Tuesday, May 01, 2012


For Spencer's math class he was assigned to write 3 story problems. I think the assignment came at the end of last week and he had been thinking about it a lot, asking me some questions about it and adding details to ideas. He had decided early on that he wanted to make up a character named Jerry the Cat. He also decided early on that he wanted to do a play on  nursery rhymes. Well, like I said he continued to flush out his ideas and finally finished writing the problems last night. I'm a proud Mama! I just had to share them with you!

Obviously I haven't been able to read the other kid's story problems. Still, I  can't imagine them being as amazing as Spencer's! He could have taken the assignment and quickly written down some lame problems, but he put so much thought into it. Anyway, here's a copy of what he wrote:

Jerry the Cat was going to work one day when he came across Jack and Jill’s house. He was very puzzled when he saw Jill going up the hill. She explained that she was taking over Jack’s job of fetching the water because Jack has had a severe headache ever since he fell down the hill. Jill was confused because Jack told her to get 2 pints of water, but the pale went up to 5 cups. It didn’t say anything about pints. Jerry the Cat told her that a pint is two times as big as a cup. He told her that if she multiplied the number of pints you need by 2 then you get the number in cups. By doing that they figured out she needed 4 cups of water. She quickly put 4 cups of water in the pale and went back down the hill.

Jerry the Cat also passed Wolf and Pigs Deconstruction Company. Mr. Wolf was making a billboard. It read, “HAY and STICK HOUSES only $100.” The problem was he didn’t know what to charge for blowing down brick houses. He figured it was 4 times harder to blow down a brick house than it was for one hay or one stick house. To help Mr. Wolf, Jerry the Cat told him just to be safe to use proportion to get the price of the brick house based on the price of blowing down stick and hay houses. Mr. Wolf brought out a fan for blowing the houses down. He built the hay house then placed the fan on the first setting. The hay house blew away quickly. The same thing happened for the stick house. To blow down the brick house the fan had to be placed on the setting of 5 to blow it down. Mr. Wolf decided it should cost 5 times more to destroy brick houses than both the hay and stick houses. So he multiplied 5 times $100 to get $500, which was the price of blowing down the brick houses.

After that Jerry the Cat saw his friend March Hare who was running late for his appointment with the Queen of Hearts (as usual.) He did not know why he was always late until he realized that when going down the rabbit hole it became a different time zone. In fact there was 1 hour and 40 minute difference. March Hare needed to set his alarm clock 1 hour and 40 minutes sooner, but he wasn’t sure when that would be. So Jerry the Cat asked him when he usually wakes up. March Hare told him he always gets up at 7:30 so they had to subtract 1 hour and 40 minutes from that time. They said 1 hour earlier was 6:30, but they still needed to subtract 40 minutes from that. They realized after they subtracted 30 more minutes that they were still 10 minutes off. So Jerry the Cat said, “6:00 minus 10 minutes equals 5:50.” Then a very appreciative rabbit started to hop away while Jerry the Cat headed to work. He also figured out a way to get to work on time, which was to stop taking this route.

I love my smart and creative Red Head! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Pictures

We took Easter pictures the other day (just like the rest of the people did on Facebook.) 

I could have posted all the perfect pictures with the kid's eyes open and everyone smiling and looking at the camera but that wouldn't be any fun for you to look at. 

Sooooo....here are some Out Takes from our Easter Portrait session. 
(Photos taken by various members of our own family with my iPhone.) 

First up we have Randy with the girls...I kept making him stand up straight because he kept hunching over. Here Randy is over dramatizing the hunch. 

Who really knows what was going on here. We weren't planning on doing any Charlie's Angel's photos. What I do love here is the genuine laugh coming out of Joey. It cracks me up. 

And here we have a picture of Randy trying to imitate "Uncle Rico's photo shoot" on Napoleon Dynamite. I love it. This one is actually a keeper. 

