Friday, December 31, 2010


(Lake Michigan)

We are on the cusp of a brand new year.  And a brand new decade. 

I try not to look into the past too much, but the end of the year has a way of making you reflect.  And this time I glanced not only at this past year that whizzed right by, but at the past decade that came and went in warp speed.

This past decade of my life has seen so much change.  Just thinking about all that has happened blows my mind.

- I got married.
- I changed jobs.
- I moved three times.
- We bought our first house.
- I quit my job.
- We had four beautiful children.
- Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
- Dad passed away. 
- We built and moved into our dream home.

And that's not even including what our country and what our world has experienced in the past ten years.  We've had an attack on our country, a huge natural disaster, tsunamis, earthquakes, oil spills, economic failure.  The past ten years have seen it's fair share of hardship when you think of it.  But here we are.

I can't even imagine where my life will lead in ten years.  Or what this world will be like.  But I am hopeful.  For in each new year, each new day, there is hope. 

I pray that this new year brings hope, health, and happiness for you all.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To Sum It Up


Christmas was wonderful, and crazy, and busy, and lovely, and rushed, and did I say busy?  Because it was.  But it was still lovely. 

I found a few pictures that sum it up nicely.

This is me and the kiddos at the in-law's house eating way too much food (can you see the fudge in Ben's mouth?) and having way too much fun (can you see the craziness in Joey's eyes?) on Christmas Eve.
Then it was back home that night to relax for an hour or two before the madness broke the next day.  And when I say relax I mean wrap 20 little presents for a game I had planned for the next day.  And of course there was the set up...
The picture below is how we all felt after the Christmas morning madness.  I didn't even get a picture of us all dressed pretty for Christmas mass because there was just TOO MUCH MADNESS.  You know how it goes.  Boys running around wildly with their new loot, mom and dad chasing around after the dog who is ferociously eating wrapping paper, grace running her new stroller around the house screaming at the top of her lungs, dad getting out his power tools so that we can actually get the toys OUT OF THE BOXES, mom trying to feed the kids a quick breakfast, dad cleaning up the five piles of vomit the dog left on the floor the minute it came in from outside, changing diapers, dressing children.  You know.  The usual.
After mass, and more madness, there were quick naps for the kids and then another whirlwind of activity at our house with my side of the family.  We decided not to make mom host Christmas this year seeing as how she just had open heart surgery 3 weeks ago (what a wuss!) so we had everyone over to our house.  We made mom sit still and we all just sat around talking and stuffing our faces.  Good times. 
 Now we all kind of feel like this. 
Some kind of stomach virus has decided to run through our house and apparently once you recover from that you get a cold too.  Bonus!  Now we may be making our second trip to the doctor to check on possible ear infections. 
'Tis the season!  Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la!

Hope you all had a wonderful, crazy Christmas too, and hopefully skipped the viruses. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Magic


School is out.  The plays and concerts are done.  The class gifts have been given, the parties attended.  Now all that is left to do is sit back and enjoy the magic of the Christmas season.  Well, that, and wrap ALL of the gifts, clean the whole house and make all the goodies for the Christmas I am suddenly hosting, do laundry, go grocery shopping.  You know. The usual.  Oh, and Tommy has come down with some sort of stomach virus, so there is that too.  But OTHER than that.  Christmas magic. 

Every time life gets a little too hectic and a little too busy there is some reminder of what is really important.  This time it came as we were watching old home videos of the kids when they were babies.  It drove home just how fast this time goes by and just how precious these little kiddos really are.  So no matter how crazy this Christmas may be, I will be enjoying the magic of it all.  I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Morning Musings

I'm sitting here on the couch with Ben, snuggled up and watching Toy Story 3.  The house is quiet.  The boys have gone off to school.  Todd off to work.  Grace is still sleeping.  The dog is sniffing around the yard.  It is a good way to ease our way into a busy week after a busy weekend.  Well, a busy but very good weekend. 

