Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Warrior, Pt. 5

Friday night, Bobby spent the night with Michael’s parents and his cousin. This was the first time that he has done that since Michael died. It is kind of weird being home by myself. The good news is that I was able to drive the Cruiser home finally! It had been parked at my in-laws house for over two weeks. Michael’s best friend came and checked out the clutch and discovered a leaking clutch master cylinder. Evidently Michael knew about it because he had extra fluid inside the Cruiser.

Saturday I had to work longer than usual so I didn’t get much done. Bobby had a Boy Scouts Pack Meet at the football field. So we didn’t get home until almost 5 o’clock! I had a list of things to do that didn’t get done at all! Which means that all had to be moved to Sunday plus church. WOW! Weekends like this remind you of how difficult it is to be alone in this experience. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to take B to Boy Scouts. That would have been the first time that being alone would have truly interfered with my ability to be there for Bobby. But God has a plan and He has control so I was able to leave work in time to eat lunch, change clothes, and take a breather before heading back to town! AWESOME!!! (BTW – in case you were wondering about the size of the trunk in a Mustang – yes, it is big enough for a large cooler but no, the opening isn’t large enough for the cooler to get in the space!) 

Sunday after church, we ran our errands and returned home to begin the Weekend Warrior projects. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough hours left in the weekend! I was determined to get one fun project accomplished though. I saw the best idea for storing shoes on Pinterest and knew this would be the best way for me. Here is the before picture:

Pretty scary, huh? The funny thing is there was an unmatched shoe! You would think I would find it after all the cleaning up but nope! I have no idea where it is or what happened to it!
  1. Clean out shoes
  2. Hang rod
  3. Bend wire hangers to correct shape
  4. Hang shoes on rod
Easy right? WRONG! First of all, I bought PVC pipe assuming my shoes wouldn’t be heavy enough to justify needing a metal pole but it turns out I was wrong, as you might be able to see from the after pictures. (For future reference, a 10’ pole will fit in a Mustang with the back seat folded down.)

I would also recommend extra care when you are bending the clothes hangers because I stabbed my thumb with one.
And so I leave with you this week with another picture of the goofy dog named Radar. This time he tried to find some food in a Sonic bag but couldn’t get his head out! DUH!! He’s just not the brightest dog I’ve ever known!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend Warrior Part 4

Friday night, Bobby and I had a pizza, movie, popcorn night. Well, actually when we got home I realized that we had no pizza! That’s extremely unusual for our house because we always have pizza night on Friday! Oops! But we had fun anyway. We watched Space Jam and Bobby ate spaghetti (his 2nd favorite food) followed by popcorn. I introduced Bobby to the Hot Tamales/popcorn combination. If you have never had this combo, I highly recommend it! It’s fabulous because the hot cinnamon flavor tones down the saltiness of the popcorn and the saltiness of the popcorn tones down the hotness of the Hot Tamales.
Saturday morning was Bobby’s last basketball game. He scored twice! I’m a proud Momma!
A picture taken by one proud Mom of one proud boy!

After the game, we headed for Cici’s for lunch with Bobby’s best friend and then to watch Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace in 3D. It was weird being there knowing that just two months ago it would have been Michael taking him. They would have had a great time. I found myself looking over at him many times during the movie just to make sure that he was still enjoying himself. The Star Wars Saga was always something they had in common. There were many, many light saber fights around here!

A picture of one of the many light saber fights
On the way home, Bobby was invited to hang out with our neighbor’s grandson so while he played I began the painting project in my bathroom. Painting in my family has a bad reputation. (I’ll post the story of my mother’s painting at a later date. It’s a classic!) Actually, I think it’s more that the women in my family have a bad reputation when it comes to painting. My mother asked me if I bought an extra gallon for the amount that I would be wearing! No, I only bought one gallon – it’s a small bathroom. Here is a picture of during the painting:

Bathtub area with one coat of paint
And now for the finished ceiling!

The finished bathroom ceiling
Impressive? I think so too! It’s pretty exciting to know that I did that! Now to figure out how to use some kind of power tool to cut a 1 x 10” painted piece of wood to make shelves in B’s bathroom.

He is my love

This is the poem I wrote for Michael. I'm not a writer but these words simply poured out of me two days after Michael died while on Facebook. I just wanted to write a simple tribute telling about the man I love and this is what it became. I even read this at his funeral.

He is my love.
He is the man that made me laugh.
He is the man that made me cry.
He is the man that made me mad.
He is the man that loved me.
He is the man that fathered my son.
He is the man that watched Grey's Anatomy with me.
He is the man that loved my family.
He is the man that became Mr. Mom.
He is the man that listened to my crazy ramblings.
He is the man that bought me dogs.
He is the man who holds my heart.
He is the man.