 Here is Spencer later in the day trying to imitate Randy's "Uncle Rico pose." Eyes Shut
 Cracking up about not trying to crack up.
 Trying to keep a straight face. 
 YES! Here we go! Spencer's impression of Randy's impression of Uncle Rico. 

 This one is just a fail all the way around. 

This photo is what you call an ALMOST. Almost everyone had their eyes open. Now this picture happens to be Spencer with his eyes closed but it could have been any number of other photos with one of the other kid's eyes closed. Thank goodness for digital cameras! 

This one isn't so much of an out take photo. It's just that they boys are getting so tall that by next Easter I think I will be a front row girl and the boys will have to be behind me. 

This one is an out take! It wouldn't have been fair to put a whole lot of bad pictures of everyone without adding one of me. This is when I was trying to get Spencer into the right position and he began to wrestle me and pull my hair! 

This was not planned. I was trying to take a picture of the girls together when Spencer jumped in front of the camera in the last second. I have several of these sort of pics as well. 

Now here are some of the cute ones to bore you to death for you to enjoy. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring Break!

Spring Break has officially started! 

I'm excited that we have no plans at all! I'm looking forward to hanging out with the kids and seeing where the week takes us. 

The girls have been home for less than an hour and they're already in the middle of a painting project. 

Hopefully this week will include: Sleeping in, watching movies, going to the dog park, coloring, taking pictures, crafty things, riding bikes, relaxing and lots of laughing. 

Hopefully this week will not include: Arguing, declaration of boredom and constant hunger. : ) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Picture...

Something I really wish I had was one great picture of Miles and I together. I'm the picture taker around here so I don't have one. I have amazing pictures of Miles. I have some pictures I treasure of Miles with the kids and Randy. I just don't have one of me with him.

I would love a picture of me snuggled up in his bed with my head on his shoulder and my arm around him. That seems to be the spot I miss most. I loved the way his pajamas felt.

I wish there was a plain everyday picture of Randy and I working together in the evenings doing Miles's night routine. Years and years we chose Miles over our own exhaustion to do all the things he needed to survive. There were so many things that had to be done at night and we did them every night. Medicines ready, catheter, night feeds, breathing treatments and The Vest. I wish I would have thought to have the kids take a quick snapshot of us.

On the last Mother's Day he was here I kept thinking I wanted Randy to take a picture of me with all five of the kids. It ended up being one of the crappiest days and I never got him to do it. Miles died 2 weeks later and I don't have that picture with just me and my babies.

I wish there was an unposed photo of me in the hospital with Miles. One where I was just doing the stuff I had to do. One that showed how intense the situation was yet also somehow showed the peace I had. I have lots of pictures with Miles and Randy in the hospital and shots of Miles and the kids at the hospital, but none of me and Miles.  I was there almost every minute of every hospital stay. Not one photo.

I wish I had a picture of Miles and I at the waiting room in Dr. Wiley's office. We were there so often. Sometimes once a week (sometimes even more than that.) I would sit at the edge of my chair and have his wheelchair sideways in front of me. I would pat his chest and make him smile. If he was asleep I would prop my arms up on his wheelchair and read or play on my phone. I have that picture in my head now, but I know in time it will probably fade away and I want to remember it.

I would love to have a photo of me singing over Miles when he didn't feel good, in the hospital or after surgeries. I would often sing, "Jesus. Jesus. Jeeeeesssus. There's just something about that name. Master, Savior, Jesus like the fragrance after the rain. Kings and Kingdoms will all wash away. There's just something about that name." I would also sing, "Jesus' blood never failed you yet. Never failed you yet. Jesus' blood never failed you yet. This one thing I know...That he loves you so."

I wish there was a picture of us where we're both just happy and smiling. As heartbreaking as so many situations were during his lifetime there were infinitely more situations where love conquered all, where peace passed all understanding and the joy of the Lord was our strength. I wish I had a picture of us just enjoying being together.

With all my heart I wish I had a picture of Miles next to me at church. During worship I would hold his hand and lift my own. I was always praying for him and singing over him. I still feel so off balanced without him at church. For years I had his sweet hand to hold on to.

