A happy me

A happy me
family - is everything

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Forgiveness...no matter what

How to you move on?  You pray for the other person...and learn to forgive. That's how.

Hard? Yup.

However, I learned tonight that the 'women' involved in the whole episodes posted earlier by me...are still at it.  Spreading all sorts of lies about my sweet little 7 yr old boy.  Breaks my heart really. These are people that go to OUR CHURCH.  They are speaking all of these hateful things in front of their own children...who open their mouths at Birthday parties...and continue to spread the garbage.

My heart breaks for these small minded people.  They will only know anger, hatred, and discontent.  They will never know true friendship or love.  The kind of love and friendship you gain out of RESPECT for one another.

So, God Bless You all.  I pray that you have prosperity,  health, love, and compassion in your lives.

I pray that these women know kindness, and wealth.  I pray they have prosperous lives.  I pray they find only peace and goodness.

I pray God helps me in forgiving them.  For causing another pain ON PURPOSE is a hard thing to forgive.  I will do it though...because MY children deserve to see me do it.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Moving on - Be Better!

I refuse to fall into the trap others set for me.

I will not continue a text war.  No one wins.

It only demoralizes you and both parties lose.

I will, however, block phone numbers to END the verbal abuse.

To the people that think they are being helpful in keeping the war between myself and
NoName going...Thanks so much.  After another attack via texting last night, I am very aware there are nasty people in this world that live to hurt others.

My heart was in the right place.  I only have to answer to GOD...not you.

I am an honest person, and do nothing out of spite.  If I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.

I want to live by this code so my children have a better example in life than what they see in the school system.

Do I think I'm better than anyone else? No.  Do I think I can be a better example to my children by homeschooling them and keeping them safe from the evils and hatred out there? Yes.  This texting drama over the past week has PROVEN that to me.

It breaks my heart that grown adults cannot find a solution to a broken toy problem.  Instead, I was called names, slandered, and made to feel like a doormat.  The verbal abuse was so astounding to me, I am still shocked!  A grown woman!  How can you treat another human being like that and still say you're a christian w/ love in your heart for God?

If teen agers are subjected to that type of cruelty in school, online, and via texting...my heart breaks for you!!!!  You do NOT have to take it.  Sometimes, you just have to walk away.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Follow up to the Broken heart/toy episode

Well now this is going to be interesting.

In my last post, I told about the mom I was trying to help out.  How she was dating and I took her kids for sleep overs.  Then, her son proceeded to break several of my sons toys.  I sent her a picture of the toys via text and after that...well...lets just say all hell has broken loose.

I saw her at a soccer game practice and asked if we could talk.  She said it was not the place to talk but yes we should...but she was just too upset!


Then, yesterday, I received several texts from her that basically accused me of being the guilty one.  That she had been "warned" about me and didn't listen...and perhaps my son broke those toys on purpose because my husband and I fight too much and he was breaking the toys in retaliation!  Also, that maybe I'm the one with the troubled child as I have pulled my son out of TWO schools and now homeschool him.


It was like being back in high school! The EVIL and malicious way she said these thing!  I simply replied that this had taken a sad turn, when it was only about some broken toys and a little boy who could now no longer play w/ his birthday toys.  That is when she fired off the other texts. 

I cannot tell you how hurt my heart is right now.  How mean and vindictive this was.  She intentionally tried to hurt me.  With knowledge of things in my life that I've been struggling with...things I shared with her as a friend.  She turned and Threw them in my face...to hurt me.

I don't think I have ever had to deal with this level of cruelty in another woman since high school.  I'm still in shock.

I did NOT stoop to that level or fire off any retaliating texts.  I simply asked why she was doing this to me? Why was she intentionally hurting me?  Of course...no response.

I had tried to fix this...the misunderstanding.  This miscommunication.  I was trying to be an HONEST woman, and reach out and talk about these broken toys...and to see if we could figure out WHY it happened.  She took it the wrong way. She took it as an attack.  I'm not sure why.  I'll never know now because she is obviously so angry at the 'offense' I've done to her that she won't speak to me.

Now let me ask you this...

I'm a christian.  I'm far far far from perfect.  I'll be the first person to tell you that I'm probably the big "B" to a lot of people because I stand my ground and speak my mind. (that doesn't usually go over well...as you can see).  However, I try always to be FAIR.  I try always to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Now this woman professes to be a strong christian as well.  Would YOU treat another woman like she treated me?  She said she was offended by my blog...I told her it was MY blog and I never mentioned any names.  Then she proceeded to viciously attack me.  I was shocked!!!  This is christian?  This is how God wants us to resolve issues with one another?  I tried only to be calm and not get her more upset.  I tried only in the beginning to reach out to another mother regarding some expensive broken toys.

I'm at a loss.  I guess...people are just mean.  No matter how old we get.

And to the person that "WARNED" her about me...lol...good for you.  You purposely tainted another persons view of me in order to cause strife.   And...to the person that showed her my blog...was there a good reason for that?  I write this blog for ME...and to try and figure out the WHY of things.  I never write to hurt others.  Never intentionally.  If I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.  I would never intentionally hurt another or cause pain just to make myself feel better.

I'm so disappointed in people.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Broken Toys and Broken Hearts

I am in a bit of a struggle here.  I have been helping out another mom w/ her two kids.  They've spent two over nights w/ us and have had a great time.  Two weekends in a row.

Here is my struggle.

The boy is about 7 yrs old....or soon to be anyway.  He destroyed three of our little guys birthday presents that he'd received when we took him to the Great Wolf Lodge back in July.  I was pretty upset when the kids brought this to my attention, so I took a snap shot of the toys w/ my phone, and texted the mom w/ the photo to let her know her son had broken the toys.

