Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have gotten on here three times this week - but I am blank. I have nothing to write about. Oh - my heart is full of joy and I have so much passion and excitement about life that there are hardly words for it. Maybe that is it - I can't find the words to describe how I feel - in fact it seems that since there are no words that writing about it all seems to cheapen it somehow!

I guess think about a time you were filled with AWE - truly in AWE of something - like a beautiful double rainbow - or the day you walked down the aisle - if you have been married - that feeling you had BEFORE you knew the things that were gonna drive you nuts about that person had emerged - the blissful state of wonder. When you think of that - THAT is what this blog is suppose to say but I can't find the words for.

That is how I feel 95% of the time - it is MARVELOUS!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Here is Lizzie at the Grizzly Discovery Center. The are placing food out in hidden places before the Bears are released into the enclosure. This is in West Yellowstone and one of our favorite places - oh Lizzie is in the pink shirt with the dark pants.
She is so cute! I wish I had gotten a good picture of her face - but this is the best there was. We had been camping for several days and yes, she does look like a rag a muffin. At this point I looked like a homeless bum, so it is only fitting.
My post has nothing to do with any of that really - well maybe it does. You see, I am really busy and there is never enough time. So, unless I am up early and have time before my walk and prayer time to blog - it doesn't happen. As you can tell by my recent blogging activity I am rarely up that early...
You see, if there is not enough time - I need to set my priorities. I am walking a minimum of 4 times a week, and I must spend time with God in the morning or the whole day seems to suck - then of course School and Work - so my leisure time is rare - and if I have to choose between blogging and spending time with my family - I will choose them.
BUT - I miss you all very much and love when I am up early and get to visit your blogs and say a brief HI.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I can't believe I finally get it!! It only took me over two years. Sometimes I am a little slow, or maybe it was just a process to get here, who knows. I know God called me to do Reliv. I have known for a while now that it is what I have been searching for all my life - a mission. I love helping people and have enjoyed that aspect for a long time - but I still wasn't getting it, not really.

I think when you are struggling financially it is easy to put your eyes on the money and not the mission. I think I have been somewhere in between for a while now. But through a lot of prayer and a lot of revelation I have come to realize that we have struggled financially for 22 years of marriage. We have never had "extra" money. Don't get me wrong, we have been truly blessed and God ALWAYS provides what we need - we have been comfortable. At the same time, it is always a struggle paying for the kid's lessons, dental stuff, car repairs/tags, all those everyday "extras". So - that is why my eyes kept shifting to the money - not that I desire to be wealthy, just to not have to worry anymore about where the money will come for things we need. I think when you don't have enough money - it is on your mind more.

Well, this is NOT about the money. Are you feeling brave? Really brave? Then when you are finished reading this - go to google images and type in "starving infants". It will shock you. There is actually a picture there of a boy eating the excrement from a cow - literally before it hits the ground. Sorry to be so graphic, but now do you see why the money is NOT important? It is so about building my business so we have more distributors feeding these hungry kids. Reliv is feeding over 42 thousand people, mostly children, all over the world right now. We feed them every single day - the best nutrition available, in my opinion. Those 42K are thriving! You can see before and after pictures Here

I could give $500 extra this month and that would be great - but what happens next month and the month after that? We have something that is literally beginning to change the world. I will build my organization so that more and more kids are being fed every day for month after month. Also, we have water systems in Haiti where they not only get clean water for their shakes every day - they can come all day long and take clean water home to drink! We are building schools for them to have a safe, clean environment to grow and learn in - so they can break the cycle of poverty they were born into.

So - money is really very trivial at this point in my mind - it is about these starving children - and that is driving me to share more than anything else ever has.

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I was playing with my camera on my phone. Do you ever do that? Just start taking random pictures? Well, I don't know if you have a Blackberry - but the flash is SERIOUSLY bright! Of course the room was kinda dim so the flash was blinding. Every time I took a shot, Lizzie would slam her eyes shut - only she wasn't trying to slam her eyes shut - cuz she is a ham and LOVES her picture taken! Anyway, when I took this last one - she was prepared! I laughed for a while about this!!

