it my choice and it's true, I quit...

However, it was inevitable. The school where I worked had issues with my focus on my family. They couldn't understand why I'd travel to Arkansas to be with my dying Nanny and with my youngest daughters need to nurse and the arrangements to do so which in no way affected my job performance. However, the administration saw it as an all or nothing matter so I quit and made it official that my family was first in my life.

Do I regret that decision? No, I do not, not in the least!. I simply regret that our society has become so work focused that they couldn't realize that family has to be a top priority too. And I would resign again tomorrow, even knowing the things that I now know.  I'd do it again a million times. Being at home and truly putting my family first was one of the best decisions I've ever made. But I'm sure I've upset some people with my perspective and for that I apologize. However, I hope that I've made those same individuals think and consider who this Obamacare is going to help. We, the individuals who need the Affordable Care Act are not (in the majority) people trying to mooch off the system.  They are people who can't get or can't afford the healthcare they should receive in the status quo. As a friend of mine commented yesterday:

"Hands are a powerful thing. While I have one in a fist of smiting rage at our horrible Congress, the other is wiping away tears of joy and gratitude because I am amazed that I will have health insurance. Love it or hate it, there are lots of us good, tax-paying folks that have dreamed of this day so that we can finally get treatment on, say, an arm that dislocates every day. No matter how you feel about what's going on and the shenanigans of our government, I hope we the people can hug it out, make each other laugh, and get through it...hand in hand."

 I couldn't agree more with her if I tried so that my dear reader is my hope as well. So with that in mind, I leave you for the day...and I promise a less controversial blog tomorrow.

Until then,
Boop Doop De Doop


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

National Blog Writing Month

Hi all-

Today, since it's the first day of October, is the first day of National Blog Writing Month. I've attempted this for the last three years and I don't believe I've ever managed to blog every day for the entire month, but I'm rearing to go and super excited about trying again. If you blog, love to write or even are mildly curious in trying to do so I highly suggest that you give it a try. Just put a link to your blog on Facebook at NaBloWriMo. Join us! Won't you?

Now with that said...buckle in and get ready for the ride. I can hardly wait to blog each day for the month! I suppose I could start by telling you why I do NaBloWriMo and a little bit more about my crazy life that I love. Today is actually a quiet day around here...okay semi-quiet. My four year old does have both gymnastics and soccer this afternoon, but other than that the day is much more calm than they've been lately. Since I'm a stay at home much of my days are focused around helping others, be it my in-laws, children, people in the community, etc...and of course running my household.

Lately, it's been a challenge to get it all done each day, but a joyful one. Two weeks ago my father-in-law fell 18feet out of a tree and broke his pelvis. He was airlifted to a larger hospital because his fracture was so severe, but the larger hospital opted not to operate and sent him home after just a few days. So my daughters and I have been visiting with him multiple times a day for the last couple of weeks. Honestly, it's been a blessing to have that time together for all involved. My girls are becoming much closer to their paternal grandparents and the relationship between my mother-in-law, father-in-law and I has changed drastically. As much as I'd never wish this situation upon anyone, good has come from it. It just goes to show sometimes we don't know why life leads us into the moments it does, but there's true purpose in all that happens and good can come out of even the worst circumstances.

I think the other major change in our lives is that although I'm a former high school teacher, I'm embracing my stay at home Mom role a bit more fully this year. Perhaps that's true because it's my second full year at home...but for whatever reason it really makes me question how families with two working parents make sure it all gets done. the added money would be nice, BUT it wouldn't be worth the things I'd have to miss out on. Don't get me wrong, I know at some point I will return to working outside the home (maybe when both girls are in school) but until then I'm going to savor our moments together and find creative ways to make funds in the process.

I've started a pet sitting service and actually am heading out to distribute more information about it today. I have a regular customer that the girls and I visit with her dogs every day and it's really been a joy to see the puppies smiling faces. I've tried selling my daughters old clothes for consignment, but haven't had much luck. I've made less than $100 dollars doing that. But as I said money isn't everything.

This next week we begin fall break and I'm truly looking forward to our little Stay-cation. Actually, I find myself looking forward to October as I always do. We have so many wonderful things that happen in October. This coming week the girls and I will be traveling to see the Ugly Ducking Light Show at the Grand in Macon. We have a Blessing of Animals at our Church this coming Saturday. My eldest is headed out to a birthday party for her best friend on Saturday and she has soccer pictures on Saturday too. Saturday is going to be BUSY!!!

