Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Everchanging Plans

Quick note to say that we have a change of plans because of all this snow and ice coming through. Smart Guy moved my flight up to tomorrow morning at the butt crack of dawn, so I could drive over with him tonight instead of waiting until tomorrow night and chance driving by myself in the snow. So, in about 20 minutes we're out of here to drop off the kiddos with friends and head to Pittsburgh to catch our planes (still separate, about 40 minutes apart on each end, with separate layover spots)

Bee's appt's all went good today! Her new brace is cute, I'll get pics on next week when we get back. Awesome news.... her scoliotic curve hasn't changed at all since last August! What an unexpected blessing, huh!

Please pray for safe travels as we are still gonna be driving and flying in snow and possibly ice. Smart Guy's layover is in DC, mine's in Cincy!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm So Sick

You heard me right, two days before I'm supposed to leave on my trip with my hubby, I'm horribly sick... sick of sliding on ice when walking through parking lots, sick of snow in my shoes because I'm sick of wearing my boots everywhere, sick of shoveling snow, sick of my boogers freezing everytime I step outside, sick of stepping in the melted snow on my kitchen floor with just my socks on (I particularly hate that one), sick of wet boots at the back door, and sick of keeping track of gloves and such!

Lucky for me, I'm leaving this place that warmth forgot and moving on to warmer lands! New Orleans here I come! Okay, so it's not the Bahamas by any means, I mean the warmest it's supposed to be while I'm there is somewhere around 68, BUT THAT'S STILL A HECK OF A LOT WARMER THAN HERE! Shoot that's almost 85 degrees warmer than it was last week!!

So, one of two things is going to happen. One, I'll be refreshed and come back to the frozen tundra a new woman ready to face the cold head on for another two months or so. Or Two, I'll come back after enjoying the freedom from the dreaded cold and end up with spring fever so bad that I'll sell all of my children to pay for another plane ticket back down south*!! We shall see!

We head up to Cleveland tomorrow to pick up Bee's new brace and have some x-rays done before we head to the orthopedist's office so he can give us the news that Bee's back has once again gotten several degrees worse! If this child doesn't end up in surgery by the time she's ten, it's gonna be nothing short of a miracle! It's gonna be an all day event with three separate app'ts going on. Of course they couldn't all be in the same building, they are totally spread out. If you've never experienced the Cleveland Clinic you don't know what you're missing! That place is huge. Of course it's also one of the best hospitals in the world so I'll deal with it!

Well, we've got a big day tomorrow, and I also have to finish packing and get this monstrosity of a house somewhat cleaned up before I head out on Wednesday afternoon!! Later!!

*disclaimer... For any morons thinking about calling child services on this warmth deprived mother,I wouldn't really sell my children, it was a joke, so don't bother.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You've Gotta Hear This

Someone sent this to my hubby's email knowing he's a major Steelers fan! These kids are only 11, 12, and 13! They're amazing!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's been a relatively quiet day here in Ohio. I haven't left my house one time today. I've done laundry, cleaned out the boys' closet (I'm talkin' nightmare people), fixed a dinner of pancakes and sausage links, kept making pancakes after dinner to freeze (37 in all), and cleaned the kitchen three times (as usual). Overall a fairly productive day. Although my house is still a mess.

Next week Smart Guy and I are headed for New Orleans. He's been invited to teach a seminar at the national convention for Lutheran youth leaders, and I'm going with him. We decided to make this trip our Christmas/Valentine's Day/ 15th Anniversary/ Birthday trip. We'll be taking in some ma & pa dining while there, which is the best as far as I'm concerned. I can't wait for multiple days of alone time with my hubby (yah, read that however you want to)!! We're actually flying down separately because he's taking a course that starts super early, and I just can't leave then, but we'll be flying back together. Because we're flying separately, that means I get to navigate the airports by myself. You're all gonna think I'm nuts probably, but I love busy airports. I love the thrill of the rush and then sitting down to catch my breath when I get to my terminal and reading a book while people watching. I don't think I've ever flown when I didn't meet someone interesting. I love to fly. I don't however love to stand and wait for my luggage to make it off the plane, so I'll be packing everything I need into my carry-on! Yes, it can be done!

The kids will be staying with our music pastors for the first two nights we're gone, and then Mountain Mom will be driving over to get them all and taking them back home with her. She wants to be in Steeler country for the Superbowl, not Browns' country!! Then Smart Guy and I will fly back into the Pittsburgh airport on Sunday afternoon and hopefully make the 40 minute drive back to his parent's house in time for the game!! We'll have to dig out our terrible towels for the game!!

