Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas eve tradition

The kids always sleep out in the living room. I took a video this year. I always want to remember times like these because I know someday they will be grown. Conner brought his radio out and a Beach Boys song was playing in the background. It really was sweet.

The haystack controversy

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas this year? We had a great Christmas. It was quiet with just the four of us staying home and enjoying each others company. One of our favorite things is baking all kinds of goodies to enjoy. This year we made six kinds of cookies to enjoy over the holidays.

A family favorite is haystacks. My Grandma Brown made them and Marty's Dad made them, they are Marty's absolute favorite. I really never eat them personally but Marty and the kids love them. They are the easiest cookie to make, all you do is melt butterscotch chips and pour them over chow mein noodles. Simple enough, watched Grandma do it a million times.

WRONG! Starting a couple of years ago, the chips started burning in the microwave. No matter what power or how short a cooking time, the chips would burn. So I switched to melting the chips in a double boiler, but still the wouldn't melt and tended to be chalky. My haystacks would crumble.

I found several recipes online and most of them called for peanut butter mixed in. I tried that and they crumbled. One year, my Dad came and told me to melt the peanut butter. WAH LA, success the chips melted and you couldn't taste the peanut butter. I would put the peanut butter in the double boiler and melt it, then melt the chips pouring the peanut butter slowly in.

I was talking to my cousin Sarah on the phone. Their haystacks crumbled and there was quite the difference of opinions on how to make them. One thing we all agree on is, Nestle must have changed their recipe within the last several years because the chips just won't melt. One aunt thinks you put parafin in, one aunt thinks butter, everyone else thinks just the butterscotch chips. This year even melting the peanut butter in the chips wouldn't melt. So I added some cooking oil and was successful. I guess my other cousin burned her chips and my cousin Sarah said their's crumbled.

I am going to forward this blog to Nestle customer service. We all want to know what happened. Here is a picture of my new placemats made by Elizabeth, my new dishes from Marty and the cookie in question.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010 Fun facts

It's that time of year again, time for our annual Christmas letter. Once again I am not sending out cards this year, I am trying to keep the stress level at a minimum and this was one thing that can be put off. So the Christmas letter is a Christmas blog once again.

This year we will give you some Timms family fun facts!

Fun fact: This is our 17th Christmas together

Fun fact: Marty and I got engaged on December 7th, 1994 and actually wanted to get married on December 7th, 1996 but changed our minds. I am glad we didn't do that now, we wouldn't have ever been able to have the great anniversary trips or nights out.

Fun fact: Almost all of our parent's birthdays are in December. My Dad on the 20th, My mom on the 24th and his dad's was the 31st. My Gramie also had a birthday on Christmas day.

Fun fact: this is our 14th Christmas married

Fun fact:  This is our 13th Christmas as parents

Fun fact: Conner was actually due December 17th but in true Conner fashion he was a month early. I am really glad for that now! He gets a birthday and Christmas instead of both smooshed together.

Fun fact: This is our 11th Christmas living in Visalia

Fun fact: This is our 10th Christmas as parents of a daughter

Fun fact from Elizabeth: "Daddy eats all the cookies before Christmas"

Fun fact: Marty and Conner's favorite Christmas song is "Little Drummer Boy". Marty loves it because his best Christmas memory is laying in his Dad's bed with the radio playing that song in the background.

Fun fact: Elizabeth's favorite Christmas song is "Joy to the world" and Julie can't pick just one

Fun fact: On Christmas eve starting at 8pm we will watch as much of the 24 hours of a Christmas Story marathon as we can.

Fun fact: We sleep out in the living room on Christmas eve.

Fun fact from Conner: " We play hide the pickle on Christmas day. Momma's grandma always did this and we do too."

Fun fact: our dog Max is celebrating his 9th Christmas with our family and those who know him, know this is a small miracle.

Fun fact: our dog Oscar is celebrating his 4th Christmas with our family and loving laying by the fire each night.

Fun fact: Conner loves Christmas lights and every year decorates the bush in front of our house. We call it his "Christmas bush"

Fun fact: this is our first year EVER that we are all done shopping and all the gifts are wrapped before Christmas eve.

Fun fact: we bake lots of cookies and goodies this time of year. Marty and Conner's favorite are haystacks, Julie's favorite are buckeyes and Elizabeth loves decorated sugar cookies.


It has been a great year for our family. Conner is now a teenager, so hard to believe and something that makes us a bit verklempt. Elizabeth is now 10 and growing into quite the young lady. Marty is still working for the state and I am still staying home and homeschooling amongst other things.

We were able to make our triumphant return to Southern California after a two year hiatus. It was fun to be with our family and celebrate the wedding of Julie's cousin Marissa.

  We also got to see many old friends, many of whom we hadn't seen in 15 years plus. We also got to spend time with our good friend's the Jasso's and the Rytky's, our families have become friends over the last four years.

 It was nice to be back in our old hometowns. Our favorite highlight of one trip was taking the kids to every school we attended and showing them the landmarks of our youth.  Marty's favorite part was showing the kids his old home

Julie's favorite part was taking the kids to see where we were married at the Disneyland hotel. I must admit and this will shock nobody that I had a good cry, taking our kids to see the spot where it all began.

The kids highlight was being able to go to Disneyland with Grandma after a few years of not being able to go. They had a great time while we attended the wedding. We were able to go back to see World of Color as a family the next day.

Over all, it has been a long year for the Timms family. Full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But through it all there has been much love, joy, faith and happiness. We are thankful for all of you, our friends who have supported us and been cheering us on along the way. We wish all of you a merry Christmas and a very Happy 2011.

Julie, Marty,Conner and Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not our turn

Stanford called and the pancreas will go to the first offer. We are at complete peace with this and pretty much had felt this was the way things would go. It was great practice for the real thing and just what we needed. Our spirits are lifted, our confidence has returned, we know, he is next! What a shot in the arm, just what the doctor ordered.

  We now feel joy and complete happiness for the person whose life will change today. We all know, we have been praying for the donor and their family. It wasn't the right person and it wasn't God's appointed time. We were scheduled to go to our homeschool Christmas party yesterday. I was out running errands in the rainy mess. Several streets and even our freeway have been flooded. The party was out in the country and I felt unsafe driving there by myself. Marty was going to stay home with Conner who is sick. I called to cancel because I just had a feeling, I wasn't supposed to go. Twenty minutes later, the call came and I knew why. I had to text people, call people, make arrangments for the kids,. Larry and Joyce, the retired couple from church who are the primary for watching the kids cannot watch them. Larry is in ICU on a ventilator waiting for quad bypass surgery. My mom who is going to care for them long term has a houseful of company. My Dad has to work. But, our good friends Becky and Greg stepped up as well as our friend's Stacy and Jim. Then Rachel aka crazy Rachel offered to drive and pick them up for my parents. We called our friend Matt who has banking duties and put him on alert.