The next weekend we are going to the GA National Fair, and the weekend after that to ride on Thomas the train at Day out with Thomas. I believe it's our fourth year to go to that too. :) And we have a yard sale at church too! Whew!! Busy, busy but just how I love it.

We will probably throw in some play dates, visits to museums and the bouncy houses, the mix and just enjoy our life here at home.

Yes, the beginning of October always lifts my spirits y'all. Perhaps, it's the realization it's really fall. And this  year the air is a little bit more crisp (something that is unusual this early in the fall in South GA). Perhaps it's the apple picking, or the pumpkin patches popping up everywhere. Maybe it's because my birthday falls in this month and reminds me how important it is to celebrate each day and year of my life.

Whatever it is, not even the shut down of the Government can spoil my mood. Which says a lot since I think it's absurd that our elected officials can't worth together for the good of all. But I won't get on a political soap box on this grand day. So with that said, I hope you all have a blessed day and that you consider joining us as we begin our new adventure into National Blog Writing Month.

I'll talk to you again tomorrow!
Until then, Boop doop de Doop

Monday, August 12, 2013

And a new school year begins!

I can't even begin to count the number of school years that I've begun over my lifetime (okay, I could, but there are not only those from when I was a student, but also all my teaching years too). So I'd say and since my Momma taught school most of my life the beginning of a school year marked a profound change.  It was truly a new beginning, a clean slate and a chance to make life into whatever you want it to be.

Today my little ones began a new school year as did I; however, some things are already very different about this school year for us. First, Evie Alice is completing her school year at home. I wasn't ready to give her up to preschool yet, nor was she ready to go. And Ella Rose is starting private pre-k. Wow! My eldest little girl is growing up so quickly!!!!

The biggest difference for me this year though is the home schooling. Never in a million years did I think I'd be teaching from home. Who'd of thunk? But seriously, I believe it will be a grand adventure and one I am looking quite forward to. Evie Alice and I had a blast this morning and began her schooling shortly after Ella Rose departed for Pre-K this morning. Evie working on singing ABCs, counting, identifying squares. Then we looked at her name, colored, made a handprint craft and painted. It was so much fun and is so far removed from what I've done with much of my adult life (since I've worked with teenagers for the last decade.

But it's a good change. Now both my little ones are napping, I've had a brief break and I'm going to continue working on the daily chores of picking up and putting everything in it's place.

Oh! But before I forget, today also began my first day of pet sitting. And it was grand...what truly amazing adventures are in store for us this year. I like what I'm seeing so far...and when I think about how much God has changed my path from where it was I am amazed. And as different as it is, it is also grand. to clean up before my busy bees awaken...

Boop doop de doop

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Are we rich?

I don't think I ever realized until today how blessed my children and I are. I don't think I ever felt so rich or over indulged...and trust me we are far from rich. We are a single income family. Money is tight, sometimes beyond tight and seems so scarce that we don't know what we'll do. But we pull through, we always do.

 I don't think I knew exactly how blessed we were until today. And the realization shocked me. I have a friend with multiple children. The children are good friends of my girls. The parents are loving parents...very involved in their children's lives. They make sure the children are in the right school district, have plenty of food, extra treats and snacks, hey make sure homework in done before they kids go out to play and they are particular that their children follow safety rules and be respectful, etc.

And I really thought that their home was a lot like ours. Cluttered (maybe a bit neater) since the Momma was more particular about when and where the children eat treats than I am.. She always cares more about what they do if a treat as  they dropson the ground. It's off limits. Whereas my philosophy is blow/brush it off and go ahead. Children eating sand shocks her. My girls have both gone through this phase and my response is's not going to feel good later. :)

So I knew there were some differences...but overall, I felt like we had more similarities than differences and perhaps we still do...

But the other day, I had a reason to enter into their home. I'd never done so before since they live close by...we'd just visited outside...but as I entered the home I was shocked. Not because it was filthy, it wasn't (although mine has been at times). Not because it was cluttered, it wasn't (although mine regularly is). No I was shocked by the sparceness of it. It was bare. In the livingroom there was a couch, a tv and two pictures on the walls. In the children's rooms I saw one doll and no books, puzzles, etc. There are five children living there. ONE DOLL!! Now I know there are a FEW other toys there...but that is all I saw.

