Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Thoughts

This year has been a tough one.  In fact, the last four months have been so overwhelming and emotional that at times I wasn't sure what I was going to do.  I have never felt so much pain, anger, sadness, hurt and sorrow.  It seemed like every time I turned around there was something else thrown at me when I already felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water.  I would go to bed at night hoping that when morning came, I would wake from this horrible nightmare and everything would be ok.  I would wake up in the morning too exhausted to feel my emotions and wish I could just go back to bed instead of facing the day.  I have cried more in these last few months than I have in my entire life combined.  I have lost more sleep then I did with my newborns.  Even tonight, I should have been in bed hours ago, but anxiousness overtook my ability to sleep.  My mind has been swirling and racing with the events that have been placed before me.  I have faced the hardest thing in my life and been crushed by the effects of it.

However, through it all, the Lord has blessed me.  Tonight as sleep was evading me, my mind wandered to the story in Matthew chapter 14 where Peter tries to walk on the water.  Jesus had just finished feeding the 5000 and had gone up into the mountain to pray.  He had sent His disciples ahead in a ship.  It was late evening and the winds began to increase and toss the ship in the waves.  When Jesus came down from the mountain, He walked to the disciples on the water.  At first, when the disciples saw Him, they were afraid, but Jesus spoke to them and calmed their fears.  Peter asked the Lord if He would ask him to come to Him on the water.  Jesus told Peter to come and he began to walk on the water towards Christ.  As Peter walked, he saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and started sinking.  He cried out for Jesus to save him.  Jesus immediately took Peter's hand and pulled him up out of the water and brought him safely to the ship.  As soon as Jesus got in the ship, the wind stopped and it became calm.

Peter was doing it!  He had faith to step out on the stormy sea and walk to the Savior.  However, he lost his focus.  He stopped looking towards Christ and began worrying about the winds and the waves.  Once he lost his focus, his faith wavered and he began to doubt.  That doubt caused him to start sinking.  Christ was there though.  Despite his lacking faith, as soon as Peter called out, Christ was there with His hand outstretched to lift Peter up back to Him and safety.

We all have battles in our lives, waters to cross with wind swirling and waves crashing around us.  We will have storms to pass through.  Maybe we start out with that same faith of Peter.  Maybe the storm hits with such force that our faith is shaken right away and we immediately feel as if we are sinking.  Maybe we bring on the winds ourselves or maybe it is the winds of others that cause our waves.  Sometimes those waves are so high that we feel buried in the depths of the sea.  The thing is, if we call out to the Lord, no matter the cause of the storm or the intensity of it's power, He will be there with His hand outstretched.  His light will shine through the darkness and His strength will pull us through.  He will not leave us.  As we cry out to Him, he will be there to lift us back up, give us strength to withstand the storm and lead us back to Him. 

Sometimes, a lot of times, we feel His love and strength through the kindness and love of those around us.  Those here, doing His work and being His disciples.  During this last year, and more especially these last four months, I have been so blessed with friends and family who have reached out and lifted me from the depths of the sea.  Their prayers, kind words, listening ears, wise counsel, hugs, smiles and patience have allowed me to endure the days and feel God's love for me when I was struggling to feel it on my own.  Covering for me at work when I had to be gone, switching schedules so I could be gone, leaving diet Cokes on my desk ☺, eating lunch with me and talking about nothing so I didn't have to think about things, sitting with me and listening when I DID need to talk, sending emails to let me know I was being thought about and prayed for, doing extra chores at home, flowers, undisturbed bubble baths, listening to me on the phone as I tried to convey my emotions, holding me while I sobbed, loving me despite my current craziness - those were all things that allowed me to feel the outstretched hand of my Savior lifting me up.  Simple things, meaningful things, gifts of love, gifts of yourselves, gifts of your time. 

