Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost Home

I can honestly say I don't think I've EVER looked more forward to snow, bills, chickens, dust, chores, or anything else I've ever complained about at my house. I'm ridiculously homesick, and we are very close. About 3.5-4 hours away. After the last two TWELVE hour days in a bumpy ol' truck pulling a boat on some of the worst roads on the planet!

The first person I'm calling tomorrow is my chiropractor. Between the whiplash I got in Florida, on the boat, going Mach9 over 4 foot waves tightly gripping a 3 year old, to the bumps and potholes on the roads of this great country...I think every bone that can be adjusted needs to be. My back is killing me!

I'm going to get caught up on my bloggy friends....I'm going to sleep in my own bed...FOREVER. I'm going to run around in next to nothing and not worry about being too loud for the neighbors. (Although when most of your neighbors are chain-smoking geriatric alcoholics, THEY bothered US way more than we bothered them, I'm sure!)

{cue patriotic music}

I'm going to appreciate my CLEAN kitchen. My overheating stove. My slow microwave. My pantry! My dirty carpet...cuz I know it's MY dirt. My loud yappy dogs. My Dyson vacuum. And DVR. Oh, sweet DVR. Watching anything you want when you want.

Oh, and to the makers of the portable DVD player....if my firstborn weren't already born and perfect, I would promise it to you. If you had not invented this beautiful piece of technology, I am certain that not all three members of my family would be alive. I.KID.YOU.NOT. So whoever you are....BLESS YOU!

My next post will be from the blissful setting of my OWN office, with my own computer, and I will be the happiest person ever.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Poor Baby

Oh.my.gosh. I don't know how my mom handled seeing me in the hospital for three months not knowing if I would live or die. My kid has gastroenteritis (probably rotovirus) and I'm a basket case. Of course, I don't know how she ever handeled 5 kids when they all had the flu. I'm at my mom's now, in Wildwood. The relief I felt in making it this far was indescribable.

At the point we're just trying to keep Jacob from getting dehydrated. He sips a little water, a little gatorade (won't touch Pedialite)...The improvement from yesterday to today is dramatic.

Yesterday he was so lethargic...he slept for all but about 4 or 5 hours during the 24 hour day. Today he has only slept for about 3...Not exactly back to normal, but definitely looking BETTER. Which is good. Just being here gives me comfort....I mean, it's my MOM! They fix everything. We're here til Friday morning, so if you are a pray-er...PLEASE pray that he continues to get better and better, and that he doesn't dehydrate, and that we don't get it. Traveling 1200 miles with a sickie is NOT on my top ten list, if ya know what I mean.

I will someday look back on this trip and be able to laugh at all the things that went "wrong." But for now, I just want to get home in one piece, and not think about vacation for a while. At least til I get the pictures developed!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Character Building Continues...

Ug. So Jacob, poor baby, threw up all day yesterday. Begging for food and water in between. I was bawling because he was bawling, and sick, and I couldn't do anything. I could barely speak.
He finally stopped last night before bed, but this morning woke up with a slight fever, and is SUPER sleepy. All he wants to do is sleep. I'm a little freaked out, but my mom said his little body needs to recover. And even my little energizer bunny has been awfully active lately. Lots of sun, different food...Hopefully his fever is gone this afternoon.

I'm ready to go to my mom's like NOW. It's less than 2 hours away, and it's so yucky here. It's uncomfortable, old, and stinky. I think we actually heard a gunshot the other night! All the people here are old, and they all drink and smoke cigarettes. It's very odd. A bit disturbing. All these Grandma and Grandpa's partying it up every night. And because we've been sleeping with the windows open, all that cigarette smoke comes in. YUCK. Never again will I stay in this dive.

Doug is having issues too....somehow things seem to end up being my fault when things don't go his way...it doesn't help that my little boy is sick, and I'm exhausted from running around like a madwoman, then extra exhausted from taking care of him, stressing over getting out of here...

BUT. I will make it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He WILL sustain me. Nothing can happen to me that He isn't aware of, and that's good enough for me. I dont' get it, that's for sure. I don't get why my little one had to get sick the last 3 days of our vacation... I do not get it. But I don't have to. I just have to keep the faith. It can certainly be hard. But in the end, it will be worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize, my friends. Run the race.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Builds Character"

If I had a dollar for every time my dad said that to me I would be rich. Filthy stinking rich. That and "write your Congrssman" (which I never really started doing until recently!) Americans like to complain. We have it so good (and I am SO including myself in this!) and yet we want more. We want everything easy, and perfect, and "right now." If only I were thinner. If only I had a better job. If only I had a husband and/or child. Then I'd be complete. If only I would be cured....

I was reading a devotional this morning form a book called Strength For Today by Sharon Broyles. She was talkiFont sizeng about Paul and Silas, and how they were in prison, in chains, and standing in sewage up to their knees. And yet they didn't complain. They sang. They praised God. What if we did that? What if we decided to live IN our circumstances instead of always trying to find a way out of them. What if we decided to really live?

