Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Year In Review

2009 --

Ah, it is the end of another year...the end of another decade. Wasn't it just last year that we were all panicking about the world blowing up...or at least the computers blowing up, when the time changed to 01-01-00. The debates on how we would say the years...did anyone ever say "remember when _______ did ____ in ot5"? Or the debates on when the millenium starts...2000 or 2001. Yet, here we are about to hit 2010 (isn't there a movie titled after this year...aren't we supposed to be living in space now?).

It is hard to believe we are hitting 2010 and as 2009 comes to an end, I have received many year end letters via mail and email...all of them interesting. I hear people groan a lot about receiving these letters, but I enjoy them. I like to hear about what is going on in other people's lives. My life is an open book...especially if you are a friend of mine on facebook (I am a chronic status updater). But, this year has been a big one for the Kozlowskis here in Houston and I thought...even if you are one who groans inwardly at having to read yet another letter about another family's year, I would write it here and it could be recorded, at the very least, for my own records.

So...2009. Could it really be over?? I mean, Christmas was just yesterday and it still seems impossible. This was a year unlike any year for us. It has been almost like a rollercoaster, but I will not bore you with the dips...only the ups.

The year started with the birthday of our son, Daniel. He turned 4...stinker. You know what that means...he turns FIVE in just under 2 weeks!!!! That means he starts KINDERGARTEN in AUGUST. But, I digress...it is not 2010 I am here to discuss...but 2009. Daniel turned 4 in style...he got his very own Spiderman bike. And LOADS of Spiderman action figures!!








Matt and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary...wow...11 years. Seems crazy! Our marriage is a good one...strong and stable. My husband is a family man, through and through. There is nothing he would not do for us and he is completely devoted to us. The kids and I are VERY secure which is a sign of a good male figure in the home. He has been a rock and I am afraid I do not treat him very well. He will argue that, but I think he deserves more. BUT, who am I to argue. He is truly the best I could ask for as husband and father to my kids. This is not the best picture...but this is us before going out for our anniversary.

We had quite the adventure at the beginning of the year. We knew we wanted to go to Disney World, but could not come up with a good time to work it in with Matt's schedule. We wanted to go in January, but it just did not work out...then, the second week in February, everything cleared suddenly...Matt found out on Monday that we could go....he got online and booked it.....for later that same WEEK!! We literally booked it and left just 3 days later. We drove all the way down to Orlando. We knew that we wanted to stay in one of the resorts, but being last minute, the only resort that had any openings was The Grand Floridian, their premiere resort. We felt GRAND in this posh hotel setting with the monorail stopping right at our resort. We stayed for almost a full week and had the BEST time EVER...it was a great time of year to visit...not NEAR as busy as it had been when we went in November and certainly not as busy as SUMMER!! The nights were cool, the days were not too brutal....and the kids had SUCH GREAT FUN!!

When we got home, we only had a few days of rest before Daniel had his eye surgery. He was born with a cataract in one eye and as he was growing, so was the cataract. It got to where it was just obstructing his vision too much and everyone felt that he needed to get the cataract removed. It was challenging, to say the least. No mother wants to see her son go under anesthesia and have surgery....much less ELECT to do it. We (Matt and I) were a mess (well, I should mention that Sierra was beside herself with worry....she is VERY close to her brother and cannot handle him not being 100%). On the day of the surgery, we arrived 4 hours early (as per our instruction). We paid and got ready to wait with a very hungry boy (he, obviously, was unable to eat due to anesthesia)...but the appointment before him didn't show so they whisked him back for surgery. I cannot describe the picture of us standing at the point where parents have to stop while the anesthesiologists walked with our VERY small boy down a long hall.....it brings tears to my eyes.

The surgery went well. The challenge for the remainder of the year has been trying to strengthen that eye. It is fairly weak, though at his last visit, his vision had gotten stronger. Prayer is appreciated for his continued healing. He wears a bifocal now, and is adjusting to knowing when to use which side of the lens. lol He is a good kid, though...and NEVER complains!!

Probably the biggest thing of the year happened in March. As a short background, you may not know that I was estranged from my mother and her children since I was very small. I was raised by my father (a situation that I was appreciative of). For most of my adult years, I have tried in vain to find my mother and her children (my other siblings). Matt found out a couple years ago (using his work connections) that my mother had passed away. I figured that that was the end of my search, though I still did searches on facebook, people searches, and any other venues. I sent letters...made phone calls...EVERYTHING.

Well, in March, I checked my facebook for updates (probably my hundredth check of the day...Yes, I am obsessed) when I saw I had a little number 1 next to my inbox. I found this odd as most people just email through my regular account. The subject line said "could you be my husband's little sister?" (I have kept the email in my facebook account this whole time as well as copied and pasted the content into a word doc.) Through this email, I was all the sudden back in touch with my brother, John and his wife and their son. I cannot tell you the pitters and patters that were happening in my chest...I could not believe after ALL THOSE YEARS, it came down to a simple facebook email (I had sent similar emails to facebook users that bore the same name as siblings...to no avail). In that same moment, I discovered my sister Carolyn, who had just created a facebook account days prior.

Throughout the rest of this year, I have built a relationship with both of these siblings (I still have not spoken with the rest of them...in time). Carolyn even came to visit us (she lives in California) with her husband (Don...an INCREDIBLE man) and her two kids Nate (future president of the US...military bound...HS track star) and Sami (a super sweet daughter whom became best of friends with Daniel). It was such a short, but incredible visit. Carolyn and I have a lot in common and spend as much time as we can chatting online (though, sadly for me, haven't been lately with busy schedules). This was a HUGE thing for me after SO LONG of searching....especially having lost my father just months prior. This has been the pivotal part of my year.

For Sierra's part...she turned 10 in May...double digits...the beginning of the end. She also completed her last year of elementary school. Her summer vacation was the busiest it has ever been. She spent many days, weekends at friends houses....went to Splashtown lots....movies...mall trips...Galveston...it FLEW BY. She also went to summer camp with our church kids group. I was SO excited about this as our church runs the whole camp...it is not run by outside people. They rent the grounds and the people who run the camp provide the food and activities (The Blob, fishing, etc), but Woodsedge does all the worship and devotionals. It was dedicated to Jesus and they spent more time in small groups and worship than playing. Sierra came home GLOWING from her experience and she rededicated her life to God.


She also participated in the church's summer music program and performed in their production called "Shine!". It was a beautiful performance....and her grandparents even came down to see her!! *Her hair is sun and chlorine bleached...lol*








Sierra also started Intermediate school this year...and is LOVING every minute of it. She is doing VERY well in her classes...she is in the best hall and has the very best of teachers. She is in Student Council...on the Environmental Committee...and is in Choir. She LOVES school more than she ever has and we have seen a lot of growth in her since starting. Her teachers have all told me how great she is and how she enhances the learning environment for the whole class. She just adores them and it is amazing the opportunities she has had in this school.


Here she is with her favorite teacher...her social studies teacher...who said to her on meet the teacher that it was his goal to make Social Studies her favorite subject by the end of the year...and he has SUCCEEDED!!


