Friday, November 28, 2008

Blog Block???

Ever had Blog Block??? I don't know what else to call it??? Not feeling like anything is interesting enough to write about or share-or things are so crazy and messed up I wouldn't even know where to begin. Feel so unmotivated to do much of anything and like everything is out of control. Off to bed..I will see what tommorow brings.
Trying to Keep Imagining!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lazy Day

We are just hanging out and my girls. Watching TV and baking rolls to take to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at my mom's. Connor is at a friends and Rodney has a VA appt.
(More on where the VA situation later-not so bad yet but still a slow moving institution. Plus some situations coming to a head that have to be dealt with-wish it wasn't so but it is so we just do it!! I know I am being vague-I have to for now) I will say that I have hope in finding a therapist that offers techniques that deal with PTSD even in family members-I will know more next week.)

Last year on this day I wasn't in a good place at all and ended up missing Thanksgiving.
I am thankful to be able to celebrate with my family this year. I am looking forward to the turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie etc.......
not going to worry about my big fat butt tomorrow! LOL I do need to worry about that soon-I don't even recognize that woman in the mirror and not in a good way!
Rodney actually has to work (his holiday) but hopes to get away long enough to eat.

Friday we are supposed to hit the stores for "Black Friday"-not something I normally do but we are starting a new tradition with my mom, sister, me and the girls. I have no idea what I am shopping for yet?? I do really like those digital photo frames and would love a GPS. Oh..I am supposed to be buying for others :) We will go early and then I will come home and nap!!!

So Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to all-eat lots of turkey!
I am thankful and blessed!
Trying to Keep Imagining!

Monday, November 24, 2008


OK I can tell you all about my SECRET BIG project!!! (I haven't been able to check blogs or even update like I wanted to).

I have been so busy planning this huge 16th Hollywood style Surprise party for my daughter Carley-it was so much work getting all her friends invited via email, phone calls and word of mouth, since I was afraid she was some how see a paper invitation, getting the food, cake and decorations ordered, getting the fab location (an old theater they rent out our which was PERFECT), putting together a slide show to premier on the big screen starring Carley of course, coming up with party clothes for all the family, LYING to my daughter countless times to keep the party under wraps, planning reason we were all dressing up (going out to a fancy french restaurant-which we never do) and coming up with a DJ play list! I am exhausted!!! Surprising her was so much stress :) plus Carley is usually my side-kick when it comes to planning parties and events. I used to do this for a living-but I am a huge perfectionist and wanted things to go flawless. Everything went really well-small hurdles such as my panty hose running at the last minute (I hate hose and don't usually where them anymore-now I know why!!) Other than that everything went smoothly...

Thank goodness for all my helpers-my mom, Taylor and Connor especially! My sister and step-dad, Rodney and Carley's friends Chris, Danielle and Gabby. Thanks to all for keeping the secret-SHE WAS SURPRISED!!!!
It was all worth every minute and dollar spent just to see her face when she came in and walked the red carpet to see all her fans and then to have such a good time dancing and celebrating.
I hope she will forever remember her 16th Birthday WEEK as amazing! (It has seemed this blog is about Carley lately-promise it will move on to other topics :)

Enjoy the slide show! I am off to eat some leftover party food and take a big NAP!!!! :)

Click to play Carley's goes HOLLYWOOD
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Trying to Keep Imagining!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sixteen Candles to Celebrate

"Sweet Sixteen"

Dear Carley Suzanne-

How is it possible you are 16 today? I see you in front of my eyes-this amazing young woman that I always knew you would be and I am proud that I get to be your mom. As proud as the day 16 years ago when you came into my life.The day you made Taylor a big sister!-I had my 2 girls!

You are my second born-my smallest baby-my youngest daughter-the middle child. You were the one who taught me I did have enough LOVE to go around. You came home and fit right into our family-surprising me by sleeping through the night on your first night home! (Always that overachiever-LOL!)

