Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Oh Toto...I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." -Dorothy

Or maybe we ARE in KANSAS.....
It's official....we are back in Tornado Alley!!!!!

It's our first Tornado Watch since we've been in Topeka! It remains to be seen if it's coming here....but honestly, unless it makes a major turn, we should be just fine.

The funny thing is....tornadoes should scare the heck out of me....but they really don't. At least, not until it's right on top of me, threatening me or my family.

The ironic thing is while living in Savannah, the threat of a hurricane scared the poo right out of me! (For those who don't know, people in GA are immune to the "possibility" of a hurricane--because the chances of it actually hitting Savannah are usually pretty small. So, Savannah natives mostly buy some water and batteries, just in case, but move forward with their every day lives.) Well, it's no wonder that the school secretaries looked at me like I was insane when I came flying into the school and checked Logan out of school at the first threat of a hurricane. No way way I going to leave my baby in that school to get blown away by a hurricane. If we were going to get blown away...the we were at least going to get blown away together! Then, we ran to Wal-mart and dropped nearly $200 on emergency supplies. I was freaked out!!! We were even planning where we would evacuate to and which route we would take.
Well, guess what hurricanes stir up? That's right, tornadoes. But, I'm not afraid of the tornadoes, just the hurricane. How dumb is that?
So, here's the thing. I have been in a tornado. And by in, I mean I have been a victim of a tornado.
Back in May 15th, 1990, I was attending college at Oklahoma State University. I had gone there to be with my fiance' and along the way, we broke up because we wanted different things in life...what did we know, we were only 20 years old! But, I was devastated. And every time I ran into him, we ended up out at dinner and back together, only to split again later. (it was a time of severe mental agony, but I loved him so....) But, I digress from the original story.....
My brother had come for a visit, to spend the night and brought his new girlfriend home to meet all of us. The plan was for him to stop and visit me on his way in to Tulsa. I had painstakingly planned and executed a fine dinner to impress Lori, when as we were sitting down to dinner, the phone was ringing. It was my mom, who was freaking out about some tornado warning. Well, if you don't know...a warning means it's happening NOW. I went out to the balcony of my 2nd floor apartment and sure enough, the sky was a weird gray, greenish black color and you could just feel the weird energy in the air. I could see the funnel cloud off in the distance and it was huge. (it was actually about a mile away, I could tell very near my exes townhome) So much for dinner.....
Well, if you don't know, when a tornado is imminant, you are supposed to "take cover" by going to the lowest floor of a building and going into the most interior room which does not have windows, then cover yourself with a mattress, just in case the roof blows off and there is falling debris. My downstairs neighbors had already moved out for the end of the semester, so we were stuck upstairs. Well, in a 2nd story apartment, this is the bathroom, plain and simple. Well, my tiny apartment was holding me, my brother, Lori, my roomie and her boyfriend. Well, the math should tell you that 5 people in a tiny apartment bathroom doesn't really work too well. So, in the spirit of unity and equality, we all decided it was only fair for us to all be in the hallway, with the bedroom doors shut and the mattress over top of us.
The phone rings again and it's Ron (my ex) who tells me a tornado is headed right towards us. I confess to him I am scared and he says he's coming. And I'm like, are you nuts?! (so now I am scared out of my mind and I am now forced to over-analyze why he's suddenly acting like my boyfriend out of the blue.....) And the call waiting beeps.....'s my mom, again. She's calling in to say she's watching the track in tv from 1 1/2 hours away in Tulsa and she's freaking out, terribly worried about our safety. All of a sudden we can hear the wind kicking up and the phone goes dead. And we lose power. We can all feel the building moving. Seriously, it's really swaying. I didn't even know that was actually possible.
It's obvious from the sound that we are in the middle of a REAL storm here. It's blowing, making eerie noises, noises like I have never heard before. Noises we can't quite decipher. Then, the building is truly swaying back and forth and we can feel it. Then, as cliche' as it is, we hear the sound of the freight train, the sound that it is rumored that a real tornado sounds like. By now we are all VERY SCARED and crying. The sounds, the darkness, the strange colors we can see from the sliding glass window and the intense moving the building is doing. It was all so intense.
My brother, the minister-in-training says, "I'd like to pray aloud." And he begins his prayer. The whole thing was like something you see in the movies. The tension was almost playing it's own movie-like musical crescendo, the kind of music that in the movies lets you know something really bad is happening...........and as he prays aloud, "Please, Lord, deliver us from the threat of this storm. Please keep us all safe. Please protect us Father...." As he prays these words, seriously, the storm lifted, the building stopped moving and the tensions eased.
Now, I know this must seem unreal to you, but truly it was a surreal moment. A moment that we were delivered from the imminent danger of losing our lives. (and it was a real danger, 8 people were injured and one person died in this tornado)
If you know me well, you know that I struggle with the religion issues, due mostly to some tragic events that have occured in my life, that I can't seem to make sense of. But, I tell you this, in that very moment, I was forever convinced of the presense of God. God is real. God protected us. God delivered us from this storm. I have never doubted that for one moment. He spared us that night.
How do I know this? Because when we were delivered from the danger we were in, this storm lifted up and went across the road approximately 2/10ths of a mile from my apartment and completely destroyed 2 entire city blocks, which amounted to 200+ houses and businesses. This was serious business. I just don't believe that there is ANY way this was a coincidence!
When we felt it was safe to emerge from under the mattress, we walked to the balcony and all we could see was debris EVERYWHERE and power lines down everywhere. We were trapped in my apartment, due to power lines being down directly out my door, even laying on my building. So, we waited. After what seemed like an eternity, we heard a knock at the door. "Fire Department, anybody home?! Anybody in there?!?"
They told us that we needed to evacuate because the condition of the building was bad. What?! What were they talking about? No time to ponder that, we had to get out. He said, "bring your personal items, but hurry, we have to get you out of here." So, of all the things I could have grabbed....I brought some pjs, a toothbrush, a hair scrunchy, my purse and the pile of bills off my desk. Why I grabbed those bills, I still don't know. I can only assume that was God, taking care of me, again. Because those bills were the only thing that allowed me access back to my apartment in 3 days when they let us back into the area. (because of the extreme damage and all the power lines down, the severely limited access into the area to keep "storm damage chasers" out.) To get into the area, you had to present something with proof of your address on it. Those bills were the only proof that I had of my address there. (as a college student, my drivers license listed my parents address.)
