Monday, July 28, 2014

Where have the lazy days of summer gone?

Today I found myself simply thinking of...nothing.  I always seem to have something to think about, but as I sat at the bank today waiting on the teller to send my transaction back through I caught myself staring at a tree and thinking of absolutely nothing.

This my seem like no big deal and it's probably no. big. deal. However;  I have two jobs, four kids, three dogs, one cat and a husband.  My mind is always running all over the place.  It was a bit unsettling to have nothing running through my head.  But then again, really peaceful.  Why must we always be going, going, going.  Why are we always in a rush, hurrying kids along, cramming as much as we can in 24 hours before we get up and do it all over again.  Could there be time in the day for thinking of...nothing.  Time for just being still, letting our minds rest, letting our schedules have a break, allowing myself the opportunity to just move at a leisurely pace?   I feel like I don't have a crammed schedule, but I kind of do.  I tried to plan a pool party with some friends.  Monday's work best, it's when I don't work and Aiden doesn't have gymnastics.  So I got busy inviting people...when that day didn't work for most I thought about another day I could do it...but sadly, the rest of my week is busy. It's SUMMER!  I'm off work from teaching preschool, but I still have so much to do all the time.

I bring it on myself.  It's me, 100%.  Even when I vacation I want to go-go-go.  I don't find it relaxing to just sit...I find it BORING!  My father used to have a cabin cruiser boat on a lake in Northern Minnesota.  How he loved that boat. My mom loved it too once the work and prep was done.  He'd putter out to the middle of the lake and spend all day and sometimes over night out there.  Those were the worst for me.  I'd go stir crazy.  I hated it!  I often wondered why I couldn't enjoy my time out there, soft waves bobbing the boat, fishing off the back, swimming if I choose.  Or just sitting up top looking out at the blue water and forest all around.   The weather was usually gorgeous, with the sun shinning bright.  My dad would be tucked inside with a book, my mom sunning herself on the top.  Even my husband could sit back and relax while taking a nap.  I've come to the conclusion, I want to be lazy at home.  I want to relax at home.  When I go places I want to see places, spend time with people I visit, go have fun and then I want to come home and relax, but that doesn't happen very often because once you get home you have your everyday responsibilities again.  So it's back up and running, go-go-go, hurry-hurry-hurry....

So I'll take that quick minute of thinking of nothing and I'll savor it, cherish it and tuck it away as a memory of "that one time..."  before life snapped back into focus and we all started rushing around again.

Friday, July 25, 2014

2 years later....

Ahh, it's been a while since I've updated my blog.  So goes the life of a mom with 4 kids, 3 dogs, 1 cat and a husband.

Many apologize though, two years is far too long to wait between posts.

So here I sit pondering what to write.  I've been feeling the urge to write again for about two weeks now (honestly I didn't write sooner because I didn't want to have to deal with the whole "I forgot my password" mess.)  But it was remarkably easy to log back in.

Quick update:

Christian is 19 (almost 20) now.  He did his first year at Texas State, pledged to TKE fraternity and blossomed socially.

Bailey is 15 in Parkour (free running--think american ninja warrior) and wants to go into game design.

Aiden is in 12 a competitive gymnast (Level 5 as I type this) he loves it and is really doing great at it.

Jillian is 8 (for just a couple more weeks!) I can't believe she's going into FOURTH grade!!!  why does time fly by so quickly?  She's sweet, smart, shy and sassy.  I love them all to pieces.

Christian is currently out in Colorado visiting my brother, hoping to hone in on what he wants to do for a living.

We've moved again (since our last post).  Same town, new house, I love it.

As I said before, I've felt moved to write, however I'm not sure where to begin, or what to write.  Forming a post out of nothing at all is a bit tricky.  I've had a lot of things on my mind lately though.

I'm at a crossroads on if I want to continue down the path I'm on being a preschool teacher.  I love doing that but I'm not sure it's where I'm supposed to be.  I think it's time for me to head back to school, take some classes, move on.  Which of course is a bit intimidating.  I just turned 40 this March and I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up!  I feel like a bit of a failure in this area.  By 40 I should have my ducks in a row, I should have a long time ago, but I can't seem to get them gathered up in a pile, let alone line them up in a row.  So while I think going back to school is the right thing and I'm eager to go forward with that...I stop and hesitate because what would I go back for??  I have NO IDEA!!

Here's what I know:


Here's what else I know:

I'm burnt out on kids.

