Monday, December 31, 2012

The Obligatory Year in Review

Obviously I haven't blogged much this year, so here is a summary of my favorite memories of 2012. They are in no particular order, but I've chosen 12 because ya know... it seems appropriate!

 January... We got annual passes to Busch Gardens, unfortunately, we only went 3 times.  Here's a few lessons learned: Don't put your child on the new roller coaster right away.  He will be afraid of everything else.  Mother's Day is an excellent time for B.G.  We walked up to every ride!!

 In February we got our 4.5 year old dog, Brewster!  He's a perfect dog (except when he gets in the trash or eats chocolate.)

 In March, Grandma and Grandpa came for a visit!  I think they are Zach's favorite people...

 In April, I went to Indiana for my dad's retirement party!  I got to go by myself and it was a wonderful weekend with my parents!!  I hope to do more visits with them by myself...

This spring, we started playing TOPS Soccer - it's special needs soccer and each child has a buddy.  The boys love it and are much more involved than when they play Challenger Baseball!!

 I took my motorcycle class and Zach is sportin' my safety gear while he rides his scooter.  Safety first!!

In July we went on a road trip to Indiana and Michigan.  Our car broke down outside of Knoxville and that was stressful.  The boys were annoying and that was stressful.  But when not driving, we had a wonderful time!  Taking the boat to Power Island is certainly a highlight.  We also celebrated Zach's 11th birthday with family in Zionsville.  Zach loved that Grandma made his cake.  His favorite present was the whoopie cushion from Uncle Doug and Aunt Carla.

 What's not to love about the start of a school year?  Zach is in 6th grade with Mrs. Peters and Ryan is in 2nd grade with Ms. Dziadik.  We LOVE their teachers and are impressed by the great job they do!!

Challenger Baseball...

The moment Zach's birthday was over, he started talking about Halloween.  He wanted to be a "Yee-haw Cowboy".  And Ryan *had* to be Buzz Lightyear.  We bought the costume in September but had to hide it because he was waking up waaaay to early to wear the costume.  On November 1st, he changed his focus to Christmas... just like the Big Box Stores...

 Ryan turned 8!!!  My baby... 8!!!

Zach loved the traditions of Christmas.  Immediately after Halloween, he started talking about it...  We put the decorations up after Thanksgiving and every night Zach asked if it was time to make cookies for Santa.

Some of my favorite lines of the year: 
* While the boys play restuarant, Zach says, "What you want?" and then writes your order.  Ryan asks, "Ah-ah?" This is his way of asking, "How many hot dogs do you want?"
* We let Zach answer the phone during all the political calls... he had plenty of opportunity to ask, "What you be?" As in... what's your halloween costume?
* When Zach wants your attention and you don't answer immediately, he says, "You-who!"
* Zach has learned that presents are "Secrets"... not hat he doesn't tell you what's in it!
* Brewster is known as "Boober".

Thanks for looking... we have some big goals for 2013!!  I will share those soon!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ryan is 8!

Wow!  How is my little munchkin/peanut/shrimpy-shrimp/littlest one/tumbleweed eight years old?  How can he get older and I stay the same age?

Ryan is the little one who will melt your heart with hugs, kisses and this gigantic grin.  He loves to help and does so without being asked.  One of his favorite things is to hand out the snacks or dinner plates. He is always so concerned that Zach gets his food first!  He will chase Zach around the house to give him the first snack.

Ryan is the one who loves to play computer, loves to take pictures and look at pictures, he loves to climb and bounce around.  He does this little hop thing that is just so adorable.

But Ryan is also the one who is super stubborn and knows exactly what buttons to push to send you over the edge.

Ryan has come so far and is really trying to communicate without grunts and hitting.  I know he gets frustrated when we don't understand what he wants, but this is where being stubborn is a positive... he doesn't give up until we get it.

I've often wondered if I would have had Ryan if I had known he would have the same "funk" as Zach.  The answer is yes!  He brings so much joy and I know God has a huge plan for his life and it will be accomplished through his "funk".  (As I type this, he is tipping chairs over.) I know God created Ryan exactly the way He wanted him to be.  So like all parents, we have the huge job of shaping him into the best he can be!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Just a little thought...

I'm going to pretend that I'm totally caught up on blogging and that you know all the nitty gritty details of my world.  Here's the summary: 6th grade for Zach, 2nd grade for Ryan, dog barks too much, Mark still flies, and I'm still in the media center.  Baseball and soccer start soon.


My church is starting "The Story" series - 31weeks through the Bible.  Sunday School, small groups and worship all center on God's story.  Last week we talked about creation and how God just desparately wants to be with us.  When we tried to take things into our own hands, the "virus of sin" entered the human genes.  God still wants to be with us even though we disobey.  I was reminded of something interesting.  There's a poet -rapper(I think that's what you would call him) named Prop.  And he talked about how God spoke the earth, the heavens, the sea, the sky, the days, the months, the animals into existence.  But for us humans, he got down in the mud and formed us himself - with his hands.  He did not just speak us into being.  How cool is that?

