Friday, November 14, 2008

i am thankful for the past

i know i have been horrible about using this blog as a way to show my gratitude; instead using it as a method for keeping a monthly tally of activities...but i just wanted to say that i am thankful for my past. i am thankful for the friends and acquaintences that God has put in my life, either for a reason or a season.

as i am catching up with people that have been a part of my life (not all friends), i realize that every person i have known has helped shape me to be the person i am today - a person that i like, in a life that i am grateful for.

so that is my praise for today Lord. thank you for your wisdom. thank you for hard times. thank you for happy memories. thank you for the people in my past; please bless them like you have blessed me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

october went by at the speed of light

it has been awhile since i updated this blog. but i have to say that i am stoked that i even recall this old 'new year's resolution' from time to time. lol. i got out my list this weekend and i haven't dropped a single one. how 'bout that?

october was a great month, a busy month. we didn't have a chance to go up into the mountains this year to see the colorful fall foliage. next best thing? our very own deciduous tree in the front yard. what we did instead: we went up to visit family, i cut 14 inches off my hair for 'locks of love', good friends of ours got married (a friend stayed with us; and we got to see numerous old college buddies - so fun!), family came down to go to a broncos game, hubby had a birthday, more family came down to visit (we went to the pumpkin patch and a fun hibachi restaurant), and halloween is coming soon. whew!

halloween is one of my least favorite holiday's. i just don't like it. i hate that my kids want to talk about ghosts or witches. i hate that other kids think it is okay to play pranks and try to frighten other people. i hate that they all feel entitled to a stranger giving them something. i hate that my kids come home with a full year's worth of candy (and want to eat it all right away). yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!

but i love pumpkins and gourds and corn stalks and indian corn and scarecrows. so even though i despise halloween, our house is decorated for fall and will stay that way until thanksgiving.

with the end of october comes the election. i have been a political junkie for the last couple of months, reading and watching every bit of news on the two candidates. to say that i have been following this one closely is an understatement. i even got involved and volunteered my time this year instead of just my money. unfortunately, i think my candidate is going to lose. maybe mccain/palin can pull off a miracle but i just do not see it happening. another yuck.

i finally broke down and got on facebook. 145 friends in 2 days! when did i become miss popular? it must have been after high school. :) anyway, that was our october.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

school has started, evan's birthday, and brief thoughts on the election

my last update was quite a while ago. since then, much has happened. in june, i turned the big three-oh. i was kind of distressing for me. there is no longer the illusion that i can join in on the twenty-something crowd at the bar and fit in (not that i did that anyway, but now it is well and truly passed).

in july, my family celebrated the birth of our great nation! we had a wonderful time watching the parade, going to the city festivities, watching the fireworks, and spending time with family and friends. we also took a family vacation to las vegas so my dad could see hoover dam and a few shows. i have great memories and have started a scrapbook for my dad.

in august, paul and i celebrated our 8-year wedding anniversary. whoot! we also had a couple family reunions - one with my mom's side of the family, one with my dad's side of the family, and one on paul's dad's side of the family. very busy, but i enjoyed it very much.

now it is september; school is in session, and the air is much cooler. we don't have a single free weekend until the first week in november. it seems like we are constantly busy. :) but, i guess that is just how life is. both boys are going full-time which feels strange, and yet good. i go to bible study monday mornings until noon. tuesday is my day to clean the house, run errands and meet friends for lunch. wednesday's are spent volunteering in the classroom, helping out the teacher and keeping in touch with evan and ryan. on thursday afternoons, i take an exercise class at our community center. fridays are left free for packing and travel. i am also taking an 8-week class on monday and wednesday nights to learn knitting. wish my poor teacher luck. lol. the rest of my free time is spent working on my reviews, and updating our website. fun stuff (am i really the world's most boring mom? heehee.)!

evan turns 7 later this month. how can that be? it seems like just yesterday he was saying 'me-me' for cat. sigh. he is such a little grown-up. from here on out, he is little man and no longer a little boy. loosing teeth, puberty, sports teams, leaving home...

paul and i are so thrilled to be keeping up with the exciting election this year. what an unprecedented race! the first black candidate for president, and a woman vice-presidential candidate. no matter who wins (i am hoping for the republican party to prevail), it is going to be a historical event. since political science was my major in college, i am happy to be following it, and to see how the internet has really changed the face of politics. it is interesting to me how the mainstream media runs stories put out by unscrupulous bloggers without checking the facts first, or that some supposedly "unbiased" reporters show their bias during coverage (and get kicked out of their reporting position - ha!). of course, what constitutes a story is sometimes outrageous and blown waaaaaay out of proportion. but, well...bring it on. :) when i am not rolling my eyes, it has a way of opening dialogue, not just between the two major candidates, but also with my neighbors and friends. go mccain and palin!

