Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about Christmas this year. Maybe it is because I have so little to give my girls and have been dealing with my feelings about that. Maybe it is because I am working retail this Holiday season and now I can see what Christmas has really become all about. Or, it could be that I am far from home in a place vastly different from where I grew up where Christmas is warm and there is ZERO chance that it will snow!

Probably it is all of these things combined. I can tell you, though, that I have become so sickened at the way people treat one another at Christmas. I was raised that Christmas was about the birth of our wonderful Lord Jesus and that it is a time for family. Don't get me wrong, we gave and received presents, too. One year I got a horse! That was AWESOME! But, you know the reason I remember that so clearly was because of the way she was given to me. My mom took the time to plan a surprise the night before Christmas. We had gone to church where Mom sang for the Christmas Eve service. When we got home, I carried her guitar into the house and when I got inside, she was already standing at the back door with the back door opened. When I walked out, there was Sally with a big red bow tied in her tail and a sign hanging from her back saying "Merry Christmas Heather!" It was awesome! I remember how excited Mom was by my excitement.

Well, as usual, I got off on a rabbit trail! I guess it just makes me sad to see how people can be so ugly to one another over stupid things. Things that will just break or be thrown under the bed before they can even be fully enjoyed. Things that will, in some cases, not even be "good enough" and will bring guilt and sadness to the giver. The only gift worthy of being given at Christmas, is the original Christmas gift, Jesus. And, if only people put as much worth in relationship and each other as He did, not only would Christmas be a happier time, but so would every day.

One night I had a mom come through my line who was grumbling about how much money she was spending on her son and she just couldn't believe she was spending so much, blah, blah, blah. Through the course of her checkout, I discovered that this child was her youngest and only 3 years old. She spent over $600 on him just that trip and from what she said, she still needed to pick up a few more things. I was just appalled! I am glad to say that I haven't seen that kind of extravagance again for just one child. Most people this year seem to get that there is a financial crisis going on. I hear some people talk about it like, oh well, we'll just spend what we have and figure it out from there. That too, is sad. It is just sad that we, American's who are living in a "Christian" country, have lost the true meaning of Christmas.

I know that I haven't rocked the world with my thoughts on Christmas and that what I see is nothing new. But, this year I am just hugely impacted and saddened by what I see. For Christmas this year, I got the girls just a few little things. On Christmas day, I plan for them to open their gifts and then we are going to go spend some time on the beach. After that we will probably just come home and spend some good, solid, quality time together over mugs of hot cocoa. My desire is to make THIS a tradition with my girls. A legacy of time well spent and memories made. Things that will not break or be thrown under the bed.

Merry Christmas to all and God bless you this Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have been dealing with a lot of difficult choices as of late. I feel that I have followed God in a direction that He called me and my family and now that we are here, nothing seems quite right. I have been struggling with that idea, wondering if that means that I didn't really follow God, maybe just my own desires. Then I reflect back to when I heard the calling (this is all about a move to FL, by the way) and Florida was the furthest thought from my mind. Now, I can believe that the enemy would take full advantage of my desperation for an answer at that time and knew that I would be very interested in coming to Florida. I won't say that was the case, but I am open to the possibility. I even prayed at that time that I was hearing from God and that it wasn't a trick of Satan. Okay...

So, here we are in Florida, staying with my brother and sister-in-law who have been more than gracious with us in their home. They are helping me with the girls when I am at work by picking them up from school/daycare, feeding them, putting them to bed, etc. All of the things that I find to be the most exhausting and taxing part of my day. I feel completely blessed by their kindness and generosity. However, it is becoming clearer and clearer that things cannot continue on this way. I know that they must be getting anxious to get their life back and, as much as I am grateful to have a place to rest my head, I am desperate for my own private place.

The problem with needing my own space and giving "M" and "T" back their lives is the financial aspect of it. None of us expected this transition to be THIS hard. I knew it would be difficult and it would take some time to get everything switched over and secured. I just had NO idea that nearly everything I put my hand to would crumble. I only recently got a job at WalMart - that is only officially a seasonal position - and only just got my second paycheck. With daycare and after school care (extended day), that takes the majority of what I make. (I realize that this is not a new or unique problem, nor is it new or unique to me.) To find a place that I can afford to rent has pretty much proven to be impossible. The waiting lists on subsidized homes are crazy long.

I have spent much time asking the question, did I make the wrong choice? Aren't things supposed to at least be a little easier when following God's lead? I mean, why would God call us to Florida and then just leave me hangin'? The whole point of coming was to stay in school for this year and keep on track for finishing up my degree. Well, I'm not IN school? What the Heck?!