When she got back to me later she told me the one toy was already broken and that her son 'accidentally' broke the others.  I asked her if we could just use this as a learning experience regarding other peoples property, because my son was very upset that his toys were all destroyed.

Well this turned into a lengthy texting drama.  I kept telling her I was only trying to let her know about this out of love for her and her children (she's a single mom trying to date).  She said I was attacking her and that no one has ever mentioned that her son was out of control. etc etc etc.

Now, this is a kid that is basically WILD.  He got into our chicken coop and terrorized the hens by chasing them...and proceeded to THROW eggs at our coop!  More than 6 eggs.  I was very upset over that.

I feel I have lost a nice friend because I was HONEST and brought a matter to her attention.

When do you not make kids accountable?  I mean...I did not mention the COST of these broken toys, but they were at least $100 total.  These were his BIRTHDAY presents!!!  I am more upset at her response to this whole thing than the broken toys I think.  I was just trying to be responsible myself in telling her, and showing my own children that we must be honest, face our fears of coming forward when we break a toy, and take the punishment.  This other boy has NO punishment.

Needless to say, the little boy will not be invited back.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Surprises and Old Friends

I was able to go down state last week to visit with old friends and hang out in my old home town of Ludington, Michigan.  THAT was a much needed trip!  I was able to reconnect w/ an old and dear friend that I had let slip away.  It was wonderful to sit with her and catch up on her deck...overlooking the lake.  Peaceful and felt like home. (love you, Woman!)  I cooked for her and her family while I was there...LOVED doing that!

A business opportunity has also come my way which could drastically change the lives of my little family!  To say I'm excited would be an understatement!  I won't go into details yet as it's all in the beginning stages so nothing is certain.  However...it would mean moving HOME to Ludington.    This is a hard decision for Mr. Eye Candy.  He has lived his entire life here in Leelanau County.  However, he loves me and supports me.  Time will tell which direction should be taken.  Banks are not giving out loans, so getting a business loan may not be an option for me even if I am a woman! ha

I've learned the value of friendship lately.  I have also learned over the past couple years, that FRIENDS can be more 'family' than your actual family!  One of my friends has basically disowned me after my weight loss surgery, and a family member has basically disowned me for reasons unknown.  I struggle with both relationships.  I admit I'm not always the easiest of people to love, but if it were my fault...I would hope they'd say it.  I've asked.  I've begged for communication.  The friend just does not respond...and the family member shuffles me to the back burner...again.

Rejected? Yes. I feel rejected.  I also am turning new pages everyday in my life and refuse to let this put a damper on ME.  I want a relationship w/ these two women in the worst way!  I've learned you can't force it though.  Kind of like that old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink".  All I can do now is move forward with my life and do the best I can for my family.  I have vowed to myself to be a better friend to the ones that I am lucky enough to count as mine!

So here's to a brighter future!  An exciting life awaits!  Every day is a new challenge.  Let's be kind. Let's be honest.  Let's be faithful.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Year after...Before/After shot

I started this journey for my Bariatric Surgery back in January of 2011.  My first visit with the surgeon was March 2011.  They took a picture that day...and today I had my one year follow up. (Surgery was actually 7/20/11).  So a little more than one year after surgery, and about a year and a half since the first picture was taken.

I am IN SHOCK!!  Did I really look like that?  I will NEVER go back. NEVER.  I actually live in fear of gaining any weight back.

Here ya go...straight from my surgeons office:

Starting weight:  222 lbs, today's weight 151.4 ...not bad.

Sometimes after surgery you wind up w/ some absorption issues...and I have.  I don't absorb iron like I need to, so I have to go in for Iron infusions this week and next.  Then, after my 6 mo check up in January 2013, I'll do blood work and probably do infusions again.  It's OK...I'm not going to sweat it.  One day at a time on this incredible journey! :)


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tomato Soup and the Kitchen Sink

Ok...yup...I did it again. I made some AWESOME soup. :) hee hee  Even Mr. Eye Candy likes it!
Here's what I made:

I had some yummy yellow squash and zucchini from our garden, so I chopped them up too!

2 small yellow squash cut into tiny cubes
1 (or more if you want) small zucchini cut into tiny cubes
3 tomatoes (boil in water to remove skin) cut up
1 large can of tomato paste (or tomato soup)
1 pkg of sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic chopped/minced
1 onion
Chives (I just cut up the ends of my onion)
3 cups of milk
1 tsp (or go by taste) celery seed
1 tsp (or by taste) parsely
Garlic Salt, pepper to taste
2 tsp Basil
1/2 stick of butter

In large skillet saute onion, garlic, veggies

In large pot pour other ingredients and simmer.
Add in skillet items...and other spices/herbs and butter

Simmer 20 min +

ENJOY. So good. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A day in the life....on Half Acre Farm

It's been a pretty productive day so far! Got up early to feed the 'girls' (chickens, dog, kittens)...yes they are all girls. LOL  Put the coffee on...woke up the children and Mr. Eye Candy so we could go to the Farmer's Market in Suttons Bay where I filled a bag from my favorite vendor (linda!) with kale, carrots, snap peas, onions, and organic corn!!!!  Everything they grow is organic and I've spent many a moment talking w/ them.  Really enjoy KNOWING MY FARMER! :)

Our garden is getting ready to produce more, but I didn't stock those items this year.  Then, home to clean the kitchen (how do you find an easy way to clean a cast iron grill AHHHHHH) from our little get together last night w/ old friends.  FUN times!  We see them maybe once a year so it was a lot of fun!  They have the most adorable little children!!!  Hannah is now 4 and adored our Princess! They played w/ the toy kitchen, doll house, and kittens.  The little guy Alex is less than 2...but cute as a button!! I just wanted to scoop him up and kiss those cheeks!!! Blond curls! Oh my.  Sigh...wish I weren't so old...I'd think of having another baby. Oh well...:)

Ok, so the kitchen got cleaned...dishes done...and then I had to cook for Mr. Eye Candy so he'd have a steller lunch to take to work! I mean come on! I have reputation to keep! :)  I made the rest of the chicken (fried in my cast iron skillet!)...so yummy! AND I cooked bacon, kale, onion, garlic, and opened a jar of Canned Beets from my friend Jen! YUMMY.  That was a great grouping!  All you do is:

Cut up bacon and saute
Set aside.
Keep bacon grease in pan and add cut up onion and garlic
add Kale (I tear mine up into bite sizes)
Pour in 1/4 cup (ish) of apple cider vinegar
Add in beets (mine were canned so I just cut them up)
If beets are raw, I'd cook them in w/ the onion and garlic first THEN add Kale
Add bacon back in.
EAT. lol

.....so so so good!

