Monday, March 31, 2008

Aunt Pam Told Me...

... that if I just post a picture or two with a caption every day or two that my blog readers would be happy... so here it goes!
Pastor Denny and Titus at the High School Hoe Down a week or two ago.

Mrs. Pam (Denny's wife) and Leeann.

Leeann and Titus dancing together. Or, rather, Leeann trying to make Titus dance because that's what everyone else was doing and she wanted in on the action!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Good Friends, Good Fun!

I had a 9 am to 10:30 pm work day today thanks to some good friends! Deborah kept my kids from 9-4ish and I painted for that time. Cindy brought me lunch and painted with me for several hours, which was SO nice!

Then I took a hiatus to pick up a few things from Freddies and grab some dinner in the deli with my family. Rob brought the kids home and I headed back to the condo where Deborah did our contact paper while Eroica and I primed the kitchen walls with kind of a dark sage green paint :0)

My feet hurt!

While we were there Brenna stopped by to get some painting instructions. Rob and I are traveling tomorrow to for his Grandparent's 80th Birthday parties and we'll come back Saturday. The timing is difficult because we're losing to prime days to accomplish stuff at our condo (and there's a lot of work left to do!), but we really don't want to miss this party!

Anyway, Brenna is going to bring Kimmee and Kelli, who are a couple of high school girls over tomorrow to keep treking along on the painting. This is HUGE blessing because there's a lot of painting left to do. We're getting new carpet put in so it really makes sense to get the painting done now, while all of the old carpet is torn out. But yes folks, painting is a tedious job that takes a whole lot of time!

It seems like I painted forever today, yet we only did 1.5 rooms (and some of the kitchen too). Next week will be crazy for us because not only do we have a lot of work to do at the condo, but we need to pack and get this place cleaned and ready for the renters on next Saturday. Did I mention that I think we're in a little over our heads as far as time goes? We've both been working hard (though Rob's been working much harder than I have) and I'm looking forward to 12+ hours in the car over 2 days. I feel like Rob and I haven't gotten nearly enough time to just sit and relax and hang out lately. Of course, we'll have to do that between my naps in the car :0) And then we'll come home and we're off again!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Portrait of Compassion

Rob let the kids know yesterday before he left that mommy wasn't feeling great and that it was important for them to obey and be gentle with me. I am amazed at how well they both respond to this, but especially how Leeann responds.

I was laying in bed mid-morning yesterday and I had rolled Titus on top of me playing with him. I was smoochin and tickling him and he was giggling. Leeann looked at him and sternly said, "No, Titus, don't do that... you're going to hurt mommy!"

A little while later she asked if I needed a back rub and a snuggle. I happily obliged! Then after her breakfast she told me that she didn't feel well. I said, "Oh, that's too bad, do you need to lay down?" Dramatically she told me that it was probably a good idea so she headed into my bed to 'rest'. I went in to snuggle with her and talk to her about her 'pain'. I asked her where she hurt and she said everywhere as she rubbed her hands up and down her arms and legs. I said, "Oh, are your owies just like mommy's?" She said, "Yeah, they're just like yours mommy."

Then we were driving in the car yesterday and she inquisitively looked at me and said, "Mommy, will your owies hurt forever?" I told her that I didn't know, but reassured her that God would take care of me even if my owies don't go away.

Well, last night Rob was putting the kids to bed and without any prompting, Leeann asked if they could pray for mommy. So, she prayed that I would feel better and that my owies wouldn't last forever. Is she not the sweetest little girl ever? I'm so blessed by little princess!

One Step at a Time

We got the keys to our condo on Friday, and we weren't able to much with it until yesterday. Rob and Tony (a high school boy he mentors, I used to watch him and his siblings) tore out all of the carpet and tack strips and padding yesterday. They also demolished part of the bathroom, and they're working on the rest of it today. Rob has no concern about his ability to demolish things... putting them back together is a whole other issue!

Monday night and Tuesday during the day my pain was back with a vengence. Eroica came over on Tuesday and helped me do a few basic things around here like putting away laundry, doing the dishes and feeding the kiddos. It was wonderful! Then last night my friend Deborah and I went over and did some contact paper and disinfecting in our new kitchen.

