Saturday, August 29, 2009

Birthday Presents...

Today I took a little time (seriously, not much at all) to make two special presents for two special little girls that have birthday's coming up:

Kaitlyn picked this fabric out for her "BFF". I plan on putting a few little goodies inside for her.

This fabric reminded me of my niece who loves to chase our cat around when she comes over (it's a pillowcase if you can't tell. I am going to make a bunch more!). I hope she sleeps tight when she lays her head on it at night.

Sssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhh...don't tell....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Project: Cinch sack

I don't carry a diaper bag anymore (thank goodness!). The kids are more than capable of carrying what they need when we go places. However, I am getting a little tired of them leaving their things in the car when we get home or making the excuse that they cannot carry everything in. So, my solution:

I carried my bestest's sack while waiting for her at The CRIM and I loved it. They are super easy to make and my kids think they are very cool. Now off to make a couple as gifts!

Very Convinced...

...that a family should not be given more than one boy.
Boys should only have sisters, not brothers, because this is what happens when they are left alone:

Collin was in charge of coloring the front

and Landon's artwork is displayed on the back.
Warning: If there is gut-splitting laughter coming from a room and it is all of a sudden quiet when their names are called, get your camera, take a deep breath, and enter the room with caution.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oooo La La...

I have been bitten by a little bug.
So, I picked out a few projects (nothing too hard or too over the top). I went shopping for fabric.

I got out my machine and away I went...

I made this for my bestest. It's a plastic bag holder...I have always wanted one. Next one is for me. I have about 5 other projects that I am going to work on during my *seven* days off of work...yes, seven.

I *love* being home!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009



It's official. Last night, I pushed the confirm button and registered for my first half-marathon. Kinda scary. I will be running the Capital City River Run in Lansing, Michigan on September 27th. I can't wait to tour on foot.

Here goes nothin.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The CRIM 2009

"I am not afraid of blue lines anymore!"

~ Beth, August 22nd, 2009

There is a blue line that runs the whole length of the 10 mile course. It's there to let you know that you are going the right way...I guess just in case you are that first person. For the rest of us though, it's there as a constant reminder that you are not done yet and you must keep going. That blue line has haunted me for a year. Don't get me wrong, I followed that blue line to the finish last year, but not without stopping a few times along the way to walk...yes, the dreaded W word.

I started out this running season wanting to be a better runner. Last year was my first year. It wasn't enough for me to just run the same races at the same times. I am not running to beat anyone but myself. The CRIM was definitely the race I was training for because it beat me bad last year. This year, I promised myself would be a different year. I would not cross the finish line feeling defeated, but with my arms in the air like a winner.

I was quite relaxed that morning. It had rained all night and seemed to stop all together at 6AM. It was chilly...perfect racing weather. We got to Flint at 7AM and that gave us enough time to hit the bathrooms and get in line. After putting our hands over our hearts for two National Anthems, it was time to go. Forrest was ready and waiting, but I kept him off for the first mile or so. The crowds are always fun to listen to. I turned him on and kept him on for the rest of the way.

Hollie and I stayed together until around mile four. My sister was long gone from the get go. In my mind, I just kept thinking about what was coming...the dreaded Bradley Hills. At mile five, I crossed over the marker with my hands in the air (yes, I really did and I don't care who saw). I was halfway home. I rounded the corner and read the sign: BRADLEY. I said quietly (or maybe not so quietly), "Here we go. You are not going to kick my butt this year." I picked up the pace and it was just me and Forrest. Bradley had nothing on me this year...thank you Harvard Hills Rd.
After mile six, I took out my magic pink beans, popped six in my mouth, and threw the rest on the ground. Later, I found out that Hollie saw them on the ground and knew I had been there. My best part of the race is the last half. I was trucking along and at about mile 7, I saw my sister up ahead. At first, I thought I was hallucinating. I didn't expect to see her until the finish. Once I got closer, I saw her hair bobbing up and down and her skinny little self and knew it was her. I picked it up and caught up to her. I ran up beside her, yelled, "CALIST!" and gave her the I Love You sign in sign language. I wanted to cry right there but knew I couldn't mess it up now. So, I got back in to the zone and kept it up.