Anyway...THEN I had to clean up after that!

I've also been out in the 90+ degree weather to give all the girls fresh water.  WHEW it's a hot one out there!  Kittens are lounging in the shade...blind dog under the steps...chickens scratching in the shaded part of the pen.  HOT out there.

Kids are cleaning their rooms!  They've already put away all their clean laundry.  I did let them watch cartoons for awhile, but I get tired of listening to that stuff so off it goes!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Stay cool out there!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our Frugal List

Honestly I find it a bit hard to think of being frugal w/o taking into consideration how much high fructose corn syrup, or sugar, or GMO's are in the food being purchased weekly w/ all those coupons.  I did the coupon thing for a year, and honestly, there wasn't much in those flyers I'd clip for my family.  I've read so many blogs on how people survive on $1300 a month etc...well I'm here to tell you that This family of 4 survives on $24k a year and eats ORGANIC.  It can be done.

Things we do to be frugal:

1.  Going to farmers markets where you can meet and get to know your local farmers is the best thing for our family.

2.  We have our own chickens

3.  Grow our own heirloom garden

4.  Thrift whenever we can...meaning, if I need clothes for the kids, I shop at a resale store. and Goodwill for myself and hubby.  Rarely do we buy something new.

5.  Our vehicles are old and paid for.

6.  I try to only make one trip into town each week for the grocery store, library, and errands so I am saving on gas which at this point in time is at $3.59 in our town.

7.  I start shopping for Christmas in the summertime.  I buy a few things at a time on sale...if it's not 50% off, I won't buy it.  I've often bought used toys on ebay.

8.  I learned how to cook.  This saves us so much money!  We rarely eat out!  When we do it's a real treat.  Mr. Eye Candy tells me he doesn't ever need to eat out when he has such good food at home. :)

9.  I learned how to can our food.  My neighbor gave me (yes GAVE ME) an All American Pressure canner this summer, and I can't wait to try it!  I did order a new gauge for it though...it's an oldie!  They never die though.  By canning our own garden goods I save our family a lot of money at the grocery store AND I'm prepared for an emergency at the same time by storing food! (another thought on this is...get to know your neighbors!  we're very fortunate to have a great neighbor on one side of us.)

10.  We try to re-purpose as much as we can.  Example:  we used an old metal futon frame as doors for our chicken coop! The bed was free!  The hardware to hang them $8.  Mr. Eye Candy also made a pot hanger in my kitchen from an old window!  Hardware was under $10. Window was free.  We're also building a second coop for the chickens out of FREE pallets and hardware we already had in the garage.  We may wind up spending about $20 to create the rest of the coop.  Not bad.

11.  We live in a 1300 sq. ft house and we're always on the lookout to find new ideas to utilize our space better!  USE WHAT YOU HAVE.  Living in a smaller house keeps the clutter down...sort of. ha

12.  I purchased a clothes line so I can hang out my laundry this summer!  Which will save on electric!

13.  Date night is basically a good cooked meal at home...and movie night for myself and Mr. Eye Candy.  This is fun for us!   We usually budget in a few movies each year for purchase (mostly birthdays and Christmas).  We also have a gas station about 10 miles away that rents movies for about $2.

14.  I make my own bread.  This can be done for about $1 a loaf!  Compared to the good breads at the store that are $3 on sale!

15.  My husband hunts during deer season each year and we pray he gets one this year!!!  We have a freezer and will be buying another used one today for meat storage.  With the $ we've saved from our road side stand sales.

What do you do that is frugal?  I love new ideas!  We have decided that at this point we will keep the TV on...in the future this may be something we give up as a family.  We also have cell phones and our Wireless for the internet.  These are 3 things that we enjoy and see as "extra's" in our lives.  However, we own a business (lawn care) and the internet is almost a must have for billing and communication..as well as our phones.  So really the one big luxury item is the TV.

Have a great frugal weekend everyone!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stress is running full tilt my way

I don't know how much more stress I can take.

First we got a cancellation letter from our NEW homeowners insurance. Stating they are cancelling us on Aug. 14th at Noon.  We need to replace the roof over the garage (and I think another section of roof as well).   This job - even if we do it ourselves - will run at LEAST $2000.

Then, the old old grandma van I drive (212k miles) decides to start leaking coolant.  We managed to limp it to the shop and leave it there today.  Gotta call them in the morning and explain...and HOPE they can look at it in the next few days.

Which adds the OTHER stress on my plate.  I have committed to cleaning some cottages on Tuesday...only to have the van break down...and THEN Mr. Eye Candy JUST CALLED ME a few minutes ago to tell me that they moved his schedule on Tuesday to 10am...instead of his usual 1pm.  THIS means...I have no one to watch the kids and NO time to clean the cottages for this client!  I've got a message in to my babysitter...but she has another job.  The odds that she can work are slim to none.

I'm sick.  The $$ that has to go for the roof (and this is even if the ins. co. will give us 90 days! I still have not heard back)...was supposed to be our Winter Money.  We set aside about $5k to get through the winter.  Now if I have to put that $ into the roof...and fixing the Van that is on its last legs anyway...I will never recoop it for the Winter months.