Lord, please help me to keep these pictures in my heart and mind to remind me of how fiercely I loved him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Really? : )

A few times last week I noticed that Melody’s bra was riding up and making things look weird. She doesn’t wear real bras but little sporty tank top bras. Anyway, like I said I noticed that “things” weren’t looking right. I had to keep telling her to pull her bra down. She told me that she had to keep pulling it down all day long. I decided she must have outgrown hers and needed some new ones. When I was at the store I was looking at the little girl sport bras. I couldn’t figure out the right size so I decided to wait until Monday (yesterday) to take her with me to the store to make sure and get the correct fit.
Well, yesterday flew by and I never did make it to the store with her. Last night Jocie asked me if she wanted me to just let Melody borrow some of her bras until I got to the store. I told her that would be great, but Melody complained that she doesn’t like Jocie’s. I told her that she would just have to wear Jocie’s until I got to the store.
Last night before bed she came into the kitchen where Randy and I were. She only had her sleep shorts and one of Jocie’s bras on. She walked in and immediately I said, “Oh gosh! You’re right! Those do not fit right!” The fit was very awkward and pointless. Randy said, “Um, isn’t it just on backwards?”
I helped Melody turn it around and it fit perfect. It was on backwards! She insisted that’s the way Jocie told her to put it on…with the white side in the back. I went to Jocie’s room to talk to her and make sure she wasn’t wearing her bras backwards. Jocie said that she didn’t tell Melody that and she doesn’t wear them like that. So, I showed Melody some of her bras and asked her how she would put them on and The Girl Has Been Wearing Them Backwards!!! We were all laughing so hard.

When I picked the girls up from school today Melody immediately told me, “Man, my bra fits sooooo much better! I didn’t have to pull it down one time today!” 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

iPad Drama : )

Once upon a time, several months back my awesome brother-in-law Richard...

bought me an iPad!!!

Yes Richard, I had to steal your only Facebook photo. 

Well, a few months ago my eldest son Joey may or may not have...dropped said iPad thus breaking the sound button. 

This made Joey very sad. 

Well, Randy, my beloved husband can fix anything right?!? I mean he can build a whole house from start to finish! He can fix bikes, plumbing and gates that hang wrong! Surely, he can fix an iPad button! He took his trusty screw driver to fix the button and....

Oopsi! He cracked the iPad screen! 
Now, my photo isn't available from when this happened. Who even remembers what I said exactly? There's rumor that I crumbled up the pie crust I was working on, chunked it in the kitchen sink and went out for a breather, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't sound like me! Don't you agree? I probably....

said something dainty like, "Oh sweetheart, thanks for giving it a try! You're so loved and appreciated." 

Well, to fix the iPad screen by a place in town was quoted at $160. That wasn't going to happen anytime soon. The iPad was put on a high shelf while we waited on the $160 fairy to drop by the house. A couple of weeks went by and we were still waiting so I took it off the high shelf and began to play with it. I figured out that it was still useable if you didn't mind a tiny piece of glass in your finger every once in a while. 
I didn't let the kids play with it since I wanted to protect their delicate fingers from the glass! It wasn't all bad having the screen cracked. I actually got a lot more play time with the iPad because I didn't have to share it with all the little people. (Glass half full kind of girl!) 

One day Randy is looking on eBay and finds a Do It Yourself Kit to replace the iPad screen. 
Um....how do I put this nicely?

Randy decided to look on Youtube to find an instructional video on replacing the screen (laymen's term) Digitizer (professional term.) He found a video...

Now, I was sitting next to him while he watched the 14 minute video. All I could hear over and over again was, "Watch out! Make sure you don't break the blah blah blah." 
All he heard was, "Oh yeah, I could fix it!" 

He bought the kit off eBay for $46 (including shipping) from Hong Kong and a couple of weeks later this arrived...

Yes, that's a photo of a tiny baby suction cup. 