At the mile nine marker, I could not even believe that I was almost there. I felt so much better than the year before. I kept thinking of not only how far I had come in the race, but how far I have come in general. Last year, after The CRIM, I could have thrown in the towel. I felt I had failed at the race and I could have just left it at that. This past year, I could have given up long ago after months and months of Dan still being unemployed. I could have thrown in the towel and figured God has forgotten about us. I could have given up on everything, given up on life...enjoying it. God has given me the strength to keep all aspects. The CRIM felt like a different race this year. This thing called life is too short not to enjoy...and if we just keep going, we'll get there.

(A song on Forrest that I played a few times over...I *love* it!!)

So, with tears in my eyes, I finished my last mile in nine minutes and came in at an official time of 1:47:31...ten minutes faster than last year!!! I didn't throw my hands in the air, I bowed my head and thanked God for the opportunity of running the race. I walked down a ways, grabbed my medal, and waited for my sisters to come in. We were all finishers this year. Not once did any of us quit or even walk for that matter. We ran with our eyes on the race set before us and we FINISHED.

Hollie and Calist ~ Words aren't enough, but I've gotta try. I love you both and I am so proud of you guys. I am thankful that I got to run this race with you guys. More than that though, I am thankful that I get to live life along side of you. You guys mean more to me than you will ever know. I love you both! Can't wait for our next race together!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heading to The CRIM...

And we're off
My bestest and I
To my favorite state
To meet my sis
To run a 10 mile race
That kicked my butt last year
Not again

So, wish me luck
Think of me tomorrow AM
No new running outfit
Just the usual, familiar
A few new songs on Forrest
Running with my girls
And crossing the finish line with my arms in the air.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

She went to kindergarten...

Kaitlyn and I made it through her first day of school. I am so thankful that Dan was able to take her on her first day. I couldn't.

The night before, Dan, Kaitlyn, and I were laying in her bed (her in the middle). I had a flash back, back to when she was a tiny newborn and slept in between Dan and me. We snuggled up close, all three of us. I wondered where the time had gone. And then I began to think about the day that is coming. Will we snuggle up, all three of us, in her bed the night before we give her away?

I was so excited to pick my princess up and hear all about her day. The boys and I hopped in the van and took off for school. I got there 5 or so minutes early and stood around wondering how she was. When I finally got a glimpse of her I was shocked because she was holding her (male) gym teacher's hand...I really thought she would be scared of him. Anyway, she saw me and her eyes lit up and she walked quickly over. She gave me a big hug and began talking...non-stop.

She told me about how she cried when Daddy dropped her off and then again when she couldn't find her teacher before going in and then again at her desk.

She told me about how she learned to do jumping jacks in gym class and how Miss Lindsey tied her shoes for her.

She told me about the new friend she made and how she didn't remember he name but only remembered that she had black skin, black hair, and braids, and was a bus rider.

She told me about how she wanted to go back tomorrow and asked if Daddy could drop her off again and I could pick her up. I was relieved that she wanted to go back.

When we got home, I pulled out the video camera and "interviewed" her. It was very cute. She repeated everything again to me. She ran and got her backpack and pulled out the art she worked on today. She told me about the story they read about a teddy bear. She colored a beautiful teddy. She then pulled out a picture that she drew of our house and her and her best friend. Above the house she wrote, "Fun House" and above her and Kylee she wrote, "BFF". I asked if she was helped and she said, "No, I just know how to spell those." She is one smart cookie.

So, we made it. Another mile stone down...many more to go. We just gotta take it one step at a time...the first stride is usually the hardest. Kaitlyn and I have made a pact : We are going to try not to cry tomorrow.

Baby girl, I am so proud of you! Momma knows how worried about your first day you were, but you made it. You are so smart and will do awesome this year! I am looking forward to seeing you blossom!

Wordless Wednesday - First day of Kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Off She Goes

I am sure I will cry when I drop her off. I don't know why...she's only going to be gone three hours. She's been gone for three hours before...but never three hours, five days a week.

Today, we are going up to visit my princess' school and meet her teacher. Tomorrow, is her first day of school.

I sit here and try to wrap my head around it, but it really seems surreal to me. Has the time really passed that fast?

I am not the first ever (or the only) Mom to send their baby off to school for the first time and I know that both her and I will survive. I will miss her terribly.