I am at a loss.  I've felt like giving up before...but at this point I just don't know why I bother with the road side stand (as nothing sells now that cherries are over).   I'm seriously at an all time low.

I just need a break.  I want so desperately to get ahead enough to not fear the winter! 

We live pretty frugal.  I mean...you're looking at a family of 4 that lives on about $24k a year.  We live well...no car payments...just insurance on them and the business.  I buy consignment clothing, and we have chickens and our own garden which I can a LOT of for the winter months.  We pay our bills and don't use a credit card. EVER. 

We do have cell phones and internet and TV.  These are the last 'things' that we could give up to save us money.  Only problem there is, you have to pay a penalty to get out of their contracts.  Heaven help me. Please.

Friday, July 20, 2012

One Year Later

Well, it's been a year!  72 lbs later (more like 75 actually).  I never want to go back!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Guns, BB's, and good times!

It was a perfect day....I went to the beach this morning and married my two friends. :)  It went awesome.  It was a perfect wedding.  The sun hid behind the clouds so it was actually nice!  No glaring sun...just perfect.   I don't have any pictures yet...but you know me! I WILL! :)

As for the rest of the day...it was great!  We went out to lunch as a family...Mr. Eye Candy took the weekend off!   We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings...and it's the 3rd time we've been there. I say NEVER AGAIN.  As a weight loss surgery patient (almost a year out) No way.  It's good food...but oh my goodness....the damage it caused in my intestines. Needless to say...I was sort of miserable the rest of the day! 

After the lunch...(which caused me grief LATER)...we went to Gander Mountain. Oh my...it's Mr. Eye Candy's FAVORITE Place in the WORLD!...unless you count CABELA's.  He was in heaven.  It was 'for the kids' of course! ha ha ha  We bought fishing poles for the kids...and ....drum roll.........BB GUNS. Oh I was totally on board too.  I had a bb gun when I was about 10...so it was FUN to shop for one! 

Here are some shots (no pun intended...well maybe):  And by the way...I'm A CRACK SHOT!  yes...yes I am. :)  Haven't lost it after ALL THESE YEARS! :)

Turns out...The Princess is good at this!  She LOVED IT!!! We had not planned on getting a gun for her...but wow...I'm sure glad we did!  Little E was not as enthused as I'd hoped. Oh well...he's only going to be 7 tomorrow! ha  He liked it...but wasn't into the target practice like the rest of us!  (I think Mr. Eye Candy owes me $40 for my crack shots!)

Our little markswoman!  Love it.

And...Little E did try again...

I think the best part of the day was that we went to the MOVIES!  We say ICE AGE 4...pretty darn good!

Tomorrow is GREAT WOLF LODGE...look out! :)  We're excited.  We don't DO This sort of fun...so we are in heaven here!  Next year will be more subdued I promise.  Nothing like this wildness. LOL 

Have a GREAT weekend!

It Just Gets Better

Ok, so I have a few pictures to share today! :)  I know you guys love that!  We took a pontoon out the other day and I snapped a great picture of Mr. Eye Candy and ME. :)  Here it is:

I do love that man.  Even after 10 years together, he still makes my heart skip a beat.  I admit sometimes it's skipping out of anger, but hey!  We've come a long way baby! :)  I often threaten him when I get mad at him..."It's a good thing you're so good looking!" ha ha ha

Two of my friends are getting married today...amazing people!  I'm so excited because I am going to be the one doing their service at the beach. YES ME.  I went online a couple months ago...(how scary is this) and paid my $20something and Wha-la!  I'm a Reverend!  Certificate and everything.  Some website for the Church of who-ha or something.  It seems funny, but it's still pretty exciting.  I was actually honored that they asked ME to do it!  We're meeting at the beach this morning and they will say their vows in front of about a dozen friends.  It's going to be beautiful.  Here is the good looking couple:

We had our 'practice' ceremony yesterday and the kids and I stayed and played at the beach. Here's the kids...yes...those WHITEY children of mind...we have stock in sunscreen.

Then...on our way home from the beach we saw a FIRE!  It's been soooo dry here in Northern MI this summer!  I saw a huge cloud of smoke and kept thinking..."Man, that sure looks like a fire...and not just a burn pile.  Who would be burning today? It's so dry!"  Sure enough!  We stopped...and I drove down the driveway and WOW...it was scary!  I called 911 right away with the address and location.  The Fire Dept. was there in under 12 minutes!  Way to go!  Here are a couple pictures:

Exciting things sometimes.  I was just glad we saw it and called...it was headed toward the woods and the home next door...and there were cattle in a pasture.  That could have ended badly!

Ok...until next time!  I'm off to marry some people. :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ramblings w/ some ideas thrown in

It's been almost a year since my surgery.  I cannot believe it!  Where did the time go? It FLEW!  I promise to get a decent shot of myself for you guys, but for now this one will have to do. :)  I am just thrilled that I am sitting on a swing!  My butt in a swing? Wow.  AND a sun dress? Life is darn good let me tell ya! 

It's sort of grainy, but it was taken in the evening just before the fireworks started.  I still look at myself and see all the flaws! What is that all about? I'm not saying I'm unhappy w/ my results!  I'm just saying things sag. LOL

Our road side stand has been hoppin'!  We've been selling cherries and holy cow the tourists have been buying them up as fast as we can pick them!  I think this will be the last weekend for them though. Mr. Eye Candy has had to climb up on the ladder to pick these last couple times.  He's been a trooper!  It's been sooooo hot here!  I know not as hot as those of you in the south, but man...I don't do weather over 82 degrees.  It's just HOT.  We're supposed to get some rain today and a reprieve from the heat. Amen to that!

