Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Boots!

I think I picked THE WORST time of year to go shopping for new snow boots. Seriously - I went to like 10 different places before I found a pair today. My boss got me a Visa giftcard for $75.00 and I decided to put it to practical use. I have a pair of boots, but my feet are ALWAYS cold in them. And there is NOTHING worse that trying to go sledding with cold feet...

So, I did some research today. Some brands that kept popping up were Sorel, Kamik and Columbia. I searched for Sorels and Kamiks today - not a lot of luck, so I ended up going with these: http://www.columbia.com/Product/5/Footwear/520/Womens/9351/Sierra-Summette.aspx

They were only $65.00 at Dick's Sporting Goods (on sale!). I also ended up spending $25.00 on gloves that I HOPE will finally keep my hands warm!

I'll let you know how it all works out :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Holidays are Winding Down

Merry Belated Christmas, everyone!! Hope your day was beautiful.

Here at the Holman household, things have been CRAZY! We started the Christmas celebrations last week Sunday when we saw my dad and my extended family on that side. My dad and step-mom always head to Wisconsin for Christmas, so that works out very well for us. I had to work Monday, Tuesday, and until noon on Wednesday, but then Wednesday afternoon, we headed over to my mom's house for our Christmas celebration with her, my step-dad, my brothers and Katelynn. It was loud - always is - but there was limited drama, and for that, I am thankful :)

Yesterday I was SO proud of my boys. Because Rick's and my parents are both divorced, we have 4 Christmases with our parents, and then Christmas with the Lohmans t00 - the Lohmans are our "Other Family". That makes 5, yep - count 'em, 5 - Christmases for our household. We had plans to go to brunch at the Lohmans at 10am yesterday, so I knew the boys weren't going to be able to open their presents at home first thing in the morning. The compromise was that they could play with what Santa brought them - which he wisely didn't wrap - and open up their stockings. Everything else would have to wait until the evening after we got home. Joshua and Logan were AWESOME. I can't imagine it was easy to leave all those presents under the tree - but they didn't fight it at all.

So, Santa and stockings at home, then off to the Lohmans for brunch (prime rib and eggs - YUM!!) and presents there. We stayed for a few hours, then drove up to Rothbury to see Rick's mom and his step-dad. That was really nice - it was just Patti, Dave, my BIL Jamie, and our family. The boys, of course, got loaded up with presents, and loved every minute of it. We stayed there for dinner - swiss steak, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, pumpkin pie - and it was delish! We headed back to Coopersville about 5:45pm and then spent some time with the boys opening our presents to each other. Tomorrow, we'll drive up to Whitehall to see Rick's dad and the Holman Family, and then down to Toledo in January for my extended family on my mom's side. As crazy as the juggling is, I understand how lucky I am to have such a huge family, and I promise, I'm very thankful.

I had to work last night from home, and I'm at work again today, so my house is CHAOS right now. It's a lot stressful, but I'm hoping to get things back in order tonight and tomorrow morning. I'll feel a lot better after that. We were so very blessed with so many great gifts this year that I'm not quite sure where we're going to stick them all :)

Have a blessed weekend!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Little Bit Sad Today...

Somehow - and I'm not quite sure how this happened - my little baby is turning 3 today! It's a little bit tough, I'll admit that. Seems harder than when Joshua turned 3. Probably because when Joshua turned 3, I was getting close to the home stretch of my pregnancy with Logan and I knew I'd have a new baby in a few months. But, here we are. Logan is 3 now, and I can assure you I'm not in the home stretch of another pregnancy.... that means no new baby in a few months. I'm not even sure if Rick and I will have another baby. I swore that Logan was "it" after all the problems I had with that pregnancy, but it's funny how time has a way of making you forget some of those "I never want to do this again" thoughts.

Regardless, my baby is turning 3. In the last month, I can't believe how much Logan has transitioned from toddler to little kid - right before my very eyes. It seems like the last WEEK has been huge in that regard!! I'm not sure I'm ready for that!

Tonight we'll have family over. I'm going to make pizza (thank you, frozen DiGiorno) and buy a cake (it was a crazy weekend and I didn't get a chance to make a cake). It will be very low key - especially if the weather doesn't let up. We've had 2 MASSIVE snow events in the last 4 days, and we're due for another significant one tomorrow (possibly another 4-10" I heard!!), so I'm not sure how conditions will be tonight. But, we'll squeeze everyone in the house and just enjoy watching Logan be the star of the night. He is the Birthday Boy, after all!

Oh, and Joshua informed me this morning that since it's Logan's birthday today, Logan doesn't have to listen to me if he doesn't want to, LOL! I wonder where THAT came from :)

Have a beautiful and blessed Christmas. I'm not sure I'll be posting again until after Christmas. I still have SO much to do yet and there's only 3 days left!

But, I will post pics of my big 3 year old after his party tonight :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So there I was...

So there I was, sitting at work, listening to the radio. Starting yesterday, Star 105.7 (which has been playing Christmas Music all season long), has been doing a radiothon to raise money for the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. If you haven't been around since the beginning, my 6 year old, Joshua, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in April of 2004, when he was 20 months old. We spent the better part of the next year at DeVos for treatment. They saved my son's life.

Rick and I are SUPER passionate about DeVos. We know how truly blessed we are that we were able to have such incredible treatment so close to home. Yesterday morning, I dropped Tommy and Brooke an email thanking them for what they're doing, and kind of giving them a snapshot of Joshua's story so they would understand where I was coming from.

I'm sitting here at work this morning, and they read my email on the air! I had to leave my office halfway through because I started to cry. You would think that 4 1/2 years of being cancer free, I'd be a little better at handling stuff like that. Not true. It still has an effect on me, even now.

Which is why places like DeVos are so very important. If you are looking for a charity to donate to this holiday season, I can give you a massive list of reasons why DeVos is one you might want to consider. You can donate online at www.star1057online.com or call them at 877-953-KIDS or 616-391-2999.

So, that's what happened to me today. I'm still a little choked up, but especially because yesterday alone, the radiothon raised over $20,000.00 for DeVos and that is incredible.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas tree pics!

I'm such a slacker - sorry! Getting my boys to cooperate and take a "nice" picture in front of the Christmas tree was not happening until today - when I bribed them for their cooperation :)

Whatever it takes, right!!

Anyhow - here are a few Christmas photos from the Holman Household!


Our Christmas tree. Right in the middle of our living room. I need a bigger house, LOL!


Finally got them to sit nice!


We do not have a fireplace... so "The stockings were hung on the wall with care" :)


My favorite Christmas memory from when I was a kid - the "Mousey Calendar", as we all called it. I had to beg my siblings to let me take this from my mom's house!!!

There ya go - better late than never!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Broken Heart...

Have I mentioned how much I HATE brain tumors? Please lift the Fox Family up in your prayers as Hadley Bug earned her Angel Wings at about 3:30am this morning. She has been battling this beast for WAY too long. And yet my heart is broken for her family. Angela was one of my first friends on the "my kid has a brain tumor" journey. This just sucks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!!

We got our tree up and decorated tonight! We had our fair share of "National Lampoon Moments" - mostly regarding the lights.... But, it's done now and it looks great! I took a couple of pictures tonight - I'm hoping to get them uploaded tomorrow. Right now I'm off to bake 5 dozen sugar cookies. And clean my bathrooms. We have a friend from church coming over tomorrow with her kiddos to decorate cookies.

Have a beautiful week.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Snow, snow, and more snow.

It's certainly winter in Michigan! We have been getting just MASSIVE amounts of snow lately (Lake Effect and regular systems). We're under a Winter Storm Watch for tonight, actually, and we're supposed to get hammered this afternoon and ALL DAY TOMORROW. Who knows how much snow we'll have at the end of this! On Saturday, I shoveled at least 6 inches off my back steps so the dog could go outside! And then I was shovelling the driveway (Rick was out plowing), and by the time I was done with half of it, everything I had just done was covered in 1/2 an inch of snow again!! We got a break yesterday (thank you, Lord!), but it's supposed to get pretty crazy here for the next couple of days. Snow, rain, freezing rain... the whole nine yards!!

Hopefully Rick's truck will get fixed today so he doesn't miss out on what could be a lucrative couple of days of snow plowing! We have repair bills to pay for on his truck....

Anyhow, if you're in my neck of the woods, take it easy for the next couple of day. Hope everyone stays warm and safe!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tis the Season

For Christmas Specials!! We all (yup - Rick too!) watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tonight after dinner. Joshua was SO CUTE - he was singing all the songs from the movie, even though he didn't know them very well. Logan was REALLY fidgety during it, but he's not feeling very well, so I wasn't surprised.

