Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Secret Santa Giveaway:

The Rules:   Every child writes a letter to Santa, so I want you to write a letter too.  I want this letter to be about a child who is in need or has done something extraordinary this year.  Tell me WHY this child deserves/needs to be given this prize.  Also, please do not include the child’s last name.  After you write the letter, send it to me at  Make sure you include your name and your relationship to child (even if it is just friend) along with the child(ren)’s name, age, and sex. (And yes, if it is a family in need, you can include all the children in the same letter).

This giveaway will be judged by myself, my children, and a few “mystery” guests….as per my recent poll, that is the will of the people ;)  We will read every entry and narrow it down to the three most deserving(if that is even possible).  Prizes will be mailed out in the month of December and will be mailed directly to the child with an anonymous card (it can be sent as "From Santa" as well) :)
 I will also be posting each and every email I get….allowing you all a chance to vote as well.    At that point it will be up to the fans to help choose the winner of the “Fan Favorite”.  I will accept “votes” in the form of “liking” a story, commenting, and emailing me (at the one you are voting for. 

The prizes: Each of the three semi-finalists will receive a prize of some kind AND there will be a “Fan Favorite” letter who will be picked by you for a separate prize.  The prizes will differ based on the child that they are meant for and will be hand chosen by ME (I will not take requests for this).  The prizes will be 100% free, no shipping (In the Continental United States, I ask that I receive some assistance if you are overseas due to exorbitant cost to ship elsewhere).  

Make sure I receive your email no later than Sunday, November 13th, 2011 at 8pm EST, anything received after that will not be PLEASE get them in.
I will begin posting "letters" as soon as I receive them....but I will close out the voting on 11/20/2011.
Winners will be messaged on 11/21 privately, and posted publicly on 11/22.

I will award a $10 Gift Certificate to a random fan who "shares" a post on my page sometime between now and 11/20/2011.  You will get an entry for each different status/picture/post that you "share"!!!  Just comment  below when you share it :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankful in November

Man, oh, man....I am a total slacker(since my last post)....soooo, I guess I will start my "Thankfuls" this month.

(11/01/2011)Today, I am thankful for my gorgeous daughters who light up my life.  They are so full of life.  There isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful for all the good, as well as the bad.  I LOVE MY GIRLS!!!
(11/02/2011) Today, I am thankful for my new church family.  They have allowed me to feel so welcome.  My girls love being there.  The Bible Studies have really hit home for me lately, so today, I am greatful for God putting them in my path.
(11/03/2011) Today, I am thankful for modern science.  I am thankful for Ibuprofen that allows me a little relief from these migraine-like headaches thanks to my wonderful MS.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Does MS Stand For?

MS means: Major Struggle. Menacing Sickness. Maybe Someday. My Sentence. Might Stumble. Malfunctioning System. Money Sucker. Many Symptoms. Mean Spots. Medication Shackles. Missing Something. Moving Slower. Mind Slipping. Memory Sucks. Myellin Scars. Moping Sometimes. Madly Searching. Marbles Stolen. Major Set-back. Motor Sputters. Multiple Scars. Multiple Sclerosis. One day, I hope it has one meaning....Mystery Solved

Today, I finally started a MS keep track of all the good days and the bad.    I am VERY hopeful to the Good outweighing the bad, but knowing this disease, I am not as optimistic as I would like to be.  So, on top of doing the MS Diary, I am also going to post on here AT LEAST every other day about the "good" things that happened to me with my life or my girls.  I need to stay positive and hopefully, this will help me REALLY concentrate on it :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Angel

Most of my post have been a little DOWN the last few I am going to try something a little different today.  I am going to tell you about one of the biggest blessings that I have EVER been presented with.

My Angel, my Alex....and she is just that, an absolute angel.  She is so kind hearted, so loving.  She has been my joy, my heart since the moment they laid her in my arms.

I, personally, am not a believer in abortion.  I believe that there is always a better option...for Mom and Baby.  But I actually had to face that decision head-on when I was pregnant.  I was young (not as young as some, but still very young) and on a very poor life track when I found out that I was pregnant.  I grew up with a very Conservative family, so for me, having her was the only choice.  Until one day, my doctor called to inform me that there was a 99% chance that she would be born with Downs Syndrome.  I was terrified.  I was too young to have a baby, much less one with special needs.

