Thursday, October 14, 2010


Hopefully soon I'll be able to update the pics on my blog!!! One of my co-workers took some photos of us yesterday in the gorgeous Michigan fall woods  :) I swear that while the leaves have been at peak color for the last week or so, they all started falling off the trees YESTERDAY, so it made for some fun pictures.

Although you should see my front yard. It's literally COVERED in oak leaves and there are still so many on the tree it's not even worth raking yet! But, they're crunchy and it smells like fall, so I'm not complaining. Yet.

We haven't been able to do family photos in 2 years (although my photo friend Susan so kindly offered to take some of us this summer, it was right around surgery time and I wasn't ready for the world to see the scar in photos that will last forever...) so we had a good time. Even Rick played along (which was huge for him).

I saw a couple shots today and they were great. They were so "us", which is what I was hoping for.

Stay tuned - I hope to be able to post them soon!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good Golly...

Yeah. I know it's been pretty close to forever since I updated this here blog. To be honest, I've been slacking off on even reading the new posts from the blogs I follow and love. That's not really typical of me. Anyways, life has a way of just getting in the way, so I have a few minutes right now and thought I'd type up a quick post while I'm thinking about it.

I am sitting at my sister's house in sunny St. Petersburg, FL on vacation. I've been here since last week Wednesday and I leave tomorrow to go back home (which is good because I miss Rick and the boys like mad). Since I've been here I've met some really neat and interesting people, done some uber touristy things, sat around and done absolutely nothing with my sister (who is 7 months preggo by the way) except bond, gone swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, taken my nephew on an adventure and went exploring on my own. Plus, I've napped if I've felt like it and just had a great time.

I will say that Florida is hot this time of year, lol. I'm currently hiding from the heat inside because it too hot to be nice out right now. This morning, though, it wasn't too hot so I went hiking at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and came thisclose to a big ole alligator that was RIGHT by the trail. And I had Thai food for lunch - another first. Later we're heading down to Bayboro House for dinner, which is RIGHT on the Bay, so I'm hoping there's a breeze coming off the water.

This past weekend we went to Fort DeSoto for swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. My brother in law caught 7 sand dollars for me that are currently sitting in bleach water outside so they can get all white and pretty. Sunday we had a picnic at Sawgrass Lake park and went looking for alligators but we only found one baby and that was it! (although today's encounter made up for that!!) I did, though, see a "snake bird" (Anhinga) that was really cool. He went under water, grabbed a fish and took it over to a rock for dinner. Google it if you don't know what they are - they're something else!

Yesterday, I took my nephew on an adventure. We went to the St. Pete pier and went on a "dolphin cruise"! We did actually see some dolphins but they were too busy eating and not interested in coming over to play with us, but it was still really cool. We had a blast. I think this afternoon I might head down to the bay with a blanket and book and just relax until supper time. I was hoping to get some cool stuff during low tides but the low tides aren't really low right now, so I don't think that will happen. I might go manatee hunting in the morning (lol) but I've done that like 4 times and haven't seen anything yet, so we'll see what happens.

St. Pete is gorgeous. I'm jealous of my sister just a little bit (although I hear it's fall back home, which is my favorite, so I'm not that jealous I guess!!). They do, though, have WAAAAAAY more sunny days that we do back in Michigan (average is 361 days a year, I learned). I think I'll take advantage of this for future vacations for sure  :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Seriously... ?!?!?!?!

The joys of having children...

I know it's been forever since I updated, and I know I need to work on that (because you guys are SUPER interested in what I have to say on here), but this whole "working full time" thing has sort of put a damper on my blog life. It's not that I don't want to blog, or even that I have nothing to blog about - it's simply that I don't have TIME to sit down and blog.

This one, though, I had to share...

