Monday, December 21, 2009

Is It Really Christmas?

It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. We put up the lights, decorated a tree, did some holiday shopping, attending an office party, attended an ugly sweater party, shoveled snow, and doesn't feel like Christmas.

I normally start listening to Christmas music right after Thanksgiving, but not this year. Maybe it's because we just finally got back home and settled into our normal routine. Maybe it's been because we keep passing around the same cold. Who knows. It just doesn't feel like Christmas.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Last night I had dinner with a friend and while we ate, our boys trashed her house. We were talking about diapers (she has a 22 month old and a 5 month old) and she showed me something she recently purchased. I was captivated by a cloth diaper. Seriously people, a cloth diaper.

I had thought about using cloth diapers with TJ, but I was scared and we just went the disposable route (all of you "green" people can lecture me later). After looking through the website and talking to Leah about them, I am sold!

I came home and told Ayron, "If/when we have #2, we are getting these!"

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

House Update

I really don't have anything fascinating to report, but since I know some family members read this I thought I'd update them on the progress at our house.

The drywall went up yesterday. Today the taping and mudding will be done and left to dry overnight. Ayron is going to paint the vanity and the medicine cabinet this afternoon. Tonight we are going to pick out our flooring for the kitchen/dining room.

Tomorrow the bathroom will be painted. Thursday the bathroom will get another coat of paint and the flooring in the kitchen/dining room will go down. Friday the professionals will come and put the bathroom flooring down. Then, next Monday, the final step....carpet.

I am so ready to move back into my house and get on with life! I think I am so eager to move home because we are going to put up a Christmas tree this year! We haven't put a tree up in three years because of the accident, then we had a dog, and then TJ, yada yada. This year, no excuses, the tree is going up!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Destruction Day 1

We officially moved out of our house yesterday morning. I had to laugh because 3 years ago (almost to the day) we moved out of my in-laws house and into our first home and now we are moving back in with my in-laws.

I decided to stop by the house on my way home to just see what had been done. I didn't know what to expect, but I was blown away. We do have a Reeves Construction sign in our yard, so that means that all the nosey elderly neighbors came by at least twice to see what was going on. We have a large dumpster occupying our driveway and a construction trailer in the front yard. All of this I expected.

They gutted my house like a fish! I have a toilet in my living room. My brother in law thought it would be funny to sit it right where the recliner normal sits, he was right, it cracked me up. They tore up all the carpet and low and behold, we have really ugly 1950's tile that runs throughout the whole house. They tore out one whole bathroom wall, and half of the other. Took down my shower doors and ripped up the flooring. It looks really different, but knowing it will all be fixed soon is great.

Here is the kicker. It wouldn't be happening to anyone else but me. I just got off the phone with Tom (my contractor and father in law). Before we did any digging into the slab we had a guy come and mark the water lines. He marked them and we all thought that Tom's assumption was right. We assumed we would have to hack hammer up a large portion of the slab, fix the pipe, pour new cement, wait for it to cure, put in the walls, etc. Well, this morning Tom and Phil (my brother in law) started tearing up the concrete only to figure out that the guy had marked the lines wrong and we really didn't need to take up the slab to fix the broken pipe. So this whole remodel could have only taken a week, but since the moron marked the lines wrong, and we dug into cement, we are back at a 2 week process. I had to laugh, this would only happen to us. I was so excited when Tom told me, "Hey, the problem isn't where we thought, it will be a much faster and easier fix." Then he paused. I said, "Ok, just tell me." He said, "Too bad we already cut into the cement and tore up the floor only to find out we didn't have to do that." Bah Humbug!

I am going to take some pictures of our recently destroyed house tonight. It's kind of cool to be apart of the remodel from start to finish. It is great to know that the mold is finally out of my house and my new carpet is on its way!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not Sure

Right now I am not sure how I feel about anything. Part of me wants to just not care, but part of me knows that I can't do that. I think what I am trying to avoid feeling is a mix of frustration and misunderstanding. Not about anything in particular, but just life in general. If I can't pinpoint the source how am I supposed to fix it? I just keep wandering, "What am I supposed to learn from all of this?" I think I am supposed to learn to stand up for myself, and I took that first step this morning, but I know that it will be pushed aside and not taken seriously.

We have been dealing with the insurance mess since September and just finally got that all straightened out and the check will go into the bank this afternoon with the remodel starting on Monday. It is nice to know that the ball is finally rolling, and at a nice pace, on this project. It just took so long and I suddenly don't care any more. I don't want to make any more decisions, I don't want to call and complain to the insurance company anymore. I don't want to deal with the mess of boarding the dog and moving out for a week. I just don't care.

Work is another aspect that I am rapidly getting frustrated with. I feel like I am constantly getting dumped on, by everyone. Parents call and complain to me and get mad at me for their kid being expelled from school. HELLO?! They obviously did something to be expelled from school, don't get mad that I am offering you an alternative to juvenile detention. I feel like other individuals I have to associate with take me and my program for granted. No one asks me what I think or feel about situations, they just assume I will automatically do it. I feel like I am the only one watching my back and the only one looking out for the well being of my students. Someone has to care about them, why can't I?

I finally decided to express my concerns to the powers that be, but I have a feeling that they will just be brushed aside. How do I not let them get brushed aside without looking like a needy brat? How can I stand up for myself in a professional manner but not break down emotionally? I am not the type who can leave work at work. I often spend countless hours at night (when I should be sleeping) thinking of things I can say or do with the students to help them. I become emotionally attached to these kids. So many of them have parents that have written them off and the schools have tossed them aside, but all they need is a different teaching style, or someone to just care about them. They can sense when someone is being genuine and truly wants to see them succeed. So I carry all of their baggage along with mine and it makes me emotional. Heck, just sitting here typing this I am on the verge of tears. So how do I check those emotions at the door to make sure I don't get trampled?

Do I have to check those emotions at the door? If I show the emotions I am afraid I will be seen as weak, and that is not the image I want to portray. When men are assertive at work they are seen as strong and willing to take the lead. When women do it we are seen as bitches and bossy. Where is that fine line and how do I find it. I don't feel that what I am asking for is unreasonable. I know my worth and I think it is only fair to be given the respect that I feel I deserve and have earned. How do I make others see that? I constantly feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall and getting no where, so why don't I stop banging my head? What is it that makes me think I can actually bust down that wall? I know that there are several other paths around the wall, yet for some reason I can't stop hitting my head against it in an attempt to break it down.

I guess I'm just seeking advice, wisdom, personal experience, motivation, encouragement, whatever it is you have to give me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let the remodel begin!

Well, we finally got a check from the insurance company (we have been dealing with this since Sept. 23!). They made the check out to us and Chase Home Finance. We were afraid we would have to mail the check off to our mortgage company and then wait for someone to sign it and send it back. We decided to be clever and we called the Chase bank branch in Kendalville. The bank manager was able to get clearance and sign the check for us! I will be depositing that money this afternoon, then I will turn around and write a check for the exact same amount to Reeves Construction.

With the help of my mother in law, we were able to finally decide on paint colors for the bathroom. Last Friday we picked out the carpet for the house and our bedroom, but choosing paint turned into a sore subject. I literally threw a fit like a toddler in Home Depot because Ayron was not listening to me. It was childish, but I did get my point across. I was showing my mother in law the colors I liked and let me tell you, when her and I team up, Ayron and Tom (my father in law) lose every time! I got lucky because the colors I picked actually match really well with the flooring Ayron chose. I let Ayron pick the flooring before we even looked at paint, I have learned you have to pick your battles and in this case, it worked in my favor! The only choice left to make is what kind of flooring will go in the kitchen/dining room. That will be the last project done (during this whole remodel) so I have about a week before I really need to make my mind up on that.