This gave me pause. While playing outside the children have toys, a trampoline, bicycles, and such. But indoors....nothing...or very little at least. And I thought back to their reactions upon seeing the girls many fine things. They love to come in our home and play in the girls rooms. Or upon being given a birthday invitation to one of our daughter's birthdays I was told, we don't celebrate ours at all. Hmmm....

And it made me realize how different our families are. I think the children of both are loved and cherished and blessed in both, but I definitely think mine are more indulged. Honestly, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I was definitely indulged as I grew up...spoiled even, but it was good for me. Yes, you read correctly because it taught me so much and made me want to strive to provide the same for my own family one day. And we try to...

Are my girls, blessed. Yes, beyond any shadow of a doubt. Their biggest worry is whether or not I'll get to the store tomorrow to pick up the next thing they decide they want or whether their sister will be nice. They have no reason to worry about more than this. If something breaks, it will most likely be replaced (assuming it wasn't abused in the process). It something is used up...we'll get more.

So are my girls indulged (and a bit spoiled)  you better believe it. Camps, Lessons, Sports, Toys, and Travels abound in our home. And I think it made me realize, not only do my children have love, but they have things. Now we just have to make sure they realize, that to whom much is given...much is expected. Because my girls certain have much given to them, through love and things, intellect, skills, etc.

Do I do enough to make them realize what is expected in return? I think I do. They see no difference between themselves and their friends. They truly love and respect their friends and willingly share their things day in and day out. And even when my patience wears thin, and I begin to wonder why their friends mistreat the girls toys or act a particular way..or don't know what peaches are when we have them for snack...I have to stop and remind myself. They are different. They've not been given what my girls are. But it's good that they are friends with my girls. They are loving, caring whom much also has been given in love and caring even if not much is given in things.

And it was good for me to realize that those without come in all shapes and forms. It doesn't have to mean the child is going hungry for there to be a lack there.

So as I ponder through this, I find myself answering questions. Do we do too much for the girls? I don't think we do. We expect a lot from them in return for what they have. We try to expose them to culture so they can become well rounded and we want them to respect people, but work hard to make good lives for themselves so they can provide just as good of a life for their children one day. Which brings me back to wondering, is my little family actually rich...yes indeed we are: Spiritually, Emotionally, & Materially. But then again, I guess I never should have doubted that. :)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer Safari

Today began our first day of Summer Vacation, and what a day it was. Ella Rose had her preschool program...which Evie Alice fussed her way through. We quickly followed this by getting a flat tire, but we still managed to cram a tremendous amount into our day and I'm determined we aren't going to waste a minute of our summer vacation. Ella Rose is out of school for 12 weeks and I plan to savor each moment of it. So in addition to all the excitement that I mentioned the other day...we are going to have a Summer Safari at-home-camp too. Now this at home camp will be loosely themed and the schedule will be play as we go, but here are the basics that I've outlined so far...each week will have a theme.

When I began to think about this I started digging through other mother's blogs of successful stay-at-home camps and adventures. The most helpful site that I found was one where a mom had successfully created and successfully held summer camps for her children the past two years...and so I swiped a lot of her themes and then combined them with other themes and ideas that I found from other creative mothers to create a mish mash of themes which we will attempt this summer...You can find her page at Just search for her summer camp ideas.

So with that said the themes for the Summer Safari Camp are:
Week 1: Wildlife explorers
Week 2: Artist/Artisans
Week 3: Trains!
Week 4: Up in the Air!
Week 5: Pirates!
Week 6: Mad Scientists
Week 7: Ocean Wonders
Week 8: Camping/Pioneers
Week 9: Welcome to the Jungle
Week 10: World Travelers
Week 11: Out on the Ranch
Week 12: Water Week

I've also assigned jobs to each day.
Mondays are Park/Pool days.
Tuesdays are Library/Craft days
Wednesdays are Trip days  
Thursdays are Cooking days
Fridays are Pool/Education
Then as far as a daily schedule goes we are going to play it by ear...BUT I want to fit certain things into each day include nap time (2 hours), a story time, and a themed snack. Then a few times a week, I want do a craft/science experiment, handwriting/ math or language skill each day. Other than that, my goal is to have the girls outside at least 4 hours each day.
They'll easily play all afternoon outside if I let them so this shouldn't be too much of a stretch. I'll try to update each week with pictures and descriptions of how the week went.

