Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things...

I did this for Facebook and thought I would share it here too.

1. I am a homeschool mom. When I had my first kid nearly 20 years ago, I thought homeschooling was for crazy people. When that child went to K and my nephew started homeschooling K - I still thought that was something I would never, ever do. I am finishing up my 10th year of homeschooling this year and I can't imagine anything else for our family.

2. I have a irrational fear of dinosaurs. Not like on tv - but the big ones in museums, etc. I actually think it has to do with the size of them that overwhelms me more than the fact that is was a dinosaur because some of the 3d type signs in Orlando freak me out too. If you are a Florida friend, the dinosaurs at the exit on I4 for Dinosaur World drive me nuts. My kids always try to make me look at them.

3. I think waking up with a baby cuddled next to you nursing is one of the absolute BEST things I have ever experienced in my life. It is probably the only thing I miss about my baby days being gone.

4. I met my husband when I was 14 and he was 15. He was telling some girl (Shawn Heinz) his address on the school bus. They lived on the same road. The next day, on a walk to the grocery store, I convinced my friend to walk over to his house with me. I didn't know him, had never spoke to him and was a very shy person all around. I knocked on his door and said hello. That was over 22 years ago. I think God sent me there.

5. I have an unnatural love of shelving. Every time my husband installs shelves for me - I feel pure JOY! I love storage!

6. I own two houses. One in FL and one in SC. We moved from FL after I was laid off from my telecommuting job. It was one way we could afford to keep homeschooling without my income. My husband is wonderful because he LOVES Florida, but LOVES his kids more.

7. My mom is my hero. She is just awesome! She has always, always supported me in everything that I have ever done - even the things that weren't probably the best choices. (My dad did too!) She moved from FL to SC so I could continue to be a homeschooling mom because she knew I would never leave FL if she stayed behind.

8. I love Disney World (well not just Magic Kingdom - the whole thing) . I have had season passes twice. If I could afford some kind of lifetime pass, I would buy it.

9. I love snorkeling. That makes no sense because I am afraid of most things like that. I forced myself to try it out because Tim loves it. It is the most relaxing and amazing thing to swim with sea turtles. I want to take my kids back to St. John with us to share the experience with them.

10. My best friend is in heaven. I really don't think I will ever meet another person that understood and got me the way she did. I miss her terribly.

11. I make up silly songs and sing them to my kid while we are out running errands. I do not have a good singing voice - so this can be embarrassing. I don't care. Someday they will laugh at the memory of their mom singing about how she needs to find graham crackers in the store.

12. I am addicted to the internet. Some people have to have their morning coffee... I have to check my email, Facebook, and read a few blogs.

13. I live next door to my husband's brother and family. I live across the street from my husband's two sisters. We have close family friends that live around the corner. We sometimes call it a compound. Crazy, huh?

14. I am slowly beginning to freak out that my son will be moving to be stationed Alaska in less than a month. I can't imagine not seeing him again until possibly Christmas.

15. I have an obsession with Starbucks Hot Chocolate with Hazelnut. I don't even like coffee and had never entered a Starbucks. Then my son gave me a hot chocolate with hazelnut. It is an addiction. I just smell Starbucks and I want to buy it.

16. I had my first child when I was 16. My husband and I chose to get pregnant with him. I would not advise my kids or other teenagers to do that in any way, but I believe that God sent my child to us for a very specific reason and at the perfect time. My life has been so amazing with him in it and I can't imagine it any other way.

17. Sebastian is my bonus child. We had decided to stop after two kids - Tim II and Savannah. Something changed my husband's mind and he suggested we have one more.

18. I am superstitious. I don't like umbrellas open inside. I will criss cross my window if a black cat crosses my path. I always say if I drop a spoon that a child will visit, fork - a woman, knife - a man. I have a strange habit of not being able to mark off a calendar until the next day when that day is really finished.

19. I believe in teaching my children to learn, not just fill in a blank, but actually learn. I find that most learning doesn't come from textbooks or traditional studying. It comes from many places. Right now we are having fun making lapbooks to store all the info in. I think it is a gift that I get to help them find a way to learn.

20. I love real estate. Not owning real estate (anyone wanna buy a house in Florida?) If I weren't homeschooling and had a 4 year old, I think I would get my real estate license. Maybe when my kids are a little older.

