Saturday, May 25, 2013

Some Gave All

My flower pictures and stories about the muppets can wait.  It is Memorial Day weekend.  A time where we need to REMEMBER those who have sacrificed for us.  Sacrificed time with their families, their marriages, the health and their lives - so we can meet through a blog like this. Please take a moment to say thank you to a Vet and send thoughts and prayers for those who never came home - or never came home the same.

A heartfelt thank you to...

those who served...

those who never came home...

those left behind...

and those who protect us everyday...

You are not forgotten...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My FF came off shift with the most beautiful flowers.
Last weekend was Mother's Day.  We had a crazy few weeks.  But this was an amazing day.  My FF is not a card type of person.  Which works well, because I don't really need cards.  I much prefer the non-specific kind of affection as opposed to one dictated by my mother's labor or Hallmark.  You know, when the laundry gets done for me or he takes the kids away so I can grade papers or he brings home flowers because it is Tuesday.  That shows his love.  I am such an un girl.

But this Mother's Day was absolutely perfect.  We did not go to mass, that is a discussion for another time, but very much a thought out decision.  We did spend the whole day finishing up my front yard's landscaping. A few yards of dirt, weed-blocker, some Quik-crete, some solar lights and some river rock and you have one happy mom on your hands.  What else do you need?? It took all day, but I am thrilled with the results.  All of the muppets, as well as one from the other side of the compound pitched in. He is indeed a blessing to have around.  Now, I just have to wait for a sign that we are done with the frosts, and then I can get my flowers going!

Love those FF and muppets, they do indeed make the world a more beautiful place.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Heroes come in many sizes

We spent the afternoon at my sister-in-law's the other day.  We have to watch our time carefully because the  pick up traffic is insane at the kids' school.  Anyway, on our way home, J's phone rings in my lap and it is the kids' school.  I worry for a moment. Instantly, I wonder if O is going to need stitches somewhere above her shoulders.  The principal is on the other end.

"I just wanted to personally call you.  We had a bit of an incident at school and N was involved."  

Not what a mom wants to hear. You should have seen the wheels turning in my brain as I try to figure out which of the possible situations was the one she was referring to.  He has ALWAYS played copper in the classroom, reminding people of the rules and regulations.  I thought for sure that had gotten him in trouble.

She went on to tell me that he overheard another pair of kids' heated discussion yesterday.  Today, the one who felt wronged, brought a knife to school and was ready to use.  N, heard it, took the kid who was the intended target out of the hallway and into a classroom, where he closed the door.  And then found a teacher to intervene. Amazing who quick he was, thinking on his feet.  I was proud beyond words.

The principal assured me that this had never happened in the school as long as she had been here.  Especially since we did some politicking to get into this school when we brought the kids back into the city.  She told us within a week or two how thrilled she was to have the muppets.  My FF just went in that morning to see if they needed anyone for the governance council next year...and then this happens.  It could happen anywhere, we both know it.  The issue at hand really is HOW it is addressed.  

The child will not be back and it is a sad statement, really.  There was an issue and that was the only solution he could see to make things right.  The trust of adults or discussion was not there.  And that is heartbreaking.  But at the same time, I am so proud to be N's Momma.  He's mine and he did well.  He was brave.  He's a bit frightened to go back to school. He did intervene when someone threatened to kill someone else and had a knife in his hand at that moment.  He made a difference.  Too often, too many people turn a blind eye to things just like this.  He will keep this with him for his entire life.  This was a life lesson and he did well.  

Some heroes where capes, some camo, some bunkers.  Mine, he wears Vans.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wills for Heroes

It is a topic that NONE of us want to think about or talk about, but in truth it is something that all of us should have in place in the event of our lives ending sooner than we think they should.  We should all have a will in place, regardless of occupation.  But, especially having our loved ones in the fire service, we should be extra vigilant in making sure we know their wishes are made known.  

Rest easy, sir.
I have written about this before.   I have stuff written down and put away in case J dies at work.  We lost a FF today in Dallas, a 28 year veteran of the department trapped when the floors of the building in the 6 alarm blaze collapsed.  Stanley Wilson, 51, left behind a wife and two boys.  It could be anyone of us standing in her shoes.  We all know that and we all try really hard NOT to think about it.  But it does need to be addressed, just for a peace of mind.  And I need to follow my own advice. 

Do you have a formal will in place?  Have you made it know where your kids go?  Who will take your dogs or cats?  Does your wedding ring stay with you or go with your oldest?  All silly questions in the grand scheme of things, but things that will indeed cause headaches for the loved ones you leave behind.  We, as wives, need to make sure our wishes are known, just as much as we need to know what our FF's wishes are .  

