Thursday, September 10, 2015

8th Grade English....for the 3rd time

Cade's adjustment to the new school has been going along pretty well until this week.  In  the same day we hit a few snags.  We ended up changing his schedule around a little bit - which I think is working out much better and we had to get a handle on some English issues.  Which we all know "getting a handle on things" to a parent means that Jay and I have helped write and edit a Descriptive/Narrative Essay with a thesis of  How Crystal Shepherd was changed by the events of 9/11?  Otherwise known as we hate homework and we may or may not have hid in our closet at least one night this week. 

We have really tried to not be helicopter parents.  We've made him do his own thing.  We've made him remember to tell us when he needs food for a party, when he needs money for a Homecoming t-shirt and when he needs a permission slip signed.  Sometimes is works (normally he hounds me for weeks about when I'm going to give him the money for a field trip) and sometimes it fails (like when I didn't send food for the 6th grade Halloween party).  Now I'm also not going to lie and say we've never told him the answer to his math homework just to get the insanity to end.  Anyone who says they have never done that is either LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH or they are insane. I mean flat out, we can't be friends kind of insane.  #clearlyyouarewaytoouppitytobemyfriend

We've gotten along pretty well over the years at school.  Of course minus the unfortunate incident of Jay, Cade's 3rd grade teacher and her boyfriend who happened to be the elementary principal.  That whole thing still makes me laugh. #knowwho'skissingwhobeforeyoucomplainaboutsomeone.   But we may have met our match this year.  I'm not sure Jay and I are prepared to try to pass 8th grade English for a combined 3rd time.  Those of you reading this blog know how weak my grammar skills are.  I'm one essay in and not sure I'm going to make it until May.  Of course the 4 year old blowing a whistle in my face while I'm trying to proofread isn't helping anything.

We were proof reading out loud tonight and there was a line that said "she recalled."  Jay started making fun of it saying that I wrote it.  I didn't write the word recalled I assumed it was Cade.  Cade said he wasn't the one that wrote that so it had to be Jay.  No one claimed the word recalled.  That's how crazy things are around here - forget grammar rules and restating thesisis (I don't think that's a word) Jay and I can't remember what words we may have added to a paper for our 13 year old son. 

For those of you who say they never have (or never will) help their son write a paper well you can stop reading now.  I'm sure we aren't the only parents desperate enough to just get something finished!  I feel like with 8 years under my belt I'm somewhat experienced enough to say this.  Actually let me restate my thesis again so I can get my 5 points of credit....Anyone who says they have never done that is either LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH or they are insane.  But school isn't always about learning sometimes it's about surviving.  This week has been about survival....and asking questions like "is that supposed to be double spaced and does the punctuation go inside the quotes? and when are these interview questions due?" 

Everyone tells you sleep when your baby sleeps and all those other clich├ęs when you first have kids.  No one ever told me how much it sucks to write papers when your last grammar class was 25 years ago  Would that be considered a memorable ending?....... 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Here is a PSA/Reminder/Something to think about for you ladies.....

For the past several months I had noticed a change in my breasts.  I couldn't feel anything specific - no lumps or bumps but overall things were just different.  I watched it for a couple of months and thought I could see a pattern to it.  When I went in for my yearly exam with my  Gynecologist I mentioned it to him.  He automatically said "lets do a mammogram."  He went on to tell me that with my age I was close enough to 40 and he'd rather send 99 people to have mammogram's and not need them just to catch the 1 who does.  He didn't think I had anything to be concerned about but we both agreed that it was better to be safe than sorry.   

I scheduled my first one for August 24th.  They told me while I was there that since it was my first one not to be surprised if they called me back and had me come in again.  On the afternoon of the 25th I got that call.  I wasn't all that impressed with the nurse when she called.  Looking back on the conversation I think she may have been nervous.  I wonder if she was fairly new at making these kinds of calls. I also realize that my heart stopped beating for a few seconds when she started talking so I probably wasn't picking up what she was telling me either.  I thought I had the jest of the conversation so I repeated it back to her.  "We are doing this because you need a clearer picture and not because they see something."  Her reply was "I think so."  I refused to allow myself to worry about any of this so I took what she said to heart and went on with my week.

I went back for the 2nd mammogram on August 31st.  I ended up having a more in depth one which was then followed up by an ultrasound.  I did get a little nervous because at first the mammogram tech said I only needed the mammogram on one side.  The thought of that scared me more than thinking I needed it on both for some reason, but then she realized she had read it wrong and did both. 

Once Tuesday passed with no phone calls I felt like there was a good chance I was in the clear.  Then once Wednesday passed I felt pretty good.  I figured I'd get a follow up letter in the mail in a few days.  That all changed Thursday.  I was working in our Bolivar office that day and I had gone to lunch.  I pulled my phone out to check the time and saw the Doctor's office had called.  I immediately left the restaurant.  The message said they needed to talk to me but that they were leaving for lunch from 12-1.  I tried calling at 11:58 and they were already gone.

I had not worried one bit about any of this, but that hour was pretty rough.  Actually there was a 5 minute spell in there that was the worst.  Everything kind of flashed before me. I knew I had customers scheduled to come in so I had to pull myself together.  The only other person who knew I had the mammogram's was Charity and she was at work.  So was my mom and Jay and my dad was having medical things of his own that day.  I ended up calling Sharon and thankfully she was home and answered on the 2nd ring.  I explained to Sharon what was going on and I just needed to talk to someone for a few minutes.  We talked about mammograms and the different letters she had received over the years.  Talking to her made me feel better and I was able to get control over my emotions.  I had also emailed to ladies at work and asked them to pray for me because I knew they would.  By the time I got off the phone with Sharon I could tell the prayers were working because I felt calm. 

I survived until 1 and then I called the office back.  They answered immediately (which was another answered prayer).  The nurse (different one then who called me originally) apologized for leaving the message at the time she did.  She felt really bad about it.  She went on to say that I needed to have a repeat mammogram in 6 months.  I was so relieved.  I'm not sure I've got all the spelling on this right but I have Asymmetrical Fibrous Tissue.  They don't think there is anything there, but the doctor can't say with 100% confidence that he feels comfortable with me waiting a whole year for another one.  The nurse said that she sees this often and that the radiologist is extremely cautious - which is how you want them to be! 

So after the long story the take away is that I'm fine.  I'm not concerned about it at all.  But I will follow my doctors orders and schedule a follow up in February/March.  The other reminder is to notice those changes and if something doesn't feel right talk to your doctor!  My doctor had said that the worst that would happen if my mammogram came back fine was wasting time at the doctors office and getting my boob smashed.  I don't even feel like I wasted my time having it done.  It's been a good reminder to do monthly checks and pay attention to changes.  And if you are over 40 make sure you get your yearly mammograms! 