As we left that night, the fire department warned us of the power lines that we had to climb over and under to get out of there, with the only light coming from the flashlights the firemen had brought. The lines were thought to be dead, but stepping on a "live" wire could cost you your life. Even in our escape, we were still faced with danger.
As we walked out from the area, we had to walk about 1/2 a mile up to the corner, where the Red Cross had set up an "emergency shelter" at the Best Western. As we walked up to the hotel, I heard my name being called by a very familiar was Ron. (you have to remember, this happened in the olden days, days before cell phones. He only knew I was ok when he saw me.) He had come. I couldn't believe it. He threw his arms around me with tears in his eyes. He held me and said, "Thank God you are all right." Come stay at my apartment he said and I wanted to. I needed him. I was weak. I was exhausted. I wanted him. I wanted to be with him. I loved him, he was safe to me and in that moment, he was loving me. And I so wanted him to love me.
So, all 5 of us checked in with the authorities and left with Ron and went home with him.
I sometimes consider that night to be the beginning of the real end of his and my relationship. With all he had put me thru in the preceding months. On again, off again, on again, off again. It was just all too much. I loved him with my whole heart and I now knew that he still loved me, no matter what he said and did. Now, if I hadn't been a virgin, I guarantee you I would have slept with him that night, whether we were together or not. But, I didn't. You see, we were both virgins and we were both raised in the church and we both believed in waiting for marriage. That was a hard night. A night that I thought I was going to die. And I truly wanted to give myself to him...even if it was wrong and went against everything I believed in.
But I knew for him to drive in the 2+ hours from Oklahoma City, driving right into a storm.... well, you just don't do that unless you truly love someone.
So, as I spent the next few days at his townhome waiting for word that we could go back to the apartment. During those days, Ron and I got very close again. I thought things were going to be wrong I was. My naivete' came back and bit me in the rear again..... but that's another story..........
When we were finally allowed back in 3 days later, I was stunned to find that my car had been smashed by a flying gigantic apartment building sized dumpster....oh well, I hated that car anyway..... But even more shocking, was to find that my apartment building was severely damaged. (Remember the comment of the fireman?)
In fact, the tornado was ripping the roof off of my building and the damage literally stopped on the other side of the wall of my apartment. It was clear to me then, that's what we had felt that night. Those were the eerie noises we heard, but couldn't quite figure out what they were over the loud "freight train" noise of the tornado. Randy's prayer was answered, we truly had been spared that night......
It had been a freaking F3 Tornado! A Severe tornado. This means 158-206 mile an hour winds. No wonder it smashed the dumpster into my car! No wonder there was so much debris.
We were lucky. We were alive. We were not harmed. We lost nothing, except all the groceries I had bought for Randy and Lori's visit....a small price to pay, in my opinion. (and yes, I went across the street and surveyed the blocks of destroyed houses....which was quite humbling, knowing that the Lord had spared us....) That was the first and last time I saw true devestation in person.
So, as the days passed, we had access to the apartment, but we still had no electricity. We had to go to Wal-mart and buy a cooler and a hibachi grill and that's how we ate for the next few days. FEMA showed up to help all those who lost everything. The Red Cross helped people like us, poor college students who lost all our food, etc. We tried to deny their help, but they would not let us. The insisted we were victims, too. It was all a very surreal experience.
But, also as the days passed, I longed for Ron. I wanted more than anything to be with him. To be engaged again. To be his girlfriend/fiance' again. (and my near-death experience confirmed this to me- I know, I know *drama queen* but again, I was very young!!!)
But as time passed, Ron was less and less there for me. He fell back into his on/off pattern and I couldn't take it anymore. He was breaking my heart nearly every few days and I was letting him do it. We had been kinda on again when my 21st b-day came around June 12th. And he didn't even call me. The year before I got 20 long-stem red roses....this year he didn't even call. Well, that night I went out with a good friend who I had truly been infatuated with for many years and his girlfriend. Let's just say, it was my 21st birthday and I was broken-hearted. They carried me out of a well-known bar called Eskimo Joes that night. (Needless to say, my broken heart didn't always help me make the best choices.) Well, I called him that night after my friends brought me home and that was the end of any possibility of "us."
Looking back, I don't really know what happened between him and I. Maybe we were just too young. Maybe he was scared. Maybe he went nuts. All I know is he let the best thing that ever happened to him walk right out of his life..... HIS loss.....but I sure didn't see it that way then. It was MY loss.
He became a real a$$ over the next few months, but again, that's another story.....
(if you know me, you know that I eventually moved on and away from the the ex-fiance'. Lucky for me, but it was because of Ron's being an a$$ and my broken heart that I moved back to Northeastern State University, because that's where I found the greatest guy ever....yep, I'm talking about Big Daddy!)
Eventually we got power. Eventually we had phone service. But it took about 2 weeks. They also were repairing the apartment building during this time, as well. (it was determined the building was structurally sound, just damaged.) I had to get my car fixed.
You'd think after all that, I'd be terrified of tornadoes. Well, the truth is, I haven't looked a tornado in the eyes since that I guess I don't really know. My suspicion is, in that situation again, I would FREAK! But, I would have to try and hide it because of my kids.
I have been thru many Tornado Watches, but I've not been in any actual danger like I was that day.
However, I am a proponent of "be prepared." I try to keep batteries and water and my "hurricane/tornado box stocked." (sadly, my box was dropped and destroyed in the I better get a new one)
And I do find it somewhat ironic, I live in Kansas, tornado alley, and the scene for the Title quote from Dorothy at the top of the page. Kinda funny, really......
(it's the stories like this that happen to me.....this is why my mom always told me I should write a book.....)
What do you think?
Do you have a burning question to ask me?
Have you been in a tornado? Tell me your experience.....

