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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Distance on birthdays

September 29, 1990 - I remember it as if it were yesterday and it seems like it was!!  It was very windy and gray outside, but a warm windy.  I can still hear the announcers at Oneida High School announcing the Varsity Football game as my mom and I walked around the block.  I was having some pains and was hoping they were labor pains because I was already 8 days past my due date.  That night at 11:01, my 9 lb. 3 oz. 21 inches long "little boy" was born  How in the world did 20 years go by already??  He is well over 6 feet tall now but he will always be my little boy.  It is his 3rd birthday in a row away from home.  I got to thinking today that I have not spent a birthday with him since he was 17.  It breaks my heart.  No parties, no dinners, no cakes.  At least this year and last we could talk to him on the phone.  I cried tonight when we hung up.  Hearing him say he loves us and misses us just brought me to tears.  I swallowed them until we hung up.  He is at Army training at the present time - the Navy has put him in the Individual Augmentee program.  He sounded exhausted when I talked to him at a little after 8.  They are working 4:30 to 7 each day.  He was doing his laundry and going to bed.  I got to thinking about next year - the big milestone birthday "21" and we won't see him for that either because he will be on the other side of the world in Iraq.  My hope and prayer is that he won't be needed for the whole year and they will send him back to the US or put him on a ship even.  I love that boy more than he will ever know and a part of me is missing without him.  I feel very empty inside and I know it will only get worse as we approach the new year.  So hug your children tight and appreciate every moment, even the bad ones.  At least they are there with you to have those bad moments.  I promise you that you will be watching them turn 20 before you know it as well!!!

This picture was taken this summer when our very good friend Mike Skupin came to town.  Matt brought venison to church and cooked some steak for Mike. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It seems like I just typed my last post and yet, it's been a full week!!  I wish I knew where the time goes but I do know, it goes FAST!!  I am having issues uploading photos to the internet, no matter what site I try.  I had some great deals this week, which was one of my main reasons for wanting to do this, to share deals!!  We had a very interesting field trip to the Erie Canal.  The Drive=In movie party was a lot of fun for everyone!  My two youngest have played 2 soccer games.  My oldest son has gone from Virgina to California and back to South Carolina.  I have worked with others to plan and set up for a huge back to church breakfast tomorrow.  Our youth ministry kicked off this week.  That is a small sample of where the time goes I guess.  I hope to post about each event with photos, but for now, no photos will upload and we have neighbors in need -so we will go be with them.  Sometimes, everything else in life just needs to stop when you have a friend in need.  I ask myself, What would Jesus Do??  I should be baking for church but I am confident that I will get it done, even if we do take a bit of time to go be with those in need.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taking time to chat and new beginnings

Yesterday was a busy day for us - The Cable Guy showed up at 8:30 and worked away at running lines to our house, drilling into our basement, and all that goes along with "connecting" us to the outside world.  We had school work to get done while he was here.  Then a friend stopped by, she is letting me borrow her LCD Projector so we can have a drive-in movie at our house this weekend.  We never did anything to celebrate my Aussie's birthday so I hope this will make up for it.  22 kids are coming over tomorrow to see a movie that he hasn't even chosen yet!!  So she gave me a brief tutorial on how to hook that up to my laptop.  Then my oldest son's girlfriend came over on her lunch hour.  She is having a hard time with him going off to his new adventure and it was nice to just sit and talk with her over lunch.  We are going to plan a party for my son while he's home. It will be hard to do since he's only home from the 20th to the 27th of December!!  We're going to try and have something on the 26th, if we can get a place to have it! 

I spent the rest of my time during the day putting a mailing together for our church family.  We are having a special event on the 26th - Come as you are - come back to church if you haven't been there in a while.  See how we've changed and the best part, after worship - a continental breakfast will be served!!  We are going to be making breakfast pizzas (Yummy!!) and muffins, fruit, pastries, all kinds of great things!!  We made up full color invitations to send out and we are hoping that people will let go of any "issues" that caused them to stop coming and give us another try.  I know first hand many reasons to walk away from church, I've been through it and have been close to walking out those doors to never return, but I am so thankful I didn't.  I have found new hope and a new way to deal with the people that made me want to leave - if I left, they win and ultimately, I lose!!  If I want things to be different, I have to be a part of that change and I am excited about what we have coming down the road.

