Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A nice day outside

Our best friends Tara and Roger came over for an early spring cookout. It was so nice that we sat out in the yard pushing Crabby Patty in her swing.

Me and Tara are president and vice president of the Chubb Club. Um....Robert, you need to re-bag those leaves along the fence!

Bailey - the shaggy doggy doodle. This was taken just a few days prior to his day at the doggy salon.

Baby Kat looking down at us from the bedroom window. She looks down on us no matter where she is. She is very snobby and thinks we are all beneath her.

Robert posing in the grass with two of his boys. Bailey was off towards the fence somewheres barking at the Kodies.

Momma and the bald baby-doodle. She loves being outside and watching the birds and the squirrels and the dogs running around. We can't wait until it gets warmer so she can spend more time outside. Staying in the house all winter gave us all a bit of cabin fever.

Robert decided it was finally time to weed his garden. You probably can't tell but he's got his tongue stuck out. It actually helps with the weed-pulling.

It's all done. Later this summer we are hoping to have an abundance of string beans, yellow squash, zuchini, cucumbers and tomatoes. Last year the cucumbers took over the whole garden and we ended up having to give a bunch away because we couldn't eat them fast enough.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We lost a good friend today...

Today we lost our dear friend, Steven Gilmore. He is finally free from the body that kept him prisoner for such a very long time. Steven had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - the most severe form of the disease. He lived for thirty years and touched many people's lives. Now he gets to be an angel in Heaven. He can and even fly.....all the things his poor body kept him from doing while he was here on earth. Rest well, Steven. We love you and miss you already. We will see you again someday.

Steven Gilmore ~ 1979 - 2009

This was the last time we got to see Steven at the end of February for his 3oth birthday party

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sarah Elizabeth Ingalls

Today my sweet baby niece Sara Beth was born! I know the cell phone picture is a little grainy but you can still see how gorgeous she is. Congratulations to my sister, Regina!

I Wished For You

I read this book to Skylar for the first time last night and had to choke back the tears as I did. This is such an emotional story for me. I am hoping that one day this story will mean as much to Skylar as it does to me.

I Wished For You an adoption story
by Marianne Richmond

Mama and Barley Bear snuggled in their favorite cuddle spot.

"Mama," said Barley. "Tell me again how I'm your wish come true."

Mama smiled. Barley loved to hear about how he was Mama's special wish.

"A long time ago," said Mama to Barley, "a wish started growing in my heart. At first, it was a quiet wish that nobody knew. Then it became an out-loud wish that grew and grew and grew. Until one day, my wish came true."

"Me!" said Barley. "I was your wish come true!"

"Yes," said Mama. "You are my wish come true."

Barley wiggled to get more comfortable.

"Why did you wish for me, Mama?" asked Barley.
Barley wished for things like a new comic book or a pet lizard. He had never wished for a somebody.

"Because," explained Mama, "I had an empty place in my heart that I wanted to fill with love for a special child like you. Someone who would be my cuddly little one, and I would be his Mama."

"Oh," said Barley, feeling a little unsure. He knew about how his Mama had adopted him from a far-away place.

"What about the Mama that grew me in her tummy?" asked Barley. "Didn't she wish for me, too?"

Mama squeezed Barley a little tighter.

"Sometimes, Barley," said Mama, "A mama will grow a baby in her belly, and for all kinds of reasons, she'll decide she cannot be the very best mama she wants to be. The mama who grew you loved you enough to make a different wish -- a wish for a family who would love her little one with a total and adoring love. The kind of love I have for you," said Mama.

"Mama," said Barley, his voice a whisper. "Did you wish for me by name?" He liked his name, he thought to himself.

Mama tilted her head to show she was remembering.

"When I first wished my wish," said Mama to Barley, "I didn't know your name. Or if you'd be a boy or girl. But that didn't stop my wishing. I asked God to look around and find the child who would be the perfect one for me."

"Barley," said Mama, her eyes spilling over with tears. "Of all the children in the whole wide world, God picked you for me."

This made Barley feel really special. There are lots of children in the world, he reminded himself. And God picked him! Barley got up and looked out the window that faced the big apple tree out back.

"Did you wish for me all day, Mama?" Barley asked. "Or only when the stars were out?"

"All the time," said Mama, softly. "I wished for you with my morning coffee, and when I made my bed. I couldn't get my wish for you out from in my head."

That was a lot of wishing, thought Barley. He thought of all the things he did at school like math and lunch and reading. He couldn't imagine wishing through all of them.

"Did you ever think," wondered Barley, "that your wish might not come true?"

"Oh yes..." said Mama, remembering how long the waiting seemed sometimes.