So there I was, catching up on other people's blogs while I had a few minutes to myself, when I hear a loudish "thud" in Joshua and Logan's room. I go in to investigate. Bear in mind that the current time is 9:18pm and their bedtime is 8:30pm. Plus it's a school night, AND I've been in there a dozen times telling them to stop messing around and go to sleep. I walk in the room and see that the contents of the pet net are all over the floor. I say "What the heck happened?" and Joshua responds with "Punish me." (while Logan makes it VERY clear that he was not the one who made the pets fall out of the net - that was all Josh). This "punish me" thing is Joshua's latest thing today. Rick and I caught him lying to us (about the same thing, but separately), and the only thing he had to say for himself was "Punish me. I don't care." And who lies about whether or not he watered the strawberries? It's not like I can't go back there and check him to know for sure! If you're going to lie, at least make it worth it!

I digress.

Anyhow, I'm still not sure how the contents of the pet net ended up on the floor. Let's just say I wasn't in the right mindset to go there tonight. I'm also deferring to Rick on the whole "punish me, I don't care" attitude. I'm not a fan and I'm not quite sure how to handle it, so Rick's going to "play that game" with Joshua. I'm pretty sure Joshua doesn't stand a chance in a battle of wills against his dad, but we'll see what happens. In the meantime, though, suffice it to say that I don't really like the current attitude. I'm sure it's normal, but it's kind of a pain...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

yard demo, soccer, full-time and a 'lil thing called life...

Reasons why I haven't updated in almost forever: yard demo, soccer, full time work, and life. Not that I'm just complaining - just explaining  :)

Yard demo... pretty self explanatory. We've started tearing up the back yard so we can re-do it. As of today, the patio is gone, stairs are gone, fence is down, the half of the yard closest to the house has been rototilled, and everything for the underground sprinkling has been bought. Here's the plan - putting in a wooden platform where the cement patio used to be. New stairs coming down from the sliding doors onto the platform. Underground sprinklers installed and then sod brought in for the yard that's closest to the house. The rest of the yard is going to have seed thrown down and then weed and feed. We'll see what happens with that...

Soccer... Joshua is doing soccer again. This is his 4th season playing - first year with WLYSC. We're REALLY happy with his coaches - they are actually the varsity coaches, so I feel like he's really learning at practice. He's AMAZING on defense, ok as a forward and not so great as a goalie, lol - but he tries really hard. We'll be practicing with him in the net though, for sure! Games are on Saturdays which means I have missed the last few weeks of yoga class, but that's another topic  :)

Full time... I was offered a promotion at work. Yay for that! I've not worked full time since I was pregnant with Joshua, so it's a little of an adjustment. Luckily, the kids are handling it well and Rick and I are committed to making it work (I'm salary now, so it's WAY worth it!). I won't lie though - I've been a 'lil on the tired side lately.

A 'lil thing called life... Logan had Preschool Round Up today, I can't really believe it! He is going to school 4 days a week and it's going to be awesome for him. He BLEW through the assessments they had him do today - even I was impressed with how great he did. Funny thing, though.... it was pretty long and extensive, and when he decided he was done, he was D-O-N-E, lol. Even the teacher noticed it and mentioned it  :)

I'm having a Partylite party/brunch on Saturday morning - I'm looking forward to some quality time with my girlfriends. There's just something about candles and brunch that suits me oh so well!

I guess I'll close this post out with some pics of soccer Josh this year and the backyard demo... I haven't brought out the camera to get the pics from the rototilling, but I'll get to that later.

Joshua the "Blue Racer":


Yard Demo:







Sunday, March 14, 2010

Waffle Iron Review!!

I can't say enough about CSN Stores! I was amazed at how quickly the Black and Decker waffle iron arrived after I told them I wanted to review it! It came in on Friday, and we decided to make Saturday Morning "Waffle Day"! The boys (and Rick) were all so excited.

Prepping the Black and Decker waffle iron for the first time was really easy. All you had to do was spread oil on both sides with a paper towel. Then you just heat it up until it's ready (about 5 minutes), pour in the batter, close it up and let it cook until the light turns off, in about 4-6 minutes. I was pretty impressed with how easy it was to use, since I'd never used a waffle iron before. The waffles turned out pretty good. It took me a little while to get the hang of cooking them evenly, but it wasn't too difficult. We had them topped with strawberries, and when my father-in-law stopped over as we were finishing up, I even let him have an extra one so I could get his opinion too.