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

An Adoption Letter

I don't mention much about adoption anymore.  I don't read many of the adoption blogs that I used to read.  Honestly I can't handle the drama - which that sounds really mean and I don't mean it that way.  When you are adopting it's just all drama.  Not that the adoptive parents are seeking the drama, it just naturally comes your way.  I remember almost feeling embarrassed when we got the call about our embryo appointment the day after we got back from our first failed adoption.  I didn't even want to tell anyone because I felt like I was causing all this drama and it embarrassed me to no end.  That's also why we didn't tell anyone about Camryn until the day she was born - and then it was just our families.  I didn't want to drag anyone else through the up and down drama we and them had gone through for the last million years (give or take a few obviously).  I've slowly realized to that I had to step away from a lot of that and just be a parent.  And honestly I was tired of everything adoption related.  So, so exhausted by it.  We talk about it some, but not all the time like we used to.  I read articles on occasion, but not like I used to.  I can't say this enough - It. Wears. Me. Out.  There are so many different opinions on what you should do, what you should say, how to raise your kids, blah!  It also irritates me at times to.  So the best way I've found is to ignore what irritates me, pray a lot, follow a few of the blogs of people I've grown attached to and just do my best winging it with Camryn.  At this point though I think investing in some good books about stubborn, head strong kids would be more in my interest than reading a million different perspectives on adoptive parenting. 

But I read this, this weekend.  A friend posted it on Facebook.  It immediately brought tears to my eyes.  I'm posting it here in it's entirety because I want a record of this some day.  I may be 4 years out of the adoption loop but one very well written article puts me right back there.  It may not be front on my brain anymore, but we adoptive parents do share a bond.  This is one of the best articles I've ever read that really sums up those emotions.    

Dear Mom of an Adopted Child,
I met you in adoption education class. I met you at the agency. I met you at my son's school. I met you online. I met you on purpose. I met you by accident.
It doesn't matter. The thing is, I knew you right away. I recognize the fierce determination. The grit. The fight. Because everything about what you have was a decision, and nothing about what you have was easy. You are the kind of woman who Makes.Things.Happen. After all, you made this happen, this family you have.
Maybe you prayed for it. Maybe you had to convince a partner it was the right thing. Maybe you did it alone. Maybe people told you to just be happy with what you had before. Maybe someone told you it simply wasn't in God's plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin's neighbor's friend. Maybe you ignored them.
Maybe you planned for it for years. Maybe an opportunity dropped into your lap. Maybe you depleted your life savings for it. Maybe it was not your first choice. But maybe it was.
Regardless, I know you. And I see how you hold on so tight. Sometimes too tight. Because that's what we do, isn't it?
I know about all those books you read back then. The ones everyone reads about sleep patterns and cloth versus disposable, yes -- but the extra ones, too. About dealing with attachment disorders, breast milk banks, babies born addicted to alcohol, cocaine, meth. About cognitive delays, language deficiencies. About counseling support services, tax and insurance issues, open adoption pros and cons, legal rights.
I know about the fingerprinting, the background checks, the credit reports, the interviews, the references. I know about the classes -- so many classes. I know the frustration of the never-ending paperwork. The hours of going over finances, of having garage sales and bake sales and whatever-it-takes sales to raise money to afford it all.
I know how you never lost sight of what you wanted.
I know about the match call, the soaring of everything inside you to cloud-height, even higher. And then the tucking of that away because, well, these things fall through, you know.
Maybe you told your mother, a few close friends. Maybe you shouted it to the world. Maybe you allowed yourself to decorate a baby's room, buy a car seat. Maybe you bought a soft blanket, just that one blanket, and held it to your cheek every night.
I know about your home visits. I know about your knuckles, cracked and bleeding from cleaning every square inch of your home the night before. I know about you burning the coffee cake and trying to fix your mascara before the social worker rang the doorbell.
And I know about the follow-up visits, when you hadn't slept in three weeks because the baby had colic. I know how you wanted so badly to show that you had it all together, even though you were back to working more-than-full-time, maybe without maternity leave, without the family and casseroles and welcome-home balloons and plants.
And I've seen you in foreign countries, strange lands, staying in dirty hotels, taking weeks away from work, struggling to understand what's being promised and what's not. Struggling to offer your love to a little one who is unsettled and afraid. Waiting, wishing, greeting, loving, flying, nesting, coming home.
I've seen you down the street at the hospital when a baby was born, trying to figure out where you belong in the scene that's emerging. I've seen your face as you hear a nurse whisper to the birthmother that she doesn't have to go through with this. I've seen you trying so hard to give this birthmother all of your respect and patience and compassion in those moments -- while you bite your lip and close your eyes, not knowing if she will change her mind, if this has all been a dream coming to an abrupt end in a sterile environment. Not knowing if this is your time. Not knowing so much.
I've seen you look down into a newborn infant's eyes, wondering if he's really yours, wondering if you can quiet your mind and good sense long enough to give yourself over completely.
And then, to have the child in your arms, at home, that first night. His little fingers curled around yours. His warm heart beating against yours.
I know that bliss. The perfect, guarded, hopeful bliss.
I also know about you on adoption day. The nerves that morning, the judge, the formality, the relief, the joy. The letting out of a breath maybe you didn't even know you were holding for months. Months.
I've seen you meet your child's birthparents and grandparents weeks or years down the road. I've seen you share your child with strangers who have his nose, his smile ... people who love him because he's one of them. I've seen you hold him in the evenings after those visits, when he's shaken and confused and really just wants a stuffed animal and to rest his head on your shoulder.
I've seen you worry when your child brings home a family tree project from school. Or a request to bring in photos of him and his dad, so that the class can compare traits that are passed down, like blue eyes or square chins. I know you worry, because you can protect your child from a lot of things -- but you can't protect him from being different in a world so intent on celebrating sameness.
I've seen you at the doctor's office, filling out medical histories, leaving blanks, question marks, hoping the little spaces don't turn into big problems later on.
I've seen you answer all of the tough questions, the questions that have to do with why, and love, and how much, and where, and who, and how come, mama? How come?
I've seen you wonder how you'll react the first time you hear the dreaded, "You're not my real mom." And I've seen you smile softly in the face of that question, remaining calm and loving, until you lock yourself in the bathroom and muffle your soft cries with the sound of the shower.
I've seen you cringe just a little when someone says your child is lucky to have you. Because you know with all your being that it is the other way around.
But most of all, I want you to know that I've seen you look into your child's eyes. And while you will never see a reflection of your own eyes there, you see something that's just as powerful: A reflection of your complete and unstoppable love for this person who grew in the midst of your tears and laughter -- and whose loss would be like the loss of yourself.

