So, Funny story! I went to my mom's house to visit my sister who was is in town for Christmas. On her dining room table there was an envelope labeled, "Happy Birthday Sarah" in my Aunt Ranger's hand writing. I very curiously asked my mother what that was, and she said she had come across it while going through some old pictures. So I opened it up and there was a nice crisp 20 dollar bill! Seeing how my birthday was over 4 months ago, and I had received a card from this very same Aunt, I asked how long this card had been in her possession. My loving mother then fessed up and said that she thought it had been about 3 years. 3! YEARS! So, to the Aunt who sent this, thank you for the wonderful card. My non-thanks was not intentional on my part. Sorry for the delayed graditude. LOL! I still think it's pretty amusing, and today it bought the boys lunch at McCalisters. Yummy!
So, over the last couple of weeks I have realized that our family is under attack. Some might think that we should be scared or nervous. Some may read that and say, defend yourselves. Well before any conclusions are jumped to, let me give some more details.
Last week we were bringing a roll of hay home to the horses. Pulled by our van, as usual. We successfully got the roll into the field with them, got the van out of the field, and it stopped! Just cut off. No explanation. So we pushed it home with our other vehicle. For a week now we have been replacing parts and sensors. Today we finally surrendered and had it towed to an auto repair shop. This is simple right? Wrong. This is Richard's pet peeve. Battle # 1.
This past Sunday we were at the church's fall festival. Nathan, Matthew, and I had just began to walk around after wrapping 640 hot dogs to feed all the visitors. They had successfully went on one air blown soft slide and decided to try the air blown obstical coarse. I was at the other end waiting for them to exit, as Matthew did. Then I heard Nathan began to scream this blood curdling bone chilling scream! I ran to him, knowing that something was really wrong. There I found him trying to stand up, but unable to. I asked him where it hurt and he yelled, " My Back! It Popped!" Instinct kicked in and I got him on the ground. I quickly calmed him down and began to ask the important questions...
Can you feel me touching you, Are your legs tingling, What happened...
He told me that he was on the top peak (about 5 feet up) and he fell head first into the blow up thing. A couple of people from our church saw me on the ground with him, holding his head and rushed over. God is so good! They each had medical training. One stabilized his head and the other began to check him out. In the mean time Richard was called to come to where we were. I had told Nathan not to move because if something was seriously wrong with his back, we didn't want to make it worse. Richard came over and I told him we needed to get Nathan to the hospital. He asked if he should bring the car, and I told him, that this required an ambulance. I asked him to call 911, which he did. Six hours later and 1 CT, they told us that it is a sprained neck and back. PRAISE GOD! Battle # 2
Today I come home from work as usual. Richard and I had decided to tow the car and so I went inside to use my mom's phone to call AAA. My dad begins telling me that the neighbors dog had attacked his small 20lb Daisy! I asked to see her and could tell right away that she needed medical attention. ( By the way, the attacker dog is a pit bull) So I rushed her to the vet where she was shaved and stapled back together. Now she is next to me in her create snoring. Battle #3
I have been getting comments about the way I handled Nathan's trauma and how with everything that is going on, how calm I remain. That's because I have realized that it's war. See, Richard has been on fire witnessing to people and sharing the gospel with them. Nathan has taken a stand in school and most of the 5th grade knows that he is a christian and he is being tested in his own way. Matthew has learned 85 bible verses in 4 weeks. Satan hates every bit of that. So he is trying to take our focus off of Christ and put it on circumstances. Spiritual war.
While what we are going through is no walk in the park, it is bearable. God says in 1Corinthians 10:13
No temptation is given such as common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with that temptation will provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
At times I am tempted to give up, walk away, but then I realize that's not what God wants us to do. Then I remember...
I John 4:4...greater is He who is in me, than he who is in this world!
Phillippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
So I press on. Encouraging my children to continue to do God's will and all the time knowing that these trials are confirmation that we are right in the middle of God's will. While they are scary at times, and overwhelming at others, I wouldn't have it any other way!
The Lord is near to those with a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
So true! So true!
There is no title for this one. I am either too tired or can't think of one. This is just a "what I've been up to" update.
Lately everything has been hectic. This is just a glimpse of my week...
Monday. This is the most hated day for most of America, but this day is actually my friend. Monday is the only day during the week that I am not scheduled to be somewhere.
Tuesday. Work nad then off to pick the boys up by 3pm, homework must be done in an hour so we can get ready for soccer practice. We are there until 7pm.
Wednesday. Home by 3, leave the house at 4 for guitar practice, then church at 6, back home by 9pm.
Thursday. Follows Tuesday's schedule, but practice is for a different child.
Friday. Follows Tuesday and Thursday's schedules, but the actual games are Friday nights at 6. By Friday night neither Richard or I want to think about cooking so we usually eat out and are lucky to be home by 9.
Saturday. Up by 7. If we don't get up this early things don't get done. This is my laundry day and catch up day. This is not a leisure day for me. Usually there is something going on. Last week for instance, I had a baby shower at one. A baby shower that I didn't not shop for until Saturday morning. If there are any questions about that, see the above schedule.
Sunday. We are out all but an hour on Sundays.
Monday it start all over again. This is why I have not been on my blog too often. The middle of November soccer will be over and I will have more down time. Hopefully?
So here we are again.
It is August 25th and there are only 18 days until the bible bee. Last night I sent an e mail confirmation to the hosting church confirming their attendance. Apparently out of over two hundred children at this location alone, 50 of them have dropped out and they were trying to get an accurate number so that they could staff appropriately. If you saw the intensity of this bee you would applaud the children who even just show up. I have sheltered my children from the regulations and have just made it about learning to hide God's word in their hearts. I too have benefitted from this. For instance, a month ago I couldn't quote Psalms 34:18-19, but today I know that it says...
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.
Psalms 34:18-19 NKJV
That is always a great verse to remind me that God is in control and I have nothing to fear. So I will continue to teach my children God's word and show them how to apply it in their lives. Even though they are young they are learning to recognize and utilize the verses in their hearts. It is really cool to see them blossom.
