Christmas & the New Year

According to Blogger, I began writing this post on 12/29/2010.

Apparently, I was distracted. And then I forgot about it.

I must be honest and admit I considered deleting it and writing about something a little more current, but then I realized I really want to document my holiday break.

Did I mention that I had 2 and 1/2 weeks off work? It was heavenly. Well, most of it was heavenly. The first couple of days weren't really all that fun as they were set aside for writing, and not the fun, creative writing I prefer. Oh, no. I had to write a 16-page paper on Dickens.

In the middle of writing the paper I took a day off to go Christmas shopping. This is a recent tradition. It started when my in-laws got tired of trying to figure out what we would want for Christmas and decided it would be easier to just take us to the store so we could pick it out for ourselves. So, for the last few years, I join my mother- and sister-in-law for a day of shopping. While we're finishing up our last minute shopping for loved ones, we also get to spoil ourselves a little bit, too.

Of course, the day's not complete without a visit to Santa and lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Unfortunately, this day of fun was followed by several hours in front of my computer trying to finish that dratted paper. I didn't get to bed until 2 a.m. and was back up at 8 a.m. in order to get the last few pages put together before deadline.

Once the paper was turned in, though, I really was able to start my vacation. First thing first, I had to get started on the Sookie Stackhouse books, which I borrowed from my sister. Oh how lovely! I can't tell you what a delight these books have been. While I quite enjoyed Dickens, I was ready for a change in reading material and the Sookie Stackhouse books were just the thing. (I'm almost done with them and will no doubt be anxiously awaiting the next installment because I am a fan!)

In other entertainment news, I've also rediscovered my love of Pacman. I downloaded the PS3 demo and was hooked. Hooked enough to buy the full, download-able version. Can you say "sucker"?

Oh, and I played some Final Fantasy XIII, too. Didn't really progress all that much, but I have been steadily powering up my characters so I can go whoop the big baddie at the end of the game.

By this time, the family was home with me. Everyone had the week off between Christmas and New Year's Day.

For the record, them being home meant it was time for social gatherings. We spent Christmas Eve at my Dad's with my bothers, sisters, and all the little children.

Opening presents at Grandpa's house.

The little guy was beginning to worry that he had been forgotten...he was really happy to get his hands on a present when it was finally handed over.

All the grandchildren modeling the sweatshirt Grandpa got them.

After the party, we ran home and opened up our Christmas jammies. Mine have feet, like those jammies you buy for your toddlers. I imagine since I am terrible about keeping my socks on my feet or wearing slippers, my hubby probably thought this might solve my cold feet issues. For the record, it works. When I wear the footed-jammies.

Christmas Day was spent at home.

My oldest playing Santa's helper.

My youngest and the dog that went missing for two days. The photo was taken with my fisheye lens. Going to need to practice with it because things tend to blur very easily.

Oh, and I got a Kindle. I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to see that under the tree! I'm sure I'll be talking about my Kindle experiences in the future. Right now, though, I'm still working my way through those paperbacks I borrowed. Not that I haven't been playing with my new toy, I have, but in hopes of finishing the series before the winter semester really begins, I'm keeping focused on the paperbacks.

Plus, I don't ever see myself taking the Kindle with me for a long, hot soak in the bathtub. So, authors, don't be alarmed. There will always be room in my life and on my bookshelves for "the real thing".

Trying to figure out a nice transition into the next subject, but I'm coming up blank, so...let's just jump right into it.

New Years Eve!

Believe it or not, I was this year's designated driver. While this may seem like a bummer, I really wasn't disappointed because I had already had my fill of alcohol.

First, there was the Wednesday before New Year's Eve. One of our very good friends - we just love her - came home to Michigan to visit with family over the holidays. Although there were many in our little group of friends who couldn't make it, some of us met up that night to do some overdue visiting.

After some dinner, we headed out to the bar. Sitting + drinking = feeling no pain. Luckily, I didn't overindulge and, therefore, did not pay a price for my sin the next day.

I must admit, though, I really wasn't feeling the need to go out again anytime soon.

My sisters and sister-in-law had a different idea. So, Thursday night we headed off to the bar after watching my hubby bowl the last game of the year. (Not the season, just the year.) I was afraid of losing my camera, so I really don't have many pictures of us from this little adventure and the ones I do have...didn't turn out so hot. Still learning the camera settings on the little Point-and-Shoot I carry in my purse.

