Sunday, June 29, 2008

A quick "shout out"

Just a quick shout out to my sister Terry in Texas. She and I got off to a rocky start when her dad married my mom but I'm happy to say now that we are more "mature" we really do get along really well and I miss her! Terry is on the left, sister Joey in the middle and me on the right. I think this was taken back in the early 70's. Happy Birthday Terry ~ You'll always be just a little bit older than me... hee hee

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pool Party Blow Out

So today was Nathaniel's pool party... There ended up being about 9 kids which I guess is good. I don't think I could have handled more than that ~ they were all on full sugar rush (my fault completely) and had to "tone things down a bit" once or twice. It was a nice mix of kids from school and new neighborhood friends.
DSC03247 DSC03253C DSC03257
Even my (not so) little brother Matt and his girlfriend Karina came over from Orlando
I think a good time was had by all ~ especially those in the pool cause it was really hot out. The kids feasted on pizza, chips, fruit and all the new Mountain Dew flavors (I'm not a fan of any of them) and pop rocks. Me, I had a better time once all the kids had gone home and there were no injuries. Nathaniel got enough in checks, cash and gift cards to get himself the new DS he's been wanting forever.DSC03260 Isn't he so cute? He also got a few new video games for the Playstation so that's what he and his sister have been doing ..DSC03262
Fortunately for the pool they have not been all consumed and not as cranky when I enforce time limits on how much they can play video games. I think it's gonna turn out to be a good summer after all.

On a little side note ~ we did have a little froggie show up at the pool which I choose to think as Angie popping in to say "hello" on his special day. He really thought that was special too.

My Little Man is growing up....

Today my little man, Nathaniel (or Nate as he is now known) turned 11. How can that possibly be? Seems like just yesterday he was toddling around and now he's half way to grown! While I may not have given birth to him, I still went through labor just the same, 2 years of waiting for this little one to come into my life. My family teases that I didn't put him down for the first 3 months of his life. The sad part is, they are probably right. If you had asked me before we adopted him if I wanted a boy or girl, I would have said girl cause that's what I already knew... Now I don't know what I'd do without my little man. I absolutely adore him. Here's a little recap (in pictures) of his life so far..

So, Happy Birthday Baby Boy... I love you forever!

So many thanks and blessings

I have so much to be thankful for... and you, my bloggy friends, are among those. Yesterday I received the sweetest package... It was from Sandra over at Sandra Sews:)
She sent me the cutest little bib DSC03236 for my newest great niece Abbigale. It even has a little appliqued "A" on it. She also sent a really sweet condolence note saying how sorry she was about Angie. I also received a lovely note from Karen over at South of Purple I have been overwhelmed at all of your wonderful comments and condolences left on the blog as well.

I also received an amazing gift from my non-bloggy friend Sue and her family. DSC03263 It's the most beautiful photo collage of Angie with a saying that just made me cry. Sue had only met Angie just once but not only did Angie leave a great impression, Sue is just the most thoughtful of friends. Not only were the pics of Angie wonderful, she even put "peace frogs" on it which was a real favorite of Angie's. It's something the whole family will treasure always. Thanks everyone! I feel truly blessed to have all of you in my life.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's the big 75 for my Dad

Just wanted to wish my Dad a VERY VERY HAPPY 75TH BIRTHDAY!!!
Here he is with my mom on their wedding day. I'm the smallest one (not anymore) on the far right. This is the day we became a family. My dad adopted my sister and I (Joey's the one in blue) not too long after this and he's been my dad ever since. I really never had much contact with my biological father (aka sperm donor) so I was thrilled to finally have a "daddy." My (step) brother and I have always gotten along and although my (step) sister and I fought like cats and dogs the whole time we were growing up (we were too close in age and both Daddy's girls) I'm happy to report that now that we are adults ~ we really do love each other and get along really well. Thanks to my dad I've also inherited two step mothers and an amazing baby brother who is now 21! Thanks Dad, for bringing us all together. I love you!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Still moving.... and moving on...

