Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

I'm so excited for Christmas this year! God has been good to my family in big ways! Not necessarily monetarily but in just falling into great deals and at just the right time! I'm excited to spend it with our new extended family (step dad, step sister, her 2 kids and step brother) along with my sister and her kids. I'll be back soon to tell you all about the festivities! It should be a good one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Truths

I am totally ripping this off from Killians Corner! I am in love with Christmas and want to capture the feelings all year round!

The truth is...I start listening to Christmas music in late summer early fall. As a kid my Mom and Aunt were artists who painted seasonal pieces...they started the Christmas collection in late summer or early fall but to get in the mood would listen to Christmas music!

The truth is...I watch Christmas movies non stop through the Christmas season and refuse to watch anything else.

The truth is...I love traditions...especially Christmas traditions!

The truth big boys have been asking if Santa is real for about 3 years...this year I finally came clean and told them the "truth"...later in the day I was approached by two disgruntled 8 year olds who told me "you suck. you have ruined Christmas and we choose to believe in Santa."

The truth makes me sad that at a time when people need to pull together and act with love and compassion, that we have to argue about things like prices, gifts, traditions, family and food.

The truth is...I am occasionally guilty of using Santa against my 10 minutes ago when Ryan wouldn't get into his bed.

The truth job offers the opportunity to see the best in people, through charities, donations and toy drives for the children of veterans and soldiers.

The truth is...I will never say Happy Holidays...out of habit. Merry Christmas makes me happy.

The truth is...I could talk for days about Christmas, the traditions, movies, music, and how each year gets better and better.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Impact of Gluten Free

Last night I ran into an old high school friend. He and I were tight, I mean we were close. We considered dating but never did. It was good to see him. We were talked for quite awhile. Talked about the spouses, the kids, and then he asked specifically how the twins are. I said they were good, hemmed and hawed, repeated that they're good. Looked at my Mom to save me...instead she said "well you know Lane Michael has diabetes, then he got epilepsy and now he has celiac" my friend was so excited, he had heard of the disease and had a friend who has it. He mentioned how horrible it is and how we must eat cardboard. My mom and I looked at each other and giggled because if I was truly honest...I'd tell you I like it better. Yesterday we had lasagna, with homemade noodles. Last night I made gluten free eggnog cookies and they were amazing! I have some tweaking to do on the noodles but the flavor was great! My point is, gluten free hasn't changed us that much but let me tell you what it has done.

Ethan's parent teacher conference was about the middle of November. At that time his teacher had reduced his spelling test from 12 words (what the class was doing) to about 8, hoping the smaller list would help him. She had also taken steps to helping him be successful, like reading his test to him, because he knew the answers but couldn't read the test. She noticed also that when the students were to read aloud, Ethan was not, he was able to "read" word for word but not because he was reading but because he was memorizing books so that he could appear to know the material. At his parent teacher conference Mrs S (who I love and trust) told me she'd referred Ethan to the intervention specialist for testing and had a form for me to sign so that Ethan can be tested for special needs. I happily signed it, any extra help he can receive is good. But then we started noticing more changes. Great changes! Big things happening with homework. About a week after that, we were headed to Lima (20-25 minute drive) and Ethan read his book to me...he didn't sound out every word, he just read. It was a book about Pearl and Wagner. He didn't make up words when he didn't know the word, he asked for help. Then his spelling words started getting easier for him...and he hasn't missed any of the TWELVE words in about 3 weeks, we got a note the other day saying we'd try all 12 words for the test this week. Also his weekly assessment came back...lowest grade? 87% yep that's right. an 87%! A few of the notes said that she had read the questions to him and some he had read aloud to himself. Either way, he is succeeding! I love it! I'm interested to know what the intervention specialist thinks! I believe that Ethan has some kind of Gluten sensitivity that has been slowing down his academic process! I love this kid and want great things for him! Hopefully we're on the right track now!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Safe and Sound, thank God

Ethan, Ryan and I ran to Dollar General yesterday in search of some random Christmas decorating supplies, ornament hooks, outside ornaments, metal hangers, just some odds and ends. While looking through the decorations and considering the wrapping paper I'd like to use this year, I let Ethan wander to the next isle of toys. I could clearly hear him playing with a toy gun so I wasn't concerned. After a few moments, lost in my thoughts, I realized I couldn't hear Ethan. So I grabbed the ornament hooks and headed to the next isle. I didn't find him there so I checked a couple places he might be and finally headed to the front of the store. As soon as I saw him I knew something wasn't right. He was pale and his eyes were huge and swollen. He nearly ran to me and said "mom someone tried to get me to go with them!" I asked if he had left, he was still in the store so I put Ethan between me and the cart and told him to tell me if he saw him, he didn't. We checked out, I told the cashier what had happened and when I got home Todd and I called the police. An officer came over and we went through a list of questions getting a description of the hadn't changed since I asked him to tell me about the guy on the ride home. Problem is, the person he described was every Tom Dick and Harry in Wapak! The police man said that he was amazed by Ethan and that we hadn't done anything wrong in letting him go to the next isle over. That Ethan did all the right things, remembering what he looked like and getting away from him and going to the cashier. He did good, we're so proud of how he handled this situation but are a little freaked out by it. Our false sense of security has been shaken to the core!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cyclical Personality

My mind works in cycles. Every December I start thinking about budgets, financial goals, to prepare for the next year. I'll lay out the financial goals and then show you my problem:

early 2012: add $1000 to our savings

early 2012: pay off all credit cards (because my husband is a student, we do find these devil cards necessary from time to time

late 2012: pay off ATV (we currently owe about $2400 so this should be relatively easy to do)

early 2013: pay off truck (we currently owe $7300)

early 2013: put an additional $3000 in savings

mid 2015: buy Todd a new truck (hopefully paying cash)

early 2016: save an additional $10,000 (3 months income which by then hopefully will last longer than 3 months if our expenses no longer include debt)

mid 2016: start saving for college, retirement, honeymoons and land. You see I'd like to contribute a portion for my boys college, while we won't be paying tuition, we'd like to pay for books, laptop, printer and some general "extras", when they marry we'd like to be able to help with the cost of a honeymoon and provide them each with 5 acres of land, and of course we'd like to retire comfortably.

starting to see my dilemma? Our older boys are now in the 2nd grade...they'll graduate in 2022...that only gives us 6 years to save up for their college...I don't believe that will be enough time to save as much as I'm going to want to help with. I guess I have some thinking to do. Any suggestions?

