Saturday, May 23, 2009

Little Explorers Pre-school Graduation

Thursday, May 21 was preschool graduation. It was So cute and yes there were bittersweet tears!
One part of the program involved the kids showing pictures of what they liked best about pre-school and then what they wanted to do when they grew up. There was a Doctor, a nurse, a grass-man, a paleontologist, a couple of Mommies and a Daddy. When it was Kian's turn Ms Sally asked,
"Kian what do you want to do when you grow up?"
Ms. Sally repeated "He just wants a job!!"

How sad is that? :-)Kian and Wesley, one of his favorite friends

Getting his diploma from Ms. Sally
Kian with his teacher, Ms. Sally Lamping...we think she may have been our benefactor. She is an amazingly warm and loving person and perfect for this job!

Kian and Ms. Lori Lorenz, the pre-school director and one of the most generous and understanding people on the planet! We love her!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Drama Queen...

Here I am's May, end of school there will be lots to share! But tonight I want to share Mackenzie's last orchestra concert. I was sad. I love the cello. She has played since 6th grade, but now she had to choose between orchestra and theater.

This is her playing Palladio from the Diamond commercial. It was one of her favorites and for sure mine! She says she hates to practice and so this will just be a good time to quit and move on.
I want to make sure I have that in writing since I have 2 other daughters who are constantly saying "Why didn't you make me stay in dance or music or choir or whatever..."
Yeah, I'm getting this one in writing.
Actually later in the evening I did...kind of...
It was time for awards and we had no idea that Ms Cornet would be giving awards for Drama as well. But the first award was for Best Actress at Fishers Jr. High and it was Mackenzie Nelson!! Her faced looked shocked and my camera was in my purse so I have a picture of her after she is sitting back down :-)

So Yay for Mackenzie and her first acting award...may there be many more to come!! Hopefully, next time Mom will be prepared with the camera!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Mom age 2

Today would be Mom's 66th birthday. As I write this I remember how young she truly was. She has been gone almost 2 years now. I still miss her.
Even though as I've said before, losing your mother is the natural way of things (as opposed to losing your children first) but there is something a girl always needs her Mom for. When Mackenzie made it into the National Junior Honor Society recently I wanted to tell my Mom. She would have been SO proud! Those are the kinds of things that you want to share. I won't be able to tell her all about Kian's Pre-K graduation this week and send her pictures. There will be no "Mam" in the audience beaming because a little boy is "graduating" from pre-school. My great sadness is that Kian does not have a relationship with my Mom or Dad. I can only talk about Mom and share stories and pictures with him.

So now let me share some memories--She got her name Mam from the TV show Webster. She was babysitting a little boy named Brad and he was just like part of the family and she wanted a name that he could call her that would not be formal but was easy to say. Merrilyn was kind of hard for the little kids. Somehow we came up with Mam which I think on the show was short for Madam, but it didn't seem formal at all. It stuck and all of her grandkids call her that.

My Mom, Merrilyn Louise--age 9 months

Merrilyn Louise--First grade 1950

Then there are the things that I never even thought to ask her...
  • How do you get the potatoes soft and brown when you are making a pot roast?
  • How old was the girl on the Mike Douglas show where you saw my name spelled with a "C"?
  • What year was that Ford Mustang convertible that we had for awhile?
  • What was your favorite movie?
  • Are these Iris's from my grandma or yours?
  • What was your first date with Dad like?
  • What was your favorite food?
  • Do you have any regrets?
  • Do you miss me or are you too busy?!

I do know some things about my Mom...She loved Reese's Peanut Butter cups, popcorn, swimming, camping and just being outside. She had a super green thumb and I never took advantage of her knowledge. She didn't have a great relationship with her Mom when she was a teenager, so I think she tried really hard to have a better one with me. It didn't always work, but we got there. She loved to read and later I found out, write. She was very loyal and loved fiercely.