Please pray for them as that gets nearer. Every Wednesday night I take them to a study group where there are several adults who have volunteered to sit and listen to the children who are invloved in the bible bee quote verses to them. They are called encouragers because that is exactly what they do. They encourage the children to continue to learn verses and give them tons of positive reinforcement. The kids love to quote verses to people who are just willing to listen. So simple isn't it? There are 7 children from our church who will be participating in the bible bee from our church, and they are all each other's encouragers. They are not competitive about winning. They just want to be there with their friends. :o)
It's amazing what children will teach us if we just allow them to.
SO last night Richard and I went bowling with the church. It was a couple's bowling fellowship. We were the first ones to arrive and asked if we could go ahead and be put on a lane. The man gave us our choice of lanes that were reserved. ( this is because we go so often they know us and give us perks.) So Richard and I began bowling. We got through one game and then the people from our group started to trickle in. We ended up with 5 of us playing on our lane. Our second game was my personal best. It started out with a couple spares, then I heard commotion on one of the other lanes. It was a woman I had never seen before and she had gotten a turkey. ( for the novices out there, this is 3 strikes in a row) Well apparently that brought out the competitiveness in me and I decided that I wanted to do that too. So I took my time and began aiming. Let me just ask you a question, Is there a name for 5 strikes in a row? There should be. My score was 210 at the end of the game, beating not only Richard, but everyone else who was with us. It was fun and Richard who bowled a 105 that game went to sulk in the men's restroom for a bit. I was humble with him, but the other men were not. :o) I got two free games out of the deal. It was "sweet!" So one more question... Wanna bowl?
The pain part came last night. I have back problems and knew that it wasn't going to be pretty when I sat still long enough for fluids to accumulate. Which happened in the car ride home. I immediately took motrin and went to bed. This morning it felt better but still is stiff. One of the men who was bowling with us on our lane is the one who came to cut mom's tree. He told Richard that he needed to take me bowling today while I was still in pain because that way he would have a chance at winning. :o)
Not often do I excel above Richard, but it is so nice to do it with witnesses. :o)
So we are in Miami for the fourth. It was an unexpected trip that we decided to take this past Monday. Didn't tell anyone that we were coming except Richard's mom cause we are staying with her. It is weird. Everything has changed, and yet some things are exactly the same. Huh? you ask, Well, the scenery changed so much. New homes, new shopping plazas on every corner. Things that never change? Roses sold by the dozen for five dollars at every street light in dade county, Asking for two loaves of cuban bread in the bakery and receiving a look of confusion because the girl behind the counter doesn't know what language you are speaking ( english ), Going into a grocery store and not being able to walk around with out stopping or being hit by a shopping cart. Yes, familiar yet very different. So tonight we are off to see the fireworks later tonight. The boys love the bright colored explosions in the sky. Tomorrow we are going to church. The church where I grew up, met Richard, and married him in. That church. That will be fun to see the pastor and his wife's face. It has been years. About 9 since we were last there. So, if Aunt Ranger sees this post, which I pray that she does, maybe she will go to church too so we can have a reunion. :o)
Hi there. So this makes two in a row. I am on lunch right now so this is legal. I thought that I would multi-task for a bit. Matthew went bowling with his new ball this weekend. It was the highest score of his career. A 62! Way to go munchkin. So proud, he was. Nathan is still waiting for his ball to arrive. Mine came, but I am waiting to have the holes drilled until Nathan's comes in. There goes that multi-tasking thing again. Besides, he is a bit blue that his hasn't arrived. It would add insult to injury if I had mine the next time we went bowling, and he was the only one who had to use a bowling alley ball! What kind of mother would I be? No, I will practice patients and be a supportive mother. One who secretly opens her bowling bad to peer at the red, green, and blue swirls of a shiney new ball that has yet to be hurled at the quivering pins. Speaking of which, Matthew at the end of his last game noticed that his ball had gotten a faint scratch. Well, one would have thought the world was going to end! He walked right up to Richard and pointed his little finger up to him and stated VERY loudly, your ball scratched mine! He was serious. Who can bowl after something like that? Needledd to say my first throw was a gutter. When all was said and done, 25cents buys a ball polishing, and all was well again.
What I have been up to lately...
Tuesday - Friday I work 10 hour days with a 45 minute commute either way. Mondays I work 11 hours at our church's summer day camp that Richard runs. That leaves the weekends. Saturdays we spend a few hours at the local bowling alley. Yes bowling, I go. Actually, the four of us have really thrown ourselves into this little sport? Needless to say, we all have our own bags and ball. Richard got shoes and his bag for father's day. Matthew took his ball for the first time yesterday. He bowled a 62! Go Matthew! Not bad for 7 years old. Nathan and I are still waiting on our balls to be shipped, then we too will arrive in style. My highest game yet is a 177. Pretty proud I must say. Richard;s highest game was a 189. I will get there. Eventually. Sundays are filled with church and not much else. Except for tonight. I have a headache so didn't go. Instead, I post. So that is what the summer has held for us thus far. Susan and Michael are headed this way the end of July, and we are going bowling with them too. They are excited. As are we. It will be fun. So I hear thunder and must run home now before it pours, but I will post more frequently. Keep checking from time to time.
So here we are at the end of another school year. Matthew will move on to 2nd grade and Nathan will go to 5th. Both boys are doing very well at their academics. Matthew will read every sign to you as you drive him around town, with pride I might add. Nathan always has his little nose pressed in a book. Garfield was his latest adventure I do believe. I am going to enroll them both in a bible-bee. Instead of learning words, they memorize bible verses and then compete in September. Speaking of which, I have to register them tonight. So I will let you know how this goes. This is our newest adventure. Just thought I would update you on what we are doing as of now... Soon to be continued. Hopefully it won't take another 4 months. :o)
So this past Sunday Richard was ordained. So proud I was.The boys were so good during the whole thing. The way our church does it is, the wives and children stand behind the men who are being ordained. Last night we were watching the dvd that was recorded. Matthew was amusing. Occasionally he would wave a little finger wave at someone, and then smile. At one point he even made faces. We questioned him and found out it was to his awana leader who had walked his awana group down to the sanctuary to see Matthew's daddy. They were in the balcony. So that explaines that. There was another man who was also being ordained and his 4 yr old son was being held by his wife. During the dvd he 4 yr old was playing with the mom's hair, and her eyes. It was funny. Needless to say, Matthew did very well.
