Friday, December 22, 2006

Our Big Announcement

I just realized that I have not talked to many people in the last few weeks. Doug has accepted a promotion from a locomotive electrician to a mechanical supervisor for Norfolk Southern. This means that from January to June he will be traveling a lot and taking lots of classes. Its not as bad as the initial training that was 7 weeks straight. This time other than the 3 weeks in the beginning it will be every other week for traveling to Norfolk, VA, McDonough, GA and Atlanta, GA. At the end of June he will complete the training and will be assigned to a shop. That is where most of the fun comes in. We have no idea where we will be moving. Norfolk Southern is in 22 different states and I believe there are 256 shops. Now while Doug is traveling and studying I get to prepare the house so we can sell it. Its hard to believe we are going to have to sell it, I really didn't think we were going to move again. I'm sad that I'll be leaving so many family and friends but I think its an exciting change. The kids are more excited than I thought. I expected the drama from Robyn with leaving her relatives and friends from school but she seems happy about it. The kids want a site that is closer to Disney World. I don't want to get a location in my mind because that is where we won't be sent. :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Our Actions

I am still thinking about a sermon that I heard on Sunday so I thought I would share it. We visited our old church because the kids were begging to see their relatives, old friends and teachers. They have a new pastor and his message was great.

The sermon talked about how our conduct is related to our expectations. He used the example of the wisemen that set out following a star and found a shack. Is that what you expect when you set out to see a king? He also used the example from A Christmas Story where the boy wanted a red rider bb gun and got a pink bunny suit. I started to think about the times when I'm the most frustrated and angry and he was right. In every instance I'm expecting things from myself and other people that are not always possible. Now that I have heard this I'm going to try and apply it by looking at my expectations before I react.

I did not EXPECT Garrett to make this face when I took the picture.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Finally Rachel!!!

I'm finally getting around to the holiday meme that Rachel tagged me for. Robyn is home sick today so I have some time. Here it is:
1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Both, I even love egg nog ice cream and shakes.
2.Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa doesn't visit our house. We wrap the presents ourselves. We used to have them under the tree early but we don't trust the puppy yet!
3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white? I like white lights but I am out numbered in this house. Luckily our tree has built-in white lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Don't need to, we do lots of kisses anyway.
5. When do you put your decorations up? On or right before Thanksgiving.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? Don't have one, I like a lot of different things.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Visiting my relatives in upstate PA every Christmas as a child.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? We always traveled to upstate PA and I started to notice that after we got in the car every year my mom had to go back in and go to the "bathroom." That is when she put the presents out for us to come back to.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We exchanged extended family gifts when I was growing up. Now we just open one gift on Christmas Eve.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Red and gold balls with whatever ornaments we get as gifts or crafts the kids make.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread It? Both, I love to watch it falling and everything covered in white. I also do not like going out in the snow or the cold.
12. Can you ice skate? Nope
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No, I have a bad memory
14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Spending time with family, going to church and listening to Christmas carols.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Don't have one.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We travel every other year so its hard to have one.
17. What tops your tree? An angel.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I love all of them.
20. Candy canes, Yum or Yuck! I like the other flavors but not peppermint.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


This finally came out on Wednesday night. We had to put our foot down and had Doug pull it. The sight of the freaky fang was making me sick to my stomach. I let her lay in my lap and hold my hands while Doug pulled it. One side was a lot longer than the other which is why it took so long to come out.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Childhood Memories

Isn't it great how a smell or taste can trigger memories from your childhood? I was thinking the other day about my grandmother and pictured her at the sink doing her dishes after dinner. I remembered that she used Ivory Snow dish detergent and I loved the smell of it. Just remembering that scent gave me such a clear view of how she looked and how much I loved being in her house. She had a beautiful house in the woods near the beach and there were so many fun and interesting things to see around her house. Everytime we visited we would take a walk down to the beach and take a look at the Chesapeake Bay. When we came back we would have a little snack of wheat crackers and Lemondade. I looked at the store the other day to try and find the same kind of dish detergent so I could constantly remember her but they didn't have it. I can't believe something as minor as a dish detergent can make me so sad. I wish I had that piece of her now.

On a lighter and similar note, I had a little bit of honey yesterday and it reminded me of a trip my parents took me on when I was a child. They took me to a place where honey was produced and I can just picture the entire inside of the building with all the beehives. I can see it but can't remember all the details since I was pretty young.

I'm amazed that we can gather all these memories through our lives and they shape us into the people we are. I think we all need to focus on each individual day to create memories that will have an impact on the people around us. I'm going to start working on this and using this to make our holidays relaxing, fun and memorable.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Girls and Boys Find Fun in Different Ways

This picture is dedicated to all my friends that have only boys. See what fun you miss? I just love having someone that is thrilled to brush and style my hair. She really reminds me of all the fun there is behind hair, makeup and clothes.

