Oh how I love Halloween! The one time a year you can dress up and pretend to be someone you aren't. You can be a superhero or a nurse or an animal or even president! I remember years of dressing up when I was young...the plastic/vinyl costumes we wore with our winter coats and the hard plastic masks with the elastic band that went around your head. These costumes came folded up in cardboard boxes with a see-through window so you could see the mask. I remember finding the costumes every year that were stored away and picking out who I was going to be that year. Putting on the mask with the eye holes that never quite lined up with your eyes and the tiny nose holes that really didn't let you breathe very well. But my favorite part was the little slit for your mouth...just the perfect size to stick your tongue through! Now that I think about it though, I wore costumes that were probably worn by my older sister or brother before me and I bet they did the same thing with their tongue...ummmm...ewww!

When I was little I so hated that I often had to wear a winter coat with my costume. Seldom did it fit under the costume so I had to wear it over. Well, really, what was the point of a costume if no one could see it? I had a lot of indignation over that at the time, but when my kids went trick or treating guess who made them wear a winter coat? Karma can be a bitch sometimes :p

Remember "trick or treat for Unicef"? I did it every year for many years, but to be honest, at the time I had no idea what Unicef even was. Now I do of course, but it is no longer something kids go door to door for...another childhood ritual that my kids never got to experience.

I made every costume my kids wore through the years...from the pumpkin they all wore their first year (Brian at almost a year old, Becky at 6 months and Kayla at 2 months). We had a devil, an angel, a couple princesses, Dracula, a clown, several witches, hippies, a pig, a 50's girl and a peanut M&M package. I must say, Brian as Dracula was the creepiest through the years...he really was scary! All the costumes are stored away in the attic, maybe someday a little person will once again wear some of them.

Halloween is indeed one of my favorite holidays...even though I HATE to be scared. I don't like scary movies, I don't like creepy things and I most certainly don't like haunted houses! I do however like to remember the year Becky, at about 2 1/2, held up a cookie with a spider on it and said "You 'cared of the 'pider mommy?" and the year high-school-aged Brian went to a haunted house, had a gorilla with a chain saw jump out at him and Brian yelled "AHHH girl pants!" and the year Kayla smiled for the first time ever...while wearing her little pumpkin suit. Yes, Halloween is indeed a scary good time.

date October 27, 2011

I need to rant about a few things, so you have been warned.

1. Pregnancy is not disease. I understand, and sympathize, that some people have difficult pregnancies. However, for the most part women breeze through the nine months "eating for two" and have no issues. But some women seem to think pregnancy is a condition, an illness, a "thing". It isn't! These women use pregnancy as an excuse to not do things, to make people feel sorry for them or to just plain bitch about everything. This annoys me.

2. Secrets. Secrets do not make friends, and they are not work-friendly. Taking a co-worker into the corner to whisper to them makes you look junior-highish and is childish. Stop doing it.

3. Over-zealous religion. I know I have complained about this before, but it continues to annoy me. There are people who are very religious and they not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. They do not bother me, they actually inspire me. But then there are the people who merely talk the talk...loudly! Do you really need to make every facebook post religious? Do you really need to comment that people who don't go to church are wrong? I don't think so...especially since you are just "mouthing it" yourself. God knows who is religious and who is not, so I really wish the fakers would just knock it off already.

4. People at sporting events that aren't there to watch the event. I paid money to watch this game, I don't need the "know-it-all" behind me talking throughout the entire game and giving commentary on what the referees are doing wrong. I also don't need the hipsters in front of me spending the whole game poking each other and taking pictures of themselves together, then laughing at the people who are in the picture behind them...namely me or whoever is at the game with me. Grow up and watch the game or stay home!

5. People who think their children are wonderful and perfect and special in every possible way! "Oh Johnny and Susie are so great and smart and they never do anything wrong, I just can't believe how blessed we are to have them!" Pardon me while I gag...no kid is that perfect. Maybe they haven't messed up yet, but give them time and they will...I guarantee it. Might not be a big mistake, but they will do something that will make you wonder just what kind of kid you are raising. Besides, the kids who are constantly told how wonderful and smart they are are the kids who grow up to be the loser in the corner who can't deal with the world because no one is constantly praising them. Help your kid out in the real world and let them grow up normal.

I believe that is it for now...of course there is always going to be something else sometime that will annoy me so stay tuned! Oh, by the way, if any of my writing here annoys you...feel free to quit reading my blog :) Have a nice day!

date October 24, 2011

Sometimes it is surprising the similarities between parent and child, but also the differences. My kids are a lot like Dan and me, and also like each other, but they also each have their own unique personalities.

I like to be surrounded by bright colors, so does Brian. But I also like things neat and tidy, Brian doesn't care. Dan and Brian could talk about politics for days, but Dan can't carry a tune in a bucket and Brian has a beautiful singing voice.

Becky and I could shop for shoes forever. Yet she would like to wear those shoes in a big city and I prefer my country living. While shopping, Becky would most definitely not be accompanied by Dan, who hates to shop...unless they were shopping for books, which they both love.

