Friday, June 29, 2007

Packed Up

Hey guys! It's been a long couple of days. Right now all of my worldly possessions are on the moving van in front of my house... except the computer obviously. I don't plan on taking it with me because I want a new one!!!! This one is almost ten years old and not in good shape. It freezes up and shuts off randomly at least 10 times a day. Bee and my niece are in an empty bedroom with some blankets and the portable DVD player "trying" to take a nap before this evening. Tonight is the VBS closing program and then the youth sponsors, parents, and teens are getting together for a goodbye party at a friends house. We're all sleeping at the home where the party is tonight and plan to head-out for Ohio by 8 am tomorrow. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

The painter has been working on the new house this week, the carpet people are supposed to be there today. Hopefully it'll be finished when we get there tomorrow afternoon. If it is, I'll be one happy camper!!

I have my first appointment with my new dr. on Monday afternoon at the Cleveland Clinic, which is one of the best in the country for crohn's disease. Some say it's the absolute best.

Prophet is with Mom and Dad. They are driving to the Smokies for vacation as I type. They should be somewhere around Louisville, KY right now. Prophet is so excitet to have his Grannie and Pa all to himself for an entire week. This morning after his shower, he went into the kitchen to toast a bagel for his breakfast and looked at my mom and said, "Grannie, this is just like being an only child again."
In case you didn't catch the funny part of that... Prophet is only 17 months older than D.K., so he doesn't remember being an only child. He's a hoot! I know they'll have fun. They'll be camping in Mom and Dad's camper, going fishin', cookin' on a campfire, swimming, and going to Dollywood. I'm sure he'll be full of stories when he gets back!!

Well, I must do a little bit of cleaning. We've actually got someone coming in to clean next week, but it's so dirty in here that I have to do some cleaning or I'd be embarrassed. It had moved beyond dirty to gross sometime during the last couple weeks! EWWWWW!!

Later people, it'll be next week before I post again. Our internet won't be turned on until the end of the week. I may go into Smart Guy's office and post, but I doubt it!! I've got an entire house to unpack!!! Have a good weekend!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

We're home and packing up a storm. Between my MIL, my SIL, and myself, the kitchen is almost done. We're gonna go thru the house one room at a time until it's done. We're gonna drive over to mom and dad's on Tuesday for dinner and relaxing time. I probably won't post much this week, if at all. We actually move on Saturday, and it maybe a few days or a couple weeks before we get our internet up and running at the new house. I'll try to go to Smart Guy's office or the library and let everyone know how it's going sometime next week, but I'm not promising anything. I'll try to keep up with everyone, but we'll see.

Please pray for us as it's gonna be a stressful week!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Good Weekend

Well, yesterday I got some stuff done around town here. I got Bee registered at her new preschool. They had seven children on their waiting list, Bee being one of them, so they decided at their last school board meeting to add an afternoon class, so now she's in. I've had this school recommended by many, many people, and I'm very excited about it. We went to the community center and bought our pool pass. We thought about not getting it, since we're not moving until the beginning of July, but it'll cost 20 bucks for all of us to get in. If we go to the pool 5 times between now and the end of August, it's paid for, so I figured, go ahead. One of the pools is actually a "sprayground". It's just a bunch of different sprayers spraying everywhere. It's really cool. Bee wanted to go in as soon as she saw it, but it was way too windy and chilly to swim outside yesterday, so we came back an swam here at the hotel inside instead. She wasn't happy!

We went to our new church building and explored. It's a really big, old building in downtown. It's got lots of little closets and rooms set in odd, creepy places. It would be an awesome building to play a game of sardine's in. For those of you out of the student ministry loop, sardines is where one person hides while everyone else waits for a few minutes. Then everyone else looks for the one person who hid and climbs in to hide with them. This is most fun when done after dark with flashlights, or without. It can also lead to trouble, so you need lots of adults around when their playing. So anyway, we explored all the rooms, hallways, the kitchen, the stairwells, the strange closets behind closets, the classrooms you can only get to thru other classrooms. We opened one door off the fellowship hall and it was a really dark tunnel into nowhere. It creeped me out so we didn't go in. I have visions of it being some tunnel that leads all under the downtown area. I know... vivid imagination.

Today, my MIL, SIL, and niece drove over. They're staying here in the hotel tonight and then driving back to IN with us tomorrow to help us finish packing. I showed them the town today. We swam. We went out for pizza and now we're back....

Smart Guy just walked in, I'm outa here! Bye! Gotta see my hubby... it's been three days!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We're at the hotel. I'm on the lobby computer staring at the indoor pool thru the glass and watching it prepare to storm. The kids are gonna be ripped when they close the pool before they can even get in it.

Just wanted to let you know that we're here safe. Later!


I just wanted to let y'all know that in about 45 minutes we're headed for OH for the weekend. Smart Guy is going to a Christian Music Festival and the church is putting the kids and I up a the same hotel we were in two weekends ago... inside pool, continental breakfast, great staff... can't wait.

