What’Snooo with You?

Posted On October 6, 2010

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I’ve been trying so hard to log into our blog and update daily. But it just doesn’t happen. Maybe tomorrow? ha ha

So what have we been up to?

Nicholas has been attending school and has Wednesdays off. Because he wants to be able to spend all Wednesdays with us he stays late the rest of the week. It’s no fun being a SAHM during the week, but it’s worth it for ‘Daddy Wednesday’!

Grace is learning her skip counting. She can now do her 10’s & 5’s! Last week we attending the Ohio Renaissance Festival and had a lot of fun with friends learning new things. We are pushing through with our school work every day. I, of course, have my ‘mommy moments’. ‘Am I teaching her everything she needs to know?’ ~ ‘Could I have done more today?’ ~ ‘Am I doing the right thing by keeping her at home?’ Uh! I hate those moments. I know that I am doing the right thing  and that she is where she needs to be for who she is. I have to remember daily that *this* is why I am keeping her out of the school system. We have the ability to take our time with our lessons so that in the end she *knows* her lessons. That is what is important!

Trey is doing well with his colors, numbers and letters. His vocabulary grows stronger every day and I know that we are taking the steps needed to lay the ground work down for a K program next year!

Mama is busy as always. Although I’ve not kept up with MY blog I have enjoyed reading $5 Dinners andSmockity Frocks ! Both of these Mamas are awesome! I love the recipes and home organization!  Connie from Smockity Frocks has a great video showing how she homeschools and organizes her family of 10! Yup! 8 children! I love it!!  I hope to one day have a master list as awesome as hers!

And Erin, at $5 Dinners, has the most amazing (and Thrifty!!) recipes!

If you get a chance you *must* check these blogs out! They are now a part of my daily readings and they have inspired me to be a better mom & housewife! =o)

 

I am the adult child of an alcoholic.

Posted On September 21, 2010

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“Adult Children of Alcoholics was originally written with only children of alcoholics in mind. Since its first publication, we have learned that the material discusses applies to other types of dysfunctional families as well. It appears that much of what is true for the children of alcoholics is also true for others and that this understanding can help reduce the isolation of countless persons who also thought they were “different” because of their life experience.

Janet G. Woititz

Adult Children of Alcoholics – The Expanded Edition

1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.

2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.

3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.

4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.

5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.

6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.

7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.

8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.

9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.

10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.

11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.

12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.

13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.

I fit 10 out of 13. Number 13 is the scariest. I read it and wept. I clean. I clean everyday. Not a tidy-the-house clean. But a scrub the floors, straighten the closets, wash the walls and windows clean. There are days where I can spend all day cleaning and never ever get around to spending real time with the kids….other than cleaning together.

I have always been much more responsible than others my own age and I have no idea what ‘normal’ people do. The fact that the very 1st one was that makes so much sense!

I try to be ‘super mom’ because I have no idea what a real family does. I’ve said this to Nick over the last 6 years of Grace’s life. I feel like I’m being fake. I don’t know how to be a mom, but this is what I think a mom should do.

I’m going to print this list out and hang where I can see it everyday. This is me. I am the adult child of an alcoholic. But I can be a better person. I will be a better person. I will NOT let these characteristics direct my life anymore.

Our first week went great!

Posted On September 6, 2010

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I sat down to post SO many times last week and each time I did something else came up.

Last week our topic was ‘Family/Self’. We learned about our family tree, our bodies, our personality and all the wonderful way that God made us different and special!

‘I am wonderfully made!’ -Psalm 139

We’ve eased our way back into school this year. I have planned on Monday’s being our ‘slow’ days. Have you ever enjoyed the weekend SO much and when Monday comes you just wish you could go back a day or two instead of jumping back into your daily grind? Well, we decided to avoid that! =o) Our Mondays are reserved for our ECHO (Explore Columbus Homeschool Organization) meet-ups and extra activities. Whether it’ll be grocery shopping, baking cookies or dinner, playing at a friends house or an impromptu trip to an indoor playground our Mondays will have one thing in common~They will be fun and stress free! I can’t think of a better way to start a week!

Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Grace (and Trey) journaling (in addition to other things!) Tuesdays Grace and Trey will sit down with their journal books and will journal about a topic that I have given to them. Thursdays (for Grace) will be a little bit more free style, as she can write about whatever she wants. The catch? It’ll be here. On our homeschool blog. I love this idea! It’ll give her a chance to use the computer, work on spelling and most importantly learn to type! Media and computers are a way of living these days. Knowing how to type and work independently on the computer are going to be great tasks for her to learn.

This week we take our school on the road. We are heading to Bellaire for the week~leaving tomorrow. We were going to leave on Wednesday evening, but I thought the kids would like to have a night at my grandma’s since this trip we will be staying with Grama & PopPop Taflan.

We start our journey into history as we will start to read ‘The Story of the World’ by Susan Bauer.

Our main topic this week is colors and shapes. Grace knows her colors and her shapes so we are working on mixing colors, reading/spelling color names and all the different ways we can use our tangrams and building blocks. The kids already love to use their imagination to make different pictures with the tangrams so this week will be a lot of fun! =o)

Hope everyone has a fantastic week! We’re packing the van and cleaning the house today…that’s never very much fun.

whew.

Posted On July 27, 2010

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I have been trying for a few weeks to find the time to sit down and write out my letter of intent/notification to Columbus Public School that I will be homeschooling Grace for the 2010-2011 school year.

Once I got all the information I needed to have it was quick to write up the actual letter and cover letter. Answering #6 & #7 took a bit more time.

Last week I started on my actual curriculum/lesson plans. Things were going pretty smooth (actually got the 1st few weeks ‘in’) but the kids have trumped my time and I haven’t been able to go back to my lesson planning. It’s my hope that things are able to calm down around here and I can complete what I need done before we start our ‘year’ on August 23rd.

We have had lots going on over the past week: Nate’s 1st Birthday party, family in, friends in and this past weekend Nick’s brother Matt and his lovely wife, Olyvia came to visit us as they make their trip around Ohio to visit family and friends.

On Sunday Nick and I started into our journey of having a ‘boarder’ in our home.  My aunt, a nurse, has gained employment at Riverside Memorial Hospital here in Columbus. She will be on a 12 hour rotation for 3 days and will be with us 2 days a week (mostly sleeping during those 2 ‘days’ as she works midnight shift).  This week she is here for the whole week (M-F) for orientation. So far, nothing has cramped our way of life, but I am worried about how long she plans on staying in this position. Long term for example: Nick will graduate in 2013…will she still be here then? Short term for example: How will this effect Nick’s study habits/our homeschool habits with her in our school/den/study room.

We are already quite ‘homey’ (aka, stuffed/cramped/jammed) in our little 2 bedroom apartment with our family of 5. By 2012 we would like to add a new tiny member to our family….we wonder how that would work with a boarder?

Lots to think about! 🙂

Yippee! Woo-hoo! Horray!

Posted On July 21, 2010

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Nicholas has today off. Even though we have errands to do this is the 1st day he’s had off that we didn’t have someone visiting us! So, I get to be selfish and have him all to myself~well, the kids too! =o)

Today’s thrilling agenda:

~Title for the Mercedes switched over so that insurance can pay us.~

~Goodwill for a new nightstand for our bedroom and another attempt at looking for a new dinette set. I have these visions of a nice square table that I can refinish and some funky -but sturdy- chairs that I can also refinish and add some nice fabric to.~

~Going over to the office to inquire about a 3 bedroom (we are busting at the seems here! And before Nick graduates we would like to add one more blessing to our family! Not sure where we put him/her! ha ha)~

~New pants for Nick. We have both lost weight over the last month and neither of us can keep our pant up! I got a few pairs yesterday (only 2…I’m hoping to drop another size before Fall weather hits) and now it’s Nick’s turn.~

~Kenjockety Girl Scout Camp in Galloway with Grace tonight at 6pm! Her first camp expierience! We will be going just for the evening, but it should be fun!~

Have a Blessed day!