I woke up this morning feeling okay, so I'm hopeful I can get some stuff done today. I haven't gotten anywhere on the packing, other than doing some organizing in the garage. It's really hard because I really can't plan to spend hours packing at any certain time... it just all depends on how I feel. Which... has been less-than-ideal lately.

Anyway, I keep trekin along, we still have a week and a half before we need to be out of our current place. Why did I think it would be fun to move? :0)

Actually, it has been fun to throw stuff away. Honestly, how much stuff do we really need? It's freeing to pick up an item, think to yourself, "Do I want (need/use/like) something enough to go through the hassle of packing it and finding a new home for it at our new place?" It's crazy how many useless things I've kept around here simply because we have room for it. Silly huh?

Hi-ho, hi-ho, off to work I go!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tom Sawyer Party

Hello there, dear blog readers! I realize most of you live in a far away land... but for those of you who are Albanians who are dying for some Spring Break fun, you are invited to my Tom Sawyer Party. This is where I somehow talk you into coming over to my new Condo to help me paint it just for fun! Get it, kind of like Tom talked his friends into painting his fence :0)

Yup, anyway, I'm thinking during the day on Thursday would be super... I'm optimistic enough to think it can all be done on Thursday. We'll see! Anyway, call, email or leave a comment if you're interested in joining the fun and I'll give you more details (like an address!)

Rob will be in the process of remodeling the bathroom and there might be a hole in the floor looking down into the dining room. There will also be wet paint, so kids are probably not safe in this environment. Not that I expect any of my blog readers to be sitting at home over Spring Break wishing and waiting to do grunt work for someone else... but hey, you never know unless you ask, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Some Things in Life are Unfair

Our family went to the funeral today of a 47 year old man who was battling leukemia. We also received word today that Rob's former youth pastor passed away yesterday. Life truly is short. I hope I always live my life with the perspective that life is short and has no guarantees.

As unfair as premature death is, my heart especially goes out to kids who are suffering. The latest to really capture my heart is a girl in our church who already captured my heart long before she became sick. She loves to play with my kids and she and her sister would hang out with them while her mom and I would do ministry, or while we had small group at our house. She and her sister, Cierra would get paid for watching kids at our small group and turn around and donate that money to the Capital Campaign at our church. Their whole family shows up early, serves during, and stays late for almost anything our church is doing. Their family is an inspiration to me, and to so many. This little girl's name is Aspen. Please follow her journey at Most importantly, please pray for this beautiful little girl!

And, as I learned from Rebekah's daddy, hold your kids just a little bit tighter today. You just never know what the future holds!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Scariest Moment of my Entire Life

Monday Leeann and Titus and I went to the church for a little while so I could catch up on a little bit of work. They hung out in daddy's office (he wasn't in the office for most of the day) watching a video and playing with the toys in his office.

Well, we were just about to leave when Pastor Denny stopped in and invited the kiddos to look at his fish. After a few minutes I asked Leeann to go clean up the toys in Rob's office. She left and I spent the next 3 or 4 minutes trying to coax Titus away from Denny and his fish.

After I plucked Titus away from Denny's fish, we went to help Leeann clean up they toys. She wasn't there. The toys were still scattered all over the floor, but she was no where to be found. I thought maybe she was hiding so I looked around his office, then my office, then Lauri's office and back to Denny's office, then back to Rob's, then the copy room. All the while I'm calling out her name thinking that maybe she's playing hide-n-go-seek. After all, I knew there was little chance she would leave the office on her own accord. It's just not like her.

When she didn't answer, and she obviously wasn't in the office I started to panic. Lauri (our secretary), Denny and Fayton (a member of our church who does handy-man stuff) all quickly went out in search. The four of us each went to every part of the church yelling out her name, looking in things, behind things, under things. After maybe 5 minutes had passed I started to bawl. I began imagining the worst. If she left the office area (which is a big if, it's not like her to do that), she certainly under no circumstance would have went outside on her own accord. If she went outside, she wouldn't have stepped foot on the pavement because she's paranoid of getting a swat for going out in the street without holding someones hand.

