Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vacation Over

This morning, aswe were sitting out front of our hotel at 4:00am, I decided we were suffering from a Disneyland hangover. Jay's nose is running and he's sniffling, Cade woke up with a sore throat, and my eyes are very blood shot. They are the same color red as my hoodie. We are exhausted. We went hard yesterday with the other 70,000 at Disneyland. It was well worth it though. It was a great vacation. Sad to see that's it's over. I'll update over the next few days and include some pictures.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Things I've Done Once In My Life...

And Don't Plan to Ever Do Again

Drive a Mustang in a snow storm

Let a tour bus drop me off at Legoland at 10:30 am and not pick me up until 7:30 pm

That pretty much covers it.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Does it get any cuter???

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Still at the airport

We are still at the airport. We missed our connecting flight in Houston last night by about 5 minutes. So we are still in Houston and our luggage is floating around the airport in Orange County. Yeah, I'm not a bit nervous about that.

Continental put us in a hotel last night so at least we could shower. It's going to quite some time before I'll want to wear this shirt again! I'm looking pretty right now...no makeup, no flat iron and no perfume. I will be so happy when I finally get my hands on my luggage!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

At the airport

Cade is a bundle of nerves. He's afraid we are going to miss the plane, even though we are 10 feet from the gate. He's pretty funny. He's asked at least once every 5 minutes if it's time to get on the plane yet. He's already looking like a seasoned traveler...

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Getting ready to leave

We are in Sheldon now getting our stuff together.  We had Christmas with my family last night.  This morning Mom and Dad watched Cade open up a few of the presents we brought for him.  It was stuff for him to take on the trip.  They also got to listen to the special phone call we received from Mickey and Goofy inviting Cade to Disneyland.  Our flight leaves KC at 6:05 tonight.  We have a 55 minute layover in Houston and we should be in California by 10:30 pm their time.  Tomorrow and Friday we'll be at Disneyland, Saturday Legoland, Sunday Universal Studio and Monday we'll go back to Disneyland.  Our flight  leaves Tuesday morning at 6:45 am. 

You might say a prayer for us for safety and nerves the next few days.  We didn't want Cade to see the news this morning because of the plane crash in Jamaica, but he saw it and it has him worried.  I think knowing he's worried has me nervous.  Jay's in for a wonderful time!

I'm hoping to keep this updated as we go along today to have for our own memories.  This is Cade's first time to fly so I want to have a record of it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

10 Years Today...

  1 Wonderful Husband
+1 Happy Wife
+1 year of dating
+ 3 month engagement
+1 beautiful wedding
+1 Great Little Boy
+1 Obnoxious Dog
-2 not so lucky dogs
-6 even unluckier cats
+2 different home loans
+1 old house that made us appreaciate our newer home
+2 different trucks
+4 different cars
-1 totaled Buick
-1 tree that fell over and landed on the Monte Carlo and our fence
+3 different church families
+4 different jobs
-4 grandparents lost since 2004
+9 major trips together
-4.5 years of infertility
+3 years of an adoption journey that's taught us a lot
-1 police report for stolen tools 2 weeks after our wedding
-4 surgeries
+4 because the surgeries were for very minor problems
-6 of the longest months without a dishwasher in 2005
+1.5 Hereford Embryos and the excitement thats gone along with that
-1 Call to the fire department
-1 Opossum stuck in a Wal Mart sack in our garage
-2 roof leaks from a hole in our roof
+1 husband willing to dress up like a Wisemen (complete with paper crown) and sing We Three Kings because I needed the part filled
=10 wonderful years full of excitement, ups and downs and a whole lot of laughs and love

Happy Anniversary, I love you!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Christmas preperations are in full swing around our house. This year I'm in charge of the church's Christmas play. Which in turn means that Jay is taking a very active role in the production. We've spent several nights at the church digging through costumes, preparing the stage and fixing the lights. Our house has also suffered due to the play. Last week I had angel wings strung all over the kitchen and family room. I thought they were going to be the death of me, but I got them finished Friday night.

This year our church play is the traditional nativity. It's been a few years since our church has done this. Our other plays were nice and I enjoyed them, but I really love the simple nativity productions.

I got a copy of  my Aunt Helen's play that I grew up with. As I told Jay, I'm taking my Aunt's play and tweaking it some to make it my own....Since it is really impossible to improve on the KJV Gospel of Luke I've changed some other things. I added O Holy Night because it is my favorite Christmas song, added Mary Did You Know because we have a lady at church that sings the best version I've ever heard, changed the last line to put in Isaiah 9:6-7 because those are some of my favorite verses AND the big change... I've painted the angel wings metallic gold.

Yes, big things have been in the works around the Shepherd houshold this week. The play is next Sunday. I'll just be happy if the shepherds make it down the aisle without using their staffs as swords.....or more specifically that one "shepherd" would behave himself......I'll let you guys guess which one I'm talking about.

I love this time of the year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Right now I can't even think of a good title for this post. It's probably going to be a mixture of whining and expressing our frustration. I don't know it it's this time of year getting to us or the realization that we contacted our agency 3 years ago the end of this month or the fact that in 6 months we will celebrate our 5 year infertility anniversary. Five years…can you believe that?

Adding to this is the fact that every time I turn around I'm getting hit with baby something or other. I think things started bothering me about a week ago when I looked at a blog that I read on occasion. They, like us, were going through infertility and had several failed treatments. They were told their chances of conceiving on their own was very slim. You probably know where I'm going with this….yup they managed to get pregnant without assistance. Then to really add to it, they've dealt with 2 years of infertility and they still haven't been married as long as we've been trying. That was somewhat of a defining realization for me.  This is really taking much longer than I ever anticipated.

Then again last week I looked at a blog that I hadn't looked at since this summer.  Their situation was very similar to ours.  Their daughter is Cade's age, they had been waiting since February 2007 and they were placed with a baby in August.  I'm very happy for these families because I know the pain that they have been through to get to this point.  I'm just ready for it to be us for a change.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Car Update

Jay cleaned my car out last night and he's declared it to be rodent free. He said he was also pretty grossed out by the whole thing, he just tried not to freak out as much as I was. We left it parked out side last night so that the cold would hopefully kill it….as long as it didn't die inside the car. Jay put several traps around the garage and he moved Charlie's dog food out of there. He's also going to set some traps in the house just for my piece of mind. We don't think it's in the house, but I don't want to take any chances. I drove the car this morning and nothing climbed up my pant leg. I'm considering that to be a wonderful start to the day.

I did ask Jay how he'd feel if he found a big fat possum sitting in his truck.  I did get the reaction I had expected....totally grossed out.  Just a little insight in to a couple of our phobias.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not the Way I Planned to Start My Day…..

Jay was a substitute bus driver today. He had to be at the school by 6:30 this morning so we both got up early. He got ready and then helped me finish getting the house in order. We had kind of destroyed it Wednesday night. We still had some time to spare so I decided to wrap some Christmas presents. I got two wrapped for Avery and then decided to get Cade's out of the trunk of my car.

I bought three things for him the day after Thanksgiving. Two of them were not a big deal – a fleece and the traditional pair of PJ's. The third thing was a little bigger deal. It was a really nice vest that I got at Gymboree (that's a picture of it). The tag said $32, but since I was at the mall at the break of dawn that day, I was able to purchase it for $15. I thought it was a pretty good deal. Sunday, when we got home from church, I popped the trunk so I could show Jay everything. I like to make sure my clothing purchases are "boy appropriate". Everything appeared to be fine. I held up the three items and nothing struck me as being weird or out of place.

Fast forward to this morning (before 6 I might add!) and I'm sitting on our family room floor. I had just brought in my sack of goodies so I can wrap them while Cade is still asleep. I grab the wonderful, cozy vest and give it a little shake. I hear things hitting the floor. I look down to see these brown pellets pouring out of the vest. I froze for a minute and tried to think back to what my car had been used for the past few days. Had Jay hauled something? Was it dog food? Had we even bought dog food recently? All the while I knew what it was, but I was trying to think of every possible thing except what I feared the most…..I had a mouse IN MY CAR. Not just any mouse….a mouse that loaded up what appeared to be at least of cup of Charlie's dog food, hauled it to the trunk of my car, climbed inside a Gymboree sack and made itself at home inside one of the best of my Black Friday Deals.

