About Me

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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If words could sigh right now...

The long awaited pain management appointment was today.

Before I go into that though, I feel like I should set this up first. Most of you know about all of my problems over the last 7 months with my neck. Some days are better than others but there has not been a single pain-free day since the beginning of March. My primary doctor sent me to physical therapy three times before FINALLY ordering an MRI, after I reported that yet again the therapy wasn't helping at all. I was starting to have my doubts, but he has been our primary doctor for the last probably 8 years at least and so I thought I could trust him.

My primary doctor said he saw arthritis on the MRI and referred me to a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon looked at the MRI and told me in a very brief appointment that I had two degenerated discs but they did not need surgery; thus he referred me to a pain management center.

Last weekend (the 18th) I was in a LOT of pain. I had weakness and tingling in my right arm through the weekend and into Monday of last week. So like any normal person (with a lot of pressure from my mother-in-law) ;) I called my primary doctor. We wanted him to rule out a blood clot, seeing as how I have a condition that makes me prone to blood clots. So I tell the nurse all my symptoms and she said she would let the doctor know and call me back.

Later that day the receptionist called and told me that the doctor thought all of my symptoms were from my neck BUT (and I started to feel relieved thinking he'd run some more tests) the doctor would like to see me to schedule...wait for it...more physical therapy. MORE THERAPY??? It hasn't worked for 6 months. Why would it mysteriously work NOW? He didn't even address the blood clot issue, even though he knows I have Factor V Leiden and he also knows that I had a blood clot 10 years ago and that I could get another one at any time! Didn't say a thing about it. Mind you, I wasn't really concerned that I had a blood clot but I was very upset that he didn't even address it.

I spent last Tuesday in the ER doped up on Morphine at first (which didn't work AT ALL) then on Dilautin, which finally eased the worst of the pain and allowed me to rest my head against the bed. I took Wednesday and Thursday off work and Kris drove me to work on Friday and yesterday. The pain is much, much better than it was Tuesday-I hope it never gets that bad again. I hadn't cried like that from pain since I was in labor!

That leads us to today. Now yesterday and today the pain has been MUCH better than it had been. As long as I don't move my head, I am not in pain. If I turn my head at all (side to side or up or down) it hurts. But it's been tolerable. My pain management appointment was at 1:30pm. I got there at 1:35 because I went to the wrong building first. I then spent the next hour and a half (not exaggerating) in a freezing cold waiting room. FINALLY at 3pm, the nurse called me back into an actual room, which incidentally was even colder than the waiting room and they had me put a gown on, so I was using my shirt as a blanket of sorts just to try to stay warm. I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. And then, around 3:45, the doctor finally came in.

He was very nice. He did the same stuff everyone else has done. Asked me some questions. Went over what medications I have been on that haven't worked, went over the physical therapy that didn't work, went over what tests have been done. And I can tell from the man's tone that he doesn't like what he is getting ready to tell me.

He said there was NO arthritis in my neck (though my primary said there was). He did agree with the neurosurgeon that there are two discs that are degenerated (but not bulging) between the 5th, 6th and 7th vertebrae. HOWEVER, as he explained to me, because he couldn't reproduce the pain with the things he was trying (i.e. he was holding my head steady and then turning it and it did not create the same pain that comes if I move my head around) he didn't feel comfortable treating me. He said he could give me medicine that 'might' help, but because I am only 30, he did not recommend a lifelong battle against pain with medication. He mentioned injections but said that there are risks involved and because he doesn't know what is wrong with my neck, he doesn't know where to inject anything.

Let me break this down for you. Basically, I need to see a neurologist. I asked him if that was different than a neurosurgeon, because I didn't know. WELL...apparently my primary care physician SHOULD have referred me to a neurologist FIRST and NOT a neurosurgeon because a neurologist DIAGNOSES problems, whereas a neurosurgeon fixes problems that are already diagnosed. A neurologist can apparently do a test called an EMG where they can determine if I have a pinched nerve that is causing the pain (the pain management doctor did not think that my discs were necessarily what was causing my pain). He further explained to me that most everyone has discs that are worn down and many can go their entire life without them causing pain, so he just wasn't sure that my 2 discs were the source of my pain and he basically told me that I haven't even been diagnosed with anything yet! So, the doctor recommended a good neurologist and told me I should get an EMG done.