 It just wasn't quite settled, so we knew it wasn't time. Good news, my binder worked great( I have a binder with household information, medical releases and all the pertinent information to run our house) and we all got bags packed in record time. Everything went smoothly in that department. I feel like we are now truly ready for the call to come.

  The good thing to come from this is the overwhelming relief, joy and hope. We know they know our number, we know he is next in line, we felt lifted and supported yesterday. We are just joyful and at complete peace. We are glad to be home to care for Conner and have Christmas together.

 We know God is sovereign and at his appointed time, everything will fall into place. Thank you all for your support, we feel each one of you holding us up!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stanford called for real!

Last week, Elizabeth was playing Angry Birds on my phone. Marty and I were doing a exchange in our room. Elizabeth came in, pale, shaken and teary eyed. She said, " I was coming to give you the phone when I heared God say to me, " go tell your parents your Dad is going to get his call in a month." I heard him mommy, I really did."

I hugged her and told her we belived her. The look on her face said it all, she really heard that. We all prayed together and knew it might not happen.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Marty and I were doing a exchange when the phone rang. It was Stanford asking to speak to him. They were asking about insurance, if he has been sick, we just assumed they were doing their check in. The lady spoke to me and stated, "you understand this is a offer, he is on standby. We have two others ahead of him but if they dont pass their criteria he is next." We will know in 24hrs if this is our turn. If not, it was great practice.

We have called, texted, blogged and set everything up for the kids care. We are ready to go if need be.

If you remember in October, my friend from Georgia saying a call would come in 48 to 72 hours. Then in 72 hours my friend Michelle called crying saying God told her everything was in place. Then my friend in Maryland said December 15th, the next day is when Elizabeth came crying. We know God is working and we are hopeful the end is near.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hustle and Bustle

Ahh, the holidays there is nothing like them. If you are a faithful blog reader, you will know that I love the holidays and the traditions they hold. My family loves Christmas and I grew up with super festivities every year and many traditions to pass on. My kids now thirteen and ten are sticklers and remind me what is a must have tradition.

We added the stocking exchange but skipped the town Christmas parade. Instead, we went to the historic Fox Theater and watched our favorite Christmas movie "A Christmas Story" on the big screen. We had so much fun listening to the organ prelude which harkened back to the days when going to the movies was a big deal. We laughed and recited our favorite lines in the appropriate places.  Definitely a great memory.

Friday my mom came for a short visit to celebrate Christmas with my little family. We took the kids down the street to a nursing home which has put up millions of lights. This used to be a nursing home with a bad reputation in our town. It was bought over the summer and we have been watching them build gardens throughout the summer. To our surprise after Thanksgiving lights started to go up, everyday we pass by and more and more lights would appear. They offered a open house this weekend complete with Santa falling from the night sky ( this was canceled due to rain, but Santa was going to be parachuting.) So we took my two year old great nephew to view the lights and we very impressed.

 What a great service to the elderly and their family, also to the neighbors who get to drive by each day. There is nothing like this in our community and we were very impressed. They had a barn with live goats and nativity. A house with Santa and Mrs.Claus, snow machines going, a gingerbread house, painted streets and so much more.

Then last night we attended a Christmas musical at our good friend's church. We have two sets of friends who attended church with us years ago and now go to the same church. It was great to see their kids singing, one friend running a puppet show, her daughters acting in a skit. One friend played drums and shared his emotional testimony of losing his sister. It was really a wonderful night and great to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus birth.

We ate soup and tamales, watched old movies. It has been a great week before Christmas. One last party to attend tomorrow and then we will settle in and enjoy the holiday very quietly. It is the perfect year to try new things and to skip out on some things. We needed a change this Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010


 I got this in a email from my friend Traci after my last blog. It really moved me and I thought it should be passed along, since many of us are going through trials. Traci is a hero of mine, one of my sisters of the heart and a true inspiration. Her son Josh has Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy and she is a full time caregiver for him, a homeschooling mom to her other two sons. When she speaks, I listen because she has dealt with things I could never deal with, doing so very honorably and courageously.

The Secret Place

From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
February 14, 2005

“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear
in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.”  Matthew 10:27

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him.  Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him.  “What I tell you in darkness”—watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut.  Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God?  Then remain quiet.  If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen.  Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed.  If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying.  When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.
After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight I hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation—What a long time I was in hearing that!  How slow I have been in understanding that!  And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

just one more thing

We got a call yesterday. Marty didn't pass his dialysis clearance, meaning he is getting adequate dialysis. So now we have to add another treatment or more fluid. For now, we will go to five treatments a day until we can get bigger bags of fluid.

 We feel very battered and bruised this week. One more thing to add to the growing list of things happening unfavorably. It is tough when you are doing everything they tell you and still feeling badly. This could be the reason for some of his other issues but he just feels discouraged and down.

Please pray for us during this time. We are weary and frayed around the edges. We just want this to all be over and move on.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The answer is not now

We got a form letter of sorts from UC Davis in the mail on Saturday. Their decision is to not list Marty at this time. The reasoning? he needs to lose 15 pounds, have 100 percent compliance with his hemo dialysis regimen and good lab values.

Wait, back up......hemo dialysis? he doesn't even do hemo dialysis! He does peritoneal dialysis and every treatment daily.

This is just what we needed, the door being shut. Obviously, we already knew UC Davis wasn't going to be a fit for us when we left there. This just sealed the deal.

The didn't even know the wait time for Kidney/Pancreas and seemed unwilling to do that transplant.

So we are waiting and sticking with Stanford. Our trip to Davis did show me what a better fit Stanford is and how their patient treatment is bar none.

Marty is scared this will cause problems with Stanford. I intend to call them this week and check in......again, asking if their is ANYTHING we need to know or can do. Marty was very discouraged, he is starting to feel like he may never get this transplant and it is tough watching his health get worse while waiting.

All we can do is pray and know that God's timing is perfect timing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New tradition

We have many traditions at Christmas, sometimes almost too many to keep up with at times. This year Marty came up with a new tradition, a stocking exchange. Now that the kids are older stockings aren't the same and Marty and I never buy anything for ourselves.

  So we drew names, went to the dollar tree and spent a set amount of money. It was fun and the secret keeping around here has hit a new high which adds to the fun. The kids loved being able to participate and everyone already agrees this is a keeper.

I will let you know how it turns out!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Did you know?

You can sign up and get my posts straight to your email. Up in the right hand corner it says "Subscribe By Email" click on the link and enter your email address. Never miss a blog again!

I guess nobody enjoys the silence!

You love me, you really do! ( my best Sally Fields impression), I guess everyone loves the chatty Julie and when I get quiet they know, something is off. I am okay ;)

Yes, I have been a bit down and discouraged lately. Marty recently had a new problem crop up that is a bit scary to us. We just wonder, how much more? Why us? Can't we have a break now? Just seems like more and more is going wrong and the transplant just doesn't seem to be coming fast enough. We are really hanging on by a thread.