21. I have always been a Christian. Always believed in Jesus, but didn't really strive to understand more until my sister-in-law passed away 5 years ago. It forced me to lean heavily on my faith and seek more. (see number 10) Having said that - I really don't enjoy reading the Bible at all. It puts me to sleep. I keep praying for some divine intervention that makes me find it enjoyable.

22. When I was pregnant with Savannah, I wanted a baby girl more than anything. When I had my first ultrasound, they couldn't tell me if it was a girl. My wonderful husband set up a second ultrasound, paid for it since insurance only covered one ultrasound and took me the very next day. They still couldn't tell me for sure if she was a girl - only about a 90% chance. I went and saw my dad that day at the hospital and told him I was having a girl. He passed away a couple days later knowing we were having a girl and we would name her Savannah. He said that was a "hillbilly name" with a big smile on his face. He would have loved her so much.

23. I once stopped Splash Mountain at Disney World. I am terrified of theme park rides like that. I chose to get on to make my husband happy. We asked at the beginning of the ride if there was just one drop or many. The guy said one drop. He lied! There were many drops and by the time we got to the last drop, I was having a full panic attack. When the ride stopped just before going over the big drop - I stood up to get off. I scared my husband to death! The disney staff was great - they turned on the lights and came to get me right away. Oh and a guy had died the week before from jumping off right as it had gone over. That made my husband even happier to hear that one!

24. I love to scrapbook. The only thing is that I never make time to do it. I once scrapbooked 300 pages in a year. I have really big hopes to get back to that one day.

25. Sometimes I stop and think about my husband and my family. I cannot believe how blessed I am. That is not to say my life is not crazy because I always have some sort of drama going on. Ask anyone that knows me well. Even with that, I have been given a wonderful husband that I have grown up with and 3 amazing kids. I thank God for them all daily - even when I am pulling my hair out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

One CRAZY week...

If you know me in real life, you know that my life is never dull. I am just not one of those people that has a ho hum existence. I have a good friend, Jorgena (Hi Jorge!). She, for the most part, has a pretty calm life. We have been friends since we were 12. I moved out of state when we were 18. These days we talk on the phone about every other weekend. I love talking to her because I never feel like she has changed. She just listens to me ramble on about the craziness of my life. Then there always come the moment when I ask her what is new with her. Very occasionally she will have something to tell me that is out of the ordinary. Most of the time, she is very calm and things are just normal for her. This is NOT to say that she doesn't have her share of challenges because she does have trials in her life. Just not as frequent as mine. This is true for a lot of people I know. I just seem to have some sort of knack for upheaval. Anyway, this week - really started last week. I found out through a phone call from another landlord that our tenants were planning to move out. This was news to me! Last I heard they were signing another year long lease. This has led us down a less that wonderful road of lost rent and an eviction process that we would rather have avoided. This also has led us to decide to put our house back on the market again. First we need to head to Florida to prepare the house for sale. Going into this week, we still weren't sure what we were going to do. I also began training to be Cookie Mom for our Girl Scout troop on that same day. I have been working on all that stuff. Monday was a busy day with Girl Scouts and talking about cookie sales. Tuesday was just CRAZY! It SNOWED! Savannah and Sebastian have never seen snow. It wasn't a ton of snow, but it was indeed snow. The morning was nice with the kids playing... the afternoon was filled with renter frustrations. I wanted to run away. Wednesday was as busy as ever. I have started going to a bible study with a friend. Sebastian plays with his friend Kameron while we attend. Afterward we take them to Burger King to play. I can't tell you how many times my phone rang between realtors and others. During this time, Tim II calls and says he can come home the NEXT DAY. I come home and deal with more realtor stuff while looking for a plane ticket for Tim II. There are a lot of different airport options from OK to here. I literally spent 3 hours looking at different scenarios vs. roundtrip and one way to different airports. He needs to be back in Dallas to catch his flight to Alaska in a month. I finally got him booked on a flight to Atlanta for Thursday morning arriving at 9am. So... my mom and I decide to get the kids up at 5am and head to Atlanta for the day. We didn't really find much we wanted to do there, so we just ate lunch at Chili's and headed back home. A 7 hour round trip drive for lunch at Chili's! Crazy, huh? Friday was a day of cleaning and a beautiful afternoon to sell Girl Scout Cookies. Today, more cookie selling and then out to the book store and dinner with Tim and Tim II. I am exhausted from the week. I think we are a little bit clearer on our plans, but still not set. It looks like we will be heading to Florida next weekend to spend several days to a week there fixing our house up for sale. Our plan is to price low and hopefully sell quickly. We can use prayers and good thoughts. We are so DONE with this house thing. I will leave you with a video of my kids playing in the "blizzard".
video