Find me a good pediatrician....STAT!!!!!

This post is about the good memories of the best darn pediatrician I know, Dr. Keith Seibert. Here he is with my kids about a week or so before we moved away from Georgia......

So, what brings this moment of reminiscing up? Well, I took Griffin to the pediatrian. I called the office of "the pediatrician" everyone has recommended to me. Naturally, it was her day out of the office. So, I agreed to see her partner. I was thinking, "how bad could it be?"

Well, the answer to that is.... B. A. D.

I could not stand her.
Hated her bedside manner.
Hated her medical advice...disagreed with it, in fact.
What she told me was completely opposite of what Dr. S would have told me.

Now, I am not a doctor and I don't claim to be one, but I feel like most of the time...I can pretty well predict how to treat a situation. In this case, I just wanted a doctor to see him and assess the situation to be sure I was on the right track.

God help me if the infamous Dr. C--- isn't all she's cracked up to be, because her partner sucks!

Hey Dr. Seibert.....why don't you and Eve consider moving to Topeka?! That would solve all my problems........

Monday, February 26, 2007

**snoozer** post...aka my boring life....

I hate boring weekends.....

Quick recap.....

Friday night - the furniture store delivered the boys new bunkbed and it took 2 guys, 3 hours to put it together, from 4:30 to 7:30pm.