Her solution seems so logical doesn't it? Just manually hold your eyes open and they don't inadvertently shut on you!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Mama

My Mom has fibromyalgia. She used to be on a cane all the time and a walker part of the time. She could not do stairs very easily - if she was in a situation she had to do them she would be super duper slow and then have lots of pain later. This year she walked a mile for the Kalogris Foundation! At this point in the picture she is feeling like she may not make it. I LOVE that two good friends, Doug on the left and Zak on the right came along beside her and encouraged her.
She did make it to the finish line! Here we are - three generations! Reagan, Mom, and I. See that joy on her face? I am so proud of her! She LOVES the Kalogris foundation, well we all do. Over 42 thousand starving people, mostly kids, are being fed every single day through this organization. 100 Percent of donations go straight to the kids - 100 %!!! Look at other organizations and you will see why this is so amazing. Go to to see before and after pictures of some of the kids.
It was so worth getting up at 6am and walking a mile - It would be worth much more than that actually to begin to change our world for the better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I love my Lord

I love my Lord. I came to love Him as a child and have loved Him ever since. Of course, He loved me even before I knew about Him.

When I was ill I couldn't find Him. I tried to pray, but usually just had to read Psalms as my prayers because there was nothing in me to pray. I wasn't even sure God was there - I couldn't feel Him like I had before. I was also angry at God because I did have enough faith to know that if He wanted me instantaneously well He could do that. So, why was I left to suffer?

I once heard a story of a mom tucking her little girl into bed. The little girl was scared and the mom's reply was: "Don't be scared, honey, God is here with you". To which the little girl replied: "Sometimes I just need someone with skin on".

I realize now that God was right there with me. I also realize he held me, loved me, cared for me through people all around me that had skin on - Like my precious Reagan in the picture above. This over responsible oldest child carried a heavy burden while I was sick. She was substitute Mama to Jake and Lizzie and my caregiver most of the time. I beg God to bless her 100 times what she has given to make up for the childhood things she missed out on in those five years.

Now, that I can call on God and feel Him anytime I want - I never want to forget those dark times when I could not. Because there are people out there right now in that dark place - and they need someone with skin on - I want to be that for whoever God places in my path to do so. I pray God opens my eyes, quiets my mind, and stops my own agendas so that I notice them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I heard something interesting the other day and am still pondering it. A friend was talking about people that say they want change in their lives, yet do not really do their part to bring about that change. I think I have been there at different times in all sorts of areas of my life. For some people it might be health, or weight or their job or their living situation. I also know people whose entire lives are in utter chaos all the time. Praise God I have never been there. If you look closely though, often you can see the reasons by the choices people are making.

I don't even think it is the big choices - I think it is a bunch of bad little choices that put them there. It is making poor choices every day that will eventually catch up with you.

After hearing this conversation I came away with a few things. I say I really want to lose weight and be healthy - but do I REALLY mean it? Do I mean that I am willing to be consistent and persevere? Because I think that is the key to any change - doing something consistently. In my business, people take two shakes a day - every day. It is a commitment to themselves. Those that are consistent get results, it is that simple. Have not seen ONE person that was consistent not get results in almost 3 years now, no matter what they were dealing with. The people that take one shake, sometimes two, leave their product at home when they go out of town do not get their lives changed. It seems pretty simple really. I must be willing to get up 30 minutes earlier several times a week and exercise. I must be consistent with my Slimplicity. I must say no to that cookie occasionally, etc...

When I flew in Ft Worth in February I could barely get my seat belt fastened on the plane. It was embarrassing and scary. I came home and started Slimplicity in March and began walking 20 minutes 3 days a week. I totally forgot about the seat belt. So, in August when we boarded the plane for St Louis a dread came over me. I went to buckle and I had 5 or 6 inches of extra belt!!! What a fabulous feeling!! Am I where I want to be - No way - but I am daily choosing to continue on this journey. I have the tools, my Slimplicity and my treadmill - the rest is up to me.

The main area that popped into my mind while listening to my friend was my anxiety. I never had anxiety before I was sick - but it was devastating and debilitating. I have come a long way with Reliv in this area, but there are still things I struggle with. I did not drive for four years without my mom or Sean because when I would have my reactions I wouldn't know how to get home. Well, once Reagan got her driver's license I would go out with the kids again because I knew if I got sick Reagan could drive. Well, now Reagan has left home so guess who doesn't go many places when I am the only one home? And even beyond that - I only drove with Reagan, mom or Sean - not alone. I am now bringing all of this out to accountability because guess what - I am no longer sick. I will know how to get home and so I am venturing it out. I WANT to drive again - alone - anytime I want or need to go to town. And if I really WANT to drive then it is up to me to do my part - get my butt in the car, even if I am afraid and do it. Slowly and consistently, going further all the time until I get where I want to be. Or where God wants me to be anyway.