This will be the color we paint the walls. The vanity/medicine cabinet/cabinet above the toilet will be this color. We choose Sand Shore for the ceiling and trim. Although, now that I look at Sand Shore on the website, I realize it looks nothing like the color sample I have before me. I guess I would describe it as a mix between a nice creamy egg shell and and a very pale brownish yellow...yeah, that sounds ugly...but it's not!

When I posted the color choices to facebook last night my smart alec cousin wrote back: You are going to get hungry while you look at the turtles with your toes in the sand sitting on the loo.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Update

It seems like there is a lot going on in my life right now, but nothing major. Just lots of little things. I am in the mood to "blog" but since I really don't have a lot of blogworthy thoughts, here are some random things that have been happening in my life.

* Dawn got married! Yes folks, the girl who swore she'd always be single said, "I do." And it was awesome!

* My wireless is down at work. Not a big thing, just frustrating. I can't get it to work and of course I can't get the IT guy (my boss) to actually answer any of his phones or his email!

* We are moving. Nothing major, we just have to move out while the renovations are done to our house. The insurance company finally put a check in the mail yesterday. Ayron and I are going this afternoon to pick out the carpet for the hallway/living room, the carpet for our bedroom, and the tile for the dining room and the bathroom. Who know that one cracked pipe would cause so much damage! I am happy that my father-in-law is the contractor we are able to use. I would much rather "employ" someone I know than a stranger. Nothing like having strangers in and out of your house for a week. We will hopefully be able to stay with Ayron's parents during the remodel and Scooter will be boarded.

* TJ is learning all sorts of new things everyday and it amazes me. My mom takes him to the library on Tuesdays for library class and last night he proceeded to sing all of their songs to me. It was great, almost made me want to cry because Mom gets to experience all of this with him while I am at work. He even knew the motions. It was great! As soon as I got out the video camera to capture his little song and dance show, he clamed up and wouldn't even look at the camera.

* We are approaching the 3 year anniversary of my sister-in-laws accident and I will probably write that blog post today. It is amazing how 30 seconds 3 years ago can dramatically change several lives.

* I actually got on stage and did improv! It was for a women's group at church, but it was fun!

* Work is just as crazy, but I don't think I'd like it if I was bored. Ayron is still looking for another job as well as his unemployment to kick in. It is great that he can stay home with TJ on some days, but having that extra money would be nice too.

Well, I should find something to do so I can consider today productive!

Monday, November 02, 2009

2255B County Road 27, Waterloo IN

This post is not intended to be sad and sappy, rather a post to remember the crazy times had by all!!

2255 B, CR 27 will never be the same. Mr. and Mrs. B have sold the cabin. It is time for change in their lives. They no longer need to put forth the time and energy needed to maintain the cabin that we all grew up in. I mean we...all of us.

That cabin has housed people from all over the world. Some for just a brief summer experience, others for an entire school year. We jokingly began to call it, "IHOB: International House Of Bennett's."

The house welcomed everyone and their crazy antics. I remember one winter when all the Bennett kid's had friends over for a snowball fight. Well, due to a snow emergency, everything north of US 6 was closed and we were all snowed in. The Bennett's merely dug out all the spare blankets and pillows and we had one heck of sleep over! Don't forget Jarrod and Nick's Sunday chat's between both bathrooms. The fact that the walls didn't actually reach the ceiling. That sun room saw it's fair share of Euchre and Caboodle games (Marc always cheated!). The many pool parties and the pool side church service/baptismal. The campfires back in the woods and the fireworks across the road.

Who could forget the often seen, but never touched, Twoie (I am guessing on the spelling), or Bear and his chair on the deck. Don't forget Jade and Pudge and the numerous kittens.

That house is full of memories for people other than the family that lived there. I think I spent so much time there, they probably could have charged me rent! What are your favorite memories about the cabin?

Monday, October 26, 2009

What is holding you back?

This weekend I was thinking of all the things I have wanted to do in my life (this occurred due to driving past Grade A Tattoo...this will come into play later). I started mentally creating a list of all the things I have always wanted to do, yet always come up with an excuse not to actually do them. It's not really a "bucket list" because I am not dying, nor am I in any hurry to start crossing these things off my list. It's just a list. I hope that by actually putting the list "out there" I can figure out what is keeping me from actually doing these things I want to do.

These are in no particular order. I would like to thank everyone now for NOT lecturing me on my list. I have thought through everything and let me remind you, this is just a list. I am 26 years old and am a "big girl." What I do decide to do or not do is my business. Thus ends the lecture for me. On to the list!

1. Get my nose pierced. Not a bull ring or anything. Just a small stud. Tiny perhaps. I know several teachers who have them, yet I wonder how professional it looks in an interview. Just a small sparkle looks nice on people.

2. Get a tattoo. We were driving past Grade A Tattoo this weekend and I saw their sign, "$50 Halloween Themed Tattoos." Really? Halloween themed? I wouldn't get a Halloween themed tattoo, but I have a couple of designs in mind. It would be something that means something to me. It would be drawn by a friend of mind (I don't want a cookie cutter style tattoo). It would be someplace on my body that could be hidden. The tattoo would be for me, not for anyone else. It would be small and tasteful. Heck I could get it and no one would know about it, yet I haven't.

3. Sing karaoke at a bar. Seeing as how I choose not to sing in public, this won't happen. It would require A LOT of alcohol and a large group of people willing to make a fool of themselves with me. Seeing as how I don't drink, this really doesn't look like it will happen. I hate watching American Idol, especially when the people think they really can sing and they can't. No need to put myself thru that kind of embarrassment.

4. Be a back up singer on tour. Back up singing is drastically different that #3. You are not the person the crowd came to see, thus, less pressure. Seeing as how lately all the backup singers I see are large women of the African American persuasion, I don't think this will happen either. I have offered to be a "forkette" (inside joke) for my friend who is a recording artist, but that has yet to happen.

5. Go on tour with a Broadway style show. I would love to be a roadie or techie for a show like Stomp or RENT. Oh how I would love RENT! They would have to tape my mouth shut because I would sing along to every song!

6. Backpack through Europe. I have been lucky enough to travel across seas twice now. I wish I had been a bit older and more mature so that I would have appreciated the opportunities that had been given to me.

7. Parasail in the Alps. I saw people doing this while I was in Austria and I asked someone and they wouldn't allow me to do it since I was an American an they didn't know if they could trust my insurance, yada yada. I never even asked my mom, I knew that answer would be, "No!"

8. Climb a tree. I haven't done that in a really long time. Seems simple right? My neighbor going up had an awesome willow tree in the backyard. It was great for climbing. We would spend hours lost in it's branches. Hiding from parents and siblings. Pretending we were pirates or thieves. It was a great time.

9. I wish I had the "balls" to tell several people how I truly feel and not feel guilty later. I am a people pleasure. If that means keeping my thoughts and opinions inside, I'll do it. There are several people I would like to confront (I don't mean in a bad way) and really tell them what I think of several issues. Yet, I sit here and "hide" behind my blog.

10. Scuba dive. I've never had the chance, but if I had, I would do it! I would not leave my cell phone in my pocket like Ayron did. Ocean water instantly kills a cell phone!

11. Be a designer and create clothes that fit real people. I have a hard time finding clothes that actually fit me. Just because I have a bigger tummy doesn't mean that I have a huge behind or thighs to match. I just have a tummy people! When it comes to Ayron, if we can find his inseam, the designers assume he is a toothpick. If we can find his waist, they assume he is a midget. It is very hard to find a 44 (he might be down to a 42 no2) x 36 or 38 pant! Oh, I would so totally design a comfortable bra (without underwire!) for odd sized people as well.