Well, gotta get going! Later.

Oh yah, btw all you Brown's people, did I mention..... THE STEELERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL! Oh, I did already, sorry, my bad :)!!

My Best-Friend

Ya know, some nights I'm just not sleepy, and unlike when my children say they aren't sleepy, I can stay up if I want to. Tonight would be one of those nights. Tonight is also one of those nights when I absolutely hate the physical distance between my best-friend and I. For those of you that don't know, she lives in British Columbia, Canada. Everyday for the last two weeks has been hard, but it just gets more difficult for her by the day.

Ya see, she had her first baby two weeks ago tonight. She, like most of us moms, had dreams and visions in her head of what life would be like with her new babe. Much like me, she's been dreaming those dreams since she was five years old, and pulling up her shirt to nurse her baby dolls. Well, while the dreams of a beautiful, amazing gift from God have come true in her blessed little Grasshopper, the visions of what life would be like have not yet come to pass.

Her recovery from childbirth has been rough to say the least, and just as she wanted to be able to lay her eyes on my children and I two-and-a-half years ago when we had our nasty wreck, I want to be able to lay my own eyes on her and put my arms around her and tell her that it will be okay. The difference is that she was at least able to send her parents to my house so they could be her eyes and ears in those days after our wreck.

Once again, her mom is being eyes and ears for one of us... for which I'm grateful. Inkling's parents are with her, Henry David, and Grasshopper while she recovers. I'm so grateful that they are there. I'm glad that I'm getting reports from someone who is looking at her.

Each and every time Inkling or her mom has asked me to pray, all I can say is "I haven't quit yet." She's never out of my mind. I'm praying constantly. I'm praying for quik healing. I'm praying for her mind to be eased. I'm praying for comfort. I'm praying for Henry David to be able to endure. I'm praying that God wraps his arms around her and holds her up until healing comes.

Since last summer, Inkling and I have had plans for me to fly out to visit in February. About 3 days before Grasshopper was actually born, we changed those plans. We decided that since my little SIL is due at the end of February and she has honored me by inviting me into her birthspace, and that we really wouldn't be able to do anything fun together in February with a brand new baby anyway, that we were going to wait until May for my visit to take place. Well, that sounded fine at the time, but now...

I know her mom's there. I know her hubby's taking good care of her. I know her dad is there too. But, as her best-friend, I need to see her. This sucks...bigtime!

Please be praying for my dear, orange-headed friend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow Day

We have our first official snow day!! Of course it's not for snow, it's for the horrendouly cold wind chills. Now, for those of you that aren't locals, that certainly doesn't mean we haven't had any snow yet this year. The problem (for the kids anyway)is that it keeps snowing on Fridays or late afternoon so they have plenty of time to clear the roads before school. That being said, there have been a couple of times that I was amazed that they didn't cancel school. School just simply doesn't get canceled in our little town unless a child could possibly freeze off some appendages walking to school. Last year there were many days that every single school system around us was out, but our kids still had to brave the elements!! Of course, a few of those schools also went to school alot longer than we did in the summer because they had to makeup calamity days at the end of the year, which would really stink!!

So, today we're hanging out here. It's actually up to about -1 degree right now without the wind chill. It's only supposed to get colder by tomorrow, so I'm sure tomorow will be another day off of school. I just talked to my mom and she took Dad to work this morning so he wouldn't have to stand and wait for the bus. It's about
-10 degrees without the wind chill there and that stuff is headed our way. BRRRRRR!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


To clarify my last post for my newer readers who may not know Miss Bee's history... sorry about that!! Bee has scoliosis caused by a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis (NF). NF can cause learning issues, tumors thata form on nerves causing pain, optic glioma (tumors around the optic nerve), which Bee has, lisch nodules (Prophet and her both have these), pseudoarthrosis (my niece has this of the tibia and is about to have her fifth surgery in as many years to correct it), scoliosis (Bee has it), and many other things. Bee was diagnosed with scoliosis at around at 18 months old when I noticed a lump on her chest and suspected it to be a rib protruding from her spine curving. I took her in and my suspiscions were right. Her curve has increased to 57 degrees as of last August. She's been wearing a brace for about 16 months now. She's grown out of her last one, so it was time for a new one. These pics are of the old brace that she has worn for the last 16 months.

These pics were taken the day we brought her brace home back in September of '07.
When I look at these pics, I realize how much she's grown since these were taken. Also how worn her brace looks after all these months of use. Yuck!!

The leg braces in this pic are just an example of the colors and pictures that will be on her back brace when it is finished. Sorry about the confusion guys!!