And than there is the hair....I had about 13 inches cut off and sent to Locks of Love...and you know what...I like it better. You may notice the change from the anniversary pic to the last pic shown. It was hard to do....getting all that hair cut off. I did have a pic of the braid, but cannot find it now. The upside of long hair is less need to get haircuts (cheaper). I went from getting my hair trimmed once or twice a YEAR to getting it trimmed once every 6 weeks or so. Sierra also got her hair cut shorter and we have started going together. But, as hard has it was to do, I REALLY do LOVE it!

One of the biggest potential changes for the year was our almost move to North Carolina. Matt posted for a job change to Charlotte, NC and he came very close to getting it...so close, that I proceeded with making some improvements on the house to put it up for sale...he ended up not getting the change. It was a disappointment, but we had put it in God's hands and felt it was not our time. We have made it our goal to move to North Carolina and hope to make that move over the summer...if he can get a job move there. Matt's parents are moving there early in the year and his grandmother lives there. Matt has always wanted to move to the east coast.

So, it is the end of the year. Matt is working very hard at Hewitt. He is on a new team that is proving to be challenging, to put it nicely. The job is not much different, but the boss is a lot different and I will stop there to keep the tone of this light (if you get my drift). Sierra is half-way through 5th grade and Daniel is getting ready to read and start school. I have had a year (or so) of inspiration from crafty friends and have built up a lot of crafting toys (cricut expressions, bind-it-all, rotary cutter, and a number of other treats!!). I have enjoyed making many things and new challenges....it is fun!!

So, what is in store for 2010. We are planning our vacation for Spring Break this year. We will, probably, head out to California....fly to San Francisco, see the sites there, rent a car and drive the pacific highway down to L.A. and do all the touristy stuff there, and, if we can manage it, head to San Diego for a couple days before flying home. That is our plan...we'll see. I am hoping to plan on having jaw surgery at the earlier part of the year. My headaches have increased and after trying to get around having surgery, we have concluded that we have reached that last resort of surgery. We will see Daniel turn 5 (he is SO excited about it). We have it in our plans to move to NC, but that will depend on Matt's work. Daniel will enter Kindergarten (sadly). I, under order of the kids and my husband, will remain at home (well, not literally). I will have to figure out what I am supposed to do without any kids to care for during the day. I am not sure if there are any other goals. I was going to say one of our goals was to eat better...lose weight.....HOWEVER, my WONDERFUL husband bought me a KitchenAid for Christmas......which means I will have to play with it....which means baking!! YAY!!! BRING ON THE POUNDS!!

I hope 2009 brought you great joy and growth and that 2010 will continue to be a blessing to you all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rock and Roll Monkey's Christmas Party

video

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Decoration

Sierra and I try to have a girl's club meeting every two weeks...sometimes we make it every two weeks, sometimes we don't. Tomorrow night, Tuesday November 17th, we will have such a meeting. At these meetings, we do a craft and while the girls craft, they talk and laugh and have a good time.

Tomorrow night, this is is what the girls will be making!


I used the following:
My cricut machine to die cut the letters and all the layers for the penguin...as well as the circles for the cds.
laptop
big bite
Scrapbook paper
mod podge
simple elmer's glue
Martha Stewart's glitter (fine for the letters and coarse for the penguins)
old cd's

First I cut out all the shapes needed on my cricut. I decided to use the word JOY as it is a nice, simple, 3-letter word. I first cut it in shadown and than normal mode in order to create an outline on the letters. Also, I chose the penguin cause he was cute and it only took 3 layers of cutting and pasting together.


Next, I added glitz to the letters and penguins in order to give it a cool, icy look.


Next I started piecing it all together. I put mod podge on the cd and than put the round paper on it. When that dried, I put another layer of mod podge on the top of the paper. When that dried, I used regular elmer's glue to glue the shapes on. I also used my big bite to cut the holes into the cds. After everything was dried, I used ribbon to tie the cds together including a loop on the top to hang up on the wall.


Cute Huh!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs

We have yet to see this movie. Ok, so it only came out on Friday, but if you know us than you know we tend to watch movies the first weekend they come out. This movie has been a long time coming! They have showed previews for what...5 months? or more.

We have been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie that has had it's preview in front of, it seems, EVERY summer movie...as well as on numerous commercials.

One thing that has come from this is Daniel has been in overload with his imagination. It occurs to me that he is no longer a baby (ok, he probably passed that phase LONG ago, but he is MY baby). His imagination is HUGE as is his vocabulary. We were just hanging out in the living room at talking about what we wished it would rain. Here are some of what he wished it would rain:

ice cream
flowers (for mommy)
leaves (for mommy)
pillows, but not cushions
balls
blocks
movies
popcorn
grape juice
strawberries

Among so many other things. He thinks about this a lot. I told him I wished it would rain chocolate. He said, everything would be brown. I said, yes, but I could eat it all. I told him I wished it would rain cheesecake. He said, cheeeeesecake, in a dreamy voice. lol

Can't wait for Saturday when we will FINALLY see this movie (YES, I do mean FINALLY).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spiritual Housecleaning

Have you ever done a spiritual housecleaning?? We have and tend to do it often. We will go through our movies and come up with "good" excuses as to why we hang on to this movie and that movie and convince ourselves that they are fine. A couple months later...all the sudden what seemed "good" and "fine" all the sudden isn't all that good or fine.

I was talking with Matt one day about housecleaning and we were talking about music. Now, I pretty much only listen to Christian music...but this is a personal choice and not one I would put on anyone including my husband.

But, I was discussing his music on his ipod. He tells me, my songs are clean...nothing bad. And I ask him, how can he listen to music from bands who live and breathe bad lives. Case in point...he LOVES Motley Crue (flashback anyone??). Well, I am sure you have, at some point in your lives, seen videos from Motley Crue with half-naked women prancing around and blatant sexual content. I am sure you have heard of the drugs and sex that occured (occurs, now) with this band. Well, a couple years ago, Matt was excited to go to a Motley Crue concert...which he had to attend himself cause I sure as heck wouldn't go. He had to leave the concert shortly after due to the PORN they were showing on the big screens as they sang!!!!!

So, I ask him, how can you listen to them?? He says, well, I do not have those bad songs...only their positive ones. Well, it is my opinion only.

Recently, he was thinking on his life and thinking that he needed to do some housecleaning and that was one of the first thing to go...music that he deemed as inappropriate to own.

But, what about music that may have been illegally obtained?? How many of us have copied music from websites that are not authorized?? How many of us used to do the Kazaa thing years ago before iTunes?? We did. We know people who still do!! But what about the morality in that?? We are supposed to respect and follow the law and isn't it stealing to take music and movies to add to our library without paying for it??

And think about it...when I take a song or movie illegally, as thousands (millions) do and the artist or movie maker loses out on that money...what happens?? Prices go up! Who am I to complain about a rise in movie prices when I am contributing to the rise????

