Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy 100th Blogiversary?

It's been a long time since I started this blog. Many things have happened and many things have changed. We have moved homes, traveled a bit, endured death in the most heart wrenching way, celebrated life, lost old friends, made new ones, cemented relationships and so much more. But one thing stays the same. I have persisted in my writing so that I could share my life and tell my story from MY point of view. Yep, sometimes it is serious (um, not one of my finer points), and most of the time it is told with the hilarity that I see it as.
Life is short and if you're angry, hateful, resentful, jealous, or any other way that makes you unhappy, then how can you enjoy the short time that we all have on this earth? All those things that keep you from happiness separate you from being TRULY HAPPY INSIDE. That unhappy stuff eats away your love and at your heart.
So what's it all about then? Life is what it is all about, people. If your house burned down, what would you be concerned most about saving? Your 100 inch flat screen tv? No buddy, those things go on sale all of the time. Your family, friends and other people! That's where it's at! People helped make those memories and events that made and shaped you into the person you were meant to be. God already has plans for us to be who we are and if you can't accept that then you are fighting a hurricane with an umbrella. If you are angry at someone for bossing you around or hurting your feelings, especially if they are a family member, let it go. Just ignore the comments and focus on enjoying anything else that you can at that moment. Move to another room if you have to. If you finally have to say something to them, then say this," Stop hurting my feelings. I really want to enjoy you while you are alive and not wish that you had been nicer to me while I am sitting at your funeral." That's a hard thing to say, but it's true! Some people you just can't stop from spreading their internal unhappiness around, sometimes especially on you, but you can sure walk from the situation. Diffuse, that's the word.
Now how did I get to this? A sermon instead of an uplifting speech? I don't think it's a bad sermon, per se, just something on my heart.
Two women stand out to me right now. My aunts mother-in-law and my mother.
The mother-in-law was such a wonderful woman. I NEVER heard her say a bad word about anyone and I mean anyone. She was a saint and I am not kidding. Woman of God, she really was. I loved her and she loved everyone. I so much want to have her attitude- she was like Jesus wants us to be.
My mother was a friend to so many. She had an opinion and wasn't afraid to share it. Most of the time she had such tact when she talked to folks that I wondered about her, but other times, she just let it all hang out. She loved everyone and overlooked flaws and opinions and whatever to help just about anybody. Most of all, she loved "Her Jesus". If you didn't know that, then you really weren't paying attention to what she was saying or doing. She was happy and bubbly-joyful in even the worst of circumstances. My grandmother named her correctly-Joyce (which means joyous one).

So what does all of this have to do with my blogiversary? Well, I can't remember since I had to stop writing to go to church and then when I came home and tried to write again, there was a party going on in the background that consisted of mooing cows, Dave Barry and his colonoscopy, and a barrier on the floor made of stuffed animals. And then the doorbell rang- and all of a sudden, we have unexpected guests. Then five minutes later, the phone rings and someone reminds me that we have a dinner date tonight.

Now I remember! What I am trying to share is that I had a choice in writing this blog. I had a choice to spend my time doing other things like catching up on housework,(an eternal job, if I can say so myself), or sewing or whatever. I choose if I want to whine or pout about circumstances in my life. I can choose if I want to let people know about my life or I can just keep it to myself. If I can make someone see the lighter side of life and how much it is worth living and struggling for and to enjoy even the littlest of things, then I have done well. If I can share with someone the simple truth that Jesus loves you and forgives you for whatever you have done if you just ask him to, then my life is worth living even moreso.

Life is full of choices, good and bad. It's up to you to decide.
I chose to be happy, to love and be loved.
What do you choose to do today?
(I hope you are't too confused by all of this. It's been a long day over here!)

Happy Blogiversary!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's almost 8 am and we have an appointment........

