Category Archives: With Gratitude

Tape Thank You Cards

With Ami’s birthday in June we had some thank you cards to send out.

We worked on them in shifts over a 3 day period.

Ami gets super whiny if he has to write more than 2 sentences in 1 sitting.  He’s in for a rude awakening, when he starts first grade, but for now, I’m choosing to pick my battles.  I want him to think of writing thank you cards as something fun, not a chore.

I had him write his thank yous on lined paper.

Later I cut them out and we used glue stick to attach them to the inside of each card.

The cards were different colors of card stock folded in half.

I found this cute rainbow duct tape in a half roll.  We still have tons left.

Ami absolutely loved the taping part.

I made him a sample one for reference.  Then I cut off pieces of tape and handed them to him for him to stick down.

Also pictured is Conrad’s page of practice words from our weekly spelling test.

Please forgive the bad flash photography.  I definitely prefer taking photos in natural light, but we’ve been so busy nighttime was the only time we had to do this.

He was super proud of the finished product!

I could gobble him up, he’s so cute!

The finished cards fit perfectly in half size manilla envelopes.  I found a package of 6 in white at the dollar store.

 

 

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Filed under Feeling Fartsy, On The Cheap, Rodents aka kids, With Gratitude

6 Years

My friend Darci has once again surprised us with a priceless gift.  Today she emailed me 3 photos of Benny that she found buried in her computer files.  Gratitude isn’t a big enough word to describe what I feel towards her.  She holds a very special place in my heart and is just a good for the soul kind of person.

Benny was such a joy. There is a purple pony nestled in the green purse he’s holding as he catches a ride on his IV pole.

Here he was getting to pick toys out of a special cabinet that was created in memory of another little boy whose life was stolen by cancer.  Benny didn’t want a toy so he picked some out for Jeremia and Conrad.  He was such a sweet brother.

I love that face.  I want to take it in my hands and cover every inch of it with kisses.

I want to hold him and caress his head and whisper in his ear.  I used to sniff in his ear like a dog and make him laugh.  I also used to sit and rub my lips back and forth over the top of his head, when he was sitting in my lap.  I can still feel that feeling.

I want to stare into his big brown pools and hold his hand and hear his sweet voice.

Instead, I am left to endure the slow ache of insatiable longing.

Where Benny’s life should be happening there are just dates to be remembered and honored.

Yesterday marked 6 years since Benny’s departure.  It’s barely conceivable that he’s been gone longer than he was here.

He was robbed, we were robbed and there is not a damn thing we can do about it.

Cancer is an asshole!

It would be easy to get lost in my hatred for the disease that stole my beautiful boy from me, but I try instead to fight the hate and focus on all of the wonderful things that came from my greatest loss.  Most days it’s works, some days I just have to let myself feel what I need to feel.

Seeing new photos of Benny is bittersweet.  I love them and cherish them and wish I had a new one everyday, but it still hurts a little to look at them.

I want to say it’s a painful reminder of all that we’ve lost, but that would suggest that we’d forgotten, and we will never forget.

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Filed under Everything else, Family, Rodents aka kids, With Gratitude

Quack Attack!

My wonderful, thoughtful, amazing, sweet, and fun aunt Sandy surprised us with ducklings.

We named them Sandy and Donny, after her and my uncle.

I have to tell you black ducklings are difficult to photograph.  Their tiny black eyes get lost in all the black fluff.

This is Donny.

This is Sandy.

They are adorable

and fun.

Ducks make great pets and give you yummy eggs.

We have no idea if Sandy and Donny are boys, girls or one of each.

I hope we have one of each.

I can’t wait to watch them grow.

Thanks Sandy!

 

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Filed under Amazeballs, Natural Happenings, Petz on Parade, With Gratitude

Fun Father’s Day Craft 2012

For Father’s day the boys and I made Derek a handprint mobile.  It turned out really cute.

At the beginning of the week I asked Der if I could trace his hand.  Der happily obliged and never even asked me why.  I guess he’s just used to me always creating something.  At the time I wasn’t exactly sure what the finished idea was, all I knew was it had something to do with hands.

Der’s hand is on top, followed by mine,  Jeremia’s, Conrad’s and finally Ami’s.

The boys and I each wrote our 5 favorite things about Der.  One favorite thing on each finger.

That was harder for Conrad and Ami to do, since they still have chunky writing and small hands, so their favorite things spilled out onto their palms.  It kind of made it look like a patched quilt, which I love.

After we each wrote our 5 favorite things, we colored the hands in.  Then, I glued them each onto different colored card stock and cut them out so there would be a small colored border.  I hole punched the top of the middle fingers and the bottom of the palms and connected them with ribbon.

I meant to take close-up photos of each hand, but Derek whisked it away to work, to hang in his office, before I got a chance.

On the back I simply wrote #1 DAD.

He absolutely loved it and the boys were proud of the finished product.