So, here is Matt...deleting music that is objectionable and/or illegal. How proud am I?? VERY!! But, it does not stop there!!

Matt begins to think about how we are supposed to be good servants of our time, money and body. Ok. Here we are spending loads of time (and money...we do not illegally download movies...we are one of those consumers who pay for movies that go up in price due to.....) on a somewhat large movie collection. Matt says...let's think about this. We have an account with Netflix that we pay a monthly fee too and thus we can have delivered any movie we want and it is delivered to our door (ok, mail box at the end of our street in our case)....and we use it a lot. We rarely watch many of the movies in our collection. He says...that is it. We need to sell what we find morally objectionable or wastes of space. GOOD GRIEF!! We ended up selling WAY MORE than half our collection (he kept Star Wars and Indiana Jones, of course and I kept my Jane Austen movies and Steel Magnolias...kept our Pixar movies and other such movies).

So, we have cleaned out our music...our movies... We have set an example to our kids on being wise in choices both spiritually and economically. The result:

I feel so FREE! I feel closer to God. In thinking of how to be good servants of our time, I have spent less time on this computer and on watching tv and more time in study of his word. I found a great bible study podcast and have been doing a verse by verse study of Romans which is facinating. I am also doing a study of the apologetics. We have included Sierra in all these decisions and she is loving the changes. We are doing devotionals after dinner each night.

All those things were like heavy pieces of iron...weighing us down.

Sadly, being a good servant of our time can be SO MUCH HARDER. I have taken to getting to Sierra's school EARLY each day to pick her up so I can sit and do my Romans study. I am working on keeping my heavy foot off the pedal of the car to even do a small thing like not breaking the law in speeding. Are we getting legalistic?? I don't think so.

Now...to work on being a good servant to our bodies. lol Well, maybe we should get over these other hurdles first.

Addendum to the part about movies:

Let me clarify. We are not STOPPING watching movies...we LOVE movies. We are just not going to possess any illegally downloaded movies OR possess movies that we watch less than once a year that just sits on our shelves. We recently listened to a very good podcast (a three parter) about how we as Christians can go to the movies and learn how to take away key points. One thing that he said was that we cannot just give a blanket statement about not watching an R movie. Yes, most are bad and should not be watched, but there are those few that are very cultural. One he mentioned was "Schindler's List" and another was "American History X". I agreed with him....these are 2 HARD movies to watch. I have seen them both and will probably never watch AHX again (not because it offended me, though it had HARSH language and violence). I also, Stacie (in case you are reading), am going to watch "Slumdog Millionare". He talked about being wise in our choices. A good example of this being the choice of watching movies like the Narnia or Lord of the Rings movies vs. watching Harry Potter. While all 3 series has magic, 2 of the series uses it as allegory to scriptural events and message while the other is just magic.

OK...this is too long. Fact is, we are not shunning Hollywood and all it produces. We are always (or at least try to always be) wise with our choices of movies...

BTW...if you are interested in the podcast series on movies go to http://www.biblestudypodcasts.org/. We found it very insiteful and found little wrong with what he said. I liked what he said about NPAA ratings and how you cannot go by that alone.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Dad Post

My dad has been on my mind a lot lately...this time not because of bad things going on, but good things.

The other night, we were doing our nightly routine...probably the best part of each day. The whole upstairs is filled with laughter as the kids play around together as they are supposed to get ready for bed. Daniel will run into Sierra's room with just his underwear on proclaiming himself "Captain Underpants" at which point Sierra will start chasing him around both yelling (yes, this is joyful). They brush their teeth which often includes Daniel playing in the water (he gets so proud when he fills the sink right to the edge).

Than we all go into Daniel's room where Matt and Sierra will lay on the floor as I crawl into bed with Daniel and read him a story (if it is a new story, than Sierra squeezes herself in to hear it to). The book Daniel has chosen lately is a Maisy book (have you heard of these?). This one has Maisy going to bed...which has a part where Maisy and her stuffed Panda uses the potty (complete with picture of Maisy and Panda sitting on potties). This one portion gets Daniel into the giddiest of laughs and it is hard for me to continue to read as I laugh at him laughing.

When the story is finished, he takes the book and attempts to hit his sister with it (lol...this is funny as Sierra always runs for cover). Than Matt does a "spinny spinny" which means he tosses Daniel in the air as he spins him around...than gets on his knees and tosses him higher in the air....than flies him like Peter Pan across the room to "rescue his elephant"...and than lands him in the arms of ME...where I get first dibs or nighttime hugs and kisses...followed by Sierra...and than Matt.

Next it is to Sierra's room, where I crawl into bed to read to her while Matt tends to collapse on the bed in our room and snooze for the 20-30 minutes it takes us to get through 2 chapters (currently reading book 2 of "Limeny Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"). Than it is a little talking time (whatever Sierra wants to talk about (tonight it was about her sunburn). Than kisses all around and we (Matt and I) are free. (At least until Sierra's first trek downstairs of the night...she has always been our problem sleeper).

What does any of this have to do with my dad, you may ask? Well, it was in the middle of one of our typical nightly routines the other night that I thought about him. You see, my dad always had this idea of what kind of woman I should become. He felt I should be a teacher (he and 2 of his siblings were teachers and I think he thought it was in the blood). He wanted me to be a teacher and told me the only way to survive financially in the world is to have 2 incomes. He raised me to be a career woman.

Well, as you may have noticed, I did not become what I was trained to become. I tried to become a teacher....but HATED the idea of it with every fiber of my being. You may say...well, you were a Children's Pastor. Yes, true, but I only had kids twice a week (Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights). The thought of teaching frightened me (and from the stories Sierra tells me about the classroom...I was RIGHT).

So, that out the window, I decided to be a career woman as long as it was in administration. My strengths were in working with my computer and programs and thus a good fit. BUT, it is a wonder what pregnancy will do to you. You get a little baby growing in you and the brain says....YOU MUST WORK....but the heart says.....AND LEAVE THIS PRECIOUS BEING GROWING INSIDE OF YOU AT DAYCARE, ARE YOU NUTS!?! In the end, the heart won and out went the career.

So, here I was...in my son's room. Sure, we could be living a "better" lifestyle if I worked as I had been raised. BUT, here are these two kids (two kids who have changed my life for the better) who are so well rounded....loving...

And I got to thinking of my father who tried to instill in me these values he felt so strongly about............and started thinking of the pride he had for me and the life I have built. I remember the first time he held my daughter and the smile that was so wide and the eyes that were so bright. I remember when he first saw my house...you would've thought we bought a palace and not the modest home we inhabit. His excitement at that moment is one I will never forget...and hearing him tell others about what I have become. And, I remember when he first held my son...whose name is Daniel...my father's middle name.

So, as I lay on my son's bed as he joyfully looked for a book to read that night...and my husband and daughter laying contentedly on the floor...I could not help but smile as I thought of my father who was proud of me throughout my life........but became most proud when I did exactly the opposite of what he thought I should do.