A New Brace

Here's some picks of our afternoon at the Cleveland Clinic having Bee's brace made.

In the waiting room waiting patiently!!

Putting on the "stocking" dress to prepare for the nasty wet plaster.

"I am woman, hear me roar."

The water bucket and plaster wraps getting ready.

Not sure what exactly she's doing here, but it's funny whatever it is!!

Prophet and D.K. watching the action (the part that I videoed)

Trying to decide what designs to put on her brace. This was an incredibly tough decision. She looked and looked, changed her mind a few times, and finally chose something.... that the orthotics dude forgot to point out was the only thing on the page not available for her type of brace! Man!

In the end, she decided that her brace will look like these little leg braces for a little girl who was picking them up the next day. He thought maybe if she could see something in real life, it would be easier. She had thought about haveing the swirly,colored stuff on it, but hadn't considered the horses around the top, but when she saw these, she knew that was what she wanted. Her's will have blue straps. We have an app't with her ortho doc with x-rays on January 27, so we'll be picking it up on that day instead of making a trip up there a few days before and then going back up a few days later. So, in a few more weeks, we'll have a new brace to show off!!

Snow, Snow Go Away...

I just accidently posted this on "Watcha Got Cookin'" and hit publish. I hit "view blog" and then realized my mistake! Geez, I need some sleep!!

The batch of snow that is currently falling here in northeastern OH is falling in seven different states. That's how big this thing is! It's snowing from west of Springfield, IL to the northern panhandle of WV! I'm so ready for the snow to go away! It's not that we've had any super deep snow, just everytime we turn around lately it's doing something with white stuff falling fromt the sky! And now it's also "booger-freezin'" cold, so it's not even fun to play in! All the kids were hoping for a wind chill of 15 below this morning so they would cancel school, but the wind they had predicted never happened, therefore it was a balmy 0 degrees when we wokeup this morning! BRRRRRRRR!!

I was awake for about three hours last night. I fell asleep easy, but then woke-up around 12:45 and didn't go back to sleep until after 3:30! Maybe I'm having sympathy for Inkling and Henry David and the lack of sleep they getting because of their new little Grasshopper! Or maybe I just couldn't shut my mind off once I woke-up. I don't know, but I was ready to scream!! I finally got up and moved to the couch in the family room, because I was afraid that Smart Guy would sense I was awake and he'd wake-up too!

Bee had a new brace made on Tuesday. She wanted her brothers to see how it was made, so we picked them up from school an hour early. She threatened them about laughing at her. They did pretty good. When they did giggle, it was because she had said or done something wierd, not because of what they were seeing. I videoed the process, and I'm planning to get it posted soon so that Grannie and Grandma can experience the whole thing. Bee's had so much done to her in her short life, that she just talks during the whole thing like nothin's happening, and occasionally throws in a question if she doesn't remember something from last time! She's a hoot!!

I have a friend who is in desperate need of prayer right now. I'm not going to elaborate on her story, because it's not mine to share, but please be praying for her. God knows the story.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

He's Here

Welcome to the world little Grasshopper! We've waited and waited for you to join us on this earth. I can't wait to get to love on you and for the "Sara Orange Gang" to meet you too! I love you, so much.

p.s. I'm so incredibly proud of your mama too!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

BTW, I'll be changing my background from Christmas to something else as soon as "Cutest Blog on the Block" gets their site back up and running. It's been down since I started trying to change a couple days ago!

Daisy Scouts

What do you get when you put a five-year-old who has not a shy bone in her body and a Girl Scout cookie order form together?

Sixty boxes sold in just over 24 hours!!

I'm being totally honest when I say that I didn't sell a single one of those boxes. She did it all herself. There was only one person she asked that didn't buy from her and that person has a scout himself. She approached every single person herself and asked them without my help. She was able to tell them when they would be in, when they needed to pay, that the new "dulce de leche" cookie is good because she tried one last night at her troop meeting, and that each box is $3.00. I would have never been that good when I was a kid. I'm still not, which is why selling Tupperware didn't work out for me back in the late '90s. I always felt like I was bugging people. Of course, Girl Scout cookies sell themselves. Between that, her blue Daisy Scout smock, her big brown eyes, and her amazing sales pitch she was bound to succeed!! Of course, now I have to sort and deliver all those cookies at the end of February,and who knows how many more she'll end-up selling before January is over!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc.