So my problem is sitting in my brain festering....which direction do I go?  Do I go with what I know or can you teach an old dog new tricks?  Can you start a brand new career path, have zero experience, be trained and enjoy it, at 40?  Or is it even worth spending the money on?  We're already sending one child to college right now, the added expense of putting another on through a few classes....Hummm.  I'm just at a crossroads.

The other less life changing, but still important, decision I'm tossing around in my head is my hair!  For the first time in my life I think I may color it...darker...maybe add some red.  Now there are those that color their hair every color of the rainbow and have zero issue with it.  Me though...I've had the same hair (style, color etc..) for approx: 30 years.  Some times I'll cut my bangs then let them grow only to cut them again.  But chopping my hair, changing my style?  I've done that twice that I can remember in my life.  Once in  6th grade (horrible!  you'll never see pictures!)  and once after I had Bailey.  Other than that's it's been long, blonde and sometimes with bangs sometimes without.  So for me, changing hair color is pretty darn drastic.

So what have we taken away from this post?

Janelle can't make a decision.

That's the cliff notes version of all that up there.

If anything changes I'll keep you posted.  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Do you ever just get angry?

OK stupid title, but honestly do you ever just wanted to scream in frustration.  I can handle most things...I do a pretty good job of venting and then putting on a good face and moving on...but I tell you what...this whole government issue (not dems vs. republicans) but the whole freaking system is driving me NUTS!!!

Here's where the line was drawn for me (well other lines have been drawn too but this is the most recent).  Did you hear about the 4 year old who's lunch from home was taken away because a "food inspector" deemed it unacceptable by the guidelines.  What did it have in it. (Not that I think it's anyone's business but mom, dad, and the child) but here's the report of what was packed that morning.

1) turkey sandwich on white wheat bread.
2) Banana
3) potato chips
4) apple juice

sounds pretty good for a kids lunch doesn't it?

Well the guidelines (please feel free to insert a sneer when saying guidelines, I did) state that a balanced diet consists of 1) Protein 1) dairy 1) grain 2) fruits and/or veggies to be acceptable.

What was missing? According to the "inspector" (and really---what kind of a-hole has that job? Going around to school's making sure sack lunches are up to their standards? Poor schmuck)

You'd think the potato chips and lack of veggie are the big no-no's here wouldn't you?  NOPE! Lack of dairy product was the culprit.  Had her sandwich had cheese on it...she would have been OK.

Now, by law what the state is supposed to do (cuz apparently minding their own business is out of the question) is SUPPLEMENT the  missing dietary items.  Did they hand her a milk and say, "here's your dairy, kid, maybe you can tell mommy to pack you a cheese stick tomorrow"  Not a chance...

What did Mr. Food Inspector do?  Made her get a tray and get the school lunch then sent home her lunch with a bill for $1.25 to mom along with a note stating her daughters lunch wasn't up to standards.  The child then ate the school lunch of three chicken nuggets.  Now people out there who read my blog--you have a brain...(unfortunately, it seems as though our government doesn't...or would rather not USE it) does that sound healthier??  THREE NUGGETS?

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!  *pulls up soap box*

Let me tell you something Big-Brother...I carried my kids in my womb for nine months (some longer, thankyouverymuch) and I birthed these children out of a hole waaaaay too small in my opinion, even got cut open to have two of them! In my book, that gives me exclusive right to say what I will and will not feed my child.  When I will and won't spank their naughty backsides, when I will and won't send them to school without a jacket, when I will and won't allow them to ride a bike without a helmet and when I will and won't allow them to stay out until the street lights come on!

When you deal with the tears, bumps, bruises, middle of the night vomit sessions, breaking up fights and working your butt off to be able to afford to put them in sports and clubs and pay for clothes, shelter and food then you can tell me how to raise my children.  Until then, BUTT out of my life, BUTT out of my kids' life and go back to doing what you're supposed to be doing which is protecting the United States from terrorist, making sure our borders are secure and allowing the opportunity to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

At the rate of our national debt YOU are the ONLY reason my children will have no chance at success---they're going to work their butts off to pay off your reckless spending, your hand-outs to able-bodied people, your grants to finding out if some unknown beetle is about to become extinct (thank goodness they weren't in office when Dinosaurs roamed the earth or we'd all be eaten up by now!), and all the cronies you owe something to. All on our children's backs...well maybe they need to bulk up a bit to carry YOUR bring on the fruit snacks, rice krispie's treats, chocolate covered granola bars, chips and Oreo cookies....oh, and turkey sandwiches...sans cheese, if you please!

If you don't like what I feed my kids, might I suggest where you can shove it!?

