It makes me CRAZY that I can't get these to post on our wordpress site. It's something with my site if we try to post it on kyle's.
oh well, here's some pics of our bonflicker last night. So much fun. I missed photo ops of a whole group of people but they were new...and I didn't want to frighten them right from the beginning by whipping the camera out. Next time, they are fair game. ;)

ughhh. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get these things to show up on the wordpress site so for those of you who still check this, here's a few more photos from home.

Here's the scoop. Our blog site is moving to the following address:

I have no idea what I'm doing on there yet. Kyle is out of town but hopefully he can give me some lessons when he gets back. Right now I have no idea how to post slide shows...and most of my posts are duplicated because I accidentally imported my blog twice. So be patient. The look of the site may change a lot...much like myself, it is a work in progress. ;)

the first few shots from WI. I have loads to upload but it takes forever--and they are on the mac, which is presently in KY, with my husband. SO, this is just the first group that has been, that means you are not allowed to freak that your face isn't on here yet. It's coming. I promise. ;)


That’s right; we are officially blended.

So the big reception/party at the house was a hit. Dad had a huge white tent put up; we set up a volleyball net, had logs burning full force in the fire pit; and plenty of other outdoor activities for the kids or the young at heart. He also had a beer cart dropped off with two port-a-potties which I honestly believed was a joke until they were literally dropped off out back. Rhonda’s family brought their campers and crashed out at the house after all was said and done Saturday night. Loads of people came in and out-so many faces I haven’t seen in forever.

The weather was gorgeous—it felt like a perfect fall day.

Ever since the plane landed, everything’s felt good; celebratory; peaceful. But then yesterday, the day after the big party, I felt…I don’t know, like I was fighting constantly to hold back tears.

I love this new extension of our family. I like that the house if full of activity & life & laughter. I like that dad is teaching little ones to hunt and fish and that he’s cheering them on from the sidelines at their games. I can deal with fake cockroaches on my pillows and in my sheets—and with new brothers who like to try and flick fly heads on me. (I have a fly head smeared on my pant leg as I type, from one battle lost). I enjoy getting to know all of Rhonda’s extended family. I genuinely love these new people who are now a part of us.

So why the tears?

Growing pains, maybe?
Probably, and I suspect I’m not the first to feel this way.
A couple of the kids had major meltdowns during the party—which was probably the kid version of what I’m feeling/experiencing. They physically let it all out while I struggle to find the right words to find the same sort of release.
Everything just feels so different and while we are in a good place, occasionally I get those sad pangs. Bedrooms that sheltered us as we grew and tested our wings, are now responsible for growing new kids up. Traditions are different. Expectations are changing. New stories are unfolding within the confines of these walls—and while I once felt like a main character, I’m now more of an observer. That feels strange. And though I would not change one thing, elements of even the best and happiest new changes tend to carry with them, a twinge of sad.

But then we get together at the table for one of those meals where kids say the craziest things or we have a movie all cuddled up in lumps downstairs and I know the world is as it should be. Growing pains are temporary.
It’s good to be us, blended together.
Me, with my fly guts. ;)

back to my roots.

brats; cheesecurds; atv's; fleece; cabelas...

we've been home not quite 24 hours and yet we've managed to take in all of the above. We really are our own breed of people up here and I forget sometimes how much I love the very things that most people would ridicule. I can't tell you how amazing the cool weather feels. Dad has a stock pile of wood out back to have a bonfire this weekend--and it's the perfect weather for it.

Okay, so, we had our first family dinner last night with rhonda and her boys. They've grown up sooo much since the last time we were with them. So here's a little window into family life...
Dinner is delicious we're all jabbering away and then for whatever reason it becomes silent. I didn't really notice because I was focused on the food that was disappearing off the plate in front of me but then this one lonely voice breaks the silence with this question.

"What does,

I thought I would die.

I looked up at Rhonda.
Then over to Conner-who was waiting expectantly for an answer to his big question.
Then I glanced sideways at Kyle, which was a big mistake, because he was shoveling a forkful of food into his mouth to prevent a total outburst--which nearly got me started.
Then there was Dad, at the other end of the table, who had amusement written all over his face--but who's mind was obviously already reeling with the best way to answer the question.

The next 5 minute discussion that ensued was everything one ever wanted or needed to know about the word bastard; dad even grabbed Websters to provide a completely ridiculous definition that no 10 year old would ever understand. Rhonda answered everything perfectly--and of course got to the root of where this word was introduced to her son. I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW HILARIOUS THE WHOLE CONVERSATION WAS. Once the boys got up from the table we could not control ourselves. And again, as we crawled into bed last night we laid there and laughed some more.

It was a little bit of insight into family life.
Sometimes I forget that this is what dad is about to do all over again but last night was a perfect reminder. And the thing is, they are so ready. Bring it on!

I called Camp Ruff-n-more to check on Stinky today. (My disclaimer: I normally do not do this but because he's been sick-o I thought I should check on him). I talked to Cory and he said that Oliver was doing well. I asked if he was playing nice with others. Cory laughed and said," yeah, he's completely fine and social." "In fact", he said, "he's been entertaining us because he keeps mounting the other dogs."

I was completely mortified and felt like I should apologize but I have no idea where that comes from. I've seen him try this with my niece--sorry Riley--but as a general rule this is not something we have problems with. It definitely isn't learned behavior.
ha ha.

So there you have it.
We're having a good time; Oliver's getting cheap thrills at camp. We're having conversations about bastards while Stinky is putting the definition to the test.
can't wait to see what day number 2 brings!

I've been trying to stay one step ahead of myself all week. But not today. Today, it all caught up with me. Good stress...bad doesn't seem to matter.

Our chaplain asked me to pray with him this morning and as soon as I quieted myself, everything got blurry. Everything I've tried to swallow down this week rose up despite my best efforts.

I got that job offer...actually, the position has been tweaked a little. I told them I would let them know on Monday what my decision will be. So I have 3 days. Do I go? Do I stay?
How do I leave?
it's not the end of the world. it's a job for goodness sake.
do I take a more "family friendly" job before we even have the family?!?

Next week, we go home.
I realize on a blog where family check in, it's best to hit the highlights and keep it at that. But, the truth is, there is apprehension in the mix of my emotions. Sometimes it's just hard, plain and simple. Not a criticism.
just life.

BUT, enough of that.
What's WI, without a par-tay? My cousin Tony is getting married tomorrow!!! We hate to miss that big bash but we know it will be loads of fun and with my mom in attendance, I'm confident there will be stories. Anyone catch that killer football game last night??? Go colts! (jim, we hope you're recovering...) Can't wait to see the Meltons; 'Conversations' at church this week was real and unfiltered--so exactly what we've craved; and so far--my call night has been blissfully quiet and lovely. ;)

a bit of happy from our week.
(these pictures never quite turn out the way you hope they will. haha.)