Things are still hard.  My heart is still filled with pain, anger, hurt, and all those other things I mentioned.  I still go to bed wishing to wake with life back to how it was.  I still wake up wishing to go back to bed and sleep it away.  However, with all those emotions, I now have hope and love too.  For that I am grateful.  This Thanksgiving was harder than any other I have had.  My heart was heavy and my body exhausted, but my heart was also thankful for the amazing people that God has put in my life right now.  Despite the life events I am dealing with, I am very blessed.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sweet 16

Our Maddi Jo Bug is 16.  My how time flies!  I remember when we first found out we were having a girl, when we finally decided on a name for her and when we finally met her for the first time.  We were so excited to begin our family!  We were blessed with such a beautiful little girl with the chubbiest cheeks and the sweetest smile.  Now, here we are 16 years later.  No more chubby cheeks, no more drool down to her belly button, but still a beautiful blessing to our family. 
She celebrated by going to school, basketball practice and then a sports meeting.  We did have her favorite chocolate pie before bed and then made her birthday supper the next night when she would be home to enjoy it - baked potatoes of course ☺
Happy Birthday, Bug! We love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

15 on the 15th

Makenna celebrated her 15th birthday on 15th!  We made her chicken taquitos for supper followed by a chocolate cake and ice cream.  We are so thankful to have her in our family.  She is full of spunk and life with a stubborn streak a mile long.  While it can make parenting interesting at times, it serves her well when she is out trying to conquer the world and make her place in it.  She loves to bake, read, draw, color, sing, run and play basketball.  We are so proud of her, who she is becoming and all that she has accomplished.  Happy Birthday, Makenna!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Wouldn't Have to Ask You to Turn the Music Up!


I love this kid!  He is always moving, jumping, running, and standing on his head!  He is helpful and kind.  He is considerate of others and notices when some one needs a friend.  He loves to read and do the worm.  He's good at both ☺  He also rocks a mullet!
As you know, a couple years ago, he was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome.  He has handled it pretty well and the school has given him tools to help him in the classroom.  He has a wiggle cushion on his chair and a band across the front legs of his desk so he can have movement while he is at his desk.  His desk is on an outside row so that if he needs to stand up, he can without disturbing others or drawing attention to himself.  They even have a stand up desk at the back of the room if he ever needs to use that.  Most of his tics have been mild and he has learned to release the vocal ones outside or at home which also helps him in the classroom.

Earlier this fall, maybe a month ago, we had health screenings at the school.  He failed the hearing test and so the nurses suggested we get his ears checked.  Our speech therapist retested him a day or so later and he failed again so we took him in.  The doctor couldn't see anything that would be causing hearing trouble so he referred us on to a specialist.

Yesterday I took him to Sioux Falls to have an audio test and meet with an ENT.  They removed some wax from his ears that they believed may have caused the failed tests previously and then they gave him an audio test.  Afterwards the audiologist came in and explained that he did have some hearing loss.  It was mild to slight but it was in the midtone range where most talking levels take place.  She talked to him about getting hearing aids but told us the doctor would talk more about it with us.

While we were waiting to see the doctor, I asked Zeke how he was feeling about it all.  He said he did not want to get hearing aids.  Who would right?  I asked him why.  He said it would make him look like a nerd.  He was embarrassed at the thought and didn't want any of the kids at school to know about it right now.  We talked about how small hearing aids were and that maybe he wouldn't end up needing any after all.

When we talked with the doctor, he showed us more about the results of the test and talked to us about the next steps.  He said hearing aids would definitely help him but he wanted to wait a bit and retest him before we jumped into that.  When he is retested, if it is the same or worse, he will want a CT scan to check on the little bones around the ears to see if there are any that are not formed right.  We would also discuss hearing aids at that point.

As we were leaving the appointment he said, "Well, if I do have to get hearing aids, I wouldn't have to ask you to turn the music up when I can't hear it, I could just turn up my hearing aid!"  I love him so much!  He still doesn't want to get hearing aids but if he ends up with them, I know he will rock them just like he does his mullet!

State 2016

These four girls made school history at State.  They are the first girls cross country team at Deubrook to ever place at State.  After a season of injuries, frustrations and lots of ice, they ended up taking 6th place!  How awesome is that?
Their coaches did an amazing job of encouraging and helping them through the season.  They made sure these girls had what they needed to be successful and they were there cheering them on at every race.  Even on the bad days, they were there building them up and telling them they would get it next time.

It was a beautiful day for a race.  Before every race our girls always huddle for a prayer.  They do it in basketball, volleyball and track too.  I love seeing the girls bow their heads and seek for help from a Higher Source.  At State, before our girls ran, all the girls circled up in a prayer circle.  It was so neat to see!  Class B girls were the only ones who did it.  What a way to start the race!
Our girls all ran hard.  Each course is so different and you can't compare times from course to course.  Makenna was sad because she didn't run her best time of the season, but she did what she needed to do.  Josie took 2nd.  Andrea took 9th.  Makenna was our 3rd runner.  Her placement would determine if we placed or not.  Even though she was disappointed with her time, she didn't let the team down.  They all were able to walk away with their heads high, their hips and knees iced, with a smile on their face!
Can't wait to see what they do next year!




