Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas be gone!

As I sit and type this it is indeed Christmas. We are in Chicago with my family. We woke up this morning at our house and the kids opened up all their presents. Matthew was so into it! It was really sweet. Caroline just kept wanting us to open up the Playdo she received and repedatedly kept screaming.."PLAYDO!!" Matthew was overwhelmed with joy with each and every present. He also got such a kick out of Santa eating the cookies and milk and the reindeer eating all the carrots we left.
Jeff and I had an enjoyable Christmas Eve. I decided to branch out from my families tradition of eating a homemade Italian feast on Xmas Eve(complete with homemade meatballs and sauce)for a heavy appetizer feast. Since my surgery, I can't really eat spaghetti anymore so that is what we did. Then I made Jeff watch "Its a Wonderful life" which he proceeded to verbally attack. How can you not like that movie??
I am in back in Portage now, at Kim and Wes's listening to them argue amongst themselves so its hard to focus. Actually, its only Jessica complaining that she can't go with the Youth group to Camp Barakel. I am going and looking foward to it. Its suppose to be an awesome camp...Jessica will be missing out:)
I de-Christmased the house today..except for the tree which will come down tommorrow! After Christmas, decorations only depress me! It has been a great season though..alot of fun at various parties and get togethers and no family fights! Tommorrow night for New Years Matthew and I are going to some friends in grand Rapids for the night. Jeff, who has been battling a sinus infection and upper respitory infection is staying home. Caroline has also been sick with a bad cough too so they aren't up for whooping it up! I am not sure how much "whooping" will be going on with 8 small children! It should be a fun time! Happy New Year!

My computer is still out of commission but should be fixed shortly!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dead computer

My beloved Facebook has betrayed me! It has officially "killed" my computer. I suppose some would say its my own fault..I mean who clicks on random things when we all know that is a one way ticket to virusville. It got sick quickly on Tuesday afternoon and was a goner by Wednesday morning. Thankfully our friend Nick is a computer wiz and his lovely wife Katie "medi vac" it to their house on Thursday. So,hopefully we will be up and running again shortly.
This past week was a good one for us. Matthew had his first school Christmas program. He was NOT into singing at all! He just sat down on the rafters and looked at us like it was all craziness. He was really well behaved (besides not singing) I suppose it could have had something to do with the fact that someone bribed him with a soda if he cooperated, surely this was not his mother!:)
Caroline has been up to her usual mischief. The other day Matthew went up to get her from her nap and screamed "Mommy, there is poop all over..Caroline took off her diaper" Indeed this was true and it was all over the bottom half of her body and the carpet..EEEW! She was not pleased with having to be whisked into the bathtub and proceeded to scream and cry and throw toys at me. Nice! Later that day, Matthew found her upstairs in the bathtub, fully dressed and filling up a bucket of water..that little pistol!
Last night I spent the night at our church for an all nighter for the girls at our youth group. It was pretty fun and I even managed some sleep!
Hope your holiday season is going well!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My blog is almost 3!!

I was looking over past entries today and realized that on December 20th my blog will officially be three! I can't believe its been three years already! I am so glad I decided to do this. Its truly been a chronicle of the "Life and times of us". When I began I only had Matthew and now I am the mommy of two. I have been able to look back at entries and remember things I had forgotten took place and also seen where I have grown and (where I need to still do some work)
Because of this blog I have reconnected with past friends and made some new ones. It still amazes me how someone you don't even know except through their words and pictures can become a "Friend". I have learned so much from people like Adrienne, JoEllen, McMama, Shelly and Jody.
I am glad I have stuck with this blogging stuff!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Not me MOnday

So, I have been reading this womens blog for about six months now..she is wonderfully funny and a gifted writer. Her blog is www.mycharmingkids.net..go check her out! Anyways, every MOnday she makes a list of funny things she "DID NOT" wink wink..do
So here are the things I most certainly didn't do...

I didn't let Matthew eat almost have a container of chocolate frosting so I could get the stupid marshmellow turkey's that I thought he would love making (and that he lost interest in about five minutes in)

I didn't let Caroline eat three bananas in a row today for breakfast so I wouldn't have to endure her saying, "NANA...NANA...NANA"

I didn't let them jump on their beds today so I could check my email and Facebook.

Nope..not me!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Festivus has begun

At the Simpson household. Like last year, my niece Jessica and this year we recruited Jeanna,a LCC youth group gal along for the decorating fun. I would highly recommend this strategy to those mommies out there who aren't too anal retentive about decorating and just want to get it up! Matthew helped me decorate the tree today and was SO INTO IT! IT was really sweet. I also bought the kids an advent type calender called, "What God wants for Christmas" which explains the Christmas story and salvation. Its really neat and is made by the same company who developed "Resurrection Eggs".
Thanksgiving was a nice day. We spent a relaxing morning here and then went to Jeff's sister's house. It was a bit crazy with the kids, but that was to be expected. Friday morning, like a crazy person, I got up with Jenny,Jeff's sister and my niece's Jessica and Allison to hit Target at 5:30 am! It was early but really worth it,I got alot of great deals! Of course, Matthew peed out of his diaper at 3:30am so I was up from then! I never ended up naping that day but survived! Friday night we got together with some friends at their annual, "After Turkey Day" party. It was alot of fun. Yesterday Jeff went with his sister's to see "FOUR CHRISTMASES" I went to "TWILIGHT" on Wednesday night. It was really good. A little teenagerish(is that a word) but entertaining none the less.
Not much is going on this week, just the usual SAHM mom stuff! Hope your Holidays are going splendidly so far!

Monday, November 24, 2008

THANKFUL FOR 08

Here are my top TEN:

10. IPOD's
9. My newly established YMCA membership..excercise and childcare for a buck! Such a deal!
8. Losing 150ish pounds
7. Great friends who know me and love me still!
6. A home, filled with lots of toys and cheese it crumbs, which are further evidence of more of my blessings
5. The ablility to walk, run and move all of my body.
4. A wonderful extended family
3. An amazing husband who gets me and helps me out in so many unspeakable ways.
2. Loveable, spirited and healthy children.
1. A God, who loved us so much that he gave us HIS son!

Have a wonderful turkey day! Eat your hearts out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One of those days

Its one of those days when I want to literally get into my car, wait, first I would pack a bag, get into my car and just drive! The kids are driving me crazy,I feel scattered and as if I can't accomplish anything..yuck!
This weekend has been decent except for today. Friday I went to my friend Carol's lakehouse with some girlfriends for the night..yes, I suppose after having a night away I should be more sane, not the case. I really wish that Jeff and I could get away for the weekend and just be alone together. Even checking into a hotel down the street for two days of just "us" would be perfect for me! I miss him..yes, we see each other nearly everyday but all this "parenting" crap just seems to really take its toll on us! Tommorrow I am going to post my "What am I thankful for 08" list up..I need to kick this pity party! Hope your Sunday is better than this momma's!
S

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

YMCA

We're members of the Y! My parents decided to do "joint" gifts this year. After much deliberation, Jeff and I decided that we would go for that. So, for the next six months that is where you will find me working out! I am so happy not to have to be out in the cold weather anymore. I am dedicated but man did that start to really stink! Plus, the daycare at the Y is super cheap and Matthew and Caroline really love it. We have gone everyday since we joined. We go in the afternoon during what I like to call "the witching hour" 3-4:30 pm. They play with some friends and I get to listen to my IPOD, watch adult t.v and get stronger and healthier. At this point in my weight loss journey, I really needed something to get me to the next level. Walking wasn't really giving me much of a workout anymore. Plus, I have come to realize while doing the Nautilus machines, that I have definetly loss alot of muscle in my rapid weight loss...I am so weak,its pretty pathetic actually. When I was heavier, I was much stronger. Oh well, I can build those babies back up.
WARNING..the next topic may be TMI for some..I was seriously worried that I was "with child" late this weekend and until today. I guess I am blogging about this b/c I am not sure what we should do about bc. We're like 99.9% sure we want no more children..Jeff would argue he is 110% sure:) But, our ridiculous Catholic insurance wont' cover ANY birth control. Many people I know have the mirena iud and love it. I looked into that and its $800 and a vasectomy is more like $1300..wowza! Maybe my parents could give Jeff that for our anniversary..the gift that keeps on giving:) Just joking! Who knows but this paranoid, taking 5 pregnancy tests in three days has to end. Not sure why I am talking about this..there has to be people in this situation right?
Next week is Thanksgiving..yippee! We're staying home and going to Jeff's sister's. It should be a fun time. We will get to meet our newest cousin..Parker! Then the rest of the weekend will be dedicated to CHRISTMAS DECORATING! Good times!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

