Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Showing Support

We had a great opportunity as homeschoolers today to paint 'Welcome Home' signs for a soldier that is coming home in the next week or so.

We explained to our children that we were going to paint these signs as a 'thank you' and to remind him of our support. Even though, we don't know him or other soldiers that have gone to Iraq, we want them to know that we are behind them.

The plan is to line all these signs up along the street he lives on so when he comes home, he will see all of our good wishes and feel the love of his fellow Americans.

Of course, explaining this to a five year old and a three year old inspired some interesting conversation. I'm not sure how much got through as all Aaron could talk about was painting a "BIG DOT" and Ryan keeps asking when the soldier guy is coming to visit us. But maybe, just maybe it will inspire them later, when they are older, to creatively think of ways to encourage someone else that comes along their path.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Splash Bombs Rock!

What do you do on a warm sunny day?

You buy the kids a super duper splash bomb water slide!

A weird thing happened when I went to the store to buy that super duper water slide. Have you ever been in line to make your purchase only to find that when given your total that it just doesn't add up? After briefly arguing with the cashier that two plus two doesn't equal $122.00 and that it certainly doesn't add up when the machine doesn't even need your Visa check card nor does it add up when a signature is not required on such a purchase. But who am I to argue with an attitude clad twenty something year old. Apparently, she just didn't care and was just there to get the customers through the line.

After scanning my receipt, I promptly went to the customer service department to explain my concerns. Upon review, the problem was discovered. Apparently in the process of checking one customer out and beginning another, the items were combined and rung up on one receipt only and charged to the person in front of me. If I wasn't paying attention, the customer in front of me without even realizing it, could have potentially paid for the items in my cart. What a wonderful deal for me....if it weren't for that whole conscience thing.

I, valuing being able to sleep at night, also valuing my integrity and having to set a Godly example to the children who were with me, had to make the situation right and pay for what I had placed in my cart. What a war that goes on in the inside.....on one side, I wonder why I didn't choose to get that new patio set right at that moment and then there is the other side, that whimpers while handing the cash to the cashier to properly pay for the items I was to purchase. Why does being honest have to hurt sometimes???

But as Mother always says....

Honesty is the best policy and of course, my personal favorite....cheater's never win.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


The day Bob was laid off and his job was sent to India, our lives have taken on a whole new adventure. One I've been fighting since the last time we tried an adventure similar to this. It's a scary thing to take on a business that you are solely responsible for. However, the peace that I have about it is simply baffling to me.

Many years ago, not long after we were married, we invested in a business start up company that was supposedly Christian based. We sunk quite a bit of money into it. We checked to see if they were part of the BBB and everything checked out just fine. However, after getting into it, we found that was not the case. After fighting with them over and over again, for them to follow through with their end, we were totally frustrated. One night, we got a call from an attorney in Florida who had somehow got our name. We found out that many people around the country were experiencing the same issues we were and decided to file a group claim against the company. It ended up that they were not a reputable company and ended up filing bankruptcy leaving many innocent people who had sunk their money into this, left with nothing.

About the same time, I had to have emergency surgery for a very, very bad gallbladder issue which also included blood poisoning. A few days in the hospital, a surgery and all the tests that went along with it during a time when we didn't have insurance added to our spiral down to one of the darkest periods in my life.

After trying to work with our creditors for months and them not being willing to be patient as we made payments, we lost everything and were forced into a corner we didn't want to be in. We ended up moving in with my Mother, we didn't have a car and our first child was only a year old. We agonized and agonized over what to do. Finally, we ended up filing bankruptcy.

God was so good to us during that time. My kids always have to hear me talk about the time when the only thing we had to eat on one particular week was potatoes. I made mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, baked potatoes till I was sick of them. I was so worried about Brad and what were we going to do to feed him. He was so little. But then God blessed us....He provided money under the door and in the mail from an anonymous giver. A couple churches donated food at Christmas and Thanksgiving. We were blessed with presents for Christmas that year.

Which brings me to my point....

Bob has always desired to have his own business. I've been waiting for years for this to go away but it hasn't. I must admit that I do believe that God has put this in him. He has been so patient with me knowing how scared I am of it due to what happened in the past. However, it is different this time. When Bob came home that day and informed us he had no job, I had an adjustment moment but overall I've been very much at peace about it. When we decided to start the business, I was/am a bit scared but also feel a calmness I can't explain about it. I believe that it's God giving us the opportunity to do what my husband desires to do and in the process I pray that He will use us to bless the people we come into contact with.

Even though nothing is certain, I know that whatever may come whether this business takes off or not, my dependence is on God. I believe that He will give us the wisdom to make the choices that come our way and when I'm scared, our faith in God will see us through.