This past week has been spent moving...moving... moving, as well as trying to move on from Angie's passing. Little by little we have moved carloads from one house to the new house and are making some progress. My sewing room at the old house looks like this.. DSC03201 and in the new house it looks like this.. DSC03228 Hopefully it'll be up and running very soon as I have taken up on the offer from my LQS to make some shop samples over the summer with the new Christmas fabrics and patterns. I will also be working there a few days a week once school starts in the fall. I'm happy to be back in the business. I've missed it.
It hasn't been all work though... each of the kids have had friends over to enjoy the pool. Julianne's friend Ashley came for the day DSCN0535 And her friend Sara spent the night DSC03225 Nathaniel also had his friend Jacob over for a swim but bad mom that I am, I didn't get any photos. Sadie is still trying to figure out the pool. Fortunately she hasn't jumped in (yet) DSC03226 And we have enjoyed a meal by the pool DSC03212 Now if we only had a table and chairs outside to sit at... Our "needs" list for the new house grows ever longer but since we plan on being here for a very long time, little by little we'll make this house our own.
Will post more on the move soon but right now I have to actually go MOVE!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trying to move on

I am attempting to post a follow up to the tragic death of our Angie and then try to move on to more daily stuff. It seems wrong to go back to normal when things will never be the same but for the sake of the kids and my sanity it's what must be done. She will continue to be on my mind and forever in my heart. Here's is the post I did for her birthday last year. It tells more of the background story of Angie and what she means to us. I'm so glad I did this and that she saw it and loved it. You never know when someone will leave your life. DSC00887
Angie was killed in a tragic auto accident on Tuesday morning on her way to work. She was just a mile from home and it happened in the second it took for her to look over at the cars merging in her lane at the same time the traffic in front of her stopped. She clipped the car in front of her which sent her into a tailspin across I40 into oncoming traffic. She was hit just once by a pick up truck ~ but she was hit so hard (he was going 70 mph ~ which was the speed limit) and in just the right way that the rear of her car was pushed all the way up to the front of the car. She was killed instantly. There is a picture of her car here but I will forewarn you, it's not pretty. It's one of the many articles regarding her accident.
DSC00456.jpgAngie was a wonderful, giving person. She came into our lives the day she gave birth to "our" son Nathaniel. When she went into labor she asked the agency to call us and ask us to come to the hospital. We were about 4 hours away and off we went, making phone calls and arrangements on the fly. We knew that day that she was meant to be in our lives. It was supposed to be a closed adoption but we went behind the agency and shared our information and so not only did we adopt Nathaniel but Angie as well. She meshed well into our family. She is the same age as my daughter Jennifer and they always had fun together. At the time of the adoption we all lived in North Carolina and Angie would come on vacations with us and spend time at our house on a regular basis. Since our moving to Florida we only got to see her once or twice a year which was hard but we were in constant contact via phones and email. She had already scheduled her trip down for this summer to coinside with Nathaniel's birthday on the 28th of this month. We were all very excited.
From the moment I received the call from her best friend Kelli on Tuesday morning I have been on an emotional roller coaster. I still cannot believe she is gone. We drove up to NC on Thursday and on Friday we met up with Kelli & Kyle (Hi guys!) at Angie's house. The two of them had been working diligently on her house in preparation for our arrival. We had never actually been to her house and it was wonderful and comforting to see where she lived and we were just blown away by all the photos and memorabilia she had of not only Nathaniel, but all of us.
She had cards saved that Jen had sent her more than 7 yrs ago. I've always known how important she was in our lives but it was nice to see that we were just as important in hers. We had not met Kyle or Kelli before but I think Angie would be pleased to see how well we all clicked immediately. The funeral itself was especially hard. It was an open casket. We brought the kids in before hand to see Angie privately. They both did really well but commented that she "just didn't look comfortable," which she didn't. Nathaniel was the center of a lot of attention as everyone that knew Angie knew of him and had seen countless pictures of him and everyone wanted to meet him and to give him a hug. He was a trooper and allowed all those strangers to get what they needed from him, Angie's final legacy. He walked Angie's mother (a virtual stranger to him) up to the front of the church for the service and walked with her behind the coffin as it was taken out of the church. I, of course, was right with him the entire time (with Richard, Jen, Jeremy & Julz right behind us) and while it was all a bit overwhelming, we got through it ~ together, as a family. I think the hardest part of the service was when the pastor talked about her love for her son being so great that she gave him up to a family who could give him all that she could not. Fortunately for him and for us and for Angie ~ we all got to be a part of each other's lives.
After the service we visited with Angie's mom and family at her house. She (Judy) is handling this as best she can and I think much better than I could although she told me she is just operating numb. I guess that's all you can do in a situation like this. After that we went back to Angie's house to hang out and share stories with her friends. It was nice to get to know the people that she had told us so much about over the years. Kyle & Kelli had put together quite a few things for us to take home with us ... photo albums she had made of all of us, stuff that I had made her over the years and each of us took a frog (it was what she collected en mas) to remember her by. I do hope that we will be able to keep in touch with them so that Nathaniel will still have that connection with his birth mother.
Being in NC also gave us the opportunity to visit with some of our "other" family. Alex's (unofficially adopted daughter) sister and mother live in Charlotte and while they didn't know Angie they attended the funeral in Alex's place since she was not able to change her schedule to make it down. Later Friday night we went over to their place and had a wonderful dinner and great visit. It was a nice end to a very hard day.
We arrived home safely on Saturday as did Jen and Jeremy and while we still mourn Angie and talk about her, we are trying to get on with our lives as best we can. We are still in mid move so that takes a lot of our time and energy. We will continue moving over boxes and some of the smaller furniture. The movers will come on the 23rd and move the big stuff. In the mean time we are all sleeping on single mattresses on the floor but are happy to be in the new house and away from the crazy neighbors. The kids have already met some new friends here and had old friends over for a swim. So... life goes on ~ but it's just not the same. Thanks for indulging me in my pain and grief. We will now continue on with our regular programming schedule...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Because I can't...

