Friday, June 30, 2006

escaped convicts

I can now write about this horrific experience I went through on Wednesday night. Hopefully I can laugh whole heartidly about it in the near future and tell the kids what they did when they were 5 and 2 when they're much older....

Lost was on. Kids were in bed talking to each other in their rooms. It was after 10. They were STILL awake. I hear someone moving around upstairs and hear a little voice say, "fireflies!!". I yell up to them to get back in their beds. Silence. So...I wait a few minutes and wonder why all the silence. You know the saying, Better check on things when it's really quiet. I head upstairs and find the front door wide open. The motion light is on on the driveway and I see moving things in the front yard. Yes...the kids were outside, at 10:15 p.m., in their jammies, in the front yard, trying to catch fireflies. The bigger of the two had opened his sisters' gate to her room and let her out. Opened the front door, closed the screen door really, really quietly and took her outside. I told myself not to scream hysterically at them to get inside, so I yelled loudly and scared the begebees out of them. They both ran really fast inside. Like that, "uh oh...I know we're in trouble now." Well...I yelled loudly enough to wake Ed up downstairs and he asked what was going on and I informed him. So Sam ended up with a little sorer bottom, lost his bunny (which he sleeps with every night), lost outside time and tv the next day. I was almost in tears and so so angry that I was shaking.

Today I can slightly chuckle about it. Just slightly. Maybe tomorrow it can move up to a chuckle. Last night Sam informed me, "Mom...I'm not going to go outside tonight". I said that that was a good idea of what not to do.

So I think I'm 10 years older than what I feel. These kids are taking the years off of my life with no problem. How come no one has figured out how to put those years back on??

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

being there

Today was a bit of a rough day. Not nearly as rough as it was for my friend. I saw her go through grief, sorrow, sadness, tears and closure within a matter of 15 minutes. My friend burried her little boy today. She was pregnant with twin boys. For her to become pregnant was a miracle. She and her husband were beyond excited. She found out last month that one of the babies didn't make it. She went into labor last Wednesday at 33 weeks along and had a beautiful little boy, Gabriel. Today they burried his little brother, whom Amy held after he was delivered. I grieve with my friend. Seeing friends go through grief hurts. Hurts beyond description. I so wanted to take it from her. She is an amazing, amazing woman who has been through so very much in her life and has come out stronger in Christ because of it. I know God will grant her comfort. He promises never to leave her or her husband. I know He will carry her and her husband through this. Through the next weeks of grieving. Through the next weeks of caring for their little Gabriel and He will rejoice with them when they are able to finally bring him home from the hospital. And He already knows and is taking care of little Matthias. I hope it helped just being there today. Being there to give a hug. To care. To love. Being there to grieve along side. That's what friends do. To be there.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is it Mackinaw or Mackinac?

Which ever it is, we were there on Friday. Since we're not able to take a long vacation this year, we're splitting the time up into mini-vacations. This was our first one. It started at 4:30 a.m. when Ed and I got up to get everything packed up. 5:45 a.m. we were on the road. We got to the dock at 10:30 and caught the Arnold over to the island. Sam loved the boat ride. Alina didn't quite have her sea legs and was wobbly, but laughed the whole time. We got off the boat and on our bikes.

We stopped half way around to eat lunch and throw stones into Lake Huron (it just amazes me that one side of the bridge is Lake Huron and the other side is Lake Michigan. Guess they had to divide it somewhere). 8 miles later, we got back into town. Sam rode his bike around the entire island. Not one complaint out of his mouth. He peddaled his little legs SO fast the entire time.

While in town, we walked down main street, splurged on some icecream (Mackinac Island Fudge for me..Superman for Sam, Cookie Dough for Ed, and Alina had the community spoon and sampled all of ours). We continued on our walk up another street and then back to our bikes. We decided to venture into the island some and went and saw skull cave and then took a short cut to get back into town. We came out the other end of the shortcut into a neighborhood. It looked like a normal, city neighborhood with street lights and telephone wires and toys in the yards and kids playing in the street. NOTHING like main street and the huge bed and breakfasts and inns that you usually see when going there. It was a dose of reality. We headed back into town via main street and going by the Grand Hotel. Did you know that if you don't have reservations there, you have to pay $12 a person if you want to enter the hotel. And after 5 you have to wear a suit coat and dress pants on the premises. So I took pictures instead of going in and seeing it. That suited me just fine.

We got back on the ferry and headed home. Not long and the kids were alseep and we still had to eat dinner. Waking up sleep deprived children after them sleeping 5 minutes is not fun as they don't go back to sleep right away. Two hours later, they finally drifted off. We got home at 10:30.

