Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blog it sister...

Lori: "Grab a chair and get comfortable girlfriend we need to talk."

Me: "Oh goody, love the sit down talks.  Do we need wine too?"

Lori: "No,  I will have to pass on that.  Oh and this conversation is not to make the blog."

Me: "You are stifling my blog now?"

Lori: "What? No, I am not!"

Me: "Did you just say this can't make the blog?"

Lori: "That is not stifling, that is just..."

Me:"Limiting, removing from or blocking of content if we want to get really technical but they all really lead right on back to my favorite word right now.... Stifling!"

Lori: "This is totally making your blog isn't it?"

Me: "Absolutely, but no worries I won't tell anyone you are going to have another baby and that you have been hiding it for weeks now from your best friend."

Lori: "How do you do that?  Jay is right you hired our kids as master spies didn't you?"

Me: "Oh honey please, I have known you forever and then some.  You didn't eat anything green on Thanksgiving and you completely lost your cool and chucked potato chunks at our lovely sister-in-laws.  Jay didn't so much as blink an eye and you looked ready to draw blood.  You only go to the dark side when pregnant and to be honest I really love your hormones, they let you cut loose for a change.  But what I don't get is how this happen since Jay got the big clip and tuck thingy right?"

Lori: "Well yes, but we don't seem to follow instructions well.  I guess we needed to empty him out and we didn't or I guess we did and boom... Just call me fertile.  I can't believe I am going to be 40 and pregnant."

Me: "Well hey you have had tons of practice and now your little guy will have another playmate to torture as a big brother!"

Lori:"I am not going back to work, we had thought in a few years but not now.  Jay and I have figured it all out and I am going to stay home with these little ones and enjoy my last few babies growing big."

Me: "Oh Lori that is awesome!  Really I am super excited and you absolutely know I am here to spoil or help which ever you need and when ever you need it!"

Lori: "I know and I am counting on that in a really big way.  Oh fine... blog on sister... blog on!"


Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas decorations, coffee, coffee and well heck COFFEE!!

Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday season.   I love the meaning behind it, the way people come together and for a brief moment forget differences and celebrate it all together.  The hectic list of things to get done, presents to be wrapped, baking that needs done and the amount of running around and parties to attend it just excites me like no other part of the year.  Maybe this is why I can't wait to get those turkey dishes done so I can scramble around in my garage for the many bins of Christmas decorations and plan the attack on my house to transform it into Christmas.  It literally takes me days to get everything out, organized and put out around the house just to my liking and not every year is the same location or style of decorating.  We have several different types of decorations so each Christmas it all looks just a bit different.

Well you all know how my Thanksgiving went down, so I was super excited to bounce back the next day and start my Christmas.  I was up and out of bed, breakfast in flight and my second cup of coffee in hand before six and was just about to turn on some Christmas music when Alex came stumbling down the stairs looking for me.  We had a pretty late night so I really shouldn't have had all the energy that I did, but dang I was just up and ready to have at it!  He came down and saw that I was way past the point of taking back to bed and just asked that I try to keep Christmas as sane as possible this year with all the extra family that would be with us this year we didn't need to go crazy.  Absolutely my fearful husband, I will keep things simple and fun this year!  (I am pretty sure my fingers were crossed, but I know for sure he didn't 100% believe me so that lets me off the hook too right?)

Our home will be full this Christmas, as we have many new additions and family moving here.  My parents are still under our roof until their home is finished (at this rate may be 2017!).  Aunt Peggy is now staying with us and will move from the east here permanently early next year.  Kaylee is going to spend the month of February back east with Aunt Peggy helping to get her organized, packed and help out as much as she can.  Another perk of home school!  :0)   My parents offered her a spot up in their loft but she has opted to stay in our home up next to Kaylee, which is just perfect as those two are having so much fun together.  Kris, who is now engaged to Kyle is also moving into his old room and saving money for their start in life.  Kyle just moved into his new apartment over the garage and he is loving the privacy.  I do have a confession....  I didn't mean to do it, really I was just being a very helpful Mom!  Bo is now my puppy and he and Jack are my shadows, where I go they pretty much follow.  Both boys sleep in the same big doggy bed on my side of the room and the puppy even fell asleep on Alex the other night and all he did was cover him and fall asleep himself.  So he can't tell me he doesn't like animals anymore, it was a very cute picture that I am going to frame and place for all to see!  :0)