Next weekend will be Little E's birthday.  My little man is going to be 7 years old.  When did he get so tall?  Here's a cute pic of him w/ Mr. Eye Candy.

My two good lookin' guys. :)

I've been scouring the internet for lots of canning recipes.  This year I am determined to can as much of our garden as possible!  We only have this 1/2 acre, but Mr. Eye Candy sure planted a lot of stuff out there! :)  Here is a fun picture of an idea he had for our pole beans. :) Use what you have!

Just some old fence and some metal poles. :)  Pretty cool!  They are really growing now too! I'm excited because I LOVE LOVE LOVE green beans. ha ha  Mr. Eye Candy not so much...however!!! I did cook them up pretty special for him the other day and he Liked it! Look at this:

WRAPPED IN BACON!!! Oh yeah. THAT was good!!  The other stuff on the plate is loaded Brats.  (no buns as we don't do much bread here and I forgot to buy buns! duh!)

Hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July!  My little sister Josie turned 42 on the 3rd. :) She is a hoot and remembers to tell me I'm sooo much older. LOL

All in all life is pretty good here.  I've been saving all the $$ from the Stand so we can take Little E to the Great Wolf Lodge for his birthday weekend. :)  We've never been. It's sorta fancy for us. LOL  I've saved up enough to do it though!!! (plus we're getting a deal because we know someone who works there!).  I cannot see spending $300-$400 a night at a place like that! CRAZY!  I look at that as throwing $ away.   I am a tight wad I guess.  No ... wait... I'm poor! OH yeah! HA HA HA  No, I like to think of it as FRUGAL. Yup. That's me. Frugal Franny!

Have a great weekend everyone!  Next weekend will be SO busy for me!  Little E's birthday at the lodge, AND Marrying my dear friend Beverly to her soulmate Erik. :)  Yup...Rev. Lana at  your service!  I am so nervous about it...and know I will just break down and cry and ruin it for them! AHHHHHHH

Later people!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer fun and Heartache thrown in

I have so much on my mind right now...I don't know where to start!  There have been some amazing days this summer!  I mean...great stuff!  I'll post those pics for you...and leave the heavy stuff for last so  you can skip it if you want!
Here is what we've been up to the past week or so!

That is Little E being a goof ball!  He lovessssss to pose for the camera!  We were on an outing to the Library w/ some friends!  A SOLAR system thingie!  It was ok. Ehhh.  This is the kids w/ friends doing the 'crater on the moon' try out.  (drop a stone into cocoa and flour) Sorta cool actually.

Then of course it was HOT...so we went to the Children's Museum (which is sort of geared for younger kids but they had fun anyway!)

AND then...last night we hung out w/ friends at their beach...fun stuff!

yeah...pretty cool.  Little E does NOT like getting wet in the water...So Donno took him for a ride in the little dingy.  (Bentley the dog wishing he could go too).

Anyway...it was a great few days.  HOTTER than all get out though. Glad I didn't have to bake in the oven this week! whew!!!

To make matters so sweet...I am actually baking TONIGHT...425 degrees in the oven...cooking on the stove (so Mr. Eye Candy can have a good dinner after working all day!) WINDOW UNIT AIR CONDITIONER...dies.  DIES.  I am freaking out. LOL  Thank you God that the weather has taken a turn for the COOLER! ha ha ha  I was able to finish making my bread for the weekend and cook dinner.  Opening windows is much better anyway.  The discouraging  thing is that it seems like whenever I try to get ahead financially...and just when I think we're above the water level of drowning...something like this happens.  A $300 or $400 hiccup.  I cannot stand this little house HOT.  I need a window unit.  I am fighting within myself right now whether to go the summer w/o one...and just suck it up!  I know in my heart it's not going to happen.  I will have to buy a new one.  OH the expense!!!!  I want to cry right now just thinking about it.

I wonder what God wants me to do?  I am trying so very hard to be frugal...to be good to my family and pinch pennies wherever I can.

On a very sad note, I have realized that a "friend" is sort of a pathological liar.  It is too many things that just don't add up over the years.  Little things at first, and then more and more that just don't fit when pushed.  It breaks my heart when I find that I have trusted someone for so long only to be 'used'.  I am not a fool or stupid.  I will give you the benefit of the doubt until the cards stack up against you.  I am just feeling let down and sad tonight.  Not angry really...just sad.  Sad that I know I am right.  I have been trying to pretend to myself that this person was OK.   That everything that was piling up was just a coincidence.   Now though I find my 'suspicions' are true.  Confronting them is not really an option, as all of this has come to light under small confrontations anyway.  "Fool me once...Shame on you.  Fool me twice...Shame on me."  Isn't that how the old saying goes?

So, my heart is sad tonight because I need to spend $$ I don't want to spend...and a friend has burned my trust.  Once you've burned my trust...there is really no going back.  I can still be 'friends' but I will never trust them again.

I am hoping for a better weekend with the Road Side Stand.  Please, God...I need you now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beach Day with Pics

Oh yes...I went to the beach.  Those of you that REALLY know me, understand how much I have always hated the beach.  Yuck. Sand. LOL  However, I have lost over 75 lbs , and I promised my 8 yr old Princess I'd try to take her once a week all summer.  More if we have time.  It is a perfect 80 degrees here today in Northern Michigan...I don't feel any humidity either!  Breezy.  Perfect.  BEACH TIME.

Here are the pics:

she got in the water...it was freezing!!! She didn't care! HA HA Next one shows her pretty cold though. ha ha  Crazy kid.

bad hair day. LOL but we're at the beach so who cares!

Me in my grown up suit!  I still feel like a million though after losing all that weight! About 75 lbs!!!  Still losing too! LOVE my RNY.

Have a great week everyone!