He's not "that kid"

I helped out in Matthew's class and I am glad to say he is not or at least wasn't "the naughty kid" today! He was so good!! He pretty much did his own thing and sometimes interacted with me and some of the other kids. I was relieved to see that there were alot of other kids who were way more rambunctious than Matty man. I wasn't totally shocked b/c he has been doing so well there. Of course he still has his spazy moments for mommy and daddy..what kid doesn't!? I keep forgetting to post/admit that we have given Matthew back his pacies at night. He is still pacie free all day but he was really struggling at night. Jeff and I likened him to a crack addict in withdrawel..it wasn't pretty. After much discussion with ourselves and his OT we decided we would allow him to have them only at night for awhile longer. He has been great with "giving them up" in the morning. Baby steps I guess. I was totally hiding/lying to my mom about it..I couldn't face her thinking I suck as a mom but I underestimated her..she was totally cool and supportive.
This week we're kind of busy. Tommorrow is Caroline's two year check up and this weekend Jeff is going up north to get away and visit his cousin..yuck! Some friends who moved to Traverse City this fall will be in town for one last visit before they welcome their third child on December 11th so I may meet her for dinner. Jeff argued that everytime he goes out of town, I rack up babysitting charges..true but irrelevant:) I can't believe Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! Unbelievable! Hope your having a wonderful week!
S

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pluggin away

At life that is. I swear since Facebook came into my life I am even more ADD! I can't seem to sit down and write anything. We're pluggin away here at the Simpson house. We had the kitchen painted on Monday and Tuesday! Goodbye awful wallpaper!
I took Caroline back to the allergist because her skin has been awful lately. They didn't really do anything all that helpful. We're trying giving her a daily dose of Zyrtec to see if this helps and keeping her greased up too! She goes to her 2 year check up this week so I am going to ask them about her food and skin issues then. I am thinking about maybe putting her on a gluten free diet but its a real commitment so we will see. If it makes her happier and more comfortable I would do anything! I am now helping out with our youth group at church. Its something I have been feeling called to do for some time and finally decided enough is enough and to JUST DO IT! We have a new youth pastor at our church who has really impressed me so far! I am excited to get to know the kids better. I think I am going to go to a Winter camp they are going to after New Years. I had alot of fun with them in Cedar Point..lets see how I hold up with winter sports!
I am helping out in Matthew's class for the first time on Tuesday! I pray it goes well! He is contiuning to really do awesome in school!
This weekend we're sticking around town. Jeff may take Matthew to the Holiday parade dowtown tommorrow and then tomorrow night Jeff and I are going out to celebrate a friend's birthday! Sunday we have nursery and I am making my famous..ok not so famous chili for small group! The weather is finally turning cold, which I have to admit I don't mind so much, at least thru Christmas! Happy Weekend!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Categorized..

I don't usually mind being categorized..white,female,mom,wife,happy,healthy,easily irritated,sarcastic..you get the point.. But, lately I have really been struggling with a decision I made a few years ago to become a Wesleyan. At the time I felt like it was something Jeff and I should do because we were new to the area and just assumed that we would always and forever be going to the Wesleyan church. While we have no plans on leaving our current church,which is Wesleyan, I feel like I don't necessarily want to be categorized as Wesleyan per se. Why does it matter you may be thinking? Well, to me it matters for several reasons. Several of the views of the Wesleyan church I don't agree with. But,at the end of the day, I like our church and especially the friends we've made there, so does it really matter?..probably not! I just sometimes feel like a "fake" Wesleyan! I think I will always feel denominationless..is that a word? I was raised Episcopalian and still feel very strong ties to that church. But, some of their doctorines I don't agree with it. I guess I would say I am a church goer who prefers not to be categorized..
That being said, I am voting for Obama on Tuesday..so I will probably be kicked out once word gets out amongst the Wesleyans...just kidding:)
S

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who'd a thunk?

That Matthew would give up his pacies in one day!! I shouldn't be surprised! I mean we are talking about the kid who never crawled..just one day up and ran, the kid who was potty trained in two days, moved to a big boy bed with no issue and now, hopefully has given up his beloved pacies! I will fully admit that it was ME who was not ready to get rid of those puppies. When he gets out of control or is really tired, the pacies came in handy! But, it was really starting to be annoying how much he wanted them all the time! Not to mention the pressure from family members:) I mean the kid is so tall he looks like he is pushing five, so having not only one but usually three pacies with him did look pretty ridiculous!
Last night we got home a little late from church and we gave them both a bath and then Jeff and I took turns laying with him. He only asked once if he could have them and we reminded him that he had given them to Grandma Barb.(What he didn't know is that mommy took them back, just in case she couldn't do it:) We also reminded him that if he made it through the night he could get the "Pirates who don't do anything " movie. He said ok and a few moments later..out like a light!
I am sure we may have some more tough moments ahead. But, I made myself promise that if HE made it through one night then I would be fully committed..despite any future protests!
I just realized that the Simpsons now have no cribs, no highchairs and now no pacies...no more babies....YEAH!!
S

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No Speech therapy for you!

Caroline did well at her assessment today. She is right on track which kind of surprised me but I guess in a good way! They will continue to montior her for the next year and I plan on taking her to playgroups that they offer as well. I am relieved because we're pretty busy right now and I don't know where we would fit it all in!
Just a quick update! I need to upload photos but I think most of you are my FB friends so you see my pics there..right?!
Sue

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lovely weekend

I had a glorious..mostly kid free weekend. It all started Friday afternoon when I met some girlfriends from Chicago in New Buffalo. We had fun wine tasting and going out to dinner and hanging out with the crazy New Buffalo locals at the town "watering holes". It was very, very fun! Then on Saturday, I headed to my friend Carol's 40th birthday girls day and night away at her new cottage in Scotts. We had fun playing games, drinking wine and hot tubing! It was so nice to get away and relax with two different groups of great friends. I love having different groups of friends to hang out with...always a good time with girlfriends who just get you!
This week is busy for us! Its funny, Matthew must be use to always going some where because almost every night he will ask,"Where are we going tomorrow?" Its too cute! We have a MOPS meeting tommorrow, Caroline's speech assessment on Tuesday, MOPS on Wednesday and Bible study on Friday. I started a new one based on the "Fireproof" book. I am super excited! Have a good week!
S

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kids say the darndest things..

This morning I was showering while Caroline, who is officially two and officially out of her crib into a toddler bed and big brother Matthew were "playing" downstairs. I pretty much have the whole downstairs baracaded to one area since
those little devils will get into everything and anything! So, I am out and buck naked when I hear some commotion. I yell down to Matthew to have him tell me his usual, "She's fine!" but instead he says.."Momma..come see" I go down wrapped in a towel and see Caroline with the entire Sunday paper, ads and all thrown about the kitchen. I say, "Caroline...WHAT are you doing?" to which Matthew,in all seriousness replies, "She's recycling!" Gotta love those GREEN three year olds:)
Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Me..minus 140 lbs


I haven't really mentioned the whole weight loss thing in awhile. Its still going good and is the BEST thing I have ever done for myself! I love buying new clothes and feel great about myself. I love working out and feel addicted to it..a good thing. Here is recent pic of me all dressed up!
S

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Like mother , like son...

Ok, so all you fellow bloggers know I can be a bit consumed with death and dying..apparently its genetic. Ever since Matthew saw "Lion King" in July he has been obsessed with the death scene between Scar and Musafa. He will literally play it all day. I ended up "banning" it from our home b/c of it. This has not derailed him very much. I told him when school was starting that I didn't want him playing "Lion King" at school and he looked at me with his big blue eyes and said,"Ok, but I can play Moses or Jonah?" I laughed to myself and thought.."Yes, go biblical..heck its a Christian school..they will love it!" :) So yesterday I wanted to see if he might like Annie, we tried it once at my sister's house and I thought he didn't really like it b/c he didn't seem to pay much attention. After about ten minutes he said " What happened to Annie's parents?" I said, " I am not sure" and then he looked at me very seriously and said,
"Yes you do, remember when we were at Aunt Jenn's and we were watching it with Claire and Patrick and they said it was b/c they died in a fire. Why aren't you telling me that? " I wanted to crack up laughing again but decided I would answer my three year old who was reasoning like a 10 year old with a 10 year old response. I said, " I didn't want to focus on that b/c then you'll obsess over that." He just shrugged and said, " I don't like this movie..can I watch LION KING?" and the battle continues!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Almost two...and acting like it!