I finally left the doctor's office at 4:30, three hours after I got there, frustrated and in pain. I will say that I was impressed with this pain management doctor and his nurse. He explained more to me in 20 minutes than any of the other doctors have ever explained to me and I appreciated that. Obviously he is a busy man, since I had to wait over 2 hours to even see him, but he took the time to go over everything and really treated me with respect and seemed genuinely sorry that he could not help me beyond recommending a good neurologist.

I wasn't sure whether to cry or scream or laugh. Because I got out so late, I couldn't even call the neurologist because they were already closed. So the earliest I can call is tomorrow morning and who knows how long I will have to wait to get in. I had to wait over 2 weeks to see the neurosurgeon and over two weeks to get the pain management appointment, and I highly doubt the neurologist will be able to fit me in this week and mostly likely not next either.

Needless to say, after all of that, I have a headache tonight. The one good thing to end my day is that our Sleep Number bed was delivered and set up today and I get to sleep in it tonight! So the saga continues and if you have read all of this...you are my real friends! ;) See I can say that because anyone who didn't read this far wouldn't see it anyway.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Do you know what your sleep number is?

Kris and I bought a bed today. A sleep number bed. We've talked about getting this bed for about two years. In fact, we went to the Select Comfort store at the Mills with Cindy and Dean once and tested out the beds. We wanted to get a bed then, but we really didn't have the money so we made a wise decision and did not buy the bed at that time. Cindy and Dean bought one for themselves instead. It was kind of funny.

Well, since I started having problems with my neck and back and shoulder (sometimes all three at the same time!), Kris and I have discussed the purchase of a bed. A good, lasting bed. And a king size. We decided on the sleep number bed for many different reasons. Primarily, we do not have to flip the bed, and since we wanted a king size bed, this was an important factor. Also, we wanted to have the ability to adjust the firmness of the bed, which you do not have with just any bed. We could spend $2000 on a bed that we may hate in a year, or we could take that same money and buy a bed that gave us more flexibility where comfort was concerned.

I'm so tired of being in pain. I have been alternating heat and cold off and on for the last three days with no noticeable difference. Bio Freeze hasn't even been giving me any relief. Last night my shoulders were swollen for some unknown reason. This morning I woke up with BOTH of my hands completely numb, as if I had slept on both of them even though I didn't. There was also a new pain shooting down my right arm. That was nice. Not really. The numbness went away but I've had twinges of pain in my right hand all day, especially if I have tried to turn something (like opening a water bottle) or grip something. I feel like I am losing dexterity in my hands sometimes. I'm getting very annoyed with myself. I think Kris must be too since he decided we could afford to go ahead and get the bed now instead of waiting until November like we had planned. Poor Kris!

Okay, that's all the complaining I have for now. I am pretty excited about our new bed though. Hopefully I'll finally sleep entirely through the night for the first time in, oh years...

Monday, September 14, 2009

I find it strange how quickly a day can go from good, to bad, to worse, to unbearable all over the course of an hour. I realize that the biggest reason this happens to me from time to time is that my emotions are less than stable. Today was insane. Work went pretty good, aside from the normal pain that distracts me. I was feeling a little anxious thinking about how crazy everything has become. I managed to work for 8 hours and left pretty much on time at 3:30pm. I had a nice drive to pick the kids up, listening to The Time Traveler's Wife. 12 hours in it finally had me wanting to take it in and listen to it just to listen, and not just to occupy my drive time. I got to the kids' school and they were sort of ready to go. More ready than they usually are. Usually it's a 15 minute ordeal while they clean up everything and then we have to get backpacks and lunch boxes and get back out to the car. Today the kids decided they would be just mean and hateful to each other the whole way to Hazelwood West for Abbey's speech therapy. Primarily it was Kaleb and Abbey fighting. Livvy just kept whining and screaming whenever I didn't acknowledge her whining. Kat sat pretty quietly-I was thankful for that.