So, I am looking at people differently. When they say they want change, I am watching their feet, not their mouths - and holding myself accountable to the same standards.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Grabbe Goofiness

My dad brought these crazy glasses to Lizzie - we had had a lot of fun with these silly things! See how big they make your eyes look?
Lizzie will just wear them into random public places. Then we all laugh at the looks she gets...some people laugh and some people must think she has some strange disease because they immediately walk quickly away as if they might catch the "robot eye bug" or something! People watching is one of our favorite things to do.

This is Reagan on the left and Laura on the right. This was taken in an airport but heavens I can't remember which one we had a lay over in on our way home from St Louis. Probably Minneapolis -but don't hold me to it! Laura is 10 and had no idea she had large breasts until she saw the picture - then she was mortified!

Lizzie loves to torture, I mean play dress up with Chica. This is a snow cone cup posing as a birthday hat. Can you see the joy in Chica's face?

Here we are in the Deer Lodge Prison. We were being goofy, but that place is seriously sad.
Lord, please be with all those incarcerated in our country today, the guilty and the falsely accused. Please bring them to you and to your salvation and bring people in their lives that will love them right where they are. Amen

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rambling Pictures from the Grabbe House!


this blogs is going to be a rambling of some different things. First of all, I had an email from a fellow blogger that meant the world to know that in this vast expanse of Internet someone misses my measly blog! I think over time of sharing in someones life through their blog a friendship does occur. I miss reading all those blogs daily that I used to follow.

My life is just really busy right now. I am building a business and helping other people start and build their own businesses as well. Honestly, it is very fun. The funnest thing I have ever been a part of. I consider it a ministry. Just this past month we have helped people with fibromyalgia, energy, sleep, back pain, hypoglycemia, gosh, I could go on and on! Now many of those people are not passing it along to those they love and it is really just a chain of people helping people. I get to witness more miracles in a day than people get to experience in a lifetime - how could that not be fun. To me, God has called me to this work and that is why it is so fulfilling.

School is up and going again. Jake really wants to try to get into Julliard. It will be a hard thing, and heck if he doesn't make it he will still be way ahead just by going for it. We have two years to get him ready, so that is a full time job in itself. Lizzie is Lizzie and still the easy one. At 7 she still thinks mom and dad are wonderful! I am enjoying it because I know the day is coming soon when we will fall off of that pedestal.

I had run ins with 4 complete jerks in the past week, by the way. Two of them are bi-polar so we will give them that excuse. The other two are just self-centered, manipulative, assholes. OH - that felt good to say!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Sometimes I am just grumpy and I don't know why. I feel like Lizzie's face looks in this picture. Although we know why she was grumpy, she was angry because her mean mom wouldn't let her pick up a piece of gum off the ground and bring it home to investigate in her science lab she has created in her room. Hard to imagine...

No - my grumpiness comes from down inside but I am not sure why. I am usually fairly good at identifying my feelings and expressing them. So, this grumpiness has my puzzled. I am feeling a bit stressed, torn between family time and work. I love what I do so much that sometimes I know I push my family aside and work. I admit that and then I do feel guilty. Especially when Jake, and it is almost always Jake because he demands the most attention really, speaks up and says, "I feel I am being ignored". This happened last night as a matter of fact. BUT the grumpiness was already there, so that is not the source.

I don't want school to start yet I am looking forward to getting in some kind of routine. Could be part of it, but not all. I wish we would have camped more, done more family trips this summer, could be part as well I suppose. Yea, now that I think about it, maybe it is regret. Regret mixed with guilt that I am not changing and growing as a person as fast I would like to be. I feel stuck in some areas emotionally even though I am working on them. Change does not come easy for me, but once I make up my mind I want to change I expect immediate results. OK - found the source of grumpiness, impatience with Michele!

Thanks blog - writing it all out sometimes does help me to find the source. I have found the source so now I need to treat me like I do all those around me -with compassion and grace. Cudos to me for wanting to change and trying - I just need to cheer myself on more instead of tearing me down. Got it!

Monday, August 24, 2009


This is Sean and I on our 22nd anniversary last month. It has been a long past few years. I am not even talking about all the stress of my illness and all the repercussions that involved. I am just talking about our family here.