Friday, February 3, 2012

quick update

I have exactly 3 minutes before my workshop on real estate contracts begin.  What do I decided to do with my time?? Write a post...well, why not!

I can say alot in 3 minutes, but I'm not sure I have anything to say that interesting so I'll just tell you what's been going on around my house the past few days.

Jay and I (which means the rest of the family as well) are on a no-eating-out challenge for the month of February.  We get one break...Valentine's day (or a day near there in "honor" of Valentine's day.

We're busy with cheer leading and basketball.   And I'm hitting the gym with my mom 3 times a week...not to shabby, if I do say so myself!

I ordered a photoshop elements 10 workbook off ebay...I can't wait to dive into it and become a master of the software...wonder if I can by extra time in a day off ebay too?

Rumor has it my brother Mike and his family will be coming to visit my parents in March...YEAH!! it's been way to long since I've seen them.  I miss them all alot and have been a really bad sister by not keeping in touch as I should. *Shame on me*  So I hope it all works out and we're able to get together and see them!

Prayers for my brother Joe and their family...his wife is pregnant and may be having some complications with her I ask my readers to just whisper a prayer for them.  Help them find comfort and understanding no matter what happens.  It's all God plan.

Gotta run! :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Puppy!

Meet the Newest Member of the Miller Family!

We currently call her "Lilly"  however there's some disagreement about if we all like that name.  So her name could change.  She's a Yellow Lab we estimate to be about 3-5 months old.  Weird we don't know, right?  Why didn't the owners tell us when we got her, you're thinking.

Here's the back story.

I have a friend who's husband was out in their driveway when this little blonde roly-poly ran up to him, along with her black lab sister, who was more timid and shy.  It was about 34 degrees outside and just too cold for puppies to be out running around, so he brought them in to his wife and six kids...they began posting pictures of the puppies on Facebook and shortly after began posting signs around their neighborhood for the owners to come claim their lost puppies....then---nothing.

Not a single call, knock or random person out looking around for puppies that were missing.  Since both were the same age, same size and roaming around together, it only made sense that they were siblings (sisters), I told Jay about her posts on Facebook and he went to check it out.  Of course my dog-lover husband and son (Bailey) saw the photos and ohhh'ed and ahhhh'ed over her until I had the feeling I was either getting a dog, or going to be the bad guy (shhh, don't tell but I have been wanting a big dog for about 2 years now...but shhh, that's our secret).  My friend posted on Facebook that they were looking for homes for the puppies, or they'd have to go to Animal Control.  ANIMAL CONTROL!?! NO WAY, JOSE'!  The no kill-shelter wasn't answer phone calls, you had to email.  Now remember I said she has six kids, the youngest under a year.  There was just no way they could keep these puppies...and there was no way I was going to let them go--these precious baby puppies just needed a home with kids to love on them.  Well if there's one thing we's a home with lots of kids!  We had to go look.

We had upwards basketball and cheer leading today and I knew they'd be there.  Their daughter was my jr. coach, and they had two sons playing and one son coaching--I packed up my things after the game and Jay said "go ask her if we can go see the puppies"  So I asked.  A few hours later we had a new yellow lab puppy.  I'm preparing myself for chewed up things, hyper puppy behavior, accidents in the house.  If we can just make it through that time--I think she'll be a fantastic dog for our kids (and maybe a little for me) 

I know some people think we're crazy (OK, most probably do!)  So I guess I'm lucky I live in the family I do...because right now all I feel is blessed.  It's not everyday you get a Yellow Lab puppy for FREE!  Then again...ask me in a week when she's chewed up someone's shoes---

Friday, January 27, 2012

Awards Photo

A picture of Jillian after she got her certificates and coupons for free kids meals at Mickey D's and Chick-Fil-A (her favorite!)

Elementary Awards

Today Jillian gets awards at school for attendance and grades and behavior.  She cracks me up because she's such a rule follower, I used to be like that in school too, I'm actually still like that. I so so so want to break the rules sometimes but I just feel so guilty that I just can't bring myself to do it.

But this isn't about me and my issues, it's about my sweet baby girl.  Her classroom has a chart for behavior, on this chart each child has a clip.  Each day everyone starts at the top, and based on how they behave they can either stay at the top or move it down, the farther down the clip goes the worse your behavior has gotten.  Jillian is very proud of herself that she's never moved her clip down.  I went to parent teacher conferences earlier this year and her teacher said that she's the sweetest child she's met, then laughingly said if she ever had to move her clip down she was afraid of how Jillian would react.  Oh I know exactly how she'd react! hahaha, she'd be in tears all day---most likely all week!