It was a spectacular day. The kids had a blast. So did Ed and I. I would recommend going there. It's beautiful and going on a Friday was excellent as it wasn't too busy and we could navigate easily around the horse poop that Sam so willingly called out to us to beware of every time he saw a pile.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


One year ago today was the day my father-in-law passed away from cancer. I never did call him "dad" or referred to him as "father-in-law". Just Ed's dad. I always had a hard time with him because of the way he treated Ed growing up and not really wanting anything to do with Ed. It frustrated and made me mad at times of how he just didn't want the responsibility of raising Ed. I must say that my mother-in-law did a superb job of raising Ed on her own, supporting Ed, teaching Ed. And Ed learned a lot about life on his own apart from his father.

Two weeks before his dad passed away, Ed and Sam (who was just over 4 years old), went out to see Ed's dad. He knew he was declining health wise. He was a large man. Well over 200 pounds and was now down to skin and bones. Literally. Ed was shocked at how he looked. It didn't look like is dad at all. They had a good time together. Sam colored pictures for his grandpa. And also said one thing to his grandpa that I will never forget. "Grandpa, I want you to know Jesus." Ed's dad spent 59 years of his life avoiding God. He said he was too far gone for God to do anything good in his life. It came down to his deathbed for him to accept what Jesus did for him. And it was Ed who explained God's love to him. After years of trying, his dad heard. Really heard with his heart and wanted to embrace Christ.

These are the memories Ed keeps stored inside of him. How is dad was for the two weeks after he realized his need for Jesus. Their conversations. His love for his dad. Knowing he'll see him again.

Ed was on his way to FL to see his dad when I got the phone call that he passed away. I called Ed and let him know. He was walking out of the plane when I told him. They kept his dad at the house until Ed got there. It was a very somber day.

Ed spoke at his dad's memorial service. He was able to share this story to all of his dad's buddies and family that still do not yet know Jesus. I stood there watching and listening to him with my heart overflowing with love for him. He didn't have to say anything at all. But he stepped up to the plate and led the entire service.

I know he misses his dad. What could have become of their friendship, with Christ in his dad's life. Knowing he will once again see his dad and hear the "whatchya big doin?", puts a smile on his face and savors those memories that he does have.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The adventures of Sticky

We have a new "pet" in our family. He lives out on our back deck and has frequented our home several times over the past week and a half. He has moved to several different places and is becoming quite the traveller. He was named yesterday by Sam. Sticky. Sticky if our big green frog. He showed up last week Tuesday evening by my "garden". He then disappeared for a week. Sunday he showed up again.

This is where we found him:

He may seem small, but looks are deceiving. How he was sitting there sideways amazed us. He got poked and prodded and talked to and almost kissed (thankfully I stopped Alina before she smooched him).

Monday he was gone. We went on our search, but could not find him. Ed found him that evening and thought he got sat on because he makes himself so flat. This is where he was found Monday.

He amazed me with his leaping abilities. How DID he get up there on that chair? It's like magic. One will NEVER know.

Tuesday morning he was gone. On went our search for Sticky. We looked and looked and I finally found him here:

I thought the day before his jumping abilities were amazing, but then I was flabergasted as to how he got to this destination. He did move on throughout the day, up to the top of the rail at the top of the picture and stayed there and then was again gone when we got back from a walk. He has not been seen today.

So here's a picture of our deck. He started by the pots on the deck floor, disappeared, travelled to the side of the grill cover, disappeared, jumped on over to the chair wayyyyy to the right in the picture, disappeared and then hopped right up on the railing of the steps between the grill and the far right chair. Well accomplished traveler I must say.

Sticky should be stamping his passport as this has to be a great big feat for such a little thing.

And here's a picture of my garden. Since I'm on a picture-showing roll. The picture on the left contains beans and carrots up top, tomatoes and cucumbers in the round pots. The picture on the right contains zuchinni in the pots and carrots up top. Then on the ground, next to the steps are my two pumpkin plants and one extra zuchinni.

Friday, June 09, 2006

found odor and lost lunch

Since Sunday, the basement has been musty and just stinks. Ed noticed it too. The dehumidifier was full. I finally emptied it Wednesday night. It just smelled like a wet dog. A really odorous, smelly wet dog. I cranked the dehumidifier. It was much better yesterday, I noticed. Last night when I went downstairs Ed said, "You know that odor? I found out what it's from." I was unsure whether I should ask him what it was. A diaper that was misplaced and had been sitting down there for weeks? Spilled milk that had gone rancid? I felt the words come out of my mouth before realizing it and heard myself say, "what was it?". Four words eminated from his mouth. "You caught your mouse". Mouse + mouse trap + peanut butter + four days = mouse in the basement that is rotting and odorizing the house.