My Mom with her parents Betty Louise and Merrill Hansen October 1959

Mom at high school graduation June 1961

She never went to college. She was a Mom when she was 19. She loved her kids and grand kids. She was so beautiful.She loved to talk and she loved to talk about mundane things that were SO tedious! Maybe we always have regrets when someone we love leaves us too soon, but I will forever wish that I had talked to my Mom every day.
She would have loved that, but I was too impatient and conversations with my Mom always seemed to last forever. But then again, they really don't do they?

My Mom and brothers Lee and Frank and me 1970
(Why am I the only one who doesn't match and what is Frank looking at?!)

I know there was SO much more to my Mom that I never bothered to find out. We always think we have forever or we can't be bothered with finding out or we just don't know what will be important when they are gone.
I love you Mom, I miss you.
I know that you are happy now that you are with Dad. I am sorry that your last days were so painful. I am sorry that I wasn't there for you. I'm sorry that I didn't spend more time with you on the phone.
I missed you when you moved from here!
I will treasure our last conversation when you told me how great my kids were and that it was a testament to what great parents they had.
I had the best example...

Merrilyn Louise Hansen Zabel Davis
May 18, 1943--June 22, 2007

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Big Bang Theory

We are trying to clear off our DVR and today while I was upstairs Doug started to watch The Big Bang Theory. OK, so not my favorite show, I think it's kind of painful to watch. Anyway, I came downstairs and there was Kian playing in front of the TV as usual and Doug stopped BBT so he and I could watch something else. Kian is all offended,
"I thought you were going to watch The Big Bang Theory?!"
Doug says, "No, Mommy doesn't really like that show"

A few minutes later I hear a conversation in the dining room (our computer room) and after listening for a minute I say,
"Kian, what are you doing?"

He says very matter-of-factly,
"Watching The Big Bang Theory!"

on the computer! I have no idea how he finds these things, but we may have to password protect our computer from our 5 year old!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Proud Parents...

I know that this phrase is most often used when announcing the birth of a child, but I wonder why? A newborn baby while indeed perfect hasn't really done much to be proud of :-)
Tonight I am a proud parent of a beautiful, talented, smart, funny 14 year old daughter who just happens to be a new member of the National Junior Honor Society of Fishers Junior High School! Yay Mackenzie!!!

Paige Cassidy, Madeline Snipes, Mackenzie Nelson, Claire Volk

Mackenzie has challenged herself for herself and has worked SO hard and she has earned her spot. She had to be a good citizen, leader, get good grades and be willing to serve. She actually is one of only 11 students that got the academic distinction as well which means achieving higher than an 11 GPA on a 12 point grading scale! I should mention that Mackenzie has been taking advanced classes since 3rd grade and is in advanced English, Science and Math this year. Way to go Kenzie!

Mackenzie and "Star Trek" Lauren Hendricks

I have to give a lot of credit to Fishers Junior High. We have nothing but great things to say about the entire experience there. Even when Calah was there it was great. Calah came in from being home-schooled and it could have been very uncomfortable and hard for her to adapt, but they made it a wonderful seamless transition.
Mackenzie's 7th grade team of teachers made a huge impact. Most notably Mr Sturgeon and Mr. Fassould. She has enjoyed learning and likes to be challenged and is most content when she is excelling at what they have assigned. They have inspired and encouraged and I couldn't be more grateful.
My daughter plans to pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma and attend Yale! I believe it is in large part because of their patience and enthusiasm and ability to teach each kid in their unique style.
So THANK YOU to great teachers who make a big difference and congratulations Mackenzie!!

25 Random Facts About Me

It occurred to me the other day that I had written some things (answered Facebook quizzes actually) that told a little of my story and I'm not sure how long they will be saved or if they will be on Facebook so I decided to transfer some of them over to here to Blogger. Maybe I will figure out how to do the book thing some day!

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My first name comes from an actress on the Mike Douglas Show and my middle name is the same as my Mom's and Gramma's



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Thinly sliced roast beef



DO YOU USE SARCASM? No, never...Did that sound sarcastic?!