Caroline will be two on Saturday. This little girl is a true blessing to everyone who knows her. Her contagious laugh, her adorable dimples and sweet personality make being her mommy mostly a joy. BUT, her very strong will, tendancy to whine(for several hours at a time)can sometimes make parenting her not so joyous. Today she decided to crawl out of her crib and then proceeded to lock herself in her room...thank goodness for wire hangers! I am REALLY not ready to have her out of the crib so I made a point of repeating the phrase "NO GETTING OUT OF YOUR CRIBBY! NO! Naughty!" as I put her to bed tonight. She just looked at me like, "Whatever lady!" Knowing our luck with her she will continue to climb out and break something! Please no!! All I can say is that she is going to make a wonderful teenager:)
More to come and pics too!
Sue

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rejection

So last night I had yet another God moment. First of all I really can't believe the grace he provides us..it really never ceases to amaze me. I have been really struggling lately with some post surgery issues in regards to my past issues with weight related rejection. I am not going to go in to detail but basically when I was heavier I definetly made some decisions that I would never had if I would have felt better about my body. Not to say that I didn't have a good self esteem, I think I always have had a pretty decent self image. However since I feel even better about my self I feel some resentment towards people who treated me less than ideally when I was heavier. I also feel irriated by myself for allowing some of the things that happened to occur and not being stronger.
So anyways, I have really been not at all into my Bible study or my Bible for that matter. I find anything and everything to do besides that. Then for the last two weeks I have had things come up that have kept me from going. This week I planned on going but Jeff ended up having alot to do at work and didn't get home until almost seven so I thought I may not go last night either but I was really feeling like God was saying" GET YOUR BUTT there!" I usually try not to directly argue with the big guy so I went and BOY was I meant to be there. There are many times when I am somewhere and hear a speaker, etc and feel like "This is why its so cool to be a Christian...how could you not believe in a God who so PERSONALLY cares about us." I am sure there were many other women who were there last night who felt the same as I did but what Beth Moore had to say about Rejection and the healing redemption that only Christ can offer was what I desperately needed to hear. I came home and had a heart to heart with Jeff about many of the things we had discussed and what I heard and truly felt a weight lifted off of me. What a great God we have!
S

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No title post

I have no creative titles in my mind today! Just some quick updates. I kepp forgetting to blog about my mom's upcoming knee replacement surgery. She had her right knee replaced about five years ago and it went really well. For the past year her left knee has been really bothering her and this summer it down right kept her from doing alot. So, on October 9th she goes in to have the left one sawed off! Sounds harsh but that's basically what they do. Hopefully she recovers as well as she did last time. She was an orthopedic nurse in her "other" life so she is pretty vigilant about doing what needs to be done.
Matthew continues to love and do well at preschool. His teacher said today that she was really impressed with his ability to retain information!:) So smart! We are continuing with OT for him for the time being. I think it does help him alot. Caroline has her speech assessment in Mid October. I am pretty sure she will qualify b/c although she has alot of words, she struggles with annunciation. She also goes back to Grand Rapids to the optometrist this time who is also a patching expert. They will do a 6 month check up on her eyes. I think she may need new frames as she has been taking her glasses off alot lately.
Next weekend we're heading to Chicago to go to my girlfriends party to celebrate her August nuputials in Hawaii. We're also celebrating Caroline's 2nd birthday there since my sister and her kids will also be in town and b/c my mom can't travel obviously here for her birthday.
MOPS starts tommorrow. I am excited to be a group leader this year and have a break from MOPPETS. I think the kids will enjoy it too. Last year I left them home with Grandma Barb b/c it was too overwhelming to have them and be in charge of the childcare.
Jeff has started the Wild at Heart bible study with some guys at church. He seems pretty excited about it. I have to admit I am still struggling with getting into my Bible study. I have missed the last two which isn't good at keeping you on track. Hmm
This weekend Jeff is taking Matthew to the zoo and Matthew is most likely spend one night at Grandma's. He is very excited about that!! Saturday night we have our monthly euchre game.
Life just keeps on keeping on here in Portage!
S

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting into a routine

We're slowly getting into a fall routine around here. Matthew is doing really well at preschool and seems to already be learning lots! He told me on Tuesday that his name starts with M and sang a song about Noah's ark..pretty impressive! Caroline is loving her Kindermusik class! I am so glad we signed her up..she is adorable in it! I think she really loves having some mommy time with me, she is a totally different child when she is alone. Speaking of Caroline, on Monday she endured yet more physical trauma b/c of me! We were at the mall and as I was loading Matthew in the car as we were leaving Caroline was in the stroller next to the passenger front seat door, I put my purse in the front seat and when I closed the door..she stuck her WHOLE hand in! It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen..her little, tiny hand stuck in the door. She obviously screamed and her little hand immediately swelled up. I just started driving towards the hospital (Which is also daddy's place of employment)b/c I thought for sure she broke some fingers. But as we drove there she stopped crying and was totally using that hand to eat crackers..go figure that girl will never turn down a cracker:)! When we met Jeff at the ER we decided b/c she would totally let us bend them and touch them and was using them that she didn't need to be seen. I took her home and iced them and gave her Motrin. Today they are back to normal! Very traumatic though!
Jeff is going to Cinncinati this weekend for a "guys" weekend. I had my fun last weekend in Chicago while I was there for a bridal shower for a friend. I am trying not to dread being alone. Actually we have a pretty full weekend with a trip to the zoo and a birthday party to attend and of course church. Plus, thank you to any of you who have been lifting me in prayer in regards to my parenting struggles..lately I have been feeling so much happier and more in control of my emotions and especially my anger. Matthew has been so sweet and well behaved! Yeah!
S

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Preschool begins

Matthew had his first day at preschool today. It went good...until the end. They let them go on the playground for all of two minutes which doesn't go well with my " I hate transitions"kid! He proceeded to run to the slide and say,"No! No! I am staying! and then quietly shouted "Stupid"! Nice..nice! I was like hmmm how should I handle this? I could go the calm, rational mommy route or the bribe the hell out him route. I chose the latter! I basically offered the kid everything but a new bike to get him quietly out of there. Bad parenting? Perhaps? But hey when the crap hits the fan this mommy offers gum..it works nearly everytime!
Speaking of bad parenting. I am still on my quest to try and not model it so much. I am taking a boundaries class that is being offered in Sunday school and have just started my new Beth Moore BS about the Fruits of the Spirit. One thing I am ashamed to admit is that I CAN'T FIND MY BIBLE! Go figure that I am constantly feeling out of control. This is the story of my spiritual life. When I am good..I am really good. When I am bad........it gets so bad that I have to claw and grab my way back to some type of sanity. You would think after 18 years of being a Christian that I would learn that consistent prayer and BS WORKS! I am so irritated by myself! Oh well..good thing for Grace hey?
S

I will post crazy man preschool pics later...he did look very cute and besides the "playground" incident he was actually very well behaved!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Little Jake

Jaime called and said that Jake died this afternoon. He lived for two hours after his parents took him off the vent. I don't know these people but my heart breaks for their unimaginable loss. I would just ask that you join me in lifting them all in prayer. He was a twin and had a twin sister and his mom is pregnant with a third child. Yuck!
S

Pray for Jake

Please pray for my friend Jaime's friend whose son is in the ICU at Helen DeVos children's hospital in Grand Rapids. Its a strange, freakish turn of events but what began as a normal fever turned into him having a seizure, stopping breathing and he is now on a vent and has brain swelling and damage if he survives. Jaime said the family is making some pretty tough decisions over the next few days. They are Christians but we can all imagine the hell they are going through. Pray for a miracle!

