Monday, July 30, 2007


what do i want for my birthday? that was what jeff asked me today. well, i really don't know. i am 29 today. i have 5 healthy kids, a husband who loves me, a roof over my head, parents and extended family that love me, seriously...what else do you need? i really have all i could want...




now if he could lose weight for me, get me in shape over night without having to put any work into i might be tempted. but since that won't be happening, i don't want anything.

since it is my birthday, and i am on the subject of presents, does anyone remember having a birthday wish that wasn't fulfilled? i don't mean like "i want to be a rock star and sing with rick springfield" type of wish. more like "i want to have a pony" type of wish. something that was actually possible and attainable. the thing i always wanted, what i asked for every year was...a turtle. yes, a turtle. a real live turtle. pathetic i know. what little girl asks for a turtle? i'll tell ya who, ME. i wanted one so badly. what did i get every single year? a turtle, or 3. but not real ones. i got glass turtles, turtle earrings, turtle shirts, turtle pins, you name it, i had it. but they didn't breathe, eat or grow. i wanted a real turtle. i used to catch turtles in my backyard. but i always had to let them go, or they mysteriously would run away.

now i am an adult. my birthday wish was fulfilled last year. we now have 2 baby painted turtles.

yesterday i received my first birthday present. a lady i know made me marble squares for my birthday. (marble squares are like brownies, cheesecake and chocolate chips mixed together) she is the nicest lady. her husband built our house. her son is alex's baseball coach. her grandson is alex's friend. i told her she didn't have to do it. that it was so nice of her to think of me, but it was really ok. she said i deserved them, that i do a lot for others and she wanted to do this for me. ok, i felt so unworthy. i mean really, what do i do for other people? i don't do much. now, she does stuff for others all the time. she is one of those ladies at church that is constantly helping and getting involved in anything they can to help anyone who needs it. she really is a great lady, and a really nice person. so i guess i need to go write a nice thank you note to her.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

a picture of strength

ok, this is a pretty sad and difficult post to write.

my niece dani has a best friend who has had cancer 2 times now. she is going into 2nd grade. my kids also know this little girl, grace plays with her, josh loves rubbing her bald head, zack calls to her to come play with know, little kid stuff.
this little girl lost her father when she was 4. he died of lung cancer...he had never smoked, and was only 29. they were diagnosed within months of each other. she is his only child (her mother was pregnant at the time they were diagnosed, but lost the baby).
they did genetic testing on this little girl. unfortunately her cancer is something that will keep coming back...until the cancer or the chemo kills her. they don't know how soon it will come back again, could be ten years, or it could be 1. could be the same kind again, could be bone cancer, brain cancer, or leukemia. they don't know for sure. basically, they told her mom she probably won't make it out of grade school.

her mom is one of the strongest people i have ever met. how do you deal with this? i know god only gives us what we can handle, but who could handle that? she is one of those people that you meet, and feel comfortable with. she doesn't care about others' opinions. she has been so strong for her daughter. i can not even comprehend how she does it. my eyes fill with tears and my heart feels like it has a 20lb weight on it, and i just know them. i look at my kids and i can't imagine facing the prospect of losing one of them. i don't know that i could make it through that. i know god has a plan, and we all have strength inside. but so far my tests have been "life". what i mean by life is, god blessed me 5 beautiful lives to care for. i look at this woman, and i could not imagine the pain she is feeling right now, and keeping from her little girl.

i look at them, and i am in awe. so much love, and i just pray that my kids know i love them that much. please everyone, pray for mackenzie and her mom shaina, and her stepdad jason. they need all the prayers you can send their way!


haley and i went to the "show me" games in columbia this past weekend. we had a blast! the red roof wasn't the best (no pool and not the cleanest room), we had a couple of restaurants around us (not the best food), but haley and i got to hang out together and with friends. she played great, so did the rest of the girls. they made it to the semifinals. haley played great defense. she had a great time playing with her friend katie, and i loved getting to know the other moms better. i hung out with katie and their friend emma's mom. katie spent the night with us that first night and the second night, jeff came up the second night with the kids, and haley ended up spending the night with katie.

it is pretty cool to see little girls who have alot in common find each other and become friends. haley, katie and emma get along so well and have so much in common. and i can see myself in them. i was really into animals, just like they are. i wasn't a girly girl. i loved to play outside, but i don't remember really finding anyone like me in school. i am so glad haley has found some friends that are just like her.

