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Thursday, January 3rd 2008

3:50 PM

Closing Up Shop

Well, I've been using Blogger for a few days now and I find it so much easier to do anything over there.  I'm going to stop posting here and use that as my full-time blog.  I hope you'll come over and have a look when you get a chance   http://lanie2008.blogspot.com/  That's the link.  It's easy to click on!

It's been a good few years here at Bravenet but I need something that doesn't take so long to upload photos and then post.  Now it's just time for me to get  few ink cartridges and print off all of these entries.  Yuck.

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Monday, December 31st 2007

6:46 PM

Project 365

I'm starting a photography project and to document it I'm starting a new blog.  Hopefully I'll still update this one but if not you can find me here:  http://lanie2008.blogspot.com/  I have to admit that blog is easier to use. 

The project is called "project 365" (well actually 366 since it's a leap year) and what I will do is post a photo a day that tells a little story or summary of my day.  I can't make any promises that I will do it daily but I'll try my hardest.  I was going to do it here but I'm about fed up with the spammers and losing my post when I hit the wrong button.  rrrrrrrrr


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Friday, December 28th 2007

5:14 PM

Retina update

According to Dr. M my retina is still fully attached and looks healthy.  I figure that must be a miracle after going 3 months with it detached.  Of course my vision still stinks in that eye (still 20/400) but he thinks it could still improve.  I don't believe him though...I think he just wants me to keep coming back for checkups so he can get more money.  I don't have to go back for 6 months!  WOOOHOOOO

Driving was HORRID in the snow.  Especially with my eye dilated so that everything was fuzzy and bright...since I can't see much out of that eye the light didn't bother me much but it just looked as if I had big eye boogies in my vision or something.  But I made it home alive and even stopped at MC Sports for some new fingerless gloves/mittens so my hands can be warm when I'm out taking pictures.  I got a hat too even though I'm really really not a hat person.

It's beautiful outside right now.  It's that nice fluffy snow but it's warm enough out that it sticks to everything.  I'm going to go to Blanford Nature Center tomorrow morning and try to get some good winter landscape shots.  Plus Ben will be there so I'll try to get some good 6 year old playing in the snow shots.   I better go dig out my big snowboots...I haven't used them since last year so who knows where they're hiding.

Ben just came over and gave me a "kitty kiss"...actually we used to call them Eskimo Kisses but I changed it to Kitty Kisses for Noah because he used to try to kiss me like a kitty and it involved licking my face.  YUCK.  Now we rub noses.  Much nicer.

well then, I'm off to make dinner and find stuff for tomorrow so I'm prepared!  I'm SO excited...this will be my first real outting with my camera.

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Thursday, December 27th 2007

4:37 PM

  • what's in my mug? Diet Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper
  • Worst thing today: Rainy and grey
  • Best thing today: Life

For some reason those spammers are really liking one particular post of mine.  The good thing is that I know it's spam so I don't even open it but the bad news is that it's irritating and making me crazy.  I'm not going to shut down my comments but I'm getting awful tired of having 30 emails a day telling me I have web journal comments. 

As usual it's been a while since I've posted.  I'm trying to hang in here and keep this thing going. 

I am having a hard time figuring out this new camera because the weather has been lousy and I'm not about to take it out in the rain and slush because I'll probably drop it.  Plus I have no way to get out without the kids lately.  I will figure it out though.  I do have a few new photos taken with it on Flickr.  Take a look and see what you think

My house is so cluttered.  Everywhere I look I see a pile.  If they were pretty piles I probably wouldn't mind so much but these are NOT pretty.  I'm thinking about getting a dumpster.  So many things could go.  I think next week Salvation Army is doing pickups on our street so I can get rid of some stuff that way if I get it ready in time.  I think maybe I should concentrate on making pretty piles instead....I bet I can find some nice fabric to cover them with

Poor Mike called me today to tell me that he has to be up at 3am tomorrow so that he can be to South Haven by 5am for work.  Yuck.  Just the thought of that makes me feel sick.  We're supposed to get another winter storm tomorrow so I hope he makes it home before that gets too bad.  I have my Retina doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon too but I'm more than willing to miss that.  I have no interest in wasting my time going there.  But I know I should go to make sure everything is still ok.  As far as I can tell nothing has changed but I'd hate to find out it's detaching again and it wasn't caught in time.  So, if Mike gets home in time tomorrow I'll go.  Otherwise I probably won't because I don't want to bring the boys.

I'm trying to remember if there's any big news around here.  Nothing I can think of but that's normal since my brain is running on empty most days.  For all I know I could be pregnant or something (HA!  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!).  My brother's getting married in April.  I love his girlfriend and he seems happy around her which makes me happy because he deserves it.  He's had a rough life and I would love to see him truely happy. 

I spent some time with my Jenny last night.  We watched the new Halloween movie (the Rob Zombie one.)  I don't recommend that movie for anyone.  Except maybe film students that want to know how NOT to make a good movie.  It was just absolutely horrible.  We also made Mozarella cheese sticks in her new deep fryer. Just what I need.    I have to get serious about losing weight again because I feel it creeping up a little more every day.  Everytime I see a picture of myself I feel so fat. 

Lately I've been having this pounding heart thing when I get woken up or feel anxious.  I don't remember ever having it before but it really drives me insane because it almost hurts.  Not really hurts but it's uncomfortable.  I'm not too worried though because when I told Dr. A. I thought I had a heart attack he didn't seem at all concerned.  It's probably just anxiety, right?   I think I really need to get on some new meds.  I haven't really been on anything since the eye surgery and it definitely shows.  I cry about everything.  On Christmas Eve I started thinking about my friend Jeff who died 17 years ago on Christmas Eve and I was crying as if it had just happened that day.  Some things are so fresh in my memory but other things I can't remember much at all.  I cry about commercials, because my daughter won't talk to me, because I'm tired, because I can't figure out my camera, because I love Mike so much and have a hard time showing it, because because because.  I hated the Effexor because it made me unable to cry and I think it's good to cry sometimes.  But this is rediculous.  It'd be different if I could get good pictures of me crying but I don't have a tripod yet

Ok...my boys are playing gamecube so I should go read my book on Digital Photography while I can.

Oh yeah, I found a website...https://www.hometownfavorites.com.  I found it because I was looking for a place to buy Otter pops.  (mmmmmmmmmmmmmm otter pops).  I ended up buying 4 boxes of otter pops and 11 cans of Mariners Cove Clam chowder (because noone around here has it and it was always my favorite).  The shipping is not so great I guess (I'm paying $13.00 in shipping for $20.00 worth of stuff) but I think it's worth it to have my Otter Pops and clam chowder   Anyway, I thought that would be a great place for someone named KRIS to go look for her old favorites.  I know they have Beemans gum and clove gum  and some of the others you mentioned on a recent post.  It's fun to look anyway!