This is a picture of how Jackson played when he was at my house this week. I think the results are complete. Every boy I have encountered does this with cars and trucks. Is there a handbook or training class for little boys that I haven't heard about?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Last night was a lot of fun. It was the first year we didn't have to deal with strollers, wagons or tons of tripping. The kids kept a quick pace and we were able to cover our entire neighborhood. The city had the ambulance driving around using their speakers to scare people by the sounds of blood boiling and moaning "help me, help me!" I thought that was a great way to keep the police and ambulances keeping an eye on everything but in a fun way. Its nice to know we live in such a safe neighborhood.

Now the fun job of saying no to more candy every 5 minutes! I'm just exaggerating of course. We have agreed to a piece after lunch and after dinner.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I just haven't had much to blog about lately. I just don't have much time for the computer and nothing new is going on. Same old stay-at-home mom stuff (boogers, vomit, potty wiping, cleaning, cooking, volunteering).

Taffy was spayed yesterday at 7 months old. These are pictures from last night. She had such sad droopy eyes. She was doing well yesterday because she was nice and sedated. Today she was a lot more active and the incision site doesn't look as well as I had hoped. I'm hoping it heals more overnight, if not I'll have to take her back to vet. That would be fun considering she is now 56 pounds and is not supposed to climb into the car yet. The vet recommended Benadryl if she is too active so I will need to buy that tomorrow morning. She was too active for me to even look at the site until 10pm. I couldn't believe she felt like jumping up on the beds and couch (she is not allowed on any of them by the way).

That was the excitement for the beginning of the week. The end of the week will be Robyn's school Halloween party that I'm in charge of arranging. I can't wait to see what excitement pops up in the middle of the week. There is always something you don't plan for!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fall Fun!

We had a great time on Saturday at the Enderle Farm. They had hayrides, a corn maze, snacks and some other activities and they were all free!! They also sold the standard stuff like apples, pumpkins, apple cider and crafts.

We had the most fun on the corn maze. They had it set up so you had get six stamps on your card by finding the six stations. We split up into two teams (girls vs. boys) and raced each other. The girls ended up running through the maze and winning!

I love this time of year!!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Watchdog

I'm officially turning into one of those dog people. I find myself talking to the dog and treating her like a person. Luckily for Taffy, Doug is putting his foot down and not letting me buy her any clothes like the superman costume I wanted to get so badly. I tried to explain that she will need a winter coat but he won't listen. This annoying little puppy has turned into a large moose of a watchdog. She gaining weight at a rapid pace and you can actually see her growing each day. She loves our family so much and lets us know if something out of the ordinary is happening. She spends her days going from window to window checking things out and carrying her blanky around. She is a great playmate for the kids and she is a cuddly friend to me and Doug. Her only bad habit now is jumping but we are going to work on that this week before she gets spayed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Our weekend

We had an exciting weekend with Robyn getting student of the month and Garrett scoring two goals at soccer. They are both working so hard toward their goals and its really fun to watch their determination.

We had a lot family fun this weekend with cuddling on the couch watching family movies and seeing the kids follow Doug with their lawn mowers as Doug cut the grass. I'm really enjoying the quiet before all the holidays start.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Blogger's Block

I have blogger's block lately. I don't really have much to talk about and don't have much time to do it.

Today we went to the Norfolk Southern Family Day. Here are some pictures from it. Doug's parents went along with Dennis, Cindy, Nancy, Andy, Jonathon, Scott, Robyn, Garrett, me and Doug. We had a chance to look at the locomotives Doug works on and they had lots of activities for the kids. The kids had their first shot at decorating pumpkins for the season.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kristy's trip

My sister Kristy came out to visit last week so things are finally getting back to normal here. She came out from North Carolina with her 2 year old son Chase and her 4 year old dog Harley (Boxer). We had a lot of excitement here with the extra kids I was watching and school starting. I think she is thankful she only has one! The weather was a little chilly but were were able to see the beach and play there, visit the pier in Huron and have a personalized tour from Grandpa - Fire Chief Bores at the Norwalk Fire Department.

Robyn started school last Tuesday and she loves it. Garrett had his pre-K orientation today and will begin class on Thursday. He is looking forward to starting and I'm thrilled that this is my last year to pay for preschool!

Doug is coming home on Thursday night so I am very excited. The kids will be surprised when they wake up on Friday morning. I haven't told them because they will nag me non-stop until he gets here. It will be so nice that he doesn't have to travel anymore!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fall is Beginning!!!