Yesterday the farrier came to do the horses feet. Bella was first and she did splendid as always. It took 15 minutes. I let Savanna watch so that she could see that things were cool, and wouldn't be frightened. Savanna was next. I warned the farrier that I was unsure of how well she would do. He reassured me that it would be alright. She stood perfectly still for him and was such a love bug. The farrier told me that she had 3-4 months worth of growth on her. It took 15 minutes as well! The farrier told me that we have a really nice horse. After her peticure I turned her loose and she stood next to me for a minute and then put her head on my chest, as if to snuggle and say thank you. She has done this once before after I brushed her. She really craves that attention and adores the fact that we give it to her. Poor baby just needs love.
Sorry for the time distance between posts. I have been busy and sick, which is no fun at all. Sick is ending, busy is not.
Two weeks ago tomorrow we lost our little Oscar (kitty) to a rattle snake. He came home to die, which in my experience, cats go off to die. This was a bit hard. I woke up at 5 am. When I went outside to check on everything, I saw Oscar standing in the yard walking my direction really slowly. I called him to me and once on the porch he collapsed. I checked him out and found the bite on his belly. It didn't take long to overcome his little self. I spent the rest of the morning on the porch unil it was over for him, Knowing that a vet trip would be in vain, I comforted and stayed with him until the end. Nathan took this really hard, and finally got through the crying every time he hears his name, stage. This is good. He asked me to print out a couple of pictures of him, so that he would not forget what he looks like. I did, and it took a while, but the pictures finally made it to being taped up on his bedroom wall. They are strategically placed so that when he lays in bed at night with the door open he can see him. Oliver (the other kitty) has finally stopped looking for Oscar. He senses that Nathan is hurting and so I caught him asleep on Nathan's bed snuggling. Nathan told me the next morning that he was awoken to Oliver squeezing his self under Nathan's arm so that Nathan was hugging him. This made Nathan smile, which began the road to recovery. Needless to say, Oliver spends the majority of his days inside now. Richard has been told by Nathan that this was something that he was just going to have to get used to. Richard surrendered. Oliver is a happy purring machine now. It was sad, but all involved are doing better. So since everything is a lesson in our home, the boys know that they do not go outside without an adult. And so this was explained. If only the nightshade incident had the same effect on cats. They too would not be outside playing with things without asking me. Oliver is a home body, so his trips outside consist of running, squatting, shoveling, and running back inside. Quick and simple. I did make him stay outside a bit today. Where was he? On the grill until the door to the nice cool happy place was opened and he was invited back in. :o)
Aren't they cute? Richard discovered them today! I heard little peeping, and Richard told me that I needed to go inside and look at the babies. So I did. Then I quickly sent Richard inside for my camera while mama hen was up, and I could snap a shot of them. They are all eatting. There are four in total, and four more eggs. One egg had a part of the shell that was chipped. I don't know if that was external or internal chipping. I guess we will find out soon enough now, won't we?
So a couple of hens have been sitting on several eggs. I am not just talking about an occasional oh, let me just sit here but rather, I will not move from this spot for hours or even days on end. This is when I suspected something was up. Today I had decided that it was time to candle the eggs. When I went into the coop, to my surprise I saw this!.....Guess there is no need to candle the eggs to see if they are fertile. I will wait about another week to see if the remaining 7 will turn into tiny chicks. Guess you can say our farm is alive and well.
So, this morning I woke up about 7:30am. This is sleeping in for me, Somewhat. I got dressed and took off across the road to get Bella so we could go riding. I successfully managed to get her across the road and tied to a tree before Savanna began freaking out. The two are bonded quite well. I got Richard up and we both went outside to see Bella calling back to her and trying to get off her lead rope so that she could go to Savanna. I calmed her down and Richard took off to Savanna to comfort her. She had her harness on and was running around like a maniac looking for Bella. She could hear Bella but couldn't see her and it was driving her nuts! She was naying and running around looking for Bella. I walked Bella back over to the field where Savanna was and decided to saddle her there. I actually wound up saddling both horses up. I rode Bella first. She got her exercise. I ran her a bit and when she got tired, I got off and tied her to a fence post. Then Richard suggested that I ride Savanna since she was already saddled. I did. She did okay. She is in heat and horses are difficult and moody when this occures. It was a short ride, but she did really well. Then we opened the gate that was separating them, Savanna and Bella sniffed each other and kinda rubbed noses. It was really sweet. They both really enjoy the other. I will probably ride Bella when it gets cooler this evening. After I took their tack off, Richard hosed them down with cool water. Bella LOVED it. Savanna wasn't so sure but quickly realized that it was a good thing that wasn't going to hurt her. They both ate while they were being cooled off. Happy horses I tell you....happy horses!
The middle picture is of Bella on the left and Savanna on the right. They are waiting to be fed. I was holding their food as I took the photo, so that is why they are so attentive. The bottom picture is Savanna close up!
So this weekend was jam packed full of activities. Saturday we were out and about all day. Running errands, cleaning the church, a meeting at the church about a new ministry that we are going to be involved in. It is called
That was a two hour meeting. Then we get home and fix the horse fence. It was low in a couple of places, and so we repaired those spots with barbed wire. Bella was "helping" us. She is like a big nosey dog. Everywhere we went, she followed, and smelled EVERYTHING! Even the barbed wire. Needless to say this only happened once. So as we were in the process, a storm rolled in and caught us. The kids and I ran to the truck, and Richard rode the lawn mower in the rain 3 1/2 acres back to the pole barn. We were all soaked by the time we got in the house, so we changed into our cozy p.j.s only to receive a phone call and have to go out again. Friends of ours are moving to Kentucky, so they asked if we could put their horse on the land with Bella. Loving horses and having a life long dream of owning one, it was a no brainer. Thank goodness I have an understanding husband who also happens to enjoy animals, and has experience with equine. So the previous call was the guy who was going to move her calling to tell us that he would meet us in 30 minutes! So we hopped into our clothes and headed over there. By the time we got her loaded in the trailer, and back here it was late. The friends that were mentioned came with us so they could see her turned loose with our horse. They had one "battle" to establish dominance. Then we invited them inside for dinner where I cooked meatloaf, fresh corn on the cob we bought from a local farmer we know, and mashed potatoes and gravy. After dinner they stayed a bit and chatted. By the time we got into bed it was almost midnight. I had to be up at 6 to get ready for church.