I love my dad...I miss him terribly for as I thought of this I also thought of how much he thought my daughter was the most beautiful girl he had seen and how he had barely been able to see my son.......and as I look at my daughter now 10 with those long legs, lean body, blue eyes, and winning personality....and my son with the kind of personality that makes all who meet him laugh.....and I have sorrow that he cannot share in these milestones with me. BUT, I can say with confidence that if he were here........his grin would be big and his eyes would be shining and I would feel like a success.

So...there you have it. I could not meet my dad's expectations as he thought it, but I could exceed his expectations past his own vision for my life. So, even in the sorrow of his absense, I can feel comforted.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Facebook Status Updates

Recently, Matt, Sierra and I went a few days without technology (ok, Matt HAD to use his computer at work, but did not do any surfing or anything like it).

I am such a big status updater, I thought it would be funny to tally what my status updates may have been during this time.

* Daniel is doing such a great job wearing his patch.

* starting an interesting, in-depth study of Romans today. (Thursday)

* our hearts grieve over recent layoffs at our church -- praying.

* had fun without computer distractions...made cards to put in the decorated tin for my sister's birthday...now well over 2 weeks late.

* loving the drop off for Sierra's new school...less than ten minutes round trip.

* another task complete w/out computer and tv distraction....craft room cleaned up.

* helped Daniel pick out toys to sell in our Saturday garage sale...his money to go towards a cool new toy. (addendum...Daniel got to buy himself the black spider man suit).

* loving the constant sound of my ipod on shuffle...though one of David Crowder's songs has played and replayed about 5 times.

* finishing a book that is not too interesting, but I have to finish to see if I am right. (I was)

* having sweet times praying for those in community, nation, church family and friends.

* shopping for houses in North Carolina. No, we are not moving...yet....though it is not outside the realm of possibility.

* is so proud of my budding missionary who loves church both on Sundays and Wednesdays and wants to go spread Jesus around.

* watching my husband nod off as I write this.

* is proud of my daughter who wants to extend our little fast past these few days. (no, it did not last)

* finding it funny that Daniel has to watch movies on our little portable dvd player to avoid distraction for us.

* looking forward to getting my and Sierra's hair cut on Saturday followed by lunch at Cheesecake Factory.

* finally mailing my sister's birthday present on Friday...AND finally mailing my 12-inch long braid to Locks of Love...AND mailing Sierra's best friend who lives in Africa the DS games she left in our car. (YES, I did it...I mailed all the above).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sierra....she blows my mind.

Tonight, our church concluded a period of fasting by holding a worship and prayer service. The service was amazing...I felt the holy spirit stronger than I have in a very, very long time.

They had childcare for the little kids, but bigger kids were to be with their parents. I noticed a strong lack of bigger kids in the service, but my daughter was present and accounted for.

When we shared with Sierra the fact that the Pastor of our church was calling us to fast, Sierra said she wanted to participate, too. We, of course, told her she could and explained what it meant (for us, we did not fast from food....I just can't go without food and I wouldn't want her to, either). We told her she needed to spend her free time with God...praying for others....worshiping Him...etc. She said, no problem.

We had many discussions over these last few days and I found her thought process to be very mature for someone her age.

Tonight, at the church service, she just blew my mind. My daughter, 10 years old, went to the altar to pray (how many times have I felt drawn to the altar and stayed back with fear of being seen)...My daughter, 10 years old, went to the mic they had set up for people to share prayers or scriptures or what have you and she shared a prayer of thanks for God to give us this church where we can worship and pray freely (a task that is not easy in a room filled with a couple hundred adults....and how many times have I felt the urge to share in a room a fraction this size but held back because I had a fear I would say something stupid)....and when there was one particular prayer request during the time of intercession where Pastor Jeff called all leaders and all intercessors to come forward to surround, lay hands, and pray my daughter, 10 years old, went forward to join with the masses, her hands held out and she joined them in prayer (how many times did I feel like I should do that and held back with fear).

I was left praying to God....how did I with so many faults manage to have a daughter with such a spirit of prayer and getting right with God.

She blows my mind!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2 posts in 1

There is so much going on in the life of us Kozlowskis that it is simply too much to go into. So, I will just post on 2 things that are on my mind right now and maybe at another time, I will post something else.

So, let me start with my darling son, Daniel!
As many know, Daniel was born with a congenital cataract in his left eye. This caused much pain in this mother's heart who wanted perfect babies...as any mother would. God dealt with me through this...in the grand scheme of things, a cataract is not that big.

Added to the cataract, his vision in that eye was very poor. There is a technical term for it, but I am not even going to attempt it. Basically, he has a lazy eye. This kind of sounds weird for me though as his eye does not look lazy...there has been no crossing in his 4 1/2 years.

Earlier this year, it became clear that his cataract had to be removed...it was growing as his eye grew and was placed near the center of his pupil. This involved removing his natural lens with the cataract and having a new, artificial lens put in. This is tricky for kids...especially as young as Daniel. The doctor has to guesstimate where his vision should be in the new lens...they make it pretty far sighted. This means that his near sight is bad and his glasses need to now be bi-focals. In the doctor visits since his surgery, his vision in that eye has worsened. We have to step up patching...which entails putting a patch over his "good" eye and making his "bad" eye work more.

We have been trying to patch since he was 1 year old...but it has been such a physical, emotional and mental battle. Daniel hates it. I am not sure I can blame him...imagine walking around for HOURS during the day with a large band-aid placed over one of your eyes. NOT FUN! I had to weigh the options of getting his eye stronger and dealing with an increasing anger Daniel was having towards us. So, for most of his infant and toddler years, we opted NOT to patch.

Now, I know we can reason with him. He still hates it, but there are so many options. We found these special patches you can order online called PatchPals. They fit over the glasses lens of the "good" eye. This takes away the discomfort of a big band-aid....not to mention it was right around $15 with shipping which, in the end, is much cheaper than buying boxes of patches.

Daniel still does not like wearing it, but it is not the battle it once was. He has been wearing his patch for close to 4 hours a day. He asks me constantly throughout the wearing time when he can finally take it off...but I will take the constant questions over the TERRIBLE fits of crying! I am a bit concerned cause he says he can't see when the patch is in and he has not adjusted to the bi-focal yet. His next appointment is October 30 and I am anxiously counting down the days, hours, minutes, seconds until we can talk to his doc.

On to the second post:

Today, we made a stop at the library. I am TERRIBLE with libraries...I end up with HIGH overdue fees and even seem to have lost a library book. I just cannot be trusted to check out books.

The library has a wonderful service called "Friends of the Library" where they take donated books and then turn around and sell them to us for SUPER CHEAP prices.

So, today Daniel and I went to the library for the sole purpose of skimming through their books for sale....and came home with a treasure trove.



Reading is very important to me. I was always called a book worm throughout my childhood and I understand the need for kids to read and try and give them a love of books.