I was so grossed out and mad. I HATE MICE. I think they are the nastiest creatures on the planet. They absolutely tick me off. They chew up things, ruin what ever they get their nasty little teeth on and then leave their filthy calling cards lying around. Then the stupid little thing didn't touch the fleece and the PJ's it chewed on the vest.

So at around 6:00 am this morning, if you had been our neighbors, you would've seen Jay and I carefully taking apart the trunk of my car. We also discovered the mouse had chewed a hole in the cover that goes over my spare tire. Jay put on gloves because he was afraid there might be a nest around the tire. We didn't find a nest, but we found 6 inches of water around the spare tire. I guess I have a trunk leak? I was so ticked off…and grossed out.

Jay drove my car today because I couldn't. I don't know what I'm going to do. He thinks the mouse is gone, but I'm not as confident. Our next dilemma is what do we do? Do we put poison in my trunk but then risk having the mouse crawl somewhere unreachable and die? Do we put the poison in the garage and take the chance it will still get in my car and die? Do we do nothing and risk having the mouse crawl up my pant leg while I'm driving down I-44? I knew I should've traded off the car when I had the incident in Cassville this summer. This was the car that was supposed to last me for awhile. I was going to drive it for years after it was paid off. Having a mouse loose in the car may change that plan. Jay just shrugged off my rant this morning about the car grossing me out. He doesn't quite share my hatred for mice though.  I need to ask him how he'd feel if he found a big fat possum sitting in his truck.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There's so much to be thankful for this year I can't begin to list everything. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Anyone shopping on Friday?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Clark Griswold Moment

We had a Clark moment Saturday afternoon. Cade was at the table eating a bowl of cereal, I was taking Christmas tubs back to the garage and Jay was somewhere on a ladder hanging Christmas lights...

This is a good time to explain Jay and when he yells. I think I've heard rumors that he inherited this trait from someone...but he tends to overreact sometimes with his actions. I don't know how many times he's scared me to death because he's yelled so loudly I go running to him to find out he dropped something or bumped his head. I know he over reacts but I'll always go check because I think what if this was the time it really was serious. Just explaining that so you'll understand my part of the story.

I was sitting a tub outside and Cade was asking me to come and look at something. At that moment I heard Jay yelling for me. It took a moment to register that Jay really was yelling for me. I told Cade I'd have to look later, dad needed me. His yelling was louder and more urgent sounding then usual so I really was worried. I tore out of the house with no shoes on. I had no idea even where he was at outside. In the two seconds it took me to get out of the house and around the corner I was imagining all sorts of horrible things that could've happened. Once I rounded the house I saw him on the ladder with the Christmas lights. Everything appeared fine so I quit running. I thought if he yelled like that just to get me to come out and pick up something he dropped I'm going to be so mad. As I was walking up to him I was telling him pretty much the same thing. About that time though I noticed the ladder. It had tipped over to the left side and Jay was hanging onto our guttering. I ran over and tried pulling it (and him) back over. Then the ladder got hooked on the downspout and got stuck. I didn't know what I was going to do. I pulled harder and finally I got the ladder down. Jay nor our guttering suffered any damage. As I was leaning against the ladder trying to recover from the weak kneed feeling you get when you get scared I looked up and saw Cade standing there (without shoes). I thought that we must've scared him to. Wrong - as soon as Jay got off the ladder Cade said can I show you this now. I said yes, go ahead. It was Chex cereal and two pieces were stuck together. That was what he wanted to show me when the yelling started and he was determined to show me no matter what. He certainly is a persistent little thing. As soon as I made the appropriate response to two Chex pieces being stuck together he went back inside.

I told Jay that he looked like Clark Grizwold on the ladder. Luckily we don't have any ice or the neighbors might of came home to find a window busted out and their CD player destroyed. Jay said the whole time he was on the ladder that was the scene going through his mind. He said he could've jumped and been fine, but he was afraid the guttering would've gone with him. Then when he saw me he thought everything would be fine, but I stopped running once I saw him and started lecturing.

I went back inside and put on some shoes so I could stay outside with him. My heart couldn’t take any more scares.

Charity said that it was a good thing Charlie didn't find Jay on the ladder before I could get there.  With all of his hostility towards Jay he probably would've pushed the ladder over.  I guess there's always something to be thankful for in any situation...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How We Indirectly Ruined a Surprise Party

We had a couple of big happenings this weekend...one was how we managed to ruin a surprise party.  The second incident was a Clark Griswold moment concerning a ladder and outdoor Christmas lights.  I'll get to that in the next post.  Right now I'll explain how our family managed to ruin a surprise birthday party. 

An important note to remember about this story is Saturday morning I did some cleaning and Christmas decorating.  I was thinking about random thoughts and I thought about this surprise party.  It was for a dad that helped with the baseball team.  His name is Chez.  He has two boys (Kaul 2nd grade and Joel 1st grade).  I thought "I bet Joel and Kaul didn't know about this party until today when their dad left the house.  That should be exciting for them."

So we get to the party and got in the food line.  We then sat down by Austin, Chez's nephew and Jay's FFA President.  Jay started making small talk with Austin.  We knew he was the one that was supposed to be resonsible for keeping his Uncle busy that morning.  Jay asked if Chez was surprised.  That's when Jay and I got a surprise.....Austin said that Chez had an idea because Cade went to school and asked Kaul about his dad's surprise party.  Great, our kid had a part in ruining the party.  Here we came in talking to everyone, wishing Chez a Happy Birthday.  We would've never known what happened if Austin hadn't said anything.  How embarassing. 

Obviously we had to make the rounds again offering our apoligizies.  Which worked out good because we got to hear the rest of the story and how it exactly took place....Kaul didn't know anything about the party, which isn't surprising (remember my thought from Saturday morning).  I'm sure he didn't want someone knowing something about his family that he didn't know.  Kaul's dad just happend to be at the school the day this 2nd grade conversation took place.  Since Kaul needed to know what was going, rather than waiting to ask his mom, he asked Chez what the deal was with his surprise birthday party.  So when Lanette, Kaul's mom, found out about him asking his dad she had to find out where he heard about the party.  That's when she found out that it was Cade that had started the whole thing.  Lanette said that Kaul was irritated with her because he didn't know anything about the party.  She said "it's a SURPRISE, why in the world would you ask your dad about his SURPRISE party".  Kaul said "because you hadn't told me about it"  Lanette said "I know because it was a SURPRISE."

Jay and I laughed over this all Saturday afternoon.  Luckily everyone in that family is extremely easy going so no one was upset.  I think (or at least I hope) everyone thought that the whole thing was pretty funny.  What is amazing to Jay and I is that we really didn't talk about the party very much.  Jay brought home the invitation, it was a mutual agreement that we'd go, we didn't have to discuss it or anything.  I thought I then put the invitation in our bill basket, but maybe I didn't.  The only other thing I can think of is maybe I left it on the table for awhile?  I sometimes forget that Cade can read.  Maybe he read the invitation?  The other thing that's funny is that Cade and Kaul aren't in the same room this year.  When did they even have time to have this conversation?  Jay and I have always wondered what the kids talk about at school.  Now we have somewhat of an idea.  Kind of makes me wonder though what else Cade's picked up on around the house and is spreading it around.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Thing Off the List

After a long delay of people sitting on papers, messed up bloodwork and pictures on a CD that refused to open....Our new letter and pictures have finally appeared on Bethany's website.

I really hope we won't have to update it again.


I added a ticker for a countdown to our vacation.  After the day I've had, I'm really really ready to leave!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Adoption update

It's been awhile since the last update on this subject. Since I'm at the Cassville office today without a computer I'll try to do it on my phone. I'll apologize up front for the typos. Typing with two fingers is not easy.