Welcome Summer, these Game Rangers are going to have many wonderful Sundowners!

Boop doop de doop!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer time and the living is BUSY!!!

I can hardly believe it. I've been a stay at home Momma for a year now and summer time is upon us once again.Wow! The time certainly has flown.

But, you wouldn't know it's almost summer time by the weather we are having. I even had to put a light jacket on Evie Alice and me this morning as we ran out of the house to do an early morning errand...nonetheless...summer is here. Ella Rose has one more day of school and then she officially becomes a pre-k girl.Where has the time gone? How can my big girl be ready to go to pre-k. And how am I going to feel when it's time for her to go to kindergarten in a year....hmmm....

Thankfully, we are able to put off her entry into public school this year. So she will be completing her pre-k in the same school that she did her two year old preschool and three year old preschool tenures. I am so thankful she's staying put..but nonetheless the transition seems huge to me. How can my baby be so BIG!

And summer hasn't even started but it's already packed! Granted it's packed with fun filled activities...but it's still slam full. Josh was joking just the other day with Ella Rose that she will need a vacation from her summer and I do believe that's true.

So what have we got planned for the summer? Well, here's the mega-long list. Ella Rose is doing Dance camp, Gymnastics Camp, "School camp" three days this summer and swimming lessons. Evie Alice has a Dr's appt for her eye that doesn't track properly, story hour at the library, weekly play dates
 and many family activities planned. We are going to participate in the summer reading program from the library. We will see a few of the kids summer movies when we can fit it in to
our schedule we are going to Camp CoCo...our family camp in Arkansas...taking a family trip to the beach, and visiting Disney World and Universal Studios on the way home from the beach....then of course there are play dates, trips to the pool, a dance recital, and Vacation Bible school that I'm directing and the girls are participating in.

I can hardly wait! Now if the weather would just cooperate...we would be good to go. Bring on the triple digit weather.... so the fun can begin. :)

Boop doop de doop.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lovely, soft, cloud dust filled days. Thank God.

Today made me wonder if I'd inadvertently moved to Ireland on a warm summer day (since their hottest days are in the 70s). Not only did the temperatures here rival your usual Irish summer weather (low sixties) but the softing (rain) also modelled the Irish experience exactly. So I found myself ," thinking back to my Irish Summers of days gone by. How I loved my summers there and listening to people say, " 'tis a lovely soft day, thank God," as they carried own with their every day lives in the softing rain.

 Rain didn't stop or slow down lives wasn't an inconvenience. It was a blessing. Whenever I'm out and out in the "softing" I often think of my adventures in Ireland. And today was no exception.

   So the softing rain today and the cool temperatures as of late have made me wonder on more than one occasion whether we've moved to Ireland, and are simply unaware. Seriously though,  the weather has been quite wacky as of late...and living in south Georgi mid-sixties are regular occurrences in mid-February...but rarely seen in early May. Usually, we are hitting the mid to upper 80s and preparing our bodies for many days of 100+ weather during the summer. This year, that preparation seems today could be a nice February way or even a warmer March day...but definitely does not feel very May-like.

So I decided that since we've moved into Ireland's climate whether or not we've actually moved that the girls and I would have an Irish adventure today. We would walk to the neighborhood market and pick up some ingredients for supper tonight. So we set out on a very Irish-like adventure with the girls loaded into their double stroller we began to walk to the store. Another of the things I loved about Ireland was being able to walk every place in town we wanted to go. My little sister and I had a regular path worn between our flat and the grocery store. The refrigerator for the family was similar in size to a large dorm frig and so we had to make multiple trips by foot to the store each week. Those trips were fun...and honestly, just finding the grocery store was an adventure since it was situated back in a mall on the lower level.