Friday, October 14, 2016

XC - State Bound!

In the midst of dealing with my eyes, getting ready for book fair at school, getting Zeke's hearing checked (he failed several hearing tests and is now scheduled for a more in depth audio test) and getting to Dillon's last football game, I did not ever post about our amazing cross country meets!

Last Wednesday, the 5th, was our Cross Country DVC meet.  These four amazing girls below all placed in the top 20 and ended up DVC champs!  Wow!  Aren't the awesome?!

This Wednesday, the 12th, was our cross country region meet.  Top 20 runners and top 3 teams go to state.  Last year Makenna placed 13th at regions with a time of 22:45, her best time of the season.  It was her first year to run cross country.  This year Makenna placed 18th with a time of 22:14, her best time of the season!  Her teammates placed 1st, 5th and 28th.  Top 3 runners count for points and we ended up Region Runner-Ups and our team - those same four amazing girls - will get to run at state next weekend!  They were so excited and I am so excited for them!  They have worked through injuries - foot pains, never ending ear aches, knee issues, hip flexor injuries - and they never gave up.  Their strength and determination carried them through and helped them reach their goal of going as a team.  Their coaches have also been amazing.  They have helped and encouraged them - cheering them on during their races and strengthening them between races.  I can't wait to watch them run next weekend!

After the race.  All smiles ☺
Waiting for the awards ceremony.  Still smiling ☺
After the ceremony with their plaque.  Still smiling ☺

Parker also made it to state with several other Deubrook boys not far behind.  The boys team has a bright future too!



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cross my Heart, Hope to Die, Stick a Needle in my Eye

That little chant has new meaning for me now and I will never say it again!  Last year, around this time, I started having eye aches for a few days and then I had blurry spots that would sometimes be in my vision.  Over several weeks the blurry spots got worse and so I finally went in to see my eye doctor.  I had pretty bad uveitis in both my eyes.  It was in the front of my eyes and the back.  There was a lot of inflammation in the front causing my eye to stick to my cornea.  I had to have my eyes dilated for 4 or 5 weeks and ended up having injections in both eyes.  I was terrified of the injections but my eyes were numbed and so I really couldn't feel any pain.  The hardest part was holding my eyes still and not looking at the needle as he injected it into the lower corner of my eye.

A couple of weeks ago I started have eye aches again.  They were a little different and instead of just lasting for a couple of days, they lasted for a couple of weeks (actually, they still ache - it hasn't stopped).  Then I noticed a blurry spot in my vision.  It was a little different than last time.  It didn't float around, it just stayed in the same spot all day.  I kept cleaning my glasses thinking they were smudged but it didn't help!

I decided to call the optometrist again to get them checked.  I didn't want things to get as bad as they were last time.  I hated being dilated for so long and I really didn't want to do injections again.  I went in Tuesday.  I had uveitis again.  The good news was that it was only in my left eye and it wasn't near as bad as it was last time.  The bad news was that there was a little twist to it this time.  The inflammation was in the back of my eye this time instead of the front and I had fluid behind my retina.  That was what was causing the blurry vision and achiness.  She did not want to treat me any further and sent me to the opthamologist that I saw last year. 

So I went over there and waited.  They did another vision test on my right eye.  I couldn't see anything!  Then they did some weird scan thing that took pictures of the back of my eye.  Then I saw the dr.  He said we needed to get another injection and start on the drops again.  I was ok with it because last time it didn't hurt.  This time however...

He put the numbing drops in and waited for a few minutes.  Then he came back and got ready to give me the injection.  As he started to poke, it hurt!  A lot!  Nothing was numb.  Since it hurt I was kind of squeezing my eye shut so he pulled the needle back out to get a different angle.  I told him it hurt so he gave me another numbing drop (I personally think they weren't numbing drops.  I think he had the wrong bottle).  Then he told me to look off to the side so he could have better access to that lower corner.  Then he stuck the needle in again.  It hurt!  Again!  And that membrane is tough to poke through so he had to push.  Did I mention that it hurt?!  Just as he got the needle in and began putting in the steroids, the headrest that my head was resting on, fell backwards and my head fell backwards.  He pulled the needle out really fast because he wasn't sure what had happened.  Then he had to put that stupid needle in my eye a 3rd time, still not numb and slowly finish injecting the steroids.  Oh my heck!  It was one of the most horrible things I have ever had to do.  Plus, now I am scared to go back to him!  Unfortunately I have to go back next Tuesday.

