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Hopping to It: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back to Blogging

Well, after three weeks of travel to family, I am getting back in the saddle again!!  I promise to finish Proposal part 2 soon.  And I have many more "100 things this summer" to add on too!  So stay tune, more is coming!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Past and Present...18 years old

Journal entry from June 14,1992
My sister Christie had her baby today!  A baby girl 7lbs 15 ozs, 20 1/2/ inches long.  She had it about 1:30 p.m.  I am an Aunt now.  It is a special feeling because it is something special.  Tori Alisa.  I am so happy!

Blogging today, June 14, 2010
Today my niece turns 18.  Wow, we as a family have made it 18 years!  What a milestone.  For each teen turning 18 symbolizes different things.  When I turned 18 I was getting ready for college.  Some are getting ready for their Senior year in High School.  Some may be looking at going into the Military.  Others maybe got married young.  Or even having to raise babies.  18 really only sets them into two new adventures in life...they can vote and be tried as an adult.

18 is really that transition year.  Not yet an adult with the full responsibilities of life, but not just a child.  A youth learning to spread their wings and fly in this big scary world.  Some had to move faster to grow up at 18 and others have the wonderful chance of enjoying childhood one more year!!!  Looking back I would have gladly taken one more year of childhood.  But like any good 17 year old, I was ready to "grow up."    Oh the things we learn when we "grow up."

So to Tori, may you take each one of these days of 18, your last year in High school, your last year of "childhood" before moving on, and have fun each day.  Treasure what a blessing you have been given to live out 18 with your great friends from high school.   Take each day and write down one thing you want to do in your life time, and when you are 19, share with us that list of things you would like to do.  

Happy Birthday Tori!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

100 things to do this summer: #87 & #89

First it is my niece‚Äôs birthday!!  Emily is 5 years old and she is down in Florida!!  Happy Birthday!!!!

So we headed over to Georgia to visit my sister and drop my son off to goto Florida with her and Tori, my niece.  We will head down next week to spend a week down in Florida.  I look forward to it.
Since we were only an hour away, I wanted to take the opportunity to head over to the World of Coke, since that was # 87 on the list with the kids and my nieces.  Since I didn't realize that the aquarium was right next to it, I decided to make it a day event!  So that marks off #89-go out with mommy.  (I also took each one of them last week out with me one at a time.)

World of Coke was awesome!  Got to see some history, how the bottled the cokes, some cool looking art, and the best thing, the tasting room.  60 types of sodas from around the world!

The Diary Queen Blizzard is 25 years old and we got a free blizzard!!

The Aquarium was awesome.  There was so much to see.  Isaiah just loved looking at the fish.  The other kids would look, and move on, Isaiah would just stand there.  I took Robby there when he was 3 and that is all he did, just look.

It was a good, good day!!  And I came home and took a NAP!!  I don't get naps, like really goto sleep naps.  That was a nice treat!:)


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

100 things to do this summer: #18


Monday, June 7, 2010

My Husband...the Proposal Part 1

So if any one knows my husband,  things don't happen small or little.  He likes big and grand, in very good ways.  A ring, a knee, will you, I will in... a quit place-simple.  No, nothing was small or simple on the day I was proposed to.  Let's set the stage.
Easter weekend April 2000.  We had planed to have a Lift High the Cross Easter Celebration weekend.  This was a huge outreach for our church and we had grand things planned.  (see not small)  I was DCE of the church so I was actively involved in the middle of everything.  And I was busy.  In an attempt to advertise our event, someone from church got us a spot on a local morning show.  The studio was an 1 1/2 away which meant that the three of us who were going had to leave like early in the morning.  For the record, I am not a morning person.  I can be up and functioning, but not really talkative at all and please don't talk to me unless I have coffee in my hand.  So I joined up with Jay Mason, the Pastor and Hot Air Ballon pilot, along with my friend Debbie.  The three of us were going to the morning talk show.  I was going for support.  On our trip, even though early, we had a fun time talking and dreaming for the church.  As we were joking around about the early morning hour, Debbie had to swerve to avoid hitting a moose.  Now how a moose got to Alabama I have no idea?  But it was a moose for sure.  Well I think it was a moose we almost hit.  Our story was a moose know that moose was only that big!   But yep almost got killed a few days before my honey asked me to marry him.
OK skipping to far ahead back to the moose.  We avoided the moose, sent it back to Alaska and headed to the studio.  All this like 6 in the morning.  I had never been in a TV studio before.  Lights, camera, action, before I knew it they stuck me up there with Debbie and Jay.  So now I am a movie star!!!  Well no, I didn't talk much and when I did say something I said "I am not much of a morning person.!!"  Well so much for my TV career, but the interview went well and we head back to Huntsville, avoiding all the moose along the way.
Later that day I over head people talk about a banner for the balloon.  I thought, what banner and why don't I know about it.  But Jay or Vicki cover saying that it was a banner for the balloon that they use sometimes.  Oh Dan, you want to know were Dan is in all this, since he is the one proposing??  Oh he is around.  Busy and acting a little weird.  I am busy.  We all are busy.  We see each other here and there, but that was all.  The day ended and  I went home and fell into bed exhausted, wondering why was Dan acting just a little weird?
I feel that I am going to tell the Saturday events in part 2.  Had to set the stage, so you all understood all the craziness going on that weekend.  So stay turned for part 2...coming Friday.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