Things are pretty much the way they've been since the beginning of this ride almost three years ago. I've started to think adoption is very similar to what I've heard about the military - Hurry up and wait. It seems like we get in a rush to get things done and then someone somewhere ends up sitting on the paperwork. We finally ( just in the last week) got everything back to finish the homestudy. We also got back our profile that the socialworker looked at for us. I've got it corrected, copied and in the mail to Bethany. We should finally be getting the letter and pictures updated on the site anytime now...

We've had our profile looked at several times over the last few months. Obviously we haven't been picked. I had a lady that I work with proofread the profile. Afterwards she said she didn't understand why we hadn't been picked yet. I told her that was what I kept thing too!! The new profile is a little brighter and the pictures are bigger. I'm hoping that will make it stand out more?

I do check the website often to see what families had been chosen. I kept thinking something was different but couldn't figure it out. Finally last week it hit me. The older couple is gone. Since I never saw them with either a placement or placement pending across their face I'm thinking they didn't continue their contract with Bethany. This really made me sad. I feel for that couple because you invest so much into this - money, time, emotions - that it would be horrible to quit. But on the other hand I can understand their need to let this go because it is so emotionally draining. It also bothers me for a selfish reason. Will we get to that point? How long do you keep doing this? How many homestudy updates do you do? I know that's a personal decision that's different for everyone. How close are we to that point? I'm not sure Jay and I have an answer for that. Right now we are approved for another year. We've got some time to evaluate where we are and how willing we are to continue this. I say this every year, but surely next year is the year.!?

On another note - I've mentioned Skyler on the blog before. He's the 7 year old with a brain tumor. I used to work with his dad, Ryan. Please check out his site www.skylersanders.com. He and his family could use all the prayers they can get right now. They are such a special family and it's hard to see them go through what they are right now. Thanks

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Charlie Story

It's been awhile since I've posted a good Charlie story. Not that I haven't had any, I just haven't taken the time to write out the post. As most of you know, there isn't any love lost between Jay and Charlie. For some reason Charlie knows exactly what buttons to push on Jay. Charlie is better at that then Cade is. He knows exactly what to do to irritate Jay. His latest thing is dragging off Jay's shoes. I've watched Jay take off his shoes to run into the house to get something. In the 30 seconds he's in the house Charlie will grab his shoes and drag them into the yard. Now Charlie is running with a neighbor's dog who's quite a bit bigger than him. I've seen them running and Charlie can fit underneath this dog. I think Charlie will pick up Jay's shoes and drag them to the yard and then the other dog takes over. He'll drag them to his house. One night Jay had a flashlight out going through the neighbors yard looking for his shoes. He couldn't locate it that night and had to get up and search again in the daylight before we could leave for Fayetteville on Halloween. They don't seem to bother mine or Cade's shoes…just Jay's.

Probably the funniest thing though happened on Friday. Jay got home from work and walked out to check the mail. We had a receipt from where we'd paid $15 for Cade's dues to the Hereford Association, so it wasn't a big deal. Jay opened up the letter as he was walking to Charlie's pen to let him out. Charlie saw the letter fluttering and he jumped up and grabbed it out of Jay's hand and then took off with it. Jay said it felt just like when a kid grabs something out of your hand. Jay was yelling and trying to run him down to get the letter out of his mouth. Once Charlie got a safe distance away from the yelling man he dropped the letter, lifted his leg and peed on it. Luckily it was just a receipt and not our personal property tax statement or something even more important. Jay just left the letter in the yard. That was fine with me.

Anyone looking for a Corgi? He'd make a great Christmas gift!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Halloween Story

Saturday morning we had a wardrobe malfunction with Cade's costume. He wanted to be a Northern Solider and mom was supposed to make him a haversack to use to put his candy in. I knew that mom was having problems with her sewing machine, but she never said she wasn't able to finish it so I never asked. Mom thought since I knew that her machine was broken that I would know that she didn't get the candy bag finished so she didn't say anything. Needless to say, Cade was disappointed when we stopped to pick up the unfinished haversack on Saturday morning.

Once we got back in the truck Jay and I knew we were going to need to stop to purchase him a replacement bag. We stopped at Wal-Mart and Jay got our stuff to tailgate with while I took our boy purse shopping.

Right off we found the perfect thing. Of course we didn't have to pay anythig for this years costume, but I ended up paying $14 for a purse that resembled a haversack to keep the peace. Cade told me I could have it after Halloween...I think we'll keep it in the costume basket.

Cade was so excited when we found the bag. Almost a little to excited. I thought back to James Dobson's Bringing Up Boys book that I read 7 years ago wondering if I was doing the right thing. I don't know that James would've bought his boy a purse. To ease my mind I had to make sure that Cade knew I was only buying this to go with his costume. I thought we were on the same wavelength. We were buying a "bag" to use as a haversack to put his candy in.

When we got to Nana and Granddads I asked Cade carry in the cookies we baked and give them to Nana and Aunt Mary. He said he would if I would carry his purse...

I think it's time to re-read Bringing Up Boys. If anyone needs me I'll be at the library.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We went to Fayetteville for Halloween. Jay had a football game and Cade likes Trick or Treating at Nana and Granddad's. Terry decided to skip this weeks game so I got to use his ticket. Actually we lucked out because a couple of their other friends weren't there so we got to use their tickets. We were about 16 rows from the field. Since I mostly people watch it wasn't a huge deal for me except that the seats were way more comfortable than the regular seats...and we didn't have to climb 25 sets of stairs. I had a lot of fun. I've sat through more football games this year than I ever have. I've got a good story to write about concerning Cade's costume when I have a little more time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Announcing Our Christmas Plans

As I've mentioned several times over the almost 2 1/2 years I've had this blog, Christmas is a really hard time for us.  Even though we know that Christmas isn't about us, it's about celebrating the birth of our Savior...it's still hard.  It's the end of another year, it's another anniversary of when we started this adoption process (3 yrs in December), it's another year with playing Santa to our only child (who now knows the whole Santa secret).  I love Christmas, but it's full of reminders.

This year we decided to do something different...

We're hoping for some of this....

And this...

and definately this...

Yes, we are planning to go to Disneyland for Christmas this year.  We've wanted to do it for awhile, but we were waiting for Cade to get just a little older.  Also the way things are working out we will have quite an age difference between our kids.  We need to take Cade now since he's old enough to handle it but still young enough to enjoy it and we aren't trying to drag a baby along.  This is one of those things where Jay and I are embracing the fact that we only have one 7 year old child and we are going to enjoy every moment.  We leave December 23 and will be back Decemer 29.  We're spending 3 days at Disneyland, 1 at Legoland and 1 at Universal Studios.  We're all pretty excited!!!  I guess we leave exactly 2 months from today.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anxiety and Santa

Last Tuesday I took Cade to the doctor for his adoption check up and to discuss his anxiety problems. The doctor quickly agreed that we need to get these anxiety problems nipped in the bud so he referred us to a counselor. I was actually relieved to hear that because I want him to handle his anxiety better than I have over the years. For those who aren't Type A perfectionists it's easy to say "don't worry". For those of us that anxiety is woven into the fibers of our being, it's not that simple. In fact telling me to quit worrying is as annoying as hearing "just adopt and then you'll get pregnant". Both of those phrases are like nails on a chalkboard to me. So I'm really hoping Cade will learn some coping skills and maybe pass them on to his mother….

That same evening, after the doctors appointment, we had another stressful moment occur. Cade straight out asked me if Santa was real. Since he asked me a direct question I knew I needed to answer it truthfully. Before I had a chance to answer he went on to tell me that he had been arguing about this with Neilson. I knew it was time. My heart broke a little. Jay was in the back of the house and walked out to see me sitting on the floor in front of Cade, in our recliner, trying to gently break the news to him. Cade took it very hard. He cried and Jay and I felt horrible. I told him that we could still pretend for as long as he wanted. I didn't know what else to do. Jay was also at a loss so he tired to divert Cade's attention by asking him to help him feed Buttons.