Anyways, that all started at 10:15 Tuesday morning.  It is now Thursday and my eye was still dilated today.  Not as bad, but it certainly was not back to normal.  I think he accidentally put dilating drops in my eyes instead of numbing drops.  If I ever have to get another injection, I am going to make him double check the bottle before he sticks me in the eye!
This was me Wednesday morning.  If you've ever seen Fievel Goes West - I have the Laaaazy Eye ☺

My eyes still ache, my left eye underneath is still puffy.  I still have a blurry spot.  Nothing seems to be getting better yet.  I go back Tuesday and he will check me again.  Then we will discuss the need to go see a retina specialist.  I am super frustrated with this all but I am very glad that I don't have to have my eyes dilated constantly like I did last time.  The blurry spot is annoying and gets in my way and the achy eyes make days at work long but it could be worse...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Apple Picking!

Tonight was a beautiful night so we decided to pick a few apples.  Our trees are loaded this year!  Here are a few pictures of the evening ☺

The view from our yard.  What a beautiful evening!







Nava and Sue were there to help.  Sue wouldn't stand still for a picture.


Zeke...  I love him ☺

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September So Far

We started out September celebrating Dillon's 12th birthday.  We are so thankful for him and the blessing that he has been to our family.  He is soft spoken and always tries his best to do what is right.  He is kind and works hard.  He always gives 100% no matter what.  I love watching him grow and learn.  He is becoming an amazing young man!

September has also brought on football and cross country season for us!  Zeke is playing elementary football again this year.  He just had his first game.  He's #34.

Dillon is playing junior high football this year.  He is the starting running back for the team and loves it!  I love watching him play but I cringe every time he gets tackled.



Makenna is running cross country this fall.  She had physical therapy all summer to try to get her hips, core and knee strengthened and recover from her injury so that she could run this fall.  She started out the season not as on top of her game as she was hoping but she has been working hard and will hopefully get to where she wants to be.


I look forward to more games and meets this fall.  I love watching my kids and being able to be there and cheer them on!  I love the lessons they learn from hard work and team work (or lack there of sometimes too).  These are things that will stick with them through life.



Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Writing of My Heart

Sometimes the storms of life become overwhelming and seemingly endless.  They surround us like a winter blizzard and all we can see is the storm swirling around us.  We feel anxious, helpless, alone and scared.  Right now, my heart is in one of those blizzards.  While there are promises of ease in the future, the storm is so strong that those promises seem impossible.  Michael's grandma, one of my most favorite people, always says, "This too shall pass."  I hope she is right.  Writing is one of my stress relievers.  It helps me put into words the thoughts and feelings inside of me.  Thoughts and feelings that I would never be able to say out loud.  So today, I took some time to be alone and let the impact of the storm be processed.  Here are the writings of my soul today.  I hope that sometime in the near future, the writings will be of rainbows that have come after the storm, but today the storm still rages.

                                                                                                                                 
                             

Standing on the hillside, all alone
Broken down and crumbling
A shadow of the home from years ago
Once filled with warmth and laughter
Smiles, love and togetherness
A place where a million memories were made
Now empty and hollow
Cold, dark and forgotten
The windows that once reflected light
Now are broken and gone
The door that once allowed loved ones to enter
Now hangs, creaking in the wind
Only the creatures of the dark enter through the threshold
The walls that once stood tall and firm
Providing safety from the outside world
Now bend and bow in the wind and storms
Ready to crash down at any moment

My heart, much like this home, is shadowed
Broken down and crumbling
The laughter and smiles of the past replaced with sorrow
The happy memories are now questions and emptiness
My heart feels forgotten by those that should have never left
Once reflecting warmth like the windows of days gone by
It is now broken, dark and alone
Once open to the love of dear ones
Now hangs and hungers in the silence of the night
Wondering how to erase the pain that is filling it
Once filled and firm in the love that it felt
Now aches and hurts from the storms that have come
Ready to crash down at any moment.