And so today started. We went to church, feeding the horses on the way out. We noticed that Savanna ( the new addition) had a wound on her hind quarter. Bella clearly kicked her and established that she was and is queen bee. Go Bella! Savanna now yields to her and they get along fine. After church there was a new member lunch in that we attended so that Richard could make new contacts with the new college age kids. We finally got home about 2:45pm. As soon as we walked in the door dad called for Richard. He was louring him over there to suprise him for his birthday. It is tomorrow. So after singing a quick happy birthday and eatting some cake, we were out to the field to clean and dress the open wound for Savanna. She was good about the whole thing. Then we rushed home and gathered our things to leave again. Every 2nd Sunday of the month there are home bible study groups. Richard and I were invited to one on Wednesday and so we went. We were there for a little over 2 hours and then flew to church. Now were are home and I am wiped out. So this week should be fun with no recovery this weekend from last week. Maybe next weekend I can sleep in and be lazy. No, wait, I will be up early to ride Bella beacuse this weekend I didn't get a chance to. (Sigh) Well, I am going to go lay down in the bed and vegg for a bit before drifting off to sleepland. Hope you all had a good weekend. I will post some pictures of the horses together. I don't have any right now because I didn't have any time to think about taking one. :o) (sigh again)
Richard and I were running the cotton candy machines along with another couple of people. There were several children besides our two that were with us, so I told our children that they could hang out with them as a group, and explained to them their boundaries. Making it known that when I looked up, I wanted to be able to see them and not panic. After a couple of hours, checking on them the whole time, I looked up and saw Matthew with a couple of his little friends, but didn't see Nathan. Thinking that I must have missed him, I quickly scanned the crowd again. Still not being able to eyeball his location, I asked Richard if he could see them. He couldn't and since it was growing dark, and the crowd of people were growing quite thick, he took off to locate him, thinking that we both missed him. I was cool up until this point. When Richard returned without our child and said, I can't find him anywhere, I freaked! I walked over to the chldren's pastor's wife and asked her if she had seen Nathan, since I last saw him with her son. She said that her son had gone with someone from our church to go get something to eat, and that maybe Nathan was with them. I told Richard that I was going to walk the lake and look for him......didn't I mention that this whole scene was set on a lake! OK! now you mom's feel my panic. So I got about 100 yards looking for my child who was wearing a red shirt, along with half the people there. Then I see him, walking my direction. He had in fact gone wiith the group to get food. When he saw me he looked like he was going to throw up. I scolded him for not telling me that he was going to leave, and explained that I had been looking for him for about 20 minutes! The adult who was with him, told me that Nathan wanted to go, and he asked Nathan if it was okay with me, and Nathan's response was yes. That did it! I told the group I was not upset with them for having Nathan, but rather with Nathan for lying to them and causing this whole thing. So Nathan and I handled business. Yes, it is possible to spank a nine year old in a port-a-potty. Not the most appealing or comfortable, but possible. Lucky for Nathan my swing was restricted by the amount of space one said port-a- potty has....After that, Nathan stayed right where I could see him at all times.
So tomorrow is the 4th. Which means there is only 10 days before Richard's birthday. I have some shopping to do. Anyway, tomorrow I have the day off. I plan on doing some riding in the early morning hours. It is not hot, and the horse won't be reluctant. Not that she gives me any problems. I am the only one who she will take direction from. So then we will visit a friend that is in town from the army. He goes back Sunday. Then laying around, and relaxing. Not to mention the fireworks that we will be going to at night. The boys love to see them. In past forth of July's we have been in a hotel overlooking the ocean. We would sit on the balcony and watch all the fireworks across the bay that different towns were having. There had to be at least 6 or 7 different displays. It was awesome. No crowd, No skeeters, and no traffic afterwards. This year, I will miss that. Oh well. There is also the upside of working a booth. Our church is going to hand out pop corn and cotton candy to the community. We are all volunteering for this. We are trying to instill a servant's heart in our children. We took them to the fair and they helped hand out balloons, which they LOVED. It was awesome to see them reach out to people. They couldn't get enough.
So I am back! Yes it is about time, this I know. Ever get to see God at work? Usually I tend to see his work after the fact. You know, hind sight is 20/20. This much is true. This past week I had the chance to see God at work as His plan unfolded. This was truely awesome. This past week I had my sister-in-law staying with us. It was nice to see her and the boys really enjoyed her visit. During her stay, she became a christian. She chose the date to come. It happened to be the week of V.B.S. at our church. She had no choice but to attend, since Richard was going to be volunteering. So off she went. She found herself in the kindergarten class helping out. This is cool since she was able to get the Word at the most basic level. Wednesday night at church the pastor preached on the Roman Road. Plain and simple plan of salvation. I could visibly see her struggling. I told Richard that he needed to spend time with her one on one. He took her out to eat with the college and career kids that he teaches. Mind you, Leslie's forst day of college was today. ( I have to call her, note to self) Thursday was parent night at V.B.S. and the pastor pulled her aside and talked to her with me there. It was a long and delicate process. She did accept Christ.That was awesome! God just has everything in his control, and yet again I got the chance to see Him at work. Pray for her. She needs the prayers.
Today was a hard day. For those of you who attended Expressway baptist church, you would have known Carl Friar. He passed away this Monday. Today was his funeral. It was hard to say good-bye to him since I have known him since I can remember. After the funeral Richard and I were invited back to Carl's and Lollie's house. There was an enormous amount of food there and lots of old friends. The Culpeppers were even there. She couldn't remember if I was a Vining or a Sweeting. I refreshed her memory and then it came back to them. It was great to see them. Last night was the viewing which we took the boys to. Matthew was curious about the whole thing. Nathan didn't say much while we were there. When we got in the car to go to church, he fell apart. Mr. Carl, as Nathan knew him, was his Sunday school teacher last year. He really grew close to him and loved him. He was still pretty emotional at church, but was okay after a bit. We left the decision of whether or not to attend the funeral up to him. He didn't really want to, so he stayed in school. It was probably best considering how emotional I was. That alone would be enough to upset him. Jose Valdes sang the song "thank you". I was okay until he got to the part that talked about the man teaching Sunday school when the boy was only eight. That really hit me because Nathan was in his Sunday school class at the age of 8. The boys, David, Jeff and Doug gave his eulogy. They did a wonderful job. At the grave site taps was played on a horn by the honor guard, and Lollie was presented with the flag that draped over his coffin. That too was a tear jerker. Although we will again see him someday, he is well missed.