Logan has a touch of a stomach bug - not bad - but inconvenient enough that he hasn't eaten hardly anything all week long... I'm sure it's just what Joshua was fighting last week, but I'd love for it to GO AWAY!

Ahh, the joys of cold and flu season... Hope everyone in your neck of the woods is staying healthy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

So Tired!

Well.... I made a HUGE dent in my Christmas shopping today! Got Logan completely done (birthday included), Joshua only needs pajamas, and Rick is done except for his stocking! And I was REALLY lazy this year and hadn't really even started shopping before today...

I have a few more people to buy for still (mom, Bob, MIL, FIL, my "sorta nieces" Tabby and Lexxi, my grandpa, my exchange, and the kids' exchanges), but the important guys in my life are just about taken care of :)

Last night I was able to get most of my decorations out, too, which was nice. I have NO idea where we'll fit the Christmas tree (we're gonna have to rearrange the living room again...), but most of the other stuff is out!

And then I unsuccessfully tried to take a nap - that didn't happen, so I'm in a less than happy mood right now. Gotta get a good night's sleep tonight :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What I am Thankful For

I stole this from my friend Kellie at: http://momwifesuperhero.com/ so I can't take credit for it, but I think it's really fitting for the coming week.

Ten Things I am Thankful for - in no particular order

1. I am thankful for my friends. They are so awesome and I am so lucky to have them in my life.

2. I am thankful for my husband, who went out and picked up some brand new, clear icicle lights because he knew I'd been wanting some for a long time. And then he spent most of the day today putting them up outside for me - including shortening one of the strands to make it a "perfect fit" for our house so it would all match up nicely.

3. I am thankful for my boys - no matter how insane they make me - because they make my life worth something.

4. I am thankful for my minivan because I can load up my friends and their kids and we can spend time together without taking 3 cars.

5. I am thankful for my laptop and internet - they are my connection to the outside world and to my family far away.

6. I am thankful for Michigan, and living so close to the lake. I could never be far from a large body of water - it's what centers me.

7. I am thankful for DeVos Childrens Hospital. They saved my sons life.

8. I am thankful for homemade hot chocolate mix because it makes everything all better.

9. I am thankful for soup - especially on a cold day.

10. I am REALLY thankful for my super-mega load size washer and dryer because we have a King sized bed and I really appreciate being able to wash our comforter at home whenever I want.

There ya have it - the things I am thankful for. Think about what you're thankful for in the week to come, and remember to always be grateful for what you've been given.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Something fun!!

Rick and I are hosting a Trivia Night in Coopersville tomorrow (Saturday) night at 6:00pm if anyone is interested in coming. We've spent the week thinking up questions - and it'll be a team thing - so you don't need to be a super genious!! If you would like to come, let me know, we can definitely fit you in :)

Bring a snack to share, and drinks if you want something special.

Have a great weekend - oh - and GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beat those Buckeyes tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh how I love Kari!!

My friend Kari is a massage student. Last night I got a FABULOUS hour long massage from her for a whole $12.00!!! It was pretty much awesome! I have back problems already - on top of carrying all of my stress back there - so the massage was much appreciated. I'm going to be going back to her because my back is a whole ton of practice for her, LOL. As it was, she was only able to get half of each of the 2 giant knots out of the back of my shoulders, lol, and that was after working on it for most of the hour!! After I got home, I soaked in the tub, and was asleep by 10:30pm, LOL. So relaxing...

Thank you, Kari - it was AWESOME!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well, I guess the fall pics have been on my page long enough. I ordered a photo book of them all, and that should arrive shortly, but I just LOVE seeing those pics on my blog! I guess I'll just have to find time to swap out the summer pics of the boys with the fall pics on the sidebar... I just haven't had time yet.

This week, Karen, our receptionist here at work is on vacation. That means I'm working 40 hours! 8am to 4:30pm every day this week. It's tough (I'm used to 2o hours a week), but it means Mollers will be paying for my Black Friday Shopping next week when my double paycheck clears :)

But, I will say that the days are long, and I miss my boys! I leave before they're even "up" in the morning, and by the time I get home, it's already dinnertime and then time to start winding down for them to go to bed! I miss our afternoons, when it's just the three of us at home until Rick gets home from work... Plus Joshua has a TON of homework that we're trying to keep up on this week.

I'm sure I'll appreciate the extra money for Christmas shopping, so I don't really mind at all.

Oh, by the way, I am the worst mom ever. Can you believe that my first grader has NO snowboots yet!!! And, of course, it's a very snowy week! I plan to remedy that tonight after work, but I couldn't believe I hadn't bought him boots yet! I'm always REALLY on top of this stuff, it's just been super busy lately. My head sort of feels like it's spinning!!!

I can't believe Thanksgiving is already next week!! I'm not sure where the year has gone, but it sure has flown by!! I'm a Taurus, we love food, so you can imagine how much I love Turkey Day!! Any excuse to gorge myself on massive amounts of food is awesome, but add family into that and I'm in HEAVEN! It seems like we see family so often at this time of year - way more than the rest of the year. It's nice. Usually :)

Hmmmm, what else.... Rick should have his plow installed on his truck today - it will be SO NICE not to have to shovel all the freaking snow we get, living in Michigan, so close to the lake! Oh, we got a new screen door, so we're hoping that cuts down on some of the cold air that sneaks in by the front door! Fingers crossed it works! I hate cold drafts!

Gosh, I think that's about it! I promise not to go so long without an update. I just wasn't ready for the pics to go down the page, LOL. I'll be ok though!!

Have a blessed week - may you feel God's presence in everything you do, and find a way to be Jesus to someone else this week - it'll make you feel SO GOOD!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Littlest Heroes Project Photos!!!

THANK YOU to Susan James for doing these for us!!! Here is a link to Susan's website: http://www.susanjamesphotography.com

All of the pictures were phenomenal, but these are some of my faves!! Looks like I'll be swapping out the blog pictures here soon! I LOVE these so much more than the ones I had done this summer at Target. Something tells me that Susan may have had something to do with that :)

New Family Photo:

The boys:



Leaf Fun:



Joshua and I:

Finally! Pics of Rick and I!!


Last, but not least, the reason for this photo shoot, our Littlest Hero, Joshua!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Be Thankful for Boring...

I have a co-worker that I consider a friend. His family is going through some of the worst kind of hurt imaginable right now. I was talking to him this afternoon at work and he said something that struck a chord with me. He was telling me how just a few weeks ago he was commenting to his wife how they do the same thing every day. Get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, play with the kids, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day. Their life was boring.

This last couple of weeks have been a living nightmare for them. He would give anything to go back to boring. So, when you find yourself restless because your in a rut, take a good look around and remember that there might be a time when you will wish more than anything that you could go back to that point. When things weren't quite as "exciting" (whether good or bad).

Keep it in the back of your head, and say a prayer for my friend. They really need the prayers right now...

Monday, October 27, 2008


Well, tonight officially wraps up the fall soccer season in the Holman Household. Joshua's last game is tonight. And it's REALLY cold outside, and will probably by snowing by 6:45pm. Can't wait for that. At least Logan will be going to the sitter's if it's nasty outside - it's bad enough that the game starts so late (it'll be dark already), I don't need a cold whiny toddler complaining the whole time. It's not fair to Joshua. Last time Logan was cold at a soccer game, both Rick and I were so preoccupied with trying to distract him, we missed most of Joshua's playing time!

So, you can bet we'll be bundled up for tonight - long underwear, sweatshirts, hats, gloves the whole nine yards. And a GIANT thermos of hot chocolate...

Maybe the snow will just stay gone - that would be ideal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yay for family pictures!!!

We had so much fun yesterday! We went down to Allegan to meet up with Susan and have Joshua's "Littlest Heroes Project" photos done. The whole family was included in the session and we had such a great time! First of all, our boys and Susan's girls get along great and always have a great time when they're together. Second of all, Susan is just incredible. My boys LOVE her and she even got Rick into the spirit of things, even though pictures are NOT something he enjoys. What I love about fall pics is that you have the best props right at your fingertips. Bring a rake and you have mountains of leaves, which I assure you, little boys (and their daddy) absolutely love!

I am really so excited to see how the pics turned out. My boys were running a little hot and cold between cooperating and not, Logan especially, so the number of pics wasn't much, but I hope that the quality of pics she DID get will be awesome. Well, I KNOW they'll be great because she's great, but you know what I mean.

