Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Quotes

Again I've had another unplanned blogging break. My mom had surgery on December 3. It was a colon resection which meant she spent several days in the hospital. Charity and I each ended up making two trips to Oklahoma City the first two weeks of December. We are thankful that she is doing good and the pathology came back ok. 

But that made a crazy time of year a little crazier. Jay did a great job with the kids and took care of them with no complaints. Actually Camryn is better when I'm gone. I think within minutes of me coming home Jay was ready to send
me away. Is that a typical girl/mom thing?

December and Christmas is just flying by. I always wish December was twice as long because I love everything about it.  There is also so much stuff I want to do and there is never enough time to do it Advent activities, watching all the Hallmark movies, making cookies and candy, keeping my house clean so I can see the tree and not piles of laundry, listening to the Bing Crosby Pandora station, Silver Dollar City, Live Nativity's etc. December just isn't  long enough for all the wonderfulness!!!! 

I did away with my Advent ideas from last year. I knew with mom's surgery I needed to lower my Christmas expectations. We did do our welcome back Joe breakfast but Joe sometimes forgets to move. Camryn had already asked if Santa is real and has informed us the Elf isn't real and people move him. She will be the Kindergartener who ruins it for everyone else!!!

Some other things we've managed to fit in and enjoyed every minute of it:
Silver Dollar City
Santa at the mall
Looking at lights
Miller Christmas Parade
Caroling with our church and Christmas Party
Be in my home churches Nativity
See Jim and Sharon's church's live Nativity

I'm off until Friday so I also hope to:
Make Sugar Cookies
Make Happy Birthday Jesus Cupcakes
Make Reindeer Feed for the kids to put out on Christmas Eve
We will see how it goes...considering we've been exposed to illness on both sides of our families....

And some Camryn quotes I don't want to forget:
Avery: Camryn do you have an Elf on the Shelf
Camryn: actually he's on a light (which was where e was at that morning)

Charity: Camryn tell me about Santa
Camryn: We'll he's coming to town

Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and an Influenza Type A free Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Life Lately

After all of the adoption posts this one will probably be out of place.  If you are in the process of waiting for a child this probably isn't the post for you to read.

My kids are wearing me slick right now.  Oh, I still love them like none other....but there are nights I am just counting the minutes until they go to bed.  Last night I almost had an anxiety attack.  I don't want to move.  At all.  And we have no intention of selling our house and moving....but sometimes I dream of a house with another living area in it. 

Camryn was in our room watching Little Einsteins which was recorded which then means about every 25 minutes she is yelling for someone to start a new one.  Cade was in the family room with Jay.  Cade went duck hunting for the first time Saturday and he is now obsessed with it.  It was all he talked about this weeked.  Absolutely all.  Mostly I  It was crazy.  Jay was trying to watch Madam Secretary and I wanted to do some Yoga.  There was no where in my house to escape for a few minutes.  I thought maybe I could do it in the kitchen but just as I was headed in there Cade went to get a drink.  Then I went in our room and Camryn demanded something so I went back to the family room.  I made Cade move from the loveseat to the couch so I could at least have one little area all to myself.  Then I was positioned right in front of our Infared heater - you know the thing we bought during Propaneagedon.  I just called it Hot Yoga and went with it.  Then Camryn joined me which helped to melt my frustration because her Down Dog is pretty cute....and pretty darn good.

Last week, actually the same night as Obama's speech that wasn't aired on national television it got so bad in the house I decided to clean out the cat's litter box.  That's what I've been reduced to.  Sifting turds just because I know that is one moment they will leave me alone.  I also decided I needed a Lime-A-Rita that same night so Jay gladly left to get me some.  He needed a little alone time to.  As I was cleaning cat poo and sweeping up the litter and leaves I heard Jay pull up outside.  I cracked the garage door a little thinking 1.  He would get out of the van so I could have my Lime-A-Rita 2.  That we could hide out in the garage together for a few minutes and maybe utter a few sentences with no interruptions and 3.  I needed to sweep out the leaves anyway.  Instead Jay didn't get out.  He found Obama's speech on the radio so he was listening to it.  And he was screaming loudly at the radio.  After a few minutes of me sweeping and Jay screaming I shut the garage door and went back into the house.  We all have our ways of dealing with stress.  Mine is cleaning up cat poop - Jay's is yelling at the radio over the President's speech.  Whatever works I guess.

The funny thing was that same night as the speech I was exercising and my dad called.  Cade answered the phone so I paused my video fully expecting Cade to hand me the phone.  Instead he talked and talked and talked to my dad.  When I finally got on the phone dad said he had asked Cade how he was doing.  Cade replied with "I'm mad" then went on an immigration policy tirade with my dad.  Anytime Cade starts to drive Jay crazy with this sort of thing I remind him that is his own Conservative doing.  Jay is the one exposing him to talk radio and Fox news constatnly.  You have to take the good with the bad.

I know that some day I will miss all of this activity.  I will wish to be back in this time of my life.  I really do try to embrace it because I did learn to not take any of it for granted during our adoption wait.  But I am human.  And sometimes I just need a quiet spot to do my Yoga.  Maybe the garage.... 

Friday, November 21, 2014

One more adoption post

My Timehop today was from three years ago. I posted on Facebook how we were exactly 1 month away from Camryn's finalization date. Of course that got me to thinking.....
June of 2011 was a magical time with bringing her home.  December of 2011 was so freeing because she was officially ours and we were done with the agency.  No more home visits or worrying about if a life change occurred how much time, energy, and money would go into changing the home study.  No more emails that would put me on the edge of my seat.  Done.  Free.  Finished.  It was wonderful.