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christmas '08


So, it has been a few weeks since Christmas. It is never too late to post Christmas pictures, right? I really wasn't sure how Christmas would feel in a new house. I am happy to say it seemed like it was always home this Christmas. I even put up a lot more of my decorations. The first time in years that we did that. I was so excited Timmy was coming home. I just wanted the house to look very festive. On Christmas Eve, we all went to church and then we came back and had our traditional Chinese. I am a Christmas Eve person. I like Christmas Day, but I love Christmas Eve leading into Christmas morning. My mom and my sister come over and we exchange gifts with them. We gorge ourselves in Chinese, watch a Christmas story and just relax. My mom spends the night and the next morning the kids open presents from Santa. It is just a nice, peaceful time. This year, my sister-in-laws Jessica, Jennifer and Karen came over on Christmas morning. They were talking to Timmy and I was talking to them about how great he looked. I was just taken with so much emotion. I could hardly keep from crying because I was SO STINKING HAPPY he was home. I don't know how many more Christmases he will get to be here. I didn't see that coming. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that he may not always be here for the holidays. This was my favorite and best Christmas present this year. Just awesome!


We got him a camera to record all the views of Alaska.


Santa arrived!


I loved the fireplace with stockings all hung. (Too bad we had to open a window because it was so warm!)

My little elf.


My Christmas present!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amazing...

I wrote the last post on Sunday night. I went to bed feeling pretty down missing my friends. I sorta realized that was a bit whiny of a post and I have said before that I don't want to do that here. It was just what was on my mind and my fingers typed it. Then, yesterday, I got a call from my friend, Susie. She is in Florida. She told me that our Florida girl scout troop had their cookie meeting where the girls discuss what they would like to choose as their reward for selling cookies. She went on to say they chose SAVANNAH! Yes, they chose to come visit us! I literally almost cried. I told her about my post and how it was odd that she called just hours later. She went on to tell me that we should come visit and just hang out with all of them. Again, I could feel the tears coming. Sometimes when you move away, you begin to think that nobody thinks about you anymore because you are not there. It was so nice to realize that we are missed. I am not the only one sitting here missing people, but I am missed too. I don't know if we will get back to Florida when Timmy is here next, but I hope so. We have such great friends and I can't wait until they all come visit!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A new year...

It is a new year and I have a list of things I want to do that is a mile long. I put blogging on that list. I don't know why I stopped writing. I have sat at my laptop a few times and thought I really need to blog, but then nothing gets typed and no pictures get uploaded. I am feeling really frustrated with the fact that we will be here a year next week and I don't know that I feel anymore "at home" than when I first moved her. In some ways I do because I know where lots of things are and how to get to them. I have made some friends and find familiar faces in the store. I just don't feel like I am finding the group of friends like we had in Florida. I miss going to co-op with my kids and hanging out with everyone. I miss going to Miss Vickie's to just visit a Friday night away. I miss going to girl scouts and talking with Cindy and Leslie while our girls giggled with Miss Susie in the other room. We have friends here and actually I think Savannah is pretty happy. It is just a me thing, I guess. I feel very disconnected from people. There are a few in our homeschool group that really do want to get together more and I find that encouraging. I am hoping spring will grow these friendships and maybe I won't feel like I am starting completely over again from square one. We really do have a great group of ladies in this group. It is not that they aren't the nicest bunch of people. Many just seem to have their routine and their comfort. I don't seem to have found that yet. As for other things on my list - sparkpeople, exercise and scrapbooking. They are all really things I want to do and haven't done for quite a long time. There is not better time to start - I think. Week number 1 went pretty well minus any scrapbooking. Week number 2 starts tomorrow - so I should head to bed. I don't know if I have any readers left after my long, long break. I hope so. I really would like to share my everyday blessings and hopefully encourage somebody along the way.