Of course today, there was no search for the store. We simply had to head up the street hang a right at the light, walk past our church and the neighborhood store would be one block ahead. So off we went. Now, unlike our trips to the "grocery" in Ireland when we were visiting a truly Irish this case our neighborhood market carries only the very basics.  Usually, I frequent it only when I realize at the the last minute that I'm out of a crucial ingredient. But today, although I needed a few ingredients for a squash casserole and some baking soda to make blueberry muffins I really just wanted to get out of the house, exercise, and spend some time with my girls.

 And so off we went. We walked in the softing rain, neither girl seems to care and nor did I. In short, we had a blast. I found myself noticing details I'd missed out on as I'd sped by them in my car. I'd not noticed our church sign  listed the family service. I'd missed sharing how to suck the honey suckles properly with my daughter. Of course, our walk remedied both of these problems. Ella Rose was amazed by how sweet the honey suckle tasted. And I found myself thinking back to memories of my own Momma teaching me the very same things.

And continuing in the line of creating memories, I decided it was time to create some cloud dust (mixing flour and canola oil) in order make play sand for the front porch. The girls had fun building sand castles with it on our covered porch despite the softing rain...and our dear Daisy dog jumped the fence repeatedly just so she could join in on the fun.

Days like this make the cooler weather not seem so bad...after all those Lovely soft days gone by contain so many fond memories....So summer weather even though I long for you...I'm appreciative for these memory filled moments of cool early spring like soft days with jumping daisies, clouds on the front porch, and softing rain falling while my girls and I explore the wonders of childhood all over again.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Here lately every time I get on facebook I just want to scream. There are people claiming that the Boston bombing was a conspiracy and a set up by the government. So obviously paranoid and also so obviously NOT true. There are legit articles about a situation where a five month old baby was removed from his family by CPS because they sought a second opinion for his care and removed him from the hospital AMA in order to do so...while taking him to another facility. Nonetheless, the parents are charged with severe neglect and he was removed. That frustrates me... and makes me want to question what some portions of the government are doing. And then there's the group that regularly posts things against C-sections which makes my blood boil including articles claiming that births in the hospital aren't necessary but just do it at home and that our country should promote home births. Excuse me?!?!

The c-section thing is the one that hits closest to home for me and I've bitten my tongue and bitten my tongue until I think I might just bite right through it. Why does this hit home? Because I've had two c-sections and I'm SO thankful that I did. When I was pregnant with my dear Ella Rose I explained to my OB that the only way I would okay a c-section was if my life was in danger. I had a typical pregnancy and there didn't seem to be any reason for alarm until I went into labor. As I labored for 15 hours my blood pressure began to elevate and by the time they performed the emergency c-section I had no doubt it was c-section or death...there was no alternative.the chances that we both would have made it through the delivery without the c-section were slim to none. And I was right...I had SEVERE pre-eclampsia. Had I been trying this at home (as this recent article suggested should be an option to all "normal pregnancies" I would have most likely not lived through the exprience. Was I low risk, yes. It was my first pregnancy and we had no reason to suspect I'd have any problems. But there were complications and a c-section was needed to keep us both alive. The epidural didn't work...and so I slept through the actually delivery of my beautiful four year old. We both survived the situation and life moved on.

Fast forward two years...and I'm once again in labor with my precious Evie Alice. The American Assoc. of Physicians had updated their rules and regulations and I'd scheduled a repeat c-section since I *know* that's the safest thing to do...but I was worried because they'd not let me schedule the section before 39 weeks of pregnancy. My first bundle of joy arrived before 39 weeks and I just "knew" my second would too...and she did. So...once again I went into labor. Now part of me hoped that I could experience a normal labor and delivery without a c-section, but once it started I again knew that wasn't possible. So after a few hours of labor I was given magnesium sulfate, an epidural that did work and had another emergency c-section. I was informed that my recurrent pre-eclampsia had once again reared it's ugly head and that it was the MOST SEVERE level and the worst case that this doctor had ever seen. The magnesium sulfate had to be started before the c-section even began...and once again I survived and have another beautiful daughter as a result.

But the idea that a c-section makes my deliveries any less valuable or that the doctors intervention is wrong just boils my blood. Now I know the individuals posting these articles would claim my c-section experiences aren't what they are talking about...but they are! They have no reason to assume that my experiences are different from those of other women who experience a section. Does the U.S have a high rate of intervention with births? Yes...but does that mean it's unnecessary? No.

