Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Such a busy holiday season! Dance recitals, my father in laws 91st birthday, piano recitals, choir concerts, exams, shopping for everyone with a puny budget. Somehow, someway we pulled it off by the grace of heaven. Hope yours was a wonderful holiday. We barely got a picture we could use for our Christmas card, so we had to include a few of the mess ups. Merry Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, September 27, 2010

kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens- 4 of em...

A stray (and feral) cat started hanging around a few months ago and we noticed she looked pregnant one day but the next day she didn't so we figured she lost the babies because she was pretty tiny herself to be having kittens. Alas... the other day my daughter came running in screaming "Mom, your not going to believe this! Kitten had kittens! They are playing behind the wall!" Oh great...

Sure enough she did. There were 4 kittens back there with the mama cat behind our back wall where there is a gully and a field back there, a perfect playground and lots of hiding spots. SO many hiding spots that it has taken me 4 days of trying to catch the kittens and they freak out and run away from me. They are never in the same spot so I have to wait for them to come out to know what the spot of the day is. Mama has taught them well.

I caught one kitten on friday with food and sitting behind a bush for an hour til he got brave enough to come eat. He is gray and white and is already used to us and playing. Todays goal... get the other 3 buggers. They are old enough to be without mama cat, they are almost as big as she is. Never give up, never surrender!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another twist in the road...

I don't want to burst any bubbles but I am learning a very interesting life lesson over and over again lately and I just want to warn you all. Sorry Moms of young childern in advance!
Here it is...
Just the opposite in fact. My mom used to say kids are physically exhausting when they are little, emotionally exhausting as teens, financially exhausting in college, and then they are all three at random moments to keep you on your toes.
I am off to the hospital bright and early tomorrow to have my daughter get her stomach scoped in order to figure out what the heck is causing so much pain for her. She is always nauseous, bent over, and no pill will touch it. It's been progressively worse over the past year. I would really love some answers. Not gonna be a fun day. He thinks she may have celiac disease, ulcer, IBS, dairy allergies, or another fun thing but I can't remember what. Poor girl.
All kids are challenging at any age and I mean SO much more than physically challenging. I am a Mom of 4 and to them I am the coach, the pep talk giver, the one who holds their hand when they are unsure, the cheer leader, the go and get em encourager, the congratulator, the pick em up and brush em off-er, and sometimes it's a bit draining but always always always worth every minute.
Today I looked at her and thought, I would do anything for u. Anything. I would give you my stomach, my life, to make yours better. I have been thru so much with this child... emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst, xrays, mri's, cat scans, scoliosis adjustments, dermatologists, and braces TWICE. I love all my kids but I am so grateful for Corynn, she is my right hand, my sweetheart, my little mommy to her sisters, our voice of conscience. She is so smart, so wise, and at 14 is becoming a little to pretty for her own good. All these things shall be for our good and our experience, right! How amazing is it that we are placed in families on this earth? Who else would go thru all the yuck with us?!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The old girl AINT what she used to be...

Back in April my neighbor made me try ZUMBA. I had never tried it before and had only heard of it. So we went to the gym down the street and I LOVED it! It felt SO good to dance again. I spent my high school years on the school dance team and my first year of college doing ballroom classes but then I completely stopped and dived into studies... then I got married... then I had babies... and that was that, dancing days were done.

Then after the class, this neighbor tells me she has been certified in zumba and wants to start teaching her own classes. She had found a dance studio that wanted to offer adult classes and she was all set and wanted me to come. So I went and the classes started April 9th. In Mid May she tells me that she needs to train me to substitute for her and be a fill in teacher if I was interested. By then I had most of the dances memorized but was still running a lot and doing races. So I ran my last race memorial day weekend and started to work on choreography and early June I was teaching the classs. TOTALLY intimidating but so good for me, the back row girl too comfortable behind the scenes.