So, then I start asking someone who is very wise (you know who you are!) some of these same questions. While I don't expect, or even want, her to have the answers, I know that she seems to have this knowledge and insight into God and His (very strange) ways. As we are talking and I am researching possibilities, I am starting to ask another question. Was I supposed to be out of school this year for a purpose? Is there something that I am to do or learn that couldn't be achieved while I was in school? Because, as I look into getting back in this spring, that door is closed all over too. I won't be getting back into school until fall. Bottom line.

This thought makes things just a little easier, even as I am starting to plan a probable trip BACK across the country to Montana. Oh! Just the word sends longing through every cell in my body. And, it isn't that I don't love Florida and want to stay. I just really miss home. But I digress! I was talking about how maybe, even though this all looks like failure, maybe it is a huge success. I'm not sure really what has happened to make it a success, but I am feeling less like I have failed. And trust me, I was feeling like a HUGE failure face not 2 days ago! Now, even though I am still just as clueless as ever, I am at peace. I have had no revelation of whether I am to go or stay or how to get there either way. I guess the best part of all of this struggle is that there is no easy answer. I say that because if there were an easy answer, as unsettled as I have been, I would have jumped on the easy boat just to get comfortable. Even if I was pretty sure it was the wrong answer. See, I'm a little dumb that way. Maybe that is part of what God is teaching me...

I'm pretty sure that another thing he is teaching me is HUMILITY. (Yeah, thanks Mindy for that confirmation) Oh how I cringe when I type that word! I always thought that in a lot of ways I was/am pretty humble. But, it has been many years since everything I have was provided by another human being (and that would have been my mom and I was still living at home and in high school!). It has broken me. Trust me when I say that it hurt like, well, like hell. Painful as it has been, and I'm sure will continue to be, I am grateful for it because through all of this I have been put in a position to get to know my Jesus more and to experience just the smallest part of what He went through here before he was slaughtered...by selfish, PRIDEFUL, greedy jerks, just like me. I am humbled and I am grateful.

May God's blessing be on you all this week as you prepare to celebrate His birth next week!

Oh yeah! To all of you at home...I'm going to work in capris today! Love you, mean it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas pictures

Last Friday as the sun was preparing to set, I took over 70 photos of the girls hoping to get just one good one for a Christmas card. You will see that I got MANY good ones! Hope you enjoy sharing in our shoot!

Bath Day with Roxy

Roxy Lou

Holy Smokes! It has been more than a week since I last blogged! I did get on and start a new post on Monday but then accidentally closed the window and just decided to try again later!

A lot has happened in the last 9 days. One thing I thought I would share with you was the day that Roxy got a very short hair cut. Naturally, the day after I cut her hair, it got cold here and she was freezing. Poor baby! But she was getting too long for me to keep groomed with all that I have going on so I clipped her. I even trimmed her face hair short because it gets so smelly so fast when it is long. It certainly has taken some getting used to seeing her with so little hair! But she is still my cute little Roxy. My brother says she looks like a little old lady...He's kind of right :~)

Now, we have a little routine around here when it comes to bathing. Usually I am nice to my clippers and clip her AFTER she's bathed, but this time I did it the other way around. Roxy always acts like the world is coming to an end DURING her baths. AFTER her bath is a totally different story. She loves it and it is so obvious that she feels GREAT! She loves to rub and roll around after I release her from the towel and prefers to do it on some sort of furniture. Since I'm not crazy about the idea of her shedding water all over the furniture, quite some time ago I decided that I would much rather have her on the floor doing it. Suffice to say that a towel is NOT an acceptable place to roll. She prefers my quilt, which is fine by me, she sleeps on my bed with me after all! So, I turn her loose, spread the blanket and she goes to town rubbing, rolling and shaking!

As I said, she was very cold for a few days and I think she was feeling a little violated to be so naked. But, the weather has warmed up a bit here - it got to about 80* here yesterday! - so Roxy has warmed up a good bit! Meanwhile, home in MT it has been -20*. That I DON'T miss! :~)
She has also adjusted to her new "do" and it is starting to grow out just a little bit. Hair or no hair, she is forever our Roxy and we love her!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Teeth and Music

Already today I have been to the dentist and had a tooth pulled. SIGH! But, I know that once my mouth doesn't hurt anymore from the actual extraction, I will feel much better. And, the dentist also delivered some GREAT news. One tooth that another dentist was sure would need a root canal, might just need a filling. That would be wonderful, because root canals cost somewhere in the $2200 - $2500 range. The filling would be $140. I think I could actually manage that.

The tooth came out all in one piece and it was really cool to see. It looked just like an animated picture of a tooth, only this one wasn't dancing around and smiling! lol Of course, for those who are less into gross, bloody, bodily things, it probably wouldn't have been all that cool to see. Truth be told? I would probably have brought it home if they would have let me! Isn't that just sick?!

I was just visiting Mindy over at Ladybug Farm and she was talking about her passions. She invited others to comment on their passions as well. I confessed that I have become totally addicted to purses/bags and that I also love shoes. But, my biggest passion is most definitely music. The right melody can soothe my soul when it is hurting, perfect harmony boosts my spirits when I they are low, and a favorite CD adds just the right touch to even the most perfect day.

