Our Family

Our Family

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bumps in the Road of Life

I've had a tremendously difficult week. Everyone always says that when it rains, it pours. I'm usually the strong one who can handle just about anything, but I'm pretty sure God is trying to teach me that when I am weak HE is strong. It seems like a mean way to teach me, but I guess he had to somehow!

I'll share just a little bit, but honestly, there is some stuff that I'm really not ready to talk about. I need a little longer to let it settle, and then...maybe it will even be funny.

Right before we moved down here, I found some lumps in my breast. My family has a history of pre-menopausal breast cancer so I immediately had to find an OB doc here in Florida (which I did with the help of a sweet lady from First Baptist Orlando). I then had to schedule a mammogram and ultrasound. Both came back clear, but so did Mom's so they are sending me to a surgeon. I have an appointment with a surgeon here on July 8. They were only able to detect my mom's cancer through a biopsy. They thought she had cysts, which is what they have told me I have.

As if that isn't enough stress, there was more thrown my direction last week that has just plane made me scared. I'm sure it will all turn out alright, but when you think of me, please pray. I'll happily share the results of both stories after there is resolution. In the meantime, you might be able to find me hiding in my closet :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creepy Critters

I'm pretty sure I have found the place where I was born to live. I LOVE living in Florida. Yes, it's hot and humid, it rains every day, and there are lots of bugs here. BUT I don't mind using bug spray (as long as I remember to apply it), and I'm getting used to the heat. I've also learned to love rain b/c it cools off the world...even if it just last for a few minutes. In fact, I have found myself wanting a light jacket even when it's 75 degrees...hahaha!

I do believe I underestimated the critters though. When we moved here, Mat & Andrew dug a snake skin out of the AC outside. Lizards scamper whenever you walk by. Mosquitoes are everywhere. This week though...I've had my FILL of creepy crawly slimy dirty critters!

While swimming in a very nice pool on Saturday (with the Bridger fam here from Atlanta), we looked over to find a snake swimming with us - eek! Yesterday, I felt a bug crawling on my hand and looked down to find a roach - brought back horrid memories of cleaning out Aunt Shirley's roach infested house. Today at VBS (I'm helping in Andrew's class at our new church's VBS this week), I saw a snake slithering on the sidewalk in front of me very close to where Elizabeth was - stay FAR away from me but further away from my baby! And in one of the classrooms, I found a dead frog and 2 dead lizards - which were promptly cleaned up by other Florida natives (which I was thankful that they spared me that task)! I went out to move my "pot" garden more into the sunshine and stood up to find 4 large sandhill cranes standing right beside me - yikes!

I'm sure I'll grow some tougher skin the more frequently I see stuff like this, but seriously, snakes are snakes and will never be comfort critters!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nasty Cleaning Jobs

This morning started out perfect! The three of us got a great night's sleep, neither child has had fever for well over 24 hours now, Lizzy is happy and not cranky, plus we are all looking forward to going to see Toy Story 3 tonight at the movies (a rare occasion for our family as we are too cheap to go to the movies often and usually wait for the $1 movies or now we check them out at the library.)

As we were sitting at the breakfast enjoying our Pop Tarts, a breakfast of champions, we were bird watching, enjoying the sunshine coming in our large breakfast room window, and enjoying the company of one another and our conversations. Nonchalantly, Andrew peers over his Pop Tart and this is what went down:

A - "Mom, did you notice I have bare feet?"
Me - "No, that's weird. Where are your socks?" (the boy NEVER goes without socks)
A - "I took them off. I tried on all the socks in my drawer, but they were too small."
Me - thinking the mess I was going to have to clean up was a distraught sock drawer...prodded Andrew to continue
A - "I had diarrhea this morning. I kept flushing the toilet, and it overflowed so I had to change my socks."
Me - finished eating my breakfast with the looming thought that I was going to have to clean lots of poop off the floor

After breakfast, I didn't rush to the bathroom, but I did make my way there. Yep, it was messy, but not nearly what I had expected. It's a good thing I have a tendency to expect the worst. So I rolled up the sleeves of my sleeveless nightie, and scoured the floor. Cleaning $%&* off the floor may be my new favorite thing to do. Woohoo - I love cleaning me some poop!

In all honesty, it wasn't that bad. It gave me a great excuse to do another spring cleaning in that bathroom, and it gave me a one up on Mat...although I'm sure I still owe him for his poopy pool experience!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life Happens and so does $%&*

I've realized a few things living in Florida:

Race doesn't matter. I'd say half of the couples around here are different races or nationalities. I'm certainly not trying to be mean here, but you can't tell what race many of the children are b/c of that. No one bats an eye at interracial marriages, relationships or families. I LOVE that about Florida, and I guess that's what makes my kids with their light blond ringlets and blue eyes so famous.

