Monday, June 29, 2009

Chaos, Cakes, Celebrations and More!

My sweet nephew Landon turned 1 this weekend. Wow, time FLIES! How is he 1 already?

I was commissioned to make him a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, and I have to say that this is probably my favorite cake ever! It was fun to make, and turned out so cute (if I do say so myself!) Suzy used her scraptastic skills to do the eyes, nose, feet and antennae, which totally make the cake PERFECT. I stole the idea from someone in google-land, but did a fondant-free, slightly altered version spiced up with the paper accessories. It was fun, I enjoy making cakes!

This weekend also included a memorial service for a sweet, classy lady whose time came far too soon. Man alive, services honoring amazing people leave me with so much to think about. Unfortunately, my brain is pure mush right now and I'm afraid it simply isn't the time for me to try to articulate much of anything, let alone something so important. Life is so short. So short.

I also attended a beautiful baby shower. New life is so amazing. So are chocolate covered cheesecake pops!
We had a softball game. We did really well. I made it to 3rd base for the first time this season (nevermind it was because of 2 walks!). We were up the whole game but lost it in the last inning. Lucky me, I got to be the last batter. I didn't strike out, but I didn't make it to first either. Stink!

I picked up one of my old college roomies, Ruthi on the way to St. Helens this weekend. It was fun to have her along for the ride today! 4 hours in the car, with 4 kids gets really old, really fast!
I feel like I'm juggling 12 balls in the air, and I'm not keeping any of the up very successfully right now. I feel like I'm just waiting to see which one comes crashing down first. As Rob pointed out to me tonight, "You can only continue at this pace for so long." I know that's the case, I just don't know what to let drop. All the balls I have in the air right now are important balls... I can't let any of them drop. It's kind of a difficult place to be in at the moment. I just keep trying to tell myself that it's only a stage...
All four of us are coughing up a storm and my whole body aches. I'm not sure that helps the above situation at all. Well, as I said earlier, my brain is quite mushy, so I'm sorry if I'm being quite random. Enjoy a few sweet pictures of Landon for now, and I'll try to get some up of my kiddos soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Would you like to know how I feel?

I read a news article this morning about banning cell phone use while driving, except with a hands-free headset. Apparently Oregon is about to jump on this ridiculous bandwagon.

The ironic part is that teenagers can't use their cell phones at all--even with a hands-free headset--when they're the ones that are actually capable of multi-tasking, and are so technologically apt that it's second nature to them and probably poses little additional danger for them driving.

Now, if we should talk about banning cell-phone use while driving from any demographic, let's talk about the folks from um, past generations, that still can't figure out how to set up a voice mailbox or answer their call-waiting. You know who you are!

And, if we want to talk about the dangers of distracted driving, let's talk about moms and dads with young children in the car. I am FAR more distracted by my kiddos screaming, whining and fighting in the back seat then I have ever been by using my cell phone. In fact, being on the phone helps me tune out the screaming kids in the backseat. I think I could make a pretty strong case for it being beneficial. It also helps keep me stay awake during long drives. Have you ever heard of someone falling asleep while talking on their cell phone while driving? I think not!

Now, let's talk about hands-free headsets. They're annoying. I still spend the entire time with my hand to my ear trying to keep it close enough to my ear to hear well. And I have to repeat every 6th word since the person on the other end can't hear me very well. And I have to scream... which puts my kids on edge... and nobody needs that (see above).

And, it's all good in theory. But let's see a 60 year-old trying to pair their head-set and get it on their ear to answer their phone while driving. I have trouble doing it while devoting all my attention to it, and I'm only 27!

I can just see me now, reaching down into my purse, fumbling around trying to find my ear piece, open my phone, get to the right screen to pair the head-set and be trying to connect the ear piece to my ear and get it powered up all in time not to miss the important phone call. See the irony?

I'd love to see some statistics as to whether or not the cell-phone ban states have actually seen a decrease it accidents due to the ban?

I'd say the legislation has been written and is being passed by people who still don't have their voice mail-boxes set up yet if you know what I mean. If we're going to ban cell-phones while driving it seems we ought to ban eating, drinking, smoking, turning on the radio, talking to passengers, having kids in the car or any other distraction that might come up for that matter.