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Reese's Puffs...I know disgusting. I'm supposed to be an adult

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I try not to wear shoes that tie.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Baskin-Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge






WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? I don't know, whatever Calah is blasting in the shower. Probably Slipknot





HAIR COLOR? Reddish-brown




SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary movies with happy endings!

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Lars and the Real Girl


Summer or winter? Neither, I like fall

HUGS OR KISSES? Can't choose, I like both

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Beautiful Blue Death, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle


WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? It doesn't matter what was on last night...tonight is The Bachelor!!

FAVORITE SOUND(S). The breeze through the Aspens and the ocean. And totally different but awesome, a baby's giggle!



DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Loading the dishwasher FAST and efficient

WHERE WERE U BORN? Lodi, California

Originally Published February 13, 2009

1. I have a headache.

2. Probably from doing this list again.

3. People tell me I can write well, but I don't think so.

4. I watch General Hospital. I have since I was like 4.

5. If I had a bigger, fenced yard I would get another dog. Doug does not know this.

6. My favorite city in the world is San Fransisco...I left my heart there once...

7. I LOVE Crème Brulee –even if it can kill me

8. I hate wearing shoes. But I love shoes. Is that weird?

9. I can sew. I used to sew a lot of my clothes when I was in college. But I don't really enjoy it.

10. I am an addict.

11. I love love love my family! My gramma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, husband and kids!

12. I have abandonment issues.

13. I think the best chocolate is Swedish...or See's

14. I would be a terrible Juror because I almost always can understand both sides.

15. I was on the Vicki Lawrence show.

16. I am still friends with Jan from 2nd grade and I have moved a million times since then. No, really, a million.

17. I would change nearly everything about my wedding except the flowers (and the groom!)

18. I wish I were taller.

19. I've never learned to swim properly.

20. I have the best kids...Seriously, they are awesome.

21. I am afraid of adults. I can be in front of kids all day long, but their parents are scary!

22. My dream job is back-up singer for Barry Manilow

23. My favorite flowers are Lilacs

24. I am very loyal, like a dog. I can be a doormat.

25. I would love to play the piano.

25 Random Facts About Me (but I actually had to do 27)

1.Three movies I will watch over and over and over again:
Barefoot in the Park
Only You
Foul Play (I've seen this movie in Swedish too!)

2. I used to think (until I was like 20) that Bullwinkle said “Button up my sleeves” when he touched his cuffs at the opening of the show. I didn't really like that cartoon anyway, I liked The Flintstones.

3. I had a HUGE secret crush on Mac Davis.

4. My first memory is from Kindergarten when I busted out my front teeth on the drinking fountain after school. I walked home bleeding. My teeth didn't grow in until 6th grade.

5. I used to get SO carsick we would have to stop at a drug store to buy Coke syrup.

6. When I was in the 2nd grade, my Mom found evidence in the bathroom that I had been sick. She came to school to pick me up. I thought she was the smartest Mother in the world to know that. I came home and watched Bewitched.

7. I HATE wooden ice cream “spoons”. Like nails on a chalkboard...

8. The first song I sang was What's New Pussycat by Tom Jones. I don't remember this one. I remember The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. Vicki Lawrence...I loved that song! Then I was on her show in 1993.

9. When I was 7 I saw a picture of a bed bug blown up and I was positive they were all over my bed. I laid in bed praying and scared and crying. It was my little brother Lee who went and got my Mom. I had no idea anyone could hear me. Mom explained that bed bugs only hung around “dirty bums” and I was comforted :-) That night I learned that Heavenly Father uses people to answer our prayers.

10. I was “peer-pressured” by Aunt Judi to ride the Matterhorn at Disneyland when I was about 9. I was “peer-pressured” to ride the Vortex at Great America when I was 30

11. In the 8th grade my class took a field trip from Concord, California to San Fransisco on BART to see 1776 in a huge theater. I fell in love with “John Adams” -who later became Mr Feeney on Boy Meets World --even though “Thomas Jefferson” was supposed to be the hottie. Go figure.