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Friday, December 21st 2007

12:39 AM

My new baby was delivered today.  I have to get used to it but I love it.

I got some sad news tonite (actually about 15 minutes ago).  I follow some people's carepages and there's a girl named Ali who has been battling Leukemia for a few years now.  She was doing pretty well and had a bone marrow transplant but then she got sick and she's been in the hospital for a while now (over in Ann Arbor).  Everytime her parents would update her page I would get an email telling me and I would go read it and see what prayer requests they had.  The last update I read before tonite they had been told by the doctor that she was very sick - sicker than ever and they were praying for Ali to get healthy enough to go home for Christmas.  Well tonite I got my email alert and I right away said a quick prayer that Ali could go home and feel better.  As soon as I opened the page the words just jumped out...something like "Words can not describe our sadness and our great loss...".  My heart sank.  I just can't believe it.  I don't know her personally but after a year of following her story and praying for her I felt like I knew her.  She was an amazing girl...only about 15 if I remember right.  Her parents had more faith than imaginable.  It's so sad but at the same time I firmly believe that Ali is with Jesus...Happy, Healthy and Home just like her parents often prayed.   It breaks my heart to think that kids ever have to suffer and then die...it scares me to death to think it could ever be one of my own children.  But at the same time I know it's sometimes a part of life and when death finally comes it can be a blessing.  And since I know God is real and merciful  it takes away some of the grief and fear.  But I can't imagine the hurt the families of these children must feel.  I hope I never have to experience it.

Tomorrow is the last day of school before Christmas break (or winter break).  I'm all ready for Christmas.  Everything is wrapped and ready to go.  I promised the kids a trip to Build-a-bear so I have to fit that in sometime between Tomorrow and Monday.  The Mall is going to be a mad house (probably full of husbands).

Hopefully I will have my camera somewhat figured out before Christmas so I can take some decent photos.

If I don't get back here I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas full of blessings

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Sunday, December 16th 2007

7:37 AM

Looks as if Winter is here to stay!

I woke up this morning to about 4 inches of fresh snow.  It sure it beautiful but not for driving.  Yuck.  I don't think there's any chance of Spring making an early appearance like I would like.

Yesterday we (the photography group and some friends and family) went to Frederik Meijer Gardens to see the different Christmas trees.  They have some amazing things there.  I will have new photos up on Flickr if you'd like to see a bit of what we saw.  That place is like a photographers paradise!

Speaking of which...Mike suprised me last night with an invoice for my new camera!  I can not tell you how much it means to me that I am going to have this camera.  And that Mike is getting it for me.  I had a feeling he would but the fact that he KNOWS how much it means to me and he put that much money into something for me just makes me realize how much he loves me.  I know it seems superficial to say that because he spent money on me I know he loves me.  That's not what I mean.  The fact is we are fairly tight on money right now and Mike has been working a lot of overtime to get some extra.  He's been working hard and he really doesn't get himself things.  We are very well cared for by Mike.  When I think of the pressure he must be under for us so that we can have a warm and safe home and food to eat it is a bit overwhelming.  And then he does this.  I really do take him for granted most days.  I will defend him to the ends of the world for Nicole but I really should tell him more how much I appreciate all he does for us. 

Anyway, here it is:









And I got the two lens kit!  BONUS.  I can't wait to get my hands on it

Not much else is new.  We have one more week of school and then it's Christmas vacation!  I'm excited for Christmas and seeing my family open their gifts and being with them.  I can't even tell you how relieved I am and RELAXED since I am done with my shopping and the gifts are all wrapped and ready under the tree (most of them) and all I have to do now is just enjoy it.  I am excited to play handbells Christmas morning (although a bit nervous) because it's a fun song.  Christmas day we go to church and then we are going to open gifts, have dinner together and go to a movie.  Over Christmas vacation I have to take the kids to Build-a-bear to make their Rudolphs because I told them I would as part of their gifts.  Although I am thinking maybe we could do that the day before Christmas. 

Well, I think it's time to go and edit some photos from yesterday. 

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Wednesday, December 5th 2007

4:42 PM

Prayer of thanksgiving

That's one of my littel buddies who come to dine on the front porch.  They are pretty spoiled here.

I have a few minutes to update before I'm off to church for Fellowship night (dinner and GEMS) so I thought I would pop in.  Not that there is a whole lot to say.  In fact, I can't think of a single thing.

I'm trying to get something done for Photography "club" which is meeting Monday so that's kept me busy today.  I finished Christmas shopping AGAIN today.  You know how you think you're done and then something else comes up.  Well, I HAD To get something for my dog.  3 somethings actually.  And then I figured that I should at least get something little for Mike even though we don't usually exchange gifts.  And then Ben's friend is having a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this Saturday so I had to get him something.  By the time I was done I spent another $100.00.  Gack.  That's not good. 

Mike asked me last night what I want for Christmas (even though we don't usually exchange gifts!) and I was ready with "An Olympus Evolt E-510 DSLR Camera with the Dual Lens Kit".  I felt like Ralphy from A Christmas Story.  But honestly, a new camera is the only thing I want.  I don't need anything.  And there's not much I want for myself.  A new camera though...oh yeah...I really want one of those.  And one way or another I will get one before next Spring.  I may not be able to get the exact one I want but I can dream.  It seems as if everytime I think maybe we could swing it a new bill comes in.  I now have a $550 bill from the Retina doctor which I don't understand because we just paid over $1000 for the surgery to the Hospital and still owe $700 for some other things from the surgery and the tests I had done before that.  I get frustrated because we just don't have extra money.  And of course that doesn't stop me from going overboard on Christmas as usual.  So I can't complain too much.  At least we have a home, food and everything we need and more. 

Speaking of Christmas...I've had thoughts about what we might do next year.  I was on Flickr (big suprise) and had a "conversation" with someone about the Epiphany and how some cultures actually celebrate that with gifts instead of Christmas.  The Epiphany is when the Magi (wisemen, three kings) came to Jesus with gifts and was first introduced to the Gentiles.  These other cultures still celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus but they hold off on the gifts until 12 days later (the Epiphany).  I think that's a great idea and I am considering doing that with my kids.  Then on Christmas day we will open stockings, have dinner and go out and do something for someone else.  Maybe visit a nursing home, a hospital or something like that.   I think it would make Christmas so much more meaningful.  I will have to think about it over the next year. 

Alright, I'm off.  I guess I found something to write here so I'm pleased with myself.

If you could please pray for my little sister, Kim.  She is 17 years old.  She has been having different symptoms over the past few years (like headaches, fainting, flailing and numbness) and she finally was seen by a neurologist (actually the same one I went to) and she is having an MRI next Wednesday.  The doctor also suggested having her heart checked.  I'm worried for her and am praying that whatever is causing these things is something easily fixed.  So if you could pray for my sister I would really appreciate it. 