Sue

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Crazy Caroline

I forgot in my break to tell you all about some things that have happened with Caroline as of late. First of...hello terrible twos..a month early! She is so full of temper tantrums! My neighbor laughs b/c you can often hear me say "Caroline, if you don't knock it off..I am going to sell you to the lowest bidder!":) She started a kindermusik class today and was a wild maniac! All of the other kids just sat there patiently and quietly on their mother's laps while Caroline ran around screaming and dive bombing me!! She had fun though and really that is all that counts! Also,a week ago Sunday, I accidently pulled her ligament out of place in her elbow! We were walking in a parking lot and I was holding her hand and suddenly she pulled away and to her knees! I felt the POP..eeew! She immediately started crying, but now her normal ear piercing, shrill cry, this was more of a "Ouch mommy,that hurts!" We took her home and I knew something was wrong b/c she wouldn't suck her fingers or drink juice and that girl is a juiceaholic! I called my ped office and luckily they have Sunday hours. They told us to come right over and popped it right back in and she was instantly fine. Poor thing! No more holding her by her wrists!
This week we're just enjoying our last week of summer before Matthew starts preschool next Tuesday. This weekend I have a baby shower for some friends and I think we're hosting a bonfire here on Sat night.
Have a good week!
S

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ok,ok

OK, I think I will continue but I think maybe only on a weekly basis. Partly b/c I don't always have tons to say but also because I am newly addicted to FACEBOOK! Seriously, its consuming and so much fun!
Anyways, we have had some recently busy days around here. Yesterday we had our good pals Rachael and Scott and their two small children who are almost the same ages as Matthew and Caroline,here for the day and night. A good time was had by all! We miss seeing them on a more regular basis. Today after they left Jeff and I crashed on the couch while Caroline napped and Matthew attempted to play quietly with his animals. Matthew ended up in our bed last night at 3am..so mommy and daddy didn't get much sleep after that! :( He was suppose to be sleeping on the floor since his room was given up for the guests but he decided differently. After the snooze, Matthew and I went down to the neighbors to play in their pool. Then we came home and went for slurpees a newly developed and greatly loved tradition that has come about this summer. All four of us love them! Even little Caroline sits like a big girl and slurps away. I justify the sugar intake by thinking of it as "heavy work" for their mouths. This is not a made up term..children with sensory issues have to do heavy work and believe it or not, drinking thicker liquids through a straw counts! Yeah occupational therapy!
Tonight we may enjoy a bonfire with the neighbors or maybe I will just curl up on the couch and watch "The sound of music"! Tommorrow we have several househould chores to do but most likely we will just laze about enjoying the last day of "summer". Matty doesn't start school till next Tuesday but Caroline starts her Kindermusik class on Tuesday. I am really excited that I have her in something. She certainly has gotten the short end of the stick in comparison to big bro who by this point in his life, had taken several classes..ahh the life of the second child.
Last week I had my discussion group leader training with my MOPS group. I am leading a group and really looking forward to it. The theme this year is "Adventures in Mothering" which I really can relate to. I am really hoping to be a great leader who can really make the moms feel welcomed and listened to. I encourage any of you fellow moms out there on blog land who aren't in a MOPS and stay at home or are available on the days yours meets..GO!! You'll love it!
Well its dinner time and I have been down here way too long..happy Labor day!
S

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blogged out?

I am feeling a little blogged out..I think because I don't really have much to say these days. I sometimes sit down to post and then think.."This is stupid" and delete it. Plus blogger has been deleting and doing weird things to my page too. So I may be on hiatus for awhile...
S

Thursday, August 21, 2008

pics






Here are some pics.. I can't really remember what they are of. I think they are of the kids, me and Jeff in South Haven and one of me and my friend Liz's kids.I love Jeff's face in the pic of me and him..he looks so thrilled! He really does love us!!:)
This weekend will be busy but fun. We have a bonfire with our young adult group on Saturday and we're meeting up with a friend who is in from Arizona.
S

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great Weekend

I had a great weekend. It started Friday night when we had a neighboorhood bbq to celebrate our neighbor Larry's primary win! The kids had so much fun running around playing with the neighbor kids and roasting marshmellows. Then on Saturday morning I headed to Flushing BY MYSELF to see my friend Liz and her family. I was going to take Matthew but he was driving me crazy..literally! I called Jeff on Friday morning after a horrible walk to Hardings and said ,"Listen if I don't get away tommorrow and have some alone time I may just be checking myself into a mental institution." He must have taken me seriously because he agreed happily to watch both kids.
So, I drove up there and just enjoyed sitting on the deck and enjoyed visting with Liz and her girls. We also went to dinner. Today on my way home I stopped at an outdoor mall in East Lansing and did some shopping for myself and the kids and Jeff too! I am feeling refreshed and ready for the week. Tonight we went over to Wes and Kim's to say goodbye to our niece Jessica who is leaving for Grand Valley on Weds!:(
I will really miss her! Thank goodness for Facebook.
Tommorrow I am watching Avery, our neighbor's little girl and Matthew's buddy. Wednesday Matthew is headed back to OT for therapy, we ended up figuring out the insurance issue thank goodness! We will do two more weeks and then once a month for awhile while we see how he does in school!
S

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dark Humor

You all know I love some good old fashion dark humor..check this out!

1. Do not walk behind me, for I
> may not lead. Do not walk ahead of
> me, for I may not follow. Do not
> walk beside me either. Just pretty
> much leave me alone.
>
> 2. The journey of a thousand miles
> begins with a broken fan belt or a
> leaky tire.
>
> 3. It's always darkest before dawn , so
> if you're going to steal your
> neighbor's newspaper, that's the
> time to do it.
>
> 4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't
> be replaced, you can't be promoted.
>
> 5. Always remember that you're
> unique. Just like everyone else.
>
> 6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
>
> 7. If you think nobody cares if you 're
> alive, try missing a couple of car
> payments.
>
> 8. Before you criticize someone, you
> should walk a mile in their shoes.
> That way, when you criticize them,
> you're a mile away and you have
> their shoes.
>
> 9. If at first you don't succeed......
> skydiving is not for you.
>
> 10. Give a man a fish and he will eat
> for a day. Teach him how to fish,
> and he will sit in a boat and drink
> beer all day.
>
> 11. If you tell the truth, you don't
> have to remember anything.
>
> 12. Some days you're the bug, some
> days you're the windshield.
>
> 13. Everyone seems normal until you
> get to know them.
>
> ; 14. The quickest way to double your
> money is to fold it in half and put
> it back in your pocket.
>
> 15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
>
> 16. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It
> has a light side and a dark side,
> and it holds the universe together.
>
> 17. There are two theories to arguing
> with a woman - Neither one
> works.
>
> 18. Generally speaking, you aren't
> learning much when your lips are
> moving.
>
> 19. Experience is something you don't
> get until just after you need it.
>
> 20. Never, under any circumstances,
> take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Marble jar

I have decided to try and take the "bulls by the horn" so to speak. I went to Michael's yesterday and bought a small glass vase and some marbles. I am rewarding Matthew with good behavior(not talking "ugly talk",going potty,listening,being helpful,not screaming,etc)with marbles. If he does something naughty a marble is removed. When its filled he gets to go to Chuckie Cheese. He is really into it. Although he does keep asking "Can we go now?" after every marble! Since being back in his routine and catching up on his sleep with some extra naps his behavior has improved some.
Caroline's hearing test went great! Yeah! She doesn't have to go back until February. I am defintely not taking the job at the YWCA. In fact I pretty much loathe the women who would have been my boss. Thank you God for giving me such insight before I threw our family into major upheavel.
This weekend Matthew and I are going to see my good friend Liz and her family in Flushing. I haven't seen her in about a year. Caroline and daddy are staying home.
Hope your week is going wonderfully!
S

Saturday, August 09, 2008

HOME and we're staying put!

We are home from our vacation! It was nice to get away and the kids had alot of fun. Matthew and Caroline were very taxing at times but some good solid memories were made and isn't that what its all about? I had to try and remember that b/c once again I felt myself being very overwhelmed by the personality of my children. I am really struggling with being constantly frustrated and irritated by them. I hate to admit this but its truly how I feel. When they act the way they did for much of the week I feel very much that I am failing them as a mother.
I thought that maybe I was going to be taking a job as a domestic violence educator part time for the YWCA here in Kalamazoo. But, I am feeling very strongly that isn't where God wants me. I have blogged about this before which is good b/c it just serves as a reminder of that fact. I was telling my friend Jaime last night that I really feel like God is screaming at me to lean on Him and get my encouragment and parenting help from him. And I wonder where my kids get this stubborness from?!:)
I could really use your prayers because I hate feeling so hopeless when it comes to raising these little gifts. I think part of me is still shocked that parenting is so hard..I really thought it would be pretty easy. Probably because when I nannied I got to go home at the end of the day and now sometimes being in it for the long haul just gets..long!
Anyways, we're home and hoping to get back on regular schedules and resume normal activities. Caroline has her hearing test on Thursday and I hope all is well with that. She has been saying more and more words so I am confident that won't be an issue. Matthew may not be continuing OT. Originially we were told that we would only have to pay $25 a week and now it looks like we have to pay $70 which is just too much. We are of course continuing with all they have taught us and are hopefully that he dosen't have too many issues in preschool. Usually he is pretty well behaved for everyone but us, I guess that counts for something, right?!
Tommorrow we have the dreaded nursery duty. We haven't been to church in a long time it seems. I am feeling a little blah about church lately. We're getting a new children's pastor soon and our assistant Pastor up and quit so we will soon get a new Asst as well. Hopefully that will be just what we need to get things going again!
Have a great Sunday!
S