I guess I should keep up with my blog since Heather and Jen are so actively keeping up with theirs and making me feel bad.

I can't believe summer is almost over already. Doug will be home in 2 weeks hopefully, 3 weeks at the most. We have missed him so much!

Garrett started soccer last Saturday and he loves it. Here is a picture of him getting ready to attack the ball.

We have had a lot of fun this summer going to the beach, pool, ice cream trips and Cedar Point with Grandma and Grandpa. This week my sister, Kristy, will be coming up from North Carolina to visit with her 2 year old son and her dog Harley.

Robyn starts school tomorrow and she is very excited. She was able to meet her teacher on Friday and is even more excited now. I'll be missing Robyn all day while she is at school but will enjoy not having to referee fights.

I'm so excited that fall is starting. I love seeing all the color of the leaves and feeling the crisp cool air. We love to go on hayrides, travel through mazes, go to the fall festivals and decorate pumpkins. I even enjoy napping to the sound of football in the background. I can't wait!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Parents

I was looking forward to my parents coming out all summer. They came out Thursday morning and left Sunday morning. I can't believe how fast it went. I feel so sad that they have left. It was so nice to have the company and especially with people who know and love you so much. I enjoyed every moment that they were out. On Thursday we were able to go to the beach and have a quiet afternoon. On Friday we went to Cedar Point. On Saturday they had the chance to see Garrett practice soccer and we went out to eat and saw a Cruise-in. Every minute with them was fun and enjoyable, even with my kids getting sick on the last day of it for the 3rd time in a month. I just can't believe its over already. I can't believe how much I miss them.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Life Trials and Decisions

Our second week without Doug was a little more difficult than the first. The kids are becoming more clingy and I find that I am short tempered. Robyn actually cried on two out of four nights of vacation school (her 2nd VBS of the summer) and Garrett kept asking to be a baby again and for me to cuddle and carry him. Right now they both have fevers for the second time in a month so of course I'm a little concerned.

When I first found out that Doug had to travel I felt like this was just another punishment from God for poor decisions and sin in my life. Now I am feeling like this is a time to reflect on my life as an individual, to look at where I've been and figure out where I'm going. The amount of information that I have found out about myself in the last month is incomprehensible.

It seems hard to believe that you could be 30 years old and not know who you are. I think you get so caught up in life and family that you forget about the things that make you happy and events that made you who you are. I look back now at things I liked in high school and wonder why I wasn't smart enough to realize that I could have made something I enjoy, my career. Is this why depression is on the rise? I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way. I think my generation really struggles with making career decisions. Its just a hunch, but I bet the statistics for my generation show that there was the highest rate of undeclared majors up to that point. What are high school guidance counselors even there for? Was anyone even talked to or guided by one of them?

I picked my career because I knew I could make a lot of money without a degree. It wasn't because I especially liked being a computer consultant for pharmaceutical and energy companies. I didn't enjoy being around computer geeks that didn't know how to interact with humans. When you are in a career that is wrong for you it is draining and miserable. You race to get there so you can leave sooner. I know what its like and have no desire to go back there. Now I am only 28 credits away from a degree in business management. You know what, I don't have what it takes to be a manager nor do I want to be one! I don't like to delegate and always feel like I'm putting people out. I am too soft spoken and get walked on too easily. What I do have is a desire to work with people, an empathetic heart and the drive to make a difference. I want to pick something I enjoyed from my earlier days and turn it into my career. I have so many ideas of what I should have done.

What can we learn from this? I think we need to re-evaluate and re-visit the things we enjoyed when we were younger. I never saw a point in looking back before so I had a hard time learning this lesson. I started indulging myself in books and movies that looked interesting and I started learning a lot about myself. I can see why I am the way that I am. The most important part of this process is to share what we have learned with our children. Wouldn't it be great if they didn't have to learn some of the hard lessons we had to learn?

Is it too late for me? My husband doesn't think so. He is always telling me to go for it, but lets be practical, how many families with young children can afford to have one parent working and the other one going to school? Do you just suck it up, get through life and help your kids see what they excel at?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Our 1st week without Doug

As most of you know Doug has left for his training in McDonough, Georgia. He has to be there for 8 weeks for his new Locomotive Electrician position with Norfolk Southern. This was our first full week without him. Only 7 weeks to go!! We tried to keep ourselves busy so we didn't get too sad. We went to the beach, went to the library, participated in a dog show, visited Grandma and Grandpa and went to the park. Here are some pictures of our fun.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Favorite Part Of Being A Mom

I usually spend most of my time helping my children to be independent. I pick out their clothes but tell them to dress themselves, I give them chores to do, I let them find ways to entertain themselves and I let them face natural consequences.

