This is the ongoing story of faith, love and family as we walk through this life with 3 sons, one daughter, one daughter in law and one grandson

Friday, July 31, 2009

Jacksonville Zoo

Pixie, Lil Pea, Dreamsicle and I headed out to the Jacksonville Zoo this afternoon. Thankfully the zoo membership that we have back in the Mitten State has a reciprocity agreement with the Jacksonville Zoo so it was cheap-o for us to get in. I LOVED this zoo! Dreamsicle was in awe-I have some great pic's of her feeding the giraffe. She thought she was in heaven. I think I am going to add a membership to the list of Christmas gifts for the U*Haul family. We had such a great time-the perfect thing to help keep smiles on our faces while we pile through the ick. We plan on heading up to Savannah tomorrow and Sea World on Sunday. It is hard knowing that Dreamsicle will be spending her birthday without her Daddy on Sunday but we plan on making it a special day any way.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Got Sunscreen?

It is still a little difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that Pixie is dealing with melanoma. We are confident that once she has her surgery she will recover completely. But I am filled with anger. Pixie was one of the hundreds of thousands that bought into the lie the tanning industry spews regarding the relative "safety" of using tanning beds. Safety? Where is her safety now? Because of the choices that she made (and let's face it, there aren't many teenage/young twenty something's that don't make the same choices) her risk for reoccurence are great. We put warning labels on alcohol and cigarettes but allow our young women to consistenly put themselves at risk on a daily basis by encouraging this vision that we have that you have to be golden brown to be considered desirable and healthy. When in fact, the complete opposite is true. I will never look at someone with a tan in the same way ever again. Our Pixie has a son to raise, a husband who needs his wife, and a family that cannot imagine life without her. Thankfully her prognosis is excellent, but the risk factor will always be there-lurking just underneath the surface. From this moment on, I pledge to never leave my home without sun protection. I vow to maintain the vigil that I already have in place with Dreamsicle-even when she is 15 and desperate to follow her friends this is one fight I won't back down from. Hopefully by instilling in her right now good sun protection habits there won't be a fight-but if there is-I love her too much to allow her to make choices that could have a lifetime of unintended consequences all in the name of vanity.
So, I have my sunscreen, do you have yours?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Sweet Pixie

Yep, the hits just keep coming in the McGyver family. Just when we were beginning to find a new rhythm, we have been thrown a curve-ball. I received a call yesterday from U*Haul. Dreamsicle and I were on a plane headed down to Georgia 5 hours later. Pixie had a few moles removed last week, only to find that one of them was cancerous. My sweet Pixie had a malignant melanoma on her neck. When the call came from the dermatologist with the news, he told her that she needed to have surgery today. They stressed that swift aggressive action was necessary so Dreamsicle and I flew down to help in any way that we can. When Pixie met with the surgeon this morning, he felt that the surgery was too complex to perform in the manner that was originally planned so she is now scheduled for surgery next Wednesday. We will stay here and get my sweeties through this rough patch. In the mean time, it is so good to spend time with the three of them. It has been a joy to fall in love all over again with the Little Pea-he has grown so much that he is now only 5 pounds less than Dreamsicle! Please keep our precious Pixie, U*Haul and Little Pea in your prayers.

Monday, July 27, 2009


This past weekend found us in a campground surrounded by all of our favorite peeps-our extended family. Once a year we get together for a camping/family reunion weekend. This year even included my cousins that I haven't seen in years! I consider myself so blessed to have such a great group of people that I enjoy so much (enough to spend an entire weekend with-HA!). I seriously am related to some of the best. cooks. evah. The food on Saturday was delish and the opportunity to catch up with my aunts, cousins and cousins kids was priceless. I tend to giggle a lot listening to everybody which makes my heart happy-something I desperately need right now. We all missed my Aunt S and Uncle H and their kids this year and I truly hope that sometime within the next few years we will be able to see all of that family again. Sorry for the lack of pictures Aunt S-I forgot my camera at home!

Santa made a surprise visit to the campground via his golf cart-Dreamsicle could not believe her eyes when the Jolly Old Elf appeared. She has not stopped talking about him since.