I may try to get on after the kids are asleep one evening if their computer is working this time. It wasn't last time we were there. We'll see!

The kids and I are going to see Shrek the Third tonight. Bee's so excited!

I love you guys! Thanks for all the love! You'll never know how much your friendships mean to this girl! You're helping me get through all this!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Just Ruined...

...any chance I may have had for Mother of The Year. I'm tired. I'm stressed. I have a headache. I'm hopping angry about the med bills and the stupid hospitals. I yelled at Bee... loud. She ran off crying. When Smart Guy left she told him she had to go with him because she might need him. While in my mind I know she does that all the time, my heart says it's because she doesn't want to be with me right now because she's scared I'll yell again.

Dear Christ United Methodist Church,

Well since I now know that some of you are reading here, I figured I'd write directly to you. I am so sorry that this has all come down to this. I cry as I write this. I wish I was a person with more integrity like my husband. But alas, I am lacking in that area. I don't care how I make a single person on the SPRC or the senior staff position feel right now. None of you did your jobs. Promises were made to us that were not kept. The people who are chosen to run your church ran us out.

I so wish that my children could have grown-up in this town and continued under the guidance of many of you. You are wonderful people. I love you. Now that I've started writing I don't even know what to say to you. I can't hardly see the screen thru my tears.

I wish you all blessings. I wish you an easy transition. I wish you happy children thru the transition. I wish that all the kids we are leaving behind, especially the one that wouldn't even look my hubby in the eye at the bookstore the other night, could understand that we don't want to leave them. I wish I could stand on the church stage and give everyone who is confused and hurt an explanation that wouldn't tear the church apart. I wish the truth wasn't the truth. I wish SPRC could see the truth.

I am so sorry it has come down to this.

Our Medical System

Okay, before I start ranting, please know that I know how lucky I am to live in The Land of The Free, the wonderful United States of America. Be forewarned that there is some Bush-bashing in this post, so don't read any further if you're gonna hate me for it. Don't bother telling me he's a good guy, you won't change my opinion of him anymore than I could change yours. Don't bother giving me grief about it, it won't matter. He's a jerk, 'nough said. I know, I know, "you should respect the office". I was taught to respect those who earned it. He, in my opinion, has not earned an ounce of my respect. There's also some words that some of you may consider to vulgar. I even had a Bible college professor who said that there were just times when choice words had to be used. This is one of those times. Who picked those words anyway?

While I know that I'm lucky to live in this country. I don't feel lucky right now. We are one of those families in this country that has worked our asses off for the last 10 years of our lives because of medical bills. We're one of those families that falls in the middle. We don't make enough to pay for the bills, but we make too much to qualify for the freakin' government to give us a free ride like some others that I know.

I've mentioned before that even with insurance, after Prophet was born 12 weeks early and I had to have surgery on my Crohn's two days later, we still owed 30 grand of the total 250 grand. We just have gotten that caught up after almost ten years of spending hardly anything on ourselves. Our credit is still crap.

Now, after these last few months of me being sick again we are right back where we started 10 years ago. In the hole. If the church had done there part and provided what they promised, the insurance would have been better and we wouldn't owe so much. My "insurance" (if you want to give them that much credit) finally decided to pay some of my bills. Of a portion that came to 15 grand or so, they paid a whopping $2000! Can you believe it? That's just the hospital portion of two of the surgeries. That's not the dr.'s, the surgical suite, the bloodwork, the follow-ups. Smart Guy went to the "financial counselors" at the hospitals today to try to work out a payment plan. They wanted $1400 for the next 12 months. Then they offered a loan at 9% for the next several years. That was still $400 a month at each hospital. We simply can't afford that. NO ONE should have to pay interest on their healthcare.

SOMEONE in this country has got to step-in and fix the healthcare system in this place. The freakin' president of our land would be the obvious person, but we all know, even if you think the idiot is a great guy, that as long as he is in charge of things, our medical system will never get better. He's too busy worrying about other lands to give a damn about what's happening to the lower-middle-class people's everyday lives in his own country.

So basically, in about six months we will once again have 20 different creditors sending us letters in the mail once again, because even if you send the hospital $50 a month for each bill that you have they will turn you in.

Those of you who love our president, please don't hate me. I don't hate you for your love of him... I don't understand it, but I still love you.

p.s. So all of you from the church here in IN that are lurking around here without my knowledge and even those of you whom I do know about... we were told by SPRC a few weeks ago that it was too early to expect any kind of help from the church... is it still too early? Oh yah, I forgot, you ran us out? So, I guess if you're not willing to help one of your own, then you're obviously not willing to help now. I am so saddened to feel this way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I have to apologize to my blogger readers. If you just happen across my blog or get it from a link on someone else's blog that's fine. I love that there are people out there all over the place who enjoy my blog as I do so many that I read. The idea that I have been "inspiring" to even one person makes my head swell a tad bit though. I know, I'm pathetic.