It's checkup day for the two youngest.
Right now at 7:54 am, I am contemplating the response I will receive from the baby.
I mosey up to the third floor humming a song and entering her domain,(which used to be my bedroom, uugh). She dosen't flinch an inch. I move closer and hum louder, to which she responds in such a way which look like she is rolling her eyes in her sleep. Her body dosen't move-just the closed eye rolling number that she does. So, Chloe climbs on the bed and calls her name and rubs her head.(Should be some more hair there now, but I don't know what happened!). Baby Dear starts to stretch and GRROOAANNN in an annoyed manner. Chloe rubs her tummy and gets up closer so she can whisper in her ear. (She really thinks she is whispering, but in actuality, or reality, whatever, she actually gets louder.)
By now, Baby Dear is highly annoyed and POPS here eyes open to reveal the reddest cherries you could ever see,(except for her fathers eyes the look like red beacons-that's another subject). She turns her head in my direction and gives me a look that sends chills to ones soul. She looks as if she is saying, "WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING???? (Think of flames shooting from ones mouth.)You, slave mother, have interrupted MY SLEEP!!!!!! YOU KNOW I DON'T GET UP UNTIL AFTER 9:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well,it's 8:05 and our appointment is at 9:05. I guess I had better get moving, but meanwhile, where's my fire gear?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More pictures from the party....

Okay, I promise you these are the last ones I will post. I'll have to find a way to put more into the blog or link up to them somewhere.
My time online seems limited lately, so I type furiously and run off to do something. Then I come back, type some more and run off again. Sheesh! The life of a mother! I hate rushing but that is where I am in my life right now with 2 little ones. Besides, this stage is only temporary.
Anywho, here are the photos.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Party Like A Preschooler!!! Part 3 more pictures

We made a sign that read "Jack Sprat's Not So Fat Snacks"
The birthday cake was a Carrot-Zucchini cake with cream cheese icing. We made some into cupcakes for the little ones. Neopolitan ice cream was served with it also and we had punch with orange juice and sprite.
Veggie plate
Fruit plate
Breadsticks with BLT or artichoke dip
"The Cow Jumped Over The Moon" cheese and crackers
"Three Little Pigs" in blankets
Tortilla rolls (filled with cream cheese, garlic powder, green onions and bacon bits)

The bunting that you saw hanging up in some pictures, was made by me, and so were "Humpty Dumpty" and his gang.
It was a small party enjoyed by all!

Party Like A Preschooler!!! Part 2

We passed the baby around....

Some children really enjoy stickers!(And others in the background just want to get their hands on some!)

We rallied up the friends for a group photo. (Wyn took this photo. NEXT TIME, BEND TO THEIR LEVEL, DEAR SON!!!)

I GOT LEGOS!!! OH! I. AM. SO. HAPPY!! (WYNNON, step away from the Legos. These are mine)

My friend Brennan helping me open gifts! (Bo Peeps lost sheep pit is in the background.This kept them happy for a loong time.)

More pictures on Part 3

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Party Like A Preschooler!!! Part 1

My little 2 yr old turned 3 this week and of course we HAD to party! I feel that it is my parental right to enjoy the process of planning this party as much as it is the childs right to ENJOY the party.
Seeing that little Miss is just 2, going on 3, we didn't want to take away from the experience with too much hoopla. When I say that, I mean that sometimes we as parents want ALL of our childrens friends and our friends at the party, but it takes away from the enjoyment factor and the "Invite everybody!" attitude of it makes it stressful and no fun. Not to say that a big party isn't all right, but look at a childs age and gage if you really want 12 three year olds running around your house?

We have a couple of traditions in our house.
The Birthday Person gets to pick the meals for the day.
No chores that day.
They pick the party theme (with a bit of creative coercion at times).
They get a new outfit for the occasion.
And they get to choose their own cake.
Everything else has to be approved by the parents.(Boo hoo)

Now for Little Miss' party the theme was Nursery Rhymes. I found this lovely fabric that had "Humpty Dumpty" on it and "The Cow Jumping Over The Moon". At first I wanted to do a "Goodnight Moon" theme, but it was too hard to find anything pertaining to that classic book. I did end up buying her a new one since the old one was in a sad state.

Our party activities were:

First and foremost,
Party Bags!!!- The little people got to use rubber stamps and had a blast using some stickers to decorate their own paper lunch sacks.

Old King Cole's Crowne Shoppe- Each child got to decorate their own crown with lots of foam stickers. (Nearly had to drag some of them away from this activity! It proves that the simple things are still fun.)

Gina makes her crown with mommy's help.

Help Little Bo Peep Find her sheep- We had a small swimming pool full of balls with stuffed animals mixed in.