I figure we are already farther ahead this time since everything went very well with his first customer and we were able to take our first check (mama dollar and papa dollar) to make a deposit into our newly opened business account. Yep, it's official....we're in business!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It has been a very busy week and a half that I haven't had time to hardly breathe let alone blog. There is a lot of time that goes into getting a business going. Last week, I spent the whole week trying to get a friend who has his own home improvement business and us ready for an expo that was held last Saturday.

Between the two companies, I designed and printed 2,ooo business cards, 500 post cards, and 1,00o brochures to hand out at the expo. We didn't have our own table but our friends generously offered to let us have a portion of their table.

Unfortunately, between the weather and people concentrating on home improvement, we didn't get much benefit from it. However, the lady at the table next to us was excited to find someone who knew technology and became our first customer which Bob will meet with her tomorrow. The positive was that our friends at New Creation Building Company did benefit from it and are getting many calls.

It was a good experience and gave us some ideas on how to set up an inviting table that will entice people to stop and check us out. I also recommend not trying to pull it together the week before it's scheduled if you like sleep.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wascally Wabbit....

Happy Mother's Day!

How did you spend Mother's Day? I got breakfast in bed made by my sweetheart of a daughter. Let me just clarify that it was not Kara, who just turned one, cooking in the kitchen (although, I think she'd like to try if only she were just a little taller) but our nine year old, Grace, who loves to cook.

I was scheduled to work in the Kindergarten class which happens to be the class that Ryan is in. However, in order for me to do my time in there (yes, I did say that!), I have to take my three year old appendage with me. As I was standing there watching all the little people running around, I realized that our three year old was as big as those five year olds. He's very tall for his age and speaks like a five year old. Perhaps it's because he's number four. Or perhaps, it's just because he's Aaron.

As the morning progressed, I also realized something else. Ryan is a rascal. I do know that he is rascally at home but to actually see him in action is quite another thing. Parents drop their kids off at the class and head off to listen to the sermon totally unaware of what really happens back in the classroom filled with little people. At least, that's where I was until today....

Ryan is all about fun. I believe his most favorite thing to do is laugh and his is contagious. I know this because he has whoever is around him laughing along side him most of the time. I found out this Mother's Day that my five year old can have a class full of kindergartener's all laughing at once instead of listening to the Bible story. That he has to be separated from certain other little boy people, because he leads them down the path of exuberant laughter. That it is very hard to get them under control when the laughing fits begin.

I began to ask myself this. Does this happen every week? Does he have a reputation of class disrupter? Should I send the teacher a spa gift certificate (I would hate to find out she quit because a certain someone had the whole class out of control week after week). And my final thought:

I'm doing the local school district a favor by homeschooling him.....he surely would run a few out of town totally exhausted from trying to gain control in their classrooms too.

Yep, that's my Ryan.
(at least he's happy)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Winning Smile

A year ago, a trip to the dentist revealed a few loose teeth in our then four year old Ryan. He has been waiting and waiting a very long time for his first tooth to come out.

Then it happened, a tooth as stubborn as his younger brother, Aaron, finally came out! The dancing began only to be contained for one second while we got it on camera. Wonderful things happen when you are silly five!

Congratulations, Ryan! The tooth fairy is on her way!

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's Swell To Be Twelve

Today is Brad's 12th birthday. I can't believe that he could even possibly be that already. At almost 5' 2" and exhibiting quite a bit of independence and a take-charge attitude, I guess I must admit that it is indeed here. **Sigh, I remember when he was toddling around everywhere I seems like only yesterday....

His birthday festivities began on Wednesday with a sleepover at a friends house and continued on into Thursday when they switched houses for the 'super sleepover' which ended today. My husband took Brad and Brisan out to breakfast or at least it was breakfast for him. The boys ordered fish and chips and spaghetti. I guess that's what growing boys do.

Then they headed to the local bike store to supposedly drop off Bob's bike for a tune-up. When they arrived, a new royal blue dirt bike was rolled out ready to be sized up just for Brad. What a surprise that was for him! (And if I catch it laying out in the rain.....!)

They swung home to pick up the rest of us and off we were to the zoo. It was a beautiful day....82 and sunny!

When we arrived at the zoo, we found that every school in the area had decided to take a road trip to the same place as us. It was wall to wall people. However, once we got past the front exhibits, it wasn't' so crowded.

We saw monkeys, lions, tigers and a red panda and let's not forget to mention the strutting peacock!

We saw Brad getting too tired to walk and his super nice friend willing to pull him in the wagon. Of course, Brisan's only comment about that was that he picked a fine day to wear a long sleeve shirt and pants! What are friends for?!! Brad was constantly scanning for overly priced ice cream and slurpee's because he was so hot. What better way to spend your birthday money than to support your local zoo!