12. I started playing the accordian in the 6th grade. My Mom would walk me to my lessons with the accordian in the wagon. It was easy to find teachers in Michigan, not so easy when we moved to California. So I no longer can play the accordian. But I learned how dedicated my Mom was to cultivating my “talents”.

13. I briefly thought I was Marilyn Monroe—reincarnated-- because I was sad and in love with JFK.

14. The summer after 10th grade my friend Lori and I wrote a “pilot” for a sitcom about best friends that drive across the country to become “stars”. We were hoping it would be autobiographical.

15. I have never taken a driving (road) test.

16. I had my tonsils out when I was 21. When I could eat again I really wanted Wendy's but there was no Wendy's in Logan so my Dad drove us to Salt Lake City.

17. I once got paid for an acting job. To this day I wonder if I should have kept at it.

18. My favorite memories are on Nona Street in Dearborn, Michigan.

19. The summer before 10th grade we moved from Incline Village, NV to Michigan—the worst trip in the world for my parents (complete with car break-downs and break-ins)--the best trip for me and my friend Beth. But when we got to Michigan we “camped” before we got a house. This is where I learned that Elvis had died. We also stayed at a “campsite” AKA a community center. We would walk to the building to the restrooms as well as TV. There were glass rooms with orange Naugahyde furniture and each room was tuned to a different TV station. This is where we watched I Dream of Jeannie and Barney Miller.

20. When I was 15 I was convinced that Donny Osmond would marry me because we were both Mormon. Imagine my heartbreak when he married that Debbie girl! It probably won't last...

21. I saw Footloose at least 4 times the first weekend it came out in 1984. I was in love (obsessed) with Kevin Bacon. One day I came home from work and taped to door frame of the hallway was the People magazine with Kevin Bacon on the cover. My Dad had bought it for me. I'm not sure if he had ever bought a People magazine before (or again!) I still have that magazine :-)

22. When I was in the 9th grade my brother Lee and I got into a HUGE fight. We were screaming and threatening and he threw an aerosol can at me which hit the sliding glass door and stuck “on”, spraying this foul smelling Pet Off stuph. For a full minute the only sound was the spraying of the can...then we both busted out laughing! End of fight.

23. I used to do an 1 1/2 to 2 hours of aerobics 5 days a week.

24. When I was in college in Logan, UT I had a date with a radio DJ. He was running late so he dedicated a song to me to let me know that he was going to show. The song was Faithfully by Journey!

25. The best lunch I ever had was after registering for Jr. high in Fresno (another new school). My Mom didn't make me stay at school, she took me to Pizza Hut.

26. My first kiss was at the stop sign at the corner of Holmes and Stabler in Lansing, MI. Oddly, it wasn't awkward at all.

27. My Dad was offered a $10,000 loan by a friend who was “connected”. All he had to do was help the guy's friends with some swimming pool pricing. I am convinced that we missed out on our “in” with the Mob.

My albumn

What would your own album look like if you were in a band? Follow the directions below and find out...

Here are the rules:

1 - Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random”
or click
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it to FB with this text in the "caption" or "comment" and TAG the friends you want to join in.


1.Who was your FIRST prom date?
Steve Cary

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
Probably warm beer, my Dad and uncle thought it was OK for little kids to drink the leftovers. To this day the smell of beer makes me nauseous

4. What was your FIRST job?
Cleaning the office of a lawyer in Incline Village. I also cleaned his house once a week. I was 14.

5. What was your FIRST car?
A brown 1981 Mustang named Maynard

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
I don't have texting

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Kian, he was shoving me out of bed.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
At this moment I can't remember my first grade. But I remember Kindergarten, Miss Sawaska

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
Michigan to see my friend Beth. I lived in California at the time. I was 12

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them?
Yep, 2nd grade, Jan

11. What was your FIRST sport played?
Is Four Square a sport? I didn't play organized sports

12. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
It would be at my aunt's house but the first friend one I remember was in 7th grade, but I don't remember who. Probably the same girl who had stolen lip gloss from the drugstore without my knowledge!

13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
I haven't yet, but I'm sure it will be Doug

14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
My Aunt Judi's? I remember making/seeing tons of tissue paper flowers.