~~Audrey~~

Oh Happy Day! =o)

Posted On July 20, 2010

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Today Nick & I have been married for 8 years! Wow! How can we already mark off 8 years of wedded bliss!? It hasn’t always been easy…well, our marriage is easy! It’s not hard to live with someone you love so much! But life has thrown us curve balls every now and then!

If someone told me 8 years ago that Nick would be in the middle of Optometry School and I would be at home schooling our 3 kids,  I would have laughed in their face! 8 years ago I wanted to run my very own daycare center and Nick was very content at WTRF-7 doing chiron and graphics for the evening news. We loved our little 2 bedroom apartment in St.Clairsville and life was simple.

But I wouldn’t give up our life for anything! It’s not easy to live off of student loans and we’ve lived with our (my) family twice, Nick has spent countless hours locked in the basement studying and even more hours late night at school…but it’s worth it! It got us to where we are now and will get us where we need to be  in another 3 years!

5 days ago our Squishy Baby turned 1~It’s hard to believe that this little guy came to us without all the normal drama that had come with trying to conceive Grace and Trey. No temping, no charting, no fertility Dr’s…he was just a God given gift! We celebrated this weekend at our favorite park (Blacklick Metro) with friends and family! The weather and company was PERFECT! Pics to follow in a later post!

Yesterday the Squish had his 1 year check-up. After a month of no dairy he was earache free! WOOT! He weighed a whopping 22 pounds and is the top percentile for his height and weight. While we were there I took that fear-filled leap off my comfortable bridge to ask the Dr. about Trey. I was trying to ask about how to schedule an appointment for evaluations and then was faced with “Evaluation for WHAT?”

*sigh*

Why can’t I just say ‘evaluation’ and leave it at that. Just tell me if I make an appointment with a Ped or with a specialist!!

Anyway. So I briefly go into the facts. He can’t sleep. He has breakdowns when we go a different way in the car. He has issues with eye contact….The Dr. just stared at me.

So I said it. “I don’t think he is autistic. But I think he might be on the spectrum. We want to know if how he behaves is NORMAL for him, or if there is something else there that we should know how to handle.”

GAH!

He told me to reschedule and appointment at the window as I leave.  THEN! When I go to the window they need to know WHY I am making an appointment. When I say “evaluation” they press the issue to!

ANYWAY. We really aren’t sure what will happen next week at the appointment, but we feel better knowing that at least there IS an appointment. We’ve gone rounds trying to decide if what we see in Trey on a day-to-day basis is something to be concerned about. Over the last year we have been able to control some of his behaviors with sleep….but that includes giving him melatonin. I believe that regardless of the outcome we just need to KNOW. We need to know if there is something there or not.

Anyway! The kids are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Aunt Olyvia and Uncle Matt this weekend! Nick and I are too! We wanted to go see them in Florida last year, but buying Optometry equipment left us with no extra money to make the trip!

I hope everyone has a happy blessed day!!  

We’re so HOT!

Posted On July 16, 2010

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YUP!

H.O.T (House of Tafan) not HOT (Although it has been very warm in Columbus the last few days).

A few days ago I got to thinking about where I wanted our blog to go. I LOVE that I can write about homeschool stuff and keep friends and family updated about our on-goings.

But our kids are not the only ones who have things going on! We are a busy, busy family!

3 kids, a hubby in Optometry School (he’s an Opt 2 now!!) 2 dogs, 1 hairy fluffy cat, a tank full of fish, a growing bullfrog and a Mama who is forever attempting to do it all! WHEW! I’m exhausted just READING that!

I decided on H.O.T. after reading a VERY cool blog about a family (mostly a mama) who does it all too for her family. She mostly blogs about crafts and cooking. But the name of her blog was “HOH”  (House of Hepworths) and I just fell in LOVE with that idea!

The majority of my posts so far *have* been about our family (all of us) and our day-to-day adventures! We never have a boring day in The Taflan House!

So that’s it! Our permalink will still be ‘ taflanchristianacademy.wordpress.com ‘ but our new Title will change to ‘House of Taflan’.

So sit back and enjoy a little bit of our house in yours!

Forever? And Always!