It was a weekend with a visit from a very good friend.  A weekend with time spent with mom.  A weekend pampering myself and getting a much needed change.

On Saturday I went off to the salon.  Back in April Todd had given me a gift certificate to my favorite salon.  I was to use it for a massage, and a mani/pedi, but after not having a haircut for five months I decided to use it for that.  When my stylist had a cancellation I nabbed it and decided to go all out and change the color of my hair too.  Though I have changed my hair color a billion times I never actually had it professionally done.  I decided to pamper myself.  I had a couple inches cut off and had my hair dyed a dark brown.  What do you think?

 I like it.  I don't think I have been this dark in about 15 years.  It is a good change.  We'll see how long it is before I get bored with myself and change it again. 

On Sunday we decided to take the kiddos to see Santa.  We went right after church and ended up getting there at a peak time.  We waited for an hour and fifteen minutes to see the big guy.  Luckily, the waiting line winds around an enchanted forest and Santa's workshop. There is so much to see and watch and experience that the kids didn't seem to mind.  They were so patient and didn't even complain once. 

The boys were a little star struck once they finally got to Santa and forgot some of the things that they wanted to ask for.  They ended up asking for Nutcrackers (?) and Pillow Pets and forgot all about the Transformers and Iron Man toys.  Ah well.  The big guy always knows, I reassured them. 

The boys were polite and sweet and even asked for a dolly for their sister as she was too busy being terrified.  I knew it would happen too.  As a matter of fact, I bet Todd that she would be our first Santa cryer.  We have never had a picture of any of our kids crying with Santa, but I knew she would be the one to loose it.  Grace isn't a huge fan of men.  The only man she likes is her daddy.  And this strange man had a huge shaggy beard, a weird outfit, a funny hat, and big bushy eyebrows.  Not having it. 

I only sat her down long enough for Mrs. Claus to snap a picture and then I grabbed her back again.  Still, she was a bit traumatized.  However, when she was safely back in mama's arms and Santa gave her a candy cane suddenly he didn't seem like such a bad guy anymore. 

Now I finally have my classic Santa freak out picture that every family seems to have.  I love it. I think it is perfect, don't you?

Yep.  It was a great weekend. 

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go look for some Nutcrackers. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

PSF- Wonder

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

I wonder what presents they'll ask Santa for.

They wonder if baby Jesus was cold in the manger. 

He wonders if he can wear his tie to mass.

I wonder if it will snow for Christmas.

He wonders what Santa will bring.

I wonder what time the relatives will be arriving.

He wonders if I will like the card he made for me. 

I wonder how the Three Kings knew to follow that star.

We wonder who the package is from.

They wonder how Jesus was ever a baby.

She wonders how the lights got on the tree.

The Christmas season is filled with wonder.  And now that there are only a few days left of school, mom is getting stronger and stronger, my Christmas shopping is just about done, the colds are subsiding, and life seems to be slowing down just a tad, I think I can actually enjoy these last days before Christmas and the wonder that the season holds.
I hope you can enjoy the wonder too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holy Mackerel!

Whew!  I've been gone for a while.  But I have an excuse.  Well, I honestly have a thousand excuses, and they are all good.  Wanna hear them?  Well, here they are anyway:

- My mom had open heart surgery last week to replace two of her valves.  The surgery went perfectly and she recovered faster than anyone expected (especially considering that her cancer complicates things).  I spent my a lot of my time driving the one hour plus down to visit her this past week, and yesterday I got to go and pick her up and bring her home. Hallelujah!  She is SO HAPPY to be home where she can actually get some rest and recuperate.  How anyone is supposed to get better in a hospital I will never know.  Now my brother is staying with my mom at night and the rest of us kids are checking on her way too often.  Thank you all for your prayers I can not tell you in words how much it meant. 

- Ben got a double ear infection this past week.  It was a doosey and it has temporarily affected his hearing.  Poor kid.  He is practically deaf.  We have to yell everything at him.  He probably doesn't understand why mommy and daddy are always yelling at him.  Hopefully he will recover soon and not have another nasty cold for a while.

