Saturday, December 19, 2015

Season's Greetings

Thanksgiving was perfect - I just love it. Charlie's parents arrived that morning and we had a lovely afternoon all together catching up and exchanging some gifts. . Day after we all went to the tree farm and spent the day finding the perfect Christmas tree. Once we found it we were taken back to the farm on a horse drawn wagon where we warmed up sipping on hot cocoa and eating snacks afterward. We finished the evening with the kids decorating the tree and reminiscing about Christmas' past. It was a perfect day. Even Savannah got a small tree to decorate for her bedroom.

Savannah and her best friend being silly at the tree farm

Charlie and the boys cutting down the tree

In the house

Finished product - as usual Michael and Jake did a great job putting on the lights and Savannah and her friend put on the ornaments. And of course Daddy got the star on, and it gave him a little trouble, but all's well that ends well. 

His parents also spoiled us all with a night out Prime Quarter - this is a great place where you can choose your steak (or tuna) from the meat cooler and head right over to the grill to cook it yourself. We really enjoy the conversation around the grill and Savannah grilled her own as well.

Charlie has started a new job working for Trane Ingersoll Rand as a Controls BAS Technician  and is really enjoying his new role. There are many new adventures and adjustments for us all as he is training and learning the company.

Michael has moved from Utah and is Jake's new roommate. He started working at Elite Coatings with Jake and they are both so busy with overtime I don't know that they get much rest. He seems to be doing well and is adjusting to single life. Jake is really taking on a lot with helping Michael out during this time.

Savannah's getting good grades in middle school and they had their Winter Concert for orchestra and it was lovely, she had a solo and wanted to surprise us and that she did. We were able to meet the gentleman who gave her the violin - in fact to tell you the story when it was the first day of 6th grade in Middle school, Savannah thought she signed up for Choir - but the 2nd day they told her she was signed up for Orchestra. When she got home that night she had told me this and then to find out the crossing guard offered to give her his daughter's violin that same day when she got off the bus from school. What a blessing! Had he not offered her that we wouldn't have had the violin for her.

Walking off stage

Playing Classic Christmas Medley - the teacher allowed us parents to get up close and take photos of our kids

I think she was a happy but embarrassed when she saw me on stage

I am so proud of all my kids and am so grateful for such a blessed life God has given me. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Goin' for a ride...

Life has been crazy busy since I last posted - like a roller coaster! I went to Utah and met my grand daughters for the first time. I cannot tell you how neat it felt to hear those little voices call me grandma. I almost looked behind me to see who else was there before I realized they were talking to me.

We went to the aquarium and had a fire with s'mores. We had a family BBQ and played on the swings and with Matt's chickens.

I was sad the day before I left though. I think it hit me that I was missing out on seeing them grow up in person. Sure I can see pictures and hear their stories but nothing like having them all sit on my lap at almost the exact same time and just being with them. Playing with them.


Michael's family and I

Charity and Destiny (not sure if that is the correct order) I had to try to remember which one was which according to the number of pony tails in their hair. All three are so cute and sweet. I miss them.

I was offered to permanently move back into the Service Department at work and we all seem to transition well into the new software program. I have continued to feel well and avoid major FM flareups so I am really feeling well and happy again.

Michael is temporarily living in Green Bay with Jake and looking for work. I pray he'll find something close or something on the bus route. I know he misses his family extremely but things will work out if they are meant to be. For now it is nice to visit with him and have everyone together even if for a season.

We had 15 large pine trees removed...and if you've ever been to our house you would know this was no easy feat. Well at least for the workers. It was a mess and we still have a lot of work to do to finish grinding the stumps, planting grass where the pine needles once were, and planting new and better trees for our yard. Needless to say though it is great to have a clean driveway free from pine cones and sap!

One memory from this summer is watching the Moon eclipse -Charlie, Savannah, and I -oh and the dog, sat on the roof and just enjoyed the show. 

Fall arrived and with it another birthday. Savannah made me a cake and we drove up to Door County -what a beautiful day it was that day! 

Michael is temporarily living in Green Bay with Jake and looking for work. I pray he'll find something close or something on the bus route. I know he misses his family extremely but things will work out if they are meant to be. For now it is nice to visit with him and have everyone together even if for a season.