We make it over to Hazelwood West and I have NO idea where to go. I'm lucky I knew how to get there to begin with! I wound up going in the right door and could see other small children and their parents milling about, so I figured that I had to be close to the right spot. Still, I don't like new settings and not knowing what to do or where to go. Luckily Abbey's speech therapist was waiting outside and it was a painless process getting her to the right room. The kids had already finished their homework so I couldn't force them to sit there quietly for the next 30 minutes. And Kaleb thought it would be funny to slide around on the floor! The first time he did it, I told him to stop. The second time I am pretty sure he did it just to irritate me. Livvy kept running around screaming. Finally I just told them to all go sit on a bench and be quiet for 5 minutes. This worked...sort of. As well as it can work I suppose. Then I let them get up and they started being crazy all over again! Big surprise. Finally Abbey finishes and we head back out to go home. Kaleb and Abbey thought it would be great to just be mean to each other. Kaleb was saying mean things to Abbey, which in turn made Abbey whine and tattle, and then Abbey kicked Kaleb which of course made him whine and tattle. I finally broke down. I was about 5 minutes from home and I'd had enough. Thank God I just burst into tears instead of screaming at them. But then Katherine is sitting there trying to hold my hand and asking me why I am crying and all I can do is just keep driving and get us home.

We made it home. Kaleb and Katherine took themselves to Kaleb's room and actually managed to play nicely together. I sent Livvy and Abbey downstairs to watch TV. Kris had gone to the store and wasn't home yet. So I just sat down in my chair with a blanket and turned my phone back on to listen to my book and zone out. Kris came home and I must not have looked great because he seemed overly concerned about my demeanor. We made it through dinner with only a little fighting and now thankfully they have all gotten jammies on and gone downstairs. It's pretty quiet for the moment. We'll do devotions in about 20 minutes, put them in bed, and I am hoping that I am in bed not far behind them!

I really wish this kind of stuff didn't bother me. I wish that I could tune it out and not be annoyed by the whining and bickering. I haven't quite learned how though. I'm sure it has a lot to do with God and very little to do with me though.

On a different note, we are going to a Cardinals game on Wednesday. I don't really care about baseball...at all. Baseball is apparently very 'big' in St. Louis. I grew up with basketball being the 'thing' in Indiana. I like basketball. Baseball though has never really interested me. BUT, last year ICS (the company I work for) started a tradition I guess you could say where in the fall we go to a Cardinals game. Wednesday is that day. I'll work from the office downtown and then we'll go to the game in the afternoon. It will be fun interacting with the office staff I think, even though I don't care for baseball. Plus, who can resist ball park food, especially when it's paid for by the company! ;-)

Tomorrow Olivia turns four...it's so hard to believe that four years have passed. Do you realize that this is the first time we have gone this long without a baby? We were married for a year and a half before Katherine was born. Kaleb came 10 1/2 months later, Abbey 13 months later, and then we had a three year break before Olivia was born. And now, it seems so strange that four years have gone by and we have no little one in the house anymore. How quickly time goes by.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Finally, an answer

Well, we have finally gotten a diagnosis for my neck pain. It appears that I have 2 degenerated discs between the 5th & 6th and 6th & 7th vertebrae. The good news is that it is, according to the Neurosurgeon, 'mild' and does not REQUIRE surgery at this time. He referred me to a pain management center. No pain pill has been effective and physical therapy (I think) made the pain worse. So this is the next step. I don't know what they will decide to do; the surgeon mentioned Cortisone shots. I've heard both good and bad things about this. The surgeon said that if the pain isn't better with the pain management, then I can go back to him and we can discuss what surgery would entail. The bad news is that the first available appointment with the pain management center wasn't until September 29th. So, two more weeks to suffer through until I can meet with someone who can HOPEFULLY offer me some relief.

It does feel good to know that there is an answer for the pain I've been experiencing. I somehow feel like I have accomplished something just in knowing what is wrong with me. I really hope that the pain management works. I can't think about the implications of surgery with regards to my family and work without getting anxious, and because I have no idea if it will ever be necessary, there's really no point in thinking about it. It's hard not to think about the what ifs though. For now, I will just continue to wait until I can get in to the pain management center and try not to think about what will happen if this doesn't provide relief.