15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
I started to clean the kitchen, then I got distracted by Facebook. Happens all the time!

16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
Gotta be Barry Manilow. My parents wouldn't let me go to the Shaun Cassidy one when I was in the 10th grade.

17. FIRST tattoo or piercing?
Ear piercing when I turned 13.

18. FIRST foreign country you went to?
Niagra Falls with Brent Carter

19. What was your FIRST run in with the law?
My senior year out by the Olds Mansion. Remember that Dave?

20. When was your FIRST detention?
I never got detention

21. What was the FIRST state you live d in?

22. Who was the FIRST per son to break your heart?
See number 1

23. Who was your FIRST roommate?
I think her name was Laura. It was just a summer and she hated me.

24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride?
To the Vicki Lawrence show in Burbank. CA

25. Who will be the first to res pond to this?
Vanessa, she loves these things and my friends who are my age can't figure them out :-) Don't worry it took me way longer than it needed to because I am seriously challenged!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Mom! And me too...

I hope you will forgive my self indulgence with this post, but I suppose that is the definition of blogging! I wasn't sure if I wanted to talk about my Mom or my kids so I am going to do both :-) I miss my Mom and I miss Reagan but I want my kids to be able to enjoy spoiling me without feeling like I don't appreciate the day. So it's a line...
Today has been good. The youth speakers at church did a great job giving talks about their Moms that really reflected their personalities. My husband and kids made me some terrific cards and I talked to my Gramma last night.
Now I want to share some thoughts and photos of Mom and me as Mom...

Mom and Gramma dressed up for Christmas dinner 1973. That is the infamous "White Trash Pate" in the slick and ever-popular Tupperware entertainer dish!

This is a favorite picture of my Mom with her baby sister's daughter Marie. Aunt Judi's kids called my Mom Aunt Lyn because Merrilyn was too long :-) And my Mom absolutely LOVED those kids! The look of quiet, yet very real, joy on Mom's face is how I want to always remember's beautiful!!

Here are 4 Generations in July of 1988. My Gramma holds Vanessa. My Mom and I are in the back. Oh yeah, I'm a stylin' Mom!

Vanessa was the first grand-baby so you can imagine that she and my Mom were very close. My Mom and Dad demanded a lot of time with Nessa and she loved it. I think they look so great here.

This is probably the last picture I have with my Mom. I'm not sure what Kian is doing, but I love it.

This is the last time I saw my Mom and we had a wonderful time. Of course we had no idea it would be the last time. I remember that Lee and his family came up, Doug and I had just bought our first house and had barely moved in. We'd actually been in the process when my Gramma gave my Mom a plane ticket for her birthday. But Mom didn't care. She was willing to help with whatever ...watching Kian or packing and moving boxes (which by the was she was the BEST at doing. We had my entire house unpacked those first few days!)
We had the Starnes family over for dinner and hair and Mom and I had our hair done and it was just so happy and stress-free and fun!! We had a house full, but we were thrilled because it was OUR house to fill.

Calah and I switched places for a Young Women's activity at church. She was cute, but I don't make a very good "Goth-Rocker"!

One thing my Mom and I had in common was writing. I didn't know she loved to write until I was an adult. This is the only writing I have of hers. She was good, but I'm sure she didn't feel that way and may have thrown them out.

~Reagan Noel~
I hold you in my heart because I can't hold you in my arms.
I whisper in mind because I can't whisper in your ear.
I whistle softly with my lips because I can't whistle softly to your curious eyes.
I sing to myself because I can't sing to your sweet cherubic face.
I love you in a way I will never love another because I didn't get to know you.
I think constantly of you with my head because it hurts too much to think of you with my heart.
You will be a constant reminder of God's love and His miracles for all of us.
You are my grand daughter but you are a child of God,
I love you.
January 14 2005

I love you Mom.
I love you Reagan.
I love you Vanessa, Calah, Mackenzie and Kian. More than you will understand until you are a Mom (or a Dad!)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Urbandictionary Yourself...interesting!