Charlie will be ending his employment tomorrow at Nature's Way. He has been there for almost 9 years but these past few years it has been hard knowing we moved here for his job only to find the promising company he once worked for didn't move with him. It has been a whole different atmosphere and he stuck it out for a very long time. He has found a position with Ingersoll Rand in the division of Trane and will be working in the area of expertise he enjoys most -Electronic Controls. We are excited for this new adventure and have been greatly blessed by God with answered prayer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Up North

We rented a small cabin for a few days about 50 miles north of us. It felt so good to get away and just be together. Jake was able to come and we brought Bear with us too. He has never been a big fan of water but he did venture out up to his middle. Once he was comfortable there he attempted to sit down in the lake but just as fast as he put his bottom down and his tail hit the water he put it back up. It was hilarious watching him!

We left the cell phones, laptop, and all other electronics at home (besides the TV/DVD player they had at the cabin) and spent time fishing, playing games, playing with the dog, and swimming.

We took a ferry ride to Washington Island - Savannah wasn't sure and had a lot of questions about how the Titanic sank and if there were sharks in the water. It was a lot of fun driving through all the towns and we stopped for smoked salmon and ice cream cones on the way home.

I really enjoyed myself and did not want to come home but I do look forward to the next part of our vacation in Wisconsin Dells.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Reliving old memories

We took Jake and Savannah to the drive in theater this weekend - it was a perfect night and it really brought back some old memories. There's just something about the movie playing outdoors that makes the experience. The Santa Fe was super comfy and it is definitely something I want to do again!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Me and My Sister

My sister visited from Utah to visit this summer - we had a great time together watching movies, eating out, and just being together. The first night she was here we took her out for sushi and we ate so much that we were uncomfortable for the rest of the night. But it was sooo good! We visited Bay Beach, made home made pizza, and she taught Charlie how to make cinnamon rolls. I think my favorite time we spent together was on my day off - we took Savannah to see Inside Out and went to lunch and shopping. We wanted to shop at Main Street in De Pere and were browsing in a consignment shop and were surprised to find Holly Hobbie plates from our childhood. We finished the afternoon off with a walk on the De Pere river walkway making fun of the silly pelicans. I am so glad she was also able to visit with my nephew, JJ and his wife and children a couple different times who traveled quite a ways from Indiana. We ate a lot, laughed a lot, and just had a great time. I am so glad she came.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Life is Good

I've been feeling exceptionally well this past month and a half. By the Grace of God I have only had a minor flare up that lasted a day. I did have a bad twist and fall spraining my ankle but that was my own fault for not being careful and watching where I put my feet. I've had minor to no pain from the FM. That along with energy has really helped me feel normal again.

Work has been crazy busy but with that comes challenges. I seem to thrive on being busy and it really keeps me motivated to get as much done as I can. I don't know how long it will last but for now it is what it is. And spending your Friday night eating at the Island Sushi buffet where you can get your fill of sushi from cute little boats that float in a circle around the sushi bar is always a good reward for a hard worked week.

Saturday Savannah and I went swimming with Jake this weekend, it was fun even if the weather here doesn't get hot like I am used to. It still feels as if summer hasn't gotten here. I like to swim when it is hot - nothing is better than a swim on a hot dry day. But we kept warm for the most part, scratched our backs on the slides as we went down, and watched Savannah chase the seagulls from out of the edge of the pool water and the concession area.

Later that day after Jake left our little family of three had a fire in our backyard and roasted some hot dogs and marshmallows. The mosquitos were pretty hungry too but we kept them at bay with a lot of bug spray. There is nothing like a fire roasted hot dog or marshmallow no matter how hard you try to duplicate it. Only God's given fire does the job to perfection.

Sunday church service was awesome! When I woke up this morning the verse, Psalm 118:24, "Today is the Day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." came to me. I thought about it a moment and wanted to share the verse on Facebook as I often do to remember what has been spoken to me personally in my spiritual life but I ran out of time.

After Church service started a Pastor visiting from another church got up in front of the congregation and stated he was given this same verse by the Lord on his way to our service. He also shared that when he got to our church he found that it was the same verse that was printed on our Church bulletin. He made a comment that it is truly is our "will" that it is our choice. That even though the Lord knows we are tired, we can still rejoice for this is the Day the Lord has made. Just hearing this confirmation gives my soul such rest.

We came home, took a nap, played a fun game of Monopoly-Savannah and I are getting better at playing I might add, ate a wonderful Sunday meal (roast turkey and all the fixins), and watched a couple episodes of Duck Dynasty. We laughed and had a good time.

I am hoping to keep the memories of this weekend in pictures in my head for a long time. Its one of those times you wished you had a camera to help remember everything (what I usually do in every other post) but don't want to ruin the moment to fiddle with technology.