"I wished for you through many phone calls... and through mountains of paperwork. I wished for you while I waited and waited... and waited. Sometimes," said Mama, "I didn't hear any news about you for weeks or months. But I held onto my wish tightly - like the string on a balloon."

Barley wasn't good at waiting. He wanted his birthday to be three times a year.

"During the waiting," said Mama, "I would imagine you."

"Imagine me?" repeated Barley.

"Yes," said Mama. "I imagined what you'd look like, or what color your fur would be. I imagined you in your room, playing with your blocks and trains. I wondered, too, if you'd like soccer or piano or art projects."

"Did you imagine me to look exactly like I do?" asked Barley.

"You, Barley, are more beautiful than I ever dreamed," said Mama.

"One day..." said Mama, brightening as she spoke, "One glorious, special, wonderful day, I found out my wish was coming true."

"What did you do?" asked Barley, smiling and sitting up. He could tell a lucky part was coming in her story.

"I shouted for joy!" remembered Mama, laughing. "And I cried happy tears. I told all my friends... and they hugged me and cried, too."

Barley wondered why grown-ups cried about the happy stuff.

"Everyone," continued Mama, "knew how much I had been wishing for you!"

"What did you do when you first held me?" asked Barley. As hard as he tried to remember, he just couldn't. He was a pretty little Barley then.

"Oh, Barley," said Mama. "I fell deeply in love with you. I looked into your sweet face, and right then, you became my wish come true."

Barley felt cozy about what his Mama was telling him, but a thought niggled at him.
"Mama," said Barley. "Me and you are in the same family, but we don't look the same. You have dark fur, and I have light fur with brown ears. Is this okay?"

Mama had waited for this question.

"Yes, Barley, it's okay," she said. "Some families look alike and others don't. All families are different. What makes a family is their love for each other."

That makes sense, thought Barley. He liked Mama's answer. He loved being a part of her family.

"Do wishes always come true?" asked Barley,thinking again about the pet lizard he still wished for.

"No," said Mama. "Not all of our wishes come true. But don't ever stop wishing for the hopes of your heart."

"I won't," said Barley. Maybe he'd ask for a goldfish instead.

"But I came true," said Barley, proudly.

"Yes, you did, Barley," said Mama. "I wished for you, and you are always and forever my wish come true."

Mama and Barley stayed right there in their cuddle spot, both thinking that always and forever was a good amount of time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm loving my new photo editing program

So here is my newest obsession...touching up photos and making pretty collages and scrapbookie-type pages. The first four pictures below I printed in a 5x7 size and put them in frames to put around my house. The last one I just made up and printed for my girfriend at work. A couple of weeks ago I took a bunch of pictures and made them black and white and then put splashes of color here and there. It's a really neat program. If anyone is interested the site is

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yes, I know this is long overdue....

I've actually been staring at this blank "new blog post" screen for the last four hours....trying to decide how I was going to start out my latest blog that is about a month or more overdue. It seems lately that every time I have something halfway decent or important to write about, I just can't find the energy to sit down and blog it out. I know....sitting down at the computer doesn't really take any physical exertion on my part but sometimes I am just so downright mentally drained that it taps out every bit of physical energy I have and so my blogity updates which probably all of three people read go unposted. I really want to do better about keeping everyone up-to-date on what's going on in our lives but it's a hard thing for me to do. There are a few moms out there whose blogs I follow and I just can't seem to post as often as they do. Two of them post every single day. One is an author that has thousands of followers so she really has to post everyday otherwise her fan base would go nuts. The other sometimes posts more than once a day about random everyday things. I want to do that!

Maybe it's because I'm working and away from the house for nine hours a day. When I get home, not only am I tired most nights but the baby occupies every minute of my time until she goes to bed. Most nights she cries and fusses from the time I get home until bed time unless I am constantly holding her. Robert lucks out during the day. Most of the time she is content to either swing or sit in her jumpy or space car and watch tv. By the time I get home she's starved for physical contact and just won't be satisfied until she gets it.

Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way calling Robert a bad daddy because he's not. Skylar has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. I just think that since he doesn't have to be constantly engaging her in a game of googly faces and peek-a-boo that she sometimes misses out on that physical one-on-one contact so by the time I get home at night she just can't take it anymore.

