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Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Play








Is it just me or does Ethan look sickly in this picture!?!















This year we started to do a Christmas play at church but it was WAY over the kids heads...those who put it together didn't consider what the kids were capable of and didn't think before putting kids in parts...and definitely didn't play to their strengths. So it was cancelled. Ethan didn't have any lines and Lane Michael was the ONLY child to memorize his lines. So our pastor stepped in and took a play and made it little kid friendly. He put children in more appropriate roles and made it fail proof. Lane Michael was Joseph and Mallory was Mary (cute), the pastor's wife approached me and asked if I thought Lane Michael could handle it...he is the child who gets up on Sunday mornings in front of the congregation and sings his little heart out, yes, he can do it and would love to! Tyler, Maggie and Grant were shepherds (ignore this...it's more for my own memories), Ethan, Keith and Molly were wisemen...Ethan was the only one to sing We Three Kings and even said Mollies part for her. Kayden and Maddison were inn keepers (they did well), Amelia, Lydia and 2 other girls were the Angels. It was DARLING! I was so impressed! Todd took pics and everyone had a great time! The kids were all on cloud nine! Loved it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions are really important to Todd and me. We think it's what makes the memories and what keeps them coming home when they're adults...problem is, other people keep messing with my traditions! ;-)

We put up our tree and make cookies and cocoa...usually we do this the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but that weekend is so full of events we were all to exhausted so we did it last weekend (after the Hometown Holiday), the boys decorate the tree while we decorate the house, we make cookies, listen to Christmas carols and just enjoy each other...on a side note, I do not "fix" the tree when my children are done decorating, nor do I allow Lane Michael to follow Ethan around and move all the decorations that are too close to a similar bulb. I love my tree just the way they decorate it!

BFC (Best Friend Cousin) and I kick off the Christmas season with Christmas movies the Saturday after Thanksgiving (this year was a bust - - next year we will do evening movies so that the kids have less energy and actually watch the movies). We eat popcorn and drink hot chocolate, and maybe rearrange the dining room *wink*

We usually do a Christmas trip to Missouri to see Todd's family...this year the host said they didn't have the money or time to host. I really am missing the trip this year. I always have a great time. I heart my sisters in law and brothers in law (most of them).

The Hometown Holiday is always a big hit with our boys...this year Ryan was too sick to get up for the parade...so we waited until a little later and just took him to see Santa (got pictures), went to Casa Chic for an ornament but by that time people were cold, hungry and Ryan was tired. It was a fun morning over all!

The rest of our traditions are more centered around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We start by following Santa on the Marine Corps tracking web site as he visits the rest of the world. We eat Christmas Eve dinner by candle light (something special), then we spend the evening baking Christmas goodies, the boys open their Christmas pajamas, get a bath and head to bed. Then Todd and I spend the evening watching Christmas movies and setting Christmas up (wrapping gifts, filling stockings and getting gifts "ready"). We head to bed at about 2 am. Christmas morning we all get up, head down stairs, the boys open their stockings while we put coffee on *grin* and then they're allowed to open their gifts. Although they usually just want to play with the one they open first and stop *giggle* We'll have to be very careful this year what gifts they open first, so they don't get the Nintendo DS first (it'd be all over from there). We then have a big brunch of muffins, rolls, eggs, sausage, bacon, and anything else requested! We spend some time hanging out and then head to my Mom's (we make a quick stop at the cemetery to see my Dad and Braden). We hang with my Mom until we all head to my Grandma Sweet's house and spend the rest of the day.

Some of this varies depending on what my Mom works out with my siblings and their families. Sometimes we get together Christmas Eve and sometimes Christmas evening...they drive me nuts but what can you do *shrugs*

We have other traditions...3 gifts from Santa, and such...we intended for that to be an unspoken tradition but so much of my family goes over board that I sometimes feel the need to defend our lack of gifts under the tree...not that my children have ever minded...

This Christmas is one I'm really looking forward to! Ryan will get the fun and Lane Michael and Ethan will get everything on their list!

Lane Michael from Santa:
Nintendo DS
scooter (Lane Michael can't ride a bike)
BB gun (ugh)
Lane Michael from the 'Rents:
MP3 player stocked with great tunes!

Ethan from Santa:
Nintendo DS
bike
BB gun
Ethan from the 'Rents:
MP3 player stocked with great tunes!