After the initial disappointment of Christmas loosing just a little of the fun for Jay and I, we started laughing about it. I told Jay that at least now Cade had something to talk to the counselor about. We looked back over the years and talked about how we were the cause of Cade's breakdown over learning that Santa wasn't real…There was the year that we wanted to give something to Cade early on Christmas Eve so Santa dropped the bag out of his sleigh right into our front yard while he was on his way to the other side of the world….then there was the year that he forgot to shut the fireplace doors when he left….or the fact that he would never eat a whole cookie, he'd just take one big bite and leave teeth marks in it….or that Santa made a black pirate ship especially for him because he would like it better…etc. You get the picture…I think Jay and I enjoyed what we could dream up each year more than anything.

Later on in the evening I was sorting through some old Kindergarten papers, finally putting them in a scrapbook, and I came across scheme #546 of us trying to cement Cade's belief in Santa. I found a letter that Santa Jay wrote to Cade telling him he knew he'd been a good boy that past year. I took the letter to Jay to show him that Cade had actual written proof to show the counselor when he told her we were the root of his anxiety. At that exact moment, while I was holding the letter, we had a household emergency. I laid the paper down and completely forgot about it.

After the emergency was over and cleaned up I looked up to see Cade holding the letter from Santa…and he was reading it. I couldn't get to him soon enough to get the letter away. He read the whole thing, but he didn't make a comment. In one day the boy heard me discussing his anxiety with a doctor, learned Santa wasn't real and saw proof that his parents had lied to him for 7.5 years. Jay asked if I was trying to finish him off.

This Santa thing has really bothered Jay and I. It was one of the last things of babyhood that Cade was holding on to and now it's gone. I know this is what kids are supposed to do, but it makes both of us so sad to see it happen. It's probably good for Jay and I that this year Christmas was going to be a little different anyway. Maybe it will take the sting out of it somewhat. I'll post more on our Christmas plans later.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Cat That Used to Have 9 Lives….

There is a cat running around the farm of Cade's Sunday School Teacher who used to have all of it's lives but unfortunately, after being around Cade, his number of lives dropped drastically. This post is not for the squeamish or those who are huge cat lovers. I wish I could say no cat was harmed in the making of this post but that just wouldn't be true.

Saturday evening our church had their annual hayride at the home of the Brown's, which is where Cheryl (Cade's SS teacher) lives. They actually live on a dairy farm so they have a large number of cats and kittens running around the place. As soon as we got there Saturday evening we spotted a tiny black kitten. It looked to be about 3-4 weeks old and was probably the runt of the litter. It was such a cute little kitten. For the rest of the evening these kittens were running in and out of the barn and all over the yard.

Cheryl worked on a treasure hunt for the kids. Because of illness/weather related issues, Cade ended up being the only kid at the party. The High School/College age kids were asked to go on the treasure hunt with Cade. Since we have a very good group of older kids they readily agreed without any hesitation. We started out on the hunt – Cade, Me, Cheryl, 2 HS Seniors and 3 college aged kids. We made it through stops #1, #2, and #3 without a problem. Stop #4 is where the incident occurred.

At this point it was starting to get pretty dark. Cade read the clues at stop #4 and was getting ready to run to the next stop. He got ready to take a step at the same time one of the other kids said "watch out". Yes, the black kitten was right under Cade's feet. Cade didn't have time to stop his Size 3 Nikes from smashing down on the cat. All of us were standing in sort of a semi-circle around the kitten. We paused for a minute, waiting for the cat to run away. The cat didn't move. Then I hear Cheryl say "oh no". I'm thinking Oh crap, Cade just killed a cat….what kind of an apology works in this sort of a situation? I quickly grabbed Cade and said "lets move on to the next stop". I didn't want him to realize that he just killed a kitten. As we were running away Cade yells "sorry".

We went onto the next stop which was around the corner from where Cheryl and the rest of the kids were inspecting the kitten. I couldn't see what was going on, but it was probably a good minute of two before I heard a cheer go up from the group. The kitten ended up being fine, it may not ever be totally right again, but it is alive.

I laughed and laughed about this on Saturday. I seemed to be the only one laughing really hard about it…not because Cade hurt the cat, but because I think he knocked it unconscious. I'll never forget the gasp that went up from the group when the cat didn't move nor will I forget Cade saying sorry. I think Cade shortened the poor cat's life by several lives that night….and it's only 3-4 weeks old. It still has a long farm life ahead of it. The cat didn't learn it's lesson though because I caught it around Cade's feel later on in the evening. Luckily it escaped any serious injury that time.




Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dress Up Day

Today I think I might have had a small inkling into what many mother's felt during the Civil War. I watched my son, dressed in the Union Blue, march out into an unknown fate. No, he wasn't actually going into battle…he was just participating in Spirit Week.

Today's day was Dress Up Day. The little paper that we were sent home said "come as a mutant, come as a princess, come as yourself". In my opinion that's pretty vague so we weren't sure what to do. Of course Cade knew exactly what he wanted to wear – his Civil War costume. Jay and I both cringed when we heard what he had planned for today. Last night we tried to come up with good excuses for not wearing the costume and with some alternatives. For some reason telling him that he could fall on the playground and rip the leg just didn't cut it. Either did trying to persuade him to dress like a baseball player or a cowboy. We were even going to let him wear his 4-H belt buckle. This morning when I suggested the cowboy theme I got a sigh and a stomp off. Jay and I decided we were going to have to let him wear the costume.

I've never seen the boy get ready so quickly in the morning before. We did put shorts and a t-shirt on underneath so he could change if he wanted to. He did make a comment about hoping the other kids were dressed up. I asked him what he was going to do if they weren't. He said he would go to the bathroom and take it off and just wear the shorts and t-shirt. Great, if he takes it off we'll be the cause of the "reminder note" that will be sent home next week telling parents to dress their children appropriately for the weather. I felt like Jay and I couldn't win this morning. At least Jay did remember we needed to send Cade' tennis shoes along in case he did change. Could you imagine trading the Civil War Uniform for shorts, t-shirt and BOOTS. I don't know what would be worse.

As I watched Cade come running from his bedroom with his outfit and hat in place, grab his bag, and run for the truck I felt my heart tug a little. No, his unknown fate wasn't the horrors of war but it was the cruelty of 2nd graders. I hope he does not get made fun of at school today…but like Jay said this morning "sometimes you just have to let your boy blaze his own trail". I'm just wondering why he has to blaze it covered in blue nylon. I asked Jay this morning where Cade got this …uhm…slightly nerdy studious side. Jay said that it clearly came from me….thinking back he's probably right….I am the one who bought the uniform so he could wear it at his 6th birthday party. I think I was living out my own fantasy thorough my child. I so would've worn a Southern Belle dress at his age.

Here's a look back at the Costume. Oh yeah, that's what he looked like today…only a few inches taller.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life Happenings…

Things have been busy around our house which is why I haven't posted since September 20th. We survived our homestudy update on the 22nd. Pamela said that she never imagined she'd be coming over to do a 2nd update for us – yeah, we didn't either, but it's over for another year. We really do enjoy talking to her so that at least makes it better. We're still waiting to get the rest of our blood work results in so we can get those forms sent to the agency. Jay had his done at the health department because his insurance won't pay for it so that's taking a little longer. I'm hoping that we'll have all of that done by next week??? I did get our profile updated and mailed to Pamela last week. She's going to look it over and let us know if we should change anything. In the next few weeks we should also have a new letter and pictures appear on the Bethany website.

On the 25th Tyson's had a surprise retirement party for Jim at their hatchery. Somehow Jim managed to not catch on to all of the phone calls and increased activity that went on for awhile. He was surprised by the party, which was Sharon's goal. I'm glad that it all worked out. Cade had an interesting conversation with a maintenance man that night after the party. Mr. Williams was sitting down to take a break while we were getting the last of the gifts out to the truck. Cade sat down beside him and asked what his job was. They struck up quite the conversation. It really sounded like to adults going back and forth and all of us just stood there taking it all in. Cade told Mr. Williams about a friend issue he'd had at school that day and Mr. Williams talked to him about all of the different options he had to resolve the conflict. I wondered if we could hire Mr. Williams to do some anxiety counseling?

