Monday, February 21, 2011

My Little Picasso's

Pumpkin and princes love to color.  So the three of us colored some pictures this morning.  Enjoy!   

Pumpkin likes to use one color and gets easily bored with just one picture. 

Princess loves to use many colors and just scribbles the tar out of the picture.  

Mommy of course used different colors, altered pressure and tried to stay in the lines. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Bug Meets Simple Turtle

Today is Valentine's Day.  It is a commercialized holiday, but its basis is on the ones we love.  In reality, we really do not need a holiday to celebrate our loved ones; it is something that we should do everyday.  In this modern world, we lose sight of what is important and forget to celebrate everyday joys.  I, for one, am as guilty as the next.  Maybe we should start focusing on the simple things of life and take a lesson from the turtle (slow and steady wins the race).

The smallest love of my life
Yesterday at church during children's time our pastor instructed the kids that for Valentine's Day they should do three things for their mommies and daddies.  Number One: Hug mommy and daddy, Number Two: Give mommy and daddy a big smile, and Number Three: Kiss mommy and daddy.   I made sure I collected from pumpkin this morning, but princess was not going to have any of it.  Of course, it does not help that she is cutting her two-year molars, so her temperament has been a bit off lately.  

The medium sized love of my life
This evening pumpkin and princess both received a few treasures from mommy and daddy to celebrate Valentine's Day. Pumpkin's favorite treasure is the Smurfs DVD.  Oh, the joys of childhood!  I remember watching the smurfs on the local television stations growing up.  I think I may have bought the DVD more for me than for them.  Princess's favorite treasure is the book Ladybug Girl Loves...  She was just glued to the book.  I like the fact that it celebrates nature and the main character dressed up like a ladybug.

The biggest love of my life
Tomorrow is another day, but I am very blessed to have three loves in my life: Daddy, pumpkin, and princess.  

God is great!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's Melting

We sure have had quite our share of snow this season.  

Snow falling down last week
At first, newly fallen snow is beautiful, fresh, clean, refreshing even.  The kids sure have enjoyed it this year!  After awhile, the snow takes on a gray cast from wayward travelers passing by and just gets old.  

Princess with daddy
I am looking forward to spring, when all of the snow has melted away and first signs of emerging plant life appear.  
Trout Lily
Today air temperatures were getting warm enough to help with melting some of the ice and snow from last week's storm.  Snow is just so much more enjoyable when ice is not included, not to mention it does melt a lot quicker.  I tried to help it along its way, by using a metal spade to break ice chunks at least 3/4" thick from our driveway.  I will be so happy when the current mess is gone. 
Daddy scooping snow
So to wrap it up.  Please Spring, put a spring in your step and arrive sooner than later.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rough Patches

Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge!
How impossible it is for us to understand his decision and his way!
~Romans 11:33
This has been a really rough week for me.  Life always has its ups and downs but this week has felt like a hailstorm.  I have to trust that God knows what he is doing and that I will make it through to more joyous times.  

Tuesday was the roughest day for me.  I attended the graveside services of a dear, dear lady.  I thought a lot of her and was sad to see her go, but it is a blessing that she lead a full and long life.  The service was in the same cemetery that my mom and grandpa are buried in.  I made it through pretty well.  The hardest part of the service for me was when the 23 Psalms was recited.  The last time I had heard those words was the day my mom died.  I was the one that had discovered that mom had past on and no matter how hard I tried to find a pulse or listen for a breath, it didn't come.  I called our pastor and he, his wife, grandma and I waited together for the hospice nurse to arrive to call the coroner.  As we waited, pastor had us gather around mom and he read the 23 Psalms.  I had always found comfort in those verses, but now it has a different meaning and for the time being is very hard to bear.  I'm sure with time, those words will once again provide comfort and support instead of sadness and tears.

Then early Tuesday evening, I went to the funeral home for the visitation of a wonderful gentleman that I once attend church with.  Of course, it was the same funeral home that took care of my mom and grandpa's funerals.  This particular funeral home has two rooms for their services.  I figured it would probably be in the room that grandpa had been in 6 months ago and I thought I could handle that.  But, it ended up being in the same room that mom had been in 4 1/2 months earlier.  I almost bolted from the funeral home.  It is really hard to face something that you are still coming to terms with.  I know that mom is gone and in a better place, but I do not want to relive any part of this life change event.  But because I thought so much of this wonderful gentleman, I did pay my final respects.  Of course, it was done with tears and I could only stay in the funeral home for about ten minutes.  I'm sure that God was with me the whole time, but I'm not sure that I was strong enough to face these hurdles so soon.

