Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Two mouths

Some people would be surprised to hear that Callie talks a lot.  I mean it, a lot.  She can be quiet and shy around people she doesn’t know well, but at home, it’s another story.  Kellen asked me a couple of weeks ago if we could put a time limit on how much Callie could talk in a day!  I don’t think she plans to slow down any time soon.  She asked me the other day why we didn’t have two mouths.  I told her I didn’t really know but that I thought God knew what he as doing when he designed us and gave us one mouth.  I asked her if she thought two mouths would be a good idea.  She said “well yes, then I could talk out of both of them”.  So, apparently her one, lonely mouth is not doing enough for her.  She needs two!  We decided she probably needed one to tell people what to do and one to tell all of her stories with! 


She is a hoot!  Here she has set up a drum set with chairs.  I think the rocker headband adds a nice touch!

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Don’t Know

I don’t know why things happen the way they do.  It seems our family is having a hard time catching a break.  I really don’t want this to sound like a poor me post.  But life is happening whether I like it or not, so I want to write about it.

January 31, 2012 my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He had been feeling bad for a few weeks and had had several tests done.  The symptoms were all too familiar since my Grandpa McDonald (his dad) died from this same disease in 2007.  Just five years ago.  I just tried to push that out of my head since the doctors weren’t really going “there”, I wasn’t going to either.  But, that is what it is.  As you can imagine, it has been a whirlwind ever since.  Lots of hurry up and then lots of waiting.  It can be so frustrating.  My mom keeps reminding everyone that he is not the only one.  There are lots and lots of people dealing with this and worse.  But, it’s hard to not get frustrated that things don’t move quicker.  That people can’t give you more answers.

I feel lucky that he is being offered treatment.  My grandpa wasn’t.  Even in just the last five years treatments have changed so much.  He is supposed to have four chemo treatments then another scan to see if they can operate on the tumor.  If not, who knows? They have mentioned more chemo, but I really don’t think they know until they do another scan.  He has had three treatments so far.  One was a week late because his kidneys weren’t handling the drugs well.  These are like five or six hour treatments every two weeks at the OU Cancer Center and then he comes home with a pump for two days.  So, it takes it’s toll.  I am so thankful that he is trying the treatment.  I have several friends who have loved ones that refused treatment.  I know I am not in their shoes, but that is heartbreaking.  I am glad that dad is working with his doctors to come up with the best plan they have.

Most days I still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.  Anyone that has gone through this knows what I mean.  Every day my emotions are from one end to the other.  I can only imagine how he and my mom feel. 

What I don’t know is what is going to happen.  I don’t like the unknown.  I don’t like not being in control.  I don’t like being just far enough away that I can’t be there enough. 

What I know is that this is not about me.  All I can do is press on.  Keep praying.  Trust that God is good.  He knows us and knows how things are going to work out for good.  I have faith that His good is good. 

Prayers for healing would be very appreciated! 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Change of Plans

It shouldn’t surprise you that I’m changing my mind!  While I hate skipping a years worth of “stuff”, I also hate not blogging about “stuff” right now.  It’s hard to remember the feelings and funny things a year later!  So, I think I am going to pick up life right here.  I will do some random flashback posts about 2011 for my peace of mind.  Can you see why I can’t scrapbook?  I can’t stand to be out of order or behind.  My life is like that, so why would I would want a scrapbook like that?!    This blog really is for me to have a keepsake of our ramblings, so right now this just makes more sense. 

So, where to go from here?  Yesterday was the last day for the three youngest at their homeschool group.  We started in August with Classical Conversations.  I had looked into it a year ago and they were full.  God must have planned this for us because when everything died down after my Grandma died, I called the director.  She had just had a family move so she had openings for all of my kids for 2011-2012.  Woohoo!  It has been a blessing, and maybe a little bit of a curse!  The first few months were a challenge to keep with it all.  As the name suggests, it is a Classical model program, which is my favorite way to school.  The challenge was that this was the first time we had assignments due every week that were graded by someone other than mama.  Can you say challenge?!  Not that we haven’t worked all these years, but mama is not as strict as this.  Plus we had to be out the door at 8:00 every Monday morning, dressed, lunches, work done.  I know most of you are laughing right now, but this is not something we normally do.  By choice mind you, and I like it that way.  But, I knew, at least for Kellen, we needed to step it up a notch.  I will write more about Kellen’s class later, he is not done yet.  The other three have gone to class from 9:00 to 12:00 to classes that mama doesn’t have to teach (yay!), then Garrett has gone to an afternoon writing class from 1:00 to 3:00.  They go to their classes, learn, get their assignments and then we come home and do the work the work the rest of the week.  This is the quick version!  Since yesterday was the last day, I’m not in the mood to go into details! 