Monday, August 04, 2008

I have no life...apparently

I am in South Haven right now and the funniest thing happened. Since my brother in law has his laptop here, we're able to check email, facebook and of course...BLOGS! My mother in law was watching us and said.." How do people have time for these things..don't they have kids, families,jobs, lives?" No,she doesn't know I have a blog. But, I piped up and said, "Easy now..I have a blog" and I would like to think I have a life too! :) It was pretty funny!
In other news, our vacation is going well. The weather has cooperated for the most part, although I think there is currently a tornado warning. Matthew and Caroline are having a blast playing on the sand, in the lake and with their cousins and aunts and mommy and daddy! Jeff is leaving tommorrow night to go home and vote and then work on Wednesday and Thursday and then he will be back. Pray that I will not lose my cool too much without him around! My niece, Jessica promised she would help me and I am holding her hostage and MAKING her! The girls, Jessica and Allison have been helping me run on beach. Although Jessica ditched me tonight to watch the most annoying awards show ever! The Teen Choice Awards. Absolutely AWFUL!! Big generation gap as I gagged through that! Probably similiar to Barb finding out about BLOGS!
Bye!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

To South Haven we go!

We're headed out shortly to our annual summer vacation to South Haven with Jeff's family. Our day has already gotten off to a wonderful walk to Hardings for donuts and coffee for mommy of course. Matthew was so cute on the way home he was holding my hand and said, " I love family walks." Another cute thing he said yesterday while playing outside with Jeff was "Daddy, your my best friend!" Of course when we got home from our idealistic "family" walk he threw a tantrum b/c he had to come inside and proceeded to be taken to his room kicking and screaming "Stupid, stupid daddy, your a butt!" These are his two favorite potty words as of late. It seems that once he realizes he is in trouble he goes all out and figures he might as well be REALLY naughty! AHHHHHHHHHH!
I am praying that the weather is nice and mommy and daddy stay patient and remember that we're blessed to have this opportunity to spend time together with our family and to NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! Oh no...I am sweating already! Is that bad?:))))
Have a good week!
S

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Slideshow

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hmmm..

I can't think of a good title to this post so all you get is hmmmmmmmm! I have been thinking alot about blogging lately. Mostly I have been thinking two things..who reads my blog?" and " Remember this is not your diary." I was thinking the first thought because my comment sections have been few and far between and you all know that I treasure the comments! The second thought has been coming to mind because lately I have wanted to write about certain issues and topics but then hesitate because, as I stated before..THIS IS NOT MY DIARY. And, seeing as though I will never truly know who reads this I have to be mindful of that. The thing about this kind of communication is that you may not be able to ever explain yourself. Sometimes it really dosen't matter but sometimes, lets face it..it does!
Lots has been going on here. This past weekend Jeff and I went to Grand Rapids to a party at our friend's house in Ada. It was a lot of fun. We stayed the night and slept in till 9:30...glorious. This week has been busy with several things to do. One of which was Caroline's speech evaluation. I had her tested b/c although she says more words than her brother did, her annunciation stinks. She tested well and most likely won't need any therapy. But, they are concerned that she may have some hearing loss. She has a follow up test at the ENT from her getting her tubes in January in about two weeks so we will see then. Hopefully not! Poor little girl!
We are gettting ready for our annual South Haven trip with Jeff's family. I am excited to go but exhausted at the thought of it. I am determined not to be a crazy, stressed out mess though!
Hope everyone is having a splendid week...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wisconsin pics






Here are some pics that my sister took with her MUCH BETTER camera in Wisconsin. It should also be said that she is a much better photographer than me too! We're home at last and I couldn't be happier..all by myself in the basement blogging with a box of wine...just kidding about the wine part:)
S

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Home, home...where are you?

I just can't stand to be away from blogger for too long, for here I am posting and I am not even home yet. I am back from WI at my parents house. Tommorrow the kiddies and I are visting some families I use to nanny for and then are headed home. Where I plan on dropping them off with their father and climbing into bed for several hours of sleep! A little dramatic..who me??:) Its been a very fun but very exhausting seven days. I had fun at my shower/party for my friend. Matthew and I had a great time swimming at my parents CC pool. Caroline decided to get sick again and got yet another runny nose and spiked a substantal temp as well. Then on Sunday night, Matthew got a high fever. We loaded them up and took them to my sister's house anyways. Thankfully they both recovered rather quickly. Yesterday we just hung out at her house as it was unseasonably cold. Today it was beautiful and sunny so we went to the beach. Caroline stayed back for a nap with Grandma.
I can't imagine how single moms do it. I am tired, I miss Jeff sooooooooooo much! Matthew has been sleeping with me for the last week and for such a little guy..man does he hog the bed!
I have some great pics..I will try and post tommorrow or Friday!
BYE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Simpsons a go go

The Simpsons..minus Daddy who has to stay back and work are about to hit the road..well on Friday but I am sure I won't have time to post between now and then. First we are going to Chicago so I can drop the kids at the burbs b/c on Saturday I have a shower and bachelorette party for my long time friend Beth who is getting married in Hawaii next month. No, I am not going :( Then on Sunday my mom and I are taking the kids to their country club for swimming and dinner. Matthew is so excited about this. My dad is always there golfing and so I think he might think he is going golfing too. Hopefully he will be ok just swimming. Then on Monday we're headed to Kohler, WI to see my sister and her family. We plan on going to their community pool and the beach. Kohler has some really beautiful beaches! I am excited to get away and see my sister and her kids. Its been since her father in law passed away since I have seen her last. Hopefully the kids will handle the traveling and disruption to their regular routines, especially with the sleeping. Also Caroline can be a holy terror in the car! Pray for me!!:)
Pics and posting in about a week...
S

Monday, July 14, 2008

Amen! ...Paul Harvey

I got this in an email today and thought it follows up my previous post just wonderfully!

Paul Harvey says:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, C hristian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I woul d expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. &n bsp;

And I wouldn't be off ended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.

But what about the atheists? Is another argument.

What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. < /B> Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.

God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that the majority rules! It's time we tell them, You don' t have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all ... especially those who denounce Him , God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.


Let's make 2008 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions .. and our military forces come home from all the wars.

Keep looking up.
If you agree with this, please pass it on. If not delete it.
'AND THAT' S THE REST OF THE STORY'

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pics





Here are some pics from the last couple weeks. I especially love the one of Caroline in her sleep sack with her shades on. Also take notice of her favorite toy..tampons! She could literally spend hours taking them out of the box and putting them back in. Its become a favorite morning routine as I get ready! We have had a fun and busy weekend. We were in the Schoolcraft parade and I actually drove one of the trucks..totally nerve racking with kids darting into the street. Afterwards we went to a neighbors for a picnic. Both the kids were really well behaved. Then at night we had a bonfire. Yesterday we went out to a friend's cottage on Gull Lake. I have a post brewing in my head in regards to some of the conversations I had out there. Hopefully I will get to it sometime soon. Today we went to church and listen to some amazing singing(thanks Jason, Holly and Jeannie) and heard a wonderful message. Came home to a relaxing Sunday at home. Trimed some bushes, weeded..etc! Hope your 4th was great!
S
S

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Official stats

So yesterday was my 6 month check up. I am doing good, down 110 pounds and I have lost 16.5 inches from my waist and 10 inches from my hips...whoo doggie! They also took an "after" pic. I took a gander at the "before" pic and it wasn't too pretty! I am also down to a size 16 and I was topping the 28's.
I do need to up my protein intake. I have been experiencing pretty extreme dizziness when I stand up quite often. Sometimes to the point that I think I might faint..not good. The PA told me this long, scary story about what happens if you don't eat enough protein and lets just say I would rather not go down that path!
We had a good time with our friends from Chicago. Matthew and Caroline had fun playing with their little nine month old daughter. Its a good thing Caroline won't be a big sister though..that little lady doesn't like to share her mommy! If I tried to do anything for little Katherine she would freak out! It was kinda of cute, I have to admit. We're gearing up for a busy 4th weekend. Hope you enjoy yours!
S

Sunday, June 29, 2008

the 4th of July already?