A woman named Carol, fighting an incurable chronic illness said this, "We desperately want to be able to soar above our problems, when what God may want is for me to learn how to live within them."

How we live with our illness, with our circumstances, with our issues and problems, can reflect God to someone who may not know Him. By asking for and accepting God's grace for the moment...his new mercies every morning...By praising instead of complaining....By singing instead of sobbing...You could make the difference in someone else's eternity.

And isnt' that all that really matters?

Update: Isn't it ironic that when you go on a limb and post something like this, satan starts messing around?? Jacob has been sick all day, and I am exhausted. Just shows what a low-life, sneaky, lying, conniving, insolent little ba$ta&* he is.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shells and Shops

First of all, I have to tell you the latest from my adorable child. We were driving in the truck and out of the blue Jacob says, "Mommy! I'm growing hair on my arms! That means I'm getting to be big like Daddy!" Oh my gosh. What a priceless child. I can't believe how much I love him, and how amazing and wonderful and brilliant he is. Even when he drives me crazy.

We went to two different beaches today to look for shells. We found some at the first one, and what I thought were prettier ones at the second one, Venice Beach. Venice was supposed to have shark teeth, but nope. Doug bought some for me instead : ) After that we went to some of the shops in Venice Beach. Very cool. Lots of fun. Lots of jewelry and shells and all kinds of pretty stuff. A lot of it overpriced, but pretty!

The BEST store on the PLANET is Bealls. It's pronounced Bells, which drives me nuts, because it should be pronounced "Beels." ANYWHO. The Bealls Outlet stores have the most amazing deals. It's just ridiculous. I got some of the coolest jewelry for like $3.00 a piece. I'm REALLY irritated though, because I bought the most PERFECT bracelet for my BFF Joanna, and they DIDN'T put it in the bag. I didn't notice until we were out of the area. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! It was a gold bracelet with a gold seashell-pearl, pattern. GORGEOUS. I'm SO mad I could spit. But I got lots of other stuff she will love!!!

So we were out in the sun waaaay too much today...Jacob and I had 30 sun screen on , and still got burned...Doug of course didn't wear any. We found some really pretty shells though, and Jacob discovered the ocean surf. He at first just played in the sand "diggin holes in the dirt. I'm diggin' to Shina, Mom." (China) Then he was making "snow angels." I'm like, don't you mean SAND angels? He is so precious. Then he started playing "you can't catch me" with the surf, and in just a few minutes he was soaking wet from the waist down, covered in sand, laughing and having the best time ever. It was AWESOME.

Well, time to get ready for bed...tomorrow is the Pier, Aquarium, and the largest book store in Florida! YAY!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Greetings from the Sunshine State???

Okay, so the weather hasn't been perfect...a fact my husband continues to remind me of. Like I control the weather, hullo?? But ya know what? We're not in Michigan. It's not snowing. We're together. We're in FLORIDA. We've been fishing. We've been to the zoo. So it's supposed to maybe drizzle a little bit here and there...

{7 hours have passed}

So....we've been fishing and beach hopping looking for shells all day. Struck out on all fronts. We fished in like 3 or 4 different places...it was just kind of a cluster day. Nothing got accomplished. I got about 3 raindrops on me this morning, and now there isn't a cloud in the sky. We had to come back to the room so Jacob could take a nap. He was being RIDICULOUS. He has really been a trooper, doing SO good for being away from home for so long, not getting regular naps, WAY more activity than he's used to.... He has been awesome. I'm very proud to be his mommy!

Went to Bubba Gump Shrimp last night. That was awesome. Great food, great service, very busy, but we got right in. I'm not ready for the vacation to be over yet, for sure...but I sure could use some "all by myself time!" Egads!

Hopefully I'll post more tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm Still Alive!!!

Oh the bliss of my computer bloggy world. The euphoria of wi-fi! The civility of being able to get to my blog! Heaven help me if I had to go one more day without it! Ug. I could barely check e-mail and facebook on my phone, but I couldn't do a thing with my blog. Not a fancy pants enough of a phone, I suppose. We are now in St. Pete Beach (or would that be ON St. Pete Beach??) and Hallelujah they are much more civilized. Thank GOD.

So...I have SO many stories....because you know me, NOTHING uneventful can happen to ME! So I think I'll start with yesterday. Doug and I (and Jacob of course!) went to the Sebastian Island Inlet to Pier Fish...(oh, and today, it was on fire. It wasn't me, I SWEAR!!) Anywho.

