Saturday, May 30, 2009

In Loving Memory of a Wonderful Friend!!!


I am so freaking tired of people close to me being affected by cancer!!! I am so tired of watching people close to me fight and fight and fight and then lose their battle with that awful disease!!! I.HATE.CANCER....... PERIOD.

Early this morning I lost my very close friend, Julie, to cancer. She battled cancer for many, many years....and actually she defied alot of doctor's odds; and lived alot longer than any doctor ever thought she would!!
But that doesn't make this any easier!!!

She was tired.... she was hurting and her body was tired..... We were able to say everything we needed to say to each other (she told me she loved me every night that we talked on the phone)....nothing left unsaid. She knew how much I loved her; and I know how much she loved me!!
But selfishly, that doesn't make it easier!!!

Julie was the sweetest friend anyone could ask for. She had a very rough family upbringing/life (her parents were not good to her), so I think that made her a better friend, as all she longed for was to be loved and cared for!! Her and I spent every Wednesday and Friday together (my days off)... we would get our nails or hair done together, shop, go to lunch or just hang out and laugh.... geez, those days off will be so lonely now!!

Anyway, the past 2 weeks she had Hospice "Crisis Care" (not End of Life care) at her home to help stabilize her blood pressure.... one of the cancers she had was in the adrenal glands so that majorly affected her BP.... and over the past week I started hearing and seeing her get weaker and more "out of it".
While I was in Key West, I still called her everyday to check on her; and during one of our phone calls she said "I hope I can wait for you"..... I certainly didn't think then that I would have lost her now.

She did wait for me.... I got to see her briefly Wednesday morning.... we had a nice visit...talked and laughed and then she got I went home to let her rest. That evening I called her, but she was very incoherent... I could barely understand her. Thursday morning when I called, her husband said she was unresponsive and could not be woken..... what.... what do you mean.... No, it's not time yet!!!

After 2 days of "actively dying"..... where we all kept vigil over her as she struggled to breath..... she lost her battle early this morning.... she is now in longer longer in longer hurting!!!
I love you and miss you, Honey.....

Julie and her husband, Tom

Julie and Angie

Me and Julie
All of us, at my B-day Party (she was so happy to be included in my family stuff....and I was so happy to have her there!!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

After a LONG Miserable Drive Home......

We got home last night after a long, miserable 8 1/2 hour drive home.... a drive that normally takes us 6 hours..... after a long, wonderful vacation in Key West....on the, swimming, tanning.....

We walk in the door to an 82 degree house.....why?? Because sometime while we were gone, our AC went out..... arrrggghhhh.... nothing like capping off a vacation like that, huh???

Anyway, I will post more about the trip and post pictures later....once we get this AC fixed and I can start relaxing.... but for now, please excuse me while I go fan myself.... hee-hee (j/k, it's not that bad yet)!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Take Me Back Tuesday..... Joseph

My little Joseph will be celebrating his 7th birthday on, I can't believe he is 7 already....where does the time go??
Oh my little Joseph...or should I say my BIG Joseph...what a spitfire he is. He started out a wee little 4 lbs, with lots of health problems; and while he is still a wee little thing (weighing about the same as his little sister), he is very strong inside...and bythat I mean strong-willed, hard-headed, stubborn etc.... but he is also very, very sweet and loving.... and wow, what an athlete he is!!

These were taken 3 or 4 years ago... what a C-U-T-I-E!!!

He may give me a headache at times and have me wanting to pull my hair out.... but I love everything about him.... my big boy, Joseph!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me Monday - Weekend Fun!!

Wow.... I finally came up for air..... what a weekend!!! We were going from Friday Morning until late last night!!
But, of course, since today is Not Me Monday (which I have missed for a while.... Have you missed me MckMama??); there are alot of things that I "did not" do all weekend!!

I did not spend all morning/early afternoon bowling with a bunch of hormonal, giddy 7th graders!!
After we bowled, I did not have a BLAST playing in the arcade with CJ.... including Whack-a-Mole!!
I did not cheer (scream) as loud as I could after Joseph hit his first "pitched" (not from a tee)baseball...and hit it high and way out into the outfield!!
I did not let the kids eat a GIANT pixie stick after the t-ball way...that would be too.much.sugar.
I did not get into the kids blow-up pool with them because I was so freakin hot!!
I did not act like an anal freak and make them step in a bucket of water and then wipe their feet EVERY TIME before they got into that pool.... I am not a cuckoo like that!!
I did not let Joseph sleep in until 10:00am yesterday morning....
I did not get sucked in to making my "famous" mashed potatoes at my dad's house for dinner.... I wouldn't do that since HE is the king of mashed potatoes!! :)
I did not let the kids swim...and swim...and swim hoping they would wear themselves out and go to bed early.
I did not let Joseph take a picture with almonds in the sides of his mouth to look like a vampire...
While swimming, I did not look at CJ and think "wow, where did my little boy go...?"
So, what did you NOT do this past week??