And that is where Wills for Heroes comes in. 
Through Wisconsin's Wills for Heroes program, volunteer attorneys and support personnel participate in clinics scheduled at the request of first responder organizations around the state. At these events, volunteer lawyers prepare simple wills and other basic estate planning documents at no charge for eligible first responders and their spouses or domestic partners.
The national Wills for Heroes program was created by the Wills for Heroes Foundation after September 11, 2001, and is designed to assist emergency personnel in preparing basic estate planning documents to protect themselves and their families. The program launched in Wisconsin in the Fall of 2009.
Wills for Heroes in Wisconsin is sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin with the generous support of Foley & Lardner LLP, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, LexisNexis and the State Bar's Young Lawyers Division.
If you see one of these events, take advantage of it.  Or, simply drop them a note to let them know you are interested.  It will take the stress off of you, a bit, to have all of that written down if your FF makes his last call unexpectedly and it will ease the stress of your loved ones if you leave them sooner than planned.

To the family of Stanley Wilson, please know you are not alone.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  To the Dallas Fire Department, we pray and stand with you in this most horrible of times.  Our love and prayers for healing go with you.  Know if there is anything we can do, an email is all that it takes.  

 Hug those FFs of yours tight today.  We had an injury yesterday with a roof collapsing, but everyone got out okay, aside from a shoulder.  Don't put things off until tomorrow, it is not guaranteed.  Get those wills in place, I will be. 

Peace and love to Dallas.  May God heal your broken hearts and fill the holes with the peace of His love.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A birthday, in a million photos or less...

See that big cardboard box, I didn't even try to wrap it.
We had beautiful weather for D's party.  The sun was shining, the breeze was nice.  Aside from one hiccup with the propane tank and the food all went smoothly.  Bouncing in the bounce house with friends, new roller blades and she has not stopped playing with Megara's new gear!! It created quite the buzz among the little people.  J was disappointed that she didn't totally squeal in delight.  But, my thought is that the proof is in the pudding, she hasn't stopped playing with it yet!  :D

The crowd moves in...

The experienced big girls helping her
get ready for her new roller blades!
We won't discuss the road rash on the back of her thighs,
after this happy pic was snapped.

Today was her actual day. She loved mass, I think  it was because of the sun coming through.  Breakfast after church for D's celebratory meal.  B and our neighbor were junior docents at the Art Museum. And then the exciting part of the day -D got her ears pierced.  It was a total surprise.  When we got to the store there was a huge range of emotions - utter excitement, apprehension and stoicism, shock and tears and finally pride - she was officially a big girl!  We took the pain away with the spending of a gift card at the Disney store and a Blizzard cone at DQ.
My awesome FF, holding my camera bag!
"The artist is unknown..."
Keeping it in the FF family, our girl from next door tells us about
her piece. 
All done at the MAM.
Sooooo bright!

Getting ready was okay, but you could see the
uneasiness creep in.
Yeah, not what she signed on for...

Those were not crocodile tears, my friends...
And a Blizzard from DQ makes it all better.

It is good to be seven. And it is good to be the mom when she turns 7. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

American Girl on a Firefighter's Salary - Part 3

Back down on the work bench,
in order to keep it from my nosy
girls!  Ugh!
I am finally done!  The armoire I told you about last week is finally done, the bed is done, all just in time for the birthday party tomorrow.  Hallelujah!  I did really cut it down to the wire, though.  I wanted to have the armoire done before I picked the kids up from school.  That meant I had to finish the last drawer in the car, while waiting for the kids to come out of school!  But, none-the-less it is done.  

My FF finished the addition to the armoire last night, so I could watch the season finales of Grey's and Scandal.  So sweet!  Megara has to have a place to put her boots, I mean, really! And then today, I put on the final touches - the contact paper (that wouldn't stick) the hardware, with one hinge that would not cooperate.  And now it is done.  I will post non-workbench pictures with better lighting once the Muppets are in bed.  There is a new outfit, complete with accessories, as well as a poodle skirt, courtesy of Fire Wife Elly.  So exciting!  I also believe Grandma is working on a blanket for Megara as we speak as well.  D will be so excited, I cannot wait for her to open them tomorrow!

I'm so glad we kept the mirror in!
I was almost ready to for get this and glue in a dowel!
Scotch Tape was my friend, holding the second screw in place for me!
Ugh, one more drawer to finish, but I have to go pick up the kids from school!
So, you take it with you and do it while you wait, instead of freezing
on the stairs with the other mommies!
Poodle skirt courtesy of the lovely Fire Wife Elly! 
Accessories and a new outfit!
New shoes, what a nice surprise!
Happy Friday, again!  The party is tomorrow.  I will add nicer pictures tonight, staged a bit less hastily. My FF is on shift - go figure, when there is cleaning to be done!  ;)  My dad is coming by to hook up my water to my fridge, I am so spoiled, having gone a week and a half without water from the door! And the weekend is officially upon us!  Enjoy the weekend and your FFs. 

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