So we're fishing off this pier...probably 20 feet above the ocean. I'm reeling in my bait to change it, and Jacob starts running off. I pause, quickly, to speak to him, and turn back to my pole. I caught something! A flippin' seagull. A SEAGULL!!! Dang freak of nature. Swallowed the shrimp ON the hook. Doug had to cut the line, but I'm sure the thing is dead. Everyone fishing near us GASPED. Literally GASPED. Hardened, salty fishermen looked at my pasty white, city girl skin, and gasped. I was like, yes, I'm a flippin' bird killer. Whatcha gonna do about it?!?!?

I took Jacob to the truck to feed him, and I didn't want to go back. I called Doug and told him he could stay out there as long as he liked, I was staying with Jacob. Jacob wanted to chase the birds, and there's a gabillion people with hooks flying all over the place....But I was "keeping him on too tight a leash." Whatever.

We did end up going back there and catching 12 fish! FINALLY!!! Victory!!! And I caught the biggest one. SO...VINDICATED!!!!!!! Muuuuu -uuuuuu-aaaahahahahahahaha.

More tails from the South (and boy O boy are they interesting....)coming soon....

I miss you all!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movin' On

So today we head over to Sebastian. Fishing mecca of the area. Indian River Lagoon is touted to be one of the best fishing spots in the WORLD, let alone the country, let alone FLORIDA! Now we are so happy we do the dance of joy!

Yesterday we went to a fish hatchery about 1/2 hour from here. Jacob want to catch the fish. In the farm-tanks. We saw a ton of Coy...those things are COOL! They feed the babies to the bass though...not so cool. They feed bluegill to the big bass. Kinda wierd, but hey, it's the food chain. At least we're still on top!

So as we're leaving, Jacob is screaming about wanting to pet the fish. (When we're on the boat, he "pets" the fish in the live well.) So a big ol Southern guy says, "He wants to what?" And we're like, yah, pet the fish. And he's like, "Well, come on then, let's see what we can do." So he takes him to the baby coy tank and lets him put his hand in there to pet them. Then Jacob wants to CATCH one. So they help him to catch a teeny one. So we thought, cool, all good.

As we're leaving, you can hear the echoes of a 3 1/2 year old richocheting off of every wall in the place: "I want to catch a fish!!! I want to catch a fish!" And sobbing like we just killed his best friend. Oh, drama, that one!! (Can't IMAGINE where he would get that from !)

On a sad note, Captain Phil Harris from the Cornelia Marie, a crab boat from the Discovery Show Deadliest Catch, died yesterday at the age of 53. He had health issues, not withstanding the fact that he never slept and chain smoked, probably lived on sausage and twinkies, and drank like a fish! I didn't really like him at the beginning of the show, but he kinda grows on ya. Like a forlorn puppy. Who curse like, well, like a sailor, I suppose. But anyway....he leaves behind a crew who love him like family, two sons, and a lot of avid fans. He will be missed. Prayers to the family.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Live with NO Regret

Quick vacation update: Yesterday we went to Homosassa Springs, to a very cool park where they had LOTS of birds (beautiful flamingos and lots of pelicans, herons, ibis) animals, alligators, a 50 year old hippo (yes, 50 years old!!) named Lucifer (nice, right? Mercifully they call it Lu) and manatees.

When we first saw the manatees in the river they looked like giant rocks. Part of their backs were sticking up out of the water, and they weren't moving. Then one of them flipped its tail a bit, so we knew they WERE real! You can go into this underwater "room" for lack of a better term, and watch the fish swim all around you. It's pretty cool. Sometimes the manatee come over there too.
We got our own little manatee show...there was one manatee in a round tank separated from the river. We all kind of gathered around to take a look, and it started swimming around and around. Then it started rolling over and over while it was swimming around the tank. It was awesome! So graceful, yet SO crazy-scary-huge! Bizarre.

Today we go to the fish hatchery, and tomorrow we are off to Sebastian to start fishin'!
I saw this poem on Pam's blog...it's amazing.
Think about it while you're reading it....live your life with no regrets. Take time out for your family. Listen to the Lord. None of us is guaranteed one single day more. Live today like it's the only one that counts. Love deeply. Forgive easily. Have FUN! Don't worry so much about tomorrow...it will take care of itself!
His Plan For Me

When I stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ
And He shows His plan for me,
The plan of my life as it might have been Had He had His way -
And I see How I blocked Him here,
And checked Him there,
And I would not yield my will,
Will there be grief in my Savior's eyes?
Grief though He loves me still?
Would He have me rich and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While memory runs like a hunted thing,
Down the paths I cannot retrace Lord?
Of the years that are left to me I give them to Thy hand
Take me and break me and mold me,
To the pattern that Thou hast planned!
-Author Unknown

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Blog Tribe

Time to give a shout out to my "tribe!" This idea is from SITS...

Last week we were to identify people in our bloggy worlds that we interact with on a regular basis. Our "tribe" so to speak. This week, it's time for acknowledging our supporters! So, without further ado...The top three of my crazy tribe!