- Todd and Grace currently have nasty colds.  Not fun.

- One of my very favorite uncles died this past week.  Uncle Clarence lived in New York and I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with him as I would have liked.  He was my father's brother, and the last time I saw him was at my dad's funeral.  He spent the week here, and I am so grateful for the time I got to have with him.  Such a wonderful man.  He was so similar to my dad and they were very close.  My cousin told me that the day my uncle passed away he said from his sleep, "Where is my brother?"  It was the only clear thing they had heard him say all day. 

- I have gotten a few migraines this past week or so.  I wonder why?  I have found that chewing Excedrin does keep the migraine at bay and it doesn't get as bad as it normally would.  Tastes horrible, but it works so I'm sticking to it.  Still, I think I might need to get myself to the chiropractor.  That, or cut out some of the stress.  Hmm.  How do I do that?

- I think I may have to have the phone surgically removed from my face.  I have been on it nonstop for the past few days giving updates on mom, info about my uncle, and general yucky stuff (doctor's appointments, getting mom's financial stuff in order, and school info, etc.).  This is grand central station.  The phone is constantly ringing!  AH!

- I gave the boys haircuts and they look so handsome!  I hadn't realized how shaggy they had gotten until I cut their hair and now I can see their gorgeous little schmoopee faces.  They look great!  Even Grace had her bangs cut.  She didn't like that.  At. All. 

- I have a ton of Christmas shopping to do yet.  Oops.  Been kinda busy.  Guess it is coming up faster than I thought.

- Joey and Tommy have their Christmas concert at school tomorrow.  That's all I have to say about that.

- Each school child of mine (that's three) have Christmas parties and secret santas I have to shop for too.  And Joey has a nativity play that his class will be putting on in a week and he needs a costume for.  Oh dear baby Jesus, can't I just celebrate your birth quietly and respectfully without running around like a chicken with my head cut off?  *sigh*

- Oh and by the way, we had a MASSIVE snow storm during all this madness.  It was not only a fair amount of snow but severely cold and WINDY.  It was crazy, and it made driving to the hospital to see my mom a real mess.  This is the view from my front door.
 This is the view from my kitchen window.  Can you see anything?  Me neither.
 The pretty part of the backyard.
 The fun part of the backyard.
And my dog seeing her first snowfall and wondering what is going on.  Please note, she is standing on top of the snow because it was already pretty solid from being so freaking cold outside!
Yep.  Life is wackadoodee.  I half feel like I'm going crazy.  And I don't suspect it will get much better anytime soon.  But that's okay.  This too shall pass. And soon I will be able to sit back, for at least a few minutes, and enjoy this beautiful holiday season with my family.  I hope.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Deck The Halls

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Our Christmas decorations and trees are now officially up.

I will not lie and I'll admit that while I was setting up our extra large prelit Christmas tree that we bought brand new last year and I discovered that two strings of lights were not working I had less than peaceful thoughts.  When it took me close to two hours to figure out what the problem was I was not in that lovely peaceful place I was talking about in my previous post.  Instead I was fighting really hard not to let a string of profanities leave my mouth.  But I did find the problem eventually and soon that peaceful feeling started creeping back in.

And then the kids woke up from their naps and all chaos broke loose.  Their little heads nearly exploded when they saw the Christmas trees all lit up and every shelf and table, nook and craney stuffed with snowmen and reindeer, and of course the nativity.  It was almost too much for them to bear.

Now this is the part when I surprised even myself.  In the past I have always decorated the trees while the boys were fast asleep.  Just thinking about all of the craziness that would ensue if I had them joining in at such young ages made my head hurt.  Plus, I like my trees to look neat and tidy.  There is no way I could stand by and let the ornaments be splashed about the trees willy nilly.  But this year, this year I threw caution to the wind.  I took my own advice, gave myself that peaceful feeling, and just let everyone enjoy the season.  And, boy, did they!