Another new beginning is our elementary children's youth program.  Registration was last night and 22 kids showed up for it, with others mailing in their registrations.  It's going to be a busy year there.  We have a great group of people running this ministry and I am looking forward to the changes that we've put in for this year.  A lot of fun things are planned and I hope that the kids all enjoy them!!  I also hope that I am able to handle the 6th grade group of kids that I'm sure to have  - they may be a tough crowd.  Lots of prayer will get me through that, just like it does everything else in my life :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it better to be connected???

I am having an evening of mixed emotions - Time Warner Cable is coming tomorrow to hook up our phone, cable, and internet. We have lived here since the 25th of May - I called them the first week of April to arrange hook up - tomorrow is the 16th of September - that is a long freakin' time!! You would think that they would be giving me an awesome deal, they're not. You would think that they would thank me for waiting for them for so long, they have not. You would think that I would've gone elsewhere by now - I did not - why the heck didn't I???? I think a small part of me liked not having that stuff for a while. A small part of me doesn't want them to come. I know a lot of people that want me to have a phone again though.... BUT, I am pretty much stressfree when it comes to what is happening in the world because I don't know a darn thing!! I haven't had to listen to one political ad yet - I only listen to KLOVE on the radio - I love that station so much and we are supporters of it - so since I pay for it to be on, I listen to it!! There aren't any commercials on the station, so no Billy Fuccilo shouting how HUGE it's gonna be!! The music is all positive and encouraging and we love it! If you are in my local area, it's 100.7 or you can go to and see what station carries it in your area. Around here, Syracuse is a different area than Oneida so coverage doesn't go too far..

I guess it will be nice to turn on Matt and Meredith in the morning now and then, and Survivor started tonight and we couldn't watch that. I missed an entire weekend of football, which I really did miss. I do think though, that turning cable off for the summer months is not a bad idea. My kids spent more time outside this summer than any other summer. I don't know if it's because of the new neighborhood or the lack of indoor entertainment but it was a good thing for all of us to take a break. I am also ready for my HGTV - I miss all my programs :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goodbyes hurt so much

Today is a day that I have been dreading for a little over a month now. Today is the day that my son left to return to the military, only this time it's different. This time, he won't be back in a couple weeks. This time, he is going to not only be gone for over 3 months but he will be gone to the Army for that time. The Navy has a program called Individual Augmentee, "IA" for short. He was put into this program as a non-volunteer. This weekend he will fly to California, to a Navy base, where they will start the process to transfer him into this program. From there, he will fly to South Carolina and Fort Jackson for about 3 weeks to begin training with the Army. After that, he will continue on to Oklahoma and Fort Bragg. He will stay there until Christmas. I am thankful that he will be with us for Christmas - that is the only holiday we haven't missed with him since he's been in the military. I missed his 18th birthday, his 19th, and next week, I'll miss his 20th birthday with him - we have yet to have a Thanksgiving with him since he went in but we haven't missed celebrating our Lord and Savior's birth with him yet - Thanks be to God!! He will only get to be here with us until about the 28th of December and then back to Fort Bragg where he will then be sent to Iraq for one year. When he went in the Navy, I was okay with it - I told everyone that if he had joined the Army or Marines, I wouldn't but since boats don't float on sand, I was okay. Now they have sand sailors - and I am not thrilled with the idea of my baby over there operating some gun that shoots thousands of rounds per minute. In my mind, he's not ready for that and who knows him better than his mom, right??

I do know that God is watching out for him - thanks to facebook, I have reconnected with an old friend from school days. He was in the Navy and is working for them as a civilian now. The odds of him being at the base in CA where Matt is going are minimal but he is at the very base that he starts out at next week. I introduced them through facebook and he is going to pick Matt up and get him where he needs to go - that is one weight off my mind - at least he won't be alone out there - total God thing for me!! I am going to miss him terribly but thanks to modern technology, we will be able to stay in contact with him pretty regularly, I hope!!