I wrote this piece after reading an essay by Lea Grover titled "Dear Less-Than-Perfect Mom." The post by Lea was wonderful, and it made me think about us moms who found our sweet babies through adoption, and how we face unique challenges. I hope you enjoy it, whether you are the parent of an adopted child or not.
This post originally appeared on

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Support Hose and Chainsaws

I'm going to really try to keep our blog updated more.  In the blogging world there have been two young mothers who have passed away in the last few weeks.  In all the conversations on social media the prevailing comments made have been...what a legacy those blogs will be for their kids.  I don't even pretend to think I'm in the same league as those bloggers, but there is some truth to that.  I also don't pretend that I write about the same things that they did, but what I do write is a remembrance for our own family.  I'm not a flowery person and I don't write with a lot of purpose - except to remember the funny day to day things that our family goes through.  I guess in itself that is the legacy I would want to leave.  I know my kids know that I love them, but I also want them to remember that mom had a good sense of humor and could laugh at most of the absurd things that happened around the house.  Do we have more weird things happen to us than others?  I doubt it, but trying to see the humor in what does happen is maybe a gift that I have?  Again, I'm not kidding myself.  Some things just aren't funny (like the time Jay told me I was getting grandma arms) and I don't laugh all of the time.  But eventually most things do become funny.  It also helps that Jay is a willing partner in all of it.  His dry sense of humor has always been a big part of helping me to springboard in to a funny story.  So here is just another day in the life.....

I have fought some varicose veins for the last 10 years.  My left leg looks terrible and the calf on my right leg swells all of the time.  Some days my legs ache so bad that when I get home the only thing I want to do is lay on the couch.  Since we've met our deductible this year I've decided 2015 is the year I get my veins fixed.  Not only are they somewhat of an eyesore and honestly a confidence buster - but they just plain hurt.  It's like being 38 with the legs of a 80 year old.  Last week I had my first appointment and the first order of business was purchasing support hose.  Mostly that was for insurance purposes, but I do intend to wear them.  Once we get into jean, leggings and boot weather I plan to wear them most days.  Sunday during church my calf swelled again and I was just uncomfortable.  I decided to try on the support stockings when we got home. 

These are actually thigh highs, which deciding between actual pantyhose and thigh highs was a conflict in its self.  I didn't want to pull a full pair of hose up every day, but I wasn't sure how thigh highs would look.  Since they are supposed to be tighter I was afraid it would push all my leg fat up and you'd be able to see a definite line where the hose ended and my fat started.  Much like an undie line only around my legs.  Also, imagine my surprise when I pulled the thigh highs out and discovered a lace band around the top.  I guess they were trying to "sex" them up?  I got them on without the struggle that I was warned about and then just put on running shorts.  So imagine running shorts, exposed skin, lace band and then hose....and I put on my house shoes so I wouldn't put a runner in the feet. 

I hold very fast to the rule that Sunday is the day of rest.  I like a good Sunday afternoon nap.  After lunch me and my thigh highs settled in for a nap.  Jay went out to do all of the things Jay likes to do on Sunday's.  I woke up to the tall ladder being on our deck and the sound of Jay on the roof.  I knew then Jay was trimming trees.  Of course all kinds of scenes from Christmas Vacation flashed through my head.  I should also mention that we have new neighbors....

I was transferring laundry when I heard the loudest crash from off the roof.  My heart stopped and I tore out the garage door fully expecting to see Jay's broken body on the ground.  Instead I saw the chainsaw but no Jay.  In fact I never laid eyes on Jay  during this exchange.

Me:  JAY are you ok?
J: Yeah
Me:  My gawd get down off the roof.  This is one of the dumbest things you've done.  It's ridiculous.  Call a tree trimmer tomorrow!
J: Ok (He'd never admit it but I think he realized standing on the roof with a chainsaw wasn't the best idea)

A few minutes later he still wasn't off the roof so this time I went out the back door.

Me:  Are you getting down now?  It's time to get down.  We can afford a tree trimmer but I can't afford for you to die or maybe worse yet become permanently incapacitated.
J:  All right, hold the ladder
Me:  Now that you are down do you realize what else this caused?  I'm outside in my support hose.  Do you realize that if the ambulance had came I would've forgot to take these things off and they would've seen me like this?  Also, the new neighbors probably saw me and heard me yelling.
J:  I was just trying to make sure the satellite had a clear signal......

Later I thought the only thing missing in that exchange was me holding a cigarette and can of beer and rollers in my hair.  My sister reminded me of a very similar exchange involving Grammy and Granddad, knee highs, a Mumu and the garage roof ( minus this beer and cigarette's of course).  Yup, I knew I has having a flashback Sunday afternoon! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

First Day of School

Today was a big day in our household.  Both Jay and Cade went to different schools this morning.  Jay officially started in Mt. Vernon on July 1st but this is his first day to have kids.  Cade is entering a whole new world today.  He will be in the 8th grade at the middle school.  I have been so nervous for him the last couple of days.  I've prayed and prayed and prayed some more for him today.  I know moving was what we were supposed to do, but my Momma heart is still thinking about him a lot right now.  I'm trying not to think about how his head was just a little above the fireplace door on his first day of Kindergarten....

We always try to do a mom and dad picture with the kids the same day.  Camryn can never cooperate when we take pictures.  Never!  I just hope by next year she matures enough that we can get a smiling Kindergarten picture and not an open mouthed scowl!
Look how tall Cade is.  I took him to the doctor on Monday and he had grown three inches since March.  He is 5'6".  He was wearing shoes in this picture but normally I'm just a hair taller than him.  Camryn's attitude didn't change any between pictures.

Since we moved into this house we have marked Cade's size on the door frame between the kitchen and family room.  We mark it on special occasions like the first day of school, birthdays and other times when we think he's grown a lot.  We went ahead and marked it last night so we wouldn't have to do it this morning.  I'll admit I got a little misty eyed looking at this wall last night.  If there was ever a reason I'd never want to leave this house - this wall would be it.  The bottom mark is 5/5/05 and the last one is 8/13/15.  Ten years of recorded heights right there.  That hit me a little hard last night.  That and the fact Jay was wearing a MV t-shirt....I think it was too much all at once! 
Then look who made yesterday's paper.  I think it's a good little bit of publicity before school started today.  Proud of everything that Jay has done....even though sometimes it does make me a little crazy!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The chickens that were dead but yet wouldn't die and other mishaps of the week...

Last weekend was Camryn's birthday party. Poor girl is so confused. She's asked me if it is June 3rd already and is she 3 or 4. It's very confusing having her party so early.  It's the price you pay when you are born the Friday of the Lawrence County Youth Fair and your dad is on the board.  I fully expect this to be one of those conversations she has with her spouse that her parents did it this way and she is NOT going to do it that way. Then she will have kids and other things and understand why it was that way. Hopefully... In the meantime though I have to record what happened the weekend of her party and the days that followed. We can't do anything without a story or sometimes multiple stories...

1.  After doing our wedding cake and 16 other birthday cakes for our kids what I've always dreaded happened. Janella couldn't do Camryn's cake.  If you know how much I dislike baking and my complete lack of icing skills and patience you would know what this meant. I scoured the Internet for advice, bought a tip and decided to make cupcakes. Then I had to scour the Internet again for a recipe. Since it was a lemonade party I found a Paula Dean recipe where she jazzes up a cake mix with powdered lemonade and vanilla. The icing was regular buttercream with frozen lemonade as the liquid. Last Saturday I started making the cupcakes. Batch #1 went fine. When I started in batch #2 everything was fine until after I added the vanilla. That's when I realized that I hadn't grabbed the vanilla but instead I had added Camryn's root beer flavored laxative. I'm not going to lie...I debated on what to do. I'm also going to be honest...if the laxative hadn't been root beer flavored I think I would've left it. I don't think 1tsp mixed in 48 cupcakes would've made a difference, but I wasn't sure about lemonade/root beer cupcakes. Family- that worry was the only thing that saved you. 