Ryan from Santa:
play house
kitchen
food

Ryan from the 'Rents:
grocery cart

Todd and I aren't exchanging gifts this year in an effort to save up for our pending vaca!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Last night Todd turned to me and said "man this is some holiday season. Unforgettable" it's barely started. Ugh. But the get togethers have been so much fun! We started off our holiday weekend Wednesday night, when my sister and her kids and my Mom stopped by for snacks and a fun evening of just being together. We had pizza and pigs in a blanket and played that game where you write a person on a peice of paper and pass it to the person next to you. They can't look and have to hold it to their forehead and guess who it is by asking questions...yah that game. We called it the ICarly game...still not sure why! LOL We laughed until we couldn't and everyone stayed good and late. What started out as a rough night ended up being a great night! Then on Thursday we lazed around, watched movies, I made mashed potatoes and got to Grandma Sweet's in time for dinner at 4:30...Grandma Sweet hosts all. of. our. family. holidays. A few years ago she moved from her much larger homes (finished basement, 2 living rooms and 4 seasons room) to a much smaller home (one living room and dining room and a small bedroom where the kids all try to hang out and catch some privacy). Lots of room for disaster when you're trying to cram 11 women, 6 men, one 13 yo, one 8yo, two 7 yo, one 6 yo, two 5 yo, one 3 yo, two 1 yo and 3 very immature 18 yo. The 3 very immature 18 yo claim the bedroom and we have to constantly drag the little kids out of that room because they're in there saying and doing inappropriate stuff...sitting and laying on/with each other, making vulgar statements and just being teenagers in general. Creepy. But it leaves NO place for the littles to play so we had all 9 kids 8-1 years old in the very small living room playing with toys...Ethan and the 8 year old wandered outside for a little while to play on the porch but other than that it was 4 straight hours and there were NO problems. No yelling, no fighting. nothing! It was incredible! All the stuff that could have gone wrong did not! YEAH!
Todd and Lane Michael left a little earlier than the rest of us, Todd went home to catch a nap before the big night of festive fun...we left the kids with my Mom at about 10 pm, went home to change and feed the dog then we went straight to the w.a.l.m.a.r.t. where we got almost ALL our Christmas shopping done. Completely and totally done for Lane Michael and Ethan! They even got everything on their list...that's not saying much though...they know that Santa only leaves 3 gifts under the tree, one from us and then they get each other a gift. This year Lane Michael asked for an MP3 player, a Nintendo DS, a BB gun and a pillow pet; Ethan asked for an MP3 player, a Nintendo DS, a BB gun and a bike...we couldn't have a bike waiting under the tree next to a pillow pet...but Lane Michael had originally thought about a scooter instead of a pillow pet, so we got him a very cool scooter (poor kid doesn't know how to ride a bike and refuses to learn LOL)...the kids still have to shop for each other, and we still need to do stockings and Ryan still needs food for his kitchen but other than that we're all set...Ryan is getting a play house and kitchen with food and maybe a grocery cart...should be a good year!
Anyway, back to the weekend, Friday was then a lazy day of napping with Ryan, Todd put up his deer stand with his helpers and an evening of sweet wonderful nothing (lol).
Saturday we were up bright and early Todd went hunting and we watched movies with my cousin and her kids for a few hours (we didn't watch any movies but the kids ran like wild people and we rearranged my dining room and looked to see what my hard wood floors look like under the carpet. Beautiful. They left and as soon as they did, the H family showed up to watch the big game (OSU vs Michigan - Go Bucks) we won. Of course! The H family left just in time for Todd to go to work. He got a small side job DJing for a man in Piqua on Thursday nights and as fill in, so he was being trained (phew what a day)
Sunday was church, quickly followed by my Grandma Sweet's birthday party...I went to the party with kids and Todd worked the shop so my Mom could go to the party (my Mom owns a furniture and home decor store here in Wapak - - best shop in Wapak).

I'm SO glad to be back to a routine! We're exhausted...the kids were excited to go back to school after 6 days off but Ryan was not ready...he enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the holidays! He performed for the family like they were his very own captive audience! Hysterical! So funny, they were taping him...he was doing the chicken dance! HAHA Love these boys!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sigh of Relief













They spent HOURS chasing these stupid ducks that had wandered into the yard from across the field...they imitated them, quacked at them, chased them, loved them, wanted to keep them...I think the poor ducks were happy to go home!







I just love this picture...I'm not even sure what they're doing or what is on the table behind them, I just know I love the picture!






My Mommy and the twins...love.


Lane on a break from his helmet....he got an hour each day....

Oh so little...I love this picture...even if it does show just how young I was when the twins were born...


Happy Halloween! Ethan the clown and Lane Michael a race car driver!

so so sweet...



First Birthday Smash cake...they're so small and so sick!


I love this picture...I sat like this a lot after work...good good times


This is how they slept often...so content to be snuggled up together...

There really is nothing like raising twins. Sweet brothers. Best friends.







Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Honeymoon at last!

I may have eluded to this in the past...I don't know and don't feel like looking...Todd and I had a bit of a whirlwind romance...we met, got pregnant, got moved, had babies, got married, got separated...of course not emotionally but physically...we married quickly because Todd was going to Iraq and we didn't know when, or for how long. So we never had a honeymoon. I've always considered our trip to Spain to be kind of a honeymoon...it's the only non-working, child-free vacation we've ever had...and last night, we planned our trip to VEGAS!!! We're going in 2 years. I know I know, that's forever away....but we're so excited...and we've waited this long, we can wait just a little while longer! Besides, in the meantime we're taking the kids to Florida for a week...next May...it's strange, we were looking at dates, and I was looking at airline prices, Todd was on the couch, I put in May and was telling him the prices, and he said "check the prices in May" funny, I already had...then when I told my Mom about it, she said "you should go in like May" so it looks like May has it! Woot Woot! The only problem is that I'll turn around and go to Biloxi in June 2011 (very exciting) and the big question is do we take kids or do I go alone? Or do I take a girlfriend? hm....decisions decisions! Now to save enough money for the fun stuff on the trips! YEAH! I think I can do it...a little motivation helps!

Friday, October 29, 2010

CPS is failing this boy.