Our family has been broken in many ways. Sean and I got married young and came into our marriage with lots of baggage. We had done some pretty emotionally unhealthy "dances" all of our married life until a few years ago. We didn't even see them as "dances" until we got healthy enough emotionally to notice them. When we started to try to change - it caused a lot of friction for both of us. It was painful. Our older two kids also had quite a bit of anger and resentment that began showing up. It was hard, but good that all was coming out in the open so it could actually be dealt with.

Are we on the other side? I would like to think so. Our communication as a family is much better, no one feels they have to shelve anything anymore. Sometimes we have moments that we slip back into old patterns, but we now have tools and resources to help each other in love to come back - and we have the phone number for our family therapist, which never hurts!

I don't know where this family journey will take us or how it will end. I do know it is a journey that we are committed to going through together. Maybe it is not even about where we end up, maybe it is more about the journey anyway. One day my kids will all be grown and on their own separate journeys, and at that point I will be with Sean. This is really about our journey, the kids are just icing on the cake.

I know that Sean has loved me even when I was unlovable, as I have him. I know that we are both committed to at least the next 22 years and beyond. I know this life would be a lonely place with no one to share it with and am glad for today we have each other.

As Julia's husband said to her in the movie, "You are the butter to my bread"


I saw the movie Julie and Julia yesterday. It inspired me in many ways. I love to cook, so that area of inspiration is obvious, but it also inspired me about blogging. I have not been here in a long time to visit my blog or anyone else's for that matter. I have a blackberry now, so I am honestly hardly ever on the actual computer.

I have always enjoyed writing down my thoughts. If I need to tell someone something, it is much easier for me to get it down on paper than to just call and make a phone call. It seems I can organize my thoughts much better when writing them down. Writing seems to be some kind of release for me - kinda like cooking.

I want to make some kind of order of my life and writing down the progress seems to feel right to me somehow. I think I need to blog just for me - even if no one else ever reads it. I think I need to get my thoughts down, see my successes, revisit my failures and overcome them by seeing that even when I fail, I never give up.

I want to blog again - but what about? Right now the thoughts seem to be all trying to pour out at once and are bottle logged somewhere - I have many thoughts but nothing seems to be flowing out.

I a happy to be back.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The letter X is hard!

Thinking of words that start with X is more than my little brain wants to do this morning. So - I am cheating a bit - cuz we all know that eXample does not start with X - but this is my blog and I make the rules - so today I am going to show you some Xamples of weird or odd behavior at our house this week! We toured the prison in Deer Lodge - it is actually one of our favorite tourist sites in Montana - see, we are an odd family! It is an old stone prison they used until 1979 - which still astounds me. Anyway - the girls couldn't wait to be inside a cell.

Poor Chica - yes, she is tortured endlessly around here - but heck she is so darn fun to torture! Sean made her run around and give "monkey" a horseback ride.

My mom found this at a garage sale - not sure it is weird, but I can tell you this - I will NOT be ready to see this in real life for a long time to come!

This is me, of course you knew that, I am inside one of the cells in the women's wing. It was pretty bad - they repeatedly were asked to close it down due to conditions, but never did. They continued to use it until the prison was moved in "79. I am certainly glad I could just play and open that door whenever I felt like it - something the women that were truly in there could not do.

OUCH! We floated the river and I did use sunscreen. I should have used more though - or reapplied.

This is my mother drinking out of a bowl like a cat. This was her challenge in the game "would you rather" !! I am gonna keep this one and bribe her with it later - hear that mom?

Here is Belle chewing on one of her favorite things - the toilet brush - GROSS!! She absconds with them every chance she gets!!!

And here is the BAD dog chewing on my sandal - actually this is more common than any of us would like - If you like your shoes - do not leave them on the floor or they are fair game!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Y is for Yo Yo!

We went to the fair this week - 3 days of fair going actually - and those of you who know my story realize what a gift that was! We had a blast - ate lots of junk fun, spent too much money, and just had fun! BUT to Lizzie the fair meant the Yo Yo ride!! She rode this several times every single day! She was pretty excited. This was her first carnival - since I was physically unable to do things that this until just recently. Poor sheltered little thing!!

She finally got brave and raised her hands - even if it was for a brief second!

I love this one - this was her first time on it - see the terror on her face and the death grip on the chains?!
I want to also use Y to apologize to YOU - that Z you all commented on last week - was left over from the Z of the week before - was very convenient for me! :) but realize I cheated a bit... thanks for loving me anyway - and hey - Cassie never even noticed, she thought she had read it somewhere else before!! Cassie - I love you dear!!! that made my day!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Road Trip!