I remember sitting outside the courtroom waiting our turn.  The whole day was about adoption finalizations.  There were many, many families there getting the same Christmas present we were.  Some were from Bethany like us.  Some were International adoptions.  Some were special needs adoptions.  I remember one family that had quite a few childrend and several of them had special needs.  The boys were dressed alike and so were the girls.  It was so neat to sit there and watch all of the families that God brought together.  I got tears in my eyes watching the happy families leave the courtroom.

I don't remember a lot about what was said in court that day.  It is mostly a blur.  It didn't take very long because before I realized what was going on we were standing up and taking a picture with the Judge.  I felt like the rest of the weight that hadn't left my chest in June was finally gone when we left the courtroom that day. 

The very next day we had a party to celebrate the end of it all.  Close to 75 well loved friends and family memembers crowded in our house to celebrate with us.  What an awesome time to be with those who had prayed and prayed and prayed for us during that journey. 

I know that things won't always be unicorns and roses with our adoption, but I hope Camryn will always know how loved she is and how very much she was wanted by all of us. 

What a wonderful close to 2011 that was!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crazy Cat Lady

Two weeks ago we got two kittens.  I really don’t like pets.  I don’t believe the saying better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  With pets it’s just easier to have never loved….or fed or watered or worried over them at all.  But against the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach I agreed to take two kittens.  The only thing that won over my dislike for pets was the pure hatred and rage I feel for mice.   We have killed more mice in our house in the last 4 months than the entire (almost) 10 years we’ve lived there.  Having one chew on the carpet in Cade’s door way was the last straw.  Jay had tried every kind of trap and poison available.  He had also crawled under the house to make sure there wasn’t a nest.  He had wrapped and stuffed everything place imaginable with steel wool.  The only thing left in our arsenal was to get a cat that would hopefully scare them off.

Hence the addition of Blackie, Camryn’s cat and Lucy, Cade’s cat to our little family.  Cade has taken to these things more than I expected him to.  Camryn of course is nuts about Blackie and therefore Blackie is a rather nervous creature.  Usually one glimpse of Camryn will send him scattering for cover.  I call him a boy but I’m not 100% sure Blackie is a boy...time will tell on that.

Yesterday morning Cade went out to feed them like normal and came inside rather panicked.  There was blood in the litter box.  I went to inspect it and realized one of them had probably got into mouse poison.  Just as luck would have it Lucy pooped about then and I got to take a good look at that.  There wasn’t any blood so I figured she was in the clear.  After some frantic moments Jay finally decided to load them up and keep them in the greenhouse for the day.  He would call the vet to see if there was anything that could be done about it.  I really wasn’t too nervous about it.  I don’t want anything to suffer but I felt like I wasn’t beside myself or anything.  That was until I thought about the texts I sent Jay yesterday morning.  Just to avoid confusion I am the that wasn't obvious. 

Then, even though I was having a wild, wild day at work I found the time to text Jay again in the afternoon.  He didn't respond to my first one so I sent him the second one a little later.  He wasn't trying to teach or anything....


I am officially a crazy cat lady.  I guess it’s true that the crazy really does sneak up on you.  I honestly felt calm yesterday…..except for the work stuff.  That was making me crazy which was the reason for my last text.  Jay is a patient, patient man.  Oh and I had the privilege of watching Blackie poop while I was getting tonight’s dinner out of the freezer.  No blood there either.  Hopefully we are in the clear.    

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Talking Adoption

We've been talking a little more about adoption lately.  About 6 months ago I bought several adoption books off of Amazon.  Reading most of them the first time brought tears to my eyes.  There is one called the Red Thread that is really touching - expecially if you adopted internationally.  It's weird how all of the emotions I felt as an adult can be put into a children's book and explained in such simple terms.  It is about how we are connected to our children with an invisible red thread.  The couple in the story had a tugging at their heart from the red thread and they journeyed miles and miles to unravel their thread.   

We keep the books are her nightstand where they are always accessible.  We have cycles with them - like everything else in a normal family life.  Some weeks we read them non-stop and some weeks we read about Mickey Mouse instead.  We just let her pick.  One that I mentioned last week called Rosie's Family is about an adopted family - except they are dogs.  I like it because it has a bio brother and Rosie is the adopted sister.  It puts into kids terms that's it is ok to be mad or scared and that it is ok to ask questions.  I know she is picking up on some of it because she said "Rosie is adopted like me."  Having her say that was a relief for me.  That was the first time I really felt like she understood something was a little different.  I know she still doesn't get the concept, but she knows the word and it is at least a small part of her vocabulary.  We are making progress.