I am sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again, "Life is Good."

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

My Little Girl

I have been feeling so emotional lately - not sure if it is from my Fibromyalgia or because I am experiencing the last of my little girl going to elementary school.

I started out so young having kids that I have had them my whole life and granted she is still a kid, but this is a life change for me. I even wept when I was cutting out the Box Tops from my cereal the other day. Do they have Box Tops for middle school?

I tear up and think of this song by Abba,

"Slipping Through My Fingers"

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile I watch her go with a surge of that well known sadness And I have to sit down for a while The feeling that I'm losing her forever And without really entering herworld I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time I try to capture every minute The feeling in it Slipping through my fingers all the time Do I really see what's in her mind Each time I think I'm close to knowing She keeps on growing Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table Barely awake I let precious time go by Then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling And a sense of guilt I can't deny What happened to the wonderful adventures The places I had planned for us to go Well, some of that we did, but most we didn't And why, I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time I try to capture every minute The feeling in it Slipping through my fingers all the time Do I really see what's in her mind Each time I think I'm close to knowing She keeps on growing Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture And save it from the funny tricks of time Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

And now my little girl is using Stridex and planning to go to a Pre-Teen NAM pageant in August. Where does the time go?

Monday, April 06, 2015

5th Grade Musings

Savannah graduated from the D.A.R.E. program. It seems like only yesterday Michael and Jacob were in this program and I was at their graduation. How time flies and bittersweet it is.

This year in school the 5th grade presented their reports of various Spanish Conquistadors using costume. Savannah chose Hernando Cortez as her character as you can see below. She made a pretty good Conquistador if I do say so.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Goodbye Mr. Buddymeister. :(

Our orange tabby, Buddy, disappeared about three weeks ago and we haven't seen him since. He was our indoor/mostly outdoor cat and our hunter and living life on the wild side got the better of him.

I think he enjoyed living here with he abundant amount of wood creatures. He often brought us treats like birds, rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. One morning I was devastated to see that he had left a red Cardinal at our back door. His gift to us I'm sure, but Cardinals are my favorite bird.

We used to call him "Candy Cane Tail" because his stripey tail always curled at the end whenever he walked around. He loved massages and was very playful, however if we were gone on vacation we would come back and when he saw us you'd think he was a feral cat as if he didn't know us. He was always afraid of tall men int he doorway too. It seemed if Charlie or Jake would try to call him in he'd take one look at them and then run away. But he was also very friendly when it came to getting pet. As long as you were petting him, he'd never leave your side.

He loved Bear, they were best buds. Sometimes when we'd all be on the bed watching TV or getting ready to go to bed we'd have them on with us and they would lie down near each other. It was so cute since they had the same color of fur.

In the winter is when we got to see Buddy most. He didn't want to stay out long and who would? However he often went stir crazy and would sometimes get on Muffers' nerves (and ours!). In the summer time he'd come home every morning, eat his cat food, then give himself a long bath and sleep all day until we had dinner.

I've checked the shelter websites each day and thought for sure he'd show up by now. But I think if someone was to try to catch him they wouldn't succeed. People tell me that maybe someone found him and is keeping him as a pet. If they did maybe they took him far away, but again I don't think he is a very easy one to catch. He was pretty fast at getting away. I keep thinking that maybe he'll just show up again at that door, just maybe. We miss him though.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Savannah's 11th

Savannah asked if I could bring by some lunch and eat with her at school for her birthday. It is funny how something so small can add such joy to your day. I like that on birthdays everything is magic! 

So after we had lunch together I took the rest of the day off and went home and secretly decorated the kitchen, made a cake, and wrapped her presents. When Savannah got home from school she was thrilled with the surprise!

We had fun this year with just celebrating as a family. 

This picture is not in relation to Savannah's birthday, but I did want to share that she saw this shirt at Target one day and asked for it - which is a big deal. Most of the time we pass up all the Frozen shirts or Cinderella stuff and I look at them with memories of my baby girl. So when she asked you can imagine how giddy inside I was and of course didn't blink an eye. It will probably be one of the last times I get to buy her Little Mermaid stuff. Or maybe not. I would be fine if she wanted one at age 20! 

Decorated - Savannah loves animal print - very fun!

Let's just say I shouldn't quit my day job to work in the bakery. It wasn't what I had envisioned...I thought for sure it would look like one of those in the pictures you pick from the book...