Part of that is reading to my kids...yes, even my 10-year old. With Daniel, I will read to him before nap and again before bed. He gets really upset with me if I happen to be too busy or the night is too late. He treasures this time...and, let's face it, it does not get any better than laying in his bed with him...his head resting on my shoulder...as I read to him. It is the best feeling in the world and Daniel has got the love for books....in fact, I need to get on top of teaching him to read...he exhibits all the signs of one who is ready to learn.

With Sierra, it is also a SWEET, SWEET time. We pick a chapter book and I read a chapter or two. It is the same scenario as the above. I get in bed with her...she often puts her head on my shoulder. She gets very upset with me if it is too late or just can't. We have started reading the Limeny Snickett "Series of Unfortunate Events" together with the beginning of this school year. There is no better bonding time than sitting on your kid's bed as you read to them.

So, what fun it was to go to the library and get all those books in the above picture for just over $7. I found 2 of the Limeny Snickett books for $1 each!! In HARDBACK!! Granted, they are books 4 and 5 and we need 2 and 3, but.... Daniel got 4 books. I found Sierra a series of books that look really cool for 50 cents each...and a couple magazine for me (10 cents each). What a treasure!!

I need to go there more often!!!

Wow...is this too long. Well, since I do not blog often, I guess I am due!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ruminations

It is my dream to be an author. I would love to write a plot twisting mystery...or a spiritually in-depth character study like Rivers writes. But, I tend to not have the endurance to finish anything. Why is it that every night when the lights are out and my head hits the pillow, words and thoughts will flow through my mind like the words at the beginning of any of the Star Wars movies. I will toss and turn and make my monologue or story ideas or what have you weaving into something that I can tell would be good....and then the pills I take each night kick in and I pass out.

When I wake up in the morning, are those thoughts and streaming lines of sentences I spent so much time thinking through the night before end up going through some sort of mental paper shredding while I slept....or seem to pass into the cosmos to be forever lost among the vastness of space.

I decided tonight that I would be inspired to get something started NOW...while my son is in bed....while my daughter entertains herself on her laptop....while I sit on my bed in this darkened room.....and....I.....got............NOTHING!!

I guarantee that as soon as I shut this (my ever present extension to my arms and hands)computer down and place my head on my pillow....those thoughts and visions will come roaring in. I need a voice recorder so I can try and at least utter these thoughts into existence for review the next day to see if I actually do make sense.

So, as my eyes grow heavy as I lay on my bed and in the not so great for your back position...I will say goodnight. One day, you will be at a bookstore and you will see "written by Sandra Kozlowski" Until that time.....I will try my best to stave off the nodding to sleep and you guys .....yep....I am gone....good night!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Glimpse of What's Ahead!

This week, both my children are attending VBS. This is a big deal for us because this is the first time that, first off, I will have a whole week of mornings free since before Daniel was born. Wow! Secondly, this is the first time Daniel will be away from ME for a week of mornings.

Let me pause here and beef out a complaint I have for churches and their VBS programs. First of all, most of the VBS' around here charge for VBS. That is beef number one for me. VBS is supposed to be an outreach. In my opinion, money to cover the cost for VBS should come from within the church. Secondly, almost every church has the age limit that the child has to have graduated from Kindergarten in order to participate. WHAT!! I mean, seriously.

As a former Children's Pastor, I know that every VBS program out there has a preschool curriculum as well as the older kids. When I was CP, I would hold FREE VBS' and the ages would be 3 years through 6th grade. I would communicate with my preschool teachers and they would all say the same things...the kids were enjoying the stories and games........AND were even memorizing their verses. It is ridiculous to believe that we cannot reach young children.

Even the church my kids are at now is 4 years and up and this is their FIRST year going that young...and only did so at the constant urging of my friend who is the MOPS coordinator at that church.

Ok....let out a big breath...that soap box is done.

So...Daniel was born 1/2 way through Sierra's kindergarten year. When Sierra was in Kindergarten, she only went half days. So, for a few months, I was able to be free. Since Daniel was born, I have had a day here and there where Matt would watch him and I could run errands...or he would take the kids for a few hours and I could be home alone. But...this is a whole WEEK of free mornings.

This morning, I went to Wal-Mart without stepping foot in the toy department. I was able to meander without having to constantly make sure my kids were a) still with me or b) keeping their hands off things they shouldn't touch (i.e. cameras on display...cell phones on display). Not once did a little voice (or older voice) say..."can I have this?". I knew what I needed to get...I went to the areas of the store I needed to go...checked out...and left.

I also made a trip to Hobby Lobby. Not once did I have to say..."get down from there" or "no, don't touch that"...or, "no, you can't have that". No potty breaks. Again, I knew what I needed...went to the area I needed to go...got what I needed and left.

Oh, and then there is the car. I had my ipod plugged in and I listened to wonderful worship music shuffled on my ipod. I got to have the volume up at a level where I could actually sit and listen. There was no gabbering on about nothing....the constant noise of questions and idle chatter.......just me and my music. One of the songs that popped on was by SuperChick (one of my fave songs)..."Pure Flow" and one of the lines goes "I've got the pure flow, water around..the rocks of life won't pull me down" and I could not help but think of this pure flow that was flowing around me. *sigh* It was nice.

Now, do not get me wrong....I love my kids and they really are GREAT kids. I know it will be hard when Daniel crosses into that phase of life called school...that first day of Kindergarten (a little over a year away) will be hard for sure. And I certainly love summer...hanging with the kids and having fun. I have often been asked what I will do when both kids are in school...will I work? It is tempting to get a job while the kids are in school...supplement the income. But, every single member of my family has asked that I not work. Sierra says she likes having a mom that is home. She has begged me not to work. So, when Daniel is in school...I will likely try to do some volunteering...I will continue to attend bible studies...maybe I will join a gym (though I suppose I could do that now)....I will be readily available to my kids and husband as needed.

It is a great feeling to be a mom...to have kids who not only love you (duh) but like having you around. It is a great feeling when I pick Daniel up from Sunday School class or any other class he is in and that look of joy when he sees me and runs to hug me. It is a great feeling when Sierra looks at me with her beautiful blue eyes and says she loves me and wants to be like me. To know that the material things do not matter as much as the emotional needs.

But, I will enjoy my time this week...these mornings of peace. I will continue, though, to treasure those many mornings between now and the start of kindergarten with my son.

Life is good. And now I will turn on the tv and veg for a bit...with cats napping around me and along with the dog. Peace and tranquility....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Popcorn Commercial

The other day, Sierra's best friend, S., came over to spend the night. They decided to make commercials selling items and Daniel, of course, had to get in on the action. This hilarious commercial ensued. Sierra says Daniel is the next Jim Carey...I agree. video

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sierra Growing Up!


Today I started a new bible study with my MOPS group (Beth Moore....Wising Up...based on proverbs). They have childcare only for young kids and not older kids. This church I go to MOPS at has a summer program for kids....every other Friday, kids ages 4 and up can go on their bus to the zoo. I was not comfortable having Daniel go...seeing how the Zoo is across HOUSTON AND he is only FOUR YEARS OLD!!!! Sierra, I am pretty ok with going, but she was not interested in going since she did not know any kids who would be going.