Thursday was a pretty normal day. At work it was a relatively bad day in general, as it had been for about 3 weeks now. Not the job itself, but the woman who is in charge of the clinic has been a witch. That is besides the point. I came home to wonderful company. Zeta and M were stopping by on their way to a destination up north. ( It was really great to see you) Richard was at church all day working and decided to stay there for his football practice, rather that drive home the 25 miles it is only to have to drive back in an hour or so. Gas is to precious these day to just be wastin' it. So after a visit with the family, the boys and I decided that we would go home to eat dinner. It was more my decision, not theirs. THey had homework and it was already about 6:20 or so, which only left about an hour and a half before their bed time. We made the short journey home through the wire and wooden gate that seperates us from gran-ma. On the way in, I told the boys that the chickens still had to be fed, so while I was getting the chicken food, they were out and about. Nathan walks into the shed where I am and shows me this little "blue" berry. I asked him where he got it and he pointed to some weeds by the porch. I told him that it wasn't a blueberry and that he needed to put it down. He did and then continued on about his playing outside. When I was finished with the chickens I called the boys to come inside. As we walked past the weeds, he made the remark about how bad these berries tasted. I asked him what berries and he pointed to the same group of weeds. I asked him how many he ate and he said "one". I scolded him for not listening and explained that I did not know what they were and that they could be poisonous!He apologized and we went inside still being scolded for disobeying. I called mom to ask if she knew what they were as I began the task of making dinner. Her comment to me was " I don't know, but I never see the birds eatting them." Come to think of it I hadn't either. We hung up and I served the food and went online to find out what he got into. It took about an hour to locate it but this is what it was.......
Caution: This plant is Poisonous.
Further description & Comment: Bushy growth, 2 - 4 feet tall. Some plants in damp, sheltered spots will bloom as early as January.
The forked feature is easiest seen later in the year when the berries develop on the distinctly forked pedicles.
So knowing this, I gathered the boys and got them into the car. On the way out, I printed the information I had found and took a sample of the plant and berries. Off to the hospital we went. I called mom to tell her what was going on, and she said that poison control told her that most berries in Florida are non-toxic, but without seeing the plant they couldn't tell her what it was. I then called Richard to tell him what was going on and he cancelled practice and met us there. We got to the hospital first and upon checking him in the coy woman at the admissions desk asked me , boredly, if he ate some china-berries. I told her I didn't know what china berries were, but that was NOT the case, and I had a sample of nightshade if she would like to be educated. Her whole tone changed at that point. SHe immediately put his registration form through and we sat down for what seemed an eternity, but was only about 5 minutes or so. Richard must have flown across town because he was there before the nurse called Nathan back. I went in armed with my bag of samples and pictures off the internet. THe woman weighed him, took his temp, and blood pressure and asked me why I thought it was nightshade. I handed her the bag and she layed it out and began to look at what was before her. He eyes grew wide and she , very quickly called poison control. While dialing, she asked if I had called them. I told her my mom had and what they said. She confirmed to poison control that it was nighshade and wanted to know the treatment for it. The asked about Nathan's age, weight, how many were ingested. She told them what they were asking. By this time, Nathan was itching all over and asking if he was going to die. I told him no, he would be okay. This was a popular question on the care ride to the hospital. Matthew saying that he didn't want his brother to die, and Nathan asking if he was going to. The nurse hung up and said that based on his weight and age and the fact that he only ate one, he would be fine. The itching was a side effect from the plant and that poison control said he should take some benedryl to counter act it. So feeling incredibly blessed and thanking God for answering my diligent and continuing prayer, we were allowed to go home. I gave Richard the great news and called mom to let her know what was going on as well. When we got home RIchard wanted to see the plants. I showed him and he said, we are getting rid of them Saturday! So that is what we are doing today. Just wanted all of you to be aware of what is out there. Especially Susan who has a young child. The nurse told me that if Nathan would have been smaller, eatting one could be serious, even fatal. SO look closely at the picture, google nightshade. It has small tiny white flowers that hang down. Berries that are green or dark purpleish-blue(when ripe). They grow wild. Just becareful. Even nine year olds eat things that look good. Don't think they won't.
Here is Nathan during his field day.........
and the 100 yard dash, which he came in 4th out of 6! Way to go Nathan! I discovered that he does better long distance running rather than short sprints. More pictures will soon follow. I must be off to church now!
So here are the long awaited pictures of the toothless wonder........
So last Wednesday, Matthew came home with the following story. He was eatting his peanutbutter and jelly sandwhich at lunch, when lo and behold his other loose tooth fell out. It bleeding and they sent him to nurse Becky. She gave him a cold beverage(water) and assured him the bleeding had stopped and sent him back to lunch. On his way back from lunch, Matthew trips onto the hard cement and really scrapes up his knee. It was bleeding pretty good and so again the teacher sent him to nurse Becky. She put a large bandaid over his knee, but a part of it was still exposed so it required another smaller (regular) sized bandaid under it to completely cover the wound. When he got home, I cleaned it out and put salve on it. Then to church we went. I decided to put on some "girly" smelling lotion. When this happens, the windows roll down and there are sounds of "ugh' and "pew". Richard rolled the windows up with out warning, only to catch Matthew's little fingers in it. He sat there for a minute with his mouth open before the sound of his wailing began. I turned around in my seat and inspected his little fingers, and told him that they would be okay, kissing them gently. All he said was... " I had a really hard day and I just want to go home." Richard, feeling like the scum of the earth, said, "daddy's sorry, you know that it was an accident don't you? Daddy's so sorry." Then the little quivering voice in the back said, " I forgive you daddy." That just twisted the knife in Richard's heart a little more.
Moral of the story, Even in the six year old world days get rough, but you must forgive those who hurt you.