I know that I can't possibly know everything going on with this case. I know that I'm on the outside and not in the loop. I also know that this Little Guy is slipping through the cracks quickly. I'll back up. When we moved into town we had these neighbors...a little strange but nice and quiet, they moved out, the house went into foreclosure...this summer someone finally moved in...shortly after his girlfriend and her son moved in...we'll call him LG (little guy). Lane Michael and Ethan were so excited to have a new friend and neighbor. Turns out he was in school with them the year before....and hadn't been nice to Lane Michael. Lane Michael said LG was different had changed and he had forgiven him. They played for the first few hours without incident. Then the Mom showed up on my door step...I was worried. She asked if LG could hang with us for a few hours, she had to leave. I said that if she had something she needed to take care of he was absolutely welcome to hang out, I asked for a number I could reach her at and if he had allergies and what time to expect her back...she didn't know when she'd be back, gave me a contact number, I told her my boys were going to bed at 11 and if she wasn't back by then, I'd just make him a bed on their floor...or let them all camp in the living room. Honestly I was afraid if I said no she'd leave him with any of my several creepy neighbors. A couple hours later her boyfriend showed up on our doorstep and asked for LG (we knew boyfriend was not Dad) we called the number his Mom gave us and her friend told us that she was too drunk to talk...red flag. She went on to offer up that Mom wasn't supposed to drink and has a CPS case open against her for drinking and that if they found out LG would be removed...we didn't know what to do. We couldn't send LG with boyfriend in case he wasn't safe, we could keep him but if Mom is too drunk to talk, she's too drunk to come get him...we were stuck...boyfriend told us that the police station knew the story and knew him and would verify that LG could go with him...we called the police. They told us LG was ok to go with boyfriend...but by then boyfriend asked us to keep LG while he went and picked up Mom from the bar...no problem. Boyfriend got Mom settled in and came to go LG, no problem. Then the cops showed up...making reports...why? We just wanted to know if we could send LG with boyfriend. After that LG continued to play with the boys, was nice enough, never caused too much fuss...he did push Ethan into the street and threw rocks at his face but whatever, when you aren't taught not to, you can't know not to...but after that LG disappeared...we figured Mom and boyfriend broke up. Then school started...and there was LG in Ethan's class. Turns out he had been removed, he was living with Grandma over near the school...we only know that because he rides his bike to school (one mile through town from where we live)...things calmed down for awhile...then one day LG showed up on his bike...alone. No one was at Mom's house...so he left.
Fast forward to last week. We were at Walmart (Todd, the boys and myself), when we ran into LG...I asked how he was and if he was hanging out at the Walmart alone (kidding of course) but he didn't answer, looked uncomfortable and walked away. So I asked Todd to keep an eye on him...he was alone...he rode his bike...5 miles to Walmart. ugh! The police were called again. I am the bad guy in this little boys life.
And then last night...he was trick or treating. Alone. So sad. I want to cry for him. I want to bring him home with me. I could love him. But so could countless other families. He's sweet, quiet, a little rough around the edges. I know his Mom loves him...it's just not enough and CPS is failing him! Why is a 6 year old left to his own devices? This is how kids are abducted, molested, killed. What do I do for him!?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sometimes I'm Sappy

The last 4 years have been...hard. Impossible. Tragic. This week marks the anniversary of when we changed, our life changed, our family, our perspective, our relationship with God...it all began 4 years ago this week. Lane Michael was diagnosed with diabetes. I can't imagine what life would be like without diabetes. Everything would be different. I can think of so many things...but it started the spiral to rock bottom. I was 6 months pregnant when he was diagnosed, 3 months later Braden died. 2 months later my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Then they found what they believed to be tumors on my thyroid, I had it removed. Then my Dad died. My family fell apart. My siblings and my husband and my Mom...we all fought. hard. It isn't a 4 years I'd ever want to repeat. I remember in our darkest moments feeling like I should move, I should place my family in a better place, even if it meant no family support system. Dark times people, very dark. Ryan is in the hospital...has been since Monday...there's a little guy in the special care room next to him. As Ryan and I were taking one of our many walks I saw Dr A....she was Lane Michael's endocrinologist when he was younger...we changed when he had a seizure and she told us to spank him because it must be a temper tantrum. I was never comfortable with her but that was our final straw. Anyway, I knew this little guy must have diabetes...so later that day when little guys Mom asked if Ryan has diabetes, I said no, but my 7 year old does...I told her how much easier it gets...turns out little guy has had diabetes since he was Ryan's age...14 months old...scary. sad. She looked and sounded exhausted...they had been on an insulin pump but something had gone awry and they were switching to shots, I told her how much Lane Michael is able to do for himself, how our daycare center gave him shots so that Todd and I could work. My heart broke for her, she was so scared of her own life that she wasn't living. I told her that if I tell Lane Michael how many units, he knows how to do the rest, he can be with friends and family (not often but some). During our conversation she told me that she had quit her job when little guy was diagnosed, and was thinking about going back to work when he starts school. Life changed in bigger ways for her than it did for me. I think talking helped her...I wish we had more time to talk, she was nice, and looked like she could use someone to talk about diabetes with...her husband was there and seemed very involved...I was glad to see him there!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blissfully Boring

Knock on wood.
Life at Wiener Ranch has been blissfully boring and that's the way I like it! Of course there is always something going on with someone in my life so I won't say that life has been boring...but life in our house has been and that's always a blessing! Todd is still in school, the boys are loving this year and Ryan is getting bigger every day...man I love these guys!

Todd dropped his chemistry class and changed majors...he has decided he wants to be a history teacher instead of a science teacher. Todd is currently a sophomore so they put him in a sophomore chemistry class...makes sense...except he had never taken a chemistry class. Ever. Not good. It was a good move and one we had wanted from the beginning, I'm glad he made it. Todd has been less stressed since making this change.

Ethan is doing really well. We love Mrs. G (this years teacher). She's wonderful and seems like a "free spirit" which is exactly what E needs! He loves her, never complains about school and doesn't even fight us about sitting down to do homework. She sees so much untapped potential in him and we love her for that, she also isn't fooled by his baby blues, we love her even more for that. It's a hard balance to keep with him...you either don't mesh with Ethan or you love him and have a hard time seeing his ornery qualities for those sweet sweet baby blues...especially under that black mop of hair. man he's cute. He doesn't test well but I guarantee he knows the stuff, he does well one on one but can't focus long enough to be tested...we're working on it!

Lane Michael is doing really well. We talked to his teacher (love her) at the open house and the first thing she said to me is that Lane Michael is the most confident diabetic she's ever had. He's the first first grader to tell her when he needs to test, what to do about it and to not flip out over every high or low...he's a great example to the other diabetic and to the second grader! I'm so proud of him, he is so knowledgeable about his disease, takes it seriously but doesn't freak out. He researches it (as much as a first grader can) and listens every time anyone says anything about diabetes. He knows the risks and what can happen if he doesn't take care of himself. He's also taken quite the growth spurt (little bugger)....we bought new school jeans just before school started....he's too tall for all of them. He was a 6 regular...now a 7 slim (probably)...who knows at this point...I know he isn't a 6 regular...his doctor doesn't want him to be a slim...he doesn't have the body type for it...he should be a regular...