I remember when I was in high school and college, my dad would love to say on the
4th of July.."Well, summer is half over!" We would all look at him with annoyed looks and I think probably mutter"Shush!" But, here we are, the 4th upon us. We are staying here for the 4th. We will be in the Schoolcraft parade, supporting our friend and neighbor, Larry DeShazor who is running for State Representative. We will then have a bbq with the "Deshazor team" and then maybe some friends over. If Matthew can make it, Jeff will take him to the fireworks. It should be busy but a fun weekend.
This weekend was fun. Jeff's sister Jenny came into town with Derek for our niece Allison's birthday party. Jenny,Derek, Kim, Allison and G and G Murphy came over for pizza last night. Today was the big birthday party for Allison. The kids had fun playing with all the kids and of course eating cake. Caroline actually asked to go to bed when we got home. Well, not exactly verbally but she kept laying down so I said "Do you want to go night-night?" and she shook her head yes emphatically and ran to the gate upstairs..cutie! Tommorrow I have my six month check up in GR and then friends of ours from Chicago who are moving to Coldwater are coming in for the night. On Tuesday we are going to attempt taking all the kids to the zoo! We will see how that goes!
S

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another milestone reached...

Today it happened...I was able for the first time in almost twelve years to go into a"regular store" and buy clothes. It was so fun! My mom generously bought me some new clothes for some upcoming events I need to go to. It was so fun to try on different things and many times have the size I thought I was now in be too big!! We went up to a mall in Grand Rapids that has more selection than our mall here. We had lunch at Panera and listened to other people's kids cry!!:)
Tommorrow I am taking Matthew to his a birthday party so my mom is staying on until we get back to stay with Caroline and then she is heading home. We did get alot done around the house too.
Potty training is going so well. I was just reading another blog about a mother's attempts at potty training her son who is just a few months younger than Matthew. She was saying how he was describing the difficulties of releasing #2! I can so relate to that b/c that is one area where Mr.Matthew does struggle. He says, "Poop come out!" at the top of his lungs..funny stuff I tell you. He seems to realize he has to go right when its nearly too late but other than that I would say he is pretty much trained! One down and one to go!
S

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chillin at home





That is basically what we did this weekend. The kids had alot of fun just hanging out playing with their neighborhood friends and enjoying the summer weather. This afternoon we ended up having a little impromptu baseball game with about six kids and some adults. It was pretty funny to watch. I took some pictures but they aren't the best..my kids move to much for my cheapy camera. I need one of those super fast,way too expensive ones! I found myself feeling very content with life today! Just appreciating where we are and what we have. I am also posting a couple pics of me since some of you have asked. 110 pounds and still going!!
My mom is coming mid week to help me organize my closets. Love it when she comes to town. Potty training is still going good too! Have a good week!
S

Friday, June 20, 2008

Potty training

I hope I won't jinx myself by posting this...but I think Matthew may be well on his way to being potty trained! He had been wearing only big boy pants the last three days and has done awesome. He tells me when he has to go and then looks at me with this big toothy grin and says "You so proud of me?!" biteable I tell you! Today we were on a walk to Hardings for coffee and doughnuts for the kids and he had to go so what does mommy do? Take him out and let him pee on a neighbors lawn! It was pretty funny. We have been doing this alot lately, going to Hardings that is, not peeing on lawns:)! Anyways, last week we were walking back and we were going down a hill and the jogger stroller started to tumble over. What was my reaction you ask? To save my coffee! My friend Jaime was with me and she was laughing so hard b/c I was more worried about spilling my precious joe than rescuing the kids. I told her I knew they we're fine, they were strapped in but I wasn't about to lose the coffee. Nice!
This weekend we're hanging around here. Playing cards on Saturday with the regulars. I have been gone the last four weekends so it will be nice to be home!
S

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Survivor!

I survived Cedar Point in the pouring rain with a bunch of teenagers! It really did pour rain a majority of the day! Thankfully we we're able to ride several coasters in between downpours. I know I was entertaining while we rode b/c I would practically ripe off whoevers arm was next to mine and scream "No more! No more!" It was also terribly hot and humid but strangely exhilirating! I just can't say how much I appreciate weighing less!
The kids we're awesome. I was expecting to be annoyed but never was. I hung out mostly with my niece Allison and a few of her friends. They were really nice and not bratty at all. I did realize that they all think I am really old. We were listening to a mixed cd I brought along and a Pearl Jam song came on. One of the girls said she liked the song and asked who sang it. When I told her Pearl Jam she just looked at me like.."Who?" I was like..."Seriously! I am not that irrelevant!" Apparently 33 is the new 80! Or at least that is what I told out asst Pastor.
Once I got home it was back to mommy world. I really missed the kiddos. They were glad to see me. I had big plans to get alot done but our power went off. So, Jeff and packed up the kids and took them to McDonalds for dinner. We were going to go to Jeff's moms to sleep if the power didn't return after dinner but by the time we got back it did. Our neighbor had a bonfire so we hung out fireside and relaxed. Today was church and then to Jeff's moms for dinner. This morning the kids and I made breakfast for daddy and gave him a present and cards. After lunch I decided to trim our ginormous bushes on the side of our house. Unfortunately, I didn't consider the massive thunderstorm that was heading straight for us. I did mangage to get two done and cleaned up before the storm hit.
This week we're staying home for the most part b/c POTTY TRAINING had officially begun! Pray for me! Pray for me!:))))
S

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bay Harbor

I am back from my weekend with my girlfriends in Bay Harbor. It was fantastic! The place we stayed was amazingly nice..I liked to call it swanky!! We we're all blown away by it! The view was amazing of the golf course and the beautiful Lake Michigan beyond it. We enjoyed getting pedicures, walking around Petoskey and some good food and even better people watching! It was very relaxing! Unfortunately my batteries were dead when I arrived and I meant to get new ones and never got around to it! Its too bad too b/c the view from our condo was worth taking pictures of.
Jeff survived with the kiddlings. He did admit that he thinks Caroline is perhaps the most dramatic baby in the whole world. To which I responded, "Now do you understand my insanity some days?" He just laughed. We enjoyed a hot and humid and then rained on party yesterday for Jessica's graduation. It was nice to see some of Jeff's relatives that we never see. Matthew had fun running around like a crazy man. We left Caroline home with a sitter. This week we just have some errands, apts and playdates and then on Thurs I leave for Cedar Point. I am very excited for the trip. My friends told me this weekend they thought I was crazy and they bet me that one rollercoaster ride in I'd be puking and feeling sick the rest of the day! Lets hope not!!
S

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Clean scan

I keep forgetting to post that my mom's tests came back fine!! I was so relieved. I had been having alot of anxiety of this for the past few months. She is feeling really good! Yeah!! Thanks for the prayers.
Tommorrow I am off to Bay Harbor for my girls weekend. I am really looking forward to some girl time. I know I was just gone last weekend. I have just felt really overwhelmed lately. I am hoping to relax and enjoy my "girls" and come back refreshed! Jeff will be hanging out here with the kids and his twin sister and her family are coming to town. Matthew will be able to play with his beloved cousin Derek and on Sunday we have Jessica's graduation open house! Busy, busy!
Enjoy your weekend!

S

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Cedar Point..here...I...come!

So its a go! I thought it might not work out. After using Barb alot last week I just couldn't bring myself to ask her to watch both the kids for 1.5 days. I managed to convince Jeff to let me hire a babysitter for Thursday pm and then my dear niece Jessica said she would watch the kids for free on Friday when I asked. Anyone who knows my kids knows how truly sacrificial this act was! Then, Jeff of all people,aka Mr. Miser said we should at least pay her for half a day. I decided that it was just going to cost too much. So, I called our youth pastor and left him a message. I have to admit I was secretly praying,"God, if you really need me..work out the details!" Well..he did. Kevin called back about an hour later and said that the church could pary for Jessica on Friday so its a go! I am super excited and it will be nice to get to know some of the youth better too!