The problem is this... someone in our church gave one of the "higher ups" in our church my ANONYMOUS blog address so they could get the scoop on what Grace is writing on her blog thru all of this. Part of me wants them all to read it. I want them to know my heart. I want them to know the hurt they've caused. The wounded child inside me wants them to hurt like we hurt. But I've been informed that instead of reading it and listening and feeling our pain, they've walked across the hall and said "listen to this, can you believe this" type of things. To be honest this makes me want to put on a really nasty post pointing fingers at one specific person that I know has been reading and has not told my hubby or myself. As a matter of fact I did put one on. I hit publish around 1 am this morning. I went to bed with a headache. I couldn't sleep at all, and around 4 am I got out of bed, copied and pasted it to a new post, saved it, didn't publish it, and then deleted the original. So, while you guys didn't get to read it, unless of course you were up in the middle of the night lurking or in another time-zone, I still have it. One slip of the mouse and it's published for all to see.

So, for some unwritten blog etiquette... if you read a friend's blog and that friend uses pseudonyms for privacy, do not give out their address unless you have their permission. Some people don't get it. They think because my blog is public that it's out there for all to see anyway, and I get that, I really do. The fact of the matter is this though, unless you're a family member, a friend, a friend of a friend that I've come to consider a personal friend, you don't know who I am personally unless I tell you who I am. No one else has the right to "reveal me" by giving out my address with my name.

I want to say thank you to the person who "delurked" themself in my last post. I don't know them, they found me thru someone else's blog. That's fine, I expect that. I think the circle of blogdom is an amazing friendship tool of our time if used properly and respectfully. The way I've come to accept this move and all the crap that has gone with it has been an amazing show of everyone's prayers thru my blog family. The people that I'm wanting to "delurk" themselves are the ones from my church that were actually given my address and told whose it was. My name's not really Grace by the way, for any of you that don't know that!

Just know that I love all you guys and don't want to go private. I think I'm just gonna ride this wave. It'll pass in a few weeks when we get moved to our new church and leave all this crap (except the enormous amount of medical bills we've got from the colonoscopy, three surgeries, and check-up out the wazoo since February that still havn't been paid for) behind and move on to a new church family.

For The Record

I just have to get this off my chest...

If you are reading this blog and you read something you don't like, keep in mind that this is MY blog. This is my own personal recordings of my life and my thoughts. The reason it is all in pseudonyms is to maintain my privacy. I will reveal myself to whom I want when I want.

If you know me personally and are reading this blog without a personal invite from me, you have invaded my privacy. When a blog is done in pseudonyms, the only person who should give out the address to that blog to people who know her is the author of said blog unless permission has been given by the author. If you are reading my blog and you know me personally and have not made yourself known by comment or a phone call, I would appreciate you doing so. There's alot going on in our lives right now and I should feel free to express my feelings openly without fear of who may be reading it.

Blogger girls and my family.... My blog address has apparently been given out at church without my knowledge. I'm very unhappy about this. I'm seriously considering changing my address or going private. I'll email those I have addresses for if I chose to and you can all pass it on to everyone else.

Monday, June 18, 2007

One Year Ago Today.... We Survived

One year ago today we moved to this place we've called home for the last 365 days. When we left Birmingham, AL that morning with the moving van and our Rendevous holding all of our earthly possessions and our precious children, we had no idea what the next year would be like. Although by 8:00 that evening I could have made a pretty good prediction. I've told the story before, but here it goes again if you haven't heard.