By the time we got to the polar bear exhibit which is one of my favorites, the gang was all tuckered out from the heat and from pulling each other in the wagon even the polar bear thought so. We all sat down to rest our throbbing feet and to smile at the camera.

We managed to work our way to the back finally after going around and around to make sure we got everyone's agenda accomplished when right before our very eyes was a train with a one way ticket to the front! When Brisan yelled 'Thank You Mr. Bob quite emphatically I knew right then and there that whoever thought out the layout for the zoo knew that people would give their right arm and maybe a child just to hitch a ride back to the front to soothe their aching feet. Of course an added benefit was two very excited little boys named Ryan and Aaron who were whooping it up with their squeals about getting to ride on a train. It was worth it! Since we could take the stroller on but not enough hands to hang onto the stuff that was loaded into the bottom of it, Bob trucked it back to the front by himself while we got a ride on easy street.

After sitting in rush hour traffic, we had birthday dinner at the local coney island which is one of Brad's very favorite places to and a lot of it! Then we came home, opened presents and had cake. It was quite a fun day and now I'm ready for a long winter's nap!

Happy Birthday, Brad!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Officially Unemployed

Today is Bob's official first day unemployed. I wasn't sure what to expect when I woke up this morning but today doesn't feel any different. The birds are singing, the sun is shining and the kids are lively as ever. It's not like I expected it to be raining or everything frozen in place but shouldn't something indicate there's a enormous change going on in our lives? Perhaps the changes are on the inside. Here is what we see:

1. Bob is happy.

2. Bob is very happy.

3. Bob is not stressed.

4. Bob is different.

5. Bob is smiling.

We've made our decision on what path we are going to take for the next few months. It all started a few months back. My husband has been really stressed at work and hasn't been all that happy with things the way they were. He has always desired to have his own business but felt like we couldn't just quit and go that route because we have responsibilities like say...a house payment, food for the children, Starbucks, etc.

A dear friend of mine and I started praying about what direction God wanted us to take. Then as you've read previously, Bob was laid off. This was totally not what we were expecting. We've had several confirmations to that direction and feel that God is giving us a unique opportunity to embrace that would benefit all of us. Even though the future is uncertain, we are confident that this is the way God is directing us.

So with all that said, we've made a decision to start our own business, Bob's PC Pro. We are very excited about this new adventure. It's a little scary but yet exciting. God has opened a door that we weren't expecting and are seizing the moment. Even though the market may seem like this isn't a good time to go off on our own, we know that God is bigger than all that and are trusting Him with whatever may come.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

And The Prize Goes To.......

Our insurance is about to run out. So, because of that, I scheduled all the family to get their teeth cleaned, flossed and looked at by the dentist. If you know me, that takes quite some spurring on. I hate going to the dentist. That metal scraping against my teeth about sends me through the roof. However, the kids think it's just another adventure in life that leads them to getting to pick from the treasure box.

After Mr. Dentist looked at all of our teeth, he announced that everyone was in great shape except for my dear, tooth-cavity challenged husband who had to come back the next day for a couple of fillings. It just wouldn't be considered a complete dentist trip if we weren't contributing to the 'send the dentist on a trip via his new YACHT' fund.

One of the perks of going to our dentist is that they have a monthly drawing that you can enter if you are under the age of twelve. It involves a cute, cuddly, stuffed animal. This months prize happened to be a duck named Flappy Jumbo.

We got a call on Wednesday that our five year old, Ryan, had won the prize. He was so very excited and could not wait until I took him there to pick up his prize. He decided that Flappy did not suit Mr. Duck so his named has been changed to Quackers. I was so very excited for him especially because if you remember back in October, I posted about our family pumpkin prize winning events which had left Ryan the only one without a prize and also because I didn't have more pumpkin to figure out what to do with.

Yay! Ryan! You have a winning smile!

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Amazing Kara Strikes Again

Kara had a surprise up her sleeve she was just waiting to reveal to us. Here is her shining moment:

She really is amazing and quite determined!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

First Birthday: Take 2

I was able to salvage one lone cupcake from the 'birthday cake disaster' to present before the birthday girl with her very first candle to blow out. I was getting all kinds of advice about not getting it too close to her because she could burn herself. Man, my kids are going to be fabulous parents one day. They have the scolding thing down to a science.

At first Miss Kara didn't know what to do with it. Daddy helped her blow out her candle and then she was given the 'go ahead' to dive in. All of my other children were gun-ho on that being that cake plus frosting equals yum-o. They had this all figured out from the start but Kara is different. She picked off a little piece with frosting and ate it, then she picked off another little piece with frosting and ate it and kept at it until all the frosting was gone. None in her hair, none up her nose, none in her ears. I didn't even have to spray her down. So she has been dubbed: Our dainty little crumb eater.