He sat down at the kitchen table THAT HE BUILT FROM A TREE IN OUR YARD...

and He Fixed it!!! 

Now I can get back to playing mindless games on the iPad with sound! Yeah, he fixed the sound button too! 

After he was done I mentioned to him that he could totally do this sort of thing as a side business! iPad and iPhone screens crack all the time! He saved us a ton of money! He just gave me "the look." That business isn't going to happen...BUT if it ever does...I'm going to have a Side Side Business by placing one of these babies in his iPad screen fixing shop!

I would make some bank!

End of the story? Not quite yet. 
I told the kids they couldn't play with the iPad again until we saved enough money to buy an Otter Box for the iPad. 

We are well on our way! : ) 

(Picture taken today with iPad!) 

Friday, February 03, 2012


Ok Everyone...Lay Hands on this application and pray with me! 

I'm about to fill out an application for Cornerstone Christian School to teach KINDERGARTEN in the fall! I'm so excited! For those that have known me for a long time you know that it's been my heart's desire to teach this class! The current teacher, and one of my amazing mentors is retiring this year. She's been telling me for years that she hopes I will be her replacement. I do too! 

I love the age of the kids in Pre-K and Kindergarten. They are so teachable. They love their teachers and learning new things. They love singing songs and being silly. Maybe that's why I feel so at home with them. : ) I've subbed in that class for years and I've also been a teacher's aide part time. I've worked with kids for money and I've worked for free and either way it brings me great joy. I just feel good when I'm in that setting. I love encouraging the kids to do well. I love teaching them new things. I love hearing their funny stories and their take on things. I love how full of faith and love they are. Several times while being a teacher's aide I caught myself thinking, "I could easily do this for the rest of my life." It just feels like a perfect fit. 

For the last 14 years I've been at home with my own precious babies. I'm so thankful I was able to stay at home with them. The Lord has been so faithful to us financially to help us raise 5 children on a one person income. It's funny, I think about over the years, having 5 children in 6 years and having them running all over the house. It was a sweet time in those early years. Not everyday was smooth sailing, but most days were filled with giggles, games and giant messes. I wouldn't trade those times! Then we moved into small school age children, reading books and lots of crafty stuff. Next up was 4 of the kids in school while I stayed at home with Miles. Those days were filled with doctor visits, lunch dates and lots of snuggling. Now, it's a new season for all of us, but especially me.

I had a couple of tiny jobs before I had kids while I was in college, but for the most part I've never had a real job. I watered plants for a flower shop. I was a nail technician for a little while when Randy and I were first married. My first job was selling the newspaper over the phone. (I wasn't so great at that.) I've volunteered a lot though at the kid's school over the years and also in children's church. 

My lack of job experience seemed like a "Goliath" to me until I realized that if I'm supposed to get the job then none of the rest will even matter. God will put me exactly where He wants me! I have no doubt about that. I totally trust Him to give me the job or to totally prevent me from getting it if He has other plans for me! That's what is so exciting to me! I know that I will either be teaching Kindergarten next year which has been a huge dream and goal of mine OR He has something else beautiful in store for me. I don't feel any pressure about it at all. 

I do have one precious thought that keeps coming to mind though...Isn't it just like the Lord to give me lots and lots of children over the next several years to replace the one beautiful child I lost? I don't really mean replace, but you know what I mean. 

Anyway, I didn't plan on writing all that. I'm just excited. I've been subbing the last 3 weeks in the Pre-K class. During that time there's been a lot of talk lately about the possibility of me being the Kindergarten teacher next year and it has been a great excitement for me. It's been healing to have something to look forward to after these last several months of deep mourning. 

Joy instead of mourning. 
Beauty for ashes. 
Praise instead of despair. 
(That's what the thought of teaching does for my soul.) 