I offered to let her stay home alone. She would have the whole house to herself for a couple hours. She wasn't comfortable with that, so we tried to come up with a different solution. I called up my MOPS leader and asked her if Sierra could help in the nursery. She said of course she could. Whew, load off my mind.

When I went to pick Sierra up from the nursery, the nursery worker said I couldn't have her, she was too good a helper. As I peeked in the room, my heart did a little jump. My little girl did not seem so little anymore. She looked so much older. When she saw me, she gave me a smile...and then she went over and picked up a diaper bag and was exclaiming how it belonged to a mom who forgot it. She has talked non-stop about how she loved being with the babies.

When she is officially in 5th grade, she will have an opportunity to work in Children's Ministry at our church. She can't wait!!

How did she get to be this old!!??!! I had a flashback today when I was working in church. How I would have a lot of kids that would help out and how helpful they could be and how cute it was to see them working with kids that are "so much younger" than them. Today, my daughter was one of those. It is funny how you can be so full of sorrow at how fast they grow up....and can be so full of joy and pride looking at what she has become!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Watered Down Christianity

Christianity has become somewhat of a mystery to me. Well, no, that is not entirely the case. It is not a mystery to me, but what Christianity has become in the "Christian" world is a mystery. I see a watering down of Christian views and beliefs being taught from the pulpit as well from the personal lives of those walking the walk.

I struggle with this personally. Let me state this first. I am, by no means, a perfect Christian. There is no such thing as that perfect Christian. I do not read my bible NEAR enough. I do not pray and spend time with the Lord near enough. I try to instill Godly principles in my kids, but I do not do this nearly enough either. I claim to not have enough time to spend in the word...or not enough time to spend teaching my kids the word...and who has time to pray. There are so many areas in my life that I need improvement in...as do we all.

There are decisions I made for my life long ago, and I have stuck by them. I do not listen to non-Christian music. Well, ok, I will sometimes let my son's playlist on my ipod play which has songs like "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts from the Cars soundtrack...and, at times, I allow Matt to put on his favorite radio stations that play secular music and his ipod that is 99% secular. We will sometimes listen to Sierra's ipod which, I am glad to say, is about 80% Christian.

I also only read Christian novels. It is my way to filter out junk that many secular authors put out there and a way for me to feel a bit fuller. This is no easy task as there are not too many authors who write Christian fiction, so it is quite a treat when I come across a new one so I can read again. It limits me from doing what I love to do....read...but I feel better and safer with this limitation.

I do watch a fair number of shows. I cut the list down a lot in recent years. I decided to check out the phenomenon which was "Grey's Anatomy', but could not get past all the sex, adultery, and brashness of the show. I also cut out "Bones" and "House" for similar reasons...Bones and her atheistic and sexual viewpoints was revolting and, maybe not to the extreme of Bones, the same went for House. I do love to watch shows like "Chuck" and "Lost" that are not perfect in their filtering of these offenses, but it is not the central core of the shows.

Movies are another filter. I love movies, but recently said no more to R movies. Most PG-13 movies get the boot, too. It disgusts me what they get away with as rating a movie viewable for 13 year olds. We recently went and saw "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" and were disgusted by the whole movie. Every fiber of my being said I should get up and walk out, but I didn't and was disgusted with myself for it.

So, all that said, therein lies the struggle. I struggle with Matt still listening to secular music. I know...a prude right?? But wasn't music created by God for Him?? I grew up very naive. I loved songs like "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and never realized what it meant. I did not know what a good 90% of songs meant when they sang about "sugar walls", "cherry pie", and other such things that I have since been enlightened to by Matt. I just cannot listen to these songs anymore without wondering what revolting thing they are singing about now. I recently watched the movie "The Piano". I was so taken by the music that before it was done, I downloaded the soundtrack. Well, if you have seen the movie, than you know that it is, in my opinion, soft porn. Now, I cannot listen to the soundtrack without conjuring up images from that movie.

I also know of so many people whom I have a great deal of respect for who practice in reading, watching or listening to what I deem as the opposite of what God would have for us. The media is pushing on us a viewpoint of sex being so casual and it is really weird how many Christians are buying into it. The numbers of people obsessed with shows like Grey's Anatomy...and Twilight. I don't know.

I guess my biggest struggle in not being on a high horse about it. But, I just wonder what kind of message it is to spend a Sunday in church learning about how to walk in the footsteps of Christ and what God wants for us and from us, and to go home and turn on these shows or movies or read the books. It makes me scared to think of what is happening to this generation of Christians.

I don't know. Just something I struggle with. Like I said, I know we are human and not perfect and I certainly make so many mistakes in my own life. I just wonder if allowing things in our minds will further corrupt a doctrine that is already under so many attacks from the outside world. How can I talk with someone about the darkness of the world and the spiritual warfare taking place while reading "Twilight". Or how can I teach my daughter about the depravity of casual sex while watching a show like "Grey's Anatomy" or movies like "Ghosts from Girlfriends Past". I want to teach my daughter about having respect for herself and my son to respect women but am at Barnes & Noble the other day and my son is eye to eye with, I think it was Rolling Stone at the checkout, a naked woman with strategically placed bubbles covering those sensitive areas.

Raising a kid is hard enough, but sending mixed signals does not help. I have made the decision to not send mixed signals. I tell Sierra NEVER to fall prey to a boy unless they can treat her as her father treats me. If I see something questionable, on tv or on one of my dvds, it is gone. I talk to Sierra about the war going on in the spiritual realm (on her level)...I am not going to turn around and watch something like Twilight or Harry Potter which glorifies these dark forces.

My sister is a practicing pagan who also practices witchcraft. I know the reality of this world personally. How do I tell Sierr and Daniel to pray for my sister and at the same time watch something that makes it ok?? My filter is on full steam. What is not good for them is not good for me. (ok, there is some adult entertainment that is ok for us and not for her......she is still a kid).

I encourage her to listen to Christian music and am so fortunate that she LOVES it...Toby Mac and Pure NRG are her faves. It is unfortunate that there is not a real good market for Christian novels for kids...but at least many of kids books are not bad. It is scary, though, as I walked around the kids section of Barnes & Noble how easily these have crept into their books. A psychic kid detective...books on witchcraft and other powers...etc.

With that, I apologize for any ideals or feelings I may be touching on. I may be wrong in my views and if I am, please tell me how and why. I have been the receiver of people who say one thing and acted in another. It is hurtful and has made me guarded on friendships and relationships. I just wonder what we do to our kids teaching them one thing and doing another.

And, while I am preaching on not sending mixed signals to our kids, I must confess to a mixed signal that I not only have sent to my kids, but which Sierra has called me on. I am VERY sarcastic...especially when I am grumpy. Sierra has not only picked up on it, but is practicing it. So, I call her on it...Sierra, don't talk to me like that. Well, she says, you talk to me like that, why can't I talk to you like that?? Hmmmmm....how do I answer that?? Simple...I am wrong and need to work on that.