Posted On July 6, 2010

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A ring is a circle that has no breaks. It is never ending. It is eternal forever. The ring is the symbol for marriage: Never ending. Un-dieing. Forever the way our love for each other is.

In the commotion of all of the Lake events on Saturday, Nicholas lost his wedding band.

I can’t help feeling so sad over losing this little piece of ‘us’. In 2001 when we picked out our wedding bands we wanted something simple and yet unique. We had the jeweler create our bands with a diamond in the underside of the band. A little quarter carat that only we would be able to see. Not facing outward for the world to see, but tucked away safe and sound against our fingers. Our rings didn’t just match, they went together.

My band was engraved “Forever” while Nick’s matching band stated “Always”. Our never ending question of “Forever? Always!” close to our hearts and souls until eternity.

Our rings are our physical acknowledgment of our love for each other. They went on our fingers almost 8 years ago in front of  our friends, our family and God. I want to die with the very same ring on my finger that Nick gave me on that day. No other  ring could ever replace mine.

To us, they were never a piece of jewelry, but something that connected us even when apart.

There have been greater things to grieve and worry about over this past weekend than our missing ring, but I do feel heartbreak over it’s loss. I feel like another ring is just a replacement. It will never be the ring that was blessed in front of us and it will never be the same ring that I slipped onto his trembling hand.

In the scheme of things it was just a piece of metal. We can have it remade to duplicate the one lost forever in the bottom of Grayson Lake. The new band will hold new memories and a story about a crazy day boating in Kentucky with friends! Our connection is not held together by a band of gold. We are committed to each other ‘Forever & Always’ with or without a wedding band.

Serving & Saving

Posted On July 5, 2010

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I coupon. I am a coupon-holic! Most people know this about me and when they find out I always get “wish I could do that!” or “Will you teach me?”.

Today I sat at our kitchen table to organize my coupons that have gotten away from me over the last few weeks. Between Nick finishing up school for the year, the weather being so nice and the kids doing every activity under the Columbus sun…my coupons have gone the way of the buffalo~that is to say, they were a jumbled up mess of papers sticking every which way out of my coupon binder.

While cutting, clipping and tossing away expired coupons I decided that I would do a quick “how-to” on here today.

Step 1. Find your nearest big city Sunday Paper. The bigger city papers usually have better coupons. When we lived in the Valley we would opt for the Columbus Dispatch or Zanesville paper instead of the Times Leader.

Step 2. Go through your paper to gather up the coupon inserts. We usually buy 4-5 papers and when I get the inserts I like to flip through them and pull out the ‘junk’. You know, those inserts that are advertisements for socks, ornaments, popcorn tins, ect…and pitch them now. You don’t need them!

Step 3. I like to take my inserts and slip them into large plastic sleeves. The kind that you could get at Staples for business reports. I stack up the inserts for that week, stick them into the sleeve and then take a blank sticker/label and mark the date of the insert (if you need to check the date it’s on the left side of the insert) and the date of the last usable coupon. Example: 7-4-10 RP (RED PLUM) 12-12-10 SS (SMART SOURCE) 9-13-10

Step 4. This is the secret to successful couponing: KNOW YOUR STORE SALES! Think of couponing as like a card game. Do you throw all your cards down on the 1st round? NO! If you did you would lose. There is a chance you might get score a little, but you won’t win big! You hold onto your good cards and you play them when you have a greater chance of winning! Right? So, hold your coupons for those sales!! A sale+coupon=A GREAT DEAL!

Step 5. This is where I cheat. There are programs out there (Grocery Game to think of one of the top of my head) that will take your local stores and will put together deals for you. Say, you shop at Kroger. So you let them know you shop at Kroger and once a week they will send you a spreadsheet that has already matched up the sales and your coupons. How great is that?! Well, it’s okay. The first month is free but after that the monthly fee is about $10 a month. You want to SAVE money! Don’t buy something you don’t need. I like to search for blogs that shop at the same stores *I* do.  Also, HCW is a message board that has TONS of stores with people just like you putting together the same deals that The Grocery Game would…for FREE!

So use the help of blogs and message boards. Very rarely do I put together my deals. I can. But it’s so time consuming and unnecessary!

