Let The Destruction (Beautification...) Begin!

Well, this wasn't exactly the "plan", but who really "plans" around here anyway?!  Oh, I knew that May and June would be busy months what with a Ryan's birthday, Mother's Day, a bridal shower for Allison, a baby shower for Beckett, Ryan and Allison's wedding and Father's Day (Whew!!!)  However, I did not really "plan" on any new home (or yard...) improvement projects.  BUT...whenever Robby decides to embark on a new project that in the end will be WONDERFUL (If you just close your eyes and imagine it...), you learn to just "GO WITH IT"!

Here's how it all happened.  I came home one day and there were a few boards missing off of the fence in our back yard.  I noticed that Robby had been working on one of the lights by the fish pond that had been damaged in one of the last storms we had experienced.  I asked when he planned on putting those boards back up and that's when he said he had this "little idea" for the back yard.  Hmmm..."little" idea??

His "little idea" was to clear out all the wooded area behind our house, tear down the entire old fence and put up a new fence.  Then, put an iron fence around the pool.  OH...and tear out some of the exsisting landscaping and pour more concrete around the pool, re-landscape AND build a pool house!  OK...so, you see what I mean about this not really being a "little" project?!

First things came this week with the tearing down of the old fence.  Justin, who helped tear that fence down, took the old fence to complete the back of his own.  Then, the real mess-making started...

 Here you can see where the first few boards were removed and then before I knew it...a tractor was back there!
              They continued to tear down the fence that had created my cozy, little courtyard.
 Robby first went and bought some more rocks, to build up the back of the fish pond.  There will eventually be more landscaping around it and new lighting there and throughout the backyard.
 You can see where trees have been taken down and the hill behind our house cut away.  I must admit that I like the way this is looking.

 Unfortunately, my front and side yard needed some work to fix some drainage problems; this is what it looks like now...

                                   But, WOW!  Look how GREAT our new fence looks!

OK...So Phase 1 of our outdoor improvement project is done!  Well, all except for the side closures of the fence.  Now, tomorrow, the dirt work and framing for the new concrete area around the pool begins.  Yep...just in time for Beckett's baby shower, which will be here on Saturday afternoon.  Oh well, if I just close my eyes, I can see it...all the lovely new concreted area with chaise lounges on it for basking in the sun... the beautiful, lush new landscaping...and the great new pool house, where family and friends are sure to spend many hours enjoying each other's company and having fun.  That's "If I close my eyes..."  Because when I open them, right now, I see a big ole mud hole.  But, I have learned that big ole messy mud holes can become beautiful...eventually.

P.S.  I can't wait to show you Phase 2!

Preparing for Grandbaby THREE!

I finally got over whatever I had for the past couple of weeks and feel MUCH better now.  Thank goodness, since I have LOTS to do in the next month.  Next on the agenda is a baby shower for our third grandchild and first grandson, Beckett!

Back when I had my kids, I didn't have the money to buy all of the cute items to decorate a nursery with.  Now days having a stylish nursery is all the craze and David and Codi are no different from any of the other expectant parents out there; except for the fact that they made LOTS of the cute decorations that you will find in Beckett's nursery...

                                                 Here's an overview of Beckett's nursery...
        The mirror on the wall was refinished to match the darker furniture for a little boy's room.

Robby and I have provided all the baby beds for the grandchildren thus far and Beckett is no exception.  David and Codi picked out this bed down in New Orleans and I don't know if you can tell, but there are little iron Fleur de lis on each arch. David made the board with Beckett's initials hanging over the bed (Hunter Beckett Rogenmoser).
David also built these little cubbies.  Notice the shoes on top of the second cubby; Codi made those for him!
In this cozy corner, where the rocking chair and bookshelf can be found, David built a wooden wall to change the look of the room.  The burlap curtains you see were made by Codi.
                            That's his little sonogram picture you see framed on the top shelf!
                   They made this measuring stick that hangs on the wall to watch Beckett grow!
Codi's dad made this armoire for the nursery and in the background is the rocker and ottoman that will be used to rock our sweet baby in.
OH...And, of course, all of his cute little boy items that Codi got at her first shower (OK...and I got carried away and bought quite a lot of things in there too!)

              All we are waiting for now is a precious, healthy little baby boy to arrive soon!


Guess the Giver!

When I received my Mother's Day gifts, I thought it would be fun to have a little game called, "Guess the Giver"!  For those of you who know me and my kids, personally, this might be a little easier and fun for you since you know their personalities so well.  For those who only know me through my blog, it should also be interesting and perhaps give you the same idea regarding your own children and their personalities concerning gift giving!  So...Here goes (And don't peek at the answers until the very end!)...

                        I started with an easy one so that everybody would get at least one right!
                                                            Weenie Dog oil decanters...
                                                                     Beautiful roses...
                                                       Wine rack made out of pallets...
                                                     Jeweled hair pins and wrap bracelet...