                                                                                                                                    


Where is the Light to brighten the darkness?
Where is the Sun to warm the cold?
Where is the Love to push out the hurt?
Where is the Peace to quiet the questions?
Where is the Strength to heal the brokenness?
Where is the Safety to calm the aching?
Where is the Comfort to erase the pain?
I know it is somewhere but I can't seem to see
Where to reach out to and have Him touch me

My heart broken by ones
With whom I should never have doubted
Trusts breached, confidence shaken
Doubt filling the cracks
How can I trust again, promises?
How do I know He'll come?
What if I do reach out
And there is only emptiness to grab on to?
How will I go on then?

So I stand here, turning in circles
The whirlwinds spinning around me
Hoping that if His promises are sure
He will catch me before I fall
Hoping that His love will be so strong
That it will push out the doubt and mistrust
That it will fill all the broken pieces
And heal my aching heart


                                                                                                                                    


Emptiness surrounds me
Life will never be the same
A part of it is broken
And may never heal again
What will the future hold?
Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas time?
Each day will come and go
But not like they used to be
A little part will be missing
And in it's place sadness and if only
There will still be days of gladness and joy
Fun times and happy memories made
But back in the corner of my mind
There will always be an ache
A little piece of my heart will always be left out
Broken and missing the experiences life gives
There will always be an "I wish I could..."
But it won't be able to happen
So because of that my heart will always have sadness
And my eyes will always hold a tear


                                                                                                                                      

Please don't judge me for my seeming lack of faith.  We all have battles that we have to fight and storms we have to trudge through.  Our battles are not always picture perfect and by the book.  Each fight is different, each storm comes with different strengths.  Some days we fight with more faith.  Other days we just endure and hope that more strength comes the next day.  Each battle shapes us.  Each storms molds us a little differently.  Each comes with lessons to be learned.  Be the one who lifts those battling up.  Be the one who helps clear the path through the storm and holds a light in the darkness.  The person battling may not respond right away.  They may not be able to.  Sometimes it takes a while to see the light through the darkness, to gain the strength to grab hold of a helping hand.   I have been blessed by several hands that have kept me from falling - kind words, listening ears, ice cream, hugs, flowers and angel food cake, love.  For them, I am forever grateful.  Someday, I don't know when, those rainbows will come and they will be held up by those hands that have been reached out through all of this.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Day the Music Died

I have had a couple lines from two different songs running through my mind today.  Almost constantly.  It's actually been driving me crazy!  I don't mind when a whole song is stuck in my head, but having one line to a song repeated over and over again is a little maddening!

The first one is a Chipmunks song.  It reminded me of Makenna when she was little and it kind of reminds me of Zeke right now ☺  It's called "Song".  The part that I keep singing is,

'Cause when I rock, no one rocks harder than me
And I don't stop 'cause I got mad energy
I got the bass and the drums
They're moving me along

Yeah, oh, inside my brain, there's a song
You think I'm crazy, baby?
Inside my brain, there's a song

We all have some sort of song in our heads.  It's what makes us who we are!  Everyone moves to a slightly different beat.  Our music determines who we are, what we do, how we act and react, and what direction our life goes.  Our music goes along with our likes and dislikes, our quirks, our motivation, our humor.  It shows in our smiles, our dress, the way we carry ourselves.  Our music is our soul, our heart, our emotions.

The other song line that has been running through my head is from the song, "American Pie".  Love that song.  Today, my mind kept repeating the line that says, "The day the music died."

Have you ever had something in your life that causes your music to fade away and die?  Have you ever lost your beat and had your part fade away out of life's orchestra?  Mine has been fading now for almost a month.  Slowly, each day, my music gets harder to hear.  I still keep going.  My motions are the same, but my music is gone.  The music that made me laugh, brought a smile to my face, showed me the rainbow at the end of the storm.  My beat that got me up each day and helped me through life's tasks.  My song that gave me confidence and joy. 

I know some day the beat will come back.  It will be a little different than it was because I will be a little different than I was.  There will be times when the music stops for a moment as I remember or feel this pain again, but then my song will start over again.  I don't know when.  Every experience is unique.  Every beat stopping trial affects us differently.  But everything adds to our song - a new layer, a new depth, a new verse. 

I will be honest, I don't want my song to change right now, not like this. I would give anything to rewind and go  back.  Anything.

Friday, August 26, 2016

School is in Session

We survived the first day of school and the first week of school! 