Ike went to a work dinner thing. He was supposed to get in and out of there....that didn't happen. He got home at 11pm. No break for me.

Saturday, in an effort to avoid unpacking, we had the brilliant idea to open the can of worms otherwise known as, since Jamie has an adorable puppy, so let's go look at adorable puppies to see what we can find. Now everyone is whining, "Mom, can we get a puppy?" Yeah, like that's what we really need right now!! (side note: Marinne flipped out in the pet store. Screaming and running from puppy cage to puppy cage. She saw a little dog that looked like Gma and Gpa's "Tucker" and she started screaming, "Tucker, Tucker, Tucker, Tucker, Tucker, Tucker......")

Saturday night, out of guilt for blowing off the work during the day, I unpacked boxes. Have I mentioned I'm so tired of unpacking boxes?!?!

And it snowed again! We went to Walmart to get a few things and when we came out, the van was covered with snow! Crazy weather!!! But....still loving it!!!!!!!! I want a blizzard!!!

Sunday, Ike worked on the garage some. I somehow became domesticated and made cinnamon apple pancakes for breakfast and homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner. (lunch was hot dogs and chips) I think I may have been inspired by Stacy A's blog post about this.... Doesn't that sound good.....a far cry from my boring homemade food I made, but it inspired me none-the-less.

And I unpacked a ton of junk in the boys room! Why does it all take soooo much time?????

Anyways.....last night Big Daddy was super grumpy and then I found out why......after moaning and groaning and chilling all night long (which kept me awake, of course) .....he has the stinkin' intestinal virus that I had 1 1/2 weeks ago. Trust me, this one sucks. He'll be miserable at least today and tomorrow.

Hopefully, no one else will get it!!!!!!!!!!! If they do, you'll hear me whine about that!!!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Beautiful Day....FINALLY!!!!

It's 60 degrees outside.....and we're lovin' it!!!

After all this horridly cold weather....we have had a few "warm" days. All the snow and ice has melted off. It's wet, muddy and slushy on the ground, but playing on the pavement is great. Luckily, we have a basketball goal on our driveway and we have sidewalks now! Yea! Plenty of safe places for the children to run and play! Another reason that Topeka rocks!

Logan was practicing his basketball skills. He plays with such abandon. He is trying to learn how to shoot. How to react. How to predict where the ball will go. It's fun to watch. Watching him reminds me of the many, many summer days I spent watching Brad C. playing basketball on his driveway. Oh how the days go by....

Jensen likes to play any kind of ball. Before that, he was up in the tree, although, by the time I made it into the house, he was down and on his scooter. (up in a tree - one on his mom's favorite pasttimes)

Griffin likes to play basketball, as well. We found a tiny basketball in the backyard next to the pool. He loves it. It's just his size!

He just loves playing outside with his big brothers....after all, he thinks he's just like them!!!!

When Marinne woke up from her nap, I took her outside, as well. In Savannah, she didn't get to go out much at all. We had no fence. We had no sidewalk. And keeping her out of the street was a full-time job.

She had fun just running up and down the sidewalk. It seems so simple, but to her, freedom! She would get the ball when one of her brothers would drop it and whe would run like the dicken's. It was so cute and so funny!!

Here's wishing you sunny days and afternoons playing outside with your kids!
It sure beats unpacking!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 just ain't the same w/out YOU!!

So, I went to an all day (10am-10pm) crop on Sunday. There were 165 people there. It probably was fun to them, but not really to me. I went hoping to find a friend. Someone who could obviously help fill the excess of alone time I am experiencing. I was dissapointed.

Don't get me wrong....there were super nice people sitting all around me. I enjoyed their the way you can enjoy a complete stranger, but it was weird. I scrapbook with people I know. People I love. People I am inspired by. People I respect.

It was so different. Kind of unsettling. Very Sad.

It makes me miss all of you, even more than I already did. And that was a lot!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Did Nebraska EVEN show up to this game?!

Sorry, Lori....but Nebraska sux!! (Lori is my sister-in-law and she grew up in Nebraska. So, being rivals, we have been having friendly disagreements about just whose teams are better for about 15 years. Usually these disagreements have been based on Oklahoma State vs. Nebraska or University of Oklahoma vs. Nebraska --and admitedly sometimes her team wins -- but it's way fun way to tease her about being a Cornhusker! Seriously? A cornhusker?? (What kind of mascot is that anyway?! Is that supposed to seem Strong? Athletic? Farmy?)