So, dear sweet friends of mine...will you pray for me? Will you agree with me that if I'm supposed to be the new Kindergarten teacher for Cornerstone Christian School next year, that I WILL BE?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


God has bound my broken heart. He has proclaimed freedom for this captive. He has released me from darkness. God has comforted me as I've mourned. He's giving me beauty for ashes and joy instead of mourning. God has given me the ability to praise instead of despair. I will be called an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 

I'm not saying that everyday is perfect. It's not. I still cry often and miss Miles. I'm still struggling with bad dreams  at night where I dig Miles up from the ground and try to keep him alive. I still have "off" days. However, in the last month Isaiah 61:1-4 has been true in my life. Hope for a future is being restored in me. I'm enjoying my day to day more. I'm excited about current things and things to come. I can breathe deeper and see clearer. 

I've always been a "happy-go-lucky" or "glass half full" kind of girl. I've always been joyful. Until recently though I never knew what a beautiful gift JOY really is. I just always had it. Even when things were really rough growing up I still had joy. I took it for granted. I've always heard the verse about the joy of the Lord being our strength, but again, I took it for granted. I don't ever want to take that beautiful gift of JOY for granted again. Philippians 4:4 says, "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice!"

That is one amazing lesson I learned from Miles. That kid was either asleep or full of joy. He had no in between.  What a marvelous way to live! Asleep or Joyfull! Even though Miles never did say a word or even take one little step on his own two feet...in many ways he had it all figured out. 

Here he's managing to be both asleep and joyful at the same time. : ) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jocie's 10th Birthday!!!!

Today is my beautiful Jocie's  10th Birthday! I can hardly believe she's 10. She still seems like such a little girl to me. She has the sweetest spirit. I'm so thankful for that. This afternoon she wrote a letter to God and she shared it with me. I just had to share it with you. It's a peek into her gentle and loving soul. 

Dear God, 
Thank you for being here for me and for my family in our hard times. We wouldn't be here without you God. It's been hard ever since Miles died and you've cheered us up. My best friend Larissa just left school and now I'm the only girl in my class. We're going to Fountaingate Fellowship and my friend goes to church there. I like going there but its hard because I miss Grace Point. My family can eat out once a week because of our budget. I'm liking it because we've tried different things like country grits and sausage casserole. I love you God and I should start talking to you more often. 
Love, Jocie

Thank you Lord for my precious Jocie girl! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Good Grief Group Charlie Brown

Tonight I went to the first of 8 classes at Beltway for people dealing with the death of a loved one.

Man, who thought, "Let's get a bunch of depressed people together, talk about extremely depressing things and people will feel better?"

I met a couple that lost their son the same month as I lost Miles. It's a strange feeling. I was sitting by two people that actually Know what I've been dealing with and feeling. I wanted to push pause on the meeting, forget all social norms about sharing intimate details with strangers, and really talk about how incredibly hard it is to lose a child.

I had the sensation of what I think it must feel like for a person in a foreign land to run into someone from their hometown. I wanted to go over details and cry with them and for them. I wanted to find out how they have made it so far and find out what areas they really aren't making it. Yes, there were other people in the room, and some of them even had lost their child, but I think I was drawn to them since it's been the exact amount of time passed since our sons have died.

The mom did give me her number. I doubt I will call her. Still, it was nice of her to give it to me.

I'm glad I went even though it was sort of torturous. Almost as soon as I got there my throat closed up. The whole time it felt like if I opened my mouth and dared to speak Miles's name that I would begin to cry and not be able to stop. Several times I pictured myself getting up and running to the car. I wanted to escape, yet I also wanted to stay.

Today they talked about the 5 stages of Grief:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
I'm stuck momentarily at the Depression stage. Recently, I have had moments of feeling like myself. That makes me hopeful. I'm still not there though. I'm trying to be patient with myself, but it's hard because who in the world enjoys feeling so miserable all the time? I don't. It's frustrating to want to live life, but feel like you're stuck and not able to move forward. 

I plan on going through the rest of the sessions. I feel like it's at least something I can do to try and feel better. Also, I will hopefully be able to get to know some people that truly understand how I'm feeling. Plus, what else is there to do on Monday nights?