On Monday the 28th I left for Jeff City at 5:30 am and didn't get home until Tuesday evening. Then on Thursday I had to go back to Jeff City and I got home Friday afternoon. Those two trips took up the whole week, which was another reason why I didn't get any posting done. There's not anything too interesting about driving to Jeff City…except that we decided to take a different road on the way home due to slow traffic and we ended up in Waynesville. Let's just say that was really out of the way for us. Tomorrow I get to make another drive to Jeff City, but thankfully it's just a day trip. This should be the end of my trips to there for awhile.

Besides driving to Jeff City, we've been going to football games. Cade's playing flag football again this year. We've also been doing homework. It seems like homework is all we do anymore. Last Wednesday (my one day home last week) Cade came home with 138 subtraction problems. No wonder the kid is suffering from anxiety. Jay and I both had anxiety attacks after looking at what he (we) had to do. Have I mentioned I hate 2nd grade homework? There's nothing like 138 math problems to suck all of your time away in the evening.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back Home

Thursday seemed to be the start to a very busy last few days.  We did manage to get everything accomplished that we needed to do that day.  The day went pretty well, it was just a ton of stopping, unloading and loading back up in the car.  Cade summed up his thoughts when we pulled in the garage that evening - "boy, this was a terrible day".  I'm sure that it was awful for a 7 year old....

Friday evening we went to a Miller Football game and Terry spent the night with us.  The FFA has the concession stand again this year so Jay was really busy in there Friday night. 

The next morning Jay, Terry and Cade headed to Fayetteville by 8 am.  I went down a little later that morning - I think I left home around 9 am.  It was the first Razorback home game so Cade and I tailgated with Jay and Terry before the game.  Cade and I went back to Nana and Granddad's and watched the game from there.  It was a late game so Jay and Terry didn't get back until about midnight.

As soon as they pulled into Nana's driveway Jay and I loaded Cade into our car and we headed for Sheldon.  Mom had won Chiefs tickets for Sunday's game against the Raiders.  We finally made it to Dad's at 2:30 Sunday morning.

We left for KC about 9 Sunday morning and made it to our seats just in time for the kickoff.  I had never been to a Chiefs game before so I wanted to see what it was like.  Our tickets were really good.  We were on the 8th row on the Cheifs side at about the 35 yard line.  Jay was really excited about our location.  I have always heard that Arrowhead was extremely loud and it was.  I don't know if my hearing will ever be quite the same!

After the game, we headed back to Sheldon, collected Cade and headed for home.  We pulled in our drive away about 7:40pm.  Our little house has never looked as good as it did tonight. 

Have I ever mentioned I'm not a football fan????

Thursday, September 17, 2009


On Tuesday I had some time alone at work so I started getting information together for our homestudy update.  I had a stack of papers of all this different kinds of information that they need this year.  Not only do we have to update the medical exams, beacuse they're only good for 2 years, they changed some of their other requirements.  Now instead of taking our word on our assets we have to verify everything.  I understand the changes, I understand why they have to do it...but it still makes me grumpy.  Like Jay's retirement...I haven't seen a statement on that thing in months.  I'm not sure if it's something we get yearly or exactly what the schedule is, but now we have to track one down.  Luckily I had just received a statement for my retirement account so that's at least one thing we can mark of the list.  Basically this all boils down to being a time consuming pain in the neck and it's making me grumpy!!!!

Today Jay and I are taking off of work to get some of this stuff done.  Here's our schedule for the day...
8:40 Jay dentist appt (non adoption appt)
9:00 Crystal dr appt
10:10 Cade dentist appt (non adoption appt)
11:50 Jay dr appt
After Jay's appt we'll have to go get blood work done, one of those being an HIV test that we have to have ran again, even though we had one done two years ago.  Then we have to head from Carthage to Joplin to take care of the rest of the stuff...
2:35 Crystal fingerprint appt
2:40 Jay fingerprint appt 
While in Joplin and in between all this other stuff we have to go to my Ob/Gyn office to request that some of my medical paperwork be sent to the agency.  We also have to track down the Social Security office because a new requirement this year means we have to send in copies of our Social Security Cards.  Of course I can't locate mine so I have to request a new copy.  That will probably also require some sort of blood typing or DNA test!  Oh, and we also had to get TB tests done earlier in the week so we could take the results with us to our doctor.  We also still have to schedule an appt with Cade's doctor so he can fill out Cade's paperwork.

So today, as I sit here typing this, It's making me grumpy.  It's also one of those things in life that isn't fair (just like a lot of other things that are a whole lot worse than our paperchase), but any moron can go out a get pregnant...except for us.  Anyone else who doesn't have any business having a baby can while we have to fork over so much money, time and effort into something that right now seems like it will never even happen.  Jay and I are pretty down right now.  We are so frustrated and fatigued by all of this.  We really hoped something would happen before we had to do this update and mess with all of this stuff...but it didn't.  This is turning out to be so much longer than we had anticipated it being.  When we first went through all of this two years ago I never dreamed we'd have to update the medical stuff since it was good for 2 years...I also never dreamed we'd be getting ready for our social worker to visit us for the 3rd time. 

But I did learn one thing while sorting through this paperwork.  I dug out our marriage certificate to take with me to the Social Security office.  Even though we've had it for almost 10 years, I finally really looked at it this weekend.  Ed, the minister who married us, filled in our marriage date as December 14, 1999 rather than December 18, 1999.  I'm not sure if the part he mailed in to the state has our date correct or not.  I guess that means I should tell Jay I need two anniversary presents this year...one on the 14th and one on the 18th????

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Parenting Error #7,536

Jay and I made a major parenting mishap on Sunday. 
Somewhere along the way someone gave Cade a bracelet that has different coins hanging off of it.  I can't remember who gave it to him, but it was during his pirate phase a couple of years ago.  It was supposed to be "treasure".  This past week his pirate gear resurfaced, along with the bracelet.

That morning as we were getting ready to walk into church - We were standing on the front step and I was getting ready to turn the handle I looked down and saw he had the bracelet on.  Our boy had planned to wear a bracelt covered with old coins into church.  This is where Jay and I made some not so good decisions. 

We should've calmly suggested that he not wear it in because it would be distracting, or because we have the rule of no toys in church or he might loose it.  Anything except what we did/said....

I (with utter surprise in my voice because my son was afterall wearing a bracelet) said "Cade you can't wear that bracelet into church".  Then I started trying to pull it off his arm (I didn't even think to unhook it).  Then Jay pipes up and tells him that was really girly. I put the bracelt in my purse and told him he could have it back later.  Jay and I walked into the church and the incident was already forgotten in our minds. But there was one little mind though that had not forgotten the incident.  In fact it was being rolled around continuously. 

Cade got into church and he had the saddest look on his face.  I wasn't sure if we had hurt his feelings or if he was embarrassed.  It was probably a little of both.  We tried to get him out of his mood by having him tell Walter about his calf.  Instead of telling Walter once he got on the other side of the church he sit down and wouldn't say a word.  Since we go to such a small church and everyone knows Cade is the biggest talke there, this was extremely noticable.  I'm sure everyone thought that he had gotten in trouble and was pouting.  No, it was worse than that....he had terrible parents who made a very poor decision that morning. 

Jay told the high school class about it.  One of the girls said we should've told him it was too pirety not too girly.  Man, if only we had thought of that.  But sometimes it's too hard to think that quickly.....I mean our boy was wearing a bracelet.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good Eatin'

A couple of weeks ago we finally got around to cooking one of the chickens Cade showed at the fair.  I think we cooked the big one that we called Blue Right.  We're not 100% sure that was the one we ate because their legs had been cut off, but that's what we told Cade.  Sometimes it's just easier that way.  Cade really enjoyed getting to eat it that night.  Look at the size of that drumstrick.  The whole chicken was almost 8 pounds.