We were driving north on I65 just south of Indianapolis around 8:00 in the evening. We'd been on the road since that morning sometime. We were almost to our new home and I was pumped. I couldn't wait to get there. As I was driving along I noticed a car in the southbound lane cross over into the lane next him and push the van into the center ditch. I was gonna pull-off when I got past the wreck and be a witness/make sure everyone was okay, but before I could do that I realized that the car was headed right for me. There was absolutely nothing I could do to prevent it from happening. I t-boned the guy while I was doing 70 mph (the speed limit) down in the interstate. We, the kids and I, flipped our brand-new Rendevouz three times and landed upside down in the outside ditch with the car that hit us. The car that had, ten seconds earlier, been traveling south on the opposite side of the interstate. I remember the spinning, the pop spilling, my children screaming, the glass breaking, the horrific impact, the pain, not being able to open my jaw, being backwards in my seat despite my seat belt, my hands bleeding from pushing myself out my window to be able to see my children in the backseat, my children crying that they were upside down, not wanting to see what my children looked like, desparately wanting to get to my children to see what they looked like, the blood all over D.K. from his bloody nose, the passersby who stopped to help and couldn't believe that I was not only alive but had climbed out of the car by myself, the three separate strangers who each took one of my children and loved them while I wasn't able to because of my injuries, the sirens, the backed up traffic, the makeshift slings put on my boys by a nurse who happened to witness the wreck, the immediate hatred I felt towards the young man who did it, the anger I felt towards the paramedics who didn't even stop to look at my children and went straight to the guy who had caused the wreck and then got angry with me when I voiced my anger, the horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when the nurse came in to tell me that while Prophet and Bee had been brought to the same hospital I was in, D.K. was sent to Riley because he was having trouble breathing in the ambulance, calling my mom and dad to tell them, calling them again to tell them to get to Riley as fast as they could because D.K. was completely alone, the people from our new church that showed up to bring me things that I needed and just to love us, the two men who drove their cars back out the moving van holding all of our possesions that was left on the side of the interstate, the family who took Prophet, Bee, and Smart Guy home with them when Prophet and Bee were released and I wasn't, my dad coming in to see me, my mom coming later when dad was able to get back over to be with D.K. so mom could leave, the nurse who said I shouldn't be mad at the young man who fell asleep behind the wheel because everyone has fallen asleep behind the wheel at sometime, the cop who told me that the guy wouldn't get even a ticket, my mom getting me a sandwich from a sandwich shop so I wouldn't have to eat the hospital's food, the pain that day and for many, many days and weeks following, the fear that I'd never be pain free again, the meals that were brought by members of our new church, the house that was unpacked by church members, the beds that were put together by church members, the cards that were sent by everyone, the gameboy that was loned to my boys so they'd sit still and let their broken collar-bones heal, people constantly asking how we were doing, a church that really stepped up and helped us out when we really needed it...

I can't believe it's been a year. I've forgiven the guy... still think what he did was irresponsible and stupid... it could have been prevented. But for myself I had to forgive him. We finally settled all the financial stuff pertaining to the wreck a couple months ago. That's done and I don't have to think about it anymore.

So on this day I want to use this event in our lives to remind everyone how important carseats and booster seats are for your precious little people. Boosters should be used until your children are 4'9" according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... even if your state does not have a law saying so. Why would you chance it? Likewise, the NHTSA also advises that smaller children should be in a five-point harness until they are 40 pounds. I know the boosters that many carseat companies sell have lower weights on them, but the fact of the matter is this... we had a carseat expert speak to us at Riley Children's Hospital the day after the wreck, and she told us very bluntly that if we had moved Bee into a booster seat like we had thought about (because according to the booster seat boxes she was big enough), she would probably be dead. In a rollover like we had, she would have been too small for the booster to hold her in. Why would anyone want to take that risk? I don't get it. Keep them in those five-point harnesses until they are 40 pounds, please. Also please install them tight enough that they don't move back and forth. I actually sit with both my knees in the seat and tighten the belt while all my weight is in it. And make sure that the harness straps are at or above your child's shoulders if they are big enough to ride forward facing. The straps should never go behind a forward riders shoulders. That plastic clip on their chest is also important. It positions the harnesses properly. It keeps the straps on their shoulders and prevents them from flying forward in a crash. If it's not there, or if it down to low, your child will simply fly foward. Try putting your child in the seat, buckle it, but don't put clip at armpit height, now push your childs shoulders forward to see what will happen. Without the clip, there's nothing there to stop them. The clip is very important. It should always be at armpit height. Always make sure the harness straps are pulled tight or they won't do any good. Adjust them everytime you put your child in the seat.

Okay, I've said my peace. Look it up for yourself if you want to. Carseat ignorance is one of those things that I have no patience with. There is no excuse in this day and age to have the wrong carseat or have it improperly installed in your car. Use it right and you could save your little one's life!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Movies and Camping

Yesterday morning when Bee woke-up she asked if we could go to a movie and get candy. At first we said "no", but once I thought about it, it sounded like a good idea. So, we went. We broke the theatre rules and brought in outside candy though. I just can't see spending their prices, when I can go into the drugstore and get candy for all five of us with what it would cost for two of us in the theatre. We wouldn't be able to ever treat our kids and that's not fair to them. So, we stopped at the drugstore and told the kids that mommy had to run in and get a small thing of wipes just in case Bee had a bloody nose during the movie. While I was in there, I bought the candy that I had previously asked orders for. They had everyone's order, except Prophet's. He wanted butterfinger minis or butterfinger b.b.'s and they didn't have either one of them. So, I got him a package of eight snack-size bars. When we got to the theatre, we ordered two freezes (with 25 cent refills thats a good deal for all five of us to share) and told the kids that I'd go back out and get the candy after we got our seats and the movie was getting ready to start. So, after a few minutes, I left to "go get the candy". I came back and passed out everyone's candy. I quickly realized why the candy sold in movie theatres is generally sold in a box... wrappers are very noisy during a movie. Everything was fine, until Prophet decided we needed one more refill on the cherry freeze after the movie was over. As we were standing in line together to get it, he was looking at the candy in the display box and saw that they have butterfinger minis and not the snack-size butterfinger bars. Caught!! I fessed up and admitted what we had done. The main purpose behind being sneaky wasn't so the boys wouldn't know anyway, it was so Bee wouldn't tell everyone she saw that she had reese's pieces to eat in mommy's bag as we got our tickets and our drinks. I do however feel guilty for breaking the rules and showing our boys that we are somehow above the rules. Not guilty enough to not do it again though. BTW, did you know that Walmart sells all the same theatre candy in the same size boxes that you get in the movie theatres for 97 cents a box. I think I'm gonna make a stash, so next time we can pick candy before we leave and have it in a quiet box instead of noisy plastic bag and wrappers. Oh yah, it was a really good thing that the theatre was not full and that there was no one sitting within two rows of us in front or back.... Bee farted about 10 times during the movie and they were awful! She thought it was funny and kept covering up her mouth while she giggled. Don't waste your money on "Surf's Up"... it's was pretty bad. The kids liked it, but all said they wished we'd seen Nancy Drew or Shrek instead. Oh well, at least we were all five together at the movies.