It turned out to be a very important lesson for me on letting go.  Something that is so often difficult for me to do.  But because I decided to ease up and let go we had a super fun night.  A night I know I will always remember.  And to my shock and elation the kids did a GREAT job decorating.  I couldn't believe how thoughtful and careful they were.  I was so proud of them.  There was no fighting over ornaments, no whining, or crying.  Everyone was having a wonderful time.
After all their hard work the kids just wanted to lie beneath the tree and watch a Christmas movie. Even Grace went and laid down between her brothers and stayed there for a good amount of time.

Peaceful feeling restored.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feeling Peaceful

It's December 1st today. It is the coldest day we've had so far and winter jackets and gloves are a necessity now. Fittingly enough, big, fluffly snowflakes are floating around outside my window.  It is starting to feel like Christmas.  And I am ready. 

In so many years past I have felt such a sense of urgency surrounding the holidays.  I have to do this, I have to get this, I have to make everything perfect, I have to get everything done.  I really don't feel like that this year.  I feel peaceful.  I have no stress or anxiety this year as I did in the past.  I am not placing tons of pressure on myself to make it a fabulous holiday, I'm just going to try and sit back and enjoy it more. 

This year I will get my Christmas cards out when I get them out.  No big deal. 

I still don't have my decorations up yet, but I will someday soon. 

There will be no fancy schmancy Christmas dinners planned.  We will be spending time with our families eating hors d' oeuvres and appetizers and enjoying each other. 

Gifts will be bought in good time.  I have bought some already but still have more to get.  I'll get them when I get them.  I really want to think carefully and thoughtfully about what I want each person to have.  I want the gifts to mean something.  So I'm taking my time.

This morning I sat in church, and when Joey was done doing a fabulous job on his reading, the priest asked the school children what Christmas was all about.  Hands flew up all around the church and kids offered up explanations of Jesus' birth and helping others.  My own sweet, little Tommy raised his hand, waited to be called on and said, "It is about the Joy of being with family."  And that sums it up pretty good for me too.
I am consciously making an effort to make the holidays less like this:
And much more like this:

My mom is having her open heart surgery on Tuesday. 

Money has been tight here lately. 

Our schedules have been crazy.  

There are reasons to stress.  Yet I am still feeling peaceful.  And I am grateful. 

I hope you too can feel His peace this season.  That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

It Feels Like A Monday

It has been a busy week.  And this definitely feels like a Monday. 
(Thanksgiving #1.  The adult table.)

Two Thanksgiving dinner parties hosted, a 10K race run, a migraine headache, grocery shopping done, two sick children tended to, loads of laundry laundered, a house twice cleaned top to bottom, homework projects done, and many errands run.  I'm tired. 

(The halfway point of the 10K, just happened to be right at the end of our street so Todd and the kiddos were there to cheer me on and take a few pics.)

Still, we had a very nice Thanksgiving weekend.  I actually enjoyed myself despite the craziness.  Which is good because I don't really see life getting any less crazy anytime soon. 

Last night I took Molly out for a walk around the neighborhood.  It had been a long time since I had taken a nighttime walk, years even, and boy did I miss it.  The world looks so much different at nighttime.  The woods at the end of the block is definitely much creepier at nighttime than it is during the day. But the houses in the neighborhood, they really change at night.  They come alive.  I only felt half guilty as I looked in the windows of each house.  As I walked past each house I glimpsed late dinners, and kids fighting, and tv watching, and life happening.  The very houses that seemed so quiet and still during the day are full of life and warmth at night. 

It did not go unnoticed that we are the only house in the whole neighborhood to still have our fall decorations up.  Every other house is already decorated with Christmas trees, and twinkling lights, and snowmen, and nativities.  It made me chuckle to walk back up my driveway and see our pumpkins next to our front door and our scarecrow and fall leaves decorating our porch after having walked by all the winter wonderlands.  I suppose now that Thanksgiving is officially over it might be time to take down the leaves and put up our own twinkley lights. 