What I have discovered, is that I have put my passion on the back burner. And not just a little, like I don't listen or play as often as I used to, but A LOT. That makes me so sad. How much brighter would my days be and lighter would my burdens feel if I would just spend 30 minutes indulging in my passion? I desire to create music and am quite successful when I try. But, I have been refusing to give this beautiful art the time and dedication that it so deserves. I believe God has given me this amazing gift and talent and it seems such a shame not to be using it even if it is just for my own entertainment. And, at least He will be blessed by the noise I make!

So, I would like to invite all of you to indulge in your passions this week. Can't find 30 minutes? Fine! Take 10. But, I encourage you all to try it and let me know what it does for you. I intend to give it a shot and see how it improves my life. Good luck and have FUN!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kylee's Christmas Program

Well, as you can see, we have moved to a Christmas theme. I'm sure that I will regret it simply because I don't know how to keep all the buttons to the other blogs I follow as I change my template. But, since I don't have my own apartment/house to decorate, I figured I might as well decorate the one place that is MINE.

The Christmas program at Kylee's school was fun. It was outside and all the classes did fun things. The 3rd graders even had a group of kids that had learned to play the bells. I got a video of it and I am soooo glad that I did because not only was it cool, but it turned out to be pretty hilarious too! Kylee was very reserved and serious during the 2nd grade's performance, but that has become normal for her. And, just like last year, Laynee was desperate to be with her sister. I also got a video of her watching them set up for the bells which was absolutely great because she thought she was being really sneaky edging closer and closer. I couldn't resist the opportunity to get it on "film".

I still haven't figured out exactly how to get the videos to play right here on my blog, but will include the links to youtube. Enjoy everyone and have a good weekend!

Angels We Have Heard on High
Jingle Bell Rock

P.S. Guess I'm not going to get the 3rd graders playing their bells uploaded today...computer is being cranky.

Trial video

Well, I am trying to figure out how to upload video to my blog. I have managed to get my video onto youtube and for now, I guess I will just have to include that link. I will be posting more video, or at least links to them on youtube, this afternoon of Kylee's Christmas program at school. So, check back later to see Kylee in her cute outfit! This is a video of Laynee's birthday and us singing happy birthday to her. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Hello all! Thanksgiving here was fabulously quiet and relaxed! I got to hang with my girls and Trixy and I took turns preparing our dishes in the kitchen. I thought that really the best way to tell about our day would be to share photos with you. Our day started off with Laynee wearing Uncle Papa's boots...
As you can see, she has to hold them up just to keep them on!


Roxy also wanted in on the fun, but before you think, "Aw how cute, she's posing," don't be fooled...I was holding a toy as well as the camera!

She REALLY wants that toy!

And here is Kylee in her mangled hat!

See how big their muscles are?

I REALLY want to get dooown. (Laynee, by the way, ate maybe 6 bites of Thanksgiving dinner and you can see how she entertained herself while the rest of us ate!)

Don't those cheeks squish up great!?

Beautiful Kylee

Mikey, the girls and me

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nothin much to say

I've been trying to come up with something to write about that might be even REMOTELY interesting today. However, I can't think of one single thing.

Wait! Yesterday at work I told a woman (nicely) that we couldn't take Canadian coins (really, who doesn't know that anymore? Anyway...) and she got totally ticked off, threw the coin down on my counter said, "what the f***, money is money" and proceeded to just be really ugly about it. Mostly I didn't say anything just acknowledged her frustration and she paid and went away. Thank goodness, everyone else yesterday was really nice!

Laynee finally told what her name is. Of course, I was at work and missed it, but I did get the full story. To bring you up to speed, up until yesterday whenever she was asked her name she would point at herself and say, "ME!" Really quite cute. Well, we have been trying to get her to say her actual name. Yesterday in the car, Brother (mine) asked her what her name was and she pointed to Kylee and said her name and it went on like that around the car. When she finally got to herself, she put her hand on her forehead (apparently she has some of her sister's drama!) and said, "Laynee!" We are all so proud that she finally knows who she is! LOL

Hope everyone is having a GREAT day today!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've been Tagged!

Well this should be fun! Mindy at Ladybug Farm (my cousin who rocks!) tagged me last week and unfortunately I was too busy to play. But, I am determined to play today before I go do the after school pick-up and head to work!

Here are the rules:

Share seven random or weird book facts about yourself.

Then tag 7 other people. Notify them that they have been tagged and sit back and enjoy reading random and weird stuff about about them =) Fun right!?