AND...The answers are:
1.  Card with pink footprints..........Holli
2.  Weenie Dog oil decanters.........Ryan and Allison
3.  Roses.........................................David and Codi
4.  Wine Rack made out of pallets..Justin, Sarah and Parker (Yes, he made it and Yes, you saw one on
       Facebook just like it!)
5.  Jeweled hair pins and wrap bracelet......Caitlin, Kevin and Holli

Here's what Robby got me for my anniversary this year too...
  A Chamilla Grandmother's Necklace.  It has birthstone beads on it for Parker, Holli and Beckett!

No matter what the gift is, a mother always loves it because it is a gift given from the heart of their child...


Desperate Conditions Call for Desperate Measures!

It's a good thing that Caitlin and Holli got on that plane back to Cleveland last Tuesday.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I didn't want them to leave but just about the time they left, I came down with something.

That Monday, Caitlin and Holli traveled with me to my doctor's office.  I was merely having my six month blood test to check my thyroid levels.  I told her that they could come with me but insisted they stay in the car while I went in...THANK GOODNESS they did!  I was perfectly fine when I went for that check-up but by late that afternoon I began to get a pretty sore throat.

Well, that sore throat continued the next day as I put them on the plane.  By the next day (my anniversary day...) my sore throat had turned into me totally losing my voice (which, by the way has not returned yet...).  And then it happened...the coughing began (sigh...).

As an asthmatic, a "cough" is not merely an annoyance.  It gets pretty extreme quickly.  I called my doctor's office and confirmed that I was on all inhalers as I should be and then they decided to call me in a prescription of Prednisone.  Hmmm...my non-compliance sort of kicked in at this point and to be honest with you, I just wasn't ready to take a ride on that steroid train.  It does terrible things to ya, if you know what I mean.  Surely I could just use what I had and weather this storm.

By Friday (after office hours...of course), I began to run a fever (ugh!).  David and Codi were on their way in for Mother's Day weekend so I called and asked him to call me in an antibiotic (advantage of having a son for a doctor...no weekend emergency room visits).  He called that in along with something for the cough.  Still no voice...still coughing.  That's when I decided that "Desperate Conditions Called for Desperate Measures"; I broke out the whiskey!  Everyone who knows me, knows that I do not drink whiskey...ever.  Except for when I have a severe coughing fit and cannot stop it any other way...

 My mama used to fix a "cough toddy" for me of whisky, lemon juice and honey.  Hey!  I don't know why...but when nothing else works for a cough, this does.

And so, while all the boys continued to roll in for the weekend...I continued to cough, cough, cough!  This was Mother's Day and I was going to do whatever it took to stay on my feet and enjoy being with my family.  And so I continued to medicate myself...
Yea...I know; quite a lot of stuff!  But the fever went away quickly...it was just this nagging cough that I couldn't get rid of.

I didn't feel like any parent would want me around their child in Sunday School so Robby and I did not go to church; I was smart enough to realize that I DID need to rest.  However, when Justin, Sarah and Parker got out of church, the rest of us met them for Mother's Day Brunch...
                                                Had to get a picture of me and my boys!

Afterward, everybody came over just to hang out and have a little family time...
 Parker Ann and Uncle Ryan-Poo played in her tree house.  He taught her all about rolly pollys!
The guys then made her happy by feeding her sugar...Doesn't she look like she has sugar overload?!
And just when you thought she couldn't be happier, they told her she could get in the swimming pool!
I made Codi show off her growing belly too.  We can't WAIT for Baby Beckett to get here in early July!

Later that afternoon, Robby boiled some crabs that he and Justin and Ryan had caught during the week in south Louisiana...

Although I was under the weather, it was great having family home this weekend.  Now, I really have to concentrate on getting better because I have LOTS to do...Beckett's baby shower, rehearsal dinner for Ryan, final details for the wedding, Caitlin and Holli coming in again soon...OH, and did I mention a new MAJOR home project that is being started today?!(More on that soon!)  No time for sitting around...gotta get moving!


I Was Your Mom...I Was Your Cheerleader

I was never a cheerleader in school.  You could say I never had the disposition for it...or the athletic ability.  I tried being a booster for a short period of time but that just wasn't for me either.  I was that artsy kid.  I loved my music and books and theater but as soon as I became a mom, I became a cheerleader.  A cheerleader for my kids, that is.