So I taught my first class on a Saturday morning and got a ton of people, most first timers who had never done Zumba before. I broke down dances and TAUGHT the steps, I encouraged them and coached them through the foriegn (literally foreign... African, Ballywood, and Latin) choreography as I did it in front of them. Then, I realized that I LOVED being up there in front- it was totally scary but it was so much fun to watch them learn from me and to tell them how great they were doing.

However............ now its become a full time thing. I am teaching at least 4 times a week and always practicing, learning new routines at home, finding new music, etc. We have gone from 5 classes a week to 10 classes. I hope my body holds out! Today my knee decided to grow a little swollen again (reoccurring running injury)and I am just thinking... the old girl, she AINT what she used to be. I am happy, swollen, sore, tired, but still thru it all I am motivated to always improve. Thank u ZUMBA for reminding me how important dance is to me physically and mentally...BUT U ARE KICKING THIS OLD GIRLS BUTT!!! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This whole year has flown by! I can't believe it's almost September and so many things have happened. My life has become so complicated. There are so many blessings and quite a few challenges to keep things balanced I suppose. The challenge at the moment is that my elderly inlaws are struggling. They are 90 years old and my father in law has been diagnosed with dementia years back and last week my mother in law had a personality change and was diagnosed with senile dementia with manic disorder. She is falling about every other month just to recover and fall again. The nurse came and spoke to us and suggested a care center. Its so sad. I don't know how u do this. How do u bring that up with them without making them feel like u don't want to be bothered with them, that they aren't loved anymore or useful anymore. It's breaking my heart. I need to read about it and discuss it with professionals I guess. They aren't my birth parents but I love them like my own and I want to do this in a respectful, careful way. I would love to have them move in with us and care for them if there weren't incontinence issues, constant arguing and meanness, and mass chaos when they are around. Somehow I need to raise my 4 kids and they are full time job as it is, and so would be taking them on. They can no longer care for the house they live in. Sad. I am learning way way too much about being 90 and it is losing its appeal to me strangely. Wonder why that is. I just pray that I can make the Lord pleased with our behavior and efforts and that he will sustain us and them as we try to come up with the best solutions.

I have to also get it off my chest some of the other issues that are weighing on me... Lets start kid by kid-
Christian, 16. Is driving, dating, junior in high school, does lighting for the school play which keeps him busy. Has ADD and needs lots of help keeping on task and staying organized.
Corynn,14. My MOST high maintenance child. She has scoliosis and is being treated at a chiropractor. She has constant sinus infections for which the doctors have no explaination. She has stomach issues. She has allergies and is getting shots for that once a week. She needs to be monitored on her cell phone, computer, and piano lessons.
Chloe, 9. She is the one I struggle with most with behavior. She struggles so hard with anxiety, has ADD, is behind in school and needs tutoring. She is completely disorganized and SUPER sensitive. She has lots of quirks but is the most talented little artist I know. She is very kind but needs a lot of encouragement and guidance.
Sadie,4. In preschool. I have to remember to make time for her, the poor girl. She is learning to write her name, letters, and ride her bike. She is an amazing even tempered child for who I am SO grateful.
On top of that...
All blessings, trying to not see anymore challenges until they rear their ugly head and demand to be dealt with. One day at a time. One prayer at a time. One breath at a time. Life is good!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Disneyland O Rama

These pictures are in reverse order but Disneyland actually came after our trip to Santa Monica. The funniest part of Disney for me was the fact that my youngest kids could care less about the rides and just wanted pictures with the characters. Trust me, the lines were just as bad to see them as they were to get on rides. Exhausting but great fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Comfort zone

Lesson: Growth occurs outside ones comfort zone, as long as feet step carefully and courageously into the possibilities and opportunities that surround them.

Note: It is easy to stay in ones comfort zone where things are easy and normal and it is a great place to retreat to once in a while. Sometimes we need that "zone" to regroup and recover after stretching" oneself. Sometimes we don't have a choice in our growth or when we are stretched however, see below...

One church leader said it like this, and I appreciate that we can become better from tough situations that are not voluntary:

"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11-12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."