Let's see, since I posted last we've all had the stomach monster, then passed it on to all the grandparents in WV and IL. I know they loved us for that! Ugh, it was awful!! We had a wonderful Christmas, in which we managed to have no one sick on Christmas day. Well, not in my house anyway. My poor, pregnant little sis-in-law had it on Christmas day and was feeling awful for several days. Thankfully she's over it. We had a very quiet Christmas day and didn't leave the house until 4:30 when we went to help prepare and serve a meal for the downtowners. After everyone was served, we all made plates and sat down with them for dinner. It was an awesome meal and I ate entirely too many mashed potatoes.

The day after, we went to see "Marley and Me" at the movies. It was a wonderful movie. Very emotional. If you've ever had a beloved dog, you'll laugh until you cry and then cry until all the nasty smashed tissues in the bottom of your purse get pulled out and sobbed on. We took the kids to see it with us thinking with the PG rating and the doggy storyline that it'd be safe for them to see without us previewing it first. Don't do that. There were mentions of s**e**x many, many times. I don't think they caught any of them, but now they all want the DVD, and I know if they watch it again and again as they tend to do with loved movies that they'll start saying "Mommy dearest, we are innocent and have no idea what they are speaking of, please enlighten our little minds." While I know these discussions are in the close future with the boys, I AIN'T READY TO GO THERE JUST YET, OKAY!!

The Saturday after Christmas, Prophet had his last Upward basketball game of the season. Unfortunately they lost. It was only their second loss of and it was an amazing game. They ended losing by one point in the last 5 seconds. I've never seen so many people standing and cheering at a basketball game being played by 9-11 year olds.

We spent several hours cleaning out the Christian education wing at the church during break. Our children's pastor retired, so now Smart Guy is also doing her job. She'd been there for 14 years and it doesn't appear that she changed anything the entire time she was there. So, we did some major changing around of rooms, throwing out stuff that was beyond use or repair (aka an old 6 foot tall paper mache tree that we are still finding pieces of all over the upstairs two weeks after being thrown out and cleaned-up after) to make it more in tune with the new program we've started. We are doing a family sunday school now. Families spend the first 35 minutes together, and then the children split up into age groups and the parents spend 15 minutes talking about what we've just learned together. It seemed to work out really well. My heart is heavy though for the former children's pastor. For the last 14 years she has been using a rotation model for our SS program. She started doing it back before it was the thing to do, and there was a time in the past when we've been told that it was an amazing program. It's needed to be changed for awhile now, but every time Smart Guy suggested something she didn't want to change the old way. (he's actually in charge of the education department as well). So, she decided to retire because she didn't like where he was taking the program. While I know we needed the change seriously bad, I know she's still hurting to see the change and all of the stuff she did go away. She's currently undertaking the daunting task of cleaning out her office. If you've never seen a children's pastor's office, then you have no idea what a chore this is, but if you have, then you'll know how long it takes to clean it up. Every single CP we've ever worked with has gobs and gobs of stuff stashed in their office. It's just the nature of the beast!!

We made the trip to WV to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of one of Smart Guys Aunt and Uncles. There were probably over 75 people there and most all of them were family. That's what happens when your FIL in one of ten children. I love getting together with everyone as it's the only time the boys have boy-cousins to play with. I also got to love-on a cousin who just lost her third baby. They thought they were "in the clear" so to speak, when they went in for the routine ultrasound at 16 weeks and found out that the baby had died three weeks previously. I don't understand why this has to happen so much. She and her husband are so heartbroken right now. Would you please keep them in your prayers and thoughts?

New Years Eve was spent in our home with just our family. Everyone stayed up late and toasted the New Year with sparkling apple cider (which all three kids turned their noses up at after one sip, which meant more for me 'cause I adore the stuff). They even stayed up long enough to watch the new Wizards of Waverly Place that started at midnight on the Disney Channel.

On New Years Day we had friends over for a brunch of sausage soufle', fruit salad, donut holes, biscuits, and OJ. Us grown-ups had fun talking at the table while the kids all ran around playing after we had finished eating. After we cleaned up a little bit, we all headed to the movies to see "Bedtime Stories" by Disney. It was really cute and the kids all loved it.

We all recieved Barnes and Noble cards for my Uncky (thank you so much). We've recieved these before from him and I think it's one of the most cherished gifts we get. So, we set off for the bookstore the day after New Years to use the cards. We had so much fun in the huge, two-story B&N store looking at books. Bee changed what she had picked out about 6 times before we finally checked out.

Monday, after everyone went back to school at 8:40, I hate to admit it, but I climbed back into bed and slept until 11:30 in perfect silence. Actually I can't complain because my kids did't get up before 10:00 one morning last week, but I needed a nap to start off my new week. They've been back in school for 4 days now, and everything seems to be back to normal in this House of Greatness!! (for now anyway)