Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting Rid of Excess Baggage

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...craigs list! I have gotten rid of Amadeus's guniea pig cage and stuff, the naked lady statue, and now our old dining room set. I am makin room! Woo Hoo! Auntie Em and I had a really successful garage sale together and I got rid of most of the junk cluttering the garage then. However, surprisingly the big items didn't sale, so those are on craigs list. I'm also trying to get rid of my Toyota Corolla. I figure if I can sale it for 7000. Which is what we have left on it then we will be able to be rid of one debt and the maintenance of a vehicle that we hardly use. So here's hoping!
I've also made my goal this month to get down to 145 pounds. Woo Hoo! 10 more to go and I'll be completely happy! This is down from my original 175, about two months after the baby was born. So my home and I are really slimmin and trimmin down. And even better, I think we made budget this month. But if we did miss it, it wasn't by much which is a huge improvement for us! So yay yay yay!
K I'm done. For now, lol.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Blessings of Exercising w/ a Toddler

So John has taken to attacking me when I try to do my abs routine. He crawls across my chest and quite often gets caught as he is half way across. It cracks me up but at the same time drives me crazy! So I am counting the blessing that I will get a better stomach work out than the norm because of his h e a v y little body :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

School and Weaning

My two big decisions as a Mom lately have been....1) What to do about Amadeus's schooling after this year and 2) How and when I wanted to go about weaning John.
Well I kept hoping that we would hear that the charter school they currently attend would be opening up a High School, but no such luck. I found a charter school down the road that will suffice, but I'm not super excited about it and there are no guarantees that he will get in. We turned in our application, but the selection process is through a lottery, so if he gets in it won't be on merit. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing, I suppose. So after I started trying to get together the paperwork to apply to this school, The principle at their current school approached me to ask if private schools were an option. I told her that I had checked into the ones in the area and they were way to expensive for us. She said she realized that, so she has gone to the school board and asked them to approve her starting a private high school till they can get through the red tape to add a high school. She said they approved it as not a conflict of interest, so if I can manage to secure $370 a month I will be able to keep Amadeus in a school that is teaching classical curriculum! I will also be able to keep his foot in the door to attending his current school when they open a high school. So I've talked to Marco that I need him to be consistent with the child support and how important it is. But I don't want to be dependent on his payments because I can't control his circumstances, so I have come up with the plan that if I can have eight students next year, I will be able to afford the school no matter what. And be able to put Marco's money to Isaac getting braces. Which is also a need. I thought I was losing a student over this past month but the mom decided to keep her in, but we had a long discussion today and I'm actually thinking of starting a second class that will be held only on Thursdays but will be 1 hour long. I have had some interest from 2 other parties to have their children start taking lessons and I might move this one girl over to that class. So if it all pans out I will have 6 of my 8 before the end of the year! Yay! But I talked to the principal that my vision is to eventually have a beginner, intermediate, and advanced class. I would be mainly an advisory position for the advanced class. She seemed really excited about my ideas and very supportive.
Now back to John. I was ready to wean him cold turkey because he was not sleeping well through the night which meant that I wasn't getting sleep either. But then I read an article and listened to my younger sister to much and decided that wasn't the best idea either. So I'd decided that I was going to slowly substitute regular milk for different periods over the course of 6 months. But John got sick and I didn't want to give him regular milk at all. The good news is that he's back to nursing twice in the night. I think I've just decided to nurse on demand and let him wean himself. He's already weaned himself quite a bit and really only nurses alot when he's sick. He turns one on Friday. We celebrated his birthday early with my mom and sister and brother-in-law and his brothers, but we will celebrate some more this weekend with Douglas's parents. So will be posting pics later maybe Sunday. Hugz, to all. Please pray for me that my twirling classes will work out in the way that I need them to.
Thanks! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Years 2009 pics

Read the post underneath and then come back to the pics. There were like 13 pics in this slide show and it takes a few for them all to load, so for awhile it repeats a couple over and over again while it's still loading the others :)