I cried for hours upon hearing the news.  Now, as an adult, I know the test they formed their information on has a high volume of false positives.....but at my age, I didn't realize how wrong it could be.  The doctor set up genetic testing and counseling so that I could explore all my options with the right information.  However, after some soul searching, despite my fears, I knew I could never give up this precious gift growing inside of me.  So, I canceled the test & the counseling and continued on with the life I had in front of me.

And my, oh, my, how glad I am to have made that decision.  Because in June 2000, I gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl.  I have her the name Alexandra Renee.  I chose Alexandra, because I always had an obsession with a little girl named Alex since that Nick show Alex Mack was popular...I thought there was nothing cooler than a little girl with the name Alex!  Her middle name Renee, I picked that based on the meaning.....Reborn, Born Again.  I felt that she was my chance at a new life, to pick up from all the craziness of my teenage years and move on as a Mother, an Adult.

I was blessed with a very docile little girl.  She came home from the hospital sleeping a good 6 hours a night, I did NOT realize at the time just how lucky I was (now, the three others....not such good sleepers as toddlers, but still GREAT newborn sleepers)!!

As Alex has grown up, she has always been my anchor in life.  The thing that has always kept me grounded.  Don't get me wrong, I still messed up...I still am not perfect, not a perfect Mom or a perfect human in general.  But she has always given me hope, that I can rise above all the problems that arise in daily life.  She is a shining beacon, and I am grateful everyday that God saw fit to give her to me.

My angel has been through so many heartaches, so many changes in her short life.  Yet, she continues to go through life with a huge smile and goodness in her heart.  She is always happy, she is always giving.  She is the type of girl who will give you the shirt off her back, shiver in the cold, and yet NEVER complain about it......

I remember one time (recently actually), we went out for lunch. We grabbed lunch for all of us girls.  Somehow, we ended up with one less drink than the five of us needed (Dad was not there).  As I was busy feeding the baby, Alex got to work on passing out lunch.  She didn't even bother speaking up, she just sat down to eat.  A few minutes later, she looks at me with the sweetest doe eyes and asked "Mom, I hate to ask, but I am really thirsty...could I have a small sip of your drink?"  I was devastated.  I felt so bad that I had not bought enough, but even more so that she was so willing to give her drink to her little sister and never complain that she was going without.  I don't know, it may not seem like a sweet story, but that is my Alex....a girl who never complains when she is short changed...who never asks for anything she doesn't really need.  I love her, I love her for everything she is and everything she will grow to be.

She is an amazing sister to her three little sisters.  As all siblings do, there are fights...but man, she really loves those girls. The good times seem to out-number the bad.  I hope and pray that their relationships will continue to thrive over the years, because sisters are your friends for life.....I love my sisters and can't imagine NOT having them in my life!!

She is a style diva.....This girl does NOT care what anyone thinks of her.  She wears what she wants, even when I am cringing letting her out in public....but she is an original, one of a kind and I love her for that.  I want her to be herself, I want her to stand out and I am proud to my the full of my inner core that she is just that.  I would love to take the credit for raising her that way....but I think that I had nothing to do with it....she is who she is.

The only thing I am not so proud of....Look at that dark baby of mine....she makes me look even whiter than I already am....if that is even possible!!!
She is a water baby!!  She used to demand 2-3 baths a day.....but with my OCD, I didn't mind (Cleanliness is next to Godliness..right?!?).  Until one day, when she was only 2.....I know something happened to her in daycare, we just aren't 100% sure what.  One day she loved to take baths and the next she was literally clawing at the door jam and screaming when I tried to give her one.  She was terrified.  Eventually, she got comfortable enough to take baths again....but it took us until she was 5 years old before she would get back in a pool.  Still, she clung to the sides for dear life the entire time.....and if anyone came near her (Me or Dad included), she would scream bloody murder and run out!!  Finally, when she was 8, we talked her into swimming wasn't until her second year (at 9) that she finally felt comfortable enough to get in and swim on her own....thanks to the pool manager Dawn giving her some one on one lessons.  Now, you can NOT keep her out of the water on warm days....hence the tan!!!