It's hot here. All you Atlanta peeps are complaining about your 92 degree weather while I am suffering some serious temperature shock here. At 11:30, it was 100 degrees, and that wasn't even during the heat of the day. I swear it would have been 110 here during the hot part of the day if a thunderstorm hadn't come to cool us off! I'm gonna die here. Fortunately, our house retains the cool air nicely so I'm cozy inside - which is where I stay until at least 6pm.

Andrew embarrasses me or makes me laugh on a regular basis. All these quotes are from today alone:

1. He told the doctor "why is there a bug on your face?" and it was clearly just a mole. The doc said his daughter says the same thing - thank you for the out of embarrassment, doc!

2. Mom, why is there so much extruction paper here. Translation - they are doing lots of "road construction" everywhere around here.

3. Andrew asked, "can we got eat at John Young papa cow for lunch?" Translation - Can we go eat at Pollo Tropical on John Young Pkwy. That one used all my mad deciphering skills.

4. And this is the one I was most concerned about: "I'm gonna play chunky monkey with the torpedos in my mouth." Last time he played "chubby bunny" we were having 1st time guests over to a dinner party, and he barfed all over the driveway after eating only 2 marshmallows. Somehow despite that experience, we are now BFF's with that family.

And Finally, for those wondering about the title of this blog post, Lizzy pooped in her cloth swimy at the pool Monday. Mat nearly vomited as he made the discovery and the mad dash for the bathroom (as I was running for the hills and trying not to pee my pants laughing in the process). You should have heard the gagging coming from the men's bathroom. I dodged a bullet with that one! Not that I would have handled the situation the same way...I would have peeked for poopies before removing the swimy in the first place. He recognizes his flaw, and for some reason, Mat now insists on using the throw away swimmies.

And that's pretty much a normal day around my house. Gotta love kids and weak stomached adults.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dare we have a Normal Week?

This week has been full. Here are some of the events in no particular order b/c I can't remember ;)

We went to see the Summer Nightastic fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. While we were there, we rode Dumbo. Mine was broken - of course! Mat's pretty sure that the imagineers are gonna call me any day now to ask me to please stop riding all Disney rides so that they will stop breaking. Em, you know what I'm talking about!

We aren't even unpacked yet, and I'm already rearranging the rooms. We haven't used the living room at all so I moved our office into it creating a private office room for guests. It utilizes space so much better than the way I previously had it!

We went to Yellow Dog Eats - def something worth writing about and remembering! Tho, I skipped out on the BEST chocolate cake ever b/c of calories :(

We visited a new church named Mosaic. I didn't prefer the music although I gotta hand it to them b/c it was a rock-n-roll church, BUT the music wasn't too loud! A huge plus in my book! And the pastor was AWESOME! Seriously, he's like a French Andy Stanley. I totally learned a billion things in that message b/c he spoke so fast.

Mat taught Andrew to blow snot rockets.

I ran/walked my first 5K! I was so proud of myself, but my shins are not holding up so well. In fact, they just hurt to do nothing at all :(

The kids both had swimming lessons...Andrew started his second week while Lizzy started her first week.

Lizzy spiked a 103+ temp. She has roseola - yay :( She's been screaming bloody murder which is very unlike her.

I painted Lizzy's nails - all 20 of them. That's a difficult task that will likely never happen again during the toddler years.

We got our pool key, and we've been there every day! One day we got there, and literally 2 minutes after getting in the water it started thundering so we hopped out. The thunder lasted a LONG time so we bailed. The storm came out of nowhere! I'd heard tales of storms like that, but I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes...

Andrew discovered books on tape! I had 3 which he's already enjoyed so we have to go get more at the library - pronto! He gets super quiet, and that's rare!

We planted a pot garden.

I'm exhausted, and it's only Tuesday - I think?!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

You may have read in my prior post that we took an impromptu trip to Atlanta b/c my grandfather was brushing deaths door. It was also the week of a BIG birthday for my mom. So Monday, Emily and I got down to planning a big shindig at the very last minute for a lady who has been taking care of my grandparents 24 x 7. In fact, the last 3 weeks have been so busy with my Nana's death and my Nani Boy's near death that no one had time to think beyond what the current day held.

That wouldn't do...especially for the big 6-0!

