Friday, December 6, 2013

Seeing Santa

For the past three years I have been taking the kids to see Santa in Downtown Winchester at a community center. Its such a great opportunity for parents because the photos are free with your own camera and they have crafts to keep the kiddos busy while you wait. Andplusalso, the people in charge really wised up last year and assigned each family a number as they entered so you don't even have to wait in an actual line. Sounds perfect, right? Except for one thing...the wait. Last year we literally waited 4 hours to see the big guy in red. Crazy, I know. But this Santa is awesome...real beard, very personable, and takes his time talking with your children about what they want and if they have been naughty or nice (thus the wait). So tonight when we walked into the community center to discover it was a totally fake looking different Santa, my heart sank. But guess who didn't care? That's right, my AMAZING kids. The wonder and excitement of the season was still there. There smiles just as big, their eyes just as wide. And to top it all off...when they each received their very special candy cane after sitting on Santa's lap, they explained to all who would listen the symbolism behind the confection. Now THAT touched this momma's heart more than any picture with Santa ever could.

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Nicolaus!

N - Nice
I - Intelligent
C - Caring
O - Observant
L - Loving and Lovable
A - Amazing
U -  Unstoppable
S - Sensitive

P - Passionate

Monday, October 21, 2013

15 Weeks

 BabyFruit Ticker

Pregnancy: 15 weeks  

Weight Gain: 3 pounds 

Sleep: Sleeping so much better now. I'm not sure if it is because John is home or my hormones are leveling out, but I'll take it
Gender: Too early to tell

Feeling: Great these last few weeks
Movement: If I lay very still when I go to sleep at night I can feel his/her tiny taps every now and then. I love it!

Belly: I thought I had actually gained more weight than 3 lbs, but I guess it is just distributed differently.

Next Appointment:  November 1st

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is a big “awareness month” for a lot of causes, the most widely known being Breast Cancer. Yet, many do not know it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This was officially declared in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. October 9th – 15th, specifically, is Baby Loss Awareness Week. 
Loss of a child at any stage or age is extremely difficult and I know too many who have lived through this type of pain. For more information on this cause and even ideas on how to comfort someone who has endured a loss, please visit Remembering our Babies
John and I suffered through this type of loss two times and although the immeasurable love I have for my now three children is the center of my life, I still think about the babies we did not get to meet. One day...
Slip Back
Right before they took you away from me, out of me
I felt like we were the same then
I couldn't feel or understand the things around me
You were never given that chance
I want to be numb
I want to not ask "why?"
I want to fill the room at the end of the hall
With teddy bears, soft blankets
And a chair to rock you to sleep in
I want to sing happy birthday each year
Watch you blow out your candles
I want to hear you cry and hold you
Stop your tears
But instead its my cries I hear and
My own tears I cannot stop
I Just want to slip back to that place
where I felt I knew you
                                 --Tamara Pedersen

Monday, October 7, 2013

13 Weeks

 BabyFruit Ticker

Pregnancy: 13 weeks  

Weight Gain: 3 pounds 

Sleep: So so. I get up A LOT to pee already and have had some insomnia. I'm hoping the insomnia will go away now that John is back home
Gender: Too early to tell

Feeling: Pretty good overall...the first two/three months were rough

Movement: I have felt the first little flutters! Its no wonder, when I had my first ultrasound s/he was doing somersaults over and over! HA!

Belly: I'm feeling really big for how far along I am. I guess that's what happens when you are stretched out for the third time.

Next Appointment:  November 1st

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2 Months

I told myself I wouldn't do this...the "I can't believe it has been ____ number of months since..." But I really can't believe it. My Dad left this life two months ago and it still just doesn't seem real. In those two short months so many things have happened in my family's life I want to call and talk to him about, send him a text or a quick picture of the kids. The grief is so real that I can't help but count the days, the months. And the holidays too I expect. This month I will celebrate my birthday and for the first time not receive a card filled with sentiments of pride signed "love Dad." In a few months we will celebrate the Holidays and not hear Dad read a Christmas story to the Grandkids or receive a "Happy New Year!" phone call. Just how can that be? I am sure with the passage of time I will stop counting and just be able to remember with love all the memories. Eventually I will be able to look at photos without remembering his suffering and our family's loss. But for now, it hurts and I miss him so much.

