Sunday, August 29, 2010

Not the Best Day Ever ...

We were heading to see Grandma Elva. All of us, including Vern & Lois.

Being the award winning mom that I am I had completely forgotten to feed my son before we left. I have an excuse though. He and Dan went for haircuts at 8:30 a.m. Since they had to leave early I quick gave Elijah a cup of milk and some Honey Combs in a baggie to snack on.

Once they were back I was too busy fussing over cute haircuts and getting Madelyn ready to go that I completely forgot to give Elijah a real breakfast.

All that to say that it wasn't until we were on the road, stopped for gas, Dan got a breakfast sandwich and Elijah says, "Hey, I never ate breakfast!" Madelyn of course wanted a snack then too so I quick ran into Sheetz to grab some breakfast. What do I pick? Powdered mini donuts of course! The breakfast of champions right?

My justification: Elijah LOVES them. Madelyn wanted a snack too, and it was something we could all snack on since we had a long day ahead. We were going to visit Grandma Elva and then go swimming with Dan's aunt and her grandsons.

Oh, that is until a car decided to pull out in front of us!!!

I had just turned around to give Elijah "just one more" donut, and while I was leaning over the side of my seat to close the box I heard a loud bang. It's amazing the number of thoughts that go through your mind in just a few seconds.

So this is what I saw and thought after I heard the bang ...

Whoa!! What the ... Oh, a tire must have blown, wait those are air bags, ugh the smoke, my throat is burning ... wait, we hit someone!? Dan asked his dad if he was okay, Vern said, "Yeah, I'm okay." (He was in a lot of pain) Then I heard the kids crying so I started saying, "We're all okay! We're all okay!" Madelyn then said, "That was really scary!! I hit my mouth!!" There was no blood and I just kept saying, "I know, but we are all okay!!" Elijah had a mouth full of powdered donuts and his mouth was wide open as he was crying. Dan later told me he thought he was foaming at the mouth. He did say to me, "Look at Elijah! Look at his mouth!!" I said, "He's fine! I know! He is eating powdered donuts!!"

It was so nuts. Finally the smoke and powder from the air bags was just too much so I started to get out of the car. I told the kids to get unbuckled and got Elijah. Vern got Madelyn. We were on the side of the road and there were trees. We were being poked by dead branches as we tried to work our way past the back of our car. Thankfully there was a driveway nearby so we all kind of stood there and talked to cops, and other people who had come to help.

Poor Vern, his chest was killing him. Lois had a nasty contusion on her leg. Dan's leg got bruised. At first just Vern & Lois were going to go to the hospital, but then the firefighter encouraged us to get the kids checked out just to be safe.

We all road in the ambulance to get to the hospital in Reading. I was glad because then we were a bit closer to home rather than stuck in Pottstown on the side of the road, or at the diner as the cop told me they could get us there. Craziness.

Everyone got a good report from the doctor. Although Elijah kept pointing to a scab that was about 2 weeks old saying it hurt. So funny. I do think he hit his foot on the side though during the accident. He had a bit of a bruise, but it was so funny that he kept pointing to this healing scab area.

Now that it is going on a few weeks later Vern and Lois are still healing. Actually, Dan is too. His leg got busted up by the air bag that was by his feet. Lois may have to have her leg drained. A lot of blood collected under the skin and it hasn't gone away completely.

Life can change in an instant. It freaks you out. We still need a new car. I hate car shopping. But, thank the Lord we are all okay.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Day

Days like these are the best. A perfect mix of just enough to do with fun things in between.

I reconnected with a good friend by phone. Of course I had one other call to make for a reconnection, but ran out of time since I stayed on the phone for an hour and a half with the first friend.

Then two of the Hegarty kids came over so my kids were thrilled to have playmates.

Went to pick Dan up so he could pick up his car and some lunch.

The weather today is absolutely perfect.

Got home and my hour and a half friend called back with some fun info about a conference we may attend together with the hubbies about raising children.

So, not super exciting stuff, but fun enough to make folding laundry seem okay.