So to keep up this sweet attitude and desire to please, we make sure to make a big deal over her never moving her clip down.  We ask almost daily "did you move your clip down today?" to which she responds
"Nope not ever, not even one time."  then I ask, like I don't know the answer, "You've never moved it down? Not even once?"
"Nope---not---even--once!" she says with a grin.

PJ day at Church

You just gotta love this girl!  She just sparkles, sucking you in and before you know it, you've fallen in love.  I don't just say this cuz she's my daughter....just ask anyone who's met her...because she's stolen their heart already!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sick day continues...

Yesterday's post I mentioned it was a "sick day"  my throat was sore and my nose couldn't decide if it was stuffed or running.  It was the sure sign of the cold I was hit with full-force later that day.

Today I'm headed to the doctor.  My ear hurts, my head hurts, I can't breathe and I have a fever. OY!  Did I mention I have to coach cheer leading tonight and it's picture day! This might get some people down...but not me!  I'm thankful to be alive to get sick, I'm thankful that my immune system is healthy enough to fight off a cold. I'm thankful my kids are healthy.  As any parent with kids will say I'm so thankful I'm sick and it's not my kids.  It's true though, we parents hate to see our kids sick.  Their poor bodies wracked with coughs, cheeks flushed with fever, it darn near breaks your heart, so while I'm not thrilled to be sick I'm thankful for so many other things that my cold and fever seem so insignificant.

I've been following a blog for about three years now.  Ashley's Blog has been a wealth of information for crafters everywhere.  Her quirky sense of writing and photo journalistic tendencies suck you in and keep you coming back for more.  She's an amazing creatively I'm not sure there's anything she's made I have been in awe over.  And she very generously shares her knowledge in tutorial with the world.   When I went to back to school I lost touch with my creative side for a while, I was just too busy.  When the creative bug just got to be too much to resist anymore I headed over to her blog and was surprised to find out she had been through more than one person should have to go was a day I spent reading backwards (as you know blogs post most recent first)

Her story is touching, heartbreaking, and full of hope.  I hope you'll go over there and read it.  If you don't want to, I'm gonna give you a run down of what she's been through since June or July...

1) miscarriage
2) father passed away
3) molar pregnancy which caused
4) operation to remove molar pregnancy--
5) which led to her almost dying from blood loss
6) which in turn meant to stop the bleeding her uterus has to be removed
7) Meaning no more children
8) The reason for the emergency surgery was that a tumor had broken through her uterus
9) Tumor was cancerous, a very aggressive form
10) chemo, chemo, more chemo
11) chemo didn't work
12) stronger chemo, chemo, chemo
13) Hair loss (check out her rite of passage video) here (oh bring tissues--it's very touching)
14) the stronger chemo...not working
15) back to the drawing board...stronger chemo on the horizon.

Through all of this in less than a year and her blog is never, ever, ever depressing or dismal.  When her father died they found torn out devotional page, on his desk that read "choose joy"  that's been her mantra ever since.  And I've found myself taking it on too.

When I had a wee bit of a hysterical breakdown on the way home from training one day, because I was just so overwhelmed and was doubting if I could embark on this and take it on, I suddenly stopped wallowing in my misery and remembered, I have a choice here.  Do I choose misery and self-doubt or do I choose Joy?  Do I trust my Lord to lead me where my path needs to take me or do I stress about all the little things I don't know?  All the way to work the next day I mentally chanted "I'm choosing Joy, I'm choosing Joy, I'm choosing Joy"  because let's face it, if Ashley of Lil Blue Boo can choose joy in the midst of all she's going through, I certainly can choose joy, too!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We all need an update

Its been a while. I know. I could fill this entire post with reasons why I haven't blogged. Too busy, too lazy, nothing to say...blah, blah, blah. You don't want to hear excuses though, do you? If you do, I can make a list for you...someday. When I have the time, that is.

The older you get the faster life seems to hurl past you. Sometimes it takes a rainy, bad-weather, sick day (like today) to make you stop and reflect. Then you think back at the craziness that was your last two years and say...hmmm, did I enjoy that time? I can pull bits and pieces out and say yea I enjoyed it! But for the most part it's days running into nights running into days running into nights. Wash, rinse,, sleep, breathe.