 

 

 

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Filed under Celebrate, Feeling Fartsy, With Gratitude

Ami Turns 6

Ami’s birthday was last week.   The morning of, he wondered aloud who all was going to come for his birthday.  Confused, I asked him what he meant, and reminded him it was just going to be the 5 of us.  He said he’d invited everyone in his class on the last day of school.  Uh Oh!  I told him that they didn’t know when it was and he assured me he told them all it was June, 14th.  Oh my sweet, sweet little boy.  We had a discussion about invitations, and how parents needed things written down so they would know when and where.  He took it pretty well, but my heart was broken for him.

So we took a surprise trip to the pool.  Swimming makes everything better.

When it came time to decide what he wanted for dinner, he was torn between Texas Roadhouse and Golden Corral Buffet.   It’s a hard call which is cooler, the all you can eat dessert that Golden Corral offers, or the fact that you can throw peanut shells on the floor at Texas Roadhouse.  Dessert won.

All you can eat cotton candy is a great incentive to eat all of your vegetables!

I can’t help but wonder when Ami and Conrad will stop using their shirts for napkins.

Sugar overload!  And I’ll take a rain-check on that kiss thank-you-very-much!

After we were all sugared up, it was time for games, lots and lots of video games!

Those eyes!  Those lashes!  Those apple cheeks! That toothless grin!

I love his face!

It was a great day to turn 6!

 

 

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Filed under Celebrate, Making Memories, With Gratitude

And He’s Off

Our eldest son, Keegan, is off to the army!

We had a sendoff party for him.  I didn’t take as many photos as I had planned.  I somehow forgot to get a photo with Keegan and his granddad and twoshooze (grandma).  I don’t know how that happened.  I will have to make sure to get some when he comes home for a visit.

I don’t think I will be able to bare him in his uniform.  I will be a blubbering mess, I am certain of it.

Here’s Keeg with me, Der, his great-grandma Chris, aunt Cami, uncle Craig, and cousin Cassie.

Keegan and his brothers.  Taking photos of the 4 of them together is tough.  They are all jokesters.  When I would get 3 of them to make nice faces, inevitably one would have to be a goofball and make a funny face.  I was literally begging them to cooperate.  I think they secretly loved having me at their mercy.

As you can see, I did manage to get some sweet ones.  They are all so handsome.  I am so grateful for them.  I have immeasurable love for them and appreciate how very different, yet similar they each are.  For all of their bickering and fighting, it’s clear that they have mad love for each other and that warms my heart to the max.

After behaving for the camera, they let loose.

Our little boy, isn’t so little.

I love this one!  His expression is perfect!

Never too old for mama’s love!

I don’t have words that adequately express my excitement and pride, with just a scoach of fear thrown in for our beautiful boy.

He is off to become a man.  He is about to learn valuable skills that will serve him well throughout his life.  He will travel and see the world and will make amazing memories.  He will meet new people and forge bonds that will bear lifelong friendships.  He will be pushed to grow mentally and physically and will tap into strengths he never knew he had.

I hope he comes back a stronger, wiser version of his already wonderful self.  I hope he knows how much we love him and believe in him.

It will not be easy, but the best lessons in life never are.

We love you forever and always, Keegan, and can’t wait for your safe return!

 

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Filed under Adventures, Celebrate, Family, Making Memories, Rodents aka kids, With Gratitude

Candlelighters Camp 2012

I am really tempted to whine about all of the things that need to get done and the lack of time to do them in, but isn’t that most everyone’s reality?!  We all keep chugging, tick one thing off the list at a time, and each item checked off is quickly replaced by 1 or 2 more things.  Insert big sigh here.

So anyway here are some photos from Candlelighters camp-3days later than I had planned.

We were lucky enough to have my cousin Stacey and her daughter Piper come along.  I am so glad they came.  We like them a lot!

The sparkle in Ami’s eyes makes me happy.

I think Jeremia had the ropes course gear on more often than not.  We didn’t see much of him except at meal times and bedtime, because he was off with the other kids his age having adventures.

All the boys got a chance to climb the rock wall, but we were only lucky enough to catch Conrad doing it.  We were off doing circle time with the other grown ups when Ami and Jeremia gave it a go.

He wasn’t nervous at all.

He struggled at first, but once he got the hang of it, there was no stopping him.

He climbed all the way to the top and rang the bell!

The most extraordinary Amy Tidwell was in attendance and shared her gift of face painting.  She has mad skill and puts her all into it.

Amy had a very long line of kids patiently waiting their turns.

Coolest dragon ever!

I got to hold Piper while she had Dora painted on.  She was so good and held super still.

Conrad’s army guy was supremely cool.

Then we were off to the archery range.

Later I snuck off to see if Amy had finished painting all of the kids faces so I could have a turn.

We had a nice little chat while she painted these adorable owls.  Then it was time to pack up and go home.

Der took these pics after we got home.

We had a great time and can’t wait until next year!

Cancer ripped an irreparable hole in our family, but it also bore immeasurable gifts in the form of opportunities to have fantastic experiences and chances to meet amazing people.  It is an inexplicable thing to hate something so thoroughly, yet be full of gratitude for the gifts it brings.

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Filed under Adventures, Amazeballs, Entertain Me, Everything else, Family, Making Memories, Rodents aka kids, With Gratitude