New Years 2009

New Years at the Beach

So the above pictures are from New Years. On New Years Eve, my brother and his wife and my sister from NASA and her family came to spend the night. They all played a long game of LIFE, Pirates of the Carribean style, with our older two while we all ate pizza. Then we watched both Narnia's and ate rootbeer floats till midnight. Nothing super exciting but it was fun nonetheless :)
My sister-in-law, who is married to my brother, has had a long standing tradition in their family to go to the beach on New Years if they were close enough to be able to. So since they were here in Houston, they decided to go to Galveston, and we asked if we could tag along. It was so much FUN! In anticipation of going we had given them a kite for Christmas. That is the bright 'Toucan' one. It was just so vibrant, that it reminded me of them as a couple. I also had bought a little one in the hopes of getting John interested in it, and then we had a big airplane that we've had for over a year and never flown. Well the wind at the beach was decent but not anything to write home about, lol. Therefore, the airplane was way to heavy and never got off the ground. The Toucan was able to fly but not far and not for along period of time. However, Johnnies little kite was perfect for the weather. (Reminds you of Goldie and the three kites, doesn't it, he he). We we're able to get it way up in the air and take turns flying it. Even John gave it a try with me although he really just wanted to crawl on the beach so he could eat the sand :S
When we got tired of flying the kite, Emy hooked the spool to a stick and placed her shoes on either side. It flew the whole time we were there as a sentinel as to where are things were! The water was cold and John got mad when I took him over to rinse his feet and mouth off. But Lil T played and played in the thinnest part of the surf till she turned blue. Everyone had fun picking up sea shells, and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Then we went home and changed clothes so we could go pick up my Grandmother and take her out to eat. My Mom came down for this point. We all went out for chinese and then drove over to my Uncle's for dessert. We thought my aunt was going to make a dessert but we had three yummy desserts to choose from plus ice cream! My uncle took the boys outside to crack some fire works with them which was a big hit with them. And inside the rest of us talked about family pictures in there home and played with the babies. Finally we all trudged home exhausted but filled physically and spiritually from a wonderful day and evening beginning the New Year surrounded by family.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Holidays, excluding New Years

K so with the passing of my Dad, I haven't done much blogging at all. But now that life should be getting back to normal with none of the holiday parties to contend with I might find some time. LOL. So we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas at my sister-in-law's and Douglas's Brother's in Ft. Worth. His parents were there as well, so it was quite the group. John loved going up and down their stairs. He has become the big climber. I can't even leave little step stools out, but I digress. I have to say that Douglas's and his Mom's warnings of how many presents there were, were right. LOL! It took the kids all morning to get through unwrapping and they started early! As a matter of fact I don't think my older boys have ever awaken at 4:00am because they were so wired to do Christmas. I think it's been years since I've seen that much excitement. I wonder if Lil Red be that wired? Anyways it was so much fun. I really enjoyed myself. We arrived in time for Christmas Eve dinner which included some of my Sister-in-law's family, so it was a huge event and had plenty of yummy food. Including fudge made by both my Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law. Talk about the right kind of comfort food!Oh my which kind will I eat first? And boy did I ever eat that fudge! Shame on me, lol! I loved my Sister-in-law's tradition of writing down something your thankful for before opening a gift. They have a book that they keep everything in. I was wondering if they saved it and read it on Thanksgiving or did she just keep it where it was available to peruse? We played games and went to visit Douglas's sister who also lives in Ft. Worth. We left the day after Christmas to make it back to pick up my older boys from their Dad. We then proceeded to have an extended gift giving Christmas. My older sister and her large group of 7 children and husband had been on the way down to surprise everyone for Christmas. They had quite the harrowing journey from Idaho through the snow and bad weather. What you have to understand is that they haven't been back for a visit since they moved there approximately 5 years ago. So it was a very big deal. Well, there family had had gifts sent to there family from Santa Clause and these presents had been packed to bring down to open on Christmas. Since these gifts came from other sources my sister and her husband had no idea what was in the packages. Since their visit was a surprise to me, I had already planned to have Christmas present opening at my parents house the day after Christmas when I picked up the boys. And you have to understand that I am a planner. I like to have some sort of structure to our trips, so that I feel that we didn't waste the time ending up doing nothing. But that's me :)