Go to and write the answer to each question in the "look up" box and paste the first definition on a copied version of this note.

1. Your name?
A strong, proud, self-respecting woman who is who she is and doesn't give a damn if you don't like her.

2. Your age?
A ho. Pronounced "four six", not "forty six," and is derived from the letters H and O on a telephone touch pad. H is on 4, O is on 6.

3.One of your friends?
The coolest person you will ever meet.
An awesome friend.
Very Gorgeous.

4. What should you be doing?
A word to describe the act of making methamphetamine

5. Favorite color?
Red is a nickname given to red-headed females by strangers walking by. Its supposed to be a term of endearment, but I don't quite understand it. Having red hair, I have been called Red many times by strangers. If I were to say "Nada Brown (or Blonde, or Black, or Grey), whad up wit you?", that would be insulting. So why is it ok to call me Red?

"Yo Red, whad up?"
"Hey Red, happy new year."
"Sup Red?"

This is actually the first definition listed for "red" and I couldn't make myself use it. But it kept playing in my mind and was cracking me up so...Sorry...I didn't write it, I'm just laughing :-)

Flavor of Kool-aid to a black person.
Mom: Ey hunnah! I'm hittin' up the local Safeway. Does yo bitch ass need anythin!?
Son: Yeah git me some kool-aid bitch!
Mom: What flava?!
Son: red!

6. Hometown?
A fast growing town in Hamilton County, Indiana with a population of some 66,000 in 2007 and a nice, upper middle-class suburb of Indianapolis. Many Hoosiers mistakenly believe Fishers and its neighbor, Carmel are rich and envy their residents for some reason. It is no doubt a very nice and growing community, but the truth is that there are tons of similar-sized communities around the country with way more money than Fishers could ever dream about, making it only an upper middle-class community. It's not even the richest community in the Midwest by a long shot. I have lived in Indiana most of my life and don't understand all the animosity towards Fishers and its neighbor of Carmel.

7. Month of your birthday?
A wonderful month when the air smells sweet and the weather is perfect for the girls where to tight little sweaters that show off their curves.

“I can't wait for September to come so we can play in the leaves!”

8. Last person you talked to?
A beautiful girl. the name Mackenzie itself means 'little princess.' She's quick-witted and very funny, she can be very charming. She's a little crazy, but in the end you love her anyway.

“Ya know Mackenzie? yeahhh shes pretty FANTASTIC!”

9. Where are you right now?
The most useful and most frustrating thing any human being will ever work with.

10. Your nickname?
Kay Kay

Kay Kay is what a little kid may call their elder when shortening names like katelyn, kristen, kathleen, etc.

little brother: " i love you kay kay"
me: " i love you too baby"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mom's Night!

New day, new me :-)
Tonight was Mom's Night at Little Explorers Preschool. It was bittersweet because we have loved it SO much and yesterday was Kian's last day. At least May is a short month and he will still go to Pre-K Graduation and we will be going to the Family Picnic.
But what an enjoyable night it was. You would think with 20 something pre-schoolers it might not be so, but Kian and I walked in to a beautiful room with classical music playing and lovely table settings. We had a chance to ask each other "Get to know you" questions that were in a bowl on the tables. We discovered that our favorite food is pizza and we talked about where Doug and I met. I also found out that if he could go anywhere it would be Mexico and if he could have dinner with anyone it would be Wesley (from his class and at our

Then there was a book that each kid wrote about Mom. Let's compare for a moment...
Wesley's book--What is something your Mom always says to you?
I love you!
Kian's book--What is something your Mom always says to you?
Go take a bath!
Wesley's book--How old is your Mom?
Now clearly she is NOT 100.
Kian's book--How old is your Mom?
46 (Say it loud and proud my son!!)

Then some of the new ways to see me through Kian's eyes...