My husband and I are truly blessed with this gorgeous girl.  Now, we are just praying that she stays this way with her teen years rapidly approaching.  I can't imagine seeing her as anything other than this sweet, loving angel of mine.....but we all know how my teens turned out, right Mom?!?!  Hehe!!  I mean, don't get me wrong....she can have an attitude, but if what we have seen is only a tenth of it, I count my lucky stars.  So here she is, my Angel on her first day of Middle School...6th grade!!  Gorgeous, Daddy is already cleaning his guns waiting for the boys to come knocking!!!

I have so much to say about my Angel Alex.....but it would take a book to write it all down :)  She is truly AMAZING!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

It Comes In Threes-Part Two...and Three (hopefully)?!?!

Friday afternoon, my Aunt, Cousin, and my Cousin's kids came up to visit us.  They were here most of the day, we did a tour of the house.....and everything was as it should be.  My husband even came home to change after work, and nothing....THEN, I went back to do laundry and saw water seeping from the utility closet.  I ran to the master bedroom and water was 2-4 inches standing in the bathroom!!!

I screamed for Jake to come and help, he had to shut off the water supply to the toilet.  The water was not coming through the seat OR the tank, but the water seemed CLEAR!!  Our entire bedroom was saturated, including many of our things we had yet to hang/unpack/clear out...including our bed, which was still leaned up against the wall due to the heat in that room!!

We immediately called the property manager's cellphone...with no answer.  Because it was after 2pm on Friday, we decided we had to find her, so we contacted her office directly.  She was able to call a plumber out to take a look.  Finally, at 5pm, he showed up.  He determined that the septic tank had overflowed (even despite the lack of debris in the water)....YUCK!!!  The plumber took a look around, fixed a few minor problems and called it good. BUT the room(s) were still soaking wet!!!

So, with the Plumber, we called her back...The plumber told her that the "flood" had nothing to do with us, but to issues resulting from the house itself.  She then determined that they would have to get someone out to take care of the clean-up...Surprisingly enough, within the hour a clean-up crew was knocking at the door, thank goodness!!

Due to the amount of water, it was determined that the carpet would have to be removed....he also had to drill holes into the wood vanity in the bathroom in order to dry the flooring there.  We hauled EVERYTHING out of the BIGGEST room in our home, while he set up fans to dry the carpet enough that it would not soak the rest of the house when we hauled it out.  He returned Saturday morning to find that it was dry enough to proceed.  Out the carpet came, with little resistance...since the water had saturated all the glue.

As of today, we are still sleeping on our couch and floor while we wait to hear what to do about that room....which, should be re-carpeted this week, I hope!!  Also, we are desperate for a new our old one is unusable at this point.  So, wish us luck as we continue this saga in the coming week!!!

To top off my Saturday afternoon, I drove 45 minutes to a Hobby Lobby for some work supplies....only to get there and discover that I had forgotten my wallet!!!  So, a quick trip turned into a three hour drive since Hobby Lobby is not open on Sunday's and I needed materials to finish up the curtains in the girls' rooms and to get some much needed work done.  But wait, that's not all....My brother had invited us over to his house for a BBQ.  My husband grabbed the keys as we got everyone loaded into the van and we headed wasn't until we came home to a LOCKED house that we discovered that he grabbed the vehicle keys that did NOT have the house keys attached!!  LUCKILY, I had made an extra set and given one to my oldest daughter to hang onto.  Although, it would have saved us some time and frustration of attempting to find a way in if she had remembered that she DID have her key with her!!  Oh well, all's well that ends well.....Hopefully THAT was the THREE, right?!?!

It Comes In Threes-Part One

Ugh, this house.....where to start.....

So, my brother picked up the keys to our new rental here in Florida last Friday.  Being the good brother that he is, he went over to check out the property again.  He went inside to turn on the air, knowing we would be here on Monday.  Well, Thank Goodness that he did....because the A/C was not properly pumping air into all the rooms.