P.S. still no response to my email yesterday to the Princess' camp.  Hmmmmm. May have to make some CALLS.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Camp Nightmare

Dear Penny,

My daughter E attended your Explorer 1 camp that ran from this past Sunday, June 10th, through Tuesday, June 12th.

During her stay there she was tormented by several of the girls in her cabin.  BOBCAT.

When I arrived to pick her up Tuesday, she ran to me and immediately broke down sobbing.  Over the past 24 hrs she has told me several stories of how most of the girls ganged up on her when no one was looking and shoved her and pushed her over and over.  Her friend (M K) who went to camp with her, tried her best to stand up for E.  She also told me that E was not exaggerating about the way she was treated.  The counselors just did not SEE anything.  How are your girls trained? Are they prepped for this type of treatment?

I am bringing this to your attention because I don't think your counselors are paying enough attention to the 'quiet' girls.  There was no bonding that took place here.  Cliques were allowed to run wild.

I'm very discouraged and saddened that my daughter - who was SO EXCITED to come to your camp - was treated this way at your camp.

Part of me wants to ask for a refund.  NO child should go to camp and return home to their parents with this type of experience.

Needless to say, we will not be returning in the future to your camp.  I hope this will open your eyes to a problem that is occurring - and probably not just to my daughter.  Perhaps you could include BULLYING to your counselors list of things to deal with.  I was a counselor at a camp one summer and I KNOW we were taught to recognize the stronger girls and pair them with the quieter ones to help out.

I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job or how to run your camp.  I am just so very sad that my daughter was tormented there.  This is Christian behavior?  I'm disgusted.


Julana Schaub

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cow Shares and fun times

Well, the State of Michigan lets you participate in Cow Shares.  Basically it's a Co-op where you buy in to get raw milk.  The Princess and Little E went with me yesterday to meet the family who does this, and the "Girls".  Here is a fun pic of the "Girls".  The front one, #73 is called GRANDMA.  The BEST part was that the kids got to NAME A COW!!!  #5 has been officially christened "CUPCAKE". LOL The family loved it! We all got a good smile out of it!

We are now RAW MILK drinkers.  I love it.  No more homogenized or Ultra-Pasteurized milk for us!
The funny thing, is I am old enough to remember the silver box that sat out by our front door.  And once or twice a week the "Milk Man" would come and deliver our milk.  That silver box kept it cool for a couple hours in case we weren't home to get the delivery.  Pretty awesome memory.

I have to drive over an hour each week now to get our milk.  However, I priced it out, and I guess maybe I spent an extra $5-$10 a month on gas, but less on the milk.  We were buying Organic milk at almost $6 a gallon!  Now we get Raw Milk at $5 a gallon.  I don't think these two gallons are going to make it until Saturday though. LOL It tastes SO GOOD!  Even Little E loves it!

On a happy WEIGHT LOSS note, I've dropped down to 150.6 lbs.  I actually saw 149.2 for a DAY! HA HA HA  It's been 150.6 for 3 days though...I stopped snacking all day.  I eat as regular as I can - meaning I try to eat 3 meals a day.  Plus I'm working my butt of a few days a week helping Mr. Eye Candy with the business.  We laid 12 yards of mulch one day, and weed wacked a Swamp the next.  I had to wear "MAN WADERS" in there! lol Should have snapped a shot of that! FUNNY! Me in wading pants! HA HA Sweated like a pig out there in 86 degree weather. yuck.  That's the day I was 149.2  I think it may have something to do w/ the Pants. LOL

Have a great Sunday everyone, and a FANTASTIC WEEK!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A New Adventure

Today marks the first day in our new adventure! HOME SCHOOLING. 

Once again, I arrived to pick up the children at the end of the school day only to find my tender-hearted boy in TEARS ... AGAIN.  This was not his 'melt-down' mode, this was heart breaking tears of a hurt and rejected little boy.  Any parent hates to see their child cry.  I'm always trying to comfort him!  I've spent this whole year trying to understand why he is crying, and to support the school in their decisions on discipline, etc.  However, the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL???? Really?

He admitted to being naughty before getting into line-up to come outside, so they MADE him wait in the hallway and watch all his friends leave without him.  Then he was brought out.  I do not see the benefit here.  I only see a child separated from his friends and made to feel apart to have a 'lesson' taught.  I don't see the positive in the lesson.  One more way to cram him into their "box" ideal.

It was actually the final straw for me. 

I had a wonderful conversation w/ a fantastic teacher yesterday who once home schooled her own children...this really helped to make my decision firmer. THEN I arrived at the school to THAT.

Needless to say, our children will not be returning to finish out the last 3 days of hell.  When I told Mr. Eye Candy about Little E's episode...he exploded!  I asked if it was really that important to MAKE Little E finish this week out?  We wanted him to 'not quit'.  Mr. Eye Candy said there was no need to make him go back.  He was disgusted to say the least.

I have to say I do love the Montessori 'program' of learning. I love the hands on approach to how they learn to read and do math.  It's very wonderful, and I honestly would like to incorporate some of it into my own home schooling curriculum.

I have to admit, I sure have been sleeping better at night now that we've made this decision.  I won't lie and say I'm not scared, but I DO know that I can help my children here at home.  I've always said I was born in the wrong era. ha ha

Thanks for all the support I've received from my little handful of readers! I TRULY feel able to move forward because of you guys!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In my search...

Well, I joined this online Facebook page for LOCAL homeschoolers a few days ago.  I posted a little tidbit about us and what we were looking for in help for homeschool ideas etc.  A woman responded, and turns out she's about 5 miles from me! IN MY TOWN! Hahah aha ha  We started chatting online back and forth, then of course the phone call and the Play Date set up! 

I'm gonna tell you, it was the BEST ever play date!!! Her children are the same age as mine!  They played so well ALL day that we lost track of time (they came to our house), and it was 8pm before you knew it!  We laughed and laughed and talked and talked.  I am so excited about our new friendships.