I was sad that none of my boys were there but we are gearing up for a trip to Disney in December that will serve as our nuclear family reunion. After watching the way Dreamsicle opened up with Santa, I cannot wait to see what she is going to be like with the characters this visit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Military Men

We received a call from Chester yesterday letting us know that instead of having to wait until September 11th for his enlistment to be complete, he is going to be home in the middle of August! He has enough leave on the books to allow for this to happen. I am so happy! As proud as I am of his service to our country, I am so ready to have him home. Home-where the worries are minimal and he can begin the next chapter in his life.

Speaking of proud, U*Haul has been selected as the Blue Jacket Sailor of the quarter for his division. This was quite an honor for someone who has not even reached the two year mark of his military career. Way to go U*Haul!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shy Girl

I love my Dreamsicle. She is gentle and kind. She is also shy. The past year has seen her make tremendous progress in opening up but there are still situations that pop up where she really becomes uncomfortable. I struggle with how to help her overcome this since I am the exact opposite. People have called me alot of things over the years but shy has never been one of them.

We had lesson 2 of 5 mandarin lessons yesterday. The first week she volunteered to help the teacher out while telling a story, yesterday she volunteered to wear the "birthday crown" while the teacher was explaining how birthdays are celebrated in China. Imagine my surprise when my girl who is my heart, who excitedly volunteered to where the crown and stand next to the teacher burst into tears when people starting singing Happy Birthday to her in Mandarin! She was so uncomfortable it made my heart ache and she ran back into my arms for comfort. How does a Mama who would have been cupping her hand to her ear telling everyone "sing it louder baby!" if I had been standing up there, help her shy girl tackle these kinds of situations?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How We Spent 4th of July

I know, look at me-two posts in one day!

We made the decision to head to the UP for the long holiday weekend. The town that GOM has a home in up there still puts on a 4th of July celebration like they used to back in the "good old days". The fireworks were held on July 3rd and I loved the fact that we could park on main street and tote a cooler of our favorite beverages to the town park where every one else had gathered to watch the night time sky be lit by reds, greens and blues. I did quite a bit of coaching this year in preparation for the fireworks with Dreamsicle. You may recall that she shut down two years ago while watching them and last year forced us to leave the display early-she simply could not handle the noise and the colors freaked her out. I hit pay dirt when I told her that this year we would watch them with everyone else (pointing out a number of smaller children that were in attendance) and that if she could sit and enjoy them we would include a trip to the Magic Kingdom at night to watch the fireworks over Cinderella's castle and watch Tinkerbell fly when we take our trip to Disney. That is all that it took-she was oohing and aahing with the best of them! The next day found us at the parade then back down to the community park where there was food/games and lots of socializing taking place. Dreamsicle had a ball. It was a nice break from all of the sadness lately.

Is it really the middle of July?

I am seriously surprised by the date today. Funny what happens to your mind when you are dealing with grief. Perhaps I should clarify that to say funny what happens to *my* mind when I am dealing with grief. I have learned to live by the mantra take one day at a time, don't look too far forward or things become unmanageable. I miss our Grumpy Old Man. I am sad that we didn't really get to say goodbye due to the circumstances that surrounded his death. And just when you think you have a handle on life, you have to begin to handle his affairs. And the greed and ugliness in people starts to begin. I truly hate that part. My parents were not wealthy. My Dad left a treasure to each of his four children and thankfully my Mom is still alive. Having experienced the ick that went along with his death I decided that any material goods that my Mom had, I did not want-except for a broken down jewelry box that I used to love to play with when I was small and the hutch she has in her home now so that I can hand it down to Dreamsicle. I asked her to amend her will so that I do not have to deal with any of the craziness that is bound to happen when she passes. Watching McGyver go through what he is going through right now has solidified my decision.

If you are reading this, please do me a favor and remember this-your parents owe you nothing. You make your own way in this life, and you should not "expect" anything. You are not "owed" large insurance policies, retirement funds or the right to sell the personal property of your loved one that passed away for your personal gain. And if you don't agree with me, I strongly urge you to take a long look at your inner being. Greedy is not how I ever want to be remembered.

About Me

I am a Christian woman, the wife of an outdoorsman and mom to a computer loving twenty something guy, a Marine, a Sailor and a three year old Princess who rules the roost and has all of us wrapped around her little finger. Add into the mix a daughter in love and the cutest grandson in the world and you have our big old house of love