One of the things I had to do, though, for the session was get a picture of Joshua when he was sick so that Susan could take a pic of him holding the pic to show how far he's come. That's the thing about being so far out - it's easy to forget how sick he was. Rick and I were going through all the 2004 pics trying to find the "right" one. I was doing REALLY well with them until I came to the pics right after surgery........ that was not good at all. I saw the one of the back of his head after the surgery and almost threw up. It was SO DIFFICULT. And then the next one was when he was unconscious and hooked up to all the machines. Oh my gosh, it was awful. I guess I'm not quite "there yet" where I can look at those ones and not have a physical reaction.

Someday, I'm sure, but not yet.

Anyways, the boys were all tuckered out by the end and my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. There is just something about watching your husband play with your kids that makes you remember why you chose them in the first place. It was SO FUN to see Rick and the boys wrestling in the leaves, throwing leaves everywhere, and just having an honest to goodness blast. It makes me feel really blessed to be this lucky. My life could be a whole lot different, but I'm so thankful it's not.

Have a great week - we're super busy again, but it's good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October Busy-ness!!!

Wow. I can't believe it's October 15th already (happy birthday, Hillary - even though I'm sure you don't read this)! This month has just flown by and it's only going to get busier......

We are booked SOLID for the next 3 weekends! Talk about no downtime!!! Oh, we are having a grown-ups only Halloween party on October 24th if anyone wants to come. Leave me a comment and I'll get you the details. We used to have one every year - it was "our thing", but when Joshua got sick, we stopped, and haven't had one since. So, time to remedy that. Rick and I love to throw parties for our friends, so we're excited.

Of course, once Halloween is done, it seems like Thanksgiving is RIGHT THERE (and my favorite day of all - Black Friday, lol) and then before you know it, it's Christmas morning. Have I mentioned I haven't even stopped to think of any ideas for Christmas this year? I haven't thought about what to get the kids, my parents, my husband.... nothing. I don't even know what I want this year!!!!!

I will admit though, I absolutely LOVE this time of year. I thrive on being busy, seeing my family all the time, good times with great food - I'm all about all of that :)

The boys and I have big plans of doing our "fall craft" this afternoon. We've (mostly Joshua and I) been drawing a lot of pictures with fall trees, scarecrows, pumpkins - things like that. I bought the boys some scrapbooking stickers for fall and we're going to work on making fall scenes tonight I think. Joshua has been looking forward to it all week long.

Oh, I finally got our clothes picked out for Joshua's "Littlest Heroes Project" photo session! I'm so excited about that. I REALLY hope the weather holds so Susan can get us done on Sunday!!! I'm a lot more excited about these pictures than the ones we had done for the Church Directory last Thursday. Maybe because that photographer wasn't very friendly and Susan is so awesome. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to that!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Widow for the Weekend!!

Thanks to Oktoberfest going on up in Pentwater this weekend, the boys and I are "Daddy Free", lol. We are planning to go with Gramma Lola and maybe Gramma Sunshine to the Pumpkin Roll tomorrow in Montague. We've never been able to go before, but I hear it's super fun. Apparently you buy a pumpkin and then you roll it down a big hill in a race. I'm sure my boys will love the chance to destroy something with permission!!

I'd like to get some apples picked if my mom is up for it, but we'll see. I actually get the night off from being "Mommy" tomorrow!!! Due to some VERY EARLY SUNDAY MORNING plans, the boys are going for a sleepover at my mom's house. I have big plans of cleaning, doing laundry and going to bed at like 9:00pm while they're gone, since Rick isn't supposed to be home until Sunday.

Sunday morning we're going to be heading into Grand Haven to clean out my Great-Grandma's place. She lives with my Grandma now, so it's time to get that last little bit taken care of. So, hopefully Rick won't be too grumpy Sunday morning from working Saturday night because we're supposed to be in Grand Haven around 7:00am!! I think he'll stay in Whitehall and just meet me in GH. I can catch a ride out there with someone else, and then just ride home with him. He doesn't have to drive the extra half hour after working all night, I get the bed (and house) to myself - it works out for everyone!!

My helper is going to take over my Sunday School class (it's her week to teach, so it works out), so I'm able to help out my family. Then, nothing to do Sunday afternoon but watch football and hope my fantasy team does better than last week (which was terrible!).

The weather is supposed to be phenominal both Saturday and Sunday, so we'll for sure be taking advantage of that! Those beautiful weekends will soon be a distant memory as winter heads toward Michigan...

Friday, October 3, 2008

MORE Super Awesome News!!!!!!!

I got yet ANOTHER call from the DeVos Children's Hospital yesterday. The calls that used to send so much dread now send something completely opposite....

It was a guy named Dwayne, and he was calling to ask if we would be willing to bring Joshua to a really special event coming up. Grand Valley State University is having their annual "Dance Marathon" to raise money for the DeVos Childrens Hospital. They do it every year - it's a 24 hour event. They would like Joshua to be a special guest there!!!!!!!!!! They want (from what I understand) to "show" these college students what they are raising money for. How awesome is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Someone from the event should be calling me shortly with the rest of the details, but the event is on November 7th. I did a little searching (thank you, Google!!!) and found a page that tells a little about it. Here's the link: http://www.gvsu.edu/service/index.cfm?id=7E7E31C4-FDA5-A7AA-5CE9FA943A398FDF

You will probably have to copy and paste it because I'm not very good at that stuff yet, but it's totally worth a quick peek!!! I'll update again when I have more details, but until then, I'm ABSOLUTELY doing a "Happy Dance" at how God CONTINUES to use what he chose us to go through to impact the lives of other people!!!!!

Woohoo!!!! Have a beautiful weekend!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just for the record...

My office is the place to be today :) That Orange Pumpkin candle is causing people to wander in and out of here for no apparent reason other than the fact that it smells SO GOOD, lol.

And it's making my day a whole lot better too, despite the fact that it feels like November outside.

On a plus note, I did get to wear my most favorite coat to work today, LOL. It's a long wool dress coat in a BEAUTIFUL winter white. Too bad it needs to be sent to the dry cleaners before I can wear it regularly, but it fit my mood today, lol. Along with my favorite Gap work pants (also wool, LOL). Despite everything, the little things are making today a good day.

Hope yours is good too!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A "Chicken Noodle Soup" kind of day...

It's cold today. And gray. And rainy. Just all around sad. It's not actually that "cold" in terms of what cold is in Michigan (we're supposed to hit like 59 degrees, I think), but it's significantly colder than it's been, and that makes a big difference. Add to that the rain and gray and it just looks sad outside.

I can tell I miss the sunshine - it stays dark until like 7:45am right now in the mornings. That makes everything harder - getting out of bed, getting ready for work/school - the whole nine yards. Plus, we've had something like 14 days of sunshine in a row, so I can REALLY tell it's missing. Of course before that, we had like 3 days STRAIGHT of pouring rain, but that was 2 weeks ago, lol, and the sunshine made up for it.

It just feels like a chicken noodle soup, stay home and veg, kind of day. Funny thing is that I actually had homemade chicken noodle soup on the menu for tonight when I did it this past weekend. Last night we had homemade macaroni and cheese. That was yummy. It's wasn't really cold yesterday (mid 60's, I think), but the rain and gray were hanging around, so it was nice to combat the weather that way :)

Anyhow, I guess I'm just in "one of those moods" today. I'll feel better when the weather evens out (I don't mind chilly - I hate rollercoaster hot and cold) and the leaves start to change.

I did get some of the fall work done in my flower beds this weekend. Pulled out ALL the dead stuff. My poor mums are not doing so well (I think they were being crowded out by some of the wildflowers that grow rampant in there), but it looks like my roses just might bloom one last time before the cold sets in! That would be REALLY nice to see!! And then I bought a new mum plant (purple this time, as opposed to the yellow in the garden out front) to put on the kitchen table. It looks really nice there.

Yesterday Logan and I went to Hobby Lobby and I got some "fallish" stuff to help me switch gears. A really cute metal scarecrow that hangs on the wall, and then a REALLY yummy new candle - Orange Pumpkin scent - for my candle warmer. In fact, I'll be stopping in there again tonight after work. I need a new candle warmer for work and I want to pick up another candle in that scent so I have one at home and one at work.

Thankfully the wet and gray should clear out of here by Thursday night, and we're looking at an absolutely gorgeous weekend. Perfect temps - mid 60's - and lots of sun :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Life in the here and now...

I can't believe it's been THIS long since I posted a blog!! Time just got away from me, I think. It looks like there could be some REALLY big changes on the horizon for our family. I don't want to jinx it, but I'll keep everyone posted as soon as there's something worth updating.