Right now, we're at Mom and Dad's house. Mom and Dad actually took the camper out to the nearby state park on Thursday evening to camp. They are out there now. We drove over this morning and got here around noon or so. We went to the cafe at the canoe and tube launch and had ice cream, then the guys all went back to the campsite to relax, Prophet rode his skateboard, and D.K. rode his bike. Mom, Bee, and myself all went grocery shopping for dinner tonight, breakfast at the campsite in the morning, and smores this evening. When we got back from the store, we sat around, talked, and relaxed for awhile, and then we went down to the river bank the kids and I were at with Inkling and H.D. almost two weeks ago to skip rocks. This time I took a chair down with me and sat down for awhile. We caught crawdads and little tiny frogs in muscle shells and watched them swim around in the little tiny bit of water scooped up in the muscle shell. It was fun. Prophet actually skipped a rock 7 times across the river. All three kids wore old sandals so they could get in the water and wade, it's very shallow. Of course they all ended up soaking wet from head to toe. We had told the kids before we down there, that they couldn't swim in the river because it's illegal ( which is true), but while we were down there a family of four got in the water in their swimsuits and went swimming. The mother was pregnant. Personally I think it was really irresponsible to get in that nasty water pregnant. It's not the cleanest river in the world for sure. That's one of the reasons we wouldn't let the kids in further than wading. The fact that it's illegal is just an easy excuse for us to blame it on someone else. Of course when our children saw this other family swimming they were all up in arms because it was so unfair that they couldn't swim too. Oh well... so goes life. We took them straight back to the shower house and put them all in the showers to clean off that nasty water and put them in clean clothes for dinner. We had wienie roast and then smores while we sat around the campfire. At one point, D.K. took Bee over to the showerhouse to help her wash her hands and then left her there. She couldn't remember where our campsite was so she started looking for it. Smart Guy figured out she was missing when D.K. showed up and Bee was nowhere around. We started running around the campgrounds looking for her. Thankfully it hadn't been but a few minutes so she didn't get far. The campsite is actually only three sites to the right of the showerhouse, but she went straight out in front of the building and started walking. It was scarey for a few minutes!

So, now the five of us are all sleeping a Mom and Dad's for the night while they're out at the park in the camper. It's only about 7 minutes from here, so we're going back out in the morning for a good old-fashioned camp breakfast... pancakes and sausage on the coleman stove. There's nothing like the smell of bacon or sausage cooking outside in the morning. Yum! It makes me hungry just thinking about it. Now that we're here, I wish we'd packed up the tent and set it up out there to sleep. We just didn't have time to pack up the sleeping bags and extra stuff required to do that with all of our packing. Hopefully once we get moved we can go camping before school starts. Well, goodnight!

BTW, yes I do realize the irony of breaking the rules one night when it worked to our advantage and then following them next night when they worked in our favor. I know we're horrible people! I'm so sorry!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another Sad Prayer Request

Here's another prayer request for everyone! Once again I don't personally know this family, but Farmwife does. They've already been thru alot. The mother was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant. They thought everything was improving in their lives. Please pray for them!

Please Pray

I was reading everyone's post this morning and found this on Caslon's blog (Peridot Rose link on my sidebar). Please pray for this family. I cannot think of anything worse than finding out your precious baby has died and then having to deliver it. My heart is breaking and I don't even personally know them. I just know how my mother's heart feels.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We Just Want a Fence

So I told you last night that we are having a fence installed at the new place in Ohio. We are putting in chain link in the back and wood picket fencing around the section of the driveway that must be fenced because the backdoor is actually out the side of the house onto the driveway and in order to let Bowzer and Bee go out alone, we have to fence the drive and put a big gate on it in case we want to drive the car in. So, we had someone come out and measure the yard and driveway on Sunday afternoon while we were in town. Smart Guy was with the guy when he measured and wrote everything down on his diagram of the yard, house, garage, and driveway. He did it right. So why is that now they (Lowe's) have screwed everything up and instead of giving us a quote for a chain link fence in the back and a picket fence around the driveway, we ended up with a quote of almost $2500 for a wooden privacy fence all the way around the yard and driveway. Now I'm sure some of you paid this for your fences. That's fine... if you want a wooden privacy fence all the way around your yard. We don't. I was not expecting a quote that high, so I was kinda in sticker shock when I talked to the guy.