Soooooooo... By noon I had two Christmas trees up and fully decorated, the front porch and entry way was decked out with lights and nativity scene.  I was just getting ready to attack the rest of my living room and kitchen when the men started invading my kitchen for left overs.  So I had to stop what I was doing to save my kitchen (more like save myself a monster clean up session if I had left them to it themselves!) and feed them so I could get back to my decorating.  Kaylee came down while I was shuffling containers and I pulled her in to help so I could be back decorating faster.  Well in the mix of all that I didn't really eat much but I sure did grab another cup or two of coffee.  You know the amount of flavor coffee they store away and only bring out at Christmas, so when you see them at the store you just have to grab them all and try them all to make sure they are as good as the previous year right?  Please tell me I am not the only crazy lady out there that goes nuts over all the fun pumpkin spice mocha and apple pie delight.... :0)

Well let's just say that I have done my duty and tasted all those lovely flavors and they are just as yummy as they were last year.  But my problem is that it usually takes me all winter to do the entire taste testing thing and I did it all in 3 days this year.   (oh yes you read that right... Sigh)  I wasn't even thinking about it or the fact that none of them were decaf and I was just rocking out to my Christmas favorites and decorating my little heart out.  But the first night (Friday) I had my usual night medicine to help me sleep and it took a bit longer to work, but hey I was just on a decorating high and it was all good.  Then the next night (Saturday) it took me three hours of rolling around the bed to finally settle and I was up and going by six again.   Alex was sick on Sunday so we didn't attend church so I was off and running again and of course sipping on my coffee(s) and finishing my Christmas village.   That night we were downstairs watching Sunday night football and when we got up to go to bed, I stood up and maybe took one step and the world went black.  Alex was right next to me and saw all the blood drain from my face and had me before I went down.  I came right back, it was very fast but just scary to be sure.  Unfortunately Alex wasn't feel great himself and felt dizzy too, so when he yelled for help and my Dad came running it was off to the ER with both of us.  Sigh....

Alex had a sinus infection and got some medicine and told to drink lots of fluids.  I got an IV in my arm and lecture after lecture about dehydration and the effects of drinking too much coffee.  So NOT the way I wanted to start the season at all!  Grrrrrr....  So once home and settled my Mom and Kaylee took over and Alex and I spent Monday in bed together resting... Well between all the extra lectures on coffee and how I am not even to look at coffee until the new year he rested.  Trust me, at this point I don't even want to see the stuff let alone see the coffee aisle at the store anytime soon.  Plus that was the day that Alex decided we should Christmas shop together this year and wouldn't it be way more fun doing it that way.... Um, NO!   Next year will mark our 20th wedding anniversary and in all those years together I can tell you we have NEVER and I mean NEVER done any Christmas shopping together.  We don't even grocery shop well together, it should be a clear sign that this was just not going to work right????  Ugh.

Well we did and it was.....adventurous.  Not sure Target will ever be the same and I am pretty sure our  pictures are hanging in their office some place, as a warning to watch out and call for emergency help if sighted in the store ever again.  :0)  But that is another story for anther post as I need to run and get Bo to his training appointment.  He can now sit, lay down and beg (yes that last one is natural but it is so much cuter the way he trains them to beg) on command!  Now if he could just learn to do all his poops outside and not in closets (seriously, we have to keep all closet doors closed or he does his poops in them!!) we would be all set!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Flying food and a side of Crazy = Our Thanksgiving!

Before we went down to Jay and Lori's we all gathered in the living room and Alex gave us the "Let's all be good and get along" speech that I just know he has been practicing all week long.  Then he very patiently fielded all the "what if" questions that my teenage daughter no doubt had practiced all week long.  So bless his little heart when he said ok we are now ready to go on down the road and have some family fun and our door bursts open.... Jay and Lori's reformed informant had a weak moment and came down to let us know that a really cool fight was going on down at her house and we should hurry we are missing it.  Oh boy... Let's go!  I was up and going and maybe made it to the kitchen before I was up and over a shoulder and told to chill and wait for the call to come down.  Grrrrr.  Spoil sport.  Alex went down and 30 minutes later we got the call that we could come down and he didn't want any bad behavior from his side of the family or else!
I had planned on being a perfect angel, really I had planned this all week!

Seriously, I had imaginary conversation all week long in my head just preparing for different scenarios of what could be said or done to get at me by my lovely sister in laws.  Have you ever done that?  Just sit and imagine what buttons some one may attempt to push before you get with them so you are mentally ready to not let them get close to pushing any of them.  I do have to admit that some of my conversations maybe got a bit vengeful in my mind so I had to work on keeping them nice.  But my halo wasn't too tarnished by turkey day, so I felt ready to take on the world.  (Oh the best laid plans...) Sigh. 