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's a Good Day...

To trust in the Lord God.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declared the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

The Bible says that God's will is “good, pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

My boss is retiring the end of this year. I applied for his position but did not get it. I'm hurting and embarrassed but I'm trusting that God has great things in store for me...even if his plan is for me to stay exactly where I am, as the Investigator...becoming accredited and confident enough to do the directors postion right takes about 2 years so for 2 years I will be doing the directors position as the Investigator. I'm angry because I'm capable of doing this job and would be great at it but wasn't what they were looking for, but I refuse to "punish" my new director or the veterans of my county because I am angry, hurt, embarrassed. I will heal over time....but a huge raise would help in that process.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Family Pictures

It's been over 4 years since Todd and I had picture done was about time we get an updated one.
black and white...I'm not sure I like it as well but I do like it.

Ryan was watching Todd take a picture of Ethan, he climbed up on a rock and put his hands up on it to balance himself. Todd turned around and this ^^^^^^ is the result. I love it.

*swoon* enough said.

This boy....oh be still my heart...could he be any more soulfull!

My goodness Ethan is getting so grown. I wonder if I'll ever see that "little boy" again.

He's such a good big brother! He sat down to wait for us to take a picture and Ryan snuggled right in, this picture was natural and wasn't posed at goodness, how sweet!

These boys couldn't look or act more different but couldn't love each other any more! I am one lucky girl!

This picture wasn't my favorite but is certainly growing on me! I wish I was in the back so we could see Ethan more and I wish Ryan was looking at the camera!

This may be my favorite of the day..tied with the next one...both are good pictures and I'm having a hard time deciding!

There's just something about us all being piled up one on top of the other that I like about this picture! It just makes me happy!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Let me just say that I have the best family in the whole wide world!

This weekend we celebrated my niece getting her GED. We're all so proud of her and can't wait to see what the world has in store for this beautiful, smart, amazing young woman who can accomplish anything if she puts her mind to it.

The party was at my house so Friday I spent the day cleaning...all day long I cleaned, dusted, mopped, swept, laundry, scrubbed...notice I didn't cook? Yah, I didn't cook. Lisa did the meat, Mom did the mac and cheese and veggies, Becca did the brownies, and I made a buffalo chicken dip. What's that you say? What did Lane Michael eat? EVERYTHING! Everything on the menu was gluten free!

We had sloppy joes (naturally these are gluten free), mac and cheese (with gluten free noodles), brownies (a gluten free mix) and the chips and dip (also naturally gluten free). The only gluten free dish served was a cake for Jade that Todd made...but it's ok, we had GF brownies for him and he was pleased!

Last night after dinner with my Mom, Lane Michael sat on the couch, smiled and sighed "I am loved" yes little boy you certainly are!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

There was no time to process.

I had grocery shopping to do.

Todd and I took the kids out for chinese (one of 2 places we know how to feed him). They brought out a large bowl of rice noodles (no extra charge) and Todd taught him how to eat gluten free at the buffet. Then we went straight to Krogers where we bought a week or 2 worth of groceries...for $300 which doesn't count the $150 we spent on Sunday at Aldis and Walmart. We're still figuring it all out but I know we'll get there...eventually.

So night one we ate at Chinese

Night 2 we had chicken nuggets and artichokes (we made the chicken nuggets by dipping them in egg and then in corn meal (just a light dusting) and then frying them up

Night 3 we had steak and potatoes (ice cream for dessert)

Night 4 we had hot dogs (all beef), apples, and carrots

Night 5 we had a buffet at church and Lane Michael concentrated on the meatballs, veggies and strawberry shortcake (gluten free - thank you very much Bisquick GF)

Night 6 we had pork steak, sweet potatoes and green beans

we've been packing his lunch and he seems content with that, he takes GF chicken nuggets, carrot and celery sticks with dip, a cheese stick, go gurt, and Cheetos (which happen to be GF). Last night I asked him what he liked about his lunches and he looked at me (obviously perplexed) and said he liked everything. Big sigh of relief! He's happy with the changes! He's ok with all of this. Probably more ok than I am! I have such good boys, I'm so blessed and I know that. As frustrated as I am, they make this easy, they make it worth it.

Todd and I have been checking prices of different products and decided that the work of grinding our own rice flour was worth NOT paying for it. So after some research we have made a large container of rice flour...this weekend I'm thinking I'll make and dry some pasta and maybe play with the bread machine...making our own flour was so time consuming and a little labor intensive...I have a new respect for those who don't/didn't have modern flour!

We started out by washing the flour, soaking it for 2 hours and drying it on clean sheets of newspaper until it no longer clumped together, then we throw a small amount in the blender, sift out the fine, then sift that down to the very fine, and throw the rest back in the blender and repeat that process until all the flour is through the second (very fine) sifter. It takes about 2 hours but is worth it. I never thought I'd find myself here. Once upon a time, homemade meant I didn't buy them at Bob Evans...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Doctor Just Called

Lane Michael starts the gluten free diet immediately. I wasn't ready...I wasn't close to ready. I'm still processing what this means for him. What this means for my family. How to incorporate these changes into my family. I want to go home and talk to Lane Michael. Plan some meals with him. I've known for too long that this was coming to be too upset but now that it's here it feels unrealistic. I can do anything but that doesn't mean that I want to.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Football is Over