blog first day cc IMG_0282

Here they are on the first day last August.  Look, backpacks and everything!  Kellen, 8th grade.  Garrett, 6th grade.  Gannon, 2nd grade.  Callie, preschool. :)

CC Foundations Essentials last day 2012_0001

Callie yesterday at the end of the year carnival.  Yes, she has managed to position herself next to the cupcake/brownie table!  She has had a great year with the sweetest teacher.  She was the youngest in the class.  She had the option of going in a nursery class every Monday morning, but I knew that wouldn’t fly, so I put her in an “official” class.  She really needed to be in a class where she had to sit down and do something.  Not random playing kitchen every Monday for four hours!  Except that she probably would have had all those little ones whipped into shape by now!  I am amazed at what she has learned.  Just ask her about the Declaration of Independence, or any fact from American History.  She knows more than I do!  (Really!)

CC Foundations Essentials last day 2012_0002

Gannon playing some kind of game.  I actually wasn’t there, yesterday was my lucky day to have nursery duty.  (Yes, I am being sarcastic!)  (I love the little guys, I’m friends with their moms, but…I’m sort of out of the little people stage!)  Gannon has had a great year.  I wasn’t sure how he would do.  He is the shyest of my four kids and would be fine staying home every day for the rest of his life!  But, God was looking out for him and he ended up having one of my best friends from church as a teacher.  Not only is she a great teacher, she knows him.  He is so smart, really.  He didn’t have a problem with the work at all.  He didn’t love giving a presentation every Monday, but he got used to it and did a good job.  See his cute little toothless mouth above?  He still has the prettiest smile, even without teeth!

CC Foundations Essentials last day 2012

Here is Garrett with some of his classmates.  Some kind of stretch the gummy worm game!  Garrett, Garrett.  He has also had a good year.  He is not my most studious.  I can write this because he would say the same thing.  He did well, he really did.  He surprised me sometimes because you really think he isn’t paying attention, but he is and he gets it.  But, he is everyone’s friend, and that makes me happy.  Maybe a little bit of class clown :/.  His teacher loved him and he enjoyed her, so it was a good fit.  He, of course, loved recess the most.  They played football every week.  We were blessed with excellent weather almost every Monday this year so they didn’t have to be inside.  He met some great boys to be friends with.  I am most thankful for that!

Anyway, this is dragging on.  I should probably devote several posts to Classical Conversations and our school year.  In summary, we had a great school year.  It’s almost over, we have some things to finish at home and Kellen to get finished, but it’s been good.  We’ve gotten more done this year than in many years.  I think not moving or having a baby makes it a little easier to stay on task!  Who’s ready for summer?  I know I am!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eleven Things I Love About Garrett

Garrett’s eleventh birthday was April 7, 2011.  He decided he wanted to have a friend spend the night and go to Silver Dollar City.  We had a great time!  His friend Christian he has been his buddy since we lived here the second time.  It was nice to carve out some time for them to be together!  We also took the day off of school and let him be “in charge” for the day.  He had money burning a hole in his pocket and has known what he wanted to buy for months, so it didn’t take us long to spend it!  He chose to eat at El Puente for his special dinner and then have a chocolate cake for dessert.  Overall he had a great time celebrating turning eleven!


Here are eleven things that I love about Garrett, for his eleventh birthday:

1.  You are funny.  Really, so funny.  It is so fun to be around you!


2.  You are loyal.  You are loyal to your family, your friends, your teams. Once you makes a decision about something or someone, you stick with it!