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Sunday, December 2nd 2007

12:45 AM

No room in the Inn



It is COLD out there.  We're in the middle of a "winter storm warning"  So far there's not much snow but it's freezing rain and sleet for a while and then it will turn over to just rain.  I guess I should put away my summer clothes.

I watched a movie called "Beyond the Gates" tonite.  It's a movie about the Genocide in Rawanda back in 1994 where about 800,000 Rawandans (mostly Tutsi) were murdered.  I've watched other movies about this and they always make me so sick to my stomach and I can't get it out of my mind for the longest time.  I think it's good to be aware of these horrible things in history but I think it would have been better if we had been aware WHILE it was going on so that something could have been done.  It seems as if people knew about it but didn't want to interfere...meanwhile innocent people...kids, babies, moms, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters...were killed violently and without mercy.  It just really breaks my heart to think that these things happen in this world and people turn their heads and try to pretend it's not happening.  I'm not saying I would have done any differently...although I would like to think I would.  We have a refugee family in our church...they have 3 small girls.  The father lost most of his family in Rwanda.  I just can't imagine what that would be like and then to come to a new country and try to start over.  The movie had a lot about faith and "where is God in this" themes and I think it was really well done.  But it was violent and it was hard to watch.  But I do recommend it to anyone who can handle that sort of thing.  I don't think I could ever watch it again but I am glad I watched it once.

I better get to bed.  It's 1am....oops.

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Monday, November 26th 2007

9:56 PM

gosh, time gets away from me

I can't believe how long it's been AGAIN since I've "written" here. 

Let's see...what's new?  Nicole is doing great in school and I'm so proud of her.  She's actually getting her work done and all of her teachers LOVE her.  Ben is doing great too and they are going to start reading now (in Kindergarten).  He's star of the week this week so he's pretty excited about that.  He's still fighting a bug and has a cough but he's getting a little better every day.  Noah was sent home from school today because his teacher thought he had pink eye.  I think it's either from his cold or it's from allergies but I'll keep him home until it clears up.  Dr. Agerson figured it was viral (although he didn't see him) and said just to do the warm compresses.  Yeah...easier said than done.  I gave Noah a warm washcloth and you'd think it was boiling the way he yelled.  I felt it myself and it was very warm but not at all hot.  So I went out and got the OTC pink eye drops and hopefully that will help a little bit.  You can tell it's uncomfortable.

I'm 95% done with my Christmas shopping.  I'm putting Mike in charge of his nephews again this year...I always feel guilty because who knows what they'll end up with but I just feel he should do SOMETHING.  I dragged the Christmas tree out of the basement tonite and swore the whole time.  I am NOT a Christmas decorating kind of person.  In fact my PartyLite Nativity candle thing that I HAD to have is on top of the TV Cabinet where it's been since LAST christmas.  I told Noah we'd just get a little houseplant and put lights on it and he was ok with that but I broke down tonite.  Of course I don't have a tree skirt anymore because my cats destroyed it last year with their nasty hairballs and claws.  Speaking of hairballs, I found a bunch of Pumpkins hair in the tree.  I miss that cat.  So, the tree's up, no ornaments yet.  Hopefully I can get the kids to do that part.  I really wish I wasn't such a scrooge.  I do NOT enjoy this holiday.  I don't know if it's partly because my friend Jeff died on Christmas eve or if it's just the whole stressful season.  I think it's a bit of both.  I WANT to enjoy it though.  I thought having the shopping behind me would help.  So far it hasn't.  I'll just have to suck it up and MAKE myself enjoy it.  For my kids at the very least.  I just wish it was more about JESUS and less about gifts.

I went to the optometrist.  The insurance won't pay for it and it makes me mad but it is what it is.  That's life.  We're trying a contact and it does help with the peripheral vision but my conjuctiva swells up around it and it looks nasty and is uncomfortable.  And reading is wierd.  I kind of have double vision and there's a wave to everything.  So he's ordering a looser fitting contact to see if that helps with the conjunctiva thing.  I really don't care because I won't wear it anyway.  I just have to do this for my Retinal guy.

I got a cell phone.  Woohoo.  I can't stand the thing because I can't figure out how to make it work half the time.  But it is nice having it when I am out and knowing that my kids and Mike can get a hold of me if needed and I can call them if I need to.

Amani had his baptism on Sunday.  He is not at all like Baraka in the looks department.  His eyes are squintier and he's got more of a square head compared to Baraka's round head.  He's cute though.  I can't believe he's going to be 5 months old already.    It was nice to be at church with Khamala, Jeremy, my dad and Karen.  Although my dad kept nodding off (although he swears he was just concentrating...some things don't change.  I remember him doing that at church when I was growing up).  The Pastor of this church has a pretty heavy accent and you do have to really pay attention to understand him.  But I love to see how they sing and dance in their church...it's NOTHING like the Christian Reformed Church I go to.  And nothing like the Catholic church I grew up in.  They just have less inhibition there...if they feel the desire to move they do.  It's something I will probably never be able to do because it's just not me.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm not making any promises on when I'll update again because half the time I just don't feel like it   I do check up on my "regular" friends here though.   

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Friday, November 16th 2007

11:21 PM


That there is my littel angel Noah.  He was upset because I was leaving without him to take Ben to school.  Nicole stayed home sick today and she was going to take care of him for 15 minutes.  Evidently that was too long for him.  He's sick also so I think that probably had something to do with it.  The last photo was when he was asking me if he could have some candy after he finished his oatmeal (which he was having for lunch).

I can't believe Christmas is only a little more than a month away.  I don't want it to be that time of year already.  The good news is that I have a good bit of my shopping done.  The bad news is that I'm not done completely and I don't want to do anymore.   I've never really liked Christmas other than the fact that it's Jesus' birthday.  That part I love...I love singing about it, thinking about it, reading about it.   I hate the commercialism, the feeling obligated to buy gifts for everyone, the trying to schedule time for everything that needs to be done.  None of that should matter so much but it does.  This year I have to play bells at church on Christmas morning.  Once I'm done with that I am not going anywhere else.  This year I am going to spend Christmas AT HOME with my kids and husband ONLY.  I'm sure I'll feel guilty too.  Oh well.  I'll have to get over it because this year I'm not going to drive anywhere.  We're going to stay home, open presents and just enjoy each other without having to worry about where else we have to be.   Just the thought of it makes me feel less stressed.  Don't get me wrong.  I love all of my family and being with them.  And I will see everyone, just not on Christmas day.  I think maybe from now on Christmas Day is going to have to be for my kids and God.

I got a cell phone.  It's a good thing since I've been locking my keys in the car and having car problems recently.  I have 450 minutes a month and there is NO WAY I'll use even half of them.  Oh well, just another bill.