I think that Kris is trying to get the swine flu. He's had a cold coming on for days and today went back home after dropping the kids at school, downed some Nyquil and went back to bed. I hope he is feeling better when I get home. So far I've tolerated it pretty well...meaning there have only been two or three occasions when I have thrown him the "you'd better not get sick!" look. Poor Kris.

Abbey starts speech therapy today. Mondays and Wednesdays will be a bit crazy. Go into work early, work until 3:30 w/o a lunch break, go pick all four kids up from Grace, drive everyone over to Hazelwood West and get there by 4:30pm. Then I will have to find a spot to sit with the other three kids, keep Livvy entertained and help Kat and Kaleb finish their homework. Then it's home we go to make dinner and get the kids in bed. The next 6 Tuesday nights Kris has finance meetings at church-he's barely even going to be home tomorrow for Livvy's birthday because it's the first budget meeting. Kaleb has soccer practice on Tuesdays now. Kat has Brownies every other Thursday. Kaleb has soccer games every Saturday until the middle of November. This is the year that we take on a million activities. Oh well...it had to start sometime. I'm surprised we were able to put it off this long! We are waiting until next semester to start Abbey in anything. We'll swap out Kaleb's soccer for Abbey to do ballet and Kat will continue Brownies. We just can't keep up with all four of them doing something, not to mention all the money involved!

Time to get back to work!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I have...

...no idea what shape this is going to take tonight.

Currently I have myself all set up to sit back, relax (ha ha-is that possible???), and watch Rent. And yet, to spite me, the computer (the one we call our TV and upon which I want to watch said movie) has decided that it does not want to work. Kris asked me what I had done to it. Nothing I told him. And then I called it stupid. And he said that because I was calling it names that it was 'misbehaving'. I told him that I had not called it ANY names before it started messing up.

You see, we have this same problem with our boxy red van that I hate. That stupid van has been good to us over the last 7 years. It really has. We have been blessed - after way too many repairs and the fact that it was totalled when we were rearended a couple of years ago, it's still chugging along. So, I can see why the van is disrespectful to me. I am disrespectful to it. Disrespect breeds disrespect. But I swear to you, I did NOTHING to provoke the TV OR COMPUTER. Nothing at all! And yet here I sit, finding my anger rising up once again today because the computer is frozen.

So here I am, staring at a blank computer/TV monitor, listening to the children (who are supposed to be sleeping) whisper and play. It's very relaxing. I mean, just imagine it. You wish YOU were here in my place, don't you? I had a horrible headache by the time I came home from work, made dinner (it was delicious of course!), took a shower in the hopes of relaxing and relieving some pain in my head only to be disrupted by Abbey coming and saying "Mommy is that you?" And I said "Yes. Who else would it be?" And she said "Daddy." And I said "Didn't Daddy just do devotions with you?" And she said "Yes." And that was the end of that conversation. And then, as if we were on the phone or something, Olivia comes in and peeks her little face behind the shower curtain and says "Hi Mommy. It's me Olivia."

Kris wrestled the children in to bed for me, I gave them hugs and kisses and then I made sure I had everything I needed to sit here without having to move for the next two hours. Phone? Check. Heating pad? Check. BioFreeze? Check. Remote Control? Check. Mouse? Check. Medicine? Check. All I was asking for was TWO hours. Kris then takes the mouse (which I had on the arm of my chair) and said he needed to do something. So he showed me the new Switchfoot live video "Mess of Me" (which was good) and then he put the mouse down on the couch. And I said to him "Give me that. Unlike you, I don't set the mouse down in random places so that every thirty minutes when I need it I have to get up and look for it. I have everything where I need it so that I don't have to move for the next few hours." He laughed, because I'm funny (and because time and time again he does this exact thing!) and then put the mouse on the end table, out of my reach. So I said, "I can't reach that. I want it here. Where I had it. On my chair." He gave me the mouse back.