No there were no broken fingers or lasting effects from the incidents that occurred that sad, sad Wednesday.
So Spring break was divine. We did a whole lot of nothing and pointless plundering. We did manage to go to Orlando to meet the Miami grandparents. Matthew lost one thing while there. Now, usually when you lose something there is crying and heart break involved. Not this time. He had been trying to lose it for a while. What you ask? His first baby tooth. He is adorable when he smiles, and now he is working on the second. I will post a picture of him with his toothless grin soon. :)
Seems like spring break has rubbed off on even the most resistant critters...
Funny how this seems to be the most popular scene around here. Although, this morning I was awoken to the horrific sounds of lumber men. Actually their machines. They were cutting all the trees down next door. It sounded as if they were in our yard headed straight for the house. Not a pleasant way to wake up in the morning. Couldn't they have waited until next week when spring break was over? What are they thinking?
So here I am at the end of my first day of vacation. How did I do you ask? Well my day began at 8:30 instead of 5:00 so that was a plus already. Then I made the boys fresh eggs and homemade cinnamon french toast. They were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their meal. Then I lounged and relaxed. Then relaxed and lounged. You get the idea. One could get really used to this. It could be a dangerous thing to be off.
Matthew did have a mommy- blond moment and is in bed as we speak. What did the little guy do you ask to receive such punishment, Well try taking the rod off of his bedroom shade to kill a fly. When the said fly landed on his shade, did he stop to think of the effect? No of coarse not. He is six. So then he found it necessary to come fetch mommy and have a full confession delivered before we made it to his room, complete with tears and holding his bottom, saying " you're gonna be mad". I had to hold in the chuckles because I can remember doing such a thing to our roll up shades with the wooden slat that weighed the bottom of the shade down. I remember hitting it, it ripping, and me trying to get the stupid thing to roll up before mom and dad found it. I figured that I had a 50/50 % chance that I would be hit. There were two of us! Matthew just tells on himself. Needless to say we will be buying a replacement shade in the near future.
Well, today is the first day of a nine day regroup from work. The boys are off for Spring break and I took the week too. It is much needed. At one point last week a friend looked at me and asked if I was okay. When I questioned her as to why she asked, she said you just look stressed. I confirmed her diagnosis and we moved on. I couldn't have picked a better time to be off. When I go back I go to a charting day, which is just a glorified way of saying mass cleaning and discharging of old patients, and a four day work week. Which may I add only four of twenty-one therapists will be there because of alachua county's spring break. Nice huh? Yeah I thought so too. Nothing big planned. Alot of horseback riding, lounging, and such. There are a couple of little people yearly exams scheduled for Wednesday, however. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. There is also a trip to Orlando planned at the end. We are going to meet the Miami grandma down there. She is missing the children big time and it saves either one of the parties involved having to drive all the way. That's it though.
So to each one of you who isn't on vacation yourself, or retired, and who has to work come Monday morning, I say one thing...........................
It is Saturday morning and you are driving down a remote country road with two little boys. The sun is just beginning to really shine and all is quiet. Ahead in the distance you see what appears to be a hawk eating the remains of something that was trying to make it across the road, but just quite didn't. As you get a little closer, the hawk begins to become greedy and decides to take it's newly found meal elsewhere. With one fail swoop, it lifts a two foot rattlesnake into the air! To your surprise the hawk begins to fly in the same direction as you are traveling. You, thinking that you should probably slow down, begins to do so, when the hawk decides that his meal isn't worth the aggravation and lets it go! Unable to predict this, the snake plunges right into your wind shield with a thud! You and your children begin screaming and you try to stop running off the road. Then the thought occurs that this thing that just "attacked" the car might still be on top of it. Knowing that you are going to the church for basketball games, you decide that pulling over to check out things would be a wise choice as not to frighten others, in case this thing is still with you. Luckily it is not with you, well, except for some fleshy particles. Thank goodness for those burger king napkins you save in your glove box. Does this happen to anyone else?
Anyone? At all?
So we went to Red Lobster where there was a two hour wait. We then went to Applebee's where there was a 30 minute wait. It was nice. The bays ate and ate. Matthew overate and felt ill and Nathan out ate everyone. Ten it was to Wally-world we went. The cats and dogs had to have food. It is just one of those things that happens every once and a while as a pet owner. You have to replenish the supply. All the furry small "people" at our house were happy when we got home. Matthew went to bed and went right to sleep. Nathan stayed up a while until we made him go to bed. Then we retired for the evening as well. I, only to be awoken to the obnoxious sound of a repeat buzzing sound at 5 am. NOT COOL. All the boys are home today. Richard stayed with them because it is a teacher's work day. Must be nice. They are going to do all the "farming " duties. Buying feed and such.
Today Richard and I are going to spend the night at Red Lobster with the boys. It is a special treat to eat there because the three boys in the house always out vote me to eat at the Chineese restaurant. I lose every time. This time I got to choose twhere to eat. Yum-yum. Hope you all have a nice day with your valentines. No matter what size they are.
Today is sort of a bitter-sweet day for me. Yes it is nice that it is V day, but last night we learned that Jorge lost his fight and passed away. We haven't heard any details about arrangements because Richard received a text message with the news. I would like to be there foe the funeral if at all possible. Richard feels the same way, but we have to find out more before we decide if we can go.
So. I know it has been a while since my last post. Sorry for that. There has been a lot going on that has kept me preoccupied. There are a couple of people that are close to Richard and I in the hospital. One is doing okay and holding his own, one is losing ground. Those of you who attended expressway during my teen years would probably know him. His name is Jorge Perez. He grew up to be a miami dade police officer. He was involved in a severe motorcycle accident that has put him in a coma for two weeks now. He was not wearing a helmet, and was going about 70 when he wiped out. The police said it was a mechanical failure on the bike. Needless to say there is brain damage and skull fractures. Today he took a turn for the worse. There is fluid in his lungs and his blood pressure is really low. Please pray for him and his family. This is a childhood friend of Richard's that I have known since I was 13. He is the daddy of two little ones. One is 3 yrs old and the other is a few months old. Sorry to post such a down one this time, but he needs all the prayers he can get. Makes you really greatful for the time that you have with your loved ones, since we are not promised tomorrow.