I'm going for an eye exam Monday to see what my diagnosis is...evidently that is the only way the dumb insurance company can tell me whether or not they will pay for my new prescription.  I'm so tired of dealing with them but if I don't I'll have to pay for them.  Even if they don't pay for them I am NOT.  Those dingbats that misdiagnosed me will have to I guess. HA

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Monday, November 12th 2007

10:47 PM

run through the woods

I got to spend the night at my mom's Saturday.  We cleaned up the "sled making shop", started building a sled...actually I guess I just sanded some pieces...and then Sunday morning we went for a "run" in the woods with the dogs.  That picture is from the quad that the dogs were pulling (with me and my mom on it).  I wish I had a better camera and it had been lighter out but it was grey and misty and pretty dark (not DARK but dim) so most of my photos didn't turn out.  But I got a few that I like so it wasn't horrible.  I know I mentioned this before but I really love to go along when they run the dogs.  I can't even describe what it's like to know those 8 dogs are pulling the quad along...and it's so quiet (other than the motor).  They don't make any noise.  And my mom just says the commands (Gee, haw, on-by) and they LISTEN.  Mostly.  And she doesn't even have to yell these things...she can say it in her normal voice and they will do it.  I wish my kids were that good.

Then Sunday I went to my dad & Karen's to visit and I got to see my little sister's senior pictures.  I'm just in shock every time I think about her going off to college next year.  I just can not believe she's that old already.  She's going to do great...I really don't have many worries when it comes to Kimmy.  She's such a good person and she knows what is important. 

When I went to leave I realized I had locked my keys in my car.  You know what?  I have locked my keys in my car a total of 4 times in my life.  All 4 of those times have been in the past 2 years (and 2 of them in the past month).  I don't know what my problem is.  I am going to have to make extra keys this week.  Poor Mike had to drive all the way out there just to open the door (my parents live about 30 minutes away).  Mike is such a good husband...he never even said anything.  He just gave me my keys and gave me the look (the "You are such a dork" look) and left.  If it had been me having to drive that far at night I would have had something to say.  I guess I should follow his example.

Tonite was our 3rd Photography group meeting.  Lori taught us about composition in art and it was really interesting to see what it is that makes art interesting.  Hopefully we can take it and carry it over to our photos.  We're hopefully going to go to Frederik Meijer Gardens for the Christmas & Holidays traditions around the World thing.  I hope it goes better this time.  Geesh.

Well, I had better get going.  It's late and I want to watch the news so I can see how cold I'm going to be tomorrow.

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Friday, November 9th 2007

8:29 AM

I don't know how much longer I'm going to do this blogging thing.  It seems as if I don't have much to say anymore.  I think the only reason I've hung on this long is that I would miss hearing from the few people who comment on my entries.  I could never stop reading my friend's blogs but I don't know that I will continue this one much longer. 

Our computer DIED about 2 weeks ago...well maybe a week and a half.  We got a new one this past Wednesday so I'm trying to catch up on things and get things done so that it is running the way I like it.  Going almost 2 weeks without a computer was not fun.  I felt as if I couldn't do anything (although I know that's not true...there's always the telephone...but for some reason I don't like to talk on the phone much anymore).  I couldn't print out my calendar for November (and I still can't since my printer isn't working yet. - I can't find the disk to install the driver) I couldn't look at pictures on Flickr (which is another issue altogether since I lost any pictures that weren't backed up - pretty much from the last month) and I couldn't email people and get my emails (which is my main form of communication anymore).  So I sent Mike out to get a new computer Wednesday   It has a FLAT screen which is taking me some time to get used to how much clearer and how much nicer the colors are.  Plus the fact that there's some room left on the desk without that huge monitor.    And it has Windows Vista...I don't know if I like it yet. 

So I'm back for now.  I have nothing exciting to report (at least not that I can remember).  My back hurts, my hips hurt, my vision sucks and insurance won't pay for my new prescription glasses (which is a load of crap), I have no motivation to do anything.  I'm tired.  And I'm obviously having a pity-party for myself.  Noone's invited.  I need to smack myself. 

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Friday, October 26th 2007

4:13 PM

I am the mother of a TEENAGER

I can't believe my baby is 13.  I can't believe it's been 13 years since I first smelled her baby breath and promised her to do everything I could to give her a happy life.  Boy have I changed since then.   I was 19...only 6 years older than she is now.  I grew up with her in so many ways.   And unfortunately for her she had to suffer through some of my mistakes.  Of course so have my little guys.  Just different mistakes.

So tonite Nicole and I are going to have dinner and go to a movie and spend some quality time together.  I'm also taking her to Build-A-Bear but she doesn't know that yet.  Tomorrow we will go to my mom & Ted's and she'll get her "big" present (her camera).

My dad & Karen and my two youngest brothers left for Disney today.  It makes me want to cry because I love that place and I really want to go back.  3 more years and I will.  It seems so far away but I suppose it's going to go fast.  Just think...in 3 years my little girl will be driving.  EEK.

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Tuesday, October 23rd 2007

3:51 PM


Amazing Circle Angel Wing Begonia This comcast is very very fast compared to dial-up.  Just the fact that I can get online instantly is an improvement.  AND I can use the phone at the same time too!  WOOOHOOOO.  And Survivor China is on the On Demand thing so I caught up on it last night. 

This week has so far been much better than last week.  It's only Tuesday but the fact that we got through the first two days without any blood (well, Ben had a small bloody nose after school today but that's nothing to worry about) or overflowing toilets is a good sign.  I got to have lunch with my mom yesterday.  And tomorrow Noah has a field trip so I won't have him in the morning!  He's been super naughty the past week so I won't miss him.  (is that wrong?)  Tonite I am going to church for a prayer meeting for a family at church who is leaving tomorrow for their 12 year old son to have major surgery to remove a tumor in his head (in his sinuses and maybe into his brain) and then I may have coffee with Leah if I can get away for that long.  Tomorrow is coffee break in the morning and girls night in the evening.  Thursday is Handbells, Friday is Nicole's birthday (and I told her I'd take her and Sydney to a movie) and saturday we are going to my mom & Ted's.  Sunday I play handbells in the morning too!  How can you NOT enjoy a week like this?  Seriously though, I would rather NOT have to go away every night but I guess I just have no choice.  (ok..maybe I like it a little, but I do have some guilt)

Did I even get to put on here all the things that make last week so bad?  Let's see...let me try to remember 1) Overflowing toilet (I think that was Sunday) 2) Dropped a 1 gallon pitcher of lemonade on the kitchen floor (after I had cleaned it) (that was monday)  3) Noah cut the tip of his finger and practically bled to death right in the kitchen (tuesday)  4) Wednesday was just busy...too much going on but I can't think of any specifically bad things  5) Went out with Jenny to the movies (that was great), had a big storm and a dead battery at the mall (which was closed and practically deserted)  6) Had dinner with the In-laws (again not a bad thing) and I can't think of anything horrible that happened Friday  7)  Frederik Meijer Gardens - It was beautiful weather and we ended up having enough people to get the group rate.  The bad thing was that as soon as I got there I proceeded to lock my keys in the car.    So those are the specific things and add to that the fact that I was trying to organize an outing for the photography group and was Flip-flopping (worse than John Kerry) about whether or not to cancel it because I couldn't find enough people to go for the group rate.  It all came together at the last minute but it was a pain in the butt.  I'm just glad it's over.  Very glad.


