In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Road Trip

Here I am writing in the wee hours of the morning when really I should be doing other things like sleeping, but I can't because of pain. I could also be packing but it is too early to start such a task without waking the house. You see, today I am leaving on a 10-11 day trip to go visit my daughter in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. My oldest daughter and her 10 year old daughter and my youngest son, are taking this road trip with me.

If you have read my recent posts, then you know that the 3 of them just flew here to Minnesota last Wednesday. My days and nights have been filled with such crazy fun(and work :) since then. My oldest son, who is the only one that doesn't live out of state, has spent much time here with us also, which is a delight because he is usually so darn busy. I have been soaking in their smiles, their laughter, their fun and the wonderful's amazing to watch your children grow into these wonderful grown hear their idea' see how they've changed and are blossoming into their own.

I love our open carefree relationships. I love that they too love my husband and that he loves them...that he thinks they are great. I see them standing in front of me and my heart bursts with such joy at being able to hug them and just be with them. Wow. They never cease to amaze me.

When my children come home, the atmosphere in our home changes. They fill our home with such laughter and joy...they add to what is already here but with each of their own special twists. The little people completely adore, love and basically worship each one of them. They have stayed up way past their bedtimes for the past 4 nights. They have played their hearts out together...the sounds of the giggling and playing together is like music to my ears. To say that my children have stepped up to the plate as aunts, uncles or big sisters or brothers, whatever you would like to call them, is an understatement. They are amazing with them. And to watch this, bring such joy to my husband and I, that it brings tears to my eyes, even now, as I write this.

They, more then anyone else know first hand the value of what we are doing, because they know what would be for these little people, if we weren't doing this. They support 100% what we are doing in raising the little people. In doing so, they have shared me and given up time with me. I know it's been hard. I know it's been hard for them not to get angry at their step sister. I know that they have worried about us and been concerned about how doing this could affect my marriage. I know that for my youngest children, who were most affected by this choice, it was not easy in those early months. They seen first hand the struggles that we endured...they seen the tears and the task at hand for what it was.

Taking on raising the little people changed things. It costs money, energy and time to raise them. It's meant that I have not been able to fly out for visits. It's meant that they share me and if you know little people at all, you know they are selfish creatures, that take up a lot of time and energy. It has meant that whenever we are together, the little people are too. Yet, they have done it with such grace and love for me and them. Can you see the beauty in this?

My oldest granddaughter and I have always been close. I used to fly to Florida every year and be with her for her birthday. I used to have lots and lots of one on one time with her. The little people changed all that. While she adores and love the two of them in a very big way and they her...actually I think they worship her...I know it's been hard on her. I know she misses what used to be. And yes, there are times I do too...yet she never ever complains.

Many months ago, when the time frame for summer visits was set up, my husband and I talked about the idea of me doing something, like this road trip, with my children and oldest granddaughter, separate from the little people, to give us time alone. He seen the importance of this and while I have not complained(out loud anyways :)he knows that I have missed time with just my children. See, what an amazing man I'm married to? Only 2 of my children were able to take this much time off of work to take this trip to see their sister, so the only thing better would be that the other 2 and my 2 year old grandson, could have made this trip. On a side note, my youngest daughter and 2 year old grandson will be flying in 2 days after we get back for a whole flippin week!!! Which in the long run works best because he(and his mom) are best buddy's to the little people. In fact if you ask little lady who her best friends are she names both of them. Precious.

Many pieces had to come together in order to do this...finding people to care for the little people while we are gone because my husband works too long of days...taking time off of work, which means lack of income while I am gone...saving up money to actually go...getting myself strong enough to take a trip because of my physical pain...I think you get the picture.

Hence, the pieces have all come together. We worked hard putting them all together and now the day has come...our time has come...and while I am apprehensive about leaving my precious little people for so long, I know my sisters and their husbands will take wonderful care of them and they will have a blast. Both of these couples are like the grandparents, that we don't get to be so I know I have nothing to worry about. The only piece that hasn't come together is my pain levels but I will not let this stop me. What will be, will be, no matter where I am, so I will take each day as it comes.

While I have my little people packed up to go later today, I still have not packed.I do not like packing and it seems like I am always the last one. Our home has been filled with lots of company coming to visit my visitors, so you know what that means...I have been running around with my head cut off, cooking, cleaning and having a good time. We will leave sometime this morning, after I have packed and filled up my little people with too many hugs and kissed.