Friday, May 23, 2008

important dates in may (and the story of ryan's birth)

today is my youngest son's birthday. he is 5 and my little 'artist' (he draws on anything - himself, his sheets, the desk, basically everything but paper). it drives me crazy, so we bought him an easel and hopefully we can confine it to there and the wall chalkboard. i think he is going to love it. :)

may is a huge month for important dates. my dad's birthday. my maternal grandpa's death (may 6). ryan's birthday. memorial day. graduations.

thinking of ryan's birthday makes me think of my grandpa, glen. he died right before ryan was born. i was in pre-term labor, so i couldn't go to the funeral. it still kind of haunts me to this day. :( i know he would have been the first visitor in the hospital after i had ryan; he loved babies. he and grandma laura were the first ones to visit evan after he was born. evan was by no means a small baby at 7 pounds 14 ounces, but in my grandpa hands, he looked so tiny. i wish that he could have held ryan just once. he was a great man.

actually, when ryan was born, my parents were down here (scheduled c-section) to help put in a new bathroom for us (we had a leak through the ceiling). we had some friends, nili and jeff, ask to take evan for us during the surgery and few days after. of course, we said yes. lol. my dad and paul had to take out the shower and tile, and put in a new one while i was in the hospital recovering. i wish i could tell the story as well as paul, it is hilarious. but i can't. so suffice it to say that there was lots of pushing and grunting and cussing trying to put the new tub in place. :) it is a story that makes me laugh whenever paul tells it.

ryan was born at 12:06 p.m. he was supposed to be born at 6:00 a.m., but my surgery kept being pushed back because of a rash of emergencies. it was not an enjoyable wait as i was having contractions and couldn't drink anything and hadn't eaten since 7 the night before. i was tired, hungry, thirsty, cranky, and in pain (and nothing to do to keep my mind off the pain except lie there). lol. and giving us that much time was not good for our peace of mind - we kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong. finally it was our turn. paul and i were escorted in and i was numbed up. the music was cranked up in the o.r. cut, pressure, baby's out and crying. blood loss and complications to the medicine. start shaking and pass out. wake up 3 hours later in recovery. get to see paul and i am so grateful. he asks if i want to see the baby, but i don't have any strength or energy so i say later and drift back into nothingness. wake up 10 hours later and ask to see ryan. i can tell paul is relieved that i woke up. :) mom and dad are also there. ryan is covered with dark black hair. paul stays the night and mom and dad go back to the house. the next day, mom comes to the hospital, and dad and paul do the tub. i am glad my friends have evan, and that mom is there to help me with ryan. four days later, i am pronounced well and get to go home. :) i get to see my new bathroom (cause they had to put in a new floor and repaint too) for the first time.

ryan was not a good baby. he cried constantly. he drove me insane. but it could have turned out so much differently and so i just wanted to say 'thank you' to my God. you are so faithful and merciful, even to the undeserving.

happy fifth birthday son!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

mother's day musings

so mother's day was this weekend. my parents were supposed to try to make it down, but couldn't. dad was too sick and in too much pain. we opted not to go up because of all the travel we have already done and will do (did i mention we bought a new [to us] car to get better gas mileage? four vehicles for two drivers seems a little ridiculous, and the only thing i can say in our defense is that we never take out a loan to buy a car, it is always paid for from savings. anyway, back to the point.). it was a disappointment, but in the end it worked out just fine. so what did we do to celebrate this fantastic holiday? a whole lot of nothing. and it was soooo nice!

on friday, played cards with the boys. evan was the winner. yay! went to bed early.

on saturday, the boys played with the neighborhood kids and we rented a movie - 'charlie wilson's war'. the acting was superb and the dialogue witty and brilliant. it is probably a movie i would consider buying if we were the type of people to watch a movie more than once. called and talked with my mom and sister for an hour. went to bed early.

on sunday, we made a huge family breakfast, then i got to take a mid-morning nap (no, we did not go to church - i know; bad!). :) went to the park and taught the boys how to hit a baseball, went to the dollar theater and watched 'spiderwick chronicles' at 3:45 and then out to eat at a mexican restaurant for supper. went home and opened presents. can you believe that both boys got me books? well, probably yes. but can you believe both boys got me books i have never read before? evan got me a comedy, 'just a taste' by deirdre martin and ryan got me a paranormal, 'witch blood' by anya bast. paul said he did not help them at all. i think the books they chose are kind of indicative of their personalities. evan is light and happy and ryan a little bit more somber and dark. :) paul got me an electronic photo frame. it holds up to 2000 pictures. i love it! went to bed early. all in all, a wonderful day.