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Monday, October 22nd 2007

3:59 PM

Here goes nothing

The Comcast guys just pulled up.  After tonite we'll have "high speed" digital everything (phone, tv & computer).  I don't know what will happen with my "favorites" on AOL.  Hopefully I can get back up and running.


See ya.

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Friday, October 19th 2007

8:36 AM

what a week

2 days later

That right there is the result of Noah tryign to cut his fingernail with kid scissors.  That was the drama on Tuesday.  It bled for 20 minutes unless I put pressure on his finger so everytime I'd let go to look at it he'd start wailing again and I'd panic because I couldn't see how much of his finger was actually gone.  It turns out it's not too bad at all but with all of the blood I thought it had to be really bad.  I panicked because I didn't know how I was going to get him to the med center AND hold his finger while he was in the back seat.  I called my mom and she was very helpful   It stopped bleeding so much right before we left for the doctor so I was able to at least wash my hair before we left (believe me, it was necessary).  Dr. A took one look at it and said "Oh that's going to be fine" and he put a big goofy white bandage on it (Noah loved it) and sent us on our way.  So that was $25.  Blech.  That's life I guess. 

The night before this finger thing happened the toilet upstairs overflowed (because my kids have a tendency to use too much toilet paper and they don't always flush so it builds up) and it leaked into the basement.  The night before that I was making lemonade and dropped the entire pitcher on the kitchen floor.  PLUS I've been scrambling trying to get enough people to go to Frederik Meijer Gardens on Saturday so that we could get the group rate.  I spent the past week trying to make it work but I just couldn't get enough people to commit to going so I had to cancel it.  I'm going to take Nicole anyway I decided.  I can't miss it because they're going to have 1000 pound pumpkins.  How could I miss THAT???  It's going to be part of her birthday present.  I'll give her the new camera tomorrow also.  Hopefully she'll be excited.

So, this weekend is WELCOME.  I am so relieved to have this week behind me.  Oh yeah, karen's dad died last weekend too.  I found out when I was looking in the obituaries.  They didn't have the best relationship so it was kind of a wierd thing.  They didn't have a funeral or a memorial or anything.  I don't like that and that's what they did with Grandpa & Grandma Butler, too (Karen's grandparents) and I would have liked that closure.  In case I never mentioned Grandma Butler I have to let you know that I LOVED her.  Out of all of Karen's family, Grandpa & Grandma Butler were the only ones that ever made me feel welcome in their family.  They never treated me as a "step-grandchild".  They had me over for weekends and spoiled me rotten.  Grandpa was quiet and had a great sense of humor.  He'd be so quiet and taking everything in and then he'd just say the funniest things.  He was a horrible driver, too.    I loved him and I miss him.  Grandma though, we just had such a great relationship.  She was probably about 70-ish when we first met and she'd have me over alot just to hang out.  I'd go there and draw her pictures and she ALWAYS said I was the best artist (even though I never thought so) or we'd just sit and watch Nickelodeon together.  At night we'd have cookies in her bed and read the comics and the kids' page of the newspaper and just talk and talk until late at night.  She's the grandma that went out with me at about 2 in the morning to look at the lunar eclipse.  And she NEVER NEVER made me feel ashamed of the stupid things I did in my life.  She never put me down and always built me up.  SHe'd come to our band concerts and even when I was in 5th and 6th grade she'd say we were better than the High School band.  Unfortunately as she got older she became more "homebound" (more by choice than necessity) and I saw her less and less.  When grandma Butler died it was so hard on Karen because she was the ONLY one who took care of her grandma.  Even her own son (karen's dad) couldn't be bothered most of the time.  Karen actually found Grandma after she passed away and I'll never forget that phone call.  When they decided not to have a funeral or a memorial service I just felt as if there was no "closure".  We all met at the cemetery to see where her ashes were but it's just not the same.  She was so loved and it just seemed so wrong not to publicly profess that.  I hope someday I'm the kind of grandma she was.  I hope when I'm 75 I can play football at 2am in the morning (with paper footballs) and crawl under the bed to get it even though my 12 year old grandkid is perfectly capable.  And I hope I give the great advice of "always eat a treat before bed" and "TWO icecream cones is better than one!".  She was awesome.  The perfect grandma.  I miss her. 

Anywho, I had better go now that I'm feeling all nostalgic and missing people.  I have to get Ben some pj's to wear to school (it's pajama day).

Take care

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Friday, October 12th 2007

6:16 PM

funny Noah

Ever since we started having all of these recalls on toys made in China my kids have been telling each other constantly not to chew on things.  I hear "Don't chew on that - it's made in China" at least 6 times a day.  Well, just now Noah was finishing up dinner (pancakes) and he's sitting there quietly eating (which is unusual) and he says "Mo-ooooom...Are animals made in China?"  so I said "like REAL animals?  Like Stitch?"  And he says "yeah."  and I say "no, animals are made all over"  And he says "Well they should be cuz we can't chew on them."  It was probably funnier in person.  I just think he says the funniest things.

Today we were on a quest for stuff to make Ben and Noah their costumes for Halloween.  They want to be Ash from Pokemon.  You'd think it'd be easy to find a red and white baseball hat, a blue vest and green gloves.  Well, it's not.  So we ended up with a off white hat with a red bill (thank you to the very nice man at All Star Printing...he actually GAVE them to us for free) black gloves and a navy blue vest and a blue puffy vest.  I think we can make it work.  I got a red fabric marker to fix the hats and green fabric paint to put the symbol on it.  I think we went to about 7 stores today.  And then Ben tells me he wants to be Pikachu.  HA.  He seems to think I can MAKE him a Pikachu costume.  Not gonna happen.  They are both going to be ASH Ketchum. 

Nicole is at Sydney's for the weekend.  Hopefully she's really invited because I never talked to Sydney's mom.  I'm pretty sure she trusts me and I do trust her so I'm not worried.  It'd be different if this was a first time thing.

I sure wish it were bedtime already.  I'm so sleepy.

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Thursday, October 11th 2007

8:53 AM

a year

 Alaine October 2006Alaine October 2007

The Picture on the left was me exactly one year ago.  The one on the right was yesterday.  I was shocked when I was looking at old pictures and came across some of me and my friends at the Heritage Hill tour LAST year.  I looked very large.  I've never been one to really focus on my looks but I don't like the way I looked at all.  I always used to be "the skinny one" and I could eat and eat and eat and not gain weight.  Of course that was about 10-15 years ago.  And I had the willpower NOT to eat things when I knew I shouldn't.  I'm a completely different person now.  Now I eat to make myself feel better and when I'm just bored.  Those are the things I have to work on.  The thing that was so irritating was when I went off of my meds and the weight practically fell off.  I can't believe a medication can do that to someone.   