He kissed me goodbye-because he is going to work tonight until probably 3am (but at least he is getting paid for this as it is an outside project!), and started to walk out the door. And right before he shut the door I said "Oh wait! Before you go, can you get me a water bottle." He grins at me and I tell him that the water bottle was "all I need*" (*if you haven't seen The Jerk with Steve Martin you're missing out)! He gives me my water bottle, and I'm all set.

The movie begins. The opening song comes on and just as the music starts to swell to an especially intense part of the song, the computer freezes. So I sat here, clicking the mouse. It did nothing. Then I got that stupid message that says the program is not responding, blah blah blah. I told it to close. It did not. I waited. I pulled up the task manager and tried to close it that way. I waited. It finally closed. So then I thought, well obviously media center isn't working right. So I went to "My Computer" and notice that it is taking FOREVER (ok more like 2 minutes) to open. It opens. I double-click on Rent. I waited. It froze. So I called Kris and I told him that the stupid computer was frozen and he asks me what I did to provoke it! I explained it to him and he agreed that it did not appear that I had provoked it in any way. He told me to restart the computer and try to run the movie through media center. So I tried to restart the computer. I waited. FINALLY...instead of restarting, it just turned itself off.

Now, normally this wouldn't be the end of the world. But as I mentioned before, I had myself all prepared to NOT have to get up again. But in order to turn the computer back on, now I have to get up. And I can't just turn it on and sit back down. I have to wait. Because I have to enter a password. The wireless keyboard isn't working (or believe me I would have it within arm's reach!) so I will have to type in the password on a regular keyboard that is lying on the entertainment center-heaven forbid!

And instead of doing all that, somehow this all came spilling out! It's time now to post this though and try round two of "Let's annoy the crap out of Jamie tonight." Oh look, there is yet another child up out of bed with some excuse! And I'm pretty sure I just heard a drawer fall out of its dresser and on to the ground. Lovely. Oh no, wait-here come Abbey and Katherine. Abbey is hurt and Katherine has her arm around her, guiding her and explaining to me that Abbey was climbing up in her (Katherine) bed to tell her something and when she climbed back down she fell and hurt her hand and her elbow. Look, I'm all about making my kids feel better when they are hurt. But I have a REALLY hard time being compassionate when they hurt themselves because they were doing something they never should have been doing to begin with. All is better now though and the children (for now) are all back in their beds.

Hey Kris thanks for going to work tonight. Remember how you said "I'm going to make some money" and I jokingly said "I'm going to spend it?" Well, I think that perhaps maybe it wasn't so much of a joke after all.

And just in case you haven't put all the pieces together, and cannot see it clearly spelled out in the writing above, I am a very impatient person.

Monday, September 7, 2009

They come in threes...

They say that bad things come in threes.

For me, there are three 'bad' things about the kids being at Grace.

#1. 6am. I hate it. It hates me. 6am makes me angry. If I get up at 6am, I just wake up angry. 6:10 or 6:15, not so much. 6am though is my nemesis right now.

#2. School lunches. The #1 thing I LOVED about the kids being in public school was the $1.50 school lunches. $20 a paycheck and there were no worries. Kids had lunch everyday and I didn't have to do a thing. It was, stupid as it may sound, my favorite thing about the kids going to public school last year. THAT and the free breakfast! Paired together, it made the mornings much easier. Now, we have to send lunches with the kids every day. I know that I sound awful. But I REALLY HATE making school lunches. This is another one of those scenarios where you think "Why did I have more than one child?"

Katherine doesn't really care for peanut butter and jelly. She will eat it, but she prefers turkey. Not just turkey and bread. Turkey with miracle whip and lettuce. No cheese. Just lettuce, miracle whip and turkey (and bread of course). No cheese.

Kaleb also will eat peanut butter and jelly, but he prefers turkey with cheese and miracle whip. No lettuce.

Abbey is easier, in that she will ONLY eat peanut butter and jelly. Every day.

