Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Husband's Grandparents

My grandfathers passed before I was old enough to know them and my grandmothers went about the same way so having "grandparent-in-laws" has been a wonderful relationship for me.  Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of the two of them together.  I have others but they're stuck on a dead laptop :(.  She was in the hospital and this was taken a few days before she passed on.  Since my 2nd husband and I married later on in life, I didn't get to know her as much as I wanted to.  She had hearing issues and outside of my own house, I'm very soft-spoken.  So we didn't have many conversations.  It's been almost a year and I still miss her terribly though we didn't know each other well.

But my gratitude really is more for his grandfather.  He's cankerous, ornery, a pain in the neck, absolutely stubborn and everything I'd want in my own grandfather.  I spend one day a week with him cleaning up the house.  He's 95, afraid of nursing homes and can't get around very well.  He's done so much for his family that we all pitch to make sure he can stay in his own home.

I'm grateful to have been able to form a bond with this man who has taught me so much in the last five years.  Especially this last one.  We've gone from pleasantries to really having heartfelt conversations and from what I understand, he doesn't do that with anyone.  He's done so much in his life and at the top of it all, he's strived to provide everything his family needs.  He's helped me mature immensely and I want to do nothing more than make him proud.  Every time there's unpleasantness with the extended family, I always want to distance myself, then I think about how much he would disapprove.  If he notices conflict between family members, he's the first to try to fix the fissure.  He reminds us that family should always be there no matter what.  And because of him, I may not be there holding their hands all the time, but when they need a hand, they know they can count on me.  And it's all due to a 95 year old man who loves a granddaughter-in-law.

This weekend, this wonderful man--who's fought in every war in his lifetime up until Desert Storm, who's taken sniper bullets in the neck, who built a house for his wife and four boys in three months before he was deployed, who has given just about everything he has for his family and country--is in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  We feel strongly he will come home to us but because of his age, there's a really big fear that he may go HOME to join his wife.  Of course, it's our selfishness that makes us want to have him with us in body and spirit, but God's Will be done.  Please help me pray for him. If it's his time, pray that he goes quickly and painlessly.  Pray that our family is ready to be without his constant, supportive guidance and that we can pull together and help one another.  If it's not his time and his wife can be without him a little longer, please pray for a speedy recovery.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Family Introduction

Welcome to my crazy family!  This is most of us, missing are my oldest son Austin, his wife Jessica and their daughter, Victoria.  Hoping to get a picture of the ENTIRE family this year.

Top Row (left to right): Sabrina, Hubbie, Me, Dustin and Billy
Bottom Row (left to right): Zakkary and Shalyn

Billy is 19, Sabrina 18, Dustin 16, Zakkary 9, and Shalyn is 8.  

I adopted Austin, pictured holding my first grandchild Victoria, when he was three.  I married his father who had full custody and his birth mother allowed me to adopt him.  Sabrina, Dustin and Zakk are my birth children.  I divorced their father and married my current hubbie who brought Billy and Shalyn into our family.  Hubbie and I have been together for almost six years, married for three.

Stitches holding Victoria this summer.

Now for the children that I nanny.  I've been with the family for about two years and they've definitely become a part of the family.  Sabrina attends high school online so she co-nannies with me affording me the opportunity to attend classes.

Surprisingly, I don't have a clear picture of all three of them together.  Gave them nicknames just so I don't have to worry about anything.  So first up is Ace, 7.  He's a first grader so I really only see him occasionally.

Then we have Flutterby, she just turned 5 and those are her absolute favorite pants in the whole wide world!

Lastly is Bullet, he's 2 1/2.  Nicknamed appropriately, this little guy keeps Sabrina and myself on our toes.

Besides the Basketball team of children, we also have two basset hound/lab mixes.  They're brothers from the same litter but they don't look like it.  Bo is Dustin's dog and he's about the size of a basset.  Harley is my dog and I swear he was mixed with a great dane!  I wanted dogs that we could keep in the house without destroying everything, it didn't quite work out.  Harley's tail takes out anything he walks by!

Bo (mostly white here but now mottled brown/white) and
Harley (mostly black) at three months old.

We also have two cats, both male as well.  We had a third, who my sister-in-law let out of the house accidentally one day and she came back with our oldest male,Tye, as a surprise.  She lucky only had the one kitten but she passed away soon afterwards.  Tye is solid black shorthair and is also Dustin's pet.  

Tye, Dustin's cat.

Bandit the day we found him being held by Shalyn after his bath.

Bandit is the newest addition, one I wasn't wanting but couldn't say no.  He's a black and white with medium fur which belongs to Sabrina.  She had been begging and begging for a kitten for months and I kept telling her we already had a full house.  Well, parked outside the grocery store with ALL the kids in the car on a cold, rainy night, we saw a tiny bundle of fur sitting in the middle of the parking lot.  He was dripping with both rain and blood.  Sabrina ran out of the car, put her hand out and called him over.  He came right to her and he became a part of the household.  Luckily, he just had a small cut on his nose that we were able to take care of easily.

Bandit a couple of days after he joined the household.

Well, that's us, we've definitely got a full house, but it makes for a full heart.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Little Boys

I'm grateful for little boys, dirty handprints, quiet moments that mean trouble and just general mischievousness!  This morning I came into work at 6:30 am and Bullet had raided the fridge with Flutterby looking on.  Of course, allowing him to keep the apple after he was caught, giggling at how cute he was and then taking pictures of his misdeeds probably just encouraged him to keep it up.  Oh well, we'll get there!