S

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My kind of town

Jeff and I are back from our weekend get away to Chicago. We had a wonderful time. On Friday we hung out with some friends we haven't seen in awhile. Then on Sat, we drove down to the city to go to the Cubs game. We we're able to get standing room only for almost face value and then we took turns sitting in our friends "real" seats. There is nothing like Wrigley Field! It brought back lots of memories from back in the days when we lived there. I even walked past a couple of my old apartment buildings. The weather was picture perfect too! The kids both had great times at their respective grandma's houses. Caroline charmed the pants off Papa Lenny and Matthew drove Grandma Barb to the point of exhaustion! But, both sets said it was fun so maybe in five years they might be convinced to do it again...?! This week we're just regrouping and then this weekend I have my girls weekend! I know, I am getting spoiled! There is also a chance I may be going with our churches youth group to Cedar Point in two weeks. I am trying to work out the details b/c that was one of my big goals when embarking on this weight loss stuff to be able to go to Cedar Point again. And, since I have reached a milestone of losing 105 pounds, I would really love to go. But, as anyone with small kids knows, its hard to figure all the daycare stuff out, especially when you want someone to do it for free! We will see! I am overjoyed and beyond thankful to have lost over 100 pounds. Its truly seems unreal to me. I had so much fun this weekend picking out outfits to bring, being able to walk all over the city and still have tons of energy. I am digging this!
S

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I love you best

Matthew said something yesterday that just melted my heart. For about the last year and a half I say to him (and Caroline) quite often, " Of all the little boys/girls in the world, I love you best." We've noticed that he is developing a pretty funny sense of humor and so sometimes when I ask him, "Who loves you best?" He will reply,"Not you,daddy!" and run away giggling. Well yesterday after Jeff bathed him and got him ready for bed he asked to come down and give me one last huggie. He hugged me and then layed his head on me for a long time and then looked up at me with his big, soulful blue eyes and said, "I wuv you best of all the mommies in the world." I nearly broke down like a baby. All the tough days and moments vanished within that one sentence..PRICELESS!

Monday, May 26, 2008

In a moment

We have had a busy and fun filled Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday I got some much needed yard work done. Then at night we had Grandma Barb and Papa Bert over for dinner for her birthday. Matthew hadn't seen her in over a week and was overjoyed! Those two are pretty darn close! Yesterday we helped decorate our neighbor, Larry DeShazor's float for the Memorial Day Parade. Larry is running for State Rep and Jeff, Matthew and I we're part of his team in the parade. We left Caroline home with grandma which was a good thing b/c I am sure she never would have made it! Matthew loved throwing candy and saying "Hi" to everyone. It was a hot one out there but great excercise. Following the parade Larry and his wife hosted a bbq at their house. Matthew and Caroline both took long naps which allowed Jeff and I have to actually enjoy the bbq before having to chase and watch little ones.
Speaking of, my neighbor and good friend Jaime told me a story this morning that gave me shivers. Last night they we're in GR celebrating her brother's engagement at a pool party. To make a long story short, their youngest Makenna fell in the pool and plunged to the bottom. Thankfully her daddy saw this and bolted across the deck and jumped in..fully clothed mind you to save Makenna. She is fine but it just goes to show you how you can never be too careful with little ones around water. Makenna in all her 2.5 year old wisdom said to me today, "Sue, I drownded yesterday but daddy saved me." I gave her a big hug and kiss and gave her a big hug. I also reminded myself to being thankful to God for protecting her in that situation.
The rest of the week is pretty low key. Jeff and I are getting excited for our upcoming weekend to Chicago for our anniversary gift to ourselves. And, I can't forget that on Thursday our niece Jessica is graduating from high school!
S

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Caroline's eyes

Caroline had a three month follow up apt today at the pediatric opthamologist in Grand Rapids. She was very cooperative and he was able to get an even better look at her eyes. It seems that she is even MORE farsighted than he even first suspected in January, which means a change in her lenses. I inquired whether or not she will ever need surgery and he said it depends on many factors. Right now, when she is wearing her glasses, her eye never turns. But, if this changes she would end up needing surgery. She will however most likely always have to wear glasses. The farsightedness will improve some as she grows but he made it seem that she was most likely genetically predisposed to having poor vision. The change in prescription wasn't cheap..and it seems that next time she will need new frames as well. Oh well, we need to have her seeing! As we were leaving, I noticed a little baby girl who by the looks of it had several medical issues, her head was misshapened and she had a tube down her nose. I am thankful that all we were there for was a lazy eye and in the grand scheme of things..not too big of a deal.
In other news, please keep my mom and my family in your prayers as she had some CT scanning done today as a follow up from last years discovery of the lung nodules and fatty growth on her liver. They are just keeping an eye on both to make sure they haven't changed since six months ago. We're hopefully that everything is fine, but waiting for test results is always yucky. Also, Jeff's stepdad was hospitalized yesterday for diziness and nausea. They kept him over night and apparently he is having a stress test today. All preliminary tests have come back fine. But, he has been under the weather for several weeks now so I am sure he and Barb would like to figure out what the heck is wrong!! We're just laying low this weekend. Maybe doing some yard work and having Barb over to celebrate her birthday. Enjoy your long weekend!
S

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Caroline





I feel like I never talk much about Caroline on my blog. I suppose that is due to the fact that her crazy brother is monopolizing much of my thoughts! Caroline is now 19 months old and very independant! She likes to do everything herself! She has a very strong will and gets pretty angry if she dosen't get her way! She loves her big brother and her babies. She has grown attached to one baby in particular and a bunny. When we tell her its time for a sleep she grabs "baby" and "bun" and heads to the gate upstairs, as if she is saying, "Ok, I got my guys, lets roll." She is a real momma's girl and loves snuggling with mommy. She loves her two middle fingers on her right hand and she can often be found reading books and sucking away on her fingies! Her smile melts me and even when she is being a little hotdog she has this little look that makes you just say to yourself.."Your lucky your so cute missy!!"

In other news, we had our pictures taken over at Celery Flats this morning. They turned out really good. The kids were in rare form..crazy!! But, I think it was a fruitful shoot. Tonight is neighboorhood cards..fun! Here are some pics of Caroline over the past few weeks..I love the tantrum one!
S

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Such a pretty face

All my life that has been an insult to me..usually because it followed the words, "If only you lost weight, you have such a pretty face!" like that was suppose to lessen the pain of basically being told, "Your fat!" Throughout this weight loss journey people have said a variety of things to me. But, last night at Bible study I ended up being just plain ticked off. We were finishing up the Pslams of Ascent study by Beth Moore. One of our discussion questions was,"When have you had to make a change?" My leader mentioned that I had gastric bypass, which several women didn't know. Now, one thing I have noticed is when someone finds this out they immediately look you up and down as if to say, "Hmm, really, I can't tell!" A few women were like, "I can't believe that, you weren't that heavy." "Its so hard to tell when someone is has such a pretty face, I just notice your eyes." I so badly wanted to be like, "Whatever people, I have lost near 100 pounds and gone down 10 sizes. Pretty face or not you should be able to tell and if you can't shut it!" Instead I just smiled and said nothing. It didn't make me feel bad, I have many "You look great!" comments to offset the rude ones it just sometimes makes me chuckle at the irony of the pretty face! Today as I walked the Celery Flats at a very fast clip I thought to myself.."Feeling this good is better than any compliment!" I love working out and having endless energy. I love looking in the mirror and feeling good. I love that I am almost minus 100 pounds! I love God for giving me this gift!
Happy Wednesday to you!
S

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Happy Mom's Day to any of you mommies out there! We've had a nice weekend. On Friday I made a spur of the moment decision to meet some friends at the casino in New Buffalo, which is about an hour away. I have been getting interesting reactions when I have told people this. I think its because since we go to a Wesleyan church and that is a big "no no" they think I have sinned or something. I didn't gamble, infact I really dislike gambling as it has destroyed several friends lives. But, I was meeting a friend who has been dealing with some tough issues with her son and I really felt like we needed some girl time. I watched her play three card poker and told her it was like watching algebra on a table, I just don't get poker. I also had to make a smart comment because at one point there was a lady at our table wearing oxygen and a man missing many of his teeth. I was thinking that perhaps when your on oxygen you may not want to be in a place filled with smokers and if your missing many teeth you may want to not spend your money on three card poker but on dental work instead..but I digress. I ended up spending the night there and got home early Saturday morning. We did yard work on Saturday and enjoyed the nice weather. Last night I had some girlfriends over for a girl's night. It was a mix of old and new friends which was nice. We talk about the usual stuff, kids, jobs, husbands..etc This morning we had nursery duty. After church we came home and fed the kids lunch and then when Caroline went down for a nap, Jeff did "the nice husband on mother's day thing "and took Matthew in the basement to play while I watched a movie and napped on the couch..it was glorious! We then headed to Kim and Wes's for a late lunch. The kids had fun running around and it wasn't too crazy for us adults to keep up with them! They were both so worn out that as I type this at 6:06 pm they are both sound asleep..HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ME!
S