If I have the time, which is seldom anymore, I love to bake. Kayla took baking pans to college so she could bake. Of course, she could do her baking late at night because she loves to stay up. Me on the other hand? I am in bed by 10pm every night. Even though Dan won't admit to it, he loves our cats, as does Kayla (she admits to it!) Kayla also loves music, any and all music. Dan sticks to his "country oldies".

All three of them have great singing voices, they are all above average in intelligence and they all are kind, caring individuals. But Brian looks like Dan and the girls look more like me. Brian is determined and sometimes stubborn. Becky tries to keep everyone happy and is usually happy herself. Kayla is somewhat quieter, but can be outgoing when she needs to be.

All of them are the same as their parents and each other, but then again, they are all different too. What about your kids?

date October 20, 2011

I saw these shoes on a website and thought they were adorable, but then wondered where would I ever wear them. Then I realized...everywhere!

date October 6, 2011

I remember my 15th birthday, and for me to remember that far back it must have been something special. Actually, I remember the gift my grandma gave me for that birthday...a charm bracelet. Back in those days charm bracelets were very popular and I desperately wanted one. My birthday was often spent visiting my grandma (my mom's mom) because with an August birthday and a grandma that lived in a big city it just made sense to visit and go birthday/school shopping while there.

My grandma was one of a kind, the kind that loved me more than anyone else ever has, and she wasn't politically correct enough to not tell others that I was her favorite. So naturally when I told her I wanted a charm bracelet that is what she bought me. But this post isn't about the charm bracelet, which I still wear by the way, but it is about my grandma.

Grandma was born Roberta Elaine Marple, the youngest of six. Roberta grew up and married my grandpa, who died before I was born. Through the years Grandma was a bit of a rebel, she married and divorced a man, which was a bit of a scandal in that time. She then married again, and once again became a widow. All through the years though, Grandma was just a grandma to me...didn't matter who she was married to, or even if she was married, she was just grandma.

I remember growing up and visiting her, the minute I walked in the house I always gave her a big kiss..a smacker as she called it, right on the lips. She always said I was a lover, and she liked that. I also remember she always, always, always had Lifesavers candy in her purse, she knew what grandkids liked. Grandma had some little idiosyncrasies that live to this day, things we still mention when we think of her. She had a bad habit of mispronouncing words...Tupperware was too-perware. Mandarin oranges were man-deer-i-an oranges. I will never forget the time she was supposed to come to our house, she lived in Marathon by this time, and she put her salad on the top of her car while she put some other things in the car. Being a bit forgetful she took off for our house without taking the salad off the top of the car! The salad didn't make it out of town, so we didn't have salad with that meal :) There was also the time a police officer was following her, with his lights on for her to stop, and she made it all the way to the corner to turn to our house (about 3 miles) before she realized he was there. Grandma was never the kind of driver that was the "little old lady out for a Sunday drive", she was more the "little old lady out for a drag race!"

The year before she died I was pregnant with my first child. It was Halloween night and Grandma was getting older, having a difficult time getting in and out of her chair. At this time she lived in the retirement apartments in Marathon and she asked me to come to her apartment and hand out candy to the kids at the door, there was just no way she could get up and down so many times and she couldn't stand for that long either. I was 9 days away from having Brian, although I didn't know I was that close at the time, but I was still more agile than she was. About a year later, when Brian was just over a year old, Grandma died. I still remember getting the call from my mom that she had died, I can still picture standing upstairs at the old dial phone listening to my mom tell me the person I loved so very much had died. I was heartbroken. When we went to the funeral and burial we left one-year old Brian with friends...and while we were gone he took his first steps. At first I was upset that he did that without me, but then I realized Grandma had her final hurrah with that...she always did have an ornery streak in her and this was her way of saying good-bye, don't forget me.

When we lived in the old farmhouse by Marathon I would often stand by the sink in the kitchen washing the dishes, and I could feel as though someone was watching me. There was a door in the kitchen that led to the front porch, and it seemed as though someone were standing on the other side of that door looking through the window. I knew who it was, I could feel the presence of Grandma, and I knew she was watching over the new wife and mom that I was, telling me that it would all work out and that things would be okay. When we moved to the Albert City farmhouse I guess she thought I didn't need her anymore because I haven't felt her watching me since. I miss that.

Grandma was a bad driver, she had her cranky moments, she was forgetful...but she loved her family and she loved me especially. Grandma was one of a kind, and I still think about her and miss her every single day. If what they say about heaven is true, that the people up there can look down on the ones they left behind, then I hope Grandma is still watching me. I hope she sees the two great-granddaughters I gave her after she died, and the other great and great-great grandchildren that followed. I hope she knows I named Becky for her (Roberta Elaine became Rebecca Elaine). I hope she knows I miss her. I hope she knows that I secretly treasure that fact that I was her favorite (well, not so secretly perhaps). I hope she knows that our family has a hole where she once was. I hope she knows how much I treasure the things that once belonged to her that I now own. But most of all, I hope she knows while she was on this earth, despite all her bad habits and silly little annoyances, she was loved, even if we never told her enough.

(This post needed to be written, I am wearing my charm bracelet today, which made me want to write this. But, I am also writing it for Jennifer over at Getting Down With Jesus.)

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