 We watched Evan Almighty last night.  Ben actually liked it.  It was hard to explain to him that Morgan Freeman isn't REALLY God but just an actor pretending to be God on the movie.  When he first saw him say he was God he got all quiet and I could tell he was trying to process that.  So I quickly explained to him that he's only God on the movie and not in real life.   It was a cute movie I guess.  Not something I would buy to watch again though.  I think I liked Bruce Almighty better.

Mike saw a house he wanted to buy the other day.  It's an old farmhouse and it is probably about 10 miles from where we are now (if that).  He drove out there with Ben and came back with a walnut.  He seemed to think that was a sign that it was meant to be because our old house had walnut trees (which I hated by the way because they are MESSY).  He also told me it was a mirror image of the old house (not a good thing...that was not a cute house).  So I humored him and called the real estate guy and then drove out there to see it myself.  It was nothing like our old house other than it was white.  And it needed quite a bit of work...new roof etc.  When I got home the real estate guy called back and told me it was already sold and they were asking $140,000 with an acre of land or $180,000 with 4 acres.  That is more than Mike wanted to pay for it anyway so I don't have to worry about it.  I think it's funny that Mike wants to move back into the "country" when HE'S the one who was so bent on moving closer to the city.  I'm fine where we are.  I don't always like it with the sirens and whatnot but at least we are exactly between my parents and we're near his family.  I can't imagine moving further away from everyone.  If anything I want to move North and closer to my mom.  But since he works in Holland he wants to move West and closer to that area.  So I think we need to stay put.  It's not the ideal place to live but for what he wants to pay I think we're pretty well off.

The photography group is going pretty well.  A lot of people don't show up for the meetings so it's actually a smaller group which is fine.  We're going to the nature center Sunday afternoon for pictures and then on the 20th we're going to Frederik Meijer Gardens for our first "big" outting.  I'm excited for that. 

I feel so busy but I can't really think of what's going on.  Other than that group and Handbells and Outreach I don't do much (other than driving the kids to school and back 3 times a day).  Nicole is spending a lot of time with Sydney now that Sydney is doing GEMS with her.  Nicole's grandma also told her she's welcome anytime to come up with Nicole so now Nicole thinks that means every time.   I'm not sure that's what she had in mind. 

I'm sleepy today.  I'm actually going to bed 'on time' but I just can't seem to get any energy.  I probably need to eat something special like seafoam (just kidding mom!)


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Monday, October 8th 2007

9:23 AM

Learning to Tie

The puppies are so cute right now.  They are all running around and playing and untying shoes.  I love them.  They are 5 weeks and 4 days old today. 

I had a pretty good weekend.  Saturday was the Heritage Hill Home Tour.  That's always fun with the girls but it was a bit too hot.  I think it was about 90 degrees and HUMID.  That is NOT normal in Michigan in October.  Today is supposed to be the same.  We did get some sad news during the day though.  Lori's husband is in Iraq and his vehicle was involved in an IED explosion and a soldier was killed and others were injured.  Thankfully Jeremy is ok but it was sad to see Lori get that call.  It really brings home how much this war and the fear for loved ones is affecting so many in our country.  After Diana's sons were injured this past year I've thought a lot more about what it must be like to have someone you love overseas.  I am praying for Lori and all of the other families.  Jeremy is supposed to be back in 5 weeks and I am sure this is going to be the hardest 5 weeks for his family.  Lori is very strong though and she is doing such a good job of staying positive and she's so excited to see him.

Saturday night I went to stay at my mom & Ted's.  My nephews Mike and Jon were there and so was my stepbrother Tony and little Gabers.  It's always good to see them   Then Sunday I actually woke up at a reasonable time (7am...usually my mom lets me sleep until 11) and I got to play with the puppies for a while and then we went to see Dinosaurs of Patagonia at the IMAX theater.  It was in 3D but I found out that things aren't 3D when you only have one functioning eyeball.

Now today I have to try to deal with the insurance people again.  They are telling me that they won't cover my new prescription for glasses because I already used up my big $200 this year.  But I was told that because of the surgery it should be covered.  So I have to call the surgeon's office and see what they say and if I can get a letter of medical necessity...I don't know that it will make a difference though.  I HATE dealing with Insurance.  I'm glad I have it but I would like it if I never had to speak to them.  I also have to start paying some of these medical bills since they are starting to threaten us with "legal action".  Freakin' Grand Rapids Opthamology.  I wish I could get them to pay this stuff since they are the ones who CAUSED this. 

Tonite is our first "real" Photography group meeting at church.  I'm not prepared so sometime today I had better get going on that as well. 

I had better do that now. 

Have a nice week.

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Tuesday, October 2nd 2007

10:56 AM

The grandkids

It's been a while again huh?  You know, it's not like I'm not on the computer a lot...I am.  I spend way too much time on Flickr.  In fact, I think I need to start limiting my time online so that I get something done around the house.  I really have no right to complain about my house being a mess when I'm sitting on my behind looking at photos.  So anyway, here I am after a long time. 

That picture is of my dad and most of his grandkids.  The only one missing is my brother's son, Danny.  We all miss Danny so much and wonder how he's doing but because of certain circumstances, we don't  see him, talk to him or even know how he's doing.  Whenever I get pictures of everyone together I feel like someone is missing.  Wouldn't he fit in perfectly right there by Nicole?  Danny is going to be 11 years old this December.  The last time I saw him was in 1999 over Thanksgiving weekend.  That's 8 years.  Wow.  It's hard to believe it's been so long already.  But anyway, that's my dad and most of his grandkids, so far.  I figure in about 7 years he will start having more grandkids from the second "batch" of kids.  Then maybe I'll get a neice

I can't think of anything big that's happened since the last time I posted.  That's not to say nothing happened.  I'm in such a fog lately that I couldn't tell you anyway.  Noah has been sick and his voice is so weak.  It's kind of nice for a change.  I hate having him be sick though.  The first two nights he woke up screaming and hysterical about legos on the wall.  He was obviously seeing things because everywhere he looked he saw them and he'd scream and hide his face.  He ended up sleeping with Mike and I for two nights.  Now he insists on having his door open and the hallway light on.  That would be fine except for that he has this creepy habit of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and standing at our door (which is opened a crack so I can hear what's going on).  I can be sound asleep and wake up sensing that someone is looking at me.  I can't STAND that.  Hopefully we can get things back to normal and have him sleeping ALL NIGHT in his own bed.  He also had to miss school yesterday because of his fever but today he is going back.  So far the other kids haven't gotten sick...I hope whatever Noah has is not contagious because we were with the baby Saturday and I'd feel awful if he got sick.