1. I like thrillers, books set in old times from our "old west" to prehistoric native America to the time when Rome was ruling the world, and WELL WRITTEN love stories.
2. I love to read books over and over...I used to have so many by Dean Koontz that I couldn't even remember if I HAD read them before...that's always fun!
3. I have recently discovered the joy in reading classic novels like, "Grapes of Wrath", "Northwest Passage", and currently, "The Robe". I never had to read any of the classics in high school which I think is okay because now I appreciate them.
4. I like BIG, long novels. I will read shorter ones if I have to, but only until I can get my hands on a BIG one!
5. I don't like reading hardbacks. They are too cumbersome. Give me a paperback any day!
6. If I am reading a really good book, I sometimes find myself dreading the end because I am so caught up in the story and characters that ending the book is like saying goodbye to a friend.
7. Most nights, the only way I can fall asleep is to read until I can't remember what I just read in the sentence before.

That was fun! Now I don't know of 7 other people to tag, so I will just tag a few of the blogs that I routinely follow.

Here are my choices:

Angie at Keep Believing who is a mother of two and wife to an amazing husband who is fighting brain cancer. Visit her to let her know we are all thinking of her.
"Texan Mama" at Who Put Me in Charge of These People? whose blog always makes me laugh
Heather and Tiffany at The Secret is in the Sauce whose blog I think brings women together and through whom I have found many GREAT blogs!

Have Fun! And to all of my non-bloggy friends out their, I would love to hear your 7 strange book facts on my comments page!


Yesterday I was sitting checking emails and blogs. There was a picture on something that I was looking at of Santa. My oldest exclaimed, "Santa!" I acknowledged her excitement and kept reading. She never missed a beat before she says to me, "Santa isn't real, you know." "No?" I replied. "No, he's just some guy dressed up in a suit." Trying to stay casual, not knowing where this conversation was headed or what questions might assail me in the next few minutes, I say, "Who told you that?" Her response was classic Kylee. "No one, my brain just told me." I told her that she was very smart to have figured that out. When I looked at her she had a look that might have been part challenge, part question. I wasn't too sure what to make of it, so starting off on the easy path I ventured, "But it's still okay to pretend about Santa, don't you think?" Her whole face relaxed and she sat back on the bed and said, "Yep!" and that was the end of the conversation. Now, do you suppose that she knows the truth about the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny too?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Joy and Tears

I debated about weather or not to post this topic today. There is someone out there who will be particularly touched and I tried to decide how I would feel reading this and feeling a particular way before even reading it. Whew! Did I just make any sense? I'm not entirely sure if I did! lol However, I'm sure that you out there who know me will actually understand what I just tried to convey! I pity you all :) Anyway, I have obviously decided to blog on this topic because it truly is heavy on my heart today.

Last week when Delaynee got her birthday package from Nana et al, Kylee was expecting a card to come at the same time. She was very sad that the card was not in the box. It turns out that Nana sent Kylee's card seperately so that she could open up her very own mail. (Nana rocks!) So, Kylee very patiently waited for her card from Nana to arrive.

And, arrive it did! I was the proud deliverer of that little envelope yesterday after school. It was waiting, in Kylee's seat, when I picked her up from school. (Now who rocks?) She was so cute, because even after I told her to watch out under her tushy, she still sat on it! Then she looked at it and inquired, "What IS it?" to which I replied (trying not to chuckle), "just look at it a second." From the little excited inhalation of breath, I knew she had figured it out. Then the ripping of the envelope began. Nana sent her a little troll that had formerly been an earring that Kylee had at some point attached a hair clip to (or something like that). Naturally, that was exciting and along with it came great speculation on Kylee's part. Clearly, she didn't remember this troll! Then I looked in the rearview, and noticed she was looking a little less than happy. I took me a second to figure out the look. Duh, Mom! Happy as she is to have received this little bit of heaven from her beloved Nana, she is also heart broken that she is having to receive these little bits of heaven from Nana via mail.

Now, here is where the guilt kicks in for me. I have always been acutely aware of the bond shared by Kylee and Nana, no one can deny its existence. And it's not just your run-of-the-mill child loves grandparent sort of bond. These two understand one another in a way I will honestly never get. I am so glad that Kylee has that. But, I figured, even though Kylee would miss Nana, surely by this time, the loss would seem less acute. I think I was wrong. And to what detriment to this beautiful relationship? If we were to move home during the girls' childhood, would Kylee and Nana still share that same bond or will that relationship be forever and profoundly changed? Did I miscalculate the enormous effect this would have on my oldest daughter?

I am feeling a bit lost on this subject and I'm wondering how to talk through this all with my little Kylee. She is so tender and has such a sweet heart. How do I make this transition easier for her to process? Is she still just adapting to life without seeing Nana weekly? Or is there something more going on that really needs to be addressed?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday...read second!

Okay, so like I said last blog, opening presents is a very serious job...

Working hard to get "Emmo" (aka. Elmo) out of that envelope!