But life hasn't slowed down...not for a minute! Friday night we spent the evening with our friends, had a great time but just as we were sitting down to play cards, my cousin called me to get her daughter (Lex) the time I got back, people were sleeping. Saturday morning we got up and went to Van Wert where we refinanced Todd's truck loan...we'll save over 50% on this loan which will actually help us pay off our debt faster! Amazing! After that we took Lex home to her Mom and headed home to feed the kids, Todd did some homework and then we spent the evening writing my resume...which I turned in today to my boss...he's retiring 12/31 and I'm applying for his job...though I love love love my job and the 2 are very different, I'm excited about the potential opportunity. Sunday we had church, I got to teach Jr. Church (which I haven't done in so long) and then we made a flying trip to Dayton Children's. Lane Michael needed a blood draw and this way I wouldn't have to miss work. While we were there, 2 of my aunts called me wanting to know if I was with my Mom, when I explained that I wasn't with her, that we were doing blood work with Lane Michael, they immediately wanted to know what was up. Normally I'm an open book. I wasn't feeling very open on Sunday...I'm still not. I'm not up to discussing what things have been like lately for Lane's been so moody since I've been pushing gluten on he cries when a sweatshirt looks too small or the sleeves are too long, how he cries when the seat belt won't work right or is twisted...I'm not up for people's suggestions or comments regarding Lane Michael. I know they both left that conversation feeling clueless but right now...I don't have anything to give. Don't get me wrong, my family is super supportive and always have the best intentions...but one of my aunts is absolutely ridiculous, says the dumbest stuff...heart of gold but just dumb; and the other aunt is (also well intentioned) but sometimes harsh and unfiltered...I'm sure she'd say something about some kids just having a more sensitive personality...but when we started taking away the gluten, being more aware of what he was eating, it started to stabilize his crying, no whining...just an amazing little person that could handle frustrations calmly...The truth is, I have no idea what's going on with Lane Michael...I don't have answers...I don't want suggestions...I want results.

Today a card arrived at my house. It was addressed to: The Skaggs Boys and Lexi. That's how much we've had her recently. I'll miss her when we don't have her anymore. We really enjoy feels very natural to have her...she loves being with us...I just know it won't last.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

LIfe Changes

I've been feeling ill for sometime over the changes happening in my life and with my family. A few things are happening, and some I can talk about...some I can't. Such as Lane Michael's biopsy. I'm not ready to face the changes celiac disease will mean for my family. I know that when I'm home I can handle this. I have so many meals I enjoy cooking that don't involve gluten. The things that scare me are things like traveling, what do we feed him while traveling? Holidays with the extended family when my son has to watch the other kids eat Cool Aunt Becca's amazing chocolate chip cookies and tell him he can't have one or even just a slice of bread. What snacks do I send to school? Packed lunches? I called our family doc (pedi) and asked for Ethan to have the blood test for celiac....they called back shortly after and asked where to send the request to...they didn't say no, they didn't tell us there is no reason for it...they agreed that with a small stature, he needed tested. It's getting closer to a reality.

We're putting our house on the market before Halloween. We found a farm we are in love with. It will cost twice what we owe on our current home. That makes me sick to my stomach.

Changes at work. Good, bad...a little of both. A lot of both. A lot of potential for good. I will be sad when they happen though.

And of course...the pending big and scary.

So much to process. so so much

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Celiac Disease

Lane Michael's blood test came back (regarding celiac disease) and once again his markers are higher...we have an appointment on the 26th with GI at 3:15...she wants to look at growth, stomach issues (pain, constipation etc) and discuss his next biopsy and get that set up. The first year we faced this I was a nervous wreck, I didn't know how we'd make this life change, I didn't know what to feed him or how to take him to other people's house's, I cried, and I mourned, I know this disease isn't the end of the world...but it sure felt like it. The second year, I was ready, I thought we'd surely get a diagnosis, I just knew I could take this on, I could make this change and make it good. This would be ok. This year, I don't know how to feel. I don't want this. I've been thinking of all the changes we'll have to make. The foods we'll have to give up. All his favorite foods, like pancakes, donuts, spaghetti, lo mein...Lane Michael could live off lo mein. I'm sad again. I'm not ok with this. What would we feed him on vacations? Who could I trust to care for him in an emergency? Todd is saying that the change is too expensive for everyone to make, that we can get gluten free for him and gluten for us...that's not fair to him. I don't want him to be more different than he already is. I will pray.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

News Coming...big scary news

I will share more when I can...after Thanksgiving.

Until then, Lane Michael had his big blood work yesterday...they tested for Celiac disease, his thyroid and 15 other things...all that is back is normal...Celiac is not back...but it won't be normal. It never is. So we wait to see what kinds of changes we see...praying for no changes and no new diagnosis...this year for the first year he was able to tell his doctor that it hurts his belly every time he eats...and it's hard to poop and his poop is hard little pellet poops. It was good to hear it from him. He's getting so big...we're 5 til 9 years old!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Drama Hurts

I'm sad, frustrated and scared.

Please pray for strength, wisdom, healing, and those who will be hurt.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Busy Evening...

makes for a perfect morning.

Last night after work (I get off at 4:30) I went to the sitters, picked up Lane Michael, Ethan and Ryan, went home, microwaved dinner (which I had fixed over my lunch break), got the bigs into football uniforms, we all ate, got in the car and headed to football. While at football I chased Ryan, talked with the other football moms, chased Ryan some more and finally was able to sit and relax while Ryan ate popcorn. After practice, the coach approached me asking whose parent I am, he proceeded to tell me that Ethan had found his niche and while Lane Michael was doing well, Ethan had finally figured out the game and was an animal! He had finally figured out that you're supposed to hit people, that's what football is! HAHAHA so glad he finally figured it out and Lane Michael was so proud of him! Lane Michael is excellent at baseball so he loves that Ethan excels at football (which just makes me so proud). Anyway, after practice the concession stand gave everyone a hot dog so with bed snack in hand we headed home. Everyone grabbed a shower and since Ethan had his sleep aid before his shower, it started to kick in as we were sitting on the couch reading. Both boys were very ready for bed when they finally got there! After they headed to bed, I set out clothes for Ryan, started a load of laundry, got out morning meds, packed lunches and got the coffee pot ready for morning. All that made this morning run like clock work. Everyone got up, got dressed, ate, had meds, and I was able to have coffee on the front porch before getting Ryan out of bed. With Todd in Findlay 2 nights a week and those 2 nights being football nights, this is how much of my fall will go.