Anyway, this week we learned about Abraham and how God promised to build a nation through this elderly, barren couple.  They stepped out in faith and moved from their hometown.  They didn't know where they were going - just that God would show them.  I would have a seriously hard time packing up my house and family and just going.  Not knowing where I was headed - just going...  Every intersection I would be stressed out wondering if God wants me to turn or go straight.

Later, Abraham and Sara finally had a baby.  Just one.  Then they had two grandkids.  This is a pretty slow start to nation building.  Eventually they had 12 great grandchildren (who they probably didn't meet) that because the 12 tribes of Israel.

At small group, the question was posed, what is God asking you to do by faith.  I was seriously stumped.  For awhile, I've felt like I'm on the verge of something big -but for now just in a holding pattern. I have no idea what the "big" is - I have dreams of what I would like it to be... but that doesn't mean it's God's plan for me.  So I pondered this all evening.  And I realized something.

God is calling me to do all sorts of "little" things and I'm not doing them.  He urges me to call someone.  I ignore it.  He urges me to send a card.  I ignore it.  He urges me to invite someone over for dinner. I ignore it.  So it stands to reason that if I'm ignoring the little things there is no way I'm ready for the big things.

So my challenge - call to action if you will - is to respond to the little things and practice with that!! I'm excited to see what fun is in store!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

So it's been awhile...

We will just forget that it has been 6 months since I've blogged.  Of course, plenty has happened, but nothing super exciting - unless Ryan acting like a terror, Zach having tons of seizures, and me doing nothing while the boys are in summer school is exciting.

Anyway, Zach has been saying some pretty cute stuff lately and I wanted to record the ones I remember.  This is for my memories and probably won't be that cute for you.

  • We won tickets to a baseball game and I'm not allowed to go he told me that Sue can come.
  • He wanted an expensive backpack and I wanted him to explain why.  He told me that Brewster ate his backpack.  So I asked why it had to be this particular one and what he needed it for.  He said, "Umm.  Hmmm.  I want to bring my teacher movies in my backpack."
  • While at Target, he told me, "Daddy said I'm not allowed to have new shoes.  Daddy says we can only buy backpacks."
  • When asked how old he is, he says, "I'm four on Saturday."
  • He finds fart noises and burps hilarious. He loves to imitate the burping of happy birthday...
  • He calls the Internet motorcycle store "Bike broken store"
I'm sure there is more and I will add to it...

But not to be left out, Ryan is doing a better job of talking.  He's got quite a few mastered including Momma, more, home, phone, done, sound, daddy and Brewster.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm happy to announce that Brewster is now a Mikarts!  He is the perfect dog! I have yet to hear him bark, he follows Mark around like a shadow, and he is not a "lick-y" type dog.  He lets Zach use him as a pillow.  He LOVES play catch and lets the boys chase balls with him.  When he goes for a walk... he goes for a walk - the dude does not like to dwaddle!

We are in love and will post pictures soon!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We Want a Dog

Yes, folks, we are crazy.  We want a dog.  Not just any dog, a labrador retriever. And notice that I said "Dog" not "puppy"?  After many months of thought, consideration, and procrastination, Mark and I decided to move ahead with the dog.

It's a lengthy process - submit application, home study, dog selection, meet dog, get approved by foster parent, get dog.  We could just go to the Humane Society and pick out a dog, but we want to be matched to the perfect dog...

The volunteer who does the home study was sick on the day of our initial appointment and we ended up waiting another week.  When she did come, she was super awesome and was great with my kids (a sign that she is top-notch). She told us that it takes a few weeks for the right dog.  I said all the right words about being patient, but my actions this week prove otherwise.

I became obsessed.  I must have emailed Gwen 10,000 times.  I narrowed my desire down to a fat, yellow lab in Ft. Myers named Buddy and a chocolate lab in Ft. Lauderdale named Brewster.  Brewster has a deformed back paw and primarily uses 3 legs.  Many people consider that a deal breaker (including my mean husband.)  For me, it endeared him to me that much more.  But I really, really want a yellow lab.  So I decided that if the deformed paw is not an issue, I shouldn't even consider it in my decision.  I told Gwen that I choose Buddy.

She emailed me the next day... Buddy is already taken.  I'm happy with Brewster and want to load up the car and drive to Ft. Lauderdale and bring that dude home!!  BUT... remember the 3-4 week process?

Yes folks, Gwen is out of town this weekend and so I won't be able to make the Brewster connection for another week.  Bummer. Bummer. Bummer.  I'm also worried that the foster family wants to keep him.  They said that he is the best dog they have ever had!