After thoroughly enjoying her cake which she ate entirely except for the last bite that Grandma helped get rid of, she was introduced to the gifts. She wasn't all that interested until they were removed from the box and placed in front of her. She didn't even care about the wrapping paper. Now the others.....were very willing to help unwrap, play and discover.

All in all, she had a very nice birthday spent with her family and she decided to give us a surprise in return.......

(look for the answer in the next episode!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's Kara's Day To Be...ONE!

Kara is now one years old! This year held all kinds of changes for her. She was just a little 'peanut' and now look at her....I believe a friend of ours told me just today that she has some very cute 'tree trunks'...I wouldn't expect anything less from our family genes! I suppose if she reads this when she is older, I'll have to take some flack for sharing that. It's risky business being a Mom.

She is a very happy little girl. She loves to be right in the middle of all the activity. She loves to dance, sing and clap her hands. She loves to kiss. She also loves to push buttons...whether it's the TV, a computer keyboard or if she happened upon the mother-lode of all buttons....the gameboy. I suppose it's too be expected. The four that came before her also have it too!

The day was spent at the park with our homeschool friends. It was quite muddy from raining the day before but that didn't deter our three year old and our five year old from enjoying their time there.
In fact, they found the first mud hole in zero to thirty seconds and visited it quite frequently throughout the afternoon. Our five year old even imagined that it was a slip and slide and was the center of attention when he took a running start and slide head-first into the mud. I suppose I should have made an attempt to put a stop to it but I've learned over the years that it's a lost cause. My kids just love mud. I've resigned myself to it.

If you were wondering how our cupcake disaster turned out, there wasn't much to be done but this is what I came up with. I guess all that matters is that it's chocolate and it has frosting. We've got those two items covered!

With a full day of fun, fun, fun, Miss Kara tuckered out before she could even open her presents. So we will just have to extend her day till tomorrow when she can enjoy her wrapping paper and discover what's underneath it.

Happy First Birthday, Kara!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

An Evening With A Five Year Old

Once again, I found myself frantically shopping for a birthday present on the 'eve' of a birthday. Every time one rolls around, I swear to myself and everyone around me that I WILL NOT wait till the last minute to do my birthday shopping next time. It always end up that I don't get what I want or I just can't find the very thing I thought would be perfect or so cute a couple weeks earlier. But here I am, at 10:30 at night cooking cupcakes for tomorrow which I might add are not turning out as planned and am frantically trying to figure out a creative way to turn them into cute, picture-worthy first birthday cupcakes so Kara is not adding that to the list of things she needs to work out as an adult. I, also am needing to wrap the presents I purchased about an hour ago.

Ryan, our five year old has been feeling a little left out (he's my emotional child) and he loves to go with me so I invited him to come along with me to go birthday shopping. He was ecstatic. Off to he went, like a flash, to get his shoes. I, then, found him waiting by the car door very patiently. As we were zipping down the road to get to one of our destinations, I hear this coming from the back seat: I wish we were riding in the 'red' car, I wish we were riding in the 'red' car, I wish we were riding in the 'red' car.

As a bit of a side note, let me just explain to you how very much Ryan (5) and Aaron (3) love the 'zurban' (Aaron's name for it). If we should happen to be going somewhere, those two boys jump up very enthusiastically and are all for 'going' but if they should hear that we are taking the 'green' car (minivan), they drag their feet and say things like, "why does Dad always have to take the red car" or "I wish we were riding in the red car". Let me say this's not just because of the DVD player. It's quite fun to ride around watching your favorite movie but it's also fun riding around in the 'zurban'. You can see things from a different view than you can in a smaller vehicle. It's like looking down from a mountain to the scenic view below compared to being on top of a dirt pile in the middle of a baseball diamond looking up at the crowds. It's just a very big blessing to have such a vehicle. Oh, did I mention, the energy it emits to one behind the wheel??? I highly recommend it (see, it's not just for the kids!).

Getting back to Ryan saying to himself over and over again that he wished he was in the red car. After he had said that for a few times, I heard him say temperature is getting hot. Of course, the mother in me jumped into full gear. I thought maybe he wasn't feeling good which is never good, in my opinion, to be on the road with a child that could potentially throw-up in your car. But he pipes up with this: I'm hot and mad! I took the bite and asked him why he was so hot and mad. The answer is because he wants to be in the red car which at that moment was in Port Huron with his Father. I never knew we'd be having the 'war of the red car' and that the children would be involved in the fight. They can be very persuasive which does work to my advantage.....**cackle** It's all my secret plan and it's working....**cackle***