Well, now there's a new team in town.....KU....and KU killed Nebraska! Just take a look at the final score on the scoreboard. (does anyone think this is just a little fancy for a college basketball game? Because I was super impressed!)

For our first taste of the "crazy" known as KU was FUN! Griffin was sooo cute! He clapped and yelled. Jensen was a little more reserved, but still enjoyed the action. (of course, he has to be "cool" in case some cute 8 yr. old girl is watching....)

So, here is what I learned.....

1. If you are late....people WILL steal your seats! But me, being the bad-a$$ I am....said, "these are OURS....we have seats 1, 2, 3 and 4 to this guy as big as Ike, who seemed irritated from the moment we walked up the bleachers." Too bad sucker....those seats are OURS! Get over it dude.....and get your own darn seats! I hate people who do that!!!! Annoying!!!

2. These people are nuts about their "game." The place was packed. I mean wall-to-wall people and it was hot in there!! I can't imagine people having the "need" to do this almost every weekend. I think I would much prefer to catch the game on my big screen tv from under my new faux-fur throw that Carla sent me!!
3. The Kansas t-shirt store led me astray. Maybe she didn't know any better.....maybe she was a K-State fan and thought it was funny. I don't know. But she should have told me to buy BLUE shirts. Apparently, KU FANS wear BLUE on GAME DAY!!! I even saw many BLUE KU shirts that actually say..."KU - GAME DAY SHIRT."

Check out the pic....see the sea of BLUE?! How could she sell me a grey shirt and a red shirt for myself and Ike?!

For heaven's sake....the Nebraska uniforms were red!!!! I'm wearing the OTHER TEAM COLOR!

I don't think our plan of going undercover as KU fans worked out like we planned!

4. Did you know that a college basketball game is only 2 periods long of 20 minutes each? I sure didn't. (well I may have in college, but who can remember back to then??) Thank goodness... we were late. Then, there was an intermission with mountain bike stunt riders. And still, but 4 1/2 minutes into the 2nd period....Griffin and Jensen were both already getting bored. Poor Griffin wanted popcorn, but at $10 for a small bucket (prices worse than the movie theatre) I just could not justify it. But, we promised him a treat as soon as the game was over. (maybe that's why he wanted to get out of there?!?!)

5. I've got the cutest KU family EVAH!!!! Check out these cutie-cute pics.....

The KU Family

Friday, February 16, 2007

Apparently we are KANSAS JAYHAWKS!!

Due to the kindness of Ike's bosses' bosses' boss...we were given 4 highly-coveted tickets and a parking pass to the KU Basketball Game on Saturday. We are so excited!! (although, I must admit I thought about hockin' them to pay one of our two mortgages -- but don't tell him that!!!)

Now it's time to get prepared...

10 Things To Be a JAYHAWK:

#1 - Figure out the KU colors are Crimson and Royal Blue.

#2 - Go to the "Kansas Sampler" in a snowstorm and buy everyone KU t-shirts and face tattoos. (yep, it's a store w/nothing but Kansas merchandise)

#3 - Go to the scrapbook store to get KU paper and basketball ribbon so you can scrap the totally awesome pics you plan to take at the game!

#4 - Figure out the Crimson and Royal Blue are equal to Bazzill Red and Bazzill Blue. (how boring is that?)

#5 - Learn the KU chant: Rock, Chalk JAYHAWK! (taught to me be adorable salesgirl at Kansas store) Apparently, they chant this over and over and over.

#6 - Consult map to see where Lawrence, KS is and how far away it is.

#7 - Mapquest Lawrence, KS and print out directions to get there. (oh, rather, right down how to get there, as the printer is still not even unpacked...)

#8 - Secure babysitter for 2 children staying home. (it wasn't possible to buy more tickets, they have been sold out for weeks!)

#9 - Wonder if $91 of KU shirts and face tattoos will help you fit in w/ the crazy KU fans and if they will be fooled into thinking you are a fan, too.

#10 - Get out white turtlenecks for everyone to wear under their t-shirts, since it's only 5 degrees outside!

We go tomorrow. It should be fun.

Update to follow.......

Thursday, February 15, 2007

1 1/2 Hours, 4 degrees temperature outside, $35 and 38.6 miles, including a toll road....

...that is how much effort it takes to get my sweetie a thoughtful Valentine dinner from his beloved Taco Bueno!

You see, when we found out we were moving back to the Mid-West, one of the things I researched was which of our most missed restaurants were in Topeka. There were certain places that we considered staples for our eating out pleasure. To our delight, the list let us know that there was 1 Taco Bueno in Topeka. Well, 1 is all we need!!!