The waffles weren't quite as thick as I was hoping for, but they were still yummy!! I'm looking forward to adding waffles as a part of our lazy Saturday morning breakfasts  :)

Thanks to CSN stores for letting me review this product!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something fun - and my second post today!!!

As I was wading through emails today, trying to get caught up from the weekend, I noticed that there was an email in there asking me if I would like to do a product review!! Woot!! How much do I love trying out new things and talking about it... if you know me, you know the answer to THAT!

The email came from CSN Stores, which is an online store that has pretty much EVERYTHING you can think of!!! I was actually looking on there this afternoon for a dog crate for Miss Mika. We've decided she's not trustworthy when we're gone, as we learned this weekend (and every other time we go away)...

Joshua and Logan are in need of some new kids bedding and you can bet I'll be doing some shopping from this site!!! I like to have their bedding sets be complimentary, but not identical, and this website has a lot to choose from!

I'm really excited because I'm going to be doing a product review of this waffle iron ! Waffles are a favorite at our house, but I'll be honest, I've never thought of Black and Decker as being a brand name for small appliances, so we'll see how it works! Look for that review coming soon!!

Super Fun Weekend!!!!

So, Rick surprised me with an overnight getaway. He said it was to make up for all the times we plan to go away but then something comes up and we can't. I just think it was SO COOL that he planned it himself - it's not very often that I get surprises like that!

I ended up getting called into work on Friday - that was kind of a bummer because Joshua and I had plans before they went to the babysitter's for the weekend. I was planning to go in for a staff meeting at 1:30pm, I just ended up going in at 9:00am and staying through the staff meeting. It will be nice to have that extra day on my paycheck, and luckily, Joshua understood and was ok with us rescheduling (he got a trip to Chuck E Cheese out of the deal!!!). As soon as I got home from work, we loaded up the car and headed out. I didn't guess where we were going until we were just east of Ludington. We turned toward Manistee and I asked Rick if we were going to a casino. Turns out we were on our way to the Turtle Creek Casino/Resort in Traverse City!!! I LOVE going to the casino every once in a while, so I was really excited.

The drive up was REALLY nice, Traverse City is about 150 miles from Whitehall. I'd never actually BEEN to Traverse City, I've driven past it, but never actually gone there. We got to the hotel at about 5:30pm. We checked in, dropped our stuff in the room and headed downstairs to the casino floor. We got $160 in small bills and went to the penny slots. Those fives lasted us about 6 hours of penny slot fun!!! At about 11:30pm, I was getting tired of the slots and we were down to our last $45, so we decided to take it to a roulette table. We put it all on black (the color of my underwear, LOL!!) and it won!!! Up to $90! We decided to let it ride and it won again - a nice cool $180 made in about 30 seconds. We took our chips directly to the cashier and cashed out. By then it was midnight, so we went up to our room because we're old and we go to bed early, lol.

On Saturday morning, we got up about 7:30am and went down to the breakfast buffet. After we checked out of the hotel, we headed into downtown Traverse City for some exploring. Spent the morning down there walking around (the weather was really nice for March in northern Michigan), and it was so cute. Around lunch time we decided to head back south. We stopped off out by the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes (we want to take the kids there this summer) and then went into downtown Manistee to do some more exploring. It ended up being about 6:30pm when we finally made it home. Rick and I went out to dinner and then came home and watched movies for the rest of the night.

Yesterday, Joshua had his annual scan. We decided to try it without sedation, so I thought that would mean IV free, but then when we got there, I realized they needed to use contrast for his scan, and he would need to have an IV for that. We were both pretty upset when we realized he was going to get a poke after all... But, he was a trooper (always is!!) and it was ok. He did GREAT staying still for the scans, and I got the call from the nurse this afternoon that he remains cancer free!!!!!!! So, awesome news since we're 6 years from his original diagnosis.

