Monday, February 23, 2009

A Legacy

The recent tragedy that my family suffered has resulted in a buzz of communications among our family members. Phone calls, emails and blog comments are uniting all of us in our grief. We are connecting in a way that hasn't happened for years.

I think Danny's death has reminded us that we are all linked. We are all linked by blood and love. Together, we ARE a legacy. We are the legacy of Sam and Ione and we are strong.

Sarah, my mom and I will be flying to Kerrville, Texas tomorrow to join or family in remembering and celebrating Danny's life. We will all draw strength from each other and we will renew relationships.

Thank you Danny for giving us this beautiful gift!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Ring

My cousin Daniel (Hozy) Hozman passed away yesterday morning. He was in a terrible car accident over two weeks ago. He has fought a hard fight since then. Finally, he is at peace.

A week before the accident, Danny commented on his MySpace page "new pic of megan and i in my pics. weve been dating 6 months on the 21st of is good. Im taking a test to become cerf. in teaching. Wish me luck!! Baseball is going to start soon! Yea.." It is so comforting to know that he was so happy. He had worked his way to such a good place in this life that his work here was done, his earthly lessons learned.

Danny's death has taught me a huge lesson. I had been planning for a while to be in touch with him. I hadn't gotten to it soon enough, and there wasn't a chance to do it "tomorrow." Our lives can be forever changed at any moment, I will no longer be putting things off. People who are important to us need to know it today!

After getting the phone call yesterday, Big Ben called me to ask me to go outside to look at the sun.

A rainbow ring going completely around the sun is what I saw. I'd never seen anything like it before.

The beauty brought me a sense of calm and well being, like the heavens were smiling down. There is joy that Danny has returned home.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little House

Big Ben and I have just finished watching all 9+ seasons of Little House on the Prairie.
Go ahead, ask me anything...

For the next 3 days, until I forget, I know all the trivia...

-The names of Nellie's twins
-The name of Albert's penpal
- What Laura stole from Nellie's bedroom
-Who first signed the women's petition
-How the church got a bell
-The story behind Nellie's/Caroline's restaurant
... and oh so much more!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Happy Place

A movie that takes my mind to a happy place

Bing Crosby
White Christmas
Fred Astaire

What's not to love?

The perfect escape.

Tonight, I'm thankful for Netflix and their Watch Instantly feature.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A delicious meal

Mommy, I'm not hungry
Mommy, I'm NOT hungry

MOMMY, I'm NOT hungry

This was the little song Sarah sang to us tonight. If you imagine it in a four year old's voice, I bet you'll even be able to hear the music in your head.

Ben and Sarah got in BIG, GIGANTIC trouble tonight. It was blatant disobedience and complete disregard of a warning that if a dangerous and property destroying "game" was repeated, they would be in HUGE trouble.

One of the most effective punishments that I have found is a dinner of their least favorite foods and then a very early bedtime. So, after the trouble they were showered and told to sit on their beds to wait till they were called for dinner.

The culinary fare:
That's a peanut butter sandwich, pickled beets and green beans.

They probably would have preferred 50 lashes with a wet noodle over this punishment.

Fate worse then death to them, I tell you!

Ben saw his meal and took it like a man; he ate and headed for bed. Sarah saw her meal and began singing that catchy little ditty you just read. Her song ended with this:
They're so cute.... when they sleep!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Cut-Up

Warning: Graphics in this post may be disturbing to the faint of heart. (Mom... that's you!)

A little discussion about Big Ben

First, he "Busted a Gut!"

Now, he has a "Stitch in his side!"

And it "hurts when he laughs!"

I know what you're thinking!

My riotously, amusing wit is proving to be too much for Big Ben's health.

...yeah right!

We all know the real danger here is that if I don't stop with the cheesy jokes I might make him lactose intolerant.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nothin' says lovin' ...

... like gross bodily functions?!

We wound up with a Valentine's theme this year.

First, the cards Big Ben helped the kids make for me:

from Ben-
"I love you more and more each day with all my heart,
especially when you say "It's ok" when I accidentally fart!"

from Sarah-

"I'll always love you more than you'll ever be able to see,
especially when you forgive me when the whole house smells like Pee... cause it's me!

And the Valentine I made for Big Ben-
"I love your guts"

Sorry about the picture quality!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Surgery Day!

Ben had surgery yesterday. He had to have out-patient surgery to repair a hernia that had developed in his 10 year old appendectomy scar. His surgery was scheduled for 10:30 am in Bakersfield. The news was reporting a HUGE storm headed our way and giving us a 90% chance of snow in the mountains by early afternoon.

We crossed our fingers and prayed we'd be able to get home after the surgery. However, at 12:30 the surgery center attempted to call his prescription in to our pharmacy, who wouldn't take the order because it was snowing so hard, they were headed home. We made the decision to have it called in to a pharmacy in Bakersfield. Even if we weren't able to make it home we would at least have his drugs. With Ben painfully waiting in the car, I begged the pharmacist to please rush the order. As I left the pharmacy I called road information and was relieved to hear that the pass was still open. We got on the freeway and headed toward home. You never realize how rough roads are until you are trying to drive smoothly for a passenger in pain.