You see I have forgiven my sister in law for putting my blog out there, not that she has sincerely apologized to me for it at all.  I got a phone call with her on the other end reading from a prepared statement that she made an error in judgement and she was sorry for the impacts to me and my family because of them. (Seriously, I could hear her husband in the background coaching her!)  I didn't forgive her because of that, honestly it is easier to let go and feel sorry for the other person and not hold the grudge.  It has taken me a VERY long time to realize that forgiving does not mean forgetting, it just takes the burden of you harboring ill feelings towards some one else and using up a bunch of your energy feeding those hurtful thoughts.  But coming face to face with her and our newest and youngest sister in law who has decided to support her, has been horrible the last few weeks.   They are just young and petty little girls that haven't grown into the women they should be at this point in life.  (Did that sound harsh?  :0)  Yes, my halo is not shining a perfect bright yellow.  I know this... Sigh.)

So I walk into the house and dart straight for the kitchen and Lori to find out what has gone down.  The first thing I see upon entering the house is that Aunt Peggy is sitting on the sofa right in the middle of the room looking as happy as I have ever saw her.  Seriously the woman was beaming! So I knew that I had missed something and got a wink and a motion towards the kitchen from her on my way through.  Into the kitchen I go and Lori is chopping potatoes and counting backwards (this is never a good sign, her kids run for the hills when she starts to count) literally throwing potatoes at a bowl on the other side of the counter from where she was.  Each toss was sending the bowl sliding further and further away and closer to the edge of the counter.  My mother and Lori's mother were in the corner sipping wine and whispering when they saw me enter they gave me the cut throat sign.  I was guessing that meant not to ask what had happen, but dang I wanted to know what happen!!  
The face you get when you know you need to be an adult but being a toddler would be so much more fun!

So I went about organizing the counter top and putting a box of stuffing and some celery on the other side of the poor bowl getting pelted with potato chunks.  Then I went into super efficient mode and took over the kitchen to let the older women have there secrets and give Lori and her poor murdered potatoes some space to...um... well keep working it out.  (We had lots of mashed potatoes for our dinner and probably for a good week more!)  So when the busy bodies that had started the ruckus had been returned to the kitchen after what I can only guess at this point was a pep talk from their husbands, we were all lined out.  Kaylee and Kris (my future daughter in law) came in right behind them wanting to know how they could help.  So I put them on stuffing duty and green bean duty right next door to our potato queen and a good distance from our spawns of evil.  (Ooops, yes there I go again.. Just wait for it, you will agree in time I have faith in your judgement!)

Now we have two mothers with wine, two youngsters chopping and watching all directions, one crazy lady chopping bags of potatoes in record time and two smug busy bodies that were brave enough to sit themselves down at the table next to my mother.  You know that really awful and awkward silence that happens when everyone knows there is drama in the air but no one is saying there is drama in the air?  Well it was just thick with that awful feeling of this may just stink here pretty soon.  I was deciding what I could work on next when it all went down and I mean it went FAST!  Steph (one of the evil spawns) decided that perhaps she should have made a dessert after all since we seemed to be short on them.  She said this pretty loud and with a slight sneer in my direction and back to her evil in training next to her. (I was assigned the dessert this year and had made 5 dutch apple pies, 4 pumpkin pies and a full sheet cake to celebrate a birthday that was on Friday.  Plus the girls had helped make Oreo cheesecake bites and various types of cookies on top of all that!!!  Seriously, that wasn't enough for this group?  Well she got that out and Kaylee flung a chunk of celery her direction and said "excuse me what did you just say over there?"  (Yes, that is my girl!!)  Steph barely got out on a snarl about bad manners and did your mother not find it important to give her any... Well that is when Kris started zinging another chunk of food in her direction and telling her she would give her a lesson in manners herself if she said one more thing about Kaylee or to me!  (Ok girlie, welcome to the family you have passed the initiation in spades.  Plus she has great aim!) it just got worse from there because at this point I don't even think Lori knew who started what she saw food flying and well potatoes started their own flight patterns too.   Now what kind of sister in law and best friend would I be not to back Lori's flying potatoes?  I grabbed the biggest bunch of green beans and let fly in the general direction of evil and the squeal from that direction only encouraged me to follow up with another handful of stuffing mix.  

So imagine mothers spitting wine in utter confusion and amazement, food flying all over the kitchen, me with a pan shield and spatula to hit back the chunks coming my way and just lots of chaos.  That is the situation that Alex and Jay with Aunt Peggy right behind them came into.  My dad, Kyle and Scott came in from the back door and my poor father caught a potato right between the eyes.  It was very unfortunate that my mother of all people was on the other end of that particular toss too.  Ooops.  But she had taken a celery to the wine and the splash was all over her nice sweater so she was in a mood all of her own at this point.  Aunt Peggy put her fingers to her lips and let out an ear piercing whistle that brought everyone back to there senses and got everyone not already in the kitchen on there way to the kitchen.  Ugh.  Alex had the good grace to take his cell phone out and get a picture of my shield and spatula combination before he wanted to know who did what and why... Men!