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angelina Ballerina

Did you know that Angie is really Angelina? Yes I agree, it is a beautiful name!! (just a little bit of family trivia to start you off with) :)

Angie has been taking ballet classes at her school for the past 6 or 7 months.... Every Wednesday, she and 3 other little girls from her class spend 30 minutes learning ballet positions and moves.... or at least as much as 4 year olds can learn (Oh, I know.... somebody out there will tell me their 4 year old dances at Julliard.... pooh on you... hee-hee!!)

Last Wednesday, my sweet little lady had her first ballet "recital".... and by "recital", I mean we sat in another classroom and watched the teacher hold their ballet lesson; and then did a short (very short) dance. It was
And while she really enjoyed herself....and enjoyed being part of extra activities..... I definitely think she takes after me in the graceful department. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tomorrow I will........

I am feeling kind of down today...... no, actually ALOT down.... Last night I reached my breaking point with my children and it put me right over the edge.... I am dealing with 4 children, all at different ages and stages....all with different challenges.

There is CJ is about to be a teenager...with a teenager attitude; Ethan who is very introverted and doesn't really socialize, but gets upset with me for not spending enough time with him (which I constantly try to do), Joseph who is THE.MOST strong-willed child you have ever met---e-v-e-r....a constant battle with him, and Angie who is 4..... and is 4!!

And then there is the constant battle with "taking sides" and "picking favorites"....which I do not a matter of fact, I try real hard to stay out of their fights, so that no one will think I am picking sides.

Oh and then there is the constant battle at dinner time...always somebody doesn't like something and we have to hear about the whole meal time.... we can't just have normal dinner conversations....

SOOOOOO..... I have decided, TOMORROW I WILL stop being so hard on myself......and will try really hard to just let things go!!

I will not let Joseph get under my skin and make me have to yell..... I will just let it go (and walk.away.) when he complains about something not going his way!!!

I will not let my feelings get so hurt when CJ tells me that I act like I am always upset with them...or when he gives me the cold/silent treatment because he is not getting his Clarinet Reeds until tomorrow...... I will let it go and remember that he is about to be a teenager and he.will.have.attitude.

I will learn to just relax..... and remember that they And I will continue to raise them in the rigth direction, with a "firm hand", but will not be brought to tears every night because I am so frustrated about something that one of them has done!!!
I will not feel sorry for myself because I am practically doing this as the boy's dad (my ex) works so much that he doesn't have a big part in their rearing!!! I will JUST BE!!!

Awww..... thanks MamaKat... I needed that assignment this week.... Gosh, who ever thought homework could be therapeutic????

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Once again, I "became attached" to a sweet little baby who I've never met. I began reading Kayleigh's story about 6 months ago..... a story about a baby born way too early, weighing only one pound and doing all she could to fight for her little life..... a story about a mom and dad going through the emotional NICU roller coaster and writing about their feelings and strengths..... and a story about a family, fully relying on God's will to provide a miracle or take away Kayleigh's suffering!!!

My heart is breaking for that family now, as last night little Kayleigh lost her fight.... and earned her angel wings!!!

Please stop by their blog and leave a little message.... I can not even imagine the pain they are going through right now.... and for so long they have heavily relied on their blog for support.

Does anybody else get this emotional about people they've never met....? And not just the sad times.... but also feeling happy, silly, mad etc.... reading about people whom you've never!! Or am I just CRAZY??? (well, maybe I am a little crazy in general.... but you know what I mean...)


I was a bit nervous about taking 2 of my children through the mess that is the airport and then on a plane for 2 1/2 hours....especially because the 2 children that I speak of are my "most challenging"..... a 4-year old, who is....well.... 4 (enough said); and a 6 year old, who is the MOST strong willed child I have ever met---- But they did great.... they behaved so well in the airport and on the plane!!

The weather was beautiful in Indiana.... it never got above 70 degrees....a much needed change from the 95 degrees we are used to!!

We had a really nice time visiting with my Nana.... I feel bad for her because she lost her husband (my Papaw) about 10 years ago; and then she lost my mom.....and she is really lonely!! So, these occasional trips our very good for her....and the kids can always make her smile!!!