We will drive the 20 hours, straight through, so if all goes well, I will be hugging my middle daughter tomorrow afternoon. I can hardly wait. I love road trips. Yes, even in pain, I am looking forward to the just having the time to just sit and talk and listen. I am so looking forward to this time with them in this beautiful place for entire week. I know the time will pass all too quickly. I know that I will soak up every single moment and cherish the beauty of this gift of time with just them.

I am not sure if I will get online or not. It all depends on how busy they keep me and how much "down" time we have. Don't be surprised if I stop by your place a time or two...most likely when I can't sleep at night. As I set out on this journey, I just want to say thank you for stopping by my place so loyally and faithfully...for the love and support you show me in your words, hugs and smiles.

Now that the troops are awake and my home is filled with the craziness that exists when all are awake, it's time for me to pack and love on some little people and a most wonderful man that has given me such a wonderful gift. Have a great week...I know I will be. Hugs and all the love of the universe to each of you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Coming home in pictures...finally!

This is my last attempt at posting the picture slide show that I made for my husband for our anniversary. The song is the one that I shared the words for, in my last post. With all my fingers and toes crossed I will push publish and it will come through! This one's for you honey.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coming Home

Feels Like Home
by Chantal Kreviazuk
Somethin' in your eyes, makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself, in your arms
There's somethin' in your voice, makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts, the rest of my life
If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how long I've been so alone
And if you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you've done
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
A window breaks, down a long, dark street
And a siren wails in the night
But I'm alright, 'cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see, through the dark there is light
Well, if you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch
And if you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought that I'd love anyone so much
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way the back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong

Three years ago today, I married my best friend. I remember looking at him standing there in front of me and in my head I was screaming, "Oh my god, I get to marry him. I get to spend my life with my best friend." I couldn't stop smiling. He couldn't stop smiling. After waiting my whole life for him, here he was standing in front of me, wanting to marry me.

We got married outside, on one of the hottest days of the summer, and it was perfect. Surrounded by the most important people in our lives, our children and grandchildren, family and a few close friends. It was simple yet unconventional...I wore black and he didn't wear a tux. My brother, married us. We planned our whole service and wrote our own vows. Our children took part in the ceremony. My other brother, who has been my best friend for many years, was my man of honor. His best friend was our best man. We spent more on the party afterwards then on the actual wedding. We had a blast. We had Celtic wedding bands hand made special for us. All of it was perfectly beautiful. It was the best. But being married is better.

This song is so fitting because the day I found him, is the day I started on my journey home. I knew. He knew. I think we both had been working our way towards each other for a long time, long before either of us had a clue that a love like this was possible...before we had even met. I knew this is where I belong. He is my home. Just being with him, feels like home, no matter where we are at.

This song is so fitting because it tells my tells our story. He still makes my heart beat fast. He still makes me fall in love with him every day. He still makes me lose myself. He still makes me happy. He is still my home.This song is so fitting, we played it at our wedding and I play it, today, in honor of our anniversary.

Happy Anniversary my love...I love you even more today then I did then. I'm having the time of my life. I didn't know it could be like this. I'm so glad you picked me! I love you to the moon and back. XXXOOO

As if this day could get any youngest son is flying in today and will be home for 10 days!!! My oldest daughter and 10 year old granddaughter are flying in today and will be home for 3 whole weeks!!! I can hardly wait! I cannot wait to lay my eye's on hug them and bring them home.

PS I just spent the last 5 hours trying to post this picture slide show that was suppose to be in this post instead of the lyrics...ugh...very frustrating. Maybe I will get it figured out tomorrow?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Losing my Jealousy of You

I must confess that during much of the year…especially in the winter,(which by the way, is too damn long) I am quite jealous of where many of you live. But lately, I read your posts about how hot it is where you live, with temperatures in the 90’s and even over 100, every single day, and it is making me lose my jealousy. It didn't even make 80 here over this past weekend but it was warm enough.

While it does have the potential to get good and hot here in Minnesota, it is not the norm and if it is hot, very seldom does it last for long. I do like it warm and even like it hot, when I don’ have to work outside and can be sitting in a lake or lounging on the shore of one. Having done farm work in the summer heat, I can't imagine doing it in the heat that you experience on a daily basis.