Sisters. They will kill me for this. hahaha

I must admit I had more fun than I thought I would. Hey, I'm not as young as these little chickies. Two nights in a row is hard on little ol' me.

And that finally brings us back to New Year's Eve. First we spent a few hours at my brother's house playing Wii Dance. Oh. My. I love that game! So fun. Also a lot of exercise. And, just so my sisters can't complain, here's a picture of me...getting my groove on? No wonder my nephew is laughing at me.


After our Wii Dance marathon, my entire family headed over to our friends' house. We were there until the wee hours of the morning. Mostly, the guys played cards, the kids played on the Wii, and us girls talked. I must admit, not drinking meant I was tired much earlier than I might have been otherwise. So, I'm rather proud of the fact that I didn't rush my hubby out the door right after the ball dropped.

You'd think that would be the end of it, but no. We had one more family gathering to attend on New Year's Day. Christmas with my hubby's family.

My boys with their cousins.

We were there most of the day. Unwrapping presents. Playing board games. Eating. All the usual things.

And that, finally, is the end of my holiday recap!

3 out of 4

That's where I'm at right now: I've got three out of four assignments completed. Just one more and the semester is officially over!

Last night I finished reading the fourth and final Dickens book. While I must admit I have some issues with his treatment of the feminine, he's an amazing writer. Relatively easy to read for a Victorian author. As I read David Copperfield, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, and Our Mutual Friend it was easy to understand how he could be considered the father of the modern novel.

In all truth, and at the risk of getting rotten tomatoes thrown at me, I can't tell you the number of times I thought his stories had been retold in so many of the historical romance books I've read over the years. In other words, I'm positive I've read these stories as genre fiction, which I'm sure many view as the antithesis of great Literature.

Now, don't get me wrong. Dickens as a Victorian writer could never get away with going where romance novels today go. He would have been run out of town or worse.

Yet, tell me if this doesn't sound like the premise or plot of a historical romance novel..

  • Young man is disowned by his wealthy father and, as a result, leaves the country. Upon his father's death he discovers that his inheritance is dependent upon marriage to a young woman he's never met. Thinking to "test" her, he swaps identities with another passenger on the way home. Look-alike is murdered. Young man remains in disguise and ends up working for the husband and wife (father's former servants) who inherited his fortune upon his look-alike's death. Conveniently, his father's servants take in the very same young woman. Young man is able to continue "testing" the morality of the young woman. Even after the old couple figure out their beloved heir is alive, he remains in disguise, again to test the young woman's character. Eventually, young man marries young woman. Eventually, he decides she deserves the truth because she has proven her love for him and he knows the money is no longer the motivating factor. All the good people triumph, all the evil-doers are punished. The End.

The only part of this story that wouldn't work in a modern historical romance novel is the young woman's happy acceptance of the deceit she unwittingly endured. She's just soooo happy. No outrage. No retribution. In fact, she's rather self-depreciating throughout the entire "reveal". In short, she's the perfect angel in the house.


Of course, because of the ick factor, I'm absolutely going to write my final paper on the angels and demons within Dickens. I figure if I give each book about 4 pages, I should easily reach my 16-page goal. Wish me luck!

Not a Real Update

It's too late to put much effort into this right now. In fact, I'm about twenty minutes past my bedtime.

So, in brief, I miss writing. I'm so ready for school to be done. Not just this semester, but altogether done. I want to graduate and get my life back. Get my creative groove back.


That's the end of the pity party.

Struggling to Keep Focus

I can tell it's nearing the end of the semester. Homework is a struggle. While I've been pretty good about staying on top of my reading, I'm starting to daydream about all the books waiting for me on my to-be-read shelf.

Not that I haven't been able to squeeze in a couple of fun reads over the last few weeks. I have. A few weeks ago I read A Wrinkle in Time and, a week or so later, The Sea of Monsters in the Percy Jackson series. This weekend I not only finished my weekly reading assignment in Our Mutual Friend and a few scholarly articles on Dickens's treatment of the feminine, but I also managed to finish off Seduced by Sin.

Those three books were easy, quick reads. I purposely picked them because I know that I can't afford to get drawn into any of the more complex novels sitting on my TBR shelf. Young adult novels don't require a lot of brain power or thoughtful reflection. The same goes for historical romances. Not that I'm knocking them. Quite the opposite. I quite enjoy "bubble gum" reads.