I don't know if it's sending her off to school that is really getting to me or the fact that this is just the beginning...the beginning of opening my hand, loosening my grip. I just know that in a blink of an eye, she will be taking her first car ride in the driver's seat, going on her first date, graduating from highschool, off to college. I pray that instead of being crippled with sadness and fear, that I would focus my eyes on the goal...the goal of raising a godly woman, who will follow after God with her whole heart.

So, pray for me (and for Mom's everywhere like me) tomorrow, who will be fighting back tears (or sobbing uncontrollably) as they drive away after dropping their kindergartner off for their first day.

In the words of my princess, "Oh Mommy, you'll get over it."

Friday, August 14, 2009

An over-a-grand total...

Last week, we knew our van could not be driven any longer. Oil was really leaking out of it and it wasn't just leaking from one was several. It was kinda like, take the van in, have them look at it, and when they call back squint and pray before they tell you the grand total as if someone is about to punch you in the gut.

We were punched alright...more than once.

After a few days of trying to diagnose exactly what was wrong with it and where the leaks (yes, plural) were coming from, we were told it would be just under a grand...probably. After taking a closer look the grand total came to $1491! Ouch.

When we got the news, I am not going to lie, I was upset and even went in to a little "why" with God. Why now? Dan had just worked three side jobs that had brought in about what the first quote was. We tucked it away in savings and it was a nice little cushion. Why couldn't it have just been the first amount? The second amount is basically half a months income. I was angry and a little panicked.

We were very tempted to pull out some plastic that we have tucked away. Our time is running out and what if.... What if something else comes up? What if we need that money for something else? Dan and I asked those questions out loud. Just seconds later, I blurted out, "Well, then, God will have to provide more money to pay for that something else," and something that He has proven during this past (almost) year is that He always does.

It's nice to have money in the get the statement and see the total slowly getting bigger. It feels good and is quite an accomplishment for us considering our circumstances. I realized through what has gone on this past week is that I had this feeling of comfort because of this money in the bank when my real comfort should only come from knowing and believing that God is in control of our situation and He will take care of us.

So, it was extremely painful taking that money out of our savings see the total dwindle once again. It was a little scary to have that cushion pulled out from under us. But, the good Lord gives and the good Lord takes away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Ten miles. I am running it again. I may be crazy...but at least I can say that two other girls that I love are too.

I am giving The CRIM another go. I may not be as excited or obsessed about it as last year, but I am really looking forward to it.

I went on the website last night to stare at my number and also look at the course route. Every time I see "Bradley Hills" written out, I can literally feel the pain from last year and the feeling of defeat. Not. This. Year. Bradley, I may not kick your butt, but you certainly won't kick mine this year.

I am a tad bit excited because the 22nd (race day) is now included in the 10 day forecast. I am praying for anything but thunderstorms or hot and humid. And yes, I will be checking the 10 day forecast a few times a day to check for any changes.

This training season has been very different from last year. I not am not only juggling my family and duties at home along with training, this year I have a job to juggle also. It's been tough. I have taken a bit more laid back approach and it seems to be paying off. I think last year, I overdid it and really wore myself out. I plan to take a laid back approach on race day also and treat it as just another day of training. The most challenging part of the race is from mile five to six. If I can just make it to mile 6 with some steam left in me, I am positive I can pick up the pace a bit and give it a good four miles to the finish. After all it's just another day of training... for the Half Marathon that I am running in September with my sister!! It was totally her idea, but I can't sit back and watch her do it and not go for it too. We are heading back to the capital of the state that we *love* and runnin this thing. Here goes nothin!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - How he spent his 4th

Monday, August 10, 2009

He's Four!

My little cowboy is 4 today! He's growing up so fast. It doesn't seem like too long ago that I was sitting out in the back yard watching my 14 month old princess play holding him in my arms...doesn't quite seem like it should be four years ago already.

Landon has really grown up this past year. He has become kinda shy around people he doesn't know but loves to make new friends at the park. He's usually the first to go up and introduce himself and is more outgoing when Kaitlyn isn't around. He loves to help around the house and is the first one to pitch in when it's time to clean up the toys or fold laundry. He's a rough and tumble kind of guy but deep down he is sensitive, sweet, and caring. He is also thoughtful and giving...he will give anything away to anyone...Kaitlyn often takes advantage of this...oops! :-)

He has coordination beyond his years. I think he is going to be good at any sport he tries. He has recently learned to swim without floaties or a life jacket. He is pretty proud that he can sit on the bottom of Grandma's pool. He used to be a daredevil all of the time, but I have seen him be a little more cautious of the things he does...he's still a daredevil though.