Until then, pray for us. Timing is everything, and I've been praying that when the timing is right, God make it PERFECTLY CLEAR that this is what we're supposed to do. At this point, it sure seems that way, so I pray that faithfulness continues. How blessed am I, that He always follows through on His promises!!!

I'll update again - soon I hope. But God willing, of course.

Until then, take care :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Timing is everything.


If you live in the area, that's the accident the shut down the highway yesterday afternoon. That's right before my exit, and because I had to stop and get Joshua some new soccer shoes, I came through there later than I usually do. God put me there, though, because I was one of the very first people to get to that accident, and the only one with any kind of medical training. I had to take a First Aid class for my major because in the field of Criminal Justice, Youth Services, I would be considered a first responder. So, not only do I know basic first aid, I'm also required to know "more" than that - the same kind that volunteer firefighters do.

Anyhow, I came through RIGHT after it happened - like the dust hadn't settled yet. I saw the car in the left lane facing backwards, and the man slumped over the airbag. I pulled over and ran to the car to check on him. He was unconscious but breathing, so I considered him "stable". I didn't see the accident, so I didn't know where the other vehicle was. It was about 1/8 of a mile down the road, off in the willy weeds, almost to the chain link fence. After making sure the first victim was stable and assigning someone to stay with him, I ran down the road to check on the van. No one had been down there yet. Luckily, the driver was up moving around. He had some pretty good cuts, and I'm sure he's gonna be sore, but he was ok.

By the time I brought the other guy down the road to where the other guy was, he had woken up. He was very distraught, though, understandably. His arm was caught in the door and it all cut up, but I couldn't get to it, so luckily it wasn't gushing blood. All I could see of him, between the smashed car and the airbag, was his left side, from the waist up. After what felt like forever (even though it was only a couple of minutes), the first police officer got on scene. I was more than happy to let him take over. I had to wait around for a while with the other victim - let him use my cell phone to call his boss (it was a work van), and keep him calmed down, but not too long. Since I didn't see the accident happen, I was released from the scene.

I was fine when I was barking orders, keeping people calm, and in control of the situation, but I'll tell ya, when I got into my van to leave, I started shaking like a leaf. And then my stomach started to hurt. For the rest of the afternoon I couldn't focus on anything. Then I was ok for the evening, but it got REALLY bad when I tried to fall asleep last night. I just kept re-playing everything over and over and over and over again....... And then when I drove past where it happened this morning on my way to work, I started to shake and my stomach started to hurt again.

Say a prayer that the older man ends up being ok. He had to be extricated from his car. He was airlifted to the hospital, but I heard he was upgraded from critical to fair condition in the middle of the night last night. The other driver only had minor injuries - lots of cuts from glass shards, but I can't imagine how shaken up he must be. I'm a mess and I wasn't even in the accident...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The video is up!!

Thank you, Wood TV 8 for putting the video up for us!!! Here's the link you've been waiting for!!!!!


Friday, September 5, 2008


The story is online - here's the link:

There was a voicemail waiting on my phone after work... the story is airing TONIGHT!!!!!!

It'll be on Wood TV 8 here in Grand Rapids. They are going to do a little clip about it around 5:00pm and then the full story will be around 5:50pm. I don't know if they will re-air it during the 6:00pm news or not, or if it'll be online, but if you aren't able to catch it at 5:50pm, both of those are worth a shot. The new's website is: http://www.woodtv.com There's a chance it'll be up there sometime tonight.

If you watch, let me know what you think - I don't think I can watch it....... There should be some really cute footage of Joshua at least - he was building a Lego house when they came over and they taped some of that. And he was a HAM when they were asking him some questions on camera.

Anyhow - enjoy!!

No news yet...

Well... no email from Rachael Ruiz yet about my interview. Stand Up To Cancer is tonight, and she's a weekend anchor, so there is a decent chance that if it doesn't air today, it might air tomorrow. So, keep an eye on Wood TV 8 over the weekend if you don't hear from me.

I did check Wood TV online and it doesn't look like it's aired yet. I thought about emailing Rachael but I didn't want to sound like a pest. Especially since I'm not going to watch myself...

Anyhow - if I get an email or a phone call I will update as soon as possible. Of course I'm out of town tomorrow, so hopefully I don't get a call while en route to IKEA in Canton. That would make it tough to update the blog from across the state and without my laptop... (Which I might actually bring just in case - I'm sure I can find wireless internet somewhere on the East side of the state...)

So, keep an eye on the blog, and on Wood TV 8 here in Grand Rapids. If you see the interview, please keep all constructive criticism to yourself, LOL - I'm terrified that I was rambling a little bit and I don't want to know, LOL. In this case, ignorance is bliss :) I will, however, be more than happy to accept compliments in the form of "you were awesome" or "that brought me to tears - in a good way" or even "wow, you looked great on TV" LOL.

Ok, enough of that. I'll update if I hear anything....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of First Grade!

What a big day! Joshua had a great time. We'll see how long it takes him to adjust to having full days of school 5 days a week!!!

Pics of the Birthday Boy!!

Here he is on the way to Craig's Cruisers:

Taking a break from the arcade:

Ready for a Go-Kart ride!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, my firstborn!!

Yikes - believe it or not, Joshua turned 6 today!!! What a big week - a birthday, starting first grade on Tuesday, I'm going to IKEA on Saturday... It's gonna be nuts!

We took Joshua to Craig's Cruisers this afternoon. Logan went to Grandma's house so Joshua could have special time with Rick and I. We played mini golf, spent some time in the arcade and then Rick and Joshua rode go-karts while I took pictures. He had a lot of fun and it was nice to do something reserved for "big boys".

Logan should be home soon - they had to take a trip up to Big Rapids because Uncle Michael forgot some stuff when he moved back to Ferris yesterday... Then it's bath time and bed time - gotta get into the school routine!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Awesome News

Wow - two posts in one day! Crazy!! The condensed version of my "Awesome News" is that I've been asked to do a TV interview with a local news station regarding childhood cancer!! It's in conjunction with "Stand Up to Cancer" and it's about the importance of clinical trials!! So, I meet with the news anchor Thursday afternoon for my interview and I believe it will air on September 5th, the same day as Stand Up to Cancer. I'll let ya'll know how it goes. If you know me AT ALL, you know how passionate I am about raising awareness of childhood cancer, so this is right up my alley!!!

Something to Look Forward to!

On Thursday night, my friend Jenny and I are heading down to Jack's at the Holiday Inn in Spring Lake to relax. My uncle and dad (Two Dudes In FlipFlops) will be down there playing on the deck outside. I'm really looking for the chance to chill out and unwind.

Last week Sunday, Rick and I went to listen to them at Captain Jack's in Muskegon and it was SO nice. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can sit out on the deck in the sunshine and soak it all in!! I love listening to the kind of music they play (lots of Buffett, a little Kenny Chesney, with reggae undertones), so it's going to be so good!! The "musically talented" gene passed my by, but I still love music. I'll still get up and do karaoke even though I should be banned from the stage :)

At least this way, I can sing along and no one looks at me crazy because they're all doing it too (and he's my DAD, so how could I not "be supportive" and sing along, do "Fins" and all that jazz!!)!!

Have a good Tuesday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by to check in on our "Daily Doings"!

Monday, August 25, 2008


What a Monday. I feel like I'm just ready to be done with the week already. That's NOT a good sign since the weekend is a while away. I'm just..................... done. Fed up with people, tired of feeling stepped on, just over it all...

Ok. End pity party. I'm sure I'll be feeling better tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My son is a Super Sleuth!!

Joshua found my wedding ring this morning!! It had bounced under/behind the toilet and because I haven't been in there to deep clean (it's the kid's bathroom - they mostly use it to brush their teeth), I didn't see it all the times I've been in and out of there.

He wanted to surprise me with it when I got home, so he and Rick put it in one of Josh's toy pirate treasure chests and they put it up high to keep it safe until I got home. Rick was sworn to secrecy because it was Joshua's surprise, LOL.

Needless to say, I'm VERY happy to have found it. The longer it was gone, the more upset I was getting!! You can bet I'll be a lot more careful with it in the future!! I gave Joshua some of my old jewelry to put back in the treasure chest to keep it filled up with special treasure :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Quick Update...

Happy Friday night, everyone! I'm sitting here listening to some beautiful acoustic music on Sirius Satellite's Coffee House station and it got me in a blogging mood... Now, if only I had a mocha or a latte, I'd be set!! But, it's a little too late for caffeine to be surging through my bloodstream.

Rick is gone for the weekend - working up in Pentwater. That means a mellow and laid back sort of weekend for the boys and I! I like those every once in a while. It seems like so often I get caught up in the endless cycle of "busy-ness" that it's nice to just sit back and take a breather.