All the kids seem to be enjoying being back with their friends, classmates and teachers.  I am excited to see what this year holds for each of them. 
 Maddi is in 10th grade this year.  She is in FFA and she will play basketball this winter.  She injured her Achilles last spring in track so she is not able to run cross country this fall but will help the team at their meets.
Makenna is in 9th grade.  She is in choir and cross coutry.  She will also play basketball in the fall and track in the spring.  Makenna loves singing the National Anthem at the ballgames.  She also sent in an audition to the NFR to sing the national anthem one night during the NFR.  Voting starts next month! 
Zane is in 8th grade.  School is not his favorite but he works hard and does the best he can with it.  He will play basketball in the winter and run track in the spring.  He is also in FFA.
Dillon is in 7th grade this year.  His first year at the high school/junior high.  I think he likes being there and switching classes and teachers throughout the day.  He is playing football this fall and loves it!  He will also play basketball this winter and run track this spring.  He loves all sports!
Zeke is in 5th grade.  He also is not a fan of school but suffers through it ☺  He is learning to do what he needs to do. He is playing football this fall and he will do basketball this winter.  He loves hanging out with his friends and he has a very fun group of boys to be friends with.
Olivia is in 4th grade.  She loves her new teacher and she is enjoying getting to know a new student in her class.  She loves school and socializing.  She loves getting dressed up everyday and getting to pick out her outfits everyday.  She is going to start volleyball this fall and play basketball this winter. 
I am the new librarian at the elementary school this year along with all my other duties from last year.  I still help out in the office, help teachers with tasks they need to have done and I will do the year book with the students as well.  I will also help coach Olivia's volleyball team and I will coach her basketball team.  I am also my children's number one fan and try to get to as many of their events  as possible. 

We stay busy but we have fun (for the most part).  Life is good (most of the time) and we are blessed by the opportunities and experiences that we have here. 







Friday, August 12, 2016

A Nerf Gun, A Blanket and A Broom

Yesterday morning I was quietly sitting in my chair checking my emails when all of a sudden something came flying at my head!  I screamed, dumped my computer on the floor and jumped up.  It was a bat!  It came flying past my head again!  I ran into the kitchen, it followed.  I ran back into the living room, it followed.  I ran to the stairs, it followed.  The whole time I was yelling to the kids upstairs that there was a bat in the house.  When I got to the stairs, the bat flew upstairs and I ran out the door, calling to all the kids upstairs that the bat was now up there.  Makenna refused to leave her room.  Maddi refused to leave the bathroom.  I called Zane (my fearless mouse hunter) and told him to get a broom and find where the bat had gone to ☺  I was still outside, refusing to go in.  He found the bat on the wall upstairs between Makenna's and Olivia's rooms.  I didn't know what to do now! 

I decided that we would try to get the bat into Olivia's room and out the windows.  Zane and Olivia went into her bedroom to get the screens off the windows.  I made Maddi come out of the bathroom.  Makenna still refused to leave her bedroom.  Dillon and Zeke were at work with Michael so we were short in numbers.  I got some crutches and they got a big blanket off Dillon's bed.  Once the screens were off, I had Olivia go outside.  I told her to watch the windows because we were going to try to get the bat to fly back outside. 

Maddi and I hung the blanket over the crutch tips and held it up to the ceiling blocking off the stairway and the hall.  The only place the bat could go was into Olivia's room.  I didn't want Zane to get too close to the bat so I had him get his Nerf gun and kneel down by the blanket and try to shoot the Nerf bullets close to the bat to make it fly.  Then he could use the broom to shoo it into the bedroom and shut the door. 

Well, it didn't work the first 2 shots so he had to go find more bullets.  About the 6th shot the bat finally started flying around.  It took another minute or two (in other words, forever!) before the bat went into Olivia's room and he was able to shut the door.  Once the door was shut, I went outside to see if Olivia had seen the bat fly out the window.  She, however, had gotten scared that maybe it would fly at her head when it came out so she had gone around the side of the house and couldn't really see her windows... 

I tried to look in them from down below to see if it was flying around but I couldn't see anything.  Zane snuck into her bedroom to see if he could see it.  He claimed he saw it in her closet hanging from a plastic bag that she had on her shelf.  He said there were too many things on the floor to close the doors though.  I told Olivia, since she had failed at her post, to go with Zane (I really owe him something big!), move the things out of the way and close the door so we could trap it in the closet.  I didn't want to leave the screens off the windows for too long because I didn't want other flying creatures in there too!