And, the kids have swimming lessons with a pizza party to look forward to tonight. The only sad thing is that I noticed it was much darker than usual the other night when we were leaving swimming lessons which mean shorter days and coldness are looming.

BUT, we are only thinking happy thoughts today!

Oh, and another fun thing that happened is I left a voicemail for a friend and when she called back she was cracking up. Making someone laugh is a HUGE success in my book.

And, a little tidbit ... I found out today that chocolate milk is a great post run drink. WHAT!? Had I known this I totally would have gotten into running a long time ago!! Okay, not really, but what a motivator to do my next run! ha ha!

I am loving my workouts. I feel sooooo good these days. Today I even want to go do my running, but I am making myself wait. I don't want to over do it. Oh, and when I say running I mean my walk/run intervals just to be clear.

So, happy day because not only do have I had these things going on, but I have Project Runway to look forward to tonight as well. Why do I love that show so much? I think it's because I am not creative and it amazes me to see what they are able to create in such a short amount of time that someone can actually wear. I love clothes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I hate it when I get the urge to post melodramatic stuff online whether it's here or on Facebook, but I feel better about posting it here since I believe no one really reads my blog anyway. I have other issues with Facebook right now, but I'll save that for a different post.

So, heregoes my melodrama! ...

I am so worked up over the kids starting school this year. I know that mostly it revolves around Elijah starting Kindergarten and on top of the usual waaaaaahhhhhhh my kid is starting kindergarten I also know he didn't have a great year in school last year for a number of reasons and I am afraid we are going to be facing all of that again as well.


So, naturally, I want to just take each of my children and tuck them ever so gently back under my wings and pretend there is no world out there worth taking every advantage of in all the good and bad it offers to us.


Not out there.

Okay, but first, every time I try to hint to the kids that I want to keep them home protected by me forever they instantly resist. And, second, I don't really have wings that I can do that with!

But, the other thing I am stressing over already is them getting sick. It always starts up in the Fall and lasts through the Spring. Both kids. It is very frustrating. On so many levels.

So, what have I been doing? Fretting. Getting annoyed. Feeling anxious.

Is that helping? No.

The other day I even asked myself "Self? Have you prayed about ANY of these things you are fretting over?" And, because I asked myself and because my brain and I share the same, well, brain it just doesn't make sense to lie about it so I had to honestly answer no. And then I quick prayed about it.

Have I really prayed since then? No.

I am pathetic. I think this burden would be a little easier to bare if I asked for some help with it.

This one, and all the others I am holding so close to my heart while not being so nice to my family.

Again, this is one of those reminder posts. Maybe if I write about it I will remember later when I start fretting over the next set of issues that come my way.

Now if you'll excuse me please, I have some praying to do ...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress

I am reading Pilgrim's Progress.

I ordered it from the library and am LOVING it so far.

I remember reading it in school at one point. I think the teacher read it out loud to us. But, reading it now as an adult, more mature in my faith (with still so much farther to go) it is so so good.

Dan suggested he and I read it together which means I read it out loud while he falls asleep. I can't stay focused enough to listen to him read it out loud and he apparently can't stay awake while I read it to him. Then I usually can't stop reading it even though he falls asleep so I read way ahead of where he last remembers. But, Dan's brain is like a sponge so he already has a good knowledge of a book as a whole from the last time he read it which was probably umpteen years ago. Whereas my memory of it from umpteen years ago is a guy had a burden on his back while he walked a path. Yup. Oh, and his name is Christian.

And that my friends is why I am reading the book again now and also why I need constant reminders about everything during every day of my life.

Back to Christian. Oh my goodness. I cannot wait to see how his journey plays out. Already he has been through so much and it is just as though he is at the part in his faith where the Holy Spirit is opening his eyes to God's wisdom and understanding. I remember those days in my faith where all of a sudden things just are not right, but I don't really understand why.

I love getting to know characters through books. Already I love Christian so much and ache for him as he goes through his trials. It is so thought provoking and takes me back to so many different point in my walk of faith.