2.  Time passed so quickly Sunday. We didn't even have the kids and I still struggled getting everything done in time. Part of it though was an unexpected trip to town. I was making my 2nd batch of icing when my mixer froze. I was wearing yoga pants that I had cut off into shorts and I had bought these so long ago that they were before yoga pants were cool. Now they are sad, faded uneven shorts that you can tell what colors my house is painted by looking at them. I put a hat on my unwashed for the 2nd day hair and prayed I didn't see anyone I knew. Thankfully I didn't see anyone and bought my 3rd $10 mixer of our marriage  and headed home. 

3.  I had barely got the mixer plugged in when Jay came in and said he needed my help. He doesn't remember when exactly but he went to get last years chickens from the freezer to smoke at school. He opened the freezer and they had frozen together so he unplugged it to let them thaw...and he forgot about it. While cleaning the garage for the party he discovered our freezer was full of about 40 rotting chicken carcasses. He got a dolly and I had to help him take the freezer to our woods. Our yard was so wet that we left deep ruts moving it. Jay has been dealing with chickens and freezer fumigation all week. 

4.  In the midst of all that I happened to hear jay yelling for Charlie. We had numerous conversations about the last
Time we saw him, was he dead somewhere, etc. Just remember that.   

5. Party got started. Things were fine but it was a total whirlwind. Camryn gave  Justin the evil eye. My dad got locked in our bathroom because the door handle broke and barely got himself out. Lawson had too much lemonade. I realized I had not paid enough attention to some of the food details and wondered why in the heck I thought 1 can of pork and beans was enough. I love to throw parties but the whole meal thing is becoming more of a challenge for whatever reason. I remember my Mama fretting over big meals and I always wondered what in the world was the problem. Now I'm beginning to understand why she set the table a week early.  I'm telling you there is something that changes as you get older. I can't quite put my finger on it but I can tell there are subtle differences in my reasoning abilities.  Yes, it scares me but I'm blaming it on the cupcakes (at least I can for this year). That was a lot of extra work. 

6.  Even with my total lack of food planning the party was a success. Actually I wouldn't say it was lack of planning it's probably that I put more emphasis on the party experience than the food. I mean we put together a lemonade stand...But I wasn't the only one not thinking last weekend. When everyone was leaving I was walking them out and found that Charlie was back. I knew Jay would be so excited. I went back in the house to tell him. Remember our earlier conversation when Jay was clueless about Charlie's whereabouts?  Jay said "hey Cade do you remember where we put Charile when we worked with the pigs yesterday morning?"  Poor Charile had been locked in the trailer for almost 48 hours!  Even the earlier conversations hadn't triggered Jay's memory. In Jay's defense the only time Charile barked was when Jay had taken Camryn out to show her the playhouse at the end of the party. I think he was happy to be out of the rain. He didn't look any worse for the wear. I do wonder if he was thinking "idiot" when he could hear Jay calling for him earlier that day.  

We thought that Charlie getting locked in the trailer was the highlight of  the weekends events until Friday evening...

7. I had to run to Springfield after work. We had some torrential rains that night. I even ended up in a tornado shelter at the mall. At home Jay and the kids weren't in a warning but they got a lot of rain. So much rain that our yard flooded and created a little river. When I got home in spotted this...

See those white things?  Those are the dead chicken carcasses. The flood waters moved them from their dumping ground in our woods and brought them back to us for a 2nd look.  Guess what Jay is doing Saturday morning....

Hopefully no one looks at our neighbors house before he gets them picked up.  Hey, have I mentioned the house across from us is for sale?  Don't you want to be our neighbors??!

Monday, April 27, 2015


After we got home from church yesterday I told Jay there are times that I don't  leave there feeling like I was filled with the Holy Spirit as much as I felt like I had been hit by a truck. A Mack truck driven by a 3 year old with a 13 year old passenger  to be exact.

Yesterday was our Sunday to do donut/social time instead of Sunday School. Camryn and Cecelia normally get along well but not yesterday. Cecelia had a stuffed fox that terrified Camryn for some reason. Cecelia was upset that Camryn was scared of Foxie and Camryn whined and cried most of the time. When she wasn't crying she was stuffing the Juicy Fruit gum Jay bought her that morning, in her mouth. She somehow chewed the whole package by the time church started. 

We got upstairs for church to start and I smelled something. For some reason Cade had ate a Fiber One bar a/k/a Fart Bars at Memo and Papa Jim's. Lets just say it upset his stomach a bit. Then the two of them started squabbling. I made Jay change me places. I left to go to the bathroom. Apparently Cade blew a Bubble while I was gone and Camryn popped it. Then she grabbed the gum
from his mouth and shoved it in hers. 

The singing started and things were ok for a few moments. Then Camryn started scraping her feet down the back of the pew in front of her. Jay finally got that stopped but then he noticed she had gum in her hair. Luckily I got that pulled out pretty easy. I didn't have to involve
Scissors. Then she needed a drink. Finally it was time for Communion. 

There was commotion getting to communion. Jay and Cade weren't sure if they were supposed to help so they stood up but then they noticed there were enough guys so they sat down. But then one of the other guys sat back down so Cade hopped back up. It happened so quickly he didn't give me time to get my legs out of the way before he plowed out of the pew over me. My legs, maxi skirt and his legs got tangled up. He ended up tripping but caught himself before he went completely down. The prayer went ok but Cade was standing on the right. Normally the guy on the left goes out first to serve the piano player. Well Cade blew past the other two men to start it. Then before I knew it Cade was blowing up our aisle and passed a guy. I held my breath because that guy had just said during our prayer request time that he was having a knee replacement Tuesady. I was afraid Cade
was going to run in to him. I was still reeling from that, so I was off my game a bit, when Cade pushed the communion at me. I don't know what came over Camryn but she tried to grab a handful of the wafers. I was in a power struggle with a 3 year old over the communion. I was afraid it was going to end up like confetti. Then she did the same thing with the juice. She ended up grabbing an empty cup. As soon as she got it she yelled "I got the cup!".  I had to pry it out of her hands. Somehow I squeezed out of the aisle with Camryn and we went to the nursery. She got a spanking and there were tears. Lots and lots of tears. The thing about Camryn is that when she gets a spanking she cries. But the crying never seems to be about remorse for what she's done. It's more that she's mad she got caught.  I don't know if it did any good but she told me she would never do it again. We will see. 