Since I've signed up for classes in the winter - call me a glutton for punishment - I'm already plotting what I'm going to read over the Christmas break. I'm thinking more bubble gum books! Strangely enough, the plan is to borrow my sister's Sookie Stackhouse books. I believe she has the boxed set and I plan on devouring those books in that week between Christmas and New Years. (I have to catch up to my cousin and sister so we can discuss what happened!)

But first, I need to get through the rest of Our Mutual Friend and write a 16-page paper about angels and demons in Dickens. Sounds fun, right?

I Am Thankful For..

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for the husband who cooks and cleans, who helps with homework, who takes my boys hunting and fishing, who lets me soak in the tub and enjoy a good book, who bites his tongue when he'd rather not, and who loves me despite all my faults.

I am thankful for my oldest boy who plays the same games his brother wants to play, who doesn't argue with us when we remind him to do his homework, who is content to be alone or can enjoy a good friend's company, and who still asks me to tuck him at night.

I am thankful for my littlest boy who gives me hugs and kisses whenever and wherever, who cleans his room even when he doesn't want to, who idolizes his big brother, and who writes love letters and leaves them lying around the house for Mom and Dad to find.

I am so thankful for each of them.

I am also thankful that the recent scare with my brother didn't have anything to do with the heart problems he had as an infant. I'm thankful the EKGs, the Echo, and the heart enzymes all came back normal. I'm thankful he didn't have a heart attack or need open heart surgery again. I am thankful that antibiotics and a lot of rest will be enough to make him healthy and obnoxious once more.

I am thankful for my sisters who spend time scrapbooking, talking books, and going out to the movies with me, who irritate me and then make me laugh, who sit in hospital waiting rooms and share their worries, who listen to my complaints, encourage me to do better, and never except my lame excuses.

I am thankful for my baby brother who cherishes family above all, who has become a wonderful husband and father, who gathers us together with bonfires and parties at all times of the year, who makes me smile when he smiles, and who never fails to watch over his sisters when we're out drinking and dancing in public (we think it's quite adorable).

I am thankful for the wonderful women my brothers have married who never make me feel like unwanted in-law, who enjoy spending time with our dysfunctional and crazy family, who are there to lean on and celebrate with, and whom I can't imagine not having in my life.

I am thankful for my husband's family who has always treated me like one of their own. I am thankful for hours spent playing board games and cards, for the care and concern they show to my side of the family, for camping trips, and for the love and laughter they share with my boys.

I am thankful for my parents. For my dad who is always there, who will drive to Canada if necessary to retrieve my stranded husband and his family, who babysits whenever asked, who loans out his vehicle, his camper, his house, and who comes to his grandkids's sporting events in foul and fair weather. I am grateful for my dad who never fails to show us just how much he loves us.

I am thankful for my mom whose face lights up when she sees my boys walk through the door, who e-mails me when she can, and who tells me she cried watching the DVD I made of our boys playing football.

I am thankful for the nieces and nephews who make my heart melt.

I am thankful for our friends who always have a cold one waiting, who enjoy doubling up on "date night", who will always say yes to a concert or a show if able, who spend vacations with us, and who have become a part of our family.

As you can see, I am truly blessed by all that I am thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

A snippet from Great-Grandpa's Writings

Disclaimer: I did not write this story. As I did not write this story, it does not belong to me. All credit is due to my Great-Grandfather, Arthur E. Spencer.

Great-Grandpa Spencer and his siblings.

“Doc” J. C. Johnson, P.T.

I got into a very tough scrape with the same bug that killed my mother’s father, Harvey Farrar, out in the Dakota Territory in the spring of 1888 and my grandmother’s second husband, Henry Rextrew in February of 1924, while they were living on the farm across from the Spring Hill School – pneumonia.

There being no penicillin, Dr. Chapin’s only treatment was lots of liquids and mustard plasters. These were prepared by making a paste with lots of mustard. Take two tablespoons to a cup of flour, enough water to moisten and then spread this on a piece of cotton sheeting and cover with two or more thicknesses of cotton flannel to retain the heat. The plasters were heated by placing a pan of hot water on the “sandwich” and then placing the plaster on the back or front of the chest successively for half an hour every two hours. Somehow I survived the disease and the treatment, but barely! I became ill on March 22, 1922 and when school opened in the fall in early September, I was still too weak to walk more than a few steps. I had a coaster wagon and my sisters took turns hauling me to school, a journey of four blocks, to the old high school building in Columbiaville. After a few days, one of my “worst enemies”, J.C. Johnson, with whom I had engaged in many fights, hauled me home a few times. Then one afternoon, he proposed that we make a game of getting my strength back. Jay had a job of getting George McIntyre’s cows back to the barn on the hill a half a mile west of town. It would take about an hour. The key to Jay’s plan was Trixie, a boxer bitch. The plan was for me to slip my hand through the loop of the leash so I could not let go, hold Trixie by the collar till Jay could get out ahead of us about 50 feet. Then he would yell “Here Trixie” and we would go. Often sprawling in the gravel – sometimes bawling – but go we did. Day after day, longer and longer spurts, until in late October when the pasture gave out, I was able to run, really run, by myself!!