I came back from that short walk feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  It cleared my head.  It brought me back to focus.  I'm thinking a nightly walk might be a grand idea.  

Monday, November 22, 2010


I have so many posts running around in my head all screaming at me, but they won't settle down and let me see them properly. 

I want to tell you how smoothly everything is going this past week even though Todd is gone.  I want to tell you how busy and crazy I've been running around from one thing to the next nonstop.  I want to tell you that it finally all caught up with me on Friday when the kids and I were at Grace's doctors appointment and I got a big, old migraine.  The boys were so fabulous and sweet that when we got home I surprised them with new camouflage jammies and freshly washed flannel snowman sheets on their beds, even though my brains were oozing out of my head. 

I really wanted to tell you about delivering the Thanksgiving food boxes to some people in need on Saturday.  It was such a wonderful experience I know it is something we will do as a family over and over again throughout the years.  The boys were so kind and sweet I was just so proud to be their mama.

Then there was The Festival of the Trees.  Grace was so excited to see all the twinkling lights and hear the Christmas music she just danced up and down the rows of Christmas trees laughing and clapping.  Her brothers were so thrilled with her excitement that they didn't know whether to watch her or the festivities.

It seems Christmas decorations are going up all around the neighborhood.  Down the street there are twinkling white lights and wreaths decorating the houses.  The neighbors behind us are putting up their Christmas tree today.  As I let the dog out I watched the lights being carefully strung on, row by row.  The air is taking on a feeling of Christmas.  And yet just this morning I rushed out to buy all my goodies for our Thanksgiving feasts.  My head is dancing with turkey timers and special cranberry sauces to be made and mom's stuffing to master.  Everyone else seems to be on fast forward to Christmas and here I am desperately trying to slow the swift current of time. 

My mom is going to be needing heart surgery to replace a valve that has been damaged by her cancer.  It is the same valve replacement surgery that my 9 year old sister died from 40 years ago.  And though I know medicine has changed dramatically in 40 years, I am still very nervous.  It is heart surgery, after all. 

Five years ago when my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and given a few months to live I begged God for just another 5 years.  Five.  A good five years and I would be grateful, I said.  GAH!  Why hadn't I asked for more?  Now here I am crawling back to God on my hands and knees asking him for another 5 (or 15) years.  Please God, don't let this be her last Thanksgiving. 

My mind is filled with things I want to tell you about my mom, why she is so wonderful, but I just can't get them out.  All I keep thinking is, she's my best friend.  I'm not ready. 

Yes, there are so many different things I could write about.  Tell you about.  But my mind only keeps wandering back to the one that truly matters.  If you have a moment sometime in your busy day could you please spare a whisper of prayer for my mom? Thanks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Tired Just Thinking About It

This week is a busy one.  And next week doesn't look that much better.

I can already check yesterday's activities off my list as done.  Vet appointment.  Check.  Cleaning.  Check.  Pick kids up at school at 11 and 11:45.  Check.  Make lunch.  Check.  Go for a run.  Check.  Homework with Joey. Check.  Parent/Teacher Conferences at school.  Check.  Dinner.  Check.  Showers. Check.  Bedtime.  CHECK.   Whew! 

Now I just have to deal with the rest of this week. 

It is that time of year again and Todd will soon be headed up north for a week to go deer hunting.  Because his dad will not be going this year the responsibility of feeding the whole camp goes to me. So, I have to prepare meals and deserts and such for the camp to eat.  That alone makes me busy.  Today I am making a massive batch of applesauce, a few dozen cookies of different varieties, and a very hardy soup.  I also have three loads of laundry to do so somewhere in there.  Oh.  And I have to remember to feed the kids. 

On Friday Grace has a doctor's appointment that I have to drag all the boys along to because they are getting their flu shots.  And I have to pick up and distribute one of the fundraisers from school. 