At this point though, we'd all 4 done a sweep of the inside of the church and she wasn't there. Denny called 911 and 3 of the four of us headed outside. I've never cried so hard in my life. At this point I was screaming for her at the top of my lungs, running around the outside of the church like a mad woman. I was looking in cars, under cars, in crawl spaces under the building, in the construction area (though it was fenced off, all the workers had gone home for the day). I looked in the dumpster, Lauri went up into the woods behind our church. I questioned the Qwest guy who was installing something at a house across the street to see if he'd seen anyone. I called Rob back and told him she was gone (I had called him about 5 minutes into it to see if he had seen her follow him when he'd left). He said he'd call the police, though I told him Denny already did.

At this point it had been 25 or 30 minutes. I gave up. I didn't know where else to look. She was gone. I was bawling. I was imaging every terrible scenario. I was cursing my decision to bring the kids to the church that day. I was beating myself up for taking my eyes off of her. I was wondering why I'd been so trusting that the church was a safe place (even though it was in the office area, which really is as safe a place as any!). After so much time had passed I was sure she was going to be on the evening news. I was recalling in my mind that she was wearing a black shirt with a frog on it that says "I didn't ask to be a princess." She was wearing jeans and her little white and pink shoes. She had a pony tail in her hair...

I walked back into the church not knowing what else to do and I heard Denny call out, "We found her!" Those were the happiest words I ever heard! I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or scream. I cried. I bawled even worse than I had bawled before. I held her tighter than I'd ever held her before! I asked her what happened.

"I was playing hide-n-go-seek mommy but then you started yelling really loud and I didn't want you to be so loud." she said as she showed me how she was covering her ears. She's always been sensitive to loud noises, so I think all of us yelling for her was just too much. She was hiding under Rob's desk behind his chair. I still don't know how I missed her being that each of us looked in his office several times. I even looked in some of the cupboards I thought she would fit in. Anyway, I held her and cried with her, and held her some more. My legs were shaking and I could barely catch my breath! I did manage, however to describe to her the rules of hide-n-go-seek. Namely, it's only a game if the other person knows you are playing, and when mommy yells for you, you answer right away!

Needless to say Leeann has apologized on her own accord several times since then. Even yesterday morning she looked up at me as I was getting ready in the bathroom and said, "Mommy, I really am so sorry I scared you so much at the church the other day!" Then she piped in, "Please say you forgive me mommy!" I told her I forgive her, but that is a day I'm not going to forget any time soon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Pain is Back

I imagine I've shared on this blog before about my random aches and pains. But, I'm not sure what I've shared so I'll give you a little recap:

About 4.5 years ago I woke up on a camping trip one morning with an intense pain in my right shoulder. For the next year and a half it came and went with varying intensity and for random lengths of time. I'd have good days and bad days, good months and bad months. At it's worse it was tough for me to do such things as brush my hair or pick up the frying pan. Lifting a gallon of milk from the refrigerator always seemed to be tough too.

Anyway, part way through my pregnancy the pain in my shoulder went away but that same pain appeared in my lower back. Then it spread to my hips and my knees, most notably in my left knee. I've even felt it just briefly in my left wrist. It usually only affects an area or two of my body at a time and it's something I can typically work through.

Well, right now it's back, and it's back with a vengeance. For almost a week now I've been in pain and it just seems to be getting worse. My joints feel stiff and swollen and my legs and lower back are just in a lot of pain. I didn't drag myself out of bed until 11:00 this morning and I've been trying to move as little as possible since then. The kid's have been quite good today after a little talk with daddy today about mommy feeling icky and how they need to obey and be helpful today. Titus doesn't quite get that he needs to be gentle with me... but hey, he's trying!

So, for the last week I've been looking around at all of things I need to be packing and cleaning... wishing this pain would go away. I'm optimistic that it will go away soon, since it doesn't typically have any rhyme or reason to when it comes and goes. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and got a massage too, but it only seemed to have shifted the pain. I'll put the kids down for a nap shortly and try to get a little housework done (we have small group at our house tonight). Hopefully just getting up and around will maybe loosen me up a little? Or it could make it worse...