What's your Mom's favorite thing to do?
Take a nap (complete with closed eyes and a yawn!)
What does your Mom do when you're not around?
Watches TV (at least he didn't say WHAT I watch!!)
This one takes Doug by surprise...
What does your Mom do for a job?
How are you and your Mom different?
She's a girl and I'm a boy (duh!)
But my favorite--
How are you and your Mom alike?
We both have beautiful smiles...I'm glad that I smile enough for him to notice :-)

Anyway, we then decorated the stickiest cupcakes in history and the kids performed a song and dance called A Tooty-Ta, A Tooty-Ta, which is one that Kian loves that progresses through different additional actions:
Thumbs up, elbows back, legs apart, knees together, bottoms out, eyes closed, tongues out! In the end you have a hilarious group of hysterical performers!

We then went on to paint birdhouses. It was one short hour that was terrific! Kian was thrilled to see that Wesley and Owen and Cooper were seated at our table. That Ms. Lori is SO smart!!
And it was so fun to see Kian in this wonderful fun and love filled environment.
This one year at Little Explorers has been the best and I thank you Ms. Sally from the bottom of my heart!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Paid in Full

Well, many of you know some or most of our struggles of the last 4 and a half years. For whatever reason since the death of our baby daughter life has seen fit to smack us in the face at every turn. At least it seems that way. As Doug would say, "I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel and then I realize it is the train".
It seems that nothing has gone "our way" and every year, month by month we have sunk deeper into that money pit called debt. No matter how hard we try or how many corners we cut or how much we have found that we can "do without" we never can get above the surface. I feel that I have really tried to see the wisdom and have an eternal perspective on all of it, but it is becoming increasingly difficult and no one seems to get it.
Now we have virtually no income and no idea of what our future holds.
I grew up in a feast or famine life. We had money and then we didn't, but I can tell you that my Dad did not believe in letting some one struggle for the sake of character. Or letting your family suffer and figure it out. Even if you had made mistakes or it was somehow your fault. Be it right or wrong, my Dad is the proverbial "give the shirt off his back". He was always there for his kids. In the old days I would have told my Mom of our struggles and trials and I would have the money. We would probably be on our way to their house where we could live while Doug got his teaching degree and we could regroup while preparing to rebuild our lives. But my parents are gone.
So things are dim....very dim.
Maybe nobody realizes how bad, but then how can they? Who wants to talk about it? I do it now so that you will understand the magnitude of my gratitude when I share this.
April was the first month that we felt the full force of what unemployment means and how difficult things were actually going to be.
I realized too late that we were going to have trouble paying for Kian's school so it was late as I was frantically trying to juggle things around.
Last week I had to accept that paying for another month was impossible and Kian would not be able to go anymore. I couldn't possibly get that far behind. So as agonizing as it was I told his teachers and then I prayed that we would find the way to pay what we owe and be able to leave with great memories of a wonderful school year.
Well, I have been informed that our balance has been paid in full and we owe nothing to the school! I was stunned...Normally people might be unwilling to share their unfortunate circumstances and explain how they were the recipients of charity. I do this now, with all sincerity and humility so that I can make it known that no one ever expects to be in this position. We always think it will happen to somebody else.
I never dreamed one of my children would die.
I never dreamed Doug would not be employed. Don't salesmen always work?
I never dreamed we would finally be able to buy our first house and then we would have to sell it.
I never dreamed that we wouldn't have insurance.
I never dreamed that $50 would some days seem like $1000.

People of our age and "status" have no idea what it is like to wake up every day with the gnawing in the pit of your stomach and wonder who will call today demanding to be paid and when will you be able to get your kids new shoes? A lot of us have felt that if you are having money troubles it is somehow your own fault... Right? Just get a job. Just pay your bills. Just stop whining. But it is not that easy.
And yet SOME ONE has thought of it and has done something and whoever you are I want you to know that I PRAY that I will have the opportunity some day to be in a position to do this for some one else.
Whoever you are I can never thank you for the relief I am feeling.
For now I have "been there" and I know that what may seem insignificant to you is astronomical to some one else.
I will be dedicated to looking for ways to make a difference to some one who may be hurting, hiding, struggling and hoping.
Some one took the time to help us and I can never be grateful enough.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!