After church was out Camryn tried to close a swinging door that people were exiting from. Jay got on to her and told her to stop. So she stood there with her hand on the door moving it back and forth slightly. That girl is a tester. I watched all of that and then turned to walk of the pew. An older lady caught me and asked if Camryn had been there today. I said I was surprised she hadn't heard her at the same time our preacher pointed to her,  not quite defying her dad with the door, and said "yeah,
she's right there."  Once Ethel spotted her Camryn did her cold shoulder head swing thing she does. Ethel laughed and asked me if that head move was genetic or a learned behavior. That made me laugh. Who would've guessed that I've had some of my better adoption conversations with a 90 some year old woman! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Major Changes

I come from a long line of people who don't make radical changes. I grew up with parents who drove the same vehicles forever, lived in the same house, worked the same jobs, etc. I've somewhat modeled that in my own life and have probably became somewhat terrified and resistant to change. Most of the time if I have to change it's because
It's been forced on how I work in Springfield now. Once I get in to the change I can see how it's better for me, but boy does it freak me out at first. 

Jay on the other hand is a little more open to change.  Starting July 1st Jay will be the new Ag Teacher for Mount Vernon. After 14 years in Miller he's decided a change would be good. I don't disagree but change is change and the unknown can be scary. It wasn't an easy decision because of the Whittaker's and changing schools with Cade. I always look at our coming to Miller as one of those things that at the time you don't understand but looking back you know that God's hand was in it along.

When we decided it was time to move closer to home Jay interviewed at three other schools besides Miller.  He didn't get offered a job at any of those places.  I was so disappointed because I had just started at FCS and I wanted to be closer to Springfield.  I was tired of driving from Lebanon.  He interviewed at Logan-Rogersville, Willard and Clever.  All three of those would have been perfect for where the FCS office was located at the time.  When he was offered the job in Miller I was not happy.  Lyle called for Jay one night and he wasn't home.  Lyle ended up talking to me about how great of a place Miller was and how he wanted to stay here for the rest of his life.  I thought we'd be there a couple of years.  Well God knew Miller was where we needed to be.  All within a weeks time Jay started at Miller, we closed on a house, I found out I was more than likely going to loose my job AND we found out I was pregnant with Cade.  As you all know I didn't loose my job.  I transferred to Carthage.  Out of all of the schools where Jay interviewed Miller was the only one where I could have done that.  I was exactly the same distance from the Springfield office as I was the Carthage office.  We were also closer to both of our families.  That meant when Cade was little my grandparents would drive over and keep him for the day when we needed a sitter.  It's also allowed Jim and Sharon to pick up the kids when necessary. 

God also put Jay with a great teaching partner.  Lyle and Jania have been so good to us over the years.  Jay and Lyle made a great team and had some really great success.  Miller was the first school in the state to have a state certified meats lab.  They've had so many contest success I can't even remember them all.  Thanks to both of them the Miller FFA's name is widely known across the state.  But change is necessary at times and so he's stepping out in to something new.  I think Jay needed something different to re-energize him to get him through the 2nd half of his career.  I know he's excited for it.

I'm still nervous but like a quote from a great book I love I'm never sure if it's a premonition or just anxiety :) We went to prom this weekend and I will miss things like that with the Whittaker's and the West's. I will also admit I got a little teary thinking about how the first time I was in that gym it was for Jay's first FFA banquet there...and Cade was just a baby. It was my last day of maternity leave. But then there are also some things I won't miss. And quite frankly some people I won't miss. I don't think we are on their Christmas card list either. 

So I'm going to trust that this is the move for us. We've prayed and prayed about it and felt like this is the right decision. And I know that it is. Just because change is good it doesn't mean that it's not sad at the same time. 

Watch out Area 11. The competition just got a little stronger!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life Lately

Charlie and Jay have finally found something they agree on.  They both hate the concrete deer.  In this picture Charlie is looking the baby deer right in the eye.  He barks at them constantly.  I think they look kind of cute where they are at but Jay moved them to the side of the house. The side that's not visible to the road. While Jay was at State Convention Jim found them and asked Cade if he wanted to play a joke on his dad. They moved them back. Monday I noticed the baby was missing. Jay said he's moving them back a little at a time. I should move the baby back. 

On Cade's 2nd day of turkey hunting ever he killed this Tom.  I think it weighed 23 pounds and had a 9 inch beard.  I love the smile on his face in this picture.  He was so proud.  Jay was also proud.  He only had to hunt twice this season. 

We got to see Hilly again this past weekend.  She has changed a lot since we last saw her at Christmas. Since I was in the middle of the Pink Eye epidemic I didn't get to hold the babies. Camryn seemed to warm up a little. I'm not too worried about it. Camryn is only 3 and barely out if the little kid stage where they don't play with other kids. It won't be long before she and Hilly are running around together.

We also got to see Jay's cousin Meagan, her husband Jay and their baby Raleigh. Poor Hilly was completely done by the time we got to these pictures. Camryn isn't a baby person but Cade sure seems to be. 

Monday was chick day for the Lawrence County Fair. 

Last Easter also showed up on my Timehop this week. I remember Cade doing some major changing at 4. His whole appearance changed. Looking at these pictures made me realize we've hit that with Camryn. She is quickly leaving the baby look behind. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Great Pink Eye Experiment

I work with several (older) men who like to claim “their kids were never sick”, “their kids never went to the doctor”, “I haven’t used a sick day ever in 40 years of working here”, “ I only took off the day my kids were born and then I was back to work the next day” , etc.  Ok looking at that list I realize anyone who wants to claim they were back to work the day after their wife gave birth is an idiot.  Why I took their advice I will never know.  Surprisingly all of these men are still married.  Either they really didn’t do all that they claimed or their wives are more tolerant than I am.  Jay at least stayed with me for a couple of days.  Then he was right back to contest season the Saturday after Cade was born.  BUT he does use sick days when the kids are sick so I’m not the one doing all of the work. 

So I had all of these past conversations  rolling around in my head when Camryn came down with Pink Eye last week.  I decided to wait it out.  I will admit it now.  Not my best parenting moment.  But some of my reasoning was that I had those stupid men’s voices rolling around in my head….I had already missed two days of work because Camryn was sick and Cade and I had to have fillings….Jay was gone….I didn’t want to do eye drops by myself….The list goes on and on.  Instead I cleaned the gunk from Camryn’s eyes and sent her off each morning.  One of our sitters girls also had it so everyone had already been exposed.  By Friday her eyes were looking better.  I patted myself on the back for not being a crazy, over cautious parent.  Camryn was doing just fine….
Then Saturday morning my eyes were matted shut.  By Sunday it had spread to both of my eyes.  They were red, swollen and oozing crud all through Sunday School.  Someone asked me afterwards if I was all right.  I know it looked like I was crying.  It was pretty much a horrifying experience.  Light hurt them, they were itchy.  And I made Camryn go a full week like that???  I planned to get myself to the doctor Monday.