In fact, we ought to ban billboards and homeless people holding up signs that are hard to read, because those are distracting. Then we should talk about scantily clad joggers, people who shouldn't be wearing spandex wearing them, and cute little puppies that line the sides of the roads. And lemonade stands, and Estate Sale signs, and obnoxious cheerleaders yelling at you to come get your car washed.

Or, if you are incapable of multi-tasking, maybe you should hang up your cell-phone and wait until you get to a safe place to tend to your cell-phone needs. And maybe the government and police officers should spend their time doing things that only they can do, and leave me alone. With all due respect, if my cell-phone use is inhibiting my ability to drive, give me a ticket, I deserve it. If it's not inhibiting my ability to drive however, then it seems like it's probably not the best use of the local police officers time to be trying to catch me on my phone. Maybe he should be free to be on the look-out for people whose distractedness is actually impairing their driving ability?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nothing Blog-Worthy

I've continued to struggle with blogging lately. I still think of things to blog about from time to time, but the time to blog seems ever-fleeting.

We're watching housing prices fall, interest rates at record lows and we're feeling the tightness of 4 young children in a teeny house. For those of you who've picked up on my blog in the last year, we moved into a fixer-upper 1224 sqft condo, just because we could... and now we're feeling the squeeze of being crammed in here. It was fine with the 4 of us, but I sure would love a yard (we don't even have a single piece of grass here) and a master bathroom right about now!

We're looking at other housing options, praying for our homes to sell and/or hoping for large sums of money to fall from the sky. We see some really great 'forever home' opportunities within our grasp, but they require us to sell both of our homes by owner in the worst market in modern history. Hey, I figure we only need two buyers though... right?

Isn't it ironic? The one particular home we are looking at now would give us enough room for our family plus some, plus room to entertain, plus everything we want in a home, in a neighborhood we love. This market makes this home actually affordable to us, yet we can't buy it because our equity is currently tied up.

We continue to dream, and pray and talk about 'our new home' as if it will happen, but it seems statistically unlikely that we'll be able to make it happen. We'll see though, if it's what God desires for us, I'm sure he'll make it happen. If not, he's teaching me a great lesson on being content. Hmmm, perhaps I'm still in the middle of learning that lesson?

I'm sorry, I don't know what got me on the housing tangent. Oh, it might be because I was just enjoying one of my favorite past-times, house hunting on the internet. There are just a lot of good finds these days! Now I shall venture off to one of my other favorite past-times, partaking in a bowl of yummy-delicious ice cream. Now that's a good idea if I've ever had one!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Pictures

You can find more pictures of the wedding here:

I didn't really feel the need to try to upload billions of them here after doing so on my facebook account, so you can just head on over there if you're interested!

Wedding Weekend

Sorry again, for the lack of posts lately. We drove up to Washington on Friday and didn't come home until last night. We were, once again, able to leave Hope and Logan with Eroica and her family, which was a huge blessing. It was especially nice because Leeann was in Rob's brother's wedding on Sunday, and we didn't have to chase 4 kids around all weekend as we participated in wedding festivities!

I have lots of pictures to share, but I have a giant to-do list today and unfortunatly, blogging doesn't make it's way anywhere near the top of that list. So I'll leave you with just a few pictures and a promise to post more soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

School's Out!

Logan is home from his last day of Kindergarten. Summer has officially begun in our household! Yippee! He came home with a bag full of cute fun stuff he's made and created, and now he's ready for first grade.

Now, what shall we do with our summer? My first order of business to celebrate... lunch with my husband!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Hearing Specialist

Rob and I have been wondering for quite some time whether or not Titus has a hearing problem.

We find ourselves talking to Titus often, only to be completely ignored. It's like he's in his own little world, oblivious to what's going on around him. He either has incredibly selective hearing or a hearing problem.