3.  You are a hard worker.  A HARD WORKER!  Any time we have had a project to do, you are my man.  Any time we have chores, etc., you are the first one done.  I know you will be a great husband and father some day because you will get the job done to take care of them.


4.  You are athletic and a good sport when you are participating in sports.  You are one of those kids that can pick up a new sport with the snap of a finger.  It is so fun to watch you!  (Yes, he is behind in this race, but he had to run with junior high boys since not many grade school boys run hurdlesSmile)blogtrackb5

5.  You are fun to be around!  I especially love the way you and Callie play.  I notice she always comes to you when she is ready to be silly!IMG_0717

6.  You are one handsome guy!


7.  You love God.  I appreciate that you love going to church and participating in worship.  That really makes my heart happy!

8.  You are a great cook!  You always love to help me in the kitchen, or even better make things by yourself!  It’s nice to know you won’t starve when you are on your own!


9.  You love your family.


10.  You are a gentleman.

11.  You are flexible.  In our crazy family and life, you just take what comes.  It takes a lot to get you riled up.  You like to say “just go with the flow!”   Thank goodness!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hello, again.

Well, I took a little break.  I didn’t really plan to, but I did.  Life got very busy, very stressful, very eventful.  I could go on and on.  Blogging just seemed to not be a a very useful way to spend my time.  It seemed like I was having a hard time saying what I wanted to say.  So, I just stopped.  But, I have missed it.  As I have said before, I don’t scrapbook.  I really don’t journal much.  I don’t do a very good job of really keeping memories of my kids lives except some pictures.  Blogging has been a great way for me to chronicle some of our life.  I print them out so my kids can look back someday, if they want to.  I know they might not care, but you never know!

So, bear with me as I try to catch up a little.  I had several saved posts that I still want to use.  I plan to put together some random posts so I can get in here what we’ve been up to since April, 2011.  Then, maybe I will be able to keep up.  No promises.  I can’t really keep up with anything else!  Ha!

If you are one of my five readers, thanks for sticking with me!  Again, I just do this for fun for us. For our families to see what we are up to since it is hard to communicate with everyone.  I may get the nerve up to give my two-cents about some random subjects.  In the past I kind of kept my opinions to myself so I didn’t offend anyone.  But, maybe, just maybe, I will throw some stuff out there.  Just in case, I never mean to offend anyone!!  I just have opinions and feelings and would like some of that to be out there for my kids, just in case they care some day! :)  I don’t expect people to agree, that isn’t my intention, so don’t worry if you don’t agree and think I am a nut!  I have a feeling a lot of people think I am nuts!  Luckily, I guess because of age, I think I can finally say I don’t really care what people think!  (Ok, maybe just a little.  But, I am getting better!)


Just because it’s weird to have a post with no pictures, and since you will RARELY see a picture me on here (for obvious reasons!), here I am, goofy picture and all.  :)  Excuse the massive forehead, since this picture I have bangs.  I think they look better, but what do I know!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Well, I’m coming out of hibernation to write a post about my cousin Lori.  One of the blogs I follow, Kelly's Korner is having a singles link up this weekend.  How fun is this?!  Kelly has done this several times with great success, so I figured, why not?  Lori is one of my favorite people and would be a great catch for some lucky guy!

Lori is my cousin that is 27 and lives in Dallas.  I would love for her to find that special person that has been waiting just for her.  Lori is such in inspiration!  She has some hard knocks in recent years, but she has come out shining.  She loves to work out, especially running.  She is training for her first half marathon, The Cowtown Half in Ft. Worth. I know she will do great!


Lori is pursuing her degree in nursing and is passionate about health and fitness.  She enjoys cooking, especially finding yummy ways to lighten up her favorite recipes.  Lori’s family means the world to her and she is a great friend.


Lori doesn’t mind being at home studying and hanging out, but she loves to get out and dance and have a good time.  Just a fun  person to be around, no matter the location! 

If you are interested in getting to Lori, just leave me a comment and I’ll be sure she gets it!
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not Fair!