So I'm telling this story to share an interesting irony...  We want to provide overnight care for a friend's foster son (grandson, really).  But to get the social worker out to our house to approve our home is next to impossible. I find it interesting that the dog people are much more available and much better corresponders than the people in charge of children! Seriously! The social worker can't come later than 3 pm or earlier than 8 am.  Hello... I work from 8:30 - 4:30.  Wouldn't you want people with steady jobs to watch the kids??  So I won't be able to provide care for this sweet boy until the summer - when I'm available for a home visit.  Crazy and not fair to his foster parents - or my boys who play really well when he is around!

Update: We are hopefully going to meet Brewster this afternoon.  He is 3 hours away and Mark isn't completely on board.  He doesn't like the deformed paw or the pointy face - rather than blocky face.  His foster mom called him the best dog she has fostered. He doesn't need a crate, he doesn't need obedience class, he likes to be around people, he seems perfect!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Zach is still a spaz and other tidbits

Zach is still a spaz and we had to tweak his seizure meds, so we can't tweak the ADHD until we know the seizures are under control.  That just makes for long, interesting, and sometimes funny nights. He becomes hard to control and defiant when the ADHD meds aren't working.  It's not horrible, but I have to be on my "parental" game all the time.

Here are some random tidbits of our lives - most of these are Tweets or Facebook statuses.

Tonight I made chocolate chip cookies and Zach thinks they are spooky.  He would rather eat Chips Ahoy with all the transfat possible.  I told him, "You can have an apple after you eat my cookie."  Seriously.  How many of you have had to say that?

I got this note from his teachers, "Zach might need a bath tonight.  He and a classmate were barking like dogs during recess.  I told them they should pretend to be earthworms so they would be quiet.  Zach went over to the grass and played worm."  I love it!!

I lost my keys for 3 days. I searched high and low at work.  I found them during Sunday School.  In my purse. I forgot about the secret pocket...  I wish I could say this was my first time doing something stupid like that.  It's not the first and won't be the last.

We got 10 yards of dirt and I shoveled most of it one Friday afternoon.  It took 2 hours the next day to be finished.  I felt great.  I get a text from Mark on Monday asking if I ordered more dirt.  Apparently, we only got half of the load on Friday...  We didn't have anywhere to put the new dirt!

Ryan has this really cute, "Stop" and "Go" thing he does with his hands.  It's so cute!!!  You need to come see!!

The other day Ryan was being stubborn and I said, "Ryan! You are forgetting who the boss is."  Ryan replies, "Meeeeee..."

Basketball is over and soccer and baseball are starting.  I can't wait to see how soccer goes.  We have a baseball game this Saturday - Brandon and Kane are joining us!  I am excited to see how all the boys play together. If it's like last time, it will be great - the boys play together and don't need me.  Every once in awhile, they will say my name just to make sure I haven't left.  It's so cute!! I just hope Kane doesn't mind that Zach will follow him EVERYWHERE he goes!

Maybe next time I blog I will actually have something to write about!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alien Invasion

It's happened. The aliens have invaded my oldest son. I knew middle school years would be tough - I have been teaching middle schoolers for 17 years. (Yes, I started teaching at age 11 - I'm gifted like that.) I've always said that I'm not sure how I will survive the middle school years. I can't believe my sweet baby Zach will be a middle schooler next year. (I can't make this paragraph behave)

The alien invasion has been slowly happening. A little 2nd look at a girl here; an additional glance there... A little mood swing here; a little mood swing there. Then on January 16th at around 3 pm it happened. The full blown invasion. I'm not kidding. I know the exact day!
A little kid came over to play and when he left, Zach hasn't been the same. Kane was the UFO that brought the aliens. Defiance. Mood swings. Spastic behavior. I'm not ready for this. Zach isn't even anywhere near puberty but the aliens are here. And I don't know what to do... (And Kane is an adorable, great kid - he's full of energy, but he listens and stops doing what you ask him to not do - so I don't know how he got mixed up with these aliens...)

You see when teaching an alien-possessed boy, you send him home at the end of the day. You talk a good talk with the parents. You smile, you tell them this too shall pass. But you don't really have to live with it. As a parent, it's all different. I find my self frustrated. Yelling. Sending him to his room and then laughing about whatever he did. I'm just praying that God puts the right tool in my box. And here is where * I think * I deserve extra sympathy - Zach can't communicate well and this adds to the mood swings...

For example, yesterday we had complete meltdown because it was my turn to go to the dentist. His turn isn't for 2 weeks. He could not understand why he had to wait and he melted. A complete puddle of sobs. Over the dentist.

I'll keep you updated on adventures with a pre-pubescent alien-infested boy.

I know, how did these cute thing become one of THEM?!