We needed this food fight months ago, I swear it has given us more closure to what has been going on this year than any amount of talking has.  Kaylee and Kris had been planning to run interference and had been planning it all week, since they knew I was planning on being good at all costs.  I love that we bonded in the best way possible, being part of the crazy dysfunctional family that we are and that I love.  Bless Kris, she can't wait to be part of this crazy group of people and I think she is going to fit in just perfectly!  Plus I think she is going to keep Kyle on his toes, which he completely deserves.  :0)

Our two spawns were taken home and we had a very lovely meal and some very lively games of charades that all of us will remember for years.  Kyle put that promise ring on Kris's finger and I cried happy tears and welcomed her and her nice right arm to the family!  Aunt Peggy taught Kaylee how to whistle much to our dismay and little Bo stole the rolls and ate his fill before we found out.  No sooner did I get home when I got a call and another prepared speech on being sorry, that I accepted and then let go over a third piece of pie.  (We had left over desserts hello, just saying!) Alex gave me major points for not starting the food fight and for the welcome change in my feelings towards Kyle and Kris taking that next step in life together.  After getting to know her better these last few days I feel like she has belonged all along, we all just get along too well and she... well she fits! So all in all I think we had a pretty amazing Thanksgiving and I can't wait to see what Christmas brings!!

As for the men and the fryer.... They took down one turkey, a small chicken, several twinkies and a few other items they snuck out of the pantry while the mothers were running down to my wine cellar to restock.  Aunt Peggy made the men do the clean up of both inside and outside cooking areas and the women put our feet up and put a major dent in my wine supply.  Not too bad compared to some past fryer experiences!

And I thought my family was crazy!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Construction Zone

My parents have been doing a 6 month split between where I live and where my brother and his family live.  This left them just making drive by stops in there motor home back at their old house between trips.  They love getting away from the snow in the winter and the cooler summers out east with my brother, so it has worked out great for the last 3 years. So my parents decided last January to sell their home and build a smaller home in our backyard and rent a condo by my bother for the other half of the year.  After much talk and lively debate it was decided that we would also build a detached garage to store their motor home and our toy hauler as well and because that didn't seem like enough construction we also decided to put an apartment above our garage for Kyle.  

February and into March were the months of blue prints and painting dirt and then painting more dirt and then when everything changed we got to cover that dirt and paint new dirt.  All the work is going through Alex's company, so we know all the crew and teams very well that are contracted through for various projects.  Knowing my parents and how challenging this could become Alex decided to pick one of the teams that attends church with us.  His theory is that they would some day forgive us for contracting them in the first place and validate all the "parent" stories we have told in our bible study group over the years.  :0)

Our first clue that things were going to be fun, was trying to watch my mom read the blue prints.  Now if you have never had the joy of watching a older couple argue over which set of glasses to use before they even pick up the prints, you just haven't lived a full life!  

So after they picked a set of cheaters that would probably work but had a second pair on standby just in case, they started following Dave (he is the lead contractor on the project and a very brave and patient man who has really become part of the family after all this!) as he walked them through the front entry of the home.  He got past maybe two sentences before my mother raised her hand (we don't exactly know why she feels she must raise her hand to speak but she does this with Dave and the other crew and we haven't talked her out of it yet.) Once Dave told her she didn't need to raise her hand just go on ahead and shout out your questions.  We then had to listen to my dad explain why that wasn't a very good offer to put on the table for this particular woman.  (Can you see why we just knew this was going to be a fun project?)

About ten minutes later Dave had tried to explain what all the different layers of papers meant and that the fine print on the sides were for his team and they didn't need to worry about those details and was looking to Alex for some help.  Alex jumped in and had them going back over the blue print once again only to have my mom decide that none of it made sense to her and they were just going to have to make this easier for her to see what they were talking about.  Poor Dave took his blue prints and downloaded all the details into a special application and built a 3D version that my parents could view on the computer.  So now my parents were able to do a virtual walk through several times over and that was very helpful to get them past walls and room placement.   Or so we thought at the time...

My parents wanted to have a smaller version of what their old house was, very open floor plan and the master bedroom downstairs.  They both agreed they no longer needed three bedrooms upstairs but thought a loft with and extra bedroom and bathroom might be nice if they have friends come visit they can stay with them.  Dave had taken all their ideas into consideration and put together a floor plan that more than covered all of their wants and needs.  Knowing my parents I did offer to get the floor plan to the old house for them, as I didn't think they would go too far off that plan.   Alex told me that the crew was magical and to let them work the process.  So I decided to stay on the sidelines and enjoy the entertainment and let the "crew" work their magic.