On Saturday I signed the kids and I up to deliver Thanksgiving food boxes to families in need.  I thought it would be a great experience for all of us and I've always wanted to do it.  However, I am starting to worry a bit about the logistics of it all.  You know, carrying heavy box up to a house while also trying to get all the kids out of their carseats and carrying Grace too.  Hmm.  We'll see how it goes. 

Sunday is church.  Church with four kids by myself.  That should be interesting. 

Getting the kids to school on time should be interesting as well seeing how Grace likes to sleep until 9:30 or 10 in the morning.  I'll have to wake her up at 7 in order to get everyone out the door on time.  That should be fun. 

Todd should be home on Wednesday.  He'd better be because we are going to have to book it to the grocery store to get everything we need to host Thanksgiving at our house on Thursday.  And then again on Saturday.  Yipes. 

I hope I can get at least one or two runs in there somewhere too because on Thanksgiving morning I am supposed to run a 10K race.  That is not a joke.  I am running a 10K race and then hosting Thanksgiving.  HA!  Just writing that down makes me sound a little crazy.  Ah well.

So.  Yeah.  Busy week.  What was that I was saying about Thanksgiving being a nice, calm, peaceful holiday?  ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Comes First!

And so it begins.  Earlier this year than I can remember any other year.  But that is how it goes.  It gets earlier and earlier every year.  My mailbox is already transitioning from being jammed with political flyers to Christmas advertisements. 

Even my kids notice the difference.  "Why do they have Christmas trees up already mom?  Isn't that crazy? It's not even Halloween yet!" my boys said to me as we walked through Menards.  Even my young children know the order of things.  First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas.  That's the order.

A few days before Halloween I walked into Target (although it could have been any store) to get face paint for my kiddos and found the Halloween items being put on clearance to make room for all the Christmas items.  Christmas trees were already up.  Lawn ornaments with penguins holding presents, Santas popping out of chimneys, and candy canes that lit up were already on display.  It wasn't even Halloween.  Never mind the fact that we were still almost a month away from Thanksgiving.

And here is the thing, I love Thanksgiving.  It is one of my most favorite holidays.  It is the one holiday when family comes from miles around to be together with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company and giving thanks for the many blessings we have.  It is a peaceful holiday.  A warm, cozy holiday unencumbered by the piles of presents one is expected to receive and give.  There is no worry about someone unexpectedly giving you a gift that you do not have a gift for. No worry of giving a gift to someone that doesn't have one for you, therefore making that person feel badly.  No wondering if you spent enough or too much on the gifts.  No pressure to find the perfect gift that they will love.  The children are not constantly asking "Can we open gifts now?" throughout dinner.  Massive piles of multicolored paper will not be plugging up every surface of the house.  Thanksgiving is a reflective time to give thanks for all that we have before the season of "gimme, gimme, gimme" starts in. 

Except now it seems society just skips right over being thankful.  It is all about what you don't have and what you "must" have.  Not about what you do have.  And that makes me sad.  What happened to being thankful?

But being thankful doesn't make money.  And it is all about the almighty dollar these days. Christmas has turned into a business.  The money business.  It has been commercialized and stripped of what it is really about.  And with that is has gobbled up one of the purest of holidays. 

Well, not on my watch.  And not on Suldog's watch either.  Suldog is calling us to action.  If you would like to help stop the cheapening of the holidays stop at Suldog's and read his post.  Write a post of your own!  Let's take back Christmas as the holy day that it is and not the two month long circus it is made out to be.  Let everyone know that Thanksgiving comes first.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Adding One More

I always knew there was someone missing in our family. 

We weren't planning on this.  The last thing I needed was another mouth to feed, more poop to clean up, and another one to scold.  But I just couldn't help myself.