A couple of things made me want to read this book. One, Mark Dever referenced it in a sermon. He broke down while reading a passage from the book. And two, I am reading a book about OCD. OCD thoughts specifically and Bunyan is one of the people the author cites as one who struggled in this way. So, already I feel like he and I are kindred spirits.

It is amazing to me how God allowed Bunyan's mind to work in such a way that he was able to write this story. Creative minds like that always amaze me.

So, as I finish this post I am at the point where Christian burden has fallen off his back and he is on the narrow path. This book is so timely for me right now. God seems to do that a lot. He brings books my way just when I need them. It was the same with the book Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, but that's a whole other post.

Anyway, such a good read and reading it out loud helps me to deal with the old english language that is used in it. And, reading it out loud still helps Dan to fall asleep, pretty quickly I might add. Although Dan says he loves hearing me read it because he can tell I am totally into it and feeling the emotions. How can you not?? Christian is so heartfelt and confused at times and just trying to figure it all out!!

Do you think the kids would think it was strange if I just plopped myself on the couch and continued reading the book out loud with the old english language? Probably, but it's not as though I have the luxury of doing that today anyway. Lots of laundry calls my name along with other little chores that need to be done, not to mention the added children I have in my house today.

Fitness ... Ugh

Who doesn't just want to sit around and eat whatever they want when they want with no real consequences?

Am I alone in this?

Well, I know that's not really reality which is why I have started this program It's the couch to 5k interval program. I finished my first week so far which to me is HUGE.

I like it because it is a 9 week program so it will take me into the cooler months when I will be ready for something different and won't mind working out in my basement to a video since it will be cold outside. (I think that might be one of the longest sentences I've ever written.)

So, I love this program so far because it is 3 days a week. I have been aiming for an every other day type schedule and I find myself on my off days looking forward to my on days again. Weird right? I have never felt that way about exercising before. Usually I am dreading the days I have to really push myself, but I have been feeling really anxious about some things lately and I am finding that this whole running/walking thing has been a good for easing some of that anxiety.

Side note: I watched Whip It today (free from the library so why not?) and it made me want to do roller derby. I think I have some aggression issues I need to work on these days. Hence, loving the running and burning muscles, and having to really push myself through these workouts.

Okay, so that's why I love it so far and remember I am only a week into it.

Insert reality here ... I like eating. I like sitting on my bum. I like sipping yummy drinks while chatting with friends. I like movies, reading, funny shows ... are you catching my drift? My hobbies don't generally involve moving much.

BUT, I am 33. Let's just say things ain't what they used to be.

SO, I need to be more active if I don't want to end up weighing way more than I should.

I've had these little revelations along the way over these last 6 mos or so as I have slowly watched my body change it's shape as I have added a few pounds. Basically what I have concluded is that I need to incorporate more activity into my every day life and shoot for a healthy lifestyle.

It can't just be a one time program and then I am good for a while. Those days are gone. To maintain a healthy weight at this stage means it has to be incorporated into your life.

Fitness fads come and go. People (me) get bored with certain routines, videos, etc., but that doesn't mean we just stop moving. Change things up, do what you need to do, just keep moving.

Keep in mind I am talking to myself here. It may sound like I am on a fitness high horse, but really, I am under no delusion of thinking I have figured it out and have found the fitness program that will carry me through.

More reality here ... life changes on you in an instant. For instance, having babies really cramps the activity in your life. I was terrible about staying active when my babies were little. I was living on no sleep so nap time was my down time, not my exercise time. Maybe I would put them in a stroller and walk with them every now and then, but nothing regular.

Plus, factor in cold weather for a good 6 months and that's a huge downer on an trying to be active. Are you kidding me? My activity in the winter is called "Pull the blanket up further because I am cold and just want to hibernate (and eat) until all this cold weather goes away" or something like that.

Anyway, I am completely rambling about fitness at 12:30 a.m.

What I am really trying to say is that I am focusing my efforts on being more active in general in this life. I want to feel better, use the muscles and abilities God has blessed me with while I am still able, and eat healthier things too.