On top of that, life is just really busy. For the first time in my adult life, I have done all of my shopping and have everything wrapped. Doing laundry everyday this week because my washer was leaking last week. Teaching school. Plus, Marty is home from work right now and we are all four home all the time, which translates...........my house is messy!

I recently met a new woman in our church. She told me she wanted me to help with women's events, she didn't know me but every time she sees me, I am smiling and happy even in the hard stuff. So, even though I am quiet, I am still smiling and happy.

Thanks for loving me and worrying about me. It really means the world to me to know, people really do care!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The end of NaBloPoMo 2010

This month has flown by, seems like just yesterday it was starting and now it is finished. This was a different year of NaBlo for me, the first time both parents and Marty read along.  It was fun having them cheer me on with my blogging and encouraging me to blog.  In fact, this month was my highest rated month ever on my blog tracker, I had over 1121 hits on my blog this month. WOW! That many people read this thing?

Congrats to Di who made it through another year, we both missed Andrea this year. My friend Sam did a great job posting, her first time ever participating. It is fun when your friends blog along and encourage you to blog.

I am glad to not have to blog tomorrow, I am sure all of you are glad also. I still have several fresh blogs in my head and am sure my hiatus won't be too long!

Thanks for reading and supporting me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sob sisters

I have a few friends who wanted to know what this means. In our family we have a long running quip about those of us who are always crying at touching things. We call each other sob sisters, it is a term of endearment of sorts. We are the one's who always cry at songs, movies, weddings, funerals and emotional things of all sorts. I think we get it from Grandpa, he was tender hearted. I am sure Grandma came up with the term, not really sure but I am guessing it came from her.

My first real memory of sob sister moment was when Aunt Maggie got married. Grandpa is crying walking her down the aisle and she says all she could see was Brianne, Rissa,Aunt Al and I all with our backs shaking in the front row because we were all sobbing. Maggie who is a sob sister, didn't cry at her own wedding and neither did I. But we all cried boat loads at Rissa's wedding.

My fellow sob sisters are Aunt Alison, Aunt Patty, Aunt Maggie, Brianne, Rissa and Caiti ( my Dad is a sob sister but he would NEVER admit that). If they cry, guaranteed I am going to be crying with them. It's just how we are, we have to cry or our heads would explode. I cry at movies, commercials, other people's sad stories, just about anything including Snoopy Come Home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Grandma Brown's Cheese potato soup

From my lovely aunt Patty and aunt Al.

8 potatoes peeled and boiled
1/2 white onion chopped
3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of Campbell's cheddar cheese soup ( if you want thicker soup you can add another can)
bacon fried and crumbled for topping ( save the oil)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
garlic to taste

Boil potatoes with onion chopped,salt, pepper and garlic to taste. When they are done, drain off half the water and take a small bowlful out and cut into small chunks. Mash the rest of the potatos until it becomes like a thick soup. Add grated cheese to soup.  Add more salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Add a very small bit of the bacon grease for flavor. Stir back in potato chunks. Serve with bacon crumbles as garnish.

I guess we all make it a bit differently. That's a whole nother blog in itself.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quiet day

Just having a quiet day, relaxing and just being. We are watching movies and just being lazy, it feels good to be lazy after all the hub bub of the holiday. We are just enjoying being together as a family! I am running out of blogging juice, good thing there is only a few more days left. Have a good day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who doesn't love a good Conner story?

A few weeks ago, Marty the kids and I were sitting in the living room chatting. Marty loves to joke and tease constantly. One of his favorite things to joke about is cremation.....I know, a bit bizarre. His big thing is, when he dies he wants to be cremated and he wants me to have him put in a locket and to wear him. It is a funny joke that we go back and forth with.

We were joking and I was showing him lockets online. Conner pipes in and says, " Well you know, they only cremate your arms." We both jerked our heads and looked at him shocked, holding in the hysterics. " What do you mean they only cremate your arms? Where did you get that idea?", Marty said.

Conner," Well, you actually get to choose, if there's not enough room they might just do your nose or your head?" by this time we are laughing hysterically. " Again, where did you get this idea?", I said.

Conner says, " I was creative thinking!"

There ya have it, Conner was "creative thinking" about cremation. We are still laughing about it a month later.

There also is "productive thinking" which is what he told me one day  when I found him spacing out during school. Not to be confused with "creative thinking" apparently "productive thinking" is something entirely different!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

I have many things to be thankful for. Instead of doing thirty days of thanks on Facebook, I thought that I would write them out here today instead;

I am thankful for

1. Marty
2. Conner and Elizabeth
3. My parents
4. My aunts and uncles
5. My cousins
6. my many wonderful sisters of the heart
7. my many wonderful friends
8. a roof over my head
9. Marty's job that allows me to stay home
10. health and healthy kids
11. our church family
12. food in the cupboard
13. our dogs
14. laughter and joy
15. memories of my grandparents
16. insurance
17. dialysis that can be done at home
18. That Marty has never had a infection
19. for the donor and their family
20. for the doctors and medical staff who care for Marty
21. our flex spending grant
22. our homeschool group
23. that we got to go home twice this year ( maybe more as the year goes on?)
24. that I got to see many old friends this year
25. the kids are making great progress in school especially Conner
26. the kids are learning to cook and often give me a break
27. for new friends
28. Facebook the helps me have a outlet
29. for my prayer group of 10 special ladies
30. For you my blog reader

Phew, that was tough!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Time machine Tuesday

I was looking for today's post and found this one, it is a cute picture into our life back in 2006. Two cute kid stories and a sad one for me. click on the date 10-26-06

Monday, November 22, 2010

Have you ever wanted?

Have you ever wanted something to be different, but it isn't? That is how I feel about one certain area of my life. I wish that I could change it but I can't. I have tried to change things and failed miserably, I have begged and pleaded to the point of groveling.I have prayed and prayed for things to change but that is not God's will for me, right now.

 Instead of wallowing in self pity, harboring anger, I just have forgiven and forgotten. Instead, I choose to focus on what is good and not bad. I am thankful for the many things God has given me and shown me. I am blessed a thousand times over, than the two things I have lost.

 Actually, in many ways, it is less stressful and difficult this way. You cannot change people or the way they treat you, but you can change the way you react to it! In fact, because of a choice someone made, I was able to write this blog. That is a blessing!

15 minutes to spare

It's not NaBloPoMo unless I coast in once or twice. Busy day today, church and then the Packers/Vikings game. Our good friend Rachel came to stay with us this weekend and went to church with us today. It was great having her there and to have my old friend meet some of my new friends. In fact, my bff Heather saw Rachel and said, "your Crazy Rachel, I recognized you from your picture!" Pastor Ron gave a great message today too! I better not write too much, I need to hit publish before midnight!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why Christmas music makes me cry

I am shocked, I have probably close to 50 blogs about my Grandparents dying but not one on why Christmas music makes me cry. I thought I did but upon digging, I couldn't find one. So I will write one.

My Grandma loved Christmas, it was her favorite holiday. She ended up getting sick on Christmas day which was probably the hardest part besides her dying. Her favorite day of all is now a hard memory. My Grandpa would sit at the kitchen table or the dining room table and sing to us grandkids.

He loved to whistle and sing, he especially loved Gene Autry. Some of my favorite memories are him singing, "Here Comes Santa Clause" or " Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" to us as little kids. "Santa Clause is coming to town" was a staple.

I will never forget the first year without them. I was shopping in Target and I heard, " White Christmas" and just started bawling. My best friend Heather called my cell at that moment and I think she thought I was insane standing in Target bawling my head off. That year "I'll Be Home For Christmas" was one I couldn't even listen to because their house had just been sold.

Even last year, my cousin Rissa called me bawling from a mall parking lot because she heard a song that reminded her of Grandma and Grandpa. Actually, this goes for many songs even beyond Christmas songs, singers and standards were their faves and many of those songs. On Rissa's wedding day, we bawled our way through the mass while hearing the hymns that reminded us of them. Then sitting at the reception I heard a song and was fighting the tears, my aunt Patty just looked at me like "don't start". That is a whole nother blog, actually what I was going to write about today, Sob sisters.

Anyways, this year will be the fifth anniversary of our last Christmas and times with them. I actually don't think this will ever go away. My Gramie's birthday was Christmas day and I always miss her. Marty's dad loved Christmas and Christmas music also, in fact his last day alive in January he was singing "Silver Bells" while baking cookies. Marty just heard "Pretty Paper" which always reminds him of his dad.

Holidays are wonderful, they are about traditions and Christ's birth. But for some, it holds many happy memories that remind us of the past. If anything, while they are sad tears, they are happy tears also.

As I am posting this, Elizabeth says, "Hurry turn it off before she cries!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Elizabeth's turn

Elizabeth is doing great these days, definitely a pre-teen for sure. Girls sure do mature a lot faster than boys, that is for sure. She is into sewing, our good friend "aunt B" from church takes her every few weeks to teach her. She has almost bypassed me in sewing skills. She made a blanket for my good friend Heather's new baby Chloe.

She loves to write, write, write. This week she wrote a jingle for her vet service to the tune of "Feliz Navidad", she wants to be a vet someday and is planning ahead. She really has ambitions to go to UC Davis and become a small animal vet. Her jingle is really cute.

She also has a penchant for collecting "recieps", no, I didn't mispell that. She calls recipes, "recieps" and it cracks Marty and I up all the time. She cleaned out a binder of mine to put recipes in and is always reading up on new dishes. I love seeing this from her, it is really cute.

She loves to sketch fashions, something I used to do all the time. She loves clothes and is a girly girl for sure, way more than I ever was. 

Reading is something we have in common and she reads just as fast as I do. She loves reading books and going to the library to find new books. I cannot wait for the day she wants to read Anne of Green Gables, so far, no luck on that.

She excells in all things language and really isn't bad at math either. School is easy for her and I am envisioning she will start picking her own curriculum very soon. She has a definite plan that she likes to go by and that often differs from my plan. Since she knows her own strengths she likes to lean toward certain activities. Since this isn't bad, I don't mind letting her lead as long as we get the requirements met.

She is her father's daughter, just as I am mine. She has Marty's personality for sure, those two are thick as thieves. They love to spend their days joking and being extremely irreverant about bodly functions. That is something the opposite of my Dad and I, we like to talk about reading, politics and things of intellect. Marty and Elizabeth like to talk about farting. They have been having great fun with him being home.  They like to have fun and laugh together.

She is very independent, stubborn and funny. She definitely has a mind of her own and can be very hard to sway. She isn't a lovey dovey emo person like her momma at all. She is her own person and we love that part of her personality. 

That's the update, lots of changes but one thing remains the same..........she has the world's messiest room! Now that is something she gets from me!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grammatically prejudiced

We recently got rid of our home phone service and switched carriers. We got new cell phones and decided to sell the old ones on Craigslist. I did this once before and couldn't believe the response we got almost immediately.

So, I listed them and instantly got responses. I sold one in fifteen minutes and was on the way home when I received a call for the other. He said, he would call back later and when he did Marty inadvertently told him it was sold. OOPS!

I got home and had several emails from other buyers. The only problem was, most of them were unintelligible. My favorite was, " Do U still hv ur fone? cuss I want to buy itt." or "do you stil have you fone?" seriously? this is a business transaction of sorts, no place for "text" speak.

So call me rude, call me grammatically prejudiced, I refused to answer those emails. I got a very nice email from a very nice lady and sold it to her instead. So there, I will admit it, I am prejudice towards poor grammar.

A/N seriously, if you get a new phone sell the old one on Craiglist, You would be surprised at how many calls you get.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

5th blogoversary!

  Today is my fifth blogging anniversary. I started reading Andrea's blog in 2004, I wondered what is a blog? she was writing her masters dissertation on blogging. After a while, I thought to myself, " This is pretty cool, I want to do this."

 So back in 2005 I joined the masses on Myspace and discovered  there was a blog feature. So I started writing blogs about life around my house. One month into blogging it became a powerful tool in my life. My Grandmother got sick and passed away, six weeks later Grandpa passed away and my mom had a tumor removed. It got me through what was then, the hardest time in my life. Back then, my cousin Andy, My cousin Jill and my friends from high school Lenice and Ruben were my faithful readers. Poor Lenice, she read blogs about my grandparents dying for at least a year.

  I was doing well over there but not everyone had a Myspace. Through Andrea's blog, I met Di and started reading her blog on Blogger. So I decided to move my blog over here so the masses could read. Really, it killed my readership but gave me more options and features.

  As time has gone on, it has become a book on grief, a childhood memoir for my kids, a book on the wait for Marty's  transplant. Somewhere in there I am slowly writing a autobiography of sorts of myself. I have made two wonderful friends, been able to learn a new hobby and share our life with those around us.

I went from being a poor writer with poor grammar to a slightly better writer with hopefully better grammar. I can go back, read old blogs and see the difference. I am actually trying to go back and edit the older posts for structure and punctuation.

 Thanks to everyone who supports me in this endeavor, I always love hearing " I read your blog!" and getting comments with advice or support.

I always love reading blogs from start to finish here is the link to My very first blog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time Machine Tuesday

Today is going to be all about Princess Di in honor of William's engagement. I have a few blogs that I wrote about her. If you want to look at his engagement pictures click on the blog title.

When I found out about the Concert for Di

The Story of me and Di ( Where I was when I heard the news)

The Day of the Concert for Di

While we are at it, my favorite all time picture of Princess Di

psst.....I may or may not have a wedding picture just like it.

Enjoy the Silence

I have been in a quiet mood lately, just don't have much to say these days. I am a life long talker, a talkers talker, I love to talk. I think that I was born talking. They used to set me on the center of the table at Grandma's and I would hold court. My cousin Brianne and I would talk sun up to sun down. I usually have a lot to say, but not lately. I am spending a lot of time in prayer and reflection. I used to talk on the phone a lot but not recently, I have been having days where I don't make a call. In fact, we decided to get rid of our home phone because it is a waste of money. I am sure my talking mood will come back and I will have plenty to say. For now,
Enjoy The Silence.

PS Who doesn't love a little Depeche Mode?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy 13th birthday Conner!

Click here to view the 10th birthday slideshow

Where does time go? I can tell you it flies by. One day you are having a baby, the next you are struggling with a curious, mischevious toddler and then BAM! They are a teenager. It really just goes so fast and you really find yourself wanting it all back.  I was talking with a good friend last night and she was saying how emotional birthdays get after your kids hit the teen years. I have been crying since my kids turned ten because I see time slipping away. The scales are now tipped, we are officially on the other side of the parenting world.

The other day we were discussing Conner's math work and where he needed to go. Then I told him, " We only have five years left of school." That really threw me for a loop, five years, five years is nothing! I remember often thinking the first five years of Conner's life went so slow. I often tell people, before Conner was five, I thought I would have a nervous breakdown. He was such a handful! But now the time seems like a drop in the bucket.

If you know him, you love him. He is such a sweet boy, very caring about all of those around him. He is so funny, witty and silly. He literally cracks Marty, E and I up everyday with his "Connerisms" and outlook on life. He has many friends in this world because of his bright outlook on life. I really hope and pray he stays just the way he is the rest of his life. He is our pride and joy! We love him so much.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

When your friends have kids

I never really imagined this part of my life. I always imagined getting married, I always wanted children, I had a nephew very young and didn't imagine that part of my life. But, I never imagined that my friends kids would be such a huge part of my life.

Growing up, my parents had a good friend Jim Fitz and he was a huge part of our lives. He was my sisters youth minister and eventually just became family. He was a playmate of sorts for Carrie and I, always at our house and being himself ( You really have to know him). When I got older, I babysat his kids and they were the first non family kids that I loved like my own. Jim and his wife Jen were there for me in high school giving me a job, teaching me how to drive, picking me up from school. Their kids were in my wedding and they were there for me then. They were a huge part of my life growing up.

It never occured to me that someday, I would get to have the privilege of being a part of kids lives. We have been able to have several close family friends with kids. We have been able to see them grow up along with our children. I love them all so much, they are like nieces and nephews to me. It is fun to know them and have relationships with them.

We love seeing Zak and Liv's plays, tonight we watched Maddie go to her first dance and on her first date. On Monday, we got to meet baby Chloe a new addition to my friend Heather's family. We have seen our homeschooling friends graduate kids. I love going on Facebook and seeing pictures of friends kids or reading some of their moms blog about them.

What a unexpected blessing in life and I am grateful to have the experience!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quite the wake up call

So this morning my phone rang at 7:40 am. It was my Danielle from Georgia quite anxious. She said she had the strongest feeling in her gut to call. She thought she should wait until later but she had it so heavy on her heart.

Basically, she feels Marty is going to get a call in the next 48-72 hours. She felt God urging her to tell us that. She didnt know about what but a call.

What she didn't know was the other day at UC Davis we learned something new. Most donations take two to three days to process. The coordinator says don't expect a call on a holiday but two or three days later. Also she says more calls come at 3am than any other time.

I wonder if there is a match? I wonder if the call is coming? I wonder if God just wanted her to tell us but it was more for her? I believe her. So many people who know me will tell you; I often get these kinds of feelings about people. I definitely know the feeling and anxiety of not wanting to say weird things to people.

So we are now praying that this means something and hope you will too.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

My time at the Happiest Place on Earth

 I cannot believe in five years of having a blog and four years of writing NaBloPoMo that I have never written about my time at Disneyland. Especially since November is the month I started working there. So in honor of 16 years of being a former Cast Member, I will share some of the story.

  When I was nine years old my sister Kim got a job at Disneyland. My family already loved Disneyland and went often but this one event turned us into Disney fanatics. We went to several major events there such a Balloonfest, Hands Across America ( we were on Main Street, this would later hold meaning), The Captain EO and Star Tours openings where the park was open for 24 hours. She soon got bored with the job and quit, we missed the perk of getting in free

. So in 1987 my mom applied for a job and started working in the finance department at the Park. This was life changing for our family. Soon Disneyland became our playground and sometimes baby sitter on days off from school. My mom would often sign us in with friends and go off to work, feed us dinner at Plaza Inn after and take us home. Even a couple of Thanksgivings were spent eating at the Plaza Inn.

 So when it was time for me to get my first job, it was very obvious where I would work.........Disneyland of course, was there any other job? I got hired in November of 1994 to be a Merchandise Hostess on Main Street. At first, I was a little disappointed but that quickly faded since I loved the costume. My first day of training I met with several other new hires who turned out to be the same age. We quickly became a tight little group of friends.

 I remember our trainers David and Shelly taking us into the Candy Palace during rush and feeling like I would be fired on the first day for going so slow and not knowing how to handle cash! I remember one of my first scheduled shifts was working Thanksgiving day in Candy Palace, I was so sad to not be home with my family for the first time ever. People were rude, wanting to get out and enjoy the park, not wanting to deal with a slow newbie.

There were stroller shifts at midnight wiping down dirty strollers as they were turned in for the day or working Souvies in the Emporium at one in the morning as people shoved and pushed. There was Newstand half in and half out of the Park. Stocking plush, folding t-shirts on the t-shirt wall, cleaning up all the mess at the end of the day.  Working Grad nights where you don't see a soul until 4 o'clock in the morning when you were about to fall asleep. Actually, Grad nights were the best because we would have a pot luck in the closet of New Century Jewelry every night. Watching the fireworks in Timepieces when our friend Bonnie would march and sing to the finale number.

We would get to work and have to change into our costumes, we shared locker rooms in the Space Mountain building. I remember one night running up the stairs and slamming the doors on my friend Michelle and getting my finger stuck, I was laying on the floor in pain and Erika stepped over me and got ticked because I was blocking her locker. We would all gather and go out to Denny's at 3 am to hang out some more. Since we weren't able to leave and needed to get there early to change, we ended up spending ten hours a day together with no breaks.  We all became good friends and shared in many life experiences together.

I remember the first Christmas at the park, I got engaged and so did Becky. We ended up marrying within months of each other and becoming pregnant within months of each other. We threw wedding showers and baby showers, birthday lunches and potlucks together.  Eventually some of us became tighter when the stores were broken down into divisions. My group was the Collectibles group, we worked in China Closet, Sillohouettes,Timepieces, New Century Jewelry, Disneyana and The Gallery. I worked in Sillohouettes when I was pregnant with Conner and in fact, tried to ER to no avail the night I went to into labor with him. I will never forget they had torn up the parking lot to build CA Adventure and we were being driven around in golf carts, my co-worker Dorie screamed" Slow down, do you want her to go into labor?" to the parking lot driver and then I went home and went into labor.

After maternity leave, I worked in stock and stocked all the stores in my division. I worked with my friends Don,Anna and Sue everyday, it was a fun time. Getting there at 5 am and making coffee for everyone, having a Wiser Miser at the Inn Between for breakfast each morning and roaming the Park when no guests were there.

There is nothing like seeing Disneyland empty, it is a very surreal experience to say the least. Of course, I have also seen Disneyland at it's capacity to the point, they shut the park down. There is nothing like trying to cross Main Street in a sea of 80,0000 people.

Marty worked there for a year during the five years when I did. We never really worked together since he mainly worked in strollers. We did get to share in some of the experience together and he became friends with a few of our co-workers also.

I wish that I could share annual passholder stories, those are some of the most interesting people. That would be a blog in itself. I doubt it would be appropriate to share though.

I left Disneyland when I moved to Visalia. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I loved my time there and truthfully would probably be a "lifer" had I not moved. Disneyland was my college experience, I got married when I worked there ( at the Disneyland Hotel to boot), I had my first child while working there. My fellow Cast members were like extended family and I am so glad to still be able to call them my friends. I have many fond memories of my Cast Member years and times at the Park. It truly is my old stomping grounds, when I go back it is always like going home. Not many can say they have worked there and it truly is a honor to say that I have.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday part 2

Wordless Wednesday

Time machine Tuesday

Author's note; Here is the link to the Rock the Cashbox blog.

I needed a laugh today, I was trying to find the post where one time while driving down the road and listening to First Wave,  Conner was singing "Rock the Cashbox" but couldn't find that one. I did find this post where Conner went around singing "That's propole" for a week instead of "That's Amore".  For the first time a week or so ago, I heard him singing the right lyrics to this song. The grow up so fast.

Click on the title of this blog and it will take you back in time. It has a cute video of Conner singing " That's memore"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UC Davis visit

Yesterday we went to UC Davis to get a second opinion for transplant and meet with the transplant team at UC Davis. We have heard nothing but good things about them. We didn't know what to expect at UC Davis, we had no expectations either except we thought it would be very similar to Stanford. We were wrong on that count.

We sat through another transplant education meeting. The only thing we learned is that UC Davis goes on the match system and Stanford goes by time on the list. UC Davis will call you when it is a match regardless of where you are on the list. Stanford will do that also but it is factored with wait time also, someone with a higher wait time will get first chance.  Really that means we have high time at Stanford but Davis could call sooner if there is a good match. The educator said Marty's paperwork was messed up and they had no clue we were there for Kidney/Pancreas evaluation.

We met with the social worker and got cleared by him. Next we met with the transplant nephrologist and that is when the confusion set in. The whole time we were there each person pushed for us to find a living donor, I guess most of their program is based on living donor transplants. We have never looked for a donor since Stanford said cadaver donor was the best option for us. If Marty gets a kidney from a living donor, he would have to have another transplant surgery for the pancreas. Two major surgeries isn't really a good option for a diabetic. Stanford was the one who pushed for us to get pancreas/kidney saying it was the best option for him. Davis wanted to know why we wanted that option? They don't do many kidney/pancreas transplants there, most living donor kidney transplants. He told us the chances for K/P transplant are getting rare since mostly pancreas come from accidently or sudden death.

  Long story short, he basically tried to talk us out of K/P transplant and Stanford wants him to get K/P. So who is right? What is best? What is the purpose in this? Also, the transplant doctor suggested Marty lose twenty pounds, he asked why Stanford hadn't suggested that? Marty has lost weight since going to Stanford because he went on dialysis, he has lost twenty pounds. Marty only has been heavy since his kidney's have failed and with the renal diet eats far less than normal. He will try to lose weight but even eating less he has been maintaining. Also he is carrying about 35 pounds of extra fluid everyday. We have weighed his exchanges from one day and that is what they weighed.

We left feeling very confused. Who is right? what should we do? Why did we have to go to Davis to hear that? They were nice there but seemed very resistant to what we have been told. The said a living donor kidney lasts longer. Marty's dad got a kidney from his sister Sheila and it lasted the same amount of time we have been told a donor kidney lasts. Marty's dad didn't get a pancreas and his outcome wasn't good long term. So we have always agreed getting a pancreas would be the best.

We want to honor God and do what he wants us to do. We want to go where there is the best care possible and get the best treatment. So we don't know what to do. To us it seems pretty clear Stanford seems to be the best option for us. We just can't speed up the timing of God. He has the perfect plan and only he can fix things. We are still going to do the blood work and get the final opinion from Davis, but it seems like more hassle than it's worth.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One year, three years ago, two years later

Today marks 3 years of waiting. Three years ago today, they told us it would take a year and here we are still waiting. It has been a hard, challenging road, running on pure faith and pressing on toward the goal. Sometimes there aren't many words to be said. Our prayer is that God has used us to minister to others, that he has changed us permanently and that we can use this to help others.

Our prayer is always for the donor and their family. Today I think of them and the time they have left on this earth.

Today we are at UC Davis looking for a second listing. We are hoping this will speed things up, maybe God wants us to move transplant centers? only he knows but he has opened the door for us to come here.

I hope next year on this date we will be celebrating together.

Old man Max

We had to make a tough choice two weeks ago, we moved our dog Max out of the house. Many of our friends are familiar with Max our nine year old doxie/lab mix. We saved him from the ASPCA nine years ago and immediately knew he was going to take major work. He liked to run away, no matter how long we walked him. He liked to piddle when you looked at him wrong or wanted him to do something. 

But, he was good with the kids and very loyal. He always came home when he ran away. He finally calmed down after crate training but the two major issues have remained. The last three years have been pretty decent until recently. He started regressing and going back to his old behaviors. The last straw was when he purposely marked two household items. We decided he needed to go live outside for the rest of his life.

This shocked some of our closest friends, everyone knows Max was king with Marty but it was Marty who finally made the choice. We bought him a heat lamp for his kennel, gave him plenty of blankets and trained him not to scratch at the door. Guess what?

He has calmed down and the stress level in the house has gone down considerably. He is happy and we are happy. We put the kennel near our bedroom so he can be close and look in the slider. He seems so much happier and calmer. We probably should have done this years ago. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Product review: Keurig platinum brewer

 A few years ago, my Dad told me about this coffee maker at his work. He said all you do is pick your flavor and pop in the little cup and press brew. I had a pod coffeemaker at the time and thought that was what he was talking about. He wasn't, he was talking about a Keurig which was being sold for industrial use at the time.