We also keep a copy of this first picture on our fridge and I talk to her about this day frequently.  She was wearing a pink bow and dad and I thought she was perfect the first time we saw her.  All of this adoption talk this month has had me looking back at old photos and reminiscing about those early days.  Those sweet baby days go so quickly and that was such a magical, hard earned so I soaked up every minute of it, time for us.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November is Adoption Awareness Month

It's been quite some time since I wrote any sort of heartfelt adoption post. We are just a little over a month away from Camryn's 3 year finalization anniversary. In some ways it is hard to believe that she is old enough to have been in our family 3 1/2 years. In other ways I can't hardly remember a time when she wasn't with us. I haven't forget (and I pray I never do) what that pain was like while we waited. All it takes is one Facebook comment from someone struggling with the same pain to bring it all back to me because I hurt so much for them. But thankfully that's not my normal day to day life anymore.  There are only a couple of blogs that I even read anymore that are adoption related.  Both families got babies around the same time that Camryn was born and they are back to waiting for a 2nd child.  I like to keep up with them, but that is about the extent of my adoption reading these days.  Of course unless you count Rosie's Family (a personal favorite),  Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born, A Mother for Choco or GodFound Us You.
With it being Adoption Awareness month though I’m seeing a lot more adoption related posts on Facebook and other places.  A lot of them are positive stories, but with every positive story there are just as many (if not more) stories that paint adoption so negatively.  I get so tired of it.  It wears me out to read the rants that some people have about adoption.  I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am every time some writes (or says something) about their adoption beliefs and they act like that is the only way to be.  If someone dares to have a different thought or feeling about it then they are called out as being insensitive or clueless to the pain for the members of the adoption triad, etc.  When did we become a nation of such self righteous, unbending, uncompromising, unwilling to listen to a different opinion than our own, type of people? 

There are people who are out to save the world one adoption comment at a time.  We need to be sensitive to birthfamilies…don’t forget the birthdad’s…..the adoptees will be scared forever… you use the term real family or don’t use real family (I read two different articles on that alone yesterday).  No wonder those who aren’t familiar with adoption don’t know what to do or what to say.  Those in the triad can’t even agree on what is correct. 

Do you see how this is exhausting and discouraging to someone like me?  I’m so busy trying to be a mom to my two miracles (one from birth and one from adoption) that I don’t have time to analyze every word I say.  I can’t even master my laundry.  I don’t have it in me to be a crusader for adoption by putting every poor grocery store cashier or person in line behind me in Target in their place when they say (while looking at me) “she looks like her mom.”   I just smile and say thank you.  It’s really more of a compliment to me because I think Camryn is just pretty darn cute.  Who wouldn’t want to look like her?  But in adoption circles I’d be considered not doing it right. 
But instead of worrying about it I take Elsa’s advice and Let it Go!!!  I just go through my day doing the best that I can.  And then sometimes I get lucky and I come across and article like this.  It makes me feel like I can do this, my daughter won’t be screwed up AND there are still normal people in the world who don’t get their panties in a wad.  It is refreshing

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blog Update

I think this is the longest lack of blogging stretch I've ever gone.  I really hate that.  I love to blog and I love to look back at what has happened in our lives.  I hope I can do better because it is such a fun thing for our family to look back on.  I'll try to start out slow by just giving some updates....

Jay- He seems like he is having one of his busier school years.  It's not so much the actual teaching part but all of the other crap that comes with it.  Gone are the days of teachers hours....not that they really ever existed, but it is a whole new world even from what it was when I graduated...or even Jay's first teaching years.  My question is are we graduating kids who are really any smarter or better equipped to handle the world than my grandparents or my parents were?  Ok- down off my soap box now.  The other thing that has been big for Jay this fall is the addition of Mini Herefords to JCS Cattle Company.  Our neighbor said it best "you must really like things with short legs."

Cade- 7th Grade has been the best year (besides 4th grade) in Cade's whole school career.  I can not even begin to tell you how much easier things are for him.  We finally figured out he had some attention problems last year.  We've got that adjusted and then the fact that he is changing classes and doing something different every hour has helped his focus so much.  He ended the quarter with all A's.  We were so proud of him.  His grades had always been good, but his Math grade in elementary pulled him down.  He is actually liking math this year and he really likes his teacher.  I'm so thankful that we aren't having the evening meltdowns we had been having.  He played Jr High football and his season ended last month.  He did pretty well and he plans to play again next year. As of right now he doesn't plan to play basketball, which honestly is ok with me.


Camryn - She is as much of a sassy pants as ever.  That girl is going to be something else!  She was Rapunzel for Halloween because purple is her favorite color.  Last week we got two kittens.  She was still mad the next day because she wanted a purple cat and she didn't get one.  I used the last thing in my arsenal for telling her why she couldn't have a purple cat.  I said that God doesn't make purple cats.  Bringing God into any conversation with Cade worked like a charm.  He never questioned God.  Of course it didn't work that way with Camryn.  She said "Well God has a rainbow wand that has red, orange, green, blue and purple in it so God does make purple!"  I'm afraid I am so mentally unprepared to raise this child.

Me- I've been trying to keep the above three people plus my sanity together!!!  This has been a crazy fall.  I did get two fun weekends with my mom and sister though.  I went to Arkansas with mom and Charity for all the craft shows in October and then I spent another weekend with mom in Oklahoma at another craft show.  I love going to craft shows!!!  I had a lot of fun getting to spend 24 hours kid free with mom and Charity.  We need to do it more often.  I'm thankful that I have a husband who just says OK when I tell him I'm doing something like that.  He took over for the weekend.  He did a great job with them.  Except after he sent me a picture of Camryn, that he took out in public, I realized I should have set out clothes for her!      

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sub Driving Update

WJay had to sub drive again Tuesday evening. It was the same route. Here is an update...

The tattletale girl was still a tattletale. He said she barely got by him before she was back up and talking right into his right ear. He yelled "I got it, I got it now sit down". 

