Monday, March 31, 2008

My Confession

To Whom it May Concern,

Hi.   My name is Kathi.....and I must confess that I have an addiction.... is an addiction to reading other people's blogs!  

It started out so innocently, back in October, when I decided to try this whole blog thing.   I had stumbled onto ONE blog (Dawn, the funny ebay lady) and thought to myself, "This is cool.  I could do this.  I have LOTS of funny stories to share about my kids and my crazy life.  It'd be a great way for all of our far away family and friends to keep up with our goings on. It could even be a way to document our year for myself and my kids.".....(Since I'm way too lazy to scrapbook, or for that matter to even actually print out my pictures!)

Then, I found out a couple of my friends had blogs too!  We all started sharing our was fun. Completely harmless, right??  Soon I noticed that other people had links on their blogs and I wondered how they got them there!??   Being that computers are not my area of giftedness, I asked my friend Jen S. to help me out.  She shared her knowledge of how to put a link on my blog.  Then, it all spiraled out of control.  I began checking my friend's blogs each day.   I'd say to myself, "Let me just see if she's written (or excuse me, I mean posted) anything new today.  It'll just take a minute."  The next thing you know, I am clicking on my friend's links and maybe their friend's links. Two hours later I'm still on my couch with my laptop, reading all about some total stranger in Texas or Arkansas or Oregon and their Christmas with their MeMaw and PePaw and their 2.5 adorable little kids.  I do not know these people and I probably never will. Scary?? Pathetic???  I don't know, you tell me.  For all I know, someone from Texas or Arkansas or Oregon will be reading this later tonight!

So, now the truth out there.  I've confessed.  The first step is admitting my addiction, right? Surely, now I am on the road to recovery.

With love,
Your Friend, Daughter, Daughter In Law, Sister, Sister In Law, Cousin, Neice, Aunt or maybe even Total Stranger,

PS. Now that I've made my confession, you REALLY have to check out Nester's decorating blog. She is one of my links.  She has great ideas and has totally inspired me to spice up my own decorating....all on a budget of course!  Also, you may want to stop by Jen V's blog, she is trying to blog for 100 straight days.  Did I mention that I found Nester's blog by reading Jen V's?  Yes, I really do need to get a job, people.  I think it's time!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

You have to see my Laundry Room!

Each winter while the boys aren't playing sports, we try to do some projects around the house. Brian loves it. He is the kind of guy who likes to do a project that will take a few hours or maybe a few days at most. He's not the "finish my own basement" guy or "build my own deck" guy....and that is okay with me. These little projects don't take up a lot of time, but they yield lots of satisfaction.

Here's what we've been up to this past month:

We painted the Family Room and got new carpet....(Thanks, Tim!)

(We weren't planning to get new carpet, but Dakota had a bout of Dog Diareaha which she chose to deposit all over our carpet. I guess she didn't want to mess up that huge expanse of easy to clean, ceramic tile in our Kitchen and Morning Room. By the way, I've cleaned up all manner of diareaha and throw up from my 3 kids and I have to say that Dog Diareaha is by far the worst thing I've EVER had to deal with....even the gentlemen from Stanley Steemer couldn't get it out!)

Yes, we let the kids help us paint. "Why?" You ask. "Are you crazy??" Yes, probably---- but we let them help because they live here and happen to be here during the only time we are able to paint together. Also, honestly we've found that over the years, the kids want to help. If we say no, they whine and pester us the entire time. If we say yes, they paint for about 20 minutes and are then bored and move on to playing with something else. We let them paint however they want to and then Brian goes back over whatever they've painted with a second coat. Hey, now that I think about it, Brian does the same thing with me too!

Next, Brian replaced the door down to our basement with a french door. This made such a huge difference in our kitchen. I love it! It really opens up the space and makes it feel bigger. The door only cost $140 at Lowes and Bri got to use his tools to install it. A couple of coats of white paint and the project was finished. This was definitely money well spent.

Our last project, and by far my favorite, was our Laundry Room. It is so cute. It makes me actually want to go downstairs and do my laundry!!! Imagine that! Bri & I bought the Washer & Dryer last year, it's the cute little decorations that are new. I got the idea for the "Drop Your Drawers" saying from my friend Jenn. She painted hers in her Laundry Room. I'm not that talented, so I ordered mine from the website: Check it out, they have all kinds of cute little sayings that aren't expensive at all. You can even create your own.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter 2008

We celebrated Easter this year with all of our usual family traditions.  We dyed eggs the day before, woke up Easter morning & the kids did an Easter Egg Hunt, went to church, and then we spent the day at Brian's parent's house.

This year we had a couple of firsts:

1. Veruka didn't dye Easter Eggs with us. :(
(She was babysitting when we did it and didn't even want us to save her any eggs to dye when she got home.)