We were finally able to get him in to see a hearing specialist today. He does have some abnormalities in his left ear, but it doesn't seem to be effecting his hearing at all. So, it must simply be that he's a 3 year-old boy who would rather not listen to his parents except for when he wants to. Do any of you seasoned parents know how to fix this problem?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Skip Counting

We were on our way home from lunch today and Titus just started counting by 5's. I think he started around 60 but made it to 100. It was so cute, Titus counting in his sweet little voice. I find it hilarious that they pick up all sorts of things I don't teach them, but rarely catch onto things I'm actually trying to teach them. Logan's been learning to count by 5's at school and he's been practicing around here. It's cool to watch the other kids pick it up too!

Speaking of, there are only 3 days of school left... then it's SUMMER! Never mind the fact that I pretty much haven't made any plans for the summer yet. It's okay, I'm still excited for it. Maybe it stems from the fact that I know I'm supposed to be excited for summer, with school out and all. I imagine about 3 days into it I'll be counting down the days until Fall!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Driving Along In My Automobile...

Yesterday I was on my way to St. Helens with 3 of the 4 kiddos in tow. I was bee bopping away with my local country radio station and suddenly I hear this beautiful song from Alan Jackson:

Why did she have to go
So young I just don't know why
Things happen half the time
Without reason without rhyme
Lovely, sweet young woman
Daughter, wife and mother
Makes no sense to me
I just have to believe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why

Feeling so lost inside
Anger shot straight at God
Then asking for His love
Empty with disbelief
Just hoping that maybe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
Will always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Don't worry 'bout me
Don`t worry 'bout me

Tears welled up in my eyes as the rain was crashing down around me. I tried desperately not to cry since I was driving 70 in the rain, and on a time schedule. My mind just kept wandering back to her though. Trying so desperately to remember the sound of her voice and trying to grasp the fact that she's truly, truly gone.

And then I started thinking about how many times she'd sat in the seat I was sitting in (we now have her car, more on that later). I could just see her perfectly manicured nails clutching the steering wheel. The amazing memories we were able to make in that car on our way to Disneyland 2 years ago started flooding through my mind. There are still water bottles in every cup holder. She always had water bottles stuffed EVERYWHERE. Tucked inside the passenger side door pocket where she sat on our way to Disneyland is a lotion bottle from one of the hotels we stayed at on our trip.

I've never lost someone as close to me before. I've lost two grandfathers, but she was only 57. That's so young. So young. There's so much more she was supposed to be a part of. I'm so sad that our kids won't have her around. They need Mee Maw. Who am I kidding... I need Mee Maw. You'd think 4 months later I wouldn't still be breaking into spontaneous tears, but it really isn't getting any easier, unless I try not to think about her. I don't want to forget her though. It's a terrible catch 22.

I know in my head that's really gone, but my heart still can't believe it. On our way to Kent a couple of weeks ago we ended up going a different way than we usually went to avoid traffic. I woke up just in time to cross the street that JoAnn's Fabrics was on. I just started weeping. I have so many memories of her there. She'd take me at ridiculous hours to find great deals. I think she spent more time there than anywhere else! I seriously wonder if they're liable to go out of business without her patronage! I just started thinking about never again having a reason to go there.

Oh man, this whole losing someone you love thing is tough. No wonder you get more cynical as you get older!

*On a side note, Rob's step-dad, Carmin, sold us Janice's car for really a fraction of what it's worth. We were able to purchase it for the price of what we'll get from our van when we sell it. It's an '05 Ford Freestyle with only 28,000 miles on it... talk about an enormously huge blessing!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dentist Day

Today the immediate Buhl family all got to embark on a field trip to the dentist. Titus did amazingly well for his first teeth cleaning! Seriously, he just climbed in the chair, opened up and let the hygenist go to work! Leeann on the other hand, well, she cried a lot (surprise!). She wouldn't let the hygenist take x-rays or put the flouride trays on her teeth, but other than that things went well.

I found out today that Leeann has 2 loose teeth! They're just a little bit loose, but she said they'd probably come out in the next 3 or 4 months. How can I have a little girl who's turning 6, about to start school and ready to loose teeth?!?!

She's such a precious little girl. I still can't believe that God is allowing me to be her mother. Adoption is such a beautiful thing!