If J.C. had only written a paper and sent it to the County or State Medical Society, he might have become the father of Physical Therapy. The way Jay figured, if lame horses could be healed with careful exercise, maybe I could be made strong again. It worked, thanks to J.C. Johnson. The year again was 1922.

Need Help...from Kazakhstan.

So, I've mentioned that I'm enrolled in two classes this semester, haven't I? There's the Dickens class that meets every week and then there's the online Kazakh-American Reading Group that I'm participating in as an Independent Study course.

The first course is going well. I've managed to stay on top of the reading. Done well on both the first presentation and the small paper. As of today, I'm about halfway through the last book, Our Mutual Friend, and beginning to work on my final paper. Things I have complete control over.

What I don't have control over? My Kazakh-American Reading Group. Participation has been a bit sketchy. We only had a handful of Kazakh women participating and all of them were doing it because they wanted to, not because they were in any way required to. On the other side of that equation, there were the handful of graduate students who are absolutely required to participate if they want a good grade at the end of the semester. I fit into the second half of that equation. While I was very excited and eager to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about another culture through a discussion on American literature, I was also aware that at some point my instructor would be grading me.

So, to make a long story short, participation was sketchy. I think we're down to one active Kazakh woman and perhaps three or four graduate students. Because we only made it through one book, I need to do something extra to receive full credit for the course.

So, I decided to explore an alternative delivery method. I created a Blackboard course (well, I'm still creating it, to be honest) and now I need to test the international internet barriers. I need someone from Kazakhstan to visit the university's Blackboard site.

I've sent individual e-mails. And now I've resorted to posting directly to the group, instructor, fellow grad students, and all.

I find it very difficult to not be in complete control of my coursework!

Enjoying the Weekends

The last couple of weekends have been so very enjoyable. Right now we're in between sporting seasons, so there are no games or meets to attend on the weekend. We're also in between holidays, so there are no parties planned or last minute shopping to do. Nope, these last couple of weekends have been completely free.

For the first time in who knows how long, my weekends have been free!

Sure, I've had to do homework, but even that has been relatively easy because I've only had to read and make a few comments in my Kazakh-American reading group. No papers to write just yet. Research, yes. Actual writing, no.

Since the homework has been on task and the house isn't a complete disaster, I've been able to fight a few monsters on Final Fantasy XIII, read a couple of non-school-assigned books, and watch a few movies.

This weekend I also made a point of visiting with my Grandma. She's 82 and not in the best of health. Her lungs can't really handle Michigan winters, which effectively keeps her housebound during these cold months. Understandably, a visit goes a long way in relieving the boredom.

Yesterday, we went through a box of very old pictures - pictures from the eras of my great-grandparents and great-great grandparents. She helped me put together a rudimentary family tree; it's missing a lot of branches right now, but hopefully we'll be filling this in as the months go by. Even better? I videotaped the whole thing, so when my chicken scratch fails to do the job, I can always go back to the video in order to check the facts.

On a completely unrelated note, I guess I should probably mention that I've sent out several queries but have yet to hear back from the majority of them. Patience...that's what the publishing game truly requires of its players.

Love This Quote

I resent people who say writers write from experience. Writers don't write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don't. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.

~Nikki Giovanni, interview published in Black Women Writers at Work (1984)


While the hubby and I were on vacation last week, we did a whole lot of nothing. It was fabulous.

Of course, since it was the end of October, there were lots of Halloween related activities to help us pass the time.

There was the annual trip to the Pumpkin stand.

Which, of course, means that there would be carvings to do. I love the fact that, for the most part, the boys are capable of doing the messy work themselves! The only thing the hubby and I really did was cut out the stalks. The boys emptied out the guts and did most of the cutting. Very little parental assistance was required.

Gage's is on the left, KC's is on the right. Not bad! KC's carving was 100% all him, but Gage required some assistance on the mouth and one of the eyes.

