Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm On A Psycho Holiday

The title of this post was taken from the song Psycho Holiday by Pantera.     

It's Photo Saturday...because it's just been one of those weeks.

We had Mason's birthday party on Monday. I can't believe he is eight! We always have his birthday party at Mandaly's house and the kids swim. They had so much fun, and seriously Mandaly went all out to make sure he had a special birthday. 

Not only did the kids get to swim, but she set up the bouncy house for the kids, she had a cotton candy machine and a snow cone maker that made the BEST snow cones! It was so much fun and although I know it's always a lot to ask she just goes with things. Thanks Mandaly and Mikie for making this such a special day for him!!!

Mason enjoying his cotton candy!!!

Sebastian thought he was king of the place :)

This past week we ended up going to Roanoke to look for a new van...I'll explain later. Anyway, we stopped at Golden Corral and John had the waitresses sing Happy Birthday to Mason. Mason's face was so red and he couldn't stop smiling. It was beyond cute!

Jaxon tried to lick Jasper. I don't think he liked how he tasted.

Jaxon is trying to rearrange John's electronics.

So, this seems to be the best picture I have of our van. I named the van Quack after the duck on Peep and the Big Wide World, I love that cartoon. I also love this van. I bought it from my Uncle Wayne many years ago. It's had some quirks. For about four years none of the stuff on the dash worked. I used my GPS to know how fast I was going and I just guessed on how much gas I had. I took it to four mechanics and none of them could figure out what was wrong with it. John fixed it several months after we were married. Friday John decided to go to Lowes and had just got on the interstate when the van just died. We had it towed and then found out the engine was shot and it was going to be around $2,300 to fix it :( we just couldn't justify putting that much money into it. John is going to clean it out today and then on Monday it will be towed to the junk yard. Lucky for us my dad is letting us borrow one of his cars until we take ownership of a new/used van that we are buying from a friend.

It's been a really weird start to summer for me. I'm still working summer school a little, I'm trying to wrap up this class so I can start another and it really doesn't feel like summer break has started. There is so much I need to do to get ready for school in the fall and their just aren't enough hours in the day. The kids are tired of being home because I have to work. I haven't found a balance yet and it's driving us all crazy. I think I'm going to take the whole month of July off and just enjoy my kids. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

A World Of Wonder

The title of this post was taken from the song China Roses by Enya.     

Photo Bomb Friday

Random picture of Jaxon. He is starting to pull himself up in his crib. Yikes!

I was driving down the road the other day just talking away to Sebastian when I finally realized he wasn't listening me. I look over and not only does he have his headphones on but he's reading a book. Silly boy  :)

Sebastian went to New York this week for youth conference. Jaxon crawled into his suitcase...  he wanted to tag along.

I try to take the kids and do something everyday. I know they get bored being at home so I'm trying to make their summer fun. Today we decided to drive up to Roaring Run and walk around. As we were walking along up to the falls I realize that carrying Jaxon, who is 20 or more pounds, was not going to be easy so Tyler and Mason decided to run ahead and let me just catch up. They were no more than 50 feet ahead of me when Tyler trips over a tree stump and hurts her toe. She's crying, Jaxon is starting to whine and squirming to get down, Mason is yelling at Tyler to get up, it's almost 90 degrees out and I'm done! We walked back to the car and decided we would try again another day. Some plans just don't work out. However I did manage to get two decent pictures before everything fell apart.

As we were driving home I decided that we should at least end on a good note and stop for ice cream :) So we headed to Dairy Queen and I got an M & M blizzard. My favorite from when I was little.

On a related note...Growing up we had a wood-stove in the house that we used for heat. When I was 9 or 10 my Dad would go cut wood with my uncle and he always asked if Matthew, my brother, and I wanted to help. We were always pretty torn about what to do because truth be told we did not want to spend all day cutting and stacking wood, but we also knew that Dad always stopped for a blizzard from Dairy Queen on the way home. Usually our desire for a blizzard was enough to motivate us through a long day in the woods. There was one time though that I tagged along and didn't really help. I just hung out in the truck and when Dad stopped for blizzards that afternoon I didn't get one. I remember tears running down my face and Dad very quietly reminding me that I hadn't helped. I guess he felt sorry for me though because he let me have a few bites of his. That was the last time I went along and did not help. With every bite of blizzard I took today I thought about the lessons he taught me. I grew up in an incredible family. I'm truly blessed.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I Close My Eyes And The Flashback Starts

     The title of this post was taken from the song Love Story by Taylor Swift.

     We love the show So You Think You Can Dance. Mike and I started watching it the very first season and we fell in love with it. I guess it was art in motion. As the kids grew they would watch it with us and Sebastian has really gotten into it. We still watch it...part tradition and part our love for the show. Anyway, last night we were catching up on this weeks episode and they were doing a biography of one of the dancers that was trying out. The guy they are interviewing was talking about how important dance was to him and how his mother inspired him. His mother passed away when he was four, she had a heart attack in her sleep, he woke up to find her dead. Mason who had been listening pretty intently says almost in horror;

"Mom, my Dad died when I was four. Mom, my Dad had a heart attack. Mom, my Dad died in his sleep. Mom, you found him."

Mason climbed into my lap and the tears just poured. 