Supreme Champion

The moment that Jay had been visualizing ever since we were in the ultrasound room and heard the tech say "it's a boy" happened last weekend.  We took Cade and Buttons to their first show.  They both did so well.  They were both very well behaved.  We were more worried about the cow than Cade of course.  We knew Cade would do well, Buttons on the other hand was the wild card, but he did better than we all expected.  We didn't win anything (the judge was blind!!!), but that really was ok with us.  After winning Grand Champion with his chickens, we didn't want Cade to thinkt that he'll win every time he shows.  The funniest part happened during the Little Tykes show.  All of the little kids won a trophy.  As soon as Cade saw his he threw down the halter and his show stick to grab the tropy.  Luckily Buttons didn't realize that for a few seconds he was free
Our second (and last show this year) occurred Saturday.  Buttons wasn't quite as easy to handle so Jay had to be a little more hands on.  That really didn't seem to matter though, because he won Grand Champion in the Hereford Bulls.  Then he went on to win Supreme Champion, which means he beat out all of the other breeds of bulls.  Cade had the biggest smile on his face when he realized that he got to bring home a pretty large tropy.  He kept saying "I won, I won". We kept trying to tell him to not say it so loud.  It was an exciting day for the whole family.  Even I am starting to get into it.  After seeing Cade's smile I knew that they money we spent on the embryos was well worth it!
Cade fell asleep on the way home Saturday still clutching his trophy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rest of Vacation

The rest of our vacation was pretty uneventful.  Except for the the horse trailer incident.  On I-95, a 6 lane highway outside of Baltimore, a horse trailer came unhooked from the truck.  This occurred in the lane that Lyle and Jay were in.  There was one vehicle seperating them.  There was nothing Jania and I could do but drive on by.  Jay jumped out, wtih the traffic rushing by at 70+ mph.  While that is commendable on his part, it scared me.  It scared me enough that when I called his cell phone back and Lyle answered I spoke quite loudly to Lyle, asking why Jay had gotten out of the truck, did he not know there was a van on kids stopped in the road, they needed to get the kids out of there, etc.  Lyle very calmly told me that he could leave the scene, but that Jay wasn't in the van.  Which would I rather him do?  Later on I found out that two vehicles did stop in the lanes beside the truck so the traffic at least had to slow down.  Everything turned out ok, but I had a few anxious moments.
On Friday we got to visit Corey and Kristy and see their boys.  As an added bonus we also got to see Jay's Aunt and Uncle, Mary and John and his cousing Megan.  We had a very good time catching up and eating the best meal that we had on the whole trip. 
Sorry that it took me two months to get them posted!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Vacation Days 3&4

We passed days 3&4 rather uneventfully (at least in terms of potential wrecks). We spent all day Sunday in NYC. One of the big things was getting a tour of CBS. We watched, from the control room, Russ Mitchell film the 6pm news. Jay got to sit behind the news desk and Cade got to control the cameras with a computer. It was neat.

On Monday morning we headed to Atlantic City. Jania drove and I navigated. We managed to make a couple of wrong turns and we ended up taking a different route to Atlantic City. We decided to stay on the highway we were on instead of getting pack on the Turnpike. I think we actually enjoyed our more relaxed drive. We even drove through a Jewish community, which was very interesting. The only time the guys really worried about us was when they got to Atlantic City. It was lunch time and they wanted to know where we at…not because they were worried about us or because we were driving with their children – they were starving!!!

Atlantic City was neat, the beach was nice, but I did not care for the people. I guess I’m too used to staying in Branson where everyone is friendly to their customers. I got the feeling in AC, that the employees felt like they were doing us a favor by waiting on us. We had issues with everyone from the gate keepers in the parking lot to the hotel staff to the people at the restaurant where we ate. It was a good place to experience, but I’m not sure that I’ve got a strong desire to go back.

I did manage to pick up one souvenir there. It was stuck on the side of the van the rest of the week because it wouldn’t come off. Cade was on an antibiotic that had to be refrigerated. We checked out of our hotel Tuesday morning and headed to McDonalds for breakfast. As soon as I got out of the van I remembered the antibiotic. I left everyone at McDonalds and headed back to the hotel. Luckily the guy who checked me out recognized me so he gave me another key without an issue. I ran up got the medicine and was back in the van in less than 5 minutes…and this was what I got??? They are so lucky they did not tow the van or you might have heard me screaming in Missouri.

My "you are parked illegally" sticker. I wish I could've pealed it off and stuck it in a scrapbook!

Toys R Us in Times Square. It was the neatest toys store that I've ever been in. This dinosaur looked real. It also has a Ferris Wheel with carts that look like the Little Tikes Cars and a Barbie car, etc. You can see some of the carts behind Cade in the next picutre. This was just a guy dressed up like Elmo, who after we took the picture, didn't say a word but jangled a sock looking thing in my face so I could give him money for taking a picture with my son. It's just a whole different world there.
Controlling the cameras at CBS

Atlantic City

This is what Ty and Cade did in the McDonald's parking lot while while waiting on me to get back with the van - they fed the birds. I'm not a germaphobe, but there is something about birds that really gross me out. This picture kind of gives me the creeps.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vacation - Day 1&2

Since we left for vacation almost 2 months ago it’s way past time to post vacation pictures, but I’m going to do it anyway.

We left Miller July 10 and drove to the edge of Indiana the first night. The second day we drove all the way to NYC. We had a mini van that Jania and I drove with Ty and Cade. Lyle and Jay had the big 15 passenger rental van with all of the students and the majority of the luggage.

One thing about Ty and Cade is that they spend enough time together that they sometimes fight like brothers. Being cooped up in a van for several hours increased the possibility that they would fight. I think we made it to the Illinois state line before they started. Since we only have one child, fighting in the backseat was a new experience for me. Of course I participated in many fights while growing up, but it’s different when you’re the adult sitting in the front. Thank goodness I was driving at that point and Jania dealt with the fighting. She’s much calmer than me and handled it much better. Nothing fazes her while I on the other hand was clutching the steering wheel to keep from yelling at them to be quiet. I’ve never said that patience was one of my attributes. After we got back I asked Cade if he still wanted a brother…he said yes so I guess the fighting didn’t faze him either.

Saturday morning we headed for NYC. As we got closer to our hotel, that was actually just outside the Lincoln Tunnel, Lyle and Jania took the boys and the mini van while Jay and I took the kids and the large van. I will admit I’m a nervous traveler. I get really nervous when we are in charge of so many other kids. I think about the responsibility and what would happen if something were to happen, etc. It makes me a wreck. Then I feel that Jay doesn’t take his responsibility seriously because he makes fun of me, then we argue. I’m sure the kids always think we’ll be divorced before we make it home.

This time I was really trying to stay calm, but then we had the cone incident. Jay was driving (what I thought was a high rate of speed) and passing signs that kept saying Merge, Land Ends, Road Construction, etc. As we were getting closer and closer to the cones that were signaling the end of our lane he sped up to try and pass a RV, rather than slowing down to get in the other lane. We came so close to taking out one of the highway cones. Then he swerved and the van swayed. I think we all screamed. So then when I got irritated about it, Jay didn’t think it was a big deal. All he says about it was that we didn’t hit it and that I’m just too uptight. If anyone has seen the Pink Panter 2 there is a scene in there that is exactly like Jay and I driving together. I’ll need to see if I can find that on YouTube.

That evening we made it into NYC. It was really neat seeing Times Square at night. It is such an interesting place, at least to visit. I don’t have any desire to live there. I was amazed by the crowd of people there. It was so packed that I couldn’t imagine being there on New Years Eve when they drop the ball. It would be so overwhelming. One of the students who went on the trip has an Aunt that lives there. She met us that night and walked us around to a few places. Having someone guide us along cut down on our time tremendously. We’d still be trying to get from Times Square to Rockefeller Center.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

There was a segment on the Today Show Saturday morning about those things we take pleasure in even though we shouldn’t (like candy) or embarrass us (like Elvis singing Here Comes Santa Claus on your iPod).

One of my guilty pleasures (besides Elvis Christmas songs) has always been listening to rock music a little too loud in my car. That’s probably the only thing I’m missing since I’ve changed jobs – that long drive home where I could listen to music really loud. One of my favorites has always been Aerosmith. I discovered them when I was in the 8th grade. Their song What it Takes came out then and I’ve liked them ever since. There’s something about their songs that can make me happy, especially when I’m trying to clean the house. It’s just one of those things.