Approaching the mountains we were met with signs informing us that the pass had closed. We probably missed our chance to get home by about 5 minutes. I called a friend and realized that it was a blessing we had been 5 minutes to late. Tehachapi was being hit with a major storm and the roads were a mess. Quality Inn became Ben's recovery room for the night, and our neighbors were wonderful to help with letting the dog out for bathroom relief while we were gone. We were able to get up the hill this morning, but we are awaiting more storms tonight and tomorrow. At home we found close to a foot of snow in our yard.

Ben is Superman! He is doing fantastically and is much tougher and resilient that I can imagine being after having a surgery to stuff my guts back inside my body. I'm glad to be home, and the snow is beautiful!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rosy cheeks

Children bundled up to play in the snow is one of my VERY favorite things!
I love the hats and scarves and pink cheeks.

It's just about as cute as it gets!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Turning the hearts

(Chatting it up with Grandma Chris)

Sunday at church the lesson was concerning "the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven." I began thinking about my "fathers" or ancestors who are in heaven.

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to know all of my grandparents in my childhood. They each loved me and forever effected me. However, I lost all of them before reaching adolescence. I have missed them since then and longed to have the grandparent relationship back in my life.

Fortunately, I am able to experience vicariously. My children have an abundance of grandparents. Ben and Sarah have Grandmas and Grandpas, a Bubbe, a Papa, a John, their Dad's future in-laws and 3 great-grandmas. During church we briefly discussed ways to help our children feel connected to the generations before them. I couldn't help but smile to myself, my children already cherish each of these people. The love radiates from their face when they talk about baking cookies with Grandma, visiting Super-Grandma in Oregon, reading books with Bubbe, or playing baseball with Grandpa Doug.

In this season of love... I LOVE all the people who love my children so much!

Friday, February 6, 2009

For the Birds

Big Ben picked out a birdhouse kit for Sarah for Christmas. It was something she had expressed an interest in and Big Ben thought it would be a perfect Christmas gift.

Shortly after the holidays the two of them built the birdhouse. Since Christmas it has sat in rest waiting for me to work up enough nerve to allow her to paint it.

This week, she got to business and got the job completed.

We are waiting for nicer weather to hang it outside so her feathered friends can start to get comfortable in their new house.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I had planned a post today about monkeys and birds. But those will have to wait for another day, there are bigger fish to fry.

I received information today letting me know that my cousin Danny was in a serious car accident this morning.

I think as an adult he prefers to be called Dan, but he will always be Danny to me. Danny and I haven't seen each other in many, many years. However, at the beginning of the year, I resolved to reconnect with 3 people from my past... Nanny was one of them (check) and Danny was another. He has been on my mind a lot in the last month.

Danny and I were very close when we were young. I can easily say that he was the cousin I had the closest relationship with growing up, but along the way he moved to Texas and we haven't seen each other. I've heard that he has recently been on top of the world. He completed his teaching credential and has a new wonderful girl in his life.

This morning Danny rolled his work truck and was immediately airlifted to a hospital. Already today he has undergone 3 major surgeries. I don't have many details of his condition, just that he has massive internal injuries and needs prayers!

I plan to pray for Danny now and to be in touch with him as he recovers from this trauma. We have childhood memories to share and I badly want to get to know the man he has grown into.

Monday, February 2, 2009

15,439 Steps

I've been wearing the pedometer my mom got me for Christmas! This weekend, I used 15,439 steps to make my way all over Knott's Berry Farm.

The last time I went to Knott's Berry Farm was for my 6th birthday. It has changed a lot and I really didn't remember much of what it used to be. Big Ben has been wanting to take me for a long time and we finally made the trip happen.

The highlight of our trip was the "interesting" people we saw while there. Actually, our favorites were both encountered within the first half hour of our visit. While waiting in line we witnessed an older woman, who was visiting the park by herself. She took every opportunity to talk to the people around her. Five time we heard her telling people, "You are ALWAYS safe at Knott's Berry Farm!" Then she preceded to get upset with a family she heard joking about ditching their small child who was to little for a particular ride. Failing to see the humor, she interjected in their conversation, "Oh, no! Never, ever leave a child alone!". This exchange left me a little confused... why can't you leave a child alone at Knott's Berry Farm? I thought "you are ALWAYS safe at Knott's Berry Farm!" Hmmmm... I just hate it when crazy people don't make sense!

The next character in our day was a "special" guy who was there with his "special" girlfriend. They were the kind of couple that give proof to my grandmother's assertion that "There is a lid to fit EVERY pot." He was in line near us along with the "safe" lady and he too seemed to be a bit annoyed by her. But when she went on the ride and he was left standing with us, he started talking to Big Ben. It was then that Big Ben was rewarded with several high five's, fist bumps and Rock 'n Roll cheers from this special guy. It was evident that we were being approached to be their buddies for the day, as he stopped talking to us only to participate in some gratuitous PDA with his girl. The way the line worked out we rode that first ride with them, then spent the day attempting to avoid getting in line next to them again. The encounter was confirmation of the fact that Big Ben does indeed have a sign on his forehead that says, "I'm Nice to Weirdos!"

After that first line, I think we avoided eye contact with everyone. Not wanting to extend any invitations for conversation.

We had a great trip! It was definitely 15, 439 steps well used!