100 things to do this summer: #19, 27, 64, 73, & # 96

# 19 Grow a garden.  Wow our garden has taken off, it is huge!!!  I have never seen everything grown so big, so fast!!  Everything so far is growing!!  Along with the weeds too, but I try to keep them pulled as much as I can!!
#27 Play basketball.  Every now and then we catch glimpse of the all famous Jeremiah Gehring!!  Yes it is true, he likes to show off his skills and the kids love to watch and play with him!
#64 Draw with chalk on the side walk.  Always a favorite for the kids to do!
#73 Set off fireworks.  Tonight I got out the box of left over sparklers and poppers.  The kids had a blast.  Jeremy set off the poppers.   He taught Robby to set one off and then Destiny, but the sparker they were using to light them went out and I won't let the little kids use the light stick.  So despite tears for not getting to pop her popper they all had fun! (Tip-I used a candle for the kids to light their sparklers with)

#96-Walk in grass barefoot.  We went out this evening and walked through the grass then the kids rolled down the hill in the grass.  They had so much fun!!

It was a good day!!!

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My Husband...Dating

So finally we are officially dating!!  Not much changed.  We just started getting to know each other better with marriage as our goal.   I remember the first time he said I love you besides writing it.  It was when he was on Christmas tour with Dave and Barb Anderson.  He called and left a message and at the end he said I love you.  I played that over and over and over....Ahhhh to be in love!!!!  To be in love was so good.  The little tingly feeling every time you saw them or heard their voice.  The shiver when they touched your back.  Yep it was a good time.  We were getting to know each other better and better.  But there were some guide lines for us.  We both made the commitment to each other to wait till marriage, that was a no brainer. We didn't even kiss.  Yes that is right, we made it through dating with out kissing.  Strange for some, I think it made things better waiting for certain things to happen.
As time went on Dan would drop hints about marriage and rings.  We we didn't talk a lot about it.  But when Joni at church asked me to try on her ring and some one else asked me what kind of rings did I like, I was beginning to wonder.  But as for timing....  I have to talk about Lift High the Cross Hot Air Balloon Ministry.

This is a full time RVing, homeschooling, full time Pastor family that traveled from Church to Church with their RV and trailer and Hot air balloon!! It is a awesome ministry that really brought our church together in awesome ways.   Everyone wanted to help get this weekend up and running and to be fully successful.  We had big events surround by tethered hot-air ballon rides.  Pastor Jay and Vicky quickly became good friends and understood our "not dating" and "dating" times.  There was a joke brewing about us getting married on the hot air balloon.  All fun and games, but things starting brewing in my now dear hubby's mind.

The Easter after we started "dating" the balloon was coming back to our church to a fun fill Easter weekend...filled with a Moose we ran over, Early morning talk shows, a hot air balloon, and a sweet ending.... (Well Easter always has a sweet ending!!) Engagement...


Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Husband...the Chase

When I first moved here to Huntsville, Dan and I  started talking right away.  Soon every lunch after church we were eating out together with friends.  It was in just a few months after I got here, that one Wed he called to see if I wanted to eat dinner quickly before Choir.  Sure, so I met him at the little chinese place at the mall.  He paid.  Was that a date?  I wasn't dating anyone, but I really liked Dan.  I just liked being with him.  He made he feel safe and happy.  I felt like I could tell him anything.  But I was not dating anyone at church.  What would happen if we broke up, that would be a weird situation.
Then one Sunday after church there was no one to go to lunch with but us.  We went to Red Lobster and we just talked for hours.  I remember when we parted ways thinking, I really like what was is happening between us.  But I still wasn't sure what was happening between us.
That first Thanksgiving Pastor Bernie, Grace, Philip and Dan came over for Thanksgiving.  After we ate a wonderful meal and Bernie, Grace and Philip left Dan stayed and we just talked late into the night.  I didn't have a couch so we had to sit on the floor.
Time went on and everyone knew we were dating but us!!  We did everything together.  Every spare moment we spent together.  But simply as friends.  We just got to know each other better and better.
Finally one year after the Red Lobster lunch, Dan and I finally made it official we were dating!  Everyone was like yea and that is old news!!
And so our dating journey begins and that will be for a new blog!