Last April my mom called me and said that Aerosmith would be in KC on September 1 with ZZ Top. She ended up surprising me and my sister with 3 tickets to tonight’s concert. I don’t know how many times over the summer I told Jay how excited I was to see Aerosmith. But, in the back of my mind I had this “feeling”. You know those feelings you get that you can’t explain, your not being negative, it’s just a feeling. I knew something would happen and we wouldn’t get to go. Even though mom had the tickets in her hot little hands I knew this wasn’t going to work out. Of course I thought it would have something to do with one of us or my grandpa.

About two weeks ago mom e-mailed me to see if I’d heard about Aerosmith cancelling their tour. I got on Aerosmith’s website to find out for sure. Steven Tyler fell off the stage at Sturgis and broke his shoulder. I’m not an expert, but at 61 I’m guessing that’s not going to be an easy break to recover from. Due to his injury Aerosmith had to cancel the rest of their tour.

At first I tried to stay positive about it. We were being considered for a situation and the baby was due around this time. Maybe that was why we weren’t going to the concert. That idea got shot down last week when we found out we weren’t picked. I guess there’s no ulterior motive, no exact reason why this happened…except Steven Tyler danced to close to the edge of the stage (someone should tell him at 61 he may need glasses) and now I’m looking at this

When I could be looking at this

I’ll sign off now and turn up my iPod. September 1st isn't too early to start listening to Elvis singing Christmas songs is it? I don't think Elvis songs ever go out of season....do they?

2nd Grade

Since the first day of school was actually 2 weeks ago today I thought it might be time to finally get the pictures posted.

So far things are going ok. He seems to like this year’s teacher better than last years. Last Tuesday we did get our first note home – Cade was talking too much and not finishing work in a timely manner. We weren’t surprised because his mouth seems to be on overdrive all the time. It never stops. I’ve thought if he keeps this up he’ll need jaw replacement surgery by the time he starts 3rd grade.

The last two years his teachers method of discipline was taking sticks away from the kids. It was a highly traumatizing and embarrassing event. No one wanted to loose a stick. I hadn’t heard him say anything about sticks so after we got the note I asked him what kind of punishment Mrs. H uses. He said that this year they walk laps. I asked him how many he’s walked to so far this year….13 as of last Tuesday, the 7th day of school. I had wondered if he’d put on some weight after his tonsillectomy. If he keeps getting in trouble I don’t think it will be a problem.

Of course when I was asking him about why he’s talking I got several different stories. One was that it was the girls he sits by fault. Then it changed to someone else’s fault then finally he told me it’s because he gets his worksheets and panics. He doesn’t know what to do so he asks the girls for help. Then the girls get mad at him and tell him too look at the board where Mrs. H wrote down what they are supposed to do. He told me again it causes him to panic.

I barely made it out of his room without laughing that night. But then the more I thought about it, then I started to panic. Is there something wrong with him? Does he have a learning disability and were missing it? Why is he panicking? Jay just looked at me and said “I wonder where he gets it?”

Luckily Mrs. H gave us her e-mail address on Thursday. By 9:00 am I had already e-mailed her. I needed to know if he was handling his work ok. By her 10:00 planning period that day she learned that I’m an overprotective nut. Oh well, we might as well get the year started off with her understanding that I’m crazy. Maybe it will help her understand Cade’s personality a little better. Actually the more I think about it, the funnier the e-mail becomes. I explained to her his anxiety problem and how he’s panicking at school. I’m pretty sure my e-mail sounded a little panicky….That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I wonder when his previous teachers will start warning his new teacher about the e-mail they’ll receive the 2nd week of school from the crazy Shepherd lady. So far only his kindergarten teacher was spared…I didn’t know her e-mail…

If your curious about how much he’s changed the last two years here’s his Kindergarten first day of school and First Grade first day of school.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Buttons at Home - Part 3

Trying to describe Cade’s relationship with Button’s is hard without sounding dumb or embarrassing Cade. But at the risk of sounding corny I’m going to say it anyway…Cade fell in love with Buttons as soon as he laid eyes on him. Ever since that day in February Cade has talked about him constantly. He always wanted to go to Jim and Sharon’s just to see Buttons. He even used some of his Summer School money to buy a halter for him. If you knew Cade’s relationship with his money you’d know that was a huge thing. He doesn’t care much for spending his own money.

Obsessed would be another way of describing how Cade feels about Buttons. Last weekend we were finally able to bring him to our house. Cade jumped out of bed on Saturday and didn’t stop moving all day long. He was beyond excited.

He even conned my parents into buying him some Hereford toys to play with when they took him to Silver Dollar City a couple of weeks ago. The next morning I went to get on our treadmill and this is what I found.

The day after we brought Buttons home Jay had to go to the State Fair to pick up the FFA projects. That afternoon Cade asked me no less than 16 times if he could go out and check on Buttons. He was in and out all afternoon. That evening Cade and I went so a church swimming party. On the way home I called Jay to see where he was at. We talked on our cell phones about Jay talking to Jim B (the guy we bought the embryos from). Jim said that his son-in-law was thinking about taking Buttons to the American Royal. I didn’t say anything about Buttons I just asked Jay if he would let Buttons go. Jay said he’d have to see then his phone cut out. After I hung up the phone Cade asked me why we were talking about Buttons. I tried to get out of it by telling him we weren’t. He told me that we were too talking about Buttons. I told him about Kevin wanting to take Buttons to the show. Cade thought for a minute and then asked if he would get to show him. I told him no, but that we could go watch the show. Cade thought for a minute and then said he didn’t want Buttons to go. It was His Bull and His Rules and Buttons wasn’t going to the American Royal.

After I told Jay that story he got to thinking about selling Buttons, which has been the plan from the start. Jay’s afraid Cade won’t want to sell him. On one hand I know that Cade has a concept of money and would understand that part…but Cade likes money that he can physically touch. I call him Scrooge McDuck all the time because he takes out his $1 bills and plays with them. We’re hoping to get more money out of Buttons than just a few $1 that Cade can jam in his wallet and hide in his Jammie drawer. We’re just not sure what Cade will think about that when the time comes. Jay started on a new saying with Cade this past week to go along with My Bull My Rules. The new one is If the Money Talks, the Bull Walks. We’ll see if Cade can actually follow through on it next year.

We’re planning on taking Buttons to a cattle show this next Saturday. It will also be Cade’s first show. That could be pretty exciting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Buttons became Buttons - Part 2

When we had originally talked about the calf we really hoped it was going to be a heifer. Since it was due around President’s Day we decided we’d name her First Lady. We hoped she would be our first in a long line of show cattle and it would be a good way to make a name “theme” for all of them. We’d continue to name all of our cattle after Presidents and their wives. Of course 4 years of infertility has still taught us nothing – things don’t always work out like we plan. The calf was born a bull about a week after Presidents Day so we just couldn’t make sense out of naming him George or Abraham. We didn’t have a name.

Normally Jay wouldn’t have been concerned about this. He had only named cattle out of necessity for their registration papers. In day to day life they were only referred to as the Show Bull or the Show Heifer. Of course that wasn’t going to work for me. I like to name my animals. Mostly I prefer real names like – Charlie, Sadie, Jacie, PJ, etc. but I knew we needed a “cool” name for the bull. We thought and thought and had nothing. Finally Sharon came up with the name we put on his registrations papers – Anticipation.
Considering that we had wrapped almost 2 years of our lives into this, made numerous phone calls back and forth and Sharon called the vet twice about it – it was a very fitting name.