Step 6: Don’t just rely on newspaper inserts! There are printables on  store websites and company websites. Sometimes, you find something that your household uses all the time and a store that you shop at has a GREAT deal on that product. Stockpiling is a great way to save money! When we find a deal that is too good to pass up we order coupons from eBay or a coupon cutting service! Last year Nick and I stocked up on Heinz Ketchup~we bought 30 bottles of ketchup and with the cost of the coupons we paid $4. That was almost a year ago….we still have ketchup to spare!

Step 7. Don’t expect to come out of the gate with HUGE savings. Most deals are done with coupons that were available MONTHS ago! Do what you can and each week, with every new set of coupons you will be able to save hundreds and sometimes MAKE money. Target is a great place to shop with coupons!

Target always has gift card deals. Example: If you buy 2 Gillette razors for $8 each you get a $5 gift card

Sound good? Not really. You spend $16 to get $5 back? Eh.

But what if you used 2 $5 coupons on those razors?

$16 total-$10 in coupons =$6 (plus tax) for 2 razors. Get $5 back. Once you add in that gift card you are only spending $1 (plus tax).

Now, in this particular scenerio you are not actually MAKING money. But there are plenty of deals at Target where I *have* made money and spent nothing ‘OOP’ (out of pocket)

So, that’s the geest of what I do. It’s not easy. I’ve heard comments from others that *I* should just do this for them. It takes HOURS for me to sit down and figure out each week what I’m buying and spending. Planning is the key! If I can do it with 3 kids then ANYONE can do it!

Maybe it’s not worth saving half of your grocery bill with coupons. But to me, it is. We live from ‘school loan to school loan’ and I have to make that money stretch as much as I can. Coupons help! I think of it as my ‘job’ for my family. At the end of the month I have a stocked pantry and money left over to do something fun with the kids!

I hope that this helps someone out there! I’m up to pointing anyone in the right direction and giving tips! I might even post a deal from time to time! But please don’t ask me to hold your hand and cut coupons with you! (I’m working on my own coupon pile!)

sadness and anxiety all in one weekend

Posted On July 4, 2010

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Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I can’t shake the feelings all around me.

Yesterday we headed to Kentucky to go boating with our bestest friends (Jamie & Steve and their daughters Emily & Maddy) and their longtime friend, Timmy.

We left at 8:30 and pulled out on our boat for the day at 10AM. The weather was beautiful! The sky was blue, the sun was warm, the scenery and cliffs that surrounded us were breathtaking and we had our coolers loaded with Coke, Water, Gatorade and LOTS to eat for the day!

We pulled over deep in a no-wake zone in a remote area for a lunch with Steve’s mom and dad and the kids swam around in the cool water! It was only a little after 2 and we still had the whole day! When we arrived that morning we bought a HUGE tube that we could pull behind our pontoon for the kids. Grace and Emily were anxiously awaiting their turn with a daddy in the tube with them!

We pulled out of the no-wake zone and got the girls and Daddy Steve  situated into the tube. In a matter of minutes that were yelling and laughing! They were having a blast feeling the tube skip on the water beneath them! =)

I took this time to lay in the front of the boat. Nicholas and Jamie were sitting in the back with Trey, Nate and Maddy B watching the girls and Steve and taking pictures of the silly tubers! Timmy was driving.

And then things went down hill. I’m not sure of what the details are myself. Only from what I heard and felt. I heard screaming. Lots of screaming. The boat lurched to the side and then we came to a quick stop. I jumped up and was at the back of the boat in a heartbeat. Nick was gone. Timmy was jumping off the boat. I looked at our tube screaming at Jamie about the girls. She pointed at the girls (who were alone in the tube, Steve also jumped off) and said “It’s not us. We’re fine. We hit someone.”

I saw a girl in the water with Nick, Steve and Timmy. They were yelling at the girl’s family to throw them something they could float the girl on to get her to the boat.  I jumped into the water myself a second later to get our girls who were floating all alone in a tube in the middle of the lake.