Hmmm...another movie

Sissy getting in on the action too

And saving the best for last. She was SOOOOOO excited!
Laynee was thrilled with her "bike"! It was a gift from Nana and Papa and Gigi. When I brought it out of hiding she squealed this very quiet excited squeal from the depths of her being! Then she was instantly on it and kept repeating...mine, mine, mine, mine. We decided to go for a little walk and she and Kylee rode their bikes, of course. Since Laynee can't reach the pedals on her bike, she just pushes along with her feet. That worked just great except that she kept riding over her feet. So she got off and pulled it instead!
Much faster and so much less work that running yourself over! LOL
All in all we had a really great time and enjoyed the afternoon. Happy Birthday Laynee!

"...happy birthday dear Laynee..."

Yes, that's right! We had a birthday here at JustWe3 yesterday. My baby girl just turned two. She has left babyhood and entered toddlerhood. She is now a little girl. SIGH! Where does the time go? It seriously seems like I was just giving birth to her and hearing her little cry, the most beautiful sound I have EVER heard! Alas, no matter how hard I fight it, my baby (both of my babies!) is growing up. While I am going into it kicking and screaming, she is loving every minute of it!

Naturally, we had a little party yesterday. My girlfriend from Tallahassee came as well as the little girl from next door. And, like every good party, we had cake...
Here, she looks so sweet and innocent...Yeah right! Sweet, yes. Innocent, mmmm I'm not buying it!
I'm not sure that this is the proper way to remove cake from fingers, but don't try telling Laynee that!
Laynee also had lots of fun opening her presents. It is a very serious, job you know... And, one that I would love to share, but clearly I am too bloggy illiterate to get these darn pictures in the right order. So, I promise to add another blog with present pictures! Catch ya later!

Friday, November 14, 2008

You've GOT to be Kidding!

You've GOT to be kidding!!!! This is what I am screaming in my head as I very calmly and methodically go through our FOURTH - yes, FOURTH - lice treatment in the span of 2 1/2 months. Poor Kylee, picks these gross little suckers up from some kid at school and now, no matter how frequently we have treated her, we can't get rid of them. This is what the little @&(^$%#$% look like:

I have become so frustrated with the situation that I have even spoken to the school principal about it. She is a very lovely woman and we talked at some length about lice. She said that last year there was a family that went through the same thing...couldn't get rid of the lice. The mom did some research and discovered that one company's main ingredient was Listerine. So, she bought bottles and bottles of Listerine and tried it and now swears by it as a treatment for lice. This morning, I was in the shower with Listerine running down my head and back! I don't actually think that I have lice, however whenever Kylee has another outbreak, I itch all over and am convinced that I have them, too.
Do you know how much work it takes to clean up after a lice outbreak? You have to wash all bedding and anything the child(ren) has slept with. You should shampoo the kiddos with lice killing shampoo and then use a VERY fine toothed comb to remove the nits (eggs) from the hair strands themselves to prevent hatching and reinfestation. Then you have to retreat within 10-14 days. They only recommend the shampoo, not the "de-nitting", thank goodness for us since Kylee has long, thick hair! The kit also comes with a spray that is supposed to be used on non-washable items like the beds themselves, certain toys (I'd rather wash them personally) and we have used it on the carpet as well.
Here is the real problem as described to us by the pharmacist during our first outbreak: Similar to bacteria and viruses that develop an immunity to antibiotics and antiviral medications, lice are now becoming de-sensitized to the traditional lice killing treatment. They call these little buggers "super lice."
The bottom line here is that they are gross and give me the creepy crawlies. I don't want them around! I feel bad for poor Kylee who has to deal with them on her head. I fear that our next option is to cut her hair, but how short and will it even do the trick? It would break her heart to lose her long, "princess" hair. So, if anyone has any proven lice killing treatments, I am definitely up for suggestions!
I'm off to do some research...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What to Write...

Well, I know that I should blog today (just to keep my viewing audience happy...lol) but I just don't know what to blog about. I guess I could talk about my first two days at work.

Monday I went in for orientation. There were 7 of us there and what a great group of people! One is a young 19 year old mother of a 4 month old baby girl. Her husband is in the Navy and they might be expecting their 2nd baby! Another woman is closer to my age, 33 and has 2 children with the same age span as mine; a 7 year old son and 18 month old daughter. I thought that was kind of neat, not alot of us out there have a 5/6 year age gap in our kids! There are 2 19 year old men one of whom just released a gospel album with his aunt that should be in stores. I forget the name of it, but it was pretty creative. Another young man, 26 years old, just graduated from college in Virginia with a degree in youth ministries. He is applying for the youth position at his church and is on the worship team there as well. The last member of our group is a retired Navy pilot. He was in for 20 years and has been out just over 4. He is a very interesting man to talk to.