Later that week, we visited the little man's 4th grade classroom during their Halloween party. Even though we were a tad bit late getting there, he still gave me the thumbs up.

After the kids finished eating, there was a make-your-own-mummy contest. Gage's group won!

Then there were the parties! Oh, how we love a good Halloween party. The first one took place just over a half-mile from our house, which was awesome! The kids joined us for the first few hours, then, when they had had enough, we took them home and left the oldest in charge. He ended up babysitting his brother and five cousins that night. And everyone behaved!

We didn't get in until after 3 a.m. As you can imagine, the kids were all fast asleep in front of the television.

Ken, KC, & my brother, Jake.

My sister, Megan, me, and my sister-in-law, Jaime.

Me with my brother and sister.

Me with my oldest.

The next party was the night before Halloween. This one wasn't right around the corner from home, though, which means we left the party much earlier than we had the previous one.

I also changed up my costume. Instead of a Renaissance dress, I put together a steampunk costume. Of course, no one else knew what I "was", but that's okay. I don't know how well you can see the bits and pieces of the costume, but my favorite parts were the hat and the lacy shirt/jacket with the red bodice. And my boots. Love my new boots.

My steampunk costume.

Angie, Amie (our hostess), Terri and Me.

Me & the hubby.

Archie, Me, Ken, and Terri

Erik (our fabulous host) at his DJ station.

And finally, there is Halloween night. This year we broke with tradition and did something completely unique. Usually my Mother- and Father-In-Law play host on this particular holiday. This year several contributing factors, not the least among them my Mother-in-Law's health, made it impossible for them to extend their hospitality to everyone.

When my brother heard about this, he offered to pull a hay wagon around North Lake. He just had to clean off the trailer and find some bales. Everyone agreed this sounded like a fabulous idea. Soon enough his wife was also planning a bonfire and cookout.

The food was awesome, by the way! Good job, ladies!

After the kids ate, it was time to get them dressed. Soon enough we had them lined up for pictures and onto the hay wagon.

The only missing child is my nephew, Christian. He went trick-or-treating elsewhere.

I think the kids enjoyed the experience despite the bitter cold. By the end of the night their bags were heavy with candy and they were covered in blankets for the short ride back to Uncle Jake and Aunt Jaime's house.

All in all, I'd have to say it was an amazing Halloween!

Nano 2010

I want to sign up. Really, I do! I've participated for several years running, but I know there's no feasible way for me to write 50K in a month's time.

No way.

No how.

So, I'll have to cheer from the sidelines as Sarah, Matt, and the other Red Hot Writers venture into the craziness of NaNoWriMo without me. Go, team!

Unfinished Projects

I have a lot of unfinished projects sitting on my flash drive. And because I have nothing better to talk about today, I thought, hey, why not bore you with a list of all the stories I've started but not finished.

It's my blog. I can do what I want.

So, in no particular order, I give you the Unfinished Projects. (These aren't titles, but file names.)

Ashyss & Seiene - Started this one for last year's Nano. At a little over 3000 words, its the beginning of a dark fantasy novel. Ashyss has joined a mercenary crew against the wishes of her rather elite elfin family. The main conflict, if I remember correctly, was going to involve a missing family member, dying power sources, and political shifts.

I'd like to come back to this one mainly because I like the character. Of course, if I do come back to this one, I'm going to need to dig out the story notes because the intricacies of the plot and character development escape me at the moment.

Fairie Hunter - This one was started because of a story prompt, which means I did zero pre-planning. The idea was to defy the stereotypes associated with fantasy creatures. I made the Dwarves sexy and dangerous sirens. My main character, a bounty hunter, is chasing down evil fairies.

This idea still intrigues me, but I really have no idea what I'm doing with it.

Cece and Sassy-Girl - No idea where I'm going with this one, either. Opening scene introduces Cece and her trasken (beast of burden), Sassy-Girl. Cece is about to go rappelling over a cliff in search of a fabled statue that's supposed to control the weather, something she needs to help her family beat the terrible monsoons that have been destroying their crops for several years running.

This one has only 900 words written on it, but it seems to have the clearest stakes and goals. I think there might be a real story here if I take the time to plan things out.

Bounty Hunter: Strac and his werebeast are hot on the trail of a strange new threat to the kingdom. When they track the dangerous criminal down, he learns a disturbing truth about his king and himself. The criminal he's pinned down shares a lot in common with Strac's werebeast, expect its human. Not sure how much more I want to say because this one has been nagging me for a long time and should probably get more fully developed. When I pitched the idea to another writer (for a class), I was told it reminded her of something Mercedes Lackey might write. So, if you're familiar with her work, you might have an idea of where I'm going with this.