Our first stop, before we went to my Nana's house was Gray Bros. Restaurant (has anybody ever eaten there???)... This is a tradition that we have done ever since I was the kid's ages:
After we got to her house, I left everyone and went to buy some flowers & balloons and then "spent some time" with my mom:

The kids spent a lot of time outside in her "cool" (rye) grass (and getting muddy--yuck!!)

And playing at the "cool" park by her house...... they (and me too) got a big kick out of how BIG it was....
And we had a great time "just visiting".......

and goofing off (yes, those teeth are fake)......
I did take the kids to the cemetery on Saturday..... but it makes me SO sad that those are the only real memories that Angie and Joseph will have of my mom!!
And I did convince my Nana to make one of my favorite homemade meals.... ground sirloin patties, cooked in mushroom soup/gravy; mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans and fresh sliced tomatoes.... y-u-m-m-y!!
Our flight back got a little, a LOT bumpy..... so mus so that the pilot told us AND the flight attendants to "Get in your seats NOW and tighten your seat belt as tight as you can" (so....yea, I was completely freaking out--on the inside!!)....
But that didn't phase a sleeping Joseph..... (have I ever told you how deep he sleeps....? and how hard it is for me to wake him in the mornings....?)
I am so glad we decided to take that was nice to get away, even if for only 2 days.... it was nice to visit my grandma..... and it was nice to spend some quiet time at my mom's grave-site!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

We got back this afternoon from a weekend trip to Indiana!! Why Indiana you say???

My mom was born there...grew up there...went to college there...met my dad and got married there..... and is buried there!!!
My grandmother still lives there, so we stayed with her for the weekend and had a really, really good visit!!! It was relaxing and had some nice, quality family time with my Nana!!!
I had a very emotional morning as I spent the early part of my Mother's Day at the cemetery....
I will post more pictures of our trip soon; but for today, this is just a "quiet" memory of my loving mom!!!! Happy Mother's Day, Mom..... You always were amd will always be such a wonderful part of my life.... I am the woman and mother that I am because of you!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Writer's Workshop - A Poem to My Mom!!

Mrs. MamaKat, I am back.... I have been a bad, bad student..... but I served my detention and now I'm back for class!!!! (yes, I know...I am a dork...whatever...)

For my Writer's Workshop assignment this week, I chose prompt 4: "write a poem for my mom"..... Mother's Day will never be the same for me...EVER.... I know I have my own children who love on and pamper me on Mother's Day (which I TRULY appreciate); but I still miss MY mom.... I miss buying that perfect card (she was a huge card person...and would spend hours in Hallmark searching for the "right" one), bringing her a little gift and loving on and pampering her..... I.just.miss.her.TERRIBLY. And this time of year only magnifies it 1,000%.


Did you ever know that you’re my Hero?
I hope I told you enough for you to know!!

We had the best kind of mother/daughter relationship
And oh, how you loved me so!!

I could tell you all my thoughts & feelings
No matter how wrong or right they were

You could always make it “all better”
And that is one thing I knew for sure

Even though I am a mother now myself
Mother’s Day will never be the way it used to be

Instead of having a fun day together,
I will be visiting you at the cemetery

I miss you Mommy more and more all of the time;
The pain just doesn’t go away!!

I will hold close the memories that we shared;
And in my heart they will forever stay!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - POOPED!!!

Better late than never...right??? I have been missing out alot lately on all my fun blog carnivals that I enjoy so, so, so much.... but I am here now......

This is what happens (by 7:00pm)..................
After a long, SUPER FUN day of this.....
This past weekend we had my sweet little girl's birthday party..... and at her request, we had a Mickey & Minnie Mouse themed party..... with a bounce house....... that was here ALL DAY long!!!!
Be sure to head over to my sweet bloggy "friend" Angie's blog, Seven Clown Circus and check out more Wordful Wednesday's!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Little Olympian.....

....Science olympian, that is!!!

After 3 months of once-a-week practices, today Ethan competed in his first ever Science Olympiad!!!! His event was called "Picture This", which is sort of like the game Pictionary..... His team (of 3) had 5 minutes to go through 21 science related words (i.e. chemical change, evaporation, molecules, inertia, gravity etc...), draw them and have the other team members guess them without any verbal clues.

Ethan's team got through 20 of the words, only passed on 1 (one) and only missed 2 (two) of them.... at least that is what they told us..... We were not allowed to go in the room with them for obvious reasons (we could run out and tell other teams what words are being used....get it??) :)
Anyway, that is a great score and I am very, very proud of him...... of course I am proud of him no matter what, but as his mommy I do like to see him succeed as well!!!

Ethan and his teammates:
Gamps giving a "science" pep talk:
Ready, Set, GO..... (this is as close as I could get..... boo)
Congratulations Ethan...... my little SCIENCE STAR!!!!!