I called the property manager, and informed her of the issue and the fact that I had MS which is exacerbated by the heat.  She told me that she would definitely be on top of it, so I gave her my brother's number...just in case, they could get someone out before Monday.  Alas, we were disappointed but the air was still not on come Monday morning.  So, my husband and my brother unloaded our ENTIRE 20' UHaul extreme heat.   Which was only worse, because there was no way to cool off....even the house was well over 90degrees (with the A/C set at 77 and running constantly).

FINALLY, after the UHaul had been completely unloaded...the Heating & Air guy showed up.  He checked out the unit and then headed for the attic.  After about half an hour, he emerged...covered in insulation!!  It appears that a pest (either a rat or squirrel) had chewed ALL the duct work throughout the house.  The pest was NOT there, but it had been at some point.  He also informed us that this had have happened over time and there is no way someone could have been living here and NOT known it was going on.....even though the realtor has repeatedly (and continues to) re-assured us that the house was only empty for two months prior to our move-in.  Unfortunately, due to the time and lack of materials, he was unable to fix the problem at the time.

So, we had our first night in an EXTREMELY hot really was nasty!!!  Luckily, the heating & air guy showed up at 8am the next morning and set to work.  We were so happy to know they were on the ball.....that is until the total job took them THREE days to complete.  For three days, this house was without air conditioning in this thick, humid, nasty heat.  Finally, on the last day, they informed us that they did the best they could with the unit that is out back...unfortunately, the unit is too small to support cooling the whole house...UGH!!  Boy, oh boy, were they right.  Our A/C has been running constantly and it still does not go below 80 degrees in here.  We have called our property manager, the last time we actually spoke with her was THIS week on Friday(28th)....which we only got her to call us back because of problem number 2.  As for the A/C, she promised to send the guys out again next week!!!

Unfortunately, the guys called today to let me know they were booked and won't be here until Tues or Wednesday...BOOOO!!!!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

I went down the street to get a newspaper today and it ate my money.  I was so mad, I had to drive all the way back home (like 6 blocks...I know, so far, right?!?!).  The whole way home I was internally cussing that machine for stealing my dollar and wasting my time.  I got home, grabbed my money and sped back to the paper machine.

When I got there, I noticed a young boy sitting on the bench.  He was visibly upset, but trying to hide boys are.  I asked him if he was okay, and he kept telling me he was fine....but something in me would NOT let it go.  Finally, I threw the paper I got this time into the van and went and sat next to him.  The poor kid started crying and finally admitted to me that he had gotten into a fight with his older brother.  Then he showed me his hand with blood on it, when I asked where it came from...he showed me a small cut on his head.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either.

I asked if his parents were home, and he told me that he was alone with his brother when all this happened but that his Mom would be back in a minute.  He was not able to call his Mom, because his brother was guarding the phone.  I asked where she was, and he said that he did not know.  I asked him if I could call an ambulance for him, but he begged me not instead, I took his mother's number.  And, of all days, I forgot my cell phone at home.  I asked if he wanted to ride with me, but he said he did not feel comfortable doing that...which props to him for being responsible.  He told me he was scared that his Mom would come looking for him and wouldn't find him.

So, against my better judgement, I left him there and sped back home for my cellphone.  I called his Mom, who was out shopping....and gave her a quick version of his story.  She told me she would be there in a moment, so I sped back down to stay with him.  I let him know his Mom was coming and that I would wait with him.  You could see him finally stop shaking, I am sure he was terrified that his brother might come down the street after him....and at least with me there, I had a car for a quick getaway.  His Mom showed up minutes later, apologized to me, and took over caring for her son.  She, you could tell, was headed home to "take care of business".

I am so greatful that the machine did such a nasty thing today.....that or I may not have had the opportunity to help this boy and who knows how long his Mom would have been gone, or if/when his brother would have come looking for him...not to mention the storm that rolled in 10 minutes after I got back home to stay. The Lord works in mysterious ways......we may not always understand what He is doing, but He always has a reason and a plan.  I know I forget that most days, but today was a good reminder.