12. Learn how to fly. I don't mean, "jump off a roof and hope I land safely." I'd like to learn how to actually fly a plane.

13. Dance. See here's the thing. I have been banned from dancing in 40 of the 50 states and that is only because I haven't been to the other 10 states. I don't dance. I feel like I look like a giant dork tripping over her feet, so I choose to sit. I know this recently upset Tyler and for that I apologize, but I just don't dance. I never had dance lessons growing up and have no clue what I am doing. I used to do that macarana and the chicken dance is easy, but beyond that, I'm toast. I know this really upsets Ayron, but I just don't dance.

That is all I can think of for now....what have you always wanted to do and what is stopping you?

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Does The Doctor Get?

Read this article. I want to know what the doctor gets? He/She delivered a baby while the plane was landing. Should the doctor not be rewarded for their efforts?

Are you for real? Part II

I recently wrote a post about about how celebrities pay people to do ordinary things (Are You For Real?). Some celebrity paid someone to tie their shoes, or someone who was in charge of making sure the ipod is charged.

This morning I read an on line article about things that celebrities demand in their dressing rooms or in their prenuptial agreements.

Really Khole? Lifetime tickets for your entire family? $1k a month for beauty products? Who wears THAT much make up? I don't think that trashy drag queens wear that much make up! Let's say her and her soon to be husband are married for only 1 year. She would make a total of $597,000.00 in her first year. Sad thing is, she would probably blow through all that cash faster than any of the rest of us would/could.

I did like Kelly Clarkson's list. Nothing too outrageous, but I still think that if I were a celebrity my "demand" list would be even shorter. Although I am not really sure what I would demand.

Maybe some Dr. Pepper, Twizzlers, water, and Kraft macaroni and cheese. What would YOU ask for in your dressing room? Anything outrageous? Oh....maybe I'd hire someone just to bring me fresh Casa salad every night for dinner.....dang, now I want Casa salad!

Calling All Baseball Fans!

I know nothing about baseball, ok, well I know a little bit (3 bases, 2 teams, 1 bat, 1 ball). Ayron has recently began thinking about selling his baseball card collection. Seeing as how I no nothing about baseball or baseball cards I have no clue where to even begin on this process. I have asked him repeatedly if he really wants to sell them, and every time he tells me yes. Apparently collectors are paying nice money for them right now.

I don't even know what cards he has, but I know he has a lot. I think he has at least two Nolan Ryan rookie cards. Are those rare?

So I am asking for help. Where should I begin? Who (in the (Ft. Wayne area) would buy these cards? How much should we expect to get (I know that depends on the card)? How do we know we aren't getting ripped off?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Let me first say that we are NOT pregnant, I am just chubby! Now that I have clarified that point, let me move on. I do have several friends who are pregnant and one couple who will soon be adopting (I am so freaking happy for Nathan and Emily!!!!!!!)

Ayron and I have been discussing the thought of another child. This past summer my ovaries were tingling very hard, but the birth of three kids to friends of ours calmed them down. I was able to smoosh on the babies and hand them back once they had pooped themselves or after they had puked on me (Claire and Gage).

The ovaries are back in the tingle mode and it kind of sucks. It has made us have several conversations about when is the right time to start trying for #2. We had to use medicine to conceive Taylor (glucophage is actually a diabetic drug with the side effect of causing regular ovulation. Doesn't increase the risk of multiples, just helps you actually ovulate on schedule) and that took 3 months (that is the average time people are on the medicine before they conceive).

So we have been talking. What is a good age gap between children? Natalee and I are 7 1/2 years apart. I know that I was an unplanned pregnancy, my mother had a copper IUD. That caused some worry during her pregnancy. At one point they thought I would be down syndrome and who knows what else. But 26 years later, here I sit. Ayron and Phil are 8 years apart. JoEllen was married to Phil's dad and had Phil. Phil's father was killed in an automobile accident and then she married Tom (Ayron's dad). We both agree that 7 1/2 years is too long of an age gap between children. But what is a good age gap?

Ideally, I would like to have TJ a little more independent. He has grown so much in the past two weeks, but I would like to tackle potty training. Two kids in diapers scares me. Those suckers are amazingly expensive! Then comes the issue of space in our house. Ideally I'd like to get the backroom re-done so we can move the living room to that room, then move the office to what is now the living room. Then we can make that tiny room into another nursery. Ideally, if we had two boys at some point, bunk beds could be used in TJ's room now.

But age gap wise, what is a good gap? I think that my sister and I fought so much. In just the past couple years she has started to view me as an adult and less like the annoying little sister (which I NEVER was :) ). Ayron and his brother can finally hang out as friends.

I'm Funny?

Apparently I am funny. I was told several times this past weekend that I was funny. I got a phone call last night asking me to partake in an improv show because I am funny. Am I really that funny? I don't try to be funny, I really don't. I don't think I am funny, but maybe I am.

I am hesitant about agreeing to do the improv show. It is for a group at church. It's not like I am going up in front of a bunch of drunk people at a club. But seeing as how I don't view myself as funny, the thought of trying to be funny on the spot terrifies me.

If I don't feel I am funny, how can I be funny in front of a crowd? Improv? That scares me. Maybe if I knew what was going to be thrown at me I could plan to be funny. What if they hand me a band-aid and a chicken? How do I make that funny?

I still haven't made up my mind yet. I am a bit on the fence. I know that Layna really wants me to do it, and she swears I am funny, but really? Am I?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Seattle Here I Come

I am fortunate enough to be flying to Seattle Thursday morning (I will be up and in the air before the sun even thinks of waking up!). I am so excited! One of my very good friends is getting married. I have known Tyler since the 2nd grade. His mother used to babysit me. We drifted apart, went our own ways, but somehow we reconnected and I am pretty sure the Big Guy upstairs is responsible.

Tyler helps me see things from a different point of view. I often run my feelings, thoughts, words, by him before I open my mouth. He has a nice way of showing me that I am wrong!

I have only met Christine once, (unless you count a Skype bridal shower), and that was enough. I don't mean that in a bad way. After meeting her once, I knew she was the one for Tyler. It is nice to know that your friend has found THE ONE he will spend the rest of his life with.

It is amazing to see the love those two share and think about the possibilities their lives hold.

I think I am more nervous about this wedding than they are! I don't know if I would call it "nervous" or anxious. The last time we (Ayron will be doing a reading in the wedding) were all dressed up was our own wedding! I have a lovely black dress and Ayron's suit is at the cleaners. As much as I hate the gut sucking underpants and strapless bra, I can't wait to get all girly.

I have to wonder what I am walking into tho. Keep in mind that I haven't met Any of the people I will be in the wedding with (besides the couple and the grooms brother). All of these people are strangers to me. I have to wonder what they will think of me. I have already planned out my outfits (in order to make a good impression) and bought new make-up. I have to wonder why I care so much. I am not seeking their approval, they either like me or they don't, but I want them to see the best "Carma" I can be.

I am also nervous about flying. I haven't flown in years! We are carrying on our wedding outfits so I'm sure we will look odd lugging around formal wear in St. Louis (layover). My theory is, if they lose my luggage, there is always a place I can get pants and a shirt, but it is very hard to get a custom tailored bridesmaid dress, strapless bra, gut sucking underpants, and high heels on short notice!

I am ready to go, but sad about taking TJ. Taylor will be staying in Ft. Wayne with our friends. I trust them but I haven't left TJ for more than 2 days. Heck, when we leave him overnight with Ayron's parents all I do is putter around the house mumbling, "I miss Monkey!"

I am so excited, but I just want Thursday to be here so I can have a mini vacation and watch two love birds get married.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Detective Christine Mannina

This morning I took our three students to Trine University to listen to a lecture given by Detective Mannina from Indianapolis. She is also the lead person in Discovery Channel's "The Shift."