So when I got to my parents house, not only was everyone gone except my younger brother, because my older sister's family was being sealed to their adopted nephew, but two of the boys presents had been opened and claimed because I had labeled them From:Santa, To:the family. LOLLLLLLLLL! That's what I get for labeling that way even though the boys don't believe in Santa anymore. In my defense, that is the way I distinguish between what is for the whole family and what is for an individual :P So the boys were just told that those had been there gifts as well because I just didn't feel like re wrapping :) Then they opened certain gifts that were meaningful only to our family. And then as other people came home they opened the gifts from them and gave the gifts that were to that family. My older sister ended up spending the night at her Father-in-laws that night because with us staying there they felt there wasn't enough room. So the boys gave their gifts to that part of the family the next day after the funeral. And then in all of this broken up Christmas we forgot to do stockings, so I just gave them to them when we got home after church on Sunday. The funny thing is that even with all the weirdness of my Dad dying 2 days prior to Christmas and doing gift exchanging and giving in sporadic parts, even continuing after Christmas.....It is one of the best Christmas's that I remember. I had managed to surprise my husband with a fixed garage and the boys and I followed through with a commitment to get it cleaned and organized before the end of the break. It is very hard to surprise my husband ;)

The boys were very grateful and excited about all their gifts and didn't complain about the lack of expensive gifts. But most of all we were constantly surrounded by family. And we saw so many throughout the holidays. There was also the gift of my Dad's missionary coming to his funeral. Wayne, lives in Utah, but when he found out about Dad's death he felt he should be there. He shared the story of events leading up to his going on a mission and then being able to convert my Dad. It was story that I think my whole family appreciated during this trial of our faith, to show that Heavenly Father has been watching out for our family for a long time. During the holidays I had many special moments, in which I reflected and called and shared with my Dad, memories that I had of him influencing my life for good. We also had the opportunity to surprise my Mom and Dad by caroling at their house and bringing them treats. It was a long drive for a Monday night that was still a school night and Amadeus gave up his band concert, but

I was so glad we did. It was the last time that my kids and I saw my Dad alive. And I could tell that our visit made him happy. He really enjoyed watching Lil Red's antics. And Amadeus played his trumpet a little and Dad did his best to sing along with us the Christmas carols. I think that was Christmas day for me. It certainly was the highlight of my holidays, and I'm grateful to my younger sister and her husband for being flexible with their Monday night and going with us, and also for my husband for uncomplainingly driving that long distance after a hard day of work. He is so great during times of stress and trial. So anyways, the pics above are from the Christmas Holidays and hopefully I'll get to New Year's tomorrow. Quick note, I don't have a great deal of pics from Christmas. My memory card was full and I didn't have a new one. Also BIG news! John started walking as of right before Christmas. He had been taking two steps here and three steps there, but seeing all his cousins walking around and trying to get away from my Little brother's new puppy, well...he decided he better start walking! Also in case you didn't hear, we had a bit of snow down here the week before Christmas. Isaac took the picture of the car. It was just enough snow to be pretty and leave a light dusting. I must say that the Christmas lights looked beautiful with the snow falling around them. Usually are snows are in late January or in February so that is something I've never seen before. I definitely count it as a blessing this year.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thoughts of my Dad