The weather has been "warm" the last couple of days (right around 50), so I hope that means Spring is on its way. We still have quite a bit of snow here, but seeing the sun for a few days in a row definitely gives me hope that winter is on its way out. Can't wait for all the mud that comes along with spring, lol... especially when your yard doesn't really have grass.... I know Rick wants to have a lawn put in this year, so hopefully the money will be there when we're ready to actually do it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Overdue Update on Life in the Here and Now...

I really need to stay on top of this whole blogging thing a little bit better! It seems like I'm posting on an average of once or twice a month which just isn't cutting it. I've gotten a job, so we've spent the last two weeks adjusting to that. It's really good - just an adjustment for sure.

I guess I can start with the new job. I didn't want to say much about it until I knew it was a sure thing, so I haven't mentioned it yet. I loved being home with the kids over the summer, but the last couple of months I've just not been happy staying at home. I felt guilty for spending money when I wasn't bringing any in, I was getting lazy because I could always get stuff done "later" and I was getting tired of feeling like I was stuck in a rut. Believe me, I have no desire to work a full-time job, but I decided to look for a part-time job again to bring some money in and get out of the house on a regular basis. I applied at Ross Medical Education Center in December and had an interview in January. Two weeks after that, they asked me to come in for a second interview, and they offered me the job a week later. Last week was my first week and this is my first week working my regular hours. I LOVE my new job. I'm the part-time office assistant and it's great. 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday, and I alternate between working the early shift (8am to 1pm) and late shift (3pm to 8pm). Every day is different, which is fun, and I'm always busy, which makes the time fly by. Plus I work with some REALLY great people!!

What else... hmm... Joshua has earned his Wolf Badge in Cub Scouts and it looks like Rick might be taking over for his Den Leader, which would be so much fun! Joshua is excited to have his dad be "in charge" of the den and they've been busy planning projects for the rest of the year. We also signed Joshua up for soccer again this spring. It's our first time doing it through Whitehall, so we'll see how it goes. Logan is old enough for soccer, but since he won't start pre-school until fall, I think we're going to put him in next year, so he'll have a chance to be with some of his pre-school friends (maybe). 

Since I've gone back to work, Rick has been picking up a lot of slack here at home, which has been great. He's spending so much more time with the boys and they're all enjoying it. The boys are still getting used to the idea of me not being home all the time, and Logan is struggling with understanding why he doesn't go to his old babysitter anymore (since that was the only place he went when I worked before), but we'll get there. 

Things have been going really well for us - I sure can't complain!! Joshua has an MRI coming up (it's that time of year again), but I feel like I'm in a good place right now, so I'm not really worried about it, which has NEVER happened before! Must be something about being so close to 6 years past diagnosis!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday mornings...

Today's church service was awesome. I was so excited by it that I want to share it with EVERYONE, which is why I've chosen to post my thoughts on my blog - after all, it's my blog, so I can do that  :)

I love going to church. I love Jesus and I love being surrounded by other people who love Him too. I especially love church when the sermon "speaks" specifically to me - which is always conditional on where I am in my life that week. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, but when it does, it FILLS ME UP like nothing else.

Today's sermon was called "What Word?". It ended up turning into basically an in depth Bible study of a passage in the book of John - specifically John 1:1-14. Go ahead and look it up if you have a Bible handy. I'll wait  :)

It's fun to read the gospels because they are so different from one another, depending on who wrote them. We learned some things about the disciple John this morning. For instance, he was writing mostly to the Greeks, because he wanted them to understand about Jesus. According to my pastor, Mark wrote for the Romans, Matthew for the Jews, and Luke was a doctor, so his book is mostly the chronological (because doctors aren't really known to be great writers, lol).

But John wrote mostly for the Greeks, and a little bit for the Jews, so his focus is different from the others. He focuses a lot on "the Word" because "word" was fundamental in their thinking because to them, the "word" was "life". John wanted them to know that the "Word" was the only way to true "Life". He wanted them to know that through Jesus (the "Word"), they would receive "Life".

The disciple John goes on to talk about John the Baptist a little bit in there, but I just LOVED how our pastor broke down the first 14 verses of the book of John. It "means" something to me now, more than just words written in a book by a man. I think I'm going to read the rest of John, and then dive into the other gospels a little more deeply after that. I think each one will offer a unique perspective.