Orientation was actually fun! I have been to several orientations that claim to be fun, but this one was. It got everyone working as a team and taught us alot about our new employer. After lunch that day we started the computer testing which prepares us to go out onto the floor. It takes more than one day for sure! I finished yesterday and was able to spend about 30 minutes just shadowing another cashier. Saturday when I go in, I imagine I will shadow a little bit more and then will actually get to check out customers with my trainer's supervision. I think this job will be pretty fun. I just love interacting with and meeting new people.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Wow! I know that I struggle with change and really like things to go EXACTLY the way I want them to go. I like to say who, what, when, why and how about my schedule, kids, etc. But, having a new job (WalMart, for those who are curious ;)) means that the daily routine is going to change. Oh, how I hate that! I fret about how Laynee is doing in her new daycare and how Kylee is going to do once I get her set up with extended day at school. I realize just how precious this time with them has been. I have basically had no demands on my time that would take me away from them. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the getting away and silence without children as much as anybody else - maybe even more than your average bear- but I have really been fighting it in my spirit, this leaving my children in the care of others.

However, Laynee did fabulous yesterday when I left her in a strange place with strangers in a strange city. She was excited when I got there to pick her up (10 LONG hours later) but not frantically dragging me to the door or demanding that I hold her so that she can keep track of my exact wherabouts. She was very calm about it, just like she had been going there her whole life. I'm so proud!

And Kylee...She has just blossomed and become such a confident little creature. The adults were talking about extended day and Kylee overheard and piped up (something I am STRONGLY discouraging...) about how her friend is in extended day. She was so excited about the prospect of getting even more play time with this friend. Again, I'm so proud!

So, yesterday as I dropped Laynee of and drove away, I was driving through a veil of tears, listening to Natalie Grant and trying to talk myself down before I went and wrecked my mascara, for Pete's sake! I got to work for orientation and it was a great group of people to spend the day with. A couple other moms and 4 men from 19 to I'm guessing 50ish. We all have our stories and I find it so exciting to learn about and share them with others. But, as 5:00 neared and my new boss was still struggling to get the schedules finished, I started to get that anxious feeling. I knew I had to cross the bridge and traffic on it can be at a stand-still during rush hour. When I did finally leave work and was driving to pick up Laynee, I was just so - what's the word- ANXIOUS to see her. And, I still hadn't seen Kylee since I had dropped her off at school that morning. As soon as I put Laynee in her car seat and drove away (um, for the second time 'cause I forgot her blankie the first time...) I felt just a little bit safer, like my world was almost back to normal. It wasn't until Laynee and I were walking to the front door, Laynee shouting, "Ky...Ky...Ky...," the whole way that I knew the day was over and my world was complete. Kylee was already at the table, having just started dinner so I was blessed to get to enjoy dinner with my girls and hear about Kylee's day at school.

Yes, my life is complicated. Yes, it sometimes feels like nothing I do is ever enough, that the time I spend with my girls is just not enough. But, the feeling of togetherness that I felt last night when I got home proved that complicated or not, perfect or not this is my life. And, I love it!

Friday, November 7, 2008


One of the biggest issues in our house is the touching of "my" stuff. Kylee is VERY concerned if Laynee even looks toward her things, let alone touches them and if she is playing with them...Oh Lordy! The world is definitely ending! Now, I understand that there are certain things that a child has that are more special than other things. I respect that Kylee has a few of these items. One is Felicity, her American Girl. There is NO WAY I would let Laynee even come near that doll when Kylee is not around and I stand behind Kylee's decision not to let Laynee as much as touch Felicity when she IS around. However, I think it is just ridiculous for me to spend my days fighting with Laynee over what she can and cannot touch when it is just a toy. So, I have decided that when Kylee is at school, Laynee may play with any of the toys (except of course the "special" ones) and when they are her sister's toys, I take care to see that she is more careful with them. Oh...I want to mention that even though Kylee believes that Laynee should not be allowed to even look at her toys without permission, it is absolutely okay for Kylee to play with any of Delaynee's toys whenever she wants. This is something we discuss frequently. Well, yesterday, Laynee had Kylee's pink, straw, cowGIRL hat and it ended up on the floor. I was busy and hadn't bothered to pick it up just that second because, honestly, it was just going to be right back there in 60 seconds anyway. Laynee came walking by in all of her grace, stumbled and fell right on the poor hat! I had to chuckle because as anyone who is familiar with straw hats knows, it was now very squished! I couldn't resist a picture of this hat that has been with Kylee for over 3 years now and has endured every insult from markers to the swimming pool and now, a baby butt! I'd say it actually doesn't look too bad considering, but maybe I need to be a LITTLE more vigilant...