Kellen, March 30 ,2011, 2:00 pm



Kellen, March 30 ,2011, 4:00 pm

If my title sounds a bit whiney, it is!  As you can see, Kellen passed a big milestone and got his braces off! So excited for him!  Apparently the orthodontist has a deal with the dentist, they gave him a big box of candy and popcorn!  The reason this is not fair is that I got Invisalign about the same time he got the old-fashioned silver braces since the brochure promised straight teeth in seven months.  Ha!  Guess who graduated from Invisalign to regular braces after 18 months, and still has them on?  Me!  The orthodontist told me when he put the silver braces on my bottom teeth that “it kind of defeats the purpose of having the Invisalign”.  Really Dr. Obvious.  I really like our orthodontist, but I could have done without that comment!

Ok, enough about me.  Kellen’s teeth look great.  He did a great job of taking care of them and has been diligent with his preliminary retainer.  He has always had a great smile, this just adds to his great looks!  Good job Kellen!  (and Dr. Scott!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Well, March was one of those months.  So extremely sad, but so happy at the same time.  March 21, 2011 my Grandma died.  I think I’ve mentioned here at least once, if not ten times that she is my favorite person, ever.  It’s hard to even know what to write.  I would love to go on and on and start from my first memories of her to my last, but I know that is probably not a realistic thing to do!  I will try to keep it brief, I just know that whatever I write, it will not do her justice.

I am continually amazed at God’s timing in all things.  He put in my hands the book One Thousand Gifts and I had just finished it a few weeks before everything with my Grandma started going south.  I am forever grateful because I really think it gave me a much better perspective on the end of her life.

I am so truly thankful for her life and the fact that she was my Grandma.  While I am so sad that she is not here, I am so thankful that she lived 92 years and was amazingly healthy during most of that time.

I am so thankful that we moved closer to home.  Grandma had pneumonia in November and just never could get back to 100%.  While she was fine at home and was able to take pretty good care of herself, her body was just done.  Since we were closer I was able to visit her, she was able to visit me, I was able to spend her last Christmas with her, able to see her in the hospital and sit by her bed.  I was able to take my kids and brighten her day.  I am so thankful.

I am so thankful for Todd.  I am thankful for the life he provides for us.  He works a lot.  Too much I think, but that is the job he has and he is committed and good at it.  When we knew we were close to the end of our time with Grandma, I had planned to leave without my kids as soon as he got home and stay his day off and come back home.  He called and said he was coming home early.  When he got here he said he had taken off Monday too so take the time I needed.  I still can’t believe it when I think about Todd’s sacrifice (Mondays are not good days to be off!) and the way God timed this out.  I left with no food in the house, no plans for the kids, and Todd just dealt with it.  Not that he can’t, but this is usually my “job”.  I was able to go three times in March, once without my kids.  I am so grateful to Todd for the time, the car, the gas, all the things he provides to make these things happen. 

I got to the hospital on Saturday afternoon.  Went to my parents house that night to sleep and ended up going back at 2 am because they called and said to come.  Well, she was fighter, so this was not her time.  But, we had a fabulous day on Sunday.  Most of my cousins were there, my brothers, my sister-in-law, aunt, and uncles.  Other friends and relatives came in and out throughout the day.  Grandma didn’t know, or at least we don’t think she did.  But, we had the best day.  We sat around and told funny stories, happy memories, laughed, cried.  It was perfect.  I am so thankful for my family.  I am so thankful because our family wouldn’t be what it is without my Grandma’s influence.  All of her grandkids think we were her favorite!  She had a special gift of making everyone she met feel special, but especially us.  She was so funny, so fun, and so interested in us.

That night I finally tore myself away and went to my parents house.  Just my mom and my aunt were there when she passed in the middle of the night.  I knew this was how it would happen.  Grandma didn’t like a fuss over her.  She liked seeing all of us and having everyone around, but she liked to just be with us, it was not ever about her.  I knew when it was quiet and dark, she would be done, and she was.  I am so thankful I was at my parents.  When my mom got home, we went to Grandma’s house and started getting things in order and just sat there, soaking up as much of her as we could.  Then I came home to Missouri to get my family and go back for the funeral.