Finally, right before bed time on Tuesday, I received a phone call that my dad had been admitted to the hospital two hours away.  He had been undergoing out patient pheresis in preparation for a bone marrow transplant later this year, for multiple myeloma, and encountered a glitch.  They thought it could be a possible blood clot, by Wednesday afternoon the blood clot had been ruled out.  I guess the current hypothesis maybe the medication that he was receiving.  He is hoping to be released sometime tomorrow, so he can come back home. 

Not to out do everything else this week, one year ago yesterday was when mom was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors.  Of course, a few weeks later was when we learned she had stage 4 cancer of the brain and lungs.  So for the past year my world has been turned upside down and I'm still waiting for it to turn itself back around.  I'm still working on trying to find the new normal in life as is everyone else in the family.

Being the oldest, I always feel like I have to take care of everyone else in the family.  I have to be the strong one.  Some days, I think being the oldest really sucks.  Being a mom with little kids does not lend much time to dwell on the events of the last year, but I do find that letting my thoughts out helps me to heal.  It's funny when mom was so sick, I did not want to go to bed because I did not want another day to be gone.  Since she has past, I do not always want to go to bed because that is when my mind has free time to think and time to miss those whom have gone on before.

I have some suggestions on how to deal with someone whom has a loved one with cancer, life threatening illness or has had a love one that has past away:
1) Just listen. Don't probe for answers. They will talk in their own time and in their own way.
2) Don't ask "Is there anything I can do?" The first thing that pops into the head is "Yes. Cure my mom's cancer." or "Yes. Bring my mom back."
3) Just do. Send a card, drop by for a visit or grab a bite to eat together, volunteer to help out- but be specific (babysitting, cook a meal, etc...). Most often the person doesn't know what they need or when they may need it.
4) Don't give THE LOOK. Those sad, you poor thing eyes. No one wants to be pitied or treated any differently than anyone else.
5) Just pray.  Let them know you support them, are thinking of them, and pray for them and their loved ones.
Well that about wraps up it for the evening.  The two things that keep me going are 1) God never gives us more than we can handle and 2) God has a reason for everything even if we cannot see it right now.  Tomorrow is another day and right now life is about taking one day at a time, the rest will figure itself out later.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Birthdaypolooza 2011

Both pumpkin and princess had their birthdays this week.  Pumpkin is at the ripe old age of 4 and princess has just doubled her age to 2.  This past year has really been full of surprises.

In the last twelve months, pumpkin underwent his very first surgery to place tubes in his ears and he was accepted into a local preschool program.  He is doing fabulous with school and his speech has drastically improved with speech therapy at school.  He can spell his name out loud and recognize it on paper.  Also in the late spring, pumpkin was finally 100% potty trained.  He is a very active little boy and loves to play outside year round. 

Princess has really changed.  Her hair has finally grown enough to put it in a little ponytail.  Although, it is still so fine that barrettes and clips will not stay in place.  She is so active, always trying to do what big brother is doing.  Most of her pace is that of a constant run!  She squeaks her little sentences.  Like: "I got it."  "What's that?"  "What are you doing?"  "I want up!"  She can count to ten and sings most of her ABCs. 

We had their joint birthday party this afternoon.  Curious George was the theme!  Everyone had a lot of fun.  We made monkey bracelets with pony beads, star beads, a monkey bead and colored pipe cleaners.  Then we sung happy birthday and the kids opened their presents.  Followed by cupcakes and ice cream.  Once everyone was done, we headed outside and went sledding on the hill in our yard. 

I wonder what adventures this next year will hold.  Maybe pumpkin will learn to ride a bike or help dig a hole for a plant.  I hope that this coming year is filled with learning to write our letters and numbers and spelling his name on paper.  I have high hopes that princess may become potty trained and look forward to her speech becoming more pronounced. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Banana Icy Snow Day

Hmmm… The title sounds like the beginnings of a very good recipe! 

The kids and I opted to stay home today instead of trudging out in the bad weather to go to daycare and work.  Which, I’m thinking it probably was a very smart move.

So what to do on a icy snow day?  Why make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread of course.  Just follow the directions of the link and add 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips.
Mixing of the dry ingredients
I love my brown sugar bear!!
Add some butter & mash
Here go the three really ripe bananas
Mix in the special ingredient
Ready to pop in the oven

Smells and tastes YUMMY!
Can I have some more?
Of course, pumpkin and princess will a chance to color, read books, nap, snuggle with mommy and watch DVDs (Veggie Tales & Super Hero Squad).  As long as we do not lose power it should be a marvelous snow day!