Friday, July 6, 2018

Thank God for Family

See that lady up there? This special gal is my grandmother (my kids great grandmother) and she has been a lifesaver to me in the last 9 months. I've had two hip surgeries and each time she traveled from Indiana to Kansas to help out my family. She's cooked and cleaned and pretty much done everything I can't do because of being on crutches. 

I've often been depressed and angry over my situation in the last year but in hindsight it's been an enormous blessing that she's been here. Not only that she's taken care of us but she's spent so much time with my kids. A special bond has especially developed between Grandma and Yahoo. They've really enjoyed reading and playing games together. I think being off my feet for a few months has been worth it just to have Grandma here with us.

Thank God for family. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

3 Years.

     3 Years.....

     I can hardly believe that 3 years have passed since I've last written in this blog. I never meant for 3 years to pass by but such is life I suppose.

In case you don't remember 3 years ago my family and I moved from a tiny town in Southwest Kansas to just slightly south of Kansas City. It's definitely been a culture shock in terms of geography, population and culture.  Culture shock is definitely a term that I can identify with. I feel like my life has been completely turned upside down within the last 3 years.

The first year (2015) in this area was a year of learning of course. Learning about Kansas City and living in a town of 'city folk' rather than 'farm folk'. Learning about a school that was 3 times the size we came from. Learning our place in this new community. it was tough and uncomfortable but at the end of that year I was feeling comfortable and confident in our new home.

The second year was tougher. I had decided to train for a marathon and had been running hard and long for a good 4 months.  For 20 years running has been a large part of how I identified myself as a human being. But in the spring of 2016 my body I didn't feel good, I was getting tired easily and my back was sore. I stopped running. This off feeling went on for months until September when my entire body hurt enough to send me to the ER. Xrays and MRI's showed nothing so I started physical therapy for back pain. So I rested and exercised and limped around.

Into 2017 I was still doing physical therapy but I still had pain. Finally I had a fellow church member who also happened to be a chiropractor who offered his help. Come to find out I had torn cartilage in my hip but was presenting through back pain. So just a few days before Halloween I had hip surgery. A month in a brace and six weeks in crutches and months more of physical therapy.

Now here I am in the middle of 2018 and a week after a 2nd hip surgery to repair the same damage on the other side. At the moment I'm facing 3 more weeks in a brace, 5 more weeks on crutches and who knows what else is in store in my future.

I've come to the realization finally that I'll never run again. And that my friends is incredibly disheartening. It was my stress relief. It was 'my time'. I've gone through incredible highs and depressing lows in the last two years. I've gone through times of great hope and times when I was certain I'd never walk again. I've gone days in bed doing nothing but crying and days when I was certain I was so close to being 'back to normal'.

Life for the last two years has been my marathon. The hardest obstacle I've ever had to overcome. Today I'm at a point where I have hope. I have hope that I'll walk without pain. I have hope that I'll be able to lie an active lifestyle again.

H.O.P.E. - Hang On. Pain Ends.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Little Red Library

Across the street from our house there is a beautiful little lake 
with a walking path all the way around it. About a mile and a quarter. 
There are always people walking the path or fishing or biking.

But one of our favorite feature of the lake is the little red library. 
It is sponsored by our local library.

The books are all free inside for anyone to take.  
The only guideline is if you take a book then please leave a book. 
The kids and I are always digging through our bookshelves for books
to leave In hopes of finding a treasure to bring home with us.  

Jackpot! We can't resist a good Eric Carle. 

I love this concept of a free little library and feel so lucky 
that we have one within walking distance of our house. 
It was put in shortly after we moved here. 
And we noticed that it took a little bit of time for people 
to understand the concept. We use the walking path around 
the lake all the time so we had plenty of opportunity to pass by. 
At the beginning it would start  off full of books one day 
and be completely empty the next.  But as time has gone by 
people are starting to understand it. It's constantly full of books now.
 Some books stay in the little red library longer than others while 
other books are snatched up fairly quickly.

Does anyone else live net one of these? 

How does it work in your neighborhood? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Chalkboard FIX!!

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last blogged. I always thought that once we moved I'd have more free time on my hands to blog. Amazing though how three kids and their activities plus mine eat up the hours of my day. 

One thing I did get accomplished was taking care of the "Red Square"! 
Ha ha!! When DR looked at our house there wasn't anyone living here but there was still a little furniture left. Of course, nothing looked out of place until we moved into an empty house and their was a red rectangle in the middle of the dining room!! I WAS NOT ready to paint an entire room and I knew matching the color was iffy. 

So the RED SQUARE sat for quite a while as I thought of an alternative. I hung our family portrait there, obviously not as a fix, but thinking maybe we needed a giant canvas to cover it. 

But then our friend JESS stopped by for a quick visit and suggested a chalkboard. YES!! Perfect idea!! I found some small bottles of chalkboard paint, maybe only 8 oz, at Hobby Lobby that worked perfectly. 

It's mighty handy sending birthday messages to friends!! 

(BTW....when did Yip start looking so grown up???)

The trim was just some scrap wood with some leftover stain which makes a perfect chalk tray! We use it all the time for logging summer reading time, and leaving notes for one another. The little kids in the neighborhood love to draw on it! What a fun fix that turned out to much better than painting an entire room! Thanks for the idea Jess! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rainy Days and Broken Crayons

We've been in our new home just about three weeks and it's rained every day except one. We've had a few days in a row recently where it's rained all day and was cold. I was hearing the dreaded "B" word way too often. 