Well for those of you who thought I dropped off the face of the earth, I haven't. Just been really busy with work and church stuff. So, being the mother of a candid 6 yr old, you learn to roll with the punches. On Sunday our church rented out the local skating place and Richard and I took the boys. Shortly after we arrived a woman from the church fell and was really hurt. Matthew, who was finishing his first lap, saw the commotion and immediately came over to where I was sitting, took his skates off and said, " I am not skatin' any more! It is too dangerous." So the ambulance came and she had to be taken to the hospital with a broken ankle. During the excitement of the stretcher being brought in, Matthew turns to me and states, " I should have brought my camera! This would make a great picture!" Every one in ear shot began to chuckle. I, mortified that my child would find amusement in this situation asked him why he thought it would make a great picture. He informed me that the bed in the middle of the floor was cool. Made me stop to think about the way he saw things. To most it was a concerning situation, but to him it was the first time he had ever been exposed to paramedics and the way they do their job. Guess from Matthew's point of view it was pretty cool. Never the less, he did not skate any more that night and was quite content sitting with me watching daddy and Nathan go around.
So here we are. Another year has come and gone. Some people make resolutions this particular day. Some to lose weight. Some to change things that need changing. It is a time for fresh starts and new beginings. For me? It is a relaxing day. I get the day to just lay around and not do anything. Writing checks is always fun trying to learn the new number in the year. That will take me about 3 months to master. Those of you who still use the pen to make transactions know what I am talking about. I wish all of you happiness and sucess in the new year. Stay safe and be happy.
So here we are on the twenty-sixth. Gifts are open and being played with as I type. The sounds of chatter from the boy's room not arguing, is bliss. The washer is running and I am sitting in my PJs. The dogs are playing with each other at my feet, and my loaded camera is sitting next to me on the left waiting to download Christmas day pictures. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. There was a couple of obvious voids yesterday as we sat down to a delicious dinner. One in the form of a 29 yr old and the other in the form of a 18 month old. So about the day....
We were awakened to the sulks of little Higgins. I don't know if I told you but he is our new pug puppy. He is on my work schedule and wakes up at about 5:30am to go outside. I got up and took him out where he did a "good job". Then the boys heard us and so it all began at about 6am. We called mom and dad over to witness the fun.......Now this year the boys wanted things other than toys. Nathan wanted, and received a MP3 player & a Nintendo DS & lego star wars game for the Play station3. Matthew wanted and recieved A Music player, and a digital camera along with a nintendo DS.
This picture of Matthew was taken by his camera and the effects were added with his camera also. Cool little thing. Anyway, this is the end effect that Christmas had on this little guy. Nathan made it to his bed, but Matthew crashed at about 9pm.
Since it is a rather cold night tonight,(about the 20's), I have chosen to post in Icy Blue. So last night, Richard, Nathan and I all went to the elementary school to watch Matthew sing in his Thanksgiving show. This was short notice. I found out about it the night before, and had to make special arrangements to get there. Anyway, I thought that you all would like to see the little munchkin in action, so here are a couple of pictures for you to gaze at. He did really great, and wanted me to make sure that I took pictures of him. So I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
For those of you who haven't seen him in a while, he is the little guy on the back row between the two taller children.
Today was a gorgeous day. The temperatures have been in the upper 30's-low 40's at night and in the daytime they heat up to the 70's. We decided that it was time to buy Bella (the horse) a turnout blanket. We had no idea what we were doing, so Richard asked one of the local feed store owners what to do, and how to measure her for it. We went to the feed store armed with her measurement and bought a purple one. We brought it home and dropped it off along with our groceries we had purchased and then headed for the fair with the boys. They had so much fun! It was a day filled with cotton candy, and livestock. We started out the day in the animal exhibit area. The chickens were pretty neat. Then they went on every ride that their little hearts desired. We were there for about two solid hours, and they loved it. Next year Nathan is going to raise, show and sell a pig. The kids have to be eight to do so. Matthew wants to enter a chicken, so we are going to let him do that. Whatever the monetary gain is for the pig, it will go into Nathan's savings account. He is really excited about that. The pigs sold between $800.00 and $1200.00 apiece. Wow. Guess you can say we have gone country.
When we got home, I tried on the turnout to see just how well we faired. I wasn't exactly sure how she would react to it. I put it on and she seemed to like it. It is too warm for her to wear just yet, so I took it off and folded it back into the bag from which it came, and placed it on the ground to untie her. She walked over to it and smelled it then stood by it as if she wanted it back on. It was sweet. Well this is a day in the country and how I chose to spend it. Hope your weekend was as enjoyable as ours was.
Okay. So for those of you who know me know that a rescue pug lives in our home. This little guy has over come so much. When we brought him home he was so scared that Richard had to hand feed him because he was too afraid to eat out of his bowls. We later discovered that he was afraid of more that just that. From the garden hose to the vacuum cleaner. He was even afraid of clothes hangers. We worked on overcoming that fear for about a year. Now he sits right next to me when I do the clothes and doesn't flinch any more. Our final traumatic fear was the fatal nail clippings. He would scream and fight until I was bleeding. This lead me to take him to the vet for this task. Do you know that it takes four adults to hold this little 20 pound dog down to clip his nails! They even considered putting him to sleep while they did it. I convinced them otherwise. Well Last weekend I sat him in my lap, and after about an hour we finally got them done. It was totally worth his wild. I loaded him up on hugs and treats. Tonight I decided to do it again. Now mind you, I only clip the very ends. Just so he gets used to it. And to guarantee that I don't clip the vein. He sat without struggling too much. I let him smell the clippers for a long time before we began. When he was done I talked softly to him while I clipped the front legs. When I got done he was still pretty calm. I them moved on to the rear ones. He sat there and was VERY tense. His little toes curled under with fear and he shook profusely. All the while looking directly into my eyes with his eyes very wide. We got to the final toe and it was done. I put the clippers down and held him for a bit longer before praising him and getting him treats! He did it! It took five years and all the trust he could muster, but he did it. It is an awesome feeling to see something so broken and scared become quite secure and confident. Here is a picture of the brave little guy!