My Dad died on December 22. I had been packing things that morning for our Christmas away from home, and so that I could go visit him for awhile with John before we left to go to Dallas. My brother called right as I was leaving to tell me that he had passed. I will miss my Daddy till we meet again in Heaven. And yes even though when I spoke about him to other people, he was Dad, in my mind he was always Daddy. I loved that I got to work with him for 3 and a half years while I was a single Mom. He was my #1 cheerleader during that time. As I struggled through the dating scene and one relationship would end, he would give me blessings and grieve with me that I was having so much trouble finding that someone that I could share an eternal love with. I remember after one particularly hard break up, he invited me to come sit on his lap and he just held me like when I was a little girl and let me cry. Good thing I was little then, lol, right now with having my baby weight I might not have fit! He often shared how hard similar trials had been in his life to help me remember that time passes and with it changes come and pain passes with it to make room for the joys of tomorrow. He taught me a great work ethic and I know he was proud of me. He believed in me and often showed his faith in me by investing in my future. He co-signed for me so I could buy my first car, during my divorce. He gave me the down payment on my home. It was 5 thousand dollars. For my Dad this was alot of money. I know he and my mom had plans for that money, but he gave it to me so that I could be out of apartments with my two boys and have a stable place with some room to live. He forgot later that he loaned me that money, but I never did. I am thankful that with the help of my husband I was able to repay the loan before he died that it might benefit him and my mother. He also had an answer for every question that I ever asked. It might not be the right answer, but he gave me one never the less. LOL. I remember the night I found out that he didn't always know the answers to my questions. I had asked him what a particular tower was for. He said it was a cell phone tower and proceeded to explain how it worked in detail. I said, "wow, really?". He laughed and said, "I don't know. How am I supposed to know?". Turns out though, he was right! That was something that went on my list to look for in a husband. Someone who had all the answers, even if he just made up something for me :)
My Dad was also so good with us kids when we were little. I remember being swung around as an airplane in circles. It contributed to my love for dancing. I love being swung around in circles and feeling as though I'm flying. He also let us ride on his back as he pretended to be a big bear, and I loved doing superman and being tickled by him. He was also a great teacher. Everything he learned that he knew to have value he turned around and taught. He wanted to make sure that economically each child's family had two skills that they could use to fall back on if one thing wasn't viable for a time. He taught me to tell the difference between dreams in which my mind was just working through things and dreams that were communications from my Father in Heaven. He also taught me that I do have a Heavenly Mother that loves me just as much as my Father in Heaven. I think the most important thing he taught me along with my mother is to never give up. To never stop trying. It has helped me to overcome many trials in my life. My Dad was not just a good man. He was a GREAT man. And we love him very much for it. I loved at the funeral that it was prayed for his children to be able to keep the commandments that we might share in that eternal reward with my Dad. So now I have two fathers that I want to show my love for by keeping the commandments and giving honor to their names.
The pictures below aren't many and many of them are fairly recent but most of my pictures are hard copies only and I haven't had time to scan them. But these have significance to me. Thank you Mom or whoever for uploading the two old ones up on the family site. The first is my Dad and my uncle who are twins. My Dad is the one looking askance at the camera. The second is my Dad in uniform. He was drafted for vietnam, and while he was never sent over, still had many stories of his experiences while in training. It is easy to see from this picture why my Mom fell for him. The next two are at a pool party for Isaac. This was the year before he found out he had cancer. We looked at these pics later and I teased him that he had looked like Boss Hog. He took the teasing well, lol. The next pictures are from my wedding to Douglas. I was so blessed to have my Dad alive and well enough to walk me down the aisle and to dance with me. I am so glad that he lived to see me married to a wonderful man that is very much like my Dad in many ways. He knew that I was happy that I was on my way to my own eternal family and that was very important to me. Infact the picture, heading my blog is he and I dancing. It was funny because even though he taught me to waltz, he'd forgotten how to do it. And I never knew what step he was doing so consequently I kept tripping on my dress. So one of my brides maids came and held up my train so that I could dance easier with my Dad. My sister-in-law, who was playing the piano didn't know how many verses to play and so she played three. Dad and I were dying by the end. We kept laughing about how we would have to strangle her later. But we never did, she is way to cool to strangle :)
The next picture in the slide show is of Mom and Dad and John and I (I was taking the pic) at one of Dad's favorite chinese places. This is a big memory for me. Lunches with my Dad. I loved going to lunch with my Dad. We would talk about so many things. It was wonderful to have a Dad that was never at a loss for words. The last two were of him at Father's Day this past year. We went out to eat with him, my Mother and Grandmother. He loved his Mom so much. I'm glad he got to spend extra time with her with the advent of me moving closer to her. I have to say in ending that his love for my Mom was inspiring as I searched for that special someone that would stick with me through hard times and that would cherish me for the person I am. Thank you Dad for helping me to be the person I am today and for always inspiring me to better heights.

Picture Memorial of Dad