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fun and work

For the last few days I have been having quite a good time. Tuesday morning I was running around after taking Kylee to school, dropping off apartment and job applications. I was listening to my new favorite radio station, Gator Country, and had tried to win tickets to see Sugarland here in Jacksonville this week. Of course, I couldn't get through. While I was waiting for one of the places to unlock their doors, I had another opportunity to call in and be a contestant on "battle of the sexes". I called and the first time it was busy. The second time I dialed, I got through...Oops! That wasn't supposed to happen! I got all nervous as the DJ is asking me all my demographic information...I was going up against a guy who had been winning for like a week or more! Long story short, I beat the guy. I was pretty excited! When you win "battle of the sexes", you get to keep playing til somebody beats you. So, they called yesterday and I played and won again! Hooray! This morning they called and everything was going really great. The category was coorporations and their associated coorporate color. I was on a roll. Of course, so was he, but I was feeling confident, knew my answers as well as his. Then, they asked me the color associated with Jack Daniels. I hesitated...I only had 5 seconds to answer and I just couldn't remember (don't really drink much and when I do I like Tequila...I think that's gold, right?). So, out of desperation, I answered "red". Well, black was the answer and my opponent's next question was the color associated with Coca Cola. How fair is that? EVERYONE knows what Coke's color is! lol So, I lost. But, it was fun while it lasted and I really enjoyed getting to know the 3 morning show hosts! They are great!

Also, I am now employed and very relieved to know that I can finally make a contribution to this household. Nothing wears on me worse than knowing that I have to depend on someone else to make ends meet. It's very disheartening for a woman who has been pretty much independent since 18! But, I also know that God is in control and He is guiding me on this wild journey called life. Better Him than me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Patience, My Child

Do you ever wonder what it might have really been like 100 years ago before all of our new and "wonderful" advancements? Before every phone call you made was answered by a computer, before we all expected our food to show up in the window the second we pulled our car forward? (Hopefully everyone can follow me here, because already I can feel my brain pulling me in several different directions! Good luck...)

The reason I ask is because I am sitting here fuming about the way things work and how it just shouldn't be so difficult to talk to a real person about a real problem without having to jump through every phone hoop ever invented. Trying to get settled in a new place that is WAY huger (i know that's not a word!) than where I came from has proven to be rather irritating for me. In Montana, when I had a question for someone that I had previously dealt with, I just called that person. Yes, I had to do the whole phone menu thing, but I got to talk to or leave a message for the person I needed to talk to. Here in Florida, when you call, you are lucky to be able to figure out which option you really want. Then, if you have indeed pressed the correct number, the information (given by a computer, of course) is at best unclear and at worst, terrifying. When you finally get ahold of a real person, they really have no answers for you either and you STILL need to contact the person that you originally dealt with but cannot leave a message for unless you go through all of the above! Whew! I'm wiped out just having tried to re-create that.

Which brings me a little further...Am I just acting like a spoiled rotten child, expecting to have something in what I consider to be a timely fasion? (In my defense, I sat very patiently on hold for 15 minutes before I even got to talk to a real person...and that was after receiving my worrisome automated information) Or, have we just been so conditioned to believe that we should get what we want right when we want it that waiting in line (cyber or physical) is just normal in today's world?

I think about sitting in line at a drive-through restaurant. I have noticed that usually if the wait in line between placing the order and touching the food is more than 2 minutes, people start getting really irritated. I understand that the concept of fast food is for it to be fast, but come on! If we have to wait for 5 minutes to get a hamburger (made just the way you like it), hot french fries and a cold drink, we are at LEAST 20 minutes ahead of a sit-down meal at a restaurant. 100 years ago we would have been dang lucky to get a meal like that no matter what!

What about the wait at the doctor's office? We grumble about 30 minutes, or on a really bad day an HOUR! But think about when there was only ONE doctor to cover a vastly spread out "neighborhood". If you were sick or bleeding from a horrific farm accident, you were usually waiting for the better part of a day for good ol' Doc. (Of course, all of this is just conjecture, since I didn't really live back then! lol)

I think that we have all become at least a little bit spoiled and I don't really like that thought. It goes against all of my "rights" to have what I want when I want it. It forces me to realize that my life isn't the only life happening right here, right now on this beautiful planet. And, as rough as things are right now, someone out there has it much worse than me. Sure takes the wind out of my sails...here I was all geared up for a fight about how I'd been wronged being forced to wait for answers. Seems to me that I have learned a very valuable lesson today...Patience!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Daily Grind

Well, there is certainly nothing exciting going on here today. Pretty much same stuff, different day. When I sit back and think about it, though my daily grind really isn't boring.

I get up at 6:30 with the girls and get Kylee ready for school. Most days I am showering and getting ready for my day also, otherwise I don't get a shower until WAY too late in the day! During my shower, Kylee is getting dressed and brushing her hair in our bedroom while Laynee is safely locked away in her crib. We usually have the portable DVD player going with some Barbie movie to minimize the amount of fighting. Then we have the getting ready to get out the door routine. "Kylee get shoes and socks on, is your backpack ready?" "Laynee, COME HERE and get your shoes on. Leave Kylee alone!" "Kylee come here, we still haven't done your hair yet."