The idea of having the fence installed when we move on the 30th is looking less likely. We were supposed to have this quote on Monday and able to set up a date to put it in. This is Thursday and we still don't have a quote for what we want or a date to put the fence in. The more we think about it, the more we think that maybe we should be there when they install it just to make sure they do it right. I'd hate to have chainlink around the driveway and the pretty picket-fence in the back. Of all the places we could have called to install a fence, we thought surely Lowe's would do it right and in a timely manner. Yah, whatever!

p.s. The carpet is ordered. Should be in on June 24 and hopefully installed on the 28th. Although the lady Smart Guy was talking to on the phone informed him that if the carpet was not in by the 28th that they wouldn't be able to install it... DUH!
p.s.s. Two painters are going in with the realtor tomorrow morning to give us quotes to paint all the rooms. Smart Guy says the second guy he talked to will get the job no matter what the price because he was very personable on the phone and the other guy wasn't. We'll see!

Bee's Prayer

When I put Bee to bed tonight, I gave her grief about how messy her floor was and told her that anything not cleaned up and put away by lunch tomorrow would be packed up now and she wouldn't see it again until we moved. Mean? Well, maybe, but every item in her room has a specific place it goes and she knows them all. It's an easy, four-year-old friendly system.

So we say her bedtime prayers and this is what she said.
"Thank you God for June. Thank you for Bowzer. Thank you for Grannie. Thank you for Grandma. Thank you for my beautiful pink and purple room, just NOT THE FLOOR. Amen."

It was one of those moments when I couldn't suppress the giggle!

She's Home

My BIL's wife came home from the hospital Monday evening. Thanks for the prayers. Keep praying, (for her and all the others out there effected by mental illnesses that just don't make sense and are so difficult to treat) she's got a long road ahead of her as she gets used to her new meds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Town, New House, New School, New Playground, and Lots of New Books

Hello, let me introduce myself. My name is Grace. Yes, I know many of you have vague memories of a friend named Grace from ages ago, but she seemingly disappeared for awhile. First, this little person named Bee showed up in her place and then she vanished altogether. Well, I'm back. At least for the next few minutes. My life is nutso right now.

Last Thursday after Smart Guy got home from being at BigStuf camp with the teens and youth sponsors all week, the kids and I picked him up at the church and drove to Ohio to see our new town and to find a place to live. We were starting to get a bit panicked because we were moving in three weeks and had no place to lay our weary heads. We pulled into our hotel at 11:30 pm after a six hour drive and we all went to bed within the following hour. It would have been nice to just walk in and fall asleep, but after that many hours in a car, three children are generally pretty pumped when they are released from their booster and car seats.

Friday morning we had appointments to look at houses at 10:00, 11:00, and 11:30. We set the alarm for 7:30 or so and hit snooze several times and then finally drug our sorry butts out of bed. Smart Guy dressed the kids and took them down for the continental breakfast while I got my bath and "flossed" (yes, I will have to do that twice a day for a couple more months at least). He brought me back a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel, yum, with TWO packets of cream cheese for me to eat with the yogurt drink I had brought with me. He's such an awesome guy! We all finished getting ready and amazingly got to our first appointment of the day on time. After we looked at the first house, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. It was horrible! It smelled like animal pee the second we walked in the door. It was dirty and gross. You could actually see the dried urine on the subflooring in the hallway upstairs where they had pulled up the carpet and not laid anything new down yet. The kitchen was the size of my closet right now. The yard was good, but that was the only good thing about it. The 11:00 appointment proved more fruitful as did the 11:30. All in all we looked six different places and only two of them were acceptable. One of them actually had visible mold growing in the kitchen. oooo, gross!