Watching 3D movies on YouTube. Classic!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekend Warrior Pt. 3

Another weekend of lots of projects and very little time! My parents were here again. I had to work Saturday morning while Bobby had another basketball game. He only scored one time this week. One more game next week and then we are done until baseball season after school is out for the summer.

Dad had big plans for the house while Mom and I headed to Home Depot and Wal-Mart. A couple of hours later...we arrived back home to find Dad in the bathroom and Bobby playing Wii. Luckily, I had taken pictures before we left the house!

Bathroom Ceiling Before
Bathroom Ceiling Before

This is how my bathroom ceiling has been for several months. The original ceiling was falling in so Michael removed it and we hung up mold resistant drywall up but we never made the time to go back and finish the job. (If you look carefully you can see the screws and the joints between each piece.) And now for the “after” pictures…

Bathroom Ceiling Part 2
Bathroom Ceiling Part 2

Bathroom Ceiling Part 2
These pictures show the mud that now covers the screws and joints. But there is still one more important task ahead and that is mine, all mine! PAINTING!!! That’s for this weekend.

Here are a couple of before pictures of my pantry which has been driving me crazy! 
Pantry Before
Pantry Before
You couldn’t hardly walk in there because there was so much stuff on the floor. The shelves on the left are only about 7” deep which is just enough room for two cans of veggies or soup. The back shelves are about a foot deep but not very long. I used to think it was a huge pantry and there was plenty of room until I tried to actually start using the space. Now for the reveal:



Didn’t my mom do a wonderful job! My job was to throw away boxes and hand her new items from the Wal-Mart trip. (Basically, staying out of the way!) But it was so worth it because now we know where everything is and can find it!

I bought a new thermostat for our living room heater at Home Depot and Dad installed that too!
Old Thermostat

New Thermostat

But that’s not the end of our Weekend Warrior projects. I signed up to be the party chairman for B’s Valentine party at the beginning of the school year when I thought I was going to be a stay-at-home mom and we would be allowed to bring homemade goods to the party/class. But no such luck! Things change on a dime and we just learn to go with the flow! The school decided to no longer allow home baked goods and my dear husband died suddenly! I bought $12 worth of cupcakes at Wal-Mart but I know that there’s usually way too much food so I borrowed a Pinterest idea and wrapped the cupcakes up so they could take them home for another time and not have to waste them.

While I was wrapping cupcakes, B was writing his Valentine’s cards. Unfortunately, he sealed them all up inside out and you couldn’t see the names! Mom to the rescue! I sat at work Tuesday morning pulling each one apart and refolding them so he could see the names to pass them out. A mom’s work is never done!

And so I leave you with one more picture of the two cutest dogs! They are not brothers as a matter of fact, one is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the other is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi! They do look a lot alike except for tail vs. no tail! They fight like brothers but can also love like brothers like this last picture shows!

Buster & Radar

What would you do different? Do you see something weird in my pantry that can be done differently? (Yes, I know we eat too much packaged foods but one hurdle at a time!)

Please share this post with other women that you know who have recently lost their spouse. Maybe they need some encouragement to jump their next hurdle. I want to be an inspiration to them!

Esther 4:14b NIV And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stumbling Into Grace

A few months ago I signed up for a website called Book Sneeze. Here’s how it works:
1.       If you’re a blogger and enjoy reviewing books, sign up for a free account
2.       Choose a book from our available books and we’ll send you a copy for free
3.       Post a review of 200 words or more on your blog and a consumer website
4.       Login to Booksneeze, provide a link to your review, then request another book!
The first book I requested was Stumbling Into Grace by Lisa Harper. If you have been to a Women of Faith Conference then you have heard of this wonderfully hilarious woman. I have been 4 or five years in a row and come home renewed and refreshed to tackle the daily challenges of being a woman every year. So of course I had to choose this book. And when you see the cover, you too will want this book (and maybe the little girl on the front!)