Jay and I were all set with Anticipation, until Jay discovered something else about the bull. Once he discovered this, he chose not to tell me about it for a few days – which was probably smart. Since Buttons was bred from Polled Hereford stock I never gave any thought to the thing being born with horns. But, our calf had horns , which if you are unaware is a RECESSIVE gene. Of course I was concerned. I’ve watched 8 Seconds I’ve seen horns on bulls and I was not happy about the thought of my little boy showing a large bull with spikes shooting out of its head. My first question or maybe it was more statement was “we’ll dehorn him, right!!!” That’s when I was told that it was “tradition” to show cows with horns if that’s the way they were born. But Jay assured me that Buttons’ horns would never get that long and definitely wouldn’t be long while Cade was showing him. I’m still not sure if Jay was blowing smoke to make me feel better or what, but as it turns out it’s not something we had to worry about.

So Cade loved looking at his calf and talking about his calf. One day Cade and Papa Jim were discussing his horns. Papa Jim told him that when the horns are little nubs they are called….I bet you’ll never guess….Buttons. That’s how Buttons became Buttons. Jay loves the name. In fact if you see Jay you should ask him about his vision of Cade leading a bull that weighs 1300 who goes by the name Buttons into an arena. He loves talking about Buttons’ name.

The other thing that makes it even funny is to hear Cade say Buttons. It sounds like two different words put together with the emphasis on tons..But Tons. And even funnier was Cade went around telling everyone his name. Cade knows no stranger and always gives out way too much information to anyone – Jay’s students and parents, the checker at Wal-Mart, anyone at church, etc. So anyone who was “fresh meat” in Cade’s eyes got the story – I have a baby bull at Memo and Papa Jim’s. His real name is An pis i tation but I call him But Tons. He’d reverse the p and t in anticipation and accent every syllable exactly the way I typed it. Yes, it did sound like he said a bad word…everytime.

He’s finally learned how to say anticipation so the story isn’t quite as funny but it’s still being told a lot. Mom and Dad took him to SDC on Monday and he told the cashier all about his bull. Dad was trying to hurry him along, because there were 10 people behind him in line but Cade wasn’t budging until his story was finished.

The day after we had him dehorned Jay and Cade had to take me to work (it was during the car incident). Jay said something to Cade about changing his name since he no longer had buttons, which didn’t go over well. I made a joke and said we could call him Buttonholes. For some reason I was the only one laughing….

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How Buttons Came to Be - Part 1

Here is the story of Buttons, Cade's Hereford Bull calf. Since this has been a huge part of our life the last 6 months it might get to be a long story, mostly because Cade's been hilarious talking about him, I'm going to break it into installments for your reading ease. Enjoy!

Buttons started his life as an embryo in a tank of liquid nitrogen. Jim B., a good friend of Jay’s family, raises Hereford cattle. At the Ozark Empire Fair a couple of years ago he had a silent auction for 2 embryos. Jay called me all excited about the possibility of purchasing these embryos. At that point in my life I was extremely skeptical about buying these things. For one, it was a considerable amount of money and for a couple who was spending a lot to get their adoption started it just didn’t seem like a good idea to me. Secondly, I was extremely grumpy when it came to talking about anything to do with embryos, fertility treatments, babies, etc. I really didn’t want to go from talking/focusing about my infertility issues to talking/focusing on those issues in a cow. Yes, fun times around our household for a few days.

Once Jay had the go ahead to get the embryos he was the happiest guy. His dreams of owning show cattle were just a thaw and implant away. I was grumbling because I had to open up the checkbook and shift money around to pay for the things all while my attitude towards us being able to produce a baby of any kind, human or bovine, was very very pessimistic. Jay was also a little scared because he knew if this didn’t work out his chances of ever doing something like this again were low (we’ve had numerous “livestock” disasters during our marriage).

After months of talking about it, observing the cow, and hauling the tank with the little embryos in it around FOREVER one of them was finally implanted in a Hereford/Dairy mix cow that now goes by the name of “Sally”.

Of course the big implant day couldn’t slide by without some sort of an incident, because after all it is US we are taking about. Cade, who has always been a good child, did something he had never, ever done before. He never got into things, he never emptied out our bathroom cabinets and tried to eat cleaning supplies. He never wrote on walls or furniture. We never had an incident until that day. For some unknown reason he decided to use a permanent marker, used to mark calf ear tags, and scribble on the inside of a tailgate that was attached to the truck of the man implanting the embryo. I’m so thankful that I wasn’t there and that Jay got to explain that one. Luckily the man laughed, shut his tailgate and rolled on. We were horrified.

So after some anxious weeks of daily phone calls to Jim and Sharon to make sure the cow wasn’t in heat it was safe to assume she was pregnant. Fast forward to February 14, 2009 and it was show time. Jay started making several phone calls a day to his parents to check on the status of the cow. Jim and Sharon were as anxious as we were. It was like we were all nervous first time parents. I think Sharon called the vet twice because the cow was acting funny. Finally a few nights later we got the phone call we had been waiting for….our baby calf was here. Sharon was so excited she called us before Jim even had a chance to see if it was a heifer or a bull. We were a little disappointed because it wasn’t a heifer, but we were just tickled that it was born alive. Since it was almost 10 at night I think Jay had a hard time containing himself until the next afternoon when he could go look over the calf. At this point the baby bull still did not have a name. That was to come later....thanks to Papa Jim.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Roy Blunt

Roy Blunt, one of Missouri's Representatives, visited Jim and Sharon's farm on Monday. Some of you more political savvy ones might remember that he served as Minority Whip a few years ago. He's also running for Senator in 2010. When we visited DC in 2007 we got to see him in the Whip's office in the Capitol. Every year, in August, he has an Ag Tour through the part of Missouri he represents. He goes to different farms and other ag related business. A lot of big names in agriculture are represented on this trip - Farm Bureau, Missouri State Ag Department, FCS (of course!), etc. There are roughly 70 people on the tour. This year Jim and Sharon's farm was selected to be a part of the tour. In 2007 they worked with a government program to plant trees along the sides of the chicken houses to reduce their odor pollution. Jay's FFA students spent a couple of days helping plant and mulch the trees. The tour came to look at the trees and lean about how it is supposed to work.

Of course it was a huge honor for Jim and Sharon. The whole family was able to be there which made it even more special. It was also really neat for Cade. Blunt remembered him from when we were in DC last month. While he was talking he touched Cade on the shoulder and said something about this young man just being in his office in Washington. Cade, who knows no stranger, piped up and said "yeah, we had to get through National Security". Blunt asked him again what he said and then held the microphone down to his face. Jay and I both inwardly cringed. We were frightened of what he might say. We breathed a sigh of relief when all he did was repeat that we had to get through National Security. All 70+ people on the trip laughed at what he said. Jay is really hoping that Cade continues with his ability to speak in front of people because he's got big plans for Cade's FFA future. As Blunt was wrapping up his talk he said that there were 8 people in the family who could answer any questions they might have and 9 if you count Mr. National Security.

After the tour was over and the guests were loading up on the buses and Blunt was trying to get away Cade said he needed to tell Blunt something. I (being a bad mom) told him that Blunt was really busy and needed to leave. He didn't care for my answer. Cade stood by Blunt's vehicle and cornered him before he could get in. He told the Congressmen all about Button's, his bull. Again we cringed because Blunt asked him what kind of bull it was. He's gotten some things confused in his mind and can't remember if Button's is a heifer or a Hereford. Since there is a huge difference between the two he needed to get it right. Cade paused for a minute and then was able to tell him that Button's was a Hereford (whew!). I tried to rescue Blunt at that point so he could get away. I guess Cade told Sharon that he was upset with me because he wanted to tell Blunt what field Button's was in but I wouldn't let him. Oh, the unfairness that a mother experiences!

We were telling Cade that we were pretty sure that no other kid in his class got to see Roy Blunt two times over the summer (not that any of them would care). So when his teacher asks him what he did he better say something about his trip to Washington or seeing Roy Blunt in his office and at his Memo and Papa Jim's farm....not the time Jay took him to Bass Pro during his tonsillectomy recovery.

I promise that I will get pictures and the story about how Button's came to be posted as soon as I can.

I love this picture. This is our State Representative who ran for office a few years ago. Sharon got aggravated at him because he was campaigning at a function at their church so she told him about it. I love it because it looks like she's really giving it to him, even though I know that she's only answering a question for him...probably about the poultry houses.