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Day of Homeschool

"The A says 'ah,' the A says 'ah,' every letter makes a sound, the A says 'ah'!

Apologies in advance if you continue to have that song ringing through your ears the rest of the day...I know I did. But you know what? I love it. I have been terrified nervous about this day for months. I have been worrying myself to death over how I would start homeschooling the kids and how they would react. And you know what? they LOVED it. And so did I! I can do this!

I'm not going to get into a debate here about homeschool versus public or private school. I know  awesome homeschooled people and amazing traditionally schooled folks (myself included). And on top of that, I know unbelievable homeschooling mommies and just as many working and stay at home moms who do not homeschool. Everyone is different and isn't that great? I am beginning down the road of Homeschooling because John and I have prayed about it and it is what is best for our family...right now.

So today we started a preK program loosely following the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler. With my own stuff mixed in (thank you Pinterest.) A lot will be review for Nicolaus since he went to preschool last year. My goal is to have both he and Carleigh up to speed to begin a Kindergarten curriculum next year. Nicolaus is showing pre-reading interest so I plan on working on that with him also.

Hopefully you will enjoy coming along with us on our Homeschool adventure as the three of us learn together. Below is just the start of what we did today. If you are a homeschooling mom and have any tips or tricks to share, please do! And I appreciate any and all prayers for our family as we head down this road.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

Our family has a community garden plot at Blandy. Once the harvest starts coming in we will all enjoy the time we spend there a little more. Yet, right now the kids get pretty bored and frustrated when we have to weed and water, weed and water. So today I promised we would do a scavenger hunt (thank you Pinterest) if they played patiently while I gardened. Nicolaus was skeptical, but once I explained a scavenger hunt was basically a treasure hunt, he was all in!

1. Something Fuzzy

2. Two Kinds of Seeds

3. Two Pieces of Litter

4. Something Straight

5. Something Round
6. Something Smooth

7. Something Rough
8. Two Different Types of Leaves

9. Something that Makes Noise
10. A Chewed Leaf

11. A Beautiful Rock
12. Something You Think is Beautiful
13. A Pinecone
14. Something Green

15. A Stick

16. Something You Think is a Treasure!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Heaven Has a New Angel

I love you Daddy!

David S. Harris, 68, of Sylvania, passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at Hospice of Northwest Ohio. He was born June 20, 1945, in California, MO, and was the son of Rodney and Ruth Harris. David was a graduate of California State University with a Graduate Degree in History and his MBA in Human Resource Management from the University Southern California. 

David was in Iran on a desert highway project in 1978 when the Shah of Iran lost control, witnessing the beginning of the Iranian Revolution. He worked as an HR manager for 6 years on the Alaska Pipeline, living in Anchorage and remote artic winter camps at Deadhorse, Valdez, and Prudhoe Bay. Hired by Owens-Corning in 1998, David traveled extensively and consulted with People-leaders in Owens-Corning worldwide. Retiring in 2011, after 13 years at Owens-Corning, he continued a successful consulting career through D.S. Harris and Associates.

David married Janice in 1999 and together they enjoyed travel which most often included hiking. Some of their most memorable hikes include such places as The Tahoe Basin, The Grand Canyon, Napali Coast Trail in Kauai, and Bandeliar National Monument in New Mexico.

While attending John Marshall High School in L.A. David ran cross-country and was the 1962 L.A. City champion as well as being one of three track stars to win L.A. track championship. He spent some of his early years playing as a professional drummer. He had many other interests including writing, editing, and publishing books, becoming a voice-over actor, and had a passion for football, especially following USC college games and "his" St. Louis Rams. Many Sunday afternoons were spent watching football, wrapped in his Rams blanket with Woody and Tango (their Westies) flanking each side. One of his favorite events of the year was the annual NFL draft. David passed along his love of books to his 8 grandchildren and he could often be found with one or all of them as an audience to his reading. He could also be found with one or all of the adults as audience to his famous "shaggy dog stories". He was always "teaching", especially the to: use chopsticks, hold and use drumsticks, use trekking poles, and play chess. 