Halloween Vampire: A vampire is haunted by the ghost of her ex-lover. Not even 500 words on this one. I don't necessarily like what I wrote, but I find the concept entertaining.

Magic & Madness: This one. It's erotic fantasy. Not something I usually write, but the story idea really doesn't lend itself to any other genre. I've written a little over 10K on this one. The main character is attempting to escape temple life, but without resources she's stuck on the island. Her only hope of returning to her life at court is to buy passage on a ship heading for the mainland. Her desperation leads her to sell the goddess's magic, the kind that has long been forbidden. The spell backfires and soon has her in its mad grip. Since I try to keep this site PG-13, I'll stop there.

This one should be finished. It's a solid premise and the characters are intriguing.

Heart of a Dragon: Fantasy romance. A young scribe, on her first journey, is mistaken for a spy by a dragonrider. She's taken captive, helps uncover a political plot, and soon earns the dragonrider's love. This one needs a lot of work. Mainly because politics are not my strong suit, so figuring out the political structure of this fictional land is a pain in my ass.

Again, I like the main character, though, so I'm drawn to the story again and again.

Waif: A fantasy story about a child left in a small, rural village in the middle of a snowstorm. The child is fostered with a somewhat reluctant family at the instance of her mysterious guardian. My notes indicate she is the last of her kind, and that I have no idea what kind she is or what powers she may have.

I should probably delete this one.

Too Far From Home: A childless mother is enslaved on a distant planet. I assume I was going to write about her struggle to survive the "hellish conditions" while plotting a way to reunite with the children who were stolen away from her. Hm.

And finally....

Beneath the Heavens and Earth: The pseudo-Egyptian fantasy novel that refuses to cooperate. The story that has been haunting me for several years but resists every attempt to purge itself from my mind. I've come to the conclusion that the main character is at the heart of the problem. I don't much like her, which means if I'm ever going to get this one out of my head and onto the paper, I've got to do some serious re-characterization.

So, the writing.

Have I ever told you how much I hate writing query letters and synopsises? Well, I do. I hate it! Those few pages are harder to get right than the first chapter of the book. I can't tell you how many times I've revised the query and rewritten the synopsis - mainly because I haven't been keeping track - but I promise you its more times than I care to think about!

Because of this, I have lately been doing what I do best. Avoiding them.

Of course, that's not helping with my submission goals. So, for the last week, I've been forcing myself to work on them a little bit every day. Eventually this will result in a finished copy.

My Oldest

As you know, I've been scanning in old pictures and marveling at the tender wrinkles in infant skin and the chubbiness of little cheeks. My last post showed how much my baby has grown over the last 9 years.

Now it's my oldest baby's turn. (Don't tell him I referred to him as my baby...he's too old and cool for such monikers, dont' you know.)

It's simply shocking to compare these two pictures and know the child is the same in both.

Where has the time gone?!

My precious baby is becoming a teenager! A teenager. You know, one of those moody, snarky creatures that seems determined to have the last word on EVERYTHING, that's what my boy is becoming.

Instead of riding his tricycle, he's getting his ORV and watercraft licenses.

It's sheer madness. And I know the years are only going to go by faster the older my boys get. Watching them grow into admirable young men (most of the time) makes me so proud, but there are definitely times I wish the clock would slow just a bit.


I've been wandering down memory lane. I've spent hours staring at pictures of little faces so familiar they make my heart ping in remembrance of baby drool, late night rocking, and alphabet singing.

Little faces that have changed so much in a few short years.

That's my baby. My last born. No more than a few weeks old if those fingers and that hair can be trusted.

Aww. Just a few months older. Still a baby by anyone's standards.

And there he is with his big brother and his daddy. Crawling his way towards one.

A toddler now. I can tell by the background, that little bit of carpet and trim, that we've moved into the new house.

I don't even know what to say about this one. I remember those footie pajamas, though. They came in all different colors and sizes and they littered my laundry for years and years...

Bigger yet? Maybe the same age. I might have posted this one just because they're all so happy! I love their happiness. Their shrieks of laughter. Their silliness.

I could keep going, showing you how fast he's grown up, but really, what gets me, is that this baby

has grown into this little boy...

It's just unbelievable.