P.S. Matt read this blog and liked it, but thought I was a bit wrong in a couple things. First, let me say that while everything was clear when I started, I had MANY interruptions while writing including many visits from Sierra wanting me to look at things online and a call from someone that ended up being a 20 minute conversation that severely interrupted the thought process.

He mentioned me talking about secular music and books being something I will not partake in, but I still watch secular shows and movies. First of all on that, this is my own, personal, choice. I choose to listen to Christian music cause I want to, first off, listen to music that glorifies God and secondly, music I do not need to wonder what the meanings are.

Also, shows. Let's face it...there are not too many things in Christian entertainment that is very entertaining. I could limit myself to HGTV and Food Network, but I do require a bit of entertainment. I am human and I do watch a number of tv shows that are secular. I have eliminated many shows that I deemed as immoral or anti God. I would argue that, at least so far, Lost has not been too immoral. Ok, this past season, Sawyer and the blonde chick were living together on the island and are not married...but beyond a kiss here and there, that was the limit and was only a very slight part of the show. Chuck makes me a bit uncomfortable with the clothing that Sarah wears and yes, Chuck's sister and her fiancee were living together. Again, not the best morally, but it is not in your face in action or look. I also enjoy 24...terrorism.

Movies. Yes, I just took a look at my movies...many Jane Austen...uh, yeah, cleaner than clean. I do have 13 Going on 30...hmmmm....maybe not the best choice. There are scenes that make me cringe. Stepmom...dad divorces wife and is living with his much younger girlfriend and his kids spend some weekends with them...ok, could use a purging of my movies. Honestly, I have not watched most of these (yes, there are more) in a long, long time. I tend to watch crime shows like American Justice and Dateline now and not so much on the movies we own.

The other night, Matt put on the MTV movie awards. How many teens do you think watched this show that was so disgusting in it's presentation, stars, and other such skits. I had to leave the room. I guess if it makes me squirm, there is a reason for it and I shouldn't watch it anymore. I struggle with the great movies that are "The Transformers". For the most part, the action is fun and good.....but you have the over sexualization of Megan Fox....the preview with her on the motorcycle is appalling. Where to draw the line is something I must evaluate and re-evaluate. I am not too comfortable with Sierra watching Megan Fox and the way they use her sexuality.

A week ago, I was at water day at Sierra's school and I heard one girl say to another girl, take a picture of me being sexy. A couple weeks before that, Sierra is coming home in tears cause some of the kids in her school started a vampire club...one girl even bit Sierra in order to prove that she was a vampire. Another day...closer to the beginning of the school year, I overheard one of the 4th graders talking to her friends about how bad she needed a boyfriend. Twilight obsession has reached even our 9 and 10 year olds. HECK, in 1st grade a girl told a bunch of her friends about how if she were a TEENAGER she would shower naked with Zack Efron. I know of 13-year olds obsessed with the Twilight star...Sierra talks about her classmates being obsessed with the movie. This is not good.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Present

This past week, I made a Mother's Day present for my Mother in Law. My inspiration came from this clock that was featured on the cricut message board. Mine did not have all the embellishments that were on this one. I don't know...I like this clock, but I am more into clean lines. The point of this clock featured was for a wedding gift.


I just noticed that the person who created this clock put the numbers in the wrong positions. Hmmm....was that on purpose??

As you will see, I did not stray too much from this image. I liked the colors the original creator used. She did not give instructions on what to do, so I just made it up as I went along.

First of all, this is a canvas. I am not sure what size canvas it was, but I already had a canvas sitting in my closet with no purpose. I had bought it at Hobby Lobby a LONG time ago, and wasn't sure what I would do with it. I THINK it was an 11x17, but I cannot be sure.

The first thing I did was to ink the sides of the canvas with brown ink...I did not want the white sides of the canvas showing and I wanted to "age" it. I supposed I could have used brown paint to paint the sides, but I wanted it to match the inking I was planning on doing to the edges of the paper.

Next, I measured and cut my paper to fit the pattern I wanted it to be. Once I was sure all the paper would fit perfectly, I lathered the canvas with mod podge. I then carefully placed the paper onto the canvas trying to avoid wrinkles and bubbles. I let this all dry.

Next, I took my ink and aged the sides of the paper...even the brown paper. Once that was done, I took brown ribbon I had also bought at Hobby Lobby (where I also bought the papers) and wrapped it around where the blue paper met the brown paper. My staple gun was out of staples, so I used E-6000 glue to super glue the ribbon to the back of the canvas.

Next I worked on the pictures. I think it is pretty self explanatory from the pictures...I mounted the picture to one of the corresponding color paper and than mounted that onto the other paper. I used strong double sided tape to adhere to the canvas.

I took some cool paper I had bought that also matched these papers to print the "established" dates under each picture. These are the dates of each marriage. I cut the "K" out with my cricut...first in shadow on the blue paper and than in brown I did a normal cut. The numbers were also cut out with my cricut (all with SCAL).

I bought a clock kit from Hobby Lobby (yes, I am obsessed with that store). I also bought the bigger, black hands for the clock. Had I not procrastinated, I would have spray painted the hands....maybe aged them a bit. I assembled the kit according to instructions.

I did not mod podge over the whole thing. I did not want to have any wrinkling of the paper and I figured if it is on a wall, it will not get messed up. lol

Sorry, I did not take pics along the way. I had, honestly, thrown it all together in one afternoon in a frantic frenzy on a week that had been so busy that I had waited past the possible second and the gift was going to be late.








The point of this project is to show the legacy of my mother-in-law's sons. It shows her two sons and their families.

She should get it in the mail today...the day AFTER Mothers Day. Oh Well.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Marriage and Love

I tend to watch a lot of true crime shows like American Justice, Cold Case Files, Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery, et. al. I find the criminal mind fascinating...the hows and whys people do what they do.

Most of the crimes I watch tend to show crimes of passion. Husband kills wife...wife kills husband.... Usually, an affair is involved and the only way out of the marriage seems to be murder. It is amazing.

One thing I see a lot in watching these shows is how easy it seems to be for people to move on from relationship to relationship. Love seems to be lost and commitment is meaningless.

When I was 18, I dated a guy. He was one of my first boyfriends and he was infatuated with me. He professed his love to me via words, songs, letters, jewelry, etc. I did not feel the same about him. I liked him a lot and liked to hang out with him, but knew it was short lived as I was moving away to college and he was a high school drop-out working at a local factory. He was disturbed (a fact I was not aware of) and committed suicide a few weeks before Christmas stating that he knew I was eventually moving and wanted to end it now.

Though my feelings for him were not as deep as his for me, it took a year before I could even consider any sort of relationship with a man. I could not imagine opening up to another relationship. We had gone out for maybe 5-6 months.

I do not understand these people whose spouse die and are remarried within a year.

Why am I thinking of this? My father died in October of last year. He had been married to his wife for about 9 years. When the family ascended on his house to grieve his death, his wife had all of his belongings on a table asking that we (dad's kids) go through it all quickly to clean her table off. There were a few items she found precious that she wanted to keep for herself.