2. We didn't have any brown eggs after dying them!

(Every other year we've always had someone who was intent on making a 'rainbow' egg so they'd dip it in color after color, even though we'd try to warn them, and low and behold they'd end up with a brown egg. We had to laugh because this year our kit came with 9 different colors and one of them was brown! I guess they were trying to cut out the middle man and eliminate the work of creating a brown egg!! Ha Ha!)

3. Our kids slept in!!!!
(I know, we couldn't believe it either.)

(Our rule for Christmas and Easter is that they can't wake us up until 7AM. Usually, they are up hours before and are waiting until 7AM exactly to wake us up. This year, our little buddy came in at 7:15AM!! Then, he had to go and WAKE UP the big kids!!! Wow!)

Easter funnies heard around our house:

Me: What does the Easter Bunny have to do with Jesus?
Charlie: I honestly have no idea, maybe Jesus's favorite animal was a bunny.

Me: Why is it the Easter Bunny who brings eggs?
Mike:  I don't know, but if somebody's gonna bring eggs, shouldn't it be the Easter Chicken?

Brian's Brother Chris: Why does the Easter Bunny only wear a vest?
Brian: Good question!  If he's only going to wear one piece of clothing, shouldn't it be pants?!!!

Here are some pics:
Dyeing Eggs

Easter Morning!

Our dog, Dakota, was so funny this year. She sat at the top of the steps with the kids, waiting to come downstairs, just like she was one of them. Then during the Easter Egg hunt, she was so excited as she ran around following the kids. She looked like she was looking for eggs too!

The big winner of our Easter Egg Hunt was Mike. He found the 'Golden Egg' and the 'Silver Egg.' Then we went to Bri's parents and he found the 'Silver Egg' there too!

Of course, I forgot to take any pictures of our kids dressed up for church! Oops! I've got pictures in their pj's and pictures after they changed to go to Grandma's house. There's always next year right??

Grandma's Easter Egg Hunt

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat
--- all in one picture.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A New Hairdo and A New Age!!

This past week and a half has brought with it two big changes for me. The first event was that I got a BIG haircut!! All three of the men in my life aren't fans of my new do, but Veruka likes it and I LOVE it! (What is with guys and long hair??? I just don't get it.)

Here are photos:

The second big event was my Bday! I am now officially "30 + 11" years old. 
I had a great birthday. It rained, which would normally bum me out....but instead, the rain brought me happiness because that meant that all 3 kids softball & baseball practices were cancelled. Woo hoo! We got to go out to eat dinner at a reasonable hour and I even got a canoli for dessert!

The best part of all was my present. The day before my Bday, Brian came home from work and told me he had an early Birthday present for me. He went back to the car and came back carrying a big box that contained.......
...........the new stereo speakers he'd been wanting for the past 6 months!

I told him that that was a present for himself and that I was stating for the record that that wasn't my Birthday present. :)

I should've known that he was just joking with me and trying to get a rise out of me. The next day, my Birthday, he gave me my present and it was an iphone!!!! He told me that he actually bought my iphone first and then he bought the speakers.

I was so excited. I love the phone. All 3 of my kids also made me Birthday cards, which was absolutely my favorite gift. So, to recap; iphone, canoli, Birthday cards made with love by my kids = a great Birthday. 41 is okay by me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

1 Weekend, 2 Baby Showers

This weekend was jam packed and a lot of fun! Saturday, my Mom, sisters, neice and I all drove up to Pennsylvania for my cousin Margaret's baby shower. It was a great time seeing all of the Howe ladies! Sunday, we hosted a baby shower at my house for my younger sister, Krissy. She is also expecting her first baby! Babies are so fun and the anticipation is so exciting. It was neat to see the two "Mommys to Be" together. God is good and precious new life is definitely a miracle.

Shower #1

Margaret -- Mommy to Be of a Future Nittany Lion!

Beatutiful Ava

Becky, Em, & Margaret

Wendy, Brenda, Mary & Sam

Lots of Howes = Lots of Talking! (We missed you Tammy, Sandra, Leona, & Jenny!)

Krissy & Margaret and 2 babies!

Shower #2

Fun Centerpiece!

Serious Game Playing!

Mary, Jo & Krissy

MacKenzie and Wendy

Donna & Debbie

(These next few pictures aren't as good, bad lighting downstairs I guess.)

Shannon, Rachel & Aunt Sally

Cool Diaper Cake - Made by Shannon!