Our new home has three bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, a living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, and basement. It has a detatched garage and nice, shaded, albeit small, yard. It's yellow, just like our current house, so Bee can continue to refer to her home as "our yellow house". We will be having new carpet put down in the LR, DR, and FR before we move in. The current stuff is olive green with a nice shade of baby-poop yellow swirled in. It's butt ugly stuff. We had someone come in to measure while we were there over the weekend and picked out the new carpet at Lowe's. We also had someone come to measure the yard for a fence. The high school's lacrosse field is directly behind the house, but there is a huge drop from our yard to the field, not exactly a cliff, but very steep and wooded. A little girl running thru the backyard could be very hurt if she didn't get stopped in time and started rolling down the hill, so we will definitely be fencing it in. We're just putting up chain link in the back. How wonderful it will be to not have subdivision by-laws telling us what type of fence to put up. The section of the fence that will be visible from the road, we've decided to put in a wooden picket fence though just so it looks good. We've been looking at swingsets, playhouses, sandboxes, porch swings, tables, etc. to fill it up. I think we're just gonna get a metal swingset right now. Again, it will be wonderful to not have to answer to the subdivision nazi's. Here, they only allow wooden swingsets and they have to be submitted and approved prior to setting them up or you could be fined. We'll be getting a movable basketball hoop for the boys to put at the end of the driveway... can't do that here. No one has basketball hoops of any kind, portable or permanent in their driveways. How sad for children growing up here. Most kids don't have swingsets because the wooden ones are so expensive. We certainly don't. Anyway, off my soapbox!

The house is on a quiet downtown street. The church is in the downtown area, so we wanted to be in that basic vicinity. It's a five minute walk to the boys school and another 10 minute walk from there puts you at the church. There's an awesome park with a pool, an amazing playground, a covered bridge, a bunch of shelters, tennis courts, and a creek where kids play all the time right around the corner. While we were in town on Saturday we checked out the library with the kids only to find out that it was last day the library would be in that building. There's a brand new building that is currently having all the books transferred into this week. It's twice the size of the old one. We can't wait to get involved in their programs. We'll be moving early enough to get the kids into their summer reading programs. We also checked out the Parks and Recreation Community Center where we registered all three children for soccer camp and the boys for horseback riding camp. While the lady at the desk was typing D.K.'s info into the computer, she had another child with the same name, first and last come up. That's a interesting enough thing to happen if your name is Smith, but for those of you who know our name, what are the chances of that happening. This other child is 12 years old, so D.K. is gonna have to use his middle initial for everything we sign him up for as long as we live in that area. We then went over to the Center for the Arts and signed all three kids up for "Dr. Seuss" camp. Bee will go from 9-12 and Prophet and D.K. will go from 9-4 everyday during the same week. That means I'll have complete quiet for 2 1/2 hours everyday that week and then only one child for 3 1/2 hours after that. Every evening that week is V.B.S. so we'll have some tired kids that week. Goody, goody! Our goal is for the boys to recognize some faces when they walk into school the first day. They already played tag with a few children at the playground by our house on Saturday.

So, it was a very good weekend. We have a place to live, went to our new church, had dinner with a couple families from the church, and got to know the area pretty well. It's much smaller than where we're at now, and much, much smaller than Birmingham. I can't wait to go back to small town, non-suberb, nonsubdivision life again. Now I just have to pack up this incredibly messy house. I actually had it under control a few weeks ago. Then I came home from Mom and Dad's last Wednesday night, dropped everything in the dining room, repacked, left the next afternoon for OH., came home Monday evening, dropped it all in the dining room once again, and started packing Tuesday morning. I know it'll just get worse before it gets better, it always does when your packing up an entire house.

This evening we went out to dinner at Fazoli's. All five of us can eat there for around $20.00 so occasionally we splurge. We love their breadsticks and the boys usually eat 5 or 6 of them each. After that we finally made the promised and much anticipated trip to Barnes and Nobles to spend some of our "wreck money". We promised the kids before we even got the money that we'd take them and let them get several books each. I'm almost ashamed to admit how much money we spent in there, but all the new books in my house tonight number around 43. I love seeing my children so excited by new books rather than another new toy that they really don't need and won't be played with in two days. I finally had to make Prophet turn his light off and go to sleep around midnight. I think he would have read all night if I'd let him. I went thru the boys bookshelves and transferred several of their books to Bee's shelves. Then I went thru Bee bookshelves and took out a bunch to give to my cousins little girl who gets all of Bee's hand-me-downs. I took out more than I put in, so it worked out good in the end.

Soapbox time... speaking of my children "excited by new books rather than another new toy that they really don't need..." I've decided that my children are only getting three new toys each this Christmas. That includes from grandparents too. I figure that's one toy from Mommy and Daddy/Santa Claus, and one from each set of grandparents. Everything else will be board games, puzzles, books, DVDs, clothes, jammies, donations to charities, craft supplies, leap pad cartriges, and gameboy games. Actually new desks would be good for the boys. They simply do not need more toys. The boys are old enough now that they play with very few toys anyway. D.K. still plays with his dinos some, but he doesn't need anymore of them. He's probably got around 75-100 of them. They both would rather be outside throwing a ball, riding their bikes, roller blading, shooting hoops, and playing with their friends than playing with toys nowadays. Bee still plays with her toys all the time, but she doesn't need one more doll. She has at least 10 of them. She also has a play kitchen, a picnic table, three doll strollers, an electronic doll swing, a shopping cart, a high chair, a cradle, two rocking chairs, enough dress-up clothes for your average-size preschool class, fake-food and dishes out the wazoo, baby doll clothes and paraphnelia to dress octuplets for a week, and a vacuum cleaner. She's set to play house anytime. There is nothing left to get for her. Her room is totally jam-packed full. She won't outgrow most of that stuff for several more years, so it's not like I can take some of it out if she gets more. So heads up grandparents, lets get creative this Christmas and possibly just simply spend less on the kids! Sounds good to me!! Okay, climbing off my soapbox now!