Monday we have football but Todd will be around to fix dinner and do homework

Tuesday and Thursday we have football and I'm flying solo, so it's homework, dinner, football, bed, prep for next morning, head myself to bed

Wednesday and Friday no football and probably no homework (we're lucky to live in a community that doesn't have homework or sports on Wednesdays because of church)

Starting early September, we'll have football games on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

My Mom is concerned that Sunday afternoon sports interferes with grandparents time...she works most Sundays....I'm conflicted on whether or not to say "you work Sunday, what do you care?" or just leave it alone. We can still make it to her house Sunday evening for our Sunday evening dinner...I think I'll leave it alone, and just still make that dinner a priority.

I think we can keep this pace, as long as use our time wisely. If I do a good clean on weekends, and get laundry put away, I can wash it every day and keep it folded, clean as I go, cook on my lunch so that I can microwave supper, do crock pot meals and just be as efficient as possible...and go to bed plenty early so that when I'm up I'm able to be moving and doing. I actually have felt really good the last couple days from going to bed a little earlier than usual....plenty of energy which isn't my normal!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Post of Pictures!

First day of school...all my boys! This is the babysitters house...dropping off Ryan.
Dropping off my big guys at the school.

Pick up day from camp...Ryan was so excited to see his big brothers! We have a picture just like this one from last year...I'd like to get one every year, it's just an amazing picture and a true favorite...though I know they won't be willing to hold hands forever. Cherishing these moments!

Trying to be just like his brothers.

I thought I'd like this picture more than I bothers me that I can't see both feet.

Football practice uniforms...Todd took these pictures and I just love them!

My "Big" guys! Love them!

If you look at the picture, Lane Michael is number 4...he's on the sled...3rd from the end...? I think...I can see him but can't tell if he's 3rd or 4th from the end...either cute is this!?

Ryan wants nothing more than to get and give his Aunt Cathy (who knows him better?) got him a doctors kit with a shot so he can get and give all the shots he wants!

Loving on his Grandma Sweet (Gama Fweet) for her gift! He absolutely loves it!

I love this's one that is classic Ryan...usually he's mildly amused and slightly annoyed by whoever he's giving it to!

Waiting patiently for his peice of cake...Yumm-O!

I love this picture for so many reasons...if you look next to the cake there is a random toy skull and if you look in the back ground, you can see Eli helping Ryan blow out the who can resist that face!

We had a great summer but it's nice to be back in a routine!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Feeling Better about the Budget

I've been feeling pretty defeated lately over our budget, over letting our budget fall to the back burner. It's been in the nagging at me lately and I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was just failing at budgeting. So to gain some perspective I pulled the numbers. Where we were in other years compared to where we are this year. This difference is scary...where we've been shows me where we never want to be again! I never want to have that much useless debt! I know that while my husband is in school we are investing in our future and money spent during this time is not wasted but an investment in us and in our children. Parents with a college education are more likely to have children with a college education.
So where exactly were we in August 2009? 2010? Today?
well we owed on 2 credit cards, the truck and the ATV. We still are paying on all of these things. However we have not created any new bills and even with Todd is school, we have not created any new student loans. So here's the break down

2009 16,691 6,375 2,977 3,000

2010 11,263 4,300 2,258 2,400

2011 7,600 2,900 300 2,138

As ashamed as I am that we have used the credit cards AGAIN this year, I know that we've had set backs ($900 of CC 2 was used to visit Todd's dying brother in Missouri - - money well spent). We have no current medical bills and no student loans! That's a good place to be in. Todd will graduate in 2013 (if all goes well between now and then...we all know the saying "best laid plans") and by 2013, I expect to have every penny of this debt paid off!

Over my lunch I was looking at these numbers and really analyzing the difference and at first glance, it doesn't look like much but then I added them all up...totals for each year. In 2009 we had $29,000 in debt, in 2010 we had $20,200 in debt and right now we have $12,938 in debt. So in 2 years we have paid off $16,000 in debt and countless medical bills! That number feels SO good! It renews my faith in my plans and budgeting. And while I know we'll sometimes fall short, and maybe have big set backs that end up costing over $2,000, I know that God will provide and that we'll pull through this season in our life. It's a very temporary season and we're just doing the best we can to make memories with the limited budget.

Todd this semester is driving to Findlay every day. That's a lot of gas used and bigger baby sitting fees than ever. We aren't really sure how to budget just yet but we are trusting that God will take care of us. We know that he's investing in us too and is being patient waiting for us to become a real asset to him. We can see Him working in our life, molding our hearts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Quinten and Ryan

Ryan will be 2 tomorrow. And this month, this little dude will turn 2 but he doesn't have a family to throw him a party. He isn't getting any new trucks, balls, bubbles, clothes to call his own. He won't be eating cake and ice cream. He's an orphan with downs syndrome. And he melts my heart!

I'm addicted to his picture. Look at that sweet face and baby hands. His caretakers say that he's noisy and he's active has red hair and grey eyes. Oh my heart be still!

Quinten is on the Reeces Rainbow sight:

Children with downs, in some countries, are not integrated into society like they are here. At 5 years old, Quinten and all his friends will move to an institution. and the most selfish part of me can't imagine what life is like after that. So here is...the boy that stole my heart...but not the only one by a long shot! I just wish I could bring him home and snuggle him in!

Who stole your heart?

Friday, August 12, 2011

budget fail

Our life has been SO out of control lately that our budget has started to go out the window and we're just hanging on for dear life! It's been crazy! I usually start my budget every January, and I'm great with it until about for a good 6 months I am completely on the wagon...and then summer hits and I slack! My budget is so stupid proof that it's hard to keep up with because really I know every pay period what has to be paid...I have a check list and since I'm salary, I know what my income will be, so I know what gets paid and when it gets paid...I also have all of my bills (except my electric) on a budget plan so my heat bill is always $59 a month (including the summer), I know my phone bill is always $110 and my cable/internet is always $ get the point! So my medical bills were starting to stack up so it was time to pay them, I got wrote up the reimbursement form (for my medical expense account) and luckily it looks like we have enough to be fully reimbursed for all our medical bills so far this year. Phew because Lane Micahel has his big pannel of blood work at his appt on 8/31 and that usually means an endoscopy for him. But then Todd is DJing right now to bring in some extra cash and right now we're using that for school clothes and supplies and Christmas gifts. I'm so proud of Todd and the changes he's made in his financial if I could just stop the nickel and diming we both do! LOL

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ever Get Tired of....