So... we just need to HANG on tight.

(BTW- that's me in the tree picture at about age 9, totally tomboy).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Never in a million years

Zumba has brought me to purchasing this... a jingly belly dance thingy which I never in a million years would have EVER imagined on my body. It is completely optional mind you, but I can't be the only instructor without it. And yes, ladies and gentlemen... I am so gonna rock this thing!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I just have one thing to say today because I have a problem that never ends around here... I've got so much laundry backed up the wazoo that I may become eternally constipated!! I know, that is so wrong and yep, fairly crude, but so very true and completely frustrating.

Monday, June 7, 2010


This past year and a half has been full of unexpected challenges. The latest and greatest is my oldest daughters diagnosis with scoliosis. She was screened at school and told she had a 7 degree curve so we got a letter in the mail and I took it and her to the doctor. That led to an x-ray where I was told the curvature was more like 17 degrees. That meant an appointment with a back surgeon. The spine doctor re-evaluated the x-rays and said the curvature was 21 degrees and that she needed a back brace so that she could avoid it worsening to the point where she needs surgery to put rods in her back. So... this meant we went over to the specialized bracing clinic where my daughter got her first look at the "brace" aka torture device and it was all tears and drama after that. They make a cast of your body and the brace is a hard plastic tortoise shell looking bustier thing that needs to be worn as close to 24 hours a day as possible. Now the tears were really flowing from that 13 year old of mine, despite my attempt to make the whole thing seem like no big deal and joke about how we should get it in titanium and she could be like wonder woman and deflect bullets. Not funny Mom. Oh and did I mention that our insurance deductible is $1000.00 and the dang thing would cost $1060.00 so it would basically be all our expense? Ya... that sucks.

Putting myself in her place I can see where this is whole brace thing is worse than the diagnosis itself. Her comments (thru her tears were): so if someone comes up to me and hugs me they will feel that hard thing and be like what are u wearing under that shirt? The boys are gonna feel that at dances!! What about in gym class, sleep overs, or when its 110 degrees outside... they can't expect me to wear it then! If I sit down in my desk at school it is gonna clank against the back rest! On and on and on... so sad. I couldn't take this away or make it better. I couldn't tell her it wasn't going to get worse. I couldn't help but worry that it was going to get to the point of surgery. We discovered that there is a night brace that she only sleeps in but if I can avoid the pain, cost, and problem of a brace I'm all for it.

Then I got this idea... I wonder if a chiropractor can work on her back and realign it over and over again, retrain the muscles and tendons that are pulling her spine all screwy and make it at least NOT get worse. Funny thing, her best friends dad is a chiropractor and he deals with scoliosis all the time! So we have taken that route and will check back with the spine doctor in a couple months to make sure that it is not worsening. I am very very hopeful and very grateful for another option.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Running is killing my knees lately so I've backed way off. I can feel my knees swelling, it swells in back of my knees which is the same reoccurring old injury I fight every time I overdo it (I fell once on the mountain and have never been the same since then as a runner). This even happens after I run even short distances so so much for that until I recover properly and it will take time, lots of it, I've been here before. Once a doctor told me I wasn't built for running and he should have known better. Anytime someone says I can't I have a mission to prove them wrong and kept doing it and got pretty good too until the injury. I am only temporarily out of service but love it too much to not do it again once I'm bounced back.

In the mean time on to my other new favorite form of cardio... zumba! My neighbor introduced me to it and I fell in love with it right away. It reminds me so much of my dance team days, so much fun! I am learning to shake it again, it's been so long. If I can't memorize the choreography for the routines to the zumba songs it drives me insane. I wish I had more time to obsess over it and get better! Determined Cinda still lives, I spend more time trying to remember steps than I do with the laundry these days. Sometimes I do them both at the same time. My kids love it when I dance all over the house (not) especially when friends are over. I just really want to give them a healthy dose of trauma, embarrass them when I can, as they watch my groove thing doing its jello wiggle impression. Yep, I'm a giver...