1. Miss Joanna. My BFF. The one who encouraged me to blog. So I blame my addiction on her! Just kidding...I'm absolutely tickled that I started blogging, and I really have you to thank! Love ya G!

2. Miss Ashley. This godly young lady has a heart of gold, a chronically ill husband, and a wonderful attitude. What an example to young women everywhere!

3. Miss Pam. What a woman of God! I have actually known Pam for YEARS, because her brother married my sister! But only recently have we really gotten to know each other, over the net. We actually have a LOT in common. She is a constant source of encouragement. She is strong and wonderful!

There are more people whose blogs I thoroughly enjoy....see my blog list. They are all talented writers, cooks, moms, friends...I try to read their blogs as often as possible. These top three though are folks who consistently comment on mine, or send me comments via e-mail or facebook. I have a few other friends who I know consistently read my blog, but DON'T LEAVE A COMMENT!!! (Hint, hint...you know who you are!!!) : ) But seriously, thanks to all who read, and I WOULD love it if you would leave a comment once in a while!

See, comments are like crack to bloggers. Gotta have 'em. He he he he. It's validation. For those of you who don't blog, you might not get it. But for those of you who DO, you totally understand. So, just for kicks and grins...let me know you read my blog, and what you think!

And special thanks to the top three of my tribe. Love ya sisters!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My First Morning in Florida

M'k.

So I take a lovely shower this morning...feel refreshed and squeaky clean after 3 days in a truck and 2 nights of motels. My mom's bathtub is very high...and shallow. A fact which I discovered as I stepped in. Very carefully.

And a fact I completely forgot as I stepped out. My right foot stepped out onto the little bath mat, and went down a LOT further than I expected. My other leg flies out, doing that little stumbling-running-trying-to-catch-up-with-yourself-before-you-fall-on-your-tush thing. Well, wet feet and linoleum don't mix. I literally skied across the small bathroom, gaining a shocking amount of momentum in such a small area, and slammed into the door. With my face.

My right foot went under the door. And my nose and lip smacked into the door. I cut my nose, but amazingly, it didn't bleed. So now I have a bandaid on my nose and a fat lip. My first day on vacation.

Just call me Grace!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Greetings from Horse Cave, KY!

Oh my goodness.

Tuesday night, Doug was pullnig the boat out of the barn and the truck died. Just plain died. He spent hours out there, finally found out what was wrong. Long story short, it was a broken wire within the wiring harness. SO, being McGuyver, my husband soldered this and that and fixed it. In the process, however, he cut the front brake line. Ug.

When he took the brake line off, however, he found a leak in the BACK of the brake line that he never would have seen if he hadn't cut the front. He never would have cut the front if the wire hadn't broken....Can you say Divine Providence?? Wow. I was so irritated at being late...until he told me about the back brake line. Then I was just like, oh, GOD....Thank you! And felt immediately ridiculous for acting like a 3 year old throwing a tantrum.

Just goes to show you, you never see the whole picture til all the pieces are in place.

We made it to Horse Cave, KY last night about 10:30...it was a veeeerrrryyy late night, and a long day. We will be taking off shortly for some spelunking (well, cave-checking-out, which I can spell). Battery is about to die on the laptop, so that's my cue. I'll post as often as I can!
God Bless.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!

Okay, so who else thinks that Groundhog Day was one of Bill Murray's best movies ever? When he was still funny and not such a freak! This movie STILL makes me laugh outloud. Partly because Bill Murray is hilarious in it, partly just because of the concept. If you haven't seen it (seriously????) YOU MUST. (This movie and What About Bob? Oh My GOSH! Laugh-out-loud-fall-off-your-chair funny!)

I also like the movie because it is about second chances. And who hasn't ever needed one of those? I'm so thankful for second chances...and third chances....and fourth...

With my husband.

With my child.

With my friends.

With my family.

And most of all, with my God.

I know I have blown it with all these people...and I'm sure waaaay more than once. How blessed am I that I have been given so many second chances!

I want to encourage you today...if there is someone in your life who has blown it, would you give them a second chance? Even if they don't deserve it. Especially if they don't deserve it. It's called grace. Unmerited favor. Pass it on.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Memory Lane Monday

I wasn't blogging when Jacob was really little, so here are a few pictures of him til about 4 or 5 months. I'll post more at a later date. He is such a miracle!

The first time I held my precious boy.
Molly and Moose took their guard dog status VERY seriously!

Jacob STILL sleeps like this!

Our first Halloween, at 2 1/2 months....He was a chicken. : ) I don't have any digital pics of him in the hospital...will have to figure out how to scan them.
Sleepy little boy unwilling to give up the remote...at only 3 1/2 months!


Jacob LOVED his jumparoo!! I was so sad to see this go! He was such a chub when he was a baby!!

Sweet dreams baby....Mommy loves you.