These OB doctors know what they are doing...and c-sections save lives. To refuse one when faced with pre-eclampsia or the threat there of or even the unknown is idiotic. Medical help exists to make our lives easier. Why refuse it? It makes no sense...

Would you refuse a heart bypass...or help from any other medical issue. Of course you wouldn't so why refuse the help offered while delivering a baby. There are my two cents. I hope I've not offended anyone, but if I have...then I have. My rant is done!

I hope you have a great day!

Boop doop de doop

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weightloss and late night discussions

Late in December or early in January I embarked upon a new goal, I decided that I was going to lose a substancial amount of weight this year. Now, I know many people make weight loss resolutions each January, and many do not follow through, but I was determined to be different. One of the ways I'm different is that this honestly was my first weight loss journey. I'd never dieted. Yes, I'd lost and gained weight over the years but never consciously set out to do so. The other difference was the support of four wonderful ladies. Three of these ladies I'd never laid eyes upon or even heard of before the journey began, the fourth was Ella Rose's teacher last year in preschool. Together, we've journeyed together through weight loss for 10 weeks...and weighed in weekly. And now, after ten weeks we've lost 124.5 lbs cumulatively.

So tonight my husband was teasing me as he said something about my forcing him to sit through yet another episode of The Biggest Loser...and that's why we ended up watching his TIVOed show Revolution. Let me tell ya...I loved the first episode of Revolution, and it reminded me of a book I'd recently read. I only wish I could remember the title of that book. But that's another story for another day. The premise of his show was that the electricity goes out...and doesn't come back on...and then the show fast forwards 15 years. It really makes you think.

When I was in college I will never forget sitting around in a philosophical discussion of reality and a visitor commenting on how humans are the only species that has created something that will destroy them. Something to think about, huh? Technology which is supposed to make our lives so much easier...may make them harder. But it definitely would make our lives much harder if those of us so used to it truely didn't have *any* of it anymore. No, I'm not talking about rejecting it just like the Amish do, but truly having no technology. It would destroy us...or make like much harder. my mind wandered through all of this as we watched the show. Then as the show ended my husband called me "his biggest loser" and asked whether I'd lost the most on my team. I'd not. One of the other ladies who was relatively the same size I began at lost 16  more pounds than I did...making her current weight loss 37 lbs.

So his next question was, "Does she have children?" Which she does. And I told him she has more children than I do and manages a full time job outside the home.

But what really made me beam was when he said, "You do know being a stay at home mom is a harder job than any in the workforce, right?" WOW!! I was amazed that he recognized this.'s true. I love it, but it's true.  And I can honestly say that made my night.

And so now...with my kitchen clean, my children and husband sleeping...I thought I'd take a minute to share that morsel with you. And I know I will go to sleep tonight dreaming pleasant dreams with the knowledge that my husband truly does know how hard I work each and every day.

Good night y'all!

Boop doop de doop

Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Bless those who work outside the home...

It's nine fifteen on a Thursday evening and I've just wiped down my coffee table for the fourteenth time today. Each and every time I've wiped over it, I've removed sticky fingerprints and love smudges from my little ones. And so as I wipe over it for the last time this evening, I find myself thinking back to how much my life has changed in the last year. A LOT! My husband and two daughters are snuggled up in their beds sound asleep. The house is quiet and I've stopped for a moment to blog as my mind wanders to days gone by...

 After I had my eldest daughter, Ella Rose, people used to ask me, do you remember what it was like before you were a Momma. Honestly, I did. I remembered with vivid clarity what life was like before that and in all honesty sometimes longed for those days...when things became too overwhelming. Then I had my second and the memories began to fade. Now, as a Momma of a two and a four year old, I can honestly say: I don't remember my life being much different than being a Momma. It's who I was meant to be...and I'm where I was meant to be. Granted after having my second there were moments I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.

I remember one pointed instance when Evie was a few weeks old, she was sitting in her swing and Ella Rose (who was barely 2) and I were attempting to have supper together. Josh was out of town for work and so it was just the three of us...for what seemed like an eternity. For whatever reason, Evie Alice began to cry that evening and something must have happened (I can't say I recall what, but so did Ella Rose) and in my frustration and complete feelings of being overwhelmed, I joined in and cried too. So there the three of us sat crying. And I remember reaching out to Mom's who had more than one and asking how they did it. And I got an answer from a friend that she'd been where I was, but it got easier with time. And so it Evie Alice is older than Ella Rose was when that incident happened...and Ella Rose is FOUR! time flies.