Friday Throwdown

It's Friday!! And what that means for me is that I'm gearing up for my weekend project. Now that the living room has been spotlessly cleaned, purged, organized, and MAINTAINED for a week(!!!!!), it's time to move onto the kitchen. During my hubbie's renovation project, my cabinet contents have been residing along the walls on the floor. This week, I'm getting everything back in place and updating the original organization.

We've got some DEEP kitchen drawers that need to be "broken up" before they're filled to the brim and we can't find anything. I think I may have even figured out what to do with that huge bay window that currently only serves as a place to put things until the cats decide they don't want them there.

FYI: Turning a kitchen bay window into an indoor greenhouse doesn't work well with cats...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Little Girls

January 14 is Flutterby's birthday so it's very important for me to mention her on this day.  Especially since this is the last one I will get to spend with her.  Mom's deploying in March with a complete family move to Hawaii afterwards.  Almost 3 years to the day, my time with them will end.  It's been an adventure for sure and one I'm really going to miss.  I'm tearing up just thinking about it!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fashion progress

Today, I'm sporting an extremely fashionable, trend setting, old pair of black yoga pants with hot pink hearts going down the leg.  I topped it off with a fashion forward hot pink hoodie, no make-up and hair up in a ponytail.  This is normal work array for me, at the moment.  Here in just a few weeks, that all changes.  I will start a very corporate internship with a CPA firm and my "style" NEEDS to change.

So, I've been doing something I very rarely do...looking for fashion ideas.  Not necessarily clothes, because I'm pretty good in that regard when I want to be, but hair and make-up.  I have thick, wavy hair that reaches down to my waist.  So many things I could do with it, I just don't know how!  When I wear make-up, I normally go with a innocent, barely there routine.  It's seriously time for an update.

I have two classes today, one being a resume writing workshop, so I asked Sabrina for help.  She loves to do hair, especially braids.  I can french braid my hair, but it's so long, my arms are dying before I'm half way through.  So she sat me down, did a french crown and then put it into a fishtail braid:

Told ya, hot pink hoodie, lol.  I think if I teased the top and practiced a lot, I could pull this off in a business environment pretty well.  I need to practice my up-dos as well, that's always a handful.  That's my goal for the next two weeks, to find 5 or 6 styles that I can pull off and make look polished.  Make-up shouldn't be much of an issue.  My only surprise in looking for ideas was that there's fifteen million different types of make-up brushes.  Can't you just use the ones that come in the make-up packages? ;)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holy Foaming Soap Batman!

While engaging in one of my favorite downtime hobbies, browsing Pinterest, I came upon a DIY tutorial for foaming hand soap. I clicked and followed the link to then pinned it to my DIY board. Not wanting to go out and buy a bottle of foaming hand soap just for the pump, I never got around to trying it.

Then my boss bought some for her kids because of the Halloween wrapping. I waited and waited for the kids to go through the soap and finally last week, it happened! They have three bottles of soap at their sink, so it took a little while. Asked my boss if she minded me taking the empty bottle (she probably thinks I'm nuts!) and it sat on my kitchen counter until one of the kids tried to throw it away. I grabbed it and followed the directions with a bottle I had grabbed on my last JoAnn's visit. They had had a sale on their hand soap and Sabrina was with me. Sabrina loves soap, like really, really loves soap. She also can't buy any type of soap or lotion without smelling EVERY SINGLE VARIETY in the store (don't get me started on scented candles!). So while waiting in line, she sniffed every bottle on display and found a coconut one she liked. Mixed it up, using 1/3 of the original soap and we're foaming baby!

 I paid $1 for the soap, 1/3 of it was used in the foaming recipe, this means I now have 3 bottles of foaming soap at $.33 each. This makes my frugal, accountant side absolutely overjoyed! It also means I can now "splurge" on the pretty, more costly varieties such as Bath and Bodyworks.  And now, there's no such thing as wasted soap (notice the mostly empty bottle on the right that I've refused to throw away) as you have to mix water into it.  God, I love Pinterest!

Follow me on Pinterest to see more items on my "to-try" list!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


It sounds funny but I love the rain.  I love the look, I love the smell, I love the mood it puts me it.  I just want to curl up and read the day away or play board games with the family.  Our power also tends to go out frequently during big thunderstorms and the kids love when it happens.  Monopoly by candlelight is one of our favorite pastimes.  

These are pictures of my husband's Grandfather's house right after the "polar vortex" ended.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Baby, it's cold outside! I survived the work commute this morning! That horrible 3 mile drive was almost too much at 6:30! Okay, okay, I know I've got it so much better than most, lmao. I even get to grab a baby, throw a blanket over us, snuggle on the couch and get paid for it. Y'all have fun out there, I'm going to go enjoy my hot chocolate and cuddles!

Friday, January 3, 2014

These Hands

In my quest to recognize what I'm grateful for in my life, I realize that I love my husband's hands.  He loves to touch me and I love when he does.  When I'm stretched out on the couch, these hands rub my feet, always without me asking.  Every single night while we lay in bed, we fall asleep either holding hands or with his hand on the small of my back.  When I'm tossing and turning, he lays his hand on my back and I settle right down.  No matter what I do, these hands are always wanting to touch me and I love him for that.  I also love him for the reason those hands are blackened, he's currently remodeling my kitchen and covered in flexseal.

"Blessing of the Hands" - author unknown

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,

as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours,
as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,
and with the slightest touch,
will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes;
tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged,
will still be reaching for yours,
still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.