I am going to say about 6 weeks later the blue print layout matched the floor plan of their old house just about 95%, they just had a half bath instead of a full.  The loft was now two bedrooms with a shared full bath.  But the downstairs was flipped exactly backwards from their old home, so the kitchen was to the right and that opened into the living space.  This surprised me that my mom was going along with that much change, but sticking to the sidelines I just cheered they were now able to break ground.  So the next week was waking up to very loud tractors and guys yelling at each other and just chaos from all sides of my house.  This woke up a very annoyed teenager who has let us know daily that she is losing precious hours of beauty sleep and we should all be very sorry about it.  Ugh.  

So after the crew played in the dirt for what seemed forever they started to get large amounts of wood dropped off and large trucks with cement started rolling in making our world even more noisy.   I was about to lose my mind when I was pulled into the planning of the apartment over the garage for Kyle and my entire outlook changed immediately.  This was fun and it was exciting to watch Kyle start making decisions based on how he planned to use the space to live.  What amazed me the most was the discussion he had over the flow of his kitchen area, the boy has been playing me like a fiddle.  He just knows way more than he ever let on since having mom and Kaylee do all the cooking worked just fine for him.  Grrrrrr... Well I know better now!

Push forward several weeks and we have a framed house in our backyard that our fearless crew is walking my parents through....  Two hours later they are knocking walls back down and Alex is holding his head in our bedroom praying for patients he doesn't have.  They were now going to need to flip the entire downstairs back to the same layout of my parents current house because my mother is just beside herself that she can't see herself sleeping on the left and cooking on the right it just didn't seem right in her mind.  Sigh...   I didn't think offering up a "I told you so" at that moment would help, so I gave him a back rub and told him I would sleep on the left and cook on the right for him if that helped any.  :0)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Let's talk Turkey....

Me: "Last year was so much easier without the double turkey scenario and less work for the women."

Alex:"How is having two turkey's complicated and we take care of the second one so no extra effort for the women."

Me:"Um... If it would end with the turkey being your only victim, I agree it would be simple."

Alex:"Seriously?  Jay gave you his best scouts honor that we would stick to turkey."

Me:"Jay was never a scout.  Now you on the other hand...."

Alex:"What if we promise to clean up after our mess?"

Once I stopped laughing, which took a while because the dictionary should really hold two meanings of the word "clean".  

Men's clean:  A lick and a prayer that his wife doesn't look too close.

Women's clean: Using various soaps and scrubs to remove all traces of anything that doesn't belong until it sparkles.

Last year at this time Lori and I were able to get the men to agree to a one turkey holiday and it was the easiest clean up ever!  We didn't have to restock any pantries or hide anything we thought would make it to the fryer they setup in the back.  But not this year, I am already helping with the divert and maneuver plan Lori is putting in place.  Between her Mom and mine we should be able to keep most of the pantry safe but word is they are planning to spring an extra bird on us.  We are bringing in the big guns for that one, Aunt Peggy is coming to town and she can stop anyone of these large guys with a look.  Bless her heart, she is 87 years young and feistier than all of these guys put together. Aunt Peggy is Alex's late father's older sister and she has decided to come west and straighten out the mess from earlier this year.   I can't wait for her to get here honestly, she and I have always gotten on so well.  Plus it is just so fun to watch these huge men completely back up when she corners them and puts them in their places.

Guess what... I am a Grandma!  No, not exactly what you are thinking...  :0)

Meet little Bo, he is only 8 weeks old and just loves to cuddle and play in my pillows all day long.  Kyle got him through a friend and was originally just going to help find him a forever home, but guess who fell in love with him????  Alex!  Yes, mister grumpy no dogs or anything else with more legs than me can't stay in this house...  So Kyle took that as a good sign and is keeping him and I am watching him during the day while Kyle is at work.   It's working out really well, my dog Jack has taken him through the dog door several times so he knows where it is, just hasn't connected the dots on doing his business outside yet. 

Just a quick pop in to say hi and show off my new little joy!  I will be posting about my parents and the construction project that is never going to end later this week.. :0)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Change is good... Right?

So I disappeared right after saying that I was back and not going to .... well disappear.  :0)  I am sincerely sorry and I know that some of you sent emails to check in on me and those were not only amazing but surprising to get.  So from the bottom of my heart... Thank you to those VERY kind souls.