This morning I dragged my kidlets to a MASSIVE garage sale at one of the local churches. The sale started at 9:00am and I kid you not - there was a line outside the door at 8:30am!! With Joshua going through growth spurt after growth spurt, I'm all about saving some money, so I was glad I went. I got him LOTS of stuff. Last weekend I caught a good load at another local garage sale, so he's in pretty good shape. I was mostly looking for soccer stuff - athletic shorts, warm-up pants, sweatshirts and sleeveless t-shirts. Unfortunately, the fall soccer season tends to encompass the whole gambit of fall weather - from 90 degree Indian Summer to swirling snow all around... All he needs now (for school included) is jeans and a couple of pairs of shoes. Oh, and I just got an email from Payless today and they are having a BOGO sale going on - so it looks like that's where I'll be getting his shoes! Gotta love a great deal!!

After lunch Logan took a really long nap. Poor kid is fighting something off (as am I...) and he's been sleeping a ton. My early riser has taken to sleeping until 9:00am lately!! It was nice to spend a whole lot of one-on-one with Joshua while Logan was sleeping, but it ended up being a Catch 22 - here it is, 10:10pm, and he's sitting next to me eating popcorn and playing with Legos... We had to pick my brother up this afternoon, grabbed pizza and breadsticks on the way home for dinner and then after baths/showers, we had an easygoing movie night. I popped some popcorn, we flipped a coin to decide which movie to watch (they each checked one out from the library yesterday), and the boys ended up sprawled out all over the living room floor watching 4 Curious George episodes (they were short - all 4 took only an hour) and then off to my bedroom they went.

When Daddy has to work up North and is gone for the whole weekend, the trade-off is that they get to sleep in my bed. It's nice for all 3 of us. Good thing it's King sized, though!!

So, I'm about to go do some dishes and pick up the house a bit, and I think I'll be heading to bed early, too. Whatever Logan and I are fighting off really tires you out!! We have NO plans tomorrow - we'll probably just hang out here for the most part - and then we have a Family Picnic on Sunday after church. I'll be making the potato salad for that tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!!!!!!!!! God bless :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I hate when I lose stuff...

Boy was I hoping to not have to write about this. I had my fingers and toes crossed that it would magically re-appear and everything would be a-ok. No such luck, I guess...

Sigh. I lost my wedding ring last week Thursday. Of course, it was like THE BUSIEST DAY of the week for us. So un-helpful. I took it off to knead bread (bread! I know!), put it in my pocket, and when I went to get it later that night it was gone. From the time I took it off until the time I realized it was gone, the following things happened:

Put kids in van
Picked up friends, put her daughter in one of Logan's carseats
Drove to friend's parents house to drop off her daughter
Moved Logan from one carseat to the other
Drove out to Spectrum Downtown
Parked in the road
Walked in the A level, took the elevators up to the 1st floor
Went to the lab, waited in the waiting room
Walked back through the hospital to the elevators down to the A level
Back out to the van
Drove to church
Cleaned the toys in the Toddler nursery room
Took friend on a tour of the ENTIRE church (minus basement, but still a lot of places!)
Back out to van
Dropped friend off at her parent's house
Went home, re-kneaded bread
Put kids back in van
Went to Tractor Supply Company to pick up a birthday gift
Went to Family Dollar for birthday card
Drove to birthday party
Parked in the road
Walked through the grass into party

Right about here is where I realized it wasn't in my pocket. I thought maybe I put it back on and took it back off to re-knead the bread. But, I tore the house up looking for it and it wasn't there. That leaves about 50 million places where it could have fallen out. I called the hospital, church, TSC and Family Dollar. No one has it. So, I guess it fell out somewhere like a parking lot or the road. Just my luck.

It's not my original ring - it was a Christmas upgrade from Rick, but I LOVED that ring. He picked it out for me and it was perfect. And now it's gone. That's really disappointing. I was hoping it would magically turn up, but I think it may be gone for good. I'm going to post some "Lost" posters, but I'm not holding my breath.

Maybe I'll be getting a new upgrade for Christmas this year, LOL. We'll see. I'm wearing my original ring now so at least something's on my finger (it feels so weird when there's not a ring on it!!!!), but I would really love to find the other one. It's not "worth" anything - I'm sure it's scratched up, it's not a huge expensive diamond - but it has a whole lot of sentimental value to me because Rick decided I needed a bigger ring than what I had (we were young and poor when we got married!!).

Trust me, I'll surely post if it turns up, but I'm thinking it's gone for good................ Oh, and I RARELY lose stuff, so that makes this a little bit harder, I think.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Trying to be a runner!!

When my mom had her birthday this past March, I thought it would be fun for us to do a 5K race to celebrate. My mom struggles with both Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis, but she really does an awesome job keeping it managed (as best as possible). So, we trained, and it was a Walk/Run, so we walked probably 85% of it. My time at the Irish Jig was 44 minutes-ish.

My town had our Summerfest this weekend. They did a 5K with it, so I talked Rick and two of our friends (who are brother and sister and do a lot of 5Ks) into doing it with me. I've been "training" for a while now (this consists of my trying to run but usually giving up because I just don't LOVE running the way I'd like to. I'm trying to learn to love it, but it's hard, lol!!).

So, the 5K was this morning. Earlier in the week I hurt one of my toes REALLY badly and it took about 3 days for the swelling to go down enough for me to wear closed-toed shoes again. I ran on Sunday (before the injury) and then not again until Thursday... I took Friday off as a rest day, but Rick and I ended up going hiking, LOL, and walking all over the town of Pentwater.

It was really chilly when we got there but I should have worn shorts because I was ROASTING by the time the race was over. Moisture-wicking running pants my eye - I was drenched!! I had actually signed up for the 5K 'walk' because my mom was going to do it also until she realized she had other plans. Everyone else in my group was registered for the run.

We picked up our packets, got the timing chips on, headed to the start line, and took off. Rob (our friend) was a man on a mission and started off at a 6 minute mile pace, lol. Needless to say, Rick ended up coming back to "help support me" (yeah right, but it was sweet) and he stayed by Cheryl and I. The only way I can run right now is to alternate between running and walking by the songs on my IPod. So, I ran two songs, walked one, ran one, walked one, ran one, walked one, ran up the BIG FREAKING HILL, walked for a really short while to recover, and ran the last 400 meters in. Rick was a doll and let me cross the finish line first, LOL. My time was 35:11!!! I shaved almost 10 minutes off my March time, which was cool. And I ran a whole lot more this time around...

The bad thing..... they ended up "placing me" in the 5K Run category instead of the 5K Walk category.... I must have come in too early... I got last place in my age division, but oh well!! I finished and that was cool.

Oh, and Rob - he placed Second in their (his and Rick's) age group. His time was 20:47. His last time was 22:something when he and Rick did a 5K in Muskegon earlier this summer. We were proud by association :)

So, I'm not sore or anything (yet). My breathing is a little off (exercised induced asthma.....) but not too bad. I'm hoping it's better by tomorrow. I might sign up for another 5K in the Fall but I'm not sure yet. This one was done with the slightly ulterior motive of promoting the Relay for Life in our area by wearing my Team Captain's shirt.... We'll see if it makes any difference.

Regardless, it was nice to be able to enjoy something like that with the hubby. His Army past makes him a whole lot more disciplined than me and I think it was a little frustrating to him that I was walking "so much". But, I'm telling ya - he just didn't get my whole "plan", lol. And besides - he doesn't train with me so I didn't expect him to be hovering around me during the race!!! But, we did have a good time doing it together once we got into the swing of things :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Counting my blessings...

Happy Monday, everyone! We had a rather interesting weekend........

Friday afternoon, the boys and I headed up to Whitehall to meet Rick. There was a flag football game going on between the Montague Police Officers (the Fuzz) and the Montague Fire Department (the Fuzz Busters). We are good friends with the chiefs of each, so it was a lot of fun to watch. Afterwards, we went out to the parking lot to see that the Fire Department (who got shut out, by the way) had soaped up the Police Chief's (Chief Rob) squad car. Joshua was playing with the bubbles with Chief Rob's daughter, Morgan, and Logan wanted to play too. Rick was standing right there, talking to a couple of the officers while the kids were playing, I walked over to the car to clean some dirt off my shorts and when I came back around the car, I asked Rick where Logan was.

He was gone.