Well, it took some time before I was ready to read it because I was working on other Bible Studies with my church but once I started, I couldn’t stop! The book isn’t a work of fiction that you sit down and read in one day. It is more of a Bible study mixed with a study of your personal life in how it relates to the specific verses. So every morning when I arrived at work (I work in a funeral home that opens at 8:30 but I usually arrive early after dropping B off at school.) I sat down at my desk and read through one chapter. The next morning I would sit down with my journal and answer the questions at the end of each chapter. I love the way Lisa begins each chapter with “So, today I’ve been thinking about…” She begins to relate some story in her life that ranges from the tragic to the hilarious and takes you along for the ride. Next she relates a story from the Bible to the story she has told. The questions are preceeded by a prayer in a section labeled “Living in Light of His Story.” By taking you to your life and then connecting it to Jesus’ life, you will be lead to a new understanding of why things happen.
For example, Chapter 9 “Who’s Got Your Back?” is a very significant one for me. I actually read this chapter about a week before Michael died. When Lisa asked me to list the members of my “tribe,” that was easy but question #4 asked me to think about my relationships as a target just as Jesus had his relationships. God was his bull’s-eye with Peter, James, and John being the next ring, followed by the other disciples and the outer ring were friends he loved but didn’t spend much time with such as Lazarus. I had a difficult time with this question because I don’t hang out with friends. Sure we talk every once in a while. We might text a funny phrase or picture but mostly I’m a homebody. Now I understand my relationship to these people – they are my outer circle! So how have things changed in my target since Michael died? It has grown by leaps and bounds! I didn’t realize how many people loved us until Family Night at the Funeral Home. The place was packed! So many people I’m sure I didn’t speak to many of them. But then the next day, we arrived at the church and family was all over the place. I had expected that but when I walked into the sanctuary, I was awestruck but the number of people. It was literally standing room only! I don’t think even a school auditorium could have held them all! I remember just looking around and smiling at each and every face I could see hoping to engrave on my mind everyone that was there. I also wanted them to know that I was okay. I was going to get through this and that their love for me was truly appreciated! Looking back on that day, I know that my target is HUGE! There are so many people that just want to do things to make our lives easier. That’s what it’s all about.
So, today I’ve been thinking about Stumbling into Grace and I realize that the grace of God is overwhelming and all encompassing. He wants the best for us and his grace is pouring over us every day and every minute of our lives. I pray that each and every one of you reading this will be strengthened by my words. Please don’t cry for my loss but be strengthened by the grace of God as I am every day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weekend Warrior Pt. 2

I made my list last week of projects to accomplish over the weekend - Weekend Warrior time! Of course, there’s the weekly household chores – laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc. But this weekend included some extras:
1.       B’s basketball game @ 9:30
2.      Get the Cruiser inspected
3.      Finally put away the Christmas boxes
4.      Organize B’s Lego & Transformer instructions
5.      Reorganize the pantry
Saturday morning started off with B scoring TWO baskets for the THIRD week in a row! My mom called him our ‘two basket guy.’ He’s extremely proud of himself!
Off I went to get the Cruiser inspected. Michael’s favorite toy was his 1975 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40.

My only concern was that it had not been inspected since June 2010. It passed with flying colors! Off I headed to do some quick grocery shopping and a quick Dollar General Store stop.
Now, to work I go! (Yeah for me because I remembered to take before pictures!)

And now the reveal of my newly regained dining room…

Ahhh, now that’s much better! Dinner anyone?

Next project would have to wait for the evening. I really needed a nap after all that work! LOL!
But, at least I did get it done! There is just no good way to store all of those instructions. Or I’m still looking for the best way to store all of those instructions! Looking at Pinterest has really inspired me and so here is what I came up with…

I combined Lego books that were multiple books from the same set. I also combined Transformers that were essentially the same. For example, all versions of Optimus Prime are in one sheet protector and Bumblebee is in its own pocket. B has a few Mini-Cons that are very small directions so those are combined into one protector. I created a cover sheet and a label for the spine. I also spent some time explaining to B how the system should work. (Take one out and use it then replace it as soon as you are finished.) The best part of this is that all of the directions are in one place. I realized that B really doesn’t use the directions very much but it was important that they all be kept together.

So, now you would expect to see some before pictures of the pantry, right! Well, you can keep looking and you won’t find them. Sunday morning we went to church and I was officially done for the day and weekend! I just couldn’t make myself do anything else! I don’t know what the problem was for sure but I have some theories.

1.       Monday was my 42nd birthday. It was the first one without my dear sweet husband. Maybe I was mentally preparing myself for the sadness that I knew the day would bring.
2.      Maybe I was just tired.
3.      Maybe I just needed a break.
4.      Maybe I just didn’t care.
5.      Maybe I was just resting up for the Super Bowl.
6.      Maybe I was starting to get sick because I feel awful today.
7.      Maybe it was overwhelming to think about starting such a large project on my own even though I had already purchased baskets to organize the shelves.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t get done. But the good news is there is still food in there, organizing the pantry doesn’t prevent the outflow of food! So that project will remain on the Weekend Warrior list. My parents are coming again this weekend so we will see what exciting projects we can come up with. B has another basketball game Saturday. How about a 4th game in a row of 2 baskets?