Fun At the Park!

*Evangeline, Jocelyn, & my nephew*

*Going down the slide with the monkies!*

*On the Merry-Go-Round with all of my girls! Sweet Caity rode on Mommy's lap!*

*My nephew*

I love these kiddos so much!



Unexpected Gifts

Don't know why but I am feeling particularly blessed today.  I love when good things happen to my family, unexpectedly.  I am so grateful it's not even funny.  GOD is so good to me. Don't even know what I did to deserve anything!

Today, a family friend brought over 21 boxes of special diapers for Caity!!!  I was totally not expecting anything of sorts.  It took me an hour to open & collapse all of the boxes. My fingers are actually sore now. Haha.  Anyways, after stacking and counting, here is what we have now:

*75 pkgs of pull-ups!!*

My dilemma now?  Where am I going to put these?   Hahaha!  At least Caity won't need anymore diapers for the rest of the year. What a great feeling! 

*My Mom got the girl's Halloween socks today too!*

*Watching cartoons together in their new socks! :) *

 Random acts of kindess go a long way with me.  I can't wait to pay it forward. And I will! 




*This is my Grandmother Vivian, who I will probably look like in 50 years!*

I called my Grandmother Vivian today. At first, she was silly. First thing I said to her was, "Hi Grandma, it's Andrea-Lynn. How do you feel today?" And you know what she said to me? "I feel with my fingers....hahaha...I know, I am a smart ass!"  <--- Her words!  That made me giggle.  She sounded happy and cheerful.   We then talked about life. She asked about my girls.  She loves them dearly, almost as much as she loves me she says.  Aww! <3  Then a few minutes into our conversation, Grandma said she had a story to tell me.

She told me she had a story to tell me about my Grandfather Ken. She told me that 20 years ago, Grandpa left her and she went into details.

She said they had a dinner party and after her guests left, she went into the kitchen to clean up and Grandpa came into the kitchen and put his arm around her waist, spun her around, and kissed her on the lips and said to her, "Goodbye Vivian. I am leaving."  Grandma told me she then said, "Okay honey!" thinking Grandpa had somewhere to go, and then Grandpa said, "Okay? That's all you have to say?"  "Well sure, where are you going?" she asked.  Then he said, "Goodbye. This is goodbye. I am leaving."   And then Grandma said she didn't understand it, but Grandpa then left her, and never came back.

She went on to tell me she wished she could ask him why he left her, and wished she could write him a letter but had no idea where he was living or what he was doing with his life, or if he just stopped loving her.

"He left me. I don't understand how he could just walk away from our marriage, children, our life, our family without a reason.   At least he said good-bye first."-Grandma

This brought me to tears.

You see, my Grandmother Vivian is 80 years old. Almost 81.  She lives in a nursing home & she is losing her memory.  My Grandpa Ken passed away about 8 or 9 years ago.  I don't know if this was something she imagined, dreamed about, read from a book, or watched on television, or a real memory she had from a totally off the wall occasion, but I had to bring her to reality on the phone. This was so hard to do.  It is hard enough to remind Grandma of things sometimes, like names of my children and their birth order, but I think this was the hardest one so far.  I tried my best to be truthful and to the point.  In the nicest,  most sincere way, I gently put it to her...

 "Grandma, no. No, Grandpa did not leave you. He loved you dearly. He would NEVER do that to you. Grandpa loved you until the day he died. You were very special to him.  He passed away and is in Heaven now, but he never stopped loving you, and never left you!"   I had to keep reassuring her. I had to tell when Grandpa passed away.  I had to remind her of everything.   :(

When I think she finally realized what I was saying to her, Grandma sighed and very quietly said to me, "Oh yes. I forgot. Ken died. How could I forget?"

Oh my lanta. My heart is heavy.  She sounded so lost. So sad.  I didn't enjoy telling her again that Grandpa passed away, but I think she needed to hear it.  Sounded to me like she was protecting herself from the pain of her loss for him, with a silly story.   Perhaps it was better for her to think Grandpa just walked out on her. :(

I love my Grandma more than life. She and I are extremely close. I aspire to live life like her and love life like her.  She's the kindest, most dear person in the world.

I just wish that she wasn't miserable in a nursing home. Losing her mind. Withering away.  This is one of the hardest things in the world to witness, almost as much as my Caity suffering.   Why GOD??   I wish we could all understand GOD's plan for us.  The lessons we learn, the pain we experience, the memories we make, it's all bigger than we can even wrap our minds around.    I pray to GOD that I never ever ever forget anything. I love my mind and my memories and I never want to lose them. I hold all of them dear! I would never wish Dementia on anybody! It's so heartbreaking.    