But as time flies...I was thinking tonight about how my life has changed since I decided to stay at home full time. And I can honestly say, I don't remember what life was like before this. Sure, I remember teaching and getting up etc...but how to make it all work together and smoothly and still do ALL the things that fit into my daily life today, I don't know how it worked...I just don't. For instance, would I have had the energy to have wiped down that coffee table the thirteenth or fourteenth time today had I been working? Granted, the girls wouldn't have been here to mess it up a dozen times because they'd have been at the sitters, but I am not kidding when I say all fourteen times happened after 12 pm today. Ella Rose didn't get home from preschool before that...and Evie doesn't destroy the coffee table without her sisters help. :)

I do however remember what I thought as a working Mom that life would be like as a stay at home mom. I thought I'd meet up with a group of friends multiple times a week. We'd sit around and have coffee or and our children would play (at my house or theirs). Our homes would be sparkling clean because we'd have plenty of time to clean them. ha ha! We would have hot cook meals for our husbands on the stove and supper would be ready when they walked in the door. And the supper part is usually true,  but just as thrown together here most days as it was when I was working because that was something I strove to do even when I was gone from home 10 or more hours a day.

I thought I'd have daily creative activities for my girls to do and that despite the cut in pay money would be plentiful and life would be every way imaginable. And life is grand, but that money that I thought would be so lush and abundant was quickly gone after the school year began. A Refrigerator needed replacing, the washer went out, my husband's car needed a new engine and so on and so forth. And yes, there have been weeks if not months when I worried about how the lights would stay on...the mortgage paid, the food put on the table. Those things have been worries....but they've all happened. The mortgage has been paid, the food goes on the table, and the lights have stayed on. On top of that, the girls have been able to stay in their activities of gymnastics and dance, and even soccer when Ella Rose requested it. None of that is to say my worries were needless they weren't. I've found myself saying to them many times: We are going into the store to get toilet paper, don't ask for anything. There's no money for anything else. Or I'll get that for you tomorrow...there aren't enough "pennies" for that today. :) Heck, I've even emptied my daughter's piggy banks and my husbands to get gas to drive to a consignment sale to buy my daughters new clothes....and prayed my way home on fumes of gas.

My house is rarely sparkling... my friend's rarely come over, and play dates are a couple of times a month rather than multiple times a week, my creativity for activities for the girls is often lacking. I'm short with my girls much more often than I thought I would be.. and often find myself questioning my parenting decisions, the TV entertains them more than I ever dreamed I would allow it to.
But our lives are BETTER for it.

Yes, you read correctly, our lives are BETTER for it. I don't miss out on a moment. Not one...I get to volunteer for any field trips that occur. I do get to do volunteer work in the community. We've found sources for free food is now over abundant rather than lacking. The waiting for presents and treats teaches my girls the importance of delayed gratification. I get to take them to parks, and story hour at the library, tie dye shirts at home, or berry picking. We visit the local dairy and see how cows are actually milked...and have our nightly stories at home. The girls play with their toys here at home and have friends in the neighborhood. The things we buy them truly get used. They've bonded so closely together they swear they are best buddies forever...and I believe they will be. I get to see their imaginations expand daily through being puppies or mommies, choo choo trains, dragons, dinosaurs and more. And I wouldn't give the world to be any place else.

So no, life isn't what I thought if would be like when I began this journey. I don't sew all my daughters clothes, scrapbook fabulously, while sporting a sparkling home, and model children, all while preparing a steaming hot meal each evening from scratch. Although, most of my meals are from scratch. :)

But I have the time with my daughters. I have the time to give to my husband and my community. Anything Josh asks me to do, I can fit it into my day. I also usually have quiet time to read each day...something I rarely got to do while teaching. It was such a luxury I didn't even manage it during most vacations from school, honestly. And I can truly say, life is good.

Which brings me to this, God bless those who work outside the home. I don't know how they do it. I know I did...and not too long ago, but nonetheless...God bless them

Good night!