I was pleased to know that her best friend was the founder of the Whitley County Youth Improvement Program. (That is really besides the point, but it earns me brownie points in the "Six Degrees of Separation" game).

After meeting her and listening to her lecture, I can't wait to go home and set my dvr to record the show!

Check it out at:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Older House Curse Part II

Let me start off by saying, "Blech!" Saturday morning my brother in law and father in law came to work on an estimate for fixing our leaky bathroom. Since they don't have x-ray vision and we wouldn't let them just start ripping into the flooring, they had to guess what the problem was. By guess I mean, make educated assumptions based on a process of elimination.

After a couple of guesses, they were able to figure out that our problem is one of two things. To be honest, I have no clue what those two things are! I didn't ask. I think I would rather not know. Send me to the store to pick out paint and tiles and I'll be good! Phil also decided to take up the carpet in the hallway (where the water leaks up through the foundation) and discovered that the padding is moldy. I could have told you that, but that's another story. So they were curious and cut two small patches out of two walls in the bathroom and guess what, mold. Freaking fantastic. No wonder my allergies have been nasty even with daily meds!

I now get to pick out new paint for the bathroom, tile for the bathroom, a color of paint for the vanity (just going to fix it and paint it), and now carpet. I am glad that this is all getting done, but blech. I have no clue what color or "theme" to go with in our "new" bathroom. Any suggestions?

So they are now going to have to take out our toilet, washer, dryer, vanity, and cupboard. Then rip out the drywall, take down the rest of the wallpaper, jack hammer up the slab. Then they must fix the pipe (the only part of the ordeal our insurance won't cover bc they say it is a maintenance problem. How I am supposed to maintain a pipe buried in cement is beyond me!). After the pipe is fixed, new cement will be poured and then we have to wait for it to cure. While we are waiting we will paint and redo the vanity. Then comes the new paint, window treatment, tile. Then back comes the washer, dryer, and toilet. Then the vanity and cupboard will be re-installed. Then comes carpet. Blech, just thinking about it makes me tired!

So this morning I get a call from a lady at our insurance office. This was not the person we normally deal with. She wanted to know where our estimate was. I informed her that after our contractor looked at it, he decided to call our flooring company to get a better estimate (they are at my house right now). She seemed annoyed that we hadn't sent our estimate yet. Well, we wanted it to be accurate. I told her as soon as I got the estimate I would fax them a copy. She was genuinely annoyed that I couldn't fax her an estimate now. I didn't know what to say so I just said, "As soon as my contractor gets the estimate written, I will send it to you!" You would think they would be happy about not having to cut me a check!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Older House Curse

I love my house. It has it's issues, but most older homes do. I fell in love with my house the instant we stepped inside. I think I liked it so much because it is very much like the house I grew up in. I also love the neighborhood and my back yard is HUGE for being in town. I love the "climbing" tree in the front yard. I love the fact that the Sheriff lives across the street and that someone from dispatch lives next door. I love that it is a semi-quiet (stupid ppl do drive a bit to fast down our street) neighborhood.

Now to the issues with our house. We moved in November of 2007. In January of 2008, we began having issues. You'd flush the toilet and water (it was clean water, not the dirty toilet water) would come up in the shower (the lady we bought the house from was older and had her bath tub converted to a shower type thingy with bench). After months of trying different things, we decided to tear into the pipe that takes the dirty water away from our house and into the city's pipes. Our "drain pipe" runs right between the two trees in our front yard. Low and behold, we found that a piece of the old clay pipe was busted, causing the back up. So, Ayron used a saw and made a clean cut on the old pipe, he also managed to cut the water line. We did have them come and mark before we began our little excavation, but they marked wrong. So poor Ayron and Josh O. were stuck in a huge hole while water shot out of the ground like a fountain, turning our front yard into a mud pit. They managed to get everything fixed and all was well. This spring we were finally able to get grass to grow around our trees again!

About a month ago, I decided to run a load of laundry. I started the washer and took the boys (TJ and Scooter) outside. When we came in, and I was walking down the hallway I heard a "squish" and realized that our hallway carpet was soaked. I thought that maybe I had just overfilled the washer. Well after a panicked phone call to Ayron and some talking with Tom (my father in law) we have come to the conclusion that the pipe under the bathroom floor (our house is on a slab) is cracked and water is seeping up and into our bathroom. Freaking great! You can see the water come up between the tile (I think it's just the peel and stick linoleum). I have stopped doing laundry at home and thus, the wet spot in the hallway is gone, but you can see where it was at.

Looking for an excuse to tear into the bathroom, I called our insurance agent this morning. It seems that our policy has an endorsement that would allow us, at no cost, to have up to $5k of "clean up" done. That would cover mold removal (if we have it...I hope we don't). We have a $500 deductible for the rest of the work (jackhammering up the slab, pouring new cement, retile, etc). What gets me is that our insurance doesn't actually cover the cost of repairing the pipe because they say that is "maintenance." I had to laugh. How am I supposed to maintain a pipe that is buried in cement? I asked my insurance agent that and he laughed too. He said he thought it was asinine as well. The good thing is, we just need to get a formal estimate and send it into our agent. Seeing as how I married into a construction business....I think I know who I'll call for our estimate. I also found out that we wouldn't actually pay the $500 deductible. Let's say that Tom says the job will cost $10,000 (these are the #'s our agent used, I have no clue how much it could cost!). We send in the estimate and the insurance company would send us a check for $9,500. They would keep out that $500 and treat it like we paid our deductible.

I don't really know much about insurance, but I think that we wouldn't really have any out of pocket expense. Sure, we would be inconvenienced for a while, but we can easily figure that out.

I guess I am looking for thoughts, ideas, suggestions? Anyone else have any "old house" horror stories that makes my situation look silly?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rest In Peace Mark Wilmes

This weekend the DeKalb High School Class of 2001 lost another classmate. Mark Wilmes was killed in a two car accident in Lagrange County on Saturday. After over correcting, his car was in the path of an oncoming car, and the collision occurred.

This is the second classmate that we have lost (that I know of, and I hope there aren't any more). We lost Jerry C. the summer before our Senior year in a car accident, and now Mark has passed as well.

While I didn't really "know" Mark, I know we had a few classes together. We attended the same school from 1st grade through graduation. I was driving to work this morning when I heard about the accident (on the radio), and I immediately felt my stomach churn. I can only imagine the loss his family and friends are feeling at this moment. No one wants to bury their child, and now they must. He was 8 credits shy of graduating from IPFW with his mechanical engineering degree. I think that broke my heart a little more. To be so close, and then not be able to complete something you have worked so hard for.

I didn't really know Mark, but I do remember a funny story. We had Mr. Howard for Math our 6th grade year. I think it was 4th or 5th period. Mark always had several questions, and we all know that Mr. Howard's patience level was not the greatest. One day, after seeing Mark's hand shoot up for the millionth time Mr. Howard nicknamed Mark "Question Mark." I don't know why, but that is the first memory that popped into my head this morning when I heard about the accident.

What do you remember about Mark or Jerry? Am I correct in saying that those are the only 2 classmates we have lost?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Encouraging Words

So I have received several encouraging comments about my previous note. I tend to be a bit pessimistic by nature so I have to wonder if that is why my mood is the way it is.

I can't help but think, "Easier said than done." It is really easy to offer people words of encouragement, etc. It is easy to say that it will all work out. It is harder to believe it. At least it is for me.

I know that I need to trust and pray, but I like big obvious signs from God. I don't do subtle. When I do start to look for signs that He is listening and taking care of me, I turn every small thing into a sign. Was the robin in my tree a sign from Him? I get paranoid and I cannot let myself get that way.