Magical Nursery Rhyme Painting- Crayon paint resist. My older children used white crayons and copied some simple nursery rhyme pictures. The children would use watercolor paints and when they painted over the pictures, the crayon parts would show up. They always look so surprised to see this. It's lots of fun!

More pictures on Part 2!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A note to my children.

Dear Child,
This is your mother speaking to you late at night. I have just came from my laundry room and am perturbed by the state it is in. I made great effort to organize this room into an easy to use and functional facility that even a blind person could use.

You have proven to me that you are lazily handicapped and losing your eyesight would probably be of benefit to you. Then maybe you would put your dirty clothes in the correct hamper. As of this day, (sorry, night, mind you), I WILL NOT SORT the clothes of anyone over the age of 4. I will not separate your socks from your inside out turned jeans that have been tossed into the whites basket. If they land there again they will be bleached and you WILL be wearing them as a fashion statement to school later that week. Depending on how social I feel, I might get angry enough to do a Madea move and BURN them on the grill in a blazing smoke cloud of glory, causing the fire department to be called to my house and after explaining to them why the clothes are on fire, join me and watch the pyrotechnics while eating some freshly baked cookies.
That is how angry I am at 11:37 tonight.

Also, there are these necessities of life called chores. EVERYONE needs to do theirs or my clock will be ticked off. Well, my clock is really off this week due to the laundry person not folding and putting away the CLEAN LAUNDRY! If I go into your room again because I can't find your baby sisters' clothes that were washed 3 days ago and disappeared from the dryer, only to be resurrected on your bed in a ginormous pile of folded clothes surrounded by a moat of pillows, underneath the missing towels and washcloths from LAST WEEK, I might have to make things disappear from your life. Important things, like your cell phone charger, then the cell phone, Identification card, and then, your mattress!! (Don't ask me where I'll put it! I WILL find a place!)
I will make your life miserable and the world will know it. They will see your embarrassment when you wear those bleached jeans to school, can't answer texts from your friends and look like you've had no sleep for a week.

And that smoke alarm that keeps going off while you're at home? That oven is a bit sensitive. Start counting your socks because aren't you missing a few?

Your Mother

Whew!I just had to get that off of my mind! Now, please forgive me for losing it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apple picking- English style, Part 3

The last pictures......

Your shoes are REALLY wet! Why aren't you wearing your wellies?

Alright already. Can we please just go?

I was a little pushy back there trying to get you to leave but......
Hey Mom,
Here's the only flower in that little field back there and I picked it just for you!

Left to the beach or right and go home?
Hmmm, let me think.

We had a nice trip to the orchard.
Here is the one we visited.

You should find one nearby and visit too!

Apple picking- English style, Part 2

Okay, here's the exciting part.

We finally made it!

I can't wait to pick some apples!

C'mon lets go!

Apples schmapplez! What's the deal? ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

There's nothing like a tall friend for moments like this!

Apple picking- English style, Part 1

On the road again.

I just can't wait to get on the road again....If there's enough room for TWO cars!

Oh look! A pheasant! It's a good thing he ISN'T on the road!

Are we still on the road, Mom????

We had a pretty eventful day today with school tennis matches and 2 football games dragging the teenagers away. Most of the day was spent trying to get out of the house. I had planned to be on the road by 10am and home by 2. HA! That was just a dream and reality was slapping me on the wrist.(I'm talking about my watch, I tell you!)
We finally left the house at 11:30 for a loverly ride up to Norfolk, to the farm and orchard of the Queen. Yep, I said it. THE QUEEN. Since the Royal Family isn't as large as it used to be and they can only eat so many apples, plus EVERYBODY needs some extra cash theses days, they make a little profit from their PYO,(pick your own) orchard. So here are some pictures from our afternoon.