Ryan is doing well...his favorite toy is a toothbrush...as long as it has toothpaste...weirdo! He also has mastered moving quickly and will dance when we walk in the door from school/work or whenever he's excited! It's like his own little happy dance funny! He can show you his mouth (and say mouth), he can point out our nose (when asked), can lift his foot when asked where his foot is and is working on belly! He cracks me up! He'd love to be able to communicate with us, he gets frustrated easily and knows that we should understand what he's saying, poor guy has no idea he's a baby LOL

I've been crazy busy at work and at home....our office moved a couple weeks ago and it has been crazy busy since then! CRAZY we love the new office but until we are fully functional it's been hectic and hard to keep up but once we're up and running 100% we'll be good! I've also lost a very mysterious 12 pounds...not sure how or why but you know, whatever, I'll take it!

We found pics of the boys first b-day...I'll post them later...we were so sick that I was sure there were no pictures, so happy to find them!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's finally hit home...

Tonight was parent teacher conferences. I'm Ethan's Room Mother (I get to do so much for Lane Michael and I'm involved in so much of his education and life in so many ways this was something I could do just for Ethan), So I was talking tonight with a teacher about the Harvest Party and asked for a date and if we would be dressing up...this year there will be no costumes...people can't afford costumes this year...I'm so sad. First of all, people think that a store bought costume is a necessity...have we lost the creativity to sew or make our own costumes? and before this the recession really hadn't come to our area...we have a lot of agriculture in our area...and those who aren't farmers, there are a few good factories around...but my point is that we've lost the ability to "step down" to make our children wear a homemade costume or something that isn't new...last year our children wore homemade costumes...not because we couldn't afford them but because they chose "make-able" costumes...Ethan was a pirate and Lane Michael was a vampire...easy to make, or use some items from around the house to create a great costume...I'm almost sure they had no idea that their costumes weren't store bought...they were just excited to dress up and trick or treat. I'm worried that people won't learn to have fun without money...learn to make their own costumes, camp in a tent, and enjoy sitting on the porch with the neighbors and a pitcher of lemonade. Sad.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Addiction

Sunday's sermon was asking us to let go of the things in our life that control us. The things we put before God and before the life He wants for us. It got me thinking, what do I cling to? What holds me back? We all know that my big sin is gossip...I love it the way smokers love cigarettes, I love the bits of information I get from others, the look of shock on peoples faces when I tell them something they didn't know, putting the pieces of a puzzle together...I just love it, and then I hate it. I hate the effects of it on my life and in my relationships...exactly how smokers feel about the smell in their clothes, breath, homes...I hate when I'm "caught" gossiping...or when I'm disappointed because I couldn't keep the secret. I love it in the moment, and leave the conversation feeling terrible...how had I hurt that person...gossip controls me. This is my struggle. I make excuses for myself "people shouldn't do gossip worthy stuff if they don't want me telling others" "well they know I can't keep a secret" "I'm telling others so they can pray for that person" but really, don't we all have something in our lives that's gossip worthy, do people know I can't keep a secret, and if I really thought someone needs prayers then why not just say "this family is in need of prayer" I'm such a work in process...I feel like a house that needs flipped, so many sins, so many habits to kick...right now I'm the boarded up, house down the street that people avoid, after all it's haunted...but someday, I want to be the mansion on the hill, and people will talk about the work that into me, and how far I've come. Someday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Movng Update

There are a few things that had to fall into place in order for us to move. So far it's slow going, and a couple of things haven't come together. Todd's scholarship fell through. He's going to school on the college money he earned through his service so when the college got wind of his tuition being paid 100% through the VA they yanked his scholarship saying that he would be "double dipping"...funny, the VA doesn't seem to think so. Anyway, we are still looking to sell the 4 wheeler...we're even considering taking a loss on it because in a few months we will make that up in what we would have otherwise be making in payments...we're still tossing around ideas. We are also too busy to put the basement back together at this moment...we were going to renovate it, make it a man cave for Todd while we worked on renovating the garage...we don't want to make this our "perfect house" if we're planning on leaving it. So we would like to clean the basement back to where it was when we used it regularly, and put a for sale sign in the yard. We're half hoping that our neighbor man (who used to own and live in our house) has a nephew or family member who wants the house...his nephew is always over, and he has a son and is married now...might be a match made in Heaven...I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things fall.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Moving?

Let me preface by saying God does not work in mysterious ways...at least not in my life. LOL
We recently had a disabled veteran call my office and request a couple of veterans who needed a little extra cash to help him move. I gathered up 3 great guys who could all use a little extra cash. The day before I called them all to remind them....first guy couldn't do it, his wife was in the hospital....nothing major but he couldn't help out. The second guy said he'd be there and the third guy confirmed he'd be there too. Well the next morning the veteran called me and said "only one guy showed" So we called Todd, he of course pulled through for us (he usually does). Took Ryan to the sitter and spent the day helping this gentleman move. He didn't want to move but the house he was renting was being foreclosed on. Todd came home and told me all about the house...two story farm house, nice back deck, 3 out buildings, 1.5 acres. We thought nothing of it and went on with life. Last week on our way out of town, my Mom drove me past this little house that she had just heard about (by chance), it was this cute two story farm house, nice back deck, 3 out buildings, 1.5 acres. Mom thought it'd be perfect for our family. The location is perfect, the outbuildings are perfect, did I mention the location? It sits RIGHT between my Mom, my cousin slash BFF, our friends the H family, our friends the M family, our friends the C family, in Wapak school district, a mile from our church, it even has a small pond! I called the bank, they don't have possession yet (perfect since we aren't ready yet)...but I asked the bank what I'd need to do to get ready....I need to pay down some debt. So in order to do that we will need to:
1. pay off credit cards
2. sell the 4 wheeler
3. sell the utility trailer
4. get a down payment ready