Where in the craziness do we stop and say "YES! THIS is what I'm doing all this running around for!"  When do we live?  The moments I pull out of the past two years are more than family vacations, girls weekends and new toys.  The moments I have been working so hard for occur at the time when I least expect it.  At my photography class that I took last Saturday when I finally understood a concept I was struggling to wrap my brain around.  It happened when I was watching Jillian get a special AWANA'S patch that had never been given out at that club before because she finished her book...TWICE!  The moments I see my kids up on stage performing and singing. When they are being themselves, and running around the gym laughing with their friends.  Those times it's like, time stops for a moment and I can enjoy the view from all angles without being interrupted.  I hear the tinkle of the laughter as they duck to avoid being hit by the ball,  Aiden will skip away and as if in slow-motion glance up at me and wave before he darts off again.  Then as quickly as it happened, it's over.  I slip back into the hustle and bustle of life and keep plowing ahead.

I think I need a game plan.  A blue-print for my year.  Some call these resolutions, but I don't want to use that word...resolutions are willy-nilly made easily and broken easily.  I want a game plan for my year.  Challenges and rewards all laid out before me.  A starting point...a way to answer that question "What am I doing this for?"  The obvious don't count...(raising my kids to be good human beings, healthy and happy--well of course I'm doing it all for that...but I'm talking about personal goals--made just for me.)  Does that have a ring of selfishness to it? I hope not, I don't want to be selfish, but I do know that sometimes we need a moment to think...what am I here to order to answer that you have to look inward, I don't think that makes someone selfish.

This year I have a few things I would like to do.

1)  I am totally in love with my camera.  Helplessly in love with it.  Problem is...I don't know how to work it.  I mean I know how to work it in "Auto" but I want to flip it to manual and capture some amazing shots. Which leads me to ...


2)  Learning Photoshop!  This program is amazing for photographers...everyone goes on and on about how easy it is to use and it's so user what world do they live??  The experienced world of "I've been photoshopping for 10 years" Maybe...because as a newbie it's not that "user-friendly"  so number 2 is enhance my photos from number one with photoshop and to do that I have to learn the software..

3) Make some money at my new career path.  When I started school again to be a Realtor I wasn't sure what to expect.  It was the first I'd stepped into a college in years....yeeeeeeeears!  So I was intimidated, scared but I knew I needed to do something, figure something out, so I sucked it up, put on my big girl panties and headed out the door.  I love learning.  I think I could make a career out of learning new things...the real trick is applying it to real life!  I could be happy to just know about the real estate business, I could be content knowing how to make music videos and photoshop too...but those won't pay for squat!  I actually have to do something with this licenses number 3 is sell and list a few homes...

4)  Take the kids to Sea World.  or splashtown or Schlitterbahn or six flags...somewhere fun!!!  Just the family on a day or two trip somewhere nearby without any major disasters. (or arguments!)

and finally..

5)  post at least weekly to my blog.  It's an excellent outlet for my thoughts, it's a way for everyone to keep up  with what's going on over here on our side of the world and I actually do enjoy it.  If I can just keep up with it...which is why it's on my list.  Maybe it help me remember more moment's of "that's why I'm doing all this..."

So until next time...why are YOU doing what you're doing??

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Disney Vacation!

We took a 5 night 6 day trip to Disney World in Orlando, FL.  It was fantastic! We had so much fun.  We stayed at the Beach Club Villa's right across the bridge from Epcot.  The villa was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath room with a full kitchen and living room.  We had plenty of space (not that we used it much) and it was decorated cute and was neat and kept up very nicely.  The pool included a water slide into a sand-bottom beach. We were able to enjoy it for 1 day before it was closed for the month for renovations, which worked out well since it turned cold and swimming was out of the question anyway...besides who wants to swim with you have 4 theme parks at your finger tips?!

We started the night we got there at Hollywood Studio's.  We headed to Epcot the next day and had dinner at Teppan Edo a Japanese steakhouse hibachi style.  The kids loved it and actually ate with chop sticks :)  We left and walked back to our villa while Aiden serenaded us with "hee hee...Shama-mon" from Michael Jackson.  We were in stitches as he did the moon walk, spun around and tossed his arms out to the side and tossed his head back as only Michael Jackson (and apparently Aiden) can do!

My mom came down one day to go to Cinderella's Royal Table with Jillian and I while Jay took the boys to the 50's diner in Hollywood Studio's.  Jillian was in princess heaven as she walked in and met Cinderella.  We walked up to the dining hall inside Cinderella's Castle and out came Snow white, then Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  She got such a joy out of meeting all the characters.  It was so magical.

The boys were on an adrenalin junkie quest.  They did The Rockin Roller Coaster, Test Track, and a couple managed to hit the Tower of Terror, while a couple opted out. :)

The lines weren't so bad (for Disney) and we got to hit all the rides we wanted to, we saw alot of shows as well.  All in all we went until we dropped and loved every minute of it.