You of all my kids spent the most time in daycare (starting at 5 weeks until you went to school) while I worked so hard on my career-you thrived even though I felt I cheated you out of something, you just went with the flow, while smiling! You enjoyed the perks of my job-like being an elf in Santa's Workshop, Playing at the pool while I did my work there, going to all the concerts and special events like "Boo Bash".
We made it work.

You were only three when dad and I divorced, but you don't blame or feel unloved. You just loved more! Going back and forth from Mom's house to Dad's house-is just something you seem to do-not a big deal to you. You accepted the new people into your life like your "Rowney" as well as taking on the task of being a big sister at 4 1/2 when Connor was born with such joy! I can still see you standing by his cradle singing your made up songs to him and later doing whatever it took to make him laugh. not that you didn't take advantage of the big sis role...You had him play"Pretty, Pretty Princess" and marry your life size Barbie!

You have excelled at school from day one-I remember your kindergarten teacher telling me that she was sure that if she needed you to you could teach the class :) We fought hard and you were accepted into the "gifted" program-what a blessing for you to keep you challenged and watch you spread your wings. You became a "true bookworm"-devouring any book you could get your hands on! (still do-now we get to share books and you introduced me to the "Twilight"series when you discovered them last year-yes we have to see the movie!)

So many adventures...pageants watching you learn to be poised and confident, make new friends and learn so much about yourself (plus all the traveling including Florida to Nationals which included seeing and touching your first dolphin!).....Odyssey of the Mind and going to World competition in Colorado.....and then going on the band trip last spring to watch & hear you compete with the high school band in a real Symphony Hall as well as our extra time in Galveston! All of it as been special, because we did it together. I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Our greatest challenge as a family came when we became a proud military family and watched "our soldier" go to a far off place to fight a war then come home wounded. I know it is something difficult for us all to deal with-since we had no idea how wounded it really made all of us in our own ways-You have been so brave even though I know you deal with your own "moments" that bring the pain back. You have been there for me Carls-I needed those hugs and an ear to listen.
Thank you for you love and patience!

I cherish all the memories we have as well as the special bond we share.
I love to watch you loving life as well as seeing you live you life true to your faith in God.
Your talents are many, your compassion is to honored and your ability to work so hard to succeed is beyond measure. I admire & respect the person you are and cannot imagine all life holds for you.

So on this 16th Birthday-I say to you my precious daughter......You are my inspiration for a life well lived! Happy, Happy Birthday my Sunshine-continue to smile and reach for your dreams-let nothing get in the way!

You know I love you-more than the moon, stars and PEPSI!

Your Madre

You Trying to Keep Imagining!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Feeling Unpopular!!!

Ok this may be silly and very high school but I feel very UNPOPULAR right now-It is like no one wants to sign my yearbook type feeling-I haven't had my regular commentors-Where are you ladies???

I also put up a deal to follow my blog-no followers-how sad!!! and depressing!!! and....Ok now I am whining (and begging!!!)

I need some love people!!!

Trying to Keep Imagining!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Presenting Little Red and Friends

Thursday was the opening night of the GEHS production of "Into the Woods".
This was the first time I had ever seen the show on stage. Carley had shown me part of the version with famous actors that is on DVD, so I understood the premise of the show.
The H.S. cast, crew and directors did a fabulous job and it was a funny,entertaining evening.
(also my mom just called and said that Carley was pictured as "Little Red" in an article in the local newspaper!-too cool!-can't wait to get a copy)

Carley as "Little Red"-her first staring role in a musical. She did awesome!

I was in awe from the first time she walked on stage. She even had a solo.

I am so proud of this young women who works so hard and has such fun reaching for the stars.

Congratulations on a job well done portraying as the bratty but resourceful "Little Red"!
She stated in her bio for the program that she thanked her younger sibling (that would be Connor) for being her inspiration! She throws a really big fit on stage and screams very LOUD!
I thought the stage fit was hilarious-Connor wasn't so much in agreement. :)

With......The scary, WOLF! (Notice she does know how to defend herself)

With....the Old Man (kinda creepy and losing facial hair-LOL)

With.....The Witch (a very Pretty, Little Witch-who starts out the show as an UGLY witch-obviously she is an amazing actress!)