This guy can eat! It's scary to think that if he can put away a few hotdogs or pieces of pizza now, what's it going to be like when he is a teenager!? He is good when it comes to eating his veggies and trying new foods.

Landon, I have really enjoyed watching you grow up a little more this year. You crack me up kid! I love talking with you, pretending with you, and cuddling with you. I pray that God will give us many, many more years with you. May you grow to love Jesus even more and I pray that this will be the year that He becomes your Savior.

Happy Birthday, Cowboy! Mommy loves you as much as the stars in the sky!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Party on, boys!

Yesterday, we had a combined birthday party for the boys. The weather cleared up just as everyone was arriving and we had a fun filled party...hotdogs, chips, watermelon, cake, water balloons, water slides, little guys' were in heaven! They loved their party!

From the time everyone arrived, Landon was itching to open his presents. He was so happy when it was finally time.

He's very into transformers all of a sudden
a few of our guests

My almost 4 year old taking a giant leap

My two year old covered in grass

My little guy enjoying the slide (thanks to our favorite neighbours)

Collin decided to put on the party hat after everyone left. The string goes under your chin, honey, not under your nose!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Two-Wheelin Girl

My little princess is an "on my own time" kinda girl. She's stubborn and if she doesn't feel comfortable doing something, or just doesn't want to, she will refuse. Landon learned to ride a bike just one month after his third birthday. Kaitlyn toyed with the idea after seeing her little brother riding on two wheels, but wasn't exactly ready to do it herself. Last week, something came over her and she decided she was ready. When this girl decides she is ready to do something, she will. And that was that. She is riding on two wheels now!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Side by Side Ones

Last night, someone at work asked me how long it's been. It's weird to say, "Eleven months". I told them that I hope to be celebrating when we hit the year marker...hope and pray.

This past month, Dan was able to pass the test for corrections and make the list and also test for a nearby police department that we are waiting to hear from. He has also had a couple possible jobs he's applied for. It's just more of the waiting game now. He's done everything he needed to, we just sit and wait.

I never thought that waiting would get any easier, but in some ways it has. God has provided time and time again for us. We have been given exact dollar amounts when we didn't know where the money was going to come from to pay our bills for the month. He provided a part time position for me when there seemed to be nothing opening up for quite a while. If there is work offered, Dan steps up and is willing to do it. Waiting on God for our daily provisions has gotten easier.

On the other hand, waiting on God to provide the job he has for Dan is extremely frustrating at times. There's no "due date" and definitely no "Mr. Castor" to speed things along...I am so impatient at times. I often feel as if my life is on hold. I have to constantly remind myself that no matter how much longer God calls us to wait, He will be faithful to provide our needs.

God provided Dan with three side jobs (are they really considered side work at this point?) this past month. I am so thankful that Dan is willing to do whatever it takes to take care of our family. The extra money coming in was a wonderful answer to prayer. I was also able to pick up a few extra days at work, which always helps.

Next month, I am hoping that I have the good news we have been trusting God for. Keep us in your prayers.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
~Phillippians 4:4-9

Monday, August 3, 2009

Collin's 2nd birthday

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Zaiah!

Collin Isaiah ~ August 2, 2007
Another's fun looking back!

I had not felt good in about two days. I woke up the morning of the 2nd and decided to take just a little tsp of Mr. Castor, oil that is. We go way back...don't ask. :-) Dan took the other two off to his parents to swim and be with family and I geared up for labor by sleeping the day away. My parents were on their way out and I was trying to hold on until they got here. I was contracting but I told myself I was not having any false alarms with this kid. If I was going to make the trek to the hospital, it was going to be the real thing. My family arrived home before dinner and we roasted hotdogs on the fire and just hung out. I began to feel the contractions even more. We put the kids to bed and my parents arrived, hummm, I think it was around nine-thirty or so. We were all tired and so we all went to bed. I figured if it was the real thing, I would wake up. Not thirty minutes after I had layed down (around 10), I was at the foot of the bed hunched over with horrible back pain and major cramping. I woke Dan up and told him I needed to! I went downstairs to the guest room and told my parents I was leaving. They wished me good luck. My Mom walked up the stairs with me and I had to stop for a contraction as she pressed on my back to relieve the pain. She walked me to the car and we were off.