It turns out that Todd is getting a scholarship in the amount we owe on credit cards. We are still looking to sell the 4 wheeler. This week we had our carpets cleaned, while there my Mom asked us to have hers done too (Mom and I were in Tennessee so Todd took him out, vacuumed and moved the furniture) Mom then said she didn't want it done...but we did (mis communication). Turns out, God was speaking through her...while there Aaron (who owns the carpet cleaning business) put a down payment on the utility trailer. I see God's hand in my life. So, our plan is to put our house up for sale, but if we are able to see the 4 wheeler then it actually won't be necessary...if we can get the bank to wait until January or February I will have the down payment in hand...a lot of things have to go right for this to work. So my prayer is for God to reveal this stage of the plan to me so that I am working with Him and not against Him to make things happen. I know that every other time we have bought a house things have just fallen into place. So I know that if it is God's plan or God's will that it will happen. It may be stressful and not easy but we'll get there...we have a plan! Wish us luck!...no...not luck! pray for us!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Ryan























Ryan turned 1 yesterday!! My boy is SO big! He's such a little MAN! I just love him! He's an amazing kid full of personality! He's smart and funny! And loved! We waited SO long for that little boy to arrive and now that we have him, we think we'll keep him! At ONE he can:
walk (started 4th of July weekend)
sleeps in his crib (also started 4th of July weekend)
say dog (also started 4th of July weekend - - Todd will never leave for a long weekend again)
say stop, don't, move, and no
he waves
loves to carry a spoon (a big stir spoon - - Grandma Sweet says he never knows when he'll happen upon a vat of soup)
mimics EVERYTHING Ethan does
bites Lane Michael whenever he's in reach
prefers Todd most of the time
his bedtime story is "Goodnight Moon" every night
never sits still for church and now has to go to the nursery because he won't stay in the pew
I'm sure there's more but this is what I have!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Less Than Perfect.

I sit in my corner office. Smile and nod as my clients tell me their troubles, different for each but there's often the same defeated tone. They're just...sad, really. Defeated. Some more than others. But so often, they leave feeling better. Someone listened. Someone cared. They might stay 30 minutes into my next appointment. I don't rush them out. Most are appreciative. Some know I'll listen, others are surprised. Some are crazy, unorganized, living in less than ideal circumstances. Some have made poor choices that lead them to me. Some have been given the short end of the stick. But what I hear most "I wish I had what you have" The corner office in a beautiful building full of wonderful people, doing a job I love, working with the people who mean so much to me. They know my children. They notice new pictures, ask about baseball, and teething, walking, friends, and Christmas. I've become a part of their lives. Sometimes I could show them how messy my life is. Let them in. I want to connect with them. Show them that my life (my picture perfect life) is only perfect for me. That I don't always go to bed with a clean kitchen, that my kids embarrass me, that I'm too busy to do laundry, that my kids don't always get their homework done, that I sleep in, that I can't shop for myself, or just that life is messy. All the time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

3 years ago.

Patrick joined our family 3 years ago. He left our family last night. He left everything last night. He left his wife, children, step children, mother, father, sisters, brothers, friends. There was an accident. Broken windshield, rolled truck, crushed. My sister is sad. her boys are devastated, we are all heartbroken and confused. How? It wasn't supposed to happen like this. Dakota said 2 weeks ago that Pat is Heathers forever and ever. Heather is lost. I am useless and Mom is strong. How do you raise his children without him? Sanoi is two, Boun is 8 months. Babies. He left babies. They are loved though. He loves/d them. I want to write a beautiful post I'm just not capable.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pictures of my Beautiful Sun Porch

but first

THEY WON THEIR CHAMPOINSHIP GAME!!!!! We are all shocked and still kind of celebrating! The other team was undefeated and expected to win! We had played them several times over the season and lost to them each time...lost isn't even the word! They killed us and appeared to be the better team...but as it is we won! The boys worked hard, played hard and in the end it paid off! Good job guys!

Ok, here are the pictures!









The picture of the outdoor bar didn't take well, I might have to add that later....it's wonderful and just a good space to live in! We're using it as living space, we eat out there, we play cards, sit and relax....we just use it and I love it! The colors make me want to squeal and I couldn't love it more! The accent is this beachy blue....it really tames the orange!































Thursday, July 15, 2010

Championship game tonight

Lane Michael and Ethan are playing baseball this season and they've done well....they're by far the smallest, youngest and least experienced kids on the team! Cute! There are 5 teams in the league, and we are going to the Championships! Our opposition is undefeated and we've lost to them probably 3 times now but we have high hopes! Lane Michael scored a run on Tuesday in the tournament game and Ethan had an RBI! Woot Woot! Lane Michael enjoys 3rd base the most and Ethan is good in the out field, although has better attention as 2nd base (funny because Lou played 3rd and I played 2nd teehehe). Wish us luck!

And as a side note, we finished the painting in the sun porch and Todd got it all cleaned up and organized today! Fully functioning and Beautiful! I still have to paint the white trim but the primer is on, the floor needs something to happen but I haven't decided what yet and we're still looking at doors and options (water and dirt come in when it rains) But I love this room and want to start using it consistently! PS this is the color! I'll post pics later!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Buffet of Auto Immune.