Grace was very upset throughout the whole thing. Emily was much better about the whole thing, but Grace wanted “to go home now and color, watch a movie and play her DS”. She knew that the situation was ‘wrong’ and wanted to just leave. I can’t say I blame her. I was shaking so bad and I just wanted to go home too.

Once we got the kids in the boat all we could do was watch the scene in front of us. Nick and Steve pulling the girl out, Timmy (who looked horrible and seemed to be in shock) floating behind them, unsure of what to do.

Jamie and I couldn’t get the boat started to get closer to their boat to see if we could help. At the beginning of the day no one thought to inform either of us how to drive the darn boat! So we sat with the kids, feeling quite helpless.

In the next few moments another boat arrived that was faster than the boat they got the girl on. They transferred her to another boat and Steve (being an EMT) went with her. Nick and Timmy got back to our boat. They had it started in seconds and we proceeded to follow the boat that had Steve on it back to the dock.

We drove in silence. All of us in shock over what just happened. Grace was still upset and it touches my heart to say that Grace curled up in my lap and we prayed. We prayed for Timmy, we prayed for Steve, we prayed for the girl (who was 14…Nick told us this when he got on the boat), we prayed for the medical responders that we heard coming and we prayed for Grace. My thoughtful,  compassionate little girl who was scared and very worried about the situation. After our prayers were sent up we set the kids up at the table with crayons and coloring books while Nick drove the boat back to the ramp.

Timmy was honest with the officer that he had 2 beers earlier in the morning. He told him that he heard yelling, turned his head to check on his tubers (our children) and when he turned around he saw one person in front of the boat. He turned the boat to avoid the swimmer and then heard more yelling as he hit the other girl.

None of us saw what happened. We’re not sure if they were tubeing themselves or if they were swimming in the middle of the open lake waters. Jamie and I both saw floating chairs, indicating, to us, that they were floating in the middle of the lake.

The officer pulled Timmy onto his boat to speak with him. I spied Steve on the boat ramp mixed in with medical personal. They had 2 ambulances there working on the girl (still in the boat). Jamie said, “It’s not bad. If it was bad there would be a chopper here life flighting her to Huntington.” That calmed our anxiety for a minute…until we heard the chopper overhead.

We watched them pull her up the ramp and onto the medical helicopter as the Police boat brought Timmy back and putted over to bring Steve back to our boat. Tim told us that they gave him a Breathalyzer test with an outcome of 0.00 (clearly the 2 drinks he had with lunch 3 hours before had been out of his system before the accident).

The officer dropped Steve onto our boat and told us to wait. Steve mentioned that the girl had non-life-threatening injuries and that he and an RN asked the officer to put a chopper on stand-by. The officer just called it in regardless. Apparently, once in the air they will life-flight you out regardless of the situation.

We felt better. The girl had a few abrasions around her ribs, but she would be okay. The officer took statements from all of us and told us, that even though he had not yet finished his investigation, he felt it was just an accident that was unavoidable.

Still shaken up by the whole thing we putted around the lake for another hour and then dropped our boat off and headed home.  I can’t see The Taflan Family getting onto an0ther tube…let alone a boat…for a long time.

We don’t know what happened to the girl ~ HIPAA makes sure of that. All we can do is continue to pray that she is okay. There are so many things now, looking back on yesterday, that we question. We first assumed the girls were tubbing also and had fallen off their tube in the middle of the lake. Now that our heads are clear we are wondering if the girl and her companion were actually swimming in the middle of the open water. Why would they do that? We saw boats going faster than our pontoon boat all day long. =(

This morning I was also taken back by some very sad news. The brother of my brother’s best buddy was killed last night in a car accident. I’ve heard that he was not drinking, but the driver was. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the responding officer. My family and I are very upset over the loss of such a promising young man. He was 17 and would have been a senior in high school this year.

On such a Celebratory holiday it’s such a shame that this much tragedy has to surround us. And not just us, but everyone. I was searching on Google for articles from both accidents and I was inundated with so many stories of sadness, death and trauma.

My family is officially home in our apartment. Our weekend away is over and we feel so very blessed to be safe and sound in our little apartment.

Time is so precious. Don’t waste a single minute!

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