Friday, June 4, 2010

My we met

Since my husband's birthday is tomorrow and Father's day is coming up and then our 10 year Anniversary in Aug, I thought I would do some blogging on my sweet dear husband.
So how we met....
It was a stormy warm night and in the distance I saw this most amazing person...
Ok no actually the first time Dan and I met was on the phone.  I was a DCE up in Kent OH and I had a lot of church interviewing me for a call.  One church was Ascension Lutheran in Huntsville AL.  Before I would go visit a church we would do phone interviews.  And I guess on that phone interview Dan was one of the interviewers.  After I got here, I was told that after the interview Dan said, "She would do"
When I came to visit Dan was on travel (haa haa funny now that I think about but showed up for some gathering.  My first thought was I wonder how many kids he had.  I was staying with a family while visiting and I had a very early flight.  Guess who drove me to the airport???  Dan and Jerry (the dad of the family I was staying with.)
So at some crazy early hour we got on the road to the Nashville airport.  Jerry slept and Dan and I talked the whole way up.  He was the easiest person I had ever talked to.  Then he got lost and like any good man, they didn't want to stop to ask for directions.  Finally, after I offered to go ask (he has a different version of this story) I got to the airport and headed back to Ohio.
Dan wasn't the reason why I took the call, but I soon found out that God had things lining up!!!  The rest is for a new post.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

100 things to do this summer: #1

#1-Goto the Space and Rocket Center.  Yep today was the day and it was a good day.  It was 81 degrees, and not crowed at all!!  There were a quite a few groups going through, but no lines anywhere.  They have done so many changes and the kids were very excited!  Now that Robby can read it is nice that he could read about the different things going on!   The little kids were just excited about seeing the big rockets and indeed they were big.  We walked around the new part with the huge Apollo Rocket above us.  The kids got to do a science experiment of shooting a rocket made from a film canister.  
Then we walked over and ate lunch and then headed over the Rock climbing wall.  Destiny is fearless in trying new thing, Robby wasn't as willing, but I talked him into going.  They both went up!!  From there we went over the the Kid Zone area where the kids except Isaiah rode the little shot ride, up and down and up and down!!  Destiny and Robby were not sure of it, but AnQuenette was thrilled!!  After a while we walked around out side for a bit, then walked through models of the Space station.  A quick stop at the gift shop and we were heading home for a rest!  #1 checked off our list!!!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Husband traveling...again

I know a little bit about a husband traveling.  Maybe a little bit too much.  Two years ago he took a new position in the his job as Chief Engineer  for the DOD.  I knew when he took it that there would be traveling maybe twice a month.  Well the traveling has been much more than twice a month.  This month we look at three weeks of traveling with the possibility of 4 weeks.  We are use to it now.  We have life with Dan and life with out him here.
When we got married 10 years ago (well in Aug it will be) I knew he traveled about 8 times a year.  But I also traveled maybe that too with my job.  When Robby was a year, Dan had to be gone for 6 weeks.  I was working so I couldn't travel with him.  Robby and I were in the process of weaning of of breastfeeding  when he got sick.  And then all he wanted to nurse.  I had no one there to help me with him because Dan was traveling.  Working and trying to take care of him was hard.  But a small lesson in being a single parent, a lesson I didn't think was going to be such a part of my life.
Most of Dan's travel was M-F long, and we just trudged through it.  But then one year doing the summer he had to travel over extended weekends to judge robotic competitions.  That was a terrible summer.  Things that we normally did we couldn't because not only did Dan have to work doing the week, but he would leave for the weekend also.  Camping became a thing of the past (anyone want to buy a trailer?).
So when this job came up it was to only be for a year and I though I can handle this traveling scheduling for a year.  Within 6 months he had already signed on for another year.  Traveling wasn't as terrible yet.  In fact he went almost 3 months with little travel, it was nice.  Then is seemed like my pop-pop died, we got AnQuenette and her sister Mia as Emergency foster care placement and Dan started traveling alot.  As summer approached I had just moved into survival mode.  I wasn't sleeping at night, my hand was in pain.  The girls were very had to deal with and much was going on with them.  It was a very hard time.
We did take two summer vacations to Disney World, which we all enjoy very much.  But the in between time was crazy.  We only get two months for summer vacation here, but the big thing we were looking forward to was the boys being adopted and then that weekend the big party and Isaiah's baptism.  But between the adoption and Party/family Dan had to travel.
And so now we have gone a whole other school year of Dan traveling more than twice a month.  He does take off when he knows it is best for him to be home.  And he does help as much as he can when home.  I purposely send children off with him, and he takes Leila to daycare when here.
And how does traveling effect a marriage?  It is hard and takes constant communication.  It is hardest to have him gone in the evenings and on weekends.  Times that we would normal talk and be together.  Sometimes it is hard to always talk on the phone, things are happening with the kids, or he is busy on the other end.  But we always talk, at least once a day, but every day.  And when he is home, we find times to go out, do things and be together.  It just takes work, but don't all marriages take work!  Lots of it!!  And little trips to hawaii is so bad either!!!  (a perk of all the traveling!)
I think Dan's traveling is hardest on the kids.  While he and I talk everyday, it is rare that he talks to the kids.  First some nights by the time he can talk they are already in bed.  I wish he traveled with his own lap top or he could text!  Then the kids could skype him or send pictures and video to him.  He does face book, but for some reason videos don't work on his phone.  I do believe this is one area we need to work on being better.
So how do I do it with so many kids at home.  We just do.  It gets easier every time.  This summer I know I just have to do things with out him just so the kids have fun!!  We probably wont get a summer vacation with him so we do what we have to do.  But there is the pool for him to take them to and $1 movies.  And lots of other fun things to do!!
I had a army mom tell me that the first two weeks that their husbands are gone and the last two weeks are the hardest.  Once she told me this it all made sense.  Talking to her made me feel better, that the crazy feelings I was having were normal.
And so summer begins with three weeks of travel.  What can I paint in the house????

