Friday, November 19, 2010


I love when a plan comes together! Cindy, Sheldon, Mark and I loaded up at 4am into Mark's 182 and took off for Nashville, TN. We flew into 20 knot headwinds (let me tell you - that is a super huge slow-down when you are in a little plane. A trip that should have taken 4-5 hours took 6-7!)

We finally made it to Nashville and met up with our dear friends that moved to Tennessee in the spring. Cherie was coming home from Tampa after an unexpected delay in her business trip and was able to join us for the Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores. Fortunately, Leslie was able to join us!

We had a great time at the game - including helping the concession stand girl add up our bill - and make change... We also won a free taco after Vandy scored 2 touchdowns. Trust me, by the end of the game, that was all that was keeping us there! The entire stadium was cheering for Vandy to score that 2nd touchdown... we wanted our tacos!
On Sunday, we went downtown. I was able to visit my favorite place, the Centennial Mall, farmer's market, and the Honkytonk area.

Even though the boots were buy one ~ get two free we couldn't afford them, but had fun trying them on anyway.

The Wild Horse Saloon is a must stop-at kind of place. It was pretty dead at 5 pm on a Sunday night, but we still enjoyed the horses and line dancing.

This was my first quasi-successful shot at line dancing.

I guess our friends are sticking around... here they are outside their new house!
And the view from the way home!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ryan Karl

Ryan Karl aka Chicken, Scooter, Tumbleweed, Hokey Pokey, Ry-gen, and cockroach...
This little guy, Ryan, is six years old! How can it be? My baby now has to use two hands to count his age... He's growing up so fast!!
Ryan just cracks us up - he's "coo coo cocoa puffs"! He loves life and is quick to find mischief (since it's his birthday, we'll call him curious!). I love watching Ryan and I always wonder what is going on in his head... what is this little man thinking?

Ryan started kindergarten in August and he is making some incredible progress. He is beginning to use more speech and starting to learn to write. His favorite phrase is, "Go away!" I would honestly say his brother is his best friend (well, and worst enemy)

Ryan tries to be helpful and loves to clean up. He also is fascinated with keys and opening locks. He just learned to use the computer and loves playing with our phones.

He is a daredevil and has had numerous stitches this year. He doesn't seem to be afraid of pain and we are thankful for the "goober hat".

I just love how much he loves life. I crack up at his stubbornness and appreciate his "Let me do it" spirit.

Happy Birthday little man!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Thankful Game

There's this "game" on Facebook right now where you say one thing you are thankful for each day in November. I need to play that game, because right now I am the bratty kid who doesn't want the gifts she's been given. So instead of whinning about not having potty trained kids, I'm going to list 15 things I'm thankful for:

1. A God who created the universe and loves me. Little 'ole me. Full of faults and ugliness. Yet He loves me unconditionally. Wow!!

2. A wonderful husband who I often take for granted. He is kind, loving, and a great dad.

3. Zachary my 9 year old who is so sweet and has a gentle heart. He cracks me up and loves his brother fiercely. He also makes a good shopping partner.

4. Ryan my almost 6 year old. He is crazy and fun. He has this devilish grin and a pretty impressive will.

5. My parents are great role-models. They work hard, love well, and are a great support.

6. My brother is also an amazing man. He has worked hard to overcome learning disabilities and go far in his career. He was just named the law enforcement officer of the year for his area.

7. My church family - since we don't have a family in Florida, our church is our support. They have been there through it all!

8. My husband's work at Agape. He is able to serve the for a ministry that brings supplies to people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Mark works behind the scenes to keep the facility running. Pretty much a thankless job - but God knows he is working hard.

9. My running partner, Travis, and Meg before her. It's like free therapy and a work out all at once.

10. My friends at work. I work with two phenomenal women Patti and Em. They encourage me and love me despite my attempts to be unloveable.

11. Oak Park - my kids school is exactly what they need. Teachers that love them and have expectations for them.

12. My house - it's not perfect, but it's safe and mine.

13. Florida's gorgeous weather. Ok, so I miss snow, but not for long.

14. My husband's airplane that takes on fun little trips.

15. All the little blessings that God gives me and I don't even recognize them!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No awards tonight

You know how some nights you are the perfect mom? You make a dinner everyone loves, you play games with the kids, you snuggle, you brush teeth, you read bed time stories. You know, a perfect night!

Well. Tonight was most decidedly NOT that night. In fact, it was the "perfect storm" of bad mommy night.

I am tired. The boys are tired. Dad had to work. The neighbor's dog was out barking at 6 am and woke Zach up - so that coupled with Halloween created Monster Zach.

I tried to be "that" mom - the good one. I played Twister, but it ended up in a knock-down-drag-out fight over who could be the spinner person. (No, I was not involved in the fight!) Then I gave Zach a toy catalog and told him to circle his favorite toys. He loves doing this, but for some reason, he was a stage five clinger. He had to show me EVERY picture. I am way too tired for a clinger. So I tried to play a movie. Comcast wasn't working (surprise, surprise). More tears. Back to the circling in the catalog. Back to the clinginess.

Meanwhile I figured I would try to watch some news. Ryan thought this would be a great time to play with the buttons on the tv. Zach being the older brother figures it's his job to discipline the little brother. More knock down drag out fights.

Finally... eight o'clock rolls around (ok, 7:50 - I round up). Bedtime can come early tonight... Zach doesn't think he needs to go to bed and tries to "out smart" me. I take him by the upper arm and guide him to his room. He protests with "Ow! Ow! Ow!" (Where does an intellectually disabled 9 year old learn this stuff? It must be an innate and primal urge to pretend your mom is hurting you.) Then he says, "Don't say it again!" Not. a. good. idea. I am already exhausted, but not too exhausted to blog I found it kinda funny the first time he said it. But tonight I took his sweet little face in my hands and told him to never say that to mommy again. His reply? "Don't say it again." I won't tell you the rest of that sequence... Yes, he's still alive. No, I didn't spank him.

Then Ryan... He needed a diaper change before bed but was kicking his little feet like something crazy. I finally got a diaper on him and put him in bed. He gets up two times. After the second time. I got nose to nose and said, "Not tonight Ryan. Don't push me." So far he's still in bed.

All this to say, I was not perfect mom tonight - and I'm ok with it - because I didn't have perfect children either!