He had JUST been there, and he was gone - nowhere to be found. We searched for him for what seemed like forever (I don't even know how long - under 15 minutes, I would guess, but it felt a lot longer). We were in the parking lot, back by the football field. There were woods, and cars and people all over the place, and Logan was gone. I was doing really well for a while, and then I got closer and closer to panicking. I searched in the parking lot, I searched in the woods, I looked in the Port-A-Potty. There were cops and firefighters helping us look for him. He's never wandered away from us before.

I was so scared. Rick and I split up, I told Joshua to stay by the car and not move. After I had looked EVERYWHERE out in the parking lot, I headed toward the football field. Strangers we didn't even know were helping us look for him. As I was going in the gate, Rick was coming out.

He had Logan in his arms. Immediately the tears started running down my cheeks. Logan was crying in Rick's arms. I ran up to them, grabbed my son and held him so tight as I fought to not lose complete control.

Rick said he was sitting in the bleachers with his hands in his lap, right where we had been sitting. When Rick went up to him, the only thing Logan said was "Where's mommy?". Rick said "Probably looking for you." and Logan started to cry. When I was at the car, Logan didn't know where I was, so he went back to the last place he knew I was to try and find me. Amazing to me that in all those people, not a single one noticed a toddler walking around by himself. Especially since the game between the fire fighters and police had just ended...

The whole way home, Logan and I talked about how he can never wander away again.

We've never lost Joshua like that before - it was absolutely the worst feeling I've ever felt. It took everything I had to stay calm enough to look without losing it. And the longer I looked and didn't find him, the worse it got. Rick wasn't worried. He knew he was around there somewhere. I wish I had that kind of parenting attitude. Unfortunately for me (and my children), that's not my nature. I'm great in a crisis situation, as long as it doesn't involve my kids. When that happens, all bets are off. Thank God he was ok.

You can bet I've been counting my blessings more than normal this weekend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tastefully Simple (and OH SO YUMMY!!)

I went to a Tastefully Simple party last night - I LOVE their stuff!! I spent $40 I didn't need to just because I wanted to, lol.

Something cool that I learned was that they do fundraising!!! So, it looks like Team Joshua is going to have another way to raise a little bit of moolah!! In the fall I'm going to enlist the help of my team members to do a TS for ACS fundraiser!! We can get a whole heap of catalogues to pass out, collect as many outside orders as we can, have the ability to email people so they can order right online and then have an actual moving buffet party. Combine all of that together and the consultant will cut us a check for 15% of the total! Not a bad deal for doing something fun! I don't think it'll make us "much", but anything is better than nothing! And there's not a whole lot of legwork for us, which is nice for an additional way to raise money for 2009!!

We'll see what happens with that. I'll keep everyone posted :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Getting back to nature...

We were finally able to escape for a weekend to go camping. Well, we ended up going into Whitehall on Saturday so that Rick could work, but that wasn't supposed to happen.... Just goes to show how silly it is to try and control things - a lesson I'm really trying to learn.

On Friday, after running a million errands, I got everything packed up and went into Whitehall to grab Rick and the boys - my BIL was in town - that was kind of neat. That's saying a lot - my BIL and I clash sometimes, so to be happy to see him is a big step. The first place we tried to stay was booked, so we fell back on Plan B - Gilligan's Island at Hill and Hollow campground in Pentwater. It's not really a site, but we get to use it because Rick has connections. It's pretty much a dirt island with some trees RIGHT in between the playground, the camp store, and the pool/bathrooms!!! Prime location - even if it is a dirt island, LOL. Seriously, its surrounded on the three sides by the roads and you cross the roads to get to that stuff. It's great!! If we ever get a permanent site there, we're totally customizing Gilligan's Island and we'll park the camper there.

Logan is terrified of fire, we learned. It was pretty bad. He "adapted" (not well, but enough to stop screaming hysterically) by the end of the trip though. Poor kid would hightail it behind the tent if he could see or hear the fire... That's a little inconvenient since we were tenting it and using the fire for all of our "cooking", LOL.

We played putt-putt with the boys, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, went swimming in the pool, went to Lake Michigan, ate ice cream every day, Joshua spent HOURS at the playground - by himself - since it was so close that we could see him, ate way too much campfire food (hot dogs and brats), and really had a great time. Didn't take many pics though, it was kind of tough to be toting the camera around when we were so busy having fun.

I took Joshua fishing while Rick was working on Saturday. It was so nice to just hang out with him, We didn't get even a single bite, but it was still so much fun. I got a new fishing pole, and a fishing license so Josh and I can take off and fish whenever we want. What a neat way to bond with my son. I need a fishing hat, though - my poor part got burned pretty bad, lol. That's the only place I always forget to sunblock........

It was a good time. Had it's rough moments, but everything does. Way more good stuff than bad, so it was well worth it. Rick and I were chatting by the fire after the kids were asleep - we both decided we could do this every weekend in the summer...... We're lucky to live in Michigan where that's so possible!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

been awhile...

Wow, it's been a while since I posted! That doesn't usually happen, but life gets in the way sometimes.

We've finally got everything back to normal after the Relay for Life. I even had the team over Saturday night for a cookout to talk about this year's Relay and start brainstorming for next years. We talked about what worked and didn't work this year, which was good, and we've some idea's cooking for 2009.

We had a fairly low key weekend - VBS in the morning, and then went out to the "Big Lake" (Lake Michigan) with Lois and the kids on Friday, got some much-needed cleaning done on Saturday, and then yesterday was church (the VBS kids were singing the songs they learned for the congregation, so Joshua and I had to be there), and then off to help a friend with some yardwork that she has a hard time keeping up on.

One neat thing - I was finally able to find an outdoor clothes drying rack (THANK YOU, Menards) for my yard, so all the towels I had in the laundry this weekend were able to be hung out to dry. I love the smell of line dried laundry, so I was pretty happy about that. I figure if I can avoid running the dryer and heating up my whole house (even just for towels, sheets, blankets, swimsuits, etc) just a few times, I'm ahead of the game!!

Pretty slow week coming up. I have Bible Study tonight, which I'm really looking forward to! Rick is going to be checking out a travel trailer that we might be buying. We've been looking for a while and know exactly what we want, so I'm hoping this is the one. Whether we get the trailer or not, we're planning to go camping this weekend. We'll either be comfy in the camper or tenting it on the ground, LOL. As long as Rick can get away from work, we're planning to head up to Pentwater to bond with nature :) I'm pretty excited about it - I'll be even happier if we have a camper to take, though!!

That's about it from this neck of the woods. Quiet is kind of nice since it feels like we've been running around in circles lately. I can tell I'm pretty close to exhausted because my breathing has been all messed up for about 5 days now?? That only happens when I'm getting close to "Too Much" but I'm hoping it goes away soon. It's getting incredibly annoying......

Have a blessed week, everyone! Oh, and congrats to Amber - you know why ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm drowning in a Sea of STUFF!!!

Yikes - due to the rain on Saturday everything that was outside ended up in our camper. It was pretty packed already - that much "other" stuff certainly didn't help... We finally got it all unloaded from the camper and brought into the house after the kids went to bed Sunday night. It has overtaken my living room and in all the way into the kitchen. Stuff. Boxes of stuff. Bags of stuff. Everyone's stuff. I'm drowning in it! I'm pretty sure everyone who was there has something in that pile. It's going to take me weeks to get it all sorted! Ok, maybe not weeks, but more time than I currently have right now!!

With me having to be to work at 7:45am and not getting home until after 5:00pm, I don't have the hours (or energy) left in the day to even get started on it........ I did manage to get most of the food put away. And all the wet laundry has been washed and dried. That's about as far as I've gotten.

I won't get to it tonight - I'm going to visit my friend Janae in the hospital and meet her new son, Caiden (CONGRATS, you guys!!!!!!!) tonight, and then I have to work again tomorrow, so I don't think I'll get to it then, either. But, I'm off on Thursday and Friday, so I'll have all that time to get it all sorted and put away. Hope no one needs any of their stuff before then!!!!!!! But, if I'm going to be home, I've got to get it taken care of because it's pretty stressful tripping over all of it!! I need to get some big storage bins and get it put away for next year!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Wow. I'm exhausted. Relay for Life was yesterday through this morning. It was SO hot during the day and then so humid last night and it RAINED AND RAINED AND RAINED this morning. We ended up calling it a day at about 7:30am. My brother and I ended up helping some of the other teams clean up in the torrential downpour and got soaked to the bone. Thank you to Rick, who made an executive decision while I was sleeping to pack up camp when they saw the rain coming and move our headquarters to under the awning of the camper :)

We turned in about $1072.00 this morning. Not as much as last year, but that's ok. I'll update more later on - I'm exhausted. We all slept on and off during the day today but I'm ready to go snuggle with my hubby since we were both so busy doing different things yesterday we didn't really get to spend much time together even though we were both right there.