Khamala has to go back to work tomorrow night after her 12 weeks of Maternity leave.  It went so fast.  I'm praying that my brother gets his crap together soon and can handle being home with the kids at night.  Amani still wakes up to be fed and he seems cholic-y.  I don't get the impression that my brother does well with screaming babies.  I'm sure Khamala is not real comfortable with the whole going back to work thing but she doesn't have much choice.  I feel so blessed that I was able to stay home with my kids.  As much as they drive me crazy most days I know this is where I should be.  And believe me, they DO drive me insane. 


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Wednesday, September 26th 2007

6:59 PM

September Sunrise Morning Glory

These are my two favorite recent pictuers.  The top one is a sunrise we had this week.  I played with the contrast and the saturation a bit to make the rays more evident but it really was this beautiful in real life.  The bottom is a Morning Glory at my mom's house.  It was around noon when the sun was really bright so it glowed.

I have been so neglectful of this blog lately.  This time of year it's just so hard to find the time to sit and actually put my thoughts down.  Everything is going pretty well as far as school goes.  Things at church are starting up and keeping me busier.  I have to get moving on the stuff for our next Photoclub meeting.  I'm also in charge of taking photos of new members at church for the bulletin board.  I only have two families to do but I am putting it off too long.  I suppose I just don't feel motivated in lots of areas.

I found Nicole a great camera for her birthday.  It's used but in excellent condition.  It's actually probably better than the camera I'm using.  RRRRRRRRRRRRRR  It's so hard to find a good Optical Zoom on a small digital camera but this one is great. 10x optical zoom (whereas mine has 8x).  It also has Image stabilization for shaky hands and it has a Leica lens. Iit's a Panasonic Lumix  DMC-TZ1.  It's only 5 mp but it should be perfect for Colee.  I sure wish I had a camera like that when I was 13.  Of course, I wish I had it now.  Actually that's not true.  I'd rather have my Olympus Evolt E-510 with the two lens package.    I WILL have it soon.  I just have to sell something...like the boat.  (yeah right...Mike would NEVER forgive me).  If I didn't have these medical bills hanging over my head it would be so much easier to justify a $1000 camera.  Freakin' GR opthamology...I have never felt so wronged by anyone in my life as I do by that woman who misdiagnosed me.    But I'm trying to forgive her.  Really.

Speaking of them...I got my medical records back from the lawyers and I was looking them over and realized my CRP test showed I was at a higher risk for Coronary Heart disease.  I'm thinking probably the test was wrong because I had that detached retina though.  I hope that is what it is.  I told Dr. A last time I was in there that I thought maybe I was having a heart attack once and he kindof wrote it off as a response to stress or something.  Geesh...I sound like a hypochondriac.  I guess I just figure there's got to be SOMETHING wrong with me.  But evidently I'm wrong.  Other than my stupid eye I'm the picture of health.  Oh and that Fibromyalgia thing but I still don't  believe that.  I think he just wanted to tell me something to shut me up.

I made my dad a picture of George Bush...I inserted My dad  into the picture with Photoshop so it looks as if he's standing there with George.  It didin't turn out quite how I wanted it to because most of the pictures I have of my dad are of him sleeping or sitting down.  I'll have to work on that so I can start doctoring photos more often.   I'm sure it's illegal but who's gonna know? (I don't normally do things illegally just because noone will know...just so you know)

Ok..I'm going to put the boys in bed...it's only 7:20 but I don't care.  They have been horrible horrible kids today with their hitting, pinching, not listening etc.  I offered a trade for Baraka but Khamala didn't want to take it...huh.  Wonder why?

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Friday, September 21st 2007

9:19 AM


Summer is officially over and it sure doesn't feel like it.  It's supposed to be about 87 deg today.  I don't think we've had any frost yet either.  It's been such a strange year. 

School is going pretty well for the kids.  Noah had a rough time Monday because he wanted to stay with me but now he goes right in and does fine.  I got his first fingerpainting yesterday and it's pretty cute.  I took a picture but I haven't uploaded it yet so I can't share it.  Ben tells me every day that he wants to stay home instead of going to school but he enjoys his class and has some friends he plays Pokeman with at recess.  Nicole is doing well and I can already see a difference from last year in her responsibility.  I hope that lasts because about mid-year things start getting to the point that I really have to be on her case a lot.  I don't enjoy it and I know she doesn't either.  We still have the problem where we argue just about every morning.  We joke about it at night now..."goodnight babe...I love you...see you in the morning when we can argue some more".  It's just a given that we are not morning people and we can't get along until we've woken up.  I wish I could fix it though...it's a bad way to start any day.

Things should start getting a bit less busy around here soon.  I hope so anyway.  Photography club started out great and we are planning our first outing for mid-october.  I already went down to the fish-ladder in Grand Rapids for pictures and I brought Nicole and Trudy (she plays handbells and she's 16...I really admire her...she's like an old soul...very smart...good sense of humor...I just like her alot...plus she takes awesome pictures!)   Larry's drive-in is done (WHEW) but we have the street picnic coming up where we have to organize things.  I also need to make time for my little sister Kimmy.  I can't tell you how much I love that  girl and I can't believe that in just one year she'll be leaving for college.  She's 15 years younger than I am and I remember taking her everywhere with me when I first started driving.  I am so proud of her because she is just such a strong and amazing person.  She's having a rough time lately (you remember being 17 right?) and I really want her to know that she's doing great and that I'm here for her.  Living 30 miles away makes it harder but I have to make the effort.  So we're going to get together soon and do some sisterly bonding .  What else is going on?  Handbells started last night!  WOOOOHOOOO.  I missed it so much.   GEMS starts in 2 weeks.  The Heritage Hill Home Tour is coming up.  Mike just told me last night he wants to go camping...where that came from I don't know.  So I guess it's still busy but it doesn't feel as busy.  That Larry's Drive-in was a major thing...I don't know why though because I didn't have to do much...I guess it was just the WORRY about getting things done.  It actually went really well and I think most everyone had a good time.  You all (who don't live here) are probably wondering what Larry's Drive-in is.  It's basically an event where our Highschool Youth Group (Crosstrainers) serves food to everyone outside for donations and then we have games for the kids/families.  Outreach was in charge of the games and Crosstrainers handles the food.   Last year we got those big inflatable things (bouncers & stuff) and it rained and it was cold and miserable.  This year it was perfect weather and we did "carnival-type" games.   We also had a bunch of classic cars.  We were going to do an outdoor movie but that didn't end up working out.  Hopefully we can do that next summer or something when we don't have to worry so much about school night/darkness etc.   Let me tell you, the best "game" we had was the wet sponge throw.  We had a big board with a hole for someone's head and we had people throw wet sponges at whoever was there.  Our Pastor was a great target   But it was funny because a bunch of little kids WANTED to have their face in there.  According to Pastor Curt the water was a bit dirty...he kept getting grit in his teeth.  I told him to just consider it his 6 month cleaning so he could skip the dentist. 