The funeral was perfect.  The weather was perfect.  Beautiful sunny skies with spring in the air.  The flowers were perfect.  They looked like something she would have picked out of her yard.  There were so many beautiful flowers you could smell them when you walked into the funeral home.  Two preachers from her church conducted the service and did such a good job.  There was congregational singing that she would have loved.  One of my favorite memories is sitting with her at church and hearing her sing.  She loved to sing and loved good singing.  There were so many people there.  Even though she wouldn’t have loved the fuss, I know she would have been pleased to know that so many people cared for her and her family.  I am so thankful for everyone that cared for us that day!

So now, life goes on.  Grandma was very practical and matter-of-fact.  Such a strong person. She would just get up the next day and do what needed to be done.  I wish I was more like that!  Of course I am a crier and cried so much that week that I couldn’t even wear contacts half the time!  Of course with four kids, my life goes on whether I want it to or not!  My mom and her sister and brother have the task of taking care of all of her “business”.  Luckily since she was practical, so everything is in order and taken care of the best it can be.

Everyone seems fine.  How could you not be?  It is hard not to smile through the tears just knowing Grandma.  I know it might not be easy to feel this way if she had not had a fair shot at  life.  If this was someone young, I might not feel this way.  I don’t think I will ever stop missing her, but she lived 92 years and made the most of it.  She took care of herself and was able to be independent up until the end.

I am so thankful.  So thankful for her life, for her example.  I am so thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.  In my eyes she was perfect, but I know she is human.  But with God’s grace, I know she is spending eternity with God.   Thankfully she doesn’t need much of His mercy and grace because I will need  a lot to get there with her someday!

So, thank you God for Grandma.  Thank you Grandma for the life you led and loving your family.  You made all of us better people.

blog grandma

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Boys

March 8 is Kellen and Todd’s birthday.  Seems like it comes faster and faster every year!  As usual, we took the day off school and let the birthday boy pick what he wanted to do.  This proved to be a little challenging for a fourteen year old!  Gone are the days of Incredible Pizza, or running around the park, etc.  We decided we would go clothes shopping.  It went better than I expected since we don’t see eye to eye on  clothes choices these days!  Unfortunately Sam’s doesn’t have the same birthday policy as our school so daddy had to work.  But, we met up with him after work and went to eat at Outback.  They both love eat there.


The birthday boys with Callie.  No, it was not her birthday, but she doesn’t care!  We are really trying to convince her she is not the center of the universe, but it is not working so well!


Goofy guys!


Sharing a birthday cake!  Usually they each have their own special dessert, but this turned out to be the best this year. 


Kellen, Garrett, and Daddy at Outback.


Garrett and Callie

We had a fun day!  Kellen had his friend Hunter spend the night a few days later for his “party”.  I didn’t think to take any pictures.  You can just imagine it though, two teenage boys on blow up mattresses playing video games all night.  I think a mental picture is enough! 

Happy Birthday Guys!

Monday, April 11, 2011

14 Things I Love About Kellen

Kellen turned fourteen March 8.  Fourteen.  I really don’t know how this happened!  Thirteen was bad enough, but fourteen, that is two years from driving!    I decided to make a list of 14 things about Kellen, instead of rambling on and embarrassing him.  Although the list will probably take of that anyway!
1.  You are smart.  So smart!
2.  You love to laugh and even laugh at yourself!
3.  You love your family.
4.  You love your extended family.
5.  You are a leader.
6.  You are so helpful.
7.  You are good-looking.
8.  You are creative.  Kellen made this Halloween costume (except the vest), by himself.  He had the ideas for it for months, and made sure it happened!kblog6
9.  You are the best big brother.  You always looks out for your brothers and sister.
10.  You go with the flow.  You have always just gone along for the ride with me, even when it is was crazy things like driving all over the Missouri University campus, twice, looking for this Beetle Bailey statue.  You are always up for an adventure!
11.  You are a good friend.
12.  You are a good finder.  You always find the keys, or the shoe, or whatever is lost!
13.  You are a gentleman.  I know, this is probably not cool!  But you are.  A very cool gentleman.
14.  Most importantly, you love God.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kansas City Field Trip