The ride was a little more than CRAZY! We weren't ten minutes down the road when my water the car. I had nothing under me. It was disgusting. I was warned last time, with Landon, because I went so quickly, that if my water was to ever brake on it's own I better be at the hospital or very close. The pain got more intense and we both were freaking out. Dan, with his quick thinking, called a police friend of ours and warned him of a vehicle reaching dangerous speeds heading through his town. His reply, "Rock it out, man, rock it out." I will never forget that! Dan turned up the was on Holy Moment, which to this day reminds me of Collin and his birth.

We got to the hospital, with Erin coming in behind us. I didn't think I could stand up. Dan went and got a wheel chair for me. I sat down and I insisted that he get my ipod out of the trunk. When a lady, who is about to have a baby, insists on something you better do it. With a little arguing, he got my beloved out of the trunk.

They shot us right up to labor and delivery, and yes, we stopped at the scale. I was about to drop a baby on the floor and they needed to get my weight. I walked to my room and Erin had arrived. I got undressed and headed to the bed where they checked me. I was at an 8. I plugged in my head phones and went to another place. Stand, by Rascal Flatts came on, which also reminds me of his birth. I was mouthing the words and both Dan and Erin thought I wanted to stand. I had an out of body experience and saw myself in the bed and Erin, Dan, and my nurse discussing how there was no way that I could stand. Still makes me smile. It wasn't long after that I needed to push. The doctor was on her way up and they told me not to...yeah, right. I fought it hard the first time, but I could fight no more. The nurse was holding my knees together telling me not to push. The third time, Collin made his entrance...delivered by two nurses. From the time we pulled up to the ER door to the time he was born was 27 minutes. He was born at 11:47PM...just 13 minutes away from being born on the 3rd. It was the perfect birth...I ended on a good note.

My little angel boy is two today and I just can't believe it.
We thought we were done having kids after I had Landon. We got pregnant unexpectedly and I miscarried and prayed that God would bless us with another. Collin means Victorious and we chose his middle name meaning God is my Savior.

From the very beginning of his life, he has been nothing but a joy. He is goofy, wild, and crazy. He is coordinated beyond his years and too smart for his own good. He is an entertainer and a people person. He's such a little ham. If I could freeze him right now, I would.

His likes:

Collin loves riding his two wheeler. He is so good on it...except for his love of the street. He always seems to be super speedy when heading toward the road...huge smile on his face and all.

Collin loves Curious George. They are similar and he could quite possibly get some of his ideas from that curious little monkey. He has also become pretty fond of the Backyardigans and sleeps with two figurines of Pablo and Tyrone.

Collin loves Miss Hollie. She is his favorite person in the whole wide world. Many times throughout the day, he asks where she is. When they were on vacation, I went over to water their flowers and he stood on the porch knocking and asking where she was. When it was time to go back home, I had to pull him off of the porch and carry him away kicking and screaming, "Ha-yee, Ha-yee!" It was terrible.

Collin loves to swim. He has mastered swimming with floaties on. He looks so little out in the pool by himself. At a recent birthday party, he even got up enough courage to go down the waterslide all by himself...3 times. He's a daredevil.

Collin loves broccoli...aka : Broccoli Trees. One morning, I asked him what he wanted for breakfast to which he replied, "Broccoli trees." So, that is exactly what I made for him.

Collin loves his Bumpa (Grandpa), Grandma, Gammie, and Poppy. He is always asking to go to "Bumpa's house" and cries when I tell him no or when Grandpa is not there. Just the other day, we were going somewhere and to get him in the car, Kaitlyn told him we were going to Gammie's house. On our way home, once he saw us pull in to our sub, he started screaming, "Gammie's house!" It was pretty sad actually.

Collin, I thank God that He was not done adding to our family when we thought we were. You are such a blessing to our family. You bring such laughter and goofiness. You have become such a big boy in the last year. You remind me so much of your Daddy! I pray that we will raise you up to love Jesus and you will follow and serve him all of your days here on earth.

Happy Golden Birthday, baby boy! Momma loves you so very much!