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Dirt on Fostering Babies

When it comes to adoption, everyone wants a baby.  A new baby, with little to no history.  A clean start.  People wait a long time for babies.
When fostering, babies are great, sweet and cute, but they come with a price.    Many people foster babies in hopes of adopting.  But there are many things people fail to understand about fostering babies.  Leila is our forth foster baby.  (under 2)

  • When fostering any child, they are not yours.  They tell you to treat your foster children like your own, but in all reality that is not so.  
  • Babies are easy to get attached to.  Really that is the gift you give them, but it will cost you when they leave.  This I am going to leave to a future post.
  • Babies don't sleep.  When you are pregnant, you have nine months to get ready to not sleep.  Your body gets you ready.  When you foster, you are lucky if you have days to get ready.  
  • Babies stink and leak!  Yes come one we all know this.  Weird things come from all holes of their bodies.  This is why God made them little and cute!!  All my little ones spit up bad the first part of their lives, it was not uncommon we were changed a few times a day.  And lets not even talk about what comes from their bottom!!!!!!
  • Babies need to be feed.  Many times a day when they are little.  You have to wash bottles, make bottles, warm bottles, feed them their bottles, and it starts all over!!!
  • Babies need mushy foods...need I say more.
  • Babies need to be changed.  You have to remember to buy diapers, wipes (which come out of your pocket)
  • Babies do a lot of changing in their first few years of life.  So there are a lot of different items needed. Their clothing is always getting small of them and you go through at least 3-4 sizes in just the first year.
  • Babies have a background, a history.  
  • Some times they can leave faster than they came.
  • Did I mention that foster babies are not yours.  This is the key.  When fostering our goal as foster parents to work with DHR to reunite the families.  I believe  there are some foster families who that their goal is to keep the baby.  Until the courts say so, there is nothing a foster family can do except look out for the best interest of that baby.  While our foster babies are still a part of our family, they are not ours, well except Isaiah now cause we adopted him.
  • Your foster baby is shared.  Social workers, transporters, visits with mom and dad and other relatives.  
  • Yes babies don't sleep.  Did I mention this.  As I type I have a 14 month old who does not want to sleep-she has had many bad nights in row.   Hopefully she will finally close her eyes, I can finish this post and goto bed.
It is hard when you invest so much of your love, and energy into a baby.  I have had some foster parents tell me that is just not for them.  Foster babies is not for everyone.  Babies will come and go.  Heart will be broken.  So why foster them?

To make a difference.  To hold them and love them.  To nurture them.  To give them a strong beginning of life.  While I can not treat them just like my biological child, come pretty darn close.  Our biological child, Robby, was breast feed for the first 17 months of his life.  He also slept in bed with us.  Our foster babies don't get breast feed, but we try to make feeding time special.  And they sleep in our room the first year, then due to DHR rules we have to move them out.  Our babies get carried in a sling as much as possible.
To make a difference in a tiny life.  That is why I like to foster babies.  Please don't get me wrong, I like the older ages to, but babies have my heart.  
Their smile, first time rolling over.  Sitting up and then those first few steps.  The babbling and then words!  How could they not take your heart away?

But just remember.....babies grow up to toddlers and preschoolers...and those are hard years!!!!

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