David is survived by his loving wife, Janice; parents, Rodney and Ruth Harris of Fort Collins, CO; brothers, Bruce (Rita) Harris and Scott (Jennice) Harris both of Fort Collins, CO; four daughters, Stephanie Stansbie of Ashburn, VA, Tamara (John) Pedersen of Stephens City, VA, Rebecca (Jeff) Orange of Highland, IN and Kristie (Ben) Jones of Downers Grove, IL. He is also survived by son-in-law, Will Stansbie of Aldi, VA; grandchildren, Josh, Jeremy and Jenna Orange, August Stansbie, Grant and Makenna Jones, Nicolaus and Carleigh Pedersen and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Visitation will be at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Avenue (west of Corey), on Thursday, July 11, 2013, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held at Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Avenue, on Friday, July 12, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be private in Epworth United Methodist Church Memorial Garden. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, 30000 River Road, Perrysburg, OH, 43551 or Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Avenue, Ottawa Hills, OH 43615.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lesson From a Three-Year-Old

Yes I said three-year-old. Somehow between Apple Blossom celebrations and Mother's Day picnics my baby girl turned three!

Carleigh May, you are so full of a zest for life. You live every day just like you eat a cookie or some other sweet treat you love--very slowly. You savor each bite, enjoy every morsel and what it has to offer. I pray that I can learn from you and take time to enjoy what life has to offer, what God has blessed us with each day. You truly are excited EVERY day with the rising of the sun, the green of the grass, the singing of the birds and the softness of our kitty's fur like it's your first time experiencing these every day occurrences.. Too often we rush to playdates or off to run errands and forget to enjoy the little moments. God created this amazing Earth with lavish colors, amazing flavors and infinite stars for us to adore. Thank you baby girl for reminding me to enjoy it!

Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I said "Yes"

My friend Jennifer over at Parenting Steps challenged our group of Mommy friends to "Be a 'Yes' Mom" for a week--say "yes" to something we normally wouldn't like ice cream for breakfast, crazy clothes, etc. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I am not more of a "Yes" Mom, not at all. Growing up I thought I'd be this really cool spontaneous mom, but somehow I have turned into a crazy  mom who thrives on schedule and needs things to be "just-so." Huge messes from finger paints unnerve me, as do cookie crumbs everywhere or unexpected detours when trying to get from point A to point B. So when I read the challenge this morning on Facebook, part of me cringed, but that same part knew I HAD to do it. Initially I planned (keyword "plan") to just say yes to the kids playing in the water in the backyard. But this morning when the kids and I needed to walk to the Post Office to mail a package, Nicolaus asked if he could walk instead of riding in the stroller with his sister. I heard a voice in my head (ahem Jennifer) saying "Be a YES Mom!" So off we went, Carleigh in the single stroller and Nicolaus rushing ahead; skipping beside; squatting to pick up a rock, pine cone, or acorn. And do you know what...he pointed out fragrant peonies along the way I had never noticed, butterfly cocoons hangingon a porch, dewy honeysuckle climbing along a railing, a robin's egg fallen from its nest. You see, I normally click the two of them into the double stroller and power walk wherever we need to go like its my life's purpose. If I hadn't said "Yes," we would have missed a memorable morning. Andplusalso, I didn't bring my phone, so normally when I would have been tempted to instagram, FaceBook or text every little discovery, instead they're all ours and I wouldn't have it any other way. Especially in today's society when we are all so plugged in to social networks and our electronic devices, it is easy to let meaningful personal relationships and special moments pass us by. So I ask you, what are you missing by not saying "Yes?" By not following your children's footsteps for they are making discoveries every day?

Matthew 18:3 
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."