My absence was a decision made after an incident that happen literally days after my last post... Due to a very bad choice made by one of my in-laws, my blog was outed to a very large portion of our circle of friends at church.  Yes, at church of all places!!  Sigh.  Alex left it up to me if I wanted to continue, start over to become anonymous once more or shut it all down.  In the end I have decided to stand my ground and continue with MY blog.  Human judgement is always hard and always forth coming these days, but at the end of the day we don't care about those judgements. God's judgement and concerns from my loved ones and true friends are what matter to us and those have all (ok, we had some shock factors of course.. ) have stood by us and love the blog at the end of the day.  Some now know more of our story and our friendships have blossomed and grown and to be honest have made an impact on their own relationships.  Alex has given TONS of advice and I have been answering questions from parents, friends and people I didn't know very well that I now am happy to call friend.

This entire thing unfortunately hasn't resolved all the way, as our family has struggled to find closure... Too many hurt feelings and harsh words that can't ever be taken back were said.  It may take a very long time to bridge this gap and that is the saddest part of the entire situation in my opinion.  At least it is now...  At first it just seemed like life would never ever be the same and leaving the house was just not anything I wanted to do for weeks.  But I got out every day, even when I really didn't need to do anything just to show everyone I am who I am without any apologies.  Alex was my rock as usual and never once left me alone in a public setting for weeks until he felt all was well.

The holidays are fast approaching so only time will tell how those will go, with all of us trying to be together.  We are doing Thanksgiving down at Lori's this year, and she communicated very clearly that no drama will occur in her home that won't end with her and a rolling pin after the person that starts it.  So we are all to be on our best behavior or else!  :0)  Bless her heart.  She has been a protective Momma bear fighting in my corner since the start of all this, I can't thank her and Jay enough for all their love and support during the crazy and chaos.

Update time!!!

With the construction of my parent's new home in our backyard and my son's garage apartment, we have been super busy.  Speaking of my son, Kyle graduated from High School last May and is now working full time with Alex.  Alex has had to travel a bunch in the last month so he has brought Kyle in full speed and I have helped out as much as they needed too.  Other then a few classes here and there Kyle will work full time with Alex and one day strive to take the company from him, so we are very proud and super happy.  With this decision he also wanted to stay close to home, but not in the home because he is ready to be his own man too.  So that brought up the space over the garage could be built up into a very nice size apartment and get him technically out of our home.  The contractors working on the house were more than happy to bid out this new project and it is going WAY faster than the house build for sure!  Of course they aren't dealing with my parents on that one so they probably love that job more.  Kyle should be living in the apartment by the end of this month and my parents should be in there new home by late January if they ever stop making changes.

Have you ever seen the movie Sleepless In Seattle where Tom Hanks is an architect and he is dealing with a lady that keeps changing the layout of her kitchen and he has to keep moving cabinets back and forth.... I think our contracts would love that lady over working with my parents!  Alex just walks away and lets them deal with it, he can't even keep it together anymore either.  But the house will be just what they need for 6 months out of the year and give us the privacy back too.

I have basically been living in a construction zone for going on 6 months now.  We have picked up two nails and a metal clip in our tires so far...  Yes, just lots of noise and constant workers coming and going.  Since it gets light around 4:45am in the summer months here, that would be when I started hearing them pull up and it never got peaceful again until 4:30pm.  So the monster dog and I have been going down and spending time with Lori and her kids during the day and coming home in time to make dinner and get ready for Alex and Kyle to get home from work.  Kaylee is back in school with her friends and doing very well so far, but online school is always an option again if things change.  Kaylee also is driving and has a new part time position that keeps her busy.  My house is empty more than it is full these days, which makes me sad and wishing we had more kids left to make noise and I can't believe I am saying this.. I miss the everyday messes of having family under foot all the time.  Sigh.

Lori has decided not to go back to teaching and will stay at home with her youngest children.  Teachers get paid next to nothing in this state and she doesn't want to miss her last baby's firsts.. I was of course sad to hear I wasn't going to get the little guy to play with but super happy to have my BFF home down the street to hang with all the time too.  Jay had the surgery to ensure that this little guy is their last baby so that really pushed it home to Lori that she didn't want to miss a second of this last baby growing up.

Now for the news that I am not very happy about.....