Oh, little tip here though ... One of my newfound loves in Sam's Club. I have never bought so much produce in my life, but it is SO much cheaper and so yummy. I change up what I buy regularly too so our healthier foods are changing all the time. So, recently I bought a veggie tray there for $10 and I would pull it out at meal times. The kids, Dan and I munched on veggies so much that week and it was great because you can add a little dip if you need it too! We are munching on different veggies now, but Madelyn asked for another tray when we were at Sam's last. She especially loved it. The stuff is already cut up for you. It is so simple!

Okay, so all this to say I am loving the couch to 5k program so far. I plan to do it for 10 weeks (I am going to do week 1 again before I move on). I am hoping to lose some weight too. I've already lost 2 pounds. I am sort of doing weight watchers on my own. I have a points tracker device and a little food journal. After the 5k program I plan to go back to my fun videos (Hip Hop Abs, P90) and maybe run on the warmer days if I am still enjoying running. But, my biggest goal is to just be more active.

As with anything I need to be reminded of things like this. That is why I had to babble about this here as my own little personal reminder.

Two more things:

A friend of mine called the program 5k to couch the other day. Ha ha ha ha ha! We had a good laugh about all that could go into that program and how much we think we would prefer that one.

Also, I am afraid to watch Food Inc. I have it from the library, but am afraid it will make me not want to eat anything anymore. If it was just me, I wouldn't mind so much, but I have a family to feed as well. So, be on the lookout for the post that asks for help on how to live off of food that wasn't featured on Food Inc.?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Swiss Cheese Revelation

It occurred to me last night that I feel like swiss cheese.

Let me explain.

Life kicks your butt. In one way or another life just chips away at you. It's all part of living in a fallen world. You get sick. You get old. Loved ones die. Your children go through issues. Spouses go through stuff. It can just be hard at times.

So, last night I was lying in bed thinking about the issues our family is facing right now and I realized I felt like swiss cheese. It's like I have all these little holes from the things that are eating at me that we are dealing with.

What are those things you ask? Well, our good friends are moving away. Friends who our whole family has become friends with who are really more like family. It sucks. None of us want them to go.

My cats are in kidney failure and could have months or years ahead of them. It's hard to tell.

We may need to find a new home for our dog Daisy who is honestly the sweetest dog you would ever meet. And, she is as loyal as loyal comes. I love her so much. But, my kids have asthma (another issue eating at me with fall/winter coming) and I am thinking Daisy, more like Daisy's hair, is part of the problem. She sheds SO much. I had never had a shedding dog before. I had no idea how bad it could be.

So, facing all these issues I realize it is not just me facing them, but Madelyn too. Dan and Elijah will cope better than Madelyn or I will. I think. And knowing that your kids are going to suffer too makes it all that much worse.

Thinking on all these things made me realize that I feel like swiss cheese. A lot of holes.

But, when I look back at past trials I realize that while I emerge feeling wounded I am somehow stronger too. I haven't figured out how the stronger part works into the swiss cheese analogy yet except that maybe swiss cheese is still strong enough on the inside to be sliced like a whole cheese? hmmm. I don't know, but yeah. I am still going to stick to my swiss cheese analogy.

I think ...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kids ...

Say the Darndest Things ...

Hayes calls Elijah "Cha-Cha" and me Dick. Aunt Dick at times even. You gotta love it right? So, there was one day when Hayes was eating a snack and I was at the table with him when he says, "Dick, Cha-Cha up?" And, I knew exactly what he was saying ... "Kate, Elijah is upstairs?"

The other day on the phone Shannon asked Hayes what Elijah's mommy's name is and he said, "Cha-Cha mom dick." That's right. I'm Dick. I love that he calls Elijah Cha-Cha.

The one day Addie told my mom that she didn't want a little brother. She wants a sister, and if she can't have a sister she wants a chihuahua. She and Molly really bonded during their time together. It was really cute. Molly is definitely my dog and she takes a bit to warm up to people, but Addie was all over her. She would carry her around, bounce her like a baby, and snuggle up with her while watching tv. I don't think Molly would admit it, but I think she really liked the attention. If I could, I would definitely loan Addie Molly for a while. They were so cute together Shannon even started to feel like she needed a chihuahua.

