Friday, September 30, 2011

surfin' USA

I try to get out and walk most everyday.
I LOVE to be outside, especially when it's warm.
I've seen some interesting things on my walks but this may be the most interesting.
Yep, that's a surf board.
Yep, we're a land locked town in a land locked state.
Not quite sure what he was doing with his surf board and 2 newspaper carrier bags.
I followed this guy about 6-8 blocks from our house to the homeless shelter.
He's probably wondering about me too.
He never threw a newspaper so I'm not sure what's in the bags.
Not sure what he's going to do with the surf board.
Beach party at the homeless shelter tonight?
A fun twist on ironing?
I might enjoy ironing with a board like that :)

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

love notes

My sweet Abi loves to leave love notes on my pillow.
She's just sweet like that.
She's very thoughtful and really thinks about her recipient.
This weekend, she left a love note each for me.

Bright.  Colorful.  Fun.  Caring.  Loving.  Buttful.

Great.  My daughter thinks I'm buttful.  I'm sure that's the 3 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I enjoyed last night.  They settled in my backside.
Oh well, I'm pretty happy with bright, colorful, fun, caring and loving.
And buttful :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

escort service

Disclaimer - If you're a woman over 40 or who has had at least 3 children, go take a quick bathroom break.  You'll thank me later.  If you're over 40 AND given birth to at least 3 kids, you'll really, really thank me.  I promise
I'll wait...

True story.
I just finished my evening walk.  I saw the strangest thing.
A bright purple pick-up with a big sign on it's side "ESCORT SERVICE".
Now imagine all these thoughts rapidly screaming through my head -
I sure hope all those thoughts stayed inside my head.
I was so thankful my kids weren't with me.  I wouldn't want to explain what an escort service is.

I always imagined an escort service would be a 1970ish black, low riding Cadillac with shiny silver rims. 
And loud bass beats. 
Lots of silver chains and a black hat on the driver. 
I thought they came out only after dark.  This was broad daylight.
This sure didn't look like what I imagined an escort service to look like.

As the pick-up went by, I noticed this sign on the tailgate - "OVERSIZE LOAD".
I've been known to hit a man for a kinder comment about his date's size.
That's simply rude and inappropriate.
I couldn't decide if I was more appalled or offended. 
Speechless, really.

But then I noticed the yellow lights on top of the pick-up.

Oh, THAT kind of escort service.
(This is not an actual photo of the pick-up.  I didn't have my wits about me to take a picture.)

In my defense, there was no oversized load in front of or behind the pick-up.
His lights weren't flashing.
He was obviously off duty.

You're laughing with me, not at me, right?  Promise?!
True story.  I couldn't make up something that good.  :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

hannah's miracle

If you're looking for a laugh, you might want to move on.  That's my disclaimer and I'm sticking to it!
I was very careful not to blog about or post anything on fb during my step daddy's illness that could be interpreted as sad or depressing.  He insisted that we keep our spirits up and I didn't want to whine.

But, I'm real and I have real emotions.  My goal with my blog is to remember and highlight what's important in our life.  Somedays, it's not a lot of fun or very pretty.  But it's real. 

This post is for my Hannah.  God became very real to her on September 2, 2011.  Hannah has been raised in a Christian home and made her own decision to follow Christ at a young age.  She's a teenage girl who doesn't always wear her faith on her sleeve.  Matter of fact, she's a pretty private person who just wants to blend in.

Here's a note she posted on fb on September 2, 2001 at 2:09 pm.  I've copied it exactly as she wrote it.  I recognize the spelling and grammar may not be perfect.  But's it's her perfect cry from her sweet 13 year old heart and I want to preserve it exactly the way she wrote it:

I'm crying out to God and asking for a miracle. Things aren't going too well, in fact there not doing well at all. I'm on my knees by my bed praying and looking for an answer. Nothings happening. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. And most of all, I'm sick and tired of the devil. I don't know what to do. I'm overwelmed in frustration.

God, just help him. Give him a new body. Take away his pain. But Lord, if it's your will, take him up into your arms. Just please take good care of him as he did for all of us. But if it is your will to take him, do it quickly and peacefully. Don't let him linger on in pain. It's hurting everyone, but I can't imagine how bad it's hurting my Grandma.

I didn't cherish all the moments I had with him, and now it's possibly the end of the line. I'm trying to accept it but it's not happening. I don't want things to go on this way. I try to think: it always gets worse before it gets better. But right now, it seems like nothing good will ever happen again, without him.

God, it's your call. I know you'll make the best choice for him. Just take good care of him whether he's here on Earth, or with you in Heaven.


Hannah had already said her good-byes to Ken 48 hours before this post.  Ken was in a terrible amount of pain and it was a traumatic experience for my kids to say good-bye.  However, after they said their good-byes, we moved Ken to the hospice unit at St Francis.  He was so much more comfortable and at peace there.  I really wanted  my kids to experience this peace so their final memory of Papa Ken would be a good memory.  So, our friends brought Hannah and Abi up to spend a couple more hours with Ken, my mom, my sister and her girls.