First, my son went and bought a "promise" ring for his girlfriend.  He hasn't given it to her nor has he mentioned anything about it to her, but he has been talking with Alex and it seems like she is the one in his mind.  I can't go and yell that he is way too young since I was engaged during my senior year and a full year younger than he is since I graduated at 17.  Ugh.  Now Alex has a leg to stand on since he was 20 when we got engaged and 23 when we got married, but he isn't freaking out like I am either.  He still thinks that it's a sign that he went with a promise ring and not a full out engagement ring and he has been sitting on the ring for several weeks without moving on giving it to her.  He thinks if we just stand back and let Kyle figure it out on his own it would be much better and less likely to push him in a direction he wouldn't have done otherwise.  So I am trying to keep calm and not say anything to him and trying to not be weird in front of HER.  Grrrrrr.    Well ok fine, I actually like this girl... In fact of all his girlfriends she has been the best and she does have a really good head on her shoulders.  She is a year older than Kyle, so she is a Sophomore at NAU major is Business Management so she can do lots of things with that degree.  But she has stated several times over that she doesn't see herself having kids, which my turn coat daughter decided had a nice ring to it too.  Which as a person that can't wait to be called Grandma... I HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH THAT!!!!   :0(  What is with these younger generations not wanting to have kids?  Lori thinks they will all change their minds, she and Jay both didn't want a large family and look at them now.  So I am buying my time and waiting to pick my battles later... Sigh.  So not easy.

Whew, I think that about does it.. You are updated!  :0)

Happy LOL week.. I am sorry to have missed that this year.  :0(

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I am still here!!! Promise.. :0)

Well now I surely didn't plan on being away this long!  Of course if I hadn't gotten myself into mischief late in 2014 I wouldn't have had to be gone this long either.  Sigh...  So I am going to say sorry for my absence it was totally and completely all on ME!  Ok, whew now that that is out of the way.....

Lori & Jay Update:

Oh my goodness do I have just lots to catch you all up on!   First, Lori had her LARGE bundle of joy on February 4th @ 1:24AM....  It was a very fast delivery, she didn't even really push.  She was so ready to have this child that the midwife just got setup and put her feet up and here he came right on out...  He is just shy of ten pounds and wow does he have a set of lungs on him.  I told Jay that he most definitely got his lungs from his daddy.  He is a pure joy and just loves to EAT... Wow, he is going to be a chunk but the baby dimples this kid will have... LOVE him already! :0)   

Lori is doing absolutely fabulous, she was up and around within a few hours and I swear hasn't sat or napped at all since getting him out.  Don't think anyone can blame her after being on bed rest for so many months.  Their oldest daughter finished her first semester in college and then transferred down here so she is now back home with her family.  She really missed her family and didn't like being away so she is much happier and so are Lori and Jay.   Lori's mom is staying for a few more weeks and then heading back home, she is going to enjoy the new baby and let the snow melt a bit.  

Lori is not going back to work until next school year, so I don't get to start watching her new little man until August... Dang it!  But I am super excited and it sounds like I will get to watch the twins too if they find a home close enough to mange getting them to me.  So I might just get to play with babies all day and I can't think of anything more fun!!  

My Parents:

My father did manage to build us a greenhouse and we are growing several veggies that are sprouting up like crazy.  Honestly, all the plants in my house are fake... Yes, they are 100% plastic which makes them 100% safe from me watering them to death.  :0)  Seriously, I love plants to death...  I just never got the hang of how much to water or when to add nutrients.  So he has been dragging me out there day after day to teach me how not to mess up what he has started.  Getting all the permits was a nightmare, but we just passed the last inspection and it's all done.  That was a happy celebration, so I made a special dinner to celebrate.... Only my parents said we shouldn't celebrate too soon cause we may need more permits.   WHAT????  

My parents spend more time staying with my brother and I so that they can see our families than they do in their own home.  They have decided it made more sense to sell the old house and purchase a motor home or home on wheels as my mom loves to say.  We don't have an HOA or anything, as we pretty much only have this street and then all desert around us.  Literally we have 5 houses on this street and nothing for several miles around us.  But my parents were asking if we would build a cover or storage place to park their new home while they came to see us for several months out of each year.  Wellllllllll....  I was stuck on the fact that they were selling our old house, the one I grew up in and had just about every childhood memory attached to and it felt like the wind was knocked out of me.  Alex and Kyle were racing to get out the measuring tape and do the man walk to determine where this new structure would fit.  My mom was pulling out calendars and wanting to negotiate time schedules for visits and I was just trying to breath!  

I finally felt more balanced and started looking at the calendar with my Mom when the guys re-emerged a good 30 minutes later.   Why stop at a porch for the motor home when we can build a guest house with a side garage that the motor home can be parked in and a regular car can be kept so they can drive while in town.  Yes, within 30 minutes these men were talking about a major construction project that will take up our yard and time for the next year!  I am not going to lie, it took me a few minutes to talk myself down from a major melt down.  But I was able to do it!  I excused myself and went up to our room to breath in and out, put some water on my face and counted to 100.  Alex walked in right around 73.    