I just talked with Ayron on the phone and they are continuing their hourly wages for the rest of the week and the change will happen on Monday. One of the marketers who has been with the company the longest comes back tomorrow and she has not been told (to our knowledge) of the change. We are hoping that they can all ban together and present a united front and present their side of the situation.

I just wish that I could sit outside and talk with Him, but alas I am chained to my laptop in an office built with cinder block and cement. It is very hard to be encouraged by Him when all you see is the dimples in cinder block, and the dead computers next to you.

Seeking Prayers and Advice

So yesterday some life changing news was dropped on Ayron at work. They are taking away the marketing departments hourly wages and going to commission only. This is a big blow to many people. They also fired 4 people. While I do recognize that he still has a job and I am fortunate enough to have a secure job, it is still a blow.

We are looking into several options and wondering if Ayron could get some kind of unemployment compensation to make up for losing his hourly pay. He will be considered an independent contractor now. We are hoping he can then set his own hours and possibly do some work from home. That could help with child care costs.

We have already decided to stop all unnecessary spending. We had already cut way back, but now we are stopping it. Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit, but I would rather be prepared than caught off guard.

Ayron keeps saying he has a calm feeling about everything and I wish I could say that I did. I am not really worried, I just want to know what is going to happen. I want God to send a skywriter to spell it out for me. Maybe an email or text message? Something?

We did pray together for the first time in a long time last night (I am ashamed to admit that) and that did ease my mind and I was able to sleep some. We have already asked some people for advice and I have to wonder why 3 people suggested he go out for the police department.

I know that I need to be grateful for what I have and I am continuing to pray for everyone else effected by this change. I know that others are struggling worse that we are and I pray for them everyday. I just wish I knew His plan.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Big Fight

I have a friend who is getting married this fall and one day while were talking she said, "We haven't had a big fight yet. I want to have one before we get married so we know how each other fights."

As the date for the wedding draws nearer and I watch their relationship grow and strengthen, I can't stop thinking about her comment. I have to wonder if her comment comes from past hurt in previous relationships. I don't see her future husband as the fighting type so I don't see him entering into a battle willingly.

I started to think about my relationship with Ayron and realized that we have never really fought either. Sure, we have petty little tifts about stupid things, but nothing big. Most of our little tifts are due to bad communication or hormones (I am a girl after all, we are allowed to have those days).

We have been together since New Years Eve of 2000/2001. We've survived going away to college, living with his parents, unemployment, tough times, pregnancy, childbirth, traveling at a moments notice (for work), and much more and yet we are still together. It actually does amaze me that we've made it this far. I have no doubt that we are meant for each other, who else would put up with my crap? Seeing as how we haven't ever willingly spent a night apart since we said "I do" I don't see any fights in our future.

I do believe it is important to learn how to "fight" fair. I don't mean physically fight. I think it's important for each person to learn their partner's way of thinking and communicating. A while back our church did a "Mens' Brains Womens' Brains" seminar (over several sessions). It helped me a lot. Men can only have one thought box open at a time. Women have at least 3 or 4 thought boxes open at one time. I have to constantly ask Ayron to "close the 'tv' box" and open the "listen to your wife" box.

If you have never seen the "Mens' Brains Womens' Brains" seminar, I encourage you to search for them on youtube.

So what do you think? Is fighting really necessary?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are they for real?

We recently purchased DishNetwork and it is amazing what is on tv! I found myself caught up in a show on VH1 about celebrities and their "entourage." I was amazed at the people celebrities pay to be their friends? Isn't that really what an entourage is?

For example, P. Diddy pays someone to hold an umbrella. Are P. Diddy's arm's broken? I have to wonder if the umbrella toting friend would be such a great friend if he weren't making $4000 a week.

Whitney Houston pays someone to check the bathwater temperature in hotels. Really? Is she incapable of dipping her toes into the water to judge the temperature?

What has happened to these people that they can no longer do these simple tasks for themselves. I saw another celebrity that pays someone to fasten her shoes. Really? Is bending over THAT difficult? Who fills their head with the garbage that makes them believe that they should pay someone to do simple tasks.

I have to wonder what I would be like if I became a celebrity and hired an "entourage." Who would I hire and what would I have them do? I hate cleaning my glasses at night, so maybe I would hire someone to clean them for me. In the winter I hate pumping gas, so maybe I'd hire someone to do that for me.

Who would you hire and what would you have them do?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Whatever You're Doing

I had never heard of Sanctus Real before this afternoon. I decided to put my headphones on, turn on yahoo radio and tackle the tasks I dislike. The song "Whatever You're Doing" came on and it was like He was beating me upside the head and screaming, "Listen to the words of this song!!" Man, I was blown away.

I know that several of my friends are feeling the same way right now and it is just nice to hear a song that sums it all up!!

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills

So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender... To...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out

Monday, August 03, 2009

House For Sale

I am sad to say that our in-laws have put their house up for sale. I LOVE THE HOUSE! If Ayron and I could afford to buy it, I would. I wouldn't even think twice about it. If you know anyone looking for a house in the Auburn area, check it out. It is a great house, with plenty of space (inside and out).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can't Save Them All

I have learned that I can't save every student that crosses my path. Learning this hasn't stopped me from trying though. While I realize that I have been a bit jaded (this past school year) I need to believe that each student can be helped back onto the path to a productive life. I was reminded this morning that not every student will take (or want) the help that is offered to them.

Three years ago I had a 13 year old kid in my after school program. He was a handful! I always felt like I was banging my head against a wall when it came to him. Nothing seemed to work. I tried to help him in every way possible, but when he, and the family fought us every step of the way, there wasn't much we could do.

This morning I learned that he, along with a 23 year old male, sexual assaulted/beat up/raped a woman. He was arrested as a juvenile and then re-arrested as an adult due to the nature of the crime. I read the article and wanted to vomit. How does someone get so twisted (sick in the head, call it whatever you want) that they feel that is ok to do? Furthermore, what is a 23 year old doing being buddy buddy with a 16 year old? My former student now faces 20 years in prison as an adult and frankly, I hope he gets what he deserves. I know we have tried to utilize EVERY county resource with him and his family and it is not working. Maybe some time behind bars will allow him to realize the errors of his ways.....unfortunately, I doubt it will.

It is sad to give up on someone, but my heart sank a little this morning and I have to wonder if anything will work for him. Please pray for him, the other male involved and more importantly the female they assaulted.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I will not turn and run

This blog was written in an attempt to vent hopefully organize my thoughts.

So work is getting frustrating lately. The other office is growing like crazy and apparently they feel that I should be forgoing what I feel is important to work on their menial tasks. It's just frustrating. I did not go to school for 5 years to not enjoy my job.

I am beginning to wonder if I made the right choice to hang around for another year. I think I know that I will make it, but I also know that it won't be without a fight. I feel like I am taken advantage of, but when I speak up I get labeled "bitchy." I feel like I don't really fit in with most of my co-workers and it's like being back in middle school again. If I take my ipod and listen to my music while I do the crap work, then I am not being social. If I try to participate in their drama filled office, then I get looked at like I am some kind of contagious outsider.

I genuinely asked my boss if I would have time to get things done for my program and he told me
"probably not." So why do my students have to suffer because another office is busy? I need time to rearrange and prepare for this upcoming school year, but apparently no one else sees it but me.

I am trying to pray about this whole situation but it just brings frustration and tears because I don't know if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Do I stay here and put up with another year of being stepped on or do I try get out of dodge while I still have some dignity?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I don't know if I've ignored it in the past or just didn't notice it, but it seems like immaturity is everywhere these days! I think I have just tried to ignore it, but lately it has been too great to ignore any longer.