He had to pull out all the tricks that bus drivers use when things are getting out of control...he had to stop the bus. I'd say there were very few times when Neil stopped my bus that the kids didn't turn around and shut up. But that didn't happen for Jay. There were 5 seats of girls who didn't get the hint. Tattletale was one of them. Jay said he stood up and in his words "roared at them."  He demonstrated it for me. I would've been bawling if I had been an elementary kid. He definitely is sounding more and more like his Granddad!  

And to take you back to your school days of riding the bus. Jay said there must be a kid who poops his pants every day...actually poop wasn't the word he used but I try to keep it G rated here most of the time. Anyway, he said someone farts every time he drives this route-morning and night. And it is the exact same smelling fart every time. He said if he knew who it was and had to take attendance he wouldn't have to call the kids name. He could just smell that he was there. 

Then I asked about the girl with the herniated disc. Yup, she is still wearing a neck brace. 

I can't sleep so I'm typing this at 2am. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying remembering how Jay told the fart story. I just woke him up from my laughing. He said "some little kid is hitting the pot the minute they walk in the door."  Maybe it is the tired dilerium setting in but I can't quit laughing. 

He just told me another story. So before the bus left school one of the teachers brought Jay some as he called it "mini coats". She told Jay that those kids didn't ride the bus in the evenings and he needed to give the coats to the kids neighbor. Jay said "how am I supposed to do that I don't know who the neighbor is?" "I'm just trying to get them home."  The teacher giggled and said "do the best you can."  Well Tattletale was good for something. He said she is the most aware kid he's ever seen. She saw the coats and said "I'm supposed to take those home for my neighbors."

With all of the stuff going on in the world it is easy to get depressed and think that things are going down the toilet. It is somewhat refreshing to realize that some things really don't change. Every bus still has the tattletale and the farter. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Day in the Life

I've read some blogs that go through a day in their lives.  I'm sure their lives are oodles more interesting then mine, but I thought I would try it for a post.  So welcome to my day last Friday....
The alarm went off at 4:53 am.  I hit snooze once and actually got out of bed at 5:00 am  I was greeted with laundry that needed to be switched out and a load of jeans to fold.

Then I made coffee.  This is the only quiet time he and I have together.  It is usually a mixture of us reading our Bibles, watching FOX news and talking about little things that we either forget about in the chaos of our evenings or are too busy to talk about.  Those are also pictures of our coffee mugs.  I've said it before, but I LOVE my Fiesta dishes.  Actually I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't have Fiesta dishes.  Don't you get bored staring at the same plate every night???? 

Then I checked on this little thing on my way to the shower around 6am

This is a blog first....a selfie.  I'm not sure how people do it and look good because I was standing in all sorts of weird angles.  Jay started to come in our room so I snapped this one in a hurry.  Even after 15 years of marriage there are still a few things that are too embarrassing to explain.  A selfie is one of them.  But the whole point of the selfie was the new jeans.  The first day you wear a new pair of jeans is so much fun!!!  Of course the 7 year old cardigan kind of offsets the new jeans.  But I never get rid of my cardigans.  They are a wardrobe staple people!!!   The jeans are Old Navy boyfriend jeans which have a story within themselves.  I bought a pair in the store but then found another pair on their site which were $6 cheaper.  So I ordered them along with $50 worth of stuff so I wouldn't have to pay shipping.  Now I have a stack of stuff to return along with the original pair of jeans.  So did I really save $6 by the time I drive to the mall and return it all???   But Boyfriend jeans are the hot fall item!
Then taking a picture, which proves I will NEVER be a fashion blogger I folded yet another load of jeans.
I wanted to get to work early Friday so Jay agreed to take Camryn.  She was not into pictures that morning.  She is holding a bear that belongs to her sitter's girls.  They let Camryn "babysit" it for the night.  She took very good care of Candy Cane a/k/a Kit (what Camryn named it) 

I pulled out of the driveway and within 10 seconds my low tire light came on.   I pulled over to make sure they weren't flat.  Then I dropped one of the valve covers as a neighbor pulled up.  I had to move the van and we were both staring at the chipped and sealed road searching for the cover. 

Finally found the cover.  Jay met me at a gas station and we traded vehicles because we knew we needed to have the tire looked at.  This has happened a few times over the last few weeks.  I took a quick picture of the boys since I knew I wouldn't see them until late.  They went to the PBR bull riding in Springfield after school.  They both look thrilled with the car change.  When I took Jay's picture he asked me why and then rolled his eye's when I told him what it was for. 

My normal route to work is under repair so I had to detour.  Actually the entire bridge was imploded.  This new route is slowing me down!!!

Finally I pulled into the office at 7:55 am.  So much for getting there by 7:30.

This is my desk when I walked in.  That was why I wanted to get to work early.  Didn't happen.

After work I picked up Camryn, picked up a prescription and then took her to McDonald's.  Yup, I'm one of those mom's.  Then we went to the church.  She played while I started on the fall decorations.  Then she had an accident so I got to clean up that times, fun times.....

We got home about 7:30 and I was worn out!!!  Camryn was not.  I piddled around the house - did another load or two of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, ran the vacuum, etc.  Finally at 9:00 I decided I was done and sat down to watch a Dateline that had caught my eye.  Camryn played around in this interesting getup.  I put her to bed at 9:30.  I read in bed until 10:30 and then fell asleep. You can see the cover of the book in the picture below.  If you like murder/mystery books you should read one of her books.  I disovered her a few weeks ago and I am loving the two books I've read so far.   They boys got home at almost midnight.  I woke up briefly and then went right back to sleep.  And the alarm went off at the same time Saturday morning to start the same routine all over.  It may not be very exciting, but that is OK with me!!!  I wouldn't trade these ordinary days for anything!!! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Football and the possibility to revist the past.....