Random Thoughts

As I was lying in bed this morning, I rolled over and saw the most beautiful face smiling back at me. She was asleep, but still smiling with the plumpest cheeks I've seen since my neice Erica was a little one. Gazing at the beautiful wonderfulness of this child, of whom is so large that she needs to move out of my bed SOONER than later, I was pulled into remembering about how she came to be and why did she have to come during the worst year of my life....
Last year we went to the states to visit our families and friends in California and Texas. Before that trip, I was ready to leave England behind without most of my family. I was so unhappy and had fallen into a rut of selfishness and blame. Mr had fallen into a rut of work, work, work. And when we saw him, which was briefly, he ate a quick meal with us, hardly had time to hang out or play with the children, and barely spoke to me.
We were drowning in unhappiness and sinking to the bottom fast. He didn't have time to take time off of work and even spent his weekends working. I was sick of being a single parent with a boarder. My plans were made and I was going to execute them as soon as I could. Then something happened. He finally was jolted from the "funk he was in". He caught wind of something about to happen and woke up to the fact that he was about to be a single parent also. Finally I would get my message across and he might actually understand what I was saying to him for months. He was furious and so was I. But most of all, I didn't see how much he truly loved me and also how much he was hurt by this all.
My dad had a heart attack in the middle of our woes. Mr went to Texas to help my mother during this time. While he was there, my dad had a stroke also. My poor mother was so overwhelmed and yet, there my right hand was, Mr, helping her as if she was HIS own mother. He cleaned her house, clearing out junk and clutter that was there for years and years. At least when my dad came home in a wheelchair,(which he didn't- praise the Lord!), there would be room for him to get around and mom wouldn't have to worry about cleaning the house.
Mr and my mom talked and talked about his and I marital woes and how his heart was pierced from my thoughts of jumping ship. He talked to my sister also about what was going on. They called me and talked. Boy was I sick of talking and hearing what my mom and sister had to say! I avoided talking to them some days and other days, I would listen to them drone on about how he felt about me and how hurt he was.
My plans changed and I decided to stay and work it out, cautiously. I knew how much of an OCD worker he is and that he is really INTO his work. He said he would try harder to leave his work at work and get home before the children go to bed. And he would try to be accessible at work, by phone, most of the time. (If you know about him and cell phones, then you know how I feel about him and cell phones!-nother story)
So he tried and I tried. Then we went to the US for a "vacation". We flew to California, stayed there for a week, picked up our old car and drove to Texas during a blood boiling, stifling heatwave with NO AIR CONDITIONING! I thought I was going to die. (Not joking either)
I spent time with my mother, talking and enjoying each others company. I loved her SO MUCH and did my best to let her know that. I didn't know that our visit there would be one of the last times I would see her.
We came home-back to England and began our week of time change adjusting, when we received a call that moms minor surgery had gone awry. She suffered a stroke and needed to come home. We went and had a few days with her before she went home to be with the Lord. Oh, such sadness. When I saw Mr crying at her funeral, it tore my heart. Then April began to cry when she saw him crying. I cried. Everybody cried and it was hard to regain our composure. He loved her so much. Almost as much as I did. Then I understood how much he loved me. And I cried.
So back to the baby in this story. The year 2009 was a hard year. I was in mourning and had just begun my YEAR of mourning when I found out that I was expecting. I was angry and of course wondering WHY? WHY NOW? God had to jolt me out of what could have been a serious bout of depression. Yep, the D-word. It happens and can happen to anyone. This jolt was like, for example, you are standing outside looking at the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen with it's gorgeous hues of radiant reds, oranges and whiffs of white, fluffy clouds surrounding it. You look around to admire the full panoramic beauty of it all when out of the corner of your eye you see something on your shoulder. It's white with swirly hues of gray in it. You crone your chin down and REALLY look at it and realize that it is the unthinkable. BIRD POOP! What? What? WHAT???????? You are inflammed and driven to anger in one quick second. See, now you are jolted back into reality and it really sucks sometimes. Anger, That's the word. I was angry for many months and when I finally got over it and told me family in Texas that I was expecting, it was March and I was due in May. But during those months of anger, I wasn't depressed! Wow, that sounds insane, but it's true. Sometimes when you're angry, you are moved to action. And that's what I did. I was a busy, angry woman, but I didn't take it out on my family. I started to blog more and come up with ideas and such. So God moved me and then made me sit down. For a long time. I had a c-section and was at the mercy of my family for nearly 2 months. When I got up again, I was still hurt, but driven to more action. For now, as I continue to recover, I can look back and see the grace that God covered me with for those months of "mourning". I was given new friends and a fabulous church family with whom we love and they love us. My marriage has recovered and my children are stronger from it all. But most of all, I still miss my mother, but we have a beautiful memory of her lying in our bed with the name of Joy.