Thank you to my Team Members - this would have been impossible without you. Special thanks to my overnight crew - Rick, Jamie, Mike, Katelynn, Jenny and Jess. I love you guys.

Night!!! Have a blessed Sunday :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Relay Countdown...

Well, we're in the final time crunch for the Relay for Life. I've been up past midnight the last two nights working on the logistics of it all (t-shirt orders, scheduling, paperwork...). My brain feels like mush. I have a million and a half things to do still tonight and tomorrow.

Need to go shopping for supplies (posterboard, snacks, drinks, etc), get the boys packed, load up the camper, track down an air compressor or air pump of some kind. Oh, and we're still waiting for our raffle license too - that REALLY needs to come or we can't raffle off the moped and quad that Rick is donating, and we were counting on raising a lot of money with that raffle...... I'm a little bit stressed out about that inconvenient tidbit of information I learned last night.

Thankfully my team is awesome - I have enough volunteers to sit in the dunk tank, more than enough walkers to have someone on the track at all times, an awesome "Overnight Crew" that I know will do me proud, and so many awesome friends and family who are willing to donate their time, money, energy and best effort for this event that is so dear to my heart. And, an amazing hubby of a co-captain who spent a small fortune last night on stuff we can sell at the Relay (glow sticks, leis, light up swords, etc) on top of donating both a moped and a quad that can be raffled off.

I know it will be great. I'm just worried that it won't. I think I'm so disappointed with the lack of money we've raised so far that it's hard for me to look past that and be optimistic about the event. I'm excited, don't get me wrong, but I'll feel better about it once we're there and get things going.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, July 7, 2008

America's Birthday

(UPDATED because I forgot to add the funny tidbit of US history from my oldest son... While we were driving to Muskegon on Friday, they had American flags along the median of the road. Joshua asked me why they were there. I told him that we were celebrating the birthday of the United States of America. He said "oh, like America that John Washington was?" and I said, "Kind of - George Washington was the first President of the United States." He said "Oh yeah, and who was the second president, you know, the one on the penny?" And I laughed as I told him, "Well, John Adams was the second president, and Abraham Lincoln is on the penny. He wasn't the second president, but he did some very important things too, when he was the president." And Joshua said "Oh yeah, I remember now". So, there you have it. America was founded by John Washington Lincoln - the first president on the penny! I sure got a laugh out of that one!)

I hope everyone had an absolutely beautiful weekend! Here in Michigan, God somehow saw fit to bless us with 2 beautiful holidays in a row - Memorial Day and now the Fourth of July. And if you live here, you know how rare and special that really is!

Our holiday was wonderful. Rick had to work up north on Thursday and Friday, but it was really a dream come true for him, so it was worth it. He's always wanted to be a police officer and he finally got his chance. Thursday after work, Joshua, Logan and I just kind of hung out. We went out for dinner (I have a hard time cooking when it's just the three of us - I feel like I never make the right amount of food and we always end up wasting so much of it since we're not really "leftover people"), came home, took baths and they were actually in bed at bedtime and asleep pretty quickly - that's also rare, since they share a room and they're usually bonding for quite a while before they finally nod off.

After they fell asleep I had 2 whole hours to myself - such a rarity. Guess what I did to fill those 2 hours...... Yup, cleaned my little booty off!!! I was able to multi-task like never before to get everything done before it was time for me to go to bed. Dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, the remaining dishes washed by hand (how is it that even when you're not home, dishes still end up dirty????), counters cleared off and cleaned, table cleared off, bar cleared off (that was a feat since it's a giant flat surface and always "collects" all our stuff when we come into the house), floor swept, 3 batches of Jello made, living room cleaned up and semi-dusted, and laundry going the whole time - being folded RIGHT when it came out of the dryer!!!!!!!! It was incredible. When you're a busy working mom, it's amazing the small household things that bring you such joy!!!!!

Friday we went to Terry and Lois' house on Mona Lake for the day - Rick was able to sneak off work in between shifts to come see us for a couple of hours. That was a treat because I wasn't expecting it. Lucky for him, he happened to call me RIGHT as I was walking out the door and I was able to run back in and grab all of his stuff. There was SO MUCH good food, the weather was gorgeous, and the kids were in the water and in the sand just about all day long. I was even able to sneak to the grocery store to pick up a few things with only Logan because Joshua stayed at Grandma's house with Aunt Cheryl. When we finally left, to the tune of very tired little boys crying because they were having so much fun, it was way past dinner time and we barely made it to my mom's in time to grab her cookout leftovers. There wasn't enough time between then and bedtime for me to get home and make dinner. We stayed there until bedtime and then I dragged two crying (again) little boys home, stuck them in the shower and they were in bed only about an hour late. Better than the alternative, I suppose. We skipped fireworks because I didn't think Logan would handle them well and I'm glad I did. More on that in a little bit. After the boys fell asleep, I splurged on myself and made a margherita pizza and watched a couple of Brad Pitt movies (Seven and Twelve Monkeys), staying up WAAAAAAAY too late, but just enjoying my time off :)

Logan woke up at first light (way too early at this time of year in Michigan), and was so tired that he was still yawning and rubbing his eyes long after he was done protesting the fact that I tried to get him to fall back asleep. The three of us sort of stared bleary eyed at each other over our milk and cereal on Saturday morning, LOL. Not a single one of us got nearly enough sleep. We vegged out for a while, catching Saturday morning cartoons together on the couch. We were motivated enough about midmorning to get the toy room cleaned so the boys can actually use it again. That was nice - it's been on my to-do list for a while. Rick got home about 12:30pm, Logan and I took a nap in the afternoon and after a dinner of PB&J (mommy burned the sloppy joes because she was too busy painting her toenails purple), we headed back out to Mona Lake to watch some fireworks.

Logan was NOT a happy camper when it came to firework time. He doesn't like loud noises normally, but the fireworks pretty much traumatized him, poor kid!!! I ended up taking him inside and upstairs so he could watch out the window and that seemed to help, even though there were quite a few times where he would say "Logan hide" and lay flat on his belly with a blanket over his head. He seemed to enjoy the quiet, colorful ones, though. We finally got home from that at about 11:00pm and we "camped out" in the camper in our driveway. We are borrowing one from Fun N Sun RV (where my dad works) for the Relay for Life and he let us have it early. That's so great because I'll actually be able to get it packed up and ready to go with all our stuff so we're not making trips back and forth in the cars.

We had planned on going to church on Sunday but it was honestly too late by the time we got everyone in bed and asleep and I wasn't too keen on having overtired children for 2 days in a row. Sunday morning we went out for breakfast after everyone woke up - on their own - and then went driving around the area in search of a travel trailer. We're looking to buy one and so we've been keeping an eye out. We found one that looks promising in Spring Lake, so we'll see what happens with that. Then we went over to a friends house to enjoy her daughter's water slide - oh wow was that so much fun!!! We all had a blast. We got some ice cream and then they came to our house for an impromptu cookout. We had burgers, corn on the cob, chips, and cantaloupe with this REALLY good dip I made from a recipe in Fitness Magazine (yup - healthy too!!!). It was truly the epitomy of why I love summer!!!

Did you have as much fun as we did?


When I got online this morning, I planned to blog about our holiday weekend, the upcoming Relay this week and normal stuff like that. I still will, just not this second.

I love the way God works sometimes! Angie - Wow!! - thanks for stopping by.

I love how He causes things to happen, and you don't know why they do, but you know it's for something important and you just can't wait to see where He leads you when it's time for your questions to be answered. That, to me, makes all the wondering and unanswered questions about why things happen the way they do totally and completely worth it. I feel so blessed to be part of his intricate plan!

Have an awesome week, everyone!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yay for Joshua!

I JUST got a phone call from the Hem Onc clinic - Joshua's MRI was ALL CLEAR and everything looks great!!!!!!! Praise God for answered prayers!!

Now, gotta get past the Relay for Life and then we can forget about cancer until December!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention - I came into work this morning to find a box under my desk. Work had a summer cookout last week while I was on vacation - guess who won one of the raffle prizes - yup - ME - even from the the comfort of my own home, LOL!!!! I have worked here 5 1/2 years now and we do raffles a couple of times a year and I've never won until the one time I'm not here, LOL. I ended up winning a REALLY nice set of stainless flatware from Lenox - service for 12!!!!!!! That's double what I currently have at home!! Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Ok, I'm off to lunch - my belly has been growling for hours now - I guess that's what I get for not eating much breakfast!!!!!

It's been awhile...