I believe that things happen for a reason.  My children are so excited about our new Home School adventure!!!  We not only have new friends, but a new out look on life.

We still have ONE more (5 days)week to get through of "School". 

Anyone else have great ideas on what books to buy?

It's a good day!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

And....We're OPEN

Ok...so here's the latest in the HALF ACRE FARM Road Side Stand!  Got my OPEN sign! Mr. Eye Candy has figured out an ingenious way to place that baby in optimal viewing!  He's a smarty farty sometimes...(well he did marry me!). :)

Here is the pic:

Ok...so if you look closely...there is a REALLY UGLY wood basket for flowers. I do NOT like this monstrosity!  It's hideous to me. Oh well! It was free.  We moved it...hauled it away...it's heavy...I poured some sweat over it....and now I'm stuck with it. sigh.

Welcome to the OPEN Half Acre Farm Stand! :)

Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The inner struggle re: Home School or Not

A lot of my friends won't read this post...that is ok.  I am writing it for me really.  I've been debating on whether to home school our kids (Princess 8 yrs old and Little E almost 7).  The Princess does ok in 2nd Grade now that we've moved her to a Montessori school.  She has really come out of her shell this year in making new friends.  However, she still has days and days (more than I'd like to count) where she cries about going to school.  She'd rather not go.  I've been telling myself...hey, self...what kid WANTS to go to school?

As for Little E, (he's in Kindergarten and we held him back until he was 6 to start it), he struggles more than I'd like to EVER see!  I've been told by the teachers that his emotional outbursts and anger issues need to be addressed by perhaps a PSYCHOLOGIST!  I wasn't offended by them saying this, just saddened.  He cries every day. EVERY day.  Sometimes he cries several times a day.  He tells me he wants to stay home. He hates school.  We don't use the word "hate" in our house, so when he uses it to tell me about how he feels about school...well, I know it's bad.  I ask him every day, "Hey, Bud, how was your day?", He replies almost daily, "It was a bad day, Momma.  I crieded 2 times." (yes he says crieded).  I ask him what made him cry etc, and it's usually something to do with the work he is pushed to learn.  I hate the idea of 'holding him back' another year! So then I read this great blog!  I'm adding the link here (copy and past):

This is a great blog entry, and I've spent the entire morning reading several of her posts!  I am honestly considering Home School now without the fear I've had before!  After all, don't we want what is BEST for our children?  Why is it, that today's IDEA of school is formal learning?  My children are not flourishing in this 'formal' environment.  I dread dropping them off (although I won't let them see it) as much as they do.  I put my chipper face on and tell them to have a great day, to learn, be kind, etc.  Only to return hours later to collect them and hear how they struggled yet another day in the pits of hell. 

Mr. Eye Candy is not 100% on board with this Home School idea, although I think and believe he is very open to it.  We have several families in our area that do this with their children.  One of the mother's that home schools her children is a woman he went to school with.  He's actually talked to her about it!  So, this leads me to believe he has faith in ME, his wife, that maybe I can do this! 

Just like when I started researching for my weight loss surgery, I am spending hours on the internet researching Home Schooling.  I never go into this type of decision blindly.  I'm not perfect...even in my wls journey!  I'm not a perfect wife, or mother, but I love my children.  Who better to teach them than Mr. Eye Candy and myself?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Frogs and Friends

Well, I took the princess and Little E downstate this weekend...not even knowing if we were going to wind up in a hotel or an empty upstairs apartment.  I needed to go help a friend load up her life. Yup...she's starting over, and I was going to make sure she got as much stuff packed in that truck as possible!  We did an amazing job too I must say. WOMEN rock!  When we band together there is NO stopping us!

The best part was that we wound up staying in the home of her friend.  This other person who I will call Angel...has some fun kids around the age of mine. So needless to say, they had a great time!  Here is a picture of Little E and what he did most of the weekend.

There was no way I was touching that thing...but a quick photo op was really in order.

I must add in a funny story here.  The second night we were there...I was asleep until about 4 a.m.  I kept hearing this thump thump...another minute would go by and I'd hear it again. This went on for about a half hour.  Finally, I got up, thinking maybe it was the dog and he wanted out. I went out and down the hall...no dog.  So, I went and got my computer and brought it back to the dark room and proceeded to sit in the comfy chair and check facebook. :)  I heard the thump thump again!  This time right out in front of the door I'd left open to my room.  So, me being such a smarty farty....I turned my computer screen around and used it like a flashlight.  I walked to the hallway, and guess what I saw?  A DARN FROG!!!  Those kids had caught a few from the pond and had them in a bucket on the screened porch.  They'd left the slider door open a crack and the darn frog had jumped out of the bucket and into the house!  I must have walked right past him when I went to get my computer. HA HA  Well...I was so brave! I went to the kitchen and found a tuperware w/ a lid so I could catch the slippery devil.  He was not as big as the one in the picture above! THANK YOU GOD.  I then proceeded to carry him back to his bucket and CLOSED the slider door.  Kids.  They never let you down. Always something to keep us going.

When I told all of them the story in the morning there was a lot of laughter!

I am so glad I went to help my friend.  I not only knew I was doing the right thing for her, I also met a new friend! Angel and her kids!  She opened her home to us, watched the kids so I could help pack the truck, and was just a genuine sweet soul. 

I also know that there are times in our lives that we feel absolute clarity in the rightness of what we are doing.  This weekend was just like that for me.  I have no idea when I will get to see my dear friend again, but I know she's off on a real adventure!  The old Irish Prayer comes to my mind...

I wish this for you, my dear friend and sister.  I could not have gotten this far in my life without the friendship I share with you.  Safe journey!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

5k in October! Michigan Mackinaw Bridge

Ok. Who wants to come to beautiful MI in October with all the beautiful fall leaves in full color? Who wants to do a 5k across the Mackinaw Bridge? ME.  Well, there are 3 of us doing it for sure, and I'm hoping to add a few more!