Cade’s first football game is tonight.  Let me tell you, Jr High Football is where it is at.  It is 1 million times better than the youth sports football.  The timing of practice is so much better….right after school!  That means he’s done by 5:45-6:00.  That also means that we aren’t rushing home to get him to practice that starts at 6 and won’t end until 8….which also means I don’t have all the stresses with dinner….when should we eat, what should we eat, Camryn can’t wait until 8:30, etc.  I can’t tell you how much easier the evenings have been.  Another huge plus is not having to witness everything.  I’m just going to say it – some of those parents were so stupid that to sit and watch/listen to them at practice would almost give me a stroke.  I would leave and my BP would have to have been sky high.  That’s usually what made me want to write letters to all of the people who irritated me during this time of the year.  Since I’m at work during practice I don’t have to witness any of what goes down.  Also, since it is a school activity at least the majority of the guys helping have been checked out AND have brains in their head.  They aren’t some local yokel telling everyone they had a scholarship to play college football at LSU.  Yeah right…… 

Another plus is the games are on Monday night.  I GET MY SATURDAYS IN THE FALL BACK!!!!!  I love my fall Saturdays, I love craft shows and going to Fayetteville when the Hogs have a home game.  I love being at home with the windows open and my fall Scentsy scents going.  I LOVE it!!!  I am so excited to enjoy my fall weekends again.  The last few years we were always in the limbo on Saturdays.  Especially when the games would start at 2!  Talk about a day killer!!!

I also just feel more relaxed and happier than I have the last several falls.  When I was in High School I did everything.  Everything.  By the time I graduated I was so burnt out on having to be everywhere at a certain time.  Even twenty years later someone controlling my time almost gives me an anxiety attack.  So when we’d have to listen to some of the parents, and the game times would change and I couldn’t go to Fayetteville and shop when Jay went to a game, and I had to miss the craft shows it made me a little pissy.  Actually it made me quite pissy.  So another plus of Jr High Football is that I’m more relaxed and can laugh off some of this ridiculousness……

Miller had a state winning football team 20 years ago.  The year Jay and I were seniors.  Obviously we weren’t in school at Miller and since I grew up in a town with no football I had no idea any of this went down in the fall of ’94.  These Jr High boys (and the 6th grade class) are being hailed as the next ’94 team.  Hopefully the town is right and they can win a state championship in the next 6 years.  But I have to laugh the tiniest bit...and I think a lot of this goes back to the fact I don’t get in knots about football.  But they’ve used numbers from the roster of the state winning team to make new jerseys for these jr high boys.  They’ve pumped these boys up with stories of so-and-so wore this jersey so you’d better do xyz or he will take it from you...and my personal favorite “inspirational” quote from the men in charge….a lot of men from that team would give their right testicle to be back playing ball.  Remember when those Successory pictures were so big?  What an awesome quote that would’ve been in a frame. 

Cade came home telling me all of this Friday and I had to laugh.  And I wondered if given the choice would a man really give up a testicle?  Too bad I can’t put it to the test….And since I believe in being fully honest with your kids (well I mean I do lie to them at times which could be another post) but I mean in life skills we are honest.  Like we tell Cade that he is the product of Jay and I – he’s probably not going to be winning the Heisman but he could be a National FFA Officer….that sort of honesty is what I’m talking about.  I told Cade that I hope he has fun in HS BUT I hope it is not the peak of his life.  I want him to go to college and raise a family and quite honestly my 30’s have been pretty darn good.  There were some rough times but there have been some really great times.  There would be no way I’d ever give this up (or my testicle if I had one) to go back to high school.  I mean….curly permed hair and mom jeans and glasses .  Yikes!!!  No thank you!!!!  But then I guess men probably don’t have as many fashion skeletons hiding in their closets so maybe going back to ’94 wouldn’t be as traumatic for them???

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Another Chapter in the Bus Driving Chronicles

Jay had to sub drive a bus yesterday.  I’ve said this a million times but I’m not sure the whole thing is worth what he gets paid.  At least there is usually a good story that goes along with it.

It started with him leaving the school and then realizing he had 1/8th of a tank of gas.  He told all the kids to not dawdle getting off the bus.  He was running on fumes.  Then there was a girl that Jay thought,  by looking at her, would be the one who could tell him where he needed to go.  Instead she turned out to be a huge tattle tale and drove him crazy.  There was a boy playing with one of those cut in half balls that you turn inside out and then they flip.  Jay said the boy was just playing with it and not bothering anyone.  The girl confiscated it and brought it to Jay.  That caused Jay to raise his voice a little and say “what are you doing?  Why did you take it from him?  Give it back and sit down!”  Imagine Jay’s voice saying that…..

Then he got to his last stop and it was two little girls.  He showed me what he thought their height was so I knew they had to have been K &1st grade. 
Jay: what does your house look like
Girl:  There will be a red and black car out front
Jay: But what does the house look like
Girl: There will be a red and black car out front
(a few minutes pass)
Jay:  So what does your house look like
Girl: (pointing out the window) There is goes….My parents aren’t home

So Jay has to back the bus up, remember he’s running on fumes.  The girl kept saying “my parents aren’t home.”  Jay noticed a white car parked close to the house so he kept saying “are they picking you up?”  The girl kept saying “my parents aren’t home.”  Finally one of the girls noticed the white car and said “oh yeah, they are picking us up today.” I’m sure it took every ounce of self-control for him not to yell at them to get off the bus!