Last year Lane Michael was tested for Celiac, we left the biopsy with our doctor (who we loved and trusted) saying "I am 98% positive that he has Celiac, don't start the diet but be aware that we will call and confirm this in the next few days" A week or so later I was walking through WalMart over my lunch hour, when the hospital called back. Lane Michael has an infection that mirrors celiac disease, he does not have it at this time, be checked again in a year and take this medication for 2 weeks to clear up the infection. The blood work last year showed he had 11 markers for Celiac and anything over 5 was abnormal. So this year I was more prepared, I went with a list of the symptoms he has, a list of concerns and questions. He has constipation, and stomach cramps and he seems thinner. When we sat down with the doctor she said that his bowel doesn't seem to be emptying completely, he went from being in the 58th % to the 45th % and he should not have dropped that drastically in one year. She said the stomach cramps are concerning. and then she told me that he now has 26 markers in his blood work for celiac. This year I'm ok with this diagnosis. Last year I couldn't have handled it. This year I can. I am not facing a new baby in the house, and Todd's job change, this year I am at peace with this diagnosis. I have accepted it, and I'm ready for it. I'm sad for him, for my family, for the changes we'll face, the challenges ahead, Lane Micheal hates pizza, that's a plus but pancakes are his favorite. How will we eat at Bob Evans? How will he share birthday cake with his friends? We will figure it out. More than anything I just want to start living life with him...a normal life. I want so many things for this little person. The thing is I don't worry about him, I don't worry about whether he will be successful, I know he will be. I know that God has great plans for him and this is his path, the path he has to take in life to get there, to be the person he has planned him to be. This weekend a little boy came to the party and was introduced to all the boys at the party, they were all playing video games, they all waved over their shoulders, Lane stopped what he was doing, went to the little boy and said "Hi Alex, I'm Lane nice to meet you" because as much as he has going on, he's still able to care about other people. What a special boy! So I asked the doctor "is there something linking all of this together? something that could explain all of this?" She told me "yes, he is a buffet of auto immune diseases, his body is his own worst enemy and it's just attacking itself, he has an over active immune system" hm. man that sucks. And the kicker? Ethan needs checked. Celiac can cause small stature and hyperactivity, ADD and learning disabilities. Nice, so maybe we can explain some of his ADD stuff!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bigger Fish to Fry

I was mis-diagnosed. My thyroid never had tumors, goiters, nodules. Never could have been cancerous. Was never "off". My TSH levels were normal when my thyroid was removed. hm. I'm sad, and violated. I'm fat forever because some doctor made a bad call without getting more info. He used scare tactics to convince me to have it removed. It was fine. It MIGHT have SOMEDAY caused a problem that MAY have resulted in medication. I wouldn't have this scar on my neck and I would have had YEARS of a better quality of life. I wouldn't have been as cranky, as tired, as fat. My children would have the mother I was and not the mother I am. Then my new doctor tells me that I'm too under treated, that I need more meds, that I'm losing muscle tone and hair from being so hypo. Ugh. I'm angry. I'm hurt. Confused. Sad. I need perspective.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big Boys




The big boys have been very busy lately! We had the end of year program and have been playing baseball! LOVING IT! We also got sign up sheets for football this fall! YEAH!
My co-workers saw these pictures and were baffled at how different these little boys are! I take so much joy in their uniqueness! In there own qualities! I never have to look for something to appreciate, it's so obvious! Each a special person, each with flaws and strengths. Each the love of my life. Man I love them and I'm so proud of them!

Baby Idol

Pet and Baby
Water Baby

Messy Face

Eat Baby Eat



Diaper Baby

Park Baby

I have been on a message board (August 09 What to Expect) since I found out Ryan was due in August '09, all the women on the board are Mom's of babies born in August '09 (or were due but came early or late)...we have decided to have a little fun and play WTE Baby Idol, so there are different categories to enter with our babies...and then we all vote for the best picture for the category (Loads of fun but some people get hurt feelings over it -- this is my first time playing) so here are my pics I entered of Ryan...this last one my brother in law took at my neices graduation ceremony...it doesn't even look like my boy...my boy is much more mischeivous than this little angel! LOL
I love all of these pictures and it was a great way to pick favorites and put them all together to see them in one place! Yummy!












Monday, June 7, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

We have been so busy! My house is falling down around me and I swear I have 10 loads of laundry waiting for me with no end in sight! I have some serious catch up to do in our housework and in some general "tasks"! Seriously with everything going on, it's a wonder I'm able to fit my job into my schedule LOL. I had training in Cleveland area starting May 11th and I've never caught back up from then. We've had something going on every weekend since...a commitment ceremony, ball games, a trip to Tennessee, a graduation ceremony, a wedding, and in the next two weekends, we have 2 graduation parties and Todd has drill...not to mention a speech I have to give on Wednesday night and training on Friday, and TWO ball games every week until the middle of July! We've never been this busy...oh and did I mention Todd has final exams this week? Yeah. He's doing well so far, studying hard and I'm really proud of him. Luckily Todd is taking the summer off (he's switching schools, and the schedules won't allow him to start there because that school is already in session). The boys have big plans for the summer spending a lot of free time at the pool and playing baseball with their friends. It's SO much fun! Lane really likes 3rd base and for no more than they've played in the past, they're doing really well! Ethan doesn't have a place that he prefers yet, but is loving it!
Ryan is getting so big! He's starting to stand independently, eating more and more solid foods, crawls everywhere, and is just so funny! He makes a stinky face when he's excited and tries to bite peoples faces (LOL)...he's a bit of a bully but we're working on that, and he knows when he's been bad because he'll always give us the "Angel Eyes" and tries to love on whoever caught him (or whoever he bit). Funny funny funny!
Soon I'd like to get over this blogging slump I'm in but who knows LOL

Monday, May 10, 2010

Unequally Yoked.