Why do people think that spreading rumors will make them look good and the person in the rumor bad? Do they not realize that true people realize it is the rumor starter who is the immature one? Rumors only hurt and will eventually backfire, then who looks stupid? The person that started and spread the lie, that is who!

I also have to wonder why people can't just fess up and say, "I screwed up, I'm sorry, what can I do to fix it?" What is with these half attempts at apologies. Why not own your mistakes and do what it takes to fix it. Is pride really that hard to swallow? I know it can be bitter, but it can be swallowed. Why do people then spread loads of bull poo to try to back up their lies? That only adds poo to your pride, and swallowing a poo covered pride is not only more difficult, but nasty as well.

When someone IS willing to admit to their mistakes and ask for help in fixing them, you should be willing to help them. Don't keep pointing out the mistake, they know the mistake, they are trying to fix it!

Rant done!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Missing It

I feel like I am missing something. Like He is trying to show/teach me something and I just can't see/understand it. It's frustrating because I'm pretty sure it is starring me in the face and yet I can't get it. I know that He isn't frustrated with me, but I think I would feel better if He would (even though I know He won't). I don't even have any idea what I am missing, but I know I am missing something. I've prayed, talked, doodled, gotten mad, etc. I don't think He is teaching me patience because I see Him doing that in other areas of my life (work).

I'm aggravated because I know it's just out of my grasp, yet even with all my stretching I can't even get a finger on it. Sometimes I wish I could just wake up and find an email from Him and that email would tell me what is expected of me and what I am supposed to be doing here, that would simplify a lot of things!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coupons, Cutouts, and Creativity (How I save)

I have had several people ask me how I save so much money when I go grocery shopping. It is a multi-step system that I use, and it does take some planning, but I like know that I am saving $!

First, we are attempting to grow our own garden this year, so that works out well for fresh produce. It is expensive to eat healthy food, so we decided to attempt some home grown goodness.
I hate grocery shopping, so I try to do one big trip a month and be done with it. I started by getting organized. Since we do a majority of our shopping at Wal-Mart I created a chart based on the Auburn store lay out. I then created half an envelope for each category on my chart. I labeled each envelope with the same heading from my chart (see pictures below). I hang an empty chart on the fridge after each trip and if we run out of something, I add it to the chart/list.
I then go coupon crazy. I clip every coupon I see. You just never know. It may be something I don't use, but I'm more than happy to pass the savings along to a friend who does use that product. I also use the following sites to gather coupons. is one of my favorites. is another good one. not really my favorite, but I find some good coupons every once in awhile. I use this a lot too.

If I am looking for a coupon for a specific item, I will search that makers website. If you are looking for a dog food coupon, go to the company site that makes the food your dog eats, etc.
I then organize my coupons by putting them in the corresponding envelopes. Coupons for cheese, milk, etc, go in the "dairy" envelope. Coupons for cereal and granola bars goes in the "cereal, Syrup, Pop Tarts, Granola Bars" envelope. Easy enough to understand right?
I then gather the local "in store" ads. Since I work in Angola, I make a point to run out to Meijer and grab an ad. The Kroger ad comes in the mail. I will look for items that we like that are on sale as well as items that we want to try that I already have a coupon for. If I want to try something new, and it's on sale at Kroger, I'll get on line and search for a coupon as well. I cut out the ad and take the clippings with me. Trust me, I know cashiers hate this. I used to be a cashier and I am now the type of customer I hated. It is there job to take care of you at check out, so just pretend to be happy and apologize for the cut outs. When I unload my cart I attempt to put all of the items I have a cut out for at the start of the line. It makes it easier for the cashier. They can get all of the price changes out of the way at first and then fly through the rest. If I have a "buy one, get one" coupon I also hand that to the cashier first so they can remember to write down the amount.

The next step is to plan your meals. I print out a monthly calendar and plan meals based on what is on sale and what I plan to buy. The key to this is flexibility. Who knows what you are going to be craving in two weeks! I allow us to swap nights. Often Ayron will call and say, "I looked at the menu this morning and pasta doesn't sound good. Can we trade tonight for Thursday's meal?" This works really well for us. As I am getting breakfast around, I can glance at the calendar and I immediately know what I need to get around for dinner. If I need chicken, I know to pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw while I am at work. Saves a ton of time! I also build in "fun" meals. Saturday night we always "eat out with the gang" after church. Sunday is always "leftovers or pizza" night. If there aren't any left overs, then we make our own pizza. We'll do breakfast type foods for dinner, or a picnic dinner the park, etc.

After I make my calendar, I double check my chart/list to make sure I have all the ingredients and food needed to make all the meals on the calendar. I will sometimes wait to buy the fresh produce till closer to the night we are eating it. I then pull all the coupons I plan on using and paper clip them to my chart. I always take along all my coupons, but pulling out the ones you already plan on using in advance saves time.

That is how I do it. It takes some time and planning, but I think it take a lot of headache out of the "What am I going to cook for dinner?" situation that would happen every night if I didn't do it.
Here are some other tips that I have.

* Buy generic. It won't kill you to buy the store brand. Now I break this rule when it comes to certain types of foods. I can't eat cheap mac and cheese, I just can't. It's Kraft or nothing! Some of the store brand foods I like better than the name brand. Taylor loves the generic version of "Nutragrain" bars, but will not eat the actual brand kind!
* Ladies, if you can help it, DO NOT TAKE THE KIDS OR YOUR HUSBAND to the store with you!! It's just easier and you're not constantly saying, "Put that back."

* Eat a meal right before you go, that way if you have to take the kids and hubby, they aren't as hungry and they don't start suddenly craving everything they see!

* Take your own bags. I LOVE MY REUSABLE BAGS FROM ALDI'S! If you are buy an Aldi's stop in and get their cloth bags (have a cardboard insert in the bottom). I think I paid $2 for each of them, but they are HUGE and they hold so much more than the reusable Wal-Mart bags!

* Buy in bulk when possible. We have a Sam's Club membership and we buy some things in bulk. I also take this approach when buying meat and cheese. We get a lot of our meat from Albrights. The "Fill the Freezer" pack lasts us forever! We also bought a pork loin (that was already cut into about 20 chops) last night for $10. Tonight I will repackage those into serving sizes and freeze them! We also bought a sirloin roast that was on sale. Ayron will cut it into sirloin steaks, and ta da...We'll get about 8-10 steaks out of it for a total of $10. We eat a lot of cheese, so we buy the GIANT bags at Sam's Club, and then I repackage them into 2 cup sizes (baggies are our friends!) and put them in the freezer.
*Create connections to farmers! We are lucky enough that Ayron's brother does some "mini" farming. They have taken an interest in chicken farming. We recently got 5 chickens for $4 a piece. Can't beat that! In about another two weeks we will get another 10 chickens. They raise them, and then Ayron goes out and helps with the processing. We plan on giving some away as gifts. I have a friend who we are going to quarter at least 1, if not 2 up, and give them to her (pss..Evil Poptart, I'm talking about you!). We also have an Uncle who raises cows and once a year, we all pitch in and buy cow and process it our self. We split the meat up, and that fills our freezer (It helps that we have a HUGE deep freeze) too. We also know a hog farmer who will sell us hogs for cheap. When the fire department is getting ready for a hog roast, we might purchase another one (he sells them to us for cheap since Ayron's brother is a firefighter) and butcher it ourselves. We make roasts, ham, chops, bacon, sausage links, sausage patties, etc. All of this takes some time and effort and the ability to get your hands dirty, but if you have the connections, use them!

So there you have it, that is how I save! Hope it helps all of you out there. If you want my chart for the Auburn Wal-Mart let me know and I will be happy to email it to you!

A pic (taken w/ my phone so the quality is crap) of my chart.