They did it and then we left it until Michael got home from work.  He's so lucky that we save fun things for him!  When Michael got home, he went up into her bedroom and could not find the bat!  Zane and Olivia went up and helped.  They pulled everything out of the closet one by one, checked the ceilings, the shelves, the doors, behind the dresser mirror and headboard, everywhere and there was no sign of the bat.  As they walked out, Zeke made the comment, "Have fun sleeping in here tonight!"

Guess who didn't sleep in there last night?  Olivia.  She refused. I don't blame her.  I wouldn't have either.  So, we have no idea where the bat went, if Zane really saw it in the closet or if it flew out the window while Olivia was not looking.  Where ever it is, it's not in her room.  This morning, I made sure the kids came downstairs before me, just in case there was another one flying around - that way I could make my getaway back to my bedroom while they ran around screaming with a bat flying past their heads ☺  I'm a good mom.  I want my kids to be able to experience all the things in life that I was/am able to experience.  It builds character, shapes them into well-rounded human beings, and gives them good stories to talk about when school starts again!

We were lucky this morning.  No flying creatures, no heart attacks, no screaming and no need to pull out the big guns again to protect ourselves.  However, I am keeping my bedroom door shut, just in case...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tutu Run

Earlier this summer Olivia and I signed up to run a 2.2 mile Tutu Run.  We started running together 3 times a week until the day of the race.  I loved going running with her.  We talked, we listened to music and sang along and we set times we would try to beat.  It was a lot of fun getting to spend time with her.

Race morning finally came and Olivia was very excited to get her tutu!  Me, not as much.  I had never worn a tutu before and wasn't really sure I wanted to!  Tutu's are not my thing ☺  I did it though.  It had been a really rough week and I was running on very little sleep but we did it!  I let Olivia run ahead because I knew I would not be able to keep her pace.  She ended up running her fastest pace yet!  She was at the finish line waiting for me when I crossed along with Michael and Zeke.  Zeke ate my donuts for me while we waited for our friends to finish.

It was a fun morning and I'm glad we were able to do it together.  Maybe we can do it again next year too!

Before the race

After the race with friends from church (Olivia had just stuffed a chocolate donut in her mouth☺)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lightning Struck

Wednesday morning I was laying in bed, enjoying the fact that there was no reason that morning to rush out of bed.  We had nowhere we had to go until later in the day, so I was in no rush to get up.  It was about 7:30ish.  I heard thunder and thought it was weird because there was no rain in the forecast. About 5 minutes later I heard another thunder way off in the distance.  I thought this was even more reason not to get out of bed because there was going to be a storm and we couldn't go out and exercise anyways. 

Another few minutes went by and then all of a sudden there was this huge flash of light right out of my bedroom window with an even bigger crack and a thunder boom all at the same time!  I jumped out of bed so fast, my heart beating, so glad I had gotten up earlier to go to the bathroom so I didn't wet myself!  I imagine I looked similar to Michael's sister the day that his dad came in and put a rattle snake in her bed while she was in it.  Had there been a camera rolling, I'm sure I would have won some money for it somewhere.  I jumped up, covers flying, eyes crazy, looking around like what the heck just happened!  I seriously had never heard anything so loud in my life!  I looked out the window expecting to see trees down or something destroyed or on fire, but I couldn't see anything.  I ran and got the kids up to get them downstairs in case there was some sort of severe storm on the way that I didn't know about.  It had barely started sprinkling.  I checked the weather and nothing.  There was this ever so small line of clouds showing on the map with a red center that just happened to cross over the top of us.  It rained for not even 5 minutes.  There was not another thunder or lightning that took place.  Within minutes, it was all gone.

We all looked outside trying to see if anything got hit but we didn't see anything.  Later that day, while Zane was out mowing by the barn, he saw it.  He came back to the house telling us he had found where it struck.  We all went out and there in the middle of this little grove of trees was the tree that had been struck.  It was an huge tree, one of the biggest in our yard I think.  The bark on one side was blown off from the bottom to the very top of the tree.  Bark and wood splinters were thrown all over the yard by the tree.  The tree still had a huge splinter of wood connected to it, but fallen down. It was crazy!  And so close to home!

The kids all thought it was cool and we had to take pictures and videos of it and tell everyone about it.  If you come to our house, you can bet that you will be taken out to the tree so they can show you up close.  Of all the serious, severe storms and tornado warnings that we have been in and not have anything happen, to have this little bitty cloud line pass over us and have lightning strike is crazy!

Here are a few pictures of our tree:


You never know what Nature has waiting for you ☺