Another story about the girls.  One of them was wearing a neck brace.
Jay:  Why are you wearing a neck brace
Girl:  I have a herniated disc
Jay: How in the world does someone your age get a herniated disc
Girl:  Jumping

And another bus story.  We all went in to the school last night  to get Cade.  He had a great time and managed to stay with the group.  He was also full of funny stories from the trip. 
Cade:  I got to ride in the back of the bus today
Jay:  How was that?  It’s pretty bumpy back there
Cade:  Yeah, it didn’t feel as grown up as I thought it would

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cutting the Purse Strings.....

Today was a big day in our family.  Cade went on a major school trip without one of us there.   It has been really hard on mama. 
Last night I kept going over the instructions with Cade. 
Here is money for food in this part of your wallet, here is your money if you want to buy something else. 
Just because you have all of this money doesn’t mean you have to spend it all.
Stay with the group.
Make sure your phone is charged.
What shorts are you wearing?  Make sure your pockets are good.
Stay with the group.
Don’t play games on your phone all the way to St. Louis because your phone will be dead.
Do you have Lyle and Jania’s number in your phone?
Stay with the group…..

 Yeah, I was and am still a little nervous.  This has probably been good for both of us.  These are normal life skills he needs to know and I’ve got to let him experience this stuff on his own – even if he blows all of his money at the first stop and is hungry all day.  Or if he forgets to go to the bathroom before they get back on the bus.  Yes, that is a thought that popped in my head.  I don’t know how my parents did it.  I’m sure I did similar things at his age AND I didn’t have a phone that they could periodically check on me with.  My parents left me and my sister alone at the kiddie area at White Water when Charity was 2 and I was 6 so they could ride some of the bigger rides.  So  I’m not sure they are the best ones to take advice from on these types of situations.  And another true story.  I looked at Facebook a little bit ago and saw someone had posted pictures of the game on the schools page.  I put my nose up to the screen and looked for Cade in every single picture.  Finally I got to the very last one and saw this......


 I’d know those freckles anywhere.  Whew – as of 2:00 pm he was still with the group.

Through out all of this Jay has been laughing at me.  Either he isn’t at all concerned or he is laughing at me to cover up his own nervousness.  He kept saying “you  need to cut the purse strings.”  Finally I said “It’s apron strings, you have to cut the apron strings.”  He said “Oh yeah, the purse strings are what you hold me by.”  Always a comedian. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back by popular demand.....

It was funny - Friday I got two seperate requests to update the blog.  I had already been planning to try to start updating it more, but that helped me to finish up a few old posts I had hanging around.  I really love to write on this blog and I had been missing it a lot.  It is somewhat of a stress reliever for me.  And I love having a record of the little things that happen around our house that otherwise I would completely forget about. 

But this summer that pesky thing called "having a job" got in my way.  I don't want to complain because being busy at work is usually a good thing.  There are lots of people who's jobs are stressful because they are worried they won't have one.  So I always hate to complain when I'm feeling overwhelmed because we are so busy, but that was the case this summer.  I don't even know how to describe what I been through at work since the end of April...except saying that I was close to a nervous breakdown with everything would be close.  There were days I was tempted to put my head down on my desk and cry.  In all my years of working here I've never had it the way it has been the last few months.  I don't have time to finish any single thought, file, sentence, etc. completely.  It has been pretty hellish. 

Then when things get out of control in one area of my life chaos seems to follow in the other areas.  I've also been forgetting things from the stress.  I've missed hair appointments, forgot to pay our electric bill (I remembered the day after it was due) and many, many other things.  Probably the worst thing was the safety deposit box incident.  We've had a safety deposit box at the bank in Miller for several years.  It was set up to automatically come out of Jay's Icebox account every July.  Last fall we closed that account and opened up a different checking account.  In July we got a letter from the bank saying that the account that normally paid for the box was closed and we needed to send in a check.  No big deal.  I wrote out the check and addressed the envelope and put it with my other stuff to take to work.  Then a few weeks ago we got a certified letter from the bank saying they still needed their money and if they didn't get it they would hold all of our contents for five years, etc.  I had forgot to mail the check...So Jay took care of it. 

I keep hoping things are going to get better and I will quit forgetting things, but I'm not sure.  I'm also hoping I can reign in this chaos a little because it is making me crazy!!!!  But I've also noticed that the crazy at work has kept me from being quite so angry in other areas.  This is probably the first time in years I haven't felt the need for a letter writing campaign at the start of school. 

Thanks for letting me get all that out.  Now read below for the recap of the fun trip Jay and I got to take.  Alone!!! 

Vegas Vacation

On June 30th Jay and I flew to Vegas. As crazy as things are with Cade's showing schedule we couldn't fit in a family vacation very easily.  Since Cade went to DC with Jay earlier and Camryn could care less we didn't feel bad taking a trip by ourselves. Our 15th Anniversary is this December so we decided to celebrate a little early. This was the first time we've taken a trip like this for fun since we got married. We did have the trip to Pigeon Forge/Knoxville 4 years ago but I don't count that. Anytime your husband is giving you a shot in your butt twice a day it really shouldn't be considered a vacation. 

We stayed at the Monte Carlo. I enjoyed it and would stay there again. It wasn't nearly as fancy as the higher priced ones but it was clean and nice. I would recommend it. 