Then Monday morning rolled around.  My eyes seemed better.  They weren’t matted shut.  I didn’t think they looked quite as red.  I thought I was getting over it and didn’t plan to call the doctor.  Then while I was in a staff meeting a co-worker asked me in front of everyone if I had Pink Eye.  Then another co-worker said she had wondered the same thing but that she was going to ask me in private.  Another one said he knew something was wrong but didn’t know if I had been crying so he decided not to say anything at all. 

After the meeting I consulted Web MD again.  I normally avoid Web MD because it freaks me out.  But I figured there was no way itchy eyes could result in something more serious leading to death so I took my chances.  I had looked it up last week and it talked about the two different types – viral and bacterial.  It said you could get over it without going to the doctor.  When I looked at it Monday morning a different article popped up and it said you should go so you don’t get permanent eye damage….wash your pillow case every day….don’t share towels, etc.  I realized I wasn’t dealing with just Pink Eye.  It was an epidemic.   I called the doctor.

I left the doctors office feeling like an idiot but with prescriptions for both me and Camryn.  Since she woke up with crusty eyes again the next morning  I’m glad I went.   I felt even more dumb when I paid for both prescriptions….$8.  I just  hope Jay doesn’t get it.  I will never hear the end of it if he catches it to. 

 Note to self…never trust the men in the office or Web MD to give out sound medical advice. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's In A Name

I decided to link up with another blog today about names- Andrea at Momfessionals.  Since I've been in such a blogging rut I thought some topic ideas would be fun.  Also, we aren't getting chickens for the county fair so that will cut my story opportunites way down this spring.  There was some sort of ordering snafu with the chicks this year thanks to the bird flu.  Jay gave Cade's to another kid so we are going to sit this one out.  My electric budget says THANK YOU! 
I don’t know if I’ve every talked about how we came up with our kids names on the blog.  Maybe they’d like to read this someday….or maybe not.  I’m sure reading their mother’s ramblings will be high on their priority list.  But at least it will be recorded somewhere they can read it if they want to. 

Cade Ewing Shepherd

My sister is actually the first person to mention the name Cade to us.  One Sunday afternoon in the fall of 2001, when I was barely pregnant, Charity was at our house.  We were reading baby name books and she mentioned Cade.  It was different and I kind of liked it.  Jay said no.  We talked about other names for the next few months.  By December I was already thinking of him as Cade.  I just knew that was what his name was supposed to be. I just had to convince Jay.   I had already picked out Ewing long before I was pregnant.  It is my mom’s maiden name and my grandpa was the last Ewing from his family.  Since he only had my mom there was no boy to carry on the Ewing name.  Since Cade was going to be the first boy born in the family I wanted him to carry on the name.  By January I had started dropping little hints here and there to Jay about naming him Cade Ewing.  One Saturday I spent the day with my parents and I tried the name out on them to get their feelings.  I didn’t commit to it, I threw it out there with some others.  The reviews were mixed.  I told Jay about it the next day.  The next thing I know he is one the phone with his parents telling him we were naming the baby Cade Ewing .  After he got off the phone I told him I hadn’t actually told my parents.  He just said “oh, I thought you had.  Oh Well.”  About 6 weeks later Cade Ewing Shepherd made his appearance.  I still love his name as much as I did then.

George Ewing holding his Great-Grandson Cade Ewing for the first time
Camryn Lee Shepherd

As everyone knows, everything with Camryn was different.  Instead of 9 months to plan for a name we had six years, but of course we never wanted to talk about names during that time.  It was too painful.  And even if we did talk names it was boy names.  Never, ever did I think we would have a girl.  It’s also different naming an adopted child.  Do you keep their original name?  Do you incorporate it?  We had always thought that we would take their birth name and somehow incorporate it into the name we would give them.    Once we knew we were chosen and the baby was supposed to be a girl then we talked about it a little bit.  Then contact with Camryn’s birthmom stopped and we were sure it was all over again.  We stopped talking names again and didn’t talk about them again until we were on our way to the hospital to meet our baby.  I didn’t even tell my family we were supposed to be meeting a baby girl on Friday, June 3, 2011 until that morning.  I asked Charity to send me a list of C names that she liked.  I had been thinking about names off and on for a few days but never spoke them out loud.  I had always liked Collins, from the Blindside.  For some reason Collins Elizabeth kept coming to mind but I never voiced it.  Jay likes to use at least one family name and Elizabeth wasn’t in either family.  I just dismissed it.  The other name I liked was Camryn.  We had decided years ago that we could use Lee as a middle name because that was Jay’s grandma’s maiden name.  Camryn Lee went well together.  When I got my sisters list of C names Camryn was on there.  I felt like that was the one since she had also helped me pick out Cade’s name.  When we laid our eyes on Camryn we knew she was our girl.   We waited to make a decision about her name until we knew if her birthparents had named her.  As far as anyone knew she was not named.  Even at the TPR hearing she was called Baby Girl.    Six months later, at her finalization, we found out that she had been named…and her middle name was Elizabeth.  I always think that God knew she was Camryn Lee.  If we had known her middle name was already Elizabeth she would’ve been named Collins Elizabeth.  She was clearly supposed to be Camryn Lee Shepherd.  The baby girl who healed my broken heart and completed our family. 

 Our first family of 4 picture

 And because I do like picking out names I have a couple on reserve.  Not that I have any plans to use them.  Not at all.  But it’s nice to have some backups in case they are needed.  I like to aggravate Jay at times and ask him what would we do if the agency called and said they had a full sibling of Camryn’s.  It’s been known to happen at our agency.  He just rolls his eyes and tells me to be quiet!   Maybe I can suggest my back up names to Camryn or my daughter-in-law someday.  I’m sure they would love that! J   

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Weekend

We had a fun Easter weekend. Easter had always been one of my favorite holidays. The days leading up to Christmas are so magical but Christmas Day is just the tiniest bit sad because it's over. The next thing you have to look forward to is January and February, tax time and contest season. Easter though is the start of spring and warmer weather and sandals and flip-flops AND it means State Convention is just around the corner.  Yes, I love Easter!

Saturday we headed to Sheldon for the day.  My mom has sold my grandparents house so we are in the process of sorting through stuff.   It's been long enough since my grandparents passed away that it doesn't seem to be traumatic.  It's for the best for mom to get the house sold.  What it's mostly taught me is that no one needs to keep every tax return they've ever sent to the IRS.  I think there will be a burning party at our own house shortly.