I want to write a well thought out post about being equally yoked not only to your spouse but also to the people you choose to spend time with. Lately I've been feeling unequally yoked in a lot of ways. My friends and family and even my husband are in different places in their relationship than I am. I find myself losing patience for people who have heard of the love of Christ and refuse to accept that someone loves them that much, or are unwilling to change their lifestyles...not only that but I'm tired or being the person who gossips about others, I love the people in my life and only hurt them by gossiping...this is my struggle, and I've lost patience with myself. Sometimes I know that my re-telling of circumstances is to talk through my feelings with someone who has a fresh perspective but other times it is purely for entertainment value. I also know that others are probably frustrated with me in my walk and more my struggles. But I am not unequally yoked to God. God knows how many times it will take for me to get it. For me to think before I speak, for me to say to much to the wrong person. God knows the day I will kick this gossip addiction and each time I fail he just checks it off the list of times I have to fail before I get it. God knows how many times he has to whisper to Todd to be forgiving before it clicks. How often he has to tell me to be gentle until I get it. God is patient enough for both of us and he's just waiting for us to get it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So Maybe Not

My neice called last night. First phone call from her in...months. Maybe more. When we're around she stays in her room so it was strange that I'd get a call. She and Alicia are having a commitment ceremony. I've never met Alicia. My Mom has never met Alicia. hm. I'm confused. I thought this might be a phase. I disagree with her decision and I'm not sure I can support a union that is against God. I just don't know....I guess if I knew Alicia or had seen them together and how happy they make each other...but I've never met her and Allie is never happy when I see her...I'm very confused by all of this. She says she's excited and happy. But who knows.

I found out more about the Urbana throw down. SIL was removed from the home, but is back and asking for help. Brother is allowing her to move home. I'm scared for him. I'm worried about her. I want them to be safe and I want them to be the couple that we see when we are there. Very sad.

My sister has a job interview in North Carolina this week. I have very mixed feelings about this...she is hoping that the money is worth the move...but she just took a job cut by about a third...she used to run 3 papers and now she runs 2....which is a huge pay cut...she's a single Mom so money is already probably tight compared to what they're used to. My family is going through one of the roughest periods we've seen. and we've seen some hard times together. I will pray.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Full Moon!

I don't know how much to tell about my full moon kind of weekend. It all started Friday night, we had Schwieterman family fun night...all was going well, kids were eating then Lane Michael asked to play the Wii, I told him maybe later but it would be up to Cool Aunt Becca. After him asking about 3 times, I told him not to ask again. He asked 2 more times, I told him the next time he asked I was calling his dad to come get him. He asked again. I got out my phone an called his Dad, just as I got out my phone my Mom said to him "Oh come on Lane Michael, lets go find something fun to do" and his head spun (I swear it was exorcist style). He screamed and yelled and ran out of the room where I kept him until his dad showed up, then he yelled at Todd the whole way home, and was asleep within minutes of being sent to his room! He needed sleep but he needed to not act that way! I don't know what I could have done differently and I think he may be very spoiled...this may be my fault. I'm very protective of Lane Michael and so it's hard for me when he acts like this...it's not him. But it's also not the diabetes...he's exhausted...but he can't act like this! I don't know what to do! I have tried lots of different coping mechanisms and he knows the behavior is bad and that he shouldn't act that way...he just doesn't know how to control it in the moment. Then 10 minutes later my aunt got a call that her FIL had passed away (he had cancer). So we did a quick clean up and packed up and headed home.
Saturday morning started off ok...we were working in the boys room (cleaning, rearranging, organizing) when my Mom called...something went down in Urbana and she had to go...I don't know the whole story but it sounds like things between my brother and sister in law may have gotten ugly and bad...she moved out...maybe temporarily, maybe permanently but who knows at this point...they have court today (Monday)....I will pray.
Then my aunt called my Mom...apparently my uncle died on April 14th...my cousin was in town when he died and no one invited them to the funeral...so my aunt two cousins and his only grand daughter didn't get to go to the funeral. They're so sad. It was their last chance at feeling reconciled. Their last chance at a peaceful good bye or final memory. And that was stolen from them. Very sad. Who does that to their sister? Who is that heartless? Death of a loved one brings out the worst in people.
Man what a weekend. But today is Monday and I insist people start acting like grown ups again!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fighting for Ethan

In January Ethan had two appointments with a great Doctor to see what we could do to help him in school. Dr. Z diagnosed Ethan with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It wasn't a surprise and it certainly wasn't a hard pill to swallow, we've always known Ethan was active and concentration was never his strong suit. We're ok with that, we don't mind his activity level and he's a very well behaved little boy (which is uncommon with ADD...most are too impulsive to be well behaved). But we weren't surprised or even disappointed with this diagnosis. The problem being, our insurance doesn't cover any appointment having to do with ADD! Seriously. So he got one month of meds and now...now we can get the meds but we can't get the script since we are self pay for this. Ugh. But yesterday at the parent teacher conference we sat down with his teacher Mrs E (we love her) and the school guidance counselor Mr S and talked about what we can be doing for Ethan. He meets all the standards to go on to first grade and is doing well in school! She said he's smart and it's not that he can't learn, it's that he can't focus long enough to learn the stuff! This is wonderful news! Now we just have to find a way to get him back on meds and he'll be all set! Yeah Ethan!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sometimes it's the little things.

Yesterday was hard. I got an e-mail from my church letting us know that a friend had lost his sister and the family would need prayer...the sister was 51 years old and had fought a life long battle with Juvenile Diabetes. It said that her 25 year old daughter would also need prayers. While I know you can live a good life with Diabetes it's not something we'll ever be able to shake and sometimes I feel like we're fighting a losing battle! Nothing I do is ever going to be good enough to keep his sugar good all the time and no matter what I will fail because I can't control things like growth, like gym class, sports, stress, a big test, a crush, running too much, not running enough, swimming. Why couldn't I be the diabetic!? Why does it have to be him and not me?

Followed by the call that I'm not pregnant. I didn't want to be pregnant but I had kind of gotten used to the idea of being pregnant...I had rearranged bedrooms in my head, thought about the cloth diapers I'd buy, and planned maternity leave...so just for the day I was sad. A baby is never a bad thing. I may not have planned him or her but that didn't mean it wasn't what I would want.

Then came the news that the CVSO (person who does my job) in Franklin County plead guilty to stealing over $11000 in just 10 months. I liked her, I trusted her and I just felt...angry with her. I don't want to be angry...it's not really my thing but I also think that my feelings about Lane Michael's diabetes and not being pregnant may have influenced my feelings about Gloria.