Ever get tired of hearing how busy I am? Yah, me too. I'm exhausted!

Last week was fair

Last weekend the boys went to camp

This week is Vacation Bible school (I work my 8 hours and then am a group leader for the youngest class

This weekend is Ryan's birthday party (I'm not ready)

Todd's end of semester is today.

I have to work late on Ryan's birthday (I'll miss dinner)

I'm taking a day off to take my little cousin to a recruiter...her Mom isn't going. I'm nervous.

Lane Michael has an appt with his endocrinologist on the 31st.

The boys started football 2 weeks ago, are missing this week and as soon as VBS is over, football begins.

School starts August 24th.

Every once in awhile I smell fall in the air or get that fall feeling in my gut. I love that feeling, fall is definitely my favorite season! YUM!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Fun!

Lane Michael and Ethan finished baseball 2nd place in the league! I'm so proud of them! Even at this age there is a draft so some coaches truly "stack" their teams and the team we were up against was stacked! They were excellent! All great ball players and our boys? The team that finished 3rd for the season, they gave them a run for their money! Our boys were younger and they were tired, it was their 4 straight night of ball but they played a good game and the ending score? 20 to 24. The other team won but they earned it.

And just 4 days after baseball ended, we started football! We didn't intend to play football this year. Wapak plays in a league that doesn't have a weight limit...our 50 and 60 pounders didn't stand a chance, but at one of the ball games a Dad was telling us about Uni football...boys over 125 lbs can't play, and they're first in the league for sportsmanship, they teach basics and fundamentals...everything we wanted in midget football. So this week has been filled with football camp....we've had SO much fun! Can't wait to see how they do at try outs next week!

Ryan is very nearly potty trained! He told me today that he needed his pants off so he could potty...and sure enough, he did! So proud! What a smart boy!

And finally, adoption. My family is perfect. I am busy and enjoying every minute with these kids. So why do I still feel the draw to adopt? Is it because no matter what there will always be this huge gaping whole in my family where Braden should be? That space will never be filled so will I continue to want more babies? Will I always feel the need to have more children? Because I don't want more kids...I want Braden back. ugh. I feel my heart being tugged but is it my own longing for B or is it God telling me my family isn't complete?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Random. Just...Random.

I don't want to be sad. I don't want to post about how I may have hurt one of my very best friends just by being cranky, she's a soft soul and bruises (emotionally) easily. I don't want to post about my Dad dying 3 years ago this week. Or Patrick dying this time last year. Or Jason dying this time last year. Or brother in law Mike dying last week. Or my Uncle Art dying this past weekend.

I want to post about birthday plans and baseball tournaments, about my fantastic family...about all the wonderful things going on in my life. But I feel obligated to not let this month pass without recognizing each of the people I've mentioned...each of the people I've lost. All of them wonderful people...loving men, who adored their children and whose children adored them. How losing each of them was hard but we hope to see each of them again in Glory. Whole, Healthy and Happy. And though we may miss them, they are no longer suffering. So I leave with this:

24“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

To say, God doesn't guarantee the storms won't come...just that he'll see us through them. We stand a chance...through Him.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I struggle with people being negative. I struggle with not telling people to soldier up or to get over it....when it seems trivial to me. I involuntarily judge others and what should be "hard" for them. I have this "friend" (really I knew him when we were kids and now as adults he is on my page), he constantly posts about the sh!tstorm that is his life. Except, he's healthy, his kids are healthy, he is an active part of their life, he is employed and has plenty of friends around him. So the only thing that isn't going well in his life...he isn't married or in a romantic relationship....I automatically go to "if I can survive everything I have endured in my adult life, then surely you can make an attempt to not be a complete drag" So now that I've started to tame my gossipping...maybe I should work on empathy...not judging what they should be able to pull through...but honestly as long as they're putting forth an effort to get through their rough patch, I don't mind it so much.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My ABC's

I found this here:

A: Age : 29 years old

B: Bed size: Queen

C: Chore you hate: general tidying...I just want people to pick up after themselves!

D: Dog: Major...big dumb that dang dog

E: Essential start to your day: coffee mmm

F: Favorite color: just that! I love love love color! I love orange and pair it with aqua I'm in Heaven, I love green, and pink (maybe not together), I love red! All of it! I love it!

G: Gold or Silver: honestly it's not that serious that I'd have a preference...maybe silver...?

H: Height: 5'11"

I: Instrument you play: I've played the drums since about 3rd grade...but none currently

J: Job Title: I'm a Veterans Service Officer for the county, I work to get veterans the benefits they earned through their service, I'm also a wife, a mother and a Jesus lover!

K: Kids: Lane Michael and Ethan twin 8 year olds, Ryan who is 1 (2 in August) and Baby Braden who sings with the Angels

L: Live in: Ohio...cornfield county!

M: Mother's Name: Laura

N: Nicknames: my family calls me Celie, Sissy, Sissy Babe and Todd calls me Bud

O: Overnight stays in the hospital: giving birth, having thyroid removed...I think that's it

P: Pet Peeve: people over reacting, being lied to...bad manners...but nothing too big

Q: Quote from a Movie: I don't know what movie it was but a supporting actress said "I love drama! It's so dramatic" that's me...I love drama, I can't help it! I don't instigate it, encourage it, fuel it...but I do enjoy it.

R: Right or Left Handed: left...but I don't write with my hand upside down...I can shoot a gun, hammer a nail and play baseball right handed.

S: Siblings: Gina, Amy, Heather and Lou

T: Time you wake up: weekdays I wake up at 6:30 but on the weekends I try to sleep in a little

U: Umbrella?: I own one but have never really used it...?

V: Vegetables you dislike: I really can't think of any...cooked spinach isn't my first choice but I don't dislike it...?

W: What makes you run late?: curling my hair...I have so much out of control hair...but that being said...I like my hair.