i think i read somewhere that this mother's day was the hundredth year that mother's day had been celebrated. a neat little factoid. today, i am thankful that there is a day to celebrate motherhood. it makes me think of all the people that have come before me and will be here after me. and of course, the one special mother 2000 years ago that gave birth to our savior.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

happy birthday dad

today you are 57. i pray for you to have a happy, healthy and busy year with us. i love you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

travel travel travel

my schedule for the next couple of months is going to be intense. the last 2 weekends were spent up with my family. this weekend my in-laws arrive (paul's parents, 2 sisters and their families, and his brother). another crowded house-full. :) next week, i go back up to my parents house on tuesday night (no school for the boys wednesday and thursday) and stay until saturday. i need to be back in town on sunday because we have friends from high school coming down to visit us on their way to someplace else. the next weekend is the first week of may and we have a wedding in south dakota. then the next weekend, hopefully my parents are coming down to celebrate my dad's 57th birthday. he would like to go on a brewery tour. i don't know if he will be feeling well enough to travel, but i am keeping my fingers crossed. the third weekend in may is blank for right now and i hope we can keep it that way, but we will see. we had planned an entire family (me, meri, mom, dad, jason, spouses and kids) vacation for may 24-may 31, but right now that has been postponed as the doctor said that dad is not well enough to travel. if we don't go to disney, we will probably all go up to spend time with dad anyway. i am very certain that the 6 hour trip up to see them is going to get very old, very fast. but i am not complaining. i am glad i get to spend this time with my family and cherish the time we have together.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

trying to find praise on a very bad day

yesterday was a horrible day for me. my dad has had a rough three years with several unrelated illnesses, surgeries, and prolonged hospital stays. truthfully, if i described the ordeal to you, you wouldn't believe that that much bad luck could happen to just one guy in this amount of time. he was recently diagnosed with prostrate cancer and underwent radiation therapy for it. two months ago, his psa numbers were 3.9 and they jumped to 13.1, so he had a bone scan and c.t. the bone scan revealed that the cancer has metastasized into his bone and become metastatic prostate cancer, which is incurable and fatal. a bone scan in june last year was completely clean.

i had a chance to talk on the phone with their oncology doctor. he was very straight-forward with the information he gave me, and talked to me and answered my questions for over 20 minutes. normally, he is not a fan of the hormone therapy treatment, but in this case, he really thinks it would be beneficial, not to prolong dad's life, but to make the quality of life better. the hormone therapy is a shot given every 3 months and slows the growth down because of the lack of testosterone, but loses its effectiveness after 18 months to 2 years. after that, the cancer will make up for the lost time and grow like crazy. the side effects can include pain, impotence and bone loss. chemotherapy is not really effective in this type of cancer and is likely to just make dad feel crappy. the radiation is pretty much only for pain management at this point and will not really slow the growth of the cancer; they will start that next week for 4 weeks. the cancer is very pervasive and aggressive, but it is not likely to spread to any soft tissue (brain, lungs, stomach, etc); however, it is in the ribs, spine, both shoulders, both hips, and left femur.

the timeline is one year. anything more is gravy. three years is an optimistic timeline of what we should shoot for. the average is 5-6 years and the longest a guy lived under his care with metastatic bone cancer is 14 years, but he thought that is was not likely that dad would make it that long, especially if dad does not do the hormone therapy. he is checking to see what clinical trials dad qualifies for today and is going to call them with that information, but is not confident that anything is out there at the moment. dad needs to stop his diet and trying to lose weight - it is important for him to maintain where he is at. the progression of the disease is that food will stop tasting good and dad will stop eating and start losing weight. that is the beginning of the end. also fatigue and pain. we talked for a little bit more and i have more info, but that is it in a concise nutshell.

so, virtually, my dad was given a death sentence yesterday and all of us are reeling. my dad has worked hard his whole life and is not going to be able to enjoy that in the end. i am sad that my grandparents will lose their son and mom will lose her husband and i will lose my dad, but what devastates me is that my children will lose their 'papa'. i was in third grade when my grandmother (my mom's mom) passed away and i only have very hazy memories of her (and she even lived with us). if my dad passes away in 3 years, my oldest son will also be in third grade and my youngest will be in first. i am in tears as i think about all that they won't get to experience with him - hunting, skiing, camping and boating, learning about tools and wood-working from a master craftsman, he won't see them to throw a baseball or be at their football games. it breaks my heart.

and yet, i know that God is faithful and he will mend my pain. it is going to be a difficult year, trying to keep my faith strong and lend my strength to my family. i am not sure i am up to it. i think the song 'i will praise you in this storm' by casting crowns is going to be my theme song this year.