So Emily & I invited a bunch of Mom's friends to Outback for a par-tay! And BOY was it fun! So many people were able to make it to the shindig from all over the place. It was so wonderful to see all those friends and family members. It made Mom feel very special! Thank you to each one of you who made time in their busy schedules to make the drive all the way to Stone Mountain in order to celebrate my Mom! I'm pretty sure it not only made her day - it made her life!

Mom, I hope it was an event that you can remember for always with a smile!

A Whil-Wind Trip to Atlanta - Take 2

I can't believe that we moved from Atlanta after the first full week of May, and we've already been back twice. The first visit was b/c my Nana passed away. Shortly after her funeral, my grandfather (Nani boy) was found on the floor. He had been there for a long time, and he was near death. He spent a LONG time in the hospital without any improvement. At least, that was the situation when we made our plans spur of the moment to visit him. I didn't want to regret missing him despite my inconvenience for the rest of my life. In addition, it was his 89th birthday week and my mother's big 60! I thought it was the perfect week to visit.

We left EARLY on Monday morning in an effort to make a stand by flight to ATL - which we made with enough time to spare that we were able to make the even earlier flight. We took no chances this time after our "run through the airport" on our previous trip from Orlando to Atlanta.

Dad picked us up. Emily, Steph & Dee were the only others to know about our trip, and they prepped the beds for our stay. It was a complete surprise to Mom and Nani. Mom cried and jerked Lizzy out of Dad's hands. She was really excited to see us! I stayed with Mom for a bit while Dad took Andrew to the hospital to see Nani at which time Andrew fed Nani his lunch - and he ate it almost in it's entirety including foods like squash that he hates! Way to go, Andrew!

Nani was in a bad way when we got there. He was horizontal and completely bruised and sad. Day 2, he was sitting up with a giant goofy grin covering his face, and Day 3...well, you wouldn't have known it was the same person! He was sitting up and doing SO well that they released him from the hospital to a nearby rehab facility!

Day 4, Thursday was his 89th birthday! He was doing so well. I thought any minute he might get up and skip around the room. We had a HUGE birthday celebration for him late that night, and our entire family including Dad, Mom, Les & Kate (who also flew in for the big event all the way from NY), me and my 2 kids, Ben, Em, and Stephanie. We had ice cream bars, his favorite coconut cake, and ice cream cones. He was so happy! It was a full room...very loud and lively at a late hour, but he was happier than I've seen him. He didn't care that it was way past his bedtime. He didn't care that we were loud. He didn't care that we were sitting on his bed. He loved every second of it. In face, he had a huge tickle fight (you can see this on my FB page) with Andrew!

We left early Friday morning. Thanks, Dad, for getting up super early and taking us to the airport! Thanks also, Emily, for staying up all night with me - sorry 'bout that! We had a wonderful exhausting trip - well worth the inconvenience!

More about the Closed Door

So I got a message from the teacher at the school with the locked door. She even called back yesterday to double check on me. She said what was so strange to her is that the doors are never locked. I know they were b/c there was even another adult there trying to get into the school without luck. I told her I couldn't possibly be mad b/c I prayed specifically for God to close the doors for those things I wasn't supposed to do. It still gives me warm fuzzies to think of how God clearly and specifically answered my prayer.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Exposing My Heart

My son is an angel...really. We were out the other night experiencing a new restaurant (we're big time foodies around here if you can't tell from my previous blog entries - or the size of my buns for that matter). Mat said his food was like a dance party on his taste buds, and then Andrew commented that we were like a dance party on God's taste buds. Great thoughtful analogy of God's love for us and from a 5 year old! Blew me and Mat away!

I've also recently gotten some new shirts. Most of the styles now are low cut shirts, and I'm a very modest person who doesn't like to be or feel "exposed." I've purchased some very modest shirts, but they are still low cut. Andrew told me yesterday that he didn't like "my heart showing." He said that it was too close to revealing my "oobies." WOW! That made me feel first horrible, then excited that my son was interested in modesty too, and finally it made me in a hurry to purchase some tank tops to make my shirts cover my heart! What sweet way to share his desire for modesty.

He may be rambunctious, but he certainly is a sweet kind hearted child. I love daily watching him grow, and I often find it difficult to remember that he's only 5. I only remember when I have to tell him the same thing 100 times as he gets distracted by toys or when he begs his dad to walk down the hall b/c he's scared of the dark. Most of the time we share such adult conversations that I don't even think of him as a baby.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Literal Closed Door

I have been quite overwhelmed with all the decisions I've had to make recently so I prayed and asked God for clear direction. I asked him to close doors and open the ones he wanted us to walk through. Often, far too many doors seem partially open, so I asked for a sign. And boy did I get one.