We've suffered a terrible loss, and I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

This was written by my daughter Jen and says it all: Angie...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Abbigale is here!

This is my beautiful great neice who was born on Thursday. Mommy Danielle is doing great. Abbigale is having some apnea problems and will probably need to be on a monitor for a while ~ so please keep her in your prayers. With any luck she will go home on Tuesday and I know she will grow up to be a happy healthy beautiful little girl who will bring us all many smiles and much love.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

School is OUT!!!

I'm not sure who is more excited ~ me or the kids. For me it means we are that much closer to moving into the new house and out of this strange neighborhood. The last day of school was one big party. We celebrated Nate's teacher's McBirthday in style. Her sister, mother and daughter were all in the class and brought everyone donuts, pizza, bubba teeth and "gangsta" shades.DSC03169
Friday after school we went to the stadium to see our teachers get beat by the teachers from another school. It was painful to watch but the kids had fun hanging out with their friends. Here is Nathaniel's current squeeze ~ she's a cutie. DSC03184
Wednesday found us at the doctor's office with Julianne and an ear infection. I snapped this pic of the mural (hand painted) in the drs office. Not sure who did it, but they did a wonderful job.DSC03190
The kids already have all kinds of plans for sleepovers and such. Me, I'm a packing fool ~ this move can't come soon enough for me!

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's a "McBirthday"

Nathaniel's teacher ~ Mrs. McAleenan uses her Mc to the fullest. Her newsletters are McNews and on her desk she has a McStapler and McTape Dispenser (which means it belongs to her) etc. So, the last couple of days at school she is celebrating birthdays for the kids whose birthdays are in the summer. Since it is not "really" their birthdays she celebrates "McBirthdays." Yesterday it was Nathaniels turn. They get to wear silly head gear DSC03147and I brought in Klondike bars for everyone.
Here is the boy ~ I think he is bowing to his own awesomeness! DSC03150C
And here's what happens when you let him use your camera and he shoots video of his friends...

He is one crazy kid ~ and I love him to death...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday at the Beach

Sunday at the beach was great. We only stayed out for a couple of hours but the kids had tons of fun and we brought home tons of sand. The waves were pretty rough so the girls (Julianne brought her friend Sara) stayed pretty close to us. My daredevil had to be called in (by us) several times cause he's just in his own world communicating with the sea. He loves it ~ no fear whatsoever. He'll dive right in to the highest waves. Makes me crazy. Rich and I brought our beach chairs. DSC03123 We put them right at the edge of the water so the waves come up enough to keep us cooled off. It was so rough though that there were a couple of waves that went right over our heads, I swear. It was crazy.
Here's the girls waiting for the wave.. DSC03124
And here they are after it hit ...DSC03125
And here they are in recovery.... DSC03133
And the boy managed to find some kind of creature. It had a hard shell and lots of little feet (ewww) DSC03131 He did return it unharmed to the edge of the water where it burrowed (very quickly) back into the sand.