My dad called  last night. My papa. He called to say goodbye.

This was not the first time.

And it still freaked me out.

My Papa has Parkinson’s, he is 83 and tired. He has been through so much and he is so tired. I know this but I am not ready to let him go.

We have been saving  so we can go and visit. So I can say goodbye. I live in fear that he will die before I can see him again.

So I was up all night holding the phone, praying it wouldn’t ring.

And it didn’t.

I called today to say hello, to see how he was feeling .

He seemed better.

I breathed.

I breathed and I cried.

My Papa is the most amazing man on the planet.I can’t imagine this world without him in it.

Papa and Nana adopted me, they changed my world, they gave me a chance.

Over and over, they have loved and loved again, given second chances to so many others.

I realized today, that saying Goodbye to a parent that amazing is something you can never be ready for. Ever.



Merry Christmas


3:45 AM is when I surrendered.

The children ran pell-mell for the tree.

What  screaming delight to find Santa had been ’round.

Then there was,

Much playing,

Spontaneous squealing for joy,

And ever so many hugs and kisses.

Now the day is gone

The delight and exhilaration

have given way to deep slumbers.

Good night.

Merry Christmas.



One thing about trains: It doesn’t matter where they’re goin’. What matters is deciding to get on.

So very often I don’t post because I am either too busy or my life is un-remarkably dull. Well, not dull, it is lively enough with the amount of children stampeding through the house on an hourly basis, but really, how is that news? I have kids, stampeding is given.

Today is another day.

Joff is on vacation due to the hernia surgery, we have him home till Christmas, he goes back to work on the 26th. .

Despite telling the kids that today was a school day somehow we did not get around to it. Games were played, music listened too.  A zoo was built utilizing every stuffed animal in the house (thousands of them, in case anyone is wondering) chairs, cushions, blankets, baskets were all drafted. It got a bit crazy to tell the truth. Which is one reason why I ended up outside shoveling the driveway.

Winter is beautiful. Quiet. It never ceases to amaze me how silent the world becomes when the snow falls.

I napped.

Actually I fell asleep holding the baby and no one woke me up.

There are no words people, when moms (or dads) get to nap. It is like, like a Christmas miracle.

We watched the Polar Express and drank peppermint cocoa.

Today was the sort of day were I am reminded how blessed I am.

Alice, the lights of our Christmas tree behind her. Only one week left till Christmas!

Merry Christmas.



Brag post: My House

DSC_6480This was taken November (3rd, I believe) 2011

Last year

We were very cramped for space and really it was all very ramshackle Shedd-y

I was grateful for that addition to our trailer though, it provided a decent amount of space for a time and a home is a home, even if it isn’t pretty!

As you can see this was a construction zone, this addition would be going going gone after Thanksgiving!


A side view.

The addition was 16′ x 16′


We hosted Thanksgiving dinner as the Atwaters were out of town .

We cleared out the room and dragged in tables.

We began to take the addition down the very next day.


The addition was actually attached to the trailer.

The house is not.

It sits right along side though, as this is were we wanted it to sit and it would be positioned near perfectly south.

Eventually the trailer will be dismantled and the other half of our house will be built were the trailer sits now.


And it is gone!

The clean up was sooooo much fun:p


Construction began in March 2012, when it started to thaw a bit.


Front and back half finished and work started on the upstairs started.

IPOD 167

IPOD 166

ipod 257ipod 259ipod 260ipod 261

And here we are today

ipod 1095

The shell is complete

Go ahead, scroll up. Take a peek at the before.

We will finish the house wrap after Christmas. We ran out of Tyvek and then Joff had surgery, so after Christmas!

We also need seven small windows.

After Christmas.

We have started putting in insulation, the wiring and interior finish will be worked on over the winter but we will not be turning on the electricity till spring.

Now for the brag part.

My Joff built this.

All by himself.

We had a few people who are construction pro’s come by and check it out.

It is perfect of course.

Joff built this,

while working 70-80 hours at his job, a lot of which was night shift.

And while dealing with a hormonal, crazy pregnant lady, who was a bit crazier then usual.

And while helping a crazy hormonal wife deal with a newborn and toddler.

My husband a brilliant, amazing, awe-inspiring man.


I will post more pics of the front and inside soon.



I have extracted myself from Pinterest. This was not easy, and, if I were to be completely truthful Pinterest is still open in another tab. Waiting for me to come back and spend the rest of my days scrolling through, pinning up crafts that are rated “easy” or for the “beginner” (lies!), delicious recipes with ingredients that go straight to my arteries just reading them, and downloading You can do it! posters to pin next to my exercise bike, which coincidentally is covered in dust.

Pinterest is an amazing place, I can find just about anything there, including every keep Calm poster, well, except for the one that says Keep Calm and don’t yell at the kids.

Yelling  (or gently stretching your vocal cords a might louder then speaking in a normal range) is something I try hard not to do, when the math facts that we had perfectly memorized two hours ago are completely wiped from the brain of my child after playing for a mere twenty minutes on Plants vs. Zombies. A game they can recount in perfect detail for days, weeks and months on end.

And by the end of the day when I read the serving size on a bag of Hershey kisses to be around 7 pieces, I laugh in a somewhat guilty way, because I am only reading the bag because it is now empty and I am mourning the loss of my self control. I build a small grave over the bag with the crushed Hershey wrappers and wonder if I should go exercise  Then I realize it is 11 PM and there is no point, there are more important things to do. Like pinning ways to better stream line my life, eat healither and have deep discussions  with my children around the dinner table about the wonderful lessons they learned in school that day. ( Myths, all of them, but I am a sucker for a good sale and Pinterest sells it Hard.)

So, here we are more or less at the beginning and, I came here to blog and like the proper addict that I am my thoughts are not far from my drug of choice.

So here I am, signing off.  I have stuff to pin. Maybe, someday ( like tomorrow) I will stumble my way back over here.




We don’t have a lot, no more then usual and more often then not, less then that. With eight sweet children, building a house and all the costs associated with those two things, well our bank account drains out fast come pay day. Money is divided up into various categories and poof, broke again! But I am rich, in other ways. My husband has a job, my children are fed and clothed. We have a home! 

It is Christmas once again. I have made my plans, checked them twice. It is going to be tight, but I think I can do it. Along with my own family, I have a few other people I want to give to this season. I need to give. 

I am, was, was not a Christmas person. I was a Grinch.  I don’t believe in Santa. I believe in the spirit of giving, but Santa? Never have. Not as a kid, not now. 

The last couple of years have been seriously hard on my soul, so this year, I am trying to give more, because it makes me happy. If that means I miss out on gifts under the tree, who cares?  Because for me it isn’t about gifts, material stuff, which I am mostly against anyway. I am pretty picky about my personal possessions, I don’t like clutter.

I am giving in a variety of ways, giving to others because so many have given to my family in the past. And when someone makes sure that your children have a Christmas that is something that can never be repaid. Although I will try, for the rest of my life, as long as I am able, I will try.

I am so excited for Christmas. I am excited to spend the rest of the month reading Christmas stories to my children, sipping hot cocoa, making goodies for friends and family, It is exciting to watch my children sit around and marvel at the wonder of the tree, to listen to them discuss Santa and his reindeer. It is amazing to read the story of Christs birth again with my family. To share that with them.

There is magic this time of year, a magic that soothes my troubled spirit, a magic that makes me hope. I thank God. I thank God for this season, I thank God for giving his son. I thank God for his mercy. I thank God for my life.


(Soon, back to more fluffy stuff. This blog is getting a little too heavy.)