This was Jay the first day at the Flamingo habitat. He looks thrilled. I think it was about 112 degrees at that moment. I'm being serious about that temp. We flew to Vegas while they were having a heat wave. Imagine that...

My favorite part of the trip was Fremont Street. I loved the lights...and if I'm being completely honest the $.99 Margaritas we stumbled on to.
Apparently Coke has a new thing where they are putting names on their bottles. Jay ran across this one at a souvenir shop.  (I did start this post a few months ago so the name on the Coke bottles is old news by now).  And a side story.  See the little purse I was carrying?  Only my phone would fit in it.  There was no way my wallet would fit so I had some little baggies that I used to contain my DL, credit card and some cash.  I thought that if I had it contained in one place the chances of me loosing it wouldn't be as high.  And I wasn't going to let Jay carry it in his wallet because 1.  what if we got separated and 2.  what if I saw a margarita deal???  The night we went to Fremont street we found a cheap buffet which was pretty neat. It was set up with those old round the old Vegas you've seen in the movies.  When we were leaving I got my baggie out of my purse to leave a tip.  Jay looked horrified and asked if anyone saw me do that.  I thought he was talking about our first day in Vegas where he saw some young girl counting out close to $1000 in cash at a table in the food court of our hotel.  It disturbed Jay a lot.  I figured that was what he was worried about so I said "I've only got like $50 in here."  He shook his head and acted like he didn't have a clue what I was talking about.  He said "Are we at White Water?  Why do you have money in a baggie?  That is embarassing."  So there you have it.  I thought he was worried about my safety.  Instead he was just horrified. 

My trip to Vegas would not have been complete without an Elvis impersonator.  Jay wasn't quite as impressed with the crowd singing Viva Las Vegas as I was though.

The Forum shops at Ceasers Palace. 

This is a picture of Jay being Jay. That boy kept invading Jay's personal space to take videos of the Mirage Volcano on his iPad. Jay wanted me to capture the moment. Jay made sure he had lots if oohs and aha's for the boys video. 

While Jay had that boy breathing down his neck I had problems of my own. A man taking pictures of the volcano kept resting his elbow on my shoulder. I really don't remember much about the actual volcano.  We were giggling too much about the people around us.  That's pretty typical of our trips together. 

We spent 3 days in Vegas. That was a good amount of time. We got away and had some down time. Jay went on a tour of the Pawn Stars shop one day and I stayed at the pool. It was a win-win situation for both us.  I didn't care enough about Pawn Stars to fork out the money for the tour and Jay isn't a pool person.  I told one person that and they were shocked that we split up for a few hours.  Maybe I'm the weird one but I think Jay and I each enjoyed doing our own thing for awhile.

We flew home July 3rd so we were back for the 4th. It was a fun little get away and some much needed time away from work for me. Then we were back in time to make the showing rounds in July....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Trip to the Store

Jay is covered with Poison Ivy and possibly some other skin disorders at the moment.  He’s got enough patches on him (and he went through an entire tube of anti-itch cream yesterday) that I’ve told him he needs to go to the doctor and get a shot.  He is famous for thinking he can get rid of these rashes on his own and then they get so out of control it takes a several trips to the doctor and a couple of trips to a dermatologist to get rid of it.  So by trying to save us the $30 co-pay (which I appreciate) we end up spending more in the long run by the time we buy tube after tube of different medication.  But whatever.  He’s the one itching so I guess I’m not going to worry about it.

Last night, after trying a bleach bath which someone suggested, he needed to get some Calamine Lotion.  It was about 9pm when we decided to head in to town.  We had cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, cooked dinner and I had just got back from a walk when we decided to take a fun family trip to the grocery store.  I didn’t even glance in a mirror because I wasn’t going to leave the van.  I picked up Camryn and wondered if I should grab shoes for her, but since we were only going to be in the van it would be ok.  I should also mention she was wearing pajamas.  I was wearing work out pants and a t-shirt from college which would be pushing  20 years old.  Yes, we were an attractive bunch.

Jay and Cade went in to the store and Camryn and I were in the van.  Then she asked her famous question…”am I wearing underwear or a pull up”  Great, she had to go to the bathroom.  I told her it was underwear and I asked if she needed to go and she said no.  Exactly 2 minutes later she announced she had to go to the bathroom.   I dug around in the van and found a pair of filp-flops for her so at least I wasn’t taking  a pajama clad no shoes wearing toddler in to the grocery store.  But she did have a dirty face and crazy hair which really helped out our image.  We made it to the bathroom and all was well.  Then I looked in the mirror.  I had eyeliner and mascara all underneath my eyes.  I then remembered back to rubbing my eyes while I was walking.  I was a definite mess.  As I was walking out of the store I was trying to take comfort in the fact Camryn’s PJ’s at least matched.  Since she has started randomly changing her own clothes she rarely has a matching set of PJ’s on.  Last night was an oddity.  I was thinking we really couldn’t look much worse…..

That was until I got to the parking lot and Jay was standing by the van rubbing himself down with Calamine.  When I saw him he actually had his shirt up and was rubbing it on his stomach.   I looked at him with bug eyes and said “seriously”.  He said “yes, seriously – this is serious.”  I am thankful that we didn’t run into anyone we knew….or if we did they at least had the grace to make us think no one we knew saw us last night.    

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

To whom it may concern...