Here's what matters most. Look at that face? Of course this was just after she walked in the door from being surprised. 

"The dentist is going to hate me," she said. And she did admit to her dentist about eating the tube of black frosting for her birthday when she went for her annual cleaning today. 

We had to run to the high school after the surprise for a Trivia Contest she and her friends entered. We sat in back and reminisced being in high school all over again. Funny how those desks feel smaller than they used to.

Savannah chose to go to Chili's for her birthday dinner. We weren't very thrilled about the food, even she said, "Remind me not to choose Chili's again," but the lava cake was the best part. Jake and I ended up eating it since she was too excited from everything and didn't seem interested. Odd, I know.

Her balloons had little LED lights in them so you could play with them in the dark. I thought that was pretty cool, and the lights lasted for about a week too!

Making a wish!

I just love getting pictures of people just at the right time, especially when they belly laugh as they open their cards. This was a card from Jake and it appears to be a good one. 

She loves her Lego movie, robe, and  jeans, can't you tell?

I wonder what the next year of double digits will bring. Lots of love, happiness, growing, and laughter. Happy birthday miss Savannah, we love you!

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Pugsley's Journey

We adopted Pugsley on August 17, 2009 from the Utah Valley Animal Shelter. She was a purebred pug and Charlie had been wanting a pug for a while for himself, but the funny thing is she took to me and never left my side since. So much for having his own pug.

The vet guessed Pugsley was about 4 when we got her but I think she was closer to 5 going on 6. She was always wherever I was, even if I was just sitting watching TV she wanted to be by my side all the time in fact so much so it was smothering to me at first. But eventually I became so used to it she was like my sidekick. She'd often plop herself on my feet under my computer desk or if I was out mowing the lawn she would follow me everywhere but did keep good distance from the mower. She trudged wherever I was just to get to my side even if it meant she'd run out of breath and hyperventilate doing it.
Savannah loved her so much too, she was a living stuffed pet as you can see in the picture where they were sleeping together. All her friends loved to come over and play with her. With her big eyes and round head, it was as if their favorite Littlest Pet Shop pet had came to life.

Pugsley loved her stuffed animals and would suckle on their noses and nurse while kneading he paws back and forth until she fell asleep. She once got a stuffed snowman for Christmas and she suckled his carrot nose right off the same day! It wasn't uncommon to catch her sleeping at my feet snoring or sometimes stealing Bear's rawhide. Bear was always so nice to her though, like a big brother. He let her take his bed or his food any time.

She spent a couple weeks at my mom's house and after getting over my being gone a couple days later, she adopted my mom as her own. My mom nicknamed her "Granny Grunt" - and it fit very well because as you know, Pugs don't have much for plumbing int he way of sinuses and facial features. You always knew when Pugsley was in the room. I guess that is why I miss her so much. She was always under my feet, my little shadow. The house is much empty now without her.

Eventually she couldn't get up on the furniture any longer on her own, being over weight and all. Her hair was shedding so bad we just kept her off completely. To be honest and I hate to say it but I've never been much of a puppy breath loving person so I didn't mind that she stay down off my lap either. We did learn eventually all the weight gain was from her eating what Bear had in his dish when we weren't home. She was able to lose some weight in 2013. For a while there though she was quite the pot bellied pig.
She would sit at my feet and just stare at me waiting for my next move. If she wasn't at my feet we were not sure where to even look for her for as she rarely left my side. Literally. I mean this dog was so loyal to me and I didn't give her the attention a real dog lover would have. I did feel bad, but through it all I believe she understood that was how I was. Of course some of it was that she was also very interested in food and knew I'd give her kibbles so that is where some of the staring came in, but even when I wasn't eating she'd patiently wait and look at me with those eyes just letting me know she was here for me. She was also very jealous at times when the cat sat on my lap or when we dogsat our friend's dog, Sassy, this last Christmas.

About 9 months ago her little hind legs started to fail. She wasn't able to go up and down the stairs like she used to. Things got worse and we'd notice her bunny hopping to get around. One day she tried coming up the stairs after me and fell after the third one, I felt so bad. She'd never try it again after that. We'd bring her upstairs every night until she started losing control of her other bodily functions. We had tried a diaper but it didn't work. So she had to keep her bed in the kitchen where things were easier to clean and she seemed content with that. It was inevitable what we needed to today - something worth doing before she became miserable and completely immobile. Hard decision, but life is like that.

One thing about Pugsley was she was always happy. We love and miss her so much. Here are a few of my favorite memories...