Mary, Betty & Kaitlin

Lori, Betty, Michael & Becky

Betty's First Kiss! (Sorry Albee & Jenny! See what happens when you leave your kids with us?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I know some of you did not know Kevin at all and I wanted to give you a chance to see a glimpse of who he was.  At the end of his Memorial Service a video was played.  Some good friends of ours were instrumental in getting the video up on our church website for everyone to view. (Love you, S & S.)  The same friends gave us a copy of this video right after the service on DVD and it still brings tears to our eyes every time we watch it.

The video includes family photos, and video footage of Kevin teaching Junior Quest (Kindergarten & First Grade) and also footage of some of the dramas he was in at our church.  At the end there is footage of Kevin reading a passage from a letter that is amazing in its relevance. He actually read this at the end of 2007 at a Birthday party for Joe & Tricia, our Pastor & his wife. When we heard Kevin read the words that night back in December, we never would have imagined, we'd be hearing them again so soon.  The words are awesome.

To view the video, click on the link on the right side of my blog that says LifePoint Church.
You'll need to scroll down on the page to get to the video.  Then click on the arrow to play it.

Hug your husbands and kiss your kids.
Love you all,  Kathi

PS.  Yes, Brian and I do all of that goofy teaching stuff too. (Now you get to see what we've been up to all of these Sundays!)   We are going to miss doing it with Kevin & Suzie.  We learned from the best.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Two Weeks

It is hard to believe that it has been 2  weeks since Kevin died.   As I shared in my last post, time is moving by.   I don't want it to, and I don't like it.   I wish I could go back and reverse everything to change the outcome.  To make things better for Suzie and her kids, and everyone else.

Brian and I find ourselves still crying.    The sadness we feel is for Suzie & her kids, for our church, for our community, and selfishly, for ourselves.  We liked being around Kevin.  He was just that kind of guy.  There are many good memories, and knowing where he is does bring comfort, but the sadness still remains.

I was jumping from blog to blog through links and I came across a blog from Tim, a guy that goes to our church. His entry was titled, "I miss Kevin."  I think that sums up how we all feel.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pressing On

So now reluctantly, we move forward.

So many people have been hurting and sad and broken. I am ready for some healing to begin. However, even saying that makes my heart ache for Suzie and the I wonder how they will ever heal.   Time continues to move on, as much we don't want it to.  As I write this, I am reminded of a Tommy Nelson Bible study that we did a few years ago, with the Lawyer Community Group, on the book of Ecclesiastes.

"Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.  The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises......What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;  there is nothing new under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 1:4-9

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

(By the way, go ahead and have the Rocky Road ice cream, life is too short. :)   

Kevin's death has touched so many people.  People who've been close to God and those who are far from God.  Even if it's just been to take a minute and hug their spouse and kids and say "I love you."  We never know when our time will be.

It makes me smile to think that Kevin has finished the race.  He's won!  The rest of us are still here. We have a lot of running left to do.  We must press on.

I wanted to share with you 2 cute Charlie stories.  (By the way, it is SO strange to write about my kids using other names....but I will, for you Dad.)

Story #1
Last week, we all went to see High School Musical, the play.  Our tickets were for Wed night. When the day came, B & I felt like all of our kids really needed the change of scenery.  It was a great show and I loved seeing my kids laughing and smiling after almost a week of sadness. Even Bri sang along and danced to the songs (much to Veruka's dismay.)

Mike was cute, only ever having seen one other play, he didn't like that it was not exactly like the movie.  More than once during it, he leaned over and said, "Well, they got that part wrong."

After the play, we were asking the kids what their favorite parts were.  
Mike chimed in, "I liked it all EXCEPT the kiss between Troy and Gabriella at the end. YUCK!"

I responded, "Well, that was probably a fake kiss since it was a play."

Charlie responded with authority, "No, it was real, because they are mature people.  Mature people really kiss.  The only people who fake kiss are little kids and Wrestlemania."

Me:  "Huh?????"

Me:  "Wrestlemania???"

Charlie:  "Yeah, everyone knows Wrestlemania is fake. I've seen them sneak a kiss in there once and awhile and it's a fake one."

Me:  "Okay???  If you say so!??"  :)

Story #2
As you all know, my boys are "all boy."  Lots of tackeling each other, rough housing, football & baseball playing, video game-aholics (well at least Charlie is) and just all around loud.
This past weekend, Charlie had one of his friends from church spending the night.  I told the boys that they HAD to have the lights and TV off at midnight and go to sleep.  (We've had way too many sleepovers that didn't involve much sleeping.)

At midnight I went downstairs to make sure everything was off and to say goodnight.  I also wanted to see if they wanted to say a prayer.  The 2 of those 6th grade boys laid there, heads on pillows, tucked under their blankets, and said a prayer for their buddy, Josh.  It was so touching and sweet to see those boys lifting their friend up in prayer in his time of need.

It was one of those moments where I could see a glimpse of the man that he's going to become, and I liked what I saw.