X: X-rays: I've broken my wrist, my ankle and my foot...I think that's it...?

Y: Yummy foods you make: lasagna, bruscetta, chili, manicotti, bread, and brownies

Z: Zoo, favorite animal: I'm not crazy about the's just not my thing...but I love the bears. Those are probably my absolute favorite!

Who's next? If you play along, try to leave me a comment so I can check out your answers!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sign Up sheets came

I think every child with diabetes (or a sibling with diabetes) should go to this camp! It helped Lane Michael find independence, a place where he fit in, a place where no one stared as he got shots...a place where he was normal! They taught him so much and helped him gain so much self confidence! What an amazing experience! I'm certainly not ready for the full week but this 3 days camp is perfect for my boys! And it's only an hour away! I'm so excited for them! I'm filling out the forms NOW! Ethan goes with him and it's so good for him to learn compassion and not just be oblivious to Lane Michael's struggles! Last year when he came back he was so good about watching Lane Michael for symptoms, asking if he should test, remembering his test bag...just more aware of his disease. In the last year that's kind of tapered off but maybe with each year, he'll become more aware. At any rate, it's worth the $40 for Lane Michael to feel normal...if even for a weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Funny stuff my kids do

Ryan and Todd were at Harbor Freight and as they passed another customer who was holding a hammer Ryan told him to "put that back" very emphatically. He was in trouble LOL

While in TN Cathy got up at 6 am to test Lane Michael...she got up and in her sleepy state, readied the tester, found a finger and poked, he pulled away and cried out but since he pulled away she had to poke him again, so lovingly she shushed and soothed him, found another finger and poked again, this time he cried out louder "why are you hurting me?" as he sat up she realized she had tested Ethan. So again she lovingly soothed him, and told him to go back to was all a bad dream. hahaha I heart her! Seriously!

Everyone has had a great start to their summer! It really kicked off the summer and made it feel great right from the beginning. They got to enjoy a baseball game with my sister, then went back to school for 2 days. After that they left for TN and stayed there for 6 days! (*jealous*), had a ball game the day they got back, went with my Mom to see my brother and his family off as they left for Arizona, then the next day had another ball game. That Friday we left for the lake house and spent the weekend, got home for church and spent the day at my Mom's house. This week has been the first lazy days of summer they've had and boy are they enjoying them!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life is changing. better, worse, who knows.

Todd went to see Mike (his brother) who is now on hospice. We're hoping it isn't the last time but realistically know it could be. He took Ryan and Jon with him. It was good for all of them. Especially Todd who wasn't going alone, and I just am not able to go right now.

Lane Michael and Ethan went to TN for 6 days. It was wonderful for them, they came back tan and happy. It was a great jump start to summer. They've been on the go since then! Yesterday they spent the day with my Mom down in Urbana saying final good bye's to my brother Lou and his family. They're moving to AZ and have said they're never coming back. Chances are good that's true. Looks like an end to our relationship. Although I'm not willing to say that outloud yet. My Mom would be crushed if she thought of it like that. But it's true and we all know it.

I went to Mississippi for training last week and came back so refreshed and ready to hit the ground running! I did just that and it feels SO good! The training was excellent! No one fell asleep and it was so informative and just all around good! Some trainings are better than others...this may have been our best yet (for me). I'm really wanting to concentrate on my career right now...hoping to show my office that if/when the directors position opens up I am ready and willing to take that postion. I've done a lot of growing in this position. They've seen me at my worst and now I need to show them my best. I could never fill Doug's shoes but I hope to make my own shoes to fill. I can't relate to the guys like he can but I can do the paperwork and give them my 100%. I can't see myself on any other career path and would never want to work in any other county...but I need to show Doug and Suzie that...not just tell them. So in the interest of putting my best foot forward, I'm trying to make changes. Todd isn't happy about these changes but they're what I think is best for my career. I wanted to take a week off this summer to go to Tennessee and take some time to get things done around our house...I don't know how much of that is possible. I can already see that this summer is going to fly by!

I've started eating healthier, watching portions and counting calories...I feel so much better since starting this journey and can tell a difference in how my clothes fit. I know I'll never be thin but I'd like to just feel better...and so far I do! It's easier than I thought it'd be!

A good friend called me the other day and asked that I be a reference for her and her husband in the adoption process. I was so honored to be asked and of course jumped at the chance. She's such a wonderful person and would make a great Mom! I'm so excited for her and hope she gets the family she deserves!

So much going on right now, I'm struggling to keep up but that's ok, a lot of it is good progress!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Switching Up the Bedrooms

Obviously I like change a little bit. I was thinking last night about what we could do with our third bedroom. Todd is not completely on board but I think it'd be great if we left the boys in the biggest bedroom (master bedroom), and then we could take what is currently the playroom (2nd biggest bedroom) and put an office in the smallest bedroom. We could put Todd's desk and recliner up there. I like it...Todd is unsure...I think it'd look nice and be efficient...afterall, no matter when we put the house on the market, it could take a long time to actually sell it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Best Support System EVA!

I am loved.
We are supported!
Who can ask for more?

I used to belong to a message board of Momma's who all had children with diabetes type 1. I left the message board for several of which was the constant complaining. Very seldom did we see "success posts". Often they complained about a lack of support system. I couldn't relate. I have such an amazing support system in place. My family changed everything about them to suit us...our desserts were replaced with more fresh fruit, diet soda or sugar free ko.ol aid was offered...Easter Egg hunts started involving very little candy, my out of town cousins started bringing recipes and labels for the dishes they'd prepare. Before holidays, I'd get calls about what Lane Michael could and couldn't have. But one cousin in particular...she has gone above and beyond. She made it a point to know how to care for him. Her whole family is amazing. I love them SO much! My kids are in love with them. My husband even loves them! We'd do anything for them...but in the end we rely on them way more than they rely on us.