I visited Circle Christian for Andrew's schooling and support with homeschool, and I LOVED it! I have been trying to get a meeting with another school for a comparison. I spoke with the sweetest lady, but the office staff and even the principal seemed a little preoccupied. Maybe it's the time of year, I thought. So I scheduled a meeting at the school with the kindergarten teacher today. Can you believe that God completely closed the doors. I couldn’t even get in the building and the teacher I had an appointment with didn’t answer her phone. I waited around for about 15 minutes with the doors locked. I’m not angry, but I prayed for clear direction. I believe God gave it to me literally as I was standing at the closed doors of the school.

When you ask God to open/close doors, he is sometimes very literal. Don't we serve an awesome God?!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Andrew was asking a bunch of questions about kangaroos so I decided to google it and show Andrew what the internet had to say about them. We learned all kinds of cool stuff like kangaroos are marsupials, and even after they birth their babies (aka Joeys), they stay in the pouch for 9 months before ever separating from their momma. They only venture out for little walks until they are 18 months, and they can even keep their new babies in their tummies for longer if they still have a Joey in their pouch. Ya know...all kinds of cools stuff.

Then I let Andrew look at the pics of kangaroos by himself by clicking on pics of kangaroos on google. I checked to make sure that the pics were safe first, and for the most part, they were. He found the picture I've posted in this blog.

Fast forward a bit to supper time. Mat was asking about what we did today, and I asked Andrew to tell Mat about what he knew about kangaroos. Andrew said, "I know they have mustaches and they drink root beer b/c I saw a picture of that."


Circle Christian School

Yesterday, I had a full day learning about homeschooling and learning about Circle Christian School. Basically, Circle Christian is a private school for homeschool students. It used to be a branch of Masters Academy in Georgia, but the franchise fees got expensive so they just started doing things their own way but still much like Masters. It's an amazing school with amazingly Godly people who have a passion for homeschool education. They provide support, encouragement, extra curricular classes, and a group of friends as an outlet for students to be creative. We have decided to send Andrew to their school one day a week starting in August, and I am so excited about it!

In the meantime, I am working to find math and language arts curriculum for Andrew. I have some leads, and Circle has a curriculum specialist to help me as well as much of the curriculum that I can actually SEE before I purchase anything. The people are all so kind and helpful, and they haven't pressured me a bit to do things their way. I am so thankful to have found this group of people.

I am also working to get my homeschool room ready. We have all our school stuff in our office currently, but we aren't using our living room at all so I think I'm going to move the homeschool room into the living room. It's huge, and now we'll be using the room instead of passing it by all the time to get from the kids rooms to our den/kitchen area. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm excited about the prospect of getting it done!

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend was amazing. Emily came to visit us. I love when she comes b/c she's just easy. I don't have to worry about anything, and there is no stress involved with her visiting. In fact, I trust her with my kids which is saying a lot b/c I never trust anyone with them. She loves them as much (excluding anything gross) as I do, and she watches them like a hawk. They love her as much in return.

I had one of the biggest laughs ever while Millie Mouse was here. Lizzy is potty training, and I had her in a shirt - only. I slap wore Emily out, and that sound sleeper that she is didn't realize that Elizabeth was staring directly in her face as she was reclined back in her chair dead asleep. Well, until the doorbell rang...which scared the pee slap out of Lizzy and woke Em out of a dead slumber. I was in my nightgown so I couldn't answer the door, and it's a hike to the front door from the room we were in so Emily got up and RAN to the front door. On her way, she RAN through Lizzy's pp. After she answered the door and our guests left, she said, "there is a puddle beside my chair." OMG, I haven't laughed so hard in a while. I had to mop the entire house all the while I was belly laughing. If you knew Em, you'd know that she HATES anything bodily and gross. A short while later, Lizzy peed by my chair at my feet (all on tile) so I dawned her with a diaper and called the potty training done for a while. That made me belly laugh all over again!

Recap of the weekend:

took Em around Windermere, Dr. Phillips, Magic Kingdom, the Cast Connections store where you can get all things Disney super at a super discounted rate, went to church at First Baptist Orlando, got lost on all the $%&* toll roads & spent a fortune finding my way, went to the outlet mall where I possibly spent $150, took Andrew to his first swimming lesson, got very little sleep, enjoyed a fresh pork roast hot off the big green egg, got to eat at some yummy places, tried Vegan food & nearly lost my supper, went to the Mall of Melinia (sp?) & didn't enjoy it at all b/c it's way tooooo expensive, loved on my babies, laughed at Andrew's funny comments, watched fireworks, and did I mention I got little sleep?