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tagged

Tagged
4 Jobs I have had in my life:
1. camp counselor
2. domestic violence advocate
3. victim-witness assistant
4. domestic violence/sexual assault prevention educator

4 Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once:
1. Pride & Prejudice
2. Little Women
3. Anne of Green Gables
4. You've got Mail

4 Places I’ve Lived:
1. Cleveland,OH
2. Midland,MI
3. Chicago,IL
4. Portage, MI

4 TV Shows I Watch/Watched:
1. Jon and Kate plus 8
2. LOST
3. Brothers & Sisters
4. ER

4 Places I have Been:
1. Mexico
2. Florida
3. St. Lucia
4. Pittsburgh

4 People who email me regularly:
1. Jacquie
2. Mops moms
3.
4.

4 of my favorite foods:
1. stuffed artichokes
2. filet
3. my mom's homemade sauce and meatballs
4. chocolate

4 Places I Would Like to Visit:
1. Austria
2. England
3. North Carolina
4. Ozark Mountains

4 Things I am Looking Forward to in the Coming Year:
1. losing more weight:)
2. our annual family vacation to South Haven
3. Christmas
4. hopefully repainting my kitchen

4 Friends who I’m Tagging:
1. Carrie
2. JoEllen
3. Heather
4. I don't have anymore blogging people!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Run Matthew, run!


Hopefully one day Matthew's running skills will earn him big paychecks! Then, he can pay be back for all the anguish he is currently causing me! We have had two very naughty days from that little boy. He has taken to running to the top of our playset lately and screaming "NO!!" when I try and get him to come inside. It infuriates me to no end. He has also been terribly exhausted but won't lay down to go to sleep. Just when I think we're getting somewhere we have a week like this one is shaping up to be.
Again, thank goodness for Jeff. I seriously would die without him in my life! He is so instrumental to my sanity!
Ok, enough complaining. The rest of the week is pretty low key. This weekend is too. We may tackle the zoo in Battle Creek and on Mother's Day we're going to Jeff's sister for a bbq. We have nursery on Sunday......on Mother's day..no fair:)! Next Monday is my last Beth Moore Bible study. I am not enjoying this one as much as the last but the fellowship is still great. I hope to find something this summer to do in regards to that. I am thinking that I will go back to BSF in the fall though. I miss the format. I think I may have poached a few of my current attenders to come along too.!
Hope your having a fabulous week!
S
here is a picture of me and Jeff. We had no recent pictures so I have been taking more and more since I am not as repulsed by self portraits!
S

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The lent child

It seems lately as I have posted about that too many little children are becoming angels. In this bloggerland you can, through reading others blogs then stumble across more and more sad stories such as Audrey Caroline's,Ethan Powell's and Noah Stevens. I use to have a book from college about learning to live again after the loss of a child. It had this amazing poem at the end that I have passed on to several people who have lost children. I just felt like sharing it. I think for those of us who still have our little miracles, it serves as a reminder of just how lucky we are and to embrace every moment with our children we are privledged to have. I know I especially struggle with this when I feel like I am going insane. But, how my heart would ache without my little bubie boy and girl. Here is the poem..
I again encourage you to check out Angie's blog at www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com, its an amazing blog that will FOREVER change you..

THE LENT CHILD

I'll lend you for a little time,
A child of mine He said,
For you to love while she lives,
and mourn when she is dead.

It may be six or seven years,
or twenty-two or three.
But will you till I call her back
take care of her for me?

She'll bring her charms to gladden you,
and shall her stay be brief,
You'll have her lovely memories
as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise she will stay,
since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.

I've looked the wide world over
in my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd lifes lanes,
I have selected you.

Now will you give her all your love,
nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
to take her back again?


I fancied that I heard them say,
Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joy thy child shall bring,
the risk of grief we'll run.

We'll shelter her with tenderness,
we'll love her while we may,
and for the happiness we've known,
will ever grateful stay.

But shall the angels call for her
much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Who thinks like this?????

Ok people, its been awhile since I have allowed you all into the insanity that is my mind. The story starts with an update on my mom...she is seemingly fine. She has been offically off her meds for her dermatamytosis for almost a month now. She is feeling good with the exception of a few aches and pains that a nearly 60 year old would expect to have. So, yesterday she kept saying "Oww, oww my back is killing me" over and over while I spoke with her. She thought she pulled a muscle and it hurt when she breathed in. So where does my mind go.."Oh no what if she has lung cancer?" I seriously spent way too much time thinking this way. Finally I called my friend who is a PA and she assured me that unfortunately lung cancer usually doesn't have such obvious symptoms. Case study #2, Jeff went up north to his uncle's cabin with some college buddies. I asked him last night as we were laying in bed, " What if you die tommorrow?" to which he responded, humorously unphased by his psychotic wife, "That would be sad." to which I said, "Yeah, I would really miss you..don't forget to send me a sign that your ok." to which he said,"Ok, goodnight." As I drifted off into an obessive sleep I thought.."Your one strange bird!"
I think when I die I want a shoe to be on the top of my tombstone with this simple inscription.."Susan Simpson..she was always waiting for the other shoe to drop"
I really need to stop fearing and start living more!
I hope you all enjoy this randomness...
S

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Olivia Grace




Here are some pictures of Olivia. I love the one of her and Sophia..she looks so proud to be a big sister!
S

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Olivia Grace is here!

I just heard from my brother in Alabama that my newest niece has arrived! Olivia Grace Azzaro was born today at 12:17 and weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ozs. He is sending pictures later. Yeah, a new princess to spoil!

S

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Five years





Is how long Jeff and I have been married. We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on April 26th. We had intended on going out to dinner but we had to go out for a friend's 40th on Friday night and it wiped out our budget! Plus, we are going to Chicago at the end of May for a fun Cubs weekend sans children! In many ways it seems like just yesterday that I took that walk down the aisle to say "I do" but in other ways, like two children and moving twice it seems like alot has happened. I am a big fan of lists so here are my top five reasons I love having Jeff as a husband..

5. He is the most patient person I have ever known.
4. He is amazing at math and can add and divide lots of numbers quickly in his head, I know weird.
3. He is the only person who knows EVERYTHING about me,the good, the bad and the ugly.
2. He is the most amazingly helpful father ever..hands down best daddy a kid could ever want.
1. He loves God and his family and I would never trade him for anyone or anything.

He is out tonight with some buddies he hasn't seen in awhile. I am ashamed to admit that I hold him hostage here most nights. I blame him because if he wasn't such a great daddy I wouldn't need his help.. right! Its funny thinking back to when I first met him in 1995. We have both changed so much since then but still there are some core things about Jeff that I loved back on that day that haven't changed at all. I hope we have many, many more anniversaries to come and that I will always have at least five items to share on why I love him. Here are some pictures from that day..not so long ago.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big boy


My mom takes a picture of all the grandkids at age three in this pose. She sends it to a special place and the do this cool enhancement to it. Matthew was quite agreeable for the pose! She also frames their little feet and handprints at age three. Again, Mr. Matthew was cooperative. We were suppose to have both Matthew and Caroline's pictures taken at an outdoor location this weekend but had to cancel due to the cold weathers return. We rescheduled for later in May, I am keeping my fingers crossed for more Spring like weather!
S

Birthday weekend pictures





Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Before and afters





I am really fed up with uploading pics on Blogger right now. I spent alot of time doing it yesterday and then it wouldn't load to the page...uggh! So,I will post some Matthew birthday pics later. Many people have asked me if I am taking pictures of my weight loss progression..of course! Here are a few..

S

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Whee...I'm three!

Matthew had a wonderful third birthday. We had a family party on Sunday where he received many nice gifts including; a new picnic table, easel,Leap Pad, fire truck,a Woody doll from the Toy Story movie and lots of play dough stuff! He had so much fun being the center of attention. Yesterday, his actual bday we went to John Ball Zoo in GR..it leaves alot to be desired! We won't be returning! I am glad we have the Binder Park Zoo so close! He got a zoo pass from my mom and dad for his bday so we will be making lots of trips there! I tried out my new double jogger stroller..its wonderful! So light and easy to push!
Matthew was so well behaved this entire weekend. He seemed older to me so much like a big boy. Last night at Bible study we had to tell the person next to us the last time God revealed himself to us. At first I was like, "Hmm..let me think" but I ended up saying, "Through the gift of my little boy and being able to celebrate his birthday." I am so thankful for both of my children. Although many times mothering doesn't bring out the best in me its something I wouldn't trade for anything.
S