However, once we got here, we had trouble locating this 1 elusive Taco Bueno restaurant. We asked our real estate agent, who said, "Do you mean Taco Tico?" Umm....thanks, but heck NO!!!

She had never even heard of it and said, "I don't think we have one of those here." (and this is a woman who knows her way around the city!!)

Well, thank God she was mistaken. After consulting the website again, there was a Taco Bueno listed in Topeka, KS.

But it was listed as 7.92 miles away from our house.

Now, I know this doesn't seem too far. (afterall, for the past 3 years I've been driving over 5 miles just to get to a ghetto Wal-Mart!!!

But, since arriving here in KS, I don't have to drive further than 2 1/2 miles to get anywhere good! So, I'm already spoiled. Basically, it was clear to me, that going to the Taco Bueno had to be timed just right and that's when I decided I would go get it for Ike for Valentines Day.

So, I set out in the freezing cold with 4 kids and a map on my mission.

I have no idea how to go anywhere off the main drag in Topeka. (I had called the Bueno and asked where they were located only to be told by a 16 year old boy...."on the Turnpike." When I asked which road that was....."I don't know" was his response. Darn teenager!)

Since I knew it was toward Kansas City, I set out on my way. I drove and drove and drove. When I got to about 9 miles away from my house, I started to worry. After all, the Taco Bueno website says it's 7.92 miles. But, I kept on going.....I'm on a mission.

I reached the turnpike, so I figured I might be going the right way. And I continued to drive....searching my purse for change to pay the toll.

Finally, I saw it. The sign on the side of the turnpike, listing FOOD at the next exit and the glorious Symbol for TACO BUENO!

All total it was 19.3 miles....ONE way! Slightly more than the 7.92 miles promised by their website!!!! (I think I might have to drop them an unhappy email about that one.)

Turns out, Ike was busy with problems and personnel issues at the station, so he was running late anyway and he arrived at home about 4 minutes after we did.

When Ike saw what I had he said, "Oh yeah, baby, I've waited for this for SO LONG!"
(yeah, sometimes he can be a tad dramatic like me!)

We all pigged out and we LOVED every minute of it.

I had so much food, we had plenty to stick in the fridge for us to re-heat and eat for lunch tomorrow.

I guess this is what you do for LOVE!!!

Even Miss Thang loved it! She scarfed down the taco kids meal we got her. And she learned how good cinnamon chips can be.

All in all, it was a Very BUENO Valentine's Day!!!

Here's hopin' your Valentines Day was as "BUENO" as ours was!

(note: Taco Bueno.....literally means, Good Taco.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yet, another cheesy Valentine's Day post.....

YYYHappy Valentine's Day!!YYY

Much LOVE going out today to my family and friends. I love you all very much!!

Here's what I love about...
...Ike - I love how hard you work for this family. I love your blue eyes. I love how you've given me your all. I love how you constantly encourage me. You are my true soulmate.

...Logan - I love how generous and giving you are. You are a truly kind, benevolent person. I love how you want to help. I don't know what I would do without you! I'm sorry when I fail you. Because you are my oldest, I mess up the most with you. I love seeing just how intelligent you are. You truly amaze me!

...Jensen - I love to see your pure expressions of love. I love when a moment moves you, you throw your arms around me and tell me you love me. I just love that you do it and don't think about it. I love to see your artistic abilities. You make me wish I was artistic, like you.

...Griffin - I love your sweet smile. You have such a purely sweet nature. I love how you always want to hug and kiss me, even if you use it as a ploy to get back up after I have put you to bed, you little stinker! I love you because you are my baby boy!!

...Marinne - I love you, princess! You have brought pure joy to us and enhanced our lives in a way we never knew we were missing it!! You are beautiful, sweet and funny....even when you are throwing your latest tantrum. I do love you!


To my mother - I will always love you. I miss you. You taught me what true love is. You will always be in my {Y}

To my brother - I love you and your family more than you will ever know. You are an inspiration to me. Thanks for always being there.....

To my dad - I love you. Even when I'm upset with you. That will never change. I'm glad we are speaking again. I missed you.

To my Janet - Why do "steps" have to be so complicated? Here's wishing for patience while we continue to get to know more about each other.

To Ellen and Wayne - Thanks for always being there and for all you do. Life seems weird without you nearby. Much love on Valentine's Day.

Where do I even begin to list my friends and what I love about each of them.... but I promise if you post a response, I'll tell you what I love about YOU!!
(ok, cheesy lovefest over....)
YTell me who you are lovin' today and why.....