Friday, March 28, 2008

i am so excited and just wanted to share

not everybody knows this (well, anybody who knows me knows this), but i am a book whore. yes, you read right...a book whore. i love books and will do anything to get them. that is why i run a review site. :) i have several 'favorite' books and authors, but there is one in particular that i will break the law for - the black dagger brotherhood series by j.r. ward.

so this morning at 7:30 a.m. the fed-ex guy rings the doorbell (i am sooooooo not a morning person). i scramble out of bed and run down to the door (but of course he is already long gone). i spy a little white bubble-wrapped package sitting next to the door, so i cautiously grab it and take it inside. i am ready to toss the thing on the floor until a more reasonable hour, but then i notice the label. delivery from the publisher penguin. my palms get sweaty, my heart races, i am in orgasmic bliss just thinking about the possibilities of what new book has just arrived for my reviewing pleasure. i open it and... (i am sure you know what was in it, but don't spoil my fun) ...guess what it was? LOVER ENSHRINED BY J.R. WARD!!!! freaking LOVER ENCHRINED! the book that is not due out until june and I HAVE AN ADVANCED READER COPY!!!! :) i dropped everything and started to read it (yes i finished it earlier this afternoon [to the neglect of my poor children], but i am going to re-read it again, and again, and again). :)

i do not know how i got to be so lucky! seriously. i feel so lucky and honored. i mean, my review site is small and not even a year old yet. and getting a sneak peek into phury and cormia's story is worth more than winning the lottery to me (and can i just add, IT WAS SOOOO GOOD!). so now, i know that you all are dying to get your hands on a copy to see what has me so excited, but tough luck for you (you'll get no sumpathy from me - and stay away from my copy! - i think i am going to sleep with it just in case. lol.). you will just have to wait until june when 'lover enshrined' comes out on the shelf.

p.s. after i email penguin with my review, i will see if they will let me post it early just to give you a taste. oh, wait. i just realized, i can't talk about this until june. i think i might burst! waaaah.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

house update and happy easter

well, time has flown by. easter is here and march is almost over. we closed on our house in february (one month ago from yesterday) and moved into our new house on february 23. we have remodeled a few areas, re-painted, bought new appliances, unpacked and we are now ready to take a break. pictures are on the walls, closets are organized and everything we own has found a new place to call home. :) i am quite impressed with us - it took us over three YEARS to get completely unpacked and moved into our old house and only one MONTH this time. lol. guess we were just super motivated.

we also put in new carpet and baseboards, re-painted, and fixed a few problems in our old house. the work seems to have paid off - we got two offers on our old house last night. we have actually been under contract twice before, so we just pray that this time it all falls into place if it is meant to be.

easter is coming in just a few days. it is the one holiday that we refuse to travel. we travel to see one family or the other for every other holiday including the fourth of july and memorial/labor day weekends. so we have always had easter to ourselves and it was kind of nice. this year, my immediate family is coming down to celebrate the resurrection of jesus with us and see the new house. fourteen people are going to be staying with us in our house. i guess if we could do it in the old house at half the size, we can do it now. :) i am excited to see everybody and yet nervous. i love my house and my husband loves the house; we love it more everyday we live there. we know we got a fantastic deal on it. but it would be nice to get some validation that my family is impressed with it too (and with us). who knows if we will get it or not (they aren't easily impressed with materialistic things). but even if we don't, i am proud of it and us.

well, the boys need my attention this morning so that is all for now. happy easter!

Thursday, January 31, 2008


good morning. i have a cautiously optimistic praise this morning. we have finally found 'our' house. we sumbitted an offer on it and are waiting to hear back. we are dealing with a bank instead of a person, so it can be a bit more challenging. we are praying for a smooth and speedy transaction, that the bank will find our offer pleasing and we don't encounter a bidding war, and that we are able to surmount any obstacles that might occur before the closing date. we would appreciate you standing with us in prayer too. hopefully, we will have good news to report on february 15th.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

well here i am again

so, all in all, i am impressed with myself for january. wanna know why? i have started out actually sticking with my new years resolutions. in fact it is close to the end of january, and i am still going strong. *smirk* not to say that i have no will-power, but usually by this time, i have already dropped one or two for lack of time. and i have a feeling that this blog thing is one i *might* not be able to continue (lack of discipline). but, well, here i am again. second time this month. on here to blog about nothing. :) so i think that has to count for something, right? even if you're not impressed, i am.

dear Lord, help strengthen me in the areas that you want me strengthened and have those that are not important to you wither and fall to the wayside. give me wisdom and discernment. i want to serve you with courage and conviction, Lord, and give glory to you when you use me in my weakness. thank you for the characteristics you gave to me; help me to used them to honor you. amen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


this is my attempt to become more technologically-advanced in 2008. :) haha. we'll see.
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