My mom loves baseball. I mean LOVES baseball - me - not so much. Mom and three of her buddies planned a road trip to Seattle to watch the Mariners. The week of the trip one of her friends ended up having to work - so I was recruited. I can still plainly remember when I had to take Valium just to leave my house and drive to Bozeman - 5 miles away. What a blessing to be able to get into a car with no fear and drive to Seattle!! The game was really fun. Seattle won - woo hoo!! This is me, mom, and our good friend, Mary. What a grin she has! We ate too much junk food and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly!! It was really fun. And guess what - ssshhh - don't tell my mom - but I might have just caught a bit of the baseball bug! I would go back in a heartbeat - IF we do it in 5 days instead of 4 - because driving every day got really old! I am not a big car person.
I am just so grateful to God for all the healing He has done in my life. I never have to go back to that dark, lonely place I used to live in and I am very grateful for that. Praise God for health, family, friends and BASEBALL!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Z is for Zombies!!

I have tried to raise my kids right - taken them to church since they were small - prayed with them - taught them there are no such thing as "monsters". This is one of my son's favorite books. He has read it many times and will still pick it up occasionally. I know more about surviving Zombies than I hope to ever need to know. "mom, the safest place to go is to the end of a dock and then remove the wood in between you and the land because Zombies don't like water." Me - "Jake, there are no such thing as Zombies." Jake - *big grin* Jake - "mom - NEVER hide anywhere with a lot of other people. Zombies are attracted to noise." Me - "Jake, there really are NO zombies." Jake - *Laughs out Loud* * hysterically*

Have you heard of this book yet - It is Pride and Prejudice re-written and Zombies are added in! The original P and P is one of Reagan's favorite books. This was the first MUST read book of the summer for her. I just think it is weird. Of course, I had trouble getting through the regular P and P - all those weird ways they say things - I never really knew what was going on anyway. Then throw in Zombies and AAARRRGGHHHHH!! NOT for me - but she enjoyed it very much.

And last but not least - Lizzie - sweet adorable Lizzie - she LOVES Scooby Doo and all their Zombie chasing adventures... Zoinks!! what is a Mother to do???

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yesterday Lyrics

"Yesterday, All my troubles seemed so far away, Now it looks as though they're here to stay, Oh, I believe in yesterday. Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be, There's a shadow hanging over me, Oh, yesterday came suddenly. Why she Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say. I said, Something wrong, now I long for yesterday. Yesterday, Love was such an easy game to play, Now I need a place to hide away, Oh, I believe in yesterday. Why she Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say. I said, Something wrong, now I long for yesterday. Yesterday, Love was such an easy game to play, Now I need a place to hide away, Oh, I believe in yesterday. "

Do you know that I never really cared for the Beatles. I am not sure why - cuz now I LOVE them! My oldest daughter, Reagan has loved the Beatles for years. It was at her insistence I finally listened enough to begin to like them. I have learned more from my kids than they will probably ever learn from me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

92 Degrees

It is in the 90's here today. Probably not too hot for the rest of you, but considering it was in the 60's last week - we were HOT! So, time for the kiddie pool - and yes, I was the crazy, fat neighbor lady out in the kiddie pool!! I almost didn't include this picture because of the hideously ugly trailer in the background...then I laughed and decided I would blog that story tomorrow - cuz I hate that trailer but my husband LOVES it... aaaarrrrgggghhhhh!

Anyway, I couldn't resist getting in the kiddie pool, cuz Lizzie begged me, and who could resist that little thing????

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I can be a BIG procrastinator...especially when it comes to house work. I can find almost anything to avoid actually cleaning. OR I just barely get by, I bribe myself - "If I get the kitchen clean, then I can go do such and such..." Yes, that was my conversation with myself.

Well, the other day, Reagan was over and she was looking in the fridge and exclaimed, "MOM - tell me those are not the chicken and dumplings from last semester!!" Well, you know what? They were one and the same!! It was a bit of a wake up call - and I did get that fridge cleaned out. It looks quite beautiful now, don't you think?

Beautiful and Bare. In fact, Lizzie came through and exclaimed, "oh no, now we have NO food!"

Monday, June 22, 2009

W and X!!