Monday, February 12, 2007

...And it's STILL comin' down!!!

My Own Winter Wonderland....
After a full day of rain, rain and then sleet, I was rewarded with this...
...isn't it beautiful?!
This is the 2nd snow we've had in the less than 3 weeks I've lived here. And no, I'm not tired of it yet. I am still in awe of it. Still enjoying every moment of watching it, floating down from the sky. I really missed snow while living in Savannah.
There is just something magical about watching it fall from the sky. Floating down and painting the world in white.
And as of right now, the kids still have school. I'm honestly kinda shocked. In Tulsa, school would be cancelled. I guess they are a little more used to dealing with snow and ice here. The kids are already out of school on Thursday and Friday for parent/teacher conferences. I guess we'll see......

<--- By the way, this is our home.
I don't think I have posted a picture of it yet. It's totally normal looking, but it will look better once we spruce it up with some paint, shutters and landscaping when spring comes.
(then we'll fire up the pool for summer!!)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Making up for lost time and lost camera cords...

Big Girl Bed...

I had to make a choice when we got to Kansas....Big Girl Bed or put together the crib, only to move her into the big girl bed in about a month.

So, after much thought, the night before Marinne was due to come home from Gma/Gpa's house....we put together
the toddler bed. We were going to put together the crib, as well, just in case we needed it. Well, we got too tired and we thought, we'll just try it and if it doesn't work, we'll put the crib up.

Well, it worked just fine. She never even balked, cried or complained. She just climbed on it and went to sleep after I rocked her. What a big, big girl!!!
(Now if I can just get her off this darn pacifier, I'll be happy! I just can't have a princess with messed up teeth from that paci. Any suggestions welcomed!!)

The return to school....the boys started school on the 29th of January after a week and half reprieve. They begged to stay at home, but alas, they had to go!

What a difference a week makes! Before they were going to school with no coats and light clothing... Today, they are going to school in heavy clothes, including long underwear and heavy coats. It's 18 degrees out and it's COLD!

Nothing is more beautiful than snow falling, when you haven't seen it in over 3 years. I was so excited and really enjoyed the beauty of it coming down, ever so gently. Steady and white, covering everything in sight. Pure joy.

I'm realistic....I know that's going to get real old, real fast. But for now, I'm enjoying it. We are forcasted to get 2-4 inches tomorrow. So, it's a snuggle-up, stay inside day for us! To enjoy the view and stay out of the cold.

Looking back, here are the boys enjoying their first taste of playing in the snow here. Well, really, Griffin getting his first taste. He was only 16 months old when we moved to Savannah, so he has no memory of seeing snow before. Logan and Jensen are seasoned veterans, but it had been a long, long time.

Either way, they had a blast. Making and throwing snowballs. Jensen was eating it like crazy, despite my warnings of snow not being clean and to watch out for "yellow snow." To him, it was a delicacy. Griffin and Jensen liked making snow angels. Logan was looking for animal tracks.

I let them stay out in 9 degree weather with a wind-chill of negative who knows what for about 45 minutes.

Then, I had to be the bad guy and make them come in, while they made their plea for 5 minutes more.

Don't worry guys, there will be plenty more where this came from.....TRUST ME....we live in Kansas now!

Tell me what YOU think.....

**How did it go when you transitioned your child from crib to bed? Was it this easy?

**How do I get her off this paci? What did you do?

**Have you had a "snow day?" What is your best memory of this? Have you ever seen snow?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Blogger sucks!

Well, I wanted to post the pics I promised to post, but Blogger won't let me upload any pictures. I guess I'll try tomorrow....


Monday, February 5, 2007


Well, clearly we are insane!

Our new house is about 1/3 of a mile away from every parents dreaded destination, Chuck-E-Cheese's restaurant! (and yes, EVERY SINGLE TIME we leave our house, we have to drive right by it and say, NO we ARE NOT going to CEC today!!!!!!)

So, being the caring parent that I am, I begin to think that that driving by Chuck-E-Cheese every single day and repeatedly saying No to CEC may be a little bit cruel, so I suggest to Ike that maybe we should consider taking the kids to CEC over the weekend. (after all, they don't really have any friends yet, their toys are still mostly packed, it's WAY TOO cold to play, this would be a treat for them.) To this suggestion, Ike replies, "Are you NUTS?!"

But after some talking him into it and bribing him w/ promises of certain favors on my part, he agreed we should go. (the things we have to do.....geez!)