Before I go, I just have to say this about my children. While they can be busy, very loud little people, they were a blessing this weekend. They were well-behaved at the restaurants we ate at and at the homes we visited and ate at, they were polite to the hotel staff, and were just fun to be with. I think half the town already knows Bee's name because she introduced herself to everyone. She's very proud of her name.

Goodnight dear friends. (if you just read that entire post, you're definitely a dear friend) I'll post when I get another chance. I shouldn't be posting now, but thanks to a shot of caffeine this evening in a body that gets caffeine very seldom, I'm wide awake. Hopefully my body will shut down for the night soon. This is nuts!
BTW, thank you so much for all the prayers. I can feel them working. I'm amazed at my acceptance of this move. I'm even looking forward to it some now. I still don't want to move away from my parents, by I know it'll all be okay in the end!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Please Pray

I just got off the phone with my BIL. He's a wonderful man and today his heart is hurting so incredibly. His wife had to be hospitalized last night for depression. That disease makes no sense. Please pray for her. Please pray for my BIL. Please pray for the docs. Thanks guys!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Inkling Time

Well, I'm still Bee, but at least I've fixed the Who Am I part of my sidebar. Smart Guy will have to fix my name when he gets back from camp, hopefully.

Well, I just saw Inkling three days in a row. On Saturday I went out to the park where her family was having an open house for G'ma & G'pa M&M's 60th wedding anniversary. The open house was from 4-6. The kids and I got there around 5:15 and stayed until 7:30 when the family left. We were outside most of that time.. playing with the kids talking. I finally got to have a conversation with Henry David that was longer than "Hey how are you, is Inkling home?". Like Farmwife, the day before the wedding last year was the first time I'd ever met him. That weekend was too busy to get to know him at all though. On Sunday, I sat next to her in her family's row at church. She picked the kids up from class after church. Last night her and I went out for the evening and had a much-needed girls night out. We started by eating at Red Lobster. Then we drove around town a little. We stopped out at a cemetary on the edge of town where we both have relatives buried. There is a beautiful pond with a waterfall and swans at the entrance. We got out and walked around the pond and almost were sprayed by the sprinkler system as it came on right in front of us. We eventually ended up at Custard Cup for some of the world's best frozen custard. I got my usual cold fudge sundae and Inkling got her usual waffle cone with chocolate on bottom and lemon on top. We sat in the van with the windows down and ate and talked some more. Then I drove her back to her grandparents house and drove back here to Mom and Dad's.

This morning she was here by 10:15. She played legos with the Sara Orange Gang while I watched from the couch. Then they all made their traditional brownies. Normally they use a special from scratch recipe that Inkling likes, but I knew we'd be stretched for time, so we went with a boxed m&m mix and added cream cheese icing. They were yummy. Around noon, Inkling went back to her grandparents to eat lunch and pick up Henry David. They met us out at a nearby state park around 1:45. We watched the Canadien geese swim around for a short while and then headed down to the river to look at rocks and throw them in the water. We went to two different beaches and spent over two hours looking at throwing rocks in the water. It rained several times during our outdoor adventure. We were all wet and muddy by the time we came back to mom and dad's house so that Mom could meet Henry David for the first time. Around 5:00 or so, we said our goodbyes again for who knows how long. Maybe six months, maybe less if I get my passport and get out there sooner than that.

So, here's my question... How is it that even after seeing her three days in a row and having much conversation with her that I still feel like I didn't hardly see her, that there are things left unsaid, hugs left unhugged, and tears not cried.
I miss her so much, and in a way it makes me miss her more now that I've seen her for awhile. Of course, it's worth missing her more to spend time with her. So, now we'll go back to almost daily phone conversations thanks to the love of our hubbies who provide us with awesome phone plans that enable us to grow and continue our friendship.

I love you, Inkling and enjoyed our time together this weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Okay, I'm so upset. I jus realized that even my sidebar stuff has been changed. How did that happen? Ugh!!

Identity Crisis

Okay guys, somehow while I was setting up Bee's blog this afternoon, I changed my own name from Grace to Bee and I can't figure out how to change it back. HELP! Hopefully Smart Guy can help me out, but I'm at Mom and Dad's and he leaves for Panama City for camp tomorrow afternoon. This means that I'll be playing the part of Bee for the next week or two until he gets a chance to fix it for me. I don't wanna be Bee, I like the name Grace.

Playing the part of Grace for the next several posts will be the illustrious...Bee!