A little while after Matt left tonight, the deer must've known they were safe, 2 doe and a fawn were outside our back door eating grass like there was no tomorrow - they know the hunter has left the building - we do too and we have empty hearts tonight :(

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pledge to be Positive

This is a photo I wanted to upload yesterday - don't know why I like it so much but I do - 3 cousins sharing french fries at a football game... Maybe it's because the kids didn't even really know each other before this summer because they never see each other and now my boys are asking all the time when they can see "T" again - Love it!!

Today was an amazing day!! It started out gloomy but the rains passed and the sky was a most beautiful blue all afternoon long! We had a special treat today since my oldest is home from the Navy until tomorrow. We went to a local restaurant to meet my parents and their "Monday Lunch" friends. My son and his girlfriend, the two little boys and myself. The boys love having their big brother around. He played tic tac toe and beat them with no mercy, game after game. They didn't care though, they just love to play with him...
The boys had soccer practice and we no sooner got there and those blue skies turned gray and the skies opened up and downpoured - HARD!! My youngest has been wanting to play in the rain, tonight, he got his wish. The skies turned blue again, pretty quickly and I knew there had to be a rainbow since the gray was all around the edges - sure enough - a full bow appeared across the sky -
I always think of Noah's Ark and God's promise with the rainbow - I was leaving soccer practice to head to my monthly committee meeting at church. We have a pretty small outreach committee but those of us that were there, could've talked til morning! We are planning a back to church Sunday in a few weeks and we were talking about reasons people don't go to church, based on some booklets that we have showing the top 10 reasons people leave church. We want to work on any areas in our church that could lead someone to one of those reasons. We talked about the reasons that people have left and how the whole reason for going to church gets clouded over - we aren't there to make friends (although we are fortunate that we do), we are there to worship God and give Him the glory! The best way to worship God is to love one another and we want to make that the focus of our church family- we are a family and like all families, we will have arguements, disputes, we won't always like what someone else is doing but above all else, we are there to LOVE as God commanded us to. It's going to take some work, but we, as the outreach committee, hope to make it the goal of our church to "Pledge to be Positive" and stomp out the negative, we truly believe that being positive will be contagious!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are you ready for some football???

September means back to school, apples, cool crisp air, beautiful foliage, and 2 of my most favorite sports - Football & Soccer!! This is the first year that my dad is not paying a crazy amount of money for Direct TV's direct ticket package - thus, we won't be seeing many of my teams games this year. We have spent just about every Sunday after church for the last 10 years, watching football with my dad. We moved into our house at the end of May and are still waiting for Time Warner to have time to hook us up - although they are supposed to come this week - FINALLY!! So there was no football being broadcast in our house this weekend. We watched our beloved SU lose terribly last night with grandpa and today, we went to Rome - my cousin coaches Pop Warner football for the Norwich Cyclone C team and two of his boys play. Coach and Son during the Nat'l Anthem
Another thing that September means is cold and dreary days in Central NY and today was no exception. The rain held off for us but the wind blew through you at times!! We arrived at the field just in time for player introductions. I spent several years coaching pop warner cheerleaders but it's been many years since I've been to a game. It was great to see these little 9, 10, 11 year old boys playing this game, so disciplined and into it. They were so excited with each great play!! Two of my cousins actually coach - one of them told me this is his 40th year coaching football - talk about dedication to a sport! He's been coaching longer than I've been alive!! My cousins son, Lil' T as he's called, plays mostly defense and in my opinion, he played great!!

Norwich beat Rome 26 - 6 and then it was time for the A team to play. That game was late and we had to be back in town but I told my husband we were going to watch one quarter of Ev's game. 3 touchdowns by Norwich later, the quarter was over and we were on our way - thanks to a facebook status, I learned that Norwich was victorious in that game as well, 46 - 16 or something like that.

We drove home in the pouring rain, did what we had to do and then had homemade calzones for dinner. They were delicious. The little ones like meat, cheese, and sauce, their dad likes peppers and onions added to that mix, and I prefer broccoli, garlic, olive oil, and cheese for mine without red sauce, as they say. A very inexpensive meal, to say the least, but very filling - we had leftovers and that doesn't happen often with the way my 6'3" husband can eat!!