This week I was reminded of how vulnerable they really are. For a day and a half Garrett faced a high fever and an upset stomach. 24 hours after Garrett recovered Robyn came down with an even higher fever, upset stomach and sore throat. I spent most of my week catering to sick children.

I realized how much I love taking care of my sick kids. There is nothing more rewarding than cuddling with a child that just wants to be with you. They get so weak they need you to help them with everything. Most of the time I worry about the housework but not when the kids are sick. I have an excuse to forget it and just lay around with my kids. I love it!

Doug is amazed by my ability to race to a sick child. Before I knew Garrett was sick I checked on him after he went to bed. He was stirring a little and moving his tongue around a lot. I thought this was a little strange and out of the ordinary for him so I got a bowl ready and put it on my nightstand. An hour after I went to bed I heard a noise in his room and raced to him (with a sprained ankle) with the bowl and caught IT just in time. I love the closeness you have with your children that helps you see when something isn't right. I am the only one that would have caught that with him.

I love the bond I have with my children and now that they are growing older and more independent I need these times to remind me that they still need me.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Flooding in Norwalk

We had a rough week in Norwalk, Oh. There were a number of large storms that went through the area on Thursday night and Friday and many areas of the city became flooded. We were the lucky ones. There were parts of the city that were devastated. We only had an inch of standing water in our basement. All the other neighbors on our corner received 6-12 inches in their basements. I just kept watching the storm in amazement. There was so much lightning and such an incredible amount of water. I have never seen anything like that before. The last time they had a significant amount of rain like this in Norwalk was 1969. Here are some pictures of the basement and the street. Check out for more info on the flood.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Family Pictures

First Blog Ever!!

Can you believe that this is my first blog!! I have heard so much about these lately I felt like I should get up-to-date, especially being a former computer geek and all.

Our family is changing everyday and its hard to keep up. I get to make the great announcement that Doug has gotten a new job with the Norfolk Southern Railroad as a Locomotive Electrician. He started there on June 12th. This is big for our family because he will be working year round with regular hours. He will go to Georgia for 2 months for training and that will be the only traveling he has to do. He will complete that sometime before November. Doug is playing softball with the Norwalk Alliance Church team and they are doing really well. He also still has his motorcycle that he bought last May. Its a Yamaha R1. He spends most of his time standing in the garage admiring it. Doug and I have been riding it almost weekly thanks to our great date club that we have joined.

I have started babysitting and so far its lots of girls! I am babysitting on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I may have some other ones trickling in too. Garrett is not thrilled about all the girls but I am. I have determined that the equation is 1 Garrett = 4 Girls on the difficulty scale. I have become a Sudoku champion and waiting for someone to stop by the house and give me a huge check for mastering this skill. I have also been reading a lot lately and enjoying all the quiet I'm getting by having a swingset in the backyard and toys in the basement. I'm also in the process of training Taffy. We have the important stuff done (housebreaking, crate-training, sitting), I just have to work on the annoying stuff like nipping, jumping and stealing the remote control.

Robyn is doing well and having fun with the constant supply of friends at our house. We even have the paper boy's sister stopping in everyday for a visit. She was in Robyn's kindergarten class. Robyn finished her kindergarten year with a bang. She received E's (Exceeds Expectations) in every class except for Music where she got a S+ (Satisfactory with extra effort). We are thrilled that she enjoys school so much. She still spends most of her time reading and writing about 20 notes and lists a day. Her favorite thing to do is to create some type of list and check them off. She is so much like me!

What can I say about Garrett?? He is still very much a boy and very active. His new partner in crime is the puppy Taffy. They enjoy wrestling with each other and getting into trouble. Garrett's new hobby is to the answer the phone before anyone else hears it or picks it up, more of his trouble making. His still likes to run off and hide. His new trick was hiding in a bathroom stall at church so his teacher couldn't get him out. He is so creative I can't stay ahead of him. He does have a sweet side though and he thinks it will get him out of trouble. He likes to whisper romantic things into my ear like how wonderful and beautiful I am, how many kisses and hugs he wants to give me and how he wishes he could marry me. He is a master of the art of sucking up. That is how he made it this far.

Taffy is the newest member of our family. She is now about 13 weeks old and getting larger everyday. She is at least 23lbs now with another 60 to go (her mom was 85lbs and her dad was 94lbs). She is a yellow lab who just loves water. Whenever we can't find her we look in the bathtub and there she is. She licks any lingering drops and I have even caught her trying to turn on the water with her mouth. She is fully housebroken and crate trained now! That means I'm done, no more kids or animals for me!