We were planning on looking at getting a dog in spring or summer.  I looked into breeds.  I wanted a dog that was good with kids.  A laid back dog that was still very playful.  I wanted a big dog that would keep me company and watch over the house when Todd was on a hunting trip.  If possible I wanted a dog that wouldn't shed much.  I wanted a dog that was easy to train.  Perhaps one that didn't bark all day long.  I had a long list of wants.  I found all of those things in the Gooldendoodle breed and I also found a breeder that was perfect.  Her dogs were treated like family and were not kept in kennels just used for breeding.  They had the run of her five acre home.  They had ponds to swim in.  And WOW where they well behaved.  I knew I would be getting our dog from her eventually. 

The boys bugged me constantly about getting a dog and would make me pull up the breeder's website often just to look at the pictures of the beautiful dogs that we would eventually be getting.  When I went to the website this past week I saw that a 3 month old puppy had become available.  This puppy was sold a month ago but returned to the breeder when the owner decided she could not keep up with a puppy and her two young children.  The puppy was already potty trained, would sit and lie down on command, and was a very smart girl.  I just couldn't believe my good fortune.  When I told Todd about the dog he told me I should contact the breeder and find out more about her.  The breeder told me that there was already a long list of people interested in her.  I told her to add us to the list. 

Todd and I mulled it over for a long time.  Were we ready for a puppy?  Was Grace old enough to defend herself from a puppy?  Was this dog as great as she sounded?  Could we afford a puppy right now (this dog was not cheap)? 

The breeder told us that she had picked us out of the list of people and that if we wanted her we could have her.  We decided to take the leap and went to pick up our new puppy on Friday. 

This is Molly:

She is the best puppy I have ever met in my entire life.  We have hit the jackpot, ladies and gentleman.
She was an absolute angel for the hour and a half long car ride back to our house.  When we got home she and the boys tired themselves out in the backyard for a couple of hours until it got dark.
She is full of energy and life, and yet is able to calm down when playtime is over.
It was hard to get everyone to settle down for a picture.  The kids were SO THRILLED with their new puppy and Molly just wanted to run and run.  Joey held on to Grace and I tried to keep Molly by me for a quick pic.
After all that playing Molly was worn out.  When the boys went to bed Molly curled up on the floor and took a nap.  When it was time for bed we put Molly in her crate next to our bed and she slept right through the night.  She didn't whine or cry.  I was a little worried how she would adjust to our house as she had been juggled from place to place a bit, but she adjusted perfectly.

She even went trick or treating with us and waited patiently as the boys went up to the doors for their candy.
We had a huge group of kids trick or treating with us this year and she was so well behaved with all of them.  There was no jumping on them or chasing them.  She just walked along nicely and enjoyed herself.
Molly doesn't even seem like a puppy.  She has not had one accident in our house.  She goes to the patio doors and lets out a quiet little whine when she has to go potty.  She knows not to play bite when she is playing with the boys and she is extra gentle with Grace.  We have yet to really hear her bark.  The boys love being greeted by Molly when they come downstairs in the morning.  It just brightens their whole day.  She is a little doll.  Our whole family is in love. 
Welcome to the family, Molly!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

 Hope you had as much fun as we did! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Cemetary

PhotoStory Friday

I grew up in this cemetary. 

I rode my bikes up and down the hills.   My mom and I would take our walks here all the time. I would bring my friends to the cemetary and play here as a child.
I know it is probably sounds strange, but I felt at home in this cemetary.  My sister's grave is in this cemetary.  As are my grandma and grandpa.  Now my father's grave is there too.
The first house Todd and I bought was one block from this cemetary.  The first few times I took him on walks through the cemetary he thought it was a little odd.  Now he loves it too.  And my boys love running up and down the hills and driving thier bikes up the same roads I did as a child.

The house we now live in is about a mile from the cemetary and I often take my runs to and through the cemetary. 
I find peace and comfort there.
And sometimes when I am struggling with my sassy children the cemetary provides prospective and helps me to see how blessed I really am.  And I realize that nothing my children do is that bad.  Not as bad as decorating their grave for the holidays would be.  And I am so grateful for that painful reminder. 

I love this cemetary.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson