Sunday, March 30, 2008

24 hours

Well...thank the Lord it must have only been a 24 hour thing with Seth. By lunch time...he was pretty much back to normal...running around the house...riding his bike outside...and eating decently. I feel very fortunate...cause it is just no fun with a sick kid. However...he has evidently learned that being sick bides him a little extra lee-way. The afternoon-evening...whenever he was doing something he shouldn't or that we asked him to (that he didn't want to do) he would roll out the crocodile tears and say..."But I just don't feel good!" He is just so darn cute....all I can do is give him big bear hugs and love on him.

I am amazed at the creative answers to our little contest. It's not too late...Andy and I will decide on the winner Monday night after Seth goes to bed...so you have until about 8:30 to get your answers in! The winner will be posted Tuesday morning. Thanks to everyone who has given such great ideas already...it's going to be a hard choice.

Not much else to report...just another week at it. BTW....Andy and I rented Enchanted last night! Can I just say that it is an adorable movie! It was so creative (and clean!). You know it's a good movie when you watch all the DVD extras...which is fascinating when you learn all they really do to make a movie! If you haven't seen it yet...add it to your list...just a fun movie to watch on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn.

Hoping that April is full of God's wonderful blessings...for us all!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It got him too!

So I was just telling Andy the other day how surprised I was at how healthy Seth has been this past year. With the chaos of this fall/winter and the places he and hopped back and forth between...he has been remarkably healthy....until last night.

We had actually gone down to Portland again and spent the night. When I got up this morning...grandma told us he had pretty much been up all night and thrown up twice! I was clueless sleeping away upstairs. What a wonderful grandma to take care of all of this...and let me sleep through it all. Thanks Cathy...you went way and above the call of duty!

So...he has been low key all day....pretty much just laying on the couch. He doesn't want to eat (I think he's afraid he'll throw up again). He really is a good boy...doesn't cry...doesn't complain....he just wants to lay down. We came home around 4ish..and he watched 2 movies and is now sound asleep in his own bed. I hope it's just a 24 hour stomach bug...he seems to be on the mend...just weak and tired.

The reason for our Portland trip...besides just spending time with grandma...our trip to the monument shop! UCCHCK! I have been dreading picking out Kate's tombstone for a while now.

So we go to this small town outside Portland...I think all they have is a church and volunteer fire department....and this family owned monument shop that has been in business for 50+ years. The place is a little rough...but they do beautiful work and do it all right there. So Andy and I go...pick out the stone and choose what we want it to say. It's amazing what they can do with tombstones these days...the engraving work is amazing. But...we went pretty simple. I think it will be just perfect for our little princess. I will post pictures after it is up....they promise by Memorial Day.

So...I'm guessing and hoping that was probably the last detail left of Kate's passing. At so many times it seems so surreal...am I really picking out my daughter's tombstone?...something about this isn't right! We of course went by her site today...the ground has really begun to settle nicely...it's not looking so rough anymore. As much as I hated today...there is a part of me anxious to get the marker up...to see it all in it's entirity. She deserves so much more than a stack in the ground.

We still love you princess...and think of you each and every day. You will be forever in our hearts!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

His Grace is Sufficient!

There's that saying: God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Most people say this in an effort to provide comfort in the midst of crisis...but saying that makes it seem like God is up there saying: "I've got this sick baby...this cancer...this (fill in the earthly tragedy)... who can handle it? No..not him...oh, but here is somebody...I'll give it to her! And...that isn't how I look at my God. But people (and docs) told us this all the time. "You were chosen by God to have Kate...I don't know how you handle it...You're stronger than me!" After thinking about that in relation to Kate and her illness being "given" to us...I wanted to really go to the Bible and research...cause I know there is that verse about "not getting more than you can handle."

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Really, this verse is saying that there is no such thing as a temptation that is impossible to say no to, that there will always be a way to escape "handle" sin. And...Kate was in no way a temptation or a road to sin...so now what? Where do I go now to better understand "being given what you can handle?" And I found:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

God does give us more than we can handle. I think that’s His whole point. He wants to give us more than we can handle because it is only then that His strength is made perfect. So really it's not a question of if we can handle something with our own strength, it's a question of will we rely on God's strength and grace to handle it? And that is how I handle it...by His grace.

Scripture also tells us: In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Trouble is just life...we live in a fallen broken world. We will encounter more than we want or think we can handle. We have already...and I'm sure we will again. But God is so much bigger...and He is in control and I can honestly vouch for this during my past and present journey with Kate. Yes...Kate's sickness and death was (is) horrible...something no one who hasn't been there can even imagine going through...but God is faithful...and He is good...and He, even in the valley of the shadow of death...He is There! He knows me...He knows my Heart...and I really believe was in control...in control of our finances and in my "sense" of control of Kate's death.

I am kinda anal when it comes to finances. Before kids...I would spend hours (and sometimes it was hours) balancing my checkbook and looking for my mistakes even if it was only a penny (the bank has always been right!).... I don't really have time for that now...but I do save every receipt and double check it with the bank statement every month! (Once...I did catch a server adding tips to our completed receipt..she was fired!) I worry about finances too...I always want to have our "safety cushion" and I'm not even sure at what point I would feel comfortable with that cushion. I write down every penny we spend in an attempt to stay within in our monthly budget. Anyway...Kate's hospitalizations and medicines were obviously expensive...I'm sure she is very close to 2 million....and we have not had to pay a penny out of pocket for healthcare or prescription meds after her initial new-born (before she was diagnosed) bill. With Andy's awesome primary insurance, barely qualifying for Children with Special Health Care Needs (IN Dept of Health), supplemental AFLAC ICU insurance and some medicaid when she was hospitalized over 30 days...we have been blessed with coverage. Plus...so many friends & churches supported us with the extra expenses of being out of state with Kate. We have been blessed in that I could stay home with Kate (and Seth) full-time and we could make it on a one income teacher salary. God was looking out for us (even 16 years ago when Andy signed up for AFLAC at work) in the financial aspect....cause I know...having that financial burden would have put me OVER THE EDGE! (Note...for those heart families reading this who are struggling with medical debt...my heart is SO HEAVY for you. It isn't fair...it isn't right...and I am sorry.)

Secondly...I have control issues! I know...may be surprising (not to Andy!) I like control...I like being in charge...I like feeling like it was my decision. Not being in control of Kate's health was hard for me...and I learned lots of lessons about letting go...only after spending hours at times "knowing" that I could get Kate to eat..."knowing" I would be responsible for her gaining weight. I wasn't in control...and that was a hard lesson learned. But...I really do believe that God gave me (Andy and me) "control" of Kate's death. I know...sounds weird...but Kate passed once we said it was "okay" (not that it was ever ok..but you know what I mean) Kate did not die leaving me with any guilt...no guilt that "I" didn't get her to the hospital fast enough..."I" didn't think she was sick enough... "I" didn't do enough.... "I" didn't take her to enough doctors. She didn't die "on my watch." Had she died that day in August when she arrested...I would have lived my life feeling as if it was my fault because I didn't get her to the hospital sooner...I didn't get to say "goodbye." Had she died that day in Michigan when she arrested...Andy wasn't there...we weren't "ready!" I praise God for taking away any feelings of "Guilt"...cause that is what I think I couldn't imagine...living with the guilt. (To anyone who is reading this...struggling with guilt...again I"m sorry. All I can say: "Give it to God...He is so able to carry that burden for you.)

So...for ME...Krista...God did know my weaknesses... what I couldn't handle...and where I needed to rely on Him to be perfect . I give Him the glory for taking those burdens from me. The truth is: God won't give us anything HE can't handle. And I praise Him for being with us on every step of our journey with Kate. It's amazing how God uses even the worst experiences in one's life...to glorify Himself. He is so into teaching us lessons and showing more of Himself to us...if we are willing to look and listen.

Thanks for listening...I rambled..it's been awhile since I really dove into the bible to seek His truth. It felt great! Give it a try...you'll be amazed at what He wants to teach you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wow!

I was just checkin in...and our counter just hit 80,000! WOW! I am humbled at the interest in our regular ole' lives! Thanks to everyone who checks in on us...love to all!

A New Look for Spring

So whatcha think? I'm pretty excited about our new look! I found this totally sweet college girl who is designing blogs in order to raise money for her trip to the Dominican Republic this summer...and donates even more to a different charity each month! She was super sweet...super fast (less than 24 hours!)...and I thought her price was very reasonable. I highly recommend her if you would like to "pimp" your blog. She can even use your digital photos in the header too! Check her out!

Don't forget...I want lots of ideas for tagging Kate's Kart!

Contest Time!

Okay readers...I need your help. We need a "tag line" (I think that is what it's called) for Kate's Kart. You know something like:

Kate's Kart--encouraging kids one book at a time!

So...put on your creative hats...get those juices flowing and give me all your great ideas...cause I'm not thrilled with the one I came up with. Just put your ideas in the comment section. Contest ends April 1!

The winner...gets a couple dozen of my "world famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies"--okay they aren't world famous--but lots of people like them!--or any other kind of cookie...if you don't like oatmeal/choc.

Also...I am working on a photo montage about Kate's Kart...so anybody who has a blog or website...can post it on their site and share the news!

Thanks so much...my readers are awesome!

Back in the 50's

Tonight...I got a special treat as it was "Mother's Night" at Seth's Preschool. It was really a lot of fun..and just neat to spend some time with my little guy. The theme was "The 50's"...so I tried my best to get us all decked out. Then...there were a bunch of activities in the gym....
Yearbook Photos
Rock Around The Clock (Musical Chairs)
Snack at the Diner
Record Spin Art
Bowling at Leo Lanes
Car Hop Relay
Hula Hoops

The teachers and staff really did a great job...we both had a great night!
But the highlights...the picture he drew of the 2 of us...AND...his interview with his teacher about ME!

MY MOM:
eye color: brown (hazel...but close enough)
Hair Color: grey (WHAT?)
Favorite Color: all of them (Okay...acceptable!)
Favorite Restaurant: McDonalds (Maybe in His mind!)
Favorite Food: Shell Pasta (Wow...quite impressive...Casa's Pasta is my favorite!)
Favorite Thing to Do With My Mom: play computer games (we do have fun!)
What My Mom Does at Work: she doesn't go to work anymore (Yeah for me!)

So besides the grey hair...which I guess is coming all too soon....I was quite impressed with my little guy! It's daddy's turn in April...that should be fun too!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kate's Kart..it's starting to roll!

Wow...I am so amazed, excited, humbled, thrilled, scared...basically just a bunch of emotions as things are really falling into place in getting Kate's Kart Rolling.

1. A lawyer friend has donated her services, expertise, skill and time in helping us get the 501c3 status set up! As soon as we both get back from spring break...we'll get working on that.

2. Another friend graciously offered her services, expertise, skill and time in setting up a website for us! YEAH...what a great way to get the word out!

3. We've had our first donation of books...we've got about 15 adorable children's books up in Kate's room...awaiting their new owners.

4. Lots of people have stepped up to the plate to volunteer to pass out books and be an active part of this ministry...and I do think it will be an awesome way to "minister" to those hurting and scared in the hospital.

5. Even more people have showed a great interest in supporting this in some way or another!

This is going to be so exciting...I can't believe it is all really falling into place....and how generous everyone is! What an awesome way to honor our little girl! God is so good...and faithful!

Stay tuned...I'll definitely let you know when we are ready for donations...It's exciting stuff...are you ready to get on board?

Easter Fun!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Birthday Party Fun

Today we had the pleasure of going to our nephew's birthday party at Science Central! Elijah turns 7 on Wednesday...but his party was today. It was a boys only party...and lots of fun was had making slime and playing in the "sewer" and tilt house. Science Central is a hands-on science children's museum...just perfect for a bunch of rowdy boys!

Happy Birthday Elijah...we love you!

Rainbows & Puzzles

So...the other day, Andy and Seth are driving to the Y to go swimming...and it's kinda rainy outside. They start talking about who makes the rain...and Andy told him that God does. The conversation continued as they talked about how God was in charge of all the weather...that's when Seth chimes in that Kate is probably helping God! Seth then says...that Kate is in charge of the rainbows...cause she always liked pretty stuff! So...how cool is that coming from a 3 year old big brother...who really does miss his little sister.


And in case that isn't cute enough....the other day I picked Seth up from school and he started talking about how one of the girls (there are only 2) in his class had broken her arm...falling off of a pony! He continued to tell me everything she could and couldn't do! So... I ask...was it Ella or Madeline? His reply: "Mom...that is such a hard puzzle. They both have long hair with stuff in it!" Hmmm...they really look nothing alike at all...but I guess when you're 3 and could care less about girls...they're all the same!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hats off to Spring

It's spring! YEAH! We had a beautiful sunny day here in Indiana...I actually opened the back porch and front door and let some fresh air flow through the house. How invigorating. But of course...snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. I can't ever remember a Easter Egg Hunt in the snow.

I'm feeling much better and looking forward to a great weekend. Andy is doing some painting tomorrow (our upstairs hallway). We are getting our taxes done (fun..fun--only because we are expecting a refund!) Plus...my nephew's 7th birthday party is Saturday. And...Good Friday Services...cleaning for Sunday and getting ready for Easter--we're going to be busy...but busy is good. And...I think I'm feeling good enough to get back to the Y and get some exercise and Seth wants to go swimming.

Seth got his "big-boy" bike over a year ago for Christmas. He has had absolutely NO desire in riding it or learning to ride. We've even tried duct-taping his feet to the pedals in an attempt to get him to do it. We were so afraid he would never learn to ride a bike! Well...everything changed yesterday! He hopped on the bike and off he went....and he hasn't stopped since! It is so fun to see him enjoying it so much...and fortunately the weather has been conducive to taking rides. And he wants to go far...yesterday I'm sure we went well over a mile...and only had to come home once for a jeans change after a major crash in a puddle. I guess everything is in HIS time. Who knows at this rate...maybe the training wheels can come off later this summer...but I guess he'll have to be the one to make that decision

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

UGHGH...it got me!

I've been remarkably healthy...through this winter that won't end....until Sunday! It hit me...and HIT ME HARD. I think I got out of bed twice on Sunday...and that was only for minutes at a time. Andy was such a sweetheart...took care of Seth all day...I was totally oblivious to what was happening. I've got the respiratory thing...I"m feeling better...I can at least function now...but UGHGHG! It stinks being sick.

So...things have been kinda down-low around here...not much to report! Hopefully...tomorrow will be even better and I'll be able to get some productive things done. We're hosting Easter...so I do have some things to do to get ready.
Love to all!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Diversion Needed

Well...today marked 2 months since Kate passed. In most ways it has been an extremely long 2 months...time has really seemed to drag. Hopefully, with spring on it's way (it better be!) some sunshine and days outside will help. We've had a good weekend...this morning with Seth and then this evening we met some good friends for an early dinner and then games and dessert. The strategy game (Puerto Rico) was completely impossible...and way above my head...but we still had fun and good conversation. Last night...we went to a fish fry fundraiser and then had 2 families over for dessert, homemade latte's ---thanks Mel--and some good conversation..even amidst 6 kids running around. This weekend we have had more social time with our friends then we have had in 2 years. It felt good...but still...we just miss Kate. Thanks Schuhs, Findleys, Nubers and Stantons for some great diversion this weekend.

Our cultured son is at the theatre tonight...Nana and Oompa took him and the cousins (well, just Elijah as Lucas was sick) to the Canterbury Middle School drama: Alice in Wonderland. It's an annual outing for them all...and includes a slumber party too! Lucky guy! (Is it just me...or does this boy have a social calendar fit for a celeb?)

We've been overwhelmed by the response to Kate's Kart. Thank you! I've been putting all the emails and info into a folder and will get back with all of you who have volunteered...or given me great ideas for contacts...once we get this whole legal aspect figured out. I hope to have some definite answers this week as to getting the non-profit organization set up. This aspect is really freaking me out...but I know it will all work out just fine! We are really excited about this project and anxious to get started...we just want to make sure and do it the right way. I will definitely be in contact with everyone who has said they would help...we really really appreciate you!

Breakfast With The Easter Bunny

This morning, my friend Gina and I took our kids to Jefferson Pointe Food Court for Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. It was cute...they had fruit, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and bagels for breakfast...and then an area to decorate eggs and color. The Easter Bunny himself was walking around shaking hands and making the kids smile. We then played a while in their indoor play area. The kids enjoyed it and had a great time. And the best part....it was all FREE! Gotta love that!

Seth and the Easter Bunny shaking hands!

Seth, Jayden and Mya decorating their eggs

Showing off his masterpiece.

Time for a little playtime.

We did have a little incident getting there...Gina was following me down the highway. Seth decided to unbuckle himself and proceeds to yell..."stop the car, I"m unbuckled...while I am cruising at 70 mph down the interstate. So...I pull over and buckle him! For obvious reasons, Gina thinks I'm having car problems...turns around at the next exit to come help and calls Andy...whereupon he hops in his car to come rescue us! And of course....my cell phone battery is DEAD and I haven't yet bought a car charger! Lesson learned this morning. Thanks Gina and Andy for taking care of me...I appreciate all your efforts to rescue me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kate's Kart...a reality in the making!

I'm pretty excited about my phone conversation today. Thanks to a lead (Thanks Wendy!) I talked with the child-life specialist at our local Children's Hospital (Lutheran) and she was really excited about the potential of doing a book cart. YEAH! This really was our 1st passion for honoring Kate and I'm so glad that it looks like it will work out. After thinking about it...even though Kate only spent like 17 of her 150+ hospitalized days at Lutheran...the possibilities of us getting involved and really playing a special role is a lot more realistic since it is our local hospital. And even though Lutheran deals with very few heart kids...they are still kids...who are sick...and in the hospital...and every sick kid is deserving of a little encouragement.

So...it sounds like we will be able to get a rolling cart...stock it with books and then take it around the hospital floor and let the kids pick out new books to keep! We're not sure how often yet...probably just once a week until we see how it goes...how many books we have...have much funding we have...etc. The neat thing is that with just a little "official volunteer training" from the hospital...we personally will be able to do the passing out...which I think will be really good therapy for me! But...we want lots of people to get involved and help pass out the books if that is something that interests you!

So...now I have a project...but I need some help!

1. We need to set up some sort of non-profit foundation/organization. We'll need a lawyer who is willing to do some pro-bono work and some financial people who could guide us along this process. There is no current foundation at Lutheran that we can get under....so it looks like we need to do something on our own for now.

2. We will need a team of 5-6 people who have been trained (like an hour commitment) by Lutheran as a volunteer. These people would then volunteer once every 4-6 weeks to help deliver the books to the kids.

3. Once we get our foundation set up...we will need books. Or...if anyone has contacts/leads with book stores or suppliers who might be willing to give us discounts. Or...if you're willling to make those contacts! Or...if you're out and about and see a book on sale and want to donate it...that's awesome too! The important thing to remember is that the pediatric floor deals with infants to 18 year olds...we will need older age books too---and maybe even books for the parents too! In an effort to keep it nice and professional...we will only be passing out new books.

4. And...we need this project covered in prayer. If you're a praying person...would you just lift this idea/project up to the Lord. What an opportunity to show the love of Christ...by passing out a book...to so many hurting people.

I'm sure lots more things (publicity, brochure, fund-raising) will come up...but right now the biggie is getting the fund set up and beginning to train the lead volunteers. (Non-trained people can pass out books...as long as they are accompanied by someone trained!) So...if you can help...or know someone we would really appreciate it. Our email is: aklayman4@verizon.net
My dream is that we would actually be able to start passing out books by her birthday (June 26) at the absolute latest...if sooner...even better!

Who knows...maybe 10 years from now...some celebrity will be playing for the "Kate Layman Foundation" on Celebrity Jeopardy and we'll have "Kate's Karts" all over the nation! Doesn't hurt to dream big!! (Hey...anybody know Oprah....she's "giving big" this season! ) Thanks again to everyone who gave us great ideas....and great leads. But most of all...thank you for helping us to honor Kate...cause she is so deserving. Love to all...this isn't the last you'll hear about this!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Busy Busy Boy

Yesterday was quite the busy day for our little guy...and all of us actually! We started the day off at church and then grabbed lunch out afterwards. I always think it is a treat to eat out after church. I ran a few quick errands and then we all went outside. There is still snow on the ground...but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. We broke out the bikes...and attempted to get Seth excited about riding his bike. He loves his hotwheel...but he isn't so excited about the bike yet. Hopefully...a few nice spring days (and maybe some encouragement from his cousins) and he'll be good to go. Being outside made me SO anxious for spring...it can't come soon enough.

Then...we cooked hotdogs and roasted marshmallows over the fire. Seth thought it was pretty fun...especially when daddy caught his marshmallow on fire and burned it black! I, on the other hand...love the art of perfecting a perfectly browned, ooey marshmallow. And what's a marshmallow....if you don't turn it into a s'more?

And to top the night off...Seth chose to sleep in his tent...I guess you have to camp out if you're going to cook hotdogs over a fire. It was a perfect Sunday...just a day to relax and have fun as a family.


Happy Birthday Oompa!




Yep...today's my dad's birthday! Our family all got together and celebrated at Bandidos. Like I said...it's hard to pass up a free meal! We had a great time celebrating Oompa....and of course the 3 boys had a great time together. Love ya Oompa!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Honoring Kate...the right way.

We have been humbled at the overwhelming generosity of so many who have contributed to Kate's memorial fund. Our church has been very considerate in "holding" the money for us until we determine the specifics of what we want to do to honor our little girl.

Our original idea (and dream) was to set up a book cart (Kate's Cart) at the children's hospital where she spent so much time. The cart would be filled with books and hospitalized children of all ages would be able to pick a book off the cart to keep. (They had something like this in Michigan and we thought it was a really really cool idea...plus who doesn't love new books to read when you're sitting in the hospital) Anyway...the Indy hospital already has a cart that is named...BUMMER! We could still donate money for books...but nothing with her name.

It is really our hope to do something that could honor Kate for many years...and hopefully set up some sort of ongoing foundation. I did talk with my lawyer friend...and I had no idea that all of this "non-profit"--foundation--trust stuff was as complicated as it really is...(and expensive to set up with the IRS on a personal basis). Her recommendation was to get into some existing foundation and have a donor requested fund. UGHGH...it's just so foreign to me!

So...we're stuck as we aren't sure what to do at this point. We still need to check with our local hospital to see if they have a book cart. Kate just loved books...and we would love to somehow honor her by somehow utilizing books and getting them out to other sick kids...specifically heart kids. Another thought was to somehow go through some existing congenital heart organizations and see where that takes us.

So...if anyone reading this out there in "blog-world" has any great ideas of how we can honor Kate...or can help us in anyway in setting something up in Kate's name...we would be so grateful. Feel free to leave a comment...or an email (aklayman4@verizon.net). I just know there is the perfect "idea" out there...we just need to find it. Thanks...for ANY help/advice you can shed our way.

Speaking of Kate...it's been a really hard weekend for me! Golly...I miss her so much. It's been a couple weeks since I've really cried...but last night the tears flowed. Then, this morning at church we sang Blessed Be Your Name...and more tears just flowed through the whole song! Yes...He does give and take away...and He did give me a beautiful little girl..and took her away way too early...and Yes...I do Bless His Name still...but Yes, there is still that hurt...so much hurt...so much pain in the midst of all of this. Today I was at the mall for a bit and I think every family with an 18 month old little girl was there buying Easter dresses! I want to buy Easter dresses!

Honestly...at first there was a feeling of relief....relief that all of the pain, suffering and hospital life (for all of us, especially Kate) was over. But now...as we approach 8 weeks since she passed so many more feelings are overriding the relief. I find myself saying: "I just want her back". I guess I am going through the normal cycles of grieving and right now...I'm angry...not overwhelmingly angry...not can't function angry...not she's gonna punch out a wall angry...but I find myself wondering why her heart couldn't get fixed...why hers...and then I just get mad...and sad. Why couldn't they fix her?

But...it's gets better and it will continue to get better. I keep forgetting that it is only 8 weeks....in the whole scheme of life and grieving death that really isn't that long. But on weekends like this...I am so grateful to have a husband who will hold my hand while I cry and a little 3 year old who makes me smile (and for whom I get to buy an Easter sweater!). Yes Lord...Blessed Be YOUR Name.

Thanks for listening...and thanks for any advice on her memorial ideas!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chef Seth

My little guy just loves to help in the kitchen...it's usually a tough toss up between watching Curious George while I cook...or helping me! Yesterday...he was all about helping me! He had been asking to make sprinkle cookies...so that was our 1st task. He was quite excited when I actually let him hold the mixer (I was right there!) Then...we tackled making dinner! I was all excited about the new recipe I picked out...until I got to the directions and it said: let sit overnight! HMMM! Well...at least tonight's dinner is made (which works out well since we have swim lessons from 5-5:45.) We also tackled orange jello salad...and then worked on dinner itself! He was a great help...and he is finally getting old enough where he doesn't spill EVERYTHING out of the bowl when he mixes it up. We just got the Shrek Cookbook from the library and he wants to make EVERYTHING in it...guess we'll be busy this weekend. (Yes...they really did publish a Shrek cookbook...remember, I did say we had an Obsession on our hands.)


Yeah...I think this is why he loves to help cook....this...and licking the beaters!


Not much else to report...except lots and lots of snow. We all enjoyed our snow day home yesterday and the 3 of us went swimming at the Y. I am so impressed with Seth's improvement with just the past 3 weeks of regular swimming. He loves it! I heard more snow is in store for this weekend (maybe 6-10 inches! Ughghgh!). But we have nothing on the calendar so a weekend at home might not be so bad.

Oh...I did finally take down all the snowman and winter decorations...and put up the spring Easter ones! Just doesn't feel right when there is 6 inches of snow on the ground. Easter is just so early this year...and the snow just keeps coming! I actually saw an Easter Bunny made of snow today on the way to take Seth to school. I thought that was pretty clever.

Well....Seth is at school and it's the first time I have no errands to run....so I am just catching up around the house: my goals: to catch up on all my phone calls and to have every piece of laundry done and put away. I know that will only last until the boys get home....but still what an awesome feeling! But...just had to check up on my blogging friends first! Have a great day!

This is how the little guy helps with laundry....not so sure the clothes are still clean after he steps all over them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

No News!

Just posting a quickie to let you all know....we're still here...and everything is okay! I just have nothing exciting or "blog-worthy" to write. The excitement of our day: It was Dr. Suess day at school so Seth was Cat in the Hat..sorry no pictures, he wasn't cooperating. It's snowing again...and Andy already has a delay tomorrow...at least he knows he's guaranteed some extra sleep in the morning. And for me...well, I went all day with 2 mismatched shoes! But to save face...at least they were the same style...just different colors. Maybe tomorrow something exciting will happen...or I'll be inspired! Have a great night!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Workin' Hard

We had a nice visit to Portland to see Grandma. We took Oompa's truck down and today we all worked on loading it full of firewood...Daddy did most of the work cutting down old dead trees throughout the 5 acre woods...but we all pitched in a little! Here' s few pics of Seth working hard!

Putting corn out for the squirrels!

Loading the truck with wood!

Oh...this one is SO heavy!

But... before you report us to child services...here's evidence that he did a lot more playing than working!


Catching a ride to get more wood!



Are you loading or playing?

That's pretty obvious that this isn't working!


Seth stayed down there with Grandma...which meant that Andy and I got another night out! Woo Hoo! Nothing too special: a little carpet shopping, dinner and dessert (but that was at Debrands..which if you're local...know that is quite the treat!) We just rented a movie and Andy is building a fire with all our new firewood...and we'll just relax tonight! Sounds great to me!


We did go by Kate's gravesite again today. It's hard to get the full picture when it's covered in snow...but just seeing her temporary name plate gets me all worked up. Remember how I said there are those memories that just "pop" up. Yesterday I put on a sweatshirt...reached in the pocket and found a paci! Wow...now's there's a memory as Kate was NEVER without her special pinkish/orange pacis! I didn't have the heart to get rid of it...so I just carried it around in my pocket and everytime I put my hand in...thought of my little girl! Guess it's not all bad. Oh yeah...then there is the mailing from Huggies reminding me that my child is 21 months old and it's time to start her in pull-ups...didn't really need that...but what ya gonna do?

So...I'm off to wrap up in a nice soft blankie and watch a movie...it's a cold wet night here in the Fort. Love to all!