I tried to ignore that nagging feeling inside...that feeling of pain seeing my father's possessions so callously laid out for dispersal. His wife went on to talk about plans of putting herself out there for another man. She talked of going to the places she and my dad went dancing to every week in hopes of meeting some one new.

A couple months after his death, she talked to me about how hard it was to find a good, single man and I was almost sickened by it. This is my FATHER. What does 9 years of marriage mean to her?? To others out there??

Than, today, I received a package from her. There was no note...just a few of my father's items. One of these items was one of those "precious" items she said she wanted to hold on to...my father's plaque he had received celebrating his 1961 football team he coached to an undefeated state championship! Also included in this package were my father's rings (not his wedding ring, but he had a hobby of making jewelry and she sent me the two rings he wore everyday).

I can't help but wonder if my father's marriage meant so little to her that she could so easily pass on these items...if she has "found that man to replace him". How do you do that?? How can someone move on SO FAST!!?? Maybe she hasn't and just wanted to get rid of more of his items as she did when he died?? I don't know...but I do know it is her desire.

It makes me sad. What is marriage today?? What does it mean?? What is it's purpose?? Is it just convenient to us??

Matt has told me that if something were to ever happen to me, he would never marry again. That is not my wish for him. I would want him to follow his heart and do not want him to be lonely....but isn't that the desire we should have...a covenant and commitment to the one we marry??

I feel so sad for my dad. He had love once...he was madly in love with a woman who deserted him while he was fighting in WWII. I think this broke his heart to such a degree that he never really recovered. He was married to his first wife for several years (the longest in his long line of marriages). I think he did love her... He did not love my mother, his second marriage...married her as the mother of me. He, also, did not love his third wife...but married her to be a "mother" to me (a disaster in my life that is best kept to another rant). He claimed love for his 4th wife, though it was very short lived (months long). He finally married his 5th wife, his final wife. He seemed to love her at first and maybe he did to the end.

It makes me sad.

Since writing this post, I have found out that his widow is, indeed, seeing a new man. She, apparently, is looking forward to marrying him soon.

My dad has been on my mind a LOT lately. Maybe it is because his birthday is in a few days.....I don't know?? This package I received came as a blow in my already weakened state of grief. I am pleased to have these possessions, but saddened at how easily they could be given away.

I hate when I receive mail from her. She puts my dad's mailing stickers on the envelope or package she sends, but crosses out his name and writes in hers. Everytime I get something like that it is like someone has punched me in the gut. I have a hard time calling her and listening to her complain about finding a new guy for herself and do not think I could call her now and listen to her talk about the new man in her life (apparently, my sister, Vivian, called and found out about him).

Matt says he is done with her. We had a hard time dealing with her during and after this tragic event, but tried our best to feel sorry for her. Now, all I can do is pray. Matt would rather we just let her go...

*sigh* I am blank. I just cannot fathom the coldness of these many acts. My family has always been somewhat dysfunctional, but the love my father and I shared was not dysfunctional. I cannot let this negative in.

Ok...I am done....again.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Videos of the kittens!

video
video

Monday, March 2, 2009

video

A couple years ago, my sister, Vivian and her family went to visit with my dad for Thanksgiving. Vivian is a very talented singer and my dad was her biggest fan. At my dad's memorial, I was given a dvd with all these videos that were taken at that time. Most of the videos show my sister and her husband playing music, but one particular one shows her singing "La Bamba" and her daughter, my neice, Julie dancing...and my dad gets up to join her. I always get asked how he could be in his 80s and look so good...this is it. He lived life...he danced and excercised...he ate a regiemented diet. Anyway...this is my dad....he was incredible!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sorry I have not posted in a while.

We have been so busy these last couple weeks...lots of things I have wanted to post on, but no time or energy to do it. And yep...no time or energy now. ha ha ha This is my posting....that is all I have to say.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Project 365

Well, as I feared, I do not have the time or commitment for Project 365....I have too many other things going to think about taking a pic everyday of my kids. Sad, huh?? It is only a couple weeks into January, and I have already forgotten to take like 2 or 3 daily pics.

Oh well....it is a neat project and I congratulate everyone who has the stamina to do it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Daniel and his New Bike

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Project 365 Day 6

Here are my sweetie kids on day 6 on in our 365 day project!!

Spectacular Spiderman in Action.

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Daniel and Spectacular Spiderman

Well, with Spectacular Spiderman being SUCH A BIG part of Daniel's life, I hunted all over for an mp3 of the theme song from his show. I finally found one and Sierra had the idea to hook my ipod to her icat and play the song as Daniel played with his new web blaster and than with his Spiderman Scooter. lol Crazy kid!!!
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2009 Expectations

January -- Daniel turns 4 on 1-7! Where have the years gone? He is such a joy to us....a real mama's boy. I love that guy!

Also for January is our 2nd family trip to Disney World. The kids are anxious for the time to arrive. I am, too. I love that place.

The end of January marks a milestone for the 2 adults in the house...Matt and I will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. Matt has something planned...we'll see.

February is not a month I look forward to...and yet it is! Daniel will be having surgery on his eye mid-month. I HATE the thought of my baby being put under....and something as vital as his eye being worked on. But I know it is important and will be a great help to him.

March will be Spring Break for Sierra. No plans except a possible camping trip. I HATE CAMPING!

April...not sure what will be in store for this month??

May -- Well, the biggest thing of all for this month will be my BABY girl turning 10! Yep, double digits! CRAZY!!

Also for May will be the beginning of SplashTown. We have already purchased our season passes. Last summer was so fun...we look forward to doing it again.

June will mark the end of Elmentary school for Sierra. What a sad occassion. She is growing up so fast.

June and July will be a lot like last year. Lots of SplashTown...hanging out with friends....going to the library...etc.

August will bring Sierra to Intermediate school as she starts the 5th Grade. Crazy!! It will also be the last school year Daniel will be at home. It will also be the month of my birthday...I will be 35...WHOA!

September through November will most likely be a blur of school activities. Who knows what Intermediate School will bring?!!

November -- the birthday of Matt...another year where it will not fall too close to Thanksgiving. He hates for that to happen (HELLO, at least it isn't at Christmas like my sister whose b'day is the day after!!). Thanksgiving has been a blur of activity for us for the past few years. We will, hopefully, be at home. We like low key holiday celebrations. And then......

December! -- WHoo....can I think about that already?? Of course I can! We are already planning on a winter vacation...somewhere with SNOW....skiing....snowball fights....et. al. There is, of course, the usual hussle and bussle of Christmas shopping. Believe it or not, we already know what BIG gift we will be getting the kids!!! Yep, we are that good...we can plan a year in advance! It will be hard to top this past year for Sierra (laptop and ipod)...but I think we will if the plan stays in action!

So....2009 is already shaping up to be a busy year....and we haven't even planned the social activities yet. It has been 4 short years since the birth of my son. It just doesn't seem possible. But, there it is. Wow!! I feel like hibernating!! :-zzzz