Then to top my day off Ethan was struggling with homework that he should have gotten months ago...he should understand all of this by now and he just doesn't! He doesn't get it and I know it's his ADD but if he is struggling this much with kindergarten stuff then what will the years to come be like!

I'm tired. I'm tired of my kids having problems that they d0n't deserve, struggles that will affect them for years to come and not know how to help them. I feel helpless. I am helpless. I will give this to God. I will give them to God! I know that God is in control of all this! Saying that, saying God is in control helps, knowing that he's got my back helps!

Quick Update

I am not pregnant *quick sigh of relief* Moving on!

Monday, April 19, 2010

55 my hormone level is 55

And that means I'm either pregnant or ovulating. We aren't sure which. I hate this feeling. Yuck! Will update when I can!

Ethan gave me his wedding toast...

You know that old saying "kids say the darnedest things" So so true. I'm sarcastic, and instead of yelling or saying how I feel, I usually make a snide, sarcastic or snarky comment about how I feel. It's my defense mechanism. My kids have not only caught on to my use of sarcasm but have started using it on me! Lane Michael especially. Most recently he has told Todd things like "Change your attitude, Snarky" and "You are a sad sad little man" he told me "You are a sick sick woman" yes son, I am. He has a drier sense of humor and doesn't live to make people laugh, he's usually uncomfortable with people laughing at him or even with him. Ethan however lives to make people laugh...with or at him! He doesn't care as long as people are laughing. But this weekend, he wasn't laughing. he was serious. this is no joking matter. We were coming home from Urbana and Andy (my nephew) was feeding Ryan a bottle. This is the conversation between Ethan and Andy:
Andy: I love babies
Ethan: me too. but I'm never having any because I'm never getting married.
Andy: me neither
Ethan: welcome to the club dude!
Andy: thanks

Ethan: If I ever do get married, I'll run away and if I do come back, I'll slap her and tell her she's a mistake and then run away again.
someone will have to warn his wife to lock the doors when he runs away. I feel obligated.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Uh Oh

Was that a line I saw? It was a half a line...that means I have a trace of the hormone necessary. But we prevent this sort of thing from happening. It can't be. Oh but it might be. hm. We shall see!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How do you fight with your person?

I'm arguing with my Mom right now. I'm not used to arguing with her. I'm a huge blubbery mess and it's actually kind of gross (not a good look for anyone). I'm not even really sure what either of us are mad about at this point, which makes fixing things even harder. It's been coming on for a long time now....and it all came to a head over a stupid trailer. Instead of telling her how I felt as small things started happening I let it build. Big mistake. I'm not a yell er by nature but today I yelled. I'm a loud person but not an angry yell er. Today I yelled out of anger. She tried to put lots of blame on different people through out the conversation (mainly herself) but I don't appreciate blame. Sometimes a situation just sucks and someone loses. I think I might be the one to lose this time. Let's suffice to say that I'm sorry I ever said anything. I feel worse than I did before calling. I'm not even sure we understood each other enough to say that she knows what I'm upset about. I know I don't know exactly what she is upset about. I'm sure she is mad that I'm upset. I'm hurt. This hurts. I don't want to stop hanging out with Lou and his family but I won't keep this going. I will however allow her to have him and vice verse, that sounds like I am willing or trying to end any kind of relationship. That's not it. I just think that if she can't have both of us and we can't be treated equally or properly that maybe it's time for me to step back for awhile. You know, there have been job offers that I didn't take because they were so far away, now I'm thinking that maybe a little distance would do us some good. I just don't know how to make things better. I won't leave my job. I love my job in my county with my veterans. So maybe just some distance while no one actually goes any where. She can come and pick up my boys if she needs some time with them, I would never keep them from her...I'm not even keeping myself from her, just giving us some breathing room. *sigh* I don't know how to fight with her. She's my person! How do you fight with your person? I'm upset about a few things, some of them are harder to pin point because it would take forever and then there are things that would take forever to type out and there are the things I'm wrong about...I want things fixed before we make up and go on like nothing happened. Problem is there is no "fix" that's not really an option because no one is "wrong". This makes me sick to my stomach! I just want to go back in time to 11:20 and take it all back, just get over it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is that not the funniest thing you've ever seen! HAHA He reminds me of those pictures of dogs with the giant head and itty bitty bodies! LOL I can't get over it! Man I love this kid!

What a weekend! Friday night we went out to the H's house to spend some time with good friends eating great food! We played spoons, and laughed harder than we have in a long time! It was a much larger group than usual so not as intimate but still fun! Lots of small children running wildly across the acres of land! Saturday was an absolute disaster! It started out ok but slowly one thing after another went wrong...but mainly, I spilled paint on my sun porch floor and we had a tree limb fall and take out some power lines! Yuck! The power company got us fixed up but the whole tree (maybe both) will have to come down. But Saturday night was great! We went to my brothers house to play cards and celebrate my nephews 16th birthday! Happy Birthday Cody! (I love that kid). But we got home late and (get this) 5 minutes after I started a load of diapers, I realized my boys had no clean jeans for Easter, so I had to wait up for the diapers to finish washing, to throw in the jeans but had to wait up for those to finish washing so I could put them in the dryer (it was 3 when I finally went to bed). Up at 6:20 for sunrise service, and a great Easter...one of the best ever...maybe THE best! Everyone behaved, no children required any discipline, candy was plentiful and so was family! I think we may have outgrown my Grandma's house! We're just too big! LOL we had 32 people total (18 adults, 3 teens, 1 preteen, 8 kids, and 2 babies otherwise known as a full house!) At any rate it was a great day! The kids played outside almost the whole time....all except Lane Michael who isn't really into nature...I asked him "Lane Michael, why aren't you outside?" He said "Mom there's lots of grass and trees...and well outside out there. I want to be in where there is no dirt, grass, trees." LOL Strange little kid!