Well the boys and I are having fun now! Nathan woke up with a fever on Thursday, so I kept him home. Friday he went to school, tried to call me, but the nurse was not there so they kept him in school. When I got home Friday he felt so bad, he was crying. I gave hime motrin and Saturday he seemed to be doing better. Then the rash developed. I knew then, putting all his symptoms together, that he most likely had strep. Sunday, today, he woke up and still had the fever and his brother did as well. Also complaining of a sore throat. I took them both to the emergency room to get them checked out. Turns out they both have strep. Well, it is a two for one deal. We are all staying home tomorrow, then hopefully, everyone will be alright. On the way home we stopped at the gas station for ice cream and the newspaper. Matthew went in with me while Nathan and my mom stayed in the car. On the way to there Matthew had been saying theat he was gonna throw up. But he didn't sound serious. Itold him to quit saying it and he did. The next thing I knew I was paying for my items and I heard this little voice say " I told you so". I looked down and saw Matthew with his little hands cupped holding, well you get the point. I asked the girl for some napkins, and she just looked at me like I was speaking a different language. Then I saw Matthew dry heave. I rushed him out side and to the trash can. THe woman said on the way out, " oh is he sick?" Well guess that she will figure it out when she sees the floor in front of the counter. He is resting on the couch now and feels better. The both have antibiotic in them and hopefully will be well and less cranky really soon.
So I was prepared to fight until the death. Fortunately the teacher parent conference did not come to this. In fact, all went really well. She and I agreed that Matthew was to have more one on one time in the classroom. There is a classroom tutor that will be helping Matthew with what ever his needs are. Mrs.V also told me that Matthew is catching on nicely and that I shouldn't worry. I told her what we have been doing at home with flashcards, handwritting and www.starfall.com . She thought it is great. You all should check it out. Especially those of you who have young readers. Matthew loves it and it's free! So we are on the smae page after all. I was ready to pull him out and place him in another class, but she is on track.
The spelling test you ask? Well she showed it to me and said that he did really well. He did. I was proud of the little guy. Tomorrow I have the day off with the boys. It is a teacher workday, so I decided that I would take the day off to spend with them. Those come far and few between when I can just sleep in and get mommy and natmat time, aside from Saturdays. We are all looking forward to it. Hope you all have a good Friday. We plan to.
Sadly the turkey that we "rescued" died. I am not exactly sure why, but he did. He met his demise on our porch and I talked to him until he stopped breathing. Poor Richard had to bury him. I am guessing it was a pretty big hole. He was a big bird. Anyway, the boys haven't noticed. I told Nathan yesterday, and Matthew hasn't a clue.
Speaking of Matthew! He has been having a difficult time in school lately. Tomorrow I have an appointment with his teacher to discuss him and his "academic plan". Not sure if I am prepared for this. He has been acting like a mini me. For instance, last week his teacher was passing out the day's work to the class, and she began explaining the task at hand. When she got to Matthew he looked at her and said " you're bossy". Now imagine it. Yes laughter came to me too when he told me what he said. I didn't laugh outwardly for fear of positive reinforcement. Richard however did. Not good. Any way I talked to Matthew and we decided that he should say he was sorry to his teacher. We left it at that. Later that night I asked him what he was going to tell his teacher. His response was this. " I'm gonna tell Mrs.V that I'm sorry she's bossy." I decided that he didn't have to say he was sorry.
Friday he was making parrot noises in class. When his teacher heard him she told him to stop it because he wasn't a parrot. His reply was " raaa- I'm a parrot!" She then moved his color to blue. This is a warning color that signafies that he will soon lose playground time if he doesn't quit. He quit.
Regaurdless of all this I don't think that this si the reason I am meeting with her. I think that it is because he is having difficulties with his writting and letters. Let me ask you something, when you were in kindergarden did you take a spelling test the 7th week of school? I know I sure didn't Nathan didn't either. Mind you, they haven't even gone through all the letters in the alphabet yet! But his test are the following words.... A, I, MY, THE, LIKE. Those are difficult words for a 5 year old to know how to write and read. I think that this meeting will result in mommy and the teeacher in the principal's office. Pray that all goes well. And that Matthew is able to catch up. He know's 4 out of the 5 words. We didn't get to LIKE yet. He knows the others. This teacher is pushing way too hard. Any thoughts? Ideas? Home school has crossed my mind............
So if you have tried calling us in the last 24 hours you might think that our phone is disconnected. But indeed it is not. Let me explain..........
Yesterday I came home early with a migraine. When I got here I picked up the phone to call Richard and let him know that I was home sick. To my suprise the phone was not in service. So when Richard got home I called the only # that I could. The phone company. Confused, because the bill wasn't really due yet, I reluctantly made a payment by check. The service was instantly restored. Not thinking too much more about it, I went to work, feeling better. Richard stayed home sick with a chest cold that I so lovingly gave to him about a week ago. He called me later this morning and told me that something was wrong with the phone. Not recognizing the number on my cell phone, I asked him where he was calling from. He said he was at the house. I asked him what phone he was on. and he said the house phone. Then he explained that the number to the house phone had changed and that he didn't know what the deal was. Then he asked me what I did when I paid the phone last night. I told him that I would call att and find out what was going on. So I did.....This is what they told me...............................................
They said that my landlord had the phone disconnected. I explained that I didn't have a landlord in 8 years. Then they asked me my address. I told them, and they asked if it was on sisters welcome road. I then had an idea of the problem. The house we were going to buy almost a year ago was the address that they gave me. I told them that there was supposed to be a change to that address but that the house fell through and that I called to cancel the order to move service. A couple of months ago I noticed that while I was trying to pay my bill online that the sister welsome address was still linked to our phone #. I called them and told them again to remove the address from our account. They said they would. Well apparently they didn't because here we are. The nice woman on the other end of the line did her thing and said that we had to set up the phone like it was new service again with our old number, the one you all know. I did so with her and she said it would be switched over tonight by 12am back to our 755-**** number. I thanked her and here we are. So if you try to call and get the message that our number is disconnected, it's not, it is, but not really.? In the mean time we do have service just with a totally different phone #. They did say that they were going to waive the reconnect fees. Like they are doing me a huge favor. They are the ones that messed up. They better remove the fees! So I guess we will see come tomorrow. Things like this are so annoying. Any one have something like this happen to them?