With .......Jack (yes the one famous for the Beanstalk)

With...Milky White the Cow (Yes Jack's Cow)

Trying to Keep Imagining!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthay to One Old Guy!

Happy 45th Birthday Rodney! 2 years ago we got to celebrate your 43rd b-day-after God Blessed us by allowing you to be with us that day and many more days and years to come.

Love ya-

Your family

Trying to Keep Imagining!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Great Recipe

My sister Lisa sent this to me-thought I would share. We could all use a new recipe of life advice once in awhile. I will try it-not sure how successful I will be but worth a try.


1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this ( )matter?'
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. you'll be smiling before you know it.

Trying to Keep Imagining

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Good Veterans Day Video

Click on the link below-this guy is amazing. What a HUGE Thank you to Veterans!
This gentleman gets it-it's not about the expense or the amount of money he spent on giving these wounded vets and spouses/companions an "at ease" from their daily struggles-yes struggles-something everyone might have, but for the wounded vet not the same thing in most cases-it is one of those only if you have been there experiences. These wounded vets go to their "job"-working for ALL the American citizens-get injured and have to fight the system to get their wounds physical and emotional taken care of. How many civilian jobs could treat their employees like that? In fact how many civilian jobs get Veteran's Day off?Bank, city and county jobs, fed. govt. jobs??? Is it a "holiday" they really think about why it exists?-my guess is the majority not. Sorry for sounding so angry-but I am. I am tired of feeling I have to keep my mouth shut and I can't have an opinion. I do have a very strong opinion about this particular topic-I have that right for a reason besides the obvious, the most significant one being I am a citizen of the United States of America. Free speech...Land of the Free...because of every solider, marine, air force member, coast guard and member of the navy. God Bless them all!

Trying to Keep Imagining!

It Boggles My Mind

Edited for those of you that read my blog and don't like what I say but cannot leave comments-DON"T READ IT! This is my blog, my feelings and my experiences. I don't write half the crap I should or could. Don't like it don't read

I am so worked up tonight after Rod and I met with a "counselor"-I am using that term lightly in this case-. This was all supposed to be about Connor and getting him the help and working on him with coping skills-his issues that we feel have been put on the back burner way too long. This was the second appt.-1st time he met with Connor and I-but mostly spoke with me.

What a joke!!! This man hasn't a clue about dealing with the huge piece of the puzzle that is our reality-Rodney was deployed, went to war, was wounded, has been fighting the military for 2 years and that the kids and I were affected also. He actually handed me a brochure meant for any American kid at the Middle School age and how to talk to them about war and terrorism when it reaches close to home. I was offended-close to home-you try being in the same house day after day.

I don't understand why people in general don't get why we aren't like everyone else???
I am upset, frustrated and at a loss tonight. Tomorrow is Veteran's Day-remember to thank a VET-but also ask them what needs to change and how their needs and their families are being met. May sound cynical but is how I feel. All we want is to have people try to understand. Is that too much to ask of our fellow Americans? No special treatment-just true caring and concern. It would go a long way in my book. A vacation or retreat to be with other's of our "kind" would be fantastic but I am tired of searching and not having the right connections.
Heck the group that adopted us-if past experience from the last year shows anything they won't remember Rodney's b-day on the 13th or Carley's on the 19th. They wanted the dates last Christmas-we supplied them-we have felt very disappointed. Don't promise people especially kids who have been disappointed over and over again and not come through-hoping they will come through. We need to know-I need to know we matter as people and that what we have been through is justification for all our feelings.

I know most of you that comment on my blog do try and understand-I appreciate that.
When you talk to others remind them that Vets need more than a salute-they need people to care in whatever form that takes-not just for the first 2 weeks they are home.

