Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The one with the girls...

We finally got our butt in gear and finished our chicken coop (it only took 6 months!) And the best part is we got chickens. We still have a ton to learn, but I think we have the basics- food, water and shelter. We got the girls as teenagers, as I like to say. They weren't chicks and they aren't quite mature, which means they aren't laying eggs yet. We had 4 to start with, but 2 days after we got them, one "flew" away (as Cooper says). We aren't quite sure what happened, but the only thing we can think is we received her sick and she couldn't kick it. So we have 3, Merida, Monica and Red Elephant, or Red Ellie for short. Cooper named Red Ellie. I never grew up around chickens and honestly never have been around them, but since we moved to this house on Hawkcrest, we loved using the land and it seemed easy enough. Our garden we started last year is still thriving and soon, we should have fresh eggs daily, who needs a grocery store!! And NO we aren't eating the girls. We are strictly raising them for their eggs. They are cool pets too. The kids can pet them and pick them up and since we've had them for about a month now, they are stating to come to us when we go out there. Now we just wait on the eggs!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

The one where we visit the happiest place on earth..

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we took the kids to Disney World. It was a much needed escape to the happiest place on earth. Our holidays weren't spent the way we would have wanted, but you know what- it is ultimately not up to us. So we skipped town and redirected our selves.

Josh and I are already trying to plan another trip back. For Disney being the BUSIEST week of the  year, we fought through the crowds and made the best of it. Disney allows you to set up fast passes via an app now and since it was so darn busy the good fast passes like Buzz Lightyear and Splash Mountain were taken, so we opted for the Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World and the Tea Cups (we did more than that, but we knocked these out in the first few hours). Anyway, as it turns out, the very ride experience at the Magic Kingdom was the Haunted Mansion. Talk about scarring a child. But mom, I thought this place was supposed to have Mickey Mouse they said. Anyway, Cooper loved it. Addison not so much.... She wanted out the second we got in. Her poor little head was buried in my lap the whole time. It sounds evil, but you just have to laugh. Do we get parents of the year award? LOL and it only went up from there.

They loved every ride and I think Addison could have starred at Cinderellas Castle all day just waiting for her to come out. They were really just in awe the whole time, the rides, the characters, the people. The teacups were a blast, we cracked up. Just don't close your eyes because you'll lose your marbles. Cooper wanted to do that one a few times. We only did it once though. We watched a few dance/music shows put on by Mickey and Crew. And you know what? Payback.... I had to hold Addison on my shoulders so she could see. I remember my parents having to do the same thing, only I was 5 (and heavier). Maybe that's why my mom has neck issues..... I think I owe her a massage or two. The things we do for our kids enjoyment, ugh? We even did a few things, that may have been my first time too. It's the one place you can be a kid again. There were no complaints the whole day and no tears. AND we made it out of Disney without buying a single sword, stuffed animal, mickey ears, or any other overly priced piece of magic. I packed our back pack full of snacks, juice and water too. So while we waited in some of the longer lines, I had goldfish to pass the time. SCORE!!! Both of the little minions were asleep by 4:00 in our single child Bob stroller. Luckily they love each other. It was close quarters. The trip was a success and we can't wait to go back on a less crowded day. I have a feeling it will be sooner than later.

Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney

Day 1: Downtown Disney

Goodbye Disney, We will be back!


Monday, January 4, 2016

The one where we lose a great man....

About a month after my last post, I write this with a heavy heart. My Papa is now at peace with the ultimate creator.  He passed away Wednesday, December 23, 2015. He is finally safe.

Early December he took a bad fall and hit his head- like many other falls. But this fall coupled with all the other trauma caused bleeding in his brain. He spent a few weeks in the hospital. Since the fall, he lost his ability to eat and wasn't talking much. He wasn't up and walking around and hardly opening his eyes. He just looked so helpless and uncomfortable. Although he never said he was in pain. The doctors put a feeding tube in him on Saturday Dec 19. He was moved to a rehab place on the 21st where we hoped he could regain the ability to walk and eat again. But that night, he pulled out the feeding tube that was surgically inserted into his stomach and it just went down hill from there. Mom called me Wednesday and said it wasn't looking good. School was out, so I had both kids- I called Josh and he rushed home. But shortly after the first call from Mom, I received THE call. The call that no one wants to get, even though it may be expected. I was running some last minute Christmas errands. I had to pull over and all I could do was cry.  I hit my steering wheel a few times sobbing. The kids just sat in silence. One of the first times for that, I think. After a few minutes went by, I got my composure and Cooper asked, "Mommy, did Papa go to be with Jesus like Uncle Ed?" Kids are so smart aren't they?

I ended up making it to say goodbye. The social worker and funeral home waited to take him for a few hours. Mom, Mamaw and myself got to spend some alone time with him. As sad as it may seem, we sat around him, holding his hand and talking for a while. We got to say our goodbyes and hug his neck one more time. He looked so peaceful. He wasn't hooked up to machines. He wasn't struggling to breathe and move. It's the image I needed of Papa to know he's in a better place- he is safe. We aren't worried about him day in and day out. Do we miss him? Like crazy. But there is some weight lifted knowing he's not suffering.

Cooper colored Papa one last picture (to place in his coffin) and we added a few words on the back.  Cooper colored a big heart and added a lot of orange and blue. He said, "I'm making this Gator Colors because God is a Gator!" Once he got done he asked me when Papa was going to come back from visiting Jesus. I said we will all get to see Papa again when we get to meet Jesus, but until then he lives in our hearts.

Rest in peace my sweet Papa. You were a great man, always had a big smile on your face and could make anyone laugh. You made my life a brighter place and that is something that can't be taken away!

One of my favorites... Papa with his Ladies!

Please visit the Obituary for Allan Lewis Simmons