Even though we worked on the house we still had a little time for an egg hunt and decorating the traditional Easter cake.  It was good to see my mom and Steve.  My dad also made it down to see us for a bit so that was good to.  And even though Charity NEVER buys her kids candy, I think they had a fun day to.  It's fun to get some pokes in at my sisters expense from time to time :)

we left Camryn alone...with the cake and jelly beans...she dumped the whole bag on the cake

Sunday we had our traditional breakfast at church.  This year Cade went early with Jay and helped cook.  I think Cade fried the bacon and the pancakes.  He did a pretty good job.  I may be able to turn some cooking duties over to him shortly. With the boys being gone that meant it was me and Camryn on our own getting ready.  It was never more clear to me than yesterday morning that this girl is not a morning person.  At all.  She was so, so, so cranky...until she got some bacon.  In her world bacon fixes pretty much everything. 
This was her giving me the cold shoulder

One problem we had, which you can tell by most of the pictures, is she refused to wear her shoes.  I didn't care.  She's had some blisters on her heels and sides of her feet.  I'm learning that when you have a girl these season transition periods can be a little tricky in the shoe department.  Boots look silly but yet I don't want to invest a lot of time/money in shoes right now because they might not get her through all summer.  She's also in a weird foot size phase.  I need to take her with me to try them on or else I'd have to buy 3 different sizes of shoes to find the right one. But before you call child services the blisters aren't from me squeezing her feet it too small of shoes.  Her Keds got wet last weekend (being in the pig pen will do that) and then they rubbed her heels.  That made us switch to flip flops and those rubbed on the sides.  When I tried to slip her silver Cinderella flats on her feet Sunday she screamed bloody murder.  I said forget it.  So she went shoeless.  Life will go on...and now that I've said that she will come down with pneumonia this week. 

After church we went to Jim and Sharon's and looked at our Easter baskets.  This year I was not on my game with these baskets.  In fact Sunday morning I couldn't find a couple of shirts for Camryn's basket.  Actually I bought these shirts, and she even knew it, when we went to Branson.  Once we got home I decided to throw them in her basket.  Then I couldn't find them when I needed them.  Finally I found them.  It's a good thing because the only other thing I had for her basket was a new cup.  That would've looked a little pathetic....even by a 3 year olds standards.  Cade got shotgun shells and a turkey call.  We finally had to tell him to remove the call.  Talk about annoying!  Even though I was a bit of slacker this year the kids didn't seem to be traumatized by it.  In fact they looked extremely sweet and loving during basket time.  If I didn't already know it these pictures would make it very babies are certainly growing up!  

And then just because I'm married to a patient man....

I told mom we would take Mama's concrete deer.  It was a weak moment.  I asked Jay to get them Satruday.  He said "do you realize they are solid concrete?"  Once he got them loaded he came in to see about something to eat.  He said he worked up an appetite loading solid concrete deer.  We got home late enough Saturday night that he didn't get the truck unloaded.  It was the talk of the early morning breakfast yesterday.  One guy told Jay "you even got the baby deer."  The baby isn't visible without really peeking in the back of the truck.  Then the deer got hauled over the Jim and Sharon's yesterday.  Along with this hay hauler that's seen better days.  I'm sure we looked like a sight yesterday.  I'm curious to see 1.  if Jay got them unloaded today and 2.  where he may have put the deer little family... 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Another Princess Party

Since Mom Camryn had so much fun at the Rapunzel party we signed up for a Cinderella Party.  Of course Camryn had to have a new dress to wear.  I had originally bought a really cute outfit from Kohls.  There are a lot of Cinderella things out there now. Then Camryn and I were browsing the Wal Mart fabric department and decided to make her Cinderella dress instead.  I had done that before with a simple Peasant pattern.  There are people who sell them professionally so I have kind of taken their ideas and turned them into my own.  I made Camryn a Snow White one when she was 18 months old.  She still wears it and claims that it fits.  While we were picking out fabric Camryn also spotted some pink and green and yellow fabric.  She pointed to them and told me that I could make her an Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Tiana dress next.  She's a girl who knows what she wants! 
As you can probably see by the next picture this party did not go as well as the Rapunzel party.  It started Friday night.  She said she was cold and wanted a blanket.  She never moved from that spot and quickly fell asleep.  Saturday morning she said her throat hurt.  I gave her Tylenol and she perked up, but it wore off about party time and I had forgotten to pack it.  Before the party we went to Kohls to look at a new shirt for Jay.  While we were there I changed her into the Cinderella dress and slippers.  She screamed bloody murder over the shoes.  I ended up having to buy socks while were in Kohls AND open the package prior to checkout just to get her to put the shoes back on.  Apparently something was rubbing on the tops of her feet.  Once we got to the party she decided her toes hurt so she took them off.  I didn't care by that point. 

The building these parties are in is really small. There are 20 girls and then enough adult chairs for 1 parent per kid. It felt like ever kid there had at least 3 people with them. The place was packed. Camryn doesn't handle big crowds very well and she wasn't feeling 100%. That meant she wasn't interested in participating much. I mostly stood to the side and held her along with my purse and a pair of shoes. I was ready for Cinderella to Wish Upon a Star so I could get the heck out of there.  I asked Camryn why she didn't like it as much and she said it was because there were too many people there.  I felt the same way.  I had a hard time getting pictures because there were so many people in my way.  But at least she didn't hog the crayons this time.   

After the party I ran a couple of errands.  She normally is a really good shopper, but she was a crank pot that day.  I was looking for a sweater to go with her Easter dress.  One about the color of the flower in her hair in these pics.  She said "It's too bright, I don't like it."  I told her it wasn't too bright.  She said "Well it's too big."  I said it was her size.  Then she said "it's too small and it's too bright."  I asked what color she'd like to have then.  She said black.  We left the store without a sweater. 
After my errands I took her to the play area at the mall.  She lasted about 10 minutes.  She got trapped on a toy by a baby.  I kept my eye on her to make sure she didn't do anything mean.  She handled it really well but I knew she didn't like it.  When the baby moved along Camryn moved to a different toy.  Then a little girl about 18-24 months started hugging her.  I let that go on for a while to see what would happen.  Camryn stood stiff as a board.  When a 3rd kid, a boy, joined the hugging party I knew it was time to rescue her.  When I picked her up I asked her if she was ready to leave and she said yes.  I decided to by her popcorn to make up for the traumatic play ground incident.  Babies and hugging - two of her least favorite things.   
She fell asleep on the way home, around 5, and slept all night.  I was holding my breath on Sunday morning.  She woke up in a great mood and never got sick.  She must have just been really tired.  Whew!!!
And if Camryn wasn't cranky this weekend it was because she was "texting" people.  If you get a weird text from me don't be alarmed.  It's more than likely Camryn. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Teenagers, Preschoolers and Puking Pigs...Oh My!!!

This week is district contest.  I really thought this year wouldn’t be as bad as the past years.  By looking at the calendar it seemed to be a shorter season.  And I was wrong.  Every year I tell myself it’s going to be ok.  Then about our birthday weeks I hit the wall.  I am so ready for Jay to be home tomorrow morning.  Trying to get them both around and out the door is a challenge.  I’m trying to decide what is more tiring – a small child you have to physically wrangle or a teenager who’s like a mental minefield.  Both leave me feeling like I’ve ran a marathon by the time I’m backing out of the driveway.  Then I drive 10 minutes to Stacy’s house.  Then another 10 to Miller.  Then another 25 to work.  Yeah, I’ve been late several days the last few weeks.  Anyway – after today we will be over the hump.  Thank goodness!!!