Such is life. I'm enjoying spending time with my kiddos watching them run and jump and play today. It's almost as good as joining them! They are currently jumping on my bed wrestling each other talking about silly things. I tell you what... these kids are cute! It's past 1, I should probably go make them lunch? Or maybe put clothes on Titus? Yep, that's what I'll do! Ciao!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Remembering Titus

This is virtually the only picture I have of Titus since Christmas. Yikes, I think I need to take more pictures of my kiddos! In this particular picture we put a movie on for the kids upstairs and when Rob went to check on them he was sitting on Leeann's lap in a little chair and they were watching a movie together. It was so cute!

I recently wrote about the things I want to remember about Leeann at this stage in life. Tonight, it's Titus's turn.

He's got a smile so big it melts my heart on a daily basis! He's always laughing and giggling and having a grand ole' time in life. Occasionally he gives this adorable scowl, which is almost as cute as his smile! He lives life without a care in the world. I have the feeling he'll fly through life in a whirlwind of fun!

These days you can see him with a car, tractor, truck, motorcycle, airplane or train in his hand at any given moment. He's currently enjoying playing with them on the windowsills, and no about of admonishment seems to be deterring him.

When he's in trouble he hides behind something, buries his head or simply covers his eyes. He knows he's getting in trouble "but it's just so much fun mama!"

He really enjoys climbing on things. The other day I caught him on Leeann's dresser, throwing Cd's onto the bed. He would have had to climb up the side of her bed then take a leap of faith onto the dresser. Hey, he made it! He's quite gifted in the motor skills department. He's got a great arm, he can jump, hit, kick and wrestle with the best of them. He's only got one speed: Run, run, run, run, run.

He hops out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed and doesn't stop until nap time. He usually goes down for his naps pretty easily. If he gets up from his nap on his own accord he'll bounce right back and he's up and running in no time. If he's prematurely awoken from his slumber, he's a cranky mess! Of course, those are the times I get my best snuggles, so I don't mind so much :0)

Some of Titus's Favorites:

Color: John Deere Green of course!

Movie: Titus also loves movies, Cars is his personal favorite.

Object: The blanket of course!

Pastime: Playing outside or taking a bath.

Game: Wrestling with daddy, or hide and seek with the family. Of course, he and Leeann usually hide under blankets on a bed, under the bed itself or in some other really obvious spot. But hey, it's loads of fun and laughter!

Animal: Pastor Denny's fish. He runs straight to Pastor Denny's office any time he's at the church and they have a little ritual where they talk to the fish and find 'big fish' and 'spot fish' and 'little fish'. Sometimes Titus gets to feed them too. He looks forward to this with great anticipation!

Book: The Bible, his Chuck the Truck book or anything by Dr. Seuss, but especially Green Eggs and Ham.

Rob reads the Bible to the kids most night, and now they ask for it with big ole' grins on their faces. Titus usually asks to sit on daddy's lap while he reads.

He's picking up more and more words everyday. I'm pretty sure he'll learn to speak in full sentences some day even!

One day he flipped a laundry basket upside down and crawled under it meowing like a kitty. We fed him kitty food (cheerios) through the holes and he had a blast. He's pretended to be a kitty several times since then also.

I tell you what, I think cute best describes him at this stage. It's all I can do not to follow him around all day giving him hugs and kisses. He's just one fun bundle of joy and energy. He's such a blessing to be around and he always lights up my day! Oh, how I love that kiddo! He's all I ever dreamed of in a little boy and even more. I'm so excited to watch him grow into the man God desires him to be.

So, here it is... things I want to remember about 2 year-old Titus. God knew what he was doing when he created this little boy. I hoped he would come much sooner than he did, but I'm so grateful that God made me wait. He knew we needed Titus, and Titus wouldn't be Titus if I had gotten pregnant when I wanted to. How could I have known God would answer my prayers so perfectly? Albeit I had to wait on Him. God is sooo good! I love you little man, you're mommy's favorite!

I'd Be Lost Without You!

Rob left for work at 8 this morning. It is currently past 6:30 and I'm going stir-crazy! He went to work then went straight to a Blazer's game tonight and I'm getting a small glimpse into what my life would be like without Rob.

I have done no housework today. NONE! Well, except for cleaning up after meals.

We ate cereal for dinner.