Here is the links to where we're staying, and the race sign up.


and the race:


The good news is I've got a half mile jog down pat. LOL Now to run 3 miles straight! AHHHHH I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

I have two of the cottages booked. My family (Mr. Eye Candy, the Princess, and Little E) will be w/ me as there is also a cute water park in the hotel.  So, there is still two slots left in the other cottage.  I can book more cottages too.  It works out to about $70 for the weekend! TWO NIGHTS for $70??? awesome!  That is if 4 people stay in the cottages.  Plus the $40 for the sign up fee to do the race. This is going to be a great chance for a MEET AND GREET for any WLS folks!

I'm pretty excited.  So far motivated too. LOL

Friday, May 11, 2012

Useless facts about me

Something fun we're doing over in one of my Weight Loss Surgery Facebook groups.  Five questions we have to answer about Summer.  Feel free to copy and paste and create your own answers on your blog.  These are mine:

  1. Julana (Lana) Schaub
  2. Favorite colors: are, BLUE, blue, and BLUE.
  3. My favorite summer scenes: are horses in the field.  Horses, horses, horses. Running, trotting, grazing, or standing swishing flies.  If there is a horse in the picture I am content.
  4. Shoe size: is 8 ...and this is down 1/2 a size.
  5. I love: warm windy days in Summer.  However, I must admit Fall is my favorite time of year.  Summer is a busy time for us, and squeezing in the beach is just that. A squeeze.  My favorite part of summer is grilling outside and watching the kids play in the sprinkler.  I love to sit outside w/ the blind dog under the Maple tree and watch the Hummingbirds zoom in to their feeder, and watch the hens in their yard pecking and scratching.  It's all about wishing the garden to grow a little faster, and the kids a little slower

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Red Shed Projects

Ok, so the time is drawing near to when we will open the Road Side Stand.
The RED SHED...on the Half Acre Farm. :)
The ideas are MANY.  Here are a few of the items that I will have in our shed (besides eggs when those new girls start laying!)

1.  Pie in a jar (although the ones I will be selling will be smaller!)
2. Bread.  Plain crusty bread, and also a few flavored varieties like Rosemary/garlic which really turned out GREAT!
(now I make it better than this pic...and they are rounder)

3. Last but not least the recent addition to the crafty ideas in my bag are these cute little magnets!!  A small tile, a printed out pic on regular paper, cut and modge podge! Glue a magnet on the back and there it is! Cute! Or I think so!

The little guy has been sick for 3 days so I've had lots of time to putter and try out the magnet idea I wanted to test.  I took ONLY pictures from our local area that represent Leelanau County, MI.  Of course barns, and cherries being the most popular and a few beach pics thrown in as well.  After all, we live around the corner from Sleeping Bear Dunes - voted the most beautiful place in America. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Confirmation Day and the DRESS

Ok. So I reallly wanted to wear that crochet confection by Jennifer Lopez...however!  I must let you know that I wore the BLUE print dress because the PRINCESS picked which one I should wear.  AND, just to let you all know.  You were right. LOL  Two people (my sister) and Tavisha told me it was a bit BIG and um....frumpy. LOL

Oh well!  I did feel comfortable though!  I was in blue  like the boys so it was OK.  This made picture taking great so the Princess was the one that SHOWN. 
Here are a couple pics to celebrate our little angel.

This is the Princess w/ her 16 yr old Sponser. Kaelyn.  She's awesome and we love her.

The whole group: Father Michael on the left, and Bishop Hebda on the Right
and the Princess front left. :)

A fun shot of Kaelyn and I.  Yes...the Princess chose the dress for me to wear...turns out she like the BLUE print one...sigh. It was HER day so OK. :)

Mr. Eye Candy's Dad. This was a big deal! Grandpa came!!!

The whole family!  My sister and her hubby of  20 years (they just celebrated this last week!) and their beautiful kids Julana (my name sake! and Austin).  With the Bishop.

So, after all that hoop la about the dress...whatever LOL.  I was comfortable and it was a beautiful day. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Pics

Ok, so everyone loves new pics right? I spent the day (with a sore throat child yes...he says anyway) out shopping for a dress to wear to our Princess' confirmation tomorrow! I realized yesterday I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!! Holy poop, Batman!
Ok...so here is the play by play.  Tell me what  you think. Everyone has said Pic #1.

#1 a Cream colored crochet dress by Jennifer Lopez. $50 (on sale) eek.

 #2 is a blue/white rayon confection of silky loveliness!  I love it!  Has a beaded collar. $30 something

#3 is a white cotton $30 dress from TJ Maxx.  Very nice. Easy to wear, w/ lacy design.

You be the judge...but remember this...last summer I was wearing a size 2x or 3x top! So these are...drum roll please...MEDIUM's. Amen brother! Major non scale victory as they say!

Whichever I choose...I'll feel confident!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Two Mile Hike

So, a year ago I would NEVER have gone on a hike.  It would have been
1. too hot (because any activity made me sweat!)
2. too painful (back, joints, etc)
3. and just plain too much. (emotionally too)

Now however, I have completed this 2 mile hike TWICE.  With kids no less. LOL
Yesterday was Play Date day...and both kiddie poohs had invited over friends. We had planned on doing this hike with them. It's a great trail right around the corner! LOVE being in the woods! All that awesome pine smell around you. Plus, when you take kids with you on a hike, they always seem to find something amazing to get excited about!  Walking sticks were the big deal yesterday!
Here is a picture of the troop:

OH...and on a fun note! We moved the big red barn shed back home!!! SO excited about this! Now the farm stand ideas are just jumping around in my head!!!  Memorial Day will be here before I know it, and I need to be ready!