See, this is what happens when you take vacation. You get so busy "relaxing" (YEAH RIGHT) that you lose track of everything else. I haven't been on the computer at all lately, and when I finally logged into gmail - yup, like 370 unread messages! I finally got through it all last night, but boy was that a feat in itself.

What's new with us..... hmm..... let's think about that.

My sister was up for a week - that was so nice. My nephew is my new best friend and I miss him like crazy now that he's gone back home to Florida. We took a day and went to Michigan's Adventure - we had ideal weather for that! Sunny, warm, not too hot or humid - it was pretty close to perfect. My kids LOVED it there, even though I hated paying $25 for Joshua to get in (how can they NOT have a kid's price??? It's outrageous!!!)!!!!!!!!!!! They were little fish in the water park and had an absolute blast. As did we adults - nothing like a little sibling bonding while going down waterslides!!!!

Joshua met with his oncologist last week - labs looked good. Dr. Dicken's is pleased with how well Joshua is doing. It was a good visit even though clinic was waaaaaaay backed up and although we had a 2:30pm appointment, I bet it was between 3:30pm and 3:45pm before we were seen. That's how it goes with cancer kids, though... you never know what's going to happen hour to hour. In this case, someone had a problem that had to be figured out, and that was us, more than once, during treatment, so we understand.

Friday we took the boys to Duck Lake again. Weather was less than perfect this time around but it was still a good time. Kids LOVED the water. The sun came out for a bit, just long enough for me to re-apply sunscreen in time for it to go back behind the rainy looking clouds again, lol. Once the rain finally came in, we had to book it back to the truck, but it was a nice couple of hours.

Rick and I spent loads of quality time together this weekend! My MIL took the boys for us so we could have a date Saturday night (walk in Pentwater, dinner in Whitehall - I had the best whitefish EVER) and then we went out to celebrate Cousin Mike's wife Meredith's birthday. We stayed for a bit and then went home. Rick ran the Seaway 5K on Saturday morning so he was pretty tired. Sunday we went up to Silver Lake and I FINALLY got to go into the sand dunes. Rick's been there a few times already this summer and I haven't been able to go until now. It was CHILLY but a lot of fun. I love it up there.

Went to DeVos for an MRI yesterday - Joshua did "well" considering his track record of IV's and Propofol. No results yet - nurse Mary is on vacay this week so someone else is going to watch for the scan results in the computer. I'm so used to Mary calling me the same day that it's hard for me to wait like everyone else usually has to.....

Happy Anniversary to Rick and I today. We've been together 8 years now, 6 of them married. We aren't celebrating today though. I am back to work after being gone for almost 2 weeks, and Rick has a funeral visitation to go to for a friend's dad (I'm so sorry, Wally - you and your family are in our prayers). We are exchanging cards tonight and eventually we'll go out to celebrate and do gifts and such. Better late than never, I suppose!!!

Oh, my van is broken, sigh. So, I'm driving Rick's car, and he's driving the 10 mpg truck. Thank God LZ Motorsports pays for Rick's gas, lol... I can handle filling the Neon, but no thanks to the Dodge Ram!!! On a positive note, my van is on the schedule at the shop for Wednesday, so if we can get it up there, it will be done quickly. It's something new though, that Rick's never heard/felt ever before - I'm a little scared about what it could be... He's pretty smart when it comes to cars, and I'm nervous that he has no idea what's wrong with the van...................

Anyhow, there's an update. I'll be back on track, posting regularly, now that I'm back in the swing of real life, LOL. No more vacation for a while!!!

Oh, Relay for Life is next week. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider donating to our team in honor of a cancer warrior that you know. There's a link to Team Joshua's page on my "places I like to go" section on the right.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yay for Family!

My beautiful sister and her family arrived safely last night for a visit to Michigan!!! They were slightly shocked at the cold temperatures, being Florida Folk, but we're managing! When I found my sister and my nephew at the airport, Solomon (who hasn't seen me in a year) ran up to Aunt Manda and gave me a big 'ole hug and snuggle!! It was so very heartwarming!!

We had a nice drive home - even getting stuck in traffic due to an accident - and then went out for dinner. Bethany and I talk just about every day, but it's much nicer having her home for a bit!!!

Today Aunt Bethany and Big Josh are babysitting Joshua and Logan for us - they have lot's of fun plans made in Grand Haven! Tomorrow, I get to spend the day with my Solomonkey because Bethany and Big Josh are heading down south for Papa Fest.

On Tuesday, we plan to go to Michigan's Adventure if the weather holds. And then they leave on Wednesday and Joshua and I have to go see Dr. Dickens at the Hem Onc Clinic.

Yup. It's that time of year again... Joy... Literally my LEAST favorite time of the year. Joshua goes in for Labs and a pre-MRI physical on Wednesday, and then his MRI is scheduled for June 30th. I'm not expeciting anything to be wrong with the scan, but that doesn't stop me from worrying like crazy... the same as I always do, even though MRI's have been part of our life since September, 2003.

But, Joshua hit 4 years post-diagnosis in April and in December, we'll hit 4 years post-treatment. Getting closer and closer to that magic 5 year mark. Now, if only we can manage to keep any secondary cancer from developing, we'll be good to go. Boooooo for leukemia, yaaaaaay for "cured".

Yeah - I have cancer on the brain again. We need to have a RFL carwash. We have a whole $65.00 raised which is ridiculous. But, it's my own fault - since our scan is so late (it's supposed to be late May/early June) and I can't quite get past that to focus on the Relay. And then after scan we have only like 10 days until the Relay itself, so it's not looking to be a good year for Team Joshua.

But, any donation is better than no donation. And we will still be at the Relay - doing our part for the whole 24 hours. I just wish we had been able to raise more money. Oh well... not really anything much I can do about it today. Maybe those days between scan and Relay will be HUGE money-makers for us. Probably not, but who knows. You never know what might happen. Anyways - enough with that. There's no point in stressing myself out at work. There will be plenty of time for that later!!!!!

Thanks for reading - we might have a photographer willing to do a free photo shoot with our family thanks to: http://www.littlestheroesproject.org/

This is so awesome to me, you don't even know. I am floored that such an organization exists, and I wish I would have known about it during treatment, but I didn't - and really, what better way to celebrate healing then to do it now that we've (well, Joshua, really) made it so far!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, I'll keep you posted on that.

Anyhow, off for now. I'll post again soon. I have a million pictures I need to get uploaded to photobucket so I can show off the boys. I'm on vacation from work next week, hopefully I'll get to it then.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Whirlwind!!!

Whew - what a weekend we had! I LOVE not having to work Thursdays and Fridays - it almost feels like the weekend lasts forever. Friday I met some friends and their kids at North Beach Park. We had a really nice time until it started to rain a bit. The kids played in the sand, went swimming, played on the play structure, and then our friend, Sydney, came home with us for a while to play with Joshua and Logan. The kids played right up until bedtime and they were pretty tuckered out by then!!

Saturday the boys and I went to Whitehall with Rick. Joshua was able to help Grandma buy a new car and Logan got to hang out with Mommy, Daddy and Uncle Michael. And he was SO well behaved!! It amazes me how good my boys can be when they're seperated, and how much they push each other's (and our) buttons when they're together!! Saturday night, Rick worked in Pentwater and didn't get home until 5:10am.

Sunday, I got up with the boys so Rick could sleep. We let him sleep in until 10:00am and the boys just couldn't wait anymore! After "cooking" a breakfast of raisin toast and orange juice, they bombarded him in bed with their cards and gifts. This year, daddy got floor mats for the new truck, carwash and a special cleaner for the interior of the vehicles (if you know Rick AT ALL you will know that he literally washes his vehicles every other day-ish during the summer). After that, we had to rush to get out the door to go out to Muskegon for a Father's Day picnic at Terry and Lois' house. Lot's of sun, swimming, hot dog roasting and s'mores. Joshua and I are both a touch sunburned (his arms, my chest), which is surprising to me because we were literally coated in sunscreen, but that's how it goes in the summer, I suppose. Tonight my FIL is coming over after he gets out of work and we're going to celebrate Dad's Day with him.

Whew... we had a great weekend! This week is supposed to be cooler (high 60's/low 70's), and my AC will appreciate the break! Lot's of sun, though, which is always welcome!! And, we're hoping to take the boys camping this weekend, so we might be in for 2 great weekends in a row!!

My sister and her family fly in tomorrow - I cannot WAIT to pick them up from the airport tomorrow!!! It's been far too long since I saw them. Bethany and I talk on the phone all the time, but it just isn't the same!!! The boys and I are taking Solomon for the day on Thursday and we're REALLY excited about that!