We settled in to watch 101 Dalmations (the non animated one) and wait for the biggest brother to arrive home with his girlfriend. She flew down to ride home with him and help him pack. He's bringing all of his stuff home in preparation for starting his Army training. The next 48 hours are all we have with him until Christmas, after that he leaves for Iraq for a year. Something I do try not to think about just yet but it's there.. I keep some lyrics to one of my favorite songs in my head with it though - "God's got his hand on you so don't live life in fear" and that is something that I want to pass on to everyone - give it to God, He will handle it for you!! They arrived safely and he made his little brothers year by giving him his Pokemon Platinum or something like that for his DS. I don't get it but I do know that I put 2 very happy little boys to bed after that so for them, it's a huge deal - even more huge since it came from big brother!!

Yesterdays post was for remembrance so I didn't mention that it was the start of soccer season for us. The boys are in the same division this year, thankfully, and they have a great coach and a great team of boys! They wear White with black jerseys and have named themselves the little white oreos - too cute. The boys played against their Uncle's team yesterday - in AYSO, they say that we don't keep score but kids always keep score. I think our team had a lot more experienced players on it so I won't mention the score I was given but Aussie scored a goal and had an assist or two and he was thrilled! He has come a long way and is truly developing a deep love for the game. His little brother isn't far behind him, he just learned to many fancy trick moves in soccer camp this summer and has to realize you don't use every one of them the first time you get the ball :) He'll figure it out though - he's just one of those natural "athletes".

To wrap up my weekend, I would say it was perfect - some soccer, some football, spending time with all 3 of my kids and seeing a lot of friends and family in the mix of it all - who could ask for more????
(Now I am attempting to upload photos - I couldn't figure it out and then I figured out how to upload one last night - and I just had a duh moment and figured out how to send more than one photo!! I got these two photos in but I can't make them go where I want to so I give up for tonight...)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you - NEVER FORGET

I can't believe it's been 9 years since that horrible day! It is a day that I will never forget, I can go back to everything about that day, even now. That incredibly empty feeling - the questions, I remember falling to my knees and asking God what was happening!!! My husband was at school, he had been laid off from Oneida Ltd. and recently started in a carpentry and masonry program at a local college. My oldest son was actually in Orlando with his dad, supposed to get on an airplane that morning to fly home. My brother was in New York City, the first plane had flown past his office building. My second son was just a year old. I felt so helpless. I remember talking to my brother on the phone FINALLY - it had only been a couple of hours but it felt like days!! He told me he was walking towards the towers to see if he could help - I begged him not to go any closer to that area. He was trying to find a place to give blood but the lines were so long and they were turning people away. It's too bad they don't have that problem 9 years later... My husband did get out early that day and I remember rushing out to the driveway and just hugging him forever - it was a picture perfect day as far as the weather but there has never been a darker day in America. It took my son 3 more days to get home, they finally were able t rent a vehicle and drive home. I was never so happy to see that boy than that day. Now, 9 years later, that little boy is off to prepare for a year in Iraq - Iraq, the place where all the combat troops have been pulled from -yet my son, who is in the Navy, is being moved into an Army training program and going to an Army base for a whole year in Iraq. I don't understand it, I've given it to God, and have faith that he will take care of my little boy.

We visited the former site of the twin towers a few years ago - it was the most moving thing I've ever done. The photos and captions under them, hanging on the chain link fence were heartwrenching. One photo that i remember very vividly was of a female officer walking a man out to safety. The caption read that she went back in to help more people and died when the tower collapsed. I stood there with my brother, crying. Photo after photo, an amazing tribute to those heroes. A year later we went back and visited Battery Park - saw the eternal flame and the statue that had stood in Tower that somehow survived the collapse. Another very moving moment.

I've spent a little time tonight watching video on line of the attacks - not that I need to, the images are burned into my brain forever - but I can't help but read a few of the comments under each video - the hatred that I read is very sad. We can't hate all Muslims because of the attacks - the extremists are the ones that attacked us. It's like grouping all of anything together and saying they're all alike - some Catholic priests did some horrible things to young children - does that mean all Catholic Priests are bad??? It's wrong to blame everyone for the horrific deeds of a few, we have to move on and more forward - Jesus asked God to forgive those that nailed him to the cross before he died - we have to let go of the hatred, especially to the innocent, and honor the memory of those that we lost that day. Where were you when the world stopped turning, on that September Day?? I'm sure you'll never forget, just like I won't...