My coupon envelopes. They are just a sealed envelope cut in half.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Plenty of Notice

I require plenty of notice, especially when it comes to work issues. I have a family and several other outside (of work) commitments. My boss is a single guy (lives with girlfriend) who can pick up and go with the drop of a hat. I can't do that. He has, once again, dropped a bomb on me with all of like 1 1/2 notice. He has signed me up for training in Elkhart. It's a week long training. I am going to have to explain to him tomorrow that I cannot go for several reasons.

A.) Short notice
B.) Only one car in our household and if I take it to Elkart, how will Ayron get around?
C.) With Ayron's crazy work schedule, who would take care of TJ?
D.) I don't believe in this training. I don't believe in the effectiveness of the program. I think it is a program the state created to make themselves feel good, but I have yet to see it work. Having this feeling, makes it hard to be excited about going to this training.

So how do I approach with subject with my boss? I plan on asking him if we can meet and I am going to tell him the following: In order for me to attend training I need AT LEAST a month notice. If Ayron is out of town or has an in town auction, I will be unavailable. I will try to remember to up date my schedule on the officer calendar so that he is aware of my schedule. It is very difficult to plan time for me to be away from Auburn due to my other commitments. I would also appreciate being asked if I would like to attend training. I have several things due to state that week and would rather have the time in my office to proof read the final drafts and collect official signatures.

Any advice?

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I am currently experiencing marriage in every phase of it's existence. I have two friends who are engaged and getting married within 3 weeks of each other (and I'm in both!) at opposite ends of the country! Ayron and I are coming up on our 4 year wedding anniversary (been together 8 1/2 years). I am also experiencing the heartache of a marriage ending. I find myself experiencing all the emotions of each stage and it makes me wonder and appreciate my husband all the more.

I have two friends who are getting married this fall and it's fun to watch the planning and be apart of the planning. T and C are getting married Oct. 10th in the Seattle area, and although I've only met her once, I know C is the right one for T. This wedding strikes me as particularly cool for two reasons: we get to travel (actually kind of nervous about that part) to the wedding and I get to stand up front on T's side! Yeppers, I will be standing up with the guys. I think that is cool! D and K are recently engaged and getting married Nov. 7. I will also be upfront (a part of the "fruit salad" of bridesmaids / inside joke). We recently went dress shopping and it was fun to watch D try on all types of dresses. You could tell when she found the one because her demeanor changed, she became quiet and D is not quiet.

It's fun to watch these couples get excited about marriage, about finding their life partner. I get to relive all of those emotions without the stress (no bridezilla freak outs or anything!). I get to be apart of their happiest day and I will do my part to make it a happy day for all! It's fun to see the loving look in their eyes and see how they can't get enough of each other.

Ayron and I are coming up on our 4th anniversary and I tend to find myself looking back in time. I never planned on getting married. I was gonna move to Austria and become a nun (yet another inside joke). I can't believe that in the span of 4 years, we have accomplished and survived so much! We have a house in a great neighborhood (minus the random act of juvenile delinquency), have a dog, and the most surprising thing...a child! It's so cool to know that we created that life and now he is a human. It's just fascinating.

We've survived so many obstacles and it has only made us stronger. We lived with his parents while I finished up student teaching, dealt with a job loss and promotions, the agony of house shopping and the joy of signing the closing paperwork, and we are both now in jobs that we love that allow us to live a comfortable life. Life is good and I am glad that I have a wonderful partner to share it with.

I also have a friend dealing with a not so good side of marriage, a divorce. I know the Bible is against divorce, but I see so many situations where both individuals would be better off if they went their separate ways. I didn't say it would be easy, and it should not be taken lightly, but I feel that in some situations, it is the best option.

I was at my friends house the other day when her soon to be ex came over to get some of his things. I swear I could feel her heart break. I felt like my chest was going to explode with sadness. I just wanted to hold her and tell her it would all be ok. Eventually it will be ok, but right now it is difficult for all involved. I also felt the anger her father was feeling. He was there with us as well and you could read the frustration of his face. I also wonder if he felt some what heartbroken because he wasn't able to protect his baby girl from experiencing this tragic situation.

She has a great out look on life and knows she will eventually find someone who loves her for her and I admire her for that. She has so much more strength than she knows and I pray for her, and him, daily. Just sitting here thinking about the situation, I find myself experiencing some of the emotions she must deal with (no where near to the extent she does) on a daily basis. I just want to wisk her away from this situation and make it all better, but I can't. I have to keep reminding myself that God will use this as a learning experience for all involved.

I will say that after being at her house the other night, I did appreciate my marriage and Ayron a lot more. Living in these stages of marriage (vicariously through my friends) has allowed me to remember how I once felt and deepen my love for Ayron.

Grow Up

I logged onto my blog this morning to moderate comments and found a rather stupid comment from an "anonymous" reader calling my child "fugly." Wow, really mature. Nothing says, "I'm an ignorant moron" than insulting someones child publicly. Grow up! I love the ability to moderate comments and decide to "REJECT" such immature comments from people who don't even have the guts to own up to their idiotic thoughts.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mystery Gift

Last Thursday I came home to find a HUGE box sitting in front of my door. The box weighed 28lbs! Inside the mystery box was a fantastic pedal car, yet no clue as to who sent it. I was still in my detective mode (since my purse had been stolen) so I decided to look up the company on the return address. I then gave Mr. Dixey a call and told him that we had no clue who sent the package and would like to know so we could send a thank you card. Turns out, my mom's cousin Dan saw it in a catalogue and decided that TJ needed one since Ayron now works with classic cars.

We aren't sure if Taylor likes his gift, what do you think?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


(This is my "letter" to the morons who decided to break into cars on IWO street during the early morning hours of June 10, 2009).

Dear Idiots,

I bet you think you are pretty slick. Breaking into several cars, stealing money and a pocket knife. I would like to inform you that you are not slick, you are slimy as well as stupid. I don't know much about stealing, seeing as how I've never done it and never will do it, but I know more than you do.

For instance, if you are going to pick a street to burglarize, don't pick the street that the sheriff, ex sheriff, head of dispatch, 2 local police, 2 sheriff deputies, and 1 state police officer live on. We don't take crime lying down in our town, let alone our street.

I have to wonder why you only took a pocket knife from Mr. M's truck. Were you too blind to see the 4 guns in his backseat and the boxes of ammunition (He had gone to the shooting range that day)? If you wanted to be "armed" so badly that you broke into vehicles, why only take a pocket knife.

Secondly, you used my stolen credit card at 2 gas stations, McDonalds, and two Meijer stores. Let me tell you something....ALL OF THOSE PLACES HAVE CAMERAS. Here is another hint, when someone reports a card stolen and you try to use it, it comes up on the Meijer computer as STOLEN CARD. I bet you didn't know that the Angola Meijer has THE BEST security cameras in the area. Thanks for being dumb enough to steal my card and then use it at the place with the best cameras!

Thank you for ditching my ATM card RIGHT NEXT TO MY BANK. You are moronic. You made me wonder, "Did they try to use my card at the ATM machine? I called the bank and they are running the card now and pulling the video as I type this.

I bet you didn't know that the two police officers they assigned to this case are friends of my husband. One went to high school with Ayron and the other one does some part time security work for the company my husband works for. Thanks! It has been nice catching back up with them as they work to NAIL YOUR BUTT TO THE WALL!!!

Did you know you were robbing someone who works for community corrections and knows the law? Were you expecting me to shrug my shoulders and say "Oh well." I won't! You may have gotten some cash and bought some crap at Meijer, but in the end, JUSTICE WILL WIN. I will not be made to feel insecure and violated in my own home. I will not allow you to make my safe neighborhood feel corrupt. I have talked to all my neighbors, we all know. You better believe when we have a name to match with your slimy face I will tell everyone your name too.