Alex: "Before you freak out on me and I will not hold it against you if you do, I will take care of all the details and when I can't Kyle or your Dad will step in.  None of this will fall on you and I do mean NONE of it will impact you at all. You will have your parents here more, which I know you will love and this guest house will only bring up the value in our property here.  It's a win for everyone and I haven't seen your parents this happy and your Dad has been just great with the green house that we both were totally against at the start."

Me: "I knew they wouldn't stay in that house forever, but when they just came right out and said they are selling it... Just all my childhood memories are attached to that house and that neighborhood.  It's going to be so hard to say goodbye to that house, they still have the posters up in my room that I left. Mom stocks bread for the neighborhood kids to feed the ducks, who is going to do that now?  It's not about the construction or the noise or anything about the guest house and you know I love having my parents here.... It just hit me super hard, them selling the old house."

He gathered me in to one of his awesome bear hugs and held me for a bit.... Then I got a slap on my bottom and a "Give me a few days to see what I can do...".   I was like huh?   What is there for him to do, that made little to no sense but he shuffled me back downstairs and it was back to plans and more plans.   (This all happened during the first part of January)   

What Alex did was reach out to my brother and asked him if he was interested in going in halves in buying my parents house.  We all have friends, cousins, aunts/uncles and just lots of connections still left to that old neighborhood.   It would be super nice to have a place to go stay and visit everyone and not have to get a hotel room or put anyone out putting us up when we are back there.   My brother jumped on the idea and we are close to closing on the house, it takes forever even when buying a home and keeping it in the family.  The guest house build has its first set of inspections on the blue prints and all the paint they have put on our ground happening this week, we hope to break ground in the next couple of weeks.  :0)


Our oldest is in his last semester of high school and will be graduating in May, he has also been working with Alex in the afternoons and a few weekends.  He sent out several packets to several schools but has decided to stay close to home and continue working with Alex and live here with us during his college years.  I AM ON CLOUD NINE!!!   :0)   

We are all for our kids going out in the world and being successful contributions to society... But society can wait to have them as far as I am concerned!   I was super happy to hear his decision, but Alex of course being the pusher told him that if he changes his mind to tell us ASAP so we can help him sprout wings and fly.  Grrrrrr... The boy made up his mind, leave him alone already... Sheesh.   


Our daughter is still doing online schooling and is down cuddling the new baby as often as she can.  We are working with her to decide if she wants to finish her high school online, I don't want her to miss out on all the school activities/memories like prom or home coming.  But she is super happy right where she is at the moment so we will keep checking in on that from time to time.  She did drop a no college bomb on us over winter break.  Kaylee has decided she doesn't want to attend college but  wants to go straight to beauty school instead.  I have looked into it and found out she can actually attend and graduate while finishing high school, so we are deciding if that is a go or waiting.  We are not going to force her to go to college, but we don't want her to lose the opportunity making decisions so young either.  Also she does struggle due to her learning disabilities, so we don't want her making this choice to avoid the harder work of getting through college too.  So it's still a touch and go with her on where she will be in the next few years, but we have plenty of time to help her decide.   As a mother I am more than willing to keep my kids at home with me as long as I can.  :0)

The Garage Door:

We have a brand spanking new garage door.... pun totally intended because my butt paid that price tag more than I would like to admit.  The day I learn to slow down and not try to take on a thousand things at one time is the day my bottom will sigh with relief.  I was running around like a mad person trying to get things done, fix a birthday cake that had gone bad (several times over) and ended up backing into the garage with Kyle's new jacked up truck.   Why was I driving Kyle's new jacked up truck you might want to know...  Well I couldn't get to my car because we have too many cars to manage at the moment and they were blocking my car so I just grabbed keys and ran for it...  Ugh.  Which isn't the only kicker to the situation, the real kicker was that my parents had run out to get a replacement cake (which it would have been nice for someone to tell the crazy lady in the first place, just saying....) only to show up and eventually drop the cake in all the hysteria of my backing into the garage door and having it sitting on top of me and the truck.  I just wasn't meant to drive vehicles in 2014, that is a conclusion that I have reached.  Of all my many, many, many (oh man I sound old) years driving, I have never had the issues that I had last year.  EVER!  Sigh...  Thank goodness 2014 is over and I can start fresh.

50 Shades....

I have had several emails asking if I am going to see the movie or let my daughter go see it....  The answer is no and no...  :0)   Just to get that out of the way.  We didn't allow her to read the books, so we will most definitely not let her see the movie either.   I have no intention of seeing it as I don't wish for my money to support the message of that particular book series.  Our beliefs are that sex is done in the marriage bed and not taken as a game or something that needs a hush contract attached. 

I am behind on my emails, so to those that sent me some please forgive my lateness in responding to you.   I promise to respond very soon!  :0)