*The two most important and irreplaceable people in my life!*

*My sweet Grandpa holding me when I was a year old.*

*Grandma & Grandpa*

*Gramps looks cool in his aviators! Miss him!*

*My best memories were of this photo, but in real life. Running into Grandma & Grandpa's arms when I'd come to visit them, and they'd be waiting outside for our arrival!*

*They sure loved fishing in their pond!*

*Some family at Grandpa's Funeral in 2004.*

* I love them with all my heart & soul!*

*Caity & I visiting with Grandma on her birthday*

*Evangeline & I visiting Grandma at her residential care facility.*

*My little brother Kevin, Grandma & I*

*Grandma's quote!*

I wish I could have gotten to know my Grandpa Ken more. I just remember his laugh & how he smelled of pipe tobacco & aftershave, yet always had a stubbly chin! :)  He had a twinkle in his eye & was the hardest working man I have ever known to this day.  I miss him so much, especially when I look at photographs or hear my family tell stories and share memories.  I hope I have many more years to get to know Grandma Viv and absorb some of her wisdom & spirit. I cannot imagine my life without her, but sometimes we have to look at reality and what's right in front of us. If I am lucky, I will live a long and meaningful life and be a Great-Grandmother to my children's children one day too. <3



I won a 1 year supply of free Trident last week from a blog I follow called Coffee & Cashmere.  53 packs & 1220 pieces of gum!!  Holy cow! 

Needless to say, my darling daughters have already been asking for some.  Evangeline even chewed a piece today and for some odd reason...decided to put it in the inside of her arm pit, and we didn't discover it until during dinner when she was reaching for something.  Oh my lanta.  And when I say the gum was stuck, I mean...STUCK!!   Yuck.   No more gum for the ladies for a while. 

Anyways, just thought I'd share my luck.  I love sweeping. It's a hobby.  Sweeping is short for Sweepstaking for those who don't know.  It's basically a job for me.  I win things all the time. Hope my luck doesn't stop here! 



Baby Feet

*My 3 Blessings*

The above footprints belong to my daughters.  Bet you don't know which print belongs to which child!  
 From  right to left, Caitlyn, Evangeline, & Jocelyn.   Caity has the smallest foot, with special toes.  Evangeline and Jocelyn have twin feet. Doesn't matter what their little feet look like, because I love them all. I absolutely ADORE baby feet.  I am one of those Mom's who polish baby toes right after they are born.  I also kiss their feet every single day.  Well... as of lately, not Angel & Jocee's because lord knows, they walk outside barefoot a lot.  ;)  

One of our favorite things to do is polish toes together.  Sometimes I'll even let the girls do mine! So messy, but they do it with love, so I find the sweetness in it.  

This post is kind of silly, but I just wanted to express my love for my girls today... 

*Caitlyn & Mommy's feet*

*Comparing Caity's 2 year old feet to Angel's 5 day old feet!*

*Angel & Caity's sweet feet*
*Love Angel's painted toes!*

*Jocee's 10 day old feet!*

*Jocee & Mommy's feet*

*Angel's polished toes!*

*Evangeline's cute toes*

*Dirty feet on the trampoline! Makes me smile!*

*Summertime=lots of barefeet!*

*Love them!*

*Jocee's feet today!*

I have given thought to tattooing each of their baby feet prints on my back, but what if I have several more children? I don't want my back to look like a door mat! lol   Well, you know what I mean! 



I Miss The Ocean

I love the ocean. I really miss breathing in the salty fresh air & just watching the waves go on forever!
So glad my family has seen the ocean, and on more than one occasion.  I have only been to Ocean Shores & Wilmington beaches.  But I loved seeing them! I have really been missing the ocean like crazy lately. It's beautiful. It's peaceful. It's relaxing. Can't wait until our next family vacation. It's where I want to be. Wishful thinking anyways! :) 

*Caity & I's first time at the Pacific Ocean in Ocean Shores, WA*



Happy Anniversary! /Surgery Update

Today is my 6th Wedding Anniversary with Adam.  Life really does fly when you are raising a family.  10 years together.  Wow. I just can't believe we have lasted, survived, stayed... for this long!  It's a huge milestone. I am proud of it too. Adam is the best thing to happen to me.  So grateful for growing up with him & now I can't wait to grow old with him.  He joined the Army 6 years ago to take care of our family & I could never thank him enough for choosing a career that has allowed me to stay at home and take care of our children.  It's not been easy but we have worked so hard together.  Adam, I love you!

Adam & I went to Nakatos for dinner last night. It was great. I actually enjoy sushi!  Rained a lot, but we still got out and enjoyed our evening. Even met a really nice couple of people who ate next to us, which made our dinner even better. Good conversation and good food.

Adam's awesome uncle bought us a brand new washer yesterday.  Anniversary gift.  So happy about that, because it was unexpected.  He told me I needed a positive in my life.  Much needed. Much appreciated too. Thank you Uncle Don!

Yesterday we also took Caitybug to her Orthopedic Specialist.  He xrayed her hips & chest.  Caity's hip dysplasia & scoliosis is so bad that we got referred to Shriner's Hospital for Children in St. Louis for spinal fusion & hip surgery in a couple of weeks.  I am scared!! Nervous.  Worried.   Nauseous.     Granted, Caity has had 9 surgeries so far, but back surgery is huge!  No telling how long we will end up in the hospital with her for.   Thankfully, my sister has offered to keep my youngest girls & my Mom offered to take us to St. Louis and be there with us for support.  Adam even managed to score some extra Army work for the next couple weeks to help us out financially for our trip.  So grateful.  He'll be doing normal active duty 8-5 work with active duty pay!! Oh how we have missed his active pay since he went into the Reserves!    So blessed.  I think his work will even let him miss drill next month because of this.

*Caity has a 65 degree curve of her spine! This is her xray from yesterday, from above of her chest. The oval thing at the top of her shoulder, is the VNS she had implanted in 2009.*

*Here is Caity's hip dysplasia xray.*

*Caity in therapy yesterday!*