Carma "I'm not afraid of you and your slimy ways" Reeves

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stolen Purse

I woke up this morning to see a police officer talking to a couple who lives across the street. All of the truck doors were open and I told Ayron, "I think someone broke into Meyer's truck."

We piled in the car and got ready to take TJ to the sitter and noticed that some things from the glove box were sitting on the passenger seat. Then I realized that I left my purse in the car last night. I panicked. (Let me backtrack. When I got home yesterday TJ was fussing and I just grabbed him and came into the house. I forgot to go back out and get my purse or lock the car).

I ran across the street and Mr. Meyers met me and we talked. He said he became suspicious when he found a set of keys and small pouch on his wife's car (my keys and my pouch of medicine). I called the police and Officer Fuller came out to my house. He had my keys and my pouch.

When Mr. Meyers gave him the keys, the officer took them out to BP and scanned my reward points tag and discovered they belonged to me. He knew who we were because he went to school with Ayron.

After talking with the police officer, we discovered another car a couple houses down had been broken into as well. I then talked to another neighbor and had them check their car and it was apparent someone had gone through it. We weren't the only one, but we did lose the most. They think it happened between 2 - 4am. The crazy thing is our neighborhood is FULL or barking dogs who go psycho is a leaf moves, yet none of them barked last night.

We immediately called the credit card company and had that card closed. Turns out they used the card at Speedway, McDonalds, the Angola Meijer, a Marathon gas station, and attempted to use it at Mejier on Lima road (by that time we had cancelled the card). We called Speedway and they pulled a tape (who really buys gas at 4:30am?) and the police are reviewing it. They are also reviewing a tape from McDonalds and attempting to get a tape from the Marathon gas station.

We went to the bank and had the checking account closed and found out that they didn't attempt to use my debit card, THANK GOD! The new account is set up and all is taken care of.

Basically, they got away with my library card and $100 in cash. It's just a pain because I spent all morning at the BMV and the social security office, etc.

As I was driving Ayron out to work we witnessed an accident. A driver lost control turning (it was raining) and went up over the sidewalk and down into a ditch. When I gave the 911 dispatcher my name she laughed and asked, "Do you have a police fetish today?" She recognized my name from earlier.

I have to keep reminding myself that I am only out $100. I am still just so mad at myself. I also feel violated. I have my keys, I have my health, my child, my family, etc. but the fact that it happened up and down the street right under our nose and no one heard a thing. I am sitting here with the house all locked up and I keep thinking, "Is that truck driving too slow? Have I seen those people before?" I know that I can't do that, it will only drive me crazy, but I still feel violated.

I hope the videos give the police a license plate number. I don't expect to get the $100 back, but I want justice. Here is what really gets me. My neighbor is an avid hunter and had just come back from target practice last night. He had several shot guns and hand guns in his truck along with ammunition. They didn't touch that, but they took his pocket knife from his center console. They were obviously after cash, and I had it.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Demolition Begins

For those of you who have never been to our house, we have a "back room" that the previous owner called a "4 Seasons" room. The room is only tolerable about 10 days a year. The window are bad, the screen door has a huge gap at the bottom, etc. It needs some help. We had been using it for storage, and more recently we have been leaving the dog out there during the day so he has more room to stretch out while we are gone. He loves having free reign of the old couch out there and enjoys looking at birds out the window.

We decided, some time ago, to redo the room and make it usable space. We are planning on getting a real door, closing off the door to the garage, taking out most of the windows and putting in REAL windows, adding a heating/cooling duct, etc. The ultimate goal is to make that the "media room."

I have been trying to get Ayron to begin demolition on that room since we got our tax refund. Due to traveling, work, illness, etc., it kept getting put off. Ayron tends to see the finished project and not the steps needed along the way. He wanted to just start ripping stuff out this weekend. I managed to make him realize that we need to get the new windows, door, and siding ordered so that we weren't stuck with an open room while we waited on the door (it is an odd sized door and will probably need to be custom made). As we lay in bed last night we made a plan and decided to contact our window guy about windows this afternoon.

This morning I asked Ayron to check on the dog's food and water. Ayron decided to begin demolition a bit early. His head managed to rip a light out of the ceiling! The light fixtures were these two glass covered bulbs that hung down in the center of the room (one at each end). Ayron has always hit his head on them and always complained, yet never replaced the fixtures with something flatter. I am guessing that when I get home, demolition will begin and the first things to go will be the light fixtures!

I need to take some before and after shots of the room. We talked to our real estate appraiser and he said by just making that livable space, painting the garage and front door and updating the shudders, the value of our house will increase by $20,000! I can't wait to get the updates done on the house, then we will tackle the landscaping!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Nobody told me!

I currently have two friends that are pregnant and due within a week of each other. For "L" it is her second (so she knows what to expect), for "K" it is her first.

A couple of weeks ago we had a shower for "K." They were having us tell her stories. It struck me how many people told "horror stories." Really? We we trying to prepare her or scare her? Lord knows I am just as guilty.

I was talking with L his morning about being pregnant again and all that no one tells you until you are either A: pregnant or B: your figure it out on your own. I was thinking back to 6th grade Health class and that video they show you in 4th (or 5th) grade about your "changes."

I don't mean to scare anyone, these are just things that I wish I had known. Not that knowing any of these things before conceiving would have changed my mind about wanting a child, but knowing them might have lessened my surprise!

* No one tells you will give birth twice. Once for the baby and once for all the other stuff. You are relieved that the baby is out and you can relax and then the doctor looks at you and asks you to push again. Doesn't he/she realize that the baby is already out and you are starting to relax and now they want you start pushing again?

* No one tells you about the lovely fishnet pair of boyshort style underpants you will wear after giving birth.

* No one tells you how comfortable those above mentioned underpants actually are! Sure, you'll get some waffle weave imprint on your bum, but they are actually very comfy!

* No one tells you that the hospital only uses white towels. When they helped me to the shower after having Taylor I looked at the nurse and was like, "White? Really? I just gave birth and have nastiest all over me and you want me to use a white towel?"

* No one tells you that you will leak like a stuffed pig for 3-6 weeks after giving birth. Not dealing with that monthly issue for 9 months makes you a wuss when it starts happening again!

* No one tells you that after being pregnant, your bladder will never be the same. A coughing or sneezing fit could send you running for the bathroom. I recommend having a spare pair of underpants in the diaper bag.

* No one tells you that your hair will start doing crazy things. If you've had straight hair, prepare for fuzzy or curly hair. Pregnancy and nursing hormones will cause strange changes.

* No one told me about a peribottle or how I would fall in love with it. I have two, heck I think they are still in the cupboard (They are washed so don't get all grossed out!).

* No one can truly explain how instantly in love you will fall with the goopy covered alien looking thing you just gave birth to.

* No one will tell you about the nights you will stay awake because the baby is sleeping in your arms and you just don't want to put the baby down.

* No one will tell you about how excited a BM can be (for the baby) after days of not having one.

* No one will tell you about the strength you find within when you stop questioning yourself and just let your maternal instincts take over.

* No one will tell you (unless you have a GREAT nurse mid-wife like I did) about how your body will do it's own thing during delivery and how it's better to just let your body go. Your body knows what to do.

* No one tells you how your will fall in love all over again with your husband when you see him hold his first born for the first time.

* No one tells you how silly you look in the middle of the grocery store when you are narrating everything you are doing in cartoon voice to keep your baby happy. No one tells you that you really won't care how silly you look because to your child you are wonderful.

* No one tells you that the person you least expected to help you through labor will become your rock! Thanks Natalee for hanging in there with me! I am still surprised that you didn't pass out!

These are just some things that no one told me. Feel free to add your own to my list.