Fast forward four years later and everyone was talking about the Keurig. I tried it once at a homeschool family's home and loved it. Marty was disillusioned after my short lived coffee pod maker and thought it was a waste of money since the other was short lived.

Finally this year for my birthday he bought me a Keurig Platinum brewer from Costco which comes with the my K-cup and 60 k-cups to try out.

. Photobucket

 I love it!!! Hot coffee brewed in about 30 seconds. Since I am the only coffee drinker in the house and typically only drink two cups a day, this saves on waste. I used to constantly be dumping coffee in my garden and cleaning the pot. Now all I do is pop in a K- cup and hit brew.

  There are many different kinds of K-cups and many places to buy them. So far Bed,Bath and Beyond is where I have been buying mine. The typical cost is seven to ten dollars a box at most places. I have bought some on sale a Target and I did find regular Folgers brand at my local grocery store for about six dollars. I know many people who buy them online but so far, I haven't tried that. Photobucket So far my favorite brand is Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket blend and Donut House Decaf. Right now I am using Donut House cinnamon roll and Gloria Jean's pumpkin spice. I really haven't had too many flavors that I didn't like. I highly recommend buying one of these brewers, they are worth the investment and truly the new breed of coffee makers. No mess, no waste and hot coffee in seconds.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Daddy's home( not my Dad, the kids Dad and my hubby)

                              Big news, Marty is off work for the next three months!

 One of the stipulations Stanford had was they wanted Marty to take some time off work.  They felt this might help improve his bloodwork and stablize him. As you all know, Marty didn't really want to stop working and I fully supported him. In July he switched schedules and things started to go downhill fast. We were sleeping two to three hours a day, trying to do his dialysis. He wasn't sleeping due to fluid overload and even his co-workers started to ask questions. Then the final nail was the dreaded call from Stanford taking him off the list.

 So October 4th was Marty's last day at work until January 4th. He can only take six months off total and we wanted him to have time left for after the transplant. The second problem was, he only had enough sick time to cover one month off. Good thing we pay into two long term disability plans, right? WRONG.

Because he is a state employee, he doesn't qualify for state disability which pays 80 percent  what we get anyway due to furloughs. He has to supplement the 50 percent with time( sick and holiday) to cover the other 50 percent. We thought, no problem, we will just use one of the long term plans to get 100 percent. WRONG! the plan only pays a 60 percent maximum and then if you get 50 percent from the state it only pays 16 percent. WOW! What a shock to us and a huge blow.

Marty had little time left on the books after three years of being sick. He had to burn many sick days when he was feeling sick while working. He didn't squander them or blow them, he was really sick on those days. Something he has never experienced in his entire working career.

So, we decided that I should get a job to help out. But, how do I take a job when I will have to quit the minute he gets the call? I just would have to be fired, something that has never happened to me. But, what else could we do short of Marty going back to work and not taking time off?

We set up a time bank at his work, hoping his co-workers would maybe donate extra time. Marty and our friend Matt both thought that would not happen. Due to furloughs and other co-workers being sick, people are holding on to their time.

Yesterday while filling out disability papers and speaking to human resources, Marty found out that his co-workers had donated 230 hours to him. Enough to cover the three months off and then some! Praise God for answered prayers and for the kindness of others. We both were overwhelmed and touched by the generosity of his co-workers.

This lifted a huge burden and allows me to continue to stay home and help Marty. Scheduling appointments, pharmacy issues and doctor's appointments fill up our days. On top of that, four dialysis treatments a day and finding a new schedule for those.  It has been easier with him not working and trying to schedule around that. I think we both feel a weight has been lifted off our chests.

So we are now trying to get on a routine, Marty is growing a beard and helping out with schooling. If you are one of my friends that I call and you haven't heard from me lately, I am not ignoring you but just trying to establish a routine. Four people home all day together takes a lot of time and effort to settle in.

That's part of the news. I will share the rest on Sunday which will be the eve of the third anniversary of waiting for transplant.

Thanks for praying, reading, writing, commenting and supporting us these past three years. We feel the love and care from our support system.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comments?Complaints? Suggestions? Bueller...Bueller?

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*taps the microphone* Is Anybody out there?

 A strange thing has happened, I get very little comments on the blog anymore. Mainly just Di and Andrea who read and comment. I thought maybe it was the Google comment system discouraging people and so I added the Disqus comment system. It allows you to sign in with Twitter and Facebook instead of making a Google account. Still nothing.

Blogging isn't as much fun without the feedback and comments. I am not begging for comments here but I wonder why? Why do people not comment? I know that I get a ton of traffic ( I have a blog tracker embedded in the blog) and people tell me all the time they read the blog.

So what gives? nothing to say? I never have been a quiet person and always have something to say. I love reading and commenting on blogs. It encourages the writer and often is helpful.

Is it too hard to comment? Do you not like the comment system?

It really doesn't matter in the long run. I am still going to blog and don't need comments to keep me going. It is just something that I am curious about. I am sure only the regulars will comment and this post will be in vain. I am laughing and smiling as I type this blog. It is very tongue in cheek and meant to be funny for the most part.

Have a great Thursday and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time machine Tuesday

 For awhile now I have been wanting to go back through my blogs and edit some of the older blogs. Since I started blogging in 2005, my writing has vastly improved. I guess practice does help and reading good writing from others helps. I am still a work in progress, but I can see the growth.

 I also like to constantly look back at where we have come from and see all the things that have changed or happened since then. This first blog, is from the summer of 2006 and a great Conner story. It's official title is Vacation but I like it call it:

Conner's wild ride

It's that time of year again! NaBloPoMo 2010

I am excited, November is here once again and so is National Blog Posting Month. It's a challenge to post a blog a day the entire month. My friend Di got me to start participating in 2007 along with Andrea, it's a fun friendship ritual of sorts. What does that mean? Basically Di harrasses Andrea and I until we post, she likes to send fun motivational emails ( tongue in cheek) until we do. Kidding aside, it really is fun for us and something we look forward to each year.

I am going to try some new things this year, Time Machine Tuesdays where I share older blog posts, Wordless Wednesday's where I share pictures or videos. I always have a lot to say and usually have five to seven blogs running around in my head at any given time. So this is a great chance to get them all out and posted.

This is a particularly monumental November, it marks the fifth anniversary of my blogging debut. Back then it was a Myspace blog that eventually morphed into this monster blog. Blogging has brought me through some of the hardest times in my life. It has brought me two of my best friends in the entire world. It has been a baby book of sorts for my kids and it has been a carthartic experience during Marty's illness.

I hope you all will read along and support me this month. Also, support my blogging friends who are joining in this year.