Trying to Keep Imagining!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Scary Morning of Soccer

I experienced an event with one of my children I hope I never have to repeat in any shape or form. Connor had a late season outdoor soccer tournament. We had our first game of the day at 7am so it was a really early start to a Saturday. This is Rodney's weekend to work so I was playing my "soccer mom" role. I got Connor there dressed for the windy, 37 degree weather. My mother-in-law meet us there-her and I sat in our chairs with blankets, coats and gloves trying to watch this game-it was very miserable. Connor was playing really well, but like all the other boys was obviously very cold! I was concerned someone was going to pull a muscle since it was so frigid and there was really no way for these kiddos to stay warmed up. Connor played mid-fielder the first half-he had a few headers and was playing aggressively. The second half started and he was in the goal playing Goalie which is a position he has been playing on a regular basis this season. I was actually thankful since he was able to put on his hoodie sweatshirt-so he would be a little warmer. He was doing awesome and wasn't letting any balls through. Towards the end of the game we had a penalty called on one of our players so the opposing team had a penalty kick-which meant my son the goalie was ready to stop the ball being directly kicked towards him in the attempt for the other team to score. I remember thinking "Come on Connor save the ball but don't get pelted by it".

It was then things happened really fast and become a blur...Next thing I knew Connor was diving horizontally to stop the ball and actually did touch the ball, but a goal was scored. Connor was on the ground face down with his rump in the air-I thought he was being a "drama king" because he missed saving the ball, since he is very competitive. He isn't moving off the cold ground-I am not jumping up yet just thinking get up buddy it is too cold on the ground. I am not sure how long passed-(I learned a long time ago it isn't cool for mommy to go running onto the field saying my poor baby is hurt) a few minutes passed I guess-more people are around him. Then my mother-in-law , Gloria says "Tracy I think you better go see what is going on." So I went over and as I got closer I started to run-by the time I got to the goal area volunteer medical personnel (nurses) were accessing him and put him in a vice grip hold. They were covering him up with whatever blankets were available. He is shivering and tears are running down his face. I ask what happened-when he dove for the ball he slammed the left side of his head into the metal bar of the goal. He said he felt his neck snap back, he saw dots (stars) and he was nauseous. He said he couldn't feel his hands (that turned out to be because of the cold). I am saying as calmly as I can call 911-I want him boarded and checked out. Obviously they are all in agreement-those amazing ladies kept him calm and immobilized for over 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived and took over. I had called Gloria over and Connor's coach Eli was with us-we prayed over Connor which gave me the ability to feel peace that all was going to be ok. I rode in the front of the ambulance and when we got to the hospital he was well taken care of. I had called Rodney at work (he freaked a little), he called Taylor who was at home still in bed, I called Carley who was at her Dad's, Gloria called my father-in-law and I think I called my mom. We had a big support team at the hospital-this kid can never think he isn't loved!

Thankfully after x-rays and assessment by a ER doc it was concluded he had hit his head and most likely had a mild concussion and some pulled ligaments/muscles in his neck -kind of like whiplash injury. Scary stuff but no major injury-we are so thankful! Connor is a little bummed he can't participate in any physical activity for a week such as PE class and soccer (obviously!). He has been taken Advil and using cold packs/tomorrow it is heat packs. He seemed ok today-it was a challenge keeping him from being to rambunctious-he and a friend played video games after he took a short nap.

We are just keeping a close eye on him-he has pretty good goose egg on his head. It has been one of those days that lasts f o r e v er-but also one that brings prospective to how quickly life can change-I was pretty sure we had been through enough of those worrisome times with Rodney but life is always exciting isn't it?-even in ways we would rather it not be.

I am so blessed and thankful my son is safe and sleeping well tonight in his own bed. God is Good! A special thanks to all the kind people at the soccer fields (I have 2 blankets that belong to someone?), the nurses, the park ranger, Connor's coach Eli, the ambulance crew, the hospital staff, nurses and docs as well as my wonderful in-laws who went and picked up my car and my mom who bought Connor and I home.
oh..One more thing I never will say my son plays soccer because football is more dangerous!

Connor-mom loves you so much and I am so proud of how brave you were today!