I just now took a bath. And put my jammies straight back on!

The kids got baths today, but I never did put clothes on Titus. He's been running around in his diaper all day. I wonder if he got cold? Hmm.

The kids have watched more t.v. today than they probably have in the last two weeks combined.

I have dishes on my dresser. We rarely eat in our bedroom and if we do we certainly don't leave dishes in here!

The light bulb burned out in the playroom. Funny, the light in the kids bedroom doesn't work anymore either. It's okay, it makes for better movie watching!

I've blogged twice today.

Other than getting utilities transferred over, going through some paper work and cleaning out the bathroom cupboards, oh, and making the bed... I have been more-or-less unproductive today.

I let Leeann play in the sink 'doing dishes' for an hour while Titus napped.

The corner kitchen cabinet snapped, and I'm clueless as to how to fix it. Seriously, the hinge (because it's a lower corner cabinet where there are two doors that swing out) broke in half. It didn't just loose a screw, the metal seriously BROKE in half!

I'm going to put the kiddos to bed right at 7 and watch a chick flick because I can!

I don't think I've brushed my teeth today. Gross.

I haven't washed my face either.

So, yes, this is a tiny glimpse into my Robless world. I have an amazing husband who makes me want to be a better woman. He gives me a reason to not be lazy and messy and unkempt like I am today. He motivates me to clean up my dishes and put clothes on my children! What would I do without him?

As an added bonus he does stuff like fix cabinets and change light bulbs. He helps with the housework and get this... he even does the grocery shopping with the kids! Yup, my husband is amazing and I am blessed. Now if I could only find a way that he could stay home with us everyday I'd be on cloud nine! I love you Rob, I'd be lost without you!

A Warning to Parents Everywhere

Don't leave your two year-old son alone with red Jello even if he's strapped in his chair and you're only on the phone in the other room for 3 minutes. It stains.... even freshly bathed baby skin. And, it's a huge mess to clean up because it can aparently be flung quite far!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Our Current Home

Below is our blog for our rental unit, slightly changed to eliminate the rental details. Anyway, I thought you might like to see the pictures of our house before we say good-bye. This shows our paint job, though it's hard to really see the color. Maybe I'll try to find some of the pictures I took before we moved in so you can see the difference.

We've loved this place and I'm sad to see it go for a period of time, but I'm also excited about the adventures ahead.

New House Pictures

These are some pictures I snapped of our new house the other day while we were getting inspections done.

Notice the pretty 1970 something pink bathtub!

You might be able to see here that I snapped off part of the front of the top right drawer when I was trying to close it. The floor is warped from water damage and it's in general disrepair. Needless to say, we'll gut the whole thing and start from scratch!
The floors are quite bad too, and the paint is chipping throughout. This is the master bedroom, but I think we're going to use it as the play room. Gotta love the mirrors!
This is part of the kitchen, I didn't want to post the other part of the kitchen because the inspector guy was in the pictures. We'll paint the cabinet fronts and replace the dishwasher, but other than that we'll keep the kitchen the same.
This is our outside. It's Titus and Leeann's new cage! It's completely fenced in without a hint of grass... go play, run and be free...
Here's the living and dining room, looking into the kitchen through the little window.
This is the downstairs bath. Yup, it's a beautiful color of Salmon. It is only accentuated by the bright red heat lamp. Who thought to do such a thing? Seriously!
These are my cute kids. I'd really like to replace the rickety rail, but I've heard it's quite expensive to do, so we'll probably refrain. We've got a little amount of money that we're trying to stretch really far. We'll do the best we can!
And this is Leeann and Titus's new room. Yes, it too will get a paint job!

Chuggin Along

Applications, credit checks, references oh my! I'm spending my day spinning my wheels to get stuff verified for our renters, getting our taxes done, signing loan documents etc. I swear to you, I would have no problem going back to the practice of having maid servants. It's biblical right? What I wouldn't do for another set of eyes and ears and hands around to help me get through feeding kids, entertaining kids, packing boxes, and cleaning and fixing and painting...

Oh wait, MeeMaw is coming to visit--that takes care of the kids for a couple of days! Now if I could only hire a maid. And a chef, and a moving crew and a handyman...