I missed last week, so I am combining W and X today - to bring you this Wonderful, X-rated picture: It is wonderful because Lizzie and Chica were lounging in the sun together...and X-rated because Chica is not being very modest!!! I should have thrown something over her nether regions, like a Kleenex maybe?

Happy A - Z Monday!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have been VERY busy!! but I am missing all of you and your blogs! can't wait to get plugged back in soon!! in the meantime - here is Belle!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My mom is home. She came home yesterday from Missouri and brought my nephew. My kids are really excited to get some cousin time. Since Sean and I each only have one sister and Sean's sis doesn't have any kids - my kid's only have two cousins, my sister's two kids. They had not seen each other since last summer.

I am not sure what my mom thought about her new "grand"dog - as she pooped in her house TWICE in the hour and a half we were over there. Might have been the rotten egg she found and ate yesterday afternoon. Yep - the East bunny must have hidden that one a little too well, because Bell came flying out of a bush with her "prize" and there was no catching her. She does that, by the way, when she gets something she knows she shouldn't have - she runs like the devil and there is NO catching her. She does not run off or out of reach, no she is much more frustrating than that - she runs in circles around you or the bushes or just a few feet from reach. Naughty dog!!

Or she may have had a little to much roughage from the bag of Bone meal Grandma had bought for the garden. You know that bag she found in the garage and ripped open and spread all over the driveway and ate and ate and shared with her partner in crime Chica? Yea - that Bone meal. The bag says - "Contains some ingredients that may be attractive to animals but might be harmful to them".

So the vet got two calls from me yesterday... we were told what to watch for, but none of it transpired. She is fine today. Didn't faze her one bit - a 3 month old egg or the bone meal. Well, Grandma's carpet might have a different opinion...

Here she is looking all innocent. She is really not sleeping, but the flash in my phone is very bright and she now closes her eyes when she hears the camera click. She apparently loves rotten eggs but not bright lights. Go figure...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grandma Mary

Yesterday I read Dawn's Post about her Grandma and I have not been able to get mine off of my mind since then. Sometimes getting things out in writing is healing for me - so I am going to tell you about my Grandma Mary. Feel free to doze off and wake up at the end to comment - because this is really just for me - and probably will bore you to tears anyway.

I am the youngest of five cousins on my mom's side of the family. The first two, Stephen and Robin are a year apart, and then Janell and my sister, Phoebe, are also a year apart. Then there was me. When we were all together a couple of times a year, they would grab their partner in crime and head off on their adventures and I was usually left alone - too young to be any fun for any of them. Grandma was my playmate. I can remember Grandma putting down whatever she was cooking and coming outside and swinging with me. Or getting me started on some project that would occupy my time. I never remember her telling me she was too busy for me. Sometimes I might have to wait a few minutes for her to turn off the stove or finish washing dishes, but then we would be off on our own adventure.

My Grandma lived in Artesia, NM, a small town. All my life I can remember if she heard a fire truck she would drop whatever she was doing, grab her purse and we would jump in the car to chase the fire truck. Being married to a Fireman now - I realize that was so totally illegal - but, boy, was it ever fun!!

I am named after my Grandma - yes my first name is Mary. My Lizzie is named after her as well, as she was Mary Elizabeth. Lizzie was the youngest Great Grandkid and Grandma got a kick out of her! She would just sit in her chair and watch her and smile. I will never forget that smile. She was too old to chase firetrucks by then.

The night my grandma passed away I was the only grandchild not present. I was very ill at the time and unable to travel. I still feel very sad about that. I will never forget that night though. I was lying on my bed and I suddenly felt her there. I can't describe it to you - but I knew the moment she passed away - I felt it in my soul. I tried to call my mom - no answer. I went downstairs to be near my kids and Lizzie was 3 at the time. I hadn't said a word to anyone about what I had experienced upstairs yet - Lizzie was standing in the middle of the living room, she pointed out the French doors and said - "There's Grandma Mary". Just like that. So, even though I was unable to go and say goodbye to her, she came to me. She made a pit stop on the way to her last great adventure. I feel so honored by that.

I have quite a few of my Grandma's kitchen things. I use them and I feel just a little bit closer to her. The hole in my heart right now feels just as big as it ever did - years later I still miss her terribly. I wish I could walk in her back door and smell the comfort of being in her house. I wish I could sit down with her and play cards. I can't do any of those things. I can be grateful for all that she instilled in me that is good and honorable. I can look forward to the day that I will get the chance to use her example and never be too busy for my grandkids - NOT anytime too soon though! AAAARRGGGHHH I just woke myself up to reality - NOT ready to be Grandma yet! But so glad I had the one I had.