Olivia, as most of you know, cannot eat peanut butter, as she is allergic. So, Olivia only has jelly on her sandwiches. She prefers apricot jelly, but we only have grape and strawberry right now, so she will just have to 'deal'. Oh and speaking of Olivia's allergy to peanut butter, I've been building a theory. Her initial allergy test showed no allergy to nuts of any kind, mold or grass or trees. But when she started breaking out in hives after having ranch dressing, I decided to look at the common ingredients. Soy bean oil. That is the ONLY common ingredient. This was further confirmed for me the other night when she broke out in hives after eating Pringles and a hot dog. Kris said he's never noticed her break out when she has the cheese flavored pringles. The kind I gave her were sour cream and onion. (I know this is getting boring now-I'm almost done with this part). When I looked at the ingredients, the Cheese ones MAY contain soy or peanuts. But the sour cream and onion actually contain soy bean oil. So my theory is that she is only allergic to soy bean oil. I have a prescription for another allergy test that will hopefully confirm my suspicions.

#3. Driving. The kids took the bus last year. It was a matter of Kris sending them off to school. Granted, the girls' hair never got brushed, but other than that, it affected me very little. Most days I left for work before they were ever up. And then my drive to work was MY time. I listened to my books and had a really nice drive to and from work. Now, I drive the kids to school. And this also upsets me. I'm not mad at them...I'm mad at having to drive them to school. It really makes no sense. Besides the fact that I am just crazy. I'm having a hard time adjusting to having four LOUD children in the car with me every day. To ease some of that, Kris has offered to take the kids to school for me on Tues/Thurs. Dean brings them home these days (except for the days Kaleb and Kat have soccer or Girl Scouts). Those days I pick up whichever child is still at school at 5pm. All in all, it is getting better.

But those are the three things that are on my "I hate" list right now. And yes I do realize that this makes me seem incredibly selfish. Well, here's the truth: I am. :)

Good things about the kids being at Grace-THEY ARE AT GRACE! It's been such a blessing to have them back there. No more school bus. No more worries (well some but not as bad) about Kaleb getting picked on. No worries about Kaleb and Katherine not being able to learn at the capacity that they need to be learning at. It's hard that Abbey isn't getting her therapy right there in school, but starting next week I will drive her to speech/occupational therapy two days a week. And the other great benefit is that all four kids are in the SAME place. For the first time...ever. All in all it is a wonderful blessing to have them back there.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I love music. I always have. Music speaks to me. It moves me. Sometimes it makes me happy. Sometimes it makes me sad. Sometimes it takes me back to my childhood. I can never listen to Meat Loaf "Objects in the Rearview Mirror" without the memory of my sister and I driving through Painted Hills with the top down on our dad's Lebaron Convertible!

Once, in college, I sang in a group, for a whole year. It was a big deal for me. I had NO confidence at all, especially when it came to singing. My sister has a beautiful voice. Truly amazing. And she plays the piano. The 'gift' fell to her. However, I am fortunate enough that I can carry a tune, and I LOVE to sing harmony. Sadly I am not talented enough to hear it like some people-for me, like with everything else I've ever done, I've had to work really hard. Except for, it would seem, getting pregnant-seemed to do that pretty easily! But I digress...

I was SO nervous before each perfomance that year in college. We had to sing. In front of people. There were even a couple of songs that I had to sing solo on. Those terrified me. But the more I practiced, the more comfortable I became. I never did gain confidence, so much as I lost a little fear. I had to suck it up and just do it. Because half of my room and board was riding on it! Honestly, while I love singing and music, I tried out because I wanted to save my parents some money on tuition and I hoped it would help me build some confidence. And while I could be wrong, I do believe that they let me in more because they needed warm bodies (or voices in my case), rather than basing it on pure talent. Because as I mentioned above, it is my sister, and not me with a strong voice.

All of that to share this new series with you. It starts next week. This is the director's cut series premiere. This show makes me so excited about music! It gives me chills when they sing at the end - and really leaves me longing to be a part of something like that. Now if I could just get over the intense fear I have of other people hearing me sing!! Anyway, if you have about 45 minutes, check this out. And then, start watching it next week when it begins. It's called "Glee".