Trying to Keep Imagining!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Votes Are Counted-

What I think...If you care :)

Today is a new day-the election results are in and we have a new president. No matter how we voted or if our chosen candidate won or lost we as a nation must move forward together. We have so many issues to resolve and there will be new ones coming down the pike but we are the United States of America-we have to stick together and support each other-the alternative is something that will only push us into being a country spending all our energy and resources fighting among ourselves. We are a country where freedom is taken for granted-we need to recognize how very lucky and blessed we are.
The color of a man's skin did not make a difference in this election nor should it have ever-I couldn't help wondering last night about the famous speech "I Have A Dream"-Martin Luther King must be so proud! This coming from a white girl in the mid-west who was born in the 1960's and always had such a difficult time even imagining the laws that treated people of color as unequals. My children do not even see the color of people's skin as a difference-that has to be a good thing.
We have changed. We are still changing. Our President elect is not only African-American he is Caucasian-he is bi-racial. That is how I see him-not black or white but a man who hopefully will serve our great nation and lead us into a new era of prosperity and peace. Remember though he is only human-it takes all of us to make a true change-from every person, family, church, community and on up-we have to be willing to do our part, we cannot just sit back and wait for him to mess up or succeed. We have to be a part of change.

Yesterday the people spoke-now the hard work begins!

*That was much longer a post than I ancipated and hopefully not too much of a speech on a soapbox.

*I am celebrating no more political ads-(no one can argue with that can they??)

God Bless the USA!

Trying to Keep Imagining!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Connor's Halloween costume??? Not sure what he was other than a kid with a painted face. Rodney was in charge of Connor for Halloween since I went to the High School Football game. He ended up going to a no CANDY!!! What the heck is that about??? After 20 years of trick or treating-it ended with no piles of candy on the floor and mom and dad trying out the pieces that might be tampered with-LOL. Guess we will have to buy our own next year??
Sorry no pictures available of Connor's UN-costume!See he was supposed to be a NERD-and would have made such a cute nerd boy! Note the glasses we bought and took out the lenses. Funny thing is this last week he finally was allowed to get contacts-so no more getting the glasses knocked off by the soccer ball in games-he is beyond thrilled. He has been so responsible about taking care of them which was a worry for me-so glad we waited but also glad he finally has them. Note the soccer picture above-NO GLASSES! plus the boy is getting SOOO tall and his voice is getting so deep-not my baby boy so much anymore.

Taylor went to my nephews Halloween Party on Sat.-her first time out since the BREAK UP!
She so deserved to have fun and she did. She is on the mend-one day at a time.
She was a beautiful and pretty darn hot go-go girl! (she has lost 20 lbs.since the break-up-not the diet recommended for all but it is a perk that has come out of something earth shattering.

Meet Bonnie and her Clyde...They look like the real deal only cuter. Isn't her costume the best! The dress and shoes she borrowed from her step-mom, the hat we bought at the mall-add some curls, jewelry, a purse with $ and a gun-like magic she is transformed into Bonnie Parker! Don't you Love Halloween! (they had their Halloween Party on Sat.)

The Friday night of Halloween was our hometown's High School Football last home game. We won 45 -0 and will be playing next week for the regional title.WOOhoo!

Taylor was having a very difficult day emotionally-she is doing well most days but it is a process and momma is hanging in there with her as long as she needs me too. Anyway..her and I went to the game to watch Carley perform in the band color guard. Taylor was able to spend sometime talking to her former dance team coaches (thank you Ashley and Alli!) as well as making some contact with old high school friends. I was so thrilled to see her smile!!!

The band did an awesome job. I didn't get any still pics but took video I will share later. The band did a 5th quarter light show that was so cool but not easy to photograph-just had to be there I guess?? I did get a pic of Carley and her BF Chris before they hit the field in the dark.

What is the heck is that picture doing here????

Can you guess what this is????

It is a YUMMY TREAT disguised as a TRICK!

I found this cake on a recipe site and just had to make it.(insert evil laugh)! I made it for my nephew Zach's Halloween Party on Saturday (which yes was actually after Halloween but the party fun carried over an extra day.

I heard from Taylor that everyone enjoyed my delicious, but disgusting cake.

I so enjoyed making it! Lots of work but worth it.

I didn't get to try it but my mom and sister were grossed out-YES!!!!

I hope you Halloween Weekend was fun, spooky and a little bit Gross :)

Keep Imagining