Monday, June 8, 2009

V is for Victory!

Reagan is Victorious!! She ran the 5K Governor's cup on Saturday. She is victorious, but no she did not actually win first place, or even second - I think she was in the middle of the pack somewhere. She did improve her time from the last 5K she ran though.

Reagan is victorious because she has lost 5 clothes sizes in the past 2 1/2 yrs. She is victorious because she LOVES to run! And I believe if you are doing what you LOVE then you are successful. Mostly I say she is victorious because I am her mother - that's why!! :)

She has inspired me and I have now gone down one clothes size in 3 months!! Not too shabby - and just today when I was starving but not allowing myself to eat, she reminded me that I am losing pounds and inches and NOT starving myself, so why should I start now? She is SO smart! She said, "Mom, what you are doing is working - why change it?" Smart kid!! Also - did I mention she is Victorious because she has a 3.74 GPA and made the Dean's List at MSU?!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Life is funny, there are ups and there are downs and there are in betweens. I think I spend more time in between than anywhere. That is not half bad though - in betweens are better than downs I tell you! I have spent my fair share of time in the downs. Do they build character? Yes, of course, and good does usually come around in the end and the downs help me be humble, and compassionate toward others and blah blah blah - but I will say it again - the downs are just plain NO fun.

The ups are good - the ups keep me going in the between and down times. The ups are what life is about and what makes life worth persevering through. But what if, and I mean a big what IF life is really about the in between times. The times when we must create our own motivation because it doesn't just flow like it does during the up times. What if the in betweens are where the real personal growth happens - like a hiatus to regroup, rethink things through and figure out where I am really heading and is it even where I desire to be going?

I am in an in between time right now. It is not as exciting as an up time, but it is a lot better than a down time - I would describe it as peaceful. Peaceful is good. I will just enjoy it for now, regroup and get my game plan going - what kind of wife do I want to me? Which kid needs what from me now as a mother? Where does work fit in? Mostly - am I doing the things on a daily, consistent basis that God is calling me to do? Because the more I do that - the more peace will be in my future - and honestly, I like peace. So, until life throws me a few ups and downs, I will enjoy my vacation time in between.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reagan is 18

I can not believe my oldest baby turned 18 yesterday! She has been such a joy all of her life. Well, except her birth really. I should blog about that someday - it is a pretty funny story. I arrived at the hospital at 7:30 and she was born at 7:58. Yep - funny story. We had the greatest day. Reagan, Lizzie and I had lunch. Then Lizzie got dropped off at a friends and Reagan and I went for massages. Then the whole family met up at the pond and we took a walk - and found this great photo op!
Then we went to see the new Disney movie - Up. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is a great story. A story about having dreams and then letting everyday life get in the way of those dreams and then before we know it - we didn't do what we set out to do. Then a Great recovery in the end - Go see it! You will laugh and maybe tear up a bit...

Lizzie has started a new tradition in our family. Lizzie picked out the cake - Red Velvet. I tried to persuade her otherwise, coaxed, prodded, but honestly it was the only cake with Roses - and that is what she wanted for her sister. We got it late on Tuesday night and no one was at the bakery to write on it - so Lizzie did it. She added an 18 and Reagan's name. She did better than I thought she would! NOW - all the kids want red velvet cake for their birthdays. I guess I better figure out how to make it - but honestly - I don't know if I can force myself to pour an ENTIRE bottle of red food coloring into the batter. Call me old fashioned - but that seems excessive, doesn't it? Overkill?? Well, we have a rule around here - on birthdays they get to choose their meal and usually their guess I am stuck with the red - like it or not. This year Reagan said, "surprise me" - looks like the surprise is on me!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chica and Bella

Well, Chica is really starting to play with Bella. It has not been an easy process, as Chica did not even realize she was a dog before the past few weeks. She is now really starting to enjoy playing and even initiates play often, which surprises me. Sorry this photo is blurry - they were moving very fast!
The playing is over and they have curled up in between to Sean's legs to sleep.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ - this is rare to see Bella this still. She is a very active dog. This is NOT rare to see Chica this still, it is more rare to see her active! :)

and Yes, in closing, my husband is a dork - he IS totally wearing wool socks with his sandals - and flip flops to boot!!