Kaleb's Sleep Over

Kaleb turned 8 on Sunday. We let him have a sleep over last Friday night to celebrate. We let him invite 6 boys-they ALL showed up! It was ok though. Kris and the boys played the Wii for a while, and then they went downstairs and hung out in the basement. It seemed like everyone had a really good time, and we all survived. Apparently, one of the boys had a REALLY good time! Here is a note that he wrote to Kaleb:

In case you can't read it, or don't want to try, here is what it says (exact spelling and all):

"Dear Kaleb,
Thank you inviting me to the sleep over it was great a whole night without my sister imagine not seeing your sister for one whole night. Hay how about you have another one next year it will be great. Your house rocks!"

How great is that? My son is awesome to his friends! This makes my heart truly happy.

The United States Postal Service

Have you ever received a piece of mail that is damaged? And you sit there staring at it, wondering if someone tried to open it, or if it just got stuck in some sort of mail sorting machine? I have. Just recently. Kris brought the mail in, and this is what he found:

Now what I find the most interesting is the packaging they had our mail in:

Kids and their prayers

One of my favorite times spent with the kids is listening to them pray. It's humbling really. Sometimes they say really cute things. Sometimes really profound things. And other times it just makes you feel like the worst parent ever! Not really...but it truly can be humbling. It's never a good thing when your kids pray (on an almost daily basis) that mommy and daddy won't be cranky. That was Abbey's prayer tonight. That mommy wouldn't be cranky in the morning. That daddy wouldn't be cranky in morning. That Katherine wouldn't be cranky in the morning. That Livvy wouldn't be cranky in the morning. That Kaleb wouldn't be cranky in the morning. That Abbey wouldn't be cranky in the morning.

I love when Abbey says things like "God I love you more than anyone else. Except maybe me. I love you and me the best. And then Uncle Brandon."

Livvy usually prays for Dora. Random nothingness, in which she throws Dora in. We've tried to talk to her about leaving Dora out and putting Jesus in. So now she just prays about Dora AND Jesus!

Kaleb and Katherine are pretty cool to listen to. They really just talk to God, like they're talking to a friend. Sincere, child-like (of course because they ARE children). I LOVE it. It was important to us from the start to teach them that they can just talk to God, about whatever is on their heart. They pray for their friends now, or their friend's family members who are sick. It's just become this natural conversation and it makes me proud as a parent to hear them talk to God this way.

Sprint...I'm impressed

My loyal following of readings know that I HATE Sprint (and Charter, but this is only about Sprint). Recently, I went from "hating Sprint" to just "disliking Sprint". Tonight, and I hesitate to say this because it may be a bit premature, I think I have now gone from "disliking Sprint" to "almost liking Sprint". Let me tell you why, because I know you are DYING to know!

Let me start out by saying that I really like my Samsung Instinct. Especially the ability to use it as a modem and the GPS. I don't really want to give that up. BUT, I hate that Audible.com doesn't have a version of their player available for the Instinct, and it is imperative that I be able to listen to my audio books! Imperative!! So, I decided that I would switch back to my Treo 700wx for a while and take advantage of the features the phone has to offer. So, now I am trying to get everything synched up and switched over. Kris told me a while ago that he was able to chat with a Sprint representative and get some sort of problem resolved.

He suggest that I give it a try, and I did. And now, after a 5 minute chat conversation, I have switched my phone plan back to my Treo 700wx! It was SO easy. And I was assured that if I chose to switch back to my Instinct in a month (which I no doubt will primarily for the GPS and the PAM (phone as modem) that there would be no problems, and I could do it by chatting. And considering that I hate to talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to, this was PERFECT!

Honestly the ONLY reason I switched back to my Treo 700wx was to get Audible working on it again. For some reason it became 'deactivated' and I couldn't use it, nor could I get it activated without being able to get online with the phone. So I switched it over and am getting Audible working again. Who knows where we'll go from here. Actually, I want a different phone, but am going to be patient. Because I have to, and because Kris won't let me get another phone for a while after the last dramatic temper tantrum I threw when I wanted him to buy me the Instinct.

BUT...when it is time for a new phone (unless a better one has come out) I am thinking I might fall in love with the HTC Hero Android phone! It's Kris' fault. He's taunting me again. I know I can't get one now. But when I CAN, I will either get this phone OR whatever phone has come out that's better, since it will be a year and a half before I can upgrade! I really like Android. It is a Google operating system and I am going to NEED this operating system!