"Mom, I'm Bored!" 

The kids still had their school supplies in their backpacks. We hadn't unpacked them in the move. It was just low on my to do list but we dug through them and found all the broken crayons that accumulate through a school year. We had tons of crayons between three kids. I'll kind of be happy when Yip and Yap hit middle school and they won't need crayons anymore. 

Anyway we peeled and broke up some of them, we still have lots more, and sorted them by color in a muffin tin I found at a garage sale. I popped it into a 200 degree oven for a few minutes. It didn't take long, maybe five minutes, to melt them all. 

I had tons of old brushes that I let the kids use to paint with the melted wax. A few boxes out of the recycling bin worked perfectly! Yahoo enjoyed following the circle imprints from a box that held soup cans. It looks very Kandinsky like doesn't it? 

I just love the texture that Yahoo came up with!! 

We did have to remelt the wax a couple of times but it remelted fairly quickly. And it kept Yahoo busy at least for about an hour!! 

I looked at the weather forecast for this week and it doesn't look like the rain is going away any time soon so I better start looking for some new indoor ideas! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Just about settled.

It's been seven days now since we've arrived at the new house. The kids and I left SW Kansas on Saturday morning and by the time we arrived the moving van was gone. And it was time to unpack. It was a bit hairy and stressful for a bit but practically everything is in it's place except for all my photos and paintings. The garage is a bit of a mess too but that's not my department. 

The last few weeks have left me feeling anxious and nervous but those feelings have quickly subsided. DR and I have meshed together fairly well this week after six months of living apart. I sure am sleeping better now that my bed isn't empty! 

The biggest adjustment we've probably all had to make is the change in climate. Of the seven days we've been here it's rained every day but one. Everything is so very green and there are flowers's a bit of an assault on the senses after 5 years in SW Kansas. Even the wet smells of grass and earth seem almost intoxicating. 

It's been so wet in fact that we had to go buy rain boots for the kids so they had something to play in the woods with. (More on that later.) In SW Kansas I never even had to buy them winter boots. A SW Kansas winter is a dry winter. You always hear about the dry heat but a dry winter is different too. It may get cold in SW Kansas but it's the humidity in winter that will drive that cold to your bones like here in the east. I've felt like I've gone through three seasons in one day just because the way humidity effects my body. I didn't think I'd ever have to get used to humidity again!! 

Across the street from our house is a lake that the kids have thoroughly enjoyed playing in. Wading and skipping rocks and tromping through mud. I haven't done this much laundry in ages. Yip, Yap and Yahoo are constantly stripping off wet clothes. I won't complain though because they are outside!! 

This little lake is a gem where you can fish and has a 1 1/3 mile walking path around the lake. On Mother's Day evening we all went for a walk here and ended up getting thoroughly soaked by the rain. The boys, who were almost 6 years old when we moved away from Illinois, were happy as clams that they were in the rain. Yahoo however was not impressed. She was only 1 1/2 years old when we moved to SW Kansas so she know nothing but a climate of severe drought. She HATED walking in the rain. It was almost comical how much she complained!! 

Besides the house I think we have made a good start into settling into the community. We signed up for the summer reading program at the town library. Yip and Yahoo are in baseball this summer and Yap is signed up for golf camp. I'm trying to spread the word about The Roving Brush and hoping to get a couple painting parties scheduled for summer time. We've met a few of the neighbors and have become a familiar face already at the local Orscheln Farm Store. 

I'm excited for the summer. I think it will be a good one but I am a little bit homesick for SW Kansas. 
I miss you Sue, Connie, Angie, Cassandra. Montezuma will always hold a special place in my heart! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's down to one hand now and living in limbo.


We are down to five days till the big moving day!! 
I'm excited...I'm nervous....
I'm emotional....I'm ecstatic.....
I want to see everyone before I leave....I don't want to see anyone.....
It's bitter....It's sweet.....
This is home....but it's not.

Our moving day will also mark SIX months since DR left for Kansas City and his new job. After living in a hotel for five months and a new house with no furniture for a month he's most excited about having a couch. I'm mostly excited about not living in limbo anymore. 

There gets to a point in the moving process when you are just there. You can't plan much for the near future. You stop grocery shopping because you don't want to buy something you'll just throw away. Needless to say I expect us to be eating some odd combinations of food this week. You stop reading the newspaper or paying much attention to what's happening in the community because you won't be here to enjoy it. 

A lot of people imagine that I've been super busy these last few weeks but the truth is life has been the polar opposite of busy. I'm not packing anything. The moving guys get to do that Wednesday and Thursday and even then they won't let me help. I went through the house months ago getting rid of stuff so I don't really have anything to sort through. We sold a trailer and a mower. We got rid of scrap wood in the garage. 

Tomorrow I'll pack bags for the kids and I to live out of when everything is on the truck. Tuesday I'll take all the photos off the walls and try to consolidate items for easier packing. Thursday and Friday I'll eat pizza at the school with my kids and their classes. 

But that's about it. My "to do" list is pretty short. 

Living in LIMBO. It's a strange feeling. 
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