Sunday school was awesome too, but if you haven't read "Crazy Love", my thoughts on that won't make much sense to you (but if you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts on chapter three!). Suffice it to say that there was a whole lot of talk about God's love - his crazy love for us - even though we're so very undeserving. How some of us have "aha" moments where we "get it", and others have always just had that knowledge, so their experiences relating to God are different. How that's ok because all relationships are different, and how sometimes we need a kick in the pants to remember God's love for us  :)

There was also a lot of noticing how when we became parents ourselves, it changed everything we thought we knew about God's love for us.

It has been just a great Sunday so far. Now, if Peyton takes the Colts all the way, that'll be the icing on the cake!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Latest Things Going On...

I know it's been almost a month since I updated the blog. Time has a way of getting away from me. Staying home with kids, it's easy to put things off because I know I'll have time "later", but who knows when later will actually arrive.

We are slowly starting to get back into a routine. We've been busy with Joshua's school stuff, Cub Scouts, family stuff and time with friends. Oh, and we got a new puppy, so that's been kind of crazy.

Where to start? I guess we'll start with the puppy - she's fun to talk about. Her name is Mika and she's a 16-ish week old boxer pup. An absolutely gorgeous canine specimen, if I do say so myself! She's extremely mellow for a puppy - especially a boxer! Mellow is good for us, though! She brings out some hidden youth in our 8 year old lab-mix Riley. It's fun to watch them play together - especially the every once in a great while that Riley acts like a puppy herself! Now if Mika could just get a handle on this whole potty training thing, we'd be set! I'm getting tired of cleaning up puppy messes!

Here are a couple of pics of our new little girl:


Oh, and Mika snores like a freight train, which is hilarious until you're trying to sleep!

Joshua's Cub Scout Pack had their annual Pinewood Derby yesterday. It was our first year participating, so we didn't quite know what to expect. Rick's step-dad was more than happy to help us with the car, which was a lot of fun for Joshua. Grandpa Cookies even came to the race yesterday to watch, which made Joshua's day! Our little Wolf Cub ended up taking 2nd place in his den! We were so proud of him, and he was really proud of himself. He even won a medal and he's excited to display his car on a stand that he made with Rick.







My small group is starting a study on Crazy Love by Francis Chan. We're just getting into it, but I'm really looking forward to sharing some insights I learn as we dig deeper into the study. So, look for those thoughts coming soon!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh My Stars....

First, let me start this by saying I really, truly, love my family. On that note, I'm thisclose to selling my children to the zoo, lol! Joshua being on break has wreaked complete havoc on Logan and his schedule, and Logan doesn't adjust well at all. Throw into the mix Logan's birthday, Christmas and New Years, and you've got what I like to call insanity... Plus Rick's been home a ton lately working on the basement, too. All in all, anything resembling Logan's schedule has literally been blown out of the water... I'm VERY ready for Josh to go back to school and Rick to go back to work. It's just really tough with everyone here. Everything is chaotic and crazy. At least during the summer, Rick is ALWAYS working, and the kids and I are rarely in the house, but we've got at least 20 inches of snow at my house, so we've been pretty much home-bound for the last couple of weeks!

Tomorrow I'm hoping for a shift back in the right direction. Wake up times will go back to normal, routine can once again happen, and Logan and I are even going to go to the library, like we do almost EVERY Monday, even though there's no preschool storytime until the end of the month. At least we'll be able to get out of the house and do a little of what we usually do. Logan is wired to need structure and routine, and that just hasn't happened for the last two weeks and the effects of that on him have been getting progressively worse since New Years Eve. He's been having meltdowns all day long, he's been getting angry and lashing out, and even being physical. I'm hoping that all starts to calm down once he re-adjusts to the routine again. I don't expect things to get better overnight, but I sure wouldn't complain if they did  :)

So, here's hoping tomorrow is a little better than today was. I don't think I can handle another today, lol. Now that both kidlets are down for the night, I'm going to de-stress to Wii Fit Plus (yoga, anyone??) and likely take a bath before bed...