it's funny, her friends' moms are closer to my mom's age than to mine. in fact katie's mom is my mom's age, emma's mom is 2 years younger. they both have older girls (both only have girls) that are in college or going into college. i guess what surprises me the most is how comfortable i am around them. silly huh? why would that be surprising? i need to get over the feelings of inadequacy around older moms. these moms have really helped me a bunch (without even knowing it). they tease me about being young, but i can tell they aren't being bitchy about it. that hasn't been the case with some of the other moms.

all in all, the trip to columbia was really fun. i can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

mixin' it up

haley and i will be leaving for columbia on friday morning. she's playing soccer in the show me games. she is sooo excited about it too. she's playing up with an older team that has been undefeated since kindergarten. so there is a little pressure to play her best too. she plays 2 games on friday and then 1 for sure on saturday. i guess, depending on how they do with the first 3 games, they may play on sunday too. and this is just haley and i. no other kids. no jeff. just me and haley. i am a little nervous about this too. i know i am going to sound like a dork, but i have not done anything like this before. i mean, i have never been the "adult in charge". jeff is usually with me. i have never been the one checking into the hotel, driving long distances, basically i haven't been a "real" grown up yet. i find it kind of funny, i am on the cusp of being 29 and i still don't feel like an adult. sad to say, but i still feel like i'm babysitting my own kids sometimes. weird, i know.

zack's birthday went well. we didn't do anything. jeff put up the swingset yesterday. well...most of the swingset. so far, it has been a 2 day job, with one more to go. he has done an awesome job though. i helped some, but i am not exactly handy. so basically my job was to hand him the screws, or the hammer, or hold something for him. oh and my personal favorite, the "get me a drink" girl. (he says please) anyway, zack loves it. he was on the slide like 50,000 times last night.
zack's party is next week. i guess we are having jeff's family over on sunday. we are going out with my family (adults only!!!!) on sat night for my birthday. i love this new tradition we started. on adults' birthdays, we have an adult only dinner. the kids hang out at my dad's with a sitter, and we hit the town. it may not sound like much to the average person, but the average person does not have 5 kids. so i get my little snippets of freedom when i can! after that, the following week, we head to tablerock. vacation with the family...mine and jeff's. should be fun, i hope!

Monday, July 9, 2007

nike was here

yes, she actually was able to make it to the house. she, dave and little mia got here around 6 on sat. she had a couple of other stops to make before heading back to the hotel, but she stayed for about 2 hours. i have to say, i love when she visits. she's totally different from everyone around. she's one of those people that is so full of life and energy, she's infectious...atleast for a while. i really like her husband. he is very laid back and keeps her grounded (which, if you know nike, is a really good thing). they've been married for almost a year now...but have known each other and been close friends for years. mia is a doll. she and grace hit it off right away. it was amazing to see her as a mom. i've always known her as the "fun" nike. the life of the party, the center of attention. to see her being a mom, well lets just say it stopped me in my tracks. in a good way. she's come a long way, and it has been a rough but amazing journey.

how i met jeff was actually thru nike. had it not been for her, we may not have ever met, married, or had 5 beautiful kids. i can't thank her enough for that.
she actually dated jeff first. i think it was either our sophomore or junior year. they stopped "dating" after jeff's birthday. she and i became friends junior year. i knew of her before i met her, but she scared me. funny. she was WILD. really really wild. i wasn't as wild, but i had my moments. we had a few things in common, both had no car and no license, both had a taste for illegal substances in high school (she more than me), and we both didn't have high expectations of each other. she told me that when she met me, she thought i wouldn't be much fun. she also said she liked me better than the other girls we hung out with. she said she knew the perfect guy for me...and she did. it's funny how things work out. she lives far away, but close enough that we are hopefully going to visit her in august. i don't see her ever coming back here to live. too many bad memories and acquaintances i guess.

going to the zoo tomorrow if the rain holds off. can't wait!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

VIP, yep that's me!

yesterday, we went to grant's vip's. this was the most awesome trip to grant's farm i have ever had. we were taken on a tour by safari van (basically it is a van with no roof or windows) all over. instead of staying on the road, like you have to do normally with the tram, we were off roading it, seeing all the animals up close and personal. you haven't lived until you've been licked by an elk! that's right, the animals actually walked up to us! we got to see baby clydesdales and had our pic taken with one of the stallions. i was really amazed at how gentle all the animals were. we fed the baby goats (i wouldn't recommend this for small children, the goats mob you and try to climb and head butt you to get to the bottle). the kids loved seeing the chickens they had, and fed the llamas too. i guess what i liked best, was how excited the kids were. and i think my step mom's parents and sister really liked and enjoyed it too. all in all, it was a truly awesome experience. thanks to "aunt" barb's friend who hooked us up!