When you were born and I looked into your eyes, I knew that I would move heaven and earth for you.
I would protect you, guide you and cheer you on throughout the entirety of your life.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

As you grew and the world began to enter your life, I became your biggest fan.
There was no one anywhere who cheered louder or supported you more than me.
You had grown inside me for nine months and I would continue to nurture you for a lifetime.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

When other children were unkind to you, my heart broke along with yours.
You were much quicker to make up with them than I was.
You were my child and I didn't want the ugliness of the world to taint your beautiful life.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

When people said you couldn't, I said you could.
It was my job to see that you accomplished everything you set out to do.
I told you that you were smart and good and beautiful;  You were a valuable human being.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

And as you began to grow up, I still took your side.
There was definitely partiality were you were concerned.
Your dad even said that no matter what, I was always on your team; He was right.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

And eventually you left home for college.
I felt lonely that you no longer lived in my house but anxiously awaited for your visits.
And as each semester ticked down, my pride for your accomplishments swelled my heart.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

And one by one, you permanently flew out of my nest and into the nest of a special someone.
It wasn't easy to let you go, although I was happy that you had found someone to share your life with.
You had been mine for such a long time and sharing you was not easy.
Would you forget me, forget that I was the one that had invested so much time in your life?
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

You did not forget me but brought others into my life to enrich it even more.
Wives, husbands, grandchildren.
My life was overflowing with blessings.
I was your mom...I was your cheerleader.

My journey as a mom has not always been filled with easy choices.
I did the best I could do.
I loved you, nurtured you, fed you, diapered you, cared for you when you were sick, went to your recitals, ballgames,  taught you Godly values, the importance of family and how to treat others.
I hope that I did the job well.
I hope that I gave you something that you can pass along to your own children.
I'm still your mom...I will always be your cheerleader.

 Mom, thank you for always being there for me when I need you. I could not ask for a better Mother! Thank you for being by my side through good and hard times. I Love you so much mom. Happy Mother's Day! Love, Justin (Now 29)
Mom, You're the greatest mom ever! Thank you for always being there for me all of us. You are my world and always will be. I care and love you so much. I hope you enjoy your day and I wish I could be there with you today. I love you, Happy Mother's Day! Love, David (Now 28)

Mom, thank you for all of the love and attention that you have shown me personally even with a large family. Also thank you for always supporting me in everything I have done. If it were not for your support of my creative side, I truly would not be in the position I am in today. I could not imagine a life without having you as my mother. I love you for all of these attributes that make you the great Mother that you are. Love, Ryan (Now 26)
Mom, What can I say, You are so wonderful to me and care for me so much. You are not just my mom but a best friend! I love how I can talk to you about anything and how you always help me get through tough times. You are my heart and I don't know what I would do without you. Thank you for always listening and caring. Love you so much! Love, Caitlin (Now 23)

                                            I Love these kids TO THE MOON and BACK!


Holli's First Visit to the SOUTH Was Filled With Lots of "Firsts"

Caitlin and Holli surprised me last week by flying in and staying for a week-long visit to Louisiana!  OK...Can I tell you how HAPPY I was?!   This was Holli's "first" visit to to the south and she would experience LOTS of "first" on this trip!

                        It all started with her "first" airplane trip from Cleveland to Alexandria...
               And what a good little traveler she was for her mommy, sleeping all the way here.

Every morning, I got to snuggle with my 6 O'clock baby again!  I never knew I could LOVE 6 O'clock in the morning so much.  I would eventually get up and give Holli some tummy time and let her listen to Pandora Radio while her mommy caught up on her sleep...

Robby and I sure enjoyed holding her and rocking her every night too...
                                                     He rocked them BOTH to sleep!

Another "first" was sleeping in a BIG baby bed.  At home, she was still in a small bed in her parents' room...
She also got to meet some new southern friends and family...
                                              Uncle Ryan Poo and Ally finally got to meet her!
                                                           So did her great-grandmother.
                                          And two of Caitlin's really good friends, Tabitha...
                                                                       And Payton.
                                    And Sissy just LOVED having another baby around!

And, of course, Caitlin wanted a few Louisiana foods that she had missed while living up in Cleveland...
                                                                        And fried fish.

Parker Ann also couldn't wait to cuddle with her little cousin again...

On Sunday, Holli got to go to church for the first time too...

She also wore her "Cute Louisiana Outfits" while here too...
                                                                         And crawfish!

And she started smiling a lot while here too (I'm sure it was because she just LOVES the SOUTH!)...

And then too soon, a week had come and gone and it was time for my girls to return north.  This had been a WONDERFUL surprise and I felt like I could now make it to the first week of June before seeing them again...In person, that is; I'm sure we will have plenty of Skye dates in between!

                                    Caitlin had to snuggle with us on her last night here too...

I'm not gonna lie; it was difficult putting those girls on a plane at 6 O'clock the next morning and yes...there were tears.  I suppose there will always be tears until they move back closer to us.  I snapped one last picture of Holli that morning before we left for the airport...
Look at those chubby little cheeks!  She had changed so much in just the week that she had been here with us; I cannot imagine what she will look like in another month.

Next up is Ryan and Allison's wedding, so I need to get in high gear and finish up all of my Mother of the Groom duties.  That should keep me busy until these girl return for the festivities!