A couple of weeks ago we decided to take a spur of the moment field trip.  Todd was in Dallas for a meeting and we had had a long week, so Mama was feeling the need to get out of town, so we did!  Kansas city is about three hours from our home so we hit the road.
Our first stop was the World War 1 museum.  This is a great museum, very nicely done.  It is large, but not too large.  (Yes, I am a homeschool mom that does not love museums, unless they are art.  But, we go because I think they are important.)  The best thing about this trip was that some of our friends just happened to be going to KC the same days we were, so they met us there.  It is always more fun with friends!
Garrett and his friend Christian.  We met Christian the second time we lived in Springfield.  When we moved back they picked up their friendship right where they left off!
Callie designing her own war propaganda poster.  Ha!
Kellen reflecting.
The whole gang.  Christian, Kellen, Gannon, Callie, Nick, Garrett, and Hannah.  They are such a great family.  We were blessed to spend the afternoon with them.
From there we had dinner and did a little shopping.  I had a few specific things we needed and they of course have many more choices than we have here.  I promised the boys we would not shop the whole trip, which is what they thought we were going to do when left home.  I can’t imagine why!  They did recently open an American Girl doll store at the mall we visited so we took Callie in there for just a few minutes.
These are the best pictures I could get with my phone.  She was running too fast!  It was the cutest thing to see her running from display to display.  (And she needed to go potty.  She runs anytime she does because she doesn’t want to stop long enough to go!)   Every doll was “the best one”.  Of course she loved the strollers and beds the most, which we already have.  We didn’t buy a thing if you can believe it.  She has some nice dolls, so she doesn’t need one.  Plus, I would rather take her someday when she is older to the NY or Chicago store, when she can really make an informed decision.  Those stores are huge and have so much more to do than just buy a doll.  I am envisioning this mom and daughter weekend trip someday.  Something she will probably have no interest in, but I can dream!
The next morning we headed to Moon Marble Company.  I had seen an ad for this place years ago and thought someday we would stop in there if we were in town.  You may wonder why.  Well, here is why.  I have grown up playing a game called Wa-hoo. 
This is a vintage board displayed to Moon Marble.  We are currently using a custom (by Grandpa)  OU board.  Go figure! Wa-hoo is similar to Sorry, and yes, it can get wild and wooly! My great-grandma loved this game so much there is a still a Wa-hoo tournament at our family reunion every summer.  So, my kids are growing up playing it as well.  If you are really into it, you have your own special board, marbles, and lucky dice.  So, I thought it would be fun to come here and see how a person makes marbles and let the kids pick their own favorite marbles.  What I didn’t realize is that this was the weekend of “Marble Crazy”!  Crazy is a good word for it!  I started getting nervous when we pulled into the little town outside of KC and started seeing signs of where we needed to go park.  We parked blocks away and rode a bus to the store.  This was a highlight for my kids!  It was so funny how excited Gannon and Callie were about the bus ride!
There were marble makers from all over showing their marbles and demonstrating how they make marbles and other glass treasures.  It was really fascinating to watch the patience these people have to get things just right.  There were some amazing marbles of all sizes and prices!  Who knew there was such a marble niche in the world!
I was trying to get a picture of one of the rooms in the place.  There were four rooms that we could go in, one with bleachers and the whole nine yards to watch the demonstrations.  Then, there were toys galore.  If you ever wanted a nice, not Toys R Us toy, this is the place to go.  So many quality and unique toys.  Again, who knew!  I wish we lived closer because this would be the perfect go to place for birthdays and Christmas!  Another room had bins and bins of every color of marbles.  Every color except pink!  I was so disappointed, seriously.  I thought it would be fun for Callie and me to have our own pink marbles, but no.  I’m sure I could have had someone make me some, for a price!  My pictures don’t really do this day justice.  There were so, so, so many people there.  I don’t know  how I got this picture of this room with just a few people.  So, I didn’t take very many pictures like I would have had it just been us!
The kids outside waiting outside for the bus.  It was freezing!  Such a fun little place.  You really should look it up if your in Kansas City and have a free couple of hours.  And yes, we all got a tube of our very own marbles and a special die for each of us.
So, a great little field trip.  We stopped and ate lunch at Noodles, one of our favorites that we don’t have in Springfield, then headed home, just in time to welcome Daddy!