Well, I promised the boys a garage sale so I'd better get going.

Kris, I think I've got the comments thing fixed.  We'll see.


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Monday, September 17th 2007

4:58 PM

Amani  This is a picture of Amani that I took at my mom's the other day.  He is so cute...of course he's my nephew and he's a baby so he has to be cute...but even if I weren't at all partial to babies...I would think he's cute.   He has the best smile and he's starting to coo and "talk" to us.  Here he is telling me about his day... Amani  He is a happy little boy but let me tell you...he's either smiling or screaming...no in between from what I saw.  I pumped his legs (to relieve all of that pressure - it's a proven technique) and gave him airplane rides and he loved that.  

Noah had his first day of "regular" school today.   He just looked so old walking down that hallway with his little Diego backpack.  We had 45 minutes between Ben & Noah's school times so after we dropped off Ben we went to Jenny's to visit.  Noah ran around in the backyard with Garp (who is one of his "bestest dogs") while Jenny and I talked.  It was so strange not having Ben there and then to have 2 hours with NO KIDS...OH MY...I didn't know what to do with myself.  So I sat here on the computer and uploaded pictures to ShutterStock (a place where people can download my photos for a fee and I get paid) and then I started to make my Moo Card Magnets.   I haven't used Shutterstock yet but I'm hoping they will accept my photos and I can make a little money here and there to save for the camera I want.  I settled on the one I want and right now it's $1000.  That's a lot of money for us and I feel guilty for even wanting that camera...but on the other hand, I really love to take pictures and I think it's worth the money.  Especially if I can make some money from it someday.   So, I have to come up with $1000.  That's hard when I don't work and we are not rolling in the dough here.  We get a nice Tax Refund in early spring but we are planning to use that to pay off the car.  So it's up to me.  I'm tempted to find a part time job but I don't think it would go over well since I'm already gone so much in the evenings for different things.  I can't use child support (because I don't get it and when I do it goes toward other things - school things and things for the family).  I'll find a way.

We are getting Comcast Broadband Internet service Wednesday.  I'm nervous.  I'm sure I'll love it but I don't like the thought of my things being messed with.  We've had AOL Dial-up since about February of 2003.   I'm a bit of a creature of habit.  I like what I know.  So we'll see how it goes.  And I don't know for sure but I may get the National Geographic channel!!! That is enough to make me happy for a while.

Well, I suppose I should go do something about dinner.  I did really well the past two weeks of making dinners where we all sat down and ate together but this week is not look

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Sunday, September 16th 2007

2:31 PM

Watch out for those crazy raccoons!

Today after church I took my bag of garbage (things from the car...wrappers, papers etc) and went to throw it in the garbage container.  Just as I was throwing it in something caught my eye in the container because IT MOVED...normally garbage isn't supposed to move.  I slammed the lid shut and took a step back until I could catch my breath.  Then I slooooowly opened the lid and peered in...and there was a little raccoon.  He obviously wasn't an adult but he wasn't a baby either.  And he was sleeping.  I called for Mike and told him there's a raccoon in the garbage and that I need him to get it out...my neighbor Barb heard me and said to call Animal  Control.  Animal Control is a joke.  I called and got a recording to call the sherriff's office.  I called the Sherriff's department and they gave me the number to an animal removal service.  I called the animal removal service and I got a recording to leave my name.  At that point I was just irritated so I decided to take matters into my own hands.  Mike said something like "I could pop a few pellets in his head if you want" and I said something like "yeah because you're such a big tough man, right?" (this guy doesn't have a "real" gun and I don't think he coudl shoot any living thing)  My concern was the cute fuzzy raccoon may have rabies.  That and the fact that when I threw the bag in it landed on it's head and I was afraid it had brain damage.  Well, anywho, I went out there with my camera (DUH!) and a broom and I moved the McDonalds bag with the broom handle to see if the Rocky Raccoon could move...As soon as I touched the bag he started to pull his head out from under it so I knew he was ok.  I quick flipped the lid back and we went inside (NIcole was watching).  Mike went out to check about 1/2 hour ago and he's gone so he's  probably under my deck now.  He was so cute...I really wanted to pet him but I restrained myself because having shots in my stomach doesn't sound like a good family activitiy.

Here's the best picture I could get...I was trying to be quick and sneaky (not that he cared...he slept through the whole ordeal!)


In my garbage today
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Thursday, September 13th 2007

6:20 PM

Teeth & Preschool

It's so hard to believe, but all of my kids are in school.  Noah had his first day yesterday and I stayed with him.  Today he went by himself for an hour and next Monday he starts his regular schedule.  Here are a couple of pictures from his first day...This is Noah at school.  There were school buses lined up and I said "why don't we take your picture in front of the school busses?"  so he proceeded to lay down on the sidewalk.  Yeah, that's my Noah.  Here he is in front of his locker too...

He did such a good job finding his name on the tag and opening his locker.  He's going to do great.  The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that 2/3 or his class doesn't seem to speak English.  Hopefully that won't be a problem.

Ben let me pull his tooth out yesterday and the night before Mike pulled one.  So my little guy has no teeth on the bottom.  That's one of my favorite things....little kids with their front teeth missing.  So of course I have a picture...There he is   He made out like a bandit on his first two teeth...$6.03.  That's $3 for each tooth and for some reason the "tooth fairy" threw in an extra 3 c ents.    He's at the store with Mike right now so I'm sure it will be spent by the time he gets home.  He's had his eye on a 3 pack of Pokemon.

Not much else is new.  I'm really busy with things at church.  We have a big event next Wednesday called Larry's Drive In where we have to have games set up and make sure everything runs smoothly.  Then in October we are having a Street Picnic...again, games & food.  This is all part of Outreach so the committee has to get everything going.  Plus I have the Photography Club and Handbells starts next week.  SOmeone from church actually called to see if I would help take pictures for the new church directory and I am going to have to say no because I'm gone too much as it is especially now that everything is starting up.  I just don't think it would be right to take that on as well.  I did agree to take pictures of new members though...so far I have two that I need to get in touch with and set something up.  

I'm hoping to get up to my mom & Ted's this Saturday with Nicole and Ben.  And maybe Noah but probably not.  Howard City is having their "festival/Fair" thing and I thought it would be a good place to take pictures.  Because we all know I need more pictures.  HA.

Well, I'm so very tired and hungry so I'm going to eat and then lay down and watch my movie that needs to go back to Blockbuster.  OH, I'm going to be getting Comcast next week for Internet...I think it is highspeed but I dont' know anything about it.  Jenny is just excited because my phone line won't be busy when she calls.  I'm worried about losing all of the stuff I have saved on AOL but I guess there's a way for me to keep AOL for free...I will have to make sure because I have 5 years worth of stuff on here!

all righty, then...I'm off.

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