This week Todd will have to go to Missouri, I will have to go to Mississippi for training and my boys, they'll be running the mountains of Tennessee with my cousin. Cousin's husband will go with Todd (Ryan will probably go with Todd) and Lane Michael and Ethan will go with my cousins...we'll then meet up to return everyone to their rightful state. What would I ever do without my family. They're all amazing! I'm a lucky girl!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Development

We will not likely be taking in my cousins daughter. LM probably isn't taking the job. I'm watching her life spin out of control, and Lex is the innocent bystander. Without giving too much information, all I can say is that I'll pray for safety for everyone and a good stable home environment for Lex...whereever she ends up.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Complete Honesty, right?

My disconnected, struggling feelings have passed. Life is good, I'm feeling better in my marriage and in my relationships. Todd and I had a "get it all out" session and now we're working on the repairs that need to be made. The communication in our marriage usually fantastic so when we don't get to connect about things that are weighing on us, then other areas start breaking down too...we fixed (are fixing) the communication aspect and the other areas are falling back into place. Team work, respect and consideration are all things that had started breaking down with the breakdown in communication.

The boys quit the Buckland Baseball team...and joined the Wapak baseball team. Astro Lanes. They've been doing so much better on Astro Lanes! It was a great change! Their confidence is up, and they look forward to every game. We really liked Buckland but Wapak is more our speed and our level. Neither one of them has struck out yet, and both are playing positions other than left field. It was a good change for all of us.

And now for the meat of the post, the complete honesty. My cousin called me the other day. I'll call her LM. LM was married to a nice enough guy and last summer he died. They have a daughter together. Lex. Lex is just over 2 and beautiful. She's spunky and fun. She was the light of her Dad's life. LM and J (dad) worked opposite shifts to keep Lex out of daycare. LM makes no secrets about her lack of maternal instinct. She loves her daughter(s) (she has an adult daughter also) but enjoys the fun stuff...and struggles with the mundane parenting aspect. She has said this herself. She currently is still working her same job, works very early in the morning and is home before Lex is up and her adult daughter is in the home so she still is able to raise her without the use of daycare. It's a very good system. LM called me last week and in the course of the conversation she said she had applied for a new job. As a train conductor. Over the road for long, hard hours. I asked "what about Lex?" she said that's why she called. If she gets the job, she'd like us to have Lex stay with us while she's over the road. I didn't immediately answer. Todd wasn't home so we couldn't talk about it. We've agreed to it though I'm not sure how I feel about it. I love LM deeply, and love Lex's adult sister and I love Lex. I want what is best for all of them and if this is what is best, then I want this to happen for them. They're all in a weird place of transition right now and none of them are sure of their next move. Losing J has really affected all of them.

Todd and I talked today, because LM's application is under review and she has met all of the pre-req's for the position, about what we need in writing (medical, visitation with extended family, discipline and crossing state lines) and how to cross that bridge. It's a very delicate situation because there are other people who will feel entitled to Lex. I want it to be very clear that only LM makes these decisions and that while Todd and I did not ask for this, we are happy to have her as long as she's with us.

I'm nervous about a few things. The families reaction. Losing Lex once she's been with us long enough to see her as a permanent fixture in our life. Lex feeling juggled from home to home.

I will trust that God has a plan for my family, for LM, Adult sister and for Lex. and we'll just pray for guidance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The New Big Boy Bedroom!

This is what I came home to the other night:

All the furniture (2 dressers and 2 bed) had been removed from the room (taken to my Mom's shop and put up for sale). Then we spent the rest of the evening doing this:

The boys all love their "new" room! And honestly, so do I! They have so much more floor space than they used to! It's a good change...the only thing we need to work out is where clothes will go. The dresser under the loft bed isn't big enough to hold all their clothes...we're still working on that though!

Ryan obviously LOVES sleeping in a big boy bed! He hasn't had any trouble adjusting and loves going to bed at night! Sweet baby!

These beds were bought seperately but couldn't match better if we'd bought them together. We paid $180 for the whole set (what the guy with the bunk beds was asking for just the set of bunkbeds!). I hope these last us a good long time!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I am struggling.

I don't feel the connection with the people in my life that I'm used to. Things in my life are changing right now and somehow I've removed myself (or been removed) from the equation.

Todd and I are struggling to stay connected. I've found myself not fighting with him, instead, I don't care enough to fight any more. He's become aloof and complacent in our relationship. Neither of us is really at fault...more both of us are.

My Mom is seeing Jack and while I'm so happy for her and want this for her, it's been an adjustment. When she used to call me to tell me any news, she now talks to him. As it should be. I'm just still adjusting. We all are. I'm not hurt by this, I want this for her. It's just coming at the same time that I'm also not feeling connected to Todd.

My family in Tennessee are slowly pulling away...not intentionally but they have houses to build, they're busy. They aren't here as much and I can't be there right now.

Ryan has been sick for a couple of days...and only wants Daddy. I'm not his primary parent. It makes me sad.

Lane Michael and Ethan are never home, and when they are, they're outside on their bikes.

I'm feeling alone and to find the solution.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Biopsy results came back clean! It was a cluster of capillaries under the skin! YEAH! Thank God!

Mothers Day was nice...uneventful for the most part....actually, it was very eventful, it just was also a normal day.

Lou (my brother) took a job in Arizona...he leaves on May 22nd. My Mom is so sad.

Lane Michael had an endo appt went well. The doc said we're doing a great job, his numbers are right where we want them...she tweaked his lunch number and his bed snack but left everything else the same!

Baseball is going well! They played Tuesday night, Lane Michael was in the outfield, Ethan 2nd base and each scored a run...although they were walked (the other boys are much bigger than ours so it's hard to pitch to such small strike zones).

Ryan is so sassy lately! On Mothers Day he walked up to Ethan, who was standing at the kids table while eating a bowl of fruit, Ryan hugged him from behind but started walking backwards, after he had moved Ethan out of the way, he ran and grabbed his fruit and ran off. Hysterical! He's also taken to calling me Honey (hahaha) so often I hear "oh Honey, stop it" LOL goof! He's still very shy and doesn't speak in front of people...last night a friend asked if he ever speaks, so I called him over and he said a few sentences but painfully shy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I was expecting to go into the doctors office, have him scrape a few cells off the area and send me on my way, he'd call me in a week to tell me the results. No big deal, so in anticipating this "no big deal" I went alone...well not completely alone, Ryan went along. That is not what happened.