My girls were so timid about seeing Ken this final time.  But once they stepped into the room, they were at total peace.  They were able to spend some time talking to Ken, holding his hands and stroking his hair.  They could hug him one more time and say a peaceful good-bye.  My girls and my young nieces were at such peace with Ken these last couple of hours.  It was such a sweet family time for Ken and all his girls.  He passed so quietly and peacefully while Hannah was in the room.  This was her miracle!  She got to experience the most amazing, beautiful passing of her Papa Ken to his eternity with Jesus.  All of her fears vanished.

We would have all chosen to spend more hours, days, weeks and months with Ken.  But it wasn't our choice to make.  As Hannah so eloquently said - God, it's your call. I know you'll make the best choice for him. Just take good care of him whether he's here on Earth, or with you in Heaven.

Hannah had a special connection with her Papa Ken.  They shared a very ornery sense of humor.  He made her promise to always give him a hug each time she would see him during his last 4 weeks of life.  She has never been a hugger and Ken knew it!  She went beyond his request and made sure she hugged him at least twice every time she saw him.  Her heart was softened through this journey.  Her Papa Ken loved her in life and in death.
(This isn't a perfect photo but it shows how much fun Hannah has with her Grandma Susan and Papa Ken.  This was Hannah's 13th birthday.  She is as passionate about WSU basketball as her grandparents are.)


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

mother of the year

Once again, I'm in the running for Mother of the Year. 
I'm pretty sure my tiara and sash are on their way. 
Probably just lost in the mail right now.

School hasn't been in session for a month yet.
We were assigned to provide treats for Abi's class all of last week.  I remembered...last night.  Just a week late - ugh!  I sure hope none of the kids starved.

Abi's teacher handed me a note this morning.  Yep, she was already $2.00 in the hole in her lunch account.  Jeesh!

And then the deal maker.
I have another daughter who shall remain nameless.  She is an oldest, responsible kid like her mom.
She's also a little on the emotional, hormonal side.  Not at all like her mom :)
She came home from school sick yesterday afternoon.  She was miserable.  I totally get it.

She has been struggling with her math homework the last couple of weeks.
I have tried to help her but she oftentimes ends up frustrated or in tears. 
This may or may not have happened to her mom, almost every night of her growing up years. 
Fortunately for both my nameless daughter and me, my dad taught high school math for more than 30 years and is a pretty patient guy.

Last night was an especially rough night for the math homework and a sick kiddo. 
My sweet, super-mom friend, Amy, happened to be with me when I took a call from said sick kiddo.  She was exceptionally whiney.  Amy will totally vouch for me - I wasn't TOO mean.
Since I was so patient and caring with my sick daughter, she decided to run away.  She packed her backpack and off she the library.  That's how we rock at our house.  We live on the edge.

I may or may not have tried to run away once when I was growing up.  My mother stood on the porch and hollered at me to come home to clean my room before running away.  True story - I turned around and went back home to clean my room.  And then changed my mind about running away.

Hannah decided to come back home after she returned her library book last night.
I knew she would be back.
I didn't really worry about her (too much).

So, there you have it.
I'm totally organized and very patient and caring.
I may not make Mother of the Year but I do have a daughter who still prefers sleepovers with Grandma or her favorite auntie over sleepovers with her friends.  She still confides in me.  And she'll still pose for a picture with me once in a while.

Friday, September 9, 2011

love lives here

The month of August, 2011 is pretty much a blur to me.
My step daddy spent 4 weeks in 4 different hospitals (from Newton to Wichita to Kansas City).  I spent time with him in each hospital.  And I got to have my alone time with him at home.
School started.
Discovery Channel came for a visit.  I squeezed an interview in with them during a lunch hour.
We celebrated my mommy's birthday.
We had highs and lows.  Really high highs and really low lows.
I missed my girl time at Applebee's.
But I don't have any regrets.

Here's one of my favorite new finds from Amy D...
This is my life.  Love lives here.

I've been blessed to spend the last 2 days at home.  I've decided I could be a stay at home mom after all.  Especially when my kids are at school.  Especially when my mom is off too and we can hang out together all day.  Especially when we have leftovers from Melissa Bartel so I don't have to cook.

I've decided I really like Rachael Ray.  and Pinterest.  I think I've gone to the dark side.  Here's my favorite Pinterest find this morning (I stole it from Beki Hastings and Amy Jones)...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

life, love and patriotism celebrated

We celebrated the life of my step daddy today.  It was a celebration of life, love and patriotism.  These are just a few shots from the day.  A picture paints a thousand words...
(favorite flowers)

(Ken's last birthday gift given to the love of his life (my mama) just 4 days before his death)

(Eli is the little man in Grandma's life now)