When you sent the text Sunday evening about the football camp Tuesday and Thursday night you stated it started at 6 and ended at 8. Jay, along with the other parents did their part and got their kids there by 6. Did you forget to wear a watch? I know football may be the only thing going in your life right now, but it is the tiniest ittsy bitsy part of ours. With Jay and I working full time along with chickens for the gala, pigs for Ozark Empire, cows for State Fair and a three year old tornado named Camryn our schedules are tight. We have plotted and planned and scheduled within an inch of our lives. So when you decide that what you are doing is way too important to quit at 8 and you drag on past 8:15 then on towards 8:30 I get irritated. In fact if looks could kill you probably would've died 40 times between 8 and 8:15. I'm curious,  can you feel the daggers I'm staring at you?  

Also, to the man no one knew tonight. When you continue to repeat 5 or 6 times what the head coach just said you don't look or sound smart. In fact you sound the opposite of smart. I also stared daggers at you just because.  

So after the day I had at work going to football camp was probably not the best idea. I will take part of the blame for tonight's letter. But in the future please look at your watch. Or even better- your iPhone comes with an awesome alarm clock. Maybe you should use it. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Camryn Lee is Three!

We love to rhyme Camryn's name to things around our house.  We are weird like that.

Camryn turned 3 yesterday.  It is so hard to believe she is that old.  Lately she has started to look more grown up and not so much like a baby. I even had someone at church tell me she is looking like a little lady.  Yes, it makes me a little sad, but I'm also excited to keep watching her grow and change.  If the past 3 years is any indication this girl is going to keep her dad and I on our toes!  My prayer is that we can channel all of this ornery, hilarious personality into a really awesome kid...and not a juvenile delinquent. 

You know how I like to plan a party.  The day after Christmas I ordered Camryn a pig smocked dress for her birthday party.  I was set on a pig party and the dress was on sale and I had wanted it for awhile.  Then we had the pigs.  After the Pigtastrophe of 2014 I was sick of pigs so I scratched that idea.  Then I saw the cutest Cowgirl outfit.  Since she loves Sheriff Callie so much I thought that was perfect.  So I shelled out more money for this cowgirl outfit then I normally spend on myself.  Then Camryn decided she wanted a dinosaur on her cake.  After already doing one dinosaur party I was not big on another one.  But she was insistent and I ignored her.  Finally I decided what good is a birthday when you can't have the theme you want so we went with dinosaurs - but I made sure it looked girly.

I scoured Etsy looking for a girly dinosaur shirt and found a pretty perfect one.  Then Janella created a cake that looked just like the shirt and Camryn loved it.  Camryn also wanted a pink cake so Janella tinted the batter.  It was all perfect.  Memo has some really neat dinosaurs that a friend had passed down to Cade and now Camryn is obsessed with them.  I used those for the tables and then added in pink flowers to make it a little more feminine.  My plan was to make skirts for the dinosaurs but Cade got sick the night before the party.  I ended up spending all Friday night with him at Urgent Care.  That put a damper on some of my decorating plans.  But it was still cute and I think we all had a good time.

I did fill up Camryn's pool with sand and the kids dug for dinosaurs and other $store trinkets.  That was a big hit.  Seeing the pictures of the three of them digging in the sand with their hats cracks me up every time I look at it.  My plan for the party was to do cake pictures, nicely dig in the sand for the surprises while the burgers cooked and then presents after we ate.  It was all controlled, clean fun.  Then the adults took too long to eat and the kids wanted to play in the sand.  Camryn ended up laying in it and filling her hat with sand and putting it on her head.  She even dumped a bunch of sand on Lawson.  So, my dreams of controlled fun went down the tubes.  By Sunday morning I had a fine layer of grit over every surface in the house.  But the kids enjoyed it and that is the most important thing.

 Also, you will notice that Cade is not in any of the pictures.  The poor guy was extremely sick that entire weekend.  He had the same type of infection he had in January.  He spent all day on Saturday in our room.  I checked on him about 3:00 pm and he had turned off the TV and was sleeping.  He slept through me cleaning our bedroom/bathroom and both Jay and I getting ready.  He almost slept through the entire party - even with the worried grandparents checking on him from time to time.  If you know Cade at all you know that was extremely out of character for him.  We started Sunday with another trip to Urgent Care and different meds.  Finally about Sunday evening he seemed to come around.  We have another trip to a specialist in our near future. 

Since her party was about a week and a half before her birthday she was a little confused about what yesterday was.  We had a low key celebration of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and cupcakes.  One thing about 3 year olds is they have no idea the cost of anything.  We bought Camryn something to open....a box of band aids.  I think it was her favorite gift.  This morning Jay cleaned up about 20 band aid wrappers off the floor of the kitchen and family room.  Camryn's sitter also gave her some gifts.  She loved the light up wand.

Since she is 3 we are really discovering that we need to be including adoption related language more and more in our normal conversations.  We aren't against talking about it at all, as you know, it's just hard to remember to do it very often.  Life gets busy.  I've got some books on order from Amazon that hopefully will get the ball rolling a little more for us.  I'm pretty excited to get them.  She is still young and I know she doesn't fully understand the concept of adoption, but it is still so important to talk about it.  In our hearts she couldn't be more ours if she was biological, but like her eyes are blue and hair is blonde she is adopted.  As fast as 3 years has gone it won't be long before she can understand it.     

And another side note to her birthday.  Camryn got a My Little Pony makeup set from Jim and Sharon.  It came with these My Little Pony press on nails - which crack me up on her still baby chubby hands.  But what has been even funnier is watching Jay step on one and then have to pick the My Little Pony nail off the bottom of his foot.  I love watching him raise a girl.