Hayes is a tough kid. Elijah is well ... not. So, many times Hayes was beating up on Elijah a bit. Elijah finally asked me one day why God made two year olds where they hit people.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Good Times

We have to say good-bye to Shannon and the kids on Tuesday and let me tell you I am not happy about it, not happy one bit.

I won't go into how adorable Addie and Hayes are and how I want them living right down the road from me so the cousins can play regularly and grow up together. And, I won't go into how fun it would be to have Shannon and Todd closer so we could hang out that much more. I won't. Because who needs that boo-hooing sob fest right now?

What I will mention are some of the good times and memories we've created in these past 4 weeks in no particular order ...

We RAN off the beach in Rehoboth when the wind blew in and made umbrellas, beach chairs, and sand fly toward us forcing us to run for our lives. When you hear a lifeguard yell RUN! I think you should run. It was crazy, but also funny too to think about what we must have looked like scrambling the way we did to get off the beach. Todd said we had Madelyn trained well on evacuation techniques because she kept running and didn't look back even when he stopped beside a building to get shelter from the wind. So funny.

We had a super yummy lobster dinner at the Stoney Lonin in Rehoboth. I got crab cakes, but the kids were absolutely enthralled with the full lobsters sitting on 4 different plates on our table. Elijah said, "It's neat that we can eat dead things."

Oh the funny things the kids have said over the last week are almost too many to write down. I may have to save them for another post.

Shannon actually stayed up late last night and went to a movie with me and Dan. How bummed was she when the 9:40 showing was sold out and we stayed for the 10:20 showing? Back home she and Todd are in bed by 9 usually. ha ha! We saw Inception. It was good. Then we came home and realized we were locked out, at 1:30 a.m. We are at my mom's house and I am the only one with a house key, but since Dan was here he drove and paid so I didn't bring my keys or wallet. Oopsie. After checking the doors we had to call the house and wake up my mom only to enter and have Molly (my chihuahua) start chasing Lily (my mom's cat) up the stairs where everyone is sleeping. Good times!

We have had fun get-togethers with family. We remembered Mom-mom Ruthie at her burial service then visited with family back at Aunt Elaine's. We had the birthday dinner with cousins. We saw Aunt Dorothy and Aunt Erika and her family. We spent an afternoon with Dad, Sammie, and Kent at the beach. Lunch with Aunt Ann and Uncle Bill was fun what with Uncle Bill (now Uncle Yum) spoiling the kids by giving them loads of sugar (cupcakes, ice-pops, chocolate, candies, etc.).

Our week at the beach was in a place not as nice as the place last year. It had more of a frat house feel. Yikes. I won't go into detail, but we needed to clean quite a bit. Blech. Then we just had to try to block the yuckies from our minds for the rest of the week and go with it.

I smuggled Molly to the beach with me too. She was super cute on the beach. She would try to attack the sand that got kicked up by her feet. As you can imagine, this was a vicious cycle. She also chased the foam from the waves as they rolled back to sea. She was really cute. I wish I could have taken her to the beach more.

The kids are getting braver and braver in the water. They LOVE swimming and were so brave in the ocean. Madelyn and Addie especially did great in the waves. Addie is a pro at swimming. She's a little fish. She even tried boogie boarding.

We visited with Kerry and her boys and walked in the creek after a fun day of playing in the pool and having to call road side assistance because I locked the keys in my car. Her boys think I am super cool for doing the creek thing. They even caught a crayfish. Really fun.

We saw Dottie, Jeff, Coleen, Drew, Danny, and Ethan as well. I tried to get Elijah to sing his oldies song that he learned for them and he said, "Why do I have to sing that to everyone I see?" Maybe we've overdone it? Poor kid.

Addie needs a chihuahua. That's all there is too it. Either a chihuahua or some other little animal that she can snuggle and hug. She has carried Molly more than Molly has walked I think since we've been here. So cute. Shannon was even tempted in the chihuahua department. I think a chihuahua might become game for Floyd and Fiona though. They don't tolerate small animals well, especially in their territory.

Another memory just left my brain which probably means I should stop for the night. More on this later ...