Tonight he was my hero. He got up on the chair with a pair of plyers and pulled it out. It wasn't white after all. It was brown. Methinks there may be another one up there too. But anywho, it was dead. Dead dead. Sam SO wanted to see it. So up to the garage they went and Ed put it on the floor for Sam to inspect. Then I heard from Sam's little lips, "There's a worm in it!". Ed turned it over and sure enough, it was being eaten by maggots that were crawling in and out of it. Literally.

Hand over mouth. Coughing up the steps. Trying not to gag and lose what little I have in my stomach. I'm afraid to close my eyes tonight as I know I will be dreaming about some type of bug chasing me that is salivating at the mouth, while I'm dressed up like a brown mouse running towards the larger than life trap all the while yelling to myself from myself "DON"T GO THERE!! YOU WILL DIE!!!". Fun.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

today's list

Today is going to be focusing on getting the list done. The list includes the following:

dust our room
dust the living room
clean up the basement
vacuum the truck
weed the garden
pick up Sam's room
make Sam's bed
Put away laundry

Then I have my list. The list above is Sam's. He's already vacuumed the living room and dining room and cleaned off his bed. Why the chores for a 5 year old? Well...he realized that when a bike helmet and truck tires meet, only one wins, and it's usually the bigger of the two. I've not heard him cry so hard when finding his helmet all crushed up from leaving it on the middle of the garage floor. He asked for another helmet so he could ride his bike. It was explained to him that he does not automatically get a new helmet when he didn't take care of his first one. So Ed and I came up with a list of chores that he needs to complete before he can have another helmet. That list is above. I've been thinking too of making a regular chore list for him to have a bit more responsiblity around the house as he's getting older. I'm not sure how to set it up or impliment it yet. I'll take any and all suggestions...

Friday, June 02, 2006

this and that

I get e-mails from Bright Horizons about raising your kids and usually skip over them as they are, most of the time, pertaining to older kids, but I read the most recent one. It was talking about spending every moment you can with your kids. To experience life with them. To remember back to your childhood summers and how free and fun they were and have that much freedom and fun with your kids. What caught my attention was this statement: "Remember, how many summers do you get when you are 1-year-old, or 2, or 6, or 7? Only one. And how many summers do you get when you are with a 2, 4, or 10-year-old?" It was a great reminder to me to not let those fun moments slip away. To create memories with my kids so they can look back when they have kids and remember how fun the summertimes were.

I saw our resident mouse again the other night. He/she was traversing across the top of the bookshelf downstairs. My dad was so sweet to leave some mouse traps. When I saw him (the mouse, not my dad), I went and got a trap and set up a little "treat" for the mouse. I managed to not spring the trap amidst the cobwebs in the ceiling. I took a picture the next day of the trap (I can't see up that high, so I figured the digital camerca would come in handy to see if I caught it). No mouse. I also saw that there's no possible way for the mouse to get to the trap as there is a floor board that comes down right on top of the heating duct. Well.. this won't do any good. I still need to move it. I just have to work up enough gumption to spring the trap, put my hand in cobwebs and pull it out. Or I can just leave it up there and go get another trap. To me, that sounds like the most logical thing to do. The less cobwebs, the better.

I planted my "garden" yesterday with my moms help. Everything is in pots except two pumpkin plants and one zuchinni plant (they are in a little area by the deck). Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, zuchinni and beans are all in pots on my back porch. I was hoping for a garden this year, but we're getting a new septic system instead. I didn't think it would be fair to the workers if I planted a garden and then they tore it all up and I yelled at them. I really wouldn't yell. I'd probably cry. So I'm saving myself from crying AND am going to enjoy some yummy veggies. See? Best of both worlds :) I just watered all the little sprigs and now it's going to rain. I hope no one drowns and I hear them weeping for their friends in the pots next door. That would be sad.

Since there's a severe thunderstorm warning, I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea for me to turn my computer off. Before I do that, I need to post this. And before I do that, I need to say one more thing about the mouse. I was telling my mouse tale to my mom and said that it was white. She proceeded to say that field mice are either brown, gray or black. Hmmmm....unless it's albino, she said, then someone's pet mouse is living in your basement. Pleasant. I'm going to kill someone's pet. Or a snakes meal in which the snake could starve without it and then I'd still be killing someone's pet snake. Sad to say, I don't feel one bit guilty. If the mouse was smart enough to get out of it's cage and house, it's smart enough not to eat the peanut butter, thus saving itself one more day. No remorse here. Though I will make Ed get it when it is dead.

Lightining is flashing. Must go.