Then the comparatively peaceful drive to school. With the radio on the girls are usually happily listening to the music or whatever else is going on. We rarely have too many squabbles during this time!

When we get to school, I pull up in front and Kylee unhooks, kisses and hugs me, does the same for her sister and I tell her to have a good day, "I love you!" Then it is just me and Laynee.

At home, I spend time checking email, checking out Laynee's suspicious silences and trying to keep her occupied. At around 11:00 she is hungry and ready for lunch and so am I because lunch means nap time is very near! After lunch she goes down for her nap and I am left to the relative quiet of the house. Depending on how much I got done while Laynee was up, I do some more job and apartment hunting, check my favorite blogs and email and then sit down and watch some TV. That is, if there isn't a bunch of housework to do!

By 2:30 it is time to pick up Kylee from school so I get Laynee's shoes back on, grab her a snack if she is just getting up and off we go again! At school we wait in line until Kylee is released to come to the car and then I ask her about her day. Some days I get to hear all about it. Most days she just keeps it pretty much a secret. If pushed she will say to me, "the same as always," rather sarcastically. So, I have decided that if she wants to tell me, she will, if not, it's no big deal.

Back at home Kylee has a snack before starting homework. Laynee is so glad to see Kylee that she usually has to have a snack too just so she can sit at the table with her big sister. After snack, Kylee retires to the office and shuts the door to do her homework. On a lucky day, Laynee does not repeatedly open the door to keep bugging poor Kylee. Most days, Kylee just plugs away at her homework all by herself and is finished within an hour.

This is when it gets really wild! Laynee is sooooooooooo excited that "Sissy" finally gets to play with her and sometimes they are so noisy together that I can barely even hear myself think. They race madly through the house, scream and yell, then fight a little. Then they fight some more and when I intervene there is even more crying and whining. But, in just seconds they are back playing and having a great time. This often involves dancing, singing, and Laynee riding Kylee like a horse.

I am once again looking forward to meal time because that means the end is in sight and the night is going to get quieter. After dinner, Laynee has a bath and gets ready for bed. Kylee has a shower and gets ready for bed. Depending on the hour, they do some more playing with each other and Aunt "Mimi" and Uncle "Papa". When it is time for bed, I carry Laynee to her crib after she has hugged and kissed everyone, even some of the dogs! Then we have our little bedtime prayer and our own hugs and kisses. Afterwards, I go to Kylee's bed and we read a story after which we say our prayers and have hugs and kisses. I think bedtime might be the best time of day with all those hugs and kisses going around!

A couple of hours later, it is time for me to go to bed and I am ready! After about 7 hours, it all starts again...

Sunday, November 2, 2008


My brother always talks about so-and-so being a "brain-dead redneck" or how my neice's ex-husband is a "brain-dead redneck". This is obviously not a good thing to be. However, it must be okay to be just a plain old redneck. Check out the ride he took my girls on yesterday...

20 year old Snapper with wheelbarrow hitched on back.

Having a good time!

Telling me something very important about all of this.

Friday, October 31, 2008

See my family...

Bobbing 4 apples in smoky yard.

So proud of her apple!

Well, I am practicing some more with my new blog. Now I am going to see how posting pictures goes. Last weekend we had a Halloween party for my oldest daughter and got some really fun pictures. I also thought it would be fun to post some pictures of our move from MT to FL. I'll have to swipe my brother's camera so that everyone can see just how loaded down my car and U-Haul trailer were. Brother sure had to get creative! Enjoy the pictures everyone.

Let's Get Started!

Well, here we go! I am rather excited to begin blogging. Yesterday, as I was trying to set up my blog and get a template that I liked downloaded I was soooooo frustrated! I was on the phone with my cousin (who I honestly think is a computer genius in her own right) seeking assistance. I'm sure that I sounded like a child in the middle of a temper tantrum because she couldn't get what she wanted when she wanted it. (And I get frustrated when my girls get like that? Wonder where they get it!) I told her that I thought this was just stupid and it sucks. Well, thank the Lord, I have a much better attitude this morning and none of you will be subjected to my tantrum!

To all of my friends and family, check back on a regular basis because I will be adding pictures of the girls at least weekly. I am hoping that this becomes a fun and easy way for us all to keep in touch. For you blogging beginners (like me) at the bottom of each post is a link for comments and I would LOVE to hear from you and see what you think.

To everyone else who I hope will visit, welcome to my life! Hope you will find something here that you enjoy and will continue to visit.

I just went out to the living room to see what all the quiet was about and found my youngest sitting on my brother's Basset Hound, Gracie. Thank goodness she was laying down! Laynee is really quite sure that Gracie is meant for her riding purposes and we have had to really watch her to make sure she doesn't hurt Gracie's back. Wish my camera had been in my hands, though cause really that was too cute!