"Mom, I miss my dad so much."

"I know sweetie. I miss him too. What is your favorite memory of him?"

After thinking for several seconds "All of the fun stuff we did."

"But, what was your favorite thing you did together?"

He takes a few minutes to think 
"Mom, I don't remember much." 
The tears come harder and faster.

"Sweetie, it's okay. You were only four. That's what I'm hear for, to help you remember. Want to look at some pictures of your Dad and see some of the things you did together?"


We looked through pictures. Sometimes Mason would comment that he remembered something and other times he would ask me questions.

After we looked at pictures I just held him while he cried.

This morning Mason was showing me pictures of his Dad that he had on his DS and asked if I could add some more to it. We looked through pictures on my computer and he picked the ones he wanted. The tears came again and I held him as he cried some more. I pulled up a video that I made for our wedding anniversary after he passed away and we watched it together. Lots of tears for us both. Some days are just really hard. 

You can check out the video here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sunshine She’s Here, You Can Take A Break

     The title of this post was taken from the song Happy by Pharrell Williams.

    This past week was a rough one for me. I worked on Monday, and sat in a meeting that required me to keep my mouth shut and it was very difficult because people who don't know what they are talking about just shouldn't bother to try an sound like they do. Tuesday and Thursday I worked for several hours during summer school. Wednesday, I took the kids to Roanoke (an hour from where we live) for dentist appointments and Mason's therapy session. Not to mention I'm trying to stay caught up on my classwork and it's just been hard to juggle everything. John is working again and even though he works 8-5 he never gets off at 5 and it's hard for us not having him around until later in the afternoon. Anyway, here is Photo Bomb Friday.

Jaxon exhausted after a morning at the dentist with his siblings. 

All dental appointments went really well! No one had any cavities. Mason has an underdeveloped tooth in the back that will need a crown next month, and see that top crooked tooth? Mason chipped that tooth about a year and a half ago and the dentist filled it, but it is crooked and kind of round on the bottom. We call it his snaggletooth. Anyway, it has really started to bother me but the dentist says it is loose and hopefully will fall out soon! On another note what a handsome face!!! He has his dads eyes.

Sebastian playing with Jaxon at Mason's therapy session. 

The next set of pictures I took today at the city pool. I have such fond memories of swimming there when I was young. My mom would drop all four of us kids off at the pool when it opened at 11 and would pick us up at 6 when it closed. We were there almost everyday during the summer. Sometimes, if we had money, we would walk downtown and buy snacks. I love swimming with the kids! I was nervous about how Jaxon would do but he loved it! So much fun. As I was sitting in the warm sun watching them play and snuggling with Jaxon I was overcome with such a love for my life. I sent John the following text

"I needed this. Watching all four kids having fun makes me so happy. God we are crazy blessed. I so needed this."

Despite all we have been through I am grateful for the opportunity to find some happiness.

Here is Mason.



Sebastian and Mason

Sebastian going off the diving board.

Mason going off the diving board. He makes me crazy nervous!

Tyler doing cartwheels off the diving board. Yep, she makes me nervous too!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I'm Weird 'Cause I Hate Goodbyes

The title of this post was taken from the song Fireflies by Owl City.     

First day of school August 2013.


Last day of School June 2014.

I am so proud of the kids and all of their accomplishments this year. Sebastian will be a freshman in the fall. How is that possible? We were driving to school the other day when it hit me that Mike wasn't here for any of his middle school years. I started to cry. He wasn't able to be here to see his son try out and sing in the District Choir. He wasn't here to see him play on the JV soccer team. He wasn't here to watch him learn and grow and he find his way in the crazy awkward world that is middle school. I have to believe that Mike is looking down and if he could he would say "Dang Mel, look at what a great job you are doing with our children!" wishful thinking. Anyway, Sebastian went to his first school dance on May 30. I was so excited for him to have this experience!

Tyler just wrapped up the 6th grade. She has one more year and then she moves on to the high school. She attends school in the city while the boys go to county schools. It was a good year for her. She came home with funny stories about her locker partner that she didn't like. She was in the band this year and played the flute. She is using the same flute I played when I was in the band. It was really great to watch her practice. She is turning into a beautiful young lady and I love her so very much.

Mason is moving on to third grade. He had a rough start to his school year, but he ended on such a positive note. He will be switching school districts next year and will no longer come to school with me. His therapist thinks this will help with his anxiety, although my anxiety is shooting through the roof just thinking about it, and it will help him gain some independence from me. I think he is excited. This year had some firsts in it for him as well. He played basketball and had a wonderful time! He had an amazing coach that really took his needs into consideration and let him learn and grow. I'm so proud of him and all of his accomplishments. 

I wrapped up my seventh year teaching special education! This school year was stressful and rewarding all at the same time. It was hard being off on maternity leave and not having control of my class, but it was so great to come back and work with all of my kiddos again. We had a great end of the year and I'm already planning for next year. I didn't even have time to cry over this year ending because as soon as my students left yesterday I was moving furniture and getting my room set up the way I want it next year. I've already started on lesson plans. I have a vision for what I want next year to look like and I'm ready to work hard this summer to make it all happen!

Just a picture of me from the last week of school.

Such a beautiful view of my school!