Di's blog
OC Mama
  Andrea's blog ( Not sure Andrea is doing it this year but just in case)
  Sam's blog ( Sam's a new blogger and I am hoping to help her get into the habit)

Friday, October 22, 2010

The return of funny Conner stories

Therrrrre baccck! There have been some funny Conner moments lately. Marty, I, friends and family have gotten some good laughs from our son lately. I will be posting them here and there to spread them out.

Here's the latest, not known to anyone:

The other day, Marty got his basses and pedals out. He hasn't been playing as of late due to his health but decided to dust everything off and maybe play a little bit. Conner get's out Marty's favorite blue pedal and plugs it in. The pedal doesn't turn on, Conner moves plugs and it still doesn't go on. Marty was bummed out since this was his favorite pedal. Of course, he has a new fancier pedal that he has never played with because he loves this blue one so much.

Conner asked if he could take it apart since it was dead and Marty agreed. This is a long standing thing with Conner, if something breaks he can take it apart and see how it ticks. This has helped prevent him from taking working things apart over the years.

Fast forward later that night; Marty and I are shutting off the lights and he tells me, " I have a story for you about Conner, a good one for your blog. Earlier we set up to jam and test my other pedal out. Conner brought out his bass and later ran back to get his drum pad. I asked him, why he did that and he said, "So we can jam." He goes to plug it in and it is dead, he goes, " Oh no, this plug is bad, it is the plug to your pedal. I sometimes borrow it for my drum pad."

My pedal wasn't broken, it was the cord he was using!!! I asked him where the pedal was and he replied, " I put it back together. But, I threw it in the trash." He went to get it out but came back in and said it was too late. I guess that I learned my lesson."

I was crying with laughter. Such a funny story! I guess they both learned a lesson that time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy birthday Auntie Mags

It's my Auntie Maggie's birthday today and I thought she deserved her own blog. She has become a big supporter of my blog this past year, she reads it faithfully and enjoys it. So I thought for her birthday, I would write her a blog tribute and share some of how I feel about her with the world.

Mags was only 11 years old when I was born, closer in age to me than she is to her own brother( My Dad). One of my first memories of her, is when she took me to the Whitwood theater to see Lady and the Tramp, then out to Farrell's for ice cream after. She was probably in high school then.

  Just imagine being a teenager and in your early twenties and a aunt to NINE young girls. We were forever getting in her hair and driving her nuts, I can't imagine having to share my home with a bunch of rambunctious little girls and eventually boys. We were always getting into her room and stuff, it couldn't have been fun all the time. I can now understand why she sometimes would get ticked at us.

  She was much more like our cool older sister than a aunt.Her nickname for us is "Girlie O's" She took us everywhere in her little red Blazer, shopping at Broadway, trips to the beach to see the cute lifeguards. In fact, we all love to tell the story of the time she was taking us to the beach and a young girl cut her off by the La Mirada Country Club. She got out of the car, walked up to the girl's car ( the girl was furiously rolling her window up) and told the girl how she put a car full of little girls in danger. Ya, we aren't ever going to let her live that one down.

Another time, Grandma sent us to the store for breakfast and we bought a bunch of junk. Grandma could have cared less but Mags felt differently. She made us walk back to the store and buy something more suitable for breakfast. I am cracking up just thinking of it now.

 When I was thirteen, she decided that I should learn how to drive, not on the streets but at least in parking lots. So it quickly became our Saturday secret, she would take me out to York Field parking lot and teach me how to drive. The only reason our secret got out, is because one day my mom passed out at the grocery store and didn't know how we were going to get home, I quickly piped up, " Oh don't worry, Aunt Maggie taught me how to drive." BUSTED. Oh well, she saved my parents the hassle, ( Dad, complain to her about my driving since I know you are reading this) and we had fun in the process.

She has been much more of a older sister to me than my own. We have had many good times together, one is when we went to see her favorite singer Rod Stewart in concert together, that is one memory I cherish to this day. Just her and I sitting on the lawn listening to Rod Stewart.

  Eventually we caught up to each other, we were married just 3 years apart, had our first children two years apart. Actually I was pregnant with Conner at the same time she was pregnant with Randon, we had them just four months apart. We have gone through our mothering years as equals, became stay at home mom's at the same time. Now we get to enjoy being mothers to teenagers together. Our kids have grown up together and it has been fun to watch.

 She has been my toughest critic at times, but she has been one of my most ardent supporters. She has encouraged me time and time again. She has always known my friends by name, in fact she just saw Gaby for the first time in years and immediately knew who she was. She is my sob sister, cut out of the same melancholy, emo mold. She understands me and knows me well, something I really have always appreciated about her. She is a huge part of my life, one of the first people that I look for in time of need.

Thanks for always being there and being such a great aunt. I love you and wish you the most happiest of birthdays.

 I wish that I had more pictures to share but here are a few from years gone by.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"It's not about me."

Phillipians 2:1-4 "Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

  I have been meditating on this verse lately. Thinking a lot about how as a society these days, we tend to become self absorbed. We tend to think more about ourselves and our problems, than we do others and what they are facing. Problems are problems, most of the time they are not different. Sometimes they are self caused problems, things brought on by making wrong choices or poor decisions. But, sometimes they are just problems you have no control over and you didn't choose for yourself.

  I have had both kinds of problems. Living in the latter, a problem that we didn't choose for ourselves, it is different. But, something I have learned is there is always someone else who has a worse problem or situation.

 I have also learned that, it helps to not become self absorbed and focus on yourself. I get comments from friends all the time. They don't want to burden me with their problems or share things with me because they feel I have enough of my own. I actually like to pray for others and hear from my friends. I like to know what is going on in others lives, I don't like self absorbed people and don't want to be one myself. It hurts others when you only focus on yourself. I know, I have done that and it doesn't feel good. Facebook and other social networking sites seem to promote this in our society. "What is on your mind?" instead of what is everyone else doing.

  I am trying a one woman battle to combat this, I won't be a contributor to this. I got a email from someone this morning, thanking me for thinking of them when I have so much going on. It's not out of duty that I do it, I do it because I really enjoy caring for others and being a good friend. I am blessed to have many friends and family members in life and I try to be a good friend back. It is hard and I fail many times, but it takes a concious effort. I have been on the recieving end of someone being self absorbed and it doesn't feel nice at all. I never want to be that person.

 It's all about balance and trying, making the effort and gesture. Is there someone in your life, that you can reach out to today?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taylor's gift

My friend Viviana just shared a video with me. It was about a young girl's family who chose to donate her organs when she died in a skiing accident

. I cried watching a video of the parents meeting the woman who got their daughters heart. You can watch the video here be prepared to cry.

 What a amazing gift they gave five people at such a difficult time. Families just like ours benefited.

 It is a reminder of why it is so important to pray for the donor family everyday and the choice they face. They also started a organ donation awareness foundation called Taylor's gift. You can click on the title of this blog to visit the website.

This has given us hope during this dark time. I sat on the couch watching this video with Marty today crying and thinking about who our future donor will be?