Jay didn’t get home until 6:30-7:00 last night.  As soon as he walked in the door he told me he needed to go back to the school because he forgot something.  We worked it out so that he would take Camryn with him so I could go for a walk.  Camryn is a good shopper, but she’s not a good walking partner.  About 3-4 minutes into the walk she’s done.  Jay left with her and Cade went out to start chores.  I finished cleaning up the kitchen and then headed out for my walk.  I wasn’t even out of the driveway when Cade came running up screaming “Dad, Dad” in his panic voice.  I told him Dad was gone.  He said “one of the pigs is throwing up come look come look.”  I told him I wasn’t going to be any help but I went anyway. 

We got out to the pig house and I could tell one was eating happily and two looked suspicious.  I figured one had thrown up and the other had ate it.  Sure enough the pig started throwing up again and his buddy cleaned up behind him.  They were on some different feed because the feed store was out yesterday.  They went from pellets to ground corn.  The corn looks pretty dry and choking to me.  I wondered if something with the new texture had bothered him.  I told Cade to give him some water and see what happened.  Then I finally did a head count and noticed there were only 3.  I asked Cade where the other three were at.  He said they were still in the farrowing barn.  They moved these  three to the hog house because they are for sale.  He said “My Dad said they looked bigger in here so we are keeping them here.”  I could hear that whole conversation between the two of them exactly in my head.   I decided it was time to leave Cade with his vomiting pig so I could go on my walk.

As soon as I left the house I called Jay to tell him about the pig.  He asked me what the vomit looked like.  I said “well it looks like corn and water.”  He decided it as probably the feed.  He was going to look at it when he got home.  When I got back from my walk I checked on them and they seemed to be doing fine.

Later that night, after the kids were in bed and I had a moment to think, I realized I had inspected a pigs vomit.  Then I described it to Jay over the phone.  Again….when did I loose control of my life???  Jay said it was just turning me more and more into a farm wife.  And think about all the legitimacy it was giving me with our customers.  Yeah, I’m probably not going to talk about puking pigs with my customers.  And I’m also thinking there is a difference between a farm wife and a showing wife.  I can’t quite put my finger on the difference except for the crazy, maniacal look that the show dad gets in eyes this time of year….     

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The rest of our birthday week

Well the rest of our birthday week ended up like most of our birthday weeks.  Somebody was sick!!!!  Camryn woke up at 3 AM Sunday morning, after Cade's party, with the stomach flu.  She had been really congested so I hoped it was either snot or all the Reeses PB Bunnies she had ate the night before.  No such luck.  That baby girl was sick!!! 
She woke me up screaming because she had puked in bed.  I didn't realize what was going on until I picked her up and then I knew.  She was screaming, I was trying to get her cleaned up, I needed to change, her bed needed changed, etc.  Finally I went in our room and asked Jay is he was still alive because I had no idea how he could've slept through all of her screaming.   You can write this on your calenders....March 2030 I will be taking a vacation.  Jay can come if he wants to, but that will be the first March that he will be retired and both kids will be out of HS.  I will be on a beach somewhere.   
I left work early on Tuesday because I was getting sick.  For awhile I was scared it was the flu but I think 5% of it was catching a cold and 90% was exhaustion from the day Camryn was sick.  And again, typical March, I got to be sick for about 2 hours.  Then I had to do mom/kid/FFA wife things which resulted in me vowing to leave Jay home alone for a week with the kids the next time he feels sick.  I wouldn't ever do it, but in the middle of March there are a lot of things I dream about like that....Just being honest here.
Thursday Sharon invited us over to celebrate my birthday, even though it was Cade's birthday.  Sharon has always tried to do something special for my day and I appreciate it.  Since mom was here on Spring Break she also got to go with us.  It was a fun night.  Another thing I've tried to talk myself into is taking more pictures.  I really hate to take pictures of myself.  Like really hate it.  Like I put a lot of thought in to how I can position the kids to cover myself up and things.  So I'm trying to work on it.  Even though I knew I didn't look the best that night I had Jay take our picture.  I've tried to not critique it too much.  Small steps, small steps.....

Last Saturday the kids and I met Mom, Charity, Avery and Lawson in Branson for the day.  We did a little shopping and then played Mini Golf.  Just FYI Shoot for the Stars is way over priced!!!!  It was a pretty crazy, wild time.  There were golf balls, clubs and kids everywhere.  Thank goodness we didn't have people right in front or behind us.  The kids kind of ended of running everywhere.  I felt like I yelled a lot...Camryn it's your turn, put your ball down, no put your ball down there, Lawson don't touch your ball, get off the green, get out of the way, etc.  Yeah, just our normal chaos. 

The next day we found out that I had the steel belt coming through on one of my tires.  I was so thankful that we made it to Branson and back in one piece.  I thought my van had been a little rough riding for a few days.  I got just what I wanted for my birthday- new tires!!!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How Did This Happen????

Cade is 13.  I started this blog the summer after he turned 5!!!  Here is a little throwback to the first birthday party I blogged about.  Cade's 6th Birthday Party

But look at these baby faces from that night.....

Such sweet babies.  Looking at those pictures you can tell we've lost a few faces but we've also gained a few to.  Life keeps going on....
Cade didn't want a big to do for his 13th party.  So that meant no theme, no decorations, nothing.  So I went along with it but then he said I could add a duck to the cake.  And like normal Janella did a great job with it.  But I didn't even buy matching paper products.  We used our regular Fiesta dishes....but hey anytime you use Fiesta dishes it's already like a party!!!
I make a big deal out of my kids parties because 1.  I like a party and 2.  I'm just so thanful for each birthday we celebrate with them.  There was some rough stuff going on around us the first part of March.  Not us personally but people that we know going through their own tragedies and anniversarys of other things.  It definitely reminded me to thank God all over again for these years He's given us with these kids.  And also all of the family members we get to celebrate these days with.  I hope my kids remember me trying to make their day's special (and not the lunatic I am most of the time, but that's another post).  I'm so thankful for these people.  And look at that sassy look Camryn has.  Who was turning 13????
Memo and Papa Jim
Papa Kerry.  Lynn was on call. 
Nana....all the way from Fayetteville!
Grandma Robyn.  Steve was at home painting while mom was here on Spring Break.
Charity and her family.  Uncle Justin was in the field.  It's that time of year!

Looking at these pictures I'm not sure Camryn is as over her shyness as I thought.  She was pretty attached to her sippy cup that night.  She also woke up with the stomach flu at 3 am the next morning.  So it's anyones guess what was maybe going on with her in all of these pictures.

I'm really not sure who enjoyed the presents more.  They both had a good time that night.
One of the things Cade wanted was a Memory Foam pillow.  I'm not sure that's on a lot of 13 year olds lists, but that was what Cade wanted. So that was what he got.  And all of the littles fought over it.  Lawson is also on it.  He's smooshed between Avery and Camryn.  You can barely see the corner of his head by Avery's.  Camryn is about to knee him in the face.  Of course all of the adults were just sitting around watching it. 
And this is probably my dad's first selfie and it might be my first one I've ever made public of myself???
It was a great night!
Happy Birthday Cade!!!