I like to be outside doing things(you already know this if you read my last post) and could not imagine doing all those things we like to do in such extreme heat. Is it something you just get used to? To live in the high heat day after day would get very old for me…especially now that I am experiencing these fun hormonal changes taking place. Seriously, how do you people handle it? How do you menopausal women handle it?

Like I said, it does have the potential to get hot here. We have had some really hot summers and it seems to me, that I was usually pregnant and/or had a little baby to try to keep cool. I remember being very pregnant and having little ones to take care of and having no air conditioning in our house. It would get pretty hot inside the house because I was still using the stove and the oven since it was during this time in my life in which I made everything from scratch. And I used cloth diapers and hung out all the laundry on the clothes line. Oh lord, how the heck did I do it?

So anyways, I just remember how flippin hot it would get in my house and there were days that I just had too much work to do or couldn’t haul that many kids to the lake or didn’t have enough energy to do so. Just about every day, I would fill up their little pool first thing in the morning and when it got to the point I couldn't take it anymore, I would get right in there with them. Or I would run through the sprinkler with them...actually I think it was more that I stood there and let the cold water shower me… Anything to cool off. Oh how I must have looked to those that passed by. I am sure we(I)was quite the sight.

I remember being pregnant with my youngest child and I was a week over due. It was the beginning of June and we were actually having a hot summer(hotter then this year anyways) and my oldest daughter comes into the house and says “The cows are out.” Dear Lord help me. My husband was laid up and unable to help us get them in. So, here I am, big as a house, chasing cows through the fields, while trying to carry my 2 year old daughter, along with my other little ones, in 90 some degree’s. With the promise of ice cream, pop cycles and running through the sprinklers, my children kept running after those damn cows. With the hope that just maybe this would start my labor, I was intent on getting these cows inside their fence without calling for help.

We did get them in eventually(without having to call for help), but by the time we were done, we were wringing wet with sweat. And to think that now day’s, I exercise as hard as I can, every single day, to work up a sweat like that. Go figure. Yes, I know I must be crazy. And no, it didn’t bring on labor. In fact, I went another week before I gave birth to the 10 lb bundle of joy. It's hard to believe that bundle of joy, is now 20 year old. Time sure flys when you're having fun.

So anyways, when we were finished getting the cows back in the pasture and sure that they weren't going to get out again, I dished them up an ice cream cone and there we sat in the middle of the yard, under a tree, eating ice cream cones…ice cream melting all over them. I hooked up the sprinkler and the little ones just stood under the sprinkler until they couldn’t stand it anymore. I was so tired I could hardly move, so I had them fill up their sand buckets with water from the sprinkler and gave them permission to pour it over me. Talk about pure bliss.

Now day’s, it’s not so difficult. Times have changed. I'm not trying to do farm work outside (no more chasing cows)...thank God. While I do make a lot of things from scratch, I am no longer making everything from scratch like I used to...thank God for that too. I'm no longer getting pregnant. Can we all shout "Amen" to that? We just turn on the central air conditioning when it gets too sticky and hot, which isn‘t that often and mostly at night.

Most of the time, we just have the windows open and run a few fans. We spend so little time inside the house when we are at home, that we just don’t turn it on. But, it sure is nice to have that option. Thankfully we have lots of lakes around us, so when ever we get the chance, we can go jump in one of them, if it’s too hot to do much else. And if I'm having one of my hormonal hot flashes, no amount of air conditioning does the trick anyways, so I just stick my head in the freezer, where I keep my dark chocolates. Does the trick every time.

So tell me…I really want to know…How do you cool off? How do you beat the heat?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Time Thoughts

I am looking outside at our beautiful blue sky and bright morning sun…I am feeling a nice cool morning breeze coming through the open window. I can smell the freshness of this new day.

Earlier this week it only made it to the mid 60’s with a cold wind…ugh… a reminder of where we live. Yesterday it warmed up and it is suppose to reach 80 today. Yay! The next few days are suppose to be the same. I think summer is here to stay.

Summer hadn’t made up it’s mind of whether it was going to come or stay…having to put our heat on in June is disappointing…experiencing a nice warm day and getting to wear shorts and tank tops to having to wear jeans and sweatshirts the next is discouraging, not just to me but my little people, who have come to love wearing their summer clothes…for little lady, this means sun dresses…for little man, shorts and sleeveless shirts(for some reason he thinks these are so cool). From the time they get up, to the time they go to bed, they want to be outside. I don’t blame them, I do to.