She finally has a pretty set bedtime. Some time between 8-8:30pm she drinks her night-night bottle and is in bed between 9 and 10:00pm. It really depends on how long she napped during the day and how late she took that said nap. She sleeps good all night usually for ten to twelve hours and has a two hour nap during the day. The whole "sleep" thing has been an issue with that girl since she was a month old. One day Robert put her in her bouncy seat and turned on the vibration doohickie and from that moment on she would sleep no other way. We would have to put her in the bouncy and stick the whole thing (baby and all) in the crib and that's how she would sleep every night. Just before she turned four months old she sort of started to outgrow the bouncy and fidgeted quite a bit at night because it wasn't comfortable anymore. I tried laying her in the crib to sleep and she wasn't having that at all! She cried and screamed and screamed and I put her back in the bouncy for the night. I thought that maybe she cried because laying flat gave her reflux and made her spit up so I went and bought her a crib wedge that elevates her head. I excitedly positioned it at the head of her crib under the sheet and mattress pad and that night laid her in the crib...waiting...holding my breath for her to fall asleep. I don't know what kind of magical moment I was expecting but it certainly did not turn out like I thought it would. She freaked out and lost her mind. She cried like someone hurt her. Thank goodness I got the idea to put her Boppy pillow in the crib and lay her in it. While she looked comfortable she soon started crying and stayed in full-on fussy mode until I turned on the bouncy and stuck it in the crib with her. She sighed...took a deep breath and she was out. So there began our month long journey of doing that. I finally weaned her off the vibration and put the bouncy in the closet but she still slept in the Boppy for another month. I was hoping that one day she would wean herself from it and praise the Lord she finally did. She got to the point where she wanted to try and roll over and the Boppy was just restricting her movement and she began to fuss when going to bed. After taking naps flat on her back in our bed last weekend she finally goes to sleep in her crib every night. No bouncy, no boppy.....just her and her new mattress we bought at Wal Mart. I'm sure that makes it a little better now that she's not sleeping in a hole. When she wakes up in the morning she is completely sideways. I'm hoping she'll start rolling over soon. I think all those months not sleeping in the crib like most babies actually stunted her developement because she should be rolling over by now. (Well, most babies do but not all) I think that because she hasn't rolled over and strengthened her back and side muscles that that is the reason why she's not anywhere near sitting up by herself. Then again I know I shouldn't worry too much since she was born a month early. Maybe that has added to the delay of her physical developement.

Wow....look how I rambled about Skylar's sleeping! Well, she's sleeping right now as a matter of fact. Yay for Mommy!

Last weekend we went to a baby shower two and a half hours away and then drove to Robert's mom & dad's for the night. The next morning Mom and Dad and I took Skylar to the local Wal Mart (in North Carolina) and I bought one of those pink plastic Little Tyke swings for the baby to hang out on the porch. PS....she loves it!! Check out her blog for a picture. I think we're going to go back up to Blairsville on Sunday for the day. I need to take some more stuff up there for Mom to take to Regina (Robert's sister). She is expecting a baby girl in less than a month and I thought I would pass down some of Skylar's things. Supposedly Regina has decided to make the move to Georgia in 2010 and transfer to a hospital in the Metro Atlanta area. I am super excited about that because I want Skylar and Sarah (princess-on-the-way) to grow up together and be total BFF's. They will only be seven months apart so they'll make good playmates and be close like I was with my cousins Susie and Karen. It seems like such a long time to wait. =(

Well, I better wrap this up and keep working on her "Happy Spring" cards that I am sending out with wallet-size photos of Skylar. A few of my dear friends/family will get an 8x10 so if I send you one (or two) I expect you to put them in frames.

I'll try to post again soon and not wait as long as I did to give everyone an update.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day 2009!

Would you believe it? We finally got our first real snow this winter on March 1st. I thought the possibility of the fluffy cold white stuff was long gone for this year. For a good two months I frequently checked to see if there was a possibilty of snow and surprisingly a lot of times it did show flurries in the forcast but naturally within hours that changed. When I finally stopped following the weather for a couple of weeks the snow decided to fall. And it didn't come down in was actually what would be considered a snow "shower". That morning it started out as rain as it had been raining for three days straight. By noon it had turned to heavy snow - after three hours the rain started mixing back in and within an hour we were back to just a steady drizzle. That melted some of the snow but ultimately served to pack down what was there and just glaze over it creating 2-3 inch slabs of ice. When I went out to my car the next morning I had to yank and pull to pry the car door open as it was encased in ice. Three days later most of it has melted but driving around town you can still see the evidence under bushes and other shadey areas. They completely shut down school up here on Monday so traffic was lighter on my way into work. It was lighter but it didn't move any faster because there was black ice all over the road. This ice is very dangerous as it takes on the appearance of the road underneath. The advantage I had was that it was an exceptionally sunny morning and it made the ice super-shiney so I was able to see it ahead of me and slow down. It makes me feel bad for the relatives that still live in upstate New York. We wouldn't know what to do down here if we had to shovel snow. Okay....that's my rant on our snow day for this year!