Instead the nurse took me to a small room, on the door it said "minor surgery". She set out her instruments, handed me a sheet to cover myself and left me to get ready.

Pretty soon Dr F came in, I laid back, he gave me a shot of pain meds, Ryan tried to climb up with me so I asked him where all his body parts were, by the time I got through all his body parts, Dr. F said it was all done. I have 4 stitches and they didn't hurt right away.

I took Ryan to Cool Aunt Becca, and headed to Cleveland for training. But by the time I was in Lima, my jeans were hurting my stitches so I stopped at penneys to get some yoga pants have spent all non working hours in those this week (so comfy).

It's ugly but doesn't hurt too much.

After Dr. F was done I asked what to expect, the nurse said I'd come back in 10 days to get the stitches out and get the results. When asked about the spot on my ankle Dr F said "if on the off chance it comes back normal, we'll then biopsy the spot on the ankle, but otherwise we'll send you to a derm who will look at your whole body"...yah as optomistic as I am about everything coming back normal, I wish Dr F would feel the same!

But my grandma is pretty bad so we're definitely in prayer for her!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Killed

Osama bin Laden changed my life. He changed who I am, how I think, what I believe. He changed how I view the world and he changed how I view Muslims.

On September 11, 2001 I was 19 years old. Green behind the ears. Thought I had it all figured out. I had just come back from a 3 day weekend spent in Switzerland. I was living in Germany. My barracks room was on Patton Barracks and I worked a couple miles away on the shopping complex. It was the end of our work day when we were pulled into the lobby for our end of the day briefing and dismissal. Our First Sergeant suddenly burst into the room, followed by 2 soldiers who were weeping. He was a solemn man but this time it was different...almost stunned and angry. He turned on the TV, stood against the far wall and quietly told 6 soldiers to go to the roof and start making fighting positions from the sand bags in the basement, he told the pregnant soldiers to start gathering supplies, those from NYC to call their loved ones, and do so until they got through, and the rest of us were to control traffic. In the hours that followed, we were put on lock down. A very pregnant woman went into labor, and an older gentleman was having heart trouble. We were able to get them off post and into a cab that would take them to the hospital across town where they would be met at the gate by an ambulance. I was in a cast, I was put on guard duty at the PX where the manager had forgotten (in all the chaos) to lock up before closing for the night. We didn't sleep that night, it was probably 32 hours before any of us were able to rest. The next day I was sent to the hospital to have my cast removed. After removing the cast, they gave me a steroid shot and some pain meds, and sent me back to work. It was an amazing time in history, and to this day, I've never seen the footage. I can't imagine what those days must have been like here in the states. In Germany we were kept busy, there was so much going on and so much to do, it left little time to slow down and think of the ramifications of what had happened. Life just seemed to stand still. Within a month, help arrived, units from Chicago came to help pull guard duty. We were able to resume our previous duties but life never went back to normal. I was so angry with him. I didn't understand him, or his religion. This religion of hate. His willingness to kill.

And then I met a Muslim. And she wasn't angry. She wasn't packing heat, waiting for the next White Christian American to happen along. She was funny. She was kind and beautiful. Full of life. Full of willingness. She was able to debunk so much of my fear. She asked if I was willing to blow up an abortion clinic in the name of God. Of course I wasn' the same way she wasn't willing to fly a plane into the next sky scraper. Horrible things have been done in the name of religion and I have struggled to separate the act from the religion. A little research has shown me that the Muslim religion (as a whole) does not advocate violence and murder, they are peaceful (for the most part) and like any other religion or large group of people they have a few bad apples, a few extremists and they're the ones drawing the most attention. I do not fear Muslims, I fear Muslim Extremists, just as I fear Christian Extremists.

I worry for the hate this will stir up, the retaliations.

I am sad for this man....these men. These extremists who are have so much hate in them. I pray for their souls. I know that God would love to be able to take them home with him.

Biopsy Tomorrow

This week is crazy! Everyone has something big happening at different times in different cities.

Monday (today) I have to work all day and then this evening I'll go to Otterbein where our office is being presented with an award for our service to their clients (really cool since I'm the only one that goes over there)

Tuesday I'll work till noon-ish, then finish packing and getting ready to go, get my Mom, go to my Dr appt (biopsy - - there's a 2nd spot being looked at on my opposite ankle) then take Ryan to Rebecca, the twins will go home with the H family who will get them to their ball game, Todd has his math and german finals tomorrow and will pick everyone up when he's done. I will leave after taking Ryan to Rebecca for Independence (Cleveland) until Friday afternoon.

Wednesday the boys have church

Thursday is the Mothers Day Tea at the boys school...Todd will bring Mom and Grandma Sweet in for it, Mom will go with Lane Michael and Grandma Sweet with Ethan, then they have another ball game that evening

Friday I'll get home and we might hang with the H family

Saturday Todd works

Sunday is Mothers Day

Are you tired yet? I am!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Fun!

Do you want the good or the bad? Let's end on a good note so I'll throw the bad right in the middle!

My brother has been offered a job in Arizona! WONDERFUL news! We're waiting very impatiently for him to accept the offer...which he hasn't done yet. We're nervous he won't take the job and then won't be offered the job he's "hoping" for! EEK! We're very excited though that he's been offered this job!

Todd's brother (Mike) over the weekend, went numb from the chest down. They were hoping his meds were causing it. They weren't. He wasn't numb but was in fact paralyzed. He's currently in emergency surgery. We are praying. Todd wants to be there (Missouri). I was hoping to go over Memorial Day weekend. I don't know if we can wait that long. Next week starts his finals...I don't want him to miss class right before finals...I don't know how he'll concentrate on finals with Mike so sick, so many states away!

Easter was wonderful! Everyone was in a great mood yesterday! No fighting or bickering...just good family fun! Kids had a great time...behavior was good. So all over it was a great day! A great weekend really!

Getting excited for our first ball game tomorrow night! Our team color is red! Woot Woot! And we are playing other it's kind of like a traveling team! I love it! I love baseball! It's my favorite sport by far! LOVE IT! I just hope the boys all love it as much as Todd and I do!