I love summer time. I love going barefoot. I love feeling the warm sand on my toes. I love the feel of the grass on my feet. I love the feeling of the warm summer sun on my skin. I love just sitting outside and taking it all in. I love summer walks through the neighborhood and through the town. I love seeing all the out of town/state vacationers enjoying themselves in our community and lakes. I love playing in the lakes and building sand castles. I love watching all the people have such a good time.

I love summer time. I love hearing the noise of children’s laughter and their voices shouting with excitement as they play outside. I love being outside after being in our house cooped up for so many months. It feels like we are free. It feels like the world has come alive as people come out of their homes and spend time outside…walking, riding bikes, and working in their gardens and on their lawns…playing yard games and ball games…watching little one‘s learn how to ride bike…barbequing and picnics outside…camp fires at night and just sitting outside and hearing music and laughter in the night. I love hearing the sound of a bat hitting the ball and the cheering of the ball game at the park across our street.

I love summer time. I love how filthy dirty my little people are at the end of each day because they played their hearts out and had, in their words, the “bestest day ever“. I love that their imaginations have come so alive that every moment of the day is spent in some adventure. I love that I haven’t lost mine, so that I can take part of the fun. I love watching them eat ice cream cones and pop cycles with such enjoyment, on the front steps and seeing their dirty faces afterwards. I love kissing their sticky sweet cheeks and taking in the smell of their day. I love that they pick me dandelions’ and pretty rocks. I love that they are fascinated with ants and lady bugs and that they can be entertained by watching frogs hop across our lawn.

I love summer time. I love the smell of the fresh cut hay and grass…and lilac’s and other blooming flowers. I love the smell of the breeze off the lake, mixed with the smell of sunscreen. I love the smell of food cooking on the grills…love the smell after it rains. I love the fresh smell of the cool breeze in the mornings. I love the smell of the camp fires at night.

I love summer time. I love waking up to the birds singing...watching our garden grow and eating it's produce...I love that it's green outside and not white or brown. I love watching the squirrels and bunnies at play in my yard. I love seeing the herds of cattle grazing in the pastures, that line my drive to work every day. I love the new baby calves, pigs and lambs which remind me of new life. I love seeing the growing fields, which is a sign that we have had enough rain and sunshine for things to grow. I love seeing the farmers on their tractors and other machinery, toiling in labor and knowing that they are making their living doing something they love and has very likely been in their family for generations. I love that I understand how much work it takes to do what they do every day because
I have lived that life.

I love summer time. I love our small town parades that are made up mainly of tractors, horses, clowns, elderly men driving 4 wheelers, fire trucks, the local school marching band and waving princesses and that they throw so much candy that you need a grocery bag to haul it home. I love the friendliness of all the people…of seeing people you didn’t see all winter.

I love summer time. I love all the foods of summer. Fresh salads made with fresh veggies, potato salad, watermelon, fresh raspberries, strawberries and blue berries and rhubarb…and of course ice cream and pop cycles. I love the fresh fish my husband has caught for us to eat. I love that we cook a lot of our food on the grill…whether it be burgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken, fish or vegetables. I love that my little people can eat most of their meals outside, which leaves the mess on the ground for our little animal friends to eat up.

I love summer time. I love all the fun summer time drinks, like lemonade, ice tea, margarita’s and ice cold Corona with lime. One of my families favorite things to drink is a rhubarb slush that I make. It is very easy to make. In fact, I will share the recipe with you.

Rhubarb Slush
2 Quarts Rhubarb
Water, enough to cover the rhubarb
Cook until tender, cool, then blend in blender to smooth.
Pour back into pan and add:
2 ½ Cups Sugar
3 oz. box of red jello
½ Cup Lemon Juice
Cook until mixed well. Pour into plastic container, such as an ice cream pail. Put in freezer and then keep stirring as it freezes to make it into a slush. This take quite awhile so I usually try to do this early in the day and keep stirring through out the day. Serve in a glass with some 7 up or sprite poured over it. Delicious. I have served this to people that claimed to hate rhubarb and they loved it.
I have made this with some variations. I have added some fresh or frozen strawberries with the rhubarb. I also will make a pail with some vodka added to it but I also have found that you can add the vodka when you serve it too.
I love summer time. What I love the most is that most of my children and grandchildren will be home for visit's this month. I can hardly wait. I can't wait to savor each and every moment of my time with them.
I love summer time. Do you? What do you like about summer where you live?