Unfortunately for them, it turns out that both L and J were pretty naughty during the day (they did not know what we were planning) and they didn't really deserve to go, but G and M were both so excited to go. So we tried to change the day, but when we told Griffin we'd take him on Sunday instead, he burst into tears. We couldn't break his little heart, when he hadn't done nothing wrong. So, we went anyway.

We thought that going on Saturday night was a good idea, because "it shouldn't be too busy." WRONG!! We had to wait, yes, I said wait, to get into CEC. When we were finally assigned our table, it took forever to get the pizza that we ordered.

During this time, we let Griffin play a few games that were directly next to our table. (Logan and Jensen were forced to sit as punishment for being naughty. They had to sit for the 1st hour and 15 minutes we were there.) That was torture for them and for us, it was everything I could do to not let them just go play. They were driving me nuts....asking every 3 minutes....can we go play now?!?! It was really hard to say no.

So for the next 1 1/2 hours, we tortured ourselves in the name of FUN and did the CEC thing.

Marinne had a great time for her first Chuck-E- Cheese Experience. She loved it! She laughed and ran all over the place. She was adorable and cute, as always!!

And because she's not allowed to have "money" (coins) because of the choking hazard at be allowed to have coins was a BIG DEAL!!!

All in All, for the bargain price of $44.79 (with a coupon) for a few hours of entertainment, it wasn't TOO bad......

.............................EXCEPT FOR........THE GERMS!!!

All I could think of when I saw/heard the kids hacking and sneezing and touching everything with their nasty hands was, GOOD GRIEF, how many days will it be before I go running to the pediatrician (who I have yet to find) with a child who has a 103 degree fever and the flu!!!!

Then and there I decided a better name for this place would be



Hopefully, I won't be making another trip there for quite some time!!!

(Especially if I have to see this pitiful, crying face the next time we go!! When Marinne was told we needed to go home, she burst into was just so, so sad! Tears and all!! Poor abused little girl........)

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Hello from Kansas!

Hi everyone! Well, I'm in Kansas freezing my bunz off. The weatherman says it won't be above 18degrees for the next 4 days and next weekend they say we might get 6 inches of snow!! Are you serious?!?! Jeez, that's insane!!

Turns out that growing up in Tulsa, has not prepared me for this kind of cold. That, and the fact I've been spoiled by mild Savannah winters for the past few years. I almost don't know how to deal with this frigid cold here.

I am sick of unpacking (which is not good for me, since I still have zillions of boxes everywhere.) Why, oh why, does it take so darn long to unpack?! It seems like the boxes are like bunnies, multiplying when I turn around!!!

I haven't been out of my house in 3 days. Too cold. And it's WAY TOO MUCH WORK bundling up 4 kids to go anywhere. And again, it's too stinkin' cold!

I took some killer pics of the kids playing in our snow, but I can't find my stinking cord to upload my pics to the 'puter, so I'm irritated about that. Otherwise, I'd delight you with pics of my house and of our snow play.

No news on the house-selling. Send someone to Richmond Hill to buy my house. I'm turning grey just thinking about it!!! (My new house rocks...but two mortgages doesn't!!)

I miss everyone like crazy and I'm super lonely. I haven't made one friend, since all I can manage is to hibernate in my house! Snoozers! (seriously...I haven't even been to the scrapbook store yet, since I haven't unpacked the scrapbook/stampin' stuff I already own, it's pretty hard to justify buying more stuff to put away!)

Well, if you want my new contact info (snail mail addy, phone number and KS email address) me at or post a comment to this blog....and I'll be happy to send it to you, that is, IF I KNOW U~ (note: since I didn't bother to copy my email addy book before turning off the internet in GA, I don't know whose emails I have and whose I don't - sheesh! So, if you've sent me an email recently to my old email addy....please resend it....I most likely did not get it!!)

Happy note: Today Big Daddy bought me and himself matching mission-style desks to set up my scrap area and his office area. I can't wait! Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?!?!?! (since it's gonna be 5 degrees and I'm not leaving this house!!!!) Who cares about unpacking clothes and dishes?!?! Scrapbook boxes here I come! (is that irresponsible?!) ::giggle giggle::

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Is anyone out there?!?!?!?!

Hello???? I need to know you are there..... Please leave me comments and let me know you are reading.....

I am so busy, I really want to post, but I'm afraid no one is reading. (do I sound like I need validation? i do.) Jamie D. tells me that people are asking her about my blog....but no one ever says anything to me....besides Amber.

Let me know if you are reading....and I promise to make time to update. Otherwise, I have boxes calling my name!!!

My Art