Sunday, May 27, 2007

Camping Pics

Sara, Kennedy and Arissa

Chic-Gangsta Wanna-Be's

Dude, isn't there supposed to be water?

Swim Club

Isaiah and the Amazing Flaming Marshmallow

Arissa and Kennedy; Smiling without showing their food-
what talent.

I hope they weren't counting on this crew to catch dinner!

"You got this one?"

Is Josh afraid Isaiah will get away??

Nothing says camping like Smores; especially when they
are all over your face!

Can we PLEASE go swimming???

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tears and Smiles

I guess I'll start with the tears....Today was my last day at work. It was a difficult decision to make but one that is best for me and my family. I have never fully recovered from the mono, I have had 17 migraines since I got out of the hospital, was only able to work 4 hours a day and just felt like crap all the time. With support of my family and my boss (my friend) it was decided the best thing to do was for him to let me go so I can recover without the stress of work. I am not sad about leaving the job, I am sad about leaving the people. More specifically, the Duncan family that I have grown to love. My boss, Gary, and his wife Robin have 9 children, 7 of which are still at home and I have been fortunate enough to have a relationship with each of them. Sarah and I had lunch together (she is the oldest girl) and then I took her back to the office. I walked out the door and down the hall to my car with tears streaming down my face. I will miss Sarah's sweet soul and our talks. We could go from goofy to Godly in mere seconds. The harder part came when it was time to tell Gary good-bye. Gary and I have shared a lot. We are more than boss and employee....I consider him a close friend. His support through all of my surgeries, illnesses, kids ailments, etc made being a working mother an easier load to carry. I will be forever grateful for the gift that is the Duncan family and hope that our friendship will not end with my employment ending.

On the mono front, my primary care doc ran several tests to see if we can get to the bottom of what is going on with me; why I still have no appetite, no energy, etc. I see him a week from today and maybe he will have some answers.

On the migraine front, Steven and I decided that 'conventional' treatments were obviously not working and decided to invest in the Botox treatment. It is considered experimental in migraine treatment by our insurance and carried a hefty price tag but we both agreed that my misery was too much and it was worth a shot. So far I have had great results (not to mention my forehead is totally wrinkle free now). Time will tell how well and for how long it lasts.

Isaiah turned 11 on Mothers Day. We decided since Arissa's birthday got so messed up with me being sick and her First Communion that we would combine Isaiah, Arissa and Carol (May 16) as well as Mothers Day and celebrate them all at once. It was a virtual merry-go-round of gifts. We had a great time. Arissa scored the Payton Manning jersey she's been asking for and Isaiah got the new Spiderman 3 bedding set. My kids made me wonderful gifts that melted my heart and Steven sent me a dozen roses.

Just yesterday Arissa learned how to ride a bike. I had tried to teach her before but since we are both so short on patience it didn't work out so well. Of course, Steven taught her in about 15 minutes. If she can master turning and stopping she'll be great. She is terrific at going in a straight line, though.

This weekend is a huge first for Isaiah and Arissa. They are going on their first camping trip. Kathy and friends are camping out and asked them to come along. I was all for it with the understanding that I was not going. No need to worry there, none of the adults wanted me there anyways. Apparently, no one wants to hear "my princess butt whine". Wonder why?? The kids just left about 45 minutes ago and aren't due home until Monday afternoon (barring any unforeseen home sickness). I think they will have a blast and come home with lots to tell.

Thanks for checking in--
The Peas that live in Our Pod

Friday, May 11, 2007

Better Late than Never....Right?

Yeah, yeah , yeah I know. I promised pics from Arissa's special day and here it is almost 2 weeks later and I am just now getting around to it. I have mono....cut me some slack!!

Her day was beautiful. We had perfect weather, lots of family and friends, tons of food, and lots of laughter. I was still unsure what to do with her hair even that morning. I had some ideas but wasn't too sure about any of them. I decided to get started early in case we had to do it several times. I got it taken down from the corn rows it had been in and looked at what I had to work with. The braids had left her naturally curly hair laying perfectly and I decided just to try and pull it back on the sides into a barrette. I was shocked at how good it looked and she begged to leave it that way. So we did. After putting her off for quite awhile I finally gave in and let her get dressed. I helped her but didn't really pay attention to how everything was coming together. I left her to put on her shoes and went to my room. I was doing something and heard a noise. I looked up to see the most stunning child ever. She looked just like an angel. I felt a lump in my throat but swallowed it down (I know Arissa and she would have started crying running the risk of tear stains marring the dress).
The ceremony was beautiful and everything was going smoothly. Until she came back from receiving communion. That is when I saw IT. IT being a decent sized black smudge on the front of her dress. Apparently, the teachers let the kids draw on the white boards in the classroom while they were waiting for mass to start. I have one question..WHAT WERE THEY THINKING LETTING LITTLE PEOPLE WEARING HEAD TO TOE WHITE USE BLACK MARKERS??? We tried water, soap, Tide To Go pen with no luck. All of the pictures taken after mass have the mark. To me it looks like a bulls eye but I am sure to others it isn't as obvious.

Okay, enough of my mouth.....On to the pics.....
Arissa before leaving for the church
Some of the Duncan's waiting for Arissa to pray
The beautiful (and yummy) cake Sara made
Grandma, Grandpa, Me, Steven, Arissa, Isaiah and
Tom and Cathy Viotti (Arissa's godparents)
Acting goofy with one of the bows off her cake
Anne, Steven, Isaiah and Arissa
A HUGE thank you to my best friend, Sara. Not only did she make the cake but she came to the house and set everything up while we were at church. There is NO WAY I could have pulled this off without her. She also managed to clean the kitchen before I could stop her. She is truly a God send to our whole family.
We had 43 people here. Georgene came from Chattanooga and my best childhood friend (Heather) and her family came all the way from Winchester. It was like coming full circle with Heather being here. She was at MY First Communion all those years ago. We were so blessed to have so many people able to attend to share in the day.