by the way, grant's farm is free to the public. and supposedly they give free samples of beer. it is the busch family after all! also, i believe grant's house is open to the public also. it is across the street from the farm, and if you love history, they said that is the place to be!

josh and zack are at the zoo today with my niece and nephew. i hope they are having fun...zack was crying when they left and josh had to be talked into going. sometimes my kids blow my mind. when i was little, i would have gone to the zoo with anyone. seriously. i would have gone with an axe murderer had he said the magic "go to the zoo?" words. i was (and still am) a total animal lover. not as crazily as i was when i was younger, but still love them. in fact i am trying to set up a zoo trip for next week. it depends on the weather. jeff said it is supposed to rain on tuesday. heat we can deal with. the children's zoo has those cute little kid fountains for the kids to play in, and the penguin house is air conditioned. so is the living world. hopefully the boys will be ready to go again next week.

also my friend nike is in town. she got in thursday and she is leaving tomorrow. she brought her daughter this time. she is supposed to come over this evening. i hope she does, i really miss her!

Monday, July 2, 2007

the 4th

ok, this is a first for me. 2 posts in one day? i decided to ignore the kiddos for a while so i could write this.

only 2 days until the 4th. we are having a big display at the house. jeff loves fireworks. i got a strange email yesterday. well, not just me, most of the family got it. it seems jeff's oldest brother is having some marital problems. not a real shocker here. and because jeff's brother hasn't told anyone, and his wife doesn't want to be the one to tell, no one is definite what is going on. she only asked that no one mention anything to their kids. they have 2 kids. tricia is 20, goes to slu, and is actually zack's godmother. jacob is going to be eighteen soon, and a senior in high school. the kids are coming in for the forth. jeff's brother and sister in law are not coming. atleast, as far as we know, jeff's brother is not going to come. i don't think anyone has talked to him in a few months. he has many issues, none of which he acknowledges. it is really sad. any way, you maybe asking yourselves why i am bringing this up. well, it was this time 16 years ago that my mom took us kids and left my dad. so this is stirring up some not so pleasant memories. i don't think it matters how old you are, this hurts bad. i remember my dad taking us on a float trip shortly after with our normal group of friends, it wasn't fun anymore. i remember feeling like everyone was watching me, and feeling sorry for me. not a great feeling. so i can definitely relate to what they are feeling right now. i love these kids. i know this will change them. i wish i could tell them the things i learned from all that i went thru. like
1. don't put much stock in the bad things your parents say about each other...they are angry at each other.
2. don't put much stock in the bad things your parents say about the other's family...for the same reason
3. don't keep these feelings bottled up, they will come out eventually. and believe me, these feelings don't go away. they will eat at you.
4. i understand that getting drunk or stoned may seem like a great release, or numb the feelings, but it is still a bad idea. doing these things just postpone your feelings. you will have to deal with them eventually. and doing these things change who you are.
5. i went thru a phase where i wanted to be "independent". well, seeing as i had no idea what the concept was, and didn't get a great definition from my mom, i saw it as men and marriage are bad. i was waaaaay off.
6.just because your parents weren't a perfect example of what marriage should be, doesn't mean it can't be an example. remember the good times, and the bad.
7. don't hide from your family, remember that they love you no matter what. in fact, they will be there for you after everyone else has come and gone.

it took me a long time to learn some of these. some i am still working on. i can say, with some degree of certainty, i would not have been in as much trouble had my parents stayed married, or atleast had they worked together as parents after the divorce. they (mainly my mom) put their feelings about each other over their duty as parents.
anyway, i hope my niece and nephew are ok. their parents too.

clown shoes!?! no this is my actual shoe size...

is it just me, or are kids just growing bigger now? the other day, haley was out with my step-mom and they were trying on shoes (because the ones from 2 months ago are apparently too small), and we found out haley wears a size seven and a half. now mind you she just turned 8 in jan. and we are talking adult sizes here. granted she is tall... but a seven and a half? i wear a 10. and i was only a 1 or 2 when i was her age. alex is 11 and he wears an 8. does this mean my kids will be exceptionally tall? i have no clue. the doc says they are in about the 9oth to 95th percentile for their ages. fine, that doesn't bother me. i guess i am worried my little girl is going to be 6ft (no big deal) with a size 16 shoe (big deal...very big deal). not just because of teasing, but where